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News, Cast Updates and Scoop(News section last updated March 6, 2015)
Michael B. Jordan -- 1st Pics As Apollo Creed's Grandson ... In New 'Rocky' Flick(Pic1, Pic2) Apparently, patriotic trunks run in the family -- 'cause Michael B. Jordan was sporting Apollo Creed's famous shorts when he stepped in the ring to play A.C.'s grandson in the new "Rocky" flick ... and TMZ Sports has the 1st pics.
Jordan was going toe-to-toe with real-life pro boxer Tony Bellew -- who plays a boxer named "Pretty Ricky" in the upcoming movie.
The pics were taken on February 26th ... just a few days before hell broke loose on the set -- with Sylvester Stallone jumping in the ring to break up a REAL BRAWL that went down between Bellew and an actor playing one of his corner men.
Reps for the studio tell us the fight never got physical -- multiple witnesses tell us otherwise.
As for Apollo Creed himself ... he died in "Rocky IV."
Sucks for Carl Weathers.
NEW CAMERON MATHISON SERIES HITS WEB, TVCameron Mathison (ex-Ryan, AMC) is the host and star of a new web series from the W Network, CAMERON'S HOUSE RULES, which offers an inside look at the actor's renovations to his Los Angeles home and premieres online at WNetwork.com on March 17. He was inspired by his stint as host of W's GAME OF HOMES, which premieres on W Network on March 17, as well. “I was so inspired and I had so much fun on GAME OF HOMES that I wanted to do some work myself, on my own home. I knew that my family would love the idea, so I brought them in on it and we tackled the home renovation together,” said Mathison in a statement. “I’m very excited to have people see this side of me, unscripted and working at home with my family."
James Franco, Finn Wittrock, Danny DeVito Among 'Deadbeat' Season 2 Guest StarsJames Franco, Danny DeVito, Fred Armisen, Michael Ian Black, Gilbert Gottfried, Jim Norton, Zach Levi and Finn Wittrock are set as guest stars for Season 2 of Hulu’s supernatural comedy Deadbeat, which is set to premiere on April 20. They’ll join Tyler Labine (Reaper), who stars as Kevin Pacalioglu, a hapless but gifted medium who will go to any lengths to help New York’s ghosts settle their unfinished business. Cat Deeley (So You Think You Can Dance) also stars.
Created by Cody Heller and Brett Konner (Wilfred, The Inbetweeners), Deadbeat is produced by Lionsgate Television in association with Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment and Dakota Pictures. The supernatural comedy is executive produced by Dan Lagana (Good Vibes, Zach Stone is Gonna Be Famous), Cody Heller, Brett Konner and Plan B’s Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner. Co-executive producers are Sarah Esberg, Don Poquette, and David Baldy.
Seinfeld Actor Daniel von Bargen Has DiedColleagues of Daniel von Bargen (Joe, Guiding Light/Lt. Cody, All My Children) are mourning the death of the actor, who died over the weekend after a long illness, Cincinnati's WLWT 5 reports. He was 64.
"We are learning of this event at the same time as the rest of the industry and are deeply saddened to hear of Daniel's loss," his voice-over agents at Access Talent say in a statement released to PEOPLE on Wednesday.
Von Bargen – who was perhaps best known for playing Kruger on Seinfeld and Commandant Edwin Spangler on Malcolm in the Middle – was reportedly a diabetic and had been hospitalized in 2012 after a failed suicide attempt.
"For the past five years, he had been grappling with health issues that precluded his active pursuit of work," von Bargen's former agents say of the actor, who also had a lengthy résumé of film work including roles in O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Super Troopers.
"We remember him fondly for his easy-going professionalism and dry wit, both of which stood in stark contrast to the driven and near-maniacal roles he often performed with such energy and intensity," they continue. "He was a joy to work with and we have missed that association since his semi-retirement to Cincinnati."
GH's Miller SUITS Primetime!GENERAL HOSPITAL has been keeping Billy Miller pretty busy playing Jake/Jason, but before he started his current gig, he was able to squeeze in a guest appearance on the season finale of SUITS, set to air Wednesday, March 4, at 10:00 p.m. ET on USA!
"I play Harvey Specter's brother," Miller says... although that's about all he can reveal! "I can't really tell you a lot about him. But I'm allowed to tell you that!"
Although, he was able to hint that his character could potentially return for the fifth season when SUITS returns this summer. "We did a good job, so everybody seems to be happy," Miller confides. "I love that show, so I'd love to go back."
Inside Sarah Michelle Gellar's N.Y.C. 'Girls Getaway' with Daughter CharlotteWhen your mom is Sarah Michelle Gellar, a trip to New York City comes with some serious perks.
“I’m off on a girls weekend with two five year olds,” the actress posted on Instagram before taking off for the Big Apple. “My airplane cocktail has been replaced with water #Mocktail #WishMeLuck.”
First stop for Gellar and her daughter Charlotte Grace? A trip to Times Square.
“My hometown can definitely be a bit overwhelming,” the native New Yorker captioned a photo of her 5-year-old taking in the sights. “My little #Angeleno daughter #NYPride.”
From there, it was a backstage pass to Broadway, where the trio caught up with Kristin Chenoweth.
“Auntie Kristin teaching Charlotte the ins and outs of being a Broadway star #OnThe20thCentury,” Gellar, 37, wrote alongside a cute pic of her daughter with Chenoweth. “@kchenoweth the greatest talent in the tiniest body and all love.”
Now that the mother-daughter duo have wrapped up their trip — and rejoined brother Rocky James, 2 — Gellar isn’t wasting any time getting back to work. The actress is set to join husband Freddie Prinze Jr. and the rest of the cast of Disney XD’s Star Wars Rebels for its second season.
Sarah Michelle Gellar Joins 'Star Wars Rebels' Season 2Sarah Michelle Gellar (The Crazy Ones, Buffy The Vampire Slayer) has joined the voice cast of Disney XD’s Star Wars Rebels for the upcoming second season in a recurring role. The news comes on the heels of last night’s finale for the animated series, which takes place in the years between the Star Wars movies’ prequel trilogy and the original trilogy.
The Season 2 voice cast also includes Gellar’s husband Freddie Prinze Jr., David Oyelowo, Vanessa Marshall, Steve Blum, Tiya Sircar and Taylor Gray.
SightingsRyan Phillippe at Marc Murphy’s Landmarc at Time Warner Center…
Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos dining with Ellen Barkin at Kappo Masa…
Josh Duhamel is more than just 'Battle Creek's' eye candyJosh Duhamel was excited to get back onto a TV series in CBS' "Battle Creek," but wanted to make sure his character Milton Chamberlain was more than just eye candy.
After playing a lot of hot guys throughout his career like "Las Vegas'" Danny McCoy, Leo du Pres on the sexy soap "All My Children" and the epitome of perfection in the romantic comedy "Win a Date With Tad Hamilton (2004), Duhamel needed more from a part.
Although knowing the new CBS show "Battle Creek" was going to be in good shape when it came to the writing -- both "Breaking Bad's" Vince Gilligan and "House's" David Shore are executive producers on the project -- the actor was still a bit worried his character might be a little too one-dimensional upon reading the pilot script.
"I wasn't sure about the character. He felt a little too perfect, a little too by the book ... a little too pretty boy, all american. Everything about him was just too good," Duhamel tells Zap2it. "I thought there's just got to be more to him than that. If they want me to play that guy I'll play him. I'll play the s*** out of him. They may expect that from me, but I need to know that this guy is going to be deeply troubled and it is all just a cover for some kind of past he is running from."
Luckily Duhamel got his wish. The drama focuses a majority of its time on Chamberlain's mysterious arrival in Battle Creek and Det. Russ Agnew's (Dean Winters) obsession with figuring out what his new partner is hiding.
"I talked to David [Shore] a lot about what is it that happened and why is he in Battle Creek, where did he come from, who are his parents," Duhamel says. "We talked a lot more than he probably wanted to about it. I was really thrilled to see he was actually listening. That's one thing I love about David is he really listened."
Chamberlain is definitely more than just a pretty face, but audiences will have to make their own decisions about whether or not he is a good person.
"He could be 'American Psycho' or he could be a guy who is trying to change for the better and just has struggles with these demons that keep creeping up," Duhamel says. "The reason why he got in trouble in the first place is because he was so single-minded and arrogant ... this hot shot agent that got in too deep. Do people really have the ability to change or are you who you are? I think that is a good question Milt sort of poses."
"Battle Creek" premieres Sunday, March 1 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
Battle Creek Is More Odd Couple Than Breaking BadCBS really wants you to know that its latest cop drama Battle Creek came from the man who created Breaking Bad.
Although Vince Gilligan did technically write the pilot script -- which tells the story of Detective Russ Agnew (Dean Winters) and his contentious relationship with FBI Agent Milton Chamberlin (Josh Duhamel) when the duo is forced to work together in the titular Michigan town -- the closest this show comes to Breaking Bad is the second episode's homage to its creator, as the duo investigates, of all things, a maple syrup cartel.
Instead, Battle Creek will feel more familiar to fans of fellow executive producer David Shore's previous creation: Fox's medical procedural drama House. Though Shore dusted off Gilligan's 12-year-old script and will handle primary showrunner responsibilities, he claims the odd-couple magic of this show was in Gilligan's original pilot. "I read it and fell in love with these two characters," Shore tells TVGuide.com. "I just hadn't seen a cop show like this, with two cops who embodied such opposing viewpoints on the world. I wanted to see them work together."
Russ is the angry Battle Creek native who is fed up with the underfunding of his department. (In the opening sequence, his Taser fails to work, which leaves him with a black eye.) However, when Milt blows into town with all of his federal money, Russ doesn't view him as a savior. Instead, Russ becomes obsessed with figuring out why a "supercop" like Milt would be banished to a small satellite office in Battle Creek.
"There's nothing worse than being knocked off as the kingpin," Winters says. "When he comes in, it's crickets over at my desk. I'm desperately trying to figure out why he's here. [Milt] is too perfect a package. This is a town that I love, and there's a girl that I have a crush on. All of these things are being threatened by a guy I've never come into contact with before. If it's too good to be true, it probably is."
Indeed, underneath his charming façade, Milt has plenty to hide. "Milt is a guy with deep secrets that he does not feel comfortable sharing with anybody for reasons that will become slightly more clear," Shore says. "And at the same time, he wants to be this person that doesn't lie and spreads positivity. He is that person, but he's a very flawed version of that person. He's a version of that person who has a deep, dark lie. So, can he be that positive person while he's carrying that burden is a fundamental question."
Adds Duhamel: "Can you outrun your past? Can a leopard change his spots? Milt believes he can. All these conversations about right and wrong and these things that he preaches, he really does believe this. It's not just a front to keep everybody away. But I don't think you can outrun your past. The truth always comes out in the end. As much as Milt tries to reject that idea, he finds out that he can't and eventually has to face it."
Despite Milt's polished exterior, he quickly realizes that he needs to embrace Russ' "shoot first and ask questions later" roughness in order to fit in with the rest of the squad, which includes Commander Guziewicz (Janet McTeer), Detectives Fontanelle White (Kal Penn) and Aaron Funkhauser (Edward Fordham Jr.), and office manager Holly Dale (Aubrey Dollar). "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer," Duhamel says. "I think he knows right off the bat that he needs Russ on his team. The other [detectives] buy into his shtick. He just wants to be accepted in this town, to be liked. He's a guy who probably didn't care about that stuff before, but whatever has happened has changed him forever. But is this a conscious effort to make people like him or does he really have this desire for people to accept him?"
It's in that need for acceptance that Russ and Milt are the most alike, according to Shore. "They need friends," he says. "They both have giant holes in their social lives, it's quite apparent. They both need connection, but they're both not very good at it."
But that friendship will be hard to come by. "I hate catchphrases. I think they tend to oversimplify everything, but 'Not all cops are buddies,' I think, is a good one," Shore says of Battle Creek's tagline. "This is a buddy cop show where one of them doesn't like the other and they have complicated feelings for each other."
In fact, Shore intends to keep the duo at odds for the length of the series. "One of the mantras of House was, 'Nobody changes,'" Shore says. "It's just true human nature. On a deep, unconscious level -- and I think Milt's already there, to a certain extent -- they know they need each other. But they're never going to acknowledge that. That's the most difficult thing in the world.
"They're always going to have that conflict, that difficulty in their relationship," Shore continues. "That's the fight. It will get a little better at times -- tiny little baby steps -- and every now and again, we'll get a glimpse of their realization that they need each other. They'll be working towards it. That's the long, long arc of the series, but it's not like in Season 2 they're going to just be pals."
Battle Creek premieres Sunday at 10/9c on CBS.
AMC Alum In The HOUSE!The third season of the hot Netflix original series HOUSE OF CARDS released today, featuring a daytime alum as one of its newest castmembers: Christina Bennett Lind (Bianca, ALL MY CHILDREN)!
"Finally," the actress tweeted this morning, along with a photo of her name in the opening credits. "[I] haven't kept a secret this long since ever."
Lacey Chabert In ABC's 'Family Fortune'Lacey Chabert (Mean Girls) has booked a regular role opposite Fortune Feimster in ABC’s multi-camera comedy pilot Family Fortune, from Matt Hubbard, Tina Fey and Robert Carlock. Written by Hubbard and Feimster based Feimster’s family life and stand-up, Family Fortune is set in North Carolina and centers on popular gym teacher Fortune (Feimster) who comes out of the closet to her close-knit group of family and friends. Chabert will play Nichole, Tyler’s (Parker Young) wife and a devoted mom to their two young children. She’s repped by Innovative, Thruline and Felker Toczek.
