EXCLUSIVE: Shine International has closed a deal with PBS on Will & Grace exec producer Gary Janetti’s British sitcom Vicious. The public broadcaster will air Vicious in the U.S. next year. The initial six-part series premiered on ITV in April and at the time was the highest-rated comedy launch on any UK channel in 2013. It went on to hold an average of about 3.4M viewers. Veteran British thesps Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi play a constantly bickering couple who’ve lived together in a small Covent Garden flat for nearly 50 years. But underneath all their vicious co-dependent fighting, they deeply love each other. Harry Potter‘s Frances de la Tour and Game Of Thrones‘ Iwan Rheon also star. The show was given a second-season order by ITV in August and Shine America has been exploring a U.S. version. Vicious is a Brown Eyed Boy production in association with Shine’s Kudos and Nickelby Inc. The deal was brokered by Matt Vassallo, Bill Gardner, and Jack Dougherty on behalf of PBS.
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.
Britain last night tuned into a sitcom in the same time slot that drama Broadchurch occupied for eight weeks until last Monday. Family Guy and Will & Grace exec producer Gary Janetti’s sitcom Vicious premiered at 9 PM drawing 5.7M viewers for a 24% share. That’s down about 3.5M from the Broadchurch finale which gripped UK viewers last Monday, but still enough for Vicious to win the hour. It was also the highest-rated comedy launch on any UK channel this year. The six-part comedy stars veteran British thesps Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi as a constantly bickering couple who’ve lived together in a small London flat for nearly 50 years. Reviews have so far been pretty mixed. There’s no U.S. outlet yet:
MIPTV Briefs: Gary Janetti’s ‘Vicious’ Debuts; ‘Cybergeddon’ Does TV; Nordics, Latin America Hot On Formats
In yet another type of cross-border series – this one a sitcom – Family Guy and Will & Grace exec producer Gary Janetti’s Vicious premiered for buyers at Mip-TV last night. The six-part comedy stars veteran British thesps Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi in quite a departure from the likes of X-Men and Shakespeare. The pair plays a constantly bickering, but ultimately loving couple who’ve lived together in a small London flat for nearly 50 years. Their young upstairs neighbor is played by Misfits‘ Iwan Rheon and their best friend by Frances de la Tour of the Harry Potter films. Shine Group’s Brown Eyed Boy produced the show in association with Kudos Film and TV and Nickelby Inc. for the UK’s ITV. In keeping with current hit UK sitcoms like Mrs. Brown’s Boys, it’s shot in front of a live studio audience. There’s no U.S. outlet yet, but a deal was just concluded with Australia’s Seven Network. In a big push, Brown Eyed Boy’s Gary Reich, who’s co-producing with Janetti, says ITV will start trailering the series in British moviehouses and in video ads in the London Underground before the primetime debut later this year.
Fresh from his latest turn as Gandalf in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit movies, Ian McKellen is headed to the small screen. He’ll star with Derek Jacobi in ITV sitcom Vicious, from Family Guy and Will & Grace producer Gary Janetti. Janetti is scripting and co-created the comedy with playwright Mark Ravenhill. The British acting icons will play partners Freddie and Stuart, two men who have lived together in a small Covent Garden apartment for nearly 50 years. Freddie was a budding actor and Stuart a barman when they first met, but their careers are now pretty much over and their lives consist of reading books, walking their dog and bickering. Frances De La Tour (Hugo, Alice In Wonderland) plays the pair’s best friend. Vicious is produced by the Shine Group’s Brown Eyed Boy in association with Shine’s Kudos Film and TV. Brown Eyed Boy’s Gary Reich is co-producing with Janetti. Ed Bye is directing. Executive Producer is Jemma Rodgers. ITV will air the show in 2013.
