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‘Hannibal’ Season 3: First Image of Joe Anderson as Mason Verger, Replacing Michael Pitt

1 hour ago

Mason Verger will look a little different in season three of “Hannibal” — and not just because the sadistic entrepreneur mutilated his own face during his last encounter with Mads Mikkelsen’s titular cannibal.

The character of Mason Verger — a pivotal figure in Thomas Harris’ 1999 novel, “Hannibal,” and the movie adaptation of the same name — was played by Michael Pitt in season two of the NBC drama. According to Variety‘s sister site TV Line, Pitt chose to exit the series and will be replaced in the role by Joe Anderson for the show’s upcoming third season.

Anderson has been posting Instagram pictures from the Toronto set for the past month, including what appeared to be an image of himself in Mason’s full prosthetic makeup (which has since been deleted) and a throwback photo of Gary Oldman in the role from the 2001 “Hannibal” film adaptation.

http://instagram.com/p »

- Variety Staff

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Ben Silverman on Working with Netflix, Storytelling for Advertisers, Being on the Road

8 hours ago

Days after “Marco Polo,” produced by Electus and The Weinstein Co., bowed in France on Dec. 12, day and date with the U.S, Electus Ben Silverman was at the Cristal Festival, nearly 6,000 feet up in the French Alps In Courchevel, to deliver a keynote speech, “Creativity and Big Ideas” as part of Cristal’s Brand Entertainment & Content Summit.

France’s Cristal Fest was high-level in other ways. AOL’s digital guru David Shing spoke before Silverman (on “There Are Still Only 24 Hours in a Day”); Trigger Street Prods’ “House of Cards” producer Dana Brunetti was interviewed afterwards, before receiving an Outstanding Merit Award.

Silverman wasn’t in Courchevel for the skiing, such as its respected Grand Couloir black ski run. Via Electus, he is involved in at least three of the most talked-up business lines in entertainment: High-end series – for instance, Netflix’s “Marco Polo,” produced by Electus and The »

- John Hopewell

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‘Homeland’ Finale Recap: Carrie Mathison Faces Big Dilemma Back Home

11 hours ago

After the explosive action and plot twists of the previous three episodes, “Homeland” closed its fourth season on a quieter note, with Carrie Mathison looking inward to slay a few personal dragons.

Spoiler Alert: Stop reading if you have not seen the Dec. 21 episode of “Homeland,” “Long Time Coming.”

The season that saw Carrie get back to what she does best — tenaciously fighting terrorists — ended with her trying to adjust to dealing with the stuff of everyday life: being a mother, dealing with the loss of her father and the painful reconnection with her long-awol mother.

Even the requisite cliffhanger moment to keep us primed for season five revolves around Carrie facing a moral gut-check rather than the imminent danger of a bomb going off or specific attack unfolding. In fact, the dilemma Carrie stumbles into in the closing moments of “Long Time Coming,” is the epitome of what “Homeland »

- Cynthia Littleton

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‘Homeland’s’ Low-Key Finale Completes Season ’24’ (Spoilers)

12 hours ago

Homeland” just concluded season No. 4. But in the pivot the show made from its uneven past into its new-look present, it might as well have been called “Season ’24.'”

Of course, key producers on this Showtime series also worked on that earlier Fox show, which explored the war on terror in a world of tough choices and sacrifices, against an utterly ruthless foe. And while “Homeland” has maintained more nuance and finesse than its predecessor exhibited, the transition from the initial high of returned-pow Nicholas Brody and his “Manchurian Candidate”-like rise — exploiting a political class and media hungry for heroes — to a more conventional if often tense and surprising espionage thriller appears to have been completed this season, transforming Rupert Friend’s tormented operative/killing machine Peter Quinn into an updated version of Jack Bauer.

The fourth season also provided a showcase for Claire Danes, which might explain why »

- Brian Lowry

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‘The Affair’ Finale Signals Warning of Wrong Turn (Spoilers)

13 hours ago

The Affair” capped an otherwise splendid first season in somewhat uninspired fashion. Yes, the Showtime series closed on a cliffhanger, one that creates a host of possibilities going forward, in an hour that also incorporated a couple of pretty major revelations. Yet the show’s murder-mystery — not just whodunit, but who got it done to them — has at times felt like its least compelling component, and the twists elevated that plot in a way that approximated less the confines of premium cable than the histrionics of ABC’s Sunday-night soaps.

At its core, the program’s terrific leads, Ruth Wilson and Dominic West, their characters’ torrid affair and its complications for all those surrounding them has unfolded in slow but absorbing fashion. That was augmented by the “Rashomon”-like device of having events recalled in the two characters’ alternate perspectives, with details often diverging in small but significant ways.

The finale, »

- Brian Lowry

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