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'Downton Abbey' has been slammed as "sexless" by 'Upstairs Downstairs' star Neil Jackson. The hunky actor - who portrays chauffer Harry Spargo in the BBC remake of the period drama - claims his co-stars Laura Haddock and Keeley Hawes are much better eye-candy than the likes of their ITV1 rivals Michelle Dockery and Amy Nuttall. He said: "The women in 'Downton Abbey' don't compare to the women in 'Upstairs Downstairs'. Ours are stunning. We've got Laura Haddock, Keeley Hawes, Claire Foy... beautiful women. Laura, who plays Harry's love interest Beryl Ballard, is particularly beautiful. "If Angelina Jolie and Keira Knightley had a love »
On Season 2 of Downton Abbey (returning to PBS on January 8, 2012), it is 1916 and World War I has shaken the Crawley family estate to its very foundations. As a way of life is forever blasted apart, alliances are tested as both heroes and villains struggle to survive and forge ahead. During this interview to promote the return of the popular period drama, actress Michelle Dockery, who plays the clever but cold oldest daughter, Lady Mary Crawley, talked about where things are at with the story in Season 2, what it’s like to play such a complex character, if she could live as emotionally repressed as Lady Mary, and the costume envy that goes on with this show. She also talked about her role in Joe Wright’s next film, an adaptation of Anna Karenina, and her desire to do more modern-day work. Check out what she had to say after the jump. »
- Christina Radish
Based on Kate Mosse’s international bestseller, Labyrinth is a four-hour event miniseries which will take a global audience on a richly compelling journey through the South of France of the present, and the dark and tortured landscape of the Crusades and Cathar massacres of medieval times. Two spirited and charismatic heroines must somehow work together across the centuries in order to save a four thousand year-old secret from falling into the wrong hands.
Jessica Brown Findlay stars as Alaïs Pelletier. Jessica (represented by Troika) made her film debut in the coming-of-age drama Albatross. She also played Rachel in Misfits, and was recently seen as Abi in Black Mirror:15 Million Merits on Channel 4. She also appears in Downton Abbey as the politically engaged youngest daughter, Lady Sybil Crawley.
Jessica began her career as a dancer, training with the National Youth Ballet and was asked at the age of »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (ScreenTerrier)
Joan Collins may be making a cameo appearance in the next series of Downton Abbey. According to the Daily Express, producers of the hit ITV drama are keen to recruit the veteran actress for a role in the show's third run, which will be filming in spring 2012 for an autumn premiere. It is alleged that Collins may play a cousin of Dame Maggie Smith's character Violet Crawley. "A number of cameos are being planned for the next series and Joan's name is top of the list," a source said. "It's hoped she (more) »
- By Amy Bell
Before predicting who will win the 11 TV races at the 69th annual Golden Globes Awards on Jan. 14, be sure to read our overviews and handicapping. And check out the charts that show the odds and rankings for each nominee. Then head over to our prediction center to log your forecasts for the eventual winners. (Signing up for a free account takes just a minute.) A pair of miniseries -- Emmy champ "Downton Abbey" and "Mildred Pierce" -- lead with four Golden Globe nominations apiece while a trio of series -- "Boardwalk Empire," "Homeland" and "Modern Family" -- reaped three bids apiece as did the miniseries "The Hour." (See full list of nominations here.) The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. has cooled on last year's leading contender "Glee" which went from five bids to one -- defending its Comedy Series title. Its competition: reigning two-time Emmy champ "Modern Family" and newcom »
As if HBO needed more nominations under their belt during their already active awards season, the network picked up four nods as part of the American Society of Cinematographers’ Outstanding Achievement Awards, which yesterday announced the contenders in their three television categories.
Boardwalk Empire picked up two nominations in the One-Hour Episodic Television category, Mildred Pierce secured a nod in the Television Movie/Miniseries contest, and the recently axed Bored to Death got a nod in the Half-Hour category.
- Sandra Gonzalez
ComingSoon.net has your exclusive first look at a 10-minute behind-the-scenes featurette on Albatross , the Niall MacCormick drama starring Felicity Jones, Jessica Brown Findlay, Sebastian Koch and Julia Ormond. The film is now available to watch on SundanceNOW and Cable VOD ahead of its theatrical release on January 2nd. Albatross is the story of Emelia Conan-Doyle (Jessica Brown Findlay, "Downton Abbey"), a cheeky force of nature and the 17-year-old heir to the legacy of Arthur Conan Doyle. Harboring an ambition to follow in the literary footsteps of her grandfather, Emelia writes while working at a stuffy seaside hotel populated by another blocked novelist Jonathan (Sebastian Koch), his put-upon wife (Julia Ormond) and their daughter Beth (Felicity Jones, Like Crazy »
In the category for best half-hour episodic series or pilot, recently axed TV show Bored to Death leads the honours and will compete against Modern Family, R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour, Man Up and David Duchovny's Californication.
The prizes will be handed out at a ceremony in Los Angeles on 12 February. »
Without even a sniff of Peep Show, 2011 still managed to be a strong year for comedy. No honestly, it has. Here follow my own choices for the good, the bad and the stinky – feel free to add your own in the comments section. We'll start with Fresh Meat: Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong's take on student living, which made a confident start on Channel 4 and revealed Jack Whitehall to be an actual actor who could act. Who knew?
Spy on Sky1 was for me the surprise sitcom hit of the year. Darren Boyd has been solidly delivering funny best friends and boyfriends for years, so it was great to see him taking the lead in such a brilliantly written show. It makes stunning use of »
- Julia Raeside
Continuing our writers' favourite film series, Paul Laity casts off his cool to reveal a partiality for Ang Lee's Austen adaptation
Is this quite the most agreeable review, or have you barely a civil word for it? Write your own here or venture an opinion below
I might find it hard to live this down. My favourite film, a costume drama? A period romance? Jane Austen? With lead roles played by head-girl Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant in classic floppy-haired, shy-but-charming mode? What happened to Tarkovsky and Kiarostami? But I can't help it: I know Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility is not challenging, I realise it has lots of bonnets, and that I should prefer Trainspotting, which came out in the same week early in 1996, but I'm extremely partial to this film.
One reason is the writing. Thompson spent five years wrestling with the screenplay, trying to stay tuned to »
- Paul Laity
HollywoodNews.com: The American Society of Cinematographers (Asc) has announced nominees in three television categories for the 26th Annual Outstanding Achievement Awards competition. The awards ceremony will be held here on February 12 at the Hollywood & Highland Grand Ballroom.
Nominees in the one-hour Episodic Television Series/Pilot Category are:
The finalists in the Television Movie/Miniseries category are:
The third category, for a half-hour Episodic Series or Pilot, »
- Josh Abraham
The new season was weak – but there was plenty of good stuff worth watching in 2011. Here's a pick of the 10 best
It's been a mixed year for Us television, with established hits stumbling (oh Glee, where did it all go wrong?) and one of the weakest new seasons in recent years (farewell, The Playboy Club, Charlie's Angels and Prime Suspect: you won't be missed).
But there were some nice surprises – Revenge provided a welcome return for the primetime soap, while Once Upon A Time demonstrated that Disney and ABC still understand a thing or two about family-centric Sunday night viewing, although I'm less convinced about ABC boss Paul Lee's belief that we're dying to watch men behaving sadly. (If you thought Man Up was bad, wait until Work It airs).
- Sarah Hughes
The American Society of Cinematographers announced their nominations for the best-photographed TV of 2011. Boardwalk Empire topSthe list with 2 nominations in the one-hour drama category. HBO also had a presence in the movie/miniseries category with Mildred Pierce and the half-hour series category with Bored to Death. (This is the first year the Asc introduced a half-hour category.) I am happy to see Pan Am among the nominees, because the pilot was gorgeous. Due to the specific nature of the awards, there are a few curious selection that won't get awards attention anywhere else, like Chase and Man Up. Reminds me of my surprise at discovering that Home Improvement won 7 Emmys, all of which were awarded to apparent lighting guru Donald A. Morgan for Outstanding Lighting Direction. Hit the jump for the full eclectic list of Asc nominees. One-Hour Episodic Television Series/Pilot David Franco for HBO’s Boardwalk Empire (“To the Lost”) Jonathan Freeman, »
- Brendan Bettinger
Los Angeles, December 28, 2011 – The American Society of Cinematographers (Asc) has announced nominees in three television categories for the 26th Annual Outstanding Achievement Awards competition. The awards ceremony will be held here on February 12 at the Hollywood & Highland Grand Ballroom. Nominees in the one-hour Episodic Television Series/Pilot Category are: David Franco for HBO’s Boardwalk Empire (“To the Lost”) Jonathan Freeman, Asc for Boardwalk Empire (“21″) David Katznelson, Dff, Bsc for PBS’ Downton Abbey (Pilot) John Lindley, Asc for ABC’s Pan Am (Pilot) David Stockton, Asc for NBC’s Chase (“Narco Part 2″) The finalists in the Television Movie/Miniseries category are: Ed Lachman, Asc for HBO’s Mildred Pierce Kevin Moss for Showtime’s Chicago Overcoat David Moxness, Csc for ReelzChannel’s The Kennedys (“Moral Issues and Inner Turmoil”) Martin Ruhe for PBS’ Page Eight Wojciech Szepel for PBS’ Any Human Heart (“Episode 2″) The third category, for a half-hour Episodic Series or Pilot, »
- THE DEADLINE TEAM
The cinematography on Boardwalk Empire, Downton Abbey, Pan Am and Chase has been nominated for Amercian Society of Cinematographers (Asc) Outstanding Achievement Awards in Television. HBO's Boardwalk Empire actually earned two nominations in the one-hour episodic television series/pilot category. The nominees are David Franco for Boardwalk Empire (“To the Lost”), Jonathan Freeman for Boardwalk Empire (“21”), David Katznelson for PBS’ Downton Abbey (Pilot), John Lindley for ABC’s Pan Am (Pilot), and David Stockton for NBC’s Chase (“Narco Part 2”) Photos: Golden Globe Awards: The Nominees The finalists in the television movie/miniseries category are Ed Lachman for HBO’s Mildred Pierce, Kevin Moss for Showtime’s Chicago
- Carolyn Giardina
HBO is the leader in the American Society of Cinematographers' television nominations, which were announced by the Asc Wednesday. The channel received four nominations in the three categories, including a pair for "Boardwalk Empire" in the One-Hour Episodic Television Series/Pilot category. PBS and ABC each received three nominations, while Showtime had two. "Boardwalk Empire" was the only television program to receive more than one nomination. Other shows represented included "Downton Abbey," "Pan Am," "Mildred Pierce," "The Kennedys" and "Modern Family." Asc film nominations will be announced Tuesday, January 10. The 26th annual Asc Outstanding Achievement Awards »
- Steve Pond
This was a tough year to winnow just 10 to list as "best," for there were many wonderful series, some short lived and canceled (FX's 'Lights Out,' TNT's 'Men of a Certain Age') and some new dramas so strong out of the gate, their sophomore seasons promise to be ratings gold ('Game of Thrones,' 'Downton Abbey', 'Homeland'). Returning series excelled ('Justified,' 'Sons of Anarchy,' 'Breaking Bad', Boardwalk Empire) and comedies were blessedly adult and smartly written (Louie, Wilfred, Archer). Now, you may say, 'April, why so dark? Where's the network good stuff like 'Community,' 'Parks and Rec,' 'Modern Family' and the like? I never had patience for network television, and it is only getting worse with age. »
- April MacIntyre
British drama had an ambitious but somewhat uneven year – while the Scandanavians produced a surprise hit. But what were your favourites?
It would be pushing it to suggest that 2011 was a landmark year for drama but viewers were certainly not badly served, with some fine new work emerging from both the UK and abroad.
In Britain, BBC2 led the field, in part thanks to the much-trumpeted extra investment that gave us The Crimson Petal and the White, The Shadow Line, The Night Watch and The Hour. A line-up that the BBC should rightly be proud of, but perhaps placed too much emphasis on.
Of that line-up, it was The Crimson Petal that played best for me, with Romola Garai capturing my attention as Sugar far more than she did as The Hour's Bel Rowley. Lucinda Coxon's adaptation of Michael Faber's novel was beautifully judged, with Chris O'Dowd a revelation as William Rackham. »
- Vicky Frost
Looking back, 2011 proved to be a particularly deadly one for television characters, whose bodies were stacking up even before the return of AMC’s The Walking Dead, which rather notoriously raises the body count each season. From Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones to Downton Abbey and Boardwalk Empire, TV-show creators this year proved that they were only too willing to kill off beloved characters or shock their respective audiences with deaths involving characters long believed to be “safe,” whether those were little girls, Halloween trick-or-treaters, or heroes. Safety, it seems, is an outmoded idea. Head over to The Daily Beast to read my and Maria Elena Fernandez's latest feature, "Most Memorable TV Deaths of 2011," in which we examine our choices for the most memorable TV demises this year, rounding up an unlucky 13 who left their fictional lives too soon. But beware: if you’re not up to date on the 12 shows discussed below, »
Downton Abbey's Dan Stevens has explained why he dyes his hair blonde. The actor, who plays Matthew Crawley, claimed that his lighter hair colour attracts more female attention. Stevens told Cover Media: "It's fun being blonde. If I dyed my hair black now I think I could probably slink into the shadows and nobody would notice me." Stevens also said that he was thrilled with the success of Downton (more) »
- By Paul Millar
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