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Julia Franz Tapped to Head Comedy at Fox Entertainment, Daniel Weidenfeld to Lead Animation

  • Variety
Julia Franz has been tapped to become senior vice president of comedy at Fox Entertainment, while Daniel Weidenfeld will be named senior vice president of animation at the network, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Franz will lead the charge on all comedy production and development for the network. Weidenfeld will oversee all animated production and development for both the network and third-party platforms.

Franz and Weidenfeld will report to Michael Thorn, Fox Entertainment’s president of entertainment.

“Both Julia and Daniel are fantastic executives with tremendous relationships throughout the creative community,” said Thorn. “As Fox Entertainment doubles down on our commitment both to live-action and animated comedy, these two executives will play key roles in these initiatives.”

Previously, Franz served as head of development for Spectrum Originals, where she had a hand in launching Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba series “La’s Finest” as well as the “Mad About You” reboot,
See full article at Variety »

Fox Names Julia Franz Head of Comedy, Daniel Weidenfeld Head of Animation

  • The Wrap
Fox Entertainment has named Julia Franz head of comedy and Daniel Weidenfeld head of animation, the network said Tuesday.

As senior vice president of comedy, Franz will be responsible for overseeing all comedy production and development for the network. Weidenfeld, set as senior vice president of animation, will be responsible for overseeing all animated production and development for Fox Entertainment and third-party platforms. The two new SVPs will report directly to Fox Entertainment President Michael Thorn.

“Both Julia and Daniel are fantastic executives with tremendous relationships throughout the creative community,” Thorn said. “As Fox Entertainment doubles down on our commitment both to live-action and animated comedy, these two executives will play key roles in these initiatives.”

Also Read: Ratings: Fox's 'Masked Singer' Preview Special Draws 4.6 Million Viewers Against NFL

In April, Jonathan Gabay, Fox Entertainment’s former Svp of comedy development and programming, moved to Berlanti Productions, where he’s Svp of development.
See full article at The Wrap »

Sarah Chalke To Star In Netflix Drama Series ‘Firefly Lane’

  • Deadline
Sarah Chalke To Star In Netflix Drama Series ‘Firefly Lane’
Sarah Chalke (Friends From College) is set as the co-lead opposite Katherine Heigl in Netflix’s upcoming drama series Firefly Lane, based on the bestselling novel by Kristin Hannah.

Written and executive produced by Maggie Friedman, who also serves as showrunner, Firefly Lane is the sweeping story of two inseparable best friends and their enduring, complicated bond, spanning four tumultuous decades.

Awkward and shy, Kate Mularkey (Chalke) has always been in the shadow of her best friend, legendary talk show host and journalist Tully Hart (Heigl). With an endearingly self-deprecating wit, Kate is often underestimated, but she’s fiercely intelligent and fiercely loyal. She has the biggest heart, and a hidden wild streak. Firefly Lane follows the story of Kate and Tully’s enduring friendship from their teen years through their forties — as they weather career ups and downs, love triangles, marriage and divorce, and countless dramas along with way.
See full article at Deadline »

Courteney Cox to Star in Last Chance U Scripted Adaptation at Spectrum

Courteney Cox to Star in Last Chance U Scripted Adaptation at Spectrum
Courteney Cox is hitting the gridiron: The Friends alum is set to star in and executive-produce a scripted adaptation of the Netflix football docuseries Last Chance U for Spectrum Originals, our sister site Deadline is reporting.

Last Chance U, which has aired three seasons so far on the streamer, follows football programs at small community colleges that help struggling young athletes get their lives back on track and work towards a possible pro career. In Spectrum’s scripted version, Cox will play a character inspired by Brittany Wagner, an academic advisor at East Mississippi Community College who works to help
See full article at TVLine.com »

Courteney Cox Celebrates 55th Birthday with Jen Aniston and Gals in Mexico

  • TMZ
Courteney Cox Celebrates 55th Birthday with Jen Aniston and Gals in Mexico
Courteney Cox is back in Mexico with Jennifer Aniston and her gal pals, and judging by her relaxed appearance ... getting there was a lot easier this time than the last girls getaway. The "Cougar Town" star splashed in the waves on the beach in Cabo San Lucas Wednesday as she celebrated her 55th birthday with some of her best friends ... including her "Friends" costar. The other ladies enjoying fun in the sun include actress Mary McCormack,
See full article at TMZ »

Randall Winston Inks Overall Deal With ABC Studios

  • Deadline
Exclusive: Seasoned producer Randall Winston has signed a two-year overall deal at ABC Studios. Under the pact, he will continue in his roles on two upcoming ABC Studios/ABC Signature series — he serves as an executive producer on ABC’s black-ish prequel series mixed-ish, focused on young Rainbow, and as a co-executive producer of the Freeform comedy series UnRelated.

