The Coen brothers‘ Inside Llewyn Davis won Best Feature tonight at the fourth annual IFP Gotham Independent Film Awards but lost some of the spotlight to presenter Lee Daniels, who made some eyebrow-raising remarks. Kicking off awards season in NYC, the trophy show propelled the CBS period folk music drama and Fruitvale Station, Dallas Buyers Club, and docu The Act of Killing toward the Oscars. The raucous audience at Cipriani Wall Street chattered so loudly during Daniels’ tribute speech his The Butler star Forest Whitaker that he tried to shush them with a few f-bombs. “Forest would like to hear all you talking through my speech, so shut the f*ck up,” admonished Daniels. He wasn’t the only presenter to complain onstage about the Gothams crowd, as Julie Delpy threatened to set herself on fire to get their attention while presenting another tribute, to Before Midnight helmer Richard Linklater.
Big wins went to Fruitvale Station, which nabbed Best Breakthrough Director and Actor for Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan, respectively. Dallas Buyers Club star and Oscar hopeful Matthew McConaughey won the Gothams’ inaugural Best Actor award and accepted via iPhone through co-star Jared Leto with his signature “All right, all right, all right.” Short Term 12‘s Brie Larson nabbed Best Actress honors, boosting the SXSW winner’s awards profile. Presenting Best Documentary, Morgan Spurlock took a shot at public television (“PBS: We pay more money than IFC”) before presenting the Gotham to Joshua Oppenheimer’s Oscar hopeful The Act of Killing.
Related: OSCARS: An Early Look At The Best Picture Race – Frontrunners In A Crowded Field
Host Nick Kroll (Kroll Show, The League) struggled with the ambivalent room early on with a roast of the indie scene: “To the people from L.A. or abroad, I hope you’re enjoying your tiny hotel room you had to pay for out of pocket because Magnolia or IFC wouldn’t pony up.” Riffing on the night’s nominees, he quipped, “A common theme in this year’s movies are the horrors we inflict upon one another – slavery, war, folk music… .” Unfortunately for Kroll, he was upstaged by New York Mayor Bloomberg. “Independent filmmakers and New York have a lot in common… We both want Harvey Weinstein to be nice to us.” Boosting local filmmaking versus runaway production to neighboring Canada while presenting the tribute to his Media and Entertainment Commissioner Katherine Oliver, Bloomberg joked, “For the record: the mayor of Toronto and the mayor of New York do not have a lot in common.” Read More »
ITV and Keshet International have made it official as the British network has acquired hot interactive talent competition format Rising Star. I reported earlier this month that a deal was pending and the partners now say a UK version of the show will be co-produced by ITV Studios and Keshet International UK. The deal adds to ITV’s high-profile competition franchises that include Simon Cowell’s The X Factor UK and Britain’s Got Talent. ITV’s Dancing On Ice is bowing out in 2014 and it’s expected that Rising Star will occupy its slot beginning January 2015. ABC recently landed the format for the U.S. with a 10-episode order for air in summer 2014. The UK acquisition follows other local deals in Hungary (TV2), Italy (Toro), France (M6 Group), Russia (Rossiya1), Germany (RTL) and the Nordics (Nordisk). Read More »
Writer/Director Ryan Coogler‘s Sundance Film Festival sensation Fruitvale Station is now, just ten months later, hitting the awards season with strong impact. He was nominated Tuesday for Best First Feature at the Film Independent Spirit Awards, but as he told an audience of AMPAS and Guild members at Deadline’s THE CONTENDERS event earlier this month, the motivation for making his debut feature came from a much deeper place than just creating a prize-winning movie. The trip from real-life events to bringing them to a worldwide audience had a profound impact on the young filmmaker.
