ABC is a tough act to follow at TCA this summer when it comes to diversity. ABC has new comedies about a Mexican family, an Asian family and a Black family and a new drama starring Viola Davis. Next at TCA is CBS, which has a new comedy series about an Irish American clan and dramas starring Tea Leoni, Josh Duhamel and Scott Bakula. Its only minority lead is Maggie Q, who plays the co-lead to Dylan McDermott on drama Stalker. CBS Chairman Nina Tassler faced multiple questions about the lack of diversity on the network’s new series.”We don’t look at fall as the defining mark of giving us our diversity quota,” Tassler said, noting the cast of daytime talk show The Talk, Lucy Liu on Elementary and summer series Extant, headlined by Halle Berry. (She faced criticism even on Extant, with a critic arguing that the entire supporting cast of the sci-fi drama is White, down to Berry’s artificial son.) Tassler also pointed at different elements of diversity, like a gay main character on The McCarthys. Additionally, on the final season of Two And A Half Men, Walden and Alan are going to get married as a gay couple in order to adopt a child because Walden finds it difficult to adopt as a straight single man. Tassler called it a “positive statement”about the fact that gay couples can adopt children. …
EXCLUSIVE: On Sunday, the Huading Film Awards will see Chinese stars come to Hollywood to rub shoulders with local celebrities and honor the global film industry as well as their home market. Lucy Liu has now been set to co-host with Chinese presenter Olivia Xu at the Ricardo Montalban Theatre in Hollywood. Don Mischer Productions is producing the bilingual stage event in the U.S. for the first time. It will be broadcast in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and on the International Chinese Network. Organizers say it is expected to reach an audience of up to 600M viewers on more than 60 TV channels in China, with an additional 400M viewers projected online. The awards are selected by the Chinese public who vote for separate prizes for Chinese and global films, including Movie of the Year, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Original Song, Emerging Actor/Actress, Animated Film, Costume Design, and a single Lifetime Achievement award.
Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
Sherlock Holmes’ brother Mycroft Holmes (Rhys Ifans) “will absolutely be back” in Season 2 of CBS’ Elementary, creator/producer Robert Doherty confirmed at this evening’s PaleyFest: Made in NY panel. Doherty said the series plans to include “as much as we can get” of the character. “You’ll see him a couple more times in the first 12 (episodes) and four more times in the back 12,” said Doherty, who was joined on the panel by EPs Craig Sweeney and Carl Beverly and cast members Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Aidan Quinn and Jon Michael Hill. The panel was moderated by TV Guide’s Bruce Fretts. Doherty added that Mycroft will be coming to New York and “circumstances will draw him back into Sherlock and Joan’s orbit”. Producers also confirmed that guest Natalie Dormer (as Irene Adler) will return “around midseason” and that the show hopes to have Sean Pertwee return as Inspector Lestrade but nothing has been confirmed.
Highly stylized The Man With The Iron Fists is directed by RZA who also stars and co-wrote with Eli Roth. “Presented by” Quentin Tarantino, the movie also features Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu as well as Rick Yune, Jamie Chung, Cung Le, Dave Bautista, Byron Mann, Daniel Wu and Pam Grier. Here’s the latest red-band trailer for the November 2 release from Universal:
Two and a half months before Elementary premieres on CBS, the pilot screened to a packed ballroom here at Comic-Con and it was all about the woman. Lucy Liu to be specific. The actress and her casting as Joan Watson in the Sherlock Holmes modernization attracted a lot of attention when it was announced in February. But to today’s applauding Comic-Con crowd Liu, who plays a sober companion to the recovering addict Holmes, seemed as natural to the Holmes iconography as the Facebook, cell phone records, drug addiction and New York Mets references in the pilot. It continued during the panel that followed. “We love you” cried out a fan at the back of the hall as Liu responded to an audience question concerning criticism about her casting. “I think the gender change creates a dynamic and chemistry that you don’t see in the films and the BBC series,” said Liu earlier to applause, “I’m not saying it’s romantic but it’s little bit of tingle.” Liu and Elementary’s Holmes, Jonny Lee Miller, were joined on the panel by executive producers Robert Doherty and Carl Beverly. “Lucy was hired because she’s a great actor,” said Beverly to big cheers. Doherty told the crowd that turning Watson into a woman was an essential part of his version of the detective but not to …
The name is Watson, Joan Watson. Lucy Liu is set to play Sherlock Holmes’ sidekick in CBS’ drama pilot Elementary, whose tweaks to Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic include switching Watson’s gender to female. The project, written by Robert Doherty, is set in present day and stars Jonny Lee Miller as eccentric Brit Sherlock Holmes, a former consultant to Scotland Yard whose addiction problems led him to a rehab center in New York City. Just out of rehab, Holmes now lives in Brooklyn with “sober companion” Joan Watson (Liu), a former surgeon who lost her license after a patient died, while consulting for the NYPD. Michael Cuesta is directing the pilot, produced by CBS TV Studios and Timberman/Beverly. Ally McBeal alumna Liu, who had 2 pilots vying for her, is recurring on the current season of the TNT cop drama Southland and will next be seen in the feature Man With The Iron Fists.
