19 items from 2015
“The Bastard Executioner” achieved a certain nobility in death that mostly eluded it in life. Indeed, if you watched the season finale (and Spoiler Alert if you haven’t) and know what role Kurt Sutter played, it’s fair to say the show’s creator went out in a blaze of glory.
Sutter took out ads thanking everyone involved in the FX series, but basically saying that the audience voted, and it was time to move on. And in this age of reboots and contortions to keep series alive, there’s something refreshing about acknowledging that failure is simply a part of television, even if there was a little bit of “You can’t fire me, I quit” bravado underlying that, since FX would have likely reached the same conclusion.
In today’s fragmented and ambitious age, it often seems like every series is somebody’s favorite show, no matter »
- Brian Lowry
The first photo has been released from Showtime's nine-episode third season of its supernatural drama series "Penny Dreadful". Production on the new season is underway with Patti LuPone set to become a regular as an American therapist named Dr. Seward (pictured with Eva Green's Vanessa Ives). LuPone guest starred last year in a different role. [Source: Variety]
FX Networks has set its midseason premiere dates for various new series starting with the Zach Galifianakis-led comedy "Baskets" on January 21st followed by "American Crime Story: The People V. O.J. Simpson" which will debut on February 2nd.
- Garth Franklin
Justin Bieber will perform at the Thanksgiving Day Parade on CBS, and Ariana Grande will perform on ABC’s American Music Awards. Plus, here’s a first look at Kristen Bell guest starring on Disney Channel’s “Liv and Maddie” in today’s television news roundup . . .
Justin Bieber will perform at the 2015 Thanksgiving Day Parade on CBS. The musical phenomenon just announced his world tour and will release his album “Purpose” this Friday. The annual parade, which marks the 55th year for CBS this holiday, will be anchored by “Entertainment Tonight” host Kevin Frazier and “The Insider’s” Keltie Knight live from New York City on the morning of Nov. 26.
ABC’s American Music Awards will welcome performer Ariana Grande, who will make her television debut of her new single “Focus” during the show. Hosted by Jennifer Lopez on Nov. 22, the AMAs will also feature performances by 5 Seconds of Summer, »
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
TNT has renewed Murder In The First for a third season to air in 2016. The crime drama, created by Steven Bochco and Eric Lodal, averaged an Ok 2 million viewers in its second season, which wrapped its run on August 25. Taye Diggs and Kathleen Robertson star. Murder In The First marked a departure from TNT’s procedural formula as it tracks one case for an entire season. It joins Rizzoli & Isles and The Last Ship, which also were renewed for next year. New Turner… »
The fantasy author’s enthusiastic about his novels being adapted for the small screen. Let’s hope the producers don’t insist they have to ‘sound every note’
In the early decades of television, some of the considerable snobbery that the medium suffered came from lovers of novels: teachers and parents would exhort regular viewers to lower their eyes to a good book rather than level them at the screen. The later coinage by writers for the box in the corner such as Dennis Potter and Steve Bochco of the term “novel for TV” – to describe the multi-strand multi-episode series – was sniffed at by some practitioners of printed fiction.
These days, though, celebrated novelists seem to be competing as cheerleaders for reading’s once-disreputable rival. Endorsing the BBC’s planned adaptation of the His Dark Materials books this week, Philip Pullman – whose work has previously been adapted for cinema, theatre »
- Mark Lawson
Recognizing her nearly 20-year career in television, the Producers Guild of America announced Thursday that it is honoring prolific showrunner-producer Shonda Rhimes with the 2016 Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television.
“Shonda Rhimes is one of the most passionate and insightful storytellers in entertainment today. Her pioneering work on ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ ‘Scandal,’ and ‘How To Get Away With Murder’ has redefined the role of women in media and spurred the debate about diversity in television,” said Producers Guild Awards co-chairs Michael DeLuca and Jennifer Todd. “Like the intelligent, strong, and fearless characters she creates, Shonda is a true force to be reckoned with and we are privileged to honor her with this year’s Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television.”
