The prolific TV actor who played the hen-pecked shopkeeper on Little House On The Prairie has died. Richard Bull died Monday of pneumonia in Calabasas, CA. He was 89. He played general store owner Nels Oleson for all of the NBC drama’s nine seasons and in three telefilms during the 1980s. But his busy small-screen career dates back to the mid-1950s, appearing in episodes of more than 100 shows. Bull’s resume includes such classic series as Perry Mason, The Fugitive, The Andy Griffith Show, Bewitched, Hawaii Five-O, Mission: Impossible, The Streets Of San Francisco, Lou Grant, Knots Landing, Hill Street Blues and ER — all the way through to Starz’s Boss in 2011. The Zion, Ill., native also appeared on the big screen in pics including High Plains Drifter, The Parallax View, The Andromeda Strain, The Thomas Crown Affair and the 2008 Larry the Cable Guy comedy Witless Protection.
Related: In Memoriam: Notable Deaths Of 2013
TV/film composer and conductor John Cacavas, whose credits include Airport 1975 and 1970s TV series Kojak, died January 28 at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 83. The South Dakota native scored numerous TV series and films throughout his career beginning with the 1972 feature Horror Express. He went on to score the next two movies in the Airport franchise, Airport 1975 and Airport ’77. Cacavas had developed a strong friendship with Telly Savalas, leading to a long tenure as composer for the Kojak TV series (1973-78), including the series theme for its fifth and final season on CBS. His other TV credits include Hawaii Five-O, Matlock, Switch, Columbo, Mrs. Columbo, Quincy, Buck Rogers, Gangster Chronicles, Lady Blue, Four Seasons and Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. He also composed movies-of-the-week, TV pilots, mini-series and specials such as A Time to Triumph, Eddie Capra Mysteries, She Cried Murder, Time Machine, By Reason Of Insanity, Jenny’s War , Police Story, Dirty Dozen II and III, Confessional and Perfect Murder Perfect Town. Read More »
What’s next Oscar, a Best Actress nomination for Pia Zadora? After Deadline Hollywood uncovered the story behind a bizarre Oscar nomination for a little-heard song in an unseen film that was curiously written by a former Academy Governor and head of the music branch, the Academy took the highly unusual step today of disallowing the tune from Oscar consideration. Read More »
Leland Orser has joined the cast of Paramount’s remake of The Gambler, starring Mark Wahlberg and Brie Larson. He will play Jones, a resentful English professor at UCLA who is the Wahlberg character’s superior. Rupert Wyatt is set to direct the pic from a script by William Monahan. Orser also will star in writer-director Riley Stearns’ Faults, recently named to the 2013 Black List. He plays Ansel Roth, who is hired by parents of a woman (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who is caught up in a cult to kidnap and deprogram her. Orser, whose recent credits include TV’s Magic City, Revolution and Touch, next appears in The Guest, which will premiere at Sundance next month. He is repped by Gersh and The Burstein Company.
Ivana Milicevic has landed a role in the Untitled Cameron Crowe project for Sony. The romantic comedy centers on a defense contractor (Bradley Cooper) who falls for an Air Force pilot (Emma Stone) after he is assigned to oversee the launch of a weapons satellite from Hawaii. Milicevic plays Alexis Huff, the biographer of Bill Murray’s character, who follows him to the Aloha State. Scott Rudin is producing the pic, which Crowe wrote and is directing. The cast also includes Rachel McAdams, Alec Baldwin, John Krasinski, Danny McBride, Jay Baruchel. Read More »
The three-time Oscar nominee worked with many of Hollywood’s most iconic leading men — including Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart, Glenn Ford, Kirk Douglas, Charlton Heston, and Frank Sinatra — and such storied directors as William Wyler, Frank Capra, Otto Preminger and Robert Wise. Eleanor Parker died Monday in Palm Springs of pneumonia complications. She was 91. She earned back-to-back Best Actress Academy Award noms for Caged (1951) and Detective Story (1952) and added a third just three years later for Interrupted Melody (1955). Parker starred in dozens of films and TV shows during her 50-year career, but she’s perhaps most widely remembered as the Baroness in the 1965 Best Picture winner The Sound Of Music. On the big screen, she also starred in such films as Scaramouche, The Man With The Golden Arm, The King And Four Queens, A Hole In The Head and Panic Button. By the 1970s, Parker was focusing on TV, and she earned a Best Actress Golden Globe nom for the 1969-70 series Bracken’s World. She went on to appear on such series as Hawaii Five-O, Vega$, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island and Murder, She Wrote.
