There may be lots of speculation about the future of DreamWorks in its current incarnation at Disney as my colleague Mike Fleming wrote earlier this week but you would never know it from the rip-roaring premiere last night of their latest film, Need For Speed at the Chinese Theatre. I went in expecting a poor man’s Fast And The Furious and instead got a riveting and fun entertainment with lots of heart and emotion in addition to all the stunt driving. The film , which stars Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul as a street racer out for revenge after being framed for a death of a young street racing rookie, has all the requisite action you would expect from this kind of movie but there’s so much more . The fact that it marks the second feature directed by former stuntman, Scott Waugh (the son of another stuntman , Fred Waugh who passed away while his son was in pre-production) would lead one to believe it would be all pedal-to-the-metal and no soul, but that’s not the case. Waugh’s first feature behind the camera , Act Of Valor proved he knew how to put humanity into a genre film. What he’s made here is a good old fashioned movie movie that doesn’t rely on CGI , has a genuine story to tell with three-dimensional characters (in 3D no less), and great locations. It also presents yet another reason the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences needs to re-consider their decision not to create a 25th category for stunt work. Come on , these people deserve the recognition on a regular basis. I do understand the ticklish situation with the Actors branch, the Academy’s largest and most powerful, but this kind of work is definitely Oscar worthy. The Television Academy has a stunt peer group and recently even split comedy and drama stunt coordination into two separate Emmy categories. In 2012 veteran stuntman/director Hal Needham got an Honorary Oscar and I suppose the Academy feels that is enough recognition for now (Needham passed away a few months after getting that Oscar). But it’s not.
Despite rampant speculation that she’s heading for Fox , Dreamworks’ Stacey Snider was all smiles at the premiere and post-party at Hollywood and Highland’s OHM nightclub clearly hoping she has a much-needed Spring hit after recent Fall disappointments like The Fifth Estate and The Delivery Man. Clearly no matter what happens with the film boxoffice-wise , it marks a good moment for Waugh who should be heavily in demand after this one. He told me all he really wanted to do was to make a Top Gun -style movie that’s pure fun. Hence the title, Need For Speed. The marketing campaign , at least the billboard and print images, seem to be selling it in the much the same way as Gone In 60 Seconds or Days Of Thunder (the day- glo portrait of star Paul is particularly reminiscent of the latter’s campaign) and seems to be aimed squarely at young males. I would say though the female audience will like it just as much if they can be “driven” to see what is on the surface a high-testosterone movie experience. There’s a great relationship subplot between Paul and co-star Imogen Poots that’s nicely played throughout. As for the two-time Emmy winning Paul this is his breakthrough as a movie star and with any luck he’ll become one. In addition to making a believable action star, he brings real heart to the role. He told me he resisted the project at first. “I didn’t even want to read the script” , he said thinking initially (like me) that the story based on an Electronic Arts video game was basically a Fast & Furious knockoff but fortunately he was eventually won over. The script is from Geroge Gatins who was joined in developing the story by his Oscar-nominated brother John Gatins who brought similar dimension to last year’s Flight. Their work is a lot better than the usual video game to movie projects I’ve seen.
One of Paul’s Breaking Bad co-stars Betsy Brandt was there and headed straight to Waugh to tell him how impressed she was with the film. She said she’s ready for Emmy season to start after largely ignoring all the Oscar hoopla. Although Breaking Bad has been off the air since last summer the final eight episodes make it eligible for one last run at the Emmys , where it won big in September. The show has been on a sort of victory tour all season , winning at just about every single Guild awards show and the Golden Globes. It will be interesting to see if AMC can keep that kind of momentum going through the Emmy season where competition promises to be fierce this year. Breaking Bad’s star Bryan Cranston didn’t make the premiere because he just opened to rave reviews played President Lyndon B. Johnson on Broadway this week. Good excuse for the multi-talented actor who has his own hoped -for movie blockbuster , Godzilla , opening in May just as that Emmy and Tony season heats up. He will almost certainly be a big part of both.
