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Exec Shuffle for 8/24/15: Shifts at ICM, WME & UTA, MPAA Exec Kate Bedingfield to Work for Joe Biden


Company Launches & Partnerships

Amazon has struck an exclusive deal with Open Road Films to stream their titles via Amazon Prime starting in 2017. Films will include upcoming 2016 releases like Fifty Shades Of Black, action-thriller Triple 9, romantic comedy Mother’s Day, action-thriller Sleepless Night, Bleed For This, and the animated family film Blazing Samurai.

Major League Baseball is working on a deal with Fox, which holds the local media rights to 15 MLB teams, to allow authenticated local streaming of live games. Currently only the Toronto Blue Jays, currently streams games locally. In the past, the league has required streamed games should go through MLB.com. The league will charge each sports network a rights fee in the mid- to high seven figures.

Endemol Beyond USA, the digital entertainment division of Endemol Shine North America, will join subscription video platform Vessel with over 700 of its existing videos and an exclusive early access window for new programming. Created by Dutch media giant Endemol to manage its growing roster of partnerships with digital content creators in North America, Endemol Beyond will bring to Vessel content from YouTubers including Michelle Phan and original video from Pitbull, Jessica Sanchez, Brittany Furlan, Drea de Matteo and Andy Milonakis.


Ted Cooper
is retiring from his position as head film buyer for Regal Ent. Group. He’ll consult for the company for a year. Replacing him is Mike Viane, the former Warner Bros distribution exec.

Bob Bacon has left Paramount Pictures as their EVP of Animation and is currently pursuing other opportunities.

Andrew Calof is now the VP of Production at Dreamworks Studios. He previously held the same title at New Regency.

Mark Zoradi has been tapped as the CEO of Cinemark following Tim Warner’s leave after 20 years at the company. Warner will continue to provide consulting services. Zoradi was previously the COO of Dreamworks Animation.

Penney Finkelman Cox and Sandra Rabins are now the Co-Presidents of Original Force Animation. They were previously SVPs at Sony Pictures Animation.

Amy Dunning is now the Head of Music in Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group. She was formerly the SVP of Downtown Music Publishing.

Allison Gillogly has been upped from CE to Director of Development at Ridley Scott Films.

Jenn Sheridan is now the VP of Creatives Services in Broad Green Pictures’ Home Entertainment division. She was previously the SVP of Creative Services at Trailer Park.


Marie Moore has joined Turner Broadcasting System as VP of communications for TBS and TNT. Moore will work with Petruzzi to lead the communications strategy for original programming and new ventures in digital content, as well as TBS’s upcoming brand overhaul. She was formerly an executive at IFC, leading consumer media relations, program publicity and talent relations.

Matt Cafritz is now a Manager of Development at Warrior Poets. He was previously an AP at Original Media. Eric Enright has been promoted from AP to CE.

Lee Flaster has shifted from SVP of Planning, Strategy & Business Operations, NBCUniversal Hispanic Group to SVP of Business Operations & Growth Strategy, Telemundo.

Dolores Gavin has shifted from EVP of Development & Production, Discovery Channel to EVP of Development at Megalomedia.

Duncan Gray is now a Principal of Twenty Six 03. He was previously the Creative Director of Princess Productions.

John Hamlin is now a Principal of Switched On Entertainment. He was formerly the SVP of Music Events and Talent for CMT.

Brooke Johnson will retire in 2016 from her post as President of Food Network and Cooking Channel and will remain on for a time as a Consultant to the Scripps Networks Interactive.

Erika Kennair is now the VP of Comedy Development & International Scripted Development, ABC Entertainment. She was formerly the VP of Original Programming & Development, Syfy.

Marc Rosen
has decided to leave his post as CEO of Georgeville TV, which he launched with Reliance’s Motion Picture Capital in 2012. The company was attached as a producer-financier to series including NBC’s Crossbones and Relativity TV’s Limitless series. Currently Georgeville TV produces the Wachowski drama Sense8 on Netflix.

Simon Knight is now the CEO of Maverick TV. He was formerly the Creative Director of Ricochet.

Patrick Kondelis has been upped from Senior Producer at Bat Bridge Ent. from Creative Director of Unscripted.

Ross McCarthy is now the Managing Director, Gobstopper Television. He was formerly Head of Unscripted at Buccaneer Media.

Nikki Suseck has been upped from Publicity Assistant, Discovery Communications to Publicist at HGTV.

Time Warner has upped Priya Dogra, naming her SVP of mergers and acquisitions. Dogra has been at Time Warner since 2009, and before that she was at Citibank.

Dustin Smith has shifted from VP of Communications at TLC to the same title at CBS.

Sabina Widmann-Hernandez is now the VP and General Manager and Director, Sales, Univision Local Media. Sabina was previously Director of Sales at Univision Local Media.

Stephanie Yates is now the VP of Research & Insights, WE tv. She was formerly the VP of Research at TV One.

Management, PR, Agencies

Jonathan Perelman is now ICM’s Head of Digital Ventures. He was previously VP of Motion Pictures at Buzzfeed. Perelman will focus on expanding the agency’s representation of digital content creators and report to founding partner Chris Silbermann. Keyvan Peymani is now a Senior Advisor of Digital Ventures at ICM, up from Managing Director. Bennett Sherman has been upped from Coordinator to Agent in Digital Ventures.

Sean Lyons has returned to the R/GA agency as President, after previously serving as SVP of operations and business planning. Lyons was formerly global chief digital officer at Havas.

Aimée Anderson is now the Managing Director along with her past title of VP of Brand Publicity for DDA PR in London. Neil Bhatt is now President of Film and TV at DDA. He was previously Head of UK Theatrical PR at StudioCanal. Ben Hayes is now DDA’s Chief Innovation Officer. He was formerly their head of digital.

Tanya Cohen has switched as an agent of Motion Picture Literary at Verve to WME.

Marko Kuo is now an Attorney at Kleinberg Lange Cuddy & Carlo. Marko was previously a Counsel at Fayer Gipson.

Sarah Ledesma is now the Manager of Social Media at Haley Miranda Group. She was formerly a coordinator at AFI. Ashton Spatz is now the Director of Social Media & Public Relations, Haley Miranda Group. Ashton was previously the Senior Manager of Marketing & Promotions, House of Blues Entertainment and Live Nation. Maggie Waters is now a Sr. Manager of PR for Haley Miranda Group. She was formerly the Director of PR at Tina Thomson Communications.

Craig Bernstein is shifting from ICM Partners to UTA. He is a below-the-line agent with clients that include Theory of Everything Oscar-winning scribe Anthony McCarten and producer Lisa Bruce.

Music, Digital, Publishing, Misc.

David Miller has been upped from VP to SVP of Brand Marketing at Universal Studios Hollywood. Xiomara Wiley is now the EVP of Marketing and Sales, she was previously the SVP. Wiley will handle brand direction for the park and CityWalk, including strategy & insight, integrated marketing, sales, publicity and more.

Ian Richter is now the EVP of Franchise & Emerging Platform Development at Legendary Entertainment. He was previously head of Franchise Creative at DreamWorks Animation.

Kate Bedingfield has been tapped as Vice President Joe Biden’s Communications Director. She was previously the Chief Spokesperson for the MPAA. She joined the MPAA in 2011 from the White House, where she was associate communications director and acting director of media affairs. She has also formerly overseen campaign communications in 2008 for presidential candidate John Edwards and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). She takes over for Shailagh Murray, who’s now a Senior Advisor to President Obama.

Online publisher Evolve Media has tapped Jennifer Catto SVP of integrated marketing, based in the company’s New York office. Catto was formerly VP and head of branded entertainment and partnerships at Say Media.

Ranker, an online site for crowdsourced rankings, has tapped Inger Lund Carter as VP of content and programming and David Cohn EVP of sales. Carter comes from Yahoo, Cohn from Askmen and CraveOnline.

Patrick J. Connors has switched magazines from Time Inc. to InStyle where he will be the publisher. Connors had been SVP and publisher at Men’s Fitness.

Time Inc. has named Nicholas Butterworth head of product for digital entertainment, and will work with People.com and EW.com. Butterworth is a former CEO at MTV Interactive Group.

Will Keenan, who had served as President of Endemol Beyond USA, is leaving after two years. Adrian Sexton has been named Interim President and COO for Endemol Beyond USA, Endemol Shine North America’s premium content network. Leslie Morgan, who leads all lifestyle programming, has been named VP, Programming for Endemol Beyond USA.

Yahoo Media has a new Editor-in-Chief: Martha Nelson. Most recently, Nelson was the first female editor-in-chief of Time Inc., where she oversaw the editorial content for the media company’s 21 brands.

Communications planning and media services agency Crossmedia tapped David Heimlich as Executive Director. He joins the agency after four years at Horizon Media where he was VP and Managing Director.

MultiView tapped Yariv Drori as the new VP of Programmatic Advertising Operations. Drori was formerly the Vice President of Global Services at Adap.tv, which was recently acquired by One by AOL.

2015 Emmys: Writing and Directing, Universal Breaks Another Record, Vin Diesel Returning To ‘xXx’, Exec Moves For 8/24/15




The Contenders: Writer and Director Emmy Nominees

A comprehensive look at all the nominees, both comedy and drama, and the shows on which they shine. From Silicon Valley to Game of Thrones, and from Homeland to Episodes, this list runs the gamut of all the talented folk who will be suiting up for the awards next month. (VTV)

Writing a Finale: What Goes In To Bringing an Ending Together

This year’s Emmy-nominated scribes agree: Writing a finale is no easy feat. Recently, Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner was tasked with wrapping up seven seasons of the AMC critical darling, while Silicon Valley’s Alec Berg had the (albeit slightly less stressful) chore of tying up the second season of the HBO comedy breakout. (HRTV)


Exec Shuffle for 8/24/15: Shifts At ICM, WME & UTA, MPAA Exec Kate Bedingfield To Work for Joe Biden

Another busy week in Hollywood, with Amazon striking a deal with Open Road Films and Endemol Beyond USA joining the subscription video platform Vessel with over 700 of its existing videos and an exclusive early access window for new programming. There’s a bunch of other stuff, too, so click on the link for more. (SSN)


Universal Breaks Yet Another Box Office Record With More Than Four Months To Go In the Year

The studio’s banner year continues with another record. Universal Pictures International has grossed $3.78 billion to set a new industry record for the highest-grossing year ever at the international box office. Internationally, the studio has four of the top five highest-grossing films of the year: Fast & Furious 7 (No. 1 with $1.162 billion), Jurassic World (No. 2 with $983.5 million), Minions (No. 4 with $670.2 million) and Fifty Shades of Grey (No. 5 with $404.1 million). (THR)

Because You Can Never Have Too Many Franchises, Vin Diesel Is Making ‘xXx 3’

Diesel first played extreme sports secret agent Xander Cage in 2002’s xXx, but did not appear in the 2005 sequel, which starred Ice Cube. Now, he is returning to the franchise for the third film, which will start shooting in December in the Philippines. The star announced the news on Instagram, but there is no word on a director or any other attachments yet. (COL)

The Academy Announces 20 SciTech Achievements Under Consideration For a 2016 Honor

Among the gadgets and discoveries on the short list are a remote-controlled lens attachment that enables highly adjustable in-camera distortion effects, displays that provide P3 color space for image review in motion picture workflows, and rig-based solvers for tracking and animating deforming objects from image sequences. (BTS)

Another Oscar Winner Has Signed On To Amazon’s ‘Trial’ Alongside Billy Bob Thornton

William Hurt will co-star opposite Thornton in the series from David E. Kelley. Show follows Billy McBride (Thornton) a once-respectable lawyer who was ousted from the high-profile firm he co-founded. His professional life is turned upside down when a young lawyer who has just been fired from his old firm brings him a wrongful death case that pits him against the head of his former firm, Attorney Donald Cooper, played by Hurt. (VAR)

Soccer Parents Comedy From Kari Lizer & Bill Wrubel Lands Big Commitment At ABC

In a very competitive situation, network has nabbed Dream Team, a half-hour project from the top comedy writers, reuniting a decade after working together on Will & Grace. The single-camera comedy from Warner Bros TV has received a pilot production commitment. Show centers on a coach who has a documentary crew following him around as he assembles his next soccer dynasty from a diverse group of little girls that bring along their diverse families. (DH)

Daniel Brühl Is Joining Jessica Chastain In the Cast Of ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’

Johan Hidenbergh also stars in the project, based on Diane Ackerman’s bestseller. Niki Caro is directing the story, which follows Jan and Antonina Zabinski, in a real-life tale extrapolated from Antonina’s diaries. In the 1930s, the Zabinskis ran the Warsaw Zoo, and when Germany invaded Poland and most of the animals were killed in the bombing, the couple turned the zoo into a safe haven for Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto. (EMP)

In Case You Were Wondering How Stephen Colbert’s First Week Would Look, Today Is Your Lucky Day

Colbert will open big when he begins his run as host of CBS’ The Late Show on Sept. 8th, with previously announced guests and Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush. Wednesday the 9th will see actress Scarlett Johansson, SpaceX, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk and Kendrick Lamar performing and being interviewed. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and musical guest Toby Keith are on the 10th, and comedian Amy Schumer and author Stephen King on the 11th. (HP)

Bruce Willis Exits New Woody Allen Film, Relativity Wants Money To Keep Key Execs, Katherine Heigl’s TV Return, Plan B’s ‘Moonlight’ Excursion


Bruce Willis Drops Out Of Woody Allen’s Movie: Broadway ‘Misery’ Schedule To Blame

Scratch the Die Hard star from the ensemble of Allen’s new film. Woody’s camp confirmed this development and that Willis’ plan to work with Allen was hobbled by his other plan to take the Broadway stage in the adaptation of the Stephen King bestseller and movie classic. Allen will recast in time to keep the production on schedule. (DH)

Bankrupt Relativity Media Wants Money to Keep Key Staffers Tucker Tooley and Tom Forman

The embattled company has proposed giving cash incentives to key executives in order to keep them on board as it winds its way through bankruptcy proceedings. The company is looking for approval to pay $314,868 to president Tooley, CFO and co-COO Andrew Matthews, managing director Carol Genis, Relativity Television CEO Forman and co-COO Greg Shamo, according to filings. Ryan Kavanaugh is not listed among the executives looking for compensation incentives. (VAR)

Katherine Heigl Knows the Rule: If At First You Don’t Succeed On TV, Try Try Again

The actress has landed the starring role in CBS’ revamping of its drama pilot Doubt, which was shot for this year’s pilot season, but CBS decided to re-cast and re-shoot the project rather than pick the title up to series. Heigl takes over the lead role originally played by KaDee Strickland. Some original co-stars who are still on board include Laverne Cox, Dule Hill, Dreama Walker and Elliott Gould. (EW)

Plan B Teams With A24 To Finance and Produce the Adaptation Of ‘Moonlight’

Based on the play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue,” by Tarell McCraney, follows two Miami boys as they navigate the temptations of the drug trade and their burgeoning sexuality. Barry Jenkins has written the script and will direct the film, with Brad Pitt’s production shingle on board to produce and the indie distributor financing and distributing the project. (SAA)

It Appears Channing Tatum and Fox Have Found Their Female Lead For ‘Gambit’, If She Actually Wants the Role

Lea Seydoux,from Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, Blue Is the Warmest Color and in the upcoming Bond film, Spectre, has been offered the female lead in the X-Men spinoff. The role is Belladonna Boudreaux, heir to the head of the Assassins Guild, and a friend/lover/enemy of the title character. According to reports, the decision is now resting with the actress. (CB)

