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TCA: FX’s ‘Fargo’ Coming Back As Prequel Set In ’79, With All-New Cast But Same Cold

TCA: FX’s ‘Fargo’ Coming Back As Prequel Set In ’79, With All-New Cast But Same ColdThe second season of FX’s Fargo will take place in Sioux Falls, S.D., in 1979, creator Noah Hawley said this afternoon at the TCA  Summer Press Tour. “If you were paying attention to Season 1, we made a lot of references to Sioux Falls,” he said told TV critics. Some of the second season also will take place in Luverne, Minn.

The season will be a prequel of sorts, in that the Lou Solverson character, played in Season 1 by Keith Carradine, will be back, only this time he’ll be just 33 years old and recently Fargo TCAback from Vietnam. “That time period is interesting — post-Vietnam, post-Watergate … the best of America versus worst,” Hawley said. “That sense, I think, that this war had come home with people, and the violence and brutality of it.”Lou Salverson went to Vietnam and came home, but now he’s come back and it’s here — it’s domestic.”

Related: TCA: FX Orders Second Installment Of ‘Fargo’, Fifth Season Of ‘Louie’

And while he said he would like nothing more than to see the continuing adventures of Molly and Gus, “I felt it would be disingenuous,” Hawly said of Deputy Molly Solverson (Allison Tolman) and Officer Gus Grimly (Colin Hanks). Molly’s mom will be featured in Season 2 but will not be played by Tolman, despite urgings of several TV critics. “She should be in everything anybody ever made, as far as I’m concerned,” Hawley said. But he added that the idea of casting Tolman to play her character’s mother “seems a little gimmicky to me, and like cheating.” Using the same actors in different roles each season is “a brilliant turn on Ryan’s part, and he owns it — it would be imitative,” Hawley said of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story, with its practice of bringing back actors in different roles each season.

Related: FX’s ‘Tyrant’ To Stay In Turkey For Remainder Of Season 1 Shoot

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TCA: How Violent Is Too Violent For Kurt Sutter On ‘Sons Of Anarchy’?

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 5:29pm PDT

TCA: How Violent Is Too Violent For Kurt Sutter On ‘Sons Of Anarchy’?SPOILER ALERT: This story contains details of the Season 6 finale and other episodes of Sons Of Anarchy.

For some of the reporters at the TCA panel for Sons Of Anarchylast season’s ending exceeded their expectations for violence with Eli being shot in the back by Juice and Gemma’s forking of Tara. For Sons creator Sutter, it’s just all part of the process when you’re producing a pulp novel every week.

“I don’t have a filter,” said Sutter, “I rely on (FX CEO) John Landgraf for that.”

Related: TCA: FX’s “Revolting” ‘The Strain’ Bucks Romantic GQ Vampire Trend

Sons of Anarchy Season 6 finale“It’s not so much, ‘How do I outdo myself?’, but within the circumstance of a scene between two characters, (I ask myself), ‘What is the most interesting way for things to happen?’ I can say fairly confidently that I don’t think we’ve ever done anything inorganically in a heightened season. It was a fork (as a weapon) in that scene, because it was there,” Sutter said.

Related: TCA: Throwing The Serial Killer Premise Off ‘The Bridge’ In Season 2

In the wake of that scene, Sutter mentioned that people have approached his wife on the street asking for their forks to be autographed. Read More »

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Oscar-Nominated Film Now Aiming To WIN An Emmy For Netflix – How Is It Eligible For Both?

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 11:39am PDT
Pete Hammond

Oscar-Nominated Film Now Aiming To WIN An Emmy For Netflix – How Is It Eligible For Both?The Squarea harrowing documentary about the Egyptian revolution as seen through the eyes of six of its participants, was Oscar-nominated in the 2013 Best Feature Documentary race. So how come it is suddenly a major contender at the Emmys too? Inquiries have come to our attention, including one calling for its withdrawal from Emmy competition, so I decided to check it out.

