EXCLUSIVE: The new WGN America is barely 8 months old, but it already has ordered two original scripted series — Salem and Manhattan — and has made a major off-network acquisition with Person Of Interest. Now the scripted newcomer is adding an ambitious event series to its programming roster. I’ve learned that WGN has teamed with the Weinstein Company for a Ten Commandments 10-part event series, which is being executive produced by Oscar-winning producer Bruce Cohen (Silver Linings Playbook, American Beauty). I hear the plan is for each episode to be helmed by a different A-list director, focusing on one commandment and its evolving significance. I hear the project is eying a March start. This would be one of Hollywood’s highest-profile takes on one of the most studied and sacred texts in Christianity and Judaism since the 1956 movie directed by Cecil B. DeMille starring Charlton Heston as Moses. With its structure, the event series is reminiscent of Krzysztof Kieslowski’s acclaimed 1989 Polish 10-part series Decalogue, where each part also focused on one commandment. The Ten Commandments, or the Decalogue, feature a set of biblical principles delivered by God to Moses that include prohibitions against idolatry, blasphemy, murder, theft, dishonesty, and adultery. On the comedy side, the commandments were famously tackled by Mel Brooks in History of The World, as well as by the 2007 movie The Ten.
Hugh Jackman was the first to be offered the hosting job at the upcoming Oscarcast by producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer, an offer he turned down because he’s preparing to shoot Wolverine with Oscar-nominated Black Swan director Darren …
Beverly Hills, CA — Past winners and/or nominees Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges, Sandra Bullock, Marisa Tomei and Oprah Winfrey will present on the 83rd Academy Awards, telecast producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer announced today. Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2010 will be presented on February 27.
This is surprisingly early for such a big decision to be made. In fact, the earliest that the producers and director of the Academy Awards telecast have been chosen in recent years. But Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences President Tom Sherak just told me that he made up his mind last year to fill the two positions early before any of his candidates were already committed to other gig. Sherak did have a conversation with last year’s producers Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman but “they wanted time off… that show is tough,” Sherak noted. As for the reasons behind his selections, well, Don Mischer has won 15 Emmys, and Bruce Cohen “knows what he wants to do, and wants to do it badly,” Sherak told me. So now the producing pair will put together a list of hosts they want for the Oscars and get that set as soon as possible. As long as they include a woman this year! (We were up first with this but our Deadline email alerts were not working…):
Beverly Hills, CA (June 22, 2010) — Academy Award®-winning producer Bruce Cohen and acclaimed television producer/director Don Mischer will produce the 83rd Academy Awards telecast, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak announced this evening. Mischer will also serve as the telecast’s director. This will be the first involvement with the Oscar® telecast for both men, though the two worked together on the Academy’s inaugural Governors Awards event in November of 2010.
“I’m absolutely ecstatic that Bruce and Don have accepted my invitation to produce and direct the 83rd Academy Awards telecast,” said Sherak. “Their work in producing the Academy’s inaugural Governors Awards was exceptional and I am confident they will bring their creative vision and extraordinary talent to produce/direct a most memorable Oscar show.”
“I fell in love with the Oscars as an eight-year-old kid, the night my grandmothers let me stay up to watch for the first time,” said Cohen. “It is a dream come true for me to now be producing the show with the phenomenal Don Mischer, whom I’ve had an incredible time working with in the past. We hope to create a show that celebrates what people around the world love about the Academy Awards year after year – the excitement, glamour and tradition of Oscar Night itself.”