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Christian Group Blasts Adult Swim’s ‘Black Jesus’, To Surprise Of No One: Video

Christian Group Blasts Adult Swim’s ‘Black Jesus’, To Surprise Of No One: VideoCartoon Network hit the motherlode this morning when American Family Association and its One Million Moms division finally weighed in on the net’s  “blasphemous” new show, Black Jesus, just days before its debut. “The depiction of Jesus swearing and “using violent behavior is a new low,” the org said. The group notes it’s a late-night show that’s part of Adult Swim, but took issue that it portrays Jesus as a “black guy living in the ‘hood.”

“The blasphemous, irreverent and disrespectful show depicts him living in Compton Gardens and makes a mockery of the Lord,” the group said.

Adult Swim was looking to stir a debate back in March when it gave a series order to Black Jesus, a half-hour live-action scripted comedy from The Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder. Newcomer Gerald “Slink” Johnson (Grand Theft Auto V) stars as Jesus living in present-day Compton, CA, who’s on a daily mission to spread love and kindness throughout the neighborhood with the help of his small but loyal group of downtrodden followers. The series pickup for Black Jesus came on the heels of the Jesus race controversy triggered by Fox News star Megyn Kelley’s recent “Jesus is white” comments.

AFA noted helpfully today that Cartoon Network has posted a trailer on YouTube for the show, which debuts Aug. 7. Its “frequent foul language in the trailer alone is shocking and disgusting. In addition, violence, gunfire, drinking … Read More »

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Hollywood “Obsessed” With Human Torture, And Other TCA Highlights

By | Thursday July 24, 2014 @ 8:23am PDT

Hollywood “Obsessed” With Human Torture, And Other TCA HighlightsThe TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2014 has wrapped its 16-day run. Here is what we learned:

Most Searing Description Of Hollywood
David LaChapelle, who famously became a photographer for Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine in his teens, has been called The Fellini of Photography, and has photographed the likes of Hillary Clinton, Lady Gaga, Tupac Shakur, Madonna, Eminem, Warhol, Lil’ Kim, Elizabeth Taylor,  Leonardo DiCaprio, and Muhammad Ali, was asked yesterday to discuss the “ebb and flow” of depictions of sex and nudity; he’s featured in PBS’ American Masters broadcast The Boomer List.

lisademoraescolumn__140603223319“Growing up in New York City, when I was very young, pre-AIDS, it was very hedonistic, and sexuality was, you know, the revolution. I remember working at [Studio 54] and straight guys would say they were bi, to pick up girls because it was cool. And then, AIDS happened, and everything changed. Things got very, very conservative and segregated. Now…we are sort of in this Dark Ages where the body is considered shameful…yet violence, and torture, and these films — the Saw series, The Hunger Games2014 Summer TCA Tour - Day 16you look at Netflix, what’s going on, and every other new show is extreme violence, and this is our entertainment. We applaud that. And our kids are playing these video games, but yet the human body is somehow shameful. And God forbid a kid sees a nipple, you know.”

TV programs such as HBO’s Sex And The City (Kim Cattrall also was a panelist), he said, have “been replaced by so much ultra-violence in this torture form. I find that really interesting because all our popular culture reflects the society in which it was created. So what does that say about us? Why are we so obsessed with watching other human beings suffering? We don’t get enough of it on the news that we — that’s our entertainment, too? I think that’s the real pornography. That’s the real evil, and that’s the real darkness.”

Most Changed Executive
NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt — last Press Tour’s Mr. Flat Is The New Up — spoke happily this tour about Up Being The New Up: “We had a pretty great season so far this year. We’re No. 1 in the demo. We’re the only network up, year to year, almost 10% to date. Even if you take the Olympics out of our numbers, we would still be No. 1 for the year…We’re also leading in the 25-54 demo, and all key adult female demos as well. We also had a huge growth in total viewers where we’re running No. 2 season to date. In fact, we’re up 27% year over year, which is our strongest performance this far into the season in eight years.”

Biggest News
CBS Corp CEO Leslie Moonves, telling reporters after his Q&A for the network’s new Thursday night football that he’s interested in buying CNN should Rupert Murdoch prevail in his bid to by the cable news network’s parent Time Warner and spin off CNN. “We’ve always talked about doing things with CNN in the past… It’s something I’m sure we’ll look at if it becomes available,” Moonves said. Last month, when CBS took the final step in the spinoff of its billboard company, “that was our intent, to get rid of billboards and potentially buy more content,” Moonves said, adding, “We’re in a very advantageous position.”

