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PBS Announces 2016 Premiere Date for ‘Downton Abbey’ Final Season

6 hours ago | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Downton Abbey’s” final season is coming to a close — starting on Jan. 3, 2016, to be exact.

The Season 6 premiere date for the U.S. debut was announced Saturday at the Television Critics’ Assn. summer press tour in Beverly Hills, Calif. PBS boss Paula Kerger also said that “Downton” will have a celebratory float at January’s Tournament of Roses parade to honor the show’s final bow.

Earlier this year, exec producer Gareth Neame confirmed that the sixth season, now in production over the pond, would be the last, saying in a statement, “Millions of people around the world have followed the journey of the Crawley family and those who serve them for the last five years. Inevitably, there comes a time when all shows should end, and ‘Downton’ is no exception. We wanted to close the doors of ‘Downton Abbey’ when it felt right and natural for the storylines »

- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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Best of the Week: David Foster Wallace, Christian Petzold, Fall Fests and More

6 hours ago | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Arthouse Audit: Is 'Phoenix' This Year's 'Ida'? 'Mr. Holmes' Stays Strong 'The Danish Girl' and 'A Bigger Splash' Join 'Everest' and 'Black Mass' at Venice Film Festival Discover the Brothers Quay, Identical Twin Animators Who Inspired Christopher Nolan Fall Calendar Reveals Awards Itinerary and Stealth Contenders The Future of Empathy-Generating Virtual Reality Is Here How HBO's 'Ballers' Fails Sports Fans Jason Segel Takes On David Foster Wallace in Controversial 'End of the Tour' Michael Moore Reveals Stealth Nsa Project 'Where to Invade Next' on Periscope 'Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation' Drops Force-of-Nature Tom Cruise into a Glam Noir Shot on Film Screen Talk: Tom Cruise Takes Flight, New Oscar Movies, and the David Foster Wallace Controversy 'Steve Jobs' Joins Fall Festival Contenders as Nyff Centerpiece Gala: What's Coming Up and What's Not Top 10 Takeaways: Holdover 'Ant-Man' Tops Blah Week, Summer Slot for 'Southpaw' Pays Off Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What. »

- TOH!

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Writers Guild to Represent Salon Media Staff

6 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Digital media outlet Salon Media has agreed to recognize the Writers Guild of America East as the collective bargaining representative of its editorial staff.

The company and the guild have agreed to launch negotiations on a contract promptly, the WGA East said Saturday. Twenty-six of Salon’s employees are repped by the WGA.

The recognition comes a month after the Salon staff voted unanimously to unionize.

“The men and women who write, edit, and produce stories for Salon.com have gained a voice on the job, and the intelligence and unity they have brought to the project is an inspiration,” said WGA East Executive Director Lowell Peterson in a statement.

“For 20 years Salon has been a bastion of progressive thought and action, and we are very pleased that Salon management has reaffirmed its commitment to take the high road, to recognize and respect its employees’ right to organize,” he added. »

- Dave McNary

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Channing Tatum Closes ‘Gambit’ Deal

6 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Channing Tatum has closed a deal to star in “Gambit” for 20th Century Fox, a source close to project confirmed.

News of Tatum’s official involvement in the “X-Men” spinoff lays to rest the rumors that the project was falling apart.

Tatum has been tied to the superhero pic for some time as producer and star. He even appeared at Fox’s Comic-Con panel with the cast of “X-Men.” Details on the extent of Tatum’s involvement in future “X-Men” projects are still under wraps.

Gambit” is slated for an October 2016 release.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes” helmer Rupert Wyatt will direct a script by Josh Zetumer, who drew from a treatment written by “Gambit” co-creator Chris Claremont.

In addition to Tatum, Reid Carolin, Lauren Shuler Donner and Simon Kinberg will produce.

Tatum is repped by UTA.

The news was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.


- Marianne Zumberge

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PBS to Use ‘Downton Abbey’ for ‘Mercy Street’ Launch

6 hours ago | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

PBS is hoping that it’s most successful series ever can help launch one of its newest dramas. “Mercy Street,” PBS’ first American-made drama in more than a decade, will premiere Jan. 17 at 10 p.m., following hit drama “Downton Abbey.” The premiere of “Downton’s” final season will be Jan. 3. PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger announced the premiere strategy Saturday at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour. Kerger acknowledged that the series will leave a void when it departs television at the end of next season, saying “it’s brought a lot of people back to public television. »

- Daniel Holloway

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Charlize Theron Adopts Second Child, a Baby Girl—Find Out Her Name!

6 hours ago | E! Online | See recent E! Online news »

And baby makes two! Charlize Theron has adopted her second child, an African-American baby girl named August, who was born in the United States in July, a source confirmed to E! News Saturday.  August joins big brother Jackson, 3, who is also African-American. Theron, who was born and raised in South Africa and lives in Los Angeles, adopted him in 2012. Theron, who is notoriously private about her personal life,had  opened up about the lengthy wait before she was allowed to bring Jackson home, in an emotional interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. "My mom said the most beautiful thing. I'm going to cry," Theron said. "She said…'It took me nine months to »

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Scott Disick Misses Kourtney Kardashian? See His Cryptic New Photo From a Friend's Wedding

7 hours ago | E! Online | See recent E! Online news »

Does Scott Disick miss Kourtney Kardashian? Last month, days after they split, he had told friends he was "doing good." During an appearance at a Las Vegas nightclub last week, Disick, 32, seemed more ambivalent while talking to reporters. On Friday night, Disick posted on his Instagram page a photo that was taken at the wedding of J.J. Corsini, a friend of his Kourtney's brother Rob Kardashian, and Elizabeth Condon. It shows him holding a place card that reads, "Scott Disick Guest." "When u realize the grass isn't always greener," he said. Kourtney has not commented. "Go get your Beautiful Girl and wonderful family back »

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Roddy Piper's Anti-Epic Fight Scene in They Live

7 hours ago | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

Nearly an hour into John Carpenter’s They Live (1988), the gum-chewing, ass-kicking Roddy Piper engages Keith David in one of the most ridiculous bouts of fisticuffs in movie history. The fight lasts for six minutes and purportedly serves no purpose; its incomprehensible duration is the joke, and in lieu of a punchline, Carpenter gives us punches. Lots of punches. It is, as philosopher and cultural critic Slavoj Žižek puts it, totally irrational, and totally brilliant. WWF legend Piper, who died this week at 61, plays Nada, a transient construction worker whose name we only know from the credits. He wanders into town looking for work, and instead stumbles upon an alien plot to control humanity using consumerism. These aliens are really ugly things with formaldehyde-faces, all scarred and piebald like syphilis victims. They hide among the denizens of Los Angeles, working white collar jobs, controlling the television stations, embedding their insidious »

- Greg Cwik

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Friday Box Office: Cruise and 'Mission: Impossible' Do Their Part, But Grosses Lag

7 hours ago | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

"Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation" (Paramount) showed initial strength with a $20.4 million combined Thursday night and Friday gross. The $150 million production is likely to show major international strength to boost it into profit, but these numbers are also strong. It is the best start for a Tom Cruise-starring film (adjusting ticket prices) since "M:i 3" in 2006, although with the caveat that "Ghost Protocol" in 2011 open in 425 IMAX theaters exclusively in 2011 its first weekend. Still, this is above expectations and good news for Paramount. This is about $4 million better than the debut of "Mad Max: Fury Road" in May in a slightly more competitive, summer vacation playtime. Even more impressive, it is only $6 million less than "Terminator: Genisys" amassed on its first three days (it opened on Wednesday, and its Friday was a holiday). "M.I. 5" more than quadrupled the gross of "Vacation" (Warner »

- Tom Brueggemann

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‘Nature Cat’ Star Bobby Moynihan Compares PBS Kids Show to ‘SNL': ‘We’re Puppets Too’

