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Abrams Artists Agency: Jason Alexander has signed with Abrams Artists Agency for representation as a director. Abrams Artists will rep Alexander in all areas of film, TV and stage directing work. The Seinfeld star has directed several episodes of TV series, most recently CBS’ Mike & Molly and Criminal Minds and TNT’s Franklin and Bash.
ICM: Comedienne, director, actor, and Oscar-nominated screenwriter Elaine May has signed with ICM Partners. May started her showbiz career with the late Mike Nichols as comedy duo Nichols and May. She began screenwriting, and earned Academy Award nominations for Heaven Can Wait in 1978 and then for Primary Colors. The American Comedy Awards recognized her with a lifetime achievement award, and in 2012, she received the National Medal of Arts.
WME | IMG: Missy Franklin won four gold medals at the 2012 London Summer Olympics as a teen but did not turn pro until recently, when she led Cal Berkeley to the NCAA Championship (she won three titles and broke the American record in the 200 freestyle). WME | IMG will rep her as she preps for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
UTA: Jennifer Ehle has signed with UTA. She was previously with ICM. The actress won acclaim with her BAFTA TV-winning performance as Elizabeth Bennet in the BBC’s 1995 miniseries adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, opposite Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. Ehle played Anastasia’s mother in Fifty Shades of Grey. Other film credits include Zero Dark Thirty, Contagion and The King’s Speech. She has won two Tony Awards, for Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing and The Coast of Utopia. She continues to be repped in the U.K. by Sally Long-Innes at Independent.
Paradigm: Filmmaker Isaac Ezban, director of The Incident and The Similars, two psychological sci-fi movies that cemented Ezban as a strong talent in the Hispanic auteur genre scene, has been signed by Paradigm Talent Agency. He’s now working on his first English-language film. His manager is Benderspink’s Scott Stoops.
Gersh/Authentic: Parker Posey has changed her U.S. representation, replacing CAA and Untitled with Gersh and Authentic. Posey recently finished shooting Woody Allen’s Irrational Man, and she can currently be seen reprising her Fay Grim character in Ned Rifle, the final film in Hal Hartley’s Henry Fool trilogy. She is also is a frequent Christopher Guest collaborator and starred in indie gems The Anniversary Party, The House of Yes and Party Girl.
Platform PR: Jon Voight has signed with Platform PR. The Oscar winner plays Liev Schreiber’s ex-con dad in Showtime’s Ray Donovan, a performance for which he won the Golden Globe last year.
ESA: Writer/director Joy Kecken is now a client at Equitable Stewardship for Artists (ESA), represented by Varun Monga and Antoni Kaczmarek. Joy has written and directed multiple episodes The Wire, and other credits include The Division, Homicide, and Louisville. Kecken is still co-represented by One Entertainment.
42West: Nicole Scherzinger has signed with 42West. The former Pussycat Dolls singer was nominated for an Olivier Award for playing Grizabella in the West End revival of Cats and this summer she will participate in NBC’s celebrity variety show I Can Do That!
ICM: ICM Partners has signed actor, stuntman and martial artist Lewis Tan. Tan was part of the SAG-nominated Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End stunt ensemble, and performed stunts in The Hangover Part III, Olympus Has Fallen and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. His television credits include NCIS: Los Angeles, CSI: Miami and 24.
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From the ‘We Already Knew This, But Thanks For Confirming It’ File: Sam Taylor-Johnson Not Returning For ‘Fifty Shades’ SequelThe director of the first film, which has totaled $164 million domestic and $558 million worldwide, was open about her tussles with author E.L. James on the direction of the movie adaptation. Now, Universal is reportedly seeking a new writer to replace Kelly Marcel — author E.L. James herself is under consideration — as well as a new director for the sequel. (TOH) (THR)
Riding High On the Success Of His Netflix Show ‘Bloodline’, Ben Mendelsohn Could Be Joining ‘Rogue One’Word has come down through the various grapevines that the Australian actor has met for one of the lead roles in the Star Wars standalone pic, which is already set to star Felicity Jones. Gareth Edwards is directing the pic, though plot details are still under wraps. It’ll hit theaters December 16th, 2016. (VAR) (EMP)
Why a Small Theater’s Antitrust Lawsuit Against AMC Could Have Big Ramifications To the Movie BusinessOne lawsuit claims that big chains have an inside track on a competitive advantage. In January 2014, Cobb Theaters filed an antitrust lawsuit against AMC Entertainment, the nation’s largest theater chain, alleging their tactics and practices amount to conspiracy to commit competitive harm. Last Friday, U.S. District Judge Eleanor Ross denied AMC’s motion to dismiss, thus allowing the case to progress. (CB) (SM)
Independence Day 2 Logline: Enemy aliens return to Earth Studio: 20th Century Fox Production Company: Centropolis Entertainment, Electric Entertainment Producers: Dean Devin, Roland Emmerich, Harald Kloser Writer: Carter Blanchard Director: Roland Emmerich Cast: Travis Tope, Jessie Usher, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Michael B. Jordan, Liam Hemsworth SSN Insight: The Boardwalk Empire actor is the latest to join the cast of the film which starts production in May. Ready Player One Logline: In a virtual world called Oasis, a teenager finds himself competing in a treasure hunt against ruthless foes after the game's founder dies and offers his fortune as the grand prize. Studio/ Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures Production Company: De Line Pictures, Farah Films & Management Producers: Steven Spielberg, Donald De Line, Dan Farah, Kristie Macosko Krieger Writer: Zak Penn Director: Steven Spielberg Notes: Based on the novel "Ready Player One" written by Ernie Cline and published by Random House on August 16, 2011. SSN Insight: Spielberg was no doubt attracted to the project’s ingenuity such as the innovative technology that will be needed to bring to life the films’ virtual world. A Star is Born (Remake) Logline: A young singer marries a fading rock star man and her career flourishes, while his crumbles. Studio/ Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures Production Company: Thunder Road Pictures, Malpaso Productions, Gerber Pictures, 22 Green Producers: Basil Iwanyk, Jon Peters, Bill Gerber, Clint Eastwood, Todd Phillips, Bradley Cooper Writer: Will Fetters Director: Bradley Copper Cast: Bradley Cooper SSN Insight: The remake has been in development at the studio for many years, dating back to a time when Jon Peters was producing and Joel Schumacher was directing. Clint Eastwood and Beyonce were also once attached to direct and star.
Morningstar Logline: Storyline of the Cold War thriller is under wraps. Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures Production Company: Quadrant Pictures, Madhouse Entertainment Producers: Doug Davison, Adam Kolbrenner, Robyn Meisinger Director: Daniel Espinosa Writer: David Birke
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 Producers: Lynn Harris, Matti Leshem Writer: Anthony Jaswinski Director: Louis Leterrier SSN Insight: Screenplay was included in the 2014 Hit List. Colulmbia Pictures won the active bidding battle set at high-six figures for the spec script by Tony Jaswinski.
Avengers Infinity War Parts 1 & 2 Logline: Storyline is under wraps. Studio/ Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures Production Companies: Marvel Entertainment Producers: Kevin Feige Directors: Joe and Anthony Russo SSN Insight: Both Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 and Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 will be shot back-to-back in 2016. The Russo Brothers are taking over the franchise from previous director Joss Whedon.
Rings Logline: A group of high school students have to find someone to watch an evil videotape or else they'll all die. Studio/ Distributor: Paramount Pictures Production Companies: Parkes + MacDonald Image Nation, Benderspink, Macari/ Edelstein, Vertigo Producers: Walter F. Parkes, Laurie MacDonald Writer: Akiva Goldsman Director: F. Javier Gutierrez Cast: Alex Roe, Matilda Lutz Notes: Second sequel to The Ring (USA/2002) directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Naomi Watts, and remake of short film Rings (USA/2005) directed by Jonathan Liebesman. SSN Insight: Roe is a teen star on the rise, having just wrapped production on the YA film 5th Wave for Sony Pictures.
