The UK’s Arrow Media has received a commission for six more hours of its wildlife show Animal Fight Night which premieres on Nat Geo WILD in the U.S. on August 18 before rolling out internationally in September. Animal Fight Night was first launched in the U.S. in October last year. It was Arrow Media’s first move into natural history programming and the company later received orders for Building Penguin Paradise (Nat Geo WILD) and Dogs: Their Secret Lives (Channel 4). Each Animal Fight Night episode uses CGI to recreate and examine same species battles between animal world adversaries and dissects the science behind the tactics and bodily weapons that various creatures employ.
Global Showbiz Briefs: Nat Geo Wild Orders More Of Arrow’s ‘Animal Fight Night’; ‘The Voice’ Sings In Croatia, India; ‘Top Gear’ Falls Foul Of Ofcom; More
The stage adaptation of Oscar winner Shakespeare In Love has opened at London’s Noel Coward Theatre to raves from many of the UK critics but a big ho-hum from the New York Times‘s Ben Brantley, which could throw a wet blanket over plans for a Broadway transfer by co-producers Disney and Sonia Friedman.
“I’ve often attacked our modern mania for turning movies into plays. But, in the case of Shakespeare In Love, the transformation is fully justified,” wrote Michael Billington in The Guardian. “Even more than the original screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard, Lee Hall’s new version is a love letter to theatre itself, and one that celebrates the way magic and mystery are born out of chaos and confusion.”
“Screen to stage transfers are so frequent and mostly catchpenny and cynical that the prospect of yet another tends to fill a critic’s heart with dread,” wrote Paul Taylor in The Independent. “But here there’s the elating sense that the material – with its rivalry between two public playhouses echoing the feud between the Montagues and Capulets – is revelling in its natural element in the theatre. And the smartest move made by the producers was to hire director Declan Donnellan and designer Nick Ormerod, the world-renowned Cheek By Jowl team whose profound understanding of Shakespearean drama (its dazzling fluidity; its blithe refusal to respect the “rules” of genre; its mood-mingling suppleness) enriches a production that is filled …
Justified executive producer Taylor Elmore has closed a two-year overall deal with CBS TV Studios. He will supervise and develop new projects for the studio and is set to begin his new gig in April, after FX’s Justified wraps its sixth and final season. He has been on the show for the past five seasons, having started as a co-producer. Elmore, repped by UTA and attorney Bruce Gellman, shot the Wall Street pilot this past development season for CBS Studios and Timberman/Beverly, and his TV credits include CBS’ Cold Case and Raines, the latter with Justified creator Graham Yost.
Amid gripes from American actors about the lack of diversity in TV and film, as well as the industry’s penchant for selecting British and Australian thespians for prolific roles, the casting directors at FX’s “Casting 101″ TCA panel assert they’re just looking for the best person for the part – and often it doesn’t matter how famous the person is.
Cami Patton, the casting director for Justified said, “Producers, showrunners and studio executives are used to looking at tape from other actors in other parts of the world. You don’t need an actor with an entire history (of credits).” One candidate, as pointed out by the group, was Matthew Rhys who plays the lead Soviet undercover spy Philip Jennings on FX’s The Americans. Largely known to U.S. audiences through his turn on Brothers & Sisters, Rhys bowled casting directors over with his Broadway performance in Look Back in Anger. Patton added that when she cast a fresh-faced British actor by the name of Damian Lewis in the role of U.S. Army Lt. Richard Winters in 2001′s Band of Brothers, “We were trying to match actors with the photos that we had of these real people. At the time he was doing Hamlet on stage with Ralph Fiennes. That’s how he got on our radar.”
Once again, HBO led all networks in Emmy nominations this year, and it wasn’t even close. Here’s a look at HBO’s noms haul in the past decade, followed by a breakdown in who got what this year.
NOMINATIONS BY NETWORK
HBO – 99
CBS – 47
NBC – 46
FX Networks – 45
ABC – 37
PBS – 34
Netflix – 31
AMC – 26
Showtime – 24
Comedy Central – 21
Lifetime – 17
National Geographic Channel – 15
Starz – 11
Discovery Channel – 10
Game of Thrones led the Emmy nominations race, but not by much, ahead of Fargo, American Horror Story‘s latest, Breaking Bad and The Normal Heart. Below we have charts with all the shows, organized by most nominations and by name. We also have a show-by-show index of what each show was nominated for.