As for DreamWorks their next turn at bat will be in August with the true-life uplifting drama, The Hundred-Foot Journey starring Helen Mirren and produced by , among others, Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey. It’ about an Indian family who moves to Paris and opens a restaurant directly across from a major four-star Parisian dining spot. August is the slot where the studio found so much boxoffice and Oscar success with The Help two years ago and where Winfrey scored a hit in Lee Daniel’s The Butler this year. On paper at least this one sounds like a winner, no matter what changes may – or may not - be in store for the company.
The journalist-turned-PR man who went on to serve two terms as president of the TV Academy died Wednesday in Oceanside, Calif. Hank Rieger was 95. In 1977, he became the first elected president of ATAS following the split between the East and West Coast factions of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. He is one of only 11 recipients of the Academy’s Syd Cassyd Award, presented in recognition of long and distinguished service. “Hank Rieger worked tirelessly for many years on behalf of the Television Academy,” ATAS Chairman and CEO Bruce Rosenblum said in a statement. “He believed in the Academy’s ability to have a positive impact on the entire entertainment industry, and we are deeply grateful for all he contributed.” The Kansas City, MO, native served in World War II before beginning his career as a journalist with United Press International, playing a key role in breaking the news of Marilyn Monroe’s death. In 1965, he joined NBC’s public relations department, where he worked with many of the biggest stars and execs in television — from Bob Hope, Bill Cosby, Johnny Carson and Milton Berle to Bob Kintner, Grant Tinker, Herb Schlosser and Brandon Tartikoff. He traveled with Hope as the comic entertained U.S. troops overseas and led the publicity team during The Tonight Show‘s move from New York to Los Angeles in 1972. When NBC News writers and reporters went on strike, Rieger filled in for two weeks as an on-air correspondent and host of a weekend political talk show. Rieger’s work at NBC led to his association with the TV Academy. He founded Emmy magazine and helped grow the Emmy Awards into an elite event, handling all press and publicity for the annual event. In the late 1970s, Rieger launched a PR business that handled clients including ESPN, working with the sports network from its very beginnings. He also taught journalism and public relations at USC for more than two decades. Watch a clip of Rieger discussing Emmy magazine during an interview with the Archive of American Television:
Joanna Going (House Of Cards) has been tapped for a series regular role in DirecTV’s gritty drama series Navy St. From Byron Balasco and Endemol Studios, the dark family drama is set against the backdrop of Navy Street, a Venice, CA-based mixed martial arts (MMA) gym owned by Alvey Henderson (Frank Grillo), a former fighter who never made it big due to a drug addiction but is now sober. Going will play Christina Hyatt, Alvey’s ex wife and mother to Jay (Jonathan Tucker) and Nate (Nick Jonas). Going, repped by AKA and Vanguard Management, co-stars in the upcoming Beach Boys biopic Love & Mercy.
Angelique Cabral (Enlisted, Apt. 23) has signed on for a lead role in NBC’s comedy pilot Two To Go from Universal TV and studio-based David Janollari Entertainment and Jason Bateman‘s Aggregate. The project centers on longtime best friends Kurt and Laura (Christine Woods), who grapple with the challenges of modern-day dating while their group of friends try and prove that they are destined to be together. Cabral will play Anne, a sporty Pilates instructor married to stay-at-home dad Nick (Echo Kellum). Cabral’s casting is in second position to her current role of Jill Perez on Fox’s Enlisted. She is with Pakula/King & Associates and Karen Forman.
The premiere of CNN’s new Chicagoland didn’t get totally whacked last night but it certainly didn’t make a ratings killing either – in fact it came a distant third in terms of total viewership compared to its cable news time slot rivals. The 10 PM debut Thursday of the cable news network’s heavily promoted 8-part documentary series drew 227,000 viewers among adults 25-54 with 629,000 total viewers. That was a drop in total viewership of 7% from the 673,000 that the second hour of CNN’s much less hyped And The Oscar Goes To… documentary pulled in on February 27. That also leaves Chicagoland in third place behind the 1.43 million total viewers who watched Fox News Channel’s Hannity and the 816,000 who tuned into MSNBC’s Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell.
