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‘The Originals’ to End After Season 5 on The CW

1 hour ago

The CW series “The Originals” will end after its upcoming fifth season.

Showrunner Julie Plec made the announcement on Twitter on Thursday ahead of the series’ San Diego Comic-Con panel later this week. Plec said it was only fitting to make the announcement one year after announcing the end of the series’ parent program, “The Vampire Diaries.”

“It’s both a gift and a burden to be able to control the ending of a series,” Plec wrote. “Many shows are not lucky enough to have a hand in deciding when the end has come.” Read her full statement below.

Fans will be able to attend a panel Q&A with the cast and creators on Saturday, July 22, at 12 p.m. Pt at the Indigo Ballroom in the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel.

The Originals” follows Joseph Morgan’s Klaus Mikaelson and his family in New Orleans. Morgan stars alongside Daniel Gillies, Phoebe Tonkin »


- Joe Otterson

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Watch O.J. Simpson’s Parole Hearing Live

1 hour ago

All eyes are once again on O.J. Simpson.

The 70-year-old former football player’s parole hearing is currently underway. It was expected to run anywhere from 15-20 minutes, but has already crossed the one-hour mark.

Simpson has served over eight years of a 33-year sentence in a Nevada prison after being convicted of armed robbery and assault following a 2007 Las Vegas incident. If granted parole, he could be out as early as this October.

ABC, NBC, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, Hln, and Espn are all airing the parole hearing in full. CBS will preempt their daytime coverage to air a portion of the hearing, but will stream the complete meeting online.

Exactly 13 years prior to his sports memorabilia conviction, Simpson was infamously acquitted of the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ronald Goldman. Following the 1995 trial, a civil jury found Simpson responsible for both deaths, awarding the Brown and Goldman families compensatory and punitive »


- Variety Staff

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Dick Van Dyke to Receive Britannia Award From BAFTA Los Angeles

1 hour ago

Dick Van Dyke will receive this year’s Britannia Award for excellence in television from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles.

This year’s event will take place on Oct. 27 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Referring to his role in “Mary Poppins,” Van Dyke said, “I appreciate this opportunity to apologize to the members of BAFTA for inflicting on them the most atrocious Cockney accent in the history of cinema.”

“We are absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to honor the iconic Dick Van Dyke at this year’s British Academy Britannia Awards,” said Chantal Rickards, CEO of BAFTA Los Angeles. “We truly are in a golden age of television and we couldn’t think of a better way to recognize this than by celebrating someone who was at the forefront of making it the global medium that it has become. We look forward to his acceptance speech in whatever accent he chooses »


- Dave McNary

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Amazon Nabs ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ Series Starring Natalie Dormer

2 hours ago

Amazon has added another series to its roster: “Picnic at Hanging Rock,” based on the book.

Game of Thrones” alum Natalie Dormer will star in the series, which is a re-imagining of Joan Lindsay’s Australian novel.

Hailing from FremantleMedia International, “Picnic at Hanging Rock” is about the mysterious disappearances of three schoolgirls and one teacher on Valentine’s Day 1900. The complex, interwoven narrative follows the subsequent investigation and the event’s far-reaching impact on the students, families and staff of Appleyard College, and on the nearby township.

Dormer will star as English headmistress, Mrs. Hester Appleyard. The Appleyard College student roles include Lily SullivanMadeleine MaddenSamara WeavingRuby Rees and Inez Curroas.

“The stylish re-imagining of the provocative Picnic at Hanging Rock story will no doubt capture contemporary audiences across the Us. With fantastic scripts, outstanding cast and bold editorial direction from Larysa Kondracki, Picnic at Hanging Rock is set to be a must-see series »


- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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‘The Dr. Oz Show’ Library Acquired By Z Living Network

2 hours ago

Health entertainment cable network Z Living has acquired “The Dr. Oz Show’s” library and will begin airing episodes from multiple seasons as part of its regular programming, Variety has learned.

“Z Living has made record-breaking strides in original programming this year, while concurrently amping up our roster of prestigious health entertainment content from many of the industry’s top producers,” said Z Living general manager Rafe Oller. “We’re honored to have ‘Dr. Oz’ on our air, and feel the fit and draw for our audience could not be more ideal.”

The network will kick off the integration of the show into its schedule with an eight-hour marathon on Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 4) starting at noon Et. Then, “Dr. Oz” will air in two back-to-back episodes on weekdays starting at 4 p.m. Et.

