Continuing its international expansion, Netflix will move into the Netherlands later this year. This follows on from launches in the UK, Ireland, Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway in 2012 and Latin America in 2011. The streaming service currently has 36 million members in 40 countries. Netflix did not provide details of the Netherlands launch, but said information on pricing, content and supported devices will be available at a later date. It did confirm that users will have immediate access to Hollywood films, local and global movie and TV content and original series like House Of Cards and Arrested Development.
Global Showbiz Briefs: UK Scramble For FA Cup Rights; Shanghai’s Box Office Surges; Karlovy Vary Honors John Travolta; More
At Least Four UK Nets Lining Up To Bid For FA Cup Rights
A bidding war reportedly is gearing up in the UK for TV rights to soccer tournament the FA Cup for the three seasons to 2017-18. Financial Times reports that BT, ITV, BSkyB and the BBC are entering bids. BT and ITV currently share rights to the FA Cup until the end of the 2013-14 season. FT says analysts predict that having all four in the ring could significantly push up the cost of the rights. In January 2012, ITV acquired free-to-air broadcast rights for 16 FA Cup games per season, along with some of England’s home qualifying games, for an annual cost of £43M. But the BBC is understood to be concerned about its lack of live soccer during the regular season. BT and BSkyB are still expected to be the most aggressive bidders.
Shanghai Now Second-Biggest Box Office Among Chinese Cities
Shanghai box office has become the second biggest of all mainland Chinese cities and is expected to continue to grow rapidly in the next few years, spurred on by investment from U.S. studios Disney and DreamWorks, according to a study by Artisan Gateway. In 2012, Shanghai’s box office was $214.2 million, a 22.2% year-on-year growth. The city, regarded as the birthplace of Chinese cinema, has 122 movie theaters, just two more than the No. 1 Beijing market. The U.S. Consulate, which sponsored the study, said it plans to contribute more to protecting IP rights, Shanghai Daily reported.
EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that Oxygen has quietly given the green light to Secret Celebrity, a reality series produced by T Group Prods, which Wendy Williams executive produces as part of her first-look deal with the cable network. Per Oxygen’s description when the project was announced in February as being in development, Secret Celebrity features stars in disguise as they surprise unsuspecting fans, friends and family. I hear celebrities who already have filmed episodes of the show include Nick Lachey, Ice-T & Coco and LuAnn de Lesseps, who just signed on to return to The Real Housewives Of New York on sibling Bravo. T Group’s Jenny Daly executive produces with Williams and Gunnar Wetterberg.
EXCLUSIVE: Liv Tyler is set to co-star opposite Justin Theroux in Damon Lindelof’s HBO drama pilot The Leftovers, directed by Peter Berg. Co-written by Lindelof and Tom Perrotta based on Perrotta’s book, the project takes place after the Rapture happens but not quite like it’s supposed to. It is the story of the people who didn’t make the cut… and a world that will never be the same. Tyler, repped by UTA and Untitled, will play Meg, a young woman on the verge of getting married, but needing an escape. As a result, she becomes a target for recruitment by members of an enigmatic cult. This marks the first TV gig for feature actress Tyler, whose film credits include the Lord Of The Rings trilogy and The Incredible Hulk. She recently wrapped indies Space Station 76 and Jamie Marks Is Dead and wrote an etiquette book with her grandmother, which will be published by Random House this fall.
British households with a television are required to pay an annual fee of £145.50 ($228) which goes towards funding public broadcaster the BBC. But more than 400,000 Britons were caught watching TV in the UK without having paid for a license in 2012, BBC News said today. Folks who believe they are exempt can make a “no license fee needed” claim to watchdog TV Licensing, with such valid reasons as having no TV set, if a TV is only used to watch DVDs or if catch-up services only are being accessed. Being caught without a valid license is a criminal offense and can come with a fine of up to £1,000, but even TV Licensing has kept a sense of humor about the recent revelations. Below are some of its favorite 2012 excuses from people caught without a permit:
- “Why would I need a TV Licence for a TV I stole? Nobody knows I’ve got it”
- “I had not paid as I received a lethal injection”
- “Apparently my dog, which is a corgi, was related to the Queen’s dog so I didn’t think I needed a TV Licence”
Beverly Hills, Calif.—Renowned entertainment law firm Rosenfeld, Meyer & Susman, LLP—a Hollywood institution that has served major A-list talent, leading industry players, and the biggest feature film and television companies for the past 56 years—has announced the addition of a new partner, Leif Reinstein, according to Burt Levitch, co-managing partner at the Rosenfeld firm.
