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19 items from 2015


Nigel Lythgoe Returning to ‘American Idol’ for Final Farewell Episode (Exclusive)

30 November 2015 9:00 AM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Longtime “American Idol” producer Nigel Lythgoe is returning to the show’s farewell season to exec produce the final episode, Variety has learned exclusively.

The finale will mark Lythgoe’s return to “American Idol,” since he departed after Season 13 to focus on “So You Think You Can Dance,” which kept him in the Fox family as a judge on the dance competition show.

The deal to return was made by Fremantle Media, as the production company invited Lythgoe to produce the finale, as his final bow. Fremantle’s president of entertainment Trish Kinane, who will serve as showrunner on “American Idol” Season 15, will also serve as an exec producer on the final episode.

Though he was not involved with the long-running reality singing competition for its most recent 14th season, Lythgoe helped develop and was an original exec producer on “Pop Idol,” the British series, created by Simon Fuller, on »

- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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Last Week's (Inane) Controversy Re: Christmas and Coffee Cups: Movies That Came to Mind

14 November 2015 8:47 PM, PST | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Donald Trump vs. Starbucks' War on Christmas. The War on Christmas: The movies that come to mind We're still in November, but the War on Christmas – according to online buzz, a second cousin once removed of the War on Cops – has begun. Weeping and gritting of teeth has seized certain population segments in the U.S.A. (and perhaps other countries as well) after Fox News, that beacon of intellectual freedom at the end of the cable news tunnel, announced that … Starbucks' holiday season cups are a) red b) devoid of Christmas decorations. Could it be a satanic conspiracy disguised as politically correct inclusiveness? The result of a communist takeover at the Seattle-headquartered company? Cruel and unusual Christian persecution in the form of paper cups? Your guess is as good as mine. Far-right Republican icon, U.S. presidential candidate, and 2015 political circus ringmaster Donald Trump seems to think that Starbucks »

- M.T. Philipe

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Celebrity MasterChef 2015: Who should be crowned champion?

24 July 2015 11:54 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - TV news news »

We have our trio of finalists on Celebrity MasterChef. After mass catering, a Mad Hatter's Tea Party and going up against the critics, there are just three people left fighting for the title - but which one do you want to win?

If you haven't seen yesterday's episode yet, now is when you want to stop reading and go and do something else...

After Scott Maslen failed to impress the critics last night, the final four became three and now Rylan Clark, Kimberley Wyatt and Sam Nixon must battle it out tonight (BBC One, 8.30pm) in 90 minutes of buttery biscuit goodness.

Will Sam have more luck than he did on Pop Idol? Will you StickWit Kimberley? Have you warmed to Rylan?

Well, we want to know who you want to win, so vote in our poll and leave your comments below...

»

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New York Asian 2015 Interview: Boo Ji-young And Shim Jae-myung Talk Cart, Casting K-Pop Stars, And Advice For Women Filmmakers

13 July 2015 11:00 AM, PDT | Twitch | See recent Twitch news »

Director Boo Ji-young's Cart, shines a light on the real life story of a shopworkers' strike against unfair labour practices that lasted over a year. As part of the New York Asian Film Festival's focus on Myung Films, the production company headed by one of the most powerful women in Korean cinema, producer Shim Jae-Myung and Cart director Boo chatted with me about casting K-Pop idol, D.O. from Exo, and advice for female filmmakers.The Lady Miz Diva:  Before screening here at the New York Asian Film Festival, Cart was seen at the Toronto International Film Festival.  What has it been like to take the movie to western audiences?Boo Ji-young:   I think a lot of people said they liked the film at the Toronto Film Festival.  As...

[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]

»

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Simon Cowell defends Nick Grimshaw hiring: 'No one knew who I was'

3 July 2015 9:00 AM, PDT | Virgin Media - TV | See recent Virgin Media - TV news »

Simon Cowell has defended his decision to hire Nick Grimshaw for 'The X Factor'. The 55-year-old music mogul faced criticism by some fans when he announced the BBC Radio 1 DJ would be joining the judging panel alongside himself, Rita Ora and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini. He said: ''When I first appeared on TV, nobody knew who I was. I just ran a record label. I actually never even got paid the first time I did 'Pop Idol'. But I thought: God, this is amazing, I can sit on a show and find artists. It's fantastic ... ''I have an issue with artists judging other »

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Simon Cowell defends hiring Nick Grimshaw for X Factor: 'I had to balance it up a bit'

3 July 2015 4:20 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - TV news news »

Simon Cowell has defended hiring Nick Grimshaw as an X Factor judge.

