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- 06/18/15--10:59: _Film Development fo...
- 06/18/15--13:59: _Emmy 2015: Supporti...
- 06/19/15--08:12: _Tom Hanks Is Clint ...
- 06/19/15--09:33: _Exec Shuffle for 6/...
- 06/19/15--13:58: _Emmy 2015: Variety ...
- 06/22/15--08:11: _‘Jurassic World’ Co...
- 06/22/15--13:45: _Emmy 2015: Writing ...
- 06/23/15--07:59: _Universal Sets a BO...
- 06/23/15--09:30: _TV Development for ...
- 06/23/15--13:51: _Emmy 2015: Reality ...
- 06/24/15--07:20: _Alicia Vikander Cho...
- 06/24/15--09:16: _Rep Moves for 6/24/...
- 06/24/15--13:37: _Emmy 2015: Limited ...
- 06/25/15--08:20: _Emma Watson Joins ‘...
- 06/25/15--12:28: _Film Development fo...
- 06/25/15--13:50: _Emmy 2015: Creative...
- 06/26/15--08:21: _AMC Studio’s Big Mo...
- 06/26/15--09:35: _Exec Shuffle for 6/...
- 06/26/15--14:16: _Emmy 2015: Predicti...
- 06/29/15--08:20: _Threepeat For ‘Jura...
MEG Logline: Carcharodon Megalodon, the 70 foot, 40 ton prehistoric cousin of the great white shark, rises from the abyss and threatens the California coastline. Studio/ Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures Production Company: Producers: Colin Wilson, Belle Avery Writer: Dean Georgaris Director: Eli Roth SSN Insight: The project has been around Hollywood for more than a decade going from Disney to New Line to Warner Bros. with various directors attached such as Jan De Bont and Eric Brevig. Murder on the Orient Express (Remake) Logline: While his train is stopped by deep snow, famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot is enlisted to solve the murder of a man who was killed in his car the night before. Studio/ Distributor: 20th Century Fox Production Company: Mark Gordon Company, Genre Films, Ridley Scott Films, Acorn Productions Producers: Mark R. Gordon, Simon Kinberg, Aditya Sood, Ridley Scott Writer: Michael Green Director: Kenneth Branagh Notes: Remake of Murder on the Orient Express (1974) directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall and Ingrid Bergman. The film was based on the book written by Agatha Christie and published by Collins in 1934. SSN Insight: Jennifer Todd was previously attached to produce. 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 Pictures Production Company: Lucasfilm, LTD Producers: Kathleen Kennedy, John Knoll, Tony To Writer: Chris Weitz Director: Gareth Edwards Cast: Forest Whitaker, Felicity Jones, Ben Mendelsohn, Riz Ahmed, Sam Clafin, Diego Luna Notes: Spinoff of the film Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope (1977). The story events of Rogue One occur chronologically between the final film of the prequel trilogy, Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005), and the first film in the original trilogy, but closer to A New Hope. SSN Insight: Shooting with both film, and digitally using the new Arri Alexa 65 camera, a large-format 6K resolution 65 mm camera. Tatiana Maslany, Rooney Mara, her sister Kate Mara, and Felicity Jones reportedly all tested for the female lead.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Part One) 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(s): Heyday Films, Wigram Productions, Bronte Film and Television Producer(s): David Heyman, Steve Kloves, Lionel Wigram, J.K. Rowling Writer(s): J.K. Rowling Director(s): David Yates Cast: Katherine Waterston, 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 first in a trilogy. Alfonso Cuaron had previously been mentioned to direct.
Gambit Logline: The adventures of the X-Men world¹s favorite mutant thief, Remy LeBeau, AKA Gambit. Studio: 20th Century Fox Production Companies: Free Association, Donners’ Company, Marvel Entertainment, Genre Films Producers: Lauren Shuler Donner, Channing Tatum, Reid Carolin, Simon Kinberg Writer: Josh Zetumer Director: Rupert Wyatt Cast: Channing Tatum SSN Insight: The project is a big priority at the studio and has a set release date for Oct. 7 2016.
Get Smurfy Logline: Smurfette and her brothers journey through the Enchanted Forest in search of a fabled Smurfs village before the evil Gargamel finds it. Studio: Sony Pictures Animation Production Companies: Kerner Picture Company Producers: Jordan Kerner Writer: Jay Scherick, David Ronn Director: Kelly Asbury Cast: Mandy Patinkin, Demi Lovato, Rainn Wilson SSN Insight: Get Smurfy will forgo the mixture of live-action and CGI and will instead be a pure CGI animation film. This decision was to reinvigorate and pay tribute to the original cartoon style popularized by "Smurfs" creator Peyo Culliford.
NEW PROJECTSGhost Army Logline: A squadron of creative WWII soldiers were tasked with fooling the enemy into believing the U.S. had troops where there were none, and succeeded by using a variety of tricks including inflatable tanks. Distributor/ Financier: Warner Bros. Pictures Production Companies: 22nd & Green, Mad Chance Productions Producers: Bradley Cooper, Todd Phillips, Andrew Lazar Writer: Henry Gayden Cast: Bradley Copper SSN Insight: The film is based on the true story featured in several properties. The studio has acquired the documentary "Ghost Army (USA/2013) directed by Rick Beyer; and the book "The Ghost Army Of World War II: How One Top-Secret Unit Deceived the Enemy with Inflatable Tanks, Sound Effects, and Other Audacious Fakery" written by Rick Beyer and Elizabeth Sayles. Maleficent Sequel Logline: Storyline under wraps. Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures Production Companies: Roth Films Producers: Joe Roth Writer: Linda Woolverton Cast: Angelina Jolie SSN Insight: Jolie is not officially attached to the sequel but the studio is keeping the star informed on the script and will hopefully get her to agree to star.
Primates of Park Avenue Logline: A woman’s observational memoir about the rich and powerful people who live in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Studio/ Distributor: MGM Studios Notes: Based on the novel "Primates of Park Avenue: A Memoir" written by Wednesday Martin and published by Simon & Schuster on June 2, 2015. SSN Insight: The best selling novel and the controversy on its accurate portrayal of wealthy New York housewives sparked a bidding war with multiple offers.
The Trap Logline: A best-selling novelist is haunted by a terrible event in her past – the day she discovered the body of her sister Anna and saw the killer’s face. Years later, Linda is still traumatized by the unsolved crime. One day while watching television, she sees the killer’s face again – and it belongs to a high profile journalist. She decides to set a trap and write a novel based on her sisters death and promote the novel through an interview with the journalist. Studio/ Distributor: TriStar Pictures Production Companies: The Cantillon Company, Immersive Pictures Producers: Elizabeth Cantillon, Josh Bratman Notes: Based on the book “The Trap” by Melanie Raabe SSN Insight: The book was a hot title at the London Book Fair and was originally published in German. Liberty Logline: A college student agrees to work for the CIA when they offer her the chance to work on the case of her journalist parents who were kidnapped during the civil war in Libya. Studio/ Distributor: Fox 2000 Pictures Production Companies: Temple Hill Entertainment Producers: Wyck Godfrey, Marty Bowen Writer: Andrea Portes, Joel Silverman Notes: Based on the novel "Liberty" written by Andrea Portes and to be published by HarperCollins. SSN Insight: The novelist and screenwriter are also adapting Anatomy of a Misfit at Paramount together.
Preconception Logline: A couple in their 30s make a pre-parenthood bucket list and cut loose before they get tied down with a baby Studio/ Distributor: CBS Films Production Companies: De Line Pictures Producers: Donald De Line Writer: Jake Morse, Scott Wolman Director: Ari Sandel SSN Insight: Sandel is the director of The Duff, which grossed $34 million domestic, with Lionsgate releasing. CBS Films was eager to make another movie with Sandel, who won the Oscar for his short film West Bank Story.
Last Witch Hunter Sequel Logline: The story of witch hunter Kaulder continues. Studio/ Distributor: Lionsgate Cast: Vin Diesel SSN Insight: Lionsgate apparently believes the film to be a franchise, as the first film isn’t set to release until October of this year.
