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Mitt Romney Helped ‘Veep’ Showrunner Convey Selina Meyer’s Presidential Loss in Season 6

4 hours ago

The band may have been broken up in Season 6 of HBO’s “Veep,” but the actors chatted and laughed as though nothing was different at the Saban Media Center in North Hollywood Thursday evening.

The Fyc event took place on the heels of the news that the political satire had been renewed for a Season 7, and featured a screening of the seventh episode of the current season. Afterwards, People magazine editor-in-chief Jess Cagle hosted a panel of the ensemble cast, including Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tony Hale, Anna Chlumsky, Reid Scott, Matt Walsh, Kevin Dunn, Gary Cole, and Sam Richardson, and showrunner Dave Mandel.

Mandel took over writing for “Veep” after the end of Season 4, and is responsible for both the storyline of Season 5, which saw President Selina Meyer lose her presidency and the Season 6 plotline in which many of the main cast — no longer employed by Selina — have gone their separate ways.

Mandel »


- Erin Nyren

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‘Twin Peaks’: David Lynch Talks About Reviving the Iconic Series

4 hours ago

He dressed like a G-man.

When he arrived for his interview with Variety, David Lynch wore a black suit, a white shirt, a black tie, and wingtips. His hair was styled the same way as always, but what had once been jet black was now mostly white. The only pop of color on Lynch was incongruous; it emerged when he sat down for the interview. As he gestured while talking, a yellow plastic watch peeked out from the sleeve of his white shirt. It was the only item that didn’t make him look like his “Twin Peaks” character, FBI official Gordon Cole.

Lynch was as affable an interviewee as I’ve ever come across, but his answers were concise: His art may rely on the creation of a mysterious atmosphere, but in talking about his return to the world of “Twin Peaks,” he couldn’t have been more unequivocal and direct. When »


- Maureen Ryan

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2016-17 TV Season: NBC Leads Demo, CBS Takes Viewers, ‘This Is Us’ No. 1 New Show

4 hours ago

The 2016-17 TV season has officially concluded, with NBC claiming the overall top spot in adults 18-49 and CBS winning the season in total viewers, according to Nielsen’s current numbers (live-plus-seven for all but the last two weeks of the season ending May 24).

CBS’ win marks the ninth consecutive season the network has topped the total viewers measurement, and their 14th win in the past 15 years, according to Nielsen’s ratings through May 21. CBS averaged 9.6 million viewers, approximately 1.5 million more than second place NBC.

NBC averaged a 2.1 rating in adults 18-49, versus a 1.9 for Super Bowl-boosted Fox, 1.8 for CBS, and 1.6 for ABC. Compared to last year, only Fox stayed even in the key demo. CBS suffered the biggest drop, shedding 22% of its audience in the demo year-over-year. ABC dropped 16%, with the CW next at a drop of 12%, while NBC slipped just 5%. In total viewers, it was much the same story. Fox »


- Joe Otterson

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‘The Price Is Right’ Contestant Breaks Plinko Record, Loses Mind

5 hours ago

On Thursday’s episode of CBS’s hit game show “The Price Is Right,” contestant Ryan Belz broke Plinko records by landing his chips in the $10,000 slot three times.

For those who aren’t rabid “Price” followers, Plinko involves a contestant standing at the top of a large vertical gameboard who then drops chips down into a series of channels. At the bottom of the gameboard are a series of slots, each worth a certain amount of money ranging from zero to $10,000. The contestant is given five chips and attempts to rack up as much money as possible.

Belz started off his run on top, with his first chip landing in the $10,000 slot. He immediately flipped out and began yelling and clutching his chest in shock and joy. His second scored him an additional $1,000. After his third chip once again landed in the $10,000 slot, the audience began to chant “Ryan, Ryan »


- Erin Nyren

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Remote Controlled: Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne Strahovski on Parallels Between ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ and Trump’s America

5 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 the stars of Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Joseph Fiennes and Yvonne Strahovski.

Fiennes and Strahovski play husband and wife in the totalitarian government of Gilead, a near-future of the former United States. Fiennes’ character, Commander Fred Waterford, and his wife, Serena Joy, are assigned a Handmaid — portrayed by Elisabeth Moss — who must oblige to ritualized sex to bear children for the commander and his wife.

The two leads couldn’t help but draw parallels between the adaption of the 1985 dystopian novel and present day.

“You’re seeing images that you see in the news, marches, women’s marches,” Strahovski said. “It all feels like it’s very much of today. It really shows how easy that road would »


- Rebecca Rubin

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TV Ratings: ‘Love Connection,’ ‘Beat Shazam’ Hand Fox First Thursday Win in a Year

7 hours ago

The debuts of “Love Connection” and “Beat Shazam” claimed the top spots in the Thursday overnight ratings on Fox, according to Nielsen data.

