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AMC’s ‘The Night Manager’ Casts Olivia Colman, Tom Hollander and Elizabeth Debicki
The miniseries is based on John le Carré’s novel of the same name and follows former British soldier Jonathan Pine (Hiddleston), who is recruited by an intelligence operative named Burr (Colman) to navigate the shadowy recesses of Whitehall and Washington where an unholy alliance operates between the intelligence community and the secret arms trade. To infiltrate the inner circle of lethal arms dealer Richard Onslow Roper (Laurie), which includes girlfriend Jed (Debicki) and an associate named Corcoran (Hollander), Pine must himself become a criminal.
Colman is best known Stateside for her starring role in BBC America’s “Broadchurch” alongside David Tennant. Hollander co-created and starred in BBC Two’s “Rev,” currently streaming on Hulu, and also appeared in “Pirates »
- Laura Prudom
Brit Marling-Zal Batmanglij Drama Gets Netflix Series Order (Exclusive)
As it prepares to bow Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Bloodline this month, Netflix is adding another series to its roster of scripted fare. Following a multiple-network bidding war, Netflix has picked up eight hourlong episodes of The Oa, a drama from indie darlings and Sound of My Voice duo Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The premise of the drama series is being closely guarded and kept under wraps, but Marling will star and co-write alongside Batmanglij, who will direct. The Oa will premiere in 2016. See more The Faces of Pilot Season 2015 The
- Lesley Goldberg
Wednesday Ratings: Fox’s ‘Empire’ Delivers Eighth Straight Week of Growth
Another week, another record high for Fox phenom “Empire,” which continued to show no signs of slowing down Wednesday, two weeks from its first-season finale. Also of note in last night’s ratings race was a good performance by ABC’s comedy block and a solid but unspectacular start for the latest CBS crime drama spinoff, “CSI: Cyber.”
According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “Empire” averaged a 5.7 rating/16 share in adults 18-49 — the best same-night score for a regularly scheduled broadcast drama since “Grey’s Anatomy” in October 2009 — and 14.2 million viewers overall. It was up 6% in the demo and 2% in total viewers from last week
“Empire” has now grown seven consecutive weeks in total viewership since its Jan. 7 premiere: 9.90 million (Jan. 7), 10.32 million (Jan. 14), 11.07 million (Jan. 21), 11.35 million (Jan. 28), 11.47 million (Feb. 4), 11.96 million (Feb. 18), 13.02 million (Feb. 18), 13.90 million and now a preliminary 14.2 million.
And in adults 18-49, it’s been up seven times »
- Rick Kissell
Review: 'American Crime' is the Most Complex & Ambitious Broadcast Drama You Don't Need to Watch
Drama is easy. While the latter half of the famous showbiz statement (adapted from Edmund Kean's alleged last words) holds no relevance to "American Crime" -- a show so steeped in its seriousness you're more likely to see a dinosaur show up than a character laughing -- it's also generally beside the point. Drama is easy, whether you compare it to comedy or any other genre. So common is anything noticeably emotional in our society that we're all too well versed in it. There's drama in a test taken at school or a commuter's daily race to the office. It's great drama that's hard and drawing a line between the two even more difficult — and subjective. "American Crime" has all the markings of the next great drama. It's even been labeled as such in its marketing campaign and with (superficially) good reason. From the mind and pen of Oscar-winning screenwriter John Ridley, »
- Ben Travers
Aly Michalka & Maulik Pancholy Join ABC’s Chevy Chase Pilot
Aly Michalka (Two and a Half Men) and 30 Rock alum Maulik Pancholy are set to co-star opposite Chevy Chase in ABC’s comedy pilot toplined by the Saturday Night Live alum. The project, from Brad Copeland, Kapital Entertainment and ABC Studios, centers on a baby boomer couple (Chase, Beverly D'Angelo) who are fun, relevant and living a selfish retirement when their world is turned upside down and they are suddenly left to raise their grandchildren. Michalka plays the couple… »
The 100 Season Finale Pics: Can Clarke Save Her People from Mount Weather?
Fresh off Lexa’s gut-wrenching betrayal, Clarke and her fellow Arkers need to think of a Plan B — and fast! — to save themselves in Wednesday’s season finale of The 100 (The CW, 9/8c).
RelatedThe 100 Recap: ‘It Can’t Be Over’
But like most things on this show, that’s much easier said than done, especially judging by the batch of just-released photos from the episode, which finds most of your favorites chained to the wall in a state of torture. (And then there’s Raven, who’s straight-up bleeding out from her leg.)
Per The CW, here’s what we »
NBC Picks Up Sniper Miniseries ‘The Reaper’ From Weinstein Co.
Exclusive: The Reaper has landed at NBC. I’ve learned that the network has given a production order to a six-hour miniseries from the Weinstein Co. based on the recently released book The Reaper: Autobiography Of One Of The Deadliest Special Ops Snipers by Nicholas Irving, the U.S. Army 3rd Ranger Battalion's deadliest sniper. I hear NBC went aggressively after the project, announced by the Weinstein Co. a month ago, and bought it preemptively. A writer for the mini is… »
Recapping 'RuPaul’s Drag Race' Season 7, Episode 1: 'Born Naked'
Hey, squirrel friends! Mama Ru is back and she’s brought a fierce pack of blood thirsty queens with her. You can check back here weekly for our recaps and readjusted Queenly Rankings. Now, let’s read these b*tches for filth! Or, at least assign a totally subjective ranking based on their performance in week one. *Spoilers ahead!* Here’s the briefest of recaps: The queens were introduced, then faced down a “mini” challenge that was actually a “maxi”—a RuPaul’s Fashion Week first, where each queen had to show off their best fall and spring looks—followed by a main runway where the contestants had to tear away a resort look to reveal a nude illusion. Violet Chachki was the clear winner after going fully nude, with Miss Fame and Kennedy Davenport just tailing her. Kandy Ho’ and Tempest DuJour landed in the bottom two and tried »
- Joe Ehrman-Dupre
Networks Still Nagged By Weak Ad Growth As Upfront Market Approaches
The numbers have been too worrisome for too long to consider them a short term fluke. If the TV ad sales business hasn’t peaked, it probably soon will, according to a growing number of Wall Street analysts — including Cowen & Co’s Doug Creutz and MoffettNathanson Research’s Michael Nathanson, who both just cut their 2015 TV ad sales estimates. They reject the view that media companies’ slowing domestic ad growth numbers in Q3 and Q4 mostly reflected temporary quirks in… »
Samantha Bee To Headline TBS Comedy Show – Update
Updated throughout: Remember Comedy Central’s statement last month about Samantha Bee “remaining with” The Daily Show when TBS announced it had nabbed her husband, Jason Jones to do a comedy series for them? Yeah, not so much, TBS responded today, suggesting you take her off your list of candidates to replace Jon Stewart as host. TBS announced it’s signed longtime Daily Show correspondent Bee to host a new comedy show, “cementing its relationship with the prolific couple… »
Pair Of SVPs Leaving E! Amid Marketing Shakeup
A pair of E! execs are exiting their posts as the cable net is merging its marketing team with Esquire. Svp Marketing Solutions Tim Rosta and Leigh Anne Gardner, Svp Print, Online Design and On-Air Design, are heading out. The moves come a week-plus before the premiere of E!’s first scripted series, the Elizabeth Hurley drama The Royals, and two months ahead of NBCUniversal Cable’s upfront. “To more fully align the E! and Esquire Marketing department we have restructured… »
‘Scandal': First Photos of Lena Dunham’s Guest Role
Yes, you read that correctly: Dan Bucatinsky, whose fan-favorite character James was killed off on Season 3, is returning for a guest spot.
No, James is not coming back from the dead, but Bucatinsky is set to return for one episode through a series of flashbacks, Variety has confirmed. Bucatinsky’s episode will center around his widower Cyrus (Jeff Perry).
Ex vice prez Sally Langston (Kate Burton) will also appear in the episode.
As for Lena Dunham, the “Girls” star and self-proclaimed “Scandal” super-fan will make her Tgit debut on the March 19 episode, which sees Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) handle a woman she learns is planning to expose the sex secrets of Washington D.C.’s most elite. »
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
‘Conan In Cuba’ Clocks 2 Million Viewers On Opening Night – Update
Updated with numbers from repeat telecast: An average of nearly 2 million people watched the premiere of Conan in Cuba on opening night. TBS’s unveiling of Conan O’Brian’s historic trip to Cuba logged 1.3 million viewers in its 11 Pm Et premiere on Wednesday, after which the network immediately ran it again, posting another 510,000 viewers. For comparison sake, 642,000 watched O’Brien’s late night show, Conan one night earlier. The first telecast alone ranks No. 31 among… »
Late Night Ratings: NBC’s ‘Tonight Show’ Still Rolling One Year After Jimmy Fallon’s Debut
“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” boosted in part by a weeklong trip to Los Angeles, drew nearly as many young adults (1.451 million/1.14 rating) as the combined totals of ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (808,000/0.64 rating) and CBS’ “Late Show With David Letterman” (668,000/0.53 rating), according to “live plus same-day” Nielsen estimates.
