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Netflix Orders Batch of Japanese Animation, Including ‘Saint Seiya’ Reboot

1 hour ago

Netflix has ordered more than 20 new animation titles in Japan, including a reboot of the classic anime and manga “Saint Seiya.”

Greg Peters, Netflix’s chief product officer, announced the new batch of animated series in Tokyo earlier this month. He said that 90% of the Japanese animation titles carried by the streaming service are watched in territories outside of Japan. He also said Netflix was focused on working with Japanese studios and production companies to meet the high demand for animated shows.

Two announced titles that have caused a stir are “Cannon Busters” and “Knights of the Zodiac: Saint Seiya.” The original “Saint Seiya” manga was released more than 30 years ago, but remains popular in South America, France, Italy and China. “Saint Seiya” has already been adapted in the past into a TV series and six feature films. A new live-action “Saint Seiya” is in the works.

Netflix’s “Knights of the Zodiac: Saint Seiya »


- Variety Japan

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‘The Three Stooges’ Set for Indian TV Revival (Exclusive)

5 hours ago

Larry, Moe and Curly are face-slapping and eye-poking their way to India.

U.S.-based C3 Entertainment’s iconic Vaudeville comedy franchise, “The Three Stooges,” is set to be adapted for Indian television. With a working title of “Three Stooges Bole Toh Hungama Ho Gaya,” the Hindi-language series is being developed by Mumbai-based Galani Entertainments.

A broadcaster has yet to be identified for the show, whose title translates into English as “When You Say ‘The Three Stooges’ You Mean a Laugh Riot.”

Galani Entertainments is linked to Vijay Galani Moviez/Film Folks, whose credits include Salman Khan vehicles “Veer” and “Suryavanshi” and “Ajnabee,” starring Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor. New talent will be cast in the roles of Larry, Moe and Curly.

The original comedy trio featured in some 190 film shorts from 1934 to 1958, with U.S. television syndication beginning thereafter. “The most appealing factor for recreating ‘The Three Stooges’ in India is the universal appeal of the »


- Naman Ramachandran

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Fox CEO James Murdoch Criticizes Trump’s Reaction to Charlottesville: ‘Standing Up to Nazis Is Essential’

9 hours ago

James Murdoch, the CEO of 21st Century Fox, has spoken out against President Donald Trump’s controversial reaction to the violence in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend.

In a personal letter sent to friends and associates urging them to support the Anti-Defamation League, Murdoch called the violence, in which one woman was killed and 19 others were injured after a car plowed into counter-protesters at a white nationalist rally, and Trump’s response to it a concern to “all of us as Americans and free people.”

“The presence of hate in our society was appallingly laid bare as we watched swastikas brandished on the streets of Charlottesville and acts of brutal terrorism and violence perpetrated by a racist mob,” Murdoch wrote in the strongly worded message. “I can’t even believe I have to write this: standing up to Nazis is essential; there are no good Nazis. Or Klansmen, or terrorists. Democrats »


- Alex Stedman

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‘13th’ Poster Vandalized as Nation Grapples With Racially Charged Moment

10 hours ago

The long line of giant Emmy Fyc banners that hang on a chain-link fence along a stretch of Sunset Boulevard near Netflix’s Hollywood offices are hard to miss. On Thursday morning, it was impossible not to notice that one of the 18 banners had been vandalized overnight.

The damaged poster was one touting the eight Emmy nominations garnered by “13th,” Ava DuVernay’s widely praised Netflix documentary about the roots of the exponential growth in the incarceration of people of color in the U.S. The film has already earned an Oscar nomination and a Peabody Award.

The display featured an image of an African-American man standing defiantly with a raised fist. The banner was ripped in such as way as to remove most of the man’s body, although not his extended arm. None of the other banners hung near the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Bronson Avenue were similarly defaced.

Netflix »


- Cynthia Littleton

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At&T, Time Warner Merger Review Reaches ‘Advanced Stage’ at Justice Department (Report)

10 hours ago

The union of At&T and Time Warner is looking more likely as talks on merger conditions between At&T and Justice Department officials have reached an “advanced stage,” according to a report Wednesday in the Wall Street Journal.

The Journal reported that the discussions about conditions that would be required to secure federal approval of the $85.4 billion transaction are centering around concerns that At&T could give favorable treatment on its DirecTV platforms to Time Warner-owned content. Another issue has been how the telco giant would be able to handle consumer data mined from its wireless subscriber base and viewership of its channels.

The focus on potential merger conditions are seen as a sign that the Trump administration will not throw up roadblocks to the deal, despite President Trump’s vociferous criticism of CNN, part of Time Warner. The Journal noted that Time Warner’s stock price has been on the rise in recent weeks, another »


- Cynthia Littleton

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TV Review: ‘The Tick’ on Amazon

11 hours ago

It’s easy to see why “The Tick” has been revived again and again. Born as an unlikely comic-book hero in the ‘80s, the title character’s relentless optimism, which allows him to bluster through any situation with a smile on his lips, is perennially winning. And there’s no doubt that at this moment in time, America could use a big blue savior with a good heart and the strength of 10 men. The Tick’s grip on reality is always in doubt — his sweet obliviousness is part of his charm — but his belief in the inevitable defeat of evil is certainly attractive.

However, Amazon’s reboot of “The Tick,” which follows a clever ‘90s animated series and a much-loved 2001 live-action comedy, makes some curious choices. It’s grounded in a somewhat dour version of reality, which blunts some of the comedy’s goofier edges. And structurally speaking, like other streaming shows, it »


- Maureen Ryan

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TV News Roundup: Conan O’Brien Heads to Israel for TV Special

11 hours ago

In today’s roundup, Conan O’Brien is taking “Conan” to Israel, and NBC helms a new special on Princess Diana.

Specials

TBS is taking “Conan” internationally for the seventh time in two years as host Conan O’Brien travels to Israel. “Conan Without Boarders: Israel” will be a primetime special airing Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 10 p.m. O’Brien plans to visit Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, among other locations yet to be announced. “Conan” airs Monday through Thursday at 11 p.m. on TBS. The show is produced by Conaco LLC, with Jeff Ross serving as executive producer.

“Diana, 7 Days,” a two-hour documentary capturing the week following the 1997 death of Princess Diana, will air on Friday, Sept. 1 at 8 p.m. on NBC. The film documents the time between Princess Diana’s tragic death and her funeral, and the effect it had on the United Kingdom and the world. This marks the first time her two sons, Prince William »


- Rebecca Rubin

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BBC Acquires ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace’ for the U.K.

11 hours ago

The BBC has acquired FX’s anthology series “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” for the U.K. The second season of “American Crime Story” will air on BBC Two in 2018.

The channel also aired the show’s award-winning first season, “The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” which was widely acclaimed by British critics. The follow-up, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace,” follows the events surrounding the death of the legendary fashion designer in the summer of 1997. Edgar Ramirez stars as Versace, with Oscar-winner Penelope Cruz (pictured) playing Donatella Versace, Darren Criss as serial killer Andrew Cunanan and Ricky Martin as Versace’s partner, Antonio D’Amico.

“With ‘The People vs. O.J. Simpson,’ the brilliant Ryan Murphy and his team crafted a unique and utterly compelling television event which managed to get the nation talking once more about one of the biggest cases in history,” said Sue Deeks, head »


- Robert Mitchell

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Justin Theroux Cast to Guest Star on Emma Stone, Jonah Hill Netflix Series ‘Maniac’

12 hours ago

Justin Theroux has been cast in a guest starring role in Emma Stone and Jonah Hill’s upcoming Netflix series “Maniac,” Variety has confirmed.

Details on the nature of Theroux’s character are unknown, but the series is a dark comedy based on a Norwegian series. It follows a man who lives a fantasy life in his dreams, but in reality, is locked up at an institution. Both Hill and Stone will play patients in the institution.

Theroux most recently starred in the HBO series “The Leftovers,” which ended its run on the premium cable network after three seasons in June. He has also appeared in the TV shows “Six Feet Under” and “Parks and Recreation.” On the film side, he has appeared in films such as “American Psycho,” “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle,” and “The Girl on the Train.” Theroux has also found success as a screenwriter, having worked on the scripts for “Tropic Thunder,” “Iron Man 2 »


- Joe Otterson

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MSNBC Ranks as No. 1 Cable Network in Total Viewers for First Time Ever

12 hours ago

MSNBC ranked as the number one network across all of cable in total viewers for the first time in its history, according to Nielsen data.

For Wednesday, Aug. 16, MSNBC averaged 1.52 million viewers for the total day across all of cable, edging out second place Fox News, who averaged 1.5 million. CNN ranked fourth among all cable networks for the day with 1.13 million total viewers. Nickelodeon was third with 1.17 million. However, in the key adults 25-54 demographic, CNN was number one among the cable news networks for the total day, averaging 381,000 viewers in that measure. Fox News was second in the demo for total day with 353,000 viewers, and MSNBC was third with 343,000.

