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Daisy Ridley & Naomi Watts In Final Talks To Star In ‘Ophelia’; Covert Media Aboard New Take On ‘Hamlet’ – Cannes

Daisy Ridley Naomi Watts Ophelia

EXCLUSIVE: Daisy Ridley and Naomi Watts are in final talks to star in Ophelia, a re-imagining of Shakespeare’s classic Hamlet through the eyes of the play’s famously doomed heroine. Covert Media has boarded to finance and handle international sales at Cannes. In Shakespeare’s play, Ophelia is one of only two female characters along with that of Gertrude. She is gradually driven mad by Hamlet’s erratic behavior towards her, especially, as well as those around him… Read

Film

‘Don’t Think Twice’ Gets Summer Release Date

Don't Think Twice

The Film Arcade said today that Don’t Think Twice will open July 22 in New York, followed by a national rollout. The film from writer-director-star Mike Birbiglia premiered at SXSW and also screened at Tribeca last month. The dramatic comedy revolves around an improv troupe made up of all best pals that loses the lease on its home theater just as one of its members gets chosen for the biggest sketch-comedy show on TV. It chronicles the fallout among the friends as they… Read

TV

Ayo Davis Named Head of Casting for ABC; WME Agent Jonathan Bluman Joins As VP

AYO DAVIS

Ayo Davis has been named the Head of Talent and Casting for ABC Entertainment and ABC Studios. Davis, a 13-year ABC veteran, had been the interim head of casting for both the network and studio since November, when longtime ABC casting chief Keli Lee relocated to London where she serves  as a managing director of international content and talent for ABC Entertainment Group. Davis has now been named a permanent replacement. In her first move, Davis has hired WME talent… Read

TV

TNT Picks Up E4 Series ‘Foreign Bodies’

Anders Hayward Ade Oyefeso

TNT has teamed with British broadcaster Channel 4 for Foreign Bodies, a comedic drama about a group of young adults venturing across China, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. The series, originally commissioned by Channel 4 in January for a run on E4, has an eight-episode order. Jamie Campbell & Joel Wilson’s Eleven and Entertainment One are producing the show, scheduled to launch on E4 in early 2017, followed later in the year by its U.S. debut on TNT, with eOne handling… Read

breakingBusiness

‘Empire’s Lee Daniels Says “Sorry” To Sean Penn; $10M Defamation Suit Ends

Sean Penn Lee Daniels

Empire creator Lee Daniels will be making a deep pocket donation to a charity for Sean Penn as the Oscar winner pulls the plug on his $10 million dollar defamation lawsuit against the Oscar nominee. No details of the size of the donation to Haitian relief were made public. “I am so sorry that I have hurt you, Sean, and I apologize and retract my reckless statements about you,” Daniels said today in an apology that accompanies the donation and ends the nearly 9-month war of… Read

breakingBusiness

UTA Scores Win Over CAA In Agent-Poaching Suit; Escapes Punitive Damages

UTA CAA

Just over a year after UTA snared five senior CAA comedy agents and a number of their clients, the subsequent legal battle took another turn – one that was very good for UTA. While CAA can file another amended complaint and seek punitive damages from its former agents Greg McKnight and Greg Cavic, the agency can't go after the other agency for any such damages nor attorney's fees at this stage. I’ve learned that next amended complaint could come in the next three weeks… Read

TV

‘Person Of Interest’ Final Season Opens OK, ‘The Voice’ Is Testing Ratings Lows

person-of-interest-season-5

Exactly one year after Person of Interest‘s fourth season finale aired, the CBS drama last night opened its fifth and final season with 7.4 million total viewers and a 1.2 rating in adults 18-49. That was up a tick in the demo from the POI Season 4 finale and last week’s freshman season closer of Limitless in the time slot (both 1.1) but below POI‘s Season 4 average (1.5). It was a sluggish night for the broadcast networks who went up against an eventful Indiana primary… Read

Business

Time Warner Expects Upfront Sales To Be Strongest “In Years”

Corporate And Media Leaders Attend Allen & Company Media And Technology Conf.

Add Time Warner to the TV network owners who predict a big uptick in sales at this year’s upfront ad market. “Given the strong scatter market and low cancellations, all signs point to the best upfront we’ve seen in years,” Turner CEO John Martin told analysts in a call to discuss the company’s strong Q1 earnings. To make sure that happens, “we’re spending a lot of time and investment” to “lead the charge to modernize TV advertising,” he says. Turner will provide buyers… Read

TV

E! Greenlights ‘WAGS’ Spinoff, Three Other Unscripted Series

E! logo grid

E! is expanding its primetime slate with the addition of four new unscripted series. They include WAGS: Miami, a spinoff of its successful WAGS (Wives And Girlfriends Of Sports Stars) franchise, set in South Florida, Cosmo Life (working title), a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of young staffers at the iconic women’s magazine; The Abbey Diaries (wt), which chronicles the lives of bartenders, servers and management at Hollywood's most iconic gay bar; and Famously Marrie… Read

Awards

SAG Awards 2017 Set For January 29; Will Air Live On TNT & TBS

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 20:  SAG Awards Actor statues arrive at the Shrine Auditorium on January 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will be held January 29 and will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT, SAG Awards executive producer Kathy Connell announced today. Here are the key dates and timeline for the awards that outstanding performances in film and television. Monday, July 11, 2016 Submissions Open at sagawards.org/submissions Monday, Oct. 3, 2016 Period to Request Paper Final Ballots in Lieu of Online Voting Begins Monday, Oct. 3… Read

exclusiveFilm

Charlie Hunnam Tapping Inner Steve McQueen In ‘Papillon’ Remake?

Charlie Hunnam Steve McQueen Papillon

EXCLUSIVE: You could have imagined Steve McQueen playing prodigal existentially conflicted biker gang leader Jax Teller in Sons Of Anarchy, so it doesn’t seem a stretch to envision Charlie Hunnam taking on the role originated by McQueen in the 1973 classic prison escape drama Papillon. Wolf Of Wall Street producer Red Granite is putting it together for a fall shoot with Danish director Michael Noer attached to direct a script by Prisoners scribe Aaron Guzikowski. I hear… Read

Business

John Kasich Drops Out; Donald Trump Is GOP Nominee For White House

john-kasich

Minutes after TV news operations reported that GOP presidential candidate John Kasich had canceled this morning’s news conference and instead would hold a newser at 5 PM ET, they began reporting that he was dropping out of the race. That means real estate developer-turned-reality TV star Donald Trump is now not, as RNC chief Reince Priebus tweeted yesterday, the “presumptive” GOP nominee, so much as he is the only one left standing as they head to the party’s July… Read