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Brenda Blethyn to Star in New ITV Sitcom ‘Kate and Kolo’

  • Variety
Brenda Blethyn to Star in New ITV Sitcom ‘Kate and Kolo’
Oscar-nominated Brenda Blethyn is set to star in the new sitcom “Kate and Kolo” for ITV, the U.K. broadcaster announced at the Edinburgh TV Festival.

Blethyn takes on the title role of Kate in the comedy alongside theater and film actor Jimmy Akingbola as Kolo. Blethyn is a popular star with ITV audiences after having starred as police detective Vera Stanhope since 2011 in long-running crime drama “Vera,” which is currently in production on its 10th season, due to air in 2020. The acclaimed actress has twice been Oscar-nominated, as best actress for Mike Leigh’s 1996 film “Secrets & Lies” and as supporting actress for Mark Herman’s “Little Voice” two years later. She won both Golden Globe and BAFTA awards for her role in “Secrets & Lies.”

Akingbola previously appeared as villain Baron Reiter in the CW’s adaptation of DC Comics’ “Arrow.” His British credits include comedy “Rev” and long-running medical drama “Holby City.
See full article at Variety »

‘Secrets & Lies’ Brenda Blethyn & ‘Arrow’s Jimmy Akingbola To Front ITV Comedy ‘Kate & Kolo’ – Edinburgh

  • Deadline
‘Secrets & Lies’ Brenda Blethyn & ‘Arrow’s Jimmy Akingbola To Front ITV Comedy ‘Kate & Kolo’ – Edinburgh
Secrets & Lies star Brenda Blethyn and Arrow star Jimmy Akingbola will front a sitcom for British broadcaster ITV. The pair will star in six-part series Kate and Kolo from Flack producer Hat Trick.

Kate and Kolo, which launches next year, centers on a working-class woman who runs an old-fashioned café in a neglected seaside town and who develops a strong, if sometimes volatile, friendship with an asylum-seeking African doctor.

It is written by Outnumbered writers Guy Jenkin and Andy Hamilton.

Jimmy Mulville, managing director at Hat Trick Productions said, “ITV is the perfect home for Kate and Kolo, written by two of the country’s top writers and with two great actors like Brenda and Jimmy, it’s a wonderfully funny and sometimes touching comedy about real people coping with life at the sharp end.”

Saskia Schuster, ITV’s comedy controller, added: “Kate and Kolo will be a new sitcom
See full article at Deadline »

Juan Alfonso Joins Michele Fazekas & Tara Butters’ Production Company As Head Of TV

  • Deadline
ABC Studios VP of Drama Development Juan Alfonso is leaving the studio executive ranks to join Michele Fazekas and Tara ButtersFazekas & Butters production company, which is based at ABC Studios, now part of Disney Television Studios. Alfonso will serve as Head Of Television, developing and producing projects, identifying writers, IP, and other creative partners.

He will also serve as executive producer of Fazekas & Butters’ upcoming ABC high-concept drama series series Emergence, starring Allison Tolman, which landed on the network’s fall schedule.

Alfonso succeeds Robert Atwood who left in March to go to Legendary TV as Svp, Current & Development. Joining Alfonso at Fazekas & Butters will be Victoria Vigo as a Manager of Television.

“We have loved working with Juan over the years because he is above all else, a partner — he fights for your project and believes in your vision,” said Fazekas and Butters. “His extensive experience at the studio is invaluable,
See full article at Deadline »

Fazekas & Butters Taps Juan Alfonso to Be Head of Television

  • Variety
Fazekas & Butters, a production company led by Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters, has named Juan Alfonso as the new head of television. There, he will develop and produce projects, and seek out and engage with writers, intellectual property and creative partners, “matchmaking talented people and ideas,” according to Alfonso. The pod, which launched in 2015, has an overall deal with ABC Studios. Victoria Vigo will join him as manager of television.

“We have loved working with Juan over the years because he is above all else, a partner — he fights for your project and believes in your vision,” said Fazekas & Butters in a statement. “His extensive experience at the studio is invaluable, he’s smart, collaborative, and just generally a lovely person. We are thrilled he’s our new head of television.”

Alfonso was most recently vice president of drama development for ABC Studios, where he worked on “American Crime,
See full article at Variety »

2019 Cannes Film Festival: Oscars next for ‘Parasite’ and Antonio Banderas?

2019 Cannes Film Festival: Oscars next for ‘Parasite’ and Antonio Banderas?
The 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival has wrapped and the two films that looked well-positioned for this year’s Oscars (Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood” and Terrence Malick’s “A Hidden Life”) both went home empty-handed.

