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Bette Midler to Star as Mae West in HBO Biopic
Project is based on West’s 1959 autobiography “Goodness Had Nothing to Do With It.” The performer who became synonymous with busty bravado, sex and sultry humor died in 1980 at age 87 after a long career on stage and screen.
Deadline Hollywood was the first to report on the biopic, which is in development but has enough strong elements that it seems a cinch for a greenlight. Friedkin assembled the project and brought it to HBO. Pic focuses on West’s early years as a stage player in Gotham, when she battled censors and faced legal sanctions for her risqué Rialto show “Sex.”
Friedkin is on board to direct and exec producer, with Fierstein penning the teleplay. Jerry Weintraub, who spearheaded HBO’s Liberace biopic “Behind the Candelabra,” is also exec producing with Midler. »
- Variety Staff
'Californication' announces series finale: Season 7 will be its last
"Californication" will finally be saying goodbye after a long successful run on Showtime. The series' upcoming seventh season will be its last, says Showtime in a press release.
Season 7 will premiere with 12 episodes in April 2014. This final arc will bring the story of David Duchovny's Hank to a close. Though "Californication" wrapped filming on Season 7 on July 30, 2013, series creator Tom Kapinos seems to have planned it all along as the show's swan song.
"With its unique blend of lyricism and excess, 'Californication' has been one of our groundbreaking signature series," Showtime President of Entertainment David Nevins says in a statement. "We will always be indebted to Tom Kapinos for leading the creative charge on this memorable comedy, and to David Duchovny for making us root for an unapologetic hedonist like Hank Moody. Tom has carefully planned the final chapter of Hank's journey and has brought it to »
CBS Orders ‘Dovekeepers’ Miniseries from Roma Downey, Mark Burnett
The story chronicles the struggles of four women during the siege of Masada, when 900 Jews held off Roman soldiers for months after being forced out of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. CBS is targeting a 2015 premiere.
” ‘The Dovekeepers’ is a compelling, beautifully written novel that combines history and fiction into a timeless story of survival and heroism,” said CBS Entertainment prexy Nina Tassler. “Mark and Roma possess an amazing passion for telling biblical stories and for producing entertaining television on an event scale.”
“Dovekeepers” order is the first from CBS and CBS TV Studios’ newly created limited series and event programming arm, overseen by Stacey Mandelberg. There’s no word yet on a writer for the TV adaptation; Hoffman will serve as a consultant on the mini.
- AJ Marechal
'The Sing-Off': The best little a cappella show returns
I have to put all of my biases on the table, here: I really love The Sing-Off. I am a fan. I’ve been there since the beginning and, to me, it’s like the runt of the singing show litter that I just want to protect and make sure it’s happy. But, oh, like its very own judges, I expect the best out of it too. Because I know how great it can be.
The Sing-Off exists in this bubble of a world where it’s not important to be cool. In fact, it’s better not to be. »
- Jodi Walker
The Sing-Off Season 4 Premiere Recap: For Whom the A Capella Tolls
Egg nog. Yankee Swap. Not dialing 911 when “out on the lawn there arises a clatter.”
Some traditions are perfectly tailored for the holiday season, and as The Sing-Off returned to NBC tonight for the first time since its inauspicious Fall 2011 outing, I was reminded that the jaunty a capella singing contest definitely belongs on the list of things that are best situated in that high-caloric-intake period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.
Related | The Voice: 25 Song Suggestions to Make Season 5 More Surprising (and Delightful)
- Michael Slezak
'The Voice': Tessanne Chin talks 'therapeutic' semi-finals performance, brunch at Adam Levine's house
For her live semi-finals performance on Monday's (Dec. 9) episode of "The Voice," Team Adam's Tessanne Chin took on Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water." As viewers learned, some recent upsetting news added an extra level of connection to the material, bringing her to tears during rehearsals.
Backstage after her performance, Chin chose to keep her private matter private, but she did tell Zap2it that her moment on stage offered a catharsis of sorts. "I'm feeling good," she says. "I feel like I left it there and that was very therapeutic for me. Very, very therapeutic."
Chin admits there was a certain trepidation regarding the bare approach to the song, which coach Adam Levine was insistent about. "So for me, I just made a decision to just go there and even if it wasn't technically the best performance to give, I can't deny what was going on in here, »
'Doctor Who': Steven Moffat says Matt Smith is final Doctor, what about Peter Capaldi?
While speaking to the Radio Times, Moffat says that Matt Smith is the 13th and final Doctor, after counting John Hurt's War Doctor and David Tennant using up one of the regenerations during his stint.
That makes Smith regenerating into Peter Capaldi during the Christmas special a bit problematic, because the Doctor doesn't have any lives left. "The 12 regenerations limit is a central part of 'Doctor Who' mythology -- science fiction is all about rules, you can't just casually break them," Moffat says. How another Doctor will fit in there is anyone's guess.
