Premium TV network EPIX announced today that it is adding original, scripted series to its programming slate, beginning with series from its joint-venture studio partners Paramount, Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Two of the series will begin production this fall for premiere autumn 2016. The series, “Graves” from Lionsgate Television and “Berlin Station” from Paramount Television, mark the first original series that will appear on EPIX across its channels, EPIX On Demand, EPIX.com and TV Everywhere platforms with its distribution partners. A third original series from MGM will be announced in the near future.
“’Graves’ is a perfect vehicle to usher EPIX into premium scripted programming, and we look forward to delivering high end quality content for years to come”
Commenting on the original series, Mark Greenberg, President and CEO of EPIX said, “Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM are great partners, investors and supporters of our network and are proven leaders in television entertainment. Tapping into the creative talents of these entertainment power-houses to deliver this kind of compelling programming is exactly what we had envisioned when we created this joint-venture and launched the channel. Our focus was on business success and profitability first and having established that firm business foundation, we are now in a position to launch our original series with these two great shows from Lionsgate and Paramount and a third on the way from MGM.”
Added Jocelyn Diaz, Executive Vice President for Original Programming, “Original series provide a platform to build our brand and distinguish our offering. We are proud of the level of quality and sophistication of these projects and are thrilled to announce them today with our partners.”
“Berlin Station” is an hour-long, 10-part espionage drama series that will be produced in partnership with Paramount Television. Academy Award nominee Michaël Roskam (“Bullhead,” “The Drop”) will executive produce the straight-to-series order and is set to direct the first two episodes. American spy novelist Olen Steinhauer (The Cairo Affair, All The Old Knives) will write and executive produce the series. Academy Award winner Eric Roth (“House of Cards,” “The Insider,” “Munich”) and Anonymous Content (“True Detective,” “The Knick”) will also serve as executive producers.
“Olen is among the most respected espionage voices of our time, and Michael has a seasoned and distinct command of noir. Together, they make the ideal creative team to collaborate with on this sophisticated and gritty modern day spy thriller,” said Amy Powell, President, Paramount Television. “We also take great pride in partnering with the distinguished and prolific storyteller Eric Roth and the talented team at EPIX on developing an inspired original series that is reflective of the network’s commitment to high quality entertainment.”
“Berlin Station” follows Daniel Meyer, a newly anointed case officer who has arrived at the CIA foreign station in Berlin, Germany. It with a clandestine mission: to uncover the source of a leak who has supplied information to a now-famous whistleblower named “Thomas Shaw.” Guided by jaded veteran Hector DeJean, Daniel learns to contend with the rough-and-tumble world of the field agent—agent-running, deception, the dangers and moral compromises. As he dives deeper into the German capital’s hall of mirrors and uncovers the threads of a conspiracy that leads back to Washington, Daniel wonders: Can anyone ever be the same after a posting to Berlin?
Michaël Roskum is represented by Anonymous Content’s Keith Redmon and Luke Rivett, and UTA and attorney Alan Wertheimer. Olen Steinhauer is represented by Jill Gillett and Sylvie Rabineau at RWSG. Steve Golin, Kerry Kohansky-Roberts, Keith Redmon and Luke Rivett from Anonymous Content will also be executive producers of the series.
“Graves” is a single camera, half-hour comedy starring Oscar-nominated Nick Nolte as a former President of the United States. Twenty years after his presidency, former President Richard Graves has the epiphany that his policies have damaged the country for decades and so, with his young assistant, he goes on a Don Quixote-like journey to right his administration’s wrongs just as his wife, the former First Lady, decides to follow her own political ambitions.
The 10-episode, straight-to-series order will be produced in partnership with Lionsgate TV. Joshua Michael Stern (Swing Vote) created the project and will write, direct and executive produce the series. Oscar-winning producer Greg Shapiro (The Hurt Locker) will also be an executive producer.
“‘Graves’ is a perfect vehicle to usher EPIX into premium scripted programming, and we look forward to delivering high end quality content for years to come,” said Kevin Beggs, Chairman, Lionsgate Television Group. “‘Graves’ is a provocative comedy featuring a terrific script from writer/director Joshua Michael Stern, a consummate producer in Greg Shapiro and the brilliant and charismatic Nick Nolte as a former U.S. President whose conscience catches up with him with tragic and comic results. It is perfectly timed to premiere in an election year and marks a new chapter in the successful evolution of EPIX as a leading premium cable platform.”
Nick Nolte is represented by CAA and Jackoway Tyerman. Joshua Michael Stern is represented by Paradigm and AJ Brandenstein at Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern, LLP. Greg Shapiro is represented by Darren Trattner at Jackoway Tyerman.
EPIX and MGM are finalizing an agreement on an original series that will add to the network’s programming line-up. Specific details will be announced in the near future.
“We are working with EPIX to develop our next exciting series and look forward to bringing our signature style and storytelling to EPIX soon,” said Roma Khanna, President of MGM Television Group and Digital. “From Vikings to Fargo, MGM Television is the force behind some of the most exciting and award-winning series currently on television.”
