Sony TV Signs Overall Deal With ‘Blacklist’ Creator Jon Bokenkamp

By | Tuesday July 16, 2013 @ 11:44am PDT

EXCLUSIVE: Jon Bokenkamp, the creator/executive producer of NBC‘s upcoming fall drama The Blacklist, has inked a two-year overall deal with the series’ producer Sony Pictures TV. Blacklist, which NBC said was its highest-testing drama pilot Read More »

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UPDATE: Starz’s ‘Outlander’ Officially Names Sam Heughan As Lead

By | Tuesday July 9, 2013 @ 9:05am PDT

UPDATE, 9:05 AM:  After a premature tweet by Starz last week, Sam Heughan was officially set today as the male lead in the upcoming drama series Outlander, based on Diana Gabaldon’s novels. ”I am UTTERLY delighted to confirm that Sam @Heughan is cast as Jamie Fraser in #Outlander_Starz #Outlander Gabaldon said on Twitter today. ”From the very beginning, I knew the part of Jamie Fraser would be difficult to cast. I had no one in mind for the part. I knew that someone would just come into the audition and be Jamie Fraser. And that’s what Sam did,” added executive producer Ron Moore in a statement. The Scotland-born Heughan is repped by UTA and Ruth Young at United Agents. Outlander begins shooting this fall in Scotland and is expected to debut on Starz next spring. 

PREVIOUSLY, FRIDAY PM: Turns out Starz says its digital division made a mistake earlier today posting the tweet confirming Sam Heughan as the lead. Starz now has taken down the tweet announcing Heughan as Jamie Fraser in the TV adaptation of the Outlander series. A press rep says the actor is in talks with no deal finalized yet. I can’t confirm that contract is signed, but saw @heughan audition tapes. #jawdrop,tweeted Outlander author Diana Gabaldon on Friday after Starz had taken down the initial tweet.  Read More »

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No ‘Happy Endings’: Series Over After Three Seasons

By | Friday June 28, 2013 @ 3:43pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

ABC‘s comedy Happy Endings is not going to live up to its name but has cemented its cult status with an untimely death. I hear series’ leading studio Sony Pictures TV has ended its efforts … Read More »

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Suit Over Origin Of ‘The Talk’ Dropped

By | Monday June 17, 2013 @ 2:23pm PDT

Author Angela Wilder had sued CBS, Sony TV and Relativity Media among others in October alleging that her idea for a talk show based on motherhood was the real inspiration for CBS’ The Talk. CBS immediately Read More »

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‘Happy Endings’ Creator David Caspe Inks New Overall Deal With Sony Pictures TV

By | Friday June 14, 2013 @ 10:03am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: David Caspe is staying firmly in the Sony Pictures TV fold. The creator/executive producer of the studio’s cult ABC comedy Happy Endings has closed a new two-year overall deal with the studio. For the … Read More »

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Brian Gallivan In Overall Deal With Sony TV

By | Wednesday May 29, 2013 @ 2:24pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: The McCarthys creator Brian Gallivan has signed an overall deal with Sony TV, the studio behind the comedy pilot that remains in contention at CBS. Writer-actor-comedian Gallivan was a staff writer on Sony TV’s cult ABC comedy Happy Endings when his spec The McCarthys, with Sony TV-based Will Gluck attached as executive producer, landed at CBS with a put pilot commitment. It went to pilot, which missed the cut for a series pickup earlier this month but is being kept in consideration by CBS and may undergo some retooling. Loosely inspired by Gallivan’s life, the big family comedy revolves around an Irish-Catholic, sports-crazed Boston clan and the gay son whose greatest sin is not his sexuality but his desire to spend less time with his family. Under the overall pact at Sony, Gallivan will continue on The McCarthys, where he serves as executive producer alongside Gluck, and will develop new projects. Read More »

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Comedy ‘Bad Teacher’ Gets CBS Midseason Order As Sony TV Wraps Record Upfront

By | Wednesday May 22, 2013 @ 1:01pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

UPDATED: Exactly a week after its upfront presentation, CBS has picked up another comedy series for midseason, the single-camera Bad Teacher starring Ari Graynor, which has received a 13-episode order. Sony Pictures TV produced the pilot, an adaptation of the 2011 movie, which will now be a co-production with CBS TV Studios. Bad Teacher was among a slew of half-hour pilots that CBS were brass were high on this season. It screened and tested well and, despite not making the cut before the upfronts, CBS Logotalks between CBS and Sony continued through and after upfront week until a deal was reached. Bad Teacher  brings the number of new CBS comedy series on tap for next season to a whooping six, the most in almost two decades. (Last season the network picked up a total of two, only one of which, Partners, got on the air.) CBS’ 2013-14 comedy class is split evenly between multi-camera (fall entries Mom and The Millers and midseason’s Friends With Better Lives) and single-cam (fall’s The Crazy Ones and We Are Men, plus Bad Teacher).

