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EMMYS: TV Academy To Honor Casting Queen Marion Dougherty With Governors Award; Announces Juried Winners

By | Thursday July 31, 2014 @ 10:45am PDT

EMMYS: TV Academy To Honor Casting Queen Marion Dougherty With Governors Award; Announces Juried WinnersCasting director Marion Dougherty will be posthumously awarded the 2014 Governors Award, the Television Academy said today. It will be presented, along with the Juried Award winners (also announced today) during the Creative Arts Emmy Awards on Saturday, August 16 at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live.

Marion11Dougherty, who passed away in 2011, is being recognized for defining the role of the Casting Director, changing the profession for both television and film. She broke the mold of traditional casting, which commonly involved bringing in a large number of the same type of actors to read for a role. Instead, she would bring three or four very different actors to provide the director with casting options, and performers who could bring unique shadings to the roles. She used that approach in casting Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Martin Sheen, William Shatner, Christopher Walken, Robert Duval, Glenn Close and James Caan in some of their earliest roles.

Among her many achievements: suggesting to Norman Lear that Carroll O’Connor and Jean Stapleton play Archie and Edith on Lear’s pilot for a new series called All In The Family; convincing Richard Donner to cast Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon even though his part was written for a white male; and casting Robin Williams in Garp, his first dramatic role.

There was a push in 1991 to get Dougherty the Honorary Lifetime Achievement Oscar — with the likes of Warner Bros’ Mark Rosenberg, Paula Weinstein, Newman, Woody Allen and Sydney Pollack behind the campaign — but that lobbying effort failed. Read More »

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EMMYS: A Year After Its Finale Bryan Cranston Still Hopes ‘Breaking Bad’ Has Awards Mojo On Its Side

By | Wednesday July 30, 2014 @ 3:44pm PDT
Pete Hammond

EMMYS:  A Year After Its Finale Bryan Cranston Still Hopes ‘Breaking Bad’ Has Awards Mojo On Its SideBreaking Bad may have finished its run a year ago but, as far as Emmys are concerned, it has all the heat now – and then some. It recently won Best Drama Series from the Critics Choice Television Awards, Program Of The Year  from the Television Critics Association and even finally the Golden Globe last January for the show and star Bryan Cranston after essentially being ignored by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for the length of its 6-year  run. The show has really come into its own and continues to be talked about and debated, and has taken a kind of victory tour at all the Guild shows as well since finally winning its first Best Drama Series Emmy in 2013. And it is nominated again, for the last time, for those final eight episodes that ran last summer just as Emmy voting for the previous season was in full force. Some think voters gave breaking-bad-beats-mad-men-and-homeland-to-win-best-drama-seriesit the Emmy then as much for the new shows, that were unspooling as they had ballots in hand, as much they did for the eligible 8 shows from  the first half of the sixth and final season. It begs the question whether the Academy is ready to go there one more time even though BB long ago finished its first-run episodes on AMC. But despite three lead actor Emmys in 2008, 2009 and 2010 for Cranston as well as a pair for … Read More »

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So Who Comic-Conquered San Diego?

So Who Comic-Conquered San Diego?The fanboy Super Bowl is over. Who made the most of San Diego Comic-Con and who spit the bit? Here’s the view from Deadline staffers who endured endless movie and TV show presentations. We’ll start with features:

WARNER BROS: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Mad Max: Fury Road, Jupiter Ascending, The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
Mad Max Comic ConThe best Comic-Con panels show fans things they’ve never seen before. From that standpoint, Warner Bros changed the game by making the Hall H experience seem larger. It turned the dark curtains covering 450 feet down the sides of the auditorium into a wraparound multimedia visual experience that left jaded geeks looking left and right in wonder at images that complemented the onstage presentation. Expect others to rip this off. For star power: Zack Snyder introduced his Batman v Superman stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, and Gal Gadot and offered glimpses of the film. Warner Bros also wowed with explosive footage from Mad Max: Fury Road, a film that looks like it could be the answer someday to this Trivial Pursuit question: What movie transformed Tom Hardy from a great actor into a big fucking movie star? Warner Bros also brought Middle Earth excitement to Hall H with a lengthy Hobbit: The Five Armies panel and footage that had LOTR fans aflutter.

Related: Q&A: Peter Jackson On His Middle Earth Exit And A Disguise That Let Him Haunt Comic-Con

MARVEL: Ant-Man, Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Avengers 2 at Comic-ConMarvel is always the must-see panel; not so much this year. Maybe it was DC Comics’ turn to shine, and maybe being a sequel factory imposes limits on the surprise front. They trotted out the superstar Avengers lineup — been there, done that! — with additions Josh Brolin, Aaron Johnson, and Elizabeth Olsen. No Black Widow Scarlett Johansson, who was busy bitch-slapping Hercules at the box office in the Luc Besson film Lucy. Footage was OK, but Kevin Feige set a high bar for himself in past Cons, and this year he couldn’t clear it. Ant-Man brought Corey Stoll and Evangeline Lilly (already knew they were in the movie), and plans for a Guardians Of The Galaxy sequel were greeted by a collective “Duh!’ Feige could have told us what movies will fill all those release dates he recently staked out. He didn’t. Better luck next year, Marvel Man.

Related: Marvel Sets ‘Guardians 2′ For 2017; ‘Avengers 2’ Footage Draws Standing O

Read More »

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EMMYS: Party Season In Full Force As Final Voting Gets Underway And Nominees Turn Out

By | Tuesday July 29, 2014 @ 11:04am PDT
Pete Hammond

EMMYS: Party Season In Full Force As Final Voting Gets Underway And Nominees Turn OutWith still exactly a month to go before the big (Monday) event, the Emmy party season kicked off in style last night on the 3rd floor outdoor deck of the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills with a bash for performer nominees. Showing up to meet and greet potential voters as well as press and other Academy members were Modern Family’s Ty Burrell and Jesse Tyler Ferguson; Minnie Driver, nominated for the Lifetime movie Return To Zero; Veep’s pair of 2013 winners and nominees again, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tony Hale; double nominee for Mom and Masters Of Sex, Allison Janney; Scandal’s bad guy Joe Morton;  House Of Cards‘ Kevin Spacey; and Fargo’s Billy Bob Thornton.  Presiding over it all were actors branch Governors Bob Bergen and Lily Tomlin. Academy chairman Bruce Rosenblum and new president Maury McIntyre also made the scene.

Emmy Party 2014Now this was just the first round. There will be an even bigger bash for performers two nights before the Emmys at the Pacific Design Center. Between now and then there will be another 21 of these peer group parties representing every branch of the Academy from Costume Designers (who actually were the first group to party a few days ago) to Make Up and Hairstylists to Writers (I am on the Board Of Governors repping that branch, which will celebrate its nominees August 21). That’s almost one a night. Putting all this together is the indefatigable Barbara Chase and the Academy staff.

Also happening during this period will be the Creative Arts Emmys and Ball on Saturday, August 16 where 94 categories will be presented (up from 80 last year). Just a measly 26 categories will be presented on the NBC telecast August 25th.Whew. August is usually the dog days for the TV industry, but this year it is where all the heat is — at least as far as Emmys go. Voting, which is done by individual volunteers from each peer group , also got underway this week with the first round of ballots due back August 6 (for Creative Arts)  and the final round the next week. Read More »

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Comic-Con: ‘American Horror Story’ Cast Gets Candid About Ryan Murphy & Talk ‘Freak Show’

Comic-Con: ‘American Horror Story’ Cast Gets Candid About Ryan Murphy & Talk ‘Freak Show’The hottest panel following Marvel’s one-two punch of Ant-Man and The Avengers: Age Of Ultron, American Horror Story finally made its Comic-Con debut, except way across from Hall H in Room 6DE, one of the smaller rooms at the San Diego Convention Center. AHS exeuctive producer Tim Minear described the fourth season of the series, Freak Show, as ”(director) Douglas Sirk meets the movie Zodiac.”

Bette and DotOne by one, each of the actors revealed their new identities: Emma Roberts is Maggie, Sarah Paulson will play Siamese twins Bette and Dot, Michael Chiklis is Evan del Toreado, Angela Bassett is his wife Desiree Dupre, and Evan Peters will play del Toreado’s son Jimmy Darling. Minear said that there will be “a villain who will rival the rubber man and the minotaur from previous seasons. John Carroll Lynch will play him, and he will scare the shit out of you.”

Related: TCA: FX’s John Landgraf Talks ‘AHS: Freak Show’ and More

Missing from the panel was Jessica Lange, who is over in Spain shooting the Weinstein Company comedy Wild Oats. Also missing: any teaser or glimpse of Freak Show. Boo! Nonetheless, the fanboy crowd didn’t mind as they stormed the cast for autographs after the panel. Read More »

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Comic-Con: Seth Meyers Talks Emmy Hosting & ‘The Awesomes’ Season 2

By | Saturday July 26, 2014 @ 2:55pm PDT

Comic-Con: Seth Meyers Talks Emmy Hosting & ‘The Awesomes’ Season 2The late-night talk show host’s pet side project won’t make a cameo on the upcoming Primetime Emmys telecast that he’s hosting, but Seth Meyers mentioned during The Awesomes panel at Comic-Con that his team is writing “filmed segments featuring many of this year’s nominees.”

Season 2 of his animated superhero Hulu series is upping its profile with the addition of his Saturday Night Live pals Amy Poehler, Maya Rud0lph and Will Forte voicing new characters. While Season 1 focused on a ragtag misfit superhero team (inspired largely by DC’s Justice League), in Season 2 we find The Awesomes getting more respect. Meyers’ lead Image (1) sethmeyers__140425013105.jpg for post 719698toon hero Prock falls in love with a fierce lawyer, Jaclyn Stone (Poehler), who when it comes to fighting adversaries in court will “sue their dicks off.” There’s also a new vigilante hanging around, Metal-fella, who is a lot like Marvel’s Iron Man. Whether the production will face any litigation from Marvel, Meyers quipped: “No one knows who came up with which one first. Maybe we’ll sue people.” We’ll also see the family members of Season 1 villain Dr. Malocchio (fellow SNL alum Bill Hader) including Lady Malocchio (Rudolph) and Malocchio Jr. (Forte), the latter plotting revenge. Other zany plotlines for Season 2 include Perfect Man (voiced by brother Josh Meyers) getting in a bind and learning he needs the help of The Awesomes in court. Said Seth Meyers: “Perfect Man is a racist because he’s stupid.  He’s even against Atlantic Islanders, the people from Nantucket.” Read More »

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Comic-Con: ‘The Blacklist’ Adds Mary-Louise Parker To Season 2 Cast

Comic-Con: ‘The Blacklist’ Adds Mary-Louise Parker To Season 2 CastThe Blacklist star James Spader may have been snubbed for an Emmy nomination this year, but he got a lot of love today from the Comic-Con crowd. The actor drew a roar from the more than 1,000 fans in the packed room 6A of the San Diego Convention Center. “It’s been quite a journey, this craziness — and the craziness really started last year right here at Comic-Con,” Spader said after the applause died down. Then again, one year after his debut at the confab and with a breakout show success in the crime drama, the Mary-Louise Parkerman who plays former super-fugitive Raymond Reddington is a geekfest multitasker this time round thanks to his part as the primary villain in next year’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron pic – which got a big cheer when Spader mentioned his work on the Marvel movie.

Related: TCA: NBC Drama Series Showrunners Tell TV Critics How It’s Done

Not that the panel didn’t cut to the Blacklist chase. There was a big casting announcement with the revelation that Mary-Louise Parker would be joining the NBC series in Season 2 in a recurring role as a character named Naomi Highland. EP/creator Jon Bokenkamp didn’t reveal any more details of the former Weeds star’s Blacklist involvement, but he described the character as “completely tied to Reddington.”

