About A Boy – Based on the best-selling Nick Hornby (“High Fidelity,” “An Education”) novel, writer Jason Katims (“Friday Night Lights,” “Parenthood”) and director Jon Favreau (“Iron Man,” “Revolution”) present a different kind of coming-of-age story. Will Freeman (David Walton, “Bent,” “Perfect Couples”) lives a charmed existence as the ultimate man-child. After writing a hit song, he was granted a life of free time, free love and freedom from financial woes. He’s single, unemployed and loving it. So imagine his surprise when Fiona (Minnie Driver, “Good Will Hunting,” “Barney’s Version”), a needy single mom and her oddly charming 11-year-old son, Marcus (Benjamin Stockham, “1600 Penn”), move in next door and disrupt his perfect world. When Marcus begins dropping by his home unannounced, Will’s not so sure about being a kid’s new best friend, until, of course, Will discovers that women find single dads irresistible. That changes everything and a deal is struck: Marcus will pretend to be Will’s son and, in return, Marcus is allowed to chill at Will’s house. Before he realizes it, Will starts to enjoy the visits and even finds himself looking out for the kid. In fact, this newfound friendship may very well teach him a thing or two that he never imagined possible — about himself and caring for others. Writer Jason Katims, director Jon Favreau, Tim Bevan (“Les Misérables,” “About a Boy”), Eric Fellner (“Les Misérables,” “About a Boy”), Liza Chasin (“Les Misérables,” “About … Read More »
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.
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.
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.
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 »
NBC FALL 2013-14 SCHEDULE
(New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET)
8-10 p.m. – “The Voice”
10-11 p.m. – “THE BLACKLIST”
8-9 p.m. – “The Biggest Loser” (New Day and Time)
9-10 p.m. – “The Voice” (New time)
10-11 p.m. – “Chicago Fire” (New Day and Time)
8-9 p.m. – “Revolution” (New Day and Time)
9-10 p.m. – ”Law & Order: SVU”
10-11 p.m. – “IRONSIDE”
8-8:30 p.m. – “Parks and Recreation” (New time)
8:30-9 p.m. – “WELCOME TO THE FAMILY”
9-9:30 p.m. – “SEAN SAVES THE WORLD”
9:30-10 p.m. – “THE MICHAEL J. FOX SHOW”
10-11 p.m. – “Parenthood” (New Day and Time)
2ND UPDATE: Joining the group of newly picked up NBC series is DJ Nash comedy The Family Guide. This is it for NBC’s first batch of new series pickups. Waiting word are several top contenders, including Sony’s drama Blacklist and comedy Welcome To The Family.
UPDATE, 10:15 AM: Also picked up are the Sean Hayes/Victor Fresco comedy, titled SeanSaves The World, and J.J. Abrams’ drama Believe. That means two series each on NBC next season for Hayes/Hazy Mills and Abrams/Bad Robot, who also executive produce the recently renewed Grimm and Revolution, respectively.
PREVIOUS, 10:13 AM: After cleaning up house yesterday, passing on seven pilots, NBC just started handing out their new series orders. Rand Ravich’s drama Crisis and Jason Katims’ comedyAbout A Boy were among the first to get the happy call. Like Hayes and Abrams, Katims too will be pulling double duty on NBC next season as his Parenthood also has been renewed. About A Boy stars the little boy from 1600 Penn, so in case anyone was wondering, that series is dead. NBC, of course also has the Michael J. Fox comedy series with a 22-episode order. I’ll keep updating with pickup information as it comes in.
Following several years of declines in the number of drama pilots shot in Los Angeles, the City of Angels staged a comeback this season with 14, reclaiming the top spot as the most popular drama pilot destination after falling for the first time to No. 3 last year behind New York and Vancouver. Los Angeles benefited from the increased overall pilot volume this season, housing 13 of this year’s 48 hourlong pilots, up from 8 (out of 41) last year and 11 (out of 42) the year before, and just short of the 2010 haul of 14 pilots (out of 43).
New York, fresh off luring back The Tonight Show, has become a comedy pilot magnet. The Big Apple already has solid comedy credentials on the cable side with FX’s Louie and HBO’s Girls, but I can’t think of any major half-hour broadcast pilot shot in New York since NBC’s 30 Rock, which just ended its seven-season run. This year, there were a whopping five (all single-camera): NBC’s Michael J. Fox project, which has straight-to-series order, and Assistance; CBS’ Jim Gaffigan and untitled Rottenberg & Zuritzsky project; and Fox’s Us And Them. In some cases, the choice of location was dictated by talent (like Fox). In others, the producers felt it was hard to fake New York or the East Coast in Los Angeles, where virtually all comedy broadcast series have been filming. The 2010 New York filming tax program, which already led to the explosion of NY drama pilot production from zero pilots in 2010 to 11 last year, is helping rein in production costs, which are still higher than a Los Angeles-based half-hour pilot but not by as much as before. With the comedy boon, New York managed to post a new record of 13 pilots, though the number of dramas slipped from 11 to eight. Read More »
ABC‘s new injury-plagued Splash isn’t the only reality diving show hampered by safety concerns. Xinhua News Agency reports 18-year-old Peng Jiaxuan, assistant to martial artist/contestant Shi Xiaolong on China’s Celebrity Splash China, drowned in a pool during a training session April 19. The show broadcast on China’s Zhejiang TV and ABC’s Splash are both spin-offs of the original Dutch format. The death happened a day after US Splash contestant Nicole Eggert was injured on the set of ABC’s American version and subsequently hospitalized. In recent weeks fellow contestant Rory Bushfield ruptured an eardrum and Louie Anderson suffered bruised ribs in training, while show-related injuries forced Katherine Webb and Chuy Bravo to quit the show in its first month on the air.
