No big surprise here: Fox said tonight that its principal on-camera folks will be back on American Idol next season. Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr. will return as judges and Ryan Seacrest will host the show’s its 14th season. Seacrest closed his deal in May — two days after Fox announced the series renewal — and Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva reported last month that the judge trio was likely to be back. “Jennifer, Keith, Harry and Ryan are the very best in the business at what they do, and I’m thrilled that they are returning to American Idol for another season,” said David Hill, Senior EVP of 21st Century Fox. “Each brings unique qualities and expertise to the team, but they all share the same passion for helping undiscovered singers achieve the American dream.” The singing reality competition wrapped its 13th season May 21 down from the previous year.
‘American Idol’ Season 14: J.Lo, Keith Urban & Harry Connick Jr Returning As Judges; Ryan Seacrest Back As Host
UPDATE: WEDNESDAY 2:33 AM PT: Well that was a quick turnaround. International soccer federation FIFA said on Monday (see below) that Jennifer Lopez would not be performing at the World Cup Opening Ceremony on Thursday, which her reps confirmed. Now, FIFA says the singer is headed to Brazil. “FIFA and the Local Organising Committee are delighted to announce that we will have the full-line up of stars available to perform the Official Song ‘We Are One’ this Thursday at the FIFA World Cup opening ceremony. This is exciting news for not only those spectators who should arrive early and see the show live in the stadium but also for fans all over the world watching on TV,” the group said today. Also joining Pitbull, Claudia Leitte and Lopez to perform the song is local cultural group Olodum. Lopez told the Associated Press late last night, “I’m coming. I leave tonight. We always were going. I think people get anxious, especially with me and my schedule when I’m like, ‘Ah, OK, I can leave this day, that day, I don’t know if we can make it.’” A Lopez rep also People, “Jennifer has always wanted to participate in the World Cup opening ceremonies. We have been trying to work out scheduling and logistics. Any statements to the contrary were premature. Jennifer would not want to disappoint her fans or fans of futbol. She will be there.”
PREVIOUS MONDAY AM: While organizers hurry to get closer to a state of readiness for the World Cup kickoff this week, they’ve lost one of their headliners for the Opening Ceremony. Jennifer Lopez, who was due to perform the official song, will “regretfully” not attend, her rep confirms. Soccer governing body FIFA has said Lopez would not be able to perform due to unspecified “production issues.” She was to sing “We Are One (Ole Ola)” with rapper Pitbull and Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte. Not necessarily Olympic in size, this Opening Ceremony is still the first window onto the world’s biggest sporting event and could attract as many as 1 billion TV viewers around the globe Thursday. The pre-game festivities will last 25 minutes — organizers have estimated that 20 hours of prep would go into each of those minutes with about 84 hours of rehearsals for the 600 artists that include acrobatic gymnasts, trampolinists, capoeira performers and stilt walkers. The ceremony starts at 2:15 PM ET, with Brazil hosting Croatia for a 4 PM ET kickoff. ESPN and Univision are airing the proceedings in the U.S. Click over for video of Lopez, Pitbull and Leitte performing the song you’re likely to hear on a loop for the next month.
NuvoTV has unveiled a full slate of original programming that includes six music and entertainment series and specials, three unscripted dramas, two comedy series, and live sports specials. Among the new series is two from Jennifer Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions, stemming from her role as the network’s chief creative officer. The production company is behind Los Jets, a verité documentary series featuring a high school soccer team of boys who defy the odds, face adversity, experience defeat and taste victory on and off the field. It premieres July 16 at 10 PM. It also has the reality competition Sensation (working title), a search for the next “triple-threat” Latino talent that features singing, dancing and acting. In addition, NuvoTV renewed Nuyorican’s A Step Away and The Collective.
The 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards were held tonight at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, honoring 12 of their 29 media categories, with comedian Ross Mathews hosting. Previously announced honorees include Jennifer Lopez, who received the Vanguard Award, a kudo that honors artists and media professionals whose work has increased the profile and understanding of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions is behind the ABC Family series The Fosters, which portrays a blended family with lesbian parents. Also Orange Is The New Black star Laverne Cox was presented with the Stephen F. Kolzak award by Oscar-nominated actress Ellen Page. The honor, named after a casting director who was a LGBT crusader, is presented to an openly LGBT media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality. The GLAAD Media Awards honor those who display a fair, accurate and inclusive representation of the LGBT community and their issues. Additional awards will be presented at the org’s New York City event on Saturday, May 3.
