Hi all! Here’s your evening news update for Wednesday, November 12, 2014:
Ben McMillan Takes Leap From Being Unrepresented Writer To Selling 2 Shows
CBS has put in development All In, a hybrid comedy project written by Ben McMillan, from Sony Pictures TV. It centers on a woman who, after a tough break-up and a couple of one night stands, finds herself pregnant…and all three possible fathers are determined to help her raise the baby. McMillian is executive producing All In with Intrigue’s Jalil and Lucas Carter and Olive Bridge’s Will Gluck and Richard Schwartz.
What’s more, McMillan scored a second comedy sale this season, a pitch at NBC with Working Title producing.
Dallas Roberts, Clifton Collins to Star in USA Supernatural Drama Pilot ‘Evil Men’
USA Network has picked up to pilot supernatural drama Evil Men, tapping Dallas Roberts and Clifton Collins Jr. to star. Evil Men follows an upstanding, middle-class family man whose life is turned upside down when he is approached by a frighteningly powerful entity and commanded to kill "evil men" or see his family — along with his city — utterly destroyed. However, the gleeful psycho who is meant to be his first target instead begins teaching him how to carry out his new destiny. From CBS Television Studios and Universal Cable Productions, Evil Men will be written and exec produced by Daniel Taplitz. Gary Fleder also will executive produce alongside Eric and Kim Tannenbaum and Mary Beth Basile. Fleder will direct the pilot.
David Krumholtz to Play Jewish Grandmother in IFC Comedy
IFC is looking to David Krumholtz for its next scripted venture. The cable network has commissioned a pilot presentation for scripted comedy Gigi’s Bucket List, starring Krumholtz. The comedy follows 72-year-old Jewish grandmother Gigi (played by Krumholtz), a Boca Raton, Fla.-woman who pursues everything she deprived herself of throughout her life after she discovers millions in her late husband’s bank account.
‘Orange Is the New Black’ to Compete as Comedy in SAG Awards Race
Just as it did for the 2014 Emmy Awards, Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black” will be making the switch to comedy series for the upcoming Screen Actors Guild Awards and Golden Globes.
‘SOA’s Mike Daniels Signs Overall Deal With Universal TV, Joins ‘Shades Of Blue’
Mike Daniels has signed a two-year overall deal with Universal TV. As part of the pact, he is joining the studio’s upcoming straight-to-series FBI dramaShades Of Blue, starring Jennifer Lopez, as co-executive producer and No.2 to executive producer/showrunner Jack Orman with whom Daniels previously worked on ABC’sPan Am.
‘The Americans’ Adds Julia Garner
She’ll enter the FX spy drama in its third season.
‘Better Call Saul’ Adds Julie Ann Emery and Jeremy Shamos to Cast
Julie Ann Emery and Jeremy Shamos have been confirmed as members of the cast of AMC and Sony TV’s “Better Call Saul.” They play Betsy and Craig Kettleman, who have been described as “the world’s squarest outlaws.” The Kettlemans were originally slated to appear in just the first episode, but the actors’ performances were said to be so strong that they were added throughout the 10-episode first season.
Jerry Bruckheimer & Michael Bay’s Drug-Trade Drama Pilot On TNT Casts Four
Kristen Hager, Kelsey Siepser, Adria Arjona and Oscar Jaenada have landed series regular roles on TNT’s Untitled Miami Project from Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay. Written by Michelle Ashford, the serialized character drama is set in the wild and unpredictable world of the Florida drug trade in the 1970s.
James Martinez Joins ‘Aquarius’; Melinda Page Hamilton In ‘Dig’
James Martinez is set for a multi-episode arc opposite David Duchovny in NBC’s upcoming series Aquarius. Melinda Page Hamilton is set as a heavily recurring guest star in USA Network’s 10-episode event series Dig.
Paramount Picks Up Sci-Fi Adventure Spec ‘ARES’
Paramount has preemptively picked up ARES, an action-adventure spec by Michael Starrbury. Mark Gordon will produce via his Mark Gordon Company banner. Plot details are being kept sealed shut, but the title is said to be in the vein of Indiana Jones and Men in Black in what the studio hopes will start a franchise. (ARES is an acronym for Allied Recovery of the Extraordinary and Supernatural.)
Sony Confirms ‘Dark Matter,’ Universal Confirms Aaron Guzikowski To Write ‘Wolfman’
Deadline broke last night that Sony Pictures had paid a whopping $1.25 million for the hot manuscript Dark Matter, and the studio has now supplied extra details. Universal meanwhile is now confirming that scribe Aaron Guzikowski will write the script for The Wolfman, the second attempt by the studio to breathe life into its classic movie monsters franchise.
Paramount Soldiers To Close Air Force Scribe’s Spec ‘Matriarch’ On Vets Day
Paramount Pictures and Red Wagon stepped up last night to close a spec script deal for Matriarch, an elevated thriller in the vein of Prisoners and The Silence Of The Lambs. The neophyte scribe, Eric Koenig, is an active member of the Air Force. He is a dentist, stationed in Palmdale, CA, and this is his first script sale and it went for mid six-figures. The thriller follows two powerful female characters going head to head as a prison psychologist has 48 hours to convince a serial killer to disclose the location of her final victim before she is executed.
(rumor) ‘Wonder Woman’ Director: ‘Breaking Bad’s’ Michelle MacLaren Emerges as Frontrunner
Warner Bros. is closing in on a director for “Wonder Woman” and “Breaking Bad’s” Michelle MacLaren has emerged as the frontrunner for the coveted job.
SSN: Breaking Down the Trends at AFM 2014: The VOD Disruption, Hot Genres and the Territories On the Rise
Over 8,000 industry leaders from over 80 countries converged in Santa Monica November 5-12th for eight days of deal‐making, screenings, seminars, and events at the American Film Market (AFM), produced by the Independent Film and Television Alliance (IFTA). Three billion dollars were spent by participants to produce 2,000 new projects; over 400 distributors were on-hand to purchase the rights to those projects. SSN analyzed the data, sifted through reports, and sat down with IFTA president Jonathan Wolf, to break down the trends at this year’s market.
NBC Revives ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’ With Nick Cannon
NBC is reviving Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. The network has ordered a new pilot for the former syndicated series famously hosted by Robin Leach in the 1980s and ’90s. America’s Got Talent host Nick Cannon is attached to serve in the same capacity on NBC’s revival.
NEW MEDIA NEWS:
IFC Launches Online Comedy Platform
The IFC network has partnered with AboveAverage and UCB Comedy to launch a new online humor hub called IFC Comedy Crib. The digital platform will host short-form comedy made by some of the channel’s favorite comedians, along with acquired series from AboveAverage and UCB Comedy. Currently available series are ClickBait Overload, Laurie, John and Geoff are Married and Comedy Drop.
(music) YouTube Introduces a Paid Service Called Music Key
Long a smorgasbord of free music online, YouTube will start offering additional perks like higher-quality audio for $7.99 a month.
TVNZ nabs NBC, ABC dramas
New Zealand pubcaster TVNZ has acquired an array of freshman US dramas, including How to Get Away With Murder and Forever, for its schedules in 2015. Meanwhile, TVNZ says it will screen more than 4,100 hours of local programming in 2015 and make a NZ$100m (US$79m) investment in local production across its brands. Among its local dramas for 2015 are “big-budget” First World War epic When We Go To War, which has been made to mark the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings.
Cirkus drives off with BBC1 drama
UK-based VoD firm Cirkus has acquired exclusive subscription on-demand rights to BBC1 drama The Driver for the Nordic territories. The Driver follows the life of Vince McKee, played by David Morrissey, whose life is turned upside down when he agrees to be the driver for a criminal gang.
ABC Oz orders Tolstoy remake
A re-telling of Anna Karenina, a comedy about a former Australian prime minister desperate to stay relevant and a doc featuring rock band AC/DC are the highlights of Australian pubcaster ABC’s 2015 slate. The Beautiful Lie (6 x 60’), a contemporary re-imagining of Leo Tolstoy’s novel Anna Karenina, is being produced by Endemol Australia’s John Edwards and Imogen Banks. Shaun Micallef has created and will star in prodco CJZ’s The Ex-PM (6×30’), about Australia’s fictional third longest-serving prime minister who has far too much time on his hands and no one to waste it on. Blood & Thunder (2×60’) will chronicle the musical partnership that created one of the most successful rock albums of all time, AC/DC’s Back in Black, and is a copro between Bombora Film and Music Co and Beyond Screen, filmed in co-operation with the band.
Channel 4 Orders Drama for 8 p.m. Weeknight Slot
Channel 4 is placing the new drama The ABC (working title), inspired by the Educating… franchise, at 8 p.m. The series is written by Ayub Khan Din. It will feature the drama of the teachers, teenagers and families set within a multicultural school in Lancashire. The series is the first commission from newly established production company The Forge, with George Faber and George Ormond as executive producers.
London-Set BBC Drama ‘Dickensian’ May Have to Shoot in Eastern Europe
Leading British showrunner Tony Jordan, the creator of detective drama “Life on Mars” and grifter thriller “Hustle,” says he may have to shoot his 20-part series “Dickensian” in Eastern Europe because he can’t find studio space in the U.K. for the BBC drama production set in 19th-century London. Traditional sound studios, like those at Pinewood and Shepperton, are fully booked in the short-term as the U.K. production biz enjoys a boom period driven by the recent extension of tax credits to high-end television shows.
SSN: 10 Up & Coming Comedy Writers & Directors For Your Next Project
We’ve compiled five comedy writers and five comedy directors to consider for your next project.
Writers: Barry Schwartz, April Prosser, Shawn Harwell, Kimberly Karp and Erin Simon Berenson, Jenni Ross.
Directors: Brad Buecker, Dean Fleischer-Camp, Justin Simien, Ana Lily Amirpour, Michael Tully.
(music) Nashville Stars Clare Bowen and Sam Palladio Prep Solo Albums
"We’ve recorded a couple things and I’ve been writing and writing and writing," Clare Bowen tells Rolling Stone Country. "I’ve met some wonderful people who are generous with their time and creativity. That’s the way Nashville is as a city." Bowen, who is a classically-trained singer with an ethereal, Alison Krauss-like voice, has teamed with legendary producer T Bone Burnett for the album. She’s hoping it will come out next year, but also sees great creative value in taking her time.
DreamWorks Animation & Hasbro In Merger Talks; Deal With Hearst Looming
DreamWorks Animation is deeply engaged in two potentially game changing negotiations that could transform the company — including one with Hasbro to forge a family entertainment powerhouse to be called DreamWorks-Hasbro. The other talks are with Hearst to turn DWA’s AwesomenessTV into a joint venture. We’re told that a DWA and Hasbro deal is at least 60 days off, if it happens. But the two companies are said to have agreed that Jeffrey Katzenberg would chair the combined operation.