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Haut et Court TV, ‘False Flag’ Co-Creator Team on ‘Fertile Crescent’ (Exclusive)

35 minutes ago

Haut et Court TV, the French outfit behind “The Young Pope,””The Last Panthers” and the original “The Returned,” is teaming with Eitan Mansuri’s Israel-Based Spiro Films and “False Flag”‘s co-creator Maria Feldman on “Fertile Crescent,” a politically-minded series weaving family drama and spy thriller.

Feldman, whose “False Flag” marked Fox Intl. Channels’s first foreign-language series acquisition, is showrunning and co-producing “Fertile Crescent.”

One of the series to be pitched at Series Mania Festival next month, “Fertile Crescent” centers on a seemingly picture perfect French family whose lives have been impacted by the death of their estranged daughter in a suicide bombing in Jerusalem. Years after her tragic death, Antoine, her younger brother, is convinced he saw her in a TV program showing footage of Female Kurdish Fighters.

Despite his family’s protests, Antoine sets off to find his sister and embarks on a journey to Fertile Crescent, a »


- Elsa Keslassy

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Joanne Froggatt Thriller ‘Liar’ Picked Up by France’s TF1

2 hours ago

French commercial broadcaster TF1 has picked up “Liar,” a thriller series from the creators of BAFTA- and Emmy-nominated “The Missing.” The show stars “Downton Abbey’s” Joanne Froggatt. TF1 also acquired contemporary drama series “Innocent.” The pre-sales were inked by All3Media Intl.

Liar,” which has been ordered by Britain’s ITV and the U.S.’s SundanceTV, is written by Harry and Jack Williams at Two Brothers Pictures, who also wrote “The Missing.” Froggatt stars alongside Ioan Gruffudd (“Forever”) in a story of a night that changes the lives of their characters, Laura Nielson and Andrew Earlham, forever.

“An initial attraction between them leads to a date, but neither fully realizes the far-reaching consequences that their meeting will have on each other or their families,” according to a statement. “Truth and consequences go hand in hand in a gripping thriller that examines both sides of a relationship and both sides of the truth.”

Innocent »


- Leo Barraclough

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‘Berlin Station’ Extends Reach to Nordic Region, Spain, Italy

3 hours ago

Paramount Television and Anonymous Content’s contemporary spy drama “Berlin Station” has been sold to several additional European countries, Paramount Worldwide Television Licensing and Distribution revealed Tuesday.

The show has been picked up by on-demand platform Tim for Italy; HBO Nordic for Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland; and HBO Espana in Spain.

The series has been chosen to participate in the upcoming 8th edition of Series Mania Festival’s U.S. selection, which is taking place in Paris April 12-23.

As previously announced, “Berlin Station” was recently renewed for a 10-episode second season, which begins production in Berlin on Friday. Ashley Judd (“Divergent,” “Missing”) and Keke Palmer (“Grease: Live,” “Scream Queens”) have joined the cast as series regulars. Judd will play B.B. Yates, Berlin’s disarming new chief of station, nicknamed “The Station Whisperer” for her itinerant work in the field shoring up CIA stations in moral or corporate disrepair, and »


- Leo Barraclough

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‘Sincronia,’ ‘Psi,’ ‘Cockfighter,’ ‘Guerra de Idolos,’ Featured At MipDrama Latam Screenings (Exclusive)

3 hours ago

Televisa’s “Sincronía,” HBO Latin America’s “Psi,” Telefe’s “The Cockfighter” and Telemundo’s “Guerra de Idolos” feature at The Wit’s first MipDrama Latam Screenings, a 90-minute showcase focus that parts the veil on the new face of Latin American fiction.

“The aim of these Screenings is to show the new or next face or phase of the Latin productions coming onto the international market,” said The Wit’s Bertrand Villegas.

At least judged by the poor-girl-gets-rich telenovelas of old, Latin America’s new fiction face shown at the Latam Screenings is pretty well unrecognizable. It is also a revolution in which the region’s biggest broadcasters – Televisa, Telemundo, Globo – Hollywood’s studios and pay-tv icons, Latino indies and emerging auteurs all play their part.

