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Comic-Con: ‘The Blacklist’ Adds Mary-Louise Parker To Season 2 Cast

Comic-Con: ‘The Blacklist’ Adds Mary-Louise Parker To Season 2 CastThe Blacklist star James Spader may have been snubbed for an Emmy nomination this year, but he got a lot of love today from the Comic-Con crowd. The actor drew a roar from the more than 1,000 fans in the packed room 6A of the San Diego Convention Center. “It’s been quite a journey, this craziness — and the craziness really started last year right here at Comic-Con,” Spader said after the applause died down. Then again, one year after his debut at the confab and with a breakout show success in the crime drama, the Mary-Louise Parkerman who plays former super-fugitive Raymond Reddington is a geekfest multitasker this time round thanks to his part as the primary villain in next year’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron pic – which got a big cheer when Spader mentioned his work on the Marvel movie.

Related: TCA: NBC Drama Series Showrunners Tell TV Critics How It’s Done

Not that the panel didn’t cut to the Blacklist chase. There was a big casting announcement with the revelation that Mary-Louise Parker would be joining the NBC series in Season 2 in a recurring role as a character named Naomi Highland. EP/creator Jon Bokenkamp didn’t reveal any more details of the former Weeds star’s Blacklist involvement, but he described the character as “completely tied to Reddington.”

Related: Emmy Snubs: ‘The Blacklist,’ James Spader And More

James Spader comic con 2014Then there is the question of relationships on a show all about unknown relationships. “The question of who is Reddington to Elizabeth Keen is the central conceit to the show,: responded Bokenkamp to questions of whether Reddington is the rookie FBI agent’s father, “but we’re really not going to answer that.” From burn marks to pocket photos and the secrets of a dying man, the May 12 Season 1 finale set up a lot for the show’s return – especially about who Reddington really is and what his relationship with Keen might be. Spader himself had some thoughts on the big question. “The real relationship is their present relationship,” the lead actor said. “Destinations aren’t enough. The ultimate answer should be that looking backwards.” Read More »

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Peter Sarsgaard & Mary-Louise Parker To Star in NBC Miniseries ‘The Slap’

By | Friday July 25, 2014 @ 1:20pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Peter Sarsgaard & Mary-Louise Parker To Star in NBC Miniseries ‘The Slap’Peter Sarsgaard has been cast as the lead in NBC’s The Slap. Also cast in a lead role in the 8-hour miniseries, based on the 2011 Australian short-run series, is WeedsMary-Louise Parker. The Slap is described as a complex family drama that explodes from one small incident where a man slaps another couple’s misbehaving child. The seemingly minor domestic dispute pulls the family apart, begins to expose long-held secrets, and ignites a lawsuit that challenges the core American values of all who are pulled into it.

NBC logo Sarsgaard will play Hector, a husband and father who loves his wife and family but shows signs of weakness when he finds himself succumbing to the advances of his wife’s teenaged receptionist during his own party. Hector’s cousin is the one who slaps the child. Parker will play Anouk, a close friend of Hector’s who’s the head writer on a TV show and is now dating the younger leading man. Sarsgaard, repped by CAA, Jon Rubenstein at Authentic, and Jodi Peikoff, and Parker are the first actors cast in The Slap, written by Jon Robin Baitz and to be directed by Lisa Cholodenko (the first two hours) for Universal TV and Australia’s Matchbox Pictures, producer of the original series. Baitz, Cholodenko and Matchbox’s Tony Ayres executive produce with Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald as well as Ted Gold. Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Galavant’ To Film At UK’s Bottle Yard; Sam Worthington Mini ‘Deadline Gallipoli’ Adds Cast; ‘The Golden Era’ To Close Venice; More

Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Galavant’ To Film At UK’s Bottle Yard; Sam Worthington Mini ‘Deadline Gallipoli’ Adds Cast; ‘The Golden Era’ To Close Venice; MoreThe Bottle Yard Studios in Bristol, England will be the home of Disney’s ABC Studios’ Galavant when it shoots later this summer. Pre-production started this week in the west of England and filming begins in August. Galavant is one of the major U.S. series to decamp to Britain this year to take advantage of the lucrative TV tax credit. The musical comedy fairytale from Dan Fogelman stars Joshua Sasse, Timothy Omundson, Vinnie Jones, Mallory Jansen, Karen David and Luke Youngblood. Also currently filming at Bottle Yard are BBC Two’s Wolf Hall, BBC One’s Poldark, Sky 1 comedy Trollied, and Channel 4’s Deal Or No Deal.

sam worthingtonAustralia’s Foxtel has unveiled the cast of miniseries Deadline Gallipoli. Joining Sam Worthington in the drama that just started shooting, are Hugh Dancy, Rachel Griffiths, Bryan Brown, Ewan Leslie, Jessica De Gouw, Anna Torv, John Bell, James Fraser, Charles Dance, and newcomer Joel Jackson. Worthington is co-producing the chronicle of the Aussie and English journalists who covered the World War I battle and were instrumental in the decision to end the campaign against Turkish forces. Charles Bean, Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett, Phillip Schuler and Keith Murdoch (Rupert’s dad) were the first truly embedded war correspondents whose defiance ignited a change in the campaign’s course and whose commitment to the stories of the men turned the war from a strategic failure into a … Read More »

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Kristen Bell, Hunter Parrish Will Let The Sunshine In At Hollywood Bowl `Hair’

By | Tuesday June 3, 2014 @ 3:23am PDT

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 11.49.07 AMKristen Bell, erstwhile star of Veronica Mars and the voice of Anna in Frozen, and Hunter Parrish of Weeds will topline a revival of the ur-rock musical Hair slated to run August 1-3 at the Hollywood Bowl. They’ll be joined by Amber Riley and Jenna Ushkowitz, both of Glee. Bell will play Sheila, Parrish will play Claude, Ushkowitz will be Jeanie and Riley will play Dionne. Beverly D’Angelo, who played Sheila in Milos Forman’s 1979 film adaptation, will play the mother. Adam Shankman is directing. Hair was the show that New York Shakespeare Festival founder Joseph Papp used to inaugurate the Public Theater in 1967, after purchasing the old Astor Library in the East Village from the city of New York for $1. The musical later moved to Broadway and was a sensation for its enduring folk-rock-blues score by James Rado, Gerome Ragni and Galt MacDermot, its strong anti-Vietnam War sentiment and the communal, a albeit brief, nudity (which was added for the Broadway version). As Sheila, Bell will get to sing the lament Easy To Be Hard and lead the choral roof-raisers Good Morning Starshine and Let The Sunshine In. A 2008 revival began during the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park summer series, moved to Broadway and toured.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Hannibal’ Finale Up, ‘What Would You Do?’ Debuts Even

By | Saturday May 24, 2014 @ 9:37am PDT

hannibal s 2 finale 2With the 2013-2014 season officially over and the summer shows not yet out in force, the TV tumbleweeds were rolling across primetime last night. On an encore dominated Friday, the lone original drama on last night was the Season 2 finale of Hannibal (1.0/3) on NBC at 10 PM. As bloody and visually beautiful as you would expect from the Bryan Fuller-created show based on author Thomas Harris’ infamous characters, Hannibal was up 11% from last week’s show. However, finale-to-finale, last night’s Season 2 closer had an even better night as it rose 19% from the 0.8/2 that the recently renewed series’ Season 1 ender garnered on June 20 last year. While also packed with repeats, that Thursday night saw the gory psychological thriller competing with Game 7 of the 2013 NBA Finals, where the Miami Heat sealed the deal to take home their second straight title. With all that said, in what has been an unpredictable season for Hannibal, last night’s finale slipped 9% from Hannibal’s Season 2 opener and Friday night debut on February 28 this year.

