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15 articles


Viola Davis Is Developing a Harriet Tubman Biopic for HBO (She Will Star & Produce)

10 hours ago

This is actually an idea that has been discussed on this blog previously, and it's now officially becoming a reality. HBO has added a Harriet Tubman biopic to its upcoming slate, which Viola Davis is attached to star in. It's not to be confused with Wgn America's scripted series that will center on stories of the fabled Underground Railroad, or the Tubman project Russell Simmons said he was developing in 2013 (no word on whether he still is). The Viola Davis/HBO project will be based on the book, "Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman: Portrait of an American Hero," by historian Kate Clifford Larson, which was published in 2004, and draws from new documents and sources as well extensive genealogical research, to paint a portrait of a complex woman, passionate in her pursuit of freedom, from her birth in Maryland, to winning her own freedom, then returning repeatedly to free family and friends, »


- Tambay A. Obenson

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Did Pete Campbell Murder Robb Stark? An Unexpected 'Game of Thrones'/'Mad Men' Crossover

11 hours ago

Read More: Review: 'Mad Men' Season 7 Episode 11 'Time & Life' Introduces the End [Spoilers for the "Mad Men" episode "Time & Life," as well as the "Game of Thrones" Season 4 episode, "Red Wedding," below.] Viewers of last night's "Mad Men" got to witness a pretty kick-ass Peggy speech as well as some monumental shifts for the business of Sterling Cooper & Partners. It also was blessed by this moment (GIFed by TheBigLead.com):  What inspired that punch, though? An obscure bit of history that had a seismic impact on another of your favorite shows.  Starting with the specific beef of "Time & Life": The headmaster of Greenwich County Day — an exclusive private school that the Campbells want little Tammy to attend — is a MacDonald, which might sound like just a generic Scottish name... to anyone unfamiliar with the Massacre of Glencoe.   For history buffs, the 1692 Massacre...

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- Liz Shannon Miller

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Review: How Netflix's 'Chef's Table' Reinvents the Cooking Show

15 hours ago

Unless you're a veritable foodie, cooking shows can be a bore. Shows like "Chopped" and "Top Chef" try to reproduce the adrenaline-filled experience of the kitchen with contests, deadlines and absurd challenges ("Make a dessert using whelk snails and lemon bars in the next hour, and win against these five contestants!"). But the thrill is short-lived, and these reality show tropes grow tiresome as the act of cooking becomes just another component of a game show. On the other side of the spectrum is the dry process-oriented cooking show in which cooking becomes a skill learned by rote, effectively stripping the act of its personality and inventive spirit. Modern cooking shows too often eclipse the essence of being a chef. Not "Chef's Table." David Gelb, director of the critically-acclaimed "Jiro Dreams of Sushi," has committed to entering the mind of the chef with this six-part Netflix original series. Each episode focuses on a. »


- Emily Buder

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Review: 'Grace and Frankie' Isn't What You Think It Is, and That Could Be A Great Thing

15 hours ago

Read More: Indiewire's 17 Most Anticipated New TV Shows of 2015 "Grace and Frankie" is a post-apocalyptic drama — for its title characters, at least. The first scene of the series sets up the premise with the blunt force of a nuclear explosion: Two women pushing 70 learn their husbands have been in a homosexual relationship for 20 years and are filing for divorce so that they can marry each other — "because we can do that now," Robert (Martin Sheen) blurts out.  Everything that follows happens in the fallout of that revelation, which proves understandably devastating to both Grace (Jane Fonda) and Frankie (Lily Tomlin) and leads to them co-habitating in the wreckage of their lives. Created by Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris, who boast easily hundreds of episodes of multi-camera experience between them, "Grace and Frankie" occasionally sinks into dialogue written with a pacing that anticipates the laughter of a studio audience. But. »


- Liz Shannon Miller

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'Mad Men's 'Time & Life': Don Pitches Again, and the Results Aren't Pretty — A Screencap Review

15 hours ago

It's been a long time since we've seen Don Draper pitch on "Mad Men." Since handing the reins to Peggy Olson on Burger Chef in "Waterloo," Don hasn't stood up in front of a client and worked his magic once (at least onscreen — he's presumably holding onto his job somehow). In "Time & Life," he gives the old pitching muscles a workout, and he falls flat on his face. To be fair, he's stuck with a bum product: Sterling Cooper West, a last-ditch attempt to prevent McCann Erickson, who now own Sterling Cooper & Partners, from swallowing them whole. Why not let the gang move out to California, into the office space vacated by Lou Avery, who's off to make a "Scout's Honor" cartoon in Japan, and thus avoid losing $18 million in billings to clients they'd have to drop because of conflicts with McCann? (It could have been a lot more, but »