In primetime, MSNBC was also first in total viewers among the cable news networks with 2.61 million viewers. Fox News was second with 2.4 million. CNN was third with 1.59 million. In the key demo for primetime, MSNBC was first with 613,000. Fox News narrowly outpaced CNN for second place with »


- Joe Otterson

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Tyra Banks: A Day in the Life of the Reality Host and Producer

13 hours ago

Earlier this year, Tyra Banks made a bit of news: not only had she decided to return as host to her show “America’s Next Top Model” on VH1, but she was tapped to replace Nick Cannon on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.”

The obvious question was: how will she be able to do both?

“Oh my god, it was a crazy concern,” Banks tells Variety during an interview in her trailer on the set of “Top Model.” Her already full plate also included teaching at Stanford, gearing up to film the sequel to Disney’s “Life Size,” and adapting to life as a first-time mother to her one-year-old son, York.

“My assistant and my agent and everybody got together and looked at it all and said, ‘How can we do this where she doesn’t go crazy?’” Banks recalls. The supermodel-turned-television-powerhouse says she figured out how to organize her schedule into “chunks” to keep her »


- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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Fox Alum Jeffrey Glaser Joins Sony Pictures TV Studios as Current Programming Chief

13 hours ago

Fox veteran Jeffrey Glaser has joined Sony Pictures Television Studios as head of current programming.

Glaser will succeed Kim Rozenfeld as exec VP of U.S. current programming. Glaser’s appointment, effective Sept. 5, marks the first major executive change under the new executive regime at Sony’s TV production arm, now led by president Jeff Frost and co-presidents Chris Parnell and Jason Clodfelter. Rozenfeld had been with the studio since 2011.

“With over 20 years of experience in this space, Jeffrey is a talented executive and a terrific addition to our new team at Spts,” Frost, Parnell and Clodfelter wrote in a memo to staffers. The trio said Rozenfeld has decided to “start a new chapter” of his career, and they expressed gratitude for “his years of commitment and dedication to Spts, and his immeasurable contributions to some of our greatest successes.”

Glaser spent nearly 20 years on the Fox lot, spending most of that time as a current programming »


- Cynthia Littleton

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CW Developing Drama Series Based on Female Gladiator Novel ‘The Valiant’ (Exclusive)

13 hours ago

The CW is developing a one-hour drama series based on Lesley Livingston’s novel “The Valiant,” Variety has learned exclusively.

The series would follow a Celtic princess on the run from an arranged marriage and a sheltered life who is captured and forced into slavery under Julius Caesar. She ends up training among the first wave of female Gladiators to compete in the Colosseum for fame, fortune and, ultimately, her freedom.

Laurie Arent will write and executive produce, with Mary Beth Basile also executive producing. Warner Bros. Television will produce. Arent most recently wrote and produced for “NCIS: New Orleans,” and has also worked on NBC’s “Life” and Lifetime’s “The Client List.” Basile was an associate producer on ABC’s “October Road” and most recently executive produced the pilot “Evil Men” for USA Network. Both Arent and Basile are repped by Wme.

Should the project get ordered to series, it »


- Joe Otterson

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‘The Tick’ Cast Discusses Themes of Compassion, How Show Could Help Heal a Divided America

14 hours ago

Sixteen years after Fox canceled the live-action, satirical superhero television show “The Tick,” Amazon Studios has revived the cult comedy for an original 12-episode series. Season 1 tells the story of how the Tick — an overly optimistic and earnest superhero played by Peter Serafinowicz — united with his non-powerful, accountant sidekick (Griffin Newman) to battle supervillain the Terror (Jackie Earle Haley). Unlike the dozens of other comic-book movies and TV adaptations, “The Tick” pokes fun at the cliched conventions of superhero narratives with witty banter and jokes. But, at the center of the show’s storyline is a heartfelt message about love, compassion, respect, and justice.

The themes behind “The Tick” have more relevance than ever in the wake of the white nationalist rally that erupted into violence in Charlottesville, Va. last weekend, and the strenuous political climate that is continuing to divide the country. At the show’s lavish premiere in New York on Wednesday evening, many »


- Paul Chi

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TV Shows Getting Reboots in 2017-18

14 hours ago

These are the shows that are getting the revival treatment in 2017-18. »

- Jacob Bryant

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Brenda Song, Jason Biggs to Star in Freeform’s ‘Angry Angel’ (Exclusive)

15 hours ago

Brenda Song and Jason Biggs will star in the Freeform original Christmas movie “Angry Angel,” Variety has learned exclusively.

