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‘American Horror Story: Coven’ Wraps As Ratings Juggernaut

kathybatesDear Kathy Bates,

Me again – writing to make sure you’re aware that last night, the season finale of your FX miniseries American Horror Story: Coven attracted nearly 6 million viewers counting its premiere run and encores –  and that nearly 4 million of them were 18-49-year-olds.  Hope you’re also aware it’s the most watched AHS finale ever — 85% better than the AHS: Asylum finale in overall audience and 72% in the demo –  and that, overall, Coven is the most watched in the AHS franchise.

Related: Open Letter To Kathy Bates: Congrats On Skewing-Up NBC

Maybe more important to you. The full season ranks among the Top-20 shows on TV in delivery of 18-49 year olds, and among the Top 5 in cable.

The first run of the season finale episode delivered more than 4 million viewers — nearly 3 million of whom fell into that key age bracket. Of course, I’m sure you know initial numbers don’t tell the whole story, since your show is one of the more heavily DVR’d. And, through 10 weeks on a Live+7 basis, American Horror Story: Coven has averaged more than 7  million overall viewers and more than 5 million demo viewers, to rank as the No. 3 scripted drama in basic cable, behind only The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad. Read More »

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AFM: Dustin Hoffman To Star In ‘Boychoir’; Alfred Molina, Kathy Bates Round Out Cast

By | Wednesday October 30, 2013 @ 3:00pm PDT

Francois Girard (The Red Violin) directs the Informant Media feature which Dustin Hoffman has signed on to topline. Pic tells the story of troubled 11-year-old Stet, a kid from the wrong side of the tracks who ends up in a school choir butting heads with Choir Master Carvelle (Hoffman), who pushes the boy to find his creative heart and soul in music. Young members of the renowned American Boychoir School will appear in the film, with Alfred Molina set to play fellow teacher Drake and Kathy Bates cast as the school’s headmistress. Source Code‘s Ben Ripley penned the script and Judy Cairo, Carol Baum and Jane Goldenring will produce. Informant’s Michael A. Simpson and Eric Brenner are exec producing with Ripley. John Papsidera is co-producing and casting the picture in a worldwide search for a musically and dramatically gifted young thesp to play Stet. Read More »

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Deadline’s Best TV Stories Of The Week

By | Saturday October 12, 2013 @ 2:26pm PDT

Miss some of Deadline’s Top TV stories this week? Check them out here:

‘Boardwalk Empire’ At NY PaleyFest: Tony Soprano As Nucky Thompson? “One Of The First People We Talked About”, Creator Says
By Ray Richmond – James Gandolfini as Boardwalk Empire kingpin Nucky Thompson? It might have happened had the stars aligned differently, the HBO drama’s creator and showrunner Terence Winter said today during the concluding panel of the PaleyFest: Made in NY event at New York’s Paley Center for Media.

‘Wizard Of Oz’-Themed Drama ‘Red Brick Road’ In The Works At Lifetime
By Nellie Andreeva – EXCLUSIVE: The year of Wizard Of Oz continues with the sale of another high-profile Oz-themed drama project.

Young ‘Ellen’ Stars Sophia Grace & Rosie To Topline NBC Comedy & Feature Produced By Ellen DeGeneres
By Nellie Andreeva – EXCLUSIVE: Are these the next Olsen twins? Ellen standouts Sophia Grace Brownlee and Rosie McClelland, are getting their own primetime show, which will be executive produced by Ellen DeGeneres.

Open Letter To Kathy Bates: Congrats On Skewing-Up NBC
By Lisa De Moraes – Dear Kathy Bates: Remember how NBC cancelled your Harry’s Law drama series in spring 2012, at the end of its second season, even though it was then the network’s most-watched drama series — because NBC suits felt its audience skewed too old and Warner Bros, not NBCU, owned the show? Read More »

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Open Letter To Kathy Bates: Congrats On Skewing-Up NBC

Dear Kathy Bates,

Remember how NBC cancelled your Harry’s Law drama series in spring 2012, at the end of its second season, even though it was then the network’s most-watched drama series — because NBC suits felt its audience skewed too old and Warner Bros, not NBCU, owned the show? If memory serves me, you were asked about this at Summer TV Press Tour 2013, and you observed,  “I think they treated us like shit. They kicked us to the curb. They disrespected us; they disrespected our 7-11 million viewers. I think they’re getting what they deserve this year, Thank you.”

