Late-Night Shows Win Back Their Fifth Emmy Nom Slot After Showrunner Campaign


June 29, 2022 2:11pm


EXCLUSIVE: The late-night community has won back a fifth nomination slot for this year’s Emmys after a group of showrunners successfully campaigned the Television Academy.

It comes after Deadline revealed earlier this month that the Outstanding Variety Talk Series category was set to lose another nomination slot after only 19 shows were submitted.

Deadline understands that a group of high-profile executive producers went to the Academy to try and win back a fifth slot even though the number of submissions fell narrowly below the 20 they would need under its rules.

This week, the Academy amended its Primetime Emmy Awards Rules & Procedures. It now states that if a category receives between 8 and 19 submissions, one must divide the number of submissions by 4 and round to the nearest whole number. This would give the Outstanding Variety Talk Series category 4.75, which rounded up gives it 5 nominations.

Related Story

Late-Night Emmy Category Set To Lose Another Nomination Slot After Submissions Low; ‘Conan’ In For Last Shot

Emmy nomination round voting ended on Monday June 27 with nominations unveiled on July 12.

The move is a boon for the late-night world as it looks to prevent Last Week Tonight with John Oliver from winning his seventh consecutive gong and particularly good news for shows such as The Late Late Show with James Corden, which is heading into its final year with the Gavin & Stacey co-creator as host, Late Night with Seth Meyers and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, which are likely to be vying for that fifth spot.

The conventional wisdom among late-night sources is that Last Week Tonight, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah will take four of the slots.

The last time that only four shows competed in this category was 1993 when it was known as Outstanding Variety Series and Saturday Night Live beat out Late Night with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and MTV Unplugged.

In 2019 there were six nominees and this dwindled to five last year: Last Week Tonight, Conan, The Daily Show With Trevor Noah, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

It also increases the chances of diversity in the group, giving hope to Bee and Desus & Mero.

Real Time with Bill Maher also can’t be entirely discounted – it was nominated for Outstanding Variety Series every year between 2005 and 2014 and then in 2016 and 2017 when it became Outstanding Variety Talk Series but it hasn’t had a nom in the last four years.

The feeling is that Conan, which sneaked in with a few weeks to go, had its shot last year and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon hasn’t been nominated since 2016.

Over the last few weeks, sources Deadline spoke to were “sad” and “disappointed” by the potential nomination reduction, suggesting such a move would only increase the inevitability of another win for HBO. “At this point, it’s all about nominations since everyone assumes John Oliver wins anyway. You just want to be in the mix on noms,” one showrunner said.

There was also the frustration that they would have only missed out on five nominations by one submission.

There had been some anticipation that Jon Stewart, former host of The Daily Show, could take on his protégé Oliver with his Apple TV+ series The Problem With Jon Stewart. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart won ten years straight between 2003 and 2012 and again in 2015. However, perhaps wisely, the streamer submitted the show in the Outstanding Hosted Nonfiction Series or Special category, where he stands a much better shot at winning (although admittedly not as high-profile).

Fox News’ Gutfeld!, which rebranded in April 2021, was also missing from the submissions.

Elsewhere, The Amber Ruffin Show, Ziwe and Pause with Sam Jay were submitted in the Outstanding Variety Sketch Series category, which was a blow for the talk category but both shows stand more of a shot of being nominated alongside Saturday Night Live than they do in the talk category.

Must Read Stories

Hide Articles

New Regency Makes 7-Figure Preempt For Peter Heller Novel ‘The Dog Stars’ With Script By ‘The Revenant’s Mark L. Smith


June 29, 2022 2:03pm


EXCLUSIVE: In a seven-figure deal, New Regency Pictures has preemptively acquired film rights to the Peter Heller bestselling novel The Dog Stars, a package that comes with a completed script by Mark L. Smith, whose script work includes The Boys in the Boat, The Revenant and Midnight Sky.

New Regency, Smith and Cliff Roberts (Emancipation, The Midnight Sky) will produce. Heller, Lily Brooks-Dalton and Brandon Scott Smith will be executive producers. They are already talking to a big star.

