EXCLUSIVE: Cristela, the semi-autobiographical multi-camera comedy co-created by and starring rising stand-up comedian Cristela Alonzo, remains in fall contention at ABC. The network, which originally bought the 20th TV-backed comedy in August with a sizable penalty, has greenlighted what it calls “proof of concept” for the project, which has fans among ABC top brass. On the breakdown for Cristela released today, it is listed as a pilot presentation with John Pasquin directing a cast of 10, led by Alonzo. The show, co-written by Alonzo and Kevin Hench, tells the story of Cristela (Alonzo), an American Latina straddling two cultures while not fully belonging to either. Cristela, in her sixth year of law school and living rent-free with her sister and brother-in-law, hopes to land a prestigious law firm internship as her mother hectors her about getting a real job, her brother-in-law encourages her to move out and her sister runs low on patience. 20th TV and Marty Adelstein and Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps/Adelstein produce, with Alonzo, Hench, Adelstein, Levy and Becky Clements executive producing.
EXCLUSIVE: The Casting Society of America has decided it will no longer allow postings for internships through its webpage and sent a note out to its membership announcing its change of policy. The move comes after a Deadline story that brought to light an unpaid internship posting by a casting office that seemed go against federal labor laws, asking an intern to do heavy phone work, appointment scheduling, running errands, typing, and reading and breaking down script. The CSA policy change will apply to both paid and unpaid internship postings.
Richard Hicks, the president of the CSA, confirmed to Deadline that he had sent the change of CSA job postings policy out to his membership Friday via email. The 32 year-old organization has over 550 members. “We began looking at the issue last year,” he told me today. “The recent Deadline article made it clear that our membership needed more education. To that end, we’re eliminating job postings for internships.” Yet another unpaid internship demanding numerous duties came in last week and was flagged by the CSA.
Federal and state labor laws specifically state that “If the employer would have hired additional employees or required existing staff to work additional hours had the interns not performed the work, then the interns will be viewed as employees and entitled to compensation under the FLSA.” FLSA is the …
If you missed Deadline’s biggest stories of the week, catch up now:
Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor & Jeremy Irons As Alfred In Superman-Batman Pic
By The Deadline Team – Two more key roles have been cast in Zack Snyder’s upcoming Superman-Batman movie for Warner Bros. Jesse Eisenberg will play Superman’s arch enemy Lex Luthor and Jeremy Irons will play Bruce Wayne’s butler/mentor Alfred in the pic, which is set for a May 6, 2016 release.
Box Office: ‘Ride Along’ No. 1, Will ‘Frozen’ Sing-A-Long Skate Around ‘That Awkward Moment’?
By Anita Busch – Ride Along wins the weekend, as expected, but the No. 2 spot is at issue. Will the position go to That Awkward Moment or will Frozen skate by it?
An advertisement for an unpaid internship that came through the Casting Society of America seems to go against federal labor laws, especially against the backdrop of a class action lawsuit winding its way through the court system over the case of two former interns that were treated as employees during their work on Fox Searchlight’s Black Swan. Here is the advertisement, confirmed by the CSA, that came through its website via the Sheila Jaffe casting agency:
Busy casting office in Los Angeles looking for a very organized intern to start immediately. Basic administrative duties such as heavy phones, scheduling appointments, running errands and typing. Reading / breakdown of scripts. Assisting department with sessions. Must be MAC efficient and able multi task with ease. Previous experience, knowledge of iMovie and editing video is ideal. UNPAID internship. WHEN APPLYING PLEASE INCLUDE “INTERN” IN THE SUBJECT LINE OF THE EMAIL. Please send resume and cover letter to email@example.com.
Federal and state labor laws specifically state that “If the employer would have hired additional employees or required existing staff to work additional hours had the interns not performed the work, then the interns will be viewed as employees and entitled to compensation under the FLSA.” FLSA is the Fair Labor Standards Act. When the Sheila Jaffe office was called by Deadline about the advertisement, one of the casting agents said, “Yeah, I know about that.” When I told them that this might run afoul of labor laws, she said, “The thing is, once we bring them in … hold on just a moment … uh, we can’t make a comment on this. We’re probably not going to look for them. So it’s probably not going to go any further.” Oops!
