SundanceTV Revs Development with Projects from Alan Cumming, Todd Field, Patrick Dempsey
Sarah Barnett and SundanceTV programming chief Nena Rodrigue have honed the cabler’s focus on miniseries and limited-run series that can make noise for the AMC Networks channel without becoming too lengthy of a commitment for creative talent or viewers. Among the projects in various stages of development:
– A romantic comedy set in the world of college baseball, based on the Chad Harbach novel “The Art of Fielding.” Producer Todd Field is shepherding the project.
– Alan Cumming is on board to produce a project inspired by the life of colorful New York City restauranteur and AIDS activist Florent Morellet. Morellet is credited with revitalizing Manhattan’s meatpacking district with his restaurant that became a hotbed of activity for the gay rights movement.
– Cami Delavigne is working on a drama series about nuns.
– “Hap and Leonard” is a 1960s-set buddy detective vehicle with comedic elements that turns on the unlikely friendship between a white Southerner and a gay African-American Vietnam veteran. Jim Mickle and Nick Damici are on board to direct the project derived from novels by Joe Lansdale.
– “The Limit” is set in the late 1950s in the early days of the Formula One racing league. Project is a co-production with Germany’s Red Arrow, with “Grey’s Anatomy” star Patrick Dempsey also producing.
– “Visit from the Goon Squad” is an adaptation of the Jennifer Egan novel revolving around a group of friends living in 1980s San Francisco, with a story told over the course of several decades. Producer Michael London is shepherding the project.
– Haut et Court, the Gallic shingle is working with ITV Global and Warp Film on a project set in the 1980s European fashion scene, focusing on the clash between art and commerce in the world of haute couture.
‘Sex And The City’s Sarah Jessica Parker Eyes Series Return With ‘Busted’
Sidney Kimmel Entertainment has optioned the rights to Busted: A Tale of Corruption and Betrayal in the City of Brotherly Love, a police crime thriller written by Wendy Ruderman and Barbara Laker. It will serve as SKE’s debut television project with True Detective producers Anonymous Content. Sarah Jessica Parker is attached to star in one of the two main roles in the hourlong show. David Frankel is attached to direct and executive produce the pilot. Don Roos will write the pilot. SKE and Anonymous will shop the project after they’ve set the rest of the cast.
‘Zombieland’s’ Ruben Fleischer Inks Universal TV Deal, Launches Production Company
The director-producer, who will focus on both network and cable, has brought aboard former RipCord exec David Bernad to EP with him.
Stephen King’s ‘Big Driver’ Heads to Lifetime, With Maria Bello Starring
Maria Bello will star in the original TV movie Big Driver, based on the novella from Stephen King. Olympia Dukakis, Joan Jett and Will Harris also star in the revenge tale adaptation, expected to premiere this fall. In Big Driver, Tess Thorne (Bello), a famous and revered mystery and thriller writer, faces a long drive home following a book signing engagement. But while driving on a lonely stretch of New England road, her tire blows out, leaving her stranded. Relieved when another driver (Harris) stops and offers assistance, Tess quickly discovers that her savior is actually her assailant.
‘Chronicle’s Alex Russell To Star In AMC Pilot ‘Galyntine’
Alex Russell has been tapped for a starring role in AMC drama pilot Galyntine. Written by Jason Cahill and executive produced by Scott Free and Greg Nicotero, the fantasy-action adventure with hints of sci-fi is set in a postapocalyptic future without technology where a band of survivors is forced to adapt to isolation and the challenges of their new world.
OITNB’s Natasha Lyonne to Guest-Star on Girls in Season 4
Natasha Lyonne will guest-star in a Season 4 episode of HBO’s Girls as a character named Rickey.
(sched) CBS Announces Fall Premiere Dates, Including An Hour of ‘Big Bang Theory’ on Monday
CBS, which has traditionally rolled out just about all of its fall series during premiere week, is mixing things up some this year by stretching out its launches over a six-week period. The fall schedule rollout will see the Eye net using the season finales of summer dramas “Under the Dome” and “Extant” during premiere week. The initial week of the television season (Sept. 22-28) will also include an hourlong premiere (two back-to-back original episodes) of “The Big Bang Theory” on a Monday.
(review) Variety: ‘The Leftovers’
The show somewhat unevenly mixes its universal theme — probing how people cope with grief and loss — with the particulars of its characters. What’s left is undoubtedly interesting; whether it’s worthy of rapturous praise is another matter.
