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Legendary Animator Nick Park Has Finally Settled On His Next Film, and It’s About Caveman Soccer PlayersThe Wallace and Gromit creator will direct Early Man (previously known as Early Man, Utd., or Early Man United or Dug), the stop-motion-animated comedy is said to not be totally focused on the sport, but that’s an important component and the movie is aiming for a World Cup-timed release in 2018. Mark Burton and John O’Farrell are currently credited with the screenplay for now. (FSR) (NSA) (VAR) (UR) (TP) (THR) (COL) (GITS)
Company Launches, Partnerships & Deals
Three of First Artists Management have left to form Fortress Talent Management. Robert Messinger, the owner and partner of First Artists is a principal at Fortress. Randy Gerston has been made a principal as well, up from his title of talent agent at First Artists. Rich Jacobellis also joins Fortress as a principal. He was previously a partner at First Artists. Based out of Calabasas, the full-service boutique agency, like First Artists, will represent composers and music supervisors for visual media.
Producer Dan Sterling has inked a two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television. Under the pact, the former The Office EP will join the studios’ series The Last Man On Earth as EP and showrunner, taking over showrunner duties for series creator and star Will Forte. Sterling will EP the series with Forte, Chris Miller & Phil Lord.
Writer/director Nick Weiss has inked a two-year overall deal with ABC Studios to develop for network and cable as well as direct existing ABC series and future pilots. Weiss nabbed the attention of ABC executives with his pilot ‘found footage’ style Family Reunion. On the features side Weiss, repped by WME and Apostle’s George Heller, directed and co-wrote (with brother Tony) the micro-budgeted comedy Drunk Wedding for Paramount Insurge, to be released May 22.
Alex Cary has signed a two-year overall deal at Universal TV. He spent the last four years executive producing the Fox 21 produced Homeland. Prior he worked on 20th Century Fox’s Lie to Me as story editor, EP and then co-showrunner and while at 20th he landed his first overall deal. He’s repped by WME and Hansen Jacobson.
Actor-comedian Jimmy Pardo has inked an overall deal with Warner Bros TV Group-based Conaco, O’Brien’s development/production shingle, to develop scripted and unscripted projects. Pardo was previously O’Brien’s warm-up comedian for his late night talk show. He is also a regular panelist on Conan and hosts companion web series The Pardo Patrol.
Sam Neswick is the new Chief Strategy Officer at Participant Media switching over from his previous post as Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning there.
Broad Green Pictures today has appointed veteran marketing and distribution executive Dylan Wiley as the studio’s President of Specialty Releasing. Wiley, who has been working with the company since November, is charged with managing all aspects of the release of Broad Green’s specialty film slate across all media. Jeremy Fuchs has also signed on as the Chief Technology Officer, he was previously the principal of Media and Entertainment Practice at Capgemini. He will head the company’s consolidated IT strategy, delivery and operations globally, working with senior management to develop new systems and technology to support all of the studio’s creative endeavors.
Simon Kilmurry has been tapped by The International Documentary Association to be their new Executive Director and will take over as of July 6. He was previously an EP at POV.
Lionsgate UK has tapped Nicola Pearcey as President of Distribution. During her nine year tenure she was the Managing Director of Home Entertainment and New Media. Lionsgate last year relocated its international sales and distribution headquarters to London.
Juliana Lubin has signed on to be the director of international sales at 13 Films, she was previously manager of international sales at The Exchange.
Participant Media has tapped Sam Neswick as Chief Strategy Officer. He was previously the company’s SVP of Strategic Planning. In the newly created post he will handle strategy, investments, innovation and corporate development and head up strategic partnerships.
Amy Bucher is the new VP of Content & Creative at Part2 Pictures in New York. Lindsay Washick has also been promoted to director of production at Part2Pictures, she previously was on staff as a line producer.
Al Jazeera America has appointed Al Anstey as interim CEO following CEO Ehab Al Shihabi’s departure in the wake of turmoil at the network. Anstey has been at the network for ten years and most recently served as managing director of Al Jazeera English since 2010. Lisa Barroso has been promoted from VP to SVP of distribution of Crown Media Family Networks (Chicago).
Michela Di Mondo has been promoted from Executive Director of Sales at FremantleMedia International (Toronto) to the VP in that department.
Sara Geater has been named as All3Media’s CEO in London. She was previously the CEO of FremantleMedia UK.
Chantal Jackson is the new head of development, alternative content at Breakthrough Entertainment in Toronto. He previously worked as a writer/producer on HGTV’s Buying & Selling with the Property Brothers.
Hal Rosenberg has been upped form SVP to EVP of Content Distribution & Affiliate Marketing, UP TV in Atlanta.
Chairman/CEO Bruce Rosenblum appointed five new members of The TV Academy’s Executive Committee: Kevin Reilly, President of TBS and TNT; Roy Price, head of Amazon Studios; Bela Bajaria, EVP of Universal Television; David Nevins, President of Showtime Networks; and Rick Rosen, head of television at WME. They will work with the academy’s officers and Board of Governors to lead and shape the group’s direction.
Francisco Lopez-Balboa has been named CFO of the Spanish-language telecaster, Univision, and will report to CEO Randy Falco. Lopez-Balboa was previously Head of Telecom, Media and Technology Investment Grade Financing at Goldman Sachs.
Ana Salas Siegel is now the General Counsel, Hispanic Enterprises and Content at NBCUniversal beginning in June. She was previously the SVP, Deputy General Counsel, Business & Legal Affairs, FOX International Channels in Miami.
Marci Wiseman is Entertainment One’s new EVP of Global Business & Legal Affairs. She was previously the Executive in Charge of Owned Content Strategy & Distribution and Head of Business Affairs at AMC Network. As the new EVP, she will handle business and legal for eOne’s film and TV groups, including production, acquisition, international co-production, direct distribution and international sales.
Management, PR, Agencies
ICM Partners has formed a new department within its television department devoted to servicing the agency’s TV directors, producers and below the line producers. Sean Freidin will be the new Co-Head of ICM Partners’ TV Production Department. He was promoted from Agent in their TV Literary department. Janet Carol Norton has been promoted to co-head of the TV production department at ICM Partners. She is also a partner at the company.
Tory Howard is the new VP of Atlas Artists, he was previously a talent manager at Mosaic. He joins Nicholas Todisco who will be a talent manager at Atlas, and also moved from Mosaic where he was a talent manager. Atlas Artists as recently launched by Charles Roven under his Atlas Entertainment as the management division. Howard and Todisco both reunite with Atlas Artists President Dave Fleming who also hails from Mosaic.
Music, Digital, Publishing, Misc.
Conde Nast Entertainment has snagged Joy Marcus as EVP, General Manager of Video. She was formerly the CEO of Bloglovin’ in New York.
Karen Lieberman is the new VP of Sales & Digital at Disney Music Group, she was formerly the Vice President of Digital Marketing & Strategy at Kobalt Music.
Management’s Alliance Of Motion Picture and Television Producers has tapped former political director of the California Republican Party, Jarryd Gonzales, as their new spokesman. He previously was the chief spokesperson for Verizon in California and Texas, and before that for T-Mobile USA. He was also the state GOP political director from 2001 to 2006.
Jenny Swiatowy has been promoted from Director to the Senior Director, Creative Sync Licensing at Capitol Music Group.
Mark Lemmons is the new Chief Technology Officer at Deluxe, he switched from being T3Media’s Chief Technology Officer.
Exec Shuffle For 5/8/15: Fortress Talent Management Launches, Al Jazeera Update, New Department At ICM, and MoreAnother busy week in Hollywood, with numerous company launches, plenty of comings and goings in the film and TV world, as well as lots of activity on the digital side, as well. To get a look at everything that happened, and it’s quite a bit, click on the link and read on. (SSN)
HBO Beats Out Netflix In a Bidding War, Lands David E. Kelley-Nicole Kidman-Reese Witherspoon Mini ‘Big Little Lies’Based on Liane Moriarty's book Big Little Lies, Kelley penned the script for the limited series — which will star the two Oscar winners and was taken out to premium cablers and streaming services in November. Published in July, Kidman and her Blossom Films banner, as well as Witherspoon and her Pacific Standard shingle, optioned the rights in August. Story centers on three mothers of kindergartners whose seemingly perfect lives unravel to to the point of murder. (LF) (TP)
Universal Really Wants Angelina Jolie To Win More Awards, So Her Next Film, ‘By the Sea’, Will Come Out In NovemberJolie’s third film will star her and her real-life husband Brad Pitt as fictional spouses attempting to mend their broken marriage. Vacationing in France, writer Roland (Pitt) and former dancer Vanessa (Jolie) stop at a seaside village and deal with their marital issues with the help of a few locals. The studio is putting the movie in theaters November 13th, in the heart of awards season. (WAH) (SF) (DH) (EMP)
Not Only Is Rosario Dawson Returning For Season Two Of ‘Daredevil’, but Also All the Other Marvel-Netflix Shows, TooDawson was a prime member of the cast of the hit show’s first season, and now her new deal will also allow her to appear across all of their other Netflix shows, including A.K.A. Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist. Season two of Marvel’s Daredevil will premiere on Netflix in 2016 along with Marvel’s Luke Cage. Marvel’s A.K.A. Jessica Jones will debut on the platform later this year. (CS) (UR)
For the first-time ever, Hollywood story guru, Bobette Buster, will be making her storytelling secrets available to the SSN audience in an exclusive speaker series. “Deconstructing the Masters” will be the first event held on Tuesday, June 2 at FOX Studios. Click here for tickets and to learn more. This past week, SSN featured an exclusive editorial run highlighting Bobette's story wisdom and Hollywood insight. In case you missed it, read the articles below for an invaluable lesson in story and sign up for her speaker series to learn more. (SSN) (SSN) (SSN) (SSN) (SSN)
With the Upfronts Happening This Week, Here’s a Complete List Of All the Network Shows That Were Either Renewed or CanceledAn updated list of all the current (and past) shows on the air and their respective fates, in case you’re keeping score or have not heard the news about one of your favorites. All five major networks are covered here, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and The CW. (CB) (TVL) (VAR)
With ‘Tomorrowland’ About To Hit Theaters, Brad Bird Confirms His Next Film Will Be an ‘Incredibles’ SequelBird, who also directed Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, said in an interview that he is writing The Incredibles 2 and that it will definitely be his next project. Bird won a Best Animated Feature Oscar for writing and directing the first Incredibles in 2004, then won another in the same category three years later for Ratatouille. (COL) (THR)
‘John Wick’ Directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch Corral Charlize Theron For Their Cold War ThrillerThe duo will adapt Anthony Johnston's novel The Coldest City, with Kurt Johnstead writing the screenplay. Movie is about a female British spy tasked with recovering a list of secret agents on both sides in the last days of the Cold War. The directing pair are also developing a John Wick sequel, as well. (VUL) (EMP)
Filmmaker Vincenzo Natali Will Take a Walk ‘In the Tall Grass’, Adapt Stephen King’s Novella To the Big ScreenThe original horror story, written by King and his writer son, Joe Hill, appeared in two parts in Esquire magazine in 2012. Story follows a young man and his pregnant sister as they drive through Kansas, and when they investigate a strange sound in the tall grass, bad things start to happen. (SC) (SM)
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Barbershop 3 5/11/2015 Logline: In this sequel, with the neighborhood changing, Calvin considers shuttering the barbershop and moving uptown. Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM), New Line Cinema Production Company(s): State Street Pictures, CubeVision Director: Malcolm D. Lee Producer(s): Robert Teitel, George Tillman Jr., Ice Cube Cast: Ice Cube, Cedric The Entertainer, Eve, Queen Latifah, Nicki Minaj Writer(s): Kenya Barris, Tracy Oliver Details: Sequel to "Barbershop 2: Back in Business" (2004) directed by Kevin Rodney Sullivan. 2nd Sequel to "Barbershop" (2002) directed by Tim Story. SSN Insight: Matt Alvarez was previously attached to produce.
