For me, there are two immediately interesting takeaways from the news that Steve Spielberg will be developing the religious drama "The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara." The first is that it would mark his third collaboration with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner after "Munich" and "Lincoln." The other is that the project would be a co-production between DreamWorks and The Weinstein Company.
Latest Blog Posts
A review of tonight's "Parks and Recreation" coming up just as soon as I ask the Louvre for a refund...
Once again, it's like this: Assuming Jena Irene, Caleb Johnson and Alex "New Hampshire's Own" Preston are safe on Thursday (April 17) night's "American Idol," I don't much care who goes home or who's in the Bottom 3.
There are the three people I care about and the cannon fodder.
The big question: How is "American Idol" planning on killing the 30 minutes tonight? For the second straight week, FOX hasn't bothered to announce a guest performer, which either means that the producers decided they were happily able to fill the half-hour without a musical number, or they're having trouble booking guests. I have no evidence to confirm the latter. So... Who knows?
On to the recap!
How “Scandal’s” Mellie Grant slowly transformed into a fan favorite
The First Lady has become the most complex and fun character on the ABC soap, says Kevin Fallon. He adds: "Some of it had to do with fatigue over the callously brazen affair between the show’s protagonists, Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) and President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn). Much of it came as heartbreaking details about the ambitious—if embattled—character’s past came to surface and helped explain away the malicious wrath that seemed to be her guiding light. But, more than anything, the shift came as we all had the realization that the actress bringing Mellie to life, Bellamy Young, is just damned good at her job.” PLUS: Mellie is a rare female antihero on TV, play the “Scandal” finale drinking game, try the Shonda Rhimes “Scandal” monologue generator, which characters need to die?, Jeff Perry views Cyrus Beene's screaming and anxiety as cathartic, Scott Foley defends B613, Ellen DeGeneres tries to explain “Scandal,” how “Scandal” dominates social media, Katie Lowes poses for Esquire, “Scandal” stars discuss Rhimes’ monologues, how Rhimes uses music on “Scandal,” Shonda explains the writers’ room process, and Joe Morton says there are prayer groups for Rowan Pope.
“Grey’s Anatomy” vs. “Scandal”
Comparing Meredith and Olivia — Shonda Rhimes’ twisted sisters.
“The Daily Show’s” Jessica Williams: I’m not replacing Stephen Colbert
Williams took to Tumblr to address a petition urging Comedy Central to give her the 11:30 timeslot.
“Parks and Rec” books “Workaholics” star Blake Anderson for its season finale
He’ll play the founder of a Bay Area tech startup.
“Southland” boss: We’re perfectly suited to do a 2-hour wrap-up movie
The canceled TNT series could wrap things up with an event film that could appeal to new viewers.
“Parks and Rec” has also found writers via their Twitter feeds
"It's great for producers, it's a new way to find someone who can write jokes,” says co-creator Michael Schur, who hired two writers based on their tweets. "You get to see how their brain works.” But Mindy Kaling thinks hiring a writer based on their tweets is a bad idea: "Social media is great, but it's not something to be put on your resume. I worry that its distracting people from the hard work. And writing is hard work."
“Justified” creator: “You can’t win” with series finales
Says Graham Yost: "I mean, the 'How I Met Your Mother' guys had this planned from the beginning and people say 'oh they had this planned from the beginning. That’s terrible.' And if it feels more improvised, people say 'oh they should have planned it from the beginning.’"
Jonah from “Veep” hung out with Maryland’s governor
The HBO drama has been a major highlight in Gov. Martin O’Malley’s plan to lure TV shows to his state with tax credits.
“Jeopardy!” has a rare 6-time female winner
Sandie Brown’s streak has only been matched by women two other time.
Why doesn’t TV have any butch lesbians?
“Somehow,” says Vanessa Vitiello, "we’ve even come to a point where it’s easier to think of straight butch TV characters—'Game of Thrones’' Brienne of Tarth, Coaches Shannon Beiste and Sue Sylvester of ‘Glee,' and 'Battlestar Galactica’s' Starbuck, to name a few, than it is to come up with an actual butch lesbian."
Why “New Girl” is like a 1930s romcom
Nick and Jess harken back to the screwball romantic comedies of the depression era.
Transgender TV personality B. Scott loses lawsuit claiming BET made him change his gender identity
A judge ruled that BET had the right to control "the appearance of individuals appearing on-air."
Ranking TV’s worst child characters: “Modern Family’s” Lily is No. 2
No. 1? Sydney from “Parenthood.”
Chris Messina = “The Guy You See in Everything”
From “The Mindy Project” to “New Girl.”
Joan Rivers: Gwyneth Paltrow confronted me over “Fashion Police”
"The worst criticism was, ugh, Gwyneth Paltrow,” Rivers said on “Watch What Happens Live.” "She came in and yelled at us, but she stood up,” she added. "She couldn't sit down because she's got a stick up her rear end."
There are 2 things to know about “Parenthood”: 1) Nothing happens, 2) It’ll make you cry
That it’s the “Seinfeld” of dramas makes the NBC series easy to jump into. PLUS: Xolo Mariduena on rooting for Joel and Julia, and Erika Christensen’s journey from teen star to “Parenthood."
“Game of Thrones” gets the “Frozen” treatment
Watch a “Let It Go” parody of the HBO series. PLUS: Tormund Giantsbane explains how to grow and shave a beard, and HBO Canada put a Dragon Bowl on the sidewalk.
"Sullivan & Son” is bringing back Ken Jeong and Billy Gardell
"The Big Bang Theory’s" Kunal Nayyar will also return this season to the TBS comedy.
“SNL’s” “28 Reasons” is now available for download
The Black History Month song has been posted to iTunes.
“Adventure Time” is back for Season 6
The Cartoon Network series is "one of the most philosophically risky and, often, emotionally affecting shows on TV,” says Emily Nussbaum.
“24’s” Jack Bauer and Chloe O’Brian take a selfie
“Our 70s rock album cover.”
A review of the "Community" season — and hopefully not series — finale coming up just as soon as I rob your brain...
You know if the host of a game show is "Jackass" alum Bam Margera, the challenges are going to be a little crazy. And filthy. And possibly dangerous. In this exclusive clip from "Bam's Bad Ass Game Show" (Mon. April 21 at 10:30 p.m. ET on TBS), contestants race to be blasted sky-high from an exploding toilet seat. Yup.
In "Digital Noise," we discuss the ongoing experience of being a gamer with the world of options available to us all now and ask one question we want you to answer for us.
If I have to make that same tank drive that same 40 square feet of the map one more time, I am likely to pick my television up and put it straight through the drywall.
Since setting up an XBox One in my home office, I have played a few games all the way through. "Call Of Duty: Ghosts" on campaign mode pretty much cemented the idea for me that I do not like the "Call Of Duty" series. There is something very strange about a game that uses real geo-political tensions as a springboard to tell a story in which poor overpowered America has to fight back, an underdog standing up for freedom and bleeding red, white, and blue. At this point, it makes me genuinely uncomfortable to spend time with the worldview of "Call Of Duty," and I'm not sure I'll bother playing any future entries in the series.
ABC removes Bryan Singer’s name from ads for “Black Box” in wake of sexual abuse allegations
Commercials will be re-edited to omit the name of Singer, who serves as executive producer on the upcoming drama.
Fox dumping its Saturday night Animation Domination HD block
The ADHD block will end on June 28.
“Community” wraps up its 5th season, having returned to its earlier glory
Dan Harmon did indeed bring back what made "Community" special this season. PLUS: Gillian Jacobs says, "it really has been the strongest season ever."
“Louie” offers another taste of Season 4
This time in Dr. Charles Grodin's office.
Tracy Morgan answers questions on Reddit, recalls getting “there” with Liz Lemon
"It felt good. I hope it felt good for Liz Lemon too!” he writes. "It felt great to get there.” Morgan also admitted to farting in front of Kate Upton and said he’d like Will Smith to play him in the movie about his life.
Bret Harrison joins “Astronaut’s Wives Club” for a “Breaking In” reunion
He’ll play the husband of Odette Annable, his former co-star on Fox's “Breaking In.”
I wasn't too worried that the second season of "Orphan Black" would stumble at the gate. The first season was too tightly constructed and simply too smart for everything to fall apart, burdened by silly plot twists or the kind of hijinks that have been known to sink big four network series. Yes, Clone Club can rest easy -- the first episode of season two is just as twisty and smart and deadly as we've come to expect. I'd say it's better than "Cats," but you won't appreciate that until you've watched it.
SANTA MONICA—Sandwiched in between his two Coachella appearances, Beck came in from the dusty desert to play an intimate show for KCRW’s Apogee Sessions here Wednesday night.
The 100-minute performance was twice as long as his Coachella set and certainly under more pleasant, less blustery conditions: the cosy confines of legendary producer/mixer Bob Clearmountain’s studio, which tightly packed in 200 of the public radio station’s supporters.
I've said it once and I'll say it again: If you love original filler programming on TV, Summer 2014 will be your Golden Age.
The CW is getting in on the summer programming act, which will come as no surprise to anybody paying attention to the network's steady hoarding of offerings like "Seed" and "Backpackers" and "Penn & Teller: Fool Us," as well as the available backlog of episodes for "Beauty and the Beast."
On Thursday (April 17), The CW set its summer slate, including the long-awaited -- by some people I'm sure -- return of "Beauty and the Beast," which comes two-plus weeks after the network's upfront presentation to advertisers, presumably cementing the drama's chances of a third season. [Short version: The CW makes its own rules, but several bubble dramas would appear to have a better chance of renewal than "Beauty and the Beast" and that doesn't even include spring success "The 100," which would have to really stumble to not get a no-brainer pick-up at this point.]
When I did that lengthy interview with Dan Harmon last month, he seemed unsure about whether this fifth season of "Community" would be the NBC comedy's last, but he also seemed ready, willing and able to stick around to make the crazy dream of Six Seasons And A Movie into a reality.
Tonight at 8 is the season finale, which may wind up being the series finale, depending on what NBC decides. I've seen the episode, and it's good, and while I don't want the show to go away yet, this one will be able to function as a series ender if it has to be, just like the season 3 finale (written shortly before Harmon's year-long absence from the show).
Whatever it winds up being, it's funny, and here are Harmon, Joel McHale and director Rob Schrab to give you a taste of it, in an exclusive clip.