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Exclusive: Yvette Nicole Brown Departs Community
Brown — who has played Shirley Bennett since the 2009 launch of Community — confirms to TV Guide Magazine that she has asked to be released from her contract for personal reasons. Sony Pictures TV and executive producers Dan Harmon and Chris McKenna have honored her request.
The actress says the change was necessary in order to take care of her ailing father. "My dad needs daily care and he needs me," Brown says. "The idea of being away 16 hours a day for five months, I couldn't do it. It was a difficult decision for me to make, but I had to choose my dad."
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- Michael Schneider
Katherine Heigl’s patriotically sexy 'State of Affairs' poster
Ready to salute Katherine Heigl?
With NBC having just won broadcast premiere week in the ratings, the network is starting its marketing campaign for its most promising new drama of the fall, State of Affairs. NBC held off on debuting the D.C. thriller starring Heigl as a CIA analyst who briefs the president (Alfre Woodard) to focus on launching the rest of its schedule first, including the return of last year’s breakout The Blacklist. With that mission nearly accomplished, State of Affairs will take over Blacklist’s coveted post-Voice slot starting Nov. 17.
Here’s the full art below, »
- James Hibberd
ABC Tuesday Comedies Premiere Low; CBS’ ‘NCIS: New Orleans’ Strong in Second Week
ABC comedies “Selfie” and “Manhattan Love Story” got off to slow starts on Tuesday, an overall sluggish night for the net, whose “Forever” fell off in its second week. NBC won all six half-hours in demos with “The Voice” and hot third-year show “Chicago Fire,” while CBS’ “NCIS: New Orleans” had a good second-week showing — retaining more than 90% of its week-ago premiere.
NBC won the second Tuesday of the season in 18-49 and 25-54, and CBS dominated in total viewers.
According to preliminary “live plus same-day” national estimates from Nielsen, ABC’s “Selfie” settled for a 1.4 rating/5 share in adults 18-49 and 4.9 million viewers overall in Tuesday’s opening half-hour, and “Manhattan Love Story” followed with a 1.3/4 in 18-49, 4.3 million viewers overall — putting them on par with Fox’s “Red Band Society” as the lowest rated of the fall’s Big Four premieres in 18-49, and also making them the »
- Rick Kissell
Firsts & Worsts: Annaleigh Ashford on 'Sex,' superstition, and Cyndi Lauper
Fresh off a fantastic turn on Showtime’s Masters of Sex, Annaleigh Ashford has settled back into a familiar home on Broadway, where the stage veteran is slaying audiences as horrible dancer (but excellent candymaker) Essie in the hit revival of You Can’t Take It With You.
Ashford appeared in a slew of familiar shows—starring as Glinda in Wicked, reviving Maureen in the Off-Broadway mounting of Rent, originating daughter of Delta Nu Margot in Legally Blonde, and earning her first Tony Award nomination last year for her standout performance in Kinky Boots. Now, she’s back on the boards, »
- Marc Snetiker
'The Walking Dead' star Lauren Cohan says 'we're all animals' in season 5
She was just a simple farm girl once upon a time. But then the zombie apocalypse happened and her entire family went either dead or missing. I guess that’s the bad news. The good news is that at least she has a swell boyfriend who is no longer acting like a tool because he could not forgive her for being sexually assaulted by the Governor. (Not Glenn’s finest hour.)
No doubt about it: Maggie Greene has been though a lot on The Walking Dead. And we have watched her evolve before our very eyes. But how does actress »
- Dalton Ross
'Once Upon a Time' sneak peek: Elsa puts Storybrooke on lockdown
Upon discovering Anna’s (Elizabeth Lail) necklace in Mr. Gold’s (Robert Carlyle) pawnshop during the Once Upon a Time premiere, Elsa (Georgina Haig) will lock down the town of Storybrooke in a bid to find her sister. But taking things to an icy level will have severe consequences for the residents, namely Emma (Jennifer Morrison). Check out a sneak peek at what’s ahead:
Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8 p.m. Et on ABC. »
- Natalie Abrams
Ratings: Selfie and Love Story Gets Few Likes, S.H.I.E.L.D. Hits Low, Mindy Rises
ABC’s Selfie didn’t get a whole lotta Instagratification with its Tuesday premiere, drawing just 4.9 million total viewers and a 1.4 demo rating.
But Manhattan Love Story had even fewer followers, leading out of that with 4.3 mil and a 1.3.
Selfie (which TVLine readers gave an average grade of “B”) and Love Story (“C+”) thus mark ABC’s lowest-rated comedy premieres ever, a rival notes.
