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Bet Networks Announces New Programming and Partnerships at Annual Upfront Presentation (Full Details)

9 hours ago

Bet Networks announced its upcoming programming schedule for Bet and Centric at its annual Upfront presentation. “Our new shows and feature films, combined with our returning hits like "Real Husbands of Hollywood" and "Being Mary Jane," make Bet’s original slate stronger than ever,” said Debra L. Lee, Chairman and CEO, Bet Networks. “We’re excited about our entire schedule, especially our original programming, our strong talk show acquisitions and our exclusive co-production deal with Queen Latifah’s Flavor Unit Entertainment to produce new content for Centric.”So what's new? And what's returning? Full details via press release below:new Programming On Bet:the Start Up – In The Start Up, hip-hop prince Diggy Simmons makes his scripted series debut as Blake Monroe, founder of TheJetsetters.com, an entertainment and lifestyle blog. The Start Up hones in on what it means to be young, gifted and digital, as Blake and his friends strategize for fame and. »


- Tambay A. Obenson

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J.K. Rowling's 'The Casual Vacancy' Heads To HBO & BBC As Miniseries

11 hours ago

Even though "Harry Potter" is over, J.K. Rowling’s career has never been hotter. She's been tapped by Warner Bros. to write a series of sorta-prequels to her hit franchise, with a trilogy planned for "Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them." And now fresh word has arrived on the status of the adaptation of her (divisive) novel "The Casual Vacancy." Back in 2012, BBC snapped it up for a TV series and now they've got a partner across the pond to help them get it together. The miniseries will go into production this summer in Southwest England with HBO now on board, and Rowling and Neil Blair’s Bronte Film and Television co-producing for the BBC. The miniseries will be three one-hour episodes tracking the characters of Pagford, a seemingly placid place, with lots of intrigue happening behind closed doors. Here's the Amazon synopsis: When Barry Fairbrother dies unexpectedly in his early forties, »


- Joshua Encinias

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The Original Script for "Game of Thrones'" "That Scene" Will Blow Your Mind

12 hours ago

The scene in the "Game of Thrones" episode "Breaker of Chains" where Jaime Lanister rapes his sister and sometime lover, Cersei, next to the corpse of their dead son has prompted some of the most incisive writing and intelligently sustained discussion in the show's history, but it hasn't all been great. Oscar blogger Sasha Stone took it upon herself to decry the storm of "faux outrage," using her apparent psychic abilities to discern that people are apparently just pretending to be upset about rape and suggesting they devote their attentions to important things like the environment and the frontrunners for the Best Picture of 2015. George R.R. Martin, who wrote the scene as a consensual, if still icky, encounter in his book, was more or less agnostic on the change, chalking it up to the "butterfly effect" in which small changes in the show end up taking the narrative in substantially different directions, »


- Sam Adams

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Netflix Sets August 1st Premiere for Fourth (and Final) Season of 'The Killing'

13 hours ago

Netflix has announced that the final six episodes of "The Killing" will be available for streaming beginning on August 1st. Cancelled by AMC after just two seasons, Netflix negotiated the show's revival by teaming up with the cable network to bring it back for a third season in what Variety refers to as a "shared-window pact." Following the third season, AMC cancelled the show once again. This time, however, Netflix negotiated its own deal with Fox Television Studios for a fourth season. Veena Sud, who helmed "The Killing" when it first aired, has returned to the position of showrunner for its final season.

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- Shipra Gupta

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With Kelly Reilly as a Bipolar Neurologist, ABC's "Black Box" Is Crazy Bad

15 hours ago

I suppose I should apologize to my TV critic colleagues for the fun I had reading their reviews of ABC's "Black Box," the by-all-accounts dreadful series about a brilliant neurologist (Kelly Reilly) who secretly suffers from bipolar disorder which premieres tonight. The notices for a a new show haven't been this hilariously, unvaryingly scathing since, well, ABC's "Mixology," nearly two months ago. At this point you have to wonder if ABC's midseason development slate isn't just an elaborate means of trolling TV critics, many of whom have been shocked to discover that "Mixology" is, against all reason, still on the air. Fortunately, we don't have to feel too bad for the critical community at large, since it seems few of them got all the way through the three episodes ABC sent out in advance. (They were, somewhat unusually, the pilot, the third and the seventh, as if by way of whispering, »


- Sam Adams

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'Orange Is the New Black' Covers EW, Showrunner Kohan Speaks Her Mind on Awards, Rejection, Beauty Standards and More

