Just For Laughs, the producer of the Montreal International Comedy Festival, has signed with UTA. The company was at CAA. Just For Laughs is looking to ramp up its production slate with stand-up specials, scripted and unscripted television and digital content and to expand into social media and licensing. Founded in 1983, the Just For Laughs Group is behind the Montreal comedy fest, which annually attracts more than 1.5 million attendees, with additional festivals in Toronto, Chicago and Sydney. Just For Laughs is a leading producer of stand-up comedy specials that have aired on CBC, The Comedy Network and HBO in Canada as well as the BBC and Channel Four in the UK and HBO, Fox, BBC America, TBS and Showtime in the U.S. The company also has produced original series including Bullet in the Face, starring Eddie Izzard, for IFC and The Tournament for CBC in Canada and Versus in the U.S.
2013-14 ABC New Series
Betrayal — A chance meeting between photographer Sara Hadley (Hannah Ware) and Attorney Jack McAllister (Stuart Townsend) leads to an instant and undeniable attraction. Sarah’s husband, Drew (Chris Johnson), is a successful prosecutor with political aspirations, while Jack is married to Elaine (Wendy Moniz), the daughter of his boss, Thacher Karsten (James Cromwell). When Karsten’s brother-in-law Lou is murdered, all evidence points to Karsten’s son, T.J. (Henry Thomas). Jack, the company’s lead counsel, will have to defend him, but for Sara’s prosecutor husband, Drew, this is the kind of high-profile murder case that can secure his political future. Just as Sara and Jack’s affair is starting, the lovers find themselves in an impossible situation — on opposite sides of a murder investigation. “Betrayal” stars Hannah Ware (“Shame,” “Boss”) as Sara, Stuart Townsend (“The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”) as Jack, James Cromwell (“Babe,” “American Horror Story”) as Thacher Karsten, Henry Thomas (“E.T.,” “Gangs of New York”) as T.J. Karsten, Chris Johnson (“The Vampire Diaries”) as Drew, Wendy Moniz (“Guiding Light,” “The Guardian”) as Elaine, Elizabeth McLaughlin (“The Clique”) as Val and Braeden Lamasters (“Men of a Certain Age”) as Vic. “Betrayal” was written by David Zabel (“ER”) and directed by Patty Jenkins (“The Killing,” “Monster”) and is executive-produced by David Zabel, Rob Golenberg (“Red Widow”) and Alon Aranya. “Betrayal” is produced by ABC Studios.
Killer Women — Of all the notorious lawmen who have ever patrolled the violent Texas frontier, none are more …
ITV has unveiled the judges for Season 10 of The X Factor UK with Sharon Osbourne returning to the show. She’ll join Gary Barlow, Nicole Scherzinger and Louis Walsh. Osbourne was last on the Simon Cowell series in 2007. Last year’s season nine finale hit a low in December and it’s been expected that a revamp was afoot. There will be new double auditions, one set in front of the judges “in an intimate audition room” and the second again with the judges, but in an arena. The auditions kick off on June 4.
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.
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:
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 …
Steven Soderbergh tonight unveils what he says is his final feature film Behind The Candelabra. The film explores the secret father/son/lover relationship between Liberace (Michael Douglas) and his valet Scott Thorson. It’s playing in competition here at Cannes, even though HBO will premiere it in the U.S. on Sunday before it gets a traditional overseas theatrical release. If that seems complex, it fits Soderbergh, a true maverick who has always been up for putting himself on the line for disruptive, groundbreaking fare. That began with sex, lies, and videotape. The movie won the Audience Award at Sundance and the Palme d’Or at Cannes before grossing nearly $25 million in 1989 and earning him an original screenplay Oscar nom. It is viewed as the picture that turned indie film into a viable business. “He is the father of this movement,” said Harvey Weinstein, who distributed the film. “Before him, there was no independent movie that did more than $5 million. This was the one that went out, almost wide, in the summer — where they said these films could not play — and broke the art house ghetto.” An Oscar (for directing Traffic) later, and a career that spanned every genre and enterprising release strategy (he aroused the ire of theater owners by road testing the day-and-date release platform that is now a Sundance deal staple), the 50-year-old Soderbergh talks with Deadline about Behind The Candelabra, indie economics and more.
