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“We make shows that challenge the medium,” Showtime’s president of programming David Nevins told reporters at the annual Television Critics Assn. press tour, pointing to the success of freshman drama “Penny Dreadful.” “We’ve had this nice pattern of new shows come on and are higher rated than the shows that left.”
Nevins made no apologies for “Shameless” switching categories from drama to comedy, a move that garnered William H. Macy an Emmy nod for best actor in a comedy. “There’s an arbitrariness to all of it,” he said. “Any category you do, I’m going to try to defy it. That’s what we do at Showtime.”
“If you ask Bill Macy, he’s giving a comic performance. That’s how he defines his performance, even though it’s an incredibly dark character. It’s a lively time in television. I consider that a good thing.”
- Debra Birnbaum
Showtime has some billionaires, rock stars, and crazy exes for you to meet.
Network president David Nevins announced three new pilot orders for the pay-cable channel during the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills on Friday. First, Billions, a drama about an aggressive New York attorney who deals exclusively with obnoxious hedge fund billionaires. The show comes from a script by Andrew Ross Sorkin, with Brian Koppelman and David Levien on board to produce.
My Crazy-Ex Girlfriend, a half-hour comedy with musical elements, stars Rachel Bloom as a successful, driven, and possibly crazy woman who impulsively leaves her »
- Marc Snetiker
Up next in the never-ending series of TCA press tour live-blogs? Showtime President David Nevins. Showtime hasn't had an especially controversial or drama-filled year, but we're sure to have lots to discuss including the new season of "Homeland," series development and more. Follow along... 1:45 p.m. David Nevins starts with pre-question updates. Eight of Showtime's nine shows got Emmy nominations. Showtime has 10 shows, but "Penny Dreadful" won't be eligible until next year. He notes that "Penny Dreadful" was the network's most-watched new show on OnDemand and ShowtimeAnytime. As was announced earlier, "Homeland" is back for 12 episodes on October 5. In case you've forgotten, "Homeland" hit ratings highs. 1:48 p.m. October 19 is the premiere date for "The Affair." That'll be paneling later today. It's not quite what I was expecting, which I mean in a good way. On November 1, Showtime will premiere the original doc "Lost Songs: Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes Continues" 1:49 p. »
- Daniel Fienberg
Starz today announced the greenlight of The Girlfriend Experience, a 13-part anthology series produced by Transactional Pictures. Inspired by the 2009 Magnolia Pictures film of the same title, Steven Soderbergh and Philip Fleishman will serve as executive producers along with independent filmmakers Lodge Kerrigan and Amy Seimetz, who will also write and direct on the series.
The scripted anthology series will feature 13 half-hour episodes.
The Girlfriend Experience explores the relationships of the most exclusive courtesans who provide their clients with far more than just sex. These purveyors - or GFEs (Girlfriend Experience) - share intimacies more common to romantic partners or husbands and wives, becoming quasi-lovers and confidants who are richly paid for their time.
Chris Albrecht, CEO of Starz had this to say in his statement.
"We are all »
Showtime has ordered a pilot for the offbeat comedy “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” from “The Devil Wears Prada” scribe Aline Brosh McKenna, hyphenate Rachel Bloom and “The Amazing Spider-Man” director Marc Webb.
Bloom, a comedian and staff writer on Adult Swim’s “Robot Chicken,” stars as a woman who gives up her partnership at a Manhattan law firm in an effort to find happiness in the Los Angeles suburb of West Covina. Brosh McKenna and Bloom wrote the pilot and exec produce with Webb, who is on board to direct for CBS Television Studios.
“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” is described as a half-hour comedy with musical elements. Showtime Networks prexy David Nevins calls it an “exciting change of pace” for the cabler. Brosh McKenna introduced Bloom to the cabler after discovery her musical comedy vids on the Internet.
Webb, who made his feature debut with “500 Days of Summer,” is coming off two high-octane “Spider-Man »
- Cynthia Littleton
Exclusive: Appian Way, which has broadened its slate in features and moved into television, has promoted Michael Hampton and Nathaniel Posey to co-vice president status and has named James Ward to be creative executive to help handle the volume. They report to Appian Way principal Leonardo DiCaprio and president of production Jennifer Davisson Killoran. Hampton and Posey are homegrown talent. Hampton worked at Lbi Entertainment before moving to Appian Way two years ago and has steered development of Graveland, which Brian koppelman & David Levien are directing for New Regency; the adaptation of A. Scott Berg’s biography of U.S. President […] »
NBC led the field Tuesday with six wins at the 35th annual Sports Emmy Awards, presented at Frederick P. Rose Hall in Gotham.
The Peacock’s “Sunday Night Football” (pictured) extended its streak in the live sports series category to a sixth consecutive year. NBC’s other wins included Bob Costas for sports personality in studio, Michele Tafoya for sports reporter and Cris Collinsworth for sports event analyst.
NBC sibling Telemundo also nabbed two trophies, including Andres Cantor’s win for on-air personality in Spanish.