Cowell explained that he decided to hire the BBC Radio 1 DJ to ensure the panel was balanced and not made up purely of artists.

He told The Sun: "I have an issue with artists judging other artists. I would never allow a group of artists to run the record label, that would be crazy. You have to balance it up a bit.

"When I first appeared on TV, no-one knew who I was. I just ran a record label. I actually never got paid for the first time I did Pop Idol.

"I thought, 'God, this is amazing. I can sit on a show and find artists. It's fantastic'."

Cowell also said that the show has got to "lighten up" and "concentrate on the talent".

"It all got a bit heavy last year," he explained. "The important thing »

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Nick Grimshaw and Rita Ora are new X Factor judges: For and Against

16 June 2015 5:00 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - TV news news »

The worst-kept secret in telly is out - The X Factor 2015 judging panel has been confirmed.

Together with a returning Simon Cowell and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini are BBC Radio 1 breakfast show DJ Nick Grimshaw and popstar/actress Rita Ora.

But is their addition to the X Factor judging lineup a promising shake-up for the show, or a disaster waiting to happen? Here, two writers argue for and against the latest changes to the primetime giant that can still draw in audiences of over 10 million viewers.

For: This jaded format really needs a bit of a gamble - Kate Goodacre

The X Factor is a primetime entertainment show first and foremost, and a talent search competition almost by consequence.

It's a format that's been looking increasingly tired and predictable. The much-hyped returns of Sharon Osbourne and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini didn't shake the show up and give it the boost it craved in its »

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Nick Grimshaw and Rita Ora are new X Factor judges, but can they revitalise the show?

16 June 2015 4:30 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - TV news news »

The worst-kept secret in telly is out - The X Factor 2015 judging panel has been confirmed.

Together with a returning Simon Cowell and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini are BBC Radio 1 breakfast show DJ Nick Grimshaw and popstar/actress Rita Ora.

But is their addition to the X Factor judging lineup a promising shake-up for the show, or a disaster waiting to happen? Here, two writers argue for and against the latest changes to the primetime giant that can still draw in audiences of over 10 million viewers.

For: This jaded format really needs a bit of a gamble - Kate Goodacre

The X Factor is a primetime entertainment show first and foremost, and a talent search competition almost by consequence.

It's a format that's been looking increasingly tired and predictable. The much-hyped returns of Sharon Osbourne and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini didn't shake the show up and give it the boost it craved in its »

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Cannes: 9 Big Secrets from the Amy Winehouse Documentary

16 May 2015 11:20 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Amy,” the upcoming documentary about Amy Winehouse, is an unflinching portrait of how drug and alcohol addiction combined with a series of enablers led to the death of the famous soul singer at the age of 27. The film, directed by Asif Kapadia, was several years in the making after Winehouse’s 2011 death. It relies on audio interviews with Winehouse’s closest friends and family — including her mother, her father, her managers and her bodyguard — juxtaposed with personal never-before-seen videos of Winehouse.

The movie premieres on Saturday night at the Cannes Film Festival, where it’s sure to be an emotional tearjerker. A24 will release “Amy” in the United States in July. Here are nine of the project’s biggest revelations.

1. Winehouse suffered from depression and anorexia from a young age.

The film argues that Winehouse’s adolescence was influenced by her parents’ divorce: her father, Mitchell, left her mom, Janis, »

- Ramin Setoodeh

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‘American Idol’ Ending After Season 15 on Fox

11 May 2015 5:00 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

American Idol” is finally coming to a close. The 15th and final season will premiere January 2016.

Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban will return as season 15 judges, along with host Ryan Seacrest.

While searching for the final “Idol” superstar, the last season will also serve as a “celebratory event,” paying tribute to fourteen seasons of contestants, winners and fans.

Fox TV Group chairman-ceo Gary Newman said it was “not an easy decision” to call it a wrap for “Idol” after much discussion with producers.

