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HAMMOND: Ridley And Tony Scott Build TV Empire And Invade The Emmy Awards

Pete Hammond

EXCLUSIVE: Last week, Deadline’s Mike Fleming reported that Ridley Scott is planning another Blade Runner film, while brother Tony Scott plots to do a remake of the 1969 Sam Peckinpah Western classic The Wild Bunch. These are just a couple of many film projects the indefatigable pair are involved in after careers that have spawned some of the most successful pictures of recent years. For Ridley, that would include three Best Director Academy Award nominations for the likes of Best Picture Oscar winner Gladiator, Black Hawk Down and Thelma and Louise, and for Tony a resume that includes such hits as Top Gun, Crimson Tide and most recently last year’s Unstoppable. He’s currently prepping Hell’s Angels, while Ridley is working on the 2012 summer release Prometheus. It’s remarkable that they actually have time for anything else, but since 1995 they have been heavily involved in their very prolific joint production company Scott Free, which not only produces their big-screen vehicles (and many others) but also has become a force in television, receiving 23 Emmy nominations this year in multiple categories covering scripted, nonfiction and miniseries. In 2010, it received the Britannia Award for Worldwide Contribution to Filmed Entertainment.

Under the day-to-day guidance of president of television David Zucker, Scott Free has seen growing critical and ratings success in the medium even as both are often in far-flung corners of world making movies. When I caught up with them in a conference call last week, Tony was in London, Ridley was in the South of France, and David was in Los Angeles. Nevertheless, they were thrilled about the Emmy love and planned to be here for the Sept. 18 prime time ceremony, where the CBS hit drama series The Good Wife, now moving into Season 3, is nominated for nine Emmys and the elaborate Starz miniseries Pillars of the Earth collected seven nominations. Their nonfiction entry Gettysburg is a major player also, with seven nods in the Creative Arts awards to be handed out a week earlier.

Previous TV projects includes the long-running CBS series Numbers, HBO’s Into the Storm and The Gathering Storm, A&E’s The Andromeda Strain and TNT’s spy thriller The Company, among many others.

The secret to all this success, they say, is smart creative choices and independence. “In terms of the creative ambitions of the company, as well as profitability, Ridley and Tony decided a few years ago to go entirely independent, so we have the flexibility to partner with ambitious and like-minded production companies like Tandem Communications but also the freedom to align on network projects or cable projects, with whatever studio or broadcaster that suits the material,” Zucker says. “I think the mandate that has always been the case for the company is that it’s very talent-driven, it’s very writer-driven, so when we happen upon something fiction or nonfiction that excites everyone and that Ridley and Tony want to pursue, then it’s all about finding the right home and about finding the right partner, and so the flexibility of being independent has been critical to being able to have this variety of projects.” Read More »

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Scott Free Re-Ups SVP Mary Lisio, Taps Sam Rockwell To Narrate ‘Gettysburg’ Special

By | Monday May 9, 2011 @ 9:05am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Ridley and Tony Scott’s Scott Free Prods, which has been a player in scripted television, most recently with acclaimed CBS drama The Good Wife, is strengthening its commitment to unscripted TV by signing a new two-year deal with Mary Lisio ro serve as SVP of non-fiction and branded entertainment. Lisio oversees all non-scripted projects at the company, most recently shepherding the special Gettysburg for History. Sam Rockwell, who co-starred in Ridley Scott’s Matchstick Man, has come on board to narrate the two-hour special, which will premiere May 30. Read More »

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