Related: Emmy Snubs: ‘The Blacklist,’ James Spader And More

James Spader comic con 2014Then there is the question of relationships on a show all about unknown relationships. “The question of who is Reddington to Elizabeth Keen is the central conceit to the show,: responded Bokenkamp to questions of whether Reddington is the rookie FBI agent’s father, “but we’re really not going to answer that.” From burn marks to pocket photos and the secrets of a dying man, the May 12 Season 1 finale set up a lot for the show’s return – especially about who Reddington really is and what his relationship with Keen might be. Spader himself had some thoughts on the big question. “The real relationship is their present relationship,” the lead actor said. “Destinations aren’t enough. The ultimate answer should be that looking backwards.” Read More »

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Comic-Con UPDATE: Bryan Fuller Reveals ‘Hannibal’ Season 3 Details, Eddie Izzard Among Returning Characters & Emmy Disappointment

By | Thursday July 24, 2014 @ 5:49pm PDT

Comic-Con UPDATE: Bryan Fuller Reveals ‘Hannibal’ Season 3 Details, Eddie Izzard Among Returning Characters & Emmy DisappointmentUPDATE: 5:49 PM: There were a few surprises at the Hannibal panel today after all. Both leads Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy appeared to Ballroom 20 via short individual video greetings with the former in Denmark and the latter from Australia.

hugh dancy hannibal video picAlso, it turns out Season 3 will pick up a year after the brutal events of the Season 2 finale. Episode 4 of Season 3 will fill in what happened between the two cycles, Bryan Fuller disclosed. He also revealed after a half-joking question by moderator Jonathan Ross that Eddie Izzard in fact will return to the series. “We’re writing for Eddie Izzard to return in a flashback scene,” said Fuller to applause from the packed ballroom about the reappearance of the losing limbs Dr. Abel Gideon. Izzard appeared in 5 episodes in Season 2. BTW – Raul Esparza did show up, and he’s coming back to the show.

PREVIOUS, 4:05 PM: Bryan Fuller doesn’t spare Hannibal viewers the raw deal on the show and he has no intention of doing otherwise today at Comic-Con. “We’re pretty generous with the spoilers,” the showrunner refreshingly told me just before this afternoon’s panel. “We will be talking fairly openly about events in Season 3 and hopefully getting people excited.” If last year’s SDCC appearance by the NBC series is any indication, the fans in Ballroom 20 will be very exited indeed. Despite a sometime Read More »

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Wayne Brady Makes Deal For ‘Kiss Me, Kate’ At Pasadena Playhouse

By | Thursday July 24, 2014 @ 2:48pm PDT

Wayne Brady Makes Deal For ‘Kiss Me, Kate’ At Pasadena Playhouse

Let’s Make A Deal host Wayne Brady will star with Merle Dandridge (Spamalot) in the Pasadena Playhouse season opener, a revival of Cole Porter’s 1951 Shakespeare-inspired romp, Kiss Me, Kate. The tuner (“Too Darn Hot,” “Brush Up Your Shakespeare,” “Another Op’nin’, Another Show”) will run from September 16 through October 12, with the press opening on September 21.

The Pasadena Playhouse production, staged by longtime artistic director Sheldon Epps, “will view the work through a new lens to showcase the trailblazing African-American actors and entertainers of the early 20th century,” according to a statement from the group.

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 5.40.11 PMFor this quintessential backstage musical revolving around a production of the Bard of Avon’s The Taming Of The Shrew, Brady will play the dual roles of actor Fred/character Petruchio opposite the actress Lily/character Kate of Dandridge, best known for her Broadway turn as the Lady of the Lake in the Mike Nichols production of Spamalot.

Brady first came to notice on  the improv show Whose Line Is It Anyway? for which he won an Emmy and two nominations. The Wayne Brady Show brought two more Emmys, for Outstanding Talk Show Host. Other TV credits include The Dave Chappelle Show and 30 Rock. Brady was Grammy nominated for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for “A Change Is Gonna Come” from his debut musical album, A Long Time Coming.

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Hollywood “Obsessed” With Human Torture, And Other TCA Highlights

By | Thursday July 24, 2014 @ 8:23am PDT

Hollywood “Obsessed” With Human Torture, And Other TCA HighlightsThe TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2014 has wrapped its 16-day run. Here is what we learned:

Most Searing Description Of Hollywood
David LaChapelle, who famously became a photographer for Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine in his teens, has been called The Fellini of Photography, and has photographed the likes of Hillary Clinton, Lady Gaga, Tupac Shakur, Madonna, Eminem, Warhol, Lil’ Kim, Elizabeth Taylor,  Leonardo DiCaprio, and Muhammad Ali, was asked yesterday to discuss the “ebb and flow” of depictions of sex and nudity; he’s featured in PBS’ American Masters broadcast The Boomer List.

lisademoraescolumn__140603223319“Growing up in New York City, when I was very young, pre-AIDS, it was very hedonistic, and sexuality was, you know, the revolution. I remember working at [Studio 54] and straight guys would say they were bi, to pick up girls because it was cool. And then, AIDS happened, and everything changed. Things got very, very conservative and segregated. Now…we are sort of in this Dark Ages where the body is considered shameful…yet violence, and torture, and these films — the Saw series, The Hunger Games2014 Summer TCA Tour - Day 16you look at Netflix, what’s going on, and every other new show is extreme violence, and this is our entertainment. We applaud that. And our kids are playing these video games, but yet the human body is somehow shameful. And God forbid a kid sees a nipple, you know.”

TV programs such as HBO’s Sex And The City (Kim Cattrall also was a panelist), he said, have “been replaced by so much ultra-violence in this torture form. I find that really interesting because all our popular culture reflects the society in which it was created. So what does that say about us? Why are we so obsessed with watching other human beings suffering? We don’t get enough of it on the news that we — that’s our entertainment, too? I think that’s the real pornography. That’s the real evil, and that’s the real darkness.”

Most Changed Executive
NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt — last Press Tour’s Mr. Flat Is The New Up — spoke happily this tour about Up Being The New Up: “We had a pretty great season so far this year. We’re No. 1 in the demo. We’re the only network up, year to year, almost 10% to date. Even if you take the Olympics out of our numbers, we would still be No. 1 for the year…We’re also leading in the 25-54 demo, and all key adult female demos as well. We also had a huge growth in total viewers where we’re running No. 2 season to date. In fact, we’re up 27% year over year, which is our strongest performance this far into the season in eight years.”

Biggest News
CBS Corp CEO Leslie Moonves, telling reporters after his Q&A for the network’s new Thursday night football that he’s interested in buying CNN should Rupert Murdoch prevail in his bid to by the cable news network’s parent Time Warner and spin off CNN. “We’ve always talked about doing things with CNN in the past… It’s something I’m sure we’ll look at if it becomes available,” Moonves said. Last month, when CBS took the final step in the spinoff of its billboard company, “that was our intent, to get rid of billboards and potentially buy more content,” Moonves said, adding, “We’re in a very advantageous position.”

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TCA: FX’s ‘Fargo’ Coming Back As Prequel Set In ’79, With All-New Cast But Same Cold

TCA: FX’s ‘Fargo’ Coming Back As Prequel Set In ’79, With All-New Cast But Same ColdThe second season of FX’s Fargo will take place in Sioux Falls, S.D., in 1979, creator Noah Hawley said this afternoon at the TCA  Summer Press Tour. “If you were paying attention to Season 1, we made a lot of references to Sioux Falls,” he said told TV critics. Some of the second season also will take place in Luverne, Minn.

The season will be a prequel of sorts, in that the Lou Solverson character, played in Season 1 by Keith Carradine, will be back, only this time he’ll be just 33 years old and recently Fargo TCAback from Vietnam. “That time period is interesting — post-Vietnam, post-Watergate … the best of America versus worst,” Hawley said. “That sense, I think, that this war had come home with people, and the violence and brutality of it.”Lou Salverson went to Vietnam and came home, but now he’s come back and it’s here — it’s domestic.”

Related: TCA: FX Orders Second Installment Of ‘Fargo’, Fifth Season Of ‘Louie’

And while he said he would like nothing more than to see the continuing adventures of Molly and Gus, “I felt it would be disingenuous,” Hawly said of Deputy Molly Solverson (Allison Tolman) and Officer Gus Grimly (Colin Hanks). Molly’s mom will be featured in Season 2 but will not be played by Tolman, despite urgings of several TV critics. “She should be in everything anybody ever made, as far as I’m concerned,” Hawley said. But he added that the idea of casting Tolman to play her character’s mother “seems a little gimmicky to me, and like cheating.” Using the same actors in different roles each season is “a brilliant turn on Ryan’s part, and he owns it — it would be imitative,” Hawley said of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story, with its practice of bringing back actors in different roles each season.

Related: FX’s ‘Tyrant’ To Stay In Turkey For Remainder Of Season 1 Shoot

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TCA: How Violent Is Too Violent For Kurt Sutter On ‘Sons Of Anarchy’?

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 5:29pm PDT

TCA: How Violent Is Too Violent For Kurt Sutter On ‘Sons Of Anarchy’?SPOILER ALERT: This story contains details of the Season 6 finale and other episodes of Sons Of Anarchy.

For some of the reporters at the TCA panel for Sons Of Anarchylast season’s ending exceeded their expectations for violence with Eli being shot in the back by Juice and Gemma’s forking of Tara. For Sons creator Sutter, it’s just all part of the process when you’re producing a pulp novel every week.

“I don’t have a filter,” said Sutter, “I rely on (FX CEO) John Landgraf for that.”

Related: TCA: FX’s “Revolting” ‘The Strain’ Bucks Romantic GQ Vampire Trend

Sons of Anarchy Season 6 finale“It’s not so much, ‘How do I outdo myself?’, but within the circumstance of a scene between two characters, (I ask myself), ‘What is the most interesting way for things to happen?’ I can say fairly confidently that I don’t think we’ve ever done anything inorganically in a heightened season. It was a fork (as a weapon) in that scene, because it was there,” Sutter said.

Related: TCA: Throwing The Serial Killer Premise Off ‘The Bridge’ In Season 2

In the wake of that scene, Sutter mentioned that people have approached his wife on the street asking for their forks to be autographed. Read More »

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Oscar-Nominated Film Now Aiming To WIN An Emmy For Netflix – How Is It Eligible For Both?

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 11:39am PDT
Pete Hammond

Oscar-Nominated Film Now Aiming To WIN An Emmy For Netflix – How Is It Eligible For Both?The Squarea harrowing documentary about the Egyptian revolution as seen through the eyes of six of its participants, was Oscar-nominated in the 2013 Best Feature Documentary race. So how come it is suddenly a major contender at the Emmys too? Inquiries have come to our attention, including one calling for its withdrawal from Emmy competition, so I decided to check it out.

Daytime Emmy Awards WinnersThe film, which accounts for four of the impressive 31 Emmy nominations Netflix received this year, was picked up by the streaming service and qualified last year for the Oscar race with a seven-day run, according to the Television Academy, which has assured me they thoroughly examined this one. “The Square was not in general release prior to it TV appearance; rather, it qualified for the Oscars under the ‘one week NY-LA limited screening rule’ which would not have affected Emmy eligibility. Please know that we and the documentary peer group vetted the hell out of this one, and it’s good to Emmy go,” according to John Leverence, SVP Awards for the TV Academy. Read More »

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TCA: FX Orders Second Installment Of ‘Fargo’, Fifth Season Of ‘Louie’

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 9:20am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

