The ABCs Of Aereo: What Is Aereo And Why Are Broadcasters Taking It To The Supreme Court?

By and | Wednesday April 16, 2014 @ 10:01am PDT

Editors Note: The first of three Deadline posts that lay out the issues in the Aereo case, which Deadline Legal Editor Dominic Patten will cover from the Supreme Court next week. Today: A primer about Aereo and what’s at stake in the dispute with broadcasters.

U.S. Supreme Court justices are so mistrustful of technology that they bar TV cameras from their proceedings and require visitors to check their smartphones at the door.What Is Aereo But on April 22 they will take an hour to hear arguments in a case that could re-shape television and the Internet. All of the major broadcast companies are challenging the legality of an upstart streaming service: Aereo, a company backed by IAC chief Barry Diller that began to sign up subscribers in New York City in February 2012. The issues both sides will raise are complicated. But the controversy boils down to an important question: What rights do broadcasters and citizens have to content on the publicly owned airwaves?

Related: It’s On! – Supreme Court Agrees To Hear Aereo Case

Q: How does Aereo work?
A: Subscribers in the cities Aereo serves pay a minimum of $8 a month. That gives them exclusive access to one of its thousands of dime-sized antennas that pick up free, local, over-the-air broadcasts. The company then streams the live programming in the same local market to subscribers’ Web-connected TVs, computers, or mobile devices.

Aereo info graphic

Q: Does it just stream live TV?
A: Aereo also offers a remote storage DVR. Just like with a home DVR, each customer can choose programs to record, and then watch later with the same fast-forward and rewind capabilities. The difference is that the digital files are kept on Aereo’s servers, not on a hard drive in the home. Those who pay $8 per month get 20 hours of DVR storage each month and access to one antenna, while those paying $12 get 60 hours and access to two antennas.

Aereo mapQ: Where can people subscribe?
A: Aereo began in New York, and now also is available in Boston, Atlanta, Detroit, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Dallas, Austin, Houston, Miami, and San Antonio. It plans to launch in cities including Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Chicago, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, and Kansas City.

Q: Why does that bother broadcasters?
A: Aereo doesn’t pay local TV stations when it streams their programming. Broadcasters say that infringes on their copyrights. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ & ‘About A Boy’ Inch Up, CBS Dramas Slip, ‘Celebrity Wife Swap’ Season Debut Soft

By | Wednesday April 16, 2014 @ 9:59am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

ABC’s scheduling stunt with a Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. block paid off. Airing at 9 PM with last week’s episode as a lead-in, the comic book series last night drew a 2.0 in adults 18-49, up 18% from its fast national last week and up 5% from the final to tie a five-week high. It is currently running behind CBS’ NCIS: LA (2.1) in the hour, but the ABC drama tends to get an upward adjustment in the finals, so it will likely end up in a tie or could even pull ahead.

celebritywifeswapIf you were scratching your head over the pairing of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Celebrity Wife Swap and banishing the family reality show to 10 PM, you were not alone. In its season premiere in the challenging for ABC Wednesday 10 PM slot, the unscripted series managed a 1.0, down a steep 58% from the last season premiere in the far more family-viewing-inducing 8 PM hour to mark the lowest premiere for the Wife Swap franchise. Still, underscoring ABC’s nightly struggles in the hour, that was a seven-week high for the network in the time period. Read More »

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Spike TV Renews ‘Catch A Contractor’ For Second Season

By | Wednesday April 16, 2014 @ 9:43am PDT

Spike TV has orderedcontractors a 10-episode second season of unscripted series Catch A Contractor hosted by Adam Carolla, slated for debut in the fall. Spike also is extending the new episodes to an hour, up from the current half-hour. Carolla, who happens to be a master carpenter, serves as a vigilant watchdog to homeowners who have been cheated by a contractor and left with an unfinished disaster. In each episode, Carolla, along with no-nonsense contractor Skip Bedell and his wife, investigator Alison Bedell, track down shady, evasive contractors, drag them back to their construction disasters and make them finish the job right. Catch A Contractor debuted March 9 and is averaging 1.2 million viewers after seven episodes. Eyeworks USA created the series, with JD Roth, Todd A. Nelson, DJ Nurre and Brant Pinvidic executive producing.