Seattle ‘Up’ House Movie in the Works From Fox Searchlight

The story of the famous house in Seattle that caused a media sensation due to its similarities to Pixar’s Up is getting the movie treatment. Fox Searchlight has picked up an untitled project from John Whittington with the owner of the house at the center. Will Gluck is on board to produce the drama along with Jodi Hildebrand, his partner at Olive Bridge Entertainment. Gluck is not attached to direct at this stage. (THR)

Fox’s Next ‘Planet of the Apes’ Movie Nabs ‘Low Riders’ Actor to Star

Gabriel Chavarria, who plays one of the leads in Universal’s upcoming drama, is in early talks to nab a key role in Fox’s latest Planet of the Apes installment. Matt Reeves, who directed 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, has returned as helmer for the new project, which has the working title War of the Planet of the Apes. Mark Bomback also is back as screenwriter and Chernin Entertainment as the producer. (HV)

Warner Bros. and Vertigo Entertainment Are Getting Behind an Adaptation Of ‘To the White Sea’

Based on the James Dickey novel about an American gunner who parachutes into Tokyo from his burning plane during World War II, then makes his way across the frozen northern expanse of Japan in an attempt to reach the sea, and freedom, the project previously had the Coen Brothers attached, but now will be looking for a new writer-director to take the reins. Roy Lee is the producer behind the project. (SF)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Legend’

StudioCanal and Working Title have released the new trailer for the upcoming period crime drama starring Tom Hardy as legendary twin London crime lords Ronald and Reginald Kray. Film also stars Emily Browning, David Thewlis, Christopher Eccleston, Taron Egerton, Tara Fitzgerald and Chazz Palminteri, was written and directed by Brian Helgeland, and hits theaters on October 2nd. (CBR)

Online Film School: Thirty-Seven Things Learned From Listening To David Fincher’s ‘Gone Girl’ Commentary

The director is never one to mince words, and he always delivers commentary tracks that entertain and inform in equal measure. If you doubt it, go listen to the Fight Club commentary with Brad Pitt and Ed Norton. He tackles this one alone resulting in a few collective minutes of silence, but he spends most of the film’s two and a half hour running time sharing facts, anecdotes and curse words. (FSR)

TV Development for 8/25/15: Big Bang Theory’s Simon Helberg Developing Two Series, Hulu Orders Pilot from Seth Rogen


America’s Greatest Makers
Network: TBS
Production Company(s): Intel Corporation, United Artists Media Group
Executive Producer(s): Mark Burnett
Logline: The series will feature inventors trying to develop the next big wearable or smart connected consumer device built on the Intel Curie hardware module.
SSN Insight: The project is an extension of Intel’s 2014 “Make It Wearable” challenge. TBS ordered the reality series on August 18.

Bourbon Kings
Network: NBC Entertainment
Studio: Endemol Studios
Executive Producer(s): David Rambo, Daniel Rappaport, Ben Forkner
Writer(s): David Rambo
Logline: The story follows the Bradfords, heirs to a Kentucky distillery fortune, as well as the downstairs staff of their glamorous estate in bourbon and thoroughbred country.
Details: The project is based on the novel, “The Bourbon Kings,” written by J.R. Ward and published by NAL on July 28, 2015.
SSN Insight: NBC gave an initial commitment of a script plus penalty.

Production Company(s): Slingshot Global Media
Writer(s): Shekhar Kapur
Logline: The series will follow the narrative of an 18-year-old girl who came to be a pharaoh and a queen, a woman who was brighter, more intelligent, richer and a better administrator and ruler than the men of her time. It will re-imagine Cleopatra’s history, reinventing her as the modern woman, a woman that understood the power of myth and turned herself into a myth, constantly reinventing herself. It will highlight her great loves and her survival in the face of repeated assassination attempts, which made hers one of the most dangerous, yet most powerful thrones of all time.
SSN Insight: Slingshot Global will also distribute the series. Currently the producers are looking to cast the lead.

Dream Team
Network: ABC Entertainment Group
Studio: Warner Bros. Television
Production Company(s): Kari’s Logo Here, Here Comes Scrappy
Executive Producer(s): Kari Lizer, Bill Wrubel
Writer(s): Kari Lizer, Bill Wrubel
Logline: Coach Marty Schumacher knows how to win in the world of girls’ club soccer. His last team went to the national championship, and those women are off playing in college, semipro, even the Olympic team. Now Coach Schumacher, who is known as “the star maker” (mostly by himself), has a documentary crew following him around as he assembles his next dynasty from a diverse group of little girls that bring along their diverse families.
SSN Insight: In a competitive situation ABC has nabbed the half-hour comedy and gave an initial commitment of a pilot plus a penalty on August 24. Kari Lizer and Bill Wrubel are both under deals at WB TV.

Ex Isle
Network: WE TV
Production Company(s): 495 Productions
Executive Producer(s): SallyAnn Salsano, Joel Zimmer, Pam LaLima, Lauren Pollack-Gellert, Angela Molloy
Logline: Hosted by Carmen Electra and set in the Dominican Republic at the Casa de Campo Resort, five former couples will go through an intense and emotional journey led by Dr. Ish Major. With his help, the couples will go through a unique, multi-step process designed to help them break free from the past. Then, in an unexpected twist, 10 singles will arrive at the resort, giving the exes a fresh chance at love.
SSN Insight: WE TV has given a series order of 10 episodes as of August 20.

Future Man
Network: Hulu
Studio: Sony Pictures Television
Production Company(s): Matt Tolmach Productions, Point Grey Pictures
Executive Producer(s): Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Kyle Hunter, Ariel Shaffir, Matt Tolmach
Writer(s): Kyle Hunter, Ariel Shaffir
Logline: A comedy centers on a janitor by day/world-ranked gamer by night who is tasked with preventing the extinction of humans after mysterious visitors from the future proclaim him the key to defeating the imminent super-race invasion.
SSN Insight: Hulu landed the series in a competitive situation and ordered the pilot on August 20.

House of the Rising Sin
Network: NBC Entertainment
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television
Executive Producer(s): Judy Smith, Jeremy Miller, Daniel Cohn
Writer(s): Jeremy Miller, Daniel Cohn
Logline: The series follows three generations of an African-American family whose corrupt political machine has controlled New Orleans for decades.
SSN Insight: Miller and Cohn recently sold a comedy pitch, The Fix, to TBS and their Black List original screenplay, The Portland Condition, will rolls cameras in 2015 with ShivHans Pictures and Beau Flynn producing.

Legacy of Kings
Network: No Broadcast Network Available.
Studio: Warner Bros. Television
Production Company(s): Paper Lantern Lit, Wildline Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Simon Helberg, Jocelyn Towne, Lauren Oliver, Lexa Hillyer
Writer(s): No Writer Available.
Logline: A teenage Alexander the Great, before he was a conqueror, sets out on a quest to earn his father’s respect. Accompanied by a band of others driven by their own motivations, Alexander journeys to regain the Blood Magic — the only force capable of driving out an unspeakable evil that has taken root in the kingdom.
Details: Based on the first novel in the “Blood of Gods and Royals” fantasy series, “Legacy of Kings,” written by Eleanor Herman and published by Harlequin Teen on August 18, 2015.
SSN Insight: Simon Helberg has closed an exclusive two-year deal with WB TV, the studio behind The Big Bang Theory. Under the deal, Helberg and his wife, writer-director-actress Jocelyn Towne, will develop series under their new production shingle, Wildline Entertainment. The book rights were won after a bidding war.

Marvel’s Most Wanted
Network: ABC Entertainment Group
Studio: ABC Studios
Production Company(s): Marvel Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Jeffrey Bell, Paul Zbyszewski, Megan Thomas Bradner, Jeph Loeb
Writer(s): Jeffrey Bell, Paul Zbyszewski
Logline: Based on the Marvel character, Mockingbird.
Details: The project is planned as a spinoff of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” which premiered on ABC in 2013.
SSN Insight: Series was initially rolled from the 2015-2016 pilot season. After renewed interest, ABC has given an initial commitment of a script and ordered a pilot.

Pinky Malinky
Network: Nickelodeon
Production Company(s): Nickelodeon Animation Studios
Executive Producer(s): Scott Kreamer
Logline: Pinky Malinky is an infectiously upbeat hot dog living in a human world and navigating school and life with a unique perspective and his two best friends by his side. Pinky and his friends will talk directly to the camera to share their absurd and silly perspectives on real life.
Details: The project is based on a short that was done for the Cartoon Network.
SSN Insight: The cabler has ordered 20 episodes of the original animated series for premiere in 2016.

Protocol Orphans
Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television
Production Company(s): Boom! Studios
Executive Producer(s): Amanda Segel, Ross Richie, Stephen Christy, Josh Levy
Writer(s): Amanda Segel
Logline: A foster family of orphans are trained by the US government as covert operatives, protecting their country during the day and battling each other at night.
Details: Based on the graphic novel, “Protocol Orphans,” created by Peter Facinelli and Rob DeFranco and published by BOOM! Studios in 2013.
SSN Insight: Boom! has a first look deal with 20th Century Fox TV. Under that deal Boom! also developed a drama adaptation of its comic book series Unthinkable last season which earned a put pilot commitment.

Sawyer & Huck
Network: CBS Entertainment
Studio: CBS Television Studios, Sony Pictures Television
Executive Producer(s): Brandon Margolis, Brandon Sonnier, Anthony Hemingway, Josh Berman, Marc Taylor
Writer(s): Brandon Margolis, Brandon Sonnier
Logline: The story is a reimagining of the iconic characters of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn as adults in modern day America. After a murder case brings them together in St. Louis, Tom Sawyer hires his previously estranged boyhood friend Huck Finn as an investigator for his floundering one-man legal firm and together they take on cases for people who don’t have anywhere else to turn.
Details: Based on the characters of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, from the novels of Mark Twain, including “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” (1876), “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” (1884) and “Tom Sawyer, Detective” (1896).
SSN Insight: CBS has given an initial commitment of a put pilot.

Network: ABC Entertainment Group
Studio: ABC Studios
Production Company(s): Shondaland
Executive Producer(s): Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Shonda Rhimes, Betsy Beers
Writer(s): Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins
Logline: In the wake of a wave of divorces, the single residents of a suburban cul-de-sac join forces to raise their kids and get through it together.
SSN Insight: Emily Halpern & Sarah Haskins previously created Trophy Wife and Halpern previously wrote on Shondaland’s Private Practice.

Network: NBC Entertainment
Studio: Universal Television
Production Company(s): The Firm, Prospect Park
Executive Producer(s): Shaun Cassidy, Josh Barry
Writer(s): Shaun Cassidy
Logline: A musical prodigy evolves into a serial killer after the murder of his one true love.
SSN Insight: NBC have given an initial commitment of a script.

The Ambassador’s Wife
Studio: eOne Television
Production Company(s): Mark Gordon Company
Executive Producer(s): Mark R. Gordon
Logline: A British woman is kidnapped in Yemen, setting off an ordeal for her and her ambassador husband.
Details: Based on the novel, “The Ambassador’s Wife,” written by Jennifer Steil and published by Doubleday on July 28, 2015.
SSN Insight: Planned as a limited series with Anne Hathaway set to star.

Untitled Cain & Abel Project
Network: NBC Entertainment
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television
Production Company(s): Imagine Television
Executive Producer(s): Ian Edelman, David Frankel, Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo
Writer(s): Ian Edelman
Logline: Two very different Cuban brothers and their families live in Miami a world where boxers, models, artists, gangsters and billionaires collide in the pursuit of the American dream.
SSN Insight: NBC has given an initial commitment of a put pilot.

Untitled Chernin Comedy Project
Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television
Production Company(s): 3 Arts Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): John Chernin, Dave Chernin, Oly Obst, Nicholas Frenkel
Writer(s): John Chernin, Dave Chernin
Logline: A coarse, blue-collar woman moves to affluent Greenwich, Connecticut raise the outrageously spoiled kids of her wealthy sister and brother-in-law, who have fled the country to avoid prosecution for illegal activities.
SSN Insight: Fox has given an initial commitment of a script plus penalty. The Chernin brothers currently co-EP FX’s It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia

Untitled Kentucky Bourbon Drama Project
Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
Production Company(s): New Wave Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Bruce Romans, Brian Volk-Weiss, Michael Pelmont, Matt Ochacher
Writer(s): Bruce Romans
Logline: The story centers on the self-made patriarch of a Kentucky bourbon empire and his family. When he has a public breakdown, his children must overcome their differences and their father’s sordid past in order to save the family and their business.
SSN Insight: Romans was a co-producer and writer on Falling Skies. New Wave currently produces It Takes a Sister and We’re the Fugawis.

Untitled Nkechi Carroll Drama Project
Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television
Production Company(s): Teakwood Lane Productions
Executive Producer(s): Howard Gordon, Hugh Fitzpatrick, Nkechi Okoro Carroll
Writer(s): Nkechi Okoro Carroll
Logline: Three young and brilliant, yet troubled, doctors who grew up together are reunited at an extraordinary cutting-edge hospital, though their past and shared secrets are never far behind.
SSN Insight: Fox has given an initial commitment of a script plus penalty.

Untitled Simon Helberg Comedy Project
Studio: Warner Bros. Television
Production Company(s): Wildline Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Simon Helberg, Jocelyn Towne
Writer(s): Simon Helberg
Logline: Storyline is under wraps.
SSN Insight: Simon Helberg has closed an exclusive two-year deal with WB TV, the studio behind The Big Bang Theory. Under the deal, Helberg and his wife, writer-director-actress Jocelyn Towne, will develop series under their new production shingle, Wildline Entertainment.

Untitled Howard Gordon Drama Project
Network: Fox
Studio: 20th Century Fox TV
Production Company(s): Teakwood Lane
Executive Producer(s): Nkechi Okoro Carroll, Howard Gordon, Hugh Fitzpatrick
Writer(s): Nkechi Okoro Carroll
Logline: Centers on three brilliant young doctors who grew up together in CompFox Logoton and are reunited at an extraordinary cutting-edge hospital in Beverly Hills. Now the shared secrets from their past force them to straddle the line between the opulence of their new world and the hard streets they came from.
SSN Insight: Fox has given a script commitment with a penalty to the series. Actress-writer Carroll and Teakwood are both under overall deals at 20th TV.

Studio: Keshet Studios
Production Company(s): Keshet International
Logline: Le Chef, a monster of French gastronomy who saves a spot in his kitchen each year for an ex-con. Chefs follows ex-con Romain’s struggles to adapt to his demanding, competitive and adrenaline-filled new profession, and ultimately shows his meteoric rise as he discovers his passion for the art of food after a decidedly tricky start.
Details: Based on the French series, Chefs from CALT Production that began airing in February.
SSN Insight: In a highly competitive situation Keshnet has acquired rights to produce a domestic adaptation of the six-part French ensemble drama.

2015 Emmys: Reality TV, Relativity Bankruptcy Updates, Debra Winger Returns To TV, Bryan Cranston Asks ‘Why Him?’, TV Development For 8/25/15



Reality Television

Feeling Like You’re Seeing the Same Titles Among the Nominees Every Year? You’re Not Alone

They are all worthy and high-quality shows, nevertheless they’ve been the same six series battling it out in the reality competition program category since 2012: The Amazing Race, Dancing With the Stars, Project Runway, Top Chef, So You Think You Can Dance and The Voice. The only change that category has seen in recent years was when then-newcomer The Voice usurped the spot previously held by American Idol. (VTV)

Mark Wahlberg on His Emmy Nom, the Burger Biz and Expanding to Middle East

The star and producer of Wahlbergers also explains why he was initially hesitant to do the A&E docuseries, admitting: “Being on TV as ‘Mark Wahlberg’ was not of interest to me.” (HTV)


TV Development For 8/25/15: ‘Big Bang Theory’s Simon Helberg Developing Two Series, Hulu Orders Pilot From Seth Rogen

With close to two dozen projects moving forward in some fashion, there is a lot to check out this week. Among them a new show from Mark Burnett, a new take on Cleopatra, a show about a family who makes bourbon, a hosting opportunity for Carmen Electra, as well as a new Marvel show and at least one other adaptation of a comic book. (SSN)


Relativity Bankruptcy Judge Rejects Biggest Objection to Studio Sale

The company’s third bankruptcy hearing continued this afternoon in New York, with U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Michael Wiles rejecting Manchester Securities’ arguments of its rights under Relativity’s operating agreement, clearing the most significant objection to a quick sale of Relativity. (HESQ)

Debra Winger Returns! Actress Will Star In Ashton Kutcher’s New Netflix Comedy

Danny Masterson and Sam Elliott also star in the multi-camera comedy series The Ranch, which has a 20-episode order. Created by Don Reo and Jim Patterson, show is set on a Colorado spread, with Kutcher’s character returning home after a brief semi-pro football career to run the family business with his brother, played by Masterson. Elliott play the boys’ father, and Winger plays the mom. Series is set to premiere in 2016. (DH)

Bryan Cranston to Star Alongside James Franco in Comedy ‘Why Him?’

John Hamburg is on board to direct, and will co-write the script with Ian Helfer. Shawn Levy is producing under his 21 Laps banner, with Ben Stiller also attached to produce through his Red Hour Films shingle. The comedy is set over the holidays, when a Midwestern dad travels with his family to visit his daughter at college, and soon finds himself in a battle for her affections with her brash new tech billionaire boyfriend. (VAR)

‘Maze Runner’ Director to Tackle Norse Mythology With ‘Fall of Gods’

Twentieth Century Fox is teaming up with Wes Ball, the director of its YA franchise, for an epic Norse fantasy. The studio has picked up the rights to Fall of Gods, a crowd-funded illustrated novel from Denmark-based Mood Studios. Mood’s concept designer Rasmus Berggreen ran point on the book project and teamed up with Michael Vogt, the lead writer of the Hitman video game with the intent to bring back a more Scandinavian stamp on Norse mythology. (HV)

‘The Girl On the Train’ Just Cast Its Third Female Lead, and Her Name Is Haley Bennett

Bennett joins Emily Blunt and Rebecca Ferguson in the film, an adaptation of Paula Hawkins’ bestselling novel. The story follows a recently divorced woman called Rachel (Emily Blunt) struggling with her life and sinking into alcoholism to try to cope. She sees a seemingly perfect couple from her London train ride every day and starts to fantasize about their lives. But things take a turn when she sees something shocking happen in the house. (EMP)

Once Again, Blame ‘Creative Differences’: Greg Malins Exits Showrunner Role For Upcoming ‘The Grinder’

The veteran showrunner has exited the freshman comedy starring Rob Lowe and Fred Savage. A replacement has not yet been named, though that should happen soon. Malins’ departure is related to slight creative differences about the single-camera comedy about a famous TV lawyer who returns home after his hit show is canceled and joins his family’s law firm. Malins boarded the show following the pilot after his half-hour Take It From Us did not move forward. (TLF)

Investigating the Real Hero Of ‘The Karate Kid’: Johnny Lawrence

When’s the last time you saw the movie? Because after watching this video, and seeing a new perspective on the film and the behavior of both Lawrence and the movie’s nominal hero, Daniel LaRusso, you might very well just find your mind blown. (YT)

Relativity Auction To Move Forward, Michael Keaton Wins In Court, Mike Birbiglia Gets Back In the Director’s Chair, ‘Man Of Steel 2′ On a “Permanent Hold”?


Bankruptcy Judge Ready to Approve October Auction of Relativity Media

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Michael Wiles said yesterday he is prepared to approve the Oct. 1st auction of the company, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month. Wiles said his final approval of the sale of the company founded by Ryan Kavanaugh will be contingent on details being worked out, but he said he is ready to approve a sales plan initially proposed by Relativity’s senior lenders — Anchorage Capital, Luxor Capital and Falcon Investment Advisors.  (VAR)

Michael Keaton Is On a Role, as His Legal Victory Over ‘Merry Gentleman’ Is Affirmed

The production company behind Keaton’s 2007 directorial debut aimed to recover the $5.5 million that was spent on the film. Having allegedly botched it, Keaton was taken to court with a claim he breached his directing contract, but yesterday, a judge ruled that Keaton did not, thereby negating the rights of producers to get their money back. (HESQ)

Mike Birbiglia Is Directing His Second Movie, and It’s About the Backstabbing World of Improv

The actor/comedian has begun production on his second feature film, Don’t Think Twice. Starring Birbiglia alongside Key & Peele‘s Keegan-Michael Key and Community‘s Gillian Jacobs, as well as Kate Micucci, Tami Sagher, and Chris Gethard, the movie bills itself as a dramedy about an improv group that begins to fall apart when a few of the members make it onto the biggest TV sketch show. He previously helmed Sleepwalk With Me. (VUL)

Hold Off On Those “George Miller Directing ‘Man Of Steel 2’” Rumors, as the Movie Now Might Not Even Happen

Miller is indeed in talks with Warner Bros. about the possibility of taking on one of its future DC movies, though exactly what that movie is hasn’t been decided as yet. One source said that what Miller directs will depend on what story most interests him, his take on it, and everyone’s availability. While this doesn’t rule out the possibility of Miller taking on Man of Steel 2, another source has said that, as far as they understand it, the sequel is on “permanent hold.” (DG)

Shondaland Developing Yet Another Show For ABC, This One a Drama About Nuns

Untitled drama hails from writer Alison Schapker (Fringe, Brothers and Sisters, Alias) and centers on a group of Catholic nuns fighting the closure of their Bronx-based convent who must suddenly deal with three young novices whose arrival unearths long-buried secrets. The ensemble drama will throw into question everything you think you know about the “Brides of Christ.” (TLF)

After Some Major Production Trouble, HBO Miniseries ‘Lewis And Clark’ To Resume Production In Spring

Cable net’s high-profile six-hour miniseries, starring Casey Affleck and Matthias Schoenaerts, shut down production three weeks ago after a rough early going, with internal as well as external, weather-related factors, impacting the production. Based on the book Undaunted Courage by Stephen E. Ambrose, film tells the story of America’s first contact with the land and native tribes of the country west of the Mississippi. HBO will find a new director and DP. (DH)

Producer Adi Shankar Has an Ultra Violent ‘Castlevania’ Animated Mini-Series In Store For Us

Shankar, the man behind such works as Dredd, The Punisher: Dirty Laundry, Venom: Truth in Journalism, Judge Dredd: Superfiend, and a brutally reimagined Power Rangers short, is behind the video game adaptation, along with Fred Siebert and Kevin Klonde. No other attachments have yet been announced. (BD)

Curious About When Your Favorite Shows Are Returning This Fall? Here’s a Handy Dandy Premiere Date Guide

Just about every single show that matters is on this list, though no reality TV programming is included. Nor, for that matter, are TV movies or Specials, with a few choice exceptions. What are included, however, are premiered dates for scripted TV series appearing on streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and Crackle. (COL)

How Did This Get Made? The Curious Case Of Whoopi Goldberg and ‘Theodore Rex’

Nobody sets out to make a bad movie. But the truth is, it happens all the time. And every time it does, there’s a fun misadventure and cautionary tale lurking somewhere behind the scenes. This is that story for the most expensive movie that ever went straight to video. (SF)

Screenwriters: ‘Slumdog Millionaire’

The Oscar-winning, 133-page screenplay by Simon Beaufoy, based on the novel Q&A by Vikas Swarup. Draft is dated August 15th, 2007. (DS)

Film & TV Deals for 8/26/15: Netflix Lands in Japan, IATSE Ups Safety Training, Supernatural Creator Shifts to Sony


Members of 13 Hollywood locals of the IATSE have signed a new film and TV contract. The deal with management’s AMPTP will give 3% pay raises in each year of the three-year contract, “major improvements” for new media workers and has upped employer contributions to the union’s pension plan by 18 cents per hour. For the first time in the union’s history, employers will also contribute to IATSE’s Entertainment and Exhibition Industries Training Trust Fund, which provides safety training for motion picture workers covered under the deal.

Black-ish series creator Kenya Barris has signed a three-year overall deal with ABC Studios, the studio behind her series. Under the deal, she will continue as executive producer/co-showrunner on the show and develop new television projects for network, cable, and streaming services. Black-ish is a certified hit and finished the 2014-15 season as the highest rated first-year comedy series in adults 18-49, averaging a 2.9 rating. In addition, Black-ish swept all TV comedy categories at the NAACP Image Awards.

As mentioned in SSN’s TV Development this week, The Big Bang Theory’s Simon Helberg has signed an exclusive two-year pod deal with Warner Bros Television. Under the pact, Helberg and his wife, writer-director-actress Jocelyn Towne, will develop series for the studio via their new production shingle, Wildline Entertainment. They are currently developing two series. One is a half-hour comedy that Helberg will script and another is a drama entitled Legacy of Kings about Alexander the Great, based on the book by Eleanor Herman that was won after a bidding war. Under the deal, they’ve also hired Cora Olson to head development and supervise projects for the studio. She has produced six features, including the Sundance hit Good Dick and Chris Denham’s thriller Preservation.

Eric Kripke has signed a two-year overall deal with Sony Pictures Television. The producer created Supernatural. Under the deal, he will develop new projects for the studio. This is a major shift for Kripke who formerly had a deal with Warner Bros. TV, beginning in 2008. There he developed the long-running Supernatural for the CW along with NBC’s Revolution.

Netflix has joined forces with its first partner in Asia, Japanese digital giant Softbank to launch a video-streaming service in the country. The Netflix app will also be pre-installed on Softbank smartphones that go on sale this fall. Netflix will also be available in Portugal, Spain, and Italy later this year and China in 2016.

As mentioned in SSN’s Exec Shuffle, Amazon has inked a multiyear content-licensing deal with Open Road Films landing Prime Instant Video exclusive streaming rights to theatrical releases. Films coming to Prime users starting in 2017 include Fifty Shades of Black, thriller Triple 9 and Mother’s Day.

National Cinemedia has inked a long term data licensing agreement with Movio, which specializes in marketing data, analysis, insights, and campaign creation and management for theatrical exhibitors, studios and film distributors. NCM is the first licensed user for Movio’s “Movio Media” market research platform, which offers insights into U.S. moviegoers’ behavior.

Bravo, E!, and Oxygen have launched a cross-network partnership with mobile app Dubsmash. Fans can have the opportunity to become a part of shows on the three networks by creating their own buzzy moments from upcoming episodes with the top fan-creations to be collected in a special on-air Dubsmash Social Edition.

Viki, a video streaming web site based in Singapore that provides on-demand streaming video of TV shows, movies and music videos from around the globe, has bought Soompi, the world’s largest English-language online media company providing complete coverage of Korean pop culture, from Crunchyroll/Chernin. Soompi has close to seven million unique visitors per month.

2015 Emmys: Mini-Series/Movie, Universal Breaks Domestic BO Record, Lawrence and Schumer Writing a Movie, Film & TV Deals For 8/26/15




Inside the Revolution: How Mini-Series and Made For TV Movies Boast an Intriguing Shared Legacy

Over the years, no television formats have experienced more of a roller-coaster ride — in terms of their popularity with the public and their classifications at the Emmys — than made-for-TV movies and miniseries. (TR)

Can a Cannes Cast-Off About Princess Grace Actually Take the Emmy For Best Movie?

Once a staple with numerous and memorable Emmy-winning movies to tout, such as That Certain Summer, The Autobiography Of Miss Jane Pittman and other landmark films, the Outstanding Television Movie category — which now stands on its own apart from Mini/Limited Series —seems awfully hard to fill. (AL)


Film & TV Deals for 8/26/15: Netflix Lands In Japan, IATSE Ups Safety Training, ‘Supernatural’ Creator Shifts To Sony

Members of 13 Hollywood locals of the IATSE have signed a new film and TV contract, Kenya Barris has signed a three-year overall deal with ABC Studios, Bravo, E!, and Oxygen have launched a cross-network partnership with mobile app Dubsmash, and plenty more action occurred this week, so click on the link o read more. (SSN)


The Inevitable Has Finally Happened: Universal Clears $2.113 Billion, Breaks the Domestic Box Office Record

Four months before the end of the year, the studio surpassed the $2.105 billion that Warner Bros. made in 2009. Universal still has several more films coming out before the end of the year, including M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit, the real-life adventure film Everest, Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs; Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak; Angelina Jolie Pitt’s By the Sea; and Krampus, the horror-comedy from Legendary, so $2.5 billion seems in easy reach. (THR)

Jennifer Lawrence Announces a Project She’s Making With Amy Schumer, Just About Breaks The Internet

During an interview about the upcoming final chapter in the Hunger Games series, Mockingjay, Part 2, Lawrence casually revealed that she and Schumer, as well as Schumer’s younger sister Kim Caramele, have been working together on a new screenplay. The only details she would reveal are that the film will be a comedy, that Lawrence and Schumer will play sisters, and that the script is almost complete. (NYT)

Anne Hathaway to Star In and Produce Alien Invasion Comedy ‘The Shower’

Project is described as being tonally in the vein of This is the End, Attack the Block and Bridesmaids. The story begins with a bright baby shower when the guests find themselves under darker skies: a meteor shower. These meteors, however, turn men into blood-hungry aliens and the women must fight to save the world. The project is in the packaging phase, with the plan to get a director and actors before taking it to financiers or studios. (HV)

Christopher Guest Is Getting the Whole Gang Back Together For His New Netflix Film, ‘Mascots’

Guest will be writing and directing the mockumentary, his preferred filmmaking style, and today, it was announced that he’s asked some familiar faces to return, including Jane Lynch, Bob Balaban, and Parker Posey. Jennifer Coolidge and John Michael Higgins have also been included in the cast, and there’s been talk that Chris O’Dowd might be joining the gang as well. Film centers on a gaggle of sports mascots trying to make it big. (COL)

Joaquin Phoenix, M. Night Shyamalan Reteam for Jason Blum-Produced Project

The actor and writer-director previously worked together on Signs in 2002. As with any Shyamalan project, plot details are under lock and key, but the project will likely include elements of the supernatural. Given Blum’s involvement, the project’s budget will probably be relatively small, which would be more on par with Shyamalan’s “The Visit,” another Blum-produced pic that bows next month. (VAR)

Shawn Ryan and Eric Kripke Time-Travel Action Drama Lands Big NBC Commitment

The duo are behind Time, an action adventure drama that sparked a bidding war among the Big Four networks. The project, from Sony Pictures TV and studio-based Davis Entertainment, ended up going to NBC with a pilot production commitment. Described as “Back to the Future meets Mission: Impossible”, show is a high-octane hour about an unlikely trio traveling through time to battle unknown criminals in order to protect history as we know it. (DH)

Kurt Sutter Has a ‘Sons Of Anarchy’ Spinoff Brewing Over At FX

Few details are known about the offshoot, other than it would focus on the Mayans motorcycle club. One year ago, with an eye on Sons‘ final run of episodes, Sutter said there had been serious conversations about a prequel series, perhaps chronicling the origins of the gang, while at the same time he pooh-poohed the idea of a spinoff per se. Now, he seems to have changed tack. Sutter’s period drama The Bastard Executioner, debuts in September on FX. (TVL)

Tucker Tooley Wooed By the Weinsteins, MGM Nabs Hot YA Property, ABC Grabs Pair Of Comedies, Maria Bello Joins Amazon Drama


