Last year, the Broadcast Television Journalists Association might have helped fuel Homeland‘s surprise Emmy win by awarding its top drama prize to the then-rookie Showtime series. But with today’s announcement of nominees for its 3rd annual Critics’ Choice TV Awards, the group might make more noise with what it spurned than what it honored. HBO and FX lead the network tally with 21 and 19 noms, respectively, and CBS’ The Big Bang Theory and FX’s American Horror Story each drew six to top all programs. However, a look at the Best Comedy and Best Drama races reveal some surprising omissions. Missing from the BJTA’s comedy series hopefuls are three-time defending Emmy champ Modern Family (supporting actress Sarah Hyland is the show’s lone nominee), along with recently wrapped perennial 30 Rock and, perhaps most glaringly, HBO’s hipster darling Girls. And conspicuously absent from the drama series combatants is four-time Emmy winner Mad Men, which also earned only a single nom, for lead actress Elizabeth Moss.
Related: EMMYS: Why The TV Academy Reversed Its Decision On Merging Longform Categories
Instead, vying for the Critics’ Choice Award for best drama are Homeland, HBO’s Game Of Thrones, PBS’ Downtown Abbey, CBS’ The Good Wife and AMC’s Breaking Bad — all of which also were nominated in the category last year — along with FX’s freshman The Americans. Up for best comedy are Modern Family‘s Wednesday night companion The Middle, landing its first major awards recognition, as well as Big Bang Theory, FX’s Louie, Fox’s New Girl, NBC’s Parks and Recreation and HBO Veep. (No sign of last year’s winner Community, led by new showrunners Moses Port and David Guarascio.) Netflix’s House Of Cards made an entrance into the awards circles with two acting noms, including one for star Kevin Spacey.
The awards will be handed out June 10 at the Beverly Hilton — not coincidentally during Emmy voting season. Parks and Rec‘s Retta will host. See the complete list of nominees, along with the breakdown of noms by show and network, after the jump: Read More »
Last year, the Broadcast Television Journalists Association likely helped fuel Homeland‘s surprise Emmy win by awarding its top drama prize to the then-rookie Showtime series. But with today’s announcement of nominees for its 3rd annual Critics’ Choice TV Awards, the group might make more noise with what it spurned than what it honored. HBO and FX lead the network tally with 21 and 19 noms, respectively, and CBS’ The Big Bang Theory and FX’s American Horror Story each drew six to top all programs, though the latter is not among the six finalists for Best Drama Series. However, a look at the Best Comedy and Best Drama races reveal some surprising omissions. Missing from the BJTA’s comedy series hopefuls are three-time defending Emmy champ Modern Family, along with recently wrapped perennial 30 Rock and, perhaps most glaringly, HBO’s hipster darling Girls. And conspicuously absent from the drama series combatants is four-time Emmy winner Mad Men, which earned only a single nom, for lead actress Elizabeth Moss.
Related: Critics’ Choice TV Awards: ‘Homeland’, ‘Community’ & ‘Sherlock’ Double Winners
Instead, vying for the Critics’ Choice Award for best drama are Homeland, HBO’s Game Of Thrones, PBS’ Downtown Abbey, CBS’ The Good Wife and AMC’s Breaking Bad — all of which also were nominated in the category last year — along with FX’s … Read More »
UPDATED: Associated Press President and CEO Gary Pruitt today called the Justice Department seizure “a massive and unprecedented intrusion” into how news organizations gather the news. According to attorneys for the AP, the DOJ secretly obtained two months of telephone records of its reporters and editors. The information included a list of outgoing calls for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, CT, and the main number for AP reporters in the House of Representatives press gallery. Records were seized for more than 20 separate phone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012. In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Pruitt demanded the return of the phone records and destruction of all copies, saying the seizure was far beyond anything that could be justified by any specific investigation. The government would not say why it sought the records, according to the AP. Read More »
At the networks’ upfront presentations, they usually tout their freshman successes. Last year, ABC brought out onstage the casts of breakout freshman dramas Once Upon A Time and Revenge, while CBS built its presentation around 2 Broke Girls. This year, ABC, which normally brings only 1-2 casts to the upfronts, is going with the cast of sophomore Scandal (plus veteran Modern Family, whose trip is paid for by USA as the cable network will showcase the comedy’s syndication rollout). Scandal‘s presence is completely justified as the Shonda Rhimes drama is that rare show that made the leap from an inauspicious start with a 7-episode run at the very end of last season to a bona fide success and a pop culture fixture in Year 2.
