It’s been a fortnight since Fox unveiled its 2014 schedule and trailers for its new series at its upfront presentation New York. Notably absent from the trailer list was Red Band Society, the hospital-set coming-of-age drama that stars Oscar winner Octavia Spencer and is based on the Spanish series Polseres Vermelles. We understand it took this long to get clearances, so the network is releasing the first-look just now. The series, from Amblin TV and ABC Studios, was written by Margaret Nagle and was a favorite staffing choice for writers this season. Check it out:
Related: Fox’s New Series Trailers
Oscar winner Octavia Spencer will play Johanna, the leader of the Amity faction, in the second installment of Lionsgate/Summit’s Divergent franchise. Insurgent, the second of four pics, will be released March 20, 2015. Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Kate Winslet return from the first movie, which has surpassed $250M in worldwide box office and is Lionsgate’s highest-grossing domestic release since The Hunger Games and Twilight series. Insurgent raises the stakes for Tris (Woodley) as she searches for allies and answers in the dystopian ruins of a futuristic Chicago while on the run with Four (James) and hunted by the leader of the power-hungry Erudite elite (Winslet). Spencer, repped by WME and Jackoway Tyerman, has upcoming the James Brown biopic Get On Up and Snowpiercer and stars in the Fox pilot Red Band Society that was just picked up to series.
Related: Lionsgate To Split Final ‘Divergent’ Sequel ‘Allegiant’ Into 2 Films
Oscar 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 coming-of-age drama that explores with dark humor the daily lives of a group of teenagers living in a hospital who become unlikely friends. Spencer will play Nurse Jackson, who works in the pediatrics ward. She’s an excellent, intuitive nurse and a tough customer who doesn’t put up with any crap from anyone. Red Band Society, written by Margaret Nagle, has a “series prototype” order under Fox’s new development model, which involves a pilot and backup scripts. his marks the first series regular role for Spencer, who won an Oscar for The Help. Earlier this season, she was attached to a Murder, She Wrote reboot at NBC and received a slew of pilot offers in the past couple of weeks before deciding on Red Band. Spencer most recently was in Fruitvale Station and next will be seen in the James Brown biopic Get On Up and Black And White opposite Kevin Costner. She is repped by WME and Jackoway Tyerman.
Vera 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 centers around a 12-year-old girl who shocks everyone when she is accepted into a prestigious school for dancers. While she learns that to get to the top, she must kill or be killed, her mother struggles to acclimate to her posh stomping grounds. The Allegiance Theater’s Daniel Dubiecki and Lara Alameddine are producing along with Karine Martin under her Mediamax banner. Highland Film Group has worldwide sales here in Berlin. Farmiga is repped by CAA, Jon Rubinstein of Authentic Talent and Literary Management, and Jodi Peikoff of Peikoff Mahan.
Principal photography is currently underway on another Highland Film Group pic, Ami Canaan Mann’s Your Right Mind with Katherine Heigl and Ben Barnes starring. Joining the cast are Clea DuVall, Sheryl Lee, Emily Alyn Lind and Ryan Bingham. Canaan Mann wrote the script about a modern-day traveling folk singer who puts his dreams of becoming a successful musician on hold when he meets a former country singer fighting for custody of her daughter. Molly Hassell is producing with Canaan Mann and John Jencks. Jon Avnet, Rodrigo Garcia, Highland Film Group’s Arianne Fraser and Delphine Perrier, and Main Street Films’ … Read More »
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 »
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. 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 »
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 play Susie Brown, who was only 16 when she gave birth to the future R&B legend, and abandoned him to live with relatives. Spencer will play the child’s Aunt Honey, a formative figure in his upbringing. This is a re-team with Taylor from The Help, for which Davis was nominated for Best Actress Oscar and Spencer winning for Best Supporting Actress. Universal will start production November in Mississippi. The script is by Jez Butterworth & John-Henry Butterworth and Steven Baigelman, and Victoria Pearman and Erica Huggins are also producing. Davis is repped by CAA and Principal Entertainment, Spencer by WME.
RELATED: Tate Taylor, Mick Jagger Join Brian Grazer On James Brown Biopic
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 the oldest unmarried gal in her family and sets her sights on finding a groom before her sister gets hitched in 30 days. Derek Luke will also star.
Since her Oscar turn, Spencer has starred in Diablo Cody’s untitled directing debut, and she just wrapped Snowpiercer with Chris Evans, and she just completed Fruitvale, which was produced by Forest Whitaker.
She’s repped by WME.
Monica Corcoran Harel is contributing to Deadline’s Oscar coverage.
Unlike 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.
Red, 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 »
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 »
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:
Outstanding Motion Picture
“The Help” (DreamWorks Pictures/
Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Laz Alonso – “Jumping the Broom”
Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
Viola Davis – “The Help” (DreamWorks 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/
Outstanding Independent Motion Picture
“Pariah” (Focus Features)
Outstanding Foreign Motion Picture
“In the Land of Blood and Honey” (FilmDistrict)
Read More »
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 expected awards for Picture, Director, Music Score, Costumes. It was also another Best Actor notch in Jean Dujardin’s belt following his all-important SAG win two weeks ago. It also scored less obvious BAFTA trophies for its black and white Cinematography and most surprisingly for director Michel Hazanavicius’ Original Screenplay, a category widely predicted to go to Woody Allen for Midnight In Paris. A writing award for a screenplay of a essentially dialogue-less movie surprised even Hazanavicius who has told me he expects to lose in this category to his idol, Allen. It just goes to show the amount of love this film has gotten, not only from critics but the industry where it has also won key PGA and DGA honors. BAFTA, like those groups has a large crossover of Academy members. As much as one sixth of the entire Academy voting bloc are also members of BAFTA.
Last year’s BAFTA winners for Picture , Actor and Actress (The King’s Speech’s Colin Firth and Black Swan’s Natalie Portman) all repeated at the Oscars although oddly Social Network’s David Fincher beat hometown boy Tom Hooper in the directing contest while King’s Speech co-stars Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter took Supporting awards only to lose … Read More »
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 roll that started in earnest with the Critics Choice and Golden Globe awards. But the Outstanding Cast award that also went to The Help let that Dreamworks film rack up one of the biggest single film hauls in the Screen Actors Guild Awards’ 18-year history. Only two other films, American Beauty in 1999 and Chicago in 2002, match Help’s three wins out of five film categories. Interestingly, both went on to win the Oscar for Best Picture. A good omen? In this case it probably doesn’t lend as much weight for the Oscar Best Picture race as pundits normally give to SAG’s cast award, which is often thought of as their version of Best Picture.
The Oscar nominations earlier this week showed no love throughout the individual branches of the Academy except the large actors group which gave it three nominations (Davis, Spencer and another supporting actress contender Jessica Chastain) to go with its Best Picture nod. With no directing, writing or editing (not to mention song, costumes, art direction where it also might have competed) the odds are very long that The Help can use its impressive showing at SAG to propel it into a dogfight with frontrunner The Artist. With Oscar ballots shipping on Wednesday … Read More »
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 Movie Awards today. But it is more likely Oscar voters will want to spread the wealth rather than repeat what they did for 1963’s Tom Jones, when three ladies won the lion’s share of nominations in the category. The competition among supporting thesps is just too strong this year to go in that direction. Here is a look at the way this highly competitive category is shaping up.
OCTAVIA SPENCER, THE HELP
As Minny Jackson, a civil rights-era maid, Spencer made a very memorable pie and got the bulk of the laughs among a large ensemble. She is a sure thing nominee, not only for her comic ability but her dramatic scenes too, making her a formidable contender and crowd favorite.
BÉRÉNICE BEJO, THE ARTIST
Taking on the challenge not only of playing the lead female role in a black and white silent film, Bejo also had to learn to tap dance and sing in addition to being a believable budding superstar of the silver screen. In other words she does it all except talk. But it’s more than enough.
SHAILENE WOODLEY, THE DESCENDANTS
Breaking out of the cable TV teen comedy ghetto, Woodley showed she … Read More »