Carnage Park 5/11/2015 Logline: A botched robbery forces two crooks to flee into the desert, where they encounter a disturbed ex-sniper. Production Company(s): Diablo Entertainment Director: Mickey Keating Producer(s): Eric B. Fleischman, Sean Tabibian Cast: Ashley Bell, Darby Stanchfield, Pat Healy, Alan Ruck Writer(s): Mickey Keating SSN Insight: Keating was previously an assistant to Jason Blum. His film Pod which he directed, wrote and produced is awaiting release by Vertical Entertainment.
Central Intelligence 5/6/2015 Logline: After reconnecting with an old friend via Facebook, an accountant is thrown into the world of international espionage. Studio: New Line Cinema Production Company(s): Principato-Young Entertainment, Bluegrass Films Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber Executive Producer(s): Matt Berenson, Allen Fischer, Ed Helms Producer(s): Peter Principato, Paul Young, Scott Stuber Cast: Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, Danielle Nicolet, Amy Ryan Writer(s): Rawson Marshall Thurber, Sean Anders, John Morris, Lee Eisenberg, Gene Stupnitsky SSN Insight: Zach Galifianakis was previously attached to co-star. Project was previously set up at Universal Pictures. Dean Parisot was previously attached to direct.
Florence Foster Jenkins 5/11/2015 Logline: The true story of New York socialite Florence Foster Jenkins, who aspired to become an opera singer despite an assertive lack of talent, and her aristocratic British "husband" and manager who both championed her skills and sought to protect her from the hard truth about her abilities. Production Company(s): N1 European Film Productions and Co. KG, Qwerty Films Director: Stephen Frears Producer(s): Michael Kuhn, Tracey Seaward Cast: Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg, Rebecca Ferguson, Nina Arianda Writer(s): Nicholas Martin SSN Insight: Streep is also starring in Ricki and the Flash and Suffragette, both awaiting release along with The Good House in active development.
My Blind Brother 5/11/2015 Logline: Bill's brother Robbie is blind and is also an all-star athlete and full of arrogance. When Bill falls for Robbie's girlfriend, the brothers' relationship changes. Production Company(s): Safehouse Pictures, Low Spark Films Director: Sophie Goodhart Producer(s): Tyler Davidson, Tory Tunnell Cast: Adam Scott, Jenny Slate, Nick Kroll, Charlie Hewson Writer(s): Sophie Goodhart Details: Based on the short film "My Blind Brother" (2003) directed by Sophie Goodhart and starring Tony Hale and John Mattey. SSN Insight: Scoot McNairy and Jessica Biel were previously attached to star. Daniel Dubiecki and The Allegiance Theater were previously attached to produce.
The Birth of a Nation 5/11/2015 Logline: The true story of Nat Turner, the educated slave and preacher who led a violent slave rebellion in Virginia in 1831. Production Company(s): Phantom Four Director: Nate Parker Producer(s): Kevin Turen, Nnamdi Asomugha Cast: Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Aja Naomi King, Aunjanue Ellis, Colman Domingo Writer(s): Nate Parker SSN Insight: The film was initially slated to start production in January. Parker gained acclaim for his role in 2007’s The Great Debaters opposite Denzel Washington and starred in this year’s Beyond The Lights. This project is his directorial debut and he also star in the film alongside Hammer.
The Long Home 5/4/2015 Logline: In 1940s small-town Tennessee, a young man goes to work for a bootlegger who turns out to be responsible for killing the young man's father 10 years ago. Production Company(s): Rabbit Bandini Productions Director: James Franco Executive Producer(s): Robert Halmi Jr., Jim Reeve Producer(s): James Franco, Vince Jolivette, Jay Davis Cast: Josh Hutcherson, Tim Blake Nelson, Courtney Love, Giancarlo Esposito, Timothy Hutton Writer(s): Steve Janas, Matt Rager Details: Based on the novel "The Long Home" written by William Gay and published by MacMurray & Beck in 1999. SSN Insight: Franco was last seen in The Adderall Diaries featured at Tribeca and has lent his voice to Sausage Party for Sony and Little Prince for Paramount.
Being Charlie 5/7/2015 Logline: When 18-year-old Charlie breaks out of a youth drug treatment clinic and goes home, his parents send him to adult rehab where he meets a beautiful but troubled girl, Eva. Production Company(s): Castle Rock Entertainment, Jorva Productions Director: Rob Reiner Executive Producer(s): Alan Greisman, Lucas Jarach, Nicolas Veinberg Producer(s): Rob Reiner, Simon Goldberg, Johnson Chan, Stephanie Rennie, Blythe Frank Cast: Nick Robinson, Morgan Saylor, Common, Devon Bostick, Susan Misner Writer(s): Nick Reiner, Matt Elisofon SSN Insight: Reiner is also set as a director on You Belong to Me in active development, also produced by Castle Rock.
Krampus 5/7/2015 Logline: During the Christmas season, a pagan demon is busy punishing the wicked. Studio: Legendary Entertainment Director: Michael Dougherty Executive Producer(s): No Executive Producer Available. Producer(s): Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, Alex Garcia Cast: Allison Tolman, Adam Scott, David Koechner, Stefania Owen, Emjay Anthony Writer(s): Michael Dougherty, Todd Casey, Zach Shields SSN Insight: This marks Dougherty’s second outing as writer/director, his first project being 2009’s Trick ‘r Treat for Warner Bros. His screenwriting credits include X2: X-Men United and Superman Returns.
Lion 5/8/2015 Logline: A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on a train and ends up being adopted by an Australian couple. Using Google Earth he attempts to find his lost family 25 years later. Based on a true story. Studio: The Weinstein Company Production Company(s): Sherman Pictures (AUS), See-Saw Films, Aquarius Films (Australia), Sunstar Entertainment Director: Garth Davis Executive Producer(s): Andrew Fraser, Shahen Mekertichian, Daniel Levin Producer(s): Emile Sherman, Iain Canning, Angie Fielder Cast: Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Priyanka Bose, Tannishtha Chatterjee Writer(s): Luke Davies Details: Based on the novel "A Long Way Home" written by Saroo Brierley and published by Putnam on June 12, 2014. SSN Insight: Weinstein acquired worldwide distribution rights, excluding Australia and New Zealand, for a rumored $12 million.
Miles 5/6/2015 Logline: A young gay man joins the girls’ volleyball team in order to win a college scholarship after he learns his deceased father lost his tuition fund. Production Company(s): Cranium Entertainment Director: Nathan Adloff Executive Producer(s): Anne Clements, Stephen Israel, Lisa G. Black, Jim Stephens, Abraham Brown Producer(s): Ash Christian Cast: Molly Shannon, Paul Reiser, Tim Boardman, Missi Pyle, Stephen Root Writer(s): Nathan Adloff, Justin D.M. Palmer SSN Insight: Shannon also is in the cast for upcoming films Fresno, Larry Gaye: Renegade Male Flight Attendant, and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.
Stephanie 5/8/2015 Logline: A young girl's powers force her into solitude. Studio: Universal Pictures Production Company(s): Gotham/Principal, Blumhouse Productions, Unbroken Pictures, Chapter One Director: Akiva Goldsman Executive Producer(s): Nate Matteson, Eric Robinson, Bryan Bertino Producer(s): Jason Blum, Matt Kaplan, Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Adrienne Biddle Cast: Frank Grillo, Anna Torv, Shree Crooks, Kenneth Choi Writer(s): Ben Collins, Luke Piotrowski SSN Insight: Screenplay was included on the 2012 Blood List. Jonathan van Tulleken was previously attached to direct. Grillo also starred in the Universal Pictures/Blumhouse Productions film "The Purge: Anarchy" (2014).
Tell-Tale Lies 5/6/2015 Logline: Four friends at a prestigious university are connected to an accidental death, and a female student knows that they are involved, so the friends plot to murder her to keep the secret from leaking. Production Company(s): Stargazer Entertainment, Synthetic Cinema International Director: Colin Theys Executive Producer(s): Rich J. Lucas, Bonnie Farley-Lucas Producer(s): Andrew Gernhard, Shane O'Brien, Zach O'Brien Cast: Beau Mirchoff, Alexa PenaVega, Renee Olstead, Michael Willett, Bailey De Young Writer(s): John Doolan Details: Based on short story "The Tell-Tale Heart" written by Edgar Allan Poe and first published in the inaugural issue of The Pioneer magazine in January, 1843.
The Wrong Stuff 5/9/2015 Logline: Story about Red Sox pitcher William "Bill" Lee, the wild and irreverent player who changed major league baseball in the 1970s. Production Company(s): Rhino Films Director: Brett Rapkin Executive Producer(s): Ron Shelton, Eric Gagne Producer(s): Stephen Nemeth Cast: Josh Duhamel, Ernie Hudson, Winter Ave Zoli, Carlos Leal Writer(s): Paul Tatara Details: Based on the autobiography "The Wrong Stuff" by Bill Lee and published by Three Rivers Press May 23, 2006. SSN Insight: Project was previously in development with the Laura Pels/Peter Bogdanovich Pictures Corp. Previously in development with Paramount Pictures. Filming is set to start in Los Angeles. Duhamel is currently starring in the CBS crime drama series Battle Creek. Hudson is best known for appearing in Ghostbusters.
