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Comic-Con: ‘Penny Dreadful’ Showrunner John Logan Teases Season 2 & New “Human” Villain

By | Thursday July 24, 2014 @ 4:47pm PDT

Comic-Con: ‘Penny Dreadful’ Showrunner John Logan Teases Season 2 & New “Human” VillainSan Diego is about to get a Gothic horror visit from Victorian England today and John Logan is about to let Penny Dreadful get truly uninhibited. “A lot of Season 1, for me, was actually putting the playing pieces on the board,” says the Oscar nominated scribe of the Showtime series of 19th century iconic supernatural misfits he created. “Now I feel we’ve had 8 hours to do that, to establish the landscape and so now I really get to play,” the first time showrunner adds with a laugh. “I can create more and more complex patterns of the relationships of the characters and of the supernatural element as well,” the Gladiator and Skyfall writer says. “In terms of the second season, I’ve written all but two of the episodes. So, the last two are yet to be written. So I’m well ahead of the game there, and the actors will all be getting it the end of this month.

Penny Dreadful Comic-ConIn just over a month since Dreadful’s rather spectacularly blood soaked Season 1 finale, Logan will be taking the stage in Ballroom 20 of the San Diego Convention Center this evening with cast members Harry Treadaway, Reeve Carney and Josh Hartnett. If he returns next year, he may be bringing a few more people with him and not just absent leads Timothy Dalton and Eva Green. “I’m teasing out from the characters I really love … Read More »

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Does Time Warner Need CBS To Thwart A Fox Takeover?

Does Time Warner Need CBS To Thwart A Fox Takeover?Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes has a problem. Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch is preparing to sweeten his offer for the owner of Warner Bros, CNN, and HBO after it rejected an $80B cash-and-stock proposal last month. And Bewkes, who says he wants to keep Time Warner independent, has few takeover defenses. What can he do? Here are a few of the leading options that Time Warner execs and their advisors at Citigroup are weighing.

Corporate And Media Leaders Attend Allen & Company Media And Technology Conf.Combine with CBS: This would make Time Warner toxic for Fox: The FCC would not allow Murdoch to control two of the four biggest networks, and two of the largest TV station groups with overlaps in the nation’s largest markets.

And the business logic of a Time Warner-CBS combination is compelling. CBS chief Les Moonves would like to diversify his company to make it less dependent on domestic TV advertising. (He has already said that he’d like to buy CNN if Fox prevails with Time Warner and puts the news channel on the block.) Moonves also has made it clear that he’d like to play a bigger role in movies — his CBS Films appears to be struggling to figure out its identity. CBS could address these concerns by blending with Time Warner’s cable channels and movie studio.

The chief obstacle is that CBS is controlled by Sumner Redstone, who also owns Viacom. He hasn’t wanted to give up either property, and some bankers believe he’d prefer to … Read More »

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Comic-Con: Sony Goes For Early Eyeballs With ‘Pixels’, ‘Goosebumps’

By | Thursday July 24, 2014 @ 1:57pm PDT

Comic-Con: Sony Goes For Early Eyeballs With ‘Pixels’, ‘Goosebumps’Even 10 months out from its May 15, 2015 release date on alien adventure Pixels, Sony‘s playing the long game. This is the only Comic-Con the studio has to promote the Chris Columbus-directed Adam Sandler pic, after all. That means a full-court marketing takeover inside the busy Hard Rock Hotel just outside the Convention Center, complete with arcade open to the public, and the presentation of barely-there footage from the set at this morning’s studio panel.

SonyPictureslogoIn the pic, aliens invade Earth after mistaking feeds of classic arcade games as an act of intergalactic war. The film is still shooting and Columbus appeared via taped message to make a first impression on convention attendees. Fans in the Hilton Bayfront’s Indigo Ballroom also glimpsed co-star Josh Gad in a gag video showing him being chased … by a tennis ball. Below, check out Peter Dinklage in character in a clip promoting a Pixels video arcade set up at the Hard Rock in San Diego.

