Check Out Our New Look

Universal Taps Alex Kurtzman, Chris Morgan To Relaunch Classic Movie Monster Franchises

By | Wednesday July 16, 2014 @ 12:53pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Universal Taps Alex Kurtzman, Chris Morgan To Relaunch Classic Movie Monster FranchisesEXCLUSIVE: In recent years Universal Pictures has become defined by its The Fast And The Furious, Despicable Me, Bourne and Jurassic Park franchises. But the studio’s most enduring legacy is its library of classic movie monsters that include Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolf Man, Creature Of The Black Lagoon, The Invisible Man, Bride Of Frankenstein, and The Mummy. Universal is now dedicating renewed resources and an unprecedented, far-reaching commitment to revitalize its monster heritage.

frankenThe studio is in early stages of developing a substantial new production endeavor that will expand and unify a network of classic characters and stories. The architects of that narrative will be Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan. Kurtzman recently broke with partner Roberto Orci, but his big-scale projects have included Transformers, Star Trek and The Amazing Spider-Man. Morgan is the writer behind five installments of The Fast And The Furious, which has been Universal’s most reliably lucrative franchise. It’s not set in stone yet if either will write, but they will soon be going around town enlisting talent to bring new cinematic life to these enduring characters from lore, literature and Universal’s own library. While Universal has selectively tapped its Movie Monster library for The Mummy, Van Helsing, The Wolfman, and the upcoming Dracula Untold, this will be the first time that the studio has formalized an approach to these classic characters in a cohesive, connected way rather than as a series of stand-alone projects by disparate filmmaking teams. Read More »

Comments 43

NBC’s ‘Dracula’ Cancelled, ‘Parenthood’ Renewal Still On Hold

By | Saturday May 10, 2014 @ 12:26pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

draculaOne more piece has fallen into place for NBC‘s schedule next season with the network opting not to bring back vampire drama Dracula for a second season. That leaves us with Parenthood, which is still in a holding pattern for a 13-episode sixth season. The deadline for the actors to agree to a parenthoodcost-cutting episodic guarantee reduction, that would have them appear in as few as 9 of the final episodes, came and went yesterday afternoon with no agreement reached for some of the key cast members. Things have been mostly quiet since though there is still hope that the beloved family drama will come back for a final chapter.

Related: ‘Parenthood’ Future In Limbo Amid Standoff With Cast

Both Dracula and Hannibal, which shared the Friday 10 PM slot this season, are produced under a different model that allows for a lower license fee, making them advantageous for NBC. Dracula (1.8) premiered stronger than Hannibal (1.6 in Season 1, 1.1 in Season 2). It lost steam after the solid debut, and there had been some issues with star Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who received good reviews, during the shoot. With Hannibal‘s license fee poised to become even more lucrative for Season 3, the network renewed that series.

Comments 152

RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Shark Tank’ & ‘20/20’ Rebound Post-Olympics; ‘Hannibal’ Soft In Return; CBS Lineup Down

By | Saturday March 1, 2014 @ 10:07am PST
Nellie Andreeva

hugh-dancy-hannibal-season-2-premiere-recap-nbcWith the Olympics over, ABC returned to its dominant self on Friday, paced by Shark Tank (2.1 in adults 18-49, up 24% from last week) and 20/20 (1.8, up 29%), which were back to finishing 1-2 for the night. Shark Tank drew its second largest audience ever (7.8 million). ABC’s comedies returned lower from their last originals, Last Man Standing (1.2, down 20%) and The Neighbors (1.0, down 9%). Still, ABC easily top the night, equaling its season high in the demo (1.7)

On NBC, Grimm returned from hiatus to a 1.4, down a tenth from its last original on Jan. 24. It led to the second season premiere of Hannibal, which posted a 1.1 demo rating. That was down from Hannibal‘s series premiere (1.6) in the Thursday 10 PM slot last season and the debut of Dracula (1.8) in the Friday 10 PM hour earlier this season. NBC points out that Hannibal’s Season 2 premiere topped the last five episode of Hannibal‘s first season. But those five episodes aired after the end of the season with very low HUT levels and in a vacuum, with no programming support. For instance, the Season 1 finale of the drama series posted a 0.8 in 18-49 behind an hourlong rerun of The Office, which manged a 0.5 in the demo. Last night, it followed … Read More »