Keshet International has already sold its buzzy singing competition format Rising Star to France, Germany, Russia, Italy and the Nordic territories. In the U.S., where the race is on for the next big competition show, Keshet International and DC Media’s Keshet DCP joint venture is shopping a Rising Star adaptation to American networks. The UK market is poised to be a next stop for the interactive hit. British broadcaster ITV has been in exclusive negotiations for Rising Star and I’ve learned that a deal is imminent. This would give ITV three high-profile talent competition franchises, just as one of its staples is exiting. The network just today renewed its pact on Simon Cowell’s The X Factor UK and Britain’s Got Talent through the end of 2016. If Rising Star goes ahead at ITV, I’m told it could slot into the space that’s currently reserved for Dancing On Ice which ends next year. That would put Rising Star on deck for January 2015. It would also potentially set up a new rivalry with the BBC which is moving The Voice UK to a January slot beginning in 2014. (The Voice UK previously aired from March-June which pitted it against Britain’s Got Talent.) Rising Star has been top of mind for TV execs since it launched at … Read More »
ITV is extending its relationship with Simon Cowell for another three years. The British network has pacted with Cowell and Sony’s Syco Entertainment and FremantleMedia UK to keep reality competition series The X Factor UK and Britain’s Got Talent on the air through the end of 2016. Britain’s Got Talent will return to ITV next spring for an eighth series. The 11th series of The X Factor will air in the fall. The renewals had been expected, although there has been some question as to Cowell’s involvement with The X Factor going forward. The 10th series of the show is currently airing with judges Sharon Osbourne, Nicole Scherzinger, Louis Walsh and Gary Barlow and a consolidated average of about 10M viewers. It was earlier suggested that ITV was urging Cowell to return to X Factor to help goose ratings after last December’s finale hit a six-year low. While he is expected to make special appearances during the series’ runs, a full-time return is still a question mark. He left the show in 2010 to concentrate on the Fox version in the U.S. The two air at essentially the same time of year, meaning doing both would be a stretch. But with the U.S. version faring poorly this season and facing the danger of cancellation, Cowell could potentially become … Read More »
NBC News‘ Brit chief Deborah Turness has named the current director of online for ITV in the UK and former Sky News exec, Julian March to be her news operation’s senior VP of editorial and innovation. March will move to New York in early ’14. Reporting to Turness, March will be a key editorial leader at NBC News, overseeing all digital businesses, including NBCNews.com, as well as the news division’s editorial units. NBC News said this will allow for further integration of broadcast TV news and digital operations.
At ITV, March is credited with coming up with the strategy and delivery of the network’s entire online business. Prior to ITV, he spent 11 years at Rupert Murdoch’s Sky News, where he launched the Sky News app, and produced over 3,000 hours of live television, including coverage of major breaking news stories such as the 7/7 London bombings and the Indian Ocean tsunami. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Just over 12 hours after tonight’s screening with President Obama of Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom at the White House, Harvey Weinstein will be back at the Executive Mansion to talk film again. This time the Weinstein Company co-chairman will be with First Lady Michelle Obama at 10 AM PT for the Careers In Film symposium she is hosting Friday. Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler and One Chance director David Frankel will join Obama and Weinstein. Naomie Harris, who plays Winnie Mandela in Long Walk To Freedom, also will be participating. The filmmakers’ discussion will be moderated by Gayle King. Coogler also will be joining the Obamas, Harris, Weinstein and Mandela director Justin Chadwick and star Idris Elba at the screening tonight, I’ve learned. The Friday event is designed to teach high school students from Washington DC, NYC and Boston about the film industry. Read More »
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline.
Deadline’s 3rd annual The Contenders event kicked off this morning at the shimmering new Wallis Annenberg Center For the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, simultaneously launching the 2013 awards season precisely four months before the 86th Academy Awards. The spotlight fell on seven different studios/distributors and 22 films competing for awards consideration, with an overview of the Weinstein Company‘s impressive offerings getting things started in a highlight reel that felt like an Oscar contender in itself. An assortment of TWC writers, producers and directors were on hand to share anecdotes and tidbits with Deadline’s Pete Hammond, including Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler, Lee Daniels’ The Butler producer Pam Williams and writer Danny Strong, August: Osage County director John Wells, and the directors of the acclaimed documentaries 20 Feet From Stardom (Morgan Neville) and Salinger (Shane Salerno). Hammond quipped that TWC was so stocked with doc contenders this year that of the 151 eligible entries, “149 felt like they were from Weinstein.” Wells recalled how Osage County co-star Meryl Streep showed up to the first table read of ther script having memorized it and going off-book. “Everyone was like, ‘Wow’,” he recalled. “It was, ‘OK, game on’.”
