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Constantin Inks First-Look Film and TV Deal with Prime Universe

1 hour ago

Constantin Film has inked a first-look deal with producer Adrian Askarieh’s Prime Universe Films.

The two-year agreement covers movie and TV projects and is the latest step in Munich-based Constantin’s efforts to ramp up its English-language slate. In the wake of the deal, Prime Universe Films will be based at Constantin’s West Hollywood offices.

Askarieh’s last film was 20th Century Fox’s video game-based “Hitman: Agent 47.” Upcoming movies include “Just Cause,” based on the Square Enix video game and which Jason Momoa (“Aquaman”) Brad Peyton (“San Andreas”) attached to direct.

“We are welcoming Adrian into the Constantin family, »


- Stewart Clarke

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‘War and Peace’ Producer Lookout Point Staffs Up

1 hour ago

Lookout Point has hired two well-known U.K. drama executives, Francis Hopkinson who joins from ITV, and Lousie Mutter, who comes to the BBC Worldwide-backed producer from Sky.

Hopkinson, who counts “Wallander” among his credits, will be an executive producer at Lookout Point, developing his own slate and working on “A Suitable Boy,” the upcoming adaptation of the Vikram Seth novel for the BBC. He will also be part of the management team at Benchmark, the drama business run by former BBC director of television Danny Cohen, and which was set up by Access Entertainment, BBC Worldwide, and Lookout Point. »


- Stewart Clarke

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Spain’s Boomerang, Argentina’s Underground Link for ‘El Extranjero’

1 hour ago

Santiago De Compostela, Spain — Spain’s Boomerang TV Group and Argentina’s Underground Producciones, two of the most active TV fiction production houses on the Spanish-language TV scene, have inked to co-produce “El Extranjero,” a TV series adding new elements to the Nordic Noir mix.

The deal was sealed and unveiled at Conecta Fiction, the new Latin American TV co-production forum which runs June 20-23 in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, northwest Spain.

Announced Thursday, the co-production takes Nordic Noir beats – there’s a murder in a far-flung location, and person from outside the local community who attempts to solve the »


- John Hopewell

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‘Downton Abbey’ Movie Aims for Production in 2018

2 hours ago

The much anticipated “Downton Abbey” movie project is moving forward, with the big screen adaptation of the period series set to head into production next year.

The series, which follows the lives of an aristocratic English family, ended its six season run on ITV in the U.K. and PBS in the U.S. in 2015 and 2016 respectively, and the producer of the show, Carnival Films, and its studio owner, NBCUniversal, have frequently spoken about making a “Downton” movie.

Noting a film has been in the works for some time, Michael Edelstein, president at NBCUniversal International Studios, told the Associated Press »


- Stewart Clarke

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Galicia’s Vaca, Portocabo Bet on Thriller ‘Garbo’ to Kickstart TV Fiction Alliance

7 hours ago

Santiago De Compostela, Spain — Portocabo and Vaca Films, two production outfits based out of Spain’s Galicia, both with an international scope, are teaming on historical thriller mini-series “Garbo, El espía que engañó a Hitler” (literally: Garbo, The Spy Who Double-Crossed Hitler), as the start to a TV fiction alliance.

Inspired by the life of the one-off Juan Pujol, alias Garbo,a Spanish double agent who helped change the course of World War II, the six-episode TV drama is penned by film director and screenwriter Patxi Amezcua (“25 Carat,” “7th Floor,” “Capture the Flag”) with Pujol’s biographer and WWII espionage expert, »


- Emiliano De Pablos

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Ann Dowd Talks ‘Handmaid’s Tale,’ ‘The Leftovers,’ Battling Stage Fright and Learning From Nuns

7 hours ago

Actress Ann Dowd has become the face of a certain kind of evil with the unforgiving characters she plays on “Handmaid’s Tale” and “The Leftovers.” But her skill at being so convincing as a psychopath also allows her to limn everything from “Girls” to “Masters of Sex” to “Good Behavior” to Chekhov’s “The Seagull” on Broadway.

During a conversation Wednesday night hosted by the SAG-aftra Foundation in New York, Dowd talked about the highs and lows of long career and the years leading up to her personal Peak TV boom. Among the highlights from the Q&A with writer Bruce Fretts:

Dowd, »


- Cynthia Littleton

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‘Fargo’ Finale: Creator Noah Hawley Talks Season 3 and Possible Future

8 hours ago

Spoiler Alert: Do not read if you have not watched “Somebody to Love,” the June 21 episode of “Fargo.”

