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John Heard, ‘Home Alone’ Dad, Dies at 72

27 minutes ago

John Heard, best known as Peter McAllister in the “Home Alone” movies who appeared in a wide range of TV and film roles, has died at 72 in Palo Alto, Calif.

He was found dead in a hotel where he was recovering after undergoing back surgery. The Santa Clara Medical Examiner’s office confirmed his death.

He also appeared in “Cat People,” “After Hours,” “Big,” “Beaches,” “Gladiator,” and on TV in “Miami Vice” and “The Sopranos,” for which he won an Emmy nomination.

more to come… »


- Pat Saperstein

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‘Defenders’: Marvel Series Makes Debut at Comic-Con with New Trailer (Watch)

13 hours ago

Marvel and Netflix presented a surprise premiere of episode one of “The Defenders” Friday at Comic-Con in San Diego.

Thirty minutes into what was a panel for the show, Marvel head of television Jeph Loeb announced that the full episode would be screened. Loeb and the show’s executive producers and cast then exited the stage, and the episode began screening.

They also unveiled a new trailer for the show, which premieres globally on Netflix Aug. 18. The series brings together characters from Netflix’s four preceding Marvel superhero shows — “Daredevil,” “Jessica Jones,” “Luke Cage,” and “Iron Fist” — for the first time in order to save New York City.

Loeb also on Friday presented first look footage of upcoming series “The Punisher.” The executive also announced that Netflix has renewed another of Marvel’s series, “Iron Fist,” for a second season.

“Defenders” stars Charlie Cox, Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter, and Finn Jones. Additional »


- Daniel Holloway

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‘Iron Fist’ Renewed for Season 2 at Netflix

13 hours ago

Netflix has renewed the Marvel series “Iron Fist” for Season 2.

Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb made the announcement at San Diego Comic-Con on Friday. In addition, Loeb hinted that Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick) would team up with NYPD detective Misty Knight (Simone Missick), who first appeared in Season 1 of “Luke Cage.” The characters previously partnered together in the Marvel comic books.

Iron Fist” stars “Game of Thrones” alum Finn Jones as Danny Rand, the heir to the multi-billion dollar Rand Corp. who returns to New York after training for years in the mysterious city of K’un-Lun. Through his training, he was chosen to be the living weapon known as the Iron Fist, which allows him to channel his chi energy into his fists.

In addition to Jones and Henwick, the series also starred Rosario Dawson, who has appeared as nurse Claire Temple in all of the Marvel-Netflix shows to date. Season »


- Joe Otterson

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‘Outlander’ Surprises Fans With Season 3 Premiere at Comic-Con

13 hours ago

Fans of “Outlander” got a treat on Friday: At the end of the panel for the show at San Diego Comic-Con, they were shown the first episode of the third season, which arrives Sept. 10 on Starz.

The episode depicts Jamie (Sam Heughan), Claire (Caitriona Balfe), and Frank (Tobias Menzies) as they adjust to the difficult new realities of their lives. Jamie and Claire have been separated in time again, and Claire has traveled to Boston to live with Frank — and have Jamie’s child. 

Before the episode aired, the “Outlander” panelists — Balfe, Heughan, Menzies, Sophie Skelton (Brianna), Richard Rankin (Roger Wakefield), author Diana Gabaldon, and executive producers Ronald D. Moore and Maril Davis — talked about Season 3. 

Starz also released a video recap of the first two seasons, to help fans prepare for Season 3:

At the panel, Moore said that this season of “Outlander” is “pivotal,” taking the characters from Scotland to the Boston of the ‘40s »


- Maureen Ryan

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‘Descendants 2’: Behind-the-Scenes Look at Dove Cameron and Sofia Carson’s Costumes (Watch)

14 hours ago

Disney’s hotly anticipated film “Descendants 2” makes its grand debut Friday night across five networks, and aside from more-than-likely bringing big ratings, the whimsical sequel is sure to showcase larger-than-life costumes.

Stars Dove Cameron, Sofia Carson, and China Anne McClain chat about the fashion of “Descendants 2,” along with costume designer Kara Saun who gives a behind-the-scenes tour of her designing space in this video, exclusively obtained by Variety.

“I knew coming back that we needed to come back bigger and brighter, more breathtaking,” Saun says. “There’s a lot more action, there’s a lot more dancing and physicality that you have to really take note of that when you’re designing the wardrobe.”

Descendants 2” revolves around the offspring of Disney villains Maleficent, Cruella de Vil, Jafar, the Evil Queen, Ursula, Captain Hook, and Gaston.

