Saturday, February 29, 2020

‘Saint Frances’: Film Review

At 34, Bridget doesn’t know what she wants, but she knows she doesn’t want a baby — not now, at least — and so she doesn’t hesitate to make the decision that might’ve served as the focal point of a different kind of film. In “Saint Frances,” getting an abortion is just one of the […]

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Jake Gyllenhaal Joins John Mulaney On ‘SNL’ For ‘Sack Lunch Bunch’ Reunion, Sort Of

It wasn’t the frenzy of Mr. Music on John Mulaney & the Sack Lunch Bunch, but Jake Gyllenhaal gave Saturday Night Live an injection of bonkers tonight with a reunion of sorts from the Netflix’s musical comedy special. As a Mulaney-led song fueled skit about the horrors and “mysteries” of LaGuardia Airport ground on, the […]

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‘Saturday Night Live’: Democratic Candidates Interrupt White House Coronavirus Press Conference (Watch)

Vice president Mike Pence has been put in charge of managing the coronavirus concerns, and that is giving Beck Bennett a chance to step into the spotlight on “Saturday Night Live.” But he wasn’t there alone, as the sketch quickly turned toward the democratic presidential hopefuls, including special guest host John Mulaney as Joe Biden. […]

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Flavor Flav Objects To “Misleading Narrative” Of Public Enemy Endorsement Of Bernie Sanders

Public Enemy has been widely reported as among the entertainers on the bill when Bernie Sanders returns to Los Angeles on Sunday for a pre-Super Tuesday rally at the Los Angeles Convention Center. But Flavor Flav, a founding member of the group, is objecting to the way that the campaign is promoting the event. His attorney […]

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‘Saturday Night Live’ Cold Open: Democratic Candidates Offer Crazy Solutions To Coronavirus Outbreak

Saturday Night Live returned from hiatus this weekend, and took on the coronavirus outbreak. The cold open kicked off with Beck Bennett playing Vice President Mike Pence, who was appointed earlier this week by President Trump to lead the nation’s coronavirus response. “President Trump has put me in charge of the coronavirus, even though I […]

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‘Superstore’ Actress Lauren Ash Reacts To America Ferrera Exit: “It’s Heartbreaking”

Superstore actress Lauren Ash shared a tribute to America Ferrera, after the series star and executive producer announced she is leaving the NBC comedy after five seasons. Ash, who plays Dina on the series alongside Ferrera’s Amy, said the cast has developed a strong bond over the years. “The cast started this journey as strangers […]

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LA County Sheriff “Deeply Disturbed” By Reports Deputies Shared Photos From Kobe Bryant Crash

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has issued a statement saying Sheriff Alex Villanueva is “deeply disturbed” by news reports that deputies snapped and passed around photos from last month’s helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and eight others. “The Sheriff’s Department is aware of recent media reports alleging deputies shared images from the January […]

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‘Gunda’: Film Review

Some were bemused earlier this month when Joaquin Phoenix used his entirely expected Oscar win as a less predictable occasion for an impassioned animal-rights plea: It was certainly the first time bovine artificial insemination had been discussed amid the glitter and glistening tears of Hollywood’s biggest night. What we didn’t know, however, was how neatly […]

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Joe Biden Wins South Carolina Democratic Primary

Joe Biden has won the South Carolina Democratic presidential primary, marking the former Vice President’s first-ever state primary win despite two previous runs for the White House. CNN reported that Biden commanded an easy win, according to early returns after the polls closed at 7 p.m. ET.  Tom Steyer, the California businessman who has spent […]

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Joe Biden Projected To Win South Carolina Primary

South Carolina gave Joe Biden’s campaign a much-needed revival, as he was projected to win the state’s primary by a significant margin on Saturday, CNN and other major news outlets said. His supporters are hoping that the victory will give him a boost before Super Tuesday, when 14 states hold primaries. The latest polls show […]

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CNN Host Seemingly Compares Bernie Sanders’ Campaign To Coronavirus

CNN host Michael Smerconish apparently thinks there may be a correlation between Sen. Bernie Sanders’ surging presidential campaign and the deadly coronavirus outbreak causing fear across the globe. Smerconish introduced his bizarre theory on Saturday morning’s installment of his self-titled show, Smerconish. “Can either coronavirus or Bernie Sanders be stopped?” he pondered before attempting to […]

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Friday, February 28, 2020

César Awards: Roman Polanski Wins Spark Strong Reaction; Adèle Haenel Exits Ceremony

There were bound to be some pin-drop moments during tonight’s César Awards, but for the most part things ran smoothly until Roman Polanski was named Best Director for his Dreyfus Affair drama, An Officer And A Spy, late into the evening. The film had already taken Best Costumes and Best Adapted Screenplay, yet when it […]

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Émilie Simon Contributes Flamenco/Gypsy Vibe to John Turturro’s ‘The Jesus Rolls’

For French musician Émilie Simon, the flamenco-meets-gypsy vibe writer-director John Turturro was seeking for the soundtrack to his movie “The Jesus Rolls” turned out to be in her musical and genetical DNA. “This music originally comes from where I grew up in the south of France,” says the 41-year-old electronic musician, who has released five […]

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TV News Roundup: Tan France, Jameela Jamil Among OZY Fest Headliners

In today’s TV news roundup, OZY Media announced Tan France, Jameela Jamil and others as headliners of OZY Fest, and Netflix dropped the official trailer of “On My Block” Season 3. DATES Disney Channel‘s second season of “Just Roll With It” will premiere on Sunday, March 15 at 8:45 p.m. The sitcom follows the Bennett-Blatt family […]

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Next Month’s GDC Cancelled After Companies Pull Out Over Coronavirus Concerns

The annual Game Developers Conference (GDC) scheduled for next month in San Francisco has been cancelled after multiple companies said they were sitting it out over fears of the coronavirus outbreak. However, GDC organizers said they planned to hold an event later this summer. GDC was set to run March 16-20 at the Moscone Center […]

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Dakota Johnson & Tracee Ellis Ross Hit ‘The High Note’ in First Trailer

If there's someone who knows a thing or two about the high-glamour life of music superstars, it's Tracee Ellis Ross. The Golden Globe-winning, three-time Emmy-nominated actress is best known for her roles in comedy shows like Black-ish, Mixed-ish, and Girlfriends (and her consistently exceptional red carpet style), but she also happens to be the daughter of the iconic songstress Diana Ross. But in the trailer for the new comedy The High Note, it's Tracee herself who's taking center stage and showing off her dulcet musical stylings as Grace Davis, a …

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‘The Sneider Cut’ Ep. 28: Iger Steps Down at Disney as Spielberg Exits ‘Indy 5’



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Courteney Cox to Lead Starz Horror-Comedy Pilot ‘Shining Vale’

After a five year hiatus from being a series regular on television, Friends and Cougar Town star Courteney Cox returns to the small screen. And this time, she's making it an extra spooky affair. Cox has been tapped to star in the Starz horror-comedy pilot Shining Vale, playing a woman who just might be possessed. The show stars Cox as Patricia “Pat” Phelps, a wild child who grew up addicted to drugs and alcohol, then turned her life around by writing about her wild child life and subsequent recovery. Now a successful women's empowerment author, Pat is …

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‘The Little Things’ Thriller Starring Denzel Washington & Rami Malek Has a Release Date

The upcoming crime thriller The Little Things from writer/director John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side, The Highwaymen) now has a release date. The film, starring Academy Award winners Denzel Washington and Rami Malek, will hit theaters January 29, 2021. [caption id="attachment_328182" align="alignright" width="360"] Image via Sony Pictures[/caption] The film follows Deke (Washington), a grizzled Kern County, CA deputy sheriff who has to team up with the hotshot LA Detective Baxter (Malek) to catch a serial killer. The film also stars Sofia Vassilieva, Natalie Morales, Terry Kinney, Michael Hyatt, Jason James Richter, Chris Bauer, and Kerry …