7 hours ago | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

PBS’ animated “Nature Cat” may be aimed at kids, but it boasts the voices of “SNL” veterans Bobby Moynihan, Taran Killam, Kate McKinnon and Kenan Thompson. The crossover casting makes plenty of sense to Moynihan, who told television critics on Saturday that animation, sketch comedy and even the Muppets all exist under basically the same umbrella. “I’ve always been a big Muppet guy,” Moynihan said of his participation in an animated children’s show. “‘The Muppet Show’ to me, and ‘Sesame Street’ … they’re in the same world as ‘SNL.'” “It’s all a variety show — it just happens that some of them. »

- Tony Maglio

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Best of Enemies Is the Saddest Film of the Year

7 hours ago | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

You might see a film about William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal’s ten televised debates during the 1968 Presidential conventions as an opportunity to bask in eloquent, pointed repartee. You might also enjoy the spectacle of two of the foremost intellectuals of their time coming very close to physically beating the crap out of each other. You might not expect, however, to find yourself weeping – for the state of the Republic and the poisoned media landscape, for the decay of the American social contract. Yet here we are. Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville’s masterful Best of Enemies leaves you with an overwhelming sense of despair. It’s not just a great documentary, it’s a vital one. The setup is simple, and beautiful – so simple and beautiful that I’m shocked nobody’s tried to make this movie until now. In 1968, the struggling ABC network, dead last behind CBS »

- Bilge Ebiri

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Top Publicists Weigh in on Cecil the Lion’s Killer

8 hours ago | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Whether it’s good news or bad news, there’s a right way and wrong way to handle it. In this new recurring feature, The Hollywood Reporter assembles an expert panel of top industry publicists to weigh in on the rollout (or fallout!) behind the biggest headlines du jour. We call it: PR ER. This week’s topic: Walter Palmer, the Minnesota dentist who killed Cecil the Lion. On Tuesday, Palmer issued a statement saying that he “relied on the expertise of my local professional guides” and expressing regret that his “pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted

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- Rebecca Sun

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Box Office: ‘Mission: Impossible 5′ Notches Series-High Opening Day, Eyes $52 Million Weekend

8 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Tom Cruise actioner “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation” generated $20 million at the Friday box office, marking the biggest opening day in the “Mission: Impossible” franchise.

The Paramount/Skydance release is on track to pull in about $52 million for the weekend in its 3,956 locations, according to studio estimates. The fifth installment in the series, written and directed by Chris Mcquarrie, finds Cruise facing off against a squad of special agents known as the Syndicate. Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner and Rebecca Ferguson also star.

“This is the rare sequel that leaves its franchise feeling not exhausted but surprisingly resurgent at 19 years and counting,” Variety‘s review says of the pic. Cruise has already announced plans for a sixth film.

Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol,” the previous pic in the series, pulled in $209 million in the U.S. and $485 million internationally. The first four “Mission: Impossible” films have totaled more than $2 billion in worldwide grosses. »

- Marianne Zumberge

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Bobbi Kristina Brown's Family, Including Bobby Brown, Attend Her Funeral—Get the Details

8 hours ago | E! Online | See recent E! Online news »

Bobbi Kristina Brown's loved ones, including her father Bobby Brown, flocked to a Georgia church on Saturday to honor her at a private funeral. Bobbi Kristina was the only child of pop icon Whitney Houston, his late ex-wife. The 22-year-old died last Sunday after spending several months in a coma. She had been found unconscious in a filled bathtub inside her home on Jan. 31. Whitney was found in a similar manner in a Beverly Hills hotel room in 2012 before she was declared dead on the scene at age 48. Bobbi Kristina is expected to be laid to rest beside her in Westfield, New Jersey on Monday. The funeral which took place at the St. James United Methodist Church in Alpharetta, Georgia. Men were seen »

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Tom Cruise’s ‘Mission: Impossible’ Throttles Box Office With $20 Million Friday

