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March 2011 Archive


Jenny Bicks Signs Overall Deal At Sony TV

EXCLUSIVE: Former Sex and the City executive producer Jenny Bicks has signed a two-year, seven-figure overall deal with Sony Pictures Television. Under the pact, Bicks will continue as executive producer/showrunner on the studio’s Showtime series The Big C, now in production on its second season with Hugh Dancy and Parker Posey joining the cast led by Laura Linney for multi-episode arcs and Alan Alda for a guest shot. On the series, created by Darlene Hunt, Bicks focuses… Read


Time Warner Cable Drops Big Networks From IPad App

The cease-and-desist letters have piled up high enough for Time Warner Cable to pull a bunch of major networks from its recently released iPad app, which allowed subscribers of the nation’s second-largest cable company to stream programming inside their homes. News Corp, which sent its letter yesterday, has been pulled from the service, as have all channels from Viacom and Discovery Communications — a total of 12 channels. From Time Warner Cable’s statement today: We… Read


James Franco Discusses Oscar Hosting Turn With Letterman

Two panned Oscar hosts, James Franco and David Letterman, commiserate about the experience on Letterman’s CBS show tomorrow night. After a long soul-searching, Franco says he has a theory why people thought he was under the influence onstage. “I love her, but (co-host) Anne Hathaway is so energetic, I think the Tasmanian Devil would look stoned standing next to Anne Hathaway,” he said. Here is the full… Read


'The Talk' Executive Producer Brad Bessey To Exit

EXCLUSIVE: The Talk executive producer Brad Bessey will be leaving CBS’ talk show after the end of its freshman season. Bessey had notified CBS of his plans earlier this month and shared the news with The Talk co-hosts today. Bessey launched The Talk, the first network daytime talk show to successfully premiere in nearly 10 years. Since its October debut, the show, hosted by Julie Chen, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Holly Robinson Peete and Leah Remini, has averaged an… Read


MTV Picks Up 'Inbetweeners' To Series

MTV has picked up its remake of the award-winning British series The Inbetweeners to series with a 12-episode order. Brad Copeland wrote the adaptation and serves as the showrunner. He is executive producing with Iain Morris and Damon Beesley, creators of the original series, and Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment. The Inbetweeners, which was greenlighted to pilot in September, stars Joey Pollari (Avalon High), Bubba Lewis (To Save a Life), The Virginity Hit star… Read


Movie Theater Owners Livid Over New VOD Plan Between DirecTV & Studios

The National Association of Theatre Owners has issued a response to reports today that DirecTV is in talks with the Hollywood studios for a premium VOD service that would offer movies 60 days after their theatrical release as early as next month. The exhibition organization’s “disappointment” is no surprise, but the timing of the negotiations is: It comes right during NATO and the exhibition industry’s biggest event, CinemaCon, which is going on right now in Las… Read

Lionsgate Extends Tyler Perry Relationship

Tyler Perry’s monogamous relationship with Lionsgate will be interrupted this year when he stars in I, Alex Cross for Summit Entertainment. But Perry and Lionsgate have renewed their vows with a new multi-year deal that will see him continue as the indie’s franchise figure for years to come. Lionsgate has extended its first-look partnership with Perry and his 34th Street Films banner for films and DVD. That continues a lucrative relationship that began with the 2005 hit Di… Read


Cinemax Greenlights 'Transporter' Series Executive Produced by Luc Besson

Cinemax is teaming with Luc Besson for a TV series based on his popular Transporter film franchise. After lengthy negotiations, HBO’s sibling pay-cable channel has committed to 12 episodes of  the action drama, produced by French company Atlantique and executive produced by Besson. This is the  second series order under Cinemax’s current push in original scripted fare. Last month, the network partnered with British satcaster Sky for another action series, the 10-part Strik… Read


NBC Orders Betty White Reality Series

NBC has picked up Betty White's Off Their Rockers, a new hidden-camera comedy show hosted and executive produced by Betty White. The series of 12 half-hour episodes will be produced by Chris Coelen’s Kinetic Content. ‪Known throughout Europe as Benidorm Bastards, Betty White's Off Their Rockers follows a band of seven senior citizens who make it their mission to play pranks on unsuspecting younger people. “Betty White is a comedic genius who escalates hilarity in any… Read


Gulliver McGrath To Play 'Dark Shadows' Kid Role; Will Michael Sheen Play His Dad?

Tim Burton has set Gulliver McGrath to play the role of David Collins in Dark Shadows. It was a coveted role on the pint-sized set, and I’ve heard Burton has his sights on Michael Sheen to play his father, Roger Collins. The young Australian actor made it to the finals for the lead in Martin Scorsese’s Hugo Cabret, then got a small role after the job went to Asa Butterfield. The role of David Collins was originated in the 60s soap by David Henesy, and then Joseph… Read


ICM Merges Film And TV Talent Into One Department And Names Troika To Run In

EXCLUSIVE: ICM is centralizing its talent leadership. Lorrie Bartlett, Dar Rollins and Adam Schweitzer are being named co-heads of talent for the agency this morning. The new structure covers talent spread across all areas, including film, TV, theater, branding and new media. Under ICM’s previous setup, the agency had separate TV talent and film talent departments. The TV talent department was overseen by Mike Jelline, who left ICM on Monday, and the motion picture talent… Read


RATINGS RAT RACE: ABC Freshman Series & 'Survivor' Hit Lows, Univision Third Again

A two-hour American Idol (7.5/21 in adults 18-49, 23.6 million viewers) delivered another dominating Wednesday win for Fox. The Top 11 performance show (redux) was down 5% from last week’s Top 11 performance episode and 1% in total viewers. But in the apples-to-apples comparison to last week’s fast national numbers for the show, which always climbs in the finals, Idol was down 3% in 18-49 and up a fraction in total viewers. CBS’ Survivor: Redemption Island (2.9/9) was… Read