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post #95791 of 95817 Old 07-26-2014, 05:52 AM
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TV Notes
On TV, comic books turn a new page
By Bill Keveney, USA Today - Jul. 25, 2014

Comic-book heroes may find themselves facing new rivals – each other – as their numbers grow on television.

Four DC Entertainment properties – Fox's Gotham, NBC's Constantine and CW's The Flash and midseason iZombie – are scheduled to hit the small screen in the upcoming TV season, along with another Marvel character, ABC's midseason Agent Carter.

Those shows, which will be featured this weekend at Comic-Con in San Diego, will add to a population that includes ABC's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and CW's Arrow.

Comics have had recent TV success, including Smallville's 10-year run and, decades earlier, The Incredible Hulk, though a recent attempt to redo Wonder Woman never got off the ground.

The current surge, part of Warner Bros. and Disney's efforts to mine popular properties, comes amid the success of comic-book characters in movies and the mighty ratings performance of AMC's graphic-novel-based The Walking Dead.

Grant Gustin, who plays The Flash (aka Barry Allen), senses the early interest of a built-in fan base. "I see it (on Twitter). I can feel their excitement. It gets me more excited."

Devoted comics fans could give these shows an initial boost, but programmers will be watching to see whether the field gets overcrowded.

"There's a danger in overexposing anything, but at the moment, I think they're different enough from one another, and the genre audience is always there for you in the beginning," NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt says. "There seems to be a big appetite for it. Will we overstay our welcome? That's a good question."

CW president Mark Pedowitz, who has had success with Arrow, isn't worried about a glut.

"In the theatrical film business, there's been no saturation," says Pedowitz, whose lower-rated network doesn't need to attract as many fans as the larger broadcasters. "The fans will tell us when they hit (a saturation) point, but at this point in time I don't think there is."

DC Entertainment was able to launch so many new shows this season because of their diversity, chief creative officer Geoff Johns says. "Gotham is very different than Flash is very different than Constantine is very different than iZombie. As long as everything finds its own niche ... and we don't get repetitive, there's room for everything," he says.

Series shouldn't be lumped together under one broad comic-book label, either, says Jeph Loeb, head of television at Marvel, which has a deal for four more comics-based series, including 2015's Daredevil, with Netflix.

"For all intents and purposes, S.H.I.E.L.D. is a procedural that has espionage to it and then, on top of that, there is the world of the extraordinary," he says. "Are there too many medical shows? Are there too many legal shows? We think good TV will drive a great audience."

Comics titans Marvel and DC diverge when it comes to how their TV shows connect — or don't — with movies.

In April, S.H.I.E.L.D., with an underwhelming audience response, appeared to enjoy a creative jolt when it picked up the sleeper-agent infiltration theme of the newly released Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

"We did something that was unprecedented, in that we actually changed what was going on in the mythology of our show (as a result of a) a major motion picture, and it stayed current. We'd love to do it again, so keep your eyes open," says Loeb, who wouldn't confirm a tie-in with the May 1 theatrical release of Avengers: Age of Ultron. "It is one big universe."

DC takes the opposite tack: Arrow and The Flash will intersect with each other, but not with DC's theatrical films, Johns says. "It's a separate universe than film, so the filmmakers can tell the story that's best for film while we do something different in a different corner of the DC universe on television."

Gotham's Ben McKenzie, whose detective James Gordon is pre-Commissioner Gordon of Batman lore, disagrees with critics who say fans won't respond unless they see capes and costumes. "What really pulls me in is when a character can't put on a cape and fly away, when they genuinely are fallible, flawed and very human."

He thinks Gotham will be able to stand out in the crowd. "The aesthetic is a little starker and grimmer than a lot of these superhero shows out there and a little more adult," he says. "I think we have room. We'll see."

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/t...n-tv/13039397/
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post #95792 of 95817 Old 07-26-2014, 05:57 AM
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Technology/Business Notes
Bose Is Suing Beats Electronics Over Noise-Canceling Headphone Patents
By Amit Chowdhry, Forbes.com - Jul. 25, 2014

Today Bose Corporation has filed a legal complaint against Beats Electronics for allegedly infringing patents related to its noise-canceling headphones, which was first reported by CNBC. Bose claims that Beats is infringing upon 50 years of research and development of noise cancellation technology that is protected by 36 U.S. patents and applications.

“To protect its investments, Bose has sought patent protection, and owns many patents and patent applications. Because Bose invests heavily in research and development, and because Bose has built its reputation on producing superior products through innovative technology, Bose’s continued success depends in substantial part on its ability to establish, maintain, and protect its proprietary technology through enforcement of its patent rights,” said Bose in its complaint.

Apple announced earlier this year that it intends to buy Beats Electronics and Beats Music for $3 billion. This lawsuit adds to the numerous patent battles that Apple is facing against Samsung Electronics .

In the legal complaint, Bose specifically accused the Beats Studio and Beats Studio Wireless headphones for infringing patents embodied within its latest noise-canceling headphone models — the Bose QuietComfort 20 and Bose QuietComfort 20i (known as the QC20 line). Beats sells its Studio headphones with “Adaptive Noise Cancellation” features through its website BeatsByDre.com and retailers with locations throughout the country, including Best Buy, Staples, Target and Radio Shack.

Bose said that it is asserting the following patents against Beats:

6,717,537 – “Method and apparatus for minimizing latency in digital signal processing systems”

8,054,992 – “High frequency compensating”

8,073,150 – “Dynamically configurable ANR signal processing topology”

8,073,151 – “Dynamically configurable ANR filter block topology”

8,345,888 – “Digital high frequency phase compensation”

Bose is asking the court for a declaration that Beats infringed the aforementioned patents, an injunction from “continued infringement,” an award for damages, an order that finds Beats’ infringement is willful and relief that the court deems as just.

Bose said that Beats instructs users how to use its products in a manner that allegedly infringes the asserted patents in the Beats Studio User Guide and the Beats Studio Wireless User Guide. The noise canceling functionalities in the Beats headphones are used automatically when someone is listening to music and the user guide instructs users how to reduce noise. The Beats headphones also have noise cancellation when no music is played.

Bose filed the infringement complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware and is asking the U.S. International Trade Commission to investigate the matter.

I reached out to Bose and Beats for comment.

Carolyn Cinotti, the director of Bose Public Relations, said that the company does not comment on on-going litigation, but provided the following statement to FORBES:

The filing is comprehensive and explains our position, and as a matter of practice, we don’t comment on on-going litigation. We can share that for over 30 years, Bose has made significant investments in the research, development, engineering and design of the proprietary technologies found in our headphones. Bose’s patented technologies enable the exclusive performance found in our QuietComfort® Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headphones. We are committed to protecting our investment, protecting our customers, and defending the patents we own.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/amitchow...phone-patents/
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post #95793 of 95817 Old 07-26-2014, 10:34 AM
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FRIDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog.
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post #95794 of 95817 Old 07-26-2014, 10:39 AM
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Comic-Con 2014 TV Notes
Comic-Con's 'Orphan Black' fans share gifts, tales with Tatiana Maslany
By Emily Rome, EW.com's 'Inside TV' Blog - Jul. 26, 2014

If you doubted that fans really, really love Orphan Black, the show’s Comic-Con panel would immediately change your mind.

The BBC America series’ panel was in one of Comic-Con’s smaller rooms as far as TV shows go, 6A, but the cheers and laughter in the audience were at a volume of a bigger room. When star Tatiana Maslany first walked on stage, she got a standing ovation. Over a dozen security guards had to block audience members from storming the stage at the end of the panel. A representative for fan group Clone Club presented Maslany with “The Best Actress in the World Award.” (Who needs an Emmy when you have that?) Another fan gave Maslany a set of Russian nesting dolls with each painted as one of her characters. Helena was the tiny one in the middle.

Some attendees told the cast how Orphan Black had deeply impacted their lives, including one girl who said she came out after watching the show. Her parents initially didn’t accept this, but when her mom started watching Orphan Black with her, “it helped us rebuild our relationship,” she said, “because she sees Cosima, and she sees that it’s okay and that people are more than their sexuality.” The story had Maslany tearing up.

Jordan Gavaris, who plays Felix, had a heartfelt reply: “In life sometimes, we reduce people down to things like sexuality, their diseases like cancer, or their sex or their gender, or whether or not they like Game of Thrones. But that is not who people are. People are complex, as we say in the show.”

So how can fans expect to endure the wait to season 3? For now, here are some more moments from the Comic-Con panel to tide you over until the clones return:

• Co-creator Graeme Manson said that the writers have “talked about meeting Alison’s mother.” On their casting wish list: Catherine O’Hara.

• Helena’s chance for a little romance is one of co-creator John Fawcett’s favorite moments from season 2. Suits star Patrick J. Adams played that tow truck guy Helena made out with. He’s a self-professed fan of Orphan Black, and if he has any say in the matter, he’ll make a return appearance. Kristian Bruun (Donnie) said on the panel that he recently ran into Adams at a restaurant, and Adams said he wants to be on the show again.

• The showrunners had originally planned to kill off Mark, but they said they’re very glad they decided not to. Maslany raved about working with Ari: “He just showed up in that diner scene, and sitting opposite him, I just saw this actor was so present. He just had this well of depth.”

• Dylan Bruce talked about the scene where Paul forces Felix down onto a couch at gunpoint to get his fingerprints on the gun: “Jordan got me back [while filming] that scene for doing that to him,” Bruce said. “Felix wears some high-heeled boots. We did about 10, 15 takes, and every time I flipped him over and pushed him down, that boot kicked me in the exact same spot in my shin.”

• Visiting set was a weird experience for Maslany’s mother, the panelists recalled. She thought Sarah looked the most like her daughter, so every time Sarah wasn’t to be seen on set, she found herself wondering, “When’s Tatiana coming back?” even though she of course knew all the other clones were portrayed by her daughter too.

http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/07/26/co...n-black-panel/
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post #95795 of 95817 Old 07-26-2014, 10:42 AM
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Comic-Con 2014 TV Notes
'Sleepy Hollow' Stars Promise 'Malevolent' Season 2
By Aaron Couch, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Jul. 25, 2014

Sleepy Hollow left its heroes in perilous positions in season one. Abbie (Nicole Beharie) is in purgatory and Ichabod (Tom MIson) in a casket. But as the Fox show's stars and producers promised a Comic-Con crowd, there's plenty more to come.

Beharie said Abbey will learn some secrets about her family in secret two.

"She learns why she is a witness," said Beharie. "At the end of a season Ichabod betrayed Abbey in a way by drawing a map. Now they have a little of patching up to do.

Fan favorite John Noble (Henry Parrish) — who was revealed to be the second Horseman, in addition to being Ichabod and Katrina's son Jeremy — says he is moving beyond revenge in season two.

