Saturday Night Live‘s guest host Lena Dunham last night played a self-absorbed neophyte who’s overwhelmed by the competence of everyone in Olivia Pope’s crisis management firm. Sasheer Zamata mimics Kerry Washington. Here you go:
In this week’s podcast, Deadline International Editor Nancy Tartaglione and host David Bloom wrap up the overseas perspective on the last big awards shows of the 2013-14 season, beginning with Foreign-Language Oscar winner The Great Beauty, which lifted spirits throughout home country Italy even as director Paolo Sorrentino called for more investment in Italian cinema.
At France’s Cesar Awards, the big winner was Les Garcons et Guillaume a Table, though the potential scandale around one nominee proved far more muted than the French press or awards show broadcaster Canal Plus might have hoped. Nancy and David also take a look at the potential global bump in box office for Oscar’s two biggest champs, Best Picture 12 Years a Slave and seven-time winner Gravity.
Related: OSCARS: The Complete Winners List
Weekly Column: Three weeks into the post-Jay Leno Tonight Show era, his replacement Jimmy Fallon is still the frontrunner, though his margins have shrunk, his ABC competitor Jimmy Kimmel has regained ground he lost temporarily during Fallon’s highly hyped first week with a Sochi Olympics lead-in. Now the two Jimmys are settling in for the long haul, as they wrestle over America’s late-night viewing habit.
All eyes were on Fallon when he kicked off his Tonight tenure during the second Monday of NBC’s Olympics coverage, with a star-studded week that included guests Will Smith, U2, Jerry Seinfeld, Lady Gaga, the First Lady, and Justin Timberlake. More than 11 million viewers listened as Fallon asked that they give him time to get it right. And, over the course of that first week, with DVR-watchers factored in, Fallon drew the biggest weekly audience Tonight had enjoyed since Johnny Carson signed off after 30 years in 1992 — an average of 10.42 million viewers. Those viewers, NBC noted, had the youngest median age of any weekly crowd for any of the broadcast TV 11:35 PM talk shows this season: 52.6 years.
Then the honeymoon was over.
In Fallon’s Week 2, headline writers turned their attention to ABC’s Kimmel and the ninth iteration of his much-ballyhooed, even more celeb-studded post-Oscar show, which jumped 22% in total viewers year-to-year to nab nearly 7 million viewers. It was the ABC late-night program’s largest-ever overall audience for any single-day telecast in either late-night or primetime and up 20% in the demo, to reach 2.423 million. In each of the country’s Top 3 markets – New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago – Kimmel’s show coming out of the most-watched Oscarcast in a decade outperformed both the final Tonight broadcast with Leno and the first Tonight with Fallon, in households and in the demo.
Kimmel followed this up the very next night with what members of the media regarded as the Holy Grail of late-night bookings — Toronto’s wildly unpredictable, much-memed Mayor Rob Ford. This past Monday, Kimmel mopped sweat from Ford’s brow, and suggested the mayor might want to get some help if he does in fact have a drinking problem, which Ford laughed off, saying he “wasn’t elected to be perfect” and that he is “just a normal average, hardworking politician.” To which Kimmel respectfully insisted Ford is not only not average, “you are the most wonderful mayor I’ve ever witnessed.” And, while final stats for Monday’s sit-down aren’t available yet, Jimmy Kimmel Live that night achieved a 2.5/6 in metered market homes, jumping 19% (and 50% in the demo) from the prior Monday, to land in his nearest competitive position on a Monday yet against Fallon. That said, Fallon still topped Kimmel by 68% in metered market households and by 89% in demo ratings in the 25 LPM markets, with his former Saturday Night Live Weekend Update co-anchor Tina Fey as guest. (Kimmel’s Oscar surge appeared to have fizzled by Tuesday night where, in Nielsen’s 56 metered markets, JKL fell to a 1.7/5 — well behind Fallon’s 3.5/9 — though ABC’s new 10 PM series Mind Games, with its 0.6 demo rating and its 2, 2.120 million viewers, may have contributed.)