Sony at least had the effervescent Jack Black in tow to promote Goosebumps, its August 7, 2015 adaptation of the youth horror novels by R.L. Stine. Black plays a version of Stine in the film, in which the author keeps all the nightmare monsters from his literary works locked up in his books until a young neighbor (Dylan Minnette) accidentally releases them into the real world. Black and Goosebumps director Rob Letterman just finished the shoot and brought onstage with them a “co-star” from the film — Slappy the Dummy, the ventriloquist’s dummy that comes alive in the series’ popular Night of the Living Dummy stories. Read More »

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Andy Samberg & Kit Harington Lead All-Star Cast Of HBO Sports Mocumentary ’7 Days In Hell’

By | Thursday July 24, 2014 @ 9:31am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Andy Samberg & Kit Harington Lead All-Star Cast Of HBO Sports Mocumentary ’7 Days In Hell’HBO is assembling a star-studded cast for 7 Days In Hell, an original comedy movie toplined by Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Andy Samberg and Game of ThronesKit Harington.  Written by Murray Miller (Girls) based on an original concept by him and Samberg, the sports mockumentary stars Samberg and Harington as fierce tennis rivals in an epic, seven-day match at 2004 Wimbledon. The location is hardly random — the longest tennis match on record was held on Court 18 at Wimbledon during the 2010 championships when John Isner and Nicolas Mahut battled it out for 11 hours over three days, with the American ultimately clinching a victory, 70-68 in the fifth set.

Plaque_on_Wimbledon_Court_No._18_to_commemorate_the_longest_match_in_tennis_history_between_John_Isner_and_Nicolas_Mahut_on_22-24_June_2010Confirmed to co-star in the film so far are Fred Armisen, Lena Dunham, Will Forte, Karen Gillan, Howie Mandel, Soledad O’Brien (playing herself), Michael Sheen, Mary Steenburgen and June Squibb. Based on breakdowns I’ve seen, Samberg’s Aaronmillermurray Williams is tennis’ superstar bad boy, while Brit Harington’s Charles Poole is channeling Andy Murray, a tennis prodigy and certified truck driver. Adding to their rivalry is Gillan’s supermodel Lily, Charles’ childhood friend who made a sex tape with Aaron. Steenburgen plays Charles’ psychotic and controlling mother, while Forte plays a tennis historian. Jake Szymanski (SNL) is directing. Read More »

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Comic-Con 2014: What You Can’t Afford To Miss

Comic-Con 2014: What You Can’t Afford To MissComic-Con 2014 officially opens today and tens of thousands are descending on San Diego to pick up their passes and prepare for four days of special screenings, studio and network panels, and previews. Having already hit the ground running, Deadline is here with Mike Fleming Jr leading our film coverage along with Jen, while Dominic and Anthony D’Alessandro handle the TV side. (Dominic will also be moderating FX’s Archer panel this year.)

Comic-Con 2014 Announces Full ScheduleOf course, veteran heavyweights like HBO’s Game Of Thrones and AMC’s The Walking Dead will be packing the mammoth Hall H on the TV side. HBO’s True Blood, a longtime fave in its final season, is set to make its Comic-Con bow Saturday in Ballroom 20, as is Showtime’s Penny Dreadful, which just wrapped its first season and has its panel this evening. Repping the big screen side, studios are putting their tentpole wares out there with presentations by Marvel and Warner Bros with The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies and Mad Max: Fury Road among others.

Below we spotlight a few special events on the schedule that you don’t want to miss. (For the full TV and film lineups, go here and here.) Read More »

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FilmBuff Falls For ‘The Heart Machine’

By | Thursday July 24, 2014 @ 9:00am PDT

FilmBuff Falls For ‘The Heart Machine’EXCLUSIVE: FilmBuff has acquired newcomer Zach Wigon’s debut feature The Heart Machine, starring Newsroom‘s John Gallagher Jr. and House Of CardsKate Lyn Sheil. The digital-age romantic thriller stars Gallagher Jr. as Cody, a Brooklynite who begins to suspect that the woman he fell for online, Virginia, might not actually live in Berlin. Wigon wrote and helmed the pic, which debuted in competition earlier this year at SXSW. The Heart Machine is based on Wigon’s award-winning 2012 short Someone Else’s Heart and was completed with the help of a successful Kickstarter campaign. Exec producers are Jay Van Hoy, Lars Knudsen, Jordan Lewis, Abe Schwartz, Andrew Kelley, and Eric Schultz. Paradigm negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers. FilmBuff will release The Heart Machine theatrically and on VOD this autumn. Gallagher most recently starred in SXSW-winning drama Short Term 12 and next appears in upcoming HBO miniseries Olive Kitteridge. Sheil heads next month to the set of sci-fier Equals and will have Sundance pic Listen Up Philip in theaters in October.

