20 items from 2015
Having first made his name on TV with shows like "Oz" and "The Closer," Oscar-winner J.K. Simmons will soon return to the small screen for Starz's upcoming sci-fi espionage thriller drama series "Counterpart".
Simmons would play Howard Silk, a lowly cog in a bureaucratic Un agency who is turning the last corner of a life filled with regret. It's then he discovers the agency he works for is guarding a secret: a crossing to a parallel dimension. He also has a counterpart in that other dimension named 'Prime'.
No word on how many episodes will be ordered, but apparently there's plans to pick up the show for two seasons.
Source: Deadline »
- Garth Franklin
As reported by our sister site Deadline, Simmons will star as Howard Silk, a longtime United Nations agency wonk who discovers the organization he works for is guarding a secret passageway to a parallel dimension — on the other side of which is his own counterpart, who is dubbed Howardternate Prime.
The project was created by Justin Marks »
Based on Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s 1990s comic, Preacher focuses on Rev. Jesse Custer, a conflicted Texas preacher who embarks on a journey to find God. Perkins will play Vyla Quinncannon, Jesse’s strong-willed mother who owns the local slaughterhouse.
RelatedPilot Season ’15: Scoop on This Fall’s (Possible) New Shows, Who’s In Them
The as-yet-untitled project follows a Broadway starlet and brainiac husband who are thrust into the world of youth sports when they find themselves with an athletically gifted son.
Per our sister site Deadline, Hilty’s character, Irene, is a flamboyant diva who “can come off a little self-involved but has a heart of gold.”
RelatedWhich Smash Stars Will Reunite for the Live Production of Bombshell? »
It was a very good night for TV actors at the 2015 Academy Awards — with Patricia Arquette (Medium, CSI: Cyber), J.K. Simmons (Oz, The Closer, Law & Order) and even Julianne Moore (As the World Turns) and Eddie Redmayne (The Pillars of the Earth) snagging the four major acting prizes.
And yet only two members of that elite quartet made our gallery of the 20 Best and Worst Moments from the Oscars’ nearly four-hour telecast.
Instead, we found ourselves reeling from Lady Gaga’s Sound of Music tribute, »
Breaking Bad fans who tuned in to the premiere of Better Call Saul last week were rewarded for their loyalty to showrunner Vince Gillian and company. In the last few seconds of the first episode, Tuco Salamanca (Raymond Cruz) made a jaw-dropping appearance. In the next episode, "Mijo," we saw a kinder, gentler Tuco ... that is, one still prone to delivering vicious beatings and threats of murder, but still one willing to listen to reason. Pre-blue meth Tuco was practically a cuddly teddy bear in contrast to the man we saw in Breaking Bad, who killed his comrade for speaking out of turn. »
- Amanda Michelle Steiner, @amandamichl
When “Boyhood” premiered at Sundance over a year ago, few would have predicted its strong domination of the precursor races. But “Birdman” snagged the PGA, DGA and SAG ensemble prizes and “American Sniper” is burning up the box office. So anything could happen when the envelopes are opened Feb. 22.
True stories reigned supreme this year, with films like “American Sniper,” “The Imitation Game,” “Selma” and “The Theory of Everything” making up half the nominated films. Even those not based on true stories felt oddly personal, from Michael Keaton playing a former superhero looking to make a comeback in “Birdman” to Richard Linklater’s relatable coming-of-age tale “Boyhood.” Even “Whiplash” was based on writer-director Damien Chazelle’s experiences as a musician. Of the eight, only Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” seems to have sprung completely from fiction — and the mind of its quirky creator.
Four of »
- Jenelle Riley
As the divide between film and TV becomes increasingly difficult to discern, it’s far less uncommon to see well-known TV actors playing juicy roles on the big screen. And now that TV is no longer the death knell it once was for performers hoping for a film career, some of the industry’s best talent is emanating from TV. It’s also the medium actors are most frequently recognized for. As frontrunner supporting actor nominee J.K. Simmons told Variety last year before “Whiplash,” with his breakthrough role, opened, “It’s rather sobering to realize more people have seen my Farmers Insurance commercials than everything put together.”
Among the year’s acting Oscar nominees, several are known for their series work, including Steve Carell (NBC’s “The Office”), Benedict Cumberbatch (PBS’ “Sherlock”), J.K. Simmons (TNT’s “The Closer,” NBC’s “Growing Up Fisher”), and Laura Dern (HBO’s “Enlightened”). Patricia Arquette »
- Christy Grosz
The TV world is always wild, and some of the cable networks are still figuring out exactly what it is they’re trying to get out of shows, as they attempt to appeal to whatever demographic they have decided is “theirs,” but the cancellation of Longmire was a shock to a lot of people.
That’s especially true when you consider the ratings it was getting.
Of course, saner heads prevailed, and the show was picked up by Netflix. The last word I head on it was that production is meant to start in March.
At any rate, the show is a great one, and stood out during its three season run as one that was trying to set its own mark.
The third season release is headed your way, and you want to mark your calendar for this one. It isn’t exactly loaded with special features, but it hardly matters with this show. »
- Marc Eastman
It’s hard to say what J.K. Simmons is best known for — it could be his TV roles on “Oz” or “The Closer,” or perhaps his insurance commercials. But now he’s an Oscar nominee for his searing portrait of an abusive music teacher in Damien Chazelle’s “Whiplash.”
What appealed to you about the script for “Whiplash?”
This is one of those that just jumped off the page. I thought it was just word perfect. I felt like I could make the character of Fletcher happen.
How do you approach a character who is so unlikable on the page?