Robotech Logline: When an alien spacecraft crashes in the South Pacific, the people of Earth develop giant robots from the alien technology in order to fend off a wave of alien invasions. Studio/ Distributor: Columbia Pictures Production Companies: Hollywood Gang Productions, Atmosphere Entertainment Producers: Gianni Nunnari, Mark Canton Writer: Michael Gordon Notes: Based on the 85-episode television series "Robotech" produced by Harmony Gold USA, in association with Tatsunoko, and aired from March to July of 1985. The episodes were edited from the original Japanese anime series. SSN Insight: Project was previously set up at Warner Bros. in development at Weed Road, Material Pictures and Supercool Hollywood Big Time Productions with Tobey Maguire attached to star, Akiva Goldsman, Tobey Maguire, Matthew Plouffe, Joby Harold and Tory Tunnell attached to produce, Jason Netter and Frank Agrama attached to executive produce and drafts by Craig Silverstein, Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, S. Craig Zahler, Lawrence Kasdan and Tom Rob Smith. It’s What I Do Logline: The true story of Lynsey Addario, Pulitizer Prize-winning journalist who has covered stories in the most dangerous places in the world, is recounted. Studio/ Distributor: Warner Bros.Pictures Production Company: Mad Chance Productions Producers: Andrew Lazar, Wynn Wygal Writer: Peter Craig Director: Steven Spielberg Cast: Jennifer Lawrence Notes: Based on the memoir "It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War" written by Linsey Addario and published by The Penguin Press in 2015. SSN Insight: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay scribe has re-teamed with Jennifer Lawrence on her new war drama.
Boston Strong Logline: The reaction of the city of Boston to the fatal attacks at the Boston Marathon and the hunt for the brothers suspected of the bombings is dramatized. Studio/ Distributor: 20th Century Fox Production Company: Hutch Parker Productions Producers: Hutch Parker, Dorothy Aufiero Writer: Josh Zetumer Director: Daniel Espinosa Notes: Based on the book "Boston Strong" written by Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge and to be published by University Press of New England in 2014. SSN Insight: The Fighter writers Eric Johnson and Paul Tamasy wrote the previous draft of the screenplay that piqued Fox's interest enough to bite. The studio is now turning to Zetumer, who is already working with Fox on X-Men spinoff Gambit to pen the rewrite.
Alien Nation Logline: A re-imagining of the original 1988 film, in which a human police officer partners with an alien to prevent an evil presence from taking over the world. Studio/ Distributor: 20th Century Fox Writers: Art Marcum, Matt Halloway SSN Insight: The project is in the nascent stages and no producer is yet attached, but the studio is said to be imagining a franchise ala Planet of the Apes. The Billion Brick Race Logline: U.S. and Chinese investigators team up to investigate a car smuggling ring in the South China sea, and the operation causes unexpected and violent results. Studio/ Distributor: Warner Bros. Producers: Phil Lord, Chris Miller, Dan Lin, Roy Lee Writer: Jason Segel, Drew Pearce Director: Jason Segel, Drew Pearce SSN Insight: This film only further extends the Lego franchise as the studio plans Billion Brick Race as a fourth in the franchise, following the three previously announced films.
Substitute Teacher Logline: Storyline under wraps. Studio/ Distributor: Paramount PIctures Production Companies: 21 Laps, Entertainment Principato-Young Entertainment Producers: Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, Peter Principato, Paul Young, Joel Zadak Writer: Rich Talarico, Alex Rubens Cast: Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele SSN Insight: Substitute Teacher is a popular skit from the sketch show Key & Peele on Paramount’s sibling cable channel, Comedy Central. Paramount seized the opportunity to give it a feature version after hearing a pitch from Key & Peele co-producers, Talarico and Rubens. Realm Logline: A young woman has the ability to enter the souls of those possessed, but is better at fighting the demons of others than the ones in her real world. Studio/ Distributor: Relativity Media Production Companies: Mad Horse Films Producers: John Swetnam, Scott Speer Writer: Rebecca Sonnenshine Director: Scott Speer Notes: Based on the film short, “Realm,” directed by Scott Speer. SSN Insight: Relativity was slipped the script based on the short just as it was gaining momentum on the web. Beautiful: The Carole King Musical Logline: The stories of pop singer-songwriter Carole King’s life and career are recounted in this musical film. Studio/ Distributor: Columbia Pictures Production Companies: Playtone, Evolution Music Partners Producers: Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman, Paul Blake Notes: Based on the Broadway play "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical" written by Douglas McGrath and first performed on November 21, 2013. SSN Insight: Sony Pictures has obtained the rights to use King’s songs, as well as life rights from King and others featured in the show. Verona Logline: A retelling of the tragic love affair of the star-crossed teenagers. Studio/ Distributor: Columbia PIctures Production Company: Roth Films Producers: Joe Roth, Palak Patel Writer: Neil Widener, Gavin James SSN Insight: Sony snagged the rights to the spec script in a competitive situation and is said to be re-imagining the classic tale in a 300 -style visual way. Chrononauts Logline: An adventure about the first duo of scientists who travel back through time. Studio/ Distributor: Universal Pictures Production Companies: Chris Morgan Productions Producers: Chris Morgan, Mark Millar (EP) Notes: Based on the comic book "Chrononauts" by Mark Millar and Sean Gordon Murphy, the first issue of which was published by Image Comics in March, 2015. SSN Insight: Millar is one of the industry’s biggest comic book creators, including Civil War, the basis for the upcoming Captain America: Civil War, before departing to form Millarworld, where his creator-owned titles have been adapted into hit films for Universal and others.
Taking Flight Logline: Michaela DePrince, who was an orphan in war-torn Sierra Leone, overcame huge odds to become a world-famous ballerina. Studio/ Distributor: MGM Studios Production Companies: Alloy Entertainment Producers: Elysa Dutton, Leslie Morgenstein Notes: Based on the memoir "Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina" written by Michaela DePrince with Elaine DePrince and published by Knopf Books for Young Readers in 2014. SSN Insight: The inspiring true story is one that also was featured in the Sundance Selects 2012 documentary, First Position.
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 Companies: The Cantillon Company Producers: Elizabeth Cantillon 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 book has become a breakout hit, remaining on the New York Times Top 10 hardcover fiction bestseller list for the past six weeks.
Film Development For 3/26/15: Spielberg To Direct ‘Ready Player One’, Mark Millar’s ‘Chrononauts’ a Go, and MorePlenty of new projects (and a couple remakes) this week, as well as new developments on things that have already been in development. One of them, it should be noted, appeared in the morning roundup: that Robotech is now on the fast track at Sony. This morning, it was noted that Mark Gordon was part of the Hollywood Gang, when of course he has his own single, Atmosphere Entertainment. Both companies are involved in the project. Click the link for more. (SSN)
Another From the ‘We Knew This, But Thanks For Confirming’ File: ‘Downtown Abbey’s Sixth Season Will Be Its LastFollowing weeks of rumors that this next season would be the end of the line, Carnival Films, the producers of the show, and ITV announced the fact today in a statement. The drama became the most nominated non-U.S. show in Emmys history with 51 nominations and has won three Golden Globes. The final season will debut on Masterpiece on PBS next January. (HP) (THR) (DH) (SF) (TVL) (CS) (VUL)
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Dutch Filmmaker Makes a Killer Short, Scores a Sweet Deal With Warner Bros. To Turn It Into a FeatureMischa Rozema, who directs ads in Amsterdam, wrote the concept with Kevin Koehler. It finds Brian Petsos as a man who begins to realise that he himself and the world around him are not what they seem – indeed, the whole universe appears to be slowly falling apart. But can he trust even his own senses? Now, the plan is for Rozema to work on a potential film with new writers and make it his directorial debut. (EMP) (IW) (HL)
Literary agency Verve has launched Verve Ventures, an internal global business development arm. International sales veteran Amy Beecroft will run the new venture. Beecroft comes from First Look/Overseas Film Group, HBO, GreeneStreet Films, and FilmNation. They will hatch strategic partnerships in international and domestic film and TV, move into financing and sales, digital distribution, and develop new technologies.