- Sam Adams

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Jenny Slate and 'Obvious Child' Director Making Female-Focused Road Trip Comedy for FX

16 hours ago

Read More: Watch: Gillian Robespierre & Jenny Slate on Making 'The Best Friend' the Lead in 'Obvious Child' Fans of the witty, hilarious, and heartwarming "Obvious Child" now have something to look forward to on TV. FX announced a new road trip comedy project today from "Obvious Child" director and co-writer Gillian Robespierre, co-writer and producer Elizabeth Holm and star Jenny Slate in their first project together since the film, which won the Red Crown Producer's award at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Co-written by Robespierre and Holm and directed by Robespierre, the pilot will star Slate and Ari Graynor ("The Sopranos," "Fringe," "Bad Teacher") as two New Yorkers who decide to go on a cross-country road trip. As the trip continues, the show will follow the ups and downs of Slate and Graynor's friendship, exploring the unique dynamics of the adult female relationship.  FX Productions will produce the pilot, and...

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- Becca Nadler

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'Mad Men' to Go Out in Style at Special Los Angeles Tribute

16 hours ago

It really is the end of an era. AMC and Film Independent will toast the conclusion of ¨Mad Men¨ with a special live read of the season one finale, ¨The Wheel,¨ on Sunday, May 17 at the Theatre at the Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. Directed by Jason Reitman and hosted by Film Independent, the live read will be followed by a screening of the series finale, titled ¨Person to Person,¨ with guests set to appear including Matthew Weiner, Jon Hamm, January Jones, Elisabeth Moss, John Slattery and Kiernan Shipka. The event falls on the same night the series finale, which we´re all dreading just three weeks away, airs on AMC. No word yet on who Reitman will cast in the roles. If you don´t recall ¨The Wheel,¨ it´s that iconic episode where Don movingly presents his pitch for the Kodak film carousel, and where he realizes »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Watch Queen Latifah & Mo'Nique "Preach the Blues" is 4 Clips from 'Bessie'

16 hours ago

Queen Latifah stars as legendary blues singer Bessie Smith in the HBO Films drama "Bessie," which is directed by Dee Rees, from a screenplay penned by Rees, Christopher Cleveland & Bettina Gilois.  With a story by Rees and Horton Foote, the film focuses on Smith's transformation from a struggling young singer into "The Empress of the Blues," one of the most successful recording artists of the 1920s. The premium cabler has announced will debut this spring, Saturday, May 16 at 8Pm. . "Bessie" is executive produced by Queen Latifah, Shakim Compere, Lili Fini Zanuck, Richard D. Zanuck, Shelby Stone and Randi Michel. Ron Schmidt produces. The cast includes Michael Kenneth Williams as Bessie's husband, Jack; Khandi Alexander as Bessie's older sister, Viola; Mike Epps as Richard, a bootlegger and romantic interest; Tika Sumpter as Lucille, a performer and romantic interest; Tory Kittles as Bessie's older brother, Clarence; Oliver Platt as famed. »


- Tambay A. Obenson

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Watch: First Trailer For Mini-Series Adaptation Of The Best Selling Fantasy Epic 'Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell'

17 hours ago

It's a bit hard to summarize to Sussanna Clarke's dense, funny and magical epic "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell," It's about the battle between two magicians, but it's also a romance that dabbles in alternate history and in which both Napoleon and fairies can co-exist, all told in "old tyme" language. Thus, the prospect of a movie adaptation of the nearly 800-page book (teeming with footnotes) seemed foolhardy. But since we're in the golden age of television, a seven-part miniseries seems like the right approach, and the first trailer for BBC's big undertaking is here.  Eddie Marsan and Bertie Carvel take on the lead roles of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell respectively, with Alice Englert, Marc Warren, Samuel West, and Charlotte Riley in supporting roles in what looks like a very spirited adaptation of the novel. I'm definitely looking forward to see if can capture the um, magic, of Clarke's excellent book. »


- Kevin Jagernauth

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Pray for the "Third Coming" in Poster for 'Orange Is the New Black' Season 3

17 hours ago

Your favorite Litchfield Penitentiary inmates are coming back in June, for a 3rd season of 'Orange Is the New Black." And if you haven't already heard, a 4th season has been greenlit, as was announced this morning. A trailer for the highly-anticipated upcoming new season of the critical and commercial dramedy series surfaced last week, which I shared on this blog. And from the looks of it, the gang’s all back for the upcoming season, with a few new faces joining them in the drama, which premieres on Netflix on June 12. Today, a first clip from the season has been released, and is embedded below. "Orange Is the New Black" is created by Jenji Kohan, and was first released on Netflix on July 11, 2013. The series, produced by Tilted Productions in association with Lionsgate Television, is based on Piper Kerman's memoir, "Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison, »


