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Ka-Ching! Starry, High-Priced London ‘Skylight’, Broadway ‘Hedwig’ Recoup Quickly

By | Tuesday July 15, 2014 @ 10:20am PDT

Ka-Ching! Starry, High-Priced London ‘Skylight’, Broadway ‘Hedwig’ Recoup QuicklyUPDATE, 10:20 AM: The Stage reports London ticket prices have tripled in a decade.  “The West End’s most expensive tickets have reached a new high of £152.25 ($261.23) after The Book Of Mormon increased its premium seat prices by 20% from last year’s £127,” according to a an annual survey conducted by the UK industry periodical whose results were released in June. “This is more than triple the amount it cost to buy a top-price seat in the West End only 10 years ago, when a record high was reached with a £49 ticket to see The Producers in 2004. Over the same period, house prices in London have increased by around 90%.”

Star power, great reviews and premium tickets worked some fast magic on both sides of the Atlantic this week as the producers of two of the hottest shows in recent seasons announced recoupment.

David Binder, the lead producer of Hedwig And The Angry Inch — the wild rock musical starring Neil Patrick Harris that in June won four Tony Awards, including best revival of a musical — said the show recouped as of last Sunday after 15 weeks (preview performances began on March 29). Harris, also a Tony winner, will be replaced beginning August 20 by Book Of Mormon and Girls star Andrew Rannells. According to the show’s documents, it was capitalized at $5 million.
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‘Mormon’, ‘Girls’ Star Andrew Rannells To Replace Neil Patrick Harris In ‘Hedwig’

"Jersey Boys" New York Special Screening - ArrivalsAndrew Rannells, a Tony nominee for his performance in The Book Of Mormon, will take over the title role in Hedwig And The Angry Inch when Tony winner Neil Patrick Harris departs the show in August, producer David Binder says. Harris leaves on August 17 and Rannells, also a regular on the HBO series Girls, takes over August 20. He won the Tony Award for best musical revival on Sunday and has been SRO at the Belasco Theatre. He’s billed as a limited-time-only appearance.

Related: Tony Awards 2014 Winners

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Hugh Jackman Hippity-Hops Through CBS’ Ruthlessly Upbeat All-Star Tony Show

Tony Awards Show

About midway through CBS‘ live telecast of the 68th Tony Awards on Sunday night, host Hugh Jackman told the audience at Radio City Music Hall that the first show he’d ever been cast in was Meredith Willson’s The Music Man. To prepare, in fact, he’d learned all eight parts to “Rock Island,” the opening number of that signature piece of syncopated Americana, and to prove it, he performed a minute or so, sprecht-singing all eight parts. The first words  are: Cash for the merchandise/Cash for the buttonhooks, which sounds like the beginning of an ode to Broadway, 2014. Then he ushered out LL Cool J and TI, and all three of them rapped “Rock Island,” which sounded a lot like Sesame Street, 1995. It was funny and toothless. Much the same can be said for the most breathlessly upbeat Tony broadcast in memory. Almost nothing memorable happened over the course of just over three hours of good cheer.

Related: Tony Tally: ‘Gentleman’s Guide’ Kills With Four Wins; ‘Raisin’ Revival Shines On Three More

jackman1Jackman looked somewhat raffish and ragged of beard, as though he was coming from an audition for a revival of Sunday In The Park With George. He bunny-hopped bizarrely from the street to the backstage of Radio City Music Hall, high-fiving cast members from shows and stars preparing for their numbers, hopped into the audience and up onto the stage as if he didn’t have a care in the world. Even the edgiest nominee of the evening, Hedwig And The Angry Inch and its star, Neil Patrick Harris, seemed more intent on nuzzling the audience than, perish the thought, shocking it.

