Capitol Hill media figures took a break from ongoing impeachment coverage on Thursday evening to honor NBC News Correspondent Kelly O'Donnell with a career achievement award.
O'Donnell is the first woman to receive the Radio & Television Correspondents Association's Career Achievement Award for Distinguished Reporting on Congress. A 25-year veteran of the network, O'Donnell quipped, “Could I ask this of the RTCA board. Could we call this the 'Mid-Career Achievement Award'?”
Also honored at the event were Mary Bruce, ABC News' senior congressional correspondent, who won the Joan S. Barone Award for political reporting in the past year. She covered the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings. The BBC's Clive Myrie won the David Bloom Award for his reporting on the source of the opioid crisis. CNN's Kim Uhl received the Jerry Thompson Memorial Award, recognizing career achievement in photojournalism.
O'Donnell has covered not just Capitol Hill, but the White House and six presidential election cycles, and she has interviewed President Bill Clinton, President George H.W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and first ladies Laura Bush and Rosalynn Carter.
“The news business is at its heart a business of questions,” O'Donnell said. “Most questions we ask of others, the newsmakers we cover, but some are questions best directed at ourselves. Will I be worthy of what is required today? Knowing it could be a seemingly ordinary day or one where another piece of history is carved. Will I be fair? Will I be thorough? Will I keep my opinions out of my work? Will I keep a sense of humor and a sense of humanity?”
She was especially close to two senators on opposite ends of the political spectrum — John McCain and Ted Kennedy. She recalled that McCain once told her that one day when the Senate gallery was full of spectators, and a rather uneventful issue was being debated on the floor, McCain “walked over to Ted Kennedy and said something along the lines of 'We've got a full house. Let's give 'em a show.' And the two men launched into a thundering debate arguing with passion and loving every second of it.”
Amazon Prime Video has ordered a second season of half-hour romantic anthology series Modern Love. The news comes a week after what Amazon describes as “successful debut” for the series,inspired by the popular The New York Times column of the same name. Like all streamer, Amazon does not disclose viewership data.
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Additionally, Amazon Studios has signed an overall deal with John Carney, Modern Love's developer, writer, director and executive producer.
Modern Love, which premiered Oct. 18 to largely positive reviews, explores love in all of its complicated and beautiful forms, as each standalone episode brings some of the NYT column's best known stories to life with an A-list cast. Season two of Modern Love will premiere on Prime Video in 2020 in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.
“Since its debut just last week, the reaction to Modern Love from viewers has been incredible. It's a show with so much emotion and warmth — every episode touches the heart in a different way,” said Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios. “We're so excited we'll be able to bring our global Prime Video customers more of the beautiful stories of romance, friendship, and family from Modern Love.”
Carney, Todd Hoffman, Trish Hofmann, and Anthony Bregman are executive producers of Season Two. Sam Dolnick and Choire Sicha of The New York Times also serve as executive producers and Daniel Jones, editor of the NYT's Modern Love column, serves as consulting producer. Modern Love is produced by Amazon Studios, Storied Media Group, Likely Story, and The New York Times.
“Being given a green light to proceed with Modern Love is a great opportunity for us to continue to tell stories of love, while opening up the series into new cities and worlds. The possibilities are truly endless,” said Carney. “Subsequent seasons can really branch out and dig deep into what it means to love in this complicated world.”
The list of Season 1 guest stars included Jane Alexander, Sofia Boutella, Gary Carr, Olivia Cooke, Brandon Victor Dixon, Tina Fey, John Gallagher, Jr., Andy Garcia, Julia Garner, Brandon Kyle Goodman, Anne Hathaway, Catherine Keener, Caitlin McGee, Cristin Milioti, Dev Patel, Laurentiu Possa, James Saito , Andrew Scott, John Slattery and Shea Whigham.
“I couldn't be prouder of this show, and the global outpouring of emotion has frankly blown me away,” Jones said. “John Carney managed to honor the complexity of the original column while making a series that's beautiful, upbeat and hopeful. I can't wait to get to work on Season 2.”
