Just under a month before its debut, The Knick is getting a second 10-episode season by Cinemax, it was announced today at the Summer TV Press Tour 2014. The announcement from Kary Antholis, president of HBO Miniseries and Cinemax Programming just before the start of a panel with EP and director Steven Soderbergh and star Clive Owen discussing the new 10-part series set to debut on August 8. “Understanding that they were reorienting that brand, I kind of wanted to be the big kid at that school,” the Oscar winner said soon afterwards of his desire to be on Cinemax. Owen added of his own initial involvement that “Steven called me up and he had the first script and told me he had a 10-part TV series.” Admitting he was hesitant at first, Owen said that once he started reading the first script, “40 minutes later there was no way I was not going to do it.” Soderbergh also said today that he would be directing all 10 episodes of Season 2 of The Knick as he did Season 1. “Practically speaking it’s a much more efficient way to work,” he noted of both the finances and aesthetic of one director handling a project like The Knick.
The Knick is Soderbergh’s first project since HBO’s 2013’s Emmy winning Behind The Candelabra - though he has several others on the go including a pilot for Amazon.
Co-creator and EPs Jack Amiel and Michael … Read More »
Steven Soderbergh directs and Clive Owen stars in Cinemax‘s new 10-part series The Knick, slated to debut August 8. Set in downtown New York in 1900, The Knick centers on Knickerbocker Hospital and the groundbreaking surgeons, nurses and staff who push the bounds of medicine in a time of astonishingly high mortality rates and zero antibiotics. André Holland, Eve Hewson, Juliet Rylance, Jeremy Bobb, Michael Angarano, Chris Sullivan, Cara Seymour, Eric Johnson, David Fierro, Maya Kazan, Grainger Hines, Leon Addison Brown and Matt Frewer round out the ensemble cast. Check out the first trailer.
Cinemax‘s first primetime drama series Strike Back had been filming its 10-episode fourth and final season in Bangkok, Thailand when one of its two stars, Sullivan Stapleton, suffered a serious injury while exploring the town in his free time. As a result, filming of the series will take a six-month break so he can recover. Because of Strike Back‘s action nature, the roles of stars Stapleton and Philip Winchester are physically demanding, often involving stunt work, which requires them to be in perfect physical condition that often includes intensive pre-filming training. Production will continue in Thailand through March as scheduled before it takes a break, resuming in the fall in Hungary. In the next few weeks, the series will be filming around Stapleton. He stars in the upcoming 300: Rise Of An Empire, which opens next week, so I hear Stapleton had filmed a lot of his Strike Back scenes in order to accommodate the standard carve-out given to actors on series who have a movie to promote. His injury will likely impact his promotional plans for 300.
Related: Cinemax’s ‘Strike Back’ Renewed For Fourth & Final Season
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Does the Time Warner CEO need a refresher in the difference between TV “viewers” and “ratings”? It couldn’t hurt after he mistakenly confused the two in a comment to analysts on Wednesday that Starz challenged. Jeff Bewkes wanted to demonstrate that Cinemax — usually overshadowed by HBO — is an “underappreciated asset.” To drive home the point he added: “In 2013, we actually had more viewing at Cinemax than at Starz and basically, the same viewing at Cinemax as at Showtime.” The problem? “He meant ‘ratings,’ not ‘viewership’,” a company spokesman tells me. The error is meaningful: Starz is in more households than Cinemax, and usually handily beats the Time Warner channel in the number of eyeballs it attracts. For example, Starz averaged 232,000 live-plus-same-day viewers last year vs. 158,000 for Cinemax, according to Nielsen data supplied by Starz. Bewkes’ initial “viewership” claim “is not substantiated when examined through the lens of all accepted audience measurement standards,” Starz says. Nielsen data show that “Starz bested Cinemax in households and in total viewers P2+ for total day, in prime time, in live-only viewing, and in every live+DVR measure, both for the flagship Starz network and the multiplex channels.” Easy to see why Time Warner prefers to look instead at ratings, the percentage of potential audience that tunes in. The Cinemax-brand channels collectively had a 1.0 total day rating in … Read More »
Franka Potente (The Bourne Identity), Amaury Nolasco (Prison Break) and Elizabeth Rodriguez (Orange Is The New Black) are among a septet of actors who have joined Cinemax‘s drama pilot Blanco, starring Shiloh Fernandez. Written by Mark Rosner and directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, the pilot, from Fox TV Studios and Lakeshore Entertainment, centers on Ruben (Fernandez), an uptown gangster — nicknamed Blanco for being a light-skinned Dominican — who uses his status as a confidential informant to turn the tables on law enforcement and build his criminal empire. Potente will play Leslee, Blanco’s girlfriend; Nolasco is cast as Jesus, Blanco’s brother; and Rodriguez, repped by Stone Manners Salners Agency and Opus Entertainment, will play NYPD Detective Stephanie Gomez. Also cast in the pilot are Sebastian Arcelus (House Of Cards) as Blanco’s lawyer Andy Silver, Audrey Esparza (The Following) as Blanco’s brother’s girlfriend Veronica, Erik LaRay Harvey (Boardwalk Empire) as NYPD Detective Mike LeBeau, and Alex Hernandez (Law & Order: SVU) as Blanco’s associate Nando.
