Casting director Marion Dougherty will be posthumously awarded the 2014 Governors Award, the Television Academy said today. It will be presented, along with the Juried Award winners (also announced today) during the Creative Arts Emmy Awards on Saturday, August 16 at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live.
Dougherty, who passed away in 2011, is being recognized for defining the role of the Casting Director, changing the profession for both television and film. She broke the mold of traditional casting, which commonly involved bringing in a large number of the same type of actors to read for a role. Instead, she would bring three or four very different actors to provide the director with casting options, and performers who could bring unique shadings to the roles. She used that approach in casting Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Martin Sheen, William Shatner, Christopher Walken, Robert Duval, Glenn Close and James Caan in some of their earliest roles.
Among her many achievements: suggesting to Norman Lear that Carroll O’Connor and Jean Stapleton play Archie and Edith on Lear’s pilot for a new series called All In The Family; convincing Richard Donner to cast Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon even though his part was written for a white male; and casting Robin Williams in Garp, his first dramatic role.
There was a push in 1991 to get Dougherty the Honorary Lifetime Achievement Oscar — with the likes of Warner Bros’ Mark Rosenberg, Paula Weinstein, Newman, Woody Allen and Sydney Pollack behind the campaign — but that lobbying effort failed. Read More »
The company that sensationalizes pain seemed to feel a lot of it in Q2: The bold $9.99 a month streaming video venture that World Wrestling Entertainment launched in February only had 700,000 subscribers at the end of June, it says today. That’s half of the 1.4M that the company said in May it needs to offset lost pay-per-view TV sales, much of it from fans watching online. The growth rate is nothing to brag about. WWE Network only added 33,000 subs in Q2. In April the company boasted that it was “well on its way to reaching its goal of 1 million subscribers by the end of 2014.”
Now it’s bracing for the point in a few weeks — after SummerSlam on August 17 — when initial subs’ six-month commitment expires. SummerSlam “will likely be the biggest draw through the remainder of the year,” Benchmark Co’s Mike Hickey observed yesterday. As a result, “We suspect subscribers will wrestle with the decision to immediately renew their six month subscription.”
So why is the stock up 7.9% today? Some investors believe that WWE’s been beat up enough; even with today’s uptick, shares are down 36% over the last three months. And WWE employees are sharing some of the pain. The company says it will slash its staff by 7%, contributing to a $30M improvement in its cash flow outlook for this year.
The Q2 numbers also weren’t as bad as analysts expected. Revenues at $156.3M, +2.6% from last year, came close to projections for $156.8M. The net loss, at 14.5M vs … Read More »
Warren Kole and Erik Stocklin have landed recurring roles in CBS drama Stalker. The Kevin Williamson series stars Dylan McDermott and Maggie Q as detectives from the Threat Assessment Unit who investigate cases of stalking. Kole, repped by The Kohner Agency, Silver Lining Entertainment and attorney Stuart Rosenthal, will play Detective Trent Wilkes, a lead detective in the Robbery Homicide Division of the LAPD who gets into a turf war with Jack (McDermott). Stocklin has been added as a recurring after appearing in the pilot. He will reprise his role of Perry, an introverted college sophomore. Kole appeared in the NBC pilot Salvation and recently recurred on USA’s White Collar and Fox’s The Following. Stocklin, repped by Domain and manager JC Robbins, appeared on ABC’s Mistresses.
Tony Award winner Laura Benanti (Gypsy, Into The Woods, Swing) has booked a multi-episode arc on the upcoming third season of ABC‘s country music drama Nashville. Benanti will play Sadie Stone, an up-and-coming country star who befriends Rayna (Connie Britton). Benanti, repped by CAA and Emily Gerson Saines at Brookside Artist Management, most recently appeared in NBC’s The Sound Of Music Live! She has starred in the NBC series Go On and The Playboy Club, as well as FX comedy series Starved. She also has recurred on Nurse Jackie, Royal Pains, The Big C, and Law & Order: SVU.
Benjamin Ciaramello is set as a recurring on ABC mystery Secrets & Lies from producer Aaron Kaplan and director Charles McDougall. Based on an Australian series, Secrets & Lies stars Ryan Phillippe as a family man who finds the body of a young boy and quickly becomes the prime murder suspect. Ciaramello, repped by House of Representatives and Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein, will play Paul Murphy, Jess’ husband and Tom’s father who’s currently in the military and about to be deployed for the fifth time. He’s constantly battling inner demons resulting from extended periods in warring countries.