8 hours ago | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” roared out of the gate with an estimated $20.3 million Friday, blowing away two-time defending champ “Ant-Man,” the raunchy “Vacation” sequel and analysts’ projections on its way to an opening weekend north of $50 million at the box office. The fifth film in Paramount Pictures’ 19-year-old action franchise is on pace for its biggest opening since “Mission Impossible II” debuted with $57 million in 2000, and will be the best for Cruise since 2005’s “War of the Worlds” rolled out with $65 million in 2005. It’s well ahead of the expectations of Paramount, and reestablishes Cruise’s action-star credentials »

- Todd Cunningham

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Snoop Dogg's Tour of European Legal Trouble Continues

8 hours ago | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

After being detained in Sweden for allegedly looking like he was high last weekend, Snoop Dogg has now had a run-in with Italian customs, according to the Associated Press. The rapper with an affinity for the gonja was stopped by Italian authorities at the Lamezia Terme airport in Calabria Saturday after they found him carrying $422,000 in cash. The authorities then took half of his money under anti-money laundering regulations, which require you to declare if you’re transporting more than $11,000 in cash across EU borders. They will reportedly keep that money until determining how much of a fine to levy against him. This leaves Snoop with a little more than $200,000, which can buy you approximately 50,000 booklets of Zig Zag rolling papers, or around 53 pounds of pot. If things continue in this fashion, Snoop will be hanging out with British authorities this Sunday. »

- Greg Cwik

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John Ridley Reveals Season Two Plot of ‘American Crime’ (Exclusive)

8 hours ago | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Executive producer John Ridley doesn’t shy away from tackling tough social issues, as he proved in the first season of ABC’s “American Crime,” which recently earned 10 Emmy nominations.

In the anthology series’ second season, Ridley reveals to Variety exclusively, the show’s central crime will revolve around a high school boy who accuses several players on a championship basketball team at a private school of sexually assaulting him — and taking photos and posting them online.

That storyline will allow the showrunner to explore issues of social economics, education, as well as sexual orientation.

“We wanted to take incidents that sometimes in other shows tend to be week-to-week and episodic and not just use them merely as plot points, but really see how they play out with family, how they have a cascade effect over time, and with the community as well,” he says.

The season will be set in Indianapolis, »

- Debra Birnbaum

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Nicki Minaj Allegedly Dumps Meek Mill, Poor Guy

8 hours ago | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

Meek Mill is officially having a worse week than you. He irreparably ruined his cred following his ongoing beef with Drake, which resulted in a bevy of responses in heavy favor of Drake. Now The Daily Beast reports that Meek Mill has been dumped by Nicki Minaj, via tabloid site MediaTakeOut. Talk about getting kicked while you're down.“Nicki reportedly broke it off with Meek last night,” MediaTakeOut says, but “the two plan on fulfilling the rest of the tour obligations together.” The site claims to have spoken with one of Minaj’s best friends. If that’s all true, then Meek Mill may replace Drake as the saddest rapper alive. »

- Greg Cwik

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Valerie Harper Speaks Out After Health Scare: "I Am Not, Nor Have I Been, in a Coma"

9 hours ago | E! Online | See recent E! Online news »

Valerie Harper is setting the record straight about her heath—and she's cracking jokes! The 75-year-old Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda alum was rushed to a hospital on Wednesday after falling unconscious before a performance of her musical Nice Work If You Can Get It at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine. She was conscious when she arrived at the medical center, fire department officials had said, and released on Friday morning. An unconfirmed report had said that while hospitalized, Harper had been in a coma. "I am happy to report I am not, nor have I been, in a coma," read a message posted on the actress' Facebook page on Friday night. "As anyone who has taken strong »

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Andre 3000 Cast in 'American Crime' Second Season

9 hours ago | Rollingstone.com | See recent Rolling Stone news »

Andre 3000 has been cast in the upcoming second season of the ABC drama American Crime. On the anthology series, the Outkast rapper will play Michael Lacroix, a prominent Midwest architect whose son gets embroiled in a scandal at an elite private school, The Hollywood Reporter writes. The drama's second season will also tackle gender issues and sexual identity.

A veteran of films like Be Cool, Four Brothers, Idlewild and most recently Jimi: All Is by My Side, American Crime turn will mark Andre 3000's first reoccurring, non-voiceover TV role. American Crime »

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