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Stephen Colbert Appears on Russian TV, Jokes About Presidential Run

9 hours ago

Stephen Colbert made an appearance on Russian TV, where he appeared to jokingly mull a presidential run.

In a video released Friday, Colbert appeared on “Evening Urgant,” a late-night style talk show that airs on Russia’s Channel 1. The back and forth between Colbert and host Ivan Urgant took place partly in Russian, partly in English.

In the interview, Colbert and Urgant played a Russian roulette-style drinking game with multiple vodka shots.

Lifting a glass to the studio audience upon taking his first shot, Colbert said, “To the beautiful and friendly Russian people, I have no idea why no members of the Trump administration can remember meeting you.” Colbert then took a shot and ate a pickle.

After Urgant took a shot, Colbert asked, “By the way, can I announce something?” He then continued, “I’m here in Russia … I am here to announce that I am considering a run for president in 2020, and I thought »


- Variety Staff

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Broadcasters Look to Extend Lives of Veteran Shows With Cast Changes

10 hours ago

When “Taken” returns to NBC this fall, it will look different from the series that premiered last season. Clive Standen will still play Bryan Mills, the ex-Green Beret with the very particular set of skills. But the faces around him will have changed.

Variety learned this week that six cast members will leave “Taken” ahead of season two. The move is part of an effort to creatively retool the drama under new showrunner Greg Plageman. It is also one of several made since May upfront presentations on returning shows. The flurry of changes reflects the effort that broadcasters are willing to exert to sustain returning series at a time when networks are taking a conservative approach to new programming.

On ABC, “Once Upon a Time” and “Quantico” are both undergoing radical casting and creative changes heading into the upcoming season. Both were bubble shows speculated to have been on the chopping block as schedules for next season »


- Daniel Holloway

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TV News Roundup: Heather Graham Joins Cast of ‘Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders’

11 hours ago

In today’s roundup, Heather Graham gets a part in “Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders,” and HBO Films releases a first look at Peter Dinklage in “My Dinner with Hervé.”

Casting

Heather Graham, Elizabeth Reaser, and Larry Cedar have been cast in “Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders.” Graham will play Judalon Smyth, a sexy, emotionally fragile woman who is having an affair with Dr. Oziel. Reaser will play Deputy District Attorney Pam Bozanich, who is assigned to the murders of Jose and Kitty Menendez. Cedar will play Milton Andersen, Kitty’s older brother. The series, which depicts the infamous murder trial of the infamous siblings, will air Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on NBC starting Sept. 26. Edie Falco, Julianne Nicholson, Anthony Edwards, and Sam Jaeger have been previously cast in the show.

Emily Rudd is set to play the title role in “Olive Forever,” a pilot from Universal Cable Productions. Rudd »


- Rebecca Rubin

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CAA Signs Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers

11 hours ago

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has signed with CAA’s sports division for commercial representation. CAA will explore opportunities for Rodgers in film, television, endorsements, speaking, business development, digital media, publishing, philanthropy, and other areas.

“Beyond being a remarkable athlete and leader on the field, Aaron has a clear vision for growing his brand and business off the field,” said CAA Sports co-head Michael Levine. “We are thrilled to work with Aaron during the prime of his career and look forward to partnering with key leaders across the agency to build a business portfolio that will enhance his existing and already impressive legacy and last well beyond his record-setting on field career.”

“I have always been interested in exploring ways to parlay the things I am most passionate about into new business endeavors,” said Rodgers. “I am excited to partner with CAA, as I am confident that together we can create entrepreneurial opportunities that enable me »


- Daniel Holloway

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Bet and One Church La Team Up Sunday for ‘Celebration of Gospel Live’

12 hours ago

On Sunday during Bet Awards Weekend, One Church La and Bet join forces to launch Celebration of Gospel Live on the main stage of Betx in and near the Los Angeles Convention Center. A city-wide gospel experience, the four-hour event brings praise and worship to the Bet Experience. Doors open at 10:45am, and the event begins at 11:15am.