Related: Tony Awards Show Sings Hollywood’s Praises While Oscar Producers Return The Favor

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DeadlineNow: Who Will Dance Away With Tony Awards This Weekend (Video)

By | Friday June 6, 2014 @ 12:55pm PDT
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Jeremy Gerard's Tony Predictions

Deadline's chief theater columnist expects multiple wins for 'All the Way,' 'Aladdin' and a few others when the annual theater awards are handed out Sunday night.

Related: At Sunday’s Tony Awards, Hugh Jackman And Neil Patrick Harris Might Be The Only Sure Things

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At Sunday’s Tony Awards, Hugh Jackman And Neil Patrick Harris Might Be The Only Sure Things

By | Friday June 6, 2014 @ 6:00am PDT
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Jeremy Gerard's Tony Predictions

Deadline's chief theater columnist expects multiple wins for 'All the Way,' 'Aladdin' and a few others when the annual theater awards are handed out Sunday night.

GerardColumn_badgeThe Belmont Stakes and the Tony Awards take place this weekend and in both cases there are significantTonyAwards amounts of prestige and money at stake. There’s even a chance that Broadway will have its own version of a Triple Crown winner, if Mark Rylance takes home both of the Tonys for which he’s nominated (OK, double crown).

Despite strict rules about campaigning for Tonys, producers pulled out all the stops at their disposal to plug their shows, and who could blame them? Even in a season that’s still reeling from the many film and TV stars passed over for nominations, the competition in the acting categories is more compelling than usual, while the Best Musical category is a toss-up among less-than-thrilling shows.

Related: Scott Rudin’s Digital ‘Raisin’ Campaign

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 12.21.47 AMStop by on Sunday night at 8 PM New York time, when we begin live-blogging the CBS telecast hosted by Hugh Jackman. The producers promise more Hollywood firepower than you can shake a stick at. Here’s a preview of what to expect, with no promises at all:

Best Play: Harvey Fierstein’s Casa Valentina should win, but the Tony will go to Robert Schenkkan’s All The Way, a revisionist history of the Johnson presidency.

Director, Play:  The frontrunner is Tim Carroll for Twelfth Night, but I’d call it a tie between Kenny Leon (A Raisin In The Sun) and John Tiffany (The Glass Menagerie).

Best Musical: None of this year’s nominated musicals will stand the test of time, but with Aladdin, Disney delivered the goods with a sparkling, de trop extravaganza. Watch out, though, for a spoiler, A Gentleman’s Guide To Love And Murder, which has waged a great come-from-behind campaign. Read More »

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Leslie Moonves: CBS Working On 24-Hour Digital News Channel — Not Working On Bringing Joel McHale To Late-Night TV

By | Thursday May 15, 2014 @ 3:49pm PDT

LeslieMoonvesCBS Corp Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves is working on a 24-hour digital news network — but is not working on bringing Joel McHale to take over at host of Late Late Show. Moonves announced today, via an interview with Bloomberg Television, that he plans to launch a 24-hour digital news network, bypassing cable. “Wouldn’t it be a good idea to do a 24-hour digital channel taking all the resources that CBS News has … all over the world?” he asked, rhetorically. “There is so much information that we get every day that doesn’t fit into a 22-minute newscast at 6:30 or CBS This Morning. We can go direct digital. So that’s in the early stages, under the tutelage of David Rhodes, the President of CBS News, and it’s an exciting alternative to cable news.”

Related: Networks Play It Safe, Lead-Ins Rule On 2014 Fall Schedule: Full Grid & Top Face-Offs

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Neil Patrick Harris Discussed, Dismissed CBS Late Night Show, But Still Talking About Variety Show With Network

