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WGN America’s ‘Manhattan’ Debut Ratings Can’t Match ‘Salem’ As Network Uses New Rollout Strategy

By | Monday July 28, 2014 @ 2:28pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

WGN America’s ‘Manhattan’ Debut Ratings Can’t Match ‘Salem’ As Network Uses New Rollout StrategyWGN America’s second original scripted drama, the generally well received Manhattan, opened with 904,000 total viewers and 233,000 adults 18-49 at 9 PM last night. That more than tripled network’s season-to date average among total viewers in the hour. But it was off the hot debut of WGNA’s first original drama, Salem, which premiered with 1.5 million total viewers and 647,000 adults 18-49 at 10 PM on Sunday in April. Tribune-owned WGN America, which is single-feed and covers only 62% of the U.S. (71.4 million homes), employed a different strategy with Manhattan. To generate larger sampling, in addition to its airing on WGNA, the premiere ran in primetime in 33 markets where Tribune has broadcast stations, including WPIX in New York and KTLA in Los Angeles.  With 14 of the larger of these 33 markets reporting, the series debut of Manhattan, which is skewing older than Salem, delivered 1.8 million viewers last night, 1.4 Million (326,000 Adults 18-49) in three combined airings on WGNA and another 400,000 on broadcast local stations. Salem‘s premiere amassed 2.3 million total viewers and 886,000 adults 18-49 over four airings on WGNA. Like with the Salem debut, which jumped 56% in Live+3 among adults 18-49 and 41% in total viewers, WGNA brass expect Manhattan‘s numbers to grow significantly in time-shifting viewing.

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Hulu Plus Picks Up Streaming Rights To WGN Drama ‘Manhattan’

By | Monday July 28, 2014 @ 6:02am PDT

Hulu Plus Picks Up Streaming Rights To WGN Drama ‘Manhattan’Hulu’s subscription service Hulu Plus has bought exclusive VOD rights to stream online episodes of WGN America‘s new historical drama Manhattanthe companies announced the morning after the show’s debut. Under the deal, new episodes of the show will unspool each Monday after their initial Sunday airing on WGN until all 13 have played. The five most recent episodes will be available for free on Hulu’s basic service, after a three-day delay.

Hulu touted the deal in a release as the first time it has secured SVOD rights on a show before a single episode has aired. Manhattan is set in WWII in the Manhattan Project in New Mexico’s desert, where the federal government set up a secret project to research the first atomic weapons, and the surrounding and equally secret community set up to support the work. The show is being produced by Tribune Studios, Lionsgate and Skydance TelevisionManhattan was created and written by Sam Shaw (Masters of Sex) and directed by Thomas Schlamme (The West Wing). Executive producers are Shaw, Schlamme, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Marcy Ross and Dustin Thomason.

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TCA: WGN America’s ‘Manhattan’ To Walk Fine Line Between Fact And Fiction, Creator Says

By | Wednesday July 9, 2014 @ 2:35pm PDT

TCA: WGN America’s ‘Manhattan’ To Walk Fine Line Between Fact And Fiction, Creator SaysWGN America’s 13-episode series Manhattan, about the race to build the world’s first atomic bomb in Los Alamos, NM, is not an allegory for current politics, creator Sam Shaw insisted today at TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2014, despite suggestions otherwise by some member of the cast, and by journalists.

“It’s not The Crucible,” Shaw said, drawing blank looks from some in the Golden Globes ballroom of the Beverly Hilton as he referenced Arthur Miller’s play — in which the Salem witch trials stands in for the McCarthy era’s Committee on Un-American Activities. Maybe sensing the hesitation, Shaw acknowledged that, even when not intended, storytelling about the past “has a lot to say about this moment in time,” he said, putting the bloggers/tweeters in the hall back on more familiar ground. Read More »

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WGN America Sets Multi-Channel Premiere For ‘Manhattan’

