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The Americans hearkens back to an era of political thrillers that have long since died out in favor of more action and less paranoia-laced cloak and dagger antics. That it works as a period piece set during the height of the Cold War only makes each episode of its first season that much sweeter as it has to jump through fewer technological hoops and can instead just focus on the skill of the Russian sleeper agents (played here by Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys) at fooling everyone around them, including their neighbor (Noah Emmerich), an FBI Agent slowly growing wise to the presence of spies living among the average Americans. The Americans takes great pains to create high dramatic stakes even as it never goes after anything as lofty as presidential assassinations or a major terrorism plot. It’s all about infiltration and data gathering, an agenda that sounds boring »
- Lex Walker
Matthew McConaughey just doesn't lose! The actor brought his good looks and winning spirit to the Television Critics Association Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills on Saturday. He faced steep competition in the individual achievement in drama category - Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife), Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), and Matthew Rhys (The Americans) were all nominated - but Matthew took home the award for his gripping portrayal of Rust in HBO's True Detective. Bryan showed his support for Matthew, posing with the actor and his gorgeous wife, Camila Alves. The Orange Is the New Black ladies brought a high dose of glamour to the show, with Taylor Schilling, Uzo Aduba, Kate Mulgrew, and Danielle Brooks all trading their prison jumpsuits for stunning ensembles. The women took center stage to accept the award for outstanding new program. In other big moments, Julia Louis-Dreyfus walked »
- Nick Maslow
This should take some of the sting out of that Emmy snub.
Related Emmys 2014: The Complete Nominations List
Breaking Bad, however, did not go home empty-handed; the TCA honored the show’s final eight-episode run with the Program of the Year prize (the second consecutive year it won the top award).
Hulk recently smashed Twitter, or at least his punier human half Mark Ruffalo did. The Avengers actor confirmed that he was in the early stages of developing a big-screen reboot of TV's most beloved detective, although the #RuffaloColumbo kerfuffle may yet turn out to be one of those superheated social media storms that flares up and is then immediately forgotten.
At the very least, #RuffaloColumbo has reminded the wider world how much it used to love Columbo. After the late Peter Falk's magnificent, sublimely modulated performances in 69 feature-length episodes, from the gritty 1970s through to the garish 1990s, it feels almost disrespectful to imagine anyone else in the rumpled raincoat. But the last ever Falk episode co-starring a fresh-faced Matthew Rhys from The Americans, »
- Graeme Virtue
For the second consecutive year, Margo Martindale is up for Best Drama Guest Actress for her role as Kgb handler Claudia on "The Americans." Last year, she lost to Carrie Preston ("The Good Wife"), but Preston's snub this year means the race is wide open. If she wins, it'll be Emmy #2 for Martindale, who claimed Best Drama Supporting Actress in 2011 for her role on "Justified." Her episode submission this year is "Behind the Red Door." -Break- Watch: Margo Martindale to her award rivals: 'Eat the fish, bitch!' Synopsis: Claudia has a discussion with Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Philip (Matthew Rhys) about the possibility of Captain Larrick (Lee Tergesen) being Emmett and Leanne's killer. When the couple meets with him, they determine that he most likely wasn't the killer, but Claudia is adamant and says that he's a dangerous man. Later, Elizabeth tries to ge...' »
Girls, “Two Plane Rides”
Written by Lena Dunham
Directed by Lena Dunham
Aired March 23rd, 2014
Do you remember how last season’s Girls run ended? Well this season things culminated in an entirely different tone. This time, there were no grand gestures or fireworks. Season three isn’t quite as dark as season two, but man is the finale rough. If the season two finale frustrated fans because it suggested that Hannah might be too dependent on the man in her life, the season three finale seems intent on underlining that Hannah’s ready to move on, with or without Adam. And she isn’t the only one moving on, but she seems to be the only one moving in the right direction: Hannah gets into the country’s best grad school, Adam gives a truly “bad” performance in his Broadway debut, Marnie finds herself in another destructive relationship, Shosh »
- Kate Kulzick
“I got asked a lot about this ad, and they said, ‘Do you find it morally disturbing?’ And I said, ‘Look, honestly, I find every other form of advertising more morally disturbing. Beer commercials, aftershave. This is just a fucking worm in the eye!’”