Telemundo and Billboard Magazine, along with dick clark prods have inked a four-year extension of the agreement to produce the Billboard Latin Music Awards show through 2020. In addition, Telemundo and dcp will team up in 2015 to produce a new Spanish-language music awards show modeled on the successful American Music Awards show.
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Girls co-star Allison Williams has been cast as the title character in NBC’s December 4 live staging of Peter Pan Live!. Williams, who has sung on her HBO show and in various other projects, is a classically trained singer whose online singing videos have logged millions of views. (watch below one of the most popular ones, which she uploaded shortly after graduating from Yale in 2010) She will star opposite Christopher Walken, who had been cast as Captain Hook. “We think she will bring the perfect blend of ‘boyish’ vulnerability and bravado to save the day against Christopher Walken’s powerful Captain Hook,” NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt said. Williams, daughter of NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, said that she’d wanted to play Peter Pan since she was about 3, “so this is a dream come true.” “I’m very excited to get to work with this extraordinarily talented team. And besides, what could go wrong in a live televised production with simultaneous flying, sword fighting and singing?” Craig Zadan and Neil Meron executive produce the special.
The casting of the lead proved crucial for the success of NBC’s live staging of The Sound of Music last year as Carrie Underwood’s broad fan base came out in droves, especially in the middle of the country where there were numerous viewing parties. Williams, who landed the role on Girls right out of college, is not yet a household name and doesn’t have a following of the size of Underwood, a country superstar. The … Read More »
The fanboy Super Bowl is over. Who made the most of San Diego Comic-Con and who spit the bit? Here’s the view from Deadline staffers who endured endless movie and TV show presentations. We’ll start with features:
WARNER BROS: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Mad Max: Fury Road, Jupiter Ascending, The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
The best Comic-Con panels show fans things they’ve never seen before. From that standpoint, Warner Bros changed the game by making the Hall H experience seem larger. It turned the dark curtains covering 450 feet down the sides of the auditorium into a wraparound multimedia visual experience that left jaded geeks looking left and right in wonder at images that complemented the onstage presentation. Expect others to rip this off. For star power: Zack Snyder introduced his Batman v Superman stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, and Gal Gadot and offered glimpses of the film. Warner Bros also wowed with explosive footage from Mad Max: Fury Road, a film that looks like it could be the answer someday to this Trivial Pursuit question: What movie transformed Tom Hardy from a great actor into a big fucking movie star? Warner Bros also brought Middle Earth excitement to Hall H with a lengthy Hobbit: The Five Armies panel and footage that had LOTR fans aflutter.
Related: Q&A: Peter Jackson On His Middle Earth Exit And A Disguise That Let Him Haunt Comic-Con
MARVEL: Ant-Man, Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Marvel is always the must-see panel; not so much this year. Maybe it was DC Comics’ turn to shine, and maybe being a sequel factory imposes limits on the surprise front. They trotted out the superstar Avengers lineup — been there, done that! — with additions Josh Brolin, Aaron Johnson, and Elizabeth Olsen. No Black Widow Scarlett Johansson, who was busy bitch-slapping Hercules at the box office in the Luc Besson film Lucy. Footage was OK, but Kevin Feige set a high bar for himself in past Cons, and this year he couldn’t clear it. Ant-Man brought Corey Stoll and Evangeline Lilly (already knew they were in the movie), and plans for a Guardians Of The Galaxy sequel were greeted by a collective “Duh!’ Feige could have told us what movies will fill all those release dates he recently staked out. He didn’t. Better luck next year, Marvel Man.
Related: Marvel Sets ‘Guardians 2′ For 2017; ‘Avengers 2’ Footage Draws Standing O
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Giancarlo Esposito has joined the cast of NYC-set musical drama Stuck, about six strangers trapped on a stalled subway train. Filming is underway with a cast that includes Amy Madigan and singer-actress Ashanti. Esposito will play Lloyd, a mysterious homeless man who might offer more wisdom than expected.
