Last year, the Broadcast Television Journalists Association likely helped fuel Homeland‘s surprise Emmy win by awarding its top drama prize to the then-rookie Showtime series. But with today’s announcement of nominees for its 3rd annual Critics’ Choice TV Awards, the group might make more noise with what it spurned than what it honored. HBO and FX lead the network tally with 21 and 19 noms, respectively, and CBS’ The Big Bang Theory and FX’s American Horror Story each drew six to top all programs, though the latter is not among the six finalists for Best Drama Series. However, a look at the Best Comedy and Best Drama races reveal some surprising omissions. Missing from the BJTA’s comedy series hopefuls are three-time defending Emmy champ Modern Family, along with recently wrapped perennial 30 Rock and, perhaps most glaringly, HBO’s hipster darling Girls. And conspicuously absent from the drama series combatants is four-time Emmy winner Mad Men, which earned only a single nom, for lead actress Elizabeth Moss.
Instead, vying for the Critics’ Choice Award for best drama are Homeland, HBO’s Game Of Thrones, PBS’ Downtown Abbey, CBS’ The Good Wife and AMC’s Breaking Bad — all of which also were nominated in the category last year — along with FX’s … Read More »
Cupid’s annual arrow barrage will suit Hollywood just fine next year: Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday in 2014, and Universal today slotted its remake of Endless Love for that ultimate date night. The drama stars Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde in the roles played by Martin Hewitt and Brooke Shields in Franco Zeffirelli’s 1981 film. The Shana Feste-helmed update will have a third wheel on its opening weekend in the form of another ’80s remake, Sony/Screen Gems’ About Last Night. Fox also will target couples-fueled cash will its sci-fi thriller The Maze Runner while the Weinstein Company deploys its franchise-hopeful Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters. Read More »
Rachael Harris has signed with ICM Partners. She was with UTA. Harris most recently starred opposite David Spade in the ABC comedy pilot Bad Management, which remains in serious contention for a series pickup. She also recurs on USA drama Suits and did an arc on Fox comedy New Girl. On the feature side, Harris is probably best known for role as Ed Helms’ girlfriend in The Hangover. She also starred in the indie Natural Selection, earning an Independent Spirit Award nomination, as well as the Diary of A Wimpy Kid trilogy. She next will be seen in the Yahoo! comedy series We Need Help opposite Cheryl Hines. Harris is managed by Principato Young Entertainment.
EXCLUSIVE:Fox has snapped up life rights for the true crime project Narc, based on the actual story of an All-American college kid-turned-police informant. Zac Efron is attached to star as a student, frat president, and lacrosse team captain who’s busted for drugs intended for a party, then secretly turns narc and helps the cops bust criminals while carrying on his BMOC campus life. Efron’s manager and producing partner Jason Barrett will exec produce with Underground-repped Doug Banker. They’ve got a familiar friend in Fox exec Jason Young, who briefly departed the studio to help Efron establish Ninjas Runnin’ Wild in 2010 before returning as Fox’s VP of Production. Read More »
Strong showings from veterans NCIS and The Big Bang Theory, sporting events like the NCAA Tournament and The Masters plus airing the Super Bowl this year, put CBS on top for the season in both viewers and among adults 18-49 for the first time since 1991-1992. With just a couple of days until the season wraps, that breaks Fox’s eight consecutive season hold on the prized demo.
There were a numbers of factors that contributed to Fox slipping into second place among adults 18-49 but certainly the network was plagued by a sharp more than 20% decline for American Idol, which hit an all time finale low last week. Add to that disappointing X-Factor season 2 numbers, Mob Doctor cratering, a lack of traction among its comedies, a lackluster baseball post-season and plethora of preemptions in the fall and Fox was lucky it was muscular enough to only tumble to second place. For all that change, some things have stayed the same. This season is the second year in a row that sees ABC in the fourth place spot despite a second-season … Read More »
Dennis Lehane will adapt Travis McGee for Fox and Appian Way, based on 1964′s The Deep Blue Good-By and 20 subsequent novels by John D. MacDonald. Leonardo DiCaprio is producing with an eye to star. The project previously had Paul Greengrass and Oliver Stone circling to direct.