On the Set For 5/11/15: Cameras Roll On ‘Barbershop 3’, Jason Blum’s Film 'Stephanie' and Rob Reiner’s ‘Being Charlie' Wrap UpOther films that have begun shooting are the Kevin Hart-Dwayne Johnson action comedy Central Intelligence, the Meryl Streep-Hugh Grant drama Florence Foster Jenkins and the Nate Parker film, The Birth of a Nation. Meanwhile, films like the Nicole Kidman vehicle Lion and the Bill Lee biopic The Wrong Stuff wrap principal photography. (SSN)
TODAY’S HEADLINES(IW) (COL) (VUL) (SF)
Amazon Studios’ Foray Into Children’s Programming Continues With the Greenlighting Of Six More PilotsThe four animated are The Adventures of Knickerbock Teetertop,” Lost in Oz, Lily the Unicorn (from the Jim Henson Co.) and Bear in Underwear; while the live-action shows are A History of Radness and The Kicks. The pilots, slated to debut this summer, will be available free for Amazon customers to view, rate and comment on; Amazon Studios will incorporate that feedback into which shows will be turned into full series for Prime members. (VAR)
Add Selma Blair To the Growing Cast Of Ryan Murphy’s ‘American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson’She will play Kris Jenner in the limited series, the ex-wife of O.J. Simpson’s lawyer, Robert Kardashian, who will be played by David Schwimmer. The 10-episode first season will star Cuba Gooding Jr. as the former football player, Sarah Paulson as head prosecutor Marcia Clark, and John Travolta as Simpson’s other attorney, Robert Shapiro. (HP) (DH) (EMP)
The telecom giant is buying the one-time Internet powerhouse for its mobile video advertising technologies as the telco looks to expand its activity in that sector. AOL chairman CEO Tim Armstrong will remain at the helm. The deal values AOL at $50 a share. Verizon chairman-CEO Lowell McAdam emphasized the company’s goal of diving deeper into the video business. (VAR)
In a deal that came down to the wire, the show's female lead agreed to a deal to appear in an eighth and — what one can assume — final season of the show. ABC had renewed the light-hearted cop drama two weeks ago, and announced co-star Nathan Fillion’s renewed deal at the same time. The show will also have new showrunners, as Alexi Hawley and Terence Paul Winter take the reins. (DH)
Anne Hathaway Makes ‘Colossal’ Decision To Star In a Movie Described as a Cross Between ‘Godzilla' and ‘Lost In Translation’
The Oscar-winning actress will take the lead in Colossal, in which she will play an ordinary woman who, after losing her job and her fiancé, decides to leave her life in New York to move back to her hometown. But when news reports surface that a giant lizard is destroying the city of Tokyo, Gloria gradually comes to realize that she is strangely connected to these far-off events via the power of her mind. Nacho Vigalondo is writing and directing for Voltage Pictures. (THR)
Vikander, who stars in the current release Ex Machina, joins The Circle, based on the Dave Eggers novel. The script, adapted by James Ponsoldt, is a thriller that exploits the dangers of a digital life where all personal data is collected and pervasive surveillance means that privacy is a thing of the past. And our heroine learns that she’s also at risk when she starts a relationship with the charismatic co-owner of the company. (EMP)
Fox has announced that it will order 18 episodes of the hit music drama, which stars Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson. Season One had 12 episodes. Along with this news came word that Chris Rock, Lenny Kravitz and Alicia Keys will all guest star, and Ne-Yo will join Timbaland to write music for the show. (SC)
Writer-director Kevin Smith announced the news via his Instagram account, in which he displayed the cover page of the script’s first draft. He has also said that there are 18 characters returning from the first film, which was a box office failure upon its 1995 release, but has developed a cult following in the ensuing two decades. (CB)
Even Though We're Almost Halfway Through May, There Is Still Lots Of Time To Do the 73 Things On This Creative Calendar
Here we stand, at the precipice of an enormous crossroads; on one side of which Mad Men and Late Show with David Letterman are still actively delivering episodes, while on the other side, they have become faded relics of the inexorable march of time. Both landmark shows will bow next week, but our hearts will go on. Check out the list, which is always a lot of fun. (FCC)
The upfront has devolved into this peculiar spectator sport in which people with no firsthand knowledge of the negotiations have their snouts pressed against the glass, and they're fogging up the pane. There is no inherent value to this kind of uninformed voyeurism, and in many cases, the reports that begin circulating in the early stages of the upfront can have a significant impact on the marketplace itself. (AA)
Twentieth Century Fox has released a new TV spot for the upcoming adaptation of the John Green novel. The film stars Nat Wolff and Cara Delevingne, and hits theaters July 24th. (CS)
The director of the remake of Far From the Madding Crowd, the Danish filmmaker emerged on the scene in 1998 with the remarkable debut The Celebration. The versatile and unpredictable Vinterberg is a unique talent and has some interesting things to say about filmmaking. (FSR)
ABC - New Series Orders
SSN Insight: Shondaland to the rescue! Thanks to Shonda Rhimes’ How to Get Away with Murder, along with her stalwart Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, ABC is alive and well. Upping their diversity in a big way has also kept them afloat with hits like Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat. They’ve decided to keep that trend going with orders for Ken Jeong’s Dr. Ken, Uncle Buck with an African-American family and The Real O’Neal about a gay son. And let’s not forget Disney, which supplies them with their fanboy fair. There was news of a spin-off with Agents of Shield, but the network decided against it, instead renewing Agent Carter and Agents of Shield. They’re also placing an expensive bet on Of Prophets & Kings, tapping into the faith-based market that’s served The History Channel well.
Dr. Ken Network: ABC Entertainment Group Studio: ABC Studios, Sony Pictures Television Production Company(s): Davis Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Ken Jeong, Jared Stern, John Davis, John Fox, Mike Sikowitz Writer(s): Jared Stern, Ken Jeong, Mike O'Connell Logline: Dr. Ken is a brilliant physician with no bedside manner. He is always trying to be a good doctor, as well as a good husband and dad to his two kids. However, these good intentions have a way of driving everyone crazy at both work and at home. Luckily, his therapist wife Allison is just the right partner to keep things sane. Notes: Loosely based on the pre-comedy life of Ken Jeong. SSN Insight: The multi-cam comedy was previously in development at NBC for the 2014-2015 season.
Of Kings and Prophets Network: ABC Entertainment Group Studio: ABC Studios Production Company(s): BoomGen Studios Executive Producer(s): Jason Reed, Reza Aslan, Mahyad Tousi, Adam Cooper, Bill Collage Writer(s): Adam Cooper, Bill Collage Logline: The story is an epic biblical saga of faith, ambition and betrayal as told through the eyes of a battle-weary king, a powerful and resentful prophet and a resourceful young shepherd on a collision course with destiny. 60 year old King Saul has been leading Israel's wars for the last thirty years; he's told by Samuel that God will anoint a new King. In Saul's palace, young David becomes the new harpist, and feels within him a mighty destiny, to be God's strong right arm. SSN Insight: ABC originally ordered the pilot on January 23. Scribes previously penned the Ridley Scott movie Exodos: Gods and Kings.
Quantico Network: ABC Entertainment Group Studio: ABC Studios Production Company(s): Mark Gordon Company Executive Producer(s): Joshua Safran, Mark R. Gordon, Nicholas Pepper Writer(s): Joshua Safran Logline: A group of young, sexy FBI recruits, all with specific reasons for joining, go through training given by current Special Agents at the college-like Quantico base in Virginia. One of the recruits turns out to be a sleeper terrorist who creates the most severe terrorist attack on US soil since 9/11. SSN Insight: ABC originally ordered the drama pilot on January 26.
The Family Network: ABC Entertainment Group Studio: ABC Studios Production Company(s): Mandeville Films/TV Executive Producer(s): Jenna Bans, David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman, Laurie Zaks Writer(s): Jenna Bans Logline: The return of a politician's young son who was presumed dead after disappearing more than a decade earlier, sends shockwaves throughout their tight knit community. But as the mysterious young man is welcomed back into his community, the neighbor sitting in jail for his murder is released and the cop responsible is forced to reexamine what truly happened so many years ago. SSN Insight: ABC originally ordered the drama pilot on January 28.
The Muppets Network: ABC Entertainment Group Studio: ABC Studios, The Muppets Studio, LLC Executive Producer(s): Bill Prady, Bob Kushell, Randall Einhorn, Bill Barretta Writer(s): Bill Prady, Bob Kushell Logline: A Muppets series set behind the scenes of a late-night talk show. SSN Insight: ABC original gave a commitment to a pilot presentation for the comedy on April 3.
The Real O'Neals Network: ABC Entertainment Group Studio: ABC Studios Production Company(s): Hypomania Content, Di Bonaventura Pictures Television Executive Producer(s): Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Dan Savage, Brian Pines, Daniel McDermott, Casey Johnson Writer(s): David E. Windsor, Casey Johnson Logline: A picture perfect family is turned upside down when the youngest son comes out of the closet. What seems like the end of their idyllic life turns out to be the beginning of a bright new chapter when everyone stops pretending to be perfect and actually starts being real. Notes: Loosely based on the life of columnist Dan Savage. SSN Insight: ABC originally ordered the single-camera comedy pilot on January 26.
Uncle Buck Network: ABC Entertainment Group Studio: ABC Studios, Universal Television Production Company(s): Will Packer Productions Executive Producer(s): William Packer, Stephen Cragg, Brian Bradley Writer(s): Stephen Cragg, Brian Bradley Logline: A childish man learns how to be an adult by taking care of his brother’s kids in a very childish way. Notes: Based on the film, "Uncle Buck," (1989), directed by John Hughes and starring John Candy. SSN Insight: ABC originally ordered the single-camera comedy pilot on February 1.
Untitled Pate & Fishburne Project Network: ABC Entertainment Group Studio: ABC Studios Production Company(s): Flame Ventures, LLC Executive Producer(s): Tony Krantz, Josh Pate, Don Johnson, Rodes Fishburne, Drew Comins Josh Pate, Rodes Fishburne Logline: Billy and Cody Lefever dream of a new life beyond their working class roots and move to "The Bakken" in North Dakota, booming after the biggest oil discovery in American history. They’re soon pitted against a ruthless tycoon who forces them to bet big and put everything on the line, including their marriage. SSN Insight: The drama was originally in development at ABC for the 2012-2013 season. It moved to USA where it was in development at USA for the 2013-2014 season, before returning back to ABC for development for the 2015-2016 season.
Wicked City Network: ABC Entertainment Group Studio: ABC Studios Production Company(s): Mandeville Films/TV Executive Producer(s): Steven Baigelman, David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman, Laurie Zaks Steven Baigelman Logline: Two LA cops track a serial killer team amidst the rock-and-roll, coke-infused revelry of the 1980s Sunset Strip. SSN Insight: ABC originally ordered the drama pilot on January 23. Each season will follow a different case set in a different noteworthy era of LA history.
CBS - New Series Orders
SSN Insight: What once was old is new again, except by new we mean younger. CBS is tapping into the younger audience leveraging comic books and film, a shrewd move to be sure. Berlanti is on a role as Supergirl’s order means he will be executive producing six series come fall including Arrow, The Flash, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow on The CW and The Mysteries of Laura and Blindspot on NBC. In addition ABC is also putting a lot of stock in film with Limitless and Rush Hour getting the small screen treatment. They’re not forgetting their core demographic with a spin-off of the procedural Criminal Minds joining the schedule that’s plenty heavy with NCIS and CSI and their spin-offs still running.
Angel From Hell Network: CBS Entertainment Studio: CBS Television Studios Executive Producer(s): Tad Quill Writer(s): Tad Quill Logline: When Amy enters Allison’s life and claims to be her guardian angel, they form an unlikely friendship and Allison can’t be sure if Amy is an angel or just nuts. SSN Insight: CBS ordered the single camera pilot on January 28.
The Briefcase Network: CBS Entertainment Studio: CBS Television Studios Executive Producer(s): Dave Broome, Faye Stapleton Logline: Hardworking American families experiencing financial setbacks are presented with a briefcase containing $101,000 and a potentially life-altering decision: They can keep all of the money for themselves or give all or part of it to another family in need. SSN Insight: Broome also created The Biggest Loser. Six episodes of the reality show have been ordered and it’s set to premiere on May 27.
Code Black Network: CBS Entertainment Studio: CBS Television Studios, ABC Studios Executive Producer(s): Michael Seitzman, Linda Goldstein-Knowlton, Marti Noxon, David Semel, Ryan McGarry Writer(s): Michael Seitzman Logline: One young doctor has just joined the extraordinary staff of Los Angeles’ busiest ER as they struggle in the face of a broken system to protect their ideals and the patients who need them the most. Notes: Based on the documentary, "Code Black," (2013) directed by Ryan McGarry. SSN Insight: CBS gave a put pilot order on August 21 for the drama, followed by a pilot order on January 27.
Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders Network: CBS Entertainment Studio: CBS Television Studios, ABC Studios Production Company(s): Mark Gordon Company Executive Producer(s): Mark R. Gordon, Nicholas Pepper Writer(s): Erica Messer Logline: Follows FBI agents helping American citizens who find themselves in trouble abroad. The proposed spinoff will air as episode 19 of season 10 on the current series of "Criminal Minds". SSN Insight: The series will co-star Gary Sinise, Daniel Henney and Tyler James Williams and is a co-production between ABC Studios and CBS Television Studios.
Life in Pieces Network: CBS Entertainment Studio: 20th Century Fox Television Production Company(s): Kapital Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Justin Adler, Aaron Kaplan, Jason Winer Writer(s): Justin Adler Logline: The story of one family, told through the separate stories of its different family members. SSN Insight: CBS ordered the single-camera comedy pilot on January 23.
