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This story originally appeared in TheWrap magazine: Emmy Race Begins. Before his revelatory turn in “Transparent,” Jeffrey Tambor was best known for his Emmy nominated performances as unctuous sidekick Hank Kingsley in faux talk show “The Larry Sanders Show” and “Arrested Development” patriarch George Bluth. But the 70-year-old actor with the distinctive bald pate and patented hang-dog expression has credits that stretch decades earlier to include roles on Broadway, “Three’s Company” spinoff “The Ropers,” plus “…And Justice for All” with Al Pacino. These diverse roles prepared him for an unlikely leading role in “Transparent.” He considers it the part of a lifetime, »
- Diane Garrett
Should we feel bad for Eddie Huang? The restaurateur whose memoir about his childhood inspired the current ABC sitcom "Fresh Off the Boat" went on a multi-post Twitter rant after this week's episode, complaining that, since the pilot, the show has drifted far from the reality of his own experience, to the point where "it got so far from the truth that I don't recognize my own life."
That's certainly unfortunate, even for a guy who received a tidy sum for the TV rights to his autobiography. No one wants to see his or her experience distorted and broadcast to millions. Then again, what did he expect? It's a network sitcom. It's generally going to avoid any bleak reality that can't be resolved in 22 minutes.
This sort of biographical distortion has been an issue for sitcoms since the dawn of television, since the format simply doesn't lend itself easily to »
- Gary Susman
This review is based on the season premiere, which was provided for review purposes prior to broadcast.
Tonight on FX you can catch the premieres of two very different shows about deprecating comics. One is Louie, returning for its fifth season, a rough gem made brilliant by the humor and empathy creator/star Louis C. K. can generate by examining his life with as much specificity as vulnerability. Before Louie is the series premiere for The Comedians, which tries to make you laugh using the same kind of faux humility you expect out of a Comedy Central roast. “Look at how cool I am with sending up my celebrity persona!” The Comedians screams loudly through its premiere, though rarely at a frequency that will get your funny bone to vibrate much.
If nothing else, the show is pretty timely. In just the last two weeks, we’ve seen Trevor Noah »
- Sam Woolf
For whatever ABC’s Castle has planned for its Season 7 finale, we know at least one guest star who will be a part of it.
TVLine has learned exclusively that CSI vet Wallace Langham will have a role in the yet-to-be-titled season ender, though no details on his character or the overall storyline are being released. (Perhaps he is playing the “distinguished, highly intelligent” shrink teased in Ask Ausiello?)
RelatedMay Sweeps Scorecard 2015: Weddings, Deaths, Breakups, Sex, Resurrections, Firings and More!
In 2012, when Billy Crystal returned to host the Oscars for the first time in years, he seemed surprised when so many of his jokes — many of them of the same type he deployed so effectively in his '90s hosting heyday — got a muted response from the audience. Again and again, his face seemed to be saying, They all laughed at this stuff before! What's changed? Crystal certainly hadn't, but the culture had changed around him. What had killed in the '90s was mostly dying in the '10s. Timing is everything in comedy, including the era in which you tell certain jokes. I thought of that Oscar night a lot while watching "The Comedians," the new FX comedy (it debuts Thursday night at 10) co-starring Crystal and Josh Gad as fictionalized versions of themselves, reluctantly teaming up to star in a show-within-a-show when fictional FX executives decide that Crystal »
- Alan Sepinwall
"The Daily Show" has found a successor to Jon Stewart, and it's... South African comic Trevor Noah. “It’s an honor to follow Jon Stewart," Noah said in Comedy Central's announcement of the move. "He and the team at ‘The Daily Show’ have created an incredible show whose impact is felt all over the world. In my brief time with the show they’ve made me feel so welcome. I’m excited to get started and work with such a fantastic group of people.” “I’m thrilled for the show and for Trevor," Stewart himself added. "He’s a tremendous comic and talent that we’ve loved working with…In fact, I may rejoin as a correspondent just to be a part of it!!!” Since December, Noah has appeared a handful of times as a "Daily Show" correspondent, so this isn't exactly as sharp a departure as Craig Kilborn was replaced by Stewart, »
- Alan Sepinwall
"The Comedians" is a hilarious expose of the TV biz. Billy Crystal and Josh Gad are brilliant. Finally, a show that could take down "Modern Family" at the Emmys! -Break- This FX program premiering on April 9 before "Louie" is the funniest new show I have seen in recent years. And it has special appeal to TV academy members of all ages since it's about a veteran comedy legend and a rising young star battling over their own TV variety series. It reminds me of three-time Best Comedy Series champ "30 Rock" if crossed with "The Larry Sanders Show" and maybe "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (appropriate since Larry Charles has directed several episodes of that Larry David laffer and this new show). Those programs all made fun of television and the entertainment industry, just like other Emmy favorites like "The Dick Van Dyke Show," "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "Murphy Brown,..."' »
"The Comedians" is a hilarious expose of the TV biz. Billy Crystal and Josh Gad are brilliant. Finally, a show that could take down "Modern Family" at the Emmys! -Break- This FX program premiering on April 9 before "Louie" is the funniest new show I have seen in recent years. And it has special appeal to TV academy members of all ages since it's about an veteran comedy legend and a rising young star battling over their own TV variety series. It reminds me of three-time Best Comedy Series champ "30 Rock" if crossed with "The Larry Sanders Show" and maybe "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (appropriate since Larry Charles has directed several episodes of that Larry David laffer and this new show). Those programs all made fun of television and the entertainment industry, just like other Emmy favorites like "The Dick Van Dyke Show," "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "Murphy Brown..."' »
Infinitely Polar Bear opens in NY and La on June 19th and expands nationally in the following weeks.
