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Outfest: Jill Soloway and Freeform Will Be Honored With Legacy Awards

15 hours ago

Jill Soloway just won her second Emmy for directing “Transparent,” and now the writer/director and cable network Freeform will be honored at Outfest’s 2016 Legacy Awards. The event will take place on Sunday, October 23 at the performing arts venue Vibiana in downtown Los Angeles.

Jill Soloway has elevated the current transgender conversation like no one else and presents another facet of the Lgbt family with dignity, honesty, and humor,” stated Christopher Racster, Executive Director of Outfest. “There is no other network in the current landscape that is doing more to represent the current attitudes and philosophies of younger viewing audiences than Freeform. Their programming reflects that the path forward for so many young people today is not straight but one full of choices and options and recognizing that gives us all more equality and understanding.”

Read More: ‘Transparent’ Creator Jill Soloway Teams Up With Amazon To Release Musical Comedy »


- Liz Calvario

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‘Tracey Ullman’s Show’ Trailer Sends Up Maggie Smith, Judi Dench and More

16 hours ago

Tracey Ullman is back on television with a hilarious new sketch series “Tracey Ullman’s Show.” The first trailer for the comedy, set to debut next month on HBO, has been released and features the comedian impersonating Maggie Smith, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Judi Dench keying a car and slashing the tires right in front of the owner.

The six-episode series will show Ullman portraying a wide array of everyday people and famous faces, as well as look at modern life on the British side of the pond. The first season aired earlier this year in the U.K. and has already been renewed for a second season.

Read More: ‘Insecure’: First Episode of Issa Rae’s HBO Comedy is Available To Stream

In 1987 Ullman starred in her own comedy sketches series “The Tracey Ullman Show” on Fox. She then worked with HBO from 1996 to 1999 on her show “Tracey Takes On… »


- Liz Calvario

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‘Pitch’: A Plea On Behalf Of Baseball-Loving Women

19 hours ago

Hey Dan Fogelman,

I know we don’t know each other, but recently you’ve become an important part of my life. Actually, you’ve become an important part of many women and girls’ lives. You probably have some sense of this given all the publicity your new show, “Pitch,” has received these past few months, but I’ll bet it hasn’t quite hit you… yet.

Read More: ‘This Is Us’ Creator Dan Fogelman on Surprise Reveals and Emotional Drama in Cynical Times

In ball terms, let’s say it’s the ninth inning. Team W is down by three and you’re up to bat with the bases loaded. Two outs, naturally. Our weakest hitter (we’ll call her Every Sitcom Wife Ever) is up next so you’ve really got to get this done, Dan. A single, double or triple won’t do. We need you to »


- Amber Dowling

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‘SNL’s’ Latina Cast Member Controversy: Melissa Villaseñor Deleted Racist Tweets

20 hours ago

Saturday Night Live’s” first Latina cast member, Melissa Villaseñor, stirred up controversy for deleting almost 2,000 tweets, which include some that many critics are calling racist. Writer Aura Bogado first noticed the removal of many tweets in less than a week and called the situation “odd.”

I'm excited about the first latina on SNL but not gonna lie: deleting 2K tweets in 5 days is… odd. pic.twitter.com/p7D5Alm6qE

— Aura Bogado (@aurabogado) September 17, 2016

Read More: Taran Killam & Jay Pharoah Leave ‘Saturday Night Live’ After 6 Seasons

Upon doing more research, she and various other users, including writer April Reign, also noticed that many of Villaseñor’s since-deleted tweets targeted people of color and included racist statements. It appears that Villaseñor had set her account to private before the announcement of her joining “SNL,” which gave her time to remove her tweets from her account.  Despite this action, diligent »


- Indiewire Staff

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‘The Exorcist’ Review: Fox Hopes One Big Twist Will Compel You to Return in Slow-Burn Premiere (Spoilers)

23 September 2016 7:00 PM, PDT

Adapting “The Exorcist” for television is a challenging prospect. Doing it for broadcast television, with its strict FCC rules on language and slightly softer guidelines on violence, seems damn near impossible.

