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Pete Hammond’s Notes On The Season: Campaigns Turn Serious In The Race That Is TOO CLOSE TO CALL

the big short

A new weekly column talking up the season with dispatches from the awards circuit. The lunch and dinner circuit that was so prevalent pre-Oscar nominations has now morphed into the awards banquet circuit, still providing lots of great opportunities for contenders to get their face time with voters who attend these affairs night in and night out, usually at the Beverly Hilton or Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotels.   The Producers Guild, Art Directors, American Cinema… Read


CBS Orders Medical Drama Pilot ‘Sensory’ From David Zabel & Scott Free


For a second consecutive year, CBS is ordering two medical drama pilots. The network has greenlighted Sensory, an hourlong pilot from ER alum David Zabel, Scott Free Prods., CBS TV Studios and Sony TV’s TriStar Television. Written by Zabel, Sensory is inspired by the the true story of Dr. Joel Salinas, a neurologist and researcher at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital who has mirror-touch synesthesia. The two-hander centers around a veteran… Read


Ed Helms, Amanda Seyfried Lead Cast Of Comedy ‘The Clapper’

Ed Helms Amanda Seyfried

EXCLUSIVE: Ed Helms and Amanda Seyfried are anchoring a new comedy called The Clapper said to be in the vein of The King of Comedy. This will be writer/director’s Dito Montiel’s next film, one that is a passion project for him as he is adapting from his own book of the same name. The Clapper is about a professional clapper for infomercials who gets plucked by a late night talk show host to be on his TV show. The notoriety that his 15 minutes of fame brings ends up costing… Read


Shondaland’s ‘Still Star-Crossed’ Romeo & Juliet Sequel: Michael Offer To Direct

michael offer

Michael Offer is back in Shondaland. The helmer, who directed the pilot for the Shonda Rhimes-produced hit ABC drama How To Get Away With Murder, has been tapped to direct the latest ABC drama pilot from Rhimes and Betsy Beers’ production company — Still Star-Crossed. The Romeo and Juliet sequel was written by Heather Mitchell (Scandal) based on the book by Melinda Taub. Set in 16th century Verona, it picks up where William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet left off, charting… Read


‘Second Fattest Housewife In Westport’ ABC Pilot: Ruben Fleischer To Direct


Superstore helmer Ruben Fleischer has come on board to direct The Second Fattest Housewife In Westport, ABC’s single-camera family comedy from novelist/TV writer Sarah Dunn, producer Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment and ABC Studios. Penned by Dunn, The Second Fattest Housewife In Westport is narrated by Katie, a (slightly) larger, strong-willed mother raising her flawed family of three in a wealthy town filled with "perfect" wives and their "perfect" offspring. Dunn… Read


‘Cruel Intentions’: Sarah Michelle Gellar Courted To Reprise Her Role In NBC Pilot


NBC’s Cruel Intentions reboot, which was just greenlighted to pilot, picks up 15 years after the cult 1999 movie, which starred Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon and Sarah Michelle Gellar. It follows the beautiful and cunning Kathryn Merteuil — the character played in the film by Gellar — as she vies for control of Valmont International as well as the soul of Bash Casey, the son of her step-brother, the late Sebastian Valmont (Phillippe), and Annette Hargrove… Read


Thai Prison Fighting Drama ‘Champion’ Coming From Storyscape & Pioneer


Bob Cooper and Richard Saperstein of Storyscape Entertainment have partnered up with Pioneer Pictures’ Robert Kravis and Karl Herrmann to make the action-thriller Champion, set in the dangerous, lucrative and somewhat misunderstood world of Thai prison fighting. Tyler Mitchell developed the project while working alongside Cooper at Landscape Entertainment and will be producing. The script is by Gary Scott Thompson, co-writer of The Fast and the Furious, 2 Fast 2… Read


‘Remember’ Review: Oscar Winners Christopher Plummer & Martin Landau Drive Powerful Holocaust Revenge Thriller

Christopher Plummer 'Remember' 1

Eighty-six-year-old Oscar winner Christopher Plummer ages up a bit in Remember as a 90-year-old World War II Auschwitz concentration camp survivor named Zev. He’s hell-bent on avenging the death of family members when he discovers the Nazi commandant responsible is still alive and living somewhere in America. Suffering from early stages of dementia as well as the loss of his wife, Zev is given a letter from fellow survivor Max (Martin Landau) who helps him embark on a… Read


Annapurna’s Kim Fox Joining Marc Butan’s MadRiver Pictures As Partner, Launching International Sales Arm


Annapurna International’s Kimberly Fox is joining Marc Butan's MadRiver Pictures as a partner and launching a new international sales arm. The new division will handle sales and distribution on all MadRiver films as well as films from Vendian Entertainment, which has made a strategic investment in MadRiver. Separately, Fox will continue to run Megan Ellison’s Annapurna International label and rep all of Annapurna’s titles internationally. Word of Fox’s new venture was… Read


‘Shades Of Blue’ Starring Jennifer Lopez Renewed For Season 2 By NBC

Shades of Blue - Season 1

Strong time-shifted viewing has helped new NBC drama Shades of Blue, starring Jennifer Lopez, to land a second-season renewal five episodes into its freshman run. The pickup underscore how less and less relevant Live+same dayTV ratings are in networks’ renewal decisions, also illustrated by NBC’s second-season pickup of Aquarius and Fox’s of Scream Queens — both soft in linear TV but strong in digital ratings performance. While Shades of Blue slipped another two tenths to… Read


FanDuel & DraftKings See Citigroup “Block” Transactions In NY State

FanDuel DraftKings

Just two days before the Super Bowl, FanDuel and DraftKings suffered a major blow today as Citigroup announced that they would no longer process financial transactions for the fantasy sports sites in the Empire State. This action by one of the largest banks in the nation comes as the sites are engaged in a legal battle with the New York Attorney General, who wants to shut them down for illegal gambling. “We have taken steps to block transactions at DraftKings and FanDuel… Read


Watch LA Mayor Eric Garcetti Slow-Jam The 101 Freeway Closure

Eric Garcetti slow jam 2

Sometimes you just gotta roll with whatcha feel. You dig me, Los Angeles? Ladies and gentlemen, allow us to introduce Eric Garcetti, mayor of the City of Angels, who’s out to remind everyone about this weekend’s shutdown of portions of the 101 Freeway. The major artery is being closed around downtown while workers demolish the 6th Street Viaduct, the 84-year-old bridge that has appeared in countless films, TV shows and music videos. A replacement bridge (pictured at… Read