7 Days of Deals

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Ka-ching! Who’s inking on the dotted line this week.

DEAL OF THE WEEK: Bravo Unveils Six New Projects: A week after announcing its most aggressive programming slate yet — 11 new series, five returning ones — Bravo is adding still more to its development coffers. “We’re increasing our original production by 20 percent in 2011,” Bravo vp development Eli Lehrer says. The lineup revealed below includes five unscripted offerings and one scripted project — in keeping with the female-skewing network’s strategy to focus on big characters who are leaders in their respective fields. The likes of Tabatha Coffey of Tabatha’s Salon Takeover, Millionaire Matchmaker’s Patti Stanger and the many Real Housewives fueled the cabler’s best quarter on record for the first three months of 2011, with tune-in from the 18-49 set up 35 percent. Bravo’s development slate:

  • Jason of Beverly Hills, from Authentic Entertainment, will focus on Beverly Hills’ top custom jeweler, Jason Arasheben.
  • The Kristoffer Winters Project, a docuseries from She Media, will center on another house-flipper who can turn a $3 million home into an $8 million mansion.
  • Women of Wall Street, from Renegade 83, will follow five women who make millions by day and swap stories over martinis by night.
  • Gallery Girls, from Magical Elves, will take viewers inside the demanding lives of six twentysomethings who work in Manhattan’s hippest art galleries.
  • The Annabel Tollman Project, from Madwood Entertainment, will look at the life of the Interview magazine fashion director-turned-journalist and celebrity stylist to Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Jessica Simpson and Scarlett Johansson.
  • Face Down, produced by Lionsgate, is a scripted effort that centers on a flawed makeup artist as he navigates demanding socialites, stars and politicians. “We have a couple of scripted projects in development,” Lehrer says of a genre new to Bravo. “It’s a world we’re dipping our toes into, and we’re just looking for the right project.”

— Lacey Rose

Gollum Actor in New Role on Hobbit

Andy Serkis, who played the iconic Gollum in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, has been given a new job on The Hobbit. In addition to reprising his performance-capture role as the tragic creature, Serkis will serve as second-unit director on the two-part film, currently in production in New Zealand. “I think I understand Peter’s sensibility, and we have a common history of understanding Middle Earth,” Serkis tells THR. Serkis (Lou Coulson, Principal) has done some directing, including performance capture on several video games. He and producer Jonathan Cavendish (Bridget Jones’s Diary) plan to launch the Imaginarium, a performance-capture studio and training center that will produce its own material and service other projects. Serkis would like to direct his first live-action feature after Hobbit and says his directing responsibilities on Jackson’s 3D films will go beyond the art form for which he’s known. “Yes, there is some performance capture, but I will be very much on the live-action sets and locations helping Peter to tell the story,” Serkis says. The actor just completed shooting his roles as Caesar in Fox’s Rise of the Apes, slated for an Aug. 5 debut, and Captain Haddock in December release The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, which Jackson is producing with Steven Spielberg.      
— Carolyn Giardina


Steve Carell (WME, Media Four, Ziffren Brittenham) will star in the Mandate romantic comedy Seeking a Friend at the End of the World opposite Keira Knightley (WME, the U.K.’s United Artists). Screenwriter Lorene Scafaria (WME, Anonymous Content, Sloane Offer) is making her directorial debut.

Paramount has set Twilight screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg (UTA, 3 Arts, Hansen Jacobson) to write and produce via her Tall Girls Prods. an adaptation of Pamela Sargent’s 1983 sci-fi novel Earthseed.

Lily Collins (CAA, Sloane Offer) has landed the role of Snow White in Relativity’s adaptation of the classic fairy tale. Tarsem Singh is directing the 3D feature, which will also star Julia Roberts as the Queen and Armie Hammer as the prince.

Tyler Perry (WME, Ziffren Brittenham) has re-upped his deal with Lionsgate. He will next make the romantic drama Good Deeds.

Josh Hutcherson (ICM, Beddingfield Co., Hansen Jacobson) will play Peeta Mellark and Liam Hemsworth (WME, ROAR, Morris Yorn) will play Gale Hawthorne in Gary Ross’ The Hunger Games for Lionsgate. Jennifer Lawrence stars.

The penguins of DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar franchise are getting their own feature film. Alan J. Schoolcraft and Brent Simons (ICM, Brian Lutz, Hansen Jacobson) have been tapped to tackle the project.