In an effort to target the YouTube audience, Lakeshore Entertainment is launching Off the Dock as a full-service digital studio. They have acquired comedy Man Up, starring Justin Chon and Kevin Wu. Off the Dock will finance, produce, acquire and distribute “digital influencer-led content.”
Duff Goldman, celeb baker and Food Network star, will launch a food and cooking brand and channel on YouTube in partnership with Collective Digital Studio. Goldman’s YouTube channel will launch with up to three weekly shows, including one in which he will create his signature, customized cakes for YouTube stars. The content lineup is set to include how-to videos, pranks, and baking mistakes.
WWE Studios and Kiss mogul Gene Simmons have teamed up to launch Erebus Pictures, which will finance and produce horror films. The venture has set a three-picture co-production deal that will kick off with writer Matt Savelloni’s Temple.
Entrepreneur Richard Rosenblatt is at it again: This time, he’s betting on the mobile app Whipclip, that makes it easy for TV fans to snip and share pieces of video from more than 90 network shows. The app works like a mini-DVR in your phone. When you watch a show, it stores the last three minutes of live video, which can then be snipped out and turned into a shareable bit that can be posted on social-media sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter, or emailed or texted to a friend.
Zygi Kamasa has signed a new long-term agreement to continue as chief exec of Lionsgate UK, with increased responsibilities as chief exec of Lionsgate's European office. Kamasa will grow Lionsgate UK's film, television, home entertainment, and digital businesses, including distribution of Lionsgate and Summit films, production and release of its own Lionsgate UK titles and third-party acquisitions.
The distribution and marketing venture launched in 2014 to handle EuropaCorp's U.S. movie releases and Relativity’s slate has a new head film marketer. Tommy Gargotta, the former creative advertising chief at Sony, has joined Relativity EuropaCorp Distribution as President of Theatrical Marketing. He will report to Relativity President Tucker Tooley and EuropaCorp CEO Christophe Lambert.
Madison Avenue vet Mike Rosen is getting expanded duties at NBCUniversal, where he will oversee ad sales for the company’s news programs in addition to its Spanish-language properties. The move comes as Seth Winter, the NBCU ad-sales exec who has supervised ad sales for all of the company’s live programming, will focus on sports, where the company is adding more content. Brian Sullivan is to step down in June as chief executive of German-language pay TV service Sky Deutschland. Carsten Schmidt, Sky Deutschland’s chief officer sports, advertising sales and internet, will take over the role.
Management, PR, Music, Agencies, Digital, Misc.
Verve has hired Madison Miller as HR and operations manager. Miller previously held the position of operations and outreach manager at non-profit organization Baby2Baby.
MoviePass, the subscription service that lets users see an unlimited number of movies in theaters, has brought in Erantzeri Corona (formerly head of customer acquisition at Hulu) as VP of marketing. At Hulu, Erantzeri led subscriber-acquisition efforts through multiple paid media channels. Before that, he was the founder of app-development firm AppOntology and worked in the financial-services industry.
Agent Marie Perry has joined Gersh to serve as the newly created head of the Commercial Production Division. She will represent below-the-line talent with an emphasis on commercials and music videos.
Veteran TV agent Babette Perry has joined Innovative Artists where she will create and run a broadcast/alternative TV division. Perry will rep talent including entertainment hosts, news and sports personalities, social media talent, experts in multiple disciplines, and news/alternative television producers.
Broad Green Pictures hired Adam Keen to be EVP of Corporate Communications and Worldwide Publicity. The move comes as the upstart indie production shingle/distribution company continues to build its slate. Keen, formerly at Relativity, most recently was at Warner Bros.
In celebration of the month of April, a month that starts with everyone on the look-out for pranks on April Fool’s Day, SSN has compiled a list of events for you including film releases, TV premieres, famous birthdays, events around LA and NYC, film festivals around the world to keep you updated in one fell swoop.
April Events Calendar
Wednesday, April 1 Happy April’s Fools Day Happy Birthday Debbie Reynolds, Asa Butterfield Today in History - General Hospital premiered on ABC in 1963 Bologna Children's Book Fair, runs from March 30 through April 2 FILM RELEASE - Woman in Gold TV - Man Finds Food on Travel Channel (NEW), Brew Dogs on Esquire
Thursday, April 2 Happy Birthday Michael Fassbender TV – Olympus on SyFy (NEW), 8 Minutes on A&E (NEW), Lip Sync Battle on Spike (NEW), Timber Kings on Discovery Channel
Friday, April 3 Happy Birthday Eddie Murphy, Cobie Smulders FanExpo Vancouver (Comic Convention) runs from April 3 through April 5 17th Annual Film Noir Festival at the Egyptian Theater through April 18 FILM RELEASES – Cut Bank, Effie Gray, The Girl is in Trouble, Furious 7, Detective Byomkesh Bakshy, SBK The-Movie TV – The Grace Helbig Show on E! (NEW), Meet the Smiths on TBS (NEW), Mysteries at the Museum on Travel Channel, Pool Masters on Animation Planet
Saturday, April 4 Happy Birthday Robert Downey Jr. TV – My Cat from Hell on Animal Planet, American Odyssey on NBC (NEW), 100 Miles from Nowhere on Animal Planet (NEW), Salem on WGN
Sunday, April 5 Happy Birthday Pharrell Williams Paley Center Event (LA) – The Complete Hitchcock: Television through April 6
Monday, April 6 Happy Birthday Paul Rudd, Zach Braff
Tuesday, April 7 Happy Birthday Jackie Chan, Russell Crowe Today in History- “South Pacific” opened on Broadway in 1949 TV – Funny Girls on Oxygen (NEW), Your Family or Mine on TBS (NEW)
Wednesday, April 8 Happy Birthday John Schneider TV – Little Women: Terra’s Little Family on Lifetime (NEW), Million Dollar Listing New York on Bravo PR & Media Relations Summit (NYC)
Thursday, April 9 Happy Birthday Hugh Hefner, Kristen Stewart, Elle Fanning TV – The Comedians on FX (NEW), Louie on FX, Life Below Zero on NatGeo
Friday, April 10 Happy Birthday Mandy Moore, Steven Seagal, Charlie Hunnam Midwest Media Expo in Detroit through April 12 Florida Film Festival through April 19 TV – Daredevil on Netflix (NEW), Jump on Lifetime (NEW) FILM RELEASES – Broken Horses, Rebels of the Neon God, Clouds of Sils Maria, Desert Dancer, Lost River, The Longest Ride, Ex Machina, Kill Me Three Times
Saturday, April 11 Happy Birthday Michelle Phan Today in History – The Apollo 13 mission began in 1970 NAB Show through April 16 New York City Book Fair Oz Comic Con in Perth, Australia through April 12 TV – Polka Kings on Reelz (NEW), Hollywood Hillbillies on Reelz
Sunday, April 12 Happy Birthday David Letterman TV – Game of Thrones, Veep and Silicon Valley on HBO Awards/TV – MTV Movie Awards
Monday, April 13 Happy Birthday Ron Perlman, Allison Williams MIPTV in Cannes, France through April 16 TV – Turn on AMC New Media Expo through April 16 in Las Vegas
Tuesday, April 14 Happy Birthday Abigail Breslin, Sarah Michelle Gellar Today in History – First motion picture public showing in 1894 London Book Fair through April 16 The 7th Annual TV & Film Finance Forum East presented by Winston Baker (NYC) TV – Other Space on Yahoo! (NEW), Good Work on E! (NEW), Botched on E!