Related: PHOTOS: Contenders 2013 Gallery
During a session promoting the Roadside/Lionsgate feature All is Lost starring Robert Redford in what the actor has called the most challenging role of his career, sound editors Richard Hymns and Steve Boeddeker marveled at how the film – with abundant action, a single star and minimal dialogue – was literally a sound editor’s dream. And during the following panel for the Focus Features hopefuls Dallas Buyers Club, The Place Beyond the Pines and We Steal Secrets, the morning theme of patience being a virtue came to the fore. Dallas Buyers Club producer Robbie Brenner calmly discussed how her film’s journey from script to screen spanned some 20 years – and nearly fell apart at the last minute when Canadian financing dried up. Read More »
Sixties-set medical drama Breathless premiered on ITV1 in the UK on Thursday night with 3.7M viewers (including +1s) for a 17.5% share in the overnights. That was consistent with the slot average and was enough for the show to top other entries at 9 PM. Co-produced by ITV Studios and Masterpiece, the six-part drama about a group of doctors and nurses working in a London hospital draws inevitable comparisons to Mad Men given the stylish period look – not to mention the tag line, “Perfect lives built on lies.” It kicks off in 1961 and focuses on the changing roles of women at a time when abortion was still illegal, the contraceptive pill was only just available to married women and moral codes were shifting. Breathless is co-created, written and exec produced by Paul Unwin who was in Cannes at the Mipcom TV market earlier this week to talk up the series along with stars Jack Davenport and Zoe Boyle. The trio agreed with the oft-touted notion that today’s is a Golden Age of television, and especially for British period drama. A veteran of shows like Casualty and Shameless, Unwin credited Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes with opening things up, especially for showrunners. Davenport, who also starred in NBC’s Smash, also cited HBO for fostering more ambitious and nimble telvision. If Breathless hits its mark, the storyline could carry on to 1968. … Read More »
Travel Channel has ordered 10-episode New Zealand-set series, RV Rampage. The show will be produced by Tuesday’s Child, the UK indie set up by former Shine TV joint MD Karen Smith. RV Rampage sees five couples from around the world travel from one end of the country to the other in a mobile home as they face cultural, physical and mental challenges. Henry Cole and Amanda Byram will host. Smith and Steph Harris are exec producing for Tuesday’s Child.
Cambodia and Myanmar are getting their first-ever global talent formats, via a new deal with FremantleMedia International. Hang Meas Group will produce multiple seasons of Cambodian Idol and Cambodia’s Got Talent for air on Hang Meas HDTV, Fremantle said today. In Myanmar, Forever BEC-Tero has licensed the Got Talent format for Channel 7 and MRTV-4.
ITV Studios acquired UK producer The Garden in April this year and has just announced deals on its medical documentary series Keeping The Nation Alive. ITV Studios Nordic has been commissioned by TV Norge to produce Keeping Norway Alive, a six-part series to air next year, and ITV Studios France will make Keeping France Alive for pubcaster France 2, also for air in 2014. The original BBC Two series has also been sold to BBC Knowledge in Australia. The series provides a behind-the-scenes snapshot of 24-hours in the nation’s healthcare system; from emergencies and cardiac operations to tattoo removals and plastic surgery. Read More »
ITV Studios To Distribute Miniseries ‘The Great Fire’
ITV Studios Global Entertainment has come aboard to distribute miniseries The Great Fire, with a launch set for next year’s MIPTV. The four-part series is produced by Ecosse Films, the company behind biopic Diana with Naomi Watts and the original UK format of Mistresses. Written by Tom Bradby, ITV News Political Editor and author of Shadow Dancer, The Great Fire follows the lives and loves of both historical and fictional characters in a world where, on the surface, the rich have everything and the poor have nothing. Set in 1666, events unfold over four consecutive days as the Great Fire of London indiscriminately engulfs the city. The Great Fire is executive produced by Douglas Rae and Lucy Bedford for Ecosse Films.
