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Another mob series with a glittering pedigree, including Martin Scorsese, who practically defined post-“The Godfather” crime movies; and “The Sopranos” alums Terence Winter and Steve Buscemi. A barrel full of Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe award quickly followed.
Yet despite early awards heat and critical accolades, the pay-tv paean to Atlantic City didn’t fully cash in. What HBO programming president Michael Lombardo dubbed “one of the most superb ensemble casts of any television show I can think of” nabbed eight Emmys its freshman year (one short of “The West Wing’s” record), but lost best drama to “Mad Men,” produced by Winter’s former “Sopranos” colleague Matthew Weiner.
“Boardwalk” has remained a critical favorite. Yet with the crush of prestigious new programs in the ensuing years, the show slipped off the best-series ballot the past two seasons. »
- Brian Lowry
Commenting on the Critics with Simon Columb….
With the return of Boardwalk Empire in the last fortnight, it is worth reminding ourselves that it was ultimately cancelled. Ryan Leas writes for The Concourse:
“It’s something of an inglorious exit—a truncated eight-episode run, a rushed time jump from 1924 to 1931 … Boardwalk Empire’s extravagant sets and period details made it expensive to maintain, and there’s no way to argue that HBO was getting the best possible return on that investment … Boardwalk’s de facto cancellation inspired little grief, and little surprise.”
Read the full article here.
Losing The Sopranos in 2007 was graceful and poetic. The final minute alone has been the subject of intense debate regarding the consequence of Tony’s actions. But from The Sopranos spawned two top-notch television series: Boardwalk Empire and Mad Men. The former led by Sopranos-producer Terence Winter and the latter by writer Matthew Weiner. »
- Simon Columb
In Tara Bennett's book "Showrunners: The Art Of Running A TV Show," the job is variously described as being a dictator, a CEO or leading an army. And while we're now in the era of celebrity showrunners—Damon Lindelof ("Lost," "The Leftovers"), Matthew Weiner ("Mad Men"), Vince Gilligan ("Breaking Bad")—it's often forgotten how expansive the responsibilities that come with that position truly are. If you've ever wondered exactly how complicated the machinery is that drives your favorite show, or what the gig actually entails, Bennett's book—a companion piece to the forthcoming documentary directed by Des Doyle—is a slightly jumbled, but still interesting peek behind the curtain. With names like Joss Whedon, Jonathan Nolan, Terrence Winter, Damon Lindelof and more taking part, 'Showrunners' brings a broad spectrum of talent from shows both popular and niche, both successful and failed, to help define what that eleven letter word means. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Amy Poehler, Owen Wilson and Zach Galifianakis are asking ‘Are You Here’ with the comedy’s home entertainment release. The film is set to be distribued by Millennium entertainment and Gilbert Films on Blu-ray and DVD on September 30. The following synopsis for ‘Are You There’ has been released: When his off-the-grid best buddy Ben Baker (Galifianakis) inherits his estranged father’s fortune, womanizing local weatherman Steve Dallas (Wilson) joins forces with him to battle the legal challenge brought by Ben’s formidable sister (Poehler). The comedy as written and directed by ‘Mad Men’ creator, Matthew Weiner, and also stars Jenna Fischer, Laura Ramsey, Melissa Rauch, Lauren Lapkus, Edward Hermann and Alana De [ Read More ]
- Karen Benardello
Matthew Weiner of Mad Men fame is coming you way with his feature film writing/directing debut, Are You Here. The bizarre-sounding story is brought to you with a cast you might expect isn’t difficult for someone with Mad Men under his belt to get into his film.
Ben (Zach Galifianakis) inherits a sizable fortune when his father dies, despite the fact that Ben lives off-the-grid and had been estranged from his father. Steve Dalls (Owen Wilson), a womanizer and local television personality, is a friend of Ben’s, and decides to join up with Ben to fight the legal battle brought by Ben’s sister (Amy Poehler), but there’s a lot more going on than that. Check the trailer below for more of an idea of the ins and outs of friendship that are explored in this one.
The comedy certainly has the talent, including an impressive supporting cast, »
- Marc Eastman
Last week, fans went through interchanging cycles of rage and relief when Sopranos creator David Chase seemed to have told Vox that Tony Soprano was alive at the end of the series. But Chase’s representative later issued a statement: Tony was not alive, nor was he dead. “As David Chase has said numerous times on the record, ‘Whether Tony Soprano is alive or dead is not the point.’ To continue to search for this answer is fruitless. The final scene of The Sopranos raises a spiritual question that has no right or wrong answer.”
In an interview published Thursday on The Daily Beast, »
- Teresa Jue
If ever there was an argument against nominative determinism, it’s the acting career of Jon Hamm. As philandering ad executive Don Draper on Mad Men he’s brought one of the most intense and believable performances in the current TV renaissance of “mysterious, angry white dudes), a quality he’s since brought to other film and television roles. We assume he was similarly impressive when he played Winnie The Pooh in the first grade – possibly using some clever ad-speak to convince Rabbit to give him some Honey – and Judas in Godspell at age 16. Surprisingly, for the guy who’s the current toast of Hollywood, he didn’t take acting at all seriously at first. In fact, save for those two juvenile attempts at it, he’d basically abandoned acting as a viable career.
