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HBO’s Martin Scorsese/Mick Jagger Rock ‘N’ Roll Drama Adds Cast

By | Thursday June 26, 2014 @ 1:30pm PDT

HBO’s Martin Scorsese/Mick Jagger Rock ‘N’ Roll Drama Adds CastJoe Caniano, Andrew “Dice” Clay, Ato Essandoh, Robert Funaro, James Jagger, Birgitte Sorenson, and J.C. Mackenzie have been added to the cast of HBO’s Untitled Rock ‘n’ Roll project. The pilot is in production in New York, with Martin Scorsese directing.

The untitled drama is set in 1970s New York and explores the drug- and sex-fueled music business as punk and disco were breaking out, all through the eyes of record executive Richie Finestra (Bobby Cannavale), who is trying to resurrect his label and find the next new sound. Ray Romano will play Richie’s close confidant and right-hand man Zak Yankovich, the tough and sharp-witted head of promotions at American Century, with years of experience dating back to the shady, mob-infested days of the recording industry.

The drama pilot’s executive producers are Scorsese,  Mick Jagger, Terence Winter, George Mastras, Victoria Pearman, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, and Rick Yorn.

Newly added to the cast, Caniano is Leo, Richie’s longtime chauffeur and confidant; Clay is cast as Frank “Buck” Rogers, the obnoxious, cocaine-fueled owner of a chain of radio stations; Essandoh portrays Lester Grimes, a former singer and ex-colleague of Finestra; Funaro is Tony Del Greco, chief enforcer for a New York mob boss; the younger Jagger is Kip Stevens, lead singer of Nasty Bits, a early punk rock band. Sorenson plays Ingrid, a Danish actress favored by Andy Warhol and close friend of Finestra’s wife, Devon; Mackenzie plays Skip Fontaine, head of sales for American Century Records. Deadline reported Monday that PJ Byrne also had been added to the cast; he will play Scott Leavitt, the head of legal for American Century Records.)
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Ray Romano To Co-Star In HBO’s Rock ’N’ Roll Drama Pilot

By | Friday May 2, 2014 @ 9:30am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

romanoRay Romano has joined the cast of HBO‘s untitled Rock ’n’ Roll drama pilot, from executive producers Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger, George Mastras and Terence Winter. The pilot is eyeing a production start in early summer with Scorsese directing. The untitled drama is set in 1970s New York and explores the drug- and sex-fueled music business as punk and disco were breaking out, all through the eyes of record executive Richie Finestra (Bobby Cannavale), who is trying to resurrect his label and find the next new sound. Romano will play Richie’s close confidante and right hand man Zak Yankovich, the tough and sharp-witted had of promotions at American Century with years of experience dating back to the shady, mob-infested days of the recording business. The cast also includes Olivia Wilde and Juno Temple. Victoria Pearman, Emma Tillinger Koskoff and Rick Yorn also executive produce. After starting his career as a standup comedian and rising to fame as the star of hit sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, Romano has taken a more dramatic turn with his acting choices. He co-created and toplined TNT’s dramedy Men Of A Certain Age and has been recurring on Parenthood. He is expected to continue on the NBC drama if it returns next season, possibly for a limited final installment. Repped by ICM Partners, Conversation Co. and Jon Moonves.

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CBS Comedy Stars Top TV Money-Makers

By | Tuesday October 15, 2013 @ 5:17pm PDT

Those people (and TV critics) wondering why Will Arnett would take a role on a CBS multi-cam sitcom with a running fart gag in the pilot, for crying out loud, even if it is exec produced by Greg Garcia, need look no further than Forbes’ just-out list of the highest-paid TV actors. It’s topped entirely by CBS comedy stars. (Note the somewhat apologetic tone of Arnett’s recent multi-cam explanation to Digital Spy: “I’ve spent the last 10 years doing single-camera shows, from Arrested Development to 30 Rock to Running Wilde to Up All Night and, it sounds lame, but I just thought it would be really fun.”) Ashton Kutcher is ranked No. 1, paid $24 million between June of ’12 and ’13, because he’s the guy who enabled Warner Bros TV to retain a big franchise and CBS to hang on to an important piece of its campaign to take over comedy on Thursday nights while maintaining a four-comedy slate on Mondays — a good thing too, given the early demise of We Are Men. Kutcher’s co-star Jon Cryer, who last fall won an best-actor Emmy for having survived the Charlie Sheen years, is No. 2 on the list. Heck, even the show’s Angus “Don’t Watch This Filth” Jones made the list, which presumably eases the pain of being phased off the show this season, after which he will have to make do with his earnings from the show’s syndication. Former CBS star Ray Romano is No. 3 on the list, owing, Forbes says, in large measure to the money he’s still making off of Everybody Loves Raymond repeats. And, at No. 4: Neil Patrick Harris, star of CBS comedy How I Met Your Mother, tied the network’s Mark Harmon, who is star of the country’s most-watched scripted series NCIS. Read More »

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EMMYS: Drama Guest Contenders

By | Sunday June 23, 2013 @ 1:30pm PDT

Paula Bernstein is an AwardsLine contributor.