Free Fall Logline: When a man joins his daughter on a mountain climb in an attempt to reconcile their estrangement, an accident leaves them stranded hundreds of feet in the air. And when a storm sets in, they must deal with the terrifying heights and fight the elements to survive. Studio/ Distributor: Universal Pictures Production Companies: Mad House, Michael De Luca Pictures, Blumhouse Productions Producers: Adam Kolbrenner, Jason Blum, Michael De Luca Writer: Sean Finegan, Gregg Parker SSN Insight: Universal, Mad House, Michael De Luca Productions and Blumhouse acquired the project on June 12, 2015
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR/ACTRESS — COMEDY/DRAMA
After Earning an Emmy Nomination For ‘Breaking Bad’, Jonathan Banks Got His Prequel On For ‘Better Call Saul’The actor has lived with Mike Ehrmantraut for over six years now. He memorably played the taciturn fixer for multiple seasons on Breaking Bad, earning an Emmy nom for his final run in 2012. But he never had a showcase quite like “Five-O” — the Saul installment in which Mike comes clean to his daughter-in-law (Kerry Condon) about the tragic truth behind his son’s death at the hands of corrupt cops, before breaking down in tears. (VAR) (NP) (AL) (VAR)
Film Development For 6/18/15: Demi Lovato To ‘Get Smurfy’, Eli Roth To Direct ‘Meg’, Forest Whitaker In For ‘Rogue One’Among the other new attachments to established projects are a director for Channing Tatum’s X-Men spinoff, the casting of JK Rowling’s new female lead, and a directing gig for Kenneth Branagh, while new projects include something for Bradley Cooper, something for Angelina Jolie, and something for Vin Diesel, as well as a few new book adaptations. Click the link for more. (SSN)
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Company Launches, Partnerships & Deals
Kevin Biegel, who’s known as the co-creator of Cougar Town, has signed a two-year overall deal with ABC Television Studios. Under the agreement, Biegel will develop new projects and be the consulting producer on new comedy at ABC family, The Real O’Neals.
Lionsgate TV has signed Good Wife writer Keith Eisner to an multi-year overall pact. He will join the EPIX series Graves as an EP while developing and producing new scripted programming.
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and Women In Film Los Angeles have signed a multi-year partnership dedicated to raising awareness about the lack of gender equality in the industry and celebrate the achievements of women who have succeeded in film. TCM will run the programming initiative over three weeks in October and will take a deeper look at gender inequality in the film industry, and will tackle pro-social elements (research, resources, tools, etc) to assist women filmmakers in furthering their careers.
Marc Webb has signed an exclusive two-year overall deal with CBS TV. His two pilots he directed and will EP, drama Limitless and comedy Crazy Ex-Girlfriend were picked up by CBS and CW respectively. Both will be produced by CBS TV Studios. He also will develop new projects for network and cable and direct pilots for the studio.
Elizabeth Banks and producing partner Max Handelman (the duo behind Pitch Perfect 2) have signed an exclusive overall producing deal with Warner Bros Television for their Brownstone Productions. Under the multi-year pact, the pair will develop and produce new series for the studio.
Jay and Mark Duplass have signed a two-year overall deal with HBO under their Duplass Brothers Television shingle. The duo already EP two series for HBO, Togetherness and Anmials. Stephanie Langhoff, the President of Duplass Brothers Productions, will also oversee Duplass Brothers Television.
Director-cinematographer Alik Sakharov has inked a first-look TV development deal with The Weinstein Company. Under the agreement, Sakharov will develop original ideas for television to both direct and produce. He will return to direct episodes of the TWC and Netflix series Marco Polo next season. Sakharov most recently directed episodes of Game Of Thrones. He was also the co-executive producer on Black Sails for Starz.
The IMAX China Film Fund has been set up with subsidiary IMAX China and partner China Media Capital to focus on investing in a minimum of 10 Mandarin-language tent-poles based on an initial capitalization of up to $50 million. The partnership with CMC will target investments of $3-7 million per local film.
Devil’s Due Entertainment and 1First Comics have combined to form Devil’s Due / 1First Comics LLC, a mini-major comics publishing company focused on creator-owned work. The merger combines each company’s comic libraries and business infrastructure, with implications for both the comics industry and film/television. The new company will release six original graphic novels and launch five new ongoing comic series in 2015 with the new imprint appearing on comics beginning in the fall.
Mucho Mas Media, a partnership between Pelican Point Media and Texican Media, has joined with Brillstein Entertainment Partners to co-produce feature films for the U.S. Latin demographic. The first projects are slated for production this year, will focus on high-concept comedies and thriller-horror films and faith-based films in the budget range of under $2.5 million.
Bona Film Group, China’s largest private film company, has partnered with state-backed Huaxia Film Distribution to co-produce and distribute around five films a year. Bona Film released their 26-picture slate at the Shanghai Film Festival to celebrate the company’s 15th anniversary.
Zachary Levi has launched a production company, Middle Man Productions focusing on developing and producing character-driven comedy and drama projects, to be based at Universal Television where he recently signed a first-look deal. Levi has already staffed his shingle, naming Erik Olsen as EVP and Justin Allen as VP. At Uni TV, Levi is producing the musical comedy project Tuned and will appear in the Heroes Reborn NBC limited series.
Chinese online giant Alibaba Group is launched a video streaming service akin to Netflix. It will be named Tmall Box Office (TBO) and stream in-house productions in addition to content from within China and imported from other countries.
TV creator Courtney Kemp Agboh has signed an overall deal with Starz. Under the deal she will continue to EP and be a showrunner on Starz’s Powers. The season premiere of the show set a new season premiere ratings record for Starz with 1.43 million Live + same day viewers and landed a season 3 renewal.
The Neighbors and Galavant creator Dan Fogelman has decided to sign with 20th Century Fox TV in a four-year overall deal amidst a competitive bidding war. He was previously at ABC Studios. Under the new pure development deal he will develop drama, live-action and animated comedy projects, producing, writing himself or supervising other writers.
The Carrie Diaries creator Amy B. Harris has inked a two-year overall deal with ABC Studios. She will be an EP/showrunner on ABC’s Wicked City and develop new projects for network, cable and streaming services. She is repped by CAA and attorney Karl Austen.
Michael Clear has signed on to head Atomic Monster, the James Wan shingle at New Line as part of Wan’s Conjuring 2 helming deal. Clear will supervise day-to-day operations and report directly to Wan. Their next projects include Aquaman and Robotech.
Fox has officially named James Murdoch the CEO to take effect July 1. As expected, Rupert Murdoch will be named Executive Co-Chairman along with his son Lachlan Murdoch. Chase Carey is shifting from President and COO to Executive Vice Chairman, to take effect on July 1 as well.
Paramount Pictures announced the appointment of former IMAX China manager Tara Yin to General Manager of its China office. Yin will oversee the distribution and marketing of Paramount films in China and work closely with China Film Group and other Chinese partners in this fast growing market.
STX Entertainment has hired longtime music exec Jason Markey as EVP and Head of Music and will oversee all aspects of the music for films including production of scores and soundtracks. He will source songs and develop original music for 12 to 15 movies a year. Prior to STX, he was the EVP Music & Soundtracks at Relativity Media for six years and also had worked at MCA Records and Arista Records.
Alexandra Loewy is the new SVP of Development at Di Bonaventura Pictures. She was previously SVP, Development and Production at Global Produce.
Tracy Falco has partnered with Lawrence Bender in his first look deal with Access Industries (AI Film) run by CEO Aviv Giladi. At Universal, Falco headed the development and production of Little Fockers, and Nancy Meyers’ It’s Complicated.
Marvel Studios has rehired Rob Steffens as CFO of the Disney-owned studio, taking over for Chris Acquaviva who has left the company. He will report to Marvel Chairman Isaac Permutter. Steffens was previously CFO in 2013 but had left to become CFO and COO of Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video. In addition, Mindy Hamilton has left Paramount to be Global Partnerships SVP at Marvel and will report to Steffens.
Previous Warp Films EP and BAFTA winner, Mary Burke has been named a senior production and development exec at the BFI Film Fund and will work closely with writers, directors and producers across development and production on British features.
Endemol Shine International, the global TV distribution arm of the Endemol Shine Group, has picked Simon Cox as Head of Acquisitions. Cox was previously an Investment Manager at Ingenious Media, where he was responsible for deals on such scripted productions as ITV’s The Frankenstein Chronicles and Channel 4’s Coalition.
Marina Dompke is the new Manager of Development at Valhalla Ent. She was previously a Coordinator of Drama Development & Programming, FOX Broadcasting Company.Adriana Padilla has been named a producer on CNN's Declassified. The eight part series will be hosted by former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers. Padilla was previously the Director of Production at Check Six that specialized in travel productions.