In terms of the key news demo, Chicagoland was up 58% from the weak 144,000 viewers who watched the Oscars docu in the same time slot last week. Yes, that’s up just over 100% from the limbo low 113,000 viewers among the 25-54s that CNN has averaged on the previous four Thursdays in the time slot. However even with the full marketing efforts of CNN both on and off-air, Chicagoland was not that much ahead of the 207,000 among the 25-54s that MSNBC got last night with The Last Word– a show that was nowhere nearly as hyped as the Robert Redford executive produced series. Also, Chicagoland’s demo result was behind the 247,000 that watched Hannity at 10 PM on FNC. It’s worth noting that both the MSNBC and FNC shows were up 56% and 7% respectively in the demo from their February 27’s airings.
Even with its faltering results last night, Chicagoland is the best the Jeff Zucker-run CNN has done in the rocky Thursday time slot with the key news demo since it aired the marine park docu Blackfish back in the Fall of last year. Airing from 9-11PM on October 24, 2013, the Gabriela Cowperthwaite movie pulled in 472,000 viewers among the 25-54s and an audience of 1.5 million overall. Subsequent documentaries and other news programming over the two hours and in the 10PM slot has not fared anywhere near as well. Additionally, with the 10 PM slot now being tried out for different show and the upcoming departure of Piers Morgan from his 9 PM talk show, the majority of CNN’s primetime is in flux too.
With Mayor Rahm Emanuel as the focal point, the stylized Chicagoland kicked off its limited run by centering on the former White House Chief of Staff’s attempts to reform the city’s school system. Fenger Academy High School principal Elizabeth Dozier over in the rough Far South Side neighborhood of Roseland and police Superintendent Garry McCarthy figure prominently too as does a fatal shooting, union unrest and more violence on the Windy City’s streets. Announced last May, the new series, which includes an off-screen cell phone cameo by WME boss Ari Emanuel talking to his brother, is EPed by Redford with his Sundance Productions partner Laura Michalchyshyn and filmmakers Marc Levin and Mark Benjamin of BCTV. The network and the producers premiered the series at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.
HBO has unveiled its promo for Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, which unveils on April 27 (see below). The new weekly satire current events show from the former The Daily Show With Jon Stewart correspondent (and stand-in host) will air at 11 PM on Sundays. Last November, HBO announced it had snagged Oliver to do a weekly show. Oliver took his final Daily Show bow in December, and Stewart had him in tears as he surprised the Brit comic with his own retrospective, on his last day. During the ambush, Oliver, who’d been with the Comedy Central late-night program for more than seven years, was mostly speechless and fighting tears.
Oliver got rave reviews covering for Stewart over the summer on Comedy Central while Stewart took time off to direct his first film, Rosewater. And though Oliver told PBS’ Charlie Rose in an interview, “I don’t think it’s going to change my life”, and that his goal had been only “not to destroy that machine” during his brief tenure, it proved to be a game changer for Oliver — and for Viacom Entertainment Group president Doug Herzog, whose empire includes Comedy Central, and who learned from the experience that there can be life after Stewart — unless HBO comes to the same realization and is looking for another topical late-night show. Watch Oliver’s HBO promo here:
CBS, Disney, Fox, and Time Warner are the easy answers — and the ones that many financial types believe are eyeing the independent programming network companies following Comcast’s $45.2B agreement to buy Time Warner Cable. But Bernstein Research’s Todd Juenger takes the conversation a step further today with an intriguing report that suggests several less obvious potential buyers for AMC Networks, Scripps or Starz. Distributors including DirecTV, Dish Network, Charter, AT&T and Verizon might want to take a page from Comcast’s playbook when it bought NBCUniversal. DirecTV doesn’t offer broadband, so it has “additional motivation to take some action to future-proof the business,” possibly by offering exclusive access to certain networks, Juenger says. Charter and Dish are long shots: Charter probably could only afford AMC. And Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen seems intent on acquiring airwave spectrum, although “nobody really knows Mr. Ergen’s potential plans, and they could change.” AT&T and Verizon’s corporate cultures are “a step (or three) further removed from the content business.” Yet here, too, they might take a leap since “their historical core businesses are not exactly growing, and they could amass the financial resources.”
