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Wgn America has released an extended trailer for the first season of its upcoming drama series “Manhattan.”
Set in the 1940s, “Manhattan” follows the events of a small New Mexico town filled with scientists recruited to work on the Manhattan Project, the development of the first nuclear bombs. John Benjamin Hickey stars as lead scientist Frank Winter, who, along with his wife Liza (Olivia Williams) and daughter Callie (Alexia Fast), must work through the danger and deceit occurring in the highly secure outpost.
Daniel Stern, Ashley Zukerman, Rachel Brosnahan, Katja Herbers, Christopher Denham, Harry Lloyd, Michael Chernus and Eddie Shin also star. Lionsgate Television, Skydance Television and Tribune Studios are producing.
In his review, Variety’s Brian Lowry spoke positively about the show’s premise, saying, “‘Manhattan’ earns points for being serious and ambitious, while creating a strong sense of atmosphere and place in the isolation — and paranoia — in which the families must exist, »
- Sebastian Torrelio
Like a lot of networks as they move into original series, Tribune’s Wgn America doesn’t yet seem to know what it wants to be when it grows up. So the channel is following the witchy (but not terribly bewitching) “Salem” with “Manhattan,” a dense ensemble drama devoted to the scientists involved in the Manhattan Project, which devised the first nuclear bombs. Opening, as the on-air script informs us, “766 days before Hiroshima,” the show establishes plenty of room to operate. But the program’s dense, grim nature augurs a rather narrow appeal, leaving a different sort of cloud hanging over its prospects.
Tellingly, the cast of “Manhattan” is listed in alphabetical order, suggesting a level of equality that’s both accurate and somewhat confining. Despite boasting some fine actors, without a central lead, the project tends to careen around like loose ions, lacking a stabilizing core.
The driving focus, »
- Brian Lowry
"Salem," Wgn's first original scripted drama, is an unapologetic piece of trash, perhaps best summed up by the scene in the pilot where a naked Janet Montgomery — playing an actual Salem witch in a way that weirdly justifies all of the religion-fueled paranoia of the period — lets a toad suckle at a nipple on her thigh. While a channel's first scripted show isn't always representative of what follows, they tend to create expectations for what's to come, and it would have been easy to assume that Wgn's plan was to lean heavily on campy genre fare. But "Manhattan," Wgn's second original drama (it debuts Sunday night at 9), is as far in tone and ambition and quality from "Salem" as the New Mexico desert of 1943 is from 17th century Massachusetts. At a minimum, it suggests you shouldn't assume anything about whatever the channel's going to do next. Created Sam Shaw and »
- Alan Sepinwall
The year was 1999 and by the summer, teen films were all the rage. The year kicked off with two unexpected box office successes, Varsity Blues and She’s All That, before studios started pumping out hit after hit. In the same year, Drop Dead Gorgeous, a dark comedy about teenage girls competing in a local Minnesota beauty pageant, bombed at the box office. Unable to capture the same excitement as American Pie or 10 Things I Hate About You, the film quickly disappeared from theaters after earning a dismal $10.5 million at the box office.
It was only later, when released on DVD and VHS, did the movie become a cult classic. Similarly to Jawbreaker, which also came out in 1999, Drop Dead Gorgeous proved to be a pivotal film — introducing audiences to Amy Adams, making use of the mockumentary style — even if it was overlooked at the time.
On the 15th anniversary of the theatrical release, »
- Stacy Lambe
What happens if you round up the nation's most brilliant scientific minds, seclude them in a makeshift city in the middle of the desert, and drown their lives in secrecy? These are the questions addressed in Manhattan, the new historical drama from creator Sam Shaw (Masters of Sex) and director Thomas Schlamme (The West Wing). Manhattan offers a semi-fictionalized version of the infamous Manhattan Project - the clandestine research and development project that resulted in the creation of the atomic bomb. While the events of the show are based on history, Manhattan largely steers clear of iconic figures like J. Robert Oppenheimer and Leslie Groves, and focuses instead on the interpersonal drama between fictitious characters as they contend with the costs of secrecy and isolation. Manhattan stars John Benjamin Hickey, Olivia Williams, Daniel Stern, Rachel Brosnahan, Ashley Zuckerman, Harry Lloyd, Michael Chernus, Christopher Denham, Katja Herbers, Alexia Fast, and Eddie Shin. »
- Haleigh Foutch
CBS partnered with sister channels the CW and Showtime for a blowout party Thursday at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood.
Stars of new shows like Grant Gustin of CW’s “The Flash” and Mariana Klaveno of CBS’ “Stalker” hobnobbed with press, while a mini reunion of “The Wire” actors Wendell Pierce, who joins Showtime’s “Ray Donovan” this year, and Dominic West of new Showtime drama “The Affair,” excited those within Instagram distance. Elsewhere, CBS Entertainment chairman Nina Tassler insisted her chill, old school demeanor would not allow for such things as sending an underling to get her food so she wouldn’t wait in line, CW prexy Mark Pedowitz debated which he enjoys more: Upfronts or TCA.
McNulty & Bunk together again (on Showtime) #theaffair #RayDonovan #TCA14 http://t.co/AvQdVotdIg—
(@SHO_PR) July 18, 2014
Meanwhile, returning champs bonded with each other over snacks provided by Coolhaus, Umami Burger and Olive Wood food trucks. »
- Whitney Friedlander
What really confuses people about the awards that will be given out by the Television Critics Assn. on Saturday is the Program of the Year prize. The obvious assumption is that it is an award honoring the best TV show of the year regardless of genre. However, since this award was first handed out in 1985, only seven winners were also feted for their Outstanding Achievement in Drama. And no such comedy champ has also been named Program of the Year. -Break- Join in the fierce debate about the TCA Awards going on right now in our fiery forums The seven Drama winners to also take this top honor were: 1985: "The Jewel in the Crown" 1986: "Death of a Salesman"; shared with "Crisis in Black America” 1996: “Homicide: Life on the Street” 1999: “The Sopranos” 2000: “The West Wing” 2001: “The Sopranos”; shared Drama with "The West Wing" 2008: &..." »
“In season two of “Bates Motel,” executive producers Carlton Cuse (“Lost”) and Kerry Ehrin (“Friday Night Lights”) dig deeper into the twisted world of the Bates family. Picking up from last season, Norman (Freddie Highmore) is fixating on Miss Watson’s death while Norma’s mysterious past starts to haunt the family with the introduction of her brother. Meanwhile, Norman’s brother Dylan, (Max Thieriot), gets more entrenched in the familial drug war that fuels White Pine Bay and finds himself right in the middle of the danger as Bradley (Nicola Peltz), who remains on the hunt to uncover her father’s killer, is driven to precarious extremes. Sheriff Romero (Nestor Carbonell), is caught up on all fronts as everything in town escalates and Emma (Olivia Cooke) complicates her relationship with »
- Jonathan James
The name Debora Cahn is not one that enjoys instant recognition among audiences, but she has been working steadily and with impressive results since her days as an award-winning writer on The West Wing. Eventually rising to the ranks of producer on that show, she went on to replicate the same success on Grey’s Anatomy. With a feature script having ranked highly on the 2013 Black List (The Special Program), her work has drawn attention from notable places – including Smokehouse Productions and Columbia Pictures, who have recruited her to write Coronado High.
Based on an article by Joshua Bearman, the story will focus on a laid-back teacher in Coronado, California in 1969, who collaborated with some local high school students to smuggle pot from Mexico, using swimming and paddle surfboards. From this supposedly simple idea rose a sizable 1970s criminal empire, which was ultimately taken down by the Drug Enforcement Agency. »
- Sarah Myles
Clooney will produce the film along with Grant Heslov (The Monuments Men) and David Klawans (Argo). Grey’s Anatomy and The West Wing writer Debora Cahn will pen the screenplay, which is an adaptation of a Atavist article by Joshua Bearman. The piece told of a hippie teacher who teamed up with high school students in the beach town of Coronado, California in 1969 to smuggle pot from Mexico to the Us by swimming and paddling surfboards. They successfully created a criminal empire that stretched into the 1970s, before being taken down by the DEA.
This isn’t the first of Bearman’s articles to get the Hollywood treatment. He wrote a story for Wired that became the basis for Ben Affleck’s Academy Award winning film Argo. Cahn, on the other hand, »
- James Garcia
Based on an Atavist article by Joshuah Bearman, the plot tells the true story of a hippie teacher and his students in the sleepy town of Coronado, California, who, in 1969, came up with the idea of smuggling marijuana in from Mexico by swimming and paddling surfboards. The notion turned into a criminal empire, which was eventually taken down by the DEA in the 1970s.
George Clooney is producing alongside his Smokehouse Pictures partner Grant Heslov and David Klawans. Joshuah Bearman wrote the Wired Magazine article that eventually became Best Picture winner Argo, which both George Clooney and Grant Heslov produced.
Rob Lowe is heading to Lifetime, but his character’s lifetime is literally going to be cut short.
The network announced Monday that Lowe will star in its latest based-on-a-true-story movie, Beautiful and Twisted. Set in the ritzy world of Miami excess, the film from Sony Picture Televisionwill feature Lowe as Ben Novack Jr., a millionaire heir to the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel fortune. When he’s found brutally murdered, police work their way through the tangle of intrigue surrounding his marriage to Narcy (Spanish actress Paz Vega), whom they identify as a prime suspect. Candice Bergen (Murphy Brown) will portray Ben’s mother, »
- Jackson McHenry
A review of tonight's "The Leftovers" coming up just as soon as I think I know what happened to your face... "Why do you persist?" -Mary What a bizarre, marvelous, freaky, abrupt left turn is "Two Boats and a Helicopter."(*) After two big, sprawling ensemble pieces to open the series and give us a sense of the Departure's impact on the larger world, this one essentially turns into a solo piece about Reverend Matt — or, rather, into a duet between Matt and the cruel, capricious cosmic force that's brought so much uncertainty into the world, and misery into Matt's life. Kevin and Laurie appear briefly (Laurie, interestingly, watching her husband and daughter's house while they sleep), and we also discover that Matt and Nora Durst are siblings, but the great bulk of this is just Christopher Eccleston running around, chasing signs and wonders sent from a deity whose behavior suggests »
- Alan Sepinwall
TV pilot production is an inexact science. Certain characters or ideas don't quite click, so you change them, or you abandon them, and then you move on. In these days of leaner budgets, though, it's trickier to deal with the changes as thoroughly as might be ideal, which is why much of NBC's press tour session for "Constantine" was devoted to a character who now won't be in the show past the pilot. In the original version of the pilot — based on the John Constantine character from DC Comics, here played by Matt Ryan as an exorcist and "dabbler in the dark arts" — Constantine befriends Liv Aberdine, played by Lucy Griffiths, the daughter of a friend of his, and someone with her own undiscovered connection to the world of the occult. The pilot takes Lucy on an emotional journey from skeptical, to fearful, to believing devoutly in the war against evil that John is fighting, »
- Alan Sepinwall
Rob Lowe finally has a sex tape he wants you to see.
In Sony Pictures’ July 18 release “Sex Tape,” the 50-year-old actor, known for making his own infamous sex tape in the late 1980s, plays Hank, a buttoned-up CEO at the office with a penchant for decidedly darker things when left home alone.
The casting of Lowe in what amounts to a small part in the film reflects the actor’s good sense of humor about his past bad-boy behavior. Lowe’s career was nearly derailed when a video he made of himself having sex with two women (one underage at the time) surfaced while he was campaigning on behalf of Michael Dukakis at the 1988 Democratic Convention in Atlanta.
Unlike some of his more serious political roles that included playing John F. Kennedy in the TV movie “Killing Kennedy,” a rising senator in “Brothers & Sisters” and the White House communications director in “The West Wing, »
- Alexandra Cheney
Creator Sam Shaw and director Thomas Schlamme of Wgn America’s new show “Manhattan” compared their recent work on the 1940s period drama to hit shows “Masters of Sex” and “The West Wing” during Wednesday night’s panel at the Paley Center for Media.
Schlamme said that “Manhattan” shares a lot of the DNA with “The West Wing” by balancing the world of politics with the world of human emotion.
“It was very important in this show that scientists talk like scientists,” he said. “It wasn’t that important that everyone understood everything the scientists were saying. That was the golden rule in ‘West Wing,’ we never had to stop to explain to the audience what these people were talking about because what they would feel is what was the relationship between those people.”
Schlamme added: “That’s how these two shows relate, they are about very large issues, but »
- Nikara Johns
Netflix has set out to stage an Aaron Sorkin reunion of sorts. According to The Hollywood Reporter, The Newsroom’s Sam Waterston has been cast in an upcoming comedy for the streaming giant, alongside Jane Fonda (The Newsroom), Lily Tomlin (The West Wing), and Martin Sheen (do I have to say what show Martin Sheen was on? Okay fine, The West Wing).
The show, titled Grace and Frankie, follows two rivals—Grace (Fonda) and Frankie (Tomlin)—who make amends after they discover that their husbands—Sheen and Waterston, respectively—have been keeping up an affair with each other since 1994 and now plan to legally marry. »
- Jackson McHenry
Nurse Jackie Season 5 Blu-Ray Review
The fifth season of Nurse Jackie is a somewhat unique spin in the world of TV series, because the premise of the show is turned upside-down. While Edie Falco has spent four seasons winning critical acclaim as titular, drug-addicted nurse who has to find a way to make all the facets of her life work, the writers correctly determined that it was time that the gimmick made some new movies. Thus, the fifth season has Jackie sober, and quickly approaching the one-year anniversary of her sobriety.
With her marriage falling apart, her job resting on a very precarious perch, and her ability to effectively don a parental role, Jackie has an entirely new set of problems to manage, and coping isn’t necessarily something she’s great at… depending on how you mean that.
Of course, when your personal life is in a shambles, your »
- Marc Eastman
Only in the '90s! Rob Lowe isn't just the narrator of National Geographic's The '90s: The Last Great Decade? special—he's also one of its interviewees. Entertainment Weekly shared a clip from the upcoming miniseries on Tuesday, July 1, in which the Parks and Recreation actor recounts a truly original 1990s moment—meeting Monica Lewinsky on a plane as he was getting ready to star in Aaron Sorkin's White House drama The West Wing. The West Wing, about a fictional U.S. President (Martin Sheen) and his senior staff, premiered [...] »
At times, the modern political climate may seem stranger than fiction, so it may be comforting (or disconcerting) to know that several recent political events initially took place years prior, on NBC's beloved series The West Wing, which aired from 1999 to 2006. While some of its more prescient episodes tackle obvious issues (i.e. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"), other coincidences are downright bizarre (i.e. characters who bear striking similarities to Barack Obama and John McCain squaring off in a...
Read More > »
- Liz Raftery
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