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Chris Chalk Promoted to Series Regular on Fox's 'Gotham' Playing Lucius Fox

7 hours ago

Another key character from the DC Batman universe, Chris Chalk has been promoted to series regular for season 2 of Fox's "Gotham," playing Lucius Fox - Wayne Enterprises’ resident tech genius as well as a moral beacon for a young Bruce Wayne. Chalk takes on a role that Morgan Freeman played in the Christopher Nolan era of Batman movies, and made his first appearance towards the end of the current the first season, which recently ended, with an option to return in Season 2. And with today's news, he'll be even more involved as he “becomes another person who’s going to help Bruce on his journey to find out what happened to his parents and what his parents were doing, and also his journey to manhood and Batman-hood,” Exec Producer John Stephens told TVLine, adding “[Adult Bruce is] like a science genius, and some of that’s going to come from Lucius Fox,” who, »


- Tambay A. Obenson

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Jeffrey Wright and Jennifer Hudson Join Cast of HBO's Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas Project

8 hours ago

Jennifer Hudson and Jeffrey Wright have joined the cast of HBO's scripted movie based on the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas Supreme Court hearings, titled "Confirmation."  Hudson will play witness Angela Wright, and Wright will be Harvard Law professor Charles Ogletree. Previously-announced Kerry Washington will star, playing Anita Hill, as well as executive produce the telepic, which will be penned by Academy Award nominated writer Susannah Grant ("Erin Brockovich"), and will be produced by Groundswell Productions in association with ABC Signature Studios. And Wendell Pierce will play Clarence Thomas. Rick Famuyiwa, fresh off his hit Sundance movie "Dope," who was previously in contention for the job, has now officially signed on, and will indeed direct the film for HBO. Shooting on "Confirmation" is set to begin this summer. So we've got 2 projects based on infamous 1990's court cases coming to our TV screens...

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- Tambay A. Obenson

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Happy Friday: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler Get 'Weekend Update' Action Figures

8 hours ago

Comedy BFFs Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are having their achievement as the first female co-hosts of "SNL's" Weekend Update segment commemorated with action figures from Entertainment Earth.  The three-inch limited-edition figurines will be sold at San-Diego Comic-Con in July for $29.99, but the toymaker is taking pre-orders now.  Fey and Poehler will next be seen together in the comedy "Sisters" (out December 18). Fey is presumably busy with the second season of "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" (2016), while Poehler will voice Joy in "Inside Out" (June 19) and co-star in the Netflix series "Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp" (July 17). [via Sydney Morning Herald]

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- Inkoo Kang

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HBO Orders Two Seasons of Duplass Brothers' Animated Series 'Animals' Following Sundance Debut

8 hours ago

Behold the power of Sundance. Or the Duplass brothers. Or "Animals" itself. HBO has ordered the Duplass-produced Sundance entry to series with a two-season commitment. Though the network does dabble in animated comedy, it's only released two in the last 15 years — "The Ricky Gervais Show" and "The Life & Times of Tim" — and neither lasted longer than three seasons.  Read More: 'Animals' Creators on Mark Duplass and If Film Fests are the Future of Indie TV "Animals" premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this past January, generating good word-of-mouth from a screening of two episodes and Q&A immediately after. Matarese and Luciano's half-hour comedy features different animals living in New York City, personifies their problems and presents each with a stark, grey color palette with voices from an exceptional cast. Mark Duplass — who executive produces the series with his brother Jay, both of whom created the HBO...

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- Ben Travers

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Taraji P. Henson Shares Premiere Date for 'Empire' Season 2 (18 Episode Order Split Into 2)

9 hours ago

Hello! September 23 #Empire season ✌��️������ https://t.co/NWr7SmWk8a — Taraji P. Henson (@TherealTaraji) May 29, 2015 A tweet from co-star of the show - and a key reason for its popularity - Taraji P. Henson, posted to Twitter this morning, after a fan asked. Just a couple of weeks ago, Fox executives revealed that season 2 of "Empire" will unfold over 18 episodes (the first season had 12), split into 2 halves, premiering in the fall (instead of as a mid-season replacement, which was the case during its first season), with the second half in the winter of 2016. Also revealed, in an effort to maintain fan engagement until the fall, the cast of the hit series will be doing concerts this summer, in addition to other promotional efforts that kick off in June. Fox says fans should expect even more "big-time" guest stars for next season, although they didn't offer any specific names. And finally, »


