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Fox Buys New York Crime Drama From Richard Price

By | Friday August 1, 2014 @ 1:46pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Fox Buys New York Crime Drama From Richard PriceIn an early buy for the upcoming development cycle, Fox has given a script commitment plus penalty to a drama from NYC 22 and Criminal Justice creator Richard Price. Like those two shows, the untitled new project, from sister studio 20th Century Fox TV, is a crime drama set in New York. It centers on a twentysomething Wall Street portfolio manager who unwittingly becomes a pawn in the DA’s attempts to take down a criminal Fox logoorganization. Price’s rookie-cop drama NYC 22, produced by Robert De Niro, aired on CBS in 2012. The upcoming HBO limited series Criminal Justice is loosely inspired by the BBC series of the same name created by Peter Moffat. The pilot starred James Gandolfini, with De Niro and later John Turturro stepping in to play the role after The Sopranos star’s death. On the feature side, Oscar-nominated Price (The Color Of Money) recently wrote the upcoming thriller Child 44.

Related: 2014 Fox Pilots

Like last year, it has been slow going early in the pitch season. Once again there is a concern that many experienced writer-producers, especially on the drama side, are tied to series and not available to develop.

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WME Signs ‘Game Of Thrones’ Pedro Pascal

By | Friday August 1, 2014 @ 12:29pm PDT

WME Signs ‘Game Of Thrones’ Pedro PascalEXCLUSIVE: WME has signed Game Of Thrones alum Pedro Pascal. Pascal played Oberyn Martell this past season in the HBO blockbuster, and he will next star on Netflix’s upcoming drama series Narcos as a DEA agent on the hunt for notorious Colombian cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar. Pascal will continue to be repped by Jason Weinberg at Untitled Entertainment and Kim Jaime at Jackoway Tyerman.

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Jerry Levin Q&A: Ex-Time Warner Chief Decries Fox Mega-Merger And Lack Of Creative Guts And Corporate Vision

By | Friday August 1, 2014 @ 9:21am PDT
Mike Fleming

Jerry Levin Q&A: Ex-Time Warner Chief Decries Fox Mega-Merger And Lack Of Creative Guts And Corporate VisionEXCLUSIVE: As we watch Rupert Murdoch attempt a colossal Time Warner takeover, who better to evaluate its merit than Jerry Levin. He steered Time Warner as chairman/CEO for many years, adding Ted Turner and AOL along the way. A retired philanthropist and chairman of StartUp Health, Levin is still paying attention and is therefore better suited than most to explain the complexities of Murdoch’s ambitious plan and its far-reaching impact. He was gracious with his time and wasn’t interested in sugarcoating, so buckle up.

mrlevinDEADLINE: Rupert Murdoch sees a match in Fox and Time Warner. All I see is a collision of duplicative assets, pink slips, two major studios making fewer movies, and nothing here that empowers creativity. Obviously I’m naive. What value do you see in a union between Fox and Time Warner?
JERRY LEVIN: None at all. It provides great theater; everybody gets excited when there are large transactions in the offing with iconic brands. But the fact is, it makes no sense, culturally or creatively. It’s not good for movies, and television, and storytelling. All it is is a financial construct that gets Wall Street going with valuations. It is so disruptive, particularly when you’re talking about two studios with vastly different cultures of their own. When you put these things together, usually there’s a push from Wall Street to cut back and make sure there are the right synergies, which there usually aren’t. It just means a lack of focus and trying to harmonize the cultures, particularly in this case, it doesn’t make any sense to me at all. Read More »

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David Zayas To Play Mobster Sal Maroni In ‘Gotham’

By | Friday August 1, 2014 @ 9:20am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