Daytime Emmy Awards WinnersThe film, which accounts for four of the impressive 31 Emmy nominations Netflix received this year, was picked up by the streaming service and qualified last year for the Oscar race with a seven-day run, according to the Television Academy, which has assured me they thoroughly examined this one. “The Square was not in general release prior to it TV appearance; rather, it qualified for the Oscars under the ‘one week NY-LA limited screening rule’ which would not have affected Emmy eligibility. Please know that we and the documentary peer group vetted the hell out of this one, and it’s good to Emmy go,” according to John Leverence, SVP Awards for the TV Academy. Read More »

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TCA: FX Orders Second Installment Of ‘Fargo’, Fifth Season Of ‘Louie’

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 9:20am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

TCA: FX Orders Second Installment Of ‘Fargo’, Fifth Season Of ‘Louie’It was a risky proposition, but Noah Hawley’s take on the Coen brothers classic Fargo was deemed a critical success, landing 18 Emmy nominations, and it drew a sizable total audience when time-shifted viewing and encores are factored in. Not surprisingly, FX is ordering a second 10-episode installment, with Hawley back as writer/executive producer for MGM TV and FX Prods. The new chapter of the Fargo story will feature an all-new cast of characters, a brand new cast, a new time period and a new “true crime” story, and it may be filmed in the same location in Calgary. “Noah’s audacious, bordering on hubristic riff on my favorite Coen brothers film earned 18 Emmy nominations – the most for a single program in our history,” FX Networks CEO John Landgraf. While Ryan Murphy has been using a core group of actors in multiple installments of American Horror Story, “Fargo demands a different level of realism, and we felt we couldn’t introduce these actors as new characters.”

louieMeanwhile, it was a long wait for Season 4 of Louis C.K.’s comedy series Louie but Season 5 is expected to arrive in time, albeit in an abbreviated form. FX has renewed Louie for a fifth season, which will consist of seven episodes — half the size of Season 4 — to premiere in spring 2015. “Louie’s fourth season was once again groundbreaking. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking — always thought provoking,” said … Read More »

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Prophecy: Joseph Fiennes To Star As Vengeful ‘Nostradamus’ In Carnival, Anonymous Content Drama Series

Prophecy: Joseph Fiennes To Star As Vengeful ‘Nostradamus’ In Carnival, Anonymous Content Drama SeriesEXCLUSIVE: NBCUniversal-owned Downton Abbey producer Carnival Films is teaming with True Detective maker Anonymous Content on what they predict will be a provocative new series, Nostradamus. Joseph Fiennes will produce and play the titular clairvoyant in the hour-long drama. Charlotte Markham And The House Of Darkling author Michael Boccacino wrote the project that was developed in partnership with executive producer Andrew Cosby. The story follows the legendary seer as he seeks deadly vengeance for the murder of his family. A complex, brooding character with immense appetites, Nostradamus is a charismatic and self-destructive man who is plagued with dangerous and disturbing visions.

nostradamusThe period series is set against the backdrop of the volatile, high-stakes world of the French Royal Court where the Provençal apothecary’s pleasure-seeking impulses and passionate thirst for revenge run headlong into the treacherous epicenter of social and political life of Renaissance era Europe. The project is in early development and episode totals and broadcasters have yet to be set. But it looks likely this will be one of those that seeks out the high-end UK TV tax credit.

Carnival and Anonymous Content are both riding high these days, each receiving 12 Emmy nominations for Downton Abbey and True Detective, respectively. Fiennes, who is repped by Anonymous Content, The Artists Partnership and WME, last appeared on television in the 2nd season of American Horror Story. … Read More »

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TCA: ‘Ray Donovan’s Jon Voight Rehearses For Emmy; EP Takes On ‘Sopranos’ Comparison

By | Friday July 18, 2014 @ 7:37pm PDT

TCA: ‘Ray Donovan’s Jon Voight Rehearses For Emmy; EP Takes On ‘Sopranos’ ComparisonHomeland producers grumbled about their 2014 Emmy nomination snub for drama series at today’s TCA, but Jon Voight seemed happy to carry the Emmy nom flag for Showtime at today’s panel on his second-season series, Ray Donovan. The supporting actor nominee appeared on the panel with stars Liev Schreiber, who plays the title character, a Hollywood fixer, Paula Malcomson, Season 2 guest stars Hank Azaria and Wendell Pierce, creator/EP Ann Biderman and EP Bryan Zuriff.