I’m writing to make sure you are aware that, last night, in the premiere of your new FX mini-series, American Horror Story: Coven you attracted 3.9 million 18-49-year-olds, at the same time NBC aired an episode of a new drama series — one it DOES own and which it presumes will do better than you could at attracting 18-49-year-old viewers. That new drama — ironically, a remake of the late 60′s NBC cop drama Ironside — attracted an average of 1.4 million viewers in the 18-49-year-old age bracket. That is less than half of your young-viewer audience. Ironside did come very close to matching your 3.87 million demo viewers – but it was the 3.64 million viewers Ironside attracted in the 50+ demo.  That is a demo in which NBC places little value, as you learned on Harry’s Law.

Read More »

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TCA: Kathy Bates Tackles Serial Killer Socialite, Angela Bassett Plays Voodoo Priestess In ‘American Horror Story: Coven’

By | Friday August 2, 2013 @ 4:05pm PDT

Kathy Bates will play Louisiana-born socialite and serial killer Marie Delphine LaLaurie in Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story: Coven debuting in October. Bates’ character was a big wheel in New Orleans until a fire broke out in her house in 1834 and people responding to help discovered bound and tortured slaves inside. Angela Bassett, meanwhile, will play Marie Laveau, a Louisiana Creole and Voodoo priestess who also lived in New Orleans in the 19th century. Jessica Lange will play a witch named Fiona, and Sarah Paulson will play her daughter, Cordelia. And no, it’s no coincidence Paulson’s character has the same name as King Lear’s good daughter — the one who winds up dead after Dad goes mad, AHS exec producer Tim Minear told TV critics at TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2013 this afternoon. Minear appeared onstage with Lange, Paulson, Bates and Bassett, and noted this is just part of the Coven cast, which he described as a “murders’ row of actresses.”  Other names reportedly signed on for the coming season include Patti LuPone, Francis Conroy, Gabourney Sidibe, and Lily Rabe.

Related: TCA: Kathy Bates Blasts NBC Over ‘Harry’s Law’ Cancellation  Read More »

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TCA: Kathy Bates Blasts NBC Over ‘Harry’s Law’ Cancellation: “Treated Us Like S**t”

Kathy Bates spat on NBC today. Coming to Summer TV Press Tour 2013 to talk, cryptically, about her role in the latest iteration of Ryan Murphy’s FX anthology series American Horror Story: Coven, she got asked if it took an experience like this one to get her back into the TV series business after her unpleasant experience on NBC’s Harry’s Law. “You bet!” Bates barked back. NBC cancelled Harry’s Law in the spring of ’12, at the end of its second season, even though it was the network’s most watched drama series — because its audience skewed older and Warner Bros owned the show, not NBCU. Everybody knows this story. Even so, the TV critic asked Bates to elaborate. Bates at first declined to rise to the bait, saying “I don’t want to give them any air time.” About 30 seconds later, however, the cork popped and she began to foam over.

Related: Kathy Bates Tackles Serial Killer Socialite In Coven

“I think they treated us like shit. They kicked us to the curb. They disrespected us; they disrespected our 7-11 million viewers. I think they’re getting what they deserve this year, Thank you.”

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‘American Horror Story’ Casts Kathy Bates

By | Tuesday February 26, 2013 @ 8:45pm PST

Kathy Bates AHSFX’s American Horror Story has enlisted Oscar-winner Kathy Bates for its third season, Deadline has confirmed. TVLine first reported the casting. Bates joins the show after earning a pair of Emmy nominations for the first two seasons of NBC’s Harry’s Law, which was cancelled last May. American Horror Story series alums Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Taissa Farmiga, Frances Conroy, and Lily Rabe are set to return for the horror anthology’s third cycle.