Representing Televisa, crime thriller “Sincronia,” the eighth original series from Blim, its 14-month-old Svod service, runs just 12  episodes. Formally inventive, these 12 parts can be seen in any order, said »


- John Hopewell

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‘Humans’ Renewed for Season 3 at AMC, Channel 4

4 hours ago

Humans” has been renewed for Season 3 at AMC and Channel 4, Variety has learned. The series will return with eight new episodes in 2018. Production will begin in this fall with key cast members set to return.

Set in a parallel present, the series explores what happens when the line between human and machine becomes blurred as robotic servants called Synths become more and more a part of human life. Gemma Chan, Katherine Parkinson, and Lucy Carless are among the stars of the series.

“‘Humans’ provides a thrilling look at the evolution of technology and its effect on society,” said Joel Stillerman, president of original programming and development for AMC and Sundance TV. “The critical response to season two celebrates the creative vision, dynamic story-telling and compelling portrayals shared by the writers, producers and actors. We are pleased to continue our collaboration with Channel 4 and Kudos and look forward to season three.”

Sam »


- Joe Otterson

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‘Bates Motel’ Recap: Did Rihanna Survive Her Visit? (Spoilers)

8 hours ago

Spoiler alert: Do not read until you’ve watched episode 6 of season 5 of “Bates Motel,” titled “Marion.”

That famous shower. The soaring music. The water swirling down the drain.

And then…. “Screw this s–t.”

With those three words, Rihanna’s Marion Crane upended the storied “Psycho” mythology — and got out of that famous “Bates Motel” shower with nary a scratch. “It always made me laugh in editing every single time,” says executive producer Kerry Ehrin.

Instead, the victim at the other end of Norman Bates’ (Freddie Highmore) bloody knife turned out to be Sam Loomis (Austin Nichols) — unrepentant philanderer and psychological substitute for Norman’s father, who we learned that yes, Norman did in fact kill.

When Marion finally finds out from Norman that the man she thought was her boyfriend actually has a wife, she escapes from him — and the murderous motel-owner — with her suitcase full of cash, leaving »


- Debra Birnbaum

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Noreen Fraser, TV Producer, Crusader in Fight Against Cancer, Dies at 63

10 hours ago

Noreen Fraser, a producer of television shows including “Entertainment Tonight,” ABC’s “Home Show,” and “The Richard Simmons Show” who devoted her life to raising money for cancer research, died on Monday in her Brentwood, California, home, surrounded by family, after a 16-year battle with stage IV metastatic breast cancer. She was 63.

Fraser founded the Noreen Fraser Foundation in 2006 — its goal is to raise funds for translational research into women’s cancers, bringing treatments to patients more quickly — and was co-creator and co-producer of the “Stand Up to Cancer” telethon that aired in 2008. The telethons became an annual affair.

Fraser was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001. She volunteered her time producing and directing short films focusing on cancer issues. As president and CEO of the Fraser Foundation, she summed up her commitment in a message on the Nff website in which she declared, “I have made cancer my business.”

The »


- Carmel Dagan

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Hollywood on Edge as AMPTP, WGA Point Fingers After Talks End

13 hours ago

Hollywood’s blood pressure is rising. The decision unveiled Friday night by the Writers Guild of America to seek a strike authorization vote, following two weeks of contract talks with the major studios and networks, has the industry on edge about the prospect of a work stoppage.

The WGA West’s board of directors is expected to vote Monday night on the negotiating committee’s request for a strike authorization vote. The WGA East’s governing council is expected to consider the matter on Tuesday. If approved, which seems likely lest the guilds’ leaders appear divided, the ballots could be out by next week. As of Monday, there was no date on the calendar for the sides to resume talks.