While most fathers spend their days at work, Cam Stuart (Mark Ruffalo) is more likely to be found mushroom-hunting, cooking elaborate meals, or working on one of his many half completed projects. His family’s wealth keeps his family just barely afloat, while Cam struggles to live with manic depression. When Cam has a manic breakdown that lands him in a mental hospital, his wife Maggie (Zoe Saldana) and their two young daughters, Amelia and Faith, are forced to leave their house in the country and move into a cramped apartment in Cambridge, where Maggie tries to find a decent job, with no luck.
Broke, stressed, and overwhelmed, Maggie applies to business »
- Michelle McCue
One potential highlight of MipTV’s major focus on drama at this year’s Cannes TV-digital trade fair, “Modern Family’s” co-creator and executive producer Steven Levitan will deliver a keynote – to be followed by a Comedy Masterclass: A Serious Savoir-Faire.
Speaking Monday, April 13, Levitan, whose credits include “Wings,” “Frasier,” “The Larry Sanders Show,” “Just Shoot Me” and “Greg the Bunny,” will focus on “Modern Family’s” hit-status longevity, and how it is now traveling as a scripted format.
Featuring producers, commissioners and comedic talent working on local and global levels, and from web to TV, the Comedy Masterclass’ confirmed panelists are Joe Lewis, head of comedy, Amazon Studios; Jill Offman, managing director, Comedy Central U.K., and senior VP of comedy, Viacom International Media Networks; and Ash Atalla, managing director & executive producer, Roughcut Television (“The It Crowd,” “The Office”).
A two-day event, drama at MipTV takes in showcases from producers and broadcasters, »
- John Hopewell
Jim Parsons has won this four of the last five years, but will love of "Transparent" finally get Jeffrey Tambor an Emmy after multiple losses for both "The Larry Sanders Show" and "Arrested Development"? Both will surely be nominated, though beyond that it's much slimmer pickin's than the comedy actress category (which is kind of a great thing). Read More: Watch: Billy Crystal and Josh Gad Get Meta In New FX Series 'The Comedians' Louis Ck ("Louie"), Don Cheadle ("House of Lies") and/or Matt LeBlanc ("Episodes") could return. Billy Crystal ("The Comedians"), Anthony Anderson ("Blackish") and/or Will Forte ("Last Man on Earth") could make it in for their series' first seasons... And maybe "Shameless" will successfully petition to remain eligible here, bringing William H. Macy back. We'll see. Below are predictions for best comedy actor from both Indiewire Awards »
- Peter Knegt and Ben Travers
Jim Parsons has won this four of the last five years, but will love of "Transparent" finally get Jeffrey Tambor an Emmy after multiple losses for both "The Larry Sanders Show" and "Arrested Development"? Both will surely be nominated, though beyond that it's much slimmer pickin's than the comedy actress category (which is kind of a great thing). Read More: Watch: Billy Crystal and Josh Gad Get Meta In New FX Series 'The Comedians' Louis Ck ("Louie"), Don Cheadle ("House of Lies") and/or Matt LeBlanc ("Episodes") could return. Billy Crystal ("The Comedians"), Anthony Anderson ("Blackish") and/or Will Forte ("Last Man on Earth") could make it in for their series' first seasons... And maybe "Shameless" will successfully petition to remain eligible here, bringing William H. Macy back. We'll see. Below are predictions for best comedy actor from both Indiewire Awards...
- Peter Knegt and Ben Travers
Streaming video is a godsend if you want to catch up with recent seasons of TV series. But what's a TV fan to do who wants to stream older shows? Netflix has very little from before the millennium, and Amazon Prime has very little from before 1990.
That's not a knock; the big streaming services know their market. Still, it's worth remembering that Amazon's initial appeal as a bookseller was it's long-tail catalog, the notion that comprehensiveness was worthwhile because somebody somewhere would want that obscure or ancient title, that the markets for all those titles were collectively significant and worth catering to, and that the Internet had at last made it easier to connect those customers with what they wanted.
But until the big streaming services step into the long-tail breach, Shout Factory TV (at shoutfactorytv.com) is ready to make a home there. The boutique streaming service, which is free and requires no subscription, »
- Gary Susman
Take a look at the supertrailer below, and get a feel for not only the harsh look at reality shows you’ll be getting, but also several of the guest stars who will be appearing on the show.