Alan Ball’s True Blood may be coming to an end, but his Cinemax‘s series Banshee is only gaining momentum. The action series, now in its second season, just snagged another early renewal for a third season to air next year. It comes after three episodes, with Episode 4 slated for tomorrow night. Executive produced by Ball, Jonathan Tropper, David Schickler, Peter Macdissi and Greg Yaitanes, Banshee stars Antony Starr as Lucas Hood, an ex-con and master thief who tracks down Carrie Hopewell (Ivana Milicevic), his former lover and partner in crime, who has reinvented herself as the wife of the Banshee, PA prosecutor. In Banshee, Hood assumes the identity of the town’s sheriff and continues his criminal activities, even as he’s hunted by the shadowy gangsters he betrayed years earlier. Cinemax’s other original action series, Strike Back, was recently renewed for a fourth and final season.
EXCLUSIVE: Cinemax has given a pilot greenlight to Blanco, a drama project which has cast Shiloh Fernandez (Evil Dead) as the lead. Feature director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later) will direct the pilot, from Fox TV Studios and Lakeshore Entertainment. Blanco, which had been heating up at Cinemax since the summer, with the producers exploring casting and directing options, was written by Mark Rosner (Blue Bloods). It centers on Ruben (Fernandez), an uptown gangster — nicknamed Blanco for being a light-skinned Dominican — who uses his status as a confidential informant to turn the tables on law enforcement and build his criminal empire. Rosner and Lakeshore’s Gary Lucchesi and Tom Rosenberg are executive producing the pilot with Fresnadillo. Fernandez, repped by WME, Untitled Entertainment and Jackoway Tyerman, got his break on the cult CBS drama Jericho before segueing to features. He recently wrapped Return To Sender, serves as co-writer, producer, and star of the upcoming indie Queen Of Carthage and next will be seen in Gregg Araki’s White Bird In A Blizzard. At Cinemax, Blanco joins fellow drama pilot Quarry. HBO’s sibling network also has 10-part series The Knick coming up, directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Clive Owen.
Cinemax‘s first primetime drama series Strike Back will come to an end next year. The pay cable network has ordered a 10-episode fourth and final season of the action drama, which will shoot in Asia and Europe and air in 2014. Cinemax/HBO will once again co-produce with partners Left Bank and Sky, which will air the series in the UK. Also returning are Left Bank’s Andy Harries and Sky’s Cameron Roach as executive producers, Michael J. Bassett as co-executive producer, writer and director and James Dormer as co-executive producer and writer, series producer Michael Casey, and head of production Marigo Kehoe. Season 3 of Strike Back, starring Philip Winchester and Sullivan Stapleton, wrapped its run on October 18. It was succeeded by the original British Strike Back series, which is currently airing on Cinemax as Strike Back: Origins. With its successful four-season run, Strike Back put Cinemax on the original programming map and ushered in such follow-up series as recent breakout Banshee.