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TCA: PBS ‘Nova’ Panelists Scorch Jenny McCarthy Over Vaccine Position

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 5:06pm PDT

TCA: PBS ‘Nova’ Panelists Scorch Jenny McCarthy Over Vaccine PositionDuring a PBS Q&A session for its Nova program, Vaccines: Calling The Shots, the conversation eventually wound its way around to Jenny McCarthy. Which is to say a TV critic asked the panelists to weigh in on McCarthy, who has become the celebrity most closely associated with the vaccine debate. (McCarthy has said in interviews she is not “anti-vaccine” — she’s demanding “safe vaccines” and to “reduce the schedule and reduce the toxins.” In a 2009 interview with Time, she was quoted as saying, “If you ask a parent of an autistic child if they want the measles or the autism, we will stand in line for the f**king measles.”)

“I made a decision that we didn’t want to go down the path that wasn’t scientifically solid,” the program’s writer/director/co-exec producer Sonya Pemberton said by way of explaining why the show makes no mention of McCarthy. “As far as I can tell, Jenny McCarthy hasn’t published any scientific papers, and doesn’t have a degree” in the field. Read More »

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Jon Stewart Launches Kickstarter Campaign To Buy CNN: Video

Jon Stewart Launches Kickstarter Campaign To Buy CNN: VideoBecause Rupert Murdoch wants to buy Time Warner, and journalists have reported Murdoch would sell off Time Warner‘s cable news network CNN, Jon Stewart last night launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $10 billion in order to buy the network “and do…something with it. Not quite sure what yet.” ”CNN, America’s first 24-hour cable news network, has been terrible for many, many years. Does it have to be that way? Who knows, maybe it does,” The Daily Show host’s campaign explains. “So let’s find out for ourselves! This $10 billion, all-cash bid for CNN would secure control of a massive television network reaching over 100 million homes in the US alone, which we could then use to rebuild a news organization befitting this proud land. Or more likely we’d use it to make a lot more poop jokes. Either way, you get to watch!”

A mere $10 contribution gets your photo in an on-screen “21 box” of  talking heads. For $15,000 it’ll be just you and Carol Costello in a “2 box”, with 5 minutes of freestyling. And for $5 million, CNN will initiate a 24-hour, 2-week hunt for your lost car keys. Watch here:

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TCA: Ken Burns’ Talks ‘The Roosevelts: An Intimate History’ And Whether FDR, Teddy Roosevelt Could Get Elected President In Cable News Era

By | Tuesday July 22, 2014 @ 4:17pm PDT

TCA: Ken Burns’ Talks ‘The Roosevelts: An Intimate History’ And Whether FDR, Teddy Roosevelt Could Get Elected President In Cable News EraCable news networks would not allow for Teddy Roosevelt or Franklin Delano Roosevelt to become POTUS today, the creators of PBS’ new Roosevelt family documentary suggested at TCA today. Teddy was too eccentric, and FDR was stricken with polio.

“I’m not sure they could have been president now,” Geoffrey Ward, an authority on FDR and longtime Ken Burns collaborator, told TV critics at Summer Press Tour, where they’d come to plug The Roosevelts: An Intimate History. “TR was very eccentric, and FDR was physically helpless, and in the modern world in which everything is fair game. … I think TV cameras would compete with each other to see who could get the most ‘helpless’ footage of FDR.” Ward said he doubted the U.S. will ever see another physically challenged president.

The Roosevelts TCAFDR was maybe the most press-accessible president, holding nearly 1,000 news conferences during his White House tenure, Burns and Ward said. The press “understood” they were not to write about FDR’s polio or vie for the “worst-looking Roosevelt” shot and wrote “more substantive pieces” than they might have otherwise, the producers said.

Asked why, then, they had scoured various sources to find footage of Roosevelt struggling with his polio-stricken limbs – Burns mentions spending a great deal of money after the documentary was wrapped after discovering four seconds of footage of FDR struggling to get off a train in Bismarck, ND — Burns responded, “We’ve got an obligation to do that,” because it illustrates what an effort it was for FDR to get through a day and speaks to his character. Read More »

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TCA: Nathan Lane Talks About Starring In PBS’ Broadcast Of ‘The Nance’ And Hopes For ‘Modern Family’ Spinoff, ‘Dash Of Pepper’

TCA: Nathan Lane Talks About Starring In PBS’ Broadcast Of ‘The Nance’ And Hopes For ‘Modern Family’ Spinoff, ‘Dash Of Pepper’Taking questions from TV critics about his performance for PBS in Douglas Carter Beane’s Tony-nominated play The Nance, Nathan Lane got asked if he thinks gay characters should be played only by gay actors. In The Nance, Lane plays Chauncey Miles, a nance performer working during the period when New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia was trying to do away with burlesque.