Maria Fischer is the new Director Network Program Publicity at Crown Media Family Networks. She was previously a Freelance Publicist at FerenComm. Chandler Hayes joins her there as Director of Network of Program Publicity as well. He was previously the Publicity Director at ABC Ent. Group.
Susana Voets has been named vice president of communications for BBC Worldwide Productions and Adjacent Productions, the production arms of BBC Worldwide North America. Voets most recently worked as a publicity and talent relations consultant.
Richard Gay is the new EVP of Strategy & Operations, BET Networks. He previously held the same position in Viacom’s music division.
Following Charlie Collier’s appointment to AMC President & General Manager Collier to President & General Manager of both AMC and SundanceTV he has similarily expanded his senior management team’s roles across both divisions. Jan Diedrichsen who was AMC’s SVP of Affiliate Marketing has been named Exec. Director of SundanceTV. Marnie Black was promoted to EVP of Public Relations for AMC and SundanceTV. Others expanding their roles at AMC to include SundanceTV include: Tom Halleen in Programming & Scheduling, Mac McKean in Digital Media, Melanie Schneider in Research, Linda Schupack in Marketing and Joel Stillerman in Original Programming.
Alexandra Heidrich is the new Head of TV Sales & Acquisitions, Global Screen, up from Sales & Acquisitions Manager.
Joelly Mejia is new Manager of Development at Pie Town Productions. Joelly was previously a Development Producer at Figure 8 Films.
ITV Studios’ Shiver has hired on Richard Hastings to the new role of Creative Director of Factual Entertainment, Formats and Daytime. He will develop and produce factual entertainment programming at Shiver, from returning formats to factual-led entertainment for UK and international broadcasters. Previously at the BBC, he created BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen, BBC Two’s The Hairy Bikers’ Cook Off and BBC Three’s Young Talent Of The Year. Chris Leanza has been promoted from VP to SVP Development & Programming at Timberman/Beverly Productions. Axel Boehm is the new SVP of International Sales at Sonar Ent. He was previously SVP of European Sales at Red Arrow Ent. in Munich. Patrick Phelan is the new VP of International Sales at Sonar. He was formerly a Senior Sales Manager at Tandem/StudioCanal.
Roberto Ruiz has been upped from SVP to EVP of Strategy & Insights at Univision Communications.
Universal TV has brought on Mike Clements as their new EVP Comedy Development and will report to Universal TV president Bela Bajaria. Also joining is Jim Donnelly as SVP Comedy Development who will report to Clements.
Entertainment One Television has hired TV industry veteran Pancho Mansfield as President of Global Scripted Programming. Based in eOne’s L.A. office, Mansfield will head the studio’s original scripted slate and leading scripted efforts worldwide and work closely with eOne Television leadership to manage development and production efforts across eOne’s territories, including: U.S. Scripted Development led by Gerard Bocaccio; and Global Production, led by Carrie Stein.
Julie Pernworth has been promoted to EVP, Comedy Development for CBS and will oversee development of new CBS comedy series and report to CBS Entertainment chairman Nina Tassler. She takes over for EVP Wendi Trilling who announced she would be leaving recently after her 20 year plus tenure. Pernworth has worked closely with Trilling while she was SVP to develop shows like The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men and How I Met Your Mother.
Lucid Road Productions (shingle of Breaking Bad alum Aaron Paul) has closed a first-look deal with Hulu sibling Universal Television. The company produces The Way, a Hulu drama series Paul will star and produce.
Management, PR, Agencies
David Lust, who was most recently a VP at Rogers & Cowan has joined Integrated PR’s core West Coast team. Maggi L. Simpson also joins him. She was previously an in-house publicist for companies including Sony and Paramount Pictures.
Former ICM Partners talent agent Nigel Meiojas has left for UTA. Clients include Robert Duvall, Alexander Ludwig, Lucas Black, Kevin Zegers, Virginia Gardner, Josh Stewart, and Alyssa Sutherland are expected to follow.
Abrams Artists Agency has upped Manal Hammad to Agent in the newly formed Literary Division in the Los Angeles office, and promoted David Doerrer to Agent and Director of Foreign Rights in the Book Division in New York.
Independent PR firm DKC has landed John Singh as VP in the entertainment division’s Los Angeles office. Singh was previously a DreamWorks Animation exec. He will report directly to Joe Quenqua, director of DKC’s entertainment practice. Also, Christine Sun, who managed national publicity at Lionsgate, joins the firm’s New York office entertainment division. DKC’s clients include The Dr. Oz Show, History, PBS, Marvel, Sirius Satellite Radio and Univision.
David Doerrer has been upped to Agent and Director of Foreign Rights at Abrams Artists, up from Coordinator. Likewise Manal Hammad has been promoted from Coordinator to Literary Agent.
Peter Letz has been named Collective Digital Studio’s new Director of Gaming Network. He was previously a Principal at Cousin Pete Productions & Management.
Christine Sun is now an Account Executive, Entertainment at DKC. She was previously a Manager of National Publicity at Lionsgate.
Jayme Yarow has been upped from assistant to literary agent at Innovative Artists.
Manage-ment has signed on Corinne Hayoun to run its New York based headquarters, manage clients and continue to produce theater. Hayoun spent eight years at CAA repping stage talentand is a producer of the Jim Parsons-starrer Broadway play An Act Of God.
Music, Digital, Publishing, Misc.
Annie Award winning animation veteran Eric Goldberg, with credits on Aladdin, Hercules and Fantasia/2000, has signed on with the faculty of the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Starting fall 2015, he will teach classes on the fundamentals of character animation as part of the John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts.
James Powell is the new Global Chief Technology Officer at Nielsen, he previously was the EVP, CTO at Thomson Reuters.
Domenic Venuto was named General Manager, AdFX, The Weather Company. He was formerly Global President, Data, Technology & Partnerships at VivaKi. Rhonda Bitterman has been named VP, Agency Partnerships & Development there. She was formerly the Sales Director at Pandora Radio.
Bryce Hunter has been named Senior Director, Strategy & Operations at Temple Street Media Ventures. He was previously Producer, Interactive at DHX Media.
Former EVP of Microsoft’s XBox Entertainment Studios, Jordan Levin has been hired by the NFL to be their first chief content officer, overseeing the league’s programming efforts. In his new role he will develop and implement content for the NFL Network and NFL Now online platforms and head the Super Bowl Halftime Show and work with other media partners that broadcast NFL games.
Teal Newland is the new SVP, Marketing & Partner Management, Condé Nast Entertainment. Previously Teal was VP Revenue, Marketing & Partnerships at StumbleUpon.
Dick Costolo is leaving Twitter where he held the post of CEO. Jack Dorsey, its chairman and co-founder, will take over as interim chief executive July 1 as Twitter looks for a permanent CEO. Meanwhile, Costolo will stay on Twitter’s board.
Erica Winograd has been named head of development at Vox Entertainment. She was previously Executive Director of Digital Content at FremantleMedia North America.
