Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos told Wall Street analysts today that Maryland officials are engaged in “ongoing negotiations” to keep House Of Cards production in the state — even though lawmakers didn’t approve the tax breaks producer Media Rights Capital wants. “I would anticipate that these are overcome-able issues,” he says. The Netflix exec says that the state benefits from “staggering” benefits including “hundreds of jobs, and not just for actors.” The controversy has become a political volleyball, he said, though he was careful to note that Maryland “has been great for the show” and that “investors and fans are not at risk in any way.” MRC, which had planned to start shooting the third season of the D.C.-set drama in early spring, received about $26M in Maryland tax credits for its first two season, according to reports. The production company has been seeking a tax credit for Season 3 in line with Season 2′s $15 million. But that would require the Legislature to raise the total credits for all shows — including HBO’s Veep — to $18.5M from $15M. Those favoring the increase were unable to secure the votes they needed.
Frank Underwood appears to have won his latest stare-down. After a tense standoff with House Of Cards producer Media Rights Capital, Maryland politicians have ended their holdout and are set to boost the state’s film tax credit program to keep the Netflix drama filming there. The General Assembly has approved the new legislation to increase the allocation ceiling from $7.5 million to $18.5 million, which likely would be enough to keep the show in the state. MRC, which had planned to start shooting the third season of the D.C.-set drama in early spring, received about $26 million in Maryland tax credits for its first two season, according to reports. The production company has been seeking a tax credit for Season 3 in line with Season 2′s $15 million, which had been impossible with Maryland’s cap at $7.5 million.
Channel 4 drama Southcliffe leads the nominations for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts TV Awards. The miniseries has four nods including for Leading Actor Sean Harris and Supporting Actor Rory Kinnear. Comedy The IT Crowd also has four nominations, with stars Richard Ayoade and Chris O’Dowd competing with The Wrong Mans’ Mathew Baynton and James Corden in the Male Performance in a Comedy Programme category. Broadchurch and The Village scored three nods, including for Drama Series where they are joined by My Mad Fat Diary and the BBC’s Top Of The Lake. Other notable mentions include Dominic West for Leading Actor in Burton And Taylor;Helena Bonham Carter is also nommed for her role as Elizabeth Taylor in the mini. Among other British shows with nominations are the BBC’s The Fall, Ripper Street and the Doctor Who anniversary movie An Adventure In Space And Time. The International category features Breaking Bad, House Of Cards, Denmark’s Borgen, and France’s The Returned. This year’s ceremony will be held at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London on May 18. A list of the major drama and comedy nominees follows (the full list is here):
Talk about game recognizing Game – literally and figuratively. With Game Of Thrones returning for a fourth season tonight, the blood drenched and court politics HBO drama got a social media shout out from another show that may not have as deep a body count but is no stranger to power plays itself. Netflix’s House Of Cards tweeted a “Welcome back” to the cable blockbuster today with some witty photoshopping of its own. While it is unusual for one show to give such a greeting to a rival, there is no doubt the Peabody Awards winning HoC just got a GOT boost from the connection and stuck in a playful dig - as HoC said in the tweet “Let the best House win.” The next question is, will we be seeing a Red Wedding D.C. style in HoC’s Season 3?
— House of Cards (@HouseofCards) April 7, 2014
After directing three episodes of the second season of House Of Cards, director-producer John David Coles (The West Wing) is joining the Netflix drama series full time for Season 3 as executive producer/director. Coles previously was co-executive producer/director on CBS’ Elementary and executive producer/director on NBC’s Law & Order: Criminal Intent. He most recently helmed episodes of A&E’s Bates Motel and Starz’s upcoming drama series Power. On MRC-produced House Of Cards, Coles — repped by UTA and Rain Management Group — will serve as an EP alongside star Kevin Spacey, director David Fincher and writer Beau Willimon as well as Josh Donen, Eric Roth, Dana Brunetti, Lord Michael Dobbs and Andrew Davies.
