Alec Baldwin demonstrated his serious side right from the cold open of his new MSNBC show — offset only by his jauntily moussed hair. Standing in his new Up Late With Alec Baldwinset, which was done up as a ritzy retro waterfront bar lounge, and looking only slightly like the bore who’d just cleared out the place, Baldwin introduced his first guest: Dem NYC mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio.
For the next 45 minutes, the two talked amicably about NYC issues — a conversation that seemed sure to have had viewers outside the five boroughs diving for their remotes. Baldwin at one point tried to pin the candidate down on the issue of legalizing marijuana, but de Blasio would commit only to some painfully limited endorsement for decriminalizing the display of tiny amounts of pot. Later, Baldwin complimented de Blasio on his support of afterschool programs, which Baldwin said give kids, “some place to go, outside of television — oops, I shouldn’t have said that.”
Talking to de Blasio about how the candidate met and courted his wife, the politician said it was love at first sight for him. Baldwin began to muse about his own life experience, saying it was “almost like God would tell me” this is not the one he’s going to end up with, but she’s going to be like this one, so he should study her.
Alec Baldwin has endured no small number of “very frustrating and unsatisfactory” interviews, so he’s eager to get it right when his MSNBC show launches Friday. “I want to do a show that was more like how I would like to be treated if I were the guest on a show,” he told Politico in an interview. Griping about those half-hearted sit-downs, he said: “It was a very tedious format, and the entertainment press is just the worst of all. Ninety percent of them are just going through the motions.” The 30 Rock alum vows that won’t be the case when he asks the questions on Up Late With Alec Baldwin, his new weekly current events and culture talk show. Baldwin’s going up against HBO’s Bill Maher at 10 p.m. ET Fridays but says he doesn’t really see him — or many other nighttime hosts – as a competitor. “I don’t think it’ll ever be a show you’d see on Comedy Central. We’re not going to go for those laughs,” he told Politico. “[Jon] Stewart. Bill Maher. [Stephen] Colbert. … They dominate that world, and I have no desire to compete with that at all.” Baldwin said his initial idea was to do a network show in the vein of his podcast Here’s The Thing. He said … Read More »
Broadcasting the Primetime Emmy Awards may seem a thankless task for the broadcast networks that take turns airing the ceremony. The license fee is pretty stiff, considering it’s a three-hour infomercial for the basic and premium cable networks (and now, Netflix) that have siphoned off a good chunk of their audience. Cable networks long ago took over the Emmy longform derbies, then they took over the best-drama derby, and now they’re moving in on comedy. CBS can expect to make a few million on the show, after factoring in the cost of production, etc. And, yes, it’s still a good platform for launching its new TV season, which officially starts the next night — not to mention the in-show plugs, like this year’s host Neil Patrick Harris, who’s the star of CBS’s How I Met Your Mother. And Allison Janney and Anna Faris are among this year’s lineup of notable female TV duos who are presenting — only because they star in the new CBS comedy series Mom. The other duos are far more newsworthy: Kerry Washington and Diahann Carroll are, respectively, the first African-American in nearly two decades to be nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series and the actress who broke color barriers when she starred in the 1968 series Julia; Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are the reigning TV-comedy co-queens; Zooey and Emily Deschanel are the Barrymores of Fox.
Still, the Emmy Awards ranks high on the Aggravation-o-Meter at times for the broadcast host. For instance, when the Academy decides to have Netflix’s House Of Cards star Kate Mara read off the names of nominees in July. As luck would have it, Mara’s plane had a mechanical malfunction, so she had to bail, and Harris stepped in — CBS plug! Read More »
Will Arnett, Alec Baldwin, Andre Braugher, Bryan Cranston, Claire Danes, Jimmy Kimmel, Margo Martindale and Sofia Vergara have been added to the presenters list for the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards. They join previously announced Diahann Carroll, Matt Damon, Emily Deschanel, Zooey Deschanel, Michael Douglas, Anna Faris, Tina Fey, Allison Janney, Amy Poehler and Kerry Washington. The show is set to air live from the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Sunday, September 22 at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT on CBS.
UPDATED WITH RATINGS:Alec Baldwin will host a new MSNBC current events and culture talk show, 10 PM Fridays, the cable news net announced. Up Late With Alec Baldwin will launch in October. The news ends months of speculation the actor was getting a new late-ish talker (though, back in April, when word first broke out, the NYT reported he was in talks with NBC broadcast network, and the show was Last Call, which continues to be hosted by Carson Daly. More recently, the speculation migrated to MSNBC). The prospect of a Baldwin-hosted show for the cable news network became a talking point in the Republican National Committee’s state of upset last month about NBC’s plans to air a miniseries about presumed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Specifically, the RNC cried “hooey,” when NBC News’ White House Correspondent Chuck Todd also complained about the miniseries, calling it a “total nightmare” of which the news division would “only own the negative” despite a firewall between it and NBC Entertainment, pointing out former 30 Rock star Baldwin, also a favorite Saturday Night Live host, was about to get his own show on MSNBC. The RNC went on to vote to block NBC from presidential primary debates during the 2016 election cycle because of the miniseries. And now it appears the Hillary Clinton miniseries likely is dead — and Baldwin has his MSNBC show.
