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Split Decision: New SAG-AFTRA Pact Calls for Sharing of Pension And Health Contributions

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 6:45pm PDT

Split Decision: New SAG-AFTRA Pact Calls for Sharing of Pension And Health ContributionsEXCLUSIVE: While SAG-AFTRA officials have been touting all the benefits of the union’s proposed new film and TV contract, they’ve remained mum about one key issue: How will the 17% of actors’ earnings that employers pay into the union’s two separate pension and health plans be allocated? It’s a key question because the two plans – the SAG Pension and Health Plan and the AFTRA Health & Retirement Fund – have different eligibility requirements and offer different benefit packages.

Related: SAG-AFTRA Posts 10 Reasons To Vote Yes On New Contract; Do Members Agree?

Deadline has learned that SAG’s Pension and Health Plan will receive contributions from new one-hour network shows (mostly dramas), new half-hour basic cable shows (mostly sitcoms), and everything new made for syndication, other than shows made for the CW. Contributions on earnings from new TV shows made for new media, pay TV and home video also will go into the SAG plan.

Related: (Non) Shocker! SAG-AFTRA Board Approves New Contract

AFTRA’s Health and Retirement fund will receive contributions on earnings from new half-hour network shows (mostly sitcoms) and new one-hour basic cable shows (mostly dramas), all new longform TV shows (such as miniseries and telefilms), and everything made for CW. Read More »

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FX’s ‘Tyrant’ To Stay In Turkey For Remainder Of Season 1 Shoot

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 6:13pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

FX’s ‘Tyrant’ To Stay In Turkey For Remainder Of Season 1 ShootWith the violence in Gaza showing no signs of subsiding, Fox 21 has made a decision to finish the first season order of its FX series Tyrant in Turkey, where the series relocated on a temporary basis a week ago when the conflict started. The show did some filmming in Istanbul during the past week with the hope that production could return to Tel Aviv where Tyrant had built elaborate sets. With the death toll rising and a cease-fire still out of reach, that possibility has been ruled out due to safety precautions, with the show set to film the remainder of the last two episodes in Turkey. The writers used the past week to rewrite the last two scripts to account for the location change and lack of sets. Fox 21 moved the Tyrant production to Israel after filming the pilot in Morocco.

Another drama filming in Israel, USA’s limited series DIG, recently extended its planned hiatus by week while the network and producers explore alternatives and discuss them with the project’s insurance company should the situation remain too dangerous to film. A final decision has not been made. DIG only has shot the first of its six-episode order. CBS’ biblical miniseries The Dovekeepers also originally eyed shooting there before deciding to go elsewhere, ultimately settling on Malta.

In September, Fox 21′s Showtime series Homeland moved third-season scenes that were planned to be shot in Israel to Morocco over concerns about the situation in Read More »

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TCA: FX’s ‘Fargo’ Coming Back As Prequel Set In ’79, With All-New Cast But Same Cold

TCA: FX’s ‘Fargo’ Coming Back As Prequel Set In ’79, With All-New Cast But Same ColdThe second season of FX’s Fargo will take place in Sioux Falls, S.D., in 1979, creator Noah Hawley said this afternoon at the TCA  Summer Press Tour. “If you were paying attention to Season 1, we made a lot of references to Sioux Falls,” he said told TV critics. Some of the second season also will take place in Luverne, Minn.

The season will be a prequel of sorts, in that the Lou Solverson character, played in Season 1 by Keith Carradine, will be back, only this time he’ll be just 33 years old and recently Fargo TCAback from Vietnam. “That time period is interesting — post-Vietnam, post-Watergate … the best of America versus worst,” Hawley said. “That sense, I think, that this war had come home with people, and the violence and brutality of it.”Lou Salverson went to Vietnam and came home, but now he’s come back and it’s here — it’s domestic.”

