Sometime next year Stephen Colbert will be on the other end of a Late Show interview, but for now he’s just a guest. Before he takes over the show, the soon-to-be-former-Colbert Report host chatted with retiree-in-waiting David Letterman tonight at CBS’ Ed Sullivan Theatre. (Watch a clip here.) While we wait to hear what each has to say about all this, here are a few snapshots — including the obligatory selfie — from the visit. Check Deadline later tonight to read Lisa de Moraes’ recap of the meeting of the Late Show hosts.
Jeremy Davies (Justified) and Robert Knepper (Prison Break) have been cast in History’s miniseries Texas Rising (working title) from A+E Studios and ITV Studios America. Leslie Greif (Hatfields & McCoys) is exec producing the project, which will detail the Texas Revolution against Mexico and the rise of the legendary Texas Rangers. Davies, repped by Paradigm, Silver Lining Entertainment and attorney Karl Austen, will play Sgt. Ephraim Knowles, a shifty rogue whose only thought is for his own survival who reluctantly joins the Rangers to avoid being executed for desertion. Knepper, repped by Innovative Artists and Kramer Management, will play Empresario Buckley, an unshaven bombastic slob. He is the only law in the town of Victoria, and he abuses his position to further his own agenda and make himself rich in the process.
The long road of Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher to the big screen finally has a finish line. Sony Pictures Classics has set a November 14 release date for the pic starring Steve Carell and Channing Tatum, which last week landed a competition berth at the Cannes Film Festival. It’s a prime awards-season spot for the drama, which tells the true story of Olympic wrestling champion brothers Mark Schultz (Tatum) and Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo) and their relationship with the eccentric John du Pont (Carell), heir to the DuPont Chemical fortune, that led to murder. Right now it will share the November 14 date with Universal’s Dumb And Dumber To, Sony/Columbia’s Brad Pitt war drama Fury and Relativity’s Blackbird.
Foxcatcher was being primed for a big AFI Fest bow and an Oscar-season splash last fall before pulling out at the last minute. SPC said the move was so filmmakers “can have more time to finish the film.” It had been set for a December 2013 release. AFI Fest later set August: Osage County for the gala premiere spot.
Food Network and Cooking Channel today unveiled 35 new series that will roll out during the next several months. Among the new additions on Food Networks’ slate, announced during Scripps Networks Interactive‘s upfront in New York, is The Valerie Bertinelli Project (wt) set for a September premiere. It features the Hot In Cleveland star and bestselling cookbook author and her husband preparing dinners for family and celebrity friends in their Los Angeles home. Bunim/Murray is producing. Also on the slate is an expansion of the Chopped franchise set for a July premiere. The five-episode Chopped Teens Tournament features 16 talented teenage chefs who must create the perfect appetizer, entree and dessert as they navigate through each round. The winner from each episode heads into the finale with a chance to win a $25,000 grand prize and culinary school scholarship. Notional is producing for Food Network. New Food Network and Cooking Channel series include:
WEtv has dropped a trailer for its first original scripted drama The Divide. Written by Richard LaGravenese (Behind The Candelabra) and co-created by LaGravenese and Tony Goldwyn (Conviction), The Divide explores the personal cost of morality, ambition, ethics, politics, and race in today’s justice system through the …
Travel Channel unveiled eight new shows in development at parent Scripps Networks Interactive’s upfront today in NYC. The greenlit pilots include Breaking Borders (wt), Nigel’s Last Resort (wt) and Watt’s World (wt), which offer a distinct POV of a seasoned explorer with a penchant for discovery. Captivating locations with a focus on the adventure and exploration of subcultures describe Guiding Alaska (wt), Metropolis (wt) and Only In… (wt). Rounding out the development slate is a pilot that examines the business of travel in Adventure Capitalists (wt), while Find My Past (wt) uncovers our personal connections to history’s most extraordinary events, according to the network. Click over for complete descriptions:
Universal Pictures president of domestic distribution Nikki Rocco is stepping down from the post at the end of the year after 47 years at the studio, it was announced this morning. She was the first woman to be named the head of a major studio’s theatrical distribution operations when she took the job in 1996 and is one of Universal’s longest-serving employees, having joined up at age 17 and surviving seemingly countless regime changes. This move had been in the wind and as late as a month ago she denied to Deadline she was going anywhere. >Now Rocco — who counted Lew Wasserman among her most coveted industry relationships — will become a consultant. Her No. 2, co-president of distribution Nicholas Carpou, likely will take over the role though the studio did not say so in its release this morning.