DEADLINE: All week, I’ve heard people here debate whether Michael Douglas and Matt Damon will lose possible Oscar nominations because the film plays first on HBO, before a more traditional international theatrical rollout. You intended it originally to be an indie feature. Explain the gyrations that ended up with this unusual release strategy.
SODERBERGH: We were trying to get the last $5 million to finish it off. The movie cost $22 million and change. We’d raised $18 million foreign and we just needed this piece. Superficially it would seem like a no-brainer, but when you look at the realities of the economics of putting a movie into wide release, you have to gross $65 million-$75 million just to get out. People just didn’t have that appetite for this kind of material.
DEADLINE: How different were things back when you conceived it as an indie and took several years to get to it and get a script by Richard LaGravanese?
SODERBERGH: There’s no question in my mind that if it had been five years earlier that we’d probably would have gotten it. But the pressure has gotten so extreme. I talk to people at the studios about it all the time. Somebody told me last week that they are doing a better job controlling movie costs but that marketing costs keep moving at a trajectory faster than everything else. Another terrifying thing is, you used to be able to bank on stars. If you had certain elements in a certain kind of movie, you could bank on doing X. Now you are guaranteed nothing.
Steven Moffat is returning for another Doctor Who season, the BBC officially confirmed today. The current series finale aired tonight ahead of a 50th anniversary special slated for November 23 starring Matt Smith, Jenna-Louise Coleman, David Tennant, Billie Piper, and John Hurt. Moffat “is already plotting a brand new run of adventures for the Doctor,” the network announced on their blog. Brian Minchin will executive produce alongside Moffat.
Phase 4 and XLrator Media have teamed up on North American rights to Jamesy Boy, starring Mary-Louise Parker, James Woods, Ving Rhames, Taissa Farmiga, and newcomer Spencer Lofranco. Trevor White directed and co-wrote the true story pic with Lane Shadgett. Lofranco plays teenager James Burns, who befriends a convicted murderer (Rhames) in prison who helps him turn his life around. The Synergics Films and Star Thrower Entertainment production is produced by Tim White, Wayne L. Rogers, Steven P. Saeta, Maria Norman, Galen Walker and Scott Mednick. Phase 4′s Larry Greenberg and Gordon of XLrator Media negotiated the deal with the Paradigm Finance Group on behalf of the filmmakers. Atlas International is handling the foreign sales.
The deal’s finally done, with Kroenke Sports & Entertainment paying $10.25 a share — about $265M — for the cable channel. “As a part of KSE, Outdoor Channel will be well positioned — competitively, strategically and financially — to meet the needs of its customers and business partners,” says KSE chief Jim Martin. Outdoor Channel CEO Tom Hornish adds that the new owner will “greatly strengthen our ability to invest in assets, expand our distribution and continue to generate the unparalleled experience our viewers expect.” KSE is owned by Stan Kroenke. It owns the NFL’s St. Louis Rams and is a power in Denver with venues including the Pepsi Center, the Paramount Theater and Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, and teams including hockey’s Colorado Avalanche, the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, and Major League Soccer’s Colorado Rapids. Outdoor Channel shareholders approved the deal in a special meeting yesterday with 19.3M votes in favor and just 758,969 against. The company initially agreed in November to sell itself to InterMedia Partners, which owns The Sportsman Channel, in a deal valued at about $8 a share. But that collapsed in March when Kroenke launched a bidding war.
Cottage Country is a dark comedy starring Malin Akerman, Tyler Labine, Daniel Petronijevic and Lucy Punch and directed by Peter Wellington. Victor Elizalde of indie Viva Pictures and Uncork’d Entertainment’s Keith Leopard said today they have acquired U.S. theatrical, VOD, home vid and digital rights while in Cannes. The story centers on Todd (Labine), who wants everything to be just perfect at the family cottage where he plans to propose to Cammie (Akerman). But things go awry with the arrival of Todd’s slacker brother Salinger (Petronijevic) and his free-spirited girlfriend Masha (Punch). When Todd accidentally dispatches his irksome sibling with an axe, Cammie is determined not to let murder stand in the way of their happiness.
