Breakthrough Entertainment Acquires Joker Films
Toronto-based Breakthrough Entertainment has acquired sales, packaging, and production company Joker Films. Joker’s lineup of family films, thrillers, comedies and docus will be folded into Breakthrough’s catalog including Kristen Bell starrer The Lifeguard; That Burning Feeling, starring John Cho and Paulo Costanzo; Daydream Nation, starring Josh Lucas and Andie MacDowell; and Step Dogs. As part of the deal, Joker founder Tim J. Brown will join Breakthrough as EVP Feature Films, overseeing film acquisition, sales and marketing, and development and production. He’ll report to Breakthrough President of Distribution Nat Abraham and work out of the company’s Vancouver office. Before founding Joker Films in 2009, Brown was President of Distribution at Insight Releasing and VP Worldwide Sales at Keystone Distribution.
‘The Young And The Restless’, ‘Days Of Our Lives’ Renewed In Canada
Sony Pictures Television and Shaw Media have inked a deal to extend the Canadian run of veteran daytime dramas The Young And The Restless and Days Of Our Lives on Shaw-owned Global Television through the 2015-16 TV season. Now in its 41st year on air, The Young And The Restless has amassed 123 Daytime Emmy Awards and leads this year nominees with 26. It is produced by Bell Dramatic Serial Company in association with Sony Pictures Television. Days of our Lives, in its 49th year, has garnered 36 Daytime Emmy Awards … Read More »
The nuptials of Will Horton (Guy Wilson) and Sonny Kiriakis (Freddie Smith) — or WilSon, as the NBC soap’s faithful call them — will be played out over three episodes this week. It’s the first time two men have tied the knot on a daytime drama. Days Of Our Lives turns 50 next year; in the meantime, here’s a tease of WilSon’s Big Day:
NBC has extended the long-running daytime drama for an additional two years, taking it through September 2016. Days Of Our Lives, which marks its 50th year on television in November 2015, has nabbed 232 Daytime Emmy nominations and 36 wins, including a recent Emmy win for Outstanding Daytime Drama. Set in the fictitious Midwestern town of Salem, Days focuses on core families the Bradys, the Hortons and the DiMeras. The multi-layered storylines involve elements of romance, adventure, mystery, comedy and drama. Days Of Our Lives currently is delivering its best season in women 18-49 viewers in three years and biggest season in total viewers in four years, according to NBC.
Related: Alison Sweeney To Leave ‘Days Of Our Lives’ After 21-Year Run
After a 21-year run on NBC‘s Days of Our Lives, actress Alison Sweeney is departing the soap, she announced on Ellen. She’s played the role of Samantha “Sami” Brady (at times Sami Brady Reed, Walker, Roberts, DiMera and Hernandez) since joining the show in 1993 at age 16 and played the scheming character from teenager to adult. During her two decades on the soap Sweeney won five Soap Opera Digest awards and a Daytime Emmy for the role, becoming one of Days‘ best-loved villains. In 2007 Sweeney also took over as host on NBC’s The Biggest Loser. ‘I’m celebrating my 21st year, and I decided it’s going to be my last year on the show,” she told Ellen DeGeneres, saying she hopes for Sami to have a “twisted Breaking Bad ending.”
The 40th Daytime Emmy Awards named Days Of Our Lives Outstanding Drama Series at the annual awards held Sunday at the Beverly Hilton, where the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences honored the best in daytime programming. It was a big win at the end of the night for the NBC soap after all previous statuettes had gone to its competitors, CBS’ Young and the Restless and Bold and the Beautiful and ABC’s General Hospital. CBS led this year’s winners with seven major wins while George Lucas took home his first Emmy for his animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. (See full list of nominees here.) Meanwhile, it took three co-hosts – Robin Meade, Sam Champion, and AJ Hammer – to emcee a snafu-laden telecast that one Tweeter appropriately deemed “must watch train wreck TV.” (Just scroll down for the laundry list of HLN network flubs that ran 35 minutes late and had viewers irate on both coasts.)
Related: ‘Ellen,’ ‘Sesame Street,’ CBS Lead 40th Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Awards
In his first Emmy win, George Lucas accepted the award for Outstanding Special Class Animated Program for his Star Wars: The Clone Wars series from presenter Carrie Fisher who joked before opening the envelope, “Our nominees haven’t taken acid, at least not with me – which is, as most of you know, the only way to go. Right, George?” Lucas thanked the TV Academy for including animation in their annual program and gave a shout out to “all those poor souls who toil over their computers.”
It wasn’t the smoothest of award shows. The Talk co-host Aisha Tyler was handed the wrong envelope presenting for Best Informative Talk Show and had to use her comic chops to stall while the correct winner was relayed to her onstage. Mic and audio issues dotted the HLN telecast – including mics completely turned off and an errant audio feed of co-host Meade shouting into her backstage mic, “Can you guys hear me? You can? This is my song from my album!” over an HLN network ad playing between commercial breaks. And that was before presenter Corbin Bernsen dropped an uncensored f-bomb on live TV. Read More »
Veteran casting director Fran Bascom passed away on Sunday. She had been feeling poorly of late but was still very energetic until she became ill last night and was taken to Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, CA, where she died. Bascom, who had her own casting agency, Fran Bascom Casting, cast such popular shows as Lou Grant, Designing Women, Evening Shade, Hearts Afire and soap Days Of Our Lives. According to IMDb, her most recent job was on last year’s Hank Williams biopic The Last Ride starring Henry Thomas and Kaley Cuoco. Her Casting Society of America bio noted that her passion was theatre, and she volunteered her casting expertise at various small theaters in LA where she was always on the lookout for new talent.
What a difference a year makes. Between 2009 and 2012, daytime soaps went from 8 to 4, and by the end of 2012, Prospect Park’s effort to revive two of the departed, All My Children and One Life To Live, had hit a dead end. Then within the last month, NBC renewed its daytime drama, Days Of Our Lives, and Prospect Park got its plan for AMC and OLTL online series back on track. Now I hear that CBS is poised to renew The Bold And The Beautiful, and ABC has no plans to cancel General Hospital (the series is on a perpetual production track and doesn’t need formal renewals if the network wants to keep it on the air). CBS’ Young & The Restless, the highest-rated daytime drama, is two years into a three-year pickup, and casting and pre-production on AMC and OLTL is in full swing. That means that we will likely have more daytime dramas on next fall than we have this season — the first such year-to-year gain in 15 years, since NBC added Passions in 1998.
Related: ‘All My Children’, ‘One Life To Live’ Set For Spring Premiere On Hulu & iTunes
Daytime soaps’ improving fortunes is not a … Read More »
On Sunday, NBC boss Bob Greenblatt hinted at a renewal for the network’s sole daytime soap Days Of Our Lives. “I think Days will stick around,” he said. “I don’t want to say that officially yet, but I don’t think it’s going anywhere.” Well, now it’s official: NBC has announced the pickup of Days Of Our Lives for an additional year, through September 2014. The news comes as the soap marks its 12,000th episode this week. “We are thrilled to announce that Days Of Our Lives is not going anywhere,” NBC entertainment president Jennifer Salke said. “It is NBC’s longest-running drama series by far and is one of the most historic brands in television.” Days is produced by Sony Pictures TV and executive produced by Ken Corday. The show first premiered as a half-hour drama in 1965 and expanded to an hour 10 years later.
Related: ‘All My Children’ & ‘One Life To Live’ Revivals Confirmed