UPDATE, 1:27 PM: Yahoo‘s spin machine will be hard at work today and tomorrow trying to persuade investors that CEO Marissa Mayer isn’t wildly overpaying for Tumblr. Although the social media service has become red hot — it averages about 75.8M posts a day — it generated just $12M in revenue last year and hopes for $100M this year, Forbes says. CEO David Karp began to sell ads for the site just a year ago. Yahoo has more than enough cash to make the deal. Still, Mayer could use Wall Street’s support for the biggest acquisition that she has made since taking charge in July. Her company’s shares have appreciated about 33% so far this year because Yahoo’s investments in Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba and Yahoo Japan have been doing so well. Sales of display ads, which have been key for Yahoo, continued to disappoint in Q1. Tumblr, whose average user is under 25, could help Yahoo make more connections with young Web users. But it also could complicate Yahoo’s sales message due to Tumblr’s comparatively lax views about hosting porn, BusinessWeek notes.
The talk about Tumblr could eclipse some additional news Yahoo plans to make tomorrow: It has scheduled a press conference to unveil updates to its Flickr photo-sharing service, Bloomberg reports.
UPDATE 10:55 AM: Yahoo board has greenlighted buying the social network in a billion-dollar-plus deal that could be announced as early as tomorrow Read More »
SNL‘s season finale also marked the final show for cast standout Bill Hader, who reprised his beloved character Stefon on “Weekend Update”. But with Seth Meyers also departing this year for late-night hosting duties, the segment morphed into a filmed Graduate-style gay marriage bit with a few special guests:
Five-time host Ben Affleck brought out wife Jennifer Garner for his opening SNL monologue, then poked fun at his Oscar cred and his Gigli past in a Argo bit featuring Fred Armisen as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as Affleck:
First off, congratulations to all writers, producers, actors and agents who landed new series this week. I know it wasn’t easy. Here is Deadline’s annual list of those who excelled at the upfronts. I tried to be inclusive, but if I’ve missed anyone who’s had a banner week, let me know. I’ve also compiled a list of pods and independent producers with multiple broadcast series.
Cougar Town co-creator Bill Lawrence and his Doozer banner had three new series unveiled at the upfronts this week: comedies Undateable on NBC, Surviving Jack on Fox and Ground Floor on TBS. Also, TBS recently renewed Cougar Town for a fifth season.
Related: 2013-14 Schedule Grid & Top Face-Offs
J.J. Abrams‘ Bad Robot claimed one of the top new drama series last season with NBC’s Revolution and one of the hottest sophomore shows with CBS’ Person Of Interest. The company is keeping the momentum with two new series orders for next season: Almost Human at Fox and Believe at NBC.
Independent producer Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment received two new series orders from the broadcast networks: Back In The Game at ABC and Friends With Better Lives at CBS. Additionally, his freshman ABC comedy The Neighbors was renewed and his ABC pilot Bad Management is in serious contention for a series pickup. Kaplan also received two cable series orders in the past month, for Chasing Life on ABC Family and Instant Mom on NickMom, and also has comedy series Wendell & Vinnie on Nick at Nite and pilot HR at Lifetime.
Writer-producer Julie Plec also landed two new series this week, both at the CW: She wrote/executive produces the planted Vampire Diaries spinoff The Originals and executive produces The Tomorrow People. Additionally, she executive produces TVD, giving her three series on the air next season. (Fellow Tomorrow People executive producer Greg Berlanti has two, including returning CW hit Arrow.)
Another drama writer-producer, former ER showrunner David Zabel, saw both of his pilots picked up. He is the writer/exec producer on ABC’s Betrayal and co-writer/exec producer on ABC’s Lucky 7. Read More »
Oscar winner Ben Affleck is hosting this weekend’s Saturday Night Live season finale, but it’s musical guest Kanye West who steals the spotlight in SNL‘s set of promos. “Hell no, I’m not going on SNL skits, this is my goddamn life,” he said onstage this week at the Adult Swim upfronts. Should be fun. Watch the promos:
Related: Shakira & Usher Returning To ‘The Voice’ For Season 6
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. — May 17, 2013 — Illustrating the continuity between its original and current coaches lineup, “The Voice” will bring back Christina Aguilera, CeeLo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton for its fifth cycle in fall and will pair Levine and Shelton with Shakira and Usher for the sixth cycle in midseason.
