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Thompson on Hollywood

Top Five Cable and Broadcast Finales of All Time: Who's Number One?

The water cooler lives. For all the hoopla surrounding the "Breaking Bad" finale, it was neither the most-watched cable finale, nor did it come near the sheer numbers generated by the top broadcast finales. (Our analysis here, roundup here.) Variety helpfully put together a list of the top TV finale performers.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 1, 2013 2:00 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Oprah Winfrey Network Takes TV Rights to 'Lee Daniels' The Butler'

The Oprah Winfrey Network has secured TV rights to "Lee Daniels' The Butler," which had a boffo theatrical release in August via the Weinstein Company, and recently passed the $100 million mark. The film stars Forest Whitaker as longtime White House butler Cecil Gaines, and Winfrey as his wife. Both have generated Oscar buzz for their performances.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • September 26, 2013 2:57 PM
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  • 0 Comments

HBO Renews 'Boardwalk Empire' for a Fifth Season

Even though Emmy-winning "Boardwalk Empire" got off to a soft start in its the fourth-season debut on Sept. 8 (TOH review here), HBO has renewed Terence Winter, Martin Scorsese and Tim Van Patten's '20s period gangster series or a fifth season said Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 26, 2013 2:17 PM
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  • 0 Comments

'Mad Men' Adds 'Chinatown' Screenwriter Robert Towne to Writing Staff for Two-Part Seventh Season

Along with yesterday's news that the seventh and final season of AMC's "Mad Men" will be broken into two seven-episode batches, to unspool over spring 2014 and spring 2015, showrunner Matthew Weiner also announced that veteran screenwriter Robert Towne ("Chinatown") is one of the new additions to the show's writing staff.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • September 18, 2013 12:26 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Rotten Tomatoes Launches TV Zone, to Give Fresh or Rotten Ratings to TV Shows

Rotten Tomatoes is now going to expand its "Fresh" or "Rotten" ratings to TV shows. Starting September 17, the critic aggregate site will launch "TV Zone," where Tomatometer scores can be found for television series' seasons (but not by individual episode).
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • September 16, 2013 2:03 PM
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  • 0 Comments

EW Unveils Sprawling Fall TV Preview, From New Shows with Toni Collette and Michael J. Fox to What's Next on 'American Horror Story,' 'Homeland' and More

Just as it does with film, Entertainment Weekly has unveiled its annual Fall TV preview, which hits newsstands Friday less than two weeks before the Primetime Emmys on September 22. Fall television is a whack-a-mole of pilots and new seasons, and according to this issue, there are 119 of those coming at you down the pike.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • September 12, 2013 4:17 PM
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  • 3 Comments

TV IS THE NEW CINEMA: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season Premiere, Nussbaum TV Game, Johnson Directs 'Breaking Bad'

The season premiere of "Boardwalk Empire" was as lush and well-acted -- and as weirdly uncompelling -- as ever. Perhaps we've watched too many period gangster dramas, at this point, to be easily enthralled by a show that takes a staunchly traditionalist approach to the genre.
  • By David Chute
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  • September 10, 2013 4:32 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Danny Boyle to Direct Pilot of Brit Police Series 'Babylon'

Danny Boyle is set to direct the pilot for a new comedy-drama, "Babylon," which will air next year on the UK's Channel 4. Written by BAFTA winners Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong ("Four Lions"), the would-be series takes place in the world of modern-day policing.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • August 23, 2013 1:30 PM
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  • 0 Comments

TV IS THE NEW CINEMA: Next Time, Larry David Should Play the Cop

The new Larry David comedy "Clear History," a feature-length one-off that he wrote and stars in, settles into an amiable groove early on and is consistently enjoyable. Which is not to say that it breaks any new ground. It's firmly in the reliable comic sub-genre of the know-it-all who is his own worst enemy, a format perfected by David over many episodes of "Seinfeld" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm." That we can clearly see the moving parts clicking into place is actually part of the fun.
  • By David Chute
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  • August 13, 2013 3:13 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Roundup: Time Warner Cable vs. CBS, and the 3 Million Blacked-Out Viewers Caught in the Middle

Time Warner Cable customers can forget seeing Stephen King's "Under the Dome" or "60 Minutes" on CBS or Showtime's "Ray Donovan" for the foreseeable future. In the latest round in their Battle of the Titans, Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt has sent a letter to CBS CEO Leslie Moonves to resume negotiations immediately with the network and to cease blocking CBS.com content -- a move that CBS calls a "sham."
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • August 6, 2013 1:26 PM
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  • 0 Comments
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