Tuesday, August 30, 2011

TV Castings: Will Chase Joins Smash, Raul Esparza Boards Gifted Man, Judy Greer To Do 2.5 Men, FearNets Holliston Adds 2

Broadway actor Will Chase has joined NBC’s upcoming Broadway-themed drama Smash as a recurring. On the show, which chronicles the mounting of a Broadway musical and stars Debra Messing as the musical’s lyricist, he will play Steven, who has a history with Messing’s character. Chase, repped by Gersh and AC Management, has appeared in such Broadway productions as Billy Elliot, High Fidelity and Rent. On TV, he recurred on Rescue Me. Another veteran Broadway actor, Raul Esparza, will do an arc on another new series, CBS’ medical drama A Gifted Man, about a neurosurgeon (Patrick Wilson) whose dead wife (Jennifer Ehle), the former head of a free clinic, starts appearing to him. Esparza will play Ehles boyfriend, who is on the board of the clinic. Esparza, repped by ICM and Elin Flack Management, recently starred in Arcadia on Broadway. Judy Greer has been tapped for an arc on CBS’ revamped Two and a Half Men, playing new lead Ashton Kutcher’s soon-to-be-ex wife. This is the second time Greer plays a love interest on the show. She once played a squeeze of the former lead character, Charlie Sheen’s Charlie Harper. FearNet’s first original series, Holliston, is adding some heavy metal royalty to its cast. Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider and GWAR lead singer Oderus Urungus have joined stars Adam Green and Joe Lynch on the offbeat multicamera buddy comedy series created by Green. Described as The Big Bang Theory meets Evil Dead II, the show is set in the town of Holliston, Mass., and follows the lives of Adam (Green) and Joe (Lynch), two friends chasing the dream of becoming successful horror movie filmmakers while struggling to make ends meet in their post-college jobs at a Boston cable access station where they also host a late-night movie program calledThe Movie Crypt. Snider will play Adam and Joes boss, who also happens to be a longtime member of a Van Halen tribute band. While he still dreams of being a rock star, he also takes the cable job very seriously and has delusions of grandeur of how hes part of Hollywood. Urungus will play himself and is Adams imaginary friend who happens to live in a closet and gives him advice that is extremely misguided and offensive. The six-episode series is slated to begin production in September.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Cheers & Jeers: Louis C.K. is A-OK

Louis C.K. Cheers to Louie for taking flight with a beautiful episode, "Duckling." Want more Cheers & Jeers? Subscribe to TV Guide Magazine now! I haven't counted myself among the cadre of TV critics who worship Louis C.K.'s FX comedy - I find it wildly uneven and often not all that funny (call me crazy, but I like sitcoms that make me laugh out loud). But this week's hourlong installment, inspired by an idea from the stand-up's own six-year-old daughter, was simply remarkable. Louie traveled to Afghanistan for a USO tour (which the comic has done in real life), and his daughter smuggled one of her class' ducklings into his luggage to "protect" him. It's a potentially cloying premise, but the unsentimental result was reminiscent of M*A*S*H - the Robert Altman movie more than the TV series - or a Hal Ashby film from the '70s. Produce more out-of-the-box episodes like this one, and I might learn to love Louie. Did Louie's "Duckling" quack you up? (Sorry.) Subscribe to TV Guide Magazine now!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bravo Sets Return for Thing of beauty, Discloses Cast

China Chow Bravo has set the premiere date for that second season from the Nicole Kidman-created Thing of beauty: The Following Great Artist. The show returns on Wednesday, March. 12 at 9/8c and starts 14 up-and-coming artists against one another because they fight for $100,000 along with a solo show in the Brooklyn Museum. China Chow will host, Bill Forces and Jerry Saltz return as idol judges and world-famous auctioneer Simon p Pury will function as a mentor. Begin to see the new batch of participants below:Bayete, 34, New YorkMichelle, 29, Bridgewater, N.J.Dusty, 32, Mountain View, Ark.Jazz-Minh, 33, New YorkKathryn, 29, Brooklyn, N.Y.Kymia, 30, New YorkLeon, 31, Kedah, MalaysiaLola, 24, Los AngelesSara, 26, New YorkSarah, 34, ClevelandSucklord, 41, New YorkTewz, 30, ChicagoUgo, 33, ParisYoung Sun, 28, Morton Grove, Ill. Watch a sneak-peak at Thing of beauty Season 2:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

