Box Office: ‘Heaven Is For Real’ Rises Higher; ‘Captain America’ To Pass $200M And Flips The Bird As ‘Rio 2′ Perched at No. 2; ‘Transcendence’ Soft

OPENING: Heaven Is For Real (SONY) best opener est. $18.9M to $21M  (3-day) and $28M+ (5-day); Transcendence (WB) No. 4 with $11M; A Haunted House 2 (OPRD) $8.8M to $9M in top five; Bears (DIS) hibernating with $5M at No. 9.

BoxOffice_logo__131122164403-275x206UPDATED: SATURDAY, 11:20 PM: After grossing an estimated $10M to $10.3M, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is definitely expected to cross the $200M mark this weekend for Disney/Marvel with estimates now at $25.7M to $26M for the 3-day. Fox’s Rio 2 has been downgraded again to $22.1M to $22.5M after taking in another $7.6M to $8M on Saturday. And Heaven is For Real adds even more for Sony/TriStar after a solid $8M Saturday to take in around $21M for the weekend for a total five-day cume of $28M+ on what Sony says is a $12M negative (not including marketing costs). The next tier down is Transcendence which didn’t do very well on Saturday night as far as openers go, grossing $3.7M to $3.9M and hopes to pull in $11M for Warner Bros. and its flagging star Johnny Depp. Big Budget Bomb. Rounding out the Top Five is A Haunted House 2. heaven-is-for-realThe Marlon Wayan’s comedy/horror film took in only $2.9M for Open Road Films and its 3-day estimate is lowered to $8.8M to $9M. The last newcomer this weekend is Disney’s Bears and that is still on track to gross around $5M. Will update early tomorrow as the numbers roll in and provide a chart as well. Numbers will likely change in the AM but not the pecking order. Until morning …

Previously, SATURDAY, 7:17 AM: Positions have not changed this morning — Captain America: The Winter Soldier is No. 1 three weekends in a row for Disney/Marvel and Rio 2 is in the second spot Read More »

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PILOTS 2014: More Early Buzz

By | Friday April 18, 2014 @ 9:01pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

panic-buttonWe’re heading into the homestretch of pilot season as the broadcast networks are beginning to view and test the completed pilots, a process that will continue for about two weeks before the nets move on to making pickup and scheduling decisions. Based on buzz around town, here are the most talked-about pilots three weeks before the upfronts.

Related: PILOTS 2014: Early Buzz Edition

ABC_logo_2007Every year, there is at least one pilot that comes out of nowhere and surprises everyone. We may have that this season in ABC‘s multi-camera Cristela. It was not even supposed to be a pilot. Developed at 20th TV-based 21 Laps/Adelstein for more than a year, the semi-autobiographical project co-created by and starring rising Latina stand-up comedian Cristela Alonzo was sold to ABC last summer with significant penalty. But when pilot-pickup time came along, ABC quickly loaded on high-profile sitcoms, including the 20th TV-produced The Winklers, starring Henry Winkler, and the untitled Kevin Hart project starring Romany Malco. Cristela didn’t get a pilot order, alonzobut the producers, who also are behind ABC’s Tim Allen sitcom Last Man Standing, decided to take the penalty, which I hear was about $500,000, and use it to shoot a presentation. (ABC called it “proof of concept.”Cristela ended up filming a full-length pilot on the stage of Last Man Standing using that sitcom’s crew, led by director/co-exec producer John Pasquin, with very little time to rehearse and prep. Because it was supposed to be a presentation, Cristela was not budgeted to get a testing, but I hear 20th TV brass liked the finished product and had it tested. I hear the results blew expectations, with Alonzo, who has no previous acting experience, scoring higher than most stars in recent 20th TV comedy pilots, including Allen, New Girl‘s Zooey Deschanel and The Crazy Ones‘ Robin Williams.