Reinstein will round out the Rosenfeld entertainment group with his expertise in all aspects of television, digital media property and brand-driven dealmaking. In light of his background
EXCLUSIVE: Amazon Studios is moving quickly to expand its original slate. After focusing on comedies and kids programming in its first batch of 14 pilots, five of which — two comedies and 3 kids shows — were picked up to series three weeks ago, the company is already setting its sights on the next target — launching a drama series. I’ve learned that the streaming service has greenlighted its first drama pilot, Bosch, a police procedural based on Michael Connelly‘s novels about Harry Bosch, a veteran police homicide detective with the Los Angeles Police Department. I hear the pilot was written by Connelly and Treme co-creator/executive producer Eric Overmeyer, who are executive producing with Fabrik’s Henrik Bastin and Mikkel Bondesen. Bosch has been at the center of or featured in 20 novels by Connelly, starting with the 1992 The Black Echo and most recently, last fall’s The Black Box. This marks Fabrik’s second pilot order in the past month. The company is also behind The Comedians, starring Billy Crystal, at FX.
EXCLUSIVE: It has begun to feel like that pre-holiday slumber time, but here is a spec script that just sold in a competitive situation. Lotus Entertainment has landed the rights to Hernany Perla’s spec, Revelation, for a low to mid six figures. Circle Of Confusion’s David Alpert and Stephen Emery will produce with Anil Kurian. Lotus Co-Chairmen Jim Seibel and Bill Johnson will executive produce. D.J. Guggenheim brought in the spec and will oversee the project for Lotus.
It’s a high concept thriller with time travel and murder, I’m told. Hernany previously sold the feature spec Day One at MGM and his producing credits include Ghost Team One and the upcoming feature Eden. He was an exec at Lionsgate before the writing took off. Hernany is repped by Original Artists and Madhouse Entertainment.
Lotus has been getting aggressive. At Cannes, the label sold out international on the Anne Hathaway-starrer Song One, and arranged financing with Silver Reel on Joshua Marston’s Double Hour with Joel Edgerton and Michelle Williams (with CAA and UTA selling domestic; and Craig Zobel’s Z For Zachariah with Chris Pine, Amanda Seyfried and Chiwetel Ejiofer, and CAA and WME repping domestic. Lotus recently came on board the re-make of Park Chan Wook’s Sympathy For Vengeance, with Lorenzo di Bonaventura and CJ Entertainment producing.
Another veteran ABC executive is heading to NBC. I’ve learned that Quinn Taylor, SVP Movies, Miniseries and Acquisitions at ABC Entertainment Group, will be leaving the network after almost 20 years to join rival NBC, which is looking to restart a longform division. I hear his title will be EVP Movies, Miniseries and International Co-Productions.
NBC has The Sound Of Music staging coming up, which would be right up Taylor’s alley as he has overseen a number of TV musicals at ABC, including Meredith Willson’s The Music Man starring Matthew Broderick. ABC is the only broadcast network that kept its longform division, headed by a high-level executive, while TV movies and miniseries dwindled on broadcast TV during the past several years.
Given the longform drought, Taylor had been focused on lower-budget and acquired series recently, overseeing such ABC shows as this summer’s newcomers Motive and Mistresses and returning Rookie Blue. NBC has been also very aggressive in acquired/lower-license fee series, including this summer’s Camp and Crossing Lines as well as recently renewed Hannibal and next season’s Crossbones and Dracula.
In light of the blockbuster success of History’s Hatfields & McCoys and The Bible, miniseries and limited/event series are making a big comeback, something NBC clearly wants to be part of. Fox and FX launched a longform unit last fall and recently greenlighted their first three event/limited series: Fargo on FX and 24: Live Another Day and Wayward …
Michael Ausiello is Editor-in-Chief of TVLine.
