FX is ready to get tyrannical with its latest project.
The cable network has given a series order to the drama “Tyrant,” from “Homeland” duo Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff.
Also read: Louis C.K. Signs New FX Production Deal
The series, which is set to begin production in March in Tel Aviv, is expected to premiere next summer.
Starring Adam Rayner, Jennifer Finnigan and Ashraf Barhom, “Tyrant” revolves around an unassuming American family drawn into the workings of a turbulent Middle Eastern nation. Bassam “Barry” Al Fayeed, the younger son of the dictator of a war-torn nation, ends a self-imposed 20-year exile to return to his homeland, accompanied by his American wife and children, for his nephew’s wedding.
Barry’s reluctant homecoming leads to a dramatic clash of cultures as he is thrown back into the familial and national politics of his youth.
Raff created the series and wrote the pilot, developing the series with Gordon and Craig Wright (“Six Feet Under,” “Lost.”) “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” director David Yates directed the pilot.
John Landgraf, CEO of FX Netork and FX Productions, predicted that “Tryant” would be a groundbreaking series.
“With ‘Tyrant,’ Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff and Craig Wright have produced a beautiful television pilot that will be a groundbreaking television series,” Landgraf said. “’Tyrant’ introduces characters and a world that have never been explored in a dramatic television series format. There is a reason a bidding war broke out over this project: it grabs you as all great epics do and simply refuses to let go!
“Tyrant,” which comes from Gordon’s Teakwood Lane shingle at 20th Century Fox Television, is produced by Fox 21 and FX Productions. Gordon, Raff and Wright are executive producing, in association with Keshet Broadcasting.
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Lest NBC’s live version is your last memory of “Sound of Music,” ABC will air the original 1965 film starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.
The four-hour movie will air on Sunday, Dec. 22 as part of ABC’s Sunday Movie of the Week starting at 7/6c.
Directed and produced by Robert Wise, the movie won five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. It also displaced “Gone With the Wind” as the highest grossing film of ever at the time, eventually netting $286 million internationally.
Also read: ‘Scandal’ Episode Order Reduced by ABC
NBC set out to create a new holiday tradition with its live version starring “American Idol” champ Carrie Underwood and “True Blood” star Stephen Moyer.
Although reviews for the production felt Underwood’s acting was subpar, the event topped the night’s social media topics and earned the network its biggest non-sports Thursday since the finale of “ER” in 2009 and 18.5 million total viewers. NBC plans to re-air the program on Saturday at 8/7c.
“Smash” producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan headed up the NBC production, which was actually based on the original 1959 Broadway production of “The Sound of Music,” starring Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel, not the film.
But of course, most viewers are better acquainted with the Andrews film. And if you’re not, ABC’s airing can take care of that.
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The Season 6 finale of “Sons of Anarchy” Tuesday was the show’s most-watched ever.
The episode, which saw the gruesome death of yet another character, made FX the top cable network of the night in total viewers and in all key demographics.
The 10 p.m. airing of the episode, titled “A Mother’s Work,” had 5.2 million total viewers, 3.5 million of them in the 18-49 demo.
The episode was the second only to the Season 6 premiere episode in the demo. The premiere had 3.9 million viewers in the demo and was the highest-rated telecast ever in the history of FX.
The show’s very bloody sixth season has averaged 7.3 million total viewers, the most of any season of the show. The show has averaged 5 million viewers in the demo, making it the No. 3 basic cable drama behind only “The Walking Dead” and “Breaking Bad” this calendar year.
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The Beastie Boys aren’t toying around with GoldieBlox.
The “Sabotage” group has filed multiple counterclaims against the toy company in the lawsuit over a video produced by GoldieBlox, which featured an altered version of the Beasties song “Girls.”
In the counterclaims, the group accuses the company of a “systematic campaign of infringement” with a “series of video advertisements set to well-known song from popular artists in an effort to achieve the company’s goal of selling toys.”
GoldieBlox, which says that it is “founded upon the principle of breaking down gender stereotypes, by offering engineering and construction toys specifically targeted to girls,” sued the group, along with other entities, in November.
At issue is a video that was posted to YouTube, featuring girls rejecting stereotypical playtime activities and instead inventing “a highly creative and complex Rube Goldberg mechanism.”