Rob Dyrdek Inks Multi-Year Deal at MTV, Brings Back ‘Fantasy Factory’
The "Ridiculousness" star will also develop a new pilot under the agreement.
MTV Bringing Back ‘TRL’ for One Day
The network is reviving the popular format for a July 2 special with Ariana Grande.
Diane Sawyer Leaving ABC’s ‘World News,’ George Stephanopoulos Named Chief Anchor of ABC News
Diane Sawyer is stepping down from anchoring ABC’s “World News,” and will be replaced by David Muir. George Stephanopoulos, meanwhile, is being promoted to chief anchor of ABC News. Sawyer reached out to then-ABC News chief Ben Sherwood last year about transitioning out of ABC’s nightly news show to focus more on in-depth stories, particularly her “Hidden America” investigations.
(rumor) Fox News: Jenny McCarthy’s ‘View’ contract likely won’t be renewed
After just one season, Jenny McCarthy may be out of “The View.” According to a well-placed insider, the former Playboy Playmate’s contract on the talk show is up for renewal in July and ABC will likely not be re-inking the deal. “Jenny just didn’t appeal to the daytime audience market. They couldn’t relate to her,” a source told FOX411. “There are a lot of changes taking place now that Barbara [Walters] has left.”
Joe Roth Nearing Deal to Sell Revolution for $500 Million
After five years of looking for a buyer, the producer is selling his company — which has a library of 46 movies, including "Click" and "xXx" — to a hedge fund manager and will become a consultant.
Starz Hires David Weil as EVP and General Counsel, Business and Legal Affairs
Starz has hired David Weil as executive vice president and general counsel, business and legal affairs.
Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo in Broadcasters’ Challenge
In a decision with far-reaching implications for the television industry, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that Aereo, a start-up streaming service, had violated copyright laws by capturing broadcast signals on miniature antennas and delivering them to subscribers for a fee. The 6-3 decision was a victory for the major television networks, which had argued that Aereo’s business model amounted to a theft of their programming. The judges’ ruling leaves the current broadcast model intact while imperiling Aereo’s viability as a business after just over two years in existence.
NBC Wraps Upfronts With $2.5 Billion in Ad Sales, Up 11 Percent
NBC has wrapped its upfronts sales by securing $2.5 billion in ad buys, an 11 percent increase over last year. NBCUniversal’s total ad sales, which include cable and digital, came to $6 billion, up from $5.4 in 2013. The network’s $2.5 billion figure includes sports, primetime and late night. With sports excluded, NBC is up 15 percent. The network had price increases of 7.5 to 8 percent.
ABC Wraps Upfront Sales With Slight Rate Increase
ABC has effectively wrapped up its upfront ad sales for the 2014-15 season, an individual with knowledge of the negotiations said Tuesday. With all but a bit of clean-up left, the network is finishing its upfront season with an approximate 5 percent increase in the rate for CPM. (That figure excludes sports programming, which undergoes a separate round of ad-sales negotiations.) ABC did not release any dollar figures. The network also made some so-called “C7” deals which measure how many viewers see ads up to seven days from their original airdate.
The CW Wraps Upfront Sales
The CW has finished its upfront sales, making Fox the last man standing in this year’s ad sales bazaar. Volume for the network was down slightly (as it has been everywhere but NBCU, this season’s first-place finisher), with CPM bumps up between 3 and 4 percent, said a source familiar with the network’s deals.
New York Passes L.A. as Top Shooting Site for TV Drama Pilots
New York has become the primary site for filming TV drama pilots, supplanting Los Angeles, which saw overall pilot production hit an all-time low according to a survey released Tuesday by FilmLA. The 2013-14 development cycle saw New York, with 24 drama projects, dethrone Los Angeles, home to 19 drama projects, to become North America’s most attractive location for one-hour TV pilot production according to the non-profit permitting agency’s Television Pilot Production Report.
Kerry Washington’s ‘Scandal’-Inspired Clothing Line Debuting This Fall
“Scandal” star Kerry Washington has teamed up with costume designer Lyn Paolo and The Limited head designer Elliot Staples to develop a new fashion line inspired by the hit ABC drama, the network announced on Wednesday. The collaboration is the first of its kind between a national retailer, top-rated network TV show, its costume designer and leading lady. The collection consists of tops, pants, jackets and outwear, which will arrive online and in stores on Sept. 22, with prices beginning at $49.