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The West Wing meets The Wire? It’s not as ridiculous as it may sound, and it almost happened, if David Simon had his way. In about the middle of The Wire’s five season run, there were plans to have a political spin-off starring none other than Petyr Baelish himself, Aiden Gillen. Whoops, I mean Tommy Carcetti. Simon explains to Buzzfeed exactly what that might have looked like: “We were actually trying to spin off the city hall show and do a political show,” Simon revealed to BuzzFeed News, explaining it would’ve focused on Aiden Gillen’s politician Tommy Carcetti. “We wrote a bunch of scripts that would spin off after Season 3 of ‘The Wire.’ But HBO said, ‘No, we only want one show that nobody is watching in Baltimore, not two!’ ” For as much acclaim as The Wire has, this does actually make sense. It was hardly one of HBO’s… »
Implosion. Pre-detonation. Radioactivity. Meltdowns. The terms that define Wgn’s atomic bomb drama Manhattan also apply to its characters, a mix of men and women trying to stop a world war by creating a weapon that could destroy the planet completely. There isn't a simple equation among them. Throughout season one, which came to an end Sunday night with its thirteenth episode (“Perestroika”), the show mastered the art of contradiction, presenting heroes you root for even as they betray their own better natures. In the finale, the scientists of Los Alamos are still far from the breakthroughs they will need »
- Anthony Breznican
Wgn America has picked up the drama series Manhattan for a second season. Created by Sam Shaw (Masters of Sex) and directed by Thomas Schlamme (The West Wing), the story takes place in 1940s Los Alamos, New Mexico and revolves around the men working secretly on the Manhattan Project as well as the toll it takes on their lives and family. I haven’t seen the show myself but I’ve heard good things, and the Manhattan Project is certainly creatively rich material. The first season finale of the show airs this coming Sunday, October 19th, on Wgn America. Read the full press release regarding the season two renewal after the jump. Here’s the press release: Los Angeles, Oct. 14, 2014 – Wgn America has ordered a second season of its critically acclaimed original drama "Manhattan," it was announced today by Matt Cherniss, President and General Manager, Wgn America and Tribune Studios. »
- Adam Chitwood
Gwyneth Paltrow hosted a star-studded fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee Thursday night in Los Angeles, with President Barack Obama serving as guest of honor. Among the famous faces seen arriving at Paltrow's Brentwood home were Julia Roberts and “The West Wing” star Bradley Whitford. Mr. Obama arrived at the Oscar-winning star's house in the upscale Mandeville Canyon neighborhood at 5:24 p.m. He greeted and interacted with Paltrow before she introduced him to her guests, who sat on folding chairs, while eating summer rolls and sipping from flutes of champagne. “I am your — one of your biggest fans – if »
- Linda Ge and Anita Bennett
This brings the episode totals to 22 for “Black-ish” and 15 for “Murder.”
“Murder,” which stars Viola Davis as a mastermind criminal lawyer and professor and has seen heavy promotion from the network’s “Tgit” marketing campaign, is the fall’s highest-rated new series in adults 18-49, averaging a 3.6 “live plus same-day” rating through two airings. The premiere also set DVR playback records, gaining about 6 million viewers within the first three days of its airing. It is created and executive produced by Pete Nowalk (“Scandal,” “Grey’s Anatomy”). Shonda Rhimes (“Scandal,” “Grey’s Anatomy”), Betsy Beers (“Scandal,” “Grey’s Anatomy”) and Bill D’Elia (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “The West Wing”) also serve as executive producers. “How to Get Away with Murder” is produced by ABC Studios. »
- Whitney Friedlander
ABC Family has turned to a network TV vet to fill the vacancy at the top of its programming and development department.
Karey Burke, the longtime NBC exec who has more recently worked as a producer, has been tapped exec vp of programming and development for the Mouse House cabler. She’ll oversee all development activity including casting, and she will be responsible for developing multi platform distribution strategies. She reports to ABC Family prexy Tom Ascheim.
“Karey is a proven hit maker, has worked across all genres of television and successfully held different roles as a buyer, seller and producer,” Ascheim said. “She is a dynamic leader with a vision for our programming that will result in more stand-out, must-commit, must-share content. In collaboration with the programming team she will continue to grow the slate of successful series and build an environment for creativity to flourish.”
Burke moves into »
- Cynthia Littleton
Amazon has a number of great DVD/Blu-ray deals and I’ve grabbed the highlights and linked them below. As always, only limited quantities available so act fast. Details below. Up to 70% Off The Simpsons Seasons 1-20 The Die Hard 1-5 Collection [Blu-ray] - $31.99 (68% off) Up to 58% Off 007 Titles 007: Daniel Craig Collection (Casino Royale / Quantum of Solace / Skyfall) [Blu-ray] - $21.99 (60% off) Pierce Brosnan Ultimate 007 Edition (Goldeneye / The World Is Not Enough / Die Another Day) - $10.99 (56% off) The Three Stooges: The Ultimate Collection - $44.99 (53% off) The West Wing: The Complete Series Collection - $81.99 (73% off) Friends: The Complete Series [Blu-ray] - $120.99 (57% off) [Note: Collider earns a small referral fee when our readers purchase something on Amazon through one of our links. The money generated helps pay our staff and keep the site running. Thank you for reading and supporting Collider.]
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
Excuse My French, 2014
Written and directed by Amir Salama
A Christian kid suddenly is forced to go to a public school after his father dies and because of a misunderstanding everyone thinks that he’s a Muslim.
There is a lot to be said for comedy getting “lost in translation”. Those who are au fait with Egyptian religious politics and the prejudices between Christians and Muslims may find a lot of humour in Amir Salama’s Excuse My French, but anyone else will just see it as a brightly coloured and overlong film with a couple of titters. It’s like watching The West Wing with no understanding of the American government system and just enjoying watching the characters walk around the halls spouting witty dialogue. It’s enjoyable from a certain angle, but it doesn’t give you any real satisfaction. »
- Luke Owen
The end is in sight for HBO’s The Newsroom. The show’s third and final season is nearly upon us, after which we’ll bid goodbye to the Atlantic Cable News crew.
The Aaron Sorkin-scripted drama looks set to continue on its mission of melding real-life events with the show’s idealistic crew of reporters, producers and newscasters. In its first two seasons, the series received applause for tackling the media’s angle on global events such as the Occupy Wall Street movement. It’s of course Jeff Daniels’ leading man, anchor Will McAvoy, who’s largely responsible for the show’s success and is at centre stage barking to his lackeys once more in the trailer for season three.
Approaching another devastating tragedy, the Boston Marathon Bombings, with great care are the show’s core trio. Back for another run are Emily Mortimer as producer MacKenzie McHale »
- Gem Seddon
NBC is getting a little slap-happy. The network has added Thandie Newton and Melissa George to its upcoming miniseries, The Slap, which is based on the 2011 Australian project of the same name. Written by Jon Robin Baitz (The West Wing), The Slap is described as "a complex family drama that explodes from one small incident where a man slaps another couple’s misbehaving child." From there, secrets are exposed, a lawsuit is filed, and all kinds of drama ensues in the miniseries, which has an eight-episode order. Newton and George join a cast already featuring Peter Sarsgaard, Mary-Louise Parker, Zachary Quinto, »
- Samantha Highfill
Leonardo DiCaprio will not be tackling the role of Steve Jobs in a film biopic after all. He was set to play the late Apple Computer co-founder for Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle but will now make the film "The Revenant" instead. The hot script is by Emmy and Oscar champ Aaron Sorkin ("The West Wing," "The Social Network") and is one of the "most anticipated" in recent years. Sony is reportedly now looking to several other big names as possibilties for the lead role, including Christian Bale, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, or Bradley Cooper. The Scott Rudin-produced movie has had other bumps along the road. "Gone Girl" director David Fincher had circled the project but left over compensation and control issues. Hollywood Reporter -Break- Warner Bros. releases the first trailer for the upcoming Clint Eastwood film "American Sniper." It stars Bradley Cooper as Navy Seal Chris Kyle, the "undisputed most lethal snipe. »
This week on ABC’s Scandal, Olivia and Jake battled over booty calls, Mellie’s private torment went public and Cyrus revealed to us that he apparently never saw Season 1 of The West Wing.
You Are So Booty-ful… To Meeeee
Now that they have been deposited back in D.C., Jake gets himself a room at a hotel a stone’s throw from Liv’s place, so that he is available for “booty calls.” (As he explains it, it can’t always be her “summoning” him.) They argue the issue some — when Jake isn’t looking over the reports on »
The first thing to say about The Newsroom is that it is unashamedly idealistic. Created by Aaron Sorkin, who gave us The West Wing, the show is populated by passionate journalists who value truth and facts over such trifles as ratings and advertising concerns. As is often the case with Sorkin, the action unfolds in a high-pressure environment where a team of smart workaholics frequently burst into impassioned speeches.
