Joanna Going (House Of Cards) has been tapped for a series regular role in DirecTV’s gritty drama series Navy St. From Byron Balasco and Endemol Studios, the dark family drama is set against the backdrop of Navy Street, a Venice, CA-based mixed martial arts gym owned by Alvey Henderson (Frank Grillo), a former fighter who never made it big due to a drug addiction but is now sober. Going will play Christina Hyatt, Alvey’s ex wife and mother to Jay (Jonathan Tucker) and Nate (Nick Jonas). Going, repped by AKA and Vanguard Management, co-stars in the upcoming Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy.
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Gemma Arterton Coming To West End With ‘Made In Dagenham’
Former Bond girl Gemma Arterton is set to star in a West End musical version of 2010 film Made In Dagenham. She’ll play Rita O’Grady, a role originated by Sally Hawkins in the Nigel Cole-directed movie. The show is a musical comedy about women who battled for equal rights at a Ford factory in Essex, England, in 1968. The BBC reports that Richard Bean, who wrote One Man, Two Guvnors, is penning the script for the show, which opens November 5 at the Adelphi Theater. Rupert Goold (Enron, American Psycho) is directing. Arterton recently starred onstage in The Duchess Of Malfi. Read More »
Body of Proof alum Geoffrey Arend has signed on as a series regular opposite Tea Leoni and Tim Daly in CBS’ drama pilot Madam Secretary, from creator/ep Barbara Hall, ep Morgan Freeman and CBS Studios. Written by Hall, the series explores the personal and professional life of a maverick female Secretary of State (Leoni) as she drives international diplomacy, wrangles office politics and balances a complex family life. Arend, repped by UTA and TGE, will play Matt, a speechwriter for Secretary of State McGill (Leoni). Lori McCreary and Tracy Mercer also exec produce.
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Friday Night Lights alum Matt Lauria has been tapped for a starring role opposite Frank Grillo in DirecTV’s gritty drama series Navy St., returning to the satcaster where FNL ended its run. From Byron Balasco and Endemol Studios, the dark family drama is set against the backdrop of Navy Street, a Venice, CA-based mixed martial arts (MMA) gym owned by Alvey Henderson (Grillo), a former fighter who never made it big due to a drug addiction but is now sober. Lauria will play Ryan Revis, a world class athlete and UFC light heavyweight champion who is returning to the gym that made him a star from time in prison. Lauria, repped by WME and Gotham/Principal, recently recurred on Parenthood.
Former 51 Minds exec Ben Samek moves to Endemol North America as COO and Endemol USA exec Rob Smith has taken on an expanded role as EVP, Creative Affairs. Samek is charged with overseeing business development and strategy, as well as operations for the company, including the recently launched premium multi-channel network, Endemol Beyond USA. Smith will oversee all creative for unscripted television, including development and current programming. Both will report to Cris Abrego and Charlie Corwin, Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOs, Endemol North America. Their positions take effect immediately. Read More »
After two years of power play, private equity firm Apollo Global Management appears poised to take control of Big Brother producer Endemol. The Dutch production company inherited billions of dollars in debt following the 2007 buyout, believed to have ballooned to $4.1 billion in 2011 before it was restructured. After the restructuring, Apollo ended up with the largest portion of Endemol debt, giving it a stake of about 30% in the company. Endemol’s owners also include the company’s co-founder John de Mol through the investment company Dasym Investment Strategies, which handles some of his money. Both Apollo and de Mol had reportedly been looking to take control of Endemol. Now it seems Apollo is succeeding. I hear there is no signed deal yet, but such an outcome appears very likely, sparking a lot of market chatter. Read More »
Nick Jonas is looking to shake off the Disney pop star image with a role in DirecTV’s gritty drama series Navy St., playing a professional boxer no less. The Jonas brother, in his first major series role, and Kiele Sanchez have been added to the 10-episode original series, from Byron Balasco and Endemol Studios. The dark family drama is set against the backdrop of Navy Street, a Venice, CA-based mixed martial arts (MMA) gym owned by Alvey Henderson (Frank Grillo), a former fighter who never made it big due to a drug addiction but is now sober. Sanchez plays Lisa Prince, his long-time girlfriend. Jonas will play Nate Henderson, Alvey’s youngest son and the prized fighter at the gym, joining recently cast Jonathan Tucker who plays Alvey’s eldest son. Filming is slated to begin on May 5 in Los Angeles for a fall premiere. Jonas previously played a version of himself on Disney Channel’s Jonas has has done a few guest spots, including an arc on Smash. His first feature, Careful What You Wish For, comes out later this year.
