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‘Battlestar Galactica’ Cast and Creators Reunite at Comic-Con

5 hours ago

The cast and creators of of “Battlestar Galactica” reunited Thursday at Comic-Con in San Diego to reminisce about the landmark Syfy drama.

Executive producers David Eick and Ronald Moore talked about their first meeting to discuss the series in 2001 — just months after the 9-11 terrorist attacks.

“It was December of ‘o1 when that subject of terrorism was in the air,” Eick told moderator Maureen Ryan of Variety. “Suddenly it took on a whole new meaning because we realized that were talking about the holocaust of a whole people.”

Battlestar Galactica” was loosely inspired by the original series of the same name that premiered in 1978.  But the reboot was very much a creature of its time, the show’s EPs said Thursday.

Asked by an audience member at Thursday’s panel how the show would be different if created today, Eick joked, “The crazy, unqualified captain.” The crowd then broke into applause.

Moore »


- Daniel Holloway

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‘American Horror Story’ Season 7 Title Revealed

6 hours ago

And the title of “American Horror Story” Season 7 is…. “Cult.”

The news was announced during an “Ahs” event at Comic-Con on Thursday, after co-creator Ryan Murphy previously revealed that the next installment of FX’s horror anthology is inspired by the 2016 presidential election. Along with the news, FX also dropped a new website and video, featuring a group of creepy clowns revealing the title. The video is marked as “Week One,” with the following seven weeks locked.

Breaking: #AHS7 official title is American Horror Story: Cult #Sdcc pic.twitter.com/rzMjiBYfS9

— Joe Otterson (@JoeOtterson) July 21, 2017

Once clicking on the website, users are prompted to log in through Facebook, which it says it will use to provide exclusive “Ahs” content ahead of the new season.

The new season also got a premiere date: Tuesday, Sept. 5.

Per usual, still little is known about Season 7. What we do know, however, is that “Ahs” veterans Evan Peters and Sarah Paulson are »


- Alex Stedman

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‘Game of Thrones’ Creators Defend New Slavery Drama ‘Confederate’: ‘This is Scary For All of Us’

6 hours ago

David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are no strangers to controversy — the showrunners’ hit series “Game of Thrones” has generated its fair share of headlines throughout its run. But the announcement of their next project, titled “Confederate” — which imagines an alternate timeline, where the southern states have seceded from the Union and slavery is legal — sparked a firestorm of backlash on social media.

Critics questioned the decision to have the drama be told by two white men, although Benioff and Weiss will be working on the project along with Nichelle Tramble Spellman (“Justified,” “The Good Wife”) and Malcolm Spellman (“Empire”).

The producing team defended the project in an interview with Vulture, urging patience given that no scripts have even been written yet.

“Everything is brand new and nothing’s been written,” said Weiss. “I guess that’s what was a little bit surprising about some of the outrage. It’s just a little premature. You »


- Debra Birnbaum

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TBS Unveils Three Original Animated Series, Teases New ‘American Dad!’ Episodes (Exclusive)

8 hours ago

TBS fans are about to be bombarded with an array of animated original series, Variety has confirmed at Comic-Con.

The TBS animation panel at the San Diego convention released four never-before-seen clips of their upcoming series — “Close Enough,” “Final Space,” and “Tarantula” — as well as a look into the next season of “American Dad!” exclusively to Variety on Thursday evening. The panel was moderated by “People of Earth” star Brian Huskey and featured TBS’ Matt WeitzmanCarson Mell, Olan Rogers, David Sacks, and J.G. Quintel.

Weitzman, the co-creator and executive producer of “American Dad!,” showcased a sneak peek into the Smith world as Stan attempts to help his daughter, Hayley, who intends to never show her face again. Unfortunately, Stan’s solution is to simply drug his daughter and reconstruct her face with his own (lack of) expertise. The new episodes premiere Monday, July 24 at 10 p.m. Et on TBS. See »


- Dixie Limbachia

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‘Game of Thrones’ Alum Iwan Rheon Feared Being Typecast With ‘Inhumans’ Role

8 hours ago

Game of Thrones” alum Iwan Rheon was initially reluctant to take on his role in Marvel’s “Inhumans” for fear that it was too close to the character he had just played on the HBO drama — the villainous Ramsay Bolton.

“My fear was that … fear of being typecast and just repeating myself,” said Rheon, who plays antagonist Maximus in the upcoming ABC series, to moderator and Marvel head of television Jeph Loeb. “But as I looked at it more and more, I realized that wasn’t what you were trying to create with this show.