I completely understood Fletcher and where he was coming from. Whether he’s perceived as sympathetic or understandable isn’t something that goes through my mind.
You actually have a background in music, don’t you?
When I first met Damien, he wanted to put me at ease about the conducting. »
- Jenelle Riley
J.K. Simmons may be the least-recognizable name to serve as Saturday Night Live host during the show’s landmark 40th season. But the beloved character actor — who just scored an Oscar nomination for Whiplash — seemed on paper like a great choice for the gig, thanks to his ability to disappear into roles in everything from Oz to The Closer to Growing Up Fisher (to his ads for Farmers Insurance).
Alas, while many of the episode’s sketches had even fewer laughs than slabs of bacon in a vegan restaurant kitchen, Simmons did prove up to the task in the instances »
A familiar face could create quite a mess for the Devious Maids in Season 3.
Brianna Brown — whose character, Taylor Stappord, hasn’t been seen since she moved to Washington, D.C. with her husband in Season 2 — will return to the Lifetime drama as a series regular in its upcoming third season, our sister site Deadline reports.
Any guesses why the Stappords, or at least Taylor, will be back in Beverly Hills? Hit the comments with your thoughts and theories.
Ready for more of today’s newsy nuggets? Well…
The 60-year-old actor will be joined by first-time musical guest D’Angelo
A Golden Globe statue and Oscar nomination aren’t the only things “Whiplash” has secured for star J.K. Simmons. The actor will host “Saturday Night Live” for the first time in his long career on Jan. 31.
NBC also announced on Tuesday that D’Angelo will make his musical guest debut, along with his band The Vanguard.
See photos: Oscars 2015: The Nominees
- Greg Gilman
Serving as musical guest, People.com reports, is D’Angelo and his band The Vanguard.
Drama, drama, drama: Bravo Media has renewed “Flipping Out,” “Married to Medicine,” and “The Real Housewives of Orange County” (pictured above). It also set the premiere date for its second original scripted series, “Odd Mom Out,” which will debut on Monday, June 8.
Additionally, the cable channel set return dates for “Shahs of Sunset” (March 2), “Newlyweds: The First Year” (March 10), “Southern Charm” (March 9), and “Million Dollar Listing New York” (April 8), it revealed Thursday at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour.
Finally, Bravo is developing “The One” from executive producer Charlize Theron, which was previously announced on Thursday under the terms »
- Tony Maglio
The actress/producer has aligned herself with Ucp via a new first-look deal through her Denver and Delilah production banner, Jeff Wachtel, president and chief content officer for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, announced at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif., on Thursday.
Also Read: USA Sets Premiere Date for Event Series ‘Dig’ From ‘Homeland,’ ‘Heroes’ Producers
Under the deal, Theron and Ucp are already working on projects for USA Network, Bravo, NBC and Amazon, Wachtel noted.
Along with the new Ucp deal, Denver and Delilah has hired former Epix »
- Tim Kenneally
Charlize Theron’s Denver & Delilah production banner has inked a first-look deal with Universal Cable Prods. to develop and produce scripted programming for NBCUniversal’s portfolio of networks.
The company has four projects percolating at NBC, USA, Bravo and Amazon.
The announcement was made by Jeff Wachtel, president and chief content officer, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, at Thursday’s Television Critics Assn. press tour in Pasadena.
Laverne McKinnon has also joined Denver & Delilah as head of scripted television. McKinnon was formerly exec VP of original programming and development at Epix and senior VP of drama development at CBS.
The pact marks Ucp’s growth in diversified programming development, under the direction of exec VP of development Dawn Olmstead.
“I had the pleasure of working with Charlize recently and was determined to keep working with her once I joined Universal Cable Productions,” said Olmstead. “I’m thrilled that Laverne has joined forces with them. »
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
As Oscar nominations loom, where is the Supporting Actor race? Take a look at a solid--and frozen--five contenders. These Are the final five. 1. Jk Simmons ("Whiplash") Why is Simmons so obvious? Well, ever since Damien Chazelle's jazz drumming drama opened the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and was instantly scooped up by Sony Pictures Classics, the movie has been slowly building a strong base of support, even though it never quite took off at the box office. Word-of-mouth has been great: once people sit down and watch the edge-of-your-seat movie, they love it, partly because it goes out with such a bang. It leaves the audience on an emotional high. Simmons, 59, is a classic case of a familiar and respected workhorse film and TV regular ("The Closer," "Law and Order") who finally has landed the perfect role. In this case, the genial everyman in a series of comedies (Jason Reitman's »
- Anne Thompson
Tonight at 9/8c, TNT’s Major Crimes delivers a two-hour season finale in grand fashion, by bringing back — in the flesh — Phillip Stroh, the legal lizard/serial rapist/murderer who oft taunted Fritz Howard’s wife Brenda on The Closer.
In fact, in that series’ finale, Stroh attacked Brenda in her and Fritz’s home. As such, his resurfacing — as part of the latest twist in the case that introduced Rusty to the Closer/Major Crimes universe — strikes a special chord with Fritz. Jon Tenney shared with TVLine a preview of the villain’s revival.
Tvline | First of all, congratulations »
Yowza, lady! Kyra Sedgwick may be just months away from turning the big 5-0, but you'd never know it just by looking at her—especially on the red carpet! The Closer star looked ravishing showing off her slim figure at the 2014 New York Film Critics Circle Awards on Monday, Jan. 5, at Tao Downtown in NYC. Mrs. Kevin Bacon, 49, gussied up in a navy blue, off-the-shoulder dress with a sweetheart neckline that fit like a glove. Not only did the design, by London-based brand Safiyaa, showcase her [...] »
20 items from 2015
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