In Showtime‘s Episodes, Matt LeBlanc plays a fictional version of himself, working on a terrible TV series adaptation of a good British comedy series that’s airing in this country on a network run by a president “who lies…every step of the way — a broadcast network television president,” Showtime president David Nevins clarified, as he introduced the cast and creators to TV critics at Winter TV Press Tour 2014.
LeBlanc was asked if any of the storylines of Pretend LeBlanc were taken from his own life.
“There was a stalker in London,” offered creator Jeffrey Klarik.
“There was a stalker. I did not sleep with her…She was cute is all,” LeBlanc jumped in.
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Showtime‘s Episodes has been renewed for a fourth season ahead of its Season 3 premiere. The comedy, a co-production with the BBC, has been picked up for a nine-episode fourth season to film next year. The third season of the series, starring Matt LeBlanc as a fictionalized version of himself, premieres January 12. It picks up with Sean (Stephen Mangan) and Beverly (Tamsin Greig) — the English couple whose hit UK sitcom is remade for U.S. audiences and corrupted beyond recognition — back together but they soon discover it’s not so easy to heal old wounds. Things get no easier for Matt this year as his career and ego continue to be pummeled. Read More »
The MIPTV market kicks off in Cannes today and runs through April 4. Today’s big event will be the gala screening of episode 1 of Julian Fellowes’ Titanic miniseries which premiered on ITV in the UK last Sunday. Below is a selection of various announcements from today.
ITV Studios Global Entertainment Sells More ‘Titanic’
Last week’s premiere episode scored the highest rating for a drama on ITV1 this year with 7.4 million viewers and a 28.5% audience share. ITV Studios Global Entertainment, which is selling the mini, has announced new deals in China (Shanghai Joy Network), Latin America (Nat Geo), Mexico (TV Azteca), the Netherlands (SBS’ Veronica), Belgium (VRT), Africa (BBC Entertainment), Singapore (Mediacorp’s okto) and Iran (Marjan TV Network). The co-production from ITV Studios with Shaw Media, Deep Indigo Productions and Lookout Point in the UK, Sienna Films in Canada and Mid Atlantic Films in Hungary, is now sold in 95 territories.
Shine International Deals In ‘Real Humans’
The sales and distribution arm of Elisabeth Murdoch’s Shine Group has sold Swedish drama Real Humans to Australian pubcaster SBS. The 10-part series debuted on Sweden’s SVT1 in January to exceed the network’s 9pm slot average by 27%. Set in a parallel present day where technology has enabled robots to become so human it’s nearly impossible to tell them apart from people, the series is produced by Matador Films. SBS has also struck deals with Shine International for the Australian premiere of the US versions of maternity ward reality show One Born Every Minute and forensic series History Cold Case as well as Channel 4’s Read More »
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s 2011 Emmy coverage. Here’s his scorecard assessing the Outstanding Lead Comedy Series Actor race.
Steve Carell, The Office
Why He Was Nominated: It’s Carell’s sixth consecutive nomination for his role as the dunderheaded Michael Scott on The Office, and his departure from the NBC comedy this past spring spawned a big-time farewell. Credit network marketing as well as the fact Carell has wide popularity throughout the industry. You get the feeling that he could have stayed on this show for 15 years and been nominated every time.
Why He Has To Win: It literally is now or never, and Carell’s submission for the Emmy (his swan song, “Goodbye, Michael”) was a potent blend of pathos, tears and mirth that also generated a nod for writer/exec producer Greg Daniels’ teleplay. If that isn’t enough, there’s the feeling that Carell’s body of work on a show that began life as a warmed-over imitation of the British edition deserves a golden sendoff. “Carell didn’t try to squirm out of his TV contract even after becoming a feature guy,” a writer and academy member notes. “That scores big points.” Historically, both Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex and the City) and Michael J. Fox (Spin City) have won trophies on their final lap.
Why He Can’t Possibly Win: Well, he hasn’t taken the thing home in five previous tries, so it’s possible Carell simply has a big “Bridesmaid” tattoo etched on his forehead. The Office is also seen as having lingered a bit too long at the dance by some. It’s possible that he already blew his best shot here: when the series earned top comedy honors in 2006. And sentiment doesn’t always carry the day, as the perpetually passed-over John Goodman (0-for-7 for Roseanne) could attest. Read More »
Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
The cast and producers of Showtime’s upcoming comedy series Episodes, about a hit British show’s adaptation in the U.S., met the press today. And Matt LeBlanc discussed how he was cast on Episodes. Not just because it reunites with his Friends co-creator/executive producer David Crane. But because “Schwimmer said no. So did Perry. So did Lisa,” LeBlanc quipped.
The cast discussed whether Hollywood spoofs work. Here is co-star Tamsin Greig’s tart response: “Generally, people think that the TV and film industry is right up its own ass, rather like looking like into a badly run crash. Maybe that’s why it’s interesting and funny and dramatic.” Added co-creator/executive producer Jeffrey Klarik: Episodes “is about show business like I Love Lucy was about show business.
The producers also faced the inevitable question about the differences between what Americans and British find funny. ”We had a whole conversation about whether ‘pussy-whipped’ would play in the UK,” executive producer Jimmy Mulville said. “We did a round of the crew, and most of them had heard the word ‘pussy’, and word ‘whipped’, but never together.” Chimed in another panelist, “They thought it was a dessert topping”.
Showtime has announced January premiere dates for new drama series Shameless, new comedy series Episodes and the fourth season of Californication. Shameless, John Wells and Paul Abbott’s adaptation of Abbott’s British series, will debut on Sunday, Jan. 9 at 10 PM. It stars William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum. Episodes, from David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik, will premiere on Jan 10 at 10:30 PM. The series, about a British couple trying to adapt their hit British series in the U.S., stars Matt LeBlanc. The fourth season of Californication, starring David Duchovny as hedonistic novelist Hank Moody, will unspool on Jan. 10 at 10 PM, leading into the debut of Episodes. In addition to Shameless and Episodes, Showtime has one more new series in the hopper greenlighted by outgoing entertainment president Bob Greenblatt, period drama The Borgias.