But its presence also underlines the fact that, unlike last season, ABC does not have a single breakout freshman series that has been a slam dunk for renewal. NBC has Revolution, CBS has Elementary, Fox has The Following, and the CW has Arrow — all of which received early pickups. ABC is heading into its renewal decisions tomorrow with its entire freshman class on the bubble. The one first-year show that appears most likely to get the nod is country drama Nashville. With a great pedigree, creator Callie Khouri and star Connie Britton, Nashville launched to critical praise and OK ratings. But it’s had a rocky freshman season, with the show going through growing pains and struggling with its creative direction as well as the ratings. I’ve heard accounts of tension between co-producers ABC Studios and Lionsgate and other behind-the-scene issues, including star Britton being unhappy with the experience. But in the end, most problems seem to have been resolved, and Nashville, which at one point looked unlikely to continue, now likely will be on the schedule next season. In addition to the solid response from critics (Britton is a major awards contender), Nashville draws important young viewers and also generates sizable revenue from digital music downloads. The only other freshman ABC drama that is still alive, Red Widow, is not expected to come back.
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Neal McDonough (Captain America: The First Avenger, Boomtown) has signed with Jeff Berg’s Resolution talent agency. He was most recently at Paradigm. McDonough recently did a high-profile arc on FX’s Justified and is currently shooting Frank Darabont’s upcoming TNT period crime drama series Lost Angels. He will next be seen in Summit’s upcoming Red 2. McDonough continues to be managed by Tony Lipp at Anonymous Content.
EXCLUSIVE: Directors Michael Watkins, Rob Bailey and Tawnia McKiernan have signed with APA. Watkins has served as producer and director on shows such as Prison Break, Las Vegas, Smallville, Law & Order and The X-Files. Most recently, he directed the season finale of Justified, and the indie feature, Knucklehead, due out later this year. He was formerly with CAA. Bailey was the producer/director of CSI: New York for five seasons. Other directing credits include Treme and The Wire for HBO. He has also directed multiple episodes of the BBC’s MI-5 and Glasgow Kiss. Bailey is also repped by Protocol and Independent Talent Group in the U.K. He was formerly with CAA. McKiernan has directed multiple episodes of Burn Notice, Fairly Legal and Leverage. She also just completed directing John Stamos in the Lifetime movie, Secrets Of Eden. She is managed by Andrea Simon and was formerly with CAA.
Alfre Woodard is joining BBC America’s Copper as recurring. Set in 1865 New York City, Copper returns for a second season on the brink of Lincoln’s assassination — with shifts in politics and society altering the landscape for Irish immigrants and African-Americans. ICM Partners-repped Woodard will play Hattie Lemaster, a former slave who has recently arrived to the Five Points to start anew. Jarred by raucous city life, Hattie must reconcile her past against hope for a future. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Just after completing the latest season as U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens in the FX series Justified, Timothy Olyphant has joined the Shawn Levy-directed Warner Bros pic This Is Where I Leave You. Ben Schwartz, from House Of Lies, has also joined a cast that now consists of Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Corey Stoll, Rose Byrne, Kathryn Hahn, and Adam Driver.
In the adaptation of the Jonathan Tropper novel, Olyphant plays Horry, the next-door neighbor of Fey’s character, Wendy. They had been madly in love as teenagers only to see their life together shattered by a tragic accident. She is now married to someone else and he lives with his mother as a result of his brain injury. Schwartz plays the local rabbi who tries to act much cooler than his job title suggests. Olyphant is repped by Brillstein Entertainment Partners, Schwartz by WME, Haven Management and attorney Lev Ginsburg.
I find it interesting that it wasn’t that long ago that you were either a movie star or a TV star, and there wasn’t near as much crossover as there is now. Tons of TV stars have booked hiatus films. Both TV and features have benefited from the cross-pollination.
