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Global Showbiz Briefs: Denise O’Donoghue Exiting ITV Studios; BBC Three’s Zai Bennett Joining Sky Atlantic

2 hours ago

Denise O’Donoghue Exiting As ITV Studios Managing Director Denise O’Donoghue, a veteran television exec and four-year Managing Director of ITV Studios, is leaving the UK-based producer. She will exit at the end of the year with a successor yet to be named, though she will remain a member of the board. ITV Studios is the largest commercial production company in the UK, with titles including Mr Selfridge, Agatha Christie’s Poirot, Breathless and the upcoming Thunderbirds Are Go! The production arm of ITV is one of the biggest growth areas for the group, which has been busy making acquisitions in the UK and U.S. “A key part of our strategy is to build a strong international content business, creating more of our own programs which are successful here in the UK and internationally,” ITV Studios Managing Director Kevin Lygo said. “Denise has played a crucial role in »

- NANCY TARTAGLIONE, International Editor

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FX Pulling Out Of Late-Night For Now; John Landgraf On Strategy & Chelsea Handler

4 hours ago

At FX‘s upfront presentation last spring, Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell was a central piece as the late-night show was envisioned as a potential cornerstone for the new comedy-centric network Fxx. But, facing stiff competition from broadcast and cable, the Chris Rock-produced show didn’t transition well to the new network after its solid original run on FX, leading to its cancellation. That followed the demise of FX’s other late-night effort, Brand X With Russell Brand. At FX’s upfront presentation last week, there was no mention of late-night. Instead, FX Networks CEO John Landgraf said announced that FX and Fxx will be doubling their primetime original output from 11 to 20 series during the next year. That involves the relocation of resources to primetime as the network is retreating from late-night, at least for the foreseeable future. “There is less interest in late-night, and that is in »

- NELLIE ANDREEVA

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MTV Movie Awards Down Double Digits In Viewers & Demo From 2013

5 hours ago

About 2.8 million people tuned in to Sunday’s Conan O’Brien-hosted MTV Movie Awards, a million fewer viewers (-27%) than last year’s show. The 2013 trophy show clocked 3.8 million total viewers — up compared to previous year’s 3.2 million even though big winner Jennifer Lawrence didn’t show up, and Parks And Recreation’s Aubrey Plaza got thrown out. Those who watched Sunday’s fan-voted awards saw The Hunger Games: Catching Fire cop movie of the year, Mila Kunis hide her baby bump, Zac Efron lose his shirt and Mark Wahlberg score the MTV Generation Award — or, as he called it, the You’re Too Old To Come Back Award — and Eminem and Rihanna doing the TV debut of their hit “The Monster.” Related: Oscar, Schmoscar: MTV Votes ‘Catching Fire’ Best Movie Sunday’s show also was down by double digits in the network’s core 12-34 demographic, pulling a 2.6 compared »

- LISA DE MORAES, TV Columnist

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Sports Comedy ‘Blue Mountain State’ Seeking Movie Resurrection Via Kickstarter Crowdfunding Campaign

6 hours ago

Spike comedy series Blue Mountain State was cancelled in 2012 after three seasons, but a second life on Netflix and Hulu reinvigorated fan interest. Now the show’s creators are hoping to channel that demand into a big-screen film continuation with a Kickstarter campaign launched today. “We’ve seen fan activity on social media since the show ended and went on to Netflix, and we’ve seen the audience continue to grow through that platform,” said Alan Ritchson (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), who played high-strung All-American linebacker Thad Castle on the show and is aboard to produce the film project with co-creators Chris Romano and Eric Falconer. “When they find it on Netflix, they also find out it’s no longer airing on Spike or being made. A lot of them are asking for another season. We didn’t get our senior year and we want to do that. »

- JEN YAMATO

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Global Showbiz Watch 34: The Cannes Preview Podcast

6 hours ago

In this week’s podcast, Deadline International Editor Nancy Tartaglione and host David Bloom do the Cannes can, previewing this week’s announcements in Paris of the lineup for the Cannes Film Festival, including likely entries from usual suspects such as Atom Egoyan and DreamWorks Animation and less likely prospects for slow-to-arrive new projects from Terrence Malick and Paul Thomas Anderson. Nancy and David also wrap up news out of last week’s Mip-tv market in Cannes, led by Keshet’s fast-selling reality formats and two hot programs out of Turkey. They finish up with their weekly peek at news and trends in the international box office, dominated abroad and in the United States by the debut of Rio 2 and the continued strength of fellow sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Meanwhile, Noah continues to sail along with another strong week. Global Showbiz Watch podcast 34 (.MP3 version) Global Showbiz »

