Russo Brothers Acquires ‘The Mastermind’ About Criminal Kingpin
Filmmakers Joe and Anthony Russos’ Getaway Productions along with Skybound Entertainmenthave pre-emptively acquired rights for The Mastermind, a new investigative series of articles from digital publication the Atavist Magazine. The hotter-than-hot filmmakers plan to develop the property for television. The serialized stories, written by Atavist founder Evan Ratliff, is said to be similar to the wildly popular Making a Murderer in that the story of an elusive criminal kingpin unfolds slowly in written installments. http://deadline.com/2016/04/russo-brothers-acquires-the-mastermind-about-criminal-kingpin-for-tv-project-1201743218/
Showtime Nabs ‘Manhunt’ Comedy From David Caspe, Seth Gordon & Aaron Kaplan
Manhunt, a half-hour series project from Happy Endings creator David Caspe, Horrible Bosses director Seth Gordon, Black List writer Jordan Cahan and producer Aaron Kaplan, has landed at Showtimefor development. The pitch, from Sony TV where Caspe and Gordon are under overall deals, has received a production commitment. Manhunt is an action comedy two-hander. http://deadline.com/2016/04/manhunt-comedy-series-david-caspe-seth-gordon-aaron-kaplan-showtme-1201742909/
Fullscreen Bringing Bret Easton Ellis Thriller, Sketch-Comedy Show to SVOD Service
Fullscreen announced a pact with best-selling author Bret Easton Ellis, who will make his directorial debut with a new thriller series, “The Deleted,” for the company’s subscription VOD service. In Ellis’ “The Deleted,” the disappearance of three seemingly unconnected people from Los Angeles triggers a collective paranoia among a group of twentysomethings, all of whom escaped from a cult several years back. http://variety.com/2016/digital/news/bret-easton-ellis-fullscreen-sketch-comedy-svod-1201759868/
WGN America Renews ‘Underground’ for Second Season
“Underground,” the critically acclaimed first-year drama about the Underground Railroad and the most-watched original scripted series ever for WGN America, has been renewed for a second season. The network announced Monday that “Underground” will return for a 10-episode second season in 2017. http://variety.com/2016/tv/news/wgn-america-renews-underground-season-two-1201759991/
‘Famous’ Comedy Not Going Forward As Fox Summer Series
Foxwill not be proceeding with its series plans for Famous, a half-hour comedy created by veteran comedy writer-producer Ralph Farquhar and A Girl Like Grace co-writer/director/co-star Ty Hodges. The project was given a 10-episode straight-to-series order earlier this month. It was slated for June 12 premiere and a summer run in the Sunday 9-9:30 PM time slot. Famous is being taken off the schedule but will remain in development. The decision comes as the series was casting. A writers room had been assembled to work on scripts but the show was yet to begin production. http://deadline.com/2016/04/famous-fox-summer-comedy-series-dead-1201744055/
‘Still Star-Crossed’: Romeo & Juliet Sequel ABC Pilot Finds Its Romeo In ‘Scream Queens’ Alum Lucien Laviscount
Young British actor Lucien Laviscount(Scream Queens) has been cast as Romeo opposite Clara Rugaard’s Juliet in ABCdrama pilotStill Star-Crossed, from Shondaland and ABC Studios. http://deadline.com/2016/04/still-star-crossed-romeo-juliet-sequel-abc-pilot-romeo-lucien-laviscount-clara-rugaard-1201744079/
Jennifer Hudson and Harvey Fierstein to Star in NBC’s ‘Hairspray Live’
Jennifer Hudson and Harvey Fierstein have signed on to NBC’s “Hairspray Live!,” the network’s next live Broadway musical. http://variety.com/2016/tv/news/jennifer-hudson-harvey-fierstein-hairspray-nbc-1201759940/
Netflix’s ‘Fuller House’ Promotes John Brotherton to Series Regular
DJ’s love life is getting more complicated. “One Life to Live” star John Brotherton has been upped to a series regular for season two of Netflix’s “Fuller House” revival. http://variety.com/2016/tv/news/fuller-house-netflix-john-brotherton-1201760035/
‘Mercy Street’ Casts Brian F. O’Byrne, Patina Miller & Bryce Pinkham, Sets Directors
Brian F. O’Byrne, Patina Miller and Bryce Pinkhamhave been added to the cast of PBS’ Mercy Streetfor its second season, currently in production in Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia. Additionally, Stephen Cragg is directing Episodes 1 and 2, and Laura Innes will direct Episodes 3 and 4, PBS announced. http://deadline.com/2016/04/mercy-street-casting-pbs-brian-obyrne-patina-miller-bryce-pinkham-1201744048/
Nia Long & Brian Baumgartner Join Cast Of Amazon’s ‘Hand Of God’
Nia Longand Brian Baumgartnerwill join the cast of Amazon’s Hand of God, currently filming season 2 for a premiere later this year. http://deadline.com/2016/04/nia-long-brian-baumgartner-amazon-hand-of-god-1201742799/
Noah Hawley’s 26 Keys Inks 20th Century Fox Film Deal
Noah Hawley‘s 26 Keys Productions has signed an overall deal at 20th Century Fox. The film pact for the shingle run by Fargo creator Hawley and partner John Cameron comes on the heels of last week’s news that Hawley had signed on to make his feature directorial debut on Man Alive, an elevated sci-fi spec script by new writer Joe Greenberg. http://deadline.com/2016/04/noah-hawley-26-keys-20th-century-fox-leigh-kittay-1201743200/
NEW MEDIA NEWS:
Turner to Launch Movie-Streaming Subscription Service With 1,000-Plus Titles
Turner this fall will launch its first over-the-top subscription-video service, FilmStruck, marking another move by the TV programmer to extend its business into the digital realm. FilmStruck, designed for film buffs with a rotating selection of more than 1,000 art-house and indie titles, is being developed and managed by Turner Classic Movies. http://variety.com/2016/digital/news/turner-tcm-movie-filmstruck-criterion-1201760737/
NON-SCRIPTED / ALTERNATIVE NEWS:
Kelly Ripa Returns to ‘Live’: "Our Long National Nightmare is Over"
Michael Strahan’s co-host has been off the ABC daytime show since news broke that he would be leaving ‘Live’ for a full-time role on ‘Good Morning America.’http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/kelly-ripa-returns-live-took-887623
Megyn Kelly Lands Donald Trump Sit-Down Interview for Her Fox Special
Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly has landed a sit-down interview with Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, for her upcoming primetime Fox special. The one-hour Megyn Kelly Presents is slated to air Tuesday, May 17 at 8/7c, with extended portions of the chat unspooling on the anchor’s signature Fox News series The Kelly File. http://tvline.com/2016/04/25/megyn-kelly-donald-trump-interview-fox-special/
‘National Enquirer’ Series a Go at Reelz; O.J. Simpson, Charlie Sheen Among Topics
Harvey and Bob Weinstein are among the exec producers of ‘National Enquirer Investigates,’ which will premiere May 28 on Reelz. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/national-enquirer-series-a-go-887359
Mike Tirico Leaves ESPN for NBC
“Monday Night Football” play-by-play announcer Mike Tirico will leave ESPN to join NBC. http://variety.com/2016/tv/news/mike-tirico-leaves-espn-nbc-1201760321/
Chinese political thriller gets greenlight
State officials in China have commissioned a 42-part political drama that depicts a fight against corruption in the nation’s Communist Party. In the Name of the People is backed by one of China’s top law enforcement agencies and is expected to air this year. The state-sanctioned drama – known as Renmin de mingyi in Chinese – follows the story of a government investigator who travels to a fictitious Chinese province called Bianxi to investigate a murder. http://www.c21media.net/chinese-political-thriller-gets-greenlight/
DisneyLife Service Suspended In China Amid Crackdown On Foreign Content – Reports
Following word on Friday that Apple’s iTunes services had been shut down in China, it’s emerged that The Walt Disney Company’s DisneyLife platform may also be a casualty of the nascent Regulation for the Management of Online Publishing Services. http://deadline.com/2016/04/disneylife-suspended-china-regulators-alibaba-1201744275/
(sched) Adventures in Babysitting Movie Gets Premiere Date at Disney Channel
Polish up your silver Thor helmet, because Disney Channel’s new take on Adventures in Babysitting will arrive on Friday, June 24 at 8/7c. http://tvline.com/2016/04/26/adventures-in-babysitting-premiere-date-disney-channel-movie/
(sched) Disney Stakes Out Release Dates for ‘Jungle Book 2,’ ‘Maleficent 2’ and More
The studio claims five more slots for its upcoming live-action fairy tales, which also include ‘Cruella,’ ‘A Wrinkle in Time,’ ‘Jungle Cruise’ and ‘Dumbo,’ among other titles. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/disney-stakes-release-dates-jungle-887415
EXECUTIVE / TALENT NEWS:
‘Punk’d’ Creator Jason Goldberg to Head Unscripted TV at STX Entertainment
“Punk’d” creator Jason Goldberg, a reality TV veteran and longtime producing partner of Ashton Kutcher, has signed on to head unscripted and alternative programming for STX Entertainment. http://variety.com/2016/tv/news/punkd-jason-goldberg-stx-entertainment-1201759955/
Who Directed ‘Lemonade’? The 7 Filmmakers Behind Beyoncé’s Visual Album
Rallying a half-dozen filmmakers around her vision, Beyoncé has enlisted a diverse coterie of artists to join her in creating a coherent cinematic expression of her new music and help galvanize "Lemonade" as an epic testament to the triumphs and tribulations of black women in America. Jonas Åkerlund, Beyoncé Knowles Carter, Kahlil Joseph, Melina Matsoukas, Dikayl Rimmasch, Mark Romanek, Todd Tourso. http://www.indiewire.com/article/beyonce-lemonade-who-directed-hbo-jonas-akerlund-kahlil-joseph-dikayl-rimmasch-mark-romanek-todd-tourso
SSN: Exec Shuffle for 4/25/16– Peter Kang has been named the Co-President of Lionsgate alongside Bobby Cohen.
– Tony Shaw has been named the VP at Escape Artists. He was formerly the Director of Development at Captivate Entertainment.
– Kurt Davis has been named CBS’ EVP of Affiliate Relations. He was previously the VP of News Services.
– Rob Day has been upped from EVP of Production to the EVP and Head of Unscripted Production at Endemol Shine USA.
– Jesse Kerns has been named the SVP of Unscripted Production at Endemol Shine USA. Kirk Anderson has been upped from Executive Director of Production to the VP of Unscripted Production at Endemol Shine USA.
– Annie Gerhart has been named the VP of Unscripted Programming at The Company.
– Dan Matthias has been upped from Coordinator of Development to the Manager of Development at Go Go Luckey Entertainment. Bill Castonzo has been upped from VP to the SVP of Development. Frank Prather has shifted from VP of Talent Development & Casting to the VP of Development. Breonna Carrera has been upped from Manager of Development to the Director of Development at Go Go Luckey Entertainment.
– Alex Soler has been named the Director of Development at Sonar Entertainment. http://www.ssninsider.com/exec-shuffle-for-42516-fullscreen-launches-vod-service-univision-buys-fusion-stake-google-partners-with-the-black-list/
Lesli Linka Glatter To Receive AFI’s Annual Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal
Homeland director Lesli Linka Glatter will receive the 26th Annual Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal, the organization announced today. The award recognizes American Film Institute alumni “who embody the qualities of filmmaker Franklin J. Schaffner: talent, taste, dedication and commitment to quality storytelling in film and television.” http://deadline.com/2016/04/lesli-linka-glatter-afi-schaffner-medal-1201744164/
As a critic, I’m used to championing greater options for artists. We’re lucky to live in a time when TV creators have freedom from arbitrary constraints. But more and more of my TV watching these days involves starting an episode, looking at the number of minutes on the playback bar and silently cursing. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/26/arts/television/forget-too-much-tv-its-too-big-tv-we-should-worry-about.html