Taking questions from TV critics about his performance for PBS in Douglas Carter Beane’s Tony-nominated play The Nance, Nathan Lane got asked if he thinks gay characters should be played only by gay actors. In The Nance, Lane plays Chauncey Miles, a nance performer working during the period when New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia was trying to do away with burlesque.
“No,” he replied. “We just had The Normal Heart [with] Mark Ruffalo — fantastic job. … I certainly don’t think that. That way madness lies. Only gay actors can play gay parts and straight actors can play straight — then I wouldn’t have played Nathan Detroit — one of the great joys of my life – or Max Bialystock.”
Another critic at TCA today wondered what getting another Emmy nomination, for guest starring, on ABC’s Modern Family, “has meant for your career.” Lane laughed, then responded: “It’s a tribute to those writers. … They’ve been able to maintain the quality, which is not easy. I can only say it’s been a great pleasure. … I have just to go and play with them a couple times a year. And stuff like an Emmy nomination is always icing on the cake.
“I’m hoping I’m a sentimental choice, since I’ve been nominated six times and never won,” Lane continued, He noted that he’s in the running with Jimmy Fallon and Louie C.K. for guest hosting Saturday Night … Read More »
Networks and the major studios’ TV production arms are ripping pages out of the Oscar strategy book (even tapping boutique Oscar advisers) to mastermind A-list soirees and guerrilla campaigns to move the buzz meter beyond DVD screeners and TV Academy Q&As. This year, Fox and NBC Universal are rolling a Brooklyn Nine-Nine food truck all over LA, handing out coffee and donuts. Last year, Netflix blitzkrieged the town with several For Your Consideration stunts, including putting lawn signs for House of Cards and Arrested Development in upscale Emmy-voter neighborhoods.
Related: ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Campaigns Hits L.A. Streets With Food Truck
The result? Fourteen nominations. While Netflix is mum on its tricks for this year, other networks are shooting for the stars. Fox invited TV Academy voters to the studio lot for a Modern Family wedding-themed cocktail reception (above) in the spirit of Mitch and Cam’s nuptials. Brooklyn Nine-Nine threw a “Steak-Out” on the Universal lot. FX is getting voters in a New Orleans state of mind with a Creole-themed barbecue to celebrate American Horror Story. And A&E followed its screening of Bonnie & Clyde with a Prohibition-themed party.
Even if an Emmy campaign turns into a bust for a network, it still can be about the prestige. “At USA we would ask each year if we had the money for an … Read More »
The U.S. and the rest of the world are in complete agreement this time, with NCIS, the most watched drama series in America, named the most watched drama series in the world for the past year at the 54th Monte-Carlo TV Festival. This is the first time as worldwide No.1 for the veteran drama. It extends CBS procedurals’ staggering dominance in the category, winning eight of the nine years the award has been around with CSI (five times), CSI: Miami (two times) and The Mentalist, with Fox’s medical drama House as the only other US drama to make the cut. Winner on the comedy side was ABC’s Modern Family, succeeding last year’s most popular half-hour, CBS’ The Big Bang Theory. Modern Family‘s Julie Bowen was named best comedy actress. Showtime/BBC’s Episodes won best European comedy series, while Norway’s Lilyhammer, which became Netflix’s first original series, won best international comedy series and best comedy actor, Steven Van Zandt. Israel’s Hostages, which was remade by CBS this past season, won best drama series and best drama actress (Ayelet Zurer). Another drama with an U.S. remake, Sweden’s The Bridge, got best European drama and best drama actor (Kim Bodnia).
History could be made at this year’s Emmys. Should Modern Family win the best comedy series award, it would tie the record set by Frasier in the ’90s. Frasier is the only TV show—comedy or drama—to win a best series Emmy five times. Will Modern Family share the enviable title? There’s also some history being made with a call to reform the category. The brouhaha broke out when the TV Academy announced it had approved the move of Showtime’s Shameless to the best comedy arena after three years of largely unsuccessful stabs as a drama series contender. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: ABC‘s Emmy-winning comedy series Modern Family will continue with both of its dads in place. After difficult negotiations, the show’s co-creator/executive producer/co-showrunner Christopher Lloyd, who had been without a contract since the end of last season, closed a complex new overall deal late last night with Modern Family producer 20th Century Fox TV. The series’ writers had been working on the upcoming sixth season since last Tuesday without Lloyd, who stayed home while his deal was being negotiated. He is returning to work today, joining fellow co-creator/exec producer/co-showrunner Steve Levitan. “Chris is an incredibly gifted writer who — along with Steve — has created not just a hit series but one that is already considered a classic,” 20th CEO and Chairman Gary Newman told Deadline. “It’s a testament to their dedication and commitment that six seasons in, both he and Steve are still running the series and the quality of the episodes remains at an all-time high. On a personal note, my relationship with Chris goes back a long time, and I have great respect and admiration for him. I couldn’t be happier that he is staying ‘in the family’ — both literally and figuratively.”