A look at the leading Emmys contenders for drama guest roles this season.

Nathan Lane
WHAT: The Good Wife
WHY: “Why would I joke?” asks Nathan Lane’s Clarke Hayden, the trustee brought in to oversee Lockhart/Gardner and get the firm back on track. It’s a fitting question for Lane, who is better known for his comic delivery than for his dramatic chops. But, as the levelheaded Hayden, Lane forgoes the over-the-top theatrics and delivers a quiet performance that could earn him his first Emmy nom in a drama category (he’s been nominated previously for comedy guest roles on Frasier, Mad About You and Modern Family).
ONE-LINER: “I don’t like people who quit.” Read More »

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Ray Romano To Return To ‘Parenthood’

By | Thursday June 20, 2013 @ 6:06pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: This is the news Parenthood fans had been waiting for — I’ve learned that Ray Romano has closed a deal to return to the quirky NBC dramedy next season, reprising his character as Sarah’s (Lauren Graham) boss/paramour Hank Rizzoli. I hear Romano will have a major presence, appearing in as many as 12-15 episodes, in line with the 14 episodes he did this season.

Parenthood‘s recent fourth season finale threw Hank’s future into question when Sarah turned down her handsome young fiancé Mark Cyr (Jason Ritter) for Hank, only to learn that Hank was moving to Minnesota to be near his daughter. I hear Romano’s decision to return stems from the great relationship he’d developed with Parenthood developer/executive producer Jason Katims working on the show, something he had enjoyed since joining the cast at the beginning of last season. The underrated Parenthood, which has been one of the most reliable NBC drama performers, is moving to the high-profile Thursday 10 PM slot this fall. Romano, repped by ICM Partners, Conversation Company and Jon Moonves, won an Emmy for his starring role on the CBS comedy Everybody Loves Raymond and co-created and starred on the praised TNT dramedy Men Of A Certain Age.

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‘Rob The Mob’ Enlists Andy Garcia And Ray Romano

By | Tuesday April 30, 2013 @ 8:01am PDT

EXCLUSIVE: Andy Garcia and Ray Romano are joining Raymond De Felitta’s True Romance-esque crime drama Rob The Mob. Based on a true story, the film stars Michael Pitt and Nina Arianda as a couple who brazenly steal from mob-run social clubs in New York City until they stumble upon a coveted list of every mafioso in town and become the prey of the feds, the mob and their own families. Production is underway, with sales to be handled in Cannes by Brian O’Shea’s The Exchange. Bill Teitler (What Maisie Knew, The Polar Express) is producer; Jonathan Fernandez penned the script. Garcia previously starred in De Felitta’s City Island; he’s repped by Clifford Stevens and Andrew Ruf at Paradigm. Romano is repped by ICM Partners, Rory Rosegarten at the Conversation Co. and attorney Jon Moonves at Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano.

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Ray Romano To Do Arc On ‘Parenthood’

By | Tuesday June 19, 2012 @ 11:43am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Ray Romano ParenthoodFollowing his starring role on the TNT dramedy Men Of A Certain Age, which he also co-created, Ray Romano is staying in dramedy mode with an arc on the upcoming season of NBC’s Parenthood. He will play a photographer and former photojournalist who befriends Sarah (Lauren Graham) and complicates her relationship with Mark (Jason Ritter); his character will be introduced in the season premiere. Following the end of Men Of A Certain Age, Romano reunited with his Everybody Loves Raymond co-star Patricia Heaton in a two-episode guest stint on her ABC comedy series The Middle last fall.

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‘Men Of A Certain Age’ Creators End Efforts To Find New Home For Canceled Series

By | Friday August 26, 2011 @ 6:40pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Men of a Certain Age is officially dead. Following the dramedy’s cancellation by TNT, series creators Ray Romano and Mike Royce had shopped the series around. Now they took to the “Save Men of a Certain Age” Facebook page, whose online petition has garnered more than 10,000 signatures, to announce that those efforts have been unsuccessful and they are reluctantly throwing in the towel. Here is Romano and Royce’s gracious open letter to fans titled Hold Your Head Up:

Hi folks,

Sorry I haven’t been in touch.  Unfortunately there’s been nothing to report.  And at this point, since we want to be straight with you guys, I have to tell you that we’ve kind of reached the end of the road.  Hard to admit, but it’s true.