"He becomes sort of a really interesting malevolent character. He's had his revenge. He doesn't need that anymore," said Noble. "He becomes the personification of evil and becomes a powerful man in the township. He plants seeds of doubt in everyone."

And Ichabod? He continues his battle with modern society, including by watching Glee. Did he enjoy it? "probably not," deadpanned Mison, before realizing Glee was a fellow Fox show: "he loved it!"

Two clips from the new season were shown — THR exclusively has one of them, which you can watch here — one in which Ichabod showed his disdain for credit cards, and another in which he attempts raises a very special adversary to fight the horseman.

Orlando Jones, whose Detective Irving ended the season incarcerated, joked," I didn't want to be a stereotype ... my mother is probably very upset."

The producers also promised a big season.

"Deep seeded into this season is family, hope and redemption, all within the context of war," said executive producer Mark Goffman. Alex Kurtzman promised that "whatever you thought is coming — it's not," and added that Benedict Arnold will make an appearance. Yes, there's an explanation for why he was a traitor to America.

Mison also made a bold promise to fans for next year's Comic-Con. He said before being cast, he was asked to prepare an audition with an American accent and with his own. The American didn't pan out ... but he based it off of Bryan Cranston's Breaking Bad performance. Fans begged for a sample, but Mison balked.

"If you give us a season three, I promise I'll come back as Heisengberg," he said.

Sleepy Hollow premieres Sept. 22 at 9 p.m. on Fox.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/liv...2-stars-721411
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post #95796 of 95817 Old 07-26-2014, 10:47 AM
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Critic's Notes
Choosing to Shiver or Not to Shiver
‘Ice Lake Rebels,’ on Animal Planet, and ‘Escaping Alaska,’ on TLC
By Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times - Jul. 26, 2014

The big brains at Discovery Communications apparently enjoy messing with our heads as we search for vicarious relief from the summer heat. One of their channels, Animal Planet, begins a reality show on Sunday that extols the rugged virtues of life in the remote frozen north. Meanwhile another channel, TLC, serves up a series about young people who want nothing more than to get out of there.

It’s “Ice Lake Rebels” versus “Escaping Alaska.” It’s also “kind of tedious” versus “not very credible.” But hey, if you’re craving the sight of snow, Sunday is your night.

The Animal Planet series follows a small group of people who live on houseboats on Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Freedom! Individualism! Moose hunting!

A certain breed of viewer must eat up this off-the-grid survivalist stuff, moose meat and all, because there sure is a lot of it on television. Presumably being off the grid includes being without a TV, so there’s some incongruity in the phenomenon. Come to think of it, having your isolated, low-tech existence documented by high-tech cameras is a bit disingenuous, too. But never mind.

The rebels on “Ice Lake Rebels” try to sell their soggy, chilly way of living, but they’re not terribly convincing.

“We have no heating bill, no water bill, no utility bill,” Allyce Rattray says. “There’s nothing excess. Just exactly what you need. It’s just a beautiful way of life.”

But moments earlier we saw her exhausting herself trying to hack through the icing-over lake to get to a place where she can walk her dog. Falling into the life-threateningly cold water also seems to be a regular feature of houseboating, and everyone in this show seems to think we viewers will be fascinated by their toilets. To each his own.

On TLC, “Escaping Alaska” follows a group of young Eskimos who, though not quite as removed from worldly comforts as the people on “Ice Lake Rebels,” are leading a relatively isolated existence in an equally cold part of the world. The difference is, the Alaskans want out.

The setup is downright improbable (but hey, it’s TLC): The five, who live in different parts of the state, supposedly met online and plotted to rendezvous, then go as a group to San Diego. It’s all very hush-hush since their families might not approve. Well, hush-hush except for the camera crews.

The people at TLC are apparently on a mission to disrupt time-honored, tradition-bound life wherever they find it — see “Breaking Amish” — though the young people in “Escaping Alaska” have not exactly been living apart from the world. “My dream job is becoming an actress and being the next Jennifer Lawrence,” one named Tamara says. “But the Eskimo version.”

In other words, they have the same shallow aspirations that any other young American adult has, which makes for a fairly shallow show. But at least they’re occasionally amusing.

“Seal meat’s the greatest,” says another, Nuala, explaining the usual diet in her household. “Don’t hate me for it. They’re so cute, I love them, but they’re delicious.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/26/ar...ref=television
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post #95797 of 95817 Old 07-26-2014, 10:50 AM
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Comic-Con 2014 TV Notes
Cast, showrunner hint at what's next on 'Falling Skies' at Comic-Con
By Emily Rome, EW.com's 'Inside TV' Blog - Jul. 25, 2014

Falling Skies is halfway through its fourth season, which saw a lot of changes from season 3, along with the addition of new showrunner David Eick. With the 2nd Mass separated after an Espheni attack, our ensemble cast found themselves in very different worlds from one another.

“In Tom’s world we were in darkness. Lexi’s world—it was light. It was almost like Munchkinland,” Eick said during the show’s Comic-Con panel. “In Anne’s world it was very gritty but stripped down.”

At Comic-Con, Eick and the show’s cast hinted at what’s to come on Falling Skies now that the characters have reunited. Most important to know right off the bat? As Sarah Sanguin Carter (Maggie) said on the panel, “The second half is gnarly, you guys.”

Here’s more that Eick and the cast revealed on their panel:

We’ll learn more about Anne’s past. A clip from this coming Sunday’s episode screened during the panel, showing a moment Anne had blocked out: when Karen captured her and Lexi. Karen (yes, she’s back, briefly!) is holding Lexi, apparently lovingly, just like a mother would, saying, “She’s my creation. In time, she’ll be just like me. She’ll change the face of history.” Moon Bloodgood (Anne) told the audience that there will also be scenes featuring Anne with her son, something she really enjoyed filming because “we never really understood what life was like for her before the invasion…. It was probably my favorite episode to shoot.”

The Espheni aren’t united anymore. In recent episodes, it’s become clearer that the Espheni aren’t a purely, totally villainous species. They’re going the way of the skitter — a creature that the 2nd Mass eventually learned could be an ally or an enemy. When teasing what’s to come with that, Eick really showed his Battlestar Galactica, TV-as-social-commentary roots: “These characters are not of one mind. They’re not just a hive-like simplistic being. They might have differences with one another. They might have feelings for one another. They might have jealousies that could get in the way of their agenda. In season 5 we’ll explore that further.”

Lexi will go through a transformation. Another clip from the next episode showed Pope, Hal, and others bringing guns into the once peaceful Chinatown. They try to get to Lexi, but Lourdes and others devoted to the hybrid block them by link arms—much like the 2nd Mass linked arms to protect the sympathetic skitters in season 2. Cut to Lexi: She’s inside a glowing, orange cocoon. “She’s gonna go through a change,” Scarlett Byrne (Lexi) explained of her character. “What did I call it, Moon?” Bloodgood then deadpanned, “Your period.”

Turns out Bloodgood had a Bloody Mary before the panel—her showrunner ratted her out. “I did! I really did!” she confessed. But in all seriousness, Byrne explained, “[Lexi] steps into her own. She’s constantly changing, but this is the beginning of a very drastic physical and mental change for her.”
How will this blossoming love triangle turn out? The cast didn’t divulge many details about what’s going to happen between Maggie and Ben. But Drew Roy (Hal) did say this: “It’s one of the more special things we got to do on the show just because we had to pay special attention to our motives, to what we were doing and make sure it had a good payoff. Week-to-week, even inside one episode, you could be pulling for this part of the triangle or this part of the triangle.”
Hybrid babies and mutating humans into submission is just the beginning. Eick said fans can expect to see more “new variations on existing species. The Espheni are very immersed in genetics, the idea of altering, the idea of adapting, and corrupting, mutating. It’s a terrifying idea, one that resonates. It does feel like a kissing cousin of where we are in real life. Hopefully it’ll scare the s— out of you.”

http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/07/25/fa...omic-con-2014/
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post #95798 of 95817 Old 07-26-2014, 02:17 PM
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As usual I am late to all the tv action but also one of the few who actually likes and enjoys cbs Under The Dome and wondered if the prospects look good to see a renewal for this drummer series ? Also did the comic con offer and The Last Ship on tnt spoilers ? Thanks also to the great person who answered my rating question about Falling Skies and The Last Ship !

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post #95799 of 95817 Old Yesterday, 12:49 AM
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Comic-Con 2014 TV Notes
‘Family Guy’ Feature Film On Hold; Season 13 Guest Stars & Stories Revealed
By Anthony D'Alessandro, Deadline.com - Jul. 26, 2014

Similar to 20th Century Fox TV‘s Bones Comic-Con presentation, the Family Guy creators and cast also revealed a number of storylines for its upcoming season. In no particular order, Meg (Mila Kunis) becomes a foot-fetish model, Stewie is impregnated with Brian’s baby, Jesus returns in the Christmas episode and “the guys help him get laid,” said executive producer Steve Callaghan. And as discussed at TCA, there’s the episode where Peter tries to kick Liam Neeson’s ass. Other guests stars in addition to Neeson this season include Allison Janney, Julie Bowen, Lea Thompson and Jeff Garlin.

Family Guy Comic-ConThe toon’s director and producer Peter Shin confirmed that there’s a looming feature film of Family Guy, but it’s currently on hold while creator Seth MacFarlane directs Ted 2. Said Shin, ”We started some work on one a while ago, but it’s been put on hold. It might move forward in the future.” Callaghan mentioned that the upcoming September 28 The Simpsons Guy is much in the vein of a film. MacFarlane would also like to do a Star Trek parody much in the same way Family Guy did a send-up of Star Wars: A New Hope with its sixth season premiere Blue Harvest. Airdate TBD.

A nice button during the Q&A included Simpsons creator Matt Groening taking the mike and asking, ‘Hey guys, what advice can you give a young, struggling animator? Please if you can kiss my ass a little more (during this panel).”

http://www.deadline.com/2014/07/comi...d/#more-791038

* * * *

Comic-Con 2014 TV Notes
‘The Blacklist’ Adds Mary-Louise Parker To Season 2 Cast
By Dominic Patten, Deadline.com - Jul. 26, 2014

The Blacklist star James Spader may have been snubbed for an Emmy nomination this year, but he got a lot of love today from the Comic-Con crowd. The actor drew a roar from the more than 1,000 fans in the packed room 6A of the San Diego Convention Center. “It’s been quite a journey, this craziness — and the craziness really started last year right here at Comic-Con,” Spader said after the applause died down. Then again, one year after his debut at the confab and with a breakout show success in the crime drama, the Mary-Louise Parkerman who plays former super-fugitive Raymond Reddington is a geekfest multitasker this time round thanks to his part as the primary villain in next year’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron pic – which got a big cheer when Spader mentioned his work on the Marvel movie.