16 hours ago

The Litchfield ladies of Netflix's "Orange Is the New Black" cover this week's edition of Entertainment Weekly. Inside, showrunner Jenji Kohan ("Weeds") speaks her mind about the series being initially rejected by HBO and Showtime, about the show's dramedy aspects making it hard to categorize for awards, and how she wanted to get away from the "summer-campy" leanings of Season One. Plus, Laura Prepon (who plays Taylor Schilling's inmate ex Alex) addresses rumors about fellow Scientologists frowning on her playing a lesbian. The trailer for Season Two is here, with the show returning with all episodes on June 6.Kohan on the tone of Season Two:“We had a theme for season 2. A little darker, a little more fractured. We wanted to explore the groups one at a time. It was getting a little summer-campy, and we wanted to address the realities that this is prison.”Kohan’s eff-you aggravation »


- Beth Hanna

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J.K. Rowling's 'Casual Vacancy' Will Be an HBO Mini-Series

16 hours ago

Author J.K. Rowling is bringing her bestseller "The Casual Vacancy," her first novel following the "Harry Potter" series, to HBO and the BBC for a three-hour miniseries.  The book centers on a seemingly quaint and bucolic English village, where in fact a number of simmering tensions are about to reach lid-blowing proportions -- the wealthy vs. the poor, teens vs. their parents, schoolteachers vs their students, and more. Rick Senat and Sarah Phelps ("EastEnders," BBC's "Great Expectations") are set to pen the adaptation, with Johnny Campbell ("Eric & Ernie") directing. Production will begin this summer, with Rowling exec producing. 

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- Beth Hanna

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Tribeca: Why 'The Mindy Project' Star and 'Alex of Venice' Director Chris Messina is the Real Deal

17 hours ago

Having premiered this past Saturday at the Tribeca Film Festival, actor-director-producer Chris Messina's "Alex of Venice" is already receiving a warm welcome from critics and the general public alike. The film is a nuanced family drama centering around the titular Alex (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), an environmental lawyer whose stay-at-home husband George (Messina, in a small but distinctive performance) takes a leave of absence and in turn leaves her to pick up the pieces. Those pieces include their young son (Skylar Gaertner) in the bloom of his first crush, her former-tv star father (Don Johnson) grappling with aging beyond his mindset, the return of her flakey, newly rehabbed sister (co-screenwriter Katie Nehra), and a promisingly empowering work-related romance (a melt-worthy Derek Luke). Messina is already a familiar face. His acting credits run the gamut from rom coms ("Made of Honor," "Julie & Julia") to indie fare ("Away We Go," "Celeste & Jesse Are Forever") to HBO. »


- Diana Drumm

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'Game of Thrones' Power Rankings: Have Jaime's Despicable Actions Put His Life at Risk after 'Breaker of Chains'?

17 hours ago

In a series with as much bloodlust as "Game of Thrones," no one is safe. So who's next? Indiewire ranks the characters most likely to be killed off every week -- with the person most at risk at the top -- based on circumstance, evidence, and plain 'ol gut feelings. Obviously, readers of the books already know what's coming, so please don't spoil it for those of us too busy, lazy, or simply disinclined to pick up the hefty novels. Without further ado, the unlucky few: 1) Tyrion Lannister Direct evidence: Circumstances did not improve for last week's best bet to bite the proverbial bullet in "Breaker of Chains." Tyrion learned he was being denied virtually all access to anyone who could defend him properly in the upcoming trial. His wife has disappeared, painting him as even more guilty than he previously thought. Bronn is being denied access and treated with »


- Ben Travers

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Summer TV Preview: The 10 New Shows You Must See

17 hours ago

Summer used to be a dead zone for new television. Kids, complaining about their favorite shows being reruns, would be forced to use their imaginations for entertainment and possibly even venture outside under the blistering sun. Adults didn't have time to watch new shows because their kids were out of school and demanding attention despite Mom & Dad getting off nine-hour shifts and still needing time to feed everyone. This ritualistic torture has thankfully ended. Virtually every network debuts new shows in the summer, now, some with lofty ambitions ("The Newsroom" was a summer premiere two years back) while others are try-outs to see if they can hack it in the fall. Indiewire has compiled a list of the hottest summer premieres you won't want to miss. These 10 shows are all brand new, widely available, and ready to take over as entertainment for the whole family -- well, at least one of them is kid-friendly. »


- Shipra Gupta and Ben Travers

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Ranking the House Down: The Remaining Five Squirrel Friends of Rupaul’s Drag Race, Season Six