The 66th annual Primetime Emmy Awards nominations were announced this morning at the TV Academy in North Hollywood. Netflix fared well with Best Series nominations in both comedy and drama categories, with Orange Is The New Black in the former and House Of Cards in the latter. HBO fared well with noms for rookie Silicon Valley and Veep on the comedy side and Game Of Thrones and True Detective on the drama side. Both of that series’ stars, Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrleson, received nods in the actor category, as did Mad Men‘s Jon Hamm. The AMC show is back in the drama race with Breaking Bad and Downton Abbey rounding out the category. On the comedy side, the top category includes reigning champ Modern Family, CBS’ The Big Bang Theory and FX’s Louie.
Here’s the full list of noms:
Outstanding Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
CBS • Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc. in association with Warner Bros. Television
FX Networks • Pig Newton, Inc. and FX Productions
ABC • Picador Productions and Steven Levitan Productions in association with 20th Century Fox Television
Orange Is The New Black
Netflix • Lionsgate Television for Netflix
HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Judgemental Films, Alec Berg, Altschuler Krinsky works, and 3 Arts Entertainment
HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Dundee Productions
Outstanding Drama Series
AMC • Sony Pictures Television
PBS • A Carnival Films/Masterpiece Co-Production in association with NBC Universal
Game Of Thrones
HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; Television 360; Startling Television and Generator Productions
House Of Cards
Netflix • Donen/Fincher/Roth and Trigger Street Productions, Inc. in association with Media Rights Capital for Netflix
AMC • Lionsgate Television
HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Neon Black, Anonymous Content, Parliament of Owls and Passenger
Wish We All Could Get California Cash: Fox’s Beach Boys Pic & BET’s ‘Being Mary Jane’ Among Tax Incentives Winners
Just under a month after the California Film Commission plucked this year’s recipients of the state’s $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit program in a lottery, we learned today who the winners are. Fox’s movie musical revolving around the songs of the Beach Boys and Universal’s Scarface reboot are among the 11 feature films getting a piece of this year’s incentive pie. (See the full list below.) In a rare runaway production reversal, a victory for those who want to bring Hollywood home and a very early renewal, BET’s Being Mary Jane will be relocating from Atlanta to L.A. for its upcoming third season thanks to the Golden State’s tax credits. This is the first news of the high-rated Gabrielle Union-starring show, which just got its official second-season green light back in February, getting a third season. Being Mary Jane joins 12 other basic cable TV series and two TV movies getting money to be made here.
Unlike the years since the credits were first introduced in 2009, the list of initially successful projects was not released almost right away by the state Commission because it wanted to make sure everyone was truly eligible. But now that due diligence has been done and the lucky ones have been privately informed, the Commission has revealed that a total of 26 …
In a move not entirely unlike casting Michele Pfeiffer in a film role originated onstage by Kathy Bates (which is what happened when Frankie And Johnny In The Clair De Lune became Frankie And Johnny), Amber Tamblyn will play a woman who emphatically terminates her four-year relationship with her boyfriend when she finds out he’s described her looks as “regular” when the Geffen Playhouse presents Neil LaBute‘s excellent drama Reasons To Be Pretty next month.
Shawn Hatosy (Southland, Reckless) is Greg, the thoughtful-but-stuck-in-a-dead-end-job boyfriend of Tamblyn’s Steph, and they will have the pleasure of duking it out in the opening scene, one of the funniest, nastiest, loudest smackdowns ever written, in a flash-flood of epithets that would make Trey Parker blush.
Opposite them will be Nick Gehlfuss (Shameless, The Newsroom), as Greg’s not precisely reliable macho friend Kent, and Alicia Witt (Justified, 88 Minutes) as his wife Carly. The show, which was nominated for a Tony best play award in 2009 (which was before it got capital letters), will be staged by Geffen a.d. Randall Arney. The run is July 29-August 31, with the official opening set for August 6.
I took the photograph that leads this column a little over a year ago, when my summer vacation was turned upside down by a revolution called Taksim Square. It sits near my desk and caught my eye when I was thinking today about the force of nature that is Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, someone I deeply admire even though he hasn’t always been a friend of open discourse. He managed to stir the pot on both sides of the continent in recent days.
My wife and I had come to Istanbul for R&R after a trip she takes each spring with college students, mostly non-Jewish, along with Holocaust survivors, to experience firsthand sites of mass murder, torture, violence, starvation and cremation in Germany and Poland.
