The female portion of the cast of Aaron Sorkin’s HBO pilot is taking shape. Olivia Munn and Alison Pill are in negotiations for supporting roles in the project, while I hear Marisa Tomei is inching closer to committing to play the female lead. Tentatively titled More As This Story Develops, the project centers on cable news anchor Will McCallister (Jeff Daniels), who has his own show, as well as the show’s female executive producer and staff. Tomei, repped by CAA and Untitled, is poised to play the executive producer, MacKenzie, for whom producing the news is what she does best and everything else is tied for last place. Pill will play Maggie, an associate producer on the assignment desk. Munn, repped by CAA and Mosaic, will play a sexy financial analyst on the same cable network as McCallister.
Oscar winner Tomei has been one of several actresses considered for MacKenzie and the most heavily pursued by the producers. Said to be a big fan of Sorkin’s, she met with him earlier last week and again on Saturday when he attended her off-Broadway play Marie and Bruce. (Among the other contenders for the role, Emily Mortimer had emerged as a frontrunner.) Munn, who stars on NBC’s midseason comedy Perfect Couples, was courted for several broadcast pilots this pilot season but opted not … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Hope Davis is set to star opposite Tea Leoni in HBO’s half-hour comedy pilot Spring/Fall. Jake Kasdan has come on board to direct the project, which is set in New York City against the backdrop of the fashion world and centers on the dysfunctional partnership between Margo (Leoni) and Eden (Davis), two women with different approaches to career, family and friendship. Margo is a successful designer and a happily married mother of 5-year-old twins working for famous fashion designer Victor Cross. When he commits suicide, Margo takes over his line and quickly realizes she’s in over her head, so she reaches out to her estranged former best friend and collaborator Eden, a onetime famous fashion designer herself, and convinces her to come work for her. Read More »
HBO has picked up to pilot 40, an ensemble comedy from Entourage creator/executive producer Doug Ellin co-starring Ed Burns.
The show, set in New York, revolves around four lifelong friends who help each other navigate life at 40, which isn’t all they expected it to be. Burns will play one of them, married with kids guy, who used to work at Bear Stearns making over 2 million a year but has now been out of work for almost a year. The quartet also includes a rich metrosexual guy, a a ripped personal trainer and a schlumpy neurotic married guy.The project falls under Ellin’s overall deal with HBO.
40 joins HBO’s recent pilot orders to Armando Ianucci’s Veep starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Aaron Sorkin’s untitled News Show project. Entourage‘s eighth and final season airs this summer.
EXCLUSIVE: Aaron Sorkin’s long-gestating drama set behind the scenes of a nightly cable news show is becoming a reality. HBO has closed a deal for a pilot order to the project, which reunites The Social Network writer with the movie’s producer Scott Rudin. Both are executive producing the pilot, which will be filmed later this year. UPDATE: Word is the project’s working title is More As the Story Develops.
In his research for the show, Sorkin spent time at Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews’ MSNBC shows as well as at Fox News Channel and CNN programs, but the TV personalities he shadowed are not expected to be part of the HBO show. That includes Olbermann, who, despite Internet speculation, is not involved in the project.
Sorkin has been raking in accolades for his Social Network script and is considered a front-runner for the adapted screenplay Oscar. Meanwhile, Rudin, an Oscar winner for No Country For Old Men, is a double contender in the best picture category with The Social Network and True Grit, the latest film from the No Country duo of Ethan and Joel Coen. On Tuesday, The Social Network netted a total of 8 Academy Award nominations, including best picture, best adapted screenplay, best director (David Fincher) and best lead actor (Jesse Eisenberg).
This marks a big return to TV for Rudin, whose only previous TV effort was the 1996 ABC comedy series Clueless based on the hit movie which … Read More »
HBO has passed on the comedy pilot Documental, from Tropic Thunder cohorts Justin Theroux, Steve Coogan and Ben Stiller. The project, written and directed by Theroux, was filmed in London. It stars Theroux as a documentary filmmaker who tracks down his idol, an equally inept filmmaker (Coogan), and documents his return to his craft. Stiller was among the pilot’s executive producers as were Theroux and Coogan. Last week, HBO picked up another comedy pilot, Lena Dunham/Judd Apatow’s Girls, to series. In addition to Documental, the pay cable network also recently passed on drama pilots Miraculous Year and All Signs of Death. Coming up: Armando Iannucci’s comedy pilot Veep, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, which is gearing up for production, and the Diane Keaton starrer Tilda, which is still awaiting word on its fate.
13 years after the premiere of Sex and the City, HBO will launch another comedy about single girlfriends who are a decade younger than Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha. The pay cable network has picked up to series Girls, Lena Dunham’s comedy pilot executive produced by Judd Apatow and Jenni Konner. The 24-year-old prodigy Dunham wrote, directed and starred in the pilot, about the assorted humiliations and rare triumphs of three girlfriends in their early 20s: Hannah (Dunham), an eternal intern at a publishing house in SoHo and a hopeful writer; Marnie (Allison Williams), a sexy, bitchy and ambitious assistant at a slick political PR firm whose goal id to practice environmental law; and Jessa (Jemima Kirke), a space cadet with hippie tendencies who wants to be an artist/educator. The parallels with Sex and the City don’t stop here. Like Carrie, Hannah has a handsome carpenter as a boyfriend too, played by Adam Driver. Dunham, who served as co-executive producer on the pilot, is being upped to executive producer for the series alongside Apatow and Konner. She has been garnering awards attention for her second feature Tiny Furniture. Illene S. Landress is joining the project as a co-executive producer. The series marks the professional debut of Williams, daughter of NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, who booked the HBO … Read More »
HBO has opted not to go forward with All Signs of Death, its dark comedic drama pilot based on Charlie Huston’s 2009 crime noir novel The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death. The project, which was picked up to pilot in July, was written by Huston, with Ball directing and executive producing. Word is HBO brass ultimately couldn’t find a spot for the show. All Signs, which experimented with smaller, portable cameras for a cinema verite style, centers on an inveterate twenty-something slacker (Ben Whishaw) who stumbles into a career as a crime scene cleaner, only to find himself entangled with a murder mystery, a femme fatale and the loose ends of his own past. All Signs joins another 2010 HBO pilot, Miraculous Year, which didn’t go to series. Of the rest of the pay cable network’s 2010 crop of pilots, Michael Mann/David Milch collaboration Luck has already been ordered to series. The Diane Keaton starrer Tilda is still awaiting word while backup scripts are being written and reshoots on the pilot are being done. The Justin Theroux/Steve Coogan comedy Documental and the Lena Dunham/Judd Apatow comedy Girls are in post-production, while the Armando Iannucci’s comedy Veep, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, is now casting for an early 2011 start.
After month-long negotiations, Juila Louis-Dreyfus has closed a deal to star in HBO’s comedy pilot Veep, from British comedian, writer and director Armando Iannucci. The Seinfeld alumna will play the central character, former Senator Selina Meyer who becomes Vice President. Iannucci co-wrote and will direct the pilot as well as executive produce with Chris Godsick and Frank Rich. Louis-Dreyfus, who most recently starred on the CBS comedy The New Adventures of Old Christine, will serve as a producer.
EXCLUSIVE: HBO has opted not to proceed with John Logan’s hourlong pilot The Miraculous Year, which was directed by Kathryn Bigelow. I hear that the appeal of the project – an exploration into a high-powered New York family: a self-destructive Broadway composer (Norbert Leo Butz), his powerful painter father Alex (Frank Langella) and his attorney sister Mandy Vance (Hope Davis) – was probably too narrow. The cast of the pilot also included Eddie Redmayne, Linus Roache and Patti LuPone as well as guest stars Susan Sarandon and Lee Pace. HBO has had a busy pilot pickup year starting with the Michael Mann/David Milch collaboration Luck, which has already been ordered to series. The Diane Keaton starrer Tilda is still awaiting word while backup scripts are being written and reshoots on the pilot are being done. HBO’s recent pilot orders include the Justin Theroux/Steve Coogan comedy Documental, Armando Iannucci’s comedy Veep, Alan Ball’s drama All Signs of Death and the untitled Lena Dunham/Judd Apatow comedy.
Mercedes Masohn has landed the female lead opposite Ben Whishaw in Alan Ball’s pilot for HBO All Signs of Death. Rounding out the cast are Ron Yuan, Jeremy Ray Valdez, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali and Kelsey Ford, who have joined previously locked Whishaw and Clayne Crawford. The dark comedic drama, based on Charlie Huston’s 2009 crime noir novel The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death, centers on Webster Filmore Goodhue (Whishaw) an inveterate twenty-something slacker who stumbles into a career as a crime scene cleaner, only to find himself entangled with a murder mystery, a femme fatale and the loose ends of his own past. Masohn, repped by Greene & Assoc. & Luber/Roklin, will play Soledad Nye, a beautiful young Latina femme fatale who drags Web into a triple bucket of trouble. Ball is executive producing and directing the pilot, which was written by Huston. Filming is slated to start filming in Los Angeles later this month.
EXCLUSIVE: Ben Whishaw has been tapped as the lead in Alan Ball’s pilot for HBO All Signs of Death, marking the British actor’s U.S. TV debut. The dark comedic drama, based on Charlie Huston’s 2009 crime noir novel The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death, centers on Webster Filmore Goodhue (Whishaw) an inveterate twenty-something slacker who stumbles into a career as a crime scene cleaner, Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: His HBO series True Blood landed its first best series Emmy nomination yesterday. Now Alan Ball is prepping a new hourlong project for the pay cable network. HBO has greenlighted a pilot for All Signs of Death, a dark comedic drama based on Charlie Huston’s 2009 crime noir novel The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death. Ball is executive producing and directing the pilot, which was written by Huston. The project, which is now casting for an August production start date in Los Angeles, centers on an inveterate twenty-something slacker who stumbles into a career as a crime scene cleaner, only to find himself entangled with a murder mystery, a femme fatale and the loose ends of his own past. “It’s not so much about the crime, it’s about the personal story of the central character and his journey back to being fully connected with his life after some very traumatic things,” Ball said.
As a director, Ball will experiment with smaller, portable cameras for a cinema verite style. “The show is about contemporary Los Angeles, but not the glamorous LA, it’s about the dirty underbelly of LA,” Ball said. “We’re going to try to go against the grain, away from … Read More »