Matt Nix‘s new deal is for both broadcast and cable. Nix, who had an overall deal in place with Fox Television Studios, primarily for cable, since 2008, is creator and executive producer of USA’s hit series Burn Notice, which ran for seven seasons on USA; creator of the network’s upcoming drama, Complications; and co-creator of the upcoming FX series The Comedians, starring Billy Crystal and Josh Gad.
The deal was announced today by 2oth Century Fox TV Chairmen and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman, and FTVS president David Madden. Read More »
Fox Television Studios has inked a first-look deal with veteran TV and film producer Elizabeth Guber Stephen, who will develop and produce cable projects through her Gables Media banner. Under the deal, Stephen and FtvS have set two projects.
One is hourlong USA drama series Timeline, from best-selling author Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Raised By Wolves book series), about a female astronaut who, upon returning to Earth from a six-month mission, discovers that someone has altered her past and, in effect, rewritten her entire life. Set up at Fox and based on the 2011 film from writer-director-producers Aaron Salgado and Jaydee Freixas, Magic City Memoirs follows three wealthy, influential families whose patriarchs came to Miami 30 years ago as Cuban refugees, and whose sons are now facing the fallout from the secrets their fathers have harbored in order to obtain the “American dream.” The pilot is written by Liz Benjamin (Bones). Read More »
Fox TV Studios president David Madden has signed a new long-term contract with 20th Century Fox Television to remain at the helm of the boutique cable production company for at least four more years. Madden, a respected veteran TV executive and producer, was elevated to the top FtvS post in 2010 after a stint shepherding the company’s development as EVP creative development and production. He helped establish FtvS’ identity with such series as FX’s The Shield and The Americans, USA Network’s Burn Notice and White Collar, AMC’s The Killing – which he helped bring back from cancellation twice, once at AMC and once at Netflix. Because of the health of the company on Madden’s watch, FtvS was kept as an independent label after the company was put under the purview of 20th TV Studios CEO and chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman and not merged with 20th TV’s own successful cable arm, Fox21. “David encourages creators to take big swings, and the results have been breakthrough programs, from The Shield and The Killing to Burn Notice and The Americans,” Walden and Newman said. “He’s a smart, strategic leader who is beloved by both the creative community and his colleagues. We couldn’t be happier that he’ll be with us for many years to come.” In addition to White Collar and The Killing, which are heading into their final seasons, and The Americans, which is about to be renewed for … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Following the success of Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf Of Wall Street, a series project at Fox TV Studios is taking an inside look into the Wall Street culture of greed and excess — this time from the vantage point of its newest recruits. FtvS has optioned journalist Kevin Roose‘s bestselling nonfiction book Young Money: Inside The Hidden World Of Wall Street’s Post-Crash Recruits, an exposé that chronicles the lives and exploits of young Wall Street bankers after the crash of 2008. Burn Notice‘s Alfredo Barrios will write the adaptation, which will be shopped shortly. He is executive producing alongside Alan Gasmer (Vikings) and Peter Jaysen of Veritas Entertainment, who brought the book to FtvS. Read More »
By this time, USA Network series White Collar would normally be deeply in preproduction, getting ready to start filming in March. But not this year. It’s already mid-February, and there is still no decision on the future of the buddy crime drama whose most recent fifth season ended two weeks ago. I hear there has been some communication between USA and White Collar producer Fox TV Studios but no meaningful dialogue so far. Given the way Season 5 ended — with a cliffhanger involving the abduction of Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) — it is safe to assume that there will be some sort of continuation, likely a conclusion for the series. The question is what that sixth and final installment will be. I hear the network has been mulling a short miniseries to wrap the story in the vein of Showtime’s The Big C, while the studio would prefer a traditional final season. While Collar‘s status as one of USA’s signature series would weigh in favor of the second option. All of USA’s other established series – Monk, Burn Notice (also produced by FtvS), Psych and In Plain Sight — have received a proper send-off with a final season (While USA prefers to announce the end of its series when their last seasons hit the air for tune-in reasons, all producers are told at the time of the final renewal so they can plan … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Following the success of its first homegrown drama series Banshee, Cinemax is high on another drama project about a protagonist straddling the worlds of crime and law enforcement. Titled Blanco, the project is formally still in development awaiting a green light, but it already is exploring casting. Written by Mark Rosner (Blue Bloods), Blanco centers on an uptown gangster who uses his status as a confidential informant to turn the tables on law enforcement and build his criminal empire. Fox TV Studios and Lakeshore Entertainment are producing, with Rosner and Lakeshore’s Gary Lucchesi and Tom Rosenberg executive producing.
Related: Cinemax & Frank Spotnitz Developing ‘Hunted’ Spinoff
It’s “totally ridiculous and stupid” to suggest Fox News Channel will lose access to Republican primary debates in 2016 if Fox TV Studios produces NBC’s proposed Hillary Clinton miniseries, said the GOP’s Reince Priebus today. “The big question for me is what company is putting it on the air, who’s doing the work. I’m not interested in if they are using the same caterer or whether they all drink Diet Coke. I’m not boycotting Diane Lane, I’m going to boycott the companies that put the miniseries and documentaries on the air for the American people to view,” the Republican National Committee chair told CNN’s Candy Crowley Sunday. “The company that puts these things on the air to promote Hillary Clinton, including CNN, is the company that is not going to be involved in our debates. Period,” he added of his threat last week to pull the GOP out of any debates CNN and NBC are involved in because of their Clinton productions. NBC Entertainment boss Greenblatt said on July 27 that his network would be making a four-hour miniseries with Lane starring as Clinton. CNN Films announced on July 29 that it was making a feature-length documentary about the assumed Presidential candidate to be directed by Oscar-winner Charles Ferguson. As Deadline reported on August 9, Fox TV Studios is in preliminary discussions with NBC about the Courtney Hunt-written mini. Fox TV Studios is a unit … Read More »
Last night Fox entered the late-night animated comedy space with the launch of Animation Domination High-Def, and incumbent Adult Swim had something to say about it. In a stealth move through local buys as it was done without Fox’s knowledge, the Turner network aired two ads: one at 11:30 PM after the two ADHD premieres of High School USA and Axe Cop, and one at midnight, following the encores of the two animated debuts. The stripped-down ads featured words on black screen, with elevator music in the background. “The preceding content has been a work of fiction,” the first ad, which followed the ADHD premieres. (Video below.) “Any resemblance to networks, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Pay close attention to the label. Many suitcases look alike. You may find yourself at a beautiful network with a beautiful suitcase. You may ask yourself: How did I get here? [adult swim]” The second: “Congratulations to the crew at ADHD on the launch of their new shows. We wish you all the best…. Nice place you got here… How are the kids?… Great, Great stuff. We’re going to go home now [adult swim].”
ADHD responded to the stunt via Twitter last night: “@adultswim THANK YOU FOR YOUR MONEY” Said ADHD head and Adult Swim alum Nick Weidenfeld today, “We love Adult Swim and we’re happy to receive both their attention and their ad dollars!” Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: A hot comedy project is expected to hit the cable marketplace next week. I hear the untitled comedy has Billy Crystal attached to star, co-write and executive produce, Burn Notice creator Matt Nix co-writing/executive producing and Curb Your Enthusiasm and Borat‘s Larry Charles directing/co-writing and executive producing. Fox TV Studios, where Nix is under an overall deal, is producing. Details about the premise are sketchy but I hear the project is based on an European format and is described as an edgy comedy. Charles and Crystal are co-writing with comedy writer-producer Ben Wexler, who previously worked with Nix on Nix’s Fox dramedy The Good Guys. The four executive produce with Nix’s manager, producer Mikkel Bondesen and Henrik Bastin, both of Fabrik Entertainment (formerly Fuse), which also is under a deal at FtvS. Fabrik’s Kristen Campo co-exec produces. Bondesen and Fabrik have experience adapting European formats for the U.S., most notably with the AMC drama The Killing, which is coming back for Season 3 next month. USA’s Burn Notice will kick off its seventh season also in June. Read More »
Three months after his highly publicized exit from AMC’s The Walking Dead, former Walking Dead executive producer/showrunner Glen Mazzara has launched his own production company, 44 Strong Prods, and has signed an overall deal with Fox TV Studios. Under the pact, Mazzara will develop cable series through 44 Strong — named after his address in Brooklyn, 44 Strong Place — and will shepherd other writers on their own shows. It reunites the writer-producer with FtvS, the studio behind FX’s The Shield, where Mazzara spent six seasons. “The Shield was the show that really put FtvS on the map, and Glen was a huge part of that show’s success,” FtvS president David Madden said. “Years later, Glen has become a lauded and expert showrunner, and after his extraordinary stint on The Walking Dead, we are proud to bring Glen back home.” Added Mazzara, “I’ve had a long history with Fox Television Studios… This is where I want to be, and I couldn’t ask for a better partner as I take the next step in my career.” Read More »
Robert Zemeckis is making a major move into television, inking a deal with Fox TV Studios. Under the overall pact, the Back To The Future writer/director Zemeckis and his producing partner Jack Rapke will develop and produce original programming for cable through their company ImageMovers. “Bob and Jack are a rare breed, as gifted and accomplished creatively as they are in production; we are excited and determined to make them as much of a dynamic brand in television as they are in film”, said FtvS president David Madden. He notes that he has had a long-standing relationship with both Zemeckis and Rapke as he served as an executive on the Zemeckis-directed Romancing The Stone and made many deals with Rapke in his previous role as a top agent at CAA. “So we’re looking optimistically back to the future”, Madden quipped.
Zemeckis, Rapke and partner Steve Starkey formed their company ImageMovers in 1998. Primarily focused on movies, their first feature was box office hit Cast Away, directed by Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks. The company’s sole series credit to date is Showtime’s period drama The Borgias, now in production on its third season. With its cable focus, FtvS seems a good fit for Zemeckis whose previous series efforts have been primarily in cable, except for the Back To The Future kids cartoon. Before The Borgias, he executive produced anthology series Tales From the Crypt and Perversions Of Science, both for HBO. … Read More »
UPDATE 5:47 PM Saturday: Producers of the TNT competition reality series The Great Escape have reached an agreement with IATSE. The union called a strike this morning after declaring Profiles Television Productions unfair for interfering with IATSE organizing efforts. The crew is back at work after walking a picket line for seven hours today in Santa Clarita, Calif., where the show is shooting at the Placerita Canyon Power Plant. IATSE said the union and producers will negotiate a contract that provides crew members the health benefits, pension and safe working conditions that other entertainment industry workers have.
PREVIOUSLY, 10 AM Saturday: The IATSE has gone on strike today against Profiles Television Productions, producer of TNT’s new competition show The Great Escape after declaring the company “an unfair employer” earlier this morning. The union accuses Profiles of obstructing efforts to organize the show’s crew. The action-adventure reality series is hosted by Rich Eisen, one of NFL’s on-air talent. Headed by co-founders Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri, Profiles is the parent of both World Race Productions and Earthview Inc. The Great Escape is also produced by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine TV, Fox TV Studios, and creators Justin Hochberg and Charlie Ebersol. Picket line is set up at Placerita Power Plant, 20885 Placerita Canyon Road, Santa Clarita.
The case of who created White Collar has ended in a private settlement. “The litigation has been resolved and is in the process of being dismissed,” is all plaintiff Travis Romero’s lawyer Rhett Francisco would tell Deadline today. The case was scheduled for a March 2013 trial that could have seen the Executive Producer of the USA Network series plus some Fox TV Studio executives and CAA agents asked some potentially embarrassing questions about their conduct and practices. Romero sued Jeff Eastin, White Collar’s credited creator, last year. Fox TV Studios president David Madden and executive VP Matt Loze and CAA’s Rob Kenneally and Tom Young were also named as defendants. The studio and agency men allegedly encouraged Eastin to cut Romero out of the profits from the show and his co-creator credit. CAA represents Eastin. Fox TV produces the high class crime drama, now in its third season. Romero claimed that that he and his long time creative partner Eastin came up with the idea for White Collar in the latter’s backyard hot tub years back. Romero also claims the duo worked with Fox in pitching it to USA. While the scope of Romero’s initial case had recently been scaled back by Judge Rolf Treu, Eastin, Fox TV and CAA weren’t off the hook. In his May 15 ruling (Read it here), the judge granted Romero the ability to amend his suit to address issues of specificity in regards to … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Aaron Tveit is set to star in USA Network’s untitled hourlong pilot from White Collar creator Jeff Eastin. The project, from Fox TV Studios, follows agents from various federal and local agencies (DEA, FBI, LAPD) who all live at an undercover house in Southern California. Tveit will play Mike Warren, a freshly minted FBI agent just out of the Academy and dripping wet behind the ears. Like White Collar, Eastin’s new project has two main leads, with Tveit playing one of them. The cast-contingency on the project will be lifted when both key roles are cast. Tveit is best known for his roles in the Broadway productions of Next To Normal and Catch Me If You Can and his recurring part on Gossip Girl. His feature credits include Ghost Town and Howl.
