E! Orders Drama ‘The Royals’ As First Scripted Series

By | Thursday March 6, 2014 @ 12:30pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

E!_LogoE! is making a regal entry into scripted programming. The network has picked up one of its first two scripted pilots, The Royals starring Elizabeth Hurley, to series. The one-hour drama, about a fictional British Royal family set in modern London that is informed by the regal opulence of the British monarchy and framed by Shakespeare’s Hamlet, hails from Lionsgate and a trio of One Tree Hill alums. OTH creator Mark Schwahn wrote and directed Royals, which he is executive producing with Brian Robbins and Joe Davola. Getting reality focused E! into the scripted space had been a priority for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment topper Bonnie Hammer. Sibling cable channel Bravo had been put on a similar path and just greenlighted its first scripted series, Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce. E!’s second pilot, musical drama Songbyrd, remains in contention. “The Royals will offer a fictional look behind the very public gilded façade of the palace gates to imagine the private, lush, fun, sexy world of the most-watched celebrity family on the planet,” said E! EVP Original Programming and development Jeff Olde said. Added the network’s scripted executive Kevin Plunkett who spearheads E!’s scripted efforts, “This is a big idea and Mark, Brian, Joe and the Lionsgate team delivered.”The Royals - Season: 1 Read More »

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UPDATE: Golden Globes: E!’s Idea Of A Michael J. Fox Fun Fact

By | Sunday January 12, 2014 @ 7:15pm PST

E FoxUPDATE, 7:15 PM: E! has responded to the Michael J. Fox graphic it put up during the Golden Globes preshow: “We regret the insensitive classification of Michael J Fox’s Parkinson’s diagnosis during our Eonline live … Read More »

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Andrew McCarthy To Direct E! Pilot ‘Songbyrd’

By | Wednesday December 4, 2013 @ 6:00pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

mccarthyEXCLUSIVE: Actor-director Andrew McCarthy is set to direct E!’s pilot Songbyrd. This marks the pilot directing debut of McCarthy, who replaces the project’s original director Michael Morris who fell out a month ago. The music-themed Songbyrd, created/exec … Read More »

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Joan Rivers Fires Back At “Hurtful” Guild Slam Over ‘Fashion Police’ Strike

By | Friday November 22, 2013 @ 8:34am PST

She may have called striking Fashion Police scribes “schmuck writers” and “idiots”, and was slammed earlier this week by the WGA East, but a “stunned” Joan Rivers today says she is “supportive of the striking writers” (read the full statement below). The comedian also says she “just learned that E! and the WGA are having an election” on the over 6-month labor action and hopes the FP writers will soon be covered by a WGA contract. Here’s her statement:

I am stunned by the WGAE’s recent personal attacks and allegations that I breached the Settlement Agreement in connection with the WGAE Charges. I am supportive of the striking writers. I am hopeful that the writers will soon be covered by a WGA Contract as I have just learned that E! and the WGA are having an election in early December. As a long standing member of the WGAE, I am greatly confused and disturbed by Mr. Winship’s unprofessional and hurtful statements about my character – It is time for the focus to be on getting the writers a contract, not using me as a scapegoat.

According to Ms. Rivers’ counsel at the law firm of Loeb & Loeb, “Joan Rivers has fully complied with the terms of the Settlement Agreement. The statements that Mr. Winship attributes to Ms. Rivers do not violate the Settlement Agreement.”

The seemingly about-face remarks come a day after WGAE president Michael Winship called her out for “reprehensible” comments about the FP writers in an online interview last week. “We are exploring all options,” Winship added Thursday about possible repercussions. Read More »

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Kim Kardashian & Kanye West Sue YouTube Co-Founder Over Proposal Footage Intended For E! Reality Series

By | Thursday October 31, 2013 @ 5:29pm PDT

So for once a Kardashian doesn’t want some video of herself out there – at least not yet. Keeping Up With The Kardashians’ Kim and hubby-to be Kanye West today filed a complaint in … Read More »

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Director Michael Morris Exits E! Pilot ‘Songbyrd’ Amid Scandal

By | Thursday October 24, 2013 @ 12:45pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Michael Morris has fallen out of directing Songbyrd, one of E!‘s first two scripted pilots. Morris, who previously directed seven episodes of NBC’s Smash, was to reunite with Smash executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, … Read More »

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Joan Rivers Settles With WGA East Over ‘Fashion Police’ Dispute

By | Monday October 7, 2013 @ 11:43am PDT

As part of the deal struck today between Joan Rivers and the WGA East, the Fashion Police host said that she will not “render any writing services even though as a comedian and SAG-AFTRA host, I often write material for myself.” The WGA East had set an October 14 disciplinary hearing in New York to determine whether the E! host violated the union’s rules by writing and performing showrunner duties for the E! Network show during its current writers strike. Action could have resulted in Rivers becoming the first member of that guild to be tossed, and she had called the trial board hearing “a bunch of bullsh*t“. Former writers for show have been on strike since mid-April for over $1 million in back wages and overtime. Rivers and the network contend have that Rivers played no part in the situation that led to the dispute. Read More »

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E! ‘Royals’ Pilot Casts Its Ophelia & Princess

By | Friday September 27, 2013 @ 11:20am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: E!‘s Hamlet has found his Ophelia. Haley Lu Richardson (Ravenswood) has been cast in the network’s pilot The Royals, a contemporary drama about a fictional royal family informed by the regal opulence of the … Read More »

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It’s Official: Lisa Berger Named ABC Head Of Alternative & Late-Night

By | Thursday September 26, 2013 @ 3:03pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

ABC has quickly filled the vacancy atop its unscripted department, closing a deal with former E! Entertainment president of entertainment programming Lisa Berger to replace John Saade, who exited on Friday. She will be holding the same title, EVP  Alternative Series, Specials and Late-Night, overseeing development and current programming in those three areas.