By | Wednesday May 14, 2014 @ 4:19pm PDT

Neil Patrick HarrisCBS CEO Leslie Moonves asked Neil Patrick Harris if he’d be interested in doing a late-night show for CBS, Harris said today on Howard Stern’s radio show. The conversation happened before David Letterman announced he is retiring next year but as CBS already was looking at a possible future without Letterman, should Dave decide not to renew his two-year contract. The conversation also happened as Harris’ How I Met Your Mother gig was winding down. Harris has become a member in good standing of the Les Moonves Repertoire Theatre, not only starring in HIMYM but also becoming a CBS go-to guy for trophy-show hosting. Harris stressed to Stern that he was “not in conversation like about-to-make-a-deal — but they called me in and sat me down and asked if it was something I’d be interested in, because I have a good relationship with them from How I Met Your Mother.
Related: CBS’ Late-Night Drama Not Over Yet Despite Colbert Hire

Harris’ reaction when the subject was broached in a meeting with Moonves and CBS programming chief Nina Tassler? “I felt like I knew what my skill set was and what I wanted to do after the show, with them. It surprised me [Moonves] pitched me that idea. I sat for a time with it while I was talking to him, and I told him what concerned me about the longevity of that kind of gig. I think I would get bored of the repetition fast. The structure is so set — I don’t have any interest in doing Monologue, Commercial, Sketch, Guest, Guest, Musical Act, Good Night.” Read More »

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Broadway Box Office Drops $2.5M In Week After Tony Nominations

"Hedwig And The Angry Inch" Broadway Opening Night - Arrivals & Curtain CallThey were sweating bullets over Broadway in the week following the peculiar Tony Awards nominations, with many shows dropping further from the previous week’s post-holiday decline. Overall, total take on Broadway for the week ending Sunday fell to $29,244,147, from $31,700,745 the week before, according to figures released by the trade group the Broadway League.

Related: Does Tony Love Oscar? Why Nominations Show The Complicated Affair Between Broadway And Hollywood

Biggest loser in terms of cash was Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, a holdover from last season. Cindy was down a whopping $483,689, taking in less than 40% of her potential of $994,068 and filling about 60% of the seats at the Broadway Theatre, at an average ticket price of $75.63. Matilda, also a holdover, was down $328,393, to $924,624; attendance dropped to a smidgen under 89%. Long-running Wicked was off $342,640, at a still-impressive $1,732,110.

Related: Tony Noms’ Many Celebrity Snubs Leaves CBS Mulling What Might Have Been

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68th Tony Nominations Make 2013-2014 The Year Of The Actor

UPDATED WITH ANALYSIS AND FULL LIST OF NOMINEES: The Tony nominations announced this morning made one thing quite clear:  On Broadway, it’s been the season of the actor. Especially the year of the actor in drag.

Jefferson MaysGENTLEMAN-articleLarge was nominated for playing more roles than I can count in the amusing musical murder thriller A Gentleman’s Guide To Love And Murder. British actor Mark Rylance came away with two nominations, one for his performance as a twisted king, in Richard III, a second for his performance as a lovestruck countess, in Twelfth Night.

Broadway and TV favorite Neil Patrick Harris is in the running for his title foray "Hedwig And The Angry Inch" Broadway Opening Night - Arrivals & Curtain Callin Hedwig And The Angry Inch, playing a sort-of transgender sort-of rock star. Audra McDonald is looking for her sixth Tony, for her astonishing performances as Billie Holiday in Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar & Grill. If she wins, she will have landed in the very exclusive club whose members have won Tony Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Leading Actress and Featured Actress in both plays and musicals, starting with her first win, for Carousel, in 1994.

Gentleman’s Guide led the pack with 10 nominations, including Best Musical, score, book and direction. James Lapine’s heartfelt dramatization of Act One, Broadway legend Moss Hart’s celebrated autobiography, took the most nominations for Best Play, though Lapine was overlooked for his staging of the show at Lincoln Center Theater’s Vivian Beaumont.
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Tony Bosses Declare Broadway Debutantes ‘Violet’ & ‘Hedwig’ Ineligible For Best Musical Category

By | Friday April 25, 2014 @ 2:14pm PDT

"Hedwig And The Angry Inch" Broadway Opening Night - Arrivals & Curtain CallBroadway’s two most acclaimed new musicals — the gritty Neil Patrick Harris starrer Hedwig And The Angry Inch and the Sutton Foster bus vehicleViolet – will not be eligible for Tony Award nominations in the all-important Best New Musical category. Instead, they’ll be eligible in the category of Best Revival of a Musical. The decisions were announced today after the final meeting of the Tony Awards Administration Committee, which determines eligibility in all of the Tony categories. Nominations – and, ultimately, wins — in the Best Musical and Best Play categories typically carry the most weight at the box office.

