Hot Trailer: Pawel Pawlikowski’s ‘Ida’

By | Wednesday April 16, 2014 @ 11:12am PDT

Pawel Pawlikowski‘s Ida follows a young nun in 1960s Poland who’s on the verge of taking her vows but discovers a dark family secret dating back to the Nazi occupation. Agata Trzebuchowska and Agata Kulesza star in the film, which won the international critics’ FIPRESCI Prize at Toronto and Best Film at the BFI London Film Festival last year. Ida is Polish-born Pawlikowski’s first film set in his homeland following his breakthrough films The Last Resort and BAFTA-winning My Summer Of Love. Ida opens May 2 in Los Angeles at Laemmle’s Royal. Have a look at the trailer:

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MIPTV: ‘Rising Star’ Rollout Begins; Will It Cement Position As The Next Big Thing?

mip tv logo 2Much as it did with October’s Mipcom, Israel’s Keshet International dominated the just-wrapped Mip-TV market. The savvy folks behind Rising Star energized the Croisette this week with ticking time bomb format Boom!, which closed at least a deal a day including in the U.S., France, Spain, Belgium and Hungary. And, interactive singing competition Rising Star, which had already locked down more than 25 territories since last October, is still selling. But save for Brazil, which on Sunday became the first territory outside Israel to debut a local version of Rising Star, the shows have yet to be tested abroad and Mip was abuzz with anticipation, mixed with some skepticism, about the ultimate results. Underscoring that, Brazil, which scored strong numbers, had a technical glitch that meant some home keshetviewers had trouble entering their votes. I understand this was not the same sort of situation suffered by NBC’s Million Second Quiz last year when its app crashed during the premiere. In the case of Rising Star, I’m told there was no loss of connectivity and the live show was not affected. But, it’s a fair bet that other networks who have acquired the format are keeping a keen eye on the international rollout. Portugal is next to bow in May, and ABC debuts the format in June; it’s playing close to the vest with details.

boom!In Cannes this week, execs up and down the Croisette praised the folks at Keshet International for their marketing acumen, enthusiasm and ability to generate creative formats. The company is often credited with putting Israel on the TV map thanks, most notably, to scripted drama Prisoners Of War, aka Homeland. The deal success of Rising Star, and now Boom!, had more than one observer marveling this week that Keshet has taught “a masterclass in marketing.” A key element of that masterclass includes bringing both formats to the Riviera sales shows hot on the heels of their respectively record-breaking debuts in Israel on Keshet Channel 2. Each format’s gimmick has also been highly touted. Rising Star‘s interactive app, incubated in Tel Aviv’s cutting-edge start-up community, lets viewers control the show’s outcome. Boom! is more of a straightforward quiz show. But the concept of contestants defusing (fake) bombs onstage, while shocking some, has made buyers sit up and take notice. Read More »

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‘Charlie Sheen’s Bad Influence’ Pilot Part Of WE TV’s 2014-15 Slate

By | Thursday April 10, 2014 @ 9:27am PDT

We_tv_logo_2011 (1)WE tv‘s slate of unscripted original programming for 2014-2015 includes a one-hour pilot of Charlie Sheen’s Bad Influence, a relationship-based competition show in which Sheen puts engaged couples to the ultimate test by challenging how well they think they know their intended. "Scary Movie V" - Los Angeles PremiereThe pilot is currently in production in Los Angeles and was announced today during WEtv’s upfront presentation. The network also greenlighted the new series Match Made In Heaven, Mystery Millionaire and David Tutera’s CELEBrations and renewed the popular shows Kendra On Top, Marriage Boot Camp and the Braxton Family Values spinoff Tamar & Vince. In addition to the network’s growing unscripted efforts, WE tv will debut its first original scripted series, The Divide, this July. The network previously announced the fourth season of Braxton Family Values, second season of SWV Reunited, and the new series Love Thy Sister debuting this summer. Here’s a complete description of its slate: Read More »

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Duo Join Netflix’s New Thriller Drama Series; Trio Book Recurring Roles In Pilots