In total viewers for the Jan. 29-Feb. 25 sweep, “Tonight Show” led with an average nightly audience of 3.882 million viewers, followed by “Late Show” (2.847 million) and “Kimmel” (2.763 million).
Comparisons to last February aren’t exactly apples to apples as the year-ago month included the highly rated opening days of Fallon on “Tonight” (he started Feb. 17) as well as some Olympics-related delays and pre-emptions.
But comparisons to his previous full sweep months as “Tonight Show” host are favorable. The 1.14 rating »
- Rick Kissell
Layoffs Hit Viacom’s TV Land; Esquire, E! Consolidate Marketing Posts
Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman warned last month that layoffs were coming as the company grapples with a downturn in ratings and broader industry changes. It’s not immediately clear how many positions were eliminated at TV Land.
The pink-slips are part of a restructuring unveiled last month that winnowed Viacom’s cable holdings from three distinct groups to two, one for music and entertainment headed by Doug Herzog, the other for kids and family fare headed by Nickelodeon chief Cyma Zarghami. TV Land was rerouted into the Nickelodeon structure after previously being part of the entertainment side. The layoffs hit TV Land’s PR and marketing departments in particular as there were redundancies with execs already in place within the Nickelodeon/kids and family realm. »
- Cynthia Littleton
Brian Grazer on the ‘Empire’ Phenomenon: ‘We’re All Just Shocked By It’
Brian Grazer is about to release a book called “A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life” featuring highlights of his weekly “curiosity conversations” with people from all walks of life on all manner of topics.
As “Empire,” the Fox drama that hails from Grazer’s Imagine Television and 20th Century Fox TV, notched its eighth straight week of ratings gains — a feat unprecedented in the modern era — Variety asked Grazer to turn his curious mind to two key questions: Why the hip-hop soap is connecting so strongly with audiences and what a hit of this magnitude does for a creative enterprise.
What explains the “Empire” phenomenon?
We’re all just shocked by it. “24” was pretty phenomenal but it didn’t have this explosive quality about it. It started to really work in year three and then just built. This is just a gift. It just seems as though »
- Cynthia Littleton
Martha Plimpton To Star In Dan Savage ABC Pilot ‘Family of the Year’
Raising Hope star Martha Plimpton is back on pilot duty with another role as a mom in a single-camera family comedy. Plimpton is set as a lead in ABC’s Family Of The Year. Written by David Windsor and Casey Johnson loosely based on the life of gay activist and author Dan Savage, Family Of The Year revolves around the O'Neals, a seemingly perfect All-American family. When the youngest son, Kenny (Noah Galvin), comes out of the closet, all the family secrets are revealed… »
Christina Vidal To Star In ‘The Curse Of the Fuentes Women’ Pilot, Daphne Rubin-Vega Also Cast
Christina Vidal is set as a lead in The Curse Of The Fuentes Women, NBC‘s drama pilot from Warner Bros TV. Also cast in the project, written/executive produced by Silvio Horta and directed by Jason Ensler, is Daphne Rubin-Vega (Smash). When a magical and mysterious young man (Adan Canto) inexplicably emerges from the ocean, he breathes new passion into the lives of the Fuentes women – the beautiful but lonely Lola (Vidal), her ailing mother Esperanza (Rachel Ticotin) and… »
Scandal: Dan Bucatinsky, Kate Burton Returning Later This Season
RelatedScandal Recap: War, What Is It Good For? Plus: Who Returned to Save Liv?
Dan Bucatinsky (James “Publius” Novak) and Kate Burton (Sally “Crispy Piggy” Langston) will both be back on the ABC drama later this season, TVLine has confirmed, though details surrounding their returns are being kept under wraps for now.
It is confirmed, however, that James will be seen in flashbacks; rest assured, he is dead, and Scandal isn’t planning to pull a »
Charity Wakefield To Star In ‘Endgame'; Ben Hollingsworth Joins ‘Code Black’
Charity Wakefield (The Raven) has landed the female lead opposite Philip Winchester and Wesley Snipes in NBC drama pilot Endgame, written by John Rogers and directed by Bharat Nalluri for Davis Entertainment and Sony TV. Described as a high-octane thriller set in the high-stakes world of Las Vegas, it centers on Alex (Winchester), a former intelligence officer turned security expert who is drawn into a mysterious conspiracy that forces him to complete a series of heroic… »
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