Josh Duhamel, Ernie Hudson Suit Up For 'The Wrong Stuff'Josh Duhamel and Ernie Hudson, who both last worked together opposite Hilary Swank and Loretta Devine in the ensemble drama You’re Not You from eOne, are coming together again in the drama, The Wrong Stuff, based on the bestselling memoir by Bill “Spaceman” Lee and Richard Lally. The film is being directed by Brett Rapkin and produced by Stephen Nemeth, co-produced by Betsy Stahl and executive produced by Ron Shelton (White Men Can’t Jump) and Eric Gagne. Rapkin also penned the script.
Set in the 1980s, the film chronicles the downward spiral of pro baseball pitcher Lee, a hot-tempered, self-serving madman unable to see himself as anything other than a baseball player. Duhamel is cast as the volatile Lee. Hudson will portray Joe, the only black player and first baseman for the all-white, French Canadian Longeuil Senators amateur baseball team. Hudson’s character, an experienced player with 30 years in the sport, is the stabilizing force on the scrappy team.
Written and directed by Brett Rapkin, the heartwarming film is being executive produced by Ron Shelton (White Men Can’t Jump) and Eric Gagne, produced by Stephen Nemeth and co-produced by Betsy Stahl. Shooting is expected to begin in Los Angeles next week.
Duhamel starred in several Transformers feature films and also stars in the TV crime drama series Battle Creek. Hudson is best known, perhaps, for his turn in the beloved cult classic comedy Ghostbusters.
Duhamel is repped by ICM’s Lorrie Bartlett and manager John Carrabino. Hudson is repped by Michael McConnell of Artists Int’l Mgmt.
Talk Show AppearanceLATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS, NBC
Mo 3/2: Kelly Ripa
Josh Duhamel Hilariously Calls Out ''Nut Job'' Paparazzi for Sneaky, Under-the-Table Camera FootageJosh Duhamel is putting one paparazzi cameraman on blast!
The 42-yyear-old actor took to Twitter earlier today to call out a "nut job" pap who slyly videotaped the hunk from under a table without Duhamel's knowledge (how rude?!).
"Hey paparazzi dude don't video me from under the table. What if I were wearing a skirt with no underwear. #nutjob," Fergie's other half tweeted Thursday with a link to the sneaky footage. So how intrusive was the video that had Duhamel tweeting mad?
In the video, Duhamel gets out of a car on the streets of NYC as a big group of paparazzi take photos and video of him walking from his ride into a local eatery. The secret, under-the-table footage comes from a person who is sitting at a booth inside the eatery pretending not to be a cameraman.
The videographer holds the camera under the table while filming Duhamel, who has no idea he's in front of the camera.
Luckily, no embarrassing or incriminating antics when does while Duhamel was being papped without his knowledge.
Interview: Keith Hamilton Cobb's Performance Of A Lifetime!For the past two years, Keith Hamilton Cobb (ex-Damon, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS; Noah, ALL MY CHILDREN) has been fine-tuning a one-man play, American Moor, which he wrote and stars in. After performing the piece in smaller theaters and workshops, the actor will soon be taking his show back to where he began his career: the New York stage! "That's a big deal," he shares with Soaps In Depth. "It will be the show's Manhattan debut. That's exciting to me, to be doing some of my own work on a stage in the big city where I started to do this theater stuff!"
Although the 90-minute show focuses on the experience and perspective of an African-American actor -- through the metaphor of Shakespeare's Moorish prince, Othello -- Cobb says that the play's themes run much deeper. "It's about an actor -- for all intents and purposes, me -- auditioning for the role of Othello. If you know the play Othello, Othello is a large, dark-skinned man. The voice-overed auditioner, who is white, is looking for a certain image of what he thinks that man should be," Cobb explains. "The actor is trying to give the auditioner what he's after, but there's this inner monologue going on. 'I know more about being a big, black guy than you do. You should be listening to me. Can you trust that I know things you don't know? Can we have that discussion?'
"More broadly, it's about the American theater, the nature of love, our ability to see or not to see one another," he continues. "Not just across racial lines but in general. No one sees us wholly for who we are and what we have to offer. In that respect, the play seems to have a great crossover appeal. That takes its toll on personalities."
Following each performance, Cobb opens up the floor for feedback from the audience. "It stirs people to speak. They have these very visceral reactions, from college girls to older men and everybody in between," he notes, adding that he's pleased to see his show sparking such discussions. "We're all sort of entrenched in our positions or perspective. We can't move forward and grow as a culture until we can get past the stuff that keeps us in our spaces."
Cobb will bring American Moor back to Luna Stage in West Orange, NJ, from Friday, February 28, through Sunday, March 1. For tickets and showtimes, visit www.lunastage.org. Then from Tuesday, April 21, through Saturday, April 25, and Tuesday, May 5, through Sunday, May 10, Cobb will perform at the Phoenix Theatre Ensemble in Manhattan. For more information on those dates, click here.
Kelly Ripa Thinks Mark Consuelos Has Narcolepsy!Watch Her Describe the Strangest Places He's Fallen Asleep: Video.
Talk Show AppearanceTHE TALK - CBS
Friday, Feb. 27 Actors Josh Duhamel (CBS’s “Battle Creek”)
Dule Hill To Co-Star In CBS Drama Pilot 'Doubt'Psych star Dule Hill (ex-Simon, All My Children) is returning to his drama roots with a co-starring role in the CBS hourlong pilot Doubt. Also cast in the project is Kobi Libii. The two join Laverne Cox.
Doubt, from longtime Grey’s Anatomy executive producers Tony Phelan and Joan Rater, Timberman/Beverly and CBS TV Studios, centers on Sadie, a smart, chic, successful defense lawyer at a boutique firm who shockingly gets involved romantically with one of her clients who may or may not be guilty of a brutal crime. Hill will play Albert, Sadie’s law partner and close friend with a good sense of humor who is working with her on a very high-profile case, representing a member of a prominent New York family. Libii plays Nick, a smart, ambitious and enterprising recent law school graduate who is determined to work with the best criminal defense attorney in New York.
Emmy-nominated Hill, repped by ICM Partners, Washington Square Arts and Fuller Downs, got his break on NBC’s White House drama The West Wing, where he co-starred for six years before segueing to his co-lead role opposite James Roday on the USA dramedy Psych. He just finished starring in the Broadway production of After Midnight and next will do a season-long arc on the new HBO comedy series Ballers starring Dwayne Johnson. Libii is with Stewart Talent, Bleecker Street Entertainment and Schreck Rose.
Talk Show AppearanceTHE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON - NBC
Tuesday, February 24: Guests include Josh Duhamel
Michael E. Knight on NCIS“Blast From the Past” – A covert identity created for one of Gibbs’ undercover cases 20 years ago resurfaces after a murder victim is found living under the alias, on NCIS, Tuesday, Feb. 24 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT), on the CBS Television Network.
GUEST CAST INCLUDES:
Talk Show AppearancesWATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE - Bravo
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 – LISA RINNA Show 12036**
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 – JOSH DUHAMEL Show 12037**
Talk Show AppearancesLIVE WITH KELLY & MICHAEL, syndicated
We 2/25: Josh Duhamel, Lisa Rinna
Th 2/26: Ryan Phillippe
Fr 2/27: Jason Biggs
'All of My Heart' is Lacey Chabert's favorite Hallmark movie she's done, and she's done a lotIf there's one thing "Mean Girls" star Lacey Chabert knows, it's Hallmark Channel movies -- and saying the word "fetch," of course -- so when she says her upcoming TV movie "All of My Heart" is her favorite Hallmark movie, she means it.
"Everyone knows when you turn on a Hallmark movie, it's definitely something that's going to be uplifting and make you feel good," Chabert tells Zap2it. "This is a really sweet love story. Honestly, it's my favorite Hallmark film that I've done. I really am quite proud of it ... [it] has a really sweet message."
The "Party of Five" alum -- who has also starred in Hallmark's "A Royal Christmas," "The Color of Rain," "Matchmaker Santa" and "Elevator Girl" -- stars in "All of My Heart" as thirtysomething caterer Jenny Fintley, who co-inherits a country home with a "career-obsessed Wall Street trader." As any Hallmark fan could guess, opposites attract as the two strangers get to know each other while they restore the home and turn it into a bed and breakfast.
As for Chabert, she's well aware that the classic plot for a Hallmark movie can be a little cliched, but it's a formula she enjoys nonetheless.
"I think there's always a love story, there's always a conflict and there's always a happy ending," she says. "And some people might think that's cookie-cutter, but I think they're always thought-provoking in one way or another. And some of them are a little bit more dramatic and some of them are more of a romantic comedy vibe, [but] I just feel like whenever you sit down to watch a Hallmark movie ... you know you'll be watching with a good feeling. In this day and age, what's wrong with that? I think it's a lovely thing to add to the world."
"All of My Heart" airs at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Feb. 14 on Hallmark Channel.
IT'S A GIRL FOR AMC ALUM DENISE VASIDenise Vasi (ex-Randi, AMC) and her husband, Anthony Mandler, became first-time parents on February 2, welcoming daughter Lennox Mae. Congratulations to the happy family!
Talk Show AppearanceThursday, February 19: TV Host Kelly Ripa (ABC’s “LIVE with Kelly and Michael”)
Sarah Michelle Gellar Joins Instagram, Lets Daughter Charlotte In on the Fun, Too(Pic1, Pic2) Welcome to Instagram, Sarah Michelle Gellar!
The 37-year-old actress and mother two finally joined the photo sharing site Thursday, and while she's a little late to the party (hey, better late than never), she's off to an excellent start!
As you can see, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum got not one, not two, but three PDA-filled selfies with hubby Freddie Prinze Jr.. into her first shot (thank you, collage feature)! It seems the social media newbie, who only joined Twitter in 2013, had a little trouble with her hashtags. She wrote, verbatim: "#MyFirstInstaCongrats @realfpj I'm very excited to send my first #instagram #400000"
Not to worry, though, SMG got the hang of things quickly. Her second Instagram post was precious and perfectly hashtagged! "My daughter Charlotte the #RebelStormTrooper also wanted an #instagram welcome," mom captioned the sweet, silly pic of her 5-year-old. (A Lego figure of what appears to be her daddy's Jedi character on Star Wars Rebels stands behind her.)
This working mom will hopefully be posting lots more snaps of Charlotte and her brother Rocky, 2. And, of course, we want to see lots of Freddie, too! So how, after two kids and 11 years of marriage, are Sarah Michelle and her man still so in love? "We work at it," she told More magazine last year.
She emphasized the importance of having "a separate life," explaining, "I always say I'm Sarah Michelle Gellar when I work and I'm Sarah Prinze in the other life...I don't know if there's a secret—if I had a secret, I'd write a book and retire. But we talk. We check in."
MAURICE BENARD ON THE FILM FESTIVAL CIRCUITMaurice Benard's (Sonny, GH) 2014 flick, The Ghost And The Whale, is screening on Thursday, February 13, at the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival. Tickets are still available, and Benard will be in attendance. For ticket info, click here.
General Hospital Casts AMC Fave Rebecca Budig in 'Spitfire' RoleTwo-time Daytime Emmy nominee Rebecca Budig is making tracks for Port Charles.
As part of General Hospital‘s Fan February promotion, executive producer Frank Valentini and headwriter Ron Carlivati announced on Twitter Tuesday that the All My Children and Guiding Light alumna will be joining the ABC serial in a role alternately described as “killer” and “a real spitfire.”
Budig in turn shared her excitement about the new gig via Twitter: @RebeccaBudig: I can't wait to be a part of #GH and to work with a group of very talented people!! #excited
In addition to her runs as GL‘s Michelle and AMC‘s Greenlee, Budig’s TV credits include appearances on CSI, How I Met Your Mother, Castle and Blue Bloods.
Budig’s first GH episode will air in March.
'Whitney' Star Yaya DaCosta To Topline 'Chicago Fire' Spinoff 'Chicago Med'(deadline.com) I’ve learned that Yaya DaCosta, coming off playing pop icon Whitney Houston in the Lifetime biopic, is set to star in Chicago Med, the proposed ensemble medical drama spinoff from NBC’s Chicago Fire. DaCosta and the other cast members of the potential spinoff will be introduced in Episode 19 of Chicago Fire this season.
DaCosta will play Maggie Seaver (formerly Emily Sexton), an attractive nurse who begins to date Chicago Fire‘s Kelly (Taylor Kinney), with whom she has a history dating back to high school. Like with Chicago PD, which also started as a planted spinoff from Chicago Fire, the Chicago Med episode is conceived/written by Chicago Fire creators/executive producers Derek Haas and Michael Brandt, executive producer Matt Olmstead and executive producer Dick Wolf, whose company Wolf Films produces the Chicago Fire/Chicago PD franchise for Universal TV. “There will be an event that brings Chicago Med within Chicago Fire,” NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt said at TCA last month.
DaCosta, who had been sought for pilots after following her breakout role as Whitney Houston, also appeared in Lee Daniels’ The Butler. She is with Gersh.
On the heels of the success of shows with black leads/casts like Fox’s Empire and ABC’s How To Get Away With Murder, there has been a strong interest among the broadcast networks in ethnic talent, with DaCosta likely the first of a number of black actors cast in lead roles this pilot season.
