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“Battle Creek” is a new take on the buddy-cop genre, starring Josh Duhamel and Dean Winters. Hailing from “Breaking Bad’s” Vince Gilligan and “House M.D.” vet David Shore, the series bows March 1 on CBS.
The quirky drama is set in Battle Creek, Mich., population 50,000, where a jaded detective, Russ Agnew (Winters), reluctantly partners with charming FBI Agent Milt Chamberlain (Duhamel) to solve crimes. Shore, who serves as showrunner and exec producer, says the setting is one of the ways the show differentiates itself from others of its kind.
“In the writers room, if we came up with an idea that would be a great ‘Law & Order’ episode, we just didn’t do it,” Shore, who worked on the famed procedural show for two years, said on a recent conference call with Variety.
Shore explained that while the writers are looking for ideas more specific to a small community, that »
- Seth Kelley
This week’s instalment of Better Call Saul, the story of Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) continues to chug along nicely. Episode 4 has a slightly lighter tone to it, in comparison to its predecessors; the comic undertones are allowed to surface more prominently, and Jimmy is able to go a full hour without getting his life threatened.
Warning! Spoilers Ahead – You have been warned!
Once again, ‘Hero’ follows the same narrative formula as the first three episodes, in that we open in a different time-setting. This time we get to see the previously mentioned ‘Slippin’ Jimmy’ in action, hustling an unsuspecting stranger in a back alley. It’s a brilliantly set –up scene, as we the audience are also getting ‘conned’, with Jimmy’s true intentions being hidden from us until the final moments. It’s also the first time we »
- Jackson Ball
I don't envy any showrunner who has to write a series finale, especially after observing the very different reactions over the past few days to the final episodes of "Two and a Half Men" and "Parks and Recreation."
Consensus on the former seems to be outrage mixed with bafflement, while response to the latter seems to have been copious tears mixed with warm fuzzies.
Looking at both finales, however, it appears each long-running sitcom ended with an episode that was true to what the series was about. The literally cartoonish "Two and a Half Men" finale, which (spoiler alert) wrapped with pianos being dropped on both the characters and on creator Chuck Lorre, was a fittingly nihilistic send-off for a show that seemed to find all its characters loathsome and had little regard for the humanity of any of them, except insofar as Lorre could use them for punching bags and punchlines. »
- Gary Susman
Kal Penn is walking a different beat in the CBS police dramedy "Battle Creek," but this is in many ways a return for him. You might not necessarily remember, but Penn has been working in the CBS family steadily since he ended his sabbatical working for the White House. He followed a recurring arc on "How I Met Your Mother" with a regular role on the short-lived "We Are Men" before landing on "Battle Creek," which was created by Vince Gilligan, but is run by David Shore. Shore, of course, worked with Penn during his multi-season run as the ill-fated Dr. Lawrence Kutner on Fox's "House," a series that appears on the resume of many of the "Battle Creek" scribes. And when one of the first things we learn about Penn's Detective Fontanelle is that he's a user of medicinal marijuana, which ties Font in with Penn's long and beloved »
- Daniel Fienberg
This review was based off the first episode of season one, which was provided to us prior to broadcast.
When looking at CBS’s current drama lineup, it’s easy to see how Battle Creek will make a nice fit by virtue of standing out. In the network’s primetime-programming block, you’ll find no shortage of vics and perps, but a distinct scarcity of comedy. Five of its seven weekly 10PMs are already filled by crime-focused spinoffs, literary adaptations, or paranoia thrillers, so for CBS to round out the numbers with yet another cop show makes sense. The network is nonpareil when it comes to dredging up dead bodies, but with Battle Creek, it tries to run down a few Sunday night laughs, with inconclusive results.
- Sam Woolf
A bit of an outlier for CBS, “Battle Creek” has about as much heft as the prize in a box of cereal, yet it’s also a great deal of fun. A long-dormant, pre-“Breaking Bad” script from Vince Gilligan provides the foundation for this lighthearted series produced under the stewardship of “House’s” David Shore, with Josh Duhamel and Dean Winters well cast as mismatched lawmen. Tonally similar to “Picket Fences,” the concept becomes a bit more mundane as the episodes progress. At least initially, though, the mix of quirky comedy and drama seems nicely suited to its post-“The Good Wife” precinct.
Winters plays Det. Russ Agnew, the standout cop on an underfunded force in the relatively quiet confines of Battle Creek, Mich., whose world is turned topsy-turvy by the arrival of Special Agent Milton Chamberlain (Duhamel), the straight-out-of-central-casting FBI operative stationed there.
He’s part philosopher, part charmer, »
- Brian Lowry
This weekend, Olivia Wilde stars in "The Lazarus Effect," a horror movie about med students who figure out a way to resurrect people from the dead, Will Forte is "The Last Man on Earth" in the new Fox comedy premiering this Sunday night at 8 p.m. Et, and Kevin Spacey returns as the ruthless politician Frank Underwood in "House of Cards;" the entire third season arrives on Netflix when the clock strikes midnight Friday morning.
