Deadline’s Best TV Stories Of The Week

Did you miss some of Deadline’s top TV stories of the week? Check them out here:

CW In Talks For ‘Wizard Of Oz’ Drama By ‘Heroes” Creator Tim Kring
By Nellie Andreeva - EXCLUSIVE: The summer of Wizard Of Oz continues with another sale of a high-profile Oz-themed drama project.

Ryan Seacrest Booed By Broncos Fans During NBC’s NFL Pregame Show: Video
By Lisa De Moraes - NBC continues its Overexposing Ryan Seacrest campaign — this time the network had The Man Who Can’t Say No open NBC’s regular-season NFL football franchise kickoff last night, in which he got loudly booed by Broncos fans in Denver’s Sports Authority Stadium.

Were Consumers The Biggest Losers In The CBS-Time Warner Cable Dispute?
By David Lieberman - It sure looks that way. Millions of Time Warner Cable customers lost CBS-owned stations and channels for a month, and will still probably see their monthly rates rise to accommodate the deal that the companies made last night.

Fired ‘Storage Wars’ Star Scores A Win Over A&E In Lawsuit
By Dominic Patten – Dave Hester can move forward with the wrongful termination portion of his wide-ranging lawsuit against A&E and the producers of Storage Warsa judge ruled today. Read More »

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James Franco No Challenge To Charlie Sheen Ratings Record At Comedy Central Roast

By | Tuesday September 3, 2013 @ 11:51am PDT

James Franco: no Charlie Sheen.

About 3.1 million people watched the Comedy Central Roast Of James Franco last night — 2.4 million of them being adults 18-49, and 1.9 million in 18-34, with 1.2 million of that group being guys. Yes, Franco’s roast is up double digits compared to last year’s Roseanne roast, like Comedy Central said this afternoon — including the not-surprising 64% lift among 18-34 guys and the even less surprising 88% spike among 18-24 guys. But Franco wasn’t in the same league as Sheen, who’d clocked 6.4 million viewers when Comedy Central skewered him the same night CBS unveiled Sheen’s Two And A Half Men replacement, Ashton Kutcher. If you add in Comedy Central’s two replays of the Franco bashing/lovefest last night, during which he took a lot of heat for his epic Oscar sleep-hosting, the cume climbs to 5.2 million — still not up to Sheen’s premiere stats. The Franco roast premiere also did not match the 3.5 million who’d tuned in for Comedy Central’s David Hasselhoff roast in 2010 or the 3.48 million who caught the Donald Trump roast in 2011. And, in Roseanne’s defense, her Comedy Central bashing had aired at the same time NBC was clocking 30 million viewers with the Closing Ceremony of the London Olympics. Read More »

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‘This Is The End’ Returning To Theaters In Quest For $100M

By | Tuesday September 3, 2013 @ 9:53am PDT

Sony Pictures said today it is re-releasing the Sony/Columbia raunch comedy in about 2000 theaters beginning Friday. The ensemble comedy about what happens to six pals trapped in a house as the apocalypse begins outside stars James Franco, Jonah … Read More »

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Hot Festival Trailer: ‘Palo Alto’

Gia Coppola‘s feature directing debut Palo Alto is playing Telluride today and Venice‘s Horizons section on Monday. It heads to Toronto next week. Coppola, granddaughter of Francis Ford Coppola, wrote the screenplay based on the collection of short stories written by James Franco. … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: James Franco’s ‘Child Of God’

By | Wednesday August 28, 2013 @ 12:11pm PDT

EXCLUSIVE: Child Of God marks James Franco‘s third consecutive major fest as a director after taking Interior. Leather Bar to Sundance and As I Lay Dying to Cannes earlier this year. Scott Haze (As I Lay Dying) stars in the … Read More »

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James Franco To Host Show About Art On Ovation TV

By | Wednesday August 21, 2013 @ 7:19am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

As he teased yesterday, actor James Franco announced on Twitter/Instagram this morning a new show he is doing for arts cable network Ovation TV.James Franco Presents is a one-hour, weekly series,” he wrote … Read More »

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James Franco’s ‘Interior. Leather Bar.’ Acquired By Strand

By | Monday August 19, 2013 @ 6:00pm PDT

Strand Releasing has picked up US rights to Interior. Leather Bar., inspired by 40 minutes of deleted gay S&M footage from William Friedkin’s 1980 film Cruising. James Franco and Travis Mathews direct and star as themselves. Strand is eyeing late 2013 or early 2014 … Read More »