FX Networks CEO John Landgraf agreed. “We had to terrify some children in order to launch this show, but I think it was worth it. Just saying,” he added. “‘The Strain’ is a modern take on the vampire myth, one in which vampires are brutal parasites aiming to take over the world. Think of them as the new one percent.”
“I’ve been obsessed with vampires since I was a child. I was very, very lonely,” del Toro joked. »
- Sebastian Torrelio
Melissa Maerz: Jeff,
When the Emmy nominations were announced this morning, I was sitting at my desk, shouting, “Hodor! Hodor! Hodor!” Game of Thrones dominated with 19 nominations! Hot pie for everyone! I’d quibble with the fact that Noah Hawley’s fantastic update of Fargo didn’t get a best drama nod, especially since it was the runner-up with 18 nominations, and The Good Wife was unjustly ignored in that category, coming off its best season ever—it might be the only network drama that I truly loved—but the rest of the list was pretty solid. Among the smartest choices »
- Melissa Maerz
In the days leading up to the announcement of the 2014 Emmy nominees, Variety set out to predict the most likely contenders in the drama, comedy, acting, miniseries and movies categories. While by no means an exact science, many of our picks made the final cut — with a few surprises joining them. Here’s how our predictions stacked up against the list final nominees:
The competition for best drama series led to an overabundance of contenders for the six slots that did not leave enough room for “The Good Wife,” as Variety had predicted. “Downton Abbey” once again garnered a nom, edging out the CBS drama and other hopeful pick “Masters of Sex”.
Although it was expected to come out ahead, two-time winner “Girls” did not see a nomination for comedy series this year. Nor did newcomer “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” which was anticipated to pick up a series nom after »
- Shelli Weinstein
How could “The Good Wife” not make the cut this year? That was the question top of mind for many bizzers Thursday morning as they digested the news of the 66th annual Primetime Emmy Awards nominations.
No doubt the drama series competition was fierce this year but the universal acclaim for “Good Wife’s” fifth season made it seem a slam-dunk for a return to the top race. The fact that “Downton Abbey” made the cut in a year when buzz on the PBS period sudser was definitely down a few notches only magnified the surprise for “Good Wife” fans.
Among the other head-scratchers in this year’s race:
Snub: Michael Sheen. Hard to believe that voters didn’t rally behind his fine slow-burn work as the repressed but adventurous sex research pioneer William Masters in Showtime’s “Masters of Sex.” Sheen »
- Debra Birnbaum and Cynthia Littleton
It should be easy to feel sympathy for Emmy voters in 2014. There is more good television now than ever before, available in more places (including non-traditional streaming video outfits like Netflix and Amazon) than ever before. There is abundant category confusion, where a show like "Shameless" can jump from drama to comedy after presenting its bleakest season ever, where "True Detective" can be considered as a drama series while "American Horror Story" is a miniseries even though the two shows have the same basic structure, where the fourth season of "Tremé" has to be considered a miniseries because it didn't produce enough episodes to qualify elsewhere, where voters are asked to consider what Jim Parsons does on "Big Bang Theory" in the same context of what Louis C.K. does as an actor on "Louie." It is an impossible job, really. Even TV critics whose sole job is to watch this »
- Alan Sepinwall
How many different characters does Tatiana Maslany have to play to score an Emmy nomination?
The Orphan Black star’s absence from the 2014 Emmy nominations list was just one of the oversights that had fans howling Thursday morning.
And yet, overall, there were plenty of reasons for TV fans to get excited. HBO’s fan-favorite Game of Thrones led with 19 nominations, while FX’s outstanding newcomer Fargo was right behind with 18. HBO’s new comedy Silicon Valley broke into the best comedy ranks, while fellow HBO newcomer True Detective was honored for best drama. Plus there were first-time noms for »
- James Hibberd
The 2014 Emmy nominations were, as per usual, both thrilling and infuriating (mostly the latter). For every inspired nod (congrats, Kate McKinnon!) there was one that had me scratching the skin off my scalp (no best drama nod for The Good Wife?!). So without further adieu, I give you the good, the bad and the downright ugly from this year’s list.
Related Emmys 2014: The Complete Nominations List
I’m Super-Ecstatic About:
John Goodman is in talks to star in Dan Trachtenberg's low-budget thriller "Valencia" for Paramount Insurge and Bad Robot. J.J. Abrams will produce and Dan Casey penned the most recent draft of the script.
