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TCA: Katherine Heigl On NBC’s ‘State of Affairs’ And State Of Her Career

TCA: Katherine Heigl On NBC’s ‘State of Affairs’ And State Of Her CareerKatherine Heigl’s appearance at Summer TV Press Tour 2014, to discuss her return to series TV, was as dramatic as you’d expect. The hall was packed with media to hear Heigl talk about her new NBC series State of Affairs, in which she plays a CIA analyst who presents the U.S. President’s daily briefing on security issues facing the country. Heigl, you’ll remember, is the actress who became a major star on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, then left that series to focus on her film career  — but only after alienating some on Grey’s for, among other incidents, telling the media she had not submitted herself for Emmy consideration one season because she did not think she had been given good enough material.

Then there was that Vanity Fair interview she gave after filming feature comedy Knocked Up, from writer/director Judd Apatow, starring opposite Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, and Leslie Mann, in which Heigl said she enjoyed the work, but not so much the film, because it was “a little sexist,” “paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys.” For those comments, the media described her as an “ungrateful traitor,”  among other yeasty comments.

Before Heigl’s Q&A, a TV critic asked NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke why Katherine’s mother, “stage mom” Nancy Heigl, was scheduled for that Q&A and listed as one of State of Affairs’ executive producers. Salke explained that Katherine came with … Read More »

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Ed Bernero Boards NBC’s ‘State Of Affairs’ As Showrunner

By | Friday July 11, 2014 @ 4:33pm PDT

Ed Bernero Boards NBC’s ‘State Of Affairs’ As ShowrunnerVeteran TV producer Ed Bernero, whose credits include CBS’ Criminal Minds and its spinoff Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior as well as last summer’s Crossing Lines for NBC, has been tapped as showrunner for NBC’s midseason spy drama State Of Affairs. We hear the deal closed a couple weeks ago and Bernero will be a part of the show’s panel during NBC’s TCA press tour day Sunday.

edberneroState of Affairs premieres November 17 in a plum post-The Voice slot Mondays at 10 PM, taking over after The Blacklist completes its first-half run. The Katherine Heigl-starring drama has been in need of a showrunner since Alexi Hawley, who wrote the original script, departed, and Joe Carnahan, who got high marks for rewriting and directing the pilot, is busy with The Blacklist. Carnahan serves as executive producer with Katherine Heigl, Nancy Heigl, Robert Simonds, Sophie Watts, Henry Crumpton, Rodney Faraon and Julia Franz. Universal TV produces with Bob Simonds Co. and Abishag Prods. Read More »

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NBC Sets Fall Premiere Dates: Dramas To Launch During Premiere Week, Comedies In October

By | Monday June 2, 2014 @ 11:15am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

nbclogoNBC, the first broadcast network to announce its fall schedule at the upfronts, today became the first to unveil its fall premiere dates exactly two weeks after its upfront presentation. This has got to be a record for the earliest premiere dates announcement in recent years. No major surprises, with veteran The Biggest Loser as the sole entertainment program to launch before the official start of the broadcast season. NBC will roll out the bulk of its fall schedule during the official premiere week of September 22. However, Biggest Loser and The Voice’s Tuesday edition will air in two-hour broadcasts for the first few weeks, pushing the debut of NBC’s hourlong Tuesday and Thursday comedy blocks to October. NBC also is keeping its tradition of launching the Friday genre block just before Halloween. As announced at the upfronts, new drama State Of Affairs is slated to replace The Blacklist on Mondays on November 17 as Blacklist prepares for a potential move to Thursdays following its big showcase after the Super Bowl.

NBC FALL 2014 PREMIERE DATES
(all times ET)

THURSDAY, SEPT. 4
8-11 PM – SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL (Green Bay at Seattle)

SUNDAY, SEPT. 7
7-8:20 PM – FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA
8:20-11:30 PM – SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL (Indianapolis at Denver)

THURSDAY, SEPT. 11
8-10 AM –  THE BIGGEST LOSER

MONDAY, SEPT. 22
8-10 PM – THE VOICE
10-11 PM – THE BLACKLIST

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NBC’s New Series Trailers: ‘A To Z’, ‘Bad Judge’, ‘Constantine’, ‘Marry Me’, ‘The Mysteries Of Laura’, ‘State Of Affairs’

By | Sunday May 11, 2014 @ 9:41am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Check out the first look at NBC‘s new comedies and dramas as part of the 2014-2015 series orders. Check back for more as they come in.

Related: NBC 2014 Schedule: ‘The Blacklist’ & ‘The Biggest Loser’ Move To Thursday To End Comedy Block

State Of Affairs – Drama
Produced by Universal Television, Bob Simonds Company and Abishag Productions. From Writer/director/executive producer Joe Carnahan and executive producers Katherine Heigl, Nancy Heigl, Robert Simonds, Sophie Watts, Henry Crumpton, Rodney Faraon and Julia Franz.

Marry Me – Comedy
Produced by Sony Pictures TV and FanFare Productions. From writer/executive producer David Caspe, director/executive producer Seth Gordon and executive producer Jamie Tarses.