TCA: FX Orders Second Installment Of ‘Fargo’, Fifth Season Of ‘Louie’It was a risky proposition, but Noah Hawley’s take on the Coen brothers classic Fargo was deemed a critical success, landing 18 Emmy nominations, and it drew a sizable total audience when time-shifted viewing and encores are factored in. Not surprisingly, FX is ordering a second 10-episode installment, with Hawley back as writer/executive producer for MGM TV and FX Prods. The new chapter of the Fargo story will feature an all-new cast of characters, a brand new cast, a new time period and a new “true crime” story, and it may be filmed in the same location in Calgary. “Noah’s audacious, bordering on hubristic riff on my favorite Coen brothers film earned 18 Emmy nominations – the most for a single program in our history,” FX Networks CEO John Landgraf. While Ryan Murphy has been using a core group of actors in multiple installments of American Horror Story, “Fargo demands a different level of realism, and we felt we couldn’t introduce these actors as new characters.”

louieMeanwhile, it was a long wait for Season 4 of Louis C.K.’s comedy series Louie but Season 5 is expected to arrive in time, albeit in an abbreviated form. FX has renewed Louie for a fifth season, which will consist of seven episodes — half the size of Season 4 — to premiere in spring 2015. “Louie’s fourth season was once again groundbreaking. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking — always thought provoking,” said … Read More »

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Prophecy: Joseph Fiennes To Star As Vengeful ‘Nostradamus’ In Carnival, Anonymous Content Drama Series

Prophecy: Joseph Fiennes To Star As Vengeful ‘Nostradamus’ In Carnival, Anonymous Content Drama SeriesEXCLUSIVE: NBCUniversal-owned Downton Abbey producer Carnival Films is teaming with True Detective maker Anonymous Content on what they predict will be a provocative new series, Nostradamus. Joseph Fiennes will produce and play the titular clairvoyant in the hour-long drama. Charlotte Markham And The House Of Darkling author Michael Boccacino wrote the project that was developed in partnership with executive producer Andrew Cosby. The story follows the legendary seer as he seeks deadly vengeance for the murder of his family. A complex, brooding character with immense appetites, Nostradamus is a charismatic and self-destructive man who is plagued with dangerous and disturbing visions.

nostradamusThe period series is set against the backdrop of the volatile, high-stakes world of the French Royal Court where the Provençal apothecary’s pleasure-seeking impulses and passionate thirst for revenge run headlong into the treacherous epicenter of social and political life of Renaissance era Europe. The project is in early development and episode totals and broadcasters have yet to be set. But it looks likely this will be one of those that seeks out the high-end UK TV tax credit.

Carnival and Anonymous Content are both riding high these days, each receiving 12 Emmy nominations for Downton Abbey and True Detective, respectively. Fiennes, who is repped by Anonymous Content, The Artists Partnership and WME, last appeared on television in the 2nd season of American Horror Story. … Read More »

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TCA: ‘Ray Donovan’s Jon Voight Rehearses For Emmy; EP Takes On ‘Sopranos’ Comparison

By | Friday July 18, 2014 @ 7:37pm PDT

TCA: ‘Ray Donovan’s Jon Voight Rehearses For Emmy; EP Takes On ‘Sopranos’ ComparisonHomeland producers grumbled about their 2014 Emmy nomination snub for drama series at today’s TCA, but Jon Voight seemed happy to carry the Emmy nom flag for Showtime at today’s panel on his second-season series, Ray Donovan. The supporting actor nominee appeared on the panel with stars Liev Schreiber, who plays the title character, a Hollywood fixer, Paula Malcomson, Season 2 guest stars Hank Azaria and Wendell Pierce, creator/EP Ann Biderman and EP Bryan Zuriff.

For Zuriff, this marks a return to the executive producer ranks of the series following his high profile arrest and subsequent indictment for allegedly running an illegal gambling operation this time last year that prompted his temporary exit from the show. Zuriff actually touched upon his history when the cast and producers were asked to attest to the accuracy of some of the crazy storylines on the show. “We’ve all had a little bit of a past, so there’s stuff that we can draw on in the writers’ room that we can have some fun with,” he said.

