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San Sebastian: ‘El Autor,’ ’Handia,’ ‘Life and Nothing More’ Make Competition Cut

5 hours ago

Madrid — “Marrowbone,” the awaited directorial debut of Sergio G. Sanchez, screenwriter of “Jurassic World 2” director J.A. Bayona’s “The Orphanage” and “The Impossible,” will screen at this year’s San Sebastian Festival, the highest-profile film event in the Spanish-speaking world.

As will Florida-set “Life and Nothing More,” Spaniard Antonio Mendez Esparza’s follow-up to Cannes Critics’ Week winner “Aquí y Allá”; “Fe de Etarras,” Netflix’s second original movie in Spain, and Aitor Arregi and Jon Garaño’s anticipated “Handia,”  a flagship of new Basque cinema.

San Sebastián’s Perlas, a fest standouts section, closes with Fernando Leon de Aranoa’s “Loving Pablo,” announced yesterday as Venice-bound and a true-event tale of Pablo Escobar’s love affair with a TV presenter. Javier Bardem plays Escobar, Penelope Cruz his unlikely lover.

“Handia,” “Life and Nothing More” and “El Autor,” directed by Manuel Martin Cuenca (“Canibal”), vie in San Sebastian’s main competition for its top Golden Shell award »


- John Hopewell

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5 Things We Learned From TCA: Day 3

13 hours ago

There are always plenty of surprises, who-knew and they-said-what moments during the parade of TV show panels at the Television Critics Assn. press tour.

Day three of the summer tour that runs through Aug. 9 featured presentations from TruTV, TNT, TBS and Hulu.

Here are five things we learned from Wednesday’s sessions:

TBS is extremely proud of the unlike-ability of its sleeper hit comedy “Search Party.” “When (the script) was sent to (TBS’) Thom Hinkle, he brought it to my office, and the first thing I said was, ‘I hate all of these people and we have to do this show,’ “ said Brett Weitz, TBS’ exec VP of original programming. Tracy Morgan, star of TBS’ “The Last O.G.,” had the crowd in stitches for most of his session. But he got serious for a moment when asked if the show would tackle hot-button political issues for African-Americans. Morgan plays a man who returns to his Brooklyn neighborhood »


- Cynthia Littleton

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TCA Roundup: Hulu Acquires ABC’s ‘Tgif’ Series, Mindy Kaling Teases Her Show’s Final Season

14 hours ago

The Television Critics Association press tour arrived in Beverly Hills on July 25 and will continue through Aug. 9. Each day, Variety will publish a roundup of the most essential news items to come out of the day’s panels.

In today’s roundup, Hulu hopes to tap into nostalgia by licensing a series of 1980s-’90s Warner Bros. TV shows, and Mindy Kaling teased her series’ sixth and final season.

Hulu decided to license the shows — originally marketed by ABC as the “Tgif” block — as a group, including “Full House,” “Family Matters,” “Step by Step,” “Perfect Strangers,” and “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper,” as part of a bid to curate the library offerings in its vast archive of shows. By bringing viewers a mix of originals, newer off-network hits, and vintage favorites, Hulu hopes to out-compete Netflix as audiences’ preferred streaming service. This will be the first time the original “Full House” series has been available on any streaming »


- Erin Nyren

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Mindy Kaling on Final Season of ‘The Mindy Project,’ Ike Barinholtz Neck Injury

14 hours ago

The Mindy Project” is heading into its sixth-and-final season, which launches on Hulu this September, and to kick off the farewell tour, Mindy Kaling sat down with the press at the Television Critics Association press tour.

Kaling was joined by executive producer Matt Warburton and star Ike Barinholtz, who showed up to TCA in a full neck brace, just one day after news broke of him breaking his neck on the set of a film.

“I had a couple of weeks where it was kind of touch and go,” Barinholtz admitted about his health after he broke his neck. He said he called Kaling to tell her that he may not be able to perform to his full potential on “Mindy Project,” given the severity of his injury — and her response was to incorporate his injury into the show.

“She was instantly like, ‘We’re going to write it into the show, whatever »


- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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Sarah Silverman Promises No Politics, No ‘Gotcha’ Humor in ‘I Love You, America’

14 hours ago

Sarah Silverman wants to help bridge the cultural divide in war-torn America with “aggressively dumb” humor and excursions into the heart of the country in her new Hulu series “I Love You, America.”

Silverman said the focus of the show, set to premiere Oct. 12, would be her effort to connect with everyday people who are what she called “un-like-minded.” The goal is to demonstrate that despite deep political, cultural and even ethnic differences, people have more in common than not at heart.

“A mission statement for the show could be exposing the fact that we’re actually the same,” Silverman said Thursday during Hulu’s portion of the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Beverly Hills. “Comedy at its best can get people’s porcupine needles to go down. Until that can happen, none of us are open to change.”

Silverman doesn’t intend to talk politics on the show, nor »


- Cynthia Littleton

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‘The Walking Dead’ Producers Bow Out of TCA to Attend Stuntman’s Funeral

14 hours ago

The producers of “The Walking Dead” will not be attending the TCA summer press tour as planned in order to attend the funeral of series stuntman John Bernecker, who died in an on-set accident earlier this month.

Showrunner Scott M. Gimple and executive producers Gale Anne Hurd, Robert Kirkman, Dave Alpert, and Greg Nicotero were scheduled to attend the bi-annual press event. They will not be able to make it this Saturday as the timing would conflict with Bernecker’s funeral service, AMC said in a statement on Thursday.

Kirkman, however, will still attend a panel at TCA for his “Secret History of Comics.”

Bernecker was filming a stunt for Season 8 with series regular Austin Amelio. The stunt required him to fall approximately 22 feet off of a balcony onto a safety cushion below. But according to assistant director Matthew Goodwin, Bernecker failed to get a “good separation” from the balcony and instead landed on his head and »


- Joe Otterson

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TV News Roundup: ‘NCIS’ Casts Maria Bello as Series Regular

15 hours ago

In today’s roundup, Maria Bello is joining Season 15 of “NCIS,” and Louis Tomlinson is set to perform at Teen Choice 2017.

Casting

CBS announced Maria Bello has joined the cast of “NCIS” as a series regular and will be introduced in the season’s fourth episode. Bello will play an NCIS agent who was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the army and served two tours in Afghanistan. She built her reputation after joining NCIS as the agency’s premier forensic psychologist. Season 15 of “NCIS” premieres Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 8 p.m.

Award Shows

Singer Louis Tomlinson will perform his newly released single “Back To You” with Bebe Rexha live at the Teen Choice Awards 2017. “Back To You” is his debut solo hit after splitting from boy band One Direction. Grammy-winning trio Clean Bandit will also perform their Teen Choice-nominated hit “Rockabye,” as well as a rendition of their single “Symphony” featuring pop vocalist Zara Larsson. Additional »


- Rebecca Rubin

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Leonard Landy, ‘Our Gang’ Actor, Dies at 84

16 hours ago

Leonard Landy, best known for his work as one of the Little Rascals on “Our Gang,” died Wednesday. He was 84.

Often recognized for his freckled face and big ears, Landy appeared in 21 “Our Gang” comedy shorts, debuting in “Feed ‘Em and Weep” in 1938 and culminating with “Fightin’ Fools” in 1941.

Our Gang,” a series of comedy short films about a group of poor neighborhood children and their adventures, began in 1922 as a series of silent shorts and they were created with sound in 1929. Landy was known for watching the action with an occasional one liner.

In the 1950s, the comedy series were syndicated for television and re-titled “The Little Rascals.” Hal Roach produced both productions.

In total, “Our Gang” featured over 41 child actors. Actors from the series who are still living include Lassie Lou Ahern, Robert Blake, Margaret Kerry, Sidney Kibrick and Mildred Kornman.

In 1980, Landy acted in an “Our Gang” reunion sponsored by The Sons of the Desert. He »


- Rebecca Rubin

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‘Future Man’ Cast, Creators Pay Tribute to Glenne Headly: ‘She’s Like a Ball of Light’

16 hours ago

The cast and creators of “Future Man” honored the late Glenne Headly at the TCA summer press tour on Thursday.

Headly was cast on the upcoming Hulu series, playing series star Josh Hutcherson’s mother, but died during production in June.

“We were reeling emotionally,” showrunner Ben Karlin said. “She was a big part of the show…We didn’t have to do that much rewrting. It was less of a production challenge and more of an emotional challenge to deal with something like that.”

“It just sucks,” executive producer Seth Rogen added.

“She’s like a ball of light,” series co-star Eliza Coupe said. “Any room she walked into she lit it up.”

Future Man” producer Sony Pictures Television previously said Headly’s role would not be recast but that she would remain in the episodes completed so far.

The film, television actress, and theater actress was known for starring alongside Warren Beatty in 1990’s “Dick Tracy »


- Joe Otterson

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Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston Team Up to Star in TV Series

16 hours ago

Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon are teaming up for a new TV series that will focus on a New York morning show, Variety has confirmed.

House of Cards” producer Jay Carson is attached to write the script, with Steve Kloves executive producing. Witherspoon and Aniston will also executive produce, with Witherspoon producing through her Hello Sunshine production banner along with her film and television head Lauren Levy Neustadter. The project hails from HBO alum Michael Ellenberg’s newly-launched Media Res banner.

The series is expected to be shopped to networks and streaming services in the coming weeks, industry sources say.