The 2014 Tribeca Film Festival unveiled 47 of its 89 feature-length films in its lineup today in the World Narrative and Documentary Competition selections as well as the out-of-competition Viewpoints pics. Thursday will see the remainder in the Spotlight, Midnight, and Special sections. The fest kicks off April 16 with the already announced opening-night film, the Nas documentary Time Is Illmatic. Dior And I will screen opening night for the World Documentary competition, the Rory Culkin-starrer Gabriel from U.S. writer-director Lou Howe will open the World Narrative competition, and Summer Of Blood will open Viewpoints — all world premieres and all to screen April 17. The fest runs through April 27. Here’s the lineups in the three sections:
Christina Kirk (Girls) has joined NBC’s romantic comedy pilot A To Z, from Warner Bros TV, writer Ben Queen and producers Rashida Jones and Will McCormack. It follows the relationship between a young couple, Andrew (Ben Feldman) and Zelda (Cristin Milioti), from meeting to breakup. Kirk, repped by repped by The Kohner Agency and Circle of Confusion, will play Lydia, nickname Big Bird, the general manager of an online dating company where Andrew works who believes that her job is not to help people find love but to keep them paying the monthly membership fee.
Related: 2014 NBC Pilots
Yara Shahidi, who plays young Olivia Pope on ABC’s Scandal, is set to co-star in in the network’s untitled Anthony Anderson pilot, from ABC Studios, Laurence Fishburne’s Cinema Gypsy and Principato Young. The single-camera comedy centers on an upper-middle-class black man (Anderson) who struggles to raise his children with some sense of cultural identity despite constant contradictions and obstacles coming from his liberal wife (Tracee Ellis Ross), old-school father, and his own assimilated, color-blind kids, including teen daughter Zoey (Shahidi), who is always on her phone. Shadidi, repped by Coast to Coast, Gotham/Principal and Hirsch Wallerstein, previously played Eddie Murphy’s daughter in Imagine That and Tyler Perry’s in Alex Cross.
Related: 2014 ABC Pilots
UPDATE, 5:20 PM: The companies have officially announced a “wide-ranging” deal, which “will result in dismissal of all pending litigation between the two companies, including disputes over PrimeTime Anytime and AutoHop.” The agreement calls for Dish to disable AutoHop functionality for ABC content within the C3 ratings window. The pact also for the first time allows Dish customers to access Disney’s authenticated live and VOD products. The full release is below the original story.
PREVIOUS, 3:59 PM: They both made big concessions as part of a new — and long-awaited — program carriage deal that Dish Network cut with Disney, The Wall Street Journal reports. It says that Dish Network has agreed to disable the Hopper DVR’s “Auto Hop” feature for ABC shows for the first three days after they air. Disney, in return, will drop out of broadcasters’ suit against Dish. They’ve said that the DVR’s feature that automatically jumps past ads on some recorded shows infringes on their copyrights and violates carriage contracts. Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen has steadfastly cast himself as a champion for his customers’ interests, saying that Hopper simply automates what DVR owners already can do with their remote controls. Now that Dish and Disney have agreed to allow ad zapping after three days, we’ll have to see whether other broadcasters can accept similar terms. CBS chief Les Moonves said in November that he’s “very flexible. We’re willing to negotiate.” Last month Ergen said that he was “cautiously optimisic” about striking a deal with Disney, in part because CEO Bob Iger — who’s also a member of Apple’s board – “has looked at [terms] in ways that others have not.”
Here we are again after the Golden Globes, Mike Fleming and Anita Busch taking on the task of play by play during the most wide-open Oscar race we can remember. Even on the party circuit, industry insiders who usually have a grasp of who’ll walk away with Oscars were evenly torn between Alfonso Cuaron’s 3D masterpiece Gravity and Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave. Then again, there were so many terrific films that got Best Picture nominations, and all of them have at least a puncher’s chance at an upset.