For Zuriff, this marks a return to the executive producer ranks of the series following his high profile arrest and subsequent indictment for allegedly running an illegal gambling operation this time last year that prompted his temporary exit from the show. Zuriff actually touched upon his history when the cast and producers were asked to attest to the accuracy of some of the crazy storylines on the show. “We’ve all had a little bit of a past, so there’s stuff that we can draw on in the writers’ room that we can have some fun with,” he said.

Related: ‘Ray Donovan’ Executive Producer Bryan Zuriff Pleads Guilty In Gambling Ring Tied To Russian Mob

Earlier this year, Voight won a Golden Globe for his performance (star Schrieber got a nom for lead actor in a drama). When asked about Emmy, Voight could have been rehearsing his Emmy speech. The abridged version of his reply: “Let me just say, I feel very blessed and very fortunate to have had so many wonderful experiences as an actor. I am really enjoying this family that’s making Ray Donovan. It’s almost like I earned this role over years of struggling and failing and experimenting and succeeding…” He praised the “wonderful artists” he works with on Ray Donovan and reached back into the past to praise earlier collaborators John Schlesinger, Dustin Hoffman, Hal Ashby and Andrei Konchalovsky. Read More »

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‘House Of Cards’ Emmy Nominee Carl Franklin Signs With Paradigm

By | Wednesday July 16, 2014 @ 4:52pm PDT

‘House Of Cards’ Emmy Nominee Carl Franklin Signs With ParadigmEXCLUSIVE: TV and film director Carl Franklin, who’s up for an Emmy for helming the Season 2 opener of Netflix drama House Of Cards, has signed with Paradigm.  He won the Indie Spirit Award for helming 1992 crime pic One False Move from a script by Billy Bob Thornton; last week Franklin earned his first Emmy nod for Outstanding Direction for House Of Cards episode “Chapter 14.” He was most recently on ICM’s client roster. Read More »

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‘Daily Show’ Veteran Rory Albanese Joins Larry Wilmore’s Comedy Central Show As Executive Producer

By | Wednesday July 16, 2014 @ 11:42am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

‘Daily Show’ Veteran Rory Albanese Joins Larry Wilmore’s Comedy Central Show As Executive ProducerEXCLUSIVE: Former The Daily Show With Jon Stewart executive producer/showrunner Rory Albanese is returning to Comedy Central and reuniting with Stewart and The Daily Show‘s Senior Black Correspondent Larry Wilmore. Albanese has been named executive producer of Daily Show‘s new companion late-night show, The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore, slated for January 2015 debut. Created by Stewart, Minority Larry Wilmore Latenight Talk Show ShiftReport is described as a comedic look at news, current events and pop culture and will feature a diverse panel. Albanese will executive produce with Stewart and Wilmore for Stewart’s Busboy Prods. I hear Albanese also may have an onscreen presence on the show. I also hear Albanese’s deal includes a development component for him to possibly create another show for Comedy Central.

Albanese, who is a touring standup comedian, spent 14 years at The Daily Show, five of them as executive producer, sharing in nine of the show’s Emmys for best variety series and best writing for variety series. He left last fall and moved to Los Angeles for a script development deal with Warner Bros. TV, under which he developed two comedy projects. Albanese is repped by CAA, New Wave Entertainment, Loan Dang and Jon Moonves.

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Showtime’s ‘Ray Donovan’ Dips & ‘Masters Of Sex’ Down In Season 2 Debuts

By | Tuesday July 15, 2014 @ 12:44pm PDT

Showtime’s ‘Ray Donovan’ Dips & ‘Masters Of Sex’ Down In Season 2 DebutsIt was a double blast of returns from Showtime on Sunday with the Season 2 premieres of Ray Donovan and Masters Of Sex. With the former having moved from 10 PM to 9 PM and the later at 10 PM, the shows pulled in 1.22 million and 825,000 viewers, respectively. While the Donovan debut ray donovan seaosn 2was down 13% from the Season 1 finale last fall, it slipped  just 9% from the 1.35 million who watched its series premiere on June 30 last year – that served as the lead-out for the strong debut of the last season of  Dexter and become the best-ever series debut in Showtime’s history. For Sex, Sunday’s number was 17% down from the 998,000 who saw its Season 1 opener last fall. Over all plays on Sunday, Ray Donovan was seen by 1.76 million while Masters Of Sex was seen by 1.12 million. Read More »