At the centre of the show is Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels), a grumpy news anchor who is popular due to his unwavering impartiality. Will once believed in the informative value of journalism, but he has spent the last few years in a career coma. This changes during a televised debate, however, when he is pushed »
- Stephen Carty
It’s been just eight months since viewers helped greenlight the pilot with their passionate reviews, and today, the entire first season of Transparent finally makes its much-anticipated debut on Prime Instant Video.
The 10-episode half hour series, which stars Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development), Judith Light (Dallas), Gaby Hoffman (Girls), Amy Landecker (Louie) and Jay Duplass (Togetherness), explores family, identity, sex, and love through the story of the Pfeffermans, a Los Angeles family forced to deal with their long-held secrets together.
Critical reception for the series has been overwhelmingly positive, with critics from several major outlets recommending it as the best new fall TV show, including Time and Entertainment Weekly:
“Transparent has the beginnings of a transformative, transcendent, transporting story of a person, a family–and a culture–going through a transformation.” – James Poniewozik, Time
“Beautiful, funny and touching…One of those rare shows that alters the complexion of the landscape with its quality. »
Lohan, who plays temporary secretary Karen in Mamet’s tale of Hollywood executives, reportedly missed lines during the opening performance Wednesday—prompting laughter from the audience and one cry of, “Oh my God, it’s so embarrassing,” according to The Daily Beast. An on the scene report from New York magazine notes that things really went downhill for Lohan in the second act. “Lohan forgot a line, »
- Esther Zuckerman
Ah, you've been busy. When we opened our special folder to see what new letters have come in, it turned out you'd sent us loads, and that the questions aren't getting any easier. As such, this is our longest letters page yet. Keep the correspondence coming - contact details are down at the bottom - and we'll crack on with the latest letters here...
Four Questions, Not All Of Them Easy
Having read your first few letters pages, it appears that a good way to start is to spend a paragraph or so gushing about [nice things redacted] which then gets deleted out, and then to start mid-sentence. So, here goes:
... but what I really wanted to do was ask you a few questions.
1. Why all the love for Heat? »
Models stood regally in the Olivia Pope-inspired garb on a raised platform for all to see and take pictures.
“Narrowing (it) down to only 42 pieces for the initial collection was really hard because we just loved (everything) so much. But it was good to have to form the discipline to do that,” Washington said. “We were literally in three different cities. I was in Los Angeles, [Elliot] was in New York and Lyn was in London. So this is a collaboration that could not have happened decades ago. We were literally FedExing »
- Alexa Harrison
Another mob series with a glittering pedigree, including Martin Scorsese, who practically defined post-“The Godfather” crime movies; and “The Sopranos” alums Terence Winter and Steve Buscemi. A barrel full of Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe award quickly followed.
Yet despite early awards heat and critical accolades, the pay-tv paean to Atlantic City didn’t fully cash in. What HBO programming president Michael Lombardo dubbed “one of the most superb ensemble casts of any television show I can think of” nabbed eight Emmys its freshman year (one short of “The West Wing’s” record), but lost best drama to “Mad Men,” produced by Winter’s former “Sopranos” colleague Matthew Weiner.
“Boardwalk” has remained a critical favorite. Yet with the crush of prestigious new programs in the ensuing years, the show slipped off the best-series ballot the past two seasons. »
- Brian Lowry
On Sept. 22, 1999 at 9 pm, The West Wing premiered on NBC. Earlier that Wednesday, The Hollywood Reporter reviewed the new drama, praising the series as "wonderfully engaging." Read the original review below: Even in a season in which new dramas outnumber comedies, it's not hard to pick the best. In this case, it's The West Wing, a compelling, intelligent and wonderfully engaging drama about the hardball world of national politics. Considering the executive producers, Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme from Sports Night and John Wells from ER, it probably shouldn't be any surprise that this new show
- THR Staff
[This is a review of Madam Secretary season 1, episode 1. There will be Spoilers.]
It’s been more than eight years since The West Wing went off the air. In the intervening years, TV dramas about Washington movers and shakers – House of Cards, Scandal – have often been cynical, soapy and even sinister as they focused their sights on telling stories about power and politics without leaning on the Capra-corniness that sometimes took hold of The West Wing. With Madam Secretary, though, it seems like CBS is trying to blend elements from all of the above mentioned shows, in an effort to present a show that is both idealistic and darkly dramatic.
Starring Téa Leoni as Secretary of State Elizabeth ...
Click to continue reading ‘Madam Secretary’ Series Premiere Review
- Jason Tabrys
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