PLANET SPORT: Documentary series explores sports on a global scale

Legendary’s Asylum Entertainment (The Kennedys) and Craig Piligian’s Pilgrim Studios (Ghost Hunters) are teaming to produce an event sports documentary series that explores sports on a global scale. Tentatively titled PLANET SPORT, and reminiscent of BBC series Planet Earth, the series will examine how sports shape and reflect cultures, societies, identities and communities throughout the world. Asylum’s Steven Michaels and Jonathan Koch, Piligian and David Michaels will executive produce along with Legendary Chairman and CEO Thomas Tull.



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Each installment of PLANET SPORT focuses on one universal sporting theme, such as glory, fear, rivalry, endurance, teamwork. The series will draw on archival and contemporary footage, along with testimonials of noted athletes and other sports luminaries, and will incorporate technology and visual arts.


“PLANET SPORT promises to bring to life sports in a way that audiences around the world have never experienced,” said Steve Michaels, President, Asylum Entertainment.

Added Piligian, “This series will do for sports what series like Planet Earth did for nature – a sweeping, moving, and beautiful depiction of something that unites us all because it’s so integral to the human experience.”


Asylum Entertainment’s upcoming miniseries about Marilyn Monroe’s turbulent relationship with her schizophrenic mother (Susan Sarandon), premieres on Lifetime this month. Pilgrim Studios’ series also include FAST ’N’ LOUD, MISFIT GARAGE, STREET OUTLAWS, THE ULTIMATE FIGHETR and SWAMP PAWN.

BREAKTHROUGH: National Geographic Channel and GE Announce Innovative New Series

National Geographic Channel and GE announced today an unprecedented partnership to present BREAKTHROUGH, a new series produced by Imagine Entertainment and Asylum Entertainment.


Produced by Imagine Entertainment and Asylum Entertainment, New Series: NRE— Premiering Fall 2015 — Examines the Amazing Technological Revolutions That Will Define Our Future.

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Angela Bassett, Peter Berg, Paul Giamatti, Akiva Goldsman, Ron Howard and Brett Ratner Announced as Directors

Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Steve Michaels, Jonathan Koch and Mark Dowley to Executive Produce


Executive produced by Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Steve Michaels, Jonathan Koch and Mark Dowley, BREAKTHROUGH is an anthology about leading scientists and how their cutting-edge innovations and advancements will change our lives in the immediate future and beyond. The series intends to bring to life the stories, people and technology behind these breakthroughs, and show how they are changing our world.

Each hour-long episode will be directed by a Hollywood visionary, with Angela Bassett, Peter Berg, Paul Giamatti, Akiva Goldsman, Ron Howard and Brett Ratner as the first six directors.
The first episodes, now in production, explore remarkable breakthroughs in brain science, longevity, water, energy, pandemics and cyborg technology. Howard will direct the longevity episode, Giamatti will investigate the latest in technology, Ratner will explore the brain, Berg will tackle pandemics, Bassett will deal with water issues and Goldsman will bring us energy.
Presented by National Geographic and GE, brands long dedicated to innovation, science and exploration, the series will air this fall on National Geographic Channels in 440 million homes in 171 countries and in 45 languages, as well as on the Spanish language network Nat Geo Mundo. Additional executive producers include Michael Rosenberg from Imagine Entertainment, Ryann Lauckner and Kurt Sayenga from Asylum Entertainment, Beth Comstock from GE, and Michael Cascio and Allan Butler from National Geographic Channels.
Life-saving, mind-boggling innovation is a part of everyday life, so we sometimes take it for granted. It happens in the blink of an eye — on battlefields and playgrounds, in supercolliders and the International Space Station, in smart homes and smart cars. These are modern-day revolutions in how we live. BREAKTHROUGH will explore the courage, imagination, passion and self-sacrifice of the scientists bringing these innovations to life.

“Modern science and technology are the keys to addressing the challenges the world is facing today,” said Courteney Monroe, CEO, National Geographic Channels. “By partnering with GE — as dedicated to science and innovation as we are — and by working with top-tier directors at the helm, BREAKTHROUGH will celebrate the curiosity, innovation and exploration of our world, and spotlight the individuals and institutions at the center of these groundbreaking achievements.”

“GE has always been driven by restless invention,” said Beth Comstock, CMO at GE and president of GE Business Innovations. “New technologies are disrupting the world every day on personal, economic and social levels, and the efforts that go into fueling that — though often unseen — can be astounding. This project will lift the lid to reveal our civilization’s tremendous evolution and still-to-be-tapped potential.”

“GE’s involvement brings a certain poetic justice to this endeavor,” said producer Brian Grazer. “Thomas Edison, GE’s founder, and Alexander Graham Bell, a founding member of the National Geographic Society, are two of our greatest inventors. Their breakthroughs laid the foundation for tremendous innovation and continue to inspire generations of scientists and engineers. That same spirit will, no doubt, be evident in every episode.”

Ron Howard agreed: “While Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison seem odd bedfellows, their infamous enmity actually benefited their inventiveness as each man sought to outdo the other. It seems fitting that their legacies will come together to celebrate and foster the creativity of other inventors and innovators who astound us every day with their ideas.”

Executive producer Steve Michaels added, “It’s a privilege to tell the stories behind our greatest innovations. Technology is advancing so swiftly, it’s as if every day there’s another jaw-dropping transformative moment. The stories about what’s behind those moments are as incredible as the breakthroughs themselves.”

GE and National Geographic Channel are united in their commitment to inspire the most curious minds the world over with the new series BREAKTHROUGH.


About National Geographic Channels

Based at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Channels US are a joint venture between National Geographic and Fox Networks. The Channels contribute to the National Geographic Society’s commitment to exploration, conservation and education with smart, innovative programming and profits that directly support its mission. Launched in January 2001, National Geographic Channel (NGC) celebrated its fifth anniversary with the debut of NGC HD. In 2010, the wildlife and natural history cable channel Nat Geo WILD was launched, and in 2011, the Spanish-language network Nat Geo Mundo was unveiled. The Channels have carriage with all of the nation’s major cable, telco and satellite television providers, with NGC currently available in more than 90 million U.S. homes. Globally, National Geographic Channel is available in more than 440 million homes in 171 countries and 45 languages. For more information, visit


About GE

GE (NYSE: GE) imagines things others don’t, builds things others can’t and delivers outcomes that make the world work better. GE brings together the physical and digital worlds in ways no other company can. In its labs and factories and on the ground with customers, GE is inventing the next industrial era to move, power, build and cure the world.


About Imagine

Imagine Entertainment was founded in 1986 by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer to create independently produced feature films, television programs and other original programming. Imagine Entertainment has been honored with more that 60 prestigious awards including 10 Academy Awards and 36 Emmy awards. Past productions include Academy Award Best Picture winner A Beautiful Mind, 8 Mile, Apollo 13, American Gangster, The Da Vinci Code, 8 Mile, Liar, Liar, Backdraft, and Parenthood to name a few. Upcoming films include Get on Up and In The Heart of the Sea. Television productions include NBC’s Parenthood, NBC’s Friday Night Lights, Fox’s 24 and 24: Live Another Day, Fox’s and Netflix’s Arrested Development, Fox's Gang Related, as well as HBO's From the Earth to the Moon, for which Howard and Grazer won the Emmy® for Outstanding Mini-Series. Current television productions include Fox’s Empire. Ron Howard and Brian Grazer began their collaboration in 1985 with the hit comedies Night Shift and Splash, and continue to run Imagine Entertainment as chairmen.


About Asylum

Asylum Entertainment has produced a diverse slate of event miniseries, feature films, gritty documentaries and provocative unscripted series — thousands of hours of programming in its 12-year history. Notable productions include the miniseries “The Kennedys,” which won four of the 10 Emmy awards for which it was nominated, and “Ring of Fire,” which garnered four more Emmy nods. Last year, Asylum received glowing reviews for its feature documentary “Happy Valley,” about the Penn State sex scandal, as well as for a coming-of-age feature film titled “Small Time.” Asylum’s event miniseries about Marilyn Monroe’s turbulent relationship with her schizophrenic mother (starring Susan Sarandon, Emily Watson, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kelli Garner) will air in May, and a film about the young devotees of Charles Manson is now in pre-production. Asylum’s factual series include ESPN's Emmy-winning series “30 for 30,” “Beverly Hills Pawn,” “Addicted,” “Being Mike Tyson” and “American Gangster.” Asylum Entertainment is owned by Legendary Entertainment, a leading media company with film (Legendary Pictures), television and digital (Legendary Television and Digital Media) and comics (Legendary Comics) divisions dedicated to owning, producing and delivering content to mainstream audiences with a targeted focus on the powerful fandom demographic.

Source: National Geographic Channel and GE

BREAKTHROUGH: General Electric Planning Television Series Covering Science and Tech

In an age when viewers increasingly fast-forward past television commercials on their DVRs or bypass most advertisements altogether by streaming the programs, companies are constantly looking for new ways to reach consumers.


General Electric is the latest to experiment, with the help of big-name movie producers and directors. The company is working on a six-part documentary series about science and technology that will be broadcast on the National Geographic Channel beginning in November. The channel, which is co-producing the series, plans to announce it Wednesday at its upfront presentation in New York.

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With the series, called “Breakthrough,” G.E. aims to create high-quality branded content that will highlight scientific innovation, some of it involving scientists who work for or with the company. Brian Grazer and Ron Howard of Imagine Entertainment — who both won Academy Awards in 2002 for “A Beautiful Mind” and have worked together on other blockbuster films like “Apollo 13” — are producers, along with Asylum Entertainment. Mr. Howard, Brett Ratner, Angela Bassett, Akiva Goldsman, Peter Berg and Paul Giamatti will each direct one of the hourlong episodes.


G.E., which has a global research division with nearly 4,000 scientists and engineers, said its goal with the series was not to sell more light bulbs or other G.E. products, but to spread awareness about the company’s contributions to science and technology. G.E. helped pick the topics for the series and gave the producers access to its research centers to generate story ideas.


The company said it was leaving much of the actual storytelling to Imagine and Asylum. G.E. products and scientists are likely to appear in the episodes, though Beth Comstock, the company’s chief marketing officer, insisted they would not be included “unless it makes sense.” Other companies will also be able to buy commercial time during the episodes. (G.E. said it did not currently have plans to run its own commercials during the series.)


“It’s not just slapping our logo on and paying the production fee,” said Ms. Comstock, who is also the president and chief executive of G.E. business innovations. The six episodes will focus on scientific advances involving the brain, aging, water supply, alternative energy, pandemics and the fusion of biology and technology.

Production on several of the episodes is already underway. The series will run in 171 countries and in 45 languages, those involved said.


“You see G.E. as this gigantic corporation that does many, many different things, but we connected to the heartbeat of what that is,” Mr. Grazer said.


Neither G.E. nor the National Geographic Channel, of which Fox Cable Networks, a division of 21st Century Fox, is a majority owner, would disclose the budget for “Breakthrough.” But both said the series required a significant financial investment.


G.E. is certainly not the first brand to try branded entertainment. The Lego Group charged onto the big screen in 2014 with “The Lego Movie,” which made $468.8 million at the box office worldwide. Chipotle put out a four-part comedy series called “Farmed and Dangerous” on Hulu last year, after releasing two animated shorts on YouTube, “Back to the Start” in 2011 and “The Scarecrow” in 2013. A series in 2012 for Intel, “The Beauty Inside,” about a man who wakes up as a different person every day, won a Daytime Emmy Award.


Marketing experts say this turn to branded entertainment is happening because the traditional methods of advertising are outdated and every piece of content, advertising or not, must compete for viewers’ attention.


“There’s no room for anything that’s secondary, that doesn’t add value to people’s lives,” said Andrew Essex, the vice chairman for the advertising agency Droga5. “Brands have to try harder and aspire to the level of entertainment.”


G.E. has been quick to adopt new forms of social and digital media. It was among the first brands on Twitter, Instagram and the video service Vine. G.E. also recently teamed with Vevo on a video bundle for streaming devices like Roku and Apple TV.


Brands are still spending plenty of money on television advertising. Television ad expenditures increased 5.5 percent in 2014, to $78.1 billion, from $74.0 billion in 2013, according to Kantar Media.


Still, as brands rethink the way they advertise, television networks are adapting as well. For the National Geographic Channel, producing a series with G.E. was a way to align itself with a company beyond a traditional sponsorship, said Courteney Monroe, the chief executive of National Geographic Channels U.S.


“Because it’s no longer about the 30-second spots for brands, television networks also have to innovate and think differently about how they work with brands,” she said.


