UNIVERSAL MEDIA STUDIOS SIGNS FIRST-LOOK DEAL WITH ACTOR-PRODUCER-DIRECTOR DON CHEADLE AND HIS CRESCENDO PRODUCTIONS SHINGLE UNIVERSAL CITY, CALIF. — January 15, 2009 - Universal Media Studios has signed Academy Award-nominated actor-producer-director Don Cheadle (”Hotel Rwanda,” “Traitor”) and his company, Crescendo Productions, which he runs with producing partners Kay Liberman and Lenore Zerman, to a two-year, first-look television development deal.
The pact – aimed at creating a variety of different television series projects — was announced at NBC’s January Press Tour today by Angela Bromstad, President, Primetime Entertainment, NBC and Universal Media Studios.
“Don Cheadle is such a smart and dynamic presence both on the screen and behind the scenes,” said Bromstad. “We are happy to be in business with Don and his team, and are already at work discussing ideas that will bring Don’s strong and creative voice to our primetime schedule.”
“I look forward to our partnership with NBC.” said Don Cheadle. “We have a unique opportunity to make some compelling television and are very excited to get up and running.”
Crescendo Productions develops and produces feature films geared to both mainstream and the independent film audiences. The company was founded in 2005 by Cheadle and is run by Cheadle, Kay Liberman and Lenore Zerman. Crescendo recently signed a two-year, first-look deal with Overture Films. The company has produced “Traitor,” an Overture Films release; “Darfur Now,” a documentary featuring the stories of six people trying to bring positive change in Sudan’s Darfur region, and is currently developing a feature film about prolific musician Miles Davis. Cheadle was also a producer of the Academy Award-winning feature “Crash” and is an executive producer of Lionsgate’s “Crash” television series.
Few artists command such respect and admiration as Don Cheadle, as evidenced by his extraordinary talent as an acclaimed movie actor and his commitment to humanitarian efforts across the globe. His tireless efforts to stop the humanitarian crisis in Sudan’s Darfuir region have been recognized by numerous organizations which have honored him with various awards including the BAFTA/LA Humanitarian Award and the BET Humanitarian Award of the year.
His inspiring career boasts roles from either spectrum of the film industry, from hilarious comedic performances in the “Ocean’s Eleven” series to his poignant, dramatic roles in the Academy Award-winning film “Crash” and Academy Award-nominated “Hotel Rwanda” (which also earned him his Academy Award nomination for Best Actor). Cheadle has more than proved he is a versatile force in Hollywood.
In addition to his acclaimed acting career, Cheadle has served as producer/executive producer on several of his projects including “Traitor,” “Darfur Now,” “Talk to Me,” “Crash,” and the upcoming “Fritz Pollard,” which is currently in development, and “Marching Powder,” being produced with Plan B Entertainment.
Cheadle currently has numerous upcoming films including “Brooklyn’s Finest” with Richard Gere, Ethan Hawke, and Wesley Snipes; DreamWorks’ “Hotel for Dogs” with Lisa Kudrow and Emma Roberts; and two upcoming Paramount Pictures films, “Iron Man 2″ and “The Avengers.” both with Robert Downey Jr.
Among his other feature film credits: “Ocean’s Eleven/Twelve/Thirteen”, “Swordfish” “The Family Man” and “Boogie Nights,” among many others.
His television credits include HBO’s TV movies “A Lesson Before Dying,” which earned him a Primetime Emmy, and “The Rat Pack,” for which he won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Emmy. Cheadle also made several appearances on “The Bernie Mac Show,” “ER,” and was a series regular on “Picket Fences.”
On the WBTV-produced CHUCK, CHASE will play a technology mogul — a mega-billionaire in the new-media business — who is accused by Chuck’s father of stealing his ideas.
On TV’s THE KING OF QUEENS, KEVIN JAMES was used to being the star of the show. But when it came to his movie career, he was stuck in “sidekick” mode (HITCH, I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK & LARRY). But with his new movie, PAUL BLART: MALL COP, KEVIN’S taking center stage again. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR BELOW)
Producer/Writer MITCH HURWITZ (at TCA to promote his upcoming animated Fox series, SIT DOWN - SHUT UP) is saying that plans for a big screen version of the defunct TV series, ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, are moving along. And, even though, he’d hoped to have a more positive announcement, the project is still a ‘GO’. Listen in below:
Will anybody be able to sit through this…seriously? We remember the original (didn’t it redefine the term “oral sex”?)….this is gonna hurt…no, really, really hurt…as in ‘OW, OWIE, OUCH, OW, STOP, OW’…
We caught up with RESCUE ME creator/writer DENNIS LEARY at the RESCUE ME TCA session a couple of days ago and he tells us that, after all this time, finding episode ideas and story lines is no problem at all. Listen in below:
SHARON was more than happy to talk about the recent water-throwing incident that grabbed international headlines. Apparently, you don’t diss OZZY when SHARON’S on the scene. Listen in below:
BOB GREENBLATT, Showtime’s President of Entertainment, just let slip at the TCA Showtime Executive Session that an L Word spin-off pilot has been shot and will involve women in prison. Listen in below: