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Three episodes were provided prior to broadcast.
One of the most anticipated TV premieres of the new year, FX’s Legion, may also be the most difficult to describe. The new series has been billed as a total non-construction (not deconstruction) of a superpower origin story, yet it’s inextricably connected to the telepathic founder of the X-Men. Now that Legion is here, we can finally see what all the hype is about, and I’m pleased to announce that it’s a wholly unique and thought-fracturing show that has about as much in common with superhero television as Lost did with Survivor.
When word of Legion was first publicized in October 2015, fan reaction was understandably mute. In a crowded field of comics migrating to the screen, the very first live-action X-Men-associated TV series only stood out to deeply-read aficionados. It was hard to understand why a character who Marvel »
- Zach Ellin
The Crown is adding a familiar face to make Queen Elizabeth’s family dynamics even more complicated.
Matthew Goode (The Good Wife, Downton Abbey) has joined the Season 2 cast of Netflix’s Golden Globe-winning period drama, according to the UK’s Radio Times. And he’s playing a big role: Lord Snowdon (aka Antony Armstrong-Jones), the society photographer who was married to Elizabeth’s sister Princess Margaret from 1960 to 1978. Season 1 saw Elizabeth and Margaret bicker over the princess’ ill-fated romance with divorced airman Peter Townsend; we’ll see if Liz takes to Lord Snowdon any better. (No spoilers, please!)
TV’s first live-action X-Men series does not have many X-Men in it. In fact, FX’s “Legion” pilot boasts only one character from the Marvel comic books about so-called mutants. There is no Magneto, no Jean Grey, no Wolverine. There is definitely no Deadpool. The word “mutant” isn’t even mentioned until halfway through the episode.
If “Legion,” which premieres Feb. 8, feels like a distant cousin to the movie franchise that has grossed almost $4.4 billion worldwide for Fox since the first “X-Men” premiered in 2000, that is by design.
The designer is Noah Hawley, the writer- showrunner who pulled off the impossible by adapting the Coen Brothers’ cult-classic film “Fargo” into a critically acclaimed television series. For his next trick, Hawley will attempt the unimaginable yet again: reinventing the superhero genre with a show about an obscure character plucked from the bowels of a franchise whose recent screen iterations have prompted whispers of fan fatigue.
- Daniel Holloway
I'm not saying television is my religion or anything, but it is a persistent and omnipresent force in my life. I mean, there's nothing better than wasting my time eating Chinese food and watching a variety of random episodes of random shows. I've been doing this for years and years now, and we don't need to get into specifics or anything, but trust me: I've had a lot of time on my hands, and I've watched a lot of shows. Because of this, I've discovered a bunch of gems. One of my favorite things to look out for are British TV shows, both old and new. They always stand out - British television seasons are shorter and therefore all the more easier to binge; they're not shy about profanity, nudity, and all that other stuff I like; and, they're often wonderfully diverse. There are the old standards of British telly - Downton Abbey, »
- Rachael Clemmons
Drama veteran Jessica Pope has joined NBCUniversal’s Carnival Films as Executive Producer. Based in London, she will report to Carnival Managing Director Gareth Neame and will develop her own programming as well as working with fellow exec producers Nigel Marchant and Richard Fell on the company's growing production slate. Pope joins Downton Abbey maker Carnival from her role as Exec Producer at BBC Studios. Prior to that, Pope held roles at BBC Drama London and then… »
Which PBS TV shows have been cancelled? How many episodes are there this season? Has a series already been renewed for next season? Below, you'll find a list of PBS' recent/current/upcoming scripted TV shows and their current status.TV shows like Arthur & George, Call the Midwife, Case Histories, Downton Abbey, Endeavour, Grantchester, The Guilty, Home Fires, Indian Summers, Last Tango in Halifax, Lewis, Mercy Street, Mr. Selfridge, Poldark, Press, Ready Jeto Go!, Sherlock, Vicious, Victoria, Wallander, The Widower, »
If one were to judge “Lost in London” solely on the impressive technical feat of producing a live feature film in a single take over the course of two hours, “Lost in London” would be a resounding success. Unfortunately, that’s not how movies work. While Woody Harrelson’s directorial debut experiment went off largely without a hitch, it’s unclear if anyone would care about “Lost in London” if it weren’t filmed live. Despite its unique production, the script (written by Harrelson) suffers from a plot line that drags even as its star hustles to keep up, Hollywood insider jokes that fall flat despite being low-hanging fruit, and a culturally tone-deaf script that is not worth straining to hear over the canned background noise.
Inspired by the true events of one “wild night” Harrelson had in 2012 (celebrities are so crazy!), the movie begins with Harrelson, as himself, exiting »
- Jude Dry
Welcome to Remote Controlled, Variety’s podcast series featuring the best and brightest in television, both in front of and behind the camera.
This week’s episode features Variety executive editor of TV Debra Birnbaum and senior TV reporter Daniel Holloway in conversation with “Legion” star Dan Stevens about the show’s psychedelic take on the superhero genre — and its differences from his previous TV gig, “Downton Abbey.”
“Remarkably similar,” Stevens joked when asked how the two shows stack up against one another. He added, “They’re fundamentally different things. Although I am in a wheelchair in one of the early episodes.”
Stevens, who played charming aristocrat Matthew Crawley on “Downton Abbey,” stars on FX’s “Legion” as David Haller, a diagnosed schizophrenic who learns that what he’s been told his whole adult life are delusions are instead manifestations of a mutant superpower. The series, based on Marvel’s “X-Men” comic books, is »
- Daniel Holloway
Screen reports from the live event movie, which was filmed last night (Jan 20) in the UK capital.
For his first film behind the camera, writer-director-star Woody Harrelson has taken a number of recent cinematic and broadcast innovations, most notably one-shot movies (Victoria and Russian Ark), real-time storytelling and live broadcasts, and rolled them into one extravagant event.
Lost In London was beamed live in 500 screens across America but just a single cinema in London on account of its 2am shoot. The film contained 24 locations, including a restaurant, a nightclub, a police cell and Waterloo Bridge (whose sudden closure almost derailed the show), and more than 30 actors.
The preamble to the London screening was filled with clips of well-known celebrities (including Daniel Radcliffe, Justin Timberlake and Jennifer Lawrence) teasing Harrelson for taking on what they jokingly referred to as a great folly. Harrelson’s script maintains this light-hearted tone as it recounts details of the worst night of his »
Dan Stevens is perhaps best known for playing Downton Abbey's lovable (but not exactly sexy) leading man Matthew Crawley, but a lot has changed since he left the show in 2012. Since then, the 34-year-old English actor has been focusing on his Hollywood film career and is set to play the coveted role of the Beast in Disney's new, live-action take on Beauty and the Beast. This will likely introduce us to a whole new side of Dan, and in real life he's also had a very noticeable transformation since his Downton days - shedding his softer, more posh look to become a scruffy, messy-haired hottie. Keep reading to see how Dan has changed over the years. Related:You Have to Hear Emma Watson's Gorgeous Singing Voice in the Beauty and the Beast TrailerRemain Calm: There Are New Live-Action Beauty and the Beast PicturesHollywood's Hottest English Eye Candy »
- Maria Mercedes Lara
Henry VIII’s six wives are getting a modern new spin.
Royal historian Lucy Worsley explores the British monarchy’s most notorious king and the women he loved — and in two cases, executed — on PBS’s new series Secrets of the Six Wives.
In People’s exclusive sneak peek, Worsley takes cameras inside the Vatican library, where Henry’s passionate love letters to Anne Bolyen are shown for the first time on TV. (He had her beheaded in 1536 after she failed to produce a male heir).
For the series, premiering on January 22, Worsley sought a new angle on the six »
Created exclusively for TV by Coben, a nine-time No. 1 New York Times bestselling author,“The Five” will debut on OnDirecTV on March 27.
Produced for the U.K.’s Sky 1 by Nicola Shindler’s Manchester-based Red Production Company (“Happy Valley”), “The Five” follows on two other DirecTV acquisitions from Studiocanal – Europe-spanning crime-thriller “The Last Panthers,” and dramedy “Spotless” – as OnDirecTV, a Latin American premium pay TV entertainment channel, seeks to build audiences for an upscale mix of international series and movies, concerts and documentaries.
OnDirecTV has also essayed localisation in Latin America via its first Latin American original series, Argentine noir thriller “La Casa del Mar,” which was nominated for an International Emmy in 2016.
The DirecTV deal adds to sales pacts with Japan’s Wowow, where “The Five” will bow in February. It »
- John Hopewell
There are no puppies, kittens or baby bunnies in “This Beautiful Fantastic.” That said, however, any restraint before the altar of adorableness is abandoned in writer-director Simon Aboud’s sophomore feature. Its heroine is so Amelie-like that she’s clad and coiffed like that pixie queen’s separated-at-birth English Rose twin. This winsome comedy may lack Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s high cinematic style, but it does hit the same general mark — which is to say, a sweet spot for some viewers that might induce sugar shock in others. Those seeking twee will get their fill when Samuel Goldwyn distributes the film Stateside, presumably later this year.
A foundling dumped as a babe in a banana crate — like Moses, but wackier! — on a Hyde Park orphanage stoop, Bella Brown (Jessica Brown Findlay of “Downton Abbey”) grows up “the oddest of the odd,” a misfit whose threadbare social skills and peculiar habits »
- Dennis Harvey
I know what you’re thinking: Another comic-book show? From The CW’s crowded superhero stable to Netflix’s Daredevil/Jessica Jones/Luke Cage trio, it seems like every other TV drama these days springs from the panels of a comic book. And yet, thankfully, there’s still room for a fresh voice in there, because FX’s Legion is not just “another comic-book show.” Visually inventive and emotionally astute, it bursts out of the gate with the most exhilarating TV pilot I’ve seen since Mr. Robot.
All six episodes were provided prior to broadcast.
If it’s possible for a show to be remarkably unremarkable, Netflix’s Frontier, a co-production with Discovery Channel Canada, makes an exceptional case. Grizzled and merciless, yet also drab and un-involving, this 18th Century-based period drama is dark, brooding and quite violent. No doubt of that. But there’s little that makes it unique or intriguing, especially in its muddled execution. Cold, monotonous, dimly lit and fairly shallow in its approach, it’s almost as if the freshman series tries to be as dull as possible. In this age of modern television, especially during its peak era, it’s a starkly mediocre piece of work.
In 1670, King Charles II grants England’s Hudson’s Bay Company land they can’t rightfully claim. Occupied by “aboriginal peoples for thousands of years,” as the opening credits put so elegantly, they once held a dominant fur trading monopoly, »
- Will Ashton
Emma Watson was destined to play a Disney princess.
Watson reveals she was originally offered the part of Cinderella in Kenneth Branagh’s 2015 live-action remake of the Disney movie but turned it down before eventually taking on her upcoming role as Belle in Beauty and the Beast.
So why did she pass on the role of Cinderella?
“I didn’t know they were going to make Beauty and the Beast at the time I turned down Cinderella,” she told Total Film. (Downton Abbey alum Lily James ended up starring in the movie.) “But when they offered me Belle, I just »
There’s a whole world of science stories just waiting to be told.
Theodore Melfi’s Hidden Figures is a wonderful victory tale, both in the true story it depicts and in how it has, as a film about Black women in Stem, been so warmly received by audiences. A lot of attention has been given to the first half (that is, it being a film centered around three Black women), and rightly so. As a Black woman, I left the film with a proud smile only somewhat tempered by the wistful thought that I wished such a film had been around when I was a little girl. But today I want to shine a light on the second part — the part where Hidden Figures demonstrates that fact-based films revolving around Stem (short for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) history can have mass appeal. More importantly, how Hidden Figures serves as a sort of blueprint as to »
- Ciara Wardlow
This March, Emma Watson is set to bring Belle to life as the star of Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, but the actress has revealed to Total Film that this isn’t the first Disney Princess she’s had the opportunity to play, having turned down the title role in 2015’s Cinderella.
“I didn’t know they were going to make Beauty and the Beast at the time I turned down Cinderella,” said Watson. “But when they offered me Belle, I just felt the character resonated with me so much more than Cinderella did. She remains curious, compassionate and open-minded. And that’s the kind of woman I would want to embody as a role model, given the choice. In a strange way, [Belle] challenges the status quo of the place she lives in, and I found that really inspiring. And also, she manages to keep her »
- Gary Collinson
Simon Brew Jan 17, 2017
It looks like the Downton Abbey movie will get moving this year...
It looks as if those plans for a Downton Abbey movie are coming to fruition, and it’s now looking really quite likely that the film will be coming together shortly. Speculation was recently fuelled by Jim Carter (Top Secret!), who played Carson in the TV show. He told Good Morning Britain at the start of the year that “we’ve been asked to keep ourselves available for dates in the future, but nobody has seen a script”.
See related Travelers: why you should watch Netflix's new time travel show Travelers: first trailer for Netflix time travel series
It’s been pretty much inevitable that a film would happen since Downton Abbey came to an end on TV at the end of 2015. Now, though, a fresh source has told the Radio Times that “the financing »
Viceroy’s House by BAFTA nominated director Gurinder Chadha will celebrate its World Premiere at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival on Sunday 12th February 2017.
Gurinder Chadha, director of Viceroy’S House, said: “I am honoured that Viceroy’S House has been selected by the Berlin Film Festival. My film is an inspirational intensely personal true story about the traumatic events that took place at the end of the British Empire in India, events that tore my own family apart. The Festival gives us a brilliant opportunity to showcase my passion project to a global audience.”
Gurinder Chadha’s Viceroy’S House will be released in cinemas by Pathe in the UK and by Reliance Entertainment in India on 3rd March 2017.
The film tells the true story of the final months of British rule in India and its release will coincide with the 70th Anniversary of the Independence of India and the founding of Pakistan. »
- Stacey Yount
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