In 2011, Mark Tughan, whose Comic Enterprises owns four Glee Clubs in the UK, filed a lawsuit against Fox over musical dramedy Glee, claiming the name of the show infringed on his trademark, creating a confusion that his venues are somehow associated with the series. On Friday, Britain’s High Court ruled that the show must change its name. The Associated Press reports a judge told 20th Century Fox that it had to re-name the series in Britain, though the order has been stayed until an appeal has been heard. Comic Enterprises is also seeking damages, with a final amount to be determined later, the AP said. In the interim, the judge ordered Fox to pay £100,000 ($171,000). A Fox spokesperson told Deadline, “We are pleased that the trial judge agreed to let the Appeal Court rule before ordering any relief that would adversely affect fans’ enjoyment of Glee in the UK. We look forward to the next stage of this case and remain confident in the merits of our argument.” Season 6 of Glee will be its last, so the title issue could be moot for the show’s primary run given the length of the appeal process, though it would affect Glee’s syndicated run in the country.
Thelma Schoonmaker, Martin Scorsese’s venerated and longtime editor, will receive a Golden Lion Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Venice Film Festival, as will … Read More »
After a long-standing history with NBC, Friends EP and Joey and Perfect Couples co-creator Scott Silveri has signed an exclusive three-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV. Silveri’s most recent show, the Matthew Perry sitcom Go On, was cancelled last year and marked his latest show for NBC. Under his new Fox deal, the Primetime Emmy-winner will develop, write, and supervise comedy projects. Word has it Silveri was hotly pursued my multiple suitors before inking with Fox. “We are huge fans of Scott’s, going all the way back to the work he did on Friends, said 20th TV Chairman/CEO Dana Walden. “I loved the pilot for Go On – it was incredibly bold, distinctive and, of course, really funny. Scott is very talented and incredibly entertaining. If the meetings trying to get him to move to TCFTV are any indication, we are going to have a fantastic time working with him.” Silveri is repped by WME and attorney Don Walerstein at Rohner Walerstein.
Anna Fricke has closed a new two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television. Under the pact, she is joining the studio’s straight-to-series adventure drama Hieroglyph and will also develop new projects. “Anna’s a spectacular writer and showrunner who can literally do it all – from big genre shows like Being Human to more intimate character pieces like Men In Trees—and we are thrilled to be in business with her exclusively,” said 20th TV chairman Gary Newman. Fricke, repped by UTA and Patti Felker, is coming off Syfy’s Being Human. She developed the adaptation of the British series with her husband, Jeremy Carver, and ran the Syfy drama for the past five years. Her previous credits include ABC’s Men In Trees and the WB’s Everwood.
UPDATED: Modern Family co-creator Steve Levitan is staying with his TV family, signing a new four-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV, the studio behind the Emmy-winning ABC comedy series where he has been for over a decade. Under the rich pact, Levitan will continue as executive producer/co-showrunner on Modern Family, which he has been co-running alongside fellow co-creator Christopher Lloyd. (Lloyd has no deal for the series beyond this season and is not pursuing an overall or new show deal at the moment.) Additionally, “I will be keeping an eye open for interesting projects to shepherd and will be looking for well-written pilots to direct,” said Levitan, who won a directing Emmy for Modern Family in 2012. Levitan also is contemplating writing a new show, either by himself or with a partner, during the hiatus from Modern Family. “I have a couple that I’ll pursue as soon as I have enough time off to feel bored — if that ever happens.” All that would be welcomed by 20th brass, led by co-chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman. “Steve’s been at this studio almost as long as I have, and he’s still as passionate about the process of making TV as the day I met him,” Walden said. “Of course, he’ll continue to work with Chris on Modern Family, but we intend to take advantage of his talents every way we can, whether it’s directing pilots or supervising writers or creating another hit series of his own.”
Levitan said he didn’t look elsewhere before re-signing with 2oth TV, where he knows virtually everyone. “They’ve been very kind to me,” Levitan said. “Gary & Dana are the Jay Z & Beyonce of television executives. They are good friends and I feel like I have a home here.” But probably the biggest draw for Levitan, who previously created NBC comedy Just Shoot Me, was the opportunity to stay with Modern Family. “A wise friend once told me, ‘Hollywood is 10,000 people running to the spot where lightning just struck,’ he said. “I was lucky enough to be there when it did — I see no reason to run away from it.” Past experience and regrets also factored into his decision. “I left Just Shoot Me too early and I really didn’t want to make that mistake twice,” he said. “It’s important to me that Modern Family maintains its quality and that it finishes strong, and I want to be part of that.” Read More »
20th Century Fox Television has promoted Jennifer Carreras to VP Comedy Development and Mandy Summers to VP Current Programming. Additionally, former Glamour editor Jen Weinberg has joined the studio as VP Talent Relations and Events. Carreras reports to EVP Development Michael Thorn, Summers to EVP Current Programming Jeffrey Glaser, and Weinberg to SVP Corporate Communications and Publicity Chris Alexander.