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‘Y: The Last Man’ Series Casts Ben Schnetzer as Yorick Brown

Goat star Ben Schnetzer is set to play Yorick Brown in the upcoming Y: The Last Man series on FX, thereby replacing Barry Keoghan, Collider has confirmed. Based on the comic book by Brian K. Vaughan and artist Pia Guerra, Y: The Last Man follows Yorick Brown, who finds himself as the last living cisgender male on Earth after a cataclysmic event wipes out every other man on the planet. With the help of his pet monkey Ampersand, Yorick sets out to find his girlfriend Beth, and together they end up traversing a post-apocalyptic world in which women call …

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Lorraine Toussaint Joins Queen Latifah In ‘The Equalizer’ Reboot Pilot On CBS

Lorraine Toussaint (The Village) is set to co-star opposite Queen Latifah in CBS drama pilot The Equalizer, a re-imagining of the classic 1980s series. The project hails from Andrew Marlowe & Terri Miller, Davis Entertainment, Flavor Unit, Martin Chase Productions, Universal Television and CBS TV Studios. Written by Marlowe and Miller, who will serve as showrunners, The Equalizer stars […]

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Networks Ramp Up Coronavirus Coverage As White House Accuses Media Of Fearmongering

Networks are ramping up their coronavirus coverage, as concerns escalate of a worldwide spread, major public events are postponed or canceled and Wall Street experienced its worst week since the 2008 financial crisis. The White House contends that the media is raising unnecessary alarm about the virus and its spread in the United States, even […]

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WGA Says It’s Helped Negotiate Over 100 Individual Deals For Agentless Writers

The WGA said Friday that “over the past few months, the guild has provided guidance on over a hundred individual deals to members who have found themselves without their normal advisors due to the agency campaign.” In its latest membership update on its 10½-month battle with the major talent agencies, the guild reported today that […]

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Janina Gavankar To Star In ‘Echo’ NBC Drama Pilot

EXCLUSIVE: Janina Gavankar has been cast as the female lead in Echo, NBC’s drama pilot from JJ Bailey, Davis Entertainment and Universal Television. Written by Bailey, Echo is a high-concept, genre procedural revolving around a team of investigators who solve the highest-profile crimes by sending our heroes into the past — in the body of the […]

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Queen Latifah’s ‘Equalizer’ Reboot Pilot at CBS Casts Lorraine Toussaint

Lorraine Toussaint has joined the CBS’ reboot pilot for “The Equalizer,” Variety has learned. She joins previously announced series lead Queen Latifah and recently announced cast member Liza Lapira. In the reimagined version, Queen Latifah stars as Robyn McCall, an enigmatic figure who uses her extensive skills to help those with nowhere else to turn. Toussaint […]

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‘My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising’ ADR Director on Adapting the Anime for a U.S. Audience

“My Hero Academia” has officially Detroit Smashed into North American theaters. The second feature film in the franchise, “Heroes Rising,” debuted in the U.S. on Wednesday, grossing $2.5 million on its opening day. Theaters are showing the film, a standalone entry in the popular superhero anime based on the manga, with options for either subtitles […]

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Normani Responds to Camila Cabello’s Old Racist Posts: ‘It Was Devastating’

Normani has commented on her former Fifth Harmony bandmate Camila Cabello’s history of racist behavior on social media. Last year, Cabello came under fire when years-old posts featuring racist slurs and derogatory memes from the singer’s personal Tumblr resurfaced online. In a new Rolling Stone cover story, Normani first expressed trepidation toward addressing the issue […]

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Hillary Clinton Set to Launch Her Own Podcast After Being Inspired by Conan O’Brien, Howard Stern

Hillary Clinton — former U.S. senator, secretary of state, presidential nominee and first lady — is coming back to podcasting with an original series that will undoubtedly have a political angle. Clinton is teaming with iHeartMedia to co-produce an original podcast series, which is currently untitled. The series will premiere on the iHeartPodcast Network early […]

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Tierra Whack Talks Fashion, ‘What Whack Wears,’ and Her Next Album

Since the 2018 release of her debut album, “Whack World,” and its frenetic 15-songs-in-15-minutes aesthetic, rapper-producer Tierra Whack has drawn attention to her wily brand of fractured hip hop. Not only did she snag nearly 60 million audio streams in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music (as of 2019’s end), Whack won the attention of Jody Gerson and Universal […]

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‘Lost in America’: Film Review

You might feel a sense of shame watching Rotimi Rainwater’s “Lost in America,” an expansive documentary look at the issue of youth homelessness in a country where the problem seems unthinkable, and its victims are so often invisible. You are likely to ask yourself how many times you have passed by a homeless child and […]

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‘Y: The Last Man’ Series at FX Casts Ben Schnetzer as Yorick

Ben Schnetzer has stepped into the role of Yorick Brown in FX’s upcoming “Y: The Last Man” series, Variety has learned. He takes over the role from Barry Keoghan, who exited the series at the beginning of this month. The show is based on Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s award-winning DC Comics graphic novel series […]

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Herb Dorfman, Orion Pictures Home Video Executive, Dies at 77

Herb Dorfman, former Orion Pictures executive and a home video industry veteran, died Feb. 25 of complications from Parkinson’s disease and dementia. He was 77. Dorfman served as head of home entertainment for Orion Pictures from 1987 to late 1996. Orion was a prosperous independent studio in those days that turned out a steady stream […]

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Bigi Jackson Nabs Calabasas Starter House

It’s hard to believe, but Prince Michael “Bigi” Jackson is now all grown up. Michael Jackson’s youngest child — perhaps still best-known by his childhood nickname Blanket — is a legal adult with his own YouTube channel, Film Family, posting film reviews with his brother. He’s also following in his older siblings’ real estate footsteps, […]

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Roman Polanski Wins Best Director at France’s Cesar Awards, Prompting Walkouts

Roman Polanski has won best director at France’s Cesar awards, prompting numerous walkouts such as nominee Adele Haenel, star of “Portrait of a Lady on Fire.” “Les Miserables” won best picture as well as the people’s choice prize, best male newcomer (for Alexis Manenti) and best editing. Neither Polanski nor the cast and crew of […]

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Thursday, February 27, 2020

Green Day Cancels Tour Dates in Asia Due to Coronavirus

Green Day has canceled scheduled tour dates in Asia due to the coronavirus epidemic. The band’s Hella Mega tour would have taken them throughout the continent in March — and in countries with confirmed cases of the virus — starting in Singapore and stopping in Bangkok, Manila, Taipei, Hong Kong, Seoul, Osaka and Tokyo. The […]

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Damien Chazelle’s ‘The Eddy’ Releases First Teaser, Sets Premiere Date On Netflix

The Netflix limited series The Eddy, an intriguing look at a Paris nightclub and the people who run it, is set to debut May 8 on Netflix. Director Damien Chazelle’s television debut features Moonlight star André Holland. ‘The Eddy is an eight-episode drama that takes place in the vibrant multicultural neighborhoods of modern-day Paris. Once a celebrated […]

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Tokyo Disneyland And DisneySea Will Close For At Least Two Weeks Because Of Coronavirus

Tokyo’s two Disney resorts, Disneyland and DisneySea, will be closed for an estimated two weeks because of Japan’s efforts to suppress the spread of the coronavirus in that country. “Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea have decided to proceed with an extraordinary closure from Saturday February 29, 2020, through Sunday March 15”  said a statement from […]

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‘Tales From The Loop’ Releases New Trailer and Key Art For Amazon Prime Drama Series

The strange and intriguing tales from the town and people who live above “The Loop,” a machine built to unlock and explore the mysteries of the universe, is coming from Amazon Prime. The drama series today unveiled a new trailer and key art by Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag, whose work formed the basis of the […]

