Rhys Coiro & Joe Egender Join History’s ‘Texas Rising’

By | Friday April 18, 2014 @ 10:58am PDT

Rhys Coiro (Hostages)joeegender1image001 (5) and Joe Egender (Hunger) have landed lead roles in History’s miniseries Texas Rising (working title) from A+E Studios and ITV Studios America. Leslie Greif (Hatfields & McCoys) is … Read More »

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‘GMA’ Promotes Lara Spencer To Co-Anchor

laraspencerBurying his lead, new ABC News division president James Goldston sent around a memo to staff today — in paragraph six of which was the announcement he’d promoted Good Morning America’s Lara Spencer to co-host of the program along with Robin … Read More »

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Eion Bailey To Recur On ‘Ray Donovan’

By | Friday April 18, 2014 @ 10:30am PDT

Eion Bailey (Fight Club, Almost Famous)eionbailey has booked a recurring role on Showtime‘s Ray Donovan. Bailey, repped by Paradigm and Industry Entertainment, will play a charismatic motivational speaker/self-help guru who needs Ray’s help. Ray Donovan stars Liev Schreiber … Read More »

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Discovery Channel’s Mount Everest Jump Date In Question After Avalanche Kills 13; Sam Champion Interviews WABC Anchor/ Climber At Base Camp: Video

EverestNBC News, whose Peacock Productions is producing Discovery’s Mount Everest live jump, said this morning “the future of the production will be assessed at the appropriate time” after the deadliest disaster ever recorded at the peak killed 13 Sherpa guides last night. The guides were carrying equipment and supplies to camps for climbers getting ready for peak trekking season — including those preparing to participate in Discovery Channel‘s Everest Jump Live, produced by the NBC News division.

Discovery, which had just announced Monday the live two-hour event would air May 11, said this morning its star Joby Ogwyn was at base came at the time of the avalanche, which struck a group of about 50 — mostly Nepalese sherpas — at more than 20,000 feet. Four people remain missing, according to Nepal’s Tourism Ministry. Discovery said it has has not had conversations as to how the disaster might impact its plans. ”The avalanche last night on Mt. Everest is a terrible tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers are with those who are lost and with their families. The immediate priority for Joby and the team is to assist the search and rescue efforts in anyway possible.”

Related: Discovery Channel Preps For Big Leap With Five Nights Of ‘Everest: Live From Base Camp’

NBC News said its crews were on Mt. Everest preparing for Discovery’s special — in which Ogwyn is scheduled to climb Everest and leap from the summit wearing only a winged suit equipped with cameras – when the avalanche struck. “We are grateful and relieved that the seven NBC News staffers on site are all accounted for and unharmed,” the division said this morning. “Tragically, 13 Nepalese sherpas from a number of expedition companies who prepare the mountain each year for climbing season lost their lives, and the rescue mission continues. We are working closely with the team on the ground to assist however we can, and our thoughts and prayers are with the affected families.” Read More »

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The ABCs Of Aereo: Future of TV & Internet At Stake In Battle With Broadcasters, Says Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia

Editors Note: This is the last of three Deadline posts that lay out the issues in the Aereo case, which Deadline Legal Editor Dominic Patten will cover from the Supreme Court next week. Today: An interview with Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia.

Previous ABCs Of Aereo Reports:
What Is Aereo And Why Are Broadcasters Taking It To Supreme Court?
Aereo Wants “Something For Nothing”, Former U.S. Lawyer Says

Aereo Supreme CourtBroadcasters challenged Aereo‘s legality almost from the moment in early 2012 when it launched in NYC. It is a David and Goliath contest: the tiny, Barry Diller-backed streaming service defending itself against attacks from CBS, Disney, Fox, and Comcast’s NBCUniversal among other companies as well as the federal government’s Office of the Solicitor General. The plaintiffs say Aereo steals their property by selling their over-the-air programming without paying them. They liken it to a cable or satellite distributor and say that it packages channels and then redistributes them — in legal terms creating a public performance that, since it isn’t authorized by the broadcasters, violates the “transmit clause” of the Copyright Act of 1976. But Bloomberg Panel & Reception - 2012 Tribeca Film FestivalAereo CEO and founder Chet Kanojia says there’s no violation. He simply leases to consumers the antennas and technologies they need to privately exercise their right to watch broadcast signals for free. He sees next week’s Supreme Court hearing as a fight for his company, as well as a struggle to protect public control of the airwaves, and consumers’ ability to harness the power of the Internet.