Aniston and Witherspoon previously worked together when Witherspoon guest starred on “Friends” as Aniston’s sister. Witherspoon recently made the jump to TV with the HBO drama “Big Little Lies,” which earned her an Emmy nomination. For Aniston, it would mark her first regular TV role since the end of “Friends” in 2004.

More to come… »


- Joe Otterson

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Television Academy Announces Awards Lineup for Creative Arts Emmys

16 hours ago

The Television Academy has revealed the awards that will be presented on each night of the two-night presentation of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards.

As with last year, the lengthy presentation will be split into two nights, Saturday, September 9 and Sunday, September 10 beginning at 5 p.m. at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The Creative Arts Emmys will air September 16 at 8 p.m. on Fxx.

The Primetime Emmy Awards, which will be held on Sunday, September 17, will present awards for outstanding comedy and drama series, limited series, reality competition, variety talk and sketch, television movie, acting, directing, and writing. The Emmys will air on CBS, hosted by Stephen Colbert.

The complete lineup is as follows:

Saturday, September 9:

Outstanding Animated Program

Outstanding Casting For A Reality Program

Outstanding Character Voice-over Performance

Outstanding Choreography

Outstanding Cinematography For A Nonfiction Program

Outstanding Cinematography For A Reality Program

Outstanding Costumes For Variety, Nonfiction Or Reality Programming

Outstanding Creative Achievement In »


- Erin Nyren

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Tiffany Haddish Clears Up Controversial Bill Cosby Comments: ‘What I Said Was a Joke’

16 hours ago

Tiffany Haddish is having a moment.

The breakout star of “Girls Trip,” Haddish seems to have popped into the pop culture stratosphere in record time with a hit movie in theaters, a viral interview on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” an upcoming Showtime stand-up special, and a starring role as Tracy Morgan’s ex-wife in his new TBS series, “The Last O.G.

But with success, comes attention — and sometimes negative attention.

Last week, Haddish hit a bump on the road to stardom when she said in an interview that she wants to work with Bill Cosby. And since, the internet has been on the attack.

Bill Cosby — I still want to work with Bill Cosby, I don’t care, I’ll drink the juice. I’ll drink the juice. I’ll take a nap. I don’t give a damn,” Haddish said to the Los Angeles Times when asked who she’d like to work with. “But »


- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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TNT Summer Dramas Stand Strong in Multi-Platform Viewing

17 hours ago

TNT’s summer dramas are not setting the TV landscape on fire in terms of traditional ratings, but are showing significant life in multi-platform viewing.

Animal Kingdom,” currently in its second season, is averaging a 0.4 rating in adults 18-49 and 1.1 million viewers per episode in Nielsen’s Live+Same Day numbers, down approximately 14% in the demo and 11% in total viewers compared to last season’s final average.

However, the series is currently averaging 4.8 million viewers per episode across TNT platforms, according to data provided by the network. That figure includes a 73% increase in viewing through TNT’s website, mobile apps and connected devices, as well as an 11% lift in DVR viewing. TNT recently renewed the series for a third season.

Freshman drama “Claws,” which stars Niecy Nash as a Florida nail salon owner who gets involved in organized crime, is averaging numbers similar to “Animal Kingdom” midway through its first season. It »


- Joe Otterson

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Hulu Recreates ABC’s ‘Tgif’ Comedy Lineup With ‘Full House,’ ‘Family Matters’ and More

17 hours ago

Hulu aims to tap into retro-tv nostalgia by recreating the “Tgif” block of Warner Bros. TV-produced family-friendly sitcoms that ran on ABC in the late 1980s and ‘90s.

Hulu has licensed all episodes of the original “Full House,” which was revived by Netflix last year as “Fuller House,” as well as “Family Matters,” “Step By Step,” “Perfect Strangers” and “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper.” The shows will become available on Hulu on Sept. 29.

The streaming giant plans to promote the shows as a block to promote multigenerational viewing, as well as to introduce the shows to younger audiences. The block that ABC branded “Tgif” had a successful run with a blend of G-rated family- and youth-focused comedies that have become pop culture touchstones.

The deal for more than 800 episodes of “Tgif” sitcoms — dubbed internally as “Tgih” (H for Hulu) — comes on the heels of Hulu stepping up its pursuit of rerun rights to hot recent shows such as »


- Cynthia Littleton

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‘Harlots’ Renewed by Hulu for Season 2

17 hours ago

Hulu has renewed “Harlots” for a second season.

A drama series about rival prostitution houses in 18th-century London, “Harlots” stars Samantha Morton as madam Margaret Wells. The series is executive produced by Moira Buffini, Debra Hayward, and Alison Owen. Lesley Manville, Jessica Brown Findlay.

Season two is set to premiere in 2018.