That includes American Hustle, where David O Russell co-wrote the Best Original Script nominee with Eric Warren Singer and got tour de force performances and nominations for Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. Perfs so strong there was no room on the nomination roster for perennial Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner. The film is up for 10 awards, and has grossed over $240 million on a $40 million budget.
Then there is The Wolf Of Wall Street, with Leonardo DiCaprio giving the most emphatic and complete performance of a great career, and Jonah Hill right there with him as his crazy con man sidekick. The film is up for five nominations, including Martin Scorsese for directing a terrific adaptation from The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire vet Terence Winter.
This column originally ran Thursday.
With no real clarity from the usually reliable guild contests and critics awards, the best picture race is one of the most unpredictable in years. Considering the preferential Oscar voting system, it is not probable there will be a winner on the first ballot because it’s unlikely any film in this great year for films will be able to muster more than 50% of the first-place votes required. The second choice on those best picture ballots could end up being the most important. The top three contenders—12 Years A Slave, American Hustle and Gravity—are in a real dog fight, which means a dark horse like The Wolf Of Wall Street, Philomena, Dallas Buyers Club or Nebraska could sneak in if a true three-way split occurs, although I don’t think that scenario is too likely. Never say never though. In 1981 for example no one was expecting a small British film called Chariots Of Fire to sneak in and take Best Picture but indeed it did. The last huge upset in the Picture race was probably Crash over Brokeback Mountain in 2005 but judging from voter interviews that year I saw a tidal wave of last minute support. This year I don’t get that. There are lots of opinions out there and it looks like …
The campaign teams from Warner Bros’ Gravity and FX’s American Horror Story: Coven came away with the respective Maxwell Weinberg Publicist Showmanship Award for Motion Pictures and Television at today’s 51st annual ICG Publicists Awards. Michael Singer received the Les Mason Lifetime Achievement Award. Other winners announced at the Beverly Hilton luncheon ceremony were Access Hollywood‘s Scott Mantz (American Press Award), former HFPA President Philip Berk (International Media Award). Peter Fountain (Excellence in Still Photography, Motion Pictures) and Michael Yarish (Excellence in Still Photography). Lionsgate Motion Picture Group co-chairs Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger were presented with the Motion Picture Showmanship Award by the Divergent duo of Shailene Woodley and Theo James, and Shonda Rhimes received the Television Showmanship Award from her Scandal actor Tony Goldwyn. Jerry Lewis also was on hand to accept his Lifetime Achievement Award. A complete list of winners follows.
UPDATE, 3:00 PM PT: This was a big night for Guillaume Gallienne’s Les Garçons Et Guillaume, A Table! The Gaumont-backed comedy led the night with 10 nominations coming in and picked up five key prizes: Best Film, Best Debut Feature, Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Editing. It was heavily favored, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t a bunch of surprises in the mix. Blue Is The Warmest Color walked away nearly empty-handed, taking only the Best Female Newcomer prize for Adèle Exarchopoulos. On accepting, she thanked director Abdellatif Kechiche, who was not present at the ceremony. She also called co-star Léa Seydoux, “My most beautiful love story… on film.” Seydoux ultimately lost out on the Best Actress trophy to 9 Mois Ferme‘s Sandrine Kiberlain. That film won one other prize, for director and co-star Albert Dupontel’s original screenplay. Also notable is Roman Polanski‘s win as Best Director for Venus In Fur. The helmer was visibly surprised, “I really, really didn’t expect this,” he said in his very concise thank yous.
Gallienne’s Les Garçons is a virtual one-man show that also stars and is written by the director. In the autobiographical coming-of-age tale, he plays the two lead roles — himself and his mother, a woman for whom his love is boundless and by whom he has always …
UPDATE 1:15 PM: Following the success last night of Escandalo, a Spanish-language “version” of hit ABC drama Scandal on Jimmy Kimmel Live, I’ve learned that the spoof is being turned into a series, with three more episodes slated to air on JKL through the rest of the season. Like the first video, they will feature Scandal cast members. That will include Guillermo Diaz, who wasn’t in the first skit and has Latin American roots via his Cuban parents.
