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The CW's 'iZombie' Renewed for Second Season

1 hour ago

With little room on its schedule, The CW got into the upfront fray Wednesday. The network has handed out a second-season renewal to comics adaptation iZombie, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Scheduling and an episode count have yet to be determined. One of several CW genre series, the DC Comics adaptation from Warner Bros. Television and Veronica Mars duo Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggeiro is the network's largest attempt to date at a more procedural-type drama. Starring Rose McIver as a girl who finds her life transformed after zombies crash a party and she wakes up in a body

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- Lesley Goldberg

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'Supergirl' Ordered to Series at CBS

2 hours ago

CBS is officially in the superhero business. The network has handed out a series order to its DC Comics adaptation Supergirl, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The drama — which had a hefty series commitment penalty attached — stars Glee and Whiplash breakout Melissa Benoist as Kara Zor-El, who was born on Krypton but has been hiding the powers she shares with her famous cousin since arriving on Earth. But now at age 24, she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be. Read more TV Pilots 2015: The Complete Guide

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- Lesley Goldberg

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Al Jazeera America Taps New CEO Amidst Turmoil

2 hours ago

Ehab Al Shihabi is out at Al Jazeera America. Nearly two years after joining the cable news network as interim CEO, news of the exec's exit broke on Wednesday afternoon. He is replaced immediately by Al Anstey. The changover comes at a time of turmoil at the network. In addition to low ratings that haven't improved since the 2013 network launch, it is now battling a $15 million lawsuit from a fired employee that alleges one top executive engaged in sexist and anti-Semitic behavior. The immediate fallout included the loss of senior vice president of outreach Marcy McGinnis. In

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- Michael O'Connell

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Box Office Preview: 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' Set to Crush 'Hot Pursuit'

4 hours ago

Joss Whedon's Avengers: Age of Ultron will continued to dominate the box office over Mother's Day weekend, while Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara comedy Hot Pursuit is hoping to generate enough interest among women to open in the high teens. Anne Fletcher directed the two actresses in the MGM and New Line comedy, which goes out through Warner Bros. MGM and Witherspoon's company, Pacific Standard, ran production on Hot Pursuit, starring Witherspoon as an inept police offer who must protect the widow of a drug dealer from criminals and corrupt cops. So far, the $35 million movie is one of

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- Pamela McClintock

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'The Interview' Writer Boards 'Last Man on Earth' as Showrunner

4 hours ago

The Interview writer Dan Sterling is heading to The Last Man on Earth. The comedy veteran has inked a two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Under the deal, Sterling — whose credits include NBC's The Office — will join Fox's The Last Man on Earth as executive producer/showrunner, working alongside fellow EPs Will Forte, Chris Miller and Phil Lord. See more Broadcast TV's Returning Shows 2015-16 "Getting Dan to come to the studio is such a big win for us," 20th TV president of creative affairs Jonnie Davis said. "It's

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- Lesley Goldberg

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Anna Kendrick Rips Hollywood Gender Bias in New Interview: "What the F—?"

5 hours ago

Despite leading an all-girls cast of one of this summer's highly anticipated sequels, Pitch Perfect 2, Anna Kendrick is not satisfied. In an interview with Glamour, the actress expressed her frustration with the lack of female leads in Hollywood, referencing this year's Oscar nominated films as an example. "All the films nominated [for a Best Picture Oscar] this year had male leads. Like, every single one," Kendrick told the magazine. "So I’m glad that [equality’s] feeling like a bigger issue now." When asked how female actresses in the industry are treated differently than their male counterparts, she

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- Meena Jang

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Chuck Lorre Signs With UTA

6 hours ago

UTA lures another blue chip client. The agency has signed comedy heavyweight Chuck Lorre, whose TV portfolio includes The Big Bang Theory, Mom, Mike & Molly and recently departed CBS stalwart Two and a Half Men. Going forward, UTA will help the prolific creator expand his footprint into film, digital media, theatre and other areas. “We are thrilled to be working with Chuck, whose creativity knows no bounds and whose voice we look forward to expanding across all media,” said UTA managing director Jay Sures, who will lead a team of agents in repping Lorre. Lorre had been repped