Chi McBride has been upped to series regular on CBS‘ Hawaii Five-O. CBS announced last summer McBride, who starred in the network’s short-lived Golden Boy, would guest star on the fourth season debut of Five-0, playing SWAT Captain Lou Grover – a character from the original series. At the time, it was suggested more episodes with McBride were likely. With its switch from Monday at 10 PM to Fridays at 9 this season, and without those younger-skewing Monday comedies as its leadin, Five-0 is up 17% in overall audience — from 10.2 million to nearly 12 million viewers — but is down 19% in the demo; its median age has increased from last season’s 55.8 years at this point last season, to 59.5 this season to date.
“Well, I know this sounds corny, but the only thing I ever wanted in my career was to be on CBS, the home of my idol Jackie Gleason,” McBride enthused in today’s announcement.
They would be on more stable legal footing if they just jumped in the surf off the coasts of America’s 50th state. After being in, then out, and then in again, CBS today is really back in the multimillion-dollar lawsuit over the Hawaii Five-O reboot. In a downtown hearing today, LA Superior Court Judge Gregory Alarcon denied the network’s latest bid to be let out of the case brought by talent agent George Litto. In his ruling on the summary judgment motion, Alarcon made no finding on the merits of the actual case, which is now set for a January 21, 2014 trial date. However, the judge did agree with Litto’s contention that CBS had clear knowledge of the partials rights that the talent agent held to the series in conjunction with creator Leonard Freeman’s estate. The agent to Freeman, Litto is seeking $10 million in punitive damages and a share of the profits from the rebooted show, which CBS brought back in 2010. “Once again, this is a procedural hearing, and we remain confident that we’ll prevail on the actual merits of the case at trial,” a CBS spokesperson told me after today’s hearing.
It’s been quite a road to get where CBS is now. In January of this year, Alarcon agreed with CBS’ then demurrer and removed the network from the suit Litto first filed in May 2012. But in July, Alarcon changed his mind and put CBS back in the lawsuit with Freeman’s heirs after the plaintiff assured the court that legal battle over Five-O was about money and not CBS’ ability to continue to produce the show. In September, Judge Elizabeth Allen White denied CBS’ effort to again get out of the case. Read More »
Hawaii Five-O‘s Daniel Dae Kim is branching out to producing. He has launched the production banner 3AD, which will be based at CBS TV Studios, the studio behind Hawaii Five-O, with a two-year first-look. Under the pact, Kim will develop and produce projects for network and cable. He is in the process of hiring a development executive. Kim, repped by APA, Anonymous Content and Klevan/Longarzo, is filming the fourth season of CBS’ Hawaii Five-) as Chin Ho Kelly. He rose to fame with his role as Jin Soo Kwon on ABC hit Lost, for which he shared a SAG Award for best drama ensemble.
It wasn’t enough for the makers of Hawaii Five-O to let viewers pick the ending of an episode last season, now they’re giving fans control over a full hour. CBS today unveiled its Fan Built Five-O initiative, a Mad Libs-esque stunt that lets the public vote online for an episode’s half-dozen key story points: scene of the crime, victim, murder weapon, evidence, suspect and takedown. After the polls close on Halloween, the show’s writers will use the winning elements to forge a script. Before production on the episode begins in February, fans will be able to weigh in on such things as wardrobe, props, music and the title. The series hula-ed over to Fridays this season, and after two episodes McGarrett, Danno and company’s ratings are down 21 percent in the demo compared with last year. But it’s up by nearly that percentage in total viewers (9.6 million) on the older-skewing night, which CBS is dominating. Hence the web-voted story ploy targeting the less chronologically challenged. And TV writers thought reality formats were a threat to their livelihoods. Check out the categories and options up for balloting after the jump:
Related: CBS Denied Exit From ‘Hawaii Five-O’ Lawsuit
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