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Jose Padilha, Eric Newman Team For John Hlavin’s WWII Revenge Pitch ‘Nekome’

By | Wednesday April 16, 2014 @ 9:24am PDT
Mike Fleming

ericnewmanpadilhaEXCLUSIVE: GrandElectric Entertainment, a new shingle formed by ex-Strike Entertainment partner Eric Newman, has teamed with director Jose Padilha‘s Cold Mountain to preemptively purchase Nekome, a period action pitch by John Hlavin. Studiocanal will finance development and production of the film.

The title is the Yiddish word for revenge and the film is set in the days following the end of WWII. Two young Holocaust survivors are sent by the Jewish underground to Brazil to hunt down and kill the escaped Nazis who ran their concentration camp. The film will shoot in Brazil. StudioCanal is committed to finance the film, but Newman and Padilha retained distribution rights in Brazil, where Padilha is a movie god after his Elite Squad films.

Deal marks a growing relationship between Newman and Padilha, and also Studio Canal’s Olivier Courson and Ron Halpern. Newman first began working with them in 2010 on The Last Exorcism, and Canal then bought key distribution territories for Robocop, which Newman and Padilha did together. StudioCanal also distributed Padilha’s Elite Squad. Padilha just set his Elite Squad star Wagner Moura to play drug kingpin Pablo Escobar in Narcos, the Netflix series that Padilha is directing and Newman is producing.

Hlavin hit the Black List twice with 2009′s The Gunslinger and an untitled heist project that DreamWorks is making with Need For Speed helmer Scott Waugh. Hlavin’s repped by UTA and … Read More »

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Warner Bros Taps Former Clinton Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers As Communications Chief; Sue Fleishman Exiting

By | Wednesday April 16, 2014 @ 9:13am PDT

DeeDeeMyersWarner Bros has hired former White House Press Secretary and political analyst Dee Dee Myers as EVP Worldwide Corporate Communications and Public Affairs. As part of the move, Warners’ nine-year veteran Sue Fleishman, who had that title, is stepping down. This comes after she helped guide the transition at the studio through several shakeups in a wild 2013. That included the ascension of new Warner Bros Entertainment CEO Kevin Tsujihara, which eventually resulted in the exits of the other two WB biggies angling for that gig — Warner Bros TV boss Bruce Rosenblum last May and Warner Brothers Pictures Group President Jeff Robinov the next month.

SueFleishman“In her nine years at Warner Bros, Sue masterfully navigated the constantly evolving 24/7 news and media environment,” Tsujihara said today. “In addition to numerous other accomplishments, she established an international team and ensured both a global perspective and consistency to our company messaging. I’m grateful for her many contributions to Warner Bros. and know she’ll have great success in all her future endeavors.”

Myers, who worked in the Clinton administration and was the first-ever female Press Secretary, will be tasked with overseeing all corporate communications strategies and activities on a worldwide basis, including media relations, executive communications, corporate responsibility and philanthropy. She will report to Tsujihara and joins the company September 2.

“We are thrilled that Dee Dee will join Warner Bros at this exciting and transformative … Read More »

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FX’s ‘The Americans’ Renewed For Third Season

By | Wednesday April 16, 2014 @ 9:05am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

americansFX Networks CEO John Landgraf teased the pending renewal at the company’s upfront presentation last week. The network now has ordered a 13-episode third season half way through Season 2. “The Americans continues be one of the best shows on television,” said FX Networks president of original programming Eric Schrier. With tonight’s broadcast, there are six episodes remaining in the current season. Set in 1981 just after Ronald Reagan is elected president, The Americans, starring Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys and Noah Emmerich, chronicles the complex marriage of two KGB spies posing as Americans in suburban Washington D.C. The series, from Fox TV Studios and FX Prods., was created by and is executive produced by Joe Weisberg, a former CIA agent. Joel Fields and Graham Yost are also executive producers, along with Amblin Television’s Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank.