The Weinstein Company Is In Talks to Hire Relativity’s Tucker Tooley as Its New COO

Neither Relativity nor TWC would comment on the discussions, though a source close to Relativity said that Tooley is committed to staying with the embattled studio throughout its bankruptcy sale. Tuesday’s bankruptcy hearing cleared the way for an auction for Relativity Media to be held on Oct. 1st. (THR)

MGM Nabs Hot YA Novel ‘Everything, Everything’, Hires a Writer To Adapt It

J. Mills Goodloe, who wrote the script for the Blake Lively starrer Age of Adaline, will adapt the book for the big screen. Nicola Yoon’s debut novel, which will hit shelves Tuesday, follows a teen who has severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), a rare disease that causes her to be allergic to practically everything. She’s spent 17 years hiding out in her home, only seeing her mother and her nurse. But when a boy moves in next door, she begins to fall in love. (TB)

ABC Nabs Two Comedies from ‘American Dad’ & ‘Modern Family’ Duo

Kenny Schwartz and Rick Wiener are developing two comedy series for the network, both of which landed script commitments plus penalties. One of the series, inspired by Schwartz’s real-life story, revolves around a gay couple that gets divorced with both men remarrying and raising their budding teenage daughters together. The other is about a woman who burns all of her bridges when she finds out she has terminal cancer, only to learn that she’s in remission. (VAR)

First Billy Bob Thornton, Then William Hurt, and Now Maria Bello Joins David E. Kelley’s ’Trial’

The Amazon show, which has a 10-episode straight-to-series order, centers on Billy McBride (Thornton). Once a big and powerful lawyer, Billy has become a shell of his former self after losing a case that saw an innocent kid murdered. Bello will play Billy’s ex-wife Julie McBride, a brilliant and accomplished attorney. (DH)

Robert Pattinson To Star In Claire Denis’ English-Language Sci-Fi Movie, Co-Written By Zadie Smith

The Twilight star will lead the untitled project. Denis, Smith, and Nick Laird are all writing the script, about which the details are being kept under wraps. All that is known is that Pattinson will play an astronaut in a story set “beyond the solar system in a future that seems like the present.” Production is set to start shooting at the end of 2015 or early 2016, with a 2017 release. (TP)

There Is Going To Be a ‘Straight Outta Compton’ Reunion for Jason Mitchell and Corey Hawkins in ‘King Kong’ Prequel, ‘Skull Island’

No word on what characters both Mitchell and Hawkins have signed up to play, but they join a cast that already includes Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson, with Jordan Vogt-Roberts directing. Also no details on plot either, but what we do know is that the action/adventure movie will tell a story centered on King Kong’s origins. (SAA)

The New ‘Star Wars’ Movie Will Take Over All North American IMAX Screens For a Month Upon Its Release

Yes, all of them. That’s 375 to 400 screens all to itself, plus most of IMAX’s foreign screens as well. The deal struck between Disney/Lucasfilm and IMAX is similar to one struck four years ago with Warner Bros. for The Hobbit trilogy, and will leave other large-format-worthy epics like In the Heart Of the Sea and The Revenant stuck in regular multiplexes without the IMAX boost. (CS)

To Have and To Hold, Literally — Or Just Watch Digitally? The Evolution Of Home Entertainment

There’s no doubt a digital age is upon us. Today, the average American owns four digital devices, and we’re increasingly using these tools and platforms to keep ourselves entertained. But have audiences switched completely to digital when viewing TV and movie content? (NC)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Love the Coopers’

Lionsgate and CBS Films have released the first trailer from the upcoming comedy, starring Ed Helms, Diane Keaton, Amanda Seyfried, June Squibb, Marisa Tomei, Olivia Wilde, Jake Lacy, Anthony Mackie, Alan Arkin and John Goodman. It hits theaters November 13th. (SF)

Screenwriters: Breaking and Entering — You Can’t Win If You Don’t Play

What would you pay for two delicious, homemade cookies? 77 cents? Absolutely! A buck? Sure!What if I said that it would cost some of you 77 cents but others would have to pay a dollar? That’s what a group of Utah high school students did last March at their “Gender Equality Bake Sale.” Hoping to raise awareness about pay inequality between men and women, they charged boys $1 for two cookie while girls paid 77 cents. Pretty cool idea. (SM)

Film Development for 8/27/15: Jennifer Lawrence & Amy Schumer Co-Writing Feature, Christian Bale Races to Mann’s Ferrari Film



Logline: Explores the life of two young Romans–Gaius Julius Caesar and his blood-friend Marcus Junius Brutus.
Studio/Distributor: Lionsgate’s Summit Ent.
Production Company(s): Atmosphere Entertainment MM LLC, Hollywood Gang Productions, White Horse Pictures
Producer(s): Nigel Sinclair, Guy East, Gianni Nunnari, Mark Canton, William Broyles Jr.
Writer(s): Ian Mackenzie Jeffers, Burr Steers, William Broyles Jr., Stephen Harrigan
Details: Based on the novel “Emperor: The Gates of Rome” written by Conn Iggulden and published by HarperCollins on January 6, 2003. It is the first in the four-book “Emperor” series.
SSN Insight: Project is the first in a planned franchise on the novel series. Burr Steers previously attached to direct.

Escaping North Korea
Logline: A Korean-American helps North Koreans escape their repressive country and cross over into China.
Production Company(s): DAS Films, 3AD
Producer(s): Daniel Dae Kim, Chris S. Lee, Mike Kim, Sriram Das
Writer(s): Rosalind Ross
Cast: Daniel Dae Kim
Details: Based on the memoir “Escaping North Korea: Defiance and Hope in the World’s Most Repressive Country” written by Mike Kim and published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2008.
SSN Insight: Daniel Dae Kim is currently in production on the sixth season of CBS’ Hawaii Five-0. Ross has a feature film in development called Lioness with Ellen Page set to star.

Logline: Storyline under wraps.
Production Company(s): Forward Pass, Inc., Cecchi Gori Pictures
Producer(s): Michael Mann, Niels Juul
Writer(s): Troy Kennedy Martin, David Rayfiel
Director(s): Michael Mann
Cast: Christian Bale
Details: Based on the book “Enzo Ferrari: The Man, The Cars, The Race, The Machine” written by Brock Yates published by Doubleday May 1, 1991.
SSN Insight: Mann has been in development on the film for 15 years, at one time partnering with director Sydney Pollack. Cameron Crowe previously attached to direct. Literary sale date was in 2002.

Fifty Shades Darker
Logline: Anastasia has broken off her relationship with the troubled Christian to pursue a new career in a Seattle publishing house.
Studio/Distributor: Universal Pictures, Universal Pictures
Production Company(s): Trigger Street Productions, Michael De Luca Productions
Producer(s): Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca
Writer(s): Niall Leonard
Director(s): James Foley (In Discussions)
Cast: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan
Details: Based on the book “Fifty Shades Darker,” the second book in the Fifty Shade trilogy, written by E.L. James and published by Vintage on April 17, 2012. Sequel to “Fifty Shades of Grey” (2015) directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan.
SSN Insight: Sam Taylor-Johnson was previously attached to direct.

Logline: The adventures of the X-Men world favorite mutant thief, Remy LeBeau, AKA Gambit.
Studio/Distributor: 20th Century Fox, 20th Century Fox Distribution
Production Company(s): Donners’ Company, Marvel Entertainment, Genre Films, Free Association
Producer(s): Lauren Shuler Donner, Channing Tatum, Reid Carolin, Simon Kinberg
Writer(s): Josh Zetumer
Director(s): Rupert Wyatt
Cast: Channing Tatum, Lea Seydoux (in talks)
Details: Based on the comic book character Gambit who appeared in “Uncanny X-Men” #266 created by Jim Lee and Chris Claremont and published by Marvel Comics on August 15, 1990.
SSN Insight: Seydoux was previously in Blue Is The Warmest Color and the 007 film Spectre.

Girl on the Train
Logline: A young woman gets mixed up in a murder investigation because of what she sees on her daily commute.
Studio/Distributor: DreamWorks Studios
Production Company(s): Marc Platt Productions
Producer(s): Marc Platt
Writer(s): Erin Cressida Wilson
Director(s): Tate Taylor
Cast: Haley Bennett, Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson
Details: Based on the novel “Girl on the Train” written by Paula Hawkins and published by Riverhead Books in 2015.
SSN Insight: Kate Mara was mentioned to co-star.

Hacksaw Ridge
Logline: Storyline under wraps.
Studio/Distributor: Lionsgate
Production Company(s): Permut Presentations, Pandemonium, Cross Creek Pictures
Producer(s): Terry Benedict, David Permut, Bill Mechanic, Brian Oliver, Tyler Thompson
Writer(s): Robert Schenkkan, Randall Wallace
Director(s): Mel Gibson
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Vince Vaughn, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey
SSN Insight: Previously set up at Walt Disney Pictures. Terry Benedict was originally hired to write the screenplay at the studio. Literary sale date was in 2001. Randall Wallace was previously attached to direct.

Mother’s Day
Logline: The stories of several mothers intertwine during the day leading up to the Mother’s Day holiday.
Studio/Distributor: Open Road Films
Production Company(s): PalmStar Entertainment, Gulfstream Pictures
Producer(s): Wayne Rice, Mike Karz, Daniel Diamond, Brandt Anderson, Kevin Scott Frakes
Writer(s): Anya Kochoff, Lily Hollander, Matt Walker, Tom Hines
Director(s): Garry Marshall
Cast: Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Jason Sudeikis, Ella Anderson, Timothy Olyphant, Shay Mitchell, Britt Robertson, Jack Whitehall, Aasif Mandvi and Loni Love
SSN Insight: Slated to be released in April 2016. Marshall previously directed Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve.

The Idol
Logline: Mohammad Assaf is the Gazan wedding singer who became a worldwide sensation after winning the live-singing competition Arab Idol in 2013.
Production Company(s): Idol Film Production LTD
Producer(s): Amira Diab, Ali Jaafar
Writer(s): Hany Abu-Assad, Sameh Zuabi
Director(s): Hany Abu-Assad
Cast: Kais Attalah, Hiba Attalah, Ahmad Qasem, Abdel Kareem Barakeh, Tawfeek Barhom
SSN Insight: Film to premiere as a Special Presentation at TIFF. Seville International is overseeing rights outside the Middle East on the feature.

The Meddler
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.
Studio/Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Production Company(s): Anonymous Content
Producer(s): Joy Gorman, Paul Green
Writer(s): Lorene Scafaria
Director(s): Lorene Scafaria
Cast: Susan Sarandon, Rose Byrne, J.K. Simmons, Michael McKean, Lucy Punch
SSN Insight: Sony Pictures Classics acquired domestic rights prior to the film’s premiere at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.

Too Late
Logline: A private investigator in Los Angeles confronts his own past and tries to solve the murder of a woman.
Production Company(s): Too Late Movie LLC, Foe Killer Films
Producer(s): Alexandra Barreto, Taylor Feltner
Writer(s): Dennis Hauck
Director(s): Dennis Hauck
Cast: John Hawkes, Dichen Lachman, Rider Strong, Brett Jacobsen, Robert Forster
SSN Insight: Production went on hiatus in late 2012 and plans to resume filming in May 2014 Peter Bogdanovich was previously attached to star. Content Media has acquired international sales rights to the feature.

War of the Planet of the Apes
Logline: Storyline is under wraps.
Studio/Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Production Company(s): Chernin Entertainment, Shinbone Productions
Producer(s): Peter Chernin, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Jenno Topping
Writer(s): Matt Reeves, Mark Bomback
Director(s): Matt Reeves
Cast: Andy Serkis, Gabriel Chavarria
Details: Sequel to “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” (2011) directed by Rupert Wyatt and “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” (2014) directed by Matt Reeves.
SSN Insight: Gabriel Chavarria can next be seen in Universal’s upcoming Low Riders feature.

Why Him?
Logline: A father from the Midwest brings the whole family to visit his daughter at Stanford, where she’s a student, for Christmas, and the dad winds up getting into a tense competition with the daughter’s boyfriend, an Internet billionaire.
Studio/Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Production Company(s): Red Hour Films, 21 Laps Entertainment
Producer(s): Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, Ben Stiller, Stuart Cornfeld
Writer(s): John Hamburg, Ian Helfer, Nicholas Stoller
Director(s): John Hamburg
Cast: James Franco, Bryan Cranston
SSN Insight: In August, 2015, the California Film Commission picked “Why Him?” as one of 11 films to share $55.2 million in incentives and receive up to 25 percent in tax credits.


Behind the Curtain of the Night
Logline: A man who has a near death experience sees his past lives from before he was born and his future lives.
Production Company(s): Hollywood Media Bridge, Crypto One Bill
Producer(s): Milan Friedrich, Phillip B Goldfine
Writer(s): Dalibor Stach
Director(s): Dalibor Stach
Cast: Brendan Fraser, Marcia Cross, Dawn Olivieri, Massimo Dobrovic
SSN Insight: Brendan Fraser is also attached to Married and Cheating and Four Kings, both in active development.

Half Magic
Logline: A woman is looking for a nice guy and great sex and hopes to find both in one person.
Production Company(s): Bubble Factory, The
Producer(s): Sid Sheinberg, Jon Sheinberg, Bill Sheinberg
Writer(s): Heather Graham
Director(s): Heather Graham
Cast: Heather Graham, Angela Kinsey, Chris D’Elia, Jason Lewis, Molly Shannon
SSN Insight: Heather Graham will next voice Vera for Lionsgate’s Norm of the North and is attached to Vengeance: A Love Story in active development.

Long Shot
Logline: The true story of Kevin Laue, who defied all odds to become the first player missing a limb to play NCAA Division 1 basketball.
Production Company(s): WWE Studios
Writer(s): Kara Holden
Details: Based on the documentary “Long Shot: The Kevin Laue Story” (2012) directed by Franklin Martin.
SSN Insight: Holden previously wrote Soul Surfer.

Logline: A young man deals with his dysfunctional home life and comes of age in Miami during the War on Drugs era.
Production Company(s): Plan B Entertainment, A24
Producer(s): Adele Romanski
Writer(s): Barry Jenkins
Director(s): Barry Jenkins
Details: Based on the stage play “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue” written by Tarell McCraney.
SSN Insight: A24 was launched in 2012 and This year released hit indie films Amy and Ex Machina.

Operation Brothers
Logline: The true story of Israel’s Mossad spy agency 1981 rescue of Ethiopian Jews to Israel is dramatized.
Studio/Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Production Company(s): Emjag Productions
Producer(s): Gideon Raff, Alexandra Milchan
Writer(s): Gideon Raff
Director(s): Gideon Raff
SSN Insight: Raff has executive produced Homeland, Tyrant and Dig.

The Final Service
Logline: A 40 year old music teacher’s damaged family relationship and unfulfilled dreams bring her to the verge of self-destruction, until an unexpected visit changes her life forever.
Production Company(s): Night Fox Entertainment
Producer(s): Timothy Christian
Writer(s): Kieth Merrill
Director(s): Kieth Merrill
Details: Based on the upcoming novel “The Final Service” written by Gary W. Moore and to be published by Savas Beatie LLC in May, 2016.
SSN Insight: Timothy Christian has also executive produced Z for Zachariah currently awaiting release.

Untitled Frank Calabrese Biopic Project
Logline: The true story of mobster Frank Calabrese, Sr. who ran the Chicago crime family “The Outfit” and his sons, one of whom became an FBI informant and helped bring his father to justice.
Production Company(s): Black Label Media
Producer(s): Eric Shepherd, Jeff Chianaki, Molly Smith, Thad Luckinbill, Trent Luckinbill
Writer(s): Mark Mallouk
SSN Insight: Black Label Media was previously behind The Good Lie and Begin Again and has financed Demolition and Sicario, both awaiting release.

