EXCLUSIVE: Alison Pill, who co-stars on Aaron Sorkin’s HBO series The Newsroom, which is returning for its third and final season, has signed with CAA. She had been with WME. Pill was Tony-nominated in 2006 for her performance in The Lieutenant Of Inishmore and also has a SAG cast nom for the Harvey Milk biopic Milk. Her film credits include Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris and To Rome With Love. She is next up starring alongside Chris Evans, Ed Harris and Tilda Swinton in Snowpiercer, which just opened the Los Angeles Film Festival, and the horror comedy Cooties opposite Elijah Wood and Rainn Wilson. Pill continues to be managed by Joannie Burstein at The Burstein Company.
Peter Bart is contributor to Awardsline and Deadline
Not one to slow down, Jane Fonda has written a New York Times bestseller, Being a Teen; has signed on to costar with Lily Tomlin in Grace & Frankie for Netflix; and just finished shooting the feature film Fathers and Daughters with Russell Crowe. She’s also a prolific blogger at JaneFonda.com. But perhaps most exciting is her return as Leona Lansing in the third and final installment of HBO’s The Newsroom, for which she performed a mesmerizing monologue last season that fans hailed was not so much Emmy- as Oscar-worthy.
AWARDSLINE: You had a scene at the end of the second season of The Newsroom that I felt was really vintage Jane. Was that speech totally scripted or did you embellish it?
JANE FONDA: Oh, you don’t embellish with Aaron (Sorkin, the show’s creator); there’s no improvising. That was the first thing that (costar) Jeff Daniels said to me when I came to the first table read of the first season. He said, “Know every line backwards and forwards, every comma, every period, awake and in your sleep.”
Treme alumna, India Ennenga, will play opposite Mark Pellegrino in Carlton Cuse’s 10-episode A&E drama series The Returned. Ennenga will portray Camille, one of the twin daughters to Pellegrino’s Jack, a rugged father who loses his girls in a school bus crash four years prior. The Returned, from A+E Studios and FremantleMedia, is an adaptation of the acclaimed French series, which focuses on a small town that is turned upside down when several local people, who have been long presumed dead suddenly reappear, bringing with them both positive and detrimental consequences. Ennenga, repped by Innovative and Invictus Entertainment, will next be seen in Sun Belt Express and Scout.
30 Rock alum Keith Powell has been cast on the final season of HBO’s The Newsroom in the recurring role of Wyatt Geary, the new Human Resources Vice President for AWM. Powell, repped by SMS and Leverage, had a recurring part on NBC’s About a Boy and was a series regular on 30 Rock for seven seasons.
Four months after Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom ended its second season on HBO, the cable news drama is officially a go for a third season, which will be its last. It is set to premiere next fall. Sorkin is back as executive producer/showrunner, with former The Office showrunner Paul Lieberstein joining him and executive producers Alan Poul and Scott Rudin as executive producer in Season 3. I hear Lieberstein already had been working with Sorkin on stories behind the scenes. The official renewal comes after months of talks between Sorkin and HBO, with speculation whether Sorkin would come back given his busy feature schedule. But he just turned in his high-profile Jobs script, and will now focus his attention to giving his HBO series a proper conclusion. “The Newsroom is classic Aaron Sorkin – smart, riveting and thought-provoking,” said HBO Programming president Michael Lombardo. “I’m sure this farewell season will be one to remember.” Returning cast regulars include Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, Sam Waterston, John Gallagher, Jr., Alison Pill, Thomas Sadoski, Dev Patel and Olivia Munn.
EXCLUSIVE: Dev Patel has signed with WME. He continues to be repped by Magnolia Entertainment and Curtis Brown in the UK. Deadline told you that Patel had decided to stay with Magnolia manager Stephanie Comer and therefore was among a small group of clients that would be leaving UTA following the agency board’s declaration it would no longer do business with Magnolia after an erosion in the relationship with Shelley Browning that led to the exits of such clients as Rachel McAdams, Robocop‘s Joel Kinnaman, Girl With The Dragon Tattoo‘s Noomi Rapace, and Gone Girl lead Rosamund Pike. The only mutual client not asked to make a Sophie’s Choice was Safe House helmer Daniel Espinosa, because he is busy shooting Child 44 with Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, and Rapace and Kinnaman. He’ll have to make a decision soon, though, and a major piece of business hangs in the balance for the two companies.
