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Showtime’s ‘House Of Lies’ Off To Strong Start, ‘Shameless’ Up In Season 2 Debut

By | Monday January 9, 2012 @ 12:29pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Another solid series premiere for a Showtime series. New dark comedy House Of Lies debuted last night with 1.03 million viewers at 10 PM. It was in line with the network’s most recent series premiere of drama Homeland, which opened with 1.08 million in October. However, Homeland had a bigger lead-in, and for the night over three plays House Of Lies amassed 1.38 million viewers, 13% higher than Homeland‘s opening-night viewership. (Showtime had a free weekend, but the ratings for its series include only subscribers.) With online and on-demand sampling, Showtime estimates that some 1.2 million sampled the pilot episode of House Of Lies. In terms of comedy series debuts, the show starring Don Cheadle landed between Showtime’s two most recent debuts: The Big C (1.15 million) and Episodes (768,000).

Leading into House Of Lies was the Season 2 debut of drama Shameless (1.58 million), which spiked 61% from its series premiere last January. For the night, the drama starring William H. Macy averaged 2.06 million viewers. At 10:30 PM, veteran Californication (758,000) was down 11% from last season’s opener, which followed Shameless’ series premiere.

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Les Moonves Says CBS “Stronger Than It’s Ever Been”: UBS Confab

When CBS chief Les Moonves appears at an investor event like this week’s UBS Annual Global Media and Communications Conference, they should just get him an orchestra and a spotlight so he can sing “Everything’s Coming Up Roses.” “Everybody calls me a cheerleader but network television’s doing better than it’s done in many years,” he told analysts today. He says that CBS’ prices for ads in the scatter market are up “in the mid-teens” over the upfront, although “our competitors are doing not as well.” Heading into the holiday season ”demand is picking up again” and few are cancelling upfront orders for early 2012. “When you look at where our ratings are, you don’t want to cancel a CBS show because (later on) you’ll pay more.” To underscore his confidence in CBS’ finances, he threw some red meat to investors: ”Could we raise the dividend (next year)? That’s a possibility.”

He’s encouraged by the additional dollars flowing to the network from retransmission consent deals with pay TV distributors, and reverse compensation payments to CBS from its affiliates. If a local station balked at shelling out cash to CBS — which used to pay stations to carry its shows — then Moonves would consider yanking the affiliation agreement. But he says that’s unlikely because CBS’ strong primetime line up ”is making them a lot of money” by delivering large audiences to local newscasts. Meanwhile, he’d like the FCC not to require that network programming remain on pay TV when distributors balk at retransmission consent payments. ”This is America. We’ll make a deal with these guys or won’t make a deal.” Read More »

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TV TEASER: Showtime’s ‘House Of Lies’

By | Friday November 11, 2011 @ 3:09pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Here is a new trailer for Showtime’s upcoming dark comedy series House Of Lies, which the network will unspool on Sunday. The show, starring Don Cheadle as a self-loathing, womanizing management consultant from a top-tier firm, premieres on January 8, paired with Californication.

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TCA: Showtime Picks Up Doc Series On Comics, Sets Premiere Date For ‘House Of Lies’, More From Network’s Exec Session

Nellie Andreeva

Showtime has picked up Steve Carell and David Steinberg’s docu/interview series, now titled Laughing Stock. The series, which will premiere in January, features host Steinberg interviewing top comedians of several generations, including Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Lily Tomlin, Don Rickles, Carol Burnett, Jerry Seinfeld, Ellen DeGeneres, Judd Apatow, Robin Williams, Sarah Silverman, Chris Rock, Jane Lynch, Tina Fey and Carell.

Additionally, Showtime announced a premiere date for new dark comedy series House of Lies starring Don Cheadle. It will debut on Jan. 8, sandwiched between the season premieres of Shameless and Californication.

Showtime entertainment president David Nevins today introduced to critics his first 2 new series at the network, drama Homeland and House of Lies. There will be more soon. “We’ve definitely been in expansion mode, we’re now up to 10 major scripted shows and there are more coming,”he said during the network’s executive session.”We believe in investing in renewable resources, which is fundamentally our series. We are in a good place now trying to get gradually bigger.” He said Showtime is not tempted to re-enter the longform arena despite HBO’s Emmy success with movies and miniseries. “If you do longform, you can rack up a large number of Emmy nominations but I like our strategy to put resources in renewable things.”