- Tambay A. Obenson

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Here Is Wolf Blitzer Not Laughing at the White House Correspondents' Dinner

20 hours ago

Every year, the Washington press corps gets gussied up in their finest finery, ropes in a few unsuspecting celebrities and invites a comedian to perform for a large group of people with no sense of humor. The annual White House Correspondents' Dinner, known with faux self-deprecation as the "Nerd Prom," took place on Saturday, with "Saturday Night Live" cast member and former "Weekend Update" co-anchor doing the let's-just-call-them honors. Strong, with the help of a group of writers from "SNL," "The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon" and "Late Night With Seth Meyers," got off a few zingers, namely telling President Obama his hair is now "so white it can talk back to the police" and identifying the Secret Service as "the only law enforcement agency that will get in trouble if a black man gets shot." (Incidentally, while the Washington press corps was hobnobbing with the people they cover, real news was. »


- Sam Adams

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Review: 'Mad Men' Season 7 Episode 11 'Time & Life' Introduces the End

26 April 2015 9:18 PM, PDT

Last Week's Review: 'Mad Men' Season 7 Episode 10 'The Forecast' Gets Literal Immediate Reaction:"This is the beginning of something, not the end." So pleads Don Draper to a company full of people who know better, as well as an audience even more aware of the impending ending of "Mad Men." Don may have needed a change or a new business deal to keep himself on the ups, but everyone else has other priorities — like keeping their jobs. The five partners, repeatedly isolated in the episode's array of closing shots (think their final toast, their final, failed pitch meeting and then their final company address), may have had nothing to lose other than autonomy in the McCann arrangement, but their underlings — underlings Don pretended to identify with when telling Roger he could have been his chauffeur in another life — have to worry about their very livelihood. "Time & Life" deconstructed the caper »

- Ben Travers

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Review: 'Veep' Season 4 Episode 3, 'Data,' Cans a White House Staffer

26 April 2015 7:30 PM, PDT

Last Week's Review: 'Veep' Season 4 Episode 2, 'East Wing,' Starts a Guessing Game Immediate Reaction: Not Dan! Not again! I mean, anyone getting the axe is better than Ben going down, but to see Dan put out of commission once more (last year he was put on leave after blowing up about abortion) was hard to watch. Of course, it would be hard to watch anyone be bested by Jonad of all idiots, but at least we know Dan has the lack of morals to get a new job no matter what. Plus, with the cyclical nature of politics, I bet he's back in Selina's camp by the end of the year (even if Selina's out of the White House, as the Onion so hilariously predicted).  Politically-Correct Reaction:"Data" built from nothing to a category five hurricane faster than Ben can run in heels. What started as an innocent, PR-building »


- Ben Travers

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Review: 'Game of Thrones' Season 5 Episode 3, 'The High Sparrow,' Brings Gods and Monsters

26 April 2015 7:00 PM, PDT

Previously: Review: 'Game of Thrones' Season 5 Episode 2 ' The House of Black and White': Dorne and Dragons! Post-Game AnalysisIn a world with a multitude of religions, it's a bit surprising that the wars in Westeros have been fought more over land and title than any particular god. In our world, religion has been the cause of strife and war for millennia, but only now does it seem like faith is going to be an actual factor in the on-goings of "Game of Thrones," rather than simply an interesting detail that George R.R. Martin included to create this world. Sure, we’ve been privy to intricate details of The Faith of the Seven, the Old Gods with their Heart Trees of the North and the Lord of Light, R'hollor. But, until now, those were never more than traditions. Did we as viewers ever really believe that Melisandre's spells were actually working in this reality? »


- Casey Cipriani

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Recap: 'Game of Thrones' Season 5, Episode 3 Introduces Us To 'The High Sparrow'

26 April 2015 7:00 PM, PDT

It’s always interesting to note what the episode titles are of each episode of “Game of Thrones,” because they tip us to what's important, but sometimes they aren't entirely obvious. This week’s episode, titled “The High Sparrow” hints that we should pay attention to this particular character introduction, in an episode that is jam-packed with plot: a wedding that you barely remember by the end, underage sex, a proposal accepted, a beheading, and a kidnapping. So, this High Sparrow, though we might overlook him initially, is going to be someone to keep an eye on. Braavos We open on a series of close ups on terrifying statues and gargoyles, and there’s only one place we can be: The House of Black and White. Arya (Maisie Williams) is attempting to sweep the floor with decorative Halloween broom, while her Murder Friend, Jaqen H’ghar (Tom Wlaschiha) feeds a »


- Katie Walsh

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15 articles



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