Cameron, Carson, and McClain star with Cameron Boyce, Booboo Stewart, Mitchell Hope, Thomas Doherty »


- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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‘The Gifted’ Won’t Cross Over With ‘X-Men’ Films, ‘Legion’

14 hours ago

Fox’s upcoming “X-Men” spinoff “The Gifted” will not cross over with the films produced by the company’s movie studio or its other TV series.

Speaking Friday at Comic-Con in San Diego, showrunner Matt Nix downplayed the potential for any crossover with other iterations of Marvel’s mutant franchise. “The Gifted,” according to Nix, takes place in its own unique timeline.

“One of the great favors that ‘Days of Future Past’ did for all of us is establish many streams,” Nix said, referring to the 2014 film directed by Bryan Singer. “I guess that one answer is that this is one of those many streams.”

The Gifted,” he added, does “not share a universe with” the films or other “X-Men” series. »


- Daniel Holloway

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Bill Lawrence Unharmed After Plane Crash in New York (Watch Footage)

15 hours ago

TV producer Bill Lawrence was involved in a plane crash in New York City on Friday. The “Scrubs” and “Spin City” creator was left unharmed.

The accident occurred early this evening in Manhattan and caused the aircraft to land in the East River near E. 20th St., according to Wabc. The local New York news outlet reports that the Fdny responded to the disabled seaplane, after its pontoon apparently broke. The plane originally took off from the East Hampton Airport around 2:35 p.m. Et.

Lawrence took to social media to detail the incident, posting numerous photos and even a video of the seaplane landing in the water.

On Twitter, the “Cougar Town” creator wrote that no one on the plane, including his daughter, was hurt. He tweeted, “Wild day. Daughter and all ok. First plane crash. Thanks NYC emergency folks.”

The veteran comedy TV writer, who was clearly left unharmed and made light of the scary »


- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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10 Things We Learned at the ‘Twin Peaks’ Comic-Con Panel

15 hours ago

At the San Diego Comic-Con panel for Showtime’s revival of “Twin Peaks” on Friday, things got a little weird at times, but the love for the strange soap opera — among the cast and fans assembled in Hall H — was palpable.

Cast members Kyle MacLachlan, Tim Roth, Dana Ashbrook, Kimmy Robertson, Everett McGill, Matthew Lillard, James Marshall, Don Murray, and Naomi Watts were joined by moderator Damon Lindelof. Here are some highlights from the hourlong discussion of the drama:

1. There would be no “Lost” without “Twin Peaks.” Lindelof said that when the show first premiered in 1990, when he was 16, it completely rocked his world. “I was lonely,” Lindelof said. “The world was scary and confusing and I felt like it didn’t understand me.” But then, after the drama created by David Lynch and Mark Frost arrived, “suddenly I was no longer alone — I was in ‘Twin Peaks.’” Lindelof said he couldn’t describe what it felt »


- Maureen Ryan

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‘Game of Thrones’ Trailer Reveals Melisandre Counseling Daenerys

16 hours ago

A new trailer for Season 7 of “Game of Thrones” shows Melisandre in the court of Daenerys Targaryen.

“I believe you have a role to play, as does another,” the Red Witch tells the Mother of Dragons at the close of a new trailer revealed Friday at Comic-Con.

Watch the trailer here:

"If we don't band together we will die."

Watch the #GoTS7 "Weeks Ahead Preview" released in Hall H at #SDCC2017. #GoTSDCC #GameofThrones pic.twitter.com/VdXMwF7R1n

Game Of Thrones (@GameOfThrones) July 21, 2017

Speaking at Comic-Con in San Diego Friday, Sophie Turner — who plays the elder Stark daughter on the show — said that the character has changed dramatically from Season 1, when as a young woman she wanted only to marry.

“She’s always on the search for happiness, but she doesn’t see the world through rose-colored glasses now,” Turner said. She added, “She’s woke now, guys. She’s real woke. She »


- Daniel Holloway

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‘Walking Dead’ Season 8 First Trailer Takes the War to Negan (Watch)

17 hours ago

The Walking Dead” unveiled the first trailer for Season 8 at the show’s Hall H panel at San Diego Comic-Con on Friday.

In the trailer, we see Rick and his coalition-consisting of Alexandria, Hilltop, and The Kingdom–as they make their preparations for war with Negan and his Saviors. Things kick into high gear quickly, with explosions and gunshots galore as the long-awaited battle between the groups begins.

We also get a quick scene between Negan and Father Gabriel, in which Negan asks Gabriel if he is wearing his “s—ting pants.” Why? “Because you’re about to s–t your pants,” the evil mastermind croons.