Patel, who made his breakthrough as the game show wiz in Slumdog Millionaire, next stars in the Neill Blomkamp-directed Chappie. He most recently starred in Fox Searchlight’s Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. He also continues to be part of the cast of Aaron Sorkin’s HBO drama series The Newsroom.
Just over two years on the air, Fox News Channel’s The Five airs its 555th show tonight. It debuted July 11, 2011 as a replacement for Glenn Beck and was made a permanent part of the Fox News lineup in October 2011. The daily one-hour roundtable with rotating hosts has proven both a ratings winner and a controversy magnet for the cable news network — and we’re talking about the home of Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity here. The Five has seen its ratings rise 50% rise since launch, and for the past four consecutive months it has eclipsed Hannity in viewership, making it the second most watched show on cable news after The O’Reilly Factor. With an average of 2 million viewers a night and 324,000 in the news demo, The Five also soundly wins its time slot against rivals CNN and MSNBC. Deadline spoke with some of the hosts of The Five about CBS anchor Scott Pelley’s slam of cable news, Jeff Zucker, Hollywood failings and Jimmy Kimmel’s viral video scam.
DEADLINE: Earlier this summer in an interview I did with Scott Pelley, the CBS anchor slammed cable news networks as getting “one small part of the viewership” and content to “be happy with that 200,000 viewers, 300,000 viewers that they have.” A lot of our commenters took him to town for so dramatically downplaying cable news’ audience. Ring true to you guys?
GREG GUTFELD: Yeah, first off, who is Scott Pelley? Now, does he work in media or soccer? Whatever, he’s entitled to his opinion and I totally support him. And he was a really good soccer player.
BOB BECKEL: I just thought it was a cheap shot. Why did he have to go out of his way to say that? That’s the thing that bothers me. For a guy that’s a reporter and the anchor of the CBS News to say 200,000 people, do your homework. Look at it and say, “Gee, The Five has over 2 million people!” Now, why does he have to make that gratuitous comment? The fact of the matter is, when Walter Cronkite led CBS, they had twice the audience they got now, probably more. No they’ve done a good job of getting it down to, what is it, 7 million now? And we have, on any given day, 2 million-plus. If you do our repeat it’s about 2.5 million, so we ain’t to far behind that boy and he’s got exposure of a 100% of the TVs in the country and we don’t. So let him keep talking like that, that’s fine. He’s trying hold onto that job and if he wants to hold onto the job, good for him. I don’t watch him.
Sidney Poitier was approached about taking the role of POTUS on NBC’s hit serial The West Wing, series creator Aaron Sorkin reminds us in Monday’s premiere of The Big Interview on AXS TV. (Check out a clip of the interview below.) “I don’t think I’ve said this to anyone before, because I have not wanted Martin Sheen to think he was anything but our first choice at the beginning,” Sorkin tells Dan Rather, who conducts all the interviews for the limited entertainment-industry interview series debuting Monday. Entertainment Weekly reported this casting news ages ago, adding that the show did not want to pay Poitier’s asking price. But, anyway, Sorkin says that’s not the point. “And, here’s the point that I’m trying to make,” he explains – “I never say, ‘We have too much of this and we need a little less of that and we’ve got to get the color mixture right. I absolutely, when it comes to casting, want to put the best athletes on the field.” After delivering his version of the old “colorblind-casting” trope, Sorkin switches almost immediately in the interview to talking about his HBO series The Newsroom, which is tops on the list of Shows The Reporters Who Cover Television Love To Hate-Watch, for reasons not entirely clear. It may be that they simply dislike Sorkin, a lot.
