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China To Limit “Cultural Pollution” With Cap On Imported TV Shows?

By | Thursday July 31, 2014 @ 8:42am PDT

China To Limit “Cultural Pollution” With Cap On Imported TV Shows?In 2012, China relaxed its feature film import quota, upping the total number of foreign movies eligible for a 25% revenue-share slot to 34. In the meantime, online has been a pretty freewheeling space where American culture has been given a large window to be exploited in the country. In the past few months, however, there has been an increase in cracking down on online content. And today, Chinese media says a plan may be afoot to impose a quota system on the licensing of overseas programs by video websites. The idea being mulled over by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television would have implications for video giants like Sohu, Youku Tudou and Tencent who collectively stream about 400 American and British TV shows — with audiences rabid for the likes of Sherlock, The Vampire Diaries and others.

I’m cautioned that there has been talk for a long time about applying stricter censorship enforcement to online content, and China specialist Rob Cain tells me, “It would be no surprise to see it enacted.” He says the Communist party “wants to set the rules of morality and proper conduct in China — essentially to keep people behaving in ‘appropriate’ ways that support, or at least don’t threaten, the (party)’s rule or legitimacy — and foreign programs are generally perceived as a threat, often referred to as ‘cultural pollution.’ ” Read More »

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Toonsmiths Get An Earful on Guild’s Pending ‘Wage Suppression’ Suit Against Disney, DreamWorks And Other Studios

By | Wednesday July 30, 2014 @ 7:27pm PDT

Toonsmiths Get An Earful on Guild’s Pending ‘Wage Suppression’ Suit Against Disney, DreamWorks And Other StudiosThe Animation Guild is gathering information for a possible “wage suppression” lawsuit against Hollywood’s major animation studios, members were informed on Tuesday night. The guild believes that toon studios, including Disney and DreamWorks, might have entered into an illegal pact not to recruit one another’s employees, thus suppressing their wages. Guild members were informed of the fact-finding mission during Tuesday night’s packed general membership meeting.

“It’s come to light that Disney, DreamWorks, and other studios may have participated in a … wage suppression cartel, and our members have been interested in the guild taking action on behalf of those who may have been damaged by having their compensation suppressed unlawfully,” guild organizer Steve Kaplan wrote on the IATSE Local 839’s website.

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EMMYS: Party Season In Full Force As Final Voting Gets Underway And Nominees Turn Out

By | Tuesday July 29, 2014 @ 11:04am PDT
Pete Hammond

EMMYS: Party Season In Full Force As Final Voting Gets Underway And Nominees Turn OutWith 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.

Emmy Party 2014Now 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 »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Nat Geo Wild Orders More Of Arrow’s ‘Animal Fight Night’; ‘The Voice’ Sings In Croatia, India; ‘Top Gear’ Falls Foul Of Ofcom; More

By | Tuesday July 29, 2014 @ 1:28am PDT

Global Showbiz Briefs: Nat Geo Wild Orders More Of Arrow’s ‘Animal Fight Night’; ‘The Voice’ Sings In Croatia, India; ‘Top Gear’ Falls Foul Of Ofcom; MoreThe UK’s Arrow Media has received a commission for six more hours of its wildlife show Animal Fight Night which premieres on Nat Geo WILD in the U.S. on August 18 before rolling out internationally in September. Animal Fight Night was first launched in the U.S. in October last year. It was Arrow Media’s first move into natural history programming and the company later received orders for Building Penguin Paradise (Nat Geo WILD) and Dogs: Their Secret Lives (Channel 4). Each Animal Fight Night episode uses CGI to recreate and examine same species battles between animal world adversaries and dissects the science behind the tactics and bodily weapons that various creatures employ. Read More »

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L.A. Officials Probe Shakedown Claims On Downtown Shoots

By | Monday July 28, 2014 @ 2:04pm PDT

L.A. Officials Probe Shakedown Claims On Downtown ShootsFirst in a series

EXCLUSIVE: Downtown developer Tom Gilmore was irate. “What’s this goddamn thing here I had to pay for?” he fumed. It was noontime, June 16, and L.A.’s powerful downtown developer stood on the corner of 4th and Main Street accosting a FilmLA monitor as a crew arrived. The monitor tried to assure Gilmore that the commercial shoot would be fast and there’d be no disruption to his businesses, but Gilmore wasn’t buying it.