In addition to the new scripted series, EPIX will continue to present original documentaries and docu-series (Deep Web, NHL Road to the Winter Classic and Stadium Series), comedy specials (Russell Brand, Jim Norton, Jim Breuer, Lisa Lampanelli) and music events (Katy Perry: Prismatic Tour), along with new movies (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, Selma, Interstellar)and thousands of titles from partner studios and other sources.
No Question Mark Box Here; Super Mario Delivers a 1-Up in Theaters
If you were born in the ’80s, ’90s, or literally ANY decade after those, you know about Super Mario. A cultural phenomenon was brought to life on the big screen this last weekend. One that has not only stood the test of time but reinvented itself time and time again. This wasn’t even the first time it’s been made into a movie but, well, let’s be honest.. some of us choose not to acknowledge the LIVE action adaptation of the beloved game from 30 years ago.
It was pretty bad… But this was animation. ILLUMINATION animation at that. The Universal company that brought us Gru and his Minions, showed us the Secret Life of Pets, and gave us a reason to SING! Still, I had my reservations and even some concerns, especially when the casting was announced.
Eyebrows were raised. As big of stars as they were on paper, could they really deliver on voicing characters from a staple of our childhood? They did.
Chris Pratt and Charlie Day may not be Italian, and Jack Black may not be a King or Turtle creature from the Mushroom Kingdom, but they make the characters their own all while paying homage to the lore of a video game.
From the jump, the story reintroduces us to the brothers that just want to save Brooklyn one clogged sink at a time. We feel an instant connection and relate to these “underdogs of the plumbing world”. The movie is riddled with easter eggs, each of which tugs on the heartstrings of every generation of Mario fandom. And the soundtrack was beautifully put together to not only make us feel like we’re taking a walkthrough of the game but like an experience all its own with some familiar favorites thrown in.
Every word in the movie is pure eye candy for both those that are casual fans, and those analyzing every frame to see what they’ll catch next. Bowser’s ship, the Mushroom Kingdom, Kong’s arena, and the Rainbow Road.. They’re all meant to give us just enough of a “new” look at these amazing worlds, but stay true to how we remember them.
The movie itself moves along at the perfect pace. Although, if you don’t really know ANYTHING about the Super Mario Bros, you may have gotten a little lost and felt left behind in the green tunnel. But that’s ok! It’s an adventure of the imagination and a classic story of a boy that meets a girl and tries to save the world from a monster that wants to destroy it.
What’s funny is that you could easily say this is a story about two characters who couldn’t be more opposite if they tried, battling to win the heart of a princess. Who would’ve thought that the King of the Koopas was just trying to impress his crush?
And that song? Ohhh THAT song! It’s my new ringtone and deserves the Oscar for Best Original Song.
Back to the movie.
Universal and Illumination clearly understood the assignment. Is it missing some things or could things have been done differently or even better? Absolutely! We’re the worst critics of the things we hold nearest and dearest to our hearts. But if you’re up for going on a 90-minute adventure through amazing worlds, with awesome music, and characters that’ll make you smile and laugh, then this is the perfect movie to spring you into that warm summer feeling.
Plus there’s the whole part with karts and shells, and banana peels and oh my goodness how amazing was that?? It’s enough to make you want to stand up and cheer, then go home and destroy your friends and family on your favorite track haha.
The bottom line, it pays homage in all the right ways to the little guy with the mustache, while giving us something new and exciting. Take the kids and go see Super Mario Bros. You’ll be glad you did!
Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023
Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Opening Act Saturday, March 25 at 1:30 p.m. on North 200A. Talent confirmed so far to participate in the post-screening panel is Natalie Alyn Lind (Big Sky, The Goldbergs, Gotham) as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince and longtime RWBY cast member Lindsay Jones (Camp Camp) as Ruby, Kara Eberle ( RWBY: Ice Queendom) as Weiss, Arryn Zech (Detective Now Dead) as Blake and Barbara Dunkelman (Blood Fest) as Yang – along with Jeannie Tirado (Soul, Saints Row) as Green Lantern and Tru Valentino (The Rookie, The Cuphead Show!) as a cyborg. Also attending the panel will be producer/director Kerry Shawcross (series RWBY) and writer Meghan Fitzmartin (Supernatural, Justice Society: World War II).
Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023 with the big screen debut from DC Animated Films: highlights this year include the world premieres of the highly anticipated Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham and Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Part One the weekend of March 24-26 in Anaheim, California. Both screenings will be followed by panel discussions with actors and creators. Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham premieres at The Arena on Friday, March 24 at 6 p.m. Tati Gabrielle (Kaleidoscope, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Uncharted) as Kai Li Cain, Christopher Gorham (The Lincoln Lawyer, Insatiable) as Oliver Queen, David Dastmalchian (Dune, Suicide Squad, Ant-Man) as Grendon, producer/co-director Sam Liu (The Death and the Return of Superman), co-director Christopher Berkeley (Young Justice) and screenwriter Jase Ricci (Teen Titans Go! and DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem Across the Multiverse).
Both films will have encore screenings in the Arena on Sunday, March 26. Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One will screen at 12:15pm, followed by Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham at 2:00pm