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‘The Carmichael Show’ Sets ‘New Girl’ Producer as Showrunner

‘The Carmichael Show’ Sets ‘New Girl’ Producer as Showrunner
Comedy writer and producer Danielle Sanchez-Witzel has inked an overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television, Variety has learned.

Under the new two-year pact, she will exec produce and serve as showrunner on NBC’s “The Carmichael Show” for 20th and Universal Television.

Most recently, Sanchez-Witzel was a co-exec producer on Fox’s “New Girl.” Prior to that, she was under an overall deal with CBS Studios, where she worked on sitcom “The Millers,” plus her own development. For six seasons she has also been working with NBC, where she was a co-exec producer and consultant on “Whitney,” “Love Bites,” “100 Questions” and “My Name Is Earl.”

“Our relationship with Danielle dates all the way back to ‘My Name Is Earl,’ and she’s been doing terrific work for us on ‘New Girl’ this season,” said Jonnie Davis, Twentieth Century Fox Television president of creative affairs. “When we found out there
See full article at Variety - TV News »

R.I.P. Dennis Farina

Film and TV actor Dennis Farina has passed away at the age of 69 in Arizona. The cause of his death has not been released at this time.

Farina came late to the acting game, working as a cop for eighteen years before turning to acting at 37 years old.

Throughout the late 1980s and all of the 1990s, the actor was rarely out of work thanks to various feature film supporting roles.

His earliest roles included FBI chief Jack Crawford in Michael Mann's "Manhunter," playing a detective in the Chuck Norris action film "Code of Silence," and the memorably foul-mouthed Jimmy Serrano in "Midnight Run".

Key roles in films like "Get Shorty," "Another Stakeout," "Striking Distance," "Little Big League," "The Mod Squad," "Out of Sight," "Saving Private Ryan," "Snatch," "Reindeer Games," "Bottle Shock," and "What Happens in Vegas" followed.

He was also a regular and/or recurring guest star on shows like "Crime Story,
See full article at Dark Horizons »

Disney's King Of The Elves moving forward with Michael Markowitz writing

Walt Disney Animation Studios has breathed new life into King of the Elves and has hired Michael Markowitz (Horrible Bosses) to pen the newest version of the script.  The film is an adaptation of a Philip K. Dick short story about "a band of elves and one dwarf living in the Mississippi Delta who tap a human as their king after he saves them from an evil troll." The project is being overseen by Chris Williams, co-director and writer of Bolt.

Elves was initially set for a 2012 release with Brother Bear's Aaron Blaise and Robert Walker, but when Pixar's John Lasseter took over animation in 2006 it went back into development. This project has been around since 2008, and was even unveiled alongside Wall-e as an upcoming film on the Disney schedule. This should be the next big film on the horizon for 2013 after Monsters University opens next summer. 

Markowitz has also written for TV,
See full article at GeekTyrant »

TV Land Greenlights Comedy Pilot

Exclusive: TV Land is opening its second pilot pickup season with a cast-contingent order to Ex Men, a multi-camera sitcom from former Frasier executive producer Mark Reisman. The project revolves around 3 divorced guys who live in an apartment building where their landlord is their young and sexy female divorce attorney. Reisman, who wrote Ex Men and will executive produce it, created and executive produced the series Quintuplets on Fox and In-Laws on NBC. Ex Men is expected to be the first of several pilots at TV Land, which entered the original scripted arena a year ago with its first two pilots ever, Hot in Cleveland and Retired at 35. Both were eventually picked up to series, and Cleveland launched in the summer as the highest-rated comedy series on cable. The sitcom starring Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick and Betty White, returns with 20 new original episodes on Jan. 19. A premiere date
See full article at Deadline TV »

Former 'Earl' writer-producer re-ups at UMS

Former "My Name Is Earl" writer-producer Danielle Sanchez-Witzel has inked a new two-year overall deal with Universal Media Studios, becoming the first graduate of NBC's diversity writing program to get a renewal at the company.

Sanchez-Witzel is one of three big success stories to come out of the 10-year-old program, which sponsors a minority staff writer position on nearly every NBC series.

The other two are Mindy Kaling, who started off as a writer on NBC's "The Office" as part of the program and went on to become a producer and co-star on the Emmy-winning comedy series and ink an overall deal with Ums, and Donald Glover, who as a trainee in the program landed a writing gig on "30 Rock" and now co-stars on another NBC Thursday comedy, "Community," while also working on new projects under a development deal with Ums.

Under the seven-figure pact, Sanchez-Witzel will join
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

J.J. Abrams goes to comedy at Fox.

J.J. Abrams will be turning to comedy at Fox with a half-hour project which Mike Markowitz ("In-Laws," "Becker," "The Random Years") wrote. The co-creator of Fox's science fiction series "Fringe" will serve as an executive producer. There are few details on what it's about except that it's a comedic medical show. Markowitz and Bryan Burk are also executive producing from Warner Bros. TV and Abrams' Bad Robot. Medical field is crowded with offerings like "Grey's Anatomy," "Private Practice"...
See full article at Upcoming-Movies.com »

' 'Til Death' duo inks new deal at Sony TV

' 'Til Death' duo inks new deal at Sony TV
Alex Barnow and Marc Firek, writer-producers on " 'Til Death," have inked a new two-year overall deal with series producer Sony Pictures TV.