New Mel Gibson Statement: ‘I Am Not A Bigot’; Apologizes To Jewish Community and Asks ‘For Its Help Understanding Where Those Vicious Words Came From’
STATEMENT FROM MEL GIBSON on August 2, 2006: There is no excuse, nor should there be any tolerance, for anyone who thinks or expresses any kind of Anti-Semitic remark. I want to apologize specifically to everyone in the Jewish community for the vitriolic and harmful words that I said to a law enforcement officer the night I was arrested on a DUI charge. I am a public person, and when I say something, either articulated and thought out, or blurted out in a moment of insanity, my words carry weight in the public arena. As a result, I must assume personal responsibility for my words and apologize directly to those who have been hurt and offended by those words. The tenets of what I profess to believe necessitate that I exercise charity and tolerance as a way of life. Every human being is God’s child, and if I wish to honor my God I have to honor his children. But please know from my heart that I am not an anti-Semite. I am not a bigot. Hatred of any kind goes against my faith. I’m not just asking for forgiveness. I would like to take it one step further, and meet with leaders in the Jewish community, with whom I can have a one on one discussion to discern the appropriate path for healing. I have begun an ongoing program of recovery and what I am now realizing is that I …
Daniel Bernhardt (The Matrix Reloaded) has been added to the cast of revenge action thriller John Wick. Directed by Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, the film stars Keanu Reeves as the title character, a former hitman. After a thug named Iosef Tarasov (Alfie Allen), and his friends steal John’s car and in the process kill the dog given to him by his late wife, he tracks the thieves to New York. But Tarasov’s father Viggo (Michael Nyqvist), a wealthy and vicious Russian crime boss, puts a large bounty on John’s head, which Marcus (Willem Dafoe), an old “friend” of Wick’s, is determined to collect. Bernhardt, currently seen in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, plays Kirill, a formal Russian military commander who is Viggo’s henchman.
Dan Fogler and Steve-O have joined the cast of RKO’s Barely Lethal. The Kyle Newman-directed action comedy produced by Brett Ratner stars Hailee Steinfeld as a 16-year old international assassin who fakes her own death in pursuit of a “normal” adolescence. Fogler plays Mr. Drumm, a popular high school teacher who takes a special interest in his students’ lives. His credits include Fanboys, Hannibal and voice roles in Free Birds, Kung Fu Panda and Mars Needs Moms. Fogler next will be seen in the Anne Hathaway drama Don Peyote, which he also co-wrote and co-directed. Jackass veteran …
EXCLUSIVE: Golden Boys? Three decades after Golden Girls‘ successful 173-episode run on NBC, ABC is developing an ensemble comedy about people in retirement age, this time on the male side. The project, from The Neighbors creator Dan Fogelman and The George Lopez Show co-creator Robert Borden, revolves around three long-lost basketball teammates who reconnect in their 60s and discover they still have a lot to learn about love and friendship. Borden is writing and will executive produce with Fogelman through Fogelman’s Rhode Island Ave. Prods and ABC Studios.
It is good timing for the project, coming on the heels of a weekend where three opening movies featured stars over 60: Fogelman-penned comedy Last Vegas (Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas and Kevin Kline) and dramas Ender’s Game (Harrison Ford) and All Is Lost (Robert Redford). With the baby boomers entering retirement, there is a growing audience for entertainment featuring more mature stars, with such movies showing far stronger legs, like 2007′s The Bucket List, headlined by Freeman and Jack Nicholson, which stayed in theaters for more than months, growing its domestic tally to $93.5 million.
EXCLUSIVE: The romantic drama The Age Of Adaline has been through a couple of incarnations, but it is now set to go into production in March as a co-production between Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Lakeshore Entertainment. The Town‘s Blake Lively is set to star with Ellen Burstyn, with Lee Toland Krieger directing. Lionsgate is set to release the film domestically.
Scripted by J. Mills Goodloe and Salvador Paskowitz, with revisions by Allison Burnett, Age Of Adaline follows the miraculous life of the 29-year-old title character, who stops aging after recovering from a near-fatal accident. Over the 20th century she embarks on an epic but isolated worldwide journey, keeping her secret, until she meets a man who forever alters her life. Sidney Kimmel is producing with Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi. Jim Tauber and Eric Reid will be executive producers.
Alcatraz alum David Hoflin and Yasmine Al Massri have been cast as regulars in the NBC pirate drama Crossbones, from Luther creator Neil Cross. The series is set in 1715 on the Bahamian island of New Providence where the diabolical pirate Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard (John Malkovich), reigns over a rogue nation of thieves, outlaws and miscreant sailors. Aussie Hoflin, repped by Resolution and Genesis, will play Vane, a pirate captain known for being a vicious, villainous and murderous predator. Al Massri will play Selma, a poised and elegant Arabian woman who is Blackbeard’s one confidante. Filming is set to begin right away in Puerto Rico.
