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Five Reasons Why Microsoft’s Xbox Entertainment Studios Is An Ex-Empire

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 8:44pm PDT

Five Reasons Why Microsoft’s Xbox Entertainment Studios Is An Ex-EmpireSome in Hollywood may have been surprised by Microsoft’s announcement that Xbox Entertainment Studios, its much-touted experiment in new kinds of interactive TV programming and headed by former CBS President Nancy Tellem, would be shut down. But really, didn’t we see this coming? Here are five reasons why the announcement was, ultimately, long in coming but not long in shock value, at least to veteran watchers of the uneasy, evolving boundary between Hollywood and Silicon Valley:

Deadline tech column David Bloom Shuffle the Deck. Of course, the greatest “sin” committed by Tellem and her crew is being an organizational outlier when the new guy took over. XES was launched two years ago under longtime Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who ran the company for 14 years before retiring in February.

The new CEO, cloud-computing specialist Satya Nadella, had no particular organizational connection with Xbox before taking over. And indeed, in announcing 18,000 layoffs last week (which particularly hit Microsoft’s recently acquired Nokia mobile divisions), Nadella signaled his company focus would be in the cloud, and on mobile. And without buy-in from the company’s new chief, XES was vulnerable — a common situation in Hollywood, where entertainment properties are routinely marooned when their institutional champions depart. Read More »

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Amy Ryan To Co-Star In Steven Spielberg’s Cold War Pic; Alan Alda & Two Others In Talks

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 4:29pm PDT

Amy Ryan To Co-Star In Steven Spielberg’s Cold War Pic; Alan Alda & Two Others In TalksAmy Ryan will co-star opposite Tom Hanks in Steven Spielberg’s untitled Cold War Spy thriller for DreamWorks. Production is set to begin in September and will be shot on location in New York and Berlin ahead of its October 16, 2015 release date. In talks for roles are Alan Alda, Boardwalk Empire‘s Billy Magnussen and The Knick‘s Eve Hewson. Mark Rylance is already aboard.

The pic is based on the true story of James Donovan (Hanks), the CIA attorney who is thrust behind the Iron Curtain when he is sent to negotiate the release of captured American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers. The Coen brothers wrote the 1960s-set screenplay off Matt Charman’s original script. Ryan, repped by Gersh and attorney Dave Feldman, will play Donovan’s wife. Read More »

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HBO Films Nabs Adaptation Of LBJ Play ‘All The Way’ With Bryan Cranston Starring & Steven Spielberg Producing

By | Wednesday July 16, 2014 @ 2:30pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

HBO Films Nabs Adaptation Of LBJ Play ‘All The Way’ With Bryan Cranston Starring & Steven Spielberg ProducingHBO Films has landed the rights to Robert Schenkkan’s play All The Way, which last month won the Tony for best play and best leading actor in Bryan Cranston. Emmy winner Cranston will reprise his role as President Lyndon Johnson, with Pulitzer Prize-winner Schenkkan writing the adaptation. The film will be produced by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television as well as Tale Told Prods. and Moon Shot Entertainment, with Spielberg, Darryl Frank & Justin Falvey, Schenkkan and Cranston executive producing and James Degus co-executive producing.

hbo FilmsAs Deadline reported last month, Spielberg recently optioned the play with the intention of adapting it for TV with Cranston as the star. Him teaming with HBO is not a surprise given their long history with the Emmy-winning epic miniseries Band Of Brothers and The Pacific, the latter of which Schenkkan worked on as a writer and co-producer. Read More »

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Fox To Fly Co-Pilot On Steven Spielberg-Tom Hanks Spy Pic

By | Friday June 20, 2014 @ 5:17pm PDT

Fox To Fly Co-Pilot On Steven Spielberg-Tom Hanks Spy Pic20th Century Fox has come aboard to co-finance DreamWorks Studios‘ untitled Cold War spy thriller, one of two pics being helmed by Steven Spielberg. Fox also will distribute the film overseas, with DreamWorks partner Disney handling domestic. Tom Hanks stars in the pic, based on the true story of James Donovan (Hanks), the CIA attorney who is thrust behind the Iron Curtain when he is sent to negotiate the release of captured American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers. The Coen Brothers wrote the 1960s-set screenplay off Matt Charman’s original script.