Still, in producing a series like “Breakthrough,” which is supposed to entertain viewers as much as to market G.E., there is the possibility that consumers will not realize the company’s connection to the show.


“I don’t think it has to be plastered all over the screen,” Ms. Comstock said. Still, she added, “we’ll make sure that everyone knows that G.E. has been part of it.”


And if they don’t?


“Sure it’s a risk,” she acknowledged. “Good content has to be risky.”



Source: NY Times


Given her relatively short career, icon status, and infamous demise, Marilyn Monroe occupies rare space as an actress whose appearances as a character outnumber her actual roles.


The latest retelling of Norma Jeane Mortenson’s life and death comes in the form of THE SECRET LIFE OF MARILYN MONROE, a two-part Lifetime miniseries based on J. Randy Taraborrelli’s book of the same name and starring Kelli Garner (Looking).

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“The role was something I tried to appreciate every second of,” Garner says. “Some of these scenes, I just kind of sat back and said, ‘All right. I’m going to learn a lot today.’”



















Airing May 30 and 31, MARILYN tells the story not only of the woman beneath the blond hair and makeup, but of the women in her life—specifically her troubled mother, played by Oscar winner Susan Sarandon.


“She’s playing a woman who’s hard to get a gauge on, who hears voices, who thinks things are there when they’re not, who disappears for long periods of time,” says Garner of Sarandon’s character, Gladys. “There was a distance between us that I hope reads really beautiful. You start seeing droplets of both of these people trying to connect, and having nothing to connect on.”

HAPPY VALLEY: Film Documents Life Around Scandalized Penn State

The people on screen in “Happy Valley,” Amir Bar-Lev’s powerful new documentary, frequently describe Penn State football as a religion. This is almost not a metaphor. The film pays periodic visits to a large outdoor mural in State College, Pa., where Nittany Lion luminaries are depicted as if they were figures in an Italian Renaissance tableau of biblical luminaries. At one point, a halo is painted in over the head of Joe Paterno, the former Penn State head football coach who died in 2012, a few months after being fired from the position he had held for 46 seasons. Mr. Bar-Lev’s interview subjects sometimes describe Paterno as a god or a saint, and he is almost universally recalled as a beloved and benevolent patriarch.

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Later the halo will be painted over, and a statue of Paterno, a landmark for fans and tourists, will be uprooted from its place outside the football stadium. The cause of this downfall is well known far beyond Central Pennsylvania. In 2012, Jerry Sandusky, a longtime defensive coach under Paterno, was convicted on 45 counts related to the sexual abuse of children. Mr. Sandusky had used his charity, which ostensibly helped poor and vulnerable youngsters, as a way of finding and grooming victims and camouflaging his crimes in good works.


But Mr. Sandusky’s actions are not the subject of “Happy Valley,” which recounts the sorry tale of his trial and its aftermath. His monstrousness has been amply documented in Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting by Sara Ganim and others at The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., and in exhaustive, sometimes prurient coverage on national television. Mr. Bar-Lev, whose other documentaries include “The Tillman Story” and “My Kid Could Paint That,” is more interested in the storm of shame, denial and anger — the crisis of faith — that washed over State College as attention turned from Mr. Sandusky to the team and the university administration. Did anyone know that a sexual predator was at large in the football program, using its prestige to his own despicable ends? Did anyone try to stop him?


The answers, especially as articulated in a report overseen by Louis J. Freeh, the former director of the F.B.I., only deepened the sense of crisis at Penn State. Suspicions about Mr. Sandusky had been raised as early as 1998, but nothing was done. The N.C.A.A. banned the team from bowl games and nullified all victories from 1998 to 2011, taking away Paterno’s status as the most winning coach in major college football.


Mr. Bar-Lev includes searching, painful interviews with Paterno’s widow and two of his sons, and with Matt Sandusky, Jerry Sandusky’s adopted son, who offers a harrowing glimpse into the household of a serial pedophile. There are conversations with critics and partisans of Penn State and its football team, including a student who thinks the punishment of the university went much too far and a lawyer who believes it did not go far enough.


“Happy Valley” also records some ugly and disturbing moments, including the campus riot the night after Paterno’s firing, when students knocked down lampposts and upended cars. A strain of self-pitying defensiveness is evident among Penn State loyalists, who defiantly chant Paterno’s name at gatherings and ritualistically blame “the media” for the university’s woes.

The implications of the film extend far beyond State College, which is at once an isolated enclave of sports fanaticism and a symbol for other such places. The cult of personality around Paterno — a man paradoxically hailed as a deity and praised for his modesty — is hardly unique. In many states, the highest-paid public employee coaches a college football or basketball team. At the end of “Happy Valley,” we see merchandise featuring the name and likeness of Paterno’s successor, Bill O’Brien (who has since left for the N.F.L.).


“Happy Valley,” even as it revisits past events, has a chilling timeliness. Mr. Sandusky’s crimes are his alone, but there are enough other scandals related to college sports to suggest a pattern of dysfunction. Big-time college sports represent an area of American culture where democratic values give way to other, more atavistic impulses: the worship of authority, the celebration of discipline and conformity, the absorption of the individual’s voice into the roar of the crowd. Societies where statues are erected in honor of living people and then pulled down in disgrace are not usually happy places.


Source: NY TIMES

MARILYN: Emily Watson Joins ‘Marilyn’ Miniseries On Lifetime

Oscar and Golden Globe nominated actress Emily Watson (Hilary And Jackie) has been cast opposite Kelli Garner and Susan Sarandon in MARILYN, Lifetime’s upcoming four-hour miniseries about tragic Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe, to premiere in 2015.

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Based on best-selling book The Secret Life Of Marilyn Monroe by J. Randy Taraborrelli, the mini will center on Marilyn (Garner), who walks red carpets in shimmering gowns while fighting a battle against demons she’s inherited from her mentally ill mother Gladys (Sarandon), whom she loves, hates and wants desperately to save.


Marilyn becomes the Face and Voice of an era, yet wants most of all to be someone’s mother and someone’s little girl. Watson will play Grace McKee, the high-spirited, loving guardian to young Norma Jeane Mortenson who instilled in the lonely girl the dream of becoming a star, despite Gladys’ objections.


MARILYN was penned by The Kennedys writer Stephen Kronish. Laurie Collyer is set to direct. Asylum Entertainment is producing. Jonathan Koch, Steven Michaels, Keri Selig and Kronish executive produce.

FILARDI & LYNCH : Austin & Ally and Teen Beach Movie star Ross Lynch is making the leap into feature films with a new project.

Legendary's Asylum Entertainment has bought a pitch from 17 Again writer Jason Filardi with Lynch attached to star. The plot of the film is currently being kept under wraps, but sources say it's a high-concept supernatural comedy set in a New England high school. 

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Offspring Entertainment’s Jennifer Gibgot will produce with Asylum's Steve Michaels and Jonathan Koch.


Lynch's start is similar to 17 Again star Zac Efron's as he's developed a strong teen fan base after starring in the Disney Channel's Austin & Ally as Austin Moon since 2011, and starring in the original movie Teen Beach Movie, which premiered in 2013 to huge success. It raked in 13.5 million viewers, making it the No. 2 most-watched movie in cable TV history behind High School Musical 2.


Lynch will reprise his role in the sequel, which is set to air in 2015, and he continues his music career as the lead singer of the Hollywood Record's recording group R5. He's repped by The Savage Agency, Principato-Young Entertainment and Felker Toczek.


Asylum Entertainment, known for unscripted and longform TV programming including miniseries The Kennedys, was acquired by Legendary at the end of 2013 with plans to expand into other genres in multiple platforms. Filardi's pitch is the company's first step into feature film development.


Asylum's upcoming projects include Lifetime’s Marilyn Monroe event miniseries starring Susan Sarandon and Kelli Garner, and a signature limited series for National Geographic in partnership with Imagine Entertainment and General Electric. 


Along with writing 2009's 17 Again, which helped Efron launch his movie career, Filardi wrote 2003's Bringing Down the House. He recently sold the project Floors, based on a book by Patrick Carman, to Disney. He's repped by Paradigm and manager Brian Lutz.

BILLY BOB'S GAGS TO RICHES: Airing Tuesdays on Discovery 10 PM ET/PT
Jonah White, the founder of Billy Bob Teeth in Hardin, Illinois and CEO of a multi-million dollar gag-gift empire, is in search of new products for his redneck-approved Billy Bob line.
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After taking the Halloween and costume industries by storm and building an empire based on his own invention of fake redneck buck teeth, Jonah has accomplished the America dream and created a booming business with over 300 products sold throughout the world, including over 20 million Billy Bob Teeth. Now, inventors from all over are coming to Billy Bob World to pitch Jonah their own OUTRAGEOUS ideas for a piece of the pie. Find out what it takes to go from pitch to rich in Discovery Channel's new six-part series BILLY BOB'S GAGS TO RICHES premiering tonight, November 4 at 10 PM ET/PT.


Jonah, a self-made businessman who created his own wealth based on hard work, family values and a funny idea, continues to live out his dreams in the same small, close-knit town that he grew up in. Now, with a family of his own, a sprawling log cabin-style mansion, hundreds of exotic animals, and zip lines crisscrossing his property, Jonah seeks to strike a balance between the indulgent lifestyle he can now afford, while raising his family with the same values that were instilled in him during his childhood.


Jonah is always on the lookout for the next big, million dollar idea, but he doesn't do it alone; he utilizes his 'Redneck Think Tank' to test, develop and come up with new products. From cowboy sandals, pumpkin teeth and road kill car decals, Jonah is constantly taking pitches from hopeful inventors who are trying to cash in on their own crazy ideas. The negotiations can get intense, and in the end, Jonah could make some lucky inventors rich - or send them right back to the drawing board.


BILLY BOB'S GAGS TO RICHES is produced for Discovery Channel by Asylum Entertainment. For Asylum Entertainment, executive producers are Steve Michaels, Jonathan Koch, Carl Johnson and James Gutierrez. For Discovery Channel, David Pritikin is executive producer.

MARILYN: Lifetime Casts Its Marilyn Monroe

PAN AM and THE AVIATOR alum Kelli Garner has been tapped to play the blonde bombshell in the cabler's upcoming miniseries MARILYN, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

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In MARILYN, a four-hour miniseries based on J. Randy Taraborrelli's book, The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, Garner will topline the drama that explores Monroe's family life and how she succeeded in hiding from an all-too-invasive world.


Garner's Monroe is described as a woman who will walk red carpets in shimmering gowns while fighting a battle against demons she's inherited from her mentally ill mother Gladys (Susan Sarandon, DEAD MAN WALKING), whom she loves, hates and wants desperately to save.


Here's Lifetime's official description of the mini: "Marilyn is both the personification of sex, whose first marriage ironically collapses because of her frigidity, and a fragile artist who seeks the approval and protection of men.  But after tumultuous marriages with Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller, she realizes she has the strength to stand on her own. She becomes the face and voice of an era, yet wants most of all to be someone's mother and someone's little girl. She's the Marilyn you haven't seen before, the artist who, by masking the truth with an image, gives her greatest performance."


24 and THE KENNEDYS’ Stephen Kronish is on board to pen the mini, with SHERRYBABY's Laurie Collyer attached to direct the Marilyn Monroe entry.


The mini hails from Asylum Entertainment, the production company behind Lifetime's June Carter Cash biopic RING OF FIRE as well as Reelz Channel's ratings hit THE KENNEDYS.


Asylum's Jonathan Koch and Steven Michaels will exec produce alongside Kronish and Keri Selig. Selig is attached to exec produce Reelz's KENNEDYS follow-up, AFTER CAMELOT, which, like Marilyn, was based on a book by Taraborrelli.


Garner's credits include MY  GENERATION and features TAKING WOODSTOCK, GOING THE DISTANCE and G-FORCE, among others. She's repped by Gersh, John Carrabino Management and Hansen Jacobson.


She joins a roster of small-screen actresses to have played Monroe including Megan Hilty, Uma Thurman and Katharine McPhee (NBC's SMASH); Charlotte Sullivan in THE KENNEDYS as well as Suzie Kennedy and Constance Forslund.

MARILYN: Academy Award winner Susan Sarandon tapped to co-star in Lifetime miniseries
In MARILYN, a four-hour miniseries based on J. Randy Taraborrelli's book, The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, Susan Sarandon will portray the blonde bombshell's mentally ill mother, Gladys Mortenson.
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The character is described as a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, who is the product of a mother who committed suicide as a result of her own mental illness, and a father who died of syphilitic insanity. Frequently delusional, sometimes violent, Gladys was sexually adventurous in her youth but taught her daughter that sex should be avoided at all costs. Deeply devoted to Christian Science, she urges Marilyn to reject her reliance on drugs and that her salvation will be achieved by returning to the tenets of the faith. (The role of Monroe has not yet been cast.)

