7 Days of Deals
Ka-ching! Who's inking on the dotted line this week.
DEAL OF THE WEEK: MIPCOM 2012: TV And Streaming Co-Exist (For Now): TV is dead. Long live TV. Those seemingly conflicting messages stood side by side as the annual MIPCOM international television market wrapped Oct. 13 in Cannes. For years, the great battle in the small-screen business has been between traditional media companies -- the Big Four U.S. networks, cable operators, free and pay TV broadcasters worldwide -- and the new online giants: Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and their international ilk. Old media saw the online upstarts and streaming video in general as insignificant, at least as compared with the multibillion-dollar business that is traditional television. The Internet pioneers, of course, saw streaming as the future, certain that online models soon would replace old-school TV.
But with Netflix, Hulu and YouTube upping their game with investments in acquisitions and original productions, they are now broadcasters in all but name. For instance, Netflix and international seller Sony Pictures Television brought House of Cards stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright to the Croisette on Oct. 7 to promote the upcoming $100 million political series, which was screened for excited buyers. "This is the future, streaming is the future," said Beau Willimon, head writer on House of Cards. "TV will not be TV five years from now …everyone will be streaming." To that end, YouTube on Oct. 8 extended its original channel initiative, promising at least 46 new channels in Europe alone. Hulu is co-producing the BBC series The Thick of It and The Wrong Mans.
But the old media dinosaurs, far from going extinct, emerged from MIPCOM with lucrative pacts of their own, including free-TV deals for such network fare as ABC's new Last Resort and Nashville; CBS actioner Hawaii Five-0 and long-running procedural NCIS; and NBC's freshman drama Revolution, from producer J.J. Abrams.
For the moment at least, both sides of the small-screen battle are benefiting from a growing market. "I think everyone knows TV has become the place to be," says The Weinstein Co. co-chairman Harvey Weinstein, the consummate film impresario who made his first appearance at MIPCOM this year and used the platform to announce several new television projects, including a Grammy-style awards show, the World Dance Awards, which TWC will produce with Irish step dance star Michael Flatley. "The movie business is shrinking to some degree, and television is where you can really do exciting new things. There are a lot of opportunities out there if you are creative and can make things on a budget."
That optimistic outlook was reinforced by a pair of new studies revealed at the market. One, from investment firm VSS, predicts traditional television broadcast revenue in the U.S. will increase 9.2 percent this year to $52.95 billion. The other, from IMS Research, forecasts strong growth both in online video advertising and online VOD services -- with revenue set to hit $13.4 billion and $20.6 billion, respectively, by 2017.
With figures like that, it's no wonder Harvey -- and just about everyone at MIPCOM -- left with a smile on his or her face. -- Scott Roxborough
Parks & Rec Star Gets Rad
Adam Scott and his wife, Naomi, a former Jimmy Kimmel Live! producer, are getting into business together. The parents of two have launched Gettin' Rad Productions, a name the Parks and Recreation star says is both "stupid" and "aspirational." Their first project, the 15-minute special The Greatest Event in Television History, aired Oct. 11 on Adult Swim and quickly went viral. It chronicles Adam and Mad Men's Jon Hamm in their attempt to re-create the opening sequence of '80s series Simon & Simon. Through their WME-repped GRP, the Scotts will produce at least three more such specials. On the big screen, the pair has optioned Chuck Klosterman's Downtown Owl. Says Adam: "It's small enough that it would make a good first film out of the gate for us." -- Lacey Rose
Affleck, WB Joined at the Hip
Is there anyone hotter right now than Ben Affleck? Warner Bros doesn't think so. Even before the director-star's Argo opened to a strong $19 million, the studio's film group president Jeff Robinov locked up what likely will be Affleck's next directing project and acting vehicle. He's attached to write, direct and star in an adaptation of the Prohibition-era novel Live by Night by Dennis Lehane, who penned the source material for Affleck's directorial debut Gone Baby Gone. Warners was in the process of auditioning writers when Affleck expressed interest, prompting the studio immediately to call off the search. He'll begin writing right away, says a source, but whether and when he ends up directing will depend on the script. More certain is Warners' Focus, a heist two-hander from John Requa and Glenn Ficarra, the filmmakers behind the studio's 2011 hit Crazy, Stupid, Love. Affleck would star, but the project won't move forward until it finds a female lead (which could end up being Emma Stone, Requa and Ficarra's first choice, if her schedule permits). Also on Affleck's potential docket: The Stand, an adaptation of Stephen King's epic novel to which he is attached to direct, and Nathan Decker, a political comedy written by Crazy, Stupid scriptwriter Dan Fogelman in which he is attached to star (but not direct). Those jonesing for their next Affleck fix will have to wait until Sept. 27, when Fox releases the gambling drama Runner Runner co-starring Justin Timberlake and Gemma Arterton. -- Borys Kit
Jim Carrey (WME, Mosaic, Jackoway Tyerman) will star in Relativity's action comedy Loomis Fargo, about a real-life armored car heist. Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite) is directing.
Julianne Moore (CAA, Management 360, Edelstein Laird) will star opposite Liam Neeson in Non-Stop, Silver Pictures' airline thriller directed by Jaume Collet-Serra.
The Descendants' Shailene Woodley (Paradigm, Principato-Young, Felker Toczek) will play Mary Jane Watson in Columbia's Spider-Man 2.
Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul (UTA, Leverage) has landed the lead in Need for Speed, DreamWorks' action film based on the Electronic Arts video game.
Christoph Waltz (ICM, Germany's Players Agentur) will play Mikhail Gorbachev opposite Michael Douglas as Ronald Reagan in director Mike Newell's Reykjavik.