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Pivot Picks Up Sky Series ‘Fortitude’, Sets Development Slate, Revamps ‘TakePart Live’

By | Wednesday April 16, 2014 @ 9:02am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

pivotParticipant Media‘s network Pivot today announced the pickup of Sky Atlantic’s 12-episode drama series Fortitude starring Stanley Tucci and Michael Gambon. The series became available in the U.S. in December when Starz, which originally had committed to the project, pulled out. Pivot is designed as a younger skewing network than Starz, with its target demo being 18-34. As part of its upfront presentation, Pivot also announced an overhaul of its nightly topical series, TakePart Live. Beginning Monday, May 12, the hour-long late-night program will move to primetime (10 PM) with a new producer, Michael Davies’ Embassy Row, which is behind Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live and AMC’s Talking Dead/Bad. Also undergoing makeover is the hosting team of Jacob Soboroff and Cara Santa Maria, with only Soboroff coming back, joined by Sen. John McCain’s daughter Meghan McCain and comedian Eddie Huang.

Pivot also unveiled a development slate that includes eleven projects from production companies including IAC’s Electus, Universal Cable Prods., FremantleMedia North America/Pukeko Pictures, Funny or Die, and Eyeworks, and revealed premiere 2014-15 dates, including an August 8 debut for the sophomore season of coming-of-age comedy, Please Like Me, and the comedy Human Resources. “Our second slate demonstrates our significant investment in, and commitment to, groundbreaking content for the thought-leading segment of Generation Y we call ‘Upstanders,’” said Pivot president Evan Shapiro. Here is Pivot’s full slate: Read More »

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David Wisnia Named President Business Operations At TVGN

By | Wednesday April 16, 2014 @ 9:00am PDT

tvgnlogo__130415164305David Wisnia has been appointed President of Business Operations for TVGN, a CBS Corp and Lionsgate partnership. He will oversee TVGN’s operational strategy, including ad sales, content distribution, corporate strategy and business development, finance, and business and legal affairs. Wisnia’s appointment is effective immediately, and he will report to TVGN’s Board of Directors working alongside Brad Schwartz, TVGN’s President, Entertainment and Media. Wisnia succeeds Dennis Miller, who had been a consultant to Lionsgate for TVGN, and later served as the interim president during the network’s recent transition of partnerships from One Equity Partners to CBS. Read More »

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WME Signs Playwright/Scribe Jay Reiss

By | Wednesday April 16, 2014 @ 8:43am PDT
Mike Fleming

putnamEXCLUSIVE: Writer Jay Reiss has signed with WME for representation. Reiss, who had been at CAA, co-wrote the award-winning Broadway musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and the dark Julian Farino-directed comedy The Oranges. His movie scripts certainly seem to draw stars. He most recently completed The Complete History Of My Sexual Failures for Universal, a comedy to star former Saturday Night Live (boy is he missed) castmember Jason Sudeikis. Reiss is currently writing Family Therapy at Universal for Jason Bateman, Crazy You at New Line for Will Ferrell, and The League Of Extraordinary Princesses at Fox Animation. The writer continues to be repped by Mosaic and Bloom Hergott.

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‘The View’ To Unite All Former And Current Co-Hosts For Barbara Walters’ On-Air Retirement

Daytime talker The ViewDON LEMON, BARBARA WALTERS, SCOTT FOLEY, SHERRI SHEPHERD, WHOOPI GOLDBERG, JENNY MCCARTHY will reunite all 11 of its co-hosts on Thursday, May 15 which is Barbara Walters‘ second-to-last day on the program. Walters, the show’s creator and EP, is ending her on-air run on the show May 16. (Babs will continue to be EP of The View along with executive producer Bill Geddie, her producing partner of more than 25 years.)