Related: ‘Ray Donovan’ Executive Producer Bryan Zuriff Pleads Guilty In Gambling Ring Tied To Russian Mob

Earlier this year, Voight won a Golden Globe for his performance (star Schrieber got a nom for lead actor in a drama). When asked about Emmy, Voight could have been rehearsing his Emmy speech. The abridged version of his reply: “Let me just say, I feel very blessed and very fortunate to have had so many wonderful experiences as an actor. I am really enjoying this family that’s making Ray Donovan. It’s almost like I earned this role over years of struggling and failing and experimenting and succeeding…” He praised the “wonderful artists” he works with on Ray Donovan and reached back into the past to praise earlier collaborators John Schlesinger, Dustin Hoffman, Hal Ashby and Andrei Konchalovsky. Read More »

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‘House Of Cards’ Emmy Nominee Carl Franklin Signs With Paradigm

By | Wednesday July 16, 2014 @ 4:52pm PDT

‘House Of Cards’ Emmy Nominee Carl Franklin Signs With ParadigmEXCLUSIVE: TV and film director Carl Franklin, who’s up for an Emmy for helming the Season 2 opener of Netflix drama House Of Cards, has signed with Paradigm.  He won the Indie Spirit Award for helming 1992 crime pic One False Move from a script by Billy Bob Thornton; last week Franklin earned his first Emmy nod for Outstanding Direction for House Of Cards episode “Chapter 14.” He was most recently on ICM’s client roster. Read More »

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‘Daily Show’ Veteran Rory Albanese Joins Larry Wilmore’s Comedy Central Show As Executive Producer

By | Wednesday July 16, 2014 @ 11:42am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

‘Daily Show’ Veteran Rory Albanese Joins Larry Wilmore’s Comedy Central Show As Executive ProducerEXCLUSIVE: Former The Daily Show With Jon Stewart executive producer/showrunner Rory Albanese is returning to Comedy Central and reuniting with Stewart and The Daily Show‘s Senior Black Correspondent Larry Wilmore. Albanese has been named executive producer of Daily Show‘s new companion late-night show, The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore, slated for January 2015 debut. Created by Stewart, Minority Larry Wilmore Latenight Talk Show ShiftReport is described as a comedic look at news, current events and pop culture and will feature a diverse panel. Albanese will executive produce with Stewart and Wilmore for Stewart’s Busboy Prods. I hear Albanese also may have an onscreen presence on the show. I also hear Albanese’s deal includes a development component for him to possibly create another show for Comedy Central.

Albanese, who is a touring standup comedian, spent 14 years at The Daily Show, five of them as executive producer, sharing in nine of the show’s Emmys for best variety series and best writing for variety series. He left last fall and moved to Los Angeles for a script development deal with Warner Bros. TV, under which he developed two comedy projects. Albanese is repped by CAA, New Wave Entertainment, Loan Dang and Jon Moonves.

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Showtime’s ‘Ray Donovan’ Dips & ‘Masters Of Sex’ Down In Season 2 Debuts

By | Tuesday July 15, 2014 @ 12:44pm PDT

Showtime’s ‘Ray Donovan’ Dips & ‘Masters Of Sex’ Down In Season 2 DebutsIt was a double blast of returns from Showtime on Sunday with the Season 2 premieres of Ray Donovan and Masters Of Sex. With the former having moved from 10 PM to 9 PM and the later at 10 PM, the shows pulled in 1.22 million and 825,000 viewers, respectively. While the Donovan debut ray donovan seaosn 2was down 13% from the Season 1 finale last fall, it slipped  just 9% from the 1.35 million who watched its series premiere on June 30 last year – that served as the lead-out for the strong debut of the last season of  Dexter and become the best-ever series debut in Showtime’s history. For Sex, Sunday’s number was 17% down from the 998,000 who saw its Season 1 opener last fall. Over all plays on Sunday, Ray Donovan was seen by 1.76 million while Masters Of Sex was seen by 1.12 million. Read More »

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