Host star power is key in drawing viewers to Saturday Night Live. The venerable late-night show proved it this weekend when it was hosted by Josh Hutcherson, known primarily for his role in the Hunger Games franchise. But while the second movie in the franchise was setting box office ratings, SNL with Hutcherson was soft. Despite him being one of the youngest hosts to take the SNL stage (he just turned 21), the Saturday show only drew a 2.0 rating in adults 18-49 in the 25 markets with people meters, down 23% from last week when Lady Gaga was emcee/musical guest and a season low. In the metered markets, SNL with host Hutcherson and musical guest Haim averaged a 4.1 rating, down 14% from last week and the second lowest result for the season behind the October 26 show hosted by Ed Norton. For comparison, the hosting stint of Hutcherson’s Hunger Games co-star Jennifer Lawrence last season delivered a 4.9 in HH and 2.8 in 18-49.
Hunger Games: Catching Fire star Josh Hutcherson wasn’t even alive in the ’80s, but the mullet fit as he lip-synched The Outfield’s 1985 chart-topper “Your Love” in one of Saturday Night Live‘s better, and least explainable, sketches. (He did go ’90s retro in his 2012 indie Detention.) Elsewhere in the night Hutcherson’s highlights included a Hunger Games-themed monologue as well as him playing the straight man to Beck Bennett’s office boss-in-a-baby-body and his brief turn as a special correspondent in Mike O’Brien’s Bugs skit. Maybe a Horrible Bosses sequel is in this kid’s future – or Anchorman 3? Weigh in on the clips below.
Lady Gaga and Josh Hutcherson will guest host Saturday Night Live during the November sweep. November 16 will mark Gaga’s first appearance as host — she’ll also be the musical guest that night, which comes five …
When Deadline revealed a month ago that Philip Seymour Hoffman had ended his Death of a Salesman run by leaving his longtime agency Paradigm, we were first to tell you that Hoffman was being courted by Lionsgate to play the role of Plutarch Heavensbee in the Francis Lawrence-directed The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Lionsgate has confirmed that he’s set to join Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson and will play the head game organizer in the film, which should be a welcome respite from his grueling nightly performances as Willy Loman in the Mike Nichols-directed Tony-winning Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s classic play. Here’s the release:
Santa Monica, CA, July 9, 2012- Lionsgate® and the filmmakers of THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE are pleased to announce that Philip Seymour Hoffman has been cast in the role of Plutarch Heavensbee, Head Gamemaker for The Hunger Games, in the much anticipated film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ worldwide smash hit novel Catching Fire.
Buyers board ‘Titanic: Blood And Steel’
Italy’s De Angelis Group has entered a handful of licensing deals on its $30 million mini Titanic: Blood And Steel. Not to be confused with the Julian Fellowes-scripted Titanic 4-parter that’s currently airing on ITV in the UK, this 12-part series is a multi-national co-production that stars Chris Noth, Neve Campbell, Kevin Zegers and Derek Jacobi. Deals were signed in Belgium (Telenet and VMMA), Bulgaria (Fox), Denmark (DR), Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia and Macedonia (Visionary), Iceland (Screen One), Pan Asia (AETN), Romania (Pro.TV) and Slovakia (TV JOJ). Co-producers are De Angelis, RAI, 3 Arts, CBC, Artists Studio, Tandem Communications, Epos Films and Antena 3. Tandem is handling worldwide television distribution. The production recently wrapped in Dublin for delivery later this year.
Shine, SMG Cook Up Chinese ‘MasterChef’
Elisabeth Murdoch’s Shine has reached a deal with Shanghai Media Group to bring MasterChef to China. SMG’s Dragon TV will produce and air the cooking series later this year. Shine Netwok will consult. The MasterChef format originally launched in the UK and is now produced in over 30 countries. According to Shine, MasterChef has generated in excess of $270 million in global retail revenue through ancillary activity including cookware, live events, publishing and digital properties.
‘Heartthrob’ Doc Traces Rise Of Hutcherson & Hemsworth
Revolver Entertainment has acquired exclusive worldwide TV and home entertainment rights to Liam Vs Josh: The Heartthrob Games which it is selling this week in Cannes. The hourlong doc follows the rise of The Hunger Games stars Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth. Set for delivery in June 2012, the show will be released in UK & US territories by Revolver Entertainment in early summer 2012.
