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CW Pulls Comedy Series ‘Backpackers’ & ‘Seed’, Moves Up Premiere of ‘Top Model’

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 12:53pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

CW Pulls Comedy Series ‘Backpackers’ & ‘Seed’, Moves Up Premiere of ‘Top Model’The CW is pulling the plug on its latest attempt to launch scripted comedies. Online-to-TV transplant Backpackers and Canadian import Seed are coming off the schedule immediately. Next Monday, the CW’s lineup was already pre-empted for the Young Hollywood Awards. For the two following Mondays, the network will air Arrow repeats behind an original and encore of Whose Line Is It Anyway? On August 18, the CW logo21st cycle premiere of America’s Next Top Model will air in the hour, where the veteran reality series will spend six weeks before moving to its regular Friday 9 PM time slot. (Its lead-in will be Whose Line original and repeat on August 18 and magic series Masters Of Illusion and Whose Line rerun starting the following Monday.) Top Model originally was slated to return on August 22 it its Friday 9 PM berth. It now will  be double-pumped for the first six weeks, with repeats airing on Fridays.

Related: CW Fall Dates: Premieres Begin October 2 After IHeartRadio Music Fest

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Hey Tom Cruise, Johnny Carson, George Clooney, Frank Sinatra, Channing Tatum And Others: SAG Owes You Money But Can’t Find You

Hey Tom Cruise, Johnny Carson, George Clooney, Frank Sinatra, Channing Tatum And Others: SAG Owes You Money But Can’t Find YouEXCLUSIVE: The Screen Actors Guild exists to collect wages and benefits and disperse them to dues-paying members, but a Deadline investigation begs a multimillion-dollar question: Why are so many living and deceased thesps owed unclaimed residual checks worth $40 million, money that is drawing interest for the union’s general fund? The roll call of Who’s Owed is a Hollywood Who’s Who, including more than 75 Oscar-winning actors or their estates and dozens of Emmy winners who likely are unaware they are owed residuals. A union spokesperson tells Deadline the union is working to locate those members, but it is difficult because people change agents and don’t notify the union, or they move and mailed checks are returned by the post office and never cashed.

Still, could it really be that hard to find some of these performers? Deadline found that if you threw a rock on the red carpet of any major industry event, chances are you’d hit somebody SAG owes money to.

Jodie Foster Warren BeattyLike: reigning Best Actress Oscar winner Cate Blanchett, and Tom Cruise, George Clooney, Bradley Cooper, David O. Russell, and former Oscar host Steve Martin. Or Michael Douglas, Dustin Hoffman, Elizabeth Taylor, Jodie Foster, Warren Beatty, Jay Leno, Sally Field, Sean Connery, Christopher Plummer, Channing Tatum, James Franco, Jim Carrey, Sharon Stone, Owen Wilson, Justin Timberlake, Melissa McCarthy, Julianne Moore, Pierce Brosnan, Zac Efron and Andrew Garfield.

The music side of the ledger of Who’s Owed reads like a wing … Read More »

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AMC Taps Drew Brown As SVP Production

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 12:18pm PDT

AMC Taps Drew Brown As SVP ProductionAMC has hired former Warner Horizon Television exec Drew Brown as SVP Production. In his new role, Brown is responsible for overseeing all aspects of production and post production for the studio and network side of the business. He reports to Joel Stillerman, the network’s executive vice president of original programming, production and digital content.
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Fox Not Going Forward With ‘Jump Of The Century’ Live Special

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 12:13pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Fox Not Going Forward With ‘Jump Of The Century’ Live SpecialFox has pulled the plug on its planned live special that was going to feature professional stuntman Eddie Braun and daredevil Big Ed Beckley trying to jump across Idaho’s Snake River Canyon to mark the 40th anniversary of Evel Knievel’s failed attempt to leap over the 2,300-foot-deep canyon. Jump Of The Century was supposed to feature the two rivals re-creating the 1974 stunt — one on a rocket and one on a rocket-powered motorcycle. The special, announced at Fox’s upfront presentation in May, was on a tight schedule as the anniversary of Knievel’s stunt is September 8. I hear preparations were moving slow, with some of the contraptions taking a long time to design and build, and the budget was poised to go significantly above the original estimate due to growing production expenses.