Rick inspires his troops by reminding them that Jesus told them when they met that his world was about to become a whole lot bigger. “We found that world. We found each other,” Rick says. “That bigger world is ours by right. Those that take and use and kill, we »


- Joe Otterson

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‘Westworld’ Adds Two New Cast Members to Season 2

18 hours ago

Westworld” is filling out its cast for Season 2, adding two more actors to the ensemble, Variety has confirmed.

Jonathan Tucker and Neil Jackson have both been cast in the HBO series.

Tucker will recur as Major Craddock, a commanding military officer in the second season of “Westworld.” Jackson will play Nicholas, a charming and resourceful man who finds himself in uncharted territory.

The duo joins previously announced newbie Katja Herbers, who was cast as a series regular. Louis Herthum and Talulah Riley, who were both in Season 1, have also been upped to series regulars.

Tucker is known from “Kingdom” and “American Gods.” He is repped by UTA and Management 360. Jackson’s credits include “Absentia” and “Sleepy Hollow.” He is repped by Industry Entertainment, Sanders Armstrong Caserta Management, and Troika.

HBO has not confirmed which cast members from the first season will be returning, as the finale ended with cliffhangers regarding characters’ fates. Season »


- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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Jason Bateman on How Other Antihero Shows Inspired Netflix’s ‘Ozark’

18 hours ago

Some of Hollywood’s top dogs including Danny Strong, Cary Fukunaga and Bruce Altman were out to celebrate the New York premiere of the crime drama “Ozark” Thursday night. The project is Jason Bateman second with Netflix, after the revival of comedy cult favorite “Arrested Development” in 2013.

Also starring Laura Linney, the show follows the Byrde family. Marty (Bateman), a Chicago financial advisor has been quietly laundering money for a drug cartel for years. After his partner runs afoul, the entire family is uprooted and arrives in a lazy resort town around the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri, where Marty promises to clean money for the drug lord.

“I was looking for something to challenge myself because I had a really good time directing ‘Bad Words’ and ‘The Family Fang,’” said Bateman, who also got behind the camera for several episodes. “This came along and the notion to executive produce, which »


- Margaret Sutherlin

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Comic-Con 2017 in Photos

18 hours ago

Photos of panels, activations, and other events from Comic-Con 2017. »

- Jacob Bryant

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‘Walking Dead’ Showrunner Honors Stuntman John Bernecker at Comic-Con

18 hours ago

The cast and creators of “The Walking Dead” paid tribute to stuntman John Bernecker during their San Diego Comic-Con panel on Friday, just over one week after Bernecker died in an accident on the show’s Georgia set.

Panel moderator Chris Hardwick began the “Fear the Walking Dead” panel, which immediately preceded the “Walking Dead” panel, by asking the Hall H crowd to observe a moment of silence in Bernecker’s memory. He also said the entire cast of “The Walking Dead” debated whether or not they should even hold their annual panel, but ultimately decided to forge ahead.

Series showrunner Scott Gimple opened the show’s panel by reading a statement on Bernecker on behalf of the cast and crew.

“John passed away this week after he was injured doing something he loved: helping tell stories that excite, entertain, and give people escape,” he said. “He helped make movies and shows for people like everybody in »


- Joe Otterson

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‘Big Bang Theory’ Stars Talk Sheldon-Amy Finale Proposal at Comic-Con

20 hours ago

The season 10 finale of “The Big Bang Theory” provided an emotional moment for the cast and crew.

In a panel Friday at Comic-Con in San Diego, star Kaley Cuoco described the mood on set of the multi-camera comedy when it came time to shoot the episode’s final scene — in which Jim Parsons’ Sheldon Cooper proposed to Mayim Bialik’s Amy. Cuoco said that the entire cast and crew had gathered behind camera to witness the scene.

“I started crying,” Cuoco said.

“We were all crying,” added co-star Kunal Nayyar.

“I came as close to crying as is possible for me,” added fellow co-star Johnny Galecki.

The proposal was the culmination of a long arc for Sheldon and Amy — one that had been slowly building since Bialik joined the cast in 2010.

“To see that be the pinnacle of this season was really cool,” Cuoco said. “We’ve all come such a long way.”

The »


- Daniel Holloway

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Amazon US Streaming Deal for Sky’s Tim Roth, Christina Hendricks Series ‘Tin Star’

21 hours ago

Amazon has taken the US rights to “Tin Star,” the upcoming cop thriller starring Tim Roth and Christina Hendricks. It will play on the Amazon Prime Video streaming service later this year, after it bows on the Sky Atlantic channel in the U.K.

Rowan Joffe (“28 Weeks Later”) created ‘Tin Star,’ which is made by Endemol Shine-owned U.K. producer Kudos.