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James Franco Targets Fox On His March Through Hollywood

By | Tuesday July 16, 2013 @ 1:25pm PDT

James Franco continues his scorched-earth march through Hollywood, this time setting his sights on Fox‘s primetime with a two-episode story arc on the network’s The Mindy Project, starting with the show’s season debut September 17. This time Franco — who, Fox assures us, is one of the most celebrated actors of his generation — plays a charismatic OBGYN named Dr. Paul Leotard, who replaces Mindy (Mindy Kaling) while she is in Haiti on a volunteer mission. Seems Leotard is a former fashion model — seriously — who accidentally walked off a runway at fashion week and was saved by a pregnant woman. From that day forward, he devoted himself to helping pregnant women and immediately applied to medical school. (Read Fox’s announcement after the jump.) Read More »

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James Franco Says He’s Comedy Central’s Next Roasted Celebrity

By | Wednesday July 10, 2013 @ 6:10am PDT

Comedy Central will roast James Franco on Labor Day, the Viacom-owned network announced this morning. But Franco-fans had known about it since late Tuesday, via Franco, via Instagram. “Hey ya’ll wassup I’m gonna get roasted on Comedy Central be sure to check it out. They wanted me to tell you that — a’ight hahaha,” he mumbled at his legions of followers. Then he slowly ran his tongue over his teeth. Comedy Central, in its announcement, said it would tape the roast of the “Academy-nominated actor-director-writer-producer-artist” next month in LA. And, in one of those incredible coincidences, the Franco-co-directed documentary about Franco, called Francophrenia, will debut exclusively on Comedy Central digital and VOD platforms immediately after the network telecasts the roast. Read More »

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‘Garden Of Last Days’ Scrapped As Director-Star James Franco Exits Two Weeks Before Shooting

By | Thursday June 27, 2013 @ 3:29pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: What is it lately with directors walking off their own movies just before production starts? Two weeks before he was scheduled to begin production as director and star of Garden Of Last Days, James Franco pulled out of the film today. I’m told that effectively scraps a film that had $500,000 spent so far, a $3 million budget and a July 10 production start date. It’s the second time a filmmaker bailed late in the game, after Lynn Ramsay exited Jane Got A Gun hours before production was to start. That film held it together, but I’m told that this will shut down. Franco, currently in theaters in This Is The End, committed to direct and star in late April, just as he was preparing to unveil his latest film, As I Lay Dying, in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes.

I’m hearing that Franco’s exit had to do with a disagreement with financier Millennium over the crew he wanted to hire. Basically, Franco put together a few that didn’t have the experience to get approval from the bond company. Millennium wouldn’t approve his choices. Read More »

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James Franco Seeks Crowdfunding For ‘Palo Alto’ Films

By | Monday June 17, 2013 @ 7:00pm PDT

James Franco has launched a new crowdfunding project to finance three feature films about teenage life in his hometown of Palo Alto, CA, adapted from his own 2010 book of short stories, Palo Alto. The multihyphenate has tapped Nina Ljeti, Vladimir Bourdeau, Bruce Thierry Cheung, and Gabriel Demestree to direct and is seeking to raise $500K via Indiegogo to split evenly between the trio of projects. “Because of who I am, people often believe that it is easy to find investors and distributors for my films. Unfortunately, things aren’t that easy,” he writes on the campaign’s page. “More times than not, I have put in my own money to produce my films and my students’ films. However, this time it’s different; we need more funding. I will still fund part of it, but I need of your help; filming three feature films back-to-back requires more funding than I can give.”

The films are aiming to shoot by August before hitting the festival circuit in search of distribution. Donation rewards range from behind the scenes updates and a shooting script PDF ($10) to a personalized video from Franco ($300) to an EP credit and private dinner ($10,000). The Indiegogo campaign ends July 17. Check out Franco’s fundraising video: Read More »

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Open Road Buys U.S. Rights To ‘Homefront’; Jason Statham, James Franco Star

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Open Road Films and Endgame Releasing have acquired U.S. rights to Homefront, the Millennium Films-produced action thriller that Gary Fleder directed with Jason Statham, James Franco, Winona Ryder, Kate Bosworth, and Frank Grillo. The script was written by Sylvester Stallone based on Chuck Logan’s book. Open Road will release the film wide October 4 in a deal sealed by Open Road CEO Tom Ortenberg, Endgame CEO James Stern, and Millennium Films chairman Avi Lerner.

The action film focuses on a widowed ex-DEA agent who retires to a small town for the sake of his 10-year-old daughter. He didn’t choose the town well. Stallone is producing with Kevin King Templeton and John Thompson. Lerner, Trevor Short, Boaz Davidson, and Mark Gill are exec producing. Stallone co-wrote the first two installments of The Expendables for Millennium. Read More »

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Cannes: Directors To Watch

Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi
The only female helmer in Competition in Cannes graduates to the big show as a director for the first time this year with A Castle In Italy. Italian-born Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi has appeared many times across the festival’s official selections as an actress and in 2007 was in Un Certain Regard for directing Actrices for which she won a special jury prize. The sister of France’s former First Lady Carla Bruni is a star at home who hails from a well-to-do family, but knows how to poke fun at herself. Despite her heritage, “she makes movies that are tongue in cheek and has a Woody Allen-esque tone to what she does” says an exec involved in Italy. And that makes her “very likeable.” She’s had roles in Hollywood movies including Ridley Scott’s A Good Year and jury president Steven Spielberg’s Munich and has worked with director (and co-competitor) François Ozon in 5X2 and Time To Leave. Her directing breakout in France was 2003′s It’s Easier For A Camel. A Castle In Italy, in which she also acts, is about a family forced to sell their Italian home and is said to be partly auto-biographical.

Guillaume Canet
Blood Ties helmer Guillaume Canet has been referred to as the “Ben Affleck of France.” He is a huge star at home who made his name as an actor before moving into directing with his first well-received feature, 2002’s Mon Idole. He followed that with Tell No One, a critical and box office success in France and abroad. Canet won the best director César for the suspense picture. His ensemble pic Little White Lies in 2010 was also a hit. After Tell No One, he was offered a lot of scripts out of Hollywood, for both small and studio films, he tells me. But, he says, “I didn’t feel at all like I wanted to go on an adventure with a big studio where I couldn’t control the situation. I thought I should do a smaller film that would really be mine.” Blood Ties, his first English-language film which is in official selection here in Cannes, is just that. Canet starred in the original French version, Les Liens Du Sang, and turned back to it thinking it would be “very interesting” to do a picture based in 1970s New York. Canet enlisted the help of James Gray (whose The Immigrant, also here in Cannes, stars Canet’s wife Marion Cotillard) and the two hammered out a take, producer Alain Attal tells me. The movie about two brothers, one a cop and one an ex-con, stars Clive Owen, Billy Crudup, Lili Taylor, Zoe Saldana, Mila Kunis, James Caan, Noah Emmerich, Cotillard and her Rust And Bone co-star Matthias Schoenaerts. Attal says Canet is the kind of director that likes to talk to his actors and take a lot of time with them. Canet says he only wanted actors who were truly committed. But he has increasingly made the choice not to appear in his own films. “When I do a film I like to be concentrated on directing,” he says, “but it will probably happen” that he’ll act again in one of his own. Doing another movie in English is not out of the question. “If the material lends itself, why not?”.

James Franco
James Franco, actor, producer, director, conceptual artist, et al, is making a leap with his As I Lay Dying in official selection at Cannes. The movie, based on the classic William Faulkner novel which was a book recommended by his dad many years ago, is running in the Un Certain Regard section. Franco says, “One of the nice things about being accepted to Cannes is I’ve noticed people really considering me as a director now.” His last helming effort, Interior. Leather. Bar. ran in Sundance, but he says that was a “different kind of project” that was made “strictly for artistic reasons. It was an interesting film but we didn’t feel any pressure to tell a conventional narrative.” That’s not the kind of movie that As I Lay Dying is, he says, even though it’s a “very daring kind of project to take on.” The intention was to gear this one to a theatrical release. And he says that going forward as a director he will be “exploring new things but will be making them in a way that they will be able to live in commercial theaters.” He recently signed on to The Garden Of Last Days, an adaptation of the bestselling book by House Of Sand And Fog author Andre Dubus III. Franco says, “It was brought to me as a director, and that was new.” He also recently directed the upcoming Bukowski and Child Of God. As for acting, Franco says he still enjoys it, in part because it allows him to work with the “best directors” and the collaboration is a learning experience. He says that a discussion with his Spring Breakers director Harmony Korine sums up his goal: “Be sure to have one area that’s purely yours. That’s the area you’re doing projects you believe in. And find a way to do them; those are your movies.” He admits, however, to being as excited as a little kid to have his first film in Cannes. “There are so many dreams I’ve had coming true at once.” Read More »