The target date for the special FOX tv logowas October 27, when the days are shorter and weather often is  unpredictable, making lighting and other logistics for a primetime special difficult and expensive to pull off. Some of that was built into the premise — setting such dangerous stunts safely live on TV is hard and expensive. Word is Discovery lost millions and millions of dollars on its Mount Everest jump special, which was cancelled after a deadly avalanche at the summit.

Related: Discovery Cancels Everest Jump In Wake Of Avalanche Deaths

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Focus Inflicting ‘Sinister 2′ On Theaters Next Summer

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 12:04pm PDT

Focus Inflicting ‘Sinister 2′ On Theaters Next SummerThe first sequel in the latest Blumhouse micro-budget horror franchise has a release date. Sinister 2, the follow-up to last year’s pic that grossed more than $87M worldwide on of a $3M budget, will arrive August 21, 2015. Citadel‘s Ciaran Foy will helm the next chapter, which Sinister director Scott Derrickson is writing with C. Robert Cargill. The new franchise follows Blumhouse’s success with the Paranormal Activity and Insidious series of ultra-low-budget genre hits. eOne is financing the sequel, with Derrickson and Jason Blum producing. Focus Features has positioned Sinister 2 to counter the Warner Bros romance Me Before You.

Related: Ciaran Foy To Direct ‘Sinister’ Sequel

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‘Justified’ EP Taylor Elmore Inks Deal With CBS TV Studios

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 12:02pm PDT

‘Justified’ EP Taylor Elmore Inks Deal With CBS TV StudiosJustified executive producer Taylor Elmore has closed a two-year overall deal with CBS TV Studios. He will supervise and develop new projects for the studio and is set to begin his new gig in April, after FX’s Justified wraps its sixth and final season. He has been on the show for the past five seasons, having started as a co-producer. Elmore, repped by UTA and attorney Bruce Gellman, shot the Wall Street pilot this past development season for CBS Studios and Timberman/Beverly, and his TV credits include CBS’ Cold Case and Raines, the latter with Justified creator Graham Yost.

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Portia de Rossi Joins ABC’s ‘Scandal’, Chance Kelly In ‘Aquarius’

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 11:58am PDT

Portia de Rossi Joins ABC’s ‘Scandal’, Chance Kelly In ‘Aquarius’Portia de Rossi (Arrested Development) has joined the fourth season of ABC’s D.C. drama Scandal in a “top secret” recurring role. Her wife, Ellen DeGeneres, first tweeted the news. We’ll have to wait until Scandal returns on September 25 to find out what the role is.

De Rossi’s other TV credits include Better Off Ted, Nip/Tuck, and Ally McBeal.

Chance Kelly (Generation Kill) has been cast as recurring in NBC‘s upcoming series Aquarius, a gritty 1960s drama about a cop (David Duchovny) who goes undercover to track Charles Manson and the Manson Family before their infamous murder spree. Kelly, repped by Abrams Artists Agency, will play Officer Ed Cutler who works with Duchovny’s character at the LAPD. Kelly will also be recurring on TNT series Legends starring Sean Bean slated to premiere in August.

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CBS Makes It Official: ‘Late Show With Stephen Colbert’ Staying In New York At Ed Sullivan Theater

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 11:14am PDT

CBS Makes It Official: ‘Late Show With Stephen Colbert’ Staying In New York At Ed Sullivan TheaterNew York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and CBS president and CEO Leslie Moonves officially announced that the Late Show With Stephen Colbert will remain in New York and continue broadcasting from the historic Ed Sullivan Theater. The agreement includes a commitment by CBS for approximately 200 New York-based jobs to support the daily program’s year-round production schedule. Here’s how CBS spun it this morning: Read More »

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David Andrews Joins ABC’s ‘The Whispers’, Meaghan Rath In ‘Secrets & Lies’