“I know what you’ve done for the neighborhood,” the monitor said as the crew set up to grab a quick shot outside Pete’s Café and Bar, one of Gilmore’s restaurants. “And I’m grateful. You know I’m grateful.”

“I appreciate that and I’m not mad at you,” Gilmore said, lowering his voice slightly amid the clamor of lunch-hour traffic. “I’m expressing my pissed-off-ness that this thing got OK’d today.”

Gilmore Associates“This thing” was a Just For Men TV spot in the Old Bank District, which is Gilmore’s turf. Almost singlehandedly, he’d turned it from Skid Row-adjacent to a thriving area of shops, restaurants and residential lofts. Gilmore Associates, widely credited with spearheading the residential boom in downtown Los Angeles, owns numerous properties down there: the stately old Farmers and Merchants Bank; the 12-story Continental and six-story Hellman buildings, which were converted into lofts; an elegant old Catholic church that he turned into a premiere events site; and the historic San Fernando building, with 70 loft-style apartments anchored by Pete’s Café and Bäco Mercat on the ground floor.

A city street runs through the district — a street Gilmore, to his unending irritation, doesn’t own and can’t control. It’s a popular spot for filmmakers, one of the few places in L.A. that can convincingly double for older cities like New York or Chicago. More than 150 days of filming are shot there every year. Gilmore can make any one of them tough on properly permitted filmmakers, and on that June day, that’s just what he was doing.

“I am gonna do what I gotta do to make this not such a pretty little place,” Gilmore told the monitor in a tape-recorded conversation obtained by Deadline, “because the only reason you’re using it is cuz we made it such a pretty little place.” Minutes later, Gilmore had his men lean ladders in the doorway of the San Fernando and hang yellow caution tape in the potted trees outside Pete’s Café, ruining the planned shots.

Tom Gilmore Ladders Tape

The producers had paid FilmLA more than $1,600 in permit fees, but Gilmore wanted them to pay him, too. His location agent, Richard Wynn, had sent the shoot’s location manager, Jeff McSpadden, a contract and a letter demanding $12,000 for the right to film in the street and on the sidewalk outside the café — both public spaces. Read More »

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Racing And Fighting Own Midsummer Twitter TV Ratings

By | Monday July 28, 2014 @ 1:57pm PDT

Racing And Fighting Own Midsummer Twitter TV RatingsIt might be a bit reductionist to say the week’s Twitter TV ratings from Nielsen are all about racing and fighting, in some sort of sweat-soaked summer homage to The Dukes of Hazzard, but it’s not that far off. WWE, a near-fixture in the Series & Specials top 10 the past few months, this week owned the top spot with its Monday night wrestling show on USA and the last spot on that list with its Friday night bouts on Syfy.

In between, there were those squabbling Kardashians and three(!) Big Brother episodes, along with the romantic ups and downs of The Bachelorette and the scheming scripts of Pretty Little Liars. Big Brother is a recent addition to the Series & Specials top 10s, but the others are regulars here in the relatively quiet summer TV season.  

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Hot Comic-Con Trailer: ‘Batkid Begins’ Brings Make-A-Wish Phenom To Screen

By | Sunday July 27, 2014 @ 11:41am PDT

Hot Comic-Con Trailer: ‘Batkid Begins’ Brings Make-A-Wish Phenom To ScreenEXCLUSIVE: Five-year-old Miles Scott touched hearts all over the world last November when he donned a cape and cowl to “save” Gotham City – aka, San Francisco – as “Batkid.” Now award-winning filmmaker Dana Nachman (Witch Hunt) is taking his story to the screen in a feature-length crowdfunded documentary (watch the trailer exclusively on Deadline).