Wednesday, April 15 Happy Birthday Seth Rogen, Emma Watson
Thursday, April 16 Happy Birthday Akon, Martin Lawrence
Friday, April 17 Happy Birthday Victoria Bekham, Jennifer Garner FILM RELEASES: Child 44, True Story, Roar, Monsters: The Dark Continent, Alex of Venice, Beyond the Reach, The Road Within, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, Monkey Kingdom, Unfriended, Hautoa, Mr. X, The Squeeze TV – The Messengers on CW (NEW), Cedric’s Barber Battle on CW (NEW), Lost Girl on SyFy, Bitten on Syfy
Saturday, April 18 Happy Birthday Kourtney Kardashian, David Tennant, Jeff Dunham Los Angeles Festival of Books through April 19 TV - Chaos Caught on Camera on Discovery (NEW), Angry Planet on Pivot (NEW), Orphan Black on BBC (NEW)
Sunday, April 19 Happy Birthday James Franco TV/Awards – ACM Awards
Monday, April 20 Happy Birthday George Takei, Jessica Lange TV - Time Traveling With Brian Unger on Travel (NEW), Star Talk on NatGeo (NEW), Deadbeat on Hulu
Tuesday, April 21 Happy Birthday Queen Elizabeth II, Iggy Pop, James McAvoy Paley Center Event (LA) - Media RX: Access to Medicine through Entertainment
Wednesday, April 22 Happy Birthday Jack Nicholson USA Film Festival in Dallas, TX through April 26 TV - The Prancing Elites Project on Oxygen (NEW)
Thursday, April 23 Happy Birthday George Lopez Buenos Aires Book Fair through May 11 Newport Beach Film Festival through April 20 National Film Fest for Talented Youth in Seattle through April 26 Academy of Motion Pictures Event - Deconstructing Big Hero 6 at Samuel Goldwyn Theater
Friday, April 24 Happy Birthday Barbra Streisand, Kelly Clarkson Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo through April 26 FILM RELEASES – The Age of Adaline, Little Boy, Hyena, The Water Diviner, See You in Valhalla, Rock the Kasbah, Misery Loves Comedy, Brotherly Love, Blackbird, Beyond the Brick: A LEGO Brickumentary, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck TV – Flipping Ships on Animal Planet (NEW)
Saturday, April 25 Happy Birthday Al Pacino TV – The Dead Files on Travel Channel
Sunday, April 26 Happy Birthday Jet Li, Channing Tatum TV – Happyish on Showtime (NEW), Spring Baking Championship on Food Network (NEW) Awards/TV – Daytime Emmy Awards, BAFTA TV Craft Awards
Monday, April 27 FILM RELEASES – Mandariinid Awards – Billboard Latin Music Awards
Tuesday, April 28 Happy Birthday Jay Leno, Penelope Cruz, Jessica Alba FT Digital Media Convention in London through April 29 TV Connect in London through April 30 Paley Center Event (LA): The Goldbergs: Your TV Trip to the 1980s
Wednesday, April 29 Happy Birthday Jerry Seinfeld, Willie Nelson FILM RELEASE: Iris
Thursday, April 30 Happy Birthday Dianna Argon, Johnny Galecki, Kirsten Dunst
–Note all events are subject to change. If you would like to add events to our monthly calendar, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the details.–
SSN Events Calendar: Bologna Book Fair, ‘Game of Thrones’ Returns, ‘Furious 7’, and the Films, TV and Conventions Of AprilIn celebration of the month of April, a month that starts with everyone on the look-out for pranks on April Fool’s Day, SSN has compiled a list of events for you including film releases, TV premieres, famous birthdays, events around LA and NYC, film festivals around the world to keep you updated in one fell swoop. (SSN) (SSN)
TODAY’S HEADLINES(VAR) (TOH)
Audra McDonald Becomes the Latest Star To Join the Already Star-Studded Live-Action ‘Beauty and the Beast’ RemakeThe Tony Award-winning actress is in final negotiations to join the cast, includes Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast/Prince, Luke Evans as the vain villain Gaston, and Josh Gad as Le Fou, Gaston’s buffoonish and loyal sidekick. The live action movie, directed by Bill Condon, is aligning itself closely with the 1991 animated classic. McDonald will be playing Garderobe, the French word for wardrobe. (HV) (DH) (MF) (CS) (EMP) (COL)
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Army of One 3/30/2015 Logline: A construction worker from Colorado tries to find Osama Bin Laden. Studio: TWC-Dimension Production Company(s): Conde Nast Publications, Inc., Endgame Entertainment, Emile Gladstone Productions Director: Larry Charles Executive Producer(s): Patrick Newall Producer(s): Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein, Dawn Ostroff, Jeremy Steckler, James D. Stern Cast: Nicolas Cage, Wendi McLendon-Covey Writer(s): Scott Rothman, Rajiv Joseph Details: Loosely based on the GQ article "An Army of One" written by Chris Heath and published September 2010. SSN Insight: Cage has a busy development slate with Bonjour Anne also in preproduction, Snowden in production but has wrapped The Trust, The Runner and Pay the Ghost.
Ip Man 3 3/25/2015 Logline: Sequel to “Ip Man” centering on Ip Man who participated in matches with other practitioners from the top Wushu schools, as well as Japanese kung-fu warriors in 1920s and ‘30s war-torn China. Production Company(s): Pegasus Motion Pictures Director: Wilson Yip Producer(s): Raymond Wong Pak-Ming Cast: Donnie Yen, Mike Tyson, Lynn Hung Details: Sequel to Ip Man (China/Hong Kong/2008) starring Donnie Yen and directed by Wilson Yip, and Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster (Hong Kong/2010) also starring Yen and directed by Yip. SSN Insight: Ip Man grossed $21 million and the 2010 sequel grossed $49 million worldwide.
Officer Downe 3/30/2015 Logline: After a Los Angeles supercop is killed in the line of duty, heâ€™s resurrected and continues to work fighting crime. Production Company(s): Man of Action, Traverse Media, Blackmrkt Incorporated Director: Shawn Crahan Executive Producer(s): Cory Brennan Producer(s): Mark Neveldine, Skip Williamson, Joe Casey, Cole Payne Cast: Kim Coates Writer(s): Joe Casey Details: Based on the graphic novel "Officer Downe" written by Joe Casey, Illustrated by Chris Burnham and published by Image Comics on July 14, 2010. SSN Insight: Crahan has directed many music videos for his band Slipknot. The band has 15 million Facebook followers and their videos have cumulatively earned 100 million views.
Stephanie 3/30/2015 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 Writer(s): Ben Collins, Luke Piotrowski SSN Insight: Screenplay was included on the 2012 Blood List. Jonathan van Tulleken was previously attached to direct. Actor Frank Grillo also starred in the Universal Pictures/Blumhouse Productions film "The Purge: Anarchy" (2014).
Table 19 3/27/2015 Logline: A story told from the point of view of the collection of strangers grouped together at a wedding's "singles table". Studio: Fox Searchlight Pictures Production Company(s): 21 Laps Entertainment, 3311 Productions Director: Jeff Blitz Executive Producer(s): Mark Roberts, Jennifer Dana Producer(s): Shawn Levy, Tom McNulty Cast: Anna Kendrick, Mark Duplass, Craig Robinson, Lisa Kudrow, Stephen Merchant Writer(s): Jeff Blitz, Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass SSN Insight: Jay & Mark Duplass were previously attached to direct.
The Autopsy of Jane Doe 3/30/2015 Logline: When father and son coroners investigate the death of beautiful "Jane Doe" they find increasingly bizarre clues. Production Company(s): 42, Impostor Pictures Director: Andre Ovredal Executive Producer(s): Stuart Ford, Matt Jackson, Ben Shields Catlin Producer(s): Fred Berger, Eric Garcia, Rory Aitken, Benjamin Pugh Cast: Emile Hirsch, Brian Cox Writer(s): Ian Goldberg, Richard Naing SSN Insight: Screenplay was included in the 2013 Blood List Martin Sheen was previously attached to the role played by Brian Cox. Goldcrest was previously involved as financier and distributor.