- NANCY TARTAGLIONE, International Editor

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Hot TV Trailer: Wgn America’s ‘Salem’

7 hours ago

“Precious Salem — caught up in the stinking witch panic.” Indeed. Here’s the loud and violent two-minute trailer for Wgn America‘s first scripted series. The producers took some flak over the fuzzy math in its reinterpretation of the actual events of 1692, but what Salem imagines is simply this: The witches were real. And they were in charge. The series from Fox21 and creators Brannon Braga and Adam Simon premieres at 10 Pm Sunday. Have a look — if you dare (evil laughter): »

- THE DEADLINE TEAM

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TV Land Gives Cast-Contingent Pilot Order To Comedy About Con Man Pretending To Be Gay Pastor

8 hours ago

Exclusive: On the heels of picking up single-camera pilots Jennifer Falls and Younger to series, TV Land is adding another single-camera project to its pilot slate. The cable network has given a cast-contingent pilot order to Impastor, from veteran comedy writer Christopher Vane (Brickleberry). It centers on a low-life on the run from his debts who hides away in a small town by conning them into thinking he’s their newly hired gay pastor. ICM Partners-repped Vane wrote the script and is executive producing alongside Eric and Kim Tannenbaum who exec produce through their CBS TV Studios-based Tannenbaum Co. Related: 2014 TV Land Pilots »

- NELLIE ANDREEVA

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Jake Busey Joins History’s ‘Texas Rising’; Keegan Allen In ‘Final Exam’

10 hours ago

Jake Busey has been cast in History’s miniseries Texas Rising (working title) from A+E Studios and ITV Studios America. Leslie Greif (Hatfields & McCoys) is exec producing the project, which will detail the Texas Revolution against Mexico and the rise of the legendary Texas Rangers. Busey will play the older brother of “Big Foot Wallace”, Samuel Wallace, who recites the legendary admonition “Remember the Alamo.” Busey, repped by TalentWorks and manager Steven Jensen, also can be seen in Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn on El Rey Network. Pretty Little LiarsKeegan Allen has joined the cast of Final Exam, a new TV movie produced by Chesler/Perlmutter Productions for A&E sibling Lmn. It centers on Megan Harris (Shenae Grimes), who can’t stop dreaming about a night that never happened. It involves a rowdy party, her sorority sisters and a hazing ritual that ended in the death of an innocent girl. »

- THE DEADLINE TEAM

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NBC Sets May Date For Maya Rudolph Variety Show Pilot Broadcast

10 hours ago

NBC set a date for its Maya Rudolph variety special/pilot. Revisiting the variety-show format, The Maya Rudolph Show special will air at 10 Pm Monday, May 19. Andy Samberg, Kristen Bell, Fred Armisen, Chris Parnell, Craig Robinson, Sean Hayes and Janelle Monae will appear; Raphael Saadiq serves as bandleader. Rudolph, David Javerbaum, Erin David and Dave Becky will produce, with Lorne Michaels serving as executive producer. When the NBC comedy series Up All Night — in which Rudolph co-starred with Christina Applegate and Will Arnett, did not go forward with the planned multi-camera revamp in February — Rudolph informed studios and networks that she wanted to do a variety show. NBC was among several suitors that began pursuing the project, leading to the pilot order. This marks the latest collaboration between Rudolph and Michaels, who also produced Up All Night. Rudolph, daughter of the late soul singer Minnie Riperton, was one of SNL »

- THE DEADLINE TEAM

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Update: Yahoo Stock Rises After Hours Following Q1 Sales Gains

10 hours ago

Update, 3:15 Pm: Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was bullish on the sales gains and talked up the company’s results in four key investment businesses: mobile, video, native and social, with 98% ad growth year over year. (Mayer said mobile was the most important of those pillars, by the way.) Alibaba, meanwhile, remained a hot topic after the Chinese e-commerce company reported 66% sales growth — a major catalyst on the sales side but still a bit of a mystery to U.S. investors who will get more of a peek under the hood once it starts trading on the NYSE. An institutional investor asked what Yahoo expects to do with the potential $12B windfall from an Alibaba Ipo, and Mayer answered that the company would remain a “good steward of our capital.” No word on further original content deals, other than Mayer saying expect more of the same mix of deals between tuck-in and outright acquisitions. »

- THE DEADLINE TEAM

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Updated: Stephen Colbert To Visit David Letterman’s Show Next Week (Video)