By | Monday June 30, 2014 @ 2:29pm PDT

WGN America Sets Multi-Channel Premiere For ‘Manhattan’WGN America is pulling out all the stops for the premiere of its original scripted drama series Manhattan. When it debuts on Sunday, July 27, the premiere episode will be seen not only on WGN America, but also on Tribune stations in 33 markets nationwide, including WPIX/New York, KTLA/Los Angeles, WGN/Chicago, WPHL/Philadelphia and WDCW/Washington, DC, WGN America said today. From writer Sam Shaw (Masters Of Sex) and director Thomas Schlamme, Skydance TV, Tribune Studios and Lionsgate TV, the 13-episode series is set against the backdrop of the clandestine mission to build the world’s first atomic bomb in Los Alamos, NM and follows the brilliant but flawed scientists and their families. John Benjamin Hickey, Daniel Stern, Olivia Williams, Ashley Zukerman and Rachel Brosnahan star.

In addition, on July 4, WGN America will air a half-hour original special looking at the fortified secret suburban society of 1940s Los Alamos. Premiere of The Manhattan Project: Beyond The Bomb will be followed by airings on Tribune stations nationwide. After the July 27 series premiere, Manhattan will continue its 13-episode run on WGN America, Sundays at its regular time, 10 PM ET / 9 PM CT. Manhattan is executive produced by Sam Shaw, Thomas Schlamme, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Marcy Ross and Dustin Thomason.

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Hot TV Trailer: WGN’s ‘Manhattan’

By | Tuesday June 10, 2014 @ 11:30am PDT

ManhattanWGNWGN America has unveiled the first full look at its original scripted drama series Manhattan, which is set to premiere July 27. From writer Sam Shaw (Masters Of Sex) and director Thomas Schlamme, Skydance TV, Tribune Studios and Lionsgate TV, the 13-episode series is set against the backdrop of the clandestine mission to build the world’s first atomic bomb in Los Alamos, NM and follows the brilliant but flawed scientists and their families. The premiere follows the revamped networks’ first scripted effort, Salem, which premiered to solid numbers April 20 and then saw a big pop on Live+3 data. A third original, event series Ten Commandments, bows in 2015. Check out the first look at Manhattan here:

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WGN America Sets Premiere Date For ‘Manhattan’

By | Thursday May 15, 2014 @ 9:31am PDT

WGN America‘sManhattan Cast Image_Final original scripted series Manhattan will premiere on Sunday July 27 at 10 PM ET. From writer Sam Shaw and director Thomas Schlamme, Skydance TV, Tribune Studios and Lionsgate TV, the 13-episode series is set against the backdrop of the clandestine mission to build the world’s first atomic bomb in Los Alamos, NM and follows the brilliant but flawed scientists and their families. John Benjamin Hickey, Olivia Williams, Daniel Stern, Ashley Zukerman, Katia Herbers, Christopher Denham, Harry Lloyd, Michael Chernus, Rachel Brosnahan and Eddie Shin star. Manhattan is executive produced by Shaw, Schlamme, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Marcy Ross and Dustin Thomason.

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Hot TV Teaser: WGN America’s ‘Manhattan’

By | Friday April 18, 2014 @ 12:35pm PDT

John Benjamin Hickey, Daniel Stern, Olivia Williams, Ashley Zukerman and Rachel Brosnahan star in WGN America‘s 13-episode scripted series Manhattan, slated to premiere in July. Set during the clandestine mission to build the world’s first atomic bomb in Los Alamos, NM, Manhattan follows the brilliant but flawed scientists and their families. Here’s a sneak-peek at the teaser trailer that will air during Salem‘s season premiere on Sunday. Manhattan is from writer Sam Shaw and director Thomas Schlamme, Skydance TV, Tribune Studios and Lionsgate TV.