Hosted by One Church La husband-and-wife pastors Touré Roberts and Sarah Jakes Roberts, the four-hour-long event features performances from Major, Tasha Cobbs, Jonathan McReynolds, Mali Music, and Israel Houghton. In addition, One Church La dance ministry “One Movement” will present a special presentation choreographed by A-list choreographer, TV personality, director, singer, actress, dancer, and congregation member Laurieann Gibson, who has worked with Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj and others.

About Celebration of Gospel Live, Touré comments, “We’re very thankful to Bet for granting One Church La an unbelievable platform to share our message during Bet »


- Variety Staff

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Charlie Sheen Sued (Again) for Exposing Ex-Girlfriend to HIV

12 hours ago

An ex-girlfriend of Charlie Sheen has filed a lawsuit accusing him of exposing her to HIV, and then dissuading her from taking antiretroviral drugs.

Neither Sheen nor the ex-girlfriend are identified by name in the suit, which was filed Thursday in L.A. County Superior Court. However, the defendant — referred to as “confidential male defendant” — is said to have learned he was HIV positive in 2011, and given national TV interviews about his HIV status on Nov. 17, 2015, and June 21, 2016. Sheen learned he was HIV positive in 2011, and he publicly revealed it on “The Today Show” on Nov. 17, 2015. He gave an update on the program on June 21, 2016.

The plaintiff is identified only as Jane Doe, and is described as a “Russian émigré.”

This is the second time that Sheen has been sued for allegedly exposing an ex-girlfriend to the virus. Scottine Ross, his ex-fiance, filed a similar suit in December 2015, alleging physical and emotional abuse in addition to HIV »


- Gene Maddaus

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‘Downward Dog’ Canceled by ABC

12 hours ago

ABC has canceled half-hour comedy “Downward Dog.” Co-creator Samm Hodges tweeted news of the cancellation Friday.

“Got the very surprising news today that ABC is not moving forward with Downward Dog,” Hodges wrote. “They loved it creatively and really wanted to make more but couldn’t find a financial path to do so.”

Hodges added that producers are “committed to finding a new home” for the series and that the last two episodes of the show’s eight-episode run will air Tuesday, beginning at 10 p.m.

Hey. Statement from @m_killen and I. Love and hope and not giving up #DownwardDog pic.twitter.com/VUn8NrgdLu

Samm Hodges (@sammhodges) June 23, 2017

A representative for ABC confirmed the cancellation.

Downward Dog” starred Allison Tolman as Nan, a woman navigating relationship and professional changes. The show prominently featured Nan’s dog Martin talking to the camera and narrating the story from his perspective.

Tolman »


- Daniel Holloway

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This Week’s Hollywood Red Carpets and Parties (Photos)

13 hours ago

This week’s Hollywood red carpets and parties include Netflix’s “Glow” premiere and HBO’s “The Defiant Ones” party. »


- Jacob Bryant

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Matt Lauer Recreates Famous Tom Cruise ‘Glib’ Interview With Andy Cohen

13 hours ago

It’s been 12 years since Tom Cruise lectured Matt Lauer about antidepressants and psychiatry during a now-infamous interview. To commemorate that notorious interaction, Andy Cohen, host of “What Happens Live With Andy Cohen,” recreated the cringe-worthy scene with Lauer as the lead of Cruise.

Before recreating the scene for Clubhouse Playhouse, Lauer emphasized, “I like Tom Cruise. We have a good relationship. We have a good friendship. It was just one little moment, okay?”

Lauer wore a Tom Cruise wig and Cohen acted as the “Today” host as they took turns reading lines from the interview in front of a green screen: “Matt, Matt, Matt…you’re blig. That’s the opposite of glib,” Lauer faintly whispered.

“And scene!” Cohen shouted as he ran off the green screen. Savannah Guthrie, also guest starring on the show, applauded Cohen and Lauer for their performance.

Lauer mentioned again that Cruise was a close pal. “We »


- Dixie Limbachia

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James Corden and Seth Rogen Deliver Pizza to Unsuspecting L.A. Residents

14 hours ago

In a bit that could hardly take place anywhere but Los Angeles, James Corden and Seth Rogen delivered pizzas to unsuspecting residents around the city.

