Spoiler alert! Jake Ballard probably won’t rot in that hole for long. Scott Foley, who recurred as romantic foil Jake on Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal this season, has closed a deal to join the hot ABC drama as a regular for its upcoming third season. “Shonda and company have created a troupe of layered complex characters and to be able to be part of that is both exciting and humbling,” Foley said. The explosive Season 2 finale saw black op operative Jake thrown into a hole in the ground after saving Olivia (Kerry Washington) from assassination. Foley, repped by ICM Partners and Brillstein Entertainment, had an option to become a regular after joining Scandal as a recurring last season when he was a regular on another show, Fox’s comedy The Goodwin Games. Today’s news comes after Deadline reported yesterday that Foley will be making his feature directorial debut this summer with Ward’s Wife starring himself, Donald Faison and Patrick Wilson among others.
UPDATE: In other promotions on Rhimes shows, recurring Grey’s Anatomy players Camilla Luddington, Gaius Charles, Jerrika Hinton and Tessa Ferrer — who play Interns Jo, Shane, Stephanie and Lea, respectively — have been upped to regulars for season 10, TVLine reports. Tina Majorino, who plays the fifth intern, is keeping her recurring status as she is a regular on … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Ed Burns has been tapped to play notorious mobster Bugsy Siegel in a recurring role on Frank Darabont’s upcoming TNT series Lost Angels. Additionally, Robert Knepper, originally cast as a recurring, has been upped to a regular on the 1940s-set crime drama. Based on the John Buntin book L.A. Noir, Lost Angels follows the turmoil surrounding the LAPD and ruthless criminal activities led by gangster Mickey Cohen (Jeremy Luke). After moving from the East Coast to California, Siegel quickly established himself as the Los Angeles mob leader in the late 1930s and early 1940s, with Cohen as his chief lieutenant. Siegel also was a Hollywood fixture, throwing lavish parties for Tinseltown’s biggest names. Knepper plays Sid Rothman, a rank-and-file mobster working for Cohen. The actor recently became available for a regular gig after his CW series Cult ended following a brief run.
Related: Jeremy Luke To Co-Star In Frank Darabont’s TNT Series ‘Lost Angels’
The third annual Critics’ Choice Television Awards were doled out tonight by the Broadcast Television Journalists Association at the Beverly Hilton, hosted by Parks & Recreation‘s Retta. HBO nabbed 4 wins including double honors for Best Movie/Miniseries Behind The Candelabra and star Michael Douglas, while FX notched quadruple wins including two acting awards for American Horror Story: Asylum‘s Zachary Quinto and Sarah Paulson and AMC‘s Breaking Bad nabbed Best Drama and Best Actor for Bryan Cranston. HBO’s Game Of Thrones shared Best Drama honors with Breaking Bad in one of the night’s three ties. Full list of winners: Read More »
British actor Tom Felton, best known for playing Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies, has joined the cast of TNT’s drama pilot Murder In The First as a series regular. Co-created by Steven Bochco and Eric Lodal, the project is a murder mystery that centers on San Francisco PD homicide detectives Terry Seagrave (Taye Diggs) and Hildy Mulligan (Kathleen Robertson), as they take on a case that seems more like a maze. Felton will play Erich Blunt, the cocky, spectacularly wealthy CEO of Applicon, a tech genius. Read More »
The cable initiative to stream any TV show, anytime, and anywhere remains spotty and confusing — and is progressing slowly — execs acknowledged in a panel on the subject today at the Cable Show in D.C. Thus far “it’s not a success,” says Fox Networks’ Mike Biard. NBCUniversal’s Ron Lamprecht rated the progress at no more than a 5 out of 10. There’s no turning back, though. “We see our consumers expecting that our content be everywhere,” he says. “There really isn’t any other choice. We have to be there.” But the industry faces a gauntlet of negotiations before it can hope to provide a service that will look the same across all TV networks, cable providers, and technology platforms. For example, Watch ESPN — the sports channel’s TV Everywhere service — “is almost exactly like what you see on ESPN, but there are blackouts because they don’t have the underlying rights” to all the games, Comcast Cable’s Marcien Jenckes says. Consumers also will find different shows when they use a network’s app compared with a cable company’s, and whether they’re used in or outside the home. “In a TNT application within the home you’re accessing TV Everywhere, but in an Xfinity application it could be [just the cable company's] VOD” programming, says Turner Broadcasting’s Jeremy Legg. “Explain to a consumer why they can get TNT in the home but not out of the home.” Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Jeremy Luke has been cast in a lead role in Frank Darabont’s upcoming TNT series Lost Angels. The 1940s-set crime drama is based on the John Buntin book L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City and follows the turmoil surrounding the LAPD and ruthless criminal activities led by gangster Mickey Cohen (Luke). The character was not in the pilot. Luke, repped by Luber Roklin and Pantheon Talent, will next be seen in Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directing debut, Don Jon, and in Broken Horses.