Related: CBS New Series Previews – Video

The pickup brings the number of new Sony broadcast series for next season to eight, a record for the independent studio. It was able to land new shows on every network (The Michael J. Fox Show, The Blacklist, Welcome To The Family and After Hours at NBC, Rake and Us And Them on Fox, The Goldbergs on ABC and Bad Teacher on CBS). Sony was able to get The Blacklist, Welcome To The Family and After Hours picked up and Community renewed for a final season in a complex, hard-fought negotiation with NBC that went down to the wire and resulted in Sony getting all shows involved picked up and securing NBC’s best launching pad, the post-Voice Monday 10 PM slot, for Blacklist. Leveraging the red-hot Blacklist, which had tested through the roof, I hear Sony held firm, indicating it was ready to leave rather than take a bad deal. Meanwhile, I hear NBC got ownership in Blacklist, which could make hundreds of millions of dollars profit in success, and is paying license fee vs. full freight on Community. Read More »

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Sony TV Gives Univision Go-Ahead For ‘Breaking Bad’ Adaptation

By | Monday May 13, 2013 @ 11:32am PDT

Univision jumped the gun on Friday when it announced during its upfront presentation that it has greenlighted a Spanish language adaptation of Breaking Bad — before there was a deal with series producer Sony Pictures Read More »

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Andy Bobrow Signs Overall Deal With Sony

By | Monday April 8, 2013 @ 5:12pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Community co-executive producer Andy Bobrow has signed a new two-year overall deal with Sony Pictures TV, which produces the cult NBC comedy, which is on the bubble for renewal. In addition to his work … Read More »

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Darlene Hunt Inks New Overall Deal With Sony TV

By | Wednesday April 3, 2013 @ 4:43pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: As her comedy-drama The Big C recently wrapped its four-season run on Showtime with a miniseries-style final installment, the series’ creator/executive producer Darlene Hunt is staying in business with its studio Sony Pictures TV. … Read More »

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USA Network Eyes ‘Happy Endings’ Pickup If Cult Comedy Isn’t Renewed By ABC

By | Wednesday April 3, 2013 @ 2:19pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Despite ratings hardship and real and clear danger of cancellation, Happy Endings may live up to its title even if ABC opts not to order a fourth season. I hear that Sony TV, the leading studio behind the underrated comedy series, has quietly reached out to a couple of networks, including USA Network and NBC, about the possibility of continuing the comedy there if ABC does not renew it. I hear USA, which has been looking to break into the half-hour original series space, has expressed interest and has had discussions about picking up Happy Endings in case of a cancellation by ABC.

If the financials can be worked out, a Happy Endings pickup would be fortuitous for USA, which has been actively developing half-hour comedies and has ordered several pilots but has yet to greenlight a half-hour series. USA had been looking to have an original comedy on tap for the fall premiere of its marquee off-network series Modern Family. Happy Endings would be a suitable companion for Modern Family as it already spent two seasons on ABC paired with the Emmy-winning family comedy. Happy Endings did well behind Modern Family, but its fortunes changed this past fall when it was moved to Tuesday to form a comedy block with Don’t Trust The B—- At Apt. 23 in a crowded comedy hour. Despite strong cult following and critical praise, Happy Endings struggled mightily on Tuesday and was recently relocated to Fridays. ABC brass had been strongly supporting the show from Day 1, but they will likely won’t be able to keep the series on broadcast TV at these ratings levels. In a last-ditch effort, the network recently launched a Save The Show-themed promo campaign for Happy Endings‘ move to Friday. The call to arms didn’t help, with the two back-to-back Friday originals drawing a 0.9/3 and a 0.7/3 in adults 18-49, down 25% and 46% from the show’s last Tuesday airings on January 29.

Related: ABC’s Bid To Save ‘Happy Endings’: Video Read More »

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Alex Reid Inks Overall Deal With Sony TV, Will Co-Run Michael J. Fox’s NBC Series