Ewan McGregor (UTA, the U.K.'s United Agents, Sloane Offer) will star in Australian crime drama Son of a Gun.
Mike Epps (ICM, Niles Kirschner, Morris Yorn) will play Richard Pryor in Nina, the Nina Simone biopic starring Zoe Saldana.
My Week With Marilyn director Simon Curtis (UTA, Anonymous, the U.K.'s Independent) is in talks to helm The Buccaneers, based on the Edith Wharton novel.
New Line will remake the 1979 George Burns caper movie Going in Style, with Tony Bill, producer of the original, executive producing.
RZA (ICM, King Holmes) is teaming with comic book author Grant Morrison and Django Unchained producer Reginald Hudlin to adapt and direct Morrison's Happy!
Dennie Gordon (CAA, David Colden) will become the first U.S. woman to direct a feature for the Chinese market with My Lucky Star, a prequel to the Chinese hit Sophie's Revenge, starring House of Flying Daggers' Zhang Ziyi.
Screen Gems has picked up big-screen rights to Black City, a young-adult series written by Elizabeth Richards.
J.J. Abrams (CAA, Oasis, Jackoway Tyerman) has scored a put-pilot commitment from Fox for Adulting, a comedy based on blogger Kelly Williams Brown's upcoming book of the same name.
A Better Life Oscar nominee Demian Bichir (CAA, Evolution, Gang Tyre) has joined FX drama pilot The Bridge.
Deadwood's Ian McShane (ICM, Gallant) will appear in two episodes of FX's American Horror Story: Asylum.
Clark Gregg (UTA, 3 Arts, Jackoway Tyerman) will reprise his Avengers role as agent Phil Coulson in Joss Whedon's ABC pilot S.H.I.E.L.D.
Lost's Carlton Cuse (WME, Del Shaw) is adapting the Oni Press graphic novel The Sixth Gun at NBC.
Comedy Central has ordered Broad City, a pilot based on the web series from executive producer Amy Poehler.
Breaking In's Erin Richards (WME, Magnolia) will star as Nikki Joel in Fox's pilot presentation based on her blog about her marriage to WME agent Brandt Joel.
Cougar Town's Bill Lawrence (ICM, Shapiro/West, Morris Yorn) will develop Ellen Rakieten and Anne Coyle's book Undateable: 311 Things Guys Do That Guarantee They Won't Be Dating or Having Sex for NBC.
Stylist and Bravo reality star Rachel Zoe (WME, DMF Law) will develop her first scripted project, a half-hour comedy based on her life for NBC.
Grey's Anatomy's Kim Raver (WME, Mosaic) will star in Lifetime's The Secret Lives of Wives.
30 Rock co-executive producer Ron Weiner (UTA) is adapting British comedy Whites and penning a workplace comedy for NBC.
Eisner Award-winning comic book scribe Ed Brubaker (UTA, Anonymous, Harris M. Miller II) has sold two dramas: Suns, a crime thriller with Awake's Kyle Killen to Fox, and an untitled espionage drama to NBC.
White Collar's Matt Bomer (CAA, Anonymous Content, Hansen Jacobson) will guest on NBC's The New Normal.
The League's Paul Scheer (UTA, Principato-Young, Schrek Rose) and Jason Mantzoukas (UTA, Mosaic, Morris Yorn) will guest star on ABC's Modern Family.
NBC has ordered eight episodes of the competition series Get Out Alive from Bear Grylls. ... The network will air its Munsters reboot pilot Mockingbird Lane as a Halloween special on Oct. 26. … ABC has ordered three additional scripts for the freshman comedy Neighbors. … USA Network has renewed Suits for a third season. … Adult Swim has picked up Robot Chicken for a seventh season. … Lifetime has renewed Dance Moms for a third season.
Taylor Swift (IMG) has partnered with Keds for a limited-edition, lace-up RED Champions sneaker.
Tom Hanks (CAA) will make his Broadway debut in Nora Ephron's Lucky Guy, about the career highs and lows of controversial tabloid reporter Mike McAlary in 1980s New York.
Johnny Depp (UTA, Bloom Hergott) is launching a publishing division of his Infinitum Nihil company with HarperCollins. Among his first projects is The Unraveled Tales of Bob Dylan.
Oscar winner Octavia Spencer (WME) has signed with Simon & Schuster for Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective, the first in a mystery series for children, to be published in 2013.
Samantha Geimer (Fletcher & Co.) will write The Girl for Atria, a memoir about being sexually assaulted by Roman Polanski as a teenager.
Chris Pine, who stars in Paramount's Star Trek and Jack Ryan franchises, has signed with CAA. (He remains with John Carrabino and Gendler & Kelly.)
Anna Gunn, who stars on AMC's Breaking Bad, has signed with UTA.
Edward Burns, best known for writing, directing and starring in The Brothers McMullen, has signed with UTA.
Tommy Swerdlow, writer of Cool Runnings and Snow Dogs, has signed with ICM Partners.
Max Topplin, who co-stars in MGM's 2013 remake of Carrie opposite Chloe Grace Moretz, has signed with APA.
THE NEXT BIG THING: Dave Kajganich
Reps: UTA, Madhouse Entertainment, Jackoway Tyerman. Why He Matters: The Invasion writer, who has worked on high-profile new adaptations of Stephen King's Pet Sematary and It, has been tapped to pen Universal's creepy remake of 1954's Creature From the Black Lagoon.
THE BIG NUMBER: $75 Million -- Amount Heineken has agreed to spend on a marketing campaign for Sony's new James Bond film Skyfall, which features the beer.