Related: TCA: FX Orders Second Installment Of ‘Fargo’, Fifth Season Of ‘Louie’

And while he said he would like nothing more than to see the continuing adventures of Molly and Gus, “I felt it would be disingenuous,” Hawly said of Deputy Molly Solverson (Allison Tolman) and Officer Gus Grimly (Colin Hanks). Molly’s mom will be featured in Season 2 but will not be played by Tolman, despite urgings of several TV critics. “She should be in everything anybody ever made, as far as I’m concerned,” Hawley said. But he added that the idea of casting Tolman to play her character’s mother “seems a little gimmicky to me, and like cheating.” Using the same actors in different roles each season is “a brilliant turn on Ryan’s part, and he owns it — it would be imitative,” Hawley said of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story, with its practice of bringing back actors in different roles each season.

Related: FX’s ‘Tyrant’ To Stay In Turkey For Remainder Of Season 1 Shoot

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TCA: How Violent Is Too Violent For Kurt Sutter On ‘Sons Of Anarchy’?

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 5:29pm PDT

TCA: How Violent Is Too Violent For Kurt Sutter On ‘Sons Of Anarchy’?SPOILER ALERT: This story contains details of the Season 6 finale and other episodes of Sons Of Anarchy.

For some of the reporters at the TCA panel for Sons Of Anarchylast season’s ending exceeded their expectations for violence with Eli being shot in the back by Juice and Gemma’s forking of Tara. For Sons creator Sutter, it’s just all part of the process when you’re producing a pulp novel every week.

“I don’t have a filter,” said Sutter, “I rely on (FX CEO) John Landgraf for that.”

Related: TCA: FX’s “Revolting” ‘The Strain’ Bucks Romantic GQ Vampire Trend

Sons of Anarchy Season 6 finale“It’s not so much, ‘How do I outdo myself?’, but within the circumstance of a scene between two characters, (I ask myself), ‘What is the most interesting way for things to happen?’ I can say fairly confidently that I don’t think we’ve ever done anything inorganically in a heightened season. It was a fork (as a weapon) in that scene, because it was there,” Sutter said.

Related: TCA: Throwing The Serial Killer Premise Off ‘The Bridge’ In Season 2

In the wake of that scene, Sutter mentioned that people have approached his wife on the street asking for their forks to be autographed. Read More »

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Lifetime’s ‘The Lottery’ Debuts OK

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 5:29pm PDT

Lifetime’s ‘The Lottery’ Debuts OKA dystopian reproductive drama on Lifetime from Children Of Men scribe Timothy J. Sexton does seem to have all the right ingredients. However, it also needs an audience to show up and that was a bit of a struggle for the debut of The Lottery last night. With a new Witches Of East End as a lead-in, the Warner Horizon-produced conspiracy thriller debut to 1.1 million total viewers last night at 10 PM. That’s down from the 1.93 million who tuned in for the 10 PM Season 1 premiere of the supernatural soapy Witches on October 6 last year.

Lifetime_Logo_Vector_CMYK_1_Coral_031313_02__140206235544-275x275The Lottery’s launch was also down from the viewership of Lifetime’s other most recent drama debut. The June 23, 2013 premiere of the Marc Cherry-created Devious Maids drew an audience of 2 million. In fact, the Danny Cannon-directed pilot, which he EP’d along with Sexton and Dawn Olmstead, was much closer to the Season 2 debut of Witches on July 6. That 9 PM airing had 1.12 million viewers. Lifetime has ordered 10-episodes of The Lottery so far — let’s see if it turns out to be a winning ticket.

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TCA: FX’s “Revolting” ‘The Strain’ Bucks Romantic GQ Vampire Trend, Creator Guillermo Del Toro Says

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 4:32pm PDT

TCA: FX’s “Revolting” ‘The Strain’ Bucks Romantic GQ Vampire Trend, Creator Guillermo Del Toro SaysBefore FX developed The Strain for its lineup, Guillermo del Toro says a broadcast network suggested developing it as a comedy. The Strain, based on the trilogy of novels by del Toro and Chuck Hogan, follows Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll) as the NYC head of the Centers for Disease Control Canary Team, leading the effort to discover the root of a viral outbreak that seems to have killed all the passengers and crew of a Berlin-originated airplane that turns out to be a strain of vampirism.

