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Hollywood New Leaders: Agents and Managers

Hollywood New Leaders: Agents and Managers
Each year Variety’s New Leaders feature profiles the most prominent up-and-comers in the entertainment business. To determine this year’s worthies, Variety looked for go-getters across disciplines, from television, digital, music and film, to law and finance, as well as content creators. They were proposed by their bosses and peers who have worked with them and seen their rise. All are age 40 or under, and Variety has measured them by the progress of their career trajectories: do they take calculated risks? How fast have they risen in their companies? Are they innovative and employ solutions to problems that are creative? While it’s hard to pinpoint the “it” factor, these folks embody that intangible. The people on the list have helped build the brilliant careers of their clients, shepherded hit television shows and successful movies, created small-screen series, films and animated shows, launched digital platforms, fostered hit music, counseled top dealmakers and financed them, and are some
See full article at Variety - Film News »

How Amy Poehler and Veep's Matt Walsh Started an Improv Empire — and Are Bringing It to Carnegie Hall

One of the biggest weekends in comedy got started in 1998 with a simple premise: Honor the complicated guru that championed a new art form and taught the improvisers who would become some of comedy’s biggest names in years to come.

Now, 19 years later, the Del Close Marathon (a three-day event with a weekend full of straight improv) has become one of the best places to catch stars like Amy Poehler and Veep‘s Matt Walsh back in the place they started — sweaty improv theaters.

Del Close was the improv guru in Chicago that trained all of us that started the Ucb,
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

‘Younger,’ ‘Teachers’ Renewed by TV Land

TV Land has renewed original series “Younger” and “Teachers” for additional seasons.

The order for a 12-episode fifth season of “Younger” comes just ahead of the half-hour series’ June 28 season-four premiere. Half-hour comedy “Teachers,” which will return in the fall for the second half of season two, received a 20-episode order for a third season.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to be bringing back ‘Younger’ and ‘Teachers’ for more seasons and double down on our dedication to creating smart, funny, honest and compelling originals,” said Frank Tanki, TV Land general manager.

The renewals keep the two original series on TV Land at a time when corporate parent Viacom has begun to shift resources away from its second-tier channels and to core brands such as MTV, Comedy Central, and the yet-to-launch Paramount Network. In March, two series that had been in development at TV Land, “Heathers” and “American Woman,” moved to Paramount Network.

See full article at Variety - TV News »

‘Drunk History’: How Lin-Manuel Miranda Got Hammered In The Name Of Culture – Contenders Emmys

"Some of the best ideas come out of having a couple of drinks," says Drunk History's Derek Waters. Devised by Waters and Jeremy Konner, the idea was born in a Los Angeles comedy club. "It was a show we did at the Upright Citizens Brigade back in 2007," Waters told the Comedy Central panel at Deadline's The Contenders Emmys event Sunday. "We thought it would be funny to get someone drunk, that knows a lot about history, then have someone lip-synch to it. Because history is…
See full article at Deadline TV »

‘Teachers’: Why Six Bold Women Named Katie Aren’t Afraid to Get Ugly for Great Comedy

  • Indiewire
‘Teachers’: Why Six Bold Women Named Katie Aren’t Afraid to Get Ugly for Great Comedy
If you’re wondering what the future of women in comedy might look like, consider Caitlin Barlow’s armpits. “We’re painting my armpit hair on for this episode,” she said to IndieWire. “I grew it out for a week, but it wasn’t dark enough.”

That’s just one example of the sort of creative choice made regularly in the course of making “Teachers,” the bold, profane and hilarious comedy created by sketch comedy group the Katydids and executive produced by Ian Roberts and Jay Martel (“Key and Peele”). Having just wrapped the first half of its second season, the TV Land series features Katydids members Barlow, Katy Colloton, Cate Freedman, Kate Lambert, Katie O’Brien and Kathryn Renee Thomas as an eclectic group of educators who work at an elementary school, doing their best not to warp young minds with their outrageous behavior.