Actor-writer Colton Dunn (Key & Peele) has been cast opposite Rob Lowe and Rob Riggle in NBC’s single-camera comedy pilot The Pro. Written by Pete Huyck and Alex Gregory, The Pro centers on former tennis doubles champion “Big Ben” Bertrahm (Lowe), whose career flame-out and misguided investments have left him working as the pro at a tennis and golf club. Dunn will play Lewis, the head engineer and club bookie who fears a change in the status quo when successful and wealthy Bobby Welch (Riggle) arrives as the new tennis pro. Dunn, repped by Paradigm and Prinicpato-Young, has recurred on Parks And Recreation, The League and Burning Love. Read More »
FremantleMedia Buys Global Format Rights To ‘Fittest Family’
FremantleMedia has secured the global format rights to Animo TV/Kite Entertainment’s Fittest Family. Currently airing on Irish pubcaster RTÉ One as Ireland’s Fittest Family, the six-part series features 12 uber-fit and sports-mad families compete for the title of the nation’s fittest family and a big cash prize. Each episode sees features four sporting legends assigned to coach the families and push them to their fitness max. The families compete against one another as they get put through a set of extreme challenges with only the fittest surviving. FremantleMedia will launch Fittest Family at MIPTV in April.
Endemol Buys International Rights To ‘Parts Unknown’, ‘Inside Man’
Endemol said Monday that it has acquired TV distribution rights outside the U.S. to CNN’s factual series Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown and Morgan Spurlock: Inside Man. Parts Unknown follows host chef, author and TV host Bourdain as he travels to uncover little-known areas of the world and celebrate diverse cultures by exploring food and dining rituals. Inside Man, hosted by Oscar-winning documentarian Spurlock, provides an intimate look into diverse sectors of American life and offers a deep-dive into pressing issues facing the U.S. including migrant farm workers, the elder care industry, union workers, gun owners, education, bankruptcy and the drought. Read More »
On the heels of Daniel Laikind being tapped to succeed Charlie Corwin as CEO of Original Media, Cris Abrego has found his own successor for 51 Minds. In October, 51 Minds CEO Abrego and Original Media CEO Corwin were named Co-Chairmen and Co-CEO of Endemol North America. Endemol acquired Abrego and Mark Cronin’s 51 Minds in 2008, after Corwin’s Original Media was added in 2007. Christian Sarabia now has been named President of 51 Minds. Cronin, the Co-Founder of 51 Minds Entertainment, exits his Managing Director position to launch a new production company, Little Wooden Boat Productions. Cronin will continue to serve as Executive Producer on several projects that he sold and shepherded at 51 Minds, including Below Deck (Bravo), Heroes of CosPlay (Syfy), and Mind of a Man (GSN). “Mark is one of the most prolific producers in the unscripted space,” Abrego said. “His creative instincts have been the driving force behind his extraordinary success. Christian worked with us at 51 Minds on some of our most successful hits, and he has nurtured a number of cable’s highest-rated series.”
Endemol North America (Big Brother), has signed an exclusive overall deal with Armando Christian Perez (Pitbull) to develop and produce original content for television and digital platforms. Perez will also serve as executive producer on the projects under the deal announced at Endemol’s NATPE party, along with manager and Latium Entertainment CEO Charles Chavez. The digital aspect of the deal also includes a Pitbull channel on upcoming online network Endemol Beyond. Pitbull’s single Timber featuring Ke$ha, is in its third consecutive week at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and new song We Are One (Ole Ola) featuring Jennifer Lopez and Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte was named the official anthem for the 2014 World Cup. Read More »
Producer Daniel Laikind has been tapped to succeed Charlie Corwin as CEO of Original Media. The post had been vacant since October, when Corwin was named co-chairman and co-CEO of Original parent company Endemol North America. Laikind will oversee reality development, including first-run unscripted cable television programming. He will be based in Original Media’s New York office. “Daniel has had a profound impact on the unscripted genre in both long form and short form and is known for creating edgy, quality content,” Corwin said. “I love his work.” Read More »
The new season will feature the franchise’s first “tournament of champions” event. Each episode will showcase 24 contestants competing in the world’s largest extreme obstacle course, but for the first time, winners will be brought together at the end of the season to compete for the title of Ultimate Wipeout Champion.
When ABC announced, in August of ’12, it was bringing back the competition series for a sixth season, including its 100th episode, Jill Wagner returned as co-host (Vanessa Minnillo replaced her in Season 5), and new obstacles and completely redesigned Wipeout Zones were added. A seventh season will continue to feature special themed episodes, including a chance to win a date with Wagner, as well as the return of popular themes such as “Boss & Employee.” “We are always looking for ways to keep the show fresh and exciting. This year, we are amping up the competition with a season long tournament of champions,” said Matt Kunitz, creator and executive producer. Read More »
Natascha McElhone Boards West End ‘Fatal Attraction’
Californication‘s Natascha McElhone is set to take on the role of Alex Forrest in the stage adaptation of Fatal Attraction. Written by James Dearden and directed by Trevor Nunn, Fatal Attraction opens at London’s Theatre Royal Haymarket on March 25. Dearden was nomiated for an Oscar for writing the 1987 hit film about a one-night stand that turns deadly. This is his first venture into live theater. McElhone’s stage credits include Richard III, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Count Of Monte Cristo, The Cherry Orchard and Honour. Veteran director Nunn’s recent theater credits include takes on A Little Night Music, Cyrano De Bergerac, Inherit The Wind, Kiss Me Kate, Birdsong, All That Fall and Scenes From A Marriage. Fatal Attraction is produced by Theatre Royal Haymarket Productions, Robert Fox and Patrick Ryecart. The rest of the cast is due to be announced shortly. Read More »
Big Brother producer Endemol is expanding its footprint in Israel, one of the hottest TV territories at the moment that is churning out formats sold around the world. On the heels of Endemol’s acquisition in April of a controlling share in Israel’s leading independent producer Kuperman, which has now become Endemol Israel, the Netherlands-based independent production company has acquired a 33% stake in Israeli broadcaster Reshet. The deal, which had been rumored for the last couple of weeks, is subject to regulatory approval. Under the agreement, the two companies will collaborate to launch new original content – created and produced by Endemol — for the Israeli market on Reshet’s platforms. It will be distributed internationally by Endemol, which also will produce Israeli versions of international formats for the broadcaster. Reshet will use the money from the transaction, said to be $28.5 million (part of it used to purchase Reshet stock and part a loan) to increase investment in local shows. Headquartered in Tel Aviv, Reshet has grown in recent years and currently has the highest rated channel in the country, with local versions of global formats as well popular original series like Comedians at Work, Irreversible and State of the Nation, according to the company.