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Christian Group Blasts Adult Swim’s ‘Black Jesus’, To Surprise Of No One: Video

Christian Group Blasts Adult Swim’s ‘Black Jesus’, To Surprise Of No One: VideoCartoon Network hit the motherlode this morning when American Family Association and its One Million Moms division finally weighed in on the net’s  “blasphemous” new show, Black Jesus, just days before its debut. “The depiction of Jesus swearing and “using violent behavior is a new low,” the org said. The group notes it’s a late-night show that’s part of Adult Swim, but took issue that it portrays Jesus as a “black guy living in the ‘hood.”

“The blasphemous, irreverent and disrespectful show depicts him living in Compton Gardens and makes a mockery of the Lord,” the group said.

Adult Swim was looking to stir a debate back in March when it gave a series order to Black Jesus, a half-hour live-action scripted comedy from The Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder. Newcomer Gerald “Slink” Johnson (Grand Theft Auto V) stars as Jesus living in present-day Compton, CA, who’s on a daily mission to spread love and kindness throughout the neighborhood with the help of his small but loyal group of downtrodden followers. The series pickup for Black Jesus came on the heels of the Jesus race controversy triggered by Fox News star Megyn Kelley’s recent “Jesus is white” comments.

AFA noted helpfully today that Cartoon Network has posted a trailer on YouTube for the show, which debuts Aug. 7. Its “frequent foul language in the trailer alone is shocking and disgusting. In addition, violence, gunfire, drinking … Read More »

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Hollywood “Obsessed” With Human Torture, And Other TCA Highlights

By | Thursday July 24, 2014 @ 8:23am PDT

Hollywood “Obsessed” With Human Torture, And Other TCA HighlightsThe TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2014 has wrapped its 16-day run. Here is what we learned:

Most Searing Description Of Hollywood
David LaChapelle, who famously became a photographer for Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine in his teens, has been called The Fellini of Photography, and has photographed the likes of Hillary Clinton, Lady Gaga, Tupac Shakur, Madonna, Eminem, Warhol, Lil’ Kim, Elizabeth Taylor,  Leonardo DiCaprio, and Muhammad Ali, was asked yesterday to discuss the “ebb and flow” of depictions of sex and nudity; he’s featured in PBS’ American Masters broadcast The Boomer List.

lisademoraescolumn__140603223319“Growing up in New York City, when I was very young, pre-AIDS, it was very hedonistic, and sexuality was, you know, the revolution. I remember working at [Studio 54] and straight guys would say they were bi, to pick up girls because it was cool. And then, AIDS happened, and everything changed. Things got very, very conservative and segregated. Now…we are sort of in this Dark Ages where the body is considered shameful…yet violence, and torture, and these films — the Saw series, The Hunger Games2014 Summer TCA Tour - Day 16you look at Netflix, what’s going on, and every other new show is extreme violence, and this is our entertainment. We applaud that. And our kids are playing these video games, but yet the human body is somehow shameful. And God forbid a kid sees a nipple, you know.”

TV programs such as HBO’s Sex And The City (Kim Cattrall also was a panelist), he said, have “been replaced by so much ultra-violence in this torture form. I find that really interesting because all our popular culture reflects the society in which it was created. So what does that say about us? Why are we so obsessed with watching other human beings suffering? We don’t get enough of it on the news that we — that’s our entertainment, too? I think that’s the real pornography. That’s the real evil, and that’s the real darkness.”

Most Changed Executive
NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt — last Press Tour’s Mr. Flat Is The New Up — spoke happily this tour about Up Being The New Up: “We had a pretty great season so far this year. We’re No. 1 in the demo. We’re the only network up, year to year, almost 10% to date. Even if you take the Olympics out of our numbers, we would still be No. 1 for the year…We’re also leading in the 25-54 demo, and all key adult female demos as well. We also had a huge growth in total viewers where we’re running No. 2 season to date. In fact, we’re up 27% year over year, which is our strongest performance this far into the season in eight years.”