Comments 24

RATINGS RAT RACE: CBS’ ‘Undercover Boss’ Up In Return, NBC Dramas Rebound

By | Saturday January 18, 2014 @ 9:33am PST
Nellie Andreeva

undercover-boss-logo_20110328001421CBS’ Undercover Boss showed no signs of rust in its return from a monthlong hiatus, logging a 1.6 at 8 PM last night, up 14% from its last original on December 16. But that had little impact on the rest of CBS’ lineup, with Hawaii Five-0 (1.5) matching its fast national from last week and Blue Bloods (1.4) slipping a tenth. A stronger lead-in helped NBC’s 9-11 PM dramas. After dropping last week with a low-rated Olympics special at 8 PM, Grimm (1.5) and Dracula (0.9) both rebounded with Dateline (1.5) back, up 15% and 29%, respectively. Fox’s Bones (1.5) held steady, but the network’s comedies each slipped a tenth to rank as the lowest-rated programs of the night. Raising Hope posted a 0.7, while Enlisted logged a 0.6 in its second week. Also down a notch this week were ABC’s comedies. Last Man Standing (1.4) was down a tenth, The Neighbors (0.9) down o.2. But with Shark Tank (2.1) and 20/20 (1.7) steady, matching season highs and repeating as the two highes- rated programs of the night, ABC again was No.1 in adults 18-49 (1.7) . CBS was tops in viewers (10.6 million). On the CW, The Carrie Diaries (0.4) was up a tenth.

Comments (8)

RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Grimm’ Up, ‘Dracula’ Down In Return

By | Saturday January 4, 2014 @ 10:35am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Grimm - Red MenaceGiven how much work goes into producing a scripted series, especially high-end drama, it is disheartening to see the ratings pecking order last night: Sports first (Fox‘s night-winning coverage of the Cotton Bowl, 1.9 among adults 18-49 in the non-time zone adjusted fast nationals), newsmagazines second (NBC‘s Dateline and ABC‘s 20/20, tied at 1.5) and then original scripted dramas. Following Dateline, NBC’s Grimm returned from a month-long hiatus to a 1.4 in 18-49, up 17% from its last original on Dec. 13. But Dracula (0.9) was down 18% from its last original (though matching its previous three telecasts.) The only other original last night was the CW‘s The Carrie Diaries (0.4), which was up a tenth from its last outing.

Comments (15)

RATINGS RAT RACE: Garth Brooks Rules, ‘Grimm’ & ‘Raising Hope’ Dip, ‘Dracula’ Flat

By | Saturday November 30, 2013 @ 9:42am PST
Nellie Andreeva

garth-live-from-vegasHe may have spent most of the last decade in retirement and semi-retirement, but Garth Brooks still has a things or two to show to his younger colleagues. The two-hour  Garth Brooks Live From Las Vegas special dominated primetime last night with a 1.8 rating in adults 18-49, and a very impressive for the night after Thanksgiving 8.8 million viewers. Brooks doubled the demo rating for Lady Gaga‘s Thanksgiving special with the Muppets and almost tripled her viewership. CBS won the night in 18-49 and total viewers. NBC was the only network to air an all original lineup last night with Dateline (1.2, 7.2 million) up a tenth from last week in 18-49 and hitting a season high in total viewers. Grimm (1.3) fell 19% from its most recent episode while Dracula (0.9) held steady at a series low. Fox aired two more Raising Hope originals (0.6), down 25% from last week. Raising Hope feels wasted on Friday. It was a rock on Tuesday last season and is more deserving than others to be part of the network’s comedy block.  The CW‘s Nikita (0.2) matched its rating from last week as it whimpers to the finish line, holding onto half of its lead-in from Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer — a special the CW’s predecessor … Read More »

Comments (15)

Will BSkyB’s Soccer Rights Loss Be A Win For British TV Producers?