Sony’s another possibility. In the U.S. it “owns a measly one fully distributed cable network” — the Game Show Network. AMC might look especially enticing since Sony produced its hit Breaking Bad and is working on the spinoff Better Call Saul. Could Sony buy AMC, Scripps, and Starz? It would have to take on a lot of debt. But the company said last year, when it rejected a proposal from Third Point’s Daniel Loeb to sell a minority stake in its studio and music assets, that it believes in the future of show business. If that’s the case, then the three acquisitions would “transform Sony to a company with about half of its EBITDA [cash flow] from Entertainment.”
No list of potential buyers would be complete without Silicon Valley giants led by Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Intel. They’ve been unable to license much pay TV content — a problem they could resolve by purchasing the content companies themselves. But here’s the rub: A deal “would cause value destruction on a massive scale” if a tech company bought a programmer to take it outside the lucrative ecosystem of pay TV ads and distributor fees. That might intimidate everybody except Google. The search giant already is building cable-like services with its Google Fiber initiatives and might crave the mother lode of data and ad inventory that would come from owning TV networks. The company couldn’t target ads to audiences as effectively as it can on the web. But at a time when “Internet companies pay $19B for nascent concepts with unproven business models, and nobody blinks (i.e. WhatsApp), the idea of Google paying $7B for AMC is probably not a hard sell.”
Related: Did Facebook Overpay For WhatsApp?
In this week’s podcast, Deadline’s executive editor David Lieberman and host David Bloom look at the big Dish-Disney deal and what it might mean for other media companies and even a possible sports-free online pay-TV service. They also discuss Disney’s continuing headaches with its Interactive unit, whether FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s new rules for local broadcast alliances go far enough and look at the speculation about Carmike, the big exhibitor whose strong quarter fueled speculation that it will be a fat takeover target.
The .M4A version of this podcast is designed to run on any device using Apple’s iTunes software, and includes enhanced graphics and links to stories and other resources. The .MP3 version of this podcast is designed to play on virtually any device capable of playing digital audio.
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Larry Kudlow‘s 7 PM ET CNBC program, The Kudlow Report will end its run at the end of this month, with Kudlow staying on as a senior contributor to the business network’s business-day programs. No word yet as to a replacement program. Kudlow, who has been a part of CNBC for its 25-year history, had headlined The Kudlow Report since January of ’09, after hosting Kudlow & Company from ’05 to 0’8., and partnering with Jim Cramer in Kudlow & Cramer before that. “In my career, I have encountered few television hosts with Larry’s range,” CNBC president Mark Hoffman said in a memo to staff, a copy of which was obtained by TVNewser. “As an interviewer, he is unfailingly polite and energetic, skillfully grilling guests but always ending a segment graciously. Larry has always brought great enthusiasm to every program and appearance.”
Kudlow raised some eyebrows in January when he nominated Fox News co-founder and CEO Roger Ailes to be part of CNBC’s First 25 list of people who have had the” greatest influence, sparked the biggest challenges and created the most disruptions in business over the past quarter century.” CNBC was compiling the CNBC First 25 to celebrate its own 25th anniversary (Ailes ran CNBC in the early 1990s). “Mr. Ailes has broken the dominance of the mainstream media which always tilts left,” Kudlow said back then. “He is also unapologetic whenever he ruffles anybody’s feathers.” Last November, CNBC’s Maria “Money Honey” Bartiromo announced at the end of her contract she was leaving CNBC, she migrated to Fox Business Network, also helmed by Ailes.
Rake co-star Bojana Novakovic is finalizing a deal for the title role in ABC’s drama pilot Agatha, from ABC Studios and Mark Gordon Co. It centers on former convict-turned-big-city criminologist Agatha (Novakovic), who is brought in to help local police crack a case involving a perplexing disappearance. The casting is in second position to Fox’s midseason series Rake, which has done poorly on Thursdays and is being moved to Fridays starting next week en route to likely cancellation. Rake marked the first US series for Yugoslavian-born Australian actress Novakovic, repped by CAA.