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- Lacey Rose

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'Justified,' 'Olive Kitteridge' Lead Critics Choice TV Award Nominations

6 hours ago

The final season of FX's Justified and HBO's miniseries Olive Kitteridge topped the Critics Choice TV Awards with five nominations each. The Americans, Bessie, The Good Wife, Transparent and Wolf Hall followed close behind with four nominations apiece. For the second year in a row, Walton Goggins earned two nominations for Justified and Sons of Anarchy. Read more Emmys: 'Orange Is the New Black' to Compete as Drama – Despite Comedy Pitch Newcomers Jane the Virgin, Transparent and You're the Worst will face off against Broad City, Mom, Silicon Valley and Veep for best comedy series honors. Last year's best

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- Kate Stanhope

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Cannes: Jon Hamm to Star in Tony Gilroy's Political Thriller 'High Wire Act'

7 hours ago

Jon Hamm has signed on to star in the Tony Gilroy-penned political action-thriller High Wire Act. Brad Anderson is directing the film for Radar Pictures. Set in 1980s Beirut, Hamm plays a former U.S. diplomat who is called back into service to save a former colleague from the group possibly responsible for his own family's death. Ted Field, Gilroy and Mike Weber are producing, while Good Universe is handling international sales at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival. “I'm thrilled the way the project's come together," Gilroy said. "Jon Hamm was made to play the part. I’ve

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- Tatiana Siegel

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'Powers' Renewed for Second Season at PlayStation (Exclusive)

7 hours ago

Powers has muscled its way to a second season. The drama, based on the Image/Icon comic book of the same name, has been renewed for a second season at PlayStation, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Powers, based on Brian Michael Bendis' comic, stars Sharlto Copley as a cop who works in the Powers division of the police force and deals with crimes involving those endowed with special abilities. The drama will return in 2016. Read More Comic Book Critical Mass: Inside TV's Biggest Bet The drama was originally developed at FX — including going to pilot — before it landed at

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- Lesley Goldberg

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Natalie Portman Sounds Off on Israel, Netanyahu, French Anti-Semitism and the "False Idol" of Oscar

7 hours ago

This story first appeared in the May 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe. It's 8 a.m. in Los Angeles on a late-April morning, and Natalie Portman, 33, is not quite her usual glamorous self. The past few weeks have been tough for the globe-trotting actress turned style icon turned writer-producer-director. First, she was in London for six days, finishing the sound mix of her new film, an adaptation of Israeli author Amos Oz's memoir A Tale of Love and Darkness, which marks her feature directorial debut;

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- Stephen Galloway

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HFPA Makes Its Largest Gift Ever to Los Angeles City College (Exclusive)

8 hours ago

A version of this story first appeared in the May 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which earns about $10 million annually from its Golden Globe Awards, is pledging $2 million to Los Angeles City College's cinema and television department. As a nonprofit, the journalists organization has handed out more than $20 million in grants to various industry charities, but the commitment to Lacc — which will be paid out over multiple years through the Lacc Foundation — is the largest gift it has ever made,

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- Gregg Kilday

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Jennifer Lawrence's Salary Drama: $20M 'Passengers' Pay Tests Sony

9 hours ago

This story first appeared in the May 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe. If a person were to try to design a movie project that could simultaneously attract and repel a fiscally prudent studio executive like Sony Pictures' new film chief Tom Rothman, it might be the space drama Passengers. Rothman found Passengers awaiting his green light when he replaced Amy Pascal in the top job at the studio in late February. And while the project has obvious attractions — with red-hot Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt set to star in

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- Kim Masters

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'Empire' Breaking Barriers With Overseas Viewers

