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‘Cruel Intentions’ Musical Duo Taps Into Nostalgia Takeover With ‘The Oc’ Show

1 hour ago

Multihyphenate Lindsey Rosin and her producing partner Jordan Ross made noise this summer with the success of their legit adaptation of the cult-fave movie “Cruel Intentions.” On Sunday night, the pair hope to strike again with their latest nostalgic endeavor, “The Unauthorized Oc Musical.”

The tuner, inspired by the teen-centric soap that ran on Fox from 2003 to 2007, is set to premiere as a one-night only event at Hollywood’s Montalban Theater, where it broke a house record for selling out within 15 minutes.

“I think in general, I feel like a child of the 90s,” Rosin says of her affinity for nostalgic projects like “Cruel Intentions” and “The O.C.” She adds, “That’s a time that will always be special to me and obviously, a lot of people my age. I like to say my spirit animal is a teenage girl and I feel that more strongly as time goes on. »

- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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Vin Scully to Return to Dodgers in 2016

14 hours ago

Vin Scully is returning to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2016 for a 67th season as the club’s announcer.

“I talked it over with my wife, Sandi, and my family and we’ve decided to do it again in 2016,” Scully said in a statement. “There’s no place like home … and we look forward to being a part of it with all of our friends.”

Jimmy Kimmel used cue cards to make the announcement on the Dodgers videoboard during the Dodgers-Cubs game at Dodger Stadium after the top of the second inning. His last card read: “God bless us everyone.”

“Vin is a national treasure and the Dodgers couldn’t be happier to have him back at the microphone in 2016,” said Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten. “Vin makes every broadcast special, and generation after generation of Dodger fans have been blessed to be able to listen to him create »

- Dave McNary

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Steven Pasquale Joins Katherine Heigl in CBS Reshoot of ‘Doubt’

16 hours ago

CBS is readying up for the reshoot of “Doubt,” filling out the cast with a new addition in Steven Pasquale, Variety has learned.

Pasquale takes the place of Teddy Sears who was cast in the original pilot as the male lead. He will star opposite Heigl, who also joins the revamped pilot, replacing KaDee Strickland.

Pasquale will play Billy, a decent and altruistic pediatric surgeon recently accused of murdering a 15-year-old girl many years ago. Billy is having a secret love affair with his attorney, Sadie, played by Heigl.

After being narrowly passed on by CBS for a series order this past May, the network decided to give the legal drama another go with re-casting and re-tooling of the script by creators, “Grey’s Anatomy” duo Tony Phelan and Joan Rater.

Original cast members Dulé Hill, Dreama Walker, Elliott Gould, Kobi Libii and “Orange Is the New Black’s” Laverne Cox »

- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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Website Crashes for Tiny TV Network in Advance of Its Donald Trump Interview

18 hours ago

A website for a small cable network that will feature Sarah Palin talking with Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush crashed hours before the interviews were set to take place.

Little-known One America News Network acknowledged the outage at 3:45 p.m. Pt on Friday, citing widespread anticipation in the interviews.

“So much interest in the interview of Donald J. Trump, Jeb Bush, and Ted Cruz tonight by Sarah Palin at 10 pm Est that you crashed the oann.com website! It will be up shortly – Thank you for the interest in One America News Network,” read the post.

Despite the fact Oan is only available in 12 million U.S. households, the interview is generating tremendous interest largely on the drawing power of Trump. Then there’s the appeal of Palin, who is serving as guest host for the Oan series “On Point.”

In addition to its TV home, Oan »

- Andrew Wallenstein

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Casting Roundup: ‘Grinder’ Adds Christina Applegate

18 hours ago

The Grinder” gets a girlfriend and an “Svu” alum is on the case in “Survivor’s Remorse” in today’s casting roundup …

Fox’s “The Grinder” may be down a showrunner, but that hasn’t stopped its casting announcements. Christina Applegate will guest star in an upcoming episode of the new comedy as an former high school flame of Rob Lowe’s Dean, the network announced Friday. Other upcoming guest stars include “Murder in the First’s” Emmanuelle Chriqui and “Married’s” Nat Faxon. “The Grinder” premieres at 8:30 p.m. Sept. 29.

JoAnna Garcia Swisher will also guest star on Fox, playing a love interest to a new leading man. Swisher will appear in an episode of John Stamos’ “Grandfathered,” EW reports. The “Astronaut Wives Club” actress will play Sloan, a cute and bubbly admissions officer at a prestigious preschool where Stamos’ Jimmy hopes to enroll his granddaughter, but he »

- Whitney Friedlander

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Nicole Scherzinger Joins Neil Patrick Harris’ ‘Best Time Ever’

19 hours ago

Nicole Scherzinger, a singer who is a staple of British TV including a regular gig on “The X Factor UK,” has signed on to NBC’s “Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris.”

Harris tweeted a picture of the two on Friday and described Scherzinger as “the newest member of the team” and used the hashtag “sidekick.”

The newest member of Team @BestTimeEver: the talented and titillating Nicole Scherzinger! @nicolescherzy #sidekick pic.twitter.com/WZmZzWyvEx

Neil Patrick Harris (@ActuallyNPH) August 28, 2015

Scherzinger previously was a judge on Fox’s rendition of “The X Factor.”

“Best Time Ever” is an hourlong live comedy-variety series based on a British format, “Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.” It’s set to premiere Sept. 15.


- Cynthia Littleton

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USA Cancels Freshman Drama ‘Complications’

19 hours ago

USA has put an end to “Complications,” announcing it is not renewing the Matt Nix-created drama for another season.

The series, which premiered in June, stars Jason O’Mara as a suburban ER doctor who winds up killing a street gang member after he rushes to help the victim of a drive-by shooting. His life changes dramatically in the aftermath. Other cast members include Jessica Szohr, Beth Riesgraf and Lauren Stamile.

“Problematic in its depiction of dark-skinned bad guys,” Variety TV critic Brian Lowry wrote in his review,” The 10-episode season … conjures its share of tension, but feels increasingly strained, until it’s finally clear the patient can’t be saved.”

Complications” fared decently in its first season on USA, where it was paired with returning drama “Graceland.” It averaged a 0.52 rating in adults 18-49, a 0.66 rating in adults 25-54 and 1.9 million viewers overall in Nielsen’s “live plus-3” estimates. »

- Whitney Friedlander

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Emmys Celebrate Diversity in Primetime Television

20 hours ago

Jason George took the stage at a crowded Montage Beverly Hills patio area Thursday evening to mark the celebration of diversity in the 67th Annual Emmy Award nominations. The patio was filled with attendees involved in showbiz — most of whom are considered a minority of some kind.

The third Dynamic & Diverse event from the TV Academy brought people from the industry old and new to celebrate the occasion. “Grey’s Anatomy” regular George, chair of SAG-aftra’s Diversity Advisory Committee, made a speech that touched on the “Empire” effect — or as he likes to call it, the “Shonda Rhimes” effect — that snowballed into the 2015-16 season having the most diverse television content in years.

“Diversity is good business,” he started. It was a statement that he had made last year before series “Black-ish” and “Fresh Off the Boat” premiered. He continued, “I don’t know if we can do ‘All in the Family »

- Mannie Holmes

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Justin Bieber Will Be on ‘Today’ for a Week

21 hours ago

Beliebers and non-Beliebers alike better prepare themselves: Justin Bieber will be appearing on “Today” for a whole week.

That’s right. Starting on Monday, Sept. 7, Bieber will begin a weeklong residency on “Today” that will culminate with live performances on Thursday, Sept. 10 and Friday the 11.

Bieber has been blowing up on social media after dropping his new soul-searching single “What Do You Mean?” Friday morning. The lyric video for the song, which asks many introspective relationship questions, has skaters Ryan Sheckler and Chelsea Castro skateboarding around Los Angeles in slow motion before a shirtless Bieber appears to show off his skills on the board. The single dropped ahead of Bieber’s fourth LP, which will debut  Nov. 13.

The singer will perform “What Do You Mean?” on MTV’s 2015 Video Music Awards this Sunday before inevitably bringing it to “Today.”

Update: Based on an erroneous report from Rolling Stone, this article »

- Jacob Bryant

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VH1 Scraps Second Season of Drama ‘Hindsight’

21 hours ago

VH1 has pulled the plug on drama series “Hindsight,” which was in the midst of preparing to film its second season. The decision comes amid belt-tightening at Viacom cablers and regime change at VH1, where Chris McCarthy took over the general manager post from Tom Calderone in July.

Hindsight” had a well-received first season run in January and was renewed in March. The show revolves around a woman who winds up transported back in time 15 years and given the chance to redo her life. Emily Fox created the series and exec produced with John Norris, Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly.

Laura Ramsey, Sarah Goldberg, John Patrick Amedori, Nick Clifford, Jessy Hodges and Craig Homer starred in the show, which tapped into the current wave of 1990s nostalgia with its 1995 setting.