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Bret Harrison, Aaron McCusker Join ABC’s ‘The Astronaut Wives Club’; Daniel London In WGN’s ‘Manhattan’

By | Thursday April 17, 2014 @ 12:14pm PDT

UPDATED: Bret Harrison aaron2bretharrison1(Orange County) and Aaron McCusker (Shameless, Dexter) have been cast as series regulars in ABC’s 10-episode drama series The Astronaut Wives Club, from Fake Empire, Groundswell Productions and ABC Studios, eyed for 2015. Written by Stephanie Savage based on Lily Koppel’s book and directed by Nick Cassavetes, it tells the real story of the women who stood beside some of the biggest heroes in American history during the height of the space race. Harrison will play Gordon “Gordo” Cooper, one of the original astronauts. His wandering ways pushed his wife, Trudy, to the brink of divorce, but he’s convinced her to come back so he can have his shot at space. McCusker, repped by UK’s Curtis Brown and Kritzer Levine Wilkins Griffin Nilon Entertainment, will play Wally Schirra, another one of the original astronauts who’s also a prankster.
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Omar J. Dorsey Joins Showtime’s ‘Ray Donovan’; Carole Weyers In WGN’s ‘Manhattan’

By | Thursday April 3, 2014 @ 12:45pm PDT

Omar J. Dorsey (Django Unchained)omardorsey2 has landed a recurring role on Showtime‘s Ray Donovan. Dorsey will play Cookie Brown, a powerful music business entrepreneur recently released from prison. Ray Donovan stars Liev Schreiber as LA’s best professional fixer, the man called in to make the city’s celebrities, superstar athletes, and business moguls’ most complicated and combustible situations go away. Dorsey’s other TV credits include Fox’s Rake and HBO’s Eastbound & Down.

Caroleweyers1Newcomer Carole Weyers is set for a multi-episode arc on WGN America‘s 13-episode scripted series Manhattan, from writer Sam Shaw and director Thomas Schlamme, Skydance TV, Tribune Studios and Lionsgate TV. Set during the clandestine mission to build the world’s first atomic bomb in Los Alamos, NM, Manhattan follows the brilliant but flawed scientists and their families. Weyers, repped by D2 Management and Element Talent Agency, will play Elodie, a French switchboard operator at Los Alamos.

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Alison Sudol Cast In ‘DIG’; Eric Nenninger Joins ‘Mission Control’; Michael Chernus In ‘Manhattan’

By | Tuesday March 25, 2014 @ 9:43am PDT

Singer-songwriter-actress Alison Sudolalisonsudel2 (A Fine Frenzy) has been tapped as a series regular on USA Network’s six episode event series DIG, an action adventure drama from co-creators and executive producers Tim Kring and Gideon Raff. It centers on Peter (Jason Isaacs), an FBI agent stationed in Jerusalem who, while investigating a murder of a woman archaeologist, uncovers a conspiracy 2000 years in the making that threatens to change the course of history. Sudol, repped by Resolution and Dave Fleming at Mosaic, will play Emma Wilson, an American intern working on a dig site in Jerusalem who befriends Peter (Isaacs). Sudel recurred on Transparent and will be seen in upcoming feature Other People’s Children. Read More »

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Callum Blue Boards TNT Pilot ‘Proof’; Alexia Fast In ‘Manhattan’

By | Tuesday February 25, 2014 @ 10:10am PST

Callum Blue (The Princess Diaries 2) has been tappedblue3 for a regular series role in TNT’s pilot Proof, a supernatural medical drama executive produced by Kyra Sedgwick. Written by Rob Bragin and directed by Alex Graves, Proof centers on a skeptical, hard science, female surgeon who is persuaded to investigate cases of reincarnation. Callum, repped by Gersh, The Artists Partnership and Sanders Armstrong Caserta, plays Peter Van Owen, a charming, a best-selling author who claims to be a psychic medium.

Related: 2014 TNT Pilots

Alexia Fast (Jack Reacher) has been booked for afast2 regular series role in WGN America’s 13-episode scripted series Manhattan. From writer Sam Shaw and director Thomas Schlamme, Skydance TV, Tribune Studios and Lionsgate TV, Manhattan is set against the backdrop of the clandestine mission to build the world’s first atomic bomb in Los Alamos, New Mexico and follows the brilliant but flawed scientists and their families. Fast, repped by UTA, Great North Artists Management and Sanders Armstrong Caserta, will play Callie Winter, the 16-year-old somewhat sharp-tongued daughter of Liza and Frank, whom she needles about his frequent, secretive absences from home for his work.

