Spoiler alert! Jake Ballard probably won’t rot in that hole for long. Scott Foley, who recurred as romantic foil Jake on Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal this season, has closed a deal to join the hot ABC drama as a regular for its upcoming third season. “Shonda and company have created a troupe of layered complex characters and to be able to be part of that is both exciting and humbling,” Foley said. The explosive Season 2 finale saw black op operative Jake thrown into a hole in the ground after saving Olivia (Kerry Washington) from assassination. Foley, repped by ICM Partners and Brillstein Entertainment, had an option to become a regular after joining Scandal as a recurring last season when he was a regular on another show, Fox’s comedy The Goodwin Games. Today’s news comes after Deadline reported yesterday that Foley will be making his feature directorial debut this summer with Ward’s Wife starring himself, Donald Faison and Patrick Wilson among others.
UPDATE: In other promotions on Rhimes shows, recurring Grey’s Anatomy players Camilla Luddington, Gaius Charles, Jerrika Hinton and Tessa Ferrer — who play Interns Jo, Shane, Stephanie and Lea, respectively — have been upped to regulars for season 10, TVLine reports. Tina Majorino, who plays the fifth intern, is keeping her recurring status as she is a regular on … Read More »
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s conference coverage.
The 5th Annual Produced By Conference, sponsored by the PGA, kicked off this morning on the 20th Century Fox lot with a panel discussion entitled “The Real Deal: Producers Who Direct? or Directors Who Produce?”. Producer Mark Gordon of Grey’s Anatomy fame moderated the discussion in the packed Zanuck Theater, peppering panelists Jon Favreau (Iron Man 1, 2 and 3) and Roland Emmerich (White House Down, Independence Day) with questions about how producers can effectively navigate the directorial waters and vice-versa. Of course, working with filmmakers at the level of Favreau and Emmerich who have abundant experience is rarely a problem, Gordon repeatedly acknowledged.
“There is a comfort level with directors who have a body of work,” said Gordon, who doesn’t direct. “It’s more difficult now because everybody specializes. In the old days of the Hollywood studio system, guys like John Ford and Billy Wilder did it all. They directed comedies. They directed dramas. They directed musicals. Today, you hear, ‘This guy is an action director, this guy directs comedy.’ I don’t believe in that. If you direct, you should be able to direct everything.” But Favreau pointed out that inexperienced directors are becoming less of a dice roll for producers and studios, what with the cost of admission to the club dropping to relative pennies. “There are tremendous filmmakers doing strong pieces of content online,” he said. “Those content walls are coming down. It’s becoming less and less of a guess. It isn’t like picking the new Dalai Lama. You can see what’s being done and say, ‘This kid’s got some vision’.” Read More »
First off, congratulations to all writers, producers, actors and agents who landed new series this week. I know it wasn’t easy. Here is Deadline’s annual list of those who excelled at the upfronts. I tried to be inclusive, but if I’ve missed anyone who’s had a banner week, let me know. I’ve also compiled a list of pods and independent producers with multiple broadcast series.
Cougar Town co-creator Bill Lawrence and his Doozer banner had three new series unveiled at the upfronts this week: comedies Undateable on NBC, Surviving Jack on Fox and Ground Floor on TBS. Also, TBS recently renewed Cougar Town for a fifth season.
Related: 2013-14 Schedule Grid & Top Face-Offs
J.J. Abrams‘ Bad Robot claimed one of the top new drama series last season with NBC’s Revolution and one of the hottest sophomore shows with CBS’ Person Of Interest. The company is keeping the momentum with two new series orders for next season: Almost Human at Fox and Believe at NBC.
Independent producer Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment received two new series orders from the broadcast networks: Back In The Game at ABC and Friends With Better Lives at CBS. Additionally, his freshman ABC comedy The Neighbors was renewed and his ABC pilot Bad Management is in serious contention for a series pickup. Kaplan also received two cable series orders in the past month, for Chasing Life on ABC Family and Instant Mom on NickMom, and also has comedy series Wendell & Vinnie on Nick at Nite and pilot HR at Lifetime.
Writer-producer Julie Plec also landed two new series this week, both at the CW: She wrote/executive produces the planted Vampire Diaries spinoff The Originals and executive produces The Tomorrow People. Additionally, she executive produces TVD, giving her three series on the air next season. (Fellow Tomorrow People executive producer Greg Berlanti has two, including returning CW hit Arrow.)