With that in mind, creator Jeremy Slater’s Fox pilot seems to have done a lot right: stringing out the tension over the course of an hour, limiting the jump scares to a minimum and avoiding overloading the audience with gross-out gags akin to the green vomit made famous by the film. The premiere even works to establish characters before turning them into head-spinning demons — in fact, it even implies there won’t be any head-spinning at all.

Though the first hour dutifully pays homage to the scariest movie of all time — especially in its studiously lit opening moments — and even branches out with key changes meant to elongate the story, the pilot fails to pay off in one »


- Ben Travers

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Mark Cuban on How Donald Trump is Like the Marlboro Man: ‘He is Going to Kill You’

23 September 2016 6:59 PM, PDT

Mark Cuban has come up with a new analogy for Donald Trump: He’s a lot like the old cigarette advertising icon the Marlboro Man.

Donald Trump’s branding is like how they branded cigarettes in the ’60s,” he told IndieWire on Friday. “You can put the Marlboro Man [out there] and make him look like there’s something positive [to smoking] – even though when you buy their product, you are going to die and there’s a good chance he is going to kill you.”

How is that like Trump? “He talks like he’s going to bring change, but what he’s doing is feeding you cigarettes – and you just don’t know you’re going to die yet… People keep on smoking without realizing that he’s giving us lung cancer.”

Cuban met with reporters Friday, along with the other stars of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” to promote the hit »


- Michael Schneider

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‘The Larry Sanders Show’: Want to Understand Its Genius? Start With David Duchovny

23 September 2016 2:25 PM, PDT

Today marks a very happy occasion for television fans, one we’ve been clamoring for for some time — HBO has made the complete 1992-1998 run of “The Larry Sanders Show” available for streaming on HBO Go and HBO Now.

Starring Garry Shandling, Jeffrey Tambor and Rip Torn, the ensemble cast also included Jeremy Piven, Janeane Garofalo, Penny Johnson Jerald, Scott Thompson and Bob Odenkirk over the course of its six seasons. The groundbreaking comedy was notable for no shortage of reasons, from spotlighting future creators like Paul Simms and Judd Apatow and establishing HBO as a home for quality comedy to influencing countless other comedies in the same vein.

Since Shandling’s death earlier this year, people have been wanting to revisit the series in all its 1990s glory. In particular, the way “Larry Sanders” handled celebrity was one of its most memorable threads — the show allowed famous folk of »


- Liz Shannon Miller

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‘Stranger Things’ and ‘Buffy’ Mashup: Eleven Slays In Fan-Made Video

23 September 2016 1:58 PM, PDT

By now Eleven is on her way to becoming a TV pop culture icon, much like the beloved 90’s character Buffy Summers. A brilliant fan-made “Stranger Things” and “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” mashup video, created by YouTube user Tony Harley, envisions Millie Bobby Brown as the slayer and defender of fictional town Hawkins in a “Buffy”-style credits sequence – and it’s as if these two hit series were meant to be!

Since its debut, the Duffer Brother’s Netflix series became an instant sensation, garnering a strong following among viewers of all ages. Well on its way to leave a mark in TV history, the show has been praised for its homage to the ‘80s, as well as for its talented cast.

Buffy,” starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, has cemented itself in pop culture thanks to its strong female lead and compelling storylines. Now a cult classic, it’s been »


- Liz Calvario

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Frank Darabont Reveals When He Learned to Enjoy Filmmaking In ‘The Director’s Chair’ — Watch

23 September 2016 12:24 PM, PDT

Writer, director and producer Frank Darabont, the man who brought you “The Shawshank Redemption” and “The Green Mile,” as well as also the aggressively popular AMC show “The Walking Dead,” sits down with famed writer and director Robert Rodiguez on a new episode of “The Director’s Chair.” The two-hour special will premiere on the El Rey Network Sunday, Sept. 25 at 8pm Et.