The novel is set in a post-apocalyptic world in which a virus has wiped out most of humanity, with survivors being terrorized by roaming scavengers called “Reapers.” The protagonist is Hig, a pilot who survived the flu that killed everyone he knew, his wife included. He lives in the hangar of a small abandoned airport with his dog, his only neighbor a gun-toting ex-Marine. Hig sometimes heads off in his 1956 Cessna, where he can fish and pretend things are how they used to be. When a random transmission somehow beams through his radio, the voice ignites a hope deep inside him that a better life might exist if he flies a bit further. He risks it all. to chase a possible haven in Grand Junction.

Heller is repped by CAA and The Robbins Office; Smith is with CAA, Syndicate Entertainment and attorney Mark Temple.

Must Read Stories

Hide Articles

Netflix’s ‘The Queen Of Villains’: Japanese Comedian & ‘America’s Got Talent’ Contestant Yuriyan Retriever To Lead


June 29, 2022 2:00pm

Yuriyan Retriever

EXCLUSIVE: Popular Japanese comedian and America’s Got Talent contestant Yuriyan Retriever is to lead Netflix Japan series The Queen of Villains. 

Retriever will play the lead role of Dump Matsumoto, a professional wrestler who led the women’s boom in the sport with her cult-like popularity and took Japan by storm in the 1980s, a time when wrestling was even more male dominated than it is now. While trying to succeed as a heroic pro wrestler, she was nearly fired before becoming the most famous Japanese female wrestler of all time, and the series depicts her friendships and fights with companions.

Retriever is a popular Japanese comedian who famously appeared as a dancer in 2019’s America’s Got Talent. 

The Queen of Villain was unveiled on a Netflix Japan slate late last year along with several scripted shows and the likes of Love is Blind: Japan. It will air in 2023.

Junya Ikegami is writer, Kazuya Shiraishi is director and Shinichi Takahashi is executive producer.

Must Read Stories

Hide Articles

‘Luce’ Filmmaker Julius Onah Signs With WME


June 29, 2022 12:24pm

Julius Onah
Matthew Mendelson; WME

EXCLUSIVE: WME has signed Nigerian-American filmmaker Julius Onah (Luce) for representation.

Onah is best known for his 2019 Neon drama Luce, based on J.C. Lee’s play of the same name, in which parents Amy (Naomi Watts) and Peter (Tim Roth) are forced to reckon with their idealized image of their son (Kelvin Harrison Jr.), adopted from war-torn Eritrea, after an alarming discovery by a devoted high school teacher (Octavia Spencer) threatens his status as an all-star student. Luce made its world premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for three Independent Spirit Awards, including Best Director.

Onah most recently co-wrote the Jean-Michel Basquiat biopic Samo Lives, which has Luce‘s Harrison on board to star as the titular artist. He’s also attached to direct and produce that pic for Endeavor Content, along with the college admissions thriller Bad Genius. Erik Feig and Patrick Wachsberger will also produce the latter pic, which is an English-language remake of a 2017 Thai film by Nattawut Poonpiriyae.

Along with Peter Glanz, Onah is creating the drama series The American Throne at Universal Content Productions with Esmail Corp producing. That show is set in a reimagined, contemporary America where the nation was founded as a monarchy. Its entirely white Royal Family is plunged into a scorched earth succession battle when it’s revealed the late King has hidden a mind-blowing secret: A Black son who is the true heir to the throne.

Onah continues to be represented by Danny Passman and Harold Brown at Gang, Tyre, Ramer.

Must Read Stories

Hide Articles

R. Kelly Sentenced To 30 Years In Prison On Federal Sex Trafficking And Racketeering Counts


June 29, 2022 12:12pm

Courtroom sketch of R. Kelly at sentencing hearing
AP Photo/Elizabeth Williams

Former R&B singer R. Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years in prison at a Brooklyn federal court on nine counts of sex trafficking and racketeering.

Kelly had faced a maximum sentence of life in prison, with federal prosecutors having asked for a minimum of 25 years.