Tyler Ross To Star In David Fincher's HBO Comedy 'Living On Video'; Sam Page CastI’ve learned that Tyler Ross (The Killing) has landed the lead in David Fincher’s HBO comedy Living On Video. I also hear that Sam Page (Mad Men) has been cast in the project, which has been shrouded in secrecy. Reps for HBO and the actors had no comment.
Set in 1983 Los Angeles, and in the vein of HBO’s Entourage, Living On Video revolves around the players of the then-exploding music video industry — directors, record executives and crew members, many of them dabbling in drugs — through the eyes of a newcomer, Robby (Ross). Robby is a wide-eyed guy who drops out of college and drives to Hollywood with dreams of directing a sci-fi epic and lands a job as a PA for a company making music videos.
Page plays a meteorologist trying to transition into game-show hosting. He is reuniting with Fincher after recurring on the past season of House Of Cards.
Fincher, who is directing, revisits his music video director past with the comedy, written by Rich Wilkes (xXx) and Bob Stevenson, a friend of Fincher’s from his music video days, based on an idea by Fincher. I hear also set or in negotiations for the project, which I hear will film two episodes in lieu of a pilot, are Jason Flemyng, Kerry Condon and Elizabeth Lail.
Ross is repped by Paradigm and Sanders.Armstrong.Caserta Management; Page is with UTA and Inphenate.
BATTLE CREEK - Sunday, March 1 on the CBSFollowing are the cast and production credits for the series premiere of BATTLE CREEK, to be broadcast Sunday, March 1 on the CBS Television Network.
ON AIR: Sundays (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT)
FORMAT: Two mismatched law enforcement officers whose polar opposite views of the world and crime-solving breed frustration, disdain, humor and possibly a grudging respect as they clean up the hardscrabble streets of Battle Creek, Mich.
Josh Duhamel (Milt Chamberlain)
Dean Winters (Russ Agnew)
Janet McTeer (Commander Guziewicz)
Kal Penn (Fontanelle White)
Aubrey Dollar (Holly Dale)
Edward Fordham, Jr. (Aaron Funkhauser)
CREATED BY: Vince Gilligan and David Shore
Lindsay Price, Chris Klein & Jared Gertner Cast In 'How To Live' NBC Comedy PilotLindsay Price, Chris Klein and Jared Gertner have been cast as three of the leads in NBC’s single-camera comedy pilot How We Live, written/executive produced by Steven Cragg and Brian Bradley (Happy Endings) and executive produced by David Janollari. Inspired by Cragg and Bradley’s personal observations of their own family lives, the project centers on Russell, a blogger, and his wife Holly who move to the suburbs where he begins writing about marriage and the family lives of his suburban friends and neighbors, in the style of an anthropologist who’s stumbled on an undiscovered tribe.
Klein, repped by ICM Partners and Brillstein, plays Russell’s best friend Matt, a former brat guy who loves sports and red meat and helps Russell navigate the pitfalls of his new environment. Gertner, repped by Luedtke Agency and Untitled, plays Matt’s friend Dennis, a sweet, nerdy, emotional guy who likes cooking. Price, repped by UTA and Untitled, plays Dennis’ sweet, quirky and a little scattered wife Claudia.
Billy Baldwin, Lynn Whitfield, Andy Buckley & Jonathan Bennett Join 'Hit The Floor' On VH1Billy Baldwin (Gossip Girl), Lynn Whitfield (Stepmom), Andy Buckley (Veep, The Office) and Jonathan Bennett (Mean Girls, Dancing With The Stars) have been tapped for recurring roles on Season 3 of VH1’s cheerleader drama series Hit The Floor. Production begins this week for premiere this year.
The ensemble series about the fictional Los Angeles Devils girls cheer squad explores the exciting and scandalous world of professional basketball from the perspective of the Devil Girls dancers and the Los Angeles Devils players, owners and coaches.
Baldwin will play Jackson Everett Jackson, a billionaire bachelor looking to cause trouble in Devils Arena; Whitfield returns as Jelena’s mother, Vanessa Howard; Buckley plays Adam Oberman, an ambitious league official; and Bennett is Lucas, a sports agent who causes friction between Jude and Zero.
SEASON 2 SPOILER WARNING: Last season, the Devils won the championship but saw their owner Oscar Kinkade hauled off for the murder of a Devil Girl. But there’s another murderer still at large: Ahsha’s longtime boyfriend German, who was revealed in Season 2’s shocking finale to be Olivia Vincent’s killer. Unaware of her boyfriend’s deadly secret, Ahsha is reunited with him, but bad-boy MVP Derek has vowed to get her back.
According to the network, Hit The Floor is the No. 1 ad-supported scripted drama series on cable among women 18-49. The series was created by James LaRosa, who also serves as executive producer. Bryan Johnson and The Film Syndicate are also executive producing. Susan Levison, Jill Holmes and Maggie Malina are executive producers for VH1.
Y&R ALUM’S INVITATIONElizabeth Hendrickson (ex-Chloe, Y&R) is encouraging her fans to stay in touch and even interact with her by checking out the personal videos she posts on http://peeppl.com/feeds/theehendrickson (the latest footage features the actress asking for requests for her to play on the ukulele). "I love PEEPPL because it lets me stay in direct contact with my fans, who have been wonderful to me since I left YOUNG AND RESTLESS,” Hendrikson tells Digest. "I can make exclusive videos based on what my fans suggest and how they vote for their favorites. It's a really creative way for us to collaborate that I've never seen anywhere else. It's as much fun for me as it is for my fans."
SightingsKelly Ripa working out in an Upper East Side AKT dance class taught by Anna Kaiser as the “blizzard” moved in…
Scott Joins TBS Deserted Island Comedy Pilot 'Wrecked'TBS pilot Wrecked, a single-camera comedy from up-and-coming writers Justin Shipley & Jordan Shipley and producer Jesse Hara, has set its ensemble cast. Described as Lost meets It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Wrecked follows a group of extremely diverse survivors of a plane crash on a remote island who must adjust to life in a dangerous new world that poses unique threats — mostly brought upon themselves. No longer plugged in, the group must navigate this new society and learn to live without the comforts of 2015 like social media, Wi-Fi, indoor plumbing and Chipotle.
Zach Cregger will play the lead role of Owen, a flight attendant who only took this job out of college to travel and avoid starting his life. Ginger Gonzaga (Ted) will play Emma, who’s on her way to Thailand with her friend, Florence, after having decided to drop out of medical school. Jessica Lowe plays Florence, intellectually pretentious and a feminist in theory, she spouts complex, forward-thinking social ideas on which she’s too lazy or scared to act. Asif Ali, plays Pack, a sports agent who’s tied to his iPhone like it’s an umbilical cord. Ally Maki, plays Jess, who is traveling to Thailand with her handsome douchebag boyfriend Todd, with whom she struggles to get along. Will Greenberg plays Jess’ boyfriend Todd. Brooke Dillman is Karen, a vice president of Google competitor Bing, who’s a passenger on the plane. James Scott is Liam, seemingly the most handsome man in the world (even after a plane crash), Liam’s done 10 years with British Special Forces before that and now campaigns for human rights for child war refugees. George Basil is Chet, a drunk guy who’s passed out on the plane and doesn’t even realize when it crashes. Rhys Darby plays Steve, a cheerful, good-natured guy who’s traveling on the plane with his enormous dog Brimlow. Filming on the pilot has started in Puerto Rico.
Cregger is with WME and Principato Young; Ali is with David Shapira & Associates, Aligned Entertainment and Chad Christopher; Scott (Days of Our Lives) is with Haven Entertainment; Maki is with Abrams Artists and Sweeney Entertainment.
Michael Nouri Joins NBC's The SlapMichael Nouri will soon have a hand in The Slap.
The Damages vet has landed a recurring role on NBC’s upcoming miniseries, TVLine has exclusively learned.
Nouri will appear in five of the show’s eight episodes as Thanasis Korkoulis, a super-sleazy attorney who will do anything to win.
Although Thanasis agrees to help Zachary Quinto’s Harry — who finds himself in hot water after slapping another couple’s misbehaving child — he makes it clear that everyone must play by his rules.
In addition to his run as Glenn Close’s Damages husband, Nouri’s TV credits include NCIS, All My Children and The O.C.
The Slap bows Thursday, Feb. 12 at 8/7c.
Whitney Houston Biopic: How Yaya DaCosta Became The SingerWhitney Houston is one of the most recognizable singers in the history of music, so Yaya DaCosta did not take it lightly when she was cast to portray the icon in the Lifetime movie Whitney.
"I initially wanted to become her exactly. I was just set to do everything in my power to make the audience almost forget that they weren't really watching Whitney," the former America's Next Top Model contestant, 32, tells PEOPLE. "But then I realized that I only had a few days to prepare. It was more important to try and capture her essence than to go crazy because that could have come across as a mockery."
So just how did DaCosta capture Houston's essence?
1. She pulled from her own modeling history.
"Whitney modeled too and that really informs the way you carry yourself," says DaCosta, who was the runner-up in cycle 3 of the Tyra Banks-hosted reality competition and was the face of a Tom Ford campaign in 2014. "Even when she wasn't modeling, she looked like a model on stage. And she was so elegant in her music videos."
2. She worked on her voice – but not in the way you would think!
Though DaCosta lip-synced to recordings of Houston's songs sung by Deborah Cox, the actress still wanted to make sure she sounded like the "I Will Always Love You" singer.
"I went to my voice coach," she says. "I didn't want to imitate her but I kind of tried to swallow her rhythm. I tend to speak slowly. She spoke quickly."
3. She practiced her smile.
"Not just how much Whitney smiled, but the way she smiled – it was with her whole being," says DaCosta. "It's not like I don't love to smile but you don't always see all my teeth."
4. She perfected her poses.
"When she was singing, there were specific things where she would pat her hips and hold the mic a certain way," DaCosta says of Houston. "Her fingers had a lot of life in them. They would kind of flicker. She was like a hummingbird."
5. She found similarities in their backgrounds.
"We're both from the east coast. We both grew up slender girls in the African-American community, that can affect your psyche," says DaCosta. "She was also spiritual and strong on the outside but vulnerable on the inside. These were things that I saw in her that I completely understood."
Whitney premiered Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on Lifetime.
Yaya DaCosta Admits How Terrifying it Was to Play Whitney Houston-and the "Magic Words" That Saved HerAlmost three years after the death of one of music's greatest icons—and perhaps the greatest voice of all time—Lifetime's biopic about Whitney Houston is finally coming out.
Titled Whitney, and executive produced by Angela Bassett, the TV movie airs tonight, and is bound to elicit strong reactions from viewers. Some will love it. Some will haaaaate it.
One thing few will dispute, though: Star Yaya DaCosta nails it. Big time. (And big hair. And big shoulder pads.)
What is perhaps most surprising, though, is that the story focuses only on the early portion of Whitney's career, from the time she met Bobby until about 14 years before her death. So really, none of the truly salacious and controversial years are included—aside from an occasional shot of Whitney doing drugs, her miscarriage on the set of The Bodyguard, and the allegations that Bobby Brown cheated on her. The latter years really aren't addressed at all, until a graphic card is flashed briefly at the end.
"It would have been impossible to pack this great life into one movie," Bassett tells E! News. "We wanted to unpack a lot of those scenes."
The primary focus on the "good years" might be a disappointment to some viewers looking for answers as to what happened toward the end of her life, but should serve as some relief to Whitney's mother Cissy Houston, who has made it clear she's not happy with the film, and that she wishes people would just "let my baby rest." This biopic is really much more tame than it could have been, and for the most part, deeply respectful of Whitney and her legacy.
Still, given the controversy, and the monumental task of portraying Whitney Houston, actress Yaya DaCosta (who previously starred in Lee Daniels' The Butler, and was a former runner up on America's Next Top Model) told us that she found the role overwhelming and nerve-wracking at times.
"All the scenes were difficult to portray," DaCosta tells E! News. "And I've never said that before. I think no matter what kind of scene it was, remembering that there has to be a through line where you're staying true to a character that is not an invention of someone's imagination. And that this is a real person who really lived that everybody knows and loves. It was always very difficult. There was a pressure to keep it real and not be offensive and be as much as like the essence of her as possible."
Though some of the script pages leave something to be desired, it's worth noting how much DaCosta resembles Houston in this role, and she mostly knocks it out of the park. And with very little time to prepare.
"I did a lot of research on YouTube and everything," DaCosta tells us. "But the preparation time was so short that the magic words and the key was really to accept that there was a reason I was doing this and that there was enough in myself that was similar to Whitney and I had to trust that. Angela would say, ‘You are everything.' And that echoed what I had been told by really only one person before, my acting coach when I was 11. ‘You are enough. You have enough. Just trust yourself.' Those are the magic words. At the end of the day, when you're on set especially when it's such a fast-paced project, I just had to trust myself."
The History and Influence of Soap Operas(Listen) Earlier today, Julianne Moore got an Oscar nomination for "Still Alice." She is by far the betting favorite to win the best actress award. But you may remember her better as Franny Hughes Crawford on "As The World Turns." And four or five years before Ellen said "I'm gay," Bill Douglas came out as a gay teenager on One Life to Live. That character was played by Ryan Philippe. In fact, Leo DiCaprio, Maria Tomei, Tommy Lee Jones, Parker Posey, Kevin Bacon, Meg Ryan, they all worked on soaps before they moved on.