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EMMYS: PBS & CBS Lead Way In News & Docu Nominations

By | Tuesday July 15, 2014 @ 10:07am PDT

EMMYS: PBS & CBS Lead Way In News & Docu NominationsThe National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences unveiled nominations for the 35th annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards. They will be presentedSeptember 30 during a ceremony at Frederick P. Rose Hall at Lincoln Center. PBS led networks with 43 nominations followed by CBS with 42. The New York Times led newspapers with seven noms. Check out the full list here.

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Brooks Wheelan Fired from ‘Saturday Night Live’ After One Season

By | Monday July 14, 2014 @ 5:15pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Brooks Wheelan Fired from ‘Saturday Night Live’ After One SeasonIt was a difficult, rebuilding season at Saturday Night Live, and boss Lorne Michaels promised there would be casting changes for next fall. The first and widely expected one — Brooks Wheelan has been let go after one, hardly memorable season as a featured player with very little screen time. He announced the news on Twitter. “Had a blast and loved every second of it,” Wheelan wrote. “I’m totally honored to be able to make this next joke… FIRED FROM NEW YORK IT’S SATURDAY NIGHT!”

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Comedy Series Inspired By Openly Gay Soccer Player Robbie Rogers In Works At Universal TV With Producers Craig Zadan & Neil Meron

By | Monday July 14, 2014 @ 1:32pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Comedy Series Inspired By Openly Gay Soccer Player Robbie Rogers In Works At Universal TV With Producers Craig Zadan & Neil MeronEXCLUSIVE: The story of professional soccer player Robbie Rogers, who became the first openly gay man to compete in a top North American professional sports league, is headed to television. Universal Television has optioned Rogers’ story rights for Craig Zadan and Neil Meron’s Storyline Entertainment to develop and produce a comedy series inspired by the young athlete’s experiences.

Rogers spent one season at the University of Maryland, helping the college team win an NCAA Championship. He quickly turned pro, joining the Dutch team Heerenveen. He then spent five seasons with Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew, winning the MLS Cup, and competed in the 2008 Olympics. Following a stint with English team Leeds United, on February 15, 2013, Rogers announced his retirement from professional soccer at age 25 and revealed he was gay. He said he was retiring to avoid the scrutiny from the press and fans, but after speaking at an LGBT youth event two months later, he decided that stepping down is a cowardly thing to do and he should use his platform to be a role model. The next month, he joined the LA Galaxy, becoming becoming the first openly gay man to play in a top North American professional sports league (NBA player Jason Collins, who had come out earlier that year, was a free agent at the time of his announcement). Read More »

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TCA: NBC’s ‘Marry Me’ Continues Content Controversy Conversation

By | Sunday July 13, 2014 @ 3:18pm PDT

TCA: NBC’s ‘Marry Me’ Continues Content Controversy Conversation“In the pilot, a couple of times, the word ‘f***’ is used,” a TV critic said, kicking off the Q&A session for NBC’s new comedy Marry Me at Summer TV Press Tour 2014. “Is that it?” series creator David Caspe asked, after waiting in vain for the “question” part of the TV critics’ comment. The critic elaborated: “Are you going to be writing it this way, and…let Standards cut it out?”

“Come on! Do it!” urged cast member Tim Meadows, who plays one of Casey Wilson‘s gay dads on the comedy series. “I haven’t thought about it much,” Caspe answered. “Maybe a little bit, here and there, and then I cut it.”

There’s been a lot of talk about pushing broadcast-content boundaries during NBC’s portion of the semi-annual tour. Entertainment division chairman Bob Greenblatt talked about the challenges broadcasters face in trying to compete against cable at the Emmys, given broadcast TV’s time and content disadvantages.