‘Young Detective Dee: Rise Of The Sea Dragon’ Opens Big In China
Tsui Hark’s Young Detective Dee: Rise Of The Sea Dragon notched the fourth-biggest opening day ever for a domestic film in China this weekend with $9.2M. According to FilmBizAsia, the 3D film falls in behind Journey To The West: Conquering The Demons ($13.7M), Tiny Times 1 ($13.2M) and Painted Skin: The Resurrection ($11.7M) on the list. The Huayi Brothers production took in $15.1M over two days and accounted for about 30% of all screenings nationwide. FBA said Detective Dee has a “strong head start” going into the weeklong National Day holiday, which starts today. The other domestic films opening in time for the holiday are 3D fantasy The Fox Lover, road comedy Bump In The Road, the Pang Brothers’ firefighter drama Out Of Inferno 3D and sci-fi sports drama Amazing. Read More »
Here’s an original idea: A horror-themed game show. Sony Pictures Television‘s UK production joint venture Gogglebox created and is producing Release The Hounds, a one-hour format that mixes the two genres by sending three unsuspecting contestants into a forest at dusk as they seek out chests full of prize money. Little do they know, in order to win big, they’ll face the “scariest challenges ever endured on TV” — those include navigating a field of crucified scarecrows, descending beneath the floorboards in a deserted cabin, and reading bedtime stories in the nursery from hell. The ultimate challenge is to outrun a pack of hounds who are trained to guard the cash. ITV2 has given the first commission to the show and will air the UK version as a special later this month, in time for Halloween. Executive producers are Gogglebox founders Adam Wood and Mat Steiner. The format will be presented to international buyers at MIPCOM next week.
EXCLUSIVE: Producers Deborah Spera and Maria Grasso and their One-Two Punch Prods have closed a two-year first-look deal at ITV Studios America, the U.S.-based division of the ITV-owned British production company. The pact, which will have the duo develop new projects for ITV Studios, including formats from the ITV library, comes on the heels of a strong selling season for One-Two Punch, which has set up five projects at Fox, NBC and ABC, with a sixth close to a deal. Former Lifetime and OWN executive Grasso and former Mark Gordon Prods president Spera, who met while working together on the Mark Gordon Prods’ Lifetime series Army Wives, teamed up to launch One-Two Punch in June 2011. For the past two seasons, the company was under a deal at Sony TV. Here are details on the five sold One-Two Punch Prods projects: Read More »
After Season 7 consistently won its time slot this year on ITV, the network has ordered an eighth season of Law & Order: UK. Shooting starts next month on the British version of the franchise for broadcast in 2014. Bradley Walsh, Georgia Taylor, Paterson Joseph and Dominic Rowan are returning with newcomer Ben Bailey Smith (Derek) joining the force. The new season will be produced by Jane Dauncey. Alison Jackson and Jane Featherstone will executive produce for Kudos Film and Television. The scripts are written by Nick Hicks Beach, Tom Grieves, Richard Stokes, Matt Evans, Jamie Crichton, Louise Ironside and Noel Farragher. Mat King, Joss Agnew and Jill Robertson will direct. Averaging 5.4M viewers, Season 7 maintained a 21.3% share. Previous seasons have aired in the U.S. on BBC America.
