The upcoming fifth season of HBO‘s gangster drama Boardwalk Empire will be its last, the network announced at TCA. The decision comes three months after HBO gave Boardwalk Empire a fifth-season renewal two weeks into its fourth season run. “It has been an i…
NATPE Chief Promises More Digital, Buyers, Exhibitors, Station Groups, And Advertisers — Plus Phil Rosenthal Quizzing James L. Brooks — At January Confab
Registration for both domestic and international buyers attending January’s 2014 NATPE conference in Miami Beach is pacing well ahead of last year, with double digit growth, NATPE president and CEO Rod Perth said this morning, citing more exhibitors, more buyers, advertisers, more stations groups, and a more prominent digital presence. Forty-four percent of the registered buyers are international, representing 46 different countries, and 28 station groups are participating this time, Perth said on a conference call with the press. At last count, there were 225 exhibitors — 34 of them attending NATPE for the first time, and five returning in January after years of absence, said Perth, who is in his second year at NATPE. For the second year in a row, each of the major studios will be at NATPE. Exhibitors, meanwhile, come from 23 different countries, including increased participation from the UK, France, Spain and Germany, he said.
Oscar and Emmy-winning director/producer James L. Brooks will chat with Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal in a session at NATPE, joining Bravo’s Andy Cohen, Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman, documentarian Morgan Spurlock, and Boardwalk Empire exec producer Terence Winter in sessions staged during the confab’s The Storytellers Who Have Shaped Pop Culture track. Brooks is among those receiving the 11th annual Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award at the NATPE conference, held again at the Fontainebleau Resort in Miami Beach. New to NATPE, there will be a presentation of findings from a two-part independent research study commissioned by NATPE and the Consumer Electronics Association, in re how how and why consumers use second-screen devices to engage with video content. The first part of the findings will be presented at the 2014 International CES, where the focus will be primarily on technology, devices and the user experience. The second part, which will be presented at NATPE, will consist of qualitative research based on interviews with TV program producers and showrunners, examining how second screen affects the way they develop content and incorporate it into their programs.
From today’s NATPE announcement:
‘Boardwalk Empire’ At NY PaleyFest: Tony Soprano As Nucky Thompson? “One Of The First People We Talked About”, Creator Says
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
James Gandolfini as Boardwalk Empire kingpin Nucky Thompson? It might have happened had the stars aligned differently, the HBO drama’s creator and showrunner Terence Winter said today during the concluding panel of the PaleyFest: Made in NY event at New York’s Paley Center for Media. In response to a question from an audience member about actors other than Steve Buscemi who were considered to portray Nucky, Winter said that Gandolfini — who died in June — was “one of the first people we talked about” for the role. “Not only had we just worked with him,” Winter added, “but he also bore such an uncanny resemblance to the actual Nucky.” But Gandolfini was never really given serious consideration because he was coming off having portrayed an iconic gangster on The Sopranos, Winter admitted. A few other names came up, but because most people had no clue what the actual Nucky Thompson looked like, exec producer Martin Scorsese recommended that they just pick an actor they “really like and want to work with,” Winter said. “Then Marty called me up and said, ‘I can’t stop thinking about Steve Buscemi.’” I said, ‘I can’t either.’ And that was it.”
Anthony D’Alessandro is Managing Editor of AwardsLine
Rusty-voiced, sweet-natured, a tin mask covering up his facial World War I wound, Richard Harrow, as played flawlessly by Jack Huston, is the type of vigilante one might find in a DC Comic book, warts and all. But in HBO’s 1920s epic Boardwalk Empire, he’s a supporting character that creator Terence Winter and his writers transformed from late gangster Jimmy Darmody’s trusted sharpshooter into a human being. For the bulk of this season, Harrow refrained from killing off any bad guys as he wooed a war veteran’s daughter and acted as the surrogate father to Darmody’s orphaned son, Tommy. “Richard knows how to kill. He doesn’t do it well; he does it great,” says Huston about Harrow, who even puts fear in lead Atlantic City kingpin Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) “I reminded Terry that I was getting an itchy finger, and he said, ‘Just wait.’ ”
There is a direct lineage between HBO’s The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire and it is personified by Boardwalk creator Terence Winter. A lawyer who wrote on series like The Cosby Mysteries, Xena: Warrior Princess and Sister, Sister, Winter found his true calling as a writer/producer of David Chase’s groundbreaking mob saga. Winter four Emmys for writing and producing Sopranos episodes, including one directed by Steve Buscemi. Winter’s followup, Boardwalk Empire, garnered 18 Emmy nominations and eight wins its first season. It’s back for more after completing a second season with shocking doses of killings, incest, bootlegging and treachery that culminated in Buscemi’s Nucky Thompson executing his surrogate son-turned rival Jimmy Darmody, played by Michael Pitt. Here, Winter discusses the season past, and carrying The Sopranos torch that has changed cable series permanently.
DEADLINE: When Steve Buscemi played Tony Soprano’s cousin in The Sopranos, how far into that season did it occur to you he could carry your next show?
