Producer Gavin Polone (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and feature writer Jeff Nathanson (Catch Me If You Can) have sold an original one-hour dramedy pitch to HBO. The untitled project, to be written and directed by Nathanson, is described as an unflinching behind-the-scenes look at a professional basketball team — and the money, sex, power and temptation that consumes the wild lives of millionaire players and billionaire owners. Nathanson and Polone are executive producing. Polone executive produces and directs ABC Family‘s new series Jane By Design and produces upcoming feature Premium Rush. Nathanson’s feature writing credits also include the Rush Hour franchise and Tower Heist. He is currently working on 39 Clues for DreamWorks. Polone and Nathanson are with UTA and Ziffren.
Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, the Rodman Flender-directed documentary about the chat host’s 32 city music and comedy tour undertaken after he took a $30 million payout to leave The Tonight Show, has wrapped a distribution deal in a multi-platform acquisition and distribution deal. AT&T is in as a P&A and distribution and marketing partner, and it will sneak the film to AT&T U-verse TV subscribers on the eve of the film’s theatrical release. Abramorama, the consulting company headed by indie distribution vet Richard Abramowitz, will steer theatrical distribution. Magnolia Home Entertainment acquired the remaining VOD and home entertainment rights in a deal brokered by WME Global, right after the film made its debut at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas.
It’s the second SXSW deal of the day for WME, after brokering one with The Weinstein Company for the documentary Undefeated. O’Brien started the wheels moving on a documentary about his days in talk show absentia right after he was removed from Tonight Show duty a year ago. Unable to go on TV, he grew a beard and toured the country with the Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television Tour, a musical and comedy act that gave O’Brien the chance to test his chops as a musical artist, and tell a lot of jokes at the expense of NBC. I saw a performance at Radio City and while I wouldn’t suggest O’Brien give up his day job to sing …
UPDATE: The first-dollar gross producer just left WME and was hotly pursued by both CAA and UTA. His choice to go to UTA will surprise Hollywood since it wasn’t that long ago that he was a partner there who left in a major dispute that erupted into a bitter lawsuit with lots of dirty laundry airing. But Gavin Polone and the agency decided to let bygones be bygones. (Don’t you love this town?) Actually, since his departure, UTA has worked closely with Gavin for years now on his many TV series and movies. UTA will represent Polone and his prolific Pariah shingle in film and television and will also help guide Polone’s transition into the director’s chair. Meanwhile, it’s a shocker that Polone left WME since they were joined at the hip during the Conan O’Brien NBC/TNT negotiations. Some insiders are telling me that “something bad” went down that got Polone very angry. But WME is claiming: ”the relationship with him is still good. We still work realy closely with him,” and that Polone was in the office earlier this week even after he discharged the agency. Sure, because they have a lot of business together.
Then again, it’s amazing Polone (aka, the “Dark Prince” of Hollywood) has a thriving production company after he kept publicly dissing those WGA strikers. Yet here he is prepping to make his feature directorial debut on the crime thriller …
EXCLUSIVE: Lev L. Spiro is set to direct ABC Family’s drama pilot What Would Jane Do, while Erica Dasher (The Lake) was cast as the title character. What Would Jane Do follows 16-year-old Jane (Dasher), who lands a job at a hip retail company when they mistake her for an adult. Jane soon finds herself juggling life as a regular teenager in high school and as an assistant to a high powered executive in the cutthroat world of fashion…all while trying to keep her true identity a secret. Spiro will direct from a script by April Blair; Gavin Polone is executive producing. CAA-repped Spiro most recently directed the directed the season 2 premiere of Spike TV’s Blue Mountain State, which posted a series high.
I’ve confirmed that this tell-all video truly was made by Gavin Polone’s New York assistant. “Sadly, it isn’t altogether untrue,” Polone (Prince Of Darkness Is Suing Yet Again…) tells me. “People seem to like it. Maybe it will inspire an HBO series about me?” I’d watch that show but it’s already on the air. It’s called Entourage.
Gavin Polone is smart and snarky and Hollywood’s erstwhile bad boy. He keeps earning his nickname as the Prince Of Darkness by today filing yet another lawsuit against an entertainment company. (His now infamous lawsuit against a former talent agency employer exposed oodles of bad behavior…) This time, it’s Summit Entertainment which the manager/producer is suing for breach of contract along with the screenwriter Pablo Fenjves over the film Man On A Ledge. Polone claims he and his Pariah production company were cut out of the deal. The Hollywood Reporter‘s legal eagle Matt Belloni has details but they’re boring.