DEADLINE: Barry Diller has said that if you guys lose at the Supreme Court, it’s basically game over. Are you turning off the lights if the Supreme Court rules against you?
KANOJIA: It’s going to depend on what the nature of the scope of the conclusions from the Supreme Court happens to be. If it’s a straight up, wipeout loss — and the Supreme Court shows the 2nd Circuit’s analysis of the transmit laws and, as a result, the idea was private performance is incorrect — then it will be very difficult for Aereo to be in business. For us, along with a lot of other companies that buy DVRs or cloud solutions, it will be a very difficult climate for sure. One result may very well be that we cease to operate.

Related: Barry Diller Says Aereo WIll Be “Finished” If It Loses Supreme Court Case: Video

DEADLINE: What if it goes in your favor?
KANOJIA: It’ll mean business as usual for everybody. I think the broadcasters will continue to grow and succeed. I think Aereo will continue to sell to consumers who don’t consume broadcast TV from cable or satellite but use antennas or are not part of the system. Then I think overall the pie will continue to grow.

DEADLINE: What do you think the broadcasters will do if they lose?
KANOJIA: Oh, they’re going to come back for a Round 2. They may go to Congress. The strategy of this industry is, “Let’s litigate, legislate. And if you can’t figure that out, then see how to make money from basic knowledge.” Read More »

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FCC Chairman Circulates Draft Rules For TV Spectrum Auction

By | Friday April 18, 2014 @ 9:30am PDT

Nomination Hearing Of Thomas Wheeler To Be Chairman Of The FCCThe financial and technological proposals are incredibly complicated, but they provide the kinds of details that broadcasters have wanted to see before they decide whether to let the federal government auction … Read More »

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Ratings Rat Race: ‘Scandal’, ‘Parenthood’ & ‘Community’ Finales Up; ‘Crazy Ones’ Down

By | Friday April 18, 2014 @ 9:08am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

scandal-season-finaleOn a night of season finales, Scandal‘s closer dwarfed them all, drawing a 3.4 in adults 18-49 and 10.5 million total viewers Thursday. The twisty ABC drama was up 13% in 18-49 and 14% in viewers from last week to log its second highest numbers ever in both categories and the highest-rated finale to date.

Related: ‘Scandal’: Shonda Rhimes Whips Up Spoiler Storm With Season Finale

Against the Scandal closer, the season finale of NBC’s Parenthood (1.3) was up 18% from last week. But versus last year’s finale, which aired in January in nbclogothe series’ previous Tuesday 10 PM slot, it was down 24%. Community (1.0) also inched up in its season finale, up 11% from last Thursday. (Compared with last May’s finale, it was down 23%). The bumps help as both shows are being considered for (possibly partial) final-season orders. Community edged the only NBC comedy already assured a return next season, Parks And Recreation (0.9), which slipped a tenth (10%) from last week to hit a series low. Hollywood Game Night (0.9) was down 18% from its most recent original two weeks ago, also marking a series low.

Related: On The Bubble: Where Endangered Broadcast Series Stand

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Jimmy Kimmel Hits Season High & Tops Late Night With ‘Scandal’ Finale Show

KIMMEL RHIMES APRIL 17 2Over at ABC‘s Jimmy Kimmel Live this morning they’re likely celebrating with two words: “Scandal!” & “Victory!” For the first time since Jimmy Fallon took over The Tonight Show this year, the other Jimmy was the King of Late Night thanks to his Scandal Season 3 finale-themed show — though NBC’s and CBS’ late-night shows were repeats. In metered-market household results, Kimmel drew a season-high 3.4/8 rating. That beat The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’s 2.1/5 and David Letterman‘s repeat which drew a 2.1/5.  Among adults 18-49 in the 25 LPM market ratings, Kimmel had a 1.4/6 to Fallon’s 0.8/4 and Letterman’s 0.4/2. Last night’s Tonight Show replayed its February 20th show with First Lady Michelle Obama and Will Ferrell as guests. Other than Thursday’s show, JKL has been in repeats all this week. Last night’s result is actually the best JKL has done since the show’s move to 11:35 PM in January 2013.

Related: ‘Scandal’ Finale: Shonda Rhimes On ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’

Last night’s “Behind The Scandalabra” broadcast, featuring an interview from the Scandal set with the creator of the politically themed soap Shonda Rhimes, did 36% better than Kimmel did last week. On April 10, the ABC host pulled in a 2.5/6 rating in metered-market household results. Fallon’s April 10 show got a 2.9/7 result in the 56 metered markets. Last week’s Late Show was an encore delayed by coverage of The Masters golf tournament and drew a 1.6/4. Read More »

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UPDATE: ‘Scandal’ Finale: Shonda Rhimes On ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ (Video)

By | Thursday April 17, 2014 @ 10:29pm PDT

ScandalabraUPDATED WITH VIDEO: Jimmy Kimmel gamely interviewed Shonda Rhimes — “the woman whose brain gave birth” to ABC’s primetime soap Scandal – in a full episode of  Jimmy Kimmel Live tonight, while viewers attempted to recover from the dizzying Scandal season finale. Chatting with Rhimes on the show set, Kimmel noted the season wrapper was really about three finales’ worth of action. “I always want to make the show something you can’t do other stuff while it’s on…You can’t fold laundry, you can’t yell at your husband,” Rhimes explained. Kimmel said that was noble of her. And so, the night wore on, kimmelLogoShonda calmly declining to cough up any dirt about future plans for the show, Kimmel trying to liven things up by noting the conference table at which they were seated was the one on which two of the show’s characters had sex in the finale and hoping someone had cleaned it before this interview.