According to the Radio Times, Smith's Doctor will give a speech about "dying" during the Christmas special. Perhaps if the Doctor dies after his final regeneration, and is brought back to life, »
'WWE Raw' Dec. 9: Daniel Bryan dominates the Slammy Awards and the show
Previously on: The WWE Championship and World Heavyweight Championship will be unified at "TLC," when Randy Orton takes on John Cena. Cm Punk got put in a match against all of The Shield, while Daniel Bryan will face all three members of The Wyatt Family.
The big news: The only real news was the Slammy Awards, which WWE spent a lot of "Raw" on. Slating the Slammys as the go-home to a pay per view seems like a bad idea, because the storylines need to be focused on. That just wasn't in the cards though.
Really, the only feud that got attention was the title unification match, which makes sense. It was done with a Championship ascension ceremony, which really only means the two belts were attached to a rope and hoisted into the rafters of the building. They did so with every former WWE and World Champion under contract standing in the ring, »
'The Sing-Off': Meet Home Free, the first country a cappella group
It's been two years since the last season of NBC's "The Sing-Off" aired, but since then -- thanks to the success of the movie "Pitch Perfect" and to Internet phenomenon Pentatonix, who won Season 3 -- a cappella singing is en vogue again. Zap2it spoke with each of the groups competing in Season 4 to get an idea of what the competition will hold.
Up next is Home Free, quite possibly the world's very first country a cappella group.
Country music is laden with gorgeous harmonies, so starting a country a cappella group seems like a natural fit. But Home Free, the Minneapolis-based a cappella group competing on "The Sing-Off" Season 4, might be the world's first.
"The first time ever that there's been a centrally focused country a cappella group," says founder Adam Rupp. "There's never really been that before," he says. "Other groups have performed country songs in their shows, »
Sleepy Hollow Fall Finale Recap: Six Thousand Little Ichabods
Ichabod Crane’s jug-band Christmas gets off to a less than merry start in this week’s Sleepy Hollow, and can you blame the guy for not wanting to dig into the figgy pudding or sip the wassail?
If your first Thanksgiving in the 21st century were marked by finding out about a son whom your trapped-bound wife never thought to mention, you might not be all that into decking the halls, either. And what Crane discovers about his chip off the ol’chabod this week is enough to put any dad in a funk that would last long past Groundhog Day. »
- Kimberly Roots
'Hostages' Season 1, episode 12: 'The Cost of Living' and dying
Given that he and his family were taken hostage in their own home; he's been bound, beaten up and shot; had his corrupt business practices; and had his affair at the office and tenuous marriage and relationships with his kids exposed, viewers would expect he had reached these depths already.
But no, Brian manages to sink lower in this episode. After directing his daughter Morgan (Quinn Shephard) to steal a friend's cell phone so he can make a call that cannot be traced, he calls Nina Carlisle (Francie Swift), FBI Agent Duncan Carlisle's (Dylan McDermott) wife is in a hospital, dying of leukemia.
She has no idea that that her husband has been moonlighting as a kidnapper, holding a family hostage. Or that he is doing so until Brian's wife, Ellen (Toni Collette »
'Sing-Off': Princeton Footnotes' 'I Knew You Were Trouble' not enough to save them
Colleges and universities have a long and storied history of men's a capella groups. "The Sing-Off" has previously featured Tufts' "Beelzebubs," USC's SoCal VoCals, Yale's Whiffenpoofs and the Dartmouth Aires.
In 2013, the Princeton Footnotes are joining the competition, kicking off their Season 4 run with Taylor Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble," one of the most dynamic performances of the premiere episode.
"What's cool about you is your harmonies," says Stockman. "I'm going to shout-out the unsung heroes in your crew, the tenors and the baritones. If you guys are off, the whole thing is off. Big ups to you guys."
Ben Folds disagreed, though, saying the harmonies "came unglued" at moments, but he did enjoy both the dynamics and the nice arc to the song, while new judge Jewel cautioned the basses to lock in tight. »
‘CBS Has a Lot to Answer for,’ Dan Rather Says of ’60 Minutes’ Report
“CBS News has a lot to answer for,” Rather said of the discredited “60 Minutes” segment.
“I don’t want in any way to add to their burden,” he added. “I know what it feels like to be the correspondent who is at the center of controversy.”
Rather, who stepped down as anchor and managing editor of ”CBS Evening News” in 2005 following the fundamental flaws in a report about President Bush’s National Guard service, told Morgan he does not believe “60 Minutes” anchor Lara Logan should be terminated.
“Unfortunately…they were taken in by a man who was a fraud.”