The video in question featured a reworked version of the Beasties song “Girls” with inspirational lyrics such as, “Girls to build the spaceship/Girls to code the new app/Girls to grow up knowing/That they can engineer that.”
GoldieBlox contends that the video falls under the Fair Use Doctrine, and that lawyers for the Beastie Boys put the heat on the company to shut the video down.
GoldieBlox later removed the song from the video and said it would drop its lawsuit “as long as this means we will no longer be under threat from your legal team.” However, the gesture apparently has fallen on deaf ears. The group’s counterclaims assert that the video “is of a commercial nature” and “directly resulted in a massive increase in the sales of GoldieBlox’s products.”
The group has had a longstanding policy of not allowing its music to be used for commercials — a policy that was reflected in a handwritten addendum to the will of deceased member Adam Yauch, who died last year.
In their filing, the Beasties say that counsel for the group contacted GoldieBlox about the video on Nov. 21, and that the company filed its lawsuit on the very same day.
Daralyn Durie, who’s representing GoldieBlox in the matter, said that the counterclaims are currently being reviewed.
“Although the video has been taken down and we would prefer an amicable resolution, we strongly believe that the parody constitutes fair use,” Durie told TheWrap in a statement.
In the counterclaims, the group accuses GoldieBlox of undermining its mission with its derivative videos.
“Unfortunately, rather than developing an original advertising campaign to inspire its customers to create and innovate, GoldieBlox has instead developed an advertising campaign that condones and encourages stealing from others,” the group’s filing reads.
Claiming copyright infringement. infringement and other allegations, the Beastie Boys are asking that GoldieBlox be blocked from making unauthorized use of the group’s work in the future, and for an award of “actual damages and lost profits [the group] has sustained as a result of GoldieBlox’s unlawful acts of copyright infringement.”
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.
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Political publication The Hill named Adam Prather, current national advertising director at rival Politico, as its new publisher on Wednesday.
“Adam has a highly distinguished record in publishing and an unmatched familiarity with Washington media. He’s going to be a tremendous asset to us as we expand our coverage of Washington politics to new platforms for our readers,” said James Finkelstein, chairman of News Communications, which owns The Hill. Prather will report directly to Finkelstein.
Prather takes over Jan. 1 from current publisher, Francine McMahon, who is leaving to start her own firm has been with The Hill since 2006.
The Hill has a circulation of 24,000, – covering all Congressional offices – and is widely read by bureaucrats, lobbyists, and media personnel alike.
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Don’t be fooled if “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” falls a bit shy of its predecessor, “An Unexpected Journey,” in its opening box-office weekend both domestically and abroad — this dragon will hunt.
“The Desolation of Smaug” rolls out Friday in 3,903 U.S. theaters, and is expected to breathe between $75 million and $80 million in box-office fire, just short of Peter Jackson’s first trilogy installment, which opened the same weekend last year to $85 million. The sequel is also unlikely to match “Journey’s” $138 million opening-weekend haul overseas.
But there’s no reason to think “Smaug” can’t match “Journey’s” more than $1 billion worldwide in the end — it’s just getting off to a slightly slower start.
For one thing, “Smaug” is opening in 50 foreign markets this weekend, a handful fewer than “Journey” did last year. The studio has delayed its Latin America release until closer to the Christmas holidays, it won’t hit Japan until February, and a China date is pending until 2014. Ultimately, the film’s overseas grosses are widely expected to top the massive $700 million total of the first.
Hitting the $300 million domestic mark that “Journey” managed could be tougher for “Smaug,” which like the first film is a production of Warner Bros., New Line and MGM.
“There’s a lot more competition domestically than we were facing last year,” Warner Bros. head of domestic distribution Dan Fellman told TheWrap, and he’s right about that.
The comedy “Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas” is opening in roughly 2,100 theaters Friday and is expected to bring in about $20 million from mainly African-American audiences for distributor Lionsgate.
“Frozen” and “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” are in their third and fourth weeks, but showed plenty of life last week and are certain to do better than the $7 million that “Rise of the Guardians” and “Lincoln” managed against the first Hobbit film’s opening. “Unexpected Journey” was in more than 4,000 theaters, too.
“Desolation of Smaug” was the leading advance seller as of Wednesday at online ticket broker Fandango, with a strong but not overwhelming two-thirds of the business.