‘House Of Cards’, ‘Scandal’, ‘Breaking Bad’, ‘The Bridge’, ‘Key & Peele’, ‘Orphan Black’, ‘Orange Is The New Black’ Win Peabodys
Netflix and BBC America each has two scripted series on the list of a record 46 programs to receive Peabody Awards this year. Joining Netflix’s Washington drama House Of Cards and prison comedy Orange Is The New Black is another DC drama, ABC’s soapy Scandal; BBC America’s clone thriller Orphan Black and Broadchurch, which is being remade by Fox as an event series; FX’s The Bridge, which itself is a remake of the Danish-Swedish series; Danish political drama Borgen; acclaimed French zombie drama The Returned; AMC’s Breaking Bad, awarded a second Peabody for its final season; Comedy Central’s hit sketch comedy Key & Peele; CNN’s travel docu-series Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown; as well as Burka Avenger, the Pakistani animated series about a girl superhero; and two documentaries from newcomer Al Jazeera America. Additionally, former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw, who recently announced he is battling cancer, will receive an individual Peabody Award. Here is the full list of recipients of the 73rd Peabody Awards, bestowed by the University of Georgia’s Grady School of Journalism. They will be presented May 19 at a luncheon ceremony hosted by Ira Glass at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York. A special on the Peabodys will air later on Pivot, which recently inked a rights deal through 2016:
Netflix’s House Of Cards already has threatened to pick up and move its production to another state if the Maryland legislature doesn’t approve sufficient tax credits. And now, the Maryland House of Delegates has responded, adopting budget language that would require the state to seize the production company’s property if it does any such thing. The provision, proposed by Montgomery County Democrat, Del. William Frick, orders the state to use the right of eminent domain to buy or condemn the property of any company that has claimed $10 million or more credits against the state income tax, the Baltimore Sun reports. The provision would appear to apply only to the Netflix series. The amendment was accepted without debate. To take effect, the House language would need to be accepted in a conference with the Senate, which has already voted to increase the film tax credit. Stay tuned.
Kevin Spacey Continues His Disruptive Platform-Shifting Experiments By Self-Releasing ‘Now: In The Wings On A World Stage’: Q&A
When most leading men get preoccupied with messing with models, it usually means extracurricular activity. When it’s Kevin Spacey, it means taking bold risks to create disruptive opportunities to alter arcane platforms that have ranged from his own acting career to pioneering the first breakout multi-platform success in the J.C. Chandor-directed Margin Call and the first breakout Netflix series hit House Of Cards. Now, he has made an intriguing documentary, Now: In The Wings On A World Stage, and will test new waters by self-distributing the film.
Here’s the first trailer that was just unveiled for the docu, which he is releasing in limited theatres and simultaneously via download here on KevinSpacey.com.
Spacey, in the midst of a strong run in Hollywood and two Oscars, started this journey of self discovery back in 2003 when he left Hollywood to revive the Old Vic in London. That has limited his screen time, but Trigger Street, the company he runs with Dana Brunetti, has kept him enough in the mix with Best Picture nominee Captain Phillips, The Social Network, 21 and other films. Spacey has kept up the Old Vic’s storied traditions, starring in and producing plays year after year. Now, after quietly funding and producing and starring in Now, a documentary about the conception and the experience of performing Richard III across the world, Spacey is self-releasing a film he feels captures the exhilaration of live performances that reunited Spacey with Sam Mendes since both won Oscars in Mendes’ screen debut American Beauty. His Now passion project and its trailer debut offers a a great chance to catch up with an actor who, after winning Oscars and asserting himself as a bankable leading man, up and left town for a venture many felt was folly. But this film’s most compelling selling point also underscores that Spacey knew what he was doing. If the millions and millions of rabid House Of Cards binge viewers want to see where his Vice President Francis Underwood character came from, it turns out they can find it right in this movie.
DEADLINE: I caught bronchitis this week and the only plus was tearing through the first season and one half of House Of Cards. Just a remarkable, game-changing way to absorb great drama.
SPACEY: I can’t say that I’m much of a binge watcher myself. People stop me on the street and tell me they are treating House Of Cards like a good novel, where they decide when to put it down on the bedside table, and when to pick it up again. What I love about that mind-set is that it puts the audience in complete control.
Costume Designers Guild Awards: Patricia Norris Wins For ’12 Years A Slave’, Suzy Benzinger For ‘Blue Jasmine’, Trish Summerville For ‘Catching Fire’, TV Winners ‘Downton Abbey’; ‘House Of Cards’, ‘Behind The Candelabra’
AwardsLine Deputy Editor Anna Lisa Raya provided on-scene coverage tonight.
UPDATED WITH ALL WINNERS AND SPEECHES: 12 Years A Slave’s Patricia Norris and Hunger Games: Catching Fire’s Trish Summerville nabbed top film awards tonight at the 16th annual Costume Designers Guild Awards. Norris won the Outstanding Period Film Award while Summerville scored the Outstanding Fantasy Film Award. The win clearly vaults Oscar-nominated Norris into frontrunner status. She was not present but her son Patrick accepted on her behalf. “She guaranteed me this wouldn’t happen. I’m kind of a little nervous but she gave me a few things to say in case it did happen. She’s honored that the Costume Designers Guild has recognized her. She thanks you and I appreciate you. I can’t wait to give this to her,” he said. Blue Jasmine’s Suzy Benzinger took the third film award of the night for Outstanding Contemporary Film.
On the TV side, Caroline McCall took the Outstanding Period/Fantasy category for Downton Abbey. This was her second straight win in the same category. Ellen Mirojnick won Outstanding Made for Television Movie or Miniseries for Behind The Candelabra and Tom Broecker took the Outstanding Contemporary Television Series honor for House Of Cards.
In other awards, writer/director/producer Judd Apatow received the Distinguished Collaborator Award for his support of costume design in such work as Freaks And Geeks, Girls, Bridesmaids and the Anchorman films. Jonah Hill made a surprise appearance to present the award to Apatow. “I wouldn’t necessarily think of Judd for the costume design in his films, it’s not the first thing to come to mind,” Hill said, before adding that Apatow’s work resonates because it’s about real people wearing real clothes. “That’s an artform. That’s real life. That’s what Judd does.” Apatow gave shout-outs to the many costume designers with whom he’s worked. “So many amazing people throughout our careers. Thank you so much and thank you for making us look good and making these characters come alive.” Veteran costume designer April Ferry (Maverick, Elysium) received the Career Achievement Award. “I absolutely love what I do and for me there’s no other way. Over the last 30 years I’ve traveled to ancient Rome all the way to the future and beyond. If you’re lucky, like I’ve been, you work at the seat of your pants with wonderful people,” Ferry said in accepting her award. The Distinguished Service Award went to Sharon Day, a guild delegate and former executive board member. Amy Adams was honored with the Lacoste Spotlight Award, which recognizes an actor whose roles have been intrinsically tied to costume design. Adams most recently stunned in a sexy, glamorous 1970s-era wardrobe in American Hustle, for which she’s nominated for a best lead actress Oscar. “I’m just really, really lucky to have had relationships with costume designers thorughout the years. You’ve been magicians, you’ve been my therapists, you’ve been my friends. Thank you for allowing me to turn your visions into art,” Adams said.
Host Joshua Malina kicked off the evening. “I’m Joshua Malina, and I’m a 42 Reg. I have a 32 inch waist and a 30 inch inseam. Yes, I said 30 inches. Don’t judge, we’re all God’s creatures,” he joked. “We’re here to celebrate the collaboration of costume designers and directors and actors. There’s also the talented cutters, and seamstresses, the dye-ers, the shoemakers. We’re all here together tonight and so far, getting along nicely,” he said.
Here’s the complete list of winners.
Season 3 of Netflix’s House Of Cards is holding off on beginning production until mid-June pending the outcome of two separate bills in the Maryland Legislature that would ensure another season of lucrative state tax breaks for the political drama, which just launched its Season 2 on the streaming service last week. The Emmy-nominated series set in Washington, D.C., was officially renewed for a third season earlier this month. Series producer Media Rights Capital, which planned to start shooting Season 3 in early spring, received more than $11 million in Maryland tax credits for Season 1 and Season 2′s incentives could reach $15 million, the Wall Street Journal reported today. We hear that MRC is seeking a tax credit for Season 3 in line with Season 2′s $15 million, which as of now is impossible as Maryland’s current cap is $7.5 million. The two bills, which are languishing in committee, would raise the ceiling to $11 million or $18.5 million. Deadline has confirmed that MRC has sent a letter to several politicians, including Gov. Martin O’Malley, regarding the bills. The letter (read it in full below) pulls no punches in saying that the incentives must be approved if the production were to stay in the state. “In the event sufficient incentives do not become available, we will have to break down our stage, sets and offices and set up in another state,” said the letter, signed by Charlie Goldstein, MRC’s SVP Television Production. The issue has been stirring a heated debate in the Maryland Legislature. “Is it possible that they would just leave after we gave them $31 million?” Del. C. William Frick, D-Montgomery, said during a contentious hearing last week, according to WSJ.
Well, guess we know what President Obama will be doing this long weekend while hanging out in Rancho Mirage after meeting with the King of Jordan: binge-watching the new season of Netflix’s House Of Cards. “Tomorrow: @HouseOfCards. No spoilers, please,” tweeted Obama’s Twitter feed today of the 13 new episodes of the political drama set to premiere simultaneously at midnight tonight.
Tomorrow: @HouseOfCards. No spoilers, please.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) February 13, 2014
Now there was no “BO” after the tweet, which is the indication it came from the Commander-In-Chief himself, but we know Obama is a fan of the DC-based drama and its ruthless soon-to-be VP Francis Underwood. “I’m just wondering if you brought advance copies of House Of Cards?” the President was heard asking Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings during a White House meeting in late December. After an offer from Hastings to do a cameo on the award-winning streaming series, Obama also made a crack that Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, is “getting a lot of stuff done” and “I wish things were that ruthlessly efficient” in the real-life DC. That drew a big laugh from Hastings, Apple’s Tim Cook, Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer and the 12 other tech bosses in attendance. Maybe with this tweet, Obama is taking Hastings up on the offer. We’ll see in the recently formally announced Season 3.
Netflix is confirming that it has officially picked up a third season of House Of Cards. This marks the first renewal for the Washington DC drama, which originally landed at the streaming company with a straight-to-series two-season order. The deal for a third season comes after months of negotiations and ahead of House Of Cards’ second-season debut next week. “Our intent is that the show keep going for sure,” Netflix‘s Ted Sarandos said back in October. “It was a 26-episode commitment. It was not our intent that it just run for two seasons.” House Of Cards has become a signature series for Netflix the way Mad Men has been for AMC. It put the streaming service on the original programming map and opened the door to creators and producers. Netflix’s follow-up series, Hemlock Grove and Orange Is The New Black, both have been renewed for a second season, and Netflix is continuing negotiations for another installment — episodes or movie — of Arrested Development. Netflix’s $100 million commitment to MRC-produced House Of Cards off of a pitch raised eyebrows at the time as one of the biggest gambles in recent TV history, with the streaming giant outbidding a bevvy of TV heavy hitters. Netflix recently made another gigantic commitment to four series and a miniseries from Marvel.
Berlin Briefs: Altitude Catches ‘Fishing Without Nets’; Christopher Denham Horror Pic To XYZ; ‘Sly Cooper’ At CMG; ‘House Of Cards’ & Scorsese In Berlinale Special
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Along with Benedict Cumberbatch-starrer Blood Mountain, Altitude Film Sales has added two other titles to its slate for next week’s European Film Market at the Berlin Film Festival. It’s come aboard Fishing Without Nets, Cutter Hodierne’s winner of the Sundance U.S. Dramatic Directing Award that tells the story of an oil tanker hijacking from the perspective of impoverished Somalis. Also new to Altitude’s slate is documentary Bolshoi Babylon, a behind-the-scenes look at the famed Russian ballet company. Nick Read (The Condemned) directs, with Mark Franchetti (Terror In Moscow) producing and Simon Chinn (Searching For Sugar Man, Man On Wire) exec producing.
Here is a full-length trailer and the key art for the upcoming second season of Netflix‘s Washington drama House Of Cards. In it, Francis (Kevin Spacey) and Claire (Robin Wright) Underwood continue their ruthless rise to power as threats mount on all fronts. Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara), an up-and-coming reporter and Francis’s former paramour, is inching closer to the truth about his crimes. President Walker’s (Michel Gill) billionaire confidante Raymond Tusk (Gerald McRaney) demands that Francis reciprocate political favors or face retribution. And Claire must confront the increasing glare of the spotlight as it eats away at her and Francis’s once private existence. The entire Season 2 will be available on February 14.
Ray Richmond is an AwardsLine contributor.
Just when we think we’ve finally got them figured out, those wacky folks in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association continue to surprise us in the Golden Globe Awards television races. They remain as unpredictable as ever in the nominations for the 2014 awards, with perhaps the biggest surprise being that Showtime’s Homeland – after winning the top drama series prize two years in a row — wasn’t nominated at all this time. In fact, Homeland generated precisely zero noms after having swept the series and acting categories a year ago, as did its stars and last year’s winners, Claire Danes and Damian Lewis.
Now this would be a cameo that would render even Kevin Spacey’s Frank Underwood speechless. Reed Hastings today publicly hit up President Obama to appear on House Of Cards, in which Spacey plays the loquacious, ambitious and ruthless U.S. congressman. A little less than two months before Season 2 of the show debuts, the offer from the Netflix CEO came during a photo op at the White House this morning as Obama met with Hastings and other tech company CEOs and bosses to discuss the troubled Obamacare website and the government’s national security surveillance efforts. According to the White House pool report, the President was overheard asking Hastings, “I’m just wondering if you brought advance copies of House of Cards?” The report adds, “the exec laughed and invited Obama to do a cameo on the series.” The President also joked that Spacey’s Underwood is “getting a lot of stuff done” and “I wish things were that ruthlessly efficient” in the real-life DC. That drew a big laugh from Hastings, Apple’s Tim Cook, Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer and the 12 other tech bosses in attendence. Listen carefully and watch the exchange between Obama and Hastings:
Obama isn’t the only prominent DC resident to be a fan of the show. House Of Cards has been a favorite of many politicians since its February 1 debut this year. So much so that Spacey even starred in a House Of Nerds video mocking DC at this spring’s White House Correspondents Dinner.
Looking to capitalize on the slew of award nominations House Of Cards has received during the past 10 days from the PGA, WGA and SAG, culminating with four Golden Globe noms today, Netflix is releasing the first trailer featuring footage from the upcoming second season, along with a brief recap of Season 1. Needless to say, Frank Underwood’s (Kevin Spacey) road to the Vice President’s office is not going to be as smooth as he’d hoped. House Of Cards scored Golden Globe nominations for Best Drama Series; Best Actor in a Drama Series (Kevin Spacey); Best Actress in a Drama Series (Robin Wright); and Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie (Corey Stoll). The entire Season 2 will be released February 14.
Golden Globes TV: ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’, ‘House Of Cards’ & ‘Masters Of Sex’ Lead Pack Of Newcomers As Old Favorites Fall
The Hollywood Foreign Press are a fickle crowd — one day you may be in and winning by a landslide, the next day you are out. Showtime’s Homeland learned that this morning. The Golden Globes was the first major awards show to recognize the Showtime drama two years ago when it was tied for most nominations, 3, winning for best drama series and best actress, Claire Danes. The thriller drama did one better last year, leading the TV pack with most noms, 4, and sweeping the top drama categories: best drama, best actress and best actor, Damian Lewis. But there is no trace of Homeland on the list of nominations this year as the dominant winner of the past two Golden Globes has been shut out. The same goes for another big drama performer at the Golden Globes, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, which won the best drama series trophy before Homeland in 2011. The HBO drama had scored at least two nominations every year, also winning for star Steve Buscemi in 2011, but was left out completely today.
The Golden Globes again took upon its role of the biggest cheerleader of new broadcast series. No, they didn’t hand a best drama series nomination to a freshman — extending first-year broadcast dramas’ drought in the category to seven years. But they still recognized broadcast’s freshman class, which had been completely ignored by the WGA and the SAG Awards. That includes best comedy series and comedy actor nominations for Fox’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine and star Andy Samberg; best comedy actor nom for Michael J. Fox, star of his struggling eponymous sitcom on NBC; and best drama actor for James Spader for hit new NBC drama The Blacklist. But the broadcast networks again fell short of unseating cable from the top of the network rankings. Premium cable and digital were dominant this year. Fueled by longform, HBO was once again No. 1 with 9 noms, followed by the two other pay cable networks, Showtime and Starz, and digital upstart Netflix with six each. But it was a broadcast net, CBS, that landed the only multiple best series nominations — for comedy The Big Bang Theory and drama The Good Wife.
Almost all buzzy cable/digital 2013 newcomers (sans FX’s The Americans) got a notice by the HFPA, with Netflix’s House Of Cards leading the way with four nominations including best drama series; Showtime’s Masters Of Sex landing nominations for best drama and best actor, Michael Sheen (but no Lizzy Caplan?!); and fellow Showtime newcomer Ray Donovan nominated for star Liev Schreiber and co-star Jon Voight. Two breakout performances by young actresses are getting first major award recognition, Tatiana Maslany of BBC America’s Orphan Black and Taylor Schilling of Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black. They are part of an overhauled best drama actress field which includes only one returning nominee, 2010 winner Julianna Margulies. The other first-timers are Kerry Washington for ABC’s Scandal and House Of Cards‘ Robin Wright. Things are mirrored on the male side with only one holdover, Bryan Cranston of AMC’s Breaking Bad, joined by Schreiber, Sheen, Spader and House Of Cards‘ Kevin Spacey. The Newsroom‘s Jeff Daniels, who landed a Golden Globe nomination last year and followed up with a surprise Emmy win, has been left out, along with Mad Men‘s Jon Hamm, who scored the AMC drama’s only nomination last year. The series’ tally went to zero this year. Also left out completely for a second straight year: HBO’s Game Of Thrones.