But it turned out to be the weekend that Taksim Square erupted in alternating waves of tear-gas suffused violence and placard-wielding protest as students, workers, shop keepers and just-folks joined ranks against the increasingly right-leaning government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan and, specifically, his plan to bulldoze one of the last green spaces in the crowded city and put up a shopping mall. Propped against a young woman camping out among the hundreds was her sign, carefully lettered in Turkish and English: Ifade Ozcurlugum Icin Buradayim: I Am Here for My Freedom of Expression.
Writing about Taksim Square, like the other human rights stories I covered during eight years at Bloomberg News, was a humbling counterpoint to my work as a critic and reporter of art forms in which love, loss, risk, sacrifice, even death are generally metaphors and the greatest thing at stake is the cost of a ticket. In Taksim Square I encountered people willing to risk everything for their freedom of expression.
Amazon today announced it had snagged a U.S. content licensing agreement with Aardman Animations that will make Prime Instant Video the exclusive subscription streaming home for the TV and short film series Wallace & Gromit, Shaun The Sheep, Timmy Time and classic animation Rex The Runt. In addition, new shows from the Shaun The Sheep and Timmy Time series will be added to Prime Instant Video, including Seasons 3 and 4 of Shaun The Sheep, the Shaun The Sheep: Championsheeps special, and two new Timmy Time specials.
Josh Charles was part of one of the most shocking moments of the year when his character Will Gardner was gunned down on CBS’ The Good Wife. This was the longest TV stint for Charles—he previously toplined Aaron Sorkin’s critically praised ABC comedy Sports Night, which ran for two years in the late ’90s. Charles already has one Emmy nom for The Good Wife and now is looking to join a long list of actors who won supporting acting drama Emmys after their characters were killed off, including Drea de Matteo and Joe Pantoliano of The Sopranos, Margo Martindale of Justified and, most recently, Boardwalk Empire’s Bobby Cannavale.
AWARDSLINE: Were you looking to do a series when you were approached for The Good Wife?
JOSH CHARLES: I don’t think I particularly was, but it came my way, and I thought it was really well written. I liked the fact that it was shooting in New York and Julianna (Margulies), who was a friend, was doing it. So, yeah, I wasn’t really looking to do a series, per se, but this one came around, and I’m glad it did.
EXCLUSIVE: Rectify‘s Clayne Crawford has locked in a role in Legendary Pictures’ thriller Spectral. The project, described as a supernatural Black Hawk Down, stars James Badge Dale and is being helmed by first-timer Nic Mathieu. Crawford’s film and TV credits include 24, HBO pilot All Signs of Death, The Baytown Outlaws, The Glades, Jericho, and Justified. He’ll play Sergeant Calvin Toll, a focused but short-fused military lifer. Earlier this month Max Martini also joined the cast. Project originated from a pitch by Ian Fried then was scripted by George Nolfi and rewritten by John Gatins. Legendary’s Thomas Tull and John Jashni are producers on the picture, with Jillian Share and Guy Riedel exec producing. Share will oversee the project for Legendary alongside Sophie Sikora. Crawford is repped by APA.
Like the Tiber River after Caligula’s been on a weekend bender, television today is flooded with blood. What was once the sole sphere of slasher flicks now has become a common spattering on the small screen, and not just with cable shows such as AMC’s The Walking Dead, HBO’s Game of Thrones and the recently launched Showtime drama Penny Dreadful. Now the networks are in the gore game with Fox’s The Following and Sleepy Hollow and NBC’s Hannibal and Grimm. The proliferation of blood and guts on TV in this era of the explicit proves that the appetite for death and destruction hasn’t jumped the shark so much as stabbed the beast, torn into its flesh, cooked it up and swam among the remains.
Sarah Paulson Joins Nic Cage In ‘The Runner’; Matt Craven Suits Up For ‘Stonewall’; Jeremy Strong Joins ‘Selma,’ ‘Black Mass,’ ‘Time Out Of Mind’
Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated Sarah Paulson has joined Nicolas Cage in The Runner, about an idealistic but flawed New Orleans Congressman Colin Price whose dysfunctional life and career are destroyed by a sex scandal. Paulson, last seen in the Oscar-winner 12 Years A Slave, will play a PR consultant Price hires to help him get back into the political game. Paulson earned an Emmy nod for her turn in American Horror Story: Asylum and will return for the FX series’ next installment, American Horror Story: Freak Show. She’s repped by UTA and Kipperman Management.