Pulling this off is no small feat, given the less-than-happy circumstances under which some of the co-hosts have left over the years. In addition to journalist Meredith Vieira, the list of returning co-hosts who will appear that Thursday includes lawyer Star Jones, comedian Joy Behar, television personality Debbie Matenopoulos, journalist Lisa Ling, comedian Rosie O’Donnell, and Fox News Channel host Elisabeth Hasselbeck — joining current co-hosts  Sherri Shepherd, Jenny McCarthy, Whoopi Goldberg and Walters. Walters, for instance, recently acknowledged Hasselbeck and Behar were pushed out, but insinuated it was done by ABC, in an effort to shake things up on the show. “These are not Barbara and Bill’s decisions,” Walters told Variety. “The network is also involved. I think the feeling was if one went, both had to leave. We needed to shake things up.” Read More »

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Hot Tribeca Clip For ‘Keep On Keepin’ On; Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock To Swing At Saturday’s Post-Premiere Performance

By | Wednesday April 16, 2014 @ 8:34am PDT
Mike Fleming

keeping onMark the calendar for the April 19 Tribeca Film Festival premiere of Keep On Keepin’ On, the Al Hicks-directed documentary about 23-year-old blind piano prodigy Justin Kauflin, who is helped over his terrible stage fright by his ailing mentor, jazz legend Clark Terry. Terry was Quincy Jones’ first teacher and mentor to Miles Davis. As they prepared for an elite international competition, the 89-year-old Terry saw his sight and then his health fail. While he is one of few to have played in the orchestras of Count Basie and Duke Ellington and later broke the color barrier as first African-American staff musician on NBC’s Tonight Show, the most important thing to Terry was hanging in to see Kauflin realize his dream and play his best at the competition. Jones produced with Paula DuPre’ Pesmen, latter of whom was behind the Academy Award-winning The Cove and Chasing Ice. After the festival premiere, the subjects will be there for a Q&A followed with a performance by Herbie Hancock, Esperanza Spalding, Dianne Reeves, Roy Hargrove and Kauflin, who’ll follow his star docu turn by tinkling the ivories. The performance is also being produced by Jones.

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PBS’ ‘American Masters’ Getting Overhaul Under New Exec Producer Michael Kantor

By | Wednesday April 16, 2014 @ 8:13am PDT

americanmastersThe heralded, award-winning 28-year-old franchise will begin to chronicle not only American masters but also “emerging American masters,” Michael Kantor said in a New York Times interview  — industry speak for “targeting younger viewers.”  The franchise will stop emphasizing important cultural figures important to the baby boom generation, Kantor told NYT, which got first crack at the news. The series will redefine the word “masters” to include profiles of people in industry. Ditto science. That said, the series already has profiled Albert Einstein, as well as I.M. Pei, Billie Jean King, Walter Cronkite,  etc. — in addition to more traditional subjects such as Arthur Miller, Georgia O’Keeffe, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Leonard Bernstein, Sidney Poitier, Judy Garland, John James Audubon, Bob Dylan, Ella Fitzgerald, Woody Guthrie, Jimi Hendrix, etc.

Susan Lacy, who created American Masters in 1986, left to join HBO in September.

