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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'

17 hours ago

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

19 hours ago

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

20 hours ago

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

21 hours ago

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

21 hours ago

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

21 hours ago

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

21 hours ago

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'

22 hours ago

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

22 hours ago

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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'Breaking Barriers' Traces History Of People Of Color On American TV (Part Of PBS' 'Pioneers Of Television' 4/29)

22 April 2014 1:51 PM, PDT

In the upcoming 4th season of the Emmy-nominated series, Pioneers Of Television, PBS will explore trailblazing moments of TV history, featuring a lineup that includes an episode titled Breaking Barriers, which airs on Tuesday, April 29, 2014, at 8pm Et, and which will trace the history of people of color on American television, featuring the mid-1960s breakthroughs of African Americans Diahann Carroll (Julia) and Bill Cosby (I Spy), as well as Latino landmarks, ranging from I Love Lucy with Desi Arnaz, to Miami Vice with Edward James Olmos. Also featured are Asian Americans such as George Takei (Star Trek), who details the childhood years he spent in a Japanese-American internment camp. Offering inside stories from some of America’s most beloved television stars, expect new interviews with legendary stars, such as Jimmie WalkerLeslie UggamsRay RomanoBob NewhartRobin Williams, Roseanne...

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- Tambay A. Obenson

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Watch: HBO Perfectly Captures Awkwardness Of Watching Sex Scenes With Your Parents In Series Of HBO Go Ads

22 April 2014 1:22 PM, PDT

There you are, watching "True Detective" when a pair of handcuffs comes out, as you turn in horror and realize your parents are sitting next to you. The room becomes deathly, uncomfortably silent as Woody Harrelson and Alexandra Daddario indulge in their various kinks, while you pray for the scene to end. Yes, watching sex scenes with your parents is hugely awkward, and odds are if you're watching any of the hit HBO shows—"Game Of Thrones" and "Girls" particularly—the risk of nudity, groaning and lots of skin runs pretty high. But the cable network has a solution for you. They've dropped a pretty amusing series of ads about the virtues of using their HBO Go service—no more awkward sex scene encounters with parents. Granted, this is provided the service works and doesn't crash during season premieres/finales as it has a couple of times this year, but that aside, »


- Kevin Jagernauth

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Emmy Hopeful Tatiana Maslany Returns in 'Orphan Black' Season Two (Trailer)

22 April 2014 12:11 PM, PDT

Last year, an awards-season backlash seemed to be developing against the underdog BBC America clone conspiracy drama "Orphan Black," even though the frontlash for this absorbing Canadian production, which kicked off its second season over the weekend, continues to gather steam. Could chameleon Tatiana Maslany pull off an Emmy nod this year when nominees are announced on July 10? (Reviews for the new season thus far are quite strong.) Naysayers have suggested that the elaborately plotted show is too coyly fond of its own contrivances; that it races ahead and leaves its audience in the dust. To one commenter on Deadline, this post-meta playfulness typed the show as “hipsterish” and thus problematic for Emmy voters. Initially, and rightly, a lot of the praise for the show settled on its Critics' Choice and Golden Globe-nominated star, the amazingly versatile Tatiana Maslany, who is instantly engaging as Sarah Manning, a kohl-eyed, British-accented punk. »


- David Chute

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Watch: The Final Episode of 'The It Crowd' is Finally Available in the U.S. Thanks to Hulu

22 April 2014 12:03 PM, PDT

After debuting internationally in 2013, the final episode (and "season") of "The It Crowd" has finally made its way over to the United States thanks to Hulu. The television streaming giant and one of the early internet adopters of original programming has made the 46-minute final episode of Britain's hit sitcom available on Hulu and Hulu Plus beginning today, April 22nd. "The Internet is Coming" is the first, last, and only episode of what can only loosely be called "The It Crowd's" fifth season. After premiering in 2006, the comedy created by Graham Linehan took a few years off in between its third, fourth, and fifth season, but still won the BAFTA award for Best Situaion Comedy in 2009. It stars Chris O'Dowd, Richard Ayoade, and Katherine Parkinson as technical support workers spending their day's as slaves to the man, aka Delightful Industries.  Starring Chris O'Dowd, Richard Ayoade, and Katherine Parkinson, "The It Crowd »


- Ben Travers

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Women & 'Game of Thrones': How 'Breaker of Chains' Broke the Bechdel Test

22 April 2014 8:54 AM, PDT

HBO's massive medieval hit "Game of Thrones" gets plenty of attention for a variety of qualities. Its shocking twists, gruesome deaths, and many battle scenes -- sometimes all arriving at once -- are trademarks. Heck, Indiewire even has a weekly power ranking of who's most likely to die next. In the midst of all this madness are the oft-ignored women who populate the show. From Daenerys Targaryen to Cersei Lannister to Sansa Stark to the countless naked prostitutes, the women of "Game of Thrones" play an integral role in a show that often treats them like pieces of meat. While gender inequality may be an accepted custom of the invented time period -- Daenerys is certainly working to change that -- it isn't for the viewers who watch every week. This column will serve as a recap and analysis of what Daenerys, Cersei, Sansa, and the lesser known ladies go through each week, »


- Ben Travers

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TV: Keke Palmer to Become Youngest-Ever Talk Show Host