The Batkid phenomenon went viral after the Make-a-Wish Foundation staged its most elaborate wish to date: The charity, with the help of The City, President Obama, and thousands of supporters, turned the streets of San Francisco into Gotham City on Nov. 15, 2013. Scott, a leukemia patient now in remission, got to live every superhero-loving child’s fantasy as he played sidekick to the Caped Crusader in a series of staged missions as onlookers cheered him on. It all culminated with Scott receiving the key to the city from Mayor Ed Lee. The entire event sparked more than 400K tweets in 117 countries, among much else social-media attention, and received a Digital Visionary Award from the Producers Guild.

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Actors Fund Connects Thousands Of Low-Income Pros With Obamacare

By | Friday July 25, 2014 @ 12:25pm PDT

Actors Fund Connects Thousands Of Low-Income Pros With ObamacareObamacare has been a blockbuster success in the entertainment industry, and the Actors Fund has played a vital role in helping thousands of low-income actors, writers and other industry professionals obtain low-cost health insurance. Earning enough to qualify for union health benefits always has been one of the most difficult challenges facing industry workers, but since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, obtaining health benefits has become a whole lot easier.

Related: New Rule Lets Actors Combine SAG & AFTRA Earnings To Qualify For Health Care

logoprep“In the performing arts unions, you only have about 20% of the members who are eligible for union benefits at any given time,” said Jim Brown, the Actors Fund’s national director of health services. “People move in and out of insurance coverage, and when they move out of that, we’re there to help them move into another insurance plan.”

Related: Split Decision: New SAG-AFTRA Pact Calls for Sharing of Pension And Health Contributions

CoveredCaliforniaSince open enrollment for Obamacare began October 1, the Actors Fund’s Covered California helpline has contacts by more than 15,000 industry professionals seeking assistance in signing up for government-subsidized health care. The Actors Fund has been working with Covered California to provide outreach and education to arts and entertainment professionals in Los Angeles, Alameda, San Francisco, Sacramento and San Diego counties. Since last summer, the fund has held more than 200 workshops attended my nearly 3,000 industry workers. Read More »

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Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘Magic In The Moonlight’, ‘The Fluffy Movie’, ‘A Most Wanted Man’, ‘The Kill Team’, ‘Happy Christmas’

By | Thursday July 24, 2014 @ 4:27pm PDT

Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘Magic In The Moonlight’, ‘The Fluffy Movie’, ‘A Most Wanted Man’, ‘The Kill Team’, ‘Happy Christmas’Looming in the wake of Boyhood‘s hot box office roll out earlier this month, some heavy-hitters will enter the Specialty fray this weekend which should shape up to be rather interesting come Sunday box office time. Woody Allen blitzed theaters last July with a smashing roll out of Blue Jasmine and he’s back, courtesy once again of Sony Classics with his latest Magic In The Moonlight. The distributor, however, is taking a somewhat different release track this time around. Lionsgate/Roadside is opening Philip Seymour Hoffman starrer A Most Wanted Man after delaying the title’s bow in the wake of its star’s death. The film will have a sizable theater count as it heads out to the box office Friday. But the weekend’s biggest Specialty opener in terms of location tally is Open Road’s The Fluffy Movie, which will hit several hundred locations nationwide though the bulk of its marketing has been targeted to a particular audience. On the other end of the scale is Oscilloscope’s Tribeca-winner The Kill Team which will bow at a single exclusive showing in NYC, while Magnolia’s Happy Christmas will have its theatrical launch in several locations after launching via ultra-VOD in late June.