Read More: Watch: Full 50-Minute Episode Of ‘The Director’s Chair’ With Robert Rodriguez And Sylvester Stallone

In this episode, Darabont talks about the joy of filmmaking, his 30-year career and the long road to job satisfaction. The special will also include Jon Favreau, as he discuss his journey from comedian to actor to blockbuster filmmaker. Favreau is well-known for acting in and producing the “Iron Man” trilogy, along with his 2014 comedic drama “Chef.”

Created by Rodriquez, “The Director’s Chair,” is a series of specials featuring »


- Alec McPike

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‘Transparent’ Review: Season 3 is Rewardingly Lost in Transition

23 September 2016 12:14 PM, PDT

After you’ve done the impossible, what’s next?

The question functions as a central thesis for “Transparent” Season 3, as Maura Pfefferman — who came out to her family in Season 1 and fell in love during Season 2 — wonders why she’s still unhappy despite having “everything.” This kind of morose existentialism has been a marker of outstanding television of late (“The Leftovers,” “BoJack Horseman” and Jay Duplass’ “Togetherness,” to name a few), but perhaps the more interesting aspect of the question itself derives from why Jill Soloway is asking it here and now.

Transparent” Season 2 was a creative barnburner — alive with intensity from scene to scene as Soloway not only made crucial adjustments to the character dynamics established in Season 1, but introduced a time-jumping theme that built to a sensational crescendo of emotions. It was, in reductive terms, the best it could possible be.

So, what’s next?

While it’s »


- Ben Travers

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‘Insecure’: First Episode of Issa Rae’s HBO Comedy is Available To Stream

23 September 2016 12:10 PM, PDT

For those who have been waiting patiently for Issa Rae’s new comedy “Insecure,” the wait it over! Starting today, viewers can stream the comedy’s pilot, “Insecure as F**k,” exclusively on HBO Now, HBO Go and HBO On Demand ahead of its television debut, Sunday, Oct. 9 on HBO. The news was announced via Issa in a new video shared by the network. Check it out below.  

The eight-episode first season, co-created by Rae and Larry Wilmore, will explore the black female experience in an unclichéd and authentic way. “Insecure” follows Issa and Molly (Yvonne Orji), two modern-day black women and best friends who deal with their own real-life flaws, while navigating different worlds and uncomfortable everyday experiences.

Read More: ‘Insecure’ Teaser: Issa Rae Is Torn Between Two Lovers In New HBO Comedy

The first episode centers on Issa reconsidering her relationship with her boyfriend and trying to reconnect with her ex, »


- Liz Calvario

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‘Stranger Things’: Steve and Jean-Ralphio from ‘Parks’ Meet to Reveal True Relationship — Watch

23 September 2016 9:08 AM, PDT

As “Stranger Things” has taken over the cultural marketplace with its 80s genre homages, feisty young heroes, and supernatural mysteries, a fan theory has taken hold over the Internet. Many have noticed the physical similarities between Steve Harrington (played by Joe Keery), the primary love interest for Nancy (Natalia Dyer) in “Stranger Things,” and the “Parks and Recreation” character Jean-Ralphio (Ben Schwartz). The theory goes that Steve Harrington is Jean-Ralphio’s father given the timelines of the respective series.

Read More: Review: ‘Stranger Things’ is Still Waiting for Something New, To Make It Feel Alive

Last night on “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” Keery and Schwartz sat down with “Entertainment Tonight’s” Nischelle Turner to discuss the theory at length. Though both came dressed in the same clothes and were making similar gestures, they were initially quite skeptical about the theory. Yet, as soon as Turner posed a »


- Vikram Murthi

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NYC Web Fest Announces Selections and Venue for Third Year (Exclusive List)

23 September 2016 8:39 AM, PDT

The 3rd Annual NYC Web Fest (Nycwf) announced its official selections today – a wide variety of web series that span the globe. The Pit Loft on West 29th Street will host the three-day festival. Of the 96 series highlighted, nearly half are from the tri-state area, with an impressive international showing as well.

