Lee Daniels Developing Pair of Drama Projects at Fox with Julian Breece, Peter Mattei
Lee Daniels will executive produce two drama projects currently in development at Fox, Variety has learned.
The first project, titled “Victory,” is a one-hour drama set in the world of competitive gospel choirs. It tells the story of a prodigal son and a group of forgotten young people who must rise above their personal hardships to save a church and heal a broken community through the power of song. The project has received a put pilot commitment at the network. Julian Breece will write and executive produce, with Daniels also executive producing along with Pam Williams and Kevin Donahue. This marks Breece’s second collaboration with Daniels and Fox, having recently sold the drama project “Mason Dixon.” Breece most recently served as a co-producer on Beau Willimon’s new Hulu series “The First.”
Fox has ordered a script with a penalty attached for the the second project, “East of Hope.” The »
- Joe Otterson
‘The Deuce’ Renewed by HBO for Season 2
Created by David Simon and George Pelacanos, “The Deuce” premiered Sept. 10 on the premium service. Starring James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal, the series tells the story of the rise of the porn industry in New York in the 1970s.
“We are thrilled to continue our creative collaboration with master storytellers David Simon and George Pelecanos,” said HBO programming president Casey Bloys. “Their unique gift for immersing the audience in their dark and edgy worlds brings a brilliant verisimilitude unlike any other. With the remarkably talented Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Franco leading an exceptional cast, we look forward to delving deeper as this captivating story evolves.”
“Everyone involved with this project is genuinely grateful to HBO for the chance to »
- Daniel Holloway
Ratings: ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Premiere Plummets 19 Percent From Last Year
ABC may have won Nielsen’s Mirrorball Trophy on Monday, but its “Dancing With the Stars” premiere performed nowhere near as well as last year’s. Still, the Disney-owned broadcaster topped primetime outright, though the network was inflated in Detroit by “Monday Night Football.” The preliminary numbers for the net could slip a bit (further) when finale averages are available. For now at least, ABC was first in ratings with a 1.4 rating/5 share in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and in total viewers with an average of 9 million, according to preliminary numbers. “DWTS” at 8 p.m. put up a 1.7/6 and 10.8 million. »
- Tony Maglio
‘Stranger Things’ Writer Justin Doble Inks Deal With Amazon Studios
Amazon announced Tuesday it closed an overall deal with Doble, who will be developing genre television projects exclusively for Prime. Doble’s other credits include working on Hulu’s “The Path” and AMC’s “Into the Badlands.” He began his career writing episodes of “Fringe” and “Almost Human.”
“We have long admired Justin’s ability to create stories and characters that stoke fans’ passion,” said Sharon Tal Yguado, »
- Carli Velocci
Homeland EP Teases Carrie-Keane Showdown in Season 7, Confirms [Spoiler] Is Definitely Dead
Sometimes dead is dead — even on Homeland.
At Sunday’s Emmy Awards, the Showtime drama’s longtime EP/director Lesli Linka Glatter officially confirmed that the death of Rupert Friend’s seemingly immortal Quinn in the Season 6 finale will indeed stick. “I wish he wasn’t [dead],” she lamented to me on the red carpet prior to the ceremony, where she was up for her fifth Emmy for directing Homeland (she lost out to Handmaid Tale‘s Reed Morano).
At the start of our brief Q&A — which »
Beau Willimon Says He’ll Push Diversity Initiatives, Organizing Efforts as WGA East Leader
Beau Willimon has an ambitious new drama series launching next year on Hulu, and he has a Broadway play opening in late November. But a busy schedule has not deterred him from taking the reins of the WGA East at a tumultuous time for the film and TV biz.
In assuming the presidency of the WGA East as of Wednesday, Willimon said his goal was to build on the progress that executive director Lowell Peterson and his predecessor, Michael Winship, have made in fostering diversity initiatives for writers, organizing in the area of unscripted TV and continuing to improve relations between the WGA East and WGA West.
Willimon said his experience in serving on the WGA negotiating committee for the master film and TV contract deal reached in May was eye-opening. The guilds went down to the wire and were ready to walk if the studios hadn’t budged on key deal points.
- Cynthia Littleton
Hillary Clinton Criticizes Trump's 'Dangerous' U.N. Address on Colbert
Visiting The Late Show With Stephen Colbert Tuesday, Hillary Rodham Clinton weighed in on President Trump‘s assertion to the United Nations General Assembly that he’d “totally destroy North Korea” if it threatened the United States or its allies.
“What I’d hope the president would have said,” she offered, “was something along the lines of, ‘We view this as dangerous to our allies, to the region and even to our country. We call on all nations to work with us to try to end the »
Hulu’s Craig Erwich on What ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Emmys Mean for Streaming Service
With a win for “The Handmaid’s Tale” Sunday night, Hulu became the first streaming service to win a best drama series Emmy — beating to the punch larger competitors Netflix and Amazon.
“Handmaid’s,” based on the feminist dystopian novel by Margaret Atwood, dominated the drama categories, taking eight Emmys this year, including best actress for Elisabeth Moss. Hulu senior VP of content Craig Erwich, who greenlit and shepherded development of the series, spoke with Variety about the history-making Emmy run and what it means for the company.
What was your reaction Sunday night when you won series?
Numbness, surprise, and then just elation, because we’ve just been working toward this for three-and-a-half years since I got here. It was a profound moment for us and for the show.
Were you really surprised?
Yes, I was really, really surprised. When you sit in that auditorium and you look at the reel of shows, every »
- Daniel Holloway
Beau Willimon Elected WGA East President
Beau Willimon, the playwright and showrunner who launched Netflix’s “House of Cards,” has been elected to a two-year term as president of the Writers Guild of America East, following an unopposed campaign to succeed Michael Winship.
Winners of the six open Freelance seats are incumbents Bonnie Datt, Susan Kim, and Courtney Simon along with Amy Sohn, Tracey Scott Wilson, and David Simon. Andrea Ciannavei, the runner-up for the six open Freelance Council seats, was elected to a one-year term on the council to fill the vacancy created by Willimon’s election as president.
Incumbent Phil Pilato was re-elected for an open Staff seat along with Kim Kelly and Hamilton Nolan.
Willimon and five other incumbents won re-election to two-year terms for council seats last year. He »
- Dave McNary
What Is Winning an Emmy Worth?
The rough cost of a top-tier Emmy campaign — the kind mounted this year for Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” NBC’s “This Is Us,” and HBO’s “Big Little Lies” — is $1 million. But the value of winning an Emmy is harder to quantify. The payoff comes via intangibles, such as seeing one’s brand burnished on an industry-wide stage. But some see little value in the awards besides ego boost.
Speaking at Variety‘s Entertainment and Technology Summit this month, TNT and TBS president Kevin Reilly asserted that while “it’s been long held that really in terms of perception,” an Emmy win is a positive, “from a bottom-line business point of view, no,” it has no value.
But in the Peak TV era, it can’t hurt. With more than 500 scripted shows projected across broadcast, cable, and streaming this year, according to FX Networks research, programmers on every platform struggle to market successfully.
- Daniel Holloway
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