But make no mistake, “The Desolation of Smaug” has plenty going for it.
Counting the “Lord of the Rings” movies and the first Hobbit film, the franchise has brought in nearly $5 billion at the worldwide box office since the first film debuted in 2001.
The success of the series has been built on the huge global popularity of J.R. Tolkein’s novels and more than 75 years later – “The Hobbit” was published in 1937 – fan fervor shows no signs of fading. To accommodate the expected crush of “fan boys,” roughly 3,000 theaters will be offering midnight shows – after 8 p.m. screenings of “Unexpected Journey.”
The tracking has been steady at $75 million for weeks, and the buzz on the PG-13-rated “Smaug” is more positive than the first film.
The critics are far more impressed with this one, with many citing the film’s visual spectacle. “Unexpected Journey” was at 65 percent positive on Rotten Tomatoes, while this one is at 76.
And the hubbub that greeted the first film over the high-frame-rate utilized by Jackson is virtually non-existent, even though Warner Bros has nearly doubled the number of theaters showing it in the format domestically, from 450 locations to roughly 750. The box-office tally for “Smaug” will benefit from premium pricing boosts at those theaters, as well as a full complement of 3D and Imax locations.
Social media signs have “Smaug” pacing significantly ahead of “Unexpected Journey” on both Twitter and Facebook, according to BoxOffice.com. On Twitter, the volume is five percent higher and the positive-to-negative ratio is 9.4-1, as opposed to the original’s 5-1.
The storyline continues the events of “An Unexpected Journey,” in which the hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) travels with the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and 13 dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) to combat the dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch).
Jackson produces and wrote the screenplay with his longtime collaborators and “Lord of the Rings” co-writers Fran walsh and Philippa Boyens, and Guillermo del Toro, originally chosen to direct the “Hobbit” films.
Evangeline Lilly co-stars, along with Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt and Orlando Bloom.
Warner Bros., New Line and MGM are hoping audiences will make “The Hobbit’ a holiday tradition. The third film, “There and Back Again,” is scheduled to be released in this same slot next year.
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Nelly and Florida George Line had one of the most successful singles of 2013 with their remixed collaboration “Cruise” — what they didn’t get, was a Grammy nomination.
The snub was immediately noticed by critics and included on many “snubs” lists, including TheWrap’s, which was a collaborative interview effort with Damon Williams, vice president of Programming & Content Development, Music Choice. Nelly noticed it too.
The rapper, who left BET’s “Real Husbands of Hollywood” set for a Tostitos promotional appearance Tuesday at West Hollywood’s Cabo Cantina, doesn’t get it anymore than you do.
“I don’t know with the Grammys — I never got nominated for Best New Artist when I came out (with 2000s ‘Country Grammar’),” he told TheWrap. “I was five million (albums) sold by then, and I still didn’t get it.”
He’s not losing sleep over it though, adding, “We had a great year with that record — other people have warranted us with praises for that record, so we take it as we get it.”
The year of praise was capped off by a trophy (and performance) at November’s American Music Awards for Single of the Year. That could be a reflection that fans are actually more progressive than the Recording Academy, who selects Grammy nominations and winners.
“With our song, what I think what people fail to realize was the creative part of it and the transformation and the impact that it had as far as doing something that hasn’t been done,” Nelly continued. “But creativity does not get celebrated as much as what’s already working.”
Sustainability is about finding that perfect balance between what works and what would be considered not growing. Nelly’s new record, “M.O.” attempts to strike that level, but that’s far easier said than done. His poor sales — M.O. sold just 15,000 copies in its first week, the lowest of his career — reflect something that struggle.
“You don’t think Michael Jackson tried to do ‘Thriller’ again?” the rapper rhetorically posed. “You don’t think Prince tried to do ‘Purple Rain’ (again)? It just is what it is, because music is art, so you’re actually living in that time.”
He added, “And besides, you get your whole life to do your first album, you get a year to do your next one.”
Nelly also talked with TheWrap about one of the most viral photos of the year, where everyone in frame, including the rapper and “Hangover” actor Justin Bartha, is having a great time — except “Curb Your Enthusiasm” curmudgeon Larry David.
