After lengthy negotiations, Ashley Judd (The Missing) has closed a deal to topline NBC’s drama pilot Salvation. On the heels of his Tony-nominated turn in Kinky Boots, Stark Sands is set to co-star in the family drama, which also has cast Meg Steedle, Emma Dumont and Jake Picking. In Salvation, written by Elizabeth Heldens and directed by Jeffrey Reiner, when Mega-Church Pastor Daniel Strickland suddenly dies, his loyal wife, Jennifer Strickland (Judd), must rally to keep their family together and save the church. Sands will play Paul Strickland, the eldest child and the heir apparent to Daniel’s evangelical empire who suffers from a chronic stutter and might have played a role in his dad’s death. Steedle plays Lilly, the Stricklands’ eldest daughter who is married to a Congressman and pregnant with her third child. Dumont and Picking play the Stricklands’ two other biological children, both teenagers. Sands, repped by ICM Partners, Management 360 and Sloane, Offer, was recently seen in Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis.
Related: 2014 NBC Pilots
Ashley Judd is in negotiations to join the cast of Divergent, Deadline has learned. The 2014 sci-fi pic from Summit stars Shailene Woodley and Theo James in the YA adaptation of Veronica Roth’s best seller, set in a world in which young adults are divided into factions based on their personalities.
Related: Ashley Judd Not Running For Senate
Ashley Judd announced today “after serious and thorough contemplation” that she will not be running for the U.S. Senate. This comes after weeks of speculation that the Democrat supporting actress would challenge Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for his Kentucky seat next year. “Regretfully, I am currently unable to consider a campaign for the Senate. I have spoken to so many Kentuckians over these last few months who expressed their desire for a fighter for the people & new leader. While that won’t be me at this time, I will continue to work as hard as I can to ensure the needs of Kentucky families are met by returning this Senate seat to whom it rightfully belongs: the people & their needs, dreams, and great potential. Thanks for even considering me as that person & know how much I love our Commonwealth. Thank you!” said the actress via a series of TweetsWednesday afternoon. Not that Judd is entirely out of Washington politics – she plays the First Lady in the White House under attack action film Olympus Has Fallen, which came out last week.
The Emmys‘ Outstanding Miniseries or Movie category featured many of the expected contenders. HBO’s Game Change and Hemingway And Gellhorn made the cut along with History Channel’s highly rated mini The Hatfields & McCoys, which made a big splash with 16 nominations, and BBC’s Luther and PBS’ Sherlock: A Scandal In Belgravia adding serious gravitas — if not shows that had many viewers compared to the marquee categories.
The most interesting nomination came for FX’s American Horror Story, which managed to tie Mad Men for the most overall nominations this year with 17. This show, which offers a different storyline each season with cast members taking on different roles, is a somewhat controversial entry. It is designed as a continuing “series” that could go on for many seasons. In fact, it had to get special treatment from the Academy board in order to be even eligible as a miniseries, where it obviously had a much easier time getting nominated than it would have in the Best Drama Series category where many think this weekly series belongs. Executive producer Ryan Murphy brought it to the Academy and asked that it be considered as a mini rather than regular series — he’s no dummy. At the Primetime Awards Committee meeting the issue was brought up and someone asked if the show initially had a pilot — it did. The committee deadlocked 19-19 on whether to recommend the Board of Governors approve Murphy’s request. The board eventually caved, and Murphy got his way, resulting in the truly impressive Emmy haul this morning. FX sent DVD screeners to the Academy and one of the episodes was clearly labeled “Pilot”. What movie or miniseries has ever had a pilot? Obviously the Academy is twisting the definition of what makes a movie or mini in order to give this category new blood that doesn’t come from HBO or niche networks and cable.
Related: EMMYS: FX’s ‘American Horror Story’ To Compete In Miniseries Category Read More »
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
At first glance the globe-hopping series “Missing,” which stars Ashley Judd as a former CIA operative in search of her missing son, looks like it would have a sky-high budget. Each of the episodes was shot on location in a different European city. But after today’s TCA panel on the show, executive producer Gina Matthews and writer/executive producer Grant Scharbo told Deadline the show’s budget is “in the middle-range” of the budgets of all the network’s hour dramas. In fact Scharbo said the show could be shot more cheaply abroad than in Los Angeles. And because of the international locations, the show has already been sold in various international markets. Foreign characters will speak in their native tongues, with subtitles. Read More »
Thousands of TV executives from around the world are en route to Cannes for the annual MIPCOM market, which starts on Monday. The great majority of them, who are flying into the nearby Nice airport, were greeted by a group of Pan Am stewardesses — a promotion for the new ABC/Sony TV series, which will be among the offerings at the confab. (Though most of the sales for the 1960s soap were made after the international screenings in May.) Probably because there is no airport in Cannes, Pan Am stewardesses were stationed at both terminals of the Nice airport, greeting travelers on their way to the annual confab, according to an attendee who snapped a picture. Among the highlights at this year’s MIPCOM: keynote speeches by Disney-ABC’s Anne Sweeney, Fox’s Kevin Reilly, Miramax’s Mike Lang and Viacom International’s Robert Bakish as well as a press conferences with Paul Verhoeven and Ashley Judd.