Variance Films has acquired U.S. theatrical rights to The Trouble With Bliss, the Michael Knowles-directed film that stars Michael C. Hall, Brie Larson, Peter Fonda, Lucy Liu, Brad William Henke, Sarah Shahi, and Chris Messina. The film will get a theatrical release on March 23, 2012, per Variance founder Dylan Marchetti. Hall plays 35-year-old Morris Bliss, who is clamped firmly in the jaws of New York City inertia. He wants to travel but has no money; he needs a job but has no prospects; and he still shares an apartment with his widowed father (Fonda), who treats Morris with a mix of disdain and exasperation. When he finds himself juggling a bizarre relationship with the sexually precocious 18-year-old daughter (Larson) of a former classmate and the advances of his very forward neighbor (Liu), Morris realizes that even though his life is unraveling, it’s also opening up in ways that are long overdue.
“The Trouble With Bliss absolutely charmed me,” said Marchetti. “The characters aren’t phony, the lessons learned aren’t clichéd, and any chance to see a cast like this work together is worth it in my book.” Knowles wrote the script with Douglas Light, based on Light’s novel East Fifth Bliss. The film was acquired after it played the Newport Beach Film Festival. It was produced by John Ramos and John Will.
The Italian production starts shooting today in Central Park, New York City. The Oscar-winning actress joins Marcia Gay Harden, Toby Regbo (Harry Potter), Lucy Liu (Charlie’s Angels), Stephen Lang (Avatar) and Deborah Ann Woll (True Blood) in this coming-of-age story. Italian financiers including RAI Cinema are fully financing this adaptation of the teenage novel by New York-based author Peter Cameron, which was a bestseller in Italy. The novel tells a Holden Caufield-ish tale of a teenager working in his mother’s pretentious Manhattan art gallery, where he finds himself accused of sexual harassment. Roberto Faenza is the director and the producer is Elda Ferri (Life Is Beautiful). It’s a wholly Italian-financed production, partly financed by RAI Cinema.
One footnote is that the script is by Dahlia Heyman, step-sister of Harry Potter producer David Heyman. By my reckoning, she’s the fifth member of the Heyman dynasty to enter the business. Her father John Heyman is a producer who’s developing a feature about British Olympic skier Eddie “the Eagle” Edwards, with Rupert Grint attached. Norma Heyman is one of Britain’s most respected producers (Mrs Henderson Presents), while her daughter Lil Heyman was production supervisor on Clash of the Titans.
I hear at least a half dozen actors have read or have been informally approached for the two detective roles, including Skeet Ulrich, James Van Der Beek, Michael Rapaport, Michael Ealy, Dylan Walsh and Dean Cain. Clearly, NBC and Dick Wolf are casting a wide net for the leads of the new Law & Order series, Law & Order: Los Angeles. The producers have been looking for a big-name actor to play the prosecutor, ADA Peter Morales. And I hear there may be interest in Lucy Liu for another role, possibly the captain. While casting on the project is still in preliminary stages, it is expected to kick into high gear soon as filming is slated to begin July 22.
According to a breakdown for the fall NBC series released 2 weeks ago, LOLA (as the series is known) follows closely the template of the other Law & Order series with two detectives, with fortysomething Rex Winters and thirtysomething TJ Jaruszalski at the center of the storyline, joined by a captain, a prosecutor, and his assistant.