Untitled Jennifer Lawrence/Amy Schumer Comedy Project
Logline: The comedy revolves around two sisters.
Writer(s): Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Schumer
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Schumer
SSN Insight: Schumer is currently writing and will star in an Untitled Feigco/Chernin/Mother Daughter Comedy for Fox.

Untitled M. Night Shyamalan/Blumhouse Project
Logline: Storyline is under wraps.
Production Company(s): Blinding Edge Pictures, Lightning Entertainment, Blumhouse Productions
Producer(s): Jason Blum, Marc Bienstock
Director(s): M. Night Shyamalan
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix (in talks)
SSN Insight: The two worked together most recently on upcoming Universal release The Visit.

Logline: The adventures of Xander “XXX” Cage continue.
Studio/Distributor: Revolution Studios
Cast: Vin Diesel
Details: Sequel to the film XXX in 2002 and xXx: State Of The Union in 2005.
SSN Insight: The original film, xXx grossed $277 million worldwide and its sequel grossed $71 million worldwide.

2015 Emmys: Creative Arts/Guest Performance, ‘Doctor Strange’ Wants Mads, Ridley Scott Confirms ‘Prometheus 2′, Film Development For 8/27/15



Creative Arts Awards/Guest Performance

‘Bessie’ Hairstylist Lawrence Davis Talks About Why He Didn’t ‘Iron Out the Kinks’

Any teacher sick of hearing the question, “When am I going to use that?” should appreciate the story of how hairstylist Lawrence Davis and his team pulled off the meticulously detailed 1920s looks for HBO’s nominated tele pic starring Queen Latifah. (VTV)

‘Orange Is the New Black’s Pablo Schreiber Talks About How Upset He Was To Lose That Signature Mustache

The actor may be notorious now as George ‘Pornstache’ Mendez in the Netflix show, but the actor’s vast resume also includes a Tony nomination for his Broadway debut in Awake and Sing, roles in Vicky Christina Barcelona, The Wire, Weeds, Lords of Dogtown, The Good Wife, Law and Order: SVU and many, many more. He also happens to be the half-brother of Liev Schreiber. (AL)


Film Development for 8/27/15: Jennifer Lawrence & Amy Schumer Co-Writing Feature, Christian Bale Races to Mann’s Ferrari Film

Lots going on this week, with an update on the Fifty Shades franchise, casting news on a major comic book property, an update on Mel Gibson’s directorial effort, more names added to Garry Marshall’s Mother’s Day, and a star added to the next entry in the Planet of the Apes series. Click on the link to read more. (SSN)


Has ‘Doctor Strange’ Found Its Villain? TV’s Former Hannibal In Early Talks To Join Marvel Movie

Mads Mikkelsen has not actually been made an offer yet, but one is apparently expected shortly for him to join the production, which will star Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role. Tilda Swinton and Chiwetel Ejiofor are also on board, with Scott Derrickson directing the comic book movie from a script by Jon Spaihts. Marvel’s Kevin Feige will produce. (VAR)

In Case There Might Have Been Any Doubt, Ridley Scott Confirms That ‘Prometheus 2’ Is His Next Film

Legendary director Scott let the news slip in an interview about his upcoming film, The Martian, which opens October 2nd. Prometheus 2 had been rumored to open in spring 2016, but it eventually emerged that that date was being reserved for The Martian, which was then moved up to this fall. So far, 20th Century Fox has yet to announce any sort of timeline for Prometheus 2, and Scott didn’t give any details of the sort either. (SF)

HBO’s ‘Wizard Of Lies’ Madoff Movie A Go With Barry Levinson On Board To Direct

HBO Films’ long-gestating Bernie Madoff movie, starring Robert De Niro as the disgraced financier, is going ahead with a lead cast and a director. Joining De Niro, who plays Madoff, are Michelle Pfeiffer as his wife, Ruth Madoff, and Alessandro Nivola as Madoff’s older son Mark Madoff, who committed suicide. The film had been in the works at HBO since 2011, when the network optioned Henriques’ book, attached De Niro to play Madoff. (DH)

‘The Brits Are Coming’, but So Are a Whole Host Of Actors To New Uma Thurman Comedy

Tim Roth, Parker Posey, Maggie Q, Alice Eve, Stephen Fry and Sofia Vergara have joined Thurman in the broad comedy about an eccentric British con-artist couple, Harriet (Thurman) and Peter Fox (Roth), who flee to Los Angeles to get away from paying a large debt to Ivanka, a notorious gangster (Maggie Q) after a failed poker game. With the gangster hot on their trail, the pair scheme to win back the money by executing a jewel theft operation. (THR)

Hulu Wants Another Season Of ‘Difficult People’, Grants Rookie Comedy a Second Season

Season two of the original series will include a 10-episode order. Following a critically-acclaimed debut, the breakout comedy series from executive producers Amy Poehler, Dave Becky, Tony Hernandez of Jax Media and showrunner Scott King will return for a second season with creator, star and executive producer Julie Klausner and star Billy Eichner. (CS)

TBS Wants To Keep ‘American Dad’ Around For At Least Another Couple Years

The animated series has been renewed for two more seasons, the network announced today. The order, for 22 episodes each per Seasons 12 and 13, ensures that the Seth MacFarlane comedy will be on the air through 2018. American Dad! moved to TBS in 2014 after a 10-season run on Fox. Season 11 will air on TBS and sister network Adult Swim in early 2016. (TVL)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Rock the Kasbah’

Open Road Films has released the new look at the upcoming Bill Murray film, also starring Kate Hudson, Bruce Willis, Danny McBride, Zooey Deschanel and Scott Caan. Written by Mitch Glazer and directed by Barry Levinson, the film opens October 23rd. (COL)

‘Galaxy Quest’ TV Series Coming, Jon Hamm, Sam Worthington, Ruth Wilson, Michael B. Jordan Find Projects, Focus Wants To Win the ‘Race’


Beloved Cult Movie ‘Galaxy Quest’ Moves Forward as an Amazon TV Series

The streaming outlet is partnering with producer Paramount Television on the project. Last April, Paramount was shopping a Galaxy Quest title to prospective buyers. The show’s development is at an early stage. It’s not clear if members of the film’s cast will be sought for the show, or if the series will be a complete reboot, but the film’s co-writer Robert Gordon will pen the script, and the film’s director Dean Parisot will direct. (EW)

Jon Hamm in Talks For ‘Marjorie Prime’, Sci-Fi Drama Based On Play Short-Listed For Pulitzer

Play’s story follows an elderly, arthritic former violinist named Marjorie, staring headlong into the decline of old age as her memories begin to fail her. Availing herself of a service that provides holographic recreations of deceased loved ones as their survivors would like them remembered, Marjorie spends her time with her daughter and son in law, and with an imperfect copy of her deceased husband, Walter, as he looked in his 30s and 40s. Hamm would play Walter. (DH)

With ‘Fantastic Four’ Firmly In His Rearview, Michael B. Jordan Circles MGM’s Vampire Comedy, ‘Blood Brothers’

Jordan’s in talks to nab the role of Tree, one of the key leads in the edgy two-hander, which follows two blood-sucking best friends whose relationship enters a crisis. The pic is based on the Dark Horse comic series of the same name written by Mike Gagerman and Andrew Waller. Dark Horse Entertainment is producing the action/comedy, with Keith Goldberg overseeing. Etan Cohen, Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly have all worked on the script. (TB)

Sam Worthington and Ruth Wilson Sign Up For Roles In Sci-Fi Adventure, ‘The Titan’

Shooting is set to begin in Europe in January. Producers are Brian Kavanaugh-Jones’ Automatik, Ben Pugh, Rory Aitken’s 42 and Arash Amel. Leon Clarance and Motion Picture Capital will also produce and fully finance. Lennart Ruff is directing from a script by Max Hurwitz, based on a story by Amel about a military family that’s relocated to take part in a ground-breaking experiment about genetic evolution in space. (VAR)

Focus Wants To Win the Race To Theaters, So It’s Moving Up Its Jesse Owens Biopic To February

Taking no chances, Focus Features is moving up the release of Jesse Owens biopic Race from April 8th, 2016, to Feb. 19th. Race, directed by Stephen Hopkins and starring Stephan James in the title role, is one of several films in the works chronicling the life of the famous track and field athlete. It is the first to have a release date, and earned strong scores at a recent test screening. William Hurt, Jeremy Irons, Jason Sudeikis and Carice van Houten also star. (THR)

Years After They Were First Optioned, Conn Iggulden’s ‘Emperor’ Novels End Up At Lionsgate

The series, currently up to five books, begins with Caesar and Marcus Brutus as boys, and follows their rise through the Roman Empire and the machinations that lead to “Et tu, Brute?” and the endgame at the Senate. The first film in the projected franchise stays with Julius and Marcus long enough to see them making waves and regarded as threats within the Roman political establishment. (EMP)

After Spending a Lifetime Building a Network, Here Are Some Secrets as To How It Came Together

One’s collection of contacts isn’t just the result of a peripatetic career. Working in and around technology for a long time means that in addition to one’s own moves, virtually all of one’s acquaintances, friends and friends-of-friends have also changed places in our always-be-disrupting world. (MC)

‘Chicago Med’ Finds Its New Showrunners, and They’re ‘Sopranos’ Veterans

Andrew Schneider and Diane Frolov have inked a deal to become the new showrunners of the freshman NBC drama. The husband-and-wife team, who won an Emmy writing for the HBO drama, replaces Andrew Dettmann, who was brought on to the project in early July but departed last Friday over “creative differences.”  (TLF)

Fox’s New Midseason Show ‘Frankenstein Code’ Has Itself a Brand New Title

Now known as Lookinglass, the new title refers to the Lookinglass Project, aka the next-gen science lab founded by Otto Goodwin (played by Rules of Engagement‘s Adhir Kalyan) and his bioengineer twin sister, Mary (Greek‘s Dilshad Vadsaria). Fun fact: this is technically the second name change for this particular series. Before going by The Frankenstein Code, it was briefly known as simply Frankenstein. (TVL)

Screenwriters: ‘Saboteur’

The 164-page shooting draft screenplay by Alfred Hitchcock, Peter Viertel and Joan Harrison. Script is dated October 30th, 1941. (DS)

On the Set for 8/28/15: Keegan-Michael Key Starts on ‘Don’t Think Twice’, Liam Hemsworth Wraps ‘Independence Day Resurgence’



Don’t Think Twice
Logline: An improv group loses the lease on its home theater just as one of its members gets cast on TV’s biggest sketch-comedy show, resulting in backstabbing and bitterness between friends.
Studio/Distributor: Cold Iron Pictures, The Film Arcade
Director(s): Mike Birbiglia
Executive Producer(s): Amanda Marshall, Ira Glass, Jason Beck, Andrew Bohn
Producer(s): Mike Birbiglia, Miranda Bailey
Cast: Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, Kate Micucci, Mike Birbiglia, Tami Sagher
Writer(s): Mike Birbiglia
SSN Insight: Mike Birbiglia appeared in the cast of the 2015 films Trainwreck, Hot Pursuit, Digging For Fire and Adult Beginners. He previously wrote, directed and appearing in the cast of the film Sleepwalk with Me for IFC Films. Cold Iron Pictures and The Film Arcade are the film financiers.


Beauty and The Beast (Disney)
Logline: In this live-action re-imagining of the fairy tale “Beauty and the Beast,” a young woman takes her father’s place as prisoner in a beast’s castle, only to fall in love with her beastly captor, who turns out to be a prince.
Studio/Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Production Company(s): Mandeville Films/TV
Director(s): Bill Condon
Producer(s): David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman
Cast: Emma Watson, Luke Evans, Dan Stevens, Kevin Kline, Emma Thompson
Writer(s): Stephen Chbosky, Evan Spiliotopoulos, Joe Ahearne
Details: Re-imagining of the fairy tale “Beauty and the Beast”.
SSN Insight: The film was originally slated to wrap on August 14. Bill Condon’s recent films include Mr. Holmes (now in theaters), The Fifth Estate, Twilight Breaking Dawn and Dreamgirls. In addition Disney is also in production on a live-action Jungle Book and developing a live-action Pinocchio and Dumbo.

Come and Find Me
Logline: When a man’s girlfriend goes missing, he tries to find her after he realizes she’s not who she was pretending to be.
Production Company(s): IM Global, Odd Fellows Entertainment
Director(s): Zack Whedon
Executive Producer(s): Laure Vaysse, Jo Monk
Producer(s): Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Chris Ferguson, Leon Clarance
Cast: Aaron Paul, Annabelle Wallis, Garret Dillahunt, Zachary Knighton
Writer(s): Zack Whedon
SSN Insight: Project was included in the 2012 Black List. Previously in development at The Dan Jinks Company.

Eye Digress
Logline: An odd, delusional prisoner obsessed with the English World Cup soccer team tracks down a mysterious fellow inmate and discovers not only an opportunity to escape, but also the chance to watch England compete in the World Cup finals — however, it comes with a high cost.
Production Company(s): Rosemilk Productions, Auteur Films
Director(s): Stephen Cookson
Executive Producer(s): Peter Keegan, Gary Collins
Producer(s): Jules Gladys, Stephen Cookson
Cast: Timothy Spall
Writer(s): Falcon Fields
SSN Insight: Timothy Spall will next be heard in Alice Through the Looking Glass, voicing Bayard. He’s also attached to the wrapped features The Journey and Away as well as Eddie the Eagle in which he will appear alongside Hugh Jackman.

Independence Day Resurgence
Logline: Even though the nations of Earth have built a global defense system with recovered alien technology, when aliens attack once again with greater power than before, only the creativity and daring of a small group of men and women can save the world from extinction.
Studio/Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Production Company(s): Centropolis Entertainment, Electric Entertainment
Director(s): Roland Emmerich
Executive Producer(s): Ute Emmerich
Producer(s): Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich, Harald Kloser
Cast: Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox, Liam Hemsworth, Jessie Usher
Writer(s): James A Woods, Nicolas Wright, Carter Blanchard, James Vanderbilt, Dean Devlin
Details: Sequel to “Independence Day” (1996) directed by Roland Emmerich and starring Will Smith and Bill Pullman.
SSN Insight: Will Smith was previously mentioned to star. Michael B. Jordan was previously in discussions to join the cast.

Story of Your Life
Logline: When alien crafts land across the world, a linguist expert is recruited by the military to determine whether they come in peace or are a threat. As she learns to communicate with the aliens, she begins experiencing vivid flashbacks that become the key to unlocking the greater mystery about the true purpose of their visit.
Studio/Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Production Company(s): FilmNation, 21 Laps Entertainment, Lava Bear Films
Director(s): Denis Villeneuve
Executive Producer(s): Tory Metzger, Glen Basner, Eric Heisserer
Producer(s): Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, Aaron Ryder, Karen Lunder, David Linde
Cast: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Mark O’Brien, Michael Stuhlbarg
Writer(s): Eric Heisserer
Details: Based on the short story “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang; published November 1998.
SSN Insight: Nic Mathieu was previously attached to direct Screenplay was included on the 2012 Blood List.

There Are Monsters
Logline: A mother and her daughter are stranded on an abandoned road in the middle of the night and are attacked by a beast.
Studio/Distributor: A24
Production Company(s): Atlas Entertainment, Unbroken Pictures
Director(s): Bryan Bertino
Executive Producer(s): Richard Suckle, Sonny Mallhi
Producer(s): William Green, Aaron Ginsburg, Adrienne Biddle, Bryan Bertino
Cast: Zoe Kazan, Ella Ballentine, Scott Speedman, Aaron Douglas
Writer(s): Bryan Bertino
SSN Insight: Screenplay was included in the 2013 Blood List Elisabeth Moss was previously attached to star.