- Tambay A. Obenson

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Did You Watch Queen Latifah Rock Marlon Wayans' Bells on 'Lip Sync Battle' Last Night? (Video)

9 hours ago

Some Friday fun... I wouldn't have thought that a TV show called "Lip Sync Battle" would be a hit, but Spike's freshman series became one almost immediately, after its first episode a few weeks ago. I've tuned in briefly a few times, but can't say that I've ever watched an entire episode from start to finish. It's fun, but not something that holds my interest for much longer than a session, so I tend to catch the best bits online, typically the following day, after each episode. Last night, Queen Latifah and Marlon Wayans battled it out, and, as you can watch in the 3 videos below, the Queen had the advantage from the start (beginning with En Vogue's sexy "You're Never Gonna Get It"), and eventually delivered the knockout punch when she surprised the host of the show, LL Cool J, with a lip sync of his classic "Rock the Bells »


- Tambay A. Obenson

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George R.R. Martin Bows Out of 'Game of Thrones' Season 6

10 hours ago

Once again, George R.R. Martin will not be contributing a script to the next season of "Game of Thrones." Instead he will focus on his novel, "The Winds of Winter," which he hopes to finish before the sixth season of the series debuts on HBO next year. He's also pulling back on media appearances, and will skip San Diego's Comic-Con in July. Though he did pen episodes for the first four seasons, Martin did not provide a script for season five, currently in mid-swing, either. He told Entertainment Weekly: “Maybe I’m being overly optimistic about how quickly I can finish ... But I canceled two convention appearances, I’m turning down a lot more interviews—anything I can do to clear my decks and get this done.” Good or bad news for fans? Fellow scriptwriters David Benioff, Db Weiss and Bryan Cogman will have to carry the torch without him. »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Watch: Bruce Campbell is Back in Bloody New 'Ash vs. Evil Dead' Teaser

10 hours ago

Though there's no sign of the boom stick, Ash seems well-prepped to again take on the Deadites in this brief but bloody new teaser. From the minds of original creator Sam Raimi, star Bruce Campell and producer Rob Topert comes "Ash vs. Evil Dead," the Starz horror series set to pick up 30 years after we last saw the chainsaw-wielding monster murderet do what he does best. Reprising his role as the titular Ash, Campbell resurfaces in the series as an aging stockboy who's been trying to avoid anything meaningful since he last conquered evil. But when a Deadite plague threatens mankind, out comes Ash's most lethal weapons: the chainsaw, boom stick and sarcastic comments.  "Ash vs. Evil Dead" premieres this fall on Starz with Lucy Lawless as a mysterious figure who suspects Ash is the source of all evil. Pablo Simon Bolivar becomes our hero's new sidekick, but Jill Marie Jones »


- Ben Travers

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Fox Sets Summer Premiere Date for 'The Boris and Nicole Show' + Watch Promos

11 hours ago

Fox has set the debut date for “The Boris and Nicole Show” for July 6th. The hour-long program will air on select Fox-owned stations in several markets, including New York and Los Angeles. Described as a lifestyle talk show, the couple - Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker, who will also serve as co-executive producers under Kirschbaum Productions - will offer their take on everything from current events to parenting and relationships. Additional commentary will be provided from celebrity guests.  "We met and fell in love on screen so any time we get to work together we know it will be a lot of fun,” said Kodjoe. Parker added, “There are so many things that we are passionate about so we are thrilled that we will now have a platform to share these issues with an audience." The busy couple first appeared on screen together on Showtime series "Soul Food. »


- Tambay A. Obenson

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A+E Acquires Rights to Idris Elba's 'Mandela, My Dad, and Me'

11 hours ago

Idris Elba's life, his relationship with his late father, and his preparation for playing Nelson Mandela in "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," are all at the center of a new documentary the actor has produced via his Green Door Pictures production company, and A+E Networks has announced that it has acquired exclusive television rights to the film, which is titled "Idris Elba: Mandela, My Dad, and Me." The 60-minute film, directed by BAFTA-winning director Daniel Vernon, follows the "Luther" star on a "journey of self-exploration," says the press release, from his time in South Africa to film "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," the recording of the album based on his research for the role, and dealing with the death of his father.  Nicholas Yearwood from Green Door Pictures said: "Green Door Pictures are delighted with the results of almost a year of filming. Daniel Vernon's film. »


- Tambay A. Obenson

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'Mad Men's Final Season Wish List: What They Missed

