‘Hotel Transylvania: Transformania’ Heads To The Fall


June 18, 2021 2:08pm


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Update: Sony is moving their fourthquel to Oct. 1. The pic was slated to go this summer on July 23. Some of this could very well have to do with the fact that the domestic marketplace isn’t fully back yet: Portions of Canada are still closed and capacity restrictions average around 66%, this despite the fact that LA and NYC are at 100% this weekend. The studio just tried to open Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway which they kept safe for a pure theatrical release during the pandemic, however, families didn’t rush out to see it with the sequel opening to $10.1M. Peter Rabbit 2 has already done $58M abroad.

Hotel Transylvania: Transformania moves off a very busy weekend where Universal’s M. Night Shyamalan thriller Old is squaring off with Paramount’s Snake Eyes among major studio fare. Transformania moves to a weekend where Warner Bros./HBO has Legendary’s Dune, but also a place where United Artists Releasing has MGM’s The Addams Family 2. Yikes, will Transformania move again?

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Hotel Transylvania is a prized franchise by the Culver City lot having earned $1.3 billion.

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Previous April 9: Sony’s Hotel Transylvania: Transformania aka Hotel Transylvania 4 will now open on July 23 instead of Aug. 6.

More and more studios are taking advantage of the gaps in the summer theatrical release calendar. Hotel Transylvania: Transformania moves off a weekend where it was against Warner Bros./HBO Max’s R-rated The Suicide Squad on Aug. 6 to a new weekend where it’s up against Universal’s M. Night Shyamalan’s Old. In its new slot, the Sony Animated pic is in a position to open the weekend before Disney’s Dwyane Johnson movie Jungle Cruise. Hotel Transylvania: Transformania is also set to open the weekend after Warner Bros./HBO Max’s July 16 family release Space Jam: A New Legacy, and Sony’s own Cinderella. 

The movie is the final chapter in Sony Pictures Animation’s $1.3 billion film franchise which has spawned three movies beginning in 2012. The fourthquel is being directed by Jennifer Kluska and Derek Drymon, written by Genndy Tartakovsky, produced by Alice Dewey Goldstone and executive produced by Selena Gomez, Genndy Tartakovsky and Michelle Murdocca.

Sony Pictures recently announced it is opening its first theme and water park with Amazon Falls, Aquaverse, in the seaside town of Bangsaray, Thailand. The theme park will feature a Hotel Transylvania Kid-Friendly Zone, set to be one of the park’s biggest attractions with over 100 water features, splash buckets, water rockets and more.


Dwayne Barnes: The Mixed Emotions Of Embracing Juneteenth As Independence Day For African Americans – Guest Column


June 18, 2021 1:45pm

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Editors note: Actor Dwayne Barnes writes occasional columns here at Deadline and today he confronts his mixed feelings that come with the official holiday status of Juneteenth.

Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. It stated that all enslaved people in the Confederate states “Shall be then, and henceforth forever free.” However, this didn’t instantly come into reality. It took two more years; troops had to go and take control of the state to ensure that just as the proclamation stated, “all enslaved people were free.”

Courtesy photo

That day was June 19, 1865, or Juneteenth, when slaves officially wiped the sweat off their brows and walked away from slavery and into freedom land.

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Honestly, I’ve never celebrated Juneteenth. Blame it on my ignorance and growing up in a public school system that didn’t see fit to educate us on our actual African American Independence Day significance.

In my predominately African American community filled with many generational remnants of slavery, we solely focused on the nationally recognized holiday that celebrated America’s Independence from Britain: the 4th of July. We didn’t know any better and didn’t have the education, the guidance, or the understanding. As a result, we emulated much of the behaviors of our enslavers.

I’m thankful those days are continually shifting. We have seen many films and TV series as of late and of past depicting historical portrayals of the African American community’s horrendous journeys of slavery and other subjugations. I have stretched and grown from the knowledge, insight, and grueling terror of them all. I feel where my academic life fell short in educating me on the atrocities of my ancestral journey, the entertainment media has victoriously won.

These creative re-tellings have served as an essential process in our healing as a community. I’ve learned in therapy that to release traumas, one must go back and look at the pain, feel the pain, accept the pain to heal the pain. I agree with that. The creative efforts of many fine writers and directors have assisted me in powerful ways to understand just what the African American community endured.