And, during a session for new drama State of Affairs, executive producer Joe Carnahan said his goal for the series was to push content boundaries to create a drama that would “out-do what cable has become, (which is), let’s face it, the standard bearer.” To which, his fellow State of Affairs EP Ed Bernero, responded, “We have to use a little bit different language, and can’t show sex as much,” but the … Read More »

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TCA: NBC’s Bob Greenblatt On Broadcast TV’s Emmy Woes, Thursday Challenge, Abortion Ad Controversy, ‘Community’ Comeback

By | Sunday July 13, 2014 @ 1:43pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

TCA: NBC’s Bob Greenblatt On Broadcast TV’s Emmy Woes, Thursday Challenge, Abortion Ad Controversy, ‘Community’ ComebackDays after the broadcast networks slipped to a new Emmy low, with only two best series nominations between comedy and drama and no drama series in the top category for a third consecutive year, NBC topper Bob Greenblatt was asked about the struggle to get broadcast dramas that produce 22 episodes a season the same Emmy consideration that cable and online shows receive despite making only 8 to 13 episodes a year.

Cable can be darker, more interesting, feels cooler than some of the things we can do, it’s just a fact of life,” he said. The snubs for broadcast dramas included NBC’s freshman The Blacklist and its star James Spader. “Should we debate the fact that James Spader is one of the best actors working who is not nominated? At the end of the day, I’m not sure what good it does,” Greenblatt said.

Abortion was a main topic at the executive session in light of the controversy over NBC’s rejection of a trailer for the movie Obvious Child because of the use of the word “abortion” in it. Greenblatt recalled how, during his tenure at Fox, he and his team caved in and changed a storyline that would’ve had Neve Campbell’s character having an abortion. “I don’t think we cop out anymore but writers and producers are still nervous about it because it is an issue that divides people,” he said. “But we … Read More »

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TCA: TV Academy May Look At Primetime Emmy Categories Because Industry Has Evolved, CEO Bruce Rosenblum Says

TCA: TV Academy May Look At Primetime Emmy Categories Because Industry Has Evolved, CEO Bruce Rosenblum SaysThe TV Academy probably should take another look at the categories for its Primetime Emmy Awards, academy chairman/CEO Bruce Rosenblum told TV critics this morning at the TCAs summer press tour after TV critics began to flog him and the academy for not doing a better job “policing” which categories series and actors are competing.

Image (2) SHAMELESS-EMMY-BUS-AD__140521190126-575x119.jpg for post 734049TV critics nicked him for a number of this year’s nominees — one TV critic, for instance, noted,  “it’s nice Treme got nominated, but it’s in the miniseries category and it’s been on the air about five years.” Another expressed disbelief the academy would let Shameless submit itself for consideration as a comedy series for a season that included a storyline “in which a baby overdoses on cocaine.”  And harsh words were said about  “certain” actors who’d  submitted themselves as guest stars “even though they have regular series contracts.” Plenty more where that came from.

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Oscar Watching: The First Sure-Fire Best Picture Nominee Has Just Arrived And It’s Only July – Let The Race Begin

By | Friday July 11, 2014 @ 3:15pm PDT
Pete Hammond

Oscar Watching: The First Sure-Fire Best Picture Nominee Has Just Arrived And It’s Only July – Let The Race BeginEmmy nominations may only have been released yesterday, and I know it’s still just July, but with the opening of Richard Linklater‘s Boyhood today I am declaring July 11th the new official start of the Oscar season (at least for this year) with a film that I predict will occupy one of those prized Best Picture slots when Academy Award nominations are announced six months from now. It’s a bold statement considering last year’s first of nine eventual Best Picture nominees, Gravity, wasn’t released until October 4th, and generally with few exceptions of late , most of the nominees still come in the Fall season (although 2009′s Best Pic winner The Hurt Locker actually debuted in late June of that year and rallied later in the game to take it all). Boyhood’s  distributor IFC Films also has not been a major player in the Best Picture races, but Boyhood producer John Sloss told me they have made a complete commitment to this film like no other.

