EXCLUSIVE:CBS Films has added Allison Janney and Romany Malco to join Mae Whitman, Robbie Amell, Bella Thorne, Bianca Santos, Skyler Samuels, Nick Eversman and Ken Jeong in The Duff, an adaptation of the Kody Keplinger novel that Ari Sandel will direct from a script by Josh Cagan. McG, Mary Viola, and Susan Cartsonis are producing with Lane Bishop exec producing. Pic will shoot in the summer.
Whitman plays a happy high school senior whose world is shattered when she learns the student body knows her as The Duff, meaning designated ugly fat friend to her pretty, popular friends. She enlists a jock pal (Amell) to help reinvent herself and overthrow the school’s ruthless label maker (Thorne) and remind everyone that no matter what people look or act like, we are all someone’s Duff. Jeong plays her favorite teacher. Janney plays the girl’s mother while Malco plays the school’s overwhelmed principal.
VP Production Mark Ross and creative executive Alex Ginno are overseeing the project.
FX leads the BTJA’s noms list, with 19 – followed closely by HBO which garnered 18. Topping the list of nominated series, with five noms each, are CBS’s The Big Bang Theory and The Good Wife, FX’s Fargo, Showtime’s Masters Of Sex, and HBO’s The Normal Heart.
Other top-nominated series include FX’s The Americans, AMC’s Breaking Bad, Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black, and PBS’s Sherlock: His Last Vow — each snagging four noms.
Walton Goggins and Allison Janney were both twice nominated. Goggins is nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, for Justified, and Janney is nommed for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, for Mom. The two also will compete against each other in the Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series category for Sons Of Anarchy and Masters Of Sex, respectively. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: It’s not White House Chief of Staff, but Allison Janney is back in government work with the Paul Feig-directed feature Spy. The Emmy-winning former West Wing actress will play top CIA agent Elaine Crocker in the comedy. Playing to the actress’ vast strengths, the character is described as tough but with a biting sense of humor. Janney joins a star-studded cast that includes Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, Jude Law, Bobby Cannavale, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and Miranda Hart. Showtime alum Morena Baccarin also joined the pic today.Spy started production in Budapest late last month. Fox is set to release it Memorial Day 2015. As well as directing, Feig wrote the script and is producing through his Feigco along with Chernin Entertainment and Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping and Jessie Henderson.
The Spy role is far different from the recovering alcoholic, who’s also a mother, that Janney plays on CBS’ freshman Chuck Lorre comedy Mom, with Anna Faris. The actress, who also has a recurring role on Showtime’s Masters Of Sex, next will be seen on the big screen on July 2 in New Line’s Tammy, with McCarthy and Susan Sarandon. Janney is repped by Gersh and Thruline.
Chuck Lorre, who is famous for his exits from sitcoms about women looking for a second start, says he’ll keep doing them until he makes one on which he survives. “I tried it with Grace Under Fire and I left that show…well, just because. And I tried that with Cybil and…moving on,” he joked today at TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2013. His latest stab: CBS’s new Mom, about a recovering alcoholic, who’s also a mother, played by Ana Faris. Allison Janney plays her mom. Chuck Lorre says he originally thought his next series would be about vampires. “Been done” he announced. “I wanted to tell a story about a woman starting her life over again and redemption and all those funny premises for a sitcom…This is a story that’s very meaningful to me. It’s about starting your life over again repairing the mistakes that you’ve done. Getting another start [is] very much a story of Los Angeles, even though this isn’t set in Los Angeles, because this is the city of second chances or fifth or sixth chances.”
Faris calls the role a “Cinderella shoe” after a run of one-dimensional parts. “Playing one-dimensional characters like Cindy from Scary Movie is actually really difficult because it’s not someone you really know.. I felt I was in a place in my career … Read More »
Comedy icon Carol Burnett and her Carol Burnett Show pal Tim Conway will guest star together on TV Land’s Hot In Cleveland for an episode airing in August. Conway appeared in the show’s first season and will reprise his role as Elka’s (Betty White) ex Nick, who has his sights set on Penny (Burnett), Victoria’s (Wendy Malick) mother and a local children’s TV show legend/puppeteer. The sitcom’s summer season debuts June 19 with a live episode airing at 10 PM ET and live-to-tape three hours later at 10 PM on the West Coast.
Emmy-winner Allison Janney will guest star for five episodes on Showtime’s Masters Of Sex as University Provost Barton Scully’s (Beau Bridges) wife Margaret. The West Wing alum also stars in Chuck Lorre’s CBS fall comedy pilot Mom opposite Anna Faris. Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan head the cast of the 1960s-set drama as real life sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson. The series is adapted from Thomas Maier’s book Masters Of Sex: The Life And Times Of William Masters And Virginia Johnson, The Couple Who Taught America How To Love. John Madden directs the pilot which … Read More »
Comedy pilot Mom has solidified its status as frontrunner for the fall CBS schedule. The project, from the network’s biggest hit maker Chuck Lorre, already snagged Anna Faris for the lead. Now it has also scored Emmy winner Allison Janney. Mom, which Lorre co-wrote on spec with two members of his Two And A Half Men team — executive producer Eddie Gorodetsky and story editor Gemma Baker — centers on Christy (Faris), a newly sober single mom who tries to pull her life together in Napa Valley. Janney will play her mom Bonnie, who is the source of a lot of Christy’s previous problems, most likely because she wasn’t the best mother.
