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Post-World War II Revenge Thriller ‘Ruin’ Leads 2017 Black List

Variety - Front Page - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 22:33
Revenge thriller “Ruin” has led the 2017 version of the Black List — an annual ranking of the best unproduced screenplays in Hollywood. The project is set up at Marc Butan’s Mad River Pictures. The script is written by the team of Matthew and Ryan Firpo and centers on an ex-Nazi captain in post-World War […]

Disney Nearing Finish Line With 21st Century Fox as Comcast Bows Out of Acquisition Hunt

Variety - Front Page - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 22:30
Disney has such an inside track on reaching a $60 billion-plus deal to acquire key entertainment and sports assets from 21st Century Fox that Comcast has formally exited the chase. Comcast said Monday it was “no longer” looking at Fox’s film and TV studio and other assets as acquisition targets. The cable giant had yet […]

Broadway Box Office: ‘Farinelli and the King’ Makes Royal Debut

Variety - Front Page - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 22:11
The Broadway box office got a nice jolt last week, with Bette Midler’s final weeks driving up prices at “Hello, Dolly!,” Bruce Springsteen returning after a week off and Mark Rylance’s latest New York stage outing, “Farinelli and the King,” looking regal in its first week. “Farinelli and the King” ($767,377 for seven previews) sounds […]

Bill Hearn, Chairman of Capitol Christian Music Group, Dies at 58

Variety - Front Page - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 22:11
William Ray “Bill” Hearn, chairman and CEO of the Capitol Christian Music Group, passed away Sunday in Nashville after a battle with cancer. He was 58. Hearn played a huge role in CCMG’s formation following the sale of his family’s Sparrow Records — which was founded by his father, Billy Ray Hearn  — to EMI […]

CNN Suspends Ryan Lizza After New Yorker Cuts Ties for ‘Improper Sexual Conduct’

Variety - Front Page - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 21:49
WASHINGTON — Ryan Lizza, who has been the New Yorker’s Washington correspondent and an on-air contributor to CNN, was dropped from the publication over what the magazine said was “improper sexual conduct.” “The New Yorker recently learned that Ryan Lizza engaged in what we believe was improper sexual conduct,” a spokesperson said. “We have reviewed […]

‘Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ Star Rachel Brosnahan: ‘I Would Be So Traumatized If I Did My Own Standup’

Variety - Front Page - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 21:35
It’s one thing to take on a starring role in any TV series — it’s quite another when that series is written by “Gilmore Girls” creator Amy Sherman-Palladino. A standout for her work in “House of Cards” and “Manhattan,” Rachel Brosnahan time travels back to the ’50s for her turn as housewife-turned-standup in Amazon’s “The […]

Veteran Executive Steve Beeks Departing From Lionsgate

Variety - Front Page - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 21:34
Steve Beeks is departing his posts as Lionsgate co-chief operating office and Motion Picture Group co-president at the end of the year. The 20-year veteran of Lionsgate and its predecessor companies made the announcement Monday. He will transition to a consulting role as he prepares to embark on unspecified entrepreneurial opportunities. Beeks has headed business […]

White House Press Secretary Accuses Media of ‘Purposefully Misleading’ Americans

Variety - Front Page - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 21:24
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had a contentious exchange with reporters on Monday as she defended President Donald Trump’s latest attacks on news outlets that have had to backtrack on several breaking news stories. Sanders said that there’s “a very big difference between making honest mistakes and purposefully misleading the American people, something […]

Listen to the Five Original Songs Nominated for a Golden Globe

Variety - Front Page - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 20:40
Nominations for the 75th annual Golden Globes were announced Monday morning, and along with nods for the year’s best in film was recognition for their musical accompaniments. Among those acknowledged in the original song category were Nick Jonas (“Ferdinand”), Mariah Carey (“The Star”), and Mary J. Blige (“Mudbound”). Songwriting duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, […]

‘Endless Summer’ Filmmaker Bruce Brown Dies at 80

Variety - Front Page - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 20:29
Documentary filmmaker Bruce Brown, known for surfing movie “Endless Summer,” died Sunday in Santa Barbara, Calif. of natural causes, his official website reported. He was 80. Brown was born in San Francisco and grew up on Long Beach, Calif. before briefly moving to Hawaii where he began making films and worked with submarines for the […]

