Zoraida Sambolin signed off CNN’s Early Start this morning; she’s returning to Chicago, where she worked before joining CNN in 2011 from the Windy City’s NBC O&O. Sambolin, who battled breast cancer this year, announced this month she’s returning to Chicago to be near family.
“I’m going to miss CNN,” she … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Rob Corddry is set to co-star opposite Dwayne Johnson in Ballers, HBO’s half-hour dramedy pilot, which chronicles the lives of several Miami-based active and retired athletes. Corddry will play former all-pro running back Spencer’s (Johnson) boss, a financial advisor … Read More »
NBC‘s veteran Community launches its Season 5 on January 2 with back-to-back episodes from 8-9 PM before moving to its old 8 PM Thursday slot. The season will mark the return to the helm by series creator Dan Harmon, who was sacked by the network before last … Read More »
Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly will return to her show tonight, and will address the media drubbing she’s taken after asserting, on her primetime program, that Santa Claus and Jesus Christ were white. (Watch the clip after the jump). A perfect storm of media/late-night comic panning hailed down in response, coming as it did on the heels of her debut Tonight show appearance, in which she told host Jay Leno, “I am a straight news anchor — I am not one of the Opinion Hosts at Fox” — and a long, loving Washington Post profile, in which she was described as a “queen,” a melange of Grace Kelly and Barbara Stanwyck, and a “break in the clouds, an interlude of lucidity” sandwiched between Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, “admitted opinionators who specialize, respectively, in cantankerousness and mongering.”
Kelly was MIA from The Kelly File last night, which raised some media eyebrows, since her absence had not been noted in advance, and it would have been her first appearance on the show since Wednesday’s segment on the racial identity of Jesus and St. Nicholas. FNC said this morning Kelly had not appeared on last night’s show due to illnesss (she was under the weather during Monday’s Tonight show appearance, declining to shake hands with Leno’s other guest, Simon Cowell because, she said, he’s a “germaphobe”). The network said she will return tonight and will address the issue. Read More »
Harris Interactive conducted the poll of nearly 1,500 TV streamers (online U.S. adults who stream TV shows at least once a week) on behalf of Netflix and found that 61% among that group binge regularly — and feel good about … Read More »
Looking to capitalize on the slew of award nominations House Of Cards has received during the past 10 days from the PGA, WGA and SAG, culminating with four Golden Globe noms today, Netflix is releasing the first trailer … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE UPDATED: One of these women could follow in the footsteps of Maya Rudolph and become the first black female Saturday Night Live cast member in five years. No one is talking, but I have compiled the names of nine young performers rumored to potentially take the SNL stage on Monday to vie for a featured player spot on the venerable NBC sketch comedy show. SNL chief Lorne Michaels told The New York Times today that he plans to audition 7-8 women. The in-studio test follows preliminary auditions, including one held in Los Angeles, where some 25 hopefuls we seen. Here are the names I’m hearing as being on the short list for the Monday test: Bresha Webb, whose photo from the Los Angeles audition posted online brought to light SNL‘s casting plans; improv player Tanisha Long, cast member of MTV’s Girl Code; Misty Monroe, who comes out of Groundlings; Gabrielle Dennis, who recurred on BET’s The Game; and Amber Ruffin, member of Boom Chicago, an Amsterdam-based sketch group; actress-comedian Leslie Jones. Also possibly testing are UCB Theatre performers Sasheer Zamata, whose name had been floated as a suitable SNL candidate before, and Natasha Rothwell, who previously won an NBC Universal Diversity Scholarship; as well as Briana KC.
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Deadline Awards Columnist Pete Hammond talks with host David Bloom about this week’s film nominations for the Golden Globes and SAG Awards, plus the American Film Institute’s picks for the year’s best, and what they all might portend for an increasingly complicated and competitive Oscar race. And though ’tis the season for film awards, they also take a look at the three organizations’ picks for best TV shows and performances of 2013.
Pete also gives his take on this week’s new movies, led by Peter Jackson’s eagerly awaited The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, the second installment in his J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy; the fine tale of Walt Disney’s prickly relationship with the Mary Poppins creator P.L. Travers in Saving Mr. Banks; and the cross-dressing Christmas comedy Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas.
Deadline Awards Watch episode 54 (.MP3 version)
Deadline Awards Watch episode 54 (.M4A version)
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UPDATED: 4:30 PM: Saturday Night Live exec producer Lorne Michaels says he’s bringing seven or eight female African-American comediennes to New York to audition for the show on Monday — one of whom will be added to the cast in January.
As many as two could “potentially be considered” but he does not want to add too many women at this time because the cast already has five of them, Michaels told The New York Times, in an interview given in the wake of a news report he’d tried out about a dozen black female comediennes in Los Angeles on December 1. Three paragraphs later, the reporter reminded readers that when criticism of the show’s new cast members broke out before the start of the new season, Michaels had said his process for selecting cast members “was driven purely by talent considerations.” Michaels this afternoon told the NYT he had seen two black women performers in Chicago when he was hiring for the show this fall, but they didn’t pan out when brought to New York for their final auditions. “Then when the deck got reshuffled and as we premiered we realized, it looks a different way.” (That would also be about the time the press started shellacking Michaels because the list included no black women and the late night program had not had a black female cast member for six years.)