Cannes’ coveted Palme d’Or went to South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho’s comedy-drama, “Parasite.” The film, about two families from different classes that find themselves on a collision course with each other, had the most glowing reviews of this year’s entries. Bong is now the first Korean director to win the top honor. The film’s win here could catapult it into serious Oscar consideration. Since 1955, 39 winners of this top honor have amassed a total of 129 Academy Award nominations, with 28 Oscar wins spanning 16 films. And 15 Palme d’Or champs scored Best Picture nominations: “Marty” (1955), “Friendly Persuasion” (1957), “M*A*S*H” (1970), “The Conversation” (1974), “Taxi Driver” (1976), “Apocalypse Now
See full article at Gold Derby »

ABC Renews Nathan Fillion’s ‘The Rookie’ For Second Season

  • Deadline
ABC Renews Nathan Fillion’s ‘The Rookie’ For Second Season
Cop drama The Rookie will be hitting the streets of L.A. again for ABC.

Heading into next week’s Upfronts, the Disney-owned network has decided to renew the Nathan Fillion led series for a second season.

The pick-up for another cycle comes as ratings have been strong-ish for the show. The Rookie has averaged a 1.4 demo rating and 7.59 total viewers season-to-date.

In the show that debuted last October, Castle vet Fillion plays John Nolan, the oldest rookie in the Lapd. At an age where most men are at the peak of their career, Nolan cast aside his comfortable, small town life and moved to L.A. to pursue his dream of being a police officers. Now, surrounded by newbies that are decades younger than him, a much-mocked Nolan has to weave through personal and professional challenges and gain the respect of his colleagues to make his second shot at life count.
See full article at Deadline »

Mike Leigh Got Away with Murder with ‘Peterloo,’ But Lost Amazon a Ton of Money

Mike Leigh Got Away with Murder with ‘Peterloo,’ But Lost Amazon a Ton of Money
After years of talking to Mike Leigh, whether at the Carlton Beach at Cannes, on a gondola at Telluride, or a plush hotel suite in Toronto, I’ve gotten used to being reminded that — in his eyes — I don’t know enough about his movies. That’s how he rolls.

Here’s what I do know: At age 76, Leigh has delivered the most ambitious, gorgeous, and expensive period recreation of his storied career, “Peterloo.” And, at $18 million, the film stood very little chance of making money for Amazon Studios. While he is deeply respected as one of the finest living auteurs with his exacting and unique creative process, his top-grossing movie was “Secrets & Lies,” back in 1996. That film, which received five Oscar nominations for October Films, made $26.4 million in today’s dollars — and it was released more than two decades ago, when independent films occupied a different place in our culture.
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Mike Leigh Got Away with Murder with ‘Peterloo,’ But Lost Amazon a Ton of Money

Mike Leigh Got Away with Murder with ‘Peterloo,’ But Lost Amazon a Ton of Money
After years of talking to Mike Leigh, whether at the Carlton Beach at Cannes, on a gondola at Telluride, or a plush hotel suite in Toronto, I’ve gotten used to being reminded that — in his eyes — I don’t know enough about his movies. That’s how he rolls.

Here’s what I do know: At age 76, Leigh has delivered the most ambitious, gorgeous, and expensive period recreation of his storied career, “Peterloo.” And, at $18 million, the film stood very little chance of making money for Amazon Studios. While he is deeply respected as one of the finest living auteurs with his exacting and unique creative process, his top-grossing movie was “Secrets & Lies,” back in 1996. That film, which received five Oscar nominations for October Films, made $26.4 million in today’s dollars — and it was released more than two decades ago, when independent films occupied a different place in our culture.
See full article at Indiewire »

David James Elliott To Reprise ‘Jag’ Character On ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’

  • Deadline
The NCIS universe will be welcoming a familiar face . David James Elliott is is set to reprise his Jag character, Navy Captain Harmon Rabb Jr. in a multi episode arc on NCIS: Los Angeles. He will make his debut in the May 12 episode, The Guardian.

Hit CBS military drama Jag, which ran for 10 seasons, spawned the successful NCIS franchise as the mothership NCIS series originated as a spinoff from Jag. Yet, this is Elliott’s first appearance on any NCIS series.

In The Guardian episode of NCIS; Los Angeles, the NCIS team uncovers Isis sympathizers who look to be planning an attack on Us aircraft carriers. The terror threat will result in Callen (Chris O’Donnell) and Sam (LL Cool J) working directly with Rabb (Elliott), the Xo Captain on the USS Intrepid.

In addition to CBS and Jag/NCIS producer CBS TV Studios, Elliott is reuniting with NCIS: Los
See full article at Deadline »

Ryan Phillippe To Headline CBS’ Frankenstein Pilot ‘Alive’, Katrina Law & Aaron Staton Also Star

  • Deadline
Ryan Phillippe To Headline CBS’ Frankenstein Pilot ‘Alive’, Katrina Law & Aaron Staton Also Star
Former Shooter star Ryan Phillippe has been tapped as the lead in CBS’ drama pilot Alive (fka Frankenstein). Katrina Law (The Oath) and Aaron Staton (Mad Men) are set as co-leads in the project, a modern interpretation of the classic Frankenstein tale in a cop procedural setting.

