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Richard E. Grant

Richard E. Grant 

Richard E. Grant to join 'Downton Abbey' for season 5

The 'Gosford Park' star isn't the only one who will be joining in

While some of us will forever remember Richard E. Grant from "Withnail and I," he's moving into far tonier role. The actor (who has also appeared in classy stuff like "Gosford Park" and "The Age of Innocence") is set to join the cast of "Downton Abbey" for the show's fifth season. He's not the only one, either. 

While Grant will be playing the role of Simon Bricker, who visits Downton Abbey as a guest of the Granthams, Anna Chancellor ("The Hour," "Four Weddings and a Funeral") will be taking on a role as Lady Anstruther. Also on deck will be Rade Sherbedgia ("Eyes Wide Shut," "24") as a Russian refugee. 

Returning guest cast member Dame Harriet Walter will reprise her role as Lady Shackleton,
along with Peter Egan, returning as Lord Flintshire.
 
"Masterpiece" Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton says, "We look forward to introducing these new characters to our 'Masterpiece' audience. They will make a wonderful addition to the beloved Downton Abbey ensemble." In other words, no clues as to what the new characters will be doing. 
 
Downton Abbey’s Executive Producer Gareth Neame, the Managing Director of Carnival Films, says, “We are delighted to welcome these talented actors to the world of Downton. The characters they play are set to bring yet more excitement and intrigue to the show.” 
 
The good news is that all our favorites will be back (so, hopefully, no horrible car accident or postpartum deaths). The new season will feature returning stars Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, Jim Carter, Penelope Wilton, Phyllis Logan, Samantha Bond, Laura Carmichael, Lily James, Allen Leech, Brendan Coyle, Joanne Froggatt, Lesley Nicol, Sophie McShera, Rob James-Collier, Ed Speleers, Kevin Doyle, Raquel Cassidy, David Robb, Tom Cullen, Julian Ovenden, Daisy Lewis, Douglas Reith, Jeremy Swift and Andrew Scarborough.
 
The fourth season of Downton Abbey, which concludes on February 23, hit a new record high in the U.S. with its Season 4 opener, averaging 15 million viewers, an increase of 39 percent from the Season 3 opening episode. The show’s third season became the highest rated TV drama in PBS’ history and reached over 24 million viewers, a 7 million increase on Season 2. Downton Abbey is now one of the highest rated dramas on American Television.
 
Are you excited about Richard E. Grant joining the show? 
 
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Jane Krakowski to star in Fox's 'Dead Boss'


Jane Krakowski to star in Fox's "Dead Boss"

The "30 Rock" alum is set to play a career-driven woman who is wrongfully convicted of killing her boss.


"Conan" is coming to Dallas for the NCAA Final Four

Conan's TBS show will tape in Dallas for four days, from March 31 to April 3. PLUS: Conan will remember Sid Caesar Tuesday with special guest Mel Brooks.


Watch the new, explosive "Scandal" promo
"Gladiators, hold on tight."

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Jimmy Fallon is recovering from a virus he got from his daughter as he preps for Monday's 'Tonight' launch


Jimmy Fallon is recovering from a virus he got from his daughter as he preps for "Tonight" launch
Fallon expects to be in fighting shape for Monday despite ailing all week. PLUS: Fallon's "Tonight Show" will feature a GE-sponsored kids' invention segment.


"The Simpsons" is getting a LEGO-themed episode
A full-length LEGO episode will air in May.


Here's your 1st look at Fox's "Broadchurch" remake, with Anna Gunn and David Tennant

The "Breaking Bad" alum and former "Doctor Who" are co-starring in "Gracepoint."


Obama didn't tweet his support for "House of Cards" -- a nonprofit organization did

Turns out neither the president nor his people control the @barackobama Twitter account, the one that tweeted "No spoilers, please" yesterday in regards to the Netflix series. It is actually run by a nonprofit called Organizing For Action, which rents the account from Obama's presidential campaign.


Howard Stern called Kathie Lee to apologize when he rejoined NBC 2 years ago
The shock jock had taunted Kathie Lee for decades, but Kathie Lee revealed on "Watch What Happens Live" last night that they made amends when he signed on for "America's Got Talent."


Joel McHale reacts to his selection as White House Correspondents Dinner headliner
"This is very cool & the website to apply to host it worked perfectly," he tweeted.


Piers Morgan interviewed by police in Britain in newspaper hacking case
Scotland Yard interviewed the CNN star in early November, it was revealed today.


Syfy sets premiere dates for "Warehouse 13," "Continuum" and Jim Henson reality show

"Warehouse 13's" final season kicks off April 14, "Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge" debuts March 25 and "Continuum" returns April 4.


Matt Lauer & Al Roker went luging together
Watch the "Today" stars crash in Sochi. PLUS: How will Roker's feud with NYC's mayor impact "Today"?


Winter Olympics doesn't hurt "Rake"

Greg Kinnear's drama managed to stay steady this week.


"Downton Abbey" adds 3 actors, including Richard E. Grant and Anna Chancellor
Rade Sherbedgia will also be part of next season's cast.

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<p>Yuzuru Hanyu's record-breaking performance capped off NBC's Olympics primetime</p>

Yuzuru Hanyu's record-breaking performance capped off NBC's Olympics primetime

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: Figure skating gives NBC's Olympics coverage a small Thursday bump

'American Idol' dips, while 'Rake' stays low-and-steady for FOX
Fast National ratings for Thursday, February 13, 2014.
 
A smattering over coverage from the men's figure skating short program helped NBC's Thursday Sochi Winter Olympics coverage rise slightly from Wednesday's block. The Sochi numbers were still well below what NBC was drawing earlier in the week, but still easily dominated Thursday primetime.
 
The night's only other original programming came on FOX, where "American Idol" dipped below 10 million viewers and also dipped below a 3.0 in the key demo. While "Idol" edged out CBS' "Big Bang Theory" repeat among young viewers, the "Big Bang" repeat dominated overall. It's the tiniest of silver linings for FOX, but "Rake" didn't slip any further in its latest airing. 
 
Oh. Wait. ABC's "The Taste" is also original programming. It drew "Oops, we left the TV on to ABC" numbers on par with Tuesday's "Killer Women."
 
On to the numbers...
 
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Bethenny Frankel's talk show canceled


Bethenny Frankel's talk show canceled
The Ellen DeGeneres-produced "Bethenny" was set to get renewed, but many of her affiliate clearances went to Meredith Vieira's new talk show.

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Joel McHale is this year's White House Correspondents' Dinner host


Joel McHale is this year's White House Correspondents' Dinner host

"The Soup" and "Community" star will follow in the footsteps of Conan O'Brien, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Wanda Sykes, Jay Leno and Jon Stewart.

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<p>Helen Mirren in Peter Greenaway's &quot;The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover.&quot;</p>

Helen Mirren in Peter Greenaway's "The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover."

Credit: Miramax Films

Roundup: Peter Greenaway to receive honorary BAFTA

Also: On the foreign domination of the short film races, and Cuaron swoons for 'Her'

Long the standard-bearer of avant garde British cinema, Peter Greenaway -- director of such unhinged works as "The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover," "The Draughtsman's Contract" and "The Pillow Book" -- has never even been nominated for a BAFTA. (Nope, not even in the days before they tried to out-Oscar the Oscars.) As of Sunday, however, he'll have one, as he's been named the recipient of this year's Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema Award at the ceremony. Says Greenaway: "Everyone agrees that cinema is changing its characteristics very fast and to be awarded a BAFTA for trying to contribute to that change is a pleasure and a delight, an encouragement and an acknowledgment that the effort is valuable, certainly for myself and certainly for all those numerous collaborators who have assisted me in this effort over more than 30 years.” [BAFTA]

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Meredith Vieira will sub tonight for Bob Costas -- the 1st woman to ever anchor NBC's primetime Olympics coverage


Meredith Vieira will sub tonight for Bob Costas -- the 1st woman to ever anchor NBC's primetime Olympics coverage
"It's an honor to fill in for him," Vieira said on "Today" this morning. PLUS: Al Roger regrets his "below the line" tweet about NYC's mayor.

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<p>Peter Finch delivering the famous speech from &quot;Network,&quot;&nbsp;a movie that's the subject of Dave Itzkoff's book &quot;Mad As Hell.&quot;&nbsp;</p>

Peter Finch delivering the famous speech from "Network," a movie that's the subject of Dave Itzkoff's book "Mad As Hell." 

Credit: MGM/United Artists

Dave Itzkoff talks 'Mad As Hell' and 'Network'

A look back at Paddy Chayefsky's blistering 1976 Oscar winner
When it was released in 1976, Paddy Chayefsky’s “Network” was celebrated as satire by some, dismissed as the bitter rantings of an old crank by others. What no one at the time realized was that one day, it would be neither. It would be prophetic.
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<p>Yeah, yeah, you're both pretty.</p>

Yeah, yeah, you're both pretty.

Credit: Universal Pictures

Review: 'Endless Love' remake is harmless teen romance that misses the point of the book

Scott Spencer's novel is anything but harmless

Both times Scott Spencer's novel "Endless Love" has been adapted to the bigscreen, there have been fundamental changes made to the source material to such a degree that it's apparent the filmmakers are uneasy with the book.

Understandable. Spencer's novel is not a sweet and simple love story by any means. It is a look back at the temporary madness that comes from that first wild love that people often encounter, and what happens when it's not temporary and it's not as harmless as people make it out to be. Spencer's novel is dark, and it both opens with and builds to a fire that is truly catastrophic and tragic. Shana Feste's film "Endless Love" shares character names and some plot points with the book, but it is telling an entirely different kind of story, one that almost feels like a complete refutation of the points made by the novel.

Feste's film reconfigures David Axelrod, the main character of the novel, into David Elliot, played here by Alex Pettyfer. David is graduating high school, a blue collar kid who seems to have only two ambitions in life: work in his dad's auto repair store and find a girl that he can love. He's pretty sure that girl is Jade Butterfield (Gabriella Wilde), a rich girl who is also graduating, but she spent her entire high school career focused on getting into a great college, and none of her classmates really seem to know her at all.

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Nick Jonas and Kiele Sanchez to star in a DirecTV MMA drama series


Nick Jonas and Kiele Sanchez to star in a DirecTV MMA drama series

"Navy St." will be set at an MMA gym in Venice Beach, with Jonas playing the son of the owner who gets a UFC contract. Sanchez will play his dad's girlfriend.


A Jimmy Fallon "Tonight" test show audience member tells all
Expect jokes about Leno, Letterman and wood. PLUS: Fallon's "Tonight" app is now available on iTunes.


Letterman is countering Fallon's debut with Kevin Spacey, Kimmel has J.Lo

Meanwhile, "Conan" is taking Monday night off, returning Tuesday.


Jimmy Fallon accused of theft for moving "The Tonight Show" out of California
Fallon, says Joe Matthews is now an "enemy of the state." He says "The Tonight Show" offered Californians a national platform, especially through bits like "Jaywalking." He adds: "Neither Conan O’Brien’s nor Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night shows has big-enough audiences to replace the impact of Leno."


"Modern Family" cast, producer and ABC's boss may have to testify in Ariel Winter case

Winter's mom wants 83 witnesses to testify, including the entire "Modern Family" cast and crew.


As Seth Meyers' bandleader, Fred Armisen wrote his "Late Night" theme song

"Can't wait til you hear it," tweeted Meyers' producer. PLUS: Learn all about Meyers' 8G band.


"Once Upon a Time" casts Glinda the Good Witch

She'll be played by Sunny Mabrey.


"Big Bang Theory" producer opens up about last week's big kiss
Here's how the script described it: "Sheldon leans in and puts his lips on hers and after a few moments, it melts into a real kiss, the kind of kiss that mommies and daddies do." PLUS: Here's another old photo of Mayim Bialik & Jennifer Aniston.


