Global Showbiz Briefs: Kevin Spacey Reprising Clarence Darrow Role At Old Vic; Discovery Networks International Taps CEO/CFO; More

Kevin Spacey To Play Title Role In Old Vic’s ‘Clarence Darrow’
Kevin-Spacey as DarrowKevin Spacey is taking a break from playing Frank Underwood and is returning to the role of Clarence Darrow. The actor will portray the pioneering lawyer for the second time on stage in the upcoming Old Vic production of Darrow. Spacey previously played the legendary attorney in the Old Vic’s staging of Inherit The Wind and on TV in the PBS film Darrow, which was helmed by his House Of Cards collaborator John David Coles. From May 28-June 15, Thea Sharrock is directing him in Clarence Darrow, David W. Rintel’s one-man show that relives some of the civil rights hero’s pivotal experiences including the Scopes “Monkey” Trial and the “Thrill Killers” trial. Sharrock’s credits include Equus with Daniel Radcliffe, Henry V with Tom Hiddleston for Sam Mendes/Neal Street and the BBC and the latest Call The Midwife Christmas special. Spacey is celebrating his 10th anniversary this year as the artistic director of the Old Vic. Also as part of the upcoming summer/fall season in the round, Ian Rickson is directing Kristin Scott Thomas in a new take on Sophocles’ Electra written by Dancing At Lughnasa scribe Brian Friel. That runs September 20-December 20.

Related: Kevin Spacey Self-Releasing ‘Now: In The Wings On A World Stage’: Q&A

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Kevin Spacey Continues His Disruptive Platform-Shifting Experiments By Self-Releasing ‘Now: In The Wings On A World Stage’: Q&A

Mike Fleming

When most leading men get preoccupied with messing with models, KevinSpaceyit usually means extracurricular activity. When it’s Kevin Spacey, it means taking bold risks to create disruptive opportunities to alter arcane platforms that have ranged from his own acting career to pioneering the first breakout multi-platform success in the J.C. Chandor-directed Margin Call and the first breakout Netflix series hit House Of Cards. Now, he has made an intriguing documentary, Now: In The Wings On A World Stage, and will test new waters by self-distributing the film.

Here’s the first trailer that was just unveiled for the docu, which he is releasing in limited theatres and simultaneously via download here on KevinSpacey.com.

Spacey, in the midst of a strong run in Hollywood and two Oscars, started this journey of self discovery back in 2003 when he left Hollywood to revive the Old Vic in London. That has limited his screen time, but Trigger Street, the company he runs with Dana Brunetti, has kept him enough in the mix with Best Picture nominee Captain Phillips, The Social Network, 21 and other films. Spacey has kept up the Old Vic’s storied traditions, starring in and producing plays year after year. Now, after quietly funding and producing and starring in Now, a documentary about the conception and the experience of performing Richard III across the world, Spacey is self-releasing a film he feels captures the exhilaration of live performances that reunited Spacey with Sam Mendes since both won Oscars in Mendes’ screen debut American Beauty. His Now passion project and its trailer debut offers a a great chance to catch up with an actor who, after winning Oscars and asserting himself as a bankable leading man, up and left town for a venture many felt was folly. But this film’s most compelling selling point also underscores that Spacey knew what he was doing. If the millions and millions of rabid House Of Cards binge viewers want to see where his Vice President Francis Underwood character came from, it turns out they can find it right in this movie.

House of Cards 2DEADLINE: I caught bronchitis this week and the only plus was tearing through the first season and one half of House Of Cards. Just a remarkable, game-changing way to absorb great drama.
SPACEY: I can’t say that I’m much of a binge watcher myself. People stop me on the street and tell me they are treating House Of Cards like a good novel, where they decide when to put it down on the bedside table, and when to pick it up again. What I love about that mind-set is that it puts the audience in complete control. Read More »

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Hot TV Trailer: ‘House Of Cards’ Season 2

By | Thursday December 12, 2013 @ 11:59pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

houseofcardsLooking to capitalize on the slew of award nominations House Of Cards has received during the past 10 days from the PGA, WGA and SAG, culminating with four Golden Globe noms today, Netflix is releasing the first trailer … Read More »

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“Jay Leno is Going Out On Top, And We Think That’s The Right Thing To Do” And Other Great Lines from HRTS Lunch

Once upon a time, the entire TV industry took the afternoon off to attend the Hollywood Radio and TV Society season-kickoff lunch and watch their bosses admit which competitor’s show they most wished they had on their schedule and answer other similarly adorable questions. It was a simpler time. These days, the mood onstage is much darker. One exec makes some all-flesh-is-as-grass observation about the state of the industry; another agrees there is a resemblance. And then, there’s the traffic. In case you missed it, here are the quotes to note from today’s lunch:

*Good time to be a comedy producer: “There are 168 dramas in production. Anybody who knows how to run a [drama] show is employed. There isn’t anybody left in development. … It’s fully cooked.” — FX Networks CEO John Landgraf

*Netflix: “I didn’t know there was an option for not reporting ratings.” — HBO programming president Michael Lombardo

*Why NBC is dumping Jay Leno: “Jay is going out on top, and we think that’s the right thing to do.” — NBC Broadcasting Chairman Ted Harbert

*Anti-hero dramas are so over: “A show can’t just rest on an anti-hero premise anymore. … A pitch that’s ‘this guy is the most fucked-up guy’ is not good enough.” — Lombardo

*Kevin Spacey should shove a sock in it: “[House Of Cards] had a star and a director and scripts for the first two episodes, and they had a show that they were basing it on. … I understand why artists don’t want to audition with a plot…[but, unless you're "House of Cards," minus a pilot] good shows could be prevented from being great shows — Lombardo Read More »

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Deadline Global Showbiz Watch With Nancy Tartaglione, Episode 4

By | Wednesday August 28, 2013 @ 2:43pm PDT

Listen to (and share) Episode 4 of Deadline’s audio podcast Global Showbiz Watch, With Nancy Tartaglione. Deadline’s international editor talks with host David Bloom about Gravity, the Alfonso Cuaron film that opened the Venice Film Festival today, along with other notable films she will cover during the festival; Kevin Spacey’s call for courage among TV execs at his MacTaggart Lecture in Edinburg and a broader look at Scotland’s entertainment business; and an intriguing study on the impacts of piracy on different kinds of movies.

Deadline Global Showbiz Watch, Episode 4 (MP3 format)
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Deadline’s Best TV Stories Of The Week

Missed them on Deadline? Read ‘em now:

Jimmy Iovine Out Of ‘America Idol’, Randy Jackson Poised To Replace Him As Mentor
By Nellie Andreeva - EXCLUSIVE: The sweeping changes on Fox’s American Idol continue.

Disney’s Next Teen Star? Disney XD Greenlights Two Pilots Starring Jacob Bernard
By Nellie Andreeva - EXCLUSIVEDisneyRead More »

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Kevin Spacey Cautions TV Biz On Laziness, Stumps For Multi-Platform Movie Releases

Following Kevin Spacey’s MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh TV Festival on Thursday evening (check out a clip below), the House Of Cards star sat down for a Q&A this morning. Spacey said he viewed his speech the previous evening as “a good opportunity to look at where the industry is now… and an opportunity to talk about some of the warning signs that Hollywood and the industry aren’t hearing.” He expanded on some of those Thursday talking points, notably the problems with pilots and the industry’s responsibility to support new talent.

This morning he said, “People are too lazy” to seek talent in unconventional places. “I’ll hear people are doing a show in a pub or a basement and it’s incredible and they can’t get anyone to come see it. No agent or manager or exec will go. You have to get off your ass and go look,” he said. He then warned, “If executives and people in the talent business don’t participate… they’re going to miss it.” More people, he suggested, will self-produce and distribute via the likes of YouTube “and the networks are going to miss it.”

Related: Kevin Spacey Laments Lack Of Ballsy TV Execs In MacTaggart Lecture
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Kevin Spacey Laments Lack Of Ballsy TV Execs In Wide-Ranging MacTaggart Lecture

Kevin Spacey officially opened the Guardian Edinburgh Television Festival in the Scottish capital this evening, becoming the first Hollywood star, rather than exec or broadcaster, ever to deliver the prestigious James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture. The lecture is designed to focus on the topics that are currently top of mind for the British TV biz. The House Of Cards star and exec producer riffed that the Netflix show was “one of the primary — if not the only reason — I was asked to speak today.” In an hourlong speech, he touched on the show’s innovations, the problems with pilots, the importance of storytelling and the industry’s responsibility to support new talent.

One of his more rousing comments was about making programming. “We know what works and the only thing we don’t know is why it’s so difficult to find executives with the fortitude, the wisdom and the balls to do it,” he offered. Speaking of the House Of Cards experience, he said, “Of course we went to all the major networks… and every single one was very interested in the idea… but every one of them wanted us to do a pilot first… Netflix was the only network that said, ‘We believe in you. We’ve run our data and it tells us that our audience would watch this series. We don’t need you to do a pilot. How many episodes do you want to do?’” Read More »

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EMMYS Q&A: Kevin Spacey, Damian Lewis, Kerry Washington, Michelle Dockery

By | Saturday August 17, 2013 @ 9:36am PDT

AwardsLine Editor Christy Grosz, Managing Editor Anthony D’Alessandro and contributors Paul Brownfield and Thomas J. McLean assist with Deadline’s TV coverage.