Announced winners tonight include:
Pioneer Award (presented by Wilson Cruz)
Vanguard Award (presented by Rita Moreno)
Stephen F. Kolzak Award (presented by Ellen Page)
Laverne Cox, Orange Is the New Black
International Advocate for Change Award
Manny de Guerre, founder of the Side by Side LGBT Film Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia
TIE: Bridegroom …
SiTV Media agreed to pay $226M — and give MSG a 15% stake — the entities disclosed this morning. The total value of the cash plus equity comes to about $275M, Stifel analyst Benjamin Mogil estimates. In any event, the company where Jennifer Lopez is a shareholder and Chief Creative Officer outbid an offer from Sean Combs said to be around $200M. Fuse reaches 73M pay TV subscribers, and should boost SiTV and NuvoTV — a Latin American entertainment network that reaches about 34M homes. With Fuse “we’ll have the ability to deliver a broad array of terrific content both from a Latino perspective and across multiple genres, including music, to a broader audience,” Lopez says. “The acquisition of Fuse means we now own two wonderful assets. It’s a phenomenal time for our company and we look forward to growing both networks in the years ahead.” SiTV CEO Michael Schwimmer adds that the deal “enhances our distribution relationships, dramatically expands our aggregate subscriber base, provides substantial economies of scale, affords unique opportunities for programming and cross-promotion and should be extremely appealing to the advertising community as we roll out our plans for both NuvoTV and Fuse.”
Jennifer Lopez To Topline 13-Episode FBI Drama Series At NBC She Is Producing With Ryan Seacrest For 2015-16
In one of the highest-profile packages this year, NBC has given a 13-episode straight-to-series order to Shades Of Blue, a drama toplined by Jennifer Lopez, which she will executive produce with her American Idol co-star Ryan Seacrest. Written by Adi Hasak (From Paris with Love), the project will begin working on scripts in June with an eye toward a 2015 production start and will be for the 2015-16 season, not the one that starts in September. Shades of Blue is a complex police series that centers on Harlee McCord (Lopez), a single mother and detective recruited to work undercover for the FBI’s anti-corruption task force. Part of a close-knit unit known for its conviction record, Harlee has become compromised by her colleagues — all of whom also pitch in to help her raise her daughter — and finds herself faced with the moral dilemma of working against her cop brothers in order to redeem herself. Lopez and Seacrest executive produce with Nina Wass, Hasak, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Benny Medina for Universal Television, Lopez’s Nuyorican Prods., Ryan Seacrest Prods., EGTV and H’s Films. Search is underway for an experienced TV writer-producer to serve as co-showrunner alongside former Israeli journalist-turned-screenwriter Hasak. This marks reality powerhouse RSP’s first drama series. Its first scripted series, ABC comedy Mixology, which it joined at the pilot stage, premieres next week.
Related: 2014 NBC Pilots
“Whether its producing, acting, singing or any of her other many entrepreneurial activities, Jennifer is an extraordinary talent and life force, and we’re delighted to be in business with her and Adi Hasak on this sophisticated show,” said NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke. “We’re especially excited that Jennifer is returning to her acting roots from such great movies as Out of Sight, and we know that she will create this complicated character in a vivid way that will breathe new life into the cop show genre. Ryan Seacrest is part of the NBCU family and doing his first scripted drama series with us makes perfect sense.”
A+E Networks‘ Lifetime Films and A+E Studios have partnered with Viola Davis and Julius Tennon’s JuVee Prods. and Sara Risher’s ChickFlicks to produce the independent feature Lila And Eve, starring Davis and Jennifer Lopez. Directed by Charles Stone III from a script by Pat Gilfillan, Lila And Eve is now filming for a festival premiere and theatrical release in late 2014/early 2015. Lifetime network-affiliated Lifetime Films is dedicated to developing, producing and acquiring female-focused indie movies. Its first effort, The Last Of Robin Hood, featuring Kevin Kline, Susan Sarandon and Dakota Fanning, premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, and will be released in theaters in early Summer 2014. When A+E Networks in June 2013 launched in-house production arm A+E Studios, Lifetime Films became a division of the studio. Lifetime network’s Rob Sharenow and Tanya Lopez as well as Lisa Hamilton Daly and Molly Thompson will executive produce Lila And Eve for A+E Studios alongside Viola Davis and Julius Tennon of JuVee Prods. and Damian Ganczewski. Sara Risher of ChickFlicks and Darrin Reed.
