‘Supergirl’ Audition Teases Cousin Superman & New Costume

Back in October, character breakdowns for CBS’ upcoming Supergirl TV series revealed that DC Comics characters such as Cat Grant, Jimmy Olsen, Winslow “Wynn” Schott (a.k.a. Toyman) and Hank Henshaw (a.k.a. Cyborg Superman) will be featured in the series. As of now, only Melissa Benoist (Kara Zor-El a.k.a. Supergirl) and Mehcad Brooks (Jimmy Olsen) have been announced, but casting is still under way for supporting roles. discovered two audition videos posted by actor Jesse Liebman (Did You Hear About the Morgans?), who was auditioning for the Wynn Schott role. While the videos have since been taken down, the site transcribed the dialogue between Wynn and Kara, which reveals some intriguing new details about the show, and seemingly confirm that Superman will at least be referenced in the series.

The character breakdown revealed that Wynn lives next door to Kara, and also works at CatCo as a programmer. It also revealed that he is “unaware of her secret,” but, according to this audition dialogue, that isn’t the case. The first scene makes it clear that Wynn has a huge crush on Kara, but, in the second scene, Kara reveals that she is from another planet, Krypton, along with her cousin. Take a look at the dialogue below.

Wynn: I can’t believe I’m actually in your apartment.

Supergirl: Wynn, if we’re going to use our lunch half-half to help me with my super-hearing we need to work fast.

Wynn: I’m still not sure how all this is happening. Maybe the brownie I ate belonged to my roommate.

Supergirl: My abilities come from your Sun. The planet I was born on…

Wynn: Woah! Wait! Hold on, you’re from another planet?

Supergirl: Krypton. Yeah, so is my cousin.

Wynn: You and him? You’re related?

Supergirl: Our dad’s were brothers. I’m going to need you to focus. I want your help. I told you, I don’t know a thing about fighting crime.

Wynn: Please, you got the hard part down. First, you need…

Supergirl: A costume.

Wynn: It’s called a suit.

Wynn’s line “You and him?” infers that he knows who Superman is, or at least that he has seen him in some capacity. The next scene reveals that Wynn actually sews Kara’s costume by hand. The I.T. specialist also helps Kara on her journey to becoming a hero by hacking into the police frequency to scan for crimes Kara may be able to solve. He also makes some mention of a cape helping with the aerodynamics, although he thinks they’re too “presentational and over-the-top.”

Of course, it’s possible that these lines of dialogue were only written for audition purposes, and aren’t actually taken from the pilot script, written by Greg Berlanti and Ali Adler. However, since the videos were removed shortly after they were posted, that could mean the dialogue is important and will be used on the show. What do you think about these new details? Chime in with your thoughts, and stay tuned for more on Supergirl.


Discovery Misses Q4 Earnings Estimates Hurt By Drop In U.S. Ad Sales

Analysts figured that the cable networks company would have discouraging numbers for Q4 — a period of soft ratings in a weak ad market. But they still may be disappointed by the report out this morning. Discovery reported net income of $250 million,  down 13.5% vs the last three months of 2013, on revenues of $1.68 billion, up 9%. The revenue number is below the Street’s $1.70 billion consensus estimate. And earnings at 38 cents a share missed expectations for 41 cents.

CEO David Zaslav remains upbeat. “Despite a more challenging U.S. market and significant foreign currency headwinds, our content portfolio once again drove audience gains and boosted our market share around the world,” he says. “As we move into 2015, we are confident that our long-term content investment strategy, strong global IP and brands, and local approach to markets will continue to drive our results and enable us to deliver additional value to shareholders.”

The U.S. Networks operation saw cash flow fall 7% to $405 million — partly due to rising programming costs — as revenues grew 1% to $745 million. Ad sales were down 3%, although distribution revenues increased 8% — due in part to the consolidation of Discovery Family (formerly The Hub). If you take the one-time events out of the picture, distribution revenues would have increased 6%, and the operation’s total revenues would have been down 1%.

The fast-growing International Networks operation struggled with foreign currency exchange problems vs the strong dollar, and rising costs, yet still fared better than the U.S. operation. Cash flow increased 11% to $329 million, on a 17% rise in revenues to $884 million. Ad sales improved 7% and distribution revenues were up 24%. If you factor out the currency exchange issues, and Eurosport which Discovery acquired early in 2014, then ad sales would have been up 10% with distribution +8%.


