Sarah Silverman has landed a recurring role in the second season of Showtime‘s Masters Of Sex. Silverman will recur in the guest-starring role of Helen. No word about the character’s function in the show, but we’re guessing she has something to do with sex. Production on Season 2 is currently underway in Los Angeles and will premiere Sunday, July 13. Silverman received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Leading Actress in a Comedy Series for The Sarah Silverman Program, and was also nominated for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for Monk. But these days she’s maybe best known for the Emmy she won — for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics as one of the writers of that hummable tune “I’m F*cking Matt Damon” for ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!
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EXCLUSIVE: HBO has made decisions on half-hour comedy pilots People In New Jersey and untitled Diallo Riddle/Bashir Salahuddin. The pay cable network has decided not to go forward with People In New Jersey, written by Bruce Eric Kaplan, directed by Paul Feig and executive produced by Lorne Michaels. The project was described as a hilarious, poignant look at life today as seen through the prism of an adult brother and sister (Topher Grace, Sarah Silverman) living in New Jersey. Meanwhile, another comedy pilot exec produced by Michaels, the untitled Riddle/Salahuddin project, will be redeveloped with a production commitment, meaning that the retooled script will likely film a new pilot. Written by former Late Night With Jimmy Fallon writers/performers Riddle and Salahuddin, the project stars the duo as Bashir and Diallo, two 30-year old-reporters, as they try to make it big in the burgeoning black mecca of contemporary Atlanta, aka the New South.
Sarah Silverman recently signed to star in HBO‘s comedy pilot People In New Jersey, and now she’s taking the stage for the premium channel. Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles, her first stand-up special for HBO, will premiere at 10 PM on November 23. Taped in front of about three dozen folks at Largo in LA, the special skewers such subjects as porn, religion, politics, and “the miracle of existence.” Silverman has appeared on a number of HBO shows, dating to the ’90s series The Larry Sanders Show and Mr. Show With Bob And David. We Are Miracles is produced by Funny Or Die and Black Gold Films and executive produced by Heidi Herzon, Mike Farah, Anna Wenger, Betsy Koch, Amy Zvi and Sarah Silverman. Liam Lynch directs.
Related: Sarah Silverman’s NBC Also-Ran Joins Greg Garcia’s Online
Once upon a time, studios, networks, and TV stars didn’t want anyone to see their busted pilots, preferring to send them off to die quietly — and alone, like an elephant. But a pair of failed pilots have been put online in the past two weeks — and legally too! Today, Sarah Silverman got 20th TV‘s blessing to post Susan 313, a 2012 pilot she did at the studio for NBC that was a no-go. Written by Dan Sterling and loosely based on Silverman’s life, it’s about a woman whose long-term relationship ends and she moves back into the apartment she had the foresight not to give up. Earlier this month, Greg Garcia got CBS to put online his single-camera pilot Super Clyde. That one follows a shy comic book fanatic/fast-food worker who inherits a fortune from an uncle and embarks on a new life as a superhero with the help of his butler, played by Stephen Fry. Rule of journalism: Three makes a trend!
Anyway, here is what broadcasters were NOT looking for — Susan 313 below and Super Clyde here.
HBO has tapped Topher Grace, Sarah Silverman and Patti Lupone for People In New Jersey, its half-hour comedy pilot written by Bruce Eric Kaplan, directed by Paul Feig and executive produced by Lorne Michaels. The project is described as a hilarious, poignant look at life today as seen through the prism of an adult brother and sister (Grace, Silverman) living in New Jersey. Carl Levin (Grace) is an affable locksmith who has a definite idea of how things and people should be and when the world doesn’t conform to his vision, he resists mightily. His sister Melanie (CAA-repped Silverman) is a former management consultant and a closet optimist who now works part-time at a department store. Their opinionated widowed mother Rachel (Lupone) focuses a lot of her energy on worrying about her children and why neither has settled down in a relationship. HBO, Broadway Video and Feigco Entertainment are producing, with Kaplan, Michaels, Andrew Singer and Feig exec producing, Ilene Landress serving as supervising producer and Jessie Henderson and Gina Heyman as producers. Grace, repped by ICM Partners, Brillstein Entertainment and Michael Gendler, is shooting Chris Nolan’s Interstellar.