Related: ‘American Masters’ Creator Susan Lacy Departs PBS For HBO

Read More »

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Cannes: Short Film & Cinéfondation Rosters Unveiled

By | Wednesday April 16, 2014 @ 7:04am PDT

22x30_Cannes2014With less than 24 hours until the Official Selection lineup is announced, the Cannes Film Festival has today unveiled the titles in the Short Film and Cinéfondation sections. The selection committee received 3,450 shorts this year from 128 countries. Those were whittled down to 10 which will compete for the Short Film Palme d’Or. The Cinéfondation section includes 16 movies out of 1,631 submissions from film school students. The festival says this year marks a “very significant” broadening of scope, with 38% of the schools making the cut for the first time. This is also the first time a film from Egypt has been included, and more than half of the 16 competitors are by women. Following are the full lists for each category:

Related: Cannes: Official Selection Buzz Sharpens (& Sprawls) Ahead Of Thursday’s Reveal

CINEFONDATION
Our Blood, dir: Max Chan, (Hampshire College, U.S.)
Home Sweet Home, dirs: Pierre Clenet, Alejandro Diaz, Romain Mazevet, Stéphane Paccolat (Supinfocom Arles, France)
The Aftermath of the Inauguration Of The Public Toilet At Kilometer 375, dir: Omar El Zohairy (High Cinema Institute, Academy of Arts, Egypt)
Stone Cars, dir: Reinaldo Marcus Green (NYU Tisch School of the Arts, U.S.)
Last Trip Home, dir: Han Fengyu (Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore)
A Radiant Life, dir: Meryll Hardy (Le Fresnoy, France)
Niagara, dir: Chie Hayakawa (ENBU Seminar, Japan)
Oh Lucy!, dir: Atsuko Hirayanagi (NYU Tisch School of the Arts Asia, Singapore)
The Visit, dir: Inbar Horesh (Minshar for Art, School and Center, Israel)
Moonless Summer, … Read More »

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Frank Spotnitz, Nicholas Meyer & Carnival To Investigate ‘Freud: The Secret Casebook’

By | Wednesday April 16, 2014 @ 6:25am PDT

frankspotnitzX Files veteran Frank Spotnitz moved to London for Cinemax/BBC series Hunted a few years back, and in 2013 launched London-based Big Light Productions. Now, he’s digging even further into the UK TV scene. Spotnitz and Nicholas Meyer (Houdini) have created crime series Freud: The Secret Casebook. NBC Universal-owned Downton Abbey producer Carnival Films will produce with Big Light. The period drama will see Sigmund Freud become the world’s first criminal profiler. Set in early 20th century Vienna, the series will focus on Freud as he uses his startling new theories about psychology to help solve crimes, and will blend Sigmund_Freudepisodic murder mysteries with the on-going tale of the psychoanalyst-cum-detective’s tangled and provocative personal life. The project is out to cast and directors. Downton‘s Gareth Neame is exec producing with Nigel Marchant for Carnival; Alan Gasmer (Vikings), Matt Baer (Unbroken) and Christian Popp and Alexander Keil of Germany’s Producers at Work are also exec producing. Spotnitz is keeping busy in Europe these days. He was at Mip-TV in Cannes last week to talk about his gig as showrunner on the second season of TNT pick-up Transporter The Series, and he also unveiled Big Light’s new first-look distribution deal with Tandem Communications. Transporter, which he boarded in season two, will air on TNT later this year.

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Malta Increases Film & TV Tax Rebates To Boost Location Destination Status

By | Wednesday April 16, 2014 @ 3:40am PDT

mfc_logoMalta has stood in for European and Middle Eastern countries in a plethora of films in its long history as a shooting destination. The Maltese government is looking to keep the momentum going, announcing today that it has substantially raised its tax rebates. The credit has been boosted to 25%, plus an extra 2% if Maltese cultural elements feature. The new incentive scheme, which is pending State Aid approval, has also been broadened to include international TV series, miniseries and animation. To access the rebates, productions must pass a cultural test that takes into account the use of local or European talent, storyline, settings, and other criteria. The cashback system is available for above- and below-the-line spend and is capped at 50% of the production budget. Post-production also can be claimed with a cap of 150,000 euros. European and other offshore countries have increasingly upped their incentives to attract foreign productions; most notably the UK which is now so attractive it’s having to turn shows away. Films have been shot in Malta dating back as far as 1925. More recently, it’s been host to 2000′s Gladiator, 2005′s Munich, 2012′s Kon-Tiki, and 2013′s World War Z and Captain Phillips. And, the Popeye village, famously built for Robert Altman’s 1980, film is still on offer as a set.