SSN Events Calendar: Emmys, TIFF, Venice Film Fest & TV Premieres All Collide in September


calendar pictureAs summer comes to a close and kids go back to school, the movie studios may put a pin in releasing their blockbusters but television goes into overdrive. Not only will the Emmys be broadcast on September 20 on Fox, but also a plethora of new TV shows head to viewers with the hopes of reaching audiences including Heroes: Reborn, Minority Report, Bastard Executioner, Grandfathered, The Muppets, Limitless and the list goes on. In addition to scripted fare, there’s two new hosts making their debuts with the premieres of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and The Daily Show. Don’t count out the silver screen though, as the film festivals begin to heat up heading into Oscar season with Toronto and Venice both falling in September.

So, take a look below for your guide to the happenings this month and let us know in the comments below if there’s events we should also check out.

September Events Calendar

Tuesday, September 1
Happy Birthday Zendaya Coleman, Dr. Phil McGraw
TV – Puffin Rock (New) on Netflix, Hotel Impossible on Travel, Drunk History on Comedy Central
Portland Film Festival, through September 7
Big Sky Documentary Film Festival Submission Deadline

Wednesday, September 2
Happy Birthday Keanu Reeves, Salma Hayek, Mark Harmon
TV – Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles on Bravo
FILM – A Walk in the Woods, Creep
Venice International Film Festival, through September 12
Moscow International Book Fair, through September 6

Thursday, September 3
Happy Birthday Charlie Sheen, Shaun White
TV – Cradle to Grave (New) on BBC, Boy Meets Girl (New) on BBC

Friday, September 4
Happy Birthday Beyonce Knowles, Damon Wayans
TV – Hand of God (New) on Amazon, Bering Sea Gold on Discovery
FILM – Chloe and Theo, Before We Go, The Kitchen Sink, Break Point, Dirty Weekend, The Transporter, Refueled, Dragon Blade, Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, Contracted: Phase II
Historical – City of LA Founded in 1781
DragonCon in Atlanta, through September 7
NYSCA Electronic Media & Film Grants: Presentation Funds 2015 Deadline
LA County Fair, through September 27
The Taste at Paramount Pictures Studios, through September 6

Saturday, September 5
Happy Birthday Michael Keaton, Raquel Welch, Bob Newhart
StreetFoodCinema- Rocky Horror Picture Show, True Romance, 10 Things I Hate About You
Eat/See/Hear – Fight Club
Cinespia – Psycho

Sunday, September 6
Happy Birthday Idris Elba, Rosie Perez,
TV – Snapped: She Made Me Do It (New) on Oxygen, Rugged Justice on Animal Planet
Film Submission Deadline: Slamdance Film Festival
Cinespia – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Monday, September 7
Happy Labor Day!
Happy Birthday Evan Rachel Wood
TV – Pickle and Peanut (New) on Disney XD, Ladies of London on Bravo, Rusted Development on Discovery, Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood on VH1

Tuesday, September 8
Happy Birthday Wiz Khalifa, Pink, Martin Freeman, Jonathan Taylor Thomas
TV – A Season With Notre Dame Football (New) on Showtime, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (New) on CBS, Cake Boss on TLC, The Awesomes on Hulu

Wednesday, September 9
Happy Birthday Adam Sandler, Michael Buble, Michelle Williams, Eric Stonestreet
TV – Suddenly Royal (New) on TLC, The League on FXX, You’re the Worst on FXX, My Big Fat Fabulous Life on TLC
FILM – Time Out of Mind, Coming Home
Paley Fest Fall TV Previews, through September 17

Thursday, September 10
Happy Birthday Colin Firth, Ryan Phillippe
TV – Longmire on Netflix
Toronto International Film Festival, through September 20
Canon Expo in NYC, through September 11

D.C. Shorts Film Festival, through September 20

Friday, September 11
9/11 Memorial Day
Happy Birthday Ludacris, Taraji Henson, Harry Connick Jr.
TV – 20/20 on ABC, Continuum on SyFy, Z Nation on SyFy
FILM – Wolf Totem, Sleeping With Other People, The Visit, Breathe, The Perfect Guy, Meet the Patels, Goodnight Mommy, 90 Minutes in Heaven, Listening, The Challenger
Kentucky Women Writers Conference, through September 12
Cinespia – Grindhouse

Saturday, September 12
Happy Birthday Jennifer Hudson, Yao Ming, Emmy Rossum
Emmy Creative Arts Awards and Ball
The Simpsons Take the Hollywood Bowl, through September 14
StreetFoodCinema – Edward Scissorhands, Moulin Rouge!, E.T.
Eat/See/Hear – The Princess Bride
Cinespia – Fight Club

Sunday, September 13
Happy Birthday Ben Savage, Tyler Perry, Swizz Beatz, Freddie Wong
TV – Project Greenlight on HBO, Doll & Em on HBO, Liv and Maddie on Disney, House of DVF on E!

Monday, September 14
Happy Birthday Nas, Robert Herjavec
TV – Dancing with the Stars on ABC
FILM – Nerdist Presents The Hive
Social Media Week, through September 18

Tuesday, September 15
Happy Birthday Prince Harry, Jenna Marbles, Tom Hardy, Tommy Lee Jones
TV – Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris (New) on NBC, Bastard Executioner (New) on FX, The Mindy Project on Hulu
FILM – Labyrinth of Lies

Wednesday, September 16
Happy Birthday Nick Jonas, Flo Rida, Amy Poehler, Marc Anthony
TV – Moonbeam City (New) on Comedy Central, South Park on Comedy Central
NY Art Book Fair through September 20

Thursday, September 17
Happy Birthday Kyle Chandler
Camden International Film Festival, through September 20

Friday, September 18
Happy Birthday Jada Pinkett Smith, Patrick Schwarzenegger, James Marsden
TV – We Have Issues (New) on E!, Descendants Wicked World (New) on Disney, I Love Kellie Pickler (New) on CMT
FILM – Black Mass, Pawn Sacrifice, Everest, Captive, Cooties, Sicario, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, Hellions, The New Girlfriend, Some Kind of Hate, About Ray
Festival De San Sebastian in Spain through September 26
Halloween Horror Nights, through November 1
LA Podcast Festival, through September 20

Saturday, September 19
Happy Birthday Jimmy Fallon, Eva Marie, Adam West
TV – Iyanla Fix My Life on OWN, Oprah: Where Are They Now? on OWN, Alaska Monsters on Destination America
Brooklyn Books, Art, Photos, & Design Expo, through September 20
Long Beach Comic Con, through September 20
StreetFoodCinema – The Outsiders, The Goonies, Fight Club
Cinespia – Carrie

Sunday, September 20
Happy Birthday Sophia Loren, George RR Martin
TV – Dash Dolls (New) on E!
AWARDS – Primetime Emmy Awards on Fox
Film Submission Deadline: Santa Barbara International Film Festival
Film Submission Deadline: Nashville Film Festival
L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade Culinary Cookout
Sunset Strip Music Festival, through September 21

Monday, September 21
Happy Birthday Dave Coulier, Bill Murray, Stephen King, Faith Hill
TV – Life in Pieces (New) on CBS, Blindspot (New) on NBC, Minority Report (New) on Fox, Castle on ABC, Big Bang Theory on CBS, NCIS: Los Angeles on CBS, The Voice on NBC, Gotham on Fox, Scorpion on CBS

Tuesday, September 22
Happy Birthday Tom Felton, Scott Baio, Tatiana Maslany
TV – The Muppets (New) on ABC, Scream Queens (New) on Fox, Bazillion Dollar Club (New) on SyFy, Limitless (New) on CBS, NCIS on CBS, Fresh Off the Boat on ABC, NCIS: New Orleans on CBS

Wednesday, September 23
Happy Birthday Bruce Springsteen, Jason Alexander, Julio Iglesias
TV – Road Spill (New) on TruTV, Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition (New) on Food, Rosewood (New) on Fox, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit on NBC, The Middle on ABC, Survivor on CBS, Modern Family on ABC, The Goldbergs on ABC, Nashville on ABC, TripTank on Comedy Central, The Mysteries of Laura on NBC, Empire on Fox, Black-ish on ABC, Sports Jeopardy on Crackle
FILM – Pay the Ghost
Raindance Film Festival in London, through October 4
RomCon in Denver, through September 27
Kaleidoscope VR Film Festival in LA

Thursday, September 24
Happy Birthday
TV – Fashionably Late With Rachel Zoe (New) on Lifetime, The Player (New) on NBC, Heroes: Reborn (New) on NBC, Scandal on ABC, Grey’s Anatomy on ABC, How to Get Away with Murder on ABC
Vancouver International Film Festival, through October 9
Goteborg Book Fair in Sweden, through September 27

Friday, September 25
Happy Birthday Robert Irvine, Nia Vardalos, Kevin Sorbo
TV – Blue Bloods on CBS, Hawaii Five-O on CBS, Shark Tank on ABC, The Amazing Race on CBS, Last Man Standing on ABC
FILM – Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon, The Intern, The Disappointments Room, Mississippi Grind, The Green Inferno, Wildlike, Hotel Transylvania 2, Before I Wake, 99 Homes, Stonewall, Misunderstood, Finders Keepers, A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story, Unbranded
New York Film Festival, through October 11
Historical – First American Newspaper Published

Saturday, September 26
Happy Birthday Donald Glover, Will Smith, TI, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Douglas
TV – Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy (New) on Disney XD, 48 Hours Mystery on CBS
StreetFoodCinema- 80’s Double Feature, Ghostbusters
Cinespia – Back to the Future Part I & II

Sunday, September 27
Happy Birthday Avril Lavigne, Grace Helbig, Gwyneth Paltrow
TV – Quantico (New) on ABC, Blood & Oil (New) on ABC, The Simpsons on Fox, Bob’s Burgers on Fox, 60 Minutes on CBS, Family Guy on Fox, Once Upon a Time on ABC, Brooklyn Nine-Nine on Fox, Last Man on Earth on Fox
Abbot Kinney Festival

Monday, September 28
Happy Birthday Hilary Duff, Naomi Watts, Brigitte Bardot
TV – The Daily Show on Comedy Central
U.S. China Film & TV Industry Expo at LA Convention Center, through September 29

Tuesday, September 29
Happy Birthday Zachary Levi, Kevin Durant, Jerry Lee Lewis
TV – Adam Ruins Everything (New) on TruTV, The Grinder (New) on Fox, Grandfathered (New) on Fox, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. of ABC, Beyond the Tank on ABC

Wednesday, September 30
Happy Birthday Trevor Moran, T-Pain, Fran Drescher, Monica Bellucci
TV – Code Black (New) on CBS, Criminal Minds on CBS, Chicago PD on NBC
FILM – The Walk
AWARDS – Clio Awards
British Film Festival Of Dinard in France, through October 4
Nashville Film Festival Deadline

–Note all events are subject to change. If you would like to add events to our monthly calendar, please email marketing@ssninsider.com with the details.–

2015 Emmys: Predictions, SSN Events Calendar, Steve Carell Joins Woody Allen Film, Ben Affleck Adds To ‘Live By Night’ Cast, On the Set For 8/28/15




Want Some Ideas as To Who Might Be Winning Emmys Next Month? Here Is One List Of Predictions From Indiewire …

Just about every major category gets a look here, with a pair of experts discussing who will win, who should win, who could win and who maybe should have been nominated. It’s always an interesting time scrolling through, and their success rate is pretty good. Meanwhile … (IW)

And Here Is Another Set Entirely From Scott Feinberg Over At The Hollywood Reporter

Feinberg, who also predicts the Oscars for the industry magazine, is bullish on Jeffrey Tambor’s chances to become the oldest winner ever of a Best Actor in a Comedy Series trophy, and that Julia Louis-Dreyfus is once again looking like a champ. (TR)


SSN Events Calendar: Emmys, TIFF, Venice Film Fest & TV Premieres All Collide in September

As summer comes to a close and kids go back to school, the movie studios may put a pin in releasing their blockbusters but television goes into overdrive. Not only will the Emmys be broadcast on September 20 on Fox, but also a plethora of new TV shows head to viewers with the hopes of reaching audiences including Heroes: Reborn, Minority Report, Bastard Executioner, Grandfathered, The Muppets, Limitless and the list goes on.. (SSN)

On the Set for 8/28/15: Keegan-Michael Key Starts on ‘Don’t Think Twice’, Liam Hemsworth Wraps ‘Independence Day Resurgence’

A light week sees just a single movie starting up, but several coming to a close, like Bill Condon’s live action Beauty and the Beast, Denis Villeneuve’s new film, and Zack Whedon’s directorial debut, among others. Click on the link to read more. (SSN)


No Bruce Willis? No Problem For Woody Allen, Who Casts Steve Carell To Replace Departed Star

Four days after Willis left the ensemble of Allen’s new film, Carell has been tapped to take over the role. He now joins a cast that includes Blake Lively, Parker Posey, Kristen Stewart, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeannie Berlin, Corey Stoll, Ken Stott, Anna Camp, Stephen Kunken, Sari Lennick and Paul Schneider. The swap-out keeps the production on schedule for the pic, which as usual is being kept under wraps. It shoots this month in New York and Los Angeles. (DH)

Ben Affleck Continues Filling Out His ‘Live By Night’ Cast, Even as He Delves Further Into Superhero Territory

Chris Messina will join the cast of Affleck’s adaptation of the Dennis Lehane novel, which Affleck is acting in, as well as writing and directing. The Prohibition-era crime drama already has cast Elle Fanning, Sienna Miller, and Zoe Saldana, and was scheduled to shoot for a 2016 release, but that was pushed to 2017 because of Affleck’s Batman commitments. (VUL)

It’s Taken Him Years, but Joe Carnahan Is Finally Getting ‘Five Against a Bullet’ Off the Ground

Originally boasting a script by Alex Litvak, it’s the story of a Mexican politician whose father is slaughtered by a drug cartel. In order to stay alive during a campaign to clean up his local area, the canny politico hires the five best bodyguards available. Carnahan signed up to re-write and direct in 2014, and its latest momentum comes from former Geffen Records president Jordan Schur, who’s made it part of the slate of his new production company Suretone Pictures. (EMP)

Today In Remake News: 20th Century Fox Is Apparently Serious About Revisiting ‘Oh Heavenly Dog’

Although Chevy Chase considers the original to be his worst movie, it must have at least a few fans at 20th Century Fox as the studio is setting in motion a remake. In the original, Chase played a private eye who stumbled upon a dead body and is soon after killed himself. In order to get into heaven, he inhabits the body of a dog to solve his own murder. The new version will be directed by Tim Hill from a screenplay he wrote with Dave Johnson. (CS)

Now That ‘The Hunger Games’ Is Ending, Has Lionsgate Found Its Next Franchise In the ‘Borderlands’ Video Game?