24 and The Kennedys' Stephen Kronish is on board to pen the mini, with Sherrybaby's Laurie Collyer attached to direct the Marilyn Monroe entry.


Here's Lifetime's official description of the mini: "Marilyn is both the personification of sex, whose first marriage ironically collapses because of her frigidity, and a fragile artist who seeks the approval and protection of men. But after tumultuous marriages with Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller, she realizes she has the strength to stand on her own. She becomes the face and voice of an era, yet wants most of all to be someone's mother and someone's little girl. She's the Marilyn you haven't seen before, the artist who, by masking the truth with an image, gives her greatest performance.


The mini hails from Asylum Entertainment, the production company behind Lifetime's June Carter Cash biopic Ring of Fire as well as Reelz Channel's ratings hit The Kennedys.

Asylum's Jonathan Koch and Steven Michaels will exec produce alongside Kronish and Keri Selig. Selig is attached to exec produce Reelz's Kennedys follow-up, After Camelot, which, like Marilyn, was based on a book by Taraborrelli.


Taraborrelli's book is considered the most definitive Monroe biography. Published in 2010, the title explored the actress/pin-up girl's relationship with her mentally ill mother, her foster mother and her legal guardian as well as Monroe's own mental illness and her relationships with her family and the Kennedys.


For Sarandon, the casting comes as the Dead Man Walking Oscar winner has been pushing further in to TV. The actress last year teamed with her daughter, Eva Amurri Martino, for a mother-daughter comedy that was set up at NBC. Her recent small-screen credits include arcs on CBS' Mike & Molly and Showtime's The Big C. She earned Emmy nominations for her roles in HBO's TV movie You Don't Know Jack and mini Bernard and Doris as well as for her guest roles on Malcolm in the Middle and Friends. She's repped by UTA.
Marilyn will premiere in 2015.


Twitter: @Snoodit

HAPPY VALLEY: Penn State Football Scandal Docu Acquired By Music Box Films

Music Box Films has acquired U.S. rights to Happy Valley, the A&E IndieFilms-funded documentary about the aftermath of the conviction of former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky for molesting young boys — some of which was perpetrated in the locker room where Sandusky brought the kids after hours under the guise of his charity.

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The film was directed by Amir Bar-Lev, who helmed the superb The Tillman Story, about the military cover-up of the friendly-fire killing of football star-turned-Army Ranger. Happy Valley is produced by Passion Pictures’ John Battsek, Asylum Entertainment’s Jonathan Koch and Steve Michaels, along with Ken Dornstein, and was executive produced by A&E IndieFilms’ Molly Thompson, Bob DeBitetto and David McKillop. The film premiered in Sundance and has played several festivals. It will be released in November in day-and-date fashion.


For those who’ve followed from afar the shocking firing of legendary Penn State head coach Joe Paterno — he died before the NCAA vacated his status as football’s winningest Division I head coach and tore down his iconic bronze statue — the documentary answers a lot of questions that began cropping up when the scandal erupted in late 2011. Those interviewed include Paterno’s wife and sons, as well as the stepson of Sandusky who describes how he showed up for courtroom testimony on the side of the Sandusky family, listened to the testimony of a victim, went home, looked in the mirror and made a decision. He made himself available as a prosecution witness, saying he could no longer conceal his own abuse story at the hands of a pillar of the community, who got the courts to take the young man away from his family when Sandusky decided to adopt him.

What emerges is a coterie of small tragedies—including the guilt, shame and anger that led residents and students to be pitted against one another over whether Paterno was a hero or an enabler. This included the artist who painted a popular mural of the Penn State football family. He first painted Sandusky out of the mural, and later removed a halo that rested above the head of Paterno. All this as a result of a pedophile who operated for years, in plain sight. Several Penn State administrators still face criminal charges that they, along with Paterno, swept the abuse allegations under the rug and didn’t even call the police when a graduate assistant reported seeing Sandusky molesting a boy in the showers.


“Happy Valley is a revealing post-mortem and a coda to a story we only thought we knew,” said Ed Arentz, Managing Director of Music Box.


Interestingly, Al Pacino said in Toronto interviews he’d seen the film and around that time, HBO put the brakes on its movie called Happy Valley, the Brian De Palma-directed film that will star Pacino as Paterno. The payweb has said that it wanted to do more work on the script to ensure the story is right. It is unclear whether Pacino raised questions after seeing this docu, but it is clear from Bar-Lev’s film how challenging it is to take a definitive position on who besides Sandusky is a villain or a victim. Among those dissecting those complicated feelings is Joe Posnanski, who wrote the book (with Paterno’s cooperation) that is the basis for the HBO film.


“There’s a story here with human drama that can’t be fully captured by the news,” said Bar-Lev. “I’m pleased that Music Box will help us bring that story to a wide audience.” Submarine brokered the deal.


LOVE: Netflix and Legendary Television to make funny new original series from Judd Apatow, Paul Rust and Lesley Arfin

Series Starring Gillian Jacobs and Paul Rust to Debut 2016
Beverly Hills, CA, September 16, 2014 – Judd Apatow, Paul Rust and Lesley Arfin are bringing an unflinching, hilarious and excruciatingly honest take on modern relationships to Love, a new Netflix original series, licensed globally and debuting in 2016  in all Netflix territories. Netflix has made a two-season commitment to Love, which debuts with 10 episodes in 2016 and 12 the following year.

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Love follows Gus (Paul Rust from I Love You, Beth Cooper and Inglorious Basterds) and Mickey (Gillian Jacobs) as they navigate the exhilarations and humiliations of intimacy, commitment, and other things they were hoping to avoid. Jacobs is best known for her role as Britta in the critically-acclaimed series Community and can next be seen in Community’s 6th season, Life Partners, Hot Tub Time Machine 2 and Girls.
The half-hour comedy series is produced by Apatow Productions and Legendary Television, and created and written by Apatow, Rust and Arfin (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Girls). Brent Forrester (The Office, The Simpsons) will executive produce.
“Judd Apatow has a unique comedic voice that manages to be delightful, insightful, and shockingly frank -- often at the same time,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. “Together with Paul and Lesley, he’s bringing a whole new level of agony and ecstasy to this modern day comedy of manners.”
“I am so excited to get to work with Paul and Lesley on this project,” said Apatow. “Netflix has been supportive in ways I couldn’t create in my wildest fever dreams.”
“We at Legendary are thrilled to be working with the wonderfully talented Judd and excited to partner with the Netflix team,” said Bruce Rosenblum, Legendary Television’s President of Television and Digital Media “We look forward to validating their support for this innovative and genuinely funny series.”
Netflix is the world's leading Internet television network with over 50 million members in more than 40 countries enjoying more than one billion hours of TV shows and movies per month, including original series. For a low monthly price, Netflix members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on nearly any Internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.

SKULL ISLAND: Tom Hiddleston to star and Jordan Vogt-Roberts to direct Legendary Entertainment Film

Legendary announced its plans to make a feature film based on the cinematic origins of King Kong during this year’s San Diego Comic Con with an original draft of the script by Max Borenstein. Previous works have touched on the island, but staying on and exploring this mysterious and dangerous place offers Legendary the opportunity to take audiences deeper inside this rich world with a style and scope that parallels other Legendary productions. Universal Pictures will distribute the film on November 4, 2016.

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Vogt-Roberts directed and executive produced the Sundance darling THE KINGS OF SUMMER. He has also directed the pilot and multiple episodes of FX’s new series “You’re the Worst” and is set to direct METAL GEAR SOLID for Sony. His other credits include directing the pilot of “Cocked” for Amazon Studios and directing and executive producing the concert documentary NICK OFFERMAN: AMERICAN HAM. He is represented by UTA, 3 Arts Entertainment and attorneys Alan Wertheimer and Andy Gawker.


Hiddleston’s credits include MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE, and WAR HORSE. He is also known for portraying Thor’s nemesis and brother, Loki, in Marvel’s THOR, THOR: THE DARK WORLD, and THE AVENGERS. Upcoming projects include Legendary’s gothic horror CRIMSON PEAK from director Guillermo del Toro, Ben Wheatley's adaptation of J.G. Ballard's HIGH-RISE and Marc Abraham's Hank Williams biopic I SAW THE LIGHT. He is repped by William Morris Endeavor, Hamilton Hodell and Authentic Management. 


Legendary’s recent releases include GODZILLA, 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE and the Guillermo del Toro directed PACIFIC RIM as well as the Jackie Robinson biopic 42 and MAN OF STEEL with Warner Bros. In addition to WARCRAFT, highlights from Legendary’s upcoming slate include BLACKHAT and CRIMSON PEAK.

10 THINGS: Henry Rollins knows a thing or two (or 10) about history

Henry Rollins, the celebrated spoken-word artist, rocker and writer, travels the United States to find tucked-away history lessons surrounding some of the major events in America’s past. His adventures and examinations are the subject of the H2 reality series 10 Things You Don’t Know About, which is set to premiere 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16.

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He landed at The History Channel’s sister network after “waxing psychotic” on why he loves history for the producers. In turn, the creative team, who were apparently looking to overhaul 10 Things, loved him, and the rest is, well, history.


“I did a production deal with Asylum who does this show for H2,” Rollins said recently in a phone interview. “They wanted to go from half hour to an hour and restructure it, and they were looking for a new host. I do not know the exact reasons. And they said, ‘Does this kind of show interest you?’ And I said, ‘It sounds fascinating.’ They said, ‘Can we put you on tape talking about how much you like history.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah.’ So they came to my office and opened up a camera, and I basically waxed psychotic on how much I like history. I’m not an expert. Just like many people, I’m just a fan. And they sent it to History Channel, and History Channel said he’s our guy.”


Last year, Rollins completed four episodes of the series as a trial run, and now he’s back for 10 more adventures. He said the team has been “obsessively” working on the episodes since late March, and they still have a few more weeks of production to go. Upcoming episodes are varied in their content, covering such topics as marijuana, the American flag, civil rights, Texas, the Hoover Dam, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla and the Revolutionary War.


Rollins went into detail about the forthcoming American flag episode where the team showcases an angry letter from Francis Hopkinson demanding that the government pay him a portion of a flask of wine for reportedly designing the American flag. “He basically wanted a bottle of wine, and they didn’t give it to him,” Rollins said. “They said, ‘That was your job. Shut up, and get back to your desk.’ And I believe the letter. I believe the fact that he asked to get paid, and he describes this flag. … It’s not like we’re breaking open some magic vault of information, but you might know that. But have you ever seen the letter? We got it.”


Rollins added that finding these documents and talking to experts are what makes history come alive. “Otherwise it’s just dead people in books,” he said. “And my reactions are all natural. This stuff blows my mind. I’m a fan. … What we mainly try to do is get to the big topics by going in through all the side doors.”


Another episode explores the Hoover Dam, which involved weeks of research. The show’s focus is on a town that was eventually flooded by nearby Lake Mead. Now that the lake is evaporating, the town of St. Thomas has been unearthed, and spectators can see an old school building with freshwater shells inside.


“You see these footprints of structures,” he said. “It’s a bitch to find the thing, but the parks service helped us out. We filmed there. We filmed right in front of the school steps. It’s trippy. I mean it is the desert. You said, ‘Wait a minute, at one point this was Lake Mead.’ They said, ‘People scuba dived on this.’ Sixty-feet of water over the schoolyard. People fished in it, and now it is back to the desert. It is brutal — 110, lizards, heat. And there we were with our cameras, melting like packs of butter, and this is what we do. We try and get to the big topics but the small aspects.”


Rollins said that in 2014 we live comparatively easy lives to the men and women profiled on the show. From working in 120-degree heat in the Nevada desert to being a founding father and trying to map the future of the United States, the subjects on 10 Things had to deal with some weighty obstacles.


“And you imagine the families of these men who came across the country to work,” he said of the community around the Hoover Dam. “They’re sitting around drinking bad water. The kids are dying. I mean they lived in a desert for years. There’s no air conditioning. There’s tents. They’re just building lean-tos, and it was brutal. I mean this is America. But it’s like savage, and these people had to be. They just were made of tough stuff. They had no choice. And you and I, we just don’t. I’m not saying we suck. I’m just saying that we, you and I, we, the general we, we don’t have to deal with stuff like this. It’s not even on our radar, yet our ancestors, man, they went through [it]. … I mean if you’re a multi-generation American, somewhere in your bloodline, man, those people were tough and sacrificed and had really hard lives. And so that’s the part I keep coming away with.”