Now there are only four soap operas left – drawn out, dramatic stories that used to be sponsored by soap manufacturers, and now are struggling to maintain relevance to house wives who have a lot more options in the middle of the day. We'll talk about this slice of Americana with those in the industry, and a professor who co-directs “Project Daytime.”
Barbara Irwin - Professor of Communication Studies at Canisius College, co-director of Project Daytime
Susan Lucci: My Husband Saved My Life(closerweekly.com) In a recent interview with 'Closer Weekly,' Susan Lucci exclusively opens up about how her husband, Helmut Huber, saved her life during a scary skiing trip back when they first got married in 1969.
“Very early on [in our marriage], we were skiing in Tignes Le Lac in France, and I fell off the lift,” she reveals to 'Closer.' “We were only midway up the mountain, and I slipped and was sliding and it was above the trees, so there was nothing to grab onto.”
Luckily, Susan had wed an experienced skier. “He schussed down below me and managed to stop my fall. It was a good sign that he saved me. Otherwise, I would have fallen thousands of feet off a cliff!” she tells the mag.
“I got a good one” says the soap star. She jokes: “A lot of husbands would’ve let me go.”
For more on Susan and all celebrity news, pick up the new issue of 'Closer Weekly,' on newsstands now!
Matt Bomer Wins the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Mini-Series or TV MovieMatt Bomer came away with the Golden Globe award for best supporting actor in a series, mini-series or TV movie on Sunday for his work on The Normal Heart.
"To all the people we lost from this disease, I just want to say: We love you, we remember you," Bomer, 37, said while accepting the award.
Seth Meyers and Katie Holmes presented the award at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles.
Bomer was up against Bill Murray for Olive Kitteridge, Jon Voight for Ray Donovan, Alan Cumming for The Good Wife and Colin Hanks for Fargo.
After thanking director Ryan Murphy and Larry Kramer, who wrote the original play, Bomer also gave love to his husband Simon Halls and their three children – Kit, Walker, and Henry – saying, "I want to thank you for putting up with me when I was 130 lbs. and really grumpy when you ate pizza in front of me."
Fergie and Josh Duhamel Get Nostalgic on Instagram for Sixth Wedding Anniversary(Photo) Fergie and Josh Duhamel spent some time flipping through the old wedding album on the eve of their sixth anniversary – posting one adorably happy moment from the ceremony to Instagram on Friday.
"Married 6 years tomorrow! #flashbackfriday 2009 #happyanniversary," the Black Eyed Peas singer, 39, captioned a photo from their star-studded wedding at the Church Estates Vineyards in Malibu.
Fergie first met her future husband back in September 2004 when the Black Eyed Peas filmed a cameo for an episode of Duhamel's show Las Vegas.
Like any couple, the Duhamels have endured their fair share of ups and downs through the years – but their greatest joy came in August 2013 with the birth of their son, Axl Jack.
And with Axl getting bigger every day at 16-months, the couple say they're open to expanding the family.
"We'd like to. Yeah, for sure," Duhamel told Wendy Williams in October about having a second child. "[Fergie's] an amazing girl. She's a great mom and she's working on her album, so she's able to manage [both work and motherhood] now for sure."
NEW SERIES FOR AMC ALUM CAMERON MATHISONAt last night's Hallmark Winter Press Tour, it was announced that Cameron Mathison (ex-Ryan, AMC) will star alongside Alison Sweeney (ex-Sami, DAYS) in the new franchise CHOCOLATE CHIP MURDER for Hallmark Murder & Mystery Channel. "So fortunate to be part of this family:)," he tweeted, later adding, "Can't wait to begin working with you @Ali_Sweeney :)." The first installment will air this spring.
Fail! Josh Duhamel Takes a Tumble While Trying to Hop a Rail(Pic1, Pic2, Pic3) Nice try, Josh Duhamel.
While at the L.A. Lakers game at the Staples Center last night, the 42-year-old actor tried to show off for the paparazzi but failed right in front of the cameras.
Fergie's other half, who was dressed in white sneakers, blue jeans and a white button-down shirt, attempted to hop over a metal railing barricade outside of Staples. Duhamel managed to get one leg over the railing but something must have messed up his moves because he ended up on the ground on the other side of the barricade.
After a little roll on the pavement Duhamel got up, brushed himself off and seemed unfazed by the harmless accident. He smiled and went on his way into the game.
It's OK, Josh. We still love you.
Meanwhile, during last night's Lakers game, his wife Fergie took the court for a super-hot performance.
Check out the funny photos of Duhamel's tumble for yourself.
Matt Bomer To Play Montgomery Clift In HBO BiopicFollowing his praised performance in The Normal Heart, Matt Bomer has re-teamed with HBO Films for another project, a biopic of iconic Hollywood actor Monty Montgomery Clift.
Like with Ryan Murphy’s The Normal Heart, Monty Clift too started off as an indie feature, which was put together more than a year ago with Bomer attached to star and Larry Moss set to direct from a script by Christopher Lovick. The project was shopped for financing by Pier 3 Pictures’ Michael Din, Janine Giaime and Juri Henley-Cohn.
The way HBO stepped in to bring The Normal Heart to fruition with its A-list talent intact, it is doing the same with Monty Clift.
The Love Is Strange duo of Ira Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias will rewrite Lovick’s script. Din and Moss will serve as executive producers alongside Anonymous Content’s Tony Lipp and Alix Madigan.
At his prime, Clift rivaled Marlon Brando and James Dean as Hollywood’s biggest male stars and, along with them, was one of the first method actors in Hollywood. Clift also was the first Hollywood actor to refuse to sign a studio contract, choosing independency instead. He graduated from stage roles to screen success in films that includes A Place In The Sun and From Here To Eternity. His matinee idol good looks were destroyed by a devastating car accident that left him with a broken nose and partially paralyzed face. Though he continued to make movies, the accident haunted him until his death, even though he received an Oscar nomination, his fourth, for one of his last performances in Judgment At Nuremberg.
Clift had a complicated personal life, which he refused to put on display. He struggled with his sexual orientation and resorted to alcohol and drug addition following the accident.
“To see the kind of intense vulnerability and realism that he brought to his work at a time when that was not the style—it’s profound,” Bomer said in an interview last year. “He knew everything he was feeling inside—or if he didn’t, you wondered, why was he feeling that when the scene was this? To get to portray someone who was so formative to me as an artist would be terrifying and daunting and thrilling.
Bomer’s role in The Normal Heart earned him a Critics Choice TV award and an Emmy nomination. He is also up for a People’s Choice Award tonight for favorite TV Cable Actor (for his starring role on USA’s White Collar) as well as a Golden Globe award this weekend for The Normal Heart.
Sony Pictures Classics’ Love Is Strange, which Sachs also directed, starred John Lithgow & Alfred Molina as a longtime couple forced to separate after losing their home. The film has received four nominations from the Independent Spirit Awards including Best Picture and Best Screenplay.
Emmy-Winning Daytime TV Director Larry Auerbach, Dead At 91(Photo) Larry Auerbach, considered by many to be a pioneer in daytime television, died today at 91 in La Jolla, Calif. Auerbach helmed CBS’s soap Love of Life, from 1951 to 1980. Such faces as Warren Beatty, Jon Voight, Christopher Reeve and Roy Scheider would pass through the show during its lengthy time on the air. Given the never-ending cycle of soaps, it’s estimated that Auerbach clocked a notable 3,000 hours as a TV director. Following Love of Life, he helmed a number of New York based soaps including All My Children, One Life to Live, Another World and As the World Turns. Born in Mount Vernon, NY, Auerbach cut his teeth in the trade in Chicago during the late 1940s as the stage manager on Kukla, Fran and Ollie. Studs’ Place and the daytime soap, Hawkins Falls. He was named a DGA Honorary Life Member in 2004, joining an elite group that includes Charles Chaplin, Walt Disney, Jack Warner, Lew Wasserman Jack Valenti and he received the union’s 1991 Robert B. Aldrich award. Auerbach won a Daytime Emmy in 1984 for directing on ABC’s One Life to Live. DGA president Paris Barclay made the following statement today on the passing of Auerbach:
“Larry emerged as a vigorous presence right after the merger that created the modern DGA, diving headlong into a long career of service to the Guild and his fellow members. Larry worked tirelessly, out of love for his Guild and his profession, to ensure better working conditions and stronger protection of creative rights for Guild members, and he was instrumental in raising the profile of daytime serial directors, the genre to which he dedicated his career. Under his watch as National Vice President and a member of the Eastern Directors Council, Larry helped organize the renovation of the New York headquarters, and he played a major role in ensuring greater health and fiscal security for Guild members through the DGA-Producer Pension and Health Plans. He was a dynamo – a strong and powerful voice for our members for decades – and we will miss him greatly.”
Slater Series Picked Up By USAThis is a timely order by USA. In the wake of the unprecedented hack attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, the cable network has given the first series pickup to a pilot from its current slate to Mr. Robot (working title), an intense hacker drama starring Rami Malek and Christian Slater.
Written/executive produced by Sam Esmail, Mr. Robot centers on a young programmer, Elliot (Rami Malek), who suffers from a debilitating anti-social disorder and decides that he can only connect to people by hacking them. He finds himself in the intersection between a cybersecurity firm he works for and the underworld organizations that are recruiting him to bring down corporate America. Slater plays Mr. Robot, a mysterious anarchist who recruits Elliot. Anonymous Content’s Steve Golin (True Detective) and Chad Hamilton (Breakup At A Wedding) also executive produce.
“Mr. Robot could not be more timely and relevant,” said Chris McCumber, President of USA Network. “Rami gives a masterful performance as a hacker and unlikely hero, alongside Christian, who is perfectly cast as Mr. Robot.”
The pilot for Mr. Robot was directed by Niels Arden Oplev (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) who “has given the show a breathtakingly original look,” said Jeff Wachtel, President and Chief Content Officer, NBCU Cable Entertainment.
Co-starring in the series are Portia Doubleday, Carly Chaikin and Martin Wallstrom.
Mr. Robot was the first of five drama pilot orders made by USA this year, along with Carlton Cuse’s Colony, starring Josh Holloway and Sarah Wayne Callies; Stanistan, starring Jennifer Carpenter; Queen Of The South, based on the international best seller “La Reina del Sur,” starring Alice Braga; and recent pickup Evil Men, starring Dallas Roberts and Clifton Collins Jr.
USA recently announced a pullout from half-hour comedy to focus on its drama brand with an intention to pick up as many of its five drama pilots to series as possible.
Nickelodeon Star Denyse Tontz, All Grown Up, Talks Music & Mark Salling Romance(Music Video) Denyse Tontz has fallen in love with a hipster.
And we're not talking about Glee actor Mark Salling, whom she briefly dated last summer.
Tontz, 20, a singer-songwriter and actress best known for her roles on Nickelodeon's Big Time Rush and on the Disney Channel's Dog with a Blog, is enjoying a burgeoning music career – she just released the single and video for "Mr. Hipster," a tongue-in-cheek ode to the counter-culture guy so many girls seem to end up dating.
"I definitely want to try something a little different," she tells PEOPLE about her music. "I'm getting older now, and it's been kind of a struggle juggling my fan base with what I am naturally inclined to write."
She adds, "I definitely want to surprise people. I think that [my fans] will be pretty surprised by what's coming next – I hope in a good way!"
Still, she says she won't compromise on her "weird, quirky, kind of sarcastic" style. "It's just my personality. My music is going to have that same lyrical quality to it. I definitely like to insert a wink and a smile."
Beginning as a child model, Tontz got her first big break when she booked a campaign for Mattel's Barbie. Later, she made her TV debut on E-Ring before landing her Nickelodeon and Disney roles.
Still, music remained her first love, and her songwriting skills are now so well-honed that Tontz earned a Daytime Emmy Award for outstanding original song for a drama series. She was only 19 years old.
As for her love life, over the summer Tontz met Glee actor Mark Salling through her producer for a collaboration and they dated for a few months, before busy schedules ended their romance.
"But you never know what could happen down the road," she says.
When it comes to Salling's own music in his band, Camp Coyote, Tontz gushes: "That's one thing that Mark will never let people down on – he's incredible live. Honestly, as an artist, I have so much respect for him because he is the most talented musician."
Their relationship happened to coincide with the one-year anniversary of Cory Monteith's death in July 2013 at the age of 31, a "touchy subject" for Salling and the rest of the Glee cast. As Salling said earlier to PEOPLE: "I still think about him all the time."
"It wasn't something he talked about much, but it definitely took a toll on him. … It left everybody shocked, and especially [Salling]," Tontz says.
That said, 2015, it seems, looks to be Tontz's year.
Agnes Nixon Fast Facts(erietvnews.com) (CNN) -- Here's a look at the life of Agnes Nixon, creator of "All My Children" and "One Life to Live."
Personal: Birth date: December 10, 1927
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
Birth name: Agnes Eckhardt
Father: Harry Joseph Eckhardt, owner of Perfection Burial Garment Company
Mother: Agnes Patricia (Dalton) Eckhardt, bookkeeper
Marriages: Robert Nixon (April 6, 1951-November 22, 1996 his death)
Children: Catherine Agnes, Mary Frances, Robert Henry, Emily Anne
Education: Attended Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, 1940-1944
Agnes Nixon grew up in Nashville, Tennessee.
Known as the "Queen of Soap Opera writing," she has nine Daytime Emmy writing nominations and four wins between her two shows "All My Children" and "One Life to Live," and a Lifetime Achievement award.
Her storylines often included socially conscious topics of the time, such as uterine cancer and Pap smears, racial identity, interracial relationships, abuse and abortion.
She created roles specifically for these actors: Laurence Fishburne, Tommy Lee Jones, and Tom Berenger on "One Life to Live".
She patterned her soap opera cities after an area in Philadelphia known as the "Main Line."
Nixon was one of the early writers on "The Guiding Light" (1953-2009), the longest running soap opera in history.
The character Agnes Eckhardt appeared on both "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" played by Nixon. She also played the characters Agnes Dixon on "One Life to Live" and Aggie on "All My Children".
The production company Prospect Park teamed up with Apple and Hulu, to save "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" by making both shows available online.
1944 - After college Nixon begins writing for the radio soap opera, 'Woman in White."
1950 - She relocates to New York and begins freelancing for live television prime-time broadcasts.
1951 - Writes for 13 weeks for daytime television as head writer for the soap opera "Search for Tomorrow."
1952-1954 - Writes for prime-time drama "Robert Montgomery Presents."
1957-1959 - Nixon writes for the soap "As the World Turns."
1959-1965 - Head writer on "The Guiding Light."
1965-1967 - Becomes head writer for "Another World"
July 15, 1968 - Nixon's creation "One Life to Live" debuts. She is the head writer.
January 5, 1970 - Another Nixon creation debuts, "All My Children," also with Nixon as head writer.
June 26, 1983 - The soap opera "Loving" premieres. Nixon is co-creator with Douglas Marland.
1988 - Wins Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series Writing Team for "All My Children."
June 25, 1994 - Nixon becomes the first female writer to be inducted into the Soap Opera Hall of Fame.
November 1995 - The storyline of "The City," created by Nixon, James H. Brown and Barbara Esensten, picks up where "Loving" left off.
1996-1998 - Wins Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Drama Series Writing Team for "All My Children".
May 12, 2010 - The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announces Nixon as the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
April 14, 2011 - ABC announces the cancellation of "One Life to Live" as of January 2012. "All My Children" is also being canceled.
June 30, 2011 - ABC announces "All My Children" will air its final episode on television on Friday, September 23, 2011.
January 13, 2012 - "One Life to Live" airs its final episode on television.
April 29, 2013 - "One Life to Live" and "All My Children" come back to life, airing twice weekly online at Hulu and Apple's iTunes. Nixon is the creator of the new "All My Children."
Fall 2013 - The first online seasons of "One Life to Live" and "All My Children" end. Further production is then put on indefinite hold, due to legal proceedings between ABC and Prospect Park, which produces the shows.
Y&R Star Needs Your Help For A Good CauseTHE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS' Amelia Heinle (Victoria) recently launched a fashion and lifestyle Web site called Dear March, and in addition to the articles and peeks into the actress' personal life is an on-line store where a percentage of the sales are donated to the American Cancer Society in honor of Heinle's sister, Jane, who is currently battling cancer.
Now, Heinle is hosting a special charity event for BelieveBig.org on Sunday, December 14, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Maggiano's Little Italy located at The Grove in Los Angeles, CA. Her husband, Thad Luckinbill (ex-J.T.) will be on hand as one of the special guests, and there will be a limited number of tickets available for a VIP meet and greet with the actors. Tickets are available exclusively at DearMarchShop.com, and money raised by the event will be donated to the cancer charity Believe Big in Jane's name.
Christian Campbell Joins 'True Detective'Christian Campbell (Big Love) has been added to the cast of HBO’s True Detective. He will recur on the second season of the crime drama that revolves around three police officers (Colin Farrell, Taylor Kitsch and Rachel McAdams) and a career criminal (Vince Vaughn) who must navigate a web of conspiracy in the aftermath of a murder. Campbell, repped by by Untitled and Charles Bodner at BRS/Gage, will play Richard Brune, the therapist husband of Alicia (Abigail Spencer).
Injured veteran J.R. Martinez urges perseverance(columbiamissourian.com) COLUMBIA — J.R. Martinez was always known as the handsome kid.
Family, friends and even strangers would compliment his suave looks, telling a young Martinez how he had such an stunning face.
So in 2003, after a roadside bomb in Iraq burnt one-third of his body, the 19-year-old soldier could only glance in the mirror before despair overwhelmed him.
"I thought 'I'll be alive, but I'll never live,'" Martinez said.
Eleven years later, Martinez has acted on the soap opera "All My Children," won the 13th season of "Dancing with the Stars," and plays Alfonso Rivera on the show "SAF3." He also tours the country as a motivational speaker, and Monday night he spoke to about 200 people at the Missouri Theatre about overcoming adversity and emerging stronger. The speech was part of Mizzou Veterans Week.
Even before the burns, Martinez was no stranger to hardship. His dad left the family when he was 9 months old. His mother raised him on her own, and she couldn't afford to send him to college. He had hoped football would be his ticket to university — and university would be his ticket to the NFL — but he didn't have the grades. So he enlisted in the Army.
It wasn't the trajectory he had planned, but he immersed himself in the military — the culture, the camaraderie, the sense of purpose. "You can't control what happens, but you can control your attitude about it," Martinez said.
That outlook was tested after the blast. He was unable to walk, bathe or feed himself. Reckoning with the full extent of his injuries deflated him.
Once he regained some mobility, he began visiting other injured and hospitalized soldiers. He said it helped give him some perspective.
"I was helping myself," he said. "I love the idea of being something bigger than myself."
After leaving the hospital, he began speaking to veterans groups about overcoming tribulations large and small. Soon other groups invited him to speak, and as he honed his message of perseverance, he looked to TV as the next step — both for his message and his personal journey.
Kim Gonzalez, an Army veteran, said Martinez' story touched a nerve.
"I got a little teary," Gonzalez said. "I'm actually in the middle of a (career) transition myself, and he made me feel like there's a light at the end of the tunnel."
Mad Men's Sam Page Gets Married! Find Out Which Mean Girls Star Was in Attendance(Pic1, Pic2) Sam Page is a married man!
The 38-year-old actor, most recently known for playing Christina Hendricks' ex on Mad Men, wed fiancée Cassidy Boesch over the weekend surrounded by family and friends. The nuptials took place on Saturday at a villa just outside Santa Barbara, Calif., a source confirms to E! News. "It was truly a fairy-tale weekend," the source adds.
Page also posted a gorgeous wedding pic of him and Boesch sharing their first kiss as husband and wife. "Making it official," Page wrote on Instagram.
In the shot, Page and Boesch wrap their arms around each other while locking lips in front of wedding guests during the outdoor garden ceremony. Behind them is a beautiful canopy covered in white roses.
Page also took to Instagram to share a photo of him and his groomsmen. "On the runway, first class, about to walk down the aisle, and this is my groomsmen detail. Great men all of them. #cassidyandsam," he wrote. Among Page's groomsmen was Mean Girls star and recent Dancing With the Stars cast-off Jonathan Bennett.
In addition to Mad Men, you may recognize Page from his appearances on shows like Desperate Housewives, House of Cards, Switched at Birth, Scandal and Gossip Girl.
Congrats, you two!
'True Detective': Kelly Reilly, Michael Irby, Abigail Spencer, Leven Rambin Eye RolesHBO is putting finishing touches on the cast for the second season of True Detective ahead of the Friday table read. I have learned that Kelly Reilly (Black Box) is finalizing a deal for a regular role, while Michael Irby (Almost Human), Abigail Spencer (Suits) and Leven Rambin (Hunger Games) are either set or close to deals for recurring roles.
Reilly and Spencer had been on the short list of actresses invited to meet with True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto for the female lead, which was ultimately offered to Rachel McAdams, but sources cautioned at the time that Pizzolatto was eyeing some of the actresses on the list for other parts.
Season 2 of True Detective revolves around three police officers, played by Colin Farrell, Taylor Kitsch and McAdams, and a career criminal (Vince Vaughn) who must navigate a web of conspiracy in the aftermath of a murder. Reilly would play the self-possessed Morgan. Irby is poised to play McAdams’ partner, now named Elvis. Rambin would likely play Sophia, a beauty with a history of drug problems, while Spencer is in line to portray Alicia, the survivor of a sexual attack.
Reilly and Spencer are repped by ICM Partners, Irby is with Greene & Associates and Coronel Group; Rambin with Paradigm and Management 360.
CHRISHELL STAUSE OFF DAYSChrishell Stause, who first aired as DAYS’s Jordan Ridgeway in August, 2013, is leaving the show. "Sadly I have wrapped up my time over at @nbcdays. It's been an amazing journey & the best is yet to come for Jordan. I taped scenes in Nov I'm really proud of and I will air into March. I've made great friends and memories in my time there. I would like to thank NBC/Corday for the opportunity. I love my daytime family & am looking forward to what the future has in store :)” she tweeted in announcing the news. With the show’s production schedule, look for her air well into 2015. The popular actress previously played AMC’s Amanda.
Sarah Michelle Gellar and the Curse of Buffy the Vampire SlayerThere's a Buffy the Vampire Slayer curse, but it's not what you think it is.
Sarah Michelle Gellar played the titular hero for seven seasons across The WB and UPN from 1997-2003. Since then she's gone on to big screen roles and returned to TV in both thrillers and comedies, but the Buffy curse still lingers.
"There is only one curse and it's not what people expect," Gellar told Confidential, an Australian publication. "The one curse is, as an actor, you get very spoiled because you think all female characters are going to be that exciting, that interesting, that flawed—and that's really not the case in Hollywood. That's the drawback—you have a standard of what to expect in the characters you play."
See? Not the curse you were expecting.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer hailed from Joss Whedon, a man known to many for his talents at bringing three-dimensional characters—particularly women—to life.
"The show proved it was OK to have a strong female character, a heroine, on television…Buffy was a human. As humans, we fight the horrors of our life to get through the day," she said. "It was an elevated drama, an elevated comedy and a metaphor for the different parts of life."
Since Buffy, Gellar starred in the short-lived Ringer, a CW drama that she also produced. Last season she appeared opposite the late Robin Williams in the David E. Kelley comedy The Crazy Ones. She won the People's Choice Award for Favorite Actress in a New TV series for the now-canceled comedy and thanked her loyal following.
"For seven years, I had the privilege to be a part of one of the most amazing television shows and I've never gotten the chance to publicly thank them, the cast, the crew, and all the fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer," she said, "so thank you!"
The adventures of Buffy Summers continue in a Whedon-sanctioned comic book series from Dark Horse. Even so, Whedon obliged a fan who asked for more Buffy the Vampire Slayer by drawing one heck of napkin doodle. Hey, it's better than nothing!
Dondre Whitfield Joins 'Real Husbands Of Hollywood' On BETDondre Whitfield has joined BET’s Real Of Husbands Of Hollywood as a regular for Season 4. BET announced a fourth season renewal earlier this month and production began this week in LA. Created by Kevin Hart and Chris Spencer, Real Husbands Of Hollywood was a breakout hit for BET, debuting with more than 4 million in 2013. Its cast includes Hart, Boris Kodjoe, Duane Martin, J. B. Smoove, Nick Cannon and Nelly. Smoove will continue on the show but is not expected to be a regular in Season 4 because of his duties as a co-star on CBS comedy The Millers. Real Husbands‘ Season 3 wrapped production before Smoove started on the sitcom last season. Season 3 of Real Husbands debuted on Tuesday. Whitfield most recently recurred on ABC’s Mistresses. His other TV credits include All My Children, Grey’s Anatomy, Cold Case and CSI: Miami. Real Husbands Of Hollywood airs Tuesdays at 10 PM on BET.
Lifetime Renews Devious Maids for a Third SeasonAfter a down-to-the-wire negotiation, Lifetime has sealed a deal to bring back the Marc Cherry-produced soap Devious Maids for a third season.
Lifetime picked up 13 new episodes to air sometime in 2015. "Marc Cherry has created a uniquely twisted world that blends his comic wit with devilishly ingenious characters and plot twists," says Rob Sharenow, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Lifetime.
Ana Ortiz, Dania Ramírez, Roselyn Sanchez, Edy Ganem, Judy Reyes and Susan Lucci star on Devious Maids, which focuses on the close-knit group of maids who work for wealthy and powerful Beverly Hills families.
The show's Season 2 finale aired July 13, attracting 3.5 million viewers according to live + 3 data, a healthy 58% bump over its same-day viewership.
Inspired by the hit telenovela Ellas son... la alegría del hogar, the show is executive produced by Cherry, Sabrina Wind (Desperate Housewives) and Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives).
'One Life to Live' Producer Plans to Liquidate(hollywoodreporter.com) Plus, the role of Apple Inc. in the ongoing story of an alleged "mega soap" fraud.
Anyone want a piece of soap opera history?
Prospect Park Networks, the company that attempted to re-launch One Life to Live and All My Children as web-only series, has announced its intention to liquidate assets in its ongoing bankruptcy case. The prize might be a front-row seat at a trial against ABC that could be coming soon.
The producer is suing ABC, alleging a fraud, wherein the network allegedly asked to "borrow" OLTL characters for use on General Hospital, then changed storylines, killed some characters and began scheming "in its quest for a mega soap." The claimed interference is estimated to have caused tens of millions of dollars in damage for Prospect Park.