Airing at 8 p.m., “Beat Shazam” with host Jamie Foxx opened to a 1.2 rating in adults 18-49 and 3.6 million viewers, beating its nearest timeslot competition–NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior Celebrity Special”–in the demo. “Love Connection” with host Andy Cohen aired at 9 with a 1.1 and 3.4 million, outdrawing NBC’s “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” in the demo. Although neither show could be said to have broken out in the ratings, they were still the top-rated shows of the night, airing against mostly repeats on the other broadcast networks.

The shows helped Fox claim its first Thursday night win since April 7 of last year, which was the series finale of “American Idol.”

On NBC, the “American Ninja Warrior Celebrity Special” drew a 1.1 and 4.2 million viewers. “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” (0.9, 4 million) followed. The »


- Joe Otterson

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Kiss, WWE Cancel Manchester Arena Events

7 hours ago

Legendary rock band Kiss and sports entertainment organisation World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) have both canceled planned events at Manchester Arena following the suicide bombing which took place outside the venue Monday night.

A statement for Kiss said the band would be unable to play a planned concert of its “Kissworld” tour on May 30 due to the temporary closure of Manchester Arena, following the tragedy. The band said they were “heartbroken by the atrocity committed against the innocent victims.”

The statement suggested the band was disappointed not to be able to play the show for its local fans but said that “in light of recent events a canceled rock show seems of such little consequence.” The landing page of the official Kiss website currently reads: “Manchester: We stand with you in this time of unspeakable tragedy” in front of the Union Jack flag of the U.K.

WWE has also canceled its live Nxt event, which »


- Robert Mitchell

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PromaxBDA Conference Adds Brett Ratner Keynote Q&A (Exclusive)

7 hours ago

Director and producer Brett Ratner will deliver a keynote Q&A at the 2017 PromaxBDA Conference, Variety has learned exclusively.

In his session, which will take place June 6, Ratner will discuss the future of television. He joins previously announced speakers that include: Justin Simien, creator of Netflix’s “Dear White People;” The Black List’s Franklin Leonard; Adam Stotsky, president of E! and Esquire; “SNL” writer Megan Callahan; Alan Beard, Cmo of Fullscreen Media; and many more. The Conference will take place June 5-8 in La at the Jw Marriott Hotel at La Live.

Ratner is a celebrated producer and director in both film and television. He is known for his directing work on the “Rush Hour” film franchise, as well as “X-Men: The Last Stand” and Dwayne Johnson’s “Hercules.” As a producer, he helped launch the Fox series “Prison Break,” and has produced films such as “The Revenant,” “Black Mass,” and »


- Joe Otterson

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Made in NY Writers Room Program Unveils Fellows, Showrunner Mentors

21 hours ago

The WGA East and several New York City agencies have set the inaugural group of fellows for its Made in NY Writers Room initiative designed to help open doors for aspiring writers from diverse backgrounds.

After the program was unveiled last fall, the guild and the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (Mome) and other agencies were flooded with nearly 500 script submissions. All of those submissions received feedback notes from the WGA East member. Another 170 received a second round of notes. A total of 30 finalists were selected, and the 12 fellows were chosen from that pool.

The fellows comprise 11 individuals and one writing team. They will earn a $15,000 stipend for taking part in the six-month fellowship that will include mentoring sessions, networking and professional development opportunities. The program is part of a broader push by Mome to create more talent-nurturing activities to capitalize in the spike in production in the state.

“They »


- Cynthia Littleton

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‘America’s Got Talent’ Won’t Air Segment With Couple Who Filed Suit

22 hours ago

“America’s Got Talent” will not air a segment featuring a couple who filed suit on Tuesday, alleging that host Tyra Banks had humiliated their daughter.

The lawsuit claimed that Banks had made fun of the couple’s song, which expressed their love for their daughter, and insinuated that the girl was conceived by accident. The couple sought damages and demanded that Marathon Productions not air the segment.

FremantleMedia — the parent of Marathon — issued a statement on Thursday saying the suit “is being dismissed.” A spokesman for the plaintiff’s law firm declined to comment, except to say that settlement talks are underway and the dispute “will be amicably resolved.”

“We take great care of all acts that cross the ‘Agt’ stage and their families,” FremantleMedia said in the statement. “Tyra has been an incredible addition to ‘Agt’ with her vibrant energy and maternal nurturing spirit, and we look forward to continuing to watch her positive influence »


- Gene Maddaus

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Netflix Cancels London Premieres of ‘Orange Is the New Black,’ ‘Glow’ in Wake of Manchester Attack

22 hours ago

Netflix is the latest entertainment company to cancel events in London in the wake of Monday’s terrorist attack in Manchester.