Rollins’ love of history didn’t begin when he was growing up. He said he learned the subject from “disinterested athletic coaches” at his private prep school. Only when he started touring the United States in a punk rock band did he start understanding the full picture of the American landscape, from the accents to the food to the prejudices.


“Then as a kind of an older adult I kind of dropped reading literature almost like a hot potato and just kind of transitioned into history,” he said. “I don’t know why. I just kind of lost my thing with literature. … I travel a lot, so world history is relevant to me. I’m in the Middle East a lot. I’m in Africa a lot. I’m in Europe a lot, so World War II is interesting. The Cold War, the Soviet-Afghan War. I’ve been to Afghanistan a number of times, where all that stuff is interesting, too.”


As an example, he discussed a recent visit to a Las Vegas museum that highlights “atomic tourism,” a time when atomic bombs were tested every three weeks for a dozen years. There used to be atomic cocktails and girls in mushroom-cloud dresses. For Rollins, his stop in the museum’s gift shop ended with a purchase of American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin.


“I have a foot of books from doing this season,” he said. “I’d meet professors. They’d go, ‘Here’s my book on Lyndon Baines Johnson.’ I’m like, ‘Damn.’ I’d read 30 pages that night; then I’ve got to get up. So I’ve got all these quarter finished books or 8 pages in, and you realize there’s just not enough time. And how great would it be to just sit in a room and read all day, but I can’t make the time. This show allows me to satiate [that] at least partially. I’m like a lot of people. There’s nothing unique about me. I’m curious.”


When filming 10 Things, Rollins has little time for other projects — but he still manages to fit them in. He hosts a weekly radio show on KCRW, produces a 1,000-word article every week for L.A. Weekly and 500 words a month for Rolling Stone Australia. “And so I serve many masters,” he said. “And when I have that Tuesday deadline to turn in the L.A. Weekly article, and I’ve just come off a 14-hour shoot day, I hope the writing holds up. It’s a lot to keep all those plates spinning.”

10 THINGS: Henry Rollins explains the racist origins of marijuana prohibition

"If we legalize marijuana, then you're legalizing a 'brown person's drug,' Henry Rollins says with a sarcastic tone. "And we don't really let the brown people do what that want in this country, if you look at the history. If marijuana is legal, then your kids will be imbibing in what those 'jazz jigaboos' used to get up to." According to Rollins, the racist agenda behind the drug's ban is more curious than the current perceptions of marijuana prohibition. 



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It's just one of the topics the former Black Flag and Rollins Band howler will explore in the next season of 10 THINGS YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT, a series he hosts on TV network H2 in which he goes on a fact-finding mission to uncover forgotten facts about a particular subject. This season, which premieres with an episode about the American flag on Saturday at 10 p.m. EST, will feature episodes about the Hoover Dam, Texas and the civil rights movement, among others.


"America's connection with hemp is interesting," Rollins tells Rolling Stone. "Harry Anslinger, the guy who said your children will stab you in your sleep if they smoke this stuff [leading to its prohibition in the Thirties], was basically promoting racism and bigotry coming on as good Christian moral ethics. 'Save America from this thing.' Really, you should save America from illiteracy and pigheaded ignorance like racism and misogyny and homophobia. That's your danger; not the weed that Louis Armstrong apparently smoked, like, every day – though he seemed to play a pretty mean horn as far as my record collection tells me."


Source: Rolling Stone

MARILYN MONROE: Marilyn Monroe Biopic Eyes Green Light At Lifetime

Lifetime is readying another biopic of a female showbiz star whose life was tragically cut short — Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe.  Tentatively titled MARILYN, the film  hails from Asylum Entertainment, the company behind THE KENNEDYS miniseries, which also touched upon Marilyn’s story. (The bombshell, whose life was intertwined with those of John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy, was played in the mini by Charlotte Sullivan.)

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MARILYN was penned by THE KENNEDYS writer Stephen Kronish based on the book "The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe" by J. Randy Taraborrelli. Laurie Collyer is set to direct. Jonathan Koch, Steven Michaels, Keri Selig and Kronish executive produce.  Asylum, whose Kennedys miniseries aired on Reelz after getting dropped at the last minute by Lifetime sibling History, recently did another biopic for Lifetime, RING OF FIRE, about the life of June Carter Cash and Johnny Cash. At Lifetime, MARILYN joins last year’s "The Anna Nicole Story" and two other biopics of female entertainers who faced an untimely death that are in production, films about Aaliyah and Whitney Houston.



ASHLEY TISDALE: Ashley & sister Jennifer Tisdale will develop projects targeting families and young adults for Asylum Entertainment

Ashley Tisdale is getting into business with The Kennedys producer Asylum Entertainment.

The actress-producer's production banner, Blondie Girl Productions, has inked a multiyear overall deal with Asylum to create and develop scripted and unscripted projects aimed at families and young adults. Ashley Tisdale, along with her sister, Jennifer Tisdale, VP of development and production, will serve as producers.

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“We are excited to work with Ashley and Jennifer to develop television that appeals to a broader, pop-culture-savvy audience,” said Steve Michaels, president and CEO of Asylum. “Connecting Asylum and the Blondie Girls team is a great example of the diverse development deals we are striving to create now that we are working with Legendary.”


"We are so incredibly excited for this partnership with Asylum and Legendary Entertainment and know this is a perfect fit for us at Blondie Girl as we continue to develop new and exciting content with this amazing team," said Ashley Tisdale.


Blondie Girls produces ABC Family's Young and Hungry comedy and the Disney Channel film Cloud 9. Other projects have included Bravo's Miss Advised and E!'s Inner Circle.


Legendary acquired Asylum in December 2013 and through the deal, Asylum joins the Legendary Television and Digital Media umbrella. Asylum was founded in 2003 and has produced unscripted programs such as ESPN's 30 for 30, Beverly Hills Pawn and four-time Emmy-winning miniseries The Kennedys.



Twitter: @insidethetube

BAPS: Lifetime’s All-New Docu-series BAPs PREMIERES JULY 23

LOS ANGELES, CA (June 10, 2014) – Lifetime’s new docu-series BAPs pulls back the curtain on an exclusive, privileged and affluent group of African American friends from St. Louis who self-identify as “BAPs” - Black American Princesses and Princes.  Premiering Wednesday, July 23rd, at 10pm ET/PT, BAPs follows these lifelong friends who are edgy, educated and sophisticated, and believe being a BAP in today’s world is a birthright. 

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Each hour-long episode of BAPs delves into the lives and lifestyle of this well-heeled circle of friends.  Dressed to the nines with egos to spare, there is no shortage of conflict, humor and heart among the group that includes Anisha, Kristen, Gina, Jason, Riccarda and Brandon.  With a dynamic that can change from BFFs to frenemies at the drop of a hat, together they attend St. Louis’ most exclusive social institutions and events… but no occasion is conflict-free.  


Competing to be the most successful and beautiful person in their circle is sure to bind and divide them, especially when Anisha’s boyfriend, Kendrick, and his niece, Rai-Rai, represent everything a BAP is not.

BAPs is produced by Asylum Entertainment and Steve Michaels and Jonathan Koch are the executive producers.  Lifetime’s Eli Lehrer, Mary Donahue and Kimberly Chessler also executive produce.  Six episodes of BAPs have been ordered for this season.
From miniseries to reality series, Asylum has produced thousands of hours of programming in its twelve-year history, including the miniseries The Kennedys, which won four of the ten Emmy Awards for which it was nominated, and Ring Of Fire, which garnered four more Emmy nods. The Company’s first feature documentary, Happy Valley, a searing exploration about the Penn State sex scandal, debuted at Sundance; Asylum’s feature film, Small Time, opened in March.  Asylum maintains its commitment to excellence in its many factual series from ESPN's Emmy Award-winning 30 For 30, to Beverly Hills Pawn, Being Mike Tyson, The Locator, Addicted and American Gangster.  In April 2014 the company became a wholly-owned division of Legendary Entertainment (Godzilla, The Hangover).

LEGENDARY: GODZILLA a Monster Hit at $93.1M

Final numbers are in and GODZILLA came in at $93.1M in what was an incredible ride at the weekend box office for the Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures.

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With another $103.4M, the leaping lizard’s worldwide cume is almost $200M. This morning it looked like GODZILLA would be nearer to $93.4M to $93.8M as most other distribs had estimates higher. 


Neighbors came in a tad lower than Uni predicted again with $25M instead of $25.9M, dropping 49% in its sophomore frame but look at its cume: $90.5M in the U.S and worldwide $145.1M in two weeks time.


The other two second weekenders were Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return (which is a quality film, garnering an A CinemaScore) but fell 48%, and Mom’s Night Out fell hardest, down 59%.


Meanwhile, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is now at $172.1M; it’s overseas gross is more than double than it’s domestic take and it’s opened in all territories now. See international report on this and other films here in the international report.


Opening next weekend: X-Men: Days of Future Past (FOX), which is going to be huge, possibly a $100M opener; Blended (WB), a comedy that pairs old faithful Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, and an expansion for Chef (OPRD) which has been performing deliciously in limited release. It stars Jon Favreau and Sofia Vergara.


The updated chart follows:


1). Godzilla (WB), 3,952 theaters / 3-day cume: $93.1M+ (includes $9.3M Thursday) / Per screen average: $23,580K / Wk 1


2). Neighbors (UNI), 3,311 theaters (+32) / 3-day cume: $25 (-49%) / Per screen: $7,570 / Total cume: $90.5M / Wk 2


3). The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (SONY) 3,991 theaters (-333) / 3-day cume: $16.8M (-53%) / Per screen: $4,210 / Total cume: $172.1M / Wk 3


4). Million Dollar Arm (DIS), 2,109 theaters / 3-day cume: $10.5M / Per screen: $3,483 / Wk 1


5). The Other Woman (FOX), 3,054 theaters (-252) / 3-day cume: $6.3M (-34%) / Per screen: $2,065 / Total cume: $71.6M / Wk 4



SMALL TIME: It's hard to resist this affecting movie's modest charms.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter


Christopher Meloni plays a divorced used car salesman who reconnects with his teenage son in this comedy-drama written and directed by Joel Surnow ("24").

Playing the hard-boiled Detective Elliot Stabler for 12 seasons on Law and Order: SVU must have whetted Christopher Meloni’s appetite for lighter fare. Currently starring in the Fox sitcom Surviving Jack, the actor also displays his comic chops as a used car salesman in Small Time. Marking the feature debut of Joel Surnow, whose extensive television credits include 24 and The Kennedys, the film is an affecting comedy-drama that could garner strong VOD business thanks to its cast featuring such familiar faces as Dean Norris (Breaking Bad, Under the Dome) and Bridget Moynahan.

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The rugged actor plays Al Klein, who, along with his longtime partner Ash Martini (Norris), owns a used car dealership in the Valley. Although he has a beautiful girlfriend (Garcelle Beauvais), Al is desperately pining for his ex-wife Barbara (Moynahan), now remarried to a wealthy venture capitalist (Xander Berkeley) whose disdain for Al’s small-time, wheeler-dealing is all too apparent.


The sort of hapless father who shows up three hours late for his son Freddy’s (Devon Bostick of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series) high school graduation, Al is pleasantly surprised when the young man informs him that he intends to forego college and instead wants to become a used car salesman himself. Despite his mother’s strong objections, Freddy goes to work at the lot, quickly proving himself no slouch when it comes to manipulating customers. He also moves in with his old man, marking the first time the two have lived together in many years.


The writer-director’s affection for his characters -- the script is loosely autobiographical -- is both palpable and infectious. Meloni’s vulnerable Al is nicely paired with Norris’ endlessly exuberant Ash, who in late middle-age, is still prowling single bars in search of a good time. Watching the two men use a variety of well-honed tricks to snare unsuspecting buyers is one of the film’s many pleasures. Also fun are the scenes in which they hang out at a deli and kibitz with a group of colorful pals played by Kevin Nealon, Gregory Itzin and Ken Davitian (Borat).

While the storyline involving Al’s domestic drama and his increasing discomfort with his son’s disdainful attitude towards the dealership’s customers rarely strikes an unpredictable note, it works anyway thanks to the engaging characterizations and dialogue that largely rings true.


Small Time never quite manages to exceed its modest aspirations, but it has a loose charm that pulls you in much in the same way that Al and Ash’s reluctant buyers find themselves plunking down cash for a car they didn’t really want.



