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Awards

Oscar Best Picture Smackdown: Deadline’s Pete Hammond Vs Gold Derby’s Tom O’Neil Both Asking, “What The Hell Is Going On?”

Oscars 2

This week’s Oscar Prediction Smackdown between me and Gold Derby’s Tom O’Neil finds us both exasperated after the DGA awards failed to give us any real definite clues as to what film will ultimately emerge as this year’s Best Picture winner. But nevertheless we explore every possibility and find every clue in the entire history of the Academy Awards to justify our conclusions.  As ballots are about to go out beginning tomorrow it is definitely crunch time, but we remain… Read

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CBS Comedy Pilot ‘Superior Donuts’ Casts Maz Jobrani

mazjobrani

Actor-comedian Maz Jobrani is set to co-star opposite Jermaine Fowler in  Superior Donuts, CBS' multi-camera comedy pilot written by Bob Daily and Neil Goldman & Garrett Donovan and directed by James Burrows. Based on the play by Tracy Letts, Superior Donuts follows the relationship between the owner of a donut shop, Arthur, his new young employee, Franco (Fowler), andtheir patrons in a gentrifying neighborhood of Chicago. Jobrani plays Maz — a character written for him… Read

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Laura Dern To Star In HBO Death Row Drama In Development From Alex Gibney

Alex Gibney Laura Dern

HBO is developing a drama series project written and directed by Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney that has Laura Dern attached to star and executive produce. The untitled drama centers on a court-appointed psychiatrist (Dern) who must determine from her twisted yet humanizing diagnostic exchanges with death row inmates if they are sane enough to be killed by the state. Gibney is executive producing with Dern, while Jayme Lemons (Enlightened) serves… Read

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Four Studios Bidding On ‘Gone Girl’ Author Gillian Flynn’s Short Story ‘The Grownup’: Hot Package Du Jour

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EXCLUSIVE: While most of the movie deal makers are focused on Berlin, there’s a hot package in Hollywood that has got studios hot and bothered. I’m told that Universal, Fox, Paramount and TriStar so far are in the mix on The Grownup, a package built around the short story by Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn. Natalie Krinsky will adapt the tale, and Mike De Luca and Flynn will produce together what is her first big project since Gone Girl became a big hit movie. Studios read… Read

Awards

Oscars: Pete Hammond Handicaps An Unusually Strong Best Actress Race – AwardsLine

Carol

Early in the season, it became apparent that this would be a much stronger year for the usually light Best Actress race. In fact, the women definitely appeared to be matching the men for a competitive and dense lineup of great roles this time around. Add to that the unusually large number of terrific parts for veterans such as Maggie Smith, Blythe Danner and Lily Tomlin, and it seemed, for a brief moment, highly likely that the older contenders were going to dominate. But… Read

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Peter Bart: Oscar Trail Is Long And Winding For The Smart Filmmakers Of ‘Spotlight’ and ‘The Big Short’

Adam McKay

Adam McKay puts it this way: "For the past four and a half months, 'this' is my career, my full-time job." The 'this' consists of promoting The Big Short on the awards circuit, a campaign that has encompassed hundreds of screenings (there's one tomorrow for members of Congress), at least 40 Q&A sessions in Los Angeles and New York, meetings with economists at the Brookings Institution and even an encounter with Sen. Bernie Sanders that resulted in an "excellent film"… Read

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CBS Order For Matt Nix Drama Scrapped When Co-Production Deal Falls Through As Ownership Rules Pilot Season 2016

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Following game-changing upfronts dominated by pickups and renewals favoring owned and co-owned series, the shift carried over to pilot season, with networks picking up projects from their sister studios and co-productions dominating orders from outside studios. The new paradigm led to a dramatic showdown between CBS and 20th Century Fox TV that resulted in the demise of a project that had been quietly picked up to pilot: a crime drama from Burn Notice creator Matt… Read

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Obamageddon Is In Effect As POTUS Arrives In L.A. For ‘Ellen’ & Fundraisers – Update

Barack Obama la feb 11 2016

UPDATE, 3:36 PM: Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton will be facing off tonight in another Democratic debate but L.A. drivers are about to hit the traffic wall we call Obamageddon. Yes, Air Force One has just landed at LAX and President Barack Obama is on his way to a taping of Ellen DeGeneres' show over in Burbank in the next hour. Look up, you might see Marine One flying over the city. All of which means there will likely be some dancing between an already farewell… Read

Business

Les Moonves Says He Has “Free Rein” To Run CBS, But Likes “Stability”

Wallis Annenberg Hall At USC Named For USC Annenberg Alumna Julie Chen, Leslie Moonves And CBS

Those hoping that CBS’ dominant shareholder Sumner Redstone might sell the company, or approve a big acquisition, will have to keep waiting based on comments CEO Les Moonves made to analysts today in his quarterly earnings call. The ailing 92-year-old chairman emeritus “is for many years giving me free rein” to run the company, says Moonves — who last week was also named CBS’ chairman. “It’s going to be business as usual. We’re in great shape….There’s stability here, and… Read

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Endurance Media Taps Steve Barnett As Production Prexy, Acquires Trio Of Scripts

Photographer - Matt Sayles @msayleswww.mattsaylesphoto.com

EXCLUSIVE: Steve Richards' Endurance Media has set Steve Barnett to be President of Production, as the company has picked up three scripts from Black List writers Tyler Marceca, Michael Diliberti and Daniel Kunka. Barnett joins James Tomlinson, who is VP Production. Endurance Media, which has a strategic alliance with Entertainment One Films, was founded last year by Richards, a longtime Silver Pictures executive. Here are the scripts: Malpractice, written by Tyler… Read

TV

AMC Sets Late-Night Talk Show Hosted By Kevin Smith & Greg Grunberg

grunbergandsmith

AMC said today that it has ordered a late-night talk show to be hosted by filmmaker/fanboy Kevin Smith and Heroes alum and Star Wars: The Force Awakens actor Greg Grunberg. The 30-minute Geeking Out (working title) will take a timely look at pop culture through a fanboy lens and feature talk, clips, celebrity interviews and out-of-the-studio segments. The show is expected to premiere with a special episode covering San Diego’s Comic-Con in late July, with eight more… Read

Video

‘11.22.63’ Review: Hulu’s James Franco JFK Series Full Of Time-Travel Twists

11.22.63

Time travel is one of the great devices of modern TV and film, but rarely do the consequences fully come into focus as would-be superheroes, Gallifreyians and others are employed to tweak the span of history. Debuting on February 15 on Hulu with a new episode every Monday, 11.22.63 is all about truth and consequences. The James Franco-starrer about a back-to-the-future attempt to stop the assassination of John F. Kennedy is also full of more twists than you'd expect and… Read