A strike authorization vote doesn’t mean the writers will immediately walk, but it does enable the boards of West and East to call for a strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers companies »

- Cynthia Littleton

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CBS Sets Season Finale Dates for ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ ‘NCIS,’ More

13 hours ago

CBS has announced season finale airdates for its primetime comedies, dramas, and unscripted series. Most fall into the traditional May finale mold, like “The Big Bang Theory” (recently renewed for two more seasons) and various “NCIS” franchises. But there are a few early birds, like “Macgyver” (April 14) and “2 Broke Girls” (April 17).

The Eye’s finale schedule runs thusly:

Friday, April 14

8:00-9:00 p.m.          “Macgyver” (Season 1 Finale)

Saturday, April 15

8:00-9:00 p.m.          “Ransom” (Season 1 Finale)

Monday, April 17

9:30-10:00 p.m.        “2 Broke Girls” (Season 6 Finale)

Friday, May 5

10:00-11:00 p.m.      “Blue Bloods” (Season 7 Finale)

Monday, May 8

8:00-8:30 p.m.          “Kevin Can Wait” (Season 1 Finale)

9:00-9:30 p.m.          “Superior Donuts” (Season 1 Finale)

Wednesday, May 10

9:00-10:00 p.m.        “Criminal Minds” (Season 12 Finale)

Thursday, May 11

8:00-8:30 p.m.          “The Big Bang Theory” (Season 10 Finale)

8:30-9:00 p.m.          “The Great Indoors »


- Oriana Schwindt

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TV News Roundup: Johnny Galecki Gets Science Channel Series, ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Ratings

13 hours ago

In today’s TV news roundup, Johnny Galecki will executive produce and star in new Science Channel series titled “SciJinks,” “RuPaul’s Drag Race” has a more-than-solid premiere on its new network, and more.

Greenlights 

Science Channel has ordered eight 30-minute episodes of prank series “SciJinks” from “The Big Bang Theory” star Johnny Galecki. He will appear in and executive produce the series, which is scheduled to premiere in fourth quarter 2017. The series will use cutting-edge science as the foundation for outrageous stunts and practical jokes. Along with Galecki, each of the episodes will be guided by scientists, physicists, and Stem students. Galecki’s Alcide Bava Productions and A. Smith & Co. Productions will produce the series.

Own has ordered two new docuseries that will join its Saturday night programming line-up later this year. “Released,” produced by Lucky 8, features intimate, first-person narratives of formerly incarcerated men and women as they walk out of the prison doors for the »


- Sarah Ahern

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Miles Teller Cast in Nicolas Winding Refn’s Amazon Drama

13 hours ago

Miles Teller is hitting the world of streaming TV. Amazon Studios has cast Teller in drama series “Too Old to Die Young,” from “Drive” director Nicolas Winding Refn and scribe Ed Brubaker.

Teller will play Martin, a police officer entangled in the world of assassins. The series explores the criminal underbelly of Los Angeles by following killers’ existential journeys in becoming samurai. Refn will direct all 10 episodes, co-writing with Brubaker, who will exec produce. “Too Old to Die Young” is Refn’s first American TV project; Brubaker, a celebrated writer in the comics world, most recently was a supervising producer and writer on HBO’s “Westworld.”

This will be Teller’s first series regular role after starring in films like 2014’s “Whiplash” and last summer’s “War Dogs.” He has two features coming out in the latter half of 2017 — Lionsgate’s “Granite Mountain” and Universal’s Steven Spielberg-produced “Thank You for Your Service.” “I »


- Oriana Schwindt

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Hulu Sets Summer Premieres for ‘Difficult People,’ ‘Casual,’ Documentaries

13 hours ago

Hulu has released its summer slate, which includes three original documentaries and two original series.

Difficult People” Season 3 will premiere Tuesday, Aug. 8, and will find Julie (Julie Klausner) and Billy (Billy Eichner) remaining each other’s best friends while still their own worst enemies. John Cho will have a guest arc as Billy’s boyfriend.

The third season of “Casual” will premiere on Tuesday, May 23, and will follow the surprising consequences following Charles’ death and Valerie’s decision to move out, propelling the trio to rebel, explore different jobs, partners, and unfulfilled passions.