Loeb introduced three scenes from the premiere episode of “Inhumans,” as well as a trailer set to premiere ahead of the upcoming Christopher Nolan film “Dunkirk.” In the first of the three scenes, which Loeb called “the dinner scene.” Rheon’s Maximus — brother of the Inhuman king Black Bolt — storms off after challenging his brother’s decision to send another Inhuman, Triton »


- Daniel Holloway

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‘Stargate’ Being Revived With New Digital Series ‘Stargate Origins’

8 hours ago

A new “Stargate” series is being cooked up — one that will anchor a new streaming service devoted to the sci-fi franchise.

The 10-episode series “Stargate Origins” will tell the story of Catherine Langford, a character who occasionally appeared in previous “Stargate” TV shows. The show will be available via MGM’s new streaming service, titled Stargate Command, which will be available this fall.

Mark Ilvedson and Justin Michael Terry will write “Stargate Origins,” which will revolve around Langford, daughter of archaeologist Paul Langford, who discovered the ancient, round Stargate. Crews of explorers later used that Stargate to explore dozens of worlds in many galaxies. These teams faced down numerous foes, including the wily and tenacious Goa’uld and the destructive Replicators. In the show, Catherine will go on an adventure in order to save the Earth from terrifying darkness. The online series will be directed by Mercedes Bryce Morgan

“We’ve been eager to revisit the ‘Stargate »


- Maureen Ryan

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‘Wonder Woman’ Star Saïd Taghmaoui Joins ‘Legion’ Season 2

9 hours ago

Wonder Woman” star Saïd Taghmaoui will play Amahl Farouk — aka the Shadow King — in “Legion” season two. Noah Hawley, the creator of the FX drama series based on Marvel’s X-Men comics, announced the casting Thursday at Comic-Con.

“We are going to meet the Shadow King,” Hawley said.

The Shadow King was played in season one by Aubrey Plaza, who portrayed the character in the guise of protagonist David Haller’s friend Lenny, and Quinton Boisclair, who portrayed him as a monster who haunted Haller. Both actors will appear as those iterations of the character in season two.

The Shadow King was the only “Legion” character besides Haller taken from the Marvel comic books. All the other characters were original creations for the show. Executive producer Lauren Shuler Donner, who also produced Fox’s “X-Men” films, said that the character had originally been considered for a role in those movies. »


- Daniel Holloway

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Hollywood Likely to Steer Clear of O.J. Simpson After Prison Release

10 hours ago

If O.J. Simpson, the former USC running back who later had a brief acting career, is looking for a third chance in Hollywood, he’s unlikely to find it.

He has reportedly been approached to film a reality TV show upon his release, but some agents and executives say his reputation is beyond repair following his 1995 high-profile murder trial and subsequent legal troubles, including serving more than eight years for a 2007 armed robbery. While TV news outlets are going to swarm him for interviews, that’s about all he’s going to get, some say — he’s not likely to land a paying job.

“There’s going to be an onslaught of O.J. coverage, but a network or a brand would have to be out of their minds to give him a platform, even if the proceeds went to charity,” said ITV America CEO Brent Montgomery.

Simpson was granted parole Thursday, leaving »


- Ricardo Lopez and Justin Kroll

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TV News Roundup: New O.J. Simpson Doc Coming to A&E, ‘How to Get Away With Murder’ Casts Jimmy Smits

10 hours ago

In today’s roundup, “How to Get Away With Murder” casts Jimmy Smits and A&E Network announces a new documentary on O.J. Simpson.

Casting

Jimmy Smits is joining the cast of ABC‘s “How to Get Away With Murder” in Season 4. Smits will have a guest arc opposite Viola Davis on the network drama. On brand with all Shondaland series, details about his season-long recurring role have not been revealed, but his character will be a prominent figure in Annalise’s (Davis) life and will have a key role in this season’s mystery. Smits is repped by UTA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners, and Tom Hoberman.

Whoopi Goldberg will be voicing the role of Uma’s mother, Ursula, the sea witch from “The Little Mermaid” in “Descendants 2.” The upcoming Disney Channel Original Movie starring Dove Cameron is set to premiere on Friday at 8 p.m. Et. The news was announced earlier this week during director and »


- Rebecca Rubin

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‘Rocko’s Modern Life’ Revival First Teaser Unveiled by Nickelodeon

11 hours ago

Rocko, I have a feeling we’re not in the ’90s anymore.

Nickelodeon released a first look at the reboot of its beloved cartoon “Rocko’s Modern Life” at San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday afternoon during the show’s panel. The clip features voice actors Carlos Alazraqui, Tom Kenny, Doug Lawrence and Charlie Adler.

Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling” picks up with Rocko, Heffer, and Filburt’s return back to Earth after being blasted into outer space in 1996. The teaser shows Rocko and his crew embracing (or at least trying to embrace) the modern world for the first time — technology and all.

Back in their home of O-Town, the trio is introduced to now long-adapted traditions, including iPhones, social media, food trucks, energy drinks, and 3D printers. While his friends adapt to the new social and technological realities of the modern age, Rocko clings to his nostalgia for the past, believing »


- Rebecca Rubin

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BBC Says New ‘Doctor Who’ Actress Will Be Paid Same as Current Star

11 hours ago

The first female Doctor will have to continue the fight to preserve hope and light in the universe, but there is one thing she won’t have to struggle for: pay parity with her male predecessor.

BBC director-general Tony Hall told the Evening Standard that new star Jodie Whittaker will receive pay parity with Peter Capaldi when she takes on the role starting with 2017’s Christmas special.

The news comes on the heels of the recent firestorm faced by the BBC after its top stars’ salaries were released and it was revealed that the highest-paid female celebrity, Claudia Winkleman, makes less than a quarter of the highest-paid male star, “Top Gear’s” Chris Evans, each year. In addition, only one-third of stars making over $194,000 (£150,000) per year are female.

Hall added that he was very pleased with the appointment of a female Time Lord.

“And I do think it is time for [the] 13th Time Lord to be a »


- Erin Nyren

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For TV News Outlets, a New O.J. Simpson Chase Might Be On

12 hours ago

Since his football days, the media has always followed O.J. Simpson. When he fled authorities in a white Ford Bronco after being charged in the murders of his wife and a friend, that chase turned into hot pursuit.

There’s little reason to think the dynamic will cease now that Simpson has won parole after being convicted for robbery in 2008.

Many TV news outlets are eager to score an interview with the man who was at the center of what may be the trial of the century — even though he has since been acquitted, arrested for robbery, and, today, newly set free.

One person familiar with TV news operations suggested Simpson would be a prime “get” for any of the big outlets — and also hinted that getting him would not be cheap. After all, since he lost a civil suit filed by the families of his former wife, Nicole Simpson Brown, and »


- Brian Steinberg

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‘Van Helsing’ Season 2 Trailer Brings the Gore (Exclusive Video)

12 hours ago

In an exclusive sneak peek at Syfy’s “Van Helsing” Season 2 from San Diego Comic-Con, fans are treated to plenty of bloody vampire action.

The series follows Vanessa Van Helsing (Kelly Overton), a descendant of the legendary line of vampire hunters. The country has been turned into a wasteland after volcanic ash has left the sky darkened, allowing vampires to rise to power. Van Helsingawakens from a three-year coma to discover that she’s not only immune to the vampires, but also has the ability to make them human again.

The series also stars Jonathan Scarfe as Axel, Christopher Heyerdahl as Sam, Paul Johansson as Dimitri, David Cubbit as John, and Vincent Gale as Flesh.

Nomadic Pictures produces the series, with Neil Labute serving as showrunner, writer and executive producer. Nomadic PicturesChad Oakes and Mike Frislev, Simon Barry, Dynamic Television’s Daniel March, Industry Works’ Evan Tyler, as well as Echo Lake Entertainment’s Dave Brown and »


- Joe Otterson

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MTV Video Music Awards Teaser Pays Tribute to Britney Spears, Madonna

12 hours ago

The countdown to the 2017 Video Music Awards has begun with the release of the first teaser video from MTV, which harks back to some of the most iconic moments of the VMAs.

The video, which was created entirely in-house by the MTV marketing and creative group, and directed by Floria Sigismondi, features a modern, sparse version of “Video Killed the Radio Star” — the first song to air a music video on MTV in 1981. Iconography like Britney Spears’ albino python, Madonna’s wedding dress from her 1984 performance of “Like a Virgin,” and Krist Novoselic’s bass guitar float through a moonscape designed to reference the MTV Moonman. Viewers are warned to “brace for impact” as dancers contort themselves and a voice initiates a countdown sequence.

The VMAs has launched many memorable pop culture moments over the years, from Madonna kissing Spears to Lady Gaga’s meat dress to Kanye West’s interruption of Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech »


- Erin Nyren

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L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti Seeks to Raise State Production Tax Incentives to at Least $500 Million

13 hours ago

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is promising to push for an increase in California’s production tax incentives to at least $500 million annually — up more than 50% from the current $330 million figure.

“We must make sure, first and foremost, that the film industry not only stays strong but expands,” he said Thursday morning in a speech before about 400 attendees, hosted by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce at the Loews Hotel.

“This is an opportunity for us to not rest on our laurels and to show that we aren’t going backwards any more,” he added. “When the legislature comes back to this issue, we should be going to $500 million or more. Maybe even no limit.”

Garcetti, who was re-elected in March, had highlighted during his campaign that he had been active in pushing the state legislature to expand the tax credit program from $100 million annually.

