In a widely anticipated move, FX has hit the power chord and ordered Denis Leary‘s music comedy Sex&Drugs&Rock&Rollto series. The deal just finalized is for 10 episodes to air sometime in 2015 and reunites Leary with the cable network three years after Rescue Me ended its seven-season run.
Created, written by and starring Leary, Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll centers on Johnny Rock, played by Leary. The lead singer of NYC’s legendary early-’90s band The Heathens, Rock is trying to get the both his band and his life back together. John Corbett co-stars along with Elizabeth Gillies, Bobby Kelly and Elaine Hendrix. Leary and partner Jim Serpico are executive producing through their Apostle banner. It is produced by FX Productions and Fox Television Studios and will be filmed on location in New York City, with the plan to feature original music and occasional guest appearances by real rock stars.
“We have been honored by long-standing collaborations with both FX and Apostle, so it’s gratifying for us to be able to break new ground with them both,” FTVS President David Madden said in announcing the pickup. “Our partnership with Denis and Apostle has been one of our most fruitful ventures, and this time out fans will definitely see a different Denis. As both actor and writer, Denis plunges into dazzlingly original arenas of dark comedy and, along with a stellar veteran cast, the results are just really funny.” Read More »
USA Network is showing comedy creators that it is willing to stick with new series while they find their legs, giving a 13-episode second-season order to freshman paramedic comedy Sirens, from Fox TV Studios, Denis Leary and Bob Fisher. Sirens was the first original half-hour comedy series to launch under USA’s current push in the genre. It was a slow build but the show developed a following from a loyal core audience and even showed ratings growth over its run, despite losing its Suits lead-in halfway through. It ranks as the top new basic cable comedy series of the year among total viewers, averaging 1.62 million, and in adults 25-54 (870,000). “Sirens resonated with a broad fan base, and we are excited to grow this new audience further, as season two promises a lot more laughs and irreverent humor,” said USA Network President Chris McCumber. “We’re pleased to continue our partnership with Denis Leary and Bob Fisher, whose unique brand of witty, off-kilter and laugh-out-loud writing is brought to life by the immensely talented cast.” Read More »
UPDATE: 10:45 AM: Jimmy Fallon led comfortably in the ratings last night, despite Jimmy Kimmel’s big “get” – first-ever JKL appearance by former President Bill Clinton. Fallon got a last-minute assist from former VPOTUS-candidate-turned-reality-TV-regular Sarah Palin. In Nielsen’s 56 metered markets, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon scored a household 3.0/7; CBS’ Late Show With David Letterman a 2.5/6, and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live a 2.4/6. In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49 results were: Tonight at 1.1/5; Late Show’s 0.5/2; and JKL’s 0.8/4. Watch Clinton and Kimmel here: Read More »
Alona Tal (Burn Notice) is set as a regular in Amazon Studios‘ pilot Hand Of God, written by Ben Watkins and directed by Marc Forster. It centers on the powerful Judge Harris Pernell (Ron Perlman), a hard-living, law-bending married man with a high-end call girl on the side who has a religious awakening and starts having visions and hearing voices through his ventilator-bound son that could be God speaking to him. Tal, repped by Innovative and McKeon Myones, will play Pernell’s daughter-in-law Jocelyn.
Denis Leary’s FX pilot Sex&Drugs&Rock&Rollhas added Sainty Nelsen(Jimmy Kimmel Live!). The project centers on Johnny Rock (Leary), the magnificently talented lead singer of a legendary early-’90s band who is trying to get the band together. Nelsen, repped by the Carson Adler-Agency and Michael Einfeld Management, will play Becky, the best friend of 22-year-old aspiring singer Gigi (Elizabeth Gillies). John Corbett co-stars.