By | Tuesday November 12, 2013 @ 9:41am PST

Shares in 21st Century Fox-controlled BSkyB were up today in London after falling as much as 10% on Monday. That drop came after the UK’s BT Sport scored a big goal by winning the exclusive broadcast rights to 350 UEFA Champions League and Europa League soccer matches per year from the 2015/2016 season. The £897M ($1.4B) deal that was announced Saturday marks the first time a single UK broadcaster has won the exclusive live rights to all matches from both tournaments (BSkyB and ITV currently share them). It was seen as a big kick in the shins to Britain’s leading pay-TV group, but could end up as a boon for British producers. Sky’s recent growth is through its entertainment channels, while premium sports and movies are relatively stable. So, increasing the pot on acquisitions and original commissions looks like “a sensible place to keep investing,” I’m told. Read More »

Comments (0)

RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘MasterChef Jr’ Finale Up, ‘Hawaii Five-O’ Tops ‘Grimm’, ‘Dracula’ Bites, ABC & CBS Tied To Win Night

By | Saturday November 9, 2013 @ 10:01am PST

It was an East Coast vs. West Coast battle on the season finale of MasterChef Jr. (1.5/5) last night. After a 7-episode run, NYC’s 13-year old Alexander Weiss and Culver City’s 12-year old Dara Yu faced off for the trophy and the $100,000 grand prize. For Fox, the latest Gordon Ramsay show has proven a winner too. A solid Friday night ratings return since its September 27 debut, MasterChef Jr was up 15% among adults 18-49 last night and bopped up 5% among total viewers to 4.2 million. All of which gave the freshman its best demo and viewership results since its premiere. While not officially renewed for a second season yet, MasterChef Jr. looks to be a sure bet to back on the network that seemingly can’t get enough Ramsay. Additionally Ramsay beat Ramsay as MC Jr.’s finale brought the network a 25% jump over the same night last year when Kitchen Nightmares pulled in a 1.2/4 on November 9, 2012. With a Sleepy Hollow (0.6/2) encore ending its night, Fox got a 1.0/3 rating Friday.

In terms of who won the night in the key demo on Friday, it was a 1.5.5 ratings tie between ABC and CBS. The latter came in first in total viewers with 9.89 million viewers to the former’s 6.197 million.
Read More »

Comments (13)

Ratings Rat Race: ‘Dracula’ & ‘Grimm’ Drop

By | Saturday November 2, 2013 @ 10:26am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

After a solid launch last week, new NBC vampire drama Dracula (1.3 rating in adults 18-49) tumbled 28% in Week 2. Ironically, vampires contributed to Dracula’s big dropoff. A Why We (Heart) Vampires special at 8 PM logged a paltry 0.7 in 18-49, half of what NBC’s Friday night opened with last week when slot regular Dateline (1.3) was on. The lousy 8 PM anchor took a bite from the rest of the lineup — Grimm (1.5) at 9 PM was down 17% from its season premiere last week, followed by Dracula. Grimm still ranked as the top scripted show of the night in 18-49, and both NBC dramas are big DVR gainers (last week’s openers grew by 58% and 56%, respectively, in Live+3)

CBS‘ dramas are nothing if not consistent. They held steady against the new 9-11 PM drama competition on NBC last week, and were again on par this week – Blue Bloods (1.3) even with last week and Hawaii Five-0 (1.3) down a tenth. To put things in perspective, while Blue Bloods and Dracula tied in 18-49 in the 10 PM hour, Dracula only drew 3.4 million viewers, less than a third of Blue Bloods‘ 10.7 million. At 9 PM, Grimm edged Hawaii by .2 in 18-49 with half of the audience (4.95 million vs. 9.61 million). CBS’ Undercover Boss (1.4) continues its wild ride this fall. After that big 38% surge on Oct. 18, the reality series has posted a second consecutive double-digit drop (13%). CBS once again was the most watched program of the night with 9.7 million. Read More »

Comments (15)

RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Dracula’, ‘Grimm’ Openers Solid; ‘The Carrie Diaries’ Soft In Return; ‘Shark Tank’ Hits Viewership High