Writer Greg Russo (ICM, Manage-Ment, Morris Yorn) has sold an action pitch to Alloy Entertainment called Black Ice, about thieves who break into a research center.

Warner Bros. has bought the Western script Wild Guns by T.S. Nowlin (WME, Energy) for Gianni Nunnari and his Hollywood Gang to produce.

Sean Hayes (WME, Ziffren Brittenham) will play Larry in the Farrelly brothers’ Three Stooges movie for Fox.

Sony Pictures Classics will release Gus Van Sant’s (WME) new drama Restless in North America in the fall, and Sony Pictures International will distribute the film in the rest of the world.

Richard LaGravenese (CAA, 3 Arts, Hansen Jacobson) will write the adaptation of Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption for Universal. Francis Lawrence is attachedto direct.

Will Beall (CAA, Management 360, McKuin Frankel) will pen Logan’s Run for Warner Bros. The remake has Ryan Gosling attached to star for producers Joel Silver and Akiva Goldsman and director Nicolas Winding Refn.

Cohen Media Group has acquired screen rights to Ben Macintyre’s 2010 nonfiction best-seller Operation Mincemeat. The World War II subterfuge tale was the basis of director Ronald Neame’s 1956 film The Man Who Never Was, released by Fox.


AMC and Lionsgate have inked a new deal with Mad Men showrunner Matthew Weiner (CAA, Industry, Hansen Jacobson) that keeps him for Seasons 5 and 6 and includes an option for a seventh. Compromises were reached on the number of commercials and the amount of product placement in the show.

Director Michael Caton-Jones (Gersh, the U.K.’s ITG, Ziffren Brittenham) will direct World Without End, the sequel to The Pillars of the Earth. The $43 million, eight-part epic, based on the Ken Follett best-seller, is produced by Ridley and Tony Scott’s Scott Free, Germany’s Tandem and Canada’s Take 5.

Betty White (APA) has signed to host and executive produce NBC’s Off Their Rockers, an adaptation of the Belgium hidden-camera format Benidorm Bastards. The network ordered 12 half-hour episodes.

Comic writer-actor Danny Comden (UTA, Sloane Offer) has signed a blind script deal through the Tannenbaum Co./Paramount for CBS Television Studios. The pact accompanies his role in CBS’ untitled sports-radio pilot co-starring Damon Wayans and Eliza Dushku.

NBC has bought Fashion Star, a design-competition series from producer Ben Silverman’s Electus with Elle Macpherson attached to host. Magical Elves will produce the 10-episode series, which is set to bow in 2012.

Will Arnett (WME, Principato Young, Stone Meyer) has joined Christina Applegate in NBC’s Alpha Mom pilot from Emily Spivey, UMS and Lorne Michaels.

Lifetime has picked up a second season of the hospital docuseries One Born Every Minute.

Animal Planet has ordered 12 episodes of Sweet Avenger, about vegan baker Danielle Konya.

CBS has picked up the game-show pilot Secret Fortune from Nigel Lythgoe (ICM).

Jonathan Groff (CAA) will return to Fox’s Glee for the current season’s last three episodes.


Hollywood Records has signed Bridgit Mendler (Nettwerk), star of the Disney Channel series Good Luck Charlie.


Ghost House Pictures has partnered with Trigger Apps to launch an action-heavy iPhone and iPad game based on Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead.


ICM is beefing up its lucrative international television and media divisions with two new agents who specialize in TV packaging: Lori York and Gordon Hvolka. The New York-based York and Los Angeles-based Hvolka will help pick up the slack left by Mike Jelline, ICM’s former head of TV talent, who departed for rival UTA last week. In addition, agent Shade Grant will join York in May. “The business has continued to expand, and we have been looking for some time for the appropriate pieces of the puzzle,”  says Greg Lipstone, ICM’s head of international television and media. Hvolka, previously with Kaplan Stahler, and York, formerly with N.S. Bienstock, have brought several producer and format-owner clients to ICM, including Sirens Media (The Real Housewives of New Jersey), Mitch Tanen (Sarah Palin’s Alaska) and Molly O’Rourke (Top Chef). ICM, a TV power since merging with Broder Webb Chervin Silbermann in 2006, has packaged such global hits as Undercover Boss and Kitchen Nightmares.