The Big Short 3/23/2015 Logline: A look at the American economy, the recession, and the subprime mortgage market focusing on a group of investors who aim to prey upon the economic collapse for riches. Studio: Paramount Pictures Production Company(s): Plan B Entertainment Director: Adam McKay Executive Producer(s): Kevin J. Messick Producer(s): Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Sarah Esberg Cast: Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell Writer(s): Adam McKay, Charles Randolph Details: Based on the book "The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine" written by Michael Lewis and published by W.W. Norton on March 15, 2010. SSN Insight: This film will continue to build Plan B’s reputation for tackling important issues, with “12 Years a Slave” landing the best picture Oscar and “Selma” garnering two Oscar noms as well.
The Meddler 3/30/2015 Logline: An aging widow from New York City follows her daughter to Los Angeles in hopes of starting a new life after her husband passes away. Production Company(s): Anonymous Content Director: Lorene Scafaria Executive Producer(s): Steve Golin, Susan Sarandon, Shea Kammer Producer(s): Joy Gorman, Paul Green Cast: Susan Sarandon, Rose Byrne, J.K. Simmons Writer(s): Lorene Scafaria SSN Insight: Scafaria previously directed Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World. Production begins in Los Angeles. The film was jointly packaged by CAA and UTA, which is coordinating financing and handling domestic rights.
The Neon Demon 3/30/2015 Logline: An aspiring model finds herself in a terrifying predicament with her survival hanging in the balance. Studios: Gaumont, Wild Bunch Production Company(s): Space Rocket Nation Director: Nicolas Winding Refn Producer(s): Lene Borglum Cast: Elle Fanning, Abbey Lee, Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks, Jena Malone Writer(s): Nicolas Winding Refn, Mary Laws SSN Insight: France’s Gaumont and Wild Bunch will co-finance and co-distribute the film. They previously partnered on Refn’s 2013 film, Only God Forgives.
Love the Coopers 3/26/2015 Logline: Long-married couple Charlotte and Sam host one final Christmas together, during which they plan to tell the family that they're breaking up, but the gathering's chaos, surprises, and dysfunctional family fun prompt Charlotte and Sam to reassess their decision. Studio: CBS Films Production Company(s): Groundswell Productions Director: Jessie Nelson Executive Producer(s): Steven Rogers, Ron Burkle, Jason Colbeck, Diane Keaton, Ted Gidlow Producer(s): Jessie Nelson, Michael London, Janice Williams Cast: Diane Keaton, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Annette Bening, Amanda Seyfried Writer(s): Steven Rogers SSN Insight: Robert Redford was previously mentioned to co-star. Theo James was previously attached as a cast member. Previously in development with Relativity Media and Imagine Entertainment.
Maggie's Plan 3/25/2015 Logline: A young woman tries to make a life for herself in New York City. No Studio Available. Production Company(s): Locomotive, Rachael Horovitz Productions, Round Films, Hall Monitor Director: Rebecca Miller Producer(s): Rachael Horovitz, Damon Cardasis, Rebecca Miller Cast: Greta Gerwig, Julianne Moore, Ethan Hawke, Maya Rudolph, Bill Hader Writer(s): Rebecca Miller SSN Insight: Clive Owen was previously attached to the role ultimately played by Ethan Hawke.
Now You See Me 2 3/25/2015 Logline: In this sequel, the magician troupe known as the Four Horseman, a year after the events of the first "Now You See Me," become involved in a dangerous heist and must contend with a powerful new enemy. Studio: Lionsgate Production Company(s): K/O Paper Products Director: Jon M. Chu Producer(s): Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Bobby Cohen Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman Details: Sequel to "Now You See Me" (2013) directed by Louis Leterrier and starring Jesse Eisenberg, Morgan Freeman, Mark Ruffalo and Woody Harrelson. SSN Insight: Louis Leterrier was previously attached to direct. Along with Daniel Radcliffe, The producers also cast one of Asia’s most popular musicans Jay Chou, repped by JVR Music.
On the Set For 3/30/15: Brad Pitt, Christian Bale and Ryan Gosling Start ‘The Big Short’, Julianne Moore Wraps ‘Maggie’s Plan’ and MoreNicolas Cage’s Army Of One, the comic book adaptation Officer Downe, and Akiva Goldsman’s next directorial effort all are among the new films getting underway, while the Now Your See Me sequel and Love the Coopers also finish up principal photography. (SSN)
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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’s now retired from coaching and 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. Details: A sequel to the original ABC series "Coach," which aired for 9 seasons starting in 1989. Ordered straight to series. SSN Insight: NBC has picked up the series and ordered 13 episodes as of March 26.
Fancy Nancy Network: Disney Junior Logline: Based on the Fancy Nancy series that follow the adventures of a girl who likes to be fancy in everything from her creative, elaborate attire to her advanced vocabulary. Details: Based on the New York Times’ best-selling book series, Fancy Nancy, by Jane O’Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser. The series includes 60+ titles and has sold more than 28 million books. SSN Insight: Series will be developed into an original animated TV movie slated to premiere in 2017 complete with a licensing deal with Disney Consumer Products for related merchandise. The books’ publisher HarperCollins and Disney Publishing will team up on future books based on the television series.
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 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. Details: Based on the British format. SSN Insight: NBC has given a series order of 8 episodes as of March 27.
MTX! Network: Disney XD Studio: No Studio Available. Production Company(s): No Production Company Available. Executive Producer(s): Steve Marmel Writer(s): Steve Marmel Logline: Ryan is a 14-year-old boy with the extraordinary ability to control technology with his mind â€“ technopathy. After his secret power is revealed, he quickly learns that monsters have just been sent to destroy the city by an evil corporation. With danger looming, the only thing that can protect the citizens of Bay City is MTX, a 120-foot robot that only Ryan has the ability to control. First, Ryan must assemble a team that, together, has the skills needed to activate the complicated inner-workings of MTX. SSN Insight: Disney ordered a pilot on March 27. Potvin has previously guested on Disney Channel’s Girl Meets World and Jessie and per Deadline, Disney casting executives have been looking to find a starring vehicle for him. Disney has already begun filming in consideration for a series pickup. Shadowhunters Network: ABC Family Production Company(s): Constantin Film, Unique Features Executive Producer(s): Ed Decter (showrunner), Michael Reisz, Marjorie David, Robert Shaye, Michael Lynne Writer(s): Ed Decter Logline: Based on book series, The Shadowhunter Chronicles, the hour long series will begin with the first book, City of Bones and expand into later books as series progresses. Details: A spinoff of the 2013 feature film, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. Based on the The Shadowhunter Chronicles book series by Cassandra Clare. SSN Insight: ABC Family has given a series order of 13 episodes. The series will go into production in May in Toronto, the cast has not been set.
Start Making Sense Network: IFC Production Company(s): Red Hour Films, Legendary Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Ben Stiller, Debbie Liebling, Stuart Cornfeld, Mike Rosenstein Writer(s): Jake Fogelnest Logline: Jack is desperately clinging to his fading relevancy as a best-selling author while his son, Shane, basks in popularity by expressing his teenage angst in 140 characters or less. As these generational voices collide they must navigate new waters of texts, trust and rock and roll. SSN Insight: IFC has ordered multiple scripts. Originates from Red Hour’s TV/digital production deal with Legendary, and the series is in contention for IFC’s 2016 lineup.
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. Details: Based on the UK series, "The Island," which premiered on Channel Four on May 5, 2014. SSN Insight: NBC has given a series order of 6 episodes as of March 25.
Untitled Nasim Pedrad Comedy Project Network: Fox Broadcasting Company Studio: 20th Century Fox Television Production Company(s): 3 Arts Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Nasim Pedrad Writer(s): Nasim Pedrad Logline: Storyline under wraps. SSN Insight: Pedrad has co-starred on the Fox/Universal TV comedy series Mulaney, has a recurring role on the Fox/20th TV comedy New Girl and is a regular on the upcoming first installment of Fox/20th TV’s comedy-horror anthology series Scream Queens.