“No,” he replied. “We just had The Normal Heart [with] Mark Ruffalo — fantastic job. … I certainly don’t think Nathan Lane TCAthat. That way madness lies. Only gay actors can play gay parts and straight actors can play straight — then I wouldn’t have played Nathan Detroit — one of the great joys of my life –  or Max Bialystock.”

Another critic at TCA today wondered what getting another Emmy nomination, for guest starring, on ABC’s Modern Family, “has meant for your career.” Lane laughed, then responded: “It’s a tribute to those writers. … They’ve been able to maintain the quality, which is not easy. I can only say it’s been a great pleasure. … I have just to go and play with them a couple times a year. And stuff like an Emmy nomination is always icing on the cake.

“I’m hoping I’m a sentimental choice, since I’ve been nominated six times and never won,” Lane continued, He noted that he’s in the running with Jimmy Fallon and Louie C.K. for guest hosting Saturday Night Read More »

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TCA: ‘Downton Abbey’ Returning January 4, PBS Chief Paula Kerger Says

By | Tuesday July 22, 2014 @ 12:08pm PDT

TCA: ‘Downton Abbey’ Returning January 4, PBS Chief Paula Kerger SaysDownton Abbey’s fifth season will debut on January 4, PBS chief Paula Kerger said this morning. She boasted the fourth season was up 16% year over year — among the reasons PBS will not consider an airdate that more closely coincides with the British play-pattern — and that the Masterpiece franchise within which Downton Abbey airs is up 24%. “We’re extremely proud of this growth and continue to focus on Sunday night drama,” she told TV critics at TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2014.

As for Sherlock, Kerger said PBS did not yet have word as to when it would be ready for air. “Because it’s coming from our partners in the UK, we have to wait to know when it will be finished,” Kerger said. “But, whenever it comes we’ll put it in a wonderful place and we know the next season is going to be terrific,” she added.

Likewise, Kerger said she had no airdate for the return of Mr. Selfridge, starring Jeremy Piven. That franchise’s renewal for a third season was announced by its British producer in February, saying only that it would air in 2015. Read More »

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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: FX’s “Revolting” ‘The Strain’ Bucks Romantic GQ Vampire Trend, Creator Guillermo Del Toro Says

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 4:32pm PDT

TCA: FX’s “Revolting” ‘The Strain’ Bucks Romantic GQ Vampire Trend, Creator Guillermo Del Toro SaysBefore FX developed The Strain for its lineup, Guillermo del Toro says a broadcast network suggested developing it as a comedy. The Strain, based on the trilogy of novels by del Toro and Chuck Hogan, follows Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll) as the NYC head of the Centers for Disease Control Canary Team, leading the effort to discover the root of a viral outbreak that seems to have killed all the passengers and crew of a Berlin-originated airplane that turns out to be a strain of vampirism.

Back in 2006, del Toro told TV critics this afternoon at TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2014,  the project was sent around for possible development as a TV project. At that time he said, the the only way anybody envisioned vampires was “as a romantic conception of vampires — that sort of GQ version of vampires,” he said. But he was pitching a show in which vampires would be “truly revolting, physically and spiritually.” At one network, he said, he got asked, ” ‘Could you turn it into a comedy?’ I said ‘no’.”

thestrain01-is-the-strain-posterSeries exec producer Carlton Cuse, meanwhile, says that while there are horror elements to the show, he thinks of it much more as an adventure show, along the lines of Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade, he worked on in its development. “It’s not that scary — it’s not just a horror show,” Cuse insists of The Strain. “The material lent itself to a big pulpy engaging type of storytelling.” Read More »

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TCA: When FX Hosts ‘Tyrant’ Q&A Featuring Show’s Critics, Howard Gordon Says He’s The Series’ “Midwife”

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 3:04pm PDT

TCA: When FX Hosts ‘Tyrant’ Q&A Featuring Show’s Critics, Howard Gordon Says He’s The Series’ “Midwife”“This is an adopted child for me,” Howard Gordon told TV critics this afternoon about FX‘s controversial drama series Tyrant. “I’m the midwife… it came to me and this is what it is.”