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Tokyo Disneyland Theme Parks Closed in Coronavirus Reaction

The two Disney-branded theme parks in Tokyo, Japan are to close for two weeks as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus. “Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea have decided to proceed with an extraordinary closure from Saturday, Feb 29, 2020, through Sunday, Mar 15,” the operator said in a statement posted to its Japanese […]

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Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah Get Religion On The Coronavirus Outbreak

Stephen Colbert noted at the top of his monologue that “I, for one, am not panicking.” But some people are panicking over the coronavirus: namely, Wall Street. President Donald Trump spoke to the nation the other night, Colbert noted, to reassure nervous investors. “Today, it bounced back by plunging almost 1,200 points, the largest single […]

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Hillary Clinton To Do Podcast Series For iHeartRadio

Hillary Clinton has done a series of interviews tied to the upcoming Hulu docuseries Hillary, and now she is going into production herself. She has partnered with iHeartRadio to coproduce an original podcast series, set to debut sometime in the second quarter, in the midst of the 2020 presidential race and just before the summer […]

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‘Grey’s Anatomy’ to Officially Send Off Justin Chambers in March 5 Episode (Watch)

Justin Chambers’ last onscreen appearance in “Grey’s Anatomy” was back in November 2019, but his longtime character Alex Karev will officially get his sendoff in the March 5 episode. A trailer for the episode entitled “Leave A Light On” (which you can watch above) flashes back through Chambers’ 15 seasons on the show, seeing his […]

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Too Faced Founders Drop $28 Million on Bel Air’s Fredericks Residence

Over the summer of 2018, married cosmetics moguls Jerrod Blandino and Jeremy Johnson sold their glam 1930s Beverly Hills home — once featured on the cover of Elle Decor — and eventually went hunting for a substantial residential upgrade. The longtime business and life partners found what they were seeking in the form of a historic, […]

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‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Sets Alex Karev Farewell Following Justin Chambers’ Exit, Character’s Fate To Be Revealed Next Week

The wait is almost over — Grey’s Anatomy fans will finally get answers to what happened to Dr. Alex Karev and closure to his character’s exit months after the departure of the series’ original cast member Justin Chambers. The March 5 episode of the hit medical drama, entitled ‘Leave A Light On’, will feature a […]

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Donald Trump Goes Off On Comcast At Cabinet Room Meeting: “They’re The Racists”

President Donald Trump went after Comcast during a White House meeting on empowering African Americans. During a meeting in the Cabinet Room with prominent African American media and sports figures, Trump noted that an NBC News reporter had left the room. “She just left from NBC because it’s owned by Comcast, and they’re the racists,” […]

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Disneyland Fight Combatant Gets Six Months; Arrest Warrants Issued For Others Who Skipped Court Date

A man who was seen beating family members in the viral video of a fight at Disneyland in July pleaded guilty today and immediately was sentenced to six months in jail. Two others involved in the brawl failed to appear for their court date in Fullerton, and warrants have been issued for their arrest. Avery […]

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ViacomCBS Layoffs Underway As Re-Merged Company Continues To Cut Costs

There have been a number of layoffs at ViacomCBS this week, I have learned. The company would not comment but I hear the staff reductions were across the combined organization, both on the CBS and the Viacom side. This is the second round of layoffs at ViacomCBS; the first payroll cut was implemented shortly after […]

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Ken Ehrlich on the Kobe Bryant Memorial Service’s ‘Transcendent’ Music Moments

Ken Ehrlich produced his final Grammy telecast Jan. 26 … and, through the sad fluke of Kobe Bryant dying the day of the show, there was a direct segue to the first live broadcast of Ehrlich’s post-Grammys career, when his company was asked to assist with the Kobe Bryant memorial Feb. 24. The veteran is […]

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Film News Roundup: Liev Schreiber Joins Will Smith’s Tennis Drama ‘King Richard’

In today’s film news roundup, Liev Schreiber and retired pro footballer Vernon Davis score roles, Jason Blum will speak at his alma mater, Irish drama “Rialto” finds a U.S. distributor and “1917” hits a box office milestone. CASTINGS Liev Schreiber will portray tennis coach Paul Cohen in Warner Bros.’ “King Richard” opposite Will Smith. Reinaldo […]

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BTS Cancels Korea Concerts Due to Coronavirus

BTS has canceled concerts planned for Korea, the group announced on Thursday, Feb. 27, due to concerns about the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. According to a post on an official BTS Twitter (@bts_bighit), “Map of the Soul” tour shows scheduled for April 11, 12, 18 and 19 at Seoul’s Jamsil Olympic Stadium have been called off, […]

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‘Parasite’ Crosses $50 Million, Can It Beat ‘Life Is Beautiful’s $57 Milllion+?

The Parasite train keeps on gaining traction. The four-time Oscar-winning Bong Joon-ho dark comedy is crossing $50M right now at the domestic box office — but the real question is, can it beat Life Is Beautiful’s box office gross of $57M. If it maintains its momentum, signs are pointing to yes. As its Imax run comes to […]

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TV News Roundup: ‘One Day at a Time’ Casts Marla Gibbs and Reggie Watts

In today’s TV news roundup, Marla Gibbs and Reggie Watts have been cast in guest roles on “One Day at a Time” and Netflix released the premiere date and teaser for “The Eddy.” CASTINGS Marla Gibbs and Reggie Watts have been cast in guest roles on PopTV’s “One Day at a Time.” The two actors […]

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Liev Schreiber And Susie Abromeit Join Will Smith For ‘King Richard’

Liev Schreiber and Susie Abromeit are the latest additions to the forthcoming Warner Bros. pic King Richard, Deadline has confirmed. The pair will join Will Smith in the film which tells the story of Richard Williams, the father of tennis icons Venus and Serena Williams who will be played by Saniyya Sidney (Fences, Hidden Figures) and […]

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IATSE Petition Telling President Matt Loeb To Hang Tough In Netflix Contract Talks Grows To 11,0000 Signatures

EXCLUSIVE: More than 11,000 IATSE members and their supporters have signed a petition urging IATSE president Matt Loeb to work out a contract with Netflix “that moves us above and beyond” the union’s basic agreement with the major studios and networks. The giant streaming service agreed to bargain with the union last October, but the […]

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Hollywood-Supported Bullied Boy With Dwarfism Will Donate Funds To Charity

UPDATE: A young boy bullied because of his dwarfism is donating the funds raised to send him to Disneyland to charity. Australia native Quaden Bayles won the support of Hollywood and the world after a video circulated that showed his misery at being bullied. Many donated through a GoFundMe page set up by comedian Brad […]

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‘Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj’ Extended At Netflix; New Episodes Get Premiere Date

Netflix has extended its original order for Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj, greenlighting seven new episodes to bring the first season’s total to 39. The first new episode will launch on Sunday, March 29, with a new one going live weekly after that. The logline, per Netflix: The Peabody-winning comedy show explores the modern cultural […]

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Christine and the Queens’ ‘La Vita Nuova’: EP Review

With stellar albums from Charli XCX, Caroline Polachek, Selena Gomez and Grimes over the past few months, it’s been a hot stretch for the genre inaccurately but conveniently labelled “alt-pop” — and joining the group is this surprise release from France’s Christine and the Queens, who recently collaborated with two of the above artists. Her […]

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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

‘The Simpsons’ Voice Actor Hank Azaria Reveals His Journey Away From The ‘Apu’ Character

Actor Hank Azaria has expanded on his reasons for no longer voicing the character of Kwik-E-Mart proprietor Apu Nahasapeemapetilon on the animated series The Simpsons. In a long New York Times interview with culture writer Dave Itzkoff, Azaria said that voicing the character “just didn’t feel right” after criticisms on its stereotyping emerged. Azaria first […]

