The last piece has fallen into NBC‘s comedy puzzle, with the network canceling Ryan Murphy‘s freshman comedy The New Normal. To recap, of all current NBC comedy series, only two, Parks & Recreation and Community, made it to next season as the network is betting heavily on its half-hour pilots. The New Normal has garnered a lot of attention (and some controversy) with its subject of a gay couple having a baby. It recently won a GLAAD Award but largely failed to gain traction with viewers.
EXCLUSIVE: After fielding interest from multiple networks, Open, the racy new drama spec from Glee and American Horror Story co-creator Ryan Murphy, has gone to HBO, which has given it a pilot order. Casting is expected to begin shortly for filming in the fall. Open, which Murphy co-wrote with Dexter co-executive producer Lauren Gussis, is described as a modern, provocative exploration of human sexuality and relationships. It hails from Fox 21, the cable division of 20th Century Fox TV, where Murphy is under a rich overall deal. This marks the first project at HBO for 20th TV/Fox21, whose maiden project at fellow premium cable network Showtime was the Emmy-winning drama Homeland. “Gary (Newman), Bert (Salke) and I have been looking for the right opportunity to be in business with HBO for awhile, and this show represents the exact right opportunity,” said 20th TV chairman Dana Walden. “Its provocative storytelling and Ryan’s trademark production values and rich, layered characters make it a perfect fit for the HBO brand.”
Open expands HBO’s relationship with Murphy, where he is directing a passion project of his, the film adaptation of Larry Kramer’s celebrated Broadway play The Normal Heart. It is through that movie that HBO president Michael Lombardo got to know Murphy and observe his talent first-hand. Then he got the call from 20th TV and was given the Open script. “I was hooked,” Lombardo said. “I think it is a perfect marriage of an idea and execution. This is an area we’ve been talking about doing something in for some time, and Ryan did it in a way that is enormously engaging. We’re thrilled doing this project with him, Dana and Gary.”
EXCLUSIVE: In what will likely be one of the biggest cable sales of the year, Glee and American Horror Story co-creator Ryan Murphy is out shopping a racy new project. Open, which he is creating and writing with Dexter co-executive producer Lauren Gussis, is described as a modern, provocative exploration of human sexuality and relationships. The subject matter seems to lend itself to premium cable, though I hear selected basic cable networks are also being pitched. The project just hit the marketplace, and I hear there are already multiple networks bidding. Open marks Murphy’s first project with Fox 21, the cable production division of 20th Century Fox TV where Murphy is under a rich overall deal.
Jen Yamato is a Deadline contributor.
Ryan Murphy spilled details at a screening last night for the season finale of FX’s American Horror Story. “The movie that I was most freaked out by as a child was this movie that …
FX’s American Horror Story: Asylum and NBC’s The New Normal were announced today as additions to the 30th edition of The Paley Center For Media’s TV festival’s slate. The Ryan Murphy-co-created series joins previously announced honorees HBO’s The Newsroom, NBC’s Revolution and ABC’s …
“Be fair.” That’s what The New Normal creator Ryan Murphy said 20th Century Fox TV and NBC execs told him about doing an episode of the NBC sitcom from a Republican perspective. The episode, “Obama’s Mama”, airs tonight. “You have two gay clearly liberal guys at the heart of the show. We all collectively thought it would be great to do an episode where you presented Ellen’s point of view, the conservative point of view, the Republican point of view that hopefully was eloquent and was given equal time,” Murphy said today during a conference call about the show, about a gay couple having a baby through a surrogate. Ellen Barkin plays June, the conservative 58-year-old grandmother of the surrogate (played by Georgia King).
The upcoming second season/installment of FX’s horror series/miniseries American Horror Story will be titled American Horror Story: Asylum, co-creator/executive producer Ryan Murphy announced today. Set in 1964, American Horror Story: Asylum stars Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Lily Rabe, Zachary Quinto, James Cromwell, and Joseph Fiennes. Principal photography on AHS: Asylum started on July 17 for an October premiere. “We picked ‘Asylum’ because it not only describes the setting – an insane asylum run by Jessica Lange’s character which was formerly a tuberculosis ward – but also signifies a place of haven for the unloved and the unwanted,” Murphy said. “This year’s theme is about sanity and tackling real life horrors.”