11 hours ago

Updated Throughout: CBS just announced that Stephen Colbert will pay a visit to the guy he’s replacing on Late Show With David Letterman a week from today, Tuesday, April 22. No word in re whether the two men will address the “covert assault on traditional American values” that CBS’ succession plans for its late-night franchise represents. That’s how Rush Limbaugh described it when CBS announced last week. Today, however, Limbaugh homed in on the “symbolic symbolism cover” that is Colbert’s Catholicism. “All these leftists, they fall back on their devout Catholicism, but it doesn’t mean anything,” he said, referencing House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Dick Durbin – and Comedy Central comic Colbert. Limbaugh said he wanted to address the situation “before this gets out of hand — and maybe it already is.” Related: CBS’ Stephen Colbert Hire Shakes Up Late Night — And Far Right “If Colbert’s a »

- LISA DE MORAES, TV Columnist

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‘Glee’s Final Season To Have New Location, Final Scene About Rachel & Will Schuester

11 hours ago

After departing McKinley High to move to New York fulltime for the latter part of this season, the musical dramedy looked destined to end its run in the Big Apple. That won’t be the case, Glee co-creator/executive producer Ryan Murphy said in a press call yesterday. “The final season is its own story in its own location; it is not New York-centric at all,” Murphy said, as reported by TVLine. “It really is a lovely, fitting season that dwells on the original people on the show and what happens to them and how they give back. … We’ll revisit some of the new kids that came and went, there’s a return of [Jane Lynch's Sue Sylvester] and [Matthew Morrison's Will Schuester] in a big way.” Related: Ryan Murphy Confirms How ‘Glee’ Was Supposed To End The sixth and final season of Fox‘s Glee will consist of 24 episodes, two of them carried over from this season, »

- NELLIE ANDREEVA

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Alcon Partners With Sleeping Giant Media To Form Movie & TV Music Services Company

12 hours ago

Los Angeles, CA., April 15, 2014—Alcon Entertainment and Sleeping Giant Media, LLC have formed Asg Music Group, a joint venture designed to integrate the combined companies’ music enterprises into a new music model for the modern business of film, television and commercial media production, it was announced by Alcon co-ceo’s and co-founders Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson, and Sleeping Giant’s co-founders Ken Caillat, Michael Hodges and Kayla Morrison. In addition to financing and producing original music and third party content for Alcon’s motion picture and television properties, Asg will partner with other film, television and commercial media companies to provide value added music and label services. As part of Asg’s unique services model, the company will provide revolutionary solutions for music supervisors, film companies, television companies, brands, gaming and commercial media companies by utilizing an in-house and global network of top talent for music and song creation, »

- THE DEADLINE TEAM

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FilmLA: Feature Production Surges In Q1 2014 While TV Sitcoms Fall

12 hours ago

It isn’t the golden days of the 1990s, but FilmLA. reports today that feature film production is on the rise in Los Angeles while TV production slipped from last year. A Q1 2014 report released today by the nonprofit permitting group said on-location feature production in La County jumped 24.2% over Q1 2013 and that the category had a big leap of 39.4% over its five-year quarterly average. Despite the small number of tentpole pics made in California and the lure of hefty incentives in other states like Louisiana and NY as well as Canada and the UK, the latest results build on similar advances in past quarters and shows increasing traction from the all-time lows of 2009. Related: Bring Blockbusters Back to California With Increased Film Incentives, Says FilmLA It is no coincidence that 2009 was also the same year California’s current $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit program was first introduced. With »

- DOMINIC PATTEN

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‘True Detective’ Now Most Watched HBO Freshman Series Ever

12 hours ago

With delayed viewers factored in, the gross audience for HBO‘s buzzy new drama series True Detective starring Matthew McConaughy and Woody Harrelson has risen to 11.9 million viewers per episode, making it the most-watched first-year series in HBO’s history. True Detective edged the previous record for first-year gross viewership held by Six Feet Under, which averaged 11.4 million. The murder mystery also was ahead of the Season 1 cume viewership for Game Of Thrones, which holds the record for HBO’s most-watched series overall, averaging 14.4 million viewers for its most recent third season. Related: Emmys: ‘True Detective’ To Compete As Drama Series »

- NELLIE ANDREEVA

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NBCUniversal Unveils Initiative To Feature Original Programming On Hulu, VOD & More