VARIETY TALK/VARIETY SKETCH(AL)
Getting Injured For Laughs Is Just Part Of the Program For the Casts Of ‘Portlandia' and ‘Broad City'Improv, anyone? Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer of Broad City sat down with Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein of Portlandia got together to discuss filming in New York City and Portland, how they got started in comedy, and their influences. (VAR) (VUL) (THR)
Exec Shuffle For 6/19/15: IMAX Sets Up China Film Fund, Elizabeth Banks Signs Deal With WB TV, and MoreSome big moves went through this week, including new exclusive deals for Marc Webb, the Duplass Brothers and other creators, as well as a new production shingle launched by Zachary Levi. There were also the usual amount of promotions and hirings, comings and goings, and if you want to get all the info, click on the link and read on. (SSN)
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There Are Apparently Some VERY Specific Guidelines About Who Peter Parker Can and Can’t Be On ScreenThe contract between Marvel and Sony lists strict "mandatory character traits" for Spider-Man, whether it's Peter Parker or an alternative Spider-Man character, but is more specific with its requirements for Peter Parker specifically, the character/alter ego who's most associated with the Spider-Man costume. For instance, Peter Parker (but not necessarily Spider-Man) is Caucasian and heterosexual. (NSA)
There Are Definitely Hurdles To Another ‘Hulk’ Movie, but They Are Not Necessarily What You Might ThinkMuch has been made in the last two months of actor Mark Ruffalo’s comments about the future of the Marvel superhero Hulk on the big screen. In an interview, he said that the rights to a standalone Hulk movie are owned by Universal. Ever since, fans and media outlets have been speculating about Marvel not owning the rights to the Hulk on film, and there’s been a lot of guesswork about what precisely Ruffalo was referring to. (FC) (TOH) (SM)
On Breaking Out From ‘Breaking Bad’: Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould and Bob Odenkirk On Their Breakout Hit ShowThe kind of gumption that Gilligan has is the kind of gumption that wins you the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series two years in a row, as AMC’s Breaking Bad did in 2013 and 2014. It’s also the kind of mojo that conjures up a series like Better Call Saul from one of Bad’s most magnetic characters without missing a step, putting you in the running once again. (AL) (THR)
A-List Writers From 'Silicon Valley,' 'Transparent' on Embarrassing Scenes Stolen From Real Life, "Crushing Blow" of a Writers-Room FiringYou really can't blame a comedy showrunner — on whose shoulders a show's successes and failures squarely sit — for being totally exhausted. A sextet of Emmy-contending showrunnners reveal their most panicked moments on set, why making a movie can help you sell a TV show, why they no longer loathe network notes and what they'll do the day their hit shows are done for good. Says one (obviously): "Sleep!" (HRTV)
On the Set For 6/22/15: Spielberg Wraps ‘The BFG’, While ‘TMNT’ Sequel Wraps, Too, and Woody Harrelson Starts ‘Wilson’Among the other projects that started up in the last week are Gore Verbinski’s new flick, Jay Baruchel’s directorial debut, James Schamus’ Indignation and Mario Van Peebles’ film about the U.S.S. Indianaplois, while Ang Lee wraps Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk and Nate Parker finishes The Birth of a Nation. There are other projects as well, so click the link to get all the info. (SSN)
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Hellevator Network: GSN Studio: Lionsgate TV Production Company(s): Blumhouse Productions, Matador Executive Producer(s): Jason Blum, Jay Peterson, Todd Lubin Logline: A team of three friends rides a haunted elevator into various levels of an abandoned warehouse. One player must get out on each floor and conquer a frightening challenge in order to earn money (up to $50,000) for the team. But if they don’t make it back in time, the elevator moves on without them. SSN Insight: GSN gave a series order of eight episodes and has scheduled the premiere of this horror-themed game show for later this year. The show will feature Jen and Sylvia Soska, aka the “Twisted Twins”.
Doubt Network: CBS Entertainment Studio: CBS Television Studios Production Company(s): Timberman/Beverly Productions Executive Producer(s): Tony Phelan, Joan Rater, Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly Writer(s): Tony Phelan, Joan Rater Logline: A smart, successful thirty-something defense attorney shockingly falls for one of her clients who may or may not be guilty of a brutal crime. While she continues to try a variety of cases at her firm, she pursues her lover’s defense as this relationship reverberates throughout her previously well-constructed life. SSN Insight: CBS gave an initial commitment of a put pilot in October and ordered the pilot in January. This week, news hit that a new pilot might be shot after a recast of the series’ leads, KaDee Strickland and Teddy Sears.
Marcella Network: ITV 1 Production Company(s): Buccaneer Media Executive Producer(s): Hans Rosenfeldt, Nicola Larder, Tony Wood Writer(s): Hans Rosenfeldt Logline: Set in contemporary London, a detective in her late 30s returns to the Metropolitan Police’s Murder Squad after a 12-year career break to start a family. With the abrupt end to her marriage and isolated from her daughter at boarding school, Marcella returns to work while attempting to make sense of what’s happened in her life. She is immediately assigned to investigate a spate of recent killings which bear the hallmarks of unsolved murders committed over a decade prior, a case on which she first worked in 2003. Has the killer reappeared or is a copycat murderer responsible for these recent deaths? SSN Insight: ITV has given a series order of eight episodes as of June 18. Shooting will start in London this fall. Hans Rosenfeldt created the original Danish-Swedish series Bron/Broen, aka The Bridge which was redeveloped as a U.S. series.
Lady Dynamite Network: Netflix Production Company(s): Hurwitz Company Executive Producer(s): Maria Bamford, Pam Brady, Mitchell Hurwitz Writer(s): Maria Bamford Logline: A comedy series based on the life of comedian Maria Bamford. Details: Based on the life of comedian Maria Bamford. SSN Insight: Netflix gave a series order of 13 episodes as of June 19. Brady will serve as the showrunner. Bamford created and starred in the web series The Maria Bamford Show which originally aired on TBS networks' now retired Super Deluxe website. She also created and starred in the Maria Bamford: the special special special, available on Netflix.
Son of Zahn Network: Fox Broadcasting Company Studio: 20th Century Fox Television Production Company(s): Lord Miller Executive Producer(s): Reed Agnew, Eli Jorne, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Seth Cohen Writer(s): Reed Agnew, Eli Jorne Logline: Upon arriving home for the first time in ten years, an animated Barbarian father finds that reconnecting with his moody, live-action teenage son Alan and ex-wife while suffering a mundane office job and the banality of suburban life is harder than waging actual war in his distant, animated world. SSN Insight: Fox has given an initial commitment of a pilot presentation for the live action/animated hybrid project. The 10 minute presentation is slated to shoot in summer which Eric Appel (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) will direct and co-executive produce. Johnny Pemberton, who had a supporting in their 21 Jump Street movie franchise, will star.
Tennison Network: ITV 1 Production Company(s): Noho Film and TV, La Plante Global Executive Producer(s): Lynda La Plante, Robert Wulff-Cochrane, Camilla Campbell Writer(s): Lynda La Plante Logline: The series portrays the young Jane Tennison beginning her career and reveals why she became such a complex and formidable character in London’s police force. It’s set in East London in the 1970s, when women police officers are being uneasily "integrated" into the force. Starting as an officer on the beat, she is thrown in at the deep end, drawn into a brutal murder inquiry, and experiences first hand London’s violent criminal ganglands. Details: This series is a prequel to the various series and miniseries incarnations of "Prime Suspect," which premiered in 1992 with "Prime Suspect" and concluded with 2006's "Prime Suspect: The Final Act." The prequel is an adaptation of the novel, "Tennison," written by Lynda La Plante and to be published by Simon & Schuster in September 24, 2015. SSN Insight: ITV has given a series order of six episodes as of June 18. The original “Prime Suspect” series that Helen Mirren starred in, garnered a Peabody, won three Emmys for Outstanding Mini and multiple BAFTA awards.
The Durrells Network: ITV 1 Production Company(s): Sid Gentle Films Executive Producer(s): Simon Nye, Sally Woodward Gentle, Lee Morris Writer(s): Simon Nye Logline: The story focuses upon Louisa Durrell whose life is in meltdown. Widowed years ago and running out of money, Louise has four unruly children to look after: Larry, Leslie, Margo and Gerry, all going off the rails in their own way. Gerry, 11, is about to be thrown out of school; Larry is a would-be novelist but the worst real estate agent in Bournemouth, and the middle two are hitting adulthood like a car-crash. It is the 1930s, and a woman’s options are limited. So Louisa decides to take them all to the untamed paradise that is Corfu. Details: Based on the Corfu memoir trilogy, "My Family and Other Animals" (1956), "Birds, Beasts and Relatives" (1969) and "The Garden of the Gods" (1978), written by Gerald Durrell. SSN Insight: ITV has given a series order of six episodes as of June 18. Filming is slated to take place in Corfu in September this year. Sid Gentle’s production banner is on a role having set up “SS:GB” at the BBC with James Bond screenwriters Neil Purvis and Robert Wade to pen the series.
The Ranch Network: Netflix Executive Producer(s): Don Reo, James Patterson Writer(s): Don Reo, James Patterson Logline: Two brothers reunite after one returns from a brief semi-pro football career to run the family ranch in Colorado. SSN Insight: Netflix gave a straight to series order on June 17. Netflix ordered 20 episodes and it’s rumored the network will release the series ten episodes at a time in 2016. It’s the second original, multi-camera comedy pick-up for Netflix after the order for “Fuller House”. As Ashton Kutcher will star, it reunites him with his “Two and a Half Men” co-showrunners, Reo and Patterson.
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Meanwhile, ‘The Amazing Race’ Has Won a Bunch Of Emmys, and Host Phil Keoghan Is Hoping For One MoreTen times now the show has won the prize for Best Reality—Competition Program, and this year, the show is submitting the fifth episode from Season 25. During a chat with Gold Derby, Keoghan discusses the show’s success and teases the upcoming season. (GD)
Mark Burnett, Julie Chen, Nigel Lythgoe and Reality A-List on Racist Contestants, Caitlyn Jenner and the Wrath of Leslie MoonvesIn a roundtable discussion, six top reality TV talents — also including Cat Deeley, Bertram van Munster and Craig Piligian — open up about how they've coped with national tragedies during filming, the craziest moments that didn't make it to air, the Duggar family controversy and their unpredictable contestants. (THR)
TV Development For 6/23/15: Jason Blum’s ‘Hellevator’ Greenly By GSN, Lord & Miller Series ‘Son Of Zahn’ To Be Presented To FoxMeanwhile, CBS is giving Doubt another shot, but with new leads, comedian Maria Bamford gets a new sitcom on Netflix, Britain’s ITV 1 is doing a Prime Suspect prequel, as well as more for both the British network and Netflix. Read all about it by clicking on the link. (SSN)
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Fresh Off a Brand New Deal With 20th Century TV and His Nixon Movie Selling, Kevin Spacey’s Got a New White House Drama ComingSpacey and partner Dana Brunetti's Trigger Street shingle just signed a two-year deal with 20th TV and Fox 21 Television Studios, with the first project being The Resident. Show follows the relationships between White House residence staffers and the various First Families that come into the famous address over the course of several administrations. And, in her first scripted effort, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly is on board as a co-executive producer. (TLF) (EMP) (TC) (CS) (GITS)
CAA: Filmmaking duo Jim Rash and Nat Faxon have signed with CAA. They were previously with CAA prior to their move to WME. They won an Oscar beside Alexander Payne for their script, The Descendants. They also wrote and directed the Sundance hit, The Way, Way Back and next up is The Birches at Fox Searchlight with Payne set to produce. They also are producing/directing/writing The Heart with Kristen Wiig and Sam Rockwell attached. Meanwhile, the pair’s production company, B Story, is under a two-year overall deal at Sony Pictures Television.
PMK•BNC: The agency has signed Emmy Award-winning songwriter/composer, Christopher Jackson. Jackson recently starred Off Broadway as George Washington in the award winning musical, Hamilton, which begins previews in July and opens on Broadway in August. Chris’s Broadway credits are extensive and include Holler if Ya Hear Me, After Midnight, Bronx Bombers, In The Heights, Memphis and The Lion King.
WME: The agency has snagged Dax Shepard who was previously at CAA. Shepard’s on board to direct and star in the feature version of CHiPs at Warner Bros. set to start shooting in fall. He previously directed Brother’s Justice in 2010 and Hit And Run in 2012. On the TV side he starred in the recently ended Parenthood and appeared on It’s Always Sunny, Comedy Bang! Bang! and Parks and Recreation in 2015.
Paradigm: The agency has signed on writer Karen McCullah. She is best known for her screenplay credits on 10 Things I Hate About You, Legally Blonde and Ella Enchanted. In 2013 she wrote and produced Crazy Kind of Love starring Virginia Madsen. Currently on her docent is Expendabelles, the female centric version of The Expendables Sylvester Stallone is producing and While We’re Young with Emma Watson attached. On the TV side she sold a pilot to USA called Love the One You’re With. She will continue to be managed by Jaret Entertainment and Attorney Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern.
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Rep Moves For 6/24/15: Jim Rash and Nat Faxon Get Snagged By CAA, Dax Shepard Moves To WME, and MoreIt was a light week for the various comings and goings of the Hollywood folk from one agency to the next, but there were some big names involved, including the three above, a well-known writer of romantic comedies and an Emmy-winning songwriter/composer. Click on the link to find out all the info. (SSN)
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Just When You Thought You Might Finally Be Soon Getting an ‘Uncharted’ Movie Adaptation, There Is More Bad NewsThe long-gestating project has gone through a series of directors and potential stars, but progress seemed to be taking hold when Seth Gordon became attached last year. But now, with the regime change at parent studio Sony and “a new creative direction” desired, Gordon too has left the film. Based on the popular video game, the film has always been envisioned in the vein of an Indiana Jones-type adventure flick. (COL)
USA Network Had So Much Confidence In ‘Mr. Robot’, It Renewed the Show For a Second Season Before Last Night’s PremiereThe series, which is created by Sam Esmail, follows a young programmer named Elliot (Rami Malek) who spends his days as a cyber-security engineer and his nights as a vigilante hacker. Christian Slater also stars as a mysterious leader of the cyber-underground community that recruits Elliot. The second season will include a minimum of 10 episodes and will air in 2016. (VAR) (CB) (SAA) (DH) (TVL) (THR) (SM)
The Circle Logline: A young female tech worker takes a job at a powerful Internet corporation, quickly rises up the company's ranks, and soon finds herself in a perilous situation that involves privacy, surveillance, and freedom - and her decisions and actions will determine the future of humanity. Financier: Image Nation Production Company: Playtone, Parkes+MacDonald Image Nation, Likely Story Producers: Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman, Walter F. Parkes, Laurie MacDonald, Anthony Bregman, James Ponsoldt Writer: James Ponsoldt Director: James Ponsoldt Cast: Emma Watson, Tom Hanks Notes: Based on the novel "The Circle" writte by Dave Eggers and published by McSweeney's in October, 2013. SSN Insight: Alicia Vikander was previously attached to co-star.
In The Deep Logline: A young woman who has recently lost her mother is surfing in an isolated area when she gets stranded on a buoy, and a gigantic great white shark is between her and the shore. Studio/ Distributor: Columbia Pictures Production Company: Weimaraner Republic Pictures (WRPCO) Producers: Lynn Harris, Matti Leshem Writer: Anthony Jaswinski Director: Jaume Collet-Serra (in discussions) SSN Insight: Columbia Pictures won the active bidding battle set at high-six figures for the spec script by Tony Jaswinski. Screenplay was included in the 2014 Hit List. Louis Leterrier was previously attached to direct.
Looking for Alaska Logline: Based on the novel about Miles “Pudge” Halter, who leaves his boring life behind and heads off to the Culver Creek Boarding School. There he finds adventure with his new friend Alaska Young, a funny, sexy and self-destructive catalyst for a life change in a daring new direction. Studio/ Distributor: Paramount Pictures Production Companies: Watermark Pictures, Temple Hill Entertainment Producers: Mark Waters, Jessica Tuchinsky, Wyck Godfrey, Marty Bowen Writers: Scott Neustadter, Michael H Weber, Sarah Polley Director: Rebecca Thomas (in negotiations) Notes: Based on the novel "Looking for Alaska" written by John Green published by Dutton March 3, 2005. SSN Insight: Josh Schwartz previously wrote an adaptation and was attached to direct. The Nightingale Logline: Two French sisters who live in France are followed throughout WWII. One becomes a prisoner in her own home and the other fights for the resistance. Studio/ Distributor: TriStar Productions Production Company: The Cantillion Company Producers: Elizabeth Cantillion Writer: Ann Peacock Notes: Based on the novel "The Nightingale" written by Kristin Hannah and published by St. Martin's Press on February 3, 2015. SSN Insight: “The Nightingale” spent almost 20 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list and Peacock’s attachment gives the novel an experienced writer in family dramas. Spider-Man Reboot Logline: Storyline is under wraps, but involves a teenage Peter Parker. Studio/ Distributor: Columbia Pictures, Marvel Entertainment Production Company: Marvel Entertainment, Pascal Pictures Producers: Kevin Feige, Amy Pascal Director: Jon Watts Cast: Tom Holland SSN Insight: Tom Holland (The Impossible) beat out other possible names such as Nat Wolff, Asa Butterfield, Timothee Chalamet and Liam James.
Unforgettable Logline: A woman settling into a new marriage and life as a mom must contend with her husband’s ex, who is seemingly trying to gaslight her. Studio/Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures Production Company: Di Novi Pictures Producers: Denise Di Novi, Alison Greenspan Writer: Christina Hodson Director: Denise Di Novi SSN Insight: Kerry Washington and Kate Hudson were previously attached to co-star and Amma Asante was previously attached to direct. This is producer Di Novi’s directorial debut.
