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6 items from 2003

FX UK takes WB and Comedy Central shows

10 October 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

LONDON -- Fox International Channels U.K. said Thursday that it has signed separate deals with Warner Bros. International Television Distribution and Comedy Central for series, specials and movies on its planned FX UK channel. Series titles in the deal with Warners include HBO comedy The Mind of the Married Man and Lucky, a comedy produced by Castle Rock Entertainment for FX Networks. The Comedy Central deal features that channel's hit The Man Show. Hernan Lopez, senior vp and managing director of Fox International Channels UK, said the deals reflect the direction the FX UK channel will take when it is launched via the Sky satellite platform in the first quarter of 2004. It has already set such Fox shows as NYPD Blue and The X-Files for its lineup. "Today's men, just like FX, can go from the introspection of 'The Mind of the Married Man' all the way to girls jumping on trampolines and not be apologetic about it," Lopez said. Fox International vp broadcasting and marketing Jason Thorp said the company has been studying the U.K. market for some time. "We have discovered that despite the desire of the marketing industry to segment the male audience, the reality is that the majority of men age 24-44 fit into a broad category that we have called 'Adultman, '" Thorp said. "Despite earning capacity, social background or marital status, 'Adultman' is linked by universal interests and concerns. Women and having a laugh come high on that list." »

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Emmy nominees talk of writing

19 September 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

What exactly does it take to get a break as a television writer in Hollywood, much less an Emmy nomination? Well, according to eight Emmy-nominated writers, it can take anything from years on New York's stand-up comedy circuit to having to create a fictitious talent agency just to catch your first break. On Wednesday night, several hundred people who packed into the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills were treated to a raucous, irreverent and expletive-ridden journey into the lives of eight of this year's Emmy-nominated writers. "When I started writing, I always considered plot to be an intrusion; what I like doing is writing the dialogue," said Aaron Sorkin, who admitted to writing the original play for his breakout hit A Few Good Men on cocktail napkins while working as a bartender at a Broadway theater. Sorkin received his 10th nomination for The West Wing this year. Fraternal writing team Robb Cullen and Mark Cullen (Lucky) said they scored their first network meetings by posing over the phone as the Coen brothers; Mike Royce (Everybody Loves Raymond) started out as warm-up act on The Maury Povich Show. "My man's got such a career now," panel moderator Dennis Miller said of Royce, "but he was once a fluffer for Povich." Other participants included Terence Winter (The Sopranos), Matt Warburton (The Simpsons), Jane Anderson (Normal) and Hugh Whitemore (My House in Umbria). The panel was sponsored by the WGA. »

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Corbett Loses His Luck

1 August 2003 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

My Big Fat Greek Wedding star John Corbett's good fortune has run out - his new critically acclaimed show Lucky has been canceled by TV network bosses. Executives at cable network FX have reluctantly decided against renewing the show for a second season - despite it picking up an Emmy nomination for outstanding comedy writing. Ratings for the show, which centered on a compulsive gambler trying to ditch his addiction while still surrounding himself with temptations, drew a modest 2.5 million viewers when it premiered in April. By the fourth week, the series had lost more than half its audience, shrinking even more in June. The final segment of the 13-episode season was screened on July 1. »

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Russos sign overall deal with 20th TV

17 July 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Anthony and Joe Russo have inked an overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television. The one-year pact calls for the brothers to develop, write, direct and executive produce series projects for the studio. The Russos directed the 20th TV/Imagine TV comedy pilot Arrested Development in the spring. As part of their new deal, they Will Helm four additional episodes of the single-camera series, which landed on Fox's fall schedule. Arrested Development was the second pilot directed by the brothers, whose first TV effort was the pilot for FX's critically acclaimed offbeat comedy Lucky. It was the Russos' work on Lucky that got the attention of the 20th TV brass and led to their gig on the pilot for Arrested Development. »

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NBC wooing FX's Reilly

28 May 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Is Kevin Reilly headed back to NBC? Reilly, FX's highly regarded entertainment president, has been hotly pursued by the peacock for a senior post that would bring Reilly back to the network where he started his TV career in the late 1980s. Sources said Reilly was in New York on Tuesday for a meeting with NBC chairman and CEO Robert Wright. However, sources close to the situation stressed that as of Tuesday night, there was no formal deal between Reilly and the network. It's also no secret that Reilly, whose contract with FX expires in the summer, has been courted by Showtime to become the new head of programming once president Jerry Offsay steps down at year's end. The specifics of the prospective job opening for Reilly at NBC are still murky, but industry insiders have been buzzing for some time about a pending shake-up at the NBC Entertainment and NBC Studios divisions. Reilly joined FX in 2000 and has made his mark there with the critically embraced drama series The Shield and the offbeat comedy Lucky. Before that, Reilly spent six years at Brillstein-Grey's TV unit. He began his career in 1988 at NBC, where he rose through the development ranks and was part of the team that developed such dramas as ER and Homicide: Life on the Street. NBC declined comment, while FX executives could not be reached for comment late Tuesday. »

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FX net hoping for 'Lucky' new slate

7 April 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

NEW YORK -- Even with a new series named Lucky, the FX network will leave nothing to chance in its primetime expansion plan. A quirky half-hour comedy set in the gambling palaces of Las Vegas, Lucky is a high-stakes bet on repeating the success of the network's first original series, The Shield. When it inherits the Emmy-winning cop drama's 10 p.m. slot Tuesday, Lucky will be the first of several daring new original productions FX will release through the summer in its bid to position the network as a basic cable version of HBO. "Each piece of programming is a steppingstone," FX president of entertainment Kevin Reilly said. "What we are trying to accomplish in the next six to 12 months is more consistency." »

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