By | Wednesday April 3, 2013 @ 12:56pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Emmy-winning comedy writer-producer Alex Reid has signed an overall deal with Sony Pictures TV. Under the two-year pact, which starts June 1, Reid will be joining the studio’s new NBC comedy series starring Michael J. Fox as executive producer. On the untitled project, which has a 22-episode order, Reid will serve as co-showrunner alongside creator Sam Laybourne. Reid, Laybourne and Will Gluck, who directed the pilot, will executive produce, with Richard Schwartz co-executive producing. Gluck’s Olive Bridge Entertainment co-produces the series, loosely based on Fox’s life, with Sony TV. It stars Fox as a husband and father of three in New York City dealing with family, career, and challenges — including Parkinson’s disease. Reid’s overall deal also calls for him to develop new projects, though he will initially focus exclusively on the Michael J. Fox series. Reid, who is finishing up a deal at Universal TV, most recently served as co-executive producer/director on the NBC/Uni TV comedy series Up All Night, reuniting with star Christina Applegate after serving in the same capacity on the actress’ previous series, ABC’s Samantha Who? Read More »

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Comedy Writer Robia Rashid Signs Overall Deal With Sony Pictures TV

By | Thursday March 21, 2013 @ 10:19am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Robia RashidTV writer Robia Rashid has signed an overall deal with Sony Pictures TV. This marks the first overall pact for Rashid, who spent the last four seasons on CBS/20th TV’s hit comedy How I Met Read More »

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Fox Aircraft Carrier Pilot ‘Wild Blue’ Pushed

By | Thursday March 21, 2013 @ 8:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Fox is postponing production on drama pilot Wild Blue, which has been moved off-cycle. Written by Taylor Elmore and to be directed by Michael Dinner, the Sony Pictures TV-produced project is an upstairs/downstairs look at the working … Read More »

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Breckin Meyer Signs Overall Deal With Sony Pictures TV

By | Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 3:57pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: As his TBS series Men At Work is gearing up for its second-season premiere on April 4, Breckin Meyer has signed an overall deal with Sony Pictures Television, which produces the multi-camera comedy. This … Read More »

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Comedy Writer Erica Rivinoja Signs Overall Deal With Sony Pictures TV

By | Monday March 18, 2013 @ 4:30pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Erica Rivinoja (South Park) has closed a two-year overall deal with Sony. This marks the first overall deal for UTA-repped Rivinoja, who was most recently a writer/consulting producer on NBC’s Up All Night. Her feature … Read More »

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‘Queen Latifah Show’ Sets Producing Team

By | Friday March 1, 2013 @ 11:13am PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures Television/Overbrook’s new daytime talk show The Queen Latifah Show has assembled its senior producing team under executive producer/showrunner Corin Nelson. Todd Yasui will serve as co-executive producer, while Jack Mori, Catherine McKenzie, David Harte and Sierra Lindsey will be supervising producers. “These producers bring tremendous experience, diversity of background and some of the most creative minds in this business to our show,” said Holly Jacobs, EVP, Syndication and Reality Programming, Sony Pictures TV. Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Savile Claims Hit BBC, Sony TV In Russia, TLC’s ‘Bizarre ER’, Fremantle’s ‘Family Harmony’ And More

BBC Hit With Civil Claims In Jimmy Savile Scandal
A lawyer acting on behalf of 31 victims of the late Jimmy Savile has lodged civil claims for compensation in the high court against the disgraced host’s estate and the BBC over allegations of sexual abuse. Attorney Alan Collins told The Guardian that all claims are against Savile’s estate with “seven or eight” against the BBC itself, which the suits allege has “vicarious liability” in the case. Another lawyer working on behalf of a further 62 victims told Bloomberg  that the action was premature, because parties involved had agreed to wait for the results of the police investigation into Savile. “We do not believe the commencement of litigation at this stage to be either necessary or in our clients’ best interest,” she said. – Joe Utichi
Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: London Fest Dates, ‘The Audience’ Grows & More

London Film Fest Dates Set
The British Film Institute has set the dates for this year’s London Film Festival. The 57th go-around will take place from October 9-20 this year, head of exhibition and festival director Clare Stewart announced. Last year’s festival saw banner local and international premieres for the likes of FrankenweenieGreat ExpectationsArgoAmourBeasts Of The Southern Wild and Silver Linings Playbook. The festival is currently accepting submissions for 2013. - Joe Utichi

ITV Licenses Additional Deals For ‘The Audience’
ITV Studios and ITV Studios Global Entertainment have signed new deals for The Audience, created by indie The Garden originally for Channel 4 in the UK. ITV Studios Nordic will produce 8 x 45-minute episodes for Viasat’s TV 3 in Norway, while ITV Studios Global Entertainment has secured a deal in Hungary, where Paprika Latino will produce 6 hourlong episodes for Viasat 3. ITVS GE represents the format internationally for The Garden. The Audience is from the creators of One Born Every Minute and the producers of 24 Hours in A&E at The Garden. In each episode, the show introduces someone with a life-changing decision to make who opens up their lives to The Audience – 50 ordinary people who follow them for a week and draw on their collective life experience to solve the person’s problem. Read More »

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