9 hours ago

A version of this story first appeared in the May 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe. The Cosby Show was the first — and last — television series starring an African-American cast to become a worldwide hit. But the U.S. success of shows like Fox's Empire, ABC's Black-ish and How to Get Away With Murder, and, in the pay TV sphere, Starz' Power and Survivor's Remorse, is beginning to attract the attention of international broadcasters and is opening up the global market for more diverse primetime programming. Succeeding

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- Scott Roxborough

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TV Ratings Nail-Biter: CBS Gaining Ground on NBC as Season Enters Home Stretch

11 hours ago

This story first appeared in the May 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe. On a May 4 earnings call, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts touted "the turnaround" at former ratings doormat NBC, saying "we have sustained the momentum." But the lack of any new hits has taken the gloss off of NBC's No. 1 status for the 2014-15 season. And one year after wrapping the traditional broadcast calendar as the uncontested champ among adults 18-to-49 for the first time in a decade, there's a chance NBC could tie CBS

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- Michael O'Connell

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NewFronts: 'Fault in Our Stars' Author John Green Rocks Ad Buyers With Candid YouTube Pitch

11 hours ago

This story first appeared in the May 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe. Amid the celebrities, live music and boozy afterparties of the two-week digital media pitchfest known as NewFronts, it was a speech from author and YouTuber John Green that caused the biggest stir. "I'm not here to educate or kiss up to you," said Green, author of best-seller The Fault in Our Stars, to about 2,400 of Madison Avenue's most important executives April 27 at Brandcast, YouTube's annual party. "I'm here to scare you."

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- Natalie Jarvey

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Cannes: 15 Market Titles Generating Early Buzz

11 hours ago

A version of this story first appeared in the May 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe. It used to be that U.S. distributors didn't make an offer for an independent film until it had played at a festival and been reviewed. Now there's so much competition, they're having to roll the dice and make daring prebuys before a movie is finished. There is no better hunting ground than Cannes and other international film markets, where projects first are touted to foreign buyers. (Harvey Weinstein's shop paid $7 million for U.

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- Pamela McClintock, Rebecca Ford

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Bollywood Star Salman Khan Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison in Fatal Hit-And-Run Case

16 hours ago

Salman Khan, one of India's most bankable stars, was convicted by a Mumbai court Wednesday over a fatal 2002 drunk driving hit-and-run case. The Bollywood star was sentenced to five years in prison. Khan, 49, was found guilty of culpable homicide after killing a homeless man and injuring four others after the Toyota Land Cruiser he was driving went out of control and ran over the sleeping men. Upon receiving his sentence, the actor was immediately taken into custody.  News channels went into a frenzy as Khan arrived at the Mumbai sessions court, which was followed by

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- Nyay Bhushan

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'Hot Pursuit': Film Review

19 hours ago

Isn't this the sort of nitwit comedy Reese Witherspoon wasn't going to have to make anymore after becoming a producer on the likes of Wild and Gone Girl? A jaw-droppingly klutzy law enforcement farce in the vein of The Heat, albeit deprived of the R-rated raunch and out-there gags, this is a down-home comedy that should have stayed there, as it does no favors to the appealing but ill-served (and poorly photographed) co-stars Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara. This Warner Bros. release will probably hit the target audience of the mainstream girls'-night-out crowd

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- Todd McCarthy

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'Person of Interest' Finale Postmortem: "Heartbreaking" Deaths Set Up "Harrowing" Season 5

20 hours ago

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Tuesday's season four finale of CBS' Person of Interest.] It was a tough day for Team Machine during Tuesday's season-four finale of Person of Interest. The CBS drama's gang war came to a head with a bloody gun battle, culminating in a Samaritan sniper killing Dominic (Winston Duke) and Elias (Enrico Colantoni). The Machine admitted defeat by Samaritan and even bid farewell to Finch (Michael Emerson), but Finch — along Reese (Jim Caviezel) and Root (Amy Acker) — was able to save his creation and stow her away in a briefcase just

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- Ryan Gajewski

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