Joel Surnow


Christopher Meloni
Dean Norris
Devon Bostick
Bridget Moynahan
Kevin Nealon
Garcelle Beauvais
Xander Berkeley
Amaury Nolasco

HOLLYWOOD HILLBILLIES: Reality show focusing on Georgia family in L.A. settles in.
Review: 'Hollywood Hillbillies' -- how did it take so long?
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It's difficult to believe it has taken this long for a show like Reelz's "Hollywood Hillbillies" to enter the reality TV landscape. An unfiltered family from Georgia making their way through Tinseltown seems a no-brainer, a real-ish life version of "The Beverly Hillbillies."


But early family 'n' friends situational programming favored skewering the young ("Big Brother," "The Hills"), the rich (those "Real Housewives") and the extraordinary ("Jon and Kate Plus Eight"). Only recently have the resolutely red-state made their mark, with "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" and "Duck Dynasty" representing two ends of the socioeconomic spectrum.

"Hollywood Hillbillies," arriving on Tuesday, has the added attraction of being a creature of social media. A few years ago, young Michael Kittrell became a YouTube sensation with his Angry Ginger rant; this is the story of what happens next. Michael moves to L.A. in hopes of expanding his overnight brand and, this show being part of that venture, he has a posse of colorful family members in tow, including grandmother Mema, aunt Dee Dee and uncle "Big" John.


As in the fictional "Beverly" version, Mema figures heavily. Though she doesn't think much of the rest of her family, Michael, whom she raised, is the apple of her eye, and no sweet-talking, deal-making Hollywood type is going to take advantage of him. Big John is there to provide muscle, a male authority figure and a general good ol' boy vibe, while Dee Dee, traveling with her strangely silent beau, offers "country mouse in the big city" running commentary.

Which makes "Hollywood Hillbillies" at once celebratory and dismissive of both rural Georgia residents and Los Angeles; how can it miss?


Between the YouTube connection and the headin' to Hollywood conceit, "Hollywood Hillbillies" is as honest a reality show as you’re going to find on TV in that it actually acknowledges the fact that these people are starring in a television show.


The setup is rote by now, scenes from "real life" peppered with interviews in which the stars comment on how they are feeling about things. But from the moment Michael and his family arrive at the sort of Spanish style McMansion featured in so many seasons of "The Bachelor" (and skewered in the first season of Showtime's "Episodes"), an intriguing multilevel commentary takes hold.


On the one hand, "Hollywood Hillbillies" is precisely what it bills itself to be: the fish out of water exploits of a down-home family trying to make its way through a typically sun and sin drenched vista of Los Angeles. On the other, it is a look at how these sorts of shows, and careers happen. The family's meeting with Michael's manager, for instance, is clearly staged, and yet the rhetoric -- about taking Michael's brand to the next level -- is not.


Adorably ambitious yet family-oriented, Michael is the star of the show, but Mema is clearly the selling point. And in between the moments of carefully cultivated culture clashes -- an exchange about Mema's septic tank woes and fire-ant accommodations has to be seen to be believed -- and stereotypical L.A.-gazing, she manages to make a few points about the nature of success and fame that are certainly worth noting.


Even if they do come from the latest reality-star wannabe.,0,6011648.story#ixzz2r3uG3261

HAPPY VALLEY: Doc exploring Jerry Sandusky pedophilia scandal at Penn State includes 1st interview with his abused adopted son
Heartbreaking truths form foundation of 'Happy Valley'
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PARK CITY, Utah — The Sundance Film Festival program guide describes "Happy Valley" as a documentary that "delves beneath the headlines to create a modern American parable of guilt, redemption and identity." It is all that but it is also something more, something explosive that has been kept under wraps until now and almost didn't happen at all.

"Happy Valley" is an examination of the circumstances behind and the reaction to the crimes of Jerry Sandusky, a key member of the Penn State football coaching staff convicted in 2012 of 45 counts of sexual abuse of young boys. This thorough, thoughtful and heartbreaking film directed by "The Tillman Story's" Amir Bar-Lev premieres Sunday.


It marks the first time Matt Sandusky, Jerry's adopted son and the subject of a publicity vortex of his own, has spoken publicly about the events leading up to his own abuse.


"Am I going to remain the coward I am or am I going to risk everything to tell the truth," is how Sandusky describes his eventual decision to offer to testify at his father's trial in the film. Initially, he admits, he felt "I had to be loyal to the family. I wasn't going to betray him. Yet here I sit, betrayed by them all."


Appearing both sensitive and articulate on film, Sandusky is especially thoughtful when talking about how he felt being taken out of poverty and away from his birth mother and adopted by the coach and his family, who were major celebrities in Happy Valley, the local term for the State College, Pa., area where the university is located.


"His name was a golden ticket," the younger Sandusky says. "It was good to be next to him, to feel powerful, to feel that people envied me instead of looking down on me."


"If people thought of Joe Paterno as god," he says at another point, referring to the team's head coach, "Jerry was like Jesus. They were to me the two most powerful people. They could do whatever they wanted, they could do no wrong."


Strong as this material is, as producer Ken Dornstein explains, it came very close to not being in the film at all.


"It was kind of a non-starter for most of the victims to speak because they were in civil litigation with the university, and their lawyers erred on the side of caution," Dornstein notes.


Then, at the end of August, Sandusky and several of the other victims settled with Penn State. "We knew his story could stand in for a lot of the victims' stories, and we waited for Matt, we held the film for him," Dornstein says.


Director Bar-Lev says the Sandusky interview was the last one they did. "It took place the week before Thanksgiving," Bar-Lev says. Given Sundance's mid-January schedule, "we thought there would be no way to meet this deadline. I first described the situation as a Hail Mary pass, but really it's a timing play, things came together."

Bar-Lev says he was attracted to the Penn State story, as he had been to the tale of Pat Tillman — who died serving in Afghanistan after giving up an NFL career — because "when you have a story that has that kind of explosive momentum you have to scratch your head and ask why people find this so interesting, what gives the story traction."


The answer, the director felt, was "the moral parable involved" in a narrative that pivoted around how much revered head coach Paterno knew about Sandusky's actions and what he did and didn't do as a result: "People were agonizing over what they would have done in this situation, how responsible they would have been."


Not surprisingly, Bar-Lev found that the residents of the Happy Valley area were "really quite riven, there are a lot of fault lines. We challenged ourselves to let everybody put their best foot forward, to see things from as many perspectives as we could."


That intention is in line with one of the reasons Bar-Lev got into documentary work in the first place. "It's a useful exercise in attempting to acquire empathy, something that doesn't come easy for me, doesn't come easy for anyone. Some documentaries are exercises in finger-pointing; the ones I like best are exercises in holding opposing viewpoints at one time."

Though Matt Sandusky's presence is the film's boldface name, its heart is a subtle and balanced examination of the role that cultural factors — specifically the reverence for college football that runs through many large universities — had in keeping Jerry Sandusky's actions from being exposed for so long.


"I think the central idea of the film is expressed by Matt Jordan, a Penn State professor, who says that you deal with things in America by creating a shaming spectacle," Bar-Lev says.

"A handful of people in Happy Valley were pointing fingers and saying, 'This isn't about us, it's about them.' The rest of the country is pointing fingers at Happy Valley, saying 'There's something rotten in that culture.'

"I'm interested in finding where the widest circle of responsibility lies."


-LA Times

30 FOR 30- THE PRICE OF GOLD: In 'Price of Gold,' recalling the far-off era of Tonya Harding
It can feel like a lifetime ago that the world was transfixed by the Harding-Kerrigan figure-skating scandal -- you know, Tonya, Nancy and, of course, Gillooly, one-word signifiers for the bizarre winter soap opera that preceded the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics.

Memories of that time come rushing back, though, on seeing Nanette Burstein's new documentary, "The Price of Gold," a thorough look at the tale of revenge and redemption from the dawn of the modern celebrity age.

Burstein's film -- produced as part of ESPN’s "30 for 30" series and airing Thursday night on the network -- aims to shed new light on the tabloid-friendly tale, which began 20 years ago this month.
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Though the film ultimately comes to confirm the popular belief that Harding was aware of, and likely complicit in, the attack on Kerrigan's knee that nearly derailed the skater's Olympic hopes, it also draws a subtler picture. “Price” is a film in which Harding's hardscrabble background and abusive husband -- not to mention the draconian lifetime ban she eventually received from the U.S. skating federation -- create sympathy for the fallen athlete.

"It was easy for a lot of people back then to paint it all as the evil witch versus Snow White, so much so that some even believe it was Tonya who wielded a baton and personally hit Nancy in the knee," Burstein said in an interview Wednesday. "But the reality was much more complicated."

Burstein said her own feelings deepened and changed as she made the film, particularly with regard to Harding. "I sort of went up and down with it -- I mean, it's clear she's not being forthright when she said she didn't know about the attack -- but I definitely think she had a raw deal in life."

That life, as well as a colorful personality, are evident in long interviews with Harding, who though now in her early 40s, hasn’t exactly softened her edges. She can come off as defiant, not only in maintaining her before-the-fact innocence (she pleaded guilty only to hindering prosecution for not coming forth with post-attack knowledge) but also in lashing out at a media and skating establishment she believes favored the camera-ready Kerrigan over her.

At the same time, Harding's difficult back story (her mother and her ex-husband, that shadowy Jeff Gillooly, appear to have been abusive) offer some mitigating context. And the rush-to-judgment and skating banishment, even in the absence of a conviction, at least bolster some of her railroading claims.

Most ethically complex, several experts note that skating's popularity skyrocketed in the wake of the scandal and pretty much all the top competitors made millions of dollars as a result -- all except Harding, of course.

Burstein, a veteran documentarian ("The Kid Stays In the Picture," "American Teen"), takes advantage of the abundant archival footage to reconstruct the story. (And there is plenty of it, most pointedly of a weathered and cash-poor Harding trying to practice at a public rink with hundreds of onlookers and paparazzi bombarding her.)

 The director also interviews a wealth of people around Harding and the sport, including many of the reporters who covered the scandal along with skating-world mainstays such as Scott Hamilton and Paul Wylie.

Kerrigan did not participate in the film -- opting, after eight months of back-and-forth with filmmakers, to sign an exclusive contract with NBC for the upcoming Sochi Games, Burstein said. (There are some notable archival shots of the skater, including the famous "why, why" from the locker room of the Michigan skating facility where the attack happened and her equally well-known primetime dig at rival Oksana Baiul when the Russian skater ultimately won the women's gold and relegated Kerrigan to silver.)

Even with the focus more heavily on Harding, though, Burstein etches a larger portrait of an era.

What's striking in retrospect is just how innocent in many ways that time was -- Harding fights through it all without so much as a publicist -- as well as the staying power of the story. The nightly news covered the incident obsessively for six weeks running, a streak that in the current short-attention-span media world even Miley Cyrus couldn't pull off.

"This story is compelling because it brings up so many issues, issues of gender in this sport of ice skating, since Tonya was seen as less feminine than Nancy, and issues of class, since Tonya was trailer-park and Nancy was better off, working-class but with a private rink and a sports psychologist," Burstein said.

But what I found particularly fascinating was that this was a watershed moment for media. It’s when the pendulum first started swinging to tabloid news becoming mainstream news. As Connie Chung points out, you have the New York Times and CBS News alongside the National Enquirer.

With the Olympics and its intense glare again a few weeks away, attention will be trained on a new generation of female figure skaters, particularly young American prospects Ashley Wagner and Gracie Gold. Long out of the limelight in her native Pacific Northwest, Harding appears to have turned her life around, getting married and giving birth to a son several years ago.

There’s no skating, but there are memories and victories and, yes, some resentments, all of a time that somehow seems both vivid and distant.


By Steven Zeitchik
January 16, 2014, 4:00 a.m.

ASYLUM: Legendary Entertainment Acquires Asylum Entertainment
Burbank, CA – December 9, 2013 – Legendary Entertainment announced today that it has acquired 100 percent of Asylum Entertainment, a leading television production company, known for creating and producing popular scripted, non-scripted and sports documentary programming.
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Acquisition Underscores Legendary’s Mandate
 to Build a Multi-Platform and Diverse Television and Digital Business


Through the deal, Asylum joins Legendary Television & Digital Media, the division of Legendary Entertainment charged with producing programming across multiple platforms on a global basis. Legendary Television remains committed to premium, Legendary branded scripted content, while Asylum provides Legendary with a broad-based and diverse production label which will expand into non-scripted, long-form, sports and other genres.


The announcement was made by Bruce Rosenblum, President of Legendary Television and Digital Media, alongside Asylum Entertainment’s founders, Steve Michaels, President and Chief Executive Officer and Jonathan Koch, President and Chief Creative Officer. Michaels and Koch will continue to operate Asylum as an independent company, maintaining its unique brand and corporate culture, and now report into Rosenblum.


