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The Canadian perspectives at this year's Toronto International Film Festival (September 10-20) range from documentaries (climate change crisis film "This Changes Everything") to highly anticipated biopics ("Born to Be Blue," starring Ethan Hawke as Chet Baker) and wondrously weird hybrids of narrative film and experimental art (Guy Maddin's "The Forbidden Room," which continues a festival sweep that began back at Sundance). In Robert Budreau's long-awaited "Born to Be Blue," Ethan Hawke stars as troubled jazz trumpeter Chet Baker in the 1960s. This is the first in a slate of three Special Presentations so far, which also includes Patricia Rozema's (who directed episodes of HBO dramas "In Treatment" and "Tell Me You Love Me") "Into the Forest," starring Evan Rachel Wood and Ellen Page (who also has "Freeheld" bowing in the main slate) as survivors fending for themselves amid a collapsing America. entwines »
- Ryan Lattanzio
In a dynamic marketplace, a rising tide lifts all boats. And the tidal wave of television series production in the past few years has led to an unprecedented number of women serving as captains of their ships — as showrunners and auteur writer-directors of shows.
And Shonda Rhimes now has company on the list of women who are juggling multiple primetime series.
This sea change comes with financial gains, according to data from the Writers Guild of America West, and brings anecdotal evidence of shifts in the way series are made. But it’s not just the heightened demand for content that has been good for female creatives; a newfound openness to material, no matter how challenging or narrowly focused, has paved the way for shows with fresh themes. »
- Cynthia Littleton
John Ridley’s “American Crime” has cast actress Hope Davis to appear in seven episodes of the Emmy-nominated show’s second season, ABC and Ridley told TheWrap on Wednesday. Davis has received Emmy nominations for her roles as a workaholic attorney on the series “In Treatment” and as Hillary Clinton in the HBO movie “The Special Treatment,” in a career that also includes the indie films “About Schmidt,” “American Splendour” and “Synecdoche, New York.” “With the welcome addition of Hope, we’re assembling one of the most accomplished casts I’ve ever had the opportunity with whom to work,” said Ridley in a statement. »
- Steve Pond
Among one of the more acclaimed new shows last season was the Showtime relationship drama The Affair. Created by the In Treatment team of Hagai Levi and Sarah Treem, the series’ first season went on to win a Golden Globe for best Drama, with lead actress Ruth Wilson taking home another award on the same night for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television series.
The show was soon renewed for a second season, which is now poised to return in the fall, with a major change. While the structure of the first season meant that the story of the unfolding events was told from two perspectives, the new season will expand the viewpoints to tell the story from four different perspectives, adding in Helen and Cole’s viewpoints to the series. Ruth Wilson is poised to return once again, joined by Dominic West, Maura Tierney, and Joshua Jackson, »
- Deepayan Sengupta
Welcome to the sixth installment of our summer trip through "The Sopranos" season 1. When I revisited early seasons of "The Wire," as well as the whole run of "Deadwood," I did separate versions of each review for newcomers and veterans, but over time realized that the newcomers weren't commenting much, if at all, and that it therefore made sense to simply do one review. Any significant spoilers for episodes beyond the one being reviewed will be contained in a separate section at the end of the review; so long as you avoid that, and the comments, you should be fine. Thoughts on the sixth episode, “Pax Soprana," coming up just as soon as I’m living next door to Gunga Din… “I love you. I’m in love with you. I’m sorry. It’s just the way it is.” -Tony One of the things I've most loved about covering »
- Alan Sepinwall
Producer of some of the highest-profile films coming out of Israel – “A Borrowed Identity,” “Big Bad Wolves,” “A Matter of Size” Israel’s United Channels Movies (Ucm) has just completed “Atomic Falafel,” A madcap comedy about a serious issue, a preemptive Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, it is directed by Dror Shaul whose semi-autobiographical kibbutz-set debut, “Sweet Mud,” won a 2007 Sundance World Cinema Jury Prize.
Starring Germany’s Alexander Fehling (“Inglourious Basterds”), and a potential late summer/fall fest candidate, “Atomic” is co-produced by New Zealand’s General Film Corporation and Germany’s Arden Film, Getaway Pictures and Jooyaa Film.
Also written by Shaul, “Atomic Falafel” turns on two girls from nuclear towns in Israel and Iran who leak state secrets to thwart an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear plant. Doing so, it posits a Middle East where a young, Internet-connected generation, in order to be on the same wavelength, »
- John Hopewell
If you consider that everything runs in cycles, then it was probably inevitable that miniseries would become cool again. If it seems like that particular cycle came around a little faster than anyone might have thought — and that the broadcast networks would so readily buy into the format’s return — then credit is probably due to Ryan Murphy.
A format that began with the broadcast networks and used to be draped in prestige had long ago moved to cable and PBS before Murphy almost singlehandedly revived it again with his Emmy-winning FX series “American Horror Story.” Suddenly, the format was known as “limited series,” or “event television,” terms much better suited to modern viewers who might not be so readily drawn to something as old-fashioned as “miniseries.”
“Ryan was probably the first to do this in the present format,” says Michael McDonald, the executive producer of another event series in »
- Neil Turitz
Peter Gould and Sarah Treem have more in common than you might expect. Their freshman dramas — “Better Call Saul,” AMC’s “Breaking Bad” prequel, and Showtime’s marriage drama “The Affair,” respectively — burst onto screens this season to critical acclaim. And both writer-producers assumed the role of showrunner for the first time. Gould had birthed Saul Goodman back in the “Bad” days along with his fellow “Saul” exec producer Vince Gilligan, while Treem conceived “Affair” alongside Hagai Levi (“In Treatment”). During their hourlong conversation with Variety, Gould and Treem charted lessons learned along the path from script to screen, and discovered even more shared interests: intelligent actors, clever costume designers and the captivating humor of Amy Schumer.
You were both first-time showrunners. What did you learn from the first season?
Sarah Treem: I think I learned more than anything that television really is a team sport, which I knew »
- Debra Birnbaum
Jessica Lange will return to Broadway for the first time in over a decade next spring, with the Eugene O'Neill classic Long Day's Journey Into Night. Lange reprises the role of the morphine-addled matriarch Mary Tyrone, a character she played in London's West End back in 2000, for which she received an Olivier nomination. She'll co-star alongside In Treatment's Gabriel Byrne, who plays the patriarch of the family, James Tyrone, and John Gallagher Jr., as their son Edmund. But if you thought that this would be a Ryan Murphy–free universe, you would be mistaken! The New York Times reports that Murphy holds the stage rights to the play and approached Todd Haimes, the director of the Roundabout Theater Company, about producing the play with Lange, who is maybe playing Elsa Mars playing Mary Tyrone. After all, everything is connected. »
- E. Alex Jung
PhotosFall TV Preview: Your Guide to Next Season’s New Shows and Stars
See below for complete cast/Ep details and official loglines for Angel From Hell »
The best thing about Wayward Pines, the new, short-run effort coming to Fox, is watching how it attempts to learn from the mistakes of similar shows that have come before.
From the less-than-stellar “remake” of The Prisoner with Jim Caviezel and Ian McKellen, to the largely goofball Persons Unknown (which was, sort of, The Prisoner 2: The Group), and everything else in the “trapped in a town” genre, the story can’t work if the characters are empty plot devices.
Wayward Pines is a rare example of setting out with the tropes and traps of a genre in order to dodge the pitfalls inherent in telling a type of story that can never fully distance itself from the fact that it’s pretty goofy. The problem is that while the show clearly tries to look at what made other efforts fall apart, and do those things differently, it isn’t »
- Marc Eastman
From NYC to New South Wales, these stellar schools earn accolades for their showbiz programs.
U.S. Showbiz Programs
American Film Institute
AFI’s Conservatory is training 260 Fellows that are all, per the school, “worthy to watch.” The school’s participants create between four and 10 movies during the two-year program, and 37 alumni have received Oscar nominations in the past decade alone. An additional 118 have participated in award-winning projects ranging from “Boyhood” to “Mad Men.”
Art Center College of Design
The venerable private college’s film and graduate broadcast program continues to establish itself as an influential entity through its immersive curriculum and close working relationships between students and faculty. Its list of celebrated alumni includes director Zack Snyder and conceptual designers Ralph McQuarrie (“Star Wars”) and Syd Mead (“Blade Runner”).
Boston U. Department Film & Television, College of Communication
2015 saw the establishment of a one-year Mfa program, »
- Variety Staff
Tom Savini’s Nightmare City remake has met its indiegogo goal, but you can still support it during its final campaign days to help provide the Umberto Lenzi-presented project with more resources. Also featured in our latest round-up is an excerpt from Scott Shoyer's zombie novel, Outbreak: The Hunger, as well as details on how you can watch the first episode of Fox's Wayward Pines ahead of its May 14th debut.
Tom Savini’s Nightmare City Remake: Tom Savini, the Godfather of Gore, is fittingly set to direct and supervise the special effects on the Monsta Worx remake of Umberto Lenzi's zombie movie, Nightmare City. Lenzi himself is associate producing and presenting the project, with shooting slated to begin late this year in Pittsburgh and Los Angeles. In addition to his duties behind the camera, Savini is also attached to play a role in the film, along with »
- Derek Anderson
Lost Girl is returning to Syfy on Friday, April 17th, for its fifth, and final season, and its time to get excited for the return of Bo.
I got a chance to talk with Anna Silk recently, and it was quite the adventure trying to get any information out of her about the season. Syfy fans who are hot for spoilers will know that since the show has aired already in Canada, it probably isn’t too hard to find out some information, but Anna stuck to her guns about not giving things away… except for one little hint, and a few vague suggestions.
The show obviously lives and dies with Bo, and Silk’s ability to bring the kind of charisma to the character that helps to suck in audiences, and it was a treat to talk with her. Transcripts never do an interview justice, and I have to tell you, »
- Marc Eastman
Created by Jack Kenny
Aired on NBC for 1 season (8 episodes, 4 unaired) from January 6, 2006 – January 20, 2006
Susanna Thompson as Judith Webster
Alison Pill as Grace
Ellen Burstyn as Bishop Beatrice Congreve
Episcopalian Christian minister Daniel Webster has a special relationship with Jesus Christ, in that he can literally see and talk to him. Daniel’s life is difficult and not even visitations from the son of God are enough to assuage his pain, which has him addicted to narcotic painkillers. The series begins a year after one of his twin sons has departed from suffering from leukemia. This event may’ve been the cause of Daniel’s drug intake and also why his wife is a functioning alcoholic. They have »
- Jean Pierre Diez
The first trailer for upcoming music-drama Boychoir – the latest film from acclaimed director François Girard (The Red Violin, Thirty Two Films About Glenn Gould) – has been released online by Informant Media, along with a new poster which we have for you here…
In the film, 12-year-old newcomer Garrett Wareing plays Stet, a rebellious preteen with a remarkable gift who is challenged by a demanding vocal teacher (two-time Academy Award winner Dustin Hoffman) at one of the most prestigious music academies in the country as they prepare for the National Championship. Kathy Bates (Misery), Kevin McHale (Glee), Eddie Izzard (Hannibal), Debra Winger (In Treatment), River Alexander (The Way Way Back) and Josh Lucas (Poseidon) co-star.
Boychoir opens in selected Us cinemas on April 3rd, with a UK release scheduled for July 10th.
- Scott J. Davis
The second season of HBO's "Looking" came to dramatic end tonight and before we remark on where this episode leaves Patrick, Agustin and Dom, let's take a few minutes and review the entire season, shall we? After a bumpy, but often impressive first season, "Looking" returned in January with a strong season premiere ("Looking for the Promised Land") which found Patrick (Jonathan Groff) and Kevin (Russell Tovey) deeply involved in a discreet affair, Dom (Murray Bartlett) wondering if he'd become closer with his new boyfriend Lynn (Scott Bakula) and Agustin (Frankie J. Alvarez) trying to dig himself out of a his life hole with a slightly more positive demeanor (likely more thanks to viewer complaints than anything else). The big news was that the show runners had 10 1/2 hour episodes to tell their story versus just eight the prior season. In theory, this meant they could spend more time fleshing out »
- Gregory Ellwood
On Friday (March 20) morning, I assembled a one-person appeals board and by a unanimous decision, I've decided that the TV Academy and its genre classification system is/are a Comedy, because darned if those clowns don't make me laugh, which is more than I can say for undisputed comedy "Nurse Jackie." For a few years, the TV Academy has had difficulties with Emmy classification, because nobody on the Emmy rules committee is capable of accepting that sometimes things that are dramatic can also offer comedic elements and sometimes things that are comedic can often have dramatic elements and sometimes things that have a running time of between 44 minutes and an hour can be comedies and, in occasional extremes, it's even been known for half-hour things to be dramatic. It's almost as if life itself is neither wholly dramatic or wholly comedic and sometimes tone is fungible. But don't expect for »
- Daniel Fienberg
Jerusalem – The second and final day of Intv, Keshet Media Group’s annual confab on innovation in the television industry, kicked off on Monday with a nod to the looming Israeli elections — a conversation about whether real-world politics make for good scripted television.
HBO topper Richard Plepler, Wme’s Rick Rosen, bestselling author Ari Shavit and Arab-affairs journalist and television creator Avi Issacharoff sat down with Israeli journalist Ilana Dayan for the day’s first session, which Dayan opened by asking the men how they would write the smallscreen version of Benjamin Netanyahu’s unfolding political battle.
Israelis will go to the polls on Tuesday morning to cast their ballots in a hotly contested election contest which remained, on Monday evening, neck-to-neck between right-wing leader Netanyahu and the more left-leaning upstart Isaac Herzog.
“Would he make great TV? He is great TV,” Plepler said of Netanyahu. Rosen agreed, saying, “I »
- Debra Kamin
This Tuesday on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, 9/8c), “transformed” Skye has an appointment with a psychologist — but the patient winds up being the one asking questions when she learns that her shrink is no less than Melinda May’s ex-husband.
VideosS.H.I.E.L.D. Reveals Drea de Matteo, Other Super Villains in New Promo
As seen in the above clip from the episode “One of Us,” Skye is reluctant to have her head looked at, until she learns that Dr. Andrew Garner (played by In Treatment‘s Blair Underwood) shares a history, to say the least, »
1-20 of 34 items from 2015 « Prev | Next »
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