WINTER: I didn’t start developing Boardwalk until a little after The Sopranos but I’d been a fan of Steve’s literally from the second I saw him in a movie called In the Soup. He directed three Sopranos episodes for us and I got to know him first on that level. When I wrote the Boardwalk script I really didn’t have any actor in mind; we had the real Nucky in mind, from photographs. When it came time to cast, Marty Scorsese and I decided it didn’t matter what the real guy looked like because nobody knew him anyway. Let’s just pick an actor we love. I said what about Steve Buscemi and about a week later, Marty called and said, I can’t stop thinking about Steve Buscemi for this. I couldn’t either, and that was that. Some saw it as an odd choice, but Steve has covered every color in the human spectrum of emotion and there’s nothing this guy can’t do.
Related: EMMYS: Drama Series Overview
DEADLINE: Did you know then that in Season Two he would evolve into a stone killer?
WINTER: Yeah. I knew. Based on the research, as prohibition unfolded the game got much darker and if you were going to survive in that world you had to step up your game. After starting with a guy who was a corrupt politician who dabbled in criminal behavior of a relatively minor sort, things had to get darker for him. It was foreshadowed in the pilot w19thhen Jimmy Darmody tells Nucky, you can’t be half a gangster anymore, because there are people willing to kill for this, and that’s why you need a guy like me. Eventually we had to see Nucky cross that line himself.
Fans of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire will be keen to know that Season 3 will pick up “15 months in the future from the end of season two,” as executive producer and series creator Terence Winter confided to a nearly packed house at the Leonard Goldenson Theatre tonight at the TV Academy in North Hollywood. “It’s New Year’s Eve 1922, going into 1923,” Winter teased the crowd. “The world has changed quite a bit,” Winter noted of the ongoing Prohibition era. “Things have gotten quite a bit more violent as Prohibition has gone on and people are running out of liquor. Hence Nucky’s world’s going to change.” Winter added that the upcoming season slated to begin in September will see a rise of gangsters like Al Capone and lots of “consequences and ramifications from what went on at the end of Season 2.” The young, now-orphaned son of the dead Jimmy Darmody who was played by Michael Pitt, will continue to be a part of the series, Winter added.
Is there a trumpet player in Boardwalk‘s future? Alluding to an earlier possible slip of tongue by actor Michael Shannon, Winter also jokingly promised that they’ve “got the band going.” Shannon, who plays disgraced Prohibition agent Nelson Van Alden, elicited sharp looks from Winter and star Steve Buscemi during the Evening With Boardwalk Empire event when he interjected, “Time to be someone else.” He quickly added, “Luckily I can play the trumpet,” to which Winter mockingly observed, “Oh. Thanks for giving it away.”
The liquor may not have been flowing speakeasy style, but the Atlantic City gang was all there. In addition to Buscemi, Shannon and Winter, the acclaimed Prohibition era series’ Kelly Macdonald, Vincent Piazza, Gretchen Mol, Michael Stuhlbarg and Michael Kenneth Williams took the stage at the Television Academy’s Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre to discuss the past and, many hoped, the future of Boardwalk Empire. While recently announced Season three regular Bobby Cannavale was not there, former series star Pitt was very much in evidence.
BREAKING: Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are reuniting in their first real picture partnership since Good Will Hunting. The Boston guys are taking on the story of New England’s most notorious gangster, Whitey Bulger. Warner Bros will make the film, Affleck will direct, co-star and produce with Damon, who’ll play Bulger. They’ll produce under their Pearl Street Films banner. Boardwalk Empire creator and writer Terence Winter is penning the script. Casey Affleck, who also starred in Good Will Hunting and Gone Baby Gone, will play a supporting role as well.
“Matt and I have been looking for something to do together for some time,” Affleck said. “We’ve heard about Whitey Bulger since we were kids, and we are excited by the prospect of putting it on screen.” Ironically, Damon played a crooked cop in The Departed, the Martin Scorsese-directed film that took a page from the Bulger story. He is the notorious South Boston crime boss who fled in 1994 and remained a fugitive for 16 years — 12 of them on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List. He was arrested in June in Santa Monica. The story will cover Bulger’s youth to his incarceration on Alcatraz, through his rise to become a mob boss while secretly serving as an FBI informant for decades. Pearl Street’s Chay Carter will be executive producer.
The ratings for the Sunday premiere of HBO’s prohibition era extravaganza Boardwalk Empire were barely in this morning when the pay cable network announced a second-season pickup for the drama from Martin Scorsese and Terence Winter. HBO made the decision ”following resounding critical approval and high viewer numbers”, it said. The series starring Steve Buscemi debuted with 4.8 million viewers to become HBO’s most watched series premiere since the 2004 opener of Deadwood behind The Sopranos. (I feel that is only appropriate because there are similarities in the tone between Boardwalk and Deadwood.) Because of HBO’s big investment in building elaborate sets for Boardwalk, including an actual boardwalk, a second season renewal was always considered a given as networks look to amortize upfront costs. Still, the overwhelmingly positive reviews and solid premiere ratings probably sealed the deal. Here is HBO’s release:
EXCLUSIVE: I hear the Boardwalk Empire duo of director Martin Scorsese and writer Terence Winter is re-teaming with HBO for another sweeping period drama series project, and this time, they have rock legend Mick Jagger as a partner. The project, referred …
HBO’s Martin Scorsese-Terence Winter Prohibition drama series will debut Sunday, Sept. 19 at 9PM. The cast of the Atlantic City-set series is led by Steve Buscemi, Michael Pitt and Kelly Macdonald.