The onetime superstar declined to make a courtroom comment prior to his sentencing. Before handing down the sentence, Judge Ann M. Donnelly said that Kelly’s behavior was violent and “carefully planned,” and that the public needed protection from him. She also cited Kelly’s “indifference to human suffering,” and said he left “broken lives” in his wake.

The 30-year term virtually amounts to a life sentence behind bars for the 55-year-old Kelly.

R. Kelly (2006)
AP Photo/Stuart Ramson

Kelly, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, was found guilty last September on all nine counts in the federal sex trafficking and racketeering trial in Brooklyn. The six-week trial involved charges dating back as much as 20 years, with Kelly found guilty by a jury of seven men and five women of being a serial sexual predator and leading a group that recruited women and young girls for sex during his years touring the world as a top R&B singer.

The trial was his first time in front of a criminal court jury in 13 years. Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges at a 2008 trial in Chicago. In the New York trial,  the charges included accusations by a half-dozen people that the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer was a serial sexual predator.

Kelly’s history of sexual misconduct was chronicled in the Lifetime documentary series Surviving R. Kelly, which broke Lifetime ratings records when it premiered January 3, 2019.

Today’s sentence was handed down by his trial judge, who earlier this week denied his team’s motions for acquittal and a new trial. Kelly’s attorneys are expected to appeal the decision.

Must Read Stories

Hide Articles

‘Mr. And Mrs. Smith’: Michaela Coel, John Turturro, Paul Dano Join Prime Video Series Reboot


June 29, 2022 12:05pm

(L-R) Michaela Coel, John Turturro and Paul Dano

Michaela Coel (I May Destroy You), John Turturro (Severance) and Paul Dano (The Batman) have joined the cast of Prime Video’s TV reboot of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. They join previously announced Donald Glover and Maya Erskine, who star in the title roles in the series from Amazon Studios.

Details of Coel, Turturro and Dano’s roles are being kept under wraps.

Prime Video Pilots & Series Orders

The project is a reboot of New Regency’s 2005 Doug Liman-directed action comedy film that starred Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. The movie followed a bored married couple who are surprised to learn that they both are assassins hired by competing agencies to kill each other.

In addition to starring, Glover is co-creator and exec producer on the series under his overall deal with Amazon Studios. Francesca Sloane is co-creator, executive producer and showrunner. New Regency’s Yariv Milchan and Michael Schaefer also executive produce. Amazon Studios is the studio.

Variety was first to report the castings.

Must Read Stories

Hide Articles

Walt Disney Television Alternative Production Unit Hires Trio Of VPs


June 29, 2022 12:00pm

Jill Chapman / Alicia Martino / Mike Rosen

Walt Disney Television Alternative, the Mouse House’s unscripted production unit led by Rob Mills, has staffed up.

The division, which was launched last year with a big promotion for ABC and Hulu unscripted chief Mills, has hired a trio of Vice Presidents: Jill Chapman, Alicia Martino and Mike Rosen.

Chapman, who was previously at Hulu, becomes VP, Alternative Series and Content Planning, Martino, who was recently co-exec producer of CBS’ Love Island, is VP, Alternative Series and Rosen, who recently worked at Amazon Studios, becomes VP, Production.

The trio report to Tiffany Faigus, SVP, Unscripted and Alternative Entertainment, ABC Entertainment and WDT Alternative.

The team has been tasked with identifying new ideas and concepts for series, collaborating with the creative community as well as new and existing talent, and supervising creative production on unscripted series and pilots.

The idea is for the unit to generate new projects for ABC, Hulu and other networks and streaming platforms across Disney.

“We are excited to have Jill, Alicia and Mike leading production services and creative oversight for WDT Alternative,” said Mills and Faigus. “We are proud to have set the all-star team that will work with all of our creative partners across our platforms and beyond to produce the most groundbreaking and buzzworthy unscripted series and specials.”

Must Read Stories

Hide Articles

Rashida Jones & Will McCormack’s Le Train Train Inks First-Look Deal With Lionsgate TV With Comedy ‘Lovesick’ As First Project


June 29, 2022 12:00pm


Rashida Jones and Will McCormack are getting into business with Lionsgate TV. The prolific duo have signed a first-look producing deal with the studio via their Le Train Train Productions under which they will produce scripted programming for multiple platforms.