Game take place on a planet called Pandora, which holds a powerful alien vault that holds untold power for those who can discover it. This story then grows into a rebellion tale where you join up with a group of ragtag outsiders to take down Smilin’ Jack and the evil Hyperion Corporation. All of it takes place within a post-apocalyptic style, futuristic Western locale. Avi Arad and his son Ari are on board to produce. No other attachments were announced. (COL)

In Hindsight, VH1 Decides It Doesn’t Actually Want a Second Season Of ‘Hindsight’, Cancels the Show

Cable net has pulled the plug on the drama series, which was preparing to film its second season. The decision comes amid belt-tightening at Viacom cablers and regime change at VH1, where Chris McCarthy took over the general manager post from Tom Calderone in July. Show had a well-received first season run and was renewed in March. It revolved around a woman who winds up transported back in time 15 years and given the chance to re-do her life. (VAR)

‘Compton’ Wins Again, Armie Hammer Is One Of Tom Ford’s ‘Animals’, Lee Daniels’ Richard Pryor Pic Moves Forward, Katherine Heigl’s New Leading Man


‘Straight Outta Compton’ Wins a Third Straight Week At the Box Office, Edges Out ‘War Room’

The N.W.A. biopic got $13.2 million for a total of $134.1million over 17 days. Meanwhile, Sony’s faith-based War Room impressed with a solid 11 million opening, to finish second. Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation and No Escape are essentially tied for third, with the final numbers coming out today set to sort out which was third and which was fourth. Meanwhile, Zac Efron’s We Are Your Friends opened with an anemic $1.8 million for 13th place. (BO)

Tom Ford Adds Armie Hammer To the Cast Of His Next Film, ‘Nocturnal Animals’

Focus Features is behind the production based on Austin Wright’s novel Tony and Susan, and Hammer has a key role in the that focuses on a woman (Amy Adams) who receives a book manuscript from her ex-husband, a man whom she left 20 years earlier, asking for her opinion. And then things take an interesting turn. Jake Gyllenhaal, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Michael Shannon and Kim Basinger also star in the film, which starts shooting this fall. (SF)

It Appears That, At Long Last, Lee Daniels’ Richard Pryor Biopic Is Finally, Officially, Ready to Go

In the spring, Daniels hinted via his Instagram page that Eddie Murphy would be joining the cast of his film, which Mike Epps is attached to star in, as well as Oprah Winfrey and Kate Hudson. Now, The Weinstein Company production will see Murphy play Richard Pryor’s father, Winfrey as Pryor’s grandmother, and Hudson as Jennifer Lee Pryor, Richard Pryor’s 4th wife. As of now, that cast is officially set, and production is set to begin in March. (SAA)

Katherine Heigl Has a New Leading Man, as Stephen Pasquale Lands Lead In Retooled ‘Doubt’

Show, which narrowly missed a series pickup in May after going through development season as one of the most buzzy scripts, centers on Sadie (Heigl), a smart, chic, successful defense lawyer at a boutique firm who shockingly gets romantically involved with one of her clients who may or may not be guilty of a brutal crime. Pasquale will take over that role, a decent, altruistic pediatric surgeon recently accused of murdering a 15-year-old girl many years ago. (TLF)

Prognosis Negative: USA Has Had Enough ‘Complications’ and Cancels the Drama After One Season

The drama wrapped on Aug. 13th on something of a cliffhanger, but that was not enough to save the series. It debuted to 1.9 million total viewers and a 0.4 demo rating, but by the end of its run had slipped to 1.4 mil/0.3, and now the cable network has brought things to an end. (TVL)

Jonathan Demme Is Getting Back In the Concert Film Game, Will Helm a “Space Age” One For Justin Timberlake

Demme was asked to shoot the last show of Timberlake’s 20/20 Tour, which backed Timberlake’s recent double-album The 20/20 Experience. The filmmaker is currently editing the independently produced concert film, which comes 30 years after Demme’s seminal Stop Making Sense, starring the Talking Heads. (COL)

Having Played a Kingpin On TV, Vincent D’Onofrio Now Wants To Do It For Real and Will Direct His First Film

The project is called The Kid, a western from newcomer Andrew Lanham, who wrote the script. D’Onofrio will also star in the film alongside James Franco and Ethan Hawke, in a story about a young boy, whose uncle has murdered his father and turned his sister out onto the streets. The boy tries to rope Billy The Kid into avenging his father by killing said uncle, but finds his romantic notions of the gunfighting outlaw are false. He then finds a true hero in Pat Garrett. (EMP)

With This Year’s VMA’s Now In the Rearview Mirror, the Inside Story Of How the First One Created a Tradition Of Making Censors Sweat

For almost 35 years, MTV has been in the business of selling relevance. For artists, it’s been a place to get in front of the coveted 18-to-34 demographic. For those 18- to 34-year-olds, it’s been a place to stay on top of the pop culture zeitgeist, so as to have enough ammo to be considered cool by peers. And business has been good – MTV is a fixture, and its crown jewel has been the Video Music Awards. (UR)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Concussion’

Sony has released the first look at the upcoming drama starring Will Smith. The film is written and directed by Peter Landesman, based on the GQ article “Game Brain” by Jeanne Marie Laskas, and produced by Ridley Scott, Giannina Scott, David Wolthoff, Larry Shuman, and Elizabeth Cantillon, and hits theaters in December. (DH)

Screenwriters: Show Me the Love — Interspecies Love

Got Love? Got enough Love? Got the right kind of Love? No matter your genre or style, a good story needs some kind of Love to engage us emotionally. Too often people think Love is just the romantic or sexual kind. But wait – there’s more. (SM)

Executive Shuffle for 8/31/15: New $100 Mil. YooZoo Bliss Film Fund, Disney Animation Names New Execs, Moves at CAA/UTA/ICM


Company Launches & Partnerships

China-based YooZoo Pictures has joined Bliss Media to form a $100 million equity YooZoo Bliss Film Fund for use on Chinese co-productions and films designed for worldwide distribution. The fund’s managing directors are the LA-based co-founder and President of Bliss Meida Wei Han and CEO of YooZoo Pictures U.S. Lin Qi. CAA advised on the fund and will continue to represent it. YooZoo Pictures recently aquired the Chinese distribution rights to the IM Global feature, Hacksaw Ridge.

Indie producer-distributor Entertainment Studios has inked a deal with Verizon FiOS to carry its Justice Central.TV, a 24/7 legal and news cable network. This is the first major new carriage deal for the network, which began in 2012 on AT&T U-Verse. Justice Central.TV’s lineup includes Justice With Judge Mablean and America’s Court With Judge Ross.

Hyper, a new app with curated, short-form videos, has launched. The videos encompass tech, culture, style, and events around the world. Hyper was created with the assistance of a $1.1 million dollar seed round led by Advancit Capital, with participation by Lowercase Capital, Broadway Video Ventures, Freelance Ventures, and Mesa Ventures.

New Zealand-based Vista Entertainment Solutions, a global leader in cinema-management software, has joined forces with software provider VINX Corporation to enter the Japanese marketplace.

Channel Frederator Network has debuted 90+ new channels featuring content creators from 11 different countries to its digital animation network in the last month. It now has more than 27 million subscribers and 2.6 billion views of its content.


Jeff Baker has been named the Creative Consultant of RatPac Entertainment. He was formerly the EVP and General Manager of Theatrical Catalog at Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

Scott Coulter has been named the VP, Executive Producer of Visual Effects at MASTERSFX. He was formerly the Founder of VFX Executive Producer at Worldwide FX.

Tomas Jegeus has been named the President of Fox International Productions. He was formerly the Co-President of Worldwide Theatrical Marketing & Distribution at 20th Century Fox.

Elisabeth Costa de Beauregard Rose is now a Consultant at AMBI Distribution. She was previously the President of International Sales & Distribution at Voltage Pictures

Paul Hanson has been named the CEO of Covert Media. He was formerly the Chief Operating Officer of Annapurna Pictures.

Elisabeth Patte has been named the Director of Animated Custom Creative Content at Illumination Entertainment. She was previously the Director of Background Characters of Minions

Laura Sok is now the VP of Publicity at Cohen Media Group. She was previously an independent film publicity consultant in the Netherlands.


Lynn Stepanian has been named the EVP of TV at Open Road Films. She will handle acquisitions and managing output deals and develop programming opportunities and TV series based on Open Road’s film library. Most recently she was the SVP Acquisitions and Scheduling at ABC Family where she oversaw the network’s off-network and feature acquisitions and linear, multi-platform and on-air media strategies.

Philip Matthys has joined Hulu as head of head business affairs for its original series. In his new role, he will handle biz affairs for all development and production deals related to Hulu Originals, including managing the business relationships with studio suppliers. He will report to Chadwick Ho, SVP & General Counsel at Hulu. Previously he spent 12 years at NBCU, most recently as SVP, Head of Business Affairs, at USA Network, Syfy Channel and Universal Cable Productions.

Gina Becconsall has been given the position of VP, Post-Production & Operations at 44 Blue Productions. She was previously the Director, Post-Production & Operations at 44 Blue Productions. PJ Donnelly has been named the VP, Post-Production & Technical Services. PJ was upped from Director, Post-Production & Technical Services at 44 Blue Productions. Mark Hamaguchi is now the VP, Production Management at 44 Blue. He was formerly the Director, Production Management at the company.

Nicholas Caprio has been upped to COO at Pilgrim Studios. He was formerly the EVP of Production & Current Programming at Pilgrim Studios. Johnny Gould has been named the Chief Creative Officer at the company. He was formerly the EVP, Development & Original Programming.

Eric Coleman has been promoted to the position of SVP, Original Programming and General Manager at Disney Television Animation. He was formerly the SVP of Original Series at Disney Television Animation. Aaron Simpson has been named the VP of Development at Disney Television Animation. He was formerly the Head of Development at Mondo Media. Jonathan Schneider has been named the VP of Strategy at Disney Television Animation. He was promoted from his title as Executive Director, Development at Disney Television Animation. Shane Prigmore has been named the VP, Creative Affairs at Disney Television Animation. Previously Shane was the Co-EP and Creative Director on their animated film, Tangled. Bonnie Lemon has been given the position of VP of Production at Disney Television Animation. She was formerly a Production Executive at DreamWorks Animation.

Lauren Eskelin has been given the position of EVP, Programming at True Entertainment. She was formerly the SVP, Programming at the company. Lorraine Haughton has been named the VP, Programming, True Entertainment and will stay on as EP of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Carol Klein has been named the VP, Production at True Entertainment. He was formerly the Executive in Charge of Production at Love, Lust, Or Run.

Kathleen Finch has been given the position of Chief Programming, Content & Brand Officer at Scripps Networks Interactive. She was formerly the President of HGTV, DIY Network and Great American Country. Burton Jablin has been named the Chief Operating Officer at Scripps Networks Interactive. He was formerly the President at Scripps Networks. Shannon O’Neill has been named the Managing Director, Finance & Operations at Scripps Networks Interactive. She was previously the President at Travel Channel.

Randy Lennox has been given the position of President, Entertainment Production & Broadcasting at Bell Media. He was formerly the President, CEO at Universal Music Canada.

Leonardo Ruiz has been given the position of VP, General Manager and Director, Sales at Univision Local Media (Salt Lake City) and General Manager at Univision Local Media (Bakersfield, CA). He was formerly the General Manager at Univision Local Media (Bakersfield, CA).

Jon Rutherford is now pursuing other opportunities. He was formerly the EVP of Distribution & Business Development at Tricon Films & Television. Karthiga Ratnasabapathy has been named the VP, Worldwide Sales & Acquisitions, Tricon Films & Television. She was previously the Director, Digital Sales & Acquisitions at Tricon Films & Television.

Francois Vallerian is now the Director of International Free TV Research at 20th Century Fox Television Distribution. He was formerly the VP of Market Research at Zodiak USA.

Management, PR, Agencies

David Gardner has gone over to The Lippin Group and will serve as their SVP. the firm’s chairman and CEO Dick Lippin announced today. Gardner is a veteran, with 20 years in L.A. and Atlanta working on public relations and publicity campaigns for more than 100 TV series, movies, specials and events.

Neil Warnock has been named the Head of Worldwide Music at UTA. He previously founded and was the President of The Agency Group that UTA recently acquired. Craig Bernstein has been named an Agent, Production at UTA. He was formerly an Agent in the Production department at ICM Partners.

Annie McDonough has been named the VP of Falco Ink. She was previously a Senior Account Executive at Falco Ink.

Gavin O’Reilly is now pursuing other opportunities after leaving his post as CEO of The Agency Group.

Tara Senior has been given the position of Co-Head of Unscripted Television at Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano. She was previously a Partner at Hansen Jacobson.

Steven Squillante has been named the Chief Operating Officer at Partner at Leeding Management. He was formerly the President of Physical Production at IM Global.

Grant Derkac has been named the Agent of International & Independent Film at ICM Partners. He was formerly a Coordinator of International & Independent Film at ICM Partners.

David Gross has been hired on as the SVP of International Division at Screen Engine/ASI. He previously founded Movie Review Intelligence. Mark Orne has been named the SVP of Digital Entertainment Division at Screen Engine/ASI. He was formerly the Executive Director of Global Consumer Insights Group at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Erica Lancaster is now a TV Agent at CAA. She was previously a Development Executive at Broadway Video.

Pattie Sueoka has moved to The Gersh Agency and will be an agent in their commercial production division, supporting below-the-line talent for spots, music videos and branded content. Gersh has also brought on Tara Kromer to oversee below-the-line talent for features and television in the New York office.

Music, Digital, Publishing, Misc.

Anki named Mark Bradley as its Chief Revenue Officer. Bradley was formerly VP for Asia Pacific with Electronic Arts.

Rick Schiavinato
has been named the VP of Sales and Business Development for ThinkAnalytics Latin America. He most recently worked in business development for Genesis Networks.

Endemol Shine Group has hired on Wim Ponnet as Group Director of Strategy + Commercial Development. Ponnet was previously at Yahoo EMEA, where he was the Senior Director, Strategy + Operations since 2011.

Ranker has just launched a video division and hired Inger Lund Carter as the VP, Content and Programming. Carter was previously the Yahoo! Front Page Editorial Director. Over in their advertising division, Ranker has hired David Cohn, formerly of Askmen and Crave Online.com, as the EVP of Sales.

Brad Globe, President of Warner Bros. Consumer Products, will be leaving the studio after running the division for more than a decade. Diane Nelson will take over the division until she names Globe’s successor, adding it to her current responsibilities as President, DC Entertainment and President and CCO at Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

Erin McPherson was previously the CCO at Maker Studios, but has since left to pursue other opportunities. Jeremy Welt has also left his post as SVP of Marketing at Maker to pursue other opportunities.

Adrian Sexton has been hired as the Interim President of Endemol Beyond USA. He was previously the COO at Endemol Beyond USA. Will Keenan was formerly the President but has since left to pursue other opportunities.

Jeffrey Remedios has been named the President and CEO of Universal Music Canada. He was formerly the Co-Founder of Arts & Crafts.

Matt Wise has been given the position of Director of Publishing at Blumhouse Books. He was previously an Agent, Literary at Foundry Literary + Media.