Gordon came to TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2014 to discuss the series that debuted last month. He was joined onstage by representatives of various groups that have blasted, to varying degrees, the series. 2014 Summer TCA Tour - Day 14They came to discuss the ways in which they have complained about the series and the degree to which they have effected change. According to a network spokesman, some of the people onstage participated in a three-hour conversation with Gordon and others involved with the program which was a “very educational experience.” Their leader seemed to be Cynthia P Schneider,  who co-directs the Los Angeles-based Muslims On Screen and Television, and teaches at Georgetown University. Read More »

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TCA: FXX’s Historic 552-Episode ‘Simpsons’ Marathon Has A Start Date; Brass Touts Immersive App

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 11:40am PDT

TCA: FXX’s Historic 552-Episode ‘Simpsons’ Marathon Has A Start Date; Brass Touts Immersive AppFXX said in April that it will air the longest marathon in TV history when it welcomes The Simpsons repeats, and today the network announced that it’ll run August 21 through September 1. During the course of the mega-marathon, FXX will air in chronological order all 25 seasons — 552 episodes — of the Fox animated series that’s the longest-running scripted series in TV history. The Simpsons Movie will be included in the marathon and also will air chronologically within the stunt, after episode No. 400. The marathon begins at 10 AM ET/PT on August 21 and ends at midnight ET/PT on September 1.

Related: ‘The Simpsons’ To Debut On FXX With 552-Episode Marathon

FXX logoReminding TV critics about the stunt at the TCA Summer Press Tour, panelists also walked them through plans for a new interactive digital and online experience that’s billed as the ultimate Simpsons digital experience. Simpsons World — named after, and incorporating, Matt Groening’s published show bible of same name — offers a premium Simpsons fan experience, including access to their entire catalog of full-length episodes for the first time ever via FXNOW App and SimpsonsWorld.com, in October.

Related: TCA: FX’s John Landgraf Talks ‘AHS: Freak Show’ & ‘Fargo’, Freshman Renewals, W. Kamau Bell

Beginning September 2, FXX will regularly schedule The Simpsons episodes in fringe, primetime and late-night dayparts on weekdays and weekends. Additionally, every Sunday the network will broadcast a thematic mini-marathon consisting of eight Simpsons episodes beginning at 4 PM ET/PT and leading into the 8 PM ET/PT broadcast on Fox. Read More »

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TCA: Nearly 5,000 Audition To Live For A Year In Fox’s ‘Utopia’

By | Sunday July 20, 2014 @ 5:16pm PDT

TCA: Nearly 5,000 Audition To Live For A Year In Fox’s ‘Utopia’Nearly 5,000 people applied to participate in Fox’s reality series Utopia, Fox’s reality TV guru Simon Andreae told TV critics this afternoon. Showrunners have whittled that prodigious list down to about 40, and are now selecting the 15 who will get to go live in some isolated made-for-TV makeshift community in southern California for a year while trying to forge a new society that believes in filming its citizens 24/7 for broadcast on TV and on the Internet.

Utopia, from reality vet John de Mol,  is a reality series featuring a group of everyday people whisked to an isolated location for an entire year and challenged to create their own civilization. The show builds dramatic tension from the provision that any of the “colonists” can be replaced at any time by someone from the show’s audience. It’s based on a Dutch show that’s been running since January. The show premieres Sept. 7.

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TCA: Fox’s ‘Gracepoint’ Producers Promise It’s Not A Reproduction Of British Original

TCA: Fox’s ‘Gracepoint’ Producers Promise It’s Not A Reproduction Of British OriginalFox’s Gracepoint, an American remake of the British series Broadchurch, is not a shot-for-shot recreation — though it may seem like it’s going in that direction in the first two two episodes, after which it will begin to differ substantially, the exec producers promised to dubious TV critics this afternoon at the TCAs.

The first portions of the British eight-parter were “so well done, why would we contort ourselves to tell it differently?” Carolyn Bernstein said when some critics commented about how the two episodes they’d seen of Gracepoint replicated early Broadchurch episodes“We didn’t want to fix something we all thought was excellent,” Bernstein explained at Summer TV Press Tour 2014. She and EP/showrunner Dan Futterman promised it will begin to differ substantially.