Batman & Bill” premieres Saturday, May 6. The documentary follows Bill Finger, the uncredited co-creator of the iconic superhero Batman. The film is directed and executive produced by Don Argott and Sheena M. Joyce, and features principal subjects Marc Tyler Nobleman and Michael Uslan.

Becoming Bond” is a documentary-narrative hybrid that tells the true story of George Lazenby, a poor Australian car mechanic who landed the »


- Sarah Ahern

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‘True Detective’ Update: David Milch Set to Join Creator Nic Pizzolatto for Season 3

15 hours ago

True Detective” is coming back to life for a third season with a little help from HBO veteran David Milch.

Milch has been recruited to help “True Detective” creator Nic Pizzolatto chart the course for the third installment of the anthology series. Entertainment Weekly first reported the news of Milch’s involvement.

Sources cautioned that Milch and Pizzolatto’s collaboration is in the very early stages. Milch is a renowned writer, but also known for his unconventional working style. HBO likely felt his experience would be a good fit with Pizzolatto, who impressed with the first season of “True Detective” but struggled with the second installment. He’s said to have settled on a concept for Season 3 and has been working on scripts.

HBO declined to comment.

As Variety previously reported, HBO had been looking to make a change in the way the show is run, given the critical response to the second season, and »


- Joe Otterson

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TV Review: Bet’s ‘Rebel,’ From John Singleton

16 hours ago

Rebecca “Rebel” Knight (Danielle Moné Truitt), in the grand tradition of hardboiled private investigators, is an ex-cop with a past — a pro who got jaded because of one bad case, one tough story, one loss that was too much to handle. She can take on a room of guys twice her size armed with just her nightstick; she can sling innuendo-laced insults in the face of sexist, racist boors. But she can’t protect her brother from being killed by the same cops she works with — including her former partner and onetime lover, who fires the first shot.

Rebel” is a pulp detective story set in modern-day Oakland that hands the role of brooding private eye to a black woman. In its premise, it is brilliant; the random and awful violence that characterizes the genre is not out of place in Rebel Knight’s own life — and of course her life is punctuated by the lover who »


- Sonia Saraiya

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Hulu Gives Straight-to-Series Order to Sarah Silverman, Funny or Die

16 hours ago

Hulu has ordered 10 half-hour episodes of topical show “I Love You, America,” starring Sarah Silverman.

The series, from Funny or Die, will have Silverman discuss the current political and emotional landscape of the country. The episodes will be doled out on a weekly basis.

Though an avowed liberal, Silverman with this show is looking to connect with people who may not agree with her personal opinions through honesty, humor, genuine interest in others, and not taking herself too seriously. Keenly aware of the pitfalls of staying within one’s own political bubble, Silverman feels it’s crucial, now more than ever, to connect with un-like-minded people. She is teaming up with producers Adam McKay, Will Ferrell, and Funny or Die in creating a show setting out to expose the fact that we are all the same.

Silverman is also one of a plethora of comedians who’ve signed deals with Netflix to release their comedy specials. She »


- Oriana Schwindt

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Katie Cassidy Returning to ‘Arrow’ for Good as Black Siren

16 hours ago

Katie Cassidy is returning to “Arrow” in a big way.

The “Arrow” alum will be back as a series regular in Season 6, playing Black Siren. She will first appear in the final two episodes of the CW show in the current fifth season.

An original cast member of “Arrow,” Cassidy portrayed Laurel Lance/Black Canary for the first four seasons, before being killed off in the midst of Season 4. After she was killed, Cassidy signed a deal with the CW to appear across the DC universe portfolio of shows in a guest capacity — then she reappeared as Black Siren, the villainous Earth 2 version of Black Canary, in “Arrow’s” midseason premiere of Season 5.