Related: Daniel Henney & Brennan Brown In ‘Occult’, Ernie Hudson To Recur On ‘Lost Angels’
EXCLUSIVE: John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky, who created/executive produce recently picked up HBO comedy series Silicon Valley with King Of The Hill co-creator Mike Judge, won’t be involved with the show on a daily basis going forward. Judge will be the primary showrunner on the single-camera comedy, set in the high-tech gold rush of modern Silicon Valley. Search is under way for senior level writer(s) to join him. Altschuler and Krinsky, who first worked with Judge on King of The Hill, will remain involved with Silicon Valley while focusing their attention to Ternion, their production company with Judge, which is behind Silicon Valley as well Geena Davis’ TNT pilot, ABC’s 2009 animated series The Goode Family and the movie Extract from the same year. The two also have movie script Brigadier Gerard with Steve Carell and Jay Roach attached, which is nearing greenlight, and are writing Popeye at Sony.
It was completely appropriate that AFI‘s 41st Life Achievement Award honoree Mel Brooks made his entrance at the Dolby Theatre to the Steven Sondheim song, “Comedy Tonight”. It set the tone immediately for a very different evening than any that had come before at this annual event. Look at the list of the 40 previous AFI honorees, and there’s not a single solely comedic filmmaker or actor in the whole bunch. Yes, there are some — like Billy Wilder, Mike Nichols, Shirley MacLaine and Tom Hanks — who have made a few classic comedies but no one whose whole screen career is built on laughs. The AFI finally corrected that glaring omission Thursday night.
“Ladies and gentlemen, tonight the American Film Institute honors the art — and the farts — of American film,” said AFI Board Of Trustees Chair Sir Howard Stringer in welcoming the star-studded crowd. “When I telephoned Mel to tell him the AFI had voted him in as the 2013 recipient, he responded instantly, ‘What took you so long?’ Fair enough. Comedy is routinely short-changed at many awards ceremonies , particularly the Oscars. It is often said comedy is harder than drama because funny is like trying to catch lightning in a bottle. That makes Mel, without question, Hollywood’s principal lightning conductor.” Read More »
Paige Davis (TLC’s Trading Spaces) is set to star opposite David Koechner in A+E Networks‘ half-hour comedy pilot Whitey, from producer Leslie Greif. Greg Tuculescu (Bridesmaids) also has booked a series regular role in the project, which centers on Guy “Whitey” White (Koechner), a bright, conservative and frustrated guy in his 40s who is struggling to understand the changing values of a country in a world that has forever gone with the wind. Davis will play Whitey’s wife. Tuculescu, repped by TalentWorks and Odenkirk Provissiero, will play his friend, a paranoid war vet who maintains all sorts of wild political conspiracy theories. I hear the pilot, which is being produced under the A+E Networks umbrella, is being earmarked for History, though a decision about which net it will go to will be made if the pilot is picked up to series. Broadway veteran Davis, repped Michael Einfeld Management, 3 Arts and WME, recently returned to the stage to star in Chicago.
Gordon Clapp (Damages) is in negotiations to join the cast of Frank Darabont’s upcoming TNT series Lost Angels as a recurring. On the period drama, which chronicles the battle between the forces of the LAPD and the West Coast mob during the 1940s and ’50s, Clapp … Read More »
The Lone Star State just ponied up some serious bucks to bring film and TV production to Texas. Last week the state Legislature voted $95 million for use by its Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program for the next two years. That’s a jump of $63 million from the program’s present level. Senate Bill 1 now moves to Gov. Rick Perry to sign into law. The state’s program was set to expire in August if it had not been refunded.
Related: ‘Entourage’ Movie, ‘Justified’ ‘Teen Wolf’ & ‘King And Maxwell’ Among Winners Of California Tax Credit Production Lottery
The bounce up from the program’s current $32 million level was in part due to $68 million allocated from the state’s Hotel Occupancy Tax. Like many states around the country, Texas has started offering lucrative incentives in recent years to lure production. The $95 million is the most Texas has ever committed to its TV and Film incentive program. The previous high was $63 million allocated in 2009 only to be cut to $32 million is statewide program budget cuts in 2011. While nowhere near the $420 million that New York offers annually, the newly approved Texas’ program is just a nose behind the $100 million that California awards producers and filmmakers every year under a lottery system. Read More »
Veteran talent agent Iris Grossman has left ICM Partners to join Paradigm as an agent in the talent department. It is unclear which of Grossman’s clients will follow her to Paradigm. Her client list includes Modern Family star Ed O’Neill and Homeland’s Mandy Patinkin. Grossman was a long-time talent agent at ICM and previously served as SVP of Talent and Casting for TNT. “Iris Grossman is someone we have known and respected for many years,” said Paradigm chairman Sam Gores. “We worked very closely together when she was a network executive at TNT, that experience gives her a unique set of skills which her clients are the beneficiaries of and we are very pleased to have her join us.” Grossman’s future at ICM had been uncertain. She was among the veteran agents who did not get offered partnership during last year’s management buyout. “The agency wishes her the best,” ICM Partners said in a statement.
