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Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Alan Partridge’ Bows To Social Media Pressure; John Woo Starts Work On Two-Part Epic Film; More

Social Media Campaign Nets ‘Alan Partridge’ Premiere For English Town
The people of Norwich, England, have won. After a Facebook and Twitter campaign to bring the premiere of Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa to the town that’s the setting for the film, distributor StudioCanal and writer Armando Iannucci today announced it will indeed launch at Norwich’s Anglia Square on July 24. Steve Coogan plays the cult character whose fictional radio station, North Norfolk Digital, is located in Norwich. The movie will premiere at a lunchtime showing in Norwich before being screened later that evening in London’s Leicester Square. The official UK release is August 7. Click on the image at left to enlarge the note Iannucci tweeted from Partridge himself.

John Woo Begins Work On What Local Media Is Calling Chinese ‘Titanic’
Director John Woo has started production on his next helming effort, The Crossing. Beijing Galloping Horse is producing the war epic/disaster movie as a two-part feature. The film, set in 1940s Shanghai and Taiwan, revolves around three couples from different backgrounds whose lives are affected by the tide of history. It’s been dubbed by local media as the Chinese Titanic. The lead cast includes Zhang Ziyi, Takeshi Kaneshiro (House Of Flying Daggers), Huang Xiao Ming (The Banquet), Tong Dawei (The Flowers Of War) and Japan’s Masami Nagasawa. Veteran director Woo, whose U.S. titles include M-I:2 Mission: Impossible 2 and Face/Off, last helmed 2009′s Red Cliff II.

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CW’s ‘Heavenly’ Finds Male Lead, NBC’s ‘The Crossing’ Taps Villain

Nellie Andreeva

British actor Ben Aldridge has landed the male lead in the CW supernatural drama pilot Heavenly. The project, from CBS TV Studios and writer Richard Hatem, centers on Lily, a dedicated young female attorney, and a former angel, Dashiel Coffee (Aldridge), only recently turned human, who tackle cases at the attorney’s legal aid clinic – she saves clients’ butts while he saves their souls. Hatem is exec producing with showrunner Rob Doherty and Mimi Leder, who will direct. Aldridge, repped by Industry and UK’s Hamilton Hodell, most recently starred on the BBC series Lark Rise to Candleford.

Bill Sage (Precious) has landed a co-starring role on NBC’s drama pilot The Crossing. Written by Josh Brand and directed by Peter Horton, The Crossing is set in a Missouri town during the post-Civil War Reconstruction era and centers on Jason (Martin Henderson), a Civil War soldier who crosses the country and settles into a complicated town where he is welcomed as its savior. Sage will play the Grey Ghost aka the Colonel, a disfigured former Colonel in the Confederate Army with prematurely grey hair who lives nearby in a sumptuously appointed cave – his base of operations to wreak terror on the townsfolk.

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Martin Henderson, Sarah Paulson & Lauren Ambrose Tapped As The Leads Of 3 Pilots

Nellie Andreeva

Three high-profile pilots just landed their leads: Martin Henderson will headline NBC’s drama The Crossing, Sarah Paulson will star in NBC’s Kari Lizer comedy and Lauren Ambrose will topline Fox’s drama Weekends at Bellevue.

Written by Josh Brand and directed by Peter Horton, The Crossing is set in a Missouri town during the post-Civil War Reconstruction era and centers on Jason (Henderson), a Civil War soldier who crosses the country and settles into a complicated town where he is welcomed as its savior – whether he likes it or not. The casting is in second position to Henderson’s current series, ABC’s softly-rated midseason drama Off the Map. The Crossing’s female lead is Henderson’s Off the Map co-star Rachelle Lefevre who is also in second position to the ABC medical drama, so NBC is making a big gamble that Off the Map won’t come back for a second season.

The untitled Kari Lizer multicamera comedy, from Warner Bros. TV, is a workplace comedy about a relationship-challenged woman (Paulson) who, with the help of her co-workers, guides people through unexpected career transitions and downsizings. The casting of Paulson lifts the contingency on the project. ICM-repped Paulson was the female lead on NBC’s Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and ABC’s Cupid. Martha Marcy May Marlene, in which she stars, was recently picked up by … Read More »

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Rachelle Lefevre To Star In NBC’s ‘The Crossing’

Nellie Andreeva

Twilight alumna Rachelle Lefevre has been tapped as the female lead in the NBC drama pilot The Crossing. Written by Josh Brand, it is set in a Missouri town during the post-Civil War Reconstruction era and centers on Jason, a Civil War soldier who crosses the country and settles into a complicated town where he is welcomed as its savior. Lefevre will play Anna, a war widow in the town who watched helplessly as Union soldiers burned her husband and two little boys alive in their barn. Now living with her five-year-old daughter, Anna is smitten with Jason at first meeting and embarks on a torrid affair with the troubled outsider. For Lefevre, the casting is in second position to ABC’s midseason medical drama Off the Map. Lefevre, repped by Gersh and Pearl Hanan Management, most recently co-starred in the features Barney’s Version and Casino Jack.

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Two More Actors Join Broadcast Pilots

Nellie Andreeva

TJ Miller is the first actor cast in Tucker Cawley’s comedy pilot for CBS The Assistants, a young ensemble about four assistants who work for a celebrity couple. WME-repped Miller will play one of them, who at night he plays drums for a struggling band. Read More »

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NBC Picks Up Period Western Drama Pilot, Gives Formal Green Light To ‘Prime Suspect’

Nellie Andreeva

NBC is saddling up for The Crossing, picking up to pilot a period Western from Peter Horton. Additionally, the network has officially greenlit its adaptation of the British classic Prime Suspect, which had been rolled over from last season.

The Crossing (formerly Reconstruction) was originally developed at FX where it was set up in 2009. The drama, written by St. Elsewhere co-creator Josh Brand, is set in a Missouri town during the post-Civil War Reconstruction era and centers on Jason, a Civil War soldier who crosses the country and settles into a complicated town where he is welcomed as its savior — whether he likes it or not. Brand and Horton are exec producing, with … Read More »

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