However, at present, I must admit it’s also been a crushing challenge for me to personally heal after having lived a life of such intense personal trauma myself when I’m constantly seeing the barrage of traumatizing historical and present-day content.

I’m not judging anyone, nor their creative expressions. As an actor, I have participated in hard-to-watch content myself. Each man must tell the story that sings in their heart. I’m a big supporter of that. I’m simply stating my truth and my dream. My brother recently told me he felt I was too sensitive. So, these are words coming from a too sensitive man’s perspective. They are not the words of a defector of the cause of the fight for racial justice: a battle that I live to see won.

I love that our gripping survival stories are continuously shared. However, the emotional triggering that I am having from the news media, film, and TV constantly showcasing our atrocities could also be an inner alarm. It could be a moment for me to look at how it may be a time to look beyond my personal pain-body story. Is it time for me to focus on my freedom and ways to enjoy and relish in that a tad more? If not, the joy of life will continue to be coated by the stains of my past. And from the looks of things, these stories may last forever, so maybe that’s just the African American’s life fate. Will the rest of my existence be filled with images of my past and present demons? A sad but possible question I ponder daily.

I love all of the nuances to the African American lifeline. We have had massive achievements in every field there is. However, I would love to see more of a balance in content presented, representing all African Americans’ truths, showcasing our strength and resilience while being oppressed. Also, our successes and greatness all while being free. This concept of balance would provide more room to have a breathable view of reality and offer me the excitement to truly celebrate our freedom and the continued possibility of my freedom.

I will personally grapple with this dilemma. How can I genuinely celebrate freedom when I’m constantly witnessing the toxic, ignorant, and vile individuals via the media who aren’t intelligent enough to accept the reality of being human? That we are all equal and we are all free. Is seeing this barrage of historical and modern-day hate serving me or subconsciously defeating me? I’m sorry, but I don’t want to keep seeing their faces and taking in their disturbing negative energy. It deeply disturbs me, but I firmly accept its importance as well.

To me, with all that’s happening globally, from all of the disturbing racial life events, it feels as if we are more on probation than free.

I’m not saying that I want to forget, ignore, or even neglect the past, but I also want to continuously remind myself to celebrate the beauty of the present and the hope of the future.

The definition of probation states the release of an offender from detention, subject to a period of good behavior under supervision. As we’ve seen time and time again, one never knows when an African Americans’ sheer human tendency of making a traffic error may cost us our lives under the supervision of oppression. Our shameful truth. And these displays are what seem to be the most relevant thing that appears to engage audiences. They keep many of us triggered, angered, and afraid.

Unfortunately, it all reminds me of the wildfires that break out in California and throughout the world: One never knows when the fire of racism will rear its head and how much damage it will do.

Please hear me. I am so excited that we powerfully see what’s under America’s blood-red carpet as a society; e are witnessing over and over again the filth that’s underneath. Yet, we are also visibly seeing that change is slowly but surely happening, bringing me joy. I pray and crave for the healing from our collective PTSD. How will that happen, and will it happen in a way that makes me comfortable? Only God knows.

I’m not saying that I want to forget, ignore, or even neglect the past, but I also want to continuously remind myself to celebrate the beauty of the present and the hope of the future.

Like, yesterday, President Biden officially signed into law that Juneteenth is now an official holiday. A reason to celebrate. A reason to feel a sense of freedom, not probation.

I look forward to experiencing more roads to freedom. I applaud our new official holiday, June 19, Juneteenth, African American Independence Day.

Robin Thede Bluntly Wants Hollywood To Know Equity Is The Key, Execs Need To Do A Lot More Than Check The Diversity Box – ATX


June 18, 2021 1:39pm

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On the day that America officially recognizes Juneteenth for the first time as a federal holiday, A Black Lady Sketch Show’s Robin Thede made it very clear that she has no time for whiners, and that Hollywood shouldn’t be so quick to pat itself on the back while there is still a very long way to go when it comes to race and representation in this country and the media industries.

“Don’t tell me that there is no room for white men in this industry, when you can’t even treat the people who are now just getting a sliver of more opportunities like they’re not an other, the creator, showrunner and star of the HBO comedy series said today at the annual ATX Festival. “We aren’t still being seen as full human yet …we’re still being seen as other and less than, and even by, and here’s the controversial part, even by people who are the ones giving us the opportunities sometimes,” Thede added.