Four of the lead acting drama series hopefuls Kevin Spacey (House Of Cards), Damian Lewis (Homeland), Kerry Washington (Scandal) and Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey) share thoughts on their characters, shows and nominations.

KEVIN SPACEY (House Of Cards, Netflix)

AwardsLine: What is it about your character, U.S. Representative Francis Underwood, that translates to audiences? He can be so evil.
Spacey: It’s incredibly fun to play someone who doesn’t have any allegiances. He doesn’t care if he’s ideological or conservative. Francis sees opportunity and wants to get shit done. He wants progress and isn’t bound by labels. People view him as diabolical, but he’s very effective. To have our government in stalemate and in gridlock—it’s conceivable that this world is exciting for the audience.

Related: EMMYS: Drama Series Overview Read More »

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‘House Of Cards’ Producer Trigger Street Partners With Giant Pirates On First-Look TV Deal

By | Thursday July 25, 2013 @ 7:59am PDT

Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti’s Trigger Street Productions has pacted with Giant Pirates Entertainment on a first-look deal in which House Of Cards producer Trigger Street will contribute unscripted TV projects and Giant Pirates will focus … Read More »

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Kevin Spacey To Deliver MacTaggart Lecture; Speech Usually Given By Major UK TV Execs

In a first for a Hollywood star, Kevin Spacey will deliver the keynote MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh International TV Festival in August. The influential speech traditionally focuses on serious issues facing the UK TV business. It has in the past been delivered by three members of the Murdoch family: Rupert, James and Elisabeth, who gave last year’s address. Other previous speakers include Ted Turner, Eric Schmidt and former BBC chief Mark Thompson.

Spacey’s involvement comes on the heels of exec producing and starring in House Of Cards, which Netflix positioned as a game-changer by releasing all 13 episodes of the drama’s first season at once. Season two is currently filming. On giving the MacTaggart, Spacey said, “Clearly this has been an exciting period for me personally, but also I believe this is a time of huge opportunity, innovation and creativity for all of us who live to tell stories and engage audiences. I’m excited to share my thoughts and meet players from across the media industry. I’m also an Edinburgh TV Festival virgin so have no idea what I am letting myself in for!” Read More »

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Video: ‘House Of Nerds’ By WH Reporters

By | Saturday April 27, 2013 @ 7:07pm PDT

Kevin Spacey plays his House Of Cards character Frank Underwood in an opening White House Correspondents Dinner video spoof with cameos by WHCA head Ed Henry and other DC media and politicos:

Related: President Slams Read More »

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Netflix’s ‘House Of Cards’ Season 2 Set To Start Shooting Soon, Tweets Star

By | Friday April 12, 2013 @ 5:34pm PDT

Francis Underwood is about to resume his fictional House of Cards climb up the greasy pole of political power in Washington D. C. “We start shooting Season 2 of #houseofcards in 2 weeks,” actress Constance Read More »

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David Manson Joins Netflix’s ‘House Of Cards’ As Executive Producer

By | Wednesday February 6, 2013 @ 5:00pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVENetflix and MRC are beefing up the upper ranks of drama House Of Cards going into Season 2. David Manson has come on board as executive producer to work alongside showrunner Beau Willimon. The David … Read More »

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TV Trailer: Netflix’s ‘House Of Cards’

By | Thursday November 15, 2012 @ 8:01am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Netflix just released first trailer for its first original series, the big-budget David Fincher-Kevin Spacey political drama House Of Cards. Based on the British miniseries, the MRC-produced House Of Cards centers on ruthless and cunning Rep. Francis Underwood (Spacey) and his wife Claire (Robin Wright), who … Read More »

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Netflix’s ‘House Of Cards’ Set To Premiere February 1, 2013

By | Thursday October 4, 2012 @ 8:29am PDT

The entire 13-episode first season of Netflix’s first original series produced by Media Rights Capital will be available for members to watch beginning February … Read More »

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Netflix’s ‘House of Cards’ Adds Broadway’s Sebastian Arcelus To Cast

By | Tuesday July 17, 2012 @ 5:04pm PDT

Sebastian Arcelus House Of CardsEXCLUSIVE: Broadway leading man Sebastian Arcelus has joined the cast of Netflix’s upcoming House Of Cards. Arcelus, who has had leading onstage roles in ELF as well as Jersey Boys and … Read More »

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Crocodiles In Beijing & Kevin Spacey Too

By | Friday May 11, 2012 @ 1:21am PDT

Freelance journalist Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney.

