EXCLUSIVE: Last Vegas producer Amy Baer has launched Gidden Media, and the former CBS Films head and senior Sony Pictures executive gets off the ground with a batch of projects and a 7-figure development fund raised through a consortium of private investors. Baer will do what she does best, which is to invest the time nurturing material through the development process and then shop the results for feature films and longform television. Baer got her first taste of producing when she exited CBS Films two years ago to join Laurence Mark and Joe Drake on Last Vegas, the Jon Turteltaub-directed comedy that crossed the $33 million mark in its second weekend, with Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline starring for CBS Films.
Baer gets underway with several promising projects at Gidden, including some that she developed during her long stint at Sony. After starting her career working for late CAA agent Jay Moloney, Baer moved to TriStar in 1992 and worked her way up until she left to form CBS Films as president/CEO in 2007. Baer said she never forgot the unmade projects she shepherded all those years. Like a cop who won’t give up on a cold case, she approached her former Sony colleagues, who are letting her run with several stuck projects with great scripts. One is Endurance, the survival story of polar explorer Ernest Shackleton, who rescued his entire crew in 1916 after his ship got trapped in ice for over a year while attempting to cross Antarctica. I wrote about this film numerous times over the years, but it never made it to the start line at Sony as a feature. Baer is going to get made as a limited series by Sony Pictures Television. Wolfgang Petersen, who has been trying to make this movie for over a decade, is producing and directing a script by Steve Zaillian. Viking’s Alan Gasmer will also produce. Read More »
Martin Campbell (Casino Royale) is set to direct and executive produce a drama project for ABC and ABC Studios. Written/exec producer by Chris Downey (Leverage) and co-created/exec produced by Apollo Robbins (The Gentleman Thief), the untitled drama centers on Alice Jones, an FBI forensic psychiatrist, who teams up with Vincent Smith, a brilliant pickpocket-turned-Las Vegas magician, to catch bad guys living it up in Vegas in elaborate stings. Each week, Vince and Alice are ably assisted Ocean’s Eleven-style, by a rogue’s gallery of Sin City hustler, card cheats and showgirls. Downey and Robbins are repped by CAA and Jaimie Afifi; Campbell is with CAA and Walter Teller and Ken Richman.
ABC has put in development The Law Of Attraction, a legal drama written-executive produced by veteran TV writers, married couple Jonathan Shapiro (The Practice) and Betsy Borns (All of Us), in their first collaboration. It follows a beautiful, upper class, brilliant woman who is forced to practice law with a charismatic, lower class tough guy in a reluctant partnership to save her father’s powerful Boston law firm. Matt Gross (Body of Proof) is executive producing through his ABC Studios-based Gross Entertainment. Borns and Shapiro are repped by CAA and Jeanne Newman; Gross is with ICM Partners.
The MPAA‘s Classification and Rating appeals board has overturned the R rating given to the CBS Films pic Last Vegas, which is set to open November 1. The pic starring Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline and Robert De Niro as old buddies hitting Las Vegas for a bachelor party had been assigned an R rating for “brief sexual content.” The film is now rated PG-13 for “sexual content and language.” Director Jon Turteltaub and producer Amy Baer repped CBS Films in the hearing.
Michael Douglas scored an Emmy nomination today for playing a staple of the Las Vegas strip in Liberace biopic Behind The Candelabra. In November, he hits Sin City again for CBS Films‘ Last Vegas. The film sees four pals hold a bachelor party for Douglas’ last–single-man-standing. Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline round out the group of cronies. Mary Steenburgen, Jerry Ferrara, Romany Malco and Roger Bart also star. Jon Turteltaub directed the pic from an original screenplay by Dan Fogelman. The domestic release is November 1:
Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline are headed to Sin City in CBS Films’Last Vegas. The comedy sees the four pals hold a bachelor party for the last of the gang to remain single (Douglas). Mary Steenburgen, Jerry Ferrara, Romany Malco and Roger Bart also star. Jon Turteltaub directed the pic from an original screenplay by Dan Fogelman. The domestic release is set for November 1. Check out the teaser trailer:
UPDATE: Midseason drama Golden Boy and veteran comedy Rules Of Engagement too have been officially cancelled. Golden Boy did give us Brit Theo James, who looks like a movie star in the making. Meanwhile, Rules will go down as one of the most under-appreciated utility players in TV history. The sitcom, which never got much love, successfully plugged any hole on the CBS schedule it was assigned to, most recently replacing swiftly cancelled freshman comedy Partners on Monday this season. Its producer Sony TV fought hard for renewals in the past but this time, with the cast’s deals up, it didn’t make much sense, especially with the show safely over the 100-episode mark.