LOS ANGELES, May 21, 2013 – Veteran research executive Julie Piepenkotter has been promoted to Executive Vice President of Research for FX Networks, it was announced today by FX Networks President and General Manager John Landgraf, to whom she will continue to report. In her new role, Piepenkotter will oversee all facets of program and consumer research for FX, FXM and the new network, FXX, which will debut on September 2. Based in Los Angeles, Piepenkotter joined FX as Senior Vice President, Research in 2009. During her tenure at the Network, she has overseen all aspects of program and consumer research for FX and Fox Movie Channel. She also worked with Fox National Cable Networks on special research projects. Prior to joining FX Networks, Piepenkotter spent 20 years working at The Walt Disney Company, most recently as Senior Vice President of Research for the Disney ABC Television Group in charge of program research for ABC Family, SOAPnet and consumer insights across the Disney ABC television portfolio. She began her career as a media buyer and planner with The Leo Burnett Company in Chicago.
New Falling Skies showrunnerDavid Eick has started to put together a strong writing staff for the hit TNT drama’s fourth season. Veteran showrunner Carol Barbee has joined the alien-invasion series as a consulting producer. She recently worked with Eick on Fox’s Touch where she was an executive producer and he was a consulting producer. Season 3 of Falling Skies, executive produced by Steven Spielberg and starring Noah Wyle, kicks off with a two-hour premiere June 9. It is yet to be renewed for a fourth season though that is considered a formality as Falling Skies is TNT’s #1 scripted series in the younger demos. WME-repped Barbee previously served as executive producer/showrunner on cult CBS drama Jericho which, similarly to Falling Skies, was set in a post-apocalyptic world.
JS Communications has finally settled for a reduced break-up fee in the drawn-out Rhythm & Hues bankruptcy saga. It’s been two months since troubled VFX house R&H sold out of bankruptcy to Prana Studios-led Holdings, LLC following a roller-coaster closed-door auction. At issue was the court-approved $425K fee promised to JS Communications as stalking horse bidder if a qualified rival beat them out for the Life Of Pi company, which JS was eyeing to buy. But in a hotly contested development, JS failed to meet a deadline to submit its bid (exec David Shim told me then that his dealings with Fox and Universal left him less than optimistic about buying R&H without future work assurances). Per a court document filed this week (read it here), JS will receive a $300K break-up fee. If approved in court June 4, that should put the R&H saga to bed for the time being; multiple class action lawsuits against R&H filed by former employees have yet to be settled.
Monday saw a primetime mix of live shows, encores, finales, premieres and prayers for those in the path of the tornado in Oklahoma. On ABC, the last performance show of Dancing With The Stars (2.5/7) before tonight’s Season 16 results finale saw the final four couples strut their stuff once last time. DWTS certainly flexed some muscle as the show was up 25% from its series performance low tie of May 13. The most watched program of the night with 14.73 million viewers, the two-hour show was down 14% from its one-hour May 21, 2012 performance finale and dipped 7% from its last performance show of last season on November 26, 2012. Although the show was up from last week, it appeared last night like the total votes might be down. Online “technical difficulties” saw voting on ABC’s website temporarily suspended, forcing viewers to cast their ballots via text, Facebook and phone. The online voting was restored before the show was over and viewers were encouraged to hit the website to decided who gets the Mirrorball trophy. Afterward, new crime procedural Motive(1.4/4) did not benefit from its lead-in. The Canadian import was down sharply from the 2.2/6 of Castle’s season finale last week and down 30% from Scandal’s April 5, 2012 debut. ABC won the night in total viewers and in adults 18-49.
Here’s the newest trailer for Fox‘s The Wolverine starring Hugh Jackman that will begin showing this weekend in theaters attached to Fast & Furious 6. The James Mangold-directed 3D pic opens wide July 26 and this offers the clearest look yet at the Japan-set plot.
Disney announced today that the release date for DreamWorks’ Wikileaks movie The Fifth Estate has moved to October 11, more than a month earlier than its initial November 15 date. AndDelivery Man has moved to November 22 from its initial date of October 4. With the shift, Fifth Estate avoids Paramount’s The Wolf Of Wall Street, Fox’s thriller The Counselor and Universal’s comedy/drama The Best Man Holiday and faces Sony/Columbia’s drama Captain Phillips, Fox’s horror pic Haunts and Film District’s thriller Old Boy. Delivery Man now goes up against Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Paramount’s Nebraska.
