4 items from 2007
Showtime is still high on Weeds.
The premium cable network has renewed the Lionsgate-produced comedy series for a fourth season, ordering 13 new episodes. The half-hour series, starring Mary-Louise Parker as a pot-dealing widowed mother in the suburbs, is targeted to go into production in April, pending a lengthy WGA strike, for a summer debut.
Weeds is in the midst of its third season, for which Showtime had ordered an expanded 15 episodes for scheduling purposes. The series, which Lionsgate produces in association with Tilted Prods., was created and is executive produced by Jenji Kohan.
Weeds ranks as Showtime's most-watched original comedy series, with Season 3 outperforming the previous season by 19%, according to Nielsen Media Research. Season 3 also is Showtime's most-watched original series among adults 18-34, and its total viewership divides almost equally between men and women (51% vs. 49%). »
NATPE on Monday outlined plans for its inaugural LATV Festival, set to take place July 25-27 at various locations in Los Angeles. Among the speakers to be featured at a breakfast series sponsored by the Producers Guild of America at the House of Blues are "The Office" showrunner Greg Daniels and line producer Kent Zbornak; "Supernanny" supervising producer Mark Allen and showrunner Craig Armstrong; and "Lost" co-showrunner Carlton Cuse and line producer Jean Higgins. Evening screenings at the Pacific Design Center Theatre will kick off with "America's Next Producer" and creator Dan Cutforth. Also to be screened is "Weeds", followed by a panel moderated by The Hollywood Reporter television critic Ray Richmond that features Lionsgate's Kevin Beggs, Showtime's Robert Greenblatt, creator/executive producer Jenji Kohan and exec producers Roberto Benabib and Craig Zisk. For more details, visit www.latvfest.net. »
Mary-Kate Olsen is stepping out on her own for her first major acting role without twin sister Ashley Olsen in Showtime cable series Weeds. The Two Of A Kind beauty is set to star alongside Mary-Louise Parker, who plays the lead role of Nancy Botwin, in at least 10 episodes of the hit cable program. The 20-year-old will appear as Tara, a devoted Christian teenager living in the religious community of Majestic, who becomes a love interest for Silas (Botwin's son), played by Hunter Parrish. Olsen tells the Hollywood Reporter, "I'm thrilled to be a part of the show. It's really an honor to be a part of such a talented group of actors and writers." Executive producer Jenji Kohan adds, "Weeds isn't your eight o'clock family fare. It's an adult show with adult subject matter, and we're confident Mary-Kate is right for the role. She came in and read with Hunter and was absolutely charming and real and seemed like a great fit. Audiences have seen only one side of Mary-Kate, but here we'll see her in a whole new light." »
"Strangers With Candy" director Paul Dinello has signed on to helm the Fox pilot "Me & Lee?" lifting the director contingency on the Lionsgate comedy.
Meanwhile, the production start date for the network's drama pilot "NSA Innocent" has been pushed back to rework the project and recast the lead.
"Me & Lee?" a half-hour single-camera comedy, centers on a guy with chronic back pain who gets more than he bargained for when he undergoes "bionic" back surgery in a secret basement lab run by Lee Majors.
Matthew Salsberg, the writer on the project, is executive producing with Jenji Kohan, Allan Loeb and Steven Pearl.
Dinello directed and shared writing credits on the 2005 feature "Strangers". He also played Geoffrey Jellineck in the film and Comedy Central's "Strangers" series, which he co-created and served as writer on.
He is repped by UTA and the Collective.
Stephen Moyer was cast last week as the lead in "NSA", which centers on a family man who is recruited by the NSA as a spy within the defense contracting company he works for. »
4 items from 2007
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