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CNN To Test Michael Smerconish, Jake Tapper, Bill Weir & Don Lemon In Piers Morgan’s Time Slot; Morgan’s Last Day March 28
By Lisa DeMoraes – EXCLUSIVE: Piers Morgan’s last day hosting Piers Morgan Live will be March 28, after which CNN Worldwide chief Jeff Zucker is going to try out Michael Smerconish as well as Jake Tapper, Bill Weir, and Don Lemon in the time slot for a few weeks, a source with knowledge of the situation tells Deadline.
R.I.P. Comedian David Brenner, Johnny Carson’s Favorite on ‘Tonight Show’
By The Deadline Team – Comedian David Brenner died today at his home in New York, NY. He was 78.
Nick D’Agosto & Andrew Santino To Star In CBS’ ‘HIMYM’ Spinoff ‘How I Met Your Dad’
By Nellie Andreeva – Masters of Sex‘s Nick D’Agosto and Mixology‘s Andrew Santino have been cast as leads alongside Greta Gerwig, Drew Tarver and Krysta Rodriguez in CBS’ comedy pilot How I Met Your Dad, rounding out the How I Met Your Mother spinoff’s primary cast.
While California Gov. Jerry Brown is still “not committed” to expanding the state’s film and TV tax credit, Los Angeles is seeing another drop in broadcast pilot production to what appears to be an all-time low. Meanwhile, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been doing photo ops with Disney and Marvel execs to celebrate their commitment to film some 60 episodes of Marvel’s four Netflix series and a miniseries in the Big Apple. And now New York, which also lured The Tonight Show franchise away from Los Angeles, has more reasons to celebrate after another very strong pilot performance, returning this year to the top as the most popular drama location and reinforcing its strong position in comedy.
A record 15 broadcast pilots will be filming in New York this year, including 10 — almost a third — of the 34 drama pilot/direct-to-series projects filming within the regular cycle that have set their locations (two remain TBD). That is up from 13 total and eight dramas last year and just shy of the city’s all-time drama record of 11 in 2012. (Keep in mind that the number of NY-based was zero just four years ago, before the state implemented its aggressive tax break program.) New York is chipping away at Los Angeles’ comedy dominance. LA used to own the comedy space, with virtually every pilot filming here. Just two years ago, it housed 100% of the broadcast comedy pilots. The percentage dropped to 89% last year and is at 85% (39 out of 46) this season. New York made a big move in the arena in 2013 after seven years of no major broadcast comedy pilot presence there. A whopping five broadcast half-hour pilots were filmed in the city last year, including straight-to-series The Michael J. Fox Show. Proving that that wasn’t a fluke, New York matched its comedy haul this year with another five pilots, including NBC’s straight-to-series Tooken. Like last year, all five are single-camera. What’s more, a hybrid comedy, How I Met Your Dad, which is filming the pilot in Los Angeles, will move to New York if it goes to pilot. In most cases, the NY location is talent-driven (Irreversible star David Schwimmer, Dead Boss‘ Jane Krakowski, How I Met Your Dad star Greta Gerwig, Lowell and Gaffigan are all based in NY). But studios wouldn’t have been as open to setting shop in New York had the tax incentives not been strong enough to rein in production costs on comedies, especially the expensive single-camera format, which are still higher than a Los Angeles-based half-hour pilot but not by much. One drawback of comedy series filming in New York has been the shortage of writing talent as broadcast shows have to compete with such cable comedies as Louie and Girls, but with New York-based comedy production appearing to be here to stay, more writing talent may relocate there to support them.
Indie darling Greta Gerwig will lead the cast of How I Met Your Dad, CBS’ spinoff from long-running comedy series How I Met Your Mother. With Gerwig on board, the project, which had a pilot production commitment, has been given a formal pilot greenlight. 20th Century Fox TV, which is behind the original series, is producing. In addition to starring, Gerwig — who has co-written several features — will serve as a producer on HIMYD and is expected to write. Her deal comes after a lengthy courtship, with the excitement among TV casting executives about the prospect of her doing a series comparable to that when another indie princess, Zooey Deschanel, agreed to do a pilot three years ago with New Girl (also at 20th TV). Getting Gerwig to do HIMYD was considered so important that the studio is willing to move production of the series to New York for her after the pilot, which will be shot in Los Angeles. Written/exec produced by Emily Spivey and How I Met Your Mother creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, How I Met Your Dad is described as kindred spirit of HIMYM, telling the story from a female point of view. That will come from Sally (Gerwig), a female Peter Pan who has never grown up and has no idea of where she’s going in life. After breaking up with her husband of less than a year, Sally finds a solid circle of support in her friends and family. HIMYM‘s Pam Fryman is directing.