UPDATE: Fox Says No To Asian-American Group That Wants Seth MacFarlane’s ‘Dads’ Pilot Re-Shot

By | Tuesday August 20, 2013 @ 7:10am PDT

UPDATE, 6:50 AM: Fox has declined the Media Action Network for Asian Americans’ suggestion it re-shoot its Dads pilot in order to remove the scene it finds most offensive. In the scene, business partners Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi have Brenda Song’s employee character dress up in sexy Asian Schoolgirl costume and giggle demurely to please Chinese businessmen.

Down the road, Fox execs promised the organization, “You will see that Brenda Song’s character is a strong, intelligent, empowered young woman who basically runs the company, and who almost always gets the upper hand.” They also said the show, from Seth MacFarlane and team, “is a show that will be evocative and will poke fun at stereotypes and bigotries — sometimes through over-the-top, ridiculous situations,” adding,  “The series is based heavily on the executive producers’ own lives, and the relationships between the fathers and sons on Dads will continue to be the main driver of show’s comedic sensibility. Everyone involved with Dads is striving to create a series with humor that works on multiple levels and ‘earns’ its audaciousness.”

PREVIOUS, AUGUST 15: The Media Action Network for Asian Americans says it’s waiting to hear back from Fox execs in response to a letter it sent Monday asking the network to reshoot some “racist” scenes in the pilot of Fox’s new Seth MacFarlane live-action comedy series, Dads. Fox says it has been in the process of responding. Word of the kerfuffle got out this afternoon when MANAA took the issue to the press. In case you didn’t get the screener MANAA saw back in July, Dads is about two video game developers (Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi) with cranky old dads (Martin Mull and Peter Reigert) who move in to their place. Sometimes the dads say stupid racist things. Mull’s character, for instance, calls Asians “Orientals,” and says, of Chinese people, “There’s a reason ‘Shanghai’ is a verb.” TV critics don’t like the show much either, and said so at the recent Summer TCA Press Tour. Fox Entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly placated them somewhat by telling them the show will need to recalibrate and find the right comedic balance. MANAA wants the pilot recalibrated before it premieres. Read More »

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TCA: Good News For Fox — TV Critics Hate ‘Dads’

By | Thursday August 1, 2013 @ 6:54pm PDT

Fox may have a multi-cam comedy hit on its hands in Dads, judging by the thwapping TV critics gave it today at Summer TV Press Tour 2013. It was the kind of brawl the tour hasn’t seen since the 2 Broke Girls Q&A back in that sitcom’s first season– and we all know what a hit that show’s turned out to be for CBS. The series, from Seth MacFarlane (much not-loved by TV critics, and a no-show at the session) and other producers behind MacFarlane’s animated Family Guy and flick Ted, stars Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi as childhood BFF’s turned gaming entrepreneur/biz partners, whose lives become sitcom material when both their dads, played by Peter Riegert and Martin Mull, move in with them. They provide lines like asking their son if he’s watching Punch The Puerto Rican when they see a boxing match on TV. Read More »

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Giovanni Ribisi To Star In Fox Comedy Series ‘Dads’, Replaces Tommy Dewey

By | Thursday April 18, 2013 @ 10:45am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Fox is re-conceiving one of the lead characters in Dads, its six-episode multi-camera comedy series from Ted‘s team of Alec Sulkin, Wellesley Wild and Seth MacFarlane. As a result, the role is being recast, with … Read More »

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Giovanni Ribisi Saddles Up For Seth MacFarlane Comedy

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Add Giovanni Ribisi to A Million Ways To Die In The West, the next film to star and be directed by Seth MacFarlane. Ribisi reteams with MacFarlane, who is once again teamed in this venture with Media Rights Capital, which finally rode in a big winner when it backed MacFarlane’s last film, Ted, the foul mouthed stuffed bear comedy that has now grossed over $543 million worldwide. Universal is expected to become the distributor of the Western, after releasing Ted. MacFarlane wrote the script with Ted and Family Guy cohorts Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild, and Scott Stuber and Jason Clark are producing. They were producers on Ted with MacFarlane and John Jacobs. Read More »

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Hot International Trailer: ‘Contraband’

Here’s the international market trailer Universal released Monday for Contraband. Directed by Icelander Baltasar Kormákur, it features Mark Wahlberg as a guy forced back into smuggling when a member of his family botches a drug deal. It co-stars Kate Beckinsale, Ben Foster, Giovanni Ribisi, Caleb Landry Jones, Lukas Haas, Diego … Read More »

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3D Court Battle Looms For Stereo D’s William Sherak And Ex-WMA Agent Dave Phillips

Mike Fleming

After a judge last week denied a motion to dismiss, a lawsuit is tentatively scheduled to play out in LA Superior Court on August 8 that pits former William Morris literary agent Dave Phillips against William Sherak, president of the 3D conversion house StereoD. Phillips alleges in court papers that after inviting Sherak to be his 50/50 partner on emerging 3D technology that Phillips had been retained to shop in Hollywood, Sherak betrayed him. By the time 18 months worth of meetings culminated in the deal that led to the formation of StereoD, Sherak emerged with a 32% stake in that company and signed a 3-Year $14 million deal to run it after Deluxe acquired StereoD in May. Phillips was offered $30,000 to sign a release and go away.

Sherak, the son of Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences president Tom Sherak, is accused of breaching an oral agreement and his fiduciary responsibility to Phillips. At issue is whether the technology Phillips plugged Sherak into (it originated with Kerner, an offshoot of George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic) led to the deals that formed StereoD and should be counted in the 50/50 3D deal split Phillips said he and Sherak agreed to in an oral (not written) contract. Phillips claims in his complaint that Sherak often assured him their position would be protected because of his father’s industry clout, but  that he eventually became evasive after Phillips was offered the $30,000. Stereo D has quickly become a major player in 3D conversions of films that include Captain America, Avatar, Jackass 3-D, and Thor.

Phillips claims that he brought Sherak into the 3D mix because they were longtime friends and he knew Sherak’s father would use his clout to put them in rooms with the Hollywood heavyweights needed for deals that would enrich the duo with finder fees. According to Phillips’ complaint, the elder Sherak orchestrated meetings with the likes of Ron Perelman, Deluxe’s Cyril Drabinsky, Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Lightstorm’s Jon Landau. The elder Sherak also arranged for Fox to provide a print of The Rocky Horror Picture Show to be converted into 3D for demos.

Along the way, the younger Sherak arranged meetings with Christopher Mallick, the financier of Middle Men, a film Sherak produced. These meetings evolved into a focus on 2D to 3D conversion technology called VDX that wasn’t owned by Kerner, but  rather a Japanese inventor named Kuniaki Izumi. The filing indicates Phillips and Sherak were involved in bringing Izumi in from Japan to meet Mallick, who shortly after dropped his Kerner pursuit. He struck a deal with Izumi that paid the inventor $1 million for technology that became the core of Stereo D. Mallick gave equal ownership stakes in StereoD to himself, Sherak and Middle Men star Giovanni Ribisi. Phillips was not included. Read More »

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Giovanni Ribisi Joins Warner Bros’ ‘The Gangster Squad’

EXCLUSIVE: Giovanni Ribisi has landed a co-starring role in Warner Bros’ The Gangster Squad, the period crime drama Ruben Fleischer is directing that stars Sean Penn as Mickey Cohen, and Ryan Gosling and Josh Brolin as members of the elite … Read More »

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Supergirl Flies In For Seth MacFarlane’s ‘Ted’

Mike Fleming

Laura Vandervoort, who plays Supergirl on Smallville and who also stars on ABC’s V, has been added to the cast of Seth MacFarlane’s Ted, the Universal Pictures/Media Rights Capital comedy that stars Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Joel McHale, Giovanni Ribisi … Read More »

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Patrick Warburton Lands Custom-Fit ‘Ted’ Role

Mike Fleming

Patrick Warburton has landed a role in Ted, the Seth MacFarlane-directed Universal Pictures/Media Rights Capital comedy that stars Mark Wahlberg as a man who wishes his teddy bear to life and then uses the talking slacker toy to get in … Read More »

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