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Denise O’Donoghue Exiting ITV Studios; BBC Three’s Zai Bennett Joining Sky Atlantic

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 10:00pm PDT

Denise O’Donoghue Exiting As ITV Studios Managing Director
Denise O’Donoghue, a veteran television exec and four-year Managing Director of ITV Studios, is leaving the UK-based producer. She will exit at the end of the year with a successor yet to be named, though she will Denise ODonoghueremain a member of the board. ITV Studios is the largest commercial production company in the UK, with titles including Mr Selfridge, Agatha Christie’s Poirot, Breathless and the upcoming Thunderbirds Are Go! The production arm of ITV is one of the biggest growth areas for the group, which has been busy making acquisitions in the UK and U.S. “A key part of our strategy is to build a strong international content business, creating more of our own programs which are successful here in the UK and internationally,” ITV Studios Managing Director Kevin Lygo said. “Denise has played a crucial role in rebuilding the UK production business by bringing in and managing brilliant creative talent, which in turn has resulted in the development of a strong and healthy content pipeline.” Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past’

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 9:24pm PDT

Don’t let the title fool you: This ain’t no night in white satin with the Moody Blues. (It’s even spelled differently.) But if it’s action you crave, well, it’s got that. Here’s the final trailer for Fox/Marvel’s X-Men: Days Of Future Past, wherein Hugh Jackman‘s Wolverine goes back in time 50 years to alter history and prevent some really rotten stuff from happening. Butt-kicking ensues. The cast also includes James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Michael Fassbender, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Fan Bingbing, Omar Sy, Nicholas Hoult and plenty of others. Bryan Singer is back to direct his first film in the franchise since 2003′s X-Men 2, working from a script by Simon Kinberg. It opens May 23 — until then, enjoy:

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FX Pulling Out Of Late-Night For Now; John Landgraf On Strategy & Chelsea Handler

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 8:17pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

fxlogo1__130919165223-200x110__131105211930At FX‘s upfront presentation last spring, Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell was a central piece as the late-night show was envisioned as a potential cornerstone for the new comedy-centric network FXX. But, facing stiff competition from broadcast and cable, the Chris Rock-produced show didn’t transition well to the new network after its solid original run on FX, leading to its cancellation. That followed the demise of FX’s other late-night effort, Brand X With Russell Brand. John Landgraf 2014 mugAt FX’s upfront presentation last week, there was no mention of late-night. Instead, FX Networks CEO John Landgraf said announced that FX and FXX will be doubling their primetime original output from 11 to 20 series during the next year. That involves the relocation of resources to primetime as the network is retreating from late-night, at least for the foreseeable future. “There is less interest in late-night, and that is in part driven by the excellence in the arena,” Landgraf said last week, noting the success with young viewers of such cable hosts as Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert and the recent shifts on the broadcast networks, including NBC’s highly rated new tandem of Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers, along with Jimmy Kimmel on ABC, soon to be joined by Colbert on CBS. “The late-night race is very competitive to get into,” Landgraf said. “You have to be willing to stay there as a very long investment.” Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘If I Stay’

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 8:05pm PDT

Mia is young, talented and in love, with her whole life ahead of her. Until the car crash. With her family decimated, she lies comatose in a hospital — having an out-of-body experience. She watches as she’s told that living or dying “is all up to you; whatever fight you got in you, gotta pull it out now.” Then she gets a tour of what there is to live for. If I Stay stars Chloe Grace Moretz as the stricken teen along with Jamie Blackley and Mireille Enos. R.J. Cutler directs from a script by Shauna Cross based on Gayle Forman’s YA novel. The drama from Warner Bros, MGM and New Line opens August 22: Here’s a look:

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