22 April 2014 8:46 AM, PDT

Keke Palmer will make talk-show history by becoming television's youngest-ever host.  The 20-year-old star of Akeelah and The Bee and Nickelodeon's True Jackson, VP will headline a daytime show on Bet. Tentatively titled The Keke Palmer Project, it will debut in July, include celebrity interviews and address younger-skewing topics like pop culture, fashion, sex, and social issues.  The very busy Palmer will next be seen a six-episode storyline on Showtime's Masters of Sex and the features AnimalBrotherly Love and Imperial Dreams. [h/t EW]

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- Inkoo Kang

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Aaron Sorkin On Why He Could Never Write An Episode of 'Breaking Bad' and 6 More Highlights from His Tribeca Film Festival Talk

22 April 2014 8:29 AM, PDT

Aaron Sorkin kicked off the Tribeca Film Festival's Tribeca Talks: Future of Film series last night with a conversation with President Obama's former speechwriter Jon Favreau ("the other Jon Favreau") that encompassed his work on films such as "A Few Good Men" and "The Social Network" as well as TV series "The West Wing" and "The Newsroom" and issues of heroism and storytelling. Sorkin came off as surprisingly humble. "I haven't become an expert in anything," he told the audience. "I'm not sophisticated when it comes to politics, when it comes to journalism. I'm not as smart as the characters are - or, as you can see - as articulate." Here are some highlights from the talk: 1. He could never write an episode of "Breaking Bad." "I tend to write very idealistically and very romantically," said Sorkin. "I have a very bad time with bad guys -- almost as soon as I write one, »


- Paula Bernstein

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Watch: Secrets, Fear, Darkness, Dreams & Hunger Emerge In New Trailer For 'Penny Dreadful' Starring Eva Green

21 April 2014 4:00 PM, PDT

Dear cable networks, we know you want to schedule all your hot new shows in the spring because you want to keep them in the brains of Emmy voters, but there are only so many hours in a day, and lord knows we don't have time to pick up on a new series each week. So, good luck to Showtime with putting "Penny Dreadful" on the same night as "Game Of Thrones," "Mad Men, "Turn," "Silicon Valley" and "Veep." Our DVRs are crying. Anyway, a new trailer for the Sam Mendes-produced series is here, and with it providing Eva Green a lead role in something each week, that's pretty much the reason we're (going to attempt) watching this thing. Oh, and the fact that the ambition means if it works it's going to be great and if not... it'll be a mess. Josh Hartnett, Billie Piper, Rory Kinnear and »


- Kevin Jagernauth

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John Turturro Takes James Gandolfini Role In 'Criminal Justice' After Robert De Niro Exits

21 April 2014 3:20 PM, PDT

When James Gandolofini suddenly and sadly passed away last year, a project that was unfortunately left in the lurch was HBO's "Criminal Justice." The show had already been through some development hurdles, with the network originally passing on the project, but later coming back on board when it was retooled as a limited series. And then things looked even better when Robert De Niro signed up to replace Gandolfini in the fall, but it looks like there's another casting switcheroo happening. De Niro has exited the show citing schedule problems, but the always reliable John  Turturro has stepped into the leading role. Penned by Richard Price ("Clockers," "The Wire"), with Steven Zaillian producing and directing the pilot of the seven-hour series, the remake of the BBC show will find Turturro playing an ambulance-chasing New York City attorney who decides to defend a Pakistani man accused of murdering a girl from »


- Kevin Jagernauth

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Watch: There's No One Left In First Teaser Trailer For Final Season Of 'True Blood'

21 April 2014 2:08 PM, PDT

Full disclosure: I used to watch "True Blood," and, at first, it wasn't so bad. It was trash, but knowing trash, and it had some fun with vampire lore, its deep South setting and Alexander Skarsgard alone made it worth tuning in. He bit into the role of the ancient vampire Erik with real relish, and even found some emotional notes too, particularly at the loss of his maker Godric. But as the seasons wore on, the mythology kept expanding and the show went from trash to camp without realizing it and became something of a chore. And then I bailed. But maybe it's time to catch up, with the final season on the way. HBO has dropped the first teaser for season seven and things are feeling a bit "end of times." Thanks to some quick reading, it seems season six ended with Hepatitis-v (#facepalm) running rampant, turning ordinary people into violent vampires, »


- Kevin Jagernauth

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Watch: Boston Bruins Playoff Ad Narrated By The Yellow King From 'True Detective'

21 April 2014 1:09 PM, PDT

As HBO gears up for an Emmy run for "True Detective" — controversially, not submitting the show in the Miniseries categories — here's a new way to get creeped out by The Yellow King. If you live within the vicinity of a NHL playoff team, you likely already know from co-workers and Facebook posts that right now a bunch of dudes on skates are trying to win a giant silver goblet by putting a rubber disc into a piece of mesh stretched between a metal, red frame. And one of those teams is the Boston Bruins, who are currently facing off against the Detroit Red Wings (thanks Google!). To try and drum up some excitement, ad company Arnold Worldwide has put together a couple of TV spots, one of them narrated by Glenn Fleshler aka Errol aka The Yellow King. Time is a flat circle indeed. Granted, he's not using his bizzaro accent from the show, »


- Kevin Jagernauth

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