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Sam Raimi Developing To Helm Jake Tapper’s Afghanistan War Tale ‘The Outpost’

By | Thursday June 26, 2014 @ 9:23am PDT
Mike Fleming

Sam Raimi Developing To Helm Jake Tapper’s Afghanistan War Tale ‘The Outpost’Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson, Oscar-nominated writers of The Fighter, have partnered with Sam Raimi on the feature adaptation of Jake Tapper‘s bestselling book The Outpost: An Untold Story Of American Valor. Raimi will produce and supervise development of the script with an eye towards directing. Raimi will produce with Rob Tapert, and Paul Merryman will be co-producer.

raimiThe film becomes part of a growing number focusing on the bravery of American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. The focus of The Outpost is the defense of a remote U.S. camp in Eastern Afghanistan by 53 American soldiers as it was overrun by up to 400 Taliban fighters. The intense and deadly day-long clash resulted in multiple citations including Medals of Honor to two recipients, the first time America’s highest military award has been given to two living soldiers for the same battle since 1968.

tamasySaid Raimi: “The Outpost is an epic story of bravery, courage, and sacrifice of our men in uniform, and is absolutely a picture meant for the big screen. I’m honored to be a part of it.” Tapper, who’s reported extensively on Afghanistan, is the host of CNN’s The Lead With Jake Tapper, and is chief Washington correspondent for the cable news network. Read More »

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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

Piers-Morgan-cnn-debut-007EXCLUSIVE: 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. We will actually see Weir fill in for Morgan in the time slot first, next week, but it will be just that — he’s filling in on Morgan’s show while Morgan takes a previously scheduled vacation, and he will return for one final week after that. Morgan and Zucker continue to talk about a future role for him at the network, the source said.


Morgan struggled for three years to find an audience in the important time slot, taking over for Larry King who’d been a longtime fixture at the network. Morgan was routinely beaten in the ratings by his cable competitors. His departure probably means the end of the time slot’s format — do not expect the four men to do the kind of show Morgan did, or King before him. Smerconish, Tapper and Lemon will continue to do the type of programs they’re already doing at CNN. And, the list may not be complete — Zucker may try out more talent in the slot, the source said. Read More »

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‘Fighter’ Scribes In Ring With CNN Anchor Jake Tapper On Afghanistan Siege Tale ‘The Outpost’

By | Thursday February 6, 2014 @ 3:31pm PST
Mike Fleming

outpostEXCLUSIVE: The Fighter scribes Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson have used their own money to option The Outpost: An Untold Story Of American Valor. They will adapt the 2012 Little, Brown book written by Jake Tapper, host of the CNN’s The Lead. The book tells the story of Combat Outpost Keating, one of America’s deadliest battles in Afghanistan. The siege occurred in October 2009, when 53 U.S. troops were attacked by Taliban insurgents that outnumbered them 8 to 1.

tamasThe project is squarely in the study of courage mode of Lone Survivor, the sleeper hit Peter Berg-directed film based on the Marcus Luttrell memoir. The soldiers were ordered to establish a military based in an isolated Afghan province butting up against Pakistan, when the D.C. policy was to protect locals and win hearts and minds by supporting economic development. In reality, the base was surrounded by mountains, leaving the troops as sitting ducks. After insurgents selectively shelled them and sabotaged aid projects, the troops were finally attacked by over 400 Taliban fighters in the bloodiest attack of that year. A Pentagon review would later reveal that there was no good reason for the soldiers to have been placed there, but the troops adapted and despite high casualties, thwarted the attack. Tapper spent nearly two years investigating the events, interviewing more than 225 individuals involved. He took on the job partly because he was dissatisfied with his own coverage with the war in Afghanistan, which relied on the view from Capitol Hill and not on the soldiers and their families. Tapper’s donating some of the money to military-related charities. Read More »

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UPDATE: ‘Duck Dynasty’s’ Willie Robertson Creates Quandary For TV Reporters Covering President Obama’s State Of Union Address

UPDATE, 7:41 PM: Depending on who you ask, the most sought-after photo op during tonight’s State of the Union address wasn’t with that guy from the Oval Office. It was Duck Dynasty‘s Willie Robertson (and sometime his wife and co-star Korie) that led many lawmakers to bust out their smartphones to post a pic or grab some social media bragging rights. Here are just a couple of examples:


LisaColumn__131015210634-275x198PREVIOUS, 6:55 PM: The arrival of Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson at the House chamber where President Barack Obama is delivering his fifth State of the Union Address tonight caused something of a quandary for those journalists trying to cover the event.

