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For the first time in more than four years at Starz, Chris Albrecht looked and sounded comfortable as he showed off a new slate of programming for the premium cabler.
Albrecht went off the script at the start of Starz’s Friday session at the Television Critics Assn. summer tour, fielding about 20 minutes’ worth of questions that ranged from his thoughts on the pending Mvpd mega-mergers to the struggle for Starz programs to generate pop culture buzz.
See Also: Chris Albrecht Hunts for Hits as He Reinvents Starz
In the process he dropped the tidbit that he tried to convince Universal to produce “50 Shades of Grey” as a TV series for Starz by offering the studio a three-year commitment.
“I told them you won’t have to worry about box office, you won’t have to worry about a (content) rating,” Albrecht said. His pitch went nowhere, but it was worth a try. »
- Cynthia Littleton
The Outstanding Main Title Design category is always one of the Emmys' most delightfully unpredictable ones. Previous winners have included obvious choices, like Game of Thrones and Mad Men; but occasionally you get left-field sleeper picks, like Da Vinci's Demons (which exists?) and the 78th Annual Academy Awards, which seems a little too Hollywood-self-congratulatory if you ask me. Below, Vulture presents this year's Outstanding Main Title Design nominees.Black Sails If you were looking for 2014's random "that's a thing?" nominee in this category, may I present Starz's Black Sails? Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey This is totally awe-inspiring up until the moment that Seth MacFarlane’s name flashes across the screen. I mean, great, fantastic, thanks for bringing Cosmos back, but I’d rather not be reminded of your involvement all of 30 seconds into every episode. Masters of Sex Wink-wink, nudge-nudge, get it? There’s a pussycat and a cock crowing. »
- Brennan Carley
The 2014 Emmy Nominations were announced today, with Game of Thrones and American Horror Story picking up quite a few nominations in top categories. The Walking Dead also picked up nominations for visual effects and sound editing. The official list is below and the winners will be announced live during the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards on August 25th.
“Breaking Bad” (AMC)
“Downton Abbey” (PBS)
“Game of Thrones” (HBO)
“House of Cards” (Netflix)
“Mad Men” (AMC)
“True Detective” (HBO)
“The Big Bang Theory” (CBS)
“Modern Family” (ABC)
“Orange is the New Black” (Netflix)
“Silicon Valley” (HBO)
“American Horror Story: Coven” (FX)
“Bonnie and Clyde” (A&E)
“Killing Kennedy” (National Geographic)
“Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight” (HBO)
“The Normal Heart” (HBO)
- Jonathan James
It’s still near the crack of dawn on the west coast—but reactions from newly-minted nominees for this year’s 66th Annual Primetime Emmys have already begun to roll in. Here’s a partial list of tweets and statements; we’ll update it constantly throughout the day as more nominees react. (And keep an eye out for EW’s individual nominee interviews as well.)
Martin Freeman, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie (Fargo) and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie (Sherlock): “Thank you, people of Emmyland. To be nominated in such company is an honour, »
- Hillary Busis
On July 8, J.K. Rowling released a short, short story about grown-up Harry Potter and the Sequel She Swore She’d Never Write, and over in the magical land of central Florida, the Harry Potter theme park’s Diagon Alley expansion is entertaining six-hour lines on opening day. So apparently, it’s Harry Potter day, and to celebrate this completely random occasion, I’ve decided to do something equally arbitrary and sort a bunch of celebrities into the four houses of Hogwarts. Why? Art needs no reason.
First, the criteria. The Hogwarts houses are divided based on traits: Slytherins are cunning, »
- Marc Snetiker
"In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes," it's claimed Andy Warhol once said. Some stars shine much brighter than others, though, and in the case of Hollywood we often see actors hit big early before disappearing without trace.
Brandon Routh, who delivered a sensitive and assured turn as the Man of Steel in 2006's Superman Returns, is one such example. Routh never quite got the breaks he deserved after landing that life-changing role, so it's nice to see him back in the superhero game with an upcoming role as Atom in Arrow.
Digital Spy takes a look back at a handful of stars who couldn't escape their one big role.
Plucked from relative obscurity to lead Bryan Singer's lavish Superman sequel, Routh impressively channelled Christopher Reeve on his big screen debut but found leading man roles difficult to come by in the aftermath.