Orly Adelson, president of Dick Clark Prods, will be leaving the production company to join ITV‘s U.S. production unit ITV Studios America as president. Adelson, a respected producer, joined Dick Clark in 2008 shortly after the company was bought by Daniel Snyder’s Red Zone Capital Management. Last year, following Clark’s death, dcp was sold again to a partnership of investors. Allen Shapiro came in as CEO, with his long-time collaborator, Michael Mahan, following him this spring when he was named President of DC Media, the parent company of Dick Clark Prods. That created some confusion with both Mahan and Adelson carrying a president title, but the two worked well together for the past few months. Mahan is now expected to take over all of Adelson’s responsibilities when she leaves in a month or two for a streamlined top management at Dick Clark. Meanwhile, Adelson is getting a top job at ITV Studios and is reporting to Paul Buccieri, president and CEO ITV Studios U.S. Group and managing director ITV Studios International. ITV Studios U.S. Group was just forged as an umbrella company this month following ITV’s acquisition of Gurney Prods, High Noon Entertainment and Thinkfactory Media. ITV Studios America, the production unit Adelson will run, also falls under the ITV Studios U.S. Group umbrella.
The umbrella ITV Studios U.S. Group will include ITV’s existing production business ITV Studios America as well as recently acquired Duck Dynasty producer Gurney Productions, Cake Boss‘ High Noon Entertainment and Thinkfactory Media. The new group will be led by a team chaired by Paul Buccieri, who now hold the titles of president & CEO ITV Studios U.S. Group and Managing Director ITV Studios International. As part of the new leadership structure, ITV Studios International Director of Legal & Business Affairs Julie Meldal-Johnsen has been appointed to EVP Operations, and ITV Studios America SVP Business Affairs Ivan Garel-Jones to EVP Business Affairs, effective immediately. Oliver De La Hoz joins as EVP Finance from PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he helped shepherd the majority interest acquisitions of Gurney, High Noon and Thinkfactory, and comes aboard later this month. Buccieri continues to head up ITV Studios’ wider international business, which includes production companies in Germany, France, Australia and the Nordics, plus distribution business ITV Studios Global Entertainment. “Under Paul’s leadership we have continued to make great progress in building a strong international content business, an important part of ITV’s Transformation Plan”, said Kevin Lygo, Managing Director, ITV Studios. “The creation of this new leadership team will further underpin the momentum Paul has built as we continue to drive forward the expansion of the ITV Studios US Group.” ITV Studios America currently series including Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares as well as the … Read More »
ITV Studios Australia Taps Anita Jacoby As Managing Director
Anita Jacoby has been appointed managing director of ITV Studios Australia. She most recently was Oz production company Zapruder’s Other Films, where she oversaw original programs including Enough Rope, Elders, AFP and The Gruen Transfer. Jacoby formerly was a producer on local current affairs programs 60 Minutes, Sunday and Witness. ITV Studios Australia, which she’ll now head up, makes shows that include Come Dine With Me, Please Marry My Boy, Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell and Paddock To Plate. Jacoby starts on September 30.
Andy Rowe Joins UK’s Hat Trick Productions
Producer Andy Rowe is joining the UK’s Hat Trick Productions. He comes from Endemol production company Initial, where his credits as exec producer include six seasons of Total Wipeout, which he launched in the UK. He also launched such shows as Golden Balls, The Kids Are Alright, 101 Ways To Leave A Gameshow and Prize Island, which kicks off on ITV in the fall. Rowe’s appointment follows the renewal of David Young’s long-running association with Hat Trick to develop and co-produce new entertainment formats in partnership with Hat Trick chief Jimmy Mulville. Hat Trick’s credits include Father Ted, Whose Line Is It Anyway? and Showtime’s Episodes.
Will & Grace exec producer Gary Janetti created Vicious with playwright Mark Ravenhill. When the sitcom premiered on ITV last April, it was the highest-rated comedy launch on any UK channel in 2013. The first six-part series has not run in the U.S., but I hear negotiations are underway. The second series order was announced today at the Edinburgh TV Festival. Veteran British thesps Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi play a constantly bickering couple who’ve lived together in a small London flat for nearly 50 years. Vicious is a Brown Eyed Boy production in association with Shine’s Kudos.
Related: Kevin Spacey Cautions TV Biz On Laziness At Edinburgh TV Fest