John Corbett, who has been straddling careers as an actor and a musician, will blend the two with a starring opposite Denis Leary in FX‘s music comedy pilot Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll. Written by Leary, the project centers on Johnny Rock (Leary), the magnificently talented lead singer of New York’s legendary early-’90s band The Heathens. His best friend Flash (Corbett) was being called the next No. 1 lead guitar player on Earth, with their tandem compared to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards or Steven Tyler and Joe Perry. Minus the money. And the fame. And the ability to stay in the same room for longer than five minutes without wanting to kill each other. Still, the critics loved them. Their live shows were selling out. But Johnny had a problem with booze. And coke. And weed. And pills. And cough medicine. And oh yeah – he slept with Flash’s wife. Twenty-five years later Johnny is trying to get the band back together. Meanwhile, Flash has carried on and found some fame as a respected session player and occasional guitarist for Lady Gaga. This marks Corbett’s return to FX, where he toplined cult 2003 comedy series Lucky. The actor, who was also pursued for broadcast pilots, recently wrapped the feature The Boy Next Door opposite Jennifer Lopez. He is a touring country musician with two albums (check out a performance below). Repped by the Gersh and Lovett Management.
UPDATED WITH TCA TRAILER: “[USA] said ‘OK, listen, you can’t show the horse actually getting a blowjob’, and we said, ‘We know we can’t show the horse getting the blowjob,’ but, secretly, we were, ‘F*ck! We can’t show the horse getting a blowjob!’ ” Denis Leary told TCA critics this morning when asked the difference between making Rescue Me for FX and making his new series, Sirens, for USA Network.
Leary and Bob Fisher came to the winter TV press tour to talk about Sirens, premiering March 6 at 10 PM after the return of Suits at 9 PM. It moves to a single episode at 10 PM the next week, paired with a Modern Family repeat at 10:30 PM. The single-camera comedy follows three Chicago EMTs played by Michael Mosley (Pan Am, Scrubs), Kevin Daniels (Modern Family), and Kevin Bigley. It’sbased on a British series of same name. Leary’s business partner, Jim Serpico, was approached by the British producers, who were fans of Rescue Me, wondering if they wanted to adapt it for the U.S. “We really liked those guys, and USA was pillaging the cast of Rescue Me and putting them into shows,” Leary explained. So they decided “we can make some money off these USA people,” he said. Read More »
Rescue Me co-creator/star Denis Leary is back in business with FX, this time on the comedy side. FX Networks has given a pilot order to Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll, written by and starring Leary as a middle-aged rock ‘n roller who desperately wanted to be rich and famous but so far, he’s 0 for 2. The show will feature original music and occasional guest appearances by actual rock stars. The pilot, tentatively slated to film in the spring in New York City, is produced by FX Prods. and Fox Television Studios where Leary and Jim Serpico’s Apostle has a cable deal. Leary and Serpico exec produce. As is the case with most FX comedy pilots, Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll is being ordered under the FX Networks umbrella, with a decision whether the project would be for flagship FX or comedy-centric FXX to be made at a series pickup. “Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll is a terrific script and concept with Denis Leary’s signature brand of comedy,” said FX president of original programming Eric Schrier. “Denis is a tremendous talent who played a major role in the growth of our network with Rescue Me, which was one of the most groundbreaking series of the last decade.” Added Leary, “I am very excited to be returning to FX where working with Nick (Grad), Eric and John Landgraf has been one of the best creative experiences of my life. Plus I hear they have much better swag now.”
Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll, which has no connection to Eric Bogosian’s play of the same name, is centered on Johnny Rock (Leary) who, as the magnificently talented lead singer of New York’s legendary early 90′s band The Heathens, was on his way to the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. His best friend Flash was being called the next number one lead guitar player on planet earth. The critics loved them. Their live shows were selling out. But Johnny had a problem with booze. And coke. And weed. And pills. And cough medicine. And oh yeah – he slept with Flash’s wife. And his bass player’s fiancée. Read More »
IFC has ordered a second season of comedy series Maron from Fox Television Studios. The 13-episode season will debut next year. Marc Maron exec produces, writes and stars. Here’s IFC’s announcement:
NEW YORK, NY –July 23, 2013 – Boomer lives! And so does Maron on IFC. The network announced today the renewal of the critically acclaimed comedy series Maron for a second season with 13 all new half-hour episodes, up from 10, scheduled to premiere in 2014.
“In many ways, Marc is a perfect representation of IFC and our approach to comedy,” said Jennifer Caserta, president and general manager of IFC. “He also seems to be in need of a less dysfunctional family, so we’re happy he’s returning to ours for an expanded second season.”
EXCLUSIVE: Denis Leary has been set to star in Draft Day, the Ivan Reitman-directed football film that stars Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner. Pic’s getting underway through Lionsgate and Gigi Pritzker’s OddLot Entertainment. Leary will play Vince Penn, the new head coach of the Cleveland Browns, who finds himself at odds with the team’s GM (Costner). It adds extra pressure as the GM attempts to make the right picks to lift the franchise through the NFL draft. There was a ticking clock on this casting, because part of the film will be shot at the April 25 draft to be held in Radio City Music Hall. As originally constituted in the Black List script by Scott Rothman and Rajiv Joseph, the team was supposed to be the Buffalo Bills, but Lionsgate got better incentives in Ohio and made it the Cleveland Browns. Leary has been co-executive producing IFC’s Maron and is co-writing and producing Sirens, the pilot for USA Network. His Apostle banner also produced the Detroit firefighter documentary Burn, which won the Audience Award at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival. He is represented by WME and Ziffren.
USA Network has cast the four leads in the Denis Leary comedy pilotSirens:Michael Mosley (Pan Am, Scrubs), Kevin Daniels (Modern Family),Kevin Bigley and Jessica McNamee. Co-created by Leary and Bob Fisher, Sirens follows three of Chicago’s best EMTs — Johnny (Mosley), Hank (Daniels) and Brian (Bigley) — whose sometimes self-loathing, other times narcissistic, and always downright self-destructive personalities make them unqualified for sustaining relationships, friendships and most occupations. They are, however, uniquely qualified for saving anyone unlucky enough to wind up in their ambulance. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Apostle partners Denis Leary and Jim Serpico have come aboard as executive producers of Burn, a feature documentary about the city of Detroit seen through the eyes of its firefighters. The pair behind the FX firefighter drama Rescue Me have launched a campaign on the crowd-funding site Kickstarter to seek finishing financing for the docu, which centers on the struggle of the men and women charged with the task of saving a city many have written off. Burn will be co-directed by Tom Putnam and Brenna Sanchez and is targeting the 2012 festival season. “This film will help raise the public’s awareness to the work firefighters around the country do, as well as the sacrifices they make, particularly in these times of severe budget cuts,” Leary said. The filmmakers are offering products and experiences to entice Kickstarter donors, including a Boardwalk Empire set visit and an autographed helmet signed by the Rescue Me cast. So far, Burn has been funded via grants and donations from the likes of GM and Apple. A portion of the film’s proceeds will go to The Leary Firefighters Foundation to purchase equipment for the Detroit Fire Department.
EXCLUSIVE: Leslie Glass’ popular April Woo series of suspense novels is headed to TV. CBS has bought a drama procedural based on the nine mystery books that hails from Denis Leary and Jim Serpico’s Apostle production banner and CBS TV Studios. Novelist and TV writer Amy Bloom, creator of the Lifetime series State of Mind, will write the script and executive produce the project with Leary and Serpico. Glass’ April Woo mystery series center on the title character, a brilliant young Chinese-American who becomes the first female head of detectives in Coney Island, New York. Raised in the traditions of modesty, good manners and quiet self-effacement, she is hardly a perfect fit to tackle Coney Island’s connected families, drug deals on the Boardwalk, feminist strippers, and corrupt politicians. The project stems from Apostle’s first-look deal with CBS TV Studios for network TV.