FX president John Landgraf made the announcement at FX’s upfront presentation in New York this morning. Season 5 of the award-winning drama Justified will debut in January 2014. Additionally, Landgraf showcased high-profile drama pilots Tyrant, which recently tapped Oscar winner Ang Lee as director, and The Strain, based on Guillermo del Toro’s books, which he said “will reinvent the vampire horror genre.” Both have full writing staffs in place and are working on first-season scripts in anticipation of series pickups. Tyrant hails from Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff & Craig Wright; Strain from del Toro and Carlton Cuse.
Related: FX Officially Unveils FXX Channel To Launch In September
The western crime drama Justified will wrap up its fourth season on April 2, FX announced today. Archer and Legit will follow on April 11, with Archer‘s Season 4 finale set for 10 PM and Legit‘s Season 1 capper at 10:30 PM. The Ultimate Fighter ends its season on April 13, with a three-hour finale beginning at 9 PM.
While the Amazon Studios pilot Zombieland, based on the hit 2009 Sony movie, has already been cast and filmed, this is the first time the company has acknowledged its existence. The pilot hails from Sony Pictures TV, marking the first Amazon original project from a major studio. Here is the release:
SEATTLE—March 25, 2013—Amazon Studios, the original movie and series production arm of Amazon.com, today announced it will add cult classic Zombieland to the line-up of pilots already in production for Prime Instant Video. Zombieland, which is the seventh comedy pilot added to Amazon’s pilot line-up, will be made available (along with the other six comedy pilots and six children’s pilots) for free on Amazon Instant Video and LOVEFiLM UK. Customers are invited to view the pilots and then review them on the site; customer feedback will help determine which of the 13 pilots Amazon Studios will make into full-season productions, to air on Prime Instant Video.
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Clock To Start Ticking For Indian ’24′
Slumdog Millionaire star Anil Kapoor is getting to work on the Indian version of the TV series 24. The actor, who was featured in the final season of Fox/20th TV’s real-time drama, will produce via his Anil Kapoor Film Co. He’ll also play the Jack Bauer character, now reportedly named Jai Singh Rathod, in the local take. According to BollywoodLife, production was due to kick off this week at Kapoor’s Stage 21 studio near Mumbai. Delhi Belly director Abhinay Deo is helming the series and Rensil D’Silva, who’s directing Sanjay Dutt’s Ungli, is scripting. The local broadcast partner is Viacom-owned Colors. Kapoor will next be seen on the big screen in Shootout At Wadala directed by Sanjay Gupta.
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A couple of thoughts on TV from a feature guy. The Kevin Williamson-created Fox series The Following might be the most aggravating but addictive series to come down the pike in some time. Kevin Bacon plays an FBI agent trying to capture a serial killer (James Purefoy) who has accumulated a Manson Family-like group of creepy disciples all too eager to commit unimaginably horrible acts on the killer’s behalf. As if that in itself wasn’t unlikely enough, the killer met all of his acolytes when they visited him in prison. Hasn’t anybody in the FBI thought of checking the visitor list from his days behind bars, rather than waiting and reacting to the latest horror? Can the FBI really be that dumb? That said, I cannot think of a time when I’ve been hooked on so many series, between The Following, Justified, The Walking Dead, House Of Cards, The Americans, Vikings and Blue Bloods, and I just now received the first four episodes of the new season of Game Of Thrones, and have new seasons of Homeland, Sons Of Anarchy and Boardwalk Empire to look forward to. I remember Tony Gilroy telling Deadline in an interview that mid-range dramas like his superb Michael Clayton are becoming extinct in features, and are instead being made as series for basic and pay cable networks by feature guys. As a result, TV has never been stronger while film leaves room for improvement in this department. Read More »
There’s so much current programming that’s available for free from online pirates that it “could put the whole [pay TV] ecosystem at risk,” Macquarie Equities Research’s Tim Nollen warns today. His report follows what he says was a “quick and dirty Google search” to see what he could find. To his surprise “practically everything that’s popular on TV can be found instantly” from torrent sites such as The Pirate Bay and cyberlockers listed in Letmewatchthis.com. For example, he found episodes of FX’s Justified, TNT’s Dallas, AMC’s The Walking Dead, History’s Vikings, and CBS’ The Big Bang Theory less than three hours after they aired. He also was surprised by how slick some of these sites have become. “In terms of usability, it’s difficult to tell the difference between iTunes or Netflix and the smoothest-looking illegitimate sites.” About 70% of U.S. homes have broadband service, giving them the ability to download an hourlong show in about 42 seconds — and lots of people already use that power to watch shows for free. Pirate Bay is more popular among U.S. Internet users than sites from The Washington Post, Best Buy, and dating service Match.com. Read More »
Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
At tonight’s PaleyFest panel on Fox’s New Girl, star Zooey Deschanel revealed that this week the show is shooting a flashback episode that details how the main characters lose their virginity. While offering few specifics, creator and executive producer Liz Meriwether, who wrote the episode, said cryptically that Max Greenfield’s Schmidt, playing the scene as his overweight younger self, would be seen “in that dorm room moving through space a little bit. He gets very overzealous with some lube.” No clues were revealed about the other characters’ first-time experiences. Earlier in the session, Meriwether said the show’s writing process always includes some “real shit and some stupid shit,” and that this episode will fit that signature mold of combining the silly with emotions that are “beautiful and real.” The panel at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills included Deschanel; Meriwether; executive producers Brett Baer, Dave Finkel, Jake Kasdan and Katherine Pope; and cast members Greenfield, Jake Johnson, Lamorne Morris and Hannah Simone.