Pen Densham on How to Create Roles Stars Want to Play, Exec Shuffle, Wes Craven Tributes, ‘The View’ EP to Exit



Screenwriter Toolkit: How to Create Complex Characters that Attract A-List Talent

Pen Densham is an Oscar nominated filmmaker, with 16 features and over 300 hours of TV under his belt. Out of his best-selling book on creative screenwriting, Riding the Alligator, he discusses how to write roles stars will want to play . (SSN)

Executive Shuffle for 8/31/15: New $100 Mil. YooZoo Bliss Film Fund, Disney Animation Names New Execs, Moves at CAA/UTA/ICM

Other company launches and exec moves include, a new app with curated, short-form videos called Hyper, a new head of Fox International, a new TV exec at Open Road and a new SVP at The Lippin Group. (SSN)


‘Scream’ and ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’s’ Wes Craven Dead at 76

Wes Craven, who died yesterday of brain cancer, had a major impact on horror films, and on the culture at large. He knew, on a bone-deep level, what scared us.  Indiewire compiles a list of the most fitting tributes here.  (IW)

‘The View’ Exec Producer Bill Wolff to Exit

One week before it debuts a new host lineup, The View will lose executive producer Bill Wolff. Wolff’s exit comes two years after he took over the flagging daytime franchise from founding exec producer Bill Geddie. (THR)

Nicholas Hoult to Play Author J.D. Salinger in ‘Rebel in the Rye’

Nicholas Hoult will star as J.D. Salinger in the biopic Rebel in the Rye, with Danny Strong directing from his own screenplay. The script was adapted from the Kenneth Slawenski biography “J.D. Salinger: A Life.”  (VAR)

MGM Television Hires Lindsay Sloane As EVP Production & Development

MGM Television has brought in TriStar Prods.’ Lindsay Sloane as EVP, Television Production & Development. Additionally, the company has promoted Max Kisbye to SVP, Television Production & Development. (DH)

John Legend, David Bowie to write ‘The SpongeBob Musical’

Nickelodeon announced that it will produce the The SpongeBob Musical in Chicago next summer with original songs from John Legend, David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper, Dirty Projectors, The Flaming Lips, T.I., Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants, Lady Antebellum, Panic! At the Disco and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry. (CBS)

The 12 Most Interesting Moments From MTV’S VMAS

MTV started the VMAs over 30 years ago and it remains the network’s sole link to its glorious past. What people watch for is the most interesting moments.  Here are Co.Create’s picks for what was most worth watching. (FC)

5 Things to Know About ‘SNL’s’ Newest Cast Member Jon Rudnitsky

Jon Rudnitsky will be a featured player with the show’s 41st season, SNL announced today. ABC breaks down all you need to know about him. (ABC)

Apple Explores Original Content, Marvel Studios Now Answers To Horn, Universal Offers ‘Shades’ Gig To James Foley, ‘Coach’ Re-Do a No Go At NBC


In What Should Be a Surprise To Absolutely No One, Apple Is Exploring Original Programming

The moment the media and technology industries have been expecting for years may finally be arriving, as the colossus has held preliminary conversations in recent weeks with executives in Hollywood to suss out their interest in spearheading efforts to produce entertainment content. The goal is to create development and production divisions that would churn out long-form content to stream in a bid to compete with Netflix. (VAR)

Marvel Studios Finally Makes a Change, Will Now Report To Alan Horn Instead Of Ike Perlmutter

A year after moving to the Disney lot, its president Kevin Feige has orchestrated a reorganization that sees him reporting directly to the Walt Disney Studios Chairman, wresting oversight of the film division away from the Marvel Entertainment COO. The change, which took effect last week, only affects the film division; television and other Marvel endeavors remain under Perlmutter’s purview. The new situation is similar to the one Disney has with Lucasfilm. (DH)

No Shades Of Gray Here: Universal Has Officially Offered the ‘Fifty Shades’ Sequel Directing Gig To James Foley

Two weeks after this news first broke, Foley has been officially offered the job directing Fifty Shades Darker. Talks are reportedly beginning now. Whether this will be a two-fer deal, with Foley also set to direct the third film, remains to be seen. Fifty Shades Darker is set for release on February 10th, 2017 and if things go according to plan Fifty Shades Freed will open on February 9th, 2018. (SF)

So Much For That ‘Coach’ Reboot At NBC: Network Decides To Not Move Forward With the Show

The network has opted to cancel the straight-to-series follow-up starring Craig T. Nelson. Barry Kemp — who created the original series that ran on ABC for nine seasons — was attached to write the NBC follow-up and exec produce the Universal Television multicamera series with Nelson. The new series, originally ordered for a 13-episode pickup, will be shopped elsewhere. (TLF)

Get as Much ‘Under the Dome’ as You Can Stand, Because This Season Is the Last

CBS has decided to end its summer thriller Under the Dome next monthwhich is still two years after the show was originally expected to conclude. The network has officially decided to not order a fourth season of the series, which is based on the Stephen King bestseller about a Maine town suddenly trapped under a mysterious force field. Instead, the Sept. 10th finale will serve as a series ender. (EW)

Wondering Why Bill Murray Agreed To Do His ‘Ghosbusters’ Cameo? He Has Some Answers For You

For a long time, it seemed like Bill Murray was done with the Ghostbusters franchise. It came as a surprise, then, when reports broke weeks ago that Murray had actually taken part in Paul Feig’s new female-driven film. It’s rumored that Murray will appear as a character out to debunk the new Ghostbusters crew, played by Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones. He discussed his choice at the premiere of his new film, Rock the Kasbah. (VUL)

Jeremy Renner Inks Multi-Year Producing Deal With PalmStar Media

Actor-producer has inked a deal with PalmStar Media, the busy indie film finance and production company behind American Ultra and Pawn Sacrifice. As part of the multi-year deal, PalmStar will provide producing services and overhead, development and production financing for Renner and Don Handfield’s production company The Combine. The two companies aim to jointly produce two to three films per year. (THR)

Tony Todd Has Joined the Cast Of Season Two Of ‘The Flash’, or At Least His Voice Has

In the aftermath of the events of the show‘s dramatic season one finale last May, we’re going to be seeing a major update of the Reverse-Flash. The character, now known as Zoom, will not only receive a physical makeover, but will be voiced in season two by the legendary Tony Todd. Originally played by Tom Cavanaugh, who is still part of the cast, with a modulated voice, the character will now be voiced by Todd moving forward. (CS)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Downton Abbey’

ITV has released the first look at the final season of the Emmy-winning series, which premieres in Great Britain on Sunday, September 20th, and here in America on Masterpiece in January. (HP)

Online Film School: Six Filmmaking Tips From Penelope Spheeris

Perhaps best known for her work with various alumni of Saturday Night Live, Spheeris’s most popular works have obscured an extensive and eclectic filmmaking biography that includes establishing the first music video production company in LA, teaching Albert Brooks how to make films for his SNL shorts, directing Richard Pryor’s almost never-seen Uncle Tom’s Fairy Tales, and directing three of the most definitive documentaries on American punk ever made. (FSR)

TV Development for 9/1/15: Jerry Bruckheimer TV Producing ‘Talk Nerdy to Me’, New Cuba Series, ‘Galaxy Quest’ Voyages to Amazon


Untitled Alison Schapker/ Shondaland Project
Network: ABC Entertainment Group
Studio: ABC Studios
Production Company(s): Shondaland
Executive Producer(s): Alison Schapker, Shonda Rhimes, Betsy Beers
Writer(s): Alison Schapker
Logline: Revolves around a group of Catholic nuns fighting the closure of their Bronx-based convent who must suddenly deal with three young novices whose arrival unearths long-buried secrets.
SSN Insight: ABC gave an initial script commitment on August 25. Alison Schapker previously was a writer and producer on Lost and Fringe.

Untitled Liz Heldens Sue Naegle Ballet Drama Project
Network: ABC Entertainment Group
Production Company(s): TriStar Television
Executive Producer(s): Sue Naegle, Liz Heldens
Writer(s): Liz Heldens
Logline: A flamboyant retired ballet dancer and a reluctant prima ballerina work to assemble a troupe of dancers of all shapes and sizes to perform “Swan Lake.” The show explores the personal and professional lives of a diverse group of characters as they get ready for their big performance and are granted a second chance to realize their dreams. Based on the the British reality format.
Details: Based on the the British reality format, Big Ballet, which aired on Channel 4 in 2014.
SSN Insight: ABC gave an initial commitment of a script plus penalty on August 28.

Network: ABC Entertainment Group
Studio: Universal Television
Executive Producer(s): Matt Lopez, John Glenn
Writer(s): Matt Lopez
Logline: In modern-day Los Angeles, the murder of the powerful Hispanic mayor sends shockwaves through the city’s elite circles and launches the search for a killer. Based on the play “Julius Caesar.”
Details: Based on the play, “Julius Caesar,” written by William Shakespeare in approximately 1599.
SSN Insight: ABC gave an initial commitment of a put pilot on August 27. Both Glenn and Lopez have overall deals at Universal Television.

Untitled Amy Holden Jones Matt Nix Crime Drama Project
Network: CBS Entertainment
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television
Executive Producer(s): Amy Holden Jones, Matt Nix
Writer(s): Amy Holden Jones
Logline: An explosive, rule-breaking, fearless female detective with no filter enlists the help of a polite and gentle brainiac who studies the biology of evil to solve cases for the Los Angeles Violent Crimes Unit.
SSN Insight: CBS gave an initial commitment of a put pilot plus penalty on August 26. Nix has an overall deal at 20th Century Fox TV and the studio is also where Jones had a premium blind deal.

Studio: Facet 4, Source Rock Partners
Production Company(s): Stone Village Productions
Executive Producer(s): Rob Cohen, Scott Steindorff, Dylan Russell, Rob Weiss
Logline: An international real estate mogul returns with his family to the place of his childhood to restore a hotel in hope of capitalizing on Cuba’s emerging tourism business.
SSN Insight: Planned as a twelve episode limited series. Stone Village has joined forces with Quebec-based Facet 4 to distribute the series and co-finance with investment firm Source Rock Partners.

Untitled Elizabeth Beckwith 1970s Las Vegas Comedy Project
Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
Studio: Sony Pictures Television
Production Company(s): Davis Entertainment, Thruline Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Elizabeth Beckwith, John Davis, John Fox, Willie Mercer, Chris Henze
Writer(s): Elizabeth Beckwith
Logline: The show is a father-son workplace comedy set in Las Vegas in the 1970s.
SSN Insight: Fox gave an initial script commitment on August 26.

Galaxy Quest
Network: Amazon
Studio: Amazon Studios, Paramount Television
Production Company(s): Gran Via Productions
Executive Producer(s): Robert Gordon, Dean Parisot, Mark Johnson, Melissa Bernstein
Writer(s): Robert Gordon
Logline: Revolves around the cast of a long cancelled space TV show who become reluctant real space heroes when they are accidentally transported to a spaceship and tasked with saving an alien nation.
Details: Based on the film, “Galaxy Quest,” (1999), directed by Dean Parisot and starring Tim Allen and Sigourney Weaver.
SSN Insight: Paramount has lined up the Eps from the original feature with Robert Gordon who wrote the original feature, Dean Parisot who directed the film and producer Mark Johnson.

Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television
Production Company(s): Crossover Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Robin Shorr, Julie Bowen, George Salinas, Jaime Aymerich
Writer(s): Robin Shorr
Logline: A Type A hypochondriac receives a fatal diagnosis. She then sets herself and her friends and family on a path of comedic destruction in pursuit of her authentic self.
Details: Based on the Colombian telenovela, “La Hipocondriaca,” which aired on Caracol TV in 2013.
SSN Insight: Fox gave an initial commitment of a script plus penalty as of August 25.

National Treasure
Network: Channel 4
Production Company(s): The Forge
Executive Producer(s): George Ormond, George Faber
Logline: Paul Finchley is one half of a much loved comedy double act a cherished household name with a career that spans several decades.Faced suddenly with an accusation of rape from the 1970s, his life begins to unravel as he and all those closest to him are put under the intense pressure of the investigation and the merciless media circus that accompanies it. And, of course, his accuser, now in her 50s, must run the same gauntlet in parallel. The series will trace the investigation and criminal trial.
SSN Insight: UK Channel 4 gave a series order of four episodes for the limited series as of August 28.

Oh Mama
Network: NBC Entertainment
Studio: Universal Television
Production Company(s): Keshet Media Group
Executive Producer(s): Claudia Lonow, Peter Traugott
Writer(s): Claudia Lonow
Logline: An engaged couple, Daniel and Marjorie, struggle to save their relationships when their mothers start having an affair with each other.
Details: Based on a Keshet short story.
SSN Insight: Lonow is under an overall deal with Universal Television. This project is the first sale under the first-look deal with Keshet Studios, the U.S.-based scripted studio under Keshet International, inked with Universal TV.

Spartan Race
Network: NBC Entertainment
Production Company(s): A. Smith & Co. Productions, Spartan Race
Executive Producer(s): Arthur Smith, Kent Weed, Anthony Storm
Logline: Friends, families and co-workers work together and push each other to their mental and physical limits as they race across specially designed Spartan courses engineered to test their determination, endurance, and will. Teams of five comprised of two men, two women, and an elite Spartan athlete will battle over mud, water, and fire for a chance to win a large cash prize.
SSN Insight: NBC ordered the series on August 26. A. Smith & Co Prods also produce NBC’s summer hit American Ninja Warrior.

The Jury
Network: ABC Entertainment Group
Studio: Sony Pictures Television
Production Company(s): Carol Mendelsohn Productions
Executive Producer(s): V.J. Boyd, Carol Mendelsohn, Julie Weitz
Writer(s): V.J. Boyd, Mark Bianculli
Logline: Follows a single murder trial a season as seen through the eyes of the individual jurors, exploring the biases and experiences that influence the jurors’ judgment, and how their preconceptions change along the way.
SSN Insight: ABC gave an initial commitment of a pilot plus significant penalty as of August 28.

The Trail
Network: NBC Entertainment
Studio: Warner Bros. Television
Executive Producer(s): Jeffrey Astrof, Matthew Miller
Writer(s): Jeffrey Astrof, Matthew Miller
Logline: The show follows the arrest and trial of a beloved poetry professor from a small town in South Carolina, who is accused of brutally murdering his wife, and the young “Northeastern” lawyer hired to defend him.
SSN Insight: NBC gave an initial commitment of a put pilot as of August 28. Miller previously created the half-hour comedy, Grown Ups, and executive produced Chuck.

Network: NBC Entertainment
Studio: Sony Pictures Television
Production Company(s): Davis Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Eric Kripke, Shawn Ryan, John Davis, John Fox
Writer(s): Eric Kripke, Shawn Ryan
Logline: An unlikely trio travel through time to battle unknown criminals in order to protect history as we know it.
SSN Insight: NBC ordered the pilot on August 26. This is the third drama sale to NBC for Davis and Sony TV with series orders for The Blacklist and the upcoming Las Vegas action series, The Player. Davis also sold the comedy series Dr. Ken to ABC and sold a 1970s Vegas comedy to Fox.

Truck’d Up
Studio: Radar Pictures
Production Company(s): Coquette Productions, New Artists Alliance
Executive Producer(s): David Arquette, Gabriel Cowan, Larry Nealy, Steven Swalding, Michael Lawrence
Logline: A rag tag group of misfits who attempt to get a food truck up and running but find that they need a budding chef with an out-of-the box menu concept to outsell their competitors.
SSN Insight: The pilot was financed by Radar Pictures. The series is directed by Arquette and Gabriel Cowan of New Artists Alliance who will also be showrunners. Coquette is currently in production on Celebrity Name Game.

Network: BBC 2
Production Company(s): Canal Plus, Incendo Media, Capa Drama, Zodiak Media
Executive Producer(s): Simon Mirren, David Wolstencroft, Claude Chelli
Logline: The year is 1667 and King Louis XIV is a 28-year-old monarch on the cusp of greatness. A ruthless leader, he will stop at nothing to achieve his vision of creating the most beautiful palace in Europe and seizing absolute control of France and his enemies.
Details: Based on actual events.)
SSN Insight: BBC 2 has given a series order of ten episodes as of August 28.

Talk Nerdy to Me
Network: CBS Entertainment
Studio: Warner Bros. TV
Production Company(s): Jerry Bruckheimer TV
Executive Producer(s): Morgan Murphy, Bill Wrubel, Jonathan Littman
Writer(s): Morgan Murphy
Logline: About four smart, ambitious, twenty-something women — two computer programmers, a musician and a doctor — who share a house on the canals in Venice, CA, and support one another as they reach for their dreams professionally and personally.
Details: Inspired by the blog Talk Nerdy to Me, Lover, edited by Jen Friel.
SSN Insight: CBS has given an initial commitment of a put pilot. Wrubel previously received a put pilot commitment this season for Dream Team at ABC. Wrubel is currently under an overall deal at WBTV.