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NBC said today that the sophomore season on David Duchovny-starring period drama Aquarius will premiere June 16 with a commercial-free, two-hour block from 9-11 Pm. The network said there will be “absolutely no breaks for commercials or network promos, with the only stoppage coming for a one-minute local news break during the show's second hour.” The Manson Family-era series created by writer-showrunner John McNamara settles into its regular 10 Pm Thursday slot the… »
In what’s believed to be an unprecedented launch strategy for broadcast television, NBC will premiere the second season season of its Charles Manson-themed drama “Aquarius” with a two-hour, commercial-free episode.
NBC said Tuesday that the Thursday, June 16 premiere of “Aquarius” will air from 9 to 11 p.m. with no breaks for commercials or network promos. The only stoppage will be a one-minute local news break during the show’s second hour.
The NBC telecast on June 16 will be the only chance to watch the episodes completely commercial-free. When those episodes move to their online and digital platforms following the NBC telecast, a normal commercial load will ensue.
Starting the following week, June 23, the series will shift to its normal 10 p.m. timeslot.
“Aquarius” last year became the first broadcast series to be streamed in its entirety following its debut, with NBC making all 13 episodes available online for the four »
- Rick Kissell
Lev Grossman’s novel, The Magicians, which is only about seven years old and already has two sequels, is something of a unique effort. It isn’t unique in that it is about a young man at a school of magic, but it is an uncommon attempt to mix Ya fiction (or, more or less Ya fiction), with high fantasy, with something like a pointed disregard for “standard narrative enticements.” It’s almost as though it is working a layered trick to get young audiences to believe that working through school will actually pay off.
Sure, our “hero” Quentin learns there is a school where he can go to learn real magic, but it’s filled with rules, learning magic is monotonous and requires countless hours of study, and the whole thing is likely to drive you mad with frustration. But, if you make it out the other side, you »
- Marc Eastman
Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award For Television Writing Achievement (Wgaw)
Longtime writing partners Kauffman and Crane created the hit television series “Friends,” which earned 63 Emmy nominations in its decade-long run, the Kirstie Alley starring “Veronica’s Closet”; “The Powers That Be”; and the HBO series “Dream On.” And they didn’t stop there. Outside their partnership, Crane has co-created several series with Jeffrey Klarik, including “Episodes” and “The Class.” Kauffman most recently co-created Netflix’s “Grace and Frankie,” which was nominated for an Emmy and Golden Globe this year.
Screen Laurel Award (Wgaw)
May is being honored by the Wgaw in recognition for her lifetime of work. May first hit the national stage with Mike Nichols in improv comedy “Nichols and May,” and their influence is still felt today. She’s earned recognition for penning “Heaven Can Wait,” “The Birdcage” and “Such Good Friends. »
- Variety Staff
On the heels of the news of The Magicians’ renewal and just ahead of today’s big news about the showrunner of the new Star Trek series, the worlds of Magicians and the final frontier collided on Monday night. It all started when Star Trek icon William Shatner posed this question out to the TV-watching Twitterverse: “So what’s on tonight?” The official Magicians account quickly replied with the recommendation to watch the new Syfy show, along with an on-point gif of Eliot welcoming Alice and Quentin to the Physical Kids’ house with cocktails. .@WilliamShatner #TheMagicians is all-new at 9/8c on @Syfy and it's about time you got hooked. ????????????? pic.twitter.com/i5KH9EHjSz — The Magicians (@MagiciansSyfy) February 9, 2016 Shatner pondered watching a show with “magicians and sci-fi,” and then Magicians co-showrunner Sera Gamble was naturally psyched: @WilliamShatner Fyi we just got a season two pickup but this is easily »
- Emily Rome
If you haven't started watching Syfy's The Magicians, then you better get on the ball. Based on the critically acclaimed books by Lev Grossman, the series is already causing major waves with fans - and it's already been renewed for a second season! While the show grounds itself in a mystical realm, rest assured this isn't your typical fantasy. It effortlessly flips the hero narrative on its head by producing raw characters that all audiences can relate to. We had the chance to sit down with the show's star, Hale Appleman, and he dished on everything you need to know about his extremely complex and exciting character, Eliot. Keep scrolling to see what he said and get ready to be hooked. Popsugar: First, I just want to say I am such a big fan of the series. This last episode was insane. Hale Appleman: Honestly episode four is so exciting. »
- Kelsie Gibson
Syfy has renewed freshman drama “The Magicians” for Season 2, the cabler announced Monday.
