10 items from 2017
Gladiators were shocked to learn last week that “Scandal” is ending after its seventh season, which will wrap up in 2018.
ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey confirmed on Tuesday that Kerry Washington’s hit ABC drama will in fact come to a close after its seventh season, following last week’s reports of the series’ ending.
On press call with reporters, including Variety, on Tuesday morning, Dungey said the specific number of episodes for the final season are still being worked out. She noted that “Scandal” creator Shonda Rhimes made the decision to end the series after Season 7.
“I’ve had conversation with Shonda for a while, she had a sense of how she wanted the story to end,” Dungey said. “I always prefer to end a show where you’re feeling creatively on top.” The executive added that “Scandal’s” loyal fans “are going to want the story to end in the way that Shonda wanted it »
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
ABC has officially jumped into its pickups for the 2017-2018 television season, greenlighting six new series, Variety has learned.
The network has ordered Shondaland legal drama “For the People,” action drama “The Crossing,” Freddie Highmore’s “The Good Doctor,” the lighthearted hourlong series “The Gospel of Kevin,” buzzy comedy “The Mayor,” plus a sitcom from Zach Braff.
“For the People” hails from “Scandal” writer Paul Davies. This latest Shondaland drama follows brand-new lawyers working for both the defense and the prosecution, handling the most high-profile and high-stakes federal cases in the country — all as their lives intersect in and out of the courtroom.
Britne Oldford stars with Lyndon Smith, Ben Rappaport, Susannah Flood, Wesam Keesh, Regé-Jean Page, Ben Shenkman, Hope Davis, Vondie Curtis-Hall, and Anna Deavere Smith. Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers will executive produce with Davies. Shondaland multi-hyphenate Tom Verica directed the pilot. ABC Studios is producing.
The drama has been high up on ABC’s »
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
Regé-Jean Page explains a primary goal of his acting career quite succinctly: being able to represent people as respectfully as possible. When he gained the opportunity to play the role of Chicken George in the limited series “Roots” last year, Page immediately knew that this was the perfect platform on which to manifest this ambition.
“I think that ‘Roots’ represents people that are historically underrepresented and misrepresented, and I was honored to be able to have a chance to contribute something very positive to the world with what I do,” Page told Variety. “It’s always nice when your job can provide something that people value. Sometimes, it’s not just entertainment — it’s not just getting on the stage smiling and dancing — you’ve got to put some nutrients out there too, and that’s hugely rewarding.”
- Sarah Ahern
Cannes — More than anything else, the Disney Media Distribution showcase at the first MipTV Pre-l.A Screenings gave a tantalizing glimpse of mouth-watering series, though often no more, while suggested some bases of Hollywood’s studios’ continuing dominance of international TV markets, at least in the pay-tv and often Svod arena.
Those factors cut various ways: Behemoth IPs, talent relations, and an increasing willingness to ring distribution options.
All were on display on Tuesday morning at MipTV, where Mark Endemaño, Disney Media Distribution Svp & general manager, Emea – speaking with the ease of a man who knew he had something good on offer – unveiled current state of play on six shows Disney will be talking up with further details at the L.A. Screenings.
The six series form part of 20 comedies and drama pilots, including Disney’s Freeform shows with ABC, which Disney has at various stages of production, Endemaño said. The »
- John Hopewell
Parenthood alumna Lyndon Smith has been cast as a lead in ABC's untitled legal drama pilot from Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers' Shondaland and ABC Studios. Also cast in the pilot, written by Written by Paul William Davies and directed by Tom Verica, is Ben Shenkman (Royal Pains). The legal drama, set in the Southern District of New York (Sdny) Federal Court, aka "The Mother Court," follows six brand-new lawyers working for both the defense and the prosecution as they… »
Hope Davis (Allegiance), Vondie Curtis-Hall (Chicago Hope) and Regé-Jean Page (Roots) have joined the series-regular cast of ABC's untitled legal drama pilot from Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers' Shondaland and ABC Studios. Written by Scandal's Paul William Davies and directed by Tom Verica, the legal drama, set in the Southern District of New York (Sdny) Federal Court, aka "The Mother Court," follows brand-new lawyers working for both the defense and the prosecution as… »
Susannah Flood (Chicago Fire) has joined the series regular cast of ABC’s untitled Shondaland legal drama pilot, written by Scandal‘s Paul William Davies and directed by Tom Verica. Set in the Southern District of New York (Sdny) Federal Court, aka "The Mother Court," the legal drama follows brand new lawyers working for both the defense and the prosecution as they handle the most high profile and high stakes cases in the country – all as their personal lives intersect… »
Britne Oldford (Syfy’s Hunters), Ben Rappaport (The Good Wife) and veteran Anna Deavere Smith (Nurse Jackie) are set to star in an ABC legal drama pilot from Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers' Shondaland and ABC Studios. The project, written by Paul William Davies and directed by Tom Verica. Set in the Southern District of New York (Sdny) Federal Court, aka "The Mother Court," it follows brand-new lawyers working for both the defense and the prosecution as they handle the… »
Verica is a familiar face to Shondaland, both on and off the screen.
The multi-hyphenate is known to viewers for playing Viola Davis’ on-screen husband, Sam Keating, on “How to Get Away With Murder.” Aside from acting, Verica is well-versed in both directing and producing. He has helmed numerous episodes of Shondaland’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Private Practice,” and a whopping 21 episodes of “Scandal,” on which he’s served as an executive producer. He also starred on “American Dreams” and directed episodes of the series.
The untitled legal drama is set in the Southern District of New York Federal Court, better known as “The Mother Court,” and follows brand new lawyers working on opposite sides — both defense and the prosecution — as they handle the most high-profile and high-stakes cases in the »
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
This week ABC dropped a nice surprise for Scandal fans in the form of a new web series that bridges season five and the twice-delayed (first by star Kerry Washington’s pregnancy, then by Trump’s inauguration) season six, which finally begins on January 26. Currently streaming on ABC’s website and app, Gladiator Wanted is the exceptionally entertaining brainchild of Scandal costar Darby Stanchfield, who created the web series and occupies the director’s chair for all six episodes. Scandal has long been one of the most dynamically directed shows on network television, boasting exceptional work by Ava DuVernay, Tom Verica, Jessica Yu, […] »
- Jim Hemphill
10 items from 2017
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