CAA has signed Toby Kebbell, the young British actor who played a memorable gunman in Guy Ritchie’s RocknRolla, followed by playing John Wilkes Booth in the Robert Redford-directed The Conspirator, and has leads in the upcoming Steven Spielberg-directed War Horse and the Jonathan Liebesman-directed Clash of the Titans 2. Kebbell had been at WME. He remains with UK’s Independent Talent.
EXCLUSIVE: ICM motion picture literary agent Sophy Holodnik is leaving to become a manager at Echo Lake. Talent agents Steven Fisher and John Sacks will also depart. As Deadline already reported, ICM recently hired three new agents and promoted four coordinators to agents in the motion picture and television departments.
EXCLUSIVE: Entourage creator/executive producer Doug Ellin has signed with CAA, which will also represent his company Fly the Coop Entertainment. He had been at WME for a long time. Ellin, whose HBO comedy Entourage is wrapping its eight-season run, is under a rich overall deal at the pay cable network. He is now prepping his new HBO pilot, the ensemble comedy 40 starring Ed Burns and Michael Rapaport. Before creating Entourage, Ellin worked in features, most notably writing and directing the 1998 movie Kissing a Fool.
EXCLUSIVE: No announcements yet from either agency, but Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme (Silence Of The Lambs) had been an ICM client for seven years. The iconclastic helmer works in film moving between indie projects and big studio productions, TV, and theater. For Demme, ICM put together Rachel Getting Married, the Jimmy Carter documentary Man From Plains, and The Manchurian Candidate. But recently Demme has been pursuing passion projects with less success. His Neil Young documentary has failed to find a distributor. His Bob Marley documentary was reconfigered by Stephen Bing following a dispute with Demme. And the latest two scripts that interested Demme, The Angriest Man In Brooklyn and Honeymoon With Harry, did not find a cast. (See my previous, De Niro Balks, Demme Walks, Movie Chalks.)
EXCLUSIVE.. UPDATE: Larry King has moved from WME to ICM for representation in all areas. The former CNN talk-show host of Larry King Live for 25 years as well as author and TV/radio personality is set for four CNN specials during the next few years, including an exclusive interview with the Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 cast on July 10. I have a feeling that back in January/February CNN would have liked Larry back given that his replacement Piers Morgan’s ratings were in the cellar. They have since improved. King is an Emmy and Peabody Award winner with 10 CableACE Awards who has interviewed every living U.S. President and First Lady since Nixon.
I’m told that motion picture talent agent Philip Grenz has landed at ICM after he was let go by WME. He had been talking to both Paradigm and ICM.
EXCLUSIVE: Former Ugly Betty star America Ferrera has signed with ICM. The Emmy-winning actress had been without an agent for the past few months since leaving WME, where she was a long-time client from the Endeavor side of the company. She signed with ICM after meeting with several other agencies. Following her breakthrough performance in the indie Real Women Have Curves, Ferrera hit stardom on TV as the lead of the ABC dramedy Ugly Betty, which earned her an Emmy and a Golden Globe. She recently did an arc on CBS’ drama The Good Wife. Ferrera’s feature credits include The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and How To Train Your Dragon franchises. She continues to be represented by UK agent Christian Hodell, manager Jon Rubinstein and attorney Jodi Peikoff.
EXCLUSIVE: Chris Noth has signed with Gersh. He had been repped by CAA. Noth, a fixture of TV and stage in New York, has been acting in the Broadway revival of That Championship Season, and he continues in a non-exclusive role as the scandal-scarred husband in The Good Wife. Noth continues to be managed by Sanders Armstrong Caserta.
CAA has added several experienced TV writer-producers to its roster. The recent signings include:
Dexter executive producer/showrunner Scott Buck, previously co-executive producer on HBO’s Rome and Six Feet Under. He was with WME.
Emmy-winning former Frasier executive producer/co-showrunner Joe Keenan, most recently executive producer/consulting producer on ABC’s Desperate Housewives for the past four years. He was with UTA.
Cynthia Cidre, writer/executive producer of TNT’s Dallas reboot, which is shooting a pilot. She previously created and executive produced the CBS series Cane. Cidre was with UTA. She was managed by Ann Blanchard who recently joined CAA.
Desperate Housewives co-executive producer Dave Flebotte, previously executive producer on NBC’s Will & Grace. He was with UTA.
Former New York-based playwright Tim Lea, most recently co-executive producer on Fox’s Lie to Me. He was with ICM.
On the producer-director side, CAA’s new clients are:
Documentary filmmaker and TV producer RJ Cutler, currently executive producer on the HBO pilot Spring/Fall starring Tea Leoni. He was with WME and also managed by Blanchard.
Emmy-nominated director Ian Toynton (24), currently executive producer on Fox’s Bones. He was with Paradigm.
UK talent agency James Grant Group is looking for U.S. as well as Brit TV pilots to fund. The agency, which represents Piers Morgan as well as ABC’s Skating With the Stars host Vernon Kay, wants to fund TV pilots as part of its drive to own unscripted format rights – although it is also open to drama. Holly Pye, head of TV, tells me that broadcasters increasingly want to see finished pilots, not just ideas on paper. “Network commissioners are looking at tape much more,” she says.
The agency has £250,000 ($400,000) to invest initially, which would pay for one primetime studio pilot or a few lower-cost daytime pilots. James Grant is putting its own money into the piloting scheme. If the project’s green-lit, then James Grant would own a share of the format and some equity. The agency has not found any projects yet as it is just putting out feelers to producers. Nor, if successful, does it have a set number it wants to do each year. And pilots do not have to involve James Grant clients, who also include ITV mainstay presenters Ant & Dec, “although it would be nice,” says Pye. “We acknowledge the difficulty in securing capital in order to develop pilot shows to a sufficient standard and the Catch 22 for networks in commissioning formats in the absence of a well conceived, planned and piloted show.” Michael Grade, chairman of James Grant, has helped devise the agency’s pilot investment strategy. Pye used to …
He’s still managed by Media Talent Group and legal rep Bob Myman.
3RD UPDATE: Ed Limato’s clients weigh in on his passing:
Richard Gere: “Ed was my dear friend and agent for 40 years. He was the best of the best. There will never be anyone like him. The mold has been broken. He was probably the most respected agent of our time who loved his clients dearly and would do anything for them. “
Mel Gibson: “It’s said of agents ‘they have no hearts’. Ed was all heart!
He was there for me 30 years. I will miss him.”
Steve Martin: “Ed Limato not only represented important actors in Hollywood, but also represented class and kindness.”
Denzel Washington: “Ed was more than an agent. He was like a father to me and a dear friend to me and my entire family.”
2ND UPDATE (now completed): Ed Limato had been ill from lung disease and awaiting a lung transplant that never came. He arrived home from Cedars Sinai this week and fell into a coma. In recent days the icon who’d spent four decades in showbiz guiding the careers of some of its biggest stars was surrounded by everyone he loved: his clients and his friends and his colleagues. The untimely passing of this legendary talent agent at age 73 will cast a pall over Hollywood this holiday weekend. But his reputation as one of the greats will live on.
Most recently, Limato was a senior agent at WME Entertainment but he’d spent a lifetime moving between ICM and William Morris agencies. …