Related: Full 2013-2014 TV Season Series Rankings Read More »

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Fox 2014 Schedule: ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ & ‘Mulaney’ Join Sunday Animated Block, ‘Glee’ Held For Midseason

By | Monday May 12, 2014 @ 5:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Fox Fall Schedule 2014Animation domination no more. Fox is abandoning its all-animated Sunday comedy block and reverting to a mix of live-action and animated comedies on the night, with Brooklyn Nine-Nine and newbie Mulaney joining The Simpsons and Family Guy. Meanwhile, for the first time since its launch, Glee is not on in the fall schedule for its final season. Here is Fox’s fall schedule, followed by analysis and description of the network’s new series.

FOX FALL 2014 SCHEDULE
(New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET/PT)

MONDAY
8-9 PM – GOTHAM
9-10 PM – Sleepy Hollow

TUESDAY
8-9 PM – UTOPIA
9-9:30 PM – New Girl
9:30-10 PM – The Mindy Project

WEDNESDAY
8-9 PM – Hell’s Kitchen
9-10 PM – RED BAND SOCIETY

THURSDAY
8-9 PM – Bones
9-10 PM – GRACEPOINT

FRIDAY
8-9 PM – Masterchef Junior
9-10 PM – UTOPIA

SATURDAY
7-10:30 PM – Fox Sports Saturday

SUNDAY
7-7:30 PM – NFL Game
7-8 PM – Bob’s Burgers
8-8:30 PM – The Simpsons
8:30-9 PM – Brooklyn Nine-Nine
9-9:30 PM – Family Guy
9:30-10 PM – MULANEY Read More »

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Blythe Danner Headlines ‘Country House’ Bow At Geffen & On Broadway

"The Commons Of Pensacola" Opening NightBlythe Danner is joined by Scott Foley (Scandal), Eric Lange (Weeds), David Rasche (Speed-The-Plow Broadway, Lunch Hour), Emily Swallow (The Mentalist), and fast-rising star Sarah Steele (Lincoln Center Theater’s Slowgirl, CBS’ The Good Wife) for the world premiere of Donald Margulies’ The Country House. It’s a co-production with the Manhattan Theatre Club, which will present the play in the fall at its Broadway venue, the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. A comedy-about-family-drama hybrid with the now-familiar Chekhovian overtones, the play begins previews June 3 in the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse in LA, opening June 11. It’s Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Margulies’ sixth Geffen production. Tony winner Daniel Sullivan (Time Stands Still, Good People) directs. Read More »

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2014-15 Fox Schedule

By | Wednesday May 7, 2014 @ 12:05pm PDT

2014-15 Fox Schedule
(New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET/PT)

MONDAY
8-9 PM – GOTHAM
9-10 PM – Sleepy Hollow

TUESDAY
8-9 PM – UTOPIA
9-9:30 PM – New Girl
9:30-10 PM – The Mindy Project

WEDNESDAY
8-9 PM – Hell’s Kitchen
9-10 PM – RED BAND SOCIETY

THURSDAY
8-9 PM – Bones
9-10 PM – GRACEPOINT

FRIDAY
8-9 PM – Masterchef Junior
9-10 PM – UTOPIA

SATURDAY
7-10:30 PM – Fox Sports Saturday

SUNDAY
7-7:30 PM – NFL Game
7-8 PM – Bob’s Burgers
8-8:30 PM – The Simpsons
8:30-9 PM – Brooklyn Nine-Nine
9-9:30 PM – Family Guy
9:30-10 PM – MULANEY

Related: Fox New Series First Looks: Video

2014-2015 NEW SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

New Dramas – Fall

GOTHAM – Before there was Batman, there was GOTHAM. Everyone knows the name Commissioner Gordon. He is one of the crime world’s greatest foes, a man whose reputation is synonymous with law and order. But what is known of Gordon’s story and his rise from rookie detective to Police Commissioner? What did it take to navigate the multiple layers of corruption that secretly ruled Gotham City, the spawning ground of the world’s most iconic villains? And what circumstances created them – the larger-than-life personas who would become Catwoman, The Penguin, The Riddler, Two-Face and The Joker? GOTHAM is an origin story of the great DC Comics Super-Villains and vigilantes, revealing an entirely new chapter that has never been told. From executive producer/writer Bruno Heller (“The Mentalist,” “Rome”), GOTHAM follows one cop’s rise … Read More »

