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‘Moonlight’ Director Barry Jenkins to Write, Direct Underground Railroad Series at Amazon

29 minutes ago

Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins will write and direct a one-hour drama series about the Underground Railroad currently in development at Amazon, Variety has learned. The series will be based on Colson Whitehead’s best-selling book, “The Underground Railroad.”

“Going back to ‘The Intuitionist,’ Colson’s writing has always defied convention, and ‘The Underground Railroad’ is no different,” Jenkins said. “It’s a groundbreaking work that pays respect to our nation’s history while using the form to explore it in a thoughtful and original way. Preserving the sweep and grandeur of a story like this requires bold, innovative thinking and in Amazon we’ve found a partner whose reverence for storytelling and freeness of form is wholly in line with our vision.”

Published by Doubleday, “The Underground Railroad” has sold over 825,000 copies in the United States across all formats. An Oprah’s Book Club 2016 selection, New York Times bestseller, and the winner of the 2016 National Book Award »


- Joe Otterson

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TV Ratings: ‘60 Minutes’ Gets Big March Madness Boost

33 minutes ago

An absurdly perfect finish to the final Elite Eight game of March Madness — unless you’re a Kentucky fan — provided quite the boost to “60 Minutes” last night. The last-minute tie and subsequent last-second breaking of that tie, which handed the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill their fourth trip to the Final Four in the last 10 years, drew a massive crowd on Sunday night in Nielsen’s preliminary fast national numbers. From 7 to 7:30 p.m. (the game lasted a few minutes longer), the Unc-Kentucky game on CBS garnered a 5.3 rating in the 18-49 demographic and an average audience of 20.66 million. “60 Minutes” consequently drew its best numbers since the middle of the NFL season: A 2.7 rating in the demo and 14.89 million viewers, winning the night by a ridiculous margin.

After “60 Minutes,” “NCIS: Los Angeles” pulled in a 1.6 demo rating and 11.27 million viewers. “Madam Secretary” followed with a 1.1 in the demo and 8.46 million viewers. “Elementary »


- Oriana Schwindt

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Discovery to Resurrect ‘Cash Cab’ Game Show

54 minutes ago

Discovery is reviving its long-running game show “Cash Cab,” Variety has confirmed, giving the people of New York one more reason to hail a taxi instead of ordering an Uber.

New episodes will run on Discovery later this year. As in the previous iteration, passengers will take on classic Cash Cab trivia en route to their destination, earning cash along the way. If they get stumped, pedestrians and friends can help them out via phone, text or social media shout outs. If the riders get three questions wrong, though, they’re out on the street — cashless, but at least a little further along in their journey.

Ben Bailey was the host of the original version, which ran from 2005 to 2012, but the revival has yet to name a single host. The new episodes will feature appearances from notables in comedy, film, and TV — some of whom will be driving the Cash Cab. The »


- Oriana Schwindt

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Josh Earnest, Former Obama Press Secretary, Joins NBC News, MSNBC as Analyst

2 hours ago

Josh Earnest, who served as White House Press Secretary in the latter part of President Barack Obama’s tenure, will join NBC News and MSNBC as a political analyst, according to a Monday announcement.

“With his wealth of experience and insight, Josh will be a great addition to our roster of contributors and will be an asset for our two networks as we continue to cover the White House, Congress and politics beyond the Beltway,” said NBC News President Noah Oppenheim and MSNBC President Phil Griffin in a memo to staffers. Earnest served as press secretary from 2014 to 2017.

Earnest worked for the Obama White House and his campaigns for ten years, initially joining his first presidential campaign in March 2007 as its Iowa communications director. Earnest would go on to work as deputy communications director during the 2008 general election. Josh has also worked on numerous national, statewide and local campaigns over the course of his twenty years in »


- Brian Steinberg

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‘American Horror Story’: Sarah Paulson Wants to Reprise Her ‘Coven’ Character

2 hours ago

PaleyFest La wrapped its week of TV panels with FX’s “American Horror Story: Roanoke.”

Executive producer Brad Falchuk revisited his original interest in the concept of “Roanoke” during a Q&A on Sunday at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre.

“Even before the show, we were always fascinated by it. It’s one of the few American mysteries so it was always in the back of our head. It was nice to have something that had just a kernel of truth in it and we could fill in whatever we want,” said Falchuk.