Conan producing a TBS pilot starring his warm-up man Jimmy Pardo
Pardo will host "The Weekly Awards," in which the comedian will go to big events and hand out awards.


Sid Caesar: An appreciation
Milton Berle was called Mr. Television, as Robert Lloyd points out. But it was Caeser who "helped shape TV comedy, even as TV, with its new technical demands and advantages, shaped his work." PLUS: In person, Caesar could be so unassuming, and watch Caesar's 5 funniest moments.


The makers of "The LEGO Movie" were also responsible for MTV's "Clone High"
That's why the 2003 MTV animated series still holds up.


"Veronica Mars" fans sell out special fan screenings
More showtimes are being added to accommodate the demand. PLUS: See "Veronica's" EW gallery.


James Van Der Beek is proud to be a "character actor trapped in a leading man’s body"
When an agent told him that, he says it was the "highest compliment of all, because those are the guys I love watching."


"The Bold and the Beautiful" reruns will air on TV Guide Network hours after their CBS airing
The encores start Monday at 6:30 pm ET.


"Dancing's" Cheryl Burke and "Cougar Town's" Josh Hopkins are an item

Us Weekly reports that their relationship is a few weeks old.


Watch the insane new "Real Housewives of New York" opening credits
Watch what has become a self-parody.


It's a "Buffy" reunion on the "The Crazy Ones" set
Michelle Trachtenberg and Seth Green decided to pay a visit to Sarah Michelle Gellar.


Why "Family Guy" is terrible at comedic cutaways
Seth MacFarlane's comedy is famous for its cutaways, but other comedies like "30 Rock" and "Arrested Development" have used the device to greater hilarious effect.


Check out some 1994 "Real World: San Francisco" pics

Judd Winick tweeted some behind-the-scenes photos.


Watch the "Brady Bunch" cast reunite on "The Talk" for Florence Henderson's 80th birthday

Everybody's over 50 now and Bobby is balding.


"Bachelor" contestant comes to Juan Pablo's defense

"He's a class act. I feel bad for the criticism," says Renne Oteri, who's also a single parent.


Nathan Fielder may be done with Dumb Starbucks

Reps for the Comedy Central star said they don't plan to apply for the proper health permits to legally reopen the parody store.


"The Waltons" patriarch Ralph Waite dies at 85

Waite appeared on the CBS drama for nine seasons, and also had roles on "NYPD Blue" and "Roots."


In Season 2, "House of Cards" embraces its ridiculousness
Kevin Spacey's performance as Frank Underwood feels campier and funnier this season, says Willa Paskin, like  he's doing it on purpose. "Upon its return," she adds, "'House of Cards' feels like it has embraced its crazy, tilting toward Scandal instead of premium cable." PLUS: "House of Cards" returns darker than ever, it's still an empty show, "House of Cards" is better off without lofty expectations, is "House of Cards" actually TV?, creator Beau Williamson vows to use up all the great ideas through the season, 9 burning questions that need to be answered, President Walker speaks, and Kate Mara poses for GQ.

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<p>Elisabeth Moss poses at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival where she had two new films debut:&nbsp;&quot;Listen Up Phillip&quot;&nbsp;and &quot;The One I Love.&quot;</p>

Elisabeth Moss poses at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival where she had two new films debut: "Listen Up Phillip" and "The One I Love."

Credit: AP Photo

Exclusive: Elisabeth Moss and Fred Armisen Spirit Awards presenters

Patton Oswalt show a little over two weeks away

The 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards are shaping up to be a big afternoon for "12 Years A Slave" which comes into the show with 12 nominations including best feature.  What many in the crowd are looking forward to, however, is Patton Oswalt's inaugural stint as Spirits Awards show host.  The popular comedian and actor has already said he wants to shake the show up by giving away live birds to winners instead of the traditional Spirit Awards statue which has a bird on top.  We're not sure if he's serious or kidding, but we're a little worried about a throng of doves getting stuck in the Spirits Awards tent on Santa Monica's beach. As with any awards show, Patton will not have to carry the program alone.

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