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15 items from 2014

Interview: Jacki Weaver talks 'Gracepoint' and her post-'Animal Kingdom' momentum

19 November 2014 10:00 PM, PST | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

Victoria, BC. The description for Thursday (November 20) night's episode of "Gracepoint" mentions the unearthing of certain secrets about Jacki Weaver's Susan Wright, which is a good thing, because the dog-loving trailer park denizen remains one of the odder parts of Fox's 10-part mystery, and I'm saying that as a fan of "Broadchurch." I mean, the Susan Wright in "Broadchurch" was so odd she was almost literally played by an actress named "quirky" -- Pauline Quirke, if we're being truthful -- and two-time Oscar nominee Weaver has only upped the ante on quirky line-readings and unexplained menace. When I talked with Weaver on the "Gracepoint" set back in May, she was shy about discussing Susan, but she was very frank about this move into network television, Susan's difficult-to-place accent and pleasures of an unlikely career explosion following the Sundance premiere of "Animal Kingdom." I posted an exclusive clip from Thursday's episode here, »

- Daniel Fienberg

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13 crucial differences between Broadchurch and Gracepoint

3 October 2014 5:41 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Almost identical as they are, we look at what’s actually been changed between episode 1 of Broadchurch and Us adaptation, Gracepoint

Warning: contains spoilers for the first episodes of Broadchurch and Gracepoint.

With the same story, characters, scenes, dialogue, male lead and screenwriter, episode one of Fox’s Gracepoint is no fuzzy “inspired by” adaptation, but a shot-for-shot impersonation of the Broadchurch opener. If Fox hadn’t paid what is probably a handsome sum for the privilege, we’d rap its knuckles with a ruler for copying ITV’s homework.

Perhaps because it’s kept so close to the source, so far Gracepoint makes for a pretty decent murder mystery, if an entirely superfluous one for audiences of the original. If you know Broadchurch, then Gracepoint’s opening episode makes for an uncanny hour of déjà-vu television. Explaining it to someone else is like explaining the illogic of last night »

- louisamellor

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Tipping Point: Jonathan Ross, Carol Vorderman to take on the machine

25 June 2014 7:33 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - TV news news »

A host of celebrities have signed up to take part in the second series of Tipping Point: Lucky Stars.

The celebrity version of the popular game show, hosted by Ben Shephard, has been renewed for a second primetime series.

Jonathan Ross, Lorraine Kelly and Carol Vorderman are among the stars who have signed up to take on the machine and attempt to win money for their chosen charities.

In Tipping Point: Lucky Stars - as it is for charity - the stakes are raised, as the value of the counters doubles to £100 and the jackpot becomes £20,000.

ITV's Kate Maddigan said: "I can't wait to see how the next batch of celebrities get on against the machine. Tipping Point is such a favourite every afternoon, and Lucky Stars makes a welcome return to the evenings."

Previous celebrities who have appeared on the show include Rylan Clark, Colin Baker, Keith Duffy, Pauline Quirke, »

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Birds of a Feather gets second series

7 March 2014 3:00 AM, PST | Virgin Media - TV | See recent Virgin Media - TV news »

'Birds of a Feather' has been commissioned for a second series on ITV. The revived sitcom starring Pauline Quirke, Linda Robson and Lesley Joseph will return for a brand new series following the success of the first, which aired 15 years after the original show ended on BBC One. 'Birds' has been delighting fans new and old, with an average of eight million viewers tuning in each week. The second series will be written once again by original 'Birds of a Feather' writers Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran. Maurice said: ''We're delighted 'Birds of a Feather' was such a success on ITV and really »

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Birds of a Feather recommissioned for second ITV series

6 March 2014 1:00 PM, PST | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - TV news news »

ITV has recommissioned Birds of a Feather for a further series.

The channel revived the former BBC sitcom earlier this year following a 15-year break, and it has become ITV's most successful comedy launch in over a decade.

The new series - starring Pauline Quirke, Lesley Joseph and Linda Robson - will be the comedy's second run for ITV and the eleventh overall.

The eight-part run will once again be penned by original writers Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran with Gary Lawson and John Phelps, and will begin filming later this year.

Gran said: "We're delighted Birds of a Feather was such a success on ITV and really pleased to be asked to write another series. We hope the further adventures of Sharon, Tracey and Dorien will continue to thrill audiences young and old."