“This is an exciting and significant acquisition for Legendary which confirms our commitment to building a global multi-dimensional television business. Asylum’s terrific track-record, relationships and current television content gives Legendary a base to expand and quickly diversify our television business,” said Rosenblum. “On a personal level, I am thrilled to be working with Steve and Jonathan, two executives who have thrived in an entrepreneurial environment, and I am confident that they will be ideal partners to our team.”


Founded in 2003, Asylum is known for producing a broad range of premium video programming primarily for cable television that spans from acclaimed documentaries including ESPN’s critically lauded “30 for 30” series and the “Beyond the Glory” series for Fox Sports; to widely popular cable reality shows such as “Beverly Hills Pawn” and Emmy®-winning dramatic mini-series like “The Kennedys.”


“This is an incredible deal that allows Asylum to scale our existing business beyond what we could have imagined,” Michaels and Koch said. “In terms of our programming philosophies and the audiences we’re trying to build and serve, Legendary is a perfect match. And, of course, we have deep regard for all that Thomas Tull has accomplished in the media business, and we’re very excited to be working with him and Legendary.”

Asylum is currently in production on a highly anticipated feature documentary, Happy Valley, focusing on the sexual abuse scandal that recently rocked Penn State University and its football program.



About Asylum Entertainment


Asylum Entertainment's most notable productions include the epic 8-part mini-series "The Kennedys” for which they received 10 Emmy® nominations and won four. Additionally, Asylum's scripted division was recently nominated for four Emmy Awards on the television film, “Ring of Fire” starring Jewel. Asylum's lifeblood is unscripted television. Their notable unscripted projects include the 10-time Emmy nominated “Beyond The Glory,” ESPN’s “30 for 30,” “The Locator,” “Addicted,” “American Gangster,” “Beverly Hills Pawn” and many more. Additionally, Asylum Entertainment is eagerly anticipating the spring 2014 release of its' first theatrical feature film “Small Time,” written and directed by “24” co- creator, Joel Surnow. Currently, Asylum Entertainment is in production on the much anticipated feature documentary Happy Valley, which focuses on the gripping scandal that has rocked Penn State University. To learn more visit:



About Legendary Entertainment


Legendary Entertainment is a leading media company with film (Legendary Pictures), television and digital (Legendary Television and Digital Media) and comics (Legendary Comics) divisions dedicated to owning, producing and delivering content to mainstream audiences with a targeted focus on the powerful fandom demographic. Through complete or joint ownership, Legendary has built a library of marquee media properties and has established itself as a trusted brand which consistently delivers high-quality, commercial entertainment including some of the world's most popular intellectual property. In aggregate, Legendary Pictures-associated productions have realized grosses of more than $8 billion worldwide at the box office. To learn more visit:

HAPPY VALLEY: Penn State Doc to Premiere at 2014 Sundance Film Festival

Park City, UT — Sundance Institute announced today the films selected to screen in the out-of-competition Premieres and Documentary Premieres sections of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, January 16-26 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.


Among the premieres: HAPPY VALLEY / U.S.A. (Director: Amir Bar-Lev) — The children of "Happy Valley" were victimized for years, by a key member of the legendary Penn State college football program. But were Jerry Sandusky’s crimes an open secret?  With rare access, director Amir Bar-Lev delves beneath the headlines to tell a modern American parable of guilt, redemption, and identity.

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John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival, said, “The Premieres and Documentary Premieres sections of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival feature new work from many established independent filmmakers who began their careers at our Festival years ago, which allows us to reflect on the impact, legacy and growth of the independent film movement over the past 30 years.”


Trevor Groth, Director of Programming for the Sundance Film Festival, said, “In many of the films selected for our 2014 Sundance Film Festival, we see fascinating characters and subjects throughout. Whether portrayed by recognized actors taking on more challenging and diverse roles, or in the stranger-than-fiction reality of our documentaries, we look forward to sharing these incredible stories with audiences at our Festival.”

ASYLUM: Joan Harrison Hired As SVP Scripted Programming, Development
Joan Harrison is joining the prolific television production company Asylum Entertainment (“The Kennedys,” “Beverly Hills Pawn,” "30 for 30") as Senior Vice President, Scripted Programming & Development. Harrison will expand and shepherd the company’s robust longform slate, with multi-part projects already in development across multiple networks.
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Harrison brings a multitude of high-level experience to Asylum, having previously been at CBS where,  as head of the miniseries division, she ran 20 highly-acclaimed sweeps events including  “The Last Don,” “Bella Mafia,” “The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All” and the award-winning “In Cold Blood” remake.  Harrison later worked as VP of Development at TLC, where she bought the hit series “Miami Ink,” “10 Years Younger” and “Moving Up." She later moved to the Travel Channel as VP of Development, where she helped spearhead its re-brand and bought numerous long-running shows including “Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods." A member of The Writers Guild, Harrison comes to Asylum from Gersh, where she represented showrunners and filmmakers, and packaged longform and unscripted series.
"We have had our eye on Joan for a very long time," said Asylum Entertainment president & CCO Jonathan Koch.  "With our scripted business thriving, it was absolutely time to add an experienced and talented executive like Joan to the company."

ASYLUM: Veteran Producer Sean Travis Inks Deal

Unscripted Producer Sean Travis Sets Up Shop At Asylum Entertainment

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Veteran reality producer Sean Travis has inked a pod deal with Asylum Entertainment. Under the pact, he will produce his own shows. Travis’ unscripted credits include MTV’s The Real World, ABC’s The Mole and Celebrity Mole, WB’s High School Reunion, Spike TV’s The Joe Schmo Show and Fox’s Princes Of Malibu and The Rebel Billionaire. He also was executive producer for MTV’s The Hills and The City, and currently is EP on that network’s Wait ‘Til Next Year via his 2Lights Entertainment.


He is repped by WME and Greenberg Traurig. It’s the latest addition for Asylum, producers behind The Kennedys miniseries as well as reality shows like ReelzChannel’s Beverly Hills Pawn and the ESPN docu series 30 For 30. As part of its expanding unscripted efforts, Asylum last month inked an output deal with Kennedys partner ReelzChannel with plans to produce 50 hours of unscripted programming for the network in 2014. That move came shortly after hiring reality TV veteran Stephanie Lydecker to oversee unscripted development as well as develop for the company’s scripted business.


On the scripted side, Asylum just named Joan Harrison SVP Scripted Programming & Development to oversee miniseries and limited series for the company; she had most recently been at Gersh, where she repped showrunners and filmmakers and packaged longform and unscripted series.

10 THINGS: H2 Taps Henry Rollins for History Show

U.S. cable net H2 is to premiere 10 Things You Don’t Know About – a series that sees musician Henry Rollins offering an alternative take on historical tales, figures and places – on November 2 at 9 p.m. EST.

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The show is produced for H2 by Asylum Entertainment, with Steve Michaels, Jonathan Koch, Stuart Chait and Alex Piper serving as exec producers for the indie. Brian Meere serves as EP for the network.


Over the course of the series, Rollins will encounter “wild personalities, national treasures, and provocative details about some of America’s most fascinating subjects,” according to the network.


“To me, the only way to make history talk, for it to really grab you, is to get as close to it as possible”, Rollins said in a statement. “You need incredible access and a great deal of persistence to get where you want to go. We did it.”


The premiere episode focuses on U.S. presidential assassinations.

ASYLUM INKS OUTPUT DEAL: 50 hours of unscripted programming for REELZCHANNEL

ReelzChannel Inks Output Deal With Asylum For Unscripted Programming

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ReelzChannel and Asylum Entertainment are expanding their relationship that dates back to the Asylum-produced miniseries The Kennedys, which put the network on the map with 10 Emmy nominations and four wins in 2011. Now the pair have signed an output deal that will see Asylum produce 50 hours of unscripted programming for the network in 2014, distributed over 10 series.


A previous development deal netted ReelzChannel’s first unscripted docuseries, Beverly Hills Pawn, which returns for a second season November 6; as well as new series The Capones and Hollywood Hillbillies, slated for January bows.


“Asylum is one of the great TV production companies and, especially as an independent network, we are lucky to have such committed partners as [Asylum principals] Jonathan Koch and Steve Michaels,” ReelzChannel CEO Stan E. Hubbard said.


In September, reality TV veteran Stephanie Lydecker joined Asylum to oversee unscripted development as well as develop for the company’s scripted business.

Enigmatic Former Heavyweight Champ Takes Unprecedented
Look Inward and Forward
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Series Premieres on FOX; Continues on FOX Sports 1

New York – In BEING: MIKE TYSON, FOX Sports’ original Emmy Award-nominated all-access documentary series, the enigmatic former heavyweight champ opens his life and very soul, allowing audiences to experience his amazing transformation from world renowned sports superstar to Mr. John Q. Public.  The original six-part series premieres Sunday, Sept. 22 on FOX either before (3:30 - 4:00 PM ET) or after (4:30 - 5:00 PM ET) local NFL on FOX coverage before moving to its regular time slot on Tuesday, Sept, 24 (10:30 PM ET) on FOX Sports 1, America’s new sports network.  Check local listings for time of premiere.
“We all know Iron Mike, we all know the stories, but very few people know Michael Gerard Tyson,” offers Michael Bloom, Senior Vice President, Original Programming, FOX Sports. “The honesty and access Mike gave us allowed BEING: to paint a complete picture of an icon that you’ve never seen before. After watching all six episodes, viewers will know a whole new Mike Tyson, and one they never imagined.”
As one of the most feared men ever to step into a boxing ring, Tyson was once the embodiment of a modern-day gladiator. Despite his well-documented rise and fall and the tales of his infamous tantrums in and out of the boxing ring, the public’s fascination with him has endured. 
"I'm very glad to be a part of the FOX Sports 1 family, premiering my first ever docu-series,” said Tyson. “Although I have lived my life on the world stage since I got into boxing, I was still apprehensive about doing such an intimate portrayal of myself. It turned out to be an amazingly personal experience for me looking back at the life I once led via the life that I am so proud to be living now."
BEING: cameras follow Tyson traveling the country on a national tour of his one-man stage show, where he reflects on his past and seeks personal closure. He visits the prison in Indianapolis where he was incarcerated and spends unprecedented time with one-time rival Evander Holyfield discussing their true feelings about each other and their memories of “the ear” incident. Cameras roll during a very special and moving meeting with “The Greatest,” Muhammad Ali, and also while Tyson discusses parenthood and life with his personal hero and mentor Jim Brown.  Documented are his visits to his old neighborhoods in Brooklyn and the Catskills and the time he spends playing with his children.  Over the three hours, viewers see this emotional and revelatory journey first hand. FOX Sports cameras are with Mike as he re-connects with the public, who has both loved and vilified him, and shares this truly unique experience through his own eyes and voice. Unlike any portrait that has ever before been captured, BEING: MIKE TYSON is not a look back, but instead, a look inward and forward.
Early in the series, Tyson talks about not living in the past: “I don’t have any delusions of glory or grandeur for anything I do these days. People have to realize that ‘Iron Mike’ is dead and I’m doing something else now and that’s just what it is.”
He opens up about getting control of his inner demons. “I was pretty dark and troubled back then,” says Tyson. “I’m dark and trouble now, but not like back then. I’m cool now.”
And Tyson discusses how he’s gotten past some of the pivotal moments in his life, such as biting Holyfield’s ear: “We’re taking something that at one time in life was such a negative, now we look at it as a joke. I think that’s the way we should look at it as two adults. I made a mistake.”
FOX Sports Originals’ BEING: series sets the tone for FOX Sports 1 original programming with a number of other high-profile, unprecedented, all-access projects in different stages of development and production, including BEING: MARIANO RIVERA and BEING: THE FINEST. Last year’s BEING: LIVERPOOL was the first in the series.
BEING: MIKE TYSON is co-produced by Asylum Entertainment and FOX Sports, with executive producers Steve Michaels, Jonathan Koch, Alex Piper and Andrew Fried.
For series updates, follow BEING: MIKE TYSON and the BEING: franchise on Twitter at  @BEINGonFOX.
BEING: MIKE TYSON Air Dates / Times:
Date                Time                                                                           Network
9/22/13            * 3:30 PM ET or 4:30 PM ET (check local listings)    FOX
9/24/13            **10:00 PM ET                                                                        FOX Sports 1
9/24/13            10:30 PM ET                                                               FOX Sports 1 
10/01/13          10:30 PM ET                                                               FOX Sports 1
10/08/13          10:30 PM ET                                                               FOX Sports 1
10/15/13          10:30 PM ET                                                               FOX Sports 1
10/22/13          10:30 PM ET                                                               FOX Sports 1
*airs either before or after NFL on FOX singleheader coverage
**premiere episode encore

RING OF FIRE: Jewel Sparkles and Shines in Lifetime Movie
Jewel (Kilcher) sparkles and shines in Lifetime's original movie "Ring of Fire," the story of June Carter Cash.
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The movie tells the story of this country legend from early childhood to death. Matt Ross co-stars as Johnny Cash and Frances Conroy is featured as Mother Maybelle. The film covers a lot of years so details are not easy to come by; but the overall message, which is the love story between the two country performers, is loud and clear.