Related: Bubble Watch 2014: Where Endangered Broadcast Series Stand

Read More »

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Gwen Stefani In Talks To Take Christina Aguilera’s Chair On NBC’s ‘The Voice’

By | Friday April 18, 2014 @ 7:50pm PDT

Gwen StefaniNBC will have two “new” judges for The Voice in the fall as Gwen Stefani is in talks to replace the pregnant Christina Aguilera as a coach for Cycle 7, which starts taping in June. According to informed sources, Stefani also had been in talks for a judge position on ABC’s Rising Star, the interactive singing competition that’s set to premiere June 22. And she has experience on these kinds of shows, having mentored on Fox’s American Idol. The No Doubt singer and fashion icon might have given fans at the Coachella Music & Arts Festival TheVoice__121109194015-200x112__130425000858__130502160756__130516211150something of a Voice fall preview last week when she joined Pharrell Williams onstage for a take on her 2005 solo hit “Hollaback Girl.” NBC announced last month that Williams will join The Voice next season, replacing CeeLo Green, who had announced his departure in February.

Related: Chris Martin Joins ‘The Voice’ As Show Makes A Format Change
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Box Office: Lukewarm Thursday Bow For ‘Transcendence’, ‘Rio 2′ Might Get Its No. 1 Weekend Yet; ‘Heaven Is For Real’ May Surprise

transcendence-trailer-johnny-deppEven with taking over Captain America: The Winter Soldier‘s IMAX theaters this weekend, the fact that it is a new sci-fi thriller, Johnny Depp’s the lead and it’s the only real newcomer with a shot at No. 1, Transcendences debut near the top of the box office is doubtful this weekend based on Thursday night’s grosses. Bets are on that Fox’s Rio 2 may end up with around $26M, Disney/Marvel’s Captain America 2 next with $22M-$23M and Warner Bros.’ Transcendence at No. 3 with around $18M-$20M. Those predictions come as Transcendence grossed only $850K on Thursday.

HeavenisforrealtheaterposterA question mark is Sony’s Heaven Is For Real and how many infrequent moviegoers (i.e. faith-based crowd) may boost attendance numbers. Sony noted this morning that it seems to be crossing over to a faith-based crowd and word is spreading on social media. It certainly seems to be. The film has an overall CinemaScore of A and an A+ with the under-35 demo. Right now the Greg-Kinnear-starring film based on the bestselling book is tracking around $12M-$14M for the three-day, similar to Marlon Wayans’ Haunted House 2 from Open Road. Heaven Is For Real took in a stellar $3.7M — on a Wednesday — and last night took in another $1.37M for a two-day cume so far of $7M, which puts it in line for a 5-day gross of around $20M for the Randall Wallace-directed drama.

Tonight’s business should be strong because today is Good Friday, but come Easter Sunday, moviegoing traditionally slows on the Christian holy holiday. Easter is unlike strong holidays such as Thanksgiving or Christmas. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ & ‘About A Boy’ Inch Up, CBS Dramas Slip, ‘Celebrity Wife Swap’ Season Debut Soft

By | Wednesday April 16, 2014 @ 9:59am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE 2:30 PM: A ton of adjustments: The Voice, NCIS, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., New Girl, Person Of Interest and The Originals were each adjusted up a tenth among adults 18-49 while About A Boy, Growing Up Fisher and Supernatural were adjusted down a tenth.

PREVIOUS: ABC’s scheduling stunt with a Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. block paid off. Airing at 9 PM with last week’s episode as a lead-in, the comic book series last night drew a 2.0 in adults 18-49, up 18% from its fast national last week and up 5% from the final to tie a five-week high. It is currently running behind CBS’ NCIS: LA (2.1) in the hour, but the ABC drama tends to get an upward adjustment in the finals, so it will likely end up in a tie or could even pull ahead.

celebritywifeswapIf you were scratching your head over the pairing of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Celebrity Wife Swap and banishing the family reality show to 10 PM, you were not alone. In its season premiere in the challenging for ABC Wednesday 10 PM slot, the unscripted series managed a 1.0, down a steep 58% from the last season premiere in the far more family-viewing-inducing 8 PM hour to mark the lowest premiere for the Wife Swap franchise. Still, underscoring ABC’s nightly struggles in the hour, that was a seven-week high for the network in the time period. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past’

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 9:24pm PDT

Don’t let the title fool you: This ain’t no night in white satin with the Moody Blues. (It’s even spelled differently.) But if it’s action you crave, well, it’s got that. Here’s the final trailer for Fox/Marvel’s X-Men: Days Of Future Past, wherein Hugh Jackman‘s Wolverine goes back in time 50 years to alter history and prevent some really rotten stuff from happening. Butt-kicking ensues. The cast also includes James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Michael Fassbender, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Fan Bingbing, Omar Sy, Nicholas Hoult and plenty of others. Bryan Singer is back to direct his first film in the franchise since 2003′s X-Men 2, working from a script by Simon Kinberg. It opens May 23 — until then, enjoy:

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UPDATE: All-Clear Given At Manhattan Beach Studios Following Bomb Threat; Nothing Found After 6-Hour Search

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 4:45pm PDT

UPDATED: A nearly daylongmanhattanbeachstudios search of the MBS Media Campus following a telephoned bomb threat has turned up nothing suspicious, police say. The threat was called in at 9:56 AM and dozens of employees were evacuated from the sprawling 25,000-square-foot facility in Manhattan Beach. Bomb-sniffing dogs along with officers from the Inglewood, Beverly Hills, LA Airport, and Beverly Hills police departments searched building-by-building, but nothing was found, police say. The search was completed by 4 PM. Formerly known as Raleigh Studios, the facility was previously the home of Marvel Studios. James Cameron’s Avatar sequels will be shooting there this summer.

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BOX OFFICE FINAL: ‘Captain America 2′ Tally $41.2M, ‘Rio 2′ Runs Afowl With $39.3M, ‘Oculus’ $12M Over Disappointing Opener ‘Draft Day’ With Only $9.7M

OPENING: Rio 2 (FOX) on Friday was expected to fly to No. 1 for $43.9M to $44.3M (Fox was the only one to predict $45M), then Saturday got its wings clipped by Captain America: The Winter Soldier and ended at $39.3M, Oculus (REL) was expected to scare up $12M to $12.8M for third spot and ended up at $12M; Draft Day (LGF) on Fri. was second round pick for $10.9M (although Summit estimated lower $10.5M) and ended the weekend with $9.7M. NOTEWORTHY: Captain America 2 (DIS) expected to fall 56% in second weekend but will take No. 1 with $40.5M to $41.4M to end the 3-day with $41.2M.

BoxOffice_logo__131122164403-275x206UPDATED, MONDAY, 3:37 PM:  Rio 2 opened to $39.3M right in line with the first film which opened in 2011 to $39.2M. That hurts, but overseas, the film has already grossed $63.4M, so it has already pulled in over $100M worldwide and it should get some decent multiples as there is really nothing standing in its way for some weeks to come … well, there is the long- in-release Mr. Peabody & Sherman and Muppets Most Wanted. But for the sequel not to surge past the first film, something went a little haywire. Captain America: The Winter Soldier was the champ again this weekend and the final tally ended up at $41.2M but next weekend, it has competition when Warner Bros. opens the Johnny Depp sci-fi thriller Transcendence. The big disappointment of the weekend was the Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner football feature Draft Day (LGF). It took in only $9.7M. That’s three in a row for Costner that really didn’t thrill audiences — behind 3 Days To Kill and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, although the criticism for that film really was directed at Chris Pine not being a strong enough lead. Regardless, it’s too bad for all involved. Oculus, despite its C CinemaScore, was able to pull in $12M for the weekend which served Relativity well. Noah also bypassed Divergent to step into the Top Five. Read More »

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Hot Clip: ‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past

By | Sunday April 13, 2014 @ 7:50pm PDT

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:

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Deadline’s Best Film Stories Of The Week

By | Sunday April 13, 2014 @ 6:35pm PDT

Catch up on the top film stories you missed this week:

Sarah Jones Midnight RiderThe Death Of Sarah Jones: Safety Concerns Raised Over ‘Midnight Rider’ Crew’s Previous Film In Georgia
By Jen Yamato
Local, state, and federal investigations are underway to determine who from the Gregg Allman biopic Midnight Rider is responsible for the February 20 train collision on location in rural Georgia that left 27-year-old camera assistant Sarah Jones dead and seven others injured. As the production community rallies around the tragedy and calls for stronger guidelines to ensure that similar accidents never happen again, a Deadline investigation that included interviews with people on the ground in and around Savannah has revealed several troubling factors preceding the afternoon when the crew of the movie, directed and produced by Randall Miller through his Unclaimed Freight Productions banner, placed a metal hospital bed on the live train tracks overlooking Southern Georgia’s Altamaha River.