Jim Carrey, Louis C.K., Conan O’Brien and Oscar-winning VFX supervisor Bill Westenhofer were among nine people honored last night by the Producers Guild of America for their contributions to the advancement of digital entertainment and storytelling in the past year. John Lasseter, Morgan Freeman, and PGA President Mark Gordon were among those who attended the inaugural Digital V.I.P. Awards (Visionaries, Innovators and Producers) at the Bel Air home of entrepreneur Elon Musk. Click over for a complete list: Read More »
Athens, Ga. – Thirty-nine recipients of the 72nd Annual Peabody Awards were announced today by the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. The winners, chosen by the Peabody board as the best in electronic media for the year 2012, were named in a ceremony in the Peabody Gallery on the UGA Campus.
The latest Peabody recipients reflect diversity in content, genre and sources of origination.
They include “Girls,” Lena Dunham’s HBO comedy-drama about the young and the feckless in New York; “Putin, Russia and the West,” a compelling portrait of a modern-day czar; “Rapido y Furioso (Fast and Furious),” Univision’s Mexican perspective on the infamous Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive gun-tracking debacle; “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,” a sterling magazine series that springboards from athletics; “Robin’s Journey,” a public-service campaign created around “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts’ treatment for a rare blood disease; and “Design Ah!,” an imaginative Japanese series aimed at developing children’s creative vision.
Tuesday saw the series premiere of ABC’s celebrity competition series Splash (2.6/8). Hosted by Joey Lawrence and ESPN’s Charissa Thompson and judged by Olympic gold medalist David Boudia and U.S. Dive Team director Steve Foley, the reality series saw The Cosby Show’s Keshia Knight Pulliam lose the dive-off and become the first celeb to leave. Bad start for her but good start for Splash. The new show was up 13% from the debut of Celebrity Wife Swap last year on January 2, 2012. In fact, there might be something in the water because Splash had the highest unscripted debut on the network in more than two years and the best on any network since The X Factor premiered on Fox in September 2011. Splash saw growth in both viewership (up 3%) and young adults (up 8%) from its first half-hour to its second. Read More »
Louis CK: Oh My God is the fourth stand-up special on HBO from the comedian. It will premiere Saturday, April 13 at 10 PM. The last Louis CK special aired in 2007, and of course he created and starred in the network’s Lucky Louie in 2006, marking HBO’s first multi-camera comedy series. Taped in Phoenix, Oh My God takes on topics like the food chain, animals, divorce, strange anecdotes, broken morality, murder and mortality. Louis CK wrote, directed and executive produced the special; Dave Becky, M. Blair Breard and Mike Berkowitz also exec produced.
Disney in December set an August 9 wide release date for the semi-Cars spinoff, which originally had Jon Cryer doing the lead voice of Dusty the cropduster. The animated pic executive produced by John Lasseter had been slated to be a direct-to-video release when it was first previewed at last year’s D23 Expo. Now Cook is aboard. Here’s Disney’s release:
BURBANK, Calif. (February 28, 2013) – Dane Cook has been tapped to voice the lead character Dusty, a plane with high hopes in “Disney’s Planes.” Inspired by the world of “Cars” and directed by Disneytoon Studios veteran and aviation enthusiast Klay Hall (“King of the Hill,” “The Simpsons”), “Disney’s Planes” is an action-packed 3D animated comedy adventure about Dusty’s dream of competing as a high-flying air racer—and his decidedly unfortunate fear of heights. The film takes off in theaters in 3D on Aug. 9, 2013.
This is an annual celebration honoring artist-driven films made with an economy of means by filmmakers who embody independence and originality. The host is Andy Samberg, in a bewildering green tuxedo, here flanked by Film Independent co-Presidents Sean … Read More »
Louie‘s momentum continues. After largely flying under the radar for the first two seasons, the FX series’ third season earned a first Emmy award in September, then first SAG, Golden Globe and PGA nominations. And tonight Louis CK’s semi-autobiographical series won the top comedy prize at the WGA Awards, its first major best series honor. Louie snapped Modern Family‘s two-year streak to win the best comedy series WGA Award. ABC’s hit comedy didn’t leave empty-handed, converting one of its three episodic nominations to win for Elaine Ko-penned Virgin Territory.
