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Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston Team Up to Star in TV Series

15 minutes ago

Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon are teaming up for a new TV series that will focus on a New York morning show, Variety has confirmed.

House of Cards” producer Jay Carson is attached to write the script, with Steve Kloves executive producing. Witherspoon and Aniston will also executive produce, with Witherspoon producing through her Hello Sunshine production banner along with her film and television head Lauren Levy Neustadter. The project hails from HBO alum Michael Ellenberg’s newly-launched Media Res banner.

The series is expected to be shopped to networks and streaming services in the coming weeks, industry sources say.

Aniston and Witherspoon previously worked together when Witherspoon guest starred on “Friends” as Aniston’s sister. Witherspoon recently made the jump to TV with the HBO drama “Big Little Lies,” which earned her an Emmy nomination. For Aniston, it would mark her first regular TV role since the end of “Friends” in 2004.

More to come… »


- Joe Otterson

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Television Academy Announces Awards Lineup for Creative Arts Emmys

16 minutes ago

The Television Academy has revealed the awards that will be presented on each night of the two-night presentation of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards.

As with last year, the lengthy presentation will be split into two nights, Saturday, September 9 and Sunday, September 10 beginning at 5 p.m. at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The Creative Arts Emmys will air September 16 at 8 p.m. on Fxx.

The Primetime Emmy Awards, which will be held on Sunday, September 17, will present awards for outstanding comedy and drama series, limited series, reality competition, variety talk and sketch, television movie, acting, directing, and writing. The Emmys will air on CBS, hosted by Stephen Colbert.

The complete lineup is as follows:

Saturday, September 9:

Outstanding Animated Program

Outstanding Casting For A Reality Program

Outstanding Character Voice-over Performance

Outstanding Choreography

Outstanding Cinematography For A Nonfiction Program

Outstanding Cinematography For A Reality Program

Outstanding Costumes For Variety, Nonfiction Or Reality Programming

Outstanding Creative Achievement In »


- Erin Nyren

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Tiffany Haddish Clears Up Controversial Bill Cosby Comments: ‘What I Said Was a Joke’

33 minutes ago

Tiffany Haddish is having a moment.

The breakout star of “Girls Trip,” Haddish seems to have popped into the pop culture stratosphere in record time with a hit movie in theaters, a viral interview on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” an upcoming Showtime stand-up special, and a starring role as Tracy Morgan’s ex-wife in his new TBS series, “The Last O.G.

But with success, comes attention — and sometimes negative attention.

Last week, Haddish hit a bump on the road to stardom when she said in an interview that she wants to work with Bill Cosby. And since, the internet has been on the attack.

Bill Cosby — I still want to work with Bill Cosby, I don’t care, I’ll drink the juice. I’ll drink the juice. I’ll take a nap. I don’t give a damn,” Haddish said to the Los Angeles Times when asked who she’d like to work with. “But »


- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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TNT Summer Dramas Stand Strong in Multi-Platform Viewing

1 hour ago

TNT’s summer dramas are not setting the TV landscape on fire in terms of traditional ratings, but are showing significant life in multi-platform viewing.

Animal Kingdom,” currently in its second season, is averaging a 0.4 rating in adults 18-49 and 1.1 million viewers per episode in Nielsen’s Live+Same Day numbers, down approximately 14% in the demo and 11% in total viewers compared to last season’s final average.

However, the series is currently averaging 4.8 million viewers per episode across TNT platforms, according to data provided by the network. That figure includes a 73% increase in viewing through TNT’s website, mobile apps and connected devices, as well as an 11% lift in DVR viewing. TNT recently renewed the series for a third season.

Freshman drama “Claws,” which stars Niecy Nash as a Florida nail salon owner who gets involved in organized crime, is averaging numbers similar to “Animal Kingdom” midway through its first season. It »


- Joe Otterson

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Hulu Recreates ABC’s ‘Tgif’ Comedy Lineup With ‘Full House,’ ‘Family Matters’ and More

1 hour ago

Hulu aims to tap into retro-tv nostalgia by recreating the “Tgif” block of Warner Bros. TV-produced family-friendly sitcoms that ran on ABC in the late 1980s and ‘90s.

Hulu has licensed all episodes of the original “Full House,” which was revived by Netflix last year as “Fuller House,” as well as “Family Matters,” “Step By Step,” “Perfect Strangers” and “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper.” The shows will become available on Hulu on Sept. 29.

The streaming giant plans to promote the shows as a block to promote multigenerational viewing, as well as to introduce the shows to younger audiences. The block that ABC branded “Tgif” had a successful run with a blend of G-rated family- and youth-focused comedies that have become pop culture touchstones.

The deal for more than 800 episodes of “Tgif” sitcoms — dubbed internally as “Tgih” (H for Hulu) — comes on the heels of Hulu stepping up its pursuit of rerun rights to hot recent shows such as »


- Cynthia Littleton

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‘Harlots’ Renewed by Hulu for Season 2

1 hour ago

Hulu has renewed “Harlots” for a second season.

A drama series about rival prostitution houses in 18th-century London, “Harlots” stars Samantha Morten as madam Margaret Wells. The series is executive produced by Moira Buffini, Debra Hayward, and Alison Owen. Lesley Manville, Jessica Brown Findlay.

Season two is set to premiere in 2018.

In her review of season one for Variety, Sonia Saraiya wrote, “Stories about sex work are surrounded by potential pitfalls. There’s the risk of sexualizing the characters to the point of caricatured exploitation; conversely, there’s the risk of making every sex worker’s story a tragedy that ends in misery. There is the risk of making a narrative sex work into an unrealistic parable of feminism, just as there is also the risk of cutting the women’s perspectives entirely out of the story. “Harlots” admirably avoids all of these pitfalls, using the distance of the historical era (the show is set in the »


- Daniel Holloway

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TNT-tbs Chief Talks TV’s Transformation, Conan O’Brien’s Future

1 hour ago

TNT and TBS are hip-deep in a “radical transformation” designed to keep the networks vibrant in a survival-of-the-fittest moment for traditional networks. That’s what TNT and TBS president Kevin Reilly told reporters Thursday morning during Turner’s portion of the summer Television Critics Assn. press tour.

“We’ll be radically different in two years than we are sitting here today,” Reilly said. He also flatly stated that some networks will simply go away as the industry adjusts to changing economics and viewing habits.

“Two years from now you’re still going to be covering as many shows but you’re going to for sure be covering less entities. (But) we will be here even as the definition of television opens up.”

TNT and TBS have undergone a programming makeovers during the past two years since Reilly took the helm. This summer marks an inflection point for TNT as it has a slate of four original dramas »


- Cynthia Littleton

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Donald Trump Animated Series From Stephen Colbert Headed to Showtime

3 hours ago

Donald Trump, the cartoon? Yes, it’s happening.

Showtime has greenlit an animated satirical series centered on the Trump White House, Variety has learned. The show hails from executive producer Stephen Colbert.

The untitled series will span 10 episodes, and will air this fall. Production will ramp up quickly and wrap close to the premiere date, in order to enable the show to stay relevant with current events and Trump’s continuing antics.

The series will revolve around the two-dimensional avatars of President Donald Trump and his family members. Described as a “fresh, cutting-edge comedy,” the series will present the “tru-ish adventures of Trump’s confidants and bon vivants — family, top associates, heads of government, golf pros, and anyone else straying into his orbit — intrepidly exploring their histories and their psyches, revealing insights into what makes them so definitively Trumpian.” According to Showtime, “it’s a workplace comedy where the office happens to be oval; it’s a »


- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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‘American Horror Story’ Season 7 Drops New Teaser, Poster (Watch)

4 hours ago

American Horror Story: Cult” released a chilling new trailer and poster teasing the show’s Season 7.

“You’ve been waiting for us,” American Horror Story tweeted regarding the teaser. Though the mysterious clip reveals very little, it flashes between a creepy clown and the cryptic text “Find us” followed by “Ahscult.com.” The official poster is captioned “Be of like mind,” and portrays a powdery-white woman with clown makeup. The top of her skull is removed, exposing a honey-comb brain riddled with bees, teasing the hive mind mentality for the season.

The official title and first teaser were released at San Diego Comic-Con last week, with FX projecting the teaser onto a wall of water behind the San Diego Convention Center.

Co-creator Ryan Murphy shared earlier the next installment of FX’s horror anthology was inspired by the 2016 presidential election. FX has renewed the show through Season 9.

Previously announced cast members include “American Horror Story” newcomers Lena Dunham »


- Rebecca Rubin

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Katy Perry to Host 2017 MTV Video Music Awards

4 hours ago

Katy Perry will host and perform at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards, Variety has learned.

She is the first performer announced for this year’s awards, and is also one of the most-nominated artists with five nominations. The nominees were announced earlier this week.

“I’ve been training with MTV in zero gravity, eating astronaut ice cream, and I’m on a group text with Buzz Aldrin and Neil deGrasse Tyson. Come August 27th, I’ll be ready to be your Moonwoman! Brace for impact, kids,” Perry said in a statement, referencing the signature Vma trophy, the moonman statue.

“We’re thrilled to have global phenomenon Katy Perry as the host and a performer at the 2017 VMAs,” said Bruce Gillmer, head of music and music talent of Viacom’s global entertainment group. “She is at the forefront of music culture and the perfect person to anchor this year’s show, which »


- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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Will Sean Spicer Really Be on ‘Dancing With the Stars?’

4 hours ago

Dancing With the Stars” has an eye on Sean Spicer — but the talks are so preliminary that it’s too early to tell if the former White House press secretary will actually make his way to the dance floor.

“Right now just talking,” a person close to the ABC show tells Variety of the prospect of Spicer joining the series. The insider stresses that there have been no firm discussions with Spicer regarding “Dancing With the Stars,” saying, “Nothing beyond talking about casting. We’re still so early in the process.”

The insider explains it’s so early in the casting process that there’s “no one we’re dying for right now.”

With “DWTS” heading into its whopping 25th season, our source jokes, “Honestly [we’re] running out of stars!”

Spicer resigned from his position as White House press secretary a week ago, after six months as the chief spokesperson for President Donald Trump’s administration. Press »


- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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‘NCIS: New Orleans’ Enlists Composer Tree Adams (Exclusive)

5 hours ago

NCIS: New Orleans” has tapped Emmy nominee Tree Adams as its new composer, Variety has learned exclusively.

Adams has previously worked on shows like “Californication,” “Lethal Weapon,” “Legends,” “In Plain Sight,” and “Franklin and Bash,” among numerous other film and television projects.

He has worked as a television, film and games composer for 20 years, having transitioned from a career as a touring musician. He spent 10 years on the road with his band The Hatters, touring extensively and playing with big names in roots rock and blues.

In June 2017, Watertower Music released Tree’s music as the Season 4 soundtrack to CW’s “The 100.” Also in 2017, Adams launched issue number one of his his graphic novel “Duskriders” with an accompanying soundtrack.

He is repped by Wme.

NCIS: New Orleans,” a spinoff of the long-running “NCIS,” is a drama about the local field office that investigates criminal cases involving military personnel in The Big Easy. The »


- Joe Otterson

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Mind the Gap: BBC Pay Crisis Shakes U.K. Television Industry

5 hours ago

The BBC lit a fire under the British television industry when it published the earnings of its top talent by name. The data dump revealed that two-thirds of BBC stars earning more than £150,000 ($195,000) are men. When it comes to age, the picture is even worse: Four times as many men over 50 fall in that salary bracket as women over 50. Ethnic minority stars are also severely underrepresented.

