EXCLUSIVE: Emboldened by the critical reaction that the Simon Curtis-directed My Week With Marilyn received in its New York Film Festival debut, The Weinstein Company has moved the film from November 4 to November 23, placing it smack into the Thanksgiving holiday fray. The film received strong reviews, particularly for Michelle Williams’ portrayal of Marilyn Monroe, Kenneth Branagh’s turn as Sir Laurence Olivier, Dougray Scott as Arthur Miller, and Eddie Redmayne’s performance as the production assistant who gets Monroe to drop her suffocating star persona as he shows her a good time in Britain. TWC’s hope is that the film will be commercial enough to play through the year’s end and build momentum into Golden Globes and beyond. Just as Fox Searchlight is expected to have two contributions to the Best Actor category with Shame‘s Michael Fassbender and The Descendants’ George Clooney, Harvey Weinstein seems poised to have dual aspirants for Best Actress with Williams and Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, a film we’ve yet to see.
EXCLUSIVE: Lifetime’s new president and general manager Nancy Dubuc is putting her stamp on the female-centered cable network with her first scripted series orders. Lifetime has picked up to series two female-driven cop dramas, Against the Wall and Exit 19, for a launch later this year.
The orders, both for 13 episodes, can’t come soon enough for Lifetime, which desperately needs more original scripted programming. It is down to two scripted series – veteran Army Wives, which was renewed for a fifth season, and dramedy Drop Dead Diva, which has been picked up for a third season. The last scripted series premieres on the network were in 2009 (Diva and the short-lived comedy Sherri). Because of Lifetime’s acquisition by A&E Networks, Lifetime held off on development from mid-2009, when the deal was announced, until May 1, 2010 when History president and general manager Nancy Dubuc took over as Lifetime’s new president and general manager. She dived into development, reading piles of scripts identified by Lifetime’s development team led by JoAnn Alfano. “Over the last several months, we have been working tirelessly on a new development slate of scripted dramas, nonfiction series and original movies at Lifetime,” Dubuc said stressing that “continuing our legacy of great scripted dramas is critical” to the network’s success. She cited the newly picked-up Against the Wall and Exit 19 as examples of the “high-quality auspices …
EXCLUSIVE: Treat Williams has been tapped to star opposite Rachael Carpani in Lifetime’s drama pilot Against the Wall. Written by Annie Brunner and to be directed by Dean Parisot, Against the Wall is a family drama set in Chicago following policewoman Abby Kowalski (Carpani), who causes a rift with her three cop brothers when she decides to join the department’s Internal Affairs division. Williams will play Abby’s dad, an old-school career Chicago cop who is rough around the edges but has a real soft spot for his only daughter until she tells him of her new gig, news that makes him feel hurt and angry. Universal Cable Prods. is producing. Williams, whose series credits include the WB’s Everwood, TNT’s Heartland and ABC’s Brothers & Sisters, on which he had a recurring role, is seen in 2 movies this fall: Howl and Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours. He is with APA and the Schiff Co.
EXCLUSIVE: ER alumna Sherry Stringfield is set as the lead in Lifetime’s untitled drama pilot from Drop Dead Diva creator/executive producer Josh Berman. The project, from Sony Pictures TV, is a closed-ended drama set in San Diego, which centers on police detective Molly Collins (Stringfield), married mother of two on the verge of divorce, who, along with her partner Brooke Kross, investigate the city’s most high-profile crimes while navigating their divergent personal lives. This is one of 3 pilots Lifetime greenlighted in June, along with Against the Wall and Exit 19. The pilot reunites Stringfield with Lifetime where she co-starred opposite Eric McCormack in the original film Who Is Clark Rockefeller?” earlier this year. She is repped by APA and John Carrabino.
Lifetime today picked up the first scripted pilot pickups since the regime change at the female-centered cable network. History’s Nancy Dubuc took the reins of Lifetime as president and has been reading piles of pilot scripts with an eye at jump starting Lifetime’s scripted development by ordering at least 5 and as many as 8 pilots, mostly in the closed-ended procedural genre.
The network today greenlighted 3:
– AGAINST THE WALL: written by Annie Brunner, it is a family drama set in Chicago following policewoman Abby Kowalski, who causes a rift with her three cop brothers when she decides to join the department’s Internal Affairs division.
– EXIT 19, from Jeff Bell, follows single mother Gloria Shepherd as she juggles her demanding personal and professional lives raising two children while working as a New York Police Department homicide detective. The pilot is from ABC Studios and CBS TV Studios, executive producer/writer Bell and executive producers Nina Wass and Gene Stein. The project was originally developed at CBS during the 2007-2008 season when it was ordered as a pilot presentation starring Geena Davis.
– UNTITLED JOSH BERMAN PROJECT is a closed-ended drama set in San Diego, where police detective Molly Collins, married mother of two on the verge of divorce, and her partner Brooke Kross, recently engaged, investigate the city’s most high-profile crimes while navigating their divergent personal lives. Berman and Sony are already in business with Lifetime through sophomore hit Drop Dead Diva, which was created by …