Even bigger was the breakthrough for IFC’s cult series Portlandia. In one of the night’s biggest surprises, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s off-beat, modestly budgeted comedy beat out heavyweights The Daily Show, Colbert Report and Armisen’s Saturday Night Live, which had won the comedy/variety WGA Award for the past six years, to land its first major award of any kind. The winner for best new series was not such a shocker, with Lena Dunham’s Girls adding another trophy to its recent best comedy series Golden Globe and DGA Awards. On the drama side, AMC’s Breaking Bad repeated as best drama series while AMC’s Mad Men returned to the winners circle after skipping last year to earn an episodic prize for The Other Woman, written by Semi Chellas and Matthew Weiner.
Deadline Editor in Chief Nikki Finke is writing from on-scene coverage by Deadline’s Awards Columnist, Awardsline’s Anthony D’Alessandro, and contributor Ray Richmond. The 2013 WGA award winners are named here. There will be an update to this post on Monday morning:
LOS ANGELES… Refresh for latest… Speeches & Color To Come
The 65th Annual Writers Guild Awards Los Angeles ceremony tonight honored outstanding achievement in writing in film, television, radio, new media, and other awards categories. The presentation at the JW Marriott LA Live was going on simultaneously with the New York City ceremony. (WGA East Awards 2013 Ceremony - LIVE). Or at least it was supposed to. Instead, the LA event lagged NYC’s by almost an hour. Which meant award winners were being announced first by WGAE and then trickling into the WGAW audience to ruin any suspense. ”This is outrageous,” one audience member emailed me from the scene. “Word of Chris Terrio’s Argo win for Adapted Screenplay in NYC came in right after Lincoln nominee Tony Kushner accepted his Paul Selvin award from Steven Spielberg. No award for Adapted Screenplay still in sight in LA. WTF?” What a mess. Unfortunately, the WGAW had no control over the East’s announcements. Traditionally, NYC gives out some news and radio kudos that the West doesn’t. However, the WGAE took to tweeting all the winners, which is another reason why they started beating the announcements … Read More »
Deadline Editor-in-Chief Nikki Finke is writing from on-scene reports. The winners are named at 2013 WGA Awards (LIVE). There will be an update to this post on Monday morning:
NEW YORK CITY… Refresh for latest… The 65th Annual Writers Guild Awards New York Ceremony tonight honored outstanding achievement in writing in film, television, radio, new media, and other awards categories. The presentation at the B.B. King Blues Club was supposed to go on simultaneously with the Los Angeles ceremony but in fact beat WGAW by an hour. Which meant that East Coast knew the winners first and ruined the evening’s suspense. The WGAE paid tribute to the late legendary author, screenwriter and director Nora Ephron as well as presenting several honorary and service awards. Screenwriter and director David Koepp was the recipient of the Ian McClellan Hunter Award for Career Achievement. The award, established in 1992, honors a WGA member for his/her body of work as a writer in motion pictures or television. And current Secretary-Treasurer Bob Schneider received the WGAE’s annual Richard B. Jablow Award, named after the Guild’s first counsel who helped found the organization and authored its constitution, for devoted service to the Guild.
Actor Richard Kind, who recently appeared in the Academy Award-nominated film Argo as screenwriter Max Klein, hosted. (When approached, Kind reportedly remarked, “I am a vapid, empty actor with … Read More »
The 8 PM ET East Coast ceremony will be held tonight at NYC’s B.B. King Blues Jazz Club to honor outstanding achievement in writing in film, television, radio, new media, and other awards categories. The WGAE will also present several honorary and service award. The annual East Coast nominees, honorees and presenters include actor and award ceremony host Richard Kind, Girls’ Lena Dunham and Alex Karpovsky, Louie’s Louis C.K., Boardwalk Empire’s Bobby Cannavale, Beasts Of The Southern Wild writer Lucy Alibar, Bored To Death writer Jonathan Ames, The Simpsons’ Mike Reiss, actress Gina Gershon, Sesame Street’s Sonia Manzano, Life Of Pi writer David Magee, Minority Report writer Scott Frank, CBS Sunday Morning’s Nancy Giles, Not Fade Away actress Lisa Lampanelli, comedian W. Kamau Bell, Sleepwalk With Me’s Mike Birbiglia, as well as writers from television shows Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.
EXCLUSIVE:FX has found an edgy way into one subject it had mostly steered clear of on the comedy side — marriage. The cable network has greenlighted a half-hour comedy pilot by filmmaker Andrew Gurland (The Last Exorcism, The Virginity Hit). It centers on a married man who is given permission by his wife to get a mistress in order to save their marriage. Gurland wrote the script and will direct. He is executive producing with Paul Young and Peter Principato. Salamo Levin will serve as a producer. The pilot will be produced by FX Prods., which makes all FX comedy series.
FX has several comedy pilots — live-action and animated — in various stages of production as the cable network is looking to launch three new half-hour series in the next fiscal year. FX’s current comedy series roster includes Louie, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Wilfred, The League, Archer, and the latest addition, Legit, which got off to a slow start last week. Last year Gurland, repped by WME and Principato-Young, did a pilot for Showtime, a first-person documentary comedy he wrote, directed and starred in.