Image (2) 20th_century_fox_logo__131009230834-275x154.jpg for post 741629As we told you earlier this week, Spielberg will shoot this one first before moving on to the children’s fantasy adventure The BFG; shooting on the spy thriller is set for September, with Disney setting a wide release of October 16, 2015. It’s possible with both projects in active development that they could be shot back-to-back, which has been Spielberg’s style in the past with such productions as Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List in 1993, The Lost World: Jurassic Park  and Amistad in 1997, War Of The Worlds and Munich in 2005, and War Horse and The Adventures Of Tintin in 2011. BFG has been given a July 4, 2016, release date.

Spielberg, Marc Platt and Kristie Macosko Krieger are producing the spy drama, with Adam Somner and Daniel Lupi executive producing.

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Disney Sets Release Dates For Its Two Spielberg Films

By | Monday June 16, 2014 @ 9:35am PDT

Disney Sets Release Dates For Its Two Spielberg FilmsDisney has scheduled director Steve Spielberg‘s two upcoming films leaving no doubt where his loyalties lies — first up with the Untitled Cold War pic starring Tom Hanks as a CIA-hired attorney James Donovan who goes behind the Iron Curtain to negotiate the release of downed pilot Gary Powers whose U-2 plane was shot down behind enemy lines in the USSR; it’s based on a true story that happened back in the 1960s. Image (1) tom-hanks__131216131222.png for post 652834The Coen brothers recently took over scripting duties from an original script by Matt Charman and Spielberg, Marc Platt, Krisie Macosko Krieger are producing (and Spielberg directing). That will open wide on October 16, 2015. Currently, the only pic scheduled on that date is Universal Pictures’ Crimson Peak, a ghost story from director Guillermo Del Toro and two weeks after London Has Fallen, Frankenstein and Robert Zemeckis’ untitled film. It’s a very good date to launch. Adam Somner and Daniel Lupi are exec producers. Read More »

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Steven Spielberg Wants Bryan Cranston’s Tony-Winning LBJ Turn For Miniseries

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: All you TV actors who figured Bryan Cranston would cransbe out of the Emmy picture once he ended Breaking Bad and headed to the Broadway stage, guess again. Cranston won a Best Lead Actor Tony Award last night for his turn as President Lyndon Johnson in the Robert Schenkkan-penned play All The Way. The play also won the Tony last night, and I’m told that it is in the process of being optioned by Lincoln director Steven Spielberg through his Amblin banner. Spielberg wants Cranston to reprise his role in a drama that begins with the Kennedy assassination, and spans the first year of Johnson’s administration, from taking office and leveraging his power to pass Civil Rights legislation in Congress to his landslide re-election victory.

Spielberg has seen the play a couple of time as has relationships with both Schenkkan and Cranston, I’m told.

spielIt isn’t immediately clear where they set this up — Spielberg does a lot of business with HBO, while Cranston has the relationship with AMC — but it is all going to move very quickly. Since it will be a miniseries, it remains to be seen whether a second play on LBJ that The Kentucky Cycle playwright Schenkkan has written will be in the mix here. Titled The Great Society, the play premieres July at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in July 2014. That sequel continues the … Read More »

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Steven Spielberg Wants Bryan Cranston’s Tony-Winning LBJ Turn For Miniseries

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: All you TV actors who figured Bryan Cranston would cransbe out of the Emmy picture once he ended Breaking Bad and headed to the Broadway stage, guess again. Cranston won a Best Lead Actor Tony Award last night for his turn as President Lyndon Johnson in the Robert Schenkkan-penned play All The Way. The play also won the Tony last night, and I’m told that it is in the process of being optioned by Lincoln director Steven Spielberg through his Amblin banner. Spielberg wants Cranston to reprise his role in a drama that begins with the Kennedy assassination, and spans the first year of Johnson’s administration, from taking office and leveraging his power to pass Civil Rights legislation in Congress to his landslide re-election victory.

