New York’s summer season just got a bit more interesting with the announcement this morning that Oscar/Tony/Emmy winner Ellen Burstyn will headline a new staging of Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard for 10 free performances at The Actors Studio in Manhattan on Thurdays through Mondays between July 10-21. John Gould Rubin, former co-a.d. with the late Philip Seymour Hoffman and John Ortiz of LAByrinth Theater, directs. The Jean-Claude van Itallie adaptation will require reservations made through email@example.com. It’s been 11 years since the last public presentation at The Actors Studio, a critically acclaimed staging of Oscar Wilde’s Salome starring Al Pacino, David Straitharn, and Marisa Tomei.
Amy Poehler’s NBC comedy pilot Old Soul already boasts two Oscar winners, and casting is barely half-way done. Ellen Burstyn is set for a plum lead role opposite Natasha Lyonne in the single-camera pilot written/exec produced by Poehler, Josh Bycel and Jonathan Fener and directed by David Wain. Old Soul centers on a reformed wild child Nadia (Lyonne) who has a business caring for the elderly and feels she has more in common with her colorful old clients than she does with people her age. Burstyn will play aunt Nadia’s aunt Eileen, an earthy lesbian with a New Age bent who has recently survived cancer. Nadia may take care of her elderly clients, which are Eileen’s friends, but Eileen takes care of Nadia. Burstyn, repped by Innovative and the Schiff Co., joins recently cast Fred Willard and Oscar winner Rita Moreno and two of Eileen’s friends. She stars in Lifetime’s Flowers In the Attic movie franchise.
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Heather Graham and Ellen Burstyn star in Lifetime‘s original movie, adapted from V.C. Andrews’ controversial bestseller. Flowers In The Attic is the gothic tale of four siblings who are locked away to live in the attic of their grandparents’ mansion after a family tragedy. Forced to endure unimaginable treatment, the children form a family unit of their own. But as the oldest boy and girl come of age both emotionally and physically while caring for their younger brother and sister, their family’s sordid past entraps them further as they try to survive and escape from the harsh conditions in which they live. Cast also includes Kiernan Shipka, Mason Dye and Dylan Bruce. It’s set to premiere at 8 PM January 18. Check out the official trailer:
EXCLUSIVE: The romantic drama The Age Of Adaline has been through a couple of incarnations, but it is now set to go into production in March as a co-production between Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Lakeshore Entertainment. The Town‘s Blake Lively is set to star with Ellen Burstyn, with Lee Toland Krieger directing. Lionsgate is set to release the film domestically.
Scripted by J. Mills Goodloe and Salvador Paskowitz, with revisions by Allison Burnett, Age Of Adaline follows the miraculous life of the 29-year-old title character, who stops aging after recovering from a near-fatal accident. Over the 20th century she embarks on an epic but isolated worldwide journey, keeping her secret, until she meets a man who forever alters her life. Sidney Kimmel is producing with Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi. Jim Tauber and Eric Reid will be executive producers.
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
This mini-movie supporting lineup promises to be a particularly unpredictable one, with at least three of the contenders and maybe four having a legitimate claim on the golden girl. It begins with James Cromwell’s chilling portrayal of a Nazi scientist in FX’s American Horror Story: Asylum and continues with Zachary Quinto‘s performance in the same project as a psychiatrist who has a secret life as a serial killer. They will be competing with Peter Mullan for his work as the sadistic Matt in the Sundance Channel miniseries Top Of The Lake and John Benjamin Hickey, nommed for his portrayal of the dying Cathy’s brother Sean in Showtime’s The Big C: Hereafter. Finally, there is the longest shot on the board: Scott Bakula in the HBO biopic Behind The Candelabra. The five nominees for mini-movie supporting actress honor five pretty spectacular performances, as we would expect. Any of the five could go home with the trophy. Heading this impressive group is the veteran Alfre Woodard, whose 17th nomination (for her work in the Lifetime reboot of Steel Magnolias) ties her with Ed Asner and surpasses the 16 of Tyne Daly. That’s some pretty impressive company, particularly considering that the 17 come for 16 different roles. She’s also got four wins to her credit. Woodard goes up against Sarah Paulson for FX’s American Horror Story: Asylum (her second nom) and Ellen Burstyn for USA’s Political Animals (her sixth) as well as first-timers Imelda Staunton (HBO’s The Girl) and Charlotte Rampling (for the Sundance Channel mini Restless).
MINISERIES-MOVIE SUPPORTING ACTOR
Why He Could Win: Throughout his long and colorful career, Cromwell has remained something of a beloved figure. The irony is that he could well win here for playing against type as a sadistic Nazi scientist and torturer in Asylum.
Why He Could Lose: This is annually a profoundly unpredictable category, and any of three first-time nominees could knock Cromwell off. He’s also never won in three previous noms, which may or may not be an indicator.
Related: EMMYS: Movie/Miniseries Overview
V.C. Andrews’ controversial bestselling book, Flowers in the Attic, is getting a TV movie adaptation at Lifetime. The cable network has greenlighted the film, which will star Heather Graham and Ellen Burstyn. Flowers In The Attic weaves the gothic tale of four young siblings, two boys and two girls, who, after the tragic death of their father, are torn from an idyllic life and subjected to cruel emotional and physical abuse resulting from a dark, long-hidden family secret. Abandoned by their mother, Corrine (Graham), and forced to endure unimaginable treatment living in the attic of their grandparents’ mansion, the children form a family unit of their own. But as the oldest boy and girl come of age both emotionally and physically while caring for their younger brother and sister, their family’s sordid past entraps them further as they try to survive and escape from the harsh conditions in which they live. Burstyn (Political Animals) will portray the children’s grandmother, Olivia.