Carreras, who joined 20th TV in July 2007 as assistant to Chairman and CEO Dana Walden, most recently had been Director of Comedy Development, shepherding the development of this season’s high-concept new series Enlisted for Fox broadcast network. She oversees a roster of producers, writers and directors for the studio including Mike Royce and The Walcott Co. (Jake Johnson and Max Winkler). She has been working on a broad slate of development this season, including projects from Neil Goldman and Garret Donovan with Kevin Hart, Phil Rosenthal, Joe Port and Joe Wiseman with Mike White, Matt Silverstein and Dave Jeser, Wendy and Lizzie Molyneux with Jenny Bicks and Jay Baruchel.
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Fox‘s Batman-themed drama Gotham has cast its lead, Detective James Gordon. Southland alum Ben McKenzie has been tapped for the role in the project, which has a series commitment. Based on DC characters from the Batman universe, Gotham explores the origin stories of Commissioner James Gordon (McKenzie) and the villains that made Gotham City famous. It includes younger versions of Bruce Wayne and Alfred as well villains the Riddler, Catwoman, the Joker and the Penguin. In Gotham, Gordon is an idealistic rookie detective for Gotham City Open Police Department’s Homicide Squad, a former college football star and a war hero. Gotham is written/exec produced by The Mentalist creator Bruno Heller, with Danny Cannon directing/exec producing for Warner Bros. TV.
Related: Fox’s ‘Gotham’ Series Will Feature Classic Batman Characters
Fox Nabs Gotham City Origin Drama About Commissioner Gordon
The Gotham casting sets another highlight in McKenzie’s relationship with Warner Bros. TV where he has spent his entire TV career to date. It stems from a talent deal he signed with the studio in October. McKenzie was a fresh-faced 24-year-old with virtually no credits when WBTV cast him a decade ago as the lead of its Fox teen drama The O.C. He went on to topline the studio’s cop drama Southland and starred in WBTV’s CBS drama pilot The Advocates last … Read More »
ABC is adding a comedy to the three drama pickups tonight. The network has given a cast-contingent pilot order to a multicamera comedy from hot actor-comedian Kevin Hart and former Community executive producers Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan. This marks the first multi-camera pilot this year at ABC, which has only one multi-camera series on the air, Last Man Standing, and didn’t pick up any multicam pilots to series last season. The untitled Kevin Hart project, which had a put pilot commitment, is based on Hart’s life and stand-up. Written by Goldman and Donovan, it takes a candid look at the post-divorce life of a couple trying to forge a friendship for the sake of their kids, despite differences. 20th Century Fox TV is producing, with Hart, his manager Dave Becky, Goldman and Donovan executive producing. If the project goes forward, Hart likely will play a recurring role. Hart is one of the hottest comedy talents at the moment. Following the breakout success of his 2013 movie Think Like A Man, his latest feature comedy, Ride Along, broke box-office records with a huge Martin Luther King weekend opening.
Mark Ambrose has been promoted to VP Drama Development and Shari Rosenblum to VP Publicity, effective immediately, 20th Century Fox Television announced today. Ambrose reports to SVP Drama Development Michael Thorn and Rosenblum reports to SVP Corporate Communications and Publicity Chris Alexander. In his most recent role as Director Drama Development, Ambrose shepherded the development of this season’s new series Crisis for NBC and Gang Related for FBC. He oversees a roster of producers, writers and directors for the studio, including Chernin Entertainment and Chris Morgan Productions. He also is working on a broad slate of development this season, including projects from Alex Cary, Tommy Moran, Josh Safran, Todd Harthan, Jennifer Johnson, and Len Wiseman. Rosenblum has spearheaded studio publicity on behalf of dozens of drama, comedy and animated series, including Emmy award-winning shows Homeland and Modern Family, both iterations of Arrested Development and she helped launch New Girl, The Unit, Lie To Me, Terra Nova and Dollhouse.
The animated series is “the greatest television asset of all time, and certainly of the generation,” 20th Century Fox Television chairman Gary Newman told investors today at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference. He adds that “there will be one of the media companies that will want to identify with this in a big way.” Fox is telling cable networks that the 25-year-old The Simpsons has “only been on broadcast stations; it hasn’t been on Netflix or on cable yet. It hasn’t been as exploited as one might think.” And with more than 530 episodes in the can, ”a cable channel could play the series for 52 weeks and not have to repeat.” The studio also is telling potential buyers that they can be creative: For example there are enough “Treehouse Of Horror” episodes to run all through October, and sufficient episodes featuring Marge to surround Mother’s Day all through May. With new episodes continuing to appear on Fox’s broadcast network, the franchise is “stronger than ever,” Newman says. He notes that Electronic Arts’ The Simpsons: Tapped Out is “the No. 1 game in the mobile space. We’re going to be releasing another one.” Universal Studios also is doing well with its Simpsons Land … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Add Manny Coto to the names of 24 team members who have been signed on to Fox’s real-time action drama’s event-series reboot. Coto has closed a new two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television and will join Evan Katz as an exec prod/ showrunner on 24: Live Another Day, from 20th Century Fox TV and Imagine Television. Coto, who was an EP on 24 during its Fox run, is currently an exec prod/writer for Showtime’s Dexter. “Manny is an incredible talent who wrote some of 24’s greatest episodes, and we’ve been eager to develop with him ever since,” 20th Century Fox TV chairman Dana Walden said of WME-repped Coto.