Their first project in development is romantic comedy Lovesick, based on the UK romantic comedy series of the same name. Originally produced by Clerkenwell Films, the project is part of the scripted co-production partnership between Lionsgate and BBC Studios Los Angeles Productions.

The British sitcom, created by Tom Edge, revolved around a group of English friends sharing a house in the West End of Glasgow and their romantic lives. Starring Johnny Flynn, Antonia Thomas, Daniel Ings, Hannah Britland and Joshua McGuire, the show was first broadcast on Channel 4 in October 2014. It later moved to Netflix, which ordered a second season in 2016, and then a third and final season which aired on the streamer in 2018.

Related Story

MSNBC Makes It Official: Jen Psaki To Join Network In Fall, Will Host New Show For Streaming Channel

Jones and McCormack will executive produce with original series creator Edge, as well as Petra Fried, Ed Macdonald, Andy Baker of Clerkenwell Films and Angie Stephenson for BBC Studios. A search for a writer is underway.

“We are thrilled to be in business with Lionsgate,” said Jones and McCormack. “Their imagination and blue sky thinking around what’s possible in this rapidly changing landscape of television is incredibly exciting to us as creators and producers.”

Under their Le Train Train banner, McCormack and Jones have served as executive producers for four seasons of TNT’s hit dramedy Claws and AMC’s Kevin Can F**k Himself, which is heading into its second and final season. The production company is also behind #BlackAF for Netflix, A to Z for NBC and the documentaries Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On and Centerpiece. Up next, Jones is set to executive produce Sunny for Apple TV+ through the banner. Le Train Train is represented by UTA.

“There aren’t many writer/producers like Rashida and Will who can master both an R-rated comedy ala Celeste and Jesse Forever and a G-rated masterpiece such as Toy Story 4, said Scott Herbst, Head of Scripted Development and EVP, Lionsgate Television. “We are looking forward to working with both of them to create more premium and compelling content for all types of viewers.”

Jones, known for her work on Parks and Recreation and The Office as well as a starring role in Sofia Coppola’s On The Rocks, next will star in Sunny and appear in Wool for Apple TV+. Jones is repped by UTA and James Adams at Schreck Rose.

McCormack most recently won an Academy Award for the animated short film If Anything Happens I Love You, which he co-wrote and co-directed with Michael Govier. A graphic novel based on the film was adapted by McCormack and Govier and will be released this August. McCormack is repped by UTA and Erik Hyman at Paul Hastings.

Must Read Stories

Hide Articles

Tony-Winning ‘MJ’ Star Myles Frost Signs With UTA


June 29, 2022 12:00pm

Myles Frost/’MJ’
Evan Zimmerman/Matthew Murphy

EXCLUSIVE: Myles Frost, the moonwalking star of Broadway’s MJ The Musical who recently, at age 22, became the youngest-ever recipient of the Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical, has signed with UTA in all areas.

UTA will help expand Frost’s career across a variety of verticals, including film, television, brand endorsements and more.

Frost became a breakout Broadway star this year with his critically lauded performance as Michael Jackson in the bio-musical. Frost was a college junior studying audio engineering before he was discovered during the Covid pandemic by his online acting coach Lelund Durond Thompson.

Thompson, who found a video of Frost performing the Jackson hit “Billie Jean” at a high school talent show five years earlier, shared the clip with his partner, Jason Michael Webb, the musical director for MJ. Frost’s performance of “The Way You Make Me Feel” and “Smooth Criminal” on the Tonys broadcast was generally considered a hight point of the event.

In addition to Frost’s Tony win, MJ won Tonys for its choreography, lighting design and sound design. With a book by Lynn Nottage and direction/choreography by Christopher Wheeldon, MJ began previews last December at the Neil Simon Theatre and has since become one of Broadway’s biggest hits.Last week, the musical set a box office house record with a weekly gross of $1,681,671.

Frost will continue to be represented by attorney Darrell Miller at Fox Rothschild and managed by Myles Frost Management.


