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Lisa Cholodenko To Direct NBC Miniseries ‘The Slap’

By | Monday May 19, 2014 @ 6:12pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

cholodenkoEXCLUSIVE: On the heels of directing the upcoming HBO miniseries Olive Kitteridge, filmmaker Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right) has signed on to helm the first two and executive produce all eight episodes of NBC’s The Slap, a miniseries based on the 2011 Australian short-run series. The Slap is described as a complex family drama that explodes from one small incident where a man slaps another couple’s misbehaving child. This seemingly minor domestic dispute pulls the family apart, begins to expose long-held secrets, and ignites a lawsuit that challenges the core American values of all who are pulled into it. the-slap_wBrothers & Sisters creator Jon Robin Baitz wrote the adaptation, which is being produced by Universal TV and Australia’s Matchbox Pictures, producer of the original. Baitz and Matchbox’s Tony Ayres executive produce with Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald as well as Ted Gold. Cholodenko is with ICM Partners.

Related: NBC Gives Series Orders To ‘The Slap’ & ‘Emerald City’

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NBCU International Television Production Strikes Deal For All Of Matchbox Pictures

nbcu tv prodAfter acquiring an equity stake in Australian producer Matchbox Pictures in 2011, NBCUniversal International Television Production has now taken full ownership of the company via an undisclosed investment. This adds to NBCU’s stable of overseas production labels that also includes Carnival Films (Downton Abbey, Dracula), reality producer Monkey Kingdom and factual shingle Chocolate Media, all in the UK; as well as Lark Productions in Canada. Matchbox launched in 2008 and develops and produces drama, matchbox1comedy, documentary and young adult television, and feature films. Earlier this month, NBC greenlighted The Slap, an eight-episode mini based on Matchbox’s 2011 complex family drama series. Universal Television and Matchbox are producing with Matchbox co-founder Tony Ayres as exec producer. Other recent Matchbox credits include the dramedy Camp which aired on NBC this summer and AACTA winning action adventure series Nowhere Boys, which Ayres created. Ayres, with co-founder Penny Chapman, will lead the creative team at Matchbox on the scripted side, and Kylie Washington will head up unscripted. The company will continue to operate as a distinct entity led by managing director Chris Oliver Taylor. NBCU provides a distribution network for Matchbox’s content outside of Australia and New Zealand.

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NBC Gives Series Orders To ‘Emerald City’ & ‘The Slap’, Pilot Order To Katherine Heigl Drama

By | Sunday January 19, 2014 @ 9:35am PST
Nellie Andreeva

wizardofozUPDATED: NBC has given a 10-episode order to Emerald City, an Oz-themed drama from Siberia creator/showrunner Matthew Arnold. The order comes after Josh Friedman, who supervised the writing, recently took a pass at the script. The two executive produce through Universal Television where Friedman is under a deal. A writers room is slated to get up and running soon but casting may be postponed until after pilot season.   Emerald City is described as a modern and dark reimagining of the classic tale of Oz in the vein of Game Of Thrones, drawing upon stories from Baum’s original 14 books that include lethal warriors, competing kingdoms, and the infamous wizard as we’ve never seen him before. A head-strong 20-year-old Dorothy Gale is unwittingly sent on an eye-opening journey that thrusts her into the center of an epic and bloody battle for the control of Oz. Following the success of the 1900 The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz, Baum wrote 13 sequel novels. Emerald City is the one of several Wizard Of Oz in development at various networks and the first to get a green light.

Related: NBC Buys ‘Wizard Of Oz’ Drama From Matt Arnold As Frank Baum’s Classic Becomes The Hottest TV Property This Season

NBC also has greenlighted The Slap, an eight-episode miniseries based on the 2011 Australian short-run series. Read More »

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Spate Of U.S. Remake Deals Leaves Oz Producers Mulling Future Of TV Format Sales

By | Wednesday December 12, 2012 @ 3:22am PST

Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney

A significant group of Australian TV dramas and comedies, plus the film Animal Kingdom, have been the subject of U.S. remake deals in the past year. There are more in the offing and the growing trend has Oz producers considering strategies for the future of format sales. “Format deals deliver longer term, and less certain returns,” notes Nicky Davies Williams, CEO of DCD Rights, which handled global sales of The Slap, an Oz drama that NBC is prepping for an eight-episode limited series. Producers usually can’t sell remake rights up front because they need the higher license fees from local and international broadcasters to finance their productions. “You hope that everything you do is remakeable, but ultimately what you’re aiming for is that the original version gets screened in other territories,” says Matchbox Pictures’ Tony Ayres who’ll be an exec producer on the remade Slap. The original was an award-winning success at home in 2011 and also went out in such territories as the U.S., the UK and Israel. Read More »

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NBC Prepping Event Series From ‘Brothers & Sisters’ Creator And Parkes/MacDonald

By | Friday October 5, 2012 @ 9:25am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: NBC is making a major move in the event programming arena with The Slap, an eight-episode limited series based on the 2011 Australian short-run series. Brothers & Sisters creator Jon Robin Baitz will write the adaptation, which is being produced by Universal Television and Australia’s Matchbox Pictures, which produced the original. Playwright/screenwriter Baitz and Matchbox’s Tony Ayres will executive produce with Universal TV-based Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald as well as Ted Gold.

The Australian series, an adaptation of the 2008 best-selling novel by Australian author Christos Tsiolkas, examines what happens when a man slaps a child (unrelated to him) at a suburban barbecue. Subsequent episodes focus on the different viewpoints of those who attended the barbecue. (Watch trailer below) The original, which also had a limited 8-episode run on ABC1 last fall, starred Jonathan LaPaglia, brother of Anthony LaPaglia, Melissa George and Hotel Rwanda‘s Sophie Okonedo. It earned nine nominations at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards, winning five awards, including best telefilm, mini-series or short-run series. The Slap also was nominated for a BAFTA Award for best international program.

NBC brass have talked about adding event programming to the network’s lineup. In June, NBC announced its plans for The Sound Of Music, a live broadcast of a new production of the original Broadway musical to be produced by SmashRead More »

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