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There was a time when the craft of writing for television was considered to be several rungs below the art of writing for films, and that applied to composers and songwriters as well as scriptwriters.
Top creators are now happy to contribute to TV, especially given today’s wider latitude of cable and streaming options.
And while it’s impossible to predict what songs from the 2014-15 season will end up as Emmy nominees, the competition may be fiercer than ever, including tunes from past Oscar winners, top hip-hop producers, TV vets and one particularly edgy comedienne.
Among the anticipated entries:
• Songs from “Empire” (pictures above), Fox’s hip-hop drama, many written by music producer Jim Beanz and supervised by veteran rapper and producer Timbaland (“Good Enough,” “You’re So Beautiful” and “Nothing to Lose” are possibilities). Many of its songs were created and produced in a day. »
- Jon Burlingame
If there's one thing Tracy Morgan is looking forward to, it's making people laugh again. But as many fans know, the 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live alum was severely injured in a deadly bus crash in July 2014. Although he suffered brain trauma, a broken leg and broken ribs, Morgan has made huge process in his road to recovery. So much so that a return to any stage isn't out of the picture. "I have my good days and my bad days. Sometimes, I don't feel well. Sometimes emotionally I don't feel well and I'm not ready for crowds of people," he admitted to Matt Lauer on Monday's NBC Nightly News. "I'm really focused on my memory coming back to me, my walking »
Tracy Morgan visited Saturday Night Live's studio for the first time since his June 2014 traffic accident to discuss his recovery process in an NBC Nightly News sit-down. Morgan, whose first post-crash interview aired Monday morning on Today, took Matt Lauer on a tour of the NBC sketch series' digs before discussing the challenges of getting back to his old self. "I have my good days and my bad days," said Morgan, who was joined for the interview by fiancee Megan Wollover and his lawyer. "Sometimes, I don't feel well. Sometimes, emotionally, I don't feel well. I'm really focused on my memory
- Ryan Gajewski
Thanks to a simple tweet from Allison Janney herself, we just realized something: The Emmy-winning actress has never hosted "SNL" before -- and it's an excellent fit for her. We need to get Allison to Studio 8H, pronto. Twitter agrees. Starting the campaign for Allison Janney to host SNL right now. Bc this is a travesty. https://t.co/V8Pkj1SZCG — Danielle Nussbaum (@daniellenuss) June 1, 2015 Fans are in agreement. I felt this suggestion was particularly trenchant. @AllisonBJanney @Apprile74 that would be great! And they should give u a musical number to show off your pipes, like in 9 to 5 — Natro (@LycoPsycho) June 1, 2015 She's proven her comic mettle on "Mom," which earned her an Emmy last year. But she's got the thespian chops to make the toughest sketches work too. Let's not forget her comic roles in movies like "Juno" where she's funny thanks to a brilliantly realized character. And finally: »
- Louis Virtel
Fox favorites Sleepy Hollow, Bob’s Burgers, The Simpsons and more will return to the event, taking place July 8-12, while newcomers Damien (to air on A&E), Minority Report and The Last Man on Earth (both on Fox) and Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll (FX) will make their first trip to San Diego. »
Read More: Watch: This Rob Ford/ Chris Farley Mashup Is Basically The Best Virgil Films has acquired U.S. rights to "I Am Chris Farley," the first feature-length biographical documentary about the late comedy legend. The film tells the story of Chris Farley's life from his youth in Madison, Wisconsin and rise to fame on "Saturday Night Live," to his days as the star of comedies like, "Tommy Boy" and "Black Sheep." The film features friends and colleagues of Farley including, Christina Applegate, Dan Aykroyd, Mike Myers, Adam Sandler, Molly Shannon, David Spade. Farley's four siblings, including his brothers, Kevin and Tom Jr., who wrote the biography "The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts," are also featured. Directors Brent Hodge and Derik Murray, ("A Brony Tale, I Am Evel Knievel") announced that they will release "I Am Chris Farley" nationwide by the end of summer 2015. It is. »
- Elle Leonsis
Tracy Morgan has vowed to return to comedy, a year after he was badly injured in a car accident that claimed the life of a longtime friend.