Also in theaters this weekend: "Focus" stars Will Smith as a veteran con man whose latest scheme is turned upside down when a femme fatale (Margot Robbie) from his past reemerges. Directed by David Cronenberg, "Maps to the Stars" stars Oscar-winner Julianne Moore and Robert Pattinson in a tale about a Hollywood family chasing celebrity, one another, and the relentless ghosts of their pasts. "'71" stars Jack O'Connell as a young and disoriented British soldier »
- Jonny Black
If it's help navigating The X-Files' many, many episodes you're after, then you've come to the right place...
Maps To TV Shows: Is there a popular show you’d really like to watch but you just don’t have time to wade through years of it all at once? Do you just want to know why that one character keeps turning up on Tumblr? Do the fans all tell you ‘season one is a bit iffy but stick with it, it gets great!’, leaving you with absolutely zero desire ever to watch the boring/silly/just plain weird season one? Then Maps To TV Shows is for you!
In these articles, we’ll outline routes through popular TV shows focusing on particular characters, story arcs or episode types. Are you really into the Klingon episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation? Do you want to get the overall gist »
In a visual flourish courtesy of pilot director Bryan Singer, Special Agent Milton Chamberlain is introduced in the world of "Battle Creek" from a low angle. Above his head, a circle of lights forms a halo. Milt Chamberlain is an angel. Milt Chamberlain is a boy scout. Milt Chamberlain is a golden boy. But Milt Chamberlain isn't exactly what he seems to be. Or at least Battle Creek Pd Detective Russ Agnew (Dean Winters) is convinced that Chamberlain isn't what he seems to be. But every time Russ thinks he's uncover the dark secret that his new partner is hiding, we discover that the secret isn't really the truth. It's a reluctant partnership that forms the spine of "Battle Creek," a quirky, surprisingly funny procedural that was created by "Breaking Bad" maestro Vince Gilligan and then developed as a series by "House" maestro David Shore. Our first impression of Chamberlain, »
- Daniel Fienberg
Josh Duhamel and Dean Winters are the latest stars to step into a cop drama in Battle Creek, only this one promises to be a bit quirkier than your usual network TV procedural. The pair chatted with ETonline about what sets their new CBS series apart.
"What I loved about the script is that it felt like the shows I grew up watching," Duhamel said. "It differs from what's out there in that it's a little bit more tongue and cheek. The crimes that you see on this show you won’t see on other shows. They're just a little bit abstract."
In his return to TV, Duhamel plays Special Agent Milton Chamberlain, a handsome and charming fella who opens an FBI field office in the down-and-out city of Battle Creek, Mich. Chamberlain partners with local detective Russ Agnew (Winters), who has complete opposite views of the »
News of Tom Rothman’s promotion to head the film division at Sony Pictures Entertainment puts to rest questions about a broader studio restructuring in the wake of Amy Pascal’s exit as co-chair of Spe.
There had been speculation that Sony Pictures Television president Steve Mosko would benefit from post-Pascal changes, but the structure laid out Tuesday does not indicate that there are plans to replace her in the co-chairman role.
News of Rothman’s appointment as chairman of Sony’s motion picture group also came with the confirmation that Michael Lynton has extended his contract as chairman-ceo of Spe and as CEO of the Sony Entertainment parent org encompassing Sony Music. Mosko will continue to report directly to Lynton.
With all the drama on the Sony lot over the past 18 months, from investor pressures to an unprecedented cyber-attack on its computer systems, many employees are said to have »
- Cynthia Littleton
It’s not all grumble and moan round here when TV networks decline to pick up pilots. Sometimes, we’re even grateful.
Hindsight teaches that every so often, passing on a particular show is the best thing a channel could have done. Not ordering one pilot to series spurs its creators on to start another, and frees up its cast to join new projects.
Had the failures below all thrived, there’s a chance we could now be living in a world with no Breaking Bad, Hannibal, or even South Park. Had these pilots gone on to enjoy healthy, lengthy lives, then Jack Bauer, Oberyn Martell, Chandler Bing and more might all be unrecognisable today.
Here then, are the TV pilots we’re grateful weren’t taken to series because their »
Since The X-Files left television in 2002, the family tree of the series’ writers has blossomed into a who’s who of television talent. At the very top of that list sits Breaking Bad showrunner Vince Gilligan, whose name seems to be only coming up among fans as a dream collaborator on a potential X-Files revival.
Gilligan’s involvement may not be as far fetched as it seems -- and that comes from the man himself.
In a lengthy interview with X-Files fan site The X-Files Lexicon, Gilligan admitted he has a level of interest in the sci-fi series if a revival was made official.
"I would love to be involved", Gilligan said. "I don’t know with my current schedule, if I necessarily could be involved, but I »
To watch Breaking Bad was to be complicit in one of the most stunning, startling transformations of a character on television, from a meek chemistry teacher to a conniving drug kingpin. In comparison, its spinoff series seems to be less about the narrative that Saul wants to spin to a crew of amateur university journalists – that he believed in the American Dream and worked to make it come true – than the same, status quo personality he retained over many years in the pursuit of beer money.