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Pulling back the veil on the resentment and entitlement many still have underneath good intentions and progressive platitudes, Thede didn’t quite name names, but the barrier breaker went sharp on the big picture.

“No one is sitting here saying please just give us a show because now you have to look like you care about Black people or Gay people or older people, or whatever,” the ex-Rundown host bluntly said of Tinseltown box checking. “We’re saying our stories have the same amount of value and we’re literally telling the industry that you have to begin to value our stories, even if they’re not your own. And you have to get out of the way and let us make them. Let us tell those stories and let us make those stories so that the audience can begin to see themselves reflected in film and TV, and so that they can see a clear path if they do want to get in this industry.”

“Everyone from assistants to executives need to have opportunity where it is not about equality it’s not about diversity or inclusion, even though those are not bad words, they can be misused, it’s about equity,” Thede made clear on Friday’s Showrunners State of the Union panel.

“I think that whenever we have conversations in this industry, whether we are talking about writers or directors, producers, etc, that we tend to get really micro, instead of pulling back and getting more macro and then zooming in,” noted fellow panelist Steven Canals. “We need more gatekeepers who look like us,” the Pose showrunner and co-creator said. “The reality is I am still typically in rooms that are mostly male, mostly white, mostly straight, mostly cis,” Canal added. “Collectively, we could write a million scripts, if they are not being greenlighted, it doesn’t really matter.”

Along with self-declared “huge fan of television” Thede and Canals, today’s very much live and virtual panel also featured The Walking Dead’s Angela Kang, Loki head writer and EP Michael Waldron and black-ish’s Courtney Lilly.

The Avengers-like gathering of series leaders comes as TWD prepares to launch its 11th and final season later this summer, the Emmy-winning Pose has just concluded its third and final cycle earlier this month, and the ABC airing Kenya Barris-created sitcom is heading towards its eighth and last season premiering later this year. The Tom Hiddleston-led Loki debuted on Disney+ to big streaming numbers last week and ABLSS started its second season on HBO on April 23.

With FX’s LGBTQ and non-conforming drag ball culture-set series now done, Canals revealed Friday the stereotyping and narrowcasting he is experiencing right now as he looks at future projects. “I feel like once you’ve done one type of story, that everyone thinks you can only do that,’ the EP stated. Right now, I’m in a place where we just wrapped Pose and the only thing coming across my desk are like queer musicals or musicals period. I can do other things, I can tell other stories.”

“My biggest concern about these kinds of conversations is that we are still otherizing folks from historically marginalized communities,’ Canals said earlier in the equally broad and specific panel. “When you look at all the diversity programs, you end up being seen as just a diversity hire. And, it’s like ‘No, it doesn’t matter what my race or ethnicity, or my class or my orientation or my gender is, I’m also a quality writer just like everybody else, just like my other contemporaries in the room, but those folks aren’t being treated that way.”

The frequently forthright Thede is actually a vet of ATX’s Showrunners State of the Union shindig. The former The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore head writer participated in last year’s showrunners panel. That 2020 panel saw Grace & Frankie & Friends’ Marta Kauffman, Legacies’ Julie Plec and Dead to Me’s Liz Feldman with Thede in what was a virtual panel during some of the worst months of the coronavirus pandemic.

This year, ATX runs until June 20.

Tom Spezialy Inks Overall Deal With Amazon Studios, Joins Marvel Series ‘Silk’ As Showrunner


June 18, 2021 1:30pm

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Courtesy of HBO/Marvel

EXCLUSIVE: Tom Spezialy, coming off a run as an executive producer on HBO’s Emmy-winning limited series Watchmen, has signed an overall deal with Amazon Studios. Under the pact, I hear Spezialy has joined Silk, Sony Pictures Television’s upcoming live-action Marvel series, which reportedly is headed to Amazon’s Prime Video as SVOD distributor. Reps for Amazon and Sony declined comment.


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I hear Spezialy will serve as executive producer/showrunner on the series alongside executive producer Lauren Moon, a writer on Sony TV’s Netflix series Atypical, who wrote the Silk TV adaptation based on the Korean-American comic book superhero, created by Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos.

Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse’s Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who oversee Sony’s suite of TV series based on Sony’s Universe of Marvel characters, executive produce Silk with Spider-Man franchise producer Amy Pascal.

As executive producer of another comic book TV adaptation, Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen, Spezialy shared in the show’s Outstanding Limited Series Emmy Award. He also co-created Starz’s Ash vs Evil Dead and executive produced The Leftovers, Desperate Housewives, Reaper and Dead Like Me. He is repped by Manage-ment and Jackoway Austen Tyerman.

Silk (aka Cindy Moon) first appeared as a faceless cameo in Marvel Comics’ The Amazing Spider-Man #1 in April 2014. She was part of the new Agents of Atlas team, which debuted in a War of the Realms tie-in and later got their own five-issue limited series. A new Silk ongoing series by writer Maruene Goo and artist Takeshi Miyazawa was set to be published in July 2020 but was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was released in March 2021.

The character has been portrayed by Tiffany Espensen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Pacific Theatres Files For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy


June 18, 2021 1:13pm

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Pacific Theatres Exhibition Corporation, which includes Arclight Cinemas, is really not set to reopen anytime soon. The exhibition company released a statement today that they’re filing Chapter 7 in order to liquidate their assets for creditors.

We hear that “the assets” which this bankruptcy pertains is the equipment, seats, projectors, and popcorn machines as the all the Arclight and Pacific locations, except for the Arclight Hollywood and Cinerama Dome which is owned by a different company. Also include in the filing is the Winnetka Pacific Theatres location in Chatsworth, CA which Pacific owns.

As we previously reported, AMC is closing on a deal to take on the leases of Pacific’s multiplexes at The Grove in Los Angeles and The Americana in Glendale, CA; both Caruso owned properties. Movie theater showtime sites began listing AMC Grove and AMC Americana earlier this week; those were promptly pulled down with Caruso and AMC providing no statement as to what occurred. Still no word who is getting the other leases, in particular the Sherman Oaks, which is typically one of the top-ten grossing cinemas in the United States. AMC CEO Adam Aron said publicly that he was making a go at the Arclight properties, but we’ve heard others are in the mix, i.e. Cinemark, Cinepolis.

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Many of those in distribution circles believe that the Cinerama Dome/Hollywood Arclight will eventually reopen, it’s just a question of when and this news of Chapter 7 just provides more grey clouds as it’s clear Pacific will not be reorganizing. We’ll update you with more details as we learn more about the bankruptcy.

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Here’s Pacific’s statement:

After a year of the pandemic’s devastating effect, Pacific Theatres Exhibition Corporation announced in April that it would not reopen its ArcLight Cinemas and Pacific Theatres locations. Having taken steps to wind down the business, the company today is seeking protection under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code in order to liquidate its remaining assets for the benefit of its creditors.

We are deeply grateful to our employees, our guests, and the film community for coming together over the past decades to create so many wonderful moviegoing experiences. We are overwhelmed by the extraordinary outpouring of memories. Thank you for sharing these with us.

We will miss you all.



Joe Biden Marks Milestone Of 300 Million Covid-19 Shots, But White House May Not Reach July 4 Goal


June 18, 2021 12:53pm

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President Joe Biden speaks about reaching 300 million COVID-19 vaccination shots, in the State Dining Room of the White House on Friday.
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden marked a milestone in combating Covid-19 on Friday, with 300 million shots administered within his 150 days in office.

But there are increasing doubts that the White House will be able to reach a goal it set for July 4: 70% of adults with at least one shot.

In brief remarks, Biden said that the administration made tremendous strides since he took office, with not enough vaccine supply nor an adequate system set up for mass distribution.

“We turned it around together by acting quickly and aggressively and equitably,” Biden said.

But he warned that areas with lower vaccination levels risk getting the virus. There has been a major drop in cases and hospitalizations across the country, but warned that there has been an increase in some places. One concern has been the spread of a variant of the virus. Biden said that although he doesn’t think there will be a need for another lockdown, the delta variant  “can cause more people to die in areas where people have not been vaccinated.”

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According to the White House, 65% of adults Americans have at least one shot; 55% are fully vaccinated. The New York Times reported on Friday that at the current rate, the Biden administration would fall just short of its July 4 goal. Even though the difference may not be significant for public health, Biden had set the goal as a cause for celebration, particularly as states ease restrictions and fully reopen. The Independence Day celebrations will still happen, as Biden touted the administration’s ability to get the virus under control.