By | Tuesday April 8, 2014 @ 8:00pm PDT

Mia Kirshner (The L Word) and zuaiter1mikirshner1Waleed Zuaiter (Revolution, Homeland) have booked recurring roles on Netflix’s untitled psychological thriller drama from Sony Pictures TV. Written and executive produced by Damages creators Todd A. Kessler, Daniel Zelman and Glenn Kessler (KZK), the 13-episode series centers on a close-knit family of four adult siblings (Kyle Chandler, Ben Mendelsohn, Linda Cardellini, Norbert Leo Butz) whose secrets and scars are revealed when their black sheep brother (Mendelsohn) returns home. Kirshner, repped by APA, Wishlab and Characters, most recently shot a guest role on ABC pilot Clementine. Zuaiter, repped by Stone Manners Salners Agency and Ramos Management, will play Major Eckhardt, a mysterious authority figure in the Florida Keys who is having an affair with Meg Rayburn (Linda Cardellini). Zuaiter is coming off a starring role in the Oscar-nominated film Omar.
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Fox Orders Israeli Bomb-Defusing Game Show ‘Boom!’ From Keshet DCP

By | Monday April 7, 2014 @ 6:30am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Boom! Game Show FoxJust days after it was taken out on the global marketplace, the Israeli game show format Boom! has landed a sale in the U.S. Fox has given a series order to the explosive project, developed for the U.S. by Keshet DCP, the joint venture between Keshet International, the global distribution and production arm of Keshet Media Group (Homeland), and DC Media, the parent company of dick clark prods. (Golden Globes) Read More »

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‘Homeland’ Season 4 To Film In South Africa, Will Be Set In Middle East

By | Friday April 4, 2014 @ 9:23am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

homelandAfter three seasons in Charlotte, NC, Showtime drama Homeland is leaving the US to film its fourth season in Cape Town, South Africa. The end of Season 3 found Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) taking a job as a station chief in Istanbul. Showtime wouldn’t specify where exactly Mathison would work as the new season is still being mapped out, only saying that she is being “assigned to one of the most volatile and dangerous CIA stations in the Middle East where she is back on the front lines in the war on terror.” At TCA in January, Showtime president David Nevins already shed light on the setup for Season 4 with Mathison in the field overseas. “Homeland is a show that is deeply about a field operative (Carrie), and we haven’t seen her much in the field,” he said. “In Season 4 you will likely see her on the ground in a foreign capital doing her job,” adding that co-star Mandy Patinkin will continue to be “central and important” to the show. Read More »

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‘Mad Men’s’ Season 7 Big Hollywood Premiere Buzz: How Does It All End? Why Can’t The Cast Win At Emmys? And Why Does Matt Weiner Welcome HBO’s ‘True Detective’ To Drama Series Race?

By | Thursday April 3, 2014 @ 12:03pm PDT
Pete Hammond

AMC threw a Hollywood premiere Wednesday night to kick off what was termed “the beginning of the end.” mad-men-logo-300x165AMC president Charlie Collier, Mad Men creator Matt Weiner and cast and crew were at the Arclight Theatre for the “Time Zones” episode that begins the first half of Season 7 premiering April 13th. The season marks the final go-round of the landmark four-time Emmy-winning Best Drama Series. The protracted goodbye will be split between seven episodes this spring and the final final episodes in spring 2015.

It was all very bittersweet last night as production actually was just beginning on those even as the premiere was kicking off.  In fact, executive producer Scott Hornbacher, who directed the “Time Zones” episode, was late to this party as he is also directing the first of those backend episodes. AMC's "Mad Men" Season 7 Premiere PartyHe told me later at the Chateau Marmont afterparty  that it’s going to be tough to end it, pointing to several people in the room he described as “family,” people  he saw every day.  That was the general consensus I got from so many cast members and AMC execs who have been with this since Day 1. One exec told me he was 24 when he first saw the pilot script. He’s 35 now. Life goes on. And so does Mad Men – at least to the conclusion for this iconic group of characters. CAA’s Bryan Lourd was seated next to me (he reps Weiner) and told me he wouldn’t have missed this event — even though CAA is having its retreat this weekend at La Costa near San Diego and he had to postpone a run-thru there to 11 PM so he could make it down the 405 freeway after the screening. Read More »

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Animal Planet Details First Dive Into Scripted Programming With ‘Moby Dick’ From Whale’s Point Of View

By | Thursday April 3, 2014 @ 6:43am PDT

animal-planet-logoAnimal Planet is plunging into scripted territory with a retelling of the story that inspired the novel Moby Dick, in Revenge Of The Whale (working title). Starring Martin Sheen, this two-hour film tells a dramatic story of a time when whales were hunted for their oil. The BBC co-production re-imagines what happened when the magnificent sea creature finally turned on its killers. Here’s a complete look at Animal Planet’s new slate: Read More »