Back in 2006, del Toro told TV critics this afternoon at TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2014,  the project was sent around for possible development as a TV project. At that time he said, the the only way anybody envisioned vampires was “as a romantic conception of vampires — that sort of GQ version of vampires,” he said. But he was pitching a show in which vampires would be “truly revolting, physically and spiritually.” At one network, he said, he got asked, ” ‘Could you turn it into a comedy?’ I said ‘no’.”

thestrain01-is-the-strain-posterSeries exec producer Carlton Cuse, meanwhile, says that while there are horror elements to the show, he thinks of it much more as an adventure show, along the lines of Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade, he worked on in its development. “It’s not that scary — it’s not just a horror show,” Cuse insists of The Strain. “The material lent itself to a big pulpy engaging type of storytelling.” Read More »

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Ex-Relativity Exec, Obama And Kerry Fundraiser Jamie Denenberg Named Alpine Labs Partner, Chief Strategy Officer

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 3:44pm PDT

Ex-Relativity Exec, Obama And Kerry Fundraiser Jamie Denenberg Named Alpine Labs Partner, Chief Strategy OfficerJamie Denenberg, a veteran entertainment executive and prominent fundraiser for the presidential campaigns of John Kerry and Barack Obama, was named partner and Chief Strategy Officer at Alpine Labs, which creates film, TV and online content and was formerly known as Ketchum Labs. Alpine principals Kevin Abrams and Patrick Weir made the announcement today.

Denenberg was Kerry’s California finance director, raising tens of millions of dollars for his 2004 presidential campaign. She  also was an early “bundler,” pulling together contributions for Obama and organizing a number of “Young Hollywood” events for his 2008 campaign. Most recently, Denenberg was a partner in marketing company SA Entertainment. Before that, she led the creative content divisions at Relativity Media and Overture Films and worked for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
Read More »

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TCA: Throwing The Serial Killer Premise Off ‘The Bridge’ In Season 2

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 3:26pm PDT

TCA: Throwing The Serial Killer Premise Off ‘The Bridge’ In Season 2“I didn’t want to do the serial-killer-of-the-year story. I can’t compete with the genre that’s out there,” The Bridge executive producer Elwood Reid said today at TCA about his primary objective for Season 2 of the FX thriller.

“If I’m going to tell a story about the U.S.-Mexican border, one which these characters warranted, I couldn’t fx_connectedtell that story while they were tracking a serial killer,” said the EP. Departing Bridge EP Meredith Stiehm, who developed the series with Reid before returning to Homeland, also shared the same second-season vision.

“Meredith was right there with me in wanting to break the old mode of the show,” said Reid, “We looked at each other and said, ‘Let’s get these figures up on the bridge and finish this part of the story.’” Read More »

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TCA: When FX Hosts ‘Tyrant’ Q&A Featuring Show’s Critics, Howard Gordon Says He’s The Series’ “Midwife”

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 3:04pm PDT

TCA: When FX Hosts ‘Tyrant’ Q&A Featuring Show’s Critics, Howard Gordon Says He’s The Series’ “Midwife”“This is an adopted child for me,” Howard Gordon told TV critics this afternoon about FX‘s controversial drama series Tyrant. “I’m the midwife… it came to me and this is what it is.”

Gordon came to TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2014 to discuss the series that debuted last month. He was joined onstage by representatives of various groups that have blasted, to varying degrees, the series. 2014 Summer TCA Tour - Day 14They came to discuss the ways in which they have complained about the series and the degree to which they have effected change. According to a network spokesman, some of the people onstage participated in a three-hour conversation with Gordon and others involved with the program which was a “very educational experience.” Their leader seemed to be Cynthia P Schneider,  who co-directs the Los Angeles-based Muslims On Screen and Television, and teaches at Georgetown University. Read More »

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Time Warner Changes By-Laws To Help Block A Hostile Takeover

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 1:50pm PDT

Time Warner Changes By-Laws To Help Block A Hostile TakeoverThis is the first concrete sign that Time Warner is determined to fight Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch if he decides to do an end run around the board in an effort to acquire the company. Directors adopted an amendment to TW’s by-laws, which took effect immediately, that makes it harder for a small group of shareholders to call a Business Leaders Gather For B20 Summit In Sydneyspecial meeting, Time Warner says in an SEC filing. Previously investors holding at least 15% of the total votes could demand a meeting. The change limits that right to “the Chief Executive Officer or a majority of the entire Board.” The fear was that Murdoch — or anyone — could have tried to stampede short-term investors into accepting a deal even if the board concluded that it would not serve their long-term interests.

Related: Bart & Fleming: Fox-TW Mania Means Banker Fees And Layoffs, Not Quality

Time Warner shares are down 1.6% in post-market trading following disclosure of the change. The company says that it intends to restore the 15% threshold at the 2015 annual meeting.

Related: Will Anyone Besides Rupert Murdoch Take A Run At TW?

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UPDATE: Judge Denies Seven Arts Founder’s Motion To Have Louisiana Tax Fraud Charges Dismissed

UPDATE: Judge Denies Seven Arts Founder’s Motion To Have Louisiana Tax Fraud Charges DismissedUPDATED, 1:47 PM: A federal judge has denied Seven Arts Entertainment founder Peter Hoffman’s motion to dismiss the fraud charges against him stemming from $1.13 million he obtained in Louisiana tax credits to refurbish a run-down old New Orleans mansion and turn it into a state-of-the-are postproduction facility. Hoffman declined comment until he’s had time to study the judge’s 27-page ruling. A trail is set for January 20.

peter-hoffman-seven-artsPREVIOUSLY, June 2: The founder of Seven Arts Entertainment claims that he did nothing wrong in obtaining tax credits to restore a rundown New Orleans mansion and convert it into a modern postproduction facility. Peter Hoffman has filed a motion to dismiss the criminal tax fraud charges (read it here) brought against him by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Louisiana in February. The 22-count indictment accuses Hoffman, a former business partner, and Hoffman’s ex-wife, producer Susan Hoffman, of conspiring to secure $1.13 million in Louisiana tax credits without having done the work they told state officials they were going to do. All three have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Related: Peter Hoffman Says He’s Being “Targeted” By Federal Prosecutors In Louisiana Film Tax Fraud Case

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Charlie Kaufman Pilot Not Going Forward At FX

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 1:14pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Charlie Kaufman Pilot Not Going Forward At FXUPDATED: FX has passed on How And Why, its comedy pilot written, directed and executive produced by Oscar winner Charlie Kaufman. The project, which starred John Hawkes, Michael Cera, Sally Hawkins and Catherine Keener, told the story of a man who can explain how and why a nuclear reactor works but is clueless about life. While FX brass are fans of Kaufman and liked the finished product, which came in at close to an hour, I hear they felt the show, with its very unusual mix of comedy and drama, would not mesh well with the rest of the lineup. The pilot has been shopped to other outlets. FX currently has only one active live-action comedy pilot, the untitled Zach Galifianakis project, which was just finished and is expected to get word soon. On the drama side, Kurt Sutter’s Bastard Executioner will shoot early next year in London.

Related: 2014 FX Pilots

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MSNBC Flatlines On Big Big News Day While Fox News Dominates & CNN Ratings Surge

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 12:58pm PDT

MSNBC Flatlines On Big Big News Day While Fox News Dominates & CNN Ratings SurgeThe rule of thumb is that when news is breaking and a crisis is unfolding, cable news networks see a big jump in viewership. Turns out that’s not the case if you are MSNBC. On the first full day of coverage of the Malaysia Airlines disaster and Israeli troop movement into Gaza the day before, the Comcast-owned news channel actually was down double digits among adults 25-54 both in total day and in primetime on July 18. While rivals CNN and Fox News Channel were up 16% and 13% in total day over the comparable day last year, when the news was much quieter to say the least, MSNBC fell 38% to a mere 87,000.

