VARIETY – Milo Ventimiglia is suiting up as daredevil Evel Knievel for a limited series that has been ordered at USA Network, Variety has learned.
Titled “Evel,” the series is based on the story of the larger-than-life 1970s daredevil as he prepares for his greatest death-defying feat, the historic Snake River Canyon jump. There is not currently an episode count for the series, but it is expected to begin production in 2020.
Etan Frankel will write and executive produce. Ventimiglia will also executive produce the series under his DiVide Pictures banner, with DiVide’s Russ Cundiff co-executive producing. McG, Mary Viola, and Steven Bello of Wonderland Sound & Vision will also executive produce along with Alex Gartner, Charles Roven, and Topher Rhys-Lawrence of Atlas Entertainment. Universal Content Productions (UCP) will produce.
“USA Network is known for big event series that celebrate heroes, rebels and icons, and what could be bigger than the story of one of the greatest thrill seekers of all time?” said Chris McCumber, president of entertainment networks USA Network and SYFY for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. “The incredible life and journey of Evel Knievel lends itself to a dramatic retelling, and we are excited to be partnering with Milo, McG, UCP, Atlas and Wonderland to bring this iconic American tale to our viewers.”
This will mark the first scripted series based on Knievel’s life. He has previously been portrayed onscreen in multiple films, being played by actors George Hamilton and George Eads. Knievel also played himself in the 1977 film “Viva Knievel!”
Ventimiglia currently stars in the hit NBC series “This Is Us,” for which he has been nominated for three Emmy Awards. His other TV roles include “Gilmore Girls,” “Heroes,” and “American Dreams.” On the film side, he has starred in movies like “Rocky Balboa,” “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” “Second Act,” “Grown Ups 2,” and “That’s My Boy.”
He is repped by WME, Management 360, and McKuin Frankel Whitehead.
VANITY FAIR – This Is Us star Milo Ventimiglia takes the infamous Vanity Fair lie detector test. Has he ever dressed up like Maddona? Where is he from? What superpower would he want to have? Watch to find out the answers to these questions and more!
DA MAN – Looking back, American actor Milo Ventimiglia entered into the world of show business in what can only be described as one of the defining shows of 90s TV, Will Smith’s “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” back in 1995. Other than that, he was once best known for his work on “Gilmore Girls” where he took on the role of Jess Mariano, Rory Gilmore’s troubled love interest, then as the son of Sylvester Stallone in 2006’s Rocky Balboa and as Peter Petrelli in the sci-fi drama “Heroes.”
Nowadays, though, he’s known for his leading role as Jack Pearson opposite Mandy Moore on NBC’s hit drama series “This Is Us.” For his role as Jack Pearson, Ventimiglia has received three Primetime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series back in 2017 and 2018, as well as this year. And to top it all off, three new seasons of “This Is Us” has been confirmed, starting from 2019-2020 until the 2021-2022 season—which speaks volumes of the show’s success and the performance, not to mention the star power, of its leading performer. For more on Ventimiglia’s recent work and his upcoming projects, DAMAN sat down for a trans-continental chat.
DA MAN: Hi Milo, thanks for having us. How are you doing these days?
Milo Ventimiglia: I’m great, thank you very much.
DA: So, let’s talk about “This Is Us.” If we’re not mistaken, last year, the show scored 11 Emmy nominations. What was it like for you coming into this show?
MV: Working on an Emmy nominated show is just like working on any other show. You showed up, you got excited to be there. You work well with the crew, your writers, your casts, your pre and post-productions. You just remain present. At least that’s what I’ve done and I think as the show has going on and we stayed in the Emmy conversations, it actually makes me work even harder. Go even deeper into the characters, the stories, just kind of double down the material, not to stay in the conversation for awards, but just to do the good work.
DA: Speaking of which, NBC announced that “This Is Us” would be renewed for a fourth season. The network has also confirmed a fifth and sixth season going all the way until 2020. How do you feel about this development?
MV: I’m very excited about the three seasons pick up. I think that’s a great thing for the audience. I think it’s good that we are able to let them know that they can committed to us, that we’re going to tell more stories and get through more stories, and we’ll be around for a little while. I think that this will also let the audience know that we have an end plan, or end game, and we’re not just telling random stories, but it’s all directed into one path. And I’m looking forward to it.
DA: By the way, after three seasons, do you still remember what it was that first drew you to audition for “This Is Us”?
MV: It was just a great script. You know, I read it first as an audience member and then I found love with the story. Beautiful story about family, and then also individually, about this man who so deeply wanted this, to build this family. So, it was just really that first read of the script that really pulled me in.
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Milo Ventimiglia talks about working with a talking dog in The Art of Racing in the Rain, riding motorcycles in Japan with Norman Reedus and knowing how This Is Us will end.
Yesterday, Milo attended the New York premiere of The Art of Racing in the Rain with Amanda Seyfried and Simon Curtis at the Whitby Hotel. The gallery has been updated with HQ photos!
Yesterday (August 5), Milo visited Build Series with Amanda Seyfried & Simon Curtis to discuss The Art of Racing in the Rain. Check out the gallery for photos and watch the interview below.
On Friday (August 2), Milo attended a celebration of The Art Of Racing In The Rain at Barnes & Noble at The Grove in Los Angeles.