VioletBoth Hedwig and Violet were mounted previously off-Broadway, the reason cited for declaring them no-goes in the top categories. Widely considered the best new musicals in a season short on critical and customer consensus, the result is likely to mean a slew of less popular shows will float to the top of the Best-dressed list when nominations are announced Tuesday.

Related: Broadway Says “Wilkommen” to ‘Cabaret’, Tony Race

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‘HIMYM’ Finale Outrun By Social Media

How I Met Your Mother finaleJason Segel told CNN it would be the best series ending ever — except, he said, for the long-running Newhart series finale. You know, the one in which Vermont innkeeper Bob Newhart got knocked out by a flying golf ball in the late ’80s, and when he woke up, he was in bed with his ’70s sitcom wife Suzanne Pleshette and the whole ’80s series was a dream.  That would seem to point to a surprise ending for How I Met Your Mother — maybe the  “surprise” ending that’s been discussed endlessly in social media for days and which show creators danced around at the recent PaleyFest

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CBS Eyes ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Spinoff From Carter Bays, Craig Thomas & Emily Spivey

By | Wednesday October 30, 2013 @ 4:15pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: As fans are preparing to say goodbye to one of TV’s most popular comedies, How I Met Your Mother, CBS is looking to extend the franchise. I’ve learned that the network is in talks with HIMYM producer 20th Century Fox TV for a spinoff series, which takes a female spin on the original show. Referred to as How I Met Your Father, the spinoff hails from HIMYM creators/executive producers Carter Bays and Craig Thomas and Up All Night creator/exec producer Emily Spivey. It would feature a new group of New York friends and chronicle a female member of the group’s quest to meet her future husband. I hear the new characters could be introduced in the HIMYM series finale, and Ted, Barney, Marshall, Lily and Robin’s favorite hangout, MacLaren’s Pub, may be featured on the new show, serving as a link between the two gangs. The premise, which is not tied to any of the original HIMYM characters, gives Bays, Thomas and Spivey a clean slate to build new characters and relationships. The trio, who will co-write and executive produce the spinoff, share a background — they all started in late-night and worked on New York-based late-night shows (Late Show for Bays and Thomas, Saturday Night Live for Spivey) before transitioning to primetime comedy series. Read More »

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Primetime Emmys 2013: Ryan Seacrest Center For Treatment Of Excessive Host Disorder Disclaimer (Video)

By | Sunday September 22, 2013 @ 8:07pm PDT

Remember that segment years ago when tonight’s Primetime Emmys show started, about Excessive Host Disorder, in which the cast of How I Met Your Mother staged an intervention, with the help of Arsenio Hall? Remember the reference to the Ryan Seacrest Center for those suffering from EHD? Remember the disclaimer card you didn’t have time to read at the end of the gag? Here it is, followed by the clip:

Related: Nikki Finke Live-Snarks 65th Emmys

The Ryan Seacrest Center focuses on freeing patients from addictions to hosting award shows, charitable fundraisers and “Star Search” themed reality programming. The Center makes no claims of effectiveness regarding patients who cannot resist hosting dinner parties, in laws or parasites. Rehabilitation is catered to individual needs. GUARANTEE: Each patient’s program will include sessions in the therapeutic Billy Crystal Springs and/or the world famous Pat Sajak Sweat Lodge. Incoming patients will submit to a full body cavity search for any hidden mic packs, lavs, wireless headsets, canes, envelopes, sequins and Bruce Vilanches. Please plan on arriving at least  three hours before your therapy call time because the limo line is murder. Arsenio Hall is not affiliated with the Ryan Seacrest Center for Excessive Hosting. Oh, and neither is Ryan Seacrest. If you’re still reading this and believe EHD is a real affliction, you might be suffer Read More »