The BBC was forced to release the figures by the British government. Under pressure, director general Tony Hall pledged to give women equal pay and airtime by 2020 but said on July 23 that he would try to reach that goal even earlier after 40 senior female staffers, in an open letter, called on him to “act now.”

While many cheer Hall’s commitment, it’s questionable whether the rest of the industry will follow suit, despite the influence the BBC wields in the U.K. broadcasting landscape.

Ironically »


- Stewart Clarke

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Showtime Orders Boston-Set Drama Pilot from Ben Affleck and Matt Damon

6 hours ago

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are bringing their Boston pride to Showtime.

The cabler has picked up a drama pilot “City on a Hill” from the Oscar winners, who will executive produce the project.

Based on an original idea by Affleck and Chuck MacLean (“Boston Strangler”), who wrote the script, “City on a Hill” is a fictional account of what was called the “Boston Miracle.” In the early ’90s, corruption and racism was the norm in Boston, until an African-American district attorney from Brooklyn arrives in the city, advocating change. He forms an unlikely alliance with a corrupt yet venerated FBI veteran who is invested in maintaining the status quo. The two take on a family of armored car robbers in a case that eventually upends the city’s criminal justice system.

The pilot will be directed by Gavin O’Connor (“The Accountant”), who will serve as executive producer along with James Mangold (“Logan”) and Jennifer Todd (“Memento »


- Debra Birnbaum

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NBC Developing Black Female Mayor Drama With ‘Orville’ Star, ‘West Wing’ Writer (Exclusive)

6 hours ago

NBC is developing a drama series with Penny Johnson Jerald and Allison Abner among its executive producers, Variety has learned exclusively.

The series will be set in Baltimore and follows a newly elected African-American female mayor, her female chief of police, and district attorney as they work for the good of one of America’s most dangerous cities.

Abner and Jerald will both serve as executive producers on the project, with Abner also serving as writer. Tom Szentgyorgyi, who has written and produced for shows like “The Mentalist” and “NYPD Blue,” will also executive produce. Sheila Ducksworth and Lavern Whitt will also executive produce. Universal Television will produce.

Jerald will star in the upcoming Fox sci-fi series “The Orville” from Seth MacFarlane, set to debut in September. Her other acting credits include HBO’s Emmy-winning series “The Larry Sanders Show,” “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” and the ABC procedural “Castle.” She »


- Joe Otterson

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TV Ratings: ‘Big Brother’ Dips in Demo, Still Easily Tops Wednesday

6 hours ago

“Big Brother’s” Wednesday installment dipped slightly in the key demo this week, but was still the most-watched and highest-rated show of the night, according to Nielsen data.

Airing at 8 p.m., the CBS reality series averaged a 1.7 rating in adults 18-49–down approximately 10% from last week–and 6.3 million viewers.

At 9 on CBS, “Salvation” (0.6, 3.8 million) was down in both measures in its third week.

On NBC, “Little Big Shots: Forever Young” (0.8, 5.7 million) was even, as was “The Carmichael Show” (0.7, 3.3 million).

“MasterChef” (1.0,  3.5 million) was even on Fox, while “The F Word” (0.6, 2 million) was down in the demo.

ABC and The CW aired only repeats.

CBS won the night with a 0.9 and 4.5 million viewers. Fox was second in the demo with a 0.8 but third in total viewers with 2.7 million. NBC and ABC tied for third in the demo with a 0.6 each, but NBC was second in total viewers with 3.8 million. ABC was fourth in total viewers with 2.6 million. The »


- Joe Otterson

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Steven Mandala Named President of Univision Ad Sales and Marketing

6 hours ago

Steven Mandala, whose ties to TV ad sales go back to time he would spend as a boy making rounds with his father as he worked to sell commercials for ABC, is getting some hefty new responsibilities. Spanish-language broadcaster Univision Communications on Thursday named Mandala president of advertising sales and marketing, effective immediately.