David Zayas To Play Mobster Sal Maroni In ‘Gotham’EXCLUSIVE: Dexter alum David Zayas is joining the cast of Fox‘s Batman prequel drama series Gotham as a recurring. He will play DC Comics character Mob Boss Salvatore Maroni, one of the city’s most dangerous gangsters. In the Batman mythology, Maroni is a street operator who clawed his way into cdavidzayasontrolling the city’s drug trade and unions. He is second only to Carmine Falcone in power and reach, and second to none in his appetite for violence. In time, Maroni will develop into one of Batman’s first enemies and become infamous as the man responsible for disfiguring DA Harvey Dent, leading to his transformation into Two-Face. But for now, as he strives to gain more territory in Gotham, he’ll find himself on a crash course with his rival Falcone (John Doman) for control of the city. In the feature The Dark Knight, the role of Maroni was played by Eric Roberts. Read More »

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London Drama ‘A Hundred Streets’ Rolls With Idris Elba, Gemma Arterton; Jim O’Hanlon Now Helming

London Drama ‘A Hundred Streets’ Rolls With Idris Elba, Gemma Arterton; Jim O’Hanlon Now HelmingIdris Elba boarded UK indie feature One Square Mile as a producer in June 2013, but at the time it was unclear if he would star as well. A little more than a year later, the movie has undergone a title change to A Hundred Streets, found a new director, firmed its cast, and is beginning production. Elba is starring alongside Gemma Arterton in the drama about four people with extraordinary stories that are all lived out within a square mile in contemporary London. Michael Caton-Jones was due to helm the film, but has left for another project. Stepping in is Irish TV director Jim O’Hanlon who will make his feature debut on the pic. O’Hanlon’s credits include BBC mini Emma, HBO/BBC biopic House Of Saddam, Cinemax’s A Touch Of Cloth and BBC drama/horror series In The Flesh. Leon Butler, who directed the short One Square Mile: London, penned the script for A Hundred Streets.

Elba and Arterton play an estranged married couple, he an ex-rugby superstar and she a housewife, as both struggle with life. Omar‘s Adam Bakri has also joined the cast as a rich playboy who gets more than he bargained for when a beautiful ex-girlfriend re-enters his life; and Edge Of Tomorrow‘s Franz Drameh is a small time drug dealer who strikes up an unlikely friendship with an aging actor. Read More »

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Emmy Q&A: Ryan Murphy On The Long Road To ‘The Normal Heart’

By | Thursday July 31, 2014 @ 5:02pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Emmy Q&A: Ryan Murphy On The Long Road To ‘The Normal Heart’After three decades of futility, The Normal Heart figures to be at the center of the Primetime Emmy Awards. It received 16 nominations, including one for its director Ryan Murphy, and for the performances of Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Julia Roberts, Joe Mantello (who starred in the original play), Jim Parsons, and Alfred Molina. And one for Larry Kramer, who turned a roman a clef version of his fight against indifference to the AIDS crisis into the play on which the movie is based. Between The Normal Heart and his series American Horror Story and Glee,  Murphy’s productions racked up 34 Emmy noms, more than some networks. Here, he discusses the groundbreaking movie, the long battle to get it to the screen and how Barbra Streisand helped keep The Normal Heart beating all those years.

Image (1) ryan-murphy-2__130815154159.jpg for post 699212DEADLINE: For me and anyone else in their 50s who lived in a city like New York, The Normal Heart brought back that Twilight Zone nightmare period when we watched friends die and were powerless to help, amidst rampant political apathy because most of those stricken were gay. Larry Kramer’s refusal to go quietly made him a true screen hero, though he was equally vocal that his heartbreaking play took three decades to get made. How long did this movie burn in you?
MURPHY: I was in college when the play came out and had seen productions of it through the years, and I always deeply admired it. I grew up in that era where things were very scary. I lost 10 friends to AIDS and so it was always an important piece of art in my life. I followed the project’s trajectory starting in 1987, and was always very sad that it was not made into a movie. I always felt that the current generation, so many young people, didn’t know what happened, was unaware of the nightmare we lived through back then.

DEADLINE: How did that translate to action?
MURPHY: It was pretty simple. I woke up one day in 2009 and thought, why has this movie not been made? My producing partner Dante Di Loreto knew Larry and called him. The rights were lapsing and Larry agreed to meet with me. He didn’t know who I was, or any of my previous work. I think he was taken by my passion. 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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HBO Greenlights David Simon Miniseries Starring Oscar Isaac & Catherine Keener

By | Wednesday July 30, 2014 @ 12:45pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

HBO Greenlights David Simon Miniseries Starring Oscar Isaac & Catherine KeenerAfter spending the last couple of months locking in a director and lead cast, HBO has officially greenlighted for production Show Me A Hero, a six-hour miniseries from The Wire co-creator David Simon. Inside Llewyn Davis leading man Oscar Isaac is set to star and Catherine Keener to co-star in the mini, which will be directed by Paul Haggis (Crash).

oscarisaacCatherine Keener Penned by Simon and Baltimore Sun journalist/The Wire writer William F. Zorzi, Show Me A Hero is based on the nonfiction book by Lisa Belkin. It tells the story of Nick Wasicsko (Isaac), the youngest big-city mayor in the nation who finds himself thrust into the center showmeaheroof a racial controversy when a federal court orders him to build a small number of low-income housing units in the white neighborhoods of his town, Yonkers, N.Y.. His attempt to do so tears the city apart, paralyzes the municipal government and, ultimately, destroys his political future. Keener, repped by Gersh, plays Mary Dorman, an East Yonkers homeowner who comes to a remarkable realization during the battle over where to build low-income housing. Read More »

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‘Sea Of Trees’ With Matthew McConaughey Begins Lensing In Massachusetts, Japan

By | Wednesday July 30, 2014 @ 10:36am PDT

‘Sea Of Trees’ With Matthew McConaughey Begins Lensing In Massachusetts, JapanGus Van Sant‘s next directorial Sea Of Trees starring Matthew McConaughey, Ken Watanabe and Naomi Watts is currently in production in rural Massachusetts and will be moving its production to Japan in September.  Financier and producer Ken Kao and Alex Walton’s international sales, production and financing company, BLOOM, launched and introduced Sea Of Trees in Cannes, and by the end of the festival had sold out most of the world.

Van Sant has assembled a top-notch creative team to work on the film including Oscar-winning editor Pietro Scalia, Emmy nominated production designer Alex DiGerlando (HBO’s True Detective), cinematographer Kasper Tuxen (Beginners), Oscar-nominated costume designer Danny Glicker (Milk, Up In The Air) and make up department head Felicity Bowring (The Bourne Legacy, The Social Network). Read More »

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Power Lifters: Five Brands That Got A Big Social-Media Lift From Comic-Con

By | Wednesday July 30, 2014 @ 8:11am PDT

Power Lifters: Five Brands That Got A Big Social-Media Lift From Comic-ConSo which films and TV shows got the biggest bump to their social-media accounts during Comic-Con? The Deadline Team already has delivered its verdict on Comic-Con’s big winners (and yawners) overall. And it’s a challenge to be definitive with social media given the dozens of participating properties and connected stars, behind-the-camera notables, superfans and the like.

That said, social-media consulting firm RelishMIX spotted five entertainment properties that hit social-media home runs over the long weekend, led by massively popular Comic-Con videos for Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and Mad Max: Fury Road. The Simpsons and Family Guy jointly scored well too, according to RelishMIX’s compilation of who added the most followers/likes/views across YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to their official and related accounts (see chart below).

HBO’s Thrones, already a social-media monster, commanded a truly royal 8.3 million views of its Comic-Con YouTube videos, led by a Season 4 blooper reel that RelishMIX CEO Marc Karzen called a “super video,” with nearly 7.4 million views since it posted just four days ago. 

Read More »

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Allison Williams Cast As Peter Pan In NBC Musical ‘Peter Pan Live!’ (Video)

By | Wednesday July 30, 2014 @ 7:27am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Allison Williams Cast As Peter Pan In NBC Musical ‘Peter Pan Live!’ (Video)Girls co-star Allison Williams has been cast as the title character in NBC’s December 4 live staging of Peter Pan Live!. Williams, who has sung on her HBO show and in various other projects, is a classically trained singer whose online singing videos have logged millions of views. (watch below one of the most popular ones, which she uploaded shortly after graduating from Yale in 2010) She will star opposite Christopher Walken, who had been cast as Captain Hook. “We think she will bring the perfect blend of ‘boyish’ vulnerability and bravado to save the day against Christopher Walken’s powerful Captain Hook,” NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt said. Williams, daughter of NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, said that she’d wanted to play Peter Pan since she was about 3, “so this is a dream come true.” “I’m very excited to get to work with this extraordinarily talented team. And besides, what could go wrong in a live televised production with simultaneous flying, sword fighting and singing?” Craig Zadan and Neil Meron executive produce the special.

The casting of the lead proved crucial for the success of NBC’s live staging of The Sound of Music last year as Carrie Underwood’s broad fan base came out in droves, especially in the middle of the country where there were numerous viewing parties. Williams, who landed the role on Girls right out of college, is not yet a household name and doesn’t have a following of the size of Underwood, a country superstar.  The … Read More »

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Jessica Lange Set For Santa Barbara Film Fest Honor

Jessica Lange Set For Santa Barbara Film Fest HonorThe actress who went from reclining in King Kong’s hand to creeping us out on American Horror Story, picking up a pair of Oscars along the way, will be feted this fall by the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Organizers said today that Jessica Lange will receive the ninth annual Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film during a black-tie gala on November 16 in Santa Barbara. Presenters will be revealed in the coming months. Here’s the release: 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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Ron Livingston Joins AMC Pilot ‘We Hate Paul Revere’

By | Tuesday July 29, 2014 @ 9:19am PDT

Ron Livingston Joins AMC Pilot ‘We Hate Paul Revere’Ron Livingston will play Paul Revere in AMC’s comedy pilot We Hate Paul Revere, which begins shooting next month in LA. The pilot received the network’s first green light to a half-hour project back in March. It centers on two brothers living in Colonial Boston who are not fans of local industrialist and activist Paul Revere. Now they have their “bad guy.” The project is written, executive produced and stars Ethan Sandler and Adrian Wenner. AMC Studios is producing, and Troy Miller is a non-writing executive producer through his Dakota Films.

Livingston is playing Elvis Presley in the Eddie OKeefe-directed drama Shangri-La Suite and also stars in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, which he joined for Season 4. His next pic is Fort Bliss opposite Michelle Monaghan. He is repped by UTA and Thruline Entertainment.

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Toronto Adds Kevin Smith’s ‘Tusk’, Frederick Wiseman & Ethan Hawke Docus; Vanguard & Midnight Madness Lineups

By | Tuesday July 29, 2014 @ 8:59am PDT

Toronto Adds Kevin Smith’s ‘Tusk’, Frederick Wiseman & Ethan Hawke Docus; Vanguard & Midnight Madness LineupsUPDATED: The Toronto Film Festival announced several additions to the 2014 lineup this morning including the documentary pics and the lineups for The Masters, Vanguard and Midnight Madness. The docu lineup features pioneers of BASE jumping in Sunshine Superman; Los Angeles sex workers in Tales Of The Grim Sleeper; survivors of the Indonesian genocide in The Look Of Silence; and, in Red Army, a hockey captain’s transition from national hero to political enemy during the rise and fall of the Soviet game.

Tusk 1The Midnight Madness section includes the world premiere of Kevin Smith’s Tusk, the wacky horror thriller that dropped its first trailer during Comic-Con. Set in the Canadian wilderness, it stars Justin Long as a podcaster who’s assigned to interview a mysterious seafarer (Michael Parks) who happens to have a strange obsession with walruses. Haley Joel Osment and Genesis Rodriguez also star. The pic hits theaters just after the fest on September 19; the Toronto fest runs September 4-14.