Not that the panel didn’t cut to the Blacklist chase. There was a big casting announcement with the revelation that Mary-Louise Parker would be joining the NBC series in Season 2 in a recurring role as a character named Naomi Highland. EP/creator Jon Bokenkamp didn’t reveal any more details of the former Weeds star’s Blacklist involvement, but he described the character as “completely tied to Reddington.”

Then there is the question of relationships on a show all about unknown relationships. “The question of who is Reddington to Elizabeth Keen is the central conceit to the show,: responded Bokenkamp to questions of whether Reddington is the rookie FBI agent’s father, “but we’re really not going to answer that.” From burn marks to pocket photos and the secrets of a dying man, the May 12 Season 1 finale set up a lot for the show’s return – especially about who Reddington really is and what his relationship with Keen might be. Spader himself had some thoughts on the big question. “The real relationship is their present relationship,” the lead actor said. “Destinations aren’t enough. The ultimate answer should be that looking backwards.”

Added Spader: “The second season I think portends even more as the show sort of blew up at the end of the season and allowed the second season to become more expansive. We start to learn little bit more about Reddington and his mythological history.”

EPs Bokenkamp and John Eisendrath joined the actor on the panel in the SRO room. NBC also handed out swag of the Spader character’s trademark black fedora and Blacklist T-shirts. (UPDATE, 2:33PM: There was no sneak peek at Season 2, but fans were treated to a video mash-up of the highlights of Season 1.)

Renewed for another 22 episodes by NBC at the end of last year after a strong ratings finish of its fall run, Season 2 of The Blacklist debuts on September 22. With NBC airing the Super Bowl next year, the network in May at the Upfronts announced it was gifting Blacklist the coveted postgame spot before moving it midseason 9 PM Thursdays. Bob Greenblatt said that Super Bowl episode and Blacklist’s first Thursday airing will a two-part arc, with the obvious hopes that the massive postgame crowd will carry over to the Thursday debut.

As it did last year when the show had its heavily hyped Comic-Con debut, The Blacklist was an unavoidable presence for fans heading from San Diego’s Gaslamp District to the Convention Center. The NBC show again wrapped an entire restaurant right across the street from Comic-Con in its logo and imagery and offered fans who ventured in a look at footage and a special Blacklist photo.

http://www.deadline.com/2014/07/the-...es-spader-nbc/
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post #95800 of 95817 Old Yesterday, 12:52 AM
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Comic-Con 2014 TV Notes
‘True Blood’ Comic-Con Trailer: Will Bill and Sookie Have a Happy Ending in Series Finale?
By Laura Prudom, Variety.com - Jul. 26, 2014

The cast and executive producer of HBO’s “True Blood” were on hand at Comic-Con to say a tearful farewell to fans for the vampire drama’s final season, with Nathan Parsons, Deborah Ann Woll, Nelsan Ellis, Carrie Preston, Chris Bauer, Anna Camp, Kristin Bauer van Straten, Rutina Wesley, Sam Trammell, Stephen Moyer, Anna Paquin and EP Brian Buckner in attendance.

The panel kicked off with a goodbye video from the cast, thanking viewers for their support ahead of the series finale, and ended with a sizzle reel of scenes from the remaining five episodes of season seven (above), which sees Bill in dire straits after being infected with Hep-V, leaving Sookie racing to find a way to save him. Bill, meanwhile, means to “set her free,” implying that there may be a grand sacrifice ahead. Fans gave the cast and EP a standing ovation at the Q&A’s end.

There was a nostalgic air to the panel, punctuated with occasional tears as the cast reflected on the past seven years together, reminiscing about filming the pilot before teasing the show’s endgame.

“This season is about the love all these people share with each other — it’s really touching,” Buckner said, recalling the tough decision to kill Joe Manganiello’s fan-favorite character, Alcide. “I think we’ve really given these people their due. It’s our last season… this season had to be about Bill and Sookie. It’s not going to be exactly what you think it is, but Alcide had to go.”

Sookie and Bill’s relationship will be at the forefront of the last run of episodes, Buckner revealed. “This show started out and worked because of the chemistry they shared… they got married for us! I certainly felt that we had to come back to Bill and Sookie; how we’re coming back to them, we’re not telling you.”

Of the show’s final batch, he added, “It’s not done changing, it’s not gonna slow down any, there’s just a bit more focus on romance… We put last season’s issue to rest early on purpose. We know you love these characters, so we landed them in a place where we hope you guys will be okay not with getting them anymore.”

When asked what the actors recalled about filming the very first episode of the series, Trammell recounted, “I just remember that [Disney Channel show] ‘The Suite Life of Zack and Cody’ was shooting next door and we had all these naked, bloody people wandering around.”

Already known for being the most emotional member of the cast, Bauer van Straten admitted she had already cried “96 times today,” and that she struggled the most with filming her final scene with Alexander Skarsgard, since Pam and Eric shared the most profound connection with each other. “I’ve been crying for about a year, thinking about when that scene would come… I thought he would be rock solid, so when I saw him crack… I just tried to get out of there.” Instead of saying goodbye, they agreed to say “see you tomorrow,” but that apparently didn’t stop the tears from coming when the duo made their exits.

While Tara was the season’s first fatality, Buckner teased that “you haven’t seen the last of Rutina yet,” and when her true final scene came, the actress admitted, “It hit me all at once… It was beautiful, it was sad, it was on to new things.”

“In typical ‘True Blood’ fashion, I wrapped at 4 a.m. out in the woods somewhere,” Woll laughed. “We had a moment where at least half the cast were together, 17 people wrapped at once.”

“It was a beautiful scene, I thought it was appropriate,” Ellis agreed.

“We were just in each other’s arms and mourning, but celebrating too,” Preston added. “We started crying at the table read for that episode.”

Moyer said that saying goodbye to the crew was the most emotional moment for him on set, since he knew he’d be seeing the cast again at Comic-Con, but admitted, “This is the last time we’ll all be together in this guise, so we’re still mourning.”

A blue-haired Paquin said that on her last day, the crew was on location and so “the second that we wrapped, everyone had to pack their **** up and get out of there as fast as possible because we weren’t on any of our regular sets,” which was a somewhat jarring way to end.

Bauer van Straten also addressed “True Blood’s” recent Sarah Palin controversy, after the Republican turned down the chance to make a guest appearance on the show. A fictional Republican fundraiser in the most recent episode took a few shots at the GOP, prompting Palin to tell Breitbart, “The brilliant minds of ‘True Blood’ were brazen enough to ask me to do a cameo on their show, apparently so they could insult a conservative woman in person instead of just all conservative women in general. Their offer wasn’t presented in any negative way, perhaps to benefit from a surprise factor after the guest appearance. I turned them down anyway.”

“She’ll weigh in on anything,” Bauer van Straten laughed. “Being an animal rights person, when I first heard of her , she was just the wolf killer lady from Alaska… it’s sweet that many years later I’ve made her angry… I did have fun doing it.”

Camp’s Sarah Newlin has a big part to play in the show’s final arc, and teased of her character’s fate, “I think I get what I deserve.” Buckner agreed, “I had to explain it to her boyfriend when he saw the punishment on set, ‘no, she deserves this!’”

Of Sam’s storyline in the final episodes — as well as his future with Nicole, Trammell teased, ” Sam’s story has been about family for the past few years… [Nicole] has a very objective view of this town and how insane it is. We’ll see how committed I am to her and how committed she is to staying.”

Preston’s Arlene, on the other hand, will be enjoying the company of new vampire Keith. ” I don’t think you introduce a hot vampire on ‘True Blood’ without doing something with him… I feel like this season I got the real ‘True Blood’ experience, I got a vampire exploding in my crotch… [and] there’s something coming up with Arlene and Keith that’s unlike anything I’ve had to do on camera before.”

As for which of her many love interests Paquin thinks Sookie should’ve ended up with, the star admitted that she has dodged the question for years for fear of offending one of the show’s many loyal factions, but admitted, “Charlaine [Harris] ended it with Sam [with Sookie] — that made a lot of sense, they can both exist in the daylight… I understand why she made that decision.”

“I’d better do a rewrite!” Buckner joked.

“True Blood’s” final season airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.

http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/true...in-1201269718/
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Comic-Con 2014 TV Notes
'Grimm' Comic-Con panel hints Renard will resurrect in season 4
By Emily Rome, EW.com's 'Inside TV' Blog - Jul. 26, 2014

Grimm‘s third season ended with a disrupted wedding, a loss of powers, and an apparent death.

How the NBC show will follow up all the cliffhangers might not be fully known to even the show’s writers, as co-creator David Greenwalt confessed at Grimm‘s Comic-Con panel.

“We’re supposed to go [at the beginning of] every year and tell our betters at the network what they heck we’re doing up in our little office,” Greenwalt said. “Every year we have a plan, and every year [co-creator] Jim [Kouf] scares the hell out of me by saying, ‘Wouldn’t it be better if we did this instead…?’”

Kouf added, “We keep writing ourselves into corners, and then we have to figure out how to get out of them.”

With season four now in production, Grimm‘s writers are back in the business of getting out of corners. At the Comic-Con panel—which this year had graduated to its biggest room yet, Ballroom 20—some of those corner-escape plans were revealed. Read on for some hints of what’s to come and other fun moments from the panel.

• First things first: Is Captain Renard really dead? And dead forever? No solid answer came from the panel. Sasha Roiz (Renard) at least claims he had a rather forgiving and diplomatic response to the possibility that he was getting killed off: “I wouldn’t have faulted [the writers] if they said, ‘That’s the end of you,’ cause I know that makes for great television.” But fans shouldn’t be too worried about the fate of the Captain because, well, Roiz was on the panel, and he said, “I think we’re gonna try to find some sort of interesting way to bring him back to life.”

• David Giuntoli (Nick) had a little bit to say about what happens now that his character is without his Grimm powers: “Trubel’s now my seeing-eye Grimm, which is nice. I would hope I get the powers back on some level.” He also pointed out that this change might ease the tension between Nick and Juliette: “Domestic life is much easier when you’re not having to kill monsters,” he said.

• Even though Nick lost his powers, he still has to deal with being exposed as a Grimm to all the Wesen at the wedding. That’s something Monroe and Rosalee will have to deal with too, along with the judgements thrown toward their mixed-Wesen marriage: As Bree Turner (Rosalee) explained: “We are exposed now as Wesen harboring this Grimm. We also put ourselves on the line at the wedding showing the world we’re a modern couple in the community. We’re changing the rules and not subscribing to the old-fashioned rules.”