ABC Gives Straight-to-Series Order to Comedy From Kenya Barris, Alec Baldwin, Julie Bean

Variety - Front Page - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 20:19
A multi-camera comedy series created by Kenya Barris, Alec Baldwin, and Julie Bean has landed a straight-to-series order at ABC, Variety has confirmed. All three will serve as executive producers on the project, with Barris and Bean also serving as showrunners and writers. The untitled series follows a stuck-in-his-ways, opinionated, fading TV star who moves in with […]

John Wells Sells Hancock Park Mansion to Brian Robbins (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety - Front Page - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 20:13
After six months on the market with an asking price that started at $14.5 million and dropped to $12.95 million, veteran television powerhouse John Wells sold his stately English Tudor mansion in Los Angeles’s historic Hancock Park for $12.412 million and no fewer than two plugged-in real estate tattletales swear the new owner is child […]

‘Ferdinand’ Director on Why John Cena Was Perfect for Title Role

Variety - Front Page - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 20:07
It was a beautiful, warm morning Sunday, a perfect day to stop and smell the flowers at the Zanuck Theater on the 20th Century Fox lot during the premiere of Fox and Blue Sky’s “Ferdinand,” the tale of a pacifist bull who’d rather smell flowers than fight. The film was a longtime passion project for […]

Steven Caple Jr. to Direct ‘Creed 2’ Starring Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety - Front Page - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 20:00
MGM and Warner Bros. have tapped up-and-coming director Steven Caple Jr. to direct Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone in “Creed 2,” sources tell Variety, with production expected to start in spring 2018. Along with Jordan and Stallone, Tessa Thompson will also return for the sequel, reprising her role as Bianca. Sources also say that Ryan […]

Seth Rogen to Play Walter Cronkite in JFK Assassination Drama ‘Newsflash’

Variety - Front Page - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 19:58
David HarbourSeth Rogen will play legendary anchor Walter Cronkite in the upcoming film “Newsflash,” centered on CBS’ coverage of the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. David Gordon Green is directing the drama from Ben Jacoby’s script. Former Warner Bros. production president Greg Silverman is producing through his Stampede Ventures, along with Adam Kolbrenner […]

Golden Globes Nominations: At Least It Was a Good Year for Strong Female Roles

Variety - Front Page - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 19:40
Looking across the Golden Globe film and TV nominations, it’s a banner year for movies driven by some of the most unlikely female characters to get the big-screen treatment. In “The Shape of Water,” Sallie Hawkins plays a mute cleaning woman in 1962 Baltimore who has an supernatural encounter. In “The Post,” Meryl Streep plays […]

The Best New Shows of 2017

Variety - Front Page - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 19:39
Every year the number of shows vying for hearts, minds and attention increases exponentially. In the middle of the year, FX Networks chief John Landgraf observed there were already almost 350 scripted series across broadcast, cable, and streaming services, on-track to deliver 500 by year’s end — a new record, up from 455 scripted series the […]

There Will Be Greenwood: The Radiohead Rocker on Scoring ‘Phantom Thread’

Variety - Front Page - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 19:05
After their much-acclaimed collaboration on “There Will Be Blood,” as well as lesser-known projects “The Master” and “Inherent Vice,” director Paul Thomas Anderson and Radiohead’s multi-instrumentalist savant Jonny Greenwood have teamed up for the fourth consecutive time on “Phantom Thread.” The film’s piano-and-strings dominated score, which received a Golden Globes nomination for best original score, […]

‘Ballers,’ Ridley Scott’s ‘Strange Angel’ Selected for California Production Tax Credits

Variety - Front Page - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 19:00
Ridley Scott’s new series “Strange Angel,” the fourth season of Dwayne Johnson’s “Ballers,” and nine other TV projects have been selected for a total of $69 million in California production tax credits. The projects were announced Monday by the state film commission in the latest round of its Film & TV Tax Credit Program 2.0. […]

Delayed Viewing Ratings: CBS Rules Thanksgiving Week

Variety - Front Page - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 18:53
CBS claimed the lion’s share of the top spots in the Nielsen Live+7 ratings for week 9 of the 2017-2018 broadcast season, which began on Nov. 20. The network enjoyed 12 of the top 25 spots in adults 18-49 and 13 of the top 25 spots in total viewers. Among the top gainers in both […]
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