Miracles From Heaven Logline: The true story of a young girl suffering from a rare digestive disorder has a near-death experience, visits heaven and returns to life, healed of her crippling condition. Studio: Columbia Pictures Production Companies: Franklin Entertainment, Roth Films, TDJ Enterprises Producers: Joe Roth, DeVon Franklin, T.D. Jakes Writer: Randy Brown Director: Patricia Riggen Cast: Queen Latifah, Jennifer Garner, Martin Henderson Notes: Based on the memoir "Three Miracles From Heaven: A Sick Little Girl, Her Journey to Heaven, and the Lives Forever Changed," written by Christy Beam and to be published by Hachette in spring 2015. SSN Insight: Film is seen as a follow up to Heaven Is For Real, the faith-based film that earned more than $100 million worldwide. Miracles is set to release on March 18, 2016.
Untitled Sully Sullenberger Project Logline: The story of Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, the airline pilot who safely landed U.S. Airways flight 1549 on the frozen Hudson River in 2009. Studio: Warner Bros. Studios Production Companies: Kennedy/ Marshall Company, Flashlight Films, Malpaso Productions Producers: Frank Marshall, Allyn Stewart, Clint Eastwood, TimMoore Writer: Todd Komarnicki Director: Clint Eastwood Cast: Tom Hanks Notes: Based on the book "Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters" written by Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger with Jeffrey Zaslow and published by William Morrow on October 13, 2009 Napkin Notes Logline: Garth Callaghan puts a note on a napkin in his daughter’s lunch each day, and the practice takes on additional meaning when he is diagnosed with cancer. Studio/ Distributor: New Line Cinema Production Companies: Pacific Standard Producers: Reese Witherspoon, Bruna Papandrea Writer: Mike Binder Notes: Based on the memoir "Napkin Notes: Make Lunch Meaningful, Life Will Follow" written by Garth Callaghan and to be published by HarperCollins on October 28, 2014. SSN Insight: Witherspoon and Papandea formed Pacific Standard in 2012 to produce more movies with female protagonists, such as Wild, Gone Girl and Hot Pursuit.
Girl’s Trip Logline: Storyline is under wraps. Studio/ Distributor: Universal Pictures Production Companies: Will Packer Productions Producers: William Packer Writers: Kenya Barris, Tracy Oliver Director: Malcolm D. Lee SSN Insight: The Black-ish creator, Barris, and Oliver also wrote the in production film, Barbershop 3.
NEW PROJECTSShadows Logline: Storyline under wraps. Distributor/ Financier: 20th Century Fox Production Companies: Underground, Bottle Cap Productions Producers: Carlos Saldanha, Trevor Engelson, Josh Turner McGuire, Maresa Pullman Writer: Jason Micallef Director: Carlos Saldanha SSN Insight: This is Carlos Saldanha's live-action debut. Film is the first installment of a planned trilogy. Untitled Charles Darwin Project Logline: The storyline of this film about the English naturalist and geologist Charles Darwin is under wraps. Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures Writer: Stephen Gaghan Director: Stephen Gaghan SSN Insight: Project was acquired by the studio as a pitch that Gaghan is intended to write and direct.
Rampage Logline: The film is based on the popular 1980s arcade game in which players take control of huge monsters who are trying to survive against attacks by the military. Studio/ Distributor: New Line Cinema Production Companies: Flynn Picture Co, Rickard Pictures Producers: Beau Flynn Writer: Ryan Engle Cast: Dwayne Johnson Notes: Based on the video arcade game "Rampage" introduced by Bally Midway in 1986. SSN Insight: Project reteams Johnson, New Line and Beau Flynn who also made the recent San Andreas.
Chasing Phil Logline: Two young FBI agents infiltrate the world of a charismatic mastermind behind dozens of multi-million dollar schemes. Studio/ Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures Production Companies: Team Downey Producers: Robert Downey Jr. Susan Downey, David Gambino Cast: Robert Downey Jr. Notes: Based on the book proposal "Chasing Phil: The World’s Greatest Con Man, Two Undercover FBI Agents, and Their Amazing Around the World Adventure" written by David Howard. SSN Insight: In addition to the book rights, Warner Bros. also acquired the life rights for FBI Agents Jim Wedick and Jack Brennan.
Move That Body Logline: Storyline of the female-driven film is under wraps, but is described as being a cross between The Hangover and Weekend at Bernie’s. Studio/ Distributor: Columbia Pictures Production Companies: Paulilu, Matt Tolmach Productions, 3 Arts Entertainment Producers: Lucia Aniello, Paul W Downs, Matt Tolmach, Dave Becky Writer: Lucia Aniello, Paul W Downs Director: Lucia Aniello Cast: Paul W Downs SSN Insight: Sony won a heated bidding battle on June 19, 2015 and closed a deal for the untitled R-rated comedy spec script.
Shoot Like A Girl Logline: Air Force pilot Mary Jennings Hegar serves three tours in Afghanistan, saving hundreds of lives. Studio/ Distributor: TriStar Productions Production Companies: Gotham/ Principal Producers: Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Shari Smiley Notes: Based on the memoir "Shoot Like a Girl: How One Woman’s War Against the Taliban Led to Her Victory Over the Department of Defense" written by Mary Jennings Hegar; to be published by Berkley Caliber in 2016.
F, Marry, Kill Logline: Storyline under wraps. Studio/ Distributor: Columbia Pictures Production Companies: Laurence Mark Productions, Olive Bridge Entertainment Producers: Laurence Mark, Will Gluck, David Blackman, Jodi Hildebrand Writers: Neel Shah, Alex Blagg Director: Eric Appel SSN Insight: In addition to this project, Laurence Mark also has a remake of Flatliners, Spinning Gold, The Greatest Showman on Earth and Other People's Love Letters in active development.
Imagine Agents Logline: The organization called I.M.A.G.I.N.E. handles cases of children’s imaginary friends when they get out of control and a 20-year-veteran is followed when his day turns into something other than routine. Studio/ Distributor: 20th Century Fox Production Companies: Anonymous Content, Boom! Studios Producers: Michael Keaton, Ross Richie, Michael Sugar Cast: Michael Keaton Notes: Based on the comic book "Imagine Agents" written by Brian Joines, illustrated by Bachan and first published by Boom! In October, 2013. SSN Insight: BOOM! also has Lumberjanes set up at Fox with Will Widger (The Munchkin) writing.
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AMC Continues Its Buying Spree, Gives Full Series Order to Drama ‘Broke’ From Clyde Phillips, Lionsgate TVAMC Studios and Lionsgate, where Phillips is under an overall deal, will co-produce. The project, which Phillips will executive produce, has received a 10-episode order for a 2016 premiere. Broke joins three other straight-to-series orders handed by AMC in the past year or so, Into the Badlands, Humans and The Night Manager, as well as three drama scripts (Goliath, The Son, and Lodge 49) to develop with an eye toward straight-to-series orders. (DH) (WAH)
NBC Doesn’t Believe In ‘Hannibal’, but Does Believe In ‘Aquarius’, Gives David Duchovny Show a Second SeasonJust a couple days after announcing it would not bring back the bloody thriller that stars Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy, the Peacock network announced it will be bringing back the 60s period drama, starring Duchovny as a cop, that follows a fictionalized investigation into Charles Manson before the infamous Manson Murders. The second season is expected to be 13 episodes and premiere in 2016. (COL) (YT)
AMC Spins Off Studio Division Into Separate Entity, Names Rick Olshansky and Stefan Reinhardt as Co-HeadsBroadening the studio’s role comes as AMC Networks wants to own more of the scripted content its networks use and work more diligently to monetize them in international markets. Both executives will report to Charlie Collier, President of AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios. Olshansky, head of business affairs of AMC, is based in Los Angeles and Reinhardt, senior vice president of finance and studio operations for AMC Networks, is based in New York. (VAR) (TP) (TLF) (SF) (SAA) (EMP) (CB)
As Hulu Is Finally Starting To Stream Episodes Of ‘Seinfeld’, Herein Is an Exhaustive Ranking Of All 168 EpisodesAt long last, you can clear all those syndicated Seinfeld episodes off your DVR. Following years of speculation about when and where the historic sitcom would arrive online, Wednesday it finally became available. But with 168 episodes (so discerned as such by considering all two-part and hour-long episodes as single entries) in the Seinfeld archive, it's understandable if you're intimidated by the the idea of entering the vault without a guide. (VUL) (FB) (GITS)
Company Launches, Partnerships & Deals
Peter Chernin has inked a two-year overall deal for his Chernin Television at NBCUniversal to develop and produce projects for NBC through Universal Television. Under the deal Chernin has the option to produce independently through cable and digital/streaming platforms. In concurrence, Jenno Topping has been upped to President of Film and Television.
