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Pivot Picks Up Sky Series ‘Fortitude’, Sets Development Slate, Revamps ‘TakePart Live’

By | Wednesday April 16, 2014 @ 9:02am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

pivotParticipant Media‘s network Pivot today announced the pickup of Sky Atlantic’s 12-episode drama series Fortitude starring Stanley Tucci and Michael Gambon. The series became available in the U.S. in December when Starz, which originally had committed to the project, pulled out. Pivot is designed as a younger skewing network than Starz, with its target demo being 18-34. As part of its upfront presentation, Pivot also announced an overhaul of its nightly topical series, TakePart Live. Beginning Monday, May 12, the hour-long late-night program will move to primetime (10 PM) with a new producer, Michael Davies’ Embassy Row, which is behind Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live and AMC’s Talking Dead/Bad. Also undergoing makeover is the hosting team of Jacob Soboroff and Cara Santa Maria, with only Soboroff coming back, joined by Sen. John McCain’s daughter Meghan McCain and comedian Eddie Huang.

Pivot also unveiled a development slate that includes eleven projects from production companies including IAC’s Electus, Universal Cable Prods., FremantleMedia North America/Pukeko Pictures, Funny or Die, and Eyeworks, and revealed premiere 2014-15 dates, including an August 8 debut for the sophomore season of coming-of-age comedy, Please Like Me, and the comedy Human Resources. “Our second slate demonstrates our significant investment in, and commitment to, groundbreaking content for the thought-leading segment of Generation Y we call ‘Upstanders,’” said Pivot president Evan Shapiro. Here is Pivot’s full slate: Read More »

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NBCU International Television Production Strikes Deal For All Of Matchbox Pictures

nbcu tv prodAfter acquiring an equity stake in Australian producer Matchbox Pictures in 2011, NBCUniversal International Television Production has now taken full ownership of the company via an undisclosed investment. This adds to NBCU’s stable of overseas production labels that also includes Carnival Films (Downton Abbey, Dracula), reality producer Monkey Kingdom and factual shingle Chocolate Media, all in the UK; as well as Lark Productions in Canada. Matchbox launched in 2008 and develops and produces drama, matchbox1comedy, documentary and young adult television, and feature films. Earlier this month, NBC greenlighted The Slap, an eight-episode mini based on Matchbox’s 2011 complex family drama series. Universal Television and Matchbox are producing with Matchbox co-founder Tony Ayres as exec producer. Other recent Matchbox credits include the dramedy Camp which aired on NBC this summer and AACTA winning action adventure series Nowhere Boys, which Ayres created. Ayres, with co-founder Penny Chapman, will lead the creative team at Matchbox on the scripted side, and Kylie Washington will head up unscripted. The company will continue to operate as a distinct entity led by managing director Chris Oliver Taylor. NBCU provides a distribution network for Matchbox’s content outside of Australia and New Zealand.

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‘Gravity’ Wins Best Film At Australian Academy Awards; ‘12 Years A Slave’ Nabs Two Acting Nods

By | Friday January 10, 2014 @ 11:22pm PST

Gravity Oscars vfxThe Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) today announced the winners of the 3rd AACTA International Awards, recognizing screen excellence across seven categories including Best Film, Best Direction, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress.

Winners were announced at an intimate Awards Ceremony in Los Angeles hosted by multi‐award winner and AACTA President Geoffrey Rush who shared the stage with fellow Australian industry presenters including Jacki Weaver, Stuart Beattie, Anthony LaPaglia and Yvonne Strahovski.

GRAVITY, the visual masterpiece directed by BAFTA winner and Oscar nominee Alfonso Cuarón, received the AACTA International Award for Best Film and the AACTA International Award for Best Direction.

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Hulu Unveils 2014 Slate: ‘Deadbeat’ Set For April Debut, ‘East Los High’ Renewed For Season 2

By | Wednesday January 8, 2014 @ 8:02am PST

huluHulu will premiere its new supernatural comedy Deadbeat on April 9. Directed by Troy Miller, the series is Hulu’s first co-production with Lionsgate TV. Hulu also announced today it is re-upping teen drama East Los High for a second season and will distribute reality TV satire The Hotwives Of Orlando from Paramount Digital Entertainment. Casey Wilson, Angela Kinsey, Kristen Schaal, Tymberlee Hill, Danielle Schneider, and Andrea Savage star as six of Orlando, Florida’s hottest housewives who are ready to drink, fight, and cry, sometimes all at the same time. In addition, Hulu will release the original Scandinavian version of the drama series The Bridge, recently adapted for U.S. audiences by FX, as well as the Canadian reality-style dance drama The Next Step, acquired from BBC Worldwide North America. And the second season of Chris O’Dowd’s semi-autobiographical comedy Moone Boy will make a return in the spring.