“We’ve gotten 300 million shots in the arms of Americans in 150 days, months ahead of what most anyone thought was possible when we started,” Biden said.

Biden also was asked what he thought of a move by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to create a statement on Communion. It is triggered by conservative clergy who don’t believe Biden should receive Communion because of his stance in favor of abortion rights, even though the president regularly attends Mass.

“That’s a private matter, and I don’t think that is going to happen,” Biden said.

In creating their statement, which will be aimed at public officials and the Eucharist, the bishops also may have to contend with a myriad of issues, such as whether a conservative politician who favors the death penalty, which the church has long opposed, also should still receive Communion.

Kyle Dean Massey Drops Out Of Broadway’s ‘Company’


June 18, 2021 12:51pm

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Kyle Dean Massey
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Kyle Dean Massey has announced that he will not return to the Broadway revival of Company when it resumes performances post-shutdown this December.

In a since-expired Instagram story, Massey, who, with husband Taylor Frey is expecting the couple’s first child this fall, wrote that he feels “very sad about withdrawing” from the Sondheim musical, but “I will be getting something pretty spectacular in return.”

“I loved getting to work with the entire group of creatives, actors, musicians and crew,” Massey wrote. “But as you may be aware, Taylor and I are expecting our first child this fall and I want to be 100% present for that.”

(L-R) Katrina Lenk as Bobbie, Claybourne Elder as Andy, Kyle Dean Massey as Theo, and Bobby Conte Thornton as P.J.

Company, the Marianne Elliott-directed revival of the classic Stephen Sondheim-George Furth musical starring Katrina Lenk and Patti LuPone, will resume performances at Broadway’s Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on Dec. 20, with an official opening on Jan. 9.

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Prior to Broadway’s Covid shutdown in March 2020, Massey played the role of Theo in the then-previewing production of Company, which switches the genders of some characters. In the original version, the Theo character was named Kathy.

Massey’s decision is not entirely unexpected. The former Nashville actor, who co-owns a California-based assisted reproductive technology company with his husband, spoke to Deadline for a three-part Covid-era oral history of the Company production, saying that even before the shutdown he had been focusing on the couple’s business. “The Broadway show was kind of already a side thing,” Massey said.

Both Lenk and LuPone have confirmed that they will return with the production. Full casting has not been announced, but the revival’s original cast has largely been expected to return, including Christopher Fitzgerald, Christopher Sieber, Jennifer Simard, Matt Doyle, Terence Archie, Etai Benson, Nikki Renée Daniels, Claybourne Elder, Greg Hildreth, Rashidra Scott and Bobby Conte Thornton.

A replacement for Massey has not been announced.

Media Banker Aryeh Bourkoff Calls Audio More Valuable Than Video, Says Sticking It Out In NYC During Covid Helped Him Score M&A Deals


June 18, 2021 12:24pm

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Aryeh Bourkoff, founder and CEO of independent investment bank LionTree said audio is looking more attractive than video these days as consumers are a bit tapped out on TV.

People have 11 hours a day to spend on leisure time, he insisted during a Q&A at the Tribeca Festival Friday, and if that’s mostly video it’s a problem. “We have gone overboard on video streaming, which is why the rise of audio has happened. We think audio is more valuable these days than video,” he told moderator Stephanie Ruhle during TribecaX, a session that looks at business and entertainment.

The MSNBC anchor — and audience members on a rooftop in downtown Manhattan — were incredulous at the 11-hours stat, but took his point — podcasting has really exploded. “The ear is mightier than the eye” right now, he said.

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Bankers are in business to do deals and LionTree is involved in many. Bourkoff, a former longtime UBS media banker, implied more will come in media. DTC is great and growing but requires bulk and innovation or consumers will “churn out.” Streaming companies have to keep growing, adding gaming and other services to keep people engaged. But companies should be careful how they do it.

“If you look at the S&P 500, most companies do one thing well and very few companies do more than one thing well. So conglomerates don’t do well,” he said.

Giant AT&T discovered that, hence the telco’s $43 billion deal last month to unload WarnerMedia only three years after buying it. In a spate of dealmaking, Amazon soon after acquired MGM for $8.45 billion.

Bourkoff has no shortage of clients but said LionsTree’s work on both of those deals — he repped AT&T in the WarnerMedia/Discovery deal and MGM in its sale to Amazon — others opportunities were facilitated by something unexpected – staying put in New York when many of his financial colleagues fled (Florida was popular). He forged connections and found ways to set up in-person one-on-one meetings with clients during the pandemic.

“My family history has dealt with reasons to flee based on persecution. You don’t flee … when the city actually needs people to stay put and have resolve, and especially if you have a company and employees who are looking to you. I felt the city of New York was never going to be down for long,” Bourkoff said.

“We called everybody to make sure all our media, telecom clients were doing well. Great conversations, first remotely, and then we said we have a safe place we can talk. A safe space, like the NBA bubble, we can get tested. I heard for six months, ‘You are my first meeting.’”

“It felt like a bond, meeting in the middle of a pandemic and talking about things that would happen after. The in-person meetings were a differentiator when everyone else was at home.”

‘Rat In The Kitchen’: Crew Of ITV America’s TBS Cooking Competition Strike Over Healthcare Benefits


June 18, 2021 11:50am


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Elisabeth Caren

A handful of crew of TBS’ upcoming cooking competition series Rat In The Kitchen have gone on strike over healthcare benefits.

The series, which is produced by ITV America’s Thinkfactory Media, has been shooting in Atlanta, Georgia, but certain members of the IATSE crew downed tools this week.

They say that they are not being provided healthcare benefits. Crew stood down on Thursday saying that producers have been “unresponsive” for requests for recognition. It’s thought that the crew is a mix of ITV America staff and folk from the Warner-owned studio complex.

We understand that around 10% of staff are striking but production is continuing.

The series, which is based on a buzzy British format, is fronted by Natasha Leggero. The ten-part series, which also features celebrity chef Ludo Lefebvre as a judge, follows a group of cooks competing to win a cash prize across a series of challenges. However, all the while, one of them is trying to sabotage their efforts – the rat in the kitchen.

It is a whodunit cooking format and a game of high stakes cat and mouse where viewers get to play detective. In each episode, a mix of professional chefs and home cooks compete in a series of cooking challenges, earning cash in their bank for every dish that impresses Chef Ludo. But they’ll have to avert the meddling of an undercover mole (the rat) determined to sabotage the dishes and undermine their chances at victory. The stakes: if the rat avoids detection, he/she wins big money. But, if found out, the rat will have to hunt for cheddar elsewhere.

Devised by Glenn Hugill and his UK-based ITV-owned production company Possessed, it is executive produced by Adam Reed, Adam Freeman, Simon Thomas, Bernie Schaeffer and Kenny Rosen for ITV America’s Thinkfactory Media, and by Hugill for Possessed.

Annie Ilonzeh To Star In NBC Drama Pilot ‘Getaway’


June 18, 2021 11:00am


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Courtesy of Etcetera & Co.

Annie Ilonzeh is set as the lead in NBC drama pilot Getaway, from The Blacklist duo John Davis and John Fox and Universal TV, a division of Universal Studios Group.


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Written and executive produced by JJ Bailey (Echo) and Moira Kirland (Madam Secretary), Getaway centers on a destination wedding at an isolated luxury resort that quickly descends into chaos after a group of dangerous criminals takes the island hostage. The small group of guests, led by a fearless female Army vet (Ilonzeh), will do everything they can to stay alive.

Ilonzeh’s Tessa Carrillo is a physically tough Army medical vet who at 18 put her career dreams on hold after her parents died to take care of her younger sister, Grace. Although the siblings are now on different paths, with Grace marrying a political scion, Tessa is attending her wedding in the hopes she can relax and reconnect with her sister.

Davis and Fox executive produce via Davis Entertainment. Universal TV is the studio.

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Ilonzeh most recently played paramedic Emily Foster for two seasons on the hit NBC series Chicago Fire. Ilonzeh was recently cast opposite Mel Gibson and Dermot Mulroney in the upcoming indie spy thriller Agent Game, and recently starred as one of the leads of Deon Taylor’s horror film Don’t Fear.