Must Read Stories

Hide Articles

NBC Sets Fall Premiere Dates: New ‘Quantum Leap’ & ‘Lopez Vs. Lopez’, Return Of ‘Chicago’ & ‘Law & Order’ Shows, More


June 29, 2022 11:30am

‘Quantum Leap’ and ‘Lopez vs Lopez’

NBC has made its plans for the fall.

The network said today that its new shows Quantum Leap and Lopez vs. Lopez will premiere at 10 p.m. Monday, September 19, and 8 p.m. Friday, November 4, respectively. The Raymond Lee-led drama series reboot will follow The Voice, and the comedy starring George Lopez and his daughter Mayan will lead into Season 3 of Young Rock.

See the net’s full fall schedule below.

‘Chicago Fire’

Elsewhere, the Windy City-set Chicago Med, Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D. return on Wednesday, September 21, and the trio of Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order: Organized Crime hit the streets and courts the next night.

2022-23 NBC New Series

The sophomore season of breakout drama La Brea launches at 9 p.m. Tuesday, September 27 — returning to the post-The Voice time slot where it launched with a bang last fall.

Related Story

Fall 2022 Primetime TV Grid: Fox Finally Unveils Schedule & Gives 'Monarch' A Sweet Post-NFL Launch Perch; Nets Overall Play It Very Safe – Update

NFL 2022 Schedule: Primetime TV Games, Thanksgiving Menu, Christmas Tripleheader & More

NBC’s fall season will hit the field on September 8 with the previously announced Thursday kickoff edition of Sunday Night Football, with the Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams hosting the rising Buffalo Bills. The regular SNF lineup arrives three days later, when Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the Dallas Cowboys.

Here is NBC’s full fall schedule:

Friday, September 9
8-10 p.m. – Capital One College Bowl

Friday, September 16
9-11 p.m. – Dateline NBC

Monday, September 19
8 p.m. – The Voice
10 p.m. – Quantum Leap

Tuesday, September 20
8 p.m. – The Voice
10 p.m. – New Amsterdam

Wednesday, September 21
8 p.m. – Chicago Med
9 p.m. – Chicago Fire
10 p.m. – Chicago P.D.

Thursday, September 22
8 p.m. – Law & Order
9 p.m. – Law & Order: SVU
10 p.m. – Law & Order: Organized Crime

Saturday, September 23
9 p.m. – Dateline Weekend Mystery
10 p.m. – SNL Vintage

Tuesday, September 27
9 p.m. – La Brea

Friday, November 4
8 p.m. – Lopez vs. Lopez
8:30 p.m. – Young Rock

Must Read Stories

Hide Articles

Bass Reeves Series ‘Twin Territories’ From Morgan Freeman’s Revelations & ‘Hand Of God’ Creator Ben Watkins In Works At Amazon


June 29, 2022 11:22am

Morgan Freeman, Ben Watkins

EXCLUSIVE: Morgan Freeman and Lori McCreary’s Revelations Entertainment has set up a Bass Reeves series titled Twin Territories at Amazon, after three decades spent chasing the elusive lawman.

The Revelations and The 51-produced series in development at the streamer is based on a novel by preeminent Reeves scholar Art T. Burton. While most people have heard of The Lone Ranger, few know the true story of the man behind the legend, who in his time was arguably the greatest lawman west of the Mississippi. As the first Black Deputy U.S. Marshal, Reeves all but tamed The Wild West single-handedly, bringing well over 3,000 dangerous criminals to justice in his 32 years as a federal peace officer under “Hanging” Judge Parker.

Related Story

'The Horror of Dolores Roach': Marc Maron, Jean Yoon, Judy Reyes & Jeffery Self To Recur On Amazon Series

Twin Territories will follow America’s #1 lawman as he and the brash Irishman Chauncey Lee are faced with the almost impossible task of imposing the rule of law in the most dangerous place on earth, contending with outlaw bandits so bold they post their own wanted posters; thriving native cultures pushed to the brink; and hordes of illegal settlers with nothing to lose, in a titanic battle for the future of a state, and a nation. The show will examine the methods Reeves used to bring justice to the Indian Territories, and the pivotal role he played in birthing the state of Oklahoma.

