August 2013 Archive

Film

R.I.P. Talent Manager J.J. Harris

Motion picture and television talent agent/manager J.J. Harris died of what is believed to be natural causes on Friday afternoon and was found today in her Beverly Hills home by her staff. She was 62. Always classy and funny but never a pushover, she at one time was among the top women talent agents and sole practitioner managers in Hollywood, representing such notable clients over the course of her decades-long career including Kevin Costner, Charlize Theron, Dakota and… Read

Telluride: ‘12 Years A Slave’ Ignites The Festival, But Fox Searchlight Plans To Take It Slow

Telluride has been buzzing since last night's first screening of Steve McQueen's excellent slavery drama, 12 Years A Slave. One site which shall remain nameless was so overcome that the writer already just about declared the Oscar race over and done. “Guess we don't have to go to Toronto now,” said a publicist here with another contender. One blogger stopped me on the street today after I saw the film and asked, “So do you agree with us (bloggers) the actor race is done?”… Read

Film

North Carolina Likely To End Its Production Incentive Program After 2014

Los Angeles-area movie production took another gut punch a few days ago when news surfaced that the Man of Steel sequel will shoot in Detroit. But now comes a glimmer of good news for locals lamenting runaway production: North Carolina is nearing an end to its tax incentive for filming there. The Wall Street Journal reports that although the Legislature voted in July to fund the program for two more years, it is targeted to end after 2014. According to the North Carolina… Read

Hot TV Trailer: ‘Downton Abbey’ Season 4

Here's the international trailer for the next season — or “series”, for those in the UK — of the Emmy-nominated period drama. Here's what you can expect from Year 4 of Downton Abbey: hugs and kisses, dancing and brawling, smile and scowls, lots and lots of meaningful glances, even advice on a life-or-death decision. All set to the Joy Formidable's “Wolf's Law”. As Lady Rose MacClare breathlessly offers, “Welcome to Downton.” Season 4 bows January 5 on PBS. Related: Read

TV

Big Four Networks Break In For President Obama’s Address On Syria

ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox all broke into their programming today to cover the commander-in-chief's speech at 10:50 PT this morning. All of the cable news outlets covered the speech as well. CBS and NBC were carrying pricey live sports programming — tennis' U.S. Open and English Premier League soccer, respectively. (NBC also cut in from 10:27-10:35 as it waited for the president, who was scheduled to begin at 10:15). ABC had the educational program India: A Royal Life. Fox… Read

TV

Deadline’s Best TV Stories Of The Week

If you missed Deadline's top TV stories, check them out: Harry Connick Jr To The Rescue? Crooner In The Mix For 'American Idol' Judge By Nellie Andreeva – EXCLUSIVE: He is a self-professed big fan of American Idol who has done two very well-received stints as a guest mentor on the Fox singing competition and has been rumored for a judging gig on the show in the past Are CBS & Time Warner Cable Getting Closer To Agreement? By Nellie Andreeva - The irony was not lost on… Read

Awards

Telluride: Coen Brothers And T Bone Burnett Let Loose At Lively Tributes

Joel and Ethan Coen have a ton of Oscars and other awards on their shelves, but the duo is fairly elusive when it comes to touting themselves and their work. So it isn't exactly surprising that they'd never agreed to a Telluride Film Festival tribute, until this year. And the only way — a smart and entertaining one as it turns out — to lure them here was to wrap it around the use of music in their films and in particular the remarkable work they do with T Bone Burnett… Read

TV

Harry Connick Jr. Nears Deal For ‘American Idol’

The judging panel for the 13th season of American Idol is expected to be in place by the end of the weekend so production can get underway as planned. Harry Connick Jr. is finalizing a deal to take the third spot alongside Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez. As we first reported, Connick Jr. emerged as a leading candidate for the vacant chair earlier this week after a deal with music producer Dr. Luke fell through at the last minute. Connick is a self-professed big American Id… Read

Film

Venice: The Weinstein Co Sets Christmas Release For ‘Philomena’

EXCLUSIVE: Following the massively positive reaction to Stephen Frears' Philomena here in Venice, The Weinstein Co is firming its U.S. release plans. Philomena will go out first in New York and Los Angeles on Christmas Day and then will open wide on January 10, say TWC execs Robert Walak and Negeen Yazdi. The movie was warmly received at its screening here this morning; Frears and stars Judi Dench and Steve Coogan also got a standing ovation at a press conference a little… Read

Film

Venice: ‘Philomena’ Wows Lido, Debuts To Thunderous Applause

One of the most anticipated films in the Venice competition, Stephen Frears' Philomena blew a breath of fresh air onto the Lido this morning. Essentially a Judi Dench/Steve Coogan two-hander, it screened to laughs, tears and lots of applause - the latter both during and after the film. Following a series of intensely serious movies - some of which, like Gravity, have been very well-received – festgoers were still looking for a genuine crowd-pleaser. Although Philomena… Read

Awards

Telluride: Surprise ‘Prisoners’ Rocks The Fest And Becomes Instant Oscar Contender

Hyperbole at film festivals is to be expected, BUT even with direct competition from Brad Pitt and the Coen brothers, the reaction to the first public screening Friday night anywhere of director Denis Villenueve's thrilling and penetrating drama Prisoners at the 40th Telluride Film Festival was completely unexpected and significant. This was a “surprise” screening (although I predicted it) and filled the 650-seat Herzog Theatre. For weeks some I spoke to thought on the… Read

International

Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘X Factor’ Musical; Hugh Jackman Honored In Zurich; Beijing Fest In Venice & More

London's 'X Factor' Musical Finds Its Simon Cowell Nigel Harman, the former Eastenders star who has a role in Season 4 of Downton Abbey, has been tapped to play a character based on Simon Cowell in I Can't Sing! The X Factor Musical. The show will be directed by Olivier Award-winner and Tony Award-nominee, Sean Foley. It's set to premiere at the London Palladium on March 26, 2014. Cowell and Sony Music's joint venture Syco Entertainment is partnering with Stage… Read

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