Tuesday 8 PM: This is shaping out to be the biggest fall battleground, especially for male viewers. The Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC are going against the agents of NCIS on CBS. Also joining the fray is another younger-skewing new genre drama series, the CW’s Vampire Diaries spinoff The Originals. Fox has new male-centered comedies Dads and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. All these shows (or those who survive) will have to go against the biggest broadcast reality show at the moment, NBC’s The Voice, in midseason. Will anyone blink?
Related: Tuesday “Comedy Sigalert” Back
Thursday 9 PM: Robin Williams vs. Sean Hayes. The comedy vets are returning with new series (Williams in CBS’ The Crazy Ones, Hayes in NBC’s Sean Saves The World) and will face off in one of TV’s highest-profile slots. In another male comedy star showdown, Michael J Fox will take on Ashton Kutcher and Jon Cryer at 9:30 PM.
Glacier Films partners Hayden Christensen, Tove Cristensen, Sarik Andreasyan, Gevond Andreasyan and Georgy Malkov announced the company’s launch today with an 11 picture film slate scheduled to shoot over the next three years. Russian concern Renovatio is financing. Six of the films will be produced in the $10 million range, with the remaining five targeting the micro budget genre, with budgets of approximately $1.5 million each. The first to go into production is American Heist, a remake of the 1959 Steven McQueen-starrer St. Louis Bank Robbery. American Heist stars Hayden Christensen and will be directed by Sarik Andreasyan. Logline: Two brothers with checkered pasts, one struggling on the road to normalcy, the other just released from prison intertwine when one drags the other into an ill-fated bank robbery spearheaded by a gang of dangerous criminals, testing the loyalty of their sibling bond and how far they will go for greed and family. Tove Christensen, Gevond Andreasyan, Georgy Malkov and Vladimir Poliakov are producing. Other casting offers are out with announcements anticipated shortly. Paradigm represents the project. American Heist begins production June 18th. On the micro budget side, the first film to be produced will be Lady Of Csejte, a historical horror fantasy based on the story of Countess Bathory, considered to be the most prolific serial killer in history, reported to have killed over 500 children in 16th century Transylvania.
ABC 2013-14 Schedule: Rebel Wilson Gets Post-‘Modern Family’ Slot, ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ On Tuesday, ‘Dancing’ Shrinks To One Night
ABC is launching eight new series in the fall and taking some big swings, including a Tuesday lineup of all-new series, anchored by Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Rebel Wilson’s hot streak continues, with the rising star landing the post-Modern Family slot for her comedy Super Fun Night. ABC is looking to stem Dancing With The Stars‘ ratings decline by eliminating the Tuesday edition, with the Monday 8-10 PM show incorporating both performances and results. Dancing, as well as The Bachelor, Shark Tank and The Taste have been formally renewed for next season. Here is ABC’s fall schedule, analysis and descriptions of all 13 new series for next season, including newly picked up adventure reality series The Quest from The Amazing Race creators Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri:
ABC FALL 2013-2014 SCHEDULE
(New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET/PT)
8 PM – Dancing With The Stars
10 PM – Castle
8 PM – MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
9 PM – THE GOLDBERGS
9:30 PM – TROPHY WIFE
10 PM – LUCKY 7
8 PM – The Middle
8:30 PM – BACK IN THE GAME
9 PM – Modern Family
9:30 PM – SUPER FUN NIGHT
10 PM – Nashville
8 PM – ONCE UPON A TIME IN WONDERLAND
9 PM – Grey’s Anatomy
10 PM – Scandal
8 PM – Last Man Standing
8:30 PM – The Neighbors
9 PM – Shark Tank
10 PM – 20/20
8 PM – Saturday Night College Football
7 PM – America’s Funniest Home Videos
8 PM – Once Upon A Time
9 PM – Revenge
10 PM – BETRAYAL
From ABC’s returning series, left off the schedule are comedy Suburgatory and reality series The Bachelor, which comes on in midseason, and The Taste.