ITV's Director of Comedy and Entertainment Elaine Bedell added: "We're very pleased that the brilliant chemistry »

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Fortitude casting news

6 February 2014 1:08 PM, PST | ScreenTerrier | See recent ScreenTerrier news »

Back in October last year Screenterrier hosted a casting call for a lead regular role in a new Sky Atlantic 12 episode drama series Fortitude which is centered on a mysterious death in the Arctic Circle.

Newcomer Elizabeth Dormer-Phillips landed the role of 10 year Carrie Morgan. Elizabeth, from Leigh-on-Sea, attends the Pauline Quirke Academy in Southend and this is her first major TV role.

Fortitude is described as a place like nowhere else. Although surrounded by the savage beauty of the Arctic landscape, Fortitude is one of the safest towns on earth. There has never been a violent crime here. Until now. In such a close-knit community a murder touches everyone and the unsettling, mysterious horror of this crime threatens the future of the town itself.

The series has an all-star cast including Stanley Tucci, Michael Gambon, Christopher Eccleston, Sofie Grabol, Richard Dormer, Jessica Raine, Luke Treadaway, Nicholas Pinnock and Johnny Harris. »

- (ScreenTerrier)

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Birds of a Feather: Chris Theodopolopodous returns to show - picture

26 January 2014 4:01 PM, PST | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - TV news news »

An old face will return to ITV sitcom Birds of a Feather next month.

Chris Cardy, who originally starred as Chris Theodopolopodous in 1989, will appear in an upcoming episode of the revived series.

Theodopolopodous - who has bagged himself a new girlfriend Angie - will be seen asking Sharon (Pauline Quirke) for a divorce in the new episode, but all may not be as it seems with the slippery character.

The show - which originally aired on the BBC between 1989 and 1998 - was picked up for a new series by the rival channel last year.

Linda Robson addressed the programme's move to ITV, explaining that the channel had offered a longer run for the show.

She said: "[The BBC] offered a half-hour Christmas special and ITV promised eight episodes, so funnily enough we decided to go for the eight episodes."

Birds of a Feather returned to screens with an impressive audience of »

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Lesley Joseph: Playing Dorien again takes 'work'

16 January 2014 8:15 AM, PST | Virgin Media - TV | See recent Virgin Media - TV news »

Lesley Joseph says returning to the role of Dorien Green in 'Birds of a Feather' has been hard work. The 68-year-old actress admits the worst thing about reprising her part as the glamorpuss in the sitcom, 15 years after the last series aired, is having to spend at least two more hours in hair and make-up getting dolled up than her co-stars Linda Robson and Pauline Quirke, as well as slimming down to show off her pins in miniskirts. She told The Sun newspaper: ''I had to lose a bit of weight and tone up. It took a lot of work. But »

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What to Watch: Tonight's TV Picks - Birds of a Feather, Weekly Wipe

9 January 2014 1:00 AM, PST | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - TV news news »

Birds of a Feather: ITV, 8.30pm

ITV will be hoping to replicate last week's ratings success with the second of eight new episodes, which sees Sharon (Pauline Quirke) and Tracey (Linda Robson) flog clothes at a car boot sale for a cash-strapped Dorien (Lesley Joseph).

The Undateables: Channel 4, 9pm

Channel 4's popular unorthodox dating series returns for a third series, with a roster of new hopefuls looking to find love. The first of four new episodes.

Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe: BBC Two, 10pm

After thoroughly picking apart the year that was, Charlie Brooker has his sights set on 2014 with a new six-part series of his Weekly Wipe. Join Charlie, plus Us comic Doug Stanhope and others, as they take a swipe at politics, the media and strange online happenings.

Catch up on all the latest TV and Movies releases in Digital Spy's Screen Time: »

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Birds of a Feather stars to take over Loose Women

8 January 2014 8:15 AM, PST | Virgin Media - TV | See recent Virgin Media - TV news »

The stars of 'Birds of a Feather' are to take over 'Loose Women' in a special episode. Pauline Quirke - who portrays Sharon Theodopolopodus in the ITV sitcom - will appear on the panel of the daytime show on January 16 alongside her on-screen sister Linda Robson (Tracey Stubbs), who is a permanent 'Loose Women' panellist, and Lesley Joseph (Dorien Green). Speaking on today's (08.01.14) 'Loose Women', Linda said: ''I am going to be bossing them around, telling them what to do! I can't wait - I'm really excited!'' Andrea McLean will anchor the special 'Birds of a Feather' takeover episode, »

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Birds of a Feather cast take over Loose Women

8 January 2014 7:16 AM, PST | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - TV news news »

The cast of Birds of a Feather will take over Loose Women for a special episode of the daytime talk show.

