EXCLUSIVE: From Savannah to Hollywood. George-based personal injury lawyer Jamie Casino has been one of the most pursued pieces of TV talent since becoming an overnight celebrity with his epic two-minute Super Bowl commercial that featured him wielding his sledgehammer of justice (check out the ad below). In a very competitive situation, with more than 40 companies pursuing the viral star attorney for unscripted and scripted projects, Warner Horizon Television has signed Casino for Casino’s Law, a primetime unscripted series to star the lawyer. I hear Warners’ pursuit of Casino was spearheaded by new unscripted and alternative president Mike Darnell, who helped seal the deal as part of his efforts to ramp up the studio’s reality production. Casino’s Law will be executive produced by one of WHTV’s top producers, The Bachelor creator/executive producer Mike Fleiss, who will develop the show through his Next Entertainment. There is no concept for the series yet, with discussions underway to pin down the type of show that would suit Casino best.
Written and directed by and starring Casino, the Super Bowl ad tells the life-changing story of the tragic death of Casino’s brother and Casino’s subsequent efforts to clear his brother’s name and fight for justice on behalf of innocent victims everywhere. Read More »
MTV, once home of TRL, is bringing music back to its afternoon lineup, this time in the form of a singing competition series. The network has picked upCopycat, a half-hour afternoon strip from The Bachelor creator/executive producer Mike Fleiss. It features contestants battling it out onstage, trying to sound like their favorite recording artists. The studio audience will vote on each performance, with one winner getting a cash prize and the title of “Ultimate Copycat”. Warner Horizon TV and Fleiss’ studio-based Next Entertainment are producing, with Fleiss and Brendon Carter exec producing and Matt Laesch co-exec producing. MTV’s next afternoon series, dating show The Hook Up, premieres on Monday.
EXCLUSIVE: After making his directing debut on the documentary God Bless Ozzy Osbourne, Mike Fleiss has made a deal to make his narrative directing debut on an untitled low-budget horror film. He is partnered on the project with Steven Schneider, producer of the Paranormal Activity films and Insidious. Fleiss, whose documentary opens this week, has certainly gained experience in making low-cost/high-gross genre films. He was a producer on Hostel and Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and his latest, Shark Night 3D, opens in nine days. Fleiss is also the TV producer behind The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and other reality series. The Fleiss-Schneider film is described to me as a big idea with a low price tag, which seems to be the best way to make genre nowadays. It’s being packaged and will be sold by WME Global to start production by year’s end. Fleiss is also working on a narrative film based on dolphin activist Richard O’Barry. He was the hero of The Cove, the shocking documentary that covertly filmed the carnage in a cove in the small former whaling village of Taijii. Fishermen annually herd thousands of dolphins into the cove, and slaughter them in a frenzy that actually makes the waters run blood red. The film created a global uproar. WME Global will package that film as a follow-up film for Fleiss to direct.
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA.
The critics took out their verbal blades at an afternoon TCA panel hyping the new CW reality show H8R that goes to great lengths to bring “celebrities” together with those who trash talk about them on the Internet. The early episodes will feature the likes of Snooki from Jersey Shore. The biggest names participating in the series so far are Eva Longoria and Leah Remini. Critics peppered exec producers Mike Fleiss and Lisa Gregorisch-Dempsey and exec producer/host Mario Lopez with questions about who would watch the famous go to great lengths to convert their biggest non-fans into supporters. One questioner wondered whether viewers would eventually see an episode where President Obama comes face to face with a Tea Party member. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss is getting a development executive at his Warner Horizon Television–based production company Next Entertainment. Noel Siegel has been named to the newly created position of SVP Television Development at Next, reporting to Fleiss. Siegel comes to Next after six years at Fox. Most recently, he served as VP Production, Development and Acquisitions at Fox LOOK, Fox Networks Group’s business unit dedicated to international licensing and production of unscripted programming. Read More »
Mike Fleiss, the creator and executive producer of The Bachelor franchise, is joining the CW’s new series H8R. He will team with creators Lisa Gregorisch-Dempsey and Jeremy Spiegel, along with host Mario Lopez, as executive producers on the one-hour reality show. It pairs well-known personalities with real people who don’t like them. The point is to win them over. Fleiss’ Next Entertainment will produce in association with Warner Horizon Television. Mike Harney will co-executive produce. Fleiss’ reality credits include Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire? and High School Reunion. The series premieres September 14 and will air Wednesdays at 8 PM.
EXCLUSIVE: Mike Fleiss, who created The Bachelor and other reality hits before branching into films, has acquired feature film rights to the life story of Richard O’Barry. He is the dolphin preservationist and the central figure in the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove. O’Barry started his career training the dolphins that starred in the TV show Flipper. When one of them died in captivity–and maybe had lost its will to live–O’Barry began a life long quest to free dolphins from captivity. He came to the forefront in the documentary, in which director Louie Psihoyos covertly filmed the carnage in a cove in the small former whaling village of Taijii. Fisherman annually herd thousands of dolphins into the cove, and slaughter them in a frenzy that actually makes the waters run blood red. The film created a global uproar.
Fleiss and Lincoln O’Barry will produce under Next Films and BayRock Media, and Next Films’ Chris Briggs will also be a producer. WME Global’s Graham Taylor will package and sell distribution rights. Fleiss is teamed with Next Films on Shark Night 3D, Hostel 3 and the documentary God Bless Ozzy Osbourne.
Below is an upsetting film which illuminates O’Barry’s crusade: