A pair of flicks that were shut out at the Oscars on Sunday lead the field for the erstwhile music network’s film nods. American Hustle and The Wolf Of Wall Street snagged eight noms apiece for the 23rd MTV Movie Awards. Close behind are The Hunger Games: Catching Fire with seven and We’re The Millers with six, including a coveted Best Shirtless Performance nom for Jennifer Aniston. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Dallas Buyers Club, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, This Is The End and Best Picture champ 12 Years A Slave are next with four apiece. Conan O’Brien will serve as host of this year’s festivities, which air live on April 13 at the Nokia Theatre in L.A. The show — which last year switched from its longtime post-Memorial Day date to April — again relishes is such signature categories as Best Kiss, Best Scared-As-S**T Performance and #WTFMoment, The telecast is exec produced by Jesse Ignjatovic. Here are the nominees:
In a move that was expected, ITV officially announced today that it has ordered 10 new episodes of period drama Mr Selfridge. The Jeremy Piven-starring series is currently in its 2nd season and the next promises to see his character’s life begin to “unravel.” The department store drama is based on the life of flamboyant American entrepreneur Harry Gordon Selfridge (Piven) who founded the London shopping mecca Selfridges in 1909. Season 2, which is airing now in the UK with an average 6.4M viewers and a 21.6 share, was the No. 1 show in its time slot last Sunday with 4.8M at 9 PM. The current run picks up in 1914 as the store celebrates its 5th anniversary and with talk of war ahead in Europe. Season 3 is due to pick up in 1919. PBS starts airing S2 on March 30 in the States; no air dates have been set for the next go-round.
Piven is currently shooting the Entourage movie and filming on S3 of Mr Selfridge will bring him back to London for an April start. Kate Lewis, executive producer for ITV Studios, says there are “surprises” to come. “You only have to walk down Oxford Street today to know that Selfridges Department Store continued to be successful, but for its founder, Harry Selfridge, things were very different. His …
The parent company of American Idol producer 19 Entertainment is partnering with the London-based company behind ITV2′s Celebrity Juice and MTV’s British Jersey Shore offshoot Geordie Shore with an eye on international programming. CORE Media Group and Big Minded have entered into a joint venture to discover, create and develop worldwide formats. Core will invest in the English company’s UK development operation and shop the formats to the U.S. and Europe. “We are impressed with Big Minded’s energy and creativity and their focused approach to the business of generating smart ideas that have real international appeal,” said Clare Thompson, CORE Media Group’s Creative Director, International.
Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘The End’ Gets German Remake; Turkish Censors Ban ‘Nymphomaniac’; Berlin Fest Dates; BBC3 Moving To Web?; Oz’s Animal Logic; More
Eccho Rights has sold popular Turkish drama The End into further markets. It’s already being remade in the U.S. by Sander/Moses Prods at Fox, and now Germany’s UFA will develop a local version for broadcaster SAT1 while Shine France has also taken an option on the series. Further, Netflix has signed a non-exclusive agreement for the original in Sweden and the UK. The story is about a woman navigating a web of lies and intrigue as she searches for her husband whom she presumed dead following a plane crash. But it turns out he never boarded the plane. Produced by Ay Yapim in Turkey, the show is also getting a Russian version.
As television groups continue to criss-cross the globe acquiring production companies in key markets, Australia’s Seven Network is the latest international player to step into TV production in Britain. The group has formed 7Wonder, a UK joint venture with former Maverick Television executives Alexandra Fraser, Liza Abbott and Simon Ellse. Australia’s most watched broadcast platform says the move is intended to underline its commitment to increasing its international presence in TV production and new format creation. The company is also expected to mine some of Seven’s Oz output for potential remakes. Seven recently launched the 7Beyond joint venture with Mythbusters producer Beyond International which focuses on product for the U.S. market. The initial focus for 7Wonder will be the UK, across all genres.