The third season of FX’s “Fargo” ended Wednesday night in bloody, morally murky fashion as is its wont. Creator and executive producer Noah Hawley spoke with Variety about season three, the big ideas at the center of the story, and what the future of the series looks like.

What was different about this season from previous seasons?

I think there was something to writing these last few hours that felt like a dialogue with our current moment. And I tried to »


- Daniel Holloway

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Paramount Network Developing Comedy Series Based on Life of Tom Arnold

10 hours ago

The Paramount Network is developing a single-camera comedy series based on the life of Tom Arnold, Variety has confirmed.

The series, currently titled “The Interventionist,” would follow a recovering addict and interventionist for substance abusers in La. Arnold has often spoken publicly about his own battles with drug and alcohol addiction during his career. Steven Pink will write the potential pilot in addition to executive producing. Arnold will also executive produce along with Kapital Entertainment’s Aaron Kaplan and Dana Honor, as well as Alex Hardcastle and Glenn Porter. Hardcastle will also direct. It was originally set up at TV Land. »


- Joe Otterson

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Emmy Ballot 2017: Bigger Than Ever, Despite ‘Game of Thrones’s’ Absence

11 hours ago

Voting in the 69th Annual Emmy Awards is officially underway, and despite air date eligibility rules that kept the winners of last year’s best actress and best drama trophies (Tatiana Maslany and “Game of Thrones,” respectively) out of the running, along with powerhouses like “Outlander,” the number of submissions is up significantly from 2016.

In the top categories, the drama series race boasts the largest number of submissions with 180 (vs. 151 from last year), with best actor in a drama following closely at 140 (109 in 2016). Best actress in a drama doesn’t fall much farther behind at 113 submissions in the category (81 last »


- Danielle Turchiano

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NBC’s Megyn Kelly Problem (Column)

12 hours ago

It’s still months before Megyn Kelly’s new NBC daytime show is set to premiere, but it already feels like the former Fox News anchor has overstayed her welcome. Only three weeks into her Sunday-night newsmagazine show — a “Dateline” style piece, structured around her interviews with high-profile “gets” — Kelly’s star is dimmer than ever. It’s a far cry from where she was just a year ago.

2016 was a banner year for Kelly: After a wave of flattering media coverage positioned her as one of the few remaining sensible voices within the Republican party, she led round-the-clock election »


- Sonia Saraiya

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TV News Roundup: CBS Daytime Promotes Three Executives

12 hours ago

In today’s roundup, CBS Daytime announced promotion of three executives, while Misty Copeland is set to guest judge on NBC’s “World of Dance.”

Executive News

CBS Daytime promoted executives Margot Wain, Ray Paolantonio, and Laurie Seidman. Wain was upped to senior vice president of daytime programs, and Paolantonio and Seidman to vice presidents of daytime programs. In her new position, Wain will continue as the current executive of “The Price Is Right” and “The Bold and the Beautiful,” while working on daily creative and strategic elements. Paolantonio will oversee “Let’s Make a Deal” and “CBS Dream Team… »


- Rebecca Rubin

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Universal TV Promotes Drama-Development Chief Erin Underhill

13 hours ago

Universal Television is beefing up its drama-development team.

Erin Underhill has been promoted to exec VP of drama development. The studio has also hired Vivian Cannon as senior VP of drama development. Underhill will report to Universal TV president Pearlena Igbokwe. Cannon will report to Underhill.

“I have been nothing short of amazed by Erin’s work ethic and talent this past development season,” Igbokwe said. “She is well regarded by all our producers because she brings an extraordinary instinct for great characters and stories to the table.”

Underhill had previously served as senior VP of drama development at the studio. »


- Daniel Holloway

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‘Quantico’ Recruits ‘Code Black’ Ep as Season 3 Showrunner

13 hours ago

Quantico” has tapped “Code Black” executive producer and showrunner Michael Seitzman to serve as showrunner and executive producer on the ABC show’s upcoming third season, Variety has confirmed.

He takes over the role from Josh Safran, who left “Quantico” at the end of Season 2. However, Safran will remain with the show’s third season as a consultant. Seitzman will continue to serve as an executive producer and showrunner on “Code Black.” Both shows are produced by ABC Television Studios, where Seitzman is currently under an overall deal.

Quantico” series regulars Priyanka Chopra, Jake McLaughlin, Johanna Braddy, and Blair Underwood »


- Joe Otterson

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‘Orange is the New Black’ Star Danielle Brooks on Taystee’s Failures, the Cliffhanger, and Those False Rumors of Her Exit

13 hours ago

Spoiler Alert: Do not read until you’ve watched season five of “Orange is the New Black.”

Poussey’s tragic, senseless death at the end of season four of “Orange is the New Black” proved a galvanizing event for the series — it shaped the course of season five, which played out over the course of just three days, as the inmates of Litchfield took over the prison in protest. But while all the characters grappled with the fallout from her death in their own ways, it was Danielle Brooks’ Taystee who stepped up. Deep in mourning, she channeled her fury »


- Debra Birnbaum

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WGA West President Howard Rodman Will Not Seek Re-Election

14 hours ago

Howard Rodman, the president of the Writers Guild of America West, has decided against seeking re-election to another two-year term.

Rodman told Variety that he was “deeply proud” of his two decades of service to the guild and looking forward to more time for family and work.

“I began to serve on Guild committees in 1996; helped found the Guild’s caucus for writers of independent film; have served on negotiating committees, the board, then four years as vice-president, two years as president,” he said. “I’m deeply proud of the work we’ve done, of what we’ve been able to accomplish, »


- Dave McNary

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‘Wonder Woman’ Writer Allan Heinberg Signs ABC Studios Deal

14 hours ago

Wonder Woman” screenwriter Allan Heinberg has signed an overall development deal with ABC Studios and ABC Signature Studios. The agreement includes a script deal for “Adult Behavior,” a comedic drama based on the 2015 Russell T. Davies British TV series “Cucumber” and “Banana.”

Heinberg developed, wrote, and served as showrunner on ABC’s “The Catch,” starring Mireille Enos and Peter Krause. The series, produced by ABC Studios and Shonda RhimesShondaland, was canceled by the network in May after two seasons. The series followed the cat-and-mouse game between L.A.’s top private investigator, Alice Vaughan (Mireille Enos), and the man she loves, »


- Daniel Holloway

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‘Taken’ Cast Members Exit Amid Season 2 Shift

16 hours ago

Six cast members are exiting NBC drama “Taken” as part of an overhaul for the series’ second season.

Gaius Charles, Brooklyn Sudano, Monique Gabriela Curnen, Michael Irby, Jose Pablo Cantillo, and James Landry Hébertwill have left the series. The departures comes as Greg Plageman takes over as showrunner for the series and begins implementing a new vision for its second season.

Former showrunner Alexander Cary departed the series when it was renewed for a second season on NBC in May. “Taken”serves as a prequel to the hit action film franchise of the same name that starred Liam Neeson, with »


- Daniel Holloway

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E! Exec Jen Neal to Head Live-Event Coverage for Cable Channel

16 hours ago

E! has tapped veteran marketing executive Jen Neal to oversee live-event coverage for the cable channel. As executive producer, Neal, will oversee the “Live from the Red Carpet” franchise for E!,” produced by Wilshire Studios and Ryan Seacrest Productions, as well as the People’s Choice Awards and the channel’s coverage of New York Fashion Week and the Met Gala.

Neal will continue to serve in her role as exec VP of marketing for the network, directing all marketing initiatives including advertising, media strategies, creative, brand alliances, and promotion across all platforms for the cable channel. She will continue to report to E! »


- Daniel Holloway

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TV Review: ‘Prime Suspect: Tennison’ on PBS Masterpiece

17 hours ago

If the idea of a “Prime Suspect” prequel filled you with dread, well, you were right to be nervous.

The generally leaden “Prime Suspect: Tennison” isn’t all that great by the standards of recent U.K. crime dramas such as “Broadchurch” and “Happy Valley.” It suffers even more when compared with the heyday of the original “Prime Suspect,” which began a generally excellent 15-year run in the early ’90s.

The original incarnation of “Prime Suspect,” which starred Helen Mirren as London cop Jane Tennison, often demonstrated a welcome flexibility. Each season of the show was as long as or »


- Maureen Ryan

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Trevor Noah Says He’s Been Stopped by Police in U.S. ‘8 to 10 Times’ (Watch)

17 hours ago

Trevor Noah used the recent Philando Castile verdict as an opportunity to open up about his own experiences with police officers in the U.S. during a behind-the-scenes clip from “The Daily Show.”

The comedian, who was born in South Africa, revealed that in the six years he has lived in the U.S., the police have stopped him “8 to 10 times.”

His statement comes after the news that Castile, someone who Noah calls “a model citizen,” had been pulled over 49 times by the police before being shot and killed in 2016. The police officer who fatally shot Castile during a routine »


- Rebecca Rubin

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