Related:
Safety On Set: Camera Crew Outnumber Stunt Personnel In On-Set Deaths
Safety On Set: Helicopter Crashes Have Taken Most Lives On TV & Film Sets
Safety On Set: Three Workers Speak Out

BOX OFFICE: ‘Rio 2′ Runs Afowl Of ‘Captain America 2′ Which Blasts To No. 1, ‘Oculus’ Runs Over Disappointing Opener ‘Draft Day’
By Anita Busch
Even with a 56% drop in its second weekend, Disney/Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier surprised all the distribs and trackers this weekend by clipping the wings of Fox’s Rio 2.

Divergent posterLionsgate To Split Final ‘Divergent’ Sequel ‘Allegiant’ Into Two Films To Cap Sci-Fi Franchise
By Jen Yamato
EXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate/Summit will adapt Veronica Roth‘s Divergent novel trilogy into a total of not three, but four films starring Shailene Woodley as the dystopian sci-fi heroine Beatrice “Tris” Prior, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-Chairmen Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger revealed today.

Drew Goddard Near Helming Deal For Spider-Man Spinoff ‘Sinister Six’
By Mike Fleming Jr
BREAKING: Sony Pictures is nearing a deal with Drew Goddard to direct Sinister Six, the Amazing Spider-Man spinoff for the studio. Read More »

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25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards Winners Announced

By | Saturday April 12, 2014 @ 10:01pm PDT

25th Annual GLAAD Media Award WinnersThe 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards were held tonight at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, honoring 12 of their 29 media categories, with comedian Ross Mathews hosting. Previously announced honorees include Jennifer Lopez, who received the Vanguard Award, a kudo that honors artists and media professionals whose work has increased the profile and understanding of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.  Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions is behind the ABC Family series The Fosters, which portrays a blended family with lesbian parents. Also Orange Is The New Black star Laverne Cox was presented with the Stephen F. Kolzak award by Oscar-nominated actress Ellen Page. The honor, named after a casting director who was a LGBT crusader, is presented to an openly LGBT media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality. The GLAAD Media Awards honor those who display a fair, accurate and inclusive representation of the LGBT community and their issues.  Additional awards will be presented at the org’s New York City event on Saturday, May 3.

Related: The 25th Annual GLAAD Media Award Nominees

Announced winners tonight include:

Pioneer Award  (presented by Wilson Cruz)
Norman Lear

Vanguard Award (presented by Rita Moreno)
Jennifer Lopez

Stephen F. Kolzak Award (presented by Ellen Page)
Laverne Cox, Orange Is the New Black 

International Advocate for Change Award
Manny de Guerre, founder of the Side by Side LGBT Film Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia

Outstanding Documentary
TIE:  Bridegroom … Read More »

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PILOTS 2014: Early Buzz Edition

By | Saturday April 12, 2014 @ 1:52pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

panic-buttonWith less than a month until the upfronts, we’re kicking off our annual Pilot Buzz series. As usual, the first edition only includes a limited number of projects that have been garnering early attention as many pilots are still filming. So, if a pilot is not mentioned, it probably means it is too early to weigh in or the feedback I’ve received is inconclusive at this time.