ITV has set the roster for its upcoming four-part miniseries that follows the lives and loves of both historical and fictional characters in 1666 London as The Great Fire rages. Broadchurch‘s Andrew Buchan, Rose Leslie (Utopia, Game Of Thrones, Downton Abbey), Jack Huston (American Hustle, Boardwalk Empire) and Daniel Mays (Mrs Biggs, Welcome To The Punch) have each taken on key roles in the production from Fleming and Mistresses‘ Ecosse Films. Inspired by the real events of 1666 when nearly half of London was destroyed in less than a week, the drama is written by Tom Bradby, political editor of ITN and author of Shadow Dancer. The story unfolds over four consecutive days as the fire takes hold of the city and the people desperately attempt to overcome the flames amid a threat to the monarchy. Buchan will play humble baker Thomas Farriner in whose shop the fire began on September 2, 1666. Leslie plays his sister-in-law with whom he has a complex relationship. Huston is the playboy King Charles II and Mays is Samuel Pepys, a close confidante. Per ITV, pyrotechnics and special effects, as opposed to CGI, will create the fire sequences as London burns. Also in the cast are …
Here we are again after the Golden Globes, Mike Fleming and Anita Busch taking on the task of play by play during the most wide-open Oscar race we can remember. Even on the party circuit, industry insiders who usually have a grasp of who’ll walk away with Oscars were evenly torn between Alfonso Cuaron’s 3D masterpiece Gravity and Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave. Then again, there were so many terrific films that got Best Picture nominations, and all of them have at least a puncher’s chance at an upset.
That includes American Hustle, where David O Russell co-wrote the Best Original Script nominee with Eric Warren Singer and got tour de force performances and nominations for Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. Perfs so strong there was no room on the nomination roster for perennial Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner. The film is up for 10 awards, and has grossed over $240 million on a $40 million budget.
Then there is The Wolf Of Wall Street, with Leonardo DiCaprio giving the most emphatic and complete performance of a great career, and Jonah Hill right there with him as his crazy con man sidekick. The film is up for five nominations, including Martin Scorsese for directing a terrific adaptation from The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire vet Terence Winter.
Dylan McDermott To Star In CBS’ Kevin Williamson Drama Pilot
By Nellie Andreeva – Hostages‘ Dylan McDermott is set as the male lead in another CBS/Warner Bros TV drama project, the untitled Kevin Williamson pilot.
Indie Spirit Awards: ‘12 Years A Slave’ Takes Best Feature And Dominates With Five Wins; McConaughey & Blanchett Top Actors
UPDATED 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.
With 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.
The 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.”
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 Hammond, Dominic Patten and Anthony D’Alessandro and contributor Diane Haithman.
In this week’s audio podcast, Deadline International Editor Nancy Tartaglione and host David Bloom look at the possibility that frenemies John Malone and Rupert Murdoch will combine and snap up the UK’s Channel 5, even as a booming ITV opts out; and Amazon’s new combination platter of Prime services that are challenging Netflix more aggressively in Britain, including through a partnership with the BBC to revive the cancelled period drama Ripper Street. They also preview those other big awards this weekend, France’s Cesars, and take their weekly look at the international box office, as both Frozen and The Hobbit 2: The Desolation Of Smaug continue to rack up huge cumulative grosses.
Profits may be up 20% at its UK parent company, but ITV Studios America today found its relationship with the Writers Guild of America East taking a steep fall. As contract talks between the two parties grind on, the scribe guild claims that ITV Studios America has been depriving about 150 of its writers and producers of up to $30,000 a year in deserved overtime pay on its unscripted shows including A&E’s The First 48, Nat Geo Wild’s Cesar 911 and TLC’s Four Weddings. The WGA East says that up until two weeks ago, the Sherman Oaks- and NYC-based company has been making employees put in 60- to 80-hour weeks without any of the compensation that are entitled to under federal and state laws. Under pressure from the guild, the company began giving associate producers overtime pay two weeks ago and not retroactively. That’s only a partial solution, says the WGA East. “Companies like ITV simply cannot insist that employees devote every waking moment to the company, month in and month out,” said WGAE Executive Director Lowell Peterson today. The situation at ITV Studios America comes as the WGA is taking a short break from its sometime-tense negotiations with the studios and the networks over a new 3-year contract.