People Magazine Defends Putting Only Kim Kardashian on Wedding Cover

People magazine has come under fire for putting only Kim Kardashian on the cover of its big wedding issue -- leaving new husband Kris Humphries out of the main photo.our editor recommendsCriticisms About Kim Kardashian Wedding SurfaceKim Kardashian Wedding Cheat Sheet: Everything You Need to KnowRelated Topics•Kim Kardashian Kim Kardashian's Official Wedding Photos Hit Web; Were They Worth $1.5 Million? "We sorted through thousands of pictures," People's assistant editor Jen Garcia said on Access Hollywood Live Wednesday morning. PHOTOS: Inside Kardashians Inc. "...Looking for ones that didn't have Kris?" joked guest co-host Arsenio Hall. "That's not true!" said Garcia. "You see Kris.. in a bush!" quipped Hall, pointing to the bushes that appear behind Kim on the cover. People paid $1.5 million for licensing fees. STORY: Kim Kardashian Breaks Silence After Weekend Wedding "It's all about the bride. We wanted her. It's her day, we wanted her on the cover," said Garcia. "He's got a little height on her," added Garcia of the New Jersey Nets forward. "It's kind of tough to get them in the [same] shot." VIDEO: Kim Kardashian First Wedding Footage Hits the Internet Later Garcia joked of the reason to buy the magazine: "[It's all about] the little details, the happy couple, some really sweet [photos] there... you will see Kris Humphries inside!" COVER STORY: How the Kardashians Made $65 Million Last Year "It's 11 pages of insanity. You can't miss it," added Garcia. Wedding planner Sharon Sacks told the magazine Kardashian's wedding would have cost $6 million, but Garcia admitted, "because of who they are, they got a lot for free or discounted." Kardashian's diamond headpiece was worth $2.5 million alone. The Hollywood Reporter has detailed how the couple is offsetting their wedding costs by publicizing products on Twitter and on their E! reality show. In addition to their People cover, E! will air a two-part wedding special on Oct. 9 and 10. Related Topics Kim Kardashian

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Jerry Bruckheimer, Dwayne Johnson Sell Wrestling Drama to NBC

NBC has bought a wrestling drama from Jerry Bruckheimer. Dwayne Johnson, the wrestler-turned-actor formerly known by his ring name "The Rock," is also attached as an executive producer on the fictional drama project, which has a put pilot commitment at the network. It is set in the world of wrestling in the 1980s. The one-hour project, which hails from Jerry Bruckheimer Television in association with Warner Bros. Television,counts Brent Fletcher(Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena) and Seamus Kevin Fahey(The Forgotten, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena) as co-executive producers and writers, withKristieAnne Reed (Chase, Dark Blue)on board as a co-EP. Bruckheimer TV'sJonathan Littman will join Bruckheimer and Johnson as an executive producer. Johnson is repped by WME. Email: Lacey.Rose@THR.com Twitter: @LaceyVRose Related Topics Jerry Bruckheimer NBC

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Bones Tunnel (El tunel de los huesos)