Limitless Network: CBS Entertainment Studio: CBS Television Studios Production Company(s): K/O Paper Products, Relativity Television, 22nd & Green Bradley Cooper, Todd Phillips, Craig Sweeny, Neil Burger, Alex Kurtzman Writer(s): Craig Sweeny Logline: Follows Brian Sinclair as he discovers the power of the mysterious drug NZT and is coerced into using his newfound drug-enhanced abilities to solve weekly cases for the FBI. Based on the film. Notes: Based on the 2011 movie, "Limitless," which was based on the novel "Dark Fields" written by Alan Glynn and published in the United Kingdom by Little, Brown, and in the United States by Penguin-Putman. SSN Insight: Project was previously in development last season with Georgetown TV, who are no longer attached to this project. CBS ordered the pilot for the drama on Januaray 28.
Rush Hour Network: CBS Entertainment Studio: Warner Bros. Television Production Company(s): Doozer Productions Executive Producer(s): Bill Lawrence, Blake McCormick, Brett Ratner, Arthur Sarkissian, Jeff Ingold Writer(s): Bill Lawrence, Blake McCormick Logline: A stoic, by-the-book Hong Kong police officer is assigned to a case in Los Angeles, where he’s forced to work with a cocky black LAPD officer who has no interest in a partner. Notes: Based on the film, "Rush Hour" (USA/ 1998), directed by Brett Ratner and starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker. SSN Insight: CBS ordered the pilot in February. The pilot was written by “Cougar Town” co-creator Lawrence. It will be an hour-long action comedy series.
Supergirl Network: CBS Entertainment Studio: Warner Bros. Television Production Company(s): DC Entertainment, Berlanti Productions Executive Producer(s): Allison Adler, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, Geoff Johns Writer(s): Allison Adler, Greg Berlanti Logline: Born on the planet Krypton, Kara Zor-El escaped amid its destruction years ago. Since arriving on Earth, she’s been hiding the powers she shares with her famous cousin. But now at age 24, she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be. Notes: Based on the Supergirl character, created by writer Otto Binder and designed by artist Al Plastino in 1959. SSN Insight: The drama had a big series commitment penalty but has since been ordered to series and will star Glee and Whiplash alum, Melissa Benoist. Unlike Smallville, series will start with her as a superhero.
Zoo Network: CBS Entertainment Studio: CBS Television Studios Production Company(s): Treeline Films, Midnight Radio, James Patterson Entertainment Executive Producer(s): James Patterson, Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, Jeff Pinkner, Scott Rosenberg Writer(s): Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, Jeff Pinkner, Scott Rosenberg, Dee Harris-Lawrence Logline: Set amidst a wave of violent animal attacks sweeping across the planet, a young renegade scientist is thrust into a race to unlock the mystery behind this pandemic before time runs out for animals and humans alike. Notes: Based on the novel, "Zoo," written by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge and published by Little, Brown and Company on September 3, 2012. SSN Insight: CBS gave a series order of 13 episodes on July 1 to be broadcast in summer. Pinkner, Appelbaum, Nemec and Rosenberg share the Midnight Radio banner and previously inked a first-look deal with CBS TV Studios.
THE CW - New Series Orders
SSN Insight: Younger isn’t a problem for The CW as it still holds on to that set, albeit with less fashion and more flash with The 100, Beauty and the Beast and The Vampire Diaries holding strong. What once was Gossip Girl territory has been taken over by monsters and super-powered beings. As the network is half owned by Warner Bros., it has its share of DC comics based series with Arrow, The Flash, iZombie and now Legends of Tomorrow. But unlike Marvel, DC spreads the superheroes across networks with Gotham and Lucifer at Fox and Supergirl at CBS. Let’s not forget standout Jane the Virgin, though, which garnered a Golden Globe for star Gina Rodriguez and has been renewed.
A Wicked Offer Network: CW Television Network Production Company(s): T Group Productions Executive Producer(s): Jenny Daly, Robert Sizemore Logline: The show tests how far couples will go for money. It requires the couple to complete a series of scandalous and controversial tasks involving their unsuspecting friends, families and co-workers for cash prizes. With each challenge testing the couple’s moral and ethical boundaries, the couples must weigh the potential havoc wreaked on their relationship with each other and everyone involved. As the stakes and cash value are raised, the couples must decide how far they’re willing to go for money. SSN Insight: CW ordered the series on February 23 and slated its broadcast for the summer season.
Cordon Network: CW Television Network Studio: Warner Bros. Television Production Company(s): No Production Company Available. Executive Producer(s): Julie Plec, David Nutter Writer(s): Julie Plec, David Nutter Logline: When a deadly epidemic breaks out in Atlanta, a large city quarantine is quickly enforced, leaving those stuck on the inside to fight for their lives. Loved ones are tragically torn apart, and the society that grows inside the cordon reveals both the devolution of humanity and the birth of unlikely heroes. Notes: Based on the original Belgian series "Cordon" which was created by Carl Joos and aired in 2014. SSN Insight: CW ordered the pilot on February 2.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Network: CW Television Network Studio: CBS Television Studios Executive Producer(s): Aline Brosh McKenna, Rachel Bloom, Marc Webb Writer(s): Aline Brosh McKenna, Rachel Bloom Logline: A successful, driven, and possibly crazy young woman who impulsively gives up everything â€“ her partnership at a prestigious law firm and her upscale apartment in Manhattan â€“ in a desperate attempt to find love and happiness in that exotic hotbed of romance and adventure in West Covina, CA. SSN Insight: Showtime ordered the half hour pilot with musical elements on June, 23 2014. The project was acquired by the CW and was re-developed as a one-hour.
Dates Network: CW Television Network Production Company(s): Balloon Entertainment, Ltd. Executive Producer(s): No Executive Producer Available. Writer(s): Bryan Elsley, Nancy Harris, Ben Schiffer, Jamie Chan, Laura Hunter Logline: Each episode of the series focuses on a first date between two people who have met on an online dating service. It explores the issues, intricacies, romance and danger of modern relationships, along with the thrill, calamities, lies and truths of first dates. SSN Insight: Acquired by the CW, the series previously aired in the UK on Channel 4 from June-July, 2013.
DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow Network: CW Television Network Studio: Warner Bros. Television Production Company(s): DC Entertainment, Berlanti Productions Executive Producer(s): Andrew Kreisberg, Marc Guggenheim, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter Writer(s): Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg Logline: When heroes alone are not enough the world needs legends. Having seen the future, one he will desperately try to prevent from happening, time-traveling rogue Rip Hunter is tasked with assembling a disparate group of both heroes and villains to confront an unstoppable threat - one in which not only is the planet at stake, but all of time itself. Can this ragtag team defeat an immortal threat unlike anything they have ever known? Notes: Based on characters from the DC Comics universe and from the shows "Arrow" and "Flash," which air on the CW. SSN Insight: The superhero team-up series will star The Flash's Wentworth Miller as Captain Cold, Dominic Purcell as Heat Wave, Victor Garber at Dr. Martin Stein, Arrow’s Brandon Routh as The Atom, Arrow’s Caity Lotz as Sara Lance, Clara Renee as Hawkgirl, Franz Drameh as Jay Jackson and Arthur Darvill as Rip Hunter.
Significant Mother Network: CW Television Network Studio: CBS Television Studios, Warner Bros. Television Production Company(s): Alloy Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Erin Cardillo, Richard Keith, Tripp Reed, Leslie Morgenstein Writer(s): Erin Cardillo, Richard Keith Logline: Nate is a budding Portland restaurateur whose world is turned upside down when he comes back from a business trip to find his lothario best friend and roommate, Jimmy, is dating his recently separated mother, Lydia. To make matters worse, Nate’s previously disinterested dad, Harrison, is determined to win Lydia back and isn’t afraid to use Nate to get what he wants. Stuck between his family feud and his best friend’s first serious relationship, Nate’s "new normal" forever changes his relationships with his parents and severely handicaps his own dating life. Notes: Based on the digital series, "Significant Mother," which premiered on CW Seed in 2014. SSN Insight: CW has given a series order of 9 episodes as of April 10 and the series will shoot in June in Portland, Oregon.
FOX - New Series Orders
SSN Insight: The network had a lot of put pilots in the mix with five of the nine new series greenlit as a result of those deals. With hits like Gotham and Sleepy Hollow, they’re adding more genre-fare with the easy to market Minority Report, Frankenstein Code and X-Files. On the comedy side, they’ve opted for all single-camera formats and will rely on household names John Stamos and Rob Lowe to front their series. Empire has done stellar numbers for the network, thus making a renewal a no-brainer, however its proving hard to replicate without a clone in sight. Fox is breaking from the fold though with Scream Queens, a horror comedy anthology stemming from Glee creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk.
Grandfathered Network: Fox Broadcasting Company Studio: ABC Studios, 20th Century Fox Production Company(s): St. Amos Productions, Rhode Island Ave. Productions Executive Producer(s): Dan Fogelman, John Stamos, Danny Chun Writer(s): Danny Chun Logline: A charismatic longtime bachelor's life is upended when he discovers he’s a father â€“ and a grandfather. SSN Insight: Fox gave an initial put pilot commitment on September 11 followed by a pilot order on January 23.
Lucifer Network: Fox Broadcasting Company Studio: Warner Bros. Television Production Company(s): DC Entertainment, Jerry Bruckheimer Television, Aggressive Mediocrity, Inc Executive Producer(s): Tom Kapinos, Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman, Len Wiseman, Ildy Modrovich Writer(s): Tom Kapinos Logline: Lucifer, bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell, resigns his throne and abandons his kingdom for the gorgeous, shimmering insanity of Los Angeles, where he gets his kicks helping the LAPD punish criminals. SSN Insight: Fox gave an initial put pilot commitment on February 19. Lina Esco was previously cast as Maze, but was replaced by Lesley-Ann Brandt.
Minority Report Network: Fox Broadcasting Company Studio: 20th Century Fox Television, Paramount Television Production Company(s): Amblin Television Executive Producer(s): Kevin Falls, Max Borenstein, Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey Writer(s): Max Borenstein, Steven Spielberg Logline: Ten years after the end of Precrime in D.C., one of the three Precogs struggles to lead a "normal" human life but remains haunted by visions of the future. He meets a detective haunted by her past who just may help him find a purpose to his gift. Notes: Based on the film "Minority Report" (2002), directed by Steven Spielberg. SSN Insight: Fox gave an initial put pilot with a penalty commitment on September 8 followed by a pilot order on January 9.
Rosewood Network: Fox Broadcasting Company Studio: 20th Century Fox Television Production Company(s): Temple Hill Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Todd Harthan, Vahan Moosekian, Richard Shepard, Wyck Godfrey, Marty Bowen Writer(s): Todd Harthan Logline: Brilliant Dr. Johnny Rosewood, Jr., is the top private pathologist in all of Miami. As owner of one of the most sophisticated, state-of-the-art independent labs in the country, he finds the secrets in bodies that others usually miss. His eternal optimism will frustrate the cynical female detective he often works with, but she can’t argue with the results that his unique perspective provides. SSN Insight: Fox ordered a pilot for the drama on January 20.
Scream Queens Network: Fox Broadcasting Company Studio: 20th Century Fox Television Production Company(s): Ryan Murphy Productions, Brad Falchuk Teley-Vision Executive Producer(s): Ryan Murphy, Dante Di Loreto, Brad Falchuk, Ian Brennan Writer(s): Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Ian Brennan Logline: A comedy-horror anthology series. Season one revolves around a college campus rocked by a series of murders. SSN Insight: Fox ordered 15 episodes on October 20. Oliver Hudson replaces Joe Manganiello in the cast.
The Frankenstein Code Network: Fox Broadcasting Company Studio: 20th Century Fox Television Production Company(s): Teakwood Lane Productions Executive Producer(s): Rand Ravich, Howard Gordon, Michael Cuesta Writer(s): Rand Ravich Logline: Centers on Ray Pritchard, a morally corrupt retired cop who is given a second chance at life when he is brought back from the dead. Now younger and stronger, Pritchard will have to choose between his old temptations and his new sense of purpose. Notes: Inspired by the novel, "Frankenstein," written by Mary Shelley and published in 1818. SSN Insight: Fox gave an initial commitment of a put pilot on October 22 followed by a pilot order on January 20.