Magic In The MoonlightMagic in the moonlight 3
Director-writer: Woody Allen
Cast: Colin Firth, Emma Stone, Antonia Clarke, Natasha Andrews, Valérie Beaulieu, Jackie Weaver, Peter Wollasch
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

SPC has had a winning streak with Woody Allen summer releases and it’s sticking to that formula for the filmmaker’s latest. Last year’s Oscar winner Blue Jasmine launched as a Specialty behemoth July 26 in 6 theaters, with a dazzling $102K average, eventually grossing over $33.4 million domestically. To Rome With Love was a comparatively more “modest” release, with a $72,272 PTA in five theaters in June 2012 ($16.69M cume), while 2011′s Midnight In Paris rocketed a $99,834 launch weekend PTA with six runs — eventually grossing over $56.8 million. “His films really seem to work in summer time,” said SPC co-president Michael Barker whose company has released Allen’s most recent five movies (and others in the past). The only recent exception was 2010′s You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger which opened in September of that year ($3.24M gross).” Read More »

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DreamWorks Animation Unwraps DreamPlace, Its Christmas Shopping Mall Attraction

DreamWorks Animation Unwraps DreamPlace, Its Christmas Shopping Mall AttractionCoca-Cola and merchandisers have been appropriating Santa Claus for years. Now DreamWorks Animation hopes to put its stamp on the (SPOILER ALERT) myth by having Shrek introduce kids to St. Nick when they visit him at shopping malls featuring the studio’s DreamPlace location based experience. DWA just disclosed some details about the attraction to begin this holiday season — part of its effort to boost sales of character-related toys, clothing, and other licensed merchandise — which CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg unveiled last month at the industry’s Licensing Expo.
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Aimee Garcia & Mircea Monroe To Star In TV Land Pilot ‘Impastor’

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 5:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Aimee Garcia & Mircea Monroe To Star In TV Land Pilot ‘Impastor’EXCLUSIVE: Dexter alum Aimee Garcia and EpisodesMircea Monroe are set as leads opposite Michael Rosenbaum in TV Land’s single-camera dark comedy Impastor. Written by Christopher Vane and directed by Robert Greenberg, the story centers on Buddy (Rosenbaum), a lowlife on the run from his debts who hides away in a small town by conning its residents into thinking he’s their new gay pastor. Garcia plays Buddy’s put-upon girlfriend, LeeAnne, is a bartender in San Francisco who is used to Buddy leading a chaotic, trouble-jammed lifestyle. A little bored with all the constant upheaval in his life, she dismisses his latest tale of danger and drama. But after Buddy disappears, an apparent suicide, LeeAnne has a new set of problems: dealing with her snarky mother, dealing with the cops, dealing with a funeral director, and (most complicated of all) dealing with Buddy’s criminal creditors on top of the guilt of “abandoning” him.  Monroe plays Alexa Cummings, the sexy Head Trustee of Loomis Lutheran Church, who’s instantly attracted to the new pastor in town, Buddy. Alexa’s sophistication hides a mysterious past. Garcia, repped by Dave Fleming at Mosaic, Paradigm and Ginsburg Daniels, recently appeared in MGM’s Robocop. Monroe is with Gersh and LINK.

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Judge In ‘Lord Of The Rings’ Suit Denies Warner Bros’ Lawyer Disqualification Motion

By | Tuesday July 22, 2014 @ 12:27pm PDT

Judge In ‘Lord Of The Rings’ Suit Denies Warner Bros’ Lawyer Disqualification MotionA federal judge today has denied a motion seeking to disqualify lawyers repping the estate of The Lord Of The Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien in its $80 million copyright and digital merchandising lawsuit against Warner Bros and the Saul Zaentz Company. The studio and its partner in early June filed a motion to have Fourth Age’s lawyers, Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP, disqualified the almost-2-year-old suit ”because the firm impermissibly gained access to privileged information in violation of Rules of Professional Conduct.”