PREVIOUS: CBS has started to cancel existing series. I’ve learned that veteran CSI: NY has been axed, joining fellow spinoff CSI: Miami, which ended its run last season. Also over is freshman Vegas. Coincidentally, the two shows shared the same Friday 9 PM slot this season. None had been expected to survive. CSI: NY, starring Gary Sinise, had a respectable nine-year run. With it gone, the mothership CSI series, already renewed for next season, is the only member of the powerful CSI franchise still on the air. Period drama Vegas, which starred Dennis Quaid and Michael … Read More »
While more of the NFL Draft ran in primetime on ESPN and the NFL Network on Friday, the second night of May sweeps saw things improve across all the networks from the lows of Thursday. Of course, because of the extensive primetime coverage of the capture of the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing on April 19, almost all comparisons are to broadcasts of two weeks ago or more. On CBS, Friday brought a full night of rises, some small and one large. Kicking off CBS’s night, Undercover Boss (1.6/6) was up 7% from its last original on April 12. Up from its low of two weeks ago, Vegas (1.0/3) rose 25% from its last original. With 10.36 million viewers watching, Blue Bloods(1.4/4) was the most watched show of Friday night over Undercover Boss by more than 1.6 million. The cop family drama saw a upward turn of 8% from its April 12 show. With 8.82 million watching, CBS was tops in viewers as well as number one among Adults 18-49. Read More »
Alan Horn today made his CinemaCon debut in his new capacity as Chairman of Walt Disney Studios hosting a long three hour presentation that was a slide show highlighting the studio’s entire slate for the next two years. It included Johnny Depp and a first look at 20 minutes of new footage plus a trailer premiere from Disney’s expensive summer western The Lone Ranger. For Marvel, Horn said Robert Downey Jr really delivers in the May 3 release of Iron Man 3 – but not about the ticketing dispute which Deadline scooped between Disney and some some theater chains like AMC. Horn also hyped the November 8th release of the sequel Thor: The Dark World, plugged Captain America: The Winter Soldier (April 2014), and mentioned future offerings Guardians Of The Galaxy, Antman and the sequel The Avengers 2. For Pixar, he gushed about their success rate and quoted from Pixar chief John Lasseter: “Quality is the best business play. I always give him credit for that phrase.” Pixar’s Monsters Inc sequel Monsters University was shown in its entirety with director Don Scanlon telling exhibitors, ”You are one of the very first audiences to see it.” Judging from the reaction during the screening, they seemed to like it. Horn intro’ed toons likePixar’s The … Read More »
With one month until the upfronts, bubble shows are running out of time to impress and clinch a renewal. Last night, ABC’s comedy Happy Endings gave back the ratings gains from last week to drop to a 0.8/3 and 0.6/2 in 18-49 for the two back-to-back originals at 8 PM. That was below the 0.9/3 and 0.7/3 the show logged in its first Friday outing two weeks ago, with the 0.6 rating last night marking a new low for the underrated comedy. Such numbers makes it almost impossible for ABC to justify a renewal but the show still looks like a good bet for USA should the cable network make a pickup financially feasible. Also hitting a new low was CBS’ freshman drama Vegas (0.8/3, 7 million), which held a little over half of its Undercover Boss demo lead-in (1.4/5, 7.3 million). Despite its respectable viewership, there is no scenario where the period mob drama comes back. The already renewed Blue Bloods (1.3/4, 10.3 million) was down a tenth in 18-49 while drawing the largest audience of the night by a mile.