Biggest News
CBS Corp CEO Leslie Moonves, telling reporters after his Q&A for the network’s new Thursday night football that he’s interested in buying CNN should Rupert Murdoch prevail in his bid to by the cable news network’s parent Time Warner and spin off CNN. “We’ve always talked about doing things with CNN in the past… It’s something I’m sure we’ll look at if it becomes available,” Moonves said. Last month, when CBS took the final step in the spinoff of its billboard company, “that was our intent, to get rid of billboards and potentially buy more content,” Moonves said, adding, “We’re in a very advantageous position.”

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UPDATE: Obama Praises ‘Scandal’ At Shonda Rhimes & Kerry Washington Fundraiser; Producer Says POTUS “Doing His Job Like A Boss”

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 6:52pm PDT

UPDATE: Obama Praises ‘Scandal’ At Shonda Rhimes & Kerry Washington Fundraiser; Producer Says POTUS “Doing His Job Like A Boss”UPDATE, 6:52PM: President Obama addressed a crowd of about 450 supporters tonight during a fundraiser hosted by Shonda Rhimes and her Scandal star Kerry Washington. According to White House pool reports, the president gave his traditional fundraising remarks but couldn’t resist citing the ABC drama about a D.C. fixer and her capital intrigue. “No offense — Scandal is a great show,” Obama said, “but it’s not something that we necessarily want to be living out day in, day out.” Earlier, Washington introduced Rhimes as “my boss,” then the prolific producer said of the president, “He’s been doing his job like a boss.” Obama later complimented Washington, saying “there were few people who worked harder” on his campaign than she did. Rhimes also was Obama-Hollywood-c__131126053020__131207184450__131212224847__131217180859__140130070536a big supporter of both of his presidential bids as a donor and a volunteer – even pitching in at a campaign phone bank. Singer Janelle Monae also was there, and the president joked about her having a video of him trying to keep up with Usher on the dance floor. ” Now, this is top secret,” he said of the video. “She has promised that this will never be released. But she can blackmail me at any time.” He joked later, “I did not drop in splits, but I did bust a move.”

Related: Obama Names ‘Scandal’ Creator Shonda Rhimes To Kennedy Center Board 

Pool reports say the commander in chief arrived at Rhimes’ Spanish-style Hancock Park home a little after 5PM. With tickets ranging from $1,000 to $32,400, the event was held in the backyard, which was adorned with white umbrellas and U.S. and California flags. Among the guests were various members of the Scandal cast such as on-air President Fitz Grant, played by Tony  Goldwyn. HBO’s Michael Lombardo, who held an event recently at his home with Michelle Obama, and ABC’s Paul Lee were also in attendance this evening. The President is staying overnight in Beverly Hills and has another fundraiser set for tomorrow at the home of Live Nation head honcho and transplanted Canadian Michael Rapino – so expected more traffic delays on Wednesday.

Read More »

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Hey Tom Cruise, Johnny Carson, George Clooney, Frank Sinatra, Channing Tatum And Others: SAG Owes You Money But Can’t Find You

Hey Tom Cruise, Johnny Carson, George Clooney, Frank Sinatra, Channing Tatum And Others: SAG Owes You Money But Can’t Find YouEXCLUSIVE: The Screen Actors Guild exists to collect wages and benefits and disperse them to dues-paying members, but a Deadline investigation begs a multimillion-dollar question: Why are so many living and deceased thesps owed unclaimed residual checks worth $40 million, money that is drawing interest for the union’s general fund? The roll call of Who’s Owed is a Hollywood Who’s Who, including more than 75 Oscar-winning actors or their estates and dozens of Emmy winners who likely are unaware they are owed residuals. A union spokesperson tells Deadline the union is working to locate those members, but it is difficult because people change agents and don’t notify the union, or they move and mailed checks are returned by the post office and never cashed.

Still, could it really be that hard to find some of these performers? Deadline found that if you threw a rock on the red carpet of any major industry event, chances are you’d hit somebody SAG owes money to.