The Grinder Network: Fox Broadcasting Company Studio: 20th Century Fox Television Production Company(s): No Production Company Available. Executive Producer(s): Andrew Mogel, Jarrad Paul, Nicholas Stoller, Rob Lowe, Jake Kasdan Writer(s): Andrew Mogel, Jarrad Paul Logline: When his long-running hit series comes to an end, he finds himself at a crossroads in life and decides to move back to his small home town thinking he has the experience to take over his family’s law firm where he butts heads with his brother. SSN Insight: Fox gave an initial commitment of a put pilot on October 6 followed by a pilot order on February 12.
The Guide To Surviving Life Network: Fox Broadcasting Company Studio: 20th Century Fox Television Production Company(s): The Jackal Group Executive Producer(s): Jay Lacopo, Gail Berman, William Callahan Writer(s): Jay Lacopo Logline: 26-year-old Cooper Barrett turns to a camera after a particularly calamitous experience and using cautionary tales from his own life, episode by episode, helps the youth of America survive the ridiculous disaster that is life and love in your 20s. SSN Insight: Fox ordered the pilot on February 2. Home Free Network: Fox Broadcasting Company Production Company(s): Relativity Television Executive Producer(s): Mike Holmes, George Verschoor, Trice Barto, Brad Bishop, Andrew Marcus Logline: Nine couples are challenged to revive one run-down house every week. During each episode, Mile Holmes will present the couples with tasks designed to test and challenge the skills of these do-it-yourself enthusiasts. Not only must the couples work together to restore the home, they all must live together 24/7 in the same dilapidated home. The final two couples remaining will fight to the finish to win their ultimate dream home. SSN Insight: Fox ordered 8 episodes on April 29.
The X-Files Network: Fox Broadcasting Company Studio: 20th Century Fox Television Production Company(s): Ten Thirteen Productions Executive Producer(s): Chris Carter, Glen Morgan Writer(s): Glen Morgan, James Wong Logline: The series follows the continuing story of FBI special agents Scully and Mulder, who investigate unexplained cases,"X-Files", for which the only answers involve paranormal phenomena. Notes: The event series continues the story from the television series, "The X-Files," which aired on Fox from 1993-2002. SSN Insight: The network has ordered 6 episodes as a limited series to star David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as Mulder and Scully once more on March 24. Project will premiere after the NFC Championship Game on Sunday, January 24th, 2016 and will then air on Monday's at 8pm.
NBC - New Series Orders
SSN Insight: Dying is easy, comedy is hard. Those words couldn’t be truer for NBC has not one of their freshman comedy series received a renewal. But with 23 new shows on the schedule, NBC is outpacing all the other networks in terms of sheer quantity. They’re holding fast and strong to the multi-cam comedy with Undateable and One Big Happy still on the schedule with new shows Coach being taken off the bench along with Crowded, Hot & Bothered and People Are Talking amongst other single camera comedies. They’re taking a page from Netflix’s playbook and releasing their summer series, Aquarius all at once on NBC.com the same day of its premiere. Meanwhile on the franchise end, Dick Wolf is still going strong with his Law & Order and Chicago franchises, the latter earning a spin-off, not to mention his latest live unscripted series, You the Jury.
Aquarius Network: NBC Entertainment Studio: Tomorrow Studios Executive Producer(s): David Duchovny, John McNamara, Marty Adelstein, Melanie Greene, Becky Clements Writer(s): John McNamara, Alexandra Cunningham, Sera Gamble, Rafael Yglesias, David Reed Logline: A Los Angeles police sergeant with a complicated personal life starts tracking a small-time criminal and budding cult leader seeking out vulnerable women to join his "cause." The name of that man is Charles Manson. SSN Insight: NBC ordered 13 episodes in a straight to series order on March 31. After the network premiere on May 28th, the entire series will be available on NBC.com and the NBC app as well as other VOD platforms.
Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris Network: NBC Entertainment Studio: ITV Studios America Production Company(s): No Production Company Available. Executive Producer(s): Neil Patrick Harris, Orly Adelson, Shu Greene, Anthony McPartlin, Declan Donnelly Logline: Features comedy sketches, musical numbers, mini game shows, hidden-camera celebrity pranks and appearances by A-listers. Notes: Based on the UK series, "Saturday Night Takeaway," which premiered on ITV in 2002. SSN Insight: NBC gave a ten episode limited series order for the variety show on October 27.
Blindspot Network: NBC Entertainment Studio: Warner Bros. Television Production Company(s): Berlanti Productions Executive Producer(s): Martin Gero, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, Mark Pellington Writer(s): Martin Gero Logline: A beautiful, mysterious woman with no memory of her past is found naked in the middle of Times Square, her body covered in fresh tattoos, including the inked name of an FBI agent on her back. The FBI becomes involved in the case, using the tattoos on her body as a road map of clues to unlock a conspiracy and discover her identity. SSN Insight: NBC gave the drama an initial commitment for a script plus penalty on August 28 and ordered the pilot on January 23. Chicago Med Network: NBC Entertainment Studio: Universal Television Production Company(s): Wolf Films, Inc. Executive Producer(s): Derek Haas, Michael Brandt, Matt Olmstead, Dick Wolf, Peter Jankowski Writer(s): Derek Haas, Michael Brandt Logline: Storyline under wraps. Notes: Conceived as a spinoff of the NBC series, "Chicago Fire." The characters for the potential spinoff are introduced in episode 319 of "Chicago Fire" On February 4. SSN Insight: The characters for the potential spinoff are introduced in episode 319 of Chicago Fire. Law & Order 16 year strong alumna S. Epatha Merkerson is set to work again with EP Wolf and will star in the series.
Coach Network: NBC Entertainment Studio: Universal Television Production Company(s): No Production Company Available. Executive Producer(s): Barry Kemp, Craig T. Nelson Writer(s): Barry Kemp Logline: Coach Hayden Fox , now retired from coaching , is called back to become assistant coach to his own grown son, who is the new head coach at an Ivy league school in Pennsylvania that is just starting up a new team. Notes: A sequel to the original ABC series "Coach," which aired for 9 seasons starting in 1989. SSN Insight: NBC gave an order of 13 episodes on March 26 for the comedy.
Crowded Network: NBC Entertainment Studio: Universal Television Production Company(s): Hazy Mills Productions Executive Producer(s): Suzanne Martin, Sean Hayes, Todd Milliner Writer(s): Suzanne Martin Logline: After 20 years of parenting, empty nesters Mike and Martina are finally reclaiming their wild side. Yet when both of their two grown daughters unexpectedly move back in, and Mike’s parents scratch their plans to spend their golden years in Florida, their roost is full again. SSN Insight: NBC gave the pilot order on January 15 and ordered the multi-cam comedy series on May 7.
First Dates Network: NBC Entertainment Production Company(s): A Very Good Production, Shed Media U.S. Executive Producer(s): Tom Shelly, Pamela Healey, John Hesling, Ellen DeGeneres, Jeff Kleeman Writer(s): No Writer Available. Logline: Based on the British format, the show follows singles as they meet for the first time and have dates in a public restaurant. Each couple then decides if they want to see each other again. This "fly-on-the-wall" social experiment takes a candid look at today's world of dating. Notes: Based on the British format. SSN Insight: NBC ordered 8 episodes of the docuseries on March 27.
Game of Silence Network: NBC Entertainment Studio: Sony Pictures Television, Universal Television Production Company(s): Intrigue, TIMS Productions, Carol Mendelsohn Productions Executive Producer(s): David Hudgins, Niels Arden Oplev, Carol Mendelsohn, Julie Weitz, Timur Savci Writer(s): David Hudgins Logline: Centers on a rising attorney on the brink of spectacular success who could lose his perfect life when his long lost childhood friends threaten to expose a dark secret from their violent past. Notes: Based on the Turkish series, "Suskunlar," which aired in 2012. SSN Insight: NBC gave an initial commitment of a pilot plus penalty for the drama on September 9 and ordered the pilot on January 21.
Heartbreaker Network: NBC Entertainment Studio: Universal Television Production Company(s): No Production Company Available. Executive Producer(s): Jill Gordon, Brad Silberling, Amy Brenneman, Robert Duncan McNeill Writer(s): Jill Gordon Logline: Follows the outspoken Alex Panttiere, one of the rare female heart-transplant surgeons, who brings an innovative eye to treating patients week to week while also balancing the complications of her professional and romantic life. Notes: Based on the memoir, "Heart Matters: A Memoir of a Female Heart Surgeon," written by Kathy E. Magliato, MD and published by Crown Archetype on January 26, 2010. SSN Insight: NBC ordered the pilot for the drama on January 23.
Hot & Bothered Network: NBC Entertainment Studio: Universal Television Production Company(s): UnbeliEVAble Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Eva Longoria, Ben Spector, Christine Pietrosh, Jessica Goldstein, Josh Bycel Writer(s): Christine Pietrosh, Jessica Goldstein Logline: A sizzling TV superstar, and her lively family of cast and crew all competing to steal the spotlight. When the cameras turn off, the drama turns up as Ana battles pesky network execs, drunken scriptwriters, narcissistic co-stars and an unfortunately familiar new on-screen love interest. Notes: Based on an idea by Eva Longoria. SSN Insight: The project will get a 13-episode order as Longoria has committed to star.
I Can Do That! Network: NBC Entertainment Studio: Universal Television Production Company(s): Armoza Formats Executive Producer(s): Marlon Wayans, Audrey Morrissey, Matilda Zoltowski, Avi Armoza, Rick Alvarez Writer(s): No Writer Available. Logline: The show challenges its celebrity cast members to stretch beyond their comfort zones by putting on a new act each week. Each week, the regulars will work in pairs to put on an act with the help of guest stars who work in other fields, such as magicians, acrobats and stunt performers. At the end of the season, one of the regulars will be crowned "the ultimate entertainer." Notes: Based on the Israeli format, "I Can Do That." SSN Insight: NBC ordered six episodes of the variety show on March 3 and slate the show for summer.
Manhunt Network: NBC Entertainment Studio: Universal Television Production Company(s): No Production Company Available. Executive Producer(s): Gavin Hood, Whit Brayton, Zack Rice, Michael Sugar, Alex Goldstone Writer(s): Whit Brayton, Zack Rice Logline: Explores the mounting tension of an entire city on the hunt for a fugitive roaming the streets at large. It will examine the moment an American, or international city, becomes a police state, a war zone or a ground zero and the ensuing bloodlust it inspires. SSN Insight: NBC ordered ten episodes of the anthology drama on September 8. The original straight to series deal with cast and script contingent. People Are Talking Network: NBC Entertainment Studio: Universal Television Production Company(s): Will Packer Productions Executive Producer(s): DJ Nash, William Packer Writer(s): DJ Nash Logline: Follows two diverse couples who are neighbors and best friends. As they go through life side-by-side, they can’t help but analyze and obsess about everything. Whether its sex and race or the fact that the trusted new babysitter might be a porn star, nothing is out of bounds for this wildly outspoken foursome. SSN Insight: NBC ordered the multi-cam comedy pilot on January 20. Brooke Ishibashi was previously attached to star.
