Ron Livingston will play Paul Revere in AMC’s comedy pilot We Hate Paul Revere, which begins shooting next month in LA. The pilot received the network’s first green light to a half-hour project back in March. It centers on two brothers living in Colonial Boston who are not fans of local industrialist and activist Paul Revere. Now they have their “bad guy.” The project is written, executive produced and stars Ethan Sandler and Adrian Wenner. AMC Studios is producing, and Troy Miller is a non-writing executive producer through his Dakota Films.
Livingston is playing Elvis Presley in the Eddie OKeefe-directed drama Shangri-La Suite and also stars in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, which he joined for Season 4. His next pic is Fort Bliss opposite Michelle Monaghan. He is repped by UTA and Thruline Entertainment.
The Walking Dead‘s Norman Reedus shot some video from his perch on the dais today during the hit AMC zombie series’ panel in cavernous Hall H at the San Diego Convention Center. He then tweeted it out to his 2.1 million-plus followers, all of whom appear to have shown up and been crammed into the room. It makes being chased by the flesh-eating undead seem refined by comparison. Check it out for yourself:
The Walking Dead is heading to Washington D.C. for Season 5 to find a cure for the zombie apocalypse. That was made very clear by an intense 5-minute sneak peek that Comic-Con fans saw today in the massive Hall H (see it below). “This is a season that is going to be pretty close to the comics,” said Robert Kirkman. The comic co-creator and series executive producer’s point was emphasized by fellow EP Gale Anne Hurd, who hinted before the video was shown at some suburban locations, and “you’ll see us take some big leaps with the characters and the set pieces.” AMC announced the new season debuts October 12 at 9 PM.
Before the Season 5 video was shown the panel started off with a fake sitcom-like clip from Episode 15 of the upcoming season that showed an aged Rick Grimes and the other characters with long long beards playing cards in the train car they were trapped in at the end of Season 4. “Sort of like Cheers at Terminus,” joked showrunner Scott Gimple. Read More »
AMC continues to explore new places and genres with a pilot order to White City, a geopolitical drama focused on Western diplomats and journalists living in Afghanistan. An adventure story set in the somewhat surreal ex-pat world of near-present Afghanistan, White City was among the scripts vying for a pilot order at the network’s 2014 annual script showcase held in the spring. The show focuses on Jon Liston, a war junkie who has spent the better part of the last decade in Kabul with a front-row seat to the carnage. In the pilot, against the advice of everyone from American embassy staffers to tweeting tribal leaders to the French journalist he’s in a relationship with, Jon tragically overreaches in an attempt to talk with insurgent leaders. In the series, Jon must find a new role in Kabul as he attempts to address his guilt, frustration and doubts about whether there is good left for him or any Westerner to do in Afghanistan.
Related: 2014 AMC Pilots
The project, produced by AMC Studios, comes from co-writers and co-executive producers Nick McDonell, a novelist (Twelve) and journalist who has covered Iraq and Afghanistan for TIME, and John Dempsey, former long-time resident of Kabul and senior advisor on Afghanistan to the late US diplomat, Richard C. Holbrooke. Executive producers are Chris Mundy, a former journalist for Rolling Stone and showrunner of Criminal Minds and AMC’s Low … Read More »
Only 10 days after Better Call Saul creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould revealed that in the Breaking Bad prequel series Bob Odenkirk‘s title character will actually be known as Jimmy McGill, here he is in the flesh. A photo of a billboard along I-25 in Albuquerque advertising the services of a younger-looking Odenkirk as attorney James M. McGill, was snapped by a commuter. I’ve learned the billboard is a prop put up for an episode of the AMC series, which films in the New Mexico town that also housed Breaking Bad. For maximum authenticity and a nod to the local community that had embraced the franchise, the number on the billboard also is real, greeting callers with a recorded message by Odenkirk as McGill. Slated for a 2015 premiere, Better Call Saul, from Sony TV, will track the transformation of McGill, a small-time lawyer hustling to make ends meet, into Saul Goodman.
AMC has hired former Warner Horizon Television exec Drew Brown as SVP Production. In his new role, Brown is responsible for overseeing all aspects of production and post production for the studio and network side of the business. He reports to Joel Stillerman, the network’s executive vice president of original programming, production and digital content.