The show will return for 13 episodes, slated to air in 2017. Based on the bestselling series of novels from Lev Grossman, “The Magicians” hails from Universal Cable Productions and is executive produced by John McNamara, Sera Gamble, Henry Alonso Myers and Groundswell Productions’ Michael London and Janice Williams.
“Thanks to an extraordinarily gifted creative team of executive producers and our partners at Universal Cable Productions, ‘The Magicians’ has become a buzzed-about hit, enchanting fans of the novels as well as attracting new and younger audiences to Syfy,” said Dave Howe, President, Syfy & Chiller.
The contemporary fantasy drama is currently airing Mondays at 9 p.m. on Syfy, and has debuted three episodes to date.
“The Magicians” has averaged 1.7 million viewers over its first three episodes in Live+3. Syfy also gave the series a non-linear preview online and on-demand, when »
- Laura Prudom
The agonies of screenwriting were on full view Thursday night at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills, where 11 scribes nominated for WGA Awards took part in the guild’s Beyond Words program.
One of the biggest laughs from the full house came when “Spotlight” writer Josh Singer admitted that he and writer-director Tom McCarthy spent several years going through the Boston Globe’s investigation of pedophile priests.
“We did research for a long time,” Singer said. “Anything to put off writing.”
McCarthy admitted that interviews with the victims of the scandal was a turning point. “The story really came together once we talked with survivors,” he added.
Both “Spotlight” writers were effusive in their praise of the Boston Globe journalists portrayed in the film, noting that editor Martin “Marty” Baron (portrayed by Liev Schreiber) even supplied them with extensive emails to keep the timeline straight. They also credited the initial producers, »
- Dave McNary
McNamara, who is also a producer on “Trumbo,” will be recognized at the Writers Guild Awards L.A. ceremony on Feb. 13, at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza. He recently received a WGA Adapted Screenplay nomination for his script.
“The Paul Selvin Award honors ‘that member whose work best embodies the spirit of the constitutional and civil rights and liberties that are indispensable to the survival of free writers everywhere,’” said WGA West President Howard A. Rodman. “Though we’ve given it since 1989, it might as well have been purpose-built for John McNamara’s ‘Trumbo.’ In shining light on a dark corner of our history, »
- Dave McNary
Syfy’s The Magicians attempted to do a lot more than pull a rabbit out of its hat during a two-hour premiere on Monday.
But did the fantastical adaptation of Lev Grossman’s popular book trilogy turn out to be a magical time? Before you chime in with your thoughts on the new series from executive producers Sera Gamble (Supernatural) and John McNamara (Aquarius), a recap of the two-hour premiere:
Two episodes were provided prior to broadcast.
**Trigger warning – premiere contains self-harm and a near-rape scene.**
Syfy’s The Magicians, an adaptation of the bestselling “urban fantasy” by Lev Grossman, pulls off one fascinating trick in its forceful, flawed first episodes. Combining unusually haunted heroes, a grounded and grungy aesthetic, and unexpected willingness to deconstruct its chosen genre, the series manages to dispense with the hangman’s-noose turn of phrase that has accompanied it since Grossman’s source material first hit shelves: namely, that this tale of sorcery students grappling with dark forces is just “Harry Potter for adults.”
Instead of buying into that pull-quote-ready categorization, the series (co-created by Supernatural‘s Sera Gamble and Aquarius‘ John McNamara) goes deeper and darker. Its protagonist is the troubled and mostly miserable Quentin Coldwater (Jason Ralph), who shows signs of clinical depression and regards the Narnia-esque Fillory and Further series as a »
- Isaac Feldberg
“X” marks the spot for David Duchovny on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
After nearly three decades of acting in film and television, Duchovny will finally land his star Jan. 25, the day after his most iconic character — conspiracy maven Fox Mulder — returns to TV in the first half of a two-night launch for Fox’s limited series revival of “The X-Files.”
Even though you can’t separate Duchovny from Mulder, the actor’s career has spanned far more than just the FBI agent aptly nicknamed “Spooky.”
To wit, at the same time as he’s promoting “X-Files,” he’s also shooting the second season of NBC’s period drama “Aquarius,” has the book “Bucky F&%@ing Dent” due out in April and continues to support the release of last year’s solo rock album, “Hell or Highwater.”