ABC_logo_2007Shonda Rhimes. Viola Davis. Need we say more? ABC’s sexy suspense legal thriller How To Get Away With Murder, executive produced by Rhimes and starring Davis, is packing some heat early on. Secret & Lies starring Ryan Phillippe also is getting encouraging early response. It also has a seven-figure penalty and is directed by Charles McDougall, whose strong pilot record includes Desperate Housewives, The Good Wife and most recently, Resurrection last season. Then there is Marvel’s stealth Agent Carter project. Last year, the company went into Fort Knox mode on its Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot, which was kept under lock and key. They took that a notch further this year with carterAgent Carter. Because there is a prototype — the project is inspired by a one shot, which was featured on the Blu-ray release of Iron Man 3word has been that it would forgo a pilot and go straight to series. The script was finished more than three months ago (“the script is great,” ABC’s Paul Lee said back in January), the option on one-shot’s star Hayley Atwell came up and was extended, but the green light never came. Now there is talk that a pickup for Agent Carter may come along with a renewal for Marvel’s freshman Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., with the new series possibly serving as a bridge between the fall and spring portions of S.H.I.E.L.D.  Also getting various level of early traction at ABC is mystery Sea of Fire and several dark horses, alien drama The Whispers (aka The Visitors), medical drama The Warriors and mystery Clementine. Read More »

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Robert Downey, Jr. Finally Gets His Own Twitter Account, Reflective Of Social Media’s Importance To Film Marketing

Kodak TheatreThe Iron Man himself has finally joined Twitter. With only 4 tweets this morning, he’s dipped his toe into the social media universe. Within hours, Downey has tallied 912K followers. Wow, word travels fast. And why not? Iron Man is a billion dollar franchise for Marvel since they first introduced Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark in 2008. Worldwide the first film grossed $585M, the second one, $623.9M and the third, $1.2B. The next Marvel title for the actor is Avengers: Age of Ultron which will bow May 1, 2015 from Disney. Welcome to the SMU, Mr. Downey, No doubt, Disney and Marvel are thrilled. The actor has long been a strong presence on social media due to his many fans who call him #RDJ. His fans post video bits from the actor from media, on-stage award shows, red carpet appearances, and other media events showcasing the wise-cracking, irreverance. His opening Tweet:

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MIPTV: ‘Rising Star’ Rollout Begins; Will It Cement Position As The Next Big Thing?

mip tv logo 2Much as it did with October’s Mipcom, Israel’s Keshet International dominated the just-wrapped Mip-TV market. The savvy folks behind Rising Star energized the Croisette this week with ticking time bomb format Boom!, which closed at least a deal a day including in the U.S., France, Spain, Belgium and Hungary. And, interactive singing competition Rising Star, which had already locked down more than 25 territories since last October, is still selling. But save for Brazil, which on Sunday became the first territory outside Israel to debut a local version of Rising Star, the shows have yet to be tested abroad and Mip was abuzz with anticipation, mixed with some skepticism, about the ultimate results. Underscoring that, Brazil, which scored strong numbers, had a technical glitch that meant some home keshetviewers had trouble entering their votes. I understand this was not the same sort of situation suffered by NBC’s Million Second Quiz last year when its app crashed during the premiere. In the case of Rising Star, I’m told there was no loss of connectivity and the live show was not affected. But, it’s a fair bet that other networks who have acquired the format are keeping a keen eye on the international rollout. Portugal is next to bow in May, and ABC debuts the format in June; it’s playing close to the vest with details.

boom!In Cannes this week, execs up and down the Croisette praised the folks at Keshet International for their marketing acumen, enthusiasm and ability to generate creative formats. The company is often credited with putting Israel on the TV map thanks, most notably, to scripted drama Prisoners Of War, aka Homeland. The deal success of Rising Star, and now Boom!, had more than one observer marveling this week that Keshet has taught “a masterclass in marketing.” A key element of that masterclass includes bringing both formats to the Riviera sales shows hot on the heels of their respectively record-breaking debuts in Israel on Keshet Channel 2. Each format’s gimmick has also been highly touted. Rising Star‘s interactive app, incubated in Tel Aviv’s cutting-edge start-up community, lets viewers control the show’s outcome. Boom! is more of a straightforward quiz show. But the concept of contestants defusing (fake) bombs onstage, while shocking some, has made buyers sit up and take notice. Read More »

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BOX OFFICE: ‘Rio 2′ To Chase Out ‘Captain America’ For No. 1 At Box Office?

