How 2008 Impactees stayed on top in '09
BIGSCREEN BIG SHOTS
James Franco Traded in his comedic chops for a supporting role in the biopic “Milk.” Was also honored for his perf in “Pineapple Express,” receiving a Golden Globe nom in the supporting actor category.
Cameron Diaz Went the indie route in “My Sister’s Keeper,” while Ashton Kutcher has a slate of pics set to bow next year, including “Valentine’s Day” with Julia Roberts and “Five Killers” alongside Katherine Heigl.
Anna Faris Saw average returns from “Observe and Report” but has a shot to rebound when she joins Alvin and the boys in “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel.”
Danny McBride “Land of the Lost” fizzled at B.O., but HBO skein “Eastbound and Down” was picked up for a second season.
Martin Lawrence Staying busy on the TV and film front as exec producer for two untitled skeins, one for Starz and the other for Fox, and just wrapped production on “Death at a Funeral” for Sony.
Judd Apatow Produced Harold Ramis-helmed “Year One” which has seen average returns from the B.O. since its June 19 bow. Returned to the director’s chair for the first time since 2007’s “Knocked Up” with “Funny People,” bowing July 31.
Steve Carell Continues to be force on big and little screens. “The Office” continues to be a top-tier show on NBC’s lineup and is currently filming “Date Night” with fellow Peacock co-worker Tina Fey. Also created a TV wing for his shingle Carousel Prods.
Nicholas Stoller Has reteamed with “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” cast members Jonah Hill and Russell Brand for “Get Him to the Greek,” set to bow next year.
Jason Segel “How I Met Your Mother” continues to rise up the Nielsen charts especially in the 18-34 demo. Laffer “I Love You, Man” saw a nice return from the B.O., taking in $71.4 million.
Dany Boon Finished filming “Micmacs a tire-larigot” for Jean-Pierre Jeunet, which preems this fall.
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg Penned and producing “The Green Hornet” for Sony.
Ben Stiller “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” has brought in nearly $400 million in worldwide grosses. Besides “Museum,” has several other installments in the works for other franchises, including a new addition to the “Meet the Parents” series, “Little Fockers.”
Robert Downey Jr. Oscar-nommed “Tropic Thunder.” “The Soloist” brought in only $31.5 million at the domestic B.O., but holiday release of “Sherlock Holmes,” where he will play the world-famous detective alongside Jude Law’s Watson, could grant better returns.
Michael Patrick King Currently in production on the “Sex and the City” sequel due out next summer.
Jason Lee Even with his NBC sitcom “My Name Is Earl” getting the ax, Lee stays busy. Has “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” bowing this December, and has just signed on to “A Couple of Dicks” for helmer Kevin Smith, marking their seventh collaboration together.
Tina Fey Saw a clean sweep at the Emmys, taking home three statuettes including best actress in a comedy for NBC skein “30 Rock.” Is currently lensing “Date Night” with Steve Carell.
Carter Bays and Craig Thomas Currently working on the fifth season of “How I Met Your Mother.”
Kathy Griffin After winning its second straight Emmy for outstanding reality program, her “My Life on the D-List” has returned for its fifth season on Bravo.
Glenn Howerton, Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day Fifth season of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” returns this fall.
Christina Applegate Even with the recent cancellation of ABC skein “Samantha Who,” thesp has already begun planning for the future. She joined Drew Barrymore, Justin Long and Charlie Day in “Going the Distance” for New Line and lends her voice to one of the Chipettes in “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel.”
Steve Koonin Still seeing above-average ratings from “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne.” And “The Bill Engvall Show” returns for third season. TBS also is reaping the rewards of the deals that brought reruns of “The Office” and “Family Guy” to the network, helping to place it in the top three among the 18-34 demographic for basic cable nets.
Don Rickles Reprises his role as the voice of Mr. Potato Head in “Toy Story 3.”
Kristen Wiig “Saturday Night Live” saw strong ratings due to its heavy pre- and post-election-centered skits. But coming-of-age comedy “Adventureland” did not see the same returns with auds at B.O. Has a handful of projects in the works, including “Whip It!” with Ellen Page and Drew Barrymore.
Jack Black “Year One” underperformed at B.O., bringing in just under $50 million. Currently working on “Gulliver’s Travels” with Jason Segel.
Mike Lazzo Producer will have “Robot Chicken” creators Seth Green and Matthew Senreich host a nine-city roller-rink tour across America to promote “Chicken.”
Vanessa Morrison Still oversees Fox’s animation department, which saw “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” nearly dethrone “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” from its B.O. throne over the July Fourth weekend. Pic has already crossed the $100 million threshold. Will release “Fantastic Mr. Fox” this fall with George Clooney lending his voice and Wes Anderson helming.
LIVE LAUGHS LEADERS
Cheech & Chong Taking break from tour but will start back up in fall. A concert movie following the tour also is set to bow later this year.
Chris Rock Jumps back to theaters next year with two comedies, “Death at a Funeral” which he also co-penned, and “Grown Ups” which co-stars Adam Sandler and Kevin James.
Mitch Fried After seeing huge numbers from its “A Very Special Christmas Special” with ventriloquist Jeff Dunham, Fried’s Comedy Central live-entertainment division signed the comic to an all-encompassing deal that includes another standup special and a series order.
Jason Kilar The Hulu CEO’s most recent deal brings ABC shows like “Ugly Betty” to the site. Pact allows the Alphabet web to become an equity partner along with NBC and News Corp.
Seth MacFarlane His Google project “Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy” broke numerous viewing records. Will add another animated skein to his plate this fall with his “Family Guy” spinoff, “The Cleveland Show.”