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On that date, both the Sneaky Pete and Casanova pilots will be available to all Amazon Prime Instant Video subscribers in the U.S., UK, and Germany. Soon afterwards, the pilots will be joined by others in Amazon’s recent round of its pilot program. Prime users will then be able to vote on their favorite pilots, which Amazon will greenlight as full series orders.
Sneaky Pete, which Amazon was reportedly courting back in June 2015, comes from executive producers Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) and David Shore (House M.D.). The Amazon original series’ story centers around a released-from-prison conman, played by Giovanni Ribisi, who takes his old cellmate Pete’s identity and gets sucked into his family’s bail bond business. »
- Bree Brouwer
The drama, titled after Ben Franklin’s yearly almanac, comes from exec producer Jim Danger Gray, who served as a producer on “Orange Is the New Black,” and consulting producer Miguel Sapochnik, who directed two “Game of Thrones” episodes this past season and will direct two more in 2016.
“Poor Richard’s Almanack” is described as an edge-of-your-seat thriller about a group of heroes who emerge as the new Founding Fathers, after America is pushed to the brink of collapse. The series weaves between modern day and a possible future where characters have radically changed.
The pilot marks the second project between Legendary and USA, »
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta takes a step closer to the big screen, as a writer is hired for her first movie...
For some time, there have been plans to bring the best-selling series of Kay Scarpetta books by Patricia Cornwell to the big screen. And now it seems there may have been some progress.
Liz Friedman has now been hired to produce a screenplay based on the crime novels series, and Fox 2000 has also hired Melissa Rosenberg - a writer on the Twilight Saga and Marvel's Jessica Jones - to produce the film.
We're still a long way away from Scarpetta getting to the screen of course, and there's the small matter of a director to find. That's even before we »
A modestly budgeted, female driven, adult-targeted potential franchise launching serial killer thriller feature. It's something that Hollywood hasn't really done much of since the late 1990s, back in the days when the two A.J.'s (Ashley Judd & Angeline Jolie) had book adaptations like "Kiss the Girls" and "The Bone Collector" tailored for them into solid little films.
One adaptation of a crime thriller novel series long in the works has been that of the Kay Scarpetta character from acclaimed author Patricia Cornwell. Fox 2000 acquired the film rights to the sixteen books (at the time) featuring the opera-loving workaholic coroner in 2009.
The plan was to craft an original forensic science-centric story based on the character rather than a direct adaptation of one specific novel such as "The Body Farm" or "From Potter's Field". It was also being shaped as a vehicle for Jolie, and would've kept the dark and grizzly tone of the books. »
- Garth Franklin
Amazon Instant Video may have a new pilot to test with viewers. The streaming video-on-demand service is reportedly in talks to pick up the drama pilot Sneaky Pete from executive producers and co-writers Bryan Cranston (of Breaking Bad fame) and David Shore (House M.D.).
Inside sources told Variety, who originally broke the story, Amazon is considering adding Sneaky Pete, originally produced for CBS, to its next round of pilots. Adding the title to the mix would allow Amazon Prime Instant Video subscribers to decide whether or not they want the pilot to be developed into a full series.
However, if Amazon does pick up Sneaky Pete, the streaming service would be following the practices of competitors Netflix and Hulu. Both those video subscriptions routinely pick up cancelled shows from traditional television networks (as was the case with Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and The Mindy Project).
Produced by Cranston’s Moon Shot Entertainment »
- Bree Brouwer
When Jon Voight agreed to take the role of Mickey on Showtime’s “Ray Donovan,” he was enthusiastic about being a part of a capable ensemble and didn’t give any thought to where his name might land in the credits.
“I’m a real character actor. I like stutters and limps,” says Voight, who built a career on playing leading men in films like 1969’s “Midnight Cowboy” and 1978’s “Coming Home,” for which he won an Oscar. “Every role is a character, and some of the characters are enjoyable to me because they’re so crazy. So Mickey’s perfect. I was fortunate to meet with him at this juncture.”
Voight is just one of the accomplished actors better known for playing »
- Christy Grosz
Many shows live and die by their main character’s ability to make you stop caring about anything else that might be sub-par. You may need a semblance of general story, depending on how hard you push the episodic nature of the show, but if you have the right lead, you only need above-average plot lines to keep people in their seats.
Stitchers has a lot in common with House M.D. in this regard. The cases were often intriguing, and though the perpetual doubt of House’s abilities grew tiring, the overall arc was pretty good. Still, Hugh Laurie made the show.