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WME Signs ‘Warrior’ Helmer Gavin O’Connor

By | Wednesday April 23, 2014 @ 2:25pm PDT
Mike Fleming

warrior-oconnorEXCLUSIVE: WME has signed Gavin O’Connor, the writer-director of the superb generational fighter tale Warrior, the indie Tumbleweeds, cop drama Pride And Glory, and the U.S. Gold Medal-winning hockey team saga Miracle.

warrO’Connor most recently directed the pilot that launched the FX series The Americans, and he came on to save the day when he signed on to direct Jane Got A Gun, the drama that stars Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton, Ewan McGregor and Rodrigo Santoro. Relativity acquired the Western for release and will open the film later this year. O’Connor had been at CAA.

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HRTS Hitmakers Panel Jabs At Polarizing Emmy Categories

By | Wednesday April 16, 2014 @ 6:12pm PDT

HRTSThe lines between TV comedy and drama get blurrier by the season with such genre-straddling shows as Nurse Jackie, Louie, Californication and Justified. Two hourlong series, Shameless and Orange Is the New Black, will compete as comedies at the Emmys this year after previously being submitted as dramas at awards shows. The subject was batted around during today’s HRTS Hitmakers panel at the Beverly Hilton, which featured Orange Is The New Black and Weeds creator Jenji Kohan as well as Carlton Cuse (Bates Motel, Lost) and Michelle Ashford (Masters Of Sex). Moderator Michael Schneider asked the trio if there’s such a thing as comedy and drama on TV anymore. “Only for the Emmys, apparently,” Cuse replied. Added Kohan, “I just wish there was an hourlong category and a half-hour category. I wish everyone wasn’t so focused on category.” For the record, the semi-word “dramedy” didn’t come up in the discussion.

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‘The Brink’ Co-Star Aasif Mandvi To Also Serve As Writer-Producer On HBO Series

By | Monday April 14, 2014 @ 1:47pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

mandviAasif Mandvi is expanding his role on the new HBO half-hour comedy series The Brink. The Daily Show correspondent has a co-starring role on the show, directed by Jay Roach and executive produced by Jerry Weintraub. In addition to that, he now will serve as a writer/co-producer on the series. Additionally, his memoir No Man’s Land, an account of a second-generation immigrant’s search for meaning and identity in an increasingly confusing world, will be published in October.

Related: 2014 HBO Pilots Read More »

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Richard Dreyfuss To Co-Star In TBS Comedy Pilot ‘Your Family Or Mine’

By | Monday March 31, 2014 @ 11:48am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Richard Dreyfuss TBS Comedy Your Family Or MineEXCLUSIVE: Richard Dreyfuss has joined the TBS comedy pilot Your Family Or Mine, from Greg Malins, Sony Pictures TV and Fanfare. Based on a Keshet format, the show centers on Oliver and Kelli, who are living proof of the adage “When you marry someone, you don’t just marry them, you marry their whole family.” It is a family comedy with an unusual structure — each episode focuses on a different side of the family: one week featuring the couple dealing with Kelli’s family, the next spent with Oliver’s. Dreyfuss, repped by APA and The Schiff Co., will play Ricky, Oliver’s father, opposite JoBeth Williams’ Louis. This marks the first series-regular role for Oscar-winner Dreyfuss since his starring turn on the 2001 CBS drama The Education Of Max Bickford. Over the past decade he’s done arcs on Showtime’s Weeds and NBC’s Parenthood. He most recently wrapped Darren Aronofsky and Joel Viertel’s feature Zipper and was seen in Paranoia.