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5 Things We Learned From Snoop Dogg’s ‘Red Table Talk’ Interview

After a few weeks in hot water, rapper Snoop Dogg made an appearance on Jada Pinkett Smith and family’s “Red Table Talk” web series to clear the air on a few trending topics — the biggest being his recent feud with Gayle King, for which he has since apologized for inciting. Following the death of […]

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Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah Seek Laughs From The Coronavirus

Nothing is funnier than a global pandemic that has already caused thousands of deaths and threatens to crash the world economy. At least according to the clown princes of late night political comedy. Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah both took a few shots tonight at the coronavirus panic, trying to mine the government response for […]

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TV News Roundup: Tony Hale to Play Twin Brothers in Hulu’s ‘The Mysterious Benedict Society’

In today’s TV News Roundup, Tony Hale was cast in a dual role in Hulu’s upcoming adaptation of “The Mysterious Benedict Society” and Epix announced a slew of new series regulars for Season 2 of “Pennyworth.” CASTING Tony Hale has been cast in the upcoming Hulu original series “The Mysterious Benedict Society.” Based on the […]

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Film News Roundup: Rachel Brosnahan Starring in Sci-Fi Movie ‘Distant’

In today’s film news roundup, Rachel Brosnahan will try science-fiction, documentaries about Herb Alpert and Sasha Joseph Neulinger find homes, and Cameron Boyce’s “Runt” gets a premiere. CASTING Rachel Brosnahan will star with Anthony Ramos in Amblin Partners’ upcoming comedic sci-fi film “Distant.” Will Speck and Josh Gordon will direct from Spenser Cohen’s script about […]

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Rare Albums by David Roback’s Band Opal to Be Reissued ‘Imminently’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Over the past 30 years, the combination of CD reissue campaigns and streaming services has meant that virtually any album or song that anyone could want to hear is just a couple of mouse clicks away. Yet one rare exception has been the two albums by the influential 1980s psychedelic band Opal, which was formed […]

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‘The Masked Singer’ Reveals the Identity of the Mouse: Here’s The Star Under the Mask

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read ahead if you have not watched Season 3, episode 5 of “The Masked Singer,” which aired Feb. 26 on Fox. Time for Dionne Warwick to walk on by. The legendary singer is the latest celebrity to be revealed and sent packing in another “The Masked Singer” heartbreaker. Warwick, who was […]

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Rachel Brosnahan to Star Opposite Anthony Ramos in Amblin’s Sci-Fi Comedy ‘Distant’

Rachel Brosnahan, the Emmy-winning star of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, is set to join Anthony Ramos in Amblin's sci-fi comedy Distant, the studio announced Wednesday. Will Speck and Josh Gordon, the duo behind Blades of Glory and Office Christmas Party, will direct from a script by Spenser Cohen (Extinction). Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Fred Berger and Anna Halberg will produce, while Jonathan Rothbart and Matt Hirsch will executive produce with Speck and Gordon. Kevin Vafi will serve as a co-producer on the project, which will be overseen by Amblin executives Jeb Brody and John Buderwitz. Production is …

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Dove Cameron Joins ‘Breaking Bad’s RJ Mitte In ‘Issac’

Dove Cameron, from Disney Channel’s Liv and Maddie and the Descendants movies, will co-star opposite RJ Mitte (Breaking Bad) in Issac, a psychological thriller which is currently shooting in Los Angeles. Josh Webber is at the helm, directing from a script he co-wrote with Christopher Neil. The Webber Studios pic follows Issac (Mitte), who meets […]

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Aldis Hodge Gushes Over Working with First Time Film Director Regina King

Regina King is on a roll. After winning an Oscar for “If Beale Street Could Talk” and starring as masked vigilante Sister Knight in HBO’s “Watchmen,” King is gearing up to make her film directing debut with “One Night in Miami.” Adapted by Kemp Powers from his play of the same name, the film which dramatizes […]

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Netflix Developing Female-Fronted Comedy Film With Jon Berg (EXCLUSIVE)

Netflix is developing an untitled female-led comedy with producer Jon Berg, the former Warner Bros.’ co-president of production. The writing team of Jordan Roter (“The Tear Down,” “American Wife”) and Monica Corcoran Harel (New York Times, Marie Claire) has been attached to write the project. Netflix is keeping the logline under wraps. The project will […]

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Black Crowes Join Ranks of Rockers Celebrated for Telling Chatterers: ‘Shut the F— Up’

“More rock, less talk” isn’t just an FM radio mantra — it’s the rallying cry of everyone who ever went to a non-metal concert and wondered why their favorite songs served as mere backdrop for a social mixer. Any musician who dares to get as fed up with the constant stream of chatter at a […]

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‘The Lost Boys’: Branden Cook, Lincoln Younes & Ruby Cruz To Star In the CW Reboot Pilot

Branden Cook (Industry), Lincoln Younes (Grand Hotel) and Ruby Cruz (Castle Rock) have been cast as leads in The Lost Boys, the CW’s retooled pilot based on the 1987 Warner Bros. movie,, from Heather Mitchell and Rob Thomas In The Lost Boys, written by Mitchell and Thomas and directed by Marcos Siega, when a mother and her […]

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Harry Morton Dies: Owner Of Viper Room, Pink Taco Was 38 – Medical Examiner Says Natural Causes

UPDATE : Nightclub and restaurant entrepreneur Harry Morton died of natural causes, “probably cardiac arrhythmia,” according to the Los Angeles Medical Examiner, who issued a report today. Morton died at age 38 in November. He was the former owner of the Viper Room nightclub and founder of the Pink Taco restaurant chain. EARLIER: Restaurant and nightclub […]

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‘Lost Boys’ Pilot at CW Casts Lincoln Younes in Kiefer Sutherland Role

The CW’s revamped (get it?) “Lost Boys” pilot has cast one of its lead roles. Lincoln Younes has been cast in the series as Benjamin, the charismatic leader of the gang of vampires in a seemingly idyllic North Carolina seaside town. Younes’ role is most similar to the role of David in the 1987 film […]

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Mazzy Star’s David Roback Remembered by Bandmates and Friends

David Roback, who passed away yesterday at the age of 61, was a founding member of three deeply influential ‘80s-era bands: the Rain Parade, Opal and Mazzy Star. That the same guitarist-songwriter-producer would play a founding role in three such different but equally far-reaching groups is in itself remarkable, but Roback’s shunning of the spotlight […]

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Bethenny Frankel Doesn’t Come Out a Winner in New York or The Hamptons

Should former “Real Housewives of New York” star Bethenny Frankel want to add a new real estate show to her long list of eponymous small-screen outings, which include the short-lived chat show “Bethenny” as well as “Bethenny Getting Married,” “Bethenny & Fredrik” and her new project, “The Big Shot With Bethenny,” she might want to […]

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‘Lizzie McGuire’ Disney+ Series Seems to Be Done, and No One Is Happy

It seems like a no-brainer. '90s and 2000s kids grew up inhaling Lizzie McGuire, the Disney Channel original series about the titular teenage girl played iconically by Hilary Duff. A Disney+ reboot, following McGuire in her 30s (just like the kids who grew up watching her), would crush the streaming game -- especially if you bring back original showrunner Terri Minsky. Right? Well, per Variety... wrong. Disney+ did indeed greenlight, and begin production, on a Lizzie McGuire revival series starring Duff and shepherded by Minsky. This new show would focus on an adult McGuire, and thus have a more adult …

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Bethenny Frankel Doesn’t Come Out a Winner in New York or The Hamptons

Should former “Real Housewives of New York” star Bethenny Frankel want to add a new real estate show to her long list of eponymous small-screen outings, which include the short-lived chat show “Bethenny” as well as “Bethenny Getting Married,” “Bethenny & Fredrik” and her new project, “The Big Shot With Bethenny,” she might want to […]