An Aura release of a Lucero Producciones, Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero, Peliculas V production. (International sales: Shoreline Entertainment.) Executive producer, Iris Benjamin. Directed by Nacho Garassino. Screenplay, Garassino, Daniel Martucci.With: Raul Taibo, Daniel Valenzuela, Luciano Cazaux, Jorge Sesan, Paco Redondo, German Da Silva, Martin Scarfi, Daniel Polo, Dario Levy.An intense prison-break drama that fails to seize its chances as effectively as its jailbird protags, "The Bones Tunnel" promises more than it delivers. Nacho Garassino's feature debut ties its standard escape yarn to the murky events of Argentina's troubled political history, a premise that could have made for an exciting and thought-provoking item. But although it's watchable enough, the result fails to set either the pulse or mind racing. Still, "Tunnel" retains enough interest to suggest that Spanish-speaking territories could see the light. Opening scene shows seven men emerging from under a sidewalk and running off, suggesting the pic has deeper concerns than the simple issue of will they/won't they get away. Journalist Ricardo (Jorge Sesan) is summoned by one of the escapees, Vulcano (Raul Taibo), who has decided to reveal the story of the escape to the press while his gang is still on the run, an apparently foolhardy strategy that's explained fully later. Pic's narrative is thus Vulcano's extended flashback as written down by Ricardo. An inmate worker in the hospital in Buenos Aires' high-security Devoto jail, Vulcano learns that there is an abandoned tunnel from the hospital; superstitious prisoners mutter about hearing screams coming from it. Vulcano puts together an escape team, including hulking Toro (Daniel Valenzuela), El Correntino (Luciano Cazaux) and Boyfriend (Martin Scarfi), to dig their way out. Much time is devoted to the practicalities of escaping, which largely involves the theft of hospital implements from under the nose of a doctor (Dario Levy) who prefers to overlook the larceny. The tensions within the gang are likewise explored, such as the fact that Boyfriend is set for early release, raising the chance that he'll blab. So far, so straightforward. The team's shocking discovery in the tunnel of bones, which might belong to victims of Argentina's military dictatorship, could have supplied an extra layer of complexity and intrigue, but the script generates little of either beyond explaining Vulcano's decision to talk to Ricardo and thus bring the prison's hidden history to light. Pic shuttles back and forth in time smoothly enough, but the strategy fails to generate much extra tension. Characters are the standard rogue's gallery, and the tense dynamics between them are handled well. Each character is given his own little backstory, but none is developed, and a couple could have been shed without any damage. As Vulcano, Taibo exudes a suitable air of quiet danger. Lensing is efficient and makes the most of the tunnel's tight spaces, while the interior of the jail is plausibly grim, but the doom-laden electronic droning is overused and feels like an easy way to generate atmospherics. Pic inadvertently doubles as a testament to the almost comic inefficiency of the Argentinian prison system, with the inmates working undetected for months. But the fact that the pic is based on a real-life incident from the early '90s suggests that in this case, truth is stranger than fiction.Camera (color), Claudio Beiza; editor, Diego Bottinelli, Alejandro Soler, Garassino; music, Alejandro Iglesias Rossi; production designer, Alejandro Soler; art director, Sandra Iurcovich; set decorator, Jerome Portier; sound (Dolby Digital), Omar Jadur, Pablo Bustamante; costume designer, Gabriela Gonzalez. Reviewed on DVD, London, Aug. 5, 2011. Running time: 100 MIN. Contact the Variety newsroom at news@variety.com

