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Exclusive: Midnight Rider location manager Charles Baxter today denied having anything to do with the railroad trestle shoot on the set of the Gregg Allman biopic, which was the setting of the February 20 death of 27-year-old camera assistant Sarah Jones. In fact, in a court filing made by his lawyer Kirk Schroeder on Friday (read it here), Baxter revealed publicly for the first time that he was unable to get permission from property owner Csx to conduct filming on the trestle. Baxter also added that he did not plan to film on active railroad tracks and that he was not present at the shoot where Jones was killed and other crew members injured. The Georgia-based location manager denies retaining responsibility for selecting shooting locations. He is also seeking an out of recovery due to workers’ compensation laws, saying all the injuries sustained were due to other people’s actions, not his. »
- Anita Busch and Dominic Patten
Almost instantly achieving a beguiling and bittersweet tone, “Transparent” represents the sort of breakthrough destined to firmly put Amazon’s nascent original programming push on the map. Jeffrey Tambor stars as a family patriarch grappling with the decision to reveal to his grown kids his desire to be a woman. Jill Soloway’s grainy, indie film-style half-hour series contains more melancholy than mirth, with knowing insight about family dynamics and private pain. Delicately dealing with the transgender issue, the show features a familiar device — dad’s changed life has ripple effects — but establishes its ensemble as one worth watching (or bingeing) over 10 episodes.
Tambor’s Mort Pfefferman is introduced over dinner with his children: daughter Sarah (Amy Landecker), who seemingly has an idyllic existence, but yearns for passion in a cold, loveless marriage; Ali (Gaby Hoffmann), a perennial slacker, always looking for a parental handout; and son Josh (Jay Duplass »
- Brian Lowry
Sia has been making a comeback thanks to her hit "Chandelier," and if you've seen any of her performances from this year, you might be wondering what the heck is going on. Though she broke out when "Breathe Me" was featured in the last episode of Six Feet Under in 2005 and has worked on countless songs you know, only recently has she taken to performing with her back to the camera. She wrote an "Anti-Fame Manifesto" for Billboard last year, explaining why she has no interest in being famous: "If anyone besides famous people knew what it was like to be a famous person, they would never want to be famous. Imagine the stereotypical highly opinionated, completely uninformed mother-in-law character and apply it to every teenager with a computer in the entire world. Then add in all bored people, as well as people whose job it is to report on celebrities. »
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. Marilyn Monroe: Classic 9 Film Collection [Blu-Ray] - $34.99 (83% off) - The eight film collection includes Bus Stop, Niagara, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How to Marry a Millionaire, River of No Return, There's No Business Like Show Business, The Seven Year Itch, Some Like it Hot and The Misfits. Up to 70% Off Ken Burns Documentaries like Prohibition, The War, Jazz, The Central Park Five, Baseball, and many more Up to 60% Off HBO Gift Sets like Deadwood, Six Feet Under, The Sopranos, and more Get Smart - The Complete Series Gift Set - $49.99 (60% off) Breaking Bad: The Complete Series – $70.99 (56% off) Seinfeld: The Complete Series – $59.49 (60% off) Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One – Avengers Assembled (10-Disc Limited Edition Six-Movie Collector’s Set) [Blu-ray] – $119.99 (45% off) The Godfather Collection »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
We’re back with another edition of the Indie Spotlight, highlighting the recent independent horror news sent our way. Today’s feature includes first details on Todd & The Book of Pure Evil: The End of the End, a Dark teaser trailer, an announcement for The 2014 Shriekfest International Horror/Sci Fi Film Festival lineup, a trailer for Ghost Bride, release details for Zugzwang, and more:
Animated Sequel to Todd & The Book of Pure Evil: “Having created two amazingly fun, critically-acclaimed, award-winning seasons of the television series “Todd & The Book of Pure Evil”, producers Aircraft Pictures, Corvid Pictures and Frantic Films have announced a feature length animated sequel.