• Fun fact: In an earlier version of the pilot, Juliette was a baker, not a vet. So actress Bitsie Tulloch had some ideas about how she could be a badass baker. “Having been a fan of Buffy and Angel, I thought I would kick some major butt. I was imagining these scenes. I got a trainer that summer [before season one]. I thought I was gonna throw muffins and sauce at everyone,” Tulloch said. Once her character was reworked as a vet, though, she was very happy because she’s “crazy about animals.” And of course the vet experience made Juliette a unique asset once she joined the Wesen-aware Scooby Gang.

• The show’s creators chose shoot and set Grimm in Portland largely for its architecture and its forests, which Kouf said are evocative of the Black Forest in Germany. Fellow executive producer Norberto Barba said of shooting in the Pacific Northwest, “The hardest time for us to shoot is in the summer because it’s sunny most of the time, which is not very grim. In September, October it starts getting gray—that’s the perfect time. There’s all this mist in the air. It’s what we call ‘the Grimm look.’”

• Like their Comic-Con panels in past years, Grimm‘s producers supplied a teaser fans are always curious about: What new Wesen will be on the show this year? Here’s what Greenwalt said: “We’re gonna see some great new [Wesen] next season, particularly coming in the first couple episodes, a character who steals your identity but in a very disgusting way.”

• Another hint of what’s to come from Greenwalt: Those keys first seen in the season-two premiere are back. “There’ll be another key this year. We will answer what those damn seven keys mean and what they lead to,” he said.

• Reggie Lee, who was welcomed onto the stage with chants of “Wu Wu Wu Wu!” from the audience, said Sgt. Wu will have his own variation on #ShirtlessRage in season four: “I think there is gonna be some shirted rage coming,” he joked. “How would that work?” Sasha Roiz (Renard) wanted to know. Lee then mimed a reverse version of Renard’s trademark shirt-ripping, anguished yell and all.

http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/07/26/co...n-grimm-panel/

* * * *

Comic-Con 2014 TV Notes
'The Vampire Diaries' at Comic-Con: A Damon-Bonnie spinoff? Well...
By Darren Franich, EW.com's 'Inside TV' Blog - Jul. 26, 2014

Season 5 of Vampire Diaries ended with Ian Somerhalder’s Damon and Kat Graham’s Bonnie giving into the white light of oblivion. Generally speaking, “giving into the white light of oblivion” might imply that characters will not be returning anytime soon. The Vampire Diaries panel at Comic-Con made light of the characters’ apparent exit, with a video where the actors ponder whether they’ve been written off or granted a spinoff.

However, both Somerhalder and Graham were onstage, along with fellow cast members Nina Dobrev, Matt Davis, and Paul Wesley and Diaries showrunner Julie Plec. The team revealed that season 6 picks up four months after the finale, with the characters all getting over the events of season 5 in different ways.

She wouldn’t explain where the characters are exactly, though it’s clear they will be together–”being together” in Vampire Diaries land naturally implying “being together.” Ian Somerhalder teased possible ‘shipper names: “I definitely think Bamon’s better than Donnie.” Graham simply stated, “I would definitely say you’ll see more interaction between them.” More interaction, hubba hubba!

More quick hits from the Vampire Diaries panel:

–With Damon apparently out of the picture, would Stefan and Elena rekindle? Probably not, says Plec. “Right now the love between Damon and Elena is so strong,” explained Plec, “And the friendship between Stefan and Elena has grown strong.”

–The resurrected Alaric is now a teacher at a local college.

–When asked if he was Team Damon or Team Stefan, Ian Somerhalder helpfully deconstructed the entire Vampire Diaries saga: “Does no one realize that this woman should not be with either of these guys?”

http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/07/26/va...ies-comic-con/
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Comic-Con 2014 TV Notes
‘Defiance’ Star Julie Benz on ‘Friends’ Romance Parallel: ‘We're the Ross and Rachel of the Sci-Fi World’
By Travis Reilly, TheWrap.com - Jul. 26, 2014

Julie Benz went from town mayor to brothel madame in less than two seasons on “Defiance,” but she assures TheWrap that better days are ahead for her character Amanda Rosewater. Eventually.

“Up to now we've been seeing the slow unraveling of Amanda,” Benz said. “She's addicted to drugs. She's having a hard time keeping her act together. She gets manipulated a lot — the poor girl. But she does start to pull herself together a bit.”

Benz visited TheWrap's Comic-Con video lounge at the “Walking Dead Escape” in Petco Park Saturday, but her hit SyFy show wasn't the only thing on her mind.

“I feel how you look right now,” Benz told TheWrap's Zombie Greg Gilman, referring to the long night she had just endured.

The topic of conversation quickly turned to how her character's on-again, off-again relationship with lawman Joshua Nolan (played by Grant Bowler) so closely parallels that of Ross and Rachel on “Friends.”

“We are off, Amanda and Nolan are off. For now.” she said, but admitted their flames would never really go out. “We're the Ross and Rachel of the sci-fi world… ‘We were on a break!'”

Benz admitted she wants to try her hand at a more comedy at some point in her future, but she's also appreciative of the character she plays on SyFy.

“I love working on SyFy. They write amazing women,” Benz said. “The female characters [on Defiance] are extremely strong. Very dynamic, extremely complex. The genre allows you to do that. and It's really awesome to be a part of it.”

A new episode of “Defiance” airs Thursday on SyFy at 9:00 p.m. Click link below to see video.

http://www.thewrap.com/defiance-star...i-world-video/

* * * *

Comic-Con 2014 TV Notes
‘Banshee’ Star Antony Starr and Creator Jonathan Tropper Tease Season 3
By Carly Milne, TheWrap.com - Jul. 26, 2014

If you ask “Banshee” star Antony Starr and creator Jonathan Tropper what's in store for the third season of the popular Cinemax show, they'll warn you to be prepared — it's going to be like “Banshee” on steroids. That's just one of a few tidbits Starr and Tropper let slip when they stopped by TheWrap's Comic-Con video lounge at the “Walking Dead Escape” in San Diego.

“We're actually halfway through filming it now — we're just taking a couple of days off,” Starr said. “We just finished episode six and it's pretty intense. Jonathan has come up with more than enough capers to keep us occupied. It's a pretty full-on season — a lot of action.”

“It is, and on an emotional level as well,” Tropper agreed. “Somehow even though they escape the major threat of the first two seasons and there's a threat this season, for some reason it still seems like emotionally everything has been magnified, and the stakes seem a bit higher … the things that are happening this season are going to impact the characters and the story for the rest of the show.”

“And my body, because I keep getting into fight scenes,” Starr joked.

One such impact comes in the form of Geno Segers, who played Native American gang leader Cheyton Littlestone in season two — and the impact of his presence is only just beginning. As Tropper puts it, “He's coming back with vengeance and brings lawlessness to the town that already has a lawlessness to it, but he takes it to another level.”

Speaking of taking it to another level, Tropper and Starr have discovered their fan base takes their loyalty very seriously. While Starr likes to refer to them as “die hard,” Tropper finds that Comic-Con is the only place where the people questioning him about the show know more about it than he does — but he takes that as a huge compliment.

As Tropper puts it, “It feels great that we have people who really study our show the way they do because that's the kind of fans you need to keep a show going.”

Watch the video above. [CLICK LINK BELOW]

http://www.thewrap.com/banshee-star-...ease-season-3/
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Comic-Con 2014 TV Notes
'Once Upon a Time' Reveals First 'Frozen' Clip
By Philiana Ng, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Jul. 26, 2014

Once Upon a Time returned to Comic-Con, and the Ballroom 20 crowd was treated to special treats — including an exclusive Frozen first-look scene from the season four premiere.

The clip opens with Frozen's Anna (Elizabeth Lail) and Elsa (Georgina Haig) putting flowers on their parents' gravestones, with Elsa telling her sister, "Anna, they would be so proud of you." But that's not all, Elsa breaks the news that she has a surprise for Anna, but not just any surprise—it's for her wedding. The Frozen story line on Once will take place after the events of Disney's Oscar-winning film.

The second clip, which was filmed just a few days ago, featured Regina (Lana Parrilla) going back to becoming Evil Queen, letting out her old friend, the Mirror (Giancarlo Esposito). Regina tells a bloodied Mirror, "There's somebody standing in the way of happiness. I need your help getting rid of them."

Much has been made about the ABC fairy-tale drama's move to introduce the major Frozen characters into the universe — including Kristoff (Scott Michael Foster) and Prince Hans — and the producers couldn't help but address it in a comedic way with a faux spoof of a writers' mini-camp and a cameo by executive producers Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz's mentor Carlton Cuse.

New mother Ginnifer Goodwin, who couldn't make the session moderated by Community star Yvette Nicole Brown, filmed a funny video message on the Vancouver set, which included a cameo by Once Upon a Time in Wonderland star Michael Socha. Socha will reprise his role as the Knave in the mothership in the new season.

Below are some season-four teases.

Keeping Regina in check: After Emma unknowingly brought back Robin Hood's previously dead wife Marion back to Storybrooke, things are about to get rough for Regina. "It's an impossible situation. I can't apologize for saving a life and I'm horrified for getting in the way of Regina's happiness. It may spiral her back into her old ways," said Jennifer Morrison said of Emma's bind. "Emma's going to be determined to keep her in the good place in her life ... and keep something positive between them. It adds a nice element of conflict and concern." Added Parrilla, "She has something up her sleeve. Is anyone surprised by that? She's enjoyed being good; she's enjoyed discovering the light magic, but old habits die hard."

Hook in regular clothes: Looks like Captain Hook will finally get out of his period garb in the new season. "It'll be nice to wear something new," said Colin O'Donoghue, who revealed that Hook's jacket weighs 50 pounds.

Emma's true soulmate: Brown asked Morrison the impossible question of who she believed was Emma's true love, who punted the question to the producers. O'Donoghue played to the crowd, which was made up of a healthy number of Captain Swan fans, to drive some love for his character's burgeoning romance with Emma.
Josh Dallas on fatherhood: "Fatherhood is the greatest thing that's ever happened to me," he said of his newborn son with wife Goodwin. "Oliver is probably my soulmate for sure."

Once musical?: It won't happen any time soon. "The problem with doing a musical is we don't know how," Kitsis admitted. With several members of the cast having musical abilities, the possibility is always open. "We're willing to learn," Horowitz said.

Henry's new journey: Producers hinted that Henry will take up the family business — the pawn shop side of it — in the new season. Horowitz hinted that Henry's relationship with Mr. Gold will be further explored.
True love versus soulmate: Kitsis and Horowitz also clarified the difference between what a true love is versus what a soulmate is on the show. "True love is when you truly love somebody," Kitsis said. "Soulmate is the idea that there's only one person for you."