By | Thursday April 10, 2014 @ 1:15pm PDT

RIO-2-AfficheRio 2 will fly into theaters this weekend from Fox and easily peck away the rest of the flock of openers that includes Lionsgate’s Draft Day, the third Kevin Costner starrer this year,, and the horror film Oculus from Relativity. The current thinking is that the animated sequel will do roughly $40M to $42M while the second weekend of Disney’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier will play out to mid-to-high $30M number, but it might surprise. According to Fandango, both Rio 2 and Captain America are neck in neck with ticket sales, each representing roughly 25% of total sales. It really depends how much Captain America drops from its second weekend. Captain America grossed $95M with $10.2M coming from Thursday last weekend (its debut), so if it holds at 50%, it grosses $42.4M. The first Captain America dropped 61% in its second weekend, the first Thor dropped only 47% while its sequel Thor: The Dark World dropped 57%. The first Iron Man dropped only 48.1%, but subsequent sequels dropped 59.4% and 58.4%, respectively. All Marvel titles. Given the stellar reviews for Captain America, it might surprise.

Related: Intl Box Office: ‘Winter Soldier’ Crosses $200M Overseas; ‘Rio 2′ Breaks Brazil Read More »

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Hulu Original Series Boss Charlotte Koh Departs Amid Shake-Up

By | Wednesday April 9, 2014 @ 4:03pm PDT

hulu5__131120195159-275x122Charlotte Koh, head of content development at Hulu Originals, has departed the streaming company. The move comes just more than a week after Hulu hired seasoned TV development executive Craig Erwich. The former president of Warner Horizon was tapped as SVP and head of content March 31, tasked with leading the content and programming strategy for Hulu and Hulu Plus as one of the first major hires by new CEO Mike Hopkins. TheAwesomesThat move apparently made things more crowded with Koh, who helped launch Hulu originals like animated The Awesomes (renewed for Season 2 to air this summer), comedy The Wrong Mans and docu-series Behind The Mask. (Koh unveiled 17 original series on tap for 2014 in a January blog post.) But that push came at a time when Netflix and Amazon made major strides establishing slates of network-quality comedy and drama series, and the hiring of Erwich signaled Hulu’s intention to become a major player in those arenas. The service’s most recent original series, comedy Deadbeat starring Tyler Labine, debuted today. It centers on a man whose life revolves around helping ghosts reach the afterlife. Read More »

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On The Bubble: Where Endangered Broadcast Series Stand

By | Wednesday April 9, 2014 @ 2:25pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

networklogosIt is very difficult for showrunners to wrap production on a season without knowing if their series would get another season. Unfortunately, that is the nature of the network business, and about two dozen shows go though that every year. Here is a look at each network’s comedy and drama series in peril and their odds for survival.

With all the drama carnage at ABC this season (Lucky 7, Betrayal, Killer Women, Mind Games, The Assets), the network is pretty lean on the hourlong side, and all shows currently on the air have a good shot at coming back. agents of shieldThat includes two freshman series, fall drama Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., despite slipping in the ratings, and midseason entry Resurrection. Of returning dramas, there is no doubt about renewals for Shonda Rhimes’ Grey’s Anatomy, especially with stars Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey signed on, and Scandal, as well as Castle and Once Upon A Time. While it was heavily on the bubble last season, country music drama Nashville appears in a stronger position this spring and looks likely to continue. And, despite its ratings erosion, Revenge remains a signature, upscale drama for ABC that the network also owns. Because of its heavy mythology with a revenge storyline that has been central to the show since the pilot, it is unlikely that ABC would abruptly end the series without giving it a final chapter to wrap things up.