Freeman began exploring the possibility of a Bass Reeves project around 30 years ago, alongside Academy Award winner Neil Travis. After digging into research on the historic figure at the University of Oklahoma, he would explore multiple iterations of the project with assorted writers, before connecting with Hand of God creator Ben Watkins and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier‘s Malcolm Spellman. Watkins explains that he and his longtime friend began exploring their own iteration of the Bass Reeves story around 2010 and, like Freeman and producing partner McCreary, became fascinated with not just the story of the lawman, but “the whole story of America redefining itself at that time.” By 2017, he says, “divine intervention” had kicked in, with the two teams of creatives joining forces.

Amazon bought Twin Territories in 2019. The streamer commenced a mini-room off the strength of a pilot script written by Watkins and Josef Sawyer, ordering two backup scripts and a series format. Spellman, who developed the initial take on the story with Watkins, has joined the show’s writers’ room, with Watkins and Leonard Chang (Snowfall, Justified) to serve as showrunners. Executive producers on the series will include Freeman, McCreary, Watkins, Spellman, James Pickens Jr. (Grey’s Anatomy) and Scott Frank (Godless).

When Freeman notes that he was going to portray Reeves if he’d been able to get the show off the ground back in the ’90s, Watkins offers assurance that a new and equally rich Twin Territories role has been created for the actor. “We haven’t told him all the details of this role, so some of this is a surprise for him,” says the co-showrunner, “but we’ve created a great role for him that is sort of a connection between the pre-Civil War and post-Civil War. He’s a mentor figure for whoever plays Bass Reeves.”

Freeman says he views Twin Territories as having the potential to be “a game-changer for movies, for history,” given the little-known true events that it will bring to light and the errors it will make up for, as far as the depiction of historical events on screen. “I grew up in the movies watching everything, particularly Westerns, and one of the things that really busted me up was the fact that if you were Black in one of these Westerns, you’d better be a comedian. You’d better be funny,” he says. “There were no [Black] heroes, and that’s not American history at all, so here’s a chance to redo that, to straighten out some of the kinks in history.”

“I think if you grow up Black in America and you start doing any little bit of your own research, you start coming face to face with a really unfortunate realization that Black Americans have been misportrayed or completely left out of American history in many cases,” remarks Watkins. “So, when you come across a story like Bass Reeves’ where you’re talking about an iconic Black American whose story has never been properly told, who really should be a folk hero, whose name is known by every little kid growing up in America—and in this case, who I had never even heard of when I was 40 years old—then you can understand why it becomes more than just a passion project. It becomes a mission to tell that story, and tell it the right way.”

Interestingly, Watkins and Freemans’ isn’t the only Bass Reeves project in the works at the moment. Just last week, we broke the news of the six-part limited series 1883: Bass Reeves starring David Oyelowo, for which Yellowstone‘s Taylor Sheridan will direct the pilot. But ultimately, Watkins says, news of this project is of no concern to the team behind Twin Territories. “I think we all agree Bass Reeves was a hero who deserves all the stories to be told. There should be a hundred versions of Bass Reeves out already, and we’ve never looked at the fact that there are other projects out there as a bad thing,” he says. “We think he is a historical figure that deserves that type of recognition across the board, but we also know that our particular way of telling it is going to be very authentic and very rooted in the Black American experience. So, we feel like it holds a special place.”

Freeman is represented by CAA and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern; McCreary by CAA; Watkins by WME and Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum; Spellman by CAA, Industry Entertainment and Del Shaw Moonves; Sawyer by UTA, Industry Entertainment and Jackoway Austen Tyerman; Chang by Brant Rose Agency; Pickens by Artists & Representatives, Wright Entertainment and Meyer & Downs; and Frank by CAA and Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole.