Further muddying things, in October, Fox announced that Broadchurch star David Tennant had been cast in its 10-hour series. In Fox’s version, Tennant plays an American detective who is the lead investigator in a shocking murder that puts a small town under scrutiny. Though this time it’s set in an American town,  like the original it follows the tragic and mysterious death of a young boy found dead on a beach surrounded by rocks and a jutting cliff face, from where he may have fallen. Although his cause of death remains unsolved, the picturesque seaside town where the tragedy occurred is at the heart of a major police investigation and a nationwide media frenzy.

The American version purports to have a different killer.

“I don’t … Read More »

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TCA: Fox’s ‘Mulaney’ Addresses ‘Seinfeld’ Comparisons

TCA: Fox’s ‘Mulaney’ Addresses ‘Seinfeld’ ComparisonsTV critics attending Summer TV Press Tour 2014 wanted to talk to the cast and crew of Fox’s new Mulaney about its similarity to NBC’s long-running comedy series Seinfeld. In the new multi-cam comedy, from NBCU and originally developed for NBC (the network passed on the pilot), former Saturday Night Live writer John Mulaney plays a fictionalized version of himself  — a standup comic trying to take his career to the next level. Martin Short co-stars as a comedy legend and now game-show host, for whom Mulaney works; Elliott Gould plays his wacky next door neighbor. Nasim Pedrad, Seaton Smith and Zack Pearlman round out the cast. Mulaney is exec produced by Lorne Michaels, David Miner, Dave Becky, Jon Pollack, Andrew Singer and Andy Ackerman.

Exec producer/director Ackerman, perhaps best known for his work on Seinfeld after directing nearly 90 episodes, was asked to discuss the new series’ many similarities to that long-running NBC comedy. After turning to Mulaney and murmuring, “You’re no Jerry Seinfeld,” he turned to TV critics and said, “This is a cast I’m really excited about… I had the privilege to work with that great cast, and I see so many similarities in terms of the chemistry. And we have an opportunity to take John’s voice, and what he’s doing I’m really excited about…and if I have any small percent of [Seinfeld’s] success I’d be thrilled.”

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TCA: Networks Urge Press To Abandon Live + Same Day Ratings Reports

By | Saturday July 19, 2014 @ 3:19pm PDT

TCA: Networks Urge Press To Abandon Live + Same Day Ratings Reports“If you were a sports reporter, you would not report the winner based on the third-inning score – that’s what you’re doing if you use Live + Same Day ratings,” CBS Research guru David Poltrack chastised Reporters Who Cover Television this morning. He was one of four number crunchers who ran the reporters through a “bar chart gauntlet” at Summer TV Press Tour 2014, by way of trying to convince them not to report on next day ratings for their networks’ programs. They came to preach the value of using Live + 3 stats at the very least, in light of how popular delayed viewing has become – particularly of scripted primetime series, with drama series leading the way.

“We all provide projections [for Live + 3 Day]. We understand your skepticism about using our projections,” Poltrack said. “The one thing you can be sure about our projections is that if one of us starts giving you a lot of bullshit, the other ones are going to let you know. You’ve got us to check each other,” he said.

Among the mind-numbing array of charts used in this morning’s pitch was one showing that, among the major broadcast networks, the demo ratings growth from Live + Same Day to Live + 7 averaged 40%. “What’s interesting is how long the tail has become,” Fox Research SVP Will Somers said. He displayed the numbers for his network’s fall-launch drama Sleepy Hollow, showing an overnight audience of 10.1 million viewers that … Read More »

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TCA: Showtime’s ‘The Affair’ Star Dominic West Takes Steamy Questions From Press

By | Friday July 18, 2014 @ 5:50pm PDT

TCA: Showtime’s ‘The Affair’ Star Dominic West Takes Steamy Questions From PressShowtime’s new drama The Affair follows two married people – a school teacher played by Dominic West, and a waitress played by Ruth Wilson — who embark on an affair. The first 10-episode season of the series, debuting October 19, looks at their relationship from their sometimes very different recollections. Showtime topper David Nevins and show creator Sarah Treem both said the series is an exploration of marriage;  Treem said she wanted to tackle the subject “in a Rashomon” way, showing differing perspectives and without judging either character, both of whom are in “very vulnerable places and, by chance, meet someone who they come to believe is their true love.” (In the series, West’s wife is played by Maura Tierney, and Wilson’s husband by Joshua Jackson – watch a new teaser below.)

