EXCLUSIVE: Max Winkler and Matt Spicer are on board for The Coward. The duo will co-write the adaptation of Nick Jones’ comic play about 18th century English aristocrats. Winkler will direct and Spicer will executive produce the Big Beach Films project. American Work’s Scot Armstrong and Ravi Nanden, along with Big Beach’s Mark Turtletaub and Peter Saraf, will produce. The duo, along with Jason Reitman, worked together on 2010’s Ceremony, starring Uma Thurman. Winkler has also been attached to direct a crime comedy with Steve Carell for Warner Bros. Both Winkler and Spicer are repped by CAA and Principato Young.
EXCLUSIVE: Steve Carell and 20th Century Fox are in early discussions for him to star in the live action adaptation of the Judith Viorst children’s book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. The Kids Are …
Steve Carell, The Office
Why He Was Nominated: It’s Carell’s sixth consecutive nomination for his role as the dunderheaded Michael Scott on The Office, and his departure from the NBC comedy this past spring spawned a big-time farewell. Credit network marketing as well as the fact Carell has wide popularity throughout the industry. You get the feeling that he could have stayed on this show for 15 years and been nominated every time.
Why He Has To Win: It literally is now or never, and Carell’s submission for the Emmy (his swan song, “Goodbye, Michael”) was a potent blend of pathos, tears and mirth that also generated a nod for writer/exec producer Greg Daniels’ teleplay. If that isn’t enough, there’s the feeling that Carell’s body of work on a show that began life as a warmed-over imitation of the British edition deserves a golden sendoff. “Carell didn’t try to squirm out of his TV contract even after becoming a feature guy,” a writer and academy member notes. “That scores big points.” Historically, both Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex and the City) and Michael J. Fox (Spin City) have won trophies on their final lap.
Why He Can’t Possibly Win: Well, he hasn’t taken the thing home in five previous tries, so it’s possible Carell simply has a big “Bridesmaid” tattoo etched on his forehead. The Office is also seen as having lingered a bit too long at the dance by some. It’s possible that he already blew his best shot here: when the series earned top comedy honors in 2006. And sentiment doesn’t always carry the day, as the perpetually passed-over John Goodman (0-for-7 for Roseanne) could attest.
Hammond On Emmy’s Hottest Races: Comedy — Can ‘Glee’ Come Back & Will Steve Carell Finally Get Some Emmy Love?
We’ve tackled the hot races in Movie/Minis (Movies & Miniseries Race Is On) and Drama series (‘Mad Men’, Bad Men And A Good Wife). Now it’s time to laugh. And it is the Big Four networks who are having the last one.
Comedy is the one place the four broadcast networks reallly shine this Emmy season as they have reversed the drama series trend to cable by nabbing all six off the nomination slots for Best Comedy Series with each net represented in the category. It’s an encouraging trend upward for a format that was almost comatose on the nets just a few short seasons ago, but crafty scheduling including the continued revitalization of NBC’s once — and now future – ”Must See” Thursday night sitcoms, ABC’s major critical and growing audience smash Modern Family (which won this category in its first season last year) and CBS’ successful switch of The Big Bang Theory to compete on Thursdays means good times for the nets on Emmy night. And then there’s Fox’s Glee in there, too. We’ll get to that.
Ballots are due back Friday, Aug. 26, from the select group of Television Academy members voting in this and the other major comedy categories. Here’s a primer for all of you and anyone else trying to figure out where these races are headed.
Best Comedy Series
Despite Steve Carell’s much-talked-about swan song on The Office and the first ever nod in this category for The Big Bang Theory, this grouping is probably the easiest of all the major programs to call. Last year’s champ, Modern Family leads the field with a whopping 17 nominations and certainly didn’t lose any of its creative mojo this season. And since its win at the Emmys for its debut season it has swept all the major guild prizes including SAG, DGA, PGA and WGA, stumbling only at last January’s Golden Globes where Glee was victorious. Let’s face it, this race is Modern Family’s to lose. It is on a roll. Producer 20th Century Fox television probably knows this but publicly is once again running an even-handed campaign between its two darlings in the lineup here, the other obviously being Glee.
Of course, the Fox Network, which is airing the Emmys this year with Glee co-star Jane Lynch as host, is hoping for a different result and earlier this week even dragged out cast members again for another live concert event aimed at TV Academy members in Santa Monica, an advantage their show has over Modern Family, which likely does not have an ensemble of such accomplished singers. But unfortunately just as voting was getting underway the film division of Fox released what is essentially a slickly produced (but entertaining) 80-minute Gleekfomercial for the show, Glee The 3D Concert Movie. The resounding thud you heard was at the boxoffice (despite an “A” Cinemascore rating), a flop that may have tarnished the cool image of the series which has also been battling critics and some viewers complaining the show was uneven last season.
After the Hitfix website reported that Mike Myers had signed a deal to do a fourth Austin Powers film, other websites are running wild with it. What’s really going on? Well, I wouldn’t necessarily dress for the premiere just yet. No deal has yet been signed, and top New Line brass are surprised the whole thing has reared up after they made Myers an offer six months to a year ago, and hear nothing. Forgive New Line for being skeptical: The film company thought it was well on the way to another Austin Powers installment when it made a deal in 2008 with Myers to collaborate with Mike McCullers for a Dr. Evil film that was to focus on his relationship with son Scotty (Seth Green), meant to be an unabashed homage to Myers’ father, whose Brit influence basically prodded Myers to create the British agent Austin Powers character in the first place. Then, Myers’ screen creation, The Love Guru, opened to $13 million in June 2008 against the nearly $40 million that Steve Carell’s Get Smart grossed with Steve Carell. Myers went AWOL, surfacing only for a small role in Inglourious Basterds. McCullers never moved forward with the script.
Deadline broke the news in April that Russell Brand was making a first-look producing deal at Warner Bros, a studio that has stocked the lot with star-based companies featuring the likes of Robert Downey Jr, Ben Affleck/Matt Damon, Zac …
TCA: Showtime Picks Up Doc Series On Comics, Sets Premiere Date For ‘House Of Lies’, More From Network’s Exec Session
Showtime has picked up Steve Carell and David Steinberg’s docu/interview series, now titled Laughing Stock. The series, which will premiere in January, features host Steinberg interviewing top comedians of several generations, including Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Lily Tomlin, Don …
Here’s is the Deadline/TVline assessment of 2011 Emmy comedy races:
Deadline/TVline: 2011 Comedy Series Overview
Competition for Emmy nominations among this year’s Outstanding Comedy Series contestants is no laughing matter. The showdown between two 20th Century TV hits …