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Carol Leifer to Adapt Her Memoir 'How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying' for TV

Carol Leifer to Adapt Her Memoir 'How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying' for TV
Four-time Emmy nominee Carol Leifer will turn her life writing TV comedy into, well, a TV comedy. The stand-up comedienne And "Modern Family" and "Devious Maids" writer will adapt her 2014 memoir/self-help guide, "How to Succeed in Business without Really Crying," into a series for Gaumont TV. Leifer was also recently named a co-ep on the NBC comedy "Better Late Than Never." Here's the book synopsis for "How to Succeed in Business without Really Crying": For many years, television comedy was an exclusive all boys’ club -- until a brilliant comedian named Carol Leifer came along, blazing a trail for funny women everywhere. From "Late Night with David Letterman" and "Saturday Night Live" to "Seinfeld," "The Ellen Show," and "Modern Family," Carol has written for and/or performed on some of the best TV comedies of...

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‘Arrested Development’ Creator Mitch Hurwitz Inks Deal With Netflix

Mitch Hurwitz brought Arrested Development to Netflix, and he has now struck a deal to continue his partnership with the premium online video platform. Hurwitz has signed a multi-year deal with Netflix, through which he will create original programs for the platform and produce several more. The fourth season of Arrested Development debuted on Netflix last May, ending a seven-year hiatus for the critically-acclaimed comedy. While the new season did not live up to the expectations of most critics, Hurwitz and Netflix have reportedly discussed the possibility of a fifth season. Hurwitz is also working on a film adaptation of the series, which is "moving forward" as of last August. Through his deal with Netflix, Hurwitz--who also co-created The Ellen Show--will develop several new series while also serving as an executive producer for comedy series helmed by other creators. Deadline calls the deal a "rare pact" for Netflix, which
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‘Arrested Development’s’ Mitch Hurwitz Signs Multi-Year Deal with Netflix

Mitch Hurwitz and Netflix have inked a multi-year production deal, furthering the relationship that brought new episodes of the writer-producer’s “Arrested Development” to the Internet TV outlet last year.

While there were short-lived rumors that there would be more “Arrested Development” episodes after the first batch’s debut, this deal will allow Emmy winner Hurwitz to produce, develop and create new projects under his Hurwitz Company shingle.

“We are lucky to be in business with Mitch Hurwitz, a true genius with one of the most distinctive voices in comedy today,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix Chief Content Officer. “Mitch’s inventive approach to ‘Arrested Development’ — one of the top TV comedies of this generation — was ahead of its time, and we’re fortunate to have him on our team.”

Hurwitz agreed, stating that “it is incredibly inspiring to get to produce for Netflix, a company that not only doesn’t resist change,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

DVD Review: Complete Series of MTV’s ‘The State’ Worth the Wait

Chicago – It’s a vastly overused phrase in criticism, but MTV’s “The State” truly was ahead of its time. I remember seeing the show in its original broadcast on MTV and thinking it was like nothing else on television. Now it would easily fit in the comedy landscape. After years of begging, fans of “The State” are finally being given a complete series set and it was worth the wait.

Perhaps one of the reasons that “The State” feels so ahead of its time is the frequency with which its cast members pop up in film and television now. The cast of “The State” would go on to work together on shows like “Stella,” “Viva Variety,” and “Reno 911!” and films like “Wet Hot American Summer” and “The Ten,” but they would also find massive success apart from the whole troupe.

DVD Rating: 4.0/5.0 Original cast members of “The State” included Kevin Allison,
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Cliptastic: New Scene, 4 TV Spots and Poster from ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’

Warner Bros. has released a brand new film clip and a slew of new TV spots for their upcoming adventure Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The film continues the story of Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) as he begins his 6th year at the Howarts Scoot of Witchcraft and Wizardy. This time around he discovers a book that used to belong to the "Half-Blood Prince" which leads him down the dark path toward learning of Lord Voldemort's dark past. First up in this new round of clippage is a film clip that debuted on The Ellen Show yesterday. It features a love-struck Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) speaking with Harry about matters of the fairer sex. Next we have four new TV spots, courtesy of YouTube. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is in theaters July 15, 2009. Also, check out the film's latest poster below, courtesy of MSN.
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Ellen gets a starring role as Mother Nature

When I bumped into a shelf on a recent trip to Blockbuster, a Mr. Wrong DVD fell at my feet, and I thought to myself, "Ellen has got to do another movie to make up for this." And lo, the Hollywood Reporter says she has now signed on with Walden Media to play Mother Nature in her first live-action film in 10 years.

The movie doesn't have a title yet, but the script is being written by Emmy and Golden Globe winner Jenny Bicks of Men in Trees and Sex and the City fame.

In the film, Mother Nature will return to earth for the first time since she created it. (What a shocker that will be, huh? "What the heck is a Starbucks, and why has it replaced all the trees I made?") Of the role, Ellen said, "I've always wanted to control the weather. Nothing will stop me from doing this ... neither rain,
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Lauren Graham comes back to TV, but not as a Gilmore

Hey, Lauren Graham. Damn, girl, where have you been? You look great, by the way. What's Rory up to these days? Wait, shoot, fiction-reality, reality-fiction. Though, looks like I will be happily blurring those lines again now that you'll be returning to TV as the star of a new series.

According to Variety, the as-yet-untitled half-hour sitcom has Lauren playing a self-help guru who “teaches women how to live a stress-free life — but struggles to follow her own advice when her boyfriend dumps her.” I like the teaching women part. I'm not sure about the struggling-after-being-dumped-by–her-boyfriend part. Also, it will take a little getting used to seeing Lauren on TV without Alexis Bledel.

Giving me even more pause is that Lauren has signed her production deal with ABC. You know, the channel that fired Brooke Smith and canceled Pushing Daisies. Just when I thought I was out, ABC tries to pull me back in.
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Lifetime taps Roth TV topper

Lifetime taps Roth TV topper
Nina Lederman, most recently president of Joe Roth Television, has been named senior vp series programming and development at Lifetime Networks, overseeing the development of all scripted fare.

Lederman had been president of Roth's company since 2005. She is one of the executive producers of "Maid in Manhattan," a one-hour put pilot at ABC from Sony Pictures TV and Joe Roth TV that is based on the movie of the same name.

Before joining Roth's company, Lederman had been Tony Krantz's producing partner at Flame Television, where she had a hand in such series as Upn's "South Beach" and "The Bad Girl's Guide," starring Jenny McCarthy.

She also held positions at Michael Ovitz's Artists Television Group and NBC Studios, playing a role in the development of such series as "Will & Grace," "Access Hollywood," "Grosse Point," "The Street" and "The Ellen Show."

At Lifetime, Lederman will be based in Los Angeles,
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Mitch Hurwitz laughs with CBS

Mitch Hurwitz laughs with CBS
Mitch Hurwitz is returning to CBS with a comedy about a family that "loves too much."

"American Pie" star Jason Biggs is in final negotiations to topline the untitled hybrid project, which has received a put pilot commitment from the network and an order for six additional scripts.

Sony Pictures TV, where "Arrested Development" creator Hurwitz is based, is producing with CBS Paramount Network TV, which has a deal with Biggs.

The comedy revolves around adult siblings and their parents who are over-involved in one another's lives.

Hurwitz is co-writing the script with "Arrested" scribe James Vallely. Hurwitz, Biggs and Vallely will exec produce the project with Eric and Kim Tannenbaum, Hurwitz's partners at their Sony TV-based company, Tantamount.

The project marks a reunion with CBS for Hurwitz and Biggs. Hurwitz co-created/exec produced the CBS comedy "The Ellen Show" before conceiving the Emmy-winning Fox comedy "Arrested," which revolved around the dysfunctional Bluth clan.
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

DeGeneres Under Fire for Crossing Picket Line

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Comedienne Ellen DeGeneres is facing the wrath of angry Hollywood protesters - after failing to act in support of the screenwriters' strikes. While fellow U.S. talkshow hosts David Letterman, Jay Leno, Jon Stewart and Conan O'Brien have all stood in support of the striking members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA), DeGeneres crossed picket lines to tape her show Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Tuesday - the day after the union went on strike. Defending her actions, she told the studio audience, "There's a writers' strike going on, and here in Los Angeles, it's a huge story. I want to say I love my writers. I love them. In honour of them today, I'm not going to do a monologue. I support them and hope that they get everything they're asking for. And I hope it works out soon. In the meantime, people have traveled across the country. They've made plans. They're here. I want to do everything I can to make your trip enjoyable and give you a show." But it's a decision DeGeneres may come to regret, as screenwriters are already attacking the move. One writer for her former 2001-2002 sitcom, The Ellen Show, reports she treated her writers "like s**t". The unnamed writer adds on his internet blog, "I'm disappointed in Ellen (for crossing the picket line) but not surprised... given what I've seen from her with my own two eyes." A TV insider tells the New York Post's PageSix, "DeGeneres is unwilling to honour the picket line because this is her last chance in show business. This show is the only thing keeping her from a lifetime of touring college campuses." A representative for the star has refused to comment.

Actor Tom Poston Dies at 85

Actor Tom Poston Dies at 85
Tom Poston, the Emmy award-winning actor who played comic sidekicks to a number of TV stars, most notably Bob Newhart, Robin Williams, and Steve Allen, died Monday night at his home in Los Angeles; he was 85. Poston, who was married to actress Suzanne Pleshette, passed away after a brief illness, the nature of which was not initially disclosed. Before venturing into television, Poston made his Broadway debut in 1947 in the acclaimed production of Cyrano de Bergerac starring Jose Ferrer, and assayed a number of dramatic roles onstage. In the mid-1950s he was selected by Steve Allen to appear as a recurring character in a number of man-on-the-street comic sketches on The Steve Allen Show, and he won an Emmy for the part in 1959. Poston worked almost exclusively in television throughout his career, occasionally taking the small film role, and appeared on Get Smart and The Bob Newhart Show, among other sitcoms. In the late 1970s he played the cantankerous neighbor to Robin Williams on the hit show Mork and Mindy, and in the '80s had arguably his most famous role, that of handyman George Utley on Bob Newhart's second sitcom, Newhart, a part which earned him three Emmy nominations. Poston guest starred on a wide variety of sitcoms and dramas, among them ER, Dharma & Greg, The Ellen Show, Becker, Will & Grace, That 70s Show and most recently the Disney show The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Poston was married twice before he tied the knot in 2001 with Suzanne Pleshette, whom he first met in 1959 on Broadway and worked with on The Bob Newhart Show. He is survived by Pleshette and three children from his previous marriages. -Mark Englehart, IMDb staff

'Men' duo, Hurwitz in Sony pact

"Arrested Development" creator Mitch Hurwitz is launching a company with "Two and a Half Men" executive producers Eric Tannenbaum and Kim Tannenbaum.

The company, which is yet to be named, has inked a rich three-year pod deal with Sony Pictures TV. The pact is slated to begin in June, when the Tannenbaums' current deal with Warner Bros. TV is up.

"I've always been incredibly impressed with Eric and Kim's integrity and professionalism, and truthfully, I would like to join their relationship in any context," Hurwitz said. "I've even offered to help raise their baby, but they both feel -- and I respect this -- that that's really their baby."

The Tannenbaums and Hurwitz are longtime friends. The three first worked together at Michael Ovitz's Artists Television Group, where Eric Tannenbaum was president and Kim Tannenbaum was executive vp. The two signed Hurwitz in a development deal, under which he executive produced "The Ellen Show".

"This is a dream scenario", Eric Tannenbaum said. "Mitch is a person we've talked about partnering with for a number of years, and we couldn't be more thrilled."

Sources said that the Tannenbaums' parting ways with WBTV, where they launched their Tannenbaum Co.

Fox pays big to get 'Arrested'

Fox pays big to get 'Arrested'
It's Arrested Development season at Fox. The network has picked up a comedy from Imagine Television and 20th Century Fox TV written by Mitchell Hurwitz (CBS' The Ellen Show). The show, a pet project of Imagine principal Ron Howard, has received a put pilot commitment with a high six-figure penalty attached. The deal came down after a week of heated bidding between Fox and NBC. Fox won out at the eleventh hour after it offered a premium license fee and a hefty penalty if the project doesn't go forward. Conceived by Hurwitz and Howard, Arrested Development centers on a wealthy multigenerational family in Orange County, Calif., that bonds together for survival after the patriarch is arrested for fraud and the family assets are frozen. The fictional family in the show borrows elements from the real-life families of Hurwitz, who grew up in Orange County, and Howard.

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