18 hours ago

“Drag My Wedding” was a bit of a dud compared to previous episodes, and much of this is to do with that Trinity K. Bonet is not here anymore to shake up the competition. Think about it, two sewing competitions in a row are exactly what Trinity had been waiting for all season. This was her moment to shine, and while we know she did not deserve to make it to the top three based on her performance throughout the season (and it may have been a contributing factor to her elimination, the fact that she could have outperformed BenDeLaCreme and Courtney Act in the couture challenges) it bothers us now that we are looking back through the vacuum of this boring and predictable episode. Of course Adore and Joslyn were going to end up in the bottom two! Of course Bianca was going to win, and Joslyn was going to go home! »


- Gregory Rosebrugh

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Brett Gelman Tells Us Why He 'Drew from Lars von Trier and Michael Haneke as Much as Bill Murray' for Adult Swim's 'Dinner With Friends With Brett Gelman and Friends'

23 April 2014 12:30 PM, PDT

Brett Gelman has some uniquely odd and intriguing ideas about comedy, and -- thankfully -- he's found many different platforms to support them. The Illinois native and Ucbc veteran has guest starred on many of the last decade's greatest comedies -- TV or film -- including "The Colbert Report," "The Other Guys," "Happy Endings," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Bored to Death," and "The Office." Though everyone will have their favorite role, the thick-bearded comic is best known for either his role on Matthew Perry's NBC show "Go On" or as Brett Mobley on the Adult Swim series "Eagleheart." Gelman has again paired up with the late night comedy network for a half-hour special titled "Dinner With Friends With Brett Gelman and Friends," a midnight premiere described as "a lively night of dining, showbiz chit-chat, and pyschological torture." Gelman took a few minutes to discuss why he drew on the films »


- Ben Travers

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Netflix Gives 13-Episode Order to Spanish-Language Original Comedy

23 April 2014 10:20 AM, PDT

Netflix has ordered its first Spanish-language original series: a satire from Mexican director Gaz Alazraki that centers on what happens behind-the-scenes in professional fútbol. Alazraki most recently directed "Nosotros los Nobles," a.k.a. "We are the Nobles," which broke box office records and ranks as one of Mexico's most successful films of all time. In a statement released by Netflix, Chief Content Office Ted Sarandos expressed his confidence in the Alazraki who is at the helm of the series alongside his "We are the Nobles" co-producer Leo Zimbron. "Gaz has the disruptive vision and creative storytelling we were looking for in producing our first original series in Mexico," said Sarandos. Although NBC has expanded into the Latin American television market via Telemundo, the Netflix announcement is unprecedented, given the fact that the show will be distributed to all users on the Netflix platform, rather than to a specific demographic »


- Shipra Gupta

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HBO Co-Producing J.K. Rowling's 'The Casual Vacancy' as a Miniseries with the BBC

23 April 2014 9:31 AM, PDT

J.K. Rowling's magic is headed to TV. HBO and the BBC have teamed up to produce the "Harry Potter" author's first novel aimed at adults, "The Casual Vacancy," as a three-hour miniseries.  Sarah Phelps, a veteran of the BBC who's written "EastEnders" and "Great Expectations," adapted the novel and Jonny Campbell ("In the Flesh") is attached to direct. Rowling will serve as executive producer along with Paul Trijbits ("Saving Mr. Banks"), Rick Senat, and her partner at Bronte Film and Television, Neil Blair. Ruth Kenley-Letts ("The Hour") will produce. Published by Little, Brown Book Group in 2012, "The Casual Vacancy" is a small town political drama set in a suburban town called Pagford. After the death of a parish councillor, an open seat on the council creates turmoil as citizens compete to fill the seat. The novel sets up battles between the rich and poor, old and young, and husbands and wives. »


- Ben Travers

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Color Of Change Demands Bravo’s 'The Real Housewives Of Atlanta' To Clean Up Its Act

23 April 2014 8:39 AM, PDT

O.K. confession time. I’ve never seen a single episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, and have never wanted to either. Call me strange, old fashioned, or out of the loop, or whatever, but I just haven’t had any interest in watching a group of yaki weave wearing black women fight and make fools of themselves on television. Of course, we all know that it’s all staged and scripted, and that the women are encouraged and pushed to act that way, or else they’ll be dumped from the show, which means they won’t be able to stretch their allotted 15 minutes of fame for at least another minute or two. But would the show lose viewers overnight if everyone on it acted like an intelligent, adult person? Well the civil rights group Color of Change.org wants some major changes to the show, since they »


- Sergio

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Cord-Cutter's Delight: HBO Licenses "Girls," "The Sopranos" and More to Amazon Prime

