While fans were allowed to ask questions to the string of talent from Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, The Maze Runner and DreamWorks’ How To Train Your Dragon 2 at 20th Century Fox’s WonderCon panel, the one creative talent not fielding questions from the crowd was X-Men: Days Of Future Past writer and producer Simon Kinberg. While a “no questions” policy wasn’t blatantly announced, Fox gracefully saved its X-Men presentation for the final portion of its nearly two-hour panel. And it was brief next to the half-hour-plus devoted to Planet Of The Apes. Kinberg stepped in at the last minute after the studio pulled Bryan Singer in the wake of the director being slammed with a sexual abuse civil lawsuit. Kinberg promised the crowd that he had footage that was never seen before, but that wasn’t the case: He showed the same clip that was on the MTV Movie Awards last weekend with the young X-Men including Kitty Pryde, Colossus and Iceman fighting a rather large latex figure who absorbs their powers. Fox, unlike ABC — which pulled Singer’s name off their Black Box TV spots — kept the filmmaker’s name on the trailer that was shown at WonderCon today. The crowd was unfazed when his name came up on screen.
WonderCon: 20th Century Fox Executes Bryan Singer PR Control During ‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past’ Panel
Participant Media‘s network Pivot today announced the pickup of Sky Atlantic’s 12-episode drama series Fortitude starring Stanley Tucci and Michael Gambon. The series became available in the U.S. in December when Starz, which originally had committed to the project, pulled out. Pivot is designed as a younger skewing network than Starz, with its target demo being 18-34. As part of its upfront presentation, Pivot also announced an overhaul of its nightly topical series, TakePart Live. Beginning Monday, May 12, the hour-long late-night program will move to primetime (10 PM) with a new producer, Michael Davies’ Embassy Row, which is behind Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live and AMC’s Talking Dead/Bad. Also undergoing makeover is the hosting team of Jacob Soboroff and Cara Santa Maria, with only Soboroff coming back, joined by Sen. John McCain’s daughter Meghan McCain and comedian Eddie Huang.
Pivot also unveiled a development slate that includes eleven projects from production companies including IAC’s Electus, Universal Cable Prods., FremantleMedia North America/Pukeko Pictures, Funny or Die, and Eyeworks, and revealed premiere 2014-15 dates, including an August 8 debut for the sophomore season of coming-of-age comedy, Please Like Me, and the comedy Human Resources. “Our second slate demonstrates our significant investment in, and commitment to, groundbreaking content for the thought-leading segment of Generation Y we call ‘Upstanders,’” said Pivot president Evan Shapiro. Here is Pivot’s full slate:
About 2.8 million people tuned in to Sunday’s Conan O’Brien-hosted MTV Movie Awards, a million fewer viewers (-27%) than last year’s show. The 2013 trophy show clocked 3.8 million total viewers — up compared to previous year’s 3.2 million even though big winner Jennifer Lawrence didn’t show up, and Parks And Recreation’s Aubrey Plaza got thrown out. Those who watched Sunday’s fan-voted awards saw The Hunger Games: Catching Fire cop movie of the year, Mila Kunis hide her baby bump, Zac Efron lose his shirt and Mark Wahlberg score the MTV Generation Award — or, as he called it, the You’re Too Old To Come Back Award — and Eminem and Rihanna doing the TV debut of their hit “The Monster.”
Sunday’s show also was down by double digits in the network’s core 12-34 demographic, pulling a 2.6 compared with last year’s 3.4 — a 23% drop — and the previous year’s 2.8. In 2012, the MTV Movie Awards pulled in 3.2 million viewers and a 2.8 rating in 12-34. That had all been good news because 2012 was down a troubling 28% in the demo from the 2011 show. Additionally, last year’s show was up 45% among adults 18-34 and up 44% with adults 18-49 compared to ’12.
The studio tweeted today that it is bringing three of its high-priority summer pics to the Anaheim Convention Center this weekend. Saturday’s Warner Bros panel will cover the rebooted creature feature Godzilla, Tom Cruise’s futuristic war pic Edge Of Tomorrow – whose teaser trailer aired during last night’s MTV Movie Awards — and tornado actioner Into The Storm. The annual sci-fi, movie and comic book confab runs Friday to Sunday.
— Warner Bros Pictures (@wbpictures) April 14, 2014
UPDATE: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire just beat out such films as Oscar winner 12 Years A Slave and The Wolf Of Wall Street for Movie Of The Year in the conclusion of the MTV Movie Awards. Even though Johnny Depp presented, the award was accepted by Josh Hutcherson. Nobody else showed up. Yowza.
