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Pete Hammond Breaks Down Indie Spirit Award Noms
International

Guest Stars Set For ‘Downton Abbey’ Christmas Episode; Endemol Inks With Amber TV: Global Showbiz Briefs

downton abbey christmas

ITV and Carnival Film have unwrapped details about the Christmas episode of Downton Abbey, which rejoins the family in the early autumn of 1924. A pair of guest stars are joining the regular cast: Alun Armstrong will play Stowell, the Sinderbys' butler and Jane Lapotaire is the much talked-about Princess Irina, wife of Prince Kuragin (Rade Sherbedgia). It's grouse-shooting season, and Rose's father-in-law, Lord Sinderby, has rented out Brancaster Castle in Northumberland… Read

Awards

MPTF’s Night Before Oscar Fundraiser Setting Up Shop On Fox Lot

MPTF logo_edited-1

We've known since the spring that the annual fundraiser held for a decade-plus at the Beverly Hills Hotel was pulling up stakes amid the boycotts that have hit that venue. Now sources confirm to Deadline that the Motion Picture Television Fund's 2015 Night Before event is heading to the centrally located and spacious 20th Century Fox lot in Century City. The MPTF announced May 5 that it was moving the glitzy, star-studded charity event that Jeffrey Katzenberg made famous… Read

Film

London Cops Collar Suspected ‘Expendables 3′ Pirates

Expendables 3 piracy arrest

Lionsgate and Millennium are one step closer to vanquishing the pirates who stole and uploaded Sylvester Stallone's The Expendables 3. London cops today arrested two men on suspicion of leaking the action sequel this summer ahead of its August 15 release. The film grossed just $39.3 million domestically before taking in more than $206 million globally. The first two installments of the franchise grossed a combined $580 million worldwide. Detectives in the Police… Read

Box Office

‘The Imitation Game’ Will Stuff Theaters This Holiday Weekend – Specialty Box Office Preview

the-imitation-game

The Weinstein Company's The Imitation Game is the big kid on the block among this holiday weekend's batch of newcomers. The title is following in the footsteps of past TWC heavyweights The King's Speech and The Artist, both of which opened to solid box office numbers and eventually scored Oscars for Best Picture. The distributor is expecting good numbers for Imitation Game over the Thanksgiving frame. IFC Films' horror pic The Babadook has some good buzz heading into the… Read

Business

No Sales Details On ‘Call Of Duty,’ But Activision Shares Jump 11 Percent

Call of Duty Advanced Warfare

Normally, when you successfully release the latest iteration of a blockbuster franchise, it's a good time to brag. Activision Blizzard says Call of Duty Advanced Warfare has had the year's biggest launch of any entertainment property. That's big. But what's more interesting is what ATVI didn't say, and how Wall Street is still sending company shares up like an exo-skeleton boost. In a November 19 release, ATVI called the Advanced Warfare debut “the biggest entertainment… Read

Film

‘Midnight Rider’ Director, Producer Seek Escape From Trespass Case

Midnight Rider director trespassing lawsuit

Despite settling with the family of camera assistant Sarah Jones last week, Midnight Rider's director and producer are still trying to escape the sights of rail company CSX. Randall Miller and Jody Savin today asked a Georgia court to dismiss them and their business entities from a cross-claim by CSX, whose remaining involvement in the ongoing civil suit filed by Jones' family has kept the filmmakers tethered to the wrongful death case. CSX accused Miller, Savin… Read

Business

CBS Will Stay On Dish Through The Weekend As Carriage Talks Continue – Update

CBS Dish Network

UPDATED: 4:01 PM: Fear not, Dish subscribers hoping to watch the Thanksgiving Day Bears-Lions NFL game with family rather than, you know, talking to them: CBS is staying on the satellite service for the holiday. The network issued a statement this afternoon saying that its deadline for a carriage deal with Dish has been extended again amid ongoing talks. The extension means Dish subscribers also can watch CBS' slate of Sunday NFL games. “A short-term extension into next… Read

TV

Matt Barr Joins TNT’s Drug-Trade Pilot; Katie Sarife In ‘The Michelle Knight Story’

Matt Barr

Matt Barr (Parkland) has booked a lead role in in TNT's Untitled Miami Project executive produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay. Written by Masters Of Sex creator/executive producer Michelle Ashford, the serialized character drama is set in the wild and unpredictable world of the Florida drug trade in the 1970s. Barr, repped by UTA and Luber Roklin, will play Julius Jackson, the lifelong best friend of Bobby (Michael Stahl-David) and now his loyal partner in crime… Read

Film

‘Cake’ Trailer: Jennifer Aniston Feels The Pain And Shows It

Cake

Jennifer Aniston doesn't wear any makeup in her latest film — save for scars and other disfigurements. The former Friend and rom-com regular takes a right turn with Cake, playing a woman suffering with chronic pain who carries plenty of emotional hurt as well. After a member of her support group commits suicide, Aniston's Claire hopes to find salvation by inserting herself into the lives of the late woman's husband and son. Adriana Barraza, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington… Read

TV

‘State Of Affairs’ Ratings Fall On Night Of Ferguson Decision, ‘Dancing With The Stars’ & ‘Scorpion’ Steady, ‘Sleepy Hollow’ Down – Update

President Obama Makes Statement On Grand Jury Decision On Ferguson Shooting

UPDATE, 3:31 PM: The final numbers are in, and State Of Affairs took a hard fall from grace in its second week. With a 1.5/4 and the context of a 15-minute presidential pre-emption, the Katherine Heigl-led series was down 31%. That context means Week 3 will be a big hurdle for the NBC show performance-wise. As it is, this Monday was not kind to NBC at all. The Voice (2.6/7) was down a tenth from this morning's scrambled fast nationals and 16% from last week to hit a… Read

TV

Fox News Tops Ferguson Decision Viewership; CNN Wins Demo

Grand Jury Decision Reached In Ferguson Shooting Case

The grand jury may have been singular in its decision to not indict Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, but cable news viewers made a split verdict. With an audience of 7.26 million watching during the 9 PM ET hour, Fox News Channel was the most viewed cable news network when St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch revealed if Wilson would be indicted for shooting Brown this summer. FNC had 1 million more viewers than CNN for the much… Read

Video

‘Penguins Of Madagascar’ Review: Pete Hammond On Earthbound Spinoff

Penguins of Madagascar

Penguins of Madagascar waddles onto screens this holiday week, a spinoff of DreamWorks Animation's Madagascar animated franchise. But as I say in my video review above, this film focuses on just one corner of that franchise's winning collection of critters, the scheming pack of penguins. And it never quite takes flight, despite its manic pace and an evil octopus (!) voiced wonderfully by John Malkovich. Other voice cast members include the seemingly omnipresent Benedict Cu… Read

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