Year to date in the Friday 10 p.m. hour — which, maybe not coincidentally, is also Bill Maher’s timeslot on HBO — MSNBC has been running well behind its cable news competitors, averaging 475,000 viewers to CNN’s 607,000 with Anderson Cooper, and Fox News Channel’s 1.41 million with Greta Van Susteren. In the news demo, 25-54, MSNBC has been averaging 171,000 viewers, trailing CNN’s 220,000 and FNC’s 271,000. Read More »
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
Although both lead acting races in comedy feature plenty of familiar faces from last year, lead actor is an especially tough category to gauge. A pair of previous winners (Alec Baldwin for NBC’s 30 Rock and Jim Parsons for CBS’ The Big Bang Theory) will face off against a heavyweight wild card (Louis C.K. for FX’s beloved Louie). In the case of C.K., the love and admiration the comedian receives for being a multihyphenate (writer, director, producer, editor, etc.) is rather unprecedented. But Baldwin and Parsons, who have made their roles iconic over the past several seasons, are unique talents in their own right. Their deserving competition includes Jason Bateman for Netflix’s resurrected Arrested Development, along with a pair of past nominees from Showtime series: Matt LeBlanc (Episodes) and Don Cheadle (House Of Lies). On the lead actress side, the big question is, how do you stop Julia Louis-Dreyfus from repeating? The actress is seen as having only strengthened her performance as Vice President Selina Meyer in the second-year HBO comedy Veep. Her chief competition comes from Laura Dern for the canceled HBO comedy Enlightened and previous winner Tina Fey for NBC’s departed 30 Rock. Plus, there are three repeat nominees looming as dark horses: Lena Dunham for HBO’s Girls, Amy Poehler for NBC’s Parks And Recreation and Edie Falco for Showtime’s Nurse Jackie. Let the speculation begin.
ALEC BALDWIN, 30 ROCK, NBC
Baldwin has been nominated seven straight years for his sublime performance as Jack Donaghy, winning twice (in 2008 and ’09). Sentiment figures to be on his side to win a third for 30 Rock’s final lap. His divisive politics and frequent controversial outbursts (most recently via Twitter in early July) work against him. He’s his own worst enemy. If Baldwin weren’t so good, he’d be easy to hate. Read More »
Alec Baldwin may be following in Charles Grodin’s footsteps, segueing from a career as a actor to a gig as a talk show host on an NBC-affiliated cable network. Baldwin is in talks with MSNBC to host a primetime talk show. “It’s real possibility,” a source close to the situation said, cautioning that there is no deal and things could still fall apart. According to Mediate, which first reported the Baldwin-MSNBC negotiations, the Emmy-winning actor is eyed for the 10 PM hour. Following his seven-year run on NBC’s 30 Rock, the network kept Baldwin in the fold with a two-year overall deal inked late last year. Since then, he was considered for a late-night talk show, with the discussion focusing on Baldwin possibly taking over NBC’s 1:35 AM half-hour occupied by Last Call With Carson Daly. However, nothing came out of that, and Last Call was renewed for another season. Baldwin has been considered a solid talk show host contender. He is used to being on live TV with a record 16 stints as host of NBC’s Saturday Night Live in addition to two live 30 Rock episodes. Additionally, he’s been honing his skills as interviewer with his weekly podcast Here’s The Thing, in which he interviews famous people. Still, Baldwin has had temper issues, displayed largely in outbursts directed at tabloid reporters/photographers, which could make for great television but also cause headaches for … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: When I saw him in Cannes while he and Jim Toback were unveiling their hilarious documentary Seduced And Abandoned, Alec Baldwin made it clear that any roles he takes in the near future would have to square with his commitment to being a new dad. His wife Hilaria was close by, looking adorably pregnant. It looks like the Cameron Crowe-directed untitled film for Sony fits that bill because I hear that Baldwin is negotiating. Crowe and producer Scott Rudin have been discreet about the movie, but it looks like Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams and Danny McBride are all part of it. Look for Baldwin to lock his role shortly. By the way, that documentary, which showed Baldwin and Toback shopping a movie package to foreign sales moguls like Avi Lerner, will make its debut on HBO. Baldwin’s repped by CAA.
