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Netflix picks up a fourth season of The Killing, the show that cannot be killed

15 November 2013 3:22 PM, PST

Netflix is giving the somewhat-loved crime drama The Killing a fourth season, taking the show over from AMC—a network that already canceled The Killing twice. (After the first cancellation, The Killing was rescued by way of a joint distribution deal with AMC and Netflix.) According to The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix has ordered six new episodes that it will bill as the show’s “final season,” operating under the delusion that this adequate thriller will ever cease to exist. Netflix released the news late on a Friday afternoon, suggesting that the online service acquired The Killing during a late-night original-entertainment »

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Rolling Stone writer Anthony DeCurtis is set to pen a Lou Reed biography

15 November 2013 3:00 PM, PST

Longtime music critic Anthony DeCurtis is writing a Lou Reed biography, so it appears this will be the first in what is sure to be a long line of works examining the life and career of the influential singer-songwriter and Velvet Underground frontman. Little, Brown and Co. announced this week that it has acquired the rights to Curtis' book and claims that this bio will be provide “‘the inside story’ of the brilliant and contentious artist,” even though not much additional information seems to be known about the forthcoming book: The announcement doesn't include a title, a projected publication »

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MGM finally acquires full legal rights to Thunderball after thrilling jetpack escape

15 November 2013 2:40 PM, PST

Settling a legal feud that spanned six decades, MGM has reached an agreement with the estate of writer Kevin McClory, who claimed to have been instrumental in the creation of Thunderball and ferociously defended his legal rights to that story for decades. McClory purportedly co-wrote a screenplay with Fleming that the Bond creator later repurposed for his Thunderball novel, which was then repurposed again for the 1965 movie. McClory said he even gave Bond creator Ian Fleming the idea to put his superspy character in movies. News of MGM’s acquisition of the rights comes via Deadline Hollywood, which is »

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Jon Stewart and Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel fight over pizza

15 November 2013 2:10 PM, PST

In a Daily Show segment earlier this week about New York’s Freedom Tower being named the tallest building in the United States—thus ousting Chicago’s Sears/Willis Tower from the top spot—Jon Stewart took the opportunity to stick it to the Windy City on another front: pizza. “Deep-dish pizza is not only not better than New York pizza,” Stewart said, “it’s not pizza.” The most overlooked point in this eternal pizza war is the fact that both cities have more than their fair share of lousy pizza places, but New York pizza does at least have »

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HBO will develop a Curb Your Enthusiasm-style comedy show, but for Black Hollywood this time

15 November 2013 12:55 PM, PST

HBO continues to expand its horizons beyond the usual television fare while clinging to a previously successful formula. According to Deadline, the premium cable network has ordered a pilot for Mr. Director, from writer/director Salim Akil, “envisioned as being in the vein of Larry David’s documentary-style Curb Your Enthusiasm but with the backdrop of Black Hollywood,” because Larry David’s series didn’t really have much crossover appeal. Akil has most frequently been the showrunner and resident director for the Bet series The Game, a spinoff from Upn’s Girlfriends, both of which were created by Akil's »

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Larry King is the only person who can’t believe he’s 80 years old

15 November 2013 12:11 PM, PST

The Hollywood Reporter has a delightful interview with Larry King on the eve of his 80th birthday. “I can’t believe I’m 80,” King says, despite the fact that he is the most plausible octogenarian on the face of the earth. King stepped down from his post as host of CNN’s Larry King Live in 2010, after a 25-year stint in which he grilled newsmakers with incisive questions such as “Ryan Seacrest, what do you make of your success?” He now broadcasts on Ora.tv, which appears to be a thing that exists. For the Reporter to grant »

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Commence Operation Vacu-Suck: Judge rules Google free to scan books

15 November 2013 11:02 AM, PST

Yesterday a U.S. circuit judge dismissed a long-running case brought against Google by the Authors Guild for digitally copying more than 20 million books without permission of the writers. The case, which stretches back to 2005, is part of a number of legal entanglements created by Google Books, which included lawsuits from publishers (with whom Google settled last year), photographers, graphic artists, and a former professional baseball player Jim Bouton, whose memoir, Ball Four: The Final Pitch, was among the books scanned. According to a Reuters report, Judge Denny Chin agreed with Google’s argument that making “snippets” of »

