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Thompson on Hollywood

In the Works: James Gray to Direct First Episode of New Sundance Channel Original Series 'The Red Road'

The Sundance Channel has announced that director James Gray ("The Immigrant," "Two Lovers") will helm the first episode of the network's next original scripted series, police drama "The Red Road." Jason Mamoa ("Game of Thrones") was recently cast in one of the two lead roles.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • July 25, 2013 11:18 AM
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Writers Guild Awards Change Guidelines, Netflix's 'House of Cards' Now Eligible for 2014 TV Awards

With the just-announced revisions to the Writers Guild Awards guidelines, Netflix's "House of Cards" has become eligible for the 2014 TV awards, to be held on February 1. The guidelines now include series that have been produced for initial exhibition in new media, permitting them to compete with TV series in the script and series categories.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • July 22, 2013 2:47 PM
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WATCH: Striking First Trailer for 'Martha Marcy May Marlene' Director's Brit Miniseries 'Southcliffe'

A visually striking, unsettling trailer landed yesterday for the upcoming miniseries "Southcliffe," helmed by "Martha Marcy May Marlene" director Sean Durkin. It centers on a small UK town rocked by a series of shootings, and features a fine Brit cast including Eddie Marsan, Shirley Henderson, Kaya Scodelario, Sean Harris and more. Watch below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • July 18, 2013 12:45 PM
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Emmy Nominations Analysis: Netflix Makes News with 'House of Cards' and 'Arrested Development,' But HBO is Still King, Snubs and Omissions (UPDATED)

The 2013 Primetime Emmy nominations were announced this morning. While regularly nominated shows "Downton Abbey," "Mad Men," "Homeland," "Breaking Bad," "Girls" and "Louie" all scored, Netflix had the biggest coup with "House of Cards" up for four major awards and the fourth season of "Arrested Development" up for one -- these are the first digital series to receive major nominations in the Emmys. Full list below.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • July 18, 2013 11:31 AM
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Comic-Con: 'Showrunners' Doc Is First Film to Screen Footage at SDCC's Lyceum Theater

The first film to screen footage at Comic-Con's new satellite programming room, the Lyceum Theater at San Diego's Horton Plaza, is documentary "Showrunners." The film focuses on the challenges of running a television series, going behind the scenes into the writers’ room and on set via interviews with 20 top showrunners including Joss Whedon, J. J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof, and more. Tara DiLullo Bennett ("Lost Encyclopedia," "Fringe: Septembers Notebook") will moderate a panel on the showrunners' craft with contributors featured in the documentary: Hart Hanson ("Bones"), Bill Prady ("The Big Bang Theory"), and Jane Espenson ("Husbands," "Once Upon A Time") as well as "Showrunners" director Des Doyle & Co-Producer Ryan Patrick McGuffey.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 17, 2013 2:33 PM
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TV Is the New Cinema: But It's Still Waiting for Its Close-Up

A highly readable new book promises to anatomize the shifts in entertainment technology and in the culture in the cable era that gave rise to the 21st Century's most lionized form of "art television": the 12-episode, novelistically textured premium cable serial. Brett Martin's "Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From 'The Sopranos' and 'The Wire' to 'Mad Men' and 'Breaking Bad'" (Penquin) provides a useful overview of the changes that enabled this alternative to the 30-to-22 episode anthology-of-short-stories format that for decades was the only game in town in Television City.
  • By David Chute
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  • July 16, 2013 4:30 PM
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  • 6 Comments

'The Newsroom' 2.1 Review: "First Thing We Do, Let's Kill All the Lawyers" (TRAILER)

The second season of Aaron Sorkin's HBO drama series "The Newsroom" promises to be every bit as entertaining as its first -- if not more so, due to a unifying structural choice that takes fuller advantage of novelistic narrative freedom of post-"Sopranos" cable drama.
  • By David Chute
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  • July 9, 2013 7:53 PM
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Emmy Watch: 'Scandal' Star Kerry Washington Graces August Vanity Fair Cover

It won't do the "Scandal" Emmy campaign any harm for Kerry Washington to be on the cover of the August issue of Vanity Fair. It's a pretty stunning cover photo by Norman Jean Roy. Contributing editor David Kamp wrote the feature interview with the actress, 36, who grew up in the Bronx and broke out at Sundance in 2001 indie feature "Lift."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 2, 2013 4:51 PM
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Review Roundup: Must-See Doc 'Gideon's Army' Follows Tenacious Public Defenders in the Deep South (TRAILER)

Dawn Porter's documentary "Gideon's Army," which premiered earlier this year at Sundance, had its HBO debut July 1. The film, which follows overworked yet idealistic public defenders in the deep South, has gained high praise from critics: the Village Voice hails it as "the most illuminating crime drama since 'The Wire,'" while the New York Times claims it will "grab you by the throat." Look out for this one come Oscar season. Review roundup below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • July 2, 2013 1:26 PM
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'Venus Vs.' Review: Venus Williams Fights for Gender Equality at Wimbledon in Ava DuVernay's Rousing Sports Doc

Ava DuVernay’s skilled documentary “Venus Vs.,” which debuts on ESPN July 2, charts Venus Williams’ two-year battle from 2005 to 2007 for equal prize money among genders at Wimbledon. In the film, sports journalist Howard Bryant explains that it takes a certain collision of factors for someone to be the right and most effective person to champion a cause. In 1973, it was Billie Jean King. In this millennium it’s Williams, a superstar in the world of tennis who also understands acutely what it is to be an outsider in that sport -- racially, economically and in terms of gender.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • July 2, 2013 11:42 AM
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  • 3 Comments

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