The film opens with June as a small child performing with her family on the radio and in concerts. It then moves ahead to when June flirted with fellow singer Carl Smith (Linds Edwards) on air and in concert. She ended up marrying him but he was unfaithful. She then married a race car driver. As a result of these two marriages she had two daughters.


She was ready for love when she met Johnny Cash but she also knew he had problems with alcohol and pills. Foolishly she thought her love could make him quit but the road to sobriety was a long one. There isn't a lot of time spent on Johnny's addictions but it is enough to make an impact.


This movie is Jewel's first major dramatic role and she is surprisingly good. She handles the more emotional parts of the role believably and she excels when the role calls for some comedic action. She makes us forget that she is Jewel the actress by becoming June Carter Cash on the screen. Reese Witherspoon won an Academy Award for her portrayal of June Carter Cash in the movie "I Walk the Line" so there might be an Emmy nomination ahead in Jewel's future. She has more spunk on view than Reese ever did.


The main criticism of the movie has to be that the makers of the film tried to cram too much story into two hours. The content of the first hour is really rushed, and only gets slightly better in the final one. Still there is an emotional pull to the love story between Johnny and June Cash that fills every nick and crevice of the film. They were truly soul mates who were destined to be together. The fact they could sing together beautifully just added to the power of their union.


There was a lot of humor in June Carter Cash, a brightness that is allowed to shine in the performance by Jewel. You will find yourself liking this woman and the actress who plays her. They are a good match and this makes for a good movie.


Film Critic, Huffington Post

RING OF FIRE: Myth Busting: Jewel Can Act & Lifetime Movies Can Be Seriously Awesome
Lifetime Movies can be seriously awesome. The network's "Ring of Fire" showcases Jewel's talent — in dentures, no less.
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"I always liked the song 'Ring of Fire,' but I was never that into it," she told us before the premiere at the Grammy Museum of her Lifetime movie debut, the June Carter Cash biopic "Ring of Fire." "But there's a scene in the movie where June writes 'Ring of Fire,' and you realize she wrote it about falling in love with Johnny (Cash) while she was still married; and she was very religious, very strict, so she really feared the fires of hell. It lent such drama to that song that it made me connect with it."


She went on to say that she's felt a connection to the Carter family for most of her life: "They were raised in the mountains with an out house and that's how I was raised. I was taught to be professional at a young age. I was helping the family earn income at a young age. We toured, I ate squirrel stew. So, we had a lot in common."


Does squirrel take just like chicken?


"No," she said, "it's awful. Maybe we didn't cook it right. But it's not good."


Jewel should get an Emmy nod, and not just because she had to sing and act in dentures, a wig, and contacts. Although the makeover is impressive. We asked if the men in her life — her husband, Ty Murray, and her little boy, Kase — were on set to see her in Carter form.


"[Ty] did, and my son did too," she said. "He was 9 or 10 months old, and he kept trying to look behind me, like I was wearing a mask or something. It was really sweet. My husband thought the teeth were really wild, really transformative. You'd never think fixing a tooth would be that powerful, but it really was."

WHITEY BULGER: Movie event part of Spike TV's new unscripted development slate
After a year break from scripted programming, Spike TV is returning to the arena with a new approach — betting on special-event series.
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The cable network’s scripted development slate includes five event series, including behind-the-scenes account of the 2012 terrorist attack on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, whose aftermath still echoes in Washington. The projects hail from such auspices as Tom Fontana, Chris Collins, Leslie Greif, Rock God & Gene Simmons, Bobby Moresco, Jonathan Koch and Steve Michaels, Craig Piligian and Dimitri Doganis & Bart Layton. “We’re concentrated on launching one or more special event series that we see as a great way to get to hour dramatic series,” said Spike TV’s EVP Original Series Sharon Levy, who oversees the network’s scripted development. Each project features Spike’s mission to thrill, inspire, and entertain as we’re broadening and expanding our brand.”


This marks Spike TV’s return to its scripted roots — the network’s last foray into scripted was with the 2007 event series The Kill Point. While the focus is for all five projects to be true events that “everyone wants to watch when it happens and that have a zeitgeist element to them,” some could live on beyond the original run, Levy said. For instance, Hit Men, a drama from Greif and Simmons about the mob’s takeover of the 1970s music industry, could continue as a series, while iHuman, about the intersection of technology and humanity and how their relationship evolves, could become an umbrella of films tackling the subject. Here are details about Spike TV’s scripted project in development from Asylum Entertainment:



Written by Academy Award-winning writer, Bobby Moresco (“Crash”) and produced by Jonathan Koch and Steve Michaels of Asylum Entertainment (“The Kennedys”), this movie event chronicles the raw and unfiltered rise and fall of Whitey Bulger, one of America’s most notorious criminals.  This four-hour epic delves deep into the life of Boston’s most infamous organized crime leader, who ruled New England’s criminal underworld with an iron fist for decades. Bulger’s larger-than-life story takes us from his days as a low-level street thug to FBI informant, to mob boss bent on undermining the competition, to the FBI’s most wanted list, and fugitive on the lam for sixteen years.

small time: Anchor Bay Films announced today the acquisition of "small time"
Anchor Bay Films announces the acquisition of small time starring Christopher Meloni (42, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” Man of Steel), Bridget Moynahan (I Robot, Lord of War, “Blue Bloods”) and Dean Norris (“Breaking Bad,” Little Miss Sunshine").
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NEW YORK, NY – Written and directed by Joel Surnow, Emmy® Award-winner and co-creator of the hit series “24”, small time is his debut feature film and loosely based on his real life experiences. The agreement with ABF covers all North American rights and today’s announcement was made by Anchor Bay Entertainment’s President, Bill Clark.

“small time is a real gem for us and we’re really looking forward to working with Joel,” commented Kevin Kasha, Executive Vice President, Acquisitions and Co-Productions. “The team loves this film and we are excited to be distributing it.”

“small time is a very personal film and has been a labor of love for everyone who worked on it,” said Surnow. “Kevin Kasha and his talented team at Anchor Bay share our passion for the film and have high expectations for its performance. I feel very fortunate to have them as partners.”

Shot in 20 days in and around Los Angeles, small time chronicles the story of Al Klein, the owner of a used car lot who is at a crossroad in his life. He still pines for his ex-wife, Barbara; his business partner, Ash Martini, is a good-time Charlie who refuses to grow up and his son, Freddy, the love of his life, has just graduated high school. Klein’s life gets thrown into a tailspin when Freddy announces he wants to punt college and move in with dad so he can become a salesman at the car lot. small time co-stars Devon Bostick (Diary of a Wimpy Kid), Xander Berkeley (Terminator 2, “24”) and Kevin Nealon (“Weeds,” Anger Management).


Joel Surnow is best known as the co-creator/executive producer of the award-winning TV series, “24.” He has received Emmys for Best Drama and Best Dramatic Writing, a Golden Globe for Best Drama, a Producer of the Year Award from the PGA, a Best Writer from the Hollywood Caucus and 2003 WIRED Rave Award as one of the “people changing your mind.” He co-wrote and produced the highly-acclaimed mini-series “The Kennedys,” which was nominated for 10 Emmy™ Awards. He began his career as head writer on the first season of “Miami Vice.” From there, he became Executive Producer of “The Equalizer.” In the mid-90s, he adapted the movie, La Femme Nikita, for television where it became a hit series for the then-new USA Network. Over the years, he’s provided writing and producing services for such distinguished and popular shows such as “Wiseguy,” “Nowhere Man,” “Bay City Blues” and “The Commish.” small time is Surnow’s debut film.


small time is an Asylum Entertainment production, produced by K.C. Warnke. Stan E. Hubbard, Jonathan Koch, Steve Michaels, Lawrence Rogow and Colleen Surnow executive produced the film. Paradigm Finance Group negotiated the deal on behalf of small time with Anchor Bay Films.

THE LYLAS: Bruno Mars' Musical Sisters Land WE tv Series
The AMC Networks-owned cable network has ordered to series THE LYLAS, centering on Grammy winner Bruno Mars' four musical sisters...
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The Lylas, which stars sisters Tiara, Tahiti and Presley as they move from their home in Hawaii to join big sister Jaime in Los Angeles as they work to record their first album together, will air Friday nights beginning in the fall. The series, which consists of eight hourlong episodes, hails from Asylum Entertainment (The Kennedys), Steve Michaels, Jonathan Koch, David Garner, Ben Ricciardi, Glenn Carrano, Lauren Gellert and Suzanne Murch.

Pregnant & Dating will join WE tv's Saturday lineup in the summer and focus on five pregnant women as they continue to search for Mr. Right. The eight-episode hourlong series is produced by GRB Entertainment (Intervention) with Gary R. Benz, Michael Branton, Tracy Mazuer, Gellert and Annabelle McDonald on board as executive producers.

The Ruckers: Southern Royals follows three modern African American sisters -- Ruby, Ellen and Ione -- who are the heirs to one of the oldest and most prominent Southern families in the Carolinas. The Kardashian-like entry will follow the trio as they entertain celebrity friends and explore their personal problems, including finances and divorce. The six-episode hourlong series will join the schedule on Thursdays in the fall and is produced by Bunim/Murray Productions (Keeping Up With the Kardashians) with Jonathan Murray, Gil Goldschein, Steven Greener, Datari Turner, Gordon Bijelnoic, Jeff Jenkins, Melissa Bidwell, Gellert and McDonald exec producing.

"This new scheduling strategy, coupled with some amazing programming, presents a clear opportunity for WE tv to grow its audience and for our advertising partners to reach captivated and engaged viewers," WE tv president and GM Kim Martin said.

The three series join Bridezillas spinoff Marriage Bootcamp and the rebooted David Tutera Unveiled, among others, at the network.

URBAN TARZAN: Spike TV is heading into the world of extreme animals.
Spike TV Orders New Series 'Urban Tarzan'
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The male-skewing cable network has given a series order Urban Tarzan, a show that features extreme animal handler UrbanTarzan (formerly known as John Brennan), who rescues, captures and relocates dangerous and exotic animals.

Urban Tarzan has been picked up for 10 half-hour episodes to premiere in spring 2013 and will be shot in various locations in the U.S.

The show will center on UrbanTarzan as he runs the privately-owned service Urban Tarzan Animal Relocation. Missions include capturing a deadly python in a residential neighborhood to tracking down a lion that escaped from sanctuary. Assistant Jay "The Caveman" Cassidy will also be featured.

The series is produced by Asylum Entertainment. Steve Michaels and Jonathan Koch will serve as executive producers. The original concept came from UrbanTarzan, Lorraine Yarde and Marke Basile.

OWNERS MANUAL: AMC Greenlights New Unscripted Series
AMC Greenlights New Unscripted Series
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The series will consist of eight, half-hour episodes and premiere in third quarter 2013. Produced by Asylum Entertainment (The Kennedys, Addicted, The Locator), Owner's Manual will test one of the most common divides among man - those who read the owner's manual and those who do not. Representing each side of this divide, Ed Sanders (photo: at right) (Extreme Makeover Edition) and Marcus Hunt (HGTV's Hammer Heads) are put to the test in a weekly challenge where they attempt to operate today's most advanced, dangerous and powerful machinery and technology - from a fighter jet to a submarine, and more. With opposing points of view and conflicting methods of practice -- one man works strictly from the rule book, while the other uses only his instincts -- the real test will be how this "everyman" duo can collaborate to accomplish their challenge. Owner's Manual is executive produced by Steve Michaels, Jonathan Koch, Alex Piper and Jerry McNutt.


"The minute we saw this show, we knew it was a great concept," said Joel Stillerman, AMC's EVP of original programming, production and digital content. "Every adult in the world falls into one of two categories. You either read the owner's manual or you don't. As a non-owner's manual person, I have a whole shelf in my house dedicated to parts that never found their way into things I have assembled. Watching Ed and Marcus go at it every week in the great tasks that Asylum is putting together is going to be truly compelling entertainment no matter what side of the Owner's Manual divide you live on."