Belle and Rumple forecast: Rumple and Belle's wedding was genuine, Kitsis affirmed, even though Rumple's "weaknesses" may take over — especially following his dagger betrayal. How would Belle react if and when she discovers the truth? "I think she might be devastated," said Emilie De Ravin.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/liv...n-first-721426
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Critic's Notes
Fastidious Belgian Detective Bows Out
‘Agatha Christie’s Poirot’ Comes to an End
By Mike Hale, The New York Times - Jul. 26, 2014

You could almost set your clock by it, if you still had to set a clock. In the final five 90-minute episodes of “Agatha Christie’s Poirot,” the denouement — the long scene in which the dapper Belgian detective Hercule Poirot explains it all to his puzzled audience, including us — arrives reliably somewhere between 22 and 17 minutes from the end. We have reached our destination, intact and on time.

You could deride this consistency as formulaic, and you’d be right. The last season of “Poirot,” beginning Sunday night on PBS (and on the streaming service acorn.tv), delivers pretty much the same cozy-mystery package as the first, back in 1989. But why be unkind? If you’re part of the “Poirot” audience, you can soak unashamed in the pleasures of these episodes, carefully calibrated to usher out the detective and the man who has played him for 25 years, David Suchet, with the proper mix of sentiment and reserve. If you’re not, “Ray Donovan” is on at the same time.

Christie’s character, protagonist of more than 30 novels and many short stories spanning the two world wars, was a bit thin on the page — he was no Holmes or Maigret — and Mr. Suchet and the “Poirot” writers beefed him up over the years, giving him layers of wit and understated emotion. He may have been vain and imperious, but on screen he was far from the “egocentric little creep” (Christie’s words) who wore on his own creator.

Mr. Suchet’s portrayal was, in the classic British tradition, built from the outside in. Christie provided a template — short and fastidious, with a dramatic mustache and an egg-shaped head. To this Mr. Suchet added a stiff, military posture and a slightly mincing penguin’s waddle of a walk that could turn into a surprisingly nimble run on the rare occasions when action was called for. Add a small assortment of expressions — gimlet stare, disapproving frown, twinkling grin — and across roughly 80 hours of screen time a full portrait emerges of pride, loyalty, fastidiousness, kindness and implacable principle.

Mr. Suchet’s wise and warm performance was the through line in a series of varying quality. Some episodes felt padded; others, showing the strain of squishing a novel’s worth of Christie’s clues and red herrings into 50 or 90 minutes, were mystifyingly incoherent. Famous guest stars often did little beyond contribute to the show’s gallery of hilariously bad continental accents.

But some effort has clearly gone into this final season. (It was shown in Britain on its home network, ITV, in 2013.) At least four of the five mysteries are reasonably involving, and they constitute a tasting menu of Poirot situations: a village scandal, a country house murder, an expedition to a spa in the Swiss Alps where every guest is a suspect. “The Big Four” reunites Poirot with supporting characters — Captain Hastings (Hugh Fraser), Inspector Japp (Philip Jackson) and Miss Lemon (Pauline Moran) — who were last together more than a decade ago, in Season 8.

Seeded throughout the season are harbingers of the end, beginning with Poirot’s fake death in “The Big Four.” He is melancholy; he hints at retirement; he meets an old flame who comments on “the life he might have had.” The final episode, one of three that will not be shown on PBS but will be available exclusively online at acorn.tv, adapts “Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case,” in which Christie finally killed off the character she’d grown so tired of. This is hardly a spoiler, given the title, and fans should be prepared with tissues and eye drops. Somehow, Poirot manages to deliver the 20-minute explanation well after his death.

The end of “Poirot” is most notably the end of Mr. Suchet’s long-running performance, but it’s also a step closer to the end of the type of self-contained, plot-based, cloud-of-suspects mystery popularized by Christie and not so long ago predominant in television crime dramas. The last pure example in American TV was probably “Monk,” though the flag is carried by the Holmes shows (“Elementary” and “Sherlock”), and perhaps someone will eventually revive Christie’s Miss Marple. Most of the territory has been ceded to serialized dramas that can’t maintain multiple suspects over a season-long run and instead pick them up and dismiss them one at a time while the detectives mumble and agonize.

The makers of “Agatha Christie’s Poirot” were no doubt conscious of the antiquated nature of their endeavor, and this season they had some fun with it. An exasperated suspect, tired of being politely browbeaten by Poirot, yells: “Why do you insist on referring to yourself in the third person? It’s intensely irritating.”

“Because,” the detective replies, “it helps Poirot achieve a healthy distance from his genius.” A lot of American viewers may find that an intensely irritating answer, but some of us will find American TV poorer without Poirot.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/26/ar...ref=television
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Comic-Con 2014 TV Notes
‘American Horror Story’ Cast Gets Candid About Ryan Murphy & Talk ‘Freak Show’
By Anthony D'Alessandro, Deadline.com - Jul. 26, 2014

The hottest panel following Marvel’s one-two punch of Ant-Man and The Avengers: Age Of Ultron, American Horror Story finally made its Comic-Con debut, except way across from Hall H in Room 6DE, one of the smaller rooms at the San Diego Convention Center. AHS exeuctive producer Tim Minear described the fourth season of the series, Freak Show, as ”(director) Douglas Sirk meets the movie Zodiac.”

One by one, each of the actors revealed their new identities: Emma Roberts is Maggie, Sarah Paulson will play Siamese twins Bette and Dot, Michael Chiklis is Evan del Toreado, Angela Bassett is his wife Desiree Dupre, and Evan Peters will play del Toreado’s son Jimmy Darling. Minear said that there will be “a villain who will rival the rubber man and the minotaur from previous seasons. John Carroll Lynch will play him, and he will scare the **** out of you.”

Missing from the panel was Jessica Lange, who is over in Spain shooting the Weinstein Company comedy Wild Oats. Also missing: any teaser or glimpse of Freak Show. Boo! Nonetheless, the fanboy crowd didn’t mind as they stormed the cast for autographs after the panel.

Paulson, who tweeted out a photo recently of Bette and Dot, said that her twin heads aren’t “a prosthetic. There’s a mystery around what we’re doing, and I want to keep it that way. Right now, a week in, Bette is my favorite character. It’s like Sybil. I should call Sally Field and get some tips.” Freak Show will take place during the 1950s in Jupiter, FL.

While most of these fan panels are full of actors’ guarded, sugary praise of each other, the cast of American Horror Story let loose — real loose and got candid about working with AHS creator Ryan Murphy. Said Evan Peters about Murphy, “He’s a visionary. He thinks of all these things, and we have to figure out what he wants.” Said co-star Kathy Bates with a laugh: “That’s the damn truth! It unnerves me a bit. The man behind the curtain has come out in front of the curtain. It’s so lame. I must be nervous. After my first scene one week, I got home and couldn’t go to sleep, and then I slept for 30 hours — and that was without drugs! I swear to God, I think he scares the **** out of me!”

Off the Oscar-winning actress’ candid comment, Paulson said, “I say there’s nothing better than Kathy Bates!”

Said new AHS cast member Chiklis, ”I always wanted to work with him.”

“That’s ********,” said Bates, “You said you worked with him last night!” To which the actress mimicked a rimshot, “Badum-chick!”

When the actors were asked if there was an acerbic scene they would ever opt of, Bates said: “I wouldn’t want to do any bad scene with children. If there was something abusive with children that was too horrific, that would be it for me.” The actress later described she wasn’t a fan of AHS: Asylum — at which point, Paulson hysterically took the mike away from Bates.

During PaleyFest last spring, the American Horror Story panel filled the Dolby Theatre to the brim, so it’s odd that the show has been sidelined to one of the smaller rooms here at the convention center. Most of the cast members — including Roberts, Paulson and Bates — were new to the fanboy confab. Chiklis is a four-time vet.

http://www.deadline.com/2014/07/amer...mic-con-panel/

* * * *

Comic-Con 2014 TV Notes
Seth Meyers Talks Emmy Hosting & ‘The Awesomes’ Season 2

The late-night talk show host’s pet side project won’t make a cameo on the upcoming Primetime Emmys telecast that he’s hosting, but Seth Meyers mentioned during The Awesomes panel at Comic-Con that his team is writing “filmed segments featuring many of this year’s nominees.”

Season 2 of his animated superhero Hulu series is upping its profile with the addition of his Saturday Night Live pals Amy Poehler, Maya Rud0lph and Will Forte voicing new characters. While Season 1 focused on a ragtag misfit superhero team (inspired largely by DC’s Justice League), in Season 2 we find The Awesomes getting more respect. Meyers’ lead Image (1) sethmeyers__140425013105.jpg for post 719698toon hero Prock falls in love with a fierce lawyer, Jaclyn Stone (Poehler), who when it comes to fighting adversaries in court will “sue their dicks off.” There’s also a new vigilante hanging around, Metal-fella, who is a lot like Marvel’s Iron Man. Whether the production will face any litigation from Marvel, Meyers quipped: “No one knows who came up with which one first. Maybe we’ll sue people.” We’ll also see the family members of Season 1 villain Dr. Malocchio (fellow SNL alum Bill Hader) including Lady Malocchio (Rudolph) and Malocchio Jr. (Forte), the latter plotting revenge. Other zany plotlines for Season 2 include Perfect Man (voiced by brother Josh Meyers) getting in a bind and learning he needs the help of The Awesomes in court. Said Seth Meyers: “Perfect Man is a racist because he’s stupid. He’s even against Atlantic Islanders, the people from Nantucket.”

Colin Quinn , yet another SNL veteran, will play a highly intelligent racist ape who doesn’t like humans. However, the big difference in Season 2 per Meyers and fellow Awesomes and Late Night producer Mike Shoemaker is that they added a writing staff headed by stand-up comic Dan Mintz. “We got busy and realized we wouldn’t be able to do both the animated show and Late Night at the same time,” said Shoemaker. For Season one, Meyers and Shoemaker had more prep time. “This show wouldn’t have worked on a network — we don’t have to chase ratings with this model,” said Meyers about the perks about airing The Awesomes on Hulu.

Here are two clips that premiered during the Comic-Con panel — the Season 2 trailer followed by a “Meet the New Cast” featurette: [CLICK LINK BELOW]

http://www.deadline.com/2014/07/seth...omes-season-2/
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TV Review
‘Running Wild with Bear Grylls,’ cool
Celebrities venture into the wilderness with Grylls
By Tom Conroy, Media Life Magazine - Jul. 25, 2014

It’s a shame that nowadays two handsome men can’t go on a camping holiday together without provoking snickers. It’s a credit to NBC’s new adventure series “Running Wild With Bear Grylls” that the snickering doesn’t really start until the last few minutes.

In the series, Grylls, an English outdoorsman who is best known as the host of the Discovery Channel’s “Man vs. Wild,” spends 48 hours in the wilderness with various celebrities. Like “Man vs. Wild,” the show raises questions about how real the action is, but armchair survivalists will still enjoy the fantasy of exploring with the world’s coolest adventure guide.