As Sundance continues in Park City, the 20th annual Slamdance Film Festival wrapped tonight with its awards ceremony. The fest handed its Audience Award for Narrative Feature going to Mark Raso’s Copenhagen and the documentary nod to Kate S. Logan’s Kidnapped For Christ. The Jury Awards went to Fernando Frias De La Parra’s Rezeta (Narrative) and Matthew Bauckman and Jaret Belliveau’s Elliot (Documentary). And The Spirit Of Slamdance Award went to The Greggs, from directors Bruce Bundy, Nigel DeFriez, Rob Malone, Kira Pearson, Alex Mechanik, Jessie Levandov, Jonathan Rosenblit. The feature competition films in the Documentary and Narrative Programs are limited to first-time filmmakers working with production budgets of less than $1 million. Here is the full list of winners and special mentions:
Slamdance: ‘Magic Mike’s Joe Manganiello’s Male Strip Docu ‘La Bare’ Is Well Endowed By Main Street Films Distribution Deal
Jack Black’s Electric Dynamite To Remake Slamdance Pic ‘Wizard’s Way’
ABC executive Debra OConnell has been promoted to president of ABC National Television Sales, it was announced today by Rebecca Campbell, president of the ABC Owned Television Stations Group. She succeeds John Watkins, who previously announced that he will retire at the end of January.
ABC National Television Sales is the sales and marketing arm of the ABC Owned Television Stations Group. Ms. OConnell will be responsible for national advertising sales at ABC’s eight owned stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham and Fresno as well as their extensive digital platforms, The Live Well Network and ABC Regional Sports & Entertainment Sales. ABC National Television Sales has nine regional sales offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Dallas, Atlanta, Detroit and Boston.
International Box Office Update: Iron Man No. 1 In 2013 With $1.2B Global Take, Best Gross for Marvel/Walt Disney Studios which Tops $3B For First Time; Fox International Down 14% In 2013 But Still Grosses $2.33B; ‘Hunger Games’ Heading Over $400M
UPDATE, 1:54 PM: surpassing $3B (specifically $3.013B) for the first time in its history. Bouyed by the Marvel franchise Iron Man 3 which took in $806.3M (almost double of its domestic take), the animated Monsters University with $476.4M, and Thor: The Dark World with $4.26M, Frozen which bowed late in the year and has racked up $267.3M in only six weeks’ time, and Oz The Great and Powerful ($258.4M), Disney has emerged as No. 2 in overall market share worldwide, under Warner Bros. Iron Man 3 was the number one film in the marketplace internationally and if you add in its domestic gross of $409M, it was a cash cow of $1.215B and the highest grossing film of 2013. It is also the No 5 film of all time globally. Its opening alone was $174M this summer. Universal International’s hit of the year was Despicable Me 2 which grossed $553.2M which helped rocket the studios’ total international cume to $2.258B. The animated franchise grossed a total of $921M globally for the studio. The other titles helping to push Universal into the record books was Fast and Furious 6 which grossed a total of $550M and About Time which has pulled in $65.9M in foreign territories.
AN AMERICAN EDUCATION (single camera)
STUDIO: ABC Studios
TEAM: Peter Huyck (w, ep), Alex Gregory (w, ep), Jack Whitehall (ep), Ben Cavey (ep), Craig Zisk (d)
LOGLINE: Based on a UK series, it follows Alfie Wickers, an unorthodox young teacher in the San Diego public school system who is a British transplant. Alfie loves his students, but his youthful, often naive enthusiasm and unconventional methods put him at odds with the test-obsessed administrators. He juggles his time between mentoring his students, bucking the system and pursuing the attractive new chemistry teacher.
CAST: Jack Whitehall, Rosie Perez, Brittany Snow, David Mares, Devin Ratray, Phil Morris
CRISTELA (multi-camera; pilot presentation)
STUDIO: 20th Television
TEAM: Cristela Alonzo (w, ep), Kevin Hench (w, ep), Marty Adelstein (ep), Shawn Levy (ep), Becky Clements (ep), John Pasquin (d)
LOGLINE: Cristela is an American Latina straddling two cultures while not fully belonging to either. She’s in her sixth year of law school and living rent-free with her sister and brother-in-law. She hopes to land a prestigious law firm internship as her mother hectors her about getting a real job, her brother-in-law encourages her to move out and her sister runs low on patience.
CAST: Cristela Alonzo
DAMAGED GOODS (single camera)
STUDIO: Warner Bros TV
TEAM: Lauren Iungerich (w, ep), Declan Lowney (d)
LOGLINE: A look at the sexual politics that have changed between men and women in this post-feminist era.
CAST: Steve Talley, Justin Hartley, Ben Lawson, Kellee Stewart
FAR EAST ORLANDO (formerly FRESH OFF THE BOAT) (single camera)
STUDIO: 20th Century Fox TV
TEAM: Nahnatchka Khan (w, ep), Jake Kasdan (ep), Melvin Mar (ep), …
BEVERLY HILLS, CA — One hundred fourteen scores from eligible feature-length motion pictures released in 2013 are in contention for nominations in the Original Score category for the 86th Oscars®, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today.