Spielberg has seen the play a couple of time as has relationships with both Schenkkan and Cranston, I’m told.

spielIt isn’t immediately clear where they set this up — Spielberg does a lot of business with HBO, while Cranston has the relationship with AMC — but it is all going to move very quickly. Since it will be a miniseries, it remains to be seen whether a second play on LBJ that The Kentucky Cycle playwright Schenkkan has written will be in the mix here. Titled The Great Society, the play premieres July at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in July 2014. That sequel continues the … Read More »

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Steven Spielberg Wants Bryan Cranston’s Tony-Winning LBJ Turn For Miniseries

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: All you TV actors who figured Bryan Cranston would cransbe out of the Emmy picture once he ended Breaking Bad and headed to the Broadway stage, guess again. Cranston won a Best Lead Actor Tony Award last night for his turn as President Lyndon Johnson in the Robert Schenkkan-penned play All The Way. The play also won the Tony last night, and I’m told that it is in the process of being optioned by Lincoln director Steven Spielberg through his Amblin banner. Spielberg wants Cranston to reprise his role in a drama that begins with the Kennedy assassination, and spans the first year of Johnson’s administration, from taking office and leveraging his power to pass Civil Rights legislation in Congress to his landslide re-election victory.

Spielberg has seen the play a couple of time as has relationships with both Schenkkan and Cranston, I’m told.

spielIt isn’t immediately clear where they set this up — Spielberg does a lot of business with HBO, while Cranston has the relationship with AMC — but it is all going to move very quickly. Since it will be a miniseries, it remains to be seen whether a second play on LBJ that The Kentucky Cycle playwright Schenkkan has written will be in the mix here. Titled The Great Society, the play premieres July at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in July 2014. That sequel continues the … Read More »

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UPDATE: Conan O’Brien Rips Donald Sterling & CAA At Shoah Foundation Event Honoring President Obama

Obama at ShoahWRITETHRU: President Obama accepted the Shoah Foundation’s Ambassador of Humanity Award from Steven Spielberg tonight during a ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza. Following some jokes from host Conan O’Brien and acoustic takes on set from Bruce Springsteen (“The Promised Land” and a haunting “Dancing In The Dark”), Spielberg presented the president with the honor, after which Obama gave a heartfelt and somber speech before a crowd of about 1,300, according to the White House pool report. He didn’t touch on any subjects directly related to the entertainment industry, but the crowd that included many Hollywood heavy-hitters was moved by its universal themes of violence, war and intolerance. “The work of this foundation,” he said, “the testimonies of survivors like those with us tonight, also remind us that the purpose of memory is not simply to preserve the past; it is to protect the future.” It was the second stop on the president’s visit to Los Angeles. Earlier in the evening, he spoke at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser hosted by Alan and Cindy Horn at their Bel-Air home. The mood was much lighter for the roughly 90 guests, including Jeffrey Katzenberg and Barbra Streisand, who shelled out $64,800 a couple. They heard the president give what amounted to a stump speech that also eschewed any mention of showbiz. Obama will stay overnight before leaving for San Diego in the late morning. A full transcript of his Shoah Foundation speech is at the bottom of the original post.

