7 Days of Deals
Ka-ching! Who's inking on the dotted line this week.
DEAL OF THE WEEK: Beyond The Voice -- NBC's Plan to Bounce Back: Bob Greenblatt hasn't wasted time in crafting a strategy to bring NBC out of the ratings basement. "We're going to do attention-getting shows," the new NBC Entertainment chairman announced to reporters gathered Aug. 1 at the Television Critics Association press tour. It's safe to say that fourth-place NBC has been starved for the right kind of attention for years. In a bid to make noise, Greenblatt has inked production deals with several high-profile writers and producers, including new overall pacts with Greg Daniels (The Office, Parks and Recreation) and Will Ferrell and Adam McKay's Gary Sanchez Productions (Eastbound & Down) through Universal Media Studios. NBC also is developing a sitcom for former Will & Grace star Sean Hayes, with Hayes and Todd Milliner's Hazy Mills Productions (Grimm, Hot in Cleveland) developing a celebrity game show for the network too. Greenblatt used his 45-minute TCA platform to announce that The Voice coach Adam Levine of Maroon 5 is prepping a karaoke comedy and Dick Wolf's Wolf Films is at work on a firefighter drama from writers Michael Brandt and Derek Haas (Wanted, 3:10 to Yuma). "Hopefully, we will have patience to see those attention-getting shows get their full shot at success," added Greenblatt. One of the noisiest fall gambles is The Playboy Club, which has raised the ire of TV watchdog groups and seen the NBC affiliate in Salt Lake City refuse to air it. "That brand name is a little polarizing," Greenblatt acknowledged, "even though I think the show isn't at all that revealing." The series' cast and producers tried to convince reporters that Playboy Club will not objectify women. "This show is all about empowering these women to be whatever they want to be," executive producer Chad Hodge said. Of course, courting controversy has not been bad for business at Playboy, and it may not be for NBC either. "It's never a bad thing to encourage a discussion," added Hodge. -- Marisa Guthrie and Lacey Rose
Mogul Daughters Land Film Roles
Two scions of Hollywood royalty are making their way in the acting profession. Mimi Gianopulos (ICM), daughter of Fox chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos, has landed a supporting role in the Lionsgate pregnancy comedy What to Expect When You're Expecting, joining an ensemble that includes Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez and Anna Kendrick. It's the first studio movie role for the Carnegie Mellon University graduate, 22. Meanwhile, Cody Horn (Paradigm, Untitled), daughter of ex-Warner Bros. president Alan Horn, has joined the indie cop drama End of Watch, directed by Training Day writer David Ayer and starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Horn, 23, recently scored roles on NBC's The Office and FX's Rescue Me. Sources say neither woman relies on family connections. Says one casting director of Horn, "She never advertises who her father is."
Schrader Will Tackle Shark Thriller Bait
Iconoclastic filmmaker Paul Schrader is teaming up with Less Than Zero author Bret Easton Ellis for the psycho-horror project Bait. Schrader (Gersh), the writer of Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, has signed to helm the picture and collaborate with Ellis on the script, which follows a worker at a posh beach club who angles his way onto an elite yacht and commandeers it into shark-infested waters. Schrader has had an eclectic career: His most recent movie was the 2008 Holocaust drama Adam Resurrected, but he also has directed such genre pics as the 2005 Exorcist prequel Dominion. "Pairing Schrader and Ellis, two of the greatest literary minds of their generations, will elevate the genre," says Matthew Perniciaro of Picture Machine, which is producing with Galavis Film and Ithaka Entertainment. Lionsgate/Mandate is handling international sales on the pic, aiming for a November production start in Puerto Rico. -- Borys Kit
Miley Cyrus (CAA, Morey, Edelstein Laird) is attached to star in and produce a Paramount comedy written by Jack Angelo and Sam Brown (UTA, Anonymous). Cyrus' mother, Tish Cyrus, would produce the film -- which concerns a promise the main character makes to God -- via the pair's Hope Town Entertainment and Panay Films.
Emma Stone (WME, Anonymous, Ziffren Brittenham) is in early talks to play the female lead in Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow's Gangster Squad, a crime drama set in 1940s Los Angeles that stars Sean Penn, Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling. Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) is directing from a script by Will Beall for producers Dan Lin and Kevin McCormick.