Here are the sections announced today: Read More »

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FINAL: Intl Box Office: ‘Apes’ Dawns Again; ‘Godzilla’ Stomps Japan; ‘Hercules’ Muscles In; ‘Transformers’ $300M+ In China; Asia Action Ramps Up; More

FINAL: Intl Box Office: ‘Apes’ Dawns Again; ‘Godzilla’ Stomps Japan; ‘Hercules’ Muscles In; ‘Transformers’ $300M+ In China; Asia Action Ramps Up; More3RD UPDATE, MONDAY 3:10 PM PT: All studios have reported actuals for the international weekend with no major discrepancies between the cumulative estimates reported Sunday and what’s come across today. Across the top titles, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes was up a tick to $54.84M from an estimated $54.4M; Transformers: Age Of Extinction was slightly lower at $36.9M versus $37.5M; Hercules was smack on with $28.7M; and How To Train Your Dragon 2 was up a whisker at $24.4M versus the $24M estimate.

cinemaworldOne notable factoid is that for the 2nd weekend in a row, numbers on Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore comedy Blended are higher than expected. Yesterday, they were estimated at $3.8M in 47 markets. Today, Warner says the actuals are $4.25M. That takes the overseas cume to $66.6M – the domestic cume was $45.4M. In Brazil, the film has been especially strong, adding $1.7M this weekend for a local cume of $6.8M and a slight 18% drop from last frame. When I asked what the deal is with Sandler, Blended and Brazil, I was told that his films are roundly popular there where family fare is also big – and this one is now bigger than Grown Ups, 50 First Dates, Bedtime Stories, Don’t Mess With The Zohan and Chuck And Larry.

Along with the above films, all figures throughout the below have been updated on: Planes: Fire & Rescue, Godzilla, Step Up All In, Sex Tape, The Purge: Anarchy, Maleficent, The Fault In Our Stars, Mrs Brown’s Boys D’ Movie, 22 Jump Street, Deliver Us From Evil, Neighbors, Kick, Edge Of Tomorrow, and Boyhood. Read More »

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L.A. Officials Probe Shakedown Claims On Downtown Shoots

By | Monday July 28, 2014 @ 2:04pm PDT

L.A. Officials Probe Shakedown Claims On Downtown ShootsFirst in a series

EXCLUSIVE: Downtown developer Tom Gilmore was irate. “What’s this goddamn thing here I had to pay for?” he fumed. It was noontime, June 16, and L.A.’s powerful downtown developer stood on the corner of 4th and Main Street accosting a FilmLA monitor as a crew arrived. The monitor tried to assure Gilmore that the commercial shoot would be fast and there’d be no disruption to his businesses, but Gilmore wasn’t buying it.

“I know what you’ve done for the neighborhood,” the monitor said as the crew set up to grab a quick shot outside Pete’s Café and Bar, one of Gilmore’s restaurants. “And I’m grateful. You know I’m grateful.”

“I appreciate that and I’m not mad at you,” Gilmore said, lowering his voice slightly amid the clamor of lunch-hour traffic. “I’m expressing my pissed-off-ness that this thing got OK’d today.”

Gilmore Associates“This thing” was a Just For Men TV spot in the Old Bank District, which is Gilmore’s turf. Almost singlehandedly, he’d turned it from Skid Row-adjacent to a thriving area of shops, restaurants and residential lofts. Gilmore Associates, widely credited with spearheading the residential boom in downtown Los Angeles, owns numerous properties down there: the stately old Farmers and Merchants Bank; the 12-story Continental and six-story Hellman buildings, which were converted into lofts; an elegant old Catholic church that he turned into a premiere events site; and the historic San Fernando building, with 70 loft-style apartments anchored by Pete’s Café and Bäco Mercat on the ground floor.

A city street runs through the district — a street Gilmore, to his unending irritation, doesn’t own and can’t control. It’s a popular spot for filmmakers, one of the few places in L.A. that can convincingly double for older cities like New York or Chicago. More than 150 days of filming are shot there every year. Gilmore can make any one of them tough on properly permitted filmmakers, and on that June day, that’s just what he was doing.