Related: Obama Rips Cable News & Joel McHale Bombs At White House Correspondents Dinner

4TH UPDATE, 10:15 PM: Host Conan O’Brien kicked off the Shoah Foundation event where President Obama was being honored with a few zingers. “Whoever Steven [Spielberg] suckered to tell jokes at this event is a true idiot,” he said in his opening remarks. The late-night host teased Obama about the traffic gridlock his visit caused. “You left Washington six hours ago, but I left Burbank seven hours ago.” But O’Brien got one of USC Shoah Foundation's 20th Anniversary Gala - Showthe night’s biggest laughs when he mentioned Spielberg’s efforts to record Holocaust survivors and other victims of genocide. O’Brien said the filmmaker “was recording evidence of intolerance long before Donald Sterling’s girlfriend.” Obama was seen laughing at the remark. The TBS host also acknowledged the philanthropists and other humanitarians in the room before reminding everyone of the true nature of Hollywood. “I’m also told there are some people from CAA here, so that evens it out,” he said to a huge laugh. “They don’t represent me, so I don’t care.” He then introduced Bruce Springsteen, who played a couple of acoustic numbers including a haunting version of “Dancing In The Dark.” As he introduced Spielberg after the performance, O’Brien recalled a lunch they’d had when he first moved to LA in 2009 for what ended up being a short stint hosting The Tonight Show. “Steven took me on a tour of his awards,” he said. “It took 5 hours.”

Spielberg then took the podium. “Everywhere from Syria to southern Sudan, the world has yet to learn the lessons,” he said of genocide and war during his introduction of Obama.”This program exists because we know the future can be re-written.” Then he introduced the president, who gave a somber and heartfelt speech that ran about 15 minutes.

obamahollywood__120118234033-1__120615023234-1-6__121008025841-200x150__121105180912__130424210450__140430225506“Memory has become a sacred duty of all people of good will,” Obama said after accepting the Ambassador of Humanity Award from Spielberg. The president passionately praised genocide survivors in the packed ballroom as “inspirations of hope.” He also praised the foundation’s work capturing on video the survivors’ stories “Recording the memories that would be lost to time. … They turn never forget into never again.”

He later said, “It’s up to us to search our own hearts for those stories that have no place in our world.” The president asked the crowd to “erode” the destructive forces of anti-Semitism and other bigotry and injustice. “Drop by drop by drop … never forget, never again,” said Obama, who mention in closing the abduction of hundreds of schoolgirls in Nigeria and the civil war in Syria. Read More »

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‘House of Cards’ Composer Jeff Beal Will Score Steven Spielberg’s Series ‘Extant’

By | Friday April 25, 2014 @ 8:18pm PDT

Jeff Beal House of Cards ComposerEXCLUSIVE: Emmy-winning composer Jeff Beal has come aboard to score the CBS Steven Spielberg series Extant starring Halle Berry.  Beal, whose cool, steely trumpet and suspenseful piano playing in the House of Cards main title theme promptly captures the corrupt atmosphere of Capitol Hill, was tapped by long-time collaborator Allen Coulter, who is directing the pilot episode of Extant. Beal and Coulter previously worked together on Netflix’s House of Cards and HBO’s Rome.  

“Part of the reason I’m excited about Extant is that it is ordered straight to series for 13 episodes, as was House of Cards. Having scored several television pilots over the years, I feel the creative energy is more pure and focused for a composer working this way vs. the pilot process which always seem to ultimately get polluted by the ‘sales pitch to a studio’ kind of creative process,” said Beal.  The composer approached House of Cards as if he were scoring a 13-hour film, inspired by the no-holds-barred direction of the series for which he received two Emmy nominations for Best Theme and Best Score. Read More »

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Steven Spielberg Looks to Direct Roald Dahl’s ‘BFG’, But Untitled Tom Hanks Cold War Film Likely Next

By | Friday April 25, 2014 @ 6:35pm PDT

Steven SpielbergSteven Spielberg is planning to direct an adaptation of the Roald Dahl children’s book BFG for DreamWorks, however, his next directorial could likely be the untitled Cold War thriller starring Tom Hanks. With both projects in active BFG book by Roald Dahldevelopment, they could potentially be shot back-to-back, which has been Spielberg’s style in the past with such productions as Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List in 1993, The Lost World: Jurassic Park  and Amistad in 1997, War of the Worlds and Munich in 2005, and War Horse and The Adventures of Tintin in 2011.  BFG is a project left over at DreamWorks from the days when Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall acquired the book in 2011.  E.T. screenwriter Melissa Mathison wrote the script for BFG.  Story follows a young girl Sophie who befriends a gentle giant. When she hears that the other evil giants are descending upon England, she enlists BFG’s help to thwart them.  In the untitled Cold War feature, Hanks will play CIA-hired prominent attorney James Donovan, who slips behind the Iron Curtain to negotiate the release of Gary Powers, a pilot who is taken prisoner after his U-2 plane is shot down by the U.S.S.R.  Matt Charman is penning the Cold War project and Marc Platt is producing.