New York, July 30, 2012 —Producer/writer Ryan Murphy, who reinvented the musical comedy genre with his hit series Glee, and promotes acceptance and inclusion through his globally successful television and movie work, will receive the 2012 International Emmy® Founders Award. Academy President & CEO, Bruce L. Paisner, announced today that Murphy will accept the Award –which recognizes an individual who crosses cultural boundaries to touch our common humanity– at the 40th International Emmy® Awards Gala, on Monday, November 19, 2012, in New York City. Murphy’s latest television show The New Normal, premieres this fall in the United States.
“Throughout his career, Ryan Murphy has masterfully redefined storytelling to create unprecedented atmospheres and characters that celebrate human difference, be it dark, as in Nip/Tuck, or hopeful, as in Glee,” said Paisner. “We are looking forward to recognizing his creative accomplishments, which continue the great tradition of American television as we mark the 40th Anniversary of The International Emmy Awards.”
Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
At today’s TCA panel on NBC’s new comedy The New Normal, executive producer Ryan Murphy was asked to address the fact that the series is already being boycotted by anti-gay activist group One Million Moms even though the show has not aired. The series revolves around a gay couple (portrayed by Broadway’s Book Of Mormon star Andrew Rannells and Justin Bartha) who seek to conceive a child with a surrogate mother (Georgia King). Murphy is openly gay as is co-executive producer Allison “Ali” Adler, a Glee colleague (Murphy said Rannells’ character is loosely based on himself and that he has dreams of becoming a parent with his partner). “I have obviously been through this before, I wasn’t surprised when I read (about the boycott)”, said Murphy, who also has come under fire from conservative groups over gay characters in Glee. “I think every person and group has a right to protest something, (but) I always find it interesting for someone to take that option before they’ve seen it,” he said of the group, which also has attacked JC Penney for hiring Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson.
Murphy added that there is a character in New Normal that often voices the opinions of the Million Moms group: the conservative grandmother portrayed by Ellen Barkin. “Their points of view are delivered with sensitivity and a certain amount of veracity by Ms. Barkin,” Murphy said. “If they actually watched it, I think they would like it.” Murphy called the character “loveable; everybody has people like her in their family. In all of these characters, the most controversial will be Ellen — I remember Thanksgivings growing up when my grandmother would say these jaw-dropping things.”
Work at Ryan Murphy‘s production company was disrupted for a couple of hours today. When an office assistant was opening a letter from a fan who wanted Murphy to read his script, a little bit of white …
Some of the characters may have left McKinley High and Ohio but practically none of Glee‘s regulars is leaving the show. Additionally, I’ve learned that Chord Overstreet is in talks to return next season, this time as a regular. Overstreet joined Glee in Season 2 as a recurring, left at the end of the season and then came back midway through Season 3.
At the end of last season, which saw several seniors from the New Directions glee club graduate, series co-creator Ryan Murphy extended an open invitation to all 15 regulars to return for Season 4. It appears that virtually all accepted it and are set to come back, though not everyone will be in every episode. Leading couple Lea Michele and Cory Monteith are among those likely to be in most if not all episodes. Also coming back are Matthew Morrison, Jane Lynch, Chris Colfer, Naya Rivera, Kevin McHale, Darren Criss, Amber Riley, Jenna Ushkowitz, Jayma Mays, Dianna Agron, Mark Salling, Harry Shum Jr and Heather Morris.
BREAKING… 2:26 PM 5th UPDATE Before attending his publicly scheduled Thursday fundraiser, President Obama had a private early meeting this morning at the Beverly Hilton with a number of young Hollywood stars who are supporting his re-election. The meeting, which was keep off the official White House itinerary, had no media present. However celebs like Jessica Alba, The Avengers’ Jeremy Renner, Bryan Greenberg (pictured left with Obama), Jared Leto, Glee’s Dianna Argon, Tatyana Ali, Sophia Bush and Kal Penn, who quit Hollywood for a year to work for the administration, took to social media like Twitter to give POTUS shout-outs and post photos of themselves meeting Obama.
The President’s 9 AM Thursday morning fundraiser was at the View Park home of developer Charles Quarles and his wife. Tickets for that event are $2,500. All the money the President raised during his time in LA goes to the Obama Victory Fund. After the Quarles event, Obama left LA for more events in Las Vegas and then to head back to D.C. in the evening.