It’s not that this general idea hasn’t come our way before, including in the form of shows like Burning Love, but I don’t think we’ve had quite as blunt an effort that specifically took on the “We’re just famous,” sub-genre.
Potentially, this one could be hilarious, and I’ll let you know a little closer to the air date, but let me know what you think about the idea.
In “ Barely Famous,” Erin and Sara portray »
- Marc Eastman
"We had nothing! They wouldn't sell us food, remember? We had money! American money," Better Call Saul star Bob Odenkirk says, reminiscing about strolling Greenwich Village at 3 a.m. decades ago with his friend and then-fellow struggling comedian Jon Stewart. The Mr. Show alum visited The Daily Show Thursday night to talk about old times and his plunge into a leading role on a major drama in the Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul.
"I don't know what happened. I was on a show called Breaking Bad and that was crazy good. »
Maybe if "Wild" hadn't done such a solid and visually rich job of portraying one woman's determination to restart her life by hiking 2000 miles, the banal platitudes and strange visual monotony of two older guys' determination to restart their lives by hiking 2000 miles in "A Walk in the Woods" wouldn't seem so subpar. Maybe if Robert Redford hadn't done such harrowing, committed and honest work as a man battling nature in "All Is Lost," Robert Redford's lax, barely engaged work as a man meandering through nature in "A Walk in the Woods" wouldn't seem so subpar. Maybe if "A Walk in the Woods" weren't having its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, a venue that doesn't always demand artistic or narrative experimentation but certainly rewards the work of risk-taking, it's bland and peculiar artistic and narrative flatness wouldn't seem so subpar. But here we are in Park City, »
- Daniel Fienberg
The hourlong crime drama, which was ordered to series in September and began production Wednesday in Los Angeles, has added Allison Scagliotti (Syfy’s “Warehouse 13″), Salli Richardson-Whitfield (Syfy’s “Eureka,” “I Am Legend”) and Ritesh Rajan (“The Last Airbender”) to the main cast, rounded out by Emma Ishta (“Manhattan Love Story”) and Kyle Harris (“The Carrie Diaries”), who were in the original pilot.
“Stitchers” follows Kirsten (Ishta), a young woman who is recruited into a secret government agency to be “stitched” into the minds of the recently deceased, using their memories to investigate murders and help solve mysteries before they go to the grave.
Working alongside Kirsten is passionate neuroscientist Cameron (Harris); socially immature bioelectrical engineer and communications technician Linus (Rajan); Maggie (Richardson-Whitfield), who heads the covert program; and Kirsten’s roommate, »
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
As the NBC sitcom starts its final season tonight, Gwilym Mumford looks back on the unloved sitcom that launched the careers of some of Us comedy’s top stars
Your guide to the hottest January TV shows and premieres
Peel off your Knope We Can bumper stickers, and put your bottle of Tommy Fresh back in the sock drawer. Parks And Recreation will soon be no more. Yet, as well as sadness at its passing, the show’s final season (which begins tonight on NBC, 8pm Est) provides an opportunity to celebrate its longevity. Parks And Recreation is TV’s great survivor, the series they couldn’t cancel. At the end of its current run the sitcom about a can-do governmental department in the fictional Indiana town of Pawnee will reach 125 episodes, surpassing not only the golden 100 number for syndication but also established comedy greats like Taxi, The Larry Sanders Show and Arrested Development. »
- Gwilym Mumford
Congratulations to Jeffrey Tambor for his well-earned Golden Globe for Best Actor in a TV Series (Musical or Comedy).
Tambor got his start on 70s shows including Kojak, Starsky & Hutch and Taxi, and went on to land recurring roles in several hit series in the 80s, including Hill Street Blues and Max Headroom. Most people today know Tambor for his memorable role as Hank Kingsley on the 90s cult hit The Larry Sanders Show and as the family patriarch George Bluth Sr. on Arrested Development.
Over the course of his career, he racked up multiple Emmy nominations and a big following. But his breakthrough role as a transgender parent coming out to his kids in Transparent earned him his first Golden Globe nomination and win.
"This is much bigger than me," Tambor noted as he accepted the award. Dedicating his performance to the transgender community, he thanked them for their "courage, »
For most of the four decades of his career as an actor, Jeremy Piven played That Guy. As in, “Oh look, it’s That Guy who played the cousin with anger issues on the 1990s sitcom Ellen!” Or, “Oh look! It’s That Guy who played the awful check-out clerk in the film Singles!” Or, most of all, “Oh look, it’s That Guy who always plays John Cusack’s obnoxious friend” (Piven has appeared alongside his childhood friend Cusack in Say Anything, The Grifters and Grosse Pointe Blank).
It’s not easy to be That Guy, to stand out when relegated to a bit part and surrounded by other, starrier players, as Piven seemed doomed to be. »
- Hadley Freeman
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