In today’s three-page order (read it here), U.S. District Court Judge Audrey Collins wrote that “Warner and Zaentz have not met their burden of showing that disqualification is necessary to preserve the integrity of these proceedings.” WB is repped by Daniel Petrocelli of LA firm O’Melveny & Meyers; Saul Zaentz Co is repped by Martin Glick of San Francisco firm Arnold & Porter LLP. Read More »

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Amy Ryan To Co-Star In Steven Spielberg’s Cold War Pic; Alan Alda & Two Others In Talks

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 4:29pm PDT

Amy Ryan To Co-Star In Steven Spielberg’s Cold War Pic; Alan Alda & Two Others In TalksAmy Ryan will co-star opposite Tom Hanks in Steven Spielberg’s untitled Cold War Spy thriller for DreamWorks. Production is set to begin in September and will be shot on location in New York and Berlin ahead of its October 16, 2015 release date. In talks for roles are Alan Alda, Boardwalk Empire‘s Billy Magnussen and The Knick‘s Eve Hewson. Mark Rylance is already aboard.

The pic is based on the true story of James Donovan (Hanks), the CIA attorney who is thrust behind the Iron Curtain when he is sent to negotiate the release of captured American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers. The Coen brothers wrote the 1960s-set screenplay off Matt Charman’s original script. Ryan, repped by Gersh and attorney Dave Feldman, will play Donovan’s wife. Read More »

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Specialty B.O.: ‘Boyhood’s’ Big Shoulders Continue To Dominate In Second Week

By | Sunday July 20, 2014 @ 11:05am PDT

Specialty B.O.: ‘Boyhood’s’ Big Shoulders Continue To Dominate In Second WeekBoyhood continued to muscle into the Specialty Box Office in its second frame amid an expansion, even while the weekend’s newcomers showed mixed numbers. Zach Braff‘s Wish I Was Here and Mike Cahill‘s I Origins, second films from both writer/directors, bowed with averages in the low $7K range. IFC FilmsBoyhood opened last week with the year’s second highest PTA among limited-release titles and only compounded its star status in expansion. The Richard Linklater-directed feature added 29 locations, grossing nearly $1.2 million in 34 theaters, a stellar $35,230 per-screen average and a $1,848,050 two-week cume.
Boyhood’s mid- to long-term momentum appears assured with a 99-percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and what IFC Films says is “word of mouth… through the roof, as reflected by eye-popping exit polls this weekend and minimal drop at last weekend’s opening theaters.” IFC, which financed the film throughout its 12-year gestation, said the title played solidly across all demographics, with top scores from teens and from “those in their 60s and beyond.” Boyhood will expand to the top 25 markets next weekend and will continue to widen in coming weeks.
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Surf Docu ‘Strange Rumblings In Shangri-La’ Steps Into Premiere, Global Release

By | Friday July 18, 2014 @ 12:44pm PDT

Surf Docu ‘Strange Rumblings In Shangri-La’ Steps Into Premiere, Global ReleaseEXCLUSIVE: LA- and Aussie-based surfing co. Globe and Whyte House Entertainment have teamed on new globe-trotting, psychedelic surfing docufilm Strange Rumblings In Shangri-La, which will world-premiere simultaneously in London and Long Beach at the U.S. Open of Surfing on July 31. Surf cinema veteran Joe G directed the film on Kodak Super 16mm, capturing a previously uncharted surfing expedition across waters off of Iceland, Mozambique, Indonesia, and Brazil with pro surfers from the Globe Surf Team including Dion Agius, Nate Tyler, Taj Burrow, Yadin Nicol, Damien Hobgood, Creed Mctaggart, CJ Hobgood, Alex Smith, Noa Deane, and Brendon Gibbens. Read More »

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Specialty Preview: Zach Braff’s ‘Wish I Was Here’ Plus ‘I Origins,’ ‘Mood Indigo,’ ‘Alive Inside’

By | Thursday July 17, 2014 @ 9:17pm PDT

Specialty Preview: Zach Braff’s ‘Wish I Was Here’ Plus ‘I Origins,’ ‘Mood Indigo,’ ‘Alive Inside’Last weekend Richard Linklater made a Specialty box office splash with the 2nd highest screen average of the year with Boyhood. This week, Focus will hope to grab some similarly outsized attention for Zach Braff‘s Wish I Was Here. His previous film, 2004′s Garden State, cumed more than $26.7 million at a time before crowd sourcing was an indie norm. Braff has since learned some new tricks, raising the seed money for his latest, which debuted at Sundance earlier this year. Fox Searchlight will open second-time feature filmmaker Mike Cahill‘s I Origins on both coasts, while Drafthouse will bow French filmmaker Michel Gondry‘s Mood Indigo in two locations in NYC and L.A. Bond/360 will open the weekend’s new doc, Alive Inside, in an initial exclusive New York run. The film won an audience prize at Sundance.
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TCA: Rob Kerkovich Joins ‘NCIS: New Orleans’ As Shooting Starts Next Week