Another drama writer-producer, former ER showrunner David Zabel, saw both of his pilots picked up. He is the writer/exec producer on ABC’s Betrayal and co-writer/exec producer on ABC’s Lucky 7. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Grey’s Anatomy is wrapping up its ninth season tonight but Camilla Luddington has a scary summer ahead of her. The actress, who plays Dr. Jo Wilson on the ABC medical drama this year, is set to star in indie horror movie The Pact II. Luddington will take on the lead role of June Abbott in the film. The character is plagued by nightmares of serial killer Judas, who she discovers she has a far closer relationship with than previously imagined. Patrick Fischler and Scott Michael Foster have also been cast in the sequel to the Nicholas McCarthy written and directed 2012 movie as FBI profiler Greg Ballard and June’s cop boyfriend Daniel Meyer. Directed by Dallas Hallam and Patrick Horvath, The Pact II is set to start filming in mid June. Ross Dinerstein is producing with Juliana Cardarelli co-producing. A regular on Californication this past season, Fischler is repped by Abrams Artists and Main Title. Foster, who has also been on the Showtime series as well as the now summer Saturdays bound Zero Hour, is repped by UTA and Consortium Entertainment. Luddington, who herself also was on a previous season of Californication as well as doing the voice-over and body motion captures for Lara Croft in the latest Tomb Raider video game, is repped by UTA and Main Title.
“We’re very flattered when he called us ‘smug motherfuckers’, that means we’re winning. We’ll try to be a little bit more gracious but that’s hard for me as you know,” CBS boss Les Moonves said today in response to remarks Jimmy Kimmel made on Tuesday about the network’s No. 1 ranking this season. Moonves’ comments came just hours before CBS’ Carnegie Hall Upfront presentation where there was no shortage of chest thumping on display as the CBS President and CEO and others boasted about the network winning the season this year. Well, the 2012-2013 season is almost over, but Week 33 gave Moonves’ gang a little more that they’ll have to try to be less smug about. The second full week of the May sweep saw CBS once again No.1 in both viewers and among Adults 18-49 for the week of May 6 to May 12 with 9.349 million watching and a 2.0/6 and 2.6 million in the demo. That’s up from the 1.9/6 the network was tied with Fox in the key demo for the previous frame and a rise from the 9.218 million that were watching during the week of April 29 to May 5. Like the previous week, The Big Bang Theory was the top show in the demo with a 4.9. The May 6 airing of NBC’s The Voice was in second place with a 4.1. In terms of viewership, CBS had the top four shows of the frame with NCIS (17.558 million), BBT (16.304 million), NCIS: LA (13.176 million) and Person Of Interest (13.162 million). ABC’s Dancing With The Stars was No. 5 with 13.117 million viewers.
Related: Les Moonves Tells Advertisers That Media Would Be “Barren” Without Broadcast TV
Among viewers DWTS may have fallen from the No. 3 spot of the previous frame but ABC itself had a strong rise up to No. 2 last week. As CBS shifted into the top spots again this season, ABC wasn’t far behind in the key demo with a 1.9/6 and 2.4 million viewers in the adult 18-49 demo. That’s up solidly from the 1.6/5 of Week 32 and the first time that the network has been second this season since the week of March 25 to March 31. As ABC moved up, The Voice-beholding NBC, which ran three airings of the competition series last week, slipped into third with a 1.8/6 and 2.3 million in the demo. That result was almost the same as the frame before. Fox, on the other hand, took a fall from being tied for first place among adults 18-49 in Week 32 to fourth place with a 1.7/5 and 2.2 million among the 18-49s in Week 33. Read More »
ABC is changing things up in scheduling some of its serialized dramas. Taking a page from the cable model, the network will air what ABC president Paul Lee called “a selected group” of dramas in two uninterrupted runs, one in the fall and one in the spring, bridged by limited series. The series that will follow the new scheduling pattern include Once Upon A Time, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and likely Revenge, with others TBD. So far, the network only has set up a bridge series for Once, new adventure reality series The Quest. Lee said such bridge series won’t necessarily be all unscripted. Two cycles of 12 episodes would bring the total orders for the shows to 24, which is hard on a complex, serialized drama, but Lee indicated that number has not been set in stone. He said that the network is looking to further shake up the traditional broadcast scheduling model with “quality launches” throughout the season. Lee also said that new fall drama Betrayal is designed as a limited series, airing 12-13 episodes a season. The same applies to midseason drama Resurrection, which will replace it in the Sunday 10 PM slot in midseason.