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Accomplished ball-thrower Derek Jeter takes side gig as publishing magnate

15 November 2013 11:00 AM, PST

New York Yankees shortstop and team captain Derek Jeter has announced a co-publishing partnership with Simon & Schuster, one of the largest publishing houses in the country, that will create a new imprint called Jeter Publishing. The imprint is expected to release picture books, middle-grade fiction, as well as adult nonfiction.  While the cynics among us may explain this new partnership as a savvy strategy—beleaguered-industry titan attaches itself to one of the most popular athletes (and therefore largest media forums) in the nation—Jeter explains that this development “sets the blueprint for [his] postcareer,” and gives him the opportunity to »

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Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds going on tour in 2014, releasing a new live album

15 November 2013 10:45 AM, PST

Earlier this year, Nick Cave and his longstanding collaborators, The Bad Seeds, released their first new album in five years, Push The Sky Away. The album proved true to form even after founding Bad Seed Mick Harvey’s departure in 2009, showing that as Cave ages, he’s yet to lose any of his signature bite. Now Cave the Bad Seeds have announced that they'll be going out on a North American tour in 2014 and releasing a live album, Live At Kcrw, during Record Store Day’s Black Friday event. The Seeds have yet to nail down any »

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Major lyrics site Rap Genius to seek song licenses in light of takedown notice

15 November 2013 10:11 AM, PST

Earlier this week, the National Music Publishers Association announced that they had threatened 50 websites with copyright-infringement lawsuits for posting song lyrics. Specifically, the Nmpa targeted websites with advertising, arguing that the sites were profiting from material that they did not own. In other words, the music industry suddenly realized that someone other than them was making money, which cannot stand. One of the biggest sites under threat from the Nmpa was Rap Genius, which goes beyond the simple practice of reposting song lyrics by providing exhaustive annotations of individual lines. (It turns out that many songs by Snoop Dogg »

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Chris Hardwick's @midnight gets a 40-week pick-up, proving that people like the Internet on TV now

15 November 2013 10:00 AM, PST

As Deadline first reported, Comedy Central’s month-long experiment of allowing Chris Hardwick to crash the network’s late-night block with an Internet-focused game show has proven successful—successful enough for @midnight to get a 40-week pick-up starting early next year. @midnight, which dutifully mixes the art of stand-up comedy with the fact that everyone on Facebook believes they are, in fact, a stand-up comedian, will start its nearly year-long run on January 6, wisely aping the production and distribution model of Comedy Central’s long-standing nighttime properties: The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. This will likely all be »

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J.J. Abrams poses stiffly with beloved robot as his initial Star Wars high wears off

15 November 2013 9:45 AM, PST

J.J. AbramsBad Robot Productions released the first photo of Abrams hard at work on Star Wars: Episode VII, and it shows the director posing next to R2-D2, a robot known the world over for its scene-stealing beeps as well as its more nuanced boops. Abrams’ tight smile is a game effort to hide his slowly dawning realization that this is what the next two years of his life will be: mostly standing there waiting for some contraption or another to roll, twist, or possibly wobble. (The beeps and boops are added in post.) Abrams grips his pants tightly »

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Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson sheds goofball cocoon to emerge as serious-actor butterfly in Not Without Hope

15 November 2013 9:15 AM, PST

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, the pro-wrestler-turned-Scorpion-King-turned-Fast-and-Furious-regular is taking on a new mantle: serious actor. Johnson will take the lead in a film adaptation of Nick Schuyler's bestselling memoir, Not Without Hope. Schuyler was a former college football player on a fishing trip with three of his buddies—two of whom had made it to the NFL—when their boat capsized, stranding the four men at sea. Johnson was busy this year, with appearances in Snitch, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and Fast And Furious 6, among others. But after helping fellow action-movie stalwart Michael Bay move into more »

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Money can be exchanged for goods and services—like streaming The Simpsons in 2014