S.T.R.O.N.G. Network: NBC Entertainment Studio: Sony Pictures Television Production Company(s): 25/7 Productions Executive Producer(s): Sylvester Stallone Logline: The series follows six men and six women looking to reach their full potential by getting fit, not losing weight. The series will eliminate one contestant every week. Each of the 12 contestants will be paired with their own trainer, also six men and six women, creating mixed-gender teams of two. SSN Insight: NBC ordered 10 episodes of the unscripted series on March 102
Shades of Blue Network: NBC Entertainment Studio: Universal Television Production Company(s): Nuyorican Productions, Ryan Seacrest Media, EGTV, H's Films Executive Producer(s): Jack Orman, Jennifer Lopez, Adi Hasak, Ryan Seacrest, Nina Wass Writer(s): Adi Hasak Logline: A single mother and detective is recruited to work undercover for the FBI’s anti-corruption task force. Part of a close-knit unit known for its conviction record, she has become compromised by her colleagues, all of whom also pitch in to help her raise her daughter, and finds herself faced with the moral dilemma of working against her cop brothers in order to redeem herself. SSN Insight: Ordered straight to series. NBC gave a straight to series order of 13 episodes of the Jennifer Lopez starrer on February 21.
Superstore Network: NBC Entertainment Studio: Universal Television Production Company(s): The District Executive Producer(s): Justin Spitzer, Ruben Fleischer, David Bernad Writer(s): Justin Spitzer Logline: A workplace comedy about a unique family of employees at a super-sized megastore. From the bright-eyed newbies and the seen-it-all veterans to the clueless summer hires and in-it-for-life managers, together they hilariously tackle the day-to-day grind of rabid bargain hunters, riot-causing sales and nap-worthy training sessions. SSN Insight: NBC ordered the single camera comedy pilot on January 14.
The Carmichael Show Network: NBC Entertainment Studio: 20th Century Fox Television, Universal Television Production Company(s): A24 Executive Producer(s): Jerrod Carmichael, Nicholas Stoller, Ravi Nandan, Danielle Sanchez-Witzel Writer(s): Jerrod Carmichael, Nicholas Stoller Logline: Centers on Jerrod Carmichael's relationships with his girlfriend and family. Notes: Inspired by Jerrod Carmichael's standup. SSN Insight: A pilot presentation was shot in December 2013, but was retooled with a new premise and new writer/executive producer Nick Stoller who directed Carmichael in the feature Neighbors. NBC ordered a fresh pilot on November 3 and gave a six episode series order on March 10.
The Island Network: NBC Entertainment Production Company(s): Bear Grylls Ventures, Endemol Shine North America Executive Producer(s): Bear Grylls, Eden Gaha, Michael Brooks, Holly M. Wofford, Delbert Shoopman Logline: The series follows 14 American men who are abandoned on a deserted island without the basics of contemporary everyday life. The social experiment is aimed at determining if they have what it takes to survive, as they are left with only the clothes on their backs and minimal survival tools. The entire series is filmed by the men themselves. There are no prizes. No eliminations. No winner. No camera teams. The men must hunt for food, find source water, erect shelter, build a community and try to survive using only their strength, determination and know-how. Notes: Based on the UK series, "The Island," which premiered on Channel Four on May 5, 2014. SSN Insight: NBC gave an order of six episodes of the unscripted series on March 25.
Little Big Shots Network: NBC Entertainment Studio: Warner Horizon Production Company(s): East 112th Street Productions, A Very Good Production Executive Producer(s): Ellen DeGeneres, Steve Harvey, Jeff Kleeman, Gerald Washington Logline: Harvey will showcase young musicians, singers, dancers and every form of wunderkind and go toe to toe with them in conversations and interviews, with hilarious results. SSN Insight: NBC has given an eight episode order to the comedy-variety series. Ellen DeGeneres is on a roll as this series joins her Netflix greenlit Green Eggs and Ham along with Heads Up on HLN.
The Player Network: NBC Entertainment Studio: Sony Pictures Television Production Company(s): Davis Entertainment, Kung Fu Monkey Productions Executive Producer(s): John Rogers, John Davis, John Fox, Bharat Nalluri Writer(s): John Rogers Logline: A former sniper-turned-security expert for the wealthy is wrongly accused of the brutal murder of his wife. A syndicate of powerful people offers him freedom in exchange for stopping high-stakes crimes, as he continues to avenge his wife’s death and uncover the game-like conspiracy among his mysterious employers. He eventually realizes he’s a player in a hundred-year-old tradition where the rich and powerful bet on the ultimate "game:" crime in our world. SSN Insight: NBC gave a pilot plus penalty commitment on September 9 followed by a pilot order on January 23.
The Reaper Network: NBC Entertainment Production Company(s): Macmillan Publishing, The Weinstein Company Executive Producer(s): Thomas Dean Donnelly, Josh Oppenheimer, Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein, Brendan Deneen Writer(s): Thomas Dean Donnelly, Josh Oppenheimer Logline: Nicknamed "The Reaper" by his battalion, Nicholas Irving became one of its deadliest snipers, breaking records for enemy kills in a single deployment. The first African-American ever to serve as a sniper in his battalion, Irving's story gives an inside look at his development in the military, what those in the special operations community go through and the sacrifices they make to their country and families. Notes: Based on the autobiographical memoir,"The Reaper: Autobiography of One of the Deadliest Special Ops Snipers," written by Nicholas Irving with Gary Brozek and published by St. Martin's Press on January 27, 2015. SSN Insight: Planned as a 6-hour miniseries.
You The Jury Network: NBC Entertainment Production Company(s): Wolf Films, Inc., Magical Elves Executive Producer(s): Dick Wolf, Tom Thayer, Dan Cutforth, Jane Lipsitz Logline: Viewers are given a chance to decide the verdict in real-life civil cases. SSN Insight: The live one show show marks Wolf’s fifth project on the network with his Law & Order and Chicago franchises.
You, Me and the End of the World Network: NBC Entertainment, Sky 1 Studio: NBCUniversal International Television Production Production Company(s): Working Title Television, Bigballs Limited Executive Producer(s): Juliette Howell, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lynn Horsford, Andrew Conrad Writer(s): Iain Hollands Logline: The story follows an eclectic group of ordinary people in an extraordinary situation: a collision is imminent with an eight-mile wide comet that’s destined to wipe out all life on Earth. The cast of characters is made up of a British bank manager, an Italian nun, a female death row inmate, a Five Star U.S. General, a White House civil servant and a bride with a one-eyed husband 30 years her junior. Together, they hunker beneath the town of Slough, about 20 miles west of London, to watch the end of the world on TV. SSN Insight: NBC gave a series order of ten episodes of the hour long drama that’s a co-production with Sky 1 on January 8.
TV Development For 5/12/15: Upfronts Special Edition — Trends, Insights and All the New Network Series Orders In One PlaceHerein is an exhaustive look at each and every one of the new shows that will premiere during the upcoming season on the five major networks, along with all kinds of the analysis that you have come to expect from SSN Insider. Click the link to get it all. (SSN)
TODAY’S HEADLINES(EMP) (VAR) (DH)
Eric Stonestreet Lands Coveted ‘Confirmation’ Role In HBO True Life Tale Of Clarence Thomas HearingsKerry Washington stars as Anita Hill in the HBO Original Film, with Wendell Pierce playing Thomas. Stonestreet will play Ken Duberstein, the lobbyist/Washington insider who is assigned by President George Bush to get Thomas appointed as Supreme Court Justice. Susannah Grant will pen the script and executive produce the drama, which hails from Groundswell Productions in association with ABC Signature. (THR) (TVI) (CS)
Following In the Footsteps Of ‘True Detective’ and ‘American Horror Story’, Season Two Of ‘American Crime’ Will Be Completely DifferentABC’s critical hit spring show is taking the anthology path, and while it will feature some of the same actors from Season One, they will be in entirely different roles. While critics praised the show, it was not a success in the ratings, averaging only 6.9 million viewers and a 1.7 among adults 18-49, including DVR playback. (EW) (CB)
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DreamWorks Fulfills Luke Greenfield’s Dream, Allows the Filmmaker To Work With His Hero, Steven SpielbergThe Let’s Be Cops director got feedback from Spielberg as a teenager, and the result of that was the story Destiny, which he is now writing with Dana Stevens. The pitch is a supernatural love story about a struggling designer who must overcome his fears and uncertainty, and now DreamWorks will be making the project. (DH) (VAR) (WAH)
It Looks Like Both Channing Tatum and Hugh Jackman Will, In Fact, Appear In Next Year’s ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’There had been much speculation about whether Jackman would return as Wolverine — he has recently said that his appearance in 2017’s third solo outing for the character would be his swan song — and also whether Tatum would debut as Gambit. Now, a Quebec casting call has listed both actors as being a part of the enormous cast, which also includes Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Rose Byrne, Nicholas Hoult and Oscar Isaac. (UR)
Spike Lee Is Taking Some Ancient Inspiration For His Next Film, a Musical Comedy About Gun Violence In ChicagoLee’s next film, Chiraq, will be his take on the ancient Greek comedy Lysistrata, updating it to tell a tale of a woman’s quest to bring an end to gang warfare in the Windy City. The project may feature the soundtrack involvement of Kanye West and Jennifer Hudson, while Sam Jackson and John Cusack are understood to be lining up to appear in the hot title. (SD) (CB) (CS) (GITS)
UTA: TV comedy showrunner Chuck Lorre has inked with UTA. Previously he was repped by Bob Broder at ICM Partners, but has been without official representation since Broder left to head Lorre’s production shingle, Life’s Too Short, in 2012. It’s a big win for UTA has Lorre has created long running shows Two And a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, and Mike & Molly. In addition he also has an overall production and development deal between Chuck Lorre Productions and Warner Bros. that encompasses both television and film that will continue through next year.
ICM Partners: Actress Rebecca Ferguson, who will star in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation opening July 31, has signed with ICM Partners. She was also cast in Florence Foster Jenkins starring Meryl Streep and wrapped as a lead in Despite The Falling Snow, an indie about the Cold War. She previously starred as Queen Elizabeth in BBC’s The White Queen which aired on Starz.
LBI Entertainment: Filmmaker Terrence Malick will now be managed by Ilene Feldman at LBI Entertainment. He will continue to be repped by CAA. He recently completed the Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett starrer Knight of Cups. He also wrapped on an untitled film starring Ryan Gosling and Rooney Mara. Broad Green Pictures acquired domestic rights for this film and Knight of Cups for $6.5 million at the 2015 Berlin Film Festival. Next up is The Voyage of Time which he’s in post on and was made in conjunction with IMAX and will also be distributed by Broad Green stateside.
CAA: Choreographer turned Tony nominated director/choreographer for his Broadway version of An American in Paris, Christopher Wheeldon has signed with CAA. He will continue to be managed by London-based Tobias Round. Previously, he premiered the first full-length ballet in over 20 years for the Royal Ballet, Covent Garden called Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and followed it up in 2014 with The Winter's Tale based on the Shakespeare play of the same name.