Related: ABC Head Of Reality John Saade Exits; Lisa Berger Eyed

At ABC, Berger will be charged with finding new reality hits; besides Shark Tank, the network’s only other successful unscripted franchises on the air — Dancing With The Stars and The Bachelor – are more than a decade old. None of the network’s reality efforts over the past couple of years have stuck though there have been modest successes like Secret Millionaire and The Taste. Read More »

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E! Programming Chief Jeff Olde Sets Executive Team

By | Wednesday August 21, 2013 @ 9:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Jeff Olde, who joined E! as EVP Programming & Development in early July, has put together his team with several promotions within the department. Blythe Asher has been upped to SVP Talent Development & Casting. Damla Dogan will continue to serve as SVP Programming & Development, while Leela Pon has been promoted to VP Programming & Development. Asher, Dogan and Pon report to Olde. Other promotions include Missy Fox to Director, Programming & Development and Julie St. Aubin to Manager, Programming & Development, both reporting to Dogan. On the scripted side, Kevin Plunkett continues to serve as SVP Scripted Programming, reporting to Olde, and Kate Hoenigsberg has been promoted to Director, Scripted Programming, reporting to Plunkett. Read More »

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Ryan Seacrest Productions Pulled Into Kardashian Legal Squabble In New Filing By Widow

The cast of Ellen Kardashian’s legal fight with her deceased husband’s children and ex-wife just had some marquee names added. Today a defamation and infliction of emotion distress complaint was filed against Ryan Seacrest Productions and Bunim-Murray Productions in LA Superior Court (read it here) The Kardashian clan of Kourtney, Kim, Khloe, Robert Jr and mother Kris Jenner were also named, as was Jenner Communications. The Keeping Up With Kardashians producer and American Idol host was not personally named as a defendant. Very similar to a motion for counterclaim that Ellen Kardashian/Pearson filed in federal court in July, today’s 20-page complaint alleges that the widow of Robert Kardashian is the victim of a manufactured reality TV plotline from earlier this year by the clan and the production companies and a “manufactured lawsuit” in filed in federal court in April. Kardashian/Pearson withdrew her federal motion for counterclaim earlier this month with a window open to file it again if she wanted to. Seeking damages of $500,000, the Kardashian suit against their ex-stepmother claimed that Kardashian/Pearson, who married the family patriarch two months before he died of cancer in 2003, was engaged in a  ”despicable and unlawful scheme” to sell family photos of the children and parts of their father’s diary to the tabloids. Read More »

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Joan Rivers Calls WGA Hearing “Bulls**t”

By | Friday August 2, 2013 @ 4:31pm PDT

The veteran comedienne and longtime Writers Guild of America member doesn’t want to talk, she wants to call the union out. “This is such a bunch of bullshit. E! should hire Anthony Weiner to work with … Read More »

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WWE’s ‘Total Divas’ Debut Scores For E!

The premiere of Total Divas took it to the mat for E! last night. After some lackluster openings this year, the in-and-out-of-the-ring WWE reality show garnered the channel its most-watched debut since Married To Jonas premiered … Read More »

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Kardashians “Scripted” Lawsuit For Their E! Reality Series, Says Court Filing By Widow

Ellen Pearson says that she and the courts are the victims of a manufactured reality TV plotline by the Kardashian clan and she wants Lady Justice to let her state her case. The widow and third … Read More »

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UPDATE: ‘Fashion Police’ Writers Strike Is “Issue Between E! & WGA” Says Joan Rivers Manager

By | Wednesday July 10, 2013 @ 3:05pm PDT

UPDATE, 3:05 PM: Joan Rivers‘ reps haven’t heard anything from anyone at the WGA about the TV host violating union rules and any trial board hearing over her role on Fashion Police. Read More »

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Striking ‘Fashion Police’ Writers Slam “Non-Receptive” Joan Rivers: Video

By | Tuesday July 9, 2013 @ 10:42am PDT

At the same time as Fashion Police‘s writers have been embroiled in a labor dispute with E! and host Joan Rivers‘ production company, the show has been airing new episodes every week — some of … Read More »

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Baby Viewership Bump For ‘Kardashians’ Season 8 Premiere

The Season 8 premiere of E!‘s Keeping Up With The Kardashians featured footage of Kim Kardashian finding out the sex of her child with rapper boyfriend Kanye West. The made-for-TV moment was intended to capitalize on the tabloid … Read More »

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‘Fashion Police’ Writers Chant On Picket Lines: “Give Us Back Our Paycheck B****”

By | Thursday May 23, 2013 @ 12:25pm PDT

Ross Lincoln is a Deadline contributor

UPDATE, 12:25 PM: The protest just wrapped up around its scheduled 12:30 PM target. Among the speakers was writer Bryan Cook, who addressed the picketers that reached about 150 in number and … Read More »

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E! Tells Striking ‘Fashion Police’ Writers That WGA Costing Them Money

By | Wednesday May 15, 2013 @ 12:21pm PDT

E! president Suzanne Kolb wants the writers who went on strike in early April against the Joan Rivers-hosted Fashion Police to know that the WGA West is their real enemy not the network. … Read More »

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