“It’s the right time to bring this run to a close,” Newman said in a conference call Tuesday. “We really wanted to do it in a way that felt special and celebratory … and send it off in a way that is as significant as the run it’s had on our network.”

The show will air in its usual Wednesday-Thursday pattern to start »

- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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'American Idol' will end after Season 15

11 May 2015 5:00 AM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

Fox announced on Monday (May 11) morning that "American Idol" has been renewed for the 2015-16 season, but that next year's installment will be its last. Per the official Fox release, host Ryan Seacrest and all three current judges -- Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr -- will return to "search for the final 'Idol' superstar and pay tribute to the past 14 seasons of amazingly talented contestants and the millions of fans who tweeted, texted and championed their Idols." Whether you've watched "American Idol" from the beginning and still tune in on a weekly basis or you've looked down your nose at "Idol" for its role in reality-izing network television, it would be foolish not to look at this as the end of a rather major era. Adapted from the British "Pop Idol" format, "American Idol" premiered in the summer of 2002 and developed into a burgeoning sensation, »

- Daniel Fienberg

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Mip 2015: High-End Dramas Replace Reality TV

8 April 2015 10:00 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

In the 1990s, after “Survivor,” “Pop Idol” and “Big Brother” galvanized Europe’s TV biz, the Next Big Thing was assumed to be a juggernaut reality format.

Now, for Europe, it’s the next high-end drama. All over Europe, as Cannes’ Mip TV market will underscore, pay TV operators (Canal Plus and Sky), broadcasters (Italy’s Mediaset, Spain’s Atresmedia), and some of its mightiest film-tv production companies (France’s Studiocanal, Germany’s Constantin) are either moving into English-language drama or amping up production.

Several market factors are at work. “There’s a highly competitive U.S. market for drama in premium and basic cable,” says Tim Westcott, analyst at Ihs Technology. “In international, premium pay TV operators are looking to invest in original series to protect their core business from Svod operators who are offering content more cheaply.”

The result: A near feeding frenzy for the production and acquisition of ambitious, »

- John Hopewell

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ITV: Simon Cowell Talks Strong Ties With Brit Broadcaster

7 April 2015 3:05 PM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Simon Cowell’s relationship with ITV is a long one. It started with “Pop Idol,” on which he was a judge, and continued with “The X Factor” and “Britain’s Got Talent,” both of which are produced by his company Syco Entertainment with FremantleMedia.

Pop Idol,” which was created by Simon Fuller, launched on ITV in 2001 and the U.S. version followed soon after.

“We pitched them ‘Pop Idol,’ and they bought it in the room, so, stupidly, I thought every meeting would be as easy as that,” Cowell says. “That was with (ITV’s then-controller of entertainment) Claudia Rosencrantz, who I had a fantastic relationship with. Then, after two years, I wanted to launch ‘X Factor,’ and they kind of bought it in the room again. They were very supportive of me on that.”

He adds: “ ‘Got Talent’ was a lot more tricky, because we made it as a pilot, »

- Leo Barraclough

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Open thread: Who should replace Dermot O'Leary as X Factor host?

27 March 2015 2:35 PM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - TV news news »

So Dermot O'Leary is leaving The X Factor after eight years fronting the ITV singing competition.

In a statement, the host thanked Simon Cowell and the show's family - but talk has inevitably already turned to who will fill Dermot's dancing shoes.

Who do you think should present The X Factor now? Should it jump into the safe pair of hands that is Ant & Dec who already front sister show Britain's Got Talent? Or is Olly Murs the way forward as an ex-contestant who knows the process inside-out and has experience on The Xtra Factor?

Digital Spy rounds up some of the possibilities:

Ant & Dec

Fresh off the back of a fourteenth Best Presenter win in a row at the National Television Awards, Ant & Dec are widely seen as the safest pair of hands to present primetime telly on a Saturday night. Experience on Pop Idol is in their favour too, »

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From Simon Cowell to Natalia Kills, are these TV's 7 cruelest talent show judges?

17 March 2015 5:30 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - TV news news »

Footage of Natalia Kills and Willy Moon shocked TV viewers this week - and not just because we discovered where former All Saints star Melanie Blatt is now.