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Peek At Emmy Ceremony: Neil Patrick Harris Gets Hosting Advice, Carrie Underwood Performs

By | Saturday September 21, 2013 @ 7:46pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Neil Patrick Harris has hosted the Emmys before but that was four years ago, so he may be a bit rusty. I hear Jimmy Kimmel, Jane Lynch and Jimmy Fallon, who hosted the show the last three years, as well as Conan O’Brien, who emceed in 2002 and 2006, are coming to his aid in a funny onstage bit on the show tomorrow, in which they interrupt Harris to offer him advice. In another sneak peek from today’s rehearsal for tomorrow’s 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, here is Carrie Underwood performing during the tribute to 1963 that will close the ceremony. The Emmys air at 5 PM PT on CBS.

More Deadline Emmys intel: Emmys To Kick Off With Oscars-Style Opening Film, Feature ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Video

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Deadline’s Best TV Stories Of The Week

By | Saturday September 21, 2013 @ 12:52pm PDT

Miss some of Deadline’s Top TV stories this week? With the fall season about to start and the Emmys tomorrow, here’s your chance to catch up:

2014-14 Broadcast Season Preview: Challenges The Networks Face
By Nellie Andreeva – The first new fall series, Fox’s Sleepy Hollow, marks the unofficial start of the 2013-14 broadcast season.

EMMYS: Who Will Win Sunday’s Major Races?
By Lisa De Moraes - Predicting Primetime Emmy winners was such a cushy assignment back when broadcasters had the field to themselves.

Emmys To Kick Off With Oscars-Style Opening Film, Feature ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Video
By Nellie Andreeva - EXCLUSIVE: Feeling it was impossible to follow the jaw-dropping opening musical number Neil Patrick Harris did in June as host of the Tony Awards, CBS — which carries both the Tonys and the Emmys this year — and producers of the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards decided to go in a different direction.

Marvel Developing ‘Agent Carter’ TV Series
By Nellie Andreeva - EXCLUSIVE: The “one shot” short films featured as extras on Marvel movies’ DVD releases are becoming a hotbed for TV series ideas. Read More »

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EMMYS Q&A: Neil Patrick Harris

By | Saturday September 21, 2013 @ 12:01pm PDT

Ray Richmond is an AwardsLine contributor.

He still looks like the kid doctor he played on Doogie Howser, M.D. for four years (1989-93), but in fact, Neil Patrick Harris just turned 40 in June. He’s old enough to have a couple of long-running TV series behind him—currently, his Emmy-nominated role of Barney Stinson on the CBS comedy How I Met Your Mother is in its ninth and final season. But perhaps Harris’ most identifiable character is that of awards-show host extraordinaire. He’s fronted the Tonys four times, earning him a pair of Emmys, and on September 22, he takes his second turn hosting the Primetime Emmys ceremony. He spoke with AwardsLine about what it’s like to suddenly be Hollywood’s emcee du jour.

Related: Emmys To Kick Off With Oscars-Style Opening Film

AwardsLine: You make hosting awards shows seem both fun and effortless, particularly the Tonys. But it can’t be either that easy or that enjoyable—is it?
Neil Patrick Harris: No, it isn’t that easy. But, well, that’s the job, which is to make everyone watching both in the theater and at home feel welcome and in good hands. Even if everything is falling apart behind the scenes, you need to convey that it’s all just terrific. As for having fun, yeah, I love hosting while I’m doing it. I’m glad that comes across.