More after the jump. Read More »

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Showrunners Wanted: Networks Grapple With Lack Of Experienced Writing Producers

By | Wednesday May 7, 2014 @ 3:52pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

panic-buttonIt is becoming an annual tradition: after pilots are shot and delivered, there is a scramble to find showrunners. More and more newly picked up series are in a need of a seasoned showrunner every year. Yesterday, NBC picked up four pilots to series. Half of them, dramas Allegiance and State Of Affairs, don’t have a showrunner. Similarly, Fox picked up three pilots to series and ordered 10 more episodes for comedy Mulaney. Of the four also half, drama Empire and comedy Mulaney, have required a showrunner hire. All four were were picked up to series without a showrunner locked in. Mulaney, which was ordered to series with a six-episode order in October, has since tapped veteran Jon Pollack for the job, working with creator-star John Mulaney. I hear Patrick Massett and John Zinman had been approached for showrunnersAllegiance, written-directed by George Nolfi, Tom Szentgyorgyi is eyed for State Of Affairs if The Mentalist is cancelled, which appears likely, while the field for hip-hop drama Empire, written by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong and directed by Daniels, appears wide open. State Of Affairs has no writing producer on board after Alexi Hawley, who penned the original script, left, and Joe Carnahan, who received high marks for rewriting and directing the pilot, was only contracted for the pilot as he is busy with The Blacklist. Meanwhile, Empire and Allegiance hail from top feature auspices with no series background. Bringing fresh TV talent (Mulaney, Hawley) or feature talent (Daniels, Strong, Nolfi) to TV is to be applauded. It’s the lack of showrunner talent to support their vision that is alarming.

It’s not that yesterday’s series orders came as a surprise. All pilots that received pickups at Fox and NBC this week had been early favorites, with orders appearing all but certain weeks ago when the showrunner searches started. There just aren’t that many available showrunners to choose from for a match on a specific project. Why is that?

Industry insiders trace the problem back a decade ago when the studios cut back on staff writers, breaking the merit based system for growing writing producers. Read More »

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3rd UPDATE: NBC Picks Up Dramas ‘Odyssey’, ‘State Of Affairs’ & ‘Allegiance’, Comedy ‘Marry Me’ To Series

By | Tuesday May 6, 2014 @ 6:10pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

3rd UPDATNBC_logoE 6:10 PM: NBC is wrapping its first day of new series pickups with a order to another frontrunner, drama pilot Odyssey, which already has backup scripts written and is ready to go. That brings the number of new NBC series picked up for next season to six, Russian spy thrilled Allegiance, CIA drama State of Affairs starring Katherine Heigl, Odyssey and the David Caspe comedy Marry Me, ordered today, and previously picked up comedies Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (form. Tookan) and Mr. Robinson.

Odyssey - Season PilotThe Traffic-like action drama Odyssey was written by Adam Armus, Nora Kay Foster and Peter Horton and directed by Horton. An international conspiracyexplodes when three strangers’ lives unexpectedly collide — a female soldier, a corporate lawyer and a political activist. After a team of American soldiers battling Jihadists in North Africa kill Al Qaeda’s top man. Sgt. Odelle Ballard (Anna Friel) — a soldier, mother, wife and the unit’s only female member — discovers computer files that suggest a major U.S. corporation is funding the Jihadists. Before she can tell anyone, her team is attacked by U.S. Special Forces and left for dead, with Odelle as the sole survivor. In New York, former U.S. Attorney Peter Drucker (Peter Facinelli) is working on a merger deal for the same company that was funneling money to the Jihadists. Meanwhile, Harrison Wolcott (Jake Robinson), a political activist and trust fund kid, meets a hacker who claims to have unearthed a massive military-industrial conspiracy. The cast also includes Jim True-Frost, Treat Williams, Nate Mooney, Elena Kampouris, Daniella Pineda, Sadie Sink, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Omar Ghazaoui. Armus, Foster and Horton executive produce with Simon Maxwell, Mikkel Bondesen, Henrik Bastin and Kristen Campo for Universal TV, Fabrik Entertainment and Red Arrow Entertainment Group.

2nd UPDATE 5:20 PM: AnothState of Affairs - Season Piloter hot NBC pilot getting a series pickup, the Katherine Heigl-starring drama State Of Affairs. The project, which marks Grey’s Antomy alumna Heigl’s return to TV, is in need of a showrunner as Alexi Hawley, who wrote the original script, has left, and Joe Carnahan, who is getting high marks for rewriting and directing the pilot, is busy with The Blacklist. I hear Tom Szentgyorgyi is eyed for the job if The Mentalist is not renewed, which appears likely. Each day the president is faced with hundreds of life-and-death decisions, and to prioritize the biggest international crises facing the country, one top CIA analyst – Charleston Tucker (Heigl) – assembles the president’s Daily Briefing. Aside from the political minefields she has to walk, Charlie has a close personal relationship with the president (Alfre Woodard) because she once was  engaged to her son before a terrorist attack took his life. Charlie survived that attack and now is determined to bring the perpetrators to justice. The cast also includes Adam Kaufman, Sheila Vand, Cliff Chamberlain, Tommy Savas and Leslie Odom Jr. Writer-director Carnahan serves as executive producer with Katherine Heigl, Nancy Heigl, Robert Simonds, Sophie Watts, Henry Crumpton, Rodney Faraon and Julia Franz. Universal TV produces with Bob Simonds Co. and Abishag Prods.