Earlier this month the show was renewed for a third season, but there were plenty left to talk about regarding the remaining episodes this season. Panelists confirmed news reports that Episode 20, airing in a few weeks, takes the cast to Chicago after the death of Nick’s (Johnson) father. While again not revealing too many spoilers, producers said the episode would feature guest stars Margo Martindale (who died on Justified but won an Emmy for her role) as Nick’s mother and Nick Kroll as Nick’s brother. Also guest starring as Nick’s grandmother: Ellen Albertini Dow, who played the “rapping granny” in The Wedding Singer, variously reported to be either 94 or 99. The episode was directed by Kasdan, who said setting the show in Chicago and blending regulars with guest cast made this episode feel “like the pilot for a different show.” And he added that “Elvis shows up” — played by Deschanel. Read More »
Susan Misner will be upped to a series regular in Season 2 of FX’s The Americans. The Cold War drama, now in its freshman season, was recently renewed. Misner plays Noah Emmerich’s wife. Additionally, she’s recurring on Person of Interest as Jim Caviezel’s girlfriend, on The Following as Kevin Bacon’s sister, and on Nashville as Charles Esten’s new love interest.
Mykelti Williamson is segueing from FX’s Justified to Fox’s drama pilot Wild Blue, written by Taylor Elmore and directed by Michael Dinner. The Sony Pictures TV-produced project is an upstairs/downstairs look at pressure-cooker lives in the U.S. Navy. It’s a young ensemble about the working men and women on board an aircraft carrier. Williamson, repped by Innovative and David Fox, will co-star as Master Chief Donald Bowman, senior enlisted man on the ship and the direct liaison between the officers (upstairs) and the enlisted (downstairs).
In other recent pilot castings, Michael Trucco and Alex Fernandez have been added to ABC drama Killer Women.
Fox execs Terence Carter and Carolyn Cassidy, Bones EP Jonathan Collier, The League’s Jeff Schaffer and Dan O’Keefe, and Fox Writers Studio co-head Nicky Weinstock are among the mentors of Harvardwood’s third annual “Most Staffable TV Writers” program this spring. The Harvard University-sanctioned nonprofit each year selects five writers based on original TV pilot submissions and sets up each winner with a one-on-one mentorship with a pair of TV pros. The 2013 honorees are Sam Chalsen, Forensic State (one-hour drama); Sue Chung, Shrouded (one-hour drama); Allison Kiessling, Elixir (one-hour drama); Matt Roller, Homeschooled (half-hour comedy); and Ryan Slattery, Market & Castro (half-hour comedy). In its previous two years, writers selected by the program went on to score agency representation at CAA, ICM, Circle of Confusion, Management 360 and Echo Lake. Members of the Harvardwood Writers Program have nabbed gigs on FX’s Justified, HBO’s The Newsroom, Fox’s Family Guy, NBC’s Awake, USA’s Covert Affairs and TNT’s Perception. The organization is open to Harvard alumni, students, faculty, and staff as well as non-Harvard-affiliated figures in the arts, media and entertainment.