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Olivia Liang Cast as the Lead in CW’s ‘Kung Fu’ Reboot

The CW’s reboot of Kung Fu has found its Caine. (Sort of.) As reported by Deadline (via The Wrap), Olivia Liang will play the lead role of Nicky Chen in the series pilot, a reimagining of the wandering Shaolin monk Kwai Chang Caine played somewhat notoriously by David Carradine in the original series, which aired from 1972 to 1975. Carradine also starred as Caine’s grandson in a syndicated sequel series Kung Fu: The Legend Continues in the mid 1990s. [caption id="attachment_877278" align="alignright" width="360"] Image via The CW[/caption] Liang currently appears as Alyssa Chang on …

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BMI Nashville Brings Clay Bradley Back Into Fold as Creative VP

Clay Bradley, a member of a music royalty family who first came up through the executive ranks at BMI Nashville, is returning to the fold as the performing rights organization’s VP of creative. He assumes the role March 17, reporting to Alex Flores, BMI’s senior VP of creative. Bradley steps into a position vacated by […]

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Ava DuVernay, Victoria Mahoney Team on Amazon Sci-Fi Series ‘Dawn’

Ava DuVernay is a talented filmmaker whose subjects of focus alternate between incisive portrayals of real-life events (Selma) and big-dreaming, hard-hitting flights of high-concept fantasy (A Wrinkle in Time). Now, a new sci-fi series at Amazon promises to blend the two impulses together -- and DuVernay is bringing along rising talent Victoria Mahoney for the ride. Per Variety, the two are developing Dawn, an adaptation of the influential sci-fi novel, for the streamer. The original novel, written in 1987 by Octavia E. Butler, is part of a three-novel series that continues with Adulthood Rites …

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Josh Brolin and Brad Pitt Team on Mystery Series ‘Outer Range’ for Amazon

Oscar-nominated actor Josh Brolin has signed on to star in the Amazon series Outer Range, which he'll executive produce along with Brad Pitt. Created by playwright Brian Watkins, Outer Ranger follows Royal Abbott (Brolin), a rancher who discovers an unfathomable mystery on his land at the edge of Wyoming's wilderness, forcing him to grapple with the unknown. Pitt and his Plan B Entertainment will executive produce along with Zev Borow (Lethal Weapon) and Heather Rae (Frozen River), as well as Brolin and Watkins. Watkins has written pilots for Hulu/Amblin and USA Network, and he's currently …

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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

CBS News Throws a Chaotic Democratic Debate (Column)

Some of the blame for CBS News’s chaotic, messy Democratic Party primary debate Tuesday night can be laid at the feet of the party itself — to a degree, CBS was depicting the chaos and mess of a party badly divided in the midst of a bruising campaign. But a share of ignominy also goes […]

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What Disney’s CEO Shake-Up Means for Its Movie Business

After rocking a quiet Tuesday afternoon with news of leadership changes at the very top of the Walt Disney Corporation, attention has turned to respective divisions at the Hollywood superpower — and to what the side-stepping of Bob Iger and ascension of new CEO Bob Chapek might mean for the future. This includes Disney’s Goliath […]

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George Clooney Is “Saddened” By Claims Of Child Labor Linked To Nespresso, Says “Work Will Be Done” To Improve Conditions

It didn’t take long for Nespresso brand ambassador George Clooney to come forward to address the investigation that linked the coffee brand to child labor at their farms. The news about Nespresso was uncovered by the British program Dispatches on Channel 4 which is known for investigating issues about society, politics, health, international current affairs and […]

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SXSW Seeing “Handful Of Cancellations” Amid Coronavirus Threat, But Festival “Proceeding As Planned” For Now

With the coronavirus now causing great concern among global conference organizers –i.e. the Mobile World Congress cancelled this month’s Barcelona confab and the International Olympic Committee will assess whether to cancel this summer’s Tokyo games in three months, SXSW stated today that the March 8-17 festival remains on. Last year’s SXSW drew over 417K attendees […]

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Bob Chapek: Who Is the New Disney CEO?

Disney’s parks head Bob Chapek officially — and quite suddenly — took the seat of power Tuesday afternoon, with the announcement that the charismatic, longtime Disney CEO Bob Iger would be handing over the reins and shifting to an executive chairman position, where he will now steer Disney’s creative direction. Despite Chapek’s 27 years at […]

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‘The Daily Show With Trevor Noah’ Jabs Bloomberg And “Desperate” Buttigieg During Democratic Debate

If you missed tonight’s Democratic primary debate from Charleston, SC, The Daily Show With Trevor Noah offered a play-by-play of the action on Twitter. And there was a lot of action. Right out the gate, the candidates attacked Sen. Bernie Sanders, who’s the current frontrunner after a big win in Nevada. But Sanders showed no […]

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John Ottman Hosts Jeremy Renner, Michael Keaton, More at ‘Aiding Australia’ Benefit

Film editor and composer John Ottman, who won an Oscar for “Bohemian Rhapsody” in 2019, hosted members of the film, television and music communities at the “Aiding Australia” charity dinner and concert held at his West Hollywood home on Sunday evening (Feb. 23). The benefit raised funds to help in the recovery of fire-ravaged Australia, […]

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Democratic Debate: Mike Bloomberg Slams Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren Hammers Both

Mike Bloomberg threw his first punch early in Tuesday’s Democratic Debate in Charleston, S.C., taking aim at Bernie Sanders over recent reports that Russian hackers are trying to assist his campaign for the presidency. Bloomberg, the billionaire owner of Bloomberg News and former New York City mayor, responded to Sanders’ opening remarks about economic equality […]

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Rivals Target Bernie Sanders At The Outset Of Latest Democratic Debate

Bernie Sanders was the early target of attacks at the Democratic debate on Tuesday, as rivals sought to slow his momentum as the front runner for the nomination. “I am hearing my name mentioned a bit tonight,” Sanders quipped after the first ten minutes. Sanders was asked the first question — why would voters choose […]

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Lacretta Joins Chris Messina & Ari Graynor In Paul Simms Comedy Pilot At FX

EXCLUSIVE: Lacretta is set as a series regular opposite Chris Messina and Ari Graynor in FX’s single-camera comedy pilot from Atlanta and What We Do In the Shadows executive producer Paul Simms. Written by Simms, the untitled comedy is about a family surviving a widespread technological crisis. Lacretta will play Nancy, a humorous immigrant from […]

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‘The Prince of Egypt’: Theater Review

In “The Prince of Egypt,” a swords-and-sandals epic minus the swords, no one speaks, they declaim; no one questions, they implore to the heavens. In a musical re-telling of the Exodus story that is bigger on plagues than on developed characterization, subtlety was always going to be in short supply. But did everything have to […]

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Film News Roundup: Eric Bana Boards ‘Mike the Bike’ Motorcycle Movie

In today’s film news roundup, Eric Bana and Melissa Leo launch movie projects, Paradigm names four agents, Michael B. Jordan is being honored and Hilary Swank’s “Fatale” gets a release date. PROJECT LAUNCHES Eric Bana’s Pick Up Truck Pictures and Robert Connolly’s Arenamedia have secured rights to the “Mike the Bike” motorcycle story. Bana will […]

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‘To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You’ Costume Designer Breaks Down the Key Looks

At the end of Netflix’s “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” everything is pretty perfect. Lara Jean Song Covey (Lana Condor) and Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo) are in a relationship and all is right in the world. When we rejoin Lara Jean in the sequel, “To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You,” […]

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Shock And Wha? Disney Downplays Surprise, Timing Of Bob Chapek Succeeding Bob Iger

It felt like pulling off a Band-Aid: fast and by surprise. “Did not see this coming – Wowza,” entertainment analyst Rich Greenfield of LightShed Partners tweeted Tuesday, moments after Disney announced that Bob Chapek would take over as CEO immediately, with longtime chairman and CEO Bob Iger moving to an executive chairman role until his […]