“Scripted series have been a successful part of VH1’s primetime lineup since 2010 and will continue to be in the future, »

- Cynthia Littleton

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‘The Walking Dead’ Standalone Web Series Will Connect with ‘Fear’

21 hours ago

While AMC still isn’t planning any crossovers between “The Walking Dead” and its record-breaking companion series “Fear the Walking Dead,” a new special will bridge the gap between the two shows, in a manner of speaking.

Variety has confirmed that a standalone “Walking Dead” web series is in the works, with plans to debut installments of the self-contained story both online and during commercial breaks for “The Walking Dead” season six. Entertainment Weekly, who first broke the news, describes the project as a half-hour special, but reps for AMC say it has yet to be determined how the story will be divided up for broadcast, or the length of each installment.

The web series is set on an airplane during the time period explored in “Fear the Walking Dead,” prior to the collapse of society. It will center around a group of people who must face a walker attack »

- Laura Prudom

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Watch: First Look at ‘Vice’ Prison Report With President Obama (Exclusive)

21 hours ago

Vice and HBO have teamed up for a special report on the criminal justice system, “Fixing the System,” in which President Obama tours the El Reno federal prison in Oklahoma. It’s said to be the first time a sitting president has ever visited a federal prison.

In the trailer above, Obama is seen shaking hands with inmates during a tour of the prison.

“There was a strong political incentive, I think, to continually be tough on drugs,” said Obama. “The thing just kept on getting ratcheted up.”

Continues Obama, “We think it’s somehow normal for black youth, Latino youth to somehow be going through the system in this way. It’s not normal.”

The documentary, which is hosted by Vice founder and correspondent Shane Smith, will give viewers an in-depth look at the impact of the current approach to crime and imprisonment, chronicling the many interlocking pieces of the sprawling system, »

- Debra Birnbaum

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PR Vet David Gardner Joins Lippin Group

22 hours ago

David Gardner has joined the Lippin Group public relations firm as senior VP.

Gardner is a PR vet who most recently worked for Atlanta-based cablers Up and Aspire. During the past 20 years he’s held PR posts at Turner, CBS, Disney Channel, ABC Family and FX. He’s worked on shows ranging from “The Office” and “Heroes” to “Everybody Hates Chris” and “Veronica Mars.”

At Lippin, Gardner will work with TV clients and domestic and international media firms. He’ll be based in Los Angeles.

Gardner got his start at Turner Broadcasting in Atlanta. After many years in L.A., he returned to Atlanta in 2010 to teach film and communications at Georgia State University. He also finished his master’s degree in communications at the school at December 2012, capping his studies with a thesis on how PR pros and TV critics develop and maintain fan bases for TV shows.


- Variety Staff

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Disney Channel Original Movie ‘Invisible Sister’ to Debut Oct. 9

23 hours ago

Disney Channel’s “Invisible Sister” will premiere on Oct. 9, Variety has learned.

The telepic marks the first leading role in a Disney Channel original movie for “Girl Meets World” star Rowan Blanchard.

Based on Beatrice Colin and Sara Pinto’s novel “My Invisible Sister,” the live-action adventure/comedy follows Cleo, whose science project takes a wrong turn, causing her popular sister Molly to become completely invisible. The accident spurs the introverted Cleo to step into the shoes of her older sister and take her place in an important lacrosse game, while trying to convince everyone that nothing is wrong — while trying to reverse Cleo’s experiment before Molly’s invisibility becomes permanent.

Blanchard plays Cleo, and co-stars with fellow Disney actress Paris Berelc (“Mighty Med”), who plays her sister.

The TV movie also stars another familiar Disney face, Karan Brar — the “Jessie” alum and “Bunk’d” regular will play Cleo »

- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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Lea Michele and ‘Glee’ Producers on Moving On to ‘Scream Queens’

28 August 2015 10:00 AM, PDT

Scream Queens” reunites star Lea Michele with the triumvirate that created “Glee” — Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan. And while they all still miss Cory Monteith, they say going right into “Scream Queens” helped them heal. “It really has been a gift,” says Murphy. Here, they open up to Variety about saying goodbye to “Glee” — and moving on to “Scream Queens.”

Star Lea Michele on how hard it was to say goodbye to “Glee”:

“It was really hard. But I was so thankful to know I didn’t have to say goodbye to Ryan and Brad and Ian and a lot of our crew. I loved ‘Glee’ so much. I miss Rachel Berry so much. We would be starting our seventh season right now. But I do think I got to a point where I was proud of the job I had done, and I felt very satisfied. »

- Debra Birnbaum

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UK’s Channel 4 Orders Drama Series on Celebrity Sex Abuse Scandal

28 August 2015 9:38 AM, PDT

Edinburgh — U.K. broadcaster Channel 4 hopes to boost its credentials for challenging drama with a new show that fictionalizes sexual abuse in showbiz.