They weren’t at the New York Knicks game together (“Larry don’t call me to go out no more,” Nelly joked. “We used to go out, but bad accident at the Playboy party. He never recovered.”), but the serendipitous courtside seating will forever have the two cemented in the minds of internet trolls and meme-chasers.
In case you somehow missed it last month, here’s the incredible picture:
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The Sundance Channel and Entertainment One (eOne) are “Reaching for Heaven” together.
The channel and the independent studio have paired up to develop an American version of the Israeli show “Reaching for Heaven,” about what happens to a marriage and family when one parent suddenly becomes religious. The new version will move the action to Las Vegas, in order to explore how religion interacts in the city of sin.
The original “Reaching for Heaven” aired for two seasons in Israel on Keshet, and was produced by Norma Productions.
Mike Seid has been tapped to write the new version.
“We are thrilled to partner on ‘Reaching for Heaven’ with Sundance Channel. The network consistently brings bold and compelling original television to its audiences,” eOne Television executive vice president of global productions Carrie Stein said of the new venture. “Exploring the challenges of ideology within the microcosm of one family, this series is relatable, timely and universal.”
eOne, which internationally distributes AMC and Sundance Channel original dramas, announced earlier this week that it is also developing a new drama series “King David,” which is described as an “epic mafia show in biblical clothing.”
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Oscar winner Sandra Bullock is in early talks to star in the political comedy “Our Brand Is Crisis,” which George Clooney and Grant Heslov are producing for Warner Bros., an individual familiar with the project has told TheWrap.
Bullock’s publicist did not respond to multiple requests for comment, while representatives for Warner Bros. and Clooney had no comment.
“Our Brand Is Crisis” is based on Rachel Boynton’s 2005 documentary, which focused on the use of American political campaign strategies in Bolivia by President Clinton’s former consultants James Carville and Stan Greenberg.
It remains unclear whether Clooney will co-star in the project, which he and Heslov are producing through their Smokehouse Pictures banner. Clooney, who is putting the finishing touches on “Monuments Men,” is not expected to direct “Our Brand Is Crisis,” which was written by Peter Straughan (“The Men Who Stare at Goats”).
Bullock and Clooney have discussed the project in depth while doing promotional rounds for “Gravity.” Should Bullock sign on to star, she would play “Calamity” Jane Bodine, a retired American political consultant who often quotes famous people to help hammer home her talking points.
Last week at an event for “August: Osage County,” TheWrap asked Heslov whether Bullock was involved in “Our Brand of Crisis,” to which he responded “I don’t know,” while his wife added “He can’t say!” However, Heslov did tell TheWrap that the project is “at the very top of our list. Everything sort of has its time, and I feel like with ‘Our Brand Is Crisis,’ its time has come.”
Bullock’s potential involvement has been rumored recently, though she has not closed a deal or decided whether “Our Brand Is Crisis” will be her next film, as she’s being courted to star in several projects, including “The Perfect Heist.” Lorenzo di Bonaventura is producing the Screen Gems caper, which follows a female thief whose male accomplices are thrown in jail following a botched robbery, prompting her to recruit their wives and girlfriends to save them.
Bullock received a SAG Award nomination on Wednesday for her performance in “Gravity,” which has grossed $631 million worldwide. Bullock also starred opposite Melissa McCarthy in “The Heat,” which took in $229 million worldwide. The actress won an Oscar for her work in “The Blind Side.” She’s represented by CAA.
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Tom Cruise wakes up to fight a war he knows he can’t win over and over again in the first trailer for “Edge of Tomorrow.”
Warner Bros. upcoming science fiction release, directed by Doug Liman, takes place in a future in which humans are battling an alien invasion of the earth. Cruise plays a military officer who has never been in combat, and then is unceremoniously dropped into what amounts to a suicide mission. After being killed within the first few minutes of battle, he finds himself waking up to face the same fate, much like Bill Murray’s experience in “Groundhog Day.”
Emily Blunt co-stars as a Special Forces warrior who fights alongside Cruise in exo-skeleton battle armor as his repeated encounters take him one step closer to finally defeating the enemy.
“Edge of Tomorrow” opens in theaters on June 6.
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“Doctor Who” fans are still reeling from the developments of the 50th Anniversary Special and, yet, BBC America has set another game changer with its annual Christmas special.