The Very Fairy Princess Studio: Corus Entertianment’s Nelvana Enterprises Production Company(s): Nelvana Studio Executive Producer(s): Julie Andrews, Emma Walton Hamilton Logline: Chronicles the adventures of Geraldine, who knows deep down that she is a very fairy princess, despite all evidence to the contrary. Details: Based on Andrews’ and Hamilton’s No. 1 New York Times bestselling book series The Very Fairy Princess published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and illustrated by Christine Davenier. SSN Insight: The series is will be ready for air in 2016 and produced in Toronto. Since the launch of the franchise in 2010, eight titles have come out, with a ninth book, The Very Fairy Princess: A Spooky, Sparkly Halloween, due in 2015.
Après Ski Network: Bravo Production Company(s): Tricon Films & Television Executive Producer(s): Andrea Gorfolova, Jeffrey Hevert, Jameel Bharmal, Kevin Lee Logline: When the rich and famous want the ultimate winter ski vacation, the hottest place to go is Whistler, British Columbia where breathtaking mountain adventures are only rivaled by off slope après ski extravagance. In a town where the stakes are as high as the slopes, meet the well-groomed staff at this luxurious concierge company who are the behind-the-scenes magic-makers orchestrating once in a lifetime vacations for their upscale and demanding clients. SSN Insight: Bravo announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30.
Below Deck Mediterranean Network: Bravo Production Company(s): 51 Minds Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Mark Cronin, Courtland Cox Logline: The "Below Deck" franchise is heading to the world’s oldest cruising grounds, the Mediterranean Sea, for its next super-yacht charter season. The new European setting not only provides spectacular scenery, culture and nightlife, but a whole new level of service standards and charter guest demands. Details: This series is a spinoff of "Below Deck," which premiered on Bravo in 2013. SSN Insight: Bravo announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30.
Fit Club Network: Bravo Production Company(s): Lime Pictures, All3Media America Executive Producer(s): Stephen Lambert, Eli Holzman, Kate Little, Claire Poyser, Derek McLean Logline: Today's modern day Greek Gods are better known as New York City's hottest trainers whose bodies are their billboards. Their client lists include some of Manhattan's elite, from billionaire investors to world famous celebrities. With highly active lives both in and out of the gym, this project chronicles their friendships, romances and feuds as they fight to stay on top of the ultra-competitive world of fitness training. SSN Insight: Bravo announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30.
Ladies of Dallas Network: Bravo Production Company(s): Goodbye Pictures Executive Producer(s): Richard Bye, Andrew Hoegl Logline: From glamorous galas to scintillating scandals, and supersized spending habits, life in the elite tier of the Dallas social scene is hard to crack, and even harder to maintain. Whether driven by vanity, personal validation, or career advancement, these Lone Star ladies all share the same goal- to climb the social ladder and stay on top. SSN Insight: Bravo announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30.
Married to Medicine Houston Network: Bravo Production Company(s): FremantleMedia North America, Purveyors of Pop Executive Producer(s): Matt Anderson, Nate Green Logline: Diverse and driven young doctors and wives of physicians look like they have it allâ€” educated, sexy and at the top of their game. But peel back the layers and you will see that new obstacles might threaten their momentum. After punishing years of sacrifice and putting life on hold, how they navigate marriage, children, family and social pressure will either derail their promising careers or prove that they can have it all. Details: This series is a spinoff of "Married to Medicine," which premiered on Bravo in 2013. SSN Insight: Bravo announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30.
Mother Funders Network: Bravo Production Company(s): True Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Steven Weinstock, Glenda Hersh, Lauren Eskelin, Jennifer Morton, Leola Westbrook Logline: Meet the ambitious suburban ladies of Locust Grove, Georgia’s Parent-Teacher Organization. These moms are a real class act, parlaying their executive room experience to run the local PTO and raise thousands of dollars for the town’s local elementary school. Full of teachable moments, they give new meaning to "getting schooled." SSN Insight: Bravo announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30.
My Fab 40th Network: Bravo Production Company(s): FremantleMedia North America, Purveyors of Pop Executive Producer(s): Thom Beers, Matt Anderson, Nate Green, Maty Buss Logline: The series delves into the world of extravagant 40th birthday parties where people put some serious "happy" into a righteous rite of passage. From unlimited budgets to lavish delicacies and over-the-top entertainment, fans will see why turning 40 is such a gift. SSN Insight: Bravo announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30.
NeNe and Kim: The Road to Riches Network: Bravo Production Company(s): True Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Steven Weinstock, Glenda Hersh and Lauren Eskelin, NeNe Leakes, Kim Zolciak Biermann Logline: Atlanta’s “most driven” housewives— NeNe Leakes and Kim Zolciak Biermann— drive out of their comfort zones and across the country to discover America on a one-of-a-kind adventure. The road to LA may be paved with good intentions, but that doesn’t mean they won’t occasionally drive each other crazy. Details: This series is a spinoff of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta” which premiered on Bravo in 2007. SSN Insight: Bravo announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30.
Tour Group Network: Bravo Production Company(s): Monkey Kingdom Executive Producer(s): Will Macdonald, Jason Crosby, Amy Chacon Logline: A diverse and vibrant group set out on a mind-blowing vacation through the most stunning, eclectic and exclusive destinations around the globe. With varied personalities forced together in foreign environments, will this two month dream journey become too much adventure for these jetsetters, or will they make it a permanent vacation?. SSN Insight: Bravo announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30.
Recipe for Deception Network: Bravo Production Company(s): Embassy Row, Realizer Productions Executive Producer(s): Shauna Minoprio, Matt Berkowitz, Michael Davies Logline: In each stand-alone episode host Max Silvestri guides four new chefs through head-to-head elimination rounds in which they are tasked with creating a stunning dish featuring a main ingredient. The twist is that they have no idea what that ingredient is while cooking. Details: Based on the popular parlor game ‘Two Truths and a Lie.’ SSN Insight: Bravo announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30.
Comedians of L.A. Network: Esquire Production Company(s): L. Plummer Media Executive Producer(s): Lemuel Plummer Logline: Series follows rising comedians in Hollywood as they tour in concert halls worldwide and appear in blockbuster movies trying to take their careers to the next level. As they live and work in the same circles, the camaraderie and rivalries will surface as they all stand on the precipice of stardom, hustling to arrive. SSN Insight: Esquire announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30. Partnership between Oxygen and Esquire with companion series, Living with Funny. The series will air during the same period on each network so fans can follow both shows seamlessly. Brandon T. Jackson is the first comedian to commit to both shows. Additional cast will be announced at a later date. Going Deep with David Rees Network: Esquire Production Company(s): True Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Christine Connor, Glenda Hersh, Jo Honig, David Rees and Steven Weinstock Logline: Comedian, writer and entrepreneur David Rees reveals the not so obvious complexities of the most seemingly simple things we do in everyday life. Each episode delves into the science and the history behind everyday tasks, attempting to de-familiarize the ubiquitous so as to increase our appreciation and wonder. SSN Insight: Esquire announced they gave a series order of eight episodes during upfronts on March 30.
Somm Network: Esquire Production Company(s): Left/Right productions Executive Producer(s): Banks Tarver and Ken Druckerman Logline: Master Sommelier is more than just a title; it’s a badge of honor, and to earn it you need to be a wine expert in mind, body, and spirit – an achievement measured by passing one of the world’s most difficult exams. If you can pass it, you’ll be let into a club with just over 200 members worldwide and granted access to the most desirable jobs in the entire food and wine industry. SSN Insight: Esquire announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30.