The Location Managers Guild of America will hold its first-ever Location Managers Guild Of America Awards on March 29 at the WGA Theater in Beverly Hills. Winners in six categories spanning film, TV and commercials will be announced, and the guild will bestow honorary awards including the Eva Monley Award, presented to an industry pro who has demonstrated above and beyond support of the work of location professionals; a humanitarian award; and a lifetime achievement award. Here are the noms:
FIRST ANNUAL LOCATION MANAGERS GUILD OF AMERICA AWARDS
Outstanding Achievement by a Location Professional – Feature Films
Ilt Jones (Iron Man 3)
John Latenser V (Nebraska)
Rick Schuler & Steve Mapel (Her)
Andrew Ullman & Lori Balton (Saving Mr. Banks)
David Velasco (American Hustle)
Outstanding Achievement by a Location Professional – TV Programs
Robert Boake (Game of Thrones)
Patrick Burn (House of Cards)
Christian Diaz de Bedoya (Breaking Bad)
Caleb Duffy (Behind the Candelabra)
Veronique Vowell (Scandal)
Britain’s ITV has been on a shopping spree in the past 18 months, acquiring controlling interests in production compaines in the U.S., the UK and the Nordics. Today, the UK’s leading private broadcaster announced its full-year results for the year ended December 31, 2013. Pre-tax profits are up 30% to £435M ($725.6M). External revenue was up 9% to £2.39B ($3.8B) and non-advertising revenue, a key indicator, grew to £1.21B, an increase of £175M. The home of Downton Abbey and The X Factor (to which Simon Cowell is returning later this year) had its best year-on-year performance in a decade with viewer share up 4%. Its production arm, ITV Studios, had 20% growth with operating profit up 24% to £133M. The division makes such shows as Mr Selfridge, expected to return for a third season, and last year’s Breathless. The company, which is nearing the home-stretch of a five-year transformation plan, will continue to look at acquisitions. A cost savings of £28M was delivered in 2013 with a target of a further £10M in 2014. The board is proposing an ordinary dividend of 2.4 pence to give a full-year dividend of 3.5 pence, up 35% — and a special dividend of 4 pence in line with last year. Non-advertising revenue is expected to be up 5% to 6% in the four months through April 2014. ITV CEO Adam …
EXCLUSIVE: Hallmark Channel has greenlighted The Good Witch, a 10-episode original scripted series based on the network’s very successful movie franchise. The series will star Catherine Bell, reprising her role of raven-haired enchantress Cassie Nightingale from the TV movies. The series is slated for a premiere in Q1 2015, following the debut of the seventh movie in the franchise, The Good Witch’s Wonder on October 25. Hallmark Channel had been mulling the idea of a Good Witch series for awhile but couldn’t proceed without Bell who only recently became available for a regular gig following the end of her long-running Lifetime drama Army Wives. “From the moment the first film in The Good Witch series premiered, we knew audiences would fall in love with Catherine Bell and this character and want to see more of her,” said Michelle Vicary, EVP, Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel. “Catherine has been one of the most sought after talents in our industry, and now she has a weekly home on Hallmark Channel.”
The Good Witch, a Whizbang Films Production, is executive produced by the movie franchise’s producers Orly Adelson, Jonathan Eskenas, Frank Siracusa and Craig Pryce, who directed the films based on characters by Rod Spence. Bell is co-executive producer. ITV Studios America, which Adelson recently joined as president, will distribute the series outside of North America. At Hallmark, The Good Witch joins …
Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘The X Factor’ Musical ‘I Can’t Sing’ Pushes Back Previews; Quentin Tarantino To Present Honorary Cesar To Scarlett Johansson; More
‘X Factor’ Musical ‘I Can’t Sing’ Delays Previews By Two Days
Previews of Simon Cowell‘s The X Factor musical, I Can’t Sing, have been postponed by two days at the London Palladium. Stage Entertainment and Syco Entertainment are producing the show and say they’ve decided to start previews on March 1 as opposed to February 27 due to “technical issues caused by the ambitious staging of the new musical comedy.” Rebecca Quigley, producer for Stage Entertainment, said, “As audiences will soon see, the production is hugely ambitious, and the volume of installation and scale of the set means that technical work has taken slightly longer than could have been anticipated to make the show audience-ready.” Nigel Harman (EastEnders, Downton Abbey) is playing a character based on Cowell in the musical that’s directed by Olivier Award-winner and Tony nominee Sean Foley. British comedian Harry Hill wrote the show.
Quentin Tarantino To Present Scarlett Johansson’s Honorary Cesar
Quentin Tarantino has been enlisted by France’s Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma to present Scarlett Johansson with this year’s honorary César Award. The director will hand the award to Johansson this Friday at the 39th César Awards ceremony in Paris. Tarantino himself received the prize in 2011.
