EMMYS: Who’ll Win The Major Races…

By | Sunday September 23, 2012 @ 2:15am PDT

Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage. (Note: This story was originally posted on Thursday.)

Emmy Awards 2012Several streaks will be tested at the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards this Sunday. Will Mad Men win a record fifth Emmy in a row for Outstanding Drama Series? Will Bryan Cranston make it four consecutive lead acting wins for Breaking Bad and Jim Parsons three in a row for The Big Bang Theory? Can Modern Family pull a top comedy series three-peat? And can The Daily Show With Jon Stewart make it a decade as the Emmy winner for best variety series? At the Creative Emmy Awards last weekend, HBO’s fantasy drama Game Of Thrones bagged the most Emmys, six. Will GOT be able to hold onto its lead Sunday? And will Mad Men finally win an acting trophy? While waiting for all those questions to be answered Sunday, here are some final predictions for how things might go down in some of the top categories.

The Nominees: Mad Men (AMC), Breaking Bad (AMC), Homeland (Showtime), Downton Abbey (PBS), Game of Thrones (HBO), Boardwalk Empire (HBO)

Who’s Going to Win: Let’s go out on a limb and say Breaking Bad is going to get it done. It would be highly unusual for a drama to win its first Outstanding Drama Series Emmy in its fourth season, but Breaking Bad is a highly unusual show whose buzz has sailed off the charts of late. “What a lot of people might forget,” one producer told me, “is that this award is for Season 4, not Season 5, when Breaking Bad arguably peaked. Just personally, all my friends voted for it. Take from that what you will.” I’ll take it as an omen for a semi-upset.

Then Again: One can make the argument that Breaking Bad is simply too dark for the TV Academy mainstream. And if that turns out to be the case, a Mad Men triumph would surprise few. That would give it a record five statuettes in the category, an accomplishment that eluded four-timers Hill Street Blues, The West Wing and L.A. Law. But as one writer told me, “I don’t feel the love for Mad Men this time. The perception is that it’s time to honor someone else.” That could also mean Homeland, which has both the advantage and disadvantage of being a rookie.
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Emmys: Writing Nominees Are Honored At The TV Academy

Pete Hammond

If they don’t always get all the credit they deserve or a lot of time  on the Emmy show itself, this year’s nominated writers in five different categories got a lot of love and all the time they wanted to make … Read More »

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Toronto Oscar Talk: Ben Affleck’s ‘Argo’ And Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘The Master’

By | Saturday September 8, 2012 @ 12:00am PDT
Pete Hammond

Toronto’s film festival isn’t content to do just one, or even two, major gala premieres a night like, say, Cannes. No, it has about 10 of them and Friday night was really buzzing with at least four major ‘must-see’ events all coinciding. Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master premiered in North American to a sold-out crowd at the massive Princess Of Wales theatre and sparked lots of immediate Oscar talk just like in Venice. (The Master And Joaquin Phoenix Draw Raves.) The acting from Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman, particularly in a killer scene near the end, doesn’t get much better than this. And controversy about whether it really is – or isn’t – about the beginnings of Scientology will only spark more interest. But with the Oscar season just getting going in earnest, a lot of contenders are finally emerging.

Related: P.T. Anderson In Venice On ‘The Master’ & Scientology

Just as it did in its sneak previews in Telluride, Ben Affleck’s Argo  killed in Toronto at its official World Premiere Friday at the Roy Thomson Hall. And why not? After all, some of the plot revolves around the Canadians helping to shelter 6 Americans from the radical Iranians who held nearly 60 others hostage for well over a year in 1979. And the Warner Bros brass turned out in force seeing the film receive a highly enthusiastic standing ovation. That included Jeff Robinov, Sue Kroll, Dan Fellman who know they have a likely hit on their hands.

At the after-party, director/star Affleck told me this was one of the best screenings he has ever had for a movie. “They got every reference and recognized all the Canadian names we put in there,” he said. After the highs of the Fall festival circuit, Affleck is just hoping filmgoers turn out when it opens October 12th. “I am doing something I haven’t done for a movie in years and hitting many different cities to promote the film,” he told me. Read More »

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Comic-Con: ‘Breaking Bad’ Heading To Germany In New Season, Panel Reveals

By | Friday July 13, 2012 @ 7:45pm PDT

Breaking Bad is heading to Germany in the second episode of the new season, showrunner Vince Gilligan said today. Gilligan also told the Comic-Con crowd that audiences should expect more German accents than Spanish accents this upcoming season based on some financial deals that Walter White has made. He also said the White character finally does something that removes all sympathy for the character. “This season is all about winning and staying on top,” he added. “As we wind down to 16 episodes, we’re cranking it up,” said star Bryan Cranston. He also noted that Sunday’s opener is “not violent but intellectual.” His onscreen partner in crime Aaron Paul, whose catchphrase of the opening episode “magnets, bitch” he revealed, described the new season as “eerie”. That wasn’t all the audience learned about the upcoming season. Two days before the Season 5 debut of AMC’s Breaking Bad, the crowd tonight at Comic-Con got a glimpse of what’s to come. If the gunplay in the short preview they showed in Ballroom 20 this evening is any indication, the opener might not be so violent but the new season of Breaking Bad is going to be very, very violent. Also new characters will be added, and the Skinny Pete character played by Charles Baker is coming back. The preview showed that Walter White’s cooking meth again and his wife Skylar is on board. And after an initial attempt at killing Walt for the death of Gus at the end of season four, Mike Ehrmantraut has joined him and Jesse Pinkman. Read More »

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TV Teaser: ‘Breaking Bad’

By | Friday June 15, 2012 @ 6:32pm PDT

We’ve heard and read that Breaking Bad‘s Season 5 picks up right where Season 4 left off. That appears to be true. AMC’s hit drama returns July 15th:

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Bryan Cranston, Anna Kendrick, Miles Teller Topline CBS Films Laffer ‘Get A Job’

By | Wednesday March 7, 2012 @ 3:32pm PST
Mike Fleming

CBS Films Get A JobLOS ANGELES – March 7, 2012 – CBS Films announced today that Bryan Cranston (Drive, TV’s Breaking Bad), Anna Kendrick (50/50, Up In The Air) and Miles Teller (Footloose, Project X) will star in the comedy tentatively titled Get A Job. Nick Braun (Prom, TV’s Poor Paul), Alison Brie (Scream 4, TV’s Community), Brandon T. Jackson (Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, Tropic Thunder), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Fright Night, Superbad) and Jay Pharoah (TV’s Saturday Night Live, Lola Versus) are set to co-star in the film. Dylan Kidd (Roger Dodger, TV’s Children’s Hospital) is attached to direct the film from a screenplay by Kyle Pennekamp and Scott Turpel. Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher (Django Unchained, Contagion) of Double Feature Films are attached to produce.

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Adam Shankman To Helm ‘The Nutcracker’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Adam Shankman will be set by New Line Cinema to direct The Nutcracker, a new take on the classic fairy tale that is being eyed as a tent pole family holiday film for late 2013. The script was written … Read More »

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CAA Signs James Caan

By | Tuesday November 8, 2011 @ 10:28am PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: CAA has signed James Caan, and will help the veteran actor step it up. Caan has the film Detachment coming out in February of 2012, co-starring Bryan Cranston, Christina Hendricks, Adrien Brody and Blythe Danner. Caan had most recently … Read More »

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EMMYS: Still more New Presenters Named

By | Tuesday September 13, 2011 @ 7:25pm PDT

(September 13, 2011) – Primetime Emmy Award nominee Jon Cryer along with Scott Caan, Bryan Cranston, Claire Danes, Jason O’Mara and Kerry Washington are announced as additional presenters for the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards. The

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Ben Affleck’s Next Directorial Effort Tells Tale Of Iran Hostage Rescue Mission

By | Saturday September 3, 2011 @ 4:40pm PDT

Ben AffleckWarner Bros has revealed details about Ben Affleck’s next feature directing effort. Argo, which has just begun principal photography, sheds light on the real-life covert operation to rescue a group of Americans during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. Six … Read More »

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DONE: AMC & Sony TV Reach Deal For 16-Episode Final Order Of ‘Breaking Bad’

By | Sunday August 14, 2011 @ 5:30pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

‘Breaking Bad’ Eyes Two-Season Finale
AMC President On ‘Breaking Bad’ Order, ‘Walking Dead’ Budget & ‘Mad Men’ Deal
After tense and public negotiations, AMC just closed a deal with producer Sony Pictures TV to renew dark drama Breaking Bad for a final batch of 16 episodes. The episodes are expected to be filmed together but may be split into two seasons, with a final scheduling decision to be made at a later date. The deal comes just as the series was facing two deadlines: its license deal with AMC was set to expire tomorrow and the options on the actors are up Aug. 31. The two sides have reached a compromise over the stickiest issue — who will cover the series’ budget of $3 million-plus. I hear both Sony TV and AMC will contribute. While negotiations were contentious and Sony did flirt with the idea of moving Breaking Bad to another network, the two sides started making progress over the past two weeks, leading to today’s deal. With the series renewal secured, Sony TV now has to make a new deal with Breaking Bad creator/executive producer Vince Gilligan, who doesn’t have a contract beyond Season 4 but is fully expected to return for the series’ final hurrah. The cast, led by Emmy winners Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, may also renegotiate their deals.

UPDATE 6 PM: AMC just issued a release announcing the final pickup for Breaking Bad. Here it is:

New York – NY, August, 14, 2011 – AMC announced today that “Breaking Bad,” the Emmy Award-winning and critically lauded drama series from acclaimed writer/producer/director Vince Gilligan has been renewed for a 16 episode order that will conclude the series. Production on all episodes of the final order will commence in early 2012. The roll-out of the episodes and premiere date schedule has yet to be determined by the network. The announcement was made by Charlie Collier, president of AMC.