Brad Furman (CAA, Atlas Entertainment, Jackoway Tyerman), who directed The Lincoln Lawyer, is in negotiations to helm an untitled Pablo Escobar feature written by Matt Aldrich (CAA, Silent R, Lichter Grossman). Scott Steindorff is producing via his Stone Village Pictures.
Jane Eyre director Cary Fukunaga (WME, Anonymous, Lichter Grossman) will rewrite and helm Universal's Spaceless, a sci-fi drama based on a script by Jeff Vintar. Gore Verbinski is producing.
Drew Pearce (WME, PBJ Management, Sloane Offer), who created the British superhero satire No Heroics, will write Paramount's adaptation of DC Comics' The Mighty. Mary Parent, Cale Boyter and JC Spink are producing.
Never Back Down director Jeff Wadlow (WME, Hirsch Wallerstein) will helm Non-Stop, an airplane action thriller written by John Richardson and Chris Roach. Joel Silver, Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman are producing for Dark Castle.
Tex Davis (Paradigm, Benderspink, Stone Meyer) has sold the script Virgin Territory to Dumb & Dumber producer Motion Picture Corporation of America. Territory is a road-trip comedy about a father who teams with his dorky kid neighbor to save his daughter's virginity.
Rob Cohen (WME, Bloom Hergott) is attached to direct 1950, a big-budget Korean War epic being made by CJ E&M Pictures and Grapevine Entertainment.
Trevor Cawood (WME, Anonymous, Sloane Offer) is in talks to direct The Karma Coalition, a thriller being produced by Lin Pictures at Warner Bros. The story centers on a professor who engages in a game of cat and mouse with a corrupt detective after he's told his dead wife of five years might still be alive.
Todd Strauss-Schulson (UTA, Mosaic, Bloom Hergott), director of the upcoming comedy sequel A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas, has sold an untitled action-adventure comedy pitch to New Line. Chris Galletta (UTA, Anonymous, Bloom Hergott) will write the script. Strauss-Schulson will direct and produce along with Mosaic.
Tribeca Film has acquired U.S. rights to The Last Rites of Joe May from filmmaker Joe Maggio.
Rachel Maddow (Napoli Management) has locked a new multiyear deal with MSNBC to host her primetime show beyond the 2012 election. The move comes as Current host Keith Olbermann talked openly about poaching Maddow.
Glen Mazzara (CAA, Kleinberg Lopez) has been named showrunner of AMC drama The Walking Dead after creator Frank Darabont abruptly stepped down July 27 in the middle of production on season two.
Deadwood veteran Molly Parker (CAA, Canada's Characters Talent Agency, Dontanville/Frattaroli, Nelson Davis) has landed the female lead opposite Josh Lucas in NBC's upcoming series The Firm, based on the John Grisham novel.
How I Met Your Mother producer Kourtney Kang (UTA, Hansen Jacobson) has inked a two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV and has been upped to exec producer on the 20th-produced CBS comedy. She will develop other projects for the studio.
Luke Perry (Innovative, Himber Entertainment) will star in and executive produce two more Goodnight for Justice movies for Hallmark Movie Channel.
Filmmaker Sanaa Hamri (ICM, LKE, Felker Toczek) has been tapped to direct ABC Family's two-hour musical Elixir.
PBS is launching an animated spinoff of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood titled Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, which will feature characters from the Land of Make-Believe.
The Weather Channel is teaming with Al Roker (WME) for Coast Guard Alaska, which follows a team of Coast Guard rescuers. Seven episodes begin airing Nov. 9.
BBC America has tapped its first original drama series Copper, co-created by Tom Fontana (UTA) and Will Rokos (Rothman Brecher Agency). Set in 1860s New York, it's about an Irish cop who lives in an immigrant neighborhood.
HBO has picked up Real Time With Bill Maher for a 10th season.
True Blood creator Alan Ball (UTA, Bloom Hergott) has inked a deal to stay on as showrunner of the HBO vampire drama through its fifth season.
Craig Kilborn (Innovative) will join NBC's Chuck as a villain for the season premiere.
Beavis and Butt-Head is returning to MTV with new episodes of the animated series created by Mike Judge (WME, 3 Arts, Morris Yorn).
Patti Stanger (WME, SKF, McCue Sussmane), star of Bravo's The Millionaire Matchmaker, has inked a two-year development deal with the network.
MTV has picked up Randy Jackson's America's Best Dance Crew for a seventh season.
Former CNN anchor Rick Sanchez has joined Florida International University as a radio announcer for the football season.