The film, which began production this week in Toronto, follows a young woman turned angel, Allison Pyke (Song), who is stuck on Earth and can’t seem to do what is required in order to get into heaven. When the love of her life, Patrick (Ricky Mabe), shows up in New York City, it complicates Pyke’s journey, as well as frustrates her angel mentor Jason Biggs (Biggs). The not-so-merry situation also turns into an unexpected love-triangle with her friend with sometimes benefits, Barker (Andy Favreau). The film will also star Andrew Bachelor.

Freeform was formerly ABC Family and is part of the Disney-abc television group. Song has a long history with Disney television, having starred in “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody” and “The Suite Life on Deck.” She has also appeared on “Key and Peele,” “Scandal »


- Joe Otterson

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Fox Gives Put Pilot Order to Sitcom Revival Spoof With ‘Big Sick’s’ Michael Showalter Directing

15 hours ago

Fox has handed a put pilot commitment to a single-camera comedy series that spoofs the recent trend of TV series revivals, Variety has learned.

Currently titled “Revival,” the series would follow Elliot, formerly the little kid from a beloved 1980s family sitcom and now living a normal life, who reluctantly gets sucked back into the show’s revival with his old TV family.

Michael Showalter, who recently directed the hit indie comedy “The Big Sick,” will direct and executive produce. “Son of Zorn” executive producer Sally Bradford McKenna will write and executive produce. Chris McKenna will also executive produce along with “Fresh Off the Boat” executive producer Nahnatchka Khan and Mandy Summers, with the latter two producing through Khan’s Fierce Baby Productions banner. 20th Century Fox Television will produce in association with Fierce Baby. Bradford McKenna is currently under an overall deal with 20th TV, and Khan is set up under a pod deal with the »


- Joe Otterson

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Documentaries Double-Dip for Emmy and Oscar Consideration

17 hours ago

In the past decade, half of all documentaries nominated for an Academy Award went on to receive a Primetime, News and Doc or Intl. Emmy nomination.

Unlike “Moonlight,” “Spotlight” and “12 Years a Slave,” nonfiction feature Oscar winners including “CitizenFour,” “Taxi to the Dark Side” and “Born Into Brothels” can also tout an Emmy win.

Why? Because documentaries are by and large a product of television or digital platforms and not film studios. Without funding from small-screen distributors such as HBO, PBS, A&E and streaming services including Netflix and Amazon, the Oscar feature documentary category wouldn’t exist.

But docu filmmakers, similar to narrative filmmakers, want the same thing: for their film to be seen in a movie theater with an audience. So outlets, including HBO and PBS, have selectively facilitated that desire for primarily two reasons: to please directors and perhaps more importantly, to qualify for an Academy Award, which »


- Addie Morfoot

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Judith Light on Singing Alanis Morissette on ‘Transparent,’ Why Broadway Feels Like Home

17 hours ago

Judith Light sings! The actress, known for everything from TV work (“One Life to Live,” “Who’s the Boss?” “Ugly Betty”) to Tony-winning stage turns (“Other Desert Cities,” “The Assembled Parties”), is up for an Emmy for her role as matriarch Shelly in Amazon’s “Transparent.” Her most head-turning moment in season three: singing Alanis Morissette on a cruise ship in the finale.

Have you been a singer all this time and we just never knew?

It’s so funny; people have been coming to me with singing parts now! It hasn’t been something that I’ve done a lot of. When I was at Carnegie Mellon University, I went to Europe and we performed at all the Army bases in Germany. Paula Wagner and I were double cast as Adelaide in “Guys and Dolls.”

With season four of “Transparent” dropping next month, what episodes in season three do you think of as big moments for »


- Gordon Cox

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Reality TV Hosts Bring Different Styles to Their Shows and Emmy Race

17 hours ago

The race for reality and reality competition host trophies got pretty interesting this year, with nominees representing a wide range of styles.

There are two returning nominees — past winners RuPaul Charles (VH1’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race”) plus Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn (Lifetime’s “Project Runway”) — joining four newcomers: Alec Baldwin (ABC’s “Match Game”), W. Kamau Bell (CNN’s “United Shades of America With W. Kamau Bell”), Gordon Ramsay (Fox’s “MasterChef Junior”) and Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg (VH1’s “Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party”).

“To be in the host category, up against those people? I can’t even get into that party,” says Bell, a first-time nominee for host. “It’s an honor to be included.”

That said, Bell doesn’t feel like a host in the traditional sense.

“The show works best when I’m a person experiencing life on camera and looking for interesting conversations,” he »


- Rob Owen

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