The plot of Stitchers is a “sci-fi fun” one, which for ABC Family means it balances the “need to know” with the “just play along,” and it doesn’t overwork the complexities of things, nor does it talk down to the audience… much. It’s solid, though perhaps »
- Marc Eastman
When Tom James (Hugh Laurie) joined Selina Meyer’s (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) campaign on Veep, everyone congratulated her for making such a great choice. The same can and should be said for Veep in bringing Hugh Laurie back to our TV screeners. In a complete contrast to Dr. House, though, Laurie as James is so affable and friendly that everyone absolutely adores him — so much so, that Selina worries he’s taking the spotlight away from her as Potus. As one headline says, “Tom James: The Best Potus We Never Had.” “Don’t show that one [to Selina],” her personal assistant suggests. [caption id="attachment_465481" align="alignright" width="350"] Image via HBO[/caption] One of the things that makes HBO’s biting satire so great is that it feels like it could be real: that politics are petty and full of mistrust, and no real friendships or connections can be made because of a constant jockeying for power. Despite that, »
- Allison Keene
There may be no more reliable leading actor working in Hollywood today than Bradley Cooper, who recently led Clint Eastwood's excellent, woefully misunderstood mega-hit American Sniper and provided the voice of Rocket Raccoon in some movie called Guardians of the Galaxy. This year, he's already been seen in the slightly underrated Serena and will lead both Cameron Crowe's Aloha and David O. Russell's Joy. On top of this, he will be co-starring in Netflix's Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp and, as Deadline has reported, will be featured in a recurring supporting role in CBS's full-series adaptation of Limitless, the 2011 supernatural thriller starring Cooper. As reported awhile ago, Cooper will be producing the series as well, which casts relative newcomer Jake McDormand as Brian Finch, a young man who discovers and starts taking Nzt, a drug that unlocks untapped potential in the human brain. [caption id="attachment_81235" align="alignright" width="350"] Image via Relativity[/caption] »
- Chris Cabin
The network has renewed all other series on its current slate with the exception of “Last Man Standing,” which still awaits a decision.
“Forever” starred Ioan Gruffudd as Dr. Henry Morgan, a medical examiner born in 1779 who studies the dead for criminal cases, truly to solve the mystery of his own immortality. Alana de la Garza, Joel David Moore, Donnie Keshawarz, Lorraine Toussaint and Judd Hirsch also starred. The drama premiered to almost 12 million total viewers in Sept. 2014, and dipped to just under 7 million for its most recent episode this spring.
“Cristela” also will not be returning for a second season. The multi-cam comedy was created by standup comedian Cristela Alonzo. Averaging just over 5 million total viewers for its first season, the premiere launched to a total audience of about »
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
Brad Pitt 'Glory Days' costar Nicholas Kallsen Brad Pitt 'Glory Days' costar Nicholas Kallsen dead at 48 Nicholas Kallsen, who was featured opposite Brad Pitt in the short-lived television series Glory Days, has died at age 48 in Thailand according to online reports. Their source is one of Rupert Murdoch's rags, citing a Facebook posting by one of the actor's friends. The cause of death was purportedly – no specific source was provided – a drug overdose.* Aired on Fox in July 1990, Glory Days told the story of four high-school friends whose paths take different directions after graduation. Besides Nicholas Kallsen and Brad Pitt, the show also featured Spike Alexander and Evan Mirand. Glory Days lasted a mere six episodes – two of which directed by former Happy Days actor Anson Williams – before its cancellation. Roommates Nicholas Kallsen and Brad Pitt vying for same 'Thelma & Louise' role? The Murdoch tabloid also »
- Andre Soares
Oscar-nominated screenwriter Don Mankiewicz has died at the age of 93, according to multiple media reports. The writer of 1931’s “I Want to Live!” died of congestive heart failure at his home in Monrovia, California, on Saturday according to his son, producer John Makiewicz, who counts “House M.D.” and “House of Cards” among his credits. The younger Mankiewicz confirmed his father’s death to The La Times. Also Read: Hollywood's Notable Deaths of 2015 (Photos) Part of a legendary family, Mankiewicz’s father was Herman J. Mankiewicz, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of “Citizen Kane,” and his uncle Joseph L. Mankiewicz won Oscars for writing and directing “All About. »
- Linda Ge
The cast of “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce” joined James Lipton Tuesday evening for a mock edition of “Inside the Actors Studio” to discuss Bravo’s first-ever scripted series, in front of a crowd filled with TV Academy members.
Following the panel, “Top Chef” Boston contestants served up the Universal Studios Hollywood reception with dishes from season 12 winner Mei Lin, plus finalists Melissa King and Doug Adams. King prepped scallop crudo with citrus, Adams served a Texas-style brisket chili, and Lin made her winning congee dish. During the tasting party, small bites including mini cheeseburgers, brie crostinis and kimchi falafel were passed around, and chocolate-dipped strawberries were the hit of the dessert buffet.
Before the party began, Lipton took the stage at Universal Studios’ Globe Theatre with “Girlfriends’ Guide” creator Marti Noxon and ensemble Lisa Edelstein, Paul Adelstein, Beau Garrett, Necar Zadegan and Alanna Ubach.
In line with the show’s racy content, »
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
“Battle Creek” is a new take on the buddy-cop genre, starring Josh Duhamel and Dean Winters. Hailing from “Breaking Bad’s” Vince Gilligan and “House M.D.” vet David Shore, the series bows March 1 on CBS.
The quirky drama is set in Battle Creek, Mich., population 50,000, where a jaded detective, Russ Agnew (Winters), reluctantly partners with charming FBI Agent Milt Chamberlain (Duhamel) to solve crimes. Shore, who serves as showrunner and exec producer, says the setting is one of the ways the show differentiates itself from others of its kind.
“In the writers room, if we came up with an idea that would be a great ‘Law & Order’ episode, we just didn’t do it,” Shore, who worked on the famed procedural show for two years, said on a recent conference call with Variety.
Shore explained that while the writers are looking for ideas more specific to a small community, that »
- Seth Kelley
Kal Penn is walking a different beat in the CBS police dramedy "Battle Creek," but this is in many ways a return for him. You might not necessarily remember, but Penn has been working in the CBS family steadily since he ended his sabbatical working for the White House. He followed a recurring arc on "How I Met Your Mother" with a regular role on the short-lived "We Are Men" before landing on "Battle Creek," which was created by Vince Gilligan, but is run by David Shore. Shore, of course, worked with Penn during his multi-season run as the ill-fated Dr. Lawrence Kutner on Fox's "House," a series that appears on the resume of many of the "Battle Creek" scribes. And when one of the first things we learn about Penn's Detective Fontanelle is that he's a user of medicinal marijuana, which ties Font in with Penn's long and beloved »
- Daniel Fienberg
Spin-offs are easy. Spin-offs are hard. Spin-offs get to use pre-existing characters from popular shows — or, at a minimum, get to introduce their new characters on a pre-existing show — and therefore have an easier time getting the audience's attention than some wholly original concept. But spin-offs also remove those characters from the context where people first liked them, and they can be unfairly held to the standards of the original show, whereas a brand-new series is only judged for being itself. And it's hard to know exactly what kinds of spin-offs will succeed, creatively or commercially. Frasier Crane worked spectacularly well away from the gang at Cheers, while Joey Tribbiani seemed much less lovable once he was 3,000 miles away from Chandler and the other Central Perk regulars. "The Simpsons" far outstripped the popularity of "The Tracey Ullman Show." Sometimes, audiences instantly take to characters introduced to a pre-existing show for »
- Alan Sepinwall
Bravo has handed a second season to its first original scripted series “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce,” the cabler announced Wednesday.
Currently in its debut season, production on Season 2 will begin this summer with 13 episodes.
The Universal Cable Productions dramedy from creator-exec producer Marti Noxon stars Lisa Edelstein (“House M.D.”) and Paul Adelstein (“Private Practice,” “Scandal”) as a newly divorced couple living an upscale lifestyle in L.A. Edelstein plays Abby McCarthy, a self-help book author who, with the help of her divorced girlfriends, navigates her newfound single life in her 40s, after her career and marriage fall apart.
“We’ve been excited about ‘Girlfriends’ Guide’ since the day Marti brought it in, and we were elated it became Bravo’s first scripted series,” said Jeff Wachtel, president and chief content officer, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. “Lisa Edelstein and the rest of the incredible cast have sparked fresh conversations about strong, complicated »
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
CBS has picked up two more drama pilots, “For Justice” and “Sneaky Pete,” both of which have big star power behind the camera.
“For Justice,” from CBS TV Studios, has veteran showrunner Rene Balcer of “Law & Order” at the helm as writer and exec producer. Robert De Niro is also attached to exec produce, along with Jane Rosenthal, James Patterson, Bill Robinson, Leopoldo Gout and co-exec producer Berry Welsh. The drama centers on a female FBI agent working in the Criminal Section of the Department of Civil Rights Division who finds herself caught between her radical real family and her professional family. The project is based on James Patterson’s novel “The Thomas Berryman Number.”
“Sneaky Pete” comes from “House M.D.” creator David Shore, who will pen the project, along with co-writer Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad.” The series follows a thirty-something conman who takes the identity of his past cellmate upon leaving jail. »
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
“I don’t see the worst in everyone. I see the everyone in everyone.”
For Detective Lt. Everett Backstrom, that’s all the justification he needs to act the way he does — that is, crass, blunt and totally rude.
In Fox’s new cop drama — created by Bones‘ Hart Hanson and based on a set of novels by Swedish criminologist Leif G.W. Persson — The Office‘s Rainn Wilson stars as the titular detective, who is admittedly excellent at his job.
He’s just not so great at the “people skills” thing.
Now, the 49-year-old actor is ready to put Dunder Mifflin Paper Co. behind him, and step into some new — and slightly more offensive — shoes as the star of Fox's mid-season procedural Backstrom.
"I'm sure we'll get a lot of complaints," Wilson said of his new button-pushing alter-ego Detective Everett Backstrom. "I hope Fox is ready to have people be really angry."
Watch: Inside the Secret Formula to Fox's 'Empire,' TV's Next Big Hit
Why the expected outrage? In just the first episode, Wilson's character displays racist, sexist, and homophobic behavior, all while sputtering politically incorrect jabs and borderline-offensive one-liners..
But it was these outrageous character faults that really drew Wilson to the role. "He's so fascinating and interesting and [has] so many facets and texture. I knew it »
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