Written/executive produced by Jason Tracey and directed/executive produced by Uta Briesewitz, Alive centers on Mark Escher (Phillippe), a San Francisco homicide detective who’s mysteriously brought back to life after being killed in the line of duty. But as he resumes his old life and he and his wife Elizabeth (Law) realize he isn’t the same person he used to be, they zero in on the strange man behind his resurrection: Dr. Victor Frankenstein (Staton).

Phillippe’s Escher, a San Francisco police investigator, was presumed dead after an attack and destructive fire at his home. Six months later, he shockingly
See full article at Deadline »

Mike Leigh Calls Netflix and Amazon’s Meddling ‘Totally Unacceptable’

Mike Leigh Calls Netflix and Amazon’s Meddling ‘Totally Unacceptable’
Mike Leigh just made a movie with help from Amazon, but that doesn’t mean he thinks the studio is free from criticism. Speaking to the Guardian, the “Peterloo” director referred to streaming services in general and his benefactor in particular as a “new breed of executives” who micromanage projects in a way that’s more like traditional Hollywood than they’d like to admit.

“I’m not talking about my own experience with Amazon, who backed ‘Peterloo’ and who behaved impeccably,” he was quick to clarify. “The problem really exists for younger filmmakers.”

Leigh, one of England’s most celebrated auteurs, is best known for such films as “Naked” and “Secrets & Lies”; he won Best Director at Cannes for the former, the Palme d’Or for the latter, and has been nominated for seven Academy Awards (all in the Best Original Screenplay and Best Director categories).

“The new
See full article at Indiewire »

MyNetworkTV, 10 Years After Strategic Pivot, Is A Quiet But Steady Engine For Fox

  • Deadline
Exclusive: As the $71.3 billion Disney-Fox deal nears the finish line, there is a steady earner that often gets overlooked among the assets that will remain behind as part of Fox Corp.: MyNetworkTV.

The programming service, launched with fanfare in 2006 as a bid to counter the emerging CW, had to regroup not long after its debut. Its ambitious slate of English-language telenovelas failed to gain traction, the economy was souring, and MyNetworkTV stations were anxious about the trajectory of their advertising revenue as the country entered a financial crisis.

Rather than abandoning the effort, the company’s then-president, Greg Meidel (who has since become president of corporate sibling Twentieth Television) announced a pivot away from a full-blown network approach and toward a tighter programming focus. Over the decade since the 2009 switch — which reduced the MyNet schedule to two hours a night from Monday to Friday and a steady
See full article at Deadline »

‘Peterloo’ could bring Mike Leigh back to the BAFTAs

‘Peterloo’ could bring Mike Leigh back to the BAFTAs
Peterloo” was the most British film at the London Film Festival. It chronicles a true-life British story plucked from history, is set in Manchester, features an entirely British cast including Rory Kinnear and Maxine Peake, and is written and directed by British filmmaking royalty Mike Leigh.

Leigh has been nominated for an impressive 13 Baftas – and has won three of those bids. He won the first two of these in 1997 for “Secrets & Lies,” with the British academy awarding him both Best Original Screenplay and Best British Film. In 2005, he picked up the Best Director prize for “Vera Drake.”

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He was also the recipient of the Michael Balcon Award (Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema) in 1996 and the BAFTA Film Fellowship in 2015. His last BAFTA bid was back in 2011 for Best British Film for “Another Year.” “Mr Turner,” which starred Timothy Spall,
See full article at Gold Derby »

Nathan Fillion Cop Drama ‘The Rookie’ Sells To 160 Territories Including UK’s Sky & France’s M6 Via eOne

  • Deadline
British pay-tv giant Sky and French commercial broadcaster M6 are among the broadcasters in 160 territories that have picked up Nathan Fillion cop drama The Rookie ahead of its ABC debut.

Producer and distributor Entertainment One (eOne) has closed the deals ahead of its TX on October 16.

NBCUniversal International Networks has picked it up across Latin America), while Italy’s Rai, Spain’s TNT, Africa’s M-Net, New Zealand’s Three, Greece’s Cosmote TV and Sony Pictures Television’s networks in Portugal, Russia and Central Europe have all signed on to the show.

