The annual courtship known as chasing name actors for network pilots is in full force. So far, Rose Byrne, Jason Isaacs, Felicity Huffman, Kyle Chandler and Kevin Kline have proven hard to get, raking up a slew of offers each, though most are zeroing in on pilots and appear ready to commit. They would join other sought after names, including James Wolk, Ellie Kemper, David Walton, Allison Janney, Josh Holloway and Terry Crews, who settled on pilots after fielding multiple offers. Still in play after saying “no” to at least one pilot each are Jessica Alba, John Cusack, Jason Ritter, House star Hugh Laurie, former CSI leading man William Petersen, Law & Order: SVU alum Chris Meloni, Justin Long, Deadwood‘s Ian McShane, Prison Break‘s Dominic Purcell, Minnie Driver, Amanda Peet and Mike O’Malley.
Several actors from shows that have been cancelled this season are also the object of pilot casting directors’ affection. That includes The Office‘s John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer, Private Practice‘s Kate Walsh and KaDee Strickland, Don’t Trust The B—‘s Krysten Ritter, Last Resort’s Andre Braugher, Animal Practice‘s Justin Kirk, The Goodwin Games‘ Becki Newton and Ben & Kate‘s Echo Kellum, who already booked two pilots, one as a regular (NBC’s Happiness) and one as a guest star (NBC’s The Gates). … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE UPDATED: NBC‘s plan to revamp single-camera sophomore comedy Up All Night as a multi-camera sitcom has suffered a major blow. I’ve learned that series star Christina Applegate is leaving the Lorne Michaels-produced project, which is still being re-conceptualized and is yet to film any of the five episodes in front of a live audience that had been planned. “It’s been a great experience working on Up All Night, but the show has taken a different creative direction and I decided it was best for me to move on to other endeavors,” Applegate said. “Working with Lorne Michaels has been a dream come true and I am grateful he brought me into his TV family. I will miss the cast, producers and crew, and wish them the best always.” NBC would not comment. Some sources say the network is still looking to proceed with the series and may be eyeing Friends alumna Lisa Kudrow as a potential replacement for Applegate, while others say the show is now dead. Meanwhile, Applegate is getting ready to reprise her role in the Anchorman sequel, which begins filming this month.
Applegate’s exit follows the recent departure of series creator/executive producer Emily Spivey as the show has experienced a lot of behind-the-scenes turnover since last May when original showrunner Jon Pollack left. He was replaced by Tucker Cawley who, in turn, was replaced by Linda … Read More »
The Up All Night star and Grammy-winning performer will be “Live from New York!” this month. Christina Applegate is scheduled to host Saturday Night Live on October 13, with band Passion Pit the musical performer. Like Mick Jagger last season, Bruno Mars is set to put in double duty as host and musical guest October 20. James Bond star Daniel Craig had already been announced as host for when the late-night show returns October 6; Muse, who wrote the official song for the 2012 London Olympics, will be performing. SNL debuted its 38th season September 15 with Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane as host.
Related: ‘SNL Weekend Update Thursday’ Spoofs Mitt Romney Video
Luka Jones has joined Up All Night as a series regular. The actor will play Scott, the younger brother of Christina Applegate’s “Reagan Brinkley” character in the NBC sitcom. Jones’ character, a contractor by profession, is described as a laid back recently divorced dad with a young son. Jones is repped by WME & 3Arts Entertainment.
Megan Masters is West Coast Editor at TVLine
Having portrayed some of Hollywood’s fiercest funny women, Christina Applegate has never shined or elicited as many laughs as she did this season on NBC’s freshman comedy Up All Night. The Emmy-seasoned actress (winning in 2003 and nominated again in 2004 for her guest-starring role as Rachel’s sister on Friends and later receiving two lead actress nominations for Samantha Who?) drew inspiration from her own personal experiences to bring life to Reagan Brinkley, a smart, witty and grounded working mom. Might Emmy voters once again reward Applegate? The TV vet is modest when it comes to discussing her own odds, but isn’t shy about showering her co-stars (Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph in particular) with praise.
AWARDSLINE: You’ve starred in many comedies throughout your career, but Up All Night’s Reagan seems to stand out as the most… you.
CHRISTINA APPLEGATE: Reagan greatly differs from everything I’ve done – Samantha Who?, Anchorman and [Married With Children's] Kelly Bundy… She’s the closest to me than anything I’ve ever done. They actually write [Reagan] a lot from having conversations with me, from her core beliefs to the rhythmic way in which she speaks. In that way, it’s a much easier job than I’ve ever had.
Related: EMMYS: Comedy Series Overview Read More »
NBC’s untitled Emily Spivey comedy pilot is building a star-studded cast. Arrested Development alum Will Arnett has closed a deal to join Christina Applegate and Maya Rudolph in the project, executive produced by Saturday Night Live honcho Lorne Michaels. The project, written by former SNL scribe Emily Spivey, is described as an irreverent look at parenthood through the POV of an acerbic working mother (Applegate) -– who never thought she’d be a mom -– along with her stay-at-home husband (Arnett) and opinionated parents.
Emmy nominee Arnett, who recently co-created/toplined Fox’s comedy Running Wilde, had planned not to do a pilot this season despite being approached for several projects but liked Spivey’s script. Arnett, repped by WME and Principato-Young, also has a relationship with Michaels as he has been recurring on the Michaels-produced NBC series 30 Rock.
NBC and Lorne Michaels have won the Christina Applegate sweepstakes. The actress, who had been inundated by offers this pilot season, has closed a deal to topline NBC’s untitled Emily Spivey comedy pilot, lifting the contingency on the project. The comedy, from writer Spivey and Saturday Night Live chief Michaels, is an irreverent look at parenthood through the POV of an acerbic working mother (Applegate) -– who never thought she’d be a mom -– along with her stay-at-home husband and opinionated parents. In addition to starring, Applegate will serve with producer along with her manager Eric Kranzler. The CAA-repped actress, who recently gave birth to her first child, was the most sought-after actress this pilot season with about a dozen offers.
It is the end of January, and pilot offers to actors are going out fast and furious. Like every year, there are several actors that attract the lion’s share of offers. In the leading man category, two 40-something actors, Friday Night Lights star Kyle Chandler and Brotherhood alum Jason Isaacs, are red-hot, fielding a half-dozen offers each.
Among the ladies, Ugly Betty alumna Becki Newton is once again in demand despite the fact that her pilot gig could be in second position to her current series, NBC’s midseason dramedy Love Bites whose prospects are dim with a cut-back order and no premiere date set. (Love Bites co-star Greg Grunberg already booked the lead in the A&E pilot Big Mike in first position). Also sitting on multiple offers is Gilmore Girls alumna Krysten Ritter. Casting directors on several projects are also sending out feelers to Christina Applegate, who just gave birth to her first child. Other TV actors lured to return to series TV are Debra Messing, Jason Bateman, James Spader, Daniel Sunjata, Ali Larter, Lizzy Caplan and Katee Sackhoff.
As usual, pilot casting directors’ wish lists include a lot of movie … Read More »