One critic noted West had played a number of characters who were married but involved with someone else, and characters who were not married themselves but involved with someone who was – and even a married person involved with someone who was also married, as in this series. The critic asked West if there is anything different about playing one of these characters and playing someone who’s involved in a relationship that’s adultery-free. Read More »

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TCA: Kobe Bryant Says Showtime’s ‘Kobe Bryant’s Muse’ Came Out Of Nike Campaign Mulling

By | Friday July 18, 2014 @ 5:05pm PDT

TCA: Kobe Bryant Says Showtime’s ‘Kobe Bryant’s Muse’ Came Out Of Nike Campaign Mulling“Sorry I was late, I was out looking for a head coach,” Kobe Bryant said after showing up about half an hour late to plug his autobiographical Kobe Bryant’s Muse, debuting on Showtime in the fall.

To pass the time, Showtime distributed bottles of sports drink, BodyArmor — a company in which Bryant is a major investor. On the bottle were tags that reminded TV critics the TV project is “a portrait of an elite athlete’s professional and personal journey.” Showtime has said Kobe Bryant’s Muse takes an in-depth look into the life, inspirations and challenges facing one of the most successful figures in professional sports.

Kobe Bryant's MuseBryant said he came up with the idea for Kobe Bryant’s Muse while lying in bed, mulling what to do for his next Nike campaign. He decided that, “now that my career is coming to an end” it would be “pretty cool to tell the genesis of where the mentality came from.” That’s the difference, he said, between this Kobe Bryant docu-mercial and an earlier Spike Lee Kobe Bryant documentary  — the one that debuted on ESPN in 2009 and focused on one day of the Los Angeles Lakers star’s season. Read More »

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TCA: CW’s ‘Jane The Virgin’ EP Ben Silverman Hopes Show Name Bunches Undies Of Conservative Groups

By | Friday July 18, 2014 @ 11:39am PDT

TCA: CW’s ‘Jane The Virgin’ EP Ben Silverman Hopes Show Name Bunches Undies Of Conservative GroupsCW‘s new series Jane The Virgin, is not a straight adaptation of the Venezuelan telenovela Juana La Virgen - more telenovela meets Gilmore Girls, writer Jennie Snyder Urman told TV critics attending Summer TV Press Tour 2014. Jane The Virgin chronicles the story of aspiring writer Jane Villanueva, a virgin, who accidentally is artificially inseminated at a hospital, and subsequently struggles to navigate her relationships with the biological father, her boyfriend and her mother and grandmother.

“The show is a JAV101B_0289r (1)little less broad [than ABC's telenovela adaptation Ugly Betty],” Urman explained, calling it “the strange mark I’m trying to hit….I wanted it to have a fairy tale, whimsical quality.” At the same time, she hopes to use the tropes of the telenovela –  “Evil twin” and things like that, while keeping the characters “grounded and relatable” which she acknowledged, is a “tricky tone” to pull off.
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TCA: CBS’s ‘Battle Creek’ Q&A Creates Its Own Drama

By | Thursday July 17, 2014 @ 5:47pm PDT

TCA: CBS’s ‘Battle Creek’ Q&A Creates Its Own DramaVince Gilligan wrote the pilot for CBS’s new cop drama Battle Creek so long ago – 12 years – that he can’t remember why he decided to call it Battle Creek. Star Josh Duhamel reminded Gilligan he’d told him that when he was a kid he was eating breakfast cereal and saw the name on the side of the box.

Gilligan let it stand, adding, “I’m fascinated by the name — it’s got ‘Battle’ and yet it’s cereal.”

Duhamel plays FBI agent Milton Chamberlain, who teams up in the series with Detective Russ Agnew (Dean Winters) to clean up the semi-mean streets of Battle Creek, Mich.

TCA New Logo GridCBS is selling Battle Creek to viewers as the Next Big Series from the creator of Breaking Bad. Gilligan is selling it as the pilot he wrote 12 years ago and does not have time to bring to series at CBS because of his commitment on his AMC Breaking Bad spinoff, Better Call Saul. He said as much last week when he appeared at the tour to plug the spinoff.  Today’s version went like this: “I’m sorry I’m not a bigger part of [Battle Creek] as I would like to be because of my duties on Better Call Saul,” adding, “I’m lucky to be up here on this stage” with the cast and exec producers, “who do a great job.”

Critics seemed disappointed too, which, in turn, seemed … Read More »

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