The Agent Network: Esquire Production Company(s): Herzog & Co. Executive Producer(s): Mark Herzog, Christopher G Cowen, Vince DiPersio, Josh Mamann Logline: The show chronicles the journey of four sports agents leading up to the 2015 NFL draft. From contract negotiations, endorsement deals, recruiting, private clubs and training to meetings with scouts and veteran players in the NFL, the series shows behind-the-scenes business dealings as the agents try to secure that top pick. SSN Insight: Esquire announced they gave a series order of 10 episodes, during upfronts on March 24.Ordered to series.
United States of Burgers Network: Esquire Production Company(s): Coolfire Studios Executive Producer(s): Jeff Keane, David Johnson and Steve Luebbert Logline: A new generation is looking to take burgers to a whole new level, and that means a bigger, better, more adventurous experience that dares the taste buds. In this 6-part competition series, ingenuity is on full display as backyard BBQ kings and up-and-coming culinary hopefuls have a shot to showcase their perfected version of one of the nation’s greatest obsessions: the burger. SSN Insight: Esquire announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30.
Living with Funny Network: Oxygen Production Company(s): L. Plummer Media Executive Producer(s): Lemuel Plummer Logline: This companion docu-series to Comedians of L.A. showcases the personal lives behind the curtain of rising comedians in Hollywood and the women in their lives. Cameras will follow the howling tale of what happens when they drop the mic and come home to their family, friends and significant others. Because when you are a comedian, the jokes don’t stop just because the show does. SSN Insight: Oxygen announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30. Brandon T. Jackson is the first comedian to commit to both series. Additional cast will be announced at later date. Crazy Talk Network: Oxygen Studio: NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution Executive Producer(s): Paul Faulhaber Logline: Hosted by Tanisha Thomas and Ben Aaron, the fast-paced, laugh-out-loud first-run comedic syndicated daily program raises an eyebrow on the most outlandish and sometimes bizarre moments on reality television. This half-hour series filled with raw and hilarious banter also invites reality stars to rehash their “15 minutes of fame” and provide insight behind their most-watched clips. SSN Insight: Oxygen announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30. Tanisha Thomas was previously on Bad Girls Club and Ben Aaron was previously on WNBC’s New York Live. Series will tape in front of a live studio audience.
Pretty. Strong. Network: Oxygen Production Company(s): Relativity Television and Ellen Rakieten Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Tom Forman, Brad Bishop and Ellen Rakieten Logline: It is football like you have never seen it before as fierce, young women engage in one of the roughest, yet fastest growing sports in the country — the Legends Football League. This is full contact, hard tackle football with two-time reigning champions the Chicago Bliss going for the coveted three-peat. These athletes are juggling careers as dentists, lawyers, and receptionists, but come game time, they are on a girl power-fueled mission to inspire, blaze trails and define the odds. SSN Insight: Oxygen announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30. The Hustle Network: Oxygen Production Company(s): NCredible Entertainment, Evolution Media Executive Producer(s): Nick Cannon, Michael Goldma, Douglas Ross, Alex Baskin and Greg Stewart Logline: Being a boss is tough, but being an assistant is impossible. This coming-of-age series follows the dynamic and hard-working assistants to successful entrepreneurs and entertainers. These assistants are exposed to a life of privilege at work, traveling on private jets and attending lavish red carpet events, however, at the end of the day, they struggle just to pay rent and find time for their own personal lives. SSN Insight: Oxygen announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30.
Player Gets Played Network: Oxygen Production Company(s): DiGA Executive Producer(s): Tony DiSanto, Liz Gateley and Cheryl HornerSirulnick Logline: In each episode, one woman with a lurking suspicion will uncover a heartbreaking truth with the help of social media and friends when it’s revealed she is not the only woman in her boyfriend’s life. These young women are given the ultimate opportunity to change the game without letting him in on the plan. The newly empowered women will join together and plot a surprising confrontation to give the player a taste of his own medicine. SSN Insight: Oxygen announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30.
Douglas Family Gold Network: Oxygen Production Company(s): WV Enterprises, Lionsgate TV and Televisa USA Executive Producer(s): Wilmer Valderrama, Jessica Acevedo, Natalie Hawkins and Gabrielle Douglas Logline: Gabrielle “Gabby” Douglas stunned the world in 2012 by becoming the first African American in history to win the individual all-around gold medal at the Summer Olympics. Behind her meteoric rise was a supportive family willing to sacrifice everything for years to help her dream. The bi-coastal Douglas family shuttles between California and Ohio to support Gabby’s training regimen while also juggling their own lives. Her brother John is the family’s second Olympic hopeful in track and field, while devoted sisters Arie and Joy are eager to blaze their own paths. “Momager” Natalie keeps this tight-knit family in-check. SSN Insight: Oxygen announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30.
Boss Nails Network: Oxygen Production Company(s): Jarrett Creative, Rock Shrimp Productions Executive Producer(s): Julie Jarrett, Seth Jarrett, Carmen Mitcho, Bobby Flay and Kim Martin Logline: Welcome to Tippie Toes Nail & Beauty Salon where Miami’s fashionistas come for one-of-a-kind pop-culture nail designs. This series centers on 26-year-old burgeoning business owner Dana Cody, known for her signature crystal embellished manicures that cost upwards of $10,000, as she juggles managing her boisterous staff, expanding her salon empire, and living up to the legacy her late mother left behind. SSN Insight: Oxygen announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30.
Preachers of Atlanta Network: Oxygen Production Company(s): L. Plummer Media, Relevé Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Lemuel Plummer, Holly Carter, Chris Costine and Mark Scheibalserving Logline: Atlanta is not only the home to fast cars, sprawling mansions and the southern elite, but a new generation of up-and-coming preachers who are superstars of the pulpit. Series will document the lives of the city’s young elite mega-pastors as they focus on the daily struggles and triumphs as husbands, wives, fathers, mothers and friends, while also maintaining their duties as men. SSN Insight: Oxygen announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30. Time To Quit Your Day Job (working title) Network: Oxygen Production Company(s): Original Productions, a FremantleMedia Company Executive Producer(s): Phillip D. Segal, Jeff Conroy and Kevin Williams Logline: Aspiring millennials will have the unique opportunity to pitch themselves and their innovative ideas to Randi Zuckerberg, Ido Leffler, Sarah Prevette and Lauren Maillian, who will also serve as mentors to the young professionals. These hopefuls will have to win the confidence of these four investors and prove they have what it takes to turn their concept into a viable business. SSN Insight: Oxygen announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30.
--The following is excerpted from the new book Brokenomics: 50 Ways to Live the Dream on a Dime, by Dina Gachman, out April 1 from Seal Press.--
Beware: you are about to enter one of those “I used to walk fifty miles in the snow to school” rants, but when it’s all over, you’ll emerge with a renewed faith in humanity and a fierce drive to succeed. You’ll be a better person. Either that or you’ll still be exactly the same as you are right this second, which is fine too.
Back in my day (stay with me here), unpaid internships were a given. In the entertainment industry, which is the ridiculous, wonderful, idiotic industry that I chose, everyone took on unpaid internships. It was a way to get your foot in the door, build a résumé, and network during college so you could hopefully get a paying job after graduating. We never confused “internship” with “job.” That’s both a good and a bad thing.
People should get paid for their work. If a company is having you come in forty hours a week and they’re paying you nothing—you need to leave. In an ideal world, all internships would be paid, but the world is shifty and unfair, so many internships pay in experience and free coffee. If a giant corporation can afford to pay interns a little something, they should. Smaller companies often can’t do that, but they need the help, and to compensate for your work they can—and should—take time to mentor you and make it worthwhile for you to photocopy their papers and answer their calls for free. Maybe it’s bad that we suffered through our two- or three-day-a-week internships without suing or protesting and asking for pay. Maybe we were wimps. I don’t think so though.