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EMMYS: David E. Kelley On ‘Harry’s Law’s Nominations And Cancellation

By | Thursday July 19, 2012 @ 3:11pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Series cancelled before their time rarely fare well at the Emmys in their last go-around. But NBC’s Harry’s Law defied the odds, landing two noms for its second and final season — the same as last year. Star Kathy Bates earned her second nom in the best actress in a drama series category, and Jean Smart was nominated in the guest actress field for her recurring role as D.A. Roseanna Remmick. David E. Kelley’s legal dramedy was nominated in the same categories last year, winning for guest actor (Paul McCrane). Emmy winner Kelley said he didn’t have any expectations going into Emmy season. “Once you out of sight, you tend to go out of mind,” he said. Nevertheless, “we knew we had first-class actress in Kathy Bates, and Jean Smart had a terrific turn. We just adore Kathy and still feel that she deserved better with the show.”

Related: NBC Cancels ‘Harry’s Law’ After 2 Seasons

Bates proved her chops with two Emmy noms today, including a guest-starring nod for her her turn as Charlie Harper’s ghost on Two And A Half Men. “I’m thrilled and honored most particularly about Harry’s Law which has been near and dear to my heart and I miss so much already,” said the actress, who shared her sadness over the cancellation of the series back in May.

Harry’s Law was a TV rarity — … Read More »

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EMMYS: From Silver Screen To Small Screen

By | Wednesday June 27, 2012 @ 7:00am PDT
Pete Hammond

They say ‘dying is easy’, it’s getting a hit TV series that’s hard. Well if they didn’t say that they should have. That’s especially true if you already have a big career in the movies. It is tough out there for those silver screen legends to get arrested on the little screen. Or so it seems.Boardwalk Empire

Television audiences like to discover their own TV stars, not have a big movie name forced on them. Oscar winner Kathy Bates just saw her first series, Harry’s Law cancelled by NBC after just two seasons even though it was produced and created by TV golden boy David E. Kelley. Two-time Oscar winner Dustin Hoffman and multiple Oscar nominee Nick Nolte had their highly touted HBO series Luck whacked even before they could finish shooting the second season and get any of those episodes on the air. Of course there were extenuating circumstances on that one due to the continuing death of racehorses on the set but the series was not racking up big numbers for the pay network anyway. Rob Schneider may not be a big huge film star but since his days on Saturday Night Live he has been known mostly for his movie roles. In an attempt to trade that success in for weekly TV stardom all he got in return was a quick ax from CBS for his freshman sitcom, Rob. Producers thought film star Christina Ricci would be a big draw for the highly touted and expensive ABC series, Pan Am but it crashed and burned after a single season, even with Ricci on board. Read More »

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Kathy Bates To Play The Ghost Of Charlie Harper On CBS’ ‘Two And A Half Men’

By | Monday March 19, 2012 @ 5:45pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Kathy Bates already took over a role written for a man once when she was cast as the lead on David E. Kelley’s NBC dramedy Harry’s Law. Now she will portray the ghost of a man on another series. The Oscar winner is set to guest star on the CBS comedy Two And A Half Men, playing the ghost of former star Charlie Sheen’s character Charlie Harper. In an episode slated to air April 30, Alan (Jon Cryer) suffers a minor heart attack, and the ghost of his brother Charlie (Bates) will pay a visit to his hospital bedside. I think it is safe to assume that Sheen was not in the running for the part. Both Harry’s Law and 2.5 Men are produced by Warner Bros. TV.

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EMMYS: Lead Drama Actress Handicap

Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s 2011 Emmy coverage. Here’s his scorecard assessing the Outstanding Lead Drama Series Actress race.

Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
AMC
Why She Was Nominated: The TV academy really had no choice. While this is Moss’ third consecutive nomination for Mad Men (two for lead, one for supporting), it’s one that for the first time raises Moss above the crowd. The submitted episode, “The Suitcase” (written by creator-showrunner Matthew Weiner), is an actress’ dream. It elevates her to the favorite’s position in a year when none of the past three category winners (Kyra Sedgwick, Glenn Close and Sally Field) is in the running.
Why She Has To Win: From the time it premiered, “The Suitcase” episode of Mad Men has been hailed as the show’s clear-cut accolade vehicle. It found Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and Peggy Olson (Moss) hanging together in the office after hours when Don finds out a close friend has died. They get plastered on booze, and Draper lets loose in a way he rarely does. Moss more than holds her with Hamm in an episode that stands to win a bunch of people a bunch of Emmys (Moss included). “This episode is absolute magic,” a producer tells me, “and Elisabeth Moss is a big reason why.”
Why She Can’t Possibly Win: She’s never won before, and neither has anyone else from Mad Men — yet. If it doesn’t happen this year, we can all start writing about the cast being cursed. It’s also a fact that Julianna Margulies could win here and no one would be the slightest bit shocked. Read More »

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EMMYS: Louis C.K. & Lonely Island Duo Top List Of Multiple Nominees, More Notes

Nellie Andreeva

His eponymous FX comedy may have been snubbed in the best comedy series category, but comedian Louis C.K. still managed to become the most nominated person at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards with four noms, sharing the honors with The Lonely Island’s Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone. Louis C.K. was nominated in the lead comedy actor category for his role on FX’s Louie, in the writing for comedy series category for penning the Poker/Divorce episode of the show, as well as in two Variety, Music or Comedy special categories for his Epix comedy special Louis C.K.: Hilarious — for writing and for editing. Three of Schaffer and Taccone’s four nominations were in the Original Music and Lyrics category, in which The Lonely Island’s Schaffer, Taccone and Andy Samberg have a regular presence, often in tandem with Justin Timberlake, having won an Emmy together for Dick In a Box. This year, Saturday Night Live is completely dominating the category with four of the six nominations: three for Schaffer, Taccone and Samberg’s digital music videos I Just Have Sex, Jack Sparrow and their latest collaboration with Timberlake, 3-Way, and one for the song from host Timberlake’s opening monologue. Schaffer and Taccone’s fourth Emmy nomination is in the writing for VMC series category for their staff-writing duties on SNL. Read More »

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PILOT SEASON: The End Of Ageism?

Nellie Andreeva

Part of a series that takes an analytical look at the current broadcast pilot season and some of its trends and heroes.

Maybe it’s the Tom Selleck/Kathy Bates effect, but the broadcast networks seem more open than ever to shows fronted by older leads this pilot season. Until recently, actors in their 60s and late 50s were relegated to supporting parts as parents or grandparents of TV shows’ main characters. Now they’re the main attraction. Michael Patrick King’s NBC drama pilot A Mann’s World stars 62-year-old Don Johnson. CBS’ pilot The Doctor is toplined by 61-year-old Christine Lahti. ABC has an untitled comedy pilot written for and starring 57-year-old Tim Allen. And ABC’s drama pilot Grace is headlined by 55-year-old Eric Roberts.

The trend started last year with several pilots going older with their leads than the characters had been originally written. Blue Bloods (then Reagan’s Law) whose lead was supposed to be 50-59 year-old, cast 66-year-old Tom Selleck. David E. Kelley’s Harry’s Law (then Kindreds) was written for a male lead aged 53-57. It ended up casting 62-year-old Oscar winner Kathy Bates and tweaking the character. The most dramatic  “aging up” in the casting process  happened on the ABC procedural Body of Proof (then Body of Evidence) whose lead Megan was conceived as 35-40 years-old. The producers met several actresses in that age range before they thought of Dana Delany (55) who was eventually cast in the role. Additionally, CBS last summer … Read More »

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Ratings Rat Race: ‘Harry’s Law’ Debut OK, ‘Cape’ Falls, CBS Sitcoms Hit Viewer Highs