On 7 June 2014, the limousine van in which Morgan was traveling collided with a Walmart truck on the New Jersey Turnpike. The star of 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live suffered a serious brain injury, a broken leg and broken ribs. The 62-year-old comedian James McNair, who went by the name Jimmy Mack, was killed.
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- Lauren Gambino in New York
Even when I watched far more reality TV than I do now, I had zero patience for dating competition shows. And I haven't watched a Lifetime show regularly since "Any Day Now" ended waaaay back in 2002. Yet I've already set a DVR season pass for "UnReal," Lifetime's new drama set behind the scenes at a thinly-disguised version of "The Bachelor." That's how good it is. "UnReal" (it debuts tonight at 10) was created by TV veteran Marti Noxon (whose Bravo show "Girlfriends Guide to Divorce" debuted earlier this year) and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, adapting Shapiro's short film "Sequin Raze." The show aims to pull back the curtain on reality TV to demonstrate just how much of a role production plays in manipulating and/or altering events to turn complicated human beings into two-dimensional character types (the bitch, the virgin, the desperate cougar) who can fill familiar roles in the same old storylines. »
- Alan Sepinwall
Puppies and television don’t really go together. Not so much in a freakish Heston Blumenthal recipe kind of way – though no doubt that’s yet to pass. I mean the furry scamp my partner and I have invited into our home, who has been disturbing our regular viewing schedule with a series of whelps and bodily functions, like an erratic alarm clock where the default sound is set to “heinous puddle of diarrhoea”. My recent screen time has therefore been of the more disruptive, YouTubey kind, which explains this first entry.
Related: Don't get angry at Married at First Sight. It's got nothing to do with marriage equality | Nic Holas
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- Jazz Twemlow
Executive producer Amy Poehler's imprimatur helped make Broad City a phenomenon, and now it looks like it might do the same for Hulu's upcoming Difficult People, a new comedy debuting in August and starring Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner. Klausner, Eichner, and Poehler came to the second annual Vulture Festival today for a screening of their new show, about a pair of struggling comedians behaving badly in New York, and for a talk with Vulture's Margaret Lyons, during which the trio could barely contain their admiration for one another (and also for Game of Thrones).Eichner on Poehler: “Julie and I were outliers in the comedy world. We were never the people getting called by SNL or The Daily Show; it took us a moment to get into the professional comedy industry, and it’s taken the support of people with vision and balls and good fucking taste, like Amy Poehler, »
- Claire Landsbaum
Chris Farley, who died of a drug overdose in 1997 at the depressingly young age of 33, helped usher in a new breed of slapstick comedy in the '90s. His style of physical humor had the tenacity, and wonderful stupidity, of a bull in a china shop. One of the new guards who made Saturday Night Live relevant again in the '90s, along with fellow frat-boy jokers Adam Sandler and David Spade, Farley yelled himself hoarse and threw his girth around with apparent abandon and disregard for his well-being. Farley created a lot of great, bombastic characters on SNL: the Nino, Bob Swerski, the guy who lived in a van down by the river, that Chippendale's dancer swinging around his gut opposite Patrick Swayze.A new documentary on Farley's life, called I Am Chris Farley, is slated to appear in select theaters on August 1 and on Spike August 10, Entertainment »
- Greg Cwik
The Saturday Night Live star will appear alongside the duo in the film following two friends who decide to act like gangster drug dealers in an effort to recover a stolen kitten.
The Hollywood Reporter reports that Forte will play a low-level drug dealer who is obsessed with black culture, despite Peele's character being the only black person he knows.
The film is set to shoot in New Orleans this summer.