The gap between Modern Family and the rest of the Emmy comedy field has been so wide that even an imperfect third season landed the ABC family comedy a third consecutive best series win last year. But Modern Family is wrapping another uneven season, and with its ratings slipping and challengers gaining on it, a fourth statuette is far from guaranteed. HBO’s Girls is coming off a Golden Globe win, there’s a growing sentiment that CBS’ Nielsen juggernaut The Big Bang Theory is past due to be recognized, and former best comedy series Emmy winner Arrested Development is back. Will Modern Family’s winning streak come to an end this year? Here’s our assessment of the show’s chances, as well as the rest of the contenders.
Poor Matt Damon. Damon’s tour de force one night “hosting” stint January 24th on Jimmy Kimmel Live was a real triumph, maybe the funniest and finest work by any guest on a variety (as talk shows are classified in the Emmys) series this season. Damon’s rep tells me they had been trying for a very long time to make this appearance possible and finally his schedule freed him up to do it. But as far as Emmys go, it doesn’t exist.
Of course the whole show was one big gag based on Kimmel’s long standing show biz mock hatred of Damon. He’s ended virtually every episode of his decade-old talker by saying that unfortunately the show ran out of time for Damon’s appearance. Of course Damon was never really booked and it was all an elaborate running joke but finally it paid off when Damon supposedly kidnapped Kimmel, tied him up and took over the host desk. With Kimmel, his mouth taped shut , hopelessly looking on from the background , Damon took over with a great monologue and a couch full of A-listers that included Nicole Kidman, Gary Oldman, Demi Moore, Reese Witherspoon, Amy Adams, Sarah Silverman (Kimmel’s ex), Andy Garcia, Robin Williams and others including BFF Ben Affleck.
Here’s an enterprising awards campaign from the folks at Netflix during Emmy-voting crunch time. Or rather, lunch time. Today and Tuesday between 11 AM-3 PM, the network’s House Of Cards is slinging grub in LA from the Rollin’ Rib BBQ food truck (masquerading as Freddy’s BBQ, favored joint of Kevin Spacey’s Frank Underwood) free to card-carrying members of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Deadline hears that some Emmy voters even received home deliveries. “I appreciate your vote,” Underwood menaces from the truck’s FYC ad wrap. Ballots are due June 28. Will Academy members vote with their stomachs?
SANTA MONICA, CA June 17, 2013 – FilmDistrict announced today that ithas acquired U.S. distribution rights to ARE WE OFFICIALLY DATING? directed by Tom Gormican and starring Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan, and Miles Teller.
Justin Nappi and Kevin Turen of Treehouse Pictures produced, along with Scott Aversano and Andrew O’Connor. Treehouse Pictures financed the comedy. Executive producers are Jason Barrett, Manu Gargi, John Friedberg, Michael Simkin, Peter Schlessel and Lia Buman. FilmDistrict plans to distribute the release wide in the U.S. on January 31, 2014.
EXCLUSIVE: Channing Tatum and Reid Carolin have teamed with their longtime friend Nick Zano for a half-hour comedy co-written by and starring Zano. The project, titled Nicky, has been set up at Warner Bros TV and will be shopped to the networks this coming development season. Nicky is based on Zano’s experiences being raised in a multi-generational house of seven women in New Jersey. He will play 30-year old Nicky, who is trying to finally move out of the house only to realize he needs to stay and help raise his youngest sister. Tatum and Carolin will executive produce through their production company, marking the duo’s first foray into TV series, while Zano will co-executive produce.
Zano, Tatum and Carolin, who have been friends for years, had been looking for a way to tell Nick’s life story for a while. Following Zano’s recent recurring stints on CBS’ 2 Broke Girls and ABC’s Happy Endings, the trio decided that a half-hour comedy series would be the perfect vehicle for the idea. Zano, repped by UTA and John Carrabino, also previously co-starred on What I Like About You and recurred on Cougar Town and did features Final Destination and 10 Years, which was produced by Tatum and Carolin and starred Tatum.