The series has Roth (“The Hateful Eight”) as Jim Worth, a British cop who moves the Rocky Mountains to start a new life as a local police chief in an idyllic rural community. He takes on an oil firm who are setting up locally, with disastrous consequences for his family, setting up a revenge plotline that plays out over the ten parts. Hendricks (“Mad Men”) plays a lobbyist working for the oil firm.

“We are thrilled to be adding ‘Tin Star’ to Prime Video in the U.S. this fall,” said »


- Stewart Clarke

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Remote Controlled: Nicole Kidman on ‘Big Little Lies’ — ‘I Didn’t Realize How Disturbing It Was Going to Be’

21 hours ago

Welcome to “Remote Controlled,” a podcast from Variety featuring the best and brightest in television, both in front of and behind the camera.

In today’s episode, Variety’s executive editor of TV Debra Birnbaum talks with “Big Little Lies” star Nicole Kidman.

The project began because she and Reese Witherspoon, both of whom would ultimately serve as executive producers, weren’t finding enough compelling, complex roles to play. “This was born of Reese and I feeling frustrated that we weren’t being offered the roles that we wanted,” she says. “We were reading things and they just weren’t enough. So this was born out of not having an opportunity, and we got lucky. We were able to make it happen.”

Kidman says the first sense she got that the series was a success came from watching the episodes with her own husband. “When he started to say, ‘When does the next one get here?' »


- Debra Birnbaum

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Fox News’ Recent Struggles Puts Parent Company’s Growth at Risk

21 hours ago

21st century fox has been the leader among the big four broadcast and cable conglomerates in driving growth over the last couple years, with Fox News a large part of the reason for that success. Yet with both management and on-air talent in transition, Fox News risks going from the company’s biggest asset to a drag on its business.

Fox has grown faster than the TV businesses at CBS, Disney and NBC Universal over the last three years, taking the top spot on an adjusted basis for eight out of the last 13 quarters. While Disney is going through a downturn fueled by trouble at Espn, and CBS continues to see modest growth in its TV business, only NBCU comes close to Fox’s growth rate, and then only recently.

The major driver of Fox’s growth during this period has been its cable networks, which continue to outpace its broadcast business (no slouch itself over recent »


- Jan Dawson

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TV Rating: ‘Big Brother,’ ‘Zoo’ Hold Steady for CBS Thursday Win

22 hours ago

New episodes of “Big Brother” and “Zoo” helped carry CBS to a win in the Thursday overnight ratings, according to Nielsen data.

Airing at 9 p.m., “Big Brother” averaged a 1.8 rating in adults 18-49 and 5.9 million viewers. At 10, “Zoo” averaged a 0.6 and 2.9 million viewers, with both shows holding steady from their airings last week.

On NBC, “Hollywood Game Night” (0.9, 2.9 million) suffered a drop in total viewers but was even in the demo. “The Wall” (1.1, 5 million) was also down in total viewers. “The Night Shift” (0.7, 4.2 million) was even at 10.

On ABC, “Boy Band” (0.5, 2.3 million) hit a new low in total viewers. “Battle of the Network Stars” (0.7, 2.5 million) was even, while “The Gong Show” (0.6, 2.7 million) took a hit in the key demo.

Fox’s “Beat Shazam” (0.8, 2.8 million) was down in the demo, while “Love Connection” (0.7, 2.3 million) improved in that measure.

“Penn & Teller: Fool Us” (0.4, 1.8 million) was even on The CW, as was “Hooten and the Lady” (0.2, 1 million).

CBS topped »


- Joe Otterson

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‘Wild Kratts’ Tackle New Adventure: PBS’ Live, Wild ‘Alaska’

21 July 2017 6:30 AM, PDT

The “Wild Kratts” have a new beast to tame.

Chris and Martin Kratt (above, pictured) have over the years navigated visits with a Western spotted skunk and a moray eel. On Sunday at 8 p.m., the popular PBS Kids duo will tackle something equally difficult to soothe: a media-savvy adult with a remote control close at hand.

The Kratts, best known these days for their long-running presence in several animated series focused on animals and the environment, intend to take those interests to their viewers’ parents as they host a live three-night series,” Wild Alaska Live.” The spectacle will let viewers watch live as cameras examine bears, wolves, beavers, moose, orcas and eagles gathering in droves to take part in Alaska’s annual summer feast, sparked by hordes of salmon making their annual trek upstream to spawn. The Kratts will anchor the proceedings from places like Kenai Fjords National Park and the wilderness of Katmai National Park »


- Brian Steinberg

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