13 hours ago

At a Writer's Guild Q&A with "Mad Men's" Matthew Weiner last night, Entertainment Weekly's Anthony Breznican tweeted a "wish list" Weiner and the show's writers came up with for the final season. At a @WritersGuildF Q&A for Mad Men. Here's Matthew Weiner's "Wish List" of plot points to cover before the finale: pic.twitter.com/y0TtAzVUFp — Anthony Breznican (@Breznican) May 29, 2015 You can make out most of the crossed-off items: "Peggy and Don's dynamic [in] regards to what's happened since she's been gone," check; "Glenn and Betty together again," check; "Don meets doomed brunette who takes up two episodes then disappears forever" (okay, that wasn't on anyone's list). But more fascinating are the roads not taken. "Jimmy Barrett / Bobby killed O.S. [off-screen]? (Former lover killed O.S.)" reveals that it could have been Bobbie Barrett whose death hung over the final season's second half; that one was. »


- Sam Adams

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Review: Lifetime's 'Unreal' is Real Good

13 hours ago

"Unreal" is a new show about the behind-the-scenes of a reality dating franchise. I will admit I'm only passingly familiar with the tropes creators Marti Noxon and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro are skewering here, as I've probably seen more sendups of the genre (“Burning Love,” anyone?) than the real thing. After watching the first season of "The Bachelor" back in 2002, I couldn't take any more. But it feels pretty believable to me. Shiri Appleby is Rachel, a seasoned producer who's making a sheepish return to the "Bachelor"-esque show "Everlasting" after having a breakdown (well-documented, of course) at the end of the last season. Her boss, Quinn (Constance Zimmer), knows Rachel is still the best at what she does -- manipulating women into humiliating themselves on camera to serve the show's narrative -- and she re-deploys her staffer with glee, forgiving her for past transgressions while still legally holding them over »


- Sara Stewart

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Review: 'Aquarius' Gets Enough Wrong Things Right to Create an Oddly Compelling Cop Story

28 May 2015 8:00 PM, PDT

One of the trickier aspects of shooting a period drama — especially on television — is including enough authentic markers of the time period to distinguish the setting without going overboard. Too few, and the show feels specious. Too many, and it risks spilling over into parody, not to mention losing what makes it identifiable to modern audiences. "Mad Men" is perhaps the best example of a perfectly captured tone: Matthew Weiner's recently departed opus incorporated so many retired practices into its story, it made them cool again in the real world. (Who among us doesn't wish they could knock back a whiskey at the afternoon board meeting?) While "Aquarius" is a far cry from its '60s-era sister series, John McNamara approaches the love generation with an astute and particular vision that translates to a fascinating, if uneven, new series. Read More: Summer TV Preview 2015: 15 New Shows You Need »


- Ben Travers

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Who Will (and Who Should!) Win 'Ru Paul's Drag Race'

28 May 2015 5:06 PM, PDT

Here we are once again, squirrel friends. The end of an era. No longer will we kiki about who has the most charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent. No more will we answer drag trivia at the bar for a free shot of Fireball. And, whether we like it or not, in no time at all, we will bow down to a new queen: America’s Next Drag Superstar! Who should it be? Who will it be? I think the answers to these two questions are different, and that makes me shed a little tear. Let’s discuss our options:  First up: Violet Chachki! This fashion queen from Atlanta, Ga has been dominating the runway all season with her versatile looks and thoughtful presentations. She is the only queen who never had to lip sync for her life—save for in the last episode, when she showed she has some serious »


- Joe Ehrman-Dupre

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Ballers: The Reinvention of a Man—Watch the Trailer

28 May 2015 4:49 PM, PDT

Who wouldn’t be excited to see what a producing team, who gifted viewers with the much lauded Entourage, has in store for a show involving the game of good ole’ American football? Ballers, the HBO half-hour series kicks off its ten-episode run June 21, 10pm Et/Pt. The theme: Former football super legend, Spencer Strassmore, (Dwayne Johnson) needs a new gig. He puts together a core team and sets up shop as a financial advisor in the exciting, adventurous setting of Miami. What could go wrong? Ha! Sports, in particular football, is a major leisure national pastime.  There have been few enough series to utilize the subject as its foundation. Friday Night Lights, the most recent that comes to mind, was a high school set football drama. It hung in for five seasons due to, among other reasons, incredible scripting, directing and a first-rate acting ensemble. It was given its »


- Darwyn Carson

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"Legends Don't Retire; They Reinvent" in 2nd Longer Trailer for 'Ballers'