Airing Wednesday, Dec. 25 at 9/8c, the “Time of the Doctor” will mark Matt Smith’s final episode in the iconic role. The character will regenerate into the Doctor in waiting, veteran Scottish actor Peter Capaldi.
Here’s the official description for the special from BBC America:
Orbiting a quiet backwater planet, the massed forces of the universe’s deadliest species gather, drawn to a mysterious message that echoes out to the stars. And amongst them – the Doctor. Rescuing Clara from a family Christmas dinner, the Time Lord and his best friend must learn what this enigmatic signal means for his own fate and that of the universe.
Watch the new trailer above.
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Tom Ascheim, previously the executive vice president and general manager of Nickelodeon Television and CEO of Newsweek, has been tapped as the the new president of ABC Family, effective immediately.
Ascheim replaces Michael Riley, who announced his departure in September.
He will report to Anne Sweeney, the co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television Group.
Sweeney, who worked with Ascheim at Nickelodeon, said, “I knew Tom during my time at Nickelodeon, and always thought he was an incredibly smart, strategic executive. Since then, he has only reinforced my opinion of his abilities. Whether in print, television, or the financial sector, Tom has gone from success to success. He has a proven capability of leading creative teams, and I’m thrilled that he’ll now bring his innovative, entrepreneurial spirit to bear on behalf of ABC Family and the Disney/ABC Television Group.”
Don Mitchell, star of the original “Ironside” series, has died of natural causes, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday. He was 70.
On the series, Mitchell played Mark Sanger, bodyguard and assistant to wheelchair-bound chief of detectives Robert Ironside (played by Raymond Burr).
Also read: Hollywood’s Notable Deaths of 2013
“Ironside” ran on NBC from 1967 to 1975. A short-lived revamp of “Ironside,” with Blair Underwood in the title role, aired on NBC this year.
Mitchell reprised his role as Sanger in the 1993 TV reunion film “The Return of Ironside.” Other TV credits included appearances on “McMillan & Wife,” “Wonder Woman,” “CHiPs” and the soap opera “Capitol.”
On the film end, Mitchell starred in the 1973 blaxploitation movie “Scream Blacula Scream.”
An earlier version of this article identified Mitchell as Paul Mitchell. TheWrap regrets the error.
Ooyala, a leading web video services provider, has raised $43 million form Telstra, Australia’s largest telecommunications company, the company said Wednesday. Ooyala provides the platform powering web video for ESPN, Bloomberg, Comedy Central, Univision and many others.
Ooyala is not as sexy as any of those companies, because it isn’t creating the content itself. Yet as more and more people watch news, TV shows and other video online, Ooyala is a key chain in the infrastructure.
It has already raised $79, and it will use this money to improve its platform, upgrade its analytics and expand even further.
“Telstra’s recent investment is a reflection of the massive opportunity they see in the market, and is a great validation of our business model, our performance over the past year and a half, and our team,” Ooyala CEO Jay Fulcher said in statement. “Its investment will help accelerate our pace of innovation and technology adoption around the world as more broadcasters standardize on our streaming and analytics technology as a means of maximizing their video revenue.”
Telestra CEO Rick Ellis pointed to research showing video consumption will account for as much as 90 percent of consumer web traffic by 2017 – and two-thirds of mobile data traffic.
The company is betting Ooyala’s platform and analytics will have a toehold in a lot of that traffic.
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A&E Networks is replacing Bio Channel with FYI, a lifestyle channel geared to an upscale, younger audience that is active online. According to Wednesday’s announcement, FYI can stand for “For your inspiration, for your imagination or for your innovation, FYI will be a personalized experience for each viewer.”
FYI will launch in Summer 2014. Currently, it’s set to debut in 70 million homes. Outside the U.S., announcements regarding the Bio brand will be handled market by market. And although the Bio channel will be rebranded, it will continue to exist on various platforms throughout the U.S.
Jana Bennett will serve as the president of FYI, in addition to LMN, and will oversee the new network.
A&E Networks President and CEO Nancy Dubuc calls it “the next phase in our strategy to bolster the A+E Networks portfolio.”