Stuck is adapted from the stage play by Riley Thomas, who co-scripted with director Michael Berry; the helmer is set to release his drama Frontera, also co-starring Madigan alongside Ed Harris, Eva Longoria, and Michael Peña, this month. Esposito starred on the recent NBC series Revolution and was just announced as joining the cast of Disney’s The Jungle Book. He’s also in pre-production on his own project Patriotic Treason which he’ll direct, produce, and co-star opposite Ed Harris in the period retelling of the saga of abolitionist John Brown. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: To Tell The Truth is eyeing a comeback. FremantleMedia North America has teamed with Jeff Gaspin and George Moll on a new version of the classic celebrity panel game show. Eyed for primetime on the broadcast networks, the new To Tell The Truth is described as an update of the familiar format with a surprising new twist that adds action and suspense and raises the stakes. It will be taken out to buyers shortly.
Created by Bob Stewart, To Tell The Truth launched in the U.S. in 1956 and has gone through several incarnations on network TV and in syndication, airing a total of 25 seasons to date, with its most recent run ending in 2001. The original format features a panel of four celebrities who are introduced to three people who all claim to be the same person with the same incredible talent. One of them is telling the truth, and the other two are lying. After asking questions, the celebrities take turns identifying who they believe is telling the truth. Read More »
The Originals‘ Claire Holt is set as one of the leads opposite David Duchovny in NBC‘s upcoming series Aquarius, a gritty 1960s drama about a cop (Duchovny) who goes undercover to track Charles Manson and the Manson Family before their infamous murder spree. Holt, repped by CAA and Affirmative Entertainment, will play Officer Charmain Tully, a beautiful young officer who is dying to be taken seriously, but in the male-dominated world of the LAPD in 1967, that’s not easy. Holt’s credits also include the movie Messengers II: The Scarecrow and a recurring role on Pretty Little Liars.
The CW today unveiled a new two-hour special titled The World Dog Awards for January 2015, which promises to combine Hollywood award season and man’s best friends. The gist: dogs will be celebrated for their work in entertainment, health services, the military, and the Internet (sample category: Best Actor in a Supporting Role to a Dog). The location of the show? Santa Monica’s Barker Hangar, of course. There will be viewer voting, edible trophies and musical performances from some of today’s biggest acts (Snoop Dogg, anyone?).
Also for noting on network TV schedules: NBC said it will again air a three-hour block for its American Ninja Warrior international competition. USA Vs. The World, featuring five of the top U.S. competitors against a group from Japan and Europe on the show’s finals course, will air Monday, September 15 from 8-11 PM. It will encore the next night on NBCU sibling Esquire Network. Among the names not on the U.S. roster: Kacy Catanzaro, the first woman to make the show’s finals. Her Dallas run has more than 8 million views on YouTube. Maybe they’ll make an exception?
With still exactly a month to go before the big (Monday) event, the Emmy party season kicked off in style last night on the 3rd floor outdoor deck of the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills with a bash for performer nominees. Showing up to meet and greet potential voters as well as press and other Academy members were Modern Family’s Ty Burrell and Jesse Tyler Ferguson; Minnie Driver, nominated for the Lifetime movie Return To Zero; Veep’s pair of 2013 winners and nominees again, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tony Hale; double nominee for Mom and Masters Of Sex, Allison Janney; Scandal’s bad guy Joe Morton; House Of Cards‘ Kevin Spacey; and Fargo’s Billy Bob Thornton. Presiding over it all were actors branch Governors Bob Bergen and Lily Tomlin. Academy chairman Bruce Rosenblum and new president Maury McIntyre also made the scene.
Now this was just the first round. There will be an even bigger bash for performers two nights before the Emmys at the Pacific Design Center. Between now and then there will be another 21 of these peer group parties representing every branch of the Academy from Costume Designers (who actually were the first group to party a few days ago) to Make Up and Hairstylists to Writers (I am on the Board Of Governors repping that branch, which will celebrate its nominees August 21). That’s almost one a night. Putting all this together is the indefatigable Barbara Chase and the Academy staff.
Also happening during this period will be the Creative Arts Emmys and Ball on Saturday, August 16 where 94 categories will be presented (up from 80 last year). Just a measly 26 categories will be presented on the NBC telecast August 25th.Whew. August is usually the dog days for the TV industry, but this year it is where all the heat is — at least as far as Emmys go. Voting, which is done by individual volunteers from each peer group , also got underway this week with the first round of ballots due back August 6 (for Creative Arts) and the final round the next week. Read More »
You need a pay TV subscription to see the CNBC and FOX NOW programming – and not all providers have deals to offer the business news and entertainment services online to their customers. Still, these are big additions to Apple’s streaming platform, which the tech giant is eager to promote after initially characterizing it as a mere hobby.