Four days after Summit released the first four minutes of its ensemble heist thriller Now You See Me, another trailer has hit the web. The newest look at Louis Leterrier’s first helming effort since Clash Of The Titans shows a group of Vegas illusionists pulling off a trick that leaves their audience in the money. Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Morgan Freeman, Isla Fisher and Mark Ruffalo star in the pic that Lionsgate unleashes May 31:
NEW YORK AND LOS ANGELES, May 13, 2013, Tribune Broadcasting and MGM Television (MGM) have joined forces on a new programming operations relationship for THIS TV, the 24/7 free digital network that features movies from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s vast library of over 4,000 titles. Effective this Fall 2013, Tribune Broadcasting will oversee all programming operations for the digital network.
Media CEOs don’t run their companies by themselves. Having looked at chiefs whose pay is out of whack, and those who are paid the most, here are others of note: the five best compensated company chairs, COOs, CFOs, and General Counsels as well as 10 other execs with standout compensation. We find that the five highest paid chairs collectively made $106.5M (+4.1% vs. 2011), with the COOs at $136.2M (+7.5%), CFOs at $77.9M (-15.0%), and General Counsels at $42M (+6.4%). Keep some caveats in mind with these results: I looked only at chairs who aren’t also CEOs, and there aren’t that many. (To avoid duplication, I combined the compensation that Sumner Redstone collected at CBS and Viacom, and that Charles Dolan received at Cablevision and AMC Networks.) Also, it’s often hard to define the roles that execs play. For example, Disney and Comcast don’t list a COO and Comcast’s CFO is also the Vice Chairman. So these compensation figures from company proxy statements can help you to see how the media power elite stack up, but only tell part of the story. Finally, remember that the SEC requires companies to provide compensation information for their five top executives. It’s safe to assume that several unlisted execs at big companies were paid more than some listed execs at smaller ones. Here’s how some of media’s top non-CEOs fared in 2012:
UPDATE: ABC Picks Up ‘Once Upon A Time’ Spinoff, ‘Mixology’, ‘The Returned’, ‘Killer Women’, ‘Lucky 7′, ‘Betrayal’, ‘Trophy Wife’, Cullen Bros, ‘Influence’, ‘The Goldbergs’, ‘Super Fun Night’, ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ To Series
When all was said and done tonight, ABC picked up a total of 12 new series — seven dramas and five comedies. All comedies are single-camera as ABC passed on both of its multi-camera pilots. Here is how it all came down today as the network opened the pickup process with one Disney-friendly shoo-in pilot, Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D., and closed it with another, the Once Upon A Time spinoff. Descriptions of all ABC series and first-look photos at the bottom of the post.
ABC’s Once Upon A Time is officially a franchise as the network just ordered spinoff Once Upon A Time In Wonderland to series, joining the original series, which also was renewed.
Also picked up at ABC are ensemble comedy Mixology, which had been heating up, drama The Returned, now called Resurrection, said to be one of Paul Lee’s favorite pilots, and female procedural Killer Women, executive produced by Sofia Vergara and Ben Silverman. The Malin Akerman starrer Trophy Wife also has gotten a series pickup.
It’s a great day for David Zabel, who just got a pickup call for both of his ABC pilots, dramas Lucky 7 and Betrayal.
Two more series pickups at ABC to two 20th TV pilots, the Cullen Bros. comedy starring James Caan and executive produced by Aaron Kaplan, titled Back In The Game, and the Steve Zahn-Christian Slater procedural Minds Games (formerly Influence).
Also getting a series pickup at ABC is comedy frontrunner Adam Goldberg, whose autobiographical 1980s dysfunctional family comedy is now called The Goldbergs.
ABC wants to be in the Rebel Wilson business. The network’s first new comedy series pickup went to Wilson’s Super Fun Night. The pilot was not perfect, but with Wilson’s star rising so fast, the network couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have her on its air.
No surprise here — ABC’s first new series order for next season has gone to Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D., from The Avengers’ Joss Whedon. The network will air a first-look at the series, officially titled Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., during the season finale of Once Upon A Time on Sunday. This marks the first pilot and first series for Disney-owned Marvel on ABC.
A massive financial investment and solid ratings have led to a second-season renewal for Syfy‘s Defiance, which has received a 13-episode order. Season 2 of the show, produced by Universal Cable Productions, will begin production in Toronto in August for a 2014 premiere, returning as anchor of Syfy’s Powerful Mondays block. Defiance was developed as a partnership between Syfy and Trion Worlds as a convergence of television and online gaming. Here’s the official release: