EXCLUSIVE: Agnes Bruckner, who plays Anna Nicole Smith in Lifetime’s upcoming biopic of the former Playboy model, has been cast in another A+E Networks project. Bruckner is set to co-star opposite Josh Lucas and Lynn Collins in A&E‘s drama pilot Occult, produced by Transformers helmer Michael Bay and written by veteran genre writer and The X-Files alum James Wong. Occult, which draws parallels to X-Files and Fringe, centers on Dolan (Lucas), an FBI agent who returns from administrative leave after going off the deep end while investigating his wife’s disappearance.
EXCLUSIVE: A&E has given a six-episode order to an untitled docu-reality series executive produced by Mark Wahlberg, which is set in his native Boston. This marks the first unscripted series for Wahlberg, who is executive producing through his Closest to the Hole Prods along with frequent collaborator Stephen Levinson of Leverage, Bill Thompson of Bill Thompson Prods. and veteran reality producer Stephanie Drachkovitch of 44 Blue Prods as well as Jennifer Colbert who serves as showrunner.
The initial impetus for the project, which was first ordered as a pilot by A&E in November, came from the tough, hard-as-nails female characters in Wahlberg‘s Oscar-nominated feature The Fighter. Wahlberg and Thompson were inspired by the women’s spirit and set out to find a group of those types of Boston girls going through challenging times and tell their story.
Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Bates Motel’ In UK; ‘Not Another Happy Ending’ To Close Edinburgh; BBC Worldwide & Foxtel
In a significant first-run deal, Universal Channel has acquired A&E Network‘s Bates Motel for the UK. Handled overseas by NBCUniversal International Television Distribution, the series is a contemporary prequel to the Alfred Hitchcock feature Psycho and stars Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot, Olivia Cooke, Nicola Peltz and Nestor Carbonel. It debuted in the U.S. on March 18 and was renewed for a second run last week. Universal Channel acquired both seasons. Bates Motel is produced by Universal Television for A&E. Carlton Cruse, and Kerry Ehrin are exec producers.
UPDATED: Lifetime‘s soapy mystery dramedy Devious Maids, executive produced by Desperate Housewives‘ Marc Cherry and Eva Longoria, will premiere on Sunday, June 23, at 10 PM. The project, originally developed and piloted by ABC last season, stars Ana Ortiz, Dania Ramirez, Roselyn Sanchez, Edy Ganem and Judy Reyes as five maids with ambition and dreams who work for the rich and famous in Beverly Hills, where murder and mayhem collide in the mansions of some of the wealthiest and most powerful families.
Just a few weeks after its March 18 debut, Bates Motel was been picked up for a second season, A&E announced today. Production on Season 2 is set to start later this year on the Psycho prequel of a sorts, with 10 new episodes to air in 2014. Read the release from A&E here:
NEW YORK – April 8, 2013 – A&E Network has picked up a second season of the acclaimed drama series, “Bates Motel” starring Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore from executive producers Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin, it was announced today by Bob DeBitetto, President and General Manager of A&E Network and BIO Channel. The premiere of “Bates Motel” garnered 4.5 million total viewers and 2.5 million adults 25-54 and 18-49, based on Live+7 viewership, making it the most-watched original drama debut in the key demos in the network’s history.
A&E announced today that Storage Wars and American Hoggers will be back next month for new seasons. Storage Wars, the abandoned locker bidding series, returns for a fourth season with back-to-back episodes April 16 at 9 PM and 9:30 PM. A big hit for A&E, Storage Wars was the network’s top show last year among adults 18-49 and the third-most-popular non-fiction show on cable adults 25-54. Its Season 3 averaged 4.2 million total viewers. American Hoggers is also back April 16 with dual episodes. Returning for a third season of hog hunter Jerry Campbell and his Texas family, the series will air back-to-back new shows at 10 PM and 10:30 PM.
Every studio with something to push books pricey space a year or more in advance at Comic-Con, which last year packed 130,000 fans into a downtown San Diego papered with promotional branding. But this year’s SXSW saw a sign of things to come as film and television brands took that strategy to Austin, targeting the festival’s estimated 64,000 registered attendees. Universal, Warner Bros Television, A&E Network, Showtime, and Syfy jumped ahead of the pack with marketing blitzes sure to multiply by next year as other entertainment brands set their sights on the plugged-in, social media-active demographic of influencers that pour into the annual multimedia festival. This year’s edition wraps this weekend.
Growth here has accelerated rapidly in the past three years in terms of attendance and prestige, thanks to distribution deals and buzz-building debuts in the film festival portion and the hot tech conference on the Interactive side. But thanks to its unique overlap of Film and Interactive components, SXSW this year attracted the attention of studio marketers with no films in the program. All of the major companies I spoke with made their first-ever trips to SXSW in 2013 and reps tell me they’d return next year if they had the right property to promote.
After a lengthy casting process, Josh Lucas and Lynn Collins have been set as the leads of A&E‘s drama pilot Occult, produced by Transformers helmer Michael Bay and written by veteran genre writer, The X-Files alum James Wong. With Lucas and Collins on board, the project, originally picked up in September as cast-contingent, is going into production. Occult, which draws parallels to X-Files and Fringe, centers on Dolan (Lucas), an FBI agent who returns from administrative leave after going off the deep end while investigating his wife’s disappearance. Eager to be back on the job, he is paired with Noa Blair (Collins), an agent with her own complicated backstory who specializes in the occult. Together, they will solve cases for the newly formed occult crimes task force. Wong executive produces with Bay and his partners at Platinum Dunes Andrew Form and Brad Fuller. The pilot was laid off at ABC Studios, marking the studio’s first collaboration with A&E.
‘Duck Dynasty’ Season 3 Premiere Sets A&E Ratings Records With 8.6M Viewers, Edges ‘Modern Family’ & ‘Idol’ For Top Demo Spot
UPDATE: A&E‘s Duck Dynasty is becoming a Jersey Shore-size ratings monster. The reality series’ Season 3 premiere not only set all-time records for A&E, it also edged broadcast juggernauts Modern Family and American Idol to rank as the No.1 telecast on all of television last night among adults 18-49. In a photo finish, Duck Dynasty‘s 10 PM telecast posted 4.995 million adults 18-49 in Live+same day, followed by Modern Family (4.987 million) and American Idol (4.945 million). A&E was the No.1 TV network in the 10 hour last night among 18-49 and 25-54, also beating its broadcast competition.
PREVIOUS NOON: The back-to-back Season 3 premiere episodes of A&E Network‘s hit reality series Duck Dynasty were the most-watched telecast of all-time at the network in total viewers and all key demos. Last night’s 10 PM episode drew 8.6 million total viewers, 5 million adults 18-49 and 5 million adults 25-54. For the hour, the episodes averaged 8.6 million total viewers, 5 million adults 18-49 and 4.9 million adults 25-54. Overall, the premiere was up by 132% in total viewers, 127% in 18-49 and 117% in 25-54 compared with the Season 2 bow.
EXCLUSIVE: Mark Wahlberg‘s Oscar-nominated feature The Fighter is the inspiration for a docu reality series. Wahlberg executive produces the half-hour project, which has received a pilot order from A&E. Inspired by the scene-stealing, big-haired, loud-talking, punch-throwing sisters of Wahlberg’s Micky Ward and Christian Bale’s Dicky Eklund in Fighter, the untitled Mark Wahlberg Boston Women Project showcases the real women of Boston, featuring the day-to-day life of four of these tough, hard-as-nails women who juggle family, work, and relationships all while remaining true to their way of life. Wahlberg is executive producing through his Closest to the Hole Prods, along with frequent collaborator Stephen Levinson of Leverage, Bill Thompson of Bill Thompson Prods Inc and veteran reality producer Stephanie Drachkovitch of 44 Blue Prods. Filming is slated to begin in a few weeks.