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ABC Pilot ‘Counter Culture’ Not Going Forward Following Delta Burke’s Injury

By | Wednesday April 25, 2012 @ 3:15pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

I’ve learned that ABC’s comedy pilot Counter Culture is being shelved following last week’s injury suffered by one of its stars, Delta Burke, who fell on the set during pre-shoots two days before the multi-camera pilot’s main taping in front of studio audience. The producers had been hoping for a quick recovery that would allow the pilot to shoot and be in consideration for fall but that didn’t happen. I hear the matter is now in the hands of the insurance company, which has to sort out a host of issues surrounding the shutdown, including compensation for the cast and crew. The actors have not been formally released, allowing the network and producer Sony Pictures TV to film the pilot after the upfronts, though that doesn’t appear likely.

Written and executive produced by Stephnie Weir and executive produced by Claudia Lonow, Counter Culture was an early favorite as it was the first comedy pilot picked up by ABC this season but its production was delayed because of difficulties casting some of the leads. Counter Culture revolves around three sisters — Billie (Kerri Kenney), Nonie (Burke) and Joyce (Margo Martindale) — running their family diner together in West Texas who find that sibling dynamics are always getting in the way of getting the job done. Doris Roberts was to play the sisters’ aunt.

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ABC Pilot ‘Counter Culture’ Halts Production After Star Delta Burke Injured

By | Tuesday April 17, 2012 @ 12:36pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Delta Burke Injury Counter CultureI’ve learned that production on ABC’s comedy pilot Counter Culture has been stopped because of an injury suffered by one of its stars, Delta Burke, who had a fall on the set yesterday. The multi-camera pilot had been doing pre-shoots, with the main taping in front of a live audience scheduled for tomorrow. Word is Burke will be sidelined for at least a week, but producers are still hoping to finish the pilot in time for fall consideration. Written and executive produced by Stephnie Weir and executive produced by Claudia Lonow, Counter Culture revolves around three sisters — Billie (Kerri Kenney), Nonie (Burke) and Joyce (Margo Martindale) — running their family diner together in West Texas who find that sibling dynamics are always getting in the way of getting the job done. The pilot, produced by Sony Pictures TV, co-stars Doris Roberts as the sisters’ aunt.

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Ken Howard Joins ABC’s ‘Counter Culture’

By | Tuesday March 27, 2012 @ 3:08pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Veteran actor and SAG President Ken Howard has landed one of the last regular roles this pilot season — he is set to co-star in the ABC comedy Counter Culture. The multi-camera pilot, written and executive produced by Stephnie Weir, executive produced by Claudia Lonow and produced by Sony TV, revolves around three sisters, Joyce (Margo Martindale), Nonie (Burke) and Billie (Kerri Kenney, running their family diner together in West Texas who find that sibling dynamics are always getting in the way of getting the job done. Howard, repped by  Greene & Associates and manager Randy James, will play Joyce’s working-class husband Ken who is the caretaker of the diner. Ironically, Counter Culture is produced under AFTRA jurisdiction. However, as SAG president, Howard has been leading the charge for merging the two actor unions. Howard, who has been recurring on 30 Rock, is currently filming Acod opposite Catherine O’Hara is also in negotiations to join Better Living Through Chemistry.

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‘Reno 911′ Alum Kerri Kenney Lands A Lead In ABC Comedy Pilot ‘Counter Culture’

By | Saturday March 17, 2012 @ 3:26pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Kerri Kinney Reno 911 Counter CultureEXCLUSIVE: Reno 911 veteran Kerri Kenney is set as one of the leads in ABC/Sony TV’s multi-camera comedy pilot Counter Culture. Written and executive produced by writer-actress Stephnie Weir and executive produced by Claudia Lonow, Counter Culture revolves around three sisters running their family diner together in West Texas who find that sibling dynamics are always getting in the way of getting the job done. Kenney, repped by Gersh and Principato-Young, will play the youngest sister Billie, the baby of the family — an aging party girl who doesn’t realize that her best days are behind her. She is currently sober and attending AA meetings on a regular basis. Kenney, most recently seen in Wanderlust, joins previously cast Margo Martindale, who plays the eldest sister Joyce; and Doris Roberts, who plays the sisters’ aunt.

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Chris Messina, Luis Guzman & Rade Serbedzija Cast In Broadcast Pilots

By | Saturday March 10, 2012 @ 8:00am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Chris Messina Mindy KalingChris Messina has joined Mindy Kaling’s Fox single-camera comedy pilot, in which she stars as a young Bridget Jones-type Ob/Gyn balancing her personal and professional life, surrounded by quirky co-workers in a small office. Messina, who had multiple pilot offers this season, will play a character written for him by Kaling. Messina, repped by WME and Brillstein Entertainment, is finishing up a recurring role on Damages and is also recurring on Aaron Sorkin’s upcoming HBO series Newsroom. Read More »

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‘Justified’s Margo Martindale To Star In ABC Comedy Pilot ‘Counter Culture’

By | Wednesday February 29, 2012 @ 2:10pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Justified alumna Margo Martindale has been cast as one of the leads in ABC’s multi-camera comedy pilot Counter Culture. Additionally, Martindale has been taped for a guest-starring role in the Showtime pilot Masters Of Sex. Written and executive produced by writer-actress Stephnie Weir and executive produced by Claudia Lonow, Counter Culture revolves around three sisters running their family diner together in West Texas who find that sibling dynamics are always getting in the way of getting the job done. Martindale will play Joyce, the bossy eldest sister, the glue of the family and the rock, who is also a cancer survivor. It’s another matriarch role for Martindale, who won an Emmy for her portrayal of drug kingpin Maggs Bennett of the Bennett crime family on FX’s Justified. Counter Culture reunites Martindale with Sony TV, which produces both the ABC comedy pilot and the FX drama series. For Martindale, the casting is in second position to CBS’ softly rated freshman drama A Gifted Man, on which she is a regular. On Counter Culture, she joins another Emmy winner, Everybody Loves Raymond‘s Doris Roberts, who plays a cashier at the diner. As for Masters Of Sex, also produced by Sony TV, Martindale is joining the pilot along with Beau Bridges as guest stars/potential recurring. Bridges will play University Chancellor Barton Scully; Martindale will play his by-the-book secretary.

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Doris Roberts & Trio Of Young Actors Cast In Broadcast Pilots

By | Saturday February 25, 2012 @ 8:00am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Emmy-winning Everybody Loves Raymond co-star Doris Roberts is returning to active series duty with a co-starring role in ABC’s multi-camera comedy pilot Counter Culture. Written and executive produced by writer-actress Stephnie Weir and executive produced by Claudia Lonow, Counter Culture revolves around three aging sisters running their family diner together in West Texas who find that sibling dynamics are always getting in the way of getting the job done. Roberts will play Aunt Lee, a meticulously coiffed southern belle with a doomsday attitude who runs the cash register at the diner. She recently did an arc on another ABC comedy, The Middle, toplined by her Raymond co-star Patricia Heaton.

Julian Morris has been cast in Fox’s pilot Guilty, a legal drama from Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim, which centers on Billy Remz, a brilliant, morally questionable defense attorney who, after being falsely convicted of fraud and stripped of his legal license, uses his unorthodox methods to solve the cases he’s been banned from handling and to exact revenge on the men who set him up. Morris, repped by Gersh and Brillstein, will play an eager young attorney, dazzled and intimidated by Billy’s self-confidence and breezy ability when it comes to breaking the rules. McG is directing the Warner Bros. TV pilot written by Guggenheim. Read More »

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ABC Greenlights Sisters Comedy From Stephnie Weir & Claudia Lonow

By | Friday January 13, 2012 @ 5:15pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

On the heels of ABC picking up drama pilot Gilded Lillys earlier today, the network just greenlighted  a half-hour pilot, multi-camera comedy Counter Culture. Written and executive produced by writer-actress Stephnie Weir and executive produced by Claudia Lonow, Counter Culture revolves around three aging sisters running their family diner together in West Texas who find that sibling dynamics are always getting in the way of getting the job done. Weir won’t act in Counter Culture, which will be co-produced by Sony TV, where Weir has had a deal (she penned the 2010 ABC/Sony TV comedy pilot Wright Vs. Wrong starring Debra Messing), and ABC Studios. Lonow is expected to have a great pilot season. The Accidentally On Purpose creator has another comedy project at ABC through 20th TV and Imagine TV, which is very hot and already has a put pilot commitment, making a pilot order very likely. The pickup for Counter Culture extends female comedy writers’ hot streak this season.

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