In the second half of 2014, Hulu will release second seasons of Seth Meyers and Mike Shoemaker’s animated The Awesomes, Josh Greenbaum’s docu-series Behind The Mask and John Lehr and Nancy Hower’s Western comedy Quick Draw. Tom Hollander also returns in season three of Rev. Click over for the full lineup: Read More »

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‘American Hustle’ Leads Australian Acad’s International Nominations; 2nd Year In A Row For A David O Russell Film

aactaThe Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts announced nominees for the AACTA Awards last week with Baz Luhrmann’s locally-made The Great Gatsby and Oz filmmaker Kim Mordaunt’s foreign language Oscar contender The Rocket leading the pack. Today, the Academy has unveiled nominees for its International honors – and boy does the group heart David O Russell. This year his American Hustle is nominated in each of seven categories: Film, Direction, Screenplay and the four acting classes. Last american hustleyear, Silver Linings Playbook also led the way with mentions in all of the races, ultimately scoring five prizes including Film, Direction, Actress, and the supporting categories. Running a close second to American Hustle is Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave with six nods. Captain Phillips, Gravity and Blue Jasmine each received three nominations. The Great Gatsby turned up again on this list for directing and for Oz-born supporting actor Joel Edgerton. Dallas Buyers Club and August: Osage County were nominated twice. Other movies receiving mentions include The Book Thief, Philomena, Fruitvale Station, Rush, Inside Llewyn Davis, Saving Mr Banks and The Wolf Of Wall Street. The AACTA International Awards will be held in Los Angeles on January 10th, 2014. Click over for the full list of nominees: Read More »

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‘The Great Gatsby’, ‘The Rocket’ Lead Oz Academy Of Cinema Award Nominations

By | Tuesday December 3, 2013 @ 2:14am PST

aactaThe Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts has set nominations for its 3rd AACTA Awards. The feature prizes, considered the local equivalent of the Oscars, aren’t as young as they seem: they’re a continuum of the Australian Film Institute Awards which were established in 1958. Baz Luhrmann’s Oz-filmed The Great Gatsby scooped 14 nods followed by Kim Mourdant’s foreign language Oscar entry The Rocket with 12. The AACTAs also honor TV and gave 10 nominations to Jane Campion’s New Zealand-set BBC mini Top Of The Lake. Along with Gatsby and The Rocket, the nominees for Best Feature include Tony Krawitz’s drama Dead Europe; Ivan the-great-gatsby-leonardo-dicaprioSen’s thriller Mystery Road; family pic Satellite Boy by Catriona McKenzie; and omnibus The Turning, with directorial efforts by the likes of Mia Wasikowska and Justin Kurzel. Rose Byrne is nominated for lead actress in that pic, along with Carey Mulligan in The Great Gatsby; Tasma Walton in Mystery Road; and Naomi Watts in Adoration. Leonardo DiCaprio is nominated as Best Actor for Gatsby; Tribeca winner Sitthiphon Disamoe has a nod for The Rocket; Ewen Leslie is nominated for Dead Europe; and Hugo Weaving picked up a mention for The Turning. That film’s ensemble of helmers has a Best Director nomination along with Luhrmann, Mourdant and Sen. The AACTAs will be handed out over two events on January 28th and 30th. Following is a full list of nominees: Read More »

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Clean Sweep For ‘The Sapphires’ At Australian Academy Awards