Related: 2014 TBS Pilots

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AMC Greenlights First Comedy Pilot, Sets Projects From Chris Carter, Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg And Kevin Smith, Adds Dave Erickson To ‘The Walking Dead’ Spinoff

By | Wednesday March 26, 2014 @ 1:58pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

amclogo4As part of its upfront, AMC as usual is making a slew of programming announcements. They include an increased focus on comedy development, including a first pilot green light to a half-hour project, We Hate Paul Revere, written, executive produced and starring Ethan Sandler and Adrian Wenner, and several comedy projects in development including one from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (This is the End) and half-hours toplined/written by John Leguizamo and Wyatt Cenac. On the drama side, AMC’s development slate includes projects from Chris Carter, Amy Lippman and Josh Applebaum, André Nemec, Scott Rosenberg & Jeff Pinkner and producer Aaron Kaplan.

Related: AMC Sets Projects With John Leguizamo & Wyatt Cenac As Part Of Push In Comedy

Kevin SmithAMC also announced the renewal of Kevin Smith’s unscripted series Comic Book Men for a fourth season.The network is expanding its relationship with Smith to include the development of a late-night project, Hollywood Babble-On, starring Smith and his co-host of their popular podcast, Ralph Garman, to be produced by Wilshire Studios and executive produced by Smith, Ralph Garman and Gary Auerbach. Additionally, AMC is also working with Smith on the development of a docu-series featuring super-collector and Comic Book Men regular Robert Bruce. Produced by Original Media and Smith’s Smodcast Pictures, and exec produced by Dan Laikind, Charlie Corwin, Elyse Seiden and Smith, Bruce and his fellow experts scour the country searching real estate sales, auction houses and flea markets on a quest to find rare items that will feed the needs of his demanding clients and add to Bruce’s own colossal collection.

AMC also has made an overall deal with Dave Erickson (Sons Of Anarchy), who will co-write, along with Robert Kirkman, and serve as an executive producer on the unnamed The Walking Dead companion series. “AMC is introducing more hours of original programming and the most robust, diverse development slate in our network’s history,” said AMC president Charlie Collier. Unwavering is our commitment to the eclectic, quality dramatic series that have come to define our brand and to the unconventional unscripted worlds we love to explore. And today we also happily dive head-first into our first-ever scripted comedy pilot.”  Here is AMC’s full slate, which includes drama, comedy and unscripted projects as well as two books optioned for series: Read More »

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Bille Woodruff To Direct VH1′s ‘Drumline 2′; Michael Trim To Helm NBC Pilot ‘Feed Me’

By | Tuesday March 18, 2014 @ 12:39pm PDT

Bille Woodruff has been tappedbillew2 to direct VH1′s Drumline 2: A New Beat, co-written by Karen Gist and Regina Hicks. Fox Television Studios is co-financing and looking at the project as a possible back-door pilot. Story focuses on strong-willed and talented Dani Bolton, who defies her parents, bypassing Spelman College for SEU so she can join the Rolling Red Thunder Drumline. Nick Cannon will exec produce. Woodruff, repped by ICM Partners, Greenlight Management, and attorney Peter Nichols, directed features Honey and Beauty Shop. His current film Addicted for Lionsgate is slated to be released in October. Gist is repped by ICM Partners; Hicks is with Resolution.
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E! Orders Drama ‘The Royals’ As First Scripted Series

By | Thursday March 6, 2014 @ 12:30pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