There’s more glitz money in the incumbant’s near future. The President and the First Lady will be in NYC on June 14 for a fundraiser at Sarah Jessica Parker’s house co-hosted by the Sex and The City actress and Vogue editor Anna Wintour. Like the May 10 dinner at George Clooney’s house, the Parker/Wintour event will include a raffle for donors who give $3 to the campaign to win two tickets to attend. No word on how much the face value price of the tickets to Parker’s house are or how many people are expected. New York, like LA is fertile fundraising territory for the incumbent. Obama was in the Big Apple earlier this week fundraising with former President Bill Clinton and Jon Bon Jovi by his side.
4th UPDATE 9:10 PM
“I will not be singing tonight,” President Obama told the crowd tonight at Glee creator Ryan Murphy and his fiancé David Miller’s house. Obama made the joke after being introduced to the crowd of around 70 people by Murphy at the $40,000 per-couple fundraiser. Obama spoke for about 12 minutes starting at 8:15 PM and then took questions from the audience. That audience included HBO’s president of programming Michael Lombardo, Julia Roberts, CAA’s Kevin Huvane and Bryan Lourd, Glee star Jane Lynch and Reese Witherspoon. The President hit similar themes as he had at the LGBT gala earlier in the evening, talking about the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the record of his first term. Obama left Murphy and Miller’s house at 9 PM. The motorcade drove by supporters out on the street and headed back to the Beverly Hilton where Obama is staying tonight.
Here’s the scene from the pool report:
The scene: outdoor interior courtyard paved in brick. Obama spoke framed by a white arch. Eight tables of 8 to 10 arrayed around a central fountain. Chairs draped in white. Very pleasant weather. Neighbors with impossibly well groomed lawns seemed not tons thrilled to see all the cars and have us tramp on their grass a bit.
Witherspoon, a fellow Harvard Law graduate of the president if you count Legally Blonde, was in a place of honor at one of the closer-in tables.
EXCLUSIVE: Another key piece of the upcoming second season of FX’s hit drama series American Horror Story has fallen into place. Zachary Quinto, who did a scene-stealing four-episode arc on the first season of the Ryan Murphy/Brad Falchuk drama as the Harmon house’s doomed former co-owner Chad Warwick, will be back as a series regular in Season 2, joining Jessica Lange. Like Lange, he will play a brand new character next season, which is set at an East Coast institution. What’s more, I have learned that Quinto will play one of two male leads and the nemesis to Lange’s character, which will be at the center of the Season 2 storyline. The part is sure to draw parallels to Quinto’s breakout role as uber-villain Syler on Heroes.
While Lange had been expected to return — she confirmed ongoing negotiations at the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards, where she won for her performance on the show, Quinto’s return had been kept under wraps until now. Quinto and Murphy are friends; that’s how Quinto’s original stint on the show came about. After the critical praise Quinto received for his arc, he was open to coming back. “I had an amazing time and I only did four episodes of the season, so it was just a little bit of an appetizer for me; I would love to work more,” he said in an online interview last month. An anthology series like AHS is perfectly suited for Quinto, who wants to keep a hand in television but, busy as an actor and producer on the feature side, can’t make the 5-6-year commitment required on a regular series.
Ryan Murphy Plans ‘One Hit Wonders’ With Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon, Cameron Diaz, Beyonce And Andy Samberg
UPDATE: Beyonce’s camp says that she isn’t attached to One Hit Wonders, so perhaps this was a bit of over-exuberance on the part of the filmmakers. Still a crazy good cast if you ask me.
EXCLUSIVE: In a seven-figure preemptive deal, Sony Pictures is collaborating with Ryan Murphy on One Hit Wonders, a musical comedy pitch that will be written as a star vehicle for Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon, Cameron Diaz, Beyonce and Andy Samberg.
Murphy is attached to direct, and he will write the script with his Glee cohorts Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan. Murphy will produce with Paltrow (who has practically become a Glee cast member) and the latter makes her debut as a producer on this film. Murphy hopes to direct it after he completes The Normal Heart.
Paltrow, Witherspoon and Diaz will play three singers who each scored a top hit song in the 1990s before watching their careers go down the drain. They decide to form a super group. Samberg and his Lonely Island cohorts will be involved in generating music for the film, I’m told. The project came out of a dinner Murphy had at the Soho House with Paltrow, Diaz and Witherspoon. They wanted to do something fun together and kicked around ideas until they settled on One Hit Wonders. Murphy, who made Eat Pray Love with Sony Pictures chief Amy Pascal, took the pitch to her. Pascal bought it 10 minutes in.