Mom landed Janney in a competitive situation, with three other pilots pursuing her. The project reunites Janney and Lorre. In 2007, Lorre and his Two And A Half co-creator Lee Aronsohn developed a CBS comedy pilot for her to star. The same year, Janney also guest starred on Men. Jenney just returned from the Sundance Film Festival, where she had two movies, Lynn Shelton’s Touchy Feely and The Way, Way Back, which was acquired by Fox Searchlight in a blockbuster $10 million deal. She is repped by Gersh, Thruline and attorney Peter Nelson.
EXCLUSIVE:Allison Janney and Phillip Baker Hall have been added to the cast of Bad Words, the directorial debut of Jason Bateman. The dark comedy follows a middle-aged high school dropout (Bateman) who enters the National Quill Spelling Bee. Janney will play Dr. Bernice Deagan, the outraged director of the spelling bee organization. Hall will play Dr. Bowman, head of the spelling bee group. Kathryn Hahn and Ben Falcone are also in the cast. Rohan Chandz plays a socially awkward spelling bee contestant who Bateman’s character befriends. Bad Words is set to begin filming in LA this week from Andrew Dodge’s original screenplay, which made The Black List in 2011. Darko Entertainment is financing the film; Bateman, MXN Entertainment’s Mason Novick and Darko’s Sean McKittrick and Jeff Culotta are producing. Darko’s Ted Hamm, Aggregate Films’ Jim Garavente and Darren Demetre are executive producing, and Gary Marcus is co-producer. Bateman’s Aggregate has a two-year, first-look deal with Universal Pictures and Universal Television that began in February. Janney is repped by Gersh and Thruline Entertainment. Hall is repped by Paradigm.
EXCLUSIVE:Allison Janney has signed with Gersh. Janney, who won four Emmys for her role on NBC’s The West Wing, starred in Greg Daniels’ NBC pilot Friday Night Dinner this past season. She is currently seen in the indie features The Oranges and Liberal Arts. Janney was with WME.
Directed and written by and starring Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother), Liberal Arts has an international trailer that just surfaced. The Sundance hit also stars Elizabeth Olsen, Zac Efron, Richard Jenkins, Allison Janney, John Magaro and Elizabeth Reaser. IFC Films opens the movie September 14 in New York and Los Angeles, expanding to additional markets September 21.
Emmy winners Allison Janney and Tony Shalhoub are finalizing deals to star in Greg Daniels’ NBC comedy pilot Friday Night Dinner. The single-camera project, based on the British format, centers on a quirky family that has dinner together every Friday night. Janney will play Barbara and Shalhoub will play Gene, the matriarch and patriarch of the family. On the British series the roles are played by Tamsin Greig and Paul Ritter. Daniels is executive producing the pilot with Howard Klein and the original series’ creator Robert Popper and producer Big Talk TV. The casting brings together Janney, four-time Emmy winner for The West Wing; Shalhoub, 3-time Emmy winner for Monk; and Greg Daniels, five-time Emmy winner for SNL, The Simpsons, King Of The Hill and The Office. WME-repped Janney is coming off an ensemble SAG Award win for The Help. ICM-repped Shalhoub co-stars in the upcoming HBO movie Hemingway & Gellhorn.
Last year’s Toronto Film Festival started slow for acquisitions, but finished with a flurry of modest distribution deals that served notice the specialty film business had finally pulled out of its nosedive. This year’s festival hasn’t started and already there are fireworks. Deadline broke news yesterday that Harvey Weinstein would start a VOD business, making the acquisitions market for fringe films more competitive; and last night, I heard that a bidding battle had already broken out for the Steve McQueen-directed Shame, which should be sold by the time it screens Sunday. Fox Searchlight is the favorite, Sony Pictures Classics is in the mix and I’ve heard that The Weinstein Company is hovering. Bidding began right after its Telluride screening, and the mid-six figures thrown around yesterday will probably go higher. That’s huge, considering the movie is an unabashed NC-17, McQueen has final cut, and the sex-obsessed protagonist is unlikable. Oh, yeah, and the sellers want it released this year for Oscar consideration to capitalize on Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan’s Oscar-caliber performances.
Does this mean we’re in for a drunken buying frenzy? Hardly, buyers tell me. They are eager to see the films, but say there’s no title here that’s going to guarantee somebody will overpay. They are also mindful that many of last year’s deals turned out to be box office busts. More deals will be made than … Read More »
Christina Hendricks, Dermot Mulroney and Modern Family‘s Sarah Hyland have joined the cast of Brian Dannelly’s indie comedy Struck By Lightning, which was penned by Glee star and Emmy nominee Chris Colfer. Allison Janney also stars. The story opens with Colfer’s character being struck and killed by lightning, and in flashbacks he chronicles his exploits as he blackmails his fellow classmates into contributing to his literary magazine. Production in underway. David Permut is producing with Rob Aguire and Mia Chang. Colfer and his manager Glenn Rigberg executive produce with Jason Michael Berman. Permut Productions’ Steve Longi, Camellia Entertainment’s Monica Aguirre Diez Barroso and Mark Moran co-produce.
Colfer is a busy guy. He recently penned a pilot for Disney Channel, The Little Leftover Witch, based on the children’s book of the same name, and will also publish two books with Little, Brown Books for Young Readers that will be released in summer 2012. He is repped by Coast to Coast and Inphenate. Hendricks is repped by CAA and Kritzer Levine Wilkins Griffin, Mulroney by ICM and Jackoway Tyerman, Hyland by WME and Richard Konigsberg Management.