When Prospect Park filed for bankruptcy last March, the pending dispute in Los Angeles Superior Court was put on hold. But the judge in the case is conducting a case management conference next week, and in recent papers lodged in the bankruptcy proceedings, an attorney representing the debtor states, "It is anticipated that the LA Court will terminate the 'dark period' and allow the ABC Litigation to proceed expeditiously to trial."
ABC has noted in prior legal filings that Prospect Park didn't complain while it used OLTL characters and even renewed a license agreement. ABC is also counter-suing Prospect Park for $5 million in claimed breach-of-contract damages.
The cost of litigation is undoubtedly expensive. According to more documents in the bankruptcy case, the law firm of Andrews Kurth says it is owed more than $700,000 in unpaid fees. The law firm of Lavely & Singer says it is owed more than $120,000.
If or when Prospect Park goes to trial against ABC, the bankrupt company will likely be represented by a new law firm. There were at least three firms that were interested in picking up the "mega soap" fraud case, and the firm of Jones Day emerged as the one to take the reigns.
And what will Jones Day be getting? Secured by a $400,000 retainer, the law firm will see 33 percent of any settlement money and 40 percent of any money recovered if the case goes to jury.
Meanwhile, on the road to liquidation and in need of paying its creditors, Prospect Park came to an arrangement with Apple, Inc.
The soaps producer was eligible for a 30 percent tax credit for shooting OLTL in Connecticut, and racked up production expenditures of nearly $20 million. With tax money then due from Connecticut -- nicknamed the "Provisions State" -- the debtor entered into a loan and security agreement with EP Financial Solutions, which concurrently sold the tax credit to Apple for $5 million. Yes, Apple not only runs the iTunes store, which once carried the OLTL web-only series, but it apparently bails out producers of soap operas at a modest price.
Jim Parrack and Leven Rambin are engaged!The True Blood star, who took the stage alongside friend James Franco in Broadway's Of Mice and Men this summer, has popped the question to the Hunger Games actress, his rep confirms exclusively to PEOPLE.
The couple began dating in the spring, and Parrack, 33, divorced his wife of six years in June after separating in September.
Leven, 24, has also appeared on The Tomorrow People and One Tree Hill. This will be her first marriage.
David Rasche Joins TV Land Pilot 'Impastor'David Rasche (ex-Robert, All My Children/ex-Wes, Ryan's Hope) is set as a series regular on TV Land’s single-camera dark comedy Impastor. Written by Christopher Vane and directed by Robert Greenberg, the story centers on Buddy (Michael Rosenbaum), a lowlife on the run from his debts who hides away in a small town by conning its residents into thinking he’s their new gay pastor. Rasche, repped by Liebman Entertainment, Innovative Artists and Schreck Rose Dapello & Adams, will play Owen Schmidt, a businessman and President of Loomis Lutheran Church. Although he welcomes Buddy as the new pastor, he’s warily suspicious of this outsider and quite baffled by Buddy’s utter lack of Scriptural knowledge. Rasche will next be seen on Broadway in The Country House with Blythe Danner. His recent TV credits include recurring roles on Veep and Black Box.
Duo Added To NBC's 'Aquarius'Ambyr Childers (Ray Donovan, We Are What We Are) and Beau Mirchoff (Awkward) have been cast as recurring in NBC‘s upcoming series Aquarius, a gritty 1960s drama about a cop (David Duchovny) who goes undercover to track Charles Manson and the Manson Family before their infamous murder spree. Childers, repped by McKeon-Myones Management and UTA, will play a seductive woman that lures Emma’s boyfriend away as part of Manson’s plan to recruit her. Mirchoff, repped by APA, Velocity Entertainment Partners and Ginsburg Daniels, will play Rick Zondervan, a fictitious UCLA student who takes his girlfriend to a drug party in Laurel Canyon where they run into infamous Charles Manson.
Hollywood Walk of Fame 2015 starsThe Hollywood Walk of Fame will add 30 new stars in 2015, with recipients including Melissa McCarthy, Julianna Margulies, Seth MacFarlane, Jim Parsons, Amy Poehler and more.
The Hollywood Walk of Fame Selection Committee announced that celebrities from film, TV, music, theater and radio. Check out the full list below.
In addition to the above, the TV category will also add: "The Simpsons" producer James L. Brooks, producer and director Ken Ehrlich, Food Network star Bobby Flay, "NCIS: LA" star Chris O'Donnell, Kelly Ripa and Sofia Vergara.
From the movie category: Jennifer Garner, Peter Jackson, Eugenio Derbez, Daniel Radcliffe, Paul Rudd, Christoph Waltz and Will Ferrell will all get stars, along with posthumous ones for screenwriter Raymond Chandler and Batman creator Bob Kane.
Kristen Chenoweth, Dick Gregory and Ennio Morricone will be added to the theater category, while music additions include Dr. Luke, Kool & The Gang, Pitbull, All Schmitt and Pharrell Williams. Larry Elder is the lone radio recipient.
AMC ALUM LANDS ON HOUSE OF CARDSChristina Bennett Lind (ex-Bianca, AMC) has landed a role on the upcoming third season of Netflix's acclaimed drama HOUSE OF CARDS, TVLine reports. No word yet on who she'll play. Congrats!
Matthew Cowles, Actor and Husband of Christine Baranski, Dies(playbill.com) Matthew Cowles, a soap opera star and the husband of actress Christine Baranski, died at age 69 on May 22.
Mr. Cowles played Billy Clyde Tuggle on the daytime soap "All My Children" for many years. He was twice nominated for Daytime Emmys for his work, in 1978 and 1981.
Other daytime drama gigs included "Loving" and "The Bold and the Beautiful."
On the big screen Mr. Cowles had roles in "Nurse Betty," "Shutter Island," "The Juror" and "The Cowboy Way."
On the stage, he played the title role in Malcolm, Edward Albee's short-lived 1965 Broadway adaptation of James Purdy's novel. He subsequently appeared in Broadway revivals of Sweet Bird of Youth and The Time of Your Life.
Off-Broadway, he was in the original production of Israel Horovitz's The Indian Wants the Bronx, acting alongside Al Pacino and John Cazale. His most recent New York stage appearance was in The Taming of the Shrew, a Theatre For a New Audience production at the Duke on 42nd Street in 2012.
He was nominated for a 1976 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play for Dirty Jokes, at the Academy Festival Theatre in Chicago.
Matthew Cowles was born on Sept. 28, 1944, in New York City, NY, as Matthew Chandler Cowles.
He married Baranski in 1983, and the two have two children together. Baranski survives him. He was previously married to the actress Kathleen Dezina.
All My Children Vet Matthew Cowles Dead at 69; Husband to Christine Baranski(tvline.com) (Photo) Matthew Cowles, a two-time Daytime Emmy nominee during his run as iconic All My Children ne’er-do-well Billy Clyde Tuggle, passed away on May 22. He was 69.
Cowles is survived by his wife of 30 years, The Good Wife‘s Christine Baranski, and their adult daughters Lily and Isabel.
Cowles’ manager Tsu Tsu Stanton broke the sad news on Twitter, noting: “[Matthew] was a very gifted and kind man who loved life and everyone.” Onetime AMC headwriter Jean Passanante acknowledged the actor’s passing by hailing “AMC’s one and only Billy Clyde Tuggle” as “a sweet man and a uniquely talented actor.”
In addition to his AMC run — which he capped one year ago with an encore during the sudser’s Internet revival — Cowles’ TV resume included ABC’s Life on Mars, Oz, Lonesome Dove, The Bold and the Beautiful (as Curtis Love) and Loving (as Eban Japes).
Born in New York City to Broadway producer Chandler Cowles, his Great White Way credits included Malcolm (1966), The Time of Your Life and Sweet Bird of Youth. The actor also appeared in many films, and worked as a playwright.
AMC ALUM RELEASES MUSIC VIDEOAMC 2.0 alum Denyse Tontz (ex-Miranda; Nikki, DOG WITH A BLOG) debuted her first music video for "Use It" on her YouTube Channel, Denyse Tontz Music. Check out the video here!
ABC Fails To Trim Prospect Park Soap SuitABC took a hit this morning in Prospect Park’s multimillion-dollar legal action over licensed soaps All My Children and One Life To Live. The network was denied its motion to strike the part of the production company’s amended complaint in which Prospect Park asked to have the license agreement for the online shows extended and payments to ABC “excused” while the nearly year-old breach of contract suit for more than $100 million moves forward. The ruling came after a 50-minute hearing in LA Superior Court before Judge Robert Hess. Trial lawyer James Edward Maloney of Texas’ Andrews Kurth represented Prospect Park, while Susan Klein and Nuritsa Ksachikyan of LA’s Valle Makoff were there for ABC. “Prospect Park exercised its option — it produced an entire season of the series,” Klein argued early in the hearing. “It can’t ask the court to rewrite what the parties have negotiated.” Hess saw it differently: “After hearing the arguments from them and you, I’m going to let them leave it in,” he told Klein.
Prospect Park's Jeff Kwatinetz Takes Company To Court Over Non-Compete Clauses(deadline.com) Prospect Park’s multi-million dollar legal battle with ABC over licensed soaps All My Children and One Life To Live isn’t the only courtroom drama the production company is now facing. Co-Founder Jeff Kwatinetz has filed a complaint against the company and ABRY Senior Equity IV, L.P., ABRY Investment Partnership, L.P., and ABRY Senior Equity Co-Investment Fund IV. The producer and talent manager is seeking a declaratory judgment over non-compete clauses in a December 31, 2012 employment agreement he signed with Prospect Park when the Boston-based investors came on board late last year. Long story short, Kwatinetz wants a judge to decide if the “unenforceable non-competition and non-solicitation provision” would actually prevented him from working for another company for 5 years and if Prospect and ABRY could get an injunction to force him to work for them for 5 years if he attempted to leave. “In addition, the Guarantee contains what is essentially a $5,000,000 liquidated damages penalty for a ‘breach’ of the unenforceable non-competition provision and employment term requirements in the Agreement,” the 10-claim complaint filed on November 21 in LA Superior Court adds (read it here).
The catalyst of the complaint was a difference of opinion that Kwatinetz has with ABRY over the direction of the company, sources tell me. Specially, that disagreement has to do with the future of AMC and OLTL and whether they will continue or not. Kwatinetz was advocating the continuation of the two series. Having said that, the producer had his lawyer Michael Taitelman file the complaint not because he intends to leave Prospect Park, I’m told, but because he wants to explore his options in what is a very complicated and multi-tiered agreement. Otherwise, all parties seem to be in sync right now at the busy Prospect Park and Kwatinetz continues to work there. Besides the online soaps, whose legal machinations could drag on for years, PP currently has Wilfred on FX and Royal Pains on USA with drama Salem debuting on WGN America in the spring of 2014. The company also has 10 sold scripted pilots in various states of development on both cable and broadcast TV and a music management and label revenue stream. Kwatinetz formed PP with ex-Walt Disney Studios president Richard Frank in 2008. A spokesperson for Kwatinetz declined to comment on the November 21st complaint when contacted by Deadline.
For the most part, non-compete clauses are redundant in California unless the individual in questions is an owner of a company and even then they can be voided. That is distinctly not the case in other states such as New York. Hence, Kwatinetz’s complaint notes its disagreement with PP and ABRY’s desire to have the Empire State and its laws used as a venue for the non-compete provisions. “Furthermore, the Agreement and the Guarantee attempt to impose New York law and venue on the parties even though the Agreement was negotiated in California, with a California resident, for his employment in California at two California-based companies, and none of the parties are based in New York,” the 109-page filing notes. By filing in LA Superior Court, the complaint seeks a judicial determination that the Golden State’s laws and jurisdiction will apply in the matter.
Attorney Michael Taitelman’s firm Freedman & Taitelman have also served as outside counsel to Deadline’s parent company PMC.
‘Deadly Affairs’, Hosted by Susan Lucci, Renewed for Season Three by Investigation DiscoveryInvestigation Discovery has greenlit real-life soap opera DEADLY AFFAIRS for season three. Hosted by daytime TV queen, Susan Lucci, DEADLY AFFAIRS was one of ID’s top five shows during 3Q 2013 in delivery for W25-54, W18-49, and P25-54. The series continued to entice fans with titillating stories all season long reaching over 9.7 million unique viewers P2+. The new season promises to deliver stories of passionate love affairs turned crimes of passion when it premieres summer 2014.
“We just can’t get enough of Susan Lucci -- our affair with her is out in the open and we couldn’t be happier to continue for a third season,” said Henry Schleiff, Group President, Investigation Discovery, Military Channel and Destination America. “Our viewers are often tempted by the suspense of ‘will they or won’t they?’ -- and with DEADLY AFFAIRS, we already know they did -- and they probably shouldn’t have!
“I am so excited to be going into Season three with DEADLY AFFAIRS,” said Susan Lucci. “And I’m even more excited that so many fans are telling me that they are ‘addicted’ to the show!”
DEADLY AFFAIRS tells real-life tales of love gone terribly wrong – from wandering eyes at the workplace leading to adulterous romps in the supply closet to bible-study couples tempted by lust to commit the ultimate sin – proving affairs can be murder on the heart. Episodes feature stories interlaced with expert commentary from local authorities and true-crime experts, as well as first-person accounts from friends and family of the victims.
