Beth Hanna declares HBO’s upcoming new comedy “Silicon Valley” is one of “the best new series of 2014.” From creator Mike Judge (“Office Space,” “King of the Hill”), the show is about incredibly smart nerds in the high-tech world who don’t have business smarts or assertiveness. She calls it a “smart, laugh-out-loud” show that has broad satire but is grounded “with relatable characters who react to the ridiculousness around them without getting too meta or cleverly commenting on it.” The program will debut on April 6, and the cast includes Thomas Middleditch, T.J. Miller, Josh Brenner, Martin Starr, and Christopher Evan Welch. Thompson on Hollywood.
Disney chairman Alan Horn tells a CinemaCon audience in Las Vegas that the upcoming “Million Dollar Arm” is the highest testing movie he’s ever had. He adds that his statement includes the original “Harry Potter” film which had huge expectations. Starring Jon Hamm (“Mad Men“), it is the true story of a fading sports agent who turns two cricket players into pro baseball stars. After screening the entire film for the exhibitors, their reaction seemed to back up the comments. Disney also showed clips from “Cinderella” and “Inside Out” plus discussed sequels to “Stars Wars” and “The Avengers.” Deadline.
Also at CinemaCon, Sony presents 30 minutes Wednesday of “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” which will hit theaters on May 2. The film stars Andrew Garfield and Jamie Foxx and is called a “turning point for Peter Parker” and that “nothing will be the same after this.” Other 2014 movie clips shown to the exhibitors were “22 Jump Street,” “The Interview,” “The Equalizer,” and the World War II drama “Fury” starring Brad Pitt. Hollywood Reporter.
Mindy Kaling, Chris Messina, and other cast members of “The Mindy Project” hold their PaleyFest session on Tuesday. Their “addictive” second season will conclude with an eight-episode arc that feels like a Starz miniseries. Executive producer Matt Warburton said, “It’s going to play out like a roller coaster, just straight through” and that they are “the best eight episodes we could tell” about “this crazy thing the fans have been waiting for the entire season.” Upcoming guest stars include Tim Daly, Anna Gunn, and JoAnna Garcia. TV Line.
NBC announces their summer plans for several series debuts and returns. The new pirate drama “Crossbones” from John Malkovich and comedy “Undateable” from Bill Lawrence (“Scrubs”) will both begin in May. “Taxi Brooklyn” starring Chyler Leigh (“Grey’s Anatomy”) will debut in June. Comedy “Welcome to Sweden” from co-creator Amy Poehler launches in July. Other shows are “The Night Shift,” “Working the Engels,” and “Food Fighters.” TV Guide.
ESPN (and its family of networks) lead all others with a total of 46 Sports Emmy Award nominations this year. Announced Wednesday, the documentary series “24/7” is the top show with seven nods. Nominees for Studio Host are James Brown, Bob Costas, David Feherty, Greg Gumbel, and Dan Patrick. Nominees for Play-by-Play Announcer are Marv Albert, Mike Breen, Joe Buck, Bob Costas, and Mike Emrick. Ted Turner, founder of CNN and former owner of the Atlanta Braves, will be given the life achievement award. The awards ceremony will be held in New York City on May 6. Emmy Online.
Several music-based films are joining the lineup for the Tribeca Film Festival in New York April 16-27. An untitled documentary about R&B legend James Brown is from Oscar winner Alex Gibney. The films “Bjork: Biophilia LIve” and “Time is Illmatic” (about Nas) will also screen. Other film subjects include Alice Cooper, Bob Weir, jazz trumpeter Clark Terry, and rock manager Shep Gordon. The Wrap.
The San Francisco Film Festival chooses its opening and closing night films to be screened. The Hossein Amini adaptation of “The Two Faces of January” starring Oscar Isaac, Viggo Mortensen, and Kristen Dunst will open the festival on April 24. The final night on May 8 will host “Alex of Venice” with Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Don Johnson, and Chris Messina. Variety.