Nora Kirkpatrick (The Office), Joel David Moore (Avatar) and Jessica Walter (Arrested Development) will co-star opposite Jaime Pressly in the TV Land single-camera comedy pilot Jennifer Falls. It centers on Jennifer Doyle (Pressly), a hot-tempered, high-flying businesswoman who gets fired from her job and is forced to move back with her mom (Walter), bringing along her teenage daughter. Moore will play Jennifer’s brother, who had lived in her shadow, and now she works for him in his bar. Kirkpatrick, repped by Innovative and the Burstein Co., will play Jennifer’s sister-in-law. Jennifer used to babysit her and …
Buried near the end of a lengthy Michael Fassbender profile in the November issue of GQ, writer Zach Baron gets the Oscar-buzzed actor to explain why he has no plans to do the campaign circuit this season for his supporting role as the vicious slave owner in 12 Years A Slave.
“I’m going to be busy working. I just don’t really have time. (Campaigning is) just not going to happen, because I’ll be in New Zealand. I’ll be on the other side of the world. You know, I get it. Everybody’s got to do their job. So you try and help and facilitate as best you can. But I won’t put myself through that kind of situation again. It’s just a grind. And I’m not a politician. I’m an actor,” Fassbender said of the whole Oscar process, which seems to grow every year and includes numerous Q&As, luncheons, meet-and-greets, private screenings, film festival tributes, presenting at endless awards shows, well-timed talk show appearances, etc etc. Many artists who suddenly find themselves the object of an all-out Oscar campaign find this part of the job even more grueling than making the actual film. And by the time the Oscars roll around they are spent.
Campaign or no campaign, in Fassbender’s case it may not matter. He’s very likely going to get nominated — and could win — for Best Supporting Actor and I think that’s a scenario whether he lifts a finger or not in doing the usual rounds. The film and the role are so strong it’s hard to imagine the actors branch ignoring him. Now after the nominations it could change, especially in a tight, competitive race where every vote counts.
EXCLUSIVE: Shiri Appleby is set as the lead in Lifetime’s drama pilot Unreal, inspired by Sarah Gertrude Shapiro’s award-winning independent short Sequin Raze. Marti Noxon and Shapiro wrote Unreal, which goes behind the scenes of a hit competition dating show to follow the experiences of a young staffer (Appleby) whose sole job is to manipulate her relationships with (and among) the contestants to get the vital dramatic and outrageous footage the program’s producers demand. What ensues is a humorous yet vexing look at what happens in the world of unscripted television, where being a contestant can be vicious and producing it is a whole other reality. Appleby, repped by Gersh and manager John Carrabino, has recurring roles on HBO comedy Girls and NBC drama Chicago Fire.
TORONTO, ON (September 11, 2013) – IFC Midnight announced today from the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival that the company is acquiring North American rights to Zack Parker’s PROXY. The film, with a screenplay by Parker and Kevin Donner, stars Alexia Rasmussen, Alexa Havins, Kristina Klebe and Joe Swanberg. PROXY was produced by Parker and Faust Checho and executive produced by Mike Khamis. The film made its world premiere in the Vanguard section of the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and will play next at the 2013 Fantastic Fest. IFC Midnight is planning a theatrical and VOD day and date release for the film. In PROXY, a pregnant young woman seeks consolation in a support group after she is viciously attacked by a hooded assailant. Gradually she comes to realize that nothing and no one in her life is as it appears in this shocking and challenging thriller. The deal for the film was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films with Nate Bolotin of XYZ Films on behalf of the filmmakers.
Because there is seemingly no end to cat lovers, and no end to cats from hell, Animal Planet announced this morning it has renewed its series of the same name for a fifth season. My Cat From Hell will return in early 2014 with 16 episodes in which “cat listener” Jackson Galaxy visits homes to solve feline issues. The series recently completed its fourth season among Animal Planet’s top 10 series with women 18-49 and 25-54. The fourth season’s third, epic episode, “Penny Hates Puck” – both cats, BTW – clocked series highs, including 1.2 million viewers, more than a quarter million of whom were men 25-54. Of that 1.2 mil, 607,000 were 18-49 (363 of whom were women 18-49). In rough numbers: Penny hated Puck, Penny attacked Puck so often and so viciously, poor Puck was left utterly terrified, completely clawed up, and peeing on herself after every fight. MCFH is produced for Animal Planet by Eyeworks USA.