The nine-time Emmy-winning “The Dr. Oz Show” is hosted by Dr. Mehmet Oz, health expert, best-selling author and surgeon. Guests »


- Erin Nyren

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TV Ratings: ‘Little Big Shots: Forever Young’ Drops to Series Low

2 hours ago

Little Big Shots: Forever Young” dropped to a series low in its fifth week on NBC, according to Nielsen overnight data.

Airing at 8 p.m., the new Steve Harvey talent competition series averaged a 0.8 rating in adults 18-49 and 5.8 million viewers, down from a 1.0 and 6.1 million last week. However, due to the nature of live ratings, Wednesday’s numbers could adjust up later today.

Later on NBC, “The Carmichael Show” (0.7, 3.3 million) was even. NBC aired only repeats for the rest of primetime.

On CBS, “Big Brother” (1.8, 6.2 million) reigned supreme as the most-watched and highest-rated show of the night one again. Freshman drama “Salvation” (0.7, 4.3 million) was even in the demo with last week’s premiere but took a hit in total viewers.

“MasterChef” (1.1, 3.4 million) ticked up in the demo on Fox, as did “The F Word” (0.7, 2.1 million).

ABC and The CW aired only repeats.

CBS won the night with a 1.1 and 4.9 million viewers. Fox »


- Joe Otterson

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‘Westworld’ Comic-Con Experience Lets Fans Live Without Limits

4 hours ago

“Westworld” arrived at its first San Diego Comic-Con in fine style, with a fan experience that is sure not to disappoint anyone who follows the HBO drama series.

Of course, this experience will not be open to everyone. From Thursday, July 20, through Sunday, July 23, attendees with a valid 2017 Comic-Con badge who are 21 and older who want to journey to Westworld will have to make an appointment with a Delos representative at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel. All appointments are on a first come, first served basis, with the representative taking appointments beginning at 9:30 a.m. until all appointments for that day are filled. All appointments for Sunday will be booked on Saturday.

If you are able to get in though, you are in for a treat. You will be sent to an offsite location, which HBO asks not to be revealed. There, you are greeted by two white-clad Delos hosts who play the parts of »


- Joe Otterson

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Ryan Seacrest Returning to Host ‘American Idol’ Revival

5 hours ago

Seacrest … in!

After months of talks and speculation, Ryan Seacrest will officially return to host the “American Idol” revival on ABC. The network made the announcement after Seacrest broke the news on Thursday morning’s “Live With Kelly and Ryan.”

Seacrest will earn about $12 million for his role on the show this season, but will not receive credit as an executive producer. He will, however, have creative consultation and approval on judges and other production issues, Variety has confirmed. Sources say the negotiations were protracted due to questions about his complicated schedule and other commitments.

Seacrest served as host for the franchise during its 15-season run on Fox, which aired its “farewell season” last year. The multihyphenate will continue to co-host and executive produce “Live With Kelly and Ryan” from New York in addition to hosting and executive producing his iHeartRadio-syndicated morning radio show “On Air With Ryan Seacrest” from Los Angeles.

“It »


- Maane Khatchatourian

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TLC to Debut Jackie Evancho Special Examining Transgender Issues, Family Values (Exclusive)

6 hours ago

Jackie Evancho made headlines when she agreed to sing the national anthem at President Donald Trump’s inauguration in January. Now, the teen who rose to fame on NBC’s “American’s Got Talent” is back in the spotlight with her own TLC special.

In “Growing Up Evancho,” TLC will go behind the scenes with Jackie and the Evancho family — including transgender sister Juliet — in a one-hour special set to air Wednesday, Aug. 9 at 10 p.m. Et. The Evancho family includes parents Lisa and Mike, and their four kids — Rachel, 13, Zach, 15, Jackie, 17, and Juliet, 19.

Older sister Juliet is pursuing her dreams of becoming a model, and continuing as an Lgbtq activist. Together, the girls learn to navigate the challenges of career and family, while also utilizing their platform to speak out against Trump’s rollback of transgender rights.

At age 10, Evancho made her debut on “Agt,” and has since performed for luminaries worldwide, including »


- Rebecca Rubin

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‘Carpool Karaoke’ Producer Making Live-Music Series for the BBC

7 hours ago

The BBC is bringing a live-music series back to its flagship BBC One channel, with “Carpool Karaoke” producer Fulwell 73 making a new show that will launch later this year.

James Corden is a partner in Fulwell 73, which produces “The Late Late Show,” but the BBC told Variety that he will not host the new British music series.