“The transition to FYI is the next phase in our strategy to bolster the A+E Networks portfolio by evolving and maturing our brands to allow for future growth in the rapidly changing media landscape,” Dubuc said in a statement. “FYI will be an upscale network with a younger and more modern sensibility than what we’ve seen on traditional lifestyle networks, in an effort to appeal to an audience that has been underserved on linear but thrives online.”
The company says that FYI is already in development with more than 30 potential series it hopes will “inspire, not instruct, today’s viewers.” It remains to be seen how the company intends to capture these upscale viewers who are active online and would still tune in to a new TV network.
“FYI is defined by the world we live in today – offering viewers a less prescriptive, more adventurous approach to their taste, space, social life and look,” added Bennett. “Gone are the days where consumers are looking for experts to instruct them how to live. Together with our partners and audiences, we are building a new brand that embraces personal creativity and the sharing of the best ideas on air and online.”
Bio Channel, originally The Biography Channel, was launched in January 1999. It was inspired by the A&E documentary series, “Biography,” and later became the home of the series. In 2007, the Biography Channel’s on-air look and feel was revamped and it was known as the Bio Channel from that point on.
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Ylvis’ “The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)” is the top trending YouTube video of 2013, while Psy’s “Gentleman M/V” was the top trending music video, the website announced Wednesday.
“The Fox,” a music video (above) from the Norwegian comedy duo Vegard and Bård Ylvisåker, has racked up over 276.7 million viewers since taking the world by storm in September. Psy’s follow-up to 2012 hit single “Gangnam Style” — YouTube’s top trending video of 2012 — premiered last April and has a total of 599.2 million views to date.
Hollywood marketing cracked the top 10 this year with “Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise,” a promo for Sony’s “Carrie” remake.
Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball” and “We Can’t Stop” were the second and third top trending music videos of the year, respectively, while “Wrecking Ball” also ranked as the fourth top trending video, overall, after racking up over 398.2 million views since premiering in September.
Jean-Claude Van Damme’s “Epic Split” — a viral Volvo commercial featuring the 53-year-old action star performing a split between two moving trucks — ranked number six in the top trending videos with nearly 60 million views after hitting the web on Nov. 13.
See both top ten lists, below:
Top Trending Videos of 2013:
2. Harlem Shake (original army edition), kennethaakonsen
3. How Animals Eat Their Food | MisterEpicMann, MisterEpicMann
4. Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball (Chatroulette Version), SteveKardynal
5. baby&me / the new evian film, EvianBabies
6. Volvo Trucks – The Epic Split feat. Van Damme, VolvoTrucks
7. YOLO (feat. Adam Levine & Kendrick Lamar), thelonelyisland
8. Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise, CarrieNYC
9. THE NFL : A Bad Lip Reading, BadLipReading,
10. Mozart vs Skrillex. Epic Rap Battles of History Season 2., ERB
Top Trending Music Videos of 2013:
1. PSY – GENTLEMAN M/V, officialpsy
2. Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball, MileyCyrusVEVO
3. Miley Cyrus – We Can’t Stop, MileyCyrusVEVO
4. Katy Perry – Roar (Official), KatyPerryVEVO
5. P!nk – Just Give Me A Reason ft. Nate Ruess, PinkVEVO
6. Robin Thicke – Blurred Lines ft. T.I., Pharrell, RobinThickeVEVO
7. Rihanna – Stay ft. Mikky Ekko, RihannaVEVO
8. Naughty Boy – La La La ft. Sam Smith, NaughtyBoyVEVO
9. Selena Gomez – Come & Get It, SelenaGomezVEVO
10. Avicii – Wake Me Up (Official Video), AviciiOfficialVEVO
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Robert Knepper has been cast as Antonius, President Snow’s minister, in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay,” Lionsgate announced Wednesday on Twitter.
“Catching Fire” filmmaker Francis Lawrence returns to direct the two-part “Hunger Games” finale, which is based on the third novel in the bestselling series by Suzanne Collins.
Jennifer Lawrence is set to reprise her role as Katniss Everdeen, who leads the districts of Panem in a rebellion against the tyrannical and corrupt Capitol. As the war that will determine the fate of Panem escalates, Katniss must decipher for herself who she can trust and what needs to be done, with everything she cares for in the balance.