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EXCLUSIVE: Matt Piedmont (Saturday Night Live, Vibe) has been tapped to direct AMC‘s half-hour comedy pilot, We Hate Paul Revere, written, executive produced and starring Ethan Sandler and Adrian Wenner. Production is set to begin soon on the pilot, which was greenlighted in March. Dakota Pictures is producing, Allison Jones is casting and Troy Miller is set as a non-writing exec producer. Piedmont most recently penned and directed six episodes of TV mini The Spoils Of Babylon. He was a writer on Saturday Night Live from 1996 to 2002. His other TV directing credits include Funny Or Die Presents and Casa De Mi Padres.
When AMC first announced its Breaking Bad spinoff, Better Call Saul, it was called a prequel that would focus on the evolution of Bob Odenkirk‘s popular Saul Goodman character before Saul became Walter White’s lawyer. Today, answering TV critics’ questions about reports the sequel will jump around in time, as had Breaking Bad, exec producer Vince Gilligan responded: “I think the best way to answer this is that you saw, from Breaking Bad, we like nonlinear storytelling. I would definitely point you in the direction of anything that is possible on Breaking Bad is possible on Better Call Saul. It’s fun for us to be as nonlinear as possible.”
That said, the series will have as its base the start year of 2002, Gilligan said. “I hesitate to say it, but it is indeed a period piece,” he said. “I can’t believe it myself — it’s like it was yesterday, but it was 12 years ago.”
(UPDATE: Gilligan and fellow exec producer/writer Peter Gould also revealed that Goodman’s character won’t be called Saul Goodman: He will be known as Jimmy McGill as the series tracks his transformation from a small-time lawyer hustling to make ends meet into Saul Goodman.)
Related: TCA: AMC’s ’4th And Loud’ Is Arena Rock That Will “Pummel You”
TV critics — major Breaking Bad fans — immediately began asking which characters from that beloved series they could expect to see brought back in the first season of Saul. Gilligan and Gould said they are now working on Episode 8 and have yet to bring back anyone. “We’re trying to make something that stands on its own, that has entertainment value not just as seeing a series of old favorites or “remember when” – not the series equivalent of a clip show,” Gould explained.
“We’re still feeling our way through this…figuring out if and when — when and if — to see some of these characters,” Gilligan added, ominously
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The appearance of Kiss stars Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons at TCA today became part promo for their new AMC docuseries 4th And Loud — focused on the inaugural season of their LA Kiss arena football team — and part a personal statement on why the old band will never get back together again. The sixtysomething rockers were blunt when a questioner asked why they are the only original members left in the iconic hard rock band, with Ace Frehley and Peter Criss long gone.
“Why did you dump your best friend who became a crack addict and a loser?” Simmons replied. “We love and respect those guys, [but] they succumbed to the cliché of clichés: drugs and alcohol.” Yanking out a sports metaphor, he added, “If you pass the ball … and they can’t see the goal, they’ve got to leave.”
Stanley added that being a band member “is not a birthright. If you are compromised by drugs and alcohol, you don’t deserve to be on the team.”
There was another metaphor from Simmons about changing a flat tire, but time to move on to the rationale behind 4th And Loud, which the AMC announced will premiere at 9 p.m. Tuesday, August 12. The series will follow team owners Stanley and Simmons, along with additional owners — longtime Kiss manager Doc McGhee, managing partner/owner Brett Bouchy, and president-owner Schuyler Hoversten,– as they and the players and coaches work to turn LA’s first professional football team in years into a winning franchise. Read More »
AMC has ordered six one-hour episodes of martial arts drama Badlands for premiere in late 2015 or early 2016, the network said today as part of its TCA sessions. Badlands joins The Walking Dead and the Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul as AMC’s only straight-to-series orders. The project from writers/show runners Al Gough and Miles Millar (Smallville) is very loosely based on the classic Chinese tale Journey To The West. In a land controlled by feudal barons, Badlands tells the story of a great warrior and a young boy who embark on a journey across a dangerous land to find enlightenment.
Gough and Millar will exec produce along with Oscar-nominated producers Stacy Sher and Michael Shamberg (Pulp Fiction, Contagion) and master martial arts filmmakers Daniel Wu (Tai Chi Zero) and Stephen Fung. Read More »
It wouldn’t be Comic-Con without the zombies. AMC’s The Walking Dead will invade San Diego for its fourth year in a row with a cast/creator panel on Friday, July 25 in the mega Hall H from 12:20-1:20pm. The subject at hand: season 5, of course. Panelists will include cast members Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Chad Coleman, Michael Cudlitz, executive producer and showrunner Scott Gimple, EPs Gale Anne Hurd, Robert Kirkman, David Alpert and special effects make-up supervisor Greg Nicotero. Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick will preside. Autographs to follow from 1:50-2:50 PM in booth # 4237. One of the coolest Walking Dead amusement events returning to Comic-Con for its third year is the offsite Walking Dead Escape in which participants play “survivors” dashing through a ‘Zombie infected Evacuation Zone” at Petco Park, while being chased by zombies.
The correspondence pugilism between CAA and AMC over the agency’s lawsuit with former The Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont against the entertainment company over unpaid fees, self-dealing, gross receipts and other claims just put its brass knuckles on again. “AMC’s document requests clearly exceed the bounds of legitimate discovery, as they go far beyond any issues relevant to the instant litigation. Worse, they are manifestly so burdensome and overbroad that compliance would be all but impossible,” said the agency’s lawyer Jerry Bernstein in letter sent this week to Justice Eileen Bransten of the Supreme Court of New York. The correspondence seeking a conference to find resolution in the matter is in response to a letter AMC sent two weeks ago to Her Honor seeking a wide swath of confidential documents from the agency for the case.
“Such a wholesale disclosure of the confidential information of potentially thousands of clients would be devastating to CAA’s reputation and business, would greatly damage CAA’s relationship with its clients, and would have a chilling effect on its competitive position in the marketplace,” the dense July 1 letter says (read it here). “Although prominent, CAA is certainly not the only talent agency in the entertainment industry. CAA’s clients would be outraged at the disclosure of their private information in litigation they are not parties to,” the Blank Rome attorney added. “Moreover, they would not be satisfied that even a ‘highly confidential’ designation of their documents would protect their privacy and their business interests.”
Related: AMC Slams “Ill-Conceived” ‘Walking Dead’ Lawsuit From Frank Darabont & CAA
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EXCLUSIVE: Alex Russell has been tapped for a starring role in AMC drama pilot Galyntine. Written by Halt And Catch Fire‘s Jason Cahill and executive produced by Scott Free and The Walking Dead‘s Greg Nicotero, the fantasy-action adventure with hints of sci-fi is set in a postapocalyptic future without technology where a band of survivors is forced to adapt to isolation and the challenges of their new world. Nicotero is also directing the pilot, stepping in to replace original director David Mackenzie, who left in May owing to creative differences.
Russell, repped by UTA and United Management in Australia, will play Roman, an orphan who was unofficially adopted by his best friend Aethys’ family, and he hopes to marry Aethys’ sister Essyn to make his membership in the family official. A very public victory appears to cement his status as a future leader of the colony, but a twist of fate (and a deeply wounding betrayal) set him on a different, more dangerous path. Catherine Dent and Charlotte D’Ambroise already have been cast in the pilot, which was greenlighted in November for 2015 series consideration.
Russell recently wrapped Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken and Cut Snake. His previous film credits include Carrie and Chronicle.
AMC today said it has ordered a second season of its Revolutionary War drama Turn, which averaged 2 million total viewers a week over its first 10-episode run and 709,000 viewers in the adults 18-49 demo. Ten new episodes are planned to air next spring. AMC also said it will pair encores of Turn with Hell On Wheels on Saturday nights this summer. The season finale of the series starring Jamie Bell, Seth Numrich, Daniel Henshall, Heather Lind, Kevin R. McNally, Meegan Warner, Burn Gorman, Angus MacFadyen, JJ Feild and Samuel Roukin drew 2.2 million total viewers June 8. Read More »
As production on the 10-episode Better Call Saul is getting underway in Albuquerque, New Mexico, AMC has given the Breaking Bad prequel series a 13-episode second-season order, bringing the total to 23 episodes. In other Better Call Saul news, Breaking Bad creator and showrunner Vince Gilligan will direct the series premiere. He also will co-showrun along with fellow Breaking Bad alum Peter Gould, creator of the Saul Goodman character. (The conceived Better Call Saul together.) AMC also is making a scheduling change for Better Call Saul. The series, previously slated for a November launch, will now premiere Season 1 in early 2015 and Season 2 in early 2016. Here is a first-look photo from the Sony TV-produced series, which shows Gilligan and Gould from the set, with star Bob Odenkirk (Saul Goodman).