Additionally, Winston will be developing original projects and will be directing for the studio.

Winston served as executive producer on NBC’s comedy series Undateable and ABC/TBSCougar Town and as xo-executive producer on ABC’s Roseanne revival and Scrubs, Netflix’s Grace and Frankie, Fox’s Rush Hour and TV Land’s Nobodies, among others. A couple of the gigs stemmed from his stint as Head of Production for Jax Media for the West Coast.

Winston, who has directed episodes of Grace and Frankie, Scrubs and Cougar Town, is
See full article at Deadline »

Whiskey Cavalier Might Get Uncanceled at ABC

You can't keep a good agent down. E! News has learned ABC is looking at reversing its decision to cancel Whiskey Cavalier. The ABC action series was canceled after one season, and ABC boss Karey Burke told press it was a tough choice to make. The series starred Lauren Cohan, Scott Foley, Tyler James Williams, Ana Ortiz, Vir Das and Josh Hopkins. Created by David Hemingson, the show had Cougar Town veteran Bill Lawrence on board as an executive producer. E! News has learned conversations are ongoing, but fans can expect a fast decision, likely by the end of this week. Ahead of the finale, which aired Tuesday, May 22, Lawrence tweeted, "Tonight: great season finale of #WhiskeyCavalier. Maybe check it...
See full article at E! Online »

Gail Mancuso on Why Her Feature Directorial Debut Had to Be ‘A Dog’s Journey’

  • The Wrap
Gail Mancuso on Why Her Feature Directorial Debut Had to Be ‘A Dog’s Journey’
Gail Mancuso always thought her feature-film directorial debut would be a comedy, given her background of having directed some of the biggest sitcoms in the history of TV. Instead, she found herself drawn to “A Dog’s Journey” due to the emotional connection she has to animals as well as the messages the film sends to viewers.

“Everything was leaning towards the comedy genre,” Mancuso told TheWrap. “I thought naturally I would do a comedy and I was working on one with Amblin, but then all of a sudden Amblin told me, ‘We have this other one that’s ready to go.’ [‘A Dog’s Purpose’ and ‘A Dog’s Journey’ producer] Gavin Polone knew me from ‘Gilmore Girls’ and we powwowed, and he knew I was an animal lover and had all these dogs, so I read it and, being a woman and loving the Cj story, I knew we could make it into something very special. A girl
See full article at The Wrap »

Whiskey Cavalier Cancelled at ABC

Whiskey Cavalier Cancelled at ABC
I spy… a whole bunch of unhappy Whiskey Cavalier fans: ABC has cancelled the series, putting the kibosh on a Season 2.

Executive producer Bill Lawrence confirmed the cancellation on Sunday:

#WhiskeyCavalier is unfortunately over. I actually did have an investment in the show and the people. I’m sad. I’m grateful for the chance.

— Bill Lawrence (@Vdoozer) May 12, 2019

From the start, the network put a lot of oomph behind the show, which starred Scandal vet Scott Foley and The Walking Dead survivor Lauren Cohan as Will Chase (aka Whiskey Cavalier) and Frankie Trowbridge (aka Fiery Tribune), an FBI agent
See full article at TVLine.com »

Cannes: Matt Walsh, Isla Fisher to Star in ‘Unplugging’

  • Variety
Cannes: Matt Walsh, Isla Fisher to Star in ‘Unplugging’
Matt Walsh and Isla Fisher will star in “Unplugging,” a comedy about a couple who try to recapture their romance by taking a vacation in a rural town. They hope that unplugging from social media and electronics will force them to reconnect with each other and will save their marriage.

“Unplugging” marks the directorial debut of Debra Neil-Fisher, the editor of “Ted” and “The Hangover.” Walsh, best known for playing the hapless press secretary on “Veep,” penned the script with Brad Morris (“Cougar Town”). Both men will produce alongside Deborah Liebling (“Plus One”), Stephanie Laing (“Veep”) and Kevin Matusow and Carissa Buffel for The Traveling Picture Show Company. Radiant Films International will handle foreign sales and introduce to buyers at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. The Gersh Agency and UTA Independent will co-represent domestic sales.

