The episode’s three-hankie music covers have been released, media polls have been created so you can vote which made you cry hardest, the creator has spoken of weeping cast members shooting excruciatingly emotional scenes, the tabloids have written about the mysterious exclusion from the episode of the actress who played his original love interest – it’s time for Fox to air the Cory Monteith tribute episode of Glee tonight and see how America reacts.
Fox and the show creators had decided, shortly after Monteith’s death, to air a couple of original episodes first, followed by a Monteith tribute episode this week, which got the episode away from the crush of new-show premieres and returning show debuts. Among Fox competitors this week, talk seemed to be split between those who think this episode will pack a wallop, and those who expressed surprise the episode hasn’t generated more buzz and wonder if Fox waited too long to deal on-air with the actor’s death.
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Michelle Monaghan rounds out the lead cast of Open, HBO’s drama pilot from Ryan Murphy. The Fox 21 project, which Murphy co-wrote with Lauren Gussis, is described as a modern, provocative exploration of human sexuality and relationships. Monaghan will play the central female character Grace, a successful and recently engaged gynecologist. She joins Scott Speedman, who plays Grace’s fiance Jonathan, Wes Bentley (Evan), Anna Torv (Windsor) and Jennifer Jason Leigh (Holly). Open keeps Monaghan — repped by ICM Partners, Circle of Confusion, and attorney Robert Offer — in the HBO fold. She plays the female lead opposite Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson in the pay cable network’s eight-episode limited series True Detective, which premieres in January 2014. Her upcoming features include Fort Bliss, A Many Splintered Thing and Better Living Through Chemistry.
Danny Huston is joining the cast of FX‘s American Horror Story. Showrunner Ryan Murphy made the announcement Sunday via Twitter: “Jessica Lange’s got a sexy (and dangerous) BF this year: welcome to Coven Mr. Danny Huston!” The upcoming third season, American Horror Story: Coven, centers on a group of witches headed by Lange’s character Fiona. Coven is set to premiere October 9. Huston is repped by ICM.
Related: Deadline’s 10 Best Film Stories Of The Week
Ducks and sharks made waves on cable, Hillary Clinton was at the center of a different kind of partisan battle, and there were ramifications as the game of chicken between Time Warner Cable and CBS continued with football season looming. Those were some of the top TV stories that Deadline ran during the past week. Take a read here:
‘Duck Dynasty’ Cast Get Major Salary Bumps, Hit Series Secures Extra Seasons
By Nellie Andreeva – EXCLUSIVE: The beards of the stars from A&E‘s mega hit Duck Dynasty probably grew a few inches while their lengthy salary renegotiations were going on, but I’ve learned that the talks have successfully concluded with new deals, just in time for the series’ fourth season premiere.
Blurring The Lines On Vertical Integration: Network-Affiliated Studios Aggressive In Selling To Other Broadcast Networks
By Nellie Andreeva – On Friday, ABC Studios closed a put pilot commitment deal at CBS for Gorgeous Morons, a multi-camera comedy from Lee Eisenberg, Gene Stupnitsky and Danny Chun, which the studio only shopped to outside networks.
Shark Week Snaps Up Ratings Records for Discovery Channel
Lisa De Moraes – EXCLUSIVE: When the dust settled, … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Ryan Murphy, as part of an Emmy-timed interview this week, updates Deadline/Awardsline’s Christy Grosz about writing Glee‘s Cory Monteith memorial episode and going back to the set of the series without the actor:
Related: EMMYS Q&A: Ryan Murphy
It’s been a difficult circumstance because we basically went straight from the memorial into [reworking] the two Beatles episodes, which I think are fun and optimistic, that we had always had planned. The hard part for all of us is that the past week we’ve been holed up writing the memorial episode. There were a lot of things that we had to decide — how are we going to deal with his death? At one point, we were going to have his character die after an accidental drug overdose — that was something we had considered. But we have decided that we’re not going to have him pass from that. Basically, what we’re doing in the episode is we are not telling you yet, or maybe not at all, how that character died. The idea being, how somebody died is interesting and maybe morbid, but we say very early on in the episode, “This episode is about a celebration of that character’s life.” That might be weird for some people, but it felt
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For two years running, Ryan Murphy’s miniseries American Horror Story has earned more Emmy nominations than any other show. This year American Horror Story: Asylum has 17 noms including the marquee movie/miniseries category. But the real question is whether those noms will turn into more wins this time around. To date, the genre show has taken home only two statuettes: one for leading lady Jessica Lange and one below-the-line for makeup. Murphy has made no secret of the fact he covets his own Emmy for AHS and spoke to Deadline’s AwardsLine editor Christy Grosz:
Deadline: Do you think this is your year to win for the series?