Developing a drama series with a female Asian lead is a major step in diversity for the broadcast networks. It follows CBS’ recent casting of black actors as the leads of three high-profile procedurals: LL Cool J on NCIS: LA, Laurence Fishburne on CSI and Forest Whitaker on Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior. It also comes on the heels of CBS’ sister network launching the first major drama series with an Asian actress as the title character, thriller Nikita starring Maggie Q. Read More »
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA.
It was supposed to be a sober, nostalgic, reflective visit with Rescue Me writer-producer-star Denis Leary, showrunner Peter Tolan and castmates Steven Pasquale and Callie Thorne as the iconic FX firefighter hour wraps up seven seasons on Sept. 7, four days before the 10th anniversary of 9/11. What it turned into Saturday morning at TCA was the most raucous and entertaining panel of the 12-day event to date, as Leary and Tolan put on a show for critics bleary-eyed from the nonstop coverage that finally wraps Monday.
Things started to get crazy about halfway through the 30-minute panel, when Leary observed with his usual manic energy, “You guys have spent, what, three fucking weeks here talking to TV people and now you’re fuckin’ bored.” Tolan then picked up the ball and added, “I’m going to take my pants off.” That led into a fresh rant from Leary, who railed: “By the way, USA (Network) is fuckin’ raiding Rescue Me. (Steven) Pasquale’s shooting a pilot (Over/Under) for them. Callie (Thorne) is starring in a show (Necessary Roughness) for ‘em. I’m writing a pilot for ‘em.” Tolan: “I’m doing very mild janitorial work. … And working for just a few weeks as (USA programming chief) Jeff Wachtel’s fluffer.”
Shortly thereafter, to help boost the excitement of the festivities, Tolan stood and pulled down his pants to reveal very oddly colored briefs. Much laughter and applause ensued. A critic then tried to ask a serious question: Does Leary fear that his role on Rescue Me is one he will now always be identified with, perhaps to his detriment? Tolan decided to intercept that one: “When you say that Denis will be remembered for this part, I think you’re forgetting Operation Dumbo Drop.” The room roared. Read More »
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA.
With their seriocomic firefighter drama Rescue Me ending its run on FX in September, series co-creators Denis Leary and Peter Tolan are embarking on another series project together. “I guess I can say right now that Mr. Leary and I are tomorrow starting writing on our next show, a half-hour for him to star in,” Tolan told Deadline today after the TCA panel on the final season of Rescue Me. He described it as “strictly a comedy, like nothing we’ve done before. It’s not a traditional comedy, probably for cable. We’re doing it totally on spec and taking it out.” Before Rescue Me, Leary and Tolan co-created the underrated ABC cop comedy The Job, which also starred Leary. Tolan said that after 10 years of working together, first on The Job and then on Rescue Me, he figures that he and Leary “have some connection in our comic sensibilities.” Leary has another half-hour project in the works as a writer: He recently signed on to co-pen with Bob Fisher an adaptation of the upcoming British series Sirens for USA Network. Read More »
In his first series writing gig since FX’s Rescue Me, Denis Leary is set to co-pen an adaptation of the upcoming British series Sirens for USA Network. Leary will co-write the half-hour project about the antics of young paramedics with Bob Fisher, who most recently adapted another foreign comedy format, Israeli’s Traffic Light, for Fox. Leary and Fisher will executive produce with Leary’s producing partner at Apostle Jim Serpico, and Hal Vogel and David Aukin of Daybreak Pictures. Apostle will co-produce with Fox TV Studios, where the company has an overall deal for cable projects, in association with Daybreak. (For broadcast series, Apostle has a pact with CBS TV Studios.) It was during a general meeting Leary, Serpico and FtvS execs took with USA that Leary and Serpico mentioned Sirens. The USA brass were eager to get in business with the producers and asked to see a script of the British series. “When we read the material, we fell in love with the leads,” USA’s SVP original scripted programming Bill McGoldrick said. The project is not being written as a starring vehicle for Leary and for now he is only attached to co-write and executive produce, but there is a possibility for him to take on a small role if the comedy goes to series. Created by Brian Fillis, the six-episode UK series Sirens was inspired by EMT paramedic Tom Reynolds’ book, Blood, Sweat and Tea. It revolves around a trio of paramedics who bicker, fight and shag their way through the darkly funny maelstrom of their lives. Read More »
CULVER CITY, Calif., February 14, 2011 – Columbia Pictures announced today that the title of the next Spider-Man film will be The Amazing Spider-Man.The studio simultaneously released a photo of Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man, the first shot of Garfield in the famous full mask and suit.