Nellie Andreeva

It almost feels like Premiere Week Monday, with the Big 4 networks finally all returning to originals after a winter hiatus. In its debut, David E. Kelley’s latest legal drama, NBC’s Harry’s Law (2.1/6 in 18-49. 11 million) did a respectable business for a 10 PM drama these days, especially with a lead (Kathy Bates) whose age is way over the broadcasters’ target 18-49 demo. Harry’s Law won the 10 PM hour in total viewers with NBC’s largest average in the time slot this year and finished second in 18-49 to CBS’ Hawaii Five-O (2.9/8, 10.6 million) whose star Alex O’Loughlin is 28 years Bates’ junior. But Harry’s Law will have a tougher time next week after facing less competition in its debut with ABC’s Castle (1.4/4, 5.7 million) airing a rerun. And it ranked as NBC’s lowest-rated in-season premiere in the Monday 10 PM time period, down slightly from Chase‘s 2.3 premiere rating in the slot in September.

Still, Harry’s Law was NBC’s highest-rated program of the night in both viewers and 18-49. In its second airing, fellow midseason drama The Cape (1.8/4, 6.2 million) was down 31% from its two-hour premiere on Sunday, Jan. 9. At 8 PM, Chuck (2.0/5, 5.9 million) was even with its last original on Nov. 29 and matched its season high in 18-49. NBC finished fourth for the night with a 2.0/5 in 18-49 and 7.7 million viewers.

Read More »

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Sony Pictures Classics Buys North American Rights For Woody Allen’s ‘Midnight In Paris’

Mike Fleming

NEW YORK (January 11, 2011) – Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired all North American rights to Woody Allen’s new film, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS. The film stars Kathy Bates, Adrien Brody, Carla Bruni, Marion Cotillard, Rachel McAdams, Michael Sheen, and Owen Wilson.

MIDNIGHT IN PARIS is produced by Letty Aronson, Steve Tenenbaum, and Jaume Roures. It is financed by Mediapro, the Spain-based company which also funded VICKY CHRISTINA BARCELONA and YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER. The film was Allen’s first film shot in Paris.

“I had a particularly enjoyable experience shooting in Paris. It’s something that I hope I get a chance to do again. I always look forward to having my films distributed by Sony Classics because they have great sensitivity toward my work and I appreciate it,” says Allen.

Sony Pictures Classics states, “MIDNIGHT IN PARIS is Woody Allen at his most magical. We couldn’t be more pleased to be back with Woody, Letty and their entire team, as well as, our friends at Mediapro.”

MIDNIGHT IN PARIS marks Allen’s fourth film with Sony Pictures Classics. Their previous collaborations include the recent, YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER starring Antonio Banderas, Josh Brolin, Anthony Hopkins, Freida Pinto and Naomi Watts; SWEET AND LOWDOWN, which garnered Oscar nominations for Sean Penn and Samantha Morton; and The 2009 Tribeca Film Festival’s opening night film WHATEVER WORKS starring Larry David, Patricia Clarkson and Evan Rachel Wood.

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Nate Corddry To Star In NBC’s ‘Harry’s Law’

Nellie Andreeva

nate-corddryEXCLUSIVE: I hear Nate Corddry has landed the co-lead opposite Kathy Bates on David E. Kelley’s new legal drama for NBC Harry’s Law. He replaces Ben Chaplin who co-starred in the pilot. The character has since been re-conceived. He is no longer British and is the son of Harriet (Bates), the curmudgeonly ex-patent lawyer at the center of the show who, having just been fired from her cushy job, is completely disillusioned with her success and looking for a fresh start. Harry’s Law marks Corddry’s third consecutive project with NBC and Warner Bros. TV. He co-starred on Aaron Sorkin’s series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and headlined Larry Charles’ comedy pilot Our Show this past development season. Additionally, he co-starred on Showtime’s United States of Tara. Corddy had been in high demand after the upfronts. I heard he was also in the running for the lead opposite William Shatner on CBS’ new comedy $#*! My Dad Says.

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