Related: Spielberg Circling Several Projects, Cold War Thriller Among Them

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Spielberg Circling Several Projects, Cold War Thriller Among Them

By | Monday April 21, 2014 @ 10:22am PDT
Mike Fleming

spielSister publication Variety reporting Tom Hanks wants to star for Steven Spielberg in an untitled thriller scripted by Matt Charman. Not sure if this will be next, as DreamWorks poured cold water on the Cold War project when Deadline inquired a couple weeks ago after hearing it might be next for Spielberg. In this one, Hanks would play James Donovan, a prominent American attorney enlisted by the CIA during the Cold War to slip behind the iron curtain to negotiate the release of a pilot captured when his U2 spy plane is shot down over Russia. The prolific Marc Platt is the producer.

I wonder if some of these projects, including the still-percolating Robopocalypse, will eventually square things financially for India-based Reliance, which sure seems to have so far come out on the short end of the stick after bankrolling a DreamWorks venture that seems to have run its course, and hasn’t generated much in the way of blockbuster hits since leaving Paramount. Stay tuned.

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Hot TV Trailer: TNT’s ‘Falling Skies’

By | Monday April 21, 2014 @ 9:29am PDT

TNT has released the new trailer for Season 4 of alien invasion drama Falling Skies, executive produced by Steven Spielberg. Noah Wyle, Moon Bloodgood, Will Patton, Drew Roy, Connor Jessup, Maxim Knight, Seychelle Gabriel, Mpho Koaho, Colin Cunningham and Sarah Carter star. Season 4 premieres on June 22 at 10 PM. Check it out:

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Fox Revives ‘West Side Story’ For Steven Spielberg As Town Ponders Stacey Snider Move And DreamWorks’ Future

By | Wednesday March 5, 2014 @ 9:20am PST
Mike Fleming

ANALYSIS: Even though the Robert Wise original musical West Side Story is WestSideStory2about as sacred a cow movie as you are going to find, Fox has unlocked that movie title for a remake specifically because Steven Spielberg is interested in making it. No writer has been set yet and Spielberg hasn’t done anything more than register his interest, which traditionally has always been enough to get a studio hot and bothered. Between this project and the Fox/DreamWorks team-up Robopocalypse, the Daniel H. Wilson sci-fi novel that has a Drew Goddard script and which Spielberg has said he will direct even though he stepped away to make Lincoln, it would be easy to see Spielberg directing movies at Fox for the next several years if in fact Stacey Snider makes a move to that studio after her contract expires at year’s end.

dworThat’s just part of why the town sees Snider’s move over there as such an easy transition. It is an easier fit than when Jeff Robinov eyed Fox at a landing place but he did not want to report to Jim Gianopulos, who likes calling the shots after sharing power so long with Tom Rothman. Snider is apparently willing to do that and she has a lot of experience to offer managing a studio pipeline, skills that are rusting with DreamWorks’ comparatively small output.

Robinov is now well on his way to finding his money to start a company that will allow him to take big swings at Sony, and I’ve heard that there’s a good chance the bulk of that investment will come from Len Blavatnik, the Ukraine-born billionaire whose worth has been pegged at north of $17 billion. What better way for a man with that kind of money to jump into the perilous Hollywood movie business than with Gravity and Argo architect Robinov and the distribution and marketing might of Sony Pictures?