Ryan Murphy: I never would think about, “Oh, are we going to win? Do we deserve to win?” I like that people who have worked so hard on the show have, for the most part, been nominated. That thrills me to no end. It’s a very ambitious show in its scope, in its breadth. It’s 13 hours worth of material. From start to end, it takes almost 18 months to cook it up, to work it, to write it, to shoot it. It’s a really large endeavor and thankfully Fox Studios has given me the time and financial resources to do that. Last year, in particular, it was more than a horror show to me. What we really tried to make it be was a social commentary. It really was a look at the mental-health industry in the 1950s and 1960s and how it eventually was shut down and how that in itself was a great “American Horror”. Every year we take that phrase and try to make it specific. I thought it really came together in a great way. So should we win? I never know about those things. I’m just glad we were acknowledged. I think our competition is incredible. All of those nominees are certainly deserving. You never know. It’s really just a crapshoot at the end of the day, but I was really happy we were in there in such a big way two years in a row. When the show started I think a lot of people didn’t think it was going to fly or have legs. There’s a lot of supposition and stereotyping when it comes to the horror genre, so anything we can do to knock down some walls and make way for other people is great thing.
Related: Ryan Murphy Exclusive On Cory Monteith Memorial Episode: “Lovely Tribute And Very Heartfelt Look At How Young People Grieve” Read More »
Fringe star Anna Torv and Jennifer Jason Leigh, coming off Revenge, have joined the cast of Open, HBO’s drama pilot from Ryan Murphy. The Fox 21 project, which Murphy co-wrote with Lauren Gussis, is described as a modern, provocative exploration of human sexuality and relationships. In her followup to Fringe, Torv will play one of the five central characters, Windsor, a yoga instructor in a longterm relationship with Holly (Leigh), an actress intensely committed to her career, who, upon meeting Grace, feels an instant connection. Aussie Torv, repped by WME and Australia’s United Management, and Leigh, repped by CAA and Untitled, join previously cast Scott Speedman and Wes Bentley.
BREAKING: In his first public comments since the tragic death of Cory Monteith from an overdose of heroin and alcohol, Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy tells Deadline that a quick return to work was a collective decision made by cast and crew, which decided the best way to deal with the grief of losing the show’s breakout star was to return to work and mourn together. That decision was made after consulting with Monteith’s longtime girlfriend and co-star Lea Michele, as well as Monteith’s heartbroken costars and crew.
“We will begin shooting in late August the two shows we had already written, so that people can physically go back to work,” Murphy said. “We will then do an episode that will deal with the death of Finn’s character and follow that with a long hiatus. I don’t know exactly when we will come back, and we are trying our best with this attempt at damage control. We are planning a memorial for the cast and crew sometime this week on the Paramount lot.” Murphy will write that episode with co-creators Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan, but acknowledges they aren’t sure at this early stage what form it will take. They will have to have it ready when they finish the first two segments, which is a tribute to The Beatles, and the trio will write the episode using Michele as a creative barometer. Read More »
An autopsy will be conducted on the body of Glee star Cory Monteith today, as Fox execs begin discussing how to handle the return of the series on which he was a breakout star. The show’s writers, meanwhile, will consider what to do about the first two episodes in which the return of Monteith’s character was to have played an important part. Fox network had planned to open the Glee’s fifth season early — Sept. 19 – in order to get a batch of episodes broadcast before the network’s annual post-season baseball messing up of its primetime schedule. The first two episodes of the fifth season had been written before the traditional long summer hiatus, in order to get a jump on the new season; production had been scheduled to start next week. The return of Monteith’s character, hunky high school football star turned glee club darling Finn Hudson, was much anticipated by fans, Monteith having been absent from the final episodes of last season to check himself into a drug treatment facility late last March. The 31-year-old Monteith had been open about his substance abuse problems in the past, revealing two years earlier he’d first entered a rehab program in his late teens. Along with Lea Michele and Chris Colfer, Monteith had been prominently featured last season despite his character graduating from McKinley High at the end of the previous season as part of a show “reboot.’ When the announcement was made that he was temporarily leaving the show, Glee production house 20th Century Fox TV said in a statement, “Everyone at the show wishes him well and looks forward to his return.” Read More »
Glee‘s Ryan Murphy tweeted tonight that the Season 8 American Idol runner-up will join the Fox series for its upcoming fifth season. “I am thrilled to announce that the super talented Adam Lambert is joining the cast of Glee this fall,” the showrunner wrote. Murphy offered up no details about the singer’s role on the show, but this could mean Lambert’s name is off the shortlist for a seat on the Idol judges table left vacant by the recent departures of Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Randy Jackson. He has been talked up as a possible replacement on the aging Fox singing competition’s panel, along with fellow Idol alums Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson. Meanwhile, this isn’t the first time network nepotism has made its way to the Glee set; 2012 Idol runner-up Jessica Sanchez made a couple of appearances this past season.
Related: ‘Glee’s New Class Upped To Series Regulars
EXCLUSIVE: Scott Speedman is set as one of the leads in Open, HBO’s drama pilot from Ryan Murphy. The project, which Murphy co-wrote with Lauren Gussis, is described as a modern, provocative exploration of human sexuality and relationships. Speedman will play Jonathan, a handsome sports marketing executive. On Open, from Fox 21, he joins Wes Bentley, who was recently cast as the other male lead. Felicity alum Speedman, repped by WME and Circle of Confusion, toplined ABC’s drama series Last Resort last season. He recently wrapped Atom Egoyan’s psychological thriller Queen Of the Night opposite Ryan Reynolds.
Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games) is set to star in Open, HBO’s drama pilot from Glee and American Horror Story co-creator Ryan Murphy. The project, which Murphy co-wrote with Lauren Gussis, is described as a modern, provocative exploration of human sexuality and relationships. Bentley will play the handsome but arrogant Evan Foster, a bit of a blowhard who loves espousing his theories on human sexuality. Open hails from Fox 21, the cable division of 20th Century Fox TV where Murphy is under a rich overall deal. This marks a rare foray into television for Bentley, whose only previous TV gig was a starring role in another HBO pilot, Tilda, opposite Diane Keaton.
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.
Related: NBC & Sony Make Deal: ‘Blacklist’, ‘Night Shift’, ‘Welcome To The Family’ All Picked Up, ‘Community’ Renewed
Related: NBC Pilot Update: Projects That Are Not Going Forward Get Notified
Glee‘s Jonathan Groff and Joe Mantello have been cast in The Normal Heart, HBO‘s original movie adaptation of the Tony-winning Larry Kramer play, which is being written by Kramer and directed by Ryan Murphy. They join Julia Roberts, Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons and Taylor Kitsch in the pic, which tells the story of the onset of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s. Production is slated to begin later this year in New York for a 2014 debut.
Groff, repped by WME, already has a gig with HBO, having been cast as a lead in the premium network’s Michael Lannen pilot, which revolves around three thirtysomething friends living in San Francisco who grapple with the complexities of the modern gay experience. In Normal Heart he will play Craig, the first lover of Bruce Niles (Kitsch), an early victim of HIV-AIDS. Mantello will play Mickey Marcus, an instrumental member of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis.
Murphy executive produces with Jason Blum, Dede Gardner and Dante Di Loreto.
Reaction has been strong to Thursday’s controversial Glee episode “Shooting Star” in which a student brings a gun to school and a shooting occurs, particularly by some families in Newtown, CT, site of the Sandy Hook school shooting massacre. A disclaimer before the episode advised viewer discretion because the episode “addresses the topic of school violence.” SPOILER ALERT…. It turns out the gun was brought by a student and it went off accidentally. No one was hurt. CNN’s Carole Costello spoke with a parent of a child who survived the Sandy Hook shooting who said he and others were upset that no one from Fox or the show reached out to them to warn them that the episode was airing. He said it was too soon after the Sandy Hook shooting and emotions were still too raw. Last week a Newtown victims advocacy group sent out an email warning residents of the upcoming episode and the local newspaper The Newtown Bee also advised residents the episode may be too intense for some. Series creator Ryan Murphy tweeted last week that he was excited about the episode: “Just saw the rough cut of next week’s “Shooting Star”. It is the most powerful emotional Glee ever. So proud of the cast & crew”.
Related: RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Glee’ … Read More »
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.”
Related: Ryan Murphy Shopping Hot Cable Drama About Sexuality & Relationships
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.” Read More »
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 no one ever saw called The Town That Dreaded Sundown… I was just starting to babysit my brother, and the ads for that would come on and I would get freaked out”, he told the audience. MGM’s modern take on the horror movie, based on Charles B. Pierce’s 1976 cult pic about real-life murders committed along the Texas-Arkansas border in 1946, will be produced by Murphy and his Normal Heart producer Jason Blum, with Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (Glee, American Horror Story) in negotiations to direct. The project has a script by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who produced and wrote episodes of Glee for Murphy, came in for rewrites on Julie Taymor’s Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark and penned MGM’s October-set Carrie remake. The original pic adopted an Unsolved Mysteries-esque approach that could translate to the found-footage elements in Blum’s horror hit Sinister and his Paranormal Activity films. Murphy is repped by CAA. Gomez-Rejon, who served as second unit director on Ben Affleck’s Oscar-nominated Argo, is repped by WME.
Related: Blumhouse Acquires Duplass Bros’ Horror Pic ‘Peachfuzz’
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
HBO announced this afternoon at TCA that it has greenlighted The Normal Heart, an original movie adaptation of the Tony-winning Larry Kramer play that will star Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo in the key roles and co-star Matt Bomer. The film is being written by Kramer, while Ryan Murphy is set to direct and executive produce along with Jason Blum, Dede Gardner and Dante Di Loreto. It’s slated to begin production later this year in New York City for a slated 2014 debut on the premium network. The play tells the story of the onset of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s. Roberts will play Emma Brookner, the paraplegic physician who treats several of the earliest victims of the disease. Ruffalo will play Ned Weeks, who witnesses first-hand the mysterious disease that has begun to claim the lives of many in his gay community and starts to seek answers. Bomer will play Felix Turner, a reporter who becomes Ned’s lover.
The Normal Heart has had a long, tortuous path toward becoming a film. Barbra Streisand was involved at one point. Kramer became increasingly frustrated and was worried it might never come to pass. This version was announced in 2011 as a feature with Murphy, who optioned the rights to the play, directing, Ruffalo starring … Read More »