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ABC Family brings '10 Things' to TV

ABC Family brings '10 Things' to TV
ABC Family has picked up two half-hour pilots -- "10 Things I Hate About You," based on the film, and "Ruby and the Rockits," starring Alexa Vega -- and greenlighted an original movie with Joey Lawrence and Melissa Joan Hart.

Gil Junger, who directed the "10 Things" feature, is on board to direct the single-camera pilot as well as the untitled movie.

"10 Things," written and exec produced by Carter Covington (ABC Family's "Greek"), revolves around two sisters -- a strong-willed feminist and a social butterfly -- facing the challenges of starting out in a new high school. The series is from Prodco Inc.

"Ruby," from ABC Studios and exec producers Shaun Cassidy ("Invasion") and Marsh McCall ("Carpoolers"), is a multicamera comedy about a former teen idol whose quiet life is disrupted when his brother and former bandmate shows up with a newfound teenage daughter. "Ruby," directed by Ted Wass, was written by Cassidy and Ed Yeager,
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Family, peers: Ledger's death 'real tragedy'

Related story: Authorities say Ledger autopsy inconclusive

SYDNEY -- The Australian film community paid tribute to Heath Ledger on Wednesday as a steady stream of statements and interviews followed news of the Perth-born actor's death Tuesday at age 28.

Variously described as a great actor and prodigious talent, down-to-earth but shy, Ledger continued to make Australian films even as his Hollywood career rocketed over the past 11 years.

With no formal training, Ledger started acting at age 17 in the Aussie TV series "Sweat", but his breakout feature film role came in 1999 with the crime caper "Two Hands", for which he earned his first Australian Film Institute best actor award nomination.

While his Hollywood career took off with "10 Things I Hate About You" that same year, he made another two Australian films -- the historical biopic "Ned Kelly" in 2003 and the heroin-fueled love story "Candy" in 2006.

He received the Australian Film Institute's viewers' choice award in 2006 for "Candy" and also was awarded the AFI's international actor of the year at the same ceremony for his Oscar-nominated role in Ang Lee's "Brokeback Mountain".

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said it was "tragic that we have lost one of our nation's finest actors in the prime of his life.

Actor Heath Ledger Dead at 28

Actor Heath Ledger Dead at 28
Actor Heath Ledger was found dead at a Manhattan apartment Tuesday afternoon in what appeared to be a possible drug-related death; he was 28. The actor was discovered in one of the SoHo apartment's bedrooms at 3:31 p.m., when a masseuse arrived for a scheduled appointment and the residence's housekeeper went to inform the actor of the masseuse's arrival. He was found unconscious and unresponsive; the New York Times at first stated that the apartment in question belonged to actress Mary-Kate Olsen, but a publicist for the actress later said that Olsen did not own a unit in the building in which Ledger was found. An initial police report also cited by the New York Times said that foul play was not suspected and that pills had been found near Ledger's body. A native of Australia, Ledger shot to fame as a teen heartthrob in 10 Things I Hate About You before graduating to more adult roles, most notably his Oscar-nominated turn in Brokeback Mountain. Engaged at one time to Brokeback co-star Michelle Williams, the two had a daughter but had split in recent months. Recently, Ledger wrapped filming on the Batman film The Dark Knight, in which he played The Joker; the film is currently set for release this summer. Further details of the actor's death were not available at press time. --IMDb staff

Heath Ledger Dead at 28

  • WENN
Heath Ledger Dead at 28
Movie star Heath Ledger has been found dead in his Manhattan, New York apartment. The actor was declared dead by medics at his Broome Street, SoHo home at 3:30pm on Tuesday, according to the New York Police Department. A police spokesperson reveals Ledger was discovered by his housekeeper, after he failed to answer the door to a masseuse he had booked to give him a massage. While prescription drugs were found at scene, there were no illegal drugs discovered. The Australian Brokeback Mountain star, 28, was just about to start promoting the Batman Begins sequel The Dark Knight, in which he plays movie villain The Joker. Born in Perth in 1979, Ledger made a name for himself in a series of brooding roles on the big screen; he was nominated for a 2006 Oscar for his portrayal of Ennis Del Mar in the gay-themed drama Brokeback Mountain. Fiercely private, Ledger has openly spoken about his public shyness, but he hit the headlines for romances with Heather Graham, Naomi Watts and his Brokeback Mountain co-star Michelle Williams, the mother of his two-year-old daughter Matilda Rose.

A star field hockey player and athlete, Ledger turned his attentions to drama in his teens and, when a friend headed to Sydney, Australia to chase an acting dream, the star-to-be went along for the ride. He landed a break as a gay cyclist in 1996's Sweat - a TV drama about a group of Olympic hopefuls - and then he portrayed the best friend of a rapist in low-budget 1997 movie Blackrock. Hedger left Australia to find acting work in America in 1999 and landed the lead in Aussie director Gregor Jordan's crime thriller Two Hands. That film helped him land the lead hunk role in teen movie hit Ten Things I Hate About You. He went on to play Mel Gibson's son in The Patriot and Billy Bob Thornton's troubled offspring in Monster's Ball. Both roles earned Ledger high praise from critics. But then came a string of critical flops - A Knight's Tale, Ned Kelly, The Four Feathers, The Order, Lords Of Dogtown, and The Brothers Grimm. But then followed Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain in 2005, which Ledger has often described as a major turning point in his professional and personal life. As awkward cowboy Ennis Del Mar, Ledger regained his position as one of Hollywood's top stars. The role led to a Best Actor Oscar nod and the coveted role of The Joker in the upcoming The Dark Knight, for which he's already receiving great acclaim. Ledger has also won acclaim for his role as Robbie Clark in quirky Bob Dylan-inspired movie I'm Not There. The tragic star was last seen publicly on the London set of director Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus on Saturday.