By | Saturday October 26, 2013 @ 10:17am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Genre is working well for NBC on Fridays. New vampire drama Dracula opened with a 1.8 rating among adults 18-49 at 10 PM last night, tying the third season premiere of supernatural crime drama Grimm as the two highest rated scripted programs of the night and second highest overall behind ABC‘s Shark Tank (2.0). Despite airing on the low trafficked Friday night, which is traditionally older skewing, Dracula ranked as the No.2 launch for a 10 PM drama in 18-49 this fall behind NBC’s The Blacklist (tied with CBS Hostages). It logged the best 18-49 result for a Friday drama debut since Grimm in October 2011 (2.1). Grimm was even with its Friday premiere last fall (The show’s second series premiere aired on Monday to a 2.0). With Dateline at 8 PM (1.3) flat with last week, NBC won the night in 18-49. Read More »

Comments 21

Zach McGowan Joins Universal’s ‘Dracula’

By | Thursday July 11, 2013 @ 7:51am PDT

EXCLUSIVE: Shameless and Black Sails actor Zach McGowan has been added to the Gary Shore-directed Dracula: Year Zero. He’ll play a character called Shkelgim, a gypsy chief, in the origin story that has Luke Evans as Prince Vlad, the man who would become the storied bloodsucker. Dominic Cooper also stars. Michael De Luca and Alissa Phillips are producers on the pic, which Matt Sazama and Burt Sharpless wrote based on Bram Stoker’s iconic novel. Universal has set an August 8, 2014 release. McGowan recently did a multi-season stint on Showtime’s Shameless and plays Captain Charles Vane in the Starz original pirate series Black Sails which debuts next year. He’s repped by Innovative Artists and Intellectual Artists Management.

Comments (3)

NBC’s New Show Trailers: ‘Dracula’, ‘Ironside’, ‘Michael J Fox’, ‘Sean Saves The World’, ‘Welcome To The Family’

Here are new trailers just released by NBC for the network’s new fall shows, which were officially unveiled yesterday ahead of the upfront presentation that’s just getting underway in New York. Yesterday, NBC released some first-look clips. Here are the latest trailers — still waiting for About A Boy and The Family Guide it seems,so keep checking back:

Dracula — Drama

Ironside — Drama

Read More »

Comments 80

Universal Dates ‘Dracula’ Origin Pic For August 8, 2014

By | Thursday April 25, 2013 @ 1:06pm PDT

Fast & Furious 6‘s Luke Evans stars in Dracula, about Prince Vlad, the man who would become the mythological bloodsucker. Gary Shore came aboard as director more than a year ago after the studio scrapped the film because of budget concerns; Sam Worthington had been attached to star with Alex Proyas directing. The latest script draft was from Matt Sazama & Burk Sharpless. Michael De Luca remains the producer on the pic, for which Universal has set an August 8, 2014 release. That puts it alone for now on the date but comes a week after Disney’s Guardians Of The Galaxy.

Comments (6)

Thomas Kretschmann & Oliver Jackson-Cohen Join NBC’s ‘Dracula’ Series

By | Monday February 11, 2013 @ 2:00pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Dracula has found his Van Helsing. Thomas Kretschmann (Wanted), who will play the famous vampire hunter, and Oliver Jackson-Cohen (Mr. Selfridge) have been cast in the upcoming NBC/Sky Living HD 10-episode drama series Dracula starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers.

Related: PILOT SEASON: The Year Of Dracula Read More »

Comments (12)

PILOT SEASON: The Year Of Dracula

By | Friday February 8, 2013 @ 8:15am PST
Nellie Andreeva

With young vampires taking big bites out of movie box office and TV ratings in the Twilight franchise, HBO’s True Blood and the CW’s The Vampire Diaries, the granddaddy of them all bloodsuckers, Count Dracula, is making a big comeback. TV history buffs may correct me but, while the legend of Dracula has been mined endlessly on the big screen going back to Bela Lugosi, I cannot think of a single live-action American series about Dracula (NBC’s super-short-lived 1979 series Cliffhangers featured a Curse Of Dracula segment, and the syndicated Dracula: The Series was Canadian). Next fall we may have three.

First off is NBC’s straight-to-series drama Dracula, in pre-production for a possible fall launch. Set in 1890s London, it stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the Count and also features his archenemy, Abraham Van Helsing. At the time NBC’s Dracula was announced last summer, Starz said it is developing Vlad Dracula, a drama series from Spartacus producer Rob Tapert “tracing Dracula’s evolution from a revered ruler to the world’s most feared vampire.”

Last month, Showtime gave a straight-to-series order to John Logan and Sam Mendes’ Penny Dreadful. The drama, also set in Victorian London, features “some of literature’s most famously terrifying characters,” with Dracula and Van Helsing front and center. Two weeks after Showtime’s announcement, ABC gave a pilot order to drama Gothica, from producer Mark Gordon. Like Penny Dreadful, it too weaves together classic horror characters and stories, but in present day. One of the most prominent among them is Dracula, who is the series’ main antagonist. Guillermo Del Toro/Carlton Cuse’s FX pilot The Strain, which will likely go to series, also revolves around vampires. Read More »

Comments (5)

NBC’s Drama Series ‘Dracula’, ABC’s Cullen Brothers Comedy Pilot Add To Casts

By | Sunday February 3, 2013 @ 9:00am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Irish actress Victoria Smurfit (Bulletproof Monk) has been cast in the upcoming NBC/Sky Living HD drama series Dracula starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers. The series re-introduces Dracula (Meyers) as he arrives in London, posing as American entrepreneur Alan Grayson who maintains that he wants to bring modern science to Victorian society. In reality, he hopes to wreak revenge on the people who ruined his life centuries earlier but falls hopelessly in love with Mina Murray (Jessica De Gouw) who appears to be the reincarnation of his dead wife. Smurfit, repped by UTA, the Collective and UK’s United Agents, will play the lithe and beautiful Lady Jayne who is instantly attracted to Grayson and pursues him. Read More »

Comments (8)

Katie McGrath & Nonso Anozie Join NBC’s ‘Dracula’ Series

By | Wednesday January 30, 2013 @ 9:31am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Merlin star Katie McGrath and Nonso Anozie (The Grey) have been cast opposite Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the upcoming NBC/Sky Living HD 10-episode drama series Dracula. The series re-introduces Dracula (Meyers) as he arrives in London, posing as American entrepreneur Alan Grayson who maintains that he wants to bring modern science to Victorian society. In reality, he hopes to wreak revenge on the people who ruined his life centuries earlier but falls hopelessly in love with Mina Murray (Jessica De Gouw) who appears to be the reincarnation of his dead wife. Read More »

Comments (11)

Jessica De Gouw Lands Female Lead On NBC Drama Series ‘Dracula’

By | Friday January 18, 2013 @ 9:00am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Australian actress Jessica de Gouw (The Dinner Meeting, Arrow) has landed the female lead opposite Jonathan Rhys Meyers in NBC/Sky Living‘s 10-episode series Dracula. Described as “Dangerous Liaisons meets The Tudors”, the series is set in 1890s London. It centers on Dracula (Meyers), who arrives in London posing as American entrepreneur Allen Grayson, who maintains that he wants to bring modern science to Victorian society. In reality, he hopes to wreak revenge on the people who ruined his life centuries earlier, but he falls hopelessly in love with a woman who seems to be a reincarnation of his dead wife. De Gouw will play that woman, Mina Murray, a striking medical student who is engaged to Jonathan Harker but upon meeting Grayson both are instantly mesmerized by the other’s uncanny resemblance to someone from their past.

Related: NBC Orders 10-Episode ‘Dracula’ Series Starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Read More »

Comments (13)

Producer Tony Krantz Sells Projects With Ted Talley, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Fareed Zakaria & Twitter’s Biz Stone

By | Wednesday October 10, 2012 @ 4:56pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Four years after he left TV producing to focus on feature directing, former Imagine TV topper Tony Krantz re-entered TV last summer. In his first year back, he landed a series on the air, NBC’s upcoming Dracula starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and a pilot order at ABC for Scruples. Now Krantz has set up six more series projects at cable and broadcast networks through his independent production company Flame Ventures. All are executive produced by him, with Flame’s Reece Pearson co-executive producing.

At NBC, Flame is finalizing a deal for Cuba, a drama written by Jorge Zamacona (Homicide) and executive produced by CNN anchor Fareed Zakaria and former CNN President Jonathan Klein. The project, which will be produced by Universal TV, tells the story of American and Cuban families at the dawn of post-Castro Cuba with an entire nation up for grabs. Read More »

Comments (4)
More Deadline | Hollywood »