Related: ABC 2013-14 Schedule Read More »
ABC is launching eight new series in the fall and taking some big swings, including a Tuesday lineup of all-new series, anchored by Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Rebel Wilson’s hot streak continues, with the rising star landing the post-Modern Family slot for her comedy Super Fun Night. ABC is looking to stem Dancing With The Stars‘ ratings decline by eliminating the Tuesday edition, with the Monday 8-10 PM show incorporating both performances and results. Dancing, as well as The Bachelor, Shark Tank and The Taste have been formally renewed for next season. Here is ABC’s fall schedule, analysis and descriptions of all 13 new series for next season, including newly picked up adventure reality series The Quest from The Amazing Race creators Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri:
Related: ABC To Air Some Dramas In Two Batches Of 12 Episodes
ABC FALL 2013-2014 SCHEDULE
(New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET/PT)
8 PM – Dancing With The Stars
10 PM – Castle
8 PM – MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
9 PM – THE GOLDBERGS
9:30 PM – TROPHY WIFE
10 PM – LUCKY 7
8 PM – The Middle
8:30 PM – BACK IN THE GAME
9 PM – Modern Family
9:30 PM – SUPER FUN NIGHT
10 PM – Nashville
8 PM – ONCE UPON A TIME IN WONDERLAND
9 PM – Grey’s Anatomy
10 PM – Scandal
8 PM – Last Man Standing
8:30 PM – The Neighbors
9 PM – Shark Tank
10 PM – 20/20
8 PM – Saturday Night College Football
7 PM – America’s Funniest Home Videos
8 PM – Once Upon A Time
9 PM – Revenge
10 PM – BETRAYAL
From ABC’s returning series, left off the schedule are comedy Suburgatory and reality series The Bachelor, which comes on in midseason, and The Taste.
Read More »
UPDATE SATURDAY 7:40 PM: It’s official, the deal has closed and The Neighbors has been renewed for next season.
PREVIOUS FRIDAY PM: Two members of ABC‘s freshman class, drama Nashville and comedy The Neighbors, will make it to a second season. The deal is not quite done for the Dan Fogelman comedy The Neighbors but is expected to close. Sophomores fared better, with four, red-hot Scandal, Open Upon A Time, Revenge and Last Man Standing all getting third season renewals. They’re joined by veterans Modern Family, The Middle, Grey’s Anatomy and Castle. ABC is expected to renew unscripted staples Shark Tank, Dancing With The Stars and The Bachelor on Monday.
As ABC’s Castle gears up for its fifth season finale, there is no doubt that the series will be renewed for next season. But I hear ABC is considering giving the quirky procedural starring Nathan Fillion a two-year pickup, which will bring it to seven seasons. That must be gratifying for Caste and its producers as the show spent the first couple of seasons on the bubble until establishing itself as a solid ratings performer with strong fan following. In fact, with help from lead-in Dancing With The Stars, Castle currently ranks as ABC’s most watched drama series. Castle is among several ABC series whose renewal is guaranteed, including Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Modern Family, Once Upon A Time, Revenge and The Middle, along with unscripted Shark Tank, which is already casting for next season, Dancing With The Stars, which could potentially scale back on the number of cycles per season, and The Bachelor.
When it returned for a third season in February, ABC‘s Body Of Proof appeared destined to join the scores of other series that have died a quick death after a major retooling. The crime procedural starring Dana Delany opened with a 1.2/3 in 18-49, down an alarming 45% from its Season 2 premiere and tied as a series low, and 6.8 million total viewers. But unlike two other dramas that crashed and burned with retooled versions this midseason, NBC’s Smash and Fox’s Touch, Body Of Proof has improved on its underwhelming start. Since Episode 5, the show has not fallen under 1.4 18-49 rating and 8.4 million total viewers. And last week, the drama hit a 1.6 in 18-49 and 9.3 million viewers, matching its season high in the demo and posting its second largest audience of the season. It won the 10 PM hour, beating CBS’ Golden Boy by 14% in 18-49 and 1.4 million viewers. While older skewing, Body Of Proof ranks as ABC’s third most watched drama, only behind Dancing With The Stars-buoyed Castle and flagship Grey’s Anatomy.