Friday, August 12, 2011

The politics of fuzzy math

Pierce O'Donnell is perhaps best known in Hollywood as the man who took on Paramount, representing Art Buchwald in a legal showdown that exposed the bookkeeping magic the studios have used to hide a movie's haul. Ever since, the phrase "Hollywood accounting" has conjured up suggestions of fuzzy math. So there's no shortage of irony in O'Donnell's current predicament. Last week, he pled guilty to two misdemeanor counts of illegal campaign contributions: In 2003, he got 10 employees of his law firm and others to each contribute $2,000 to the John Edwards campaign and then reimbursed them, violating election law. (Exacerbating O'Donnell's situation was his 2006 guilty plea to a previous case of "conduit" contributions, misdemeanor state charges of using a false name to give to the 2001 mayoral campaign of James Hahn.) He faces six months in prison and a fine. But O'Donnell's case is interesting not just as an act of hubris or yet another piece of wreckage related to Edwards' political career but for the amount involved: about $20,000. In today's flood of campaign cash, that's small potatoes. Donors are motivated by a desire for influence or by an ego-boosting drive to play in the world of politics. Despite our cynical assumptions, some do have a genuine inspiration to do what it takes to elect their candidate of choice. What's ever more apparent, however, is that it costs a lot more to make an impact. Campaigns rely on bundlers, and campaigns like President Obama's re-election effort are asking their top echelon to raise sums in the six figures, not five. There's also the recent proliferation of superPACs, independent expenditure committees raising unlimited sums from individuals and corporations and free to run ads expressly for or against a candidate. Similar independent groups existed back in 2003, but the Supreme Court's decision in the Citizens United case removed restrictions not just on corporate spending but on the extent to which they can expressly advocate for or against a candidate. Just this past week, a Bain Capital associate of Mitt Romney's fessed up to being the source of a $1 million contribution to a pro-Romney PAC. DreamWorks Animation's Jeffrey Katzenberg, an Obama bundler, gave $2 million to Priorities USA Action, a pro-Obama PAC that has already run anti-Romney spots. Politicos also are setting up nonprofits by which they collect unlimited sums from donors, and their names do not have to be disclosed. These groups are still not supposed to coordinate with the actual campaign. Otherwise, all is perfectly legal. There's always been some suspicion that the "conduit" contributions of the sort in the O'Donnell case are rather common; it's just that most people don't get caught. O'Donnell's lawyers originally argued that the election statute on which he was being indicted didn't expressly prohibit the reimbursements he made, and a district court agreed. But that decision was reversed by the Court of Appeals last year. And just as lawyers for Citizens United based their case on free speech issues, O'Donnell's legal team raised First Amendment concerns as they tried to get the Supreme Court to take the case, to no avail. Yet finance reform groups see reimbursements -- "straw donors" is another term for it -- as flouting the limits on donations that do exist. As much as money flows to outside groups, it still doesn't match writing a check or rounding up contributions that go directly to the actual campaign, even with the current limits. "I think there is a stark difference," said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics. "It is a far more powerful statement to give directly to a candidate than to an outside group that may or may not have credibility with voters." Trevor Potter, a Washington attorney with Caplin & Drysdale and former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, said the very act of "laundering" the money through straw donors shows that the real donors know it is wrong. Otherwise, they would try to give money directly to the campaign. O'Donnell's friends are surprised that he may serve time given that he was such a brilliant trial attorney who could "pull a rabbit out of the hat" in court, in the words of Dennis McDougal, who co-authored the book about the Paramount case, "Fatal Subtraction," with him. Other friends note that O'Donnell wasn't exactly a shrinking violet as all of this was going on: He was a lead trial counsel suing the federal government on behalf of Hurricane Katrina victims, leading to a court ruling in 2009 that found the Army Corps of Engineers guilty of "monumental negligence." O'Donnell was smitten with Edwards early on in his career, and both were champions of the New Orleans cause. Says McDougal: "All the stars were against him, with charges at the federal level, and with a candidate who disgraced himself." Contact Ted Johnson at ted.johnson@variety.com

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Screenwriter or Playwright Who Has Written for Video Games?