The bombing of so many franchise movies this summer will lead studio suits to become even more timid and conservative, forecast James Toback at TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2013. They’re sure to conclude that the reason so many of them bombed was because they “tried too many different things” and need to “go back just to cartoon characters…We were too adventuresome,” he predicted they were saying to each other in meetings at studios as he spoke. He said he thought the “crisis” in the movie industry was “much bigger” than the pundits are saying. Oh, and movie theaters? Dead.
Toback came to press tour with Alec Baldwin to discuss their upcoming “cinematic romp” for HBO, Seduced And Abandoned. Toback and Baldwin star in the docu, about their attempt to make a film deal during the Cannes Film Festival, for a new version of Last Tango In Paris, set in the Middle East. Among those with whom they met: Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, and Roman Polanski. Among the actors they approached: Ryan Gosling and Jessica Chastain. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE:Alec Baldwin will be the on-air host of National Geographic Channel‘s Friday primetime programming block Night Of Exploration, which features programming that celebrates the spirit of exploration and groundbreaking discoveries. His duties begin June 14 with Crossing The Ice, which follows two Australians as they attempt to become the first to journey from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole and back unassisted. The network also has unveiled premiere dates for five new summer series, including the newly announced The Castle (TBA August), a spinoff from Nat Geo’s popular series Doomsday Preppers, and Inside Secret America (July 10 at 10 PM). The Castle, from Doomsday Preppers producer Sharp Entertainment, features American prepper Brent Bruns who builds a castle deep in the South Carolina woods that will serve as a bunker in case an electromagnetic burst results in a massive power outage. On Inside Secret America, a Nat Geo TV production, investigative journalists Mariana van Zeller and Darren Foster go inside the nation’s underground networks to the heart of America’s most controversial issues. The two series join previously announced new series Battleground Afghanistan (July 1, 9 PM), Eyewitness War (July 1, 10 PM & 10:30 PM), and Inside The American Mob (July 28, 9 PM), as well as returning shows Doomsday Preppers, Ultimate … Read More »
The NBC late-night saga continues. With the Tonight Show transition set, the attention is shifting to the other members of the network’s late-night lineup. NBC brass had been hinting of wholesale changes, and that may include the least-talked-about program in late-night, Last Call With Carson Daly, which has quietly made it to 12 seasons. The New York Times is reporting that NBC is in early talks with Alec Baldwin about potentially taking over the 1:35 AM half-hour. NBC has already laid the groundwork for a potential Baldwin late-night stint. Following his seven-year run on the network’s 30 Rock, the network kept the Emmy-winning actor in the fold with a two-year overall deal inked late last year. Baldwin already has proven his chops as a comedy performer with a record 16 stints as host of NBC’s Saturday Night Live. Additionally, he’s been honing his skills as interviewer with his weekly podcast Here’s The Thing, in which he interviews famous people. And taking on a half-hour late-late night program won’t be as time consuming as hosting an hourlong show like Tonight or Late Night, allowing Baldwin take acting jobs. UPDATE: I hear that there is interest in Baldwin for potential NBC’s late-night opportunities, largely based on his popular podcasts, though things have not progressed beyond that yet.
It would be interesting whether Lorne Michaels, who was behind turning Baldwin into SNL’s top host and bringing … Read More »
While Elaine Stritch played a mom character who drove her executive son crazy on 30 Rock, that Alec Baldwin continues to be a good son, even after the sitcom has gone by the wayside. Or maybe he still feels bad that his alter ego Jack Donaghy backed over her with a car. He has signed on to lend his support as an executive producer for Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, a documentary on her career that will premiere at the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival. Chiemi Karasawa directed the film about the Tony and Emmy-winning actress. Baldwin reached out to Karasawa directly after he got word of the IndieGogo campaign launched to raise additional funds to release the movie. “It’s a fitting real-life extension of their roles on 30 Rock except in this case there is no ambiguity in Alec’s genuine support and endorsement of Elaine,” Karasawa said. It’s a beautiful gesture.” The film will be shopped at Tribeca by Submarine’s Josh Braun, who’s handling world rights. Karasawa is producing with Elizabeth Hemmerdinger.
Oscar winner Stefan Ruzowitzky is in deep negotiations with Myriad Pictures to come on board to helm Caught Stealing, the company announced today. The director won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film back in 2008 for The Counterfeiters. More recently he directed Deadfall, starring Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde. Based on Charlie Huston’s novel of the same name, Caught Stealing is written by David Hayter who did X-Men, X2 and The Watchmen.Alec Baldwin and Patrick Wilson are signed on to star in the thriller about a man lost in a bloody treasure hunt through New York City. Lost Rhino Films’ Marcus Chait, James Carpinello, and Wilson will produce. Paula Wagner is executive producing alongside Myriad’s Kirk D’Amico. Myriad Pictures is pre-selling the film at the Berlin Film Festival and working with APA on U.S. sales.
More than any other awards race, the SAG Awards have proven to be a popularity contest. Alec Baldwin and Betty White have won the best actor/actress in a comedy series SAG Award every year their current shows have been on the air — a whopping six consecutive times for 30 Rock‘s Baldwin and two for Hot In Cleveland‘s Betty White. Both are nominated again, with Baldwin having a chance to complete his streak with a seventh statuette for the seventh and final season of the NBC comedy. With Baldwin and White having a stronghold on the comedy categories, awards darling Modern Family is yet to win an individual award. (It won for best comedy ensemble the past two years). The ABC comedy has three more chances this year as it once again leads the list of series nominees with four noms: best ensemble and best actor/actress mentions for Emmy winners Ty Burrell and Eric Stonestreet as well as Sofia Vergara. Two-time Emmy winner Julie Bowen, nominated last year, did not make the cut this time.
There was very little fresh blood in the series SAG nominations — no Lena Dunham or the Girls cast, no Emmy winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus of Veep, no mention of any new broadcast series. The only first-year shows to land nominations were HBO’s The Newsroom for star Jeff Daniels and USA’s short-lived Political Animals for Sigourney Weaver in the movie/miniseries category.
But the SAG Awards did correct some anomalies from last year. The guild had many scratching their heads last December where it completely ignored Showtime’s drama Homeland, which would go on to dominate the Golden Globes and Emmy Awards. No snub this years as Homeland landed three noms — best ensemble and best actor/actress for Emmy winners Claire Danes and Damian Lewis. Despite four Emmy nominations and two wins, The Big Bang Theory‘s Jim Parsons had never received an individual SAG nomination until today. (His show nabbed its second consecutive ensemble nom.) Also, FX’s Louie finally got on the board with a first nomination for creator/star Louis C.K.
EXCLUSIVE: As he is wrapping his first starring TV series role on NBC‘s 30 Rock, Alec Baldwin is staying in business with the network and the studio behind the departing Emmy-winning comedy. I’ve learned that Baldwin, whose turn on 30 Rock has earned him two Emmys, has signed a two-year overall deal with Universal Television. Under the pact, Baldwin, who also serves as a producer on 30 Rock, will develop and produce series projects for the studio, including potential new starring vehicles for him. Baldwin joins his 30 Rock co-star, the series’ creator Tina Fey, who recently signed a new four-year overall deal with Universal TV. The pact assures Baldwin’s continued presence in the TV business. He had indicated that he may leave acting post-30 Rock for “more of a normal life,” and also has been constantly rumored for a potential political career. The current seventh and final season of 30 Rock ends January 31. Read More »
AFI Fest 2012 continued Sunday with the World Premiere of DreamWorks Animation’s holiday biggie and Oscar hopeful, Rise Of The Guardians, and if the buzz generated by this screening is any indication DWA should have a hit on both fronts. First and foremost Guardians, is the perfect holiday family movie, but rather remarkably it appears the be the only holiday-themed family movie this season (it opens November 21), a sad state of affairs that had even DWA topper Jeffrey Katzenberg shaking his head in disbelief when I spoke to him. What the hell is happening here Hollywood?
Certainly being largely alone in the Christmas corridor’s family marketplace (the PG13 Hobbit not withstanding) won’t hurt the business prospects for the film, and a big box office smash will lift its already bright prospects in what is turning out to be a fairly wide open race for the Best Animated Feature Oscar, especially with chief rival Disney’s attention divided between three films this year – Pixar’s Brave, Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie and this weekend’s hit, Wreck-It Ralph – with the latter moving way up the charts thanks to a stronger-than-expected $50 million B.O. haul and some rave reviews that have placed it alongside Frankenweenie and ParaNorman as the best-reviewed toons at Rotten Tomatoes in 2012. The latter two could be hurt at Oscar time by being (unfairly?) lumped together with the hit Hotel Transylvania in the animated horror spoof sub-category. The delightfully clever and likeable video game-centric Ralph might eventually prove too hip based on past voting patterns … Read More »
Alec Baldwin will return to Broadway next spring in Lyle Kessler’sOrphans. This will be Baldwin’s first project post-30 Rock, which will conclude its final season on NBC next year. Orphans is the story of two orphaned brothers living in a decrepit North Philadelphia row house. Treat, the eldest, supports his damaged younger sibling by petty thievery, and makes the house a virtual prison for the seemingly simple-minded Phillip. One night he kidnaps a rich older man; Harold turns out to have his own motives and becomes the father figure the boys have always yearned for. Baldwin will play Harold. The roles of Treat and Phillip have yet to be cast. The play is directed by Daniel Sullivan and produced by Frederick Zollo and Robert Cole.