EARLIER: So what’s happening in the vitally important MTV Movie Awards? Well, Conan O’Brien–who would win if there was an award for Most Screwed Over For Network Late Night Slot after guys who came behind him have the big network gigs while he’s still the best show on TBS–took the stage on a design that seemed to be inspired by where the Sleestaks lived on Land Of The Lost. I can tell you Jared Leto won Best On-Screen Transformation for getting dolled up for Dallas Buyers Club (I bet he puts the popcorn trophy right next to Oscar on his mantle), and that We’re The Millers’ Will Poulter won for Breakthrough Performance, with Zac Efron beating out some hunks for Best Shirtless Performance and Channing Tatum for Trailblazer Award. And Jonah Hill won some award… You know what? The Yankees are right now playing the Boston Red Sox, and they’re winning and it’s Jeter’s final season. And Game Of Thrones is coming on and trust me, there will be blood. I’m sort of in charge here and screw it, I can’t watch …
Here’s a new look at the opening battle scene of Fox/Marvel’s X-Men: Days Of Future Past which premiered tonight at the MTV Movie Awards, in which Ellen Page’s Shadowcat, Daniel Cudmore’s Colossus, and Shawn Ashmore’s Iceman join new franchise mutants Blink (Fan Bingbing), Bishop (Omar Sy), Sunspot (Adan Canto), Warpath (Booboo Stewart) to take on a Sentinel attack. Bryan Singer‘s back at the helm of the X-Men sequel which opens May 23:
I wish I could show you the incredible catch Yankees right fielder Ichiro Suzuki just made, smacking into the rightfield wall to rob David Ortiz of an extra base hit in a one-run game in the 8th inning. Instead, here’s the latest trailer from the MTV Movie Awards, the Adam Sandler-Drew Barrymore pic Blended:
After 14 years as Turner Broadcasting, Tuner Entertainment Networks president Steve Koonin is leaving for what he describes as a dream job, to become CEO of NBA team Atlanta Hawks. A native Atlantan, Koonin has spent his career so far holding top positions at two blue-chip Atlanta-based companies, Coca-Cola and Turner, spending 14 years at each. He now plans to finish his career in his hometown with the post at Atlanta Hawks. The gig stemmed from conversations he recently had with the sports organization about coming in as an investor which grew into Koonin joining as CEO and Part-Owner. Koonin has had a 28-year association with the NBA, including his stint at TEN, whose network TNT carries the league’s games.
Koonin’s departure comes a month before TEN’s upfront presentation where he has been a staple. (Who can forget his memorable improv when the network’s video system temporarily shut down three years ago). In a memo, Turner Broadcasting Systems president David Levy said a search for Koonin’s replacement will start right away with both internal and external candidates expected to be considered. He indicated that the company would use the changeover at the top to bring in “fresh eyes” for evaluating TEN’s positioning in a rapidly changing media landscape. The process needs to be relatively quick so the networks have a leadership in place for the important upfront buying process when advertisers make the bulk of their commitments for the next year.
Koonin joined Turner in February 2000 as a head of TNT, eventually taking over the entire entertainment division, which also includes TBS, TruTV and TCM. He led both TNT and TBS into original scripted programming and spearheaded their rebrands with slogans “We Know Drama” (TNT) and “Very Funny” (TBS). He leaves the division in good shape. TNT traditionally has commanded the highest ad prices in basic cable and has produced a string of major hits in the past decade with The Closer, spinoff Major Crimes and Rizzoli & Isles, while TBS has been running high with off-network Big Bang Theory. TruTV is going through some rough times, with Koonin last year tapping MTV’s Chris Linn to lead a turnaround. Here is Koonin’s internal memo announcing the departure, in which he quotes Green Day’s Time Of Your Life, as well as the memo by Levy:
I set my guiding principle as a very young man that living in Atlanta, the home of my family and friends for multiple generations, was the key for lifetime happiness. For the past 28 years, I have been able to live and work in a senior leadership role in my hometown for two fantastic companies. I was very lucky to be a part of Coca-Cola’s incredible global growth in the 80′s and 90′s.
In February 2000, I walked into Turner Broadcasting after being invited to run TNT. I was 42 years old, had a full head of brown hair and dreams of taking the consumer lessons I learned from Coca-Cola and apply them to TV. I am truly gratified in saying that TNT, TBS, TCM and truTV have become familiar and beloved brands to TV viewers all over the USA.
