Fox and Warner Bros TV have dropped a new 45-second teaser for Gotham, the gritty cop drama based on DC Comics’ Batman lore that premieres September 22. Ben McKenzie stars as James Gordon, war hero and newbie Gotham City homicide cop tasked with solving one of the city’s highest-profile crimes: The murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Here he crosses paths with some of Gotham’s once and future criminal masterminds, including Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney, Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot, and Camren Bicondova as Selina Kyle:
The Matrix’s Jada Pinkett Smith will co-star opposite Ben McKenzie and Donal Logue in Fox‘s Batman prequel drama Gotham, which has a series commitment. Based on DC characters from the Batman universe, Gotham explores the origin stories of Commissioner James Gordon (McKenzie) as an idealistic rookie detective in Gotham City, along with Bruce Wayne and the villains who made Gotham City famous. Smith will play Fish Mooney, an imposing, hotheaded and notoriously sadistic gangster boss and nightclub owner with street smarts and almost extra-sensory abilities to read people like an open book who is not one to be crossed. Pinkett Smith, who started in television on the NBC comedy A Different World, also toplined and executive produced the TNT drama Hawthorne. Repped by Paradigm and attorney Jason Sloane, she is executive producing The Queen Latifah Show and works as an activist against human trafficking.
Fox’s ‘Gotham’ Casts Four Roles Including The Penguin & Alfred
TCA: Fox’s ‘Gotham’ Series Will Feature All Classic Batman Characters, Including Bruce Wayne
Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
At today’s TCA conference on the Sony lot introducing her new daytme talk show, Queen Latifah said she had “already invited the Prez and Mrs.” to be guests on the show during a visit to the White House. Latifah did not say whether POTUS and the first lady had agreed or declined to make an appearance on The Queen Latifah Show, which makes its debut September 16. The new talk host added bluntly when asked if she could see herself tapping her friends in show biz as guests: “Yes, I can picture myself doing that. I just know this is going to be the place where they want to come.”
EXCLUSIVE: Jada Pinkett-Smith will produce and star in Salsa. Her dance partner will be William Levy, whose name makes you think he’s an accountant, but he’s actually the hunk in the Latino soap Triunfo del Amor. Clueless helmer Amy Heckerling is writing and directing. Pinkett-Smith stars as a woman at a turning point in her life who meets a salsa teacher (Levy). Through the dance of salsa she begins to get her life back on track. Pinkett-Smith and Miguel Melendez will produce for Overbrook Entertainment, and production will begin first quarter of 2014. Pinkett-Smith most recently produced The Secret Life Of Bees and Free Angela And All Political Prisoners, and she is exec producer of Queen Latifah’s CBS daytime talk show, which premieres September 16, 2013.
Levy recently wrapped two Lionsgate films: Addicted and Tyler Perry’s Single Moms Club. He’s currently shooting the remake of La Tormenta–called La Tempestad–for Univision. He’s managed by Gladys Gonzalez and attorney Howard Fishman. Heckerling and Pinkett-Smith are both repped by Paradigm’s Ken Stovitz.
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith will host this latest fundraiser for Michelle Obama later this month. Tickets range from $2,500-$40,000 for the event at the Smiths’ Calabasas home. Salma Hayek is also co-hosting with Hancock producer and Smith’s longtime business partner James Lassiter and his wife Mai. Roc Nation president Jay Brown and his wife Kawanna, head of Magic Johnson Enterprises, are also listed as co-hosts along with Lady Gaga’s manager Troy Carter and his wife Rebecca. The Lassiters held a fundraiser for the president last October at their Hancock Park home, with the Smiths, the Browns and the Carters in attendance.
Simon Cowell’s SYCO ENTERTAINMENT has partnered with Jada Pinkett-Smith and Will Smith’s OVERBROOK ENTERTAINMENT on the development and launch of a live, new international TV format to find the world’s greatest DJs.
This new format has already been developed and will be co-produced by SYCO and OVERBROOK. The show will capture the incredible rise of the DJ phenomena. It has been in development for over a year and SYCO, OE and Sony Pictures Television will soon announce their broadcast partners in both the US and the UK.
With the first two grossing more than $1.1 billion worldwide, it’s a cinch we were going to see more of these guys. This time they travel through Europe with a circus. Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen and Cedric the Entertainer return, with Frances McDormand in pursuit as a French law enforcement officer (shades of Fargo?). Noah Baumbach scripted, Eric Darnell directed. Opens June 8.
With a slew of daytime syndicated talk show projects jockeying for a fall 2012 berth, a big one is entering the fray for fall 2013. Queen Latifah is set to host a new daytime talk show that Flavor Unit, her company with Shakim Compere, will co-produce with Will Smith and James Lassiter’s Overbrook Entertainment and Sony Pictures Television. Compere and Overbrook’s Miguel Melendez, who were instrumental in getting the project together, will serve as executive producers with Queen Latifah and Overbrook’s Lassiter, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith.