In the premiere episode, airing Monday at 8, Grylls spends two days in the wilds of New York State with the actor Zac Efron. “He’s used to screaming fans,” Grylls tells the camera, “but this time it’s Zac who’s going to be doing the screaming.”

Efron, an impressively fit young man who says he and his father hiked and camped together when he was young, takes to the challenges readily.

He handles the first challenge perhaps too smoothly. With little instruction, he manages not only to jump out of a helicopter but to guide his parachute to the landing zone gracefully. We assume this isn’t Efron’s first time.

At the landing zone, someone has left backpacks for Efron and Grylls. Grylls tells his charge that they’re going to be crossing varied terrain for two days before arriving at their extraction zone.

In the first setback, Grylls says that they don’t have harnesses to rappel down a steep incline near a waterfall. So they have do an “improvised body rappel,” which involves wrapping a rope around one’s body and gripping both ends with both hands. Assuming that they’re actually working without a net or other safety devices, this is pretty exciting.

Although they have some trail food, Grylls makes Efron cut open and smell a dead woodland creature to see if it’s fresh enough to eat. Then they share an earthworm. Grylls tells Efron to be sure to chew the worm up so it doesn’t come crawling out of another orifice.

When they spot a bird’s nest, Efron climbs the tree to see if there are any eggs. As luck would have it, there are. He and Grylls make a worm and egg scramble, leaving in the shells, which, Grylls says, have “great vitamins and minerals.”

After they make camp in a hollow in a rock wall, Grylls demonstrates a cool technique to start a fire using a battery and a gum wrapper.

He and Efron have some heart-to-hearts about overcoming obstacles. Efron talks frankly about his experience with substance abuse and rehab.

The second day, after Efron does a “classic commando crawl” along a rope that someone has conveniently strung across a deep chasm, he and Grylls discuss courage. Efron says he developed his ability to overcome his fear by going to auditions.

Finally, after Grylls make it sound as if they were finished, they actually have to rappel down an even steeper incline near an even higher waterfall. Although they didn’t have a rappelling harness the last time, suddenly one appears among Grylls’ equipment.

It turns out to be a two-man harness, which requires some close contact. Throwing caution to the winds, Efron and Grylls take off their shirts.

If viewers aren’t laughing at that sight, they will be when the recently soaked guys, still shirtless, get on an ATV and ride off together into the woods.

But taken as a whole, the episode lets us share Efron’s feelings of accomplishment, and his fans certainly get an eyeful. Those fans will probably also be excited to hear that a future episode features Channing Tatum. They’ll be less excited about the one featuring Tom Arnold.

But the main fantasy that’s sold on “Running Wild With Bear Grylls” is being coached to overcome fears by an affable guide. It sells that fantasy well.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/run...r-grylls-cool/
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
SUNDAY Network Primetime Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET)

ABC:
7PM - Wipeout (120 min.)
9PM - Rising Star (LIVE)
10PM - Castle
(R - Feb. 3)

CBS:
7PM - 60 Minutes
8PM - Big Brother
9PM - Unforgettable
10PM - Regardless

NBC:
7PM - American Ninja Warrior (120 min.)
(R - Jul. 14)
9PM - Chicago Fire
(R - Apr. 29)
10PM - Chicago PD
(R - Apr. 30)

FOX:
8PM - American Dad
(R - May 18)
8:30PM - Bob's Burgers
(R - Mar. 17)
8PM - The Simpsons
(R - May 18)
8:30PM - The Simpsons
(R - Nov. 17)
9PM - Family Guy
(R - May 18)
9:30PM - American Dad
(R - Oct. 6)

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Last Tango In Halifax
9PM - Masterpiece Mystery! Poirot, Season 12: The Big Four (Season Premiere, 90 min.)
10:30PM - Vicious

UNIVISION:
7PM - Aquí y Ahora
8PM - Bailando por un Sueño (120 min.)
10PM - Sal y Pimienta

TELEMUNDO:
6:30PM - Movie: Toy Story 3 (2010)
8:30PM - Movie: Thor (2011)
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TV Notes
Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi on CNN; Paul Ryan on NBC
By Hal Boedeker, Orlando Sentinel's 'TV Guy' Blog - Jul. 26, 2014

The Sunday talk-show guest list:

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit "Fareed Zakaria GPS" at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on CNN. The topics will include Russia and Ukraine, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Iran, China, Syria and the 2016 presidential race. CNN released the interview Saturday morning.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., will talk to NBC's "Meet the Press" at 9 a.m. on WESH-Channel 2. He discusses the border crisis and his new plan to fight poverty. The panel will be Judy Woodruff of "PBS NewsHour"; David Brooks of The New York Times; and Nia-Malika Henderson and Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post.

Netanyahu and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin talk to CBS' "Face the Nation" at 10:30 a.m. on WKMG-Channel 6. Other guests are Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Other guests are Anthony Salvanto, CBS News elections director; David Leonhardt of The New York Times; Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report; and John Dickerson of CBS.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., take questions on "State of the Union" at 9 a.m. and noon on CNN. The panel will be Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn.; Stephen Hadley, former national security adviser to George W. Bush; Julia Ioffe of The New Republic; and former Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calf., of the Woodrow Wilson Center.

Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., is a guest on "Fox News Sunday" at 10 a.m. on WOFL-Channel 35. Other guests are Ron Prosor, Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, and Hanan Ashrawi of the Palestine Liberation Organization. The program salutes Tim Arcano of the Naval Surface Warfare Center. The panel will be Brit Hume, Juan Williams, George Will and Kirsten Powers of USA Today.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Rep. Henry Cuellar, R-Texas, will be guests on ABC's "This Week" at 11 a.m. on WFTV-Channel 9. The panel will be Democratic strategist Donna Brazile; Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla.; S.E. Cupp, co-oost of CNN's "Crossfire" and New York Daily News columnist; and former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich.

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., is a guest on "Sunday Morning Futures" at 10 a.m. on Fox News Channel. Other guests are Stephen Parente of the University of Minnesota, Lanhee Chen of the Partnership for the Future of Medicare and Adam Ereli, former ambassador to Bahrain. The panel will be journalist Judith Miller; Douglas Holtz-Eakin of American Action Forum; and Jon Hilsenrath of The Wall Street Journal.

"MediaBuzz" explores journalism issues at 11 a.m. on Fox News Channel. The guests will be Lauren Ashburn, KT McFarland, Fred Francis of 15seconds.com, Leland Vittert of Fox News, Joe Concha of Mediaite and Jackie Kucinich of The Washington Post.

Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic talks to "Reliable Sources" at 11 a.m. on CNN. Other guests are Italian-Palestinian journalist Rula Jebreal; Chris Cuomo of CNN's "New Day"; and author Maziar Bahari ("Then They Came for Me").

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/enter...0,2262111.post
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Critic's Notes
Riding the Juggernaut That Left Print Behind
By David Carr, The New York Times' 'Media Equation' Column

Even if you aren’t one of those people worried about media consolidation — there are many in that number — the big bolt of lightning last week that pierced a summer of ennui in entertainment and publishing news was hard to resist.

The unrequited bid that Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox made for Time Warner Inc. had it all: defensive consolidations taking shape in both distribution and content production; two like-size media behemoths in an awkward, high-stakes dance; secret meetings; board intrigue; and a naked grab for size and power. Plus, there was the gift that keeps on giving: Mr. Murdoch on the prowl.

It was as if a big train with the word FUTURE emblazoned on its side was revving up. But it was difficult not to notice that one car had been uncoupled and would not be leaving the station.

Even though both companies involved in the merger discussions were built on print franchises — Mr. Murdoch’s newspaper empire, and the storied Time Inc. magazine brand — neither owns print assets anymore. In fact, 21st Century Fox is in a position to make a deal and Time Warner is an attractive target partly because they both got rid of slow-growth print divisions. To the extent that the proposal offered a crystal ball on the future of media, print doesn’t seem as if it will be much a part of it.

Mr. Murdoch moved onto his next quarry only after he had quarantined his own print assets under a separate public company. And Time Warner took on new allure when it shed those dowdy old magazine properties that now trade under their own ticker. Print has lost value in business realms because it has, in fundamental ways, lost traction with you and me.

Think about what happened when the Malaysian airliner was shot down in eastern Ukraine. No matter where you were, or what you were doing, an ambient feed of information pulsed and heaved all around you. Graphic images soon appeared in social media feeds and breathless news alerts arrived in the inboxes of anyone with even a casual interest.

I happened to be at CNN for a taping session when news of the downed jetliner broke, and you could see the entire apparatus come roaring to life, getting everything in place to cover the kind of story — big stakes, scary pictures and international consequences — that a 24-hour news channel was made for. Then again, given the ubiquity of information and delivery devices, we already sort of live in an always-on news network.

Between the flood of information online and the wall-to-wall television coverage, what is left for print? The Wall Street Journal devoted special reports and remarkable video to the events in Ukraine and Gaza. And The New York Times responded like the digital news organization it is becoming. Vivid on-scene reporting was accompanied by early video, with step-back analysis of what it all meant.

I am a faithful reader of The Journal’s and The Times’s print edition. Both are built on a wonderful technology for discovering and consuming news, and a large part of their profits still reside in that daily artifact. But when big things happen, I stayed glued to the web, at The Times and other great news sites.

Nothing can compete with the shimmering immediacy of now, and not just when seismic events take place, but in our everyday lives. We are sponges and we live in a world where the fire hose is always on.

But once a sponge is at capacity, new information can only replace old information. Last month, researchers at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand published a study that found that comprehension, concentration and retention all went off a cliff when information was taken in online. (Then again, there are those who say that we see everything and remember nothing because we don’t have to, that the web now serves as our memory.)

Online, we are always beckoned forward to the next great thing, often right in the middle of what we thought we wanted to read about. Consider how many times you have clicked a link early in an article and never returned to what brought you there in the first place.

As somebody who lives in the news cycle, is far too engaged on Twitter and has almost as many devices for consuming media as I do fingers, I’m not so much a digital native as a digital casualty.

For the last six months, my magazines, once a beloved and essential part of my media diet, have been piling up, patiently waiting for some mindshare, only to be replaced by yet another pile that will go unread. I used to think that people who could not keep up with The New Yorker were shallow individuals with suspect priorities. Now I think of them as just another desperate fellow traveler, bobbing in a sea of information none of us will see to the bottom of. We remain adrift.

As Alexis Madrigal wrote in The Atlantic, “it is easier to read ‘Ulysses’ than it is to read the Internet. Because at least ‘Ulysses’ has an end, an edge. Ulysses can be finished. The Internet is never finished.”

Some days, when I board the bus or train to the city, I’ll stash a print copy of The Journal in my bag with a magazine or two, in high hopes of reading them. And after I settle in, I will check my email on my phone. The relevant message usually comes in faster than I can get rid of it. Sometimes when people ask what I do for a living, I am tempted to say that I write emails.

On Thursday, I was scheduled to take a three-hour train ride up the Hudson Valley and I decided this was it — a clean block of time to rectify my print deficit. I picked a doozy of a day: The news cycle seemed to go on tilt, with the downed jetliner, the Israeli ground invasion in Gaza and the untangling of an immense proposed media merger. But I resisted, leaving my devices in the bag and pulling out a stack of magazines.

I read New York magazine’s delicious profile of the journalist Kara Swisher of Recode, took in a long interview that the Virginia Quarterly Review conducted with one of the world’s leading origami makers and stared at an exquisite photo essay in The Pitchfork Review. I grazed the sassy delights of The Hollywood Reporter, and in Fast Company, I learned how Mark Zuckerberg wants to own our (increasingly) mobile lives.

Purposefully, but not in a hurry, I caught up on the remarkable television and film writing in The New Yorker and contemplated interesting, different versions of being a male in GQ and Esquire.

I was having a moment, one without informational angst or FOMO (fear of missing out). And when I finished something, I spent time staring out the window at the unspeakably pretty Hudson River. I came to rest.

Still, there was some trouble in paradise on the Ethan Allen Express. More than a few people around me were cursing the indifferent Wi-Fi as they desperately tried to remain tethered to the grid. Behind me, a passenger made serial phone calls in a mind-erasing loud voice. “I’m on the train!” he would always begin.

It struck me that part of the reason we always stay jacked in is that we want everyone — at the other end of the phone, on Facebook and Twitter, on the web, on email — to know that we are part of the now. If we look away, we worry we will disappear.

We are all on that train, the one that left print behind, the one where we are constantly in real time, where we know a little about everything and nothing about anything, really. And there is no quiet car.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/21/bu...html?ref=media
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Comic-Con 2014 TV Notes
'Outlander' cast lives in the past - and the far past
By Bill Keveney, USA Today - Jul. 27, 2014

SAN DIEGO – Time travel is a tricky business.

Caitriona Balfe can vouch for that, playing a woman who is transported two centuries into the past in Starz's Outlander (Aug. 9, 9 p.m. ET/PT).

In the 16-episode drama, which is based on Diana Gabaldon's best-selling book series, Balfe's Claire Randall is a 1940s British combat nurse traveling in Scotland when she is suddenly catapulted to the 1740s. There, she finds herself in the middle of a brutal conflict between the Scottish and the English. In the process, she is separated from her husband, Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies), and forced to marry a Scottish warrior, Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan).

"How does someone navigate their way through one time and then, when they're completely transported, what are the challenges that arise?" Balfe says, during a quick Comic-Con breakfast chat that also included Menzies and Fraser. "Claire, even in the 1940s, is a very modern woman, kind of a timeless character. Going back to the 1700s, she's constantly battling against societal norms she doesn't agree with."

Asked if Outlander, which mixes romance, science fiction, history and adventure, will feature flashbacks of the transported Claire's life in the 1940s, Balfe corrects the questioner: "Flash-forwards."

Menzies also has a time-twister of a task, playing Frank in the 1940s and one of his ancestors, "Black Jack" Randall, a cruel English military officer, in 18th-century Scotland.

"I haven't had to do both characters on the same day. I feel like it's going to happen," he says. As far as separating characters, "The costumes and scripts help a lot. You have to trust the story to a certain extent. Part of the job is to imagine myself in two different head spaces and find the similarities and differences" between the characters.

Heughan, who was born in Scotland, says his native land provides a vivid setting for the TV series, which features Battlestar Galactica's Ronald Moore as executive producer.

"There are a few episodes quite early on where they go on the road and there's some amazing stuff. We still had snow on the mountains. It's really panoramic and dramatic," Heughan says. "The light is very special there. The colors are, (too). Quite early on when (Claire) is at Castle Leoch and out picking flowers, all the trees have these amazing autumnal colors. It looks like a painting."

Menzies adds: "Scotland's a total star in the show."

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/t...asts/13247795/
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Comic-Con 2014 TV Notes
‘Following’ Producers, Stars Reveal Alternate Season 2 Ending, Preview ‘Reset’ Season 3
By Jethro Nededog, TheWrap.com - Jul. 27, 2014

Producers and stars from Fox's “The Following” revealed details on the scrapped alternate ending to Season 2 and what's to come on Season 3.

Stars Kevin Bacon, Shawn Ashmore, Sam Underwood and Jessica Stroup joined creator/executive producer Kevin Williamson and executive producers Marcos Siega and Jennifer Johnson at San Diego Comic-Con on Sunday.

The panel started with the fabled alternate ending, which was shot then scrapped for the one that actually aired. Even the stars had no idea which ending would air. It finds twin Luke (Underwood) shooting and killing big bad Joe (James Purefoy). Meanwhile, Ryan (Bacon) and Joe share a moment before life slips from the mass serial killer.

Williamson said the ending that aired had one big difference from the one that didn't. Joe can still return now, though he won't be the focus of Season 3 and may not even appear. The same is true for Claire (Natalie Zea), who broke it off with Ryan last season, encouraging him to move on.

“Season 3 has always been a reset,” Williamson said. “We have a brand new story for you regardless.”

And move on is exactly what Ryan does on Season 3.

“He will truly be in a better place in his life,” Kevin said. “He's open to real and lasting relationships. We jump ahead again and we see a man who's a little more at peace.”

His new love is Gwen, a doctor with a daughter. “Ryan is trying some domesticity,” Bacon added.

In Joe's place will be a “Bigger, badder more complicated person,” said producer Johnson. She described the next season as “more creepy and more Hitchcockian. It's more about what you don't see.”

Mark will be one of the threats to Ryan's happiness.

“Mark will be hiding in plain sight and will have transformed himself,” Johnson teased. “He appears where you'd never expect him within the first half hour of the [premiere episode].

Ryan isn't totally over Joe. When we meet him, he will be checking every case for signs of the killer or his followers. Then, something will happen in New York City that will cause everyone to live in fear. That drives Ryan to request a task force be created to explore the threat.

The producers said that Season 2 will focus more on the anatomy of a follower and how it might happen. That brings us to Mike (Ashmore), who will be dealing with the growing darkness inside of him. That will become a challenge to his relationship with Ryan's niece, Max (Stroup).

And as for the mysterious person driving the SUV with Mark and his dead brother? “It will be a character we haven't seen yet,” Williams revealed.

http://www.thewrap.com/following-pro...eset-season-3/
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TV Review
HBO's ‘Love Child’
By Brian Lowry, Variety.com - Jul. 27, 2014

No, it’s not the Diana Ross song. A fascinating topic presented in a heavy-handed way, “Love Child” joins a growing body of work that explores the potential costs of our Web-connected existence, using the tragedy of a South Korean infant neglected and left to die by her game-obsessive parents. Yet Valerie Veatch’s documentary tries too hard to be lyrical and Important, incorporating images of role-playing games in lingering shots that have about as much as subtlety as being whacked over the head with a console. Ultimately, there’s a story here worth seeing; it’s only too bad the film doesn’t fully do it justice.

At first blush, the parents sound like monsters, having let their baby (whose name, Sarang, means “Love”) essentially starve while immersing themselves in online gaming, leaving the child unattended for hours while they went to an outside venue to play. Given South Korea’s pride in its advanced Internet infrastructure, it’s a classic cautionary tale — one that requires scant extrapolation to cross borders.

Without ever showing the faces of the parents, Veatch (“Me @the z oo”) seeks to foster unexpected empathy for them, while making the case for Internet addiction — a defense proffered by their attorney — as a mitigating factor in their neglect.

The heavy reliance on subtitles proves less of an impediment, alas, than the choices made to visualize this condition, which include efforts to transport the viewer into the virtual world the parents and the other gamers interviewed found so enticing. (Perhaps inadvertently, the game, Prius, and the way it’s depicted, vaguely resemble the fantasy sequences in the movie “Brazil.”)

The movie is at its best when remaining straightforward, interviewing police who investigated the case; public defender Ji-Hoon Lee; or Andrew Salmon, a journalist who covered the story.

The harmful effects of the Internet have been extensively vetted elsewhere, including Douglas Rushkoff’s PBS documentaries “Digital Nation” and the recent “Generation Like.” And those films did a better job of wedding the micro to the macro — even if the event that provides “Love Child’s” foundation is considerably more grave and disturbing.

HBO’s docs are generally provocative, and in terms of forcing the audience to think about a cyber-life whose gradual encroachments are easy to take for granted, this one delivers on that level. As structured, though, “Love Child” is a tough documentary to like.

'Love Child'
(HBO, Mon. July 28, 9 p.m.)


http://variety.com/2014/tv/reviews/t...ld-1201267744/
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Comic-Con 2014 TV Notes
Last ‘Sons Of Anarchy’ Panel Talks Prequel, Previews Final Season, Amid Emotions For Kurt Sutter, Cast
By Dominic Patten, Deadline.com - Jul. 27, 2014

SPOILER ALERT: This story discusses possible plot directions and future of Sons of Anarchy.

Sons Of Anarchy may be starting its final season this fall but tales about the world shown in the FX drama are not over. “We are having serious conversations about our prequel,” said SOA creator Kurt Sutter to loud applause today at Comic-Con. “My sense is right now that I don’t know if it will be a full-on series or a mini-series.” While this is far from the first time the showrunner has talked about going back to the show’s roots, it had special significance Sunday in the massive Hall H for what is expected to be SOA’s last of many SDCC appearances.

“There’ll be no spinoffs,” added Sutter. “I think spinoffs work well on procedural dramas, which this clearly is not.” The SOA story will also continue in Bratva, the show’s first novelization. The upcoming book, whose cover art Sutter showed the audience, picks up after Season 4.

The often acerbic Sutter teared up when other show principals thanked him for creating the series and for the experience of working on it. “Sit the f*** down,” Sutter told the cast and the thousands in the hall when they gave him a standing ovation. “I got an image.”

While lead Charlie Hunnam did not make it to SDCC because of a Vogue shoot New York, Sutter was far from alone onstage. As in past years, most of the cast showed, including Sutter’s real-life wife Katey Sagal, Kim Coates, Mark Boone Junior, Tommy Flanagan, Theo Rossi, Dayton Callie, David Labrava, Niko Nicotera and Drea de Matteo all in attendance. EP/Director (and DGA head) Paris Barclay, who helmed the Season 7 opener, was also there.comic-con-logo

“Hello, lovely people of Comic-Con,” said the absent Hunnam in a hilarious short video that mocked the actor’s fashion photo session. In it, Hunnam was being massaged, manicured and waited on by the other members of the biker gang in what looks like a luxury suite. “This is the seventh season of the show. For a show to stay on the air that long requires the massive support of our fans,” Hunnam said, before snapping at Coates, Boone Junior and Flanagan for not serving him appropriately.

The highest-rated series in FX’s history, SOA’s seventh season starts on Sept. 9 with an episode that lasts one hour and 45 minutes. It picks up in the aftermath of Humman’s Jax character breaking down after discovering his wife Tara and Sheriff Eli Roosevelt murdered in their house. Seeking vengeance, the SAMCRO leader doesn’t know that his mother Gemma, played by Sagal, was actually the one who killed Tara or that fellow crewmember Juice shot the sheriff.

After a review of last season’s events, fans were treated to a preview of Season 7 that was bookended by Jax brutally fighting a man in prison and carving a swastika on his stomach. It also showed Jemma raising his children, the remaining SAMCRO crew on a ride, the Jimmy Smits character estranged from Jemma and the graveside headstone of Tara. “Rather than being the reactor to chaos, (Jax) is the inciter of chaos,” said Sutter of Jax in the final season. “It’s like writing a brand new character.”

Not that the last SOA season is finished with production yet. “Much to the chagrin of my production team, I like to back up on my production schedule,’ said Sutter. “I can never tell what it is going to look like or how we are going to get there,” Sutter said, dodging a question about whether Hunnam’s character would make it to the end of the last season. The show is halfway through shooting the final season. Sutter said he is writing episode 7 and editing episode 4. “The writing this year is phenomenal,” said Flanagan. “This season is fantastic.”

Earlier in the day, Sutter had been teasing fans on Twitter about a “fun guest-star announcement” for the biker drama’s upcoming final season but that turned out to just be him messing with people. Regardless, SOA still has Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson joining the show in recurring roles for its closing cycle.

http://www.deadline.com/2014/07/sons...harlie-hunnam/

* * * *

Comic-Con 2014 TV Notes
Guillermo Del Toro Stresses Diversity On ‘The Strain’ & Circular Route To Series

“For me, it is very important for this show to have Latin characters and Mexican characters that defy the stereotype of gang bangers,” said Guillermo del Toro today at Comic-Con about his series The Strain.

In what was a wide-ranging panel discussion of the new show, the Mexican-born director wasted no time revealing to a packed Hall H his specific intentions for the characters of the vampire series. “I want Gus to become not only a complex character but a full-fledged hero who will kick some ass,” del Toro said of the just-out-of-juvie Augustin “Gus” Elizalde role played by Miguel Gomez. The director also noted that the sense of cultural difference was part of the casting of Mia Maestro and the Dr. Nora Martinez character she plays. “Her being a Latin woman and me being a Latin man, we are very aware of otherness and I thought she could be a good counterpoint to Eph’s (Corey Stoll’s Dr. Ephraim Goodweather) scientific method. “God willing, next season, we have a masked Mexican wrestler to also kick ass,” del Toro added to big laughs.

The vivid and highly stylized The Strain chronicles the NYC head of the Centers for Disease Control Canary Team Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, played by Stoll as he, fellow scientists and others try to figure out a mysterious viral outbreak that seems to have arrived in America via a European-originated plane of seemingly dead passengers. There are, of course, other powerful forces, both of this world and the supernatural, at play in a much larger chess game that Goodweather is only starting to comprehend the fringes of.

Produced by Carlton Cuse, del Toro and Chuck Hogan, FX’s new series is based on the trio of vampire novels by the latter two. It debuted strong on July 13 with nearly 3 million viewers. Before the debut, The Strain stirred up some unintended controversy over the graphic nature of billboards advertising the show – billboards that FX took down after complaints. The billboards went down but viewership for the show went up to 4.72 million in Live+3 DVR ratings to hit cable’s top series premiere of 2014 for FX.

“We went full circle from Fox, but we removed the O and went with FX,” del Toro joked about how The Strain originally started out as a failed pitch at one network that became the novels and finally made it the small screen on another arm of the Murdoch empire. “FX has been the best possible partners we could have ever had,” added Cuse,“F**k the world, do whatever you want,” del Toro advised the audience on what experiences like the roundabout route to series have taught him over his career.

Along with del Toro, showrunner Cuse and Hogan, today’s panel also had cast members Stoll, Gomez, Maestro, David Bradley, Sean Astin, Kevin Durand, Jonathan Hyde, Richard Sammel, Ben Hyland and Jack Kesey. Appearing in an elaborate mullet wig when he came out today, Stoll made an appearance on Saturday at Marvel’s Ant-Man panel also in Hall H. The actor will play villain Yellowjacket in the Peyton Reed-directed big screen superhero pic alongside Michael Douglas and Paul Rudd. The former House of Cards actor also has a recurring role on the fourth season of Showtime‘s Homeland.

In a clear testament to frequent Comic-Con attendee del Toro, who was in Hall H yesterday for the Legendary presentation, today’s panel for the FX series may have been one of the last panels of SDCC 2014 but it was the first time a show has been in the massive room in its first season. To that end, the 2-hour panel started off entertaining the thousands with a well received screening of its third episode, which will be broadcast on FX tonight.

As they have before, both del Toro and Cuse talked about how they wanted the series to run for 5 seasons. The first 13-episode season would cover the story told in the first book. Books two and three split in half would make up the show’s remaining anticipated run. “We’ve used the best stuff from the books and invented the rest,” said Cuse of the transformation from the source material to more than 13 hours of TV for the first season. FX has not yet officially renewed the show for a second season, though that seems to only be a matter of when.

http://www.deadline.com/2014/07/guil...e-corey-stoll/
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Comic-Con 2014 TV Notes
'Supernatural' Boss Calls 200th Episode 'Love Letter to the Fans'
By Philiana Ng, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Jul. 27, 2014

Supernatural had a rollicking good time opening Hall H on the final day of Comic-Con.

The season-nine finale saw Dean Winchester turned into a demon and the consequences of that change up in the air. "It has an enormous effect on the season and on the brothers," said executive producer Jeremy Carver of the introduction of Demon Dean. "It's part of the opening episodes. Sam, in particular, [digs into] how to rescue his brother. Dean ... struggles with what exactly that means."

"Myself and the other writers are excited most of all that the idea of these brothers questioning who the real monster is," added Carver. "It's great and it's exciting and emotional and fun."

For Jensen Ackles, who directed the third episode of the season (more on that later), the shift in Dean's character was a welcomed change. "This is actually Dean's soul that is twisted. It was interesting trying to make it a different character but at the same time, be the same character — but twisted and demonic," he said. Hall H was treated to a special first look at the third episode of Supernatural, directed by Ackles, which is the first time Dean confronts Sam after he's been turned into a demon.

A fading Castiel, meanwhile, will spend a good portion of his time "helping Dean getting patched up" instead of "recovering his own powers," said Misha Collins.

The long-running drama hits its 200th milestone episode in November and Carver promised that the hour will be "a love letter to the fans" of The CW show and have "musical-ish" elements. "It's wonderful to thank you guys on screen," said Jared Padalecki. The premiere, in fact, will also have a heavy dose of music with singing and "rump-shaking," Carver teased. "Apparently Demon Dean likes to karaoke, or does he?" Ackles joked.

Supernatural has famous fans and one of them is William Shatner, who has live-tweeted episodes of the show.

When asked about the chances of Shatner appearing, Collins was all for the idea. "He'd have to audition with everyone else," he joked.

Among the other highlights were the annual screening of the previous season's gag reel and a surprise appearance by Osric Chau, who played Kevin Tran.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/liv...episode-721477
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SATURDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog.
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TV Notes
For ‘The Bachelorette,’ time to choose
Will it be Nick or Josh? And does it really matter?
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - Jul. 27, 2014

Andi will make her choice between Nick and Josh on the 10th season finale of “The Bachelorette,” airing tonight at 8 p.m. on ABC.

People no longer watch “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette” with any illusions that the happy couple who emerges from the season finale will actually stay happy for as long as it takes to get to the altar.

There have been only a handful of weddings in the 28 seasons both shows have aired.

Still, viewers continue to tune into the shows for the spectacle of it all. It’s ridiculous to think that a few dates and a chance to meet the parents would ever result in a lasting relationship, but goodness knows these people try to make it seem like it would.

“Bachelorette” is the weaker of the two franchises, partly because it airs in the summer, when overall TV viewership is down.

But it remains ABC’s No. 1 summer show, averaging a 2.1 adults 18-49 Nielsen rating this season, according to live-plus-seven-day numbers.

And the “Bachelorette” finale will also serve as a warmup to a new franchise spinoff that will bow next month. In “Bachelor in Paradise,” former contestants on the show will be tossed together in a tropical location that promises skimpy swimwear and lots of steamy hookups.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/bac...e-time-choose/
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
MONDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Network late night shows are preceded by late local news)

ABC:
8PM - The Bachelorette (Season Finale, 120 min.)
10:01PM - The Bachelorette: After The Final Rose (Special, LIVE)
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Reality-TV star Andi Dorfman; MLB player Clayton Kershaw; Train performs)
12:37AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - 2 Broke Girls
(R - Jan. 27)
8:30PM - Mom
(R - Feb. 24)
9PM - Mike & Molly
(R - Dec. 16)
9:30PM - Two and a Half Men
(R - Oct. 107)
10PM - Under the Dome
* * * *
11:35AM - Late Show with David Letterman (John C. Reilly; Rachelle Lefevre; Conor Oberst performs)
12:37AM - The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Olivia Williams; comic Josh Wolf)

NBC:
8PM - Running Wild With Bear Grylls: Zac Efron (Series Premiere)
9PM - American Ninja Warrior (120 min.)
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (James Franco; Chadwick Boseman; Jenny Lewis performs)
12:36AM - Late Night with Seth Meyers (TV host Carson Daly; illusionists Penn & Teller; Christina Perri performs)
1:37AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Director Jose Antonio Vargas; Kodaline performs; comic Cameron Esposito)
(R - May 8)

FOX:
8PM - MasterChef
9PM - Hotel Hell

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Antiques Roadshow: Vintage Des Moines
9PM - Antiques Roadshow: Vintage Louisville
(R - Jul. 15, 2013)
10PM - POV: Fallen City

UNIVISION:
8PM - Mi Corazón Es Tuyo
9PM - Lo Que la Vida Me Robó
10PM - Qué Pobres Tan Ricos

THE CW:
8PM - 2014 Young Hollywood Awards (120 min.)

TELEMUNDO:
8PM - Reina de Corazones
9PM - En Otra Piel
10PM - El Señor de Los Cielos

COMEDY CENTRAL:
11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Author Sonia Nazario)
11:31PM - The Colbert Report (Musician Beck)
12:01AM - At Midnight (Nikki Glaser; Phil Hanley; Joe DeRosa)

TBS:
11PM - Conan (Will Arnett; Melissa Rauch; comic Ryan Hamilton)
(R - May 12)

E!
11PM - Chelsea Lately (Justin Theroux)
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