‘Best Of Enemies’ Review: William F. Buckley Jr. & Gore Vidal Invent Shout TV
In 1968, ABC couldn’t seem to get arrested in trying to compete for news viewers with CBS and NBC. So when the time came to cover that year’s Republican and Democratic Presidential conventions, the network came up with the go-for-broke idea of bringing in arch right-wing pundit William F. Buckley Jr. against arch left-wing pundit and author Gore Vidal. Fireworks commenced even beyond the network’s wildest dreams, and it actually scored in the ratings. Oddly enough, those… Read
HBO Confirms Documentary Lineup For Second Half Of 2015
HBO confirmed its documentaries for the second half of 2015, including a look at the Bolshoi, a view of foreign-policy pundit Richard Holbrooke, and a racially charged fight for justice that won a Sundance Award.
From HBO’s announcement of upcoming documentaries, in chronological order:
TOE TAG PAROLE: TO LIVE AND DIE ON YARD A (debuting Aug. 3) explores the reality of "the other death penalty." The film visits Yard A at California State Prison, a dedicated yard for men… Read
Robert Rodriguez Talks Demi Lovato In ‘From Dusk Till Dawn'; Lineup For El Rey’s ‘Director’s Chair’ – TCA
Robert Rodriguez gave some broad strokes in regards to Demi Lovato’s upcoming role on the second season of his El Rey vampire series From Dusk Till Dawn. “I’ve known her since she read for Spy Kids 3,” said Rodriguez about his longstanding relationship with Lovato. “She’s going to be a badass.” Rodriguez explained that the pop star found a hole in her schedule and will appear toward the end of Season 2 in an episode that “I made sure I was going to direct” said the… Read
Wyatt Cenac, Alice Wetterlund, Luka Jones, Brian Huskey & More Join TBS’ ‘The Group’
TBS has set the cast for its ensemble alien abduction comedy pilot The Group from The Office creator Greg Daniels, Conaco and Warner Horizon Television. The pilot, which is currently using The Group as its working title, was announced at the Turner upfront back in May.
Former Daily Show correspondent and writer Wyatt Cenac will play Wyatt Jones, a serious journalist in the town of Beacon who is pulled into covering the alien abductions that have been occurring. Cenac is… Read
Ana Gasteyer Joins TBS Pilot ‘The Group’ & Netflix’s ‘Lady Dynamite’
Ana Gasteyer is having a busy summer. The Saturday Night Live alum has been cast as a series regular in TBS comedy pilot The Group and has booked a recurring role opposite Maria Bamford in Netflix’s single-camera comedy Lady Dynamite.
The Group, from Greg Daniels, writer David Jenkins, Conan O’Brien’s Conaco and Warner Horizon TV, is about a support group for people who think they have been abducted by aliens. Gasteyer will play Gina Morrison, a very competent, dedicated… Read
Jason Bateman’s Aggregate Extends Universal Deal Through 2017
EXCLUSIVE: Jason Bateman's Aggregate label has been extended another two years at Universal Pictures. Bateman has had a first-look deal there since 2012 and in that time has grown into the role as producer as well as the director of Bad Words and then the Toronto Film Festival-bound The Family Fang. His new deal runs through 2017, and he has hired as an executive Aaron Schmidt, who had been a VP at Kevin McCormick’s Warner Bros-based Langley Park.
Aggregate produced the… Read
20th TV & Showtime In Dispute Over Streaming Use Of ‘Homeland’
Underscoring the pitfalls in the uncharted waters of digital distribution of TV content, I’ve learned that 20th Century Fox TV, whose cable division Fox 21 TV Studios produces flagship Showtime drama Homeland, has sent a letter to the pay cable network objecting to the inclusion of the popular series in Showtime’s recently launched over-the-top streaming service on Hulu. I hear the letter, which also reportedly names Showtime’s SVOD service Showtime Anytime and Showtime… Read
Daniella Pineda Joins ‘The Detour'; Courtney Grosbeck In ‘The Player’
Daniella Pineda (American Odyssey, The Originals) has been cast as a series regular in TBS comedy, The Detour. Created by Jason Jones and Samantha Bee, The Detour is inspired by Jones and Bee's own experiences with family getaways. It follows a couple and their two young kids as they take a road trip to Florida. Jones plays unfiltered dad Nate, who packs his wife, Robin (Natalie Zea), along with their rebellious daughter Delilah (Ashley Gerasimovich) and simpleton son… Read
Rachel Dratch, Holland Taylor Sign On To David Lindsay-Abaire’s ‘Ripcord’ World Premiere
There are three great actresses whose names include “Mary” and “Louise,” each with a different spelling and all associated with the Manhattan Theatre Club, where the new comedy Ripcord will have its world premiere in the fall. Mary-Louise Parker, who recently earned triumphal reviews for her performance in Heisenberg at MTC, has nothing at all to do with Ripcord. Marylouise Burke is starring in Ripcord. Mary Louise Wilson was also set to star in Ripcord but has withdrawn… Read
Russell Simmons Re-Ups Deal With HBO; Sets Shaka King, Broken Lizard Projects
HBO has signed a new overall first-look deal with producer Russell Simmons and his new media company All Def Digital (ADD), for the Def Jam Records co-founder and his team to create and develop new television projects for HBO. Under the previous two-year deal with HBO, Simmons has worked on Steve McQueen’s upcoming limited series Codes Of Conduct, on which he serves as an executive producer.
Simmons currently has three HBO projects in development through his ADD… Read
Maria Menounos Taking E! Anchor Chair Being Vacated By Giuliana Rancic
Three weeks after the announcement that veteran Giuliana Rancic would be ceding her E! News anchor chair, Maria Menounos is taking it over. She had been serving as a fill-in anchor on the showbiz news show for more than a year and regularly appears on E! Online's daily roundtable series Live From E!. Menounos joins incumbent co-anchors Jason Kennedy, Terrence Jenkins and Catt Sadler. Rancic’s last day is August 10.
E! also said today that Zuri Hall, Erin Lim and Sibley… Read
‘Racing Extinction’ Team Rallies TV Critics At TCA
“We have the biggest network in the world behind us, we have the potential to change the world … geologically speaking – this is the biggest story in the world, bar none,” Racing Extinction director Louie Psihoyos told TV critics this morning at TCA of the documentary that Discovery Channel, in a network first, will roll out worldwide on December 2.
The latest docu from the Oscar-winning director of The Cove and Insurgent Media, co-founded by Fisher Stevens, focuses on… Read