Octavia Spencer To Star In Fox’s ‘Red Band Society’

By | Friday February 14, 2014 @ 1:30pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

spenserOscar winner Octavia Spencer is set as a lead in Fox’s drama project Red Band Society, from Amblin Television and ABC Studios. Based on the acclaimed Spanish series Polseres Vermelles by Albert Espinosa, Red Band Society is a … Read More »

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Berlin Briefs: Vera Farmiga Pirouettes To ‘Prima’; ‘Your Right Mind’ Adds Clea DuVall; ‘Take Down’ Casts Up; Buyers Like ‘Someone You Love’; Sophie Nélisse To Play ‘Gilly Hopkins’; More

BerlinFilmFestival_badgeVera Farmiga has signed on to star in relationship comedy Prima. Even Greenberg wrote the script and is directing the film that was previously known as Dance Of The Mirlitons. The film is prepping for a March start and … Read More »

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NBC’s ‘Murder She Wrote’ Reboot Not Going Forward, Could Be Revisited In The Future

By | Tuesday January 21, 2014 @ 4:47pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

murder she wroteEXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that NBC has opted not to proceed with the proposed re-imagining of one of the most successful series in TV history – Murder, She Wrote — which had Oscar winner Octavia Spencer attached to star. The project, from writer Alexandra Cunningham and producer David Janollari, got a lot of attention when it came  together in October, receiving a put pilot commitment from the network. A light, contemporary procedural, it was to follow a hospital administrator and amateur sleuth (Spencer) who self-publishes her first mystery novel. Rebooting an iconic series is extremely difficult, as proved by a string of efforts, including NBC’s attempt at a contemporary Rockford NBC_logoFiles from House creator David Shore and producer Steve Carell, which didn’t go to series. It took two attempts with different writers for a new Hawaii Five-0 to get on the air. The same happened with Prime Suspect — it was actually Cunningham’s take that got NBC brass’ approval and attracted Maria Bello for a well-received remake of the British drama — and with ABC’s Charlie’s Angels. Read More »

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Deadline’s Best TV Stories Of The Week

Catch up with the top TV stories you missed this week:

NBC To Reboot ‘Murder, She Wrote’ With Octavia Spencer Starring, Alex Cunningham Writing And David Janollari Producing
By Nellie Andreeva – EXCLUSIVE: NBC is looking to revive one of the most successful series in TV history – Murder, She Wrote — with a brand new take from writer Alexandra Cunningham and producer David Janollari that has Oscar winner Octavia Spencer succeeding Angela Lansbury in the lead role of an astute amateur detective.

CBS Eyes Reboot Of The WB’s ‘Charmed’
By Nellie Andreeva – CBS shows have migrated to younger skewing sibling the CW — CBS pilot Ringer became a CW series, and defunct CBS vampire drama Moonlight got a second run on the sister network.

Kurt Sutter On Extending ‘Sons Of Anarchy’ Past Seven Seasons, Playing Prison-Rape Victim And Being Influenced By ‘The Shield’
By The Deadline Team – The outspoken creator and showrunner of FX’s highest-rated program ever was his usual candid self at an ATAS event tonight. Read More »

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NBC To Reboot ‘Murder, She Wrote’ With Octavia Spencer Starring, Alex Cunningham Writing And David Janollari Producing

Nellie Andreeva

Murder She Wrote Reboot NBC Octavia SpencerEXCLUSIVE: NBC is looking to revive one of the most successful series in TV history – Murder, She Wrote — with a brand new take from writer Alexandra Cunningham and producer David Janollari that has Oscar winner Octavia Spencer succeeding Angela Lansbury in the lead role of an astute amateur detective. The new hourlong project, which has received a put pilot commitment, is a re-imagining of the long-running CBS series. Described as a light, contemporary procedural in the vein of Bones or Fargo, it follows a hospital administrator and amateur sleuth (Spencer) who self-publishes her first mystery novel. Set in a day where sensational headlines inundate the news, this woman’s avid fascination with true crime leads her to become an active participant in the investigations. Former Desperate Housewives executive producer Cunningham is writing and will executive produce with Janollari. I hear Lansbury has been approached to be a part of the reboot. Universal TV, whose namesake predecessor produced the original series, is producing with studio-based David Janollari Entertainment.