Raising The Bar alum Teddy Sears and Nick D’Agosto (Heroes) have joined Paul Bettany in Showtime’s pilot Masters & Johnson. The project, from Sony Pictures TV, is an adaptation of Thomas Maier’s book Masters of Sex: The Life And Times Of William Masters And Virginia Johnson, The Couple Who Taught America How To Love. It chronicles the lives, romance and pop culture trajectory of 1960s human sexuality pioneers Masters (Bettany) and Johnson, whose research touched off the sexual revolution. Sears and D’Agosto … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Laurence Fishburne, who headlined CBS’ CSI for two-and-a-half seasons, is returning to TV series, this time as a producer. Fishburne’s Cinema Gypsy Prods. has signed a two-year first-look development deal with Fox Television Studios for cable projects. Former Paramount Television SVP current programming Tom Russo has been tapped as Head of Television for Cinema Gypsy Prods. He will shepherd the development of cable series under the deal with FtvS and will serve a producer on Cinema Gypsy’s projects. Fishburne and his longtime manager/production partner Helen Sugland will executive produce. “I’m looking forward to expanding our production efforts in television and partnering with Fox Television Studios,” Fishburne said. FtvS president David Madden was far more effusive in his comments about the deal with the Matrix actor. “Laurence Fishburne has won the Tony Award, the Emmy Award, and is an Academy Award nominee, as well as being universally recognized as one of the finest actors working today,” Madden said. “He did sterling work on CSI, and we know he has still much more to offer to the TV series world. We are proud to be in business with Laurence and look forward to bringing more blazing Fishburne-esque performances to the screen. And for God’s sake, he’s Morpheus!” Fishburne’s Cinema Gypsy Prods. first got into TV development 3 years ago when the company signed a first-look deal with CBS TV Studios, which produces CSI. The company … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Paul and Chris Weitz have signed a first-look deal for cable series with Fox TV Studios. Given the fact that the duo’s biggest feature success has come with the R-rated American Pie franchise, cable would seem like a good fit for them. The Weitz brothers have previously been involved in four series, all on the broadcast side, most recently serving as executive producers on the Fox drama Lone Star. On the feature side, the WME-repped pair, who landed an Oscar nomination for co-writing About A Boy, are executive produing the upcoming fourquel American Reunion. Paul Weitz recently wrote and directed the upcoming Being Flynn starring Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore, while the Chris Weitz-directed A Better Life has been getting awards attention for actor Demian Bichir.
Lifetime has greenlighted to pilot American Housewife, a drama that has Melanie Griffith is negotiations to star as well as executive produce with husband/producing partner Antonio Banderas. The pilot, which David Slade (Eclipse) is in negotiations to direct, was written by Erik Jendresen (Band Of Brothers) based on an idea by him and Banderas. American Housewife, produced by Fox TV Studios, centers on a mother of two children who has conversations with her inner voice while dealing with one of her kids leaving home for college and the other remaining at home. In addition to Griffith, Banderas and Jendresen, the pilot will be executive produced by Jendresen’s producing partner Ray Ricord. Banderas worked with Jendresen on the Tony Krantz-directed movie The Big Bang, which Jendresen wrote and produced and Banderas starred in. The two are now collaborating on a new feature project, Solo.
A&E has renewed its flagship drama series The Glades for a third season, which will launch next summer. The news comes a month after the cop series starring Matt Passmore ended its second season, which averaged 3.9 million viewers, 1.55 million of them in the 18-49 demographic and 1.74 million in adults 25-54. In 18-49, The Glades was up 12% from Season 1. With the renewal, A&E will have three original series on tap for next year: The Glades; Breakout Kings, which will return for a second season; and the recently picked up newcomer Longmire. The Glades is produced by Fox TV Studios and executive produced by creator Clifton Campbell and Gary Randall.
ProSiebenSat.1´s production and distribution company Red Arrow Entertainment Group has acquired a majority stake in manager/producer Mikkel Bondesen’s U.S. production company Fuse. The Denmark-born Bondesen launched his U.S. production company in 2005. Its credits include USA’s Burn Notice and Fox’s The Good Guys, both created by Bondesen’s client Matt Nix, as well as AMC’s The Killing, whose format Bondesen brought to the U.S. from Denmark. All three series have been produced by Fox TV Studios, where Bondesen and Fuse have a first-look deal. Since its January 2010 launch, Red Arrow has been acquiring TV production companies and now owns majority stake in 12 companies spanning eight countries. Its first move in the U.S. was last year’s acquisition of 51% interest in Chris Coelen’s Kinetic Content, which specializes in unscripted series. The Fuse deal gives Red Arrow a similar foothold in the U.S. marketplace on the scripted side. As part of the Fuse deal, Swedish producer Henrik Bastin (ABC’s My Generation) has joined Fuse as partner and CEO and the company’s development executive Kristen Campo has been upped to partner.