15 November 2013 9:00 AM, PST

Cable: It’s more wonderful than you dared hope. Assuming you get Fxx this time next year, that is: FX Networks announced this morning that it has paid an undisclosed (but presumably large) sum of money to keep Simpsons reruns within the 21st Century Fox family. (Update: Variety reports the deal shakes out to approximately $750 million.) Come August 2014, Fxx will be the exclusive cable home to the show’s first 24 seasons. Sure, FX Networks might have all the money in the world, but there’s one thing it can’t buy: A dinosaur. (Or more episodes of »

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Arcade Fire announces Reflektor North American tour dates with a two-week break in April in case Coachella comes calling

15 November 2013 8:50 AM, PST

Following the release of Arcade Fire's fourth album, Reflektor, a few weeks ago (and a few small shows as The Reflektors in Brooklyn), the band has announced a full-scale 2014 tour of North America. After a brief stint in Europe and a few California radio station festival appearances to close out this year—followed by a jaunt to Australia and New Zealand in January—Arcade Fire will embark on an extensive North American arena tour, with shows scheduled from March through the end of August of next year. The planned stops leave a convenient two-week window open in early »

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Watch this: Ellen Burstyn, Heather Graham, and Kiernan Shipka in a trailer for Lifetime's Flowers In The Attic remake

15 November 2013 8:27 AM, PST

It’s hard to imagine who would be clamoring for this remake, but Lifetime will release another filmed version of V.C. Andrews’ lock-the-kids-up-and-never-let-them-out 1979 novel, Flowers In The Attic, in January. (A 1987 version starred Kristy Swanson as Cathy, who falls for her brother Chris when puberty strikes and there’s no one around who they’re not related to.) The 2014 release stars Ellen Burstyn as the family’s evil matriarch, Heather Graham as the deadbeat mother, and Mad Men’s Kiernan Shipka as Cathy, all of whom deserve better than this. Lifetime appears to have swapped a »

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Jack Black and Tim Robbins to team up for HBO comedy that doesn’t sound like a comedy at all

15 November 2013 8:17 AM, PST

HBO is developing a new comedy series with Jack Black and Tim Robbins called The Brink, and let’s just say its premise doesn’t make it sound like the next Modern Family. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show is about “a geopolitical crisis and its effect on three disparate and desperate men.” Robbins will be playing U.S. Secretary Of State Walter Hollander, with Black as Alex Coppins, “a lowly foreign service officer.” Again, this is an HBO comedy series. Since Robbins and Black are only two disparate and desperate men, The Brink will be rounding out its »

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Warner Bros. picks Rupert Sanders from a shortlist of directors to helm its Napoleon movie

14 November 2013 3:06 PM, PST

Although Warner Bros. had fed rumors that its upcoming Napoleon Bonaparte biopic would be a good fit for Martin Scorsese, Variety reports that the studio has instead chosen Rupert Sanders, a director of somewhat lesser stature, to helm the picture. After he built a career with short 60-second TV commercials, Sanders made his feature-film debut last year with Snow White And The Huntsman. Don’t let his diminutive résumé fool you, though: Snow White grossed upwards of $380 million, a total that dwarfed most of the film’s box-office competitors in 2012. Warner has hopes for similar success with »

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America's love affair with the locomotive continues as AMC renews Hell On Wheels for another season

14 November 2013 2:16 PM, PST

In an attempt to remind viewers that it still has original programming other than Mad Men and The Walking Dead (though one of those is on the way out soon), AMC has announced that it will be giving the railroad drama Hell On Wheels a fourth season. Deadline Hollywood reports that the upcoming season will bump up to 13 episodes—instead of the show’s usual 10—which will give the Union Pacific cowboys working on the Transcontinental Railroad three extra hours to realize that trains are a bit old-fashioned and that everyone should be driving cars by now. Also »

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NBC to test new theory that Canadians can be funny, too

14 November 2013 1:43 PM, PST

NBC has ordered 12 episodes of Working The Engels, a new sitcom that will star Sctv veteran Andrea Martin, despite the fact that Martin has no tween-aged YouTube fans to speak of. Engels “marks the first time a U.S. and Canadian broadcaster have collaborated to produce a half-hour network comedy,” wrote an NBC publicist who probably hoped that would sound a lot more momentous than it does. Martin has played a number of small live-action TV and film parts since Sctv left the air in 1984, but she has been more prolific in animation: She’s had recurring roles »

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