Image (2) foxnewschannel__121107055533__130821210939__130827191454__140401180009-150x149.jpg for post 715548Take a look at primetime, the numbers get even harsher for MSNBC with a 46% fall in the demo to 118,000 from July 19, 2013 compared to a rise of 16% and 30% for FNC and CNN. Winning in all categories on Friday and benefiting from the breaking news, FNC had 268,000 among 25-54s for total day and 323,000 during primetime. Seeing an uptick as it commonly does during breaking news, the often ratings struggling Time Warner-owned network got 208,000 in the demo total day and 263,000 in Image (1) cnnlogo__140117174347-275x131__140122180929__140425214942__140602211242.jpg for post 739150primetime.

Related: FNC Wins 50th Straight Ratings Quarter

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TCA: The Gritty Reality Of Sex On FX’s ‘Married’ & ‘You’re The Worst’

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 12:19pm PDT

TCA: The Gritty Reality Of Sex On FX’s ‘Married’ & ‘You’re The Worst’FX‘s one-two punch of frosh summer comedies Married and You’re The Worst are taking different slants toward sex — one grounded and the other a bold, in-your face approach.

Up for discussion at the network’s TCA Married panel was how the show changed dramatically between its pilot and subsequent episodes in terms of implementing hanky panky in its storylines. In Episode 1 of the Andrew Gurland-created show, Ross Bowman (Nat Faxon) hits an intimacy wall with his wife Lina (Judy Greer), to which she suggests that he venture out and find a mistress. (Spoiler: He failingly does.)

Related: TCA: FX Orders Second Installment Of ‘Fargo’, Fifth Season Of ‘Louie’

fx_connectedTalking with Deadline after the panel, Gurland said: “The show will became less about their sexual relationship. I found that a good jumping-off point for the series would be a husband saying, ‘We don’t have the intimacy we use to have,’ and there’s this element of, ‘Well, go have sex with other people.’ I wanted to put that to rest by the pilot because that’s not really the answer. That’s not a long-term solution if you want intimacy from your wife, so moving forward we wanted to keep the intimacy between the two of them but not restricted to their sexual relationship. I wanted to keep the show grounded and not go to this paper reality of here’s all this crazy stuff that this normal married guy is going to do.” Read More »

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Brian Hallisay Joins ABC’s ‘Revenge’

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 12:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Brian Hallisay Joins ABC’s ‘Revenge’The Client List alum Brian Hallisay has been cast in the upcoming fourth season of ABC drama Revenge. He is set for a heavily recurring role with an option to become a regular in the second part of the season. Hallisay will play Ben, a local cop and a new friend of Jack (Nick Wechsler) who is fun-loving and easygoing and drawn to Jack’s world and especially to the people in it. Word is that Ben is eyed as a potential new love interest for Emily Thorne (Emily Van Camp). Hallisay, who recently wrapped Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper, has been on ABC and ABC Studios’ radar; he has been recurring on this season of their summer drama series Mistresses. He is with Management 360, the Kohner Agency and Jeff Bernstein.

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TCA: FXX’s Historic 552-Episode ‘Simpsons’ Marathon Has A Start Date; Brass Touts Immersive App

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 11:40am PDT

TCA: FXX’s Historic 552-Episode ‘Simpsons’ Marathon Has A Start Date; Brass Touts Immersive AppFXX said in April that it will air the longest marathon in TV history when it welcomes The Simpsons repeats, and today the network announced that it’ll run August 21 through September 1. During the course of the mega-marathon, FXX will air in chronological order all 25 seasons — 552 episodes — of the Fox animated series that’s the longest-running scripted series in TV history. The Simpsons Movie will be included in the marathon and also will air chronologically within the stunt, after episode No. 400. The marathon begins at 10 AM ET/PT on August 21 and ends at midnight ET/PT on September 1.

Related: ‘The Simpsons’ To Debut On FXX With 552-Episode Marathon

FXX logoReminding TV critics about the stunt at the TCA Summer Press Tour, panelists also walked them through plans for a new interactive digital and online experience that’s billed as the ultimate Simpsons digital experience. Simpsons World — named after, and incorporating, Matt Groening’s published show bible of same name — offers a premium Simpsons fan experience, including access to their entire catalog of full-length episodes for the first time ever via FXNOW App and SimpsonsWorld.com, in October.