Forte's The Last Man On Earth was renewed for a second season earlier this year. »
Billy Crystal (Soap, Saturday Night Live) and Josh Gad (Back to You, 1600 Penn) both have experience starring in televisions shows. Some have been successful while others have not. Will The Comedians be a hit in the ratings for FX? Will it be cancelled or renewed for a second season? We'll have to wait and see.
A mockumentary comedy series, The Comedians stars Crystal as a comedy legend who's reluctantly paired with edgy up-and-coming star Gad for a late night sketch comedy show. Egos and generations soon collide on The Billy & Josh Show -- much to the dismay of the show's crew. The rest of the cast includes Stephnie Weir, Matt Oberg, Megan Ferguson, and Dana Delany.
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Comedy BFFs Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are having their achievement as the first female co-hosts of "SNL's" Weekend Update segment commemorated with action figures from Entertainment Earth. The three-inch limited-edition figurines will be sold at San-Diego Comic-Con in July for $29.99, but the toymaker is taking pre-orders now. Fey and Poehler will next be seen together in the comedy "Sisters" (out December 18). Fey is presumably busy with the second season of "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" (2016), while Poehler will voice Joy in "Inside Out" (June 19) and co-star in the Netflix series "Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp" (July 17). [via Sydney Morning Herald]
- Inkoo Kang
The film, directed by Brent Hodge and Derik Murray, includes interviews with Christina Applegate, Dan Aykroyd, Mike Myers, Adam Sandler, Molly Shannon and David Spade. It will debut on Spike on August 10, followed by a VOD release.
The film tracks Farley from his early days in Madison, Wis. and at Marquette University, through his work at Second City, “Saturday Night Live” and in films such as “Tommy Boy” and “Black Sheep.” He died at the age of 33 of a drug overdose in 1997.
The filmmakers included interviews with Farley’s four siblings, including his brother Tom Jr., who wrote the biography “The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts.”
- Dave McNary
The documentary about the late comedy star and member of SNL and Chicago’s Second City Theatre troupe features Christina Applegate, Dan Aykroyd, Mike Myers, Adam Sandler, Molly Shannon and David Spade.
The film will debut on Spike network on August 10 followed by VOD platforms.
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
Gutfeld, who has one of the more eclectic resumes in the business, could blaze new paths at the 21st Century Fox-owned outlet, but he’s not getting ahead of himself. His “Greg Gutfeld Show,” billed as a “comedic news hour,” is something that is not the norm at Fox News or any other cable-news outlet.
“I have a very low bar,” he says during a recent interview. “I don’t want to throw up.” Viewers will get to see if he accomplishes that feat this Sunday at 10 p.m.
- Brian Steinberg
Jim Breuer's new standup special "Comic Frenzy," which debuts on Epix tonight at 10 p.m. Est, focuses on some bracing themes: becoming your parents' caretaker, raising teenagers, and how to survive a heavy metal-themed cruise. In this exclusive clip from "Comic Frenzy," the "SNL" vet discusses why he likes the style of Dr. Kevorkian and wouldn't mind taking his practices into his own hands. »
- Louis Virtel
Connor4real is a mock music documentary that focuses on the career of a rapper, played by Andy Samberg, who must reunite with his old boyband when his solo projects turn sour.
According to Deadline, Buckley will play a member of the rapper's entourage called Sponge.
Connor4real is expected to be released in 2016 »
With Jim Breuer releasing his second hour-long special, Comic Frenzy, tonight on Epix, what better person to talk to him than a fellow New York Metropolitan–area Saturday Night Live cast member, Pete Davidson? The two talk about doing stand-up while being on SNL, their annoying families, and Half Baked.Pete Davidson: So, first things first: Are you excited for your new special to be coming out on Epix?Jim Breuer: What I’m most excited about is it's one of the first things I did 100 percent on my own, meaning I bought the production, I wanted to do it at this place, so I booked the place, already sold it to the place I wanted to sell it to, got the director I wanted to do. I like that I can sell DVDs and I can make thousands of them for like a dollar. That’s awesome. »
- Pete Davidson,Jesse David Fox
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