If you can think of a network, we called them. Of course, “Men of a Certain Age” doesn’t really belong on certain networks.  But we called them too.  We called everybody.  We tried online, satellite, alternate content providers, corporate sponsorship, Taxi TV, filmstrips… everything.  We’ve exhausted every possibility and then some.

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TNT Cancels ‘Men Of A Certain Age’

By | Friday July 15, 2011 @ 2:05pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

There will be no third season of TNT’s buddy dramedy Men of a Certain Age after the cable network decided to pull the plug on the critically praised but low-rated series. “TNT has been proud to be a part of Men of a Certain Age for two seasons,” the network said in a statement. “While the show has featured great storytelling and impeccable performances, the audience simply hasn’t built to the point where we can continue the series. This was an extremely difficult decision for us. We wish (co-creators) Ray Romano & Mike Royce and the terrific cast and crew the very best and look forward to exploring new programming possibilities in the future.” The news comes a day after Men landed an Emmy nomination for Andre Braugher, who co-stars on the show alongside Romano and Scott Bakula. The series also landed a Peabody Award in May. Men returned for the conclusion of its second season last month to a disappointing 1.8 million viewers, 591,000 of them in the 19-49 demographic. That was down 33% from the Season 2 premiere in December.

While not completely unexpected, the cancellation represents an about-face for TNT brass. At TCA in January, the network’s chief Michael Wright did not seem phased by the series’ low ratings. Read More »

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Upfronts: Video Snafus Send TNT-TBS Execs Scrambling

By | Wednesday May 18, 2011 @ 8:40am PDT

TNT & TBS Upfront News: ‘Closer’ Spinoff, ‘Wedding Band’, ‘Wedding Band’ Picked Up To Series, ‘Conan’ To Hit The Road, Development Slates Announced

UPDATE, 8:35 AM: Turner executives’ nightmare is over. Koonin returned to the stage to tell advertisers that TNT and TBS plan a major campaign to appeal to viewers who want to watch shows on mobile devices. The networks will advertise that they offer “drama on demand” and “comedy on demand.” Koonin paraphrased crooner Richard Marks: “Wherever you go, whatever you do, TBS and TNT will be there waiting for you.”

PREVIOUS, 8:20 AM: Video came back about 15 minutes ago and appears to be OK. Whatever happens, the technical woes gave Conan O’Brien more ammo for a routine that took several jabs at Turner Entertainment. When the breakdown ruined one of his gags, he said, “You know I love working at TBS — the commitment to detail.” After a stagehand told him to skip the routine with the clip, he added: ”Alright, I guess I’ll do what I’m told. Beggers can’t be choosers.” Earlier he said,I did this upfront last year. Frankly, I don’t know why TBS doesn’t do what it does best and run it again -– four freaking times.” Also: “We’re already No. 1 in TBS’ key demographic: People who can’t afford HBO.” Read More »

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TCA BITS: Ricky Gervais On Science, Mike Tyson On Pigeons, Ray Romano On Kissing

From Ray Richmond, who is contributing to Deadline Hollywood’s TCA Coverage:

Ricky Gervais is Now a Man of Science
Nobody has more fun than Ricky Gervais, as he proved Thursday afternoon during a TCA panel that originated live via satellite from overseas. Gervais was joined by his writer-producer partner Stephen Merchant and their best friend, Karl Pilkington, to promote their new Science Channel series An Idiot Abroad that centers on a satiric travelogue involving Pilkington’s “forced trip around the globe” visiting the Seven Wonders of the World at Gervais’ and Merchant’s behest.

The 20-minute session, conducted with the three men on big screen, outfitted with earpieces and fortified by glasses of beer positioned in front of them, was mostly an opportunity for Gervais to guffaw heartily, further humiliate Pilkington and attempt to explain how this piece of comedy could wind up on something called the Science Channel. The loose justification: it’s a social experiment to see how much humiliation one man can tolerate without losing his mind.

At least 25% of the session was taken up by Gervais’ laughing so deeply and heartily that he often couldn’t catch his breath — all of it at the hapless Pilkington’s expense. When Pilkington was asked if he ever got sick of being referred to as a moron, he replied with a tepid, “Yeah.” He added, “I don’t think of myself as a moron. I hope that people watching this show will see themselves in me. It’s a little bit like when you get a dog.”

Gervais referred to … Read More »

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