E!_LogoE! is making a regal entry into scripted programming. The network has picked up one of its first two scripted pilots, The Royals starring Elizabeth Hurley, to series. The one-hour drama, about a fictional British Royal family set in modern London that is informed by the regal opulence of the British monarchy and framed by Shakespeare’s Hamlet, hails from Lionsgate and a trio of One Tree Hill alums. OTH creator Mark Schwahn wrote and directed Royals, which he is executive producing with Brian Robbins and Joe Davola. Getting reality focused E! into the scripted space had been a priority for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment topper Bonnie Hammer. Sibling cable channel Bravo had been put on a similar path and just greenlighted its first scripted series, Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce. E!’s second pilot, musical drama Songbyrd, remains in contention. “The Royals will offer a fictional look behind the very public gilded façade of the palace gates to imagine the private, lush, fun, sexy world of the most-watched celebrity family on the planet,” said E! EVP Original Programming and development Jeff Olde said. Added the network’s scripted executive Kevin Plunkett who spearheads E!’s scripted efforts, “This is a big idea and Mark, Brian, Joe and the Lionsgate team delivered.”The Royals - Season: 1 Read More »

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Mary-Louise Parker Set For NBC Comedy Pilot ‘Feed Me’

By | Wednesday March 5, 2014 @ 4:00pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Mary-Louise ParkerMary-Louise Parker‘s reunion with NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt is now official as the former Weeds star has closed a deal to topline NBC’s single-camera comedy pilot Feed Me. The project, from veteran producers Paul Junger Witt and Tony Thomas, received a pilot green light last month based on Parker’s intention to star in it. Following the end of Weeds, which Greenblatt put on the air while running Showtime, NBC had been pursing the actress for multiple projects, and Feed Me was the script she responded to. Talks with Parker had already commenced when Feed Me was picked up to pilot three weeks ago, now they have been successfully completed. Written by Sally Robinson, who penned Lifetime’s successful Steel Magnolias remake, Feed Me is described as a comedic exploration of adult intimacy and desire that centers on a dysfunctional family bound by love and the restaurant they run together. And when daughter Emma’s husband has an affair, they circle the wagons to fiercely protect one of their own. Robinson, Thomas and Witt executive produce for Universal TV. Parker serves as a producer.

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Indie Spirit Awards: ‘12 Years A Slave’ Takes Best Feature And Dominates With Five Wins; McConaughey & Blanchett Top Actors

By | Saturday March 1, 2014 @ 1:24pm PST

!2YearsASlaveSpiritsUPDATED WITH ALL WINNERS AND REACTIONS: The 29th annual Independent Spirit Awards ended up more like a cast party for Fox Searchlight’s 12 Years A Slave, which won five of the seven categories for which it was nominated today — including Best Feature and Best Director for Steve McQueen. The strong showing for the slave drama gives the pic plenty of momentum headed into tomorrow night’s Oscars, the marquee event in a long awards season in which 12 Years has been one of many films ebbing and flowing buzz-wise along with Warner Bros’ Gravity ahead of what’s being called one of the more wide-open Academy Awards in a long while.

Dede Gardner, a producer on the pic with her Plan B partner Brad Pitt, thanked the many people involved in making the movie (including Pitt for “getting the movie made when he said he would”). She also thanked the descendants of the film’s subject Solomon Northup. “It’s a reminder to care-take our freedom,” she said.

Spirit Award WinnersWith most of the big studio pics in the Oscar Best Picture race sitting it out today with the focus on indie fare under a tent on the beach in mostly rain-free Santa Monica, it allowed others to shine. Dallas Buyers’ Club‘s acting duo of Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto won Best Male Lead and Supporting Male, respectively. Cate Blanchett continued her hot streak winning Best Lead Female for Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, making her a solid favorite to win tomorrow night. Lupita Nyong’o won Best Supporting Female for 12 Years. That pic rounded out its wins with a Best Screenplay nod for John Ridley and Best Cinematography for Sean Bobbitt.

2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards - Show2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards - Backstage And AudienceThe Weinstein Company also had a good day during the ceremony, hosted by Patton Oswalt. Best Documentary went to the distrib’s 20 Feet From Stardom, whose subjects performed today, and Best First Feature went to writer-director Ryan Coogler for Fruitvale Station, which started its fruitful awards-season at Sundance 2012 when TWC acquired it for $2 million.