Linda Robson, Pauline Quirke and Lesley Joseph will all appear on the panel alongside regular anchor Andrea McLean and be honorary Loose Women for the day.

The episode will air on Thursday, January 16.

Birds of a Feather returned on January 2 for its first new episodes in 15 years.

Airing on ITV, the show pulled in a bumper audience of over 7.54 million, the highest sitcom launch on the channel for over a decade.

Birds of a Feather continues on Thursday nights on ITV.

Catch up on all the latest TV and Movies releases in Digital Spy's Screen Time: »

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Pauline Quirke 'dead proud' of son

7 January 2014 1:15 AM, PST | Virgin Media - TV | See recent Virgin Media - TV news »

Pauline Quirke is ''dead proud'' of her actor son. The 'Birds of a Feather' star's real-life offspring Charlie appears alongside her in the new series of the sitcom as her on-screen nephew Travis and she couldn't be happier with the ease he has tackled his first major acting role. She said: ''I'm dead proud of him anyway, I really am. He's a nice boy and was a lovely child to bring up. He's learning, it's his first big telly and it's lovely seeing how he is with the crew. ''It's complicated doing a multi-camera show with a live audience, so you have to »

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How Birds of a Feather came to fly high on ITV

3 January 2014 3:29 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

The creators of the Essex-based sitcom took their pitch for a new series to the BBC but were offered only a Christmas special

There was a distinctly familiar look to ITV's most popular sitcom since an episode of the Gwen Taylor comedy Barbara - remember that? - at the turn of the century.

Birds of a Feather, which the BBC put to bed in 1998 after a 10-year run on BBC1, returned in some style on Thursday night.

With an average of 7.8 million viewers, the Essex-based comedy outshone ITV's big sitcom hope of last year, the Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi vehicle Vicious, and its long-running comedy Benidorm, now into its sixth series and drawing around 6 million viewers.

ITV's gain was the BBC's loss. The creators of Birds of a Feather, Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, had originally taken the idea of a revival to BBC1 after a successful stage adaptation »

- John Plunkett

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Birds of a Feather in flying start on ITV

3 January 2014 6:58 AM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

16 years since its last episode on BBC1, Essex-based sitcom proves its enduring appeal by pulling nearly 8 million viewers

It has been 16 years since Birds of a Feather was on BBC1, but the Essex-based sitcom proved its enduring appeal when it returned in its new home on ITV with nearly 8 million viewers on Thursday night.

The comedy, created by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran and starring Pauline Quirke, Linda Robson and Lesley Joseph, had an average of 7.8 million viewers, a 31.9% share, between 8.30pm and 9pm on Thursday.

It is understood to be ITV's best-performing sitcom since Gwen Taylor comedy Barbara was watched by more 8 million viewers in 2000.

Its audience matched the 7.8 million who watched the EastEnders special on Christmas Day, and it was only a shade below the 8.3 million who saw Matt Smith regenerate into Peter Capaldi in the Christmas Doctor Who.

Despite returning to a world very different from the »

- John Plunkett

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Birds of a Feather review: The girls' return is surprisingly fun

2 January 2014 1:00 PM, PST | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - TV news news »

A Birds of a Feather reunion, you say. On ITV, you say. The traditional laws of TV comedy suggested that this project had disaster written all over it.

The original BBC series was hardly cutting edge. Yes, it was a rare beast in that it had three female leads, but anyone who has ever invested in a box set can let you know that they haven't aged particularly well over time.

The show would probably be best placed in the Brittas Empire school of '90s sitcoms rather than vintage Only Fools and Horses.

Meanwhile, ITV's recent ventures into broad, mass-appeal comedies (Vicious, The Job Lot) haven't matched their drama counterparts (Downton, Broadchurch), too often missing the right tone or, in some cases, just being plain goddamn awful.

However, 15 years on from the show's end on the BBC, something peculiar has happened. Maybe it's fuzzy nostalgia (ahh, the Irving Berlin theme tune, »

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2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 1998

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