Parts in »
Due to glorious press release timing, 20th Century Fox TV has landed a separate story for its Comic-Con 2014 schedule, even though several of the shows were previously announced in my FX/History Comic-Con 2014 story. Showtime, however, was less lucky and its lone Comic-Con 2014 panel has been bundled into this story along with the 20th Century Fox panels. So continue along for Comic-Con panel details for "Penny Dreadful," as well as "24: Live Another Day," "The Simpsons," "Sleepy Hollow," "Family Guy," "Bob's Burgers," "Salem" and more. Thursday, July 24 *** "24" (10 a.m. in Ballroom 20) - Kiefer Sutherland takes the stage for a panel celebrating "24: Live Another Day." Kiefer is the only announced cast member, but with Jon Cassar listed as moderator, it would be silly to moderate a panel with only one person. *** "Legends" (12:30 p.m. in Room 6A) - TNT's new FBI undercover drama stars "Game of Thrones" veteran Sean Bean, »
- Daniel Fienberg
Returning favorites including “Sons of Anarchy,” “Sleepy Hollow,” “Bones” and “24″ will lead 20th Century Fox Television’s San Diego Comic-Con lineup, with a number of spooky genre series — “American Horror Story,” “Salem” and “Witches of East End” — also making their Sdcc debut.
On Thursday, July 24, 20th Century Fox TV will bring Kiefer Sutherland to San Diego for a “24″ retrospective panel at 10 a.m. in Ballroom 20, preview TNT’s “Legends” pilot, starring Sean Bean, at 12:30 p.m. in Room 6A, and offer a Q&A with the stars of Lifetime’s “Witches of East End” at 5:45 p.m. in Room 6De.
Friday, July 25 will see the return of “Bones” — along with stars David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel — at 12:30 p.m. in Ballroom 20 to celebrate the show’s 10th season, showcase animated comedies “Bob’s Burgers” at 4 p.m. in the Hilton Bayfront’s Indigo Ballroom and “Brickleberry” at 5:30 p. »
- Laura Prudom
“Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,” which premiered this spring on Fox and National Geographic Channel and received an unprecedented rollout in 180 countries, has become the most-watched series ever for National Geographic Channel International.
A whopping 135 million people — including 45 million in the U.S. — watched at least some of the 13-part science series, National Geographic Channel announced today. Overall, it aired on all 90 National Geographic Channels as well as 120 Fox-branded channels in 125 countries, making this the largest global launch ever for a television series.
Its March 3 premiere Stateside attracted roughly 8.5 million viewers across 10 channels. In addition to the Fox broadcast network and National Geographic Channel, “Cosmos” aired on cablers FX, Fxx, Fxm, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, Nat Geo Wild, Nat Geo Mundo and Fox Life.
A unified scheduling approach — with regions airing the premiere episode within one week of its debut in the U.S. — alongside a comprehensive communications, marketing and digital »
- Rick Kissell
Seth MacFarlane continues to pull us in different directions, even if we give the film the same rating. A Million Ways to Die in the West is somehow the best and worst of MacFarlane’s abilities smashed together almost at random, and it still manages to make us want to like it a lot more than it can actually make us like it.
If only he could reign himself in, and keep a handle on the stupid for stupid’s sake, and gross for gross’ sake, he might eventually put together a comedy film that holds up. Of course, he also has to have someone who will steer him away from trying to throw a thousand jokes a minute at the audience, all displaying different styles of humor, and hoping something sticks.
But, much as we couldn’t give this one a higher rating, it was still fairly enjoyable, and »
- Marc Eastman
Warner Brothers must have both wanted to capitalize and mock the release of Seth MacFarlane’s A Million Ways to Die in the West, as they’ve just created a slightly new special edition of Blazing Saddles for the film’s 40th anniversary. There was no way (and no offense to MacFarlane) that he could match or top Mel Brooks’ film, which is hard to call his masterpiece or even the best film he directed that year. But that’s only because in 1974 both it and Young Frankenstein were released. Which is the better movie boils down to preference. That said, I prefer Saddles. The film stars Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Harvey Korman and Madeline Kahn in this Western send up, and my Blazing Saddles Blu-ray review follows after the jump. Starting with the title song, everything is on point in Blazing Saddles as Brooks treats the film like a feature length Looney Tunes cartoon. »
- Andre Dellamorte
LeVar Burton proved he could go twice as high. The actor's fundraising campaign to reboot “Reading Rainbow,” his beloved children's show, broke the record for most individual contributors with over 91,600 backers on Monday. The previous record was 91,585 backers, who helped fund the campaign to turn defunct TV show “Veronica Mars” into a film. Also read: LeVar Burton Breaks Down In Tears After Raising $1 Million For ‘Reading Rainbow’ Reboot (Video) As of this writing, Burton's project has collected over $4,788,000 dollars with the deadline for final donations set for Wednesday. “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane recently pledged to match every dollar after $4 million. »
- James Crugnale
LeVar Burton's Kickstarter campaign to reboot beloved children's TV program "Reading Rainbow" had already made headlines for the short time it took to reach its fundraising goal. Now, the project has hit another milestone: It's the most-backed Kickstarter project ever.