Oswalt presided over one of the most memorable parts of the show, when a black drone flew in and delivered the scroll announcing Nyong’o's win. Later, after Blue Is The Warmest Color won Best International Film, Oswalt came back out onstage covered in blood. ”Don’t touch the drone,” he quipped.

The weather, such an issue during the blustery and wet 2011 Spirit Awards, held for most of the day, with rain beginning to fall just as Blanchett reached backstage after her acceptance speech. ”There’s a storm coming,” she said to the press. “It was nice knowing you all in case we’re swept away.”

Related: Oscars Rainout? Organizers Say No Way

The Spirit Awards will be shown tonight at 10 PM ET/PT on IFC. But here’s how the day went down, with on-scene coverage by Deadline’s Pete HammondDominic Patten and Anthony D’Alessandro and contributor Diane Haithman.

Read More »

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Dark Family Comedy From Sally Robinson & Witt/Thomas Prods. Gets NBC Pilot Order With Mary-Louise Parker In Talks To Star

By | Friday February 14, 2014 @ 10:45am PST
Nellie Andreeva

NBC_logoUPDATED: NBC has given a late pilot order to Feed Me, a single-camera comedy from veteran producers Paul Junger Witt and Tony Thomas’ Witt/Thomas Prods (Blossom, Beauty And The Beast and its CW reboot). NBC had been pursuing former Weeds star Mary-Louise Parker for multiple pilots. This is the script she responded to, helping it get a green light while the actress’ deal is being worked out. Feed Me would reunite Parker with NBC topper Bob Mary-Louise ParkerGreenblatt who cast her in another dark comedy, Weeds, while at Showtime. Written by Sally Robinson, who penned Lifetime’s hugely successful Steel Magnolias remake, Feed Me is described as a comedic exploration of adult intimacy and desire that centers on a dysfunctional family bound by love and the restaurant they run together. And when daughter Emma’s husband has an affair, they circle the wagons to fiercely protect one of their own. Robinson, Thomas and Witt executive produce for Universal TV.

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HBO Gives Series Order To Comedy Pilot ‘The Brink’ Starring Jack Black & Tim Robbins, From Jay Roach & Jerry Weintraub

By | Tuesday February 11, 2014 @ 2:04pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

timrobbinsjackblackEXCLUSIVE: In a very quick turnaround, HBO has given a series order to The Brink, its comedy pilot starring Jack Black and Tim Robbins, directed by Jay Roach and executive produced by Jerry Weintraub. Written by former Weeds executive producer Roberto Benabib and his brother Kim Benabib, The Brink is an epic dark comedy focusing on a geopolitical crisis and its effect on three disparate and desperate men: U.S. Secretary of State Walter Hollander (Robbins); Alex Coppins (Black), a lowly Foreign Service officer; and Zeke Callahan (Pablo Schreiber), an ace Navy fighter pilot. These three compromised souls must pull through the chaos around them to save the planet from World War III. Aasif Mandvi, Maribeth Monroe, Geoff Pierson, Esai Morales and Eric Ladin co-star on the series, executive produced by Roberto Benabib, Weintraub and Roach. Kim Benabib and Susie Ekins co-executive produce.

jayroach25th Annual Producers Guild Of America Awards - ArrivalsThis marks the first HBO series for Weintraub and Roach, who both have deals with the pay cable network and established relationships there. Weintraub executive produced HBO Films’ Emmy-winning movie Behind The Candelabra, while Roach directed and exec produced the Emmy-winning HBO movies Game Change and Recount.

The Brink’s road to HBO’s primetime started with an email Weintraub received while in Europe, which contained the Benabibs’ script. “I read it and I fell in love with it,” he said. When he came back to Los Angeles, Weintraub had lunch with Roach about a movie project where hbo45__130924185923-275x112Roach mentioned that he had been looking to do a half-hour comedy. Weintraub ran to his office and brought Roach The Brink script. Joking that Roach “is famous for taking three years to make up his mind” on anything, Wentraub heard from the director the very next day. “He calls me and he says, ‘I’m in, the script is too good’.” Read More »

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