No, Kills and Moon were both fired as judges on X Factor New Zealand after launching a vicious tirade at a wannabe singer, labelling his performance "disgusting" and "absolutely artistically atrocious".

They're not the first ones to completely insult the contestants standing in front of them. It's just that this lot - somehow - got away with it…

1. Gordon Heuckeroth on Holland's Got Talent

In one of the most shocking things we've ever seen on television, Holland's Got Talent judge Gordon Heuckeroth spouted some horrific racial drivel to contestant Xiao Wang during the 2013 edition of the programme.

"Which number are you singing?," he said, moments before Xiao began his performance. "No 39 with rice?"

Even Gordon's fellow judges challenged him on the comment »

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Lionsgate to Get $375 Million in Production Financing From China’s Hunan TV (Exclusive)

12 March 2015 11:47 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

China’s powerhouse broadcaster Hunan TV plans to give Lionsgate $375 million in production funding, in a deal that would represent the largest Chinese investment in Hollywood filmmaking to date.

Sources close to the transaction said the agreement will be formalized next week and announced Wednesday in a press conference in Changsha.

Hunan TV and Broadcast Intermediary, one of China’s largest and most forward-looking broadcasters, first signaled talks between the two companies in January in a regulatory filing with the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

The deal is expected to see Hunan TV provide a quarter of the $1.5 billion film production costs incurred by Lionsgate Films over the next three years. The Santa Monica-based studio’s major franchises, including “Hunger Games” and “Divergent,” are likely to be excluded from the pact.

The biggest Chinese investment to date in U.S. entertainment was in the exhibition business with Dalian Wanda’s 2012 acquisition of AMC Entertainment for $2.6 billion. »

- Patrick Frater

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Stars In Their Eyes returns with Harry Hill: Can it work?

9 January 2015 5:10 AM, PST | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - TV news news »

One of my happiest memories of TV as a child was the Stars In Their Eyes grand final night. The Matthew Kelly years of the show may look rather quaint in an era of spinning chairs, dancing celebrities and X Factor shoutiness, but it was actually ahead of its time as an entertainment format.

From turning Reg the butcher and Barbara from accounts into stars for five minutes, to public phone votes for the winner, it was in many ways a proto-Pop Idol and X Factor.

The key difference between Stars In Their Eyes and what followed was the complete absence of cynicism or profiteering. It probably helped Basil from Basingstoke raise a few more quid with his George Formby covers act, but there was never any pretense that the show would be life-changing.

Like most Saturday night shows in the pre-Popstars/Simon Cowell/Big Brother era, the heart »

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The Voice UK: 12 things we learnt from Marvin Humes

5 January 2015 2:00 AM, PST | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - TV news news »

It's less than a week until the return of The Voice and yes, we are very excited indeed. So when host Marvin Humes was in London, we obviously nabbed him for a good old natter in preparation for the blind auditions, which kick off on Saturday.

Read on for 12 things we found out from Marvin, including why watching the show with Rochelle is not good, how Rita Ora is doing and why criticisms that the show hasn't found a star are unfair. And much, much more...

1. Marvin struggles to keep the success or failure of the contestants a secret.

"At the minute no-one has seen anybody. When it comes to January then yeah, it's hard. My mum and dad are always like, 'Do they make it?' when I'm watching it with them. The worst person is Rochelle. She's so impatient. She's terrible when I watch it with her.

"The »

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The Voice: 12 things we learnt from Marvin Humes

5 January 2015 2:00 AM, PST | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - TV news news »

It's less than a week until the return of The Voice and yes, we are very excited indeed. So when host Marvin Humes was in London, we obviously nabbed him for a good old natter in preparation for the blind auditions, which kick off on Saturday.

Read on for 12 things we found out from Marvin, including why watching the show with Rochelle is not good, how Rita Ora is doing and why criticisms that the show hasn't found a star are unfair. And much, much more...

1. Marvin struggles to keep the success or failure of the contestants a secret.

"At the minute no-one has seen anybody. When it comes to January then yeah, it's hard. My mum and dad are always like, 'Do they make it?' when I'm watching it with them. The worst person is Rochelle. She's so impatient. She's terrible when I watch it with her.

"The »

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2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002

19 items from 2015


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