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Netflix Orders First Turkish Original

3 hours ago

Rome — Netflix has ordered its first Turkish-language original series, in a move likely to help it gain traction in one of the world’s most vibrant TV markets.

Following its mid-2016 Turkish launch, the streaming service has ordered ten episodes of an as-yet-untitled Istanbul-set historical drama inspired by the history and legends of the Ottoman empire, it said in a statement.

The show is centered around a young man who discovers that he has supernatural powers. When Istanbul is threatened by dark forces he joins forces with a group of misfit friends to save the city and its inhabitants, according to Netflix.

Onur Guvenatam, who produced the successful Turkish adaptation of ABC’s “Pretty Little Liars,” will serve as executive producer on Netflix’s first Turkish original which will be written and produced in Turkey by Istanbul-based shingle O3 Medya with plans for a global launch on the Netflix platform in 2018.

The announcement comes as the Turkish »


- Nick Vivarelli

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‘American Idol’: Ryan Seacrest Talks Drag After Katy Perry Deal

9 hours ago

Nearly three weeks after ABC confirmed that it would bring “American Idol” back to television, the singing competition has a high-profile anchor for its judges table, but no other confirmed talent on board.

ABC and producers FremantleMedia and Core Media locked up pop star Katy Perry as a judge for the upcoming season just in time for an announcement at the network’s upfront presentation. Perry’s services were secured at a rate of $25 million for the upcoming season — which sources tell Variety represents 65% of the budget earmarked for talent. No additional judges have since signed on to the show.

Nor have producers and the network been able to seal a deal with Ryan Seacrest to return as host. Seacrest had been in talks to rejoin the series — which he appeared on for all of its 15 seasons on Fox — since before ABC even made the revival official. But ongoing talks have failed to produce a deal. A »


- Daniel Holloway and Shirley Halperin

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Alex Rodriguez Scores Contributor Role at ABC News

11 hours ago

Alex Rodriguez has spent the first months of his retirement from professional baseball as an analyst at Fox Sports, but he’s about to get a tryout with another team. The former New York Yankees player will work as a contributor for ABC News, according to a person familiar with the situation.

This person said Rodriguez would make “occasional” appearances on ABC News programs that could include “Good Morning America,” “World News Tonight” and “Nightline.”

Rodriguez would continue working for Fox Sports, and his contract with that 21st Century Fox unit would likely prohibit him from making cameos on ABC’s Disney-owned sister, Espn. He might be able to add commentary on games during non-sports-centric shows like “Gma.”

Rodriguez figured prominently in Fox’s recent “upfront” presentation to advertisers, which placed a big spotlight on the company’s sports-programming assets. Rodriguez made an appearance at the glitzy showcase.

Rodriguez’s new duties were reported previously by the »


- Brian Steinberg

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‘The Leftovers’ Recap: Kevin Can Wait

13 hours ago

Do not read unless you’ve seen “The Most Powerful Man in the World (and His Identical Twin Brother),” the seventh episode of the third and final season of HBO’s “The Leftovers.”

For my own amusement, I sometimes imagine describing individual episodes of “The Leftovers” to people who’ve never seen the show.

Let’s try it with this installment, shall we?

“A former sheriff from a small town in New York is in Australia, where his father has become convinced of the existence of a song that will stop the planet from being engulfed in a world-ending flood. The father drowns his son, and the son, Kevin, travels to an alternate realm that he has visited before, where he met God, did karaoke, and killed a woman who had been appearing to him in his ‘real’ life. When Kevin enters this realm again, he is both an assassin (as he was the first time he »


- Maureen Ryan

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