What’s more, I hear ABC brass are happy with the reworked version of Body Of Proof, which they consider an improvement over the original series creatively. Additionally, the procedural is a major moneymaker for ABC sibling ABC Studios with strong international sales. Cancelling the show as it heads into Season … Read More »
ABC has firmed up the bulk of its summer lineup, which will feature three original scripted series — Canadian crime imports Motive and returning Rookie Blue as well as homemade soap Mistresses. That is more than the 1-2 scripted originals each of the broadcast networks has offered in the last couple of summers. Motive, from The Mentalist‘s Daniel Cerone, is getting a boost with a special premiere after the Dancing With The Stars The Results Show finale on May 21 before the thriller drama moves into the high-profile Thursday 9 PM slot, leading to Rookie Blue. Also joining ABC’s summer schedule is Whodunnit?, a new mystery reality competition show from CSI creator Anthony E. Zuiker, which will air in the Sunday 9 PM slot as the network is resting its serialized dramas that traditionally don’t repeat well — Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and Revenge. Also set to take a break are Castle, replaced for some of the summer by Mistresses, whose previously announced premiere is being pushed by a week, and Once Upon A Time, by Celebrity Wife Swap. Other returning unscripted series this summer include The Bachelorette, Wipeout, Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition and What Would You Do? There are still a couple of holes on ABC’s summer schedule which are expected to be filled soon. Here are ABC’s summer premiere dates: Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Mandy Moore is set as the female lead opposite Ben McKenzie in the CBS/Warner Bros Television drama pilot The Advocates, written by Bruno Heller and directed by David Nutter. It centers on lawyer Shannon Carter (Moore) and ex-con Henry Bird (McKenzie), who team up as “victim advocates,” going to the very edge of the law to right wrongs and fight for the underdog. Once a take-no-prisoners Assistant District Attorney, Shannon now works as a victims advocate after learning the truth about her tragic past and connection to an unjustly incarcerated man. The casting for WME-repped Moore comes less than a week after she exited ABC comedy pilot Pulling. Her previous drama series experience includes an arc on ABC’s flagship drama Grey’s Anatomy.
EXCLUSIVE: Golden Boy co-star Stella Maeve has been cast as the lead opposite Gage Golightly in the CW pilot Company Town. Written by Sera Gamble and directed by Taylor Hackford, the CBS TV Studios project chronicles the aftermath of a scandal at a Naval base that touches the lives of both civilians and military personnel. It centers around two early twentysomething women — Krista (Golightly) and Page (Maeve) — who grew up together, were once best friends, but now are on opposite sides of the Townie/Military divide. For Maeve, the casting is in second position to Golden Boy, which airs on CW sibling CBS. In addition to her supporting role on the CBS drama, produced by Warner Bros, Maeve, repped by Abrams Artist, Principato Young and attorney Lev Ginsburg, did an arc on Grey’s Anatomy. Read More »
Grey’s Anatomy alum Isaiah Washington is returning to series television with a co-starring role in the CW pilot The 100, based on Alloy’s books. Set 97 years after a nuclear war destroyed civilization, it revolves around 100 juvenile delinquents sent back to Earth to investigate the possibility of re-colonizing the planet. Washington will play Chancellor Jaha, the leader of the remaining human race now living in the orbiting space station. Washington, whose indie Blue Caprice was recently picked up by Sundance Selects, just signed with Caliber Media and Inqlusion Entertainment.
ER alumna Michael Michele has been cast in Delirium, Fox‘s drama pilot from Karyn Usher, 20th TV and Chernin Entertainment. Based on the book trilogy, it is set in a world where love is deemed illegal and can be eradicated with a special procedure. With 95 days to go until her scheduled treatment, Lena Holoway (Emma Roberts) does the unthinkable: she falls in love. Michele, repped by Innovative and Untitled, will play Senator Elyse Hargrove, an ambitious widow with three children and Presidential aspirations who has a growing opposition to the political insurrection.
EXCLUSIVE: Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo has signed with WME. For over a decade she had been at CAA, which got her the star-making role as Dr. Meredith Grey on ABC’s hit medical drama Grey’s Anatomy. Pompeo continues to be managed by John Carrabino.