‘CBS Evening News’ Anchor Scott Pelley On Making Mistakes And Why Cable News Doesn’t Matter As Much As We Think
On June 6, 2011, Scott Pelley took over as anchor of the CBS Evening News, his tenure following Katie Couric’s five-year run. The once-dominant newscast had fallen to third place behind NBC and ABC during the end of Dan Rather’s reign, and Couric’s stint saw the broadcast fall to record ratings lows. While still No. 3 among the Big Three, the CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley has seen significant growth since the Texan took over after a long run at sibling 60 Minutes. In the past year, the 6:30 PM broadcast has added 490,000 viewers, the largest annual increase for the network’s evening news in 15 years and the best among the broadcast news rivals since 2002. Overall, the CBS Evening News is up 12% in viewers since Pelley’s debut. Just before his second anniversary in the anchor chair, Deadline spoke with Pelley about the relevance of cable news and why so many mistakes are getting on the air.
DEADLINE: In an age where the news is a 24-hour business, how can a 6:30 PM once-a-day broadcast still give the reach and the immediacy that news stories require?
PELLEY: You know, never in human history has there been so much information available to so many people. But never in human history has there been so much bad information available to so many people. And I think people are looking for brand names that they can trust and CBS News is one of those. The other half of this is that folks are busy. They’re going to work, they’re going to school they’re getting the kids off to school, and they care about the world; they want to know about the world but they don’t have a lot of time to spend on that. So what were offering at the evening news is, within 30 minutes we’re going to tell you about the 12 most important things that happened in the world. And you’re going to get that from the CBS News brand, which you already trust. And I think that’s why we’ve added a million viewers in the last 2 years and why we grew so much this last year in particular.
DEADLINE: You said recently you believe that there’s a crisis in journalism, saying that the house is on fire: there are too many mistakes, things are being put up too fast, it’s too sloppy, and there is too great a reliance on social media.
PELLEY: The country is only as strong as its journalism — that’s the way democracies work. The higher the quality of the information, the better informed the electorate is and the better the government runs. And the American people can always be trusted with the information. What I was talking about in that particular speech is remaining vigilant to those goals. Too often in recent months and maybe over the last couple of years, in the haste to be first with a piece of news, a news organization has gotten it wrong and I was just suggesting that that race to be first is a bankrupt pursuit. It’s meaningless. It doesn’t mean anything to anyone except those of us within the industry. It’s a game that we play on our own control rooms to see who got something first. It has no value whatsoever to the audience and I think a little bit of humility on the part of journalism would serve it and the audience very well, that we should care less about competing with each other and care more about delivering the highest-quality product that we can to the audience. So that’s what I was driving at there. We’re a human institution and, worst of all things, we’re a human institution on deadline. So mistakes are going to get made all the time. At CBS and everywhere else. But the goal should always be to deliver the highest-quality product that we can.
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
(SPOILER ALERT! This report outlines news events that are covered in Season 2 of HBO’s The Newsroom.) Creator-showrunner Aaron Sorkin took the wraps off a chunk of the forthcoming second season of his controversial HBO journalism drama tonight as a gift to voting members of the TV Academy, hoping that a little sneak peek will help win them over just as Emmy balloting gets underway. During an event at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Sorkin described that clip of The Newsroom as the first 15 minutes of the new campaign. “When I was wondering which clip to show, our costume designer said, ‘Well, you know nothing ever really happens in the first 15 minutes of everything you write’,” Sorkin quipped. That convinced him that he wouldn’t be leaking too many spoilers in what the packed house saw. However, it did reveal one or two.
SPOILER ALERT! The new season kicks off with a present-day deposition involving the lawyer portrayed by Marcia Gay Harden in a guest turn and features Jane Fonda returning as the CEO of the show’s fictional network parent company. It then flashes back to Aug. 23, 2011, and the beginning of Mohammar Gadhafi’s fall in Libya. If possible, the pacing is even faster rat-a-tat-tat and adrenalin-infused than it was in its inaugural season. Sample dialogue: Lawyer: “Fourteen months after you went on the air, you called the Tea Party ‘The American Taliban.’ What happened?” Anchor: “The Taliban resented it.”
