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Amazon Scraps ‘Highston’ Comedy Series From Bob Nelson & Sacha Baron Cohen

Highston

Amazon has opted not to proceed with the new comedy series Highston. The streaming service picked up to series the pilot — written by Oscar-nominee Bob Nelson (Nebraska), directed by Little Miss Sunshine helmers Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, and executive produced by Sacha Baron Cohen — in December 2015. But it was never scheduled, and tonight, after co-star Curtis Armstrong tweeted that the show was dead, the development was confirmed by Amazon. "We love Bob, Jon… Read

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ABC Orders Drama Pilots ‘The Good Doctor’ & ‘Doomsday’ From David Shore, Daniel Dae Kim & Carol Mendesohn

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I’ve learned that ABC has given pilot orders to two drama projects with big auspices and big commitments from Sony Pictures TV — medical drama The Good Doctor, from House creator David Shore and Hawaii Five-0 co-star Daniel Dae Kim, which had a put pilot commitment, and Doomsday, a thriller drama from producer Carol Mendelsohn (CSI), writers Mark Bianculli & VJ Boyd (Justified), which had a production commitment with a series penalty behind it. Written by Shore based on… Read

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NBC’s ‘Days Of Our Lives’ Taps Soap Writing Vet Ron Carlivati

DAYS OF OUR LIVES LOGO

NBC soap Days of Our Lives – lately facing its very own existential cliff-hanger – has replaced its co-head writer Dena Higley with longtime daytime scribe Ron Carlivati. “Like Sands Through the Hourglass,” Carlivati tweeted tonight, a reference to Days‘ famous spoken-word intro. Carlivati will be the daytime series’ head writer, with Ryan Quan, co-head writer with Higley, given the newly created Creative Consultant title. Sharing that title will be Days writer Sheri… Read

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Verizon Axes 155 Go90 Staffers; Streaming Service Targets Millennials

go90

Confirming the layoffs of 155 Go90 employees, Verizon says the company remains “committed to rapidly enhancing our existing online video products and delivering new products." "Our focus with go90 and our Verizon digital media efforts are to fulfill our strategy of leveraging Verizon content investments, enhancing user experience and strengthening our advertising infrastructure,” the company said in a statement. “Fulfilling this strategy has resulted in some duplicative… Read

Film

How Jack Black Transformed Into ‘The Polka King’ – Sundance Studio

The Polka King

He has played an ape’s showman in King Kong, a sweet mortician-turned-murderer in Bernie and now a polka maestro/Ponzi scheme impresario in The Polka KingLarger-than-life characters seem embedded in Jack Black’s DNA, so playing the real-life Polish immigrant Jan Lewan — a Grammy nominee, friend of Pope John Paul II, gift shop owner, ex-con and loving husband — makes perfect sense. Black received a copy of The Man Who Would Be Polka King, the documentary on which Polka Ki… Read

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‘Tell Hector I Miss Him’ Review: ‘Orange Is The New Black’ Stars Add Luster To A Fresh New Voice

Sean Carvajal and Analisa veleZ in Paola Lázaro's 'Tell Hector i Miss Him' at the Atlantic Theatre Company in New York.

You’ve probably never heard of Paola Lázaro, but that will change. Currently playwright in residence at the David Mamet- and William H. Macy-founded Atlantic Theater Company, Lázaro is a spinner of vivid tales possessed of a sharp ear for language and a keen eye for the humane comic detail. Tell Hector I Miss Him, which opened Monday on the Atlantic’s Stage 2 (the main stage was, until recently, home to The Band’s Visit, the best new musical of 2016) stuffs a crowd of… Read

Film

Netflix Acquires Sundance Closer ‘The Incredible Jessica James’

Incredible Jessica James

Netflix has acquired worldwide rights to Jim Strouse’s modern comedy, The Incredible Jessica James, ahead of its world premiere as the Closing Night film at Sundance. The pic will be branded as a Netflix original film and launch globally this year to Netflix viewers in 190 countries. Written and directed by Strouse, the film stars Jessica Williams (The Daily Show) as a young, aspiring playwright in New York City who is struggling to get over a recent breakup. She is… Read

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CBS Orders Crime Drama Pilot Starring Alan Cumming, Craig Turk Legal Drama

Alan Cumming, The Good Wife, nominee for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

CBS has given pilot orders to two projects featuring key auspices from the network’s praised legal drama The Good Wife: crime drama Killer Instinct, starring and executive produced by The Good Wife cast member Alan Cumming, and Perfect Citizen, a legal drama written and executive produced by former Good Wife executive producer Craig Turk. Both projects hail from CBS TV Studios. Killer Instinct (fka Dr. Death) was written by Michael Rauch based on the upcoming book by James… Read

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SAG-AFTRA Gets Big Win In Campaign To Unionize Telemundo

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The National Labor Relations Board has given the greenlight for performers at Telemundo to vote on whether they want to be represented by SAG-AFTRA in contract negotiations – a major first step in SAG-AFTRA's campaign to unionize the Spanish-language network. The union, which has accused the NBCUniversal-owned network of paying its Spanish-language performers less than NBC pays its English-language actors, petitioned the NLRB for just such a vote last month. The election… Read

Film

Civil Rights Leader Dolores Huerta On New Doc ‘Dolores’: “It’s Really The Story Of A Movement” — Sundance Studio

Dolores

One of the buzziest documentaries coming out of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, Peter Bratt’s Dolores premiered Friday just in time for the doc’s inspirational subject, civil and labor rights leader Dolores Huerta, to speak at events surrounding the Park City Women’s March. Executive produced by legendary musician Carlos Santana, alongside consulting producer (and Star star) Benjamin Bratt, Dolores tells the story of Dolores Huerta, who bucked 1950s gender conventions… Read

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NBC Orders Comedy Pilot From Seth Meyers, Mike O’Brien & Lorne Michaels

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Buchan/Variety/REX/Shutterstock (5683945e)
Seth Meyers
IFC's 'Documentary Now!' screening, Los Angeles, America - 13 May 2016

NBC has given the green light to a single-camera comedy from Seth Meyers, Saturday Night Live's Mike O'Brien and Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video. Written by O’Brien, the untitled comedy (fka AP Bio) centers on a hilariously cynical Ivy League professor who loses out on his dream job and goes to work as a high school biology teacher where he imposes his unorthodox teaching style and uses the kids to plot out revenge on those who wronged him. Meyers, O’Brien, Mike… Read

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Universal/Blumhouse’s Jordan Peele Horror Film ‘Get Out’ Is Sundance’s Secret Screening

get-out

EXCLUSIVE: Universal and Blumhouse are coming off of an excellent weekend with M. Night Shyamalan’s Split taking No. 1 at the box office with $40M, and they’re going to keep the party going with this year’s secret screening at the Sundance Film Festival: the first look at Jordan Peele’s feature directorial debut, Get Out, which will premiere at midnight at the Library Theater. Get Out is a pure horror film from the Emmy-winning creator-star of Comedy Central’s sketch… Read