Get up to speed with Deadline’s top TV stories of the week:
‘Mad Men’ Finale “Set In Stone”, Matthew Weiner Says; No Spinoffs Planned
By Dominic Patten
If you thought Matthew Weiner was going to let a teaser or spoiler slip for the upcoming final episodes of Mad Men next year, think again. “Can’t tell you that, you got to watch” is all the creator of AMC’s acclaimed series has to say on that front. “You’ll have to see how we bring it all together,” the reticent producer adds.
Kevin Reilly’s Departure Signals Start Of ‘Pick A Replacement’ Derby, With New Rules
By Lisa De Moraes
This morning’s confirmation that Kevin Reilly was stepping down as Chairman of Entertainment at Fox Broadcast Co. ends weeks of speculation he would exit in the wake of the March promotion of Rupert Murdoch’s son, James to co-COO at 21st Century Fox, giving him oversight of, among other properties, the Fox broadcast network. When the dust settled back then, Fox Networks Group chief Peter Rice, to whom Reilly reported, would now report to James Murdoch instead of president/COO Chase Carey.
Related: DeadlineNow: Kevin Reilly’s Exit & Fox’s Future (Video)
Outgoing Fox Chief Kevin Reilly On Why He Is Leaving, The State Of Fox & What’s Next (Job At Turner?)
‘True Detective’ Season 2: More Details Emerge As Casting Rumors Intensify
By Nellie Andreeva
The True Detective follow-up season has become the TV equivalent of the latest Star Wars sequel, with closely guarded and wildly speculated about script and casting process. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Popular Ghost Hunters cast members Amy Bruni and Adam Berry have decided to leave Syfy‘s flagship unscripted series. I’ve learned that the duo are teaming to develop a new show idea in the paranormal space. Bruni, who has more than 20 years experience studying the paranormal, has been on Ghost Hunters since 2008; Berry joined the series in 2010. Ghost Hunters is in the process of recruiting new members of Jason Hawes’ The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) team to fill the void left by Bruni and Berry’s departure. Bruni and Berry, repped by Westpoint Entertainment’s Bill Stankey, also are negotiating with a casino company for an ongoing series of appearances in Las Vegas and other markets across the US.
‘Sherlock’ Season Finale Ratings Tops Weekend In UK
A roundly lauded finale for Season Three of Sherlock was the weekend’s most-watched TV program in the UK. The modern detective series’ third installment, entitled “His Last Vow,” drew 8.77M viewers for a 32.1% share, according to the overnights. While it was possibly the best-reviewed episode of the current season, it also was the lowest-rated. Last week’s 90-minute turn, “The Sign Of Three,” had brought in 8.84M viewers and the January 1st opener, “The Empty Hearse,” was the show’s most-watched episode ever at 9.2M on BBC One. In March last year, star Benedict Cumberbatch said there would be a fourth series of a three more episodes. At a BAFTA screening and panel discussion last week, Sherlock co-creator Steven Moffat said the next season will be made “as quickly” as possible. Season 3 kicks off in the U.S. on PBS on January 19.
UK’s BBFC Changes Its Movie Ratings Criteria
After a spending nearly a year polling more than 10,000 members of the British public, the UK ratings board is tweaking its guidelines. Beginning February 24, the BBFC will give greater weight to the theme and tone of a film, especially around the 12A and 15 certificate levels (12A is similar to PG-13 in the U.S. and 15 means suitable only for 15 and overs). The board will also pay particular attention “to the psychological impact of horror” and strong visual details like gore. The BBFC has previously shown itself to be squeamish: In 2012, Lionsgate UK shaved seven seconds off The Hunger Games when it appeared the board was going to stamp it with a 15 certificate. Fixes were made in four scenes of violence and one showing details of injuries. It secured the 12A with a warning that it had “occasional gory moments.” While the BBFC will be stricter with language at the U level (equivalent to an MPAA G), it will also be more flexible about allowing very strong language at the 15 rating. “Context, not just frequency, is the most important factor in how language in films is perceived by the public,” the BBFC said today. Further, the group’s findings show that the public is notably concerned about the sexualization of girls in mainstream films and about risks to vulnerable adolescents, including what some described as the onscreen ‘normalization’ of behaviors which parents consider inappropriate. According to findings of the poll, 95% of parents with children under 15 say they check the BBFC rating before watching a film and 89% of moviegoers ratings important. The most complained-about film over the past four years was 2012′s The Woman In Black starring Daniel Radcliffe. Eleven percent of moviegoers polled thought it had received too low a rating at 12A and should have been given a 15. Read More »
Grant Wilson, co-lead investigator of Syfy’s flagship reality series Ghost Hunters, will be leaving the show. The announcement was made on last night’s episode. His last episode will wrap production next month and air May 16. “While paranormal investigating has always been and will remain a passion for me, after enjoying nearly eight successful seasons on television, I have made the decision to leave the series in order to focus on other aspects of my personal life,” he said. Ghost Hunters chronicles cases from the files of TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) — led by Rhode Island plumbers Wilson and Jason Hawes. Since its 2004 premiere, the show, produced by Craig Piligian’s Pilgrim Studios, has spawned two spinoffs, with over 200 episodes among the three series.
There is a new chapter in the five-year legal battle between two producers and NBCUniversal over the hit Syfy franchise Ghost Hunters, which went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The producers, parapsychologist Larry Montz and publicist Daena Smoller, have filed a new breach of implied contract lawsuit against NBCUniversal claiming that Ghost Hunters is based on a concept they originally pitched to the company between 1996 and 2003. Along with NBCU and its cable networks division that includes Syfy, the complaint also names Ghost Hunters executive producer Craig Piligian and star/producer Jason Hawes. (Copy of the lawsuit can be found here.)
The new lawsuit, filed yesterday in Los Angeles Superior Court, comes less than 2 months after the U.S. Supreme Court denied an appeal by NBUniversal to review a lower court ruling that reinstated a complaint by Montz and Smoller alleging that Syfy stole the idea for Ghost Hunters. Montz and Smoller first filed a lawsuit against NBC Universal in 2006. They lost in district court on the issue of copyright, but the case was reinstated after appeal on grounds of implied breach of contract. NBCUniversal, with the backing of the MPAA, argued to the Supreme Court that federal copyright law trumped state contract law. The high court declined to review the appeals court ruling, which allows the suit by Montz against NBCUniversal, Piligian’s Pilgrim Films & Television … Read More »
The U.S. Supreme Court denied an appeal by NBUniversal to review a lower court ruling that reinstated a complaint alleging that the company’s NBC network stole the idea for its Syfy series Ghost Hunters. Parapsychologist Larry Montz and publicist Daena Smoller had claimed in a 2006 suit that between 1996 and 2003 they had pitched the idea of paranormal investigators using technology to investigate claims of haunted properties to entertainment companies including NBC and its subsidiary, then called the SciFi Channel. They lost in district court on the issue of copyright, but the case was reinstated on appeal on grounds of implied breach of contract. NBCUniversal, with the backing of the MPAA, argued to the Supreme Court that federal copyright law trumped state contract law. The high court on Monday declined to review the appeals court ruling, which allows the suit by Montz against NBCUniversal, Pilgrim Films & Television (which produces Ghost Hunters) and other defendants to proceed.