I’ve been on both sides of the internship divide. I’ve been the lowly intern (many times), and I’ve been the person who hired the interns. The latter position is much better, obviously, but I didn’t get there by leaping straight from college into a fancy job where I could boss people around and make myself feel superior by tormenting them. I didn’t torment people because I knew what it was like to be an intern, and because I’m not a tyrant. I should probably be a tiny bit more tyrannical, but when you’re raised by a Southern mother who constantly warns, “Don’t be a Hateful Hannah!” during your formative years, it’s not so easy to channel your inner Nero.
I tried reading Sun Tzu’s The Art of War when I was angling for a promotion at the job that eventually laid me off, but I got through three chapters and realized I didn’t want to become a cold-hearted, calculating, ancient Chinese military general in order to get ahead. I did get a raise and a promotion, but then I got laid-off, so maybe I should have finished the book.
Just because you think you deserve something does not mean you deserve it. You deserve things when you work your ass off.
That was the job that put me in charge of hiring the interns, which was an eye-opening experience. Some of the interns were hardworking and conscientious, and others were perpetually late, flakey, and calculating—maybe the calculating ones had read Sun Tzu. The wiliest intern I dealt with was not named Bane, but that’s the name I’m giving him and you’ll soon see why. Bane had a great résumé and an upbeat attitude, and he knew a lot about comic books, which, this being Hollywood 2009, was reason enough to bring him on. The first few weeks were great, but then he turned— and his dark, duplicitous nature emerged.
“Can you make two copies of this script for me?” I asked Bane one day. This was a totally reasonable request. He’d copied scripts before, I’d copied scripts before—interns copied scripts. Bane folded his arms across his chest, which was covered by a faded X-Men T-shirt. He’d quickly gone from dressing like he cared to dressing like a guy who wore faded comic book T-shirts to his internship.
“It’s not my job to copy scripts,” Bane shot back. If I had finished reading The Art of War, I probably would have beheaded him or at least publicly shamed him in some barbaric way, but instead I stared at him, thinking of a response. And then, like a bolt of lightning, one came to me.
“Yeah, it is,” I said. Bane took the script, pouted all the way to the Xerox machine, and made the copies. A few days later, I was sitting in the conference room with Bane and two other interns, because I was trying to be some sort of mentor and make the unpaid internship worth their while by answering questions and listening to ideas during lunch. “I’m never going to be someone’s assistant,” Bane declared. And then, for a brief second, it sounded like he was speaking through a cage-like, venomous mouthpiece when he said, “I want to run shit.”
We’d all like to “run shit” and not have to obey a boss, but unless you’re staging a coup or you have millions of dollars and can just start a company and call yourself the CEO, you have to pay your dues and work your way up. Bane obviously had other plans.
“So, what do you want to do?” I asked.
“I told you. I want to run shit.” This could possibly have been admirable if Bane had sat up straight and followed his statement with something like, “And I’m prepared to work hard and learn and put in the time to get there.” He didn’t though. He pouted, slouched in the chair, and ate a curly fry. Even though he knew a lot about comic books, Bane didn’t last much longer as an intern. His attitude got worse, he’d show up late, and he definitely didn’t act like a guy who was on his way to running anything, unless it was a bitching session at a Whiny Entitled Babies Anonymous meeting.
Bane assumed a lot—he assumed the world owed him, he assumed he deserved to run shit, and he assumed he wouldn’t get fired from an unpaid internship. Just because you think you deserve something does not mean you deserve it. You deserve things when you work your ass off. At least, that’s my philosophy.
If internships are a necessary stepping-stone in your chosen career, think of them as just that: a stepping-stone. I wish for you only paid internships, fabulous career advances, and the ability to run shit without experiencing too much humiliation along the way. If it’s not all smooth sailing and you find an unpaid internship that will actually be good for your career and that’s worth doing, then do it well, suck it up, read The Art of War if you have to—but please, whatever you do, don’t be a Bane.
Excerpted from Brokenomics: 50 Ways to Live the Dream on a Dime, by Dina Gachman. With permission from Seal Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2015.
Why It’s Always Best To Actually Finish ‘The Art Of War’, How Interns Can Be Like Batman Villains, and Other Important Lessons From the FrontSSN Insider Senior Staff Writer Dina Gachman has written her first book, the very informative — and hilariously funny — Brokenomics: 50 Ways To Live the Dream On a Dime. Aside from the above lessons, there are plenty more, and they are all well worth your time. Do yourself a favor and check out this exclusive excerpt. (SSN)
TV Development For 3/31/15: All the NBCUniversal Upfront News, Plus Ben Stiller’s New Series, and MoreAmong the numerous bits and pieces this week is ABC Family’s Mortal Instruments adaptation, Shadowhunters, the revival of Craig T. Nelson’s Coach, and a veritable ton of stuff from the Bravo, Esquire and Oxygen networks. For the full skinny, click the provided link. (SSN)
TODAY’S HEADLINES(NSA) (CB) (TVL) (DH) (VAR) (EMP) (CS) (IW)
A Potential Legal War Looms Between UTA and CAA Over the Five Agents Who Just Defected From Creative ArtistsWith the five high-ranking agents leaving CAA for United Talent Agency, the former planning to pursue legal action against UTA and the defecting agents. Employee agreements were said to be in place for Jason Heyman, Martin Lesak, Greg McKnight, Greg Cavic and Nick Nuciforo, the agents set to join UTA as partners. CAA execs are said to be furious, as a number of actors are now in play, and people like Chris Pratt and Will Ferrell have already shifted to UTA. (VAR) (THR) (DH)
James Gunn Might Be Busy With ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2’, but One Of His Scripts Is Moving Forward With MGMGreg McLean has been hired to direct The Belco Experiment, which Gunn will also produce, along with Peter Safran. The story revolves around the American Belco company in South America which is mysteriously sealed off at the beginning of a work day, and its employees are ordered to kill each other or be killed themselves. This starts an escalation of violence, where we discover the true nature of each and every Belco employee. (SF) (TVL) (CBR) (CS)
As We Get Ever, Depressingly Closer To His Retirement, Some Stories From Behind the Scenes Of David Letterman’s Groundbreaking ShowBefore the legendary Letterman ends his incredible run on May 20, longtime Late Show writer Tom Ruprecht shares a few funny stories from behind the scenes of the groundbreaking show, including some fascinating (but unsurprising) information about Willie Nelson’s tour bus. (VUL) (CB) (DS)
UTA: Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, and Ed Helms have all followed their reps, Jason Heyman and Martin Lesak, and made the switch from CAA to UTA in the shakeup.
WME: Trey Edward Shults, whose film Krisha won the Special Jury and Audience awards for feature film at SXSW in March, has signed with WME. The film, adapted from the short, follows an alcoholic woman struggling to reconnect with her family after years of separation.
UTA: Kanye West parted ways with CAA and longtime rep Cara Lewis to sign with UTA for full representation across his varied business interests. West's digital business and music will be handled by a cross-departmental team of agents at UTA.
UTA: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon staff writer Mike Drucker has signed with UTA. Drucker was nominated for an Emmy last year alongside the rest of The Tonight Show’s writing team, and has been with Fallon since Late Night.
42West: Star Wars: Episode VII star Daisy Ridley has signed with 42West. The Brit actress landed one of Hollywood’s most coveted roles, and she’ll be playing the female lead named Rey, who may or may not be Han and Leia’s daughter. PMK•BNC: The Last Man on Earth’s Kristen Schaal has signed with PMK•BNC. The actress and comedian plays Will Forte’s new wife on the Fox series, and voices Louise Belcher on the network’s Bob’s Burgers. She also played NBC page Hazel Wassername on 30 Rock and mega fan Mel on HBO’s Flight of the Conchords.
WME: Mark Strong has signed with WME. The actor was previously was with CAA. Strong is known for playing villains, in Jaguar’s 2014 Super Bowl campaign, and movies like Sherlock Holmes. He most recently played the Q to Colin Firth’s Bond-like spy in Kingsman: The Secret Service, and he was the MI6 head Stewart Menzies in The Imitation Game. His next film is Sony’s comedy Grimsby.