Read More: ‘Baroness Von Sketch Show
See full article at Indiewire »

David Phillips, ‘The Basketball Diaries’ Cinematographer, Dies at 60

David Phillips, ‘The Basketball Diaries’ Cinematographer, Dies at 60
Cinematographer David Phillips, who served as the Dp on Leonardo DiCaprio’s 1995 film “The Basketball Diaries,” died Feb. 4 of natural causes in New York City, his family announced. He was 60.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in English from Boston University, Phillips spent his early years working on music videos including New Kids on the Block’s “Step by Step” and Cyndi Lauper’s “I Drove All Night.” He also shot several music documentaries, such as “Midnight Oil: Black Rain Falls” and “Cyndi Lauper: 12 Deadly Cyns… and Then Some.”

Phillips is additionally credited with filming Mark Wahlberg’s popular 1993 workout video “Form… Focus… Fitness, the Marky Mark Workout.”

His first major film was also DiCaprio’s first lead role: “The Basketball Diaries.” The adaptation of Jim Carroll’s autobiographical memoir, directed by Scott Kalvert, also starred a young Wahlberg.

He worked on both the 1996 HBO series “The High Life
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Finalists Announced for Atx-Black List Second Annual TV Writing Program

Finalists Announced for Atx-Black List Second Annual TV Writing Program
Finalists have been announced for the second annual television writing program from the Atx Television Festival and The Black List, Variety has learned.

The scribes will now move on to the second round of Atx’s Pitch Competition and will have the chance to pitch their ideas live at this year’s festival on June 8-11 in Austin, Texas.

The script competition program, which is designed to find TV writers for staffing consideration across networks, studios and production companies, was launched last year.

“We know that writers and showrunners are at the heart of smart, impactful, and entertaining television, which is why we support their work not only through the festival and year-round programming, but also with strategic partners like The Black List,” said Caitlin McFarland and Emily Gipson, co-founders and executive directors, Atx Television Festival. “Our goal is for writers to continue to benefit from our partnership with The Black List, along
See full article at Variety - TV News »

‘Mr. Neighbor’s House’: A Peek Inside Adult Swim’s David Lynch-esque Children’s Show

  • Indiewire
Brian Huskey looks like the unassuming everyman. But that’s where his comedy lies.

Huskey, an original member of the Upright Citizens Brigade, has made a name for himself by playing average-looking guys with a dark core. That successful formula is on full display in “Mr. Neighbor’s House,” a twisted take on a children’s TV host that premieres Friday night on Adult Swim.

“I’ve always been fascinated by human struggle and insanity,” Huskey told IndieWire. “I’ve always found really dark stuff to be funny. I think a lot of comedians do. I realize for myself, because I do get cast in a lot of ‘everyman’ roles, it’s almost a source of pride for me to say, ‘I look like this, but I can do this.’ And this is what I get excited to express myself, through a darker explosion.”

Huskey is also a regular on TBS’ “People of Earth,
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Dirty 30’ Star Mamrie Hart Is The Secret Weapon Of YouTube’s Holy Trinity

‘Dirty 30’ Star Mamrie Hart Is The Secret Weapon Of YouTube’s Holy Trinity
When aspiring actress Mamrie Hart started her YouTube show “You Deserve a Drink” in 2011, she had no idea she would be making her first feature film just three years later. Back then, Hart’s friend Grace Helbig had a bit of a following on her own channel, and she decided to give it a whirl. One million subscribers later, and Hart found herself a bona fide YouTube star. Cue feature film deal.

Hart previously penned the script for 2014’s “Camp Takota,” also starring Helbig and “My Drunk Kitchen” creator Hannah Hart (no relation). According to industry insiders, “Camp Takota” saw big returns for producer Michael Goldfine, though exact numbers are unknown. Naturally, the trio fans have dubbed “The Holy Trinity” made a follow-up.

