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Documents, images and consultants’ testimony can lend unexpected dimension to a narrative in development. This year’s Emmy writing and directing nominees remind us that research changes a story because it changes the storyteller — it lobs a curve at preconceptions or perspective.
Some writers bring the best research of all: personal experience. For Nic Pizzolatto, a south Louisiana upbringing meant he could write “True Detective” “from my memory and my perception … keyed towards the environment I knew we would find there.” But Ryan Murphy didn’t know the Crescent City from Adam before “American Horror Story: Coven,” having to persuade local residents en route.
“The city, to be honest, was a little nervous about us … but I really wanted to send a love letter to New Orleans, the mystery and magic of it,” Murphy says. Once early episodes evidenced six months of diligent, respectful research, “doors formerly closed were opened to us. »
- Bob Verini
That old saying about “three’s a crowd” doesn’t apply to Emmy statuettes on your mantle. Which is exactly why Homeland‘s Claire Danes will be hoping to score her third consecutive win as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series at the 2014 ceremony.
Related Emmys 2014: What Should Win Best Drama Series? Take Our Poll!
Coming off the Showtime thriller’s uneven third season, though, Danes is hardly a lock. Among her competitors are 2011 champ Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife), who got left off the ballot in 2013 but roared back into contention this year with the CBS drama’s jaw-dropping, »
American Horror Story hit Comic-Con for the first time on Saturday night, where they announced the stars set for season 4 Freak Show.
Ahs: Freak Show Cast Reveals Characters
The anthology series’ fourth season will focus on the last American freak show in 1950’s Florida. Returning cast members include Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Frances Conroy, Sarah Paulson, Emma Roberts, Evan Peters and Denis O’Hare. New cast members Michael Chiklis (The Shield), Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games) and Finn Wittrock (The Normal Heart) are joining the Ahs troupe.
Let the #FreakShow begin! pic.twitter.com/wHyFN7Fr4K
— Emma Roberts (@RobertsEmma) July 27, 2014
Roberts will play Maggie, Paulson will star as Bette and Dot Tattler while Bates will play Effil Darling, and Chiklis will play her ex-husband, Wendell Del Toreado, who is now married to Bassett’s Desiere Dupree. Peters is playing Jimmy Darling, son of Bates’ Effil and »
Last fall, American Horror Story took viewers to a New Orleans coven and this year the show is transporting fans to a freak show in 1950′s Florida. We’re always excited to see who Ryan Murphy gets to join the cast of American Horror Story each season, and with the bulk of American Horror Story: Freak Show‘s main cast already set, a new addition to the show has been announced.
Ryan Murphy announced via Twitter yesterday that Finn Wittrock has joined the cast of American Horror Story: Freak Show. Wittrock played Albert in Murphy’s 2013 movie adaption of Larry Kramer’s play, The Normal Heart. The actor also had a recurring role on Showtime’s Masters of Sex TV series and played Cody in 2004′s Halloweentown High.
It’s unknown at this time what character Wittrock will play, but American Horror Story has a panel this Saturday night at »
- Derek Anderson
Originally titled "Chef," the story follows a rock-star chef (Cooper) hoping to land his own kitchen and a third Michelin star, but he’ll need the help of the beautiful Helene (Sienna Miller). Daniel Bruhl, Emma Thompson, Omar Sy and Jamie Dornan also star. [Source: THR]
7 Days In Hell
Kit Harington ("Game of Thrones") and Andy Samberg ("Brooklyn 99") will star in Jake Szymanski's one-off HBO mockumentary telemovie "7 Days In Hell". "Girls" executive producer Murray Miller will write the script.
- Garth Franklin
Ryan Murphy is bringing one of his young The Normal Heart co-stars to FX's Freak Show. The prolific showrunner announced Thursday via Twitter that Finn Wittrock has joined the fourth season of his FX anthology American Horror Story. "Thrilled to announce the very talented Finn Wittrock has joined the cast of Freak Show!" Murphy tweeted. Photos THR Goes On Set With 'American Horror Story: Coven' It's unclear just how big of a role or what character Wittrock will portray on the anthology series from Murphy and Brad Falchuk. Wittrock, who broke out on All My Children and whose credits
- Lesley Goldberg
"American Horror Story" is known for recycling a regular group of actors each season, but for the upcoming Chapter 4, "Freak Show," a new face is entering the mix in the form of Finn Wittrock ("Masters of Sex," "All My Children").
"American Horror Story: Freak Show" begins in October. But first "Ahs: Coven" is heading to the San Diego Comic-Con on July 26th, where the powers-that-be are sure to drop a few more clues about what we'll find in the "Freak Show" so stay tuned!
Jessica Lange, Denis O'Hare, Emma Roberts, Gabourey Sidibe, Jamie Brewer, Evan Peters, Kathy Bates, Sarah Paulson, Angela Bassett, Frances Conroy, Finn Wittrock, and Michael Chiklis star in "American Horror Story: Freak Show." Guest stars include Wes Bentley, »
- Debi Moore
As with most Ryan Murphy shows, viewers usually either love or hate American Horror Story. And with its campy, creepy, envelope-pushing storylines and characters, I’d definitely in the first camp of thought about it. This fall, Ahs is coming back for a fourth season, promisingly titled American Horror Story: Freak Show, and I can’t wait to see what the batty showrunner has up his sleeve. One especially exciting aspect of the fourth series is its cast – in addition to many series regulars, Freak Show has been announced to include new blood like Michael Chiklis, Wes Bentley and now Finn Wittrock.
The casting of the All My Children alum, who worked with Murphy on the acclaimed HBO movie The Normal Heart and also had an arc on the Showtime series Masters of Sex, was revealed by Murphy via Twitter:
Thrilled to announce the very talented Finn Wittrock has joined the cast of Freak Show! »
- Isaac Feldberg
- James Hibberd
Related Freak Show Boss Ryan Murphy Reveals Two-Headed Character
Thrilled to announce the very talented Finn Wittrock has joined the cast of Freak Show!—
Ryan Murphy (@MrRPMurphy) July 24, 2014
“That line between TV and movies is practically gone, so I never thought, ‘I’m not sure if I want to get into a TV series or not.’ I’d already been thinking about it because TV is such a great place,” he says.
Just as comedy and drama are melting into each other and viewers make almost no distinction about where they watch, actors are approaching their roles in a medium-agnostic way, finding that some of the best parts aren’t on the bigscreen.
“Generally speaking, the best actors will follow the best writers,” says FX president John Landgraf, whose network aired “Fargo.” “Almost anywhere there is a writer of great note and great talent in any medium, »
- Christy Grosz
Although he's been a successful Hollywood movie producer since the mid-90s, it was the gigantic, unexpected popularity of Paranormal Activity which brought Jason Blum and his production company Blumhouse Productions to the world's attention. Since that film landed in 2007, his company's been responsible for a range of low-budget yet often very effective genre films, ranging from Insidious in 2010, via Barry Levinson's The Bay in 2012, to alien invasion flick Dark Skies in 2013.
Last year also saw the release of another surprise hit for Blumhouse: The Purge, a lean, flawed mix of sci-fi, horror and home invasion thriller directed by James DeMonaco. The sequel, The Purge: Anarchy, is out this week, and it's a successful expansion of the first film's premise, as its futuristic violence spills out »
The deal was announced Sunday on the heels of Blumhouse having delivered the latest in a micro-budget horror hit for Universal with “The Purge: Anarchy.” The sequel to last summer’s break-out hit opened in second place with a solid $28.4 million debut from 2,804 locations in the U.S.
The 10-year term of the first-look deal is a significant departure from most Hollywood pacts, which tend to run for two or three years. It reflects the studio’s elevated expectations that Blum can continue to deliver profitable films.
Blum broke out with the micro-budget “Paranormal Activity” horror franchise five years ago at Paramount, which grossed over $190 million worldwide on a $15,000 budget. »
- Dave McNary
Jason Blum is one seriously busy guy. Over the last few years Blum has established himself as a force in the horror genre, turning out high quality microbudget films and setting up franchises with impressive constancy. So far his major releases of 2014 include Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, Oculus - he even had a hand in HBO's The Normal Heart. Next up is The Purge: Anarchy, which hits theaters this Friday. While speaking with Blum about The Purge: Anarchy earlier this week I had a chance to catch up with him about a number of projects he has on the docket. We talked about how Leigh Whannell is faring as a first time director on Insidious: Chapter 3, Scott Derrickson's involvement in Sinister 2, what he saw on the set of Ti West's In a Valley of Violence, bringing a new approach to Amityville, why he wanted to make Jem and the Holograms, »
- Haleigh Foutch
The 2014 Emmy Awards will air on August 25, which means you have just over a month to catch up on the shows that will be honored on TV's biggest night. The nominations were announced last week, informing us on what we need to binge on now so we know what all the fuss is about when the ceremony rolls around. Don't you want to be connected to the winners when they accept their awards? Get in-the-know:
If you haven't watched one of this year's most talked about shows, what are you waiting for? "Orange" is up for the most awards in the comedy categories and its cast is not without recognition. Star Taylor Schilling is in the running for Lead Comedy Actress, Kate Mulgrew for Supporting, and Natasha Lyonne, Uzo Adubo, and Laverne Cox are all Guest Actress contenders. Get thee to Netflix now to watch their fearless performances. »
- Alana Altmann
Related USA Network Orders Mr. Robot Pilot
From executive producers Tim Kring (Heroes) and Gideon Raff (Homeland) and premiering this fall, Dig stars Jason Isaacs (Awake) as Peter Connelly, an FBI agent stationed in Jerusalem, who, while investigating a mystery surrounding the murder of a young female archaeologist, uncovers a conspiracy 2,000 years in the making. Anne Heche costars as Lynn Monahan, Peter’s boss/sometime lover.
Appearing at the Television Critics Assoc. summer press tour in Beverly Hills on Monday, »
Unlike their splits over many of the comedy and drama series races, our Emmy experts are unified as to what will win both Best Miniseries and Best TV Movie. And there are overwhelming frontrunners in three of the four movie/mini acting races, with only supporting actress shaping up to be a contest. -Break- Join the red-hot discussion about the Emmys going on right now in our fiery forums are predicting that FX's "Fargo" will win Best Miniseries. And they are agreed that HBO's "The Normal Heart" looks like a lock for Best TV Movie. All but one are predicting that Oscar winner Billy B...' »
When courting a spy, you have to think unconventionally.
That’s just what Covert Affairs‘ new player Ryan McQuaid does when he gives Annie an unusual gift before asking her to accompany him to a black tie affair in our exclusive clip from this Tuesday’s episode (USA Network, 10/9c).
Photo Exclusive Covert Affairs First Look: Annie’s Big Secret Brings Back Eyal
Annie’s not happy about the last minute invite, but McQuaid simply replies, “I couldn’t pass up the chance to see you — and I do want to see you.”
Press Play to watch the preview, then »
The first season of HBO’s True Detective was a big success for the Us cable channel, scoring acclaim for its twisty, complex, thoughtful plotting and dark-skewing performances from Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, who both won Emmy nominations for their work. Given the show’s anthology style, neither will return for season 2, and The Wrap reports that Colin Farrell is now in talks to step in.HBO isn’t commenting on casting rumours, so Farrell’s involvement won’t be confirmed until there’s an official announcement. But he’s certainly a solid choice for the cop drama. In addition to the Seven Psychopaths star, Taylor Kitsch is also being floated as a likely co-star. He’s had a rough time of it in cinemas, but Kitsch was praised for his turn on HBO’s TV movie The Normal Heart and of course used to do great work on TV's Friday Night Lights. »
The Wrap says Colin Farrell is in talks to star in the second season of HBO's True Detective, an anthology performance-based mystery series whose first iteration just nabbed it's cast some Emmy nominations.
Series creator and writer Nic Pizzolatto has been pretty tight lipped about what the second season would be about and who would be in it. It's going to involve the transportation industry, the occult, take place in the State of California and has about four "lead" roles.
As of now Nic Pizzolatto is half-done scripting Season 2, which means look for a casting announcement as soon as next week.
These reports were squarely denied by HBO. You know, like they are all the time. »
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