Related: 2014 NBC Pilots

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Alfre Woodard To Play US President In NBC Pilot ‘State Of Affair’

By | Friday March 21, 2014 @ 5:57pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Alfre Woodard HeadshotAlfre Woodard is taking on a presidential turn opposite Katherine Heigl in NBC‘s drama pilot State Of Affairs. Directed by Joe Carnahan and produced by Universal TV, State Of Affairs stars Heigl as a key CIA attaché who counsels the president (Woodard) on high-stakes incidents around the world. Writers Alexi Hawley and Carnahan exec produce with Heigl, Bob Simonds, Henry Crumpton and Julia Franz. Woodard, repped by ICM Partners, Circle of Confusion and Stankevich Gochman, recently wrapped Annabelle for New Line and Mississippi Grind for Fleck and Boden. She received an Emmy nomination for Lifetime’s Steel Magnolias and shared in 12 Years A Slave‘s SAG ensemble nomination.

Related:
Pilot Season 2014: Network Casting Chiefs On This Season’s Biggest Challenges, Casting Coups & Fresh Faces
2014 NBC Pilots

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Sheila Vand Boards NBC Pilot ‘State Of Affairs’; Jason Jones In ‘Love Is Relative’

By | Monday March 17, 2014 @ 4:24pm PDT

Sheila Vand (Argo) has bookedsheilavand1 the female lead opposite Katherine Heigl in NBC drama pilot State Of Affairs. It stars Heigl as Charleston Whitney Tucker, a key CIA attaché who counsels the president on high-stakes incidents around the world. Heigl also exec produces. Vand, repped by Paradigm and Untitled, will play Grace Hough, a tough CIA analyst on the President’s daily briefing team, who keeps her private life to herself. Vand starred in indie pic A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Related: 2014 NBC Pilots

jasonjonesThe Daily Show alum Jason Jones has been tapped for the male lead in NBC’s single-camera comedy pilot Love Is Relative from writer Dan Mazer, 20th TV, Tom Werner and Tom Lassally. It revolves around a wife (Leslie Bibb) and husband who begin to see their marriage in a whole new way after her newly divorced brother, Josh (Barry Rothbart), moves in. Jones will play Nate, Rose’s (Bibb) husband and father of 6-year-old Maggie and 18-month-old Dylan.

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Danny Huston To Star In NBC’s Pilot ‘Salvation’, Adam Kaufman To Co-Star In ‘State Of Affairs’

By | Monday March 17, 2014 @ 11:59am PDT

images (3)Danny Huston kaufman1(X Men Origins: Wolverine) is set for the male lead opposite Ashley Judd in NBC’s drama pilot Salvationwritten by Elizabeth Heldens and directed by Jeffrey Reiner, while Adam Kaufman (Altered) has nabbed the male lead on another NBC pilot, Katherine Heigl-produced State Of Affairs. In Salvation, mega-church pastor Daniel Strickland suddenly dies, and his loyal wife, Jennifer Strickland (Judd), must rally to keep their family together and save the church. Huston, repped by ICM Partners, UK’s Julian Belfrage & Associates and attorney David Fox, will play Caleb, the lead pastor at a rival mega-church. He will next be seen in a 3-episode arc on Showtime’s Masters Of Sex.

Related: 2014 NBC Pilots

Drama pilot State Of Affairs stars Heigl as Charleston Whitney Tucker, a key CIA attaché who counsels the president on high-stakes incidents around the world. Kaufman, repped by SDB Partners and Luber Roklin Entertainment, will play Lucas Wright, a CIA analyst on the President’s daily briefing team.

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Annie Ilonzeh Joins NBC Pilot ‘Coercion’; Cliff Chamberlain In ‘State Of Affairs’

By | Wednesday March 5, 2014 @ 7:23pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

ilonzehCharlie’s Angels alumna Annie Ilonzeh is set as a regular in the NBC drama pilot Coercion, based on an Israeli format. The high-octane thriller revolves around the O’Connor family and their son, Alex (Gavin Stenhouse), a decorated American war hero and CIA analyst. Unbeknownst to him, both of his parents and his sister are part of a dormant Russian sleeper cell that has just been reactivated. Ilonzeh, repped by APA and Vincent Cirrincione Associates, plays Julia, a no-nonsense Special Agent with the FBI assigned to work closely with Alex. She has recurred on Arrow and Drop Dead Diva.

Related: 2014 NBC Pilots

chamberlainChicago-based theater actor Cliff Chamberlain has been cast in NBC drama pilot State of Affairs, which stars Katherine Heigl as Charleston Whitney Tucker, a key CIA attaché who counsels the president on high-stakes incidents around the world. Chamberlain, repped by Innovative and Brillstein Entertainment, will play Brett Welker, a quirky CIA linguist.

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