Read More »
Diane Haithman is a contributor to Deadline.
SPOILER ALERT! UPDATE: Steve Carell reprised his role as former Dunder Mifflin manager Michael Scott after all — appearing about 45 minutes into The Office finale to be Dwight’s “bestest mensch” (read: best man) at his wedding to Angela. After Michael unexpectedly appears, Dwight (Rainn Wilson) says: “Michael, I can’t believe you came.” His former boss replies: “That’s what she said.” Later in the episode, he tells the documentary crew: “I feel like my kids all grew up and married each other — it’s every parent’s dream.” Carell earned six Emmy noms for the role but never won. He left the series after its seventh season.
PREVIOUSLY: No, Michael Scott is not going to turn up at Dunder Mifflin on Thursday. Really. Ken Kwapis swears to Deadline that longtime star Steve Carell does not appear in this week’s series finale of The Office. “I sure wish Steve had done a cameo. It would’ve been a wonderful touch,” said Kwapis, who also directed the pilot episode of the midseason-replacement comedy that aired in March 2005. “Sadly, he didn’t.” So why did NBC choose to sneak a peek of Carell into its finale promo after last week’s episode? A spokeswoman said the network would maintain its “no comment” stance but noted the footage of the erstwhile Office manager could be a clip from an old episode. Read More »
Jay Leno is readying to exit stage left from NBC’s Tonight Show next February. So Adam Sandler was a guest Thursday and offered a little unsolicited advice about Leno’s post-Tonight plans. Of course, Sandler doesn’t mention that the problem is that Fox would have to get clearance for any late-night show from the affiliates who get to keep all the ad revenue from their late local news. Fox then might have to compensate them for any lost revenue. In other words, it’s complicated. Read the transcript after the jump: Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Syfy has renewed flagship drama Warehouse 13 for a fifth season, which will be its last. Production on the final six-episode installment of the series, on which Jack Kenny serves as executive producer/showrunner, will begin in Toronto this summer for a 2014 run. “Warehouse 13 has been an incredible signature series for us,” said Syfy President of Original Content Mark Stern. “We are grateful to the loyal and passionate fan base and know that Jack Kenny, his gifted creative team, and outstanding ensemble cast will give them an amazing finale season.” Saul Rubinek, Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelly, Allison Scagliotti and Aaron Ashmore star in the drama from Universal Cable Prods.
Related: Syfy’s Erik Storey Talks ‘Warehouse 13′: NBC Press Day
Related: Syfy’s ‘Defiance’ Renewed For Season 2
The first woman to report live from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange is now with Creative Artists Agency. CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo will be represented by the agency in all areas. Presently the anchor of CNBC’s Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo as well as host and Managing Editor of The Wall Street Journal Report with Maria Bartiromo, the journalist’s latest deal with the business news network is set to expire at the end of this year. Bartiromo has been on-air with CNBC since 1993, after several years as behind the camera at CNN. As well as reporting on the Street, Bartiromo has had a side career playing herself on the big screen. She has appeared in features Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Inside Job and Arbitrage among others. A frequent talk show guest and pundit , news footage of Bartiromo also appeared in a 2003 episode of The Sopranos.