Jodie Foster Warren BeattyLike: reigning Best Actress Oscar winner Cate Blanchett, and Tom Cruise, George Clooney, Bradley Cooper, David O. Russell, and former Oscar host Steve Martin. Or Michael Douglas, Dustin Hoffman, Elizabeth Taylor, Jodie Foster, Warren Beatty, Jay Leno, Sally Field, Sean Connery, Christopher Plummer, Channing Tatum, James Franco, Jim Carrey, Sharon Stone, Owen Wilson, Justin Timberlake, Melissa McCarthy, Julianne Moore, Pierce Brosnan, Zac Efron and Andrew Garfield.

The music side of the ledger of Who’s Owed reads like a wing … Read More »

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Michelle Fairley Joins ABC’s ‘Resurrection’

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 10:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Michelle Fairley Joins ABC’s ‘Resurrection’SPOILER ALERT: This story contains references to story elements and events in Season 3 of Game of Thrones

Michelle Fairley is coming back from the dead. No, this is not a surprise plot twist on HBO’s blockbuster Game of Thrones, where Fairley’s Catelyn Stark faced a spectacular demise. The Northern Irish actress is joining ABC’s drama Resurrection for a season-long story arc. She will play Margaret Langston, the formidable matriarch of the Langston clan, mother of Henry and Fred (Kurtwood Smith, Matt Craven). Dead for more than three decades, she will reappear in Arcadia as one of the returned. Read More »

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Anthony Hopkins & Evan Rachel Wood To Star In HBO Pilot ‘Westworld’

By | Tuesday July 22, 2014 @ 4:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Anthony Hopkins & Evan Rachel Wood To Star In HBO Pilot ‘Westworld’After True Detective, toplined by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, the casting bar for HBO‘s new drama series is pretty high. Enter the pay cable network’s pilot Westworld, which has locked in Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins and Evan Rachel Wood for lead roles. The project, inspired by Michael Crichton’s 1973 sci-fi movie set at an amusement park, hails from from J.J. Abrams‘ Bad Robot, Person Of Interest creator Jonathan Nolan, writer Lisa Joy Nolan, producer Jerry Weintraub and Warner Bros TV. It landed at HBO a year ago with one of the westworldbiggest commitments ever for the premium network, a pilot production commitment, and now has been officially greenlighted to pilot with Hopkins and Wood on board. Described as a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin, the series will keep the setting of the movie, which starred Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin and James Brolin and introduced new digital visual techniques. Read More »

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Why Did Netflix Shares Fall Today?

By | Tuesday July 22, 2014 @ 1:19pm PDT

Why Did Netflix Shares Fall Today?The stock price fell 4.6% to $431.09 even though the Q2 earnings reported last night were largely in line with analyst expectations, subscriptions were up impressively, and management forecasts were upbeat. What gives?

The simplest explanation is that Netflix always is susceptible to downturns because its shares are so expensive, reflecting investor optimism about its prospects. They trade for about 128 times the company’s earnings — a stark contrast to more stable media giants such as Fox, Comcast, Time Warner and CBS whose stock prices equal about 20 times earnings.

Related: Netflix Says It Sees Little Change If Fox Acquires Time Warner

And Netflix bears found some reasons to be skittish. The company will have to boost spending to secure the content it will need to serve new markets including Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, and Luxembourg — and that could put pressure on earnings “as soon as next year,” says Wedbush Securities’ Michael Pachter. He’s concerned about the decline in DVD-by-mail rental subscribers; they account for “half of all operating profit for the company.” The analyst also says that Amazon’s recent streaming deal with HBO suggests that “a stand-alone subscription plan is coming” that would make the e-retailer a more potent video competitor.

Related: Wall Street Wonders: Will HBO’s Deal With Amazon Change The Online Video Game?

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Toronto Film Fest Will Close World Premiere of ‘A Little Chaos’; No Opener Yet; Jon Stewart, Chris Rock Get Perches

By | Tuesday July 22, 2014 @ 8:40am PDT

Toronto Film Fest Will Close World Premiere of ‘A Little Chaos’; No Opener Yet; Jon Stewart, Chris Rock Get PerchesUPDATED, 8:40 AM: The 39th Toronto Film Festival, running September 4-14, will close with the world premiere of Alan Rickman’s A Little Chaos with Kate Winslet, Rickman, Matthias Schoenaerts and Stanley Tucci. The opening-night film was not announced at this morning’s press conference.

Alan Rickman Kate WinsletA Little Chaos is the perfect closing-night film – it transports audiences to another time, another place, full of beauty, complexity, rivalry, politics and romance,” said Toronto artistic director Cameron Bailey. “Alan Rickman’s film will wind audiences up just as our festival is winding down.”

In this sumptuous historical drama Sabine De Barra (Winslet)  —  a landscaper with a taste for the unconventional — is invited to design one of the fountains at the Palace of Versailles. As she battles with the weather, the perilous rivalries at the court of Louis XIV and her own private demons, she finds herself drawn inescapably closer to the formality and enigma of the architect who hired her.

Of the 13 Galas and 46 Special Presentations announced, the initial lineup includes 37 world premieres from directors including Noah Baumbach, Susanne Bier, Peter Ho-Sun Chan, David Dobkin, Philippe Falardeau, Mia Hansen-Løve, Ning Hao, François Ozon, Christian Petzold, Lone Scherfig and Chris Rock. Here’s the list: Read More »

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FINAL: Intl Box Office: ‘Transformers’ Adds $84.6M; ‘Apes’ Swings Up With $61.9M; ‘Boyhood’ Growing In UK; More

FINAL: Intl Box Office: ‘Transformers’ Adds $84.6M; ‘Apes’ Swings Up With $61.9M; ‘Boyhood’ Growing In UK; Morecinemaworld2ND UPDATE, MONDAY 3:20 PM PT: Updated figures for the international weekend have come in with all studios reporting. Among the top movies in the marketplace, Transformers: Age Of Extinction‘s 4th frame was up from original estimates to $84.6M in 58 territories ($662.6M cume), and Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes was slightly higher than predicted in its 2nd frame with $61.93M on 10,347 screens in 51 markets ($103.6M cume).

Also of note, Fox’s The Grand Budapest Hotel has officially passed $110M internationally, adding $491K in 15 territories this weekend. Meanwhile, Boyhood, which Universal is releasing most everywhere overseas, added 60 locations in its 2nd UK frame. The result was a 0% drop from last week with $537K at 89 dates. The UK/Ireland total is now $1.5M (£892K). With the buzz growing, Universal is looking to continue the pattern by increasing the number of screens in more regional areas this Friday. In the next few days, the studio says the Richard Linklater drama will best the director’s Before Sunset (£932K) and A Scanner Darkly (£995K) to become his 2nd biggest film in the market behind School Of Rock.

Updated throughout the below are figures on the above films as well as Planes: Fire & Rescue, Sex Tape, The Purge: Anarchy, How To Train Your Dragon 2, Step Up All In, Maleficent, Blended, The Fault In Our Stars, 22 Jump Street, Edge Of Tomorrow, X-Men: Days Of Future Read More »

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Russell Simmons’ All Def Digital Names Machinima Veteran Sanjay Sharma President & COO

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 2:30pm PDT

Russell Simmons’ All Def Digital Names Machinima Veteran Sanjay Sharma President & COOCross-platform entertainment site All Def Digital named former Machinima executive Sanjay Sharma as the site’s first president and COO, co-founder Russell Simmons said today. Sharma also will join the site’s board, and will be responsible for day-to-day business and operational affairs while working with Simmons and other site founders on strategic direction. Simmons, the music and entertainment impresario, launched ADD last year with a string of YouTube online video shows and series featuring acts such as musicians Spoken Reasons and Odd Future, slam poetry, comedy, the reality show Love Dollhouse and more. The site has since continued to branch out on various distribution platforms and with new programming. It has ADD Logopartnered with DreamWorks Animation digital video unit AwesomenessTVHBO, YouTube and Universal Music Group, where Simmons’ Def Jam Music is quartered. The company also recently announced ADD52, a deal with Samsung’s streaming music service Milk Music to release a single from a little-known music artist every week for a year.

