Hollywood Agency Comings And Goings
UPDATED: So let’s start with William Morris losing its head of Digital, Lewis Henderson, at the end of the month because he wants to do something different and new after 17 years there. He plans to get entrepreneurial which he can’t do as an agent. (His wife, Julie Henderson, is News Corp No. 2 Peter Chernin’s mouthpiece.) It’s all very amicable. Big loss. (WMA signs below…)
UTA has signed actress-producer Raven-Symone away from Endeavor in film, television, branding & endorsements. (ICM say it reps her in music.) She’s a Disney brand after starring in That’s So Raven and The Cheetah Girls for TV and College Road Trip for film. UTA also signed director Daniel Minahan away from CAA for television and features. Minahan recently completed directing the Season 2 premiere of HBO’s True Blood as well as episodes of Six Feet Under, Big Love, and Deadwood. On the feature side, he wrote I Shot Andy Warhol and made his directorial debut with Series 7: The Contenders. Another new client is NFL star Dhani Jones for representation in entertainment and branding & licensing. The Cincinnati Bengals player is the star of his own Travel Channel series entitled Dhani Tackles The World premiering March 16th. UTA also has signed the comedy writing duo of Mike Lisbe & Nate Reger who most recently wrote Untamed for Warner Bros. They were previously at ICM and continue to be managed by Category 5.
ICM has signed Mark Richard, the writer of Stop Loss, who was previously at WMA; Academy Award nominated writer/director Marty Brest (Scent Of A Woman); writer/director George Gallo — Wise Guys, Midnight Run, and the upcoming Middle Men — from CAA; and Götz Spielmann, the director, writer and producer of the Oscar nominee for Foreign Language Film, Revanche. Among competitive Sundance signings, ICM snagged hotly pursued filmmakers Adam Salky and Tommy Wirkola. Also ICM signed actor Greg Grunberg, currently a series regular on NBC’s Heroes; took away from WMA the Grammy-winning singer Brandy, whose 5th studio album, “Human,” debuted at No. 5 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart in December; took from Endeavor showrunner Bob Lowry, the creator and exec producer of the TV series Huff; and took from Gersh director/producer/actor Bob Balaban, who was nominated for a PGA, DGA, Emmy and Golden Globe for HBO’s Bernard & Doris which he helmed and produced. ICM also signed away from William Morris the leading UK independent production company, Zig Zag Productions.
Paradigm has signed away from Endeavor actor Mark-Paul Gosselaar, the star of TNT’s Steven Bochco legal series Raising The Bar which goes into its 2nd season in March, and Haley Joel Osment, who’s grown up a lot since he starred in M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense opposite Bruce Willis. He’d been on a hiatus from acting for the past couple of years in order to attend NYU, and, with one semester left, is ready to pursue acting full-time again. Paradigm has signed Poppy Montgomery, the lead in CBS’ Without A Trace; Megan Park, who co-stars in the ABC Family series, The Secret Life Of The American Teenager, which is a Paradigm package and just received an order for 24 more episodes; and A.J. Annila and closed a deal for the director and his writing partner Iiro Kutner to rewrite Adrift at Dimension with Annila attached to direct.
William Morris has signed the following clients: Sharon Horgan, the British actress/writer who won Best Comedy Actress at the British Comedy Awards last December; an American version of her UK television show Pulling was just picked up to pilot at ABC; the Maloofs for film, TV and digital production; Jessica Simpson, signed away from CAA for acting and endorsements; writer Donick Cary (The Simpsons, Late Show With David Letterman) from UTA; Jamie Denbo, star and co-creator of the Showtime pilot Ronna & Beverly; actor Toby Kebbell (Rock N’ Rolla); actress Parminder Nagra (ER). Former Secretary Of State Condoleeza Rica; Chris Marcil & Sam Johnson (executive producers of Frasier) from CAA; writer Shannon Goss (ER); actor Bian Hallisay (Privileged); actor Craig Olejnik (The Listener).
The Gersh Agency signed comedian Bill Bellamy, host of NBC’s Last Comic Standing, away from ICM; actor and stand-up comic Anjelah Johnson who recently completed a pilot for TBS and made EW’s list of “A Dozen Comedians To Watch” in November; Paul F. Tompkins, host of VH-1’s Best Week Ever with Paul F. Tompkins away from CAA for personal appearances only; Paul Gilmartin, host of TBS’ Dinner & A Movie from APA for personal appearances only; Tony award-winner Brian Stokes Mitchell away from WMA; actor Scott Cohen, who appears in the upcoming film 17 Photos of Isabel, away from WMA; Sundance filmmaker Jay DiPietro, the writer and director of Peter and Vandy; and filmmaker Allison Anders (Mi Vida Loca, Gas Food Lodging) who also has directed episodes of Sex And The City and Cold Case.