Carey Mulligan & Her Three Suitors In New ‘Far From The Madding Crowd’ Trailer

Below is the second trailer for Danish helmer Thomas Vinterberg’s return to English-language filmmaking, Far From The Madding Crowd. The Fox Searchlight adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s literary classic is from a script by David Nicholls and stars Carey Mulligan as heroine Bathsheba Everdene who finds herself torn between three very different suitors. Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Sheen and Tom Sturridge play the men in question. This is a title that many have expected to see in Cannes where Vinterberg’s Oscar-nominated The Hunt debuted in 2012. It’s currently got a U.S. and UK release date of May 1, casting uncertainty over that possibility. Check out the trailer:


‘Downton Abbey’ Duo Among Innovative TV Conference Speakers; Acorn Brings ‘Jamaica Inn’ To U.S.

Keshet Media Group’s INTV Innovative TV Conference continues to add big names to its roster for the March 15-16 event in Jerusalem. Joining such digtheofficialprequelexecutives as HBO’s Richard Plepler, Sony Pictures Television’s Andrea Wong, and ITV Studios’ Orly Adelson are new guest speakers Morgan Spurlock, Downton Abbey’s Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame and AMC’s Joel Stillerman. Topics discussed at the two-day confab will include the intersection of politics and programming and the rise (and rise) of Alibaba. There will also be a screening of USA’s event series Dig, created by Homeland’s Gideon Raff and Heroes Tim Kring.

BBC One’s three-part adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s 1936 gothic novel, Jamaica Inn is Jamaica Innheaded to Acorn TV in the U.S. Starring Downton Abbey’s Jessica Brown Findlay, Jamaica Inn follows a young woman sent to live with her aunt after the death of her mother. When she arrives at the eerie, isolated Jamaica Inn, she finds her once-carefree aunt is now firmly under the spell of a domineering husband and the inn is a front for a smuggling ring. It will be available for streaming on three consecutive Mondays beginning March 16. Emma Frost (The White Queen) wrote the adaptation. Matthew McNulty, Ben Daniels, Joanne Whalley, Shirley Henderson and Sean Harris also star.

Banijay International has entered an exclusive formats representation deal with local Middle East producer Periscoop. The company will handle Banijay International logoadaptation and distribution rights for Banijay’s portfolio of nonscripted formats throughout the region. The new partnership follows a previous collaboration for Dubai, which saw a local adaptation of France’s longest-running live music show Taratata run for seven seasons on pan-regional broadcaster Dubai TV.


‘The Mentalist’ Finale: Exec Producer Tom Szentgyorgyi On Series’ Original Ending, Spinoffs And Jane, Lisbon & Cho’s Future

SPOILER ALERT: This story contains details of tonight’s two-hour series finale of CBS’ The Mentalist.

It was a long journey for The Mentalist, which tonight wrapped its run on CBS seven years and 1,800 miles from where it started. It was a happy ending for the brooding widower Patrick Jane, played by Simon Baker, who married long-time boss, Robin Tunney’s Teresa Lisbon in the final scene.

The Golden HammerAfter a successful launch behind NCIS,  The Mentalist was a key member of CBS’ formidable Thursday lineup, alongside Survivor and CSI. It has been a very valuable property for studio Warner Bros. TV, landing a record-setting off-network syndication deal and becoming a global hit. The series also accomplished something few shows have been able to do successfully —  it underwent a major creative reboot, wrapping its core Red John mystery in the middle of Season 6, moving the setting from California to Texas and shaking up the supporting cast.

With The Mentalist‘s fate in limbo last spring, the show’s creator Bruno Heller and top lieutenant Tom Szentgyorgyi gave fans a Jane-Lisbon happily ever after  in the season’s finale, which ended with him stopping her plane and professing his love. In a similar fashion, the series finale closed with the couple’s wedding. I spoke with Szentgyorgyi about the show’s final scene, his and Heller’s original Fugitive ending, spinoff possibilities, and what they envision the future holds for The Mentalist‘s main characters.

cbs_mentalist_kissDeadline: With The Mentalist’s fate uncertain, the season 6 finale, which could’ve been a series finale, ended with Jane and Lisbon exchanging “I Love You”s. Tonight’s series finale ended with them exchanging “I do”s. Were you determined to end the show with a romantic scene?

