Warner Bros UK Gears Up For Creative Talent Initiative
Warner Bros UK has recruited its first group of scholars, apprentices and trainees for the inaugural season of Warner Bros Creative Talent. The first selection will participate in the program to gain industry insight and work experience across Warner’s UK film, TV, games and theater operations. The initiative is part of Warner Bros’ long-term commitment to the UK’s creative industries. Among the first folks chosen to take part are students Rienkje Attoh, Sam Coleman and Sam Hughes who are receiving the first Prince William Scholarships supported by BAFTA and Warner Bros. Four others will work as camera trainees and sound trainees on Ron Howard’s Heart Of The Sea and Guy Ritchie’s Man From U.N.C.L.E. More information on the program is available here.
Hugh Bonneville Back As Ian Fletcher In BBC’s ‘W1A’
Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville will reprise his role as Ian Fletcher in a new BBC comedy, W1A. The show is a follow-up to BAFTA-winning comedy series Twenty Twelve, from BBC In-House Comedy. Shooting starts next month on the series that sees Fletcher, the ex-head of the Olympic Deliverance Commission, taking up his next big job – the (fictional) Head of Values at the BBC. His task is to clarify, define, or redefine the core purpose of the BBC across all its functions and to position it confidently for the future. In Twenty Twelve (available on iTunes in the U.S.), the network poked fun at the run-up to the 2012 London Olympics and here looks to be taking a shot at itself after the broadcaster suffered a string of PR scandals in the past year. But John Morton, who wrote the series, says: “It isn’t a demolition job on anybody or anything, and it isn’t one giant in-joke, and this isn’t a game of guessing who is supposed to be who. If it is satirical then it’s satirical about an environment, an ethos, and the absurdities of modern corporate life itself. The key principle is to operate at a level of reality just to the left or the right of fact, to create stories that haven’t actually happened but that could happen or might have happened.“ Says Mark Freeland, head of BBC In-House Comedy: “This is a kind of love letter to the BBC. But a letter that gets mislaid, because the remote computer system is not working.” Twenty Twelve’s Morton also directs the comedy that’s produced by that show’s Paul Schlesinger and executive produced by Jon Plowman. There will be an initial run of four 30-minute episodes to be screened in 2014 on BBC Two.
StudioCanal Buys Majority Stake In RED
Signaling a move into British TV production, France’s StudioCanal has taken a majority stake in indie producer RED Production Company. RED’s credits include drama series Queer As Folk, Scott & Bailey and Last Tango In Halifax. StudioCanal said in a statement that it intends to build on RED’s success by developing new UK productions as well as facilitating ambitious international series. RED’s day-to-day operations and productions will continue to be led by Nicola Shindler alongside managing director Andrew Critchley.
FremantleMedia Launches Norway Operation
FremantleMedia has opened a production operation in Norway to be run by Petter Testmann-Koch, whose title will be Managing Director FremantleMedia Norge. In addition to setting up the office and building the production team, Testmann-Koch will be responsible for the overall day-to-day management of the operation and driving the strategic vision of the business. He will focus on developing quality content for the Norwegian market across all platforms, selling FremantleMedia formats in Norway and working closely with FremantleMedia’s International production, licensing and sales operations. Testmann-Koch joins from Nordisk Film TV where, as CCO and executive producer, he was responsible for development and production as well as co-managing format acquisitions and sales. He starts with Fremantle in the spring.
Portugal Is Latest Territory To Buy Keshet’s ‘Rising Star’
Keshet International has sold interactive singing competition series Rising Star to Portugal, where TVI will adapt it for the local market. It is set to launch in 2014. The hot Israeli format has also sold in the U.S. to ABC, the UK to ITV, and elsewhere. “Rising Star is clearly one step ahead of what is being done with talent shows worldwide. This is our first bet on such a powerful talent show format”, said Bruno Santos, TVI’s head of local programming.
Red Arrow International Taps Pair Of Execs
Red Arrow International has appointed Irina Ignatiew as Deputy MD, global scripted distribution, and Henrik Pabst as Deputy MD, global format & factual distribution. Ignatiew was previously SVP Sales, German & French Speaking Territories. Before joining Red Arrow in early 2012, Ignatiew held posts at Telepool, Tandem Communications and Lionsgate. Pabst was formerly in charge of acquiring distribution rights to entertainment programs for Red Arrow´s catalog, and for marketing the program portfolio in the UK, Scandinavia and Benelux. He has also worked at IMG Media. Red Arrow International packages, co-finances and co-produces international dramas that include Lilyhammer and also handles formats like Betty White´s Off Their Rockers, and ABC´s The Taste.
Zodiak Closes Asia Deals For ‘The Returned’
Zodiak Rights has concluded a series of Asian deals on supernatural hit The Returned. The series, which just won an International Emmy, is produced by Haut et Court for Canal Plus. Thailand’s True Vision Group picked up The Returned for its True Vision Series channel in what will be the first time it has aired a French drama. Hong Kong’s Now TV also made its first French drama acquisition with Zodiak. The Returned also sold to Taiwan’s public broadcaster PTS and to South Korea’s AXN. The drama had already sold in over 40 territories and is getting a U.S. remake.
NBC certainly went out on a limb with its three-hour production of “Sound of Music,” which aired live on Thursday night and sparked a lot of commentary on Twitter.
Led by Grammy winner Carrie Underwood and “True Blood” star Stephen Moyer, it also starred Tony Award winners Audra McDonald, Laura Benanti and Christian Borle.
The reported $9 million production was a big part of the network’s holiday programming roll out. Set to air at least one more time before Christmas, NBC reportedly hopes it can air annually as a holiday mainstay.
“Smash” producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan headed up the production, which was based on the original 1959 Broadway production of “The Sound of Music,” starring Mary Martin and Theodore Bike.
But of course, most viewers are better acquainted with the 1965 film starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. So, NBC’s take had big shoes to fill.
What did those in the entertainment industry have to say about the gutsy production?
See below for their best tweets about “Sound of Music Live”:
Tonight they will finally put back the original scene where Von Trapp sucks the blood out of Maria. #soml
— Albert Brooks (@AlbertBrooks) December 6, 2013
— Cameron (@CameronDiaz) December 6, 2013
Carrie Underwood is serving eyebrow acting realness. #TheSoundOfMusicLive
— Alec Mapa (@AlecMapa) December 6, 2013
Wonder why they remade this
— mia farrow (@MiaFarrow) December 6, 2013
Nuns are dope so far! Way better than sister act. #SoundofMusic
— Echo Kellum (@EchoK) December 6, 2013
— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) December 6, 2013
I'm watching some painful Austrian soap opera. #SOML
— Patrick Gilmore (@PatrickGilmore) December 6, 2013
Wow there's so much fake fun happening! #SOML
— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) December 6, 2013
— Anna Kendrick (@AnnaKendrick47) December 6, 2013
— Cara Lynn Shultz (@caralynnshultz) December 6, 2013
Please let Alexander Skarsgard be a shirtless Nazi! #TheSoundOfMusicLive
— Eitan (@EitanTheWriter) December 6, 2013
@LauraBenanti killing it!
— Kevin Rahm (@KevinRahm) December 6, 2013
Yeah, Rolf's a Nazi, but that booty tho. #TheSoundOfMusicLive
— Dave Holmes (@DaveHolmes) December 6, 2013
The Von Traps make my fam look almost normal
— mia farrow (@MiaFarrow) December 6, 2013
BECAUSE IT'S PERFECTLY NORMAL MARIA HAS A SOUTHERN ACCENT IN 1940'S NAZI GERMANY. #TheSoundOfMusicLive
— Lindsay Hollister (@LindsHollister) December 6, 2013
Only in 1940s Austria can a Vampire fall in love with a Country singer #TheSoundOfMusicLive
— Drew Champion (@drewchamps) December 6, 2013
— Michelle Collins (@michcoll) December 6, 2013
The post NBC’s ‘Sound of Music Live’: Hollywood’s Best Reactions appeared first on TheWrap.Related stories from TheWrap:
Oprah Winfrey considered Nelson Mandela her friend, confidante and mentor.
After the former South African president and activist died on Thursday at age 95, Winfrey expressed her feelings about the man later that day in a statement.
“One of the great honors of my life was to be invited to Nelson Mandela’s home, spend private time and get to know him,” she said. “He was everything you’ve ever heard and more – humble and unscathed by bitterness. And he always loved to tell a good joke. Being in his presence was like sitting with grace and majesty at the same time.”
She continued, “He will always be my hero. His life was a gift to us all.”