Fox Sports ran a close second to NBC with five nods, including the prize for live sports special for last year’s World Series coverage.
Turner Broadcasting pioneer and former Atlanta Braves owner Ted Turner was feted with the org’s life achievement award.
Here is a complete list of winners:
Outstanding Live Sports Special
The 109th World Series – Red Sox vs. Cardinals Fox
John Entz, »
- Variety Staff
Chuck Hogan has been brought in to rewrite "The Rockford Files" feature for Universal Pictures. Hogan, an author whose work was the basis for Ben Affleck's "The Town," will pen a re-write of the script originally done by David Levien and Brian Koppelman.
Vince Vaughn stars in this film version of the 1970s NBC series that starred James Garner as the down-and-out private eye who lived out of a Malibu motor home and uses his charm to talk his way out of trouble.
Speaking of 1970s TV series getting the cinematic reboot by Universal, the film version of the classic ABC series "Kung Fu" is reportedly looking for a new director to "restructure the project" and update the story to a contemporary setting.
Legendary Pictures has been developing the project which stalled at Warner Brothers. Since Legendary has now moved to Universal, producers are keen to get going on it again. »
- Garth Franklin
This project has been in development since April 2012, when Vince Vaughn became attached to star. Chuck Hogan will rewrite the original draft by Brian Koppelman and David Levien (Rounders), adapted from The Rockford Files TV series, which ran from 1974 to 1980.
James Garner starred as private detective James Rockford in the series, which was created by Stephen J. Cannell and Roy Huggins. The show followed the adventures of this ex-con turned private eye, who worked out of his mobile home in Malibu and had a penchant for talking his way out of troublesome situations. No story details were given for this new theatrical version.
Exclusive: Universal Pictures is bringing in Chuck Hogan to rewrite The Rockford Files for Vince Vaughn to star. Hogan takes on the job as FX has set The Strain, his collaboration with Guillermo del Toro, for summer, and he adapts Thirteen Hours: A Firsthand Account Of What Really Happened In Benghazi for Paramount, the book that author Mitchell Zuckoff wrote with surviving members of the Annex Security Team who fought the battle that led to the death of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. Hogan, whose novel Prince Of Thieves was the basis for the superb Ben Affleck-directed crime thriller The Town, will rewrite the Rockford script originally penned by script team of David Levien and Brian Koppelman. Vaughn is going to play Jim Rockford, in a feature adaptation of the memorable series that ran on NBC from 1974-80 and featured James Garner as the down-and-out private eye. »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
For a long time there's been talk about a movie based on the popular '70s NBC series "The Rockford Files," starring James Garner as Jim Rockford. Vince Vaughn has been attached to take on the role for a couple of years now, but things seem to be moving forward with the hiring of Chuck Hogan to do rewrites on the original screenplay by David Levien and Brian Koppelman ( Rounders ). Hogan's novel "Prince of Thieves" was the basis for Ben Affleck's second film as a director The Town and he also co-wrote "The Strain" with Guillermo del Toro, which is currently being turned into a television series to air on the FX Network this summer. Currently, Hogan is adapting Mitchell Zuckoff's "Thirteen Hours: A Firsthand Account Of What Really Happened In »
Showtime has promoted Emily Bergl to series regular for Season 5 of dramedy Shameless. Bergl is currently completing a 10-episode arc as Sammi Gallagher, a long-lost daughter of Frank Gallagher (William H. Macy). Shameless‘ current fourth season is pacing as its highest-rated yet, averaging 5.5 million weekly viewers across platforms, up 8% vs. Season 3. Bergl is repped by Innovative and Thruline. Related: Wall Street Drama From Andrew Ross Sorkin, Brian Koppelman & David Levien Gets Showtime Pilot Order Andrea Bogart (General Hospital) has booked a recurring role on Showtime’s Ray Donovan. She’ll play Megan Volcheck, wife of FBI agent Volcheck (Kip Pardue), who also will return as recurring on the Mark Gordon Co-produced series. Ray Donovan stars Liev Schreiber as La’s best professional fixer, the man called in to make the city’s celebrities, superstar athletes, and business moguls’ most complicated and combustible situations go away. Bogart is with Bohemia Group and Intelligence Artists Agency. »
- THE DEADLINE TEAM
Showtime has issued its first drama pilot pick up of the year. "Billions" is the result of a collaboration between writing veterans Brian Koppelman and David Levien -- the duo behind "Runaway Jury," "The Girlfriend Experience" and "Ocean's Thirteen," -- and New York Times Financial Columnist and CNBC "Squak Box" co-anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin. According to Showtime's announcement, "'Billions' is a fictional drama that focuses on the collision and, at times, collusion between an aggressive U.S. attorney in New York and some of the richest hedge fund billionaires in the country." Given the financial bent of this legal drama -- which is unusual on television as most legal dramas, serialized and procedural, typically focus on violent crime -- Showtime may have a genre-bending gamechanger in its hand. Koppelman, Levien and Sorkin are certainly in a unique position to reimagine the genre.
