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Oscars: Craig Zadan & Neil Meron Not Returning In 2016; Academy Starts New Producer Search

Craig Zadan Neil Meron

EXCLUSIVE: It’s official. Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, producers of the Oscar show for the past three years, will not be returning for round four and the Academy is now beginning a search for a new producer(s). Although Zadan had hinted about this in a cryptic tweet shortly after this year’s show, reps for the Academy and the producers maintained that nothing had been decided. Now it has. The Academy’s Board Of Governors met Tuesday night for the first time since Oscar… Read


Starz Rises To No. 2 Pay Cable Network In Subscribers


All major premium cable networks posted subscriber growth in the most recent fourth quarter of 2014, which also featured a different pecking order for the first time in years, with Starz (23.3 million subscribers) edging Showtime (22.8 million) to finish No.2 behind perennial leader HBO (31.4 million). It’s been awhile since Starz has had a No.2 ranking — on a yearly basis, it last finished ahead of Showtime in 2008. Starz’s subscriber base dipped the following year… Read


‘Downton Abbey’s Gareth Neame On Series End: “We Know Exactly The Story We Want To Tell” (6 Seasons & A Movie?)

Downton Abbey

Amid mounting speculation, the end of Downton Abbey was finally confirmed today. The historic period drama that has become a global phenomenon will close its doors after the currently shooting sixth season. Questions surrounding when the series would conclude have dogged and confounded creator Julian Fellowes and executive producer Gareth Neame going back as early as Season 2. Just 10 days ago — when they spoke at a conference in Jerusalem — the pair would not be lead as… Read


‘Mr. Robinson’ & ‘The Carmichael Show’ To Debut In August; NBC Sets ‘Welcome To Sweden’ Return, Other Summer Dates


NBC, which has struggled with comedy this season, is making a major push in the genre in the summer with two new series, Mr. Robinson and The Carmichael Show, set to debut in August. They will be joined by Welcome To Sweden, which will return for a second season in July. Last summer, NBC premiered Welcome To Sweden and Undateable, both of which were renewed for a second season. Summer traditionally has been a reserved territory for burn-off shows, so Undateable‘s solid… Read


‘Halt And Catch Fire’ Season 2 Premiere Set For May 31

Halt And Catch Fire 3

AMC has slotted the Season 2 premiere of Halt And Catch Fire for 10 PM Sunday, May 31. The second season will pick up in early 1985 and center on the rise of Mutiny, Cameron (Mackenzie Davis) and Donna's (Kerry Bishé) start-up company that is built upon the most disruptive idea of the modern era: the Internet. Lee Pace and Scoot McNairy also star. Check out a clip of Season 2’s premiere… Read


Nickelodeon’s ‘School Of Rock’ Rounds Out Cast

School Of Rock

Ricardo Hurtado, Lance Lim (Growing Up Fisher), Aidan Miner (Homeroom), Jade Pettyjohn (Henry Danger), and Breanna Yde (The Haunted Hathaways) have joined the cast of Nickelodeon's straight-to-series live action musical comedy School Of Rock. It centers on Dewey Finn (Tony Cavalero), a down-on-his-luck rocker who poses as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school as he teaches his eccentric, unconventional and overachieving students to play and love rock 'n'… Read


James Corden’s ‘Late Late Show’ Night 3: 1.35 Million Viewers – Update

The Late Late Show With James Corden

UPDATED, 11:28 AM: Night 3 of CBSThe Late Late Show With James Corden delivered 1.35 million viewers, according to preliminary stats, as well as a 0.5 ratings in adults 25-54, 0.3 in adults 18-49 and 0.2 in adults 18-34. That’s a decline of 310,000 viewers from James Corden’s unveiling as host of Late Late Show on Monday (1.66 million viewers). Wednesday’s early stats show he also hung on to his ratings with 18-34 and 25-54, and dipped 0.1 in 18-49. On Night 2, Corden… Read


Tom Stoppard & Charlie Hebdo Staff Lauded By PEN As Free-Speech Exemplars: Media

British playwright and human-rights acti

Tom Stoppard, a fevered friend of free expression and foe of bad writing, will receive the PEN/Allen Foundation Literary Service Award for his “extraordinary career as a dramatist and his abiding commitment to the defense of creative freedom worldwide.” It’s the highest honor bestowed by the American chapter of the global human-rights organization of writers and editors. Stoppard’s plays include Arcadia, The Real Thing and most recently The Hard Problem, currently running… Read


‘Wolf Hall’ Review: Damian Lewis Rules As Henry VIII In PBS Drama

Wolf Hall

With the beginning of the end for AMC's Mad Men, the debut of NBC's Biblical A.D. and American Odyssey plus the premiere of The Lizzie Borden Chronicles on Lifetime, Easter Sunday's primetime is a very crowded place this year. Among the offerings, I recommend in the video review above that you check yourself into Wolf Hall on April 5. The six-part series on PBS' Masterpiece provides some very compelling television. Based on Hilary Mantel’s award-winning novels and… Read


All3Media Nearing Deal To Acquire Sam Mendes’ Neal Street Productions


All3Media is closing a deal to acquire Sam MendesNeal Street Productions. A deal is expected to close within days for the company, which Mendes founded in 2003 with former BBC Drama commissioner Pippa Harris and theater veteran Caro Newling. Neal Street has been for sale since last November, when Mendes and his partners had reportedly put a $60 million price tag on the company. Though launched as a film, theater and TV company, Neal Street has enjoyed its most… Read


William Petersen Joins WGN America’s ‘Manhattan’ For TV Return


Former CSI star William Petersen is returning to television with a series regular role on the second season of the WGN America drama series Manhattan. Created and written by Sam Shaw and directed by Thomas Schlamme, Manhattan is set against the backdrop of the mission to build the world’s first atomic bomb and follows the brilliant but flawed scientists and their families in Los Alamos. Petersen will play Col. Emmett Darrow, the enigmatic new ranking military officer at… Read


Talent Agency Launches Biz Development Arm Verve Ventures; Amy Beecroft Will Steer It

Copyright Courtney Lindberg Photography

Lit agency Verve has hatched Verve Ventures, an internal global business development arm. International sales vet Amy Beecroft will run it. She’s a veteran of First Look/Overseas Film Group, HBO, GreeneStreet Films, and FilmNation. They will hatch strategic partnerships in international and domestic film and TV, get into finance and sales, digital distribution and develop new technologies. The agency got a taste of that ushering in Virtual Reality, a concern that is… Read