Winfrey and her longtime partner, businessman Stedman Graham, were invited to stay at Mandela’s home on South Africa’s Western Cape in 2000 for 10 days.
The 59-year-old Oprah Winfrey Network founder and CEO told Forbes that she credits her discussions with Mandela about the country’s poverty and education for inspiring her to create Oprah Winfrey’s Leadership Academy For Girls in Henley on Klip, south of Johannesburg.
The all-female boarding school was founded in January 2007 with the goal of providing educational and leadership opportunities to academically gifted girls from impoverished backgrounds.
Mandela appeared several times on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Watch her discuss one of them below.
The post Oprah Winfrey Says Goodbye to Nelson Mandela: ‘My Hero’ (Video) appeared first on TheWrap.Related stories from TheWrap:
A Tujunga, Calif., man has been arrested for allegedly stealing a part of the Porsche that “Fast & Furious” star Paul Walker died in, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said Thursday.
Jameson Witty, 18, was arrested after allegedly taking a red T-top roof panel from the car. According to the sheriff’s department, several vehicles followed the tow truck transporting the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT from the accident scene. When the tow truck was stopped at a red light, a male exited one of the vehicles, took the part, and drove off.
The part was recovered by detectives at a residence in Canyon Country in Los Angeles County.
Witty was arrested with bail set at $20,000.
A second suspect, who is currently outside of California, is negotiating with detectives to turn himself in.
Detectives will meet with the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office to discuss pressing charges of felony grand theft and tampering with evidence against both suspects.
Walker, 40, and 38-year-old Roger Rodas — who was driving the vehicle — died in a collision during a charity event in Santa Clarita, Calif., on Saturday. The Los Angeles County coroner determined that Walker died of the combined effects of traumatic and thermal injuries.
Also read: Paul Walker Cause of Death Determined
The crash is still being investigated. Meanwhile, Universal Pictures has shut down production on “Fast & Furious 7″ so that “we can assess all options available to move forward with the franchise.”
The post Paul Walker Death: Man Arrested for Allegedly Stealing Part of Wrecked Porsche appeared first on TheWrap.Related stories from TheWrap:
NBC’s live The Sound of Music starring Carrie Underwood had a few hitches tonight. The orchestra occasionally drowned out the singers in the early going, the sound sputtered a few times, and they really should have re-thought those Von Trapp family-esque Walmart ads. Stephen Moyer and that Nazi bigwig fumbled their will-you-or-will-you-not-join-the-Navy cross-talk act, some guy momentarily pinned The Baroness when he stepped on the train of her beautiful evening gown (“Whoops!” giggled Laura Benanti, handling it like a pro). And, as an actress, American Idol alum Underwood is an enormously talented singer.
On the other hand, had NBC gone with the real Von Trapp family’s choice to play Maria – Anne Hathaway — that little cute little actress playing Gretl would not have come across as the next Ethel Barrymore. Nor would Moyer be up for a Medal of Freedom for his valor during that garden love scene. And maybe Audra McDonald’s “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” would not be remembered as the emotional high point of an otherwise emotionally flat show.
Yeah, live TV is wonderfully messy.
Relativity has retitled the film it picked up from Disney in July. The suspenser formerly known as Echo now is called Earth To Echo and will be released April 25. The story follows three friends (Teo Halm, Reese Hartwig and Ella Linnea Wahlestedt) who start getting weird coded messages on their cell phones and worry that something big is happening. No one pays them much mind, so they do some digging on their own and discover a mysterious being from another world who desperately needs their help. First-timer Dave Green directed the pic from a script by Henry Gayden. It’s produced by Andrew Panay , and Relativity’s Ryan Kavanaugh and Tucker Tooley are exec producing.
The actor has been active on both the big and small screens and was pursued by multiple agencies. ICM Partners has inked Derek Luke, the Antoine Fisher star who most recently starred on the big screen in Baggage Claim and is in next year’s Ryan Reynolds starrer Selfless and the untitled Chris Messina movie. Other feature credits include Friday Night Lights, Glory Road and Catch a Fire. On the TV side, he starred in CBS’ drama pilot Second Sight and on the NBC paramedic drama Trauma. He also had arcs on FX’s The Americans and TNT’s Hawthorne. He is managed by Greenlight Management and attorneys Matt Johnson and Wendy Kirk.