By | Wednesday January 30, 2013 @ 1:15am PST

Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney

Nominated for 12 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards, The Sapphires won six gongs at a ceremony hosted by Russell Crowe in Sydney on Wednesday night. The musical drama about four Aboriginal girls who formed a singing group in the 1960s won best director (Wayne Blair), lead actress (Deborah Mailman), lead actor (Chris O’Dowd), supporting actress (Jessica Mauboy) and adapted screenplay (Keith Thompson, Tony Briggs). That’s in addition to five craft awards presented on Monday. The Weinstein Co. will release the film in the U.S. on March 22. Thriller Wish You Were Here took the AACTA original screenplay award for husband-and-wife creative team Kieran Darcy-Smith and Felicity Price, and supporting actor for Antony Starr. German actress Saskia Rosendahl received the best young actor trophy for Cate Shortland’s Lore, which was Australia’s entry for the foreign language Oscar. The Byron Kennedy Award, named for George Miller’s late producing partner, went to director/animator Sarah Watt (Look Both Ways, My Year Without Sex), who died of cancer in 2011. John Edwards’ Puberty Blues, which was inspired by Bruce Beresford’s 1981 film, was named best TV drama series. Presenters included AACTA president Geoffrey Rush, Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters leads Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton. It was the second annual ACTAA awards, the successor to the Australian Film Institute’s awards. The complete list of winners follows: Read More »

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‘The Sapphires’ Dominates Early Australian Cinema & TV Academy Awards

By | Sunday January 27, 2013 @ 9:00pm PST

Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney.

The Sapphires nabbed five Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards in craft categories presented Monday in Sydney local time. The drama, which TWC opens March 22 in the U.S., was prized for cinematography, editing, production design, costume design and sound. The major awards will be handed out Wednesday night, hosted by Russell Crowe. Iron Sky took the visual effects award, Storm Surfers 3D was named best feature documentary and Then The Wind Changed, which chronicled a community’s struggle to rebuild following the 2009 Victorian bushfires, was best docu under one hour. In TV, tabloid newspaper satire Lowdown – Season 2 was declared best comedy series,  Agony Aunts picked up the light entertainment series gong and  The Adventures of Figaro Pho, all from the ABC, won the children’s series award. Multicultural broadcaster SBS’s  Go Back To Where You Came From was judged best documentary series. Patrick Brammall won best performance in a TV comedy for the ABC’s A Moody ChristmasJulian, which looks at a day in the life of a fearless nine-year-old schoolboy, was feted as best short fiction film and The Hunter  was best animated short. The Raymond Longford Award for lifetime achievement was bestowed on producer Al Clark, whose credits include The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Chopper, Blessed, Red Hill and upcoming musical Goddess.

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‘Silver Linings Playbook’ Wins 5 Australian Academy Intl. Awards

The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) today announced the winners of the 2nd AACTA International Awards, recognising international excellence across five categories: Best Film, Best Direction, Best Screenplay, Best Actor and Best Actress.

Winners were announced at the 2nd AACTA International Awards Ceremony in Los Angeles, with Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe and Australian Film Institute Award winning actor Russell Crowe leading a line-up of outstanding Australians presenting Awards at the Ceremony including, Jacki Weaver and Scott Hicks.

Funny, brave and humane, Silver Linings Playbook was the big winner at the AACTA International Awards, winning Best Film for producers Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen and Jonathan Gordon; Best Direction for David O. Russell; and Best Lead Actress for Jennifer Lawrence. Additionally, two awards for Silver Linings Playbook determined by the Australian Film Institute | AACTA Board of Governors were presented to Robert De Niro as best supporting actor and to Jacki Weaver as best supporting actress.

The offbeat comic drama sees Lawrence playing a reckless young widow who befriends a bipolar schoolteacher (Bradley Cooper) who is obsessing about his ex-wife. Rounding out the film’s stellar cast are Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver and Chris Tucker.

The AACTA International Award for Best Lead Actor was presented to Daniel Day-Lewis for his virtuosic performance as Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s historical drama. Set in 1865, Lincoln centers on the final four months in the life of the 16th President of the United States, in which

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Aussie Box Office, Russell Crowe, Palace Cinemas, British Film Institute & More