After three seasons on "Death" -- most recently as supervising producers -- the pair is leaving the comedy series, which recently was picked up by Fox for a fourth season. They are expected to join another Sony series under their new seven-figure pact.

Barnow and Firek also have received a blind script commitment for a new series project. They are expected to begin working on the script immediately, while the extension to their overall deal starts in June, when their previous two-year pact expires.

The duo's series credits include Fox's "Family Guy," NBC's "In-Laws" and CBS' "Out of Practice."

They are repped by Wma and attorney Ken Richman.
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

'Earl' writer inks deal with Universal

In one of the biggest success stories for NBC's diversity writing program, My Name Is Earl writer-producer Danielle Sanchez-Witzel has inked a two-year overall deal with Universal Media Studios. The seven-figure pact marks the first overall deal to come out of the 8-year-old program.

In the first year of the deal, UMS will loan out Sanchez-Witzel to 20th Century Fox TV to continue working on NBC's comedy Earl, where she will be upped to co-executive producer beginning in the fall. She will be developing new projects for UMS during both years.

Once an aspiring sports broadcaster who covered the Stanford baseball team for the university's radio station while a student there, Sanchez-Witzel shifted her attention to feature producing when she enrolled in the masters program at the UCLA School of Film & Television. A sitcom-writing class in the second year changed her career path yet again, and after graduation, she took a year writing comedy spec scripts until landing a staff writer job on the freshman half-hour In-Laws in 2002 under NBC's diversity initiative for writers. The program, launched in 2000, sponsors a staff writer position on almost every NBC series for a minority scribe.

Sony TV in pact with 'Death' duo

'Til Death writer-producers Alex Barnow and Marc Firek have inked an overall deal with the series producer, Sony Pictures TV.

Under the seven-figure pact, Barnow and Firek will be upped from producers to supervising producers on the Fox comedy " 'Til Death," which is returning for a second season in the fall. The two also will develop new projects for the studio.

Barnow and Firek's series credits include Fox's Family Guy, NBC's In-Laws and CBS' Out of Practice.

They are repped by WMA and attorney Ken Richman.

ABC assigns Somerville to 'NYPD' duty

ABC assigns Somerville to 'NYPD' duty
Bonnie Somerville is set to join the cast of ABC's NYPD Blue as a regular when Steven Bochco's veteran cop drama returns for its 12th and final season in the fall. She will play a sexy detective who joins the New York Police Department's 15th Precinct. Somerville will fill the void left by the recent departure of Charlotte Ross, who played Detective Connie McDowell on the Emmy-winning series for more than three years. Somerville starred in the WB's critically praised comedy Grosse Pointe and NBC's sitcom In-Laws. She also had recurring roles on the hit series Friends on NBC and The O.C. on Fox. Somerville, who will next be seen in the feature Without a Paddle, is repped by ICM and McKeon/Valeo Management.

ProSieben inks Par TV deal

MUNICH -- ProSiebenSat.1, Germany's biggest commercial broadcasting group, has acquired exclusive free TV rights to numerous Paramount Pictures films and TV series from 2002-05, the company said Tuesday. The deal secures for the ProSieben Group rights to such hits as Changing Lanes; The Sum of All Fears; Star Trek Nemesis; the next Mission: Impossible sequel, scheduled to begin production next year; the series NCIS, with Mark Harmon; and In-Laws, produced by Kelsey Grammer. Reuters in Germany reported that the deal could be valued in the "low hundreds of millions" of euros. ProSiebenSat.1 did not return calls for comment before press time. A spokeswoman for Paramount in Los Angeles declined comment on the report.

Room at 'House' for Somerville

Room at 'House' for Somerville
Bonnie Somerville has been cast in Fox's comedy pilot Jack's House, from 20th Century Fox TV. The project centers on a twentysomething guy (Will Friedle) whose plan to settle down after buying a house is complicated by his partying ex-roommates and his girlfriend. Somerville will play the girlfriend of Jack's best friend and former roommate (Heath Hyche). Somerville starred in NBC's freshman comedy In-laws this season. Her credits also include NBC's hit comedy Friends, the WB Network comedy Grosse Pointe and the CBS period miniseries Shake, Rattle and Roll: An American Love Story. Somerville is repped by Writers & Artists Agency, manager Mel McKeon and attorney Neil Meyer.

Fox takes Tuesday by shunning reruns

Fox takes Tuesday by shunning reruns
With reruns dotting the schedule, the Big Four networks fell into their traditional post-November sweep swoon on Tuesday. Not surprisingly, the network that served up the most original programming, Fox, won the night overall. Fox's 9 p.m. drama 24 was the most-watched program of the night, averaging 11.1 million viewers and 5.2 rating/13 share in adults 18-49, according to preliminary estimates from Nielsen Media Research. Fox also won the first hour of primetime with solid showing from That '70s Show (10.2 million, 4.9/14), even though Grounded for Life (8.5 million, 4.2/11) slipped at 8:30 p.m. NBC served up a double-shot of its struggling freshman comedy In-Laws, first in its regular 8:30 p.m. time slot and then in a special post-Frasier showcase at 9:30 p.m. In-Laws held up fairly well after the Frasier rerun, averaging 9.6 million, 3.9/10 compared to Frasier's 10.9 million, 4.4/11. For the night, Fox averaged 10.2 million viewers and 4.9/13 in the key demo. A rerun-laded ABC ran second in total viewers (9.6 million) while NBC and ABC were neck-and-neck for the No. 2 spot in adults 18-49 (NBC's 3.9/10 to ABC's 3.8/10).