Related: ‘Duck Dynasty’ Plug During Tonight’s State Of The Union Address: Video

Over at CNN, Jake Tapper was positioned where the Washington glitterati enter the hall,  in order to stand and applaud –  or to not stand and applaud –  at various points during Obama’s speech. After noting some of the Supreme Court justices had willie-robertson-profilejust walked by him, and that, in the past, there’d been talk as to whether they should even attend the pep rally, Tapper threw to Dana Bash, up in the gallery. She told Tapper that what she was about to describe was “more surreal and bizarre” than even Supreme Court justices because “what I’m looking at now, Willie Robertson is one –”

Related: Obama Name Drops ‘Mad Men’ In State Of The Union Speech

“I’m sorry to interrupt a discussion of Duck Dynasty,” Tapper broke in, convincing no one. He’d cut her off because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and VPOTUS Joe Biden were walking by him at that very moment and needed to be seen by viewers nationwide. “But, Dana, sorry, you were talking about one of the stars of Duck Dynasty,” Tapper concluded, like he meant it to sting. Read More »

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UPDATE: CNN To Try Out Don Lemon And Brooke Baldwin Shows At 11 PM During Erin Burnett Maternity Leave

By | Tuesday November 19, 2013 @ 10:44am PST

UPDATE, 10:40 AM:  CNN said it will test out two programs at 11 PM during Erin Burnett’s maternity leave. For the three weeks of December 2nd, 9th and 16th, Don Lemon will host a half-hour show, The 11th Hour, from 11-11:30 PM ET, and Brooke Baldwin will host CNN Today from 11:30 PM-midnight. Both shows will have a limited run. CNN’s 7 PM program, Erin Burnett Outfront, usually repeats in that hour. The cable news network also said that, for the weeks of December 2nd, 9th and 16th, Jake Tapper will anchor Outfront, from 7-8 pm ET while continuing to host his program The Lead from 4-5 pm ET. For the weeks of December 23rd, 30th and January 6th, Lemon will anchor Burnett’s show. Read More »

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Cable News Networks Tinker With Schedule Tonight To Cover Government Shutdown/Debt Ceiling Deadline

By | Wednesday October 16, 2013 @ 2:36pm PDT

The cable news networks have tinkered with tonight’s schedule as they continue coverage of the government shutdown and debt ceiling deadline. Fox News Channel will follow a live edition of Hannity at 10 PM ET, with Bret Baier anchoring a live edition of Special Report at 11 PM, followed by The Kelly File at midnight, anchored by Megyn Kelly. CNN‘s Jake Tapper, meanwhile, will anchor the 11 PM hour live, and Piers Morgan takes over at midnight.

Last night, Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor attracted an average of 3.1 million viewers — and his biggest demo crowd (639,000) since February, excluding Boston Marathon bombing coverage — as the debt ceiling deadline drew near. Fun fact: More people watched Bill O’Reilly’s show than watched Fox’s The Mindy Project (2.73 million). O’Reilly Factor also oustripped ABC’s Scandal repeat.

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CNN’s Jake Tapper Makes ‘All My Children’ Debut This Month

By | Friday August 2, 2013 @ 11:13am PDT

Well, Jeff Zucker did say that CNN was going to more broadly define what news was. It looks like it is going to more broadly define the sort of roles its reporters will play too. With The Lead With Jake Tapper up in the ratings, its host Jake Tapper is going dramatic, with his previously announced role on All My Childrennow set for August 12. The opportunity emerged when Tapper went up to Connecticut to do a piece on the cancelled ABC show’s new online life. Unlike CNN personalities like Wolf Blitzer or Larry King, who often show up on movies and TV shows playing themselves, Tapper will appear on the online soap as Business News Update reporter Spencer Phillips, which sounds almost like a real cable news reporter’s name. His character tries to interview Brooke English (Julia Barr) and Dixie Cooney (Cady McClain). This will be Tapper’s dramatic debut and finale, an insider tells me. After an unsteady start in mid-March, Tapper’s The Lead has seen rises, with the show topping its 4 PM time slot in July in the key adults 25-54 demo.

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Jimmy Kimmel Weighs In On ‘Tonight Show’ Talk In CNN Interview

By | Thursday March 21, 2013 @ 11:35am PDT

David Letterman hasn’t said anything yet about the latest rumors of the departure of his longtime rival Jay Leno from The Tonight Show and his likely replacement Jimmy Fallon. But the other late-night host, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel, told CNN’s Jake Tapper in an interview to run today that he thinks the Fallon move “makes perfect sense.” “NBC is looking to move on, because they did it once already. This would be the second time that this has happened,” Kimmel told Tapper. Kimmel, who’s been critical of Leno in the not so distant past, joked that he hoped the supposed moves are a result of him shifting to the 11:35 PM slot earlier this year. But he might be looking forward to facing Fallon for serious reasons: While debuting strong in its new slot January 8, Jimmy Kimmel Live hasn’t been able to overcome Leno in total viewership and only beat him on a few occasions in the key adults 18-49 demo. On average over his first 10 weeks in his new slot, Kimmel has been 81,000 18-49 viewers behind Leno while besting Letterman by 65,000 in the demo. Here’s Kimmel on CNN:

Related: Fallon Jokes About ‘Tonight Show’ Move While Leno Takes Another Jab At NBC

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CNN’s ‘The Lead With Jake Tapper’ Premieres Soft As Jeff Zucker Era Begins

By | Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 1:59pm PDT

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg wished Jake Tapper “good luck with your show” yesterday while appearing on the debut episode of The Lead With Jake Tapper. The new one-hour CNN show looks like it needs it: The premiere of the first new show under new boss Jeff Zucker drew 400,000 total viewers, finishing in third place among cable news shows in its 4 PM ET time slot. That’s less than half of the 1.102 million who watched Fox News Channel’s Your World With Neil Cavuto, and also down from the 479,000 who watched Martin Bashir’s daily show on MSNBC. In the key adults 25-54 demo, the show starring the former ABC News White House correspondent — who new boss Zucker has called the “face of the new CNN,” — drew 87,000 viewers compared to Cavuto’s 172,000 and Bashir’s 100,000. It also was beaten it in the slot by CNN sister station Headline News, which pulled in 779,000 total viewers and 21,000 in the new demo.

Related: One Month Into Zucker’s Reign, CNN Sees Ratings Dip Read More »

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Jeff Zucker Bullish On Debut Of ‘The Lead’, Calls Jake Tapper ‘Face Of New CNN’

By | Monday March 18, 2013 @ 8:37pm PDT

At a launch party celebrating Jake Tapper‘s debut today on CNN‘s The Lead, network head Jeff Zucker called the former ABC reporter “the face of new CNN”, Politico reports. “This is the start of an incredible new era”, he added in remarks at Washington, D.C.’s Sixth Engine restaurant. Tapper’s new weekday show airs at 4pm daily with the newsman in place as chief Washington correspondent and anchor. In The Lead‘s inaugural broadcast Tapper interviewed Stephen Colbert about campaigning on behalf of his sister Elizabeth Colbert Busch, who’s running for office in South Carolina’s 1st congressional district.

Related: ABC News’ Jake Tapper Moves To CNN

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Jake Tapper’s New CNN Show ‘The Lead’ Set For March 18 Debut

By | Wednesday March 6, 2013 @ 9:48am PST

CNN announced today that Jake Tapper‘s new weekday show The Lead will premiere at 4 PM on Monday March 18. In a statement, CNN said “the program will draw not only on Tapper’s deep knowledge of politics and national issues, but also seek to examine and advance stories across a wide range of topics that demonstrate his own curiosities and interests”. Tapper left ABC News in December to join CNN as its chief Washington correspondent and anchor of the new weekday program. Federico Quadrani, formerly of MSNBC, serves as executive producer. Tapper made his hosting debut on CNN at 10 PM on February 7, fronting the documentary An American Hero: The Uncommon Valor Of Clint Romesha. The doc averaged 588,000 viewers with 145,000 in the adults 25-54 demographic.

Related: Jake Tapper Says New CNN Show To Be Called ‘The Lead’

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Jake Tapper Says New CNN Show To Be Called ‘The Lead’

By | Tuesday February 12, 2013 @ 12:26pm PST

Nearly two months after Jake Tapper joined CNN, his upcoming weekday show finally has a name. “For those catching the new CNN promo that’s right our new show will be called The Lead,” the news network’s chief Washington correspondent today announced via Twitter. CNN has said the new show will air at 4 PM daily, but there still has been no announcement of when The Lead is actually debuting — all CNN will say is that it is premiering in March. Federico Quadrani has left MSNBC to serve as executive producer on the new show. The Lead will take an hour off Wolf Blitzer’s long-running The Situation Room when it debuts. Read More »

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ABC News’ Jake Tapper Moves To CNN

By | Thursday December 20, 2012 @ 1:57pm PST

ABC News’ Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper is joining CNN as the anchor of a new weekday program and chief Washington correspondent, the network said today. The as-yet unnamed show is to debut in 2013, said CNN. “With CNN’s impeccable reporting during the elections and the exciting changes in the works for the network, this is a perfect time to join the CNN team,” said Tapper in a statement released by CNN. “I am excited about the prospect of working with both the new leadership and some old friends and colleagues.” CNN, which Jeff Zucker takes over at the end of next month, ended up in third place in 2012 among cable news networks, behind both Fox News and MSNBC.

Related: Fox News Tops 2012 Cable New Network Ratings; MSNBC Up Big
Read More »

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