HBO and Funny Or Die are teaming on Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles, the first HBO comedy special for Sarah Silverman. The stand-up concert will be shot next month in LA, with the premium network planning a fall premiere. Silverman made the feature film stand-up Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic was released in 2005, and she’s been plenty busy with a film career that most recently included voicing Vanellope in Wreck-It Ralph; she next is set for Seth MacFarlane’s A Million Ways To Die In The West. Funny Or Die and Black Gold Films are producing the special, which is exec produced by Heidi Herzon, Mike Farah, Anna Wenger, Betsy Koch, Amy Zvi and Silverman.
James Roday is set to helm Gravy. The dark comedy follows a group that descends on a Mexican cantina on Halloween with a taste for more than what is on the menu. The Psych actor and Todd Harthan wrote the film. This isn’t Roday’s first time behind the camera. As well as starring in the USA Network series, Roday has written and directed a number of episodes of Psych. Gravystarts shooting today in LA. The film features Sarah Silverman, Michael Weston, Jimmi Simpson, Sutton Foster, Lily Cole, Gabourey Sidibe, Paul Rodriguez, Molly Ephraim, Lothaire Bluteau, Gabriel Luna and Ethan Sandler. Kerry Rock and Craig Chapman are producing with The Solution Entertainment Group’s Myles Nestel, Larry Taube and Harthan as executive producers. Dominic Ottersbach and Steak House are co-producing. Synchronicity Entertainment is the film’s sales agent. James Roday is repped by CAA and Principal Entertainment LA.
Revenge Comes To Turkey
A local Turkish version of Revenge will trade Dune Beach for the Bosphorus. Disney Media Distribution says the local production will be titled Intikam and air on the country’s biggest free-to-air net, Kanal D, in early 2013. Kanal D and Discovery are co-producing. Turkish actress Beren Saat will play the Emily Thorne role with Mert Firat as the Daniel Grayson character. Twenty-two episodes of the Turkish take on ABC Studios’ hit guilty pleasure are scheduled for Season One. Other re-versioned ABC shows produced in Turkey include Desperate Housewives and Private Practice.
Warner Bros, Canal+ Group Announce Output Deal
Canal+ Group and Warner Bros. Entertainment France SAS announced the exclusive agreement today. It grants exclusive Pay TV rights to Warner Bros.’ first run movies and to library features on all Canal+ Group Pay-TV channels (CANAL+, CINE+, Comédie+ and Jimmy) and their associated catch-up services. Beginning in September 2013, the programming will be available on multiple screens (connected TV, game consoles, smart phones, tablets) and multiple services at home or on mobile, live or on-demand. The upcoming Warner Bros. films that will be available include Ben Affleck’s Argo, Trouble With The Curve, Gangster Squad, Cloud Atlas, The Hangover, Man Of Steel and The Hobbit. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: NBC’s untitled Sarah Silverman comedy pilot has cast its first 2 regulars and, like the project’s co-creator/star Silverman herself, they too are comedians-writers. Harris Wittels, who was a writer on Silverman’s Comedy Central series, will play Harris Wittels, a version of himself, in a role created for him. Also cast is June Diane Raphael whose writing credits include the feature comedy Bride Wars.
The untitled single-camera comedy, from 20th Century Fox TV and Imagine TV, is loosely based on Silverman’s life and stars the comedian as Susan, a woman readjusting to the single life after a decade-long live-in relationship. Wittels’ Harris Wittels is a short, hipster, endearing and good-natured tenant in Susan’s building who happens to be a huge fan. Raphael will play Chelsea, an attractive, smart tenant in the building who was once Susan’s best friend until Susan disappeared into a relationship ten years ago and hasn’t called her since. Silverman wrote the script with Dan Sterling and Jon Schroeder, who also worked on her self-titled Comedy Central series. Silverman, Sterling and Imagine’s Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo are executive producing, with Schroeder serving as co-exec producer. Raphael’s acting credits include series NTSF:SD:SUV and Players and features Bride Wars and Going The Distance. She recently finished the movie Imogene and as a writer, she has a comedy project in contention at ABC, Walk Of Shame, which … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: NBC continues its aggressive push this development season with early pilot orders. The latest project to get the green light is the comedy starring Sarah Silverman, which the network landed in August after a bidding war with a hefty put pilot commitment. The half-hour, from 20th Century Fox TV and Imagine TV, is a pet project of Imagine principal Ron Howard. Loosely based on Silverman’s life, the untitled single-camera comedy stars the comedian as a woman readjusting to the single life after a decade-long live-in relationship. Silverman wrote the script with Dan Sterling and Jon Schroeder, who were writer-producers on her self-titled Comedy Central series. Silverman, Sterling and Imagine’s Howard, Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo are executive producing, with Schroeder serving as co-exec producer. The order for the Sarah Silverman project follows NBC’s recent pilot pickups for Beautiful People, a futuristic drama by Michael McDonald, and comedies Isabel and Save Me, which are now casting. Additionally, the J.J. Abrams/Eric Kripke adventure thriller Revolution and crime drama Blue Tilt have pilot production commitments at the network. NBC now houses 3 female comedians known for their raunchy, no-holds-barred standup: Silverman, Whitney Cummings, creator and star of her own eponymous comedy series, which has received a full-season pickup by the network, and Chelsea Handler, who is behind the midseason series Are You There, Chelsea?, which will be paired with Whitney.
Magnolia Pictures has acquired U.S. rights to Take This Waltz, the film written and directed by Sarah Polley that stars Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, Luke Kirby and Sarah Silverman. The film made its debut as an acquisitions title at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. Williams plays a young woman struggling to choose between her husband and another man she has fallen in love with. The deal was made with TF1 International. Magnolia plans an early summer 2012 theatrical release, and the film will be part of its Ultra VOD program.
Last year’s Toronto Film Festival started slow for acquisitions, but finished with a flurry of modest distribution deals that served notice the specialty film business had finally pulled out of its nosedive. This year’s festival hasn’t started and already there are fireworks. Deadline broke news yesterday that Harvey Weinstein would start a VOD business, making the acquisitions market for fringe films more competitive; and last night, I heard that a bidding battle had already broken out for the Steve McQueen-directed Shame, which should be sold by the time it screens Sunday. Fox Searchlight is the favorite, Sony Pictures Classics is in the mix and I’ve heard that The Weinstein Company is hovering. Bidding began right after its Telluride screening, and the mid-six figures thrown around yesterday will probably go higher. That’s huge, considering the movie is an unabashed NC-17, McQueen has final cut, and the sex-obsessed protagonist is unlikable. Oh, yeah, and the sellers want it released this year for Oscar consideration to capitalize on Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan’s Oscar-caliber performances.
Does this mean we’re in for a drunken buying frenzy? Hardly, buyers tell me. They are eager to see the films, but say there’s no title here that’s going to guarantee somebody will overpay. They are also mindful that many of last year’s deals turned out to be box office busts. More deals will be made than … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: We have the first major bidding war of the season — I hear ABC, NBC and Fox are in pursuit of Imagine TV/20th Century Fox TV’s untitled Sarah Silverman comedy co-written by and starring the irreverent comedian, with at least 2 networks, ABC and NBC, offering major commitments. (CBS has not heard the pitch yet). What’s more, the single-camera comedy loosely based on Silverman’s life has become a pet project of Imagine principal Ron Howard. Imagine’s TV division is under the oversight of Howard’s partner, Brian Grazer, who serves as an executive producer on all TV shows. Very rarely has Howard taken personal interest in a TV project, becoming deeply invested in its development as was the case with Imagine TV’s Emmy-winning Arrested Development. That is now the case with the Silverman project, and Howard has gone along to all pitch meetings at the networks. Co-produced by Imagine TV and 20th TV, the single-camera comedy stars Silverman as a woman readjusting to the single life after a decade long live-in relationship. Silverman is writing with Dan Sterling and Jon Schroeder, who were writer-producers on Silverman’s eponymous Comedy Central series. Silverman, Howard, Sterling, Grazer and Francie Calfo are executive producing.
EXCLUSIVE: IFC Films has made yet another significant acquisition of a Toronto International Film Festival film, paying a low seven-figure minimum guarantee for domestic distribution rights on Peep World, the Barry W. Blaustein-directed film that stars Michael C. Hall, Sarah Silverman, Rainn Wilson, Ben Schwartz, Judy Greer, Kate Mara, Taraji Henson, Lesley Ann Warren and Ron Rifkin. The deal was made by CAA, which repped Peep World producers Occupant Films. Occupant principals Joe Neurauter, Felipe Marino and Keith Calder produced the picture. Read More »