Access Hollywood’s longtime co-anchor Shaun Robinson has left the show and inked a development deal with NBCUniversal Domestic TV Distribution to develop and/or produce scripted and unscripted TV projects across all platforms via her RobinHood Prods banner.
Huffington Post will launch HuffPost 24 later this year, a news network to be available through the website and apps. It will feature live programming, short-form video, original series, creator partners from YouTube and documentaries. They will also have corresponding film and television divisions that will produce content for HuffPost 24. The new initiatives will be overseen by video General Manager Nathan Brown.
ITV has acquired Boom Supervisory Limited, the holding company of Brit TV production banner Twofour Group. The group contains Twofour, Indus Films and Boomerang, which combined with their other production companies, have produced over 1,200 hours of programs. The company also owns Twofour Rights, and in-house distribution arm.
Liberty Global, the largest cable company in the world at 27 million customers, is in talks to acquire Ireland’s TV3, valued at $110 million in a bid to diversify their offerings.
Mr. Robot Showrunner Sam Esmail has inked a seven-figure overall deal with Universal Cable Prods. He will continue as EP/showrunner on the USA series while also developing and producing scripted programming via UCP with Anonymous Content to executive produce projects for NBCUniversal’s networks and other external channels.
Transparent series creator Jill Soloway has inked an overall deal with Amazon Studios to exclusively develop television projects for Amazon Prime through Soloway’s production company with partner Andrea Sperling. This comes on the heels of Amazon’s renewal of Transparent. With the deal, Sperling has been upped from co-EP to EP.
Writer Paul Downs Colaizzo has inked a two year overall deal with CBS TV Studios. The studio ordered his pilot LFE this past season. Under the deal, Colaizzo will create projects for broadcast and cable. He is repped by ICM Partners.
Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti’s Trigger Street have signed a two year first look deal with Fox 21. The studio recently acquired the rights to the book The Residence for a cable drama to be produced by Trigger Street. The deal was negotiated for Trigger Street through Hansen Jacobson and CAA.
Veteran SVP for Fox David Hill is leaving and will form his own production company to be backed by 21st Century Fox. The move coincides with Rupert Murdoch’s departure from Fox who he worked closely with.
Entertainment One (eOne) and Creative England are partnering on a new TV venture to develop, finance and produce drama content intended for global consumption leveraging regional UK producers and creators. Creative England has invested over $22m into the UK creative industries across media and content platforms.
Its official, Verizon has acquired AOL in a $4.4 billion purchase agreement. CEO Tim Armstrong will continue to oversee his former company’s properties, reporting to Verizon Product Innovation and New Businesses President Mami Walden. Verizon Digital Media Services President Bob Toohey will report to Armstrong.
Brian Kavanaugh-Jones’ Automatik has inked a first look deal with Studio 8. Kavanaugh was behind Insidious: Chapter 3 and Autobahn with Nicholas Hoult and Felicity Jones. This is Studio 8’s third first-look deal after LBI and previous BFI Film Fund chief Tanya Seghatchian. Studio 8 has secured $1 billion in financing, funded in partnership with Chinese investment management firm Fosun Group and Sony Pictures, which will distribute up to six films worldwide annually.
Duplass Brothers Productions, hot off their exclusive two-year deal at HBO, where they have two series, have inked another deal, this time with indie film distributor The Orchard to handle worldwide theatrical and other rights to a slate of seven upcoming feature films produced by the duo. The films will be a part of the exclusive SVOD deal the Duplasses inked with Netflix in which the streaming service will finance four movies that will have limited theatrical releases before offered to Netflix subscribers.
EuropaCorp has snagged development executive Chris Coggins as their new VP Production and Development at EuropaCorp USA. She was previously at Rock Paper Scissors Entertainment, where she served as Head of Development and helped lead the company’s new-media projects for the Oscars, HBO and Amazon.
Shutterstock is partnering with Penske Media Corporation to create and license images and videos of events in entertainment and fashion. The alliance will join Shuttershock’s extensive stock-image tech with PMC’s photography from its events through their brands like Variety, WWD and Deadline.
The Nielsen Co. has hired banker Jordan Edmiston to analyze a possible sale of its National Research Group, Inc., one of the largest companies in entertainment which provides market research to film studios.
Matt Kaplan has been tapped to be the President for Awesomeness Films and will oversee building the company’s film division. He was previously the SVP of Development and Production at Lionsgate. Awesomeness Films is on track to release 12-15 films for theatrical and digital film distribution focused on YA material and is in production on the film Shovel Buddies starring Bella Thorne. Robyn Marshall has been hired as a Film Executive there. She was previously the EVP of Development and Production at Chapter One Films. Max Siemers has likewise been tapped as a Film Executive. He was previously VP of Development and Production at Chapter One Films as well.
Ron Massucci has been named VP of Human Resources at Broad Green Pictures. He was previously the manager of HR at Sony Pictures.
Lionsgate senior executive Tim Palen has been upped to Chief Brand Officer and President of Worldwide Marketing, handling a team of 40 employees across multiple divisions and will be responsible for developing, extending and marketing the company’s individual brands, franchises and corporate branding initiatives. He will report to Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer and will continue to report to Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-Chairs Patrick Wachsberger and Rob Friedman. Marketing and Research SVP Jean McDowell will oversee marketing and distribution to be handled by Adam Sorensen, who currently manages Western Sales.
Sahar Moridani has been upped from assistant to Associate Executive Director at the DGA.
Former COO of Warp Films, Alex Marshall, has been hired as chief operating officer of Archery Pictures, the film and TV shingle under producer Kris Thykier and previous Scott Free UK head Liza Marshall.
Fox Searchlight has hired Katie Goodson-Thomas as director of productions and acquisitions of its UK operations. She was previously at film financier Ingenious. In her new role she will report to Fox Searchlight Pictures president of production Claudia Lewis.
Bold Films has tapped Karen Barna as their SVP of Business and Legal Affairs. She was previously at Summit for a decade. They’ve also upped Pili Allen to Manager of Marketing and Kate Ritter to CE. Barna will report to Bold CEO Gary Michael Walters. Allen was previously at WME and Ritter was formerly at Mandalay Pictures.
Former Chernin TV President Katherine Pope has been picked up to run Studio 8’s newly launched TV division. Studio 8 does have a deal with Sony on the film side, but not on the TV side. In her new role Pope will handle Studio 8’s TV development slate of comedy and drama projects for network and cable.
Entertainment One (eOne) is expanding its Alternative TV Programming Division through a series of executive appointments. Seasoned unscripted producer Mark Herwick has been appointed as Head of Current, U.S. Alternative Programming for the company. Ben Megargel joins the division as Senior Director of Development; Jesse Daniels has been hired to the role of Director of Development; and Elliot Schwartz has been promoted to the title of Manager of Development. Megargel, Daniels and Schwartz will collaborate with the VPs of Development to strategically increase the breadth eOne’s existing slate of unscripted series.
OWN has upped Maitee Cureva to SVP Programming and Development from her previous role as VP. She’s been at the company since 2010. In her new role she will handle programming and development for the network’s Saturday night programming as well as other content development initiatives.
Turner Broadcasting System has upped Rachelle Savoia to VP of communications. Savoia will oversee Turner Content Distribution, the unit with Turner’s 10 domestic cable networks, and Turner Classic Movies. She will report to SVP Sal Petruzzi. Previously, Savoia worked for NBCUniversal’s Bravo network, Oxygen, Court TV, and Goodman Media International.
Julie Pernworth has been upped from SVP to EVP of Comedy Development at CBS Ent.
Greg Sanderson has been named Brook Lapping’s Managing Director. He was previously a Commissioning Editor of Arts & Music at BBC in London.