Related: EMMYS: Comedy Series Overview
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Emmys To Kick Off With Oscars-Style Opening Film, Feature ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Video

By | Thursday September 19, 2013 @ 11:51am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Feeling it was impossible to follow the jaw-dropping opening musical number Neil Patrick Harris did in June as host of the Tony Awards, CBS — which carries both the Tonys and the Emmys this year — and producers of the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards decided to go in a different direction. No one would comment, but I’ve learned they opted for an opening film starring Harris and featuring nominated shows in the mold of the popular opening montages at the Oscars. According to a person close to the production, in the video, Harris is binge-viewing shows after taking his hosting duties very seriously and deciding to watch every piece of television made last season. He gradually becomes so intoxicated that a clever and witty conversation ensues.

The video, which is getting great reviews from people who have seen it, was directed by Troy Miller, who has directed all Oscar-opening films for host Billy Crystal as well as the one for hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway (in what was the high point of that ceremony), and the memorable 2011 Emmys opening video featuring host Jane Lynch visiting several nominated series including Mad Men (clip below). Like in all those films, Harris will interact with the different shows but in a way not done before. On a press call yesterday, Emmys executive producer Ken Ehrlich wouldn’t discuss the opening, saying only that “the show will open in a way that is definitely not expected.”

Related: EMMYS: Exec Producer Defends Monteith Tribute Read More »

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EMMYS: A Love-Hate Relationship For The Networks

Broadcasting the Primetime Emmy Awards may seem a thankless task for the broadcast networks that take turns airing the ceremony. The license fee is pretty stiff, considering it’s a three-hour infomercial for the basic and premium cable networks (and now, Netflix) that have siphoned off a good chunk of their audience. Cable networks long ago took over the Emmy longform derbies, then they took over the best-drama derby, and now they’re moving in on comedy. CBS can expect to make a few million on the show, after factoring in the cost of production, etc. And, yes, it’s still a good platform for launching its new TV season, which officially starts the next night — not to mention the in-show plugs, like this year’s host Neil Patrick Harris, who’s the star of CBS’s How I Met Your Mother. And Allison Janney and Anna Faris are among this year’s lineup of notable female TV duos who are presenting — only because they star in the new CBS comedy series Mom. The other duos are far more newsworthy: Kerry Washington and Diahann Carroll are, respectively, the first African-American in nearly two decades to be nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series and the actress who broke color barriers when she starred in the 1968 series Julia; Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are the reigning TV-comedy co-queens; Zooey and Emily Deschanel are the Barrymores of Fox.

Still, the Emmy Awards ranks high on the Aggravation-o-Meter at times for the broadcast host. For instance, when the Academy decides to have Netflix’s House Of Cards star Kate Mara read off the names of nominees in July. As luck would have it, Mara’s plane had a mechanical malfunction, so she had to bail, and Harris stepped in — CBS plug!
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David Fincher, Fox Set ‘Gone Girl’ Cast; Tyler Perry To Play Defense Attorney

By | Thursday September 5, 2013 @ 11:04am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: 20th Century Fox, New Regency and director David Fincher are firming up Gone Girl, the Gillian Flynn novel that will star Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike and shoots this fall. Fincher has set Tyler Perry to play Tanner Bolt, the attorney who reps Affleck’s character after his wife disappears, and Neil Patrick Harris is near a deal to play Desi Collings, the wife’s former boyfriend. At the same time, Fincher has set Kim Dickens, Patrick Fugit and Carrie Coon to round out the cast. Fincher is producing the pic with Pacific Standard’s Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea.

Perry’s deal is now closed. Fincher saw him playing the title role in Alex Cross and courted him for the lawyer role. WME and Ziffren repped Perry, who is busy generating his shows for the OWN network and will next be seen onscreen in A Made Christmas, another in his line of Madea films. Harris is starting to ramp up his post-How I Met Your Mother career and also is hosting the Primetime Emmys later this month. He is repped by CAA. Read More »

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