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 10:57am PDT

David Andrews Joins ABC’s  ‘The Whispers’, Meaghan Rath In ‘Secrets & Lies’David Andrews (Fight Club, Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines) has been booked as recurring on ABC thriller The Whispers, from ABC Studios and Steven Spielberg’s Amblin TV. It focuses on an an unseen force that is manipulating society’s most innocent – our children – to act in favor of its cause. As the kids unwittingly help this unknown enemy, the clock counts down in a suspenseful race to save humanity. Andrews, repped by Mavrick Artists and Untitled, will play U.S. Secretary of Defense Frommer in a minimum 6-episode arc. Frommer is always in control, calmly authoritative, steely and uncompromising. He meets with Wes regarding Captain Bennigan’s possible survival after the plane crash, surprising Wes by letting him know that Bennigan was working secret ops. He is, however, very concerned about how much Bennigan’s wife may know.
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Comic-Con: ‘Walking Dead’ EP Gale Anne Hurd & Warren Ellis Team For Universal Cable Prods TV Series

Comic-Con: ‘Walking Dead’ EP Gale Anne Hurd & Warren Ellis Team For Universal Cable Prods TV SeriesComic-Con doesn’t officially open until tomorrow, but the soon-to-be packed San Diego confab will be buzzing with this news. The Walking Dead EP Gale Anne Hurd, one of the queens of the geekfest, is partnering with Warren Ellis, one of the biggest names in comics, for the latter’s first leap into the world of TV. In a deal signed with Universal Cable Productions, the as-yet-untitled Ellis project will be produced with Hurd’s Valhalla Entertainment. “I’ve been strongly drawn to television over the last few years, and working with brilliant and determined collaborators like Gale and the UCP team, I’m delighted at the opportunity to add my voice to the new, novelistic TV form that’s evolved so dramatically,” said the Iron Man: Extremis, Gun Machine and Red author today. Added Hurd: “There are very few writers who have been able to so completely influence a medium as Warren has with comic books.”

Although Ellis won’t be at Comic-Con this year, Hurd will appear again in the cavernous Hall H for the always-packed Walking Dead panel featuring AMC’s zombie apocalypse blockbuster. This year’s panel is set for Friday at 12:20 PM and will feature co-creator Robert Kirkman, cast members Andrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus and others. Read More »

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Comic-Con: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’,'Flash’,'Avengers’ Composers Panel

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 10:29am PDT

Comic-Con: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’,'Flash’,'Avengers’ Composers PanelComposers from a number of Marvel and DC film and TV projects will be talking about their craft at the second annual “Musical Anatomy of a Superhero” panel tomorrow, Thursday, July 24th, from 3-4 PM in the Hilton Bayfront Indigo Ballroom.  John Ottman (X-Men: Days of Future Past,Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer), Tyler Bates (Guardians of the Galaxy, Salem) Brian Tyler (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Blake Neely (CW’s The Flash, Arrow) and Christophe Beck (Frozen, Edge of Tomorrow, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) will take attendees behind the scenes on their musical process and show clips, some never-before-seen. The event is produced by Costa Communications.

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Syfy Partners With Nick Cannon On Sci-Fi Fantasy Improv Series

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 10:21am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Syfy Partners With Nick Cannon On Sci-Fi Fantasy Improv SeriesEXCLUSIVE: Syfy is adding a touch of improv comedy to its lineup. The cable network has teamed with Nick Cannon‘s NCredible Entertainment for a weekly one-hour sci-fi fantasy improv series. The show will be taped in front of a live audience and feature a “home” team consisting of 4-6 national comedians who each week will face off against a different improv squad in various sci-fi/fantasy-related sketches. Casting will begin later this summer for the “away” teams. Cannon and Michael Goldman will serve as executive producers for Universal Cable Prods.

NCredible Entertainment produces music video countdown show Teen Nick Top 10 which is wrapping its third season; Nickelodeon’s React To That; Wild ‘n Out, now in its sixth season on MTV2; and an upcoming Drumline 2 sequel, slated to air in October. Cannon also hosts NBC’s America’s Got Talent.