In a pre-emptive move prior to it’s World Premiere in Venice, Fortissimo Films has closed an all rights deal for North America with Well Go USA Entertainment, for the upcoming and highly anticipated RIGOR MORTIS; the debut feature from Hong Kong’s multi-talented celebrity, Juno Mak. A re-imagining of the popular 1970/80′s Chinese Vampire (Geung Si) genre, the filmwill have an early November rollout in Hong Kong followed by the rest of Asia. Co-produced by Japanese horror icon Takeshi Shimizu (JU-ON, THE GRUDGE), RIGOR MORTIS will receive its World Premier at the upcoming Venice Film Festival (Venice Days) followed by its presentation at Toronto’s Midnight Madness. Well Go is planning a multi-platform release in early 2014. The deal was negotiated between Fortissimo’s Executive Vice President, Sales and Acquisitions, Winnie Lau, and Well Go’s President, Doris Pfardrescher. The two companies have worked together in the past with Well Go previously acquiring Fortissimo’s 3-D features, TORMENTED and SHOCK LABYRINTH, as well as TOUCH OF THE LIGHT, Taiwan’s foreign language Oscar® entry of last year.
NBC News says the former heavyweight champ-turned-Broadway star will sit down with Matt Lauer in Las Vegas for an interview airing tomorrow morning on Today. Mike Tyson surprised the heck out of the press last week when they showed up for what they thought was a news conference about his return to boxing as a promoter, and instead listened as he told them, “I’m a motherfucker” who has been lying for years about being sober. Sure to come up will be this statement at last Friday’s news conference cum confessional: “I’m a bad guy sometimes. I did a lot of bad things, and I want to be forgiven. … I wanna change my life, I wanna live a different life now. I wanna live my sober life. I don’t wanna die. I’m on the verge of dying because I’m a vicious alcoholic. Wow. God, this is some interesting stuff.”
Martin and Gary Kemp are re-teaming on screen for the first time since they played the title roles as the vicious British siblings in The Krays. The brothers will play sinister gangsters The Alberts brothers in Assassin, starring opposite Football Factory‘s Danny Dyer. I always found it amusing that the Kemp brothers transitioned from the soft pop ballad band Spandau Ballet (best known for “True”) and did such a convincing job portraying the ruthlessly violent and twisted Kray Brothers in that 1991 cult favorite film directed by Peter Medak.
Universal Pictures has set Emmy-nominated Breaking Bad writer/producer George Mastras to adapt the Dean Unkefer book 90 Church: The True Story Of The Narcotics Squad From Hell to be directed by its Snow White And The Huntsman director Rupert Sanders. The project will be produced by Huntsman’s Joe Roth and Palak Patel, who’ll produce with Deborah Giarratana.
90 Church refers to the address of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics when it was formed in New York City to combat organized crime and drug traffic in the mid-1960s through early ’70s. While the FBI refused even to acknowledge organized crime, 30 agents stood alone against a well-organized Mafia and vicious drug cartels. To survive against impossible odds, the agents used incredibly brutal and cunning tactics to make cases and bring the war to a stalemate. Using an ever-expanding network of criminal informants held together by secret immunity deals, the sinister reputation of 90 Church grew along with the rising body count. The book is fictionalized but based on true events, written by one of the agents who worked in the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. That bureau later merged with another and became the DEA. The studio bought the book preemptively last summer.
Mastras, who was Emmy-nominated for writing the Dead Freight episode in Breaking Bad‘s final season, is repped by CAA and manager Dan Halsted.
In an interview with Deadline last Friday, George Clooney expressed ire for Third Point hedge fund chief Daniel Loeb‘s criticism of Sony Pictures management, claiming Loeb didn’t know the first thing about the movie business. I didn’t have room for it in the article–George covered a lot of ground–but Clooney even criticized Loeb’s choice of historic flops to liken to two Sony summer misfires, After Earth and White House Down. Clooney said that he felt both After Earth (a $130 million budget film that has grossed $242 million worldwide) and White House Down (a $150 million budget film that grossed $117 million worldwide) would not end up as precedent-setting losers when all the money is counted down the line. But he also said that Loeb calling Waterworld, and maybe even Ishtar, all-time flops showed a naivete about the way studios cover their risk. In fairness to Loeb, both Waterworld and Ishtar have been easy targets because their production cost overruns made each big news in its day.
Ishtar cost $55 million and grossed $14 million domestic, and, well it’s tough to put a happy face on that film in any discussion. Clooney and others would argue that Waterworld is a much different story. Now, I can’t count to 20 without taking off my shoes, but an industry numbers cruncher shared with Deadline a cost/profit analysis on Waterworld, even adjusting the numbers for inflation and again to reflect ways that the tent pole business has grown more favorable to studios than back when Waterworld was released in 1995. The numbers make an argument consistent with Clooney’s point.