Related: TCA: FX’s John Landgraf Talks ‘AHS: Freak Show’ & ‘Fargo’, Freshman Renewals, W. Kamau Bell

Beginning September 2, FXX will regularly schedule The Simpsons episodes in fringe, primetime and late-night dayparts on weekdays and weekends. Additionally, every Sunday the network will broadcast a thematic mini-marathon consisting of eight Simpsons episodes beginning at 4 PM ET/PT and leading into the 8 PM ET/PT broadcast on Fox. Read More »

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Oscar-Nominated Film Now Aiming To WIN An Emmy For Netflix – How Is It Eligible For Both?

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 11:39am PDT
Pete Hammond

Oscar-Nominated Film Now Aiming To WIN An Emmy For Netflix – How Is It Eligible For Both?The Squarea harrowing documentary about the Egyptian revolution as seen through the eyes of six of its participants, was Oscar-nominated in the 2013 Best Feature Documentary race. So how come it is suddenly a major contender at the Emmys too? Inquiries have come to our attention, including one calling for its withdrawal from Emmy competition, so I decided to check it out.

Daytime Emmy Awards WinnersThe film, which accounts for four of the impressive 31 Emmy nominations Netflix received this year, was picked up by the streaming service and qualified last year for the Oscar race with a seven-day run, according to the Television Academy, which has assured me they thoroughly examined this one. “The Square was not in general release prior to it TV appearance; rather, it qualified for the Oscars under the ‘one week NY-LA limited screening rule’ which would not have affected Emmy eligibility. Please know that we and the documentary peer group vetted the hell out of this one, and it’s good to Emmy go,” according to John Leverence, SVP Awards for the TV Academy. Read More »

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TCA: FX’s John Landgraf Talks ‘AHS: Freak Show’ & ‘Fargo’, Freshman Renewals, W. Kamau Bell

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 11:24am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

TCA: FX’s John Landgraf Talks ‘AHS: Freak Show’ & ‘Fargo’, Freshman Renewals, W. Kamau BellAt TCA today, FX Networks CEO John Landgraf sent a love letter to creators. “I love artists. I really, genuinely do. I want us to be the wind in their sails,” he said during the network’s executive session. Landgraf also assured critics that he plans to continue to take risks with concepts that are off-mainstream. “We’d rather fail spectacularly & nobly than succeed in a quiet, middling way,” he said. He gave an update on the evolution of FX and its up-and-coming sibling FXX, which has been running only comedy programming since its launch last fall. That may change. “It’s going to take awhile for the two brands to shake out… There wil be drama on both channels I think,” he said.

Related: TCA: The Gritty Reality Of Sex On FX’s ‘Married’ & ‘You’re The Worst’

Landgraf revealed details about the latest installment of American Horror Story, which has been flirting with Neil Patrick Harris for a part. “It will be set in 1950s and has a very different look from a designer standpoint. Some years, the show is big, brash and campy like Coven, some are dark and brooding like Asylum. Freak Show is half-way between these two.”

Related: TCA: Casting Directors Say They’re Color Blind When Choosing Actors

Landgraf gave AHS co-creator/executive producer Ryan Murphy props for introducing the “analogical miniseries” genre that has “created new opportunities for writers and creators” like Nic Pizzolatto with HBO’s True Detective and Noah Hawley with FX’s Fargo. Read More »

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DeadlineNow Morning Report: Weekend Box Office Results, Netflix Earnings Preview, Comic-Con Chatter (Video)

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 11:20am PDT
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Morning Report, Monday July 21

'Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes' took the top spot at the box office again holding off a trio of newcomers, Netflix's second-quarter earnings come after the market closes today, kicking off earnings season, JJ Abrams' latest 'Star Wars' video hits the web just in time for Comic-Con's kickoff later this week. Dominic Patten reports.

Related: Box Office Weekend: ‘Apes’ No. 1′ With $36M In Soft Weekend

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