Rhimes will receive the award at the 27th Annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony, which will be held on January 23 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles. Past recipients »
- Whitney Friedlander
Fresh off his stint on Broadway, in the title role in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," which is now closed, Taye Diggs, seemingly with some spare time, has joined the cast of Fox's freshman crime/medical drama series "Rosewood," which stars Morris Chestnut. His first episode scheduled to air in November, Diggs has booked a recurring role, playing a Dr. Mike Boyce, a famous infectious disease doctor who also happens to be the best friend of Chestnut’s Rosewood. In a somewhat similar set-up to what happens in "The Best Man," their long-time friendship is tested when Rosewood's "partner" - Jaina Lee Ortiz’s Detective Villa - gets between them, after Boyce is called in to consult on a case and heats things up a bit with her. Diggs also recently wrapped up a second season of the TNT summer detective drama series "Murder in the First," from Steven Bochco, »
- Tambay A. Obenson
There’s something paradoxical about the Emmys. We look forward to them and write endlessly about them, wondering who’s going to win and what stars will wear and what silly things will happen, all the while complaining about the show’s length and pace. Really, the Emmys can’t win. Except, of course, when they do.
It starts with the host. Misfires happen, of course, like the super-serious Bryant Gumbel in 1997, or the disastrous experiment 11 years later when the five nominated reality TV hosts (Jeff Probst, Tom Bergeron, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Ryan Seacrest) ran the proceedings and, aside from drawing the lowest ratings in the show’s history, made the unforgivable mistake of being boring. But there are certainly magical hires, as well.
Perhaps the two best hosts in recent memory are Conan O’Brien in 2006 — in a show that featured pre-taped sketches with casts of nominated shows, »
- Neil Turitz
Grr, argh. Sit, Ubu, sit. I made this! What’s the story behind the production company tags added onto our favourite TV shows?
Closing logos have evolved into a TV production company’s tiny stamp of individuality. They’re a single snippet of screen time not at the mercy of network notes, audience feedback or sponsorship concerns.
A closing tag doesn’t need to sell a show, tell a story, or lasso an audience back for the next episode. It’s simply a signature, a few seconds entirely belonging to the creatives, to do with what they will.
As such, closing logos are as self-indulgent or esoteric as the production company wills them. They’re perhaps the only place in television production where in-jokes, family photos, personal homages (or extended rants in the case of one comedy producer) and kid-drawn scribbles usually found taped to the fridge door are entirely welcome. »
This story first appeared in the July 31 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe. Four years ago, Barack Obama was packing L.A. hotel ballrooms for fast cash for his re-election campaign. But Hillary Clinton is taking a different approach in her second bid for the White House. The former secretary of state is opting for more intimate gatherings in the backyards of such longtime Hollywood friends as producer Steven Bochco and HBO's Michael Lombardo, where she's able to spend more one-on-one time with guests willing to donate $2,700
- Tina Daunt
How time flies. “Murder One,” which followed a single trial over an entire season, felt enormously ambitious when Steven Bochco introduced the series 20 years ago. Now the show plucked from its rib, “Murder in the First,” returns to TNT for a second season as a solidly crafted if mostly undemanding piece of summer entertainment, shifting to a new high-profile case with a ripped-from-the-headlines quality. Fast-paced and tense, the serialized construct isn’t a bad viewing option, even if it’s unlikely to rank first on many must-watch lists.
Taye Diggs and Kathleen Robertson are back as intrepid Bay Area detectives English and Mulligan, who almost immediately stumble upon a stop-the-presses case: Two teenagers shoot up a school bus, with one taking flight and triggering a massive manhunt, as questions of what motivated the pair slowly come into focus.
Morbid echoes of Columbine notwithstanding, there are new twists to the search, »
- Brian Lowry
Taye Diggs will return to Broadway this summer in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” the 2014 Tony Award winner for Best Musical Revival. Diggs will play the title role in the acclaimed musical for a limited 12-week engagement starting July 22 at the Belasco Theatre in New York. This will mark Diggs’ first New York stage role since the 2005 revival of “A Soldier’s Play.” The actor is currently in production on the second season of Steven Bochco’s crime drama “Murder in the First,” which will premiere June 8 on TNT. See photos: 11 Hollywood Stars Who Did Big Business on Broadway in 2014 Diggs made his Broadway. »
- Joe Otterson
Hillary Clinton will make her first fundraising trip to California next month, her campaign announced on Thursday. Clinton’s presidential campaign sent an email to donors saying that she plans to attend fundraisers in San Francisco on May 6, Los Angeles on May 7 and Silicon Valley on May 8, according to the Associated Press. Included on her itinerary will be events at the homes of key Democratic supporters in Hollywood, which include Steven Bochco and Haim Saban. Also Read: Hollywood Ready for Hillary 2.0 as Saban, Spielberg, Geffen Line Up Support The visit out west will come after the former secretary of state »
- Debbie Emery
Richard Dysart, the Emmy-winning actor who portrayed the cranky senior partner Leland McKenzie in the slick, long-running NBC drama L.A. Law, has died. He was 86. Dysart, who also played Coach in the original 1972 Broadway production of Jason Miller’s Pulitzer Prize-winning That Championship Season, died Sunday at home in Santa Monica after a long illness, his wife, artist Kathryn Jacobi, told The Hollywood Reporter. The acclaimed L.A. Law — created by Steven Bochco (who eventually handed off the series to David E. Kelley) and Terry Louise Fisher — aired for eight seasons from 1986
- Mike Barnes, Duane Byrge
It will be another busy summer for TNT, which on Thursday announced a lineup that features 10 original series for a second straight year.
The young slate features three new series that will bow during the warm-weather months — “Proof,” “Public Morals” and “Cold Justice: Sex Crimes” — as well as three dramas returning for a second season. The Turner network will also be saying goodbye to veteran “Falling Skies.”
TNT’s summer gets under way on Monday, June 8, with the season-four premiere of Mary McDonnell-fronted drama “Major Crimes” and the season-two bow of “Murder in the First” — two shows that were also paired on Monday a year ago. “Murder,” from Steven Bochco and starring Taye Diggs and Kathleen Robertson, will again focus on a single murder investigation throughout the course of the season.
“Rizzoli & Isles,” cable’s most-watched series last summer, returns for its sixth season on Tuesday, June 16. It will be followed at 10 p. »
- Rick Kissell
Murder In The First executive producer Eric Lodal has left the TNT crime drama series, which he co-created and co-ran with Steven Bochco. I hear the abrupt departure happened yesterday, midway through production on the show’s upcoming second season. Veteran Bochco will continue as the sole executive producer/showrunner. "We thank Eric for his good work and wish him well in his future endeavors," a TNT spokesperson said in a statement to Deadline. The network would not… »
"American Crime," premiering March 5 on ABC, is being touted as an innovative series for spending an entire season focusing on a single murder case, taking a wide-ranging look at the victims, the accused, and their extended families as a way of taking a broader look at the dynamics of a whole community. Of course, this isn't the first time it's been tried, but it could mark the first time that the approach actually works on network TV.
"American Crime" has secured a high-powered cast, including Timothy Hutton and Felicity Huffman. Nonetheless, after this season is over, the show will move on to a new case next year, with a new cast -- should the show prove a success and earn a renewal.
If that sounds a lot like HBO's "True Detective," that's not an accident. As the old joke goes, imitation is the sincerest form of television. In fact, series »
- Gary Susman
The honor will be presented at the 52nd Annual International Cinematographers Guild Publicists Awards to be held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Feb. 20.
.”He has become recognized for creating new avenues of distribution for entertainment content,.” said Henri Bollinger, Awards Committee Chairman. .”He clearly personifies the very essence of showmanship!.”
Past recipients include Jerry Bruckheimer, Les Moonves, Peter Roth, Fred Silverman, Aaron Spelling, Nina Tassler, Grant Tinker, Marcy Carsey, Chris Carter, Chris McCumber, Ted Harbert, Bob Hope, David E. Kelley, Norman Lear, Steven Bochco, Caryn Mandabach, Garry Marshall, Jeff Wachtel and Tom Werner.
- Dave McNary
Doctor Who: Earth Conquest - The World Tour: BBC Three, 7pm
Previously only available as a DVD bonus feature, BBC Three is giving this charming hour-long documentary charting last year's Doctor Who world tour an airing tonight.
Part celebration of the sci-fi series, part exploration of fan culture, there's much to enjoy here - though the clear highlight is the sight of Steven Moffat in a fez.
Colin Salmon (Arrow) and Antonia Thomas (Misfits) are guest stars in tonight's episode - when his daughter Samara (Thomas) is kidnapped, exiled Spanish general Tariq (Salmon) requests the help of the Musketeers.
In return, Tariq plans to trade an advanced war weapon stolen from his home country - but will the rescue operation go according to plan?
Celebrity Big Brother: Channel 5, 9pm
There's never a dull moment in the CBB house - after Jeremy and Ken were both ejected, »
19 items from 2015
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