“Production on Better Call Saul is underway and we could not be more proud of nor more excited about the work to date,” said AMC president Charlie Collier. Read More »
AMC wants CAA to open up its files on a wide range of clients in the latest salvo in the legal battle between the entertainment company and former The Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont and the agency over unpaid fees, self-dealing, gross receipts and other claims. Actually on this occasion Darabont is not really a player as it is his co-plaintiff that AMC is taking a hefty swipe at in a letter sent to this week to NY Supreme Court Judge Eileen Bransten (read it here). “Plaintiffs cannot have it both ways – to allege that Defendants breached industry custom and practice,but then refuse to produce the documents in their possession that speak directly to and disprove these allegations,” says the June 16 correspondence that asks the judge to order CAA to deliver the docs. AMC claims that CAA are ” insisting that the documents are confidential and the burdens associated with producing them are too high.”
This latest letter to the judge follows a June 5 ruling by the Judge to allow Darabont and CAA’s lawyers to look at licensing agreements AMC had with Sony over Breaking Bad and with Lionsgate over Mad Men, something the plaintiffs had desired and the broadcaster had resisted. Also, among other things, the judge ordered AMC to hand over all pertinent documents related to The Walking Dead’s finances to determine what came in and based on that what Darabont may be owed. With that in mind, this most recent letter follows the dug-in approach that both sides have adopted in the case first filed by Darabont and CAA in a December 17 complaint. The plaintiffs allege that they were tricked out of contractually assured profits from the blockbuster series and that AMC played a “self-dealing” artificially low license-fee shell game with the show based on Robert Kirkman’s graphic novels. AMC says that’s not true. Earlier
in the case, when it was resisting handing over documents itself, AMC revealed that Darabont had been paid out nearly $3 million for his work on the first two seasons of WD before the producer was kicked off the show in late July 2011.In the letter of this week they say that both sides referred to additional compensation for Darabont as “Modified Adjusted Gross Receipts” in their agreements and documents – which is why they want these requested documents for their discovery process.
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EXCLUSIVE: AMC is developing The Son, a drama series based on the best-selling 2013 novel by Philipp Meyer. The Son, produced by Sonar Entertainment, is a multi-generational epic telling the story of America’s birth as a superpower through the bloody rise and fall of one Texas oil empire. The project, originally intended as an event series, sparked interest from multiple networks. Meyer will executive produce the AMC adaptation with Lee Shipman and Brian McGreevy, who developed Netflix/Gaumont’s Hemlock Grove based on McGreedy’s novel, and Michael Connolly. McGreevy, Shipman and Connolly exec produce Hemlock Grove, whose second season premieres in July. Shipman, McGreevy and Meyer were repped in the deal by CAA and attorney David Matlof.
AMC should just forget about airing the final season of Mad Men on TV next year and release all the episodes in big theaters nationwide. Time and again during Emmy season, whenever Mad Men is shown on the big screen — such as Awardsline’s screening of the midseason finale “Waterloo” last night at the Landmark Theatre — it’s like watching a big summer film with a large audience. Last year at a TV Academy screening, there was a large gasp from the crowd when young Sally Draper walked in on her Dad bedding the neighbor, and last night was no exception with a hilarious uproar spurred from Pete Campbell’s excitement and Jim Cutler’s bristling over news of the ad firm’s latest merger.
Following the screening last night to a jam-packed theater, Deadline’s Dominic Patten led a panel with close to the entire Mad Men top players in attendance sans Jon Hamm and John Slattery: Christina Hendricks (Joan), Elisabeth Moss (Peggy), January Jones (Betty), Jessica Pare (Megan), Vincent Kartheiser (Pete), Kiernan Shipka (Sally), Robert Morse (Bert Cooper) and, of course, creator Matthew Weiner.
Related: ‘Mad Men’ Midseason Finale Surges In Live+3 Ratings
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