Sharma spent five years at Machinima as one of its first employees and left a few weeks ago as EVP Strategy and Business Development after helping spearhead a $18 million round of funding led by Warner Bros in March. Sharma previously worked in Warner’s business & legal affairs operations, and for an ad-tech startup.

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Oscar-Nominated Film Now Aiming To WIN An Emmy For Netflix – How Is It Eligible For Both?

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 11:39am PDT
Pete Hammond

Oscar-Nominated Film Now Aiming To WIN An Emmy For Netflix – How Is It Eligible For Both?The Squarea harrowing documentary about the Egyptian revolution as seen through the eyes of six of its participants, was Oscar-nominated in the 2013 Best Feature Documentary race. So how come it is suddenly a major contender at the Emmys too? Inquiries have come to our attention, including one calling for its withdrawal from Emmy competition, so I decided to check it out.

Daytime Emmy Awards WinnersThe film, which accounts for four of the impressive 31 Emmy nominations Netflix received this year, was picked up by the streaming service and qualified last year for the Oscar race with a seven-day run, according to the Television Academy, which has assured me they thoroughly examined this one. “The Square was not in general release prior to it TV appearance; rather, it qualified for the Oscars under the ‘one week NY-LA limited screening rule’ which would not have affected Emmy eligibility. Please know that we and the documentary peer group vetted the hell out of this one, and it’s good to Emmy go,” according to John Leverence, SVP Awards for the TV Academy. Read More »

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Black List Spec ‘The Company Man’ Being Circled By Matthew McConaughey

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 11:29am PDT
Mike Fleming

Black List Spec ‘The Company Man’ Being Circled By Matthew McConaugheyHere’s one to keep an eye on. I’m hearing that Matthew McConaughey has come aboard The Company Man, the Black List script by Andrew Cypiot that had been known as the Untitled Ed Wilson Project. The Oscar-winning actor’s reps caution that none of this is set in stone, but I’m hearing he’s guiding the process of looking for a director before the project is shopped as a spec later this summer. It’s based on true events. CIA agent Edwin Wilson went behind enemy lines to secure a weapons contract and report information back to the CIA shortly after the Cold War. He had a meteoric rise until company policies changed and he was unceremoniously fired. Even after, he continued to operate as a man without a country and became public enemy No. 1 to the U.S. Attorney’s office. Former DreamWorks senior exec Mark Sourian is producing with Josh Kazdan. McConaughey’s repped by CAA, Cypiot by Verve. Sounds like another gritty project for him to sink his teeth into, after his superb performance in HBO’s True Detective.

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TCA: FX’s John Landgraf Talks ‘AHS: Freak Show’ & ‘Fargo’, Freshman Renewals, W. Kamau Bell

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 11:24am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

TCA: FX’s John Landgraf Talks ‘AHS: Freak Show’ & ‘Fargo’, Freshman Renewals, W. Kamau BellAt TCA today, FX Networks CEO John Landgraf sent a love letter to creators. “I love artists. I really, genuinely do. I want us to be the wind in their sails,” he said during the network’s executive session. Landgraf also assured critics that he plans to continue to take risks with concepts that are off-mainstream. “We’d rather fail spectacularly & nobly than succeed in a quiet, middling way,” he said. He gave an update on the evolution of FX and its up-and-coming sibling FXX, which has been running only comedy programming since its launch last fall. That may change. “It’s going to take awhile for the two brands to shake out… There wil be drama on both channels I think,” he said.

Related: TCA: The Gritty Reality Of Sex On FX’s ‘Married’ & ‘You’re The Worst’

Landgraf revealed details about the latest installment of American Horror Story, which has been flirting with Neil Patrick Harris for a part. “It will be set in 1950s and has a very different look from a designer standpoint. Some years, the show is big, brash and campy like Coven, some are dark and brooding like Asylum. Freak Show is half-way between these two.”

Related: TCA: Casting Directors Say They’re Color Blind When Choosing Actors

Landgraf gave AHS co-creator/executive producer Ryan Murphy props for introducing the “analogical miniseries” genre that has “created new opportunities for writers and creators” like Nic Pizzolatto with HBO’s True Detective and Noah Hawley with FX’s Fargo. Read More »

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