A couple paragraphs later, the NYT reported Michaels “did not attribute the surge of interest in securing a black female directly to the criticism the show had faced,” but acknowledged that it was “100 percent good for the show to have an African-American woman” in the cast.
PREVIOUS: 11:58 AM: NBC‘s Saturday Night Live held a tryout for black comediennes this month at The Groundlings in Los Angele. SNL holds showcase/auditions for potential new talent with some regularity in various locations. But this one attracted more media attention than usual because it was set up for black female hopefuls — one of whom posted a photo on Instagram of the group of hopefuls backstage. And, of course, the auditions took place a few months after the NBC late night series announced its lineup of newbies, and TV critics began hammering the show because the list included no black women, again. Two black male cast members poured a little lighter fluid on the flame – Jay Pharoah, when he told website The Grio he hoped the show would add a black woman, “like they said they were going to do last year, ” and Kenan Thompson, when he told TV Guide the problem is “they never find ones [black comediennes] that are ready.”
Related: ‘SNL’ Camp’s On New Cast: Black Comediennes Aren’t “Ready”
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Back in April, Starz committed to Sky Atlantic’s upcoming drama series Fortitude to air on the U.S. pay cable network in Q4 next year. That is no longer the plan. “Due to changes in the Sky Atlantic production of Fortitude, Starz … Read More »
Childrens Hospital star Rob Huebel is set to topline American Storage, IFC’s comedy pilot based on the 2006 short film that starred Steve Carell and David Krumholtz. Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O’Brien … Read More »
He launched TriStar Productions with Sony Pictures in August, and today Tom Rothman has another new gig. President Obama nominated the former Fox Filmed Entertainment chairman and CEO to join the National Council on the Arts. “These dedicated … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Sons Of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter has lined up his follow-up series to the hit FX drama, and it is as far from SOA‘s contemporary Central Valley biker community as they come (but probably just as violent). Sutter has teamed with Imagine’s Brian Grazer for The Bastard Executioner, a period drama project that has received a pilot greenlight from FX. Bastard Executioner tells the story of a warrior knight in King Edward III’s charge who is broken by the ravages of war and vows to lay down his sword. But when that violence finds him again he is forced to pick up the bloodiest sword of all. “I love the network. I love the world. I love the blood,” Sutter said. He will write the script and executive produce with Imagine’s Grazer and Francie Calfo for Fox 21 and FX Prods. through Sutter’s overall deal with Fox 21 parent 20th Century Fox TV, where Imagine TV also is based. Sutter is expected to start working on Bastard Executioner when he wraps the upcoming seventh and final season of SOA, with filming of the pilot slated to begin late next year.
“For 13 years at FX, starting as a writer and working his way up to an executive producer on The Shield, then as Creator/Executive Producer of Sons Of Anarchy, Kurt has interwoven literary and pulp storytelling within two of the most successful series in cable history,” said FX Networks CEO John Landgraf. “Now he has conceived a deep, provocative and historically precise narrative journey into our medieval past — and I have no doubt Bastard Executioner will be another remarkably original and gripping series. We’re also thrilled to be in business with Brian Grazer, one of the most gifted film and TV producers in the business.”
Related: FX’s ‘Sons Of Anarchy’ Hits Finale High With Season 6 Ender
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EXCLUSIVE: CAA signed Peter Dinklage, who yesterday was nominated for a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series for playing Tyrion Lannister on HBO’s Game Of Thrones. Dinklage won an Emmy … Read More »
NuvoTV will begin airing Dexter beginning January 13, 2014 — airing uncut all eight seasons of the serial killer drama that ended its original run on Showtime in September with record viewership numbers. The content licensing agreement unveiled today … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Meet the offspring of Cruella De Vil, Maleficent, the Evil Queen and Jafar. Disney Channel has ordered to production Descendants, its first live-action original movie tapping into Disney’s vault of classic fairytale characters. Directed by High School Musical helmer and choreographer Kenny Ortega in his return to Disney Channel, the contemporary adventure-comedy revolves around the progeny of some of Disney’s most evil villains, introducing a modern generation of teenagers who question the evil that’s always been in their hearts. Casting is underway, overseen by High School Musical casting directors Natalie Hart and Jason La Padura, with production slated to begin in the spring for a 2015 premiere on Disney Channel. “We mined Disney’s treasure trove of stories and developed a new, comedic approach to the fabled characters everyone knows and loves,” said Gary Marsh, President and Chief Creative Officer of Disney Channels Worldwide. “The result is a modern and unexpected re-interpretation of classic heritage characters utilizing contemporary, relatable settings and themes.”
Written by Josann McGibbon and Sara Parriott (The Starter Wife, Runaway Bride), Descendants is set in a present-day idyllic kingdom, where the benevolent teenaged son of the King and Queen (Beast and Belle from Disney’s Beauty And The Beast) is poised to take the throne. His first proclamation: offer a chance at redemption to the trouble-making offspring of Cruella De Vil, Maleficent, the Evil Queen and Jafar who have been imprisoned on a forbidden island with all the other villains, sidekicks, evil step-mothers and step-sisters. These villainous descendants (Carlos, Mal, Evvie and Jay, respectively) are allowed into the kingdom to attend prep school alongside the offspring of iconic Disney heroes including Fairy Godmother, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel and Mulan. However, the evil teens face a dilemma: Should they follow in their nefarious parents’ footsteps and help all the villains regain power or embrace their innate goodness and save the kingdom? Read More »