Must Read Stories

Hide Articles

‘Platonic’: Alisha Wainwright, Guy Branum Among Five Set To Recur In Apple Comedy Series


June 29, 2022 11:15am

AP/Mindy Tucker/Shiloh Strong/Abbey Sowick & Robert Perez/Elias Rios

EXCLUSIVE: Apple is rounding out the recurring cast for Platonic, its new comedy series from Nick Stoller, Francesca Delbanco and Sony TV. Alisha Wainwright (Palmer), Guy Branum (BROS), Janet Varney (You’re the Worst), Emily Kimball (Daisy Jones and the Six) and newcomer Vinny Thomas have joined the cast in heavily recurring roles opposite leads Rose Byrne and Seth Rogen.

Created, written and directed by Delbanco and Stoller, Platonic explores the inner workings of platonic friendship. Sylvia (Byrne) and Will (Rogen), a pair of former best friends who met in their youth reconnect as adults and try to mend the rift that led to their falling out. As their friendship becomes more consuming, it destabilizes their lives and causes them to reevaluate their choices.

Wainwright portrays Audrey, Will’s (Rogen) ex-wife. Branum is Stewart, Charlie’s confidante and a partner at the law firm where he works. Varney plays Vanessa, one of Charlie’s colleagues. Kimball is Peyton, one of Will’s (Rogen) romantic interests. Thomas plays Omar, a young assistant brewer at Will’s brewery.

Luke Macfarlane, Tre Hale, Carla Gallo and Andrew Lopez round out the ensemble cast.

Byrne and Rogen, who play spouses in the Neighbors movie franchise, executive produce Platonic. The series falls under the overall deal Stoller and his Stoller Global Solutions have at Sony TV. The company’s Stoller and Conor Welch also executive produce. Sony TV is the studio.

Wainwright is repped by UTA. Branum is repped by Zack Freedman at Omnipop, ICM and Cohen Gardner. Varney is repped by Innovative Artists. Kimball is repped by Stone Talent Agency. Thomas is repped by Paonessa Talent Agency, CAA and Framework Entertainment.

Must Read Stories

Hide Articles

Scene 2 Seen Podcast: Dominique Fishback Discusses Poetry, Acting, And Trusting Her Instincts


June 28, 2022 2:09pm

Apple TV+ / Deadline

Dominique Fishback is so dope. I’ve loved the actress ever since Jordana Sparro’s 2018 film Night Comes On, and others took notice as the actress was named called a Sundance Film Festival breakout star, and praised for her performance in the movie.

However, starring in Director Shaka King’s Academy Award-nominated film Judas and the Black Messiah, alongside Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield, is what solidified her place in Hollywood. Fishback has been a part of some great projects including HBO series The Deuce and Netflix’s Project Power with Jamie Foxx, and currently in Apple+ Tv miniseries The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey with Samuel L Jackson. 

The miniseries is based on the novel by Walter Mosley. Ptolemy Grey is an ailing man forgotten by his family, by his friends, and by even himself. Suddenly left without his trusted caretaker and on the brink of sinking even deeper into a lonely dementia, Ptolemy is assigned to care for orphaned teenager Robyn (Fishback).

In April 2021, it was announced that Fishback had partnered with Foxx to adapt her one woman show, Subverted, which started as a stage show into a new special. 

It stars Fishback as Eden, an 18-yearold girl living in the inner city and depicts “the destruction of Black identity” as seen through her eyes. Fishback plays more than 20 characters in the show and will executive produce the project with Foxx and his producing partner Datari Turner. 

On today’s episode, Fishback and I talk performance, poetry, and why it’s important for her to trust her instincts when making movies in Hollywood. 

Must Read Stories

Hide Articles

‘Sherwood’ Renewed For Season 2 By BBC


June 28, 2022 2:00pm

BBC/House Productions/Matt Squire

The BBC has greenlit a second season of Sherwood from Brexit: The Uncivil War and Quiz creator James Graham, immediately after the conclusion of the first.

The first run of the whodunnit thriller ended on BBC One in the past few minutes and the network has committed, after millions of viewers tuned in each week to the show from Juliette Howell and Tessa Ross’ BBC Studios-backed drama indie House Productions.

Starring David Morrissey (The Walking Dead) and Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread), Sherwood is a murder mystery six-parter inspired by events that took place in the Nottinghamshire mining village where Graham grew up. The second series will once again take inspiration from the pit villages and surrounding towns, continuing the theme of examining the lives and legacy of those governed by Britain’s industrial past and especially the mid-1980s miner’s strikes that rocked the nation.

Graham said he has been “deeply moved” by the reaction to season one.

“These stories come from my home and I want to specifically express gratitude to my community for whom I know these subjects can be difficult, but – I hope – important ones to explore,” he added. “The East Midlands and former ‘Red Wall’ areas like it are never just one thing, politically or culturally, and it’s been the honour of my life to give voice and character to a place I love.”

Having broken through as a playwright, Graham has become one of Britain’s leading TV writers, penning BAFTA nominees Brexit: The Uncivil War and Quiz along with one episode of The Crown. 

He will write all six episodes of season two and executive produce alongside Howell, Ross, Harriet Spencer and Acting BBC Drama Director Ben Irving. Irving commissioned alongside BBC Chief Content Officer Charlotte Moore. BBC Studios is distributor.

Must Read Stories

Hide Articles

Disney’s CEO Bob Chapek Gets New Long-Term Contract


June 28, 2022 1:38pm

Bob Chapek on Tuesday

Disney CEO Bob Chapek has gotten a new long term contract as the the board meets this week. Directors voted unanimously to replace his current deal, which expires in Feb. of 2023, with a new three-year agreement starting July 1.

“Disney was dealt a tough hand by the pandemic, yet with Bob at the helm, our businesses—from parks to streaming—not only weathered the storm, but emerged in a position of strength,” said Susan Arnold, Chairman of the Board. “In this important time of growth and transformation, the Board is committed to keeping Disney on the successful path it is on today, and Bob’s leadership is key to achieving that goal. Bob is the right leader at the right time for The Walt Disney Company, and the Board has full confidence in him and his leadership team,” the board said.

Related Story

Dana Walden Addresses Disney General Entertainment Staff After Executive Shakeup, Pledges Commitment To Inclusion

Chapek has been having a rough ride and some wondered whether a longer term future for him atop the media giant was in the cards. Board chairman Susan Arnold came out in support of Chapek earlier this month after an executive shuffle that included the firing of Peter Rice.

“Leading this great company is the honor of a lifetime, and I am grateful to the Board for their support,” Chapek said.. “I started at Disney almost 30 years ago, and today have the privilege of leading one of the world’s greatest, most dynamic companies, bringing joy to millions around the world. I am thrilled to work alongside the incredible storytellers, employees, and Cast Members who make magic every day.”

Chapek, 63, was named CEO in Feb. of 2020 just as Covid shuttered the global economy. He took the reins from Bob Iger in what was a rocky transition as the former chief remained on to oversee Disney’s creative businesses before exiting.

Prior to becoming CEO, Chapek headed Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. He ran Disney Consumer Products and served as president of Distribution for The Walt Disney Studios, and president of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.

Chapek’s promotion to the top job was a surprise to Hollywood and Wall Street since he was not well known to either. Since then he took reputational hits in a high profile legal scuffle with Scarlett Johannson and perceived waffling around Florida’s Parental Rights In Education bill (dubbed Don’t Say Gay). Disney became Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ punching bag and lost a special economic zone in the state after Chapek spoke out at the annual meeting in March, but not before alienating many employees by his public silence.

The contract announced today puts to rest at least for now the issue of his ongoing tenure at Disney.

Disney stock has wobbled, along with other media shares. Recently, Disney passed on costly rights to hugely popular streaming cricket in India, a controversial move that will make it tough to meet its longer-term DTC subscriber growth targets. Lightyear, the latest film in the Toy Story franchise, disappointed. But Shanghai Disneyland is about to reopen amid a vigorous upswing in parks.

In an SEC filing, the company said the new contract calls for Chapek to be granted a long-term incentive award with a target value of “not less than $20 million annually.” Also, the proportion of his long-term incentive award comprised of performance-based restricted stock units will be increased to 60%. (It noted the awards don’t guarantee any minimum amount of compensation since they’re based on achieving certain metrics or stock price.)

The remaining details of his new contract, including base salary, are still being worked out.


Must Read Stories

Hide Articles