Other credits include the STX feature Peppermint in which she starred opposite Jennifer Garner, Lionsgate’s Tupac Shakur biopic All Eyez On Me, as well as numerous recurring/guest roles on series such as CBS’ Person Of Interest and Fox’s Empire, among others. She is repped by APA, Stride Management and attorney Justin Morgan.

‘Holey Moley’ Two-Hour Season 3 Premiere Leads Thursday TV Ratings, ‘Young Sheldon’ Wins Viewers


June 18, 2021 10:38am

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Mini-golf reality competition Holey Moley returned with a two-hour premiere that drove ABC to a ratings win on Thursday night.

Hosted by Rob Riggle and Joe Tessitore, Holey Moley’s junior season opened to a 0.5 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 3.05 million viewers, per Nielsen Live+Same Day fast affiliates. Ratings for the series remained steady with a new follow-up episode, but dropped slightly from the previous hour (0.5, 2.57M).

While Holey Moley returned with new contestants and even more trick shots and holes, its 2021 debut was far from on par with its 2020 premiere (0.8, 4.44M).

Thursday also saw the season 2 premiere for The Hustler on ABC (0.3, 2.00M). Host Craig Ferguson returned to welcome contestants with mysterious trivia questions. Thursday’s premiere was down two tenths in ratings from its debut in January (0.5, 1.99M), but viewership remained nearly the same.

CBS’s Young Sheldon was the most-watched program Thursday night, raking in 3.69M viewers and a 0.4 rating. CBS’s Thursday consisted of a number of reruns, but also saw new episodes for United States of Al (0.4, 3.85M) and Clarice (0.3, 2.19M), with the latter’s fate still yet to be determined by network.

It was a sports takeover for NBC, with the two-hour U.S. Open Golf Championship (0.3, 2.05M) from 8-10 p.m. and the U.S. Olympic Trials (0.4, 1.86M). Ratings and viewers for these two events will adjust in later numbers.

Fox’s Thursday featured a rerun of Lego Masters (0.3, 1.02M) and a new episode of Beat Shazam (0.4, 1.75M). Over at The CW, Walker brought in a 0.1 rating and 0.97M viewers and Legacies the same rating but 0.52M viewers.

‘Manifest’: Efforts To Move Canceled NBC Series To Netflix Continue As Show Tops Streamer’s Charts


June 18, 2021 10:36am


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Following the news of NBC’s decision to cancel Manifest after three seasons on Monday night, Netflix quickly emerged as the leading possible new destination for the show thanks to some opportune timing. The first two seasons of the missing plane drama debuted on Netflix last Thursday and quickly climbed to the #1 spot in the U.S., which it has held for a week now.


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I hear conversations between lead Manifest studio Warner Bros. TV and Netflix are ongoing as the streamer is evaluating the viability and financials of a possible pickup. There have been just a couple of canceled broadcast series that have been rescued by Netflix so far, most notably Lucifer, which became a hit as a Netflix original following its cancellation by Fox after three seasons.

In an encouraging sign for Manifest fans, Lucifer is also produced by WBTV, giving the studio and Netflix a working template for how to successfully move a three-year-old broadcast drama to the streamer. Lucifer is now headed into its sixth and final season.

Manifest was created by Jeff Rake, who also has a six-season plan for Manifest. He has been hopeful about the show finding a new home following the cancellation by NBC and has taken part in #SaveManifest tweeting parties.

NBC canceled Manifest less than 24 hours after the options on the cast were to expire. Manifest stars Josh Dallas, Melissa Roxburgh, JR Ramirez, Luna Blaise, Jack Messina, Parveen Kaur and Matt Long. I hear talks with the actors about two-week option extensions were paused while conversations with Netflix carry on. The cast showed their support for the series by joining the #SaveManifest Twitter campaign and all are willing to continue on the show, sources said.

It is worth noting that the two NBC bubble series that are also on Netflix, Manifest and Good Girls, both topped the streamer’s U.S. rankings within the past few months. NBC is yet to make a renewal decision on Good Girls, produced by its sibling Universal TV. The series’ prospects have been looking promising.

Christina Davis Exits As Starz President Of Original Programming


June 17, 2021 1:50pm


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ABC Studios

EXCLUSIVE: Christina Davis has stepped down from her post as President of Original Programming at Starz after a little over a year. I hear Davis just informed her team of her decision.

