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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, »
The hefty three-year pact calls for Leight to develop new projects exclusively for the studio. But the deal also allows Leight to continue as showrunner on “Svu” for the coming 2015-16 season.
Leight has been at the helm of “Svu” for Dick Wolf and Universal Television for the past four seasons. He’s steered the long-running show through the departure of original co-star Christopher Meloni and kept it vital anchor series for the Peacock. Sony TV execs spent a long time wooing the hyphenate, but for Leight the deal was contingent on allowing him to stick with “Svu” for at least one more season.
In addition to being an in-demand showrunner, the New York native is an accomplished playwright. He won the Tony Award in 1999 for »
- Cynthia Littleton
Madrid –Giant Spanish telco Telefonica’s pay TV operator Movistar TV is making one of Spain’s highest-profile drives into U.S. TV content in the last 20 years, creaming dozens of high-quality TV series for its nre Svod service Movistar Series.
Latest announced deals take in CBS, HBO, Sony Pictures TV and ABC. More will follow. Launching Dec. 10, Ms currently offers 45 series. It aims to raise that number to 70 at least.
Telefonica launched a pay TV operator, Iptv service Imagenio, in Madrid and Barcelona in 2004. But it traditionally played second fiddle to the dominant pricey premium pay TV service Canal Plus Spain.
That has now changed. From 2013, Telefonica begun to load up on premium contents: the Roland Garros tennis tourney, Formula One, the Road Racing World Championship and then bought Canal Plus Spain outright in a $1.0 billion May 2014 deal which still has to be cleared by Spain’s anti-trust authorities. »
- John Hopewell
“Homeland” season five will spring forward two and a half years from season four’s ending, executive producer Alex Gansa revealed Friday. Also Read: Beyond ‘Homeland’ and ‘In Treatment': Israeli Topics Ripe for American Adaptations (Guest Blog) “We’re shooting in Germany,” executive producer Gansa said at PaleyFest Friday, according to TVLine. Last season’s show plot was set in Pakistan, but filmed in South Africa. At the end of the season, Carrie and her CIA team pulled out of Pakistan after a series of catastrophic events. Also Read: Golden Globe Awards: Claire Danes Gets Mixed Reviews on Busy »
- Jordan Chariton
Adam Rapp is perhaps best known as a playwright, having earned a Pulitzer Prize nomination for his 2006 work Red Light Winter. But he's one of these creative polymaths who seems to excel at everything he does--whether its film directing (Winter Passing, with Zooey Deschanel) or screenwriting (he's written for the L Word and In Treatment, among other shows). Now, he's trying his hand at a still relatively new form. Though Rapp has written a handful of Ya books, Know Your Beholder, which tells the story of a shattered rock musician trying to rebuild his life, is his second attempt at a novel in the classic sense. Here is the first chapter, with annotations from Rapp. Part One: Small-Town Snow I haven’t left my house in almost a month. It’s either Tuesday or Wednesday — most likely Wednesday — and three days ago a foot of snow fell on Pollard, »
- Adam Rapp
It’s age versus beauty as the queens throw shade in nude body stockings, with ‘glamour toad’ Ginger Minj and the icepick-tongued Katya early favourites
Can it be a year already since all those vicious bitches fought for the spotlight to decide which queen will reign supreme? But enough about Cpac. RuPaul’s Drag Race entered its seventh season on Monday night. If you haven’t seen it, imagine Survivor, Project Runway and The Voice crossed with In Treatment, smothered in lip gloss and rolled in glitter. Or better yet read Brian Moylan’s primer here.
Following the ins and outs (should that be tucks and untucks) each week will be Megan Carpentier and Dominic Rushe. Spoilers abound.
Related: RuPaul’s Drag Race: New season of America's best reality show kicks off
Continue reading »
- Megan Carpentier and Dominic Rushe
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