Mandala, who has been with Univision as executive vice president of ad sales since 2012 – marking his second stint with the company – will  oversee advertising sales and marketing for Univision’s sundry media outlets, including the Univision Network, UniMás, and various cable networks including Galavisión and Univision Deportes Network, along with local media and digital properties. He will succeed Keith Turner, the TV-industry veteran who has announced plans to retire at the end of 2017, and will report to Tonia O’Connor, who was recently named Univision’s chief revenue officer.  

Mandala is the latest in a parade of new executives taking over the advertising-sales function »


- Brian Steinberg

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‘Angie Tribeca’ Renewed for Season 4 at TBS, ‘Animal Kingdom’ Renewed for Season 3 at TNT

7 hours ago

Angie Tribeca” has been renewed for Season 4 at TBS, while “Animal Kingdom” has been renewed for Season 3 at TNT, it was announced Thursday at the TCA summer press tour.

Rashida Jones plays the title role in “Angie Tribeca,” who is a detective in the Lapd. It also stars Hayes MacArthur, Jere Burns, Deon Cole, and Andree Vermeulen. The zany comedy series is executive produced by Nancy and Steve Carell along with Ira Ungerleider, who serves as showrunner. In addition, Bobby Cannavale will join the show in its fourth season.

The series has scored two consecutive seasons of growth among adults 18-49, including growing 13% for last year’s second season and another 8% for the just-completed third season. It also ranks as one of cable’s top 10 comedies for the quarter across all key demos. TBS has ordered 10 episodes for Season 4, which is slated to launch in 2018.

Animal Kingdom,” based on the 2010 Australian film of the same name, follows »


- Joe Otterson

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‘Wonder Woman’s’ Chris Pine, Patty Jenkins to Reteam on TNT Series ‘One Day She’ll Darken’

7 hours ago

After delivering a smash hit with “Wonder Woman,” director Patty Jenkins and star Chris Pine will re-team on the new TNT drama series “One Day She’ll Darken.”

TNT has given a green light a straight-to-series order with Jenkins attached to direct the pilot and potentially additional episodes. Pine is attached to star in all six episodes.

Sam Sheridan, author of “A Fighter’s Heart and The Disaster Diaries” is set to write the six-episode series, inspired by the autobiography of Fauna Hodel. The series is being produced by Turner’s Studio T, with Jenkins, Michael Sugar, Sheridan and Pine serving as executive producers. Plans are to shoot the show this fall.

“One Day She’ll Darken” tells the story of Hodel who was given away by her teenage birth mother to a black restroom attendant in a Nevada casino in 1949. As Hodel begins to investigate the secrets to her past, she »


- Justin Kroll

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‘America’s Got Talent’ Winner Grace VanderWaal to Return for Live Results Show (Exclusive)

8 hours ago

“America’s Got Talent” season 11 winner Grace VanderWaal is returning to the NBC show for the first live results episode on Aug. 16.

The 13-year old will be joined by other Agt graduates and success stories, including season 9 winner Mat Franco, who performs his Magic Reinvented show nightly at the newly renamed Mat Franco Theater at Las Vegas’ Linq Hotel & Casino; season 11 third place finisher Jon Dorenbos, a magician and NFL star who plays for the Philadelphia Eagles; and season 10 fan favorite Piff the Magic Dragon, whose magic show with canine companion, “Mr. Piffles,” earned a “Golden Buzzer” from guest Neil Patrick Harris and accolades from former judge Howard Stern, who calls the comic a “phenomenal talent.”

Piff, who currently has a residency at The Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas, will be returning by “overwhelming demand,” an Agt spokesperson tells Variety. 

VanderWaal, whose video for her new song, “Moonlight” has surpassed 2 million views on YouTube since its July »


- Michele Amabile Angermiller

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