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‘Rock Of Ages’ Stage Star Constantine Maroulis Joins The Movie Version

Mike Fleming

Former American Idol contestant Constantine Maroulis originated the lead role of Drew Boley in Rock of Ages‘ off-Broadway and Broadway musical incarnations. He’s not playing that role in the movie version that Adam Shankman is directing for New Line (Diego … Read More »

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In Or Out? Alec Baldwin Will Be On Hand For Today’s ‘Rock Of Ages’ Run-Through

Mike Fleming

Is Alec Baldwin in or out of New Line’s Rock of Ages? We might have a better idea today after Baldwin takes part in a full run-through of the ’80s-flavored rock musical being held in an hour or so on … Read More »

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Bryan Cranston Added To ‘Rock Of Ages’

By | Saturday April 30, 2011 @ 9:20pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Breaking Bad‘s Bryan Cranston will play the mayor in Rock of Ages, the Adam Shankman-directed adaptation of the Broadway musical. He’s the husband of an Anita Bryant-like advocate who wants to ban rock and roll. That role’s played by Catherine … Read More »

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Bryan Cranston In Talks For Bad Guy Role In ‘Total Recall’

By | Wednesday March 30, 2011 @ 1:36pm PDT

Emmy winner Bryan Cranston is in talks to play the villain in Columbia’s remake of Total Recall. Colin Farrell is starring in the sci-fi action pic, which is being directed by Len Wiseman and produced by Neal Moritz’s Original Films. (The main female … Read More »

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FilmDistrict Drives To First Big AFM Deal

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: In the first major deal of the American Film Market, FilmDistrict has acquired North American distribution rights to Drive, the Nicolas Winding Refn-directed adaptation of the James Sallis novel that stars Ryan Gosling as a Hollywood stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver and is targeted for death after a heist goes wrong. Carey Mulligan, Ron Perlman, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks and Mad Men‘s Christina Hendricks round out a strong cast. FilmDistrict was started by GK Films partners Graham King and Tim Headington and run by Peter Schlessel and veteran distribution exec Bob Berney. They hatched the company to generate or acquire films with strong casts that can play on between 1500 and 2000 screens. Drive certainly fits that bill. The film is about two weeks from wrapping and has a budget under $30 million despite shooting in Los Angeles. FilmDistrict will look to release in late summer or early fall, 2011. Michel Litvak’s Bold Films financed the picture with Odd Lot Entertainment ‘s Gigi Pritzker, Linda McDonough and Bill Lischak. Marc Platt is producing with Bold and Odd Lot. Several indie companies chased the film including Summit and Lionsgate, and WME Global’s Graham Taylor closed the deal. Read More »

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Albert Brooks Plays Badass Role In ‘Drive’

By | Thursday August 26, 2010 @ 4:34pm PDT
Mike Fleming

This is a seminal year for Albert Brooks. After completing an ambitious science fiction novel 2030: The Real Story of What Happens To America and setting it to be published next May by St. Martin’s Press, Brooks has signed … Read More »

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Emmy Scorecard: Lead Drama Actors

Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s 2010 Emmy coverage. Here’s his scorecard assessing the Outstanding Lead Drama Series Actor race:


Why He Got Nominated: He’s won two years running, and the TV Academy isn’t in the habit of failing to nominate guys who won the year before (except in rare … Read More »

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EMMYS: Q&A With ‘Breaking Bad’ Drama Series Nominee Vince Gilligan

Vince Gilligan, age 43, is the creator and executive producer of the third year AMC drama Breaking Bad that’s been nominated for its second consecutive Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series. This year, it competes with Mad Men, Dexter, The Good Wife, Lost, and True Blood. Formerly a writer and producer on Fox’s The X-Files, Gilligan spoke with Ray Richmond for Deadline Hollywood about the show’s ratings challenges and how he suffers trying to live up to audience expectations:

Deadline Hollywood: Are you surprised that Sony and AMC keep renewing the show despite the numbers?

Vince Gilligan: Let me just say that I think both the studio and the network have been courageous in putting their money where their mouth is. It’s a testament to both of them. But you know, no matter how many Emmys we get nominated for, or win, there are certain financial truths to this business, and if you don’t make any money you can’t stay on forever. We’ve shown growth in our numbers each year. And we do very well for AMC, which is itself a growing network. If you look back to the early years of USA Network or FX when they started producing scripted originals, you’ll note a similar genesis. It’s unrealistic to expect that kind of audience from Day One.

DH: Is it at all daunting to have created a show that you now have to continually live up to?

VG: The answer is yes. But as my agent likes to say, it’s a high class problem to have – but a problem nonetheless. There’s always that neurotic fear of failing in my mind, Read More »

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