By | Thursday July 17, 2014 @ 1:20pm PDT

TCA: Rob Kerkovich Joins ‘NCIS: New Orleans’ As Shooting Starts Next WeekGary Glasberg, executive producer/creator of CBS’ new drama NCIS: New Orleanssaid at the new series’ TCA panel today that Rob Kerkovich (Cloverfield, The Rebound) will join the cast as a forensic scientist. Glasberg, who appeared on the panel with co-EPs Jeffrey Lieber and Mark Harmon and cast members Zoe McLellan, Scott Bakula, CCH Pounder and Lucas Black, said the series will begin shooting in New Orleans on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, CBS entertainment chief Nina Tassler called NCIS and its spinoffs a “billion-dollar franchise.” The newest member of the club was introduced as a planted spinoff via two episodes of NCIS earlier this year. Read More »

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TCA: CBS’ Nina Tassler Pressed On Diversity Of Network’s Fall Schedule, Supports Reexamining Emmy Rules

By | Thursday July 17, 2014 @ 10:44am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

TCA: CBS’ Nina Tassler Pressed On Diversity Of Network’s Fall Schedule, Supports Reexamining Emmy RulesABC is a tough act to follow at TCA this summer when it comes to diversity. ABC has new comedies about a Mexican family, an Asian family and a Black family and a new drama starring Viola Davis. Next at TCA is CBS, which has a new comedy series about an Irish American clan and dramas starring Tea Leoni, Josh Duhamel and Scott Bakula. Its only minority lead is Maggie Q, who plays the co-lead to Dylan McDermott on drama Stalker. CBS Chairman Nina Tassler faced multiple questions about the lack of diversity on the network’s new series.”We don’t look at fall as the defining mark of giving us our diversity quota,” Tassler said, noting the cast of daytime talk show The Talk, Lucy Liu on Elementary and summer series Extant, headlined by Halle Berry. (She faced criticism even on Extant, with a critic arguing that the entire supporting cast of the sci-fi drama is White, down to Berry’s artificial son.) Tassler also pointed at different elements of diversity, like a gay main character on The McCarthys. Additionally, on the final season of Two And A Half Men, Walden and Alan are going to get married as a gay couple in order to adopt a child because Walden finds it difficult to adopt as a straight single man. Tassler called it a “positive statement”about the fact that gay couples can adopt children. Read More »

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Cote De Pablo To Star In CBS Event Series ‘The Dovekeepers’ From Mark Burnett, Roma Downey

By | Wednesday July 16, 2014 @ 11:55am PDT

Cote De Pablo To Star In CBS Event Series ‘The Dovekeepers’ From Mark Burnett, Roma DowneyNCIS alum Cote de Pablo has been tapped to star in CBS’ The Dovekeepers, a four-hour miniseries from Mark Burnett and Roma Downey to air in 2015. The project is based on Alice Hoffman’s acclaimed historical novel about four extraordinary women whose lives intersect in a fight for survival at the siege of Masada. De Pablo, repped by Paradigm, Management 360, and attorneys Melanie Cook and Jamie Asifi, will play Shirah, one of the four women, who is a sensual, mysterious and fiercely independent single mother with uncanny insights and a quiet and mysterious power. She is derided by many as the “Witch of Moab,” as she covertly practices forbidden ancient rites of magic and is keenly knowledgeable about herbal remedies. However, those in need don’t hesitate to approach her for her help and generosity of spirit.

Related: Cote De Pablo To Depart CBS’ ‘NCIS’
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