The Emmys‘ Outstanding Miniseries or Movie category featured many of the expected contenders. HBO’s Game Change and Hemingway And Gellhorn made the cut along with History Channel’s highly rated mini The Hatfields & McCoys, which made a big splash with 16 nominations, and BBC’s Luther and PBS’ Sherlock: A Scandal In Belgravia adding serious gravitas — if not shows that had many viewers compared to the marquee categories.
The most interesting nomination came for FX’s American Horror Story, which managed to tie Mad Men for the most overall nominations this year with 17. This show, which offers a different storyline each season with cast members taking on different roles, is a somewhat controversial entry. It is designed as a continuing “series” that could go on for many seasons. In fact, it had to get special treatment from the Academy board in order to be even eligible as a miniseries, where it obviously had a much easier time getting nominated than it would have in the Best Drama Series category where many think this weekly series belongs. Executive producer Ryan Murphy brought it to the Academy and asked that it be considered as a mini rather than regular series — he’s no dummy. At the Primetime Awards Committee meeting the issue was brought up and someone asked if the show initially had a pilot — it did. The committee deadlocked 19-19 on whether to recommend the Board of Governors approve Murphy’s request. The board eventually caved, and Murphy got his way, resulting in the truly impressive Emmy haul this morning. FX sent DVD screeners to the Academy and one of the episodes was clearly labeled “Pilot”. What movie or miniseries has ever had a pilot? Obviously the Academy is twisting the definition of what makes a movie or mini in order to give this category new blood that doesn’t come from HBO or niche networks and cable.
Related: EMMYS: FX’s ‘American Horror Story’ To Compete In Miniseries Category Read More »
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
At first glance the globe-hopping series “Missing,” which stars Ashley Judd as a former CIA operative in search of her missing son, looks like it would have a sky-high budget. Each of the episodes was shot on location in a different European city. But after today’s TCA panel on the show, executive producer Gina Matthews and writer/executive producer Grant Scharbo told Deadline the show’s budget is “in the middle-range” of the budgets of all the network’s hour dramas. In fact Scharbo said the show could be shot more cheaply abroad than in Los Angeles. And because of the international locations, the show has already been sold in various international markets. Foreign characters will speak in their native tongues, with subtitles. Read More »
Anne Sweeney, president of Disney-ABC Television Group, says that TV is about to become the most personal medium in the world, as well as the most powerful. Giving her MIPCOM keynote speech in Cannes this afternoon, Sweeney predicted that TV will be ever more customized by a generation used to watching on smartphones, laptops and tablets. Sweeney said: “It may be impossible to predict what television will look like 5 or 10 years from now — because the odds are, it will look different to everybody.” She also touched on how young people increasingly tweet, blog and email about shows as they watch them. “The more personalized television gets, the less passive the experience will become,” she said. “Television has always been something you watch. Now, increasingly, it’s also something you do.” The Disney-ABC TV boss presented some eye-popping figures: The global TV audience will reach nearly 4 billion people by the end of 2011 –- roughly half of the world’s population. And those 3.7 billion people will watch a total of 4.5 trillion hours of TV this year. She also underlined TV’s importance by quoting approvingly from a recent Deloitte study that concluded, “In today’s world, TV is the medium around which all others revolve.” Here’s the full transcript of Sweeney’s speech:
From the beginning, the television business has always been forward looking – to the next episode, the next season, the next advance in technology that will change everything and take us to a new level.
That’s why I was drawn to it in the first place…and why I continue to love it.
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Three days after the euphoria of getting their pilots picked up by ABC, I hear the producers of the newly picked-up series are in panic mode over conflicting information about the sizes of the network’s series orders. Word is, with a whopping 13 new scripted series orders, including the straight-to-series drama Missing, ABC is mulling different tiers of order sizes: the standard 13, as well as 10 and six episodes. I hear none of the producers have been told how many episodes their show is being picked up for, creating a lot of anxiety on the eve of ABC’s upfront presentation tomorrow, when the network will unveil its schedule for next season. Speaking of ABC’s schedule, the network is being very tight-lipped about it. With five new comedy series picked up, it is logical for ABC to try to open a second comedy block outside of Wednesday. I hear Tuesday 8-9 PM as a possibility. That’s a slot where ABC has struggled to get traction in. I hear the most recognizable star on a new ABC comedy series, Tim Allen, may be summoned to open a comedy block for the network with his new sitcom at 8 PM, either on Tuesday or on Wednesday. Because of its tagline as Desperate Housewives in Dallas and the cancellation of Brothers and Sisters, new dramedy Good Christian Belles had been considered a perfect fit to go after Desperate Housewives, but there … Read More »
Cliff Curtis (Trauma), who has been recurring on ABC’s midseason drama Body of Proof, has landed the male lead opposite Ashley Judd in the network’s action series Missing. It centers on Becca Winstone (Judd), a devoted single mom who, after her 18-year-old son disappears in Italy, takes it upon herself to travel to Europe and track him down. It soon becomes clear that Winstone is a former CIA agent who will stop at nothing to bring her son home alive. Curtis will play the director of a CIA branch in London who risks his career to help Becca in her search.
Sean Bean is set to co-star opposite Ashley Judd in ABC’s action series Missing. It centers on Becca Winstone (Judd), a devoted single mom who, after her 18-year-old son disappears in Italy, takes it upon herself to travel to Europe and track him down. It soon becomes clear that Winstone is a former CIA agent who will stop at nothing to bring her son home alive. Bean will play the regular character of Becca’s husband Paul, who was blown up in front of his son but will appear throughout the series in flashbacks. Bean segues to Missing, which will begin filming soon in Prague, from HBO’s Game of Thrones. He starred on the first season of the fantasy series, playing Eddard Stark. Read More »
In her first regular TV series gig, Ashley Judd is close to a deal to topline ABC’s action series Missing (aka Safe aka Hall of Mirrors). The project, from feature writer Greg Poirier, was once slated for summer but now eyes a fall launch, with early September as a possibility. Missing, whose premise somewhat echoes the Liam Neeson starrer Taken, centers on Becca Winstone (Judd), a devoted single mom who, after her 18-year-old son disappears in Italy where he’d been working on architecture fellowship, takes it upon herself to travel to Europe and track him down. It soon becomes clear that Winstone is a former CIA agent who will stop at nothing to bring her son home alive. Steve Shill, who won an Emmy in August for his directing work on Dexter, is on board to direct multiple episodes of the series, including the opener. He will also executive produce with Poirier, Grant Scharbo and Gina Matthews. Production is scheduled to begin late next month in Rome, Vienna and Prague. Missing, from ABC Studios and Matthews and Scharbo’s Little Engine Prods., was put on fast-track development in early fall with an order for 3-5 backup scripts. WME-repped Judd next stars in the Warner Bros. film Dolphin Tale. Her memoir All That is Bitter & Sweet is being released on April 5. Judd’s only major series gig until now was a recurring role on Sisters.