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Archive for August 2013

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TNT Renews 'Major Crimes', 'Perception', 'Rizzoli & Isles'

The Major Crimes GalleryTNT has renewed three of its hit summer series, including the top-ranked Rizzoli & Isles and the Top 10 dramas Major Crimes and Perception. The renewals join the previously announced fourth-season order of TNT’s epic drama Falling Skies, one of the summer’s most popular dramas with key demos. TNT’s news comes as all four shows rank among basic cable’s Top 10 series with total viewers for the summer-to-date, with Rizzoli & Isles leading the pack at #1 and Major Crimes ranking among the Top 5. In addition, all four series rank among basic cable’s Top 10 summer dramas with adults 25-54. And Falling Skies and Rizzoli & Isles are two of basic cable’s Top 5 dramas with adults 18-49. “TNT has had a terrific summer with four big hits that have drawn viewers with great storytelling, engaging characters and outstanding performances,” said Michael Wright, president, head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). “With the renewals of Rizzoli & Isles, Major Crimes, Falling Skies and Perception, TNT has built an incredibly strong arsenal of scripted series. And it’s only going to get stronger with the addition of Mob City and the return of Dallas this winter, not to mention the debuts of The Last Ship and Legends next summer.”
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HBO Sets Return Date For 'Boardwalk Empire'

Boardwalk-Empire-Hold-Me-in-Paradise-Steve-Buscemi-and-Michael-Pitt Atlantic City, February 1924: After barely surviving an overthrow by gangster Gyp Rossetti, Nucky Thompson is laying low at the end of the Boardwalk. But the calm will be short-lived, as Nucky faces new challenges, including a clash with the mayor, a battle with his brother Eli over Eli’s college-age son, and the irresistible lure of lucrative – and perilous – opportunities in Florida.

  From Terence Winter, Emmy® Award-winning writer of “The Sopranos,” and Academy Award®-winning director Martin Scorsese, BOARDWALK EMPIRE is set in the 1920s during Prohibition, and chronicles the life and times of Enoch “Nucky” Thompson. The Emmy®- and Golden Globe-winning drama series kicks off its 12-episode fourth season SUNDAY, SEPT. 8 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO, followed by other episodes on subsequent Sundays at the same time.

 BOARDWALK EMPIRE stars Steve Buscemi as Nucky Thompson; Kelly Macdonald as Margaret, Nucky’s estranged wife; Michael Shannon as former Federal Agent Nelson Van Alden, caught up in gangland conflicts; Shea Whigham as Nucky’s brother Elias, whose attempt to steer his son clear of Nucky’s influence sparks fraternal tensions; Jack Huston as disfigured war veteran Richard Harrow, who is searching for a new purpose in life; Stephen Graham as gangster Al Capone; Michael Stuhlbarg as gangster Arnold Rothstein, who’s newly wary of Nucky; Vincent Piazza as gangster Lucky Luciano; Paul Sparks as Mickey Doyle, head of Nucky’s bootlegging operation; Michael Kenneth Williams as Nucky’s ally Chalky White, leader of the city’s African-American community; Gretchen Mol as Gillian, battling demons from her past as she seeks custody of her grandson; and Anthony Laciura as Eddie Kessler, Nucky’s longtime valet.

New cast members in season four include Jeffrey Wright as Valentin Narcisse, a violent Harlem power broker who tries to muscle in on Chalky’s action; Ron Livingston as Roy Phillips, a business and romantic prospect of Gillian’s; Patricia Arquette as Sally Wheet, a Florida speakeasy owner; Brian Geraghty as Federal Agent Warren Knox; and Domenick Lombardozzi and Morgan Spector as Al Capone’s brothers, Ralph and Frank.

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'Breaking Bad' Returns With Huge Ratings

Breaking-Bad-2AMC’s Breaking Bad returned last night with the first of its eight final episodes, delivering 5.9 million viewers, the most in series history and up 102% over the show’s season five premiere last summer. From 9pm – 10pm, the network earned a 4.2 HH rating delivering 3.3 million adults 25-54 and 3.6 million adults 18-49. Immediately following Breaking Bad, AMC premiered its newest dramatic series, Low Winter Sun, which got off to a strong start, attracting 2.5 million viewers. To close AMC’s first ever three-premiere night, the Breaking Bad after-show, Talking Bad – hosted by Chris Hardwick and featuring discussion and analysis of this iconic television series – debuted with 1.2 million viewers.

With 3.6 million viewers among adults 18-49, Breaking Bad is second only to AMC’s The Walking Dead in delivery to this key demographic, across all cable networks. With the success of these two shows, AMC is now home to cable’s top two dramas among adults 18-49.

On Saturday night, AMC’s Hell on Wheels returned with a two-hour season three premiere, delivering 2.5 million viewers, up 2% from the season two premiere and double AMC’s Saturday prime time average.

“We are so pleased and gratified by viewer response to a historic four-premiere weekend on AMC,” said AMC’s president and general manager, Charlie Collier. “For Breaking Bad to continue to deliver record-setting ratings in its fifth and final season is remarkable. Our new series, Low Winter Sun, is off to a strong start, and we have successfully launched another after-show in Talking Bad, which will super-serve Breaking Bad fans all the way through these final episodes. On Saturday, we also launched another night of original programming on AMC with Hell on Wheels, doubling our prime time average on Saturday nights, even before time shifting, and delivering the network’s highest Saturday night rating all year.”

The first of the final eight episodes of Breaking Bad also became an event on Twitter, with 759,689 total show-related Tweets from nearly 400,000 unique users – approximately two Tweets per unique user. Aaron Paul’s (@aaronpaul_8) “It’s so close I can almost taste the meth #BreakingBad” Tweet at 7:23pm EST generated 25,175 retweets. Peak activity for the show on Twitter was at 9pm EST – 11,799 Tweets-per-minute and at the end of the show at 10pm – 7,859 Tweets-per-minute. Twitter data from SocialGuide.

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Tahmoh Penikett To Appear On 'Supernatural' Season 9 Premiere

imagesWhen we last left the Winchesters, they along with Castiel were watching angels fall. A simply stunning cliffhanger that was visually impressive. Now, actor Tahmoh Penikett will be appearing in the Season 9 premiere of Supernatural. Tahmoh will be playing "a dignified warrior injured in the Fall." Tahmoh is no stranger to television having appeared in series such as Battlestar Galactica,, Dollhouse and Continuum. Season 9 of Supernatural will kickoff on October 9th!

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First Teaser! American Horror Story: Coven

84500-american-horror-story-coven-is-getting-a-few-male-guest-stars-to-play-FX has released the first teaser trailer for the next chapter in the American Horror Story: Coven.  The new season will premiere this October and includes new cast members such as Kathy Bates,  Angela Bassett and Gabourey Sidibe with returning cast members Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Lily Rabe and Evan Peters. Series creator Ryan Murphy let us in on a bit about the new season, "The witches of Salem, the smart ones, got out very early and they were none of the ones who were burned," he explained,  "They all gravitated toward New Orleans, where they now live, and every generation has a great witch who has the most powers of them all, and that's called the Supreme. Ms. Jessica Lange is the Supreme."
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Starz cancels 'Magic City'

cn_image.size.magic-cityIt seems like the magic is finally over. After two seasons, Starz has decided to cancel its original series Magic City. The season s finale that airs this Friday will also serve as the series finale. “We are tremendously proud of the series and everyone involved,” Starz said in a statement Monday. “From the writers, to the cast and crew, it has been an incredible collaboration. This was a story born from Mitch Glazer’s singular vision of Miami, theMagic City of his childhood, and we are grateful to him for bringing it to life on Starz.
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Exclusive: Pop Culture Principle Talks To Vivian Bang

354458.1Vivian Bang's star is definitely on the rise in Hollywood. She currently stars on the hit TBS series Sullivan & Son where she plays the often overlooked sister Susan Sullivan. She's already built an impressive resume with roles in series such as Sex & the City, House, Becker, Better Off Ted and How I Met Your Mother. She's also starred opposite Jim Carrey in the comedy Yes Man and was also awarded Best Actress for the Asian American Film Lab short film, "Elizabeth Ong Is Missing." She's sits down with us to discuss her new series, her career, social media and so much more. PCP – Was acting something you wanted to do when you were a child? VB – I guess it was something I was doing my entire life! I was born in Korea, and I remember I was always acting in my room. But I never thought that being Asian American I could make a career out of it, or that it was a possible career choice. When we immigrated to the States, it was never something that was an option for me. My parents thought that actors were riff-raff and a waste. It was actually my teacher in high school. I don’t know what she saw in me, because I had never done a high school play or anything like that. She encouraged me to do this summer program for Governor’s Honors in Atlanta. You have to audition for it, and I was competing with all these kids who had gone to drama school, and somehow I got in. From there I learned about the theatre world, and that it could be a possibility to make a career out of it. After that, I auditioned for NYU and thought, “If I get in then it’s a sign, if not it’s no big deal.” I got in with a scholarship, and that’s basically when my parents disowned me! PCP – Did your parent’s disapproval of acting motivate you even more? VB – It gave me a sense of freedom, because I knew my parents had no expectations. It would be a miracle if I survived New York. Even though I had a scholarship, it was still very expensive with the cost of living, books, and stuff like that. My parents had completely disowned me, and I was working at places like Urban Outfitters. It was hard, but a fun time. It was easy because I didn’t have pressure from my parents. It was like I was doing something for myself, so yeah—in that way it was easier, but financially it was really hard. PCP - Do you remember your first paying acting job? VB – I think it was either Sex and the City or Hal Hartley’s Henry Fool. I was still in school, and we were doing these senior thesis projects and also doing a lot of avant-garde theatre. I was a big fan of Hal Hartley’s, and that was my first paying job. He got me into the union with Henry Fool. There was this video store in New York called Kim’s Video. I don’t know if it is still there, but they had this whole section on Hal Hartley films, and I watched them all. I found out he was casting for a film, and I think I sent in my photo and resumé. When I went in  I was so starstruck! I think I went in and was like, “Oh my God! You’re Hal Hartley!” He’s a serious filmmaker—kind of a quiet artist—and he was taken aback when I was there, and with me being so starstruck! PCP – You’ve worked on some popular shows such as Becker, Sex and the City, House, and Numbers. What’s it like working on sets of already established shows?600full-vivian-bang VB – With Sex and the City I was working as an assistant to the CEO of a huge fashion company. During my lunch break, I went and auditioned. I got it, and I remember coming to work one day people asked, “Were you on Sex and the City?!” It’s so funny! I remember going in and, when you are first starting, you lack the know-it-all to be intimidated. My first day in we had the big table read with all the girls from the show, and Kyle McLaughlin was in the episode as well and he sat next to me during the read. I was so excited! I was a big fan of Twin Peaks. They were very welcoming on that show, and you could tell they really loved working with each other. Then I remember coming to Los Angeles and I got a role on House. That was a completely different experience! I didn’t know, but Hugh Laurie is in character the entire time, and no one told me. I went up to him and said, “HI,” and he was just House. I was so taken off-guard because no one warned me that he was House all the time; I thought he hated me! Then I finally realized he’s always in character. So it’s different on every show in terms of how it will be on the set. PCP – You are currently starring in the hit TBS series Sullivan & Son. Could you tell us a bit about the show and your character Susan Sullivan? VB – Oh yeah... Susan. Poor Susan. She’s the totally underappreciated sister in the family. I think you have one in every family. The one that never gets any of the love or validation. She’s sort of the underdog, because Steve comes along and is the one who can do no wrong. I think most mothers in every culture are maybe the same but, for Asian mothers, their sons can do no wrong. Susan has always lived in the shadow of her perfect brother Steve. She’s always trying to prove herself by overachieving, marrying a doctor, and becoming an accountant. I think the endearing part is that she’s always at the bar and she stays around for the abuse! That’s kind of the story for everyone on Sullivan & Son; there are all these differences but everyone stays at this bar at their choosing. PCP – Are there any similarities between you and your character? VB – I guess we are both kind of annoying! I can relate to Susan in a way. I am not always Type A, but I can be. I’m always trying to fight controlling a lot of situations, and starting to let go a bit. It’s funny how Susan came into my life. When I auditioned for the part, it came at a perfect time in my life when I was learning hard lessons, and trying to let go and be okay with that. I remember when I auditioned for Susan, I laughed so hard because the whole pilot episode is about Susan trying to control the birthday party for her father. I so related to the character because it’s so funny how you can see that now, when you are trying to work on it and it comes to you in this form or art. Screen-shot-2012-09-05-at-1.41.07-PMPCP – Sullivan & Son really pushes the envelope as a series. Does the cast enjoy having the freedom to do that? VB – It’s so much fun! All the guys are so fast and witty. They all come from a standup background. Then you have Christine Ebersole and Brian Doyle Murray, who come from an SNL background. So it’s crazy fun on the set! I think that when you are criticizing it’s also a way of addressing what everyone is thinking anyway and that’s in your face. I call it Korean American humor, because we have no boundaries and it’s pointing stuff out without worrying about political correctness. I feel like when you have that freedom, it does hit home and can be offensive sometimes, but at the same time it can create dialogue and point out the obvious differences. You can either laugh about it or address it further. It’s kind of weird to say, “You can’t say that,” or, “You can’t offend that person.” That’s why I really love working on the show. PCP – Do you enjoy shooting the show in front of a live audience? VB – I love shooting in front of a live audience.  We actually shoot twice with two difference audiences. We shoot one at 3pm, and we try to do that one as fast as possible with the multi-camera. We try to do it like a play from start to finish, so you get the rhythm of the episode and what is relating with the audience. That way we get notes from the writers, and sometimes they do rewrites right on the spot. Then we do the second show at around 6pm, and that is the main shoot in front of another audience. That one we have time to stop, get close ups if we need them, and things like that. It’s so great to get a barometer of what is working and what is connecting with the audience. It brings on a performance high when you film in front of an audience. I can’t even describe the energy that you get from an audience. I come from an acting background, not a comedy background, so it’s new to me. I am not used to doing things and getting laughs immediately. I think it’s a fine balance of reading the audience’s energy, but also not totally depending on the audience. PCP – Rick Brown asks, “How hard is it to go from one scene to another if you are still laughing from the previous scene?” VB – Oh my God, it’s really hard. Sometimes we crack each other up so much it’s hard to focus and get ready for the next scene. It’s like a workout for the actors because we are on there trying to make it work and trying to make it funny. For single camera shows, sometimes you don’t even rehearse. You get on stage and they start shooting, hoping you have the material ready. On our show, the moment we get our script we do the table read, and after the table read we go straight to the studio and we are blocking it and rehearsing it like a play. We have a week-long mini-play that we do every week.  Many times in front of the audience you try so hard not to laugh, you just crack up and you feel terrible because the pressure is on. They are trying to get the episode filmed. It’s impossible not to laugh sometimes because people on the show are so funny! PCP – Your character and her mother on the show are very funny together. What’s it like working with actress Jodi Long? VB – That relationship is very close to the relationship with my own mother. I mean, I know she loves me, but the amount of abuse you see on the show is close to my real life! It’s something that you get use to and you take the positive from it. PCP – You’ve also done a lot of film work like Memoirs of a Geisha, Little Black Book and the Oscar nominated short Our Time Is Up. How do you compare working on film to television?1342823996viv1 VB – I think the whole auditioning process for films is easier. You usually audition once on tape or meet with a director, then you get the job. For TV you audition, then you audition again for the producer, then again for the network, then again for the studio. I feel with television there are a lot more people with opinions. For me, I feel there is a lot more pressure with TV as opposed to film, where I have a lot more freedom. The directors can see if I can bring what they need and, when I am there to work, they sort of leave me alone to do my thing. I love working in film, but sometimes with television you have the studio breathing down your neck, and sometimes while you are working you are very conscious of that fact. In terms of that, I feel like the pressure is on. Don’t get me wrong, they are both very fun. In terms of the work, it’s about the character and who I relate to. Some characters I relate to more, and I guess that makes the process different and fun every time. If I am speaking generally, then I feel like I have a lot more freedom with film, more creative control without the writers being there. PCP – What was it like working with Jim Carrey on Yes Man? VB – He’s so talented. The funny thing is that I thought he would be a huge goofball from watching all of his movies, but when you get on set he’s really serious and professional. It’s only when the camera is on is that he is on! Off camera he’s really serious and quiet. He’s very serious about doing his comedy. It was a lot of fun working with Jim. It’s funny, it was a challenging role for him because he had to speak Korean in the film and he didn’t know it at all. By the time we finished, his Korean was excellent. He’s a really hard worker. You can see why guys like Jim make it in the business. They have a great work ethic. Jim was always the first one on set and always ready to go. PCP – How involved are you with social media? VB – I am just learning and trying to catch up with Twitter! I feel like as soon as I learn that, something new will come along. Honestly, I don’t quite know what it is yet. I am going to need some time to reflect on what it is. Definitely in the beginning I had an aversion to it. I just literally joined Twitter and Facebook when I started the show. It would be a place that fans of the show could share dialogue with me, and that I don’t mind. You have a voice, which is positive, but there can also be a downside to it as well. For me, I am not used to it, and I am learning about it. I’m trying to figure out how I am going to use my voice.  I will say that it is kind of neat to have that voice, and it can be very powerful. PCP – You’ve done television, theatre and film. What is your definition of success? VB – For me, my definition of success is very modest. I think if you can have consistent work in the field that you love to do, that is success.  So much of our time is spent at work, so I want to enjoy what I do. 13438092072012062401.07.05_2PCP – Any advice for people who are thinking of becoming an actor? VB – Yeah—I would say don’t do it! Make sure it’s definitely something that you want to do. It’s such a difficult profession. I would say you have to just enjoy doing it, no matter what. You have to be okay with doing this forever and not getting monetary validation or recognition for it—because it’s definitely not about that. A lot of it never really has to do with your talent.  Even when you do land a part, once that job ends you are starting from ground zero again looking for another job. It’s very inconsistent. I’ve seen to many people come out to Hollywood and completely lose it. It’s like no other job that I know. You always have to prove yourself. It’s constantly changing with social media and reality shows. You have to know that you can’t go into it for the money or recognition.  If you are okay with just having a side job and being able to make this your passion, but doing it without needing anything back from it, then do it. If not, then forget it. We would like to thank Vivian for taking the time to sit down and chat with us. Make sure you tune in every Thursday night at 10pm EST for her new series Sullivan & Son. If you are interested in finding out more about Vivian, check out the links below! LINKS Vivian Bang Official site click here Vivian Bang Twitter feed Sullivan & Son Official - page
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Rob Lowe and Rashida Jones Exiting 'Parks & Recreation'

rob-lowe-rashida-jones-parks-and-recreationThere must be some very unhappy Parks & Recreations right now with the news that has just been released. Buzzfeed is reporting that both Rob Lowe and Rashida Jones will be leaving the series in Season 6. The pair will exit the show for good around the 13th episode.  At this moment, no one is 100 percent sure what the reason is for their exit, but some sources are saying it is a budgetary issue. Michael Schur released a statement: "The news about Rob and Rashida is true -- they will be leaving the show after the 13th episode of the upcoming season six. We've been working on their storyline (on and off) for four seasons now, and heading into this year, with the two of them contemplating parenthood, it felt like a natural time to move them into the next phase." Stay tuned as more details become available.
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Mary Lynn Rajskub Back For More '24'

Mary-mary-lynn-rajskub-582841_772_1024“24” fan-favorite Mary Lynn Rajskub reunites with award-winning star Kiefer Sutherland when she returns to the storied franchise to reprise her iconic role as CHLOE O’BRIAN, CTU systems analyst and JACK BAUER’s (Sutherland) confidante, in the thrilling new tent-pole event series 24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY premiering in spring 2014 on FOX. Joining “24” in Season Three (2003), Rajskub clocked the series’ second-most episodes of any actor appearing in the series’ eight-season run from 2001-2010. Day after day, the always-awkward and intelligent O’Brian was Bauer’s CTU sidekick, as her tech mastery, unconventional tactics and know-it-all mentality proved critical in his heroic missions. “I am thrilled to be working with Howard and the writers again – and, of course, Kiefer!,” said Rajskub. “There’s a lot more room to grow in my character…I’m going to start sharpening my computer skillsnow!”  24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY restarts the groundbreaking and Emmy Award-winning drama franchise. The suspenseful event series will follow the further exploits of heroic agent JACK BAUER, taking up his story several years after the events of the final season. Once again, viewers will join Jack on a pulse-pounding ride in real time. Rajskub, a highly prolific actress and comedian, has appeared in films such as “Firewall,” “Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde,” “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Punch Drunk Love,” “Dude, Where’s My Car?,” “Storytelling” and “Road Trip.”
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Syfy Series 'Helix' Begins Production; Sets Final Cast