“Our fans rallied and we raised partial funding through an insanely successful Indiegogo campaign,” stated director Craig David Wallace “giving our fans the ending they deserve – a full-length animated feature (with all new metal musical numbers) – that answers the age-old question “Gee, »
- Tamika Jones
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. Marilyn Monroe: Classic 9 Film Collection [Blu-Ray] - $34.99 (83% off) - The eight film collection includes Bus Stop, Niagara, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How to Marry a Millionaire, River of No Return, There's No Business Like Show Business, The Seven Year Itch, Some Like it Hot and The Misfits. Up to 70% Off Ken Burns Documentaries like Prohibition, The War, Jazz, The Central Park Five, Baseball, and many more Up to 60% Off HBO Gift Sets like Deadwood, Six Feet Under, The Sopranos, and more Get Smart - The Complete Series Gift Set - $49.99 (60% off) Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) – $9.99 (76% off) Breaking Bad: The Complete Series – $70.99 (56% off) Seinfeld: The Complete Series – $59.49 (60% off) Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One – Avengers Assembled (10-Disc »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
Including the release of his debut novel, The Notebook, in 1996, Nicholas Sparks has never published a book that didn’t become a best-seller, and nine of them have been adapted into movies. But for his television-producing debut, the author is overseeing someone else’s material: Melissa Carter’s Deliverance Creek. The Civil War–era revenge tale has been fashioned into a two-hour Lifetime movie starring Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under), and it is the first of five TV projects Sparks’s company has in the pipeline with cable networks. Two days before Deliverance Creek’s Saturday-night premiere, Sparks took a break from his busy schedule to chat with Vulture about his books, overcoming writer’s block, and the romance-lit capabilities of Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt.Deliverance Creek is a backdoor pilot, meaning it might still morph into a miniseries or something more. Does a green light for additional episodes hinge entirely on ratings, »
- Chris Serico
“Deliverance Creek” feels like a Franken-western, stitched together from pieces of previous movies. That’s not all bad, necessarily, but it does make this two-hour Lifetime pilot, bearing the stamp of hankie-waving producer Nicholas Sparks, about as tidy as a stable in the early going, drunkenly flitting around among multiple plots. Lauren Ambrose (“Six Feet Under”) is the anchor as a mother struggling to raise her kids during the Civil War, before her Confederate/outlaw brother, former lover and runaway slaves enter the picture. The Sparks connection might help the battle of launching the show, but greater coherence is needed to avoid losing the war.
Lifetime has done the project and potential viewers no favors, airing a series prototype as a “programming event.” The problem is that there’s no real ending, so the story doesn’t conclude so much as simply run out of time. It’s also a »
- Brian Lowry
Those of us that bang the drum for more film and television work originated by women can enjoy a small victory dance today, as it seems the creative partnership between actress Patricia Clarkson and director Ruba Nadda will continue with the development of an hour-long romantic drama, titled Elisabeth. While details of the premise are currently sketchy, it seems the show will be set amidst the world of international politics, which means we can look forward to the fabulous and talented Clarkson holding court in a realm we have never really seen her tackle before.
The Clarkson-Nadda team has previously delivered two feature films. The first – 2009’s Cairo Time – featured Clarkson opposite Alexander Siddig in a tale of unexpected romance, and won the Best Canadian Feature Film award at the Toronto International Film Festival. The second – October Gale – features Clarkson as a doctor living on a remote island, caught in »
- Sarah Myles
Patricia Clarkson may be coming back to HBO. The Oscar nominee (Pieces of April) and two-time Emmy winner (Six Feet Under) is reuniting with Alan Poul and Cairo Time writer Ruba Nadda for HBO drama Elisabeth, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Elisabeth is described as a romantic drama set in the world of international politics. Clarkson is eyeing it as a starring vehicle. Nadda will pen the script for Elisabeth — which is in development — and direct the pilot should the project move forward. Nadda and Clarkson will both executive produce alongside Six Feet Under's Poul. Nadda, a Palestinian-
- Lesley Goldberg
Welcome back to Stay Tuned, Vulture's TV advice column. Each Wednesday, Margaret Lyons answers your questions about what to watch, when to watch it, whom to watch it with, and how to feel about the whole thing. To submit your own questions, you can email email@example.com, leave a comment, or tweet @margeincharge with the hashtag #staytuned. How many times is too many when it comes to rewatching? I've seen Six Feet Under twice within eight months — and a year later, I want to watch it again. Same with Mad Men, Lost, The Sopranos, and a few others. I still have some TV I need to watch for the first time, but I love the familiarity of those shows that have a "more than a TV show" relation to my life. Which shows have you seen the most? How much is too much? —CollinThe show I've seen the most »
- Margaret Lyons
Related Fall TV 2014: Your Handy Calendar to 99+ Season and Series Premieres
Modern Family returns Wednesday, Sept. 24 at 9/8c.
Ready for more of today’s newsy nuggets? Well…
What makes a good series finale? Three events this week bring this question into focus: Sunday's "True Blood" series ender, Monday's celebration of the departed "Breaking Bad" at the Emmys, and Wednesday's Vox interview with David Chase, where the "Sopranos" creator finally offered an answer to the question of whether Tony died at the end of the notorious blackout finale of the 1999-2007 series.
All three of these finales, plus others of shows that went off the air this year ("Dexter," "How I Met Your Mother") drew both kudos and complaints. Some fans found these finales satisfying and others found them cheap copouts. It almost makes you sorry for the writers, who seem bound to disappoint some faction of fans, no matter how they choose to wrap things up.
