Former Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman is back at ABC with a lead role in another hourlong project, pilot American Crime. Huffman has closed a deal to play the female lead opposite Timothy Hutton in the drama, …
True tale drama Stealing Cars is moving into gear with Felicity Huffman, William H. Macy, Mike Epps, Emory Cohen, and more with helmer Bradley Kaplan (Muhammad And Larry, The Love We Make), who makes the leap from documentary to narrative film with the pic. Cohen (Smash, The Place Beyond The Pines) stars as a confident but rebellious teenager involved in a tragic car accident who finds brutality, then forgiveness and hope, in an unjust juvenile penal system. The screenplay is by Avenging Angelo‘s Will Aldis and Steve Mackall. Dallas Buyers Club producer Rachel Winter first read the script in 1999, but the project spent 14 years in development before the current iteration came together with Cohen, Huffman, Macy, Epps, John Leguizamo and Paul Sparks leading the ensemble. Winter is producing with Dan Keston. Steve Levinson and Mark Wahlberg are executive producing with Erika Hampson.
It was a mob scene at ABC’s TCA party tonight where reporters swarmed several Desperate Housewives stars who made their first public appearance following ABC’s official announcement this morning that the upcoming eighth season of the veteran dramedy will be its last. Marcia Cross, Felicity Huffman, James Denton and Brenda Strong were on hand to patiently answer questions about the Marc Cherry-created series coming to an end and reflect on the past seven years. “I think Marc is right; this is the time; this is the moment,” said Cross who got the news from her manager, calling it “bittersweet.” Her wish for the final season is to have all of Brie’s former flames return for a visit. “I want to see my fellows again’ I had the best male co-stars; I want to see them back,” she said. Huffman was in high spirits, almost giddy when she talked about Desperate Housewives but admitted that that was not her original reaction when she found out about the end of the show in an email she received from Cross. “I wasn’t exactly shocked but you always hope for the best, so I was really sad,” she said. She said she understands Cherry’s desire to wrap up the series by revisiting the Mary Alice mystery that started it all but was also warned of the dangers of going back to a storyline that has already been resolved once. “It will have to be a new well, you can’t go back to the same well twice,” she said, later adding, “You don’t want to jump the shark in your final season.”
TCA: ‘Raymond’ Creator Slams TNT For Axing Ray Romano’s ‘Men’, ‘Jackie’ EP Talks About Pitching To ‘Roomful Of Fear’
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
On a lively and colorful afternoon TCA panel promoting the fall PBS four-hour series America in Primetime, Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal blasted TNT for its recent decision to cancel Raymond star Ray Romano’s latest series, dramedy Men of a Certain Age. “Those idiots put six episodes on in November and then waited until July to schedule the next six as if they were trying to make sure the audience didn’t connect to it,” Rosenthal said. “Then they cancel it because the audience doesn’t connect to it. That’s why I say the only thing I hate about this business is the business part.”
Rosenthal’s zingers often punctuated the discussion, in which he, Nurse Jackie co-creators Liz Brixius and Linda Wallem, Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman and America in Primetime exec producer Tom Yellin delved into what makes primetime tick. The idea behind the PBS series is to promote the idea that all primetime scripted entertainment is built on the foundation of all shows that have come before it. In the series, Yellin notes that Murphy Brown creator Diane English originally received a note from CBS that the title character shouldn’t be a recovering alcoholic in her 40s but a 30-year-old woman coming out of a spa. “I got the same note on Raymond,” Rosenthal quipped, “that he be a 30-year-old woman coming out of a spa.”
EXCLUSIVE: After months of negotiations, I hear the four stars of ABC’s Desperate Housewives– Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross and Eva Longoria — are finalizing deals to return to the dramedy series next fall. The deals are for one year, with an option for a second. With the quartet on board, ABC will renew the show for an eighth season, though it is unclear whether that will happen right away or closer to the May upfronts.
As for Hatcher, Huffman, Cross and Longoria, I hear their new base salary would be around $325,000 per episode, up from about $275,000 under their most recent deals. (Reports have erroneously pegged their previous salaries at $400,000.) With additional compensation, including back-end and bonuses, the actresses’ paychecks are expected to go up as high as $375,000 per episode. If their options for Season 9 are exercised, their base salary is slated to go up to around $350,000, plus other incentives. If Desperate Housewives goes to nine seasons, which has been creator Marc Cherry’s vision for the show, the four leading ladies’ entire compensation package for the next two seasons is valued at close to $18 million for each.