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Caroline Ford & Antony Bunsee Join ‘Hieroglyph’; Olivia Williams In ‘Manhattan’

By | Tuesday February 18, 2014 @ 1:54pm PST

Caroline Ford and Antony Bunseeford1a__140218194706-150x150antony1__140218195441-150x150 have joined the cast of Fox’s 13-episode series Hieroglyph from 20th TV and Chernin Entertainment. Set in ancient Egypt, where fantasy and reality intertwined, it follows a notorious thief who is plucked from prison to serve the Pharoah (Reece Ritchie), navigating palace intrigue, seductive concubines, criminal underbellies and even a few divine sorcerers. Ford, repped by repped by ICM Partners, Luber/Roklin, Jackoway Tyerman and UK’s United Agents, will play Peshet, a member of the thief’s crew. Bunsee, repped by UK’s Robert Kelly Associates and attorney Lev Ginsburg, will play Rawser, Captain of the Pharoah’s Guard. Read More »

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Genevieve Angelson Set As Female Lead In Fox Series ‘Backstrom’; Christopher Denham Joins WGN America’s ‘Manhattan’

By | Friday February 14, 2014 @ 1:00pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Genevieve Angelson BackstromGenevieve Angelson is set as the female lead opposite Rainn Wilson in Fox’s new drama series, Backstrom. Created by Bones creator/executive producer Hart Hanson based on the Swedish book series by Leif G. W. Persson, Backstrom centers on Everett Backstrom (Wilson), an overweight, offensive, irascible detective who’s engaged in a constant struggle with his self-destructive tendencies. Angelson will play Backstrom’s second in command, Detective Nicole Gravely, tasked with not only keeping the unit together in the face of Backstrom’s behavior but ensuring that his unorthodox investigatory methods hold up in court. Angelson replaces Mamie Gummer, who played the role in the pilot — the only cast change in the project’s transition from CBS, where it was piloted last season, to Fox, where it recently received a 13-episode order for next season. Angelson, repped by UTA and Suskin Management, has an arc on Showtime’s House Of Lies and was in the Tony-winning play Vanya And Sonya And Masha And Spike. Read More »

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Katja Herbers In WGN Series ‘Manhattan’; Griffin Gluck Joins Fox’s ‘Red Band Society’

By | Tuesday February 11, 2014 @ 4:20pm PST

Katja Herbers (De storm) has been cast in WGNherbers2 America‘s 13-episode scripted series Manhattan, from writer Sam Shaw and director Thomas Schlamme, Skydance TV, Tribune Studios and Lionsgate TV. Set during the clandestine mission to build the world’s first atomic bomb in Los Alamos, NM, Manhattan follows the brilliant but flawed scientists and their families. Herbers, repped by All Star Agency and Lasher Group, will play Helen Price, a member of Frank Winter’s team and one of the few female physicists assigned to the Manhattan Project.She joins previously cast John Benjamin Hickey, Daniel Stern, Rachel Brosnahan, Ashley Zukerman, and Harry Lloyd. Herbers is. Read More »

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‘Gracepoint’ Recasts Role, ‘Manhattan’ Adds Regular

By | Monday February 10, 2014 @ 10:00am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Georgina Rylance has departed Fox’s 10-hour event series Gracepoint, a remake of the UK’s Broadchurch. Her role Gemma, a flirty woman who owns the town’s hotel where Detective Emmett Carver (David Tennant) is staying, is being recast… rachelRachel Brosnahan was recently added to the cast of WGN America’s 13-episode drama series Manhattan, from Skydance Productions. Set during the clandestine mission to build the world’s first atomic bomb in Los Alamos, NM, Manhattan follows the brilliant but flawed scientists and their families. Brosnahan, repped by Carole Dibo Talent Management and Innovative, will play the wife of one of the scientists (Ashley Zukerman).