Related: Is Jeff Robinov Headed To Sony Pictures?

robinoAfter a strong run when DreamWorks was sold to Paramount, a nasty divorce that left behind plum properties like the Transformer series, a near move to Snider’s past home Universal, and the Reliance financing/Disney arrangement which has been stepped down and has hobbled the company, I can easily imagine this finally calling a halt to the great DreamWorks experiment. The one that started with Jeffrey Katzenberg being denied the crown at the Mouse House by Disney’s Michael Eisner, and then joined into building what was to become the next great major studio by his pals Spielberg and David Geffen. I look at the recent crop of DreamWorks films, from the upcoming Need For Speed, the good but disappointing at the box office flop The Fifth Estate and the solid hit The Help, and DreamWorks just seems like an ordinary production company to me. That certainly didn’t have to be the case if the supremely ambitious principals hadn’t made all those deals that disrupted the company and instead stayed a solid course from the beginning and kept building a company on a consistent track. Read More »

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Annie Awards: ‘Frozen’ Wins Big Including Best Feature; Miyazaki Gets Best Writing; Spielberg Honored; ‘Futurama’ & ‘Sofia’ Top TV; ‘Get A Horse!’ Best Short

Annie Award WinnersDisney’s Frozen was on fire tonight at the 41st Annie Awards and now is generating real heat for the upcoming Academy Awards. Having made $864.4M worldwide at the box office since its late-November release, the 3D fantasy musical snagged 5 Annies tonight. Frozen won Best Animated Feature, Best Directing for Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, Best Music, Production Design and a Voice Acting win for Josh Gad. who also was a presenter. Whether this will translate into Oscar gold remains to be seen. Last year’s big Annie winner, Wreck-It Ralph, which Lee co-wrote, ended up losing the Best Animated Feature Oscar to Pixar’s Brave. However, the 2012 Annie Feature winner Rango did win at the Oscars that year.

“We haven’t even started talking about a sequel yet,” Frozen co-director Jennifer Lee told me before the ceremony started. “We’ve talked about the Broadway musical but not a sequel. No one’s even mentioned it,” said Lee, who just flew in today from a promotional visit to Tokyo.

frozen2With 30 awards handed out and hosted by Patrick Warburton, this year’s Annies from UCLA’s Royce Hall also saw animation trailblazer Hayao Miyazaki take home the Writing in an Animated Feature award for The Wind Rises and Disney’s Mickey Mouse throwback pic Get A Horse! — which played before screenings of Frozen — take the Best Animated Short prize. Steven Spielberg, Akira creator Katsuhiro Otomo and Star Wars and Jurassic Park effects whiz Phil Tippett were honored with the Annies’ prestigious Winsor McCay for their contribution to the art form. DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods garnered three awards, for Best Animated Effects in an Animated Production, Character Design and Character Animation. The Chris Meledandri-headed Illumination and Universal’s Despicable Me 2 took the Best Animated TV/Broadcast Commercial award.

A recap of Deadline’s live blog of tonight’s show follows the winners list below.

Related:
Disney’s ‘Frozen’ Stays Hot With Sing-Along Version Headed To Theaters
‘Despicable Me 2′ Breaks Records In $80M Home Vid Debut
OSCARS: Best Animation 2013 – Titans Vs. Indies In A Wide Open Race

Toy-Story-of-TerrorThe Halloween special Toy Story of Terror! and Disney Mickey Mouse each won three awards. Best General Audience Animated TV Production and best Writing in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production went to Futurama, while Disney’s Sofia The First picked up the category’s Preschool Children award. Industrial Light & Magic’s Pacific Rim team won the Animated Effects in a Live Action Production for their work on Warner Bros and Legendary’s apocalyptic blockbuster.

After a slightly late start, host Warburton kicked off the show by making a joke that he has “no experience as a host” but that the Annies are his favorite awards show. He later said of Royce Hall, “What a terrific venue to have the Annies — or, if you’re Seth MacFarlane, a birthday party.” He added that maybe he shouldn’t have mentioned it because “not everybody here was invited.” Later he said, “We lost Brian the dog on Family Guy this year. That was tragic news for fans of the show. … Tragic news for me would be if I found out Rogaine caused brain cancer.” He added that, “So Seth MacFarlane killed a dog. To me that makes him no better than Michael Vick.” The joke got a big laugh.

Congrats to all who took home an Annie tonight, check out the full list of winners below:

Read More »

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Steven Spielberg To Receive Lincoln Leadership Prize

By | Tuesday January 28, 2014 @ 7:53am PST

spielbergThe Lincoln Leadership Prize, awarded annually by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation, honors outstanding individuals for a lifetime of service in the spirit of 16th President Abraham Lincoln. Honorees are described as those who manifest great strength of character, individual conscience, and an unwavering commitment to the defining principles of democracy. Steven Spielberg will receive the award during a dinner March 19 at the Hilton Chicago, presented by Sally Field. ”This is an extraordinary honor. For me, Lincoln’s unprecedented commitment to the cause of democracy is one of the most important examples of leadership our nation has ever seen,” said Spielberg. “I am humbled to receive an award that embodies both his legacy and the profound contributions he made to this country.”

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Sundance: Steven Spielberg Here To See Jake Paltrow’s ‘Young Ones’ Debut

By | Saturday January 18, 2014 @ 8:29pm PST
Mike Fleming

Isn’t this the week that indie filmmakers take the stage in Park City? paltHours after Christopher Nolan came to accept Slamdance’s Founder’s Award, I’m told  Steven Spielberg just sat down at the Eccles Theater for the premiere of Young Ones, the latest film written and directed by Jake Paltrow. I’m told this is Spielberg’s second trip to Sundance, and the first one was to see The Good Night, also directed by Paltrow.

Sundance2014_badge__140109214059__140116020608What gives? Spielberg is Paltrow’s godfather and obviously a big fan of the helmer’s work. Young Ones, an acquisition title, is described as a futuristic Western-style tale that takes place in a world with a scarcity of water. A 14-year-old boy is confronted with his primal instincts when he finds out his friendly brother-in-law murdered his father. The film stars Michael Shannon, Nicholas Hoult, Elle Fanning, and Kodi Smit-McPhee.

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Lyndon Smith, Keith Nobbs, Wass Stevens & Elizabeth Masucci Join TNT’s ‘Public Morals’

By | Friday January 17, 2014 @ 6:55am PST
Nellie Andreeva

smithlyndon__130307001114-150x150Lyndon Smith, Keith Nobbs, Wass Stevens and Elizabeth Masucci are set as series regulars in Ed Burns’ TNT pilot Public Morals, executive produced by Steven Spielberg. Written and directed by and starring Burns, Public Morals is set in 1967 in New York City’s Public Morals Division, where cops walk the line between morality and criminality as the temptations that come from dealing with all kinds of vice can get the better of them. It centers on cop Terry Muldoon (Burns), who knows the line between the good guys and bad guys is thin, and he is determined to raise his sons to be honest and hardworking as he deals with the dark underbelly of the vice world. Nobbs will play Pat Duffy, a troublemaker fresh from prison that everyone knows not to trust. Smith, repped by Buchwald & Assoc. and Main Title, will play Pat’s sister Deidre, a beautiful beatnik. Stevens plays Vince Latucci, a senior on the force who grew up on the streets of Little Italy. Masucci plays Christine, Muldoon’s loving wife and mother of 4.

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TCA: CBS Set Premiere Dates For ‘Extant’ & ‘Under The Dome’

By | Wednesday January 15, 2014 @ 9:23am PST
Nellie Andreeva

berryhalleThere will not be a two-hour Steven Spielberg block on CBS next summer as the network scheduled returning Under The Dome and upcoming Extant, both produced by him, on different nights. Last summer’s breakout Dome will return in its original Monday 10 PM slot beginning June 30. Hot sci-fi/family drama Extant, starring Halle Berry, will debut two days later and air in the Wednesday 9 PM time period.

Related: TCA: CBS Renews Daytime Lineup For Next Season

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