“I am gonna do what I gotta do to make this not such a pretty little place,” Gilmore told the monitor in a tape-recorded conversation obtained by Deadline, “because the only reason you’re using it is cuz we made it such a pretty little place.” Minutes later, Gilmore had his men lean ladders in the doorway of the San Fernando and hang yellow caution tape in the potted trees outside Pete’s Café, ruining the planned shots.

Tom Gilmore Ladders Tape

The producers had paid FilmLA more than $1,600 in permit fees, but Gilmore wanted them to pay him, too. His location agent, Richard Wynn, had sent the shoot’s location manager, Jeff McSpadden, a contract and a letter demanding $12,000 for the right to film in the street and on the sidewalk outside the café — both public spaces. Read More »

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Time Warner Shares Could Match Fox’s Offer Without A Deal: Analyst

Time Warner Shares Could Match Fox’s Offer Without A Deal: AnalystTime Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes just won an indirect endorsement for his argument that his shareholders would be better off letting him lead the company instead of accepting a cash and stock offer from Rupert Murdoch. Without a deal, Time Warner shares should hit $95 within a year, and there’s “a credible stand-alone bull case valuation of $105,” Morgan Stanley Research’s Benjamin Swinburne says today. The numbers are important: Time Warner rejected Murdoch’s $85 a share bid, and many analysts say that he could go as high as $105 before choking on the cost. That probably wouldn’t impress shareholders if they believe that they’ll see that price without the risk that would come with such a big deal.

Swinburne’s analysis begins by accepting Bewkes’ forecast that cable and satellite company payments to Time Warner’s Turner networks will grow at double digit rates each year over the next five years. “Given 7 out of the top 10 distributors have already renewed (as of early ’14), we see limited downside risk to [the] guidance,” the analyst says. Those payments now account for 20% of Time Warner revenues.

HBO also could grow subscriptions and revenues by tinkering with its pricing and deals with pay TV distributors. It has about 30M domestic subscribers, but the below-average penetration rates at Time Warner Cable and Dish Network suggest that there are “key opportunities for HBO to drive further revenue-generating subscriber growth.” Along that line, Bloomberg reported today that HBO is considering expanding a test with Comcast, introduced last year, that offers broadband service, basic TV, and HBO … Read More »

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Comic-Con: ‘True Blood’ Actress Slams Sarah Palin Over Non-Appearance On HBO Show (Video)

By | Saturday July 26, 2014 @ 6:05pm PDT

Comic-Con: ‘True Blood’ Actress Slams Sarah Palin Over Non-Appearance On HBO Show (Video)UPDATES WITH VIDEO: True Blood may be into its final season, but the HBO show wasn’t treating its likely last Comic-Con appearance with anything but a ravenous appetite and a bit of bite. Specifically it was former GOP VP candidate Sarah Palin who got chomped. “She’ll weigh in on anything,” castmember Kristin Bauer van Straten said disdainfully of Palin revealing that she turned down the attempt HBO made to get the ex-Alaska governor on the show for its most recent broadcast. Besides a bloodbath at a fictional fundraiser for real-life Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the July 20 episode had several digs at the GOP including one character referring to herself as “a Republic**t.”

Needless to say, Palin wasn’t impressed.

Image (1) Sarah-Palin__120403125106__130212232410.jpeg for post 428911“The brilliant minds of True Blood were brazen enough to ask me to do a cameo on their show, apparently so they could insult a conservative woman in person instead of just all conservative women in general,” Palin revealed to Breitbart earlier this week. “Their offer wasn’t presented in any negative way, perhaps to benefit from a surprise factor after the guest appearance. I turned them down anyway.” HBO confirmed that the offer in a statement that “casting directors for the show reached out to Ms. Palin’s representative but did not receive a response.”

“It’s sweet many, many years later Warner Bros. At Comic-Con International 2014that I’ve made her angry, I had fun … Read More »

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