Jeremy Renner to Narrate History’s World War Series
The series tells the story of three decades of war from the perspective of men like Franklin Roosevelt, Adolf Hitler, George Patton, Benito Mussolini, Winston Churchill, Hideki Tojo, Charles de Gaulle and Douglas MacArthur. It will also examine the two World Wars as one contiguous timeline, starting in 1914 and ending in 1945.
“The World Wars” is produced by Stephen David Entertainment for History with David as executive producer, and Russ McCarroll, Paul Cabana and Elaine Frontain Bryant as as executive producers for History.
“The stories that came out of the World Wars are heroic, horrific and everything in between,” said Renner. “I’m happy to lend my voice to History and help tell these stories in a very different way.”
The series premieres at 9 p.m. on May 26.
- Nikara Johns
'The Americans' renewed for 3rd season
Six episodes remain in the current second season, which has been pleasing critics (the debut season won the Television Critics Association Award for Outstanding New Program) yet performing somewhat modestly in the ratings. When including seven days of DVR playback, The Americans has averaged 3.1 million viewers this year. The second season finale is scheduled for Wednesday, May 21. “Fans will be blown away by the rest of this season, »
- James Hibberd
Comedian Artie Lange Hospitalized in Michigan
Comedian Artie Lange has been hospitalized after suffering what he called a “diabetic shock.”
Lange, 46, sent a tweet about his condition on Tuesday, saying he was in a hospital “outside” Detroit.
“Trying to get better. Sorry for missing gigs,” Lange’s tweet said. He also included a picture of himself lying in hospital bed.
In the hospital outside of Detroit after going into diabetic shock. Trying to get better. Sorry for missing gigs. http://t.co/tdM4jr2lJ0—
Artie Lange (@artiequitter) April 15, 2014
- Variety Staff
TV: The Maya Rudolph Show to Debut in May
After a long-delayed debut, The Maya Rudolph Show finally has a premiere date: Monday, May 19 at 10 Pm. Except here's the catch: it's yet unclear whether Rudolph's variety show will be a one-time special or an ongoing series. NBC will presumably base that decision on that first episode's ratings. Here's what we do know: There will be a ton of guest stars. Andy Samberg, Kristen Bell, Fred Armisen, Chris Parnell, Craig Robinson, and Sean Hayes are scheduled to appear, as is musical guest Janelle Monae and bandleader Raphael Saadiq. Rudolph was last seen guest-starring on Portlandia and will appear in P.T. Anderson's Inherent Vice in December. [h/t Av Club]
- Inkoo Kang
Gary Dourdan Books Roles In ‘Being Mary Jane’ & ‘Glee’; Sammi Hanratty Set To Recur on ‘Salem’
Gary Dourdan has been cast in a recurring role on Bet’s Being Mary Jane and a guest starring gig on Fox’s Glee. On the Bet comedy, he’ll play Sheldon Armstrong, a smoothly charming and casually handsome retired civil trial attorney who made a fortune suing corrupt corporations. He’s coming out of retirement to pursue his charitable outreach. He’s famous for never having given an interview in his life — but when Mary Jane (Gabrielle Union) sets out to interview him, he is quite taken with her and just might change his mind. On Glee, Dourdan plays D’Shon, Mercedes’ (Amber Riley) record producer. Dourdan, whose credits include CSI and Mistresses, is repped by Prestige Talent Agency and managed by Ata. Sammi Hanratty has booked a recurring role on Wgn America’s Salem. She’ll play Dottie, a leader among her peers whom Mercy (Elise Eberle) knows a little from school. »
- THE DEADLINE TEAM
‘X-Men’ Director Bryan Singer Accused of Sexually Abusing Teenage Boy
The plaintiff, Michael Egan, claims he was 17 when Singer forcibly sodomized him, among other allegations. Egan’s lawyers, who published his name in a press release, allege that Singer provided him with drugs and alcohol and flew him to Hawaii on more than one occasion in 1999.
Former chairman of Digital Entertainment Network Marc Collins-Rector is also named in the lawsuit and is accused of initiating the sexual abuse of Egan and arranging for Singer to assault Egan at a house in Encino, Calif.
Collins-Rector is a registered sex offender, having plead guilty in 2004 to luring minors across state lines for acts.
Jeff Herman, Egan’s lawyer, is a national sex abuse attorney who also represented the plaintiffs who accused Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash of sexual abuse. »
- Variety Staff
American Idol: Did the Contestants Sabotage Each Other on Competitors' Pick Night?
It's Competitors' Pick Night on American Idol, where the Top 7 finalists get to pick songs for their competitors, and each singer gets to choose one of six options. Did anyone go the sabotage route, or was everyone altruistic?
The show finally finds something for Randy Jackson to do, as he introduces the theme of the night and interviews each singer about what they would select for their counterparts. (Everyone seems to be playing nice, for the record.)
So, what did the finalists ultimately decide on? Let's get to the performances:
Read More > »
- Liz Raftery
'Arrow' recap: It's not easy being green
Spoiler alert: If you haven’t seen the April 16 episode of Arrow, stop reading now!