Now in its third year, Nycwf is following a very successful second edition. 2015 highlights included the world premiere of “The Mentors” starring Lewis Black, the festival premieres of Colin Quinn’s “Cop Show,” and Refinery 29’s “The Queens of Kings.” This year features shows with appearances by comedians Judy Gold and Sherrod Small, as well as “The Blacklist” actress Erika Robel.

Read More: Comedy Web Series ‘Poly’ Follows a Misunderstood Trio’s Adventures in Suburbia

The NYC Web Fest brings together a multifaceted diverse group of people from around the world to showcase the best of the web. »


- Jude Dry

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How ‘Easy’ Creator Joe Swanberg Talked Himself Into Making TV for Netflix

23 September 2016 7:08 AM, PDT

The new anthology series “Easy,” which launched this week on Netflix, technically doesn’t represent too big a change of pace for indie director Joe Swanberg — the eight episodes are all very reminiscent of his established brand of character and relationship-focused storytelling, largely driven by improv.

Read More: ‘Easy’ Review: Grading Every Episode of Joe Swanberg’s Profound New Netflix Series

Yet, at the same time, the show provided him a whole new set of challenges, as Swanberg took the opportunity to depict a range of narratives set in Chicago. Don’t call it a “portrait” of the city just yet, though — Swanberg wants at least 15 more seasons before he’s comfortable with saying that.

With the first season, he was excited to bring in new actors, work with some familiar favorites and even direct an entire episode largely in Spanish. Below, Swanberg walks IndieWire through the process behind creating »


- Liz Shannon Miller

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Jill Soloway On Why She Addresses Race Head On In ‘Transparent’ Season 3

23 September 2016 6:00 AM, PDT

When Jill Soloway casually dropped “topple the patriarchy” into her Emmys acceptance speech (twice), it was not the first time the writer/producer/director made her story.

Since “Transparent” debuted in 2014, Soloway put Amazon on the map as a television producer, created the first streaming show to win a Golden Globe for best series, and re-defined on-set culture by setting rules prioritizing emotional communication over throwing someone under the bus.

Read More: Emmys Winners and Losers: ‘Game of Thrones’ Broke Records & Amazon is On Fire, But What About ‘Fargo’?

And as Soloway grows, so do the Pfeffermans, the fictional Jewish family whose smothering, bickering, nit-picking love is the emotional heart of “Transparent.” In its third season, which debuts this Friday, “Transparent” comes out swinging with controversial storylines that seem intent on addressing criticism Soloway received for casting few people of color.

Neither overly defensive nor entirely ingratiating, Soloway throws Maura »


- Jude Dry

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‘Pitch’ Review: The First Female Professional Baseball Player Is Nearly Undone By Her Emotions

22 September 2016 7:00 PM, PDT

We are approaching a milestone in America: Hillary Clinton is on pace to become the first female President of the United States. It’s a landmark achievement thats weight has somehow been trumped by our need to avoid the end of the world (pun intended), but the far-reaching impact of a woman holding our nation’s highest office will be felt long beyond the lives of anyone reading these words. Not only is it historic — it’s significant.

Now, comparing that achievement with America’s first female professional baseball player may seem like a stretch. Even more so considering this ballplayer only exists on television, within the fictional world of “Pitch” created by Dan Fogelman and Rick Singer. Yet the connection is made within the series itself, as one of the first images we see is a vase of flowers delivered to freshly called-up San Diego Padres pitcher Ginny Baker (Kylie Bunbury, »


- Ben Travers

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Ted Danson, Kristen Bell, Mike Schur and Drew Goddard on Creating ‘The Good Place’ – IndieWire’s Turn It On Podcast

22 September 2016 5:55 PM, PDT

Last Week’S Episode: ‘This Is Us’ Creator Dan Fogelman on Surprise Reveals and Emotional Drama in Cynical Times

NBC’s “The Good Place” is in a good place.