Related: 2014 ABC Pilots
The sci-fi thriller that screened at Sundance will hit theaters June 13 before expanding the following two weekends. In the Focus Features pic, three college students on a road trip across the Southwest experience a detour: the tracking of a computer genius who has already hacked into MIT and exposed security faults. The trio find themselves drawn to an eerily isolated area when suddenly, everything goes dark. When one of the students, Nic, regains consciousness, he is in a waking nightmare. The Signal, from director William Eubank, stars Brenton Thwaites, Olivia Cooke, Beau Knapp and Laurence Fishburne. Cutting Edge Group boarded the project during the Baja Film Festival in November.
EXCLUSIVE: Resolution has signed new directors Nadav Schirman and Mike Tully. Schirman’s first film, the Israel-Germany co-production The Champagne Spy, won the Israeli Academy Award for Best Documentary, was nominated for the European Film Prize, and won the John Schlesinger Award for Outstanding First Feature. It is being remade by Bille August and producer Uli Limmer. Schirman followed with In The Darkroom, a feature length docu that is part of a trilogy that continues with The Green Prince, based the nonfiction book Son Of Hamas. Schirman is produced by Schirman through his Frankfurt based A List Films GmbH, in collaboration with Oscar winning producers John Batsek (One Day In September) and Simon Chinn (Man On Wire).
Also signed is Tully, whose Sundance film Ping Pong Summer came out of that festival with a deal from Gravitas.The film stars Susan Sarandon, and centers on an awkward teen who attempts to become a master breakdancer, ping pong player and ladies man all before the end of a summer break in 1985. The film is based on Tully’s own childhood experiences.
Dave Annable (Brothers & Sisters, 666 Park Avenue) has nabbed a series regular role in Fox’s Red Band Society, from Amblin TV and ABC Studios. It is a coming-of-age drama that explores with dark humor the daily lives of a group of teenagers living in a hospital who become unlikely friends. Annable, repped by CAA and Barking Dog Entertainment, will play Dr. William McAndrew, a rock star pediatric oncologist and surgeon who tries not to get too attached to his young patients.
Related: 2014 Fox Pilots
Aaron Ashmore (I Put A Hit On You) has booked the male lead in ABC’s drama pilot Agatha from ABC Studios and Mark Gordon Co. It centers on a former convict-turned-big-city criminologist who is brought in to help local police crack a case involving a perplexing disappearance. Ashmore will play Jimmy McAuliffe, a handsome, good-humored and good-natured “meat and potatoes” guy who is a beat cop with the Philly PD and lives in the shadow of his father. Ashmore, repped by APA, and Paul Nicholls at Artistry Management, appeared on Syfy’s Warehouse 13 and recurred on In Plain Sight, Lost Girl and Smallville.
Related: 2014 ABC Pilots
EXCLUSIVE: Writer-director Mike Flanagan and Intrepid Pictures’ Trevor Macy are reteaming on the supernatural thriller Diver, setting a summer production start. Flanagan will direct a script by Diane Ademu-John and Carter Blanchard with revisions by Flanagan and writing partner Jeff Howard. Macy will produce the film, with Marc D. Evans, Asha Kurian, and Julie Wilke also serving in various producing capacities.
Diver revolves around a secret project based in New Orleans that involves a team sent to enter the minds of the recently dead to experience their final memories in order to solve the most heinous crimes. When the Divers breach the barrier between the living and the dead, they must contend with the supernatural force they unleash.
Flanagan, Intrepid and Macy first collaborated on Oculus, starring Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites, Katee Sackhoff, and Rory Cochrane. Relativity will release it April 11 following its U.S. premiere Saturday at SXSW. Relativity bought it at Toronto, where Flanagan and Macy set their second collaboration, the thriller Somnia, which is currently in postproduction, starring Kate Bosworth, Thomas Jane, and Jacob Tremblay. Somnia was written by Flanagan and Howard and produced by Macy with Sam Englebardt and William D. Johnson of Demarest Films. Demarest Films and MICA Entertainment co-financed the picture.
Macy is represented by Paradigm. Flanagan is represented by APA and Nelson Davis Wetzstein.