“My favorite films are relatable character comedies and travel adventure,” said Neil-Fisher. “When I was sent this script,
See full article at Variety »

Isla Fisher, Matt Walsh to Star in Comedy ‘Unplugging’

  • The Wrap
Isla Fisher, Matt Walsh to Star in Comedy ‘Unplugging’
Isla Fisher and Matt Walsh will star in a new comedy from award-winning editor Debra Neil-Fisher, titled “Unplugging.”

Walsh penned the script with Brad Morris (“Cougar Town”), and both are set to produce alongside Deborah Liebling (“Pen15”), Stephanie Laing (“Veep”), and Kevin Matusow and Carissa Buffel for The Traveling Picture Show Company. Radiant Film International will handle foreign sales at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival; The Gersh Agency and UTA Independent will co-represent domestic sales.

“Unplugging” follows Dan and Jeanine Dewerson, who don’t really have that much spark in their relationship anymore. Their daughter only focuses on her iPad. So Dan plans a quiet, relaxing weekend in a remote mountain town with no kids, no phones and no social media. Of course, everything goes crazy as cranky locals and strong edibles get thrown in the mix.

Also Read: 'Wedding Crashers' Sequel Is Happening, According to Isla Fisher
See full article at The Wrap »

E! Cancels Busy Philipps Late-Night Talk Show After Seven Months

  • Variety
E! has pulled the plug on “Busy Tonight,” the late-night talk show hosted by actor Busy Philipps, after seven months.

Busy Tonight” bowed Oct. 28 and airedSunday through Wednesday in the 10 p.m. slot before moving in January to a Monday-Thursday 11 p.m. rotation. The half-hour series blended celebrity interviews with comedy bits. Philipps broke the news of the cancellation in a tweet sent late Sunday night. The final installment will air May 16.

Hey guys. Just wanted to let you know my show BusyTonight won't be continuing on the E network after May 16. I'm beyond proud of what we've built in such a short period of time and I'm hopeful we can find the right place for the show to live on. Goodnight you guys. I love you.

— Busy Philipps (@BusyPhilipps) May 6, 2019

Philipps, known for her roles on NBC’s “Freaks and Geeks” and ABC’s “Cougar Town,” was billed as “Hollywood’s unfiltered best friend.
See full article at Variety »

"Busy Tonight" Cancelled at E!

A vacancy just opened up in E!’s late-night schedule: Busy Philipps’ talk show Busy Tonight has been cancelled after one season.

Philipps broke the news on Twitter on Monday, adding that she plans to shop the show to other networks. “I’m beyond proud of what we’ve built in such a short period of time,” she wrote, “and I’m hopeful we can find the right place for the show to live on.”

Hey guys. Just wanted to let you know my show BusyTonight won't be continuing on the E network after May 16. I'm beyond proud of what
See full article at TVLine.com »

Friends: The One Where We Rank the Cast's Best & Worst Follow-Ups: Joey, Cougar Town, People v. O.J. and More

Friends: The One Where We Rank the Cast's Best & Worst Follow-Ups: Joey, Cougar Town, People v. O.J. and More
It’s been 15 years since Monica, Rachel et al. last headed out to Central Perk — but our favorite Friends have never really gone away.

In addition to myriad cast reunions, many of the stars of the beloved ’90s comedy — which aired its series finale on May 6, 2004 — have gone on to lead their own series. Some have been creative triumphs (think The Comeback, Cougar Town, Episodes), while others have gone the way of Mac and C.H.E.E.S.E.

Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry all returned to primetime within five years of Friends‘ conclusion. David Schwimmer,
See full article at TVLine.com »

Happy Death Day’s Jessica Rothe joins Amazon’s Utopia

Amazon’s upcoming series Utopia has added another member to its growing cast with Deadline reporting that Jessica Rothe (Happy Death Day) is the latest to join the show.

Written by Gillian Flynn and based upon the British TV series of the same name, Utopia “follows group of young adults who meet online and are mercilessly hunted by a shadowy deep state organization after they come in to possession of a near mythical cult underground graphic novel. They discover the conspiracy theories in the comic’s pages may actually be real and are forced in to the dangerous, unique and ironic position of saving the world.”

Rothe will portray Samantha, an “extremely idealistic, sharp-witted and a natural-born leader, Samantha earnestly believes in changing the world through action and scoffs at cheap rhetoric about progress. She could school any comic book nerd about the graphic novel Utopia and is embarking on
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

WWE Legend Mick Foley Joins David Arquette’s ’12 Hour Shift’ (Exclusive)

  • The Wrap
WWE legend Mick Foley has joined the cast of David Arquette’s new project, “12 Hour Shift,” alongside Angela Bettis, Chloe Farnworth, Kit Williamson, Tara Perry and Nikea Gamby-Turner, TheWrap has learned exclusively.