In 2013, Universal had its best year ever at the domestic box office, with total grosses of $1.42 billion. It also crossed the $1 billion marker faster than any other time in its history.
Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski are back, on NBC Sports. The two will serve as fashion experts for NBC Sports Group‘s coverage of the 2014 Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby. NBC Sports Group’s live coverage from Churchill Downs begins April 30. Olympic figure skaters Weir and Lipinski were the It Couple of the 2014 Sochi Games, covering figure skating for NBC Sports. Weir and Lipinski will work as fashion experts for the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 3 and the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, May 2. Most recently, Weir, a three-time U.S. figure skating champion, and Lipinski, the 1998 Olympic figure skating gold medalist, were also fashion critics for Access Hollywood’s coverage of the 2014 Academy Awards.
The cabler has fired back at the DVD/streaming service, which earlier today slammed the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger as anti-competitive. In its response, Comcast said Netflix‘s stance “is based on inaccurate claims and arguments.” Here’s the company’s full reply from Jennifer Khoury, SVP Corporate & Digital Communications:
Netflix’s opposition to our Time Warner Cable transaction is based on inaccurate claims and arguments. There has been no company that has had a stronger commitment to openness of the Internet than Comcast and we are the only ISP in the country that is currently legally bound by the FCC’s vacated net neutrality rules. In fact, one of the many benefits of our proposed transaction with Time Warner Cable will be the extension of Net Neutrality protections to millions of additional Americans. Here are the facts:
Legendary TV To Launch Global Distribution Unit Under Former Sony TV International Boss Michael Grindon
The latest piece in Legendary Entertainment‘s TV operations has fallen into place, with the company saying today it is forming a global television distribution division that will be headed by veteran Michael Grindon, who had been head of Sony Pictures Television International for 15 years. Grindon will report to Bruce Rosenblum, president of Legendary Television and Digital Media, who since being hired last spring has overseen the expansion of Legendary’s TV unit that now has the capacity to develop, finance and self-distribute its fare worldwide.
It’s the latest big movie for Legendary, which in December bolstered its TV roster with its first acquisition, nabbing indie producer Asylum Entertainment for north of $100 million by outbidding rivals in the midst of Legendary’s first development season, when it set up several projects. The plan is for Asylum to serve as a production label for non-scripted, long-form, sports and other genres. That deal jump-started Legendary’s unscripted and documentary production and gave it a toehold in longform programming, an area Asylum is building with Legendary’s help. It also has been adding execs including Tom Lesinski, President, Digital Content and Distribution; Gaumont International Television COO Richard Frankie as EVP Business Management; Wonderland’s Peter Johnson as EVP Scripted Series Development; and Greg Siegel from Break Media as SVP Development and Production.
Grindon will help build and operate a global distribution infrastructure at Legendary Worldwide Distribution and hire and oversee a team to handle the sales, marketing and servicing of all Legendary TV programming worldwide. The division will also look to handle international distribution for other indie production companies.
BBC America‘s clone drama returned Saturday night with its best-ever A18-49 rating and now is the network’s second-highest-rated series in the demo, behind only Doctor Who. Orphan Black was the No. 1 television show on Twitter and Tumblr for the day and is the No. 1 basic cable drama on Twitter for the week.
Orphan Black recorded a total of 785,000 across multiple plays — premiering with 620,000 total viewers and 391,000 demo viewers. On Saturday, the series reached a new high on Twitter, reaching 1.2 million unique users with more than 43,000 tweets about the show. This is up 185% from the previous best (Season 1 finale) and nearly six times greater than the series premiere. The premiere episode alone generated nearly 36,000 tweets, beating several high-profile premieres this season including Fargo, Homeland, True Detective, Vikings, The Americans, Turn and Arrow. On Tumblr, there were 1.8 million notes on posts about Orphan Black in the month leading up to the premiere, including 277,000 on Saturday.
Related: Amazon Prime Instant Video To Stream ‘Orphan Black’ Repeats