Szentgyorgyi: Not determined, no. But we knew as the end of season six unfolded — as it became clear that Jane was going to tell Lisbon that he loved her in that season’s finale — that if CBS gave us another season we would spend it exploring the ramifications of Jane’s declaration.

Deadline: After the series got a last-minute Season 7 renewal, did you consider a plot twist, separating Lisbon and Jane after they’d declared their love for each other?

White OrchidsSzentgyorgyi: No. Before the renewal Bruno and I pitched season 7 to CBS. Part of the pitch was that we were going to end with a wedding. Though at that point we had no idea exactly what kind of wedding it would be.

Deadline: Bruno Heller has said that when wrote the pilot, it never crossed his mind that Lisbon and Jane may end up together. What possible ending for the show did he envision at the time of the pilot script?

Szentgyorgyi: When Bruno did the pilot he thought the show would end with Jane catching Red John. It was to be a Dr.-Richard-Kimball-finds-the-one-armed-man series finale.

Deadline: When mapping out the final season last year, what other possible/alternative series endings did you consider?

Szentgyorgyi: None at all.

Deadline: Was revisiting the Red John mystery in the final season ever on the table?

Szentgyorgyi: Never ever ever.

Deadline: How hard was it to wrap the Red John storyline before the end of the series and why did you decide to shake things up so dramatically in Season 6 with the show packing up and moving to Texas?

redjohnSzentgyorgyi: The impulse came from Peter Roth at Warner Brothers TV, who called us in at the end of season five and told us he didn’t think the Red John story was sustaining. He felt that if we wanted to continue past season six, we were going to have to close out the Red John arc and reinvent the show. After gulping, Bruno and I realized Peter was absolutely right, and we started plotting out a conclusion to the Red John story about a third of the way through season six. Once we made the decision it wasn’t at all hard to plot out — another indication that it was the right thing to do.

Deadline: The last 3 episodes of The Mentalist featured one of the show’s  most intense serial killer arcs in the vein of Red John. There was uncertainty if Jane would survive as the psychopath killer went hard and heavy after him but you opted to eliminate the suspense, revealing to fans before the finale that the series will have a happy ending, with photos from the wedding released to the public. What was the thinking behind that?

mentalistfinaleSzentgyorgyi: The decision to release the wedding photos was ad hoc — not part of some larger plan — but in keeping with our feeling about the closing episodes as a whole, which was that we wanted to offer a happy ending. We didn’t mind if the audience knew.

Deadline: What is next for Jane and Teresa? Will he go back to the FBI? Will they continue to work together? Will Kimball Cho keep climbing the ladder?

Szentgyorgyi: Jane’s building a house for his family. Lisbon will work at the FBI through her pregnancy until two weeks before she delivers, take a few months’ maternity leave, then go back to kicking ass and arresting bad guys. It’s what she does. Will Jane go back to working for the FBI with her? I don’t know. I suspect he doesn’t either. As for Cho, he will certainly continue to rise. Could the Chelsea Clinton administration see an FBI Director Cho? I don’t see why not.

Deadline: During the run of the show, did you ever consider a spinoff? Tim Kang’s character Kimball Cho certainly has been a standout.

Szentgyorgyi: The truth is, no, though Cho is a great character, and Tim Kang did an extraordinary job playing him.


Eddie Murphy As Bill Cosby On ‘SNL 40’? Ex-Castmember Says It Nearly Happened

Norm Macdonald had a personal Twitter party tonight, recounting his experience on last weekend’s Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary show. The ’90s-era castmember and “Weekend Update” host fired off more than 100 tweets over two-plus hours detailing — fewer than 140 characters at a time — his role in the star-packed show that drew huge ratings. The snippets make for a great read, but the real takeaway was his admiration of Eddie Murphy.

Amid the tweets about writing the “Celebrity Jeopardy” skit was the SNL_Eddie_Murphy_as_Bill_Cosbynugget that, despite Macdonald’s pleadings, Murphy refused to do the Bill Cosby sendup in the sketch that Kenan Thompson eventually did. You remember — the Video Daily Double in the “Potent Potables” category in which an ugly-sweatered Cosby is seen mixing a cocktail. Imagine, especially in light of Murphy’s thuddingly unfunny appearance on the show, the roar he would have gotten by doing his legendary Cosby impression (see right). Might have been an all-time highlight. But, alas, as Mcdonald tweeted:

He knew the laughs would bring the house down. Eddie Murphy knows what will work on SNL better than any one.

— Norm Macdonald (@normmacdonald) February 19, 2015

And why didn’t Murphy do it, especially given the battles he and Cosby had a generation ago when the elder comic legend scolded him for using foul language onstage? Here’s why:

Eddie decides the laughs are not worth it. He will not kick a man when he is down.

— Norm Macdonald (@normmacdonald) February 19, 2015

Eddie Murphy, I realize, is not like the rest of us. Eddie does not need the laughs.

— Norm Macdonald (@normmacdonald) February 19, 2015

Eddie Murphy is the coolest, a rockstar even in a room with actual rockstars.

— Norm Macdonald (@normmacdonald) February 19, 2015

Watch the skit above. Here’s hoping Macdonald gets a book deal out of this.


Kristen Bell Joins Melissa McCarthy in ‘Michelle Darnell’

Feb 18, 2015 by Brian Gallagher

Kristen Bell has joined the growing cast of Universal Pictures’ comedy Michelle Darnell, alongside Melissa McCarthy, Peter Dinklage and Kathy Bates. Melissa McCarthy stars as the title character, described as a “titan of industry,” who goes to jail after she’s caught for insider trading. Upon her release, she tries to re-brand herself, but soon discovers that not everyone is ready to forgive her, including those who she ripped off.

Kristen Bell is playing the title character’s former assistant, a single mother trying to start her own cupcake business, who helps Michelle on her quest to create a new image. Kathy Bates is playing Michelle’s wealthy and eccentric mentor whom the title character wants to emulate. Peter Dinklage is playing the primary antagonist, although no specific details were given regarding his character.

Melissa McCarthy’s husband Ben Falcone is directing from a script they both co-wrote with their Groundlings collaborator Steve Mallory. Both Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone are also producing alongside Gary Sanchez Productions’ Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy, with Kevin Messick serving as executive producer. Shooting is scheduled to begin next month.

Kristen Bell currently stars in Showtime’s House of Lies. She will return next month to provide the voice of Anna from her animated blockbuster Frozen in the animated short film Frozen Fever, which will be attached to prints of Cinderella when it hits theaters March 13.

Michelle Darnell comes to theaters April 8th, 2016 and stars Melissa McCarthy, Peter Dinklage, Kristen Bell, Kathy Bates. The film is directed by Ben Falcone.

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‘American Pastoral’ Marks Ewan McGregor’s Directorial Debut

Feb 18, 2015 by Brian Gallagher

Ewan McGregor will make his directorial feature film debut in Lakeshore Entertainment’s upcoming American Pastoral. McGregor will star with Jennifer Connelly and Dakota Fanning in the film adaptation based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel written by Philip Roth. Here’s what Lakeshore Entertainment CEO Tom Rosenberg had to say in a statement.

Ewan‘s talent goes far beyond his on-screen work and we’re excited to be working with a director who is as passionate as we are about telling the story of American Pastoral.”

Ewan McGregor had this to say in his own statement.

“It’s a great privilege to be working with Lakeshore on Philip Roth‘s astounding novel American Pastoral. I’ve wanted to direct for years and wanted to wait until I found a story that I ‘had’ to tell and in this script I knew I had found that story. I’m looking forward to the challenge of being on both sides of the camera especially knowing I’ll be working with Jennifer and Dakota.”

American Pastoral’s adapted screenplay was written by John Romano (The Lincoln Lawyer) with filming scheduled for September 2015 in Pittsburgh, PA. American Pastoral will be produced by Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi. Phillip Noyce was previously attached to direct.

McGregor will next be seen in Rodrigo García‘s Last Days in the Desert which premiered to rave reviews at Sundance and Susanna White‘s Our Kind of Traitor. He is represented by UTA, United Agents, and his attorney is Sloane, Offer, Weber, Dern, LLP.

American Pastoral follows Seymour “Swede” Levov, a legendary high school athlete, who grows up to marry a former beauty queen and inherits his father’s business. Swede’s seemingly perfect life shatters when his daughter rebels by becoming a revolutionary and committing a deadly act of political terrorism during the Vietnam War.

American Pastoral is in development and stars Ewan McGregor, Jennifer Connelly, Dakota Fanning. The film is directed by Ewan McGregor.

Sources: Lakeshore Entertainment

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