Luckily for all of us, he reconsidered after moving home to complete his college degree, »
- Tom Baker
With summer slouching towards its sweltering end, Hollywood is throwing everything and the kitchen sink into theaters, hoping something will magically turn into blockbuster gold. Unfortunately for them, Peter Travers is back with his trusty Scum Bucket — and he's itching to fight these films back and vanquish the 10 worst movies of August.
First up is The November Man, in which Pierce Brosnan plays a spy nowhere near as cool as James Bond and who's stuck doing the same old boring action movie stuff (like screaming, "Run!"). Next is the latest in the Step Up series, »
Chicago – iO Chicago continues the Grand Opening at its new venue with one of its most famous alumni – the illustrious Joel Murray. Besides opening the seventh season of “Mad Men” with a brilliant monologue as Freddy Rumsen, Murray brings his “Joel Murray & Friends” show to the new iO Chicago on August 30th.
Murray is the youngest of the famous “Murrays of Wilmette, Illinois,” which includes brothers Brian-Doyle, Bill and John, plus sister Nancy. He is also one of the earliest members of the former Improv Olympics – now called iO – which grew from its modest beginnings in Chicago with founders Del Close and Charna Halpern to their latest multi-theater venue on Kingsbury Street. Joel Murray comes back to his roots with “Joel Murray & Friends” in The Mission Theater at the venue, which will feature some other famous iO alumni including Jack McBrayer (“30 Rock”), Mitch Rouse (“According to Jim”), Kevin Dorff (“Conan »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
The new film Are You Here follows Steve Dallas (Owen Wilson), a womanizing weatherman, and his slightly off best friend, Ben Baker (Zach Galifianakis), as they return to Ben’s childhood home after his estranged father passes away. Upon learning that Ben has inherited a majority of the family fortune, the two friends must deal not only with the strain these events are having on their friendship, but with Ben’s controlling and bitter sister (Amy Poehler), Ben’s father’s beautiful young widow (Laura Ramsey), and each of their own shortcomings as they try to straighten out and take control of their lives
- Mike Tyrkus
The hellish Emmy curse for "Mad Men" actors and actresses continued Monday night, as Jon Hamm and Christina Hendricks became the show's 33rd and 34th performers to lose acting Emmys throughout the show's seven-year run. Indeed, no actors have ever won an Emmy despite the AMC drama earning four trophies for Best Drama Series (2008-2011). Below, the list of all 34 "Mad Men" acting losses over seven years. -Break- Join the hot Emmycast debate going on right now in our Gold Derby forums Hamm is by far the show's biggest Emmy loser, going 0-for-13 throughout his career. Counting this year, he's lost seven acting awards and three producing kudos for "Mad Men," as well as a trio of Comedy Guest Actor bids for "30 Rock." As series creator Matthew Weiner told me on the Creative Arts red carpet last week, Hamm has a "very particular style of acting that's based on reality. »
The cast of “Orange is the New Black” was out in full force on the 2014 Primetime Emmy Awards red carpet, but the other attendees were the ones singing the show’s praises. Everyone from “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” star Andre Braugher to “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner admitted that they were hooked on the Netflix comedy.
Star Uzo Aduba already won her category for Outstanding Guest Actress at the Creative Arts Emmys ceremony last week, but told Variety that it only lessened some of the pressure she was feeling tonight, since the rest of the show’s nominations would be announced during the main show. “We are very much a team on our show — it’s still a slightly tense situation, but some of the breath has left my lungs,” she laughed. Aduba admitted that, aside from her castmates, she’s rooting for HBO’s “True Detective” and “The Normal Heart” to sweep their categories, »
- Laura Prudom
This year, Emmy weekend was an endurance test of parties and preening. But there were no heavy sighs about having to attend Sunday’s Evening Before bash, which raked in more than $2 million for the Motion Picture Television Fund.
The Emmy eve fundraiser has become a welcome tradition for the biz’s top movers and shakers. For those fortunate enough to make the scene at the Lawn at Century Park, the Evening Before is the last call before the Main Event, the last chance to toast the nominees in the moment when everyone still has a shot at winning.
As always, the festive environment is enhanced by sponsored installation booths offering partygoers a chance to play games and score major swag — two favorite Hollywood pastimes. But it’s the people watching that is the main attraction at Evening Before.
See Also: Exclusive Photos from Mptf’s Evening Before the Emmys »
- Cynthia Littleton
Chicago – You would think that a film written and directed by Matthew Weiner – the creator of “Mad Men” – would be worthwhile company, especially when the cast includes Zach Galifianakis, Owen Wilson and Amy Poehler. It is disappointing to note that not only was this cliché-ridden mess unpalatable, but it also switched gears two-thirds of the way through to evoke a different mood, and that schizophrenia didn’t help the overall product.