OSCARS: Producers Craig Zadan & Neil Meron Play It Safer This Year With Star-Studded Show Led By Ellen
Some people were surprised when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences invited 2013 Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron back to run the 2014 telecast. After all, that was the Seth MacFarlane-hosted show that caused controversy (“We Saw Your Boobs,” anyone?). You have to wonder what he might have done with 12 Years A Slave or The Wolf Of Wall Street this year! The reviews, though, were mixed to negative (I actually liked the attitude MacFarlane brought — different), with critics saying the show had too many musical segments and a James Bond tribute that, other than Shirley Bassey’s rendition of “Goldfinger,” fell flat. But it scored well in the ratings and actually added a lot of previously missing young males to the typically female-driven viewing demographic. Zadan and Meron return this year in triumph after single-handedly reviving the live Broadway musical The Sound Of Music with their smash-hit version that starred Carrie Underwood and aired on NBC in December. Critics balked at that, too, but who’s laughing now? (Peter Pan is the next live musical they will do for NBC). Perhaps in a bid for more universal appeal, the producers are bringing back past Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres for what promises to be a much safer, more female-friendly telecast. Ellen is, well, Ellen, and very likable, so you know what you’re getting. The ABC …
An average of 8.5 million viewers tuned in for Downton Abbey‘s fourth season finale last night. That’s a personal finale best for the period drama on PBS. The Season 3 finale drew 8.2 million viewers on February 17 last year, a 50% surge from the Season 2 ender in 2012.
This season opened on January 5 with 10.2 million tuned in – up 22% compared to the Season 3 debut of 7.9 million which, in turn had been a leap from the series Season 2 launch crowd of 4.2 mil. Even before this latest cycle started, Downton Abbey has been the highest-rated drama in PBS history.
Studios’ failed effort in 2012 to promote the Stop Online Piracy Act (or SOPA) made it clear: Big Media companies had better not mess with Silicon Valley. Too many people love the Internet, and they’ll crush anyone deemed to be a threat to the medium by its biggest service providers including Google, Apple, Facebook, Yahoo, and Netflix. That’s why Comcast needs to make peace with tech companies as the cable giant promotes its planned $42.5B acquisition of Time Warner Cable — and suggests that the new interconnection deal with Netflix is the first of many agreements with tech world Goliaths. If they’re unhappy, then they may embolden Washington regulators reviewing the TWC acquisition to demand a long list of concessions –and under extreme circumstances could even block the deal.
While terms with Netflix weren’t disclosed, the agreement will ensure that Comcast’s broadband customers receive, as the companies put it, “a high-quality Netflix video experience for years to come.” Bernstein Research’s Carlos Kirjner says this morning that he’d be “surprised” if the Comcast-Netflix agreement “was not conditional on a tacit (if not explicit) agreement by Netflix not to lobby regulators” to demand detailed promises to protect Internet access. Others, including Stifel analyst Benjamin Mogil, are waiting to hear about additional terms with Netflix, including a promise to add the service to Comcast’s set top box so subscribers don’t have to switch to a different input when they want to watch the streaming service on their TV sets.
Are longtime frenemies John Malone and Rupert Murdoch about to partner on a UK venture? That’s the word on the street according to The Financial Times which reports that the Malone-backed Discovery Communications and BSkyB, majority owned by Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, are in talks on a joint bid for Britain’s Channel 5. The free-to-air broadcaster, which media entrepreneur Richard Desmond acquired for £103.5M in 2010, is thought to be seeking a buyer with about £700M to spend. The FTA channel has raised the antennae of several media companies with parties rumored to have shown interest including ITV, Turner Broadcasting, BT, NBCUniversal and Saban Capital. The latter is eyeing the possibility of merging Channel 5 with the UK’s Channel 4, creating the market’s third-largest broadcaster by audience. However, such a deal would require regulatory approval and the privitization of Channel 4. The discussions between Discovery and BSkyB have focused on the latter taking over Channel 5’s advertising sales operation, sources told the FT. Channel 5 is notably the home of Big Brother, although its contract for the show expires in 2015. The net also airs U.S. dramas like Under The Dome, CSI and Person Of Interest, but it’s previously dropped such titles as Once Upon A Time and Justified. Its weekly ratings hover around 4%.
Malone and Discovery, …