Read More: ‘Dirty 30’ Q&A: Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart and Mamrie Hart Share Set Secrets (Watch)

Dirty 30,” a party movie in the vein of “Can’t Hardly Wait,
See full article at Indiewire »

ABC Buys Comedy Based On ‘Twinsters’ Documentary From David Caspe

ABC has put in development single-camera comedy Twinsters, from Funny or Die and Upright Citizens Brigade’s Juliet Seniff, Marry Me and Happy Endings creator David Caspe and Davis Entertainment (The Blacklist, Timeless, Dr. Ken). Written and co-executive produced by Seniff with Caspe overseeing, Twinsters is based on the 2015 documentary of the same name. It tells the story of identical twins separated at birth, adopted on two different continents and raised completely…
See full article at Deadline TV »

2016 Emmy Predictions: Outstanding Variety Sketch Series

2016 Emmy Predictions: Outstanding Variety Sketch Series
Quick Hits

Last Year’s Winner: “Inside Amy Schumer” Was It an Upset? No. Still Eligible? Yes. Hot Streak: “SNL” has been nominated for Outstanding Variety Series nine years in a row. Previously, it was nominated for four straight years between 2001 and 2004, but it hasn’t won the category since 1993. Fun Fact: This is only the second year of this category’s existence. Previously, all variety series — sketch and talk — competed against each other.

Read More: Saying Goodbye to ‘Key & Peele,’ With Executive Producers Ian Roberts and Jay Martel

Inside Amy Schumer” took home the trophy last year, making it the defending champ of the Variety Sketch category. But that was the year of Schumer, where the show really took off as “Trainwreck” dominated the box office. Can she keep things rolling in the new year without a hit film promoting her (extremely great) Comedy Central series?

Perhaps, but a
See full article at Indiewire »

Seeso Renews ‘The Ucb Show’, Acquires Documentary ‘Thank You Del’

Seeso has renewed its popular original series The Ucb Show from Upright Citizens Brigade founders Amy Poehler, Matt Walsh, Ian Roberts and Matt Besser. Season 2 begins shooting today at the 18th Annual Del Close Improv Comedy Marathon in NYC. The Ucb Show is a weekly variety showcase for the best sketch, characters and stand-up homegrown at the Ucb Theatres in L.A. and NYC. Besser, Poehler, Roberts, and Walsh executive produce with Bart Coleman and Lou Wallach. In…
See full article at Deadline TV »

Amy Poehler’s Upright Citizens Brigade Signs First-Look Deal with Universal Cable

  • The Wrap
Amy Poehler’s Upright Citizens Brigade Signs First-Look Deal with Universal Cable
The comedy troupe made famous by Amy Poehler is getting a studio deal. Upright Citizens Brigade, the sketch and improv group owned by Poehler along with Matt Besser, Ian Roberts and Matt Walsh, has signed a first-look agreement with Universal Cable Productions, the studio behind “Mr. Robot” on USA and “12 Monkeys” on Syfy. The deal is the studio’s first with a live theater group. Also Read: 'Veep' Star Matt Walsh Launches Indiegogo Campaign for Post-Production on 'A Better You' (Video) Projects under development include “We Can Fix You,” a parody of pop-psychology gurus, as well
See full article at The Wrap »

Upright Citizens Brigade Signs Deal With Universal Cable Productions

Universal Cable Productions has signed the Upright Citizens Brigade to a first-look production deal. The agreement is the first such for the comedy troupe founded by in 1990 by Amy Poehler, Matt Besser, Ian Roberts and Matt Walsh. Universal Cable Productions will assist Ucb in developing scripted programming for NBCUniversal’s cable networks as well as other outlets.

“Ucb is comprised of a group of amazingly talented people who are fearless when it comes to taking comedic risks,” said Dawn Olmstead, executive vice president, development at Universal Cable Productions. “This partnership is a perfect fit for the studio because it allows us to incubate fresh ideas and make our mark in the comedy space by tapping into Ucb’s unique point of view. We’re thrilled to be working with them.”

“This collaboration with Universal Cable Productions provides us with the resources to execute ideas and cultivate new audiences across platforms,” said
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Upright Citizens Brigade Inks First-Look Deal With Ucp, Sets 5 Comedy Projects

Universal Cable Productions is making a push into comedy, signing a first-look deal with improv and sketch comedy troupe Upright Citizens Brigade. Under the deal, the group, led by co-founders Matt Besser, Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts and Matt Walsh, will develop scripted programming for NBCUniversal's portfolio of cable networks as well as external networks and streaming services. Under the pact, the two companies already are working on five series projects, We Can Fix You…
See full article at Deadline TV »