Take "True Blood," for instance. (Warning: Spoilers follow.) Fans who'd been watching since the beginning of the HBO series seven years »
- Gary Susman
Amazon has released the trailer for its new dramedy “Transparent,” about an L.A. family dealing with the late-in-life decision of their father (Jeffrey Tambor) to live as a woman. Could this be the show that will catapult Amazon into the Netflix-sphere, where original online content like “Orange Is The New Black” and “House of Cards” wins awards and better yet subscribers? With a fresh and exciting cast including Gaby Hoffman, Jay Duplass, and Amy Landecker as the couple's children, Judith Light as Tambor’s ex-wife, and Carrie Brownstein in a small role, it very well could. The pilot debuted on Amazon in February and received enough buzz and acclaim to for the series to be greenlit, with Amazon likely seeing this as a strong contender to become must-watch material. Tambor helped draw the binge-watching crowd with Netflix’s “Arrested Development” revival, and creator Jill Soloway (“United States of Tara, »
- Tess Hofmann
The past few years has seen a rise in online streaming content, as services like Netflix and Yahoo have begun to create their own original content as well as pick up shows cancelled by networks. Amazon has similarly diversified into the streaming market, with their own twist; they often release a number of pilots online, letting their viewers vote on which of them shall get a series order. One of the successful pickups from their last set was Transparent. Created by Jill Soloway, who has previously written for Six Feet Under and United States of Tara, as well as writing and directing the 2013 feature Afternoon Delight, the series stars Jeffrey Tambor, Melora Hardin, Gaby Hoffmann, and Jay Duplass. The show focuses on the trials and tribulations of a family as the patriarch comes out as a transgendered individual. Amazon has now announced that the series first 10-episode season will be »
- Deepayan Sengupta
Is Amazon about to score its first breakthrough hit?
The online streaming giant — whose foray into original programming has yet to yield any Netflix-sized hits — may have a game-changer on its hands with Transparent, a 10-episode dark comedy from Six Feet Under’s Jill Soloway and starring Arrested Development‘s Jeffrey Tambor as Maura né Mort Pfefferman, the transgender patriarch of a Los Angeles family.
Related Amazon (Sorta) Sets Premieres for Chris Carter Drama, Boschand Other Series
Amazon today announced it will premiere all ten episodes of Jill Soloway's (Afternoon Delight, "Six Feet Under") dark comedy "Transparent" on Friday, September 26 exclusively on Prime Instant Video in the Us and UK. Starring Jeffrey Tambor ("Arrested Development"), Judith Light ("Dallas"), Gaby Hoffmann ("Girls"), Amy Landecker ("Louie") and Jay Duplass ("Togetherness"), "Transparent" follows the Pfeffermans - a Los Angeles family forced to deal with their long-held secrets together. »
All parents have their secrets. Some smoke cigarettes behind their childrens’ backs; others lie about their past recreational drug use. In Amazon’s Transparent though, Jeffrey Tambor’s Mort has a much bigger secret: As one of his children, played by Gaby Hoffmann says, “Dad is a woman.”
Mort’s three grown children are finding out their father’s identity for the first time while their mom is more aware of her spouse’s feminine taste—although she’s under the impression it’s a simple game of dress-up. “It’s his thing; it’s his little private kink,” Mort’s wife, »
- Ariana Bacle
Masters of Sex, Season 2, Episode 7, “Asterion”
Directed by Michael Dinner
Airs Sundays at 10pm (Et) on Showtime
It seems this is the year creative time skips became an unexpected fashion in television. Both True Detective and Fargo pulled off the unprecedented move of jumping forward in time in the middle of an episode, and now Masters of Sex has one-upped them both by performing several jumps in the same episode! My knowledge of TV history is far from comprehensive, but I can’t think of any other show that’s done something like this before (except for a few episodes of The Simpsons, in which time is a… malleable concept, to say the least). Of course, multiple series have ended on greatest hits montages in their final episodes (Six Feet Under, for instance), but to my knowledge, no one has plopped an episode »
- Dan Schindel
Danny Moder, Julia Roberts, Robert Greenblatt and Derek Hough are among the list of honorees for this year’s Glsen Respect Awards – Los Angeles, the annual ceremony celebrating those whose charitable efforts elevated causes important to the Lgbt communities and others.
Moder and Roberts will receive the Humanitarian Award for their commitment to, and support of, philanthropic endeavors to causes like Glsen, Unicef, Heal the Bay, Stand Up to Cancer, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, and others. The two are also Emmy nominees this year for their work in HBO’s adaptation of “The Normal Heart,” which is set during the early days of the AIDS epidemic.
The Chairman’s Award will be presented to Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, who has delivered programming featuring many characters and storylines that have been prominent in the Lgbtq community. Most notably, Greenblat served as executive producer on the long-running HBO drama “Six Feet Under, »
- Shelli Weinstein
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