Thursday’s “Late Late Show” sketch “Mystery Pizza Box” did, however, come with a catch. The comedic duo offered customers a choice between sticking with the pizza they’ve ordered, from L.A.’s own Prime Pizza, or taking whatever was in the mystery pizza box.

All three deliveries chose the latter option — with “prizes” ranging from a box with a heaping portion of marinara sauce, front-row seats to an impromptu wrestling match, and an epic Instagram-worthy birthday party. »


- Rebecca Rubin

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‘Killjoys’: Exclusive Clip Shows the Gang Returns Ready For a Fight

16 hours ago

Once again, “Killjoys” arrives in the nick of time.

This delightful summer series, which begins its third season June 30, completes one of my favorite 2017 programming blocks. For the next month or two, Friday nights on Syfy will consist of “Killjoys,” followed by “Dark Matter” and “Wynonna Earp.” All three are enjoyable in their own ways (check out my recent enthusiastic recommendation for all things “Earp”), and together they supply a whole lot of quip-intensive, well-crafted genre fun.

Killjoys” tells the story of bounty hunters in a distant galaxy, and if you are my kind of person, in order to check it out, »


- Maureen Ryan

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Syfy Orders George R.R. Martin’s ‘Nightflyers’ to Pilot

17 hours ago

Syfy has ordered a pilot based on “Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin’s novella “Nightflyers,” Variety has learned.

The network revealed they were developing the novella as a series back in May. It was previously adapted into the 1987 film of the same name. Jeff Buhler wrote the adaptation for television. The story follows eight maverick scientists and a powerful telepath who embark on an expedition to the edge of our solar system in the hopes of contacting alien life. They travel aboard The Nightflyer – a ship with a small tightknit crew and a reclusive captain. But when terrifying »


- Joe Otterson

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Btf Media Launches in Spain, Sets Singer Isabel Pantoja TV Series as First Project

17 hours ago

Miami-based Btf Media, producer of Disney’s Juan Gabriel biopic “Hasta que te conocí,” probably the most successful TV drama on the Spanish-language TV landscape last year, is kicking-off operations in Spain as a bridgehead for its European expansion.

The launch of Btf Spain, fruit of a partnership between Btf Media and brothers Oriol and Albert Uría’s Garage Films, a Barcelona-based advertising company, coincides with the announcement of the shingle’s first TV fiction project, a biopic of popular Spanish folk singer Isabel Pantoja.

Founded in 2010 by Mexico’s Francisco Cordero and Ricardo Coeto, Btf has specialized in producing »


- Emiliano De Pablos

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NBA Draft Streaming Viewership Jumps 107 Percent for Espn

17 hours ago

Espn’s digital coverage of the 2017 NBA Draft set several streaming records on Thursday.

The NBA Draft drew an average minute streaming audience of 135,200 viewers, up 55 percent from 2016, according to data provided by the network. The Draft also drew 1,153,500 unique viewers, up 107 percent from last year. Espn delivered 39,215,000 total minutes streamed for the NBA Draft.

In addition, Espn’s linear coverage of the Draft averaged a 2.7 metered market rating, up 13 percent from the 2.4 rating in 2016, according to Nielsen data. It matched the third-highest rated NBA Draft on Espn. The telecast peaked with a 4.0 rating from 8:15-8:30 p.m. »


- Joe Otterson

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‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Season 9 Queens Preach Peace as They Fight for the Crown

18 hours ago

Gentlemen, start your engines…

The smell of charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent filled the Alex Theater courtyard as the queens of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 9 prepared to film their finale at the Glendale landmark. After a season of shocking eliminations, a questionable choice for Miss Congeniality, and the first-ever final four, the time has come for RuPaul to crown either Peppermint, Sasha Velour, Shea Couleé, or Trinity Taylor as America’s Next Drag Superstar.

But before the ceremonies can commence, all 14 queens, a handful of Logo alumni, and judges Ross Mathews and Carson Kressley graced the ruby red carpet one at a time, taking a pit stop for pictures before hitting a pileup with reporters (the budget upgrade to VH1 was clearly all allocated onstage).