“Christina Davis has decided to resign her position to pursue other opportunities,” a Starz spokesperson said in a statement to Deadline. “We wish her the best and thank her for her contributions during the past year.”

Former CBS head of drama Davis, who started at Starz during the pandemic and never got to meet her team — or bosses — in person, led Starz’s programming and development team. She is expected to take some time off before deciding on her next career move.

A search has been launched for Davis’ successor. In the meantime, EVP Original Programming Karen Bailey will lead the programming and development team with the oversight of Starz President and CEO Jeffrey Hirsch.

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While at Starz, Davis — an accomplished network development executive and a prominent Latina in the TV business — spearheaded the charge under the company’s creative mandate of producing premium content for women and diverse audiences. In February, the network launched the #TakeTheLead initiative, a comprehensive effort deepening the company’s existing commitment to narratives by, about and for women and underrepresented audiences.

Davis shepherded several series that got off the ground during her tenure — all fitting Starz’s programming strategy — including Blindspotting, which just premiered, and the upcoming Gaslit, The Serpent Queen and Black Mafia Family. She also oversaw several shows heading into their second seasons includign P-Valley, Hightown as well as Run the World, which is awaiting renewal, and is leaving a development slate stacked with projects featuring strong, diverse female characters.

Before joining Starz, Davis was partnered with writer-producer Michael Seitzman in Maniac Productions for two and a half years under an overall deal at ABC Studios.

During her nearly 20 years at CBS, including 11 as co-head/head of Drama Series Development, Davis had a hand in developing the CSI and NCIS franchises and other successful series such as The Good Wife, Blue Bloods, Criminal Minds, Hawaii Five-0, Elementary, Madam Secretary, Scorpion, Bull and MacGyver.

‘Grand Army’ Canceled After One Season At Netflix


June 17, 2021 1:41pm

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Grand Army will not return for a second season. Netflix has canceled the drama series after one season, Deadline has confirmed.

Grand Army, loosely based on Katie Cappiello’s 2013 play Slut, was executive produced by Gone Girl producer Joshua Donen and Beau Willimon (House of Cards).

The show revolved around five students at the largest public high school in Brooklyn as they take on a chaotic world and fight to succeed, survive, wild out, break free and seize the future. Odessa A’zion starred along with Amalia Yoo, Maliq Johnson, Amir Bageria and Odley Jean.

Capiello also served as an executive producer along with Donen, Willimon, Jordan Tappis, Nicolette Donen, and Elizabeth Kling.

Variety was first to report the cancellation.

Patrick Fugit Joins Elizabeth Olsen & Jesse Plemons In ‘Love And Death’ HBO Max True Crime Limited Series


June 17, 2021 1:30pm

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Courtesy of Brian Guido

EXCLUSIVE: Patrick Fugit (Outcast) is set as a lead opposite Elizabeth Olsen and Jesse Plemons in HBO Max’s Love and Death, a limited series about the true story of Wylie, TX, housewife Candy Montgomery’s murder of Betty Gore in 1980. Olsen stars as Montgomery in the series, from the Big Little Lies and The Undoing duo of David E. Kelley and Nicole Kidman and Lionsgate Television.

Written by Kelley and directed by Homeland‘s Lesli Linka Glatter, Love and Death is inspired by the book Evidence of Love: A True Story of Passion and Death in the Suburbs and a collection of articles from Texas Monthly (“Love & Death In Silicon Prairie,” Part I & II).

The series revolves around two churchgoing couples enjoying small-town family life in Texas, until somebody picks up an ax.

2020-21 HBO Max Pilots & Series Orders

Fugit will play Pat Montgomery. Previously announced Plemons plays Allan Gore.

Kelley executive produces via his David E. Kelley Productions, with Kidman and Per Saari via Blossom Films; Glatter; Scott Brown and Megan Creydt through Texas Monthly; Matthew Tinker; Michael Klick and Helen Verno. Lionsgate TV is the studio.

Fugit, known for his starring role in Cameron Crow’s Almost Famous, most recently was seen in Damien Chazelle’s First Man, starring Ryan Gosling, which premiered at both the Venice Film Festival and TIFF this past year. He previously starred in Robert Kirkman’s Outcast, which aired for two seasons on Cinemax. Fugit is repped by The Gersh Agency and Levin/Brown Management.