“Every season we’ve always tried to do something different. We really wanted to be as scary as possible. I wanted to beat the hell out of the cast in a different way,” he added.

Sarah Paulson, who played three characters during “Roanoke,” including reprising “Asylum’s” Lana Winters, compared this season to her previous ones on show.

“Usually »


- Maria Cavassuto

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Starz Play Arabia, Middle East Telco Ooredoo Team Up on TV App

5 hours ago

Rome – Expanding Qatar-based telco Ooredoo and Starz Play Arabia have forged a partnership to launch Ooredoo TV Go, an on-demand streaming service to which Starz Play will provide more than 6,000 hours of mostly Hollywood shows in eight markets across the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia.

The deal, the financial terms of which were not disclosed, will also give Oooredoo the content cornerstone for launching an Ooredoo TV Go app, in the first step of a planned multi-channel, multimedia Ott service.

“This is only the beginning for Ooredoo TV Go,” Johan Buse, Ooredoo’s chief commercial officer, said in a statement. “We will have more content and channels added in the future and we also have ambitious plans to have it optimized for television.”

Maaz Sheikh, Starz Play CEO, said that “the combination of Svod platforms and telecom operators now brings Arab consumers the premium content they want at an affordable price” and gives consumers “greater »


- Nick Vivarelli

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Len Blavatnik, Danny Cohen’s Access Ent. Backs Bad Wolf (Exclusive)

6 hours ago

Access Entertainment, led by former director of BBC Television Danny Cohen and owned by billionaire industrialist Len Blavatnik, has taken a 24.9% stake in Bad Wolf, the production company behind the forthcoming TV adaptation of Philip Pullman’s epic “His Dark Materials.”

Bad Wolf was launched in 2015 by Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner, former BBC drama executives responsible for “Doctor Who,” “Torchwood” and “Da Vinci’s Demons.” The company, which has the support of the Welsh government and is co-sited in South Wales and Los Angeles, produces high-end TV and film for the global television market.

“This investment by Access Entertainment provides Bad Wolf with further support to fast-track its already burgeoning scripted productions and grow its business globally,” according to a statement.

In addition to “His Dark Materials,” Bad Wolf is also in the midst of producing “A Discovery of Witches,” based on the bestselling novels by Deborah Harkness, and an adaptation of Bernard Cornwell’s “Warlord »


- Leo Barraclough

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‘Homeland’ Recap: Carrie Learns to Say No in Episode 10, ‘The Flag House’

14 hours ago

Spoiler Alert: Do not read if you have not seen the March 26 episode of “Homeland.”

Carrie Mathison learns an important lesson in “The Flag House,” as Season 6 of “Homeland” heads into its final two hours.

Peter Quinn, Dar Adal, and President-elect Elizabeth Keane have flashier moments in the 10th episode of the season, but there are two big Carrie moments that are revealing about this most complicated character, limned to near perfection by Claire Danes.

For one, we get the extraordinary sight of Carrie Mathison telling the next president of the United States: “I can’t.” With her daughter Franny already a pawn of the larger conspiracy, Carrie can’t risk charging ahead with her plan to go on the record about CIA honcho Dar Adal’s past shortcomings as a way to stop his maniacal campaign against President-elect Keane. This tells us that Carrie took the words of her court-appointed counselor seriously two episodes back when »


- Cynthia Littleton

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‘Walking Dead’ Recap: Everyone’s Allegiances Are Tested in ‘Something They Need’

14 hours ago

Spoiler alert: Do not read until you’ve watched the penultimate episode of season 7 of “The Walking Dead,” titled “Something They Need.”

If there’s one place where “The Walking Dead” consistently delivers, it’s raids. Rick and co. are so damn good at running up into other settlements and taking what they want, as much a testament to their apocalyptic skills as the show’s directors. In this case, the credit goes to Michael Slovis, who previously directed the infamous “Thank You” episode and worked as cinematographer on the unimpeachable “Breaking Bad.”

But before we get into the great action of “Something They Need,” let’s take a step back and recap what’s going on in the rest of this crazy world. Sasha, unsurprisingly, has gone and gotten herself captured by the Saviors. Some creep named David visits her cell and immediately starts throwing out rape vibes when she asks for water. It »


- Ian Servantes

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