UPDATE WEDNESDAY 4:50 PM: HBO just issued a statement in response to The Newsroom‘s star Jeff Daniel’s tweet from last night that the show has been picked up for a third season. “We are excited about proceeding to a Season 3 and are continuing our conversations with Aaron about schedules.”
PREVIOUS TUESDAY 9:15 PM: Aaron Sorkin‘s cable news network drama series The Newsroom has been renewed for a third season by HBO, its star Jeff Daniels tweeted tonight. “It’s official. #Newsroom coming back for a Season 3“, the Emmy nominee wrote. No response from HBO yet, but sources confirm that The Newsroom, now wrapping Season 2, indeed has been picked up.
TCA: HBO Brass On Future Of ‘Criminal Justice’, ‘The Newsroom’, ‘Game Of Thrones’, ‘True Blood’ & ‘Family Tree’
The recent death of James Gandolfini reverberated through the HBO executive session at TCA today. “Jim’s passing took the wind out of our sails,” HBO president of programming Michael Lombardo said when asked about the future of the recently greenlighted limited series Criminal Justice, which Gandolfini executive produced and was to star in. “I can’t imagine airing the pilot with James in it,” Lombardo said, noting that the network is in discussions with director Steven Zaillian about how to proceed. “Conversations would be about reshooting the portion in the pilot with Jim and recasting the role.” The project, written by Richard Price, was originally piloted as a traditional drama series last year. HBO passed on the pilot in February but then picked it up as a limited series in May. Price and Zaillian continue to work on scripts, Lombardo said.
There will be a third season of The Newsroom. “The odds are excellent – we’re enormously happy with the show,” Lombardo said. “Conversations with (creator) Aaron Sorkin are all about scheduling as he he has other commitments. If we can figure the scheduling, I will be shocked if you would not be hearing about a renewal soon. The numbers this season are surpassing last season.”
Well, a new trailer for the upcoming second season of HBO’s The Newsroom certainly got a reaction on Fox News Channel. The cable news network’s The Five lambasted the Aaron Sorkin show today as a “liberal fantasy.” While admitting that he liked The Social Network pic that Sorkin wrote, co-host Greg Gutfeld went after Newsroom for how he saw its depiction of the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movement. “So Hollywood gets everything wrong again. If Newsroom covered Roman Polanski’s crimes, they’d change the 13-year-old girl to 13-year-old Scotch,” said Gutfeld about the Sorkin series and Tinseltown. Last season, Newsroom called the Tea Party the “American Taliban.” Sorkin has said that Season 2 of the fictional cable news show will address that issue further as well as deal with the 2012 Presidential election. Check out the clip from The Five today here:
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
(SPOILER ALERT! This report outlines news events that are covered in Season 2 of HBO’s The Newsroom.) Creator-showrunner Aaron Sorkin took the wraps off a chunk of the forthcoming second season of his controversial HBO journalism drama tonight as a gift to voting members of the TV Academy, hoping that a little sneak peek will help win them over just as Emmy balloting gets underway. During an event at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Sorkin described that clip of The Newsroom as the first 15 minutes of the new campaign. “When I was wondering which clip to show, our costume designer said, ‘Well, you know nothing ever really happens in the first 15 minutes of everything you write’,” Sorkin quipped. That convinced him that he wouldn’t be leaking too many spoilers in what the packed house saw. However, it did reveal one or two.
SPOILER ALERT! The new season kicks off with a present-day deposition involving the lawyer portrayed by Marcia Gay Harden in a guest turn and features Jane Fonda returning as the CEO of the show’s fictional network parent company. It then flashes back to Aug. 23, 2011, and the beginning of Mohammar Gadhafi’s fall in Libya. If possible, the pacing is even faster rat-a-tat-tat and adrenalin-infused than it was in its inaugural season. Sample dialogue: Lawyer: “Fourteen months after you went on the air, you called the Tea Party ‘The American Taliban.’ What happened?” Anchor: “The Taliban resented it.”