Well, that was an action-packed welcome back to Starling City! We have a lot to talk about, but first, I have to say that the moment I’m still hung up on from this episode was that maneuver where Oliver successfully flipped Felicity over the stairwell and they somehow both landed on their feet like they were cats or something. Is that weird? I mean, I know a lot just happened and major stuff is going down, but was that not incredibly impressive? Am I »
- Samantha Highfill
Mitchell Jason, Broadway, TV Actor, Dies at 92
Mitchell Jason, who appeared onstage, in films and on TV, died in Doylestown, Penn., on March 11. He was 92.
Jason studied acting at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute, acted in numerous Broadway and Off Broadway shows and appeared in many movies and TV shows. His most recent stage appearance was in the Tony Award-winning production of “Grand Hotel the Musical,” directed and choreographed by Tommy Tune. It ran on Broadway from 1989-92.
His film credits include “Network” and “The Heartbreak Kid,” and on TV he made appearances in “Doing Life” and “Contract on Cherry Street” and had a recurring role on ABC soap opera “Loving” as Monsignor Fratellini.
Born in Philadelphia, Mitchell served in the Army during WWII. Following the war he earned his bachelor’s degree from Temple University under the GI Bill. He pursued a stage career in Pennsylvania initially before heading to New York City.
Jason is survived »
- Carmel Dagan
Walter Roy Beery, Stage and TV Actor, Dies at 75
Walter Roy Beery, an actor who appeared in numerous television shows but whose first love was the theater, died at his home in Sherman Oaks, Calif., on April 6 from complications of lymphoma. He was 75.
Beery supported himself by working as a film broker at MGM until beginning his acting career in summer stock. He caught his first break when cast in the original Broadway and national tour of “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.” During the staging at the Ahmanson Theatre, he took to the Los Angeles lifestyle and sought to return, which he did after a stint as guest artist and acting teacher at Portland State U.
Through the years Beery appeared in television shows including “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “St. Elsewhere,” “Remington Steele,” “The Drew Carey Show” and “Numbers” as well as movies and television commercial. He worked as a senior model in the last several years of his life. »
- Carmel Dagan
'Survivor: Cagayan': And the eliminated contestant is...
Another week, another blindside. It was a shocking result once again on what has proven to be a topsy-turvy season of Survivor. My full recap will be up at midnight, but if you’d like to sound off on what happened and who went home, then read on for more. [Spoiler Alert: Read on only if you already watched tonight’s episode of Survivor: Cagayan.]
Whenever Survivor shows a player repeatedly going on about how much they trust another player, that first person is automatically doomed. We have seen it happen time and time again, and we saw it again tonight as Lj was ousted by his former best buddy Tony. Why did Tony feel »
- Dalton Ross
Arrow Boss on Big Ravager Reveal — And Who Almost Played Her!
[Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Wednesday's episode of Arrow. Read at your own risk!]
Slade Wilson's dastardly plan claimed yet another life during Wednesday's episode of Arrow — but this time, there was a twist!
After Oliver (Stephen Amell) tracked down the stolen S.T.A.R. labs machine, which was being used on Roy (Colton Haynes) to filter the Mirakuru in his blood to the prisoners that Slade (Manu Bennett) recently set free, the emerald archer faced off against both Slade and Isabel (Summer Glau). But Diggle (David Ramsey) made short work of Isabel, shooting her in the chest.
Arrow: Will Laurel reveal that she knows Oliver's big secret?
Isabel is far from dead...
Read More > »
- Natalie Abrams
'The Vampire Diaries': Director Paul Wesley explains why he nixed a shirtless moment in this week's episode -- Listen!
Paul Wesley stepped behind the camera to direct the April 17 episode of The Vampire Diaries, and while the hour will give viewers answers about new arrival Markos (Raffi Barsoumian) — “This guy is creating this alternate reality that is manifesting in Stefan and Elena’s mind, and that alternate reality is actually a set of clues leading to something,” he teases — there is one thing it won’t have: Stefan shirtless. The script originally called for it: “It was this beautiful scene where Stefan takes Elena, and he picks her up and kisses her, and they go on the kitchen counter »
- Mandi Bierly
Listless Lakers Wrapping Lowest-Rated Season to Date
This has been a season to forget for the Lakers, and Angelenos couldn’t bear to watch.
As they took the court in San Antonio on Wednesday to close the 2013-14 season, the Lakers were on track to finish with a 2.15 household rating for the season on TWC Sports Net, according to Nielsen — their lowest rating ever on cable television. This is a whopping 54% falloff from last year’s 4.63 household rating on the same network.
The decline has only grown as the season progressed, too, as the team had one losing month after another and ended up winning fewer than one third of its games. Its average rating was tracking 38% lower in January and 49% by the middle of March.