syfy-helix-promo-imageSyfy’s newest original scripted series Helix from Sony Pictures Television began production this past weekend in Montreal, Canada. The 13-episode drama is executive produced by Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica, Outlander), Steven Maeda (Lost, The X-Files) who is also showrunner, and Lynda Obst (Sleepless in Seattle, Contact). Cameron Porsandeh, who wrote the pilot, will serve as a Co-Executive Producer. Helix is an intense thriller about a team of scientists from the Centers for Disease Control who travel to a high-tech research facility in the Arctic to investigate a possible disease outbreak, only to find themselves pulled into a terrifying life-and-death struggle that may hold the key to mankind’s salvation or total annihilation.  However, the lethal threat is just the tip of the iceberg, and as the virus evolves, the chilling truth begins to unravel. Billy Campbell (The Killing, Killing Lincoln) stars as Dr. Alan Farragut, leader of the Centers for Disease Control outbreak field team called upon to investigate and control a potential “hot zone” at a remote Arctic research facility. Hiroyuki Sanada (The Wolverine, 47 Ronin) also stars as Dr. Hiroshi Hataki, director of the outpost and its mysterious viral research program. Helix also stars Kyra Zagorsky (Soldiers of the Apocalypse) as Dr. Julia Walker, Mark Ghanimé (Emily Owens, M.D.) as Major Sergio Balleseros, Jordan Hayes (House at the End of the Street) as Dr. Sarah Jordan, Meegwun Fairbrother as Daniel Aerov, Catherine Lemieux (White House Down) as Dr. Doreen Boyle and Neil Napier (Riddick) as Dr. Peter Farragut. Prolific director and producer Jeffrey Reiner is directing the premiere episode of Helix. Reiner directed multiple episodes of notable television series such as the critically acclaimed and award-winning Friday Night Lights, Awake and The Event. Reiner previously worked with Syfy directing the 90-minute pilot of the Battlestar Galactica prequel Caprica. Helix is produced by Tall Ship Productions, Kaji Productions and Lynda Obst Productions in association with Sony Pictures Television.
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