The streaming service will no longer hold premieres for “Orange Is the New Black” Season 5 and “Glow,” its new original series from “Orange” creator Jenji Kohan based on the 1980s female wrestling league of the same name. The event was scheduled for May 30 at England’s Curzon Mayfair Cinema.

“​Following the terrible events in Manchester on Monday night, we have decided to cancel our special screening of Orange is the New Black and Glow on Tuesday 30th May,” a Netflix spokesperson said on Thursday. “Our thoughts are with all of those affected by this tragedy.​”​

Warner Bros. axed its screening of “Wonder Woman” on Wednesday and Universal scrapped its debut of “The Mummy” earlier on Thursday. Ariana Grande, whose concert at England’s Manchester Arena was the target of the bombing, canceled »


- Maane Khatchatourian

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Fox News’ Dueling Narratives: Journalism That Clashes With Fury Over ‘Liberal Media’

22 hours ago

A little more than 24 hours before Guardian U.S. reporter Ben Jacobs was knocked to the ground, choked, and punched by Gop congressional candidate Greg Gianforte, Fox News host Sean Hannity tweeted that “Liberal Fascism” and the “corrupt media” were trying to silence him from reporting a debunked story about murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich. Hannity has been doggedly pursuing the non-story for days now with increasingly irresponsible methods, even though his own employer Fox News has retracted the story about Rich’s death that fueled the speculation. Indeed, by his own admission, on May 23’s “Hannity,” the host is avoiding the story “out of respect for the family’s wishes.” But since Tuesday, the conservative talking head has been methodically attacking the “liberal media,” “corrupt media,” and/or the “Destroy Trump media” for quashing his narrative, with well-trod detours that invoke the specters of liberals such as billionaire George Soros and Media Matters for »


- Sonia Saraiya

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‘Baywatch’ Producer Shares Plans for Film Sequel With Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron (Exclusive)

23 hours ago

Baywatch” has yet to open wide in theaters, but ahead of this weekend’s debut, the team behind the film adaptation is already planning a movie franchise.

Speaking to Variety at a New York City screening of “Baywatch” earlier this week, producer Beau Flynn shared plans for a sequel, which would bring back the cast, including Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron, plus writers Damian Shannon and Mark Swift, who co-wrote the screenplay for the first flick.

“We have an amazing story already,” Flynn told Variety on the red carpet, ahead of the screening on Monday. “We’re bringing back Shannon and Swift who wrote on the first one, and I know Dwayne would be in, I know Zac and all the girls would be. We just have this really cool idea to put them in this whole new world. We would take it overseas.”

Along with Johnson and Efron, “Baywatch,” which »


- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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‘Law and Order: Svu’ Taps ‘Chicago Justice’ Ep Michael Chernuchin as New Showrunner

23 hours ago

Michael Chernuchin has been selected as the new showrunner for Season 19 of NBC’s “Law & Order: Svu,” Variety has learned.

Most recently, Chernuchin was the showrunner and executive producer on fellow Dick Wolf series “Chicago Justice,” which was canceled after one season. He has a long history with Wolf, having previously served as an executive producer and writer on “Law & Order” and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” in addition to serving as a writer on “Law & Order: UK” and “Law & Order: La.”

He is repped by Paradigm, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and attorney Robert S. Getman.

Chernuchin takes over showrunning duties from Rick Eid, who left “Svu” to take over as showrunner on “Chicago Pd.” Eid joined “Svu” as a writer and producer at the beginning of Season 18. He had previously worked on “Law & Order” and “Law & Order: Trial by Jury.” Back in March, “P.D.” showrunner and co-creator Matt Olmstead stepped down for an overall deal with ABC Studios »


- Joe Otterson

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TV News Roundup: Teen Choice Awards Announce 2017 Air Date

23 hours ago

In today’s roundup, the 2017 Teen Choice Awards get an air date, as has Bravo’s “Odd Mom Out” Season 3.

Dates

The 2017 Teen Choice Awards will air live Sunday, Aug. 13 at 8 p.m. Et/ Pt tape-delayed on Fox. The two-hour event honors the year’s biggest names in film, television, music, fashion and comedy. Category winners are selected by teens themselves by choosing new award categories and favorites from the past. Hosts, performers, presenters and nominees have not been announced yet. Last year’s event was hosted by WWE champion John Cena and actress Victoria Justice and featured appearances by Justin Timberake, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans and Jason Derulo.

Bravo Media will premiere season three of “Odd Mom Out” on Wednesday, July 12 at 10 p.m. Et/Pt. The scripted comedy series stars Jill Kargman, Abby Elliott, Andy Buckley, K.K. Glick, Sean Kleier, and Joanna Cassidy. Kargman plays a satirical version of herself keeping up in the exclusive »


- Rebecca Rubin

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CBS Taps Tony Awards Production Team for Emmy Telecast

25 May 2017 2:30 PM, PDT

CBS has tapped the Tony Awards production team of Glenn Weiss and Ricky Kirshner to serve as exec producers of this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards.