He said Thursday that top execs say the program doesn’t go far »


- Dave McNary

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Michael Shannon Joins David O. Russell’s Drama Series at Amazon (Exclusive)

13 hours ago

Michael Shannon is set to join Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore in Amazon and Weinstein Co.’s new untitled drama series from David O. Russell.

The highly anticipated series landed with Amazon and the Weinstein Co. last fall after a competitive bidding war for the project, which has De Niro and Moore starring and Russell writing and directing.

Amazon has committed to two eight-episode seasons of the series, which will be produced by Russell, Alexandra Milchan, and Scott Lambert, who developed the project with Russell. Harvey Weinstein, David Glasser and Annapurna’s Megan Ellison are executive producers.

The project is being described as a mafia crime series; details beyond that, however, are vague. The details of Shannon’s role are also currently unknown.

Production is expected to start later this year in New York.

The casting marks Shannon’s return to television after playing federal agent-turned-Al Capone soldier George Mueller on the HBO mob drama “Boardwalk Empire »


- Justin Kroll

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Twitter Reacts to O.J. Simpson Parole Verdict: ‘The Juice Is Loose’

13 hours ago

Twitter partied like it was 1995 on Thursday.

O.J. Simpson’s parole hearing for a 2007 armed robbery captured the nation’s — and social media’s — attention on Thursday. The Nevada Parole Board granted Simpson parole, and the former football star could walk free as early at Oct. 1. Twitter reacted to the news throughout the televised hearing and especially after the verdict was announced.

Ava DuVernay tweeted a gif of a baffled man as soon as the Nevada board granted Simpson with the parole.

pic.twitter.com/cLpRBs5rO0

Ava DuVernay (@ava) July 20, 2017

Many referenced the famous murder trial of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman, in which Simpson was acquitted to much controversy.

“Oj Simpson has been granted parole. He can now go back to searching for the real killers of his ex-wife.”

Every day society doesn't give Oj parole is one more day we keep him from finding the real killer#OJSimpsonParole

John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) July 20, 2017

W. Kamau Bell wrote »


- Dixie Limbachia

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A+E Networks Elevates Rob Sharenow to Programming President, Eli Lehrer Joins History

13 hours ago

A+E Networks is making moves in its executive ranks.

Rob Sharenow has been elevated to programming president of A+E Networks, moving up from his previous role as Evp and general manager of A+E and Lifetime.

Former Lifetime executive Eli Lehrer is back at the company, joining History as Evp of programming. Additionally, Paul Cabana has been positioned in the newly created role of Evp of Biography and History Digital, plus Thomas Moody has been upped to Evp of program strategy and acquisitions at A+E Networks.

“Streamlining our portfolio’s creative structure under Rob combined with Paul’s business leadership will allow us to accelerate our creative decisions, deal making and strategies,” said Nancy Dubuc, president and CEO of A+E Networks. “Together with Elaine, Liz, Tom and now Eli returning home to A+E Networks, Rob’s programming team has a wealth of experience and some of television’s biggest hits in cable »


- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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TV News Anchors Question O.J. Simpson’s Sincerity at Parole Hearing

14 hours ago

Four members of a Nevada parole board agreed to grant freedom to former football great O.J. Simpson on Thursday, but the controversial figure known as “The Juice” might be thankful they weren’t watching any of the TV news coverage of the hearing. Anchors and analysts ranging from George Stephanopoulos to Lester Holt to Geraldo Rivera openly questioned whether Simpson sounded contrite enough, or was overly combative.

Both Stephanopoulos, who was anchoring a special report for ABC News, and Holt, who anchored a report for NBC News, wondered aloud whether Simpson was attempting to, as Stephanopoulos said, “re-litigate” the case, based on a 2008 sentence for robbery of sports memorabilia from a Las Vegas hotel room. Simpson appeared “unprepared,” noted Stephanopouolos. On NBC, Holt wondered if Simpson’s combativeness early on in attempting to explain the circumstances of the case to parole board members, would be mitigated by an air of contrition that only appeared during some of »


- Brian Steinberg

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Why O.J. Simpson Should Never Work in This Town Again

15 hours ago

You can’t turn around these days without coming across a media property that riffs on the ‘80s or ‘90s. Nostalgia is big business, and can even lead to great art, as we saw when “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” garnered just about every award it was nominated for. 

But the upswing in interest in all things O.J. should not lead Hollywood and the entertainment industry to put the former football player to work again. No company would come out of such an arrangement thinking they’d made the right call. 

Even though the parole board granted him his freedom and he will walk out of a Nevada prison at some point relatively soon, allowing him to join the world of entertainers and reality-show stars would be a terrible idea. 

Let’s set aside for the moment the issue of his innocence or guilt in the matter of the brutal murders of »


- Maureen Ryan

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