Former 24 executive producer/director Brad Turner is reuniting with the series’ executive producer/showrunner Howard Gordon. Turner has joined Gordon’s new TNT spy drama series, Legends, as an executive producer and director. Based on the book by Robert Littell, Legends stars Sean Bean as an undercover FBI Deep Cover Operations agent who has the uncanny ability to transform himself into a completely different person for each job. Alexander Cary, Jonathan Levin, Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris also executive produce. In addition to their work together on 24, Turner, repped by APA and Cliff Gilbert-Lurie, directed an episode of Gordon’s Showtime series Homeland. Turner’s other credits include serving as co-executive producer/director on Hawaii Five-0 as well as directing multiple episodes of Nikita, and Prison Break.
Daniel Henney and Brennan Brown are set to co-star opposite Josh Lucas and Lynn Collins in A&E‘s drama pilot Occult, produced by Michael Bay and written by James Wong. Occult centers on Dolan (Lucas), an FBI agent who returns from administrative leave after going off the deep end while investigating his wife’s disappearance. Henney, repped by CAA and Medavoy Management, will play Thompson, the Special Agent in Charge, investigating the abduction of the Governor’s daughter, who has recruited Dolan. Brown, repped by BRS, Curtis Brown and Soffer/Namoff), will play Monroe, Assistant Director of the FBI field office in New Orleans.
Ernie Hudson is in negotiations to join the cast of Frank Darabont’s upcoming TNT series Lost Angels as a recurring. On the period drama, which chronicles the battle between the forces of the LAPD and the West Coast mob during the 1940s and 50s, Hudson will play Bunny, a mobster who has control of the clubs and joints along Central Avenue, who also happens to work for Bugsy Siegel. Hudson, repped by The Marshak/Zachary Co. and Buchwald, recently co-starred in ABC’s pilot Reckless and will appear in the feature You’re Not You.
The Entourage movie, the fourth season of MTV’s Teen Wolf, the fifth season of Justified, the upcoming CBS Studios-produced King And Maxwell and Pretty Little Liars Season 5 are among the 31 projects picked this year in the state’s $100 million film and TV tax credit lottery, the California Film Commission announced today. Also on the list of winners is a previously unannounced sequel of Blumhouse’s upcoming horror/thriller feature The Purge, which debuts on June 7 from Universal.
Given the green light by Warner Bros back in January, the feature version of HBO’s eight season Hollywood series was always going to film a portion of its big screen debut in California but now they have a 20% tax credit to use. Among the others selected, Shane Brennan’s P.I. series King and Maxwell is one of the few new TV series to get subsidies this year and with a 25% tax credit, a move to California as a Relocating Series. Ordered earlier this year for 10-episode season by TNT, the pilot for the series, which stars Rebecca Romijn and Jon Tenney, was shot in Canada. There were a lot of familiar names this year too. This is the second year that Teen Wolf has received an allocation from the state program. It was selected as a Relocating TV Series in 2012, which made it automatically eligible this year under the Film Commission’s rules. TV series Justified and Pretty Little Liars, who already film in the Golden State and received tax credits last year as well, were re-eligible this year under regulations that place previously selected TV series at the top of the queue for future seasons. See the names of all of the winners of the 2013 California Production Tax Credit Lottery after the jump. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: I hear that A+E Networks has finalized a plan to launch an in-house studio for scripted and unscripted programming. It will be run by Bob DeBitetto, who will be leaving his post as president and General Manager of A&E Networks and BIO to head the new entity. I hear the move is part of a company-wide restructuring by newly named president and CEO Nancy Dubuc, which also includes the hire of veteran BBC executive Jana Bennett to run LMN and Bio, which we reported last month. I hear the announcement will be made later today.
Launching an in-house production company has been a long-time goal for A+E Networks, with DeBitetto among the top proponents of the idea. The studio will allow the company to work closer with talent and the creative community. Under DeBitetto, A&E has been on fire lately, with the success of Duck Dynasty and new drama Bates Motel. DeBitetto has experience running a cable network’s production company. Before joining A&E in 2003, he served as TNT’s President of Original Programming, where he also ran Turner’s Los Angeles–based production studio. Additionally, he worked in feature production early in his career, and at A&E, he founded and oversees A&E IndieFilms, the network’s documentary feature film division, which has earned two Oscar nominations in its first five years.