By | Tuesday January 22, 2013 @ 9:42pm PST

Aussie 2012 B.O. Up But Below 2010 Record
Australian cinemas raked in $A1.125 billion ($1.188 billion) in 2012, up 2.8% on the previous year but a fraction below the industry 2010 record of $1.128 billion, the year of Avatar, according to the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia. The Aussie films’ B.O. share was 4.3%, slightly above the 10-year average of 3.8%. The MPDAA’s stats do not quantify ticket sales but Deadline estimates the admissions total was 85.8 million in 2012, based on an average ticket price of $13.10, compared with 85 million in 2011 and 92 million in 2010. The transition from 35mm film projection to digital continued apace an estimated 72% of the country’s 1,995 screens are now digital, including all major circuits; of those, 57% are 3D capable. The year’s top-grosser was The Avengers with $53.2 million; the best result for an Aussie film was The Sapphires with $14.4 million.- Don Groves Read More »

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Australian Academy: ‘Silver Linings Playbook,’ ‘Lincoln’ And ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ Top Nominations List

By | Tuesday January 8, 2013 @ 3:33am PST
Mike Fleming

The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts announced nominees in five AACTA International Award categories, with The Weinstein Company’s Silver Linings Playbook leading the way with mentions in all five races. Winners will be announced in Los Angeles later this month: The nominees:

• Argo. Chris Terrio
• Django Unchained. Quentin Tarantino
• Lincoln. Tony Kushner
• The Master. Paul Thomas Anderson
• Silver Linings Playbook. David O. Russell
• Zero Dark Thirty. Mark Boal

• Argo. Ben Affleck
• Life Of Pi. Ang Lee
• Lincoln. Steven Spielberg
• The Sessions. Ben Lewin
• Silver Linings Playbook. David O. Russell
• Zero Dark Thirty. Kathryn Bigelow

• Bradley Cooper. Silver Linings Playbook
• Daniel Day-Lewis. Lincoln
• John Hawkes. The Sessions
• Hugh Jackman. Les Misérables
• Joaquin Phoenix. The Master
• Denzel Washington. Flight

• Jessica Chastain. Zero Dark Thirty
• Marion Cotillard. Rust and Bone
• Nicole Kidman. The Paperboy
• Jennifer Lawrence. Silver Linings Playbook
• Emmanuelle Riva. Amour
• Naomi Watts. The Impossible

• Argo. Ben Affleck, George Clooney, Grant Heslov
• Les Misérables. Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, Cameron Mackintosh
• Life of Pi. Ang Lee, Gil Netter, David Womark
• Lincoln. Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg
• Silver Linings Playbook. Bruce Cohen, Donna Gigliotti, Jonathan Gordon
• Zero Dark Thirty. Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Megan Ellison

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Global Showbiz Briefs: News Limited, Australian Academy Awards, Danny Boyle, NBA In Russia & More

By | Monday December 17, 2012 @ 10:17pm PST

News Corp’s Australian Arm Plunges Further Into the Red
News Limited incurred an operating loss of $A457.3 million ($482.3 million) after writing down the value of its mastheads by $731. 7 million in fiscal 2012, according to accounts filed with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission. That compares with a $201.6 million loss in fiscal 2011 and $300 million in profits in 2010. The Australian company quantified job losses, mostly redundancies, for the first time, revealing the head count fell by 306 to 9,543 in the year to June 30. It reported revenue fell by nearly 10% to $2.65 billion and operating income plunged by 25.3% to $493.6 million as advertising revenues declined “driven by negative consumer sentiment”. Trying to put a positive spin on the numbers, the company pointed to the $1.94 billion acquisition of Consolidated Media Holdings, which owned 25% of paybox Foxtel and 50% of Fox Sports, and online titles Business Spectator and Eureka Report, and said its publishing businesses performed solidly. The company generated $676 million in cash during the fiscal year. – Don Groves. Read More »

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‘The Sapphires’ Leads Australian Academy Of Cinema Award Nominations

By | Monday December 3, 2012 @ 7:02am PST

Wayne Blair’s Cannes crowd pleaser The Sapphires leads the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts feature film nominations for 2012 with 12 nods including picture, director, actor and actress. A close second is Jonathan Teplitzky’s Burning Man with 10, followed by PJ Hogan’s Mental, Kieran Darcy-Smith’s Wish You Were Here and Cate Shortland’s Lore at 8 apiece. Lore is Australia’s entry for the foreign language Oscar. AACTA held its inaugural prize ceremony earlier this year, acting as a continuum of the Australian Film Institute Awards which were established in 1958. Considered Oz’s equivalent to the Oscars, the second annual AACTA awards will be handed out in late January in Sydney. Following is the list of feature nominees: Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Nat Geo Channel Picks Up ‘Highway Thru Hell’, Al Clark Honored, Jackie Chan, Berlin Film Festival

