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Maya Rudolph, Natasha Lyonne Sign First Look Deal With Amazon Studios

Maya Rudolph, Natasha Lyonne Sign First Look Deal With Amazon Studios
Maya Rudolph and Natasha Lyonne have signed a new first-look television deal with Amazon Studios, the company announced on Monday.

Under the deal, the terms of which were not disclosed, the duo will create original series for the streamer via their Animal Pictures production banner.

“Maya and Natasha are proven talents in front of and behind the camera, and we are so excited to tap into this powerful creative brain trust and be in business with these fiercely funny and phenomenally smart women,” said Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios.

“I’ve had an incredible experience working with the team at Amazon Studios on Forever, where they have given us true creative freedom,” said Rudolph. “I’m excited to extend this relationship and to have the opportunity for Natasha and myself to continue to develop new shows for a global audience.”

Also Read: Amazon Studios, Blumhouse TV Team Up for 8 Thematically-Connected Films

Lyonne added,
See full article at The Wrap »

FX’s "Fosse/Verdon" Sets Main Cast; Norbert Leo Butz, Margaret Qualley Join as Series Regulars

  • Variety
FX has set the main cast for the eight-episode limited series “Fosse/Verdon,” Variety has learned.

The series is based on the biography “Fosse” written by Sam Wasson and tells the story of the romantic and creative partnership between Bob Fosse (Sam Rockwell) and Gwen Verdon (Michelle Williams).

Norbert Leo Butz has been cast in the series regular role of Paddy Chayefsky, while Margaret Qually will appear in the series regular role of Ann Reinking.

In addition, the following people have been cast in recurring roles: Aya Cash as Joan Simon, Nate Corddry as Neil Simon, Susan Misner as Joan McCracken, Bianca Marroquin as Chita Rivera, Kelli Barrett as Liza Minnelli, Evan Handler as Hal Prince, Rick Holmes as Fred Weaver, Paul Reiser as Cy Feuer, Ethan Slater as Joel Grey, Byron Jennings as George Abbott, and Laura Osnes as Shirley MacLaine.

Butz is currently starring on Broadway in “My Fair Lady
See full article at Variety »

Spinal Tap to Reunite and Perform for 35th Anniversary Screening at Tribeca Film Festival

Spinal Tap to Reunite and Perform for 35th Anniversary Screening at Tribeca Film Festival
Spinal Tap, the loudest band in England, is reuniting for a 35th anniversary screening of their film This Is Spinal Tap at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival and will also perform following the screening.

Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer will turn it up to 11 again in a one-night-only concert in which they’ll perform as themselves in tribute to the fictional band Spinal Tap. So they won’t specifically be in character as Nigel Tufnel, David St. Hubbins and Derek Smalls. But they’ll further be joined by This is Spinal Tap director Rob Reiner for a conversation to follow.

“Spinal Tap proves there is definitely a fine line between stupid and clever,” director, co-writer and star Reiner said in a statement Monday.
See full article at The Wrap »

"True Blood" Creator Alan Ball Gives Details Of Musical Version In The Works

  • Deadline
True Blood fans rejoice. You may be getting a fix of the vampire fantasy story in musical form.

Speaking at a 10th anniversary screening of the pilot episode at Vulture Festival in Los Angeles on Sunday, creator Alan Ball gave details of the rumored musical version coming from composer Nathan Barr, which Ball says he’s heard is "pretty good."

"It tells the story of vampires coming out of the closet," Ball said.
See full article at Deadline »

John Bluthal obituary

John Bluthal obituary
Stage and screen actor who appeared in popular sitcoms including "Never Mind the Quality," "Feel the Width" and "The Vicar of Dibley."

The actor John Bluthal, who has died aged 89, forged a long and successful acting career in Britain that began in the golden age of television in the 1960s, when he provided a foil to the comedy legends Michael Bentine, Eric Sykes, Peter Cook and, over several decades, Spike Milligan.