Related: ABC Renews ‘Modern Family’
Lloyd is also very well liked by the writers, cast and crew of Modern … Read More »
Writers convened yesterday to begin work on the sixth season of ABC‘s Emmy-winning comedy series Modern Family. Leading the charge was co-creator/executive producer Steve Levitan, while fellow co-creator/executive producer Christopher Lloyd was a no-show. The reason — while Levitan in March closed a rich new overall deal with Modern Family producer 20th Century Fox TV, Lloyd has no deal for the show after his most recent pact expired at the end of Season 5. Talks between Lloyd’s reps and 20th TV for a new deal did not start until after Lloyd returned from a break following the late-March wrap of Season 5. He originally had been approached by the studio at the same time as Levitan but deferred deal conversations until after he was done with the season. I hear he considered a straight show deal for Modern Family without a development component but talks eventually focused on extending his overall deal with the studio. However, when the two sides finally met face-to-face before the upfronts, they were very far apart. About a month later, there has been some progress but not significant enough, leading to Lloyd’s absence from the show. He also was out today, with conversations between his camp and 20th TV ongoing and insiders cautiously optimistic. Interestingly, Lloyd showed up at the Modern Family Emmy event last week, held by 20th TV (see photo).
Related: ABC Renews ‘Modern Family’
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UPDATE: Trophy Wife co-star Marcia Gay Harden confirmed the series’ cancellation on Twitter; Mixology‘s Frankie Shaw too confirmed the cancellation on Twitter. The Neighbors also is not coming back.
PREVIOUS: ABC saved one of the most obvious renewals for last (for today), with flagship comedy series Modern Family picked up for a sixth season. It comes from 20th Century Fox TV, which is yet to get new series pickups from the network, where it has comedies Cristela and Fresh Off The Boat in contention.
Related: 2014 ABC Pilots
Meanwhile, the buzz tonight is what comedy series did not get picked up. (ABC is not done and will continue the process tomorrow.) One is a head-scratcher, Warner Bros TV’s The Middle, which launched with Modern Family. It is coming back. Also not on the list tonight but expected to return is 20th TV’s Last Man Standing. But the future does not look rosy for the other MIAs: ABC Studios’ The Neighbors, Mixology and Trophy Wife and WBTV’s Suburgatory and Super Fun Night.
Related: ABC Renews ‘The Goldbergs’ For Season 2
ABC is not confirming any cancellations, but I hear none of the ABC Studios series are expected to come back. Suburgatory‘s chances also appear slim, especially after ABC … Read More »
They packed a lot of action into last night’s 2-hour live American Idol (1.8/6) on Fox with visits from New Girl‘s Zooey Deschanel, Jason Mraz’s debut as a mentor and the final Top 5 belting out tunes picked by viewers (including according to judge Keith Urban an “awesome” rendition of Whitesnake’s Still Of The Night). However, after seeing upward traction last week, last night’s singing competition fell 14% from its April 23 episode. As preliminary ratings stand right now, Idol hit an all-time Wednesday low last night, though that could change in adjustments later today.
The other long-running reality show of the night might not have seemed as busy as Idol, but Survivor (2.2/7) did have an immunity idol, an auction and of course someone went home from the Tribal Council. That said, the show dipped 4% from last week. In preliminary numbers that’s a season low for Survivor but the show commonly adjusts upward a tenth in the final numbers so don’t be surprised if there’s a change there too. Read More »
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 »
EXCLUSIVE: CAA has signed Eric Stonestreet, who after winning two Emmy Awards playing Cam Tucker in ABC’s Modern Family, is looking to branch into features. Stonestreet, who had been at ICM Partners, has already started that process. He has a memorable supporting role in the Melissa McCarthy-Jason Bateman comedy Identity Thief, and did Bad Teacher with Cameron Diaz, Jason Segal and Justin Timberlake. Next up for him is Loft, a thriller that will be released this summer. He continues to be managed by Thruline Entertainment’s Steve Kavovit and his attorney is Patti Felker.