Burton revealed the news on Twitter Monday with a jubilant post thanking supporters for their donations. "Reading Rainbow" racked up a record-breaking 91,587 backers, beating out the previous champ, the "Veronica Mars" movie Kickstarter, for the highest number of backers to support one project on the site. It's already shattered that number, and currently sits at just under 99,000 backers.
Hey Y'all... @readingrainbow just became the most backed @kickstarter ever!!!! #Thank #You http://t.co/k9ere80B9g
- LeVar Burton (@levarburton) June 30, 2014
It seems that nothing can stop the "Reading Rainbow" resurgence, as the project has gained some impressive followers since it launched in May. It hit its $1 million »
- Katie Roberts
Even though Seth MacFarlane's "A Million Ways to Die in the West" wasn't a hit, Universal Pictures would still like to make a sequel to MacFarlane's "Ted," which grossed a whopping $550 million on a budget of $50 million. While promoting "Transformers: Age of Extinction," "Ted" star Mark Wahlberg was asked if Ted and John Bennet (Wahlberg) learned any lessons from the first movie. "That wouldn't be any fun. No, no, no, they're crazier than ever," he replied. In the sequel Bennet separated from Lori (Mila Kunis) and finds a new love-interest, played by Amanda Seyfried. According to Wahlberg, the new woman will definitely be a "problem" for Ted, but he has bigger things to deal with. He added that there are talks of taking the story on the road and that Ted would be "an even worse influence." »
We’ve now reached the point that tabloid outlets like RadarOnline are making up stuff about gay power couples just like they do straight couples. Their latest is that David Burtka is only allowing Neil Patrick Harris to do Hedwig for six months to keep the men from flirting with him. “At least in L.A. David is always around to make sure it never goes any further. And not to say certain guys haven’t become ‘friendly’ with David in New York too, but without each other around, it’s hard to resist other guys hitting on them.”
Io9 asks when are we going to get Lgbt characters in cartoons? And not adult cartoons like The Simpsons, but those universal cartoons made for Disney, »
- Ed Kennedy
Though LeVar Burton’s Kickstarter campaign for “Reading Rainbow” is far beyond its original $1 million goal, the literacy program has a new reason to shine. “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane has stepped in, promising to match another $1 million in donations to push the initiative past the $5 million mark.
Burton’s Kickstarter to bring back and revamp the beloved children’s reading program went live in May, and met its initial goal within 11 hours. Despite finding success in fostering a love of reading in its young viewers, the original “Reading Rainbow” show was canceled in 2009. After launching a tablet app in 2012 the host realized the potential of new technologies to bring reading to kids and schools, and with his Kickstarter, hopes to broaden the program’s reach.
“In today’s world, today’s kids want today’s technology,” says Burton in the campaign’s video. With funds from the Kickstarter, Burton »
- Shelli Weinstein
The scoop on Jason Bateman's fun new role - The Hollywood Reporter This ridiculous Shark Week ad is simply the best - HuffPost Entertainment Pacific Rim 2 is officially on the calendar - Moviefone 26 deleted movie scenes that would explain everything - Cracked Will you enjoy the Boy Meets World spinoff? - BuddyTV All the details on Pll's 100th episode - Pretty Little Lairs Judd Apatow and Gillian Jacobs may be headed to Hulu - Splitsider Should parents take their kids to see the new Transformers? - Rotten Tomatoes How Seth MacFarlane is supporting a Reading Rainbow reboot - Popsugar Tech »
- Maggie Pehanick
Last month, LeVar Burton launched a Kickstarter campaign with the goal of reviving his beloved children's TV series Reading Rainbow in a free online format. The iconically nerdy host has already roped in $4 million, but he's hoping the project's funding can go even higher. Comedy mainstay Seth MacFarlane told Burton that he would match the next $1 million raised for the project.
Lavar Burton Plays Evil Overlord of 'Reading Rainbow' on Funny or Die
Seth MacFarlane is putting some serious dough behind Reading Rainbow. LeVar Burton announced the Family Guy creator and voice actor has agreed to match all the pledges over the next few days dollar for dollar, up to $1 million. "Yes, that Seth MacFarlane," Burton said in a video message, as if anticipating the reaction you are having at this very moment. "That's right: for each dollar pledged over $4,000,000, Seth will Match It, dollar for dollar, up to 1 Million Dollars!" the Star Trek: The Next Generation star said in an post on the Kickstarter site. Currently, the Kickstarter for Reading Rainbow has more than $4 million dollars. Its original goal was $1 million and now Burton is trying »
Family Guy creator promises to match up to $1m in pledges made on Kickstarter so web version of TV show can be made available for free
MacFarlane has promised to match up to $1m in pledges made on the Kickstarter website so that an online version of Reading Rainbow can be made available without charge to an expanded number of underfunded classrooms, Burton said in a statement Thursday.
Continue reading »
- Associated Press
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