Fox‘s American Idol is hosting a preview event at 5:30 PM PT ahead of tomorrow’s Season XII premiere. Watch the live-streamed Q&A with judges Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick, Jr., Keith Urban, and host Ryan Seacrest:
“We listened to the viewers and they told us they’re fed up with the middle rounds after Hollywood Week and before the live shows, so we’ve shortened all of that down, condensed the middle round into one week – we’re calling it Rush Week,” American Idol exec producer Trish Kinane told TV critics at Winter TV Press Tour 2014.
They’ve also added something called The Chamber, where Idolettes go after host Ryan Seacrest tells them that in a couple minutes they’ve got to “give it their all,” Kinane explained, where we’ll see them pray, sing, check their armpits for sweat — whatever. “It’s a very intimate moment,” she told critics.
Jennifer Lopez’s Nuyorican Prods. Inks First Look Deal With Universal TV, Names Priscilla Porianda Head Of Development
EXCLUSIVE: Jennifer Lopez‘s Nuyorican Prods. has entered into a first look production deal with Universal Television to develop new scripted and reality projects. In conjunction with the deal, Priscilla Porianda, who joined Nuyorican last year, has been named Head of Development. “I am thrilled to have Nuyorican partner with NBC Universal and I am happy to announce Priscilla Porianda as our Head of Development,” Lopez said. “She will work closely with Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Benny Medina and I in expanding our brand into scripted and unscripted television. Our goal at Nuyorican has always been to create edgy, timely and relevant programming.” The company has breakout new ABC Family drama The Fosters, about a lesbian couple raising children, which was recently renewed for a second season.
EXCLUSIVE: John Corbett has been cast in Blumhouse and Universal‘s The Boy Next Door, about a recently divorced MILF (Jennifer Lopez) whose affair with the teenage neighbor kid goes very wrong. Corbett will play Lopez’s ex-husband in the pic, which The Fast and the Furious helmer Rob Cohen is in negotiations to direct. Kristin Chenoweth is also onboard playing Lopez’s best friend. The micro-budgeted drama/thriller is scripted by Barbara Curry and will shoot this fall in LA. Smart Entertainment and Nuyorican Productions are also producing, with Universal distributing the film as part of its first-look deal with Blumhouse. Corbett is repped by Gersh and Steve Lovett Management.
EXCLUSIVE: Craig Borten has signed to rewrite/polish The 33, the survival struggle of 33 miners trapped far below the earth after a cave-in in Copiapo, Chile, in 2010. It is Borten’s first job since writing with Melissa Wallack on Dallas Buyers Club, the fact-based drama that generated strong Oscar buzz at the Toronto Film Festival.
In another development on the film, Jennifer Lopez has just dropped out of The 33, because of a scheduling problem that cropped up when she committed to a return to American Idol. The 33 will be directed by La Misma Luna’s Patricia Riggen, with Antonio Banderas and Martin Sheen committed to star in the rescue tale that is being produced by Mike Medavoy, Robert Katz and Edward McGurn. Carlos Eugenio Lavin and Leopoldo Enriquez will be exec producers.
Film Casting Round-Up: Jennifer Lopez Joins Thriller ‘The Boy Next Door’, ‘Fast & Furious 7′ Adds ‘Game Of Thrones’ Actress
Universal Pictures is reteaming with Blumhouse Productions on The Boy Next Door, which will star Jennifer Lopez. The past and present American Idol judge will play a single mom who becomes attracted to the teenage boy who moves in next door and befriends her son. She starts and ends the romance, but he doesn’t let go so easily. Rob Cohen (The Fast And The Furious) is in negotiations to direct the micro-budgeted pic from Barbara Curry’s script. A fall start is being eyed. Variety had this one first.
Nathalie Emmanuel has been cast in Fast & Furious 7, out from Universal next July. The studio is keeping character descriptions under wraps, but a source close to the James Wan-directed project says Emmanuel will be part of the pedal to the metal team led by Dom Toretto, played by Vin Diesel. The British actress is currently seen on HBO’s Game Of Thrones in the recurring role of Missandei, personal aide to exiled princess Daenerys Targaryen. Emmanuel is represented by ICM Partners, A&J Artists in the U.K., and Untitled Entertainment.
With everything and everyone officially coming together at the last minute like last year, American Idol’s judges for the upcoming thirteenth season are finally seated. Keith Urban is back from last year and, as announced earlier today, Jennifer Lopez is back after exiting the season before and Harry Connick Jr. has joined the gang. Here is the first photo of the trio together as they began auditions in Boston Tuesday. Season 13 of American Idol debuts on Fox in January 2014.