This marks another step in Syfy’s evolution under its new leadership. The network already returned to the serialized, space opera-type dramas in the vein of Battlestar Galactica that had put it on the map and jumped back into the long-form genre with several high-profile projects.

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Comic-Con: ‘Goonies’ Reunion Not Happening In San Diego

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 10:11am PDT

Comic-Con: ‘Goonies’ Reunion Not Happening In San DiegoThe moppet gang’s slogan in the cult Richard Donner film is “Goonies Never Say Die,” but apparently the film’s cast reunion at San Diego’s Comic-Con is dead on the schedule. One of the organizers for the panel emailed Deadline this morning to say, ”Due to talent scheduling conflicts and unforeseen circumstances the panel was cancelled. We are saddened for all our fans, it would have been a truly memorable panel.” It’s a pity considering Goonies alums Sean Astin and Josh Brolin are both scheduled to appear in San Diego for presentations — FX’s The Strain and Dimension’s Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, respectively. Back in April, Donner casually mentioned to TMZ that a sequel was in the works, though sources close to the project confirmed that nothing was being fast-tracked at this time. Like many reunion panels at Comic-Con, sometimes the intention is to stir up the fans in hopes that their voice will impact the greenlighting of a fave project. The Goonies Never Say Die panel was scheduled for Thursday at 6 PM in the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Indigo Ballroom. Buffy The Vampire actress Clare Kramer was set to moderate.

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Michelle Fairley Joins ABC’s ‘Resurrection’

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 10:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Michelle Fairley Joins ABC’s ‘Resurrection’SPOILER ALERT: This story contains references to story elements and events in Season 3 of Game of Thrones

Michelle Fairley is coming back from the dead. No, this is not a surprise plot twist on HBO’s blockbuster Game of Thrones, where Fairley’s Catelyn Stark faced a spectacular demise. The Northern Irish actress is joining ABC’s drama Resurrection for a season-long story arc. She will play Margaret Langston, the formidable matriarch of the Langston clan, mother of Henry and Fred (Kurtwood Smith, Matt Craven). Dead for more than three decades, she will reappear in Arcadia as one of the returned. Read More »

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Angus Macfadyen Set To Play Allan Pinkerton In Syndicated Drama Series ‘The Pinkertons’

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 9:53am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Angus Macfadyen Set To Play Allan Pinkerton In Syndicated Drama Series ‘The Pinkertons’EXCLUSIVE: Turn co-star Angus Macfadyen is set for one of the lead roles in The Pinkertons, Canadian companies Rosetta Media and Buffalo Gal Pictures’ upcoming 22-episode action-adventure detective series that is set to premiere in first-run syndication in the U.S. this fall. It has been cleared in more than 85% of the country by Rohrs Media Group on station groups including Tribune, Weigel, Hearst, LIN, Meredith, Cox and the CW PLUS.

Drawing on the real cases of Pinkerton Detective Agency, The Pinkertons follows founder Allan Pinkerton (Macfadyen), his son, William, and America’s first female detective, Kate Warne, as they solve crimes throughout the “Wild West” of the 1860s (Pinkerton is known for revolutionizing detective work by developing use of surveillance, undercover work and the mug shot). In part because of his commitment to AMC drama Turn, on which he is a regular, Macfadyen is will be a recurring guest star on The Pinkertons, not appearing in all episodes. Turn was renewed in June for a 10-episode second season to air in the spring. Read More »

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California Lost Over $1B To Runaway Production Last Year, Film Commission Says

California Lost Over $1B To Runaway Production Last Year, Film Commission SaysThe Golden State saw a loss of production spending to other states and countries more than double last year from the year before, the California Film Commission said today. According to the CFC’s annual Progress Report (read it here), more than 40 projects that applied for but did not receive a piece of California’s $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit program last year ended up spending $1.062 billion outside the state in territories that offered incentives. That’s a record loss to the state since the tax credit program was introduced in 2009 and a $722 million leap over the $370 million spent outside California in 2012-2013 on projects that missed being picked in the tax credit lottery. And here’s the thing: that $1 billion plus figure doesn’t take into account projects that didn’t even apply for the incentive last year – like tentpoles with budgets over $75 million, which are ineligible for the current program.

ca-film-commission__140602221837Still the report wasn’t all bad news — though there was a lot of that within its pages. With $700 million in tax credits allocated since California introduced its incentive program, today’s report estimates that has led to $5.39 billion in total aggregate direct spending. The CFC document adds that includes about $1.72 billion in below-the-line wages. But as anyone in the industry who has seen a friend or family member relocate to Georgia or up to B.C. for five months, it is not stopping the flood. Read More »

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Comic-Con: Sony Dates Two ‘Spider-Man’ Films And ‘Uncharted’

Mike Fleming

Comic-Con: Sony Dates Two ‘Spider-Man’ Films And ‘Uncharted’San Diego Comic-Con has become more than a place for film studios to vamp their upcoming superhero movies. Now, they use the geek frenzy to stake out release date turf. Days after Disney and Marvel declared release dates for a flurry of superhero films the studio isn’t even ready to identify yet, Columbia Pictures has set its release plans and formalized plans to expand its $4 billion Spider-Man universe. As expected, the next film in the series will be Sinister Six, writer-director Drew Goddard’s bad guy mash-up, which is the first of several planned character and story expansions. That film has been dated for release November 11, 2016, with Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach producing.

Columbia will then release the third installment of The Amazing Spider-Man in 2018.

unchartedThe studio also announced that it has slated Uncharted for June 10, 2016, the date originally held by The Amazing Spider-Man 3. The adaptation of the Sony PlayStation vidgame will be directed by Seth Gordon, and the latest draft of the screenplay is being written by David Guggenheim. They haven’t set a star to play Nathan Drake; I’ve heard they are trying to pull Mark Wahlberg back into the mix, but the studio and the actor’s reps say nothing is happening. That film will be an Arad/Atlas Entertainment Production, produced by Charles Roven, Avi Arad, Alex Gartner and Ari Arad. Read More »

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‘Mice’ Roar More: James Franco, Chris O’Dowd & Co. Will Get ‘NT Live’ Broadcasts

‘Mice’ Roar More: James Franco, Chris O’Dowd & Co. Will Get ‘NT Live’ BroadcastsProducer David Binder, juggling the smash success of two star-driven Broadway revivals — Hedwig And The Angry Inch and Of Mice And Men — added another arrow to his quiver of successful producing tips this morning by announcing a deal has been struck making the Steinbeck drama, starring James Franco, Chris O’Dowd, Leighton Meester and Jim Norton, the first Broadway show to be filmed for telecast under the wing of the UK’s National Theatre Live.

The deal was made in a flurry of activity over the last several days, Wayne Wolfe, a spokesman for the show, told Deadline, including securing the OKs of Broadway’s particularly protective unions. Read More »

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Rooney Mara Signs On For Jim Sheridan’s ‘Secret Scripture’

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 9:03am PDT

Rooney Mara Signs On For Jim Sheridan’s ‘Secret Scripture’EXCLUSIVE: After wrapping Joe Wright’s Pan picture in London, Rooney Mara will head for the Jim Sheridan-helmed The Secret Scripture. The drama, about a 100-year-old woman named Roseanne who recounts her life in mental institutions in a secret memoir, is gearing up for a September shoot in Ireland. Jessica Chastain was previously attached to star alongside Vanessa Redgrave, but now Mara will play the younger Roseanne, who survives a traumatic childhood only to see her life utterly changed by a vindictive Catholic priest. Pic reunites Sheridan with his My Left Foot producer Noel Pearson and is adapted by Johnny Ferguson from Sebastian Barry’s 2008 novel of the same name. Rooney is also currently developing A House In The Sky with Annapurna Pictures, which she’ll star in and produce. She’s repped by WME and Management 360.

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