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UK’s Channel 4 Hires Simon Maxwell To Spearhead International Drama Co-Pros

By | Thursday, 3 April 2014 09:17 UK

Channel 4 logoBritain’s Channel 4 is embellishing its strategy with a new purview to invest in international drama co-productions. The net, which already invests in original British drama as well as boundary-pushing factual entertainment, is joining the likes of ITV, the BBC and Sky in its bid to spread its wings. To spearhead the initiative, former Red Arrow Entertainment Head of Drama & Comedy, Simon Maxwell, is joining Channel 4 in the newly created role of Head of International Drama. Maxwell launched the Red Arrow Group’s UK scripted operation and has worked with U.S. broadcasters including NBC and History Channel. Prior to Red Arrow, he was Head of Film & TV at indie Greenroom Entertainment where he ran a slate that included DirecTV crime drama Rogue. He also exec produced feature Killing Bono, for which he co-wrote the screenplay. Channel 4′s move towards international co-pros should see it benefit from the high-end TV tax credit that has electrified the local production sector and attracted U.S. projects over the past year. Maxwell will be responsible for commissioning a slate of high quality, ambitious drama with international appeal. Among the channel’s recent local commissions are Babylon, for which Danny Boyle directed the pilot, and mystery/sci-fi series Utopia. Its U.S. and European pick-ups include upcoming series Fargo, France’s The Returned, Showtime’s Homeland, comedy Brooklyn Nine Nine and new Norwegian thriller Mammon .

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‘House Of Cards’, ‘Scandal’, ‘Breaking Bad’, ‘The Bridge’, ‘Key & Peele’, ‘Orphan Black’, ‘Orange Is The New Black’ Win Peabodys

By | Wednesday April 2, 2014 @ 7:08am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Netflix and BBC America each has two scripted series on the list PeabodyAwardsof a record 46 programs to receive Peabody Awards this year. Joining Netflix’s Washington drama House Of Cards and prison comedy Orange Is The New Black is another DC drama, ABC’s soapy Scandal; BBC America’s clone thriller Orphan Black and Broadchurch, which is being remade by Fox as an event series; FX’s The Bridge, which itself is a remake of the Danish-Swedish series; Danish political drama Borgen; acclaimed French zombie drama The Returned; AMC’s Breaking Bad, awarded a second Peabody for its final season; Comedy Central’s hit sketch comedy Key & Peele; CNN’s travel docu-series Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown; as well as Burka Avenger, the Pakistani animated series about a girl superhero; and two documentaries from newcomer Al Jazeera America. Additionally, former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw, who recently announced he is battling cancer, will receive an individual Peabody Award. Here is the full list of recipients of the 73rd Peabody Awards, bestowed by the University of Georgia’s Grady School of Journalism. They will be presented May 19 at a luncheon ceremony hosted by Ira Glass at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York. A special on the Peabodys will air later on Pivot, which recently inked a rights deal through 2016: Read More »

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Produced By Conference Unveils 2014 Lineup

By | Thursday March 27, 2014 @ 10:09am PDT

pga67__140108185018-275x154LOS ANGELES, CA (March 27, 2014) – The Producers Guild of America (PGA) is pleased to announce the initial slate of speakers confirmed to participate in the 6th annual Produced By Conference (PBC). Director and producer David Fincher (GONE GIRL, FIGHT CLUB, SE7EN, THE SOCIAL NETWORK, THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON) & producer Ceán Chaffin (GONE GIRL, THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO), producer Norman Lear (“The Jeffersons, “All In The Family”), actor and producer Seth Rogen (NEIGHBORS, PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, KNOCKED UP), and producer Joe Roth (MALEFICENT, ALICE IN WONDERLAND, SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN) will participate as featured speakers at the 2014 Produced By Conference, hosted by Warner Bros. Studios on June 7-8.

Additional speakers include some of the entertainment and digital industries’ most renowned producers and visionaries. Confirmed speakers are noted below in alphabetical order. Additional speakers will be announced prior to the conference.

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CinemaCon: Chris Dodd And John Fithian Discuss Texting, 3D, And The Near-End Of Celluloid Prints

By | Tuesday March 25, 2014 @ 6:17pm EDT

CinemaCon2014_badgeExhibition execs face several controversial matters, but “there’s peace in the homeland” in their relationships with studios, NATO‘s John Fithian said in his annual joint press meeting with MPAA‘s Chris Dodd at the CinemaCon confab. The lobby group heads always emphasize the positive, but this time Fithian sounds like he means it. He acknowledged that there’s been a friction in previous years — especially 2011 when there was what he calls a “very public food fight” over how quickly studios can CinemaCon 2014 - The State Of The Industry: Past, Present And Future And Universal Studios Presentationrelease their films on home video. But now “we’re working together instead of fighting. …Since then it’s been dialogue and cooperation.” Dodd says his MPAA members agree that “the best experience for their product is in the theater.”

On one hot-button issue, texting in theaters, Fithian says that his members “have conversations every week” about whether to allow it under certain circumstances. But it’s unlikely that anything will change soon. When some execs said here two years ago that they’re looking at the matter, “They got barraged from moviegoers saying, ‘that is my last refuge of peace.’…Then the 17 year olds respond and say, ‘we have to be connected.’ ” The sense, for now, is that “the vast majority of our consumers go to the cinema to escape” with many looking at moviegoing as “a quasi-religious experience.” But Fithian says “it’ll be an evolving space. Let’s leave it there.”

Related: CinemaCon: MPAA’s 2014 Report Good News For Overseas: Slideshow

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PaleyFest: ‘Masters Of Sex’ Cast Talks Hamlet, Arthur Miller, A Stratum Of Filmmaking, And Girdles

By | Monday March 24, 2014 @ 10:10pm PDT

Michael Sheen came to the Masters of Sex Q&A at PaleyFest and tried to class up the joint with a lot of talk about playing Hamlet, and reading D3tFmrD - ImgurArthur Miller as a teen only to discover Miller’s plays had no bad characters — just people making bad choices. Fortunately, he was greatly outnumbered on stage at the Dolby Theatre by the women of Showtime’s 1950s-set drama series about real-life pioneers of the science of human sexuality, Dr. William Masters and Virginia Johnson. They wanted to talk about the drudgery of maintaining a ’50s hairdo and the best way to pee in a girdle.

Related:Masters Of Sex’ Team Has Sex Talk With TV Critics

Sheen, known for playing David Frost in Frost/Nixon and Tony Blair in The Queen, said playing Masters was the “perfect combination” for an actor, because he was a famous historical figure but was little known as a man Paleyfest 2014 logoand so “private” and “secretive and mysterious” that, “by necessity you have to invent a lot as well.” And while he was not looking to do television, Sheen said he was receptive to the idea, because “you can tell a story over 12 hours [that] really opens the door, as an actor, to explore character in a different way.” Pay cablers like Showtime are “a stratum of filmmaking that’s not being done in film any more. … Writing is so strong in television at the moment … the sophistication of the audience … the bar is very high, and that pushes you to do the best work you can.”

Related: PaleyFest 2014 Schedule

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Is An Emmy Win Really Worth Dying For? You Bet It Is!

By | Monday March 24, 2014 @ 5:35pm PDT
Pete Hammond

WARNING: This article contains several spoilers regarding TV series plot lines. Stop now if you don’t want to know who might have died in one of your favorite shows.

Emmyslogo_newCould the sudden and shocking murder of Josh Charles’ character Will Gardner last night on The Good Wife actually turn out to be a smart move come Emmy time? The evidence is mounting that getting killed off a series might not be good for your bank account but could be a blessing in disguise for any successful Emmy campaign. Lately it seems that way. Charles is bound to get more attention awards-wise this season than ever, and the launch of the campaign might well be tonight when he makes a shrewdly timed appearance on Late Night With David Letterman. As Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva first reported last night, Charles wanted off the show and was convinced to stay through much of this season in order to tie up his storyline and kill off Will.

Related: ‘Good Wife’ Creators Pen Letter To Fans After Shocking Twist

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UPDATED: R.I.P. ‘Homeland’, ‘White Collar’ Thesp James Rebhorn Passes From Melanoma

By and | Sunday March 23, 2014 @ 4:30pm PDT

James Rebhorn dead2ND UPDATE, SUNDAY 4:30 PM: The late James Rebhorn is remembered in a statement from USA Network. The veteran character actor had a recurring role as recently as last season on White Collar: “USA Network is deeply saddened about the passing of James Rebhorn, who so brilliantly played Reese Hughes on White Collar. Our sympathies go out to his family, friends and loved ones.”