The day after CBS’s bombshell announcement that Stephen Colbert would replace David Letterman on Late Show, when things calmed down a bit and reason returned to her throne, industry pundits began to contemplate the deeper meaning of the shift in the late-night landscape. Practically speaking, it means Comedy Central is now one late-night show short — and CBS may be as well, if Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson, or the network, decides to call it a day now that Craig’s for sure not getting the 11:35 PM timeslot. We’ve all been brought up to speed on the clause in Craig’s contract that landed him a pot of cash if the network settled elsewhere on its Letterman replacement. But Ferguson was quick to tweet his congratulations to Colbert the morning the news broke. That night, Ferguson opened his show with another shout out to Colbert, after which he teased viewers with cracks about resigning — but only for the length of a commercial break.
In an AP video today making its way around the web, latenight talk show host Conan O’Brien gave a warm thumbs up to Stephen Colbert taking over David Letterman’s seat on CBS’ Late Show. “I wasn’t up for it,” said the former Tonight Show host on whether he interviewed for the gig, “I’m very happy where I am. But I love Stephen. Stephen is great. I’m a huge fan of his as a comic and a human being. I think it’s fantastic and I’m really glad he got the job, and I look forward to seeing his show. It’s going to be fantastic.” O’Brien also comments about his hosting gig tomorrow night at the MTV Movie Awards at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. Take a look:
UPDATED WITH VIDEO: “As you can imagine, it’s been a wild day around here. You may remember a few years back there was a gentleman on this program by the name of Stephen Colbert,” Jon Stewart said tonight at the top of his Comedy Central program The Daily Show, addressing CBS‘ hire of Colbert to replace David Letterman on Late Show. (Video below)
Wild cheering from the studio audience.
“He was yea high, skin like porcelain, very talented actor, writer, dancer, improvisational comedian. We would send him to the field, usually with some type of fruit, and see where the day took us.”
Related: CBS’ Late-Night Drama Not Over Yet
UPDATED WITH VIDEO: “I know we’ve got a big show to do tonight, but one thing before we get started,” Stephen Colbert said at the top of his Comedy Central show The Colbert Report, hours after CBS announced Colbert would replace David Letterman as host of Late Show (Video below).
“There was some big news last week that slipped through my news crack, and it concerns someone I’ve admired for years and yet, surprisingly, is not me. I’m talking about David Letterman who, last Thursday night, announced his retirement. And I am going to miss this good man,” Colbert said.
CBS is understandably over the moon that it’s landed Stephen Colbert as its new late-night star. With Colbert as its date, the network so long treated by the media as a dinosaur, an afterthought or a curiosity (as in, “Golly gosh, can you believe how many people watch NCIS?”) has, overnight become the hottest girl at the whole damned dance.
Colbert will retire his Comedy Central conservative windbag character — who he has previously described as a “well-intentioned, poorly informed, high-status idiot” — and become Actual Stephen Colbert when he takes over as host of Late Show With Stephen Colbert. It’s devastating news for Bill O’Reilly and other conservative TV and radio talking heads who counted on Colbert for material about which to fume and foment. The character looms so large in the talk-show world that Colbert today felt compelled to issue a statement about Faux Colbert’s coming demise, saying: “I won’t be doing the new show in character, so we’ll all get to find out how much of him was me. I’m looking forward to it.” CBS Corp chairman Leslie Moonves said it’s unclear how the CBS late-night show will be configured with Colbert as host; in an interview with Deadline today, he expressed no concern about the fictitious character his new star has been playing on the comedy network since 2005.
Asked when would be David Letterman‘s last day as Late Show host and Colbert’s first day, Moonves said no decision had been made and reiterated that the end date was Dave’s to decide.
EXCLUSIVE: Thomas Lennon has joined the cast of Paramount’s Monster Trucks, the live-action/animation hybrid also starring Danny Glover, Jane Levy, Amy Ryan, Lucas Till, and Holt McCallany. Chris Wedge (Ice Age) is directing Paramount Animation‘s would-be franchise starter, which Mary Parent is producing. Plot details on the original script by Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger and Derek Connolly are under wraps, but Lennon’s is a “significant” role. Filming begins this month ahead of a May 29, 2015, debut. Actor, writer, producer, and director Lennon currently exec produces Comedy Central’s social media-fueled @midnight with partner Robert Ben Garant, with whom he co-created the network’s cop satire Reno 911! and MTV’s The State. The pair also scripted comedy features The Pacifier, Let’s Go To Prison, and the Night at the Museum pics starring Ben Stiller, and wrote and directed the 2013 comedy Hell Baby.