EXCLUSIVE: Modern Family executive producer Dan O’Shannon will be leaving the Emmy-winning comedy series at the end of this season for a three-year overall deal at CBS TV Studios. Under the pact, he will develop new comedy projects for network and cable. This marks a return to CBS TV Studios for O’Shannon, who was under an overall deal at predecessor Paramount TV more than a decade ago. Back then, he served as executive producer/showunner of the studio’s flagship comedy Frasier having previously spent four seasons as a writer and, later, exec producer on mothership series Cheers. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Modern Family executive producer Bill Wrubel will be leaving the Emmy-winning comedy series at the end of this season for a three-year overall deal at Warner Bros. Television. Under the pact, he will develop new television projects for network and cable. Wrubel has been on ABC/20th TV’s Modern Family since after the pilot, joining as a co-executive producer and serving as an executive producer for the past three seasons. Wrubel is one of several Modern Family executive producers whose deals are coming up this season. Danny Zuker and Paul Corrigan & Brad Walsh recently re-signed with 20th TV. Wrubel, repped by CAA and attorney Ken Richman, shared in Modern Family‘s four consecutive best comedy series Emmy wins. He previously worked on other well received series, ABC’s Ugly Betty and Sports Night and NBC’s Will & Grace.
In addition to Modern Family executive producers Paul Corrigan and Brad Walsh, whose overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV, the studio behind the ABC comedy series, was just extended, 20th TV has locked in another key Modern Family member with a new overall deal. Executive producer Danny Zuker has inked a three-year pact that will keep him on the Emmy-winning comedy series where he has been since the first season and allow him to develop new projects for network and cable. “Danny is someone every showrunner and network wants to work with; He’s wickedly funny and his scripts are always as relatable as they are hilarious,” 20th TV chairman Gary Newman said. ” It goes without saying that Modern Family is one of this studio’s most important series, so keeping Danny on this brilliant show as well as allowing him to develop is a tremendous opportunity for us.” Zuker is repped by CAA and attorney Jeanne Newman.
In this week’s podcast, Deadline Awards Columnist Pete Hammond gives host David Bloom his take on the unprecedented tie in this weekend’s Producers Guild Awards for their version of the Best Picture nod, spotlights the actors positioning themselves as Oscar favorites after the SAG Awards, and talks about why Julia Roberts said this year’s Critics’ Choice Movie Awards were like a Fellini film. ete and David also talk TV, as the weekend’s awards shows also made time for the best television programs of the year, doling out the guild love to Breaking Bad and Modern Family. Finally, Pete previews this week’s notable film debuts, led by the subtle faith-based drama Gimme Shelter, featuring a career-shifting performance by Vanessa Hudgens as part of a terrific cast; and Cannes Film Festival award winner Like Father, Like Son, a Japanese import so nifty that Steven Spielberg bought the remake rights, even though Pete says the Japanese Oscar selection committee had “a big miss” not choosing it for the Foreign-Language Film race.
Listen to the podcast in your preferred format here:
Deadline Awards Watch podcast 60 (.MP3 version)
Deadline Awards Watch episode 60 (.M4A version)
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Modern Family executive producers Paul Corrigan and Brad Walsh have closed a two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television, the studio behind the Emmy-winning comedy series. Under the pact, the duo will continue on Modern Family, where they have been since the inception and will develop new projects for the studio. They recently shepherded the proposed Modern Family spinoff starring Rob Riggle. “Paul and Brad are smart, funny guys and Chris and Steve love them as much as we do,” 20th chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman said. “Five seasons in, Modern Family is about as perfect a comedy series as there is, and this deal with Paul and Brad keeps them on this winning team as well as allows them to develop their own projects down the road.” Corrigan and Walsh were recently nominated for a WGA Award for the episode “Career Day” featuring Riggle and shared in the show’s WGA and PGA nominations this year. Additionally, they shared in Modern Family‘s 2013 Primetime Emmy win for Outstanding Comedy Series, winning four consecutive Emmys in this category. The duo, who previously worked on Fox/20th TV’s animated series King Of The Hill, are repped by UTA and attorney Jared Levine.
UPDATED WITH WINNERS AND BACKSTAGE REACTIONS: The Producers Guild Awards at the Beverly Hilton ended with a stunner: The first tie for the top film prize in the PGAs’ 25-year history. Gravity and 12 Years A Slave shared the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures. The award for Gravity catapults the Warner Bros picture squarely into the Best Picture Oscar race, whereas up until now, it seems that 12 Years A Slave and American Hustle were the front-runners. Deadline’s Pete Hammond will post an analysis of the awards later tonight.
On the TV side, AMC’s now-wrapped Breaking Bad won The Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama, and ABC’s Modern Family took the Danny Thomas Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Comedy, for a fourth consecutive year. The wins mirror last night’s SAG Awards and the Emmys. Breaking Bad also won the Golden Globe last week, but rookie Brooklyn Nine-Nine took the comedy prize.
If it weren’t for Jeff Robinov, former president of Warner Bros Motion Picture Group, Gravity would not have gotten made. The picture that stars Oscar nominee Sandra Bullock and George Clooney got shoved aside by Universal after Angelina Jolie dropped out. Enter Robinov, who took the project under his wing and was its behind-the-scenes champion. Read More »