Following an internal review of the Oct. 27 segment of “60 Minutes,” CBS News put Logan on indefinite leave after what the network found to be lacking in its efforts to »
- Variety Staff
Patrick Heusinger To Star In NBC Pilot ‘Tin Man’
Exclusive: Patrick Heusinger (Gossip Girl, Royal Pains) has been cast as the male lead in Tin Man, NBC’s drama pilot from top feature writer Ehren Kruger. Set in the near future, Tin Man is a psychological crime thriller that focuses on fugitive robot Adam (Heusinger) accused of first-degree murder, who may hold the key to the future of human evolution, and the young female public defender forced to fight for his cause. Adam, a robotic valet, became a murder suspect after his builder and master was found stabbed to death. Kruger is executive producing the pilot with Daniel Bobker and John Glenn. D.J. Caruso is directing. Heusinger got the attention of NBC executives with his arc on the network’s drama Revolution this season. He is with Gersh and Kyle Luker. Related: NBC Gives Pilot Order To Futuristic Crime Thriller ‘Tin Man’ »
- NELLIE ANDREEVA
'Sing-Off': One Direction gets the Street Corner Renaissance treatment
These guys are old-school a capella and while we'd love to hear them on some classic 1950s tunes like in their video intro package, the 1D "You Don't Know You're Beautiful" offering was a lot of fun.
The judges agreed, with Shawn Stockman saying, "Children, take notes. You all talk about swag? This is swag. There is a texture about doo-wop groups of old ... that always will sound good. Sonny, you have such a smooth falsetto, I enjoyed that immensely. Great job."
Jewel echoes those sentiments, calling it "beautiful," and Ben Folds says having a group of older singers like them will "make the show better."
What did you think of One Direction getting the Street Corner treatment? »
Britney Spears is right: 5 reasons 'Chaotic' is her worst career move ever -- Video
Britney Spears told the U.K.’s Telegraph that her 2005 reality TV show Chaotic with Kevin Federline was her worst career move ever — and we couldn’t agree with her more! The five-episode Upn series, which documented the courtship and engagement between Spears and her ex-husband in the summer of 2005, was not a great look in the pop star’s otherwise fantastic career up to that point.
Revisiting the show, we found five reasons why Chaotic was, indeed, her worst career move:
1. Her truth was too superficial (and too zoomed-in). It’s one thing for Britney to put her personal »
- Andrew Asare
'Best Funeral Ever': Funeral planners or celebrity impersonators?
The Dallas-based Golden Gate Funeral Home is known for throwing outrageous themed funerals. In Monday's (Dec. 9) episode of TLC's "Best Funeral Ever," the group stages a Hollywood-themed ceremony and they need celebrity impersonators to populate the event.
Where do they turn? Their own staff. In Zap2it's exclusive clip, a potential Cedric the Entertainer, Denzel Washington, Michael Jackson, Foxy Brown, and more try their hand at impersonations. Spoiler alert: They're not very good. "I'm beginning to think my staff don't have a lot of talent outside of funeral planning," says the boss.
"Best Funeral Ever" airs Mondays at 10 p.m. Et/Pt on TLC.
Chicago Fire Boss Teases Shay's Fresh Start, a "Powerful" Fall Finale and a Big Cliff-Hanger
Paramedic Leslie Shay (Lauren German) has never had the best timing on Chicago Fire. Last season, she jumped back into a relationship with her pregnant ex-girlfriend, Clarice, just before Clarice found out she had to move away. Then, she tried to have a baby with her best friend Severide (Taylor Kinney) just before his ex-girlfriend showed up at their doorstep pregnant and claiming that the baby was his.
However, nothing could beat the turn of events in last Tuesday's episode of the NBC sophomore drama, when Shay returned to Firehouse 51 after a serious battle with depression and suicidal thoughts only to find out that the house was being closed.
TV couples: Hot or not?
"It's like anybody who walks the edge and either elects to walk back from it or is fortunate to have a friend or a loved one kind of...
Read More > »
- Kate Stanhope
The Voice Season 5 Semifinal Performance Recap: Keep Calm and 'Carry On' [Updated]
Can People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” (*With a Current Project to Promote/Not Named Idris Elba) be stopped?
Related | The Voice: 25 Song Suggestions to Make Season 5 More Surprising (and Delightful)
Of course, perhaps the even bigger question is whether membership on any coach’s team means anything at all. I mean, fans of NBC’s reality singing huggernaut — a typo, but that seems apt given all the positive vibrations, »
- Michael Slezak
'Arrow' midseason finale video: Oliver faces 'Three Ghosts'
The "Arrow" midseason finale, "Three Ghosts," takes a bit of inspiration from "A Christmas Carol." As the holiday season descends -- mostly unnoticed in all the chaos -- Oliver Queen faces multiple hauntings and the messages they bring.
So what's coming on the Wednesday (Dec. 11) episode?
"Three Ghosts" is easily one of the best "Arrow" episodes ever (which is saying a lot, since "Arrow" may be one of the best shows on TV right now). You may be able to guess that by watching the trailer -- there are some very important things included in it:
Yes, that is Shado (Celina Jade) that Oliver (Stephen Amell) reaches for while on the examination table. And yes, there's a reason why he sees her.Similarly, the hoarse and whispered "You are not a hero!" voice does belong to Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett).Why is Oliver destroying his own lair? The next moment »
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