AMC Studios is branching off with its own leadership under new co-heads Rick Olshansky (Head of Business Affairs) and Stefan Reinhardt (SVP of Finance and Studio Ops). They will oversee production and business affairs functions of AMC and SundanceTV and report to President Charlie Collier. In part, VP of Business Affairs Scott Stein has been upped to SVP and will lead the negotiation of development and production agreements for AMC Studios original productions.
Nick Lee has been promoted from head of development and executive producer at Good Clean Fun to President. The production company’s projects include VH1’s Barely Famous and TBS’ Meet The Smiths among others.
A+E Networks has named Edward Sabin Managing their Director, Americas, and Head of Commercial Operations, International. He will handle global strategic and operational initiatives and teams; manage commercial policy and coordination on global ad sales and distribution; and evaluate and enhance A+E’s global and local approaches to business functions. He was previously at Discovery, where he was their COO .
Producer Chris Provenzano has inked an overall deal with AMC. Under the deal, he is developing a drama series based on Elmore Leonard’s 1979 novel Gunsights. Previously he was the EP on the FX drama Justified, based on another Leonard book, Fire In The Hole.
Michele Buck is the new CEO of Company Pictures in London. Previously he co-founded the Joint Managing Director of Mammoth Screen.
Yue Zhuge has come on board as the new VP, research and development at Hulu’s Beijing office and will report to CTO Tiam Lim, Zhuge to play a key role in the development of software and technology initiatives. She previously held senior positions with Microsoft and Beijing Yahoo. Most recently, Zhuge founded and served as the CEO for Landscape Mobile, creator of the Sight app.
Donna Clark is now Acting Head of Formats & Features at BBC in London. She was previously Director of Factual for Lion TV.
Raymond Dooley has been named VP of Marketing of truTV. He held the same title previously at SundanceTV.
Producer Elizabeth Guber Stephen has signed an overall deal with Warner Bros. TV to develop and produce network and cable projects through her company Gables Media. She is already developing a limited series adaptation of the book They Wished They Were Honest: The Knapp Commission And New York City Police Corruption by Michael Armstrong. She previously had a first-look deal at Fox 21 Studios.
Bill Carter, the former New York Times television reporter and author, is joining CNN as a contributor. Carter will offer reporting, analysis and commentary on the top media stories across CNN’s television and digital platforms, reuniting with former New York Times beat colleague Brian Stelter. Previously, Carter was with the New York Times for more than 25 years as a media writer, covering the television industry.
Roy Ackerman has shifted from Managing Director of Fresh One Productions to Managing Director of Non-Scripted TV for Pulse Films in London. Emma Cooper is a new Creative Director of Non-Scripted TV at Pulse Films. She was previously a Commissioning Editor of Documentaries at Channel 4.
Adam Blumberg is the new VP of TV at Hyde Park Ent. He was previously Director of Development at eOne TV.
Cyrus Farrokh has expanded his role as VP of Asia Pacific at Electus to include North America. Raymond Galaviz is a new Manager of Creative Development & Talent at Electus. He was upped form the Coordinator position. Brad Jorgensen has been promoted from VP to SVP of Worldwide Operations. Sean Canino has been promoted to VP of Creative Development in Unscripted TV from Director at Electus. Montrel McKay has been upped from Director to VP of Creative Development. Max Levenson has been promoted from assistant to Manager of Current & Creative Development. Diego Piasek has been promoted from Executive Director to VP of International Distribution & Production. Julie Shapiro has made the leap from Senior Counsel to VP of Legal & Business Affairs. KC Walker has been promoted from Director to Executive Director of Marketing Solutions at the company.
Cindy Kain is the new VP of Current Production at The Studio. She was previously Director of Production for TLC.
Nick Lee has been promoted from Head of Development and EP to President and EP at Good Clean Fun.
Lauren Stein has been named SVP of Drama Development at Sony Pictures TV. She was previously Chernin Ent’s SVP of TV Drama Development.
Scott Stemmermann has been named vice president, digital marketing, NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution.
Management, PR, Agencies
Molly Barnett has been named VP of O&M Company’s Theatre Division, up from Sr. Press Agent there.
Jim Osborne has been named partner at APA. He is also the VP of Talent.
Gerilyn Shur is the new Director of National PR for Allied Integrated Marketing. She was previously the Director of National PR at Brigade Marketing.
Matt Gogal has been upped from Agent to President of Talent House LA.
David Lust has been named Integrated PR’s new VP. He was previously VP at Rogers & Cowan.
Maggi L. Simpson has been named the new VP for Integrated PR.
Music, Digital, Publishing, Misc.
Seth Laderman has been named EVP and GM of the new subscription streaming service from Lionsgate and Comic-Con International. The platform will debut in the first quarter of 2016. It will feature original short-form content created exclusively for the channel’s subscribers, as well as films and television series from Lionsgate and other studios targeting the Comic-Con fan base, and exclusive archived footage from Comic-Con’s 45-year history. Laderman was previously head of production for Legendary Digital and Nerdist Industries where he helped to spearhead the digital growth of YouTube content.
The Endemol Shine Group is launching a Commercial Partnerships Team, joining Shine 360° and Endemol international commercial teams to support their local commercial teams around the world to be overseen by Branco Scherer, upped from Managing Director. Lorraine Burgess has been named the Director of Commercial and Digital Development. Frances Adams will be the Director of Brand Development and focus on brand management for global properties. Ingrid Akkerman has been named Director of Brand Relations and Mark Rosenegk the Director of Brand Partnerships. Tom Jeans will be the Director of Commercial and Business Affairs and will handle the roll out of foreign licensing delas. Karen Maldoy will be the Senior Manager, Digital Products and Joe Pietroni has been named Director of App Development handling the development of in-house digital apps and games that can be adapted for entertainment brands around the world.
Josh Dammers has been named Director of Brand Partnerships at DigiTour. He was previously Executive Director of Data Driven Media at the Meredith Corporation. Linnea Stalberg has been hired on as SVP of Marketing at DigiTour. Linnea was previously VP of Marketing and Production at SpinMedia.
Anna Murray has been upped from Project Manager to Director, Brand Management & Special Projects at Ribbow Media in Nashville.
David O’Connor has left CAA to become the CEO of Madison Square Garden. He was behind the formation of CAA Sports and while at the agency his client list included Jerry Bruckheimer, Bruce Willis, David Koepp and director Gary Ross. No date of his leave from CAA has been set.
News organization IBT Media has named Mitchell Caplan CMO, to lead brand development and ad revenue. Caplan was most recently chief marketing officer at Olson.
EMMY PREDICTIONS(AC) (GD) (IW)
Exec Shuffle For 6/26/15: New HuffPost 24 Hour Video Network, Peter Chernin Inks TV Deal, Duplass Brothers On a Hot Streak, and MoreAmong the many deals in yet another busy week in Hollywoodland are an acquisition for ITV, big deals for Jill Soloway, Paul Downs Colaizzo and the creator of Mr. Robot, a couple of mergers, the purchase of AOL by Verizon, as well as the usual amount of hirings, firings, comings and goings. Click on the link to get the whole shebang. (SSN)
OTHER HEADLINES(DH) (CS)
In an Incredibly Extensive Interview, Skydance Heads David Ellison and Dana Goldberg Talk About the Future Of Several Major FranchisesAmong the properties the duo discuss are Terminator, Star Trek, Top Gun, Mission: Impossible, World War Z and Jack Reacher, as well as a new Three Days of the Condor TV series and the impending stardom of Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation’s Rebecca Ferguson. They also discuss the origins of the company and where it’s headed. A most interesting read. (SF) (FSR) (VUL)
Fans Of ‘American Gods’ Will Be Pleased To Know That Neil Gaiman Will Be Writing On the Upcoming Starz SeriesBryan Fuller, who will oversee the upcoming series based on Gaiman’s classic novel, revealed that he and his writing team are hard at work on the first few episodes and that Gaiman himself will be part of the process and write multiple teleplays. The show will premiere on the cable network some time in 2016. (COL) (TVL)
Newcomer David Sandberg Lands James Wan To Produce His Horror Movie, and Theresa Palmer To Star In ItHorror film Lights Out finds a young boy and his estranged sister confronting a terrifying menace that – as you might be able to guess – only appears when the lights go out. Wan’s Atomic Monster company is co-producing is handling the film for New Line. Eric Heisserer is also aboard to produce and has written the script, which adapts Sandberg’s 2013 short. (EMP) (CB) (EW) (VUL) (TFS) (SM)
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