The eligible scores along with their composers are listed below, in alphabetical order by film title:
EXCLUSIVE: Valerie Van Galder has left Fox-based New Regency as the head of marketing after a little over a year at the production company to become a franchise management executive at Disney‘s Imagineering. During her stint at New Regency, she worked on such films as the crime drama Runner, Runner with Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake, and the Vince Vaughn-Owen Wilson comedy The Internship. She also contributed on the Oscar contender 12 Years A Slave, the marketing of which was led by Fox Searchlight’s team. 12 Years A Slave, directed by Steve McQueen, led the Independent Spirit Award nominations last week with seven, including best feature and best director.
Van Galder was hired by Brad Weston who came over from Paramount two years ago to reinvigorate New Regency. No replacement has yet been named for Van Galder who left her post last week. Van Galder’s exit follows Weston’s hire of Pam Abdy as president of production in October. Weston and Abdy had previously worked together at Paramount.
Over six months after the potentially industry game changing June 11 ruling that unpaid interns on the Darren Aronofsky-directed Black Swan were really employees, Fox Searchlight today were handed an opportunity to turn things around. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals granted the label and the Fox Entertainment Group their request to appeal vital aspects of District Judge William Paley III’s ruling from earlier this summer (read it here). The Appeal court gave Fox Searchlight the right to appeal the class certification of former interns Alex Footman and Eric Glatt’s case. The court also granted the Foxes an appeal on the summary judgment in the former interns’ favor that they were treated as Fox employees in their internship under the definitions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law. Needless to say, even with a couple of other legal wins under its belt in this case since June, Fox Searchlight felt Thanksgiving came a little early this year. “We believe the District Court’s rulings are erroneous. We are pleased that the Second Circuit has granted our petitions to review those rulings at this time,” a studio spokesperson told me today. Fox first sought the Second Circuit’s involvement in Judge Paley’s order back in late August. Today’s ruling also links the appeals with an intern case moving through the courts involving the Hearst Corporation. Fox opposed consolidating the Hearst case with their appeal and were granted that too but both appeals will proceed in tandem.
NoHo Arts District, CA, November 21, 2013 – Returning Television Academy Chairman Bruce Rosenblum and other returning officers for the 2014 – 2015 term will be joined by Rob Swartz who was elected tonight by the Academy’s Board of Governors to serve as Secretary for a two-year term which begins January 2014.
Rob Swartz is the President of Venn Media, which develops programming for cable, broadcast, syndication and digital platforms. Previously, Swartz served as Vice President of Original Series for Cartoon Network where he oversaw development and current programming for all of the network’s original animated, live action and alternative series, including Adventure Time, Regular Show, Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, Hole in the Wall, Dude What Would Happen and Destroy Build Destroy. Prior to that, Swartz was Vice President of Alternative Programming at Syfy where he developed and launched Destination Truth, Who Wants to be a Superhero? and was responsible for overseeing the successful Ghost Hunters franchise.
EXCLUSIVE: Shawn Levy has been tapped to develop and direct City That Sailed, the 20th Century Fox adventure pic that now officially has Will Smith aboard to star. Audrey Wells is penning the script for the tentpole and Smith and James Lassiter’s Overbrook Entertainment will produce. The story centers on a father and daughter on the island of Manhattan as it breaks loose and sails across the Atlantic Ocean. The pic reteams Levy and Fox, where his 21 Laps banner is based. They begin production early next year on the third installment of the lucrative Night At The Museum franchise that is set for a Christmas 2014 release.
Smith’s name had been attached to this project for some time among many starring vehicles — as far back as 2010, after finishing up shooting Men In Black 3. This makes him officially aboard.
Levy recently wrapped This Is Where I Leave You for Warner Bros, directed Fox’s comedy The Internship that came out this summer and also produced the recent specialty hit The Spectacular Now. His director credits include Date Night for Fox and Real Steel for DreamWorks. He is repped by WME.
EXCLUSIVE: Raising Hope‘s Gary Anthony Williams and his writing partner Jeannie Roshar have sold their romantic comedy pitch I Own You to Lionsgate, with a story that centers on the comedic trials and tribulations of an interracial marriage turned upside down. The duo will co-write I Own You based on a 2008 short film of the same name that they penned and starred in together and which Williams directed. No director or talent has been set for the feature version, but I understand Williams and Roshar aren’t expected to reprise their characters from the short, only write the project. Williams, whose credits include Boston Legal, Malcolm In The Middle, The Boondocks, and Fox’s The Internship, currently appears on Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Raising Hope, and on Cartoon Network’s MAD. He’s also active on the improv scene and, with Roshar, co-founded the LA Comedy Shorts Festival.