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John Benjamin Hickey, Daniel Stern To Star In WGN America Series ‘Manhattan’

By | Thursday February 6, 2014 @ 2:00pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

hickey__130301012616-275x387John Benjamin Hickey (The Big C, The Good Wife) has been cast as the lead in WGN America’s 13-episode drama series Manhattan. Daniel Stern is set to co-star in the show, from writer Sam Shaw and director Thomas Schlamme, Skydance TV, Tribune Studios and Lionsgate TV. Set during the clandestine mission to build the world’s first atomic bomb in Los Alamos, NM, Manhattan follows the brilliant but flawed scientists and their families. It centers on Frank Winter (Hickey), a brilliant and self-destructive physics professor tapped to help lead the Manhattan Project, a mission that will jeopardize his family and his sanity. Read More »

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Ashley Zukerman Tapped For ‘Manhattan’; Whitmer Thomas Boards ‘Crazy House’

By | Monday February 3, 2014 @ 3:43pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Ashley Zukerman has been cast asZukerman1 one of the leads in WGN America’s 13-episode scripted series Manhattan. The show, from writer Sam Shaw and director Thomas Schlamme, Skydance TV, Tribune Studios and Lionsgate TV, is set during the clandestine mission to build the world’s first atomic bomb in Los Alamos, NM, and follows the brilliant but flawed scientists and their families. Zukerman will play Charlie Abrams, a super-bright, self-described “numbers guy” with an IQ of 180 and a good sense of humor. Zukerman next will be seen in the six-part Australian thriller The Code for ABC1. Other TV credits include a recurring on Fox’s Terra Nova. He also guested in a multi-episode arc on HBO’s The Pacific and starred in Australian drama series Rush. Zukerman is repped in the U.S. by APA and Cohn/Torgan Management and in Australia by Lisa Mann Management.

image001 (4)Whitmer Thomas has been signed as co-lead opposite Nick Turner in Comedy Central‘s single-camera comedy pilot Crazy House. Written and co-executive produced by Turner and Lee Rubenstein, the project revolves around two friends who, after accidentally sending their boss into a coma via an office prank, successfully plead insanity and are sentenced to an asylum. Thomas just wrapped the lead role in the Andrew O’Connor-directed indie May The Best Man Win. A stand-up comic, Thomas is with the alternative comedy collective Power Violence and also produces a weekly … Read More »

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Skydance Taps Jesse Sisgold As President Of Business Affairs & Strategic Planning

By | Friday January 24, 2014 @ 9:14am PST

JesseSisgoldEXCLUSIVE: Jesse Sisgold has been appointed to the newly created position of President of Business Affairs and Strategic Planning at David Ellison‘s Skydance Productions. He will have oversight of business and legal affairs across all company units, as well as strategic planning for the company’s expansion, which recently has included launching a TV division last spring.  Sisgold arrives from his boutique entertainment/corporate Skydancelogofinance law firm Sisgold PC, which closed about $400 million in deals in 2013 — including every TV deal Skydance finalized from talent to distribution. Sisgold also handled development-related deals for Skydance pic projects including the Terminator reboot, Dean Devlin’s disaster epic Geostorm and the Christopher McQuarrie-directed adaptation Star Blazers. “It has been a privilege to work with Jesse this past year, and we are honored to have him officially join the Skydance family,” Ellison said today in announcing the hire. “His role will be crucial in Skydance’s growth and we are thrilled to have him on board.”

Related: Megan Ellison Won’t Fund ‘Terminator’ Revival; Skydance, Paramount Paying Read More »

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Harry Lloyd Cast In WGN’s ‘Manhattan’, Mark Deklin Joins ‘Devious Maids’ As Regular

By | Thursday January 9, 2014 @ 1:29pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

harrylloydHarry Lloyd (Game Of Thrones) has been tapped for a regular role in WGN America’s 13-episode drama series Manhattan. The show, from writer Sam Shaw and director Thomas Schlamme, Skydance TV, Tribune Studios and Lionsgate TV, is set against the backdrop of the clandestine mission to build the world’s first atomic bomb in Los Alamos, NM and follows the brilliant but flawed scientists and their families as they attempt to co-exist in a world where secrets and lies infiltrate every aspect of their lives. Lloyd, repped by ICM Partners and Curtis Brown Group in the UK, will play one of the scientists. Filming is slated to begin in March in New Mexico. Read More »

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