IFC has launched an “Adopt-A-Comic” program designed to spotlight the standout work of comedians who share the cable network’s “Slightly Off” sensibilities. The network’s first “adoptee” is comedian Chris Gethard (The Chris Gethard Show) who will develop his own comedy series for IFC based on his recent book, A Bad Idea I’m About To Do: True Tales Of Seriously Poor Judgment And Stunningly Awkward Adventure. IFC has ordered a pilot script of the project. Additionally, Gethard will host on-air programming, create exclusive content for IFC.com and more. “When I told my parents I was being adopted by a television station, they said ‘Why do you need to be adopted? You are 32 years old. We gave you a pretty good, easy suburban life,’” Gethard said. “They don’t get how much of an opportunity it is for me that a hip cable network wants to raise me like a human baby.” Next year, Gethard will be seen in Iron Man 3 and is currently shooting Paul Feig’s The Heat starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy for 20th Century Fox.
New York, NY (August 9, 2012) – IFC Films announced today the company is acquiring all U.S. rights to director Bill Guttentag’s (SOUNDTRACK FOR A REVOLUTION) political drama KNIFE FIGHT. Guttentag wrote the screenplay with political consultant Chris Lehane, who served as White House advisor to President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton andserved as Vice President Al Gore’s press secretary. The film stars Rob Lowe,Jaime Chung, Julie Bowen, Richard Schiff, Saffron Burrows, Jennifer Morrison, David Harbour, EricMcCormack, and Carrie-Anne Moss. Guerrino De Luca and Catherine and Daniel Davila produced the film, with Lowe and William Green executive producing. KNIFE FIGHT had its world premiere earlier this year at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival.
If a political candidate is personally flawed, but stands to make a positive difference in millions of lives, would you help him win? That question looms over the life of “true believer” Paul Turner (Lowe), a savvy strategist sharply maneuvering politicians out of scandal and into public office in KNIFE FIGHT. With the help of a bright young assistant (Chung) and a seedy operative (Schiff), Turner spins every news cycle and a shrewd reporter (Bowen) on behalf of his clients: a philandering Kentucky governor (McCormack), a blackmailed California senator (Harbour), and an idealistic doctor turned gubernatorial candidate (Moss). When the ugly side of Turner’s work begins to haunt him, he learns that even in the bloodiest of battles, sometimes you have to fight clean.
IFC‘s bloody and unabashedly politically incorrect new half-hour drama Bullet In The Face allegedly made network execs shocked and nervous during a screening. Now comes our first peek at the series, about a German assassin-turned-cop who is without conscience or filter, shooting people indiscriminately and accompanying the …
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
When IFC and Sundance Channel president Evan Shapiro departed his post in April, the forthcoming IFC original comedy Bullet In The Face lost its biggest champion. And champions are exactly what a show like Bullet needs considering that the broad, over-the-top half-hour may be the most violent comedy in television history. According to sources, when IFC execs screened the six-episode series, there was shock and nervousness in the room. And now the controversial Bullet, which was not mentioned during IFC’s upfront presentation in March, is being scheduled in a very odd pattern: three episodes back-to-back on two consecutive nights, August 16 and August 17, from 10 PM-11:30 PM.
The uncertainty of what to do with Bullet In The Face is understandable. While its first three screened episodes show it to be uproarious and twisted, it’s also rife with cinematic-level violence and wildly politically incorrect imagery. It stars Canadian actor Max Williams as Gunter Vogler, a brutally psychopathic, deliriously misogynistic German assassin-turned-cop. The character is utterly without conscience or filter, shooting people indiscriminately and accompanying it with radically offensive invective. The blood spurts freely and often. Eric Roberts and Eddie Izzard co-star as wacko mob bosses. But here is the kind of stuff that may have spooked IFC into turning Bullet into a two-night event rather than a weekly series: We see Gunter in a church using a crucifix as a backscratcher and casually lumping former VP Dick Cheney with Hitler and Stalin in conversation. He mows down basketball players on a court as if taking target practice. It isn’t difficult to see watchdog groups taking offense at the material and using it to demonize IFC.
IFC has picked up a third season of breakout Portlandia, the cable network announced at its first ever upfront presentation today in New York on the heels of becoming an ad-supported network earlier this year. IFC also unveiled a programming slate that includes several new comedies. Among newcomers are the animated coming-of-age series Out There; the unscripted comedy/talk show Comedy Bang Bang, based on comedian Scott Aukerman’s podcasts; the comedy game show Bunk; and the tentatively titled Maron, inspired by the life of edgy comedian Marc Maron. In addition to Portlandia, other returning shows on the IFC slate include Whisker Wars, from Original Productions and a new installment of rapper R. Kelly’s “hip hopera” Trapped In The Closet (the original aired in 2007). Here is the release:
UPDATE, SATURDAY AM: IFC’s sister label Sundance Selects has acquired U.S. rights to Mungiu’s film, which now has a title: Beyond The Hills. The official announcement was made today. The release follows the original exclusive below.
PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, FRIDAY PM: IFC has acquired U.S. rights to Cristian Mungiu’s upcoming untitled film that’s expected to turn up as an official selection in Cannes. The Romanian director’s first feature since 2007′s Palme d’Or winner 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days centers on a young woman’s descent into madness at an Orthodox convent. Wild Bunch, which is co-producing and handling international sales, also concluded deals in Spain, France, Greece, Israel, Mexico and Colombia at the European Film Market. IFC has also acquired Wild Bunch’s Hélène Fillières-directed Tied, which stars Benoît Poelvoorde and Laetitia Casta as a banker and his mistress in a sadomasochistic relationship. That film sold in the UK to Momentum along with several other territories including Switzerland, Russia, Israel, South Korea, Singapore and Turkey.
PREVIOUS, BREAKING: We’re hearing that IFC has scored another picture, its third in 12 hours, acquiring rights to the lauded documentary How To Survive A Plague for its Sundance Selects label. The David France-written and -directed film charts the remarkable story of how ACT-UP and Treatment Action Group overcame a pattern of apathy by politicians toward an AIDS scourge that was ravaging the gay community. Their activism and inventiveness transformed a death sentence into a manageable and treatable disease by infiltrating the pharmaceutical industry and identifying new drugs and speeding them through the trial phase to AIDS sufferers in short order. The docu got a rousing response when premiering Sunday at Temple Theater. Submarine brokered the deal.
Park City, UT (January 26, 2012) – Sundance Selects announced today from the 2012 Sundance Film Festival that the company is acquiring North American rights to David France’s documentary HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE. The film, with a screenplay by France, T. Woody Richman, and Tyler H. Walk, wasproduced by France and Howard Gertler. Joy Tomchin and Dan Cogan executive produced the project, which was made in association with Ford Foundation/JustFilms, Impact Partners, and Little Punk.
IFC acquired North American rights to Liberal Arts, written and directed by Josh Radnor. The film also stars Elizabeth Olsen and Richard Jenkins. Radnor stars as a divorcee who returns to his alma mater and falls for a sophomore (Olsen). IFC will release later this year.
IFC Films has acquired from Myriad Pictures the U.S. distribution rights to director Nathan Morlando’s elegant bank robber action/drama Edwin Boyd, starring Scott Speedman (Underworld, Barney’s Version, Good Neighbours), Kelly Reilly (Sherlock Holmes, Me and Orson Welles ), Kevin Durand (Real Steel, Legion) and Brian Cox (The Bourne Identity, X-Men 2).
IFC is finally releasing Canadian filmmaker Barry Avrich’s Unauthorized documentary about Harvey Weinstein on October 7th. There’d be more hoopla about it, but the pic quietly premiered in February 2011 up in Canada so Hollywood already knows what’s in it and what’s not. (Emphasis on what’s not.) IFC is releasing it exclusively on its new global web platform Sundance Now, which offers transactional streaming access to movies as part of an overall program of releasing new films directly to consumers via the Web. I suspect this is the plan to bury the pic. So what will you see for $12.99? Apparently, nothing that you or I or anyone who works in or around the biz doesn’t already know about Harv. But I imagine outsiders will be fascinated and horrified. Still, talking about Harvey is nothing compared with seeing Harvey in the flesh, so just listening to talking heads like Mark Gill, John Irving, James Ivory, Martin Scorsese, Mark Tusk, Mark Urman and the late George Hickenlooper doesn’t do him justice. To that end, Entourage‘s Maury Chaykin gave a tyrannical sampling. IFC Films, at the time it acquired worldwide rights excluding Canada, described Unauthorized: The Harvey Weinstein Story as a “powerful, uncensored, no-holds-barred account” tracing Weinstein from his early days as a theater operator and concert promoter in upstate New York to the present day as the head of an embattled indie studio. Weinstein apparently tried to persuade Avrich not to move forward and at one point told him that Quentin Tarantino was already doing a similar project.
Although analysts have high hopes for AMC Networks, the company is having a bumpy start on its first day as a public company. Shares in the owner of AMC, IFC, and We TV are selling for about …
Wall Street has high expectations for AMC Networks as it prepares to begin its new life Friday as an independent, publicly traded company. Most, and possibly all, of the analysts following the owner of AMC, IFC, WeTV and Sundance have a “buy” rating on the stock, which Cablevision Systems is spinning off and will trade on NASDAQ under the symbol “AMCX.”
The company’s going public as its biggest channel, AMC, enjoys a hot streak. Mad Men is bidding to become the first series since NBC’s The West Wing to win the Emmy for Best Drama Series for four straight years. If The Walking Dead and The Killing also are nominated, then AMC could become the first cable network to have three candidates in that category. Another AMC hit, Breaking Bad, isn’t eligible this year.
Maxim Group’s John Tinker says that AMC has “done an exceptional” job of commissioning original series as he projects that AMCX will hit $34 in 12 months. He’s concerned, though, that AMC won’t enjoy most of the financial rewards from its hits. For example, Mad Men producer Lionsgate owns the show’s syndication rights. Tinker also fears that AMC’s collection of older movies compete too directly with Netflix. Cable cord cutting “is here to stay,” he says.