Arrow” executive producer Marc Guggenheim commented on Cassidy’s return, saying in a statement: “One of the things that most excites us about ‘Arrow’ is that we go where the story takes us. Last year, the story took us to the tragic death »


- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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Harry Connick Jr. Talk Show Renewed for Season 2 (Exclusive)

16 hours ago

Harry Connick Jr. is staying put in daytime. NBCUniversal Domestic TV and Fox Television Stations have renewed the syndicated daytime strip “Harry” for a second season this fall.

“I love my show! To continue sharing an hour every day with my audience is a great honor and thrill – can’t wait for season 2,” Connick said in a statement.

“Harry’s” viewership since its September premiere has been respectable, if not spectacular, averaging about 1.3 million viewers for the season to date in morning and early afternoon time slots. The show last week grabbed five Daytime Emmy Award nominations, including a bid for entertainment talk show host for Connick.

“Harry” has served up an upbeat blend of talk, comedy and variety segments along with music and performance segments highlighting the multifaceted host’s bona fides as an accomplished musician.

The show has been championed by the Fox O&O group as a different spin on the daytime talk show »


- Cynthia Littleton

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NBC Promotes Jenny Groom, Lesley Cerwin, Shelby Shaftel in Alternative-Programming Shuffle

16 hours ago

NBC has promoted three unscripted executives in a reorganization of its alternative-programming department.

Senior vice president of alternative programming and development Jenny Groom will take over as department head, reporting to Paul Telegdy, president of NBC Entertainment’s alternative and reality group. Lesley Cerwin, who had led publicity for the department, has been named senior vice president, current programming. And Shelby Shaftel has been promoted to vice president of programming and development.

Groom takes over the role that was made vacant last year when Meredith Ahr was named president of Universal Television Alternative Studio, a new NBC unscripted-production unit and part of Telegdy’s portfolio. She adds oversight of current programming to her role as development chief. Among the series she developed since joining NBC are “Little Big Shots” and “The Wall.”

“Jenny Groom has emerged as the natural leader for the NBC alternative programming team,” Telegdy said. “Her creativity and understanding of NBC’s audience have »


- Daniel Holloway

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NFL Owners Approve Raiders’ Move to Las Vegas

17 hours ago

The NFL is Sin City-bound.

On Monday, league owners approved a vote that will move the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas. NFL owners, who gathered at their annual meeting in Phoenix, were 31-1 in favor of the relocation.

The Raiders will remain in Oakland until a $1.9 billion stadium is built in Vegas. The new stadium will also be home to Unlv’s football program.

The Raiders have played in Oakland since moving from Los Angeles in 1995. They also played in the Bay area prior to moving to L.A. in 1982. Raiders owner Mark Davis had attempted to move the team back to Los Angeles last year by proposing a new stadium in Carson, but NFL owners opted for an Inglewood facility from Rams owner Stan Kroenke. The $2.6 billion stadium in Inglewood, set to open in 2019, will also host the Chargers, who recently moved from San Diego.

The Raiders will be the second professional sports team in »


- Variety Staff

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Matthew Morrison Joins ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ — See On-Set Pics and Video

17 hours ago

Matthew Morrison has been cast on “Grey’s Anatomy.”

ABC confirmed to Variety that the “Glee” alum is joining the medical drama in a guest role. However, the network kept details on his character and storyline under wraps.

Morrison was recently spotted in on-set pictures, which surfaced on a Twitter fan account this past weekend. In the photos, he’s filming with “Grey’s Anatomy” vet Justin Chambers, plus star and director Kevin McKidd. The images depict Morrison and Chambers on a street and near a cab.

Morrison also teased a new gig on his Instagram story, but did not specify the new show. He did say that he’d be playing a character named Dr. Paul Stadler.

Matthew Morrison's Ig story confirmed it's him in #GreysAnatomy episode 13.23!

He says he's playing Dr. Paul Stadler pic.twitter.com/ckaaz62r4G

— JustinChambersOnline (@JChambersOnline) March 25, 2017

“Actors Justin Chambers & Matthew Morrison with director Kevin McKidd on the set »


- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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