Related: Kimmel Hits Season High & Tops Late Night With ‘Scandal’ Finale Show

“You know I can’t tell you whether or not he’s dead,” Rhimes said when asked about the fate of Columbus Short’s character, who was last seen at B613 with a gun to his head. Short made his own headlines this week when his wife accused him of threatening to kill her and himself with a knife. There had been speculation that he may be gone from Scandal.

Rhimes did tell a story about the time she could not make up her mind whether Scott Foley’s Jake Ballard should become POTUS’ new running mate — or head of a covert CIA operation — deciding to shoot it both ways and look at the footage to see which storyline “feels stupid’ and which “feels good.” Extra points if you went with “Veep” for Feels Stupid. Assisting Kimmel greatly in the Liven Things Up category were the actors of Scandal, who performed most of the parts in Kimmel’s Spanish-language spinoff Escandalo, which created the strong impression the ensemble cast of this drama was born to make single-camera comedy.

Video after the jump.
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Global Showbiz Briefs: Tom Jones To Star In ‘Under Milk Wood’; Marco Frazier Upped To SVP At AMC/Sundance Channel Global

By | Thursday April 17, 2014 @ 10:00pm PDT

Tom Jones, Sian Phillips & Michael Sheen Join ‘Under Milk Wood’ Cast
tom-jonesTom Jones, Sian Phillips and Michael Sheen have joined the cast of Under Milk Wood, BBC Wales TV’s adaptation of Dylan Thomas’ “play for voices.” Jones stars as the blind and tormented Captain Cat, with Sheen among several actors playing First Voice and Second Voice, including Matthew Rhys and John Rhys Davies. The cast also includes Jonathan Pryce, Ioan Gruffudd and opera star Bryn Terfel. Since its debut on radio 60 years ago, the tale of the residents of the fictional Welsh village of Llareggub has been adapted as a stage play, an opera, and a 1972 starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. Read More »

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Deadline Awards Watch 70: The Cannes Lineup Assessment Podcast

By and | Thursday April 17, 2014 @ 8:39pm PDT

Deadline Awards Watch podcast 70In this week’s podcast, Deadline Awards Columnist Pete Hammond and host David Bloom assess the just-announced lineup for this year’s Cannes Film Festival, which competing films have serious Oscar hopes and which pics Pete can’t wait to see when he hits the Croisette for Deadline next month. Today also was the last day for would-be Emmy voters to make themselves eligible with the TV Academy, and Pete and David take a look at the Emmy campaigns that are heating up, while also grumpily acknowledging the first Oscar campaign of the 2015 season. Finally, Pete gives his take on the weekend’s notable movie debuts, including Wally Pfister’s directorial debut Transcendence, the Woody Allen-John Tuturro collaboration Fading Gigolo and faith-based hit-in-the-making Heaven Is For Real. Read More »

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‘Scandal’: Shonda Rhimes Whips Up Spoiler Storm With Season Finale

By | Thursday April 17, 2014 @ 8:08pm PDT

MAJOR SPOILER ALERT: This story contains many details of Thursday’s season finale episode of ABC’s Scandal.

TONY GOLDWYN, SCOTT FOLEY, KERRY WASHINGTONABC’s D.C. drama, created by Shonda Rhimes, has grabbed big ratings over three seasons with a potent mix of wild plot twists and savvy use of social media. In another signature Shonda shocker, Washington fixer Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) tonight watched POTUS Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) become a virtual certainty to lose his re-election bid when a bomb intended for him goes off at the funeral of a U.S. senator who’d been assassinated by Olivia’s terrorist mom Maya Lewis (Khandi Alexander) in order to get Grant at the funeral, only POTUS isn’t there. But his chief presidential-race rival — and VPOTUS –  Sally Langston (Kate Burton) was there, and survived, and becomes simultaneous ministering angel and Irony Lady at the scene of the blast. President Grant’s day gets considerably worse when he suggests to Olivia that they run away together, marry, move to Vermont and have babies, causing Olivia to have pangs of conscience and spill the beans that Grant’s dad had raped his wife, First Lady Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young), years ago. Read More »

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Stephen Lang Joins WGN America’s ‘Salem’