Weiss has directed six previous Emmy telecasts, but this year will mark the duo’s first time shepherding the entire show. Stephen Colbert will host the 69th annual kudocast, airing live Sept. 17 on CBS. Chris Licht, Colbert’s exec producer on CBS’ “The Late Show,” will serve as a producer on the Emmycast. Weiss will once again direct.

“Glenn and Ricky have done outstanding work with CBS on ‘The Tony Awards’ and ‘The Kennedy Center Honors,’” said Jack Sussman, exec VP of specials, music and live events for CBS Entertainment. “This multiple Emmy Award-winning team has produced some of the most unforgettable TV moments, and we can’t wait to work with them on the biggest night celebrating television.”

Weiss and Kirshner are partners in White Cherry Entertainment, The »


- Cynthia Littleton

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Netflix, Amazon Pull Out of TCA Summer Press Tour

25 May 2017 2:28 PM, PDT

Streaming services Netflix and Amazon will not participate in the 2017 Television Critics Association summer press tour.

Ctam, the cable- and broadband-television trade organization, released its schedule for summer press tour Wednesday. That schedule, which for the first time includes streaming services alongside pay-cable channels such as HBO, Discovery, and TNT, did not include dates for Netflix or Amazon.

“I cannot answer to what Netflix’s reasons are for not presenting at the Summer TCA Tour,” said Ctam spokesperson Mary Shaw in a statement Thursday. “However, I can say that there are a lot of variables that go into a content provider being able to present at any given tour. There are many factors that go into a successful presentation e.g., executive availability, talent availability, production schedules, marketing materials, etc. As for the Ctam cable and streaming portion of the tour, we have a robust five days of programming lined up for the critics.  I »


- Daniel Holloway

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Fox News Wants to Keep Sean Hannity Despite Conspiracy-Theory Controversy

25 May 2017 1:28 PM, PDT

Sean Hannity has been one of Fox News Channel’s most popular personalities, throwing red meat daily to the cable network’s core red-state viewers by talking up issues of interest to conservatives. If he were to leave, the network would likely get the blues.

Hannity is no stranger to controversy — he has sparred with former colleague Megyn Kelly and CNN media reporter Brian Stelter, to name a few — but he is at the center of a new one that has sparked a few defections from his show by a handful of advertisers as well as speculation over whether he might return from a Memorial Day weekend vacation that began after his broadcast last night.

“Like the rest of the country, Sean Hannity is taking a vacation for Memorial Day weekend and will be back on Tuesday,” the 21st Century Fox-owned network said in a statement Friday. “Those who suggest otherwise are going to look foolish.” Hannity »


- Brian Steinberg

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Sophia Bush Departs ‘Chicago P.D.’ After Four Seasons

25 May 2017 1:21 PM, PDT

Chicago P.D.” star Sophia Bush is leaving the NBC series after four seasons.

Bush played Det. Erin Lindsay on the Dick Wolf procedural, who it was hinted at the end of Season 4 would be leaving Chicago to take a job with the FBI. Bush has been with “P.D.” since Season 1, and has appeared on episodes of “Chicago Med,” “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago Justice,” and “Law & Order: Svu.”

“P.D.” is one of the three “Chicago” shows currently airing on NBC, with the network recently cancelling freshman series “Chicago Justice.” All three of the other shows have been renewed. They have been dependable ratings performers for NBC at the 9 and 10 p.m. hours. “Med” season two averaged a 1.2 rating in adults 18-49 and 6.6 million viewers. “P.D.” season four averaged a 1.4 and 6.6 million. “Fire” season five averaged a 1.5 and 7.1 million viewers.

News of the series renewals was accompanied by the announcement that “Law & Order: Svu” showrunner Rick Eid would »


- Joe Otterson

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Fox Heats Up Summer With ‘Love Connection’ Revival for Modern Daters With Host Andy Cohen

25 May 2017 12:58 PM, PDT

It’s before noon on a weekday in late March, and Andy Cohen walks out onto a massive set with possibly the most dramatic entrance ever. “Here’s your host, Andy Cohen!” the voiceover shouts, as the TV personality is unveiled from giant bridge that lowers as he graces the lit-up stage.

Though the environment is familiar to Cohen with a live audience and a cushy couch for conversation with guests, this is not “Watch What Happens Live.” Rather, the Bravo personality is taping an episode of “Love Connection,” the revival of the dating game show, which premieres Thursday night on Fox.

Love Connection” shot over a period of about one week, bringing the New York-based Cohen to Los Angeles to do what he does best: prod into people’s personal lives.

Within minutes of introducing the second contestant — whom Cohen dubbed “buff Jesus,” thanks to his large stature and long mane of silky hair — the host »


- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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