This would mark the first series regular role for Spencer, who won an Oscar for The Help. She previously worked with NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt and Janollari on the 2001 Sci Fi Channel series The Chronicle, which the two exec produced and she recurred on. Spencer’s involvement in Murder, She Wrote stems from an exploratory meeting she took with Greenblatt. “I’ve always considered myself an armchair detective and in a recent meeting with Bob Greenblatt, he asked me what type of character would be able to lure me to TV. Naturally, I said ” J.B. Fletcher” meets “Colombo”… And here we are,” she said. “I’m ecstatic to have the opportunity to work with Dave Janollari again, and Alex Cunningham a brilliant writer who shares my love for all things mysterious and Angela Lansbury.” Cunningham also spoke of her and Spencer’s shared passions. “Octavia and I are both huge true crime buffs, amateur criminologists, and fans of Angela Lansbury,” she said. “To get the chance to reimagine Murder, She Wrote for a dynamic and multi-faceted actress like Octavia is a thrill and a pleasure.” Read More »

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Tate Taylor Reunites With ‘The Help’s Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer On James Brown Pic

By | Monday September 30, 2013 @ 12:04pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Tate Taylor has set Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer to star with Chadwick Boseman in Get On Up, the James Brown biopic that Imagine’s Brian Grazer is producing with Jagged Films’ Mick Jagger. Davis will… Read More »

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Kevin Costner-Mike Binder Drama ‘Black And White’ Adds Jennifer Ehle, Andre Holland & Bill Burr

By | Friday July 12, 2013 @ 3:40pm PDT

EXCLUSIVE: Jennifer Ehle (Zero Dark Thirty), Andre Holland (42), and comedian/actor Bill Burr (The Heat) have joined the cast of Black and White, the indie drama that re-teams Kevin Costner with his Upside Of Anger director Mike Binder. Costner stars as a grieving widower fighting for custody of his bi-racial granddaughter with the girl’s paternal grandmother (Octavia Spencer) and his drug addict son-in-law (Holland), who he blames for his own daughter’s death. Racial tension and bitterness erupt as they wage battle over the child. Binder wrote the script, his first feature drama since 2007′s Reign Over Me. In addition to Ehle, Holland, and Burr, Mpho Koaho and newcomer Jillian Estell round out the cast. Filming begins Monday in New Orleans. Read More »

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OSCARS: Last Year’s Acting Winners Returning To Present

By | Tuesday February 5, 2013 @ 9:07am PST

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Last year’s Academy Award® winners Meryl Streep, Jean Dujardin, Octavia Spencer and Christopher Plummer will return to present on this year’s telecast, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today.

“We are honored to have

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‘The Help’s Octavia Spencer Joins ‘Baggage Claim’

By | Thursday August 2, 2012 @ 11:37am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Octavia Spencer, who won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for The Help, will join the cast of Baggage Claim, the David E. Talbert-directed comedy for Fox Searchlight. Paula Patton stars as a flight attendant who is … Read More »

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OSCARS: Who Wore What On Red Carpet

By | Sunday February 26, 2012 @ 9:55pm PST

Monica Corcoran Harel is contributing to Deadline’s Oscar coverage.

Meryl Streep Red CarpetUnlike monotonous years past when a color or style prevailed, tonight’s Academy Awards Red Carpet teemed with extremes. Actresses either went strapless and exposed chiseled clavicles or opted for demure long sleeves. Some coerced their hair into crazy Cinnabon updos, while others played it loose with windswept, just-got-lucky-in-the-limo waves. All in all, it was a good night for fashion. Meryl Streep channeled a female Oscar in gold lame Lanvin, Rooney Mara didn’t wear black and Sacha Baron Cohen claimed to be wearing “Galliano with socks from K-Mart.”

When it came to color, a majority went white — a hue the costume designer Edith Head once said “can be gay or somber.” In the case of 20-year-old Shailene Woodley in a mod Valentino Couture gown, the look was a bit matronly and Babe Paley circa 1960 for such a dewy star. Gwyneth Paltrow, whose bright white Tom Ford column gown with an architectural duster stood out like spilled milk, looked bright and awake. Rooney Mara, however, seemed more like a Tim Burton Goth bride in her Givenchy dress with a bondage-style back and transparent train.

