The Contenders

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‘Shots Fired’ Creators On Sensitive Subject Matter & A Potential Season 2 – Contenders Emmys

Shots Fired, Fox’s new crime drama from Gina Prince-Bythewood and Reggie Rock Bythewood that premiered March 22, looks at the repercussions of a racially charged shooting in a fictional North Carolina town, as an unarmed white man is taken down by an African-American police deputy. “Dana Walden had approached Imagine Entertainment wanting to do something around the uprising that was happening in Ferguson,” Bythewood told moderator Pete Hammond at Deadline’s The Contenders… Read


Ron Howard Equates His Hulu ‘Beatles’ Documentary To ‘Das Boot’ – Contenders Emmys

Taking on the legacy of The Beatles is a daunting challenge to any filmmaker— even an Academy Award-winner, as Ron Howard confessed to the Hulu panel at Deadline's The Contenders Emmys event Sunday. But despite some initial jitters, the project went smoothly, he recalled, even expressing surprise that the remaining two members of the Fab Four—Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr—were only too happy to trust him with the story of their rise and further rise. "Ringo's only… Read


‘Billions’ EPs On Taylor & Wendy’s Relationship; William H. Macy On More ‘Shameless’ – Contenders Emmys

David Levien, Maggie Siff, Asia Kate Dillon and Brian Koppelman

The panel for Showtime’s Billions’ at Deadline's The Contenders Emmys began with some news: Asia Kate Dillion, who plays introspective financial whiz Taylor Mason, has been upped to a series regular for Season 3. The performer helped deliver the news along with fellow panelists — creator/executive producers/showrunners Brian Koppelman and David Levien and Maggie Siff. "We're thrilled to say that going forward Dillion is going to be a series regular on Season 3," said… Read


‘Angie Tribeca’ EP Ira Ungerleider: “‘Airplane!’ Was The Inspiration”; ‘Search Party’ EP On Their Indie Production Route – Contenders Emmys

Angie Tribeca EP Ira Ungerleider

Season 3 of the police procedural sendup Angie Tribeca premieres Monday on TBS. It’s evocative of Airplane! and The Naked Gun films, but despite the absurdity of plot lines that include ferrets and ventriloquists, an authentic spoof requires deadpan acting, EP and writer Ira Ungerleider said at Deadline's Contenders Emmys event Sunday. "Their assignment on the show is you're on a procedural," he said. "I'm the disciplinarian that won't let anyone smile, wink or give a… Read


‘Victoria’ Producer On The Elements Of “The Quintessential Masterpiece Program” – Contenders Emmys

PBS’ Victoria, about the 18-year-old British queen’s ascension to the throne, was created by Daisy Goodwin after getting into a tiff with her own teenaged daughter and thinking, “What if my daughter was now the queen of England?” Masterpiece senior series producer Susanne Simpson explained at The Contenders Emmys confab today. Victoria is the quintessential Masterpiece program, Simpson insisted. “Most of you here probably know about Downton Abbey,” she joked. “Those were… Read


‘Underground’ Cast And EPs On Harriet Tubman’s Legacy & Cato’s Dark Side – Contenders Emmys


WGN America’s Underground made waves at Deadline’s The Contenders Emmys on Sunday by showing three powerful clips that had the audience cheering along. In attendance were series creators and executive producers Misha Green and Joe Pokaski, director Anthony Hemingway, as well as actors Alano Miller and Aisha Hinds, who spoke about how prevalent the topics in the drama are right now. Season 2 of Underground was a solid ratings vehicle for the network. Set in the aftermath… Read


‘American Crime’ EP Teases A Possible Season 4; ‘When We Rise’ EP On The Fight For Social Justice — Contenders Emmys

American Crime Contenders Emmys

ABC’s American Crime just debuted its third season in March, and though it hasn’t been renewed for a fourth, EP Michael J. McDonald hinted at the next topical venture. “There is a story that we want to tell,” he said. “Seeing what’s happening on Fox News and what’s happening with Uber, you’re seeing the role that women play in the workforce,”  he shared, possibly teasing the topic of sexual harassment. McDonald, who was onstage with actors Felicity Huffman, Regina King… Read


‘Queen Sugar’ Helmer Ava DuVernay & Cast On Creative Freedom, Female Directors & More

After Selma, director Ava DuVernay said she was looking for a "soft place to land" and "have creative freedom" on television to tell a nuanced story of black life in America that did not involve action or car chases – which, she noted, are interesting "but they're not everything." Oprah Winfrey named three books she would love to see adapted for OWN, including Natalie Baszile's 2014 novel on which Queen Sugar is based. Speaking at Deadline’s The Contenders Emmys event… Read


Milo Ventimiglia On ‘This is Us’ Season 2: “Jack And Rebecca Need To Get Their Marriage On Track” – Contenders Emmys

Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore at The Contenders Emmys, presented by Deadline

Stars Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore were among the This Is Us panelists Sunday at Deadline’s The Contenders Emmys event. The series focuses on three adult siblings and their parents, partly in flashbacks, jumping from character to character and between decades. From creator Dan Fogelman, breakout freshman series also stars Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz and Justin Hartley and got an early renewal, picked up for a second and third season in January. Of course, a major… Read


‘The Goldbergs’ Wendi McLendon-Covey Shows Up In Character; ‘One Day At A Time’s’ Norman Lear Reveals Rita Moreno Love Affair – Contenders Emmys

Beverly Goldberg showed up at Deadline’s The Contenders Emmy confab on Sunday to dispense parenting and fashion advice to hard-boiled industry guild members of the future. “I have books of all my kids, called Sleeping Angels Books,” The GoldbergsWendi McLendon-Covey revealed in her gutsy in-character/time-travel appearance as the queen of ’80s TMI and offspring smothering. “The mothers out there know what I’m talking about,” Goldberg/McLendon-Covey said. “It’s when you… Read


Leah Remini: Scientology Can “Destroy People’s Lives”; How Revenge & Consequence Drive ‘Six’; ‘UnReal’ EP On First Female Suitor – Contenders Emmys

Leah Remini at The Contenders Emmys, presented by Deadline

Just renewed by A&E for a second season, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath explores the underbelly of the Church of Scientology. Remini was a member of the church for 37 years but left in 2013 and became a strong activist for exposing its behind-the-scenes machinations. "We believed that as Scientologists we had the answers and everybody else was lost," Remini said at Deadline’s The Contenders Emmys event. "This is about a doctrine that calls to destroy people's… Read


‘Jane The Virgin,’ ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ EPs On What’s Next; Why Tom Cruise Wouldn’t Leave ‘Late Late Show’ Stage – Contenders Emmys

Nellie Andreeva, Jennie Snyder Urman Gina Rodriguez

Jane the Virgin EP/showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman and star Gina Rodriguez were on hand at the CBS TV Studios panel at Deadline’s The Contenders Emmys on Sunday, along with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend co-creator/executive producer/showrunner Aline Brosh McKenna and The Late Late Show with James Corden executive producer Rob Crabbe. The first panel was for Jane the Virgin, moderated by Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva. Rodriguez plays Jane Villanueva, a devout Latina virgin who is… Read