Bluthal soared to the top of the bill when he starred alongside Joe Lynch in the sitcom "Never Mind the Quality", "Feel the Width" (1967-71), the pair playing respectively the Jewish jacket-maker Manny Cohen and the Irish trouser-maker Patrick Kelly running a business in the East End.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Can ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Survive Without Enchanting New Audiences?

Can ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Survive Without Enchanting New Audiences?
As J.K. Rowling continues to expand the “Harry Potter” universe, the generation that grew up watching onscreen adventures of the Boy Who Lived have remained a faithful bunch.

That much was clear from the opening weekend of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the latest installment in the seemingly endless array of “Harry Potter” sequels, prequels, spinoffs and stage shows. The umpteenth return to the fantasy series launched with $62 million at the domestic box office, a sizable and potentially problematic drop from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Like the first Fantastic Beasts installment, the audience breakdown was much older than the movies centering around the bespectacled boy wizard.

The lower than expected start displays that beyond die-hard fans, the Wizarding World has struggled to entice a new wave of Potterheads.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The Original 'Frankenstein' Has Finally Been Restored After 108 Years

The Original 'Frankenstein' Has Finally Been Restored After 108 Years
Frankenstein isn’t the only Frankenstein. James Whale’s 1931 take on Mary Shelley’s iconic novel was beaten to the punch by the Edison Manufacturing, which in 1910 produced what a title card describes as a “liberal adaptation” of the story.

The Library of Congress purchased a collection of prints in 2014 that included a nitrate print of Frankenstein. Alois F. Dettlaff acquired it in the 1950s and brought it with him to film festivals and monster conventions for decades; a meeting with then-AMPAS president Robert Wise in 1986 failed to persuade him to let the Academy preserve and archive it.
See full article at Indiewire »

Stan Lee’s Team Slams Bill Maher for ‘Disgusting’ Commentary About Late Comic Book Creator

Stan Lee’s Team Slams Bill Maher for ‘Disgusting’ Commentary About Late Comic Book Creator
Stan Lee’s team at Pow! Entertainment has written an open letter in response to a blog post written by Bill Maher, calling Maher’s comments in the wake of Lee’s death, “frankly disgusting.”

“Our shock at your comments makes us want to say “‘Nuff said, Bill,” but instead we will rely on another of Stan’s lessons to remind you that you have a powerful platform, so please remember: “With great power there must also come — great responsibility,” the open letter reads.

Read the whole letter below:

Mr. Maher: Comic books, like all literature, are storytelling devices. When written well by great creators such as Stan Lee, they make us feel, make us think and teach us lessons that hopefully make us better human beings. One lesson Stan taught so many of us was tolerance and respect, and thanks to that message, we are grateful that we can
See full article at The Wrap »

Jim Acosta’s Press Credentials Restored by White House; CNN Drops Lawsuit

CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s press credentials have been fully restored by the White House, the network announced in a tweet on Monday. In response, CNN dropped its lawsuit against the Trump administration.

“Today the @WhiteHouse fully restored @Acosta’s press pass. As a result, our lawsuit is no longer necessary. We look forward to continuing to cover the White House,” said CNN in a terse statement Monday.

A rep for the White House did not immediately respond to request for comment from TheWrap.

Today the @WhiteHouse fully restored @Acosta's press pass. As a result, our lawsuit is no longer necessary. We look forward to continuing to cover the White House.

— CNN Communications (@Cnnpr) November 19, 2018

Also Read: Kellyanne Conway's Husband Calls Trump Administration a 'S--show in a Dumpster Fire'

The legal fight between CNN and the White House looked certain to go on for weeks after Team
See full article at The Wrap »

Discovery Names Courtney White Food Network President

  • The Wrap
Discovery is splitting up its Hgtv and Food Network leadership, naming Courtney White as president of Food Network on Monday.

White, formerly executive VP and general manager of Hgtv and Food Network, will relocate from Knoxville, Tennessee to New York to concentrate solely on the company’s food brands. Allison Page, who was president of Hgtv and Food Network, will continue to run of Hgtv. Page will continue to work with “Fixer Upper” couple Chip and Joanna Gaines as they launch their new TV venture with Discovery.

“Courtney has been instrumental to the growth of both Food Network and Hgtv, turning talented home experts and everyday chefs into treasured, household names,” said Kathleen Finch, Discovery’s chief lifestyle brands officer, to whom White will report. “With her strategic eye on Food Network and Allison’s on Hgtv, we’ll ensure these iconic brands continue to delight our passionate fans and
See full article at The Wrap »

Christopher Watts Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murdering His Family

On Monday, Christopher Watts, the Colorado man arrested and charged in the murders of his pregnant wife and two daughters, received three consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Watts announced two weeks ago he would plead guilty in an effort to avoid the death penalty for the murder of Shanann, Bella and Celeste Watts in August. The family of Shanann Watts consented to the plea deal, the Associate Press reports.

Although Christopher Watts still wasn’t forthcoming about the details of the murders after agreeing to the plea deal,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Live+7 Ratings for Week of Oct. 29: ‘Sunday Night Football’ Soars 66 Percent Versus Last Week

“Sunday Night Football” was up significantly the week of Oct. 29 compared to the prior week.

In the Live+7 ratings, NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” drew a 7.5 rating in adults 18-49 for the game that aired Nov. 4., even with it’s Live+Same Day performance. Still, it easily topped all other broadcast programming for the week and was up a whopping 66% compared to the 4.5 rating the game on Oct. 28 drew. The Nov. 4 also drew approximately 24 million viewers, while the Oct. 28 game drew 14.3 million.

NBC also scored on the scripted side, with “This Is Us” (2.1 rating to a 3.8) topping all other scripted offerings for the week,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Katie Daryl’s ‘The Top Ten Revealed’ Renewed for Season 2 by Axs TV (Exclusive)

Rock on: Axs TV has renewed “The Top Ten Revealed” for a Season 2. Hosted and executive produced by Katie Daryl, the music countdown show gets 11 episodes for its sophomore run.

“The Top Ten Revealed” features a rotating panel of rock superstars and music experts who discuss the top songs in a wide variety of entertaining categories. Each week has a different theme.

“We’ve been having a great time filming these new episodes for season two of ‘The Top Ten Revealed,'” Daryl told TheWrap. “This year promises to be even better than the last, packed with more episodes, more icons, more music, more insight, and even more of the hilarious — and sometimes outrageous — hijinks that made the first season so special.”

Also Read: VH1's 'Love & Hip-Hop' Franchise Adds Second Night as 'Miami' Moves to Wednesdays (Exclusive)

Here are the Season 2 themes, in chronological order:

“Top Ten Roller Rink
See full article at The Wrap »

Bill Gates Praises HBO’s ‘Silicon Valley:’ ‘Like All Great Parodies It Captures a Lot of Truths’

HBO’s satirical comedy “Silicon Valley” is known for its lampooning of the Northern California tech bubble and frequently drawing the ire of those in the industry. But the show can count one of the tech industry’s founding fathers as a fan.

“If you really want to understand how Silicon Valley works today, you should watch the HBO series ‘Silicon Valley,'” wrote Microsoft founder Bill Gates in a blog post on Monday. “The show is a parody, so it exaggerates things, but like all great parodies it captures a lot of truths.”

Gates said he helped consult with “Silicon Valley” writers for its most recent fifth season — the show has routinely sought input from industry players, including former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo — and argued that the show is pretty accurate, in both the industry’s triumphs and mistakes. “I have friends in Silicon Valley who refuse to watch
See full article at The Wrap »

‘Roma’ Review: Alfonso Cuaron Makes His Masterpiece

‘Roma’ Review: Alfonso Cuaron Makes His Masterpiece
If a thing of beauty is a joy forever, as John Keats famously said, then the surpassing loveliness and bracing brilliance of Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma will never pass into nothingness. Not as long as there are film lovers or a Netflix, the streaming service that stepped up to bring the movie (fully financed by Participant Media) to theaters for a limited run. (Its worldwide subscriber base, numbering over 137 million, will have the chance to see it starting Dec. 14th.) In other words, Cuarón’s semi-autobiographical memory piece about his 1970’s childhood in Mexico,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