Fox has officially announced that Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio will join Simon Cowell and Demi Lovato as judges on the third season of The X Factor. “It’s taken more than a decade, but I’m delighted to finally be on a panel with three girls (I think!),” Cowell said. “Paulina and Kelly both have great taste and massive experience in the music industry, and together with Demi, this is going to be a fun panel. It just feels like the time to do something different.” Rowland was a judge on Season 8 of the UK version of X Factor.
The scandals of the Obama administration seem to be hurting not just the White House but MSNBC as well, while Fox News Channel has just scored its second-best week of the year. After double-digit gains during last year’s presidential election, May 13-17 saw the progressive-aligned “Lean Forward” news network hit new lows as the IRS scandal erupted and revelations that the Justice Department secretly obtained AP records became public. With 350,000 viewers on average and 94,000 in the adults 25-54 demo, MSNBC had its least-watched and lowest-rated total-day results of the year last week. That was also the lowest total-day demo result the network has had since the week of June 26-July 2, 2006, when MSNBC pulled in just 83,000 viewers among adults 25-54, according to Nielsen data.
UPDATE 4:15 PM: Here is Ang Lee’s statement about his departure from Tyrant.
It is with disappointment that I must confirm I have withdrawn from my commitment to direct the upcoming FX pilot Tyrant.
It is one of the most brilliant ideas for a series that I’ve seen and one about which I was very excited.
However, after spending over four years making and promoting Life Of Pi, I have recently realized that I need some rest .
Because I cannot give 100% to this exciting project at this time, I cannot allow myself to do anything that may affect the potential for this exciting new series.
I wish FOX 21 and FX the best with this remarkable project.
EXCLUSIVE2:50 PM: Oscar-winning director Ang Lee has pulled out of directing high-profile FX drama pilot Tyrant, from Homeland executive producers Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff and Six Feet Under alum Craig Wright. Lee committed to Tyrant shortly after winning a second directing Oscar (and third overall) for Life Of Pi. But after 4 1/2 years devoted to making Life Of Pi, a year to promote it and another six months of Oscar campaigning, I hear Lee felt he didn’t have gas left in the tank. Additionally, he had made other previous commitments including his current role as a juror at the Cannes Film Festival. I hear Lee called Gordon this morning from Cannes. In a very emotional … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: DreamWorks is firming up a January production start for Glimmer, and a big reason for that is so that it will allow some scheduling room for Dylan O’Brien to play the lead. O’Brien is busy starring in Maze Runner for Fox, but he’s in talks for the lead, I hear. He’s repped by WME. He’s also in the TV series Teen Wolf, and the schedule was moved so he could complete the season of that show before going off to do feature work. Ringan Ledwidge directs the sci-fi thriller about a group of teenagers who discover a portal to the past. When one of them changes history, the effects start to snowball with tragic consequences. Josh Schwartz and Carter Blanchard wrote the script. Madhouse’s Adam Kolbrenner and Ryan Cunningham produce with Mark Sourian.
Cancelled ABC drama 666 Park Avenue will return on Saturday, June 22, with the unaired episodes slated to run in the Saturday 9 PM slot for four weeks. 666 Park Ave will be paired with another short-lived ABC freshman drama, Zero Hour, whose unaired episodes will launch on June 15 from 8-10 PM and will air in the Saturday 8 PM hour starting June 22, leading into 666 Park Ave.
Ads for Deadline Hollywood were visible every 10 minutes on the Fox Screen by Sony Monday through Friday during last week’s TV upfronts. The brainstorm of DH business manager/advertising czar Nic Paul, our message flashed on state-of-the-art LED display technology measuring almost 35′ high and 40′ wide on some of the most valuable real estate in NYC’s Times Square. Cool, huh?
Ambassador Theatre Group has acquired The Foxwoods Theatre from Live Nation Entertainment through its subsidiary, Lyric Theatre LLC. The Foxwoods is the largest theatre on Broadway with nearly 2,000 seats and currently is home to the hit rock musical Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark. The Foxwoods opened in 1997. The acquisition comes just months after ATG announced plans to expand overseas into key international territories including North America, Australia and the Asia Pacific Region. Berenson & Company LLC acted as the exclusive financial adviser to Ambassador Theatre Group. Recent Broadway productions within the ATG Group include The Mountaintop starring Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett, Exit The King starring Geoffrey Rush and Susan Sarandon and John Doyle’s award-winning production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. Erich Jungwirth, previously VP Theatrical for The Foxwoods, is remaining with the venue as COO for Lyric Theatre, LLC.