Related: TV TEASER: HBO’s ‘The Newsroom’
Jeremy Beach and his family lost everything when a wildfire destroyed their home near Colorado Springs this week. Everything except their DirecTV bill. According to his hometown paper, Beach was making calls about canceling various services when someone at the satcaster said he still owed $400 for a dish and two receivers that were lost in the fire. “I couldn’t believe it,” he told the Gazette. “I had lost everything, and they acted like they could care less.” Beach escaped the flames with his wife — who is expecting twins next month — their 5-year-old son, two dogs and little else. A DirecTV spokesman told Deadline: “The agent was absolutely wrong and should have known we have a clear policy that fully supports our customers during natural disasters that includes replacement of damaged equipment at no charge, long-term suspension of accounts for customers who must leave their home, and waiving cancellation fees for customers who need to disconnect service. We are contacting Mr. Beach to apologize and assure him and his family that we will do everything we can to help them through this difficult time.”
EXCLUSIVE: It’s a family affair. Scott Foley and brother-in-law Patrick Wilson are teaming up to produce Ward’s Wife starring former Scrubs star Donald Faison. The Scandal and The Goodwin Games actor’s feature directorial debut will also be produced by Mob Doctor actor James Carpinello, and Marcus Chait for their and Wilson’s Lost Rhino banner. Joe Hardesty is also a producer on Ward’s Wife. As the title suggests, the dark comedy focuses on Ward (Faison) a man who has just had enough of being emotionally and verbally beaten down by his spouse and decides to kill her to free himself. Written by the Felicity alum, Ward’s Wife also stars Foley’s real life sister-in-law and Wilson’s spouse Dagmara Dominczyk as Ward’s wife. Nicollette Sheridan will also be appearing in Ward’s Wife. This is Sheridan’s first film role since her wrongful termination suit against ABC and Desperate Housewives ended in a mistrial on March 2012. Foley, Insidious’ Wilson, Carpinello as well as Marika Dominczyk, Amy Acker and Greg Grunberg are also in the film. Ward’s Wife is scheduled to begin production in LA later this month. Starring in the upcoming Kick-Ass 2, Faison is repped by APA and Intellectual Artists. Carpinello is repped by APA and Untitled Entertainment. Wilson is repped by CAA and Anonymous Content. Foley, who appeared in a major role in the last half of Scandal this season, is repped by ICM Partners and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘The Bling Ring’, ‘Pandora’s Promise’, ‘So Young’, ‘The Stroller Strategy’, ‘In The Fog’
Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
Sofia Coppola‘s Cannes Un Certain Regard opener The Bling Ring will have its chance to shine this weekend as the real-life inspired feature hits theaters. A24 will open the film in limited release, joining a number of Specialties going up against Man Of Steel. Also offering an alternative beginning Friday is doc Pandora’s Promise by Oscar-nominee Robert Stone, who gives a sobering reassessment of nuclear power. China Lion will open China’s biggest homegrown box office hit of the year, So Young in a trio of North American cities as it assesses its prowess on this side of the Pacific. Also hailing from abroad are France’s romantic comedy The Stroller Strategy from Rialto Premieres and Strand Releasing’s Cannes 2012 feature, In The Fog.
The Bling Ring
Director-writer: Sofia Coppola
Writer: Nancy Jo Sales (Vanity Fair article)
Cast: Emma Watson, Katie Chang, Leslie Mann, Taissa Farmiga, Israel Bourssard, Claire Julien
Sofia Coppola came across the real-life story in Vanity Fair that inspired The Bling Ring while on a plane going on vacation. The article, The Suspects Wore Louboutins by Nancy Jo Sales, tells the story about a group of San Fernando Valley fame-obsessed teens who used the Internet to track when celebrities were away from their homes in order to rob them. “After reading the quotes from the kids, I thought it had some of the elements that would make for a good movie,” Coppola said at an event hosted by the Film Society of Lincoln Center this week.