DEADLY AFFAIRS is produced for Investigation Discovery by Sirens Media. For Sirens Media, Valerie Haselton Drescher, Rebecca Toth Diefenbach, and Anne Rothwell are executive producers. For Investigation Discovery,Pamela Deutsch is executive producer, Sara Kozak is senior vice president of production, and Henry Schleiff is group president.
Susan Lucci Talks Legacy, Acting And Life After Erica KaneSusan Lucci Talks Legacy, Acting And Life After Erica Kane: Video.
What Really Happened At AMC?In her newest blog, Soap Opera Digest columnist Carolyn Hinsey talks to AMC Supervising Producer Sonia Blangiardo (executive producer of the upcoming web series TAINTED DREAMS) about the behind the scenes goings-on at the reboot that has now been shelved. "All I can say is that every effort was made to make this show a success, but there were obstacles that could not be overcome," says Blangiardo. To find out the obstacles - and a lot more dish - go to: carolynhinsey.tainteddreamstheseries.com.
Jill Larson Speaks Out On AMC's EndJill Larson (Opal) released a statement about the end of AMC on her Facebook page. Wrote the longtime star, "Greetings all, well I finally got the official call, saying PP is not going forward with AMC 'at this time', left the door open a crack, hmmm! As disappointing as that news is, it was not a surprise. Just as they did the first time, PP chose to remain silent regarding their activities, and now that I've had some experience with them, I do believe that it was because Jeff [Kwatinetz, PP's co-chief] just kept on beating the bushes trying to raise the money, never willing to cry uncle. I am sad for all of us, from Jeff to all of you, but gosh I'm grateful for the chance we had to make something new and wonderful from our beloved shows. Maybe when more fans are computer-savvy, and go online for content as a regular habit, investors will feel comfortable putting money into what was a grand experiment, perhaps ahead of its time, and only time will tell. Take care of yourselves, my lovelies, sending love to you all!"
Prospect Park Now Seeking $125M In ABC Soap Lawsuit(deadline.com) The on-going multi-million legal drama between Prospect Park and ABC over licensed soaps All My Children and One Life To Live looks poised to get much rougher and much pricier. Nearly seven months after Jeff Kwatinetz and former Walt Disney Studios president Rich Frank’s company first filed a breach of contract lawsuit against ABC, their lawyers Wednesday entered an amended complaint in LA Superior Court. One big change is how much money the plaintiffs are seeking. “As a direct and proximate result of ABC’s breaches, Prospect Park has been damaged in an amount to be determined at trial, but including at least $30 million in out-of-pocket losses and/or at least $95 million in lost profits,” says today’s filing. That’s way up from the $25 million the plaintiffs were looking for in April. Claims that ABC called “baseless” then. The now amended suit also includes claims of promissory fraud and declaratory relief and seeks Prospect Park’s continued licensing fee payments to be waived and an extension of that agreement while the case goes on – which could be years.
In addition to previous allegations of dirty dealing on ABC’s part, today’s filing says that the network inked long term agreements with OLTL actors behind the production company’s back. in the hope of creating a new property of its own. “Unbeknownst to Prospect Park, at the same time the ink was drying on the Licensing Agreement granting Prospect Park an exclusive license for OLTL through January 31, 2013, ABC insiders were developing a plan to create a mega-soap through the amalgamation of OLTL and GH, intentionally disregarding Prospect Park’s rights,” the amended complaint adds. This comes on top of the April filing’s claims that ABC has been breaking the licensing agreement, killing off OLTL characters on loan to General Hospital and deliberately attacking Prospect Park’s efforts to continue AMC and OLTL online.
This latest legal move comes amidst speculation that at least one of the shows is going down. AMC cast members recently said on social media that they were told not to anticipate a return from their current hiatus.
Prospect Park is represented in the case by a plethora of LA and Houston-based attorneys led by trial lawyer James Edward Maloney of Texas’ Andrews Kurth. ABC is represented by Jeffrey Valle, Susan Klein and Nuritsa Ksachikyan of LA’s Valle Makoff.
Soap opera 'All My Children' washed up?(latimes.com) It appears to be curtains again for "All My Children," the soap opera that ran four decades on ABC before being canceled, then resurrected as an Internet series.
An actor on the series, Debbi Morgan, announced on Twitter that the show was "officially done" after one season on the Internet. "Thanks for the memories," Morgan tweeted late last week.
Prospect Park, the production company behind the effort to keep the show alive, this week refused to discuss the situation or confirm Morgan's comment.
On Wednesday, lawyers representing Prospect Park filed an amended lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against ABC. The suit claims that the Walt Disney Co.-owned television company undermined its efforts to produce "All My Children" and a second ABC soap, "One Life to Live," for the Internet.
Prospect Park spent $30 million in the last 18 months to re-create "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" after ABC ended long-running daytime dramas in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
Lack of money, the legal battle with ABC and collateral damage to the shows will make it nearly impossible to proceed, people close to the production said.
"At this point, the whole franchise is irreparably damaged," said Jim Maloney, a partner in the Houston, Texas, law firm Andrews Kurth, which is representing Prospect Park.
"Life has become very difficult for Prospect Park, and ABC has done everything that it could to see that Prospect Park failed," Maloney said.
Prospect Park's 33-page suit accuses ABC of promissory fraud and breach of contract. In addition to borrowing "One Life to Live" characters for use on "General Hospital" and then killing some of them in a car crash, ABC also refused to accept advertising from Prospect Park or let the production company use social media or websites to help market the shows, the suit contends.
ABC went so far as to forbid soap stars from appearing on ABC talk shows, Maloney said.
ABC countered that it did nothing wrong, saying in a court filing it had "acted reasonably and in good faith at all times."
On Wednesday, ABC declined to comment further, saying it had not been served with the updated complaint.
Prospect Park had figured that half the TV audience would follow the shows to the Internet, but fewer than one-fifth of the viewership did.
The shows were intended to be used as part of Prospect Park's ambitious effort to create a next-generation online network.
In the summer of 2011, several months after ABC announced it would kill the shows, Prospect Park's chief Jeff Kwatinetz and business partner Rich Frank, a former Disney executive, stepped in and acquired the licensing rights for "All My Children" and "One Life to Live," as well as an option on a third ABC-owned soap, "General Hospital," should ABC cancel the show.
ABC's surviving soap, "General Hospital," remains on the ABC schedule and is enjoying some of its best ratings in years. Maloney contends that ABC turned "General Hospital" into a "mega soap," signing popular actors and borrowing elements from the other shows to boost the show's appeal.
"ABC decided to literally strip-mine the shows for the benefit of 'General Hospital,'" Maloney said. "This happened after ABC came to the conclusion that its new daytime shows were not working."
Prospect Park's Web productions almost didn't get off the ground.
After struggling to get financing in 2012 and tussles with labor unions, Prospect Park received the green light from investors in December 2012, allowing it begin production on the two shows early this year.
Cast and crew members were hired, sets were quickly built and "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" lurched back in to production in February, just in time to meet an ABC-mandated deadline.
The two shows debuted online in April, but then writers struggled to adapt to the new format and speed the pace of the shows to engage online audiences. Late this summer, Prospect Park said it would suspend production on "One Life to Live" while the lawsuit against ABC moved through the courts.
Prospect Park had planned to keep "All My Children" in production in a Connecticut sound stage -- but money apparently ran out.
The news of the apparent demise of "All My Children" comes after ABC's parent company, the Walt Disney Co., alerted cable distributors that it was pulling the plug on SOAPnet, a cable channel it created in 2000 to rerun soap episodes at night when women were home from work.
Instead, Disney has turned its attention on building a replacement channel for preschoolers, Disney Junior, which launched in 2012 and has become a profitable vehicle for the Burbank giant to create new toy franchises.
The End Of AMC & OLTL (Again)(abc.soapsindepth.com) Fans of ALL MY CHILDREN and ONE LIFE TO LIVE were on pins and needles last week as rumors were flying that Prospect Park was due to make a big announcement regarding the future of the two soaps. Unfortunately, while there has been no official word from the company, a source close to actors from the shows tells Soaps In Depth, "It's over." Debbi Morgan (Angie, AMC) essentially confirmed as much when she responded to upset fans on Twitter. "Well we're all pretty much sad now for real since we've definitely been told it's a wrap," she posted. "My manager was given the news that we were officially done by PP's lawyer. Yeah, we've been canceled."
Prospect Park originally bought the rights to AMC and OLTL following their cancelations on ABC, but struggled to bring them to air online immediately following their network runs as originally planned. Fans were elated when financing was eventually secured, cast and crew were hired, sets were built in a studio in Stamford, CT and Hulu.com was set to air the episodes. The OnLine Network originally planned to broadcast daily half-hour episodes, but within weeks, that number was cut back to just two episodes of each soap a week, leading to rumors of production difficulties. Still, both AMC and OLTL were regularly among the top ten most-watched shows on Hulu.com, and many viewers were thrilled to watch as many shows as they were willing to broadcast.
However, while fans assumed the soaps would again be ongoing series, Prospect Park announced in August that both AMC and OLTL would instead have season finales after which production would take a break before beginning a second season. Viewers immediately worried the shows would never return, and after production of OLTL was shelved indefinitely due to the ongoing lawsuit with ABC, it seemed those fears were justified.
And now it seems that this grand experiment to bring the soaps back to life online has come to an unfortunate end. And sadly, because there was no notice or time to plan for the grand finales these venerable soaps deserve, this time they will not be ending with a bang, but with a whimper. And despite returns from the dead being commonplace on soaps, another resurrection for AMC and OLTL seems highly unlikely.
All My Children Dead (Again), Cast Members Say(tvguide.com) All My Children has been reportedly been canceled for a second time.
The long-running soap ended its first online season more than two months ago in the middle of a legal battle between ABC and Prospect Park, the production company which resurrected both All My Children and another recently axed ABC daytime drama, One Life to Live.
Cast member Debbi Morgan was the first to reveal All My Children's sad fate on Nov. 9, when she said her manager was told the show was done by a lawyer representing Prospect Park. "I'm so very sorry 2c U disappointed yet again & believe me we feel the same!!!," she tweeted.
Cast member Cady McClain confirmed Morgan's story and said that, until recently, all involved had been reassured that the show would return. "[We were] very recently contacted and told that, with great regret, AMC won't be going back online this year, or in this particular incarnation," McClain wrote Monday on her Facebook page. "Certainly hope springs eternal that we will yet again, spring from the dead." Soaps In Depth also confirmed the end of All My Children — as well as One Life to Live — with "well-placed" sources. A rep for the series could not immediately be reached for comment.
All My Children, which most famously starred Susan Lucci, was on the air for 42 years before ABC pulled it in September 2011. Prospect Park bought the rights shortly before the broadcast series finale and, after one failed attempt, successfully premiered new episodes of All My Children online in April 2013. The half-hour episodes were available online via YouTube and Hulu, and later began airing on OWN. Although Lucci did not return, many longtime cast members reprised their roles for the series.
Overall, 43 episodes of the resurrected series were produced before the first season via The Online Network ended in September.
This is just one of several hits for soaps fans. The Los Angeles Times reports that cable channel SOAPnet, which is known for airing recent episodes of currently airing daytime dramas such as General Hospital, as well as episodes of now-canceled dramas like Beverly Hills, 90210, will shut down on Dec. 31 after 14 years.
Will you miss All My Children?
Cady McClain Confirms AMC's EndProspect Park still has offered no comment or official statement regarding the fate of AMC, but hot on the heels of Debbi Morgan's (Angie) statements on Twitter revealing that the show will not go on, Cady McClain (Dixie) is speaking out, too. On her Facebook page, the actress released the following statement: "If you aren't hearing anything about the ending of AMC as we know it, it's really out of shock. I am also trying to allow PP to have the moment to contact all the actors and explain what is and has been going on with AMC, and then gather themselves to try and explain it all to you, the fans.
I can confirm what Debbie [sic] Morgan has shared already, that we were given assurances that we would be continuing with the series and then were very recently contacted and told that, with great regret, AMC won't be going back online this year, or in this particular incarnation. Certainly hope springs eternal that we will yet again, spring from the dead.
I do feel confident in sharing my opinion that PP and all 'the powers that be' involved in making AMC and OLTL truly loved the shows and did their utmost to make continuing them possible. The premiere in NYC was one of the most exciting moments I have had the privilege to be a part of in my career. I am not privy to the behind the scenes decisions, however. Like you, I can only experience those choices second hand and guess at the reasons why this is happening now.
Instead of going into the 'What Went Wrong' question, I think I'd rather focus on the gratitude I feel for having been asked to continue with the show. If I am still wanted as an actor on daytime, it is all because of YOU, the FANS.
I am so very grateful for your support. To have had the opportunity to be a part of an innovative experience that strived to keep American soaps alive via a new medium, to be a part of the continuing fabric of your lives through daytime storytelling, and to be able to work with dear friends who I've known all my life was a very special experience for which I have you to thank.
So THANK YOU for all the cheering, love, and support, daytime family. You've been AWESOME."
Debbi Morgan On AMC's Fate: "I'm So Very Sorry"While no official word has come from Prospect Park regarding whether AMC will return for a second season, Debbi Morgan (Angie) has tweeted several comments that seem to support the rumor that the show is done. "I guess what really hurts my gut R all the positive proclamations I gave 2 all of U that we'd definitely [be] coming back," she wrote. "Bcuz those were the earnest proclamations we'd been given! I'm so very sorry2 2c U disappointed yet again & believe me we feel the same!!! Thanks 4 all the support & luv U gave hoping this would work. We never know what's in God's plan. I do know there's always a bigger picture! Thanks For The Memories..."