EXCLUSIVE: Besides being a comedy star, Community and The Hangover standout Ken Jeong is a licensed physician. His life before going into comedy will be the subject of Dr. Ken, a multi-camera comedy that has landed at NBC with a significant penalty. Feature comedy writer Jared Stern (The Internship) is writing the project, from Community producer Sony Pictures TV and John Davis and John Fox’s studio-based Davis Entertainment. Stern, Davis and Fox executive produce, with Jeong co-executive producing. Jeong is a regular on Community, whose upcoming fifth season is rumored to be the cult comedy’s last — but that is never certain as Community has defied the odds before. But even if Community continues for another season and Dr. Ken goes to series, things could be worked out as both shows are with NBC and Sony TV.
The Drama Queen will take viewers inside Hollywood celeb manager Marki Costello’s world as as she works at not just building entertainment careers but building brands and teaching her clients how to be stars. Taking up the majority of her time is her “second family” at her Creative Entertainment Group office filled with a slew of characters from her demanding clients, up and coming talent associates and impressionable young interns, all vying for her attention and accolades. Costello, granddaughter of late comedian Lou Costello, has coached clients including Kelly Osbourne and Ceelo Green, and created the Hosting Bootcamp seminar for up and coming television hosts. The Drama Queen premieres Sunday, November 10 at 10 PM on E! The series is executive produced by Jeff Collins, Mike Aho and Michael Hammond for Collins Avenue Productions, with Andrew Perry serving as Executive Producer.
EXCLUSIVE: Project Runway producer The Weinstein Co. has teamed with Lifetime for another fashion-themed reality series. Lifetime has greenlighted Million Dollar Shoppers, a six-episode hourlong series set in the exclusive world of personal shopping. It will premiere on October 10, at 10:30 PM, immediately following Project Runway, before moving to its regular time slot at 10 PM on October 24. Each episode of Million Dollar Shoppers will feature three personal shoppers as they try to meet the fashion needs of their rich, famous, powerful and often high-maintenance clients. With their pride, reputation and, ultimately, final commission on the line, the shoppers take close inventory of their clients’ closets and homes before consulting with them about the task, ranging from finding an outfit for a specific event, packing for an upcoming vacation or an entire wardrobe makeover. With the customers’ credit cards in hand, the shoppers use their retail sense and fashion connections to purchase what they believe fulfills their clients’ vision until the clients meticulously review all purchases before approving each and every expense. Each week, viewers will follow the driven shoppers to see who rakes in the most commission and the ultimate bragging rights. Personal shopping has drawn interest from TV recently, with Girls‘ Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner developing a comedy for HBO about long-time Bergdorf Goodman personal shopper and New York institution Betty Halbreich.
The Toronto International Film Festival kicked off this week, Telluride and Venice wrapped up and Fifty Shades of Grey got its leads. If you missed these and Deadline’s other top film stories this week, here’s your chance to check them out now:
Toronto 2013: Will Deals Take Back Seat As Buyers Focus On Fest Oscar Hopefuls?
By Mike Fleming Jr - The Toronto Film Festival got underway last night with the Gala premiere of the Bill Condon-directed DreamWorks Julian Assange film The Fifth Estate.
Vin Diesel’s ‘Riddick’ Opens Weak Weekend
By Nikki Finke - Welcome to one of the slowest weekends at the domestic box office. The movie season is off to a weak start – just $70M total filmgoing
Dakota Johnson Lands ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ Role
By Mike Fleming Jr - EXCLUSIVE: The coveted role of Anastasia Steele has gone to Dakota Johnson in the Universal Pictures and Focus Features adaptation of Fifty Shades Of Grey.
Fox Searchlight and the Fox Entertainment Group got some speedy justice today in the ongoing Black Swan intern case. Less than two weeks after requesting formal permission from a federal judge for an “immediate appeal” to his potentially industry game changing June 11 ruling that unpaid interns on the 2010 Darren Aronofsky-directed film were really employees, Fox got the green light Wednesday. Judge William Paley III made the certification decision in a case conference in federal court in NYC today. The matter now heads to the Second Circuit for “much-needed guidance”, as Fox said in its August 23 filing, on what the legal standard for determining if an intern is actually an employee and entitled to wages under the Federal Labor Standards Act. What the Appeals Court decides could potentially dampen the bubbling class action. Having said that, today’s decision is the second incremental win for Fox in as many weeks. On August 26, Judge Paley granted the Fox companies’ June 25 request to limit the time period in which potential class action participants can be considered qualified to join the suit.