By | Tuesday November 20, 2012 @ 10:37pm PST

‘Highway Thru Hell’ Lands At Nat Geo US
Beyond Distribution has sold Highway Thru Hell, a documentary series examining the treacherous trucking route, the Coquihalla Highway in British Columbia, to National Geographic Channel U.S., where it will premiere next February. Produced by Vancouver’s Great Pacific Media, the docu was commissioned by Discovery Canada where it posted the highest series debut in the channel’s history in September. The eight-part series follows the heavy rescue team as it attends the scenes of numerous wrecks, removing often dangerous cargo, cleaning up twisted metal and clearing the roads.- Don Groves Read More »

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Australian Academy Crowns ‘Red Dog’ Best Film; ‘Snowtown’ Nabs Multiple Prizes

By | Wednesday February 1, 2012 @ 3:38am PST

Family film Red Dog won the best picture prize at Oz’s inaugural Australian Academy of Cinema and TV Arts awards on Tuesday night in Sydney. The film stars Josh Lucas, Rachael Taylor and Keisha Castle-Hughes and was 2011’s top-grossing local pic at the Australian box office. The big winner, however, was Justin Kurzel’s serial killer thriller Snowtown taking prizes for directing, adapted screenplay, actor (Daniel Henshall) and supporting actress (Louise Harris). The film ran in Critics Week in Cannes last year and was acquired by IFC Midnight at the time. Judy Davis was named Best Actress for Fred Schepisi’s family drama The Eye Of The Storm which sold in the U.S. to Sycamore Entertainment earlier this month. Hugo Weaving was named Best Supporting Actor for drama Oranges and Sunshine. On the TV side, controversial series The Slap, based on the book by Christos Tsiolkas, took home prizes in the miniseries, directing, screenplay, lead actor and guest actor categories. DirecTV has US rights to the show while Sundance Channel has some foreign territories. The full list of winners can be found here.

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Australian Academy Awards: ‘The Artist’, Streep, Dujardin, Hazanavicius All Winners

By | Friday January 27, 2012 @ 8:56pm PST

Los Angeles, CA – The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts announced the winners of its newly launched AACTA International Awards recognizing International Achievements in Film tonight by AACTA President, Geoffrey Rush, at an intimate awards Ceremony at Soho House. The Artist was awarded Best Film for producer Thomas Langmann, and Best Direction for French director Michel Hazanavicius. The film’s lead actor, Jean Dujardin, was awarded Best Actor. Meryl Streep was awarded the AACTA International Award for Best Actress for her role in The Iron Lady. The award for Best Screenplay had two joint winners after jury voting was tied in this category: the adapted screenplay from The Ides of March for George Clooney, Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon, and the original screenplay from Margin Call for first time writer and director J.C. Chandor.

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Australian Academy Of Cinema Names First International Awards Nominees

Mike Fleming

The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television, which previously honored Aussie productions, has launched five new award categories that will recognize international product in Best Film, Best Direction, Best Screenplay, Best Actor and Best Actress. In other words, the Aussies are going Hollywood. The nominees were announced tonight by Jacki Weaver, the Aussie actress who was Oscar nominated for Animal Kingdom. I am not sure how these will factor into the Oscar conversation, but here are the nominees:



The Artist – Thomas Langmann (The Weinstein Company)

The Descendants - Jim Burke, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Hugo – Graham King, Tim Headington, Martin Scorsese, Johnny Depp (Paramount Pictures)

The Ides of March – George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Brian Oliver (Columbia Pictures)

Margin Call - Robert Ogden Barnum, Michael Benaroya, Neal Dodson, Joe Jenckes, Corey Moosa, Zachary Quinto (Roadside Attractions)

Melancholia – Meta Louise Foldager, Louise Vesth (Magnolia Pictures)

Midnight In Paris – Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum, Jaume Roures (Sony Pictures Classics)

Moneyball - Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz, Brad Pitt (Columbia Pictures)

The Tree of Life – Bill Pohlad, Dede Gardner, Sarah Green (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

We Need to Talk About Kevin – Jennifer Fox, Luc Roeg, Bob Salerno (Oscilloscope Pictures)
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