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Ellen Albertini Dow Dies: ‘Wedding Singer’s’ Rapping Granny Was 101

Ellen Albertini Dow

Ellen Albertini Dow, whose memorable take on “Rapper’s Delight” stole the show in the 1998 Adam Sandler movie The Wedding Singer — and whose screen career started in her 70s — died today. She was 101. Her longtime agent Juliet Green confirmed the actress’ death to Deadline but offered no details. Albertini Dow studied acting with Michael Shurtleff and Uta Hagen in NYC, worked with mimes Marcel Marceau and Jacques LeCog in Paris and played the Borscht Belt as part of a… Read


Fox Drama & Comedy Pilots Start Staffing

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As we await more new series orders, I hear two of the hottest Fox pilots have started staffing. That includes drama front-runner Minority Report, based on Steven Spielberg’s 2002 movie, and comedy Grandpa starring John StamosAdditionally, drama Rosewood has given indications that it will be hiring soon, while comedy standout The Grinder is actively searching for a showrunner in anticipation of a series pickup. Also, word is dramas Studios City and comedy Cooper Barrett’s… Read


Participant Media Ups Sam Neswick To Chief Strategist

Participant Media

Jeff Skoll’s Participant Media has tapped Sam Neswick for the new post of Chief Strategy Officer. He will oversee strategy, investments, innovation and corporate development and head up strategic partnerships for Participant. Neswick joined the company last year as SVP Strategic Planning. Before that he worked in corporate strategy and business development at Disney, where he worked on film, TV and digital media strategy and deal execution, including the acquisition of… Read


Three Exit First Artists Management To Set Up New Agency


In a shakeup of the talent agency world specializing in film and TV composers, Robert Messinger has bolted First Artists Management and taken two of his colleagues with him to form Fortress Talent Management. Messinger, who had been a partner and co-owner of First Artists, will be joined in the new venture by former First Artists agents Rich Jacobellis and Randy Gerston. The agency confirmed the departures but declined further comment. Oscar winners Howard Shore, Mychael… Read


Nu Image Invites ‘Leatherface’, Pair Of Thrillers To Cannes Market

cannes poster

A familiar face will be stalking the Croisette this month, but he’s not someone you’d want to have drinks at the Carlton with. Nu Image has added a trio of pics to its Cannes sales slate including Leatherface, Millennium Films’ prequel to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Also new are a pair of action-thrillers in postproduction from Hannibal Classics: Bus 657, starring Robert De Niro and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and I Am Wrath, toplining John Travolta. Directors Alexandre… Read


‘Gotham’ Finale: EP Bruno Heller Sets Up Season 2’s Big Joke & Gets Fishy

Gotham finale May 4 1

SPOILER ALERT: This story contains details of tonight's Gotham Season 1 finale. What began with water also ended in the water on Gotham tonight. The city has a new boss of a sort in the Season 1 finale and a lot of laughter is coming in Season 2, says executive producer Bruno Heller. Bookending Oswald Cobblepot AKA Penguin rising from the murky waters of the bay at the end of the Batman backstory’s highly rated September 22 pilot, Jada Pinkett Smith’s villainous queen bee… Read


Peter Chernin Mulls Independent Future For His TV Company

Chernin Group White Logo

Peter Chernin’s rich five-year TV deal with 20th Century Fox Television is coming to an end next month, and there are no current renewal plans. I hear the former News Corp. president is seriously considering taking the TV company independent when the pact is up. He is not pursuing a deal with another TV studio or talking to 20th TV about a new pact at the moment. While a last-minute renewal at Fox is considered a possibility given Chernin’s long and deep ties at the… Read


President Obama Offers To Play Dominoes With David Letterman When They Retire

Cleared for release by Joint Staff Public Affairs

The commander in chief wants to play dominoes with the dean of late-night talk show hosts when they both retire — or go have coffee and swap stories. Making his third and final visit to Late Show With David Letterman as POTUS, President Obama suggested when they’re both gone from their current gigs they, “play some dominoes together – go to the local Starbuck and swap stories.” Letterman shot back: “I play dominoes. I’m pretty good. I know you think I’m not good at… Read


Alex Cary Inks Overall Deal With Uni TV


After more than five years at 20th Century Fox TV, Homeland executive producer Alex Cary is moving to Universal TV with a two-year overall deal. Cary spent the last four years on the Fox 21 TV Studios-produced Showtime drama Homeland, which he joined after the pilot, rising from co-executive producer to executive producers for Seasons 3 and 4 before he departed the Emmy-winning series. Prior to Homeland, British-native Cary worked on 20th TV’s Fox drama Lie To Me. He… Read


‘Midnight Rider’ Director Claims Innocence In Sarah Jones Case Despite Pleading Guilty

Sarah Jones Randall Miller

Director Randall Miller is behind bars, but the battle over Midnight Rider and his guilt in the death of Sarah Jones continues in court. Today, in an amended complaint filed by lawyers for producers Film Allman LLC against New York Marine and General Insurance Company, an accompanying letter makes it clear that Miller doesn't agree with his own involuntary manslaughter guilty plea of March 9. "Mr. Miller entered a guilty plea to save his wife, Ms. Savin, from criminal… Read

Box Office

‘Ultron’s $191.3M Bow Spikes Weekend’s Total B.O. To 51% Over 2014 – Final Monday Update

Avengers Age of Ultron

UPDATE, Monday 4:15PM after 9:03 AM: With Top 20 Chart. Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron ended up with a better than anticipated $191.3M domestically, pushing its worldwide cume to an impressive $631.1M,  according to the studio. That’s $3.6M better than had been anticipated yesterday. The Avengers franchise now holds the top two spots of biggest opening of all time at the domestic box office; Marvel pics the top three when counting Iron Man 3 ($174.1M bow). The… Read


‘Horrible Bosses 2′ Helmer Sean Anders Re-Unites With Jennifer Aniston In ‘Mean Moms’

Jennifer Aniston

EXCLUSIVE: New Line Cinema is setting Sean Anders to direct Mean Moms, and is targeting a summer start date for a film that has Jennifer Aniston eyeing the female-driven comedy. They worked together in Horrible Bosses 2 at New Line. Mean Mom matches the spirit of Mean Girls with an adult cast. A happily married mother of two who moves from small-town America to the high–class suburbs suddenly must confront the cutthroat world of competitive parenting. Jill Messick is… Read