Related: TV TEASER: HBO’s ‘The Newsroom’
Now it gets serious. Emmy ballots become active at 6 PM PT tonight for all 16,000+ active voting members of the Academy Of Television Arts & Sciences and are due by snail mail to Academy accountants Ernst & Young by June 28 at 5 PM PT. Although, unlike the Oscars and other awards voting groups, there is no direct online voting option for the TV Acad yet (but certainly there will be one eventually), the list of eligible shows and individual achievements with corresponding numbers for the Scranton computer ballot can be accessed via a special Emmy web address or on old-fashioned paper if members request it. Trying to influence those members (full disclosure: I serve on the Academy’s Board Of Governors representing the Writers branch) just as voting gets underway are the Television Critics Association which (coincidentally?) announced their nominations today and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association which (coincidentally?) holds its awards ceremony at the Beverly Hilton tonight. But even as these are well-timed events, the TV Academy generally has a mind of its own and often is much slower to embrace the newer, quirkier programs these groups tend to endorse in a big way.
But things are looking up and the Academy does seem to be responding to new blood. Last year Homeland in only its first season dethroned four-time champ Mad Men. Lena Dunham’s edgy Girls and FX’s Louie also made waves. On the other hand the very deserving Breaking Bad, a critical favorite, has yet to win a Drama Series Emmy even as it ends its run later this summer (though stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul have won multiple times). Those final eight shows will be running just as the last phase of Emmy voting is taking place in August and could be a factor even though those episodes won’t be eligible until next year as cutoff was May 31. Last summer’s batch of eight is what voters will be assessing this year.
Leading into tonight’s gut-wrenching episode of Game Of Thrones, complete with a major plot twist, HBO debuted a new teaser for the upcoming second season of Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom. It’s just a mood teaser, with no glimpse at the action inside Atlantis Cable News, and instead features Will McAvoy and Co. in a desert.
HBO confirmed today that the second season of The Newsroom will debut on July 14. The Aaron Sorkin created TV journalism series first premiered on HBO on June 24, 2012. HBO announced a second season pickup for The Newsroom on July 2, 2012. The show stars Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, Olivia Munn, and Sam Waterston. Terry Crews and Jane Fonda also had regular recurring roles in Season 1. The Newsroom drew in 2.3 million viewers for its August 26 Season 1 finale. That was a season high for The Newsroom. Sorkin executive produces the show along with Scott Rudin and Alan Poul.
NoHo Arts District, CA, March 18, 2013 – The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences today announced the honorees for the Sixth Annual Television Academy Honors. Celebrating “Television With A Conscience,” this year’s honorees are A Smile as Big as The Moon, D.L. Hughley: The Endangered List, Half The Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity For Women Worldwide, Hunger Hits Home, The Newsroom, Nick News with Linda Ellerbee, One Nation Under Dog: Stories of Fear, Loss & Betrayal and Parenthood. The Awards, honoring television programs that aired January 1 – December 31, 2012, will be held at the Beverly Hills Hotel on May 9th and hosted by Emmy® Award-winning actress Dana Delany.
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
Creator and exec producer Aaron Sorkin gave a rough layout of how the forthcoming second season of his polarizing HBO cable news drama The Newsroom will play out in terms of covering real-life stories. He told an SRO crowd at PaleyFest 2013 in Beverly Hills tonight that Season 2 will pick up a week after where Season 1 ends and ticked off the topics he’s tackling on the fictional Atlantis Cable News (ACN): “The Tea Party/American Taliban, the General Election including the primaries and conventions, Trayvon Martin, the Affordable Care Act, and drones.” He said he’s still unsure whether the Newtown school shootings will be included when the show returns with fresh episodes in June. “That’s a tough thing to write about without minimizing or exploiting it or spreading Cheez Whiz around it. It’s a profoundly important moment, and the last thing you want to do is handle it poorly.” Sorkin explained the show “would simply stop our narrative before” it took place. Sorkin also maintained tonight that he doesn’t want Season 2 to polarize viewers or critics as much. “I hope some of the critics who weren’t happy with the first season will take a look at the second and maybe reassess their opinion,” he said. “But no one has ever won a fight with a television critic, and I doubt that I’ll be the first one.” Executive producer Alan Poul added that part of …