The freshman sitcom premiered on Monday to solid ratings, attracting the best ratings for a new Peacock comedy since 2012, and has now settled into its regular Thursday night timeslot.

Earlier this summer, we moderated the San Diego Comic-Con panel for the show, which featured a lively discussion with stars Ted Danson and Kristen Bell, as well as creator Mike Schur and director Drew Goddard. Listen to that interview below, as part of this week’s episode of IndieWire’s tune-in TV podcast, “Turn It On.”

Also in the Sept. 22, 2016 episode: A roundup of the week’s premieres; IndieWire senior editor Hanh Nguyen’s thoughts on why “Game of Thrones'” new Emmy record may hold; and IndieWire TV critic Ben Travers »


- Michael Schneider

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‘American Horror Story’ Creators Say Prepare for a Major Shock in Season 6

22 September 2016 5:06 PM, PDT

The new season of “American Horror Story: Roanoke” was mysterious even before its premiere due to a heavy marketing campaign that showed much, but gave very little. Now, according to an EW exclusive, Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk assure us that the new theme isn’t their only secret.

“You’ll see starting in episode 6, the show has a huge turn and the thing that you think you’re watching is not what you’re watching,” said Murphy to EW news.

Read More: ‘American Horror Story: My Roanoke Nightmare’ Review: Season 6 Gets Off To a Spooky Good Start

Murphy and Falchuk both go on to to state that the twists separate the episodes from themselves, redirecting the story with each new surprise. This tactic of redirection began at first with the FX marketing campaign. Fans frantically tried to decipher the images and tie them in to the previous episodes in the anthology, »


- Zipporah Smith

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‘The Simpsons’ Premiere Couch Gag: Watch the ‘Adventure Time’-Inspired Opening

22 September 2016 2:33 PM, PDT

The Simpsons” has one of the most memorable opening sequences on television, and the famous “couch gag” bits have grown in complexity since the initial days, when Bart was simply squeezed off the couch like an exploding bottle cap. Now, for the all-new Season 28 premiere of “The Simpsons,” the entire opening sequence is a gag mirroring the renowned younger series “Adventure Time”.

Read More: Must-watch: Eric Goldberg’s Disney-inspired “Simpsons” Couch Gag

Adventure Time”, much like the imaginary middle-class world of Springfield, has a memorable world of its own, and its opening sequence roams through the mythical Land of Ooo from the radioactive leftovers of the Bad Lands to Finn’s tree fort in the Grass Lands. In the new couch gag for premiere episode “Monty Burns’ Fleeing Circus,” the Simpsons explore their version of the radioactive Bad Lands filled with barrels of toxic waste, multi-eyed squirrels and poor Ralph hanging from a tire swing. »


- Zipporah Smith

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Hulu and HuffPost Ryot Announce First-Ever Virtual Reality Comedy Series and World News Show

22 September 2016 2:33 PM, PDT

HuffPost Ryot today announced the launch of the first virtual reality comedy series, “Virtually Mike & Nora,” and the first virtual reality world news show, “The Big Picture: News in Virtual Reality,” both to premiere this fall on the Hulu Vr app.

Read More: Why the Future of Virtual Reality Isn’t Movies or Video Games

“Virtually Mike & Nora” is a sketch comedy series co-created, written and directed by Nora Kirkpatrick (“The Office”) and Mike O’Brien (“SNL”). “The Big Picture” will be hosted by Oscar-nominated filmmaker and HuffPost Ryot co-founder Bryn Mooser, and will feature HuffPost Ryot journalists exploring the key issues to create an immersive way to experience the news.  The inaugural season of “Virtually Mike and Nora” will have five episodes & “The Big Picture: News in Virtual Reality” will premiere as a 10-part show.

“We’re so excited to partner with Hulu on the first-ever global news show »


- Vikram Murthi

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