With the broadcast networks done unveiling their schedules, here is the full fall grid (see below) and some intriguing matchups for next season:
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. Read More »
All of this season’s judges on The Voice are coming back but not until next spring. NBC is close to finalizing deals that will see Shakira and Usher returning to the singing competition show for Season 6 in the spring of 2014, insiders say. The return of the duo will see the departure again of original judges Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green. After taking a cycle off, the two are themselves coming back for season 5 of The Voice, which is set to premiere in the fall. Adam Levine and Blake Shelton will continue their bromance and stay on the show for both of the next two seasons. “It is almost all done and the network is looking to make the official announcements in the next few days,” a source told me. Details of the alternating judges plan was first reported by EW. In many ways this isn’t much of a surprise. Executive Producer Mark Burnett has long said that the show could see members of the judging panel coming and going over different seasons depending on their availability. The fifth season of the show has already been fully cast and filming on the Blind Auditions portion of the season is set to begin on July 8. The Voice ends its current season on June 18.
Related: Christina Aguilera Returning To ‘The Voice’ As Shakira Exits
Stephanie Elam is returning to her old home at CNN, the network said today. The former NYC-based business reporter for the cable news network will now serve as a correspondent based out of LA. Elam joined KNBC in October 2011 after nearly eight years at CNN. She was the station’s weekend evening anchor and general assignment reporter until November 2012. “Stephanie is an excellent communicator and tenacious reporter, and we are pleased to have her back as a part of the CNN family,” said Terence Burke, VP Newsgathering for CNN US, in a statement. Since Jeff Zucker took over this year, the network has been trying to enhance its West Coast presence by increasing the emphasis on the business aspect of the entertainment industry. Elam is the second LA hire by CNN in as many months, after KTLA-Los Angeles morning show anchor Michaela Pereira was announced as the news anchor for the network’s upcoming new morning show New Day, set to debut in June.
EXCLUSIVE: Frasier and Desperate Housewives alum Bob Daily has signed an overall deal with CBS TV Studios. Under the pact, he will join the studio’s new CBS single-camera comedy series We Are Men as an executive producer. The project, created/executive produced by Rob Greenberg, stars Kal Penn, Tony Shalhoub, Jerry O’Connell and Chris Smith as four single guys living in a short-term apartment complex who unexpectedly find camaraderie over their many missteps in love. (Check out the trailer here.) We Are Men is assembling a very strong group of writer-producers. In addition to Daily, Tad Quill was just signed on as a consulting producer. Daily, repped by WME, most recently executive produced/ran NBC’s Robert Padnick comedy pilot.
EXCLUSIVE: Tad Quill has signed an overall deal with CBS TV Studios. Under the pact, he will join the studio’s new CBS single-camera comedy series We Are Men as consulting producer. The project, created/executive produced by Rob Greenberg, stars Kal Penn, Tony Shalhoub, Jerry O’Connell and Chris Smith as four single guys living in a short-term apartment complex who unexpectedly find camaraderie over their many missteps in love. (Check out the trailer here.) The deal expands Quill’s relationship with CBS TV Studios where he created and executive produced a comedy pilot for CBS starring Matthew Broderick this season. Before that, ICM Partners-repped Quill created and executive produced the NBC comedy series Bent and also worked on Samantha Who?, Scrubs and Spin City.
The Sarah Connor Chronicles creator Josh Friedman has closed an overall deal at Universal Television. Under the two-year pact, Friedman will serve as co-executive producer on the upcoming NBC pirate drama Crossbones starring John Malkovich. Additionally, he will develop and supervise projects for the studio. “Josh Friedman puts a distinct, unique spin on everything he writes,” said Uni TV EVP Bela Bajaria. “He taps into interesting worlds and is a very talented writer. We’ve followed his career for years and are excited to be in business with him.”
Related: John Malkovich To Star In ‘Crossbones’ As Blackbeard
Crossbones, from Luther creator Neil Cross and producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald, is set in 1715 on the Bahamian island of New Providence where the diabolical pirate Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard (Malkovich), reigns over a rogue nation of thieves, outlaws and miscreant sailors. Cross wrote the script and is executive producing with Parkes, MacDonald and Ted Gold for Parkes/MacDonald Prods; Georgeville Television; and Universal Television. Read More »