Universal Cable Productions has signed exclusive development deals with Steve Carell’s Carousel Television and Jessica Biel’s Iron Ocean Productions. Both companies already are developing projects with the studio. Carousel has a an untitled drama about the onset of Hollywood’s golden age, focusing on actual Hollywood events and characters dating back 100 years. Iron Ocean is working on two projects. Pop Culture — written by Melissa Hilfers and executive produced by Royal Pains‘ Michael Rauch, who is under an overall deal at UCP – centers on a bachelor living the high life in NYC who has a sudden change of heart after babysitting his nephew. He hires an aspiring actress to play his wife, and things get complicated when he finds himself falling for her. Moguls, penned by Geoff Moore & David Posmentier, is a half-hour workplace comedy about the eccentric twentysomethings employed at a family-owned Colorado ski resort whose way of life is challenged when the mountain is purchased by a corporate behemoth.
Host Paul Rudd and his Anchorman 2 cohorts Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, and David Koechner kept the promo train chugging along for Ron Burgundy’s December 18 return to screens last night on Saturday Night Live. First Anchorman 2 cast mate and former SNL grand dame Kristen Wiig lampooned NBC’s universally panned The Sound Of Music Live in a cold open featuring Dooneese, then the Anchorman 2 gang backed Rudd in a monologue face-off against boy band One Direction. They closed the show with a Bill Brasky sketch penned by Anchorman director/co-writer Adam McKay, reviving the character first created by Ferrell and McKay. Check out the Channel 4 News team moonlighting on SNL and other highlights below (opening monologue video not available):
Hit the jump for more video clips.
Fox has given an eight-episode order to Slide Show, an unscripted comedy from Shine America and Steve Carell. It is based on international format Anything Goes, originally created by Arthur Essebag for French-based production company Satisfaction, The Television Agency. Slide Show pits two teams — featuring the nation’s funniest celebrities and comedians — against each other in a series of showdowns designed to hilariously test mind and body. Throughout the game, the competitors must think on their feet as the teams face unpredictable song, dance and sketch challenges, often while navigating the show’s trademark one-of-a-kind set, tilted at a 22.5 degree angle. “I think unscripted television should be outrageous and audacious by definition. Unfortunately, not much is, as of late,” said Reilly. “Slide Show is the most ridiculously fun and out-there thing I’ve seen in quite awhile.” Added Carell, “Comedy is subjective, but if you don’t find Slide Show to be funny and enormously entertaining, then you will never be my friend.”
Scratch off another potential Oscar contender. Sony Pictures Classics has announced the planned December release of the Bennett Miller-directed drama Foxcatcher has been moved out of this year’s awards race and into 2014 so filmmakers “can have more time to finish the film”. The announcement is a bit startling since AFI Fest, a prime showcase for major Oscar contenders, recently had announced it for a major world premiere berth on November 8. Obviously that will have to be replaced.
The film becomes the latest casualty this week in what is turning out to be a very competitive awards season. Earlier this week The Weinstein Company announced their expected contender Grace Of Monaco starring Nicole Kidman was being moved from November (after previously being scheduled for December) and on to its spring 2014 slate, effectively removing Kidman’s portrayal of Grace Kelly from the Best Actress race.
It’s an awards-season cliché to say that it’s an honor just to be nominated, but going to the Emmy ceremony year after year and never taking home a statuette can be excruciating. Just ask Bill Maher, Emmy’s current “biggest loser.” Despite 32 nominations (including three for this year alone) for Politically Incorrect, Real Time and various standup specials, Maher seems cursed when it comes to the golden girl. At least he retains a sense of humor about it: “I am OK with it. In fact, winning now would only fuck things up. I would lose all my street cred,” he told Deadline a few seasons ago, adding that he’s proud he has been nominated every single year since his shows started in 1995. “It comes down to people voting their taste, and I’m not the taste preference of a majority. Maybe that’s a good thing.”
Nevertheless, Maher is in good company, considering the caliber of talent that has also gone Emmy-less over their careers. Susan Lucci was the poster child for Emmy losers, striking out 19 times at the Daytime Emmy Awards before finally taking her one and only win for All My Children in 1999. It must give hope to others like Angela Lansbury, the reigning queen of the Tonys, who has managed to lose the Primetime Emmy 18 times. That includes 12 consecutive nominations for every single season of Murder, She Wrote. She even lost the Emmy for hosting her beloved Tonys.
Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
While the masses will head to the likes of Despicable Me 2 and The Lone Ranger this Fourth of July weekend, some who beat to a different drum will seek new specialty films taking a break from the heat and the BBQs. Fox Searchlight is opening The Way, Way Back with Steve Carell and Sam Rockwell, probably the weekend’s highest-profile limited-run title. Millennium Films will debut Stuck In Love this weekend. The filmmaker with Kristen Bell, Jennifer Connelly as well as a surprising addition the cast. The filmmaker lured his childhood hero, author Stephen King to join the project after relaying a childhood story. First Run’s A Girl And A Gun is one of the weekend’s nonfiction offerings, spotlighting guns and women. Cohen Media Group’s Just Like A Woman is the first U.S. production of France-born filmmaker Rachid Bouchareb. And Magnolia’s Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me spotlights ’70s band Big Star. Its release will mirror a slew of special events.
Producer Kevin Walsh had been a fan of The Way, Way Back script since it first appeared on the Black List. Walsh met co-writer/co-director Jim Rash and began putting together a plan for the project in 2010. He had been looking for a project that was under $5 million. “The timing was great,” said Walsh. “We spent a year attaching people and were able to get [Steve] Carell. That propelled us when he became attached.” Initially, production was set for North Carolina but moved to south of Boston to accommodate Carell. The shoot ran pretty smoothly minus some bumps. Photography took place at a water park where regular customers were present. “We couldn’t afford to close the whole thing,” noted Walsh. “At one point Sam Rockwell used the PA system for one scene and didn’t realize his voice was being broadcast throughout the whole park. The owner of the park ran over and grabbed the mic from him.” The production also battled rain, including torrential downpours in the last eight hours of the shoot. “We joked that it was Nat and Jim’s baptism,” said Walsh.
BREAKING: Disney has cast Ed Oxenbould to play the title role in Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. The young thesp joins Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner in the Miguel Arteta-directed adaptation …
Diane Haithman is a contributor to Deadline.
SPOILER ALERT! UPDATE: Steve Carell reprised his role as former Dunder Mifflin manager Michael Scott after all — appearing about 45 minutes into The Office finale to be Dwight’s “bestest mensch” (read: best man) at his wedding to Angela. After Michael unexpectedly appears, Dwight (Rainn Wilson) says: “Michael, I can’t believe you came.” His former boss replies: “That’s what she said.” Later in the episode, he tells the documentary crew: “I feel like my kids all grew up and married each other — it’s every parent’s dream.” Carell earned six Emmy noms for the role but never won. He left the series after its seventh season.
PREVIOUSLY: No, Michael Scott is not going to turn up at Dunder Mifflin on Thursday. Really. Ken Kwapis swears to Deadline [and lied to us, the asswipe - NF] that longtime star Steve Carell does not appear in this week’s series finale of The Office. “I sure wish Steve had done a cameo. It would’ve been a wonderful touch,” said Kwapis, who also directed the pilot episode of the midseason-replacement comedy that aired in March 2005. “Sadly, he didn’t.” So why did NBC choose to sneak a peek of Carell into its finale promo after last week’s episode? A spokeswoman said the network would maintain its “no comment” stance but noted the footage of the erstwhile Office manager could be a clip from an old episode.
BREAKING: Disney is in talks with Jennifer Garner to star with Steve Carell in the Miguel Arteta-directed live-action adaptation of the Judith Viorst children’s book Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. …
The Way, Way Back is the coming-of-age story of a 14-year-old introvert who spends a difficult summer vacation with his single mom, her not so warm and fuzzy boyfriend and his daughter. Having a hard time fitting in, the teen finds unlikely friendships with the prickly manager and the …
Miguel Arteta Will Helm Disney’s ‘Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’ With Steve Carell
EXCLUSIVE: Disney is in talks with Miguel Arteta to replace Lisa Cholodenko as the director of its live-action adaptation of the Judith Viorst children’s book Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. You might recall that late last month, The Kids Are All Right helmer Cholodenko stepped out as director. She wrote the script with Rob Lieber, and Disney has Steve Carell attached to play Alexander’s dad. Shawn Levy is producing through his 21 Laps banner along with Lisa Henson and Dan Levine. Production will begin in the fall.
EXCLUSIVE: It’s not a great day for Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day at Disney. The Kids Are All Right helmer Lisa Cholodenko, who has long been working on the project, has stepped …
Anthony D’Alessandro is Managing Editor of AwardsLine.
The Actors Stories speeches that set the stage for each Screen Actors Guild Awards ceremony—unofficially referred to as the “I’m An Actor” speeches—have become one of the most anticipated elements of the awards show. Here’s a look at some of the most memorable:
“My first memory of wanting to be an actor came when I saw my mother play the title role in Evita. I watched her die on stage and come back to life in time for the applause, and I thought, Hi-diddly-dee. My name is Anne Hathaway, and I’m an actor”.
“I performed my first scene ever when I was 12 years old in the 7th grade at Birmingham High School. I was very shy, and I had no idea what I was doing, so I just flung myself off the cliff and felt like I was falling. I’ve been falling ever since. I think that’s kind of what it is, informed falling. I’m Sally Field, and I’m an actor”.