Queen Latifah and Smith have a lot in common — both started in hip-hop before segueing into acting and then producing and both have earned Oscar nominations. In fact, Latifah’s first role was an arc on NBC’s The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air, which starred Smith, also in his first acting gig. “We’ve had a long and successful history both personally and professionally with Overbrook’s Miguel, JL, Jada and Will,” Compere said. “We share a common vision and have been wanting to collaborate for quite some time.” In addition to Queen Latifah’s work with Smith on Fresh Prince, she starred opposite his wife, Pinkett Smith, in the 1996 movie Set It Off. “We are excited to join forces with Latifah and as well as Sony Pictures TV on this new venture,” Melendez said. “This forum is the perfect place to showcase Latifah’s tremendous range of talents and unique ability to connect and inspire people.” Sony TV’s relationship with Pinkett Smith and Overbrook stems from their recent collaboration on the TNT series Hawthorne, which starred Pinkett Smith and was produced by Sony and Overbrook. Additionally, Overbrook has had a long relationship with Sony on the film side, most recently producing together the hit Karate Kid remake.
Sony could’ve fast-tracked the talk show for a fall 2012 launch but opted to give it time to develop the way the studio did with The Dr. Oz Show, which has been the No. 1 syndicated daytime talk show in women 25-54 for the past three weeks. Sony TV does not have a contender for fall 2012 as the studio has been very selective with daytime projects, taking its time to find one that it feels it can throw its full support behind. Besides, the 2012 field is overcrowded already with talk shows hosted by Katie Couric and Steve Harvey already cleared for launch, Maury spin-off Trisha Goddard close to a go after getting picked up by Sinclair a week ago, and several other shows — including Twentieth’s Ricki Lake, Warner Bros’ Bethenny Frankel and CBS TV Distribution’s Jeff Probst — looking for station clearances.
After weeks of rumors, TNT today made it official: the Jada Pinkett Smith-starring medical drama Hawthorne is being canceled after 3 seasons. Also on the bubble with a 50/50 chance of return is the network’s sophomore Memphis Beat. Of the 2, Memphis Beat has been the stronger performer, ending its second season a couple of weeks ago with 4.9 million viewers for the finale. Hawthorne‘s Season 3 closer posted 3.6 million viewers. Hawthorne is the second TNT series to get the axe this summer following the cancellation of Men of a Certain Age. Here is the network’s statement:
TNT has decided not to order a fourth season of HawthoRNe. TNT truly appreciates the tremendous dedication of everyone involved in HawthoRNe. The series gave TNT the opportunity to work with many outstanding people, including Jada Pinkett Smith and the rest of the show’s talented cast, crew, producers and writers. We wish everyone involved with HawthoRNe nothing but the best.
Pinkett Smith also addressed the cancellation online. “I want to say thank you to all the fans for being Hawthorne soldiers…All our facebook fans…twitter soldiers and viewers…you held us down,” she wrote. “Of course you know there is more to come…believe it!”
Pinkett Smith, in London on Monday promoting the launch of Sony Entertainment Television, the studio’s first branded UK channel, says the economy has made the U.S. TV marketplace even more brutal. “Shows are not being given enough time to find their feet,” says the star and executive producer of TNT’s Sony TV-produced Hawthorne. “The economy has hit the TV industry very hard; lots of people have lost their jobs.”
Pinkett Smith admits she finds both starring in and producing Hawthorne a strain. But she wanted to earn her producer chops quickly, which is why she was attracted to doing a weekly TV show. On a big movie like Karate Kid — which she also produced — everything moves slowly by comparison. “I felt that I wasn’t acquiring the skills that I wanted to,” she says. “Moving to TV, my skills got tight very quickly. On a television show you’ve got seven days to make it happen. We’re making a movie every single week.”
After a two-episode stint last season, singer-actor Marc Anthony has joined TNT’s Hawthorne as a regular for the medical drama’s upcoming third season. He will reprise his rile as Police Detective Nick Renata who developed a strong bond with Jada Pinkett Smith’s Christina Hawthorne, Chief Nursing Officer of James River Hospital, while Renata investigated a pair of criminal cases involving the hospital. Hawthorne‘s third season premieres in June. Anthony’s acting credits includes roles in Martin Scorsese’s Bringing Out the Dead, Tony Scott’s Man on Fire and Leon Ichaso’s biopic El Cantante.
EXCLUSIVE: Glee creator Ryan Murphy is Sony Pictures’ top choice to direct a re-imagining of the Broadway musical Annie, with Willow Smith playing the lovable orphan. The project was recently set at Sony Pictures by Overbrook Entertainment partners James Lassiter, Ken Stovitz, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith in the joint venture they formed with Jay-Z to generate films. Sony Pictures has made the approach to Murphy, but it’s early days.