Brea Grant is writing and directing the horror comedy that will follow a group of nurses stealing organs and selling them on the black market.

Emmy award-winning duo Jordan Wayne Long and Matt Glass of Hct Media are producing, as is Arquette and his wife, Christina McLarty.

Also Read: Mick Foley Gives 4 Reasons Why Former Rival Big Van Vader Should Be in WWE Hall of Fame

The project is currently in production in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and is receiving a tax credit for doing so. Arkansas offers a 20% incentive on goods and services, as well as an additional 10% for Arkansas workforce.

“We’re excited to see the continued growth of the film industry in Arkansas, along with the first-rate
See full article at The Wrap »

Amazon’s Utopia adds John Cusack

Deadline is reporting that John Cusack has signed on to star alongside Sasha Lane (Hellboy), Rainn Wilson (Star Trek: Discovery), Dan Byrd (Cougar Town) and Cory Michael Smith (Gotham) in Amazon’s upcoming drama Utopia.

Written by Gillian Flynn and based upon the British TV series of the same name, Utopia ““follows group of young adults who meet online and are mercilessly hunted by a shadowy deep state organization after they come in to possession of a near mythical cult underground graphic novel. They discover the conspiracy theories in the comic’s pages may actually be real and are forced in to the dangerous, unique and ironic position of saving the world.”

Cusack will make his first starring role in a TV series in the project and plays Dr. Kevin Christie, who is described as “Charismatic and media-savvy, with a brilliant biotech mind and a philanthropic outlook, Christie altruistically wants
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

‘Deputy’: Yara Martinez & Brian Van Holt To Co-Star In Fox Drama Pilot

  • Deadline
‘Deputy’: Yara Martinez & Brian Van Holt To Co-Star In  Fox Drama Pilot
Exclusive: Yara Martinez (The Tick) and Brian Van Holt (The Bridge) will co-star opposite Stephen Dorff in Deputy, Fox’s police drama pilot from Bright helmer David Ayer, Aquaman writer Will Beall and eOne.

Martinez was a series regular for the first two seasons of Amazon’s The Tick, playing Miss Lint. I hear she has fulfilled her contract on the show and is able to do pilots.

Fox

Written by Beall and directed by Ayer, Deputy centers on Deputy Bill Hollister (Dorff), a career lawman who’s very comfortable kicking down doors and utterly lost in a staff meeting. But when the L.A. County sheriff drops dead, Bill becomes acting sheriff, in charge of 10,000 sworn deputies policing a modern Wild West.

Martinez will play Hollister’s wife, Dr. Paula Reyes, a trauma surgeon. Strong-willed yet sensitive, she’s a good match for her husband.

Van Holt will play Deputy Cade Walker.
See full article at Deadline »

ABC's Whiskey Cavalier: Grade It

ABC's Whiskey Cavalier: Grade It
Packed with white-knuckle chases, rock-’em-sock-’em fights and mischievous good humor — not to mention the cutest non-couple since Bond and Miss Moneypenny — Whiskey Cavalier hit the ground running Sunday. But were you international-intrigued enough by Scott Foley and Lauren Cohan’s spy games to set your DVR for the whole season? Read on, and after a blow-by-blow of the action, you can grade the pilot and hit the comments with your review.

‘Very Punctual… I Like That In A Traitor’ | As the episode began, FBI agent Will Chase (Scandal vet Foley) was in Paris recovering from his breakup with fiancée Gigi by watching romcoms,
See full article at TVLine.com »

Amazon’s Utopia adds Dan Byrd and Cory Michael Smith

Amazon has just added two more to the cast of its upcoming series Utopia. Deadline reports Dan Byrd (Cougar Town) and Cory Michael Smith (Gotham) are the latest to join the series from Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn, which is a remake of the British series of the same name. Byrd and Smith join the previously announced Sasha Lane (Hellboy) and Rainn Wilson (The Office).

Utopia follows a group of young adults who meet online that are mercilessly hunted by a shadowy deep state organization after they come into possession of a near-mythical cult underground graphic novel. Within the comic’s pages, they discover the conspiracy theories that may actually be real and are forced into the dangerous, unique and ironic position of saving the world.

Byrd will play Ian. Ian went to an online college, works in a soul-robbing job and lives in a small apartment with his grandma in Canton,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »
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