Australian sales agent Odin’s Eye Entertainment has nabbed worldwide sales rights excluding China and Taiwan to The Million Dollar Crocodile, a Chinese-produced CGI movie about crocodiles rampaging through Beijing. OEE founder Read More »

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OSCARS: Stellar Work By Veterans May Keep Upstarts Out Of Supporting Actor Race

Pete Hammond

Although there are some young Hollywood turks trying to break through in an ‘Extremely Large and Incredibly Close’ race for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, 2011 may eventually become known as the year of the veteran. Acting legends with decades of iconic screen performances and Oscar winners dominate the field of frontrunners in one of Oscar’s most crowded and intriguing categories. With names like Christopher Plummer, Max von Sydow, Ben Kingsley, Nick Nolte, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Albert Brooks, Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hanks and Robert Forster in the mix, the pedigree of contenders for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role is formidable indeed. But could a relative newcomer like Jonah Hill or Patton Oswalt swoop in and take the whole thing? Here are the major players.

FRONTRUNNERS
CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER, BEGINNERS

Plummer turns 82 this month and is enjoying a major resurgence in a film acting career that goes back to 1958, when he made his debut in Stage Struck. Since then his fine screen roles have often been eclipsed by his own stage-struck ways with a number of memorable performances in the theater including a couple that won him Tony Awards. He only just received his first Oscar nomination two years ago for The Last Station, but with his touching role as a 75-year-old widower who finally decides to come out of the closet, he may grab the actual statuette this time. An effective, if small, supporting role in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo only adds to his chances.

MAX von SYDOW, EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE
With a life spent before the cameras for over 60 years, the 82-year-old von Sydow is an acting legend whose work ranges from several landmark Ingmar Bergman films to the harrowing Exorcist. Yet like Plummer (who is just eight months his junior), he incredibly has been Oscar-nominated only once, for 1987’s Pelle the Conqueror. But his touching and completely wordless performance as a distant grandfather in Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close could finally be his ticket to the Kodak stage.

KENNETH BRANAGH, MY WEEK WITH MARILYN
Another acting icon, Laurence Olivier, is also part of this year’s supporting race — but in this case he is being channeled by none other than Olivier fan and student Kenneth Branagh, who portrays Olivier in 1956 as he was directing and starring with Marilyn Monroe in The Prince And The Showgirl. Branagh has tackled many Olivier screen roles like Henry V and Hamlet (he even directed the remake of Olivier’s Sleuth), but taking on the actual persona of the man himself was particularly challenging and puts him — and his mentor — right back in the Oscar race.

BEN KINGSLEY, HUGO
Already an Oscar winner for 1982’s Gandhi, Kingsley effectively takes on the role of film pioneer Georges Melies in Martin Scorsese’s valentine to the early days of movies. With a total of four nominations split evenly between lead and supporting categories, Kingsley is an Academy favorite who once again creates a memorable character, one with great meaning for the filmmakers who will be voting. Will being the only serious candidate in a 3D movie also separate him from the pack?

ALBERT BROOKS, DRIVE
Until now Brooks was only known for comedy — those he wrote and directed and those he starred in. He was even previously Oscar-nominated for his hilarious supporting turn in 1987’s Broadcast News. But none of his previous work prepared critics and audiences for his nasty, villainous Bernie Rose in the noirish thriller Drive. But his brilliant interpretation and cool new screen persona should deservedly win him a second Oscar nomination.

BRAD PITT, THE TREE OF LIFE
Pitt is a double threat this year. He’s already won the New York Film Critics award given for both Moneyball and The Tree Of Life, and ever since its debut in Cannes, Terrence Malick’s Palme d’Or winner has sparked Oscar buzz for Pitt’s effectively low-key change-of-pace and critically acclaimed work as a 1950s-era father. Could he become one of those rare thesps who score both supporting and lead actor nominations in the same year? Don’t bet against it.

JONAH HILL, MONEYBALL
Pitt’s co-star in Moneyball who was best known for his antics in movies like Superbad enjoyed his first taste of awards buzz for shedding several pounds and shrewdly underplaying the whiz-kid genius who comes up with an inexpensive formula to create a winning baseball team. Going head to head with Pitt, Hill proved he could hold his own just as he did in last year’s lesser-known Cyrus.

KEVIN SPACEY,  MARGIN CALL
Although the film was well-received at its Sundance debut, Margin Call was not considered a major awards contender, even by its own distributor. That has changed with several early awards and Oscar talk for two-time winner Kevin Spacey, who has spent a lot more time in recent years running London’s Old Vic rather than on his own film career. A change-of-pace performance won raves and could put Spacey back in the front row at the Oscars.

PATTON OSWALT, YOUNG ADULT
Perhaps best known as a stand-up comedian and the voice of the lead rat in Pixar’s Ratatouille, Oswalt is quickly establishing his credentials as a serious actor, first in the critically acclaimed indie film The Big Fan and now on a larger scale as a lonely man whose life was defined by an unfortunate incident in high school. His scenes opposite Charlize Theron are awkward, funny, poignant and memorable. Read More »

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