EXCLUSIVE: Universal is developing the Adib Khorram 2018 Penguin Books YA novel Darius the Great is Not Okay.
Kevin Hamedani and Travis Betz will adapt for Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman’s Mandeville Films which is producing.
The novel follows half-Persian Darius Kellner, a fanboy who knows how to speak Klingon better than Farsi, and is more versed in Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. However, his first-ever trip to Iran is about to change his life. He’s never really fit in at home, and he's sure things are going to be the same in Iran. His clinical depression doesn't exactly help. Then Darius meets Sohrab, the boy next door, and everything changes. Soon, they're spending their days together, playing soccer, eating faludeh, and talking for hours on a secret rooftop overlooking the city's skyline. Sohrab calls him Darioush—the original Persian version of his name—and Darius has never felt more like himself than he does now that he's Darioush to Sohrab.
Darius was selected as a BEA Young Adult Buzz Book prior to being published, and went on to win many accolades, including this year’s William C. Morris Debut Award.
This is the first studio deal for scribes Betz and Hamedani. Their script Saviors made the 2017 Black List, and is currently in pre-production with Ben Stiller’s Red Hour Films producing and Hamedani directing. In addition to Saviors, Hamedani has won numerous festival awards for much of his work, including his first feature ZMD: Zombies Of Mass Destruction, which was distributed by Lionsgate, as well as his award-winning short film In Her Place. His last feature film, Junk, premiered at the Austin Film Festival, and also has won numerous festival awards.
Mandeville's Senior Vice President Alex Young will executive produce alongside Universal's Senior Vice President of Production Jeyun Munford and Creative Executive Christine Sun, who’ll oversee on behalf of the studio.
Mandeville Films has the Amazon Studios’ release The Aeronauts coming out on Dec. 6, and they’re also producers on the ABC series The Fix.
Hamedani and Betz are represented by Paradigm, Lee Stobby Entertainment, and attorneys Joel VanderKloot Betz and Eric Feig Hamedani.
Alan Ruck Succession, Katie Finneran Why Women Kill, Celeste O'Connor Selah And The Spades and Misha Osherovich NOS4A2 are joining Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton in Blumhouse’s Chris Landon-helmed thriller.
The yet-to-be-titled body-swapping film, which was written by Landon and Michael Kennedy, is about a young girl who, after swapping bodies with a deranged serial killer, discovers she has less than 24 hours before the change becomes permanent.
The Blumhouse Production in association with Divide/Conquer project is being produced by Jason Blum.
Ruck currently stars in the HBO acclaimed drama Succession, which earned five Emmy nominations winning for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series and was renewed for a third season. He’s also known for shows like Spin City and Mad About You as well as the classic John Hughes film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Tony-winner Finneran can be seen on CBS All-Access' Why Women Kill opposite Lucy Liu, as well as Hulu’s The Looming Tower with Jeff Daniels and Netflix’s Bloodline. Her film credits include Bewitched and Miss Congeniality 2.
O'Connor just wrapped Jason Reitman’s Ghostbusters reboot for Sony and was one of the leads in Tayarisha Poe's boarding school drama, Selah And The Spades, which premiered earlier this year at Sundance and was picked by Amazon.
Osherovich currently recurs on the AMC series NOS4A2, which stars Ashleigh Cummings and Zachary Quinto, and has appeared in a number of stage productions including A Clockwork Orange at New World Stages in New York and Henry IV at Martha's Vineyard Playhouse.
Ruck is repped by APA and Teitelbaum Artists Group; Finneran by Innovative Artists and Principal Entertainment LA; O'Connor by Paradigm and Authentic Talent & Literary Management. Osherovich by Carlton, Goddard & Freer Talent and Impression Entertainment.
Fox News Channel this Sunday will air Town Hall America with Harris Faulkner: Police Emergency, which will focus on the treatment of law enforcement across the country.
While it may sound like the event will be focusing on the hot-button issue of criminal justice reform from a law-and-order vantage point, Faulkner says that it will delve into the personal issues that officers face including “an unbelievable wave of suicides.”
Faulkner's latest town hall comes as her show, Outnumbered Overtime, has reached a ratings milestone: It not only tops cable rivals at 1 PM, but lately it has been beating one of its broadcast competitors, ABC's GMA3: Strahan, Sara & Keke, among total viewers.
According to Nielsen Media, the Harris Faulkner-hosted show has averaged 1.5 million viewers over the past five weeks, beating GMA3 with 1.4 million viewers. GMA3 still tops in the key adults 25-54 demo, with 376,000 viewers to 241,000 for Outnumbered Overtime, and the ABC show outpaces by a wider margin among its target demo of women 18-49 and women 25-54.
But the news-obsessed culture shows little sign of subsiding anytime soon. Outnumbered Overtime has beaten GMA3 in total viewers 34 times since mid-summer — before the impeachment inquiry. But that story, and its hour-by-hour drama and bombshells, is likely to transfix news audiences for the next few weeks if not months.
Faulkner has not been part of some of the public on-air tensions at Fox News between news and opinion personalities, but she did praise Shepard Smith, who anchored the 3 PM hour, after he made the surprise announcement on October 11 that he was leaving the network.
“When I first got to Fox News my break came sub-anchoring for Shep,” she wrote on Twitter. “It was an honor and privilege to sit on his set. Imagine great things are on the horizon for him. Go get 'em Shep!”
Before Smith's departure, Faulkner talked about why she thinks a hard news show has been beating rivals in daytime, about President Donald Trump's attacks on the media, and about the reports of tensions between news and opinion.
DEADLINE: Your show has had a ratings milestone — which may be a bit unusual for a hard news show in daytime, which has traditionally had a softer focus.
FAULKNER: Celebrities used to be water cooler. Regardless of what all the research says about don't talk about politics at work, people are talking about what they see on the news. All of the lighter stuff has a role and it plays a role and it is fun, but it may not be the complete focal point in the middle of the day any longer.
[On Outnumbered Overtime] They are going to get all sides. It is not opinion television; it is multi- opinion television. It is Democrats, independents, Republicans. I try to bring everybody to the table because I truly believe that it is not about who is right, but what is right. And I have a reputation for that.
DEADLINE: Has it become more difficult in real time to fact check your guests? FAULKNER:
I do think it is more difficult for a host of reasons. The guests who come on sometimes will have an agenda. And a news person, you have got to be able to not just fact check them, but “mission check” them. My mission is not theirs. I am not an opinion person. So if I feel like we are going too far down the road, I am going to check it and I am going to come back with some different types of questions. That is my job. Sometimes you will hear me say right on the air, “You just cited a poll that is not even part of Real Clear Politics,” which is an average, an aggregate. Yours is seeming to be an outlier. Give me the name of that poll and the date that it was taken. I will say it right on the air. If there is something I don't know and I suspect that I need clarification and so does the viewer, I just ask for it.
DEADLINE: What was the biggest challenge when you interviewed President Trump last December?
The challenge was really to hone in on the issues in a moment's notice with a shrinking amount of time with the President of the United States. No one sat down with him from network television for quite some time after that, like through the holidays. [During the interview, Faulkner broke some news on the heels of the sentencing of Michael Cohen, Trump's former lawyer. She asked the president why he hired Cohen in the first place.]
DEADLINE: What did you think about the reaction to the interview? There was praise, but also some criticism about one of the lighter questions, “What do you love about being President?” FAULKNER:
I had one light question at the end that I have asked every powerful person I have ever interviewed. I took grief for that question because people couldn't understand why you would want to know why someone loves or doesn't love being the President of the United States. I don't agree. I think that is something that the American people might be curious about. Especially since we know that, at least in recent history, many people who have run for President are not light in the wallet. They can go do anything they want. So when they make the determination that they are going to do this job, which is hard and perforated by disasters and everything else, why do they stick with it? Seven or eight months ago, people were not talking about reelection the way that they are talking about it now. So I felt like it was time to ask that question, and I knew my time was limited, and I would get a relatively short answer [before] we had to wrap. But that wasn't the surprise of the interview the way it was written about. Sometimes I get slammed because I work at Fox and I am black. People are like, “How could you work there? Who are you?” People really want to know what are your politics personally. Some of them, not everybody. But that wasn't the surprise for me in that interview. When the President said that he should never have hired Michael Cohen and that he had made a mistake, my phone blew up after that interview. They were like, “When he said that, did you stop rolling?” I said, “You did watch the interview, right?” Of course not. I love what I do, and I think there is enough heart and passion to go around to get us through the tough spots. I think impeachment is a tough spot right now because the nation is so divided. And politics are so visceral in a negative way. I am looking for the spots where people will open up and work together. The president, the Democrats and the Republicans are looking at the USMCA and trade, and they are looking at infrastructure and they are looking at some things. And what I tell people is, be focused on that. Because we already know what the division is. Can we look at the additions, and not always subtraction and division.
DEADLINE: In light of the impeachment inquiry, the President has labeled the media as “corrupt.” Not all of the media but much of the media. What do you think of that? FAULKNER:
I think we have got to get it right as much as we can. And that he is expressing what a lot of people think. And I wish it weren't true. And I wish it weren't ever true. It is unfortunate that there are mistakes being made, but do I think that it is being driven by some sort of coordinated corruption? With all my heart I don't. But I also understand that politically, it helps a whole host of people from different political parties, for them to say, “Well the media got it wrong. This is how they are.” ... We are never going to be perfect, but we better be perfect in our drive and hunger to get the facts.
DEADLINE: Has there been more tension at Fox News between the editorial side and the opinion side? FAULKNER:
Let me just start with a headline. I do not like shooting inside the tent. I do not like it. So what I like about Fox News and what has always been true is, you have people with different opinions and ways of getting to the facts, and we have always lived inside a tent together. There is usually a large spread of information and that is for everybody to get a little nibble and to stand up for the things that they believe in. So I think where you are going with this is, “Is there more tension than ever?' I don't think there is. I think this is the way we always have been.
DEADLINE: What can we expect from the upcoming town hall which will air at 8 PM ET? FAULKNER:
We are looking at right now at an unbelievable wave of suicides among police officers. It is the kind of trend we have to stop. Look, I am not sticking my head in the sand. I know that we have had some bad apples with racial issues and so on. We have seen riots. I live in the skin so I see it all types of ways. But hitting police officers with buckets of water and that sort of thing is trying to start something. And there are police officers feeling we better not arrest anyone we don't know how that will play. There's politics involved. It is time, appointment television for people to tune in and say, “Well let's look at the nitty gritty here.”
Michael Kaplan, whose sartorial imagination and grasp of garb has been on display in screen projects such as Blade Runner, Star Trek, Flashdance, Fight Club, The Alienist, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, I Am Legend, Se7en,and Pearl Harbor, is this year's winner of the Costume Designers Guild's Career Achievement Award;
Kaplan will be presented with the honor at the22nd Costume Designers Guild Awards CDGAs on January 28 at The Beverly Hilton. Filmmaker J.J. Abrams, who has worked with Kaplan in two screen universes the Disney-owned Jedi galaxies and Paramount's Federation universe will present the award. Kaplan's illustrious career includes seven past CDGA nominations in competitive categories.
The Career Achievement Award recognizes leaders who have made a lasting impact on Costume Design. Past recipients include Ruth E. Carter, Joanna Johnston, Jeffrey Kurland, Ellen Mirojnick, Julie Weiss, Eduardo Castro, Judianna Makovsky, Colleen Atwood, Sandy Powell, and Ann Roth.
“Michael Kaplan's prolific career is both diverse and inspiring. His iconic projects such as Blade Runner, Fight Club, Flashdance, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, and the most recent Star Wars series have become a part of our collective consciousness,” said Salvador Perez, President of the Costume Designers Guild.
“The Costume Designers Guild recognizes the impact of his work in the film and television industry and popular culture. We take great pride in celebrating his career and look forward to his continued success.”
The annual CDGA gala celebrates excellence in costume design for film, television, and short-form works.
The CDG includes more than 1,100 costume designers and Illustrators.Nominees for the 22nd CDGA will be announced on December 10.