12 hours ago

The original video programming initiative will debut first on NBCUniversal’s various digital platforms, including channel websites, Hulu and VOD, NBCU said today in a statement. Promos for the digital series will appear during various programs on NBCU TV networks. In some cases, development of the digital series will be in collaboration with advertising partners. “This original, digital-first programming, scaled with the unmatched resources of our company and our production partners, underscores the unparalleled opportunities we can create,” said Linda Yaccarino, President, Advertising Sales, NBCUniversal. “The combination of digital video alongside television content is extremely powerful and becoming an increasingly important part of the connection advertisers make with consumers. We want to offer our partners the unique ability to harness the power of our creative assets along with our distribution capabilities including the video-on-demand platform like no other company can do.”’ Among the digital projects slated to come from Universal »

- THE DEADLINE TEAM

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ABC President Paul Lee Signs New Contract

15 hours ago

ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee has finalized a new multi-year deal to remain at the helm of the broadcast network and its sibling ABC Studios. With ABC News president Ben Sherwood recently tapped to succeed Anne Sweeney as co-chairman, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group, ABC is heading into next month’s upfronts with a top executive team in place for the next several years. Related: Ben Sherwood To Succeed Anne Sweeney As Disney/ABC Television Group President, ABC’s Paul Lee Closing In On New Contract Lee has faced a number of challenges during his first term, with several high profile new series not able to take hold. His successes include Shonda Rhimes’ hot DC drama Scandal, fairytale drama Once Upon A Time and promising midseason entry Resurrection. Despite some inroads, ABC is expected to finish No.4 among adults 18-49 again this season. I hear »

- NELLIE ANDREEVA

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Ratings Rat Race: ‘2 Broke Girls’ Steady In Transition To 8 Pm With Lindsay Lohan, ‘Friends With Better Lives’ & ‘Mom’ Down

15 hours ago

CBS Monday kicked off the post-How I Met Your Mother era last night with Lindsay Lohan, who started things at 8 Pm with a guest appearance on 2 Broke Girls. The new 8 Pm anchor drew a 2.2 in adults 18-49 last night, down a tenth from its last original, which followed the penultimate episode of Himym. But that tied as a season low. In its first regular airing, new comedy Friends With Better Lives (1.8) was down 31% from its preview behind the Himym finale. Mike & Molly (2.1) was up a tenth from its most recent original while the first-season finale of Mom (1.9) was down 14% from its last original on the night of the Himym finale. A Person Of Interest rerun aired at 10 Pm. Elsewhere, NBC’s The Voice (3.3) was down 6% from last week to a Monday season low. ABC’s Dancing With The Stars (2.3) was up a tenth. The Blacklist and Castle were repeats. »

- NELLIE ANDREEVA

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Patric Verrone’s Campaign E-Mailers To WGA Members Raise Questions

16 hours ago

Exclusive: Thousands of emails sent to Writers Guild members from former WGA President Patric Verrone soliciting donations for his run for a seat in the California state senate are raising questions about how he got those email addresses and about the ethics of using his years of service to the guild to acquire them. Verrone, who led the guild in a contentious 14-week strike six years ago, is in a tight primary race to represent California’s 26th senatorial district. Numerous guild members report that they have received emails from Verrone soliciting donations and giving updates on his campaign. The WGA says it didn’t supply Verrone with a mailing list. Related: Patric Verrone Eyeing California State Senate Seat With ‘I Won The Strike’ Boast “We have had some members ask about this and we have made it clear that we have not provided him with a mailing list,” said WGA spokesman Neal Sacharow. »

- MIKE FLEMING JR

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ABC’s ‘World News Tonight’ Beats ‘NBC Nightly News’ In News Demo, With ‘Mad Men’ Pitching In

16 hours ago

ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ranked as the No. 1 evening newscast in the news demo for the week of April 7 — its first weekly demo win this season. Sawyer beat NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams by 12,000 Adults 25-54 (1.882 million vs. 1.870 million).  It was ABC evening newscasts first demo win since the week of July 22, 2013. Last July — one year after ABC’s Good Morning America snapped NBC’s Today show weekly winning streak, ABC’s evening newscast outstripped NBC’s in the news demo by 38,000 demo viewers, ending NBC’s  newscast’s ratings winning streak of nearly five years. During the week of April 7, Sawyer’s newscast covered breaking news –  high school stabbings in Pennsylvania, California bus crash, Terry Moran in Central African Republic with Un Ambassador Samantha Power covering refugees and violence — but the newscast also featured a broadcast exclusive with Mad Men stars and creator as they debuted the AMC series’ final season. »

- LISA DE MORAES, TV Columnist

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