Continuing ABC’s night, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (4.5 mil/1.7) fell 25 and 19 percent (hitting a demo low), while Forever (5.6 mil/1.3) dropped 19 and 28 percent.
CBS | NCIS (18.6 mil/2.6) added a few eyeballs versus its premiere but slipped 10 percent in the demo. »
TV Review: ‘Bad Judge’
Ah, “Bad Judge.” If ever a title lent itself to ridicule, it’s this one, although the show works pretty hard to earn the gibes. Kate Walsh plays the robed dispenser of justice, who, when not on the bench, has sex in her chambers, shows up to work hung over and generally behaves like a college sophomore on perpetual spring break. Walsh’s mix of comedy chops and sex appeal do as much as an actress could to sell such a role, but even generous acceptance of the show as broad farce makes it difficult to return a favorable verdict.
In a way, the series is a one-note joke, in the same way “Bad Santa” or “Bad Teacher” sort of said it all about the movie. But if you’re really going to go that route, it practically requires a pedal-to-the-metal approach that isn’t pursued – or perhaps even possible to the extent necessary, »
- Brian Lowry
'Selfie' premiere doesn't get many 'likes'
Omg, Seflie premiere ratings are pretty weak, Lol! ABC debuted its social media-skewing comedy last night, but most TV viewers swiped left :(
Seflie, which stars Karen Gillan and John Cho, had 4.9 million viewers and a 1.4 rating among adults 18-49 at 8 p.m. last night. Selfie led into another new comedy, Manhattan Love Story (4.3 million, 1.3), starring Analeigh Tipton and Jake McDorman, which also performed very modest. The comedy block came in third place in the hour (Fox’s Utopia came in fourth). ABC’s one potential bragging point here is that both did better than Fox’s comedies, as New »
- James Hibberd
Tribune Media to See $424 Million Windfall From Cars.com Sale
Attention TV producers: today’s probably a good day to pitch execs at Tribune on an ambitious series project, or two.
Tribune Media is poised to realize a $424 million windfall from the sale of its interest in its joint venture with Gannett Co. that housed Cars.com and a handful of other Web properties.
Tribune held a 27.8% stake in Classified Ventures, along with Gannett and three other newspaper congloms: A.H. Belo Corp., McClatchy and Graham Holdings Co.
Gannett bought out its partners for a total of $1.8 billion. Tribune’s share came out to $686 million, with the after-tax windfall to its bottom line expected to be $424 million, the company said Wednesday. Tribune said it would record the gain in the fourth quarter of this year and pay the tax bill in the first quarter of 2015.
Tribune undoubtedly will use some of the coin to help fund its aggressive ramp-up of original series for Wgn America. »
- Cynthia Littleton
Watch Dana Carvey in a clip from 'The Birthday Boys' season 2
Maybe it hasn’t been put this way yet, but we’re living in the golden age of sketch comedy on television. When else has there been such a plethora of great options? Comedy Central has several of them—Key & Peele, Kroll Show, Inside Amy Schumer—but comedy nerds should also be watching The Birthday Boys on IFC.
Executive produced by sketch-comedy guru Bob Odenkirk (for Ben Stiller’s Red Hour) and starring the titular L.A.-based group, the series returns for its second season Oct. 17—which leaves plenty of time to binge the 10-episode first season on Netflix if you missed it. »
- Kyle Ryan
Suddenlink Launches Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze After Removing Viacom Outlets
TheBlaze, the news and opinion network founded by Glenn Beck, has launched on Suddenlink Communications, the nation’s seventh-largest cable operator. TheBlaze will be universally available across Suddenlink’s footprint on its expanded basic level of service. With the launch on Suddenlink, TheBlaze said it was now available on 77 television providers nationwide, including 10 of the top 25.
“We’re pleased with this new agreement,” said Kathy Payne, Suddenlink Senior Vice President and Chief Programming Officer. “TheBlaze was one of the networks most requested by our customers. It adds variety to the news, information and opinion programming we offer our customers.”
The Blaze addition appears to come quickly following a decision by Suddenlink to drop TV networks owned by Viacom> The two sides are in the midst of showdown over terms for new contract for carriage rights.
Suddenlink has approximately 1.4 million residential and commercial customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, »
- Brian Steinberg
Q&A: ‘Girl Code’ Creator Ryan Ling on Season 3, Social Media and New Comedians
It’s a friend who overstayed his welcome at his New York apartment who inspired him to pitch “Guy Code,” a show in which comedians outlines the do’s and don’ts of brotherhood, to MTV2. The comedy’s success spawned “Girl Code,” “Guy Code’s” female counterpart, that debuted on MTV in 2013.
