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Thompson on Hollywood

The Walking Dead 2.1 – Darkness Visible

The Walking Dead 2.1 – Darkness Visible
David Chute leaves Atlantic City behind to re-locate in Atlanta and follow the post-zombie-apocalypse refugees on the road to Fort Bening.It isn’t the most original show on television. In fact, the post-apocalyptic survival epic The Walking Dead could be written off, if you were so inclined, as a mash up of George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead and its sequels and Stephen King’s The Stand, as a plague of flesh-eating zombies gnaws the human race down to a bloody stump, to a close-knit band of hardy survivors. (Romero is the Bram Stoker of the flesh-eating-zombie sub-genre.) Feature films from The Day of The Triffids to Children of Men and I Am Legend, and the current TV shows Falling Skies and Terra Nova, and many others, are all built on much the same template: world-ending horror as a catalyst for interpersonal conflict and bonding and eventually, in the more optimistic variations, for an upsurge of world-re-building resourcefulness.
  • By David Chute
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  • October 18, 2011 6:06 AM
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TV Projects In The Works: Kids Are All Right, Underground Gambling, Diamond Trading, Nuclear Bomb

Movies and moviemakers are heading in increasing numbers to the small screen. Here's a smattering of recently announced in-the-works TV projects, from HBO's The Kids Are All Right spin-off to a diamond-trading drama at AMC. Some look more promising than others, and many will never see the light of day.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 14, 2011 5:40 AM
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Behind The Scenes on AMC's The Walking Dead, Season 2: Zombies, Blood and Gore

Check out photographer David Strick's behind-the-scenes photos from the Atlanta set of AMC's The Walking Dead Season 2, which debuts October 16. Don't be put off by the zombies--as adapted for cable by Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption) season one of The Walking Dead was one of the best-written and mounted cable series of the year. It remains to be seen if producer Gale Ann Hurd (Comic-Con interview here) and the rest of the team will be able to maintain that quality without Darabont, who was fired from the series.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 12, 2011 5:40 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Box Office Scandal: Circuit Dealing Pervades Small Towns, Flagship vs. Century Theatres

Box Office Scandal: Circuit Dealing Pervades Small Towns, Flagship vs. Century Theatres
In a David vs. Goliath face-off, indie-owned Flagship Theaters recently won an appeal in its crusade against Cinemark’s Century Theatres. Does the age-old practice of circuit dealing — an unethical way for chain exhibitors to muscle studios — still persist? Anthony D’Alessandro digs further into this taboo topic: What is circuit dealing, exactly? It’s a predatory film booking practice whereby multiplex chains strong-arm studios for product in a specific market. If a studio decides to book with the competition in a given community, usually a Mom-and-Pop venue, then the exhibitor will threaten to bar that film (or future films) from playing the entire chain.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • September 27, 2011 11:38 AM
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Walking Dead: Why Did AMC Fire Showrunner Frank Darabont? THR Blames AMC's Joel Stillerman

Many media folk have been trying to get to the bottom of why AMC fired showrunner Frank Darabont off its most successful show, The Walking Dead. THR's Kim Masters comes up with some answers, although AMC is keeping Darabont and others mum. Not surprisingly, two of the usual factors, greed and ego, are involved. What's astonishing is how much AMC's head of original programming, Joel Stillerman, the villain of Masters' piece, seems willing to risk the quality of his biggest hit in order to reap profits.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 11, 2011 6:13 AM
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  • 1 Comment
More: Genres, TV, Horror, AMC

TCA News: Hamm To Direct Mad Men Premiere, AMC Offers No Darabont Details on Walking Dead Exit

The annual Television Critics Association panels are under way in Los Angeles. New news from Thursday's AMC panel: Mad Men star Jon Hamm will direct the Season Five premiere, which starts filming next week.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 28, 2011 4:41 AM
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More: TV, Mad Men, AMC

Comic-Con Exclusive: Gale Anne Hurd Talks Walking Dead, Comic Book Movies, Girls Gone Genre

Comic-Con Exclusive: Gale Anne Hurd Talks Walking Dead, Comic Book Movies, Girls Gone Genre
There's a reason Gale Anne Hurd turned from producing movies like The Terminator, Aliens and The Punisher to cable series like The Walking Dead. HBO, AMC, FX, Showtime, USA and other cable networks are where the smart writing, production values and character development are. And Comic-Con demonstrated without a doubt that the organizers have to rethink who gets to go into Hall H.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 25, 2011 8:29 AM
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Disney and Time Warner Chase AMC, Soap’s Second Life on Internet, Google+ Brand Pages

After AMC Network spun off from Cablevision last week, such buyers as Time Warner and Walt Disney Co. have made a run at purchasing the network, reports AdAge. One fund manager at GAMCO, who oversees some four million AMC shares, says that the network would benefit from a sale because of its current popularity due to acclaimed shows Mad Men, The Walking Dead, and Breaking Bad (pictured). In addition to AMC, AMC Networks also controls IFC, WE TV and the Sundance Channel.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • July 8, 2011 6:43 AM
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Emmy Watch: Mad Men’s Matthew Weiner Talks Trend-Setting Future Seasons

Emmy Watch: Mad Men’s Matthew Weiner Talks Trend-Setting Future Seasons
Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner opened up during a Lionsgate-sponsored panel Wednesday at the Television Academy theater in North Hollywood that also featured cast members Jon Hamm, Elizabeth Moss, John Slattery, Robert Morse, Jared Harris, Kiernan Shipka and others. (We're getting closer to the June Emmy balloting period.) Amy Dawes reports:The news that two new shows steeped in early ‘60s style and social mores have made the networks’ fall lineup was not lost on Matthew Weiner. “For them to see that there’s some commercial potential in this area, four years after we got it going – that’s pretty brave,” he said sardonically, referring to ABC and NBC, which have picked up Pan Am and The Playboy Club, respectively.
  • By Amy Dawes
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  • May 20, 2011 5:29 AM
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Emmy Watch: Which New Scripted Series Will Make It to Emmy Contention? A Rough Ranking

Emmy Watch: Which New Scripted Series Will Make It to Emmy Contention? A Rough Ranking
Emmy Watch columnist Amy Dawes takes a hard look at the new shows that debuted this year, and ranks their chances of landing Emmy Nominations right off the bat.Nothing is more exciting – at least to an Emmy watcher - than when a brand new series not only entertains our socks off and reinvigorates the medium, but sweeps the awards its first time out.  And despite a perception that members of the TV Academy are lazy and vote for the same ol’ same ol’, this has happened a fair amount in recent years. 
  • By Amy Dawes
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  • April 28, 2011 8:28 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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