Saul began as a ruthless con artist and grew into a more ruthless con artist, although one with finesse, power and clients. “Hero” is the best hour of Better Call Saul yet, mostly because it strays very little from the Saul Goodman we love and (sort of) know. How fitting that as soon as Jimmy McGill starts trying on three-piece suits and requesting Tasmanian »
- Jordan Adler
Peter Gould is on the trail of another story of Wall Street run amok for HBO.
The “Better Call Saul” co-creator/exec producer is in the early stages of developing a telepic for HBO based on Guy Lawson’s 2012 nonfiction book “Octopus: Sam Israel, the Secret Market and Wall Street’s Wildest Con.”
The HBO Films project will revolve around a colorful cast of rogues and schemers who create an audacious hedge fund fraud and then go on a wild search for “the Octopus,” a secret and elite market that controls the world financial system. Gould is set to write and direct the telepic, as well as exec produce.
Gould previously wrote the 2011 HBO movie “Too Big to Fail,” adapted from Andrew Ross Sorkin’s book about key players in the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the onset of the 2008-09 global financial crisis. “Too Big to Fail” earned a »
- Cynthia Littleton
It’s been a week since Better Call Saul’s two-episode season premiere, and we’ve all had time to digest what we’ve seen from the much anticipated Breaking Bad prequel. There’s been many similarities drawn between the series and its predecessor, as well as some vital differences, but with episode 3, entitled ‘Nacho’, we’ll find out even more about the story of Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk).
Warning! Spoilers Ahead – You have been warned!
For the third episode in a row, Better Caul Saul starts in a different time and place from what you’d call the ‘central’ narrative. This time the we jump backwards on the timeline (well, further backwards) to venture even further into Jimmy’s past. We find him in the orange overalls of a convicted man, meeting his brother Chuck (Michael McKean) for legal counsel. »
- Jackson Ball
Anthony Stokes on how Breaking Bad dropped the ball…
Breaking Bad will probably go down in history as the greatest show on television. Thanks to Netflix, around its fourth season it blew up and became one of the highest rated TV shows in history. However, while I like everyone else love Breaking Bad, in my opinion Season Five held it back from becoming the best of all time.
In some ways Breaking Bad’s fifth season was the resolution of the series’ true climax: Season Four. The fourth season of Breaking Bad is in my top five greatest seasons of television, and is not easy to top. And to be fair, it seemed the producers knew that. The stakes weren’t necessarily raised. The villains of Season Five didn’t have the influence or reach of Gus, but they still did a good job. I have one minor complaint about them, »
- Gary Collinson
Better Call Saul's third episode is a slow-burner compared to the last two, demonstrating the show's versatility...
This review contains spoilers.
“I’m no hero,” says Jimmy McGill. Well, no Jimmy. You aren’t. But bless you for trying.
Much of Better Call Saul’s third episode – more low-key than last week’s, which is no bad thing – concerns entanglement; specifically, the entanglement of Jimmy’s drive for self-preservation and his attempts to do the right thing by others. The fact that we already know that Jimmy is going to end up becoming Saul Goodman gives weight to his desire to do right (or as right as he’s capable of doing), as we know that somehow, probably through a combination of rotten luck and his own character flaws, it’s a desire that’s going to be more or less stamped out of him. It lends an »
The response to the first two episodes of Better Call Saul has been an overwhelming thumbs-up, even though, just days before the launch, co-creator Vince Gilligan admitted he was worried about whether it would be a success or a well intended mistake. He explained: “If it’s AfterMASH rather than Frasier then it won’t be for a lack of hard work, wishful thinking and a lot of smart people doing their best, but you just don’t know until the world takes it in.”
Pragmatic yet loyal, Gilligan might also have been trying to calm the fevered anticipation so his new show had a chance to breathe. But there’s little chance of this being a slow burn – just look at how the bereaved and bereft expressions worn by Breaking Bad fans are fading. Watch their sad little smiles being replaced by smirks.
Although crystals shouldn’t be counted until they’re cooked, »
- Steph Johnson
8 Actors Who Can Be The Next Spider-Man
We’re not even a year removed from The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and already Sony and Marvel are exploring new options on who could be the next webslinger. And we already have some insight that the next Spider-Man is going back to high school, and Dylan O’Brien (The Maze Runner) and Logan Lerman (Fury) are on Sony’s short list… read the full article.
Five Film Composers that Hollywood Needs Back
Hollywood has no shortage of talented composers crafting mostly serviceable tunes for the next young adult literary adaptation or prestige awards tearjerker. But for every auteur like Hans Zimmer and John Williams, you have musical yes men pounding out ominous notes in anticipation of the next horror movie jump scare or making ratatat noise to underscore a superhero chase scene. The film world screams for diverse sounds, but is often left »
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