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Global Showbiz Briefs: Warner Bros UK Preps Inaugural Creative Talent Initiative; Hugh Bonneville Reprising ‘Twenty Twelve’ Role; More

Warner Bros UK Gears Up For Creative Talent Initiative
Warner Bros UK
has recruited its first group of scholars, apprentices and trainees for the inaugural season of Warner Bros Creative Talent. The first selection will participate in the program to gain industry insight and work experience across Warner’s UK film, TV, games and theater operations. The initiative is part of Warner Bros’ long-term commitment to the UK’s creative industries. Among the first folks chosen to take part are students Rienkje Attoh, Sam Coleman and Sam Hughes who are receiving the first Prince William Scholarships supported by BAFTA and Warner Bros. Four others will work as camera trainees and sound trainees on Ron Howard’s Heart Of The Sea and Guy Ritchie’s Man From U.N.C.L.E. More information on the program is available here.

Hugh Bonneville Back As Ian Fletcher In BBC’s ‘W1A’
Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville will reprise his role as Ian Fletcher in a new BBC comedy, W1A. The show is a follow-up to BAFTA-winning comedy series Twenty Twelve, Hugh Bonnevillefrom BBC In-House Comedy. Shooting starts next month on the series that sees Fletcher, the ex-head of the Olympic Deliverance Commission, taking up his next big job – the (fictional) Head of Values at the BBC. His task is to clarify, define, or redefine the core purpose of the BBC across all its functions and to position it confidently for the future. In Twenty Twelve (available on iTunes in the U.S.), the network poked fun at the run-up to the 2012 London Olympics and here looks to be taking a shot at itself after the broadcaster suffered a string of PR scandals in the past year. But John Morton, who wrote the series, says: “It isn’t a demolition job on anybody or anything, and it isn’t one giant in-joke, and this isn’t a game of guessing who is supposed to be who. If it is satirical then it’s satirical about an environment, an ethos, and the absurdities of modern corporate life itself. The key principle is to operate at a level of reality just to the left or the right of fact, to create stories that haven’t actually happened but that could happen or might have happened.“ Says Mark Freeland, head of BBC In-House Comedy: “This is a kind of love letter to the BBC. But a letter that gets mislaid, because the remote computer system is not working.” Twenty Twelve’s Morton also directs the comedy that’s produced by that show’s Paul Schlesinger and executive produced by Jon Plowman. There will be an initial run of four 30-minute episodes to be screened in 2014 on BBC Two. Read More »

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Hugh Bonneville To Star In BBC One Family Comedy ‘Mr. Stink’

By | Friday September 21, 2012 @ 6:58am PDT

The Earl of Grantham is doing one for the kids. Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville will play the title role in BBC One children’s novel adaptation Mr. Stink. The family comedy is based on the book by comic actor David Walliams, best known as half of the Little Britain duo. Walliams and Simon Nye are adapting. BBC In-house is producing. The story follows a lonely 12-year-old girl who befriends a local tramp, Mr. Stink. When she invites him to hide out in her yard, she must try to conceal him while coping with her complicated family. Harish Patel (David Schwimmer’s Run Fat Boy Run) and Walliams also star. Read More »

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TCA: ‘Downton Abbey’ Trailer Teases Plot Twists, Maggie Smith & Shirley MacLaine

The TCA panel session on Downton Abbey is ongoing, but a Season 3 trailer just screened for journalists contains some shockers:  While who knows how it will all unfold, the Right Honourable Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham (Emmy nominee Hugh Bonneville) is seen tearfully confessing to wife Cora (Elizabeth McGovern) that he has lost all the family money (!) including hers. Maggie Smith’s ascerbic Dowager Countess is as sharp-tongued as ever in her exchanges with newcomer Shirley MacLaine as Martha Levinson (although after the session creator/writer/executive producer Julian Fellowes said Smith had not yet signed on for a fourth season: “Our conversation is just: ‘Please stay’, we don’t really deal at this stage,” he said). And it seems that Mary (Emmy nominee Michelle Dockery) and Matthew (Dan Stevens) are not quite settled in their planned marriage after all. Before the screening, series executive producer Rebecca called the trailer a “hot piece of information, adding: “Nobody has seen it in this country except a few people who have signed in blood.”

EMMYS: ‘Downton Abbey’ Makes Successful Leap With Drama Series Nomination
EMMYS: Drama Series Nominations – ENTV Video

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