Audiences latched onto “Girl Code” just a ferociously as they did “Guy Code.” Covering such topics as sexting, drinking, dieting, makeup and more, “Girl Code” brought its comedians to the forefront and generated countless quotes and gifs that made their way around the Internet.
Season 3 of “Girl Code” will premiere Wednesday, Oct. 1 at 10 p.m., and Ling took some time to talk to Variety about new changes to the show, that roommate that inspired “Guy Code” and possible future “Code” spinoffs. »
- Alex Stedman
Watch this, DVR that: Your guide to Wednesday's perfect night of TV
In our fall TV preview, we broke down each day into what to watch live and what to DVR. Here’s your Fall Wednesday night game plan:
Watch: Survivor (CBS): The long-running reality show revives the Blood vs. Water concept as nine pairs compete to win a million dollars in Nicaragua.
DVR: Arrow (The CW): Arrow returns with classic DC Comics villain Ra’s al Ghul as a new foe while Oliver (Stephen Amell) continues to contend with his identity as the titular superhero. Premieres Oct. 8.
Watch: Modern Family (ABC): The show continues »
- Teresa Jue
'Bones' sneak peek: The team vows to avenge Sweets' death
Though Bones fans are heartbroken over the loss of Sweets, his death may ultimately help the Jeffersonian team uncover the big conspiracy.
Still reeling from the loss of their colleague, the team will continue to investigate the conspiracy, which dates back to J. Edgar Hoover, in a bid to find out who framed Booth for murder. They vow to put an end to the conspiracy in order to avenge Sweets’ death. Check out a sneak peek at what’s ahead:
Bones airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. Et on Fox. »
- Natalie Abrams
Nashville Newbie (and Fan) Laura Benanti on Sadie's Music City Sojourn
Go On alum, Tony winner and Twitter master extraordinaire Laura Benanti starts her arc as Nashville‘s Sadie Stone this week (Wednesday, 10/9c), when the singer-songwriter catches Rayna’s discerning eye.
She Doesn’T Like Jeff Fordham, Either | “I’m a huge fan of the show. My girlfriend, Chelsea, and I, we watch it religiously. So when I got offered this job, it was probably the happiest moment of my life… »
PBS, CBS Are Biggest Winners At Emmys For News, Documentaries
PBS and CBS took home the most Emmys Tuesday night for news and documentaries, while ABC’s “Nightline” won three of the awards in various categories – the only other outlet to win more than two awards at the event.
The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences presented awards to the winners during a ceremony at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall in the Time Warner Center in New York City. The event was attended by more than 900 television and news media industry executives, news and documentary producers and journalists. Emmy Awards were presented in 43 categories, including the first-ever categories reserved for news & documentary programming in Spanish.
PBS secured 11 awards, several of them for long-form investigations and features, while CBS took home 10 ,. among them the only Emmy awarded to a broadcast-network morning news program, for an interview between Charlie Rose and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad on “CBS This Morning. »
- Brian Steinberg
Analysis: Why Your Cable Bill is So High
Think your $150-plus monthly cable bill has gotten out of control? You're not alone.
Earlier this summer, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) launched a website for consumers to share their TV billing horror stories. Within 10 days, her office received 428 responses, mostly complaints about the rising cost of TV and broadband services. Several people criticized inconsistent charges, unexpected bill increases and new fees for services they didn't want.
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- Michael Schneider
TV Review: ‘Homeland,’ Season 4
Meet the new, improved “Homeland.” After two disappointing seasons, the Showtime series’ dramatic culmination of its original story has shifted the focus squarely onto Claire Danes’ complex CIA operative, and simultaneously allowed the producers to shed more irritating elements (see Brody, Dana). What emerges, then, in a two-episode premiere and subsequent hour is a show that lacks the initial kick the program delivered, but plays like a smart, spare thriller — “24,” without the James Bond-style super-heroics. “Homeland” might never be a truly great series again, but if it stays on this path it will be an eminently watchable one.
Admittedly, the show has a lot of recovering to do as it pivots to face a new threat. Not only is it without the character of Nicholas Brody (as played by Damian Lewis), but the death of actor James Rebhorn has deprived the producers of his talents as the father of Danes’ Carrie Mathison. »
- Brian Lowry
Minus some missteps, 'Shadow of Mordor' is one of the year's best games
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is great. It’s easily one of the year’s most impressive releases, establishing a new status quo for similar action titles moving forward. It’s not a perfect game, but it’s a tremendous first step for what is hopefully a new franchise that will elevate its competitors and bring new and old fans to J.R.R. Tolkien’s world.
Last week, Aaron Morales and I discussed our thoughts on a large portion of the game and it’s incredible Nemesis system. Having now completed the game’s story and played through a majority of the additional content, »
- Jonathon Dornbush
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