In The Rookie, Fillion plays John Nolan, the oldest rookie in the Lapd. At an age where most are at the peak of their career, Nolan cast aside his comfortable, small town life and moved to L.A. to pursue his dream of being a cop. Now, surrounded by rookies twenty years his junior, Nolan must navigate the dangerous,
See full article at Deadline »

Philip French: a titan of film criticism whose kindness knew no bounds

As she prepares to give an annual lecture in his name, Hadley Freeman remembers writing to the late Observer writer for career advice, and being met with support, screenings and spaghetti

Philip French was not the first journalist to whom I sent a letter. That accolade goes to John Simpson, who I wrote to when I was 14 and stuck in hospital for the foreseeable future, so nothing seemed more appealing than being a foreign correspondent: all that freedom, flying and distance from the white walls I was then trapped inside. Simpson, to his eternal credit, sent me back a long, handwritten letter, which I still have somewhere, in which he encouraged me to keep writing, find what interests me and never to be afraid to ask those I admire for guidance.

Four years later, I was out of hospital and I was free but now I wanted to spend my
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

‘Peterloo’ Moved Back From Awards Season to 2019

  • Variety
‘Peterloo’ Moved Back From Awards Season to 2019
Amazon Studios has moved the North American release of Mike Leigh’s historical drama “Peterloo” out of this fall’s awards season, from Nov. 9 to April 5, 2019.

The movie, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival, re-creates the 1819 massacre by armed government militias who charged into a crowd of 60,000 people in Manchester who were demanding reforms in parliamentary representation for the working class. As many as 15 people were killed and up to 700 were wounded.

“The fall and end of year is a very busy time, whereas the spring is a better playtime to ensure the film is getting the time in theaters to find audiences and secure the best cinema locations,” an Amazon Studios rep said.

Guy Lodge gave “Peterloo” a positive review for Variety, but admitted that its box office appeal could be limited: “Nothing about this grim passage of history was easy for its victims, and ‘Peterloo’ sets out
See full article at Variety »

Mike Leigh’s ‘Peterloo’ Will Now March Into The Spring – Update

  • Deadline
Update, Oct. 2: Amazon Studios is now moving Mike Leigh’s Peterloo out of the fall frame after the British historical epic played the fall film festival triad of Venice, Telluride and Tiff. The new date is April 5 next year. Variety‘s Guy Lodge calls the film “a stately, explicitly rhetorical paean to the people – setting the past in stone while also lashing out at a present-day political order” with New York magazine giving a shout out to the pic’s visceral finale.

Amazon’s upcoming awards season focus will be Suspiria (Oct. 26), Beautiful Boy (Oct. 12) and Poland’s foreign film Oscar entry Cold War from director Pawel Pawlikowski (Dec. 21).

Previous, July 2: Amazon Studios has designated November 9 as the official release date for Mike Leigh’s Peterloo. Among the pic’s major-studio limited competition is Sony’s Gary Hart pic The Front Runner.

Previous, April 26: Amazon Studios marketing
See full article at Deadline »

Off Set 2018 Tiff Portrait Series: In Fabric

It was a major coup for Tiff to nab the world premiere for Peter Strickland‘s fourth feature film. Selected for the Midnight Madness programme, In Fabric turned out to be a highly sought after acquisitions title (A24 folks picked it up last week) and not only elicit strong audience reactions, but also made for some fun critical assessment reads with high grades going to Marianne Jean-Baptiste (we fondly remember her massive 1996 breakout in Secrets & Lies) and Gwendoline Christie who are both deadly serious in their high camp setting. Here is our photo session with the Strickland and his screen pair.…
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Send us your questions for Mike Leigh

The Observer New Review asks you to put your questions to the much-loved director ahead of the release of his new film, Peterloo

Mike Leigh is one of the country’s most beloved and respected film-makers. A versatile and humanist director, he has explored themes as diverse as camping holidays in Nuts in May (1976), middle-class soirees in Abigail’s Party (1977), adoption and class in Secrets & Lies (1996), illegal abortion in Vera Drake (2004), unusual driving lessons in Happy-Go-Lucky (2008), and, in 2014’s Mr Turner, the final years of the Romantic painter.

Related: Mike Leigh's Peterloo: first trailer for drama about the notorious massacre
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Sean Dennehy fights to save lost souls in sci-fi thriller ‘Jiva’

Peter Koevari, Greg Powell and Clinton Harn.

Sean Dennehy plays a scientist who partners with a weary cop to try to take down a seemingly untouchable Triad leader in Jiva, a sci-fi thriller now shooting in South-East Queensland.

It’s the first feature from producer/writer Peter Koevari’s GP2 Entertainment and actor/director Greg Powell after they collaborated on a bunch of short films including D-Evolution, Tick Tock, Mother’s Day and Ring Around a Rosie.

“Greg and I started speaking about some deep tones, feature-length ideas and came up with the idea of Jiva, which took shape after a lot of research about the soul as well as pre-planning development,” says Koevari, a novelist whose works include the dark fantasy series ‘Legends of Marithia’.

“I wanted to write something original that feels Hollywood in production quality, makes people think and want to watch the film multiple times.

“We
See full article at IF.com.au »
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