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‘Dear White People’ Music Supervisor on Soundtrack as ‘Statement Piece’

1 hour ago

“I keep a running list of songs that I hope to use,” says “Dear White People” music supervisor Morgan Rhodes. “I’m a little bit old-school because I write them down on Post-It notes and they’re all over my office. I’m just completely geeked about digging for music.”

Her obsessiveness paid off for the Netflix series, which is based on the 2014 film of the same name, and uses music to illuminate a broad spectrum of characters.

“The theme was to get each character their own playlist,” Rhodes (“Queen Sugar”) tells Variety. “Because the pervasive belief is that characters and their perspectives are nuanced and varied, just like their experiences. And so, in turn, their music should be.”

Creator Justin Simien, who wrote the 2014 feature, had already developed his own playlists for each character, Rhodes says, “and we just tried to flesh that out and make it more robust.”

Across »


- Tim Greiving

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Our Staff Picks: TV Shows to Watch the Week of May 29, 2017

2 hours ago

Welcome back to Tune In: our weekly newsletter offering a guide to the best of the week’s TV.

Each week, Variety‘s TV team combs through the week’s TV schedule, selecting our picks of what to watch and when/how to watch them. This week, “House of Cards” returns for Season 5 and Showtime debuts “I’m Dying Up Here.”

House of Cards,” Netflix, Tuesday

The Underwoods are back in Season 5 and they are under siege. Frank and Claire must continue to fight to secure their legacy with a contentious election ahead of them and damaging stories appearing in the press. As seen in the end of Season 4, they plan to divert attention from their various misdeeds by whipping the country into a frenzy of war and terror.

“World of Dance,” NBC, Tuesday, 10 p.m. 

This competition series will see solo artists competing against duos and crews in all genres of dance, including »


- Joe Otterson

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Could a Perfect Storm Help Push Elisabeth Moss to Her First Emmy Win?

2 hours ago

If you’re Elisabeth Moss, you’re probably flying high right about now.

The actress’s new series, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” is the talk of the town, scoring for Hulu a hit program that could finally break the glass awards ceiling for the streamer. She’s also fresh from the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival, where not only did the second season of Jane Campion’s limited series “Top of the Lake” screen to critical acclaim, but Ruben Ostlund’s “The Square” walked away with the coveted Palme d’Or. Moss features in both.

The 34-year-old actress already looked like a strong contender to score an Emmy nomination for her work in “Handmaid’s Tale,” but there certainly seems to be a perfect storm building around her that could help push her across the finish line.

The Emmy race for lead actress in a drama could ultimately be Netflix vs. Hulu »


- Kristopher Tapley

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Netflix Orders First Turkish Original

7 hours ago

Rome — Netflix has ordered its first Turkish-language original series, in a move likely to help it gain traction in one of the world’s most vibrant TV markets.

Following its mid-2016 Turkish launch, the streaming service has ordered ten episodes of an as-yet-untitled Istanbul-set historical drama inspired by the history and legends of the Ottoman empire, it said in a statement.

The show is centered around a young man who discovers that he has supernatural powers. When Istanbul is threatened by dark forces he joins forces with a group of misfit friends to save the city and its inhabitants, according to Netflix.

Onur Guvenatam, who produced the successful Turkish adaptation of ABC’s “Pretty Little Liars,” will serve as executive producer on Netflix’s first Turkish original which will be written and produced in Turkey by Istanbul-based shingle O3 Medya with plans for a global launch on the Netflix platform in 2018.

The announcement comes as the Turkish »


- Nick Vivarelli

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‘American Idol’: Ryan Seacrest Talks Drag After Katy Perry Deal

13 hours ago

Nearly three weeks after ABC confirmed that it would bring “American Idol” back to television, the singing competition has a high-profile anchor for its judges table, but no other confirmed talent on board.

ABC and producers FremantleMedia and Core Media locked up pop star Katy Perry as a judge for the upcoming season just in time for an announcement at the network’s upfront presentation. Perry’s services were secured at a rate of $25 million for the upcoming season — which sources tell Variety represents 65% of the budget earmarked for talent. No additional judges have since signed on to the show.

Nor have producers and the network been able to seal a deal with Ryan Seacrest to return as host. Seacrest had been in talks to rejoin the series — which he appeared on for all of its 15 seasons on Fox — since before ABC even made the revival official. But ongoing talks have failed to produce a deal. A »


- Daniel Holloway and Shirley Halperin

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Alex Rodriguez Scores Contributor Role at ABC News

15 hours ago

Alex Rodriguez has spent the first months of his retirement from professional baseball as an analyst at Fox Sports, but he’s about to get a tryout with another team. The former New York Yankees player will work as a contributor for ABC News, according to a person familiar with the situation.

This person said Rodriguez would make “occasional” appearances on ABC News programs that could include “Good Morning America,” “World News Tonight” and “Nightline.”

Rodriguez would continue working for Fox Sports, and his contract with that 21st Century Fox unit would likely prohibit him from making cameos on ABC’s Disney-owned sister, Espn. He might be able to add commentary on games during non-sports-centric shows like “Gma.”

Rodriguez figured prominently in Fox’s recent “upfront” presentation to advertisers, which placed a big spotlight on the company’s sports-programming assets. Rodriguez made an appearance at the glitzy showcase.

Rodriguez’s new duties were reported previously by the »


- Brian Steinberg

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‘The Leftovers’ Recap: Kevin Can Wait

17 hours ago

Do not read unless you’ve seen “The Most Powerful Man in the World (and His Identical Twin Brother),” the seventh episode of the third and final season of HBO’s “The Leftovers.”

For my own amusement, I sometimes imagine describing individual episodes of “The Leftovers” to people who’ve never seen the show.

Let’s try it with this installment, shall we?

“A former sheriff from a small town in New York is in Australia, where his father has become convinced of the existence of a song that will stop the planet from being engulfed in a world-ending flood. The father drowns his son, and the son, Kevin, travels to an alternate realm that he has visited before, where he met God, did karaoke, and killed a woman who had been appearing to him in his ‘real’ life. When Kevin enters this realm again, he is both an assassin (as he was the first time he »


- Maureen Ryan

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