For decades going back to the 1960s, music-chart series “Top of the Pops” was a mainstay of the BBC’s weekly schedule, but the pubcaster took the show off the air in 2006. Unlike “Top of the Pops,” which centered on live acts and music videos, the Fulwell 73 show will also feature sketches and interviews, as well as music from the biggest British and international acts. The show launches on BBC One this fall.

“This series will be a fantastic opportunity to showcase the biggest and best U.K. and international bands and artists, and »


- Stewart Clarke

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21st Century Fox Must Wait for U.K. Decision on Bid for Sky

8 hours ago

The British government said that it would not make a decision on 21 Century Fox’s takeover bid for Sky before Parliament breaks for summer Thursday but added that a decision could be announced “within weeks.”

Culture secretary Karen Bradley said she could reach a decision during Parliament’s summer recess and, having not received any new information or concessions from the parties involved, remains “minded to” refer elements of the deal concerning media plurality to British competition authorities, and to waive the element about whether the Murdochs are “fit and proper” owners of a merged group.

“There was nothing in their representations that, at this stage, has led me to change my mind about the appropriateness of referral,” Bradley told Parliament. “Unless new evidence from other representations changes my mind in coming weeks, the bid will therefore be referred for a Phase 2 review on at least one ground: media plurality.”

Bradley »


- Stewart Clarke

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Esai Morales Urges ‘No’ Vote on SAG-aftra Contract

13 hours ago

SAG-aftra presidential candidate Esai Morales has urged members of the performers union to vote down the proposed tentative agreement on a three-year successor deal to its master contract.

Morales contends that the pact, which has been sent out to the 160,000 members for ratification, falls far short of what performers need. Ratification ballots will be counted on Aug. 7.

“The nominal gains in this agreement do not match the cost of living increases in the real world,” Morales said in a video posted Wednesday on the Membership First group’s Facebook page. “Send them back to the table.”

Morales detailed problems with changes in the travel costs, basic cable, motion-capture, and background players, asserting that SAG-aftra leaders had promised to rectify perceived abuses and have failed to do so.

He also questioned why the union leadership reached a deal at 6 a.m. on July 4, asserting that fatigue may have played a factor in making concessions in the tentative agreement »


- Dave McNary

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Lena Dunham Joins ‘American Horror Story’ Season 7

17 hours ago

American Horror Story” Season 7 is adding a new “Girl” to its cast.

Lena Dunham is joining the FX horror anthology, co-creator Ryan Murphy announced in a tweet on Wednesday evening.

“Thrilled that my talented friend Lena Dunham is joining the American Horror Story family,” he wrote. “Always wanted to work together, and now we r!”

Additional details about Dunham’s role have not yet been revealed. The title of “Ahs” Season 7, which Murphy previously revealed will be inspired by the 2016 presidential election, will be announced on Thursday.

Previously announced cast members include “Ahs” veterans Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters, as well as franchise newcomers Billie Lourd (who worked with Murphy on “Scream Queens”) and “Billy on the Street’s” Billy Eichner. Beyond that, however, Murphy and FX have unsurprisingly revealed little about the upcoming season, with Murphy most recently dropping a clue in the form of a nightmarish bee-filled photo on his Instagram.

Dunham »


- Alex Stedman

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‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7 Photos

18 hours ago

Photos from the seventh season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” »


- Jacob Bryant

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TV News Roundup: Suranne Jones to Star in HBO Drama ‘Gentleman Jack’

19 hours ago

In today’s roundup, HBO’s “Gentleman Jack” casts its lead, and A&E reality series “Wahlburgers” gets a premiere date.

Casting

Sally Wainwright’s “Gentleman Jack,” formerly known as “Shibden Hall,” cast Suranne Jones to star in the new HBO and BBC One drama series. Jones will play Anne Lister, who is depicted as the charismatic, single-minded landowner who charms her way into high society, ignores convention, and sets out to marry a wealthy man. Based on historical fact, “Gentleman Jack” centers on an unlikely love story set in 1931 Halifax — the cradle of the industrial revolution. The series examines Anne’s relationships with her family, her servants, her tenants, her industrial rivals, and her would-be-wife, the wealthy heiress Ann Walker.

Crackle’s drama series “The Oath” added cast for three recurring roles: Billy Malone, Sarah Dumont, and Aaron Abrams. Malone plays Frank Albanese, the casino manager and longtime mentor and father figure to Steve Hammond (Ryan Kwanten »


- Rebecca Rubin

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Lighthearted Entertainment Expands Development Team

20 hours ago

Lighthearted Entertainment, the production company that specializes in unscripted television and is behind shows such as MTV’s “Are You The One?” is boosting its development team.