Banshee‘s 10-episode second season will get underway on Friday, January 10 at 10 PM, Cinemax said today. Antony Starr (Rush) returns as Lucas Hood, an ex-con and master thief who assumes the identity of the sheriff of Banshee, PA, where he continues his criminal activities, even as he’s being hunted by the shadowy gangsters he betrayed years earlier. Banshee was renewed just three weeks into its freshman season. Its Season 1 finale drew 455,000 viewers during its initial airing and 655,000 during repeats – the largest audience ever for a Cinemax original series finale. Cast regulars Ivana Milicevic, Ulrich Thomsen, Frankie Faison, Rus Blackwell, Rus Blackwell, Ryann Shane, Ben Cross and Anthony Ruivivar will all be back for Season 2. The series which nabbed a Special Visual Effects Emmy, is executive produced by Alan Ball, Peter Macdissi, Jonathan Tropper, David Schickler and Greg Yaitanes. Jonathan Tropper, David Schickler, Evan Dunsky, John Romano and Doug Jung penned the scripts. Directors this season include Greg Yaitanes, Ole Christian Madsen, Babak Najafi, and Loni Peristere.
EXCLUSIVE: On the heels of the success of Banshee, Cinemax has put in development another Western-themed drama project, this time with an European setting. Blood & Ice, from Banshee director Ole Christian Madsen (OC Madsen), is an American/Scandinavian Western-inspired action drama about the near-future race to control the vast natural resources hiding in the Arctic. A series of brutal murders shatters the provincial calm of Greenland as Chinese, Americans and Russians start pouring into the region. Blood & Ice was created by Creative Alliance’s Madsen and screenwriter Anders Thomas Jensen, and the story was developed by Christian Muff, Madsen, and Anders Thomas Jensen. Creative Alliance is a co-op of prominent Scandinavian directors and producers, including Danish filmmaker Madsen, whose movies include the 2011 Danish Oscar entry Superclasico. Madsen and Jensen are executive producing Blood & Ice, with Muff as co-executive producer.
The British series that spawned the Cinemax action drama Strike Back is getting a U.S. run on the HBO sibling network. Branded Strike Back: Origins, the six-episode series starring Richard Armitage (The Hobbit) and Andrew Lincoln (The Walking Dead) will debut on Cinemax on October 25, taking over Strike Back‘s Friday 10 PM slot. The Cinemax version, a co-production with British satcaster Sky and UK-based Left Bank Pictures, was inspired by the Armitage- and Lincoln-starring Sky/Left Bank series, which in turn was based on Chris Ryan’s book of the same name. The follow-up series introduced a brand new character with Armitage appearing in the first episode for continuity. Strike Back: Origins tells the story of John Porter (Armitage), an SAS soldier who realizes a connection between a current hostage situation and a mission he ran in Iraq in 2003. He appeals to Hugh Collinson (Lincoln), a fellow team member from that mission who now runs the stealth counterterrorism unit Section 20 for the UK government, to allow him to join the rescue mission. Check out the trailer:
EXCLUSIVE: Following the success of its first homegrown drama series Banshee, Cinemax is high on another drama project about a protagonist straddling the worlds of crime and law enforcement. Titled Blanco, the project is formally still in development awaiting a green light, but it already is exploring casting. Written by Mark Rosner (Blue Bloods), Blanco centers on an uptown gangster who uses his status as a confidential informant to turn the tables on law enforcement and build his criminal empire. Fox TV Studios and Lakeshore Entertainment are producing, with Rosner and Lakeshore’s Gary Lucchesi and Tom Rosenberg executive producing.