Asked about the cancellation of United States of Tara, Nevins said, “It was a big show … Read More »

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Don Cheadle’s Company Signs First-Look Deal With Showtime

By | Monday June 27, 2011 @ 3:47pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Don Cheadle, star of Showtime’s upcoming comedy series House of Lies, is expanding his relationship with the pay cable network through a first-look deal for his Crescendo Prods. Under the one-year pact, Cheadle and his producing partners Kay Liberman and Lenore Zerman will develop and executive produce series projects for Showtime. At UTA-repped Crescendo, the projects will be shepherded by development executive Kathryn Tyus-Adair. Since its launch six years ago, the film and TV production company has had first-look deals with Overture on the feature side and NBC for television. Crescendo’s latest movie, comedy The Guard, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and will be released next month.

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Showtime Picks Up ‘Homeland’ & ‘House Of Lies’ To Series

Nellie Andreeva

New Showtime entertainment president David Nevins is going 2-for-2 in his first development season at the pay cable network, picking up both pilots he ordered — drama Homeland and comedy House of Lies — to series. Both have received 12-episode orders and will start production in the summer. Thriller Homeland, from 24 showrunner Howard Gordon, stars Claire Danes, Damian Lewis and Emmy and Mandy Patinkin, while management consulting comedy House of Lies is toplined by Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell. “Homeland and House of Lies are audacious in both their concept and their casting,” Nevins said. “They build upon the network’s successful pedigree and expand the definition of what a Showtime series can be. Read More »

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Kristen Bell To Co-Star In Showtime’s ‘House of Lies’ Comedy Pilot

Nellie Andreeva

Former Veronica Mars star Kristen Bell has been tapped for a lead role opposite Don Cheadle in Showtime’s dark comedy pilot House of Lies. Written by Matthew Carnahan based on the book by Martin Kihn, the project centers on Marty (Cheadle), a self-loathing highly successful management consultant from a top-tier firm who is never above using any means necessary to get his clients the information they want. Bell will play Jeannie Van Der Hooven, a razor-sharp, Ivy-League graduate who works at Marty’s firm. Bell joins previously cast  Dawn Oliveri as Marti’s ex-wife, Josh Lawson as Ben Schwartz as his co-workers, Glynn Turman as Marty’s psychoanalyst father; and Donis Leonard Jr. as his young son. Jessika Borsiczky is executive producing the pilot, which will be directed by Stephen Hopkins. Production is slated to begin in February in New York and Los Angeles. Bell’s last regular TV role was on NBC’s Heroes. The actress, repped by CAA and Brookside Artist Amanagement, will next be seen in the features Scream 4 and Everybody Loves Whales.

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TV CASTINGS: Ben Schwartz, Sherri Shepherd, Jeffrey Nordling Join Pilots

By | Monday January 24, 2011 @ 6:08am PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Undercovers standout Ben Schwartz and Josh Lawson have been tapped to co-star opposite Don Cheadle in the Showtime dark comedy pilot House of Lies. The View co-star Sherri Shepherd is set to co-star opposite Christine Taylor in TV Land’s untitled Terri Minsky comedy pilot, David Alan Basche (Lipstick Jungle) has come onboard the untitled Mike Reisman comedy pilot for TV Land, while Desperate Housewives alum Jeffrey Nordling has joined Lifetime’s untitled Michael Sardo drama pilot starring Carrie-Anne Moss.

Showtime’s House of Lies, written by Matthew Carnahan based on the book by Martin Kihn, centers on Marty (Cheadle), a self-loathing highly successful management consultant from a top-tier firm who is never above using any means necessary to get his clients the information they want. WME-repped Schwartz will play a member of Marty’s team and his closest friend. Lawson (Romantically Challenged) will play Marty’s Harvard-educated associate. He is with UTA and Management 360.