In terms of the actual number of households, roughly 140,000 fewer watched on average this season (122,000 vs. 262,000 a season ago). And in total viewers, the team is averaging 177,000 per game, or 55% below »
- Rick Kissell
Raymond Wagner, TV Producer, Exec, Dies at 85
Raymond Wagner, a producer of films including “Petulia” and, later, “Turner and Hooch” and formerly a top executive at Universal Studios and MGM, died of natural causes March 12 in Westwood, Calif. He was 85.
Wagner oversaw TV pilots for Universal during the 1960s and produced an early movie of the week, 1964′s “The Hanged Man.” He began his feature producing career with director Richard Lester’s 1968 film “Petulia,” starring Julie Christie and George C. Scott, followed by Irvin Kershner’s “Loving,” starring George Segal and Eva Marie Saint, in 1970.
As VP of production at MGM during the 1970s, Wagner oversaw the production of films including “Network,” “Fame,” “The Champ,” “The Passenger,” “The Sunshine Boys,” “Coma” and “Logan’s Run.”
- Carmel Dagan
Hal Cooper, TV Comedy Director, Dies at 91
Hal Cooper, a director and executive producer for television who helmed shows including “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “I Dream of Jeannie,” “Maude” and “Gimme a Break” and was a pioneer during the golden age of the medium, died of heart failure at his home in Beverly Hills on April 11. He was 91.
As TV was in its early days, Cooper wrote, produced and acted in a show for the Dumont Television Network called “Your Television Babysitter,” co-written and hosted by his wife, Pat Meikle. The show aired on the network’s first day of all-day television programming on Nov. 1, 1947. The show, aimed at preschoolers, taught the alphabet with the help of animal cartoon drawings. The show’s success was parlayed into the daytime series “The Magic Cottage,” aimed at teaching slightly older children, and aired from 1949-52.
Cooper also directed and produced many daytime shows from 1950 to 1957, including “Search for Tomorrow, »
- Carmel Dagan
Aereo Slammed One Last Time By Broadcasters Before Scotus Hearing
With just days to go before they meet their Aereo foes face-to-face at the Supreme Court, the broadcasters this week took one last swipe at what they claim is the “blatant and unapologetic copyright infringement” by the Barry Diller-backed streaming service. “Aereo is in the business of retransmitting performances of the copyrighted works of others to the public for a profit,” said bluntly in a final reply brief filed by Disney, CBS, NBC, Fox and the other plaintiffs on April 14 with the Scotus (read it here). Aereo and the broadcasters are set to present their respective oral arguments in a 1-hour hearing before the High Court on April 22. In their March 26 response to the broadcasters’ February 24 filing, Aereo insisted that they are not engaged in public performance of copyrighted works. The company also said “this Court should not rewrite the Copyright Act in an effort to protect petitioners from »
- DOMINIC PATTEN
Taylor Swift crashes superfan's bridal shower -- Video
Fun fact for fans: If you invite Taylor Swift to your bridal shower, she just might come.
Swift posted a YouTube video Wednesday chronicling her visit to Columbus, Ohio, to surprise superfan Gena Gabrielle at her bridal shower. “I’ve never been to a bridal shower,” Swift tells the camera in her video blog — so why not?
Gena’s reaction to her idol walking into an Ohio banquet hall is priceless (preview her facial expression in the freeze frame above). Swift quickly makes herself at home, posing for selfies with the guests and giving hugs all around. Enjoy the cuteness »
- Katie Atkinson
ABC News Backhands Print Partner Over Pulitzer Prize Credits
Weekly Column: Few things in this world are more painful than the realization that an estrangement has occurred between two news organizations who had worked amiably together investigating doctors and lawyers squashing benefits claims of miners dying of black lung, at the behest of the coal industry. That is just what has happened after the Center for Public Integrity won a Pulitzer Prize this week for an investigation into this medical travesty, after other organizations had jointly awarded Cpi and ABC News for the report. ABC claims Cpi threw its staffers under the bus to soak up all the Pulitzer glory; Cpi claims ABC News doesn’t deserve to share the Pulitzer because it only parachuted in periodically on the lengthy investigation, produced “sporadic” reports for television — not print — and repeatedly had to be saved from making embarrassing factual errors on its broadcast segments about the investigation. Related: Pulitzer Board »
- LISA DE MORAES, TV Columnist
Sony Pictures TV Prevails In ‘Shark Tank’ Lawsuit
A judge in Florida has ruled in favor of Sony Pictures Television in a $50 million lawsuit over the reality TV show Shark Tank. “Sony Pictures Television won a directed verdict and the entire case was settled afterwards,” said Sony TV spokeswoman Paula Askanas today. The suit against the producers of the entrepreneurial reality show was filed by Florida attorney Bobbie Cellar. He claimed that he’d hired two of the show’s “sharks,” Daymond John and Robert Herjavec, to appear at an event he called the “Shark Tour,” an expo for people trying to start their own businesses. The suit claimed that Sony Pictures Television coerced John and Hervavac to withdraw from Cellar’s event because Spt didn’t want anyone to think the show and his expo were in any way connected. Cellar was unavailable for comment. »
- DENISE PETSKI
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