For the series’ first 103 episodes — not including “All Star” iterations — Ru, co-host Michelle Visage, and the rest of the pit crew called Logo their home turf. However »


- JD Knapp

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Remote Controlled: ‘Westworld’ Creators and Star Evan Rachel Wood Tease ‘Ambitious’ Season 2

18 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 “Westworld” co-creators and executive producers Jonah Nolan and Lisa Joy about what they learned from the first season, the one question fans should be asking, and what’s ahead for Season 2. Plus, star Evan Rachel Wood (who plays Dolores) reveals what mysteries she figured out — and what she still wants answers to.

“When you’re working on a show like this where there »


- Debra Birnbaum

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TV Ratings: ABC Gets Mixed Results as ‘Boy Band’ Sinks, ‘Gong Show’ Tops Time Slot

18 hours ago

ABC debuted both “Boy Band” and “The Gong Show” on Thursday night, with the first show failing to make a significant impact in the overnight ratings and the second show winning in its time slot.

According to Nielsen data, the two-hour “Boy Band” premiere averaged a 0.7 rating in adults 18-49 and 3 million viewers. It lost in the 8 p.m. hour to “Beat Shazam” (1.0, 3.2 million) on Fox and the season premiere of “Hollywood Game Night” (0.8, 4 million) on NBC, in addition to reruns of “Big Bang Theory” and “Superior Donuts” on CBS. At 9, the new series lost to both “Love Connection” (0.9, 2.9 million) on Fox and the season premiere of “The Wall” (0.9, 4.4 million) on NBC.

The Gong Show” (0.9, 3.8 million) built on the “Boy Band” lead-in at 10, beating the season debut of “The Night Shift” (0.6, 3.5 million) on NBC.

Both CBS and The CW aired only repeats for the night.

Fox topped the night in the demo with a 0.9 but finished fourth »


- Joe Otterson

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Gabe Pressman, TV Reporter Who Covered New York for 60 Years, Dies at 93

19 hours ago

Gabe Pressman, a New York TV news icon whose career spanned the evolution of the medium, died Friday in the city he covered for more than 60 years. He was 93.

Pressman spent nearly half a century at NBC’s flagship New York station, Wnbc-tv. He began his TV career anchoring a five-minute daily news report for what was then Wrca-tv in 1956. He continue to cover events for Wnbc until his final months. His last on-air report for the station was coverage of this year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, but he remained a presence in the newsroom and posted reports »


- Variety Staff

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Vice Sets HBO Special ‘A World in Disarray’

20 hours ago

Vice News will explore the unraveling of the post-World War II international order in its next HBO special, “Vice Special Report: A World in Disarray.” The special is set to premiere on the pay cabler July 21.

The special will feature Vice co-founder Suroosh Alvi, correspondent Michael Moynihan, and others examining the state of world affairs and investigating the nature of current international conflicts. It will feature interviews with Condoleezza Rice, Tony Blair, Samantha Power, and Ash Carter, as well as others.

“In this increasingly confusing modern political landscape, we thought it would be interesting to canvas the best minds in foreign policy in an attempt to make sense of what is actually happening and weigh in on the greatest dangers that are facing us today,” says Vice founder Shane Smith. “Marrying signature Vice on-the-ground reporting with unique insights and explanations of how we got here, from the people who were actually there at the table, makes »


- Daniel Holloway

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Luke Grimes Starring in ‘Yellowstone’ With Kevin Costner (Exclusive)

20 hours ago

Luke Grimes will star opposite Kevin Costner in “Yellowstone,” Variety has learned.

The Paramount Network show is set in the largest contiguous ranch in the United States, which, despite its size, finds its borders threatened by land developers, an Indian reservation, and America’s first national park. Costner plays the ranch owner’s patriarch, while Grimes plays his youngest son, Cory.

The television series was created by Taylor Sheridan, the Oscar-nominated writer of “Hell or High Water” and “Sicario.”

Grimes most recently finished filming “El Camino Christmas” for Netflix, which was written and produced by Ted Melfi and was directed by David E. Talbert. »


- Brent Lang

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