Chris Conroy has booked a series regular role on ABC’s The Club (fka untitled Susannah Grant) from CBS TV Studios and ABC Studios. The drama, already greenlighted straight to series with a 13-episode order, is an upstairs/downstairs soap set at a private country club. Gersh-repped Conroy will play rich and handsome Forty Holbrooke, who was doing OK until his mother killed herself, leaving him everything. Since then he’s been staggering through life with too much money and too little real support.
Related: 2014 ABC Pilots
Jayson Blair (The New Normal) has signed on to ABC‘s multi-camera comedy pilot Keep It Together, from actor-comedian Kevin Hart. Written by Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan based on Hart’s life and stand-up, the project takes a candid look at the post-divorce life of a couple, Derek (Romany Malco) and Lorraine (Bresha Webb), who are trying to forge a friendship for the sake of their kids, despite their differences. Blair, repped by Resolution, Justice & Ponder, and attorney Lev Ginsburg, will play Lorraine’s new boyfriend Chip.
EXCLUSIVE: Level 1 Entertainment, which had set Michael Steinberger’s wine counterfeiting Vanity Fair article A Vintage Crime as a dramatic feature, is being rebottled. The story will be told as a documentary to be helmed by Barry Avrich. His docus include The Last Mogul on Lew Wasserman, Filthy Gorgeous: The Bob Guccione Story and Show Stopper: The Theatrical Life Of Garth Drabinsky.
A Vintage Crime focuses on the exploits of wine counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan, who drove the elite and secretive world of rare-wine collectors into a frenzy with his extravagant showmanship and record-setting deals. Kurniawan conned the biggest players in the fine wine market, including prominent tycoons and entertainment moguls, before he made the mistake that ultimately led to his arrest and the discovery of a wine counterfeiting factory in his suburban Los Angeles home. Charged with mail and wire fraud in connection with the sale of fake rare wines, Kurniawan was convicted in a Manhattan federal court last month and is now facing up to 40 years in jail.
“From the moment we first read Michael’s article,” commented Level 1, “we knew it was that rare combination of a view into a glamorous and seductive world, a compelling mystery and a portrait of a fascinating character in Rudy Kurniawan,” said Level One’s Bill Todman Jr. “For us the challenge was finding the best venue to tell this story. Ultimately, we felt we should capture it as it all really happened and that Barry Avrich is the ideal documentary filmmaker for that.”
Said Avrich: “Michael’s piece has all the elements that attract me to a project; a complex and controversial lead character, a storyline with many twists and turns and an opportunity to delve deeply into a world that few are privileged to be a part of.”
Production is underway, as a co-production between Level 1 and Melbar Entertainment Group, with Todman, Jr., Michael Steinberger and Paul Nagle exec producing. Avrich wrote, produces and directs. Level 1′s credits include Rendition, Grandma’s Boy and Strange Wilderness.
The documentary about the notorious Mexican drug lord is particularly timely now that Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has been captured after more than a decade on the run. The Legend Of Shorty chronicles the hunt for the near mythical figure who is alternately described as a brilliant business visionary, an amoral and ruthless murderer, a revolutionary hero and a latter-day Robin Hood. Directors Angus Macqueen and Guillermo Galdos venture into Mexico, where they gained access to El Chapo’s inner circle. The pic from Oscar-winning producer Simon Chinn (Searching For Sugar Man, Man On Wire) is having its world premiere today in the Documentary Spotlight section at SXSW. Here’s an exclusive look:
EXCLUSIVE: Mexican actor-singer-heartthrob Jaime Camil is making his US pilot debut with a co-starring role opposite Gina Rodriguez in the CW‘s drama Jane The Virgin. Based on the successful Venezuelan telenovela Juana la Virgen, Jane The Virgin centers on Jane (Rodriguez), a hardworking religious girl who, due to a series of outrageous events, is accidentally artificially inseminated. International telenovela star Camil will play the series regular role of Rubio, who happens to be a world-famous telenovela star with a surprising connection to Jane. Camil, who is coming off back-to-back hit Spanish-language series in Mexico and the U.S. with Que Pobres Ran Ricos and Poy Ella Soy Eva, is currently seen on Univision’s new rom-com novela, Qué Pobres Tan Ricos. He made a successful feature debut in the US as the star of bilingual Patelion/Lionsgate hit Pulling Strings, which ranked as the third highest-grossing foreign language film of 2013. Additionally, a recent guest appearance by Camil on Devious Maids delivered strong ratings for the Lifetime series, which also has Latin roots. Jane the Virgin, from CBS Studios, is written by Jennie Snyder Urman and directed by Brad Silberling. Camil is with ROAR, WME and attorney James Mandelbaum.
UPDATE, 10:38 AM: Unsurprisingly, Aereo is not happy with the denial today of its attempt to overturn the six-state injunction against the Barry Diller-backed service. “We are disappointed in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals 2:1 decision denying our request to stay the injunction in the 10th Circuit,” said spokesperson Virginia Lam Abrams today after the court’s order became public. “We believe that Aereo’s individual, cloud-based antenna and DVR technology falls squarely within the law and we look forward to presenting our case to the U.S. Supreme Court.”
PREVIOUS, 9:44 AM: If you felt that the Aereo legal roller coaster went fast before, welcome to Utah. Just over a week after getting a 14-day reprieve from the 6-state injunction it had been slapped with on February 19, the Barry Diller-backed streaming service today took a hit from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. A panel of judges on the federal court denied Aereo’s emergency motion to stay the injunction.
“Aereo has not made a strong showing that it is likely to succeed on the merits of its appeal,”said two of the judges in the 2-page order (read it here) today. “Nor has Aereo demonstrated that the other factors weigh in its favor. We therefore deny Aereo’s emergency motion to stay the preliminary injunction pending appeal, .While Judge Harris Hartz says he would have granted the motion, his colleagues’ order means that Aereo’s services are going dark soon in Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Montana. Still while Judge Dale Kimball’s February’s ruling covers the entire region of his jurisdiction, Aereo actually only operates in the Denver and Salt Lake City areas at present. Aereo is appealing Kimball’s ruling and wanted the injunction lifted during that process. The Utah suit against Aereo was filed in October. Today’s order comes less than two months before Aereo and the broadcasters face off at the Supreme Court on April 22. The results of those oral arguments could point the way that this multi-jurisdiction legal battle is going to finally go but right now the 10th Circuit decision is a big black eye for Aereo.
Katie Holmes has landed a series regular role in ABC’s Richard LaGravenese drama pilot. In the vein of Dangerous Liaisons, the untitled project is set in New York and revolves around the love and rivalry between two equally matched, powerful socialites, Philip Fitzgerald Julien (Rufus Sewell) and Margot Worth Cole, who play out their obsessive attraction and seduction of each other through their manipulation of others. Holmes will play Ann, a woman of education and breeding who, with her husband, runs a philanthropic foundation that helps bring clean water to African villages.
Related: 2014 ABC Pilots
Josh Sussman (Glee) has been cast as a series regular in Henry Winkler ABC’s comedy pilot The Winklers, from Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal; Winkler’s son, director Max Winkler; and son-in-law, actor Rob Reinis. The project, which had a pilot production commitment, was conceived as a starring vehicle for Henry Winkler and is based on his relationship with his son-in-law. Sussman, repped by DBA and Michael Abrams, will play Jonah, the son of Henry and Tita. Though he has his own apartment, Jonah frequently stops by his parents’ home to take baths, hang out and receive praise from his parents or anyone else willing to hand out a compliment.
Bob Berney‘s company has grabbed all U.S. rights to the latest from the team behind the Lionsgate slasher pic You’re Next. The Guest, from director Adam Wingard, writer Simon Barrett and Snoot Entertainment, follows a family who takes in a young soldier who claims to be a good friend of their son who was killed in action. But when people in their town start turning up dead, the teenage daughter becomes suspicious of their guest. Dan Stevens, Maika Monroe, Leland Orser, Lance Reddick and Sheila Kelley star in the film, which is screening as a Midnighter at SXSW after bowing at Sundance in January. Picturehouse is planning a fall release for The Guest.