EXCLUSIVE: Red Nose Day, the national fundraising campaign to end child poverty, returns to NBC for the annual three-hour primetime charity special on Thursday, May 21.
In partnership with Comic Relief, NBC will kick off the night at 8 PM with Celebrity Escape Room, sort of a show within a show, executive produced by Ben Stiller and hosted by Jack Black, featuring comedy stars Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow and Adam Scott. It will be followed by the two-hour Red Nose Day Special.
As the all-knowing “Game Master” host, Black puts his celebrity friends to the test as they work together under intense pressure to beat the clock, unlocking a series of surprising puzzle rooms to ultimately engineer their great escape.
Celebrity Escape Room “combines the drama and tension of a real-life video game with the side-splitting allure of the ultimate party game,” says NBC. Stiller, Cox, Kudrow and Scott will work together and channel their inner Sherlocks to decipher clues and solve puzzles, brainstorm for solutions and combine their comedic talents to ultimately gain their freedom before time runs out.
In addition to Stiller, Celebrity Escape Room will be executive produced by Black, Christine Taylor, Nicky Weinstock, Amiira Ruotolo-Behrent and Lee Metzger The Voice. The show is produced by Universal Television Alternative Studio and Red Hour Productions.
The annual Red Nose Day Special will follow Celebrity Escape Room with an entertainment showcase featuring music, comedy and poignant films. The films will share stories of children and young people who have been affected by poverty and how Red Nose Day funds have helped change their story for good.
“Kicking off with Ben Stiller's hilarious Celebrity Escape Room, NBC's Red Nose Day lineup is the perfect vehicle to help drive this year's fundraising efforts,” said Paul Telegdy, Chairman, NBC Entertainment. “We are privileged to continue our support of this incredible cause in partnership with our amazing friends at Comic Relief US as we work together on behalf of children in need around the world.”
“Through the power of laughter and entertainment, Red Nose Day serves as a galvanizing force, rallying Americans to come together to end child poverty,” said Alison Moore, CEO of Comic Relief US. “Together with our incredible partners and celebrity supporters, we are working to change the story for good for millions of children in the U.S. and around the world.”
The multi-week Red Nose Day campaign launches Monday, April 13 when the official Red Noses go on sale exclusively at Walgreens locations nationwide in more than 9,000 stores across the country. All net proceeds of Red Nose sales go to the Red Nose Day Fund. Between April 13-May 30, Walgreens will donate $.50 from...
Right now, everyone is looking for some kind of reprieve from being locked up at home due to the spread of the coronavirus across the United States. That doesn’t appear to be in the cards anytime soon, but The Office executive producers Paul Lieberstein and Ben Silverman think they’ve figured out a way to make light of the situation by crafting a new workplace comedy series inspired by the sudden rise in employees working from home due to the outbreak of coronavirus forcing people to practice social distancing.
Deadline was first to learn of the currently untitled coronavirus comedy series, though it’s not necessarily about the pandemic. Paul Lieberstein and Ben Silverman, better known to The Office fans as the frequently maligned Toby Flenderson and one of Jim’s business partners at their company Athlead, are creating the series that is said to focus on “wunderkind boss who, in an effort to ensure his staff’s connectedness and productivity, asks them all to virtually interact and work face-to-face all day.”
The series is in the works at Big Breakfast, the comedy production banner Silverman runs, where he’ll executive produce the series along with and Luke Kelly-Clyne College Humor and Kevin Healey Scare Tactics. They’ll also be working with Howard Owens’ Propagate Content, which will have Rodney Ferrell serving as an executive producer as well.
Silverman, who was also once an NBC executive, explained the inception of the series and his hope for what it will become:
“So many of us are jumping on daily Zoom meetings — for work and beyond. We are in a new normal and are personally navigating ways to remain connected and productive at work and in our home lives. With the brilliant Paul Lieberstein at the helm, we think we have a series that not only brings humor and comfort during this troubling time but will also be an inventive and enduring workplace comedy for years to come.”