Related: Cinemax & Frank Spotnitz Developing ‘Hunted’ Spinoff
EXCLUSIVE: Andre Holland (42), Juliet Rylance (Sinister), Eve Hewson (Enough Said) and Michael Angarano (Empire State) are set to co-star opposite Clive Owen in Cinemax‘s 10-part series The Knick, directed by Steven Soderbergh. Oscar winner Soderbergh is set to direct all 10 episodes of the project, written by Jack Amiel and Michael Begler. Set in downtown New York in 1900, The Knick centers on Knickerbocker Hospital and the groundbreaking surgeons, nurses and staff who push the bounds of medicine in a time of astonishingly high mortality rates and zero antibiotics. Holland, repped by Paradigm and Brookside Artist Management, will play Algernon, a gifted, black Harvard-trained surgeon who fights for respect in the hospital while trying to navigate his way through the racially charged turn-of-the-century NYC. Read More »
Newcomer Margaret Qualley has been cast in Damon Lindelof’s HBO drama pilot The Leftovers, directed by Peter Berg. Based on Tom Perrotta’s book, the project takes place after the Rapture happens but not quite like it’s supposed to and centers on chief of police Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux). Qualley, repped by UTA and Authentic Management, will play his sixteen year-old daughter Jill, a former straight-A student feeling the gradual unwinding of the world around her.
Nikki Amuka-Bird (Luther) has been cast in Cinemax drama pilot Quarry. Based on Max Allan Collins’ novels and directed by John Hillcoat, Quarry is set in the 1970s and centers on Marine sniper Quarry (Logan Marshall-Green) who, upon his return home from Vietnam in 1973, finds himself shunned by those he loves and demonized by the public. Amuka-Bird, repped by Greene & Assoc., NB Management & Hamilton Hodell, will play Ruth, the wife of Quarry’s friend, fellow former Marine Artie. She will be seen next in the Wachowski’s Jupiter Ascending.
Young New York theater actor Jack Kesy has booked a regular role in FX‘s drama pilot The Strain, from Guillermo del Toro and Carlton Cuse. Directed and co-written by del Toro, The Strain tells the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), the … Read More »
Game Of Thrones‘ recurring player Noah Taylor has been cast opposite Logan Marshall-Green in Quarry, a drama pilot for HBO sibling Cinemax. Written by Graham Gordy and Michael D. Fuller based on the series of novels by Max Allan Collins, Quarry is set in the 1970s and centers on a Marine sniper (Marshall-Green) who, upon his return home from Vietnam in 1973, finds himself shunned by those he loves and demonized by the public. Taylor will play Buddy, a hitman who helps Quarry learn the ropes. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: We need to qualify Steven Soderbergh‘s self-imposed retirement from the business with an asterisk: feature films only. Just as his final film Behind The Candelabra airs this Sunday on HBO, Soderbergh is in talks to team with Clive Owen on The Knick, a period series set in New York in 1900. I’m told that he and Owen will set this series at Cinemax, which will give him a 10-episode season commitment. Soderbergh will direct all of the episodes. The setting: downtown New York in 1900, a tumultuous time of massive change and great progress. The series centers around the groundbreaking surgeons, nurses and staff at Knickerbocker Hospital, who are pushing the bounds of medicine in a time of astonishingly high mortality rates and zero antibiotics. Jack Amiel & Michael Begler wrote the pilot on spec, and they will be executive producers on the series. Owen and Soderbergh are also executive producers and so are Anonymous Content’s Michael Sugar and Soderbergh’s longtime producer Gregory Jacobs.
Related: Fleming Q&A With Steven Soderbergh: Retirement, Liberace, Legacy
While this might make some might look cynically on Soderbergh’s “retirement,” he told me the other day in an interview for the Michael Douglas-Matt Damon Liberace movie that for the moment, he has shut the door on feature films. I can see that he likes the energy present in pay and basic … Read More »
Logan Marshall-Green has been cast as the title character in Quarry, a drama project for Cinemax based on the series of novels by Max Allan Collins (Road To Perdition graphic novel). Written by Graham Gordy and Michael D. Fuller, Quarry is set in the 1970s and centers on a Marine sniper (Marshall-Green) who, upon his return home from Vietnam in 1973, finds himself shunned by those he loves and demonized by the public. Combat-hardened and disillusioned, he’s recruited into a network of contract killers and corruption spanning the length of the Mississippi River. John Hillcoat is set to direct the pilot, co-produced by Anonymous Content. Hillcoat, Gordy, Fuller, Collins and Ken Levin executive produce with Anonymous’ Steve Golin, David Kanter, Matt DeRoss and Keith Redmon.