ABC Studios will be jetting in Ashley Judd for the premiere screening of its thriller show Missing at next month’s MIPCOM TV market. This year’s event runs Oct. 3-6. Creator/exec producer Gregory Poirier, who wrote National Treasure: Book of Secrets, will also be on hand to unveil the show in Cannes. Co-stars Cliff Curtis and Adriano Giannini will be at the Palais des Festivals too. Meanwhile, Paul Verhoeven, cult director of Starship Troopers and Total Recall, will be in town to promote FCCE’s The Entertainment Experience — “the world’s first multi-platform format based on a user-generated movie” (whatever the heck that means). Eddie Izzard will be flying in to promote his turn as Long John Silver in RHI Entertainment’s Treasure Island, due to premiere on Syfy in the U.S. and Sky in the UK. And Stevie Van Zandt — who so memorably played mob consigliere Silvio Dante in The Sopranos — will promote Norwegian TV show Lilyhammer, being sold by Germany’s SevenOne International. This time Van Zandt plays a Mafioso who testified against his former Mafia boss in New York and winds up being relocated to the Norwegian countryside as part of the Witness Protection Program.
MIPCOM previously announced that Anne Sweeney, Disney/ABC Television Group president and Disney Media Networks co-chair, will be this year’s MIPCOM Personality of the Year. Here’s the official release: Read More »
Ashley Judd and Jenna Elfman who had been in negotiations to topline ABC’s action drama series Missing and comedy pilot Bad Mom, respectively, have now closed their deals for the projects. Missing, which eyes an early fall launch, centers on Becca Winstone (Judd), a devoted single mom who, after her 18-year-old son disappears in Italy, takes it upon herself to travel to Europe and track him down. It soon becomes clear that Winstone is a former CIA agent who will stop at nothing to bring her son home alive. Steve Shill is on board to direct multiple episodes of the series, including the opener. He will also executive produce with writer Poirier, Grant Scharbo and Gina Matthews. Production is scheduled to begin late next month in Rome, Vienna and Prague.
Bad Mom, from ABC Studios and Kapital Entertainment, centers on Julia (Elfman), a mom whose two kids had been raised largely by her mom. When her mom decides to get her life back, Julia has to do it alone. Bad Mom was created by British writer-actress-comedienne Sharon Horgan who is executive producing with Aaron Kaplan as well as co-starring. Jen Crittenden and Gabrielle Allan recently joined the pilot as executive producers/showrunners.
In her first regular TV series gig, Ashley Judd is close to a deal to topline ABC’s action series Missing (aka Safe aka Hall of Mirrors). The project, from feature writer Greg Poirier, was once slated for summer but now eyes a fall launch, with early September as a possibility. Missing, whose premise somewhat echoes the Liam Neeson starrer Taken, centers on Becca Winstone (Judd), a devoted single mom who, after her 18-year-old son disappears in Italy where he’d been working on architecture fellowship, takes it upon herself to travel to Europe and track him down. It soon becomes clear that Winstone is a former CIA agent who will stop at nothing to bring her son home alive. Steve Shill, who won an Emmy in August for his directing work on Dexter, is on board to direct multiple episodes of the series, including the opener. He will also executive produce with Poirier, Grant Scharbo and Gina Matthews. Production is scheduled to begin late next month in Rome, Vienna and Prague. Missing, from ABC Studios and Matthews and Scharbo’s Little Engine Prods., was put on fast-track development in early fall with an order for 3-5 backup scripts. WME-repped Judd next stars in the Warner Bros. film Dolphin Tale. Her memoir All That is Bitter & Sweet is being released on April 5. Judd’s only major series gig until now was a recurring role on Sisters.
HBO has Al Pacino moving from Jack Kevorkian to playing Phil Spector in a film directed by David Mamet. I can tell you that Cameron Crowe tried for years to make a studio feature film about Mr. Wall Of Sound with Tom Cruise playing the gun-toting volatile record producer. But eventually they dropped it because at the time they felt there wasn’t a third act. By the time it arrived, there was no way Crowe and Cruise would have been able to make an authorized film… IFC acquired North American and a few other territories on the David Robert Mitchell-directed The Myth of the American Sleepover… Kris Kristofferson has joined Morgan Freeman, Harry Connick Jr, and Ashley Judd in Alcon’s 3D Dolphin Tale.