Natalie Portman Oscar DressRed, too, made a strong showing thanks to Natalie Portman, Emma Stone and Michelle Williams. Portman’s vintage polka-dotted Christian Dior gown was charming, though the hem was slightly wrinkled. (Shouldn’t limos come equipped with steamers?) Stone’s scarlet Giambattista Valli — embellished with a toaster-sized bow on the left shoulder — had critics hissing that it was too redolent of the Balenciaga dress Nicole Kidman wore to the 2007 Oscars. Oh, stop. Doesn’t Hollywood make the same movies every year? Williams, ever the gamine, looked great in that coral Louis Vuitton with a sweet peplum waist that gave her some curves. Read More »

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OSCARS: Octavia Spencer – ‘The Help’

By | Saturday February 18, 2012 @ 1:52pm PST

Once a year it seems a performance comes across as more than the sum of good writing, strong direction and lucky timing. The performance appears to be rooted in the reality of the actor’s history; in essence they have lived much of what they are being asked to portray. Such is Octavia Spencer‘s portrait of Minny Jackson in The Help. She plays a maid who suffers through emotional and physical beatings like a native but not a naive veteran of the 1960s civil rights movement — Spencer grew up in Montgomery, Ala., and graduated with a BS in Liberal Arts from Auburn. Perhaps it’s the combination of her education, Southern comfort and humor that have helped Spencer emerge as a Supporting Actress frontrunner for the Oscars even with such equally impressive co-stars as Jessica Chastain, Bryce Dallas Howard, Allison Janney and Oscar-winner Sissy Spacek. She spoke with AwardsLine contributor Craig Modderno about her experience with The Help, which is up for four Oscars including Best Picture.

AWARDSLINE: Many actors say they’re perfect for the role especially when they’re auditioning. Was your part in The Help a natural fit for you?
SPENCER: I don’t know. Basically it was physically, because I suspect Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help, who I knew while she was writing the book, might have modeled the character after me. But there are a lot of other short and round black women in the South who also seem to not hesitate in speaking their minds. Even though I was friends with the author and other influential members of the production team, I still had to audition for the role. When I did, in the back of my mind, I thought I was hearing someone ask if Jennifer Hudson was available yet! Read More »

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‘The Help’, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer Win At NAACP Image Awards

By | Friday February 17, 2012 @ 7:07pm PST

The Help accumulated more accolades tonight with the NAACP Image Awards naming it Best Motion Picture, and Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer were chosen Best Actress and Supporting Actress. Ceremonies at the Shrine Auditorium were hosted by Sanaa Latham and Anthony Mackie. In addition, the Founding Members of the Black Stuntmen’s Association received the NAACP President’s Award. A list of winners in motion picture and TV categories follows:

MOTION PICTURE

Outstanding Motion Picture
“The Help” (DreamWorks Pictures/
Participant Media/
Touchstone Pictures)

Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Laz Alonso – “Jumping the Broom”
(TriStar Pictures)

Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
Viola Davis – “The Help” (DreamWorks Pictures/
Participant Media/
Touchstone Pictures)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Mike Epps – “Jumping the Broom” (TriStar Pictures)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Octavia Spencer – “The Help” (DreamWorks Pictures/
Participant Media/
Touchstone Pictures)

Outstanding Independent Motion Picture
“Pariah” (Focus Features)

Outstanding Foreign Motion Picture
“In the Land of Blood and Honey” (FilmDistrict)

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BAFTA Awards: What ‘Artist’, Dujardin, Streep Wins Mean For Oscar – Hammond

Pete Hammond

If there was any question before today’s British Academy Film Awards that The Artist was the film to beat for the Oscars, the results in London just cemented it, and in an impressive sweep that portends big things. It wasn’t just the … Read More »

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SAG, DGA Results Split Between ‘Artist’ And ‘The Help’ Adding Intrigue To Oscar Race: Hammond

Pete Hammond

The Help’s Viola Davis certainly got a leg up in her fierce Best Actress race against The Weinstein Company’s duo Meryl Streep and Michelle Williams, and Help’s Octavia Spencer continued on her supporting actress … Read More »

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Hammond: Supporting Actress Hopefuls Might Wish For Oscar Absence Of ‘The Help’

Pete Hammond

Could one movie dominate this year’s best supporting actress Oscar lineup? Certainly an argument could be made for any number of actresses in the ensemble hit, The Help and in fact two of them were nominated for Critics Choice … Read More »

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