boyhood__140507074117A top awards veteran consultant Cynthia Swartz and her Strategy P.R. have been on the movie for months, slowly positioning it for a run. Just last week IFC President Jonathan Sehring, who greenlit it and supported it for a dozen years, told our indie box office reporter Brian Brooks that the film is his favorite project of his entire professional career. “It’s not like anything I have ever been involved with and is my crowning professional achievement no matter how it performs,” he told Brooks. … Read More »

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Colin Farrell In Talks For HBO’s ‘True Detective 2′

By | Friday July 11, 2014 @ 10:24am PDT
Mike Fleming

Colin Farrell In Talks For HBO’s ‘True Detective 2′EXCLUSIVE: Since the staggering success of HBO’s limited series True Detective with Emmy nominees Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson,  speculation has been rampant about who might take part in the show’s second season. I can tell you that Colin Farrell is deep in negotiations to play one of what is expected to be three main roles in Season 2. HBO has been mum about cast so far, as rumors have swirled that Jessica Chastain and some others will be one of the other leads. HBO would not confirm any of the potential castings, but I am confident that Farrell will be in the cast.

truedeLike McConaughey and Harrelson, he seems the ideal movie star to take a leap and immerse himself in writer Nic Pizzolatto’s follow-up to a game-changing first season. Pizzolatto has set a high bar for himself, but the idea of taking movie stars and allowing them to play in this sandbox with such rich character development that isn’t possible with two-hour time constraints, and then go back to their movie careers, is something that will continue to draw big names if the payweb can keep the storytelling bar high. Read More »

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TCA: ‘Olive Kitteridge’ Star Frances McDormand Says HBO Was Brave To Make The 4-Part ‘Traumedy’

By | Thursday July 10, 2014 @ 6:14pm PDT

TCA: ‘Olive Kitteridge’ Star Frances McDormand Says HBO Was Brave To Make The 4-Part ‘Traumedy’Miniseries, limited series, whatever you want to call the currently popular genre — Frances McDormand thinks the form is great for women. “A 90-minute time frame is not long enough to tell a good female story,” she said at HBO’s TCA panel today for her 4-part series Olive Kitteridge, which will premiere in November. “That’s why longform storytelling has become so great” for female actors, writers and filmmakers.

Related: DeadlineNow: Emmy Noms – HBO Scores, Other Hits And Misses (Video)

olive_kitteridgeMcDormand — joined on the panel by director Lisa Cholodenko, co-star Richard Jenkins and writer/EP Jane Anderson, who wrote the script based on Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel — was explaining how she came to bring the project to HBO. She said a friend gave her the novel about six years ago and “I loved it, [but] I don’t read novels looking for things to be made into movies.” The friend said, “But you want to play that part.” McDormand argued that the story was too long and complex for a feature-length movie. “Yeah, but you want to play that part,” the friend insisted. Eventually, the actress optioned the book and took it to HBO.

Related: EMMYS: Overall Nominations By Network

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TCA: HBO Does Its Best To Manage Expectations On ‘The Comeback’s Future

By | Thursday July 10, 2014 @ 6:06pm PDT

TCA: HBO Does Its Best To Manage Expectations On ‘The Comeback’s FutureVarious parties have different versions of why HBO is bringing back its one-season comedy series The Comeback, whose last season in original episodes was 2005. Co-creator Michael Patrick King said he and co-creator/star Lisa Kudrow used to talk about lead character Valerie over the years and wondered what she was up to, but they never mentioned the idea of revisiting the show. “It was too much of an emotional risk,” Kudrow told TV critics attending TCA Summer TV Press Tour. “Even to say it,” King chimed in. “Then we got a call from HBO to talk about it.”

Related: DeadlineNow: Emmy Noms – HBO Scores, Other Hits And Misses (Video)

HBO EVP Casey Bloys explained he’d been a fan of the show but, when some member of the media attending the Press Tour suggested there had been a “groundswell” of viewer support for the idea of bringing back the comedy, he responded, “I wouldn’t say ‘groundswell.’” Instead, he explained, “HBO is in a different place than it was nine years ago, and we have the room to bring it back, and the future of the network does not depend on the show.” Where we come from, this is known as “damning with faint praise.”

Related: EMMYS: Overall Nominations By Network

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