ABC Family OK for 'Greek' life

ABC Family has given a series order to the college-set drama Greek and has renewed Lincoln Heights for a second season.

The network has made an initial order of nine one-hour episodes, plus the pilot, of Greek, a drama that focuses on college life and the Greek system as told from the point of view of freshman Rusty (Jacob Zachar). A geek in high school, Rusty is determined to make college more exciting and decides to join a fraternity, but he faces an obstacle in the form of his sister, Casey Spencer Grammer), a sorority member who doesn't want him to become part of her college world.

The executive producers are Shawn Piller and Lloyd Segan, who also exec produce ABC Family's Wildfire, which is in its third season. The Greek pilot was directed by Gil Junger (10 Things I Hate About You, ABC Family's Kyle XY) and written by creator-producer Sean Smith (WB Network's Summerland, Wildfire).

ABC Family president Paul Lee said the show, set to debut in the summer, is designed to be a companion piece to the second season of the drama series Kyle XY.

" 'Greek' absolutely speaks to the heart of our target Millennial audience," Lee added.

Franchise has reservation for 'Extreme Dating' rights

Franchise has reservation for 'Extreme Dating' rights
MILAN -- Franchise Pictures said Sunday that it has acquired worldwide rights to the action comedy Extreme Dating in a deal brokered by John Sloss and Paul Brennan of Cinetic Media. Directed by Lorena David, the ensemble cast features Devon Sawa (Final Destination), Jamie-Lynn DiScala (The Sopranos), Amanda Detmer (The Majestic), Andrew Keegan (10 Things I Hate About You) and rocker-actor Meat Loaf. The film tells the story of four friends who believe that the key to winning over their true loves is to place themselves in extreme situations. They plot a fake kidnapping, but the plan goes awry when the kidnappers turn out to be ex-cons with plans of their own. Extreme Dating is produced by Mark A. Roberts. " 'Extreme Dating' is a hilarious film with a broad appeal to all ages," Franchise chairman and CEO Elie Samaha said.

Heath Ledger and Naomi Watts Plan Love Nest

  • WENN
Heath Ledger and Naomi Watts Plan Love Nest
Australian superstars Heath Ledger and Naomi Watts are busy planning their future - by investing in an American love nest together. The 10 Things I Hate About You hunk met Watts on the set of new historical epic Ned Kelly, and the pair have been dating ever since. Now the smitten Mulholland Drive beauty, 35, is trying to decide whether to build a home with her 24-year old beau in New York or Los Angeles. She says, "Being apart so much is horrible. But then we are not normal people and we don't crave the regularity of nine to five that comes with that. I love the street life in New York, the crazy connections you get when you step out the door. That's reality and I don't want to lose touch with that. (But I like LA) for the light and the space and the garden and the pool."

'Dancing' on Showtime's card

'Dancing' on Showtime's card
NEW YORK -- Showtime Networks has acquired A Time for Dancing, a movie from East of Doheny Prods. that will air on the premium cable channel next year. A true story based on the book of the same name by Davida Wills Hurwin, Dancing details the story of a young dancer who confronts a serious illness. Larisa Oleynik (10 Things I Hate About You), Scott Vickaryous (Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion) and Shiri Appleby (Swimfan) star.

Naomi Watts Angered By Invasive Questions

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Naomi Watts Angered By Invasive Questions
Naomi Watts was left furious by reporters at the Los Angeles premiere of her new movie Le Divorce - after they repeatedly asked her questions about boyfriend Heath Ledger. The Mulholland Drive actress arrived without her 10 Things I Hate About You lover, who was busy filming and could not attend. An eyewitness remarks, "They kept asking her where Heath was and she just snapped. She started getting snippy and walked off." Ledger's spokesperson confirms, "Heath is working on The Brothers Grimm in Prague with Matt Damon. (Naomi and Heath) are still together and very happy."

Frasier Dad Plays Gay

Frasier Dad Plays Gay
Frasier star John Mahoney is set to shock fans when his new role sees him become a flamboyant gay character. In his upcoming movie, Broken Hearts Club, The (2000), the actor - who plays Kelsey Grammer's dad in hit show Frasier - is married to a man, performs in drag and leads a gang of gay men. A source says, "It's going to be like Charlie's Angels (2000). John Mahoney is Charlie and his 'angels' are a bunch of really cute hunks, hanging out - and making out - with each other in the heart of gay West Hollywood!" When asked whether he feared his role would raise eyebrows, Mahoney replied, "I'm having too much fun to worry about that! This experience has been a joy from day one. " The film features Superman Dean Cain, Scream 2 (1997)'s Timothy Olyphant and Andrew Keegan from 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) as members of a gay softball team who look up to their coach, 60-year-old Mahoney, as their gay role model.

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