Things are far murkier on the comedy side where there are three shoe-ins, anchors Modern Family and The Middle and freshman The Goldbergs. None of these hail from ABC’s sister studio, and building a steady comedy pipeline at ABC Studios has been important for the overall health of the company. There are three ABC Studios-produced comedy series on ABC at the moment, all on the bubble: freshmen Trophy Wife and Mixology and sophomore The Neighbors. The network will likely renew at least one comedy from its own studio. (Last year, it picked The Neighbors vs. 20th TV’s How To Live With Your Parents.) Of the three, Trophy Wife seems to have the biggest support and is the most promotable, with KATE SIMSES, ADAM CAMPBELLa star cast led by Malin Akerman and Bradley Whitford. But the name cast also makes Trophy Wife the most expensive, and its ratings are pretty soft. The Neighbors, which comes from prominent Disney writer Dan Fogelman, costs way less, and, while only doing so-so on Fridays, it could deliver something ABC Studios has not seen in a while: a third-year comedy. (Fogelman also has comedy pilot Galavant in the running at ABC.) Then there is Mixology, which has not done well behind Modern Family. It stands out with its unusual structure — set in a bar over the course of one night — it has quickly built a core fan base and has supporters at ABC. But relaunching a heavily serialized comedy in the fall four months after a brief midseason run would be a challenge and growing ratings for such a show with a continues storyline would be very difficult. ABC has a recent history of sticking with narrow, quirky relationship comedies like Happy Endings and Don’t Trust the B—- but all were eventually cancelled. 20th TV’s Last Man Standing starring Tim Allen is quietly wrapping its third season. It has done a decent job as a Friday 8 PM anchor and is ABC’s only multi-camera series. With several high-proile multi-camera pilots, the network could use Last Man Standing as a building block. (How about Allen paired with another comedy vet, Henry Winkler of The Winklers?). Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE UPDATE: ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ & ‘Voice’ Adjusted Up, ‘Chicago Fire’ & ‘About A Boy’ Down

By | Wednesday April 9, 2014 @ 2:22pm PDT

BRETT DALTON, CHLOE BENNET, CLARK GREGGUPDATE, 2:22 PM: The final numbers are in and Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. has seen a rise of two tenths for a second week in a row. While still down from last week’s 2.0/6, last night’s 1.9/6 is not the series low for ABC’s superspy agency drama as preliminary numbers indicated this morning. S.H.I.E.L.D.’s all-time low was a 1.8 on March 4. NBC’ also saw adjustments in its lineup with The Voice up a tenth to 2.9/9 to tie a low for a regularly scheduled show, and About A Boy and Chicago Fire down a tenth each for the latter to hit a season low.

Related: ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ Smashes April Opening Record

PREVIOUS, 9:05 AM: After tease after tease this season, Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (1.7/6) last night finally plunged full force into the greater Marvel Universe with a crossover to Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Even with the heavily promoted crossover, plus betrayals and revelations galore, the superspy agency series didn’t see the blockbuster results of the just-released superhero pic.
Read More »

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MIPTV: Is Turkey As Hot As It’s Cracked Up To Be? Can Formats Really Go West?

By | Wednesday, 9 April 2014 18:37 UK

mip tv logo 2For about six months, the industry has been buzzing about Turkey and its potential as a fresh source of adaptable formats. That’s been spurred on by recent deals with the U.S., a successful export track record in neighboring regions, and a growing need for unique formats on the part of Western buyers. But, in the half-year since 2013’s Mipcom, people are wondering whether Turkey can really emerge as a new proving ground to be cultivated by the West, or if executives have been prematurely excited by some groundbreaking in-roads.

turkish flagTurkey, which straddles Europe and Asia, has historically traded in series and soaps with largely local and historical themes. And its production industry is growing. According to data released at last month’s Discop market, it has surpassed Latin America to be the most prolific drama-producing nation outside the U.S. Other recent data says that a majority of Turkish channels air more than 100 new shows a year. Those are for the most part exported to the rest of the Balkans, Eastern Europe and the Middle East, bringing in about $150M in 2013.

the end turkeyBut outside those territories there wasn’t much action until October last year. During the Mipcom market, Turkey made a big entrance into the U.S. with the first scripted format set up at a network by American producers when Ghost Whisperer alums Ian Sander and Kim Moses sold the Eccho Rights-repped The End to Fox. Unlike much Turkish output, the story is contemporary and has a universal feel. It centers on a woman who must navigate a web of lies and intrigue as she searches for her husband whom she presumed dead following a plane crash — but it turns out, he never boarded the plane. Produced by local powerhouse Ay Yapim, it aired in the first half of 2012. In the past six months, The End (or Son in Turkish) has been sold into Germany and Russia for local versions, while Shine France took an option and Netflix signed a non-exclusive agreement for the original in Sweden and the UK. The End has also aired on SVT in Sweden, the first time a Turkish drama had been shown in primetime on a national channel — it doubled the slot average. Read More »

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