Harry Connick Jr, Jennifer Lopez Confirmed As ‘American Idol’ Judges, Randy Jackson As Mentor; Season 13 Filming Starts Today
After the usual drama and down-to-the wire dealmaking, Fox has locked in its judging panel for the upcoming 13th season, with Harry Connick Jr and Jennifer Lopez joining Keith Urban, while original Idol judge Randy Jackson will replace Jimmy Iovine as in-house mentor. Lopez, Connick Jr and Urban, joined by Idol host Ryan Seacrest, are starting work today with the first taped auditions in Boston. For all the talk of shaking things up, the behind-the scenes changes of new Idol executive producers and a new Fox executive, David Hill, in charge of the veteran series did not extend to the screen as all on-air talent have been on the show before — Lopez, Urban and Jackson as judges and Connick Jr as a guest mentor. And with Lopez, Connick Jr. and Urban, Idol for the first time will have a judging panel entirely made of singers, resembling the group of mentors on rival The Voice. “Surprise, surprise! I am so happy to be back as part of this amazing show that started it all,” said Jackson, who announced his exit from Idol in May. While Iovine is being replaced as a mentor, his Universal Music Group’s Interscope Records will continue to release Idol winner and contestant music.
Deadline reported earlier this month that Jennifer Lopez had reached an agreement on the major deal points to re-join Fox’s American Idol as a judge on its upcoming 13th season. An announcement was expected from the network, but it may have been Lopez’s boyfriend Casper Smart who unwittingly did the honors. Speaking to E! News this weekend, Smart answered “Yes” when asked if Lopez was heading back to Idol. He apparently thought the network had already officially released the info. Lopez would join returning judge Keith Urban and host Ryan Seacrest. The third Idol judging seat is still open, with will.i.am tipped to take it.
This time, it’s personal. In May, Brian Schornak filed a breach of contract complaint against Jennifer Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions that accused Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas of pushing him out of the company. At the time, the former senior producer at JLo’s company didn’t actually cite Goldsmith-Thomas as a defendant, even though most of his complaint was about her behavior and treatment of him. Today that changed. On Wednesday, Schornak filed a new complaint (read it here) against the former manager and producer in LA Superior Court for damages over intentional infliction of emotional distress. “Plaintiff seeks to impose liability against Elaine for her intentional infliction of emotional distress that no person should endure, and which Elaine has a history of doing in the entertainment industry. Elaine yelled and berated Plaintiff in ways that no person (with human dignity) should be forced to endure,” says the four-page complaint. Calling Goldsmith-Thomas “the manager of Jennifer Lopez,” the complaint requests a jury trial and seeks compensatory and punitive damages as well as interest, legal fees and the usual “such other and further relief as the Court may deem proper.” Of course, today’s filing doesn’t mean the May complaint is dead.
I’ve learned that Jennifer Lopez has reached an agreement on the major deal points to re-join Fox‘s singing competition series American Idol as a judge on its upcoming thirteenth season. An announcement is expected in the next week or two. Lopez will join returning judge Keith Urban and host Ryan Seacrest. The third Idol judging seat is still open, with will.i.am heaving tipped to take it. He has appeared on the show and is said to be high on the list of the Idol producers. As for alumna Jennifer Hudson, she had gone far down the line in deal-making but Fox and the Idol producers seem to be changing direction after fellow Idol alums Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson could not commit for a panel of famous former contestants.
Details on Lopez’s new deal are sketchy but I hear she could be pulling a paycheck in the ballpark of what she most recently made on the show, said to be around $15 million. Idol and Lopez have been good for each other. Lopez’s career had stalled when in the summer of 2010 she was offered to join Idol. In doing so, she set a new salary benchmark for a reality star and saw a …
The multimedia celebrity — in her new role as Chief Creative Officer of NUVOtv — spoke in broad terms at the cable industry confab this morning about plans for this summer to reignite the English-language network that targets young Latinos. Channels such as MTV and BET attracted viewers “with music first and the network grew from there,” she says. But for NUVOtv scripted programming is “a big thing for me…One show can launch a network. One amazing show.” Her production company, Nuyorican Productions, will be in the mix, and she’ll appear on air “because I was available.” In addition to star power, Lopez says she can help the network with her relationships, including with CAA, which she called “a great agency with a wealth of writers, directors and actors.” Lopez says her title at the network isn’t just ceremonial. “I had a lot of ideas about the network and what it should be.….It represents something bigger than television. It represents a community” that’s been ignored, she says. But Lopez declined to discuss whether she might play a role in the revival of American Idol. “That’s just a rumor,” she says. “I have no announcements to make on that.”