28 May 2015 2:14 PM, PDT

HBO's new comedy series "Ballers" will kick off a 10-episode season starting on Sunday, June 21, at 10pm (it's a 30-minute show).  Looking at the lives of former and current football players, "Ballers" follows former superstar Spencer Strasmore (played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) as he gets his life on track in retirement, while mentoring other current and former players through the daily grind of the business of football.  Omar Benson Miller, John David Washington (Denzel Washington’s son, in his first major acting role), Donovan Carter, Troy Garity, Rob Corrdry, Jazmyn Simon, and Arielle Kebble also star in the series, which is set in Miami, Fl, and is created and executive produced by Steve Levinson, with executive producing duties by Mark Wahlberg, Peter Berg, Dany Garcia, Julian Farino, Evan Reilly and Rob Weiss. As if Dwayne Johnson wasn't already busy enough... John David Washington is also a former college football. »


- Tambay A. Obenson

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Keke Palmer Will play Marty Maraschino in Fox's Live Staging of 'Grease'

28 May 2015 12:47 PM, PDT

Busy Keke Palmer, who next stars in Fox’s horror comedy series "Scream Queens," has joined the cast of the network's live staging of Grease, BuzzFeed reports. Palmer will play Marty Maraschino, a character that was originally played by Dinah Manoff in the 1978 movie. Palmer joins the previously-cast Julianne Hough and Vanessa Hudgens (who will headline the musical as Sandy and Rizzo, respectively). The 3-hour "Grease" live event airs Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016 at 7/6c. It'll follow NBC's live musical staging of "The Wiz" this Christmas.

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- Tambay A. Obenson

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Watch First Promo for 'The Daily Show with Trevor Noah' + Comedy Central Sets Debut Date

28 May 2015 11:51 AM, PDT

How will Trevor Noah do as Jon Stewart's replacement on "The Daily Show"? We'll find out on September 28, 2015, which is the date that Comedy Central has announced as the day that Noah, the South African comedian tapped in March as the show's new host, will make his debut. It's a Monday night by the way. Stewart's final appearance will happen on August 6.  No word yet on who his first guest(s) will be. Following the announcement of Noah's hiring, he was subjected to expected scrutiny via the web, as some scoured his past work and his social media accounts for information about the comedian, finding a number of posts on his Twitter account that they deemed to be offensive, to women and Jews. Noah and Comedy Central I'm sure expected this. I'd suspect that Comedy Central vetted him thoroughly before they selected him as Stewart's successor, and were likely »


- Tambay A. Obenson

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Highlights from The Hollywood Reporter's Amazingly Candid TV Comediennes Roundtable

28 May 2015 11:34 AM, PDT

The Hollywood Reporter hosted an especially candid and entertaining roundtable interview with some of TV's best and brightest comic actresses, and the results speak for themselves. The participants (and probable Emmy nominees) -- Lena Dunham ("Girls"), Ellie Kemper ("Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"), Kate McKinnon ("SNL"), Gina Rodriguez ("Jane the Virgin"), Tracee Ellis Ross ("Black-ish") and Amy Schumer ("Inside Amy Schumer") -- spoke out about what it's like to be a prominent woman in comedy and, in some cases, running their own TV shows.  Here are the best bits of the roundtable, in which the actress-comediennes discuss nudity and sex on set, overt and covert sexism at the workplace, the difficulty of actually asking for higher pay, death and rape threats on social media, the limited roles for women of color, the late-night gender gap and the ongoing issue of "fuckability."  THR: Is there...

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- Inkoo Kang

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Patricia Highsmith's 'Ripley' Books in Development to Become TV Series

28 May 2015 10:31 AM, PDT

Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara's "Carol" didn't take home the top prize at Cannes, but the lesbian romance was undoubtedly one of the highest-profile films of the festival.  Perhaps it's author Patricia Highsmith's renewed caché that has led to the development on a TV show around her most famous character, the homicidal social chameleon Ripley. The five books about him -- "The Talented Mr. Ripley" (1955), "Ripley Underground" (1970), "Ripley's Game" (1974), "The Boy Who Followed Ripley" (1980) and "Ripley Under Water" (1991) -- will be turned into a TV series. Executive producers are searching for the right creator/director and star before shopping the project around to premium cable networks and streaming services. Ripley has already "starred" in the films "Purple Noon" (1960) and "The Talented Mr. Ripley" (1999). Highsmith's debut novel was "Strangers...

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- Inkoo Kang

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