- Shipra Gupta
Showtime has issued its first drama pilot pick up of the year. "Billions" is the result of a collaboration between writing veterans Brian Koppelman and David Levien -- the duo behind "Runaway Jury," "The Girlfriend Experience" and "Ocean's Thirteen," -- and New York Times Financial Columnist and CNBC "Squak Box" co-anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin. According to Showtime's announcement, "'Billions' is a fictional drama that focuses on the collision and, at times, collusion between an aggressive U.S. attorney in New York and some of the richest hedge fund billionaires in the country." Given the financial bent of this legal drama -- which is unusual on television as most legal dramas, serialized and procedural, typically focus on violent crime -- Showtime may have a genre-bending gamechanger in its hand. Koppelman, Levien and Sorkin are certainly in a unique position to reimagine the genre. »
- Shipra Gupta
Showtime is hoping to make finance sexy: The network has just green-lit a pilot for Billions, an hour-long drama from New York Times columnist and CNBC anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin (Too Big to Fail) that’s set in the world of hedge funds. Sorkin, who is developing the project with writers Brian Koppelman and David Levien (Ocean’s Thirteen), will explore what the network calls “the collision and, at times, collusion between an aggressive U.S. attorney in New York and some of the richest hedge fund billionaires in the country.” It’s all supposed to be fictional, but given Sorkin’s involvement, it seems a safe bet it’ll all be at least a little bit inspired by real events. »
- Josef Adalian
A month after it made decisions on its previous pilot slate, handing out series orders to drama The Affair and comedy Happyish, the pay cable network is back at it, greenlighting its first pilot for 2014, drama Billions. It was written on spec by journalist/author Andrew Ross Sorkin, whose book about the 2008 financial crisis Too Big To Fail was adapted by HBO Films, and by the feature writing duo of Brian Koppelman and David Levien (Ocean’s Thirteen). Billions will stay in the world of finance/politics/power chronicled in Too Big to Fail. It focuses on the collision and, at times, collusion between an aggressive U.S. attorney in New York and some of the richest hedge fund billionaires in the country. Koppelman, Levien, and Sorkin executive produce. They are repped by CAA and Karl Austen. In TV, Koppelman and Levien recently served as showrunners on HBO’s Rock »
- NELLIE ANDREEVA
Set in the world of wealth, this fictional drama focuses on the collision and, at times, collusion between an aggressive U.S. attorney in New York and some of the richest hedge fund billionaires in the country. All three will executive produce.
Sorkin, who wrote the best-selling book “Too Big to Fail,” is the co-anchor on CNBC’s Squawk Box and is the founder and editor-at-large of New York Times’ DealBook, will stay with the newspaper. The 2011 HBO Films adaptation of his book received 11 Emmy nominations, including one for outstanding miniseries or movie.
All are represented by CAA and Karl Austen of Jackoway, Tyerman, Wertheimer, Austen, Mandelbaum, Morris, & Klein. »
- Whitney Friedlander
Showtime has picked up its first drama pilot of the year. The premium cable network has ordered Billions, from Squawk Box's Andrew Ross Sorkin, Brian Koppelman and David Levien, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Billions is a fictional drama that focuses on the collision and, at times, collusion between an aggressive U.S. attorney in New York and some of the richest hedge fund billionaires in the country. Sorkin, Koppelman and Levien will all pen the script for the drama that is being produced in-house. Sorkin, the co-anchor of CNBC's morning show Squawk Box, penned the best-selling book
- Lesley Goldberg
Showtime has ordered its first pilot of the year, putting in an order for the drama “Billions” from New York Times columnist and co-anchor of CNBC's “Squawk Box,” Andrew Ross Sorkin, and “Ocean's Thirteen” writers Brian Koppelman and David Levien. Sorkin, Koppelman and Levien are writing the pilot as well as executive producing the project. See video: Showtime's ‘Penny Dreadful’ Trailer Is a Real Scream Billed as a “complex, contemporary drama,” the pilot is “a fictional drama that focuses on the collision and, at times, collusion between an aggressive U.S. attorney in New York and some of the richest hedge fund billionaires. »
- Tim Kenneally
Showtime has ordered "Billions," a new complex, contemporary drama pilot from a script by Andrew Ross Sorkin ( Too Big to Fail ), and Brian Koppelman and David Levien ( Ocean's 13 , Rounders ), who will also executive produce. "Billions" is a fictional drama that focuses on the collision and, at times, collusion between an aggressive U.S. attorney in New York and some of the richest hedge fund billionaires in the country. "Billions" marks the first pilot pick-up for Showtime this year. Andrew Ross Sorkin is an award-winning journalist and author. He is a columnist for The New York Times and co-anchor of "Squawk Box," CNBC's signature morning program. He wrote the best-selling book "Too Big to Fail: How Wall Street and Washington »
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