In her review of season one for Variety, Sonia Saraiya wrote, “Stories about sex work are surrounded by potential pitfalls. There’s the risk of sexualizing the characters to the point of caricatured exploitation; conversely, there’s the risk of making every sex worker’s story a tragedy that ends in misery. There is the risk of making a narrative sex work into an unrealistic parable of feminism, just as there is also the risk of cutting the women’s perspectives entirely out of the story. “Harlots” admirably avoids all of these pitfalls, using the distance of the historical era (the show is set in the »


- Daniel Holloway

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TNT-tbs Chief Talks TV’s Transformation, Conan O’Brien’s Future

18 hours ago

TNT and TBS are hip-deep in a “radical transformation” designed to keep the networks vibrant in a survival-of-the-fittest moment for traditional networks. That’s what TNT and TBS president Kevin Reilly told reporters Thursday morning during Turner’s portion of the summer Television Critics Assn. press tour.

“We’ll be radically different in two years than we are sitting here today,” Reilly said. He also flatly stated that some networks will simply go away as the industry adjusts to changing economics and viewing habits.

“Two years from now you’re still going to be covering as many shows but you’re going to for sure be covering less entities. (But) we will be here even as the definition of television opens up.”

TNT and TBS have undergone a programming makeovers during the past two years since Reilly took the helm. This summer marks an inflection point for TNT as it has a slate of four original dramas »


- Cynthia Littleton

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Donald Trump Animated Series From Stephen Colbert Headed to Showtime

19 hours ago

Donald Trump, the cartoon? Yes, it’s happening.

Showtime has greenlit an animated satirical series centered on the Trump White House, Variety has learned. The show hails from executive producer Stephen Colbert.

The untitled series will span 10 episodes, and will air this fall. Production will ramp up quickly and wrap close to the premiere date, in order to enable the show to stay relevant with current events and Trump’s continuing antics.

The series will revolve around the two-dimensional avatars of President Donald Trump and his family members. Described as a “fresh, cutting-edge comedy,” the series will present the “tru-ish adventures of Trump’s confidants and bon vivants — family, top associates, heads of government, golf pros, and anyone else straying into his orbit — intrepidly exploring their histories and their psyches, revealing insights into what makes them so definitively Trumpian.” According to Showtime, “it’s a workplace comedy where the office happens to be oval; it’s a »


- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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‘American Horror Story’ Season 7 Drops New Teaser, Poster (Watch)

20 hours ago

American Horror Story: Cult” released a chilling new trailer and poster teasing the show’s Season 7.

“You’ve been waiting for us,” American Horror Story tweeted regarding the teaser. Though the mysterious clip reveals very little, it flashes between a creepy clown and the cryptic text “Find us” followed by “Ahscult.com.” The official poster is captioned “Be of like mind,” and portrays a powdery-white woman with clown makeup. The top of her skull is removed, exposing a honey-comb brain riddled with bees, teasing the hive mind mentality for the season.

The official title and first teaser were released at San Diego Comic-Con last week, with FX projecting the teaser onto a wall of water behind the San Diego Convention Center.

Co-creator Ryan Murphy shared earlier the next installment of FX’s horror anthology was inspired by the 2016 presidential election. FX has renewed the show through Season 9.

Previously announced cast members include “American Horror Story” newcomers Lena Dunham »


- Rebecca Rubin

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Katy Perry to Host 2017 MTV Video Music Awards

20 hours ago

Katy Perry will host and perform at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards, Variety has learned.

She is the first performer announced for this year’s awards, and is also one of the most-nominated artists with five nominations. The nominees were announced earlier this week.

“I’ve been training with MTV in zero gravity, eating astronaut ice cream, and I’m on a group text with Buzz Aldrin and Neil deGrasse Tyson. Come August 27th, I’ll be ready to be your Moonwoman! Brace for impact, kids,” Perry said in a statement, referencing the signature Vma trophy, the moonman statue.

“We’re thrilled to have global phenomenon Katy Perry as the host and a performer at the 2017 VMAs,” said Bruce Gillmer, head of music and music talent of Viacom’s global entertainment group. “She is at the forefront of music culture and the perfect person to anchor this year’s show, which »


- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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Will Sean Spicer Really Be on ‘Dancing With the Stars?’

20 hours ago

Dancing With the Stars” has an eye on Sean Spicer — but the talks are so preliminary that it’s too early to tell if the former White House press secretary will actually make his way to the dance floor.

“Right now just talking,” a person close to the ABC show tells Variety of the prospect of Spicer joining the series. The insider stresses that there have been no firm discussions with Spicer regarding “Dancing With the Stars,” saying, “Nothing beyond talking about casting. We’re still so early in the process.”

The insider explains it’s so early in the casting process that there’s “no one we’re dying for right now.”

With “DWTS” heading into its whopping 25th season, our source jokes, “Honestly [we’re] running out of stars!”

Spicer resigned from his position as White House press secretary a week ago, after six months as the chief spokesperson for President Donald Trump’s administration. Press »


- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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