Resurrection and Justified thesp Matt Craven has been cast in Roland Emmerich’s NYC period drama Stonewall. Jeremy Irvine, Caleb Landry Jones, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Ron Perlman, and Joey King are also starring in the pic about the 1969 police raid at Greenwich Village’s Stonewall Inn that served as a flashpoint for the gay rights movement. Craven will play Deputy Seymour Pine, the leader of the raiding police force who sympathizes with the gay community but must carry out his duties. Craven previously starred in Emmerich’s White House Down. He’ll squeeze in his Stonewall shoot before heading to film the second season of ABC’s Resurrection. Craven is repped by Frontline Management, SDB Partners and Paul Hemrend in Toronto.
Kaitlyn Dever Joins ‘The Greens Are Gone’; Miguel Gomez Cast In ‘Southpaw’; Richard Cabral Books ‘Blood Father’
Kaitlyn Dever has been cast in director Peer Pedersen’s drama The Greens Are Gone. Catherine Keener stars as the matriarch of a dysfunctional family who’s pushed to her limits by the disappearance of her son (Anton Yelchin). Dever will play a bipolar teenager. Her credits include TV’s Last Man Standing and Justified and features The Spectacular Now and Short Term 12. She next appears in Men, Women & Children. Dever is repped by UTA and Felker Toczek Gellman Suddleson.
Miguel Gomez has booked a role in director Antoine Fuqua’s boxing feature Southpaw. Written by Kurt Sutter, the pic stars Jake Gyllenhaal as an up-and-coming fighter who loses everything in a moment of rage and has to start from the bottom to get his life back. Gomez will play his ring rival Miguel “Magic” Cantu. His credits include Louie and The Domino Effect, and he next will be seen in FX’s upcoming drama The Strain and the feature Pacific Standard Time. Gomez is repped by Greene & Associates, manager Eli Selden and Jackoway Tyerman.
Richard Cabral has joined the cast of Blood Father for director Jean-Francois Richet. Mel Gibson stars as an ex-con who reunites with his estranged daughter to protect her from Mexican mobsters. Cabral will play Joker, a tough enforcer for the Mexican Mafia. …
EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that Showtime has put in development a drama from writer Gary Lennon, Robert Downey Jr. & Susan Downey’s Team Downey banner and Sony Pictures TV. I hear the pay cable network landed the project in a competitive situation. Written by Lennon (Orange Is the New Black, Justified), the untitled drama is set in 1983 and follows a rehab/therapeutic community in Venice Beach where drugs and alcohol have always been part of the local culture. Lennon is executive producing with Team Downey’s Robert Downey Jr., Susan Downey and Amanda Burrell, while the company’s Chris Mammolito serves as co-executive producer. Lennon and Team Downey are repped by CAA.
We won’t know for nearly a month who gets a piece of California’s $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit program pie this year, but we do know today how many projects were picked via lottery and how many applications were submitted. The California Film Commission says 23 projects have been initially selected and that 497 applications were submitted before Monday’s 3 PM deadline. In terms of the initial projects pulled in the lottery, there’s a slight decrease from last year. In terms of applications, that’s a record for a program where demand always outstrips supply. It’s about 30% more than last year’s record 380, when the likes of Warner Bros’ Entourage movie, the fourth season of MTV’s Teen Wolf and the fifth seasons of FX’s Justified and ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars emerged as winners. Last year saw 29 projects initially successful in the lottery. That went up to 31 projects a day later on June 4, 2013, when a TV series dropped out and freed up funds. With a Deputy Fire Marshal pulling the numbers, the lottery started yesterday afternoon but was suspended around 4:30 PM when the CFC offices were evacuated due to a nearby bomb scare. Picking up where they left off, the commission restarted the lottery at 9 AM today.
Now that the initial winners of the credit covering about 20% of production costs also has been determined in a random selection process, the state office plans to take the next few weeks to check the applications thoroughly to make sure they are eligible for the incentive. A list of successful projects will be made available on July 1. In past years, the commission has announced the name and number of projects that scored on the lottery, but this time round it wants to thoroughly check each potential winning application individually to make sure it qualifies.
One day after the Television Critics Association unveiled nominees for this year’s TCA Awards, the Broadcast Television Journalists Association announced nominations for its Critics’ Choice Television Awards.
FX leads the BTJA’s noms list, with 19 – followed closely by HBO which garnered 18. Topping the list of nominated series, with five noms each, are CBS’s The Big Bang Theory and The Good Wife, FX’s Fargo, Showtime’s Masters Of Sex, and HBO’s The Normal Heart.
Walton Goggins and Allison Janney were both twice nominated. Goggins is nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, for Justified, and Janney is nommed for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, for Mom. The two also will compete against each other in the Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series category for Sons Of Anarchy and Masters Of Sex, respectively.