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RIAA Study Shows 2019 Music Revenue Increased 13%, Subscription Income Up 25%

A study just released by the RIAA shows bad and worse news for sectors of the recorded music business like physical media sales and digital downloads … but better and better news for streaming. And that’s the only news that matters when it comes to revenue for the music industry in the United States. Streaming […]

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TV News Roundup: Netflix Unveils ‘Self Made’ Trailer Starring Octavia Spencer

In today’s TV news roundup, Netflix released the trailer for “Self Made: Inspired By the Life of Madam C.J. Walker” and HBO announced a premiere date for “Betty.”  FIRST LOOKS Netflix released the official trailer “Self Made: Inspired By the Life of Madam C.J. Walker.” Executive produced by and starring Octavia Spencer, the four-part limited […]

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Morphe’s Chris Tawil Pays $18.5 Million Cash for Jason Statham’s Malibu Beach House

Company valuations in the cosmetics industry are currently bananas, as blockbuster actor Jason Statham can attest. Last month, the actor sold his Malibu beach home for $18.5 million in an all-cash deal, nearly double the $10.6 million he paid for the property back in 2009. According to records, the buyer is Chris Tawil, the businessman […]

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Bong Joon Ho Lists 20 Rising Directors to Watch in the 2020s

Fresh off of winning all of the Oscars for his film Parasite, international heartthrob Bong Joon Ho crafted a list of 20 rising directors he predicts will shape the art of filmmaking over the next decade. Bong’s list, published as guest editor of Sight and Sound magazine for the BFI, is predictably smart, and if nothing else it should serve as a great list of movie suggestions to add to your respective streaming queues immediately. [caption id="attachment_647240" align="alignright" width="360"] Image via Netflix[/caption] It’s hard to argue with Bong’s predictions - the group of filmmakers …

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Amanda Warren Joins Patrick Dempsey In CBS Political Drama Pilot ‘Ways & Means’

Amanda Warren (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) is set as a series regular opposite Patrick Dempsey in CBS political drama pilot Ways & Means (fka The Whip), from former SEAL Team showrunner Ed Redlich, Republican political consultant Mike Murphy, Nina Tassler and Denise Di Novi’s PatMa Productions and CBS TV Studios. Written by Murphy and […]

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Olivia Culpo & Ty Hodges Topline ‘Venus As A Boy’ Indie

Actress and influencer Olivia Culpo and Ty Hodges will star in Venus As A Boy, a romantic drama that was written and directed by Hodges. The indie follows Hunter, a struggling street artist in Los Angeles who falls in love with Ruby, a high-powered social media influencer and model from New York, after a chance […]

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Mindy Kaling on Centering Indian Characters ‘Who Are Not All Like Princess Jasmine’ in Netflix’s ‘Never Have I Ever’

Mindy Kaling felt like the perfect person to make a show about a teenage Indian nerd growing up in America because, well, she can relate. Speaking at a Netflix TV brunch discussion of young adult programming, Kaling discussed her upcoming series “Never Have I Ever,” and specifically about the need to show that nerds are […]

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Amanda Warren Joins Patrick Dempsey in CBS Political Pilot ‘Ways and Means’

Amanda Warren has been cast alongside Patrick Dempsey in the CBS drama pilot “Ways and Means.” In the pilot, a powerful Congressional leader (Dempsey) who has lost faith in politics finds himself working secretly with an idealistic young Congresswoman (not yet cast) from the opposing party to subvert the hopelessly gridlocked system he helped create. […]

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Questions Remain for Disney Plus, Hulu Amid Iger-Chapek CEO Transition

In a surprise announcement, Bob Iger said he was stepping down as Disney’s chief exec citing “the successful launch of Disney’s direct-to-consumer businesses” as one reason for the timing as he hands off to new CEO Bob Chapek. True, Disney earlier this month reported tremendous growth for Disney Plus, racking up 28.6 million users just […]

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Monday, February 24, 2020

Teri Polo Joins ‘The Big Leap’ Fox Dramedy Pilot, Matt Lucas, Ser’Darius Blain & Ray Cham Also Cast

Teri Polo leads a quartet of actors cast in The Big Leap, Fox’s ballet-themed hourlong comedy-drama pilot from The Passage writer/executive producer Liz Heldens. Matt Lucas, Ser’Darius Blain and Ray Cham also are cast in lead roles in the project, inspired by the UK reality series Big Ballet. It is a co-production between 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment. Written […]

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Promotion Executive Wendy Goodman Exits RCA Records

Wendy Goodman, a 20-year veteran of RCA Records, is leaving the company. Currently senior vice president of promotion for the Sony Music label, her last day is Feb. 28. In an email to staff, RCA co-president Joe Riccitelli praised Woodman’s “passion, positivity and tenacity” in helping break multiple hits at adult radio, among them songs […]

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Matt Lucas, ‘Jumanji’ Star Ser’Darius Blain Among Four Cast in Fox Drama Pilot ‘Big Leap’

Fox’s drama pilot “The Big Leap” has added four series regulars. Matt Lucas, Ser’Darius Blain, Ray Cham, and Teri Polo have all joined the one-hour project, which centers on a group of diverse underdogs from all different walks of life who compete to be part of a competition reality series that is putting on a […]

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A Country Music Conference Dares Wonder: Could 2020 Be ‘the Year of the Woman’?

Taking his seat for a panel on the subject of women in country music at Country Radio Seminar last week, one of the speakers, Damon Moberly, VP of promotion at the Mercury Nashville label, made a quip about what a minefield the topic has been. “Doing the female panel. What could go wrong?” Moberly asked, […]

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Film News Roundup: Liam Neeson’s Comedy ‘Made in Italy’ Sells to IFC

In today’s film news roundup, IFC buys a Liam Neeson comedy and STX takes territories on Karen Gillan and Lena Headey’s “Gunpowder Milkshake.” ACQUISITIONS IFC Films is acquiring U.S. rights to James D’Arcy’s feature directorial debut, “Made In Italy,” starring Liam Neeson and Micheál Richardson. “Made In Italy” will receive a traditional theatrical release in […]

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Diana Serra Cary, Child Star Known as Baby Peggy, Dies at 101

Diana Serra Cary, the child silent film star known by the nickname Baby Peggy, died on Monday in Gustine, Calif. She was 101. Born on October 29, 1918 as Peggy Jean Montgomery, Cary began her career in the film industry at the early age of 19 months. During a visit with her mother and a […]

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Exclusive ‘Blood on Her Name’ Clip Teases the New Indie Thriller

Today, we're happy to debut an exclusive clip from Blood on Her Name. The new indie thriller comes from Yellow Veil Pictures and stars Bethany Anne Lind as Leigh Tiller, a woman who has two major problems; a dead body and a dark past, both of which are making it harder and harder to protect her family. The tight, slow-burn mystery unfolds as Leigh tries to dispose of the body and finds her lack of criminal experience becomes just as much as a problem as her decency, which makes it impossible for her to fully vanish the dead …

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Liam Neeson Ain’t Really Feeling Superhero Movies Anymore

Apart from Darkman and his work as Ra's al Ghul in Batman Begins and briefly again in The Dark Knight Rises, Liam Neeson has not appeared in any other superhero films -- a bit of a surprise, since the actor has had a long, multifarious career that includes other big budget pictures like Star Wars and Clash of the Titans. His latest film, the supremely lovely Ordinary Love, is about as far away as you can get from superhero cinema, telling the small-scale story of a loving couple doing their best with a cancer diagnosis. Will Neeson ever return …

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Harvey Weinstein Avoids Jail For Now With Hospital Stop After Rape Trial Guilty Verdict