The company has brought on two new executive hires and promoted another, Variety has learned.

Lighthearted Entertainment is proud to both add to our team and promote from within as we address the needs of our constantly evolving industry. We look forward to working with our new team as the company continues to produce provocative unscripted content,” said Rob Laplante and Jeff Spangler, presidents of Lighthearted Entertainment.

Unscripted exec Paul Taylor has come aboard Lighthearted Entertainment to serve as senior vice president of production, overseeing all financial and logistic aspects of the company’s production and development slate. Before joining Lighthearted, Taylor was vice president of production for 51 Minds Entertainment where he oversaw production of shows like “Below Deck,” “Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge” and “Redneck Island.” Taylor »


- Erin Nyren

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Forest Whitaker Joins ‘Empire’ Season 4 in Recurring Role

21 hours ago

Forest Whitaker is joining the cast of “Empire,” Variety has learned.

The Academy Award and Golden Globe winning actor has joined in a recurring role and will appear in a multi-episode arc in the fourth season.

Whitaker will play Uncle Eddie, a charismatic music icon and bonafide hitmaker, who gave an unknown Lucious (Terrence Howard) his first radio airplay years ago. Decades later, Eddie steps up for Lucious at a critical moment during his rehabilitation, and a grateful Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) invites him to produce a song in celebration of Empire Entertainment’s 20th anniversary.

Whitaker is the latest Hollywood heavyweight to join “Empire” Season 4, joining Demi Moore who has a large recurring role in the upcoming season and made her first appearance in the Season 3 finale.

“Empire” is known for its A-list guest stars, which over the course of the series, have included Mariah Carey, Rosie O’Donnell, Eva Longoria »


- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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Chris Hardwick on the End of ‘@midnight’: ‘It’s Time to Do Something Different’ (Exclusive)

21 hours ago

When Comedy Central’s “@midnight” premiered in 2013, it was revolutionary – a new take on game shows that combined the improv sensibilities of classics like “Whose Line Is it Anyway?” with today’s internet jargon (#HashtagWars!) that allowed some of the best comics in the business to riff on what could be found in the deepest, most bizarre parts of the internet. Comedian Chris Hardwick, who had already enjoyed gigs on MTV’s “Singled Out” and G4’s “Attack of the Show,” was the ideal host, given that he’d already made a name for himself in the online community thanks to his popular social media feed and his geek-themed website, Nerdist. Hardwick is also profiled in this week’s Variety, celebrating his 25 years in comedy.

But four years is an eon in the internet age, and it was announced late yesterday that Comedy Central would be ending “@midnight” next month with its 600th episode. But »


- Whitney Friedlander

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‘Game of Thrones’ Creators Land New Series at HBO

21 hours ago

The end of “Game of Thrones” is on the horizon, but creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have already mapped out their next plan at HBO for when they officially depart Westeros.

HBO has given a series order to “Confederate,” a new drama that hails from Benioff and Weiss, Variety has learned. The show has no ties to “Game of Thrones” and is not one of the many potential prequels in development at the network.

“Confederate” chronicles the events leading to the Third American Civil War. The series takes place in an alternate timeline, where the southern states have successfully seceded from the Union, giving rise to a nation in which slavery remains legal and has evolved into a modern institution. The story follows a broad swath of characters on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Demilitarized Zone – freedom fighters, slave hunters, politicians, abolitionists, journalists, the executives of a slave-holding conglomerate and the families of people in their »


- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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TV Ratings: ‘America’s Got Talent,’ ‘World of Dance’ Top Night of Repeats

23 hours ago

NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” and “World of Dance” were easily the top-shows of the night in the Tuesday overnight Nielsen ratings, with all the other broadcast networks airing nothing but repeats.

“Agt” averaged a 2.4 rating in adults 18-49 and 12.4 million viewers, airing from 8 p.m.-10 p.m. “World of Dance” averaged a 1.6 rating and 7.1 million viewers at 10.

For the night, NBC averaged a 2.2 and 10.6 million viewers. CBS and ABC tied for second in the demo with a 0.5 each. CBS was second in total viewers with 5.7 milllion. ABC was third in viewers with 2 million. Fox was fourth in the demo with a 0.4 and fifth in viewers with 1 million. The CW averaged a 0.3 and 1.1 million viewers. »

- Joe Otterson

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