5 items from 2013
Let’s talk about sex, Baby.
Okay, the Salt-n-Pepa song won’t be popping up in Showtime’s new drama series, Masters Of Sex, which is set in the 1950s when Dr. William Masters (played by Michael Sheen) and Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan) conducted their revolutionary study of sex. The series is based on Thomas Maier’s biography, Masters Of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson.
Since the show is very much focused on sex, gay characters also are a part of the series.. In the first few episodes, a lesbian prostitute (Broadway’s Annaleigh Ashford) helps Masters move his study into a brothel in exchange for her getting her tubes untied so she can have a baby and have a chance at a ‘normal life’ with a man. And, never fear, »
- Jim Halterman
Junie Lowry-Johnson and Libby Goldstein on how they found the hit Showtime series' five main actors. Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) Junie Lowry-Johnson: If we’d said Damian’s name at the beginning, he wouldn’t have gotten much attention, because we were initially looking at well-known actors. Libby Goldstein: People we wanted didn’t want us. A lot of them passed — you’d be surprised who. J.L.J.: One actor really wanted to know whether Brody was a good guy. He didn’t want to play a bad one. L.G.: That’s why he didn’t get the part. Idiot. Also, we wanted someone who looked all-American. J.L.J.: Believable as having been a soldier. L.G.: And that could go on to politics. J.L.J.: We were scrambling, and someone had seen a movie called Keane [a 2004 drama about a father coping with his daughter’s abduction]. When we all saw that film, »
- Kera Bolonik
Once again demonstrating that compelling drama can come from unlikely sources, Sundance Channel expands on the inroads it’s made with miniseries in “Rectify,” a series with a strong indie-film sensibility and slow-as-molasses, hypnotic pace. If that doesn’t exactly scream boffo box office, it does represent the sort of quality that can put a network on the media’s radar, buoyed as it is by Aden Young’s wonderfully stoic performance as a man who spent 19 years on death row before being freed by DNA evidence. Someone understandably refers to the protagonist as “Starman,” but his distant stare and alienation better approximate the vibe in “Sling Blade.”
Young’s Daniel Holden isn’t completely out of the woods when he’s released, since the former prosecutor — now a state senator (Michael O’Neill) — is convinced he got the right man, and the evidence doesn’t completely exonerate him. Whether »
- Brian Lowry
The description of “Defiance” as a “transmedia” event arouses suspicion from the get-go. Strip away the jargon, and this Syfy series has been developed in concert with an online game, offering a modern variation on “He-Man” cartoons that pushed toys. The difference is that this caters to (young) adults, mashing up sci-fi concepts into a nondescript TV program whose visual effects are infinitely more enterprising than its characters. For all but the subset willing to buy in and participate on multiple levels, think of the “Star Wars” cantina scene stretched into a series, then perhaps think about watching something else.
A spoken prologue helps explain (not very well) the elaborate backstory, about eight alien races having descended on Earth and blasted the hell out of the place. The series picks up 15 years after an armistice was declared, leaving the disparate survivors trying to make a go of living together in harmony, »
- Brian Lowry
Three new cable drama pilots now have casting directors attached, Backstage has learned."Tyrant," from Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff, the producers of Showtime's acclaimed series “Homeland,” will be cast by Junie Lowry-Johnson and Libby Goldstein. The shoot date and location are still being determined for the Middle East-set FX drama, which revolves around an American family that gets drawn into the political web of a volatile nation in the oil-rich region. A&E's period drama “Turn” will be cast by Laura Schiff (pictured) and Carrie Audino of Schiff/Audino Casting (“Mad Men”). Based on Alexander Rose’s book “Washington’s Spies,” “Turn” is about a group of childhood friends who form the famed Culper Ring to spy on the British during the Revolutionary War. The pilot is set to start shooting in April in Virginia.And the Bravo drama “Rita,” one of the first scripted pilots in the cable net's history, »
5 items from 2013
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