Duncan Stewart, director of casting at National Artists Management Company, talks about opening every submission and what he wants to see in a headshot.; casting; Duncan Stewart; headshot; new york city; open submissions; Duncan Steward, director of casting, talks about what he wants from an actor in a general meeting, mainly truth, likability, and lack of ego.; advice; casting; Duncan Stewart; new york city; tips; Duncan Stewart, director of casting, talks about what he expects from an audition and common mistakes actors make.; advice; auditions; casting; Duncan Stewart; new york city; Alaine Alldaffer breaks down the real role of a casting direcor.; Alaine Alldaffer; casting; casting director; Grey Gardens; play; stage; theater; Casting director Alaine Alldaffer talks about casting "Saved" and all the misconceptions about being an actor in New York City.; Alaine Alldaffer; casting director; NYC theatre; play; saved; NY casting director Bernie Telsey describes what actors need to know before walking into an audition. (Part 1 of 2) ; Bernie Telsey; casting director; We spoke with casting director Mark Teschner about working on soap operas. (Part 1 of 3) ; General Hospital; Mark Teschner; soap opera; NY casting director Bernie Telsey describes how to give your best audition. (Part 2 of 2) ; Bernie Telsey; casting director; We spoke with casting director Mark Teschner about working on soap operas. Need only beautiful people apply? (Part 2 of 3) ; General Hospital; Mark Teshner; soap opera; We spoke with casting director Mark Teschner about auditioning for soap operas. (Part 3 of 3) ; General Hospital; Mark Teschner; soap opera; Videos for the Back Stage News & Features section.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. Faces More Lawsuits Amid Phone Hacking Scandal

NEW YORK - Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. faces a growing number of civil lawsuits related to the phone hacking scandal, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.our editor recommendsFormer News of The World Managing Editor Stuart Kuttner Arrested in Phone-Hacking InquiryRelated Topics•Rupert Murdoch About 35 privacy invasion suits have been filed against the News of the World, the recently shuttered tabloid, according to the Journal, which is also owned by News Corp. That is up from about two dozen lawsuits in April. As part of a police probe, a growing number of people have been informed that they may have been a phone-hacking victim. The media conglomerate's U.K .newspaper unit News International has set aside £15 million-£20 million ($24.4 million- $32.6 million) to cover the cost of the civil litigation, including for legal settlements, the Journal said. News International in April admitted liability in eight civil suits. Two of them have been settled or otherwise resolved, according to the paper. Sir Charles Gray, a former High Court judge brought in by News Corp. to oversee settlement awards, said he hopes to begin processing claims next month. Related Topics Rupert Murdoch International News Corp. News International Phone Hacking Scandal

Musketeers' to open Tokyo fest

"The Three Musketeers"TOKYO -- The Tokyo Film Festival will open its 24th edition on Oct. 22 with Paul W.S. Anderson's 3D swashbuckler "The Three Musketeers," the fest said Thursday. The Constantin Film and Impact Pictures production toplines Logan Lerman, Milla Jovovich, Orlando Bloom and Christoph Waltz. Summit releases the pic in the U.S. on Oct. 21, while Gaga releases it in Japan on Oct. 28. Skedded to unspool Oct. 22-30, the fest has a long tradition of selecting mainstream pics as its opener. One was "Titanic" in 1997 -- which also happened to be the pic's world preem. Last year's opener was "The Social Network." The fest previously announced a major retro dedicated to thesp Kyoko Kagawa, a muse to such Golden Age helmers as Yasujiro Ozu, Kenji Mizoguchi, Akira Kurosawa and Mikio Naruse. Contact the Variety newsroom at news@variety.com

Universal Will not Play Clue

But Gore Verbinski could keep the overall game onIf i was a director or producer creating a project at Universal at this time, we'd most likely be feeling very nervous. Because following on from the organization putting Guillermo del Toro's In the Mountain tops of Madness on hold and backing from Ron Howard's intends to adapt the Dark Tower series comes word the studio is shedding Hasbro murder mystery game property Clue, that has Gore Verbinski managing its slow - reduced now - progress towards the screen. Okay, therefore it is not quite on a single level as individuals others, however it was area of the large deal Universal created using toy giant Hasbro to show a number of its games into movies, exactly the same deal that's getting the planet Battleship and Chocolate Land, amongst others. Which latest development does not necessarily mean that Clue has become a corpse laying on the rug with bloodstream flowing from knife wounds. Verbinski and also the Hasbro team are holding onto the privileges and therefore are liberated to go elsewhere. They have also attached two authors to operate about the script a bit more, with Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama aboard. The scripting pair has done a draft from the new Expensive Gordon for The new sony and therefore are in the center of working over Dracula Year Zero, for Universal itself, finding methods to trim your budget flesh on that certain...