National Treasure,” announced at the Edinburgh Television Festival by Channel 4’s chief creative officer Jay Hunt, is a four-part series examining accusations of sexual misconduct against a fictional aging TV celeb.

It is written by the BAFTA and Royal Television Society-award winning playwright Jack Thorne, and executive produced by long-standing U.K. drama producer George Faber.

Story focuses on the fictional Paul Finchley, one half of a much-loved comedy double act, a national treasure despite Finchley’s career being on the wane. One day his world changes forever when he is accused of raping a woman in the 1970s.

Said Thorne: “‘National Treasure’ is a piece about doubt, about the smell of abuse… Paul is a man who could be innocent or guilty. We’re »

- Steve Clarke

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Paralympian Chris Holmes Urges for U.K. TV Diversity, End to ‘Clone Recruitment’

28 August 2015 9:29 AM, PDT

Edinburgh — U.K. TV needs to wise up about diversity or it will be “knocked off its perch as a world leader,” according to former Paralympian Chris Holmes.

Speaking at the Edinburgh Television Festival, Holmes called on execs attending the gabfest, which wraps on Friday, to end the “culture of clone recruitment.” Diversity — or rather the lack of it in both British and American TV — has been a recurring theme at the festival.

Television must end “the revolving door of appointments of people who look the same, think the same and went to the same schools and universities,” said Holmes as he launched new guidance to help foster greater diversity in British TV.

He described the issue “as a stubborn stain on the industry’s reputation” and said that “until progress is actually delivered, the perception that TV is still dominated by a ‘luvvie’ mafia dominated by white, middle-class men will remain. »

- Steve Clarke

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Victoria Justice Inks Deal with Fox & 20th to Star in TV Projects

28 August 2015 9:00 AM, PDT

Victoria Justice has inked a talent deal with Fox and Twentieth Century Fox Television, Variety has learned.

Under the new pact, the network and studio will be able to develop joint projects and roles specifically tailored for the “Victorious” starlet who will also have the ability to guest star on existing series across both Fox’s and 20th’s portfolios.

“We’re thrilled to bring Victoria Justice into the fold as we develop our next round of fresh, young and vibrant material that can be tailored to her distinct point of view and considerable talent,” Sharon Klein, Evp of casting for Twentieth Century Fox TV said Friday. “She has an incredibly relevant fan base and major social media presence, making this a truly exciting partnership with unlimited options.”

Justice is coming off her MTV thriller “Eye Candy.” Her other credits include Josh Schwartz’s 2012 flick “Fun Size,” plus TV roles on “iCarly, »

- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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Brooke Burke-Charvet Returns as Miss America Co-Host

28 August 2015 8:42 AM, PDT

After a two-year absence, Brooke Burke-Charvet is returning to Miss America as the co-host of the 2016 competition.

She joins previously announced co-host, “The Bachelor’s” Chris Harrison, who has signed on for a seventh season emceeing the famous event. Previously announced judges are Brett Eldredge, Taya Kyle, Kevin O’Leary, Amy Purdy and Zendaya. Nick Jonas who will act as the official music curator of the evening.

Back again to co-host the #MissAmerica Competition alongside @chrisbharrison is… @brookeburke! Tune-in 9/13 on ABC. pic.twitter.com/Ua5QjTtmvz

Miss America Org (@MissAmericaOrg) August 28, 2015

“It’s great to be back with Miss America for the 95th Anniversary competition and co-hosting with partner Chris Harrison,” said Burke-Charvet. “It’s always impressive and inspiring to meet the young women who strive to make a difference in their communities, while furthering their education and advancing principles of service, style and success.”

Former “Dancing with the Stars »

- Whitney Friedlander

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‘Fear the Walking Dead’ Premiere Powers AMC Global to Record Ratings

28 August 2015 8:41 AM, PDT

After shattering all-time cable ratings record with its bow in the U.S. on AMC, “Fear the Walking Dead” has set more records with newly launched AMC Global’s worldwide debut of the zombie drama.

AMC Global was a top 10 network on Sunday in key regional markets across Europe, Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The program debuted worldwide simultaneously at 9 p.m. Et/Pt with repeats in local time zones during primetime. AMC will launch in the U.K. for the first time later this month.

Fear the Walking Dead” has already received a 15-episode order for a second season, which will air on AMC Global in 2016.

Looking at the international highlights, “Fear” quadrupled the network’s primetime audience in key Latin America markets and made AMC a top 10 entertainment network throughout the region. In Brazil, where the newly launched network has only 30% distribution, AMC was No. »

- Rick Kissell

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