Set primarily in an underground cellar, the story follows a teen girl who wakes up in the cellar after a car accident, at which point her eerie companion (Goodman) tells her a nuclear attack has devastated society. [Source: Variety]
The story follows a woman who believes herself to be suffering from a sympathetic pregnancy due to the Royal baby. Olivier award-winning playwright and screenwriter Kirkwood also penned the script. [Source: Screen]
- Garth Franklin
• Dwayne Johnson (Fast & Furious 6) is in early talks to star in the Robert Ludlum adaptation The Janson Directive for Universal. The book, published after Ludlum’s death, follows an ex-Navy Seal who is forced on the run when a rescue mission goes bad. There is no writer or director attached at this early stage, but according to the report, it could be a potential franchise. [THR]
- Lindsey Bahr
Exclusive: Having battled the United States as a Soviet sleeper spy on FX’s The Americans, Matthew Rhys has signed up for World War II in the independent feature Darling Buds of May. Directed by Christian Carion, whose 2005 World War I film Joyeux Noel was Oscar nominated for best foreign film, Buds follows Rhys as a stranded British army officer who teams up with a German fugitive to find his son in Nazi-occupied France. Rhys is repped by Management 360 and Wme stateside and United Agents in the United Kingdom. He’ll be returning for the third season of The Americans which begins filming this fall. »
“Working with Joe and Joel on ‘The Americans’ has been nothing short of extraordinary,” said FX Prods. chief Eric Schrier. “Joel and Joe are two of the most talented, genuine, gracious, and hardest-working guys in the business. We look forward to creating more great programs with each of them.”
The pacts cover Weisberg and Fields’ development and services on the period spy drama that had a strong second season on the cabler earlier this year. The Amblin TV/FX Prods./Fox Television Studios series, toplined by Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell, has been renewed for a third season.
Weisberg (pictured left) created “Americans” and is exec producer and co-showrunner with Fields (pictured right).
Weisberg worked for the CIA in the 1990s before shifting »
- Cynthia Littleton
Brace yourselves, Austenites: PBS’s Pride & Prejudice-inspired miniseries Death Comes to Pemberley will not feature any soaked shirts. But it will showcase The Americans’ always swoonworthy Matthew Rhys, second from left, as the esteemed Fitzwilliam Darcy.
The action in Pemberley—adapted from British author P.D. James’ best-seller—picks up six years after the events of Jane Austen’s classic novel and finds Lizzy Bennet’s better half reluctantly helping defend his troublemaking in-law George Wickham (Matthew Goode, restrained at right) after Wickham crashes an important event and confesses to committing the ultimate party foul: murder. Talking to EW, Rhys insists Pemberley (airing Oct. »
- Lanford Beard
If you’ve been watching NBC’s new hospital drama The Night Shift, we’ve heard mention of Rick, the Bf of semi-closeted Drew (Brendan Fehr). In this week’s episode we finally get to meet him, and it’s not under the best circumstances.
In the episode, Rick is brought into the hospital for more of a medical than personal reason and Drew is immediately not comfortable having his personal life crash up against his professional life, where he’s tried very hard to keep the fact that he’s gay close to the vest.
Luke Macfarlane plays Rick and the Brothers & Sisters alum talked to TheBacklot about the role, how gay couples in the military handle their relationship, working with Fehr as well as what else he’s been up to. Let’s check in with one of our favorite out actors.
TheBacklot: Where are Rick and Drew in terms of their relationship? »
- Jim Halterman
It's a matter of feeling. That's the general theme conveyed by Set Fire to the Stars, which covers Dylan Thomas's turbulent tour of America in 1950. But while the Welsh poet was a master at arousing sensation with his words, Andy Goddard's stylishly shot movie doesn't succeed in forming a sustained emotional connection with the viewer.
It's a surprise how flat the movie feels, given the fascinating subject matter of the complex relationship between Thomas (Celyn Jones) and his American agent John Brinnin (Elijah Wood). The latter's doomed mission to steer his hellraising hero away from intoxication before his performances should have been rife with laughs and tears. Yet their shared journey fails to sweep us along, rendering us passive bystanders yearning for a deeper »
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