“I don’t know what I really want to do when I grow up, »
- Geoff Berkshire
Let's talk some more about adaptations. A couple of weeks ago, I noted that AMC's "Preacher" will make some pretty big deviations from the beloved comic book on which it's based, but noted that the most faithful adaptation of a story isn't necessarily the best adaptation. If you can capture the spirit of the original, or take a few ideas from the original while doing something new but interesting, that's okay, too. Tonight sees the official debut of a pair of literary adaptations: "Lucifer" on Fox, based on a long-running DC/Vertigo comic series where Satan has abdicated his throne in Hell to explore other interests(*); and "The Magicians" on Syfy, based on Lev Grossman's trio of novels about the students (and, later, alums) of a magical university in upstate New York. (*) The idea, and this version of the character, was introduced in Neil Gaiman's "Sandman," while Mike Carey »
- Alan Sepinwall
If Syfy’s The Magicians goes “poof!” and disappears after its first season, it won’t be for lack of ambition.
Related2016 Renewal Scorecard: What’s Coming Back? What’s Getting Cancelled? What’s on the Bubble?
Based on Lev Grossman’s best-selling fantasy trilogy, the series’ two-hour premiere (airing Monday at 9/8c) packs so many tricks up its sleeve that the whole enterprise occasionally threatens to split at the seams.
“We’ve had eyeballs and severed heads [on TV before], and I'm all in favor of this,” a TV critic told The Magicians exec producers and cast this morning at TCA, eliciting laughter in the room. “How much horror imagery” can she look forward to in the first season, the critic wondered, speaking volumes. “More,” Ep John McNamara responsed. “The thing about Lev’s books that drew me, because I'm not a huge fantasy fan … everything truly terrifying in these books is what humans… »
“There is one night, we all dream in Gold.”
The 2016 Oscar campaign illustrates the emotional power of movies and their ability to inspire all of us to achieve our dreams. Movies remind us that imagination is limitless. The Oscar is, at once, a representation of excellence in film and a tangible symbol that dreams can–and do–come true.
“The Dream campaign embodies what people love about the Oscars—the range of emotions and excitement that comes with those unforgettable moments in a live show,” said Christina Kounelias, Academy Cmo. “Fans also look for the comedy and the unexpected, and that’s what they’ll get with our host, Chris Rock. His comedic perspective will be a great complement to the more dramatic moments.”
The deadline for AMPAS voters to have their ballots into the »
- Movie Geeks
With awards season picking up steam, the Writers Guild of America has announced its nominations for Best Original Screenplay, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Documentary Screenplay for the WGA Awards 2016.
Here are the nominees who will contest the awards…
- Gary Collinson
The 28th USC Libraries Scripter Award jury (not unlike the AFI Awards, comprised of a mix of critics, academics, screenwriters and other industry players, including me) nominated "The Big Short," "Brooklyn," "The End of the Tour," "The Martian," and "Room." The award is presented annually to both the screenwriter and the author of the source material. Last year, Graham Moore (screenwriter) and Andrew Hodges (author) won for "The Imitation Game"; Moore went on to win the film's only Oscar. These five could well grab Oscar nominations for Adapted Screenplay, although at the Writers Guild, playwright Phyllis Nagy landed a nod for her Patricia Highsmith adaptation "Carol" along with Aaron Sorkin's three-act biopic "Steve Jobs" and John McNamara's "Trumbo." Arguably the WGA is a larger and more mainstream group than the Scripters; also European productions "Brooklyn" and »
- Anne Thompson and Matt Brennan
The 2016 Writers Guild of America awards winners have been announced. In the original screenplay category Steven Spielberg’s Bridge Of Spies will be going up against the likes of Sicario, Spotlight, Straight Outta Compton and Trainwreck, while the adapted screenplay sees The Big Short compete against Carol, The Martian, Steve Jobs and Trumbo.
The awards also take in documentary material, and television productions. You can see the rest of the nominations below.
- Paul Heath
The next set of 2016 awards nominees have been revealed. The WGA Awards nominations were unveiled today, featuring a very diverse set of films from last year. Included among the nominees: Adam McKay's Wall Street underdog The Big Short, along with Ridley Scott's The Martian, and Aaron Sorkin's Steve Jobs, plus John McNamara's script for Trumbo in the adapted category. Plus on the original side they nominated the Coen Brothers' Bridge of Spies, along with Sicario, Spotlight, and surprisingly, Amy Schumer's Trainwreck. Some very interesting picks this time. Check out the list of film nominees below. Original Screenplay: Bridge of Spies - Written by Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen Sicario - Written by Taylor Sheridan Spotlight - Written by Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy Straight Outta Compton - Screenplay by Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff; Story by S. Leigh Savidge & Alan Wenkus and Andrea Berloff »
- Alex Billington
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