EXCLUSIVE: After splitting up with Contrafilm partner Tripp Vinson in June following a decade-long partnership, Beau Flynn has formed a new company, Flynn Picture Co. He hasn’t strayed far from home. Flynn has made a two-year, non-exclusive, …
As my colleague David Lieberman pointed out this morning, Lionsgate brass crowed to Wall Street analysts about their high expectations for the four movies that will be made from Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games novels. Wait a minute, four movies? Lionsgate toppers inadvertently dropped a bit of a bombshell, because everybody thought there would be three movies, one for each book in the series. Right now, the notion of making four movies isn’t set in stone, but apparently, Lionsgate has been carefully observing predecessors who squeezed an extra film out of a book franchise. Namely Warner Bros on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and Summit on Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn. Unlike those two examples, Lionsgate has covered itself by signing the cast to option deals that encompass all four films. By contrast, the Harry Potter kids made set-for-life fortunes when their contracts had to be changed to add another film, and so did the Twilight Saga stars. We’re talking tens of millions of dollars here in the monies paid to Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson and the other cast members. Lionsgate will likely have to sweeten the cast deals if the films hit as big as everybody expects them to, but the indie studio will have the leverage. As for how the trilogy will be turned into four films, it’ll go much the way that Harry Potter and Twilight Saga did. The first two books will be the first two films. The last book will be split in half. The final installment, Mockingjay, is logistically ambitious and can be scaled up comfortably to cover two films. I believe that Gary Ross and Collins have done rewrites and already figured out how to create a satisfying ending to the third film.
EXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate is making a deal with MGM to distribute The Cabin in the Woods, putting an end to an unexpectedly long shelf life for a horror film that has a terrific creative pedigree and a high degree of fanboy wanna-see. Cloverfield writer Drew Goddard directed the film and co-wrote it with Joss Whedon. The film’s cast includes Chris Hemsworth, who made it before he was set to star as the title character in Marvel’s Thor. Ironically, Whedon and Hemsworth are reuniting, with Whedon directing The Avengers, and Hemsworth reprising his hammer-swinging role. It’s unclear when Lionsgate will release the film, but October is a good bet.
The delay has little to do with the quality of the film. It was once slated to be released by MGM on Oct. 23, 2009, but was pulled back because it was going to be converted to 3D. Then, everything froze at MGM because of the strangling debt load, and The Cabin in the Woods was among several pictures that languished. By the time the picture is released, Thor will have established Hemsworth’s star value, which will certainly help a film that also stars Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford.
Lionsgate made official what Deadline foreshadowed last Friday. Josh Hutcherson has now been set by director Gary Ross to play the baker’s son Peeta Mellark, and Liam Hemsworth is set to play Gale Hawthorne in The Hunger Games. They will star opposite Jennifer Lawrence in what is expected to be a trilogy of films based on the Suzanne Collins novels. These were two the most coveted roles for young actors this year. Here’s Lionsgate’s release:
LOS ANGELES, CA, April 4, 2011- Lionsgate® and the filmmakers of THE HUNGER GAMES are pleased to announce that actor Josh Hutcherson (THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT) has been cast in the role of Peeta Mellark, with Liam Hemsworth (THE LAST SONG) joining the film in the role of Gale Hawthorne in the much anticipated film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ worldwide smash hit novel. Both actors will star opposite Jennifer Lawrence, who it was recently announced will play heroine Katniss Everdeen.
About The Characters
Peeta accompanies heroine Katniss Everdeen into the 74th annual Hunger Games as the male tribute chosen from their native District 12, the most remote and marginalized district of all the subjugated districts of Panem. At the outset of the Games, Peeta publicly confesses his longtime feelings for Katniss, setting up one of the most fascinating fictional rapports of all time with his supposed arena rival.
Though Katniss and Gale have never had a romantic relationship, they share a transcendent bond, often of few words. When Katniss volunteers to participate in the 74th Annual Hunger Games in her younger sister’s stead, they both presume that bond will carry her far through the horrors she will face in the arena, and they each silently hope they’ll be reunited in safety on the other side of the ordeal.
About The Film
THE HUNGER GAMES will be directed by Gary Ross, and produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. Collins’ best-selling novel, which has over 3 million copies in print in the United States alone, is the first in a trilogy of science fiction/action novels which have developed a global following.