Unlike last week, there was no NCAA tournament on primetime last night but there were a lot of ups and downs on the TV court. The top rated and third most watched show of the night, 9 PM’s Shark Tank(2.1/7) had some real bite on Friday. In its second week back after three weeks off, the entrepreneurial reality show rose up 24% from its March 29 airing. With an audience of 8.45 million last night, Undercover Boss (1.6/6) was the second most watched program on Friday and the most viewed reality show. The 8 PM CBS series was up 14% from its last original almost a month ago on March 8. Easily the most watched show of Friday with 10.77 million tuning in, CBS’ Blue Bloods (1.4/5) returned last night in its 10 PM slot after three weeks. The cop family drama was even with its last original on March 15. One CBS show up, one even and one way down. Debuting in its new Friday slot, Vegas (0.9/3) took a big loss. The as yet unrenewed freshman series was down 40% from its last original in its old Tuesday slot back in February. Over on the CW, Nikita (0.3/1) stumbled 25% from last week’s show while Cult (0.2/1) was even with its March 29 episode. ABC won in the night among Adults 18-49 with CBS getting the most total viewers with … Read More »
Golden Boy, CBS’ new drama about the meteoric rise of an ambitious cop, is experiencing a rise in the standings itself. The midseason series, which was supposed to relocate to Fridays after two previews on Tuesday, will remain in the Tuesday 10 PM slot for the rest of the season. Golden Boy‘s first Friday airing, slated for tomorrow, will proceed as scheduled.
Meanwhile Tuesday 10 PM’s dweller Vegas, which was pre-empted to make room for the Golden Boy previews, will relocate to the Friday 9 PM slot beginning April 5, following the CBS’ coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament. Golden Boy has not been a breakout, starting off with a soft 1.8 18-49 rating in its premiere and dropping 11% this Tuesday. But with lackluster competition from ABC’s low-rated Body Of Proof and NBC’s flatlining Smash, Golden Boy has easily won the time period, and its Week 2 dropoff was respectable. With the series’ 13-episode order, CBS will be able to air originals in the Tuesday 10 PM slot through May, which the network brass liked. Additionally, CBS executives like to test scheduling moves this time a year that they are considering for next season, and Vegas’ shift to Fridays certainly fits that bill. The show’s demographic profile matches closely that of CBS’ Friday 10 PM drama Blue Bloods — large, older-skewing audiences. If Vegas does OK in its new time slot, it will … Read More »
The Wire’s Paul Ben-Victor has a busy few months ahead of him. The seasoned actor, who once played the Three Stooges’ Moe in a 2000 TV movie about the trio and also played a vindictive studio chief in HBO’s Entourage, has signed on for a four episode stint on CBS’s freshman series Vegas. Ben-Victor will once again play an arrogant Hollywood mogul. His character’s name this time is Barry Silver in the 1960s-set drama with Dennis Quaid and Michael Chikilis. Ben-Victor will also be back on the big screen with Robert DeNiro and Sylvester Stallone in Grudge Match. In the film about two old boxers lured back into the ring for one last bout, Ben-Victor will play the role of Lou Camare, a well connected fight promoter. Ben-Victor is repped by APA and Leverage. Read More »
The buddy comedy starring the killer foursome of Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline had been set for a December 20, 2013 release but is now moving back to November 1. Last Vegas now exits the Christmas frame in favor of a fall date that currently houses Summit’s Ender’s Game. The CBS Films pic centers on what happens when the old friends decide to throw a Las Vegas bachelor party for the last remaining single pal. Jon Turteltaub directed the Dan Fogelman script, and Laurence Mark and Amy Baer produced.
On the second to last night before the end of the November sweeps, it was a bit of a rollar coaster on TV on Tuesday. Fox’s The Mindy Project (1.3/4) took a 19% dive from last week, falling to a new series low. On NBC, The Voice’s (3.3/10) live results show was down 15% from last week. Matthew Perry’s Go On (2.2/6) was flat with last week. At 9:30 PM, The New Normal (1.6/4) was down 11% from last week. That’s series low for the new Ryan Murphy show. Following The New Normal was Parenthood (1.6/5), which was also down. The comedy/drama fell 16% from last week, which is a tie for Parenthood’s lowest ever rating. Fox’s Raising Hope (1.5/5) was down one-tenth from last week. Newbie Ben and Kate (1.1/3) was flat with last week, which is a tie for its series low and New Girl (2.0/5) tumbled 9% from its November 13th show.
ABC’s Dancing With The Stars’ (1.9/6) live results show was even with last week. Happy Endings (1.2/3) however was down. The single camera comedy fell 8% from last week to hit a series low. It wasn’t better for Don’t Trust The B- In Apt. 23 (0.9/3). Down 18% from last week, the ABC sophomore also hit a new series low. The soon to be ending Private Practice (1.2/3) broke its downward run. The medical drama was up 9%from last week’s series low. On CBS, NCIS (3.0/9) was down 3% … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: CBS has tweaked the full-season orders to freshmenElementary and Vegas as the network is firming up its scheduling needs for the rest of the season. Elementary, the stronger between the two rookies, is getting two extra episodes for a 24-episode season. Elementaryjust landed the coveted post Super Bowl slot, and one of additional episodes accounts for that. Vegas‘ order has been trimmed from 22 to 21 episodes.
The whole gang is in Sin City. The first photo from CBS Films and Good Universe‘s Last Vegasshows Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro and Kevin Kline in some fine threads for a good time in the town. The comedy about four friends who throw a bachelor party in Las Vegas for the last of the gang to remain single (played by Douglas) packs a lot of seasoned star power is scheduled to be released on December 20, 2013. Mary Steenburgen is inLast Vegas too, as is Jerry Ferrara, Romany Malco and Roger Bart. Jon Turteltaub directs from an original screenplay by Dan Fogelman. Last Vegas is shooting in Sin City and then moving on to Atlanta.
Piano prodigy Rio Mangini has joined the Alex Zamm-directed reboot of The Little Rascals from Universal Pictures and 1440 Productions. Doris Roberts and Greg Germann also star in addition to Jet Jurgensmeyer and Eden Wood. Mangini, son of three-time Oscar-nominated sound designer Mark Mangini (Aladdin, The Fifth Element), is also a classical pianist who’s performed twice at Carnegie Hall. Earlier this year Mangini played an autistic child in the short Six Letter Word which also starred Rumer Willis. He’s repped by Abrams Artists Agency and PMG.
Bre Blair will play Michael Douglas’ fiancé in Last Vegas. Blair has appeared in numerous TV shows including Two And A Half Men, Make It Or Break It and 90210. Last Vegas is directed by Jon Turteltaub, and Dan Fogelman wrote the script about four childhood friends who hook up for a wild Las Vegas bachelor party. Lawrence Mark, Amy Baer and Good Universe are producing the CBS Films release. It also stars Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro, Kevin Kline, Romany Malco and Mary Steenburgin. Blair is represented by SDB and Manager Lisa DiSante-Frank. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE:Romany Malco has just closed a deal to co-star in the CBS Films/Good Universe comedy Last Vegas alongside Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Klein. Jon Turteltaub is directing and Dan Fogelman wrote the script, about four childhood friends who hook up for a wild Las Vegas bachelor party but old tensions crop up. Lawrence Mark, Amy Baer and Good Universe are producing the pic, which is slated for a December 20, 2013 release. Malco will play Lonnie, the concierge at the MGM Aria where the friends are staying. Malco, whose recent credits include Think Like A Man and the Showtime series Weeds, is repped by the Kohner Agency and Principato Young.