Knepper joins fellow franchise additions Julianne Moore, Natalie Dormer, Elden Henson, Wes Chatham and Mahershala Ali. He’ll appear in both “Mockingjay” movies, which will be released worldwide on Nov. 21, 2014 and Nov. 20, 2015.
Knepper is a TV star best known for his creepy turns on “Prison Break,” “Heroes” and “Cult.” He appeared in Frank Darabont’s pilot for “Mob City,” and his recent feature credits include “R.I.P.D.” and “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.” He’s repped by Innovative Artists and Kramer Management.
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Pantelion Films, the joint venture between Lionsgate and Mexican media corporation Grupo Televisa, has partnered with Dominican Republic-based Indomina Media to co-finance and distribute several films, the two companies said Wednesday.
The multi-picture deal, while focused on the next two years, is open-ended and provides for the production of up to three films a year. The partnership already has several projects in development and will utilize the recently opened Pinewood Indomina Studios in the Dominican Republic for production.
“Coupled with new production incentives in the region, this partnership will enable us to add several films to a diverse and growing Pantelion slate designed to resonate with both mainstream and Latino audiences in the U.S., Latin America and around the world,” Pantelion’s chief executive Paul Presberger said.
Pantelion will distribute the films in the U.S; its partners will distribute them in Latin America, with additional worldwide distribution rights to be sold at a later date. Pantelion’s Sandra Condito and Indomina Media International Vice President Stacey Stanley will collaborate in overseeing the upcoming projects for the studio.
Pantelion and Indomina previously collaborated on the 2012 release “Filly Brown,” featuring the late Mexican-American recording star Jenni Rivera in her film debut, alongside Edward James Olmos, Lou Diamond Phillips and Gina Rodriguez.
Pantelion launched in 2010 with the idea of targeting the growing Hispanic moviegoing market. Its releases include this year’s breakout hit “Instructions Not Included,” the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the U.S., as well as such films as “Pulling Strings,” “Casa de mi Padre” and “From Prada to Nada.”
The Indomina Group is a holding company that invests in an array of media and entertainment assets.
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(Spoiler alert: Don’t read any further if you didn’t see Tuesday night’s “Sons of Anarchy” season finale and don’t want to know what happened.)
Season 6 of “Sons of Anarchy” wrapped up with another shocking and brutal death, as the showdown between Gemma and Tara ended in particularly gruesome fashion.
It was a fitting end for a season that, even by “Sons of Anarchy” standards, was loaded with “Oh my God!” moments.
Here are five jaw-droppers from “SoA” Season 6.
1. The school shooting. Season 6 signaled that it would be a brutal one early on. A young boy of mysterious origin entered a school, and a hail of gunfire erupted. It was a taboo-shattering moment for television, and particularly jarring in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting.
2. Otto’s rape. The season premiere offered another shocker, early on in the episode, with a scene depicting the rape of tongueless inmate Otto (played by series creator Kurt Sutter). The jarring sight was given an added layer of menace when former U.S. marshal Lee Toric — whose sister, Pamela, was killed by Otto — entered the room and told Otto that the sexual assaults would continue in the future.
3. Charlie Hunnam’s naked rear end. Even more shocking than the fact that Hunnam’s Jax Teller was seeking comfort in the arms of a woman other than his wife was the sight of Hunnam’s bare backside bobbing in coital abandon as he did so. Probably unnecessary, but hey — a little something for the ladies.
4. Clay Morrow’s death. Yes, the demise of Ron Perlman’s grizzled biker-club patriarch Clay Morrow wasn’t entirely shocking, in the sense that it was a long time coming. But the execution-style killing — at the hands of his successor Jax, no less — still gave viewers a jolt when it finally went down.
5. The slaughter of the Chinese gang. Jax’s efforts to extract SAMCRO from the gun trade took a particularly messy turn when the Chinese gang was killed off wholesale in an ambush and a blaze of gunfire that was as unexpected to the viewers as it was to the gangsters. And the “Sons of Anarchy” body count takes a big leap forward.
6. Tara meets her end. Poor Tara. Just as she reunited with her husband and appeared to be finally pulling herself and her sons from the gang lifestyle, her mother-in-law/arch nemesis Gemma, working off of faulty information, extinguished any hope for a happy ending. And she did it in especially brutally, stabbing Tara in the head with a fork. We just might get over it by the time Season 7 premieres.
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