TV Land’s untitled Terri Minsky project is a multi-camera office comedy set at Rip City Cola, a regional beverage manufacturer and distributor in Oregon. When a young, Ivy League-educated New York woman (Taylor) takes over as the boss, the entire office is shaken and unsure of what happens next. Shepherd will play the Rip City Cola office drama queen, who, like the others, is curious about the new … Read More »

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Showtime’s Comedy Pilot Starring Don Cheadle Finds A Lead

Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Heroes alumna Dawn Olivieri has landed a lead opposite Don Cheadle in the Showtime comedy pilot House of Lies. The dark comedy project written by Matthew Carnahan based on the book by Martin Kihn, centers on Marty (Cheadle), a self-loathing highly successful management consultant from a top-tier firm who is never above using any means (or anyone) necessary to get his clients the information they want. Olivieri, repped by APA and Mosaic, will play Monica, Marty’s crazy, pill-popping ex-wife and biggest professional competition as  her consulting firm is No.1 compared to Marty’s No. 2. House of Lies is one of 2 pilots greenlighted by new Showtime Entertainment president David Nevins, along with drama Homeland, which stars Claire Danes and Damian Lewis.

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TCA: Showtime’s David Nevins Makes TCA Debut, Discusses ‘Kennedys’, ‘Dexter’

Nellie Andreeva

David Nevins made his TCA debut today as Showtime’s new entertainment president. He laid out his plan for the network: at least 2 and often 3 series in originals at any point during the year. To accomplish that, he has been ramping development with 2 pilot orders since he took the reins of the network in July: drama Homeland and comedy House of Lies. He said that there will be more pilots greenlighted by the end of the year but nothing imminent. He is looking to expand the genres of the network’s original series like venturing in the political thriller arena with Homeland. He also is making Showtime’s adult-oriented late-night original programming a priority.

During his Q&A session, Nevins was asked about the network’s decision to pass on The Kennedys, the eight-part miniseries recently axed by History. It didn’t really feel Showtime to me, didn’t feel premium cable.” But “I thought it was well done,” he added.

Asked if Dexter might be approaching an end, Nevins said: “I think there is a lot of life left in Dexter.” Why did Showtime renew The Real L Word despite middling ratings for the first season? “I think there is an interesting version of the show that we didn’t quite get last year,” Nevins said.

As for the future of Big Brother After Dark, “It’s been successful for us; I assume if Big Brother keeps going on CBS, we will probably keep going.”

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It’s Official: Showtime Picks Up Comedy Pilot ‘House of Lies’ Starring Don Cheadle

Nellie Andreeva

PREVIOUS: Comedy About Big Business Nears Pilot Pickup At Showtime

LOS ANGELES, CA – (December 13, 2010) – Academy Award-nominated actor Don Cheadle (Iron Man 2) has signed on to star in the pilot for HOUSE OF LIES, a half-hour, dark comedy created and written by Matthew Carnahan (Dirt) from the hit tell-all book House of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Tell You the Time by Martin Kihn, which will go into production in February 2011 in Los Angeles, CA. Jessica Borsicsky (Flash Forward) will serve as executive producer, and Emmy winner Stephen Hopkins (Californication, 24) will direct. “Don Cheadle is one of the great dramatic actors of our generation,” said SHOWTIME President of Entertainment David Nevins. “He also happens to be an extremely funny man. HOUSE OF LIES is the perfect show to take advantage of both sides of him. Honestly, I would have been happy just to get his autograph.”

HOUSE OF LIES is a subversive, scathing look at a self-loathing management consultant from a top-tier firm. Cheadle will star as Marty, a highly successful, cutthroat consultant who is never above using any means (or anyone) necessary to get his clients the information they want.

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Comedy About Big Business Nears Pilot Pickup At Showtime

Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: It could have easily gotten lost in the shuffle. Matthew Carnahan’s half-hour script House of Lies, set in the world of corporate management consulting, was put in development under previous Showtime entertainment president Robert Greenblatt and was turned in just as the pay cable network was undergoing a regime change in the summer. But new Showtime programming chief David Nevins read it shortly after he started and got behind it right away, putting the project on the fact track and attaching Emmy winner Stephen Hopkins to direct it. Now I hear Nevins is eying it as his potential second pilot order following the pickup of drama Homeland starring Claire Danes. The green light is contingent on locking in the lead, which may not be far off. I hear Don Cheadle is in talks to star in the project, which is described as a sophisticated dark comedy about Marty, a thirtysomething top management consultant who is cutthroat and not afraid to play dirty. Dirt creator Carnahan is executive producing House of Lies with Jessika Borsiczky (FlashForward). Production on Homeland, which just cast Mandy Patinkin opposite Danes, starts on January 10 in Charlotte N.C.

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