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Africa's Oprah Winfrey Launching Her Own TV Network As Well

28 July 2012 9:46 AM, PDT

The "Africa's Oprah Winfrey" label isn't one I came up with; that's what she's been called within and outside of Africa, although she's originally from Nigeria, born and educated in the UK primarily. And I should note that it's a label she rejects; although I wonder if the two have ever met. I couldn't find any evidence that they have. Her name is Mo Abudu, a talk show host, TV producer, media personality. Her talk show, Moments with Mo, was launched in 2006 on South Africa's subscription-funded TV network M-Net, and is said to be the first syndicated daily talk show on African regional television. The talk show was an instant success, immediately drawing comparisons to the Oprah Winfrey Show, covering numerous topics ranging from lifestyle, health, culture, politics, entertainment, and much more, with guests including celebrities, Presidents, Nobel Laureates, and even the 67th Us Secretary-of-State Hillary Rodham...

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- Courtney

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Joe Carnahan To Direct Pilot Of A&E Remake Of Danish Crime Series 'Those Who Kill'

27 July 2012 3:27 PM, PDT

Fans of Scandanavian drama (or at least American remakes thereof) take heart. While AMC axed "The Killing" this afternoon, A&E is moving ahead with another murderously titled show in "Those Who Kill," and have brought on Joe Carnahan to help get it off the ground. Based on the Danish series of the same name, which itself was based on the books by Elsebeth Egholm, the show will follow a detective and a forensic profiler who track down serial killers. And at least in Denmark, the concept had some success. The original run spawned a two-part, 10-episode series that was followed by a movie. But like "The Killing," dipping ratings led to the show getting canceled. But perhaps A&E can do better here. Glen Morgan ("Final Destination," "The X-Files") has penned the script and Caranhan will tackle the pilot, marking his first time in small screen territory since "Faceless »


- Kevin Jagernauth

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AMC Cancels 'The Killing' After Two Unsatisfying Seasons

27 July 2012 12:27 PM, PDT

Well, that's it: AMC has canceled their controversial series "The Killing." The studio has opted not to renew this Seattle-set crime drama for a third season. Are you surprised? Well, the writing was on the wall for a while, and we essentially called this one from the beginning of season two when we reviewed the premiere that prompted this piece: "Another Long Jerk Around & Why You Should Continue With [The Killing] At Your Own Peril."   The official AMC statement: “After much deliberation, we’ve come to the difficult decision not to renew ‘The Killing’ for a third season. AMC is incredibly proud of the show and is fortunate to have worked with such a talented team on this project, from showrunner Veena Sud and our terrific partners at Fox Television Studios to the talented, dedicated crew and exceptional cast.” Meanwhile, the producers of the show hope to go on: “Fox Television Studios is. »


- The Playlist

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This Week In Black Television - Vampires, Mutants and Hackers - Oh My!

27 July 2012 11:58 AM, PDT

This week I recap and explore returning shows like Leverage, Alphas and The Closer as well as touch on True Blood and The Newsroom! Welcome back to This Week in Black Television.  I don’t know about you but I’m as happy as clam (what does that mean anyway?) that Leverage, about a team of expert cons aiding people in need of help get ‘leverage’, helping get their due over folks who did them wrong, is back.  Although its season runs twice a year (as most of the non-premium cable series do) Leverage is most fun during the summer. Now two episodes into their fifth season, the first returning episode begins with what team leader Nate Ford (Oscar winner Timothy Hutton) thought of as a check-in/stopover on his pals in Portland, Washington turns into the new headquarters for the Leverage team, with computer hacker/tech genius Hardison, This »


- Curtis Caesar John

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Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis and Jon Hamm Campaign Against Lame Interviews

27 July 2012 10:28 AM, PDT

Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis and Jon Hamm came together last night to fight a serious cultural blight: lame interview questions. How much longer should we have to endure actors swearing that they had the most fun ever making the movie, or directors who insist that every member of the cast was absolutely the first, dream choice? Please! Promoting their new film, 'The Campaign,' Ferrell and Galifianakis clearly have had enough.  Along with guest Jon Hamm, they staged an intervention and challenged Jon Stewart to stop the lazy questions. We are all grateful. (Although in real life Stewart is obviously not a major offender.) Here’s their very funny appearance – and a much better way promote films, especially one about two goofy political cadndidates. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c Zach Galifianakis & Will Ferrell www.thedailyshow.com ...

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- Caryn James

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The Seven Stages of William Shatner: From Fandom Denial to the Acceptance of New Doc "Get a Life!"

27 July 2012 10:07 AM, PDT

William Shatner's latest endeavor is the documentary "Get a Life!," a feature about "Star Trek" conventions and fandom based on his book of the same name and premiering tomorrow, July 28th at 5pm on Epix. Like his 2011 film "The Captains," "Get a Life" was directed by Shatner and finds the man who was Kirk delving into the subculture of the landmark series in which he starred, one that has, for better and worse, dominated and shaped both his career and those of many of his fellow castmembers. Inspired by the film, we put together this Kübler-Ross-style chart of the Seven Stages of William Shatner, tracking his transformation from young Canadian unknowning signing on to a sci-fi series to mid-career actor trying desparately to distance himself from the franchise to the current shamelessly self-aware legend embracing his destiny as a genre icon. 1. Shock "Star Trek," 1966-1969* Role: Capt. James T. »


- John Lichman

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Mark Strong To Reprise Lead Role In AMC Remake Of Brit Miniseries 'Low Winter Sun'

27 July 2012 10:00 AM, PDT

Where does Mark Strong find the time? Since his face first became widely recognizable back in 2005/6 it seems he’s rarely been away from our screens, and usually in a mixture of high profile films and acclaimed smaller efforts. And audiences across the pond know that in 2006, Strong was also making his last appearance on the British miniseries “Low Winter Sun,” and it looks like it may be the same material that’s tempting him back to the small screen six years later. AMC are planning a U.S. adaptation of the original miniseries, and Strong is in negotiations to reprise his role as detective Frank Agnew. The original version was a two-parter made by Channel 4 and was set in Edinburgh. AMC will relocate the action to Detroit and retool the original narrative, which saw Strong’s Agnew murder a fellow detective as an act of revenge after his girlfriend goes missing. »


- Joe Cunningham

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Kinji Fukasaku's Dystopic 'Battle Royale' Being Considered for a TV Adaptation by the CW

27 July 2012 8:26 AM, PDT

It's got teen drama and it's got action, so on some theoretical level Kinji Fukasaku's hyperviolent dystopic 2000 drama about a middle school class sent to an island to fight to the death has the elements of a solid television series. But it's still a little mind-boggling to read from Steven Zeitchik in the La Times that "Battle Royale" is being looked at as a possible adaptation for the CW network: In the last few weeks, the CW has had talks with the project's Hollywood representatives about the possibility of turning the property into an English-language show, said a person with knowledge of the situation who was not authorized to speak about it publicly. The talks were preliminary, but if a deal could be reached, the network would acquire rights to Koushun Takami’s underlying novel, then unpack and expand on it for an hourlong dramatic series. Asked about the CW talks, »


- Alison Willmore

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'Louie' Goes on a Manic, Magical Date With Parker Posey

27 July 2012 7:44 AM, PDT

This season of "Louie" has focused on the title character's sometimes drifting search for love, from that breakup with Gaby Hoffmann in the premiere to getting set up with (and molested by) Melissa Leo to the man crush he develops on the Cuban-American lifeguard he meets in Miami. Last week's episode, "Daddy's Girlfriend Part 1" found Louie (Louis C.K.) starting to actively look for someone to have a relationship with instead of simply stumbling around with vague hopes -- someone who'll have a place not just in his life, but in the lives of his kids. First he approaches fellow comedian Maria Bamford, who only wants sex from him, and actually isn't satisfied by what she's getting on that front either. Trolling his daughter's school for available teachers doesn't turn up any prospects. But then he finds in bookstore clerk Liz (Parker Posey) the promise of that possible ideal combination of »


- Alison Willmore

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Recap: 'Louie' Wanders The Night With Parker Posey In Strong Conclusion To A Two-Part Episode

27 July 2012 7:20 AM, PDT

Season Three, Episode Five: "Daddy's Girlfriend: Part 2" When you meet someone in a romantic capacity, it's easy to build up a picture of what you'd like them to be and simply convince yourself that that's all they are. It's only really possible to get a real relationship under way when you stop engaging with the fantasy version of a person and start coming to terms with the reality, with their flaws and all. And that's essentially what happens in "Daddy's Girlfriend: Part 2," this week's strong episode of "Louie." Last week, the title character, under self-inflicted pressure to find a girlfriend, managed, against the odds, to woo an intriguing bookshop employee played by character actress fave Parker Posey. She seemed almost perfect, and into him, and by episode's end, he'd managed to secure a date, arranging to meet her after work that night. And, after a brief stand-up prologue (not the show's. »


- Oliver Lyttelton

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Laurence Fishburne Will Play Tough Cop Born To Hunt Serial Killers In NBC's 'Hannibal'

27 July 2012 6:38 AM, PDT

Laurence Fishburne is no longer "circling," and is now confirmed to play the pivotal role of Jack Crawford, the agent-in-charge at the Behavioral Science Unit of the FBI, who is tasked with tracking down a certain flesh-eating serial killer - a role played by Dennis Farina in Manhunter, Scott Glenn in The Silence of the Lambs and Harvey Keitel in Red Dragon.  Fishburned will play Jack Crawford on the small screen hoever, officially joining the cast of NBC's upcoming contemporary take on Hannibal, with characters from Thomas HarrisRed Dragon novel. Fishburne's Crawford is described as a "tough cop who seems to have been born to hunt serial killers and lacking the type of empathy that informs the lives of both Will and Hannibal and knows he needs Will to be his bird-dog. His greatest mission is to stop sociopaths before they kill more -- even if that means sacrificing Will's psyche in the process. »


- Tambay A. Obenson

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Larry David's Greg Mottola-Helmed Improv Comedy With Jon Hamm & Michael Keaton Heads To HBO

27 July 2012 6:17 AM, PDT

While early word said the upcoming Greg Mottola-helmed Larry David-starring improv comedy was set up over at Fox Searchlight, it looks like the project may be headed to another, more familiar home for David and Mottola: cable channel HBO. The La Times report the wheels are currently in motion for the mysterious project, co-starring Jon Hamm and Michael Keaton, to head to HBO where it will premiere on the small screen instead of theaters. Apparently the cable channel can offer the project a bigger budget and, of course, already has a strong, long-term relationship with David on the eight seasons of his "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Meanwhile, Mottola has been helming multiple episodes of the Aaron Sorkin-HBO project, "The Newsroom," a show he's also an executive-producer on. Also, let's not forget Hamm's affinity for cable television. Either option is pretty much a win with both Fox Searchlight and HBO known for. »


- Simon Dang

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Oxygen's New Series "The Face" Announces Naomi Campbell, Karolina Kurkova, Coco Rocha as Coaches and Nigel Barker to Host

26 July 2012 7:09 PM, PDT

Oxygen Media announced that world-famous supermodels Karolina Kurkova and Coco Rocha will join renowned supermodel and businesswoman Naomi Campbell on “The Face,” a new reality competition series that features aspiring female models in their quest to win the opportunity of becoming “the face” for a well-known brand. This powerhouse trio of supermodel coaches will be responsible for molding, nurturing and transforming the promising contestants as they compete for the career opportunity of a lifetime.   Additionally, famed fashion photographer and former model Nigel Barker will host the series. Oxygen has also tapped Andrew Frank, a veteran showrunner (“The Amazing Race” and “Survivor”), as executive producer. Produced by Shine America, “The Face” is scheduled to air in 2013 and casting for the aspiring models is currently underway. For more...

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- Jessica Just

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Chris Rock, Deshawn Raw Sketch Comedy Pilot Greenlit By Comedy Central

26 July 2012 6:29 PM, PDT

Glad to see Chris Rock putting on his producer hat and putting his industry clout to good use. He's already helped launch a late night series starring W. Kamau Bell, coming to the FX network next month; and this evening brings word that Comedy Central has greenlit a pilot episode for a sketch comedy series exec-produced by Rock, called D-Raw. The show will comprise of sketches featuring young comedian and YouTube star with his Rap Battle videos, Deshawn Raw (who's co-producing the series by the way), and his diverse group of friends - sketches that will be based on their personal experiences.  DeShawn Raw’s creative partner Jp Minot, will direct the pilot.  DeShawn Raw's first YouTube Rap Battle video has been played over 13 million times. They are essentially mocking real-life rap battles. Watch it below, and then watch the second video which features Chris Rock himself. That has been »


- Tambay A. Obenson

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Post-Katrina Doc 'I'm Carolyn Parker...' To Be Broadcast On PBS In Sept

26 July 2012 5:37 PM, PDT

Film director Jonathan Demme's five-years-in-the-making documentary I'm Carolyn Parker: The Good, The Mad and the Beautiful, will make its PBS premiere on Thursday Sept. 20, as part of the network's long-running Pov documentary series. The film, which traveled the film festival circuit last year (including Venice, Toronto, London and Amsterdam), chronicles the remarkable community activist Carolyn Parker who Demme met in 2005 in New Orleans, and followed over the years as she lead a crusade to rebuild her house, her church, her community, as well as her life and family. Here are a few clips from the the film:

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- Sergio

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'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner Says Peggy Olson Will Be Back For Season 6

26 July 2012 3:45 PM, PDT

Of the handful of enduring questions remaining from the end of the excellent fifth season of "Mad Men," perhaps the biggest surrounded the fate of Peggy Olson, played by Elisabeth Moss. Having had enough of being overlooked and ill-treated at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce (Rip), she jumped to a new job at Cutler Gleason and Chaough, which many figured meant Peggy's arc was done. And indeed, her brief appearance in the season finale seemed like a farewell, with her meeting Don who declared he was proud of her, before she left to go on the road for her job. But there is still more Peggy to come in season six. Chatting with TVLine, the show's creator Matthew Weiner teased that Elisabeth Moss, “is going to be on the show next year. I can’t say how much, in what capacity or what [her story] is going to be, but she has not left the show. »


- Kevin Jagernauth

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'Battle Royale' Might Get Turned Into A TV Show For CW

26 July 2012 3:10 PM, PDT

Last fall, it was with a small amount of irony that producer Roy Lee revealed that the long-gestating Hollywood remake of the Japanese cult hit "Battle Royale" was essentially put on the back burner due to a similar film that has since become a massive hit. "'Hunger Games' definitely took a lot of wind out of the sails because it definitely has a very similar storyline and so I’m not actually sure if any studio…I’m not even sure if before 'Hunger Games' any studio would have been able to take the creative risks you need to make the movie right and now so [making the movie] would be even harder," Lee explained. But never say die, as the edgy, violent movie may find a home on a channel favored by tweens. The La Times reports that talks are underway between CW and the reps for the Hollywood version of "Battle Royale »


- Kevin Jagernauth

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'Strong!' Explores the Life (and Size) of Olympic Female Weightlifter Cheryl Haworth

26 July 2012 2:07 PM, PDT

At 5'9" and nearly 300 pounds, weightlifter Cheryl Haworth tends to be described in ways that aren't usually applied approvingly to women -- she's big, sturdy, and, as the title of tonight's PBS documentary about her proclaims, "Strong!" And it's something Haworth has embraced, though not without complications. "Strong!" is directed by Julie Wyman and airs this evening, July 26th, at 9pm in most markets (though you might want to check your local listings) to close out the 2011-12 season of Independent Lens. It's been scheduled to coincide with the start of the Olympics for good reason -- at age 17, Haworth competed in the 2000 Sydney Games, winning a bronze medal fo the Us in the first year that women's weightlifting was offered. A young woman whose life has revolved around her sport (when asked about romance, she's ruefully notes it's been "nonexistent"), Haworth spends the film readying for the 2008...

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- Alison Willmore

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Watch: PBS Auto-Tunes 'The Joy of Painting' Host Bob Ross

26 July 2012 12:05 PM, PDT

Having auto-tuned and remixed Mister Rogers to great viral success, PBS's web originals branch PBS Digital Studios has given the same treatment to the perennially zen late host of the "The Joy of Painting," Bob Ross. "Happy Little Clouds," which you can watch below, is, like the Mister Rogers "Garden of Your Mind" video, the work of John D. Boswell. On his own YouTube channel, Boswell has science-themed remix pieces featuring Morgan Freeman, Jason Silva and Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Now how about some happy little trees, hmm?

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- Alison Willmore

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Check Out The First Images Of New 'Misfits' Karla Crome, Nathan McMullen

26 July 2012 10:50 AM, PDT

S&A told you back in May that Karla Crome and Nathan McMullen would be joining the increasingly popular Channel 4 series Misfits. Now we get to see what Crome and McMullen look like in the now-famous orange community service jumpsuits. Misfits is scheduled to return to British TV screens later this year.  Earlier in the year, there was serious talk of a Us remake (said to be shooting in New York City in 2012), but there have been very few public developments since then. Earlier this month, Misfits made its Us television debut on the cable channel Logo. Misfits' first season will be released on region 1 (Us & Canada) DVD next Tuesday, July 31.

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- Emmanuel Akitobi

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