Harvey Weinstein never made it to jail today after being found guilty on multiple accounts in his New York rape trial this morning. Instead the disgraced producer is currently at Manhattan’s Bellevue Hospital. Having left the Criminal Courts building near the Big Apple’s Chinatown this afternoon, the already hobbled Weinstein complained of pains while in […]

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Netflix Launches Daily Top 10 Lists, Revealing A Bit More Viewer Data

Netflix said Monday it is expanding the rollout of a Top 10 listing that will show its subscribers the 10 most-watched titles each day on the streaming giant. The service said in a blog post that it had been experimenting with the lists recently in Mexico and the UK. “Members in both countries have found […]

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Ryan Murphy and Netflix’s ‘Hollywood’: Tighty-Whities, Rock Hudson and a ‘Revisionist History’ of Show Biz

Spoiler alert for a few plot lines and scenes from the first two episodes of “Hollywood.” Netflix hosted a sneak peek of Ryan Murphy’s “Hollywood,” a seven-episode series for Netflix, on Sunday night at the San Vicente Bungalows in West Hollywood. Without giving away too many spoilers, the show takes place in post-WWII Hollywood. David […]

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Riz Ahmed on Creating ‘A Really Personal Piece of Work’ with ‘Mogul Mowgli’

The idea for “Mogul Mowgli” first began in 2017 when British actor, rapper and activist Riz Ahmed met Bassam Tariq, a producer and independent filmmaker, between trips to New York. Almost three years later, the pair is debuting “Mogul Mowgli” in Berlin’s Panorama. The film, which Tariq directed and co-wrote with Ahmed, who also stars, […]

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Harvey Weinstein Taken to Bellevue Hospital With Chest Pains

Harvey Weinstein was taken to Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan on Monday after complaining of chest pains, according to his representative. Weinstein was supposed to be transferred to the jail on Rikers Island, but was diverted to Bellevue. Weinstein was remanded into custody on Monday morning after a jury convicted him on charges of sexual assault […]

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Chris Matthews Apologizes For Comparison Of Bernie Sanders’ Nevada Win To German Invasion Of France

UPDATE: Hardball host Chris Matthews apologized for a remark he made during Saturday’s Nevada caucus coverage in which he compared the inability of establishment Democrats to stop Bernie Sanders to France’s futile hopes against Germany’s invasion in 1940. At the top of his show on Monday, Matthews said, “Senator Sanders, I’m sorry for comparing anything […]

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Ana Gasteyer To Star In Justin Spitzer’s NBC Comedy Pilot ‘American Auto’

Saturday Night Live alumna Ana Gasteyer is set to lead the ensemble cast of NBC’s single-camera comedy pilot American Auto, from Superstore creator Justin Spitzer, Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment and Universal Television. Written by Spitzer, American Auto is set at the headquarters of a major American automotive company in Detroit, where a floundering group of […]

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Martin Freeman To Play Night Shift Police Officer In BBC Drama ‘The Responder’ From First-Time TV Writer

The BBC has commissioned a slate of four dramas from first-time TV writers, including a police series starring The Hobbit and Sherlock actor Martin Freeman as a night shift officer in the British city of Liverpool. The Responder is written by Tony Schumacher, a former police officer who is fulfilling a lifelong ambition to write […]

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BBC Drama Chief Defends ‘Doctor Who,’ Says It’s A “Long Way” From Being Rested Amid Ratings Drop

The BBC’s drama chief Piers Wenger has defended Doctor Who following a drop in ratings and a mixed reception from fans for Season 12 of the sci-fi drama. At a BBC drama even in London on Monday, Wenger was asked if he would consider resting Doctor Who given some of the malaise around the show, […]

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BBC Drama Chief Says Scrapping The Licence Fee Could Blow A Hole In The TV Drama Boom

The BBC’s drama chief Piers Wenger has bristled at the idea of the British broadcaster becoming a subscription service amid growing talk of the government abandoning the licence fee. During an event in London on Monday, Wenger made a passionate case for the BBC’s place in a TV ecology that is becoming increasingly dominated by […]

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BBC Commits To Second Sally Rooney Adaptation Before ‘Normal People’ Has Even Premiered

The BBC has moved quickly to cement its relationship with Irish author Sally Rooney. Youth channel BBC Three is preparing to drop Normal People in the spring, and is now committed to a 12-part adaption of Rooney’s debut book Conversations With Friends. Hulu is attached to Normal People, but has not yet signed up for Conversations With […]

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‘Jefferies’: Darien Sills-Evans & Mike Lane Join Cast Of NBC Comedy Pilot

EXCLUSIVE: Darien Sills-Evans (Superior Donuts) and Mike Lane (American Princess) are set as series regulars opposite Jim Jefferies in his NBC comedy pilot Jefferies, from writer-producer Suzanne Martin, Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner’s Hazy Mills and Universal TV. Written by Jefferies and Martin, Jefferies stars the veteran comedian as a fictionalized version of himself – […]

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BBC Teams With Lenny Abrahamson on ‘Conversations With Friends,’ Commissions Four New Titles

In a raft of new commissions, the BBC has teamed with Oscar-nominated director Lenny Abrahamson for the literary adaptation “Conversations with Friends” and has ordered four new dramas that confront subjects of race, class and sexuality from four first-time television writers. With several youth-skewing programs on the docket, the new commissions attest to the public […]

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Ana Gasteyer to Star in NBC Comedy Pilot ‘American Auto’

Ana Gasteyer has signed on for lead role in the NBC single-camera comedy pilot “American Auto.” The project hails from Justin Spitzer, the creator of NBC’s well-received comedy series “Superstore.” It is set at the headquarters of a major American automotive company in Detroit where a floundering group of executives try to rediscover the company […]

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The First Top 10 Lists of Netflix Movies, TV Shows Include ‘The Last Thing He Wanted’

Earlier today, Netflix added a Top 10 feature, a list designed to show the viewer the 10 most-watched movies and TV shows in your country, day-by-day. These titles are stamped with a handy "Top 10" badge, allowing you to "easily see what’s in the zeitgeist." Now -- what say we take our first temperature check of what's in the zeitgeist? Here are the first official Top 10 Movies of Netflix -- the flicks that viewers in the USA are watching the most: [caption id="attachment_662223" align="alignright" width="350"] Image via STXfilms[/caption] The Last Thing He …

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Sunday, February 23, 2020

Berlin: Hernan Caffiero Sets Up Two Series About Victims of Police Violence as Chilean Industry Protests Brutality (EXCLUSIVE)

Inspired by the victims of violent crackdowns by Chilean police, filmmaker Hernán Caffiero is looking to tell their story. Caffiero is currently developing two series about human rights crimes and the effects of police brutality in Chile, one a four-part documentary, the other a follow-up to his Intl. Emmy-winning “The Suspended Mourning,” a dramatized collection […]

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Elisa Viihde, Rabbit Films, Keshet Intl. Team On Finnish Drama ‘Summer of Sorrow’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Finland’s top streaming service Elisa Viihde has ordered “Summer of Sorrow,” a high-concept mystery thriller series that’s being produced by Rabbit Films and will be sold by Keshet Intl. around the world. The 10-episode show, created Jani Volanen (“M/S Romantic”) and set in the early 1980s, takes place in an idyllic Finnish suburb of Munkkivuori […]

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Andrea Štaka on Berlin Panorama Player ‘Mare’

Andrea Štaka, who won a Locarno Golden Leopard in 2006 with “Faulein,” unveils her latest film “Mare” in the Panorama section of this year’s Berlin Festival. Telling the story of a middle age mom, Marija Škaričić (“The Priest’s Children”) and Goran Navojec (“All the Best”) were cast to tell the story of a family in […]

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France’s Curiosa Films, Wild Bunch Germany Team on ‘Charlotte’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Olivier Delbosc’s Paris-based company Curiosa Films is partnering with Wild Bunch Germany on “Charlotte,” a WWII-set film about the short and prolific life of the German-Jewish artist Charlotte Salomon, who died in Auschwitz in 1943 at the age of 26. “Charlotte” will be directed by Gilles Bourdos. His film “Renoir” played in Un Certain Regard […]

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Playtime Locks Key Pre-Sales on Naomi Kawase’s ‘True Mothers,’ Francois Ozon’s ‘Summer of 85’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Playtime has closed raft of pre-sales to key territories on a pair of anticipated prestige films, Francois Ozon’s “Summer of 85” and Naomi Kawase’s “True Mothers,” after unveiling promo reels of both pics at the EFM in Berlin. “Summer of 85” has pre-sold to Israel (Lev Cinema), Turkey (Bir Film), Poland (Against Gravity), Spain (Golem), […]

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New Italian Studio Complex Planned For 2021 in Southern Apulia Region (EXCLUSIVE)

Plans are under way for an ambitious new Italian studio complex comprising nine soundstages and two water tanks to be soon built in the Southern Italian region of Apulia. The Apulia Studios, as the planned facilities are known, are being launched by Italian entrepreneur Antonio Albanese with two former Apulia Film Commission executives, Silvio Maselli and […]

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The Party Films Sales Unveils Slate, Including SXSW-Bound ‘The Mystery of the Pink Flamingos’ (EXCLUSIVE)

The Party Films Sales, the newly launched Paris-based film company, is making its market debut at the EFM with several acquisitions, including Javier Polo’s “The Mystery of the Pink Flamingos” and Jim Rakete’s “Now.” The company brings together the international sales units of two banners, Jour2Fête, a French distribution company, and Doc & Film Intl., […]

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Watch First Trailer for Alex Piperno’s debut ‘Window Boy Would Also Like to Have a Submarine’(EXCLUSIVE)

BERLIN  —  Square Eyes dropped Monday the trailer of “Window Boy Would Also Like to Have a Submarine” following its world premiere in the Berlinale’s Forum. The low-fi story has been in the works for some time, returning to the Berlinale after having been at the Script Station, as well as also passing though Binger […]

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Berlin: China’s Jia Zhangke ‘Swims’ Back to Documentary Shores

Jia Zhangke, one of China’s most acclaimed directors, is at the Berlin Film Festival for the world premiere of his first new documentary in a decade, “Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue,” which is screening in the Berlinale Special section. Featuring personal recollections of three of China’s most acclaimed writers, the film is the […]

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Latido Acquires Javier Fuentes-León’s ‘Las Mejores Familias’

Spain’s Latido Films has acquired international sales rights to “Las Mejores Familias,” the third feature from Peruvian filmmaker Javier Fuentes-León (“Undertow”). Pic is backed by Colombia’s biggest production house, Dynamo. Dynamo handled physical production and contributed creative talent for Netflix hit “Narcos.” In “Familias,” a long-hidden secret flips generational hierarchies upside down at a huge […]

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‘Last Week Tonight’: John Oliver Talks Mike Bloomberg’s “Charisma-Impaired” Campaign Ads And “Appalling” History Of Stop-And-Frisk

Before John Oliver dove into his thoughts about Mike Bloomberg’s presidential run and everything wrong with it on Last Week Tonight, he had to talk about Donald Trump and how he criticized Parasite’s win at the Academy Awards at one of his rallies. At one point in his rant, Trump said that he wants the […]

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Timeline of Secuoya Group’s Growth

2007 • Raul Berdonés founds the Secuoya Group on Dec. 11. 2008 • First outsourcing services deal is with broadcaster Antena 3. 2009 • Launches TV content production as part of early diversification. 2011 • Debuts on Spain’s MAB Alternative Stock Market on July 28. Strategic expansion plan envisages the development of Ciudad de la […]

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Berlinale Series Head Julia Fidel on Reflecting Diversity in Serialized Storytelling

Sexual exploration, indigenous perspectives and refugees of all stripes characterize much of this year’s selections at the Berlin Film Festival’s Berlinale Series showcase. It’s the first edition under Julia Fidel, who took over as the section’s head from Solmaz Azizi last year, and while she’s not shaking things up, she’s is looking to put her […]

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Secuoya Group Branches Out From Services to Production

The Secuoya Group became Netflix’s exclusive production services partner in 2018, a recent milestone for one of the most diversified and growing media companies in Spain. Launched by Raúl Berdonés 10 years earlier, as Spain plunged toward a recession, Secuoya found its market niche in production services and business process outsourcing, sectors in which it […]

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Madrid Content City Marries Talent and Soundstages

Two of the most critical issues in the SVOD age are production facilities and talent. That’s what Madrid Content City, conceived as an ambitious production hub by Spain’s Secuoya Group, is bringing to the table in Tres Cantos, a dormitory village near the capital, its integration of industry and university aiming to satisfy ever stronger […]

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Berlin: Government Support Has Ethiopian Biz Ready to Boom

For the past decade, Ethiopia has boasted the world’s fastest-growing economy, and its new reform-minded government seems determined to harness that growth to transform an already vibrant creative sector. That was the takeaway from a presentation Sunday morning at the Berlinale Africa Hub, led by producer Mehret Mandefro (“Difret”) and director Abraham Gezahagne, who outlined […]

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Skeet Ulrich And Marisol Nichols To Depart ‘Riverdale’ After Four Seasons

Riverdale is saying goodbye to not one, but two parental figures. Skeet Ulrich and Marisol Nichols revealed that they will no longer appear on The CW teen drama after the fourth season. There is no word yet on how and when they will be written off the show. The pair have appeared on Riverdale since season one. Ulrich […]

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Dreamies Honor ‘Resident Evil 2’ And ‘Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order’ To Close Massive SoCal Game Gathering

The 20,000 attendees for DreamHack at the Anaheim Convention Center wrapped up the three-day gaming event tonight with the conclave’s first awards show, aimed squarely at the gaming community and its publishers. The Dreamies honored games in unique categories whose winners were determined by judging from industry professionals and fans. The awards were hosted by […]

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‘Outlander’ Recap: Everyone Finds Themselves Caught ‘Between Two Fires’

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Between Two Fires,” the second episode of “Outlander” Season 5. The latest episode of “Outlander” definitely lived up to its episode title, as several characters found themselves caught “Between Two Fires.” Most notably, Jamie (Sam Heughan) found himself having to make a difficult decision […]

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‘Riverdale’s’ Skeet Ulrich and Marisol Nichols to Exit Ahead of Season 5

The titular town in the CW’s “Riverdale” will be getting a little smaller: after the current, fourth season comes to an end this May, Skeet Ulrich and Marisol Nichols will be leaving the Archie Comics-set series, Variety has confirmed. “Part of life in ‘Riverdale’ — and part of growing up — is saying goodbye to people,” said […]

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Auschwitz Memorial Criticizes Amazon’s ‘Hunters’ For Historical Inaccuracies: “This Is Disrespectful And Dangerous”

Amazon Prime debuted Hunters this weekend and the official Auschwitz Memorial has some opinions about the new series that follows Nazi hunters in 1977 — particularly one scene that involved a human chess game. “Auschwitz was full of horrible pain & suffering documented in the accounts of survivors,” they tweeted. “Inventing a fake game of human […]

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‘No Hard Feelings’: Film Review

At dawn in an orderly, middle-class suburb in regional Germany, three young people — a girl and two guys — stagger home from a night out. Two of them are siblings, two of them friends and two of them are falling in love. One of them is very drunk and tripping over the long blond […]

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‘Hunters’ Chess Scene Slammed by Auschwitz Memorial for ‘Dangerous’ Historical Inaccuracy

Amazon Prime’s new series “Hunters” has come under fire from the Auschwitz Memorial for being historically inaccurate. The memorial