Related: Actor James Rebhorn Pens His Final Curtain Call; Read The Obit He Wrote For Himself

UPDATE, 12:35 PM: James Rebhorn died Friday afternoon from melanoma. The actor was diagnosed with melanoma in 1992 and died at home in South Orange, N.J. peacefully around his family. He had been receiving hospice care after being released from NYU Hospital. “He was a wonderful, wonderful man. I represented him since 1990, and I represented him for my entire career,” said his Leading Artist rep Dianne Busch. “He was an absolute joy to work with. He was very funny and was warm. He was drawn to projects with a social conscience. One of his favorite movies that he did was Lorenzo’s Oil because it made a difference. He had a very strong faith and loved his family. His family was extremely important to him and I saw him make career sacrifices for them.” His is survived by wife Becky, and two daughters Hannah and Emma. His family is planning a religious service arrangement to take place in New Jersey. Read More »

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4 Join Clint Eastwood’s ‘American Sniper’

By | Thursday March 20, 2014 @ 6:39pm PDT

Eric Closenavid-negahbanNavid Negahban (Homeland), Eric Close (Nashville), Eric Ladin (Boardwalk Empire) and Rey Gallegos (Gang Related) have joined the cast of American Sniper for director Clint Eastwood. The film stars Bradley Cooper as decorated marksman Chris Kyle, whose memoir American Sniper: Rey GallegosEric_LadinThe Autobiography Of The Most Lethal Sniper In U.S. Military History serves as the basis for the Warner Bros film. Village Roadshow is co-producing and co-financing. Filming starts at the end of March in Morocco. Negahban plays Sheikh al-Obeidi, an Iraqi local who is willing to help the SEALs find their target, for a fee. Ladin is Squirrel, a Southern California surfer kid who is part of the SEAL team. Gallegos plays Tony, chief of the SEAL team and one of the instructors during training. No details were available on Close’s character. Read More »

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Showtime Pairs ‘Ray Donovan’ & ‘Masters Of Sex’ This Summer

By | Wednesday March 19, 2014 @ 11:03am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

rayLast year’s freshman Showtime dramas Ray Donovan and Masters Of Sex will air as a block this summer, with their 12-episode second seasons set to premiere on Sunday, July 13. Last year, Ray Donovan launched in the summer behind the final season of Dexter, while Masters Of Sex unspooled mastersin the fall behind Homeland. Showtime will likely use Homeland as a launching pad again this year for new drama series The Affair. Neither has been assigned a premiere date yet. Showtime’s next original scripted series premiere is thriller Penny Dreadful on May 11.

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Greg Poehler Signs With Paradigm

By | Monday March 17, 2014 @ 5:27pm PDT

The man behind the fish-out-of-water series Welcome To Sweden has new representation. Greg Poehler, who created the comedy based on experiences Greg Poehlerfalling for a Swedish woman and following her to her homeland, has inked with Paradigm. He also wrote, exec produces and stars in Welcome To Sweden, playing a New York accountant alongside Josephine Bornebusch, who signed with Paradigm last summer. The show aired on TV4 locally and was acquired by NBC in October. His sister Amy Poehler makes an appearance on the show, as do her Parks And Recreation co-star Aubrey Plaza, Will Ferrell and Gene Simmons. The Poehlers launched their production company Syskon — Swedish for “siblings” — in May.

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Millennial-Targeting Pivot Buys Peabody Awards Broadcast Rights

By | Monday March 17, 2014 @ 11:43am PDT

For the first time in a decade, the Peabody Awards has a TV home. Pivot, Participant Media’s TV network targeting millennials, has signed a pivotdeal to telecast the University of Georgia’s George Foster Peabody Awards through 2016, which marks the Peabody’s 75th anniversary. Broadcasting the awards, which honor excellence in TV, radio and webcasting, is PeabodyAwardschallenging since winners traditionally are announced well in advance of the trophy ceremony. This year’s winners, for instance, will be announced April 2, but the medallions will be dispensed May 19 at a luncheon ceremony at New York City’s Waldorf Astoria. The 2014 Peabody Awards special, the two parties announced, will “blend highlights from the presentation ceremony with exclusive interviews with featured award winners. A date for that telecast was not announced. Read More »

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