Susan Lucci: My New York(nypost.com) Susan Lucci grew up in Garden City, Long Island, but she fell in love with Manhattan when she got the job of a lifetime in 1970: playing the iconic Erica Kane on the long-running soap opera “All My Children.” Lucci would study her lines in the car on the way to the show’s Upper West Side studio only putting down her script to gaze at the skyline through Central Park. Today, she’s back living in Garden City and filming in Manhattan — her Investigation Discovery series “Deadly Affairs,” which just premiered its second season. This is her New York.
1. Cafe Sabarsky in the Neue Galerie, 1048 Fifth Ave., between 85th and 86th streets
“My husband is Austrian, so when he’s feeling a little homesick, we go here, and it’s like being in Vienna for the afternoon. The quark is very authentic — it’s like a cheesecake, but that does not begin to do it justice. It’s so light and has a lemon taste to it. Last November, we were trying to squeeze in a trip to Paris, but we had so many commitments and we couldn’t get away. So we checked into the St. Regis — we didn’t tell anyone except our children. We went to a French restaurant to feel like we were in France and Cafe Sabarsky to feel like we were in Austria. It was like being in Europe for the weekend, and we had the best time.”
2. The Al Hirschfeld Theatre, 302. W. 45th St., between Eighth and Ninth avenues
“We try to see a Broadway show a couple times a month. We mostly go to musicals. I grew up loving Broadway musicals. I’d put on my parents’ cast albums and stand on the stool and sing in the mirror. One of the first ones was ‘Damn Yankees.’ I was about 3 years old. The last show I saw was ‘Kinky Boots.’ Oh, I thought it was fabulous.”
3. Central Park, 110th Street and Central Park North
“For most of my adult life, I drove through Central Park every morning going to work. I’d enter at the North Drive, at 110th Street. I was always studying on my way in, but the minute we turned into the park, no matter where I was in the script, I’d put it down. Central Park is one of the treasures of this country — the light, the landscaping, the people. I just can’t say enough about it. My very favorite season there is spring. After the long winters in New York, you see green buds and weeping willows, forsythia coming out and daffodils poking through. I’ve also filmed in the park, and my husband and I have gone on a gondola ride in the lake. It’s just magical.”
4. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave., at 82nd Street
“I have great memories of taking my children to the Met. They would say, ‘Can we take a later train home?’ They love the Egyptian wing and all the mummies. And I love the café. I’m looking forward to going there for jazz nights this fall.”
5. Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Ave., at 58th Street
“Bergdorf’s has it all! I go to the seventh floor for inspiration. I just walk around and look at the table settings and accessories — they’re so beautiful. I bought a fabulous black-and-white photograph there for my husband for our anniversary. It’s from a Harper’s Bazaar layout in the ’60s. It’s a man and woman, and he’s lighting her cigarette with his. I thought it was sexy and fabulous. It reminded me of when we first met.”
6. Campagnola, 1382 First Ave., at 74th Street
“If a Martian came from outer space and wanted to experience a real New York Italian restaurant, they would go to Campagnola. You’ve got Freddie (below) playing the piano when you walk in, they’re four deep at the bar, there’s a wooden floor — it’s so cozy. We’ve taken our son, and now he takes his friends. For us, it’s more of a dinner place, and they serve late, so we’ve gone after the theater, on the way home. There are so many colorful characters there: politicians, ballplayers, Wall Street bankers and actors.”
7. Barneys, 660 Madison Ave., at 61st Street
“There’s a very New York vibe, and you feel that the minute you’re in the store. They curate their collection of jewelry so well. Everything is cutting-edge, and I love that about Barneys. I have done some damage in that shoe department, too — my husband will tell you! He is not a shopper, he hates to shop. So he ushers me through as quickly as possible, then we go for lunch at Fred’s.”
8. The Frick Collection, 1 E. 70th St., between Madison and Fifth avenues
“I went for the first time two years ago with my college roommate and her husband when they came up from Washington, DC. The fact that it was a private home, it feels so accessible and personal — you get to see the Monets and the Rembrandts in an environment that feels like a home. We had the best time and then, after that, we went Christmas shopping for our daughters and stopped at a pashmina cart, and bought a bunch of them.”
9. Gramercy Tavern, 42 E. 20th St., at Park Avenue South
“When I was getting ready to appear in ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ in 1999, my voice teacher was on 16th Street. After my lessons, my husband and I started going to Gramery Tavern quite often, and we just love it. The pastry chef is fantastic. I try everything she makes!”
Maiden season of Internet soap operas yields vital lessons, says company co-founder Jeffrey Kwatinetz(nydailynews.com) The pioneering first online seasons of the soaps “One Life to Live” and “All My Children” are wrapping up, with the producers saying that, as expected, they learned some lessons.
The season’s last original episode of “One Life to Live” airs Monday, with the season’s last original “All My Children” on Sept. 2.
The Prospect Park production company’s The Online Network (TOLN) says both will return at an unspecified date for a second season. The network says both have been successful enough for to justify continuing.
“We have tackled more business, creative and logistical challenges than most shows experience in a lifetime of production,” said Prospect Park co-founder Jeffrey Kwatinetz.
Reviving two canceled soaps with most of the casts intact was unprecedented — as was the gamble in producing them only for the Internet.
Kwatinetz and his partner Rich Frank said they expected to make adjustments on the fly, and the biggest one came a couple of weeks into the season, when the number of shows per week for each program was cut from four to two.
Since the shows run a half hour, this means only an hour a week of new programming.
In a statement, Frank and Kwatinetz said that’s all that most of the online audience had time to watch.
“We are finding that asking most people to regularly watch more than a half hour per day online seems to be too much,” they said.
They promised next season will have extra content and more interactivity.
As for this season’s wrapups, “One Life to Live” ends with the whole town of Llanview attending the Man of the Year dinner. “All My Children,” the producers say, will end by “wrapping up many of the season’s burning questions.”
Susan Lucci Cried Tears Of Joy Over 'All My Children' Lesbian Storyline(ontopmag.com) Susan Lucci has said that she cried tears of joy when she learned of a lesbian storyline involving her television daughter on the ABC soap All My Children.
On the show, Bianca Montgomery (played by Eden Riegel) came out gay to her mother, Erica Kane (Lucci), in late 2000.
Appearing on cabler Bravo's Watch What Happens Live, Lucci was asked how she felt about the storyline.
“The storyline was presented to me by our executive producer at that time. She called me into her office and we both just sat there with tears because it sounded like it was going to be such a great storyline, and it was,” Lucci said. “She told me that a lot of gay kids, and even gays in their 20s, they would rather commit suicide than come out to their parents. And I thought to myself, 'Oh my god, if I can be part of a storyline here that would help one person feel good about themselves, and be who they really are, and know that their parents can love them anyway – they just have to be themselves. I was thrilled to be part of it.”
“That storyline really had a lot of impact, I'm very proud and happy to say,” she added.
'Fruitvale Station' Duo Ryan Coogler And Michael B. Jordan Team With Sly Stallone On MGM 'Rocky' Spinoff 'Creed'(deadline.com) MGM is setting Ryan Coogler to direct Creed, and the studio is in early talks with Coogler’s Fruitvale Station star Michael B. Jordan (ex-Reggie, All My Children) to play the grandson of Apollo Creed in a continuation of the Rocky saga that Coogler is going to write with Aaron Covington. Sylvester Stallone will reprise Rocky Balboa as a retired fighter-turned-trainer. This comes in the wake of a strong summer platform opening for Fruitvale Station, the film that won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Awards at Sundance, and captured Prize Of The Future at the Cannes Film Festival, where Coogler and Jordan were the toast of the Croisette. Coogler intends for this to be his directorial follow-up to Fruitvale Station so the intention is to make it happen quickly.
Now, I know the knee-jerk reaction is to say it’s hard to get excited about what amounts to the seventh film in the Rocky series. This feels different to me, mostly because of how it came together. Much the same way that Coogler burned with the desire to tell the tragic story of Oscar Grant in his feature debut and begged Jordan to play the role in the $900,000 budget film, this whole idea also came from Coogler. When he signed with WME, Coogler identified Creed as a dream project. While Coogler already had the relationship with Jordan, the agency put him together with Stallone. Stallone, who is right now heavily involved in a stage musical transfer of his original Oscar-winning 1976 film Rocky, loved the idea and felt it was strong enough for him to bring back his signature screen character. Stallone and Coogler then approached MGM’s Gary Barber and Jon Glickman, and they flipped for it. The film will be produced by Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff, who produced the original, along with Stallone and Kevin King.
The intention is for Jordan to play the grandson of Apollo Creed (played in the early movies by Carl Weathers). Raised in an upper-crust home thanks to the ring riches earned by his grandfather, the young man doesn’t have to box and his family doesn’t want him to. Yet, he has the natural instinct and gifts and potential that made his grandfather the heavyweight champion until Rocky Balboa took his crown in 1979's Rocky II. Creed’s grandson needs a mentor and turns to Balboa, who is out of boxing completely and not eager to return.
Balboa was Creed’s father’s greatest opponent and later his best friend until that fateful moment when Balboa heeded Creed’s wishes and didn’t stop the fight against the Soviet fighter Drago (played by Dolph Lungdren in 1985's Rocky IV) before the giant delivered what proved to be a fatal beating.
What is intriguing is how Coogler intends to plug back into the mythology of the first three Rocky films, which were the best ones, and then move the story forward. Jordan seems perfect for the role, given his charisma and intensity, and the fact he’s a natural athlete and was a most convincing quarterback in the final seasons of Friday Night Lights. Coogler played college football on a scholarship as a wide receiver, so he has a background in jock culture. The deal is being finalized by WME, which reps Coogler, Jordan and Stallone. Jordan is managed by The Schiff Company and lawyered by Gregory Slewett.
Agnes Nixon Fast Facts(CNN) Here's a look at the life of Agnes Nixon, creator of "All My Children" and "One Life to Live".
Birth date: December 10, 1927
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
Birth name: Agnes Eckhardt
Father: Harry Joseph Eckhardt, owner of Perfection Burial Garment Company
Mother: Agnes Patricia (nee Dalton) Eckhardt, bookkeeper
Marriages: Robert Nixon (April 6, 1951-November 22, 1996 his death)
Children: Catherine Agnes, Mary Frances, Robert Henry, Emily Anne
Education: Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois (1940-1944)
Agnes Nixon grew up in Nashville, Tennessee.
Known as the "Queen of Soap Opera writing", she has nine Daytime Emmy writing nominations and four wins between her two shows "All My Children" and "One Life to Live", and a Lifetime Achievement award.
Her storylines often include socially conscious topics of the time, such as uterine cancer and Pap smears, racial identity, interracial relationships, abuse and abortion.
She created roles specifically for these actors: Laurence Fishburne, Tommy Lee Jones, and Tom Berenger on "One Life to Live".
She patterned her soap opera cities after an area in Philadelphia known as the "Main Line."
Nixon was one of the early writers on "The Guiding Light" (1953-2009), the longest running soap opera in history.
The character Agnes Eckhardt appears on both "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" played by Nixon. She also played the characters Agnes Dixon on "One Life to Live" and Aggie on "All My Children".
The production company Prospect Park teamed up with Apple and Hulu, to save "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" by making both shows available through the internet.
1944 - After college Nixon begins writing for radio soap opera, 'Woman in White".
1950 - She relocates to New York and begins freelancing for live television primetime broadcasts.
1951 - Writes for 13 weeks for daytime television as head writer for the soap opera "Search for Tomorrow" (1951-1986)
1952-1954 - Writes for primetime drama "Robert Montgomery Presents" (1950-1957)
1957-1959 - Nixon writes for the soap "As the World Turns" (1958-1978)
1959-1965 - Head writer on "The Guiding Light".
1965-1967 - Becomes head writer for "Another World" (1964-1999) another soap opera.
July 15, 1968 - Nixon's creation "One Life to Live" debuts and she's head writer.
January 5, 1970 - Another Nixon creation debuts, "All My Children" also with her as head writer.
June 26, 1983 - The soap opera "Loving" (1983-1995) premieres. Nixon is co-creator with Douglas Marland.
1988 - Wins Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series Writing Team for "All My Children".
June 25, 1994 - Nixon, the first female writer, is inducted into the Soap Opera Hall of Fame.
November 1995 - "The City" (1995-1997), created by Nixon, James H. Brown and Barbara Esensten, picks up where "Loving" left off.
1996-1998 - Wins Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series Writing Team for "All My Children".
January 11, 2005 - Agnes Eckhardt's first appearance on "All My Children".
July 21-22, 2008 - Agnes Eckhardt's first appearance on "One Life to Live".
May 12, 2010 - The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announces Nixon as the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
April 14, 2011 - ABC announces the cancellation of "One Life to Live" as of January 2012. "All My Children" is also being canceled.
June 30, 2011 - ABC announces "All My Children" will air the final episode on Friday, September 23, 2011.
January 13, 2012 - "One Life to Live" airs its final television episode.
April 29, 2013 - "One Life to Live" and "All My Children" come back to life airing twice weekly online at Hulu and Apple's iTunes. Nixon is the creator of the new "All My Children"
June 6, 2013 - Labor union problems with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) forces both shows into summer hiatus two weeks early.
Final Month on ABC RecapRecap of the final month of All My Children on ABC: Read it here!
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