PREVIOUS 7 AM: On the night of Scandal‘s midseason premiere, star Kerry Washington was on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night where she introduced Escandalo, a Spanish-language version of the hot ABC drama. Here is the video, which features Washington and a number of her fellow Scandal cast members (but surprisingly, no Guillermo Diaz), as well as JKL‘s own Guillermo and Kimmel.
Sometimes legal reality has more twists that reality TV. Yes, Ellen Kardashian’s case has been dramatically trimmed and Yes, Kim and her brother Robert Jr. have had all claims against them dismissed but the widow’s legal fight with her deceased husband’s other children, ex-wife and Ryan Seacrest Productions and Bunim-Murray Productions still lives on. Earlier this week Judge Mitchell Beckloff ruled that the very estranged step-mom of the Keeping Up With Kardashians clan can proceed with a defamation claim of her August 7, 2013 complaint against Kourtney, Kimberly, Khloe and mother Kris Jenner as well the producers of the hit E! reality series. While dismissing Kardashian’s claims of public disclosure of private facts, intentional infliction of emotional distress and conspiracy to defame, the LA Superior judge said that several statements made about Ellen by family members on the June 2, 2013 “Enough Is Enough” episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians were potentially slanderous.
To that end, the widow Kardashian, who sometimes goes by Ellen Pearson-Kardashian, is not forced to show she suffered any actual damages to proceed. “The statements alleged by plaintiff would necessarily damage her professional reputation,” said Judge Beckoff in his February 25 ruling while noting Ellen Kardashians’ previous career in real estate. The dismissal of the other claims comes as no surprise after a February 10 in which the Judge indicated he …
Shonda Rhimes has drafted Liza Weil, who recurred on her hot ABC drama Scandal, for the ABC drama pilot How To Get Away With Murder starring Viola Davis, which Rhimes exec produces. The sexy, suspense-driven legal thriller centers on ambitious law students and their brilliant and mysterious criminal defense professor (Davis) who become entangled in a murder plot that could rock their entire university and change the course of their lives.Weil will play one of the professor’s two associates.
Related: 2014 ABC Pilots
Irish actor Stephen Hagan has been cast in CW pilot Identity, exec produced by Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci. It centers on Mia (Ahna O’Reilly), a young New Yorker who learns she needs an organ transplant to survive and her only living relative is a newfound half-brother, Davis (Matt Barr), the charming, privileged only son of a wealthy and powerful Charleston family. She connects with them only to find they’re the target of a CIA investigation for involvement in domestic terrorism, and the agency wants her as their newest informant. Hagan, repped by APA, NB Management and UK’s Artists Partnership, will play Jasper, Davis’ handsome, mysterious, and magnetic best friend who has chemistry with Mia from the moment the meet. He recently co-starred in BBC series Injustice.
Related: 2014 The CW Pilots
The Location Managers Guild of America will hold its first-ever Location Managers Guild Of America Awards on March 29 at the WGA Theater in Beverly Hills. Winners in six categories spanning film, TV and commercials will be announced, and the guild will bestow honorary awards including the Eva Monley Award, presented to an industry pro who has demonstrated above and beyond support of the work of location professionals; a humanitarian award; and a lifetime achievement award. Here are the noms:
FIRST ANNUAL LOCATION MANAGERS GUILD OF AMERICA AWARDS
Outstanding Achievement by a Location Professional – Feature Films
Ilt Jones (Iron Man 3)
John Latenser V (Nebraska)
Rick Schuler & Steve Mapel (Her)
Andrew Ullman & Lori Balton (Saving Mr. Banks)
David Velasco (American Hustle)
Outstanding Achievement by a Location Professional – TV Programs
Robert Boake (Game of Thrones)
Patrick Burn (House of Cards)
Christian Diaz de Bedoya (Breaking Bad)
Caleb Duffy (Behind the Candelabra)
Veronique Vowell (Scandal)