While the prospect of trying to craft a series around the coronavirus outbreak sounds like a bad idea at this time, there’s no indication that the pandemic will actually play a part in the overall concept of the series. In fact, it would be easy to pull something like this off without introducing such a grim plot device.
What I’m envisioning with this series is a show with a format that echoes what we’ve seen accomplished with movies like Unfriended and Searching. Both of those films play out entirely on computer or mobile device screens and successfully tell a solid narrative. Modern Family did something similar with an episode that unfolded across the ensemble cast’s various screens, and it worked pretty well. But if that’s what this series will be like, can that concept be sustained for an entire series? Or will they need to take...
A number of the main characters in Space Jam 2 are already set. LeBron James will, of course, play the film’s protagonist, while a handful of NBA and WNBA players will presumably get their talent stolen from them by a bunch of aliens hell-bent on taking down the Looney Tunes in a game of basketball.
Other roles are still up in the air, including the role of the film’s main antagonist, whomever that may end up being. In the original Space Jam, that character was named Swackhammer and was voiced by Danny DeVito. This time around, an unlikely source may have revealed who will be the biggest thorn in the sides of LeBron, Bugs, and co.
Paul Scheer — who you know from The League, the podcast How Did This Get Made?, and a whole host of other things — appeared on Clip City, The Athletic’s Los Angeles Clippers podcast hosted by Jovan Buha. Scheer was asked about the acting chops of former Clipper Blake Griffin, and around the 39:50 mark, he discusses doing a Space Jam live read with Griffin a few years back. He alludes to the film’s upcoming sequel, at which point he drops that Don Cheadle is in line to play the bad guy.
“Actually Don Cheadle, who I do Black Monday with, he’s the bad guy in Space Jam, and he said LeBron’s really great,” Scheer said at the 40:15 mark.
Cheadle’s involvement in the film isn’t new — it’s been reported in the past that he’s hopped onto the project, and he’s actually spoken about being in the film. He was asked about this a few months back at the Televisions Critics Association Conference in January, but kept his role close to the chest, saying “No, I’m not playing myself. I actually can’t tell you what I’m playing.” Now, thanks to Scheer, Cheadle’s role looks like it’s becoming a little more clear.
Via Silver Screen and Roll
EXCLUSIVE: 20th Century Fox TV is developing an adaptation of Michael Arceneaux's memoir I Can't Date Jesus: Love, Sex, Family, Race and Other Reasons I've Put My Faith in Beyonce with Jerrod Carmichael, Lee Daniels and Marc Velez.
Deadline understands that the project is set to hit the cable and streaming market as a half-hour series.
The book, which was published by Simon & Schuster in July 2018, is a collection of 17 autobiographical essays from Arceneaux. The deal comes as Arceneaux’s second book, I Don't Want to Die Poor, an essay collection which chronicles his struggles with private student loans and economic anxiety, is published today April 7 by Simon & Schuster.Simon & Schuster
Arceneaux will adapt and executive produce alongside Carmichael, and Lee Daniels and Marc Velez of Lee Daniels Entertainment. UTA brokered the deal on Arceneaux's behalf.
The book looks at life in today's America with Arceneaux learning to embrace his identity when the world told him to do the opposite, leaving no bigoted or ignorant stone unturned. He discusses coming out to his mother, growing up in Houston, Texas, being approached for the priesthood, his obstacles in embracing intimacy that occasionally led to unfortunate fights with fire ants, and the persistent challenges of young people who feel marginalized and denied the chance to pursue their dreams.
Arceneaux is represented by UTA, Jermaine Johnson at 3Arts, attorney Loan Dang, and Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich & Bourrett. Carmichael is represented by UTA and attorney PJ Shapiro at Ziffren Brittenham. Daniels is represented by WME, Alex Kovacs at Untitled Entertainment, and attorney Matthew Levy at Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller & Gellman.