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ABC is developing Read Bottom Up, a comedy project from ABC Studios-based producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage of Fake Empire and Ben Karlin. I hear the network took the project — based on the novel by Neel Shah and Sloane Crosley about love in the digital age — off the table with a put pilot commitment. Read Bottom Up — referring to the way one follows an email or text chain — follows young New Yorkers Madeline and Elliot, who meet then embark on a relationship… »
In their first writing collaboration since creating Gossip Girl nine years ago, producing partners Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage are set to write and executive produce The Party, a drama project for ABC and ABC Studios. Like Gossip Girl, which was based on young-adult books, The Party is an adaptation of an existing property, a Brazilian TV format from Grupo Globo. I hear the network went after the project aggressively, taking if off the market with a pre-emptive… »
Last year, Universal announced that the studio had green lit a live-action feature film adaptation of the insanely popular Mattel Monster High toy doll series. The film is hotly anticipated and is expected to be Universal.s newest franchise sensation - joining the Jurassic Park, Fast & Furious, and Back To The Future series in the studio's vault - and they have been meticulously developing the project, due out next year. And it now finally has a director. Deadline reports that Ari Sandel, director of the Academy Award-winning short West Bank Story, will assume the helm of the film which Universal presumably hopes will help resuscitate interest in the classic Universal horror monsters like Frankenstein, Dracula, and Wolfman. It was previously announced that the producing team includes Josh Schwartz of Gossip Girls and The Carrie Diaries and Stephanie Savage of The O.C. and Endless Love - she wrote the script »
MGM and Paramount Pictures have pushed back the release of Timur Bekmambetov's "Ben-Hur" remake by nearly six months - from February 26th 2016 to an August 12th 2016 opening. Jack Huston stars in the film as the titular Jewish prince betrayed into slavery by Messala (Toby Kebbell).
The reasoning here seems to be financial - Paramount has had success in late Summer in recent years with both "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation" and the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" reboot, and the studio wants to exploit that along with utilising the upcoming Olympics as an advertising platform. [Source: Variety]
Fox Searchlight is reportedly developing a narrative feature remake of the recently released documentary "Meet The Patels". Geeta V. Patel and Ravi V. Patel will return to co-direct from their own script.
30-year-old Ravi starred as himself in the film, a first-generation Indian-American pressured by his parents to agree to an »
- Garth Franklin
The studio has been developing the project for some time with Neil Meron, Craig Zadan, Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage and their Fake Empire shingle. Alfred Gough and Miles Millar penned the script with Schwartz and Savage.
The female-skewing property focuses on the spawn of famous monsters, including Dracula, Frankenstein and the Wolfman (Draculaura, Frankie Stein and Clawdeen Wolf, respectively) undergoing the trials and tribulations of high school.
Mattel’s Playground Productions is executive producing.
From entertainment and publishing to video games and apparel, Monster High — a $1 billion franchise — is one of the biggest properties to launch in the last five years.
Schwartz and Savage have an overall deal with Universal Pictures »
- Justin Kroll
It's time to play another game of "What could have been?" on the casting couch. David Rapaport, the casting director for the CW, is the one who has been shepherding all of those Neutrogena-rich faces to your television for years, and he spoke with BuzzFeed about some of your favorite shows — including Gossip Girl, Arrow, and The Flash. For instance, casting the greatest show of our time came during the height of O.C. mania, and co-creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage told Rapaport that they were looking for "the next Mischa Barton and Adam Brody." Originally the network pitched Ashley Olsen and Rumer Willis for Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen, but Rapaport was firm on Blake Lively. “Blake Lively was literally the only person I could think of for Serena," said Rapaport, breathlessly (we imagine). The network's first note was that Lively looked "a sunny California girl »
- E. Alex Jung
Fans of “The O.C.” were welcomed back to the dark side for a one night trip down memory lane on Aug. 30, as Sucker Love Productions and Original Penguin presented “The Unauthorized O.C. Musical” to a sold-out house at the Montalban Theater in Hollywood. Lindsey Rosin and Jordan Ross — the team behind “The Unauthorized Musical Parody of Cruel Intentions” — were the brains behind the event.
Twelve years after the show premiered, “O.C.” creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage were on hand to revisit Newport Beach, along with original cast members Rachel Bilson (Summer Roberts), Melinda Clarke (Julie Cooper) and Kelly Rowan (Kirsten Cohen). Fellow alum Autumn Reeser (Taylor Townsend) participated in the musical, taking over Clarke’s role and subsequently earning some of the biggest cheers of the night from the assembled “O.C.” faithful.
@OCMusical @autumnreeser & @TheRealMsClarke – 2 Julie Coopers, sharing a hug, pre-show #TheOCMusical pic.twitter.com/FAyLEIpLbp
— Adam Gismondi (@AdamGismondi) August 31, 2015
- Laura Prudom
California, here we come! The original cast members of "The O.C." took a trip down memory lane on Sunday night in Los Angeles, during the first and only performance of “The Unauthorized O.C. Musical." Rachel Bilson, who played fan favorite Summer Roberts, posed for pictures with costar Autumn Reeser (Taylor Townsend) and the show's executive producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage at the special event. The "Hart of Dixie" star also shared her excitement before the show with a photo of Greer Grammer, who took over her role for the night. Townsend “I'm excited for this, even a tad bit jealous," she wrote on Instagram. The series' famous moms, Kelly Rowan (Kirsten Cohen) and Melinda Clarke (Julia Cooper), also made an appearance on the red carpet. Rowan tweeted a snapshot of the cast on stage, writing, "Here we go," as the show was about to kick off. The cast, »
- tooFab Staff
California here we come...right back where we started from! This was especially true for Rachel Bilson Sunday at the premiere of the unauthorized O.C. musical! The actress, who played Summer Roberts on beloved teen drama from 2003 to 2007, reunited with O.C. creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage and former co-star Autumn Reeser, who played Taylor Townsend from 2005 to 2007. The O.C.'s Melinda Clarke (Julie Cooper) and Kelly Rowan (Kirsten Cohen) came out to L.A.'s The Montalban to see the event as well! Bilson, whose O.C. character was portrayed by Greer Grammer in the unauthorized musical version, seemed to enjoy revisiting her Orange County roots. According to an eyewitness, the 34-year-old mother »
Rachel Bilson was all smiles when she stepped out for The Unauthorized O.C. Musical's one-night-only event at The Montalban in La, marking her first official appearance since giving birth. Looking casual, the actress posed for a cute picture with The O.C. actress Autumn Reeser, producer Stephanie Savage, and creator Josh Schwartz. Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christensen welcomed a baby girl, Briar Rose, in November. A couple weeks ago, she shared the first picture of their daughter - an adorable snap of Hayden blowing bubbles while the family sat on a blanket in the grass. Check out 48 reasons you love Rachel Bilson, and then see why fashion girls will forever miss The O.C. »
After a buzzed over premiere earlier this summer, creator Stephanie Savage’s period drama “Astronaut Wives Club,” about astronaut wives in the 1960s, touches down with its series finale at 8 p.m. Thursday. Looking back on the limited series that served as both a growing up moment for both the “Gossip Girl” co-creator and summer programming in general, Savage talked to Variety about writing female characters, Civil Rights and the state of the word “sudser.”
We’ve called this a “sudser” or a “summer series,” which makes the show seem so much lighter than what it really is. What do you think about that label? How do you think summer programming is changing?
In my mind, I don’t necessarily associate a summer show with lightness. In some regards, this show does fit this description in terms of there’s a lot of cute guys, it’s largely in Houston »
- Whitney Friedlander
Josh Schwartz, The O.C. creator and Gossip Girl producer, is developing a pilot for a new dramedy ... that's basically Ikea meets The Shining. Horrorstör is based on the cataloguelike novel of the same name by Grady Hendrix, and a collaboration between Schwartz, Charlie Kaufman, and producer Gail Berman. From Deadline:Written by Schwartz and Black List screenwriter Michael Vukadinovich, Horrorstör centers on 26-year-old Amy. Newly sober, she lands a job at Orsk, the U.S. Flagship of the European furniture superstore. It feels like just the opportunity she’s needed to get her life back on track, but as Amy comes to discover, the store actually preys upon its customers’ desires to a supernatural degree, selling products that make their wishes and fantasies come true in unexpected and insidious ways. In Hendrix's novel, "supernatural mayhem" ensues when employees become trapped in Orsk overnight. Schwartz, Kaufman, Berman, and Stephanie Savage (his Gossip Girl »
- Lauren Leibowitz
Nate and Chuck are still BFFs! Former "Gossip Girl" stars Chace Crawford and Ed Westwick were spotted in West Hollywood on Saturday night, as Chace celebrated his 30th birthday with a dinner and roast at The London Hotel. The event -- which was presented by Freixenet Spanish Cava and River Virtual Reality -- reunited the on and off-screen buddies for what we're told was a night of "food, cocktails, laughter and dancing." Westwick, brother-in-law Tony Romo and good friend Ashley Fink all roasted the actor during the dinner, all cracking jokes about the birthday boy. Other celeb attendees at the bash included Jc Chasez, "Orange Is the New Black" star Matt McGorry, fellow "Gg" alum Jessica Szohr, Zelda Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Kevin Zegers, Lucas Grabeel and "Gossip Girl" creators Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz. A video message was also shown during the evening, with messages sent in from Taylor Kitsch »
- tooFab Staff
Houston, we may have a problem.
The Mercury wives and their families relocate to Texas in tonight’s episode of The Astronaut Wives Club (ABC, 8/7c), a move that coincides with two potentially catastrophic events: the Cuban Missile Crisis and the arrival of the wives of the Gemini astronauts.
Betty? Jo? Put another casserole in the oven, because it’s time to circle the (station) wagons.
Video Exclusive Mistresses Sneak Peek: Karen’s Steamy Three-Way Daydream!
“Once the Mercury wives have figured out some of their s—t, they’ve worked out their stuff with each other, here come the Gemini wives, »
First rule of The Astronaut Wives Club: Don’t talk about the crushing fear and loneliness you know as the spouse of one of America’s first space cowboys.
Second rule of The Astronaut Wives Club: When in doubt, don pearls and a little lipstick.
ABC’s 10-episode period drama, which premiered Thursday (8/7c), centers on the spouses of the Mercury Program astronauts and their part in the late ’50s/early ’60s scramble to put a man in space. Written by Stephanie Savage (Gossip Girl) and based on the book by Lily Koppel, the premiere focuses on the proper-to-a-fault, »
Too little too late, but ABC has finally found the perfect companion piece for "Pan Am." A bright-and-glossy dose of '60s nostalgia mixed with easily digestible proto-feminism, ABC's "Astronaut Wives Club" premieres on Thursday (June 18) night, more than three years after "Pan Am" was cancelled and I suspect they're likely to be remembered in the same way: Period dramas with high production values, a fantastic cast that ABC will look back at yearningly and unrealized creative potential obscuring otherwise solid storytelling. Is there a hypothetical TV series about the wives of the Mercury astronauts that's more than a slightly superficial, slightly choppy and slightly misfocused showcase for fine performances and some snazzy retro-style? Absolutely, but there's still some virtue to this sort of watchable, somewhat nourishing summer entertainment, even in a landscape that's overflowing with summer viewing options. Thursday's exposition-heavy premiere episode begins in 1961 with Louise Shepard (Dominique McElligott »
- Daniel Fienberg
One giant leap for womankind! We're already over the moon for The Astronaut Wives Club, a period show about women in the early 1960s whose husbands boldly go where no men have gone before. The Stephanie Savage-produced ABC drama follows a band of unlikely friends who come together when their men are recruited by Nasa. Believe Us: There's just as much drama as there is killer fashion, and it's all thanks to headstrong characters such as tomboy Trudy Cooper (Odette Annable) and leader of the gang Louise [...] »
It’s easy to dismiss ABC’s “The Astronaut Wives Club” as just another sudser, but the limited series based on Lily Koppel’s chronicles of the Mercury Seven astronauts’ wives has more lurking in its atmosphere. Ahead of its premiere, creator Stephanie Savage (“Gossip Girl,” “Hart of Dixie,” “The O.C.”) talks to Variety about how her show differs from the similarly set “Mad Men,” how it’s made her grow beyond her teen-skewing roots and how a race to put the series on the air last year would have resulted in a crash and burn.
“The Astronaut Wives Club” premieres at 8 p.m. June 18 on ABC.
Why did you decide to do a period story?
I love the period [of the 1960s]. I’m thrilled that I’m able to tell a story set in that time period for a broadcast network. Just for myself personally, I love the fashion and the music and the design. »
- Whitney Friedlander
What makes a great summer series? Something flashy, breezy, easy to Dv-r and binge at a later date, perhaps. Beach reading, but on your TV. In fact, it really deserves a separate scale. The epitome of a great summer show may be Fox’s The O.C., which ran in the mid-aughts, and came (in part) from Stephanie Savage. Savage also has developed ABC’s new drama The Astronaut Wives Club, and with it, another well-suited summer show (though one that's still looking to ignite). The series, based on a book by Lily Koppel, details the home lives of the Mercury 7, a true-to-life group of men (including John Glenn, played here by Sam Reid) who were chosen by Nasa for their fledgling space program in the early 1960s. The families were also heavily managed for appearances, with deals made with press outlets like Life magazine to convince the American public that »
- Allison Keene
More than 30 years after “The Right Stuff,” Philip Kaufman’s 1983 movie based on Tom Wolfe’s tome devoted to the Mercury 7 space program, “The Astronaut Wives Club” seems like inordinately fertile material for a primetime soap. Essentially a slow-motion version of the film, the main wrinkle in the ABC series — culled from Lily Koppel’s book — is viewing the story from the perspective of the women behind the men, who instantly became celebrities, with all the distractions that entails. While it’s not clear how long the producers can keep the concept aloft, the opening episodes certainly make for a splashy entry.
Written by Stephanie Savage and directed by Lone Scherfig, the premiere opens with the shrewd framing device of Alan Shepherd’s 1961 space flight, flashing back two years to when the program began. As part of a scheme envisioned by what amounts to Nasa’s perpetually apoplectic PR guru »
- Brian Lowry
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