Screenwriting 101: ‘Legally Blonde’ Screenwriter Karen McCullah Gives Advice On Getting Your Spec Circulated, Talks ‘Expendabelles’Here at SSN, we like to cover all genres when it comes to the writers we talk to. Lately, we have covered drama and sci-fi, but now we want to delve into the genre that makes us laugh (and cry), comedy. Karen McCullah (Legally Blonde, 10 Things I Hate About You) gives great insights into her screenwriting process, the first screenplay she (and writing partner Kirsten Smith) sold and what inspires her daily writing. Absolutely worth your time. (SSN)
Rep Moves For 5/13/15: TV Comedy Powerhouse Chuck Lorre Signs With UTA, Terrence Malick To LBI, and MoreIt’s an especially light week in rep moves this week, but aside from those two big names, the female lead for one of the summer’s most highly anticipated films also made a big switch, as did a Tony nominated director. Click on the link to get all the info. (SSN)
TODAY’S HEADLINES(NYT) (TP)
Don’t Call an End To Fox’s ‘X-Men’ Universe Just Yet: Studio Signs Josh Boone To Helm ‘New Mutants’ SpinoffThe Fault In Our Stars director will co-write and direct the film, a standalone spinoff that expands its X-Men movie universe. The series, already part of the X-Men Comics universe, introduces a new crop of mutant characters born with special powers. Boone will co-write with Knate Gwaltney. Simon Kinberg will produce with Lauren Shuler Donner. Boone is also set for a reboot of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles series, as well as an adaptation of The Stand. (COL) (VUL) (VAR) (SF) (TOH) (EMP)
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Alfonso Gomez-Rijon Just Nabbed Hugh Jackman and Rooney Mara For His ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’ FollowupCollateral Beauty, written by Allen Loeb, is set in a New York ad agency and follows “a man whose life is flipped upside down after experiencing an incredible tragedy that sends him down a path of deep depression.” Gomez-Rijon’s Sundance hit, which won both the Jury Prize and Audience Award at this year’s festival, will get a limited summer release on July 1st. (COL) (VAR)
If You’re a Fan Of Jason Alexander and Miss Seeing Him On TV, You’re About To Get Some Very Good NewsThe former George Costanza will be starring in a currently untitled live-action comedy for Adult Swim that’s set to be part of the 2015-16 season. The series, created by Adam Lustick (Silicon Valley, The Office), centers around a famed psychotherapist who loses his own marbles, but his patients end up going along with his newly unorthodox therapy sessions. (UR)
With ‘Mad Men’ Ending This Weekend, Here Are Some Of the Best and Worst Endings Ever, So Let the Arguments BeginRolling Stone has compiled a list of some of the greatest series endings, as well as the most disappointing, with plenty of familiar choices on each list. There are also some surprises — like Battlestar Galactica on the “Best” list — as well as some interesting omissions — The Wire nowhere to be found — but it’s most definitely a pair of lists that will start a conversation. (RS) (EMP) (SM)
Star Wars: Rogue One Logline: A band of resistance fighters unite for a daring mission to steal the plans for the Death Star. Studio/ Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Production Company: LucasFilm LTD Producers: Kathleen Kennedy, John Knoll, Tony To Writer: Chris Weitz Director: Gareth Edwards Cast: Diego Luna, Felicity Jones, Riz Ahmed, Ben Mendelsohn, Sam Claflin Notes: Based on the novel "Departure" which was self published by author A.G. Riddle on December 4, 2014. SSN Insight: Diego Luna, last seen in 2013’s Elysium, is the latest to come on board the new Star Wars film as a rebel who plots to steal the plans for the Death Star. Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find Them Logline: 70 years before Harry Potter’s birth, Newton Artemis Fido Scamander is commissioned to write a reference guide to magical beasts, which would become a Hogwart’s textbook. Studio/ Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures Production Company: Wigram Productions, Heyday Films, Bronte Film and Television Producers: David Heynan, Steve Kloves, Lionel Wigram, J.K. Rowling Writer: J.K. Rowling Director: David Yates Cast: Eddie Redmayne Notes: Based on the novel "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" by J.K. Rowling; published by Arthur A. Levine June 2001 . SSN Insight: Project is the screenwriting debut of author, J.K. Rowling and now they seem to have landed Oscar-winner Redmayne. Departure Logline: Survivors of a plane crash in the English countryside soon come to realize they were brought there for a reason. Studio/ Distributor: 20th Century Fox Production Company: R & G Productions Producers: Steve Tzirlin Director: Drew Goddard Notes: Based on the novel "Departure" which was self published by author A.G. Riddle on December 4, 2014. SSN Insight: The novel was initially self-published by Riddle, but then became an on-line sensation and a big acquisition for Fox. Now, in demand director, Goddard (Cabin in the Woods) attaches to the project while also being considered to write and direct the new Spider-Man franchise.
Arabian Knights Logline: Storyline under wraps. Studio/ Distributor: Universal Pictures Production Company: Blacklight, Imagine Entertainment Producers: Zak Kadison, Brian Grazer, Erica Huggins Writer: Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz SSN Insight: The X-Men First Class writers sign on to rewrite the hot spec script by Kyle Ward and help the studio do a Pirates of the Caribbean version of the Arabain Knights story.
The New Mutants Logline: The storyline about the teenage mutant superheroes-in-training is under wraps. Studio: 20th Century Fox Production Companies: Genre Films, Donners Company Producers: Simon Kinberg, Lauren Shuler Donner Writer: Josh Boone, Knate Gwaltney Director: Josh Boone SSN Insight: Boone has been an in demand director ever since turning Fault in Our Stars into a mega-hit and has also been mentioned as a potential director for Sony’s reboot of Spider-Man.
Destiny Logline: When a man survives a near- fatal accident, he inherits the ability to see into the future, with grave consequences Studio: Dreamworks Studios Production Companies: Wide Awake Inc. Producers: Steven Spielberg, Luke Greenfield Writer: Luke Greenfield, Dana Stevens Director: Luke Greenfield SSN Insight: Project was set up at New Regency Productions when Greenfield was under contract there. The project never got off the ground but has been a passion project of Greenfield’s since its inception. Never giving up on it landed it in a new home, Dreamworks. The Founder Logline: The true story how Ray Kroc, a salesman from Illinois, met Mac and Dick McDonald, who were running a burger operation in 1950s Southern California. Kroc was impressed by the brother’s speedy system of making the food and saw franchise potential. He maneuvered himself in a position to be able to pull the company from the brothers and create the billion dollar fast food empire, McDonald’s. Studio/Distributor: The Weinstein Company Production Company: FilmNation, Combine Producers: Jeremy Renner, Don Handfield Writer: Rob Siegel Director: John Lee Hancock Cast: Laura Dern, Michael Keaton SSN Insight: Dern would play Ethel Kroc, Kroc’s first wife who suffers through his business schemes and whom he neglects. The Wolves at the Door Logline: Four friends endure a terrifying home invasion in the Hollywood hills in 1969. Distributor: New Line Cinema Production Companies: The Safran Company Producers: Peter Safran Writer: Gary Dauberman Director: John R Leonetti Cast: Katie Cassidy, Miles Fisher, Elizabeth Henstridge, Adam Campbell SSN Insight: The Arrow star signs onto the period thriller which is set to start shooting May 18.
Experience Hendrix Logline: This biopic of iconic rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix, who died at the height of his fame in 1970, features some of his best-known music. Production Companies: Legendary Entertainment Producers: Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, Janie Hendrix, John McDermott, Peter Afterman Writer: Scott Silver Director: Paul Greengrass SSN Insight: Legendary had the opportunity to make a film based on Hendrix’s life several years ago but did not have the support of the Hendrix estate, so they backed off. They have now reached a new agreement with the estate and a new, appealing package. The Craft (Remake) Logline: Sarah meets three young women at St. Benedict’s Academy who also have found themselves banished to the outermost reaches of high school's inevitable pecking order. Nancy, Bonnie and Rochelle will never fit in with the "in" crowd. But together with Sarah, their outer and inner lives are about to change in ways they never suspected. They are about to learn that being an outsider has its own kind of power. Distributor: Columbia Pictures Production Companies: Red Wagon Entertainment Producers: Doug Wick, Lucy Fisher Writer: Leigh Janiak, Phil Graziadei Director: Leigh Janiak. SSN Insight: The studio has decided to move forward with a remake of their own cult classic film and attach an up and coming writer/ director in Janiak, who made her first film Honeymoon last year.
Pale Blue Dot Logline: A married astronaut returns to Earth after a mission and begins an affair with a fellow astronaut. She heads into a downward spiral as she loses her connection to her family, a condition that can afflict those who spend a long time in space. The bottom drops out when her lover has an affair with an astronaut trainee. Studio/ Distributor: Fox Searchlight Production Companies: Pacific Standard Producers: Reese Witherspoon, Bruna Papandrea Writer: Brian C. Brown, Elliott DiGuiseppi Cast: Reese Witherspoon SSN Insight: Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher) was circling to direct but never committed.
The Fugitive Logline: A man is forced to go on the run after being falsely accused of killing his wife Studio/ Distributor: Warner Bros Studios Production Companies: Kopelson Entertaiment Producers: Arnold and Anne Kopelson Writers: Christina Hodson SSN Insight: The studio puts a new installment of the classic film into development with the returning producers and a new writer. They even hope to be in production by early 2016. Alpha Squad Seven Logline: This action-comedy is set in space, details of the storyline are under wraps. Studio/ Distributor: Dreamworks Studios Production Companies: Flynn Picture Co, 7 Bucks Entertainment, The Garcia Companies Producers: Beau Flynn, Dwayne Johnson Writer: Jeremiah Friedman, Nick Palmer Cast: Dwayne Johnson SSN Insight: Project took all of two weeks to come to fruition, starting as a pitch from the writers to Flynn and his exec, then being fast-tracked by Johnson and lastly into the studios, sparking a bidding war.
Untitled Leslie Mann/ Judd Apatow Comedy Logline: Storyline under wraps. Studio/ Distributor: Paramount Pictures Production Companies: Block Entertainment, Merced Media Partners, PalmStar Entertainment, Apatow Productions Producers: Bill Block, Raj Singh, Kevin Scott Frakes, Judd Apatow, Josh Church Writers: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore Directors: Jon Lucas Scott Moore Cast: Leslie Mann SSN Insight: Project is the first package from Bill Block’s Block Entertainment and Raj Singh’s Merced Capital and Kevin Frakes’ PalmStar Media Capital financing vehicle.
The Wedding Sting Logline: In 1990, the police in Flint, Michigan lacked funds to round up the city’s drug dealers, so they a created a fake wedding to get them in one place and arrest them. Studio/ Distributor: Paramount Pictures Production Companies: Disruption Entertainment Producers: Mary Parent Notes: Based on the article "The Wedding Sting" written by Jeff Maysh and published in the May, 2015 issue of The Atlantic. SSN Insight: The article by studio favorite, Jeff Maysh, who has several other articles set up around town, was a competitive situation with Universal also bidding.
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Cannes 2015: Cutting Through the Buzz To Pick the 10 Most Bankable and (Still) Available Films For U.S. AdsThere’s a lot buzzing at this year’s Cannes Film Festival that’s running from May 13 through the 24. But the films with flashy premieres at the festival are just the tip of the iceberg, what with the market, Marché du Film, running concurrently and over 5,000 films being offered up to distributors. There are still a lot of titles up for grabs, so SSN is wading through the titles to pick the most bankable out of the lot for U.S. audiences. (SSN)
Film Development For 5/14/15: Diego Luna Signs On For ‘Star Wars: Rogue One’, ‘New Mutants’ At Fox, and MoreIn other news, Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann team up again, an Oscar winner circles J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter prequel, Drew Goddard’s new project, a brand new Arabian Knights and director Luke Greenfield’s dream project with his hero, Steven Spielberg. Read on for more. (SSN)
TODAY’S HEADLINES(CS) (THR)
Mike Mills Is Finally Ready For His ‘Beginners’ Followup, Casts Greta Gerwig, Annette Bening, and Elle Fanning In ItMills wrote 20th Century Women, which is set in Santa Barbara during the summer of 1979, and tells the story of a mother who’s trying her best to raise her teenage son. Navigating life and love, sex and freedom, men and women isn’t easy as Dorothea looks for answers from two other remarkable women in her life. Each from a different era of the 20th Century, these three women seek to find what it means to be a man and help set Jamie on the right course. (TP) (EMP) (EW) (VAR) (DH) (SF)
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Selene Revisited: Kate Beckinsale Is Returning To Her Old Stomping Grounds, Will Star In ‘Underworld 5’The latest installment in Lakeshore Entertainment and Screen Gems’ hit franchise will be directed by Anna Foerster, best known for her work with Roland Emmerich, most recently as the director of photography on 2013’s White House Down. Theo James will also be returning to the franchise, reprising his role as the Vampire David, when filming starts up in Prague in October. (CS) (VUL) (AA) (COL) (CB) (GITS)
Company Launches, Partnerships & Deals
Producer Sam Laybourne has inked a two-year overall deal with ABC Studios and will oversee and develop new projects for the studio. He previously served as EP on NBC’s The Michael J. Fox Show and other credits include ABC’s Cougar Town and Fox’s Arrested Development.