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Hot Cannes Trailer: James Franco’s ‘As I Lay Dying’

The busy James Franco — actor, writer, director, producer and languid one-time Oscar host — is hitting the Croisette with As I Lay Dying, an adaptation of William Faulkner’s Depression-era novel about a Mississippi family that sets out to fulfill their matriarch’s final wish. Franco directed, co-scripted (with … Read More »

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Cannes Briefs: Mundial Boards ‘Libertador’; Hyde Park Tells ‘Legends Of Oz’; ‘Scribbler’ Has Imagination; + ‘Tom Jones’; XYZ Films; Maggie Smith; James Franco & More

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Mundial Selling Simón Bolivar Epic ‘Libertador’
IM Global and Canana joint venture, Mundial, has boarded international sales for Libertador starring Carlos‘ Edgar Ramirez and Danny Huston. The Alberto Arvelo-directed film is scripted by Timothy Sexton and tells the life story of Simón Bolívar who was instrumental in Latin America’s struggle for independence from the Spanish Empire. María Valverde, Imanol Arias and Gary Lewis also star. The film is produced by Winfried Hammacher, Ana Loehnert and Arvelo, and co-produced by Jose Luis Escolar. Ramírez and Maria A. Guerrero Rocca are exec producers. Libertador is South America’s largest independent production and was shot in 13 different locations between South America and Europe. Read More »

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Cannes- Bound With Directing Project, James Franco Commits To Helm ‘Garden Of Last Days’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: James Franco, whose film As I Lay Dying screens in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes next month, has locked in his next directorial outing. He’ll helm and play a starring role in Garden of Last Days, an adaptation of the bestselling book by House Of Sand And Fog author Andre Dubus III. Shooting will begin July 8 in New York. Millennium Films is financing.

The film is being produced by Gerard Butler, Alan Siegel, Danielle Robinson and Hanna Weg. Weg, who scripted the Michael Apted-directed Enigma, wrote the script. Longtime Franco collaborators Vince Jolivette and Miles Levy will also produce. Pic is a contemporary thriller set in the seamy underside of American life about three interwoven and ultimately explosive stories: A stripper out of options who brings her 3-year-old daughter to work; an angry, lonely man who gets thrown out of the club; and a foreigner with an endless supply of cash on the brink of committing a terrifying act. Read More »

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James Franco Eyeing Werner Herzog’s Gertrude Bell Pic

By | Thursday April 25, 2013 @ 9:35am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: I’m not certain it’s going to happen as they try to sort scheduling issues, but Werner Herzog’s Queen Of The Desert has James Franco circling the role that Jude Law was going to play. If you recall, … Read More »

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James Franco, Kate Hudson, Omar Sy Set For Millennium Films’ ‘Good People’

By | Monday April 22, 2013 @ 10:32am PDT
Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Millennium Films is starting production at the end of May in London on Good People, which will star James Franco, Kate Hudson and Omar Sy and be directed by Henrik Genz, who ismaking his English-language debut. The contemporary thriller centers on an American couple living in London who fall into severe debt renovating her family’s home. When the tenant in their downstairs apartment passes away and leaves 200,000 pounds in cash, they take it, and that’s when very bad things start happening to good people. Kelly Masterson, Paul Grellong and Christina Hodson wrote the script based on Marcus Sakey’s novel. Read More »

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‘Spring Breakers’ Generates Buzz, James Franco Presents ‘Interior. Leather Bar.’: SXSW

By | Monday March 11, 2013 @ 2:00am PDT

Spring Breakers SXSWHarmony Korine‘s Day-Glo crime thriller Spring Breakers had its U.S. premiere Sunday night at SXSW, where stars Selena Gomez, James Franco, Ashley Benson, and Rachel Korine (minus Vanessa Hudgens) joined their director onstage for a Q&A. “I’d been collecting Spring Break imagery for a couple of years from fraternity sites and co-ed pornography for paintings and artwork”, said Korine, who wrote and directed the pic about college girls who commit robbery to finance their dream Spring Break only to become entangled in the dangerous lifestyle of a Floridian thug named Alien (Franco). “Here were all these hypersexualized, hyperviolent subjects with childlike details — nail polish, bags, stuff like that. So I imagined girls on a beach in bikinis robbing fat tourists”.
Read More »

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