Alyssa Milano Renews Call to Boycott Georgia After Governor Signs Anti-Abortion ‘Heartbeat’ Law

Alyssa Milano has renewed her calls to boycott the state of Georgia, where she is currently filming the second season of Netflix’s “Insatiable,” after Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed legislation this week banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.

“I will do everything in my power to get as many productions as possible — including ‘Insatiable’ — to move out of this state which continues to put forth oppressive, hurtful policy that contradicts everything the entertainment industry stands for,”

Milano’s statement comes after Killer Films CEO Christine Vachon and “The Wire” and “The Deuce” creator David Simon said Thursday that they would no longer consider Georgia as a production location so long as the law stays in place.

“Should people wait to boycott? No. Should we keep funding states that put forth hurtful policy? No,” Milano said, noting that she is “contractually obligated” to continue shooting “Insatiable” in the state for another month. “If you are offered a project that shoots in Georgia or are a producer considering working in Georgia or any state with a heartbeat bill, you should not take that job and you should be vocal about why you’re not taking that job.”

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A spokesperson for Netflix had no comment. Representatives for CBS Productions and Ryan Seacrest Productions, which are producers on “Insatiable,” have not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.

On Tuesday, Kemp signed a so-called “heartbeat bill” banning abortions in the state if a fetal heartbeat can be detected — though the legislation does include exceptions to save the life of the mother or for rape or incest if the mother files a police report. The law would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020 unless it is blocked in the courts; legal challenges are expected.

Milano has been outspoken about the issue since March, when the bill was approved in the Georgia General Assembly. She called for a boycott, delivering a letter signed by other prominent Hollywood actors like Amy Schumer, Patton Oswalt, Sarah Silverman, Uzo Aduba and Colin Hanks, to Kemp’s office.

“I have had discussions with many actors, producers and directors. All of them have agreed they will not work in Georgia,” she added in her statement to TheWrap, though she did not identify any by name. “The entertainment industry supplements $10 billion a year and employs 90,000 Georgians. Those who signed on to my letter to Kemp believe we can not continue to feed the economy of a state which hurts women, communities of color, and the LGBTQ community.”

She added: “Obviously, those who are already contractually obligated to be there, should fight to get their show out of Georgia while continuing their contractual obligation. I have to be there for another three weeks but you can be sure I will fight tooth and nail to move ‘Insatiable’ to a state that will protect our rights. And if it doesn’t move to another state, I will not be able to return to the show if we are blessed with a third season. This is my leverage. I will use it for the betterment of society and our great country.”

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Films like Fox’s “Fear Street” and Netflix’s “Holidate” are currently filming in the state. Fox had no comment. According to ExploreGeorgia.org, the state’s official tourism website, shows like “Ozark,” “The Real World,” and “The Walking Dead” are all currently filming in Georgia. The sequel to “Jumanji” just wrapped production there, as did Steven Spielberg’s “Amazing Stories” and Will Smith’s “Bad Boys for Life.” “Avengers: Infinity War” was also shot there. For a comprehensive list of all films shot in Georgia from 1972 to present, click here.

According to Georgia Trend, Georgia overtook California as the top location for production of feature films in 2016, leading to an economic impact of $9.5 billion in fiscal 2017 and $2.7 billion in direct spending. However, a study from FilmL.A. last year said Canada overtook Georgia as the No. 1 filming location in the world.

The Georgia Film Commission had no comment.

In a statement to TheWrap, the Motion Picture Association of America said, “Film and television production in Georgia supports more than 92,000 jobs and brings significant economic benefits to communities and families. It is important to remember that similar legislation has been attempted in other states, and has either been enjoined by the courts or [is] currently being challenged. The outcome in Georgia will also be determined through the legal process. We will continue to monitor developments.”

Jeremy Fuster contributed to this report.

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Netflix Signs ‘Umbrella Academy’ Producer Dark Horse Entertainment to First-Look Deal

Netflix has signed a first-look overall deal with Dark Horse Entertainment, the producer behind the streamer’s drama “The Umbrella Academy.”

Under the new deal, Dark Horse Entertainment will give Netflix a first look at its IP for both film and TV and has started exploring future projects. Dark Horse Entertainment’s Mike Richardson, Keith Goldberg and Paul Schwake will produce all future projects. Dark Horse Entertainment is the production wing of comic book publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Along with “The Umbrella Academy,” which has been renewed for a second season, the two companies have also partnered on Jonas Akerlund’s feature film “Polar.”

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“We are very excited about this new arrangement with the talented people at Netflix,” Mike Richardson, Dark Horse Entertainment’s president and founder, said. “We have strong creative relationships as well as a large content library to work with and, as we have seen with our recent projects, Netflix is the perfect partner to bring our stories to fans around the world.”

The deal with Dark Horse comes a few months after Netflix ended its four-year partnership with Marvel TV, which will officially end later this summer after the third and final season of “Jessica Jones.”

“Following the success of ‘The Umbrella Academy,’ we’re excited to extend our relationship with Dark Horse Comics,” said Cindy Holland, vice president of original content for Netflix. “The Netflix teams are already working in deep collaboration with Dark Horse to identify projects beyond the world of traditional superheroes — branching into horror, fantasy and family entertainment — that we think our members will love.”

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Comedy Central Launches In-House Production Studio, Signs Multiple Development Deals

Comedy Central has launched an in-house production studio, Comedy Central Productions, it announced on Wednesday.

The new studio will be led by Kent Alterman, who heads up Comedy Central as well as fellow Viacom cable networks Paramount Network and TV Land.

The studio has already signed a slew of development deals, which will create programming for buyers across all TV and digital platforms. These include Lucia Aniello and Paul W. Downs’ production company Paulilu (“Broad City,” “The Other Two”); Anthony King; Daniel Powell and Alex Bach’s Irony Point (“Inside Amy Schumer”) and Stuart Miller (“Klepper”).

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The CCP development deals join existing development deals for the Comedy Central network with Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, Roy Wood, Jr.,  Jim Jefferies and Chris Distefano.

“For years we’ve been successfully expanding the trustworthy Comedy Central brand beyond linear, extending to digital, social, podcasts, radio and live events. The next logical step is to establish Comedy Central Productions,” Alterman said. “By leaning into our development expertise and production capabilities, and by partnering with some of the smartest and funniest talent in comedy, this is another way we can thrive. And putting more great comedy in the world couldn’t hurt.”

Comedy Central becomes the latest Viacom network to launch its own in-house studio, following Awesomeness, BET, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount TV and Viacom International Media Networks. In 2013, Comedy Central launched a digital studio.

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Jon M Chu Signs Overall Deal With 20th Century Fox Television

“Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon M. Chu has signed his first TV overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television, the studio announced on Monday.

Chu has signed to a four-year overall deal to develop, produce and potentially direct new TV projects for 20th, becoming the latest target in the studio’s signing spree in the weeks since its acquisition by Disney.

The director already has a number of projects in the pipeline, including a film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights” and a dramatization of the Thai cave rescue story for Netflix. He is also attached as director and executive producer on the series “Home Before Dark” for Apple’s upcoming streaming service.

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“Throughout my film career I have been lucky enough to play in many genres from dance and music to action, romantic-comedy, documentary, drama and beyond,” Chu said in a statement. “So it was crucial for me, as a storyteller, to find a partner in the television space that had the same vast interests and willingness to break the mold with new perspectives and stories that represent the diverse world we live in.

“Dana Walden and her team at 20th Century Fox TV was the undisputed choice to join forces with,” he continued. “Their daring taste and ability to combine important subject matter with cutting edge, sophisticated entertainment is second to none. I can’t wait to build new worlds with them and take the audience on a wild ride. Let’s go!”

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Jonnie Davis, president of creative affairs, said in a statement, “Jon directed one of the biggest, most entertaining and uplifting hits of the year in ‘Crazy Rich Asians,’ starring our own Constance Wu, and getting him to this studio became nothing short of a mission to Terence [Carter, EVP development, comedy and drama] and our development teams. He has spectacular taste and talent loves him. We’re excited he’s making this studio his creative home.”

Chu is repped by UTA, Artists First and attorney Allison Binder of Stone, Genow, Smelkinson, Binder & Christopher.

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Regina King Signs First-Look Deal With Netflix

Regina King has inked a first-look deal with Netflix, the streaming service announced Wednesday. The director, producer, and Oscar-winning actress will produce films and series for the streaming service under her production company Royal Ties. Her sister Reina King will serve as the shingle’s head of production.

King won the Oscar for best supporting actress as Sharon Rivers in Barry Jenkins’ “If Beale Street Could Talk” at the 2019 Academy Awards. She also has three Emmys — her most recent was in 2018 for outstanding lead actress in a limited series for the role of Latrice Butler in “Seven Seconds.” King has also directed episodes of NBC’s “This Is Us,” ABC’s “The Good Doctor,” and the season three finale of HBO’s “Insecure.”

Next up for King will be the starring role in Damon Lindeloff’s upcoming “Watchmen” series.

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“I am beyond thrilled to join the Netflix family. They are at the top of their game and as an artist I am so excited to come play in this wonderful sandbox they have created for storytellers,” King said in a statement.

“Regina King is a multi-faceted talent both behind and in front of the camera. She’s been a trailblazer for years, with boundless creativity and impeccable taste in projects, and we couldn’t be more thrilled that she will bring her formidable talents to Netflix,” said Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos.

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‘Long Shot’ Director Jonathan Levine Signs First-Look Deal With Lionsgate

Lionsgate announced Wednesday that it has signed Jonathan Levine, director of the new comedy “Long Shot,” to a first-look film and television deal. Levine will base his new production company Megamix at Lionsgate and will work alongside Megamix partner Gillian Bohrer.

The deal is the latest in a series of production deals made by Lionsgate Motion Picture Group President Nathan Kahane and Chairman Joe Drake as the pair continues to build its studio and talent pool. During its CinemaCon presentation, Lionsgate prominently displayed its first look deal with new faith-based production banner Kingdom Studios and announced a new deal with Seth Rogen, James Weaver and Evan Goldberg’s Point Grey Pictures.

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Under Kahane and Drake, Lionsgate is aiming to rebrand itself as a creator-driven studio where artists have the freedom to create their projects for any platform.

The relationship between Levine, Kahane and Drake goes back to 2011, when the latter two produced Levine’s Golden Globe-nominated comedy “50/50,” which starred Rogen and was also produced by Point Grey. The trio reunited on another Point Grey project, “The Night Before,” before coming together again this year for “Long Shot,” which sees Rogen as a self-destructive journalist who courts his childhood babysitter turned U.S. presidential candidate, played by Charlize Theron.

Bohrer also has a connection to Lionsgate, having worked there as Co-President of Production on films like “La La Land,” “Wonder,” and the “Twilight” series. Bohrer will join Levine at Megamix with McAuley Cahill, who most recently worked alongside Bohrer as executives at Fox 2000. The pair are leaving Fox 2000 as it will soon be shuttered by Disney following its recent merger with 20th Century Fox.

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“For over a decade, Lionsgate has been in business with Jonathan supporting his earliest work as a gifted writer and director and storyteller and releasing his films,” said Kahane in a statement. “He is enormously talented and his movies are unique and refreshing and never derivative. Lionsgate has always been somewhat of an unofficial home for him and Megamix also represents a homecoming for Gillian Bohrer, a highly accomplished and respected production and creative executive. So for us, this deal is an irresistible one-two punch.”

“Long Shot” has been well received by critics with an 87% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Independent trackers are projecting a $12-14 million opening, but the studio is hoping that strong word of mouth can allow the film to leg out even against blockbusters like “Avengers: Endgame” and “Detective Pikachu.”

This month, Lionsgate will also release “John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum,” the third installment in the Keanu Reeves action series. Lionsgate is in great need of box office success after a 2018 that saw box office grosses sink to just $388 million. More recently, the studio’s $50 million remake of “Hellboy” has tanked with just $21.5 million grossed through three weekends in theaters

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