'24' delivers Tues. night win for Fox

'24' delivers Tues. night win for Fox
Fox got some welcome good ratings news on Tuesday as the second season opener of 24 delivered the show's highest ratings ever and led the network to win the night in the adults 18-49 demo. 24, which ran without commercial breaks in a special sponsorship deal with Ford Motor Corp., dominated the 9 p.m. hour in both total viewers (13.6 million) and adults 18-49 (6.5 rating/16 share). The Kiefer Sutherland starrer also scored with the adults 18-34 crowd (6.6/17). Fox was also the 18-49 demo champ from 8-9 p.m. with back-to-back episodes of That '70s Show, which built steadily throughout the hour. ABC's comedy block held up pretty well against the Fox resurgence -- 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter (13.5 million, 5.0/14) and According to Jim (13.4 million, 5.3/14) ranked second in the hour in demographics. NBC's Just Shoot Me (6.9 million, 2.7/7) and In-Laws (6.9 million, 2.7/7) fell to fourth place in the hour behind CBS' JAG (15.8 million, 3.3/9).

CBS draws most viewers Tuesday, ABC takes the demo race

CBS draws most viewers Tuesday, ABC takes the demo race
ABC's new Tuesday lineup posted another nightly win among adults 18-49, while CBS continued its rein on the night in total viewers. At 8 p.m., 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter (12.8 million viewers, 4.7 rating/14 share among adults 18-49) cooled off from previous weeks, but still won the half-hour in adults 18-49, while passing the total viewers baton this week to CBS' veteran military drama JAG (14.9 million, 3.3/9 from 8-9 p.m.). ABC's According to Jim (12.4 million, 5.0/14) at 8:30 p.m. also topped the competition in adults 18-49, building on to its 8 Simple Rules demo lead-in, according to preliminary Nielsen data. NBC didn't see improvement from switching its 8-9 p.m. comedies. The block of In-laws (6.9 million, 2.4/7) at 8 p.m. and Just Shoot Me (8.0 million, 3.0/8) at 8:30 p.m. was down 13% in the 18-49 demographic, and up 5% in total viewers from last week, when Just Shoot Me (6.6 million, 2.7/8) opened the night at 8 p.m. and In-laws (7.7 million, 3.5/9) ran at 8:30 p.m. The two shows' delivery in 18-49 is on par with what Emeril and Three Sisters did for NBC in the time period last year. At 9 p.m., NBC's Frasier (13.6 million, 5.2/13) won the hour with Life with Bonnie (9.3 million, 4.0/10) running second in 18-49, while the two networks' sitcoms at 9:30 p.m., NBC's Hidden Hills (9.9 million, 4.3/11) and ABC's Less than Perfect (9.3 million, 4.1/10) ran neck and neck. CBS' legal drama The Guardian (13.2 million, 3.3/8) topped the 9-10 p.m. hour in total viewers. For the night, ABC averaged 11.6 million viewers and a 4.7/13 in 18-49 to CBS' 14.0 million viewers and a 3.6/9. NBC logged 9.8 million viewers and a 3.8/10, while Fox posted 6.1 million viewers and a 2.9/8 with repeats of That '70s Show, Cedric the Entertainer Presents and John Doe.

"JAG" leads CBS to Tuesday audience lead

ABC served up another strong performance on Tuesday with its 8-10 p.m. comedy block and NYPD Blue. CBS also had a strong night with its drama lineup, led by JAG, which ranked as the most-watched program of the night. NBC got off to a slow start with the season premiere of Just Shoot Me at 8 p.m. pulling in just 6.7 million viewers and 2.7/8 in the adults 18-49 demo. At 8:30 p.m., NBC's new sitcom In-Laws rose to 7.8 million viewers and 3.4/9 in 18-49, but both of the peacock's comedies were still beaten by CBS' older-skewing "JAG" (14.6 million, 3.3/9). ABC's "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter" (14.6 million viewers, 5.6/16 in 18-49) and According to Jim (13.5 million, 5.6/15) won the hour. NBC's fortunes picked up at 9 p.m. with Frasier (14.2 million, 5.6/14), but ABC's Life with Bonnie (10.3 million, 4.6/12) held up well in the time slot. At 10 p.m., NYPD Blue (12.9 million, 5.3/15) was the clear winner in the demo but CBS' Judging Amy led in total viewers (14 million). For the night, CBS won in total viewers (14 million) while ABC led in 18-49 (5.1/14) and was No. 2 in viewers (12.3 million). Fox's regular lineup was preempted for baseball playoff coverage.

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