Radiant Films International and Cargo Entertainment have entered into a strategic partnership to expand their production, finance and sales abilities. To facilitate the partnership, Radiant president Mimi Steinbauer will also serve as Cargo’s distribution president while Radiant SVP John Short will oversee foreign sales for all Cargo titles. They are looking to produce 5 features per year. At Cannes, Radiant is selling romantic comedy Carrie Pilby starring Hailee Steinfeld and Tom Wilkinson.
Reality production house 44 Blue launched a virtual reality content studio named Ovrture. The company was founded by Mike Drachkovitch and will operate jointly with 44 Blue, providing immersive content across multiple VR platforms to accompany the company’s programs Lockup and Nightwatch. The company also plans to extend beyond producing unscripted television accompanying content to sports and entertainment. David Holecheck will serve as head of production and Dan Holecheck will be oversee post-production and technology. The duo founded the graphics and effects company Duality Filmworks. Rasha and Stephanie Noonan Drachkovitch have been named company directors.
Josh Bycel and Jonathan Fener have inked a two-year overall deal with Universal TV and will serve as exec producers on Eva Longoria comedy Telenovela, which NBC gave a straight to series order. The duo served as EPs on ABC’s Happy Endings and co-EPs on Fox’s American Dad. Fener and Bycel are represented by UTA and Morris Yorn.
Empire EP and showrunner Ilene Chaiken has signed a two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV. Under the seven-figure deal, Chaiken will continue to run Empire while developing new series.
Entertainment studio IM Global and talent managers Carlos Bobadilla and Brandon Guzmán have teamed up to launch a joint venture management and production company, Valor Entertainment Group with the goal to build upon their already extensive Latino talent base and expand into the multicultural market. Principals Bobadilla and Guzmán will oversee the Literary division and Talent division respectively. It is also expected the Valor partners will work closely with Mundial, IM Global’s Latino film sales and financing joint venture with Canana Films.
FilmNation Entertainment has upped Jennifer Fradlin, who has been with the company since 2009 to VP Business and Legal Affairs, Patrick Chu to VP Productions and Acquisitions and Selena Saldana to VP of Publicity. Chu’s new role will include developing and supervising in-house productions. In Cannes he will find new titles for production, financing and worldwide distribution. Saldana has been running PR for the company since 2013, this role will expand her position and she’ll oversee the company’s public profile and all publicity on production and sales projects.
Xavier Marchand is now the President at Entertainment One Features in London, he previously served as the company’s President of Film Production.
Dylan Wiley is the new President, Specialty Releasing at Broad Green Pictures. He previously served as SVP, general manager at eOne Film U.S.
The Weinstein Company has upped Ennis Hensley to President of International Sales & Distribution from EVP of the department and will continue working on international film sales of TWC and Dimension titles as well as develop new business opportunities. At Cannes and other markets and festivals he will serve as a rep for the company. Joe Pirro is the new head of production for Symbolic Exchange. He was previously a CE at The Weinstein Company. Lily Spottiswoode has been promoted to development coordinator, upped from executive assistant at the company.
Miramax has tapped independent producer David Thwaites to be their VP of film, a newly created position. He will report to Zanne Devine, executive VP of film and TV and will head Miramax’s burgeoning film production and development activities as the studio continues to expand their content areas.
Sony Pictures Entertainment has named Robert Lawson as their new corporate spokesman with the title Executive Vice President, Chief Communications Officer. Previously he was a PR exec at Rubenstein where he advised Michael Lynton during the Sony hack. He will to report Lynton and Nicole Seligman.
Film distribution company Alchemy, previously known as Millennium Entertainment, has centralized their IT and operations under three new executives. They hired Jerry McGlynn who will be the new Chief Technology Officer. Jim Jenkins has also been promoted to EVP Operations. Daniel Quantz will serves as VP Operations. Together they will work to develop its existing digital platform and lead strategic operational growth.
Turner Broadcasting announced Doug Shapiro will be the EVP and Chief Strategy Officer upped from his current position as SVP, International and Corporate Strategy for Turner’s parent company, Time Warner, Inc. Starting in July he will be responsible for furthering Turner’s global corporate strategy and identifing business models and growth as well as overseeing their domestic Research and Consumer Insights team and its Media group.
Al Anstey has been tapped as the CEO of Al Jazeera America where he was the managing director at the company previously.
ESPN has tapped Justin Connolly as their executive vice president, Disney & ESPN Affiliate Sales and Marketing following Sean Bratches and David Preschlack’s plans to leave at year's end. Connolly launched the SEC Network and spent a decade in ESPN affiliate sales. The network also promoted Ed Erhardt to president, global sales & marketing, extending his reach across consumer marketing, ad sales and research.
Francisco J. Lopez-Balboa is the new CFO at Univision Communications Inc. in New York. He was previously the Managing Director, Head, Telecom, Media and Technology Investment Grade Financing at Goldman Sachs. Peter Lori is now the Deputy Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President, Finance & Chief Accounting Officer there and previously he served as Interim CFO, EVP.
Ben Caudell is the new head of entertainment for Channel 4 in London, he was formerly head of comedy for Objective Productions.
David Diederich is the new VP of Ad Sales & Brand Partnerships, Western Region at WGN America, he was previously VP of Sales at the cabler. Tim Russell will also join WGN America as VP of brand partnerships. He was previously the Senior Managing Director, Head, Sales at Meredith Video Studios.
Polly Hill has been promoted to controller of drama commissioning at the BBC, up from head of independent drama. Patrick Holland will join BBC has head of documentaries. He was tapped from Boundless Productions where he served as their managing director.
Michael J. Cavanagh has been named the EVP and CFO of the Comcast Corporation. He was formerly the Co-President, Co-Chief Operating Officer at The Carlyle Group.
Management, PR, Agencies
Agent Meredith Wechter, who recently left ICM Partners has moved to WME. She brings clients Josh Gad and Gal Gadot, Brittany Snow, Bryce Dallas Howard, Lucy Hale, Katharine McPhee, Abigail Spencer, Jeremy Strong and Seth Gabel.
Marketing firm Ignition Creative has hired Michael Brittain as a creative director. He will handle print advertising campaigns for films and TV shows. He formerly was Director of Print Design at FX Networks, where he worked on series such as Sons Of Anarchy, American Horror Story, Fargo and Louie.
WME has tapped Peter Schwartz and James Rubin to be music agents in their New York office. Both hailed from The Agency Group where Schwartz served as VP and head of urban music while Rubin headed up the International Division for Urban Touring and specialized in breaking artists in international markets. Their clients include Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Cypress Hill, Jordan Bratton, Method Man, Redman, Bronson, Vic Mensa, Ilovemakonnen, and many more.
Tara Levine is the new CMO at Deutsch New York. Levine previously served as the managing director of global marketing and business development at OMD and also worked at Euro RSCG and Arnold Worldwide. In her new post she will report to CEO Val DiFebo. Levine replaces Michael Goldberg, who became CEO at Zimmerman in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., last September.
Michael Wall has been tapped by independent ad agency Mother as their global CEO. He was previously the global CEO of Lowe and Partners. Mother was named the Creativity Agency of the Year in 2009. In his new post he will lead the company’s efforts to expand into more markets and sectors of growth.
Management company Grandview has promoted Zac Frognowski to manager. It marks the first internal promotion for the company since its start. Frognowski was previously at Fourth Floor Productions.
Music, Digital, Publishing, Misc.
Nathalie Moar is the new SVP and head of communications for Combs Enterprises. She was previously an executive at NKM Consultants in New York.
Richard Beckman has been named Chief Revenue Officer at Vice Media in New York in the first ever appointment for the position. He was an executive at Conde Nast for twenty years+ where he produced Fashion Rocks. After which he became CEO of Prometheus Global Media, publisher of The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard and Adweek and then left to form Three Lions Entertainment with billionaire investor Ron Burkle.
Cedric Foster is the new SVP of Brand Marketing, Digital & Fan Engagement Strategy at Spike TV upped from VP of Spike Digital.
Disney has upped Leslie Ferraro to President of Consumer Products up from EVP Global Marketing, Sales and Travel Operations for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. The 16-year company veteran will oversee the global operation that covers products ranging from toys and apparel to books and fine art through the company’s Licensing, Publishing and Disney Store businesses.
Steve King has been promoted to VP of U.S. Creative Services at Imagem, up from Senior Director.
Abbey Thomas has been promoted to SVP of Entertainment and Auto at Tremor Video, up from VP of Entertainment.
Tal Fiala is the new President of Illuminate. Fiala was previously SVP of Business Development at Modern VideoFilm.
Rick McKinney is the new VP, secondary post production at Deluxe AdServices. He was formerly VP at McCann Erickson.
Exec Shuffle For 5/15/15: IM Global Launches Valor Entertainment, New VR Studio Overture Plus Radiant and Cargo Partner UpAnother busy week in the Hollywood business world, with lots of company launches, partnerships, deals, hirings, and various other moves. Click on the link to get the full skinny. (SSN)
A Dozen Years After Their Last Movie Together, Owen Wilson and Jackie Chan Will Re-Team For ‘Shanghai Dawn’Duo’s first kung-fu western, Shanghai Noon came out in 2000, followed three years later by Shanghai Knights. Now, there is talk of taking the pair to the Middle East for the third installment, though no details are forthcoming. Series creators Miles Millar and Alfred Gough are apparently not in the frame, nor is there a director on board, but the project is being overseen for MGM by original producer Jonathan Glickman. (EMP) (HP) (VAR) (CS)
Fans Of the 2011 Cult Hit ‘Goon’ Will Get Some Good News Today, as the Sequel Is Finally Moving ForwardTitled Goon: Last of the Enforcers, the new film will once again star Seann William Scott as Doug “the Thug” Glatt. Jay Baruchel, who produced, co-wrote, and co-starred in the original Goon, will direct. The new film marks Baruchel’s feature directing debut, although he’s done TV (Trailer Park Boys) and short film (Edgar and Jane) before. (SF)
Nicole Holofcener Starts Down the Road To a New Movie, Snags Julianne Moore and Chris O’Dowd To StarThe Enough Said writer-director’s Can You Ever Forgive Me? is based on the memoir by Lee Israel, and tells her story about turning to counterfeiting letters of dead writers and celebrities, and selling them to make ends meet. No information yet on a shooting date, but Fox Searchlight is behind the project. (TP) (DH) (COL)
(BO) (CB) (VAR) (THR) (DH)
If At First You Don’t Succeed … Nicolas Cage and Paul Schrader Are Try, Trying To Make a Film Together AgainFollowing the well-publicized debacle that was The Dying of the Light, the actor and writer-director will re-team for the crime thriller, Dog Eat Dog, and this time, Schrader will have final cut of the project. Last year, controversy erupted after producers took Dying out of director Schrader’s hands, leading both him and Cage to disown the film. (VUL) (TP)
Netflix Said To Seek Route Into China With Wasu, as the Company Hopes To Be Global By the End Of Next YearThe online streaming giant is in talks with a Chinese media company backed by Jack Ma and other possible partners as it seeks entry into the country's $5.9 billion online video market. Netflix has held discussions with companies including Wasu Media Holding Co. about forming a partnership. (AA) (TV) (GITS)
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