HBO Max to Premiere Ethan Hawke’s Docuseries on Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward in July (TV News Roundup)

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HBO Max will premiere its six-part original documentary from CNN Films, “The Last Movie Stars,” on July 21. The docuseries centers on Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman, and explores their personas, talent and love story. Four-time Oscar nominee Ethan Hawke (“Seymour: An Introduction”) directs, with Academy Award-winning director, writer and producer Martin Scorsese as executive producer.

The docuseries incorporates an abandoned project that Newman commissioned from friend and screenwriter Stewart Stern, who interviewed close friends, family, and artistic collaborators including Elia Kazan, Sidney Lumet, Karl Malden, Sidney Pollack, Gore Vidal, Jacqueline Witte and Joanne Woodward for a planned memoir. Newman was also interviewed by Stern, and discussed his childhood, his first marriage with Witte, his romance and life with Woodward and more.

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Actors Karen Allen, George Clooney, Oscar Isaac, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Zoe Kazan, Laura Linney, Sam Rockwell and others voice parts of the original transcribed interviews. Hawke also interviewed some of Newman’s daughters, Sally Field and Martin Scorsese to explore what fueled Woodward’s and Newman’s lives and careers.

“The Last Movie Stars” was originally slated to run on the now-shuttered CNN+ streamer; it has now been moved to HBO Max. “It’s an honor to get to share Joanne and Paul’s inspiring life and love story with audiences this summer. I’m especially thrilled that a project we’ve poured so much heart and soul into now has its home at HBO Max, a platform known for celebrating and championing the documentary artform,” Hawke said in a statement.

Amy Entelis, executive vice president for talent and content development for CNN Worldwide, and Courtney Sexton, senior vice president for CNN Films, are also executive producers. Mario Andretti is a co-producer, and the documentary is produced by Emily Wachtel and Lisa Long Adler of Nook House Productions, Ryan Hawke of Under the Influence Productions, and Adam Gibbs. Hamilton Leithauser composed the original score. View the key art for the documentary below.

. - Credit: Courtesy HBO Max
. - Credit: Courtesy HBO Max

Courtesy HBO Max

Also in today’s TV news: 

CASTING

Morgan Kohan (“The Bold Type”), Chad Michael Murray (“One Tree Hill”) and Scott Patterson (“Gilmore Girls”) have been cast in the CTV original drama series “Sullivan’s Crossing.” Based on the book series by Robyn Carr, the show revolves around Maggie Sullivan, who takes over the titular Colorado campground and general store owned by her father Sully and hired a quiet hiker named Cal. The series is executive produced by Reel World Management’s Roma Roth and Christopher E. Perry, who previously worked on the Netflix adaptation of Carr’s series “Virgin River.” Production of “Sullivan’s Crossing” will begin later this year in Nova Scotia.

PROGRAMMING

“American Housewife,” “9-1-1” and “The Rookie” will make their broadcast syndication debuts this September on stations representing more than 95% of the country, Disney Media Entertainment and Distribution announced Tuesday. “American Housewife” will air seven days a week beginning Sept. 12, while “9-1-1” and “The Rookie” will telecast on weekends beginning Sept. 17. “American Housewife” ran on ABC for five seasons between 2016 and 2021, and was created by Sarah Dunn and produced by ABC Signature, a part of Disney Television Studios, and Kapital Entertainment. Rick Wiener and Kenny Schwartz served as showrunners and the series was executive produced by Sarah Dunn, Aaron Kaplan. “9-1-1” is produced by 20th Television in association with Ryan Murphy Television and Brad Falchuk Teley-Vision. Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Tim Minear are creators, executive producers and writers on the series. Bradley Buecker is executive producer and director. Alexis Martin Woodall, Angela Bassett, Peter Krause, John J. Gray, Kristen Reidel and Juan Carlos Coto also serve as EPs on the series, Season 6 of which will premiere on Fox this fall. “The Rookie”  will enter Season 5 on ABC this fall. Alexi Hawley is creator and EP, while Mark Gordon, Nathan Fillion, Michelle Chapman, Bill Norcross and Terence Paul Winter are executive producers on the series. Entertainment One (eOne) is the lead studio and international distributor of “The Rookie,” a co-production with ABC Signature.

DEALS

SK Global and journalism content studio Project Brazen have signed a deal with Peter Chiarelli (“Crazy Rich Asians”) to adapt for television the Fat Leonard U.S. Navy scandal, one of the largest national security breaches to ever happen in the military. The script will be based on Project Brazen’s podcast “Fat Leonard,” which featured Leonard Glenn Francis, a “corrupt military contractor, who spoke exclusively for the first time about stealing tens of millions of dollars through deals with the U.S. Navy in exchange for cash bribes, escorts and luxury items,” per Project Brazen.

EXECS

Samantha Kim has been hired as managing director of business development in the Asia-Pacific region at Deluxe Entertainment. In her role, Kim will focus on overseeing the company’s growth in localization and mastering in Southeast Asia. Prior to joining Deluxe, Kim worked at Netflix, where she helped establish the streamer’s Korean team, and worked at Discovery, Iyuno and Samsung. Kim will be based in Seoul and report to Chris Reynolds, executive vice president and general manager of worldwide localization and fulfillment.

Phil Peters has been hired as vice president of ad sales for Allen Media Group. In this role, Peters will lead advertising sales and brand sponsorships for AMG’s Entertainment Studios programming. Peters joins the company after having served as vice president of media sales for Warner Bros. Television. He will be based at AMG’s Chicago office.

Myles Collins has been appointed vice president of production of Kids at Play. In the role, he will report to Kids at Play executive producer and partner Amy Laslett, and lead production on original series for the company. Previous series Collins produced includes “Top Chef,” “Dr. Phil,” “Million Dollar Wheels,” “Little People Big World,” “MasterClass” and “BET Digital.”

THEME PARKS

Chuggington Adventure Depot, a theme park attraction based on the “Chuggington” franchise, has opened at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Mo. The “Chuggington” series, which aired on Disney Junior from 2008 to 2022, follows the adventures of living trains. The Adventure Depot allows young guests of the park to tour a re-creation of the world of the show, with recreations of locations from the original series. Custom “Chuggington” merchandise will be available to buy at the attraction. “Chuggington” is produced by Herschend Entertainment Studios and is available to stream on Hulu, DisneyNOW and YouTube.

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