AMC's Stillerman, Jason Fisher, SVP of production, and Mary Conlon, VP of non-scripted original programming, oversee the development and production for the network's unscripted series.


When those three series end their runs, the second seasons of fellow unscripted efforts The Pitch, Small Town Security and recently ordered Road Show (working title) will join Thursday later in the year.


As for the new project, Owner's Manual comes from Asylum Entertainment. It pits stars Ed Sanders (Extreme Makeover) and Marcus Hunt (Hammer Heads) against one another in a duel over whether a task can be performed better using a manual or not.


"The minute we saw this show, we knew it was a great concept,” said Stillerman. “Every adult in the world falls into one of two categories. You either read the owner's manual or you don't. As a non-owner's manual person, I have a whole shelf in my house dedicated to parts that never found their way into things I have assembled. Watching Ed and Marcus go at it every week in the great tasks that Asylum is putting together is going to be truly compelling entertainment no matter what side of the Owner's Manual divide you live on."


The series is executive produced by Steve Michaels, Jonathan Koch, Alex Piper and Jerry McNutt. AMC’s Stillerman, SVP of production Jason Fisher and VP of non-scripted original programming Mary Conlon oversee the development and production for the network’s unscripted series.

THE LYLAS: We TV Developing Docu-Series With Bruno Mars’ Sisters

WE tv has put in development a docu-reality series with singer-songwriter Bruno Mars’ sisters — Jaime Kailani, Tiara, Tahiti and Presley — who make up the pop band The Lylas.

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Produced by Asylum Entertainment (The Kennedys), the series and chronicle the sisters’ path from Hawaii to LA — where they are living and working together on their debut album — and their relationship as sisters-turned-business partners. “The Lylas are fierce, independent women, leaving their home — and in some cases their relationships and kids — for a chance at pursuing their love of music,” said Lauren Gellert, WE tv’s SVP Production & Development. “Their story is one filled with all of the drama and chaos that comes from making a major life change, with the added spice of doing it alongside your sisters.” The Lylas just released their first single, “Come Back”, and corresponding music video.

OWNER'S MANUAL: AMC Launching Unscripted Block, Orders New Series

AMC is increasing its investment in unscripted programming -- so much so that it's added a new night of originals to its schedule.

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AMC's unscripted block will kick off with the second season of Comic Book Men, airing at 9 p.m. At 9:30 p.m., the previously announced Freakshow (from Greg Johnston from Endemol USA and Todd Ray from Living Wonders) will follow the family behind the Venice Beach Boardwalk's titular tourist attraction. Taxidermy competition Immortalized (executive produced by Go Go Luckey Entertainment) will debut at 10 p.m.


“With an expanding slate of unscripted series, it makes perfect sense for us to create and build a new night for these great stories, in the same way we have made Sundays a true destination for our award-winning original dramas,” said AMC EVP of original programming, production and digital content Joel Stillerman. “We are excited to have Thursday night as the new home for unscripted on AMC, as we continue to showcase distinct storytelling that explores authentic characters and original worlds.”


When those three series end their runs, the second seasons of fellow unscripted efforts The Pitch, Small Town Security and recently ordered Road Show (working title) will join Thursday later in the year.


As for the new project, Owner's Manual comes from Asylum Entertainment. It pits stars Ed Sanders (Extreme Makeover) and Marcus Hunt (Hammer Heads) against one another in a duel over whether a task can be performed better using a manual or not.


"The minute we saw this show, we knew it was a great concept,” said Stillerman. “Every adult in the world falls into one of two categories. You either read the owner's manual or you don't. As a non-owner's manual person, I have a whole shelf in my house dedicated to parts that never found their way into things I have assembled. Watching Ed and Marcus go at it every week in the great tasks that Asylum is putting together is going to be truly compelling entertainment no matter what side of the Owner's Manual divide you live on."


The series is executive produced by Steve Michaels, Jonathan Koch, Alex Piper and Jerry McNutt. AMC’s Stillerman, SVP of production Jason Fisher and VP of non-scripted original programming Mary Conlon oversee the development and production for the network’s unscripted series.

BRAQUO: French series takes International Emmy
French cop drama Braquo and a right-to-die documentary fronted by author Terry Pratchett were among the winners at the 40th International Emmys last night.
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The second season of  BRAQUO, produced by Capa Drama, Canal+ and Bad Company, picked up the best drama series award, while three-parter Black Mirror, produced by Zeppotron for the UK’s Channel 4, won best TV movie/miniseries.


Also in the scripted space, Brazil’s TV Globo picked up the telenovela prize for THE ILLUSIONIST and took a second award in the comedy category for The Invisible Woman, coproduced by Conspiração Filmes.


Terry Pratchett: CHOOSING TO DIE, produced by Keo Films for the BBC, was named best documentary; and SONGS OF WAR, a coproduction between ZDF, Arte and A&O Büro in Germany, took the prize for best arts programming.


THE AMAZING RACE AUSTRALIA, produced by Seven Productions, Active TV and ABC Studios, was named best non-scripted entertainment.


The awards were presented at a ceremony held in New York.


RING OF FIRE: Lifetime Taps Jewel for June Carter Cash Biopic
Lifetime has tapped Jewel to star in RING OF FIRE, a biopic about the late country singer June Carter Cash.
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Lifetime has tapped Jewel to star in RING OF FIRE, a biopic about the late country singer June Carter Cash.


The project is based on Carter Cash's son John Carter Cash's memoir Anchored in Love: An Intimate Portrait of June Carter Cash. Richard Friedenberg (Lifetime's Of Two Minds) will adapt, with Southland's Allison Anders on board to direct. John Carter Cash, Steven Michaels and Jonathan Koch will executive produce.


American Horror Story's Matt Ross will play Johnny Cash in the story that tracks June's life from her childhood in Virginia through her rise to fame as she performed with icons like Elvis Presley and her relationship with the Man in Black.


Like the Joaquin Phoenix-Witherspoon feature WALK THE LINE, the Lifetime telepic will chronicle the singer-songwriter's relationship with her third husband and detail her efforts to save his life as he battled substance abuse. Witherspoon picked up an Oscar for her portrayal of Carter Cash in the 2005 movie.


"Many people know about the legendary love story of Johnny and June, but June Carter Cash has her own epic journey filled with triumphs, tragedies, loves and losses," Lifetime exec vp Rob Sharenow said in announcing the news Thursday. "This movie will explore all aspects of the woman behind the icon, and we're thrilled Jewel will be playing the role."

The biopic marks the first scripted effort for the "You Were Meant for Me" singer following her hosting gig on Bravo's music competition series Platinum Hit. She has appeared as herself in numerous projects, including WALK HARD: THE DEWEY COX STORY and ABC's MEN IN TREES, among others.

Jewel, a four-time Grammy nominee and children's book author, is repped by CAA; Ross is with ICM and Framework Entertainment. Asylum Entertainment will produce The June Carter Cash Story.

HAPPY VALLEY: Indiefilms sets doc on Penn State scandal

A&E IndieFilms Sets ‘Happy Valley,’ Feature Docu On Penn State Pedophile Scandal

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By MIKE FLEMING | Tuesday May 22, 2012 @ 2:34pm EDT
Tags: A&E IndieFilms


EXCLUSIVE: A&E IndieFilms, the feature production arm of the A&E Network, has partnered withAsylum Entertainment to make the feature documentary Happy Valley. It’s about the drama that rocked the Penn State University community after it was learned school officials covered up allegations that former Nittany Lions assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky allegedy abused a youth in the showers of the school locker room. The docu will be produced by Passion Pictures’ John Battsek, whose One Day In September won the Oscar, and director Amir Bar-Lev. They teamed previously with A&E IndieFilms on My Kid Could Paint That and the superb sports-themed expose The Tillman Story. Asylum produced The Kennedys. Bob DeBitetto, David McKillop and Molly Thompson will be exec producers for A&E IndieFilms. Asylum principals Jonathan Koch and Steve Michaels will produce with Battsek.

Koch, who is Asylum Entertainment’s president, served his youth as a camp counselor for The Second Mile, the nonprofit organization for underprivileged kids that was founded by Sandusky. Penn State, one of the most storied and stable college football programs in the nation, was rocked to the core in November when a grand jury indicted Sandusky for alleged sex crimes against young boys, some he came in contact with through The Second Mile.

The key charge was that a Penn State assistant coach, then a graduate assistant, witnessed Sandusky molesting a 10-year-old boy in 2002. He did not stop the act, nor did he call the police. Even more shockingly, school higher-ups, including legendary coach Joe Paterno, were told the following day. They did nothing, enabling ex-coach Sandusky to continue bringing children to the campus for years. Sandusky has denied the charges. An administrative house-cleaning followed amidst public outrage that the behavior was allowed to continue, including the dismissal of Paterno during the football season. After 46 years of coaching the team and amassing the most wins for a Division I college football program, Paterno was ousted, his legacy in shambles, and he died soon after.

Earlier today, a judge in Harrisburg, Pa., ruled that Sandusky’s trial will not be delayed and that his day in court will come early next month. Sandusky, Paterno’s former defensive coordinator, will be tried on 52 criminal counts of alleged abuse of 10 boys over a period of 15 years.
“When you are raised in Happy Valley, you feel as though nothing like this could ever happen there,” Koch said. “This project has such gravity, importance and significant personal meaning to me, and I am honored that this extraordinary team of filmmakers has joined me to tell the story.”


BEVERLY HILLS PAWN: ReelzChannel to air its first reality series in 2013

American TV viewers will have another pawn-related program to watch when ReelzChannel begins airing its first reality series this fall.

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Beverly Hills Pawn is the first series born out of a development deal with Asylum Entertainment that the U.S. cable network, which focuses on programming about movies. It will focus on a high-end pawn shop in Los Angeles and star shop owner Yossi Dina, a businessman and former army captain “known for his iron fist and superior taste in luxury good,” according to the show’s billing.


The half-hour show is one of three original series unveiled this week as part of the channel’s fall line-up.


“With each new series, we’ll showcase our network’s TV About Movies approach with more original programming to take viewers behind the scenes of our series, into the careers of the casts and creators and deep into the vast world of movies that are inspired by the timeless intrigue of politics and religion, the lives of the rich and famous, and life during wartime,” said Reelz CEO Stan E. Hubbard in a statement.


BRAQUO: Hulu acquires subscription rights to series

Hulu acquires 'Braquo' Gallic twist on 'The Shield'; Will be available in U.S.

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KESLASSY CANNES -- Hulu has acquired exclusive subscription VOD rights in the U.S. to the first two seasons of "Braquo," Olivier Marchal's dark-edged thriller skein. Commissioned by Canal Plus and repped in international markets by Zodiak Rights, the one-hour crimer has been described as a French twist on "The Shield," as it turns on cops from a Paris gang-busting unit who've gone rogue. It drew the paybox's best ratings ever for a French-language drama, and has been greenlit for a third season with Abdel Raouf Dafri -- who penned "A Prophet" -- back on board to write. Pact was announced during the Zodiak presser at the Mipcom TV market, which kicked off Monday in Cannes.


"Braquo" is being adapted into an English-language series penned by "24's" Stephen Kronish. Jane Millichip, managing director of Zodiak Right's London office, said Steven Michaels and Jonathan Koch at Los Angeles-based Asylum Entertainment could soon close a deal with a U.S. pay TV net. "The U.S. market has always been difficult to get into and SVOD services like Hulu or Netflix have truly opened the door," said Millichip. "These are fantastic outlets for foreign-language or U.K. drama series because they cater to higher-end, discerning audiences." 

URBAN TARZAN: Spike TV has given a 10-episode series order to URBAN TARZAN.

Spike TV has given a 10-episode series order to Urban Tarzan, a half-hour show starring extreme animal handler known as “UrbanTarzan” (formerly John Brennan who legally changed his name to the one word UrbanTarzan) who rescues, captures, and relocates dangerous and exotic animals.


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The series, a rare venture for Spike into Animal Planet/National Geographic territory, follows UrbanTarzan as he runs the Urban Tarzan Animal Relocation team, a privately owned exotic and dangerous animal relocation service whose missions run the gamut from capturing a deadly python on the loose in a residential neighborhood to tracking down a lion that escaped from an animal sanctuary.


URBAN TARZAN is produced by Asylum Entertainment and will debut on Spike in the spring of 2013.  Steve Michaels and Jonathan Koch serve as executive producers. The original concept for the show was created by UrbanTarzan, Lorraine Yarde and Mark Basile.