How Paul Rust, Gillian Jacobs & Claudia O’Doherty Fell In ‘Love’ – Emmys

Since first arriving in Los Angeles from his home state of Iowa, Love co-creator Paul Rust has arguably been an overnight success. He was one of the first Los Angeles alums out of the Upright Citizens Brigade’s Hollywood outpost after they opened in 2005. There, along with his writing partner Neil Campbell, they developed a reputation for churning out vaudevillian-gross out sketches, in both the late-night stage show Not Too Shabby and with their sketch group A Kiss From…
See full article at Deadline TV »

SXSW Film Review: ‘Thank You, Del: The Story of the Del Close Marathon’

SXSW Film Review: ‘Thank You, Del: The Story of the Del Close Marathon’
“Thank You, Del” exalts the continuing legacy of Del Close, the late actor, writer and teacher whose coaching of numerous future stars (including multiple “Saturday Night Live” generations) and popularizing of improv techniques indelibly shaped modern comedy. Todd Bieber’s documentary doesn’t offer in-depth biographical treatment, or even much insight into improvisation itself, preferring instead to dwell on some celebrity personal reminiscences and the torch-carrying annual Del Close Marathon hosted by acolytes the Upright Citizens Brigade. The result isn’t all that enlightening, but provides a fun watch with comedy luminaries like Amy Poehler and as-yet-unknown talents demonstrating their love for the performance idiom on stage and off. Cable broadcast is the pic’s natural destination.

Close, who died in 1999 at age 64, worked in various New York stage settings (including with Mike Nichols and Elaine May) before joining San Francisco’s influential sketch comedy troupe the Committee in the late 1960s.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Teachers: Season Two Renewal for TV Land Comedy

How do you like them apples? TV Land has ordered a second season of the Teachers TV series. The show is written by and stars The Katydids, who wrote and acted in the Teachers web series.

The cast of Teachers includes: Caitlin Barlow, Katy Colloton, Cate Freedman, Kate Lambert, Katie O'Brien and Kathryn Renée Thomas. Along with The Katydids, Alison Brie and showrunners Ian Roberts and Jay Martel executive produce the series. Matt Miller and Cap Gun Collective are also executive producers.​

Read More…
See full article at TVSeriesFinale »

NBCU’s Seeso Teams With Nytvf to Award Comedy Series Development Deal

NBCU’s Seeso Teams With Nytvf to Award Comedy Series Development Deal
The New York Television Festival Festival has added NBCUniversal’s Seeso comedy streaming service to its lineup of partners seeking fresh and funny indie talent.

Seeso, the Peacock’s $4-per-month ad-free channel that launched publicly last month, has teamed with the Nytvf to offer the Seeso Comedy Award: an opportunity for independent TV creators to develop a series for the subscription service. The pact marks the first time the Nytvf has partnered with an over-the-top service to develop original content.

“Our goal is to not only get things piloted, but ordered to series,” Nytvf founder and executive director Terence Gray said.

Seeso joins previously announced Nytvf partners Bento Box Entertainment, Comedy Central, IFC and truTV, which also will offer development opportunities to comedy creators this year. Additionally, the Nytvf extended its long-term partnership with Montreal-based comedy festival producer Just For Laughs to solicit TV comedy submissions.

“It’s thrilling that
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Writers Guild Of America awards nominees revealed

The 2016 Writers Guild of America awards winners have been announced. In the original screenplay category Steven Spielberg’s Bridge Of Spies will be going up against the likes of Sicario, Spotlight, Straight Outta Compton and Trainwreck, while the adapted screenplay sees The Big Short compete against Carol, The Martian, Steve Jobs and Trumbo.

The awards also take in documentary material, and television productions. You can see the rest of the nominations below.

Screenplay Nominations

Original Screenplay

Bridge of Spies, Written by Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen; DreamWorks Pictures

Sicario, Written by Taylor Sheridan; Lionsgate

Spotlight, Written by Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy; Open Road Films

Straight Outta Compton, Screenplay by Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff; Story by S. Leigh Savidge & Alan Wenkus and Andrea Berloff; Universal Pictures

Trainwreck, Written by Amy Schumer; Universal Pictures

Adapted Screenplay

The Big Short, Screenplay by Charles Randolph and Adam McKay; Based on the
See full article at The Hollywood News »
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