Apple TV becomes the first TV-connected streaming platform to offer a “full-featured CNBC TV Everywhere experience,” says NBCUniversal TV Everywhere GM Alison Moore. Users can watch the channel live, and see shows or clips on demand. CNBC President Mark Hoffman says that makes it possible for viewers “to be in control of their experience.” Pay TV providers authenticating the service include AT&T U-verse, Cablevision’s Optimum TV, Comcast’s Xfinity TV, Cox, DirecTV, Dish Network, RCN, Suddenlink, Verizon FiOS and Wide Open West.
Those accessing FOX NOW will be able to see full episodes of shows including Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Sleepy Hollow, The Simpsons, Family Guy, New Girl and Glee beginning the day after they first air. FOX NOW will offer bonus interviews and clips from its music shows including So You Think You Can Dance and American Idol. The Apple-based service can tap user preferences to recommend programming. Its Post-Play feature can facilitate binge viewing by automatically showing the next episode in a series. FOX Now is also available on iPhones and iPads as well as Android devices, Xbox, Roku, Samsung Smart TVs, and Windows 8. All of the major pay TV providers, except DirecTV, authenticate FOX NOW on Apple TV.
EXCLUSIVE: Rob Juster, Esquire Network‘s head of digital, has left the NBCUniversal cable net, a co-venture with Hearst. Juster was a 10-year G4 veteran before segueing to Esquire after NBCUniversal made the decision last summer to rebrand Style as male-oriented Esquire and stop programming game-themed G4. Juster was named head of digital, reporting to Esquire head of marketing Deena Stern, who also oversees other areas, including digital.
Related: Esquire Network Names Three New VPs
It has been a slow build for Esquire, which lost more than 60% of the Style audience after the September 2013 switch. As it has been adding originals, the channel has made inroads in young demos, posting three consecutive quarters of growth among adults 18-49 and adults 18-34 and logging its best month yet in June in demos and total viewers. It has turned around the network’s gender skew, from 20% male at Style a year ago to 64%. But it has yet to reach the overall viewership levels of predecessor Style. In the second quarter, Esquire averaged 85,000 viewers in primetime compared with 126,000 for Style and 120,000 for G4 for the same period last year. Esquire may be able to close the gap in July, having just posted a week that was up from Style’s averages in both 18-49 and total viewers. The network’s top series in the adult demos is G4 import American Ninja Warrior.
EXCLUSIVE: Feature-film financing, production and sales company IM Global is expanding into television production and distribution with the launch of IM Global Television. Mark Stern, former President of Original Content at Syfy, has been tapped as president and a partner of the new venture. Founded by Stuart Ford in 2007 and part of Indian conglomerate Reliance ADA since 2010, IM Global has been in a growth mode, presenting its biggest slate ever at Cannes this year, and has offices in LA, London, Mumbai, Mexico City, and Beijing. Stern will be based in the company’s Los Angeles office on Beverly Boulevard. “We’ve spent a considerable amount of time exploring the right entry point for IM Global to enter the television business, and Mark brings to our new operation an outstanding track record, skill set and profile,” Ford said. “In just seven years we’ve established ourselves as one of the most prolific feature film players outside of the major studios in Hollywood, and in partnership with Mark, I look forward to us now becoming a recognized force in the fast-evolving global television arena.” Read More »
Tom Lipinski (Suits) has been promoted from a recurring character to series regular for the recently announced second season of Cinemax‘s period drama The Knick. Lipinski plays Phillip Showalter, a charming and aristocratic young man whose father is a millionaire rubber king, and who is Cornelia’s suitor. Steven Soderbergh directs and Clive Owen stars in the series set in downtown New York in 1900. It centers on Knickerbocker Hospital and the groundbreaking surgeons, nurses and staff who push the bounds of medicine in a time of astonishingly high mortality rates and zero antibiotics. Lipinski, repped by Gersh and Mike Gasparro at TMT Entertainment, just wrapped features Dial A Prayer and The Early Years. The Knick’s first season debuts on Aug. 8.
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