‘Benny in the Dark’ Heads ‘Brit List’ of Top Unproduced Screenplays

The Brit List, the annual survey of British film executives’ favorite unproduced screenplays (similar to the Black List in the U.S.), was unveiled Monday in London with “Benny in the Dark,” a supernatural thriller by Phillip Morgan, heading the list.

The film, which garnered nine recommendations, is a “character-driven 1950s-set allegory for the unspoken societal fears around male depression.” It will be produced by House Productions, the company headed by Tessa Ross, the former controller of film and drama at Channel 4, and Juliette Howell, the former head of television at Working Title.

Morgan, whose credits include 2017 short “Blackmoor,” has another features screenplay in development, “E for English,” with Blue Shadow Films.

Following closely with eight recommendations was thriller/drama “Surge,” written by Rupert Jones and Rita Kalnejais, and set to be produced by Rooks Nest, BBC Films and Creative England. The film, set over 24 hours, is “a stripped-back
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Melissa McCarthy to Receive Spotlight Award at Palm Springs Film Festival

Melissa McCarthy to Receive Spotlight Award at Palm Springs Film Festival
Melissa McCarthy will receive this year’s Spotlight Award at the 30th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival in recognition of her dramatic turn in this year’s “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

Richard E. Grant, McCarthy’s co-star in the film, will present the award. McCarthy joins Glenn Close and Rami Malek as the other honorees of this year’s festival.

Previous recipients of the Spotlight Award include Amy Adams, Jessica Chastain, Bryan Cranston, Andrew Garfield, Helen Hunt, Allison Janney, Rooney Mara, Julia Roberts and J.K. Simmons.

Also Read: Glenn Close to Receive Icon Award From Palm Springs Film Festival

McCarthy is a contender for Best Actress for her work as real-life author Lee Israel in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” and all of the previous recipients of the Spotlight Award have gone on to receive Academy Award nominations in the year they were honored, with Simmons winning an
See full article at The Wrap »

CBS Promotes Kelli Raftery to Executive VP of Communications

CBS has promoted Kelli Raftery to executive VP of communications, as the network continues to shuffle its executive ranks following longtime comms chief Gil Schwartz’s retirement.

Raftery will work with Dana McClintock and fellow communications executive VP Chris Ender. McClintock succeeded Schwartz as CBS’ chief communications officer this month.

“Kelli has excelled in every arena, from entertainment to news to sports, and more recently corporate,” said McClintock. “CBS is fortunate to have an executive with such deep experience to take on this larger role. I look forward to all she’ll do as we continue to communicate the outstanding opportunities in front of our Company.”

Also Read: CBS Communications Chief Gil Schwartz to Retire

A CBS veteran, Raftery has most recently been serving as senior VP, communications, helping to manage media relations for the CBS Corporate Communications Department, covering a wide range of company initiatives and activities in sales,
See full article at The Wrap »

AFI Conservatory Dean Richard Gladstein Steps Down

Richard Gladstein is stepping down as dean of the American Film Institute Conservatory after a little over year at the top of the film school.

He will be replaced on an interim basis by Michael Chung, vice dean of administration, and Tom Engfer, vice dean of academic affairs. AFI said it has begun a search for a permanent dean.

Gladstein, a former Miramax executive and the founder of the production company FilmColony, said he is moving on “to new opportunities” in a statement. He took the reins at AFI after a particularly stormy period in its history. His predecessor, Jan Schuette, stepped down after facing a near-revolt among staffers. Schuette, who took the helm of the conservatory in 2014, ran afoul of the faculty over changes he made to the school’s thesis program and for failing to consult with them on personnel moves. The faculty union held a “no confidence
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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