Channel 4 Orders Comedy Pilot From Rob Delaney, Sharon Horgan
The UK’s Channel 4 has commissioned the pilot Catastrophe from Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan. The pair will write and star in the single-camera comedy about an Irish woman and an American man who make a bloody mess as they struggle to fall in love in London. Catastrophe is an Avalon Production for Channel 4. Adam Tandy will serve as a non-writing producer with Avalon Television UK producing. Delaney won the award for “Funniest Person on Twitter” at the Comedy Central Comedy Awards. His television credits include Comedy Central’s Key & Peele, Fuel TV’s The Daily Habit, and the pilot Movie Nook for TBS. Delaney is repped by Kara Baker at Avalon Management, WME and CAA Touring.
Endemol Bets $13M On Social Casino Gaming Company Plumbee
Endemol said today that it has invested $13 million in social casino gaming company Plumbee. The digital start-up’s existing investor, Idinvest Partners, also participated in this round. The deal values the business at $40 million. Launched in 2011, Plumbee creates, operates and markets free-to-play online and mobile games on social networks. The two companies will create premium social casino games, exploiting Endemol’s global entertainment brands and building on Plumbee’s worldwide user base. Read More »
Syndicated talk show Steve Harvey today received at least one early Christmas present this year courtesy of the White House. “Yes ! Dreams do come True! Don’t ever give up !,” tweeted Harvey about his taped interview with President Obama earlier today. The show is scheduled to air December 20. “Sitting down with the President is something I’ve always dreamt of doing, and I am honored to have the opportunity,” said Harvey in a statement. “I’m grateful to President Obama for welcoming me and I’m thrilled to share this experience with all my viewers.” The one-on-one with Obama promises to cover “family, fatherhood and his plans for the holidays,” says the show. Revving up the usual year-end interview rounds for the Commander-in-Chief in softball city, this is the first time Obama has appeared on the NBCUniversal Domestic TV Distribution talk show. Steve Harvey is now in its second season. Earlier this year, the Endemol USA-produced series, which has been up over Season 1 and averaging 2.5 million viewers this cycle, was reupped until 2016. No word yet if the President will be appearing on the other Harvey-hosted show anytime soon – Family Feud doesn’t seem the Obamas’ style.
Related: Obama Names Tom Rothman To Plum Arts Post
Thomas Bezucha Directing English-Language Remake Of ‘Priceless’
The Family Stone and Monte Carlo director Thomas Bezucha will helm the English-language remake of French romantic comedy Priceless for European film group uMedia. The original movie starred Audrey Tautou and Gad Emaleh and sold 2.15M tickets in France in 2006. Umedia’s remake has been greenlighted for production in early summer on the French Riviera. The story follows Alec, a shy and hardworking waiter at a grand hotel who is mistaken for a millionaire and seduced by a captivating American girl with expensive tastes. When Lauren discovers his true identity and limited resources, she takes off, but Alec pursues her along the Cote-d’Azur. When he ends up stranded and broke, he is saved by a wealthy woman-of-a-certain-age and finds himself kept in the same manner as Lauren, who coaches him on how the play the game as her feelings for him deepen. Pierre Salvadori directed the original which was sold internationally by Wild Bunch.
BBC Adds Howard Stringer Amid Corporate Changes
The BBC has announced a series of changes to transform how the corporation is run. At the same time, it has added former Sony chairman Howard Stringer as a non-executive director for a term of three years beginning January 1. The moves come a year after myriad crises began to plague the broadcaster including the Jimmy Savile child sex abuse scandal and the editorial missteps at flagship news program Newsnight. Among the changes are a 60% reduction in the number of pan-corporation management boards “so that senior managers will be able to make faster decisions and concentrate on running their teams and departments.” Decision making by multiple committees will shift to much greater personal responsibility, ensuring “there are no blurred lines,” the broadcaster said. “As a creative organization, individuals need to be able to take creative risks without fear, managers will not be penalized for brave, well-made decisions that were taken for the right reasons.” Speaking about the changes, director general, Tony Hall, said, “This is an important first step in making the BBC simpler and better run.” Read More »