INSTINCT CUT — Right before I left Thursday on a quick weekend getaway, word came down that CBS had officially cancelled their whodunit series Instinct,starring Alan Cumming and Bojana Novakovic. Now, what’s really interesting is that the show first debuted last year as a summer replacement and as their final episode aired, word came that CBS had cancelled it.
Honestly, I think I could enjoy Alan Cumming reading the phone book. He’s just an outstanding performer in every which way. His stint on CBS ’ The Good Wife,ensured that. He’s a terrific performer on Broadway too; his stint in Cabaret was just awesome.
This show, about a writer, turned police sleuth was just great. The added bonus was that Cumming’s character was gay, had a husband and together they were an angling for a child. An added bonus was that before enjoying fame as a writer, he was a CIA operative and his father was a major player there. The terrific Naveen Andrews from Lost, was his partner and confidant. And, boy, was Andrews great ….nailing with style every scene he was in.
No, with all those breadcrumbs, you would have expected a better than average show … right? It was good, but the scripts were nothing compared to Elementary (also on CBS and just ended). The shows got better and had they had another season, it might have been a bonafide hit.
Sad news for sure. Cumming is just stunning!
THE IRISHMAN — (Via Hollywood Reporter) Not even a Martin Scorsese mob pic could bridge the divide between Netflix and cinema chains.
The streamer will forgo a wide theatrical release for Scorsese’s The Irishman in order to make the film available to its subscribers as quickly as possible, a longstanding policy that doesn’t fly with exhibitors. There had been rampant speculation that the Oscar-hungry Netflix might further soften its stance in regard to honoring theatrical windows, but in the end, it couldn’t reach a compromise with chains including AMC and Cineplex.
The Irishman will open Nov. 1 in select indie cinemas willing to carry the drama. More than three weeks later — or 26 days to be exact — it will debut Nov. 27 on Netflix, much as Alfonso Cuarón’s Oscar-nominated Roma did last year. This rules out the sort of big-screen blitz Scorsese and other seasoned directors are used to, unless something changes at the 11th hour. (The Irishman makes its world premier Sept. 27 at the New York Film Festival, where it’s the opening night film.)
Last year, Netflix acknowledged the value of the theatrical experience when announcing that Roma and other Oscar hopefuls would play exclusively in cinemas for two to three weeks before being made available to its subscribers. But that wasn’t enough to appease all Oscar voters — or theater chains, which insist on a 90-day window between the time a title opens and is released on home entertainment (for digital sell-through, it can be 74 to 76 days).
When Roma lost the best picture race even while winning best director and best foreign language film, some cited the lack of box office grosses for the snub. According to sources, top Netflix executives and Scorsese himself immediately began a dialogue with theaters to see what could be done for The Irishman, starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel.
Scorsese has been nominated for the Oscar for best director eight times, more than any other living director. He’s also a proven force at the box office. Hits include The Wolf of Wall Street, which grossed nearly $400 million globally, and the Oscar-winning The Departed ($291 million).
Based on the 2004 book I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt, The Irishman tells the deathbed story of a mob hit man who claimed to have had a role in the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa.
Netflix picked up The Irishman, costing as much as $200 million to produce, after Paramount stepped aside. Scorsese shot the movie on both film and digital and is relying on Industrial Light & Magic to de-age his principal cast for flashback sequences.
The Irishman will play first in cinemas in New York and Los Angeles before expanding into additional markets in the U.S. and the U.K. on Nov. 8. It will further expand on Nov. 15 and Nov. 22, according to Netflix.
SHORT TAKES — Randy Bachman, of The Guess Who and Bachman Turner Overdrive, tonight at SONY Hall in NYC … The Fifty Years Ago tour, with Micky Dolenz, Todd Rundgren, Christopher Cross, Jason Sheff and Badfinger’s Joey Molland, kicks off September 19 in Bethlehem, PA. It’ll hit the St. George Theater October 10 and Westbury on October 12. According to our inside spy, the first half will be all the performers doing their signature songs, while the second will be devoted to The Beatles’ timeless White Album. Can’t wait for this one … And, it’s official, Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time in Hollywood has become his second highest grossing film. #1 was Django Unchained. Congrats … Freda Payne (Band of Gold) will be at the launch event for Living The Luxe Life, from Efrem Harkham and Mark Bego … And, filmmaker Wendy Stuart Kaplan, whose film Whisperers and Witnesses is in both the Woodstock and Golden Door Film festivals is interviewed by Times Square Chronicles Magda Katz now in midtown.
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Barry Zelman; Andrew Tobin; Mark Bego; Keith Girard; Judd Bernard; Paul Maslansky; Bryan Lourd; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Magda Katz; John Varvatos; Alan Rothstein; Jeff Smith; and, CHIP.