The film, which is now in production and is being shot entirely in 3D, will be released on July 3, 2012. The film stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Campbell Scott, Irrfan Khan, Martin Sheen, and Sally Field. The film is directed by Marc Webb from a screenplay by James Vanderbilt and Alvin Sargent and Steve Kloves based on the Marvel Comic Book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Laura Ziskin, Avi Arad, and Matt Tolmach are producing the Marvel Entertainment production for Columbia Pictures. The executive producers are Stan Lee, Kevin Feige, and Michael Grillo.
Denis Leary goes Hollywood with the promo campaign for his new book, Suck on This Year: LYFAO@140 Characters or Less, a compilation of his tweets. Here is a look at the movie trailer-type ad for the book.
In its first development cycle under its deal at CBS TV Studios, Denis Leary and Jim Serpico’s Apostle has sold 3 projects: 2 at CBS and one at the CW. The sales come 3 months after Apostle sealed pacts with CBS Studios on the broadcast and Fox TV Studios on the cable side after 7 years at Sony TV. The CBS projects are Mind Games from writer Roger Wolfson and the previously announced medical drama Cross Roads from Elle Johnson, while the CW drama is Trigger, from playwright Kyle Jarrow.
Mind Games is about an impassioned female psychologist specializing in memory who teams up with a tough-as-nails police detective to solve crimes. Trigger is a fast-paced cop show that follows four twenty-something cops/adrenaline junkies who get fast-tracked into the elite Street Crimes Unit when its previous members are all busted for corruption. Of Jarrow, Serpico says, “we’ve discovered a rock star.” 30-year-old Jarrow is living up to that billing as an accomplished playwright and, well, a budding rock star. At 24, he won an Obie Award for A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant; the feature Armless which he wrote premiered at Sundance in January, and he is curently on tour with his indie rock band, Super Mirage. This is not Jarrow’s first script sale: he previously had Shoot the Moon set up at ABC. Jarrow is with CAA and Madhouse. Wolfson is with Kaplan Stahler and the Collective. Apostle is with WME.
EXCUSIVE: Denis Leary and Jim Serpico’s Apostle is branching out into management. The duo’s New York-based film and TV production company is launching Apostle Management, whose main focus will be shaping up the careers of stand-up comedians who aspire to perform, write and direct their own material. “In this digital era, we will lend both our creative and production experience to help our clients achieve their potential,” Serpico said, adding that he and Leary are looking to tap into the “many resources and talented people” of New York City. To do that, Apostle has brought in veteran New York-based comedy representative Conan Smith. “I just like the idea of having a guy named Conan in my office,” Leary quipped. “We actually had hired Conan O’Brien but then TBS made him a slightly better offer so – mark my words – one day when you hear the name Conan you will think of Conan Smith.”
Smith spent 15 years with William Morris and was involved in the creation of the agency’s comedy department in New York, which he ultimately ended up heading. The department’s clients have included Ray Romano, Jon Stewart, Kevin James, Robert Klein, Colin Quinn and Tom Papa. Smith also spent two years at Endeavor before segueing into producing in 2007. Leary and Serpico launched Apostle in 1994. The company, which just inked a two-year overall deal with Fox TV Studios … Read More »