The story of two dysfunctional friends who go to the country because one of them has inherited the farm sounds ho-hum just in that description, and everything that happens seems wedged in by presenting a series of assigned stereotypes instead of interesting characters. Owen Wilson, now pushing 50, is again portraying his familiar puppy dog womanizer character, which is now as creaky as his standard tousled hair cut. Zach Galifianakis again plays the puffy and confused stoner manboy, but »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
It was a star-studded evening to remember as the annual Variety and Women in Film pre-Emmy celebration powered by Samsung Galaxy honoring the television nominees was held Saturday night at Gracias Madre on Melrose Avenue.
Partygoers dined on delicious vegan Mexican food and sipped cocktails al fresco sponsored by Crystal Light, and arrived at the party in Mercedes Benz S65 Amg Coupes.
The patio at the hip Mexican eatery on Melrose Avenue was packed with the industry’s biggest names. Laura Prepon was one of the first to arrive. Lizzy Caplan was bombarded with well-wishers predicting her win Monday night. Julianna Margulies and her husband, Keith Lieberthal, chatted with Anne Heche and James Tupper. The cast of “Scandal” — including Kerry Washington, Tony Goldwyn, Bellamy Young, Darby Stanchfield, Jeff Perry, and newly minted Emmy winner Joe Morton — was thrilled to reunite with Dan Bucatinsky, and took several selfies to commemorate the moment. »
- Debra Birnbaum
At last weekend's Creative Arts ceremony (which you can watch this Sunday on Fxm), Gold Derby caught up with two would-be Emmy producing champs come Monday night: "Mad Men" creator Matt Weiner and Warren Littlefield for "Fargo." (Watch the full red carpet interviews below.) -Break- Join the red-hot Emmy debate going on right now in our red-hot message boards Nine-time Emmy champ Weiner had no idea why his "Mad Men" star Jon Hamm had yet to claim victories at the Emmys, but didn't think it was a grave injustice. "I don't know that awards are about justice. Jon is an excellent actor. I don't vote in that category. I don't nominate in that category. I would vote for him. But he's been nominated every time and I think that recognition is great." Watch our complete red carpet interview with Weiner: Follow Gold Derby on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, iTunes and YouTube Wh. »
Crazily uneven as it is, Matthew Weiner’s comic drama Are You Here should be seen on account of being … Matthew Weiner’s. Mad Men is among TV’s supreme dramatic achievements, and anything that illuminates its creator’s worldview — especially as we prepare for the final episodes — is helpful in putting the show in perspective. And the movie is very illuminating. It’s practically an essay on the counterculture, in how being an unruly outsider can liberate us from the meaninglessness of the capitalist grind — and yet also be a stage for self-destruction. It’s funny, clunky, earnest, and barely credible, but it’s all of a piece.Owen Wilson is the Don Draper character, Steve Dallas, who also has a heavy dose of Bill Murray. He’s an oversexed, wiseacre pothead weatherman in a small market (Annapolis), and he’s clearly on a road that leads nowhere. Early on, »
- David Edelstein
On the latest episode of TheWrap's popular video series “Drinking With the Stars,” Laura Ramsey, who plays the female lead alongside Owen Wilson and Zach Galifianakis in Matthew Weiner‘s comedy “Are You Here,” sat down with film reporter Jeff Sneider to discuss how her experience on “Mad Men” helped her land the coveted role. Ramsey and Sneider enjoyed drinks at Mixology at The Grove in West Hollywood, where the up-and-coming actress looked completely different than she does in “Are You Here.” Also watch: Zach Galifianakis, Owen Wilson and Amy Poehler Help Matthew Weiner Do Comedy in ‘Are You Here’ Trailer (Video) Despite. »
- Jeff Sneider
Confession time. I really wanted to love this movie. I mean, I really, really, really did. Sadly, not everything we want in life comes true. On the other hand, I’m an optimist and try to remain open to compromise. So, while I did not hate the film by any means, I came away only kind of liking Are You Here.
Matthew Weiner makes his feature film debut as a writer and director with Are You Here. For those of you in the know, that alone is quite an exciting idea. For those of you who watch too much reality TV and not enough of the good stuff, Matthew Weiner is known for writing substantially on the AMC series Mad Men and the HBO series The Sopranos. Now that I have your attention, I’m afraid things about about to get real, as in real disappointing.
Are You Here had a lot of promise. »
- Travis Keune
There was a time when two veteran straight actors such as John Lithgow and Alfred Molina, taking on the roles of a gay couple and their subsequent travails at married life would have been the tabloid equivalent of shock and awe. It still might raise some eyebrows, but Ira Sachs’ Love Is Strange is a testimony to societal progress in terms of storytelling. Now it will face the box office as the Specialty title platforms this weekend via Sony Classics. A real-life gay marriage takes the spotlight this weekend courtesy of Starz Digital doc To Be Takei about the multi-faceted actor/activist and social media talent who is best known for playing Hikaru Sulu in TV’s original Star Trek. It will be joined by Millennium Entertainment’s Are You Here with Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis and Amy Poehler which will open day and date by Mad Men writer Matthew Weiner. »
- Brian Brooks
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