By | Thursday April 17, 2014 @ 6:04pm PDT

Stephen Lang (Avatar)stephenlang2 has been tapped for a recurring role on WGN America‘s drama series Salem. Set in the volatile world of 17th century Massachusetts, it explores what really fueled the town’s infamous witch trials and centers on Mary Sibley (Janet Montgomery), the beautiful, ruthless but vulnerable wife of the ancient, ailing but very wealthy George Sibley (Michael Mulheren), one of Salem’s town Selectmen. Innovative Artists-repped Lang will play Increase Mather, an old-line, hard-core Puritan who led the way across the ocean to the Promised Land in the late 1600s. Intellectually, spiritually and politically, he’s the most influential man in the country — and the most feared. Read More »

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R.I.P. Doris Kanter

By | Thursday April 17, 2014 @ 5:58pm PDT

The sitcom and feature writer, who was married to Hal Kanter for 70 years, has died. Doris Kanter died last month in Encino after a brief illness, the WGA said today. She was 95. Her writing credits include Chico And The Man, Night Court and the 1980 Beau … Read More »

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ABC Pulls Promos For New Series ‘Black Box’ Featuring Bryan Singer’s Name Amid Controversy

By | Thursday April 17, 2014 @ 4:50pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

With Hollywood director Bryan Singer at the center of accusations ofblackbox molesting a minor 15 years ago, his name will not be used to promote new ABC drama series Black Box. A small portion of the promos in … Read More »

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Selena Gomez Leaves CAA; Signs With WME, Brillstein

By | Thursday April 17, 2014 @ 4:33pm PDT

Selena Gomez WMEFormer Disney star and recording artist Selena Gomez has exited as a client of CAA and has signed with WME. The 21-year-old singer and ex-Wizards of Waverly Place actress has also signed with … Read More »

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How Social Media Helps Drive ABC’s ‘Scandal’

By | Thursday April 17, 2014 @ 4:12pm PDT

ABP-8201 Scandal KeyArt.inddABC‘s D.C. fixer drama Scandal has built big ratings in three seasons with a potent mix of often ridiculous plot twists and creator Shonda Rhimes’ savvy use of social media, which has bound fans closely to the show and its stars. That combo has paid off: Ahead of tonight’s season finale, which is certain to feature another signature shocker, Scandal has added 3 million viewers (for 11.5 million total). It’s up even more in the key adults 18-49 demo, +43% compared with last season, according to Nielsen. That demographic also represents most of the heaviest social-media users and is fervently sought by marketers.

Related: ‘Scandal’: Shonda Rhimes Does It Again With Season Finale

Scandal table with red borderScandal‘s OMG moments, and the chance to feverishly chat about them online as they happen, have glued fans to the show’s actual broadcasts, instead of waiting to watch an episode later on DVR, VOD or Hulu. To further stick fans to their TV-side seats, Rhimes and other show principals including star Kerry Washington also take part, tweeting and posting with fans before, during and after airings. That close connection has been a crucial part of the show’s growth. According to RelishMIX, the social-media analytics firm, followings for those show-connected accounts have exploded — led by Washington’s Facebook account, which jumped an eye-popping 466% in Season 3. That comes after an offseason filled with awards appearances that really fueled the show’s social-media growth. In fact, says RelishMIX CEO Marc Karzen, the biggest growth in Washington’s Facebook account happened in and around her (very pregnant) appearances at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards. Those red carpet photos set fans abuzz for days.

Related: ‘Scandal’ Among Peabody Award Winners

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Fox Pulls ‘Animation Domination High-Def’ From Late-Night, Steers Initiative To Digital, Primetime

By | Thursday April 17, 2014 @ 4:03pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

adhdFox‘s Animation Domination High-Def will cease to exist as a late-night block on June 28 after 11 months on the air. The network is keeping alive the initiative, which employs 100 people working on six series in production. It … Read More »

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NYC Mayor Names Cynthia Lopez New York Film Commissioner

By | Thursday April 17, 2014 @ 3:00pm PDT

Tribeca Talks: The Business of Entertainment: Truth, Persuasion And Bias In Documentaries - 2013 Tribeca Film FestivalAfter a lengthy search, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has tapped PBS POV exec Cynthia Lopez as the new commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting. We’ve learned Lopez’s appointment will be officially urlannounced tomorrow at a noon press conference in NYC. Her exact start date has not yet been set. Lopez will replace Katherine Oliver, who exited in December at the end of former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s third and final term. With Lopez’s lack of experience in the city bureaucracy, sources tell Deadline that a key selection will be who the deputy commissioner could be in this new regime. The commission has been bullish about revitalizing the city’s film and TV production through generous tax credits and a streamlined permit process. Most recently Mayor de Blasio called Leslie Moonves, personally asking him to keep the Late Show in the Big Apple after David Letterman retires next year.
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