Though Willow Smith is a relative newcomer to the screen (she has I Am Legend and Kitt Kittredge: An American Girl on her resume), she scored a hit record with Whip My Hair!, and Sony’s bet on her brother Jaden in the Overbrook-produced Karate Kid remake resulted in a big hit. Murphy is also well regarded at Sony, where he directed Eat, Pray, Love with Julia Roberts and made a $5 million …
Los Angeles, Calif., January 26, 2011 – Overbrook Entertainment partners James Lassiter, Ken Stovitz, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith have formed a joint venture with Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter to develop and produce major motion pictures. One of the projects being discussed is the re-imagination of the classic Broadway musical ANNIE as a vehicle for Willow Smith to star. The film will be developed with Sony Pictures Entertainment and produced by Overbrook Entertainment and Mr. Carter.
The partnership began over dinner with Jada, Will, James Lassiter and JAY-Z, where they decided to co-invest in the now successful beauty products line Carol’s Daughter. They continued this partnership as co-producers of the successful Broadway production Fela!, which earned a total of eleven Tony Award nominations in 2010. Additionally, Willow Smith, managed by OE Executive Miguel Melendez, signed onto JAY-Z’s record label, Roc Nation which produced her first single titled “Whip My Hair,” which has been certified Platinum. JAY-Z previously sampled the classic Annie song “It’s the Hard Knock Life” in his chart-busting single “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem).”
“The time is right to bring back ANNIE to the big screen. Of course, we’re true believers in Willow’s talent and believe she will be perfect in this role,” said Columbia Pictures President Doug Belgrad. “Combining Willow with the Overbrook team that reimagined Karate Kid and the spectacular JAY-Z makes this a dream project. A decade ago, JAY-Z proved that the power of the underlying
Veteran writer-producer John Tinker has joined TNT’s medical drama Hawthorne. He will serve as executive producer/showrunner on the Jada Pinkett Smith-starring series’ upcoming third season. Tinker replaces Glen Mazzara who ran the series fin its second season. Production on Season 3 is scheduled to being in the spring.
On the Sony TV-produced Hawthorne, Tinker will serve as an executive producer alongside creator John Masius, Pinkett Smith, Miguel Melendez and Jamie Tarses. Tinker and Masius go back a long time. They worked together on St. Elsewhere, and in 1986, won an Emmy for co-writing an episode of the show with Tom Fontana. Meanwhile, Mazzara has a new project in the works with Sony TV, which received a scripted commitment from Fox. Mazzara is writing the project, a medical drama, and is executive producing with Peter Tolan.
TNT has written a prescription for a third season of the powerful medical drama HAWTHORNE, starring and executive-produced by Jada Pinkett Smith (Collateral, The Matrix trilogy). TNT has ordered 10 new episodes of the hit series, which is slated to return in 2011. Created by Emmy® winner John Masius (St. Elsewhere, Providence, Dead Like Me), HAWTHORNE premiered in summer 2009 and ranked as one of ad-supported cable’s Top 5 new series of the year. In its second season in summer 2010, the series continued its success, averaging 3.7 million viewers and ranking as ad-supported cable’s #1 Tuesday program among women 25-54.
“With its memorable characters, powerful performances and moving storylines, HAWTHORNE takes us on a dramatic journey through the world of a hospital on the brink of collapse,” said Michael Wright, executive vice president and head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). “This series has performed extremely well among our key demos and proven itself to be a great summer series. We are very excited to continue working with Jada and HAWTHORNE’s outstanding production team and cast.”
HAWTHORNE stars Pinkett Smith as Christina Hawthorne, an impassioned Chief Nursing Officer struggling to whip a failing hospital – and her personal life – into shape. Michael Vartan (Alias) co-stars as Dr. Tom Wakefield, who has a complicated personal relationship with Christina. The series also stars Suleka Mathew (Men in Trees), David Julian Hirsh (Lovebites), Christina Moore (90210), Vanessa Lengies (American Dreams) and Hannah Hodson (The Ron Clark Story).
HAWTHORNE comes to TNT from Sony Pictures Television
EXCLUSIVE: I hear TNT tomorrow will announce a 10-episode Season 3 pickup for the Sony TV-produced medical drama starring Jada Pinkett Smith. With The Closer, Rizzoli, Leverage, Memphis Beat and now Hawthorne all getting renewed, the only TNT summer series waiting its fate is Jerry Bruckheimer’s cop drama Dark Blue. While attracting about half of the audience of TNT’s Monday juggernauts The Closer and Rizzoli & Isles, Hawthorne has been a solid performer ratings-wise, with its audience averaging 3.4 million viewers. What’s more, it was used to successfully launch a new series this summer, the off-beat Memphis Beat. The renewal for the quirky cop show starring Jason Lee has been in the works for awhile, so
EXCLUSIVE: Will Smith has attached himself to star in and produce The Legend Of Cain, an epic re-telling of the Biblical sibling tale, this time with a vampiric twist. Smith will play Cain, the original Bad Boy, and he will produce with Overbrook Entertainment partners Jada Pinkett Smith (his wife), James Lassiter, and Ken Stovitz. The script was written by Caleeb Pinkett and Dan Knauf, with Andrea Berloff revising. No studio or director yet for the Overbrook project. The production company is coming off The Karate Kid, which has so far grossed more that. $210 million worldwide. Smith is currently promoting that film internationally and in August he begins filming Men In Black 3.