23 April 2014 8:38 AM, PDT

Hard to see this as anything but major: HBO announced this morning that it will be making many of its classic shows, including "The Sopranos," "Six Feet Under" and "The Wire" available for streaming with an Amazon Prime subscription beginning May 21. Newer series like "Girls" and "Veep" will follow on a three-year delay. (Although the press release says the programs will be "exclusive" to Amazon Prime, they will continue to be available through HBO Go.) As is invariably the case, there are some caveats: "Sex and the City" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" are currently licensed to other services, and HBO's most popular show, "Game of Thrones," is notably absent from the deal. But this is still a major shift for the channel, which has generally treated its past shows as blue-chip assets. The most recent season of "Game of Thrones" retails on Blu-ray for nearly $80; "Mad Men's" most recent is two-thirds that. »


- Sam Adams

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Now You Can Watch 'The Sopranos,' 'True Blood' And More HBO Shows on Amazon Prime

23 April 2014 8:05 AM, PDT

While HBO Go may still be suffering some technical glitches when it comes to timed mass viewings, Amazon is looking to take over streaming for the premium cable giant -- at least for older shows. Amazon and HBO have signed a multi-year deal to bring the network's programming to Amazon Prime members. Select shows will be made available on Prime Instant Video after approximately three years post-airing on HBO with the first wave of content hitting Prime Instant Video on May 21st.  Certain hits, however, are not part of the pact. According to a report in Variety, "Game of Thrones" will "never be coming to Amazon Prime Instant Video" under the agreement. Other new shows that won't be made available outside of HBO's platforms include "True Detective" and "Silicon Valley" because new and future HBO shows are excluded from the deal. The press release states, "Previous seasons of other HBO shows, »


- Ben Travers

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Crosspost: The Time of Her Life

23 April 2014 8:00 AM, PDT

Crossposted with permission from DGA Quarterly. Lee Shallat Chemel was recently directing an episode of the critically acclaimed single-camera comedy The Middle when it suddenly dawned on her how she could squeeze more laughs from a sight gag. It involved a chain of books falling like dominos, culminating with a copy of Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea dropping into a character's waiting hands. The setup was designed to be filmed with a wide shot, but Chemel realized that the bit with the actor at the end should be a surprise. "I wanted it to be tighter," she says about her decision to have the camera pan along the row of cascading books and end with a reveal of the actor. "That way it will have more punch." When Chemel opts to rethink a shot, it's a decision with more than 30 years of experience as a director behind it. »


- Margy Rochlin

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Watch: John Malkovich Takes to the High Seas of TV in the First Trailer for NBC's Pirate Series 'Crossbones'

23 April 2014 7:24 AM, PDT

Despite maintaining his white goatee, the two-time Oscar nominee John Malkovich stars in the upcoming NBC series "Crossbones" as Blackbeard, the notorious pirate king who appears to be in command of his own island in the summer show's first trailer.  The two-and-a-half minute preview features more memorable moments than should be included in a first look -- it's rather overwhelming -- but Malkovich remains the standout. Starting the trailer with a bit of narration about the nature of God and closing it with a confidant toast to his frenemy, Malkovich doesn't appear to be chewing as much scenery as one might expect for an NBC summer series about pirates. His accent is most definitely his own, just with a twist of joyful malice, and he's moving with more pep in his step than his summer 2013 action comedy "Red 2." It's foolish to speculate much further regarding the merits of his performance, »


- Ben Travers

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'Robot Chicken' Creators Talk 'Star Wars,' Quentin Tarantino, and 'Big Trouble in Little China' at Hollywood Screening

23 April 2014 7:18 AM, PDT

When asked to choose a film as part of the Modern School of Film's Film Masters screening and discussion series, "Robot Chicken" co-creator Matthew Senreich didn't take long to choose. "I think I walked into Eric's [Towner] office, and I was like, 'We gotta pick a movie. How about "Big Trouble in Little China?"' And he threw out the other two, and I was like, 'Let's go with "Big Trouble in Little China."' The "other two" to which Senreich was referring were "The Last Starfighter" and "The NeverEnding Story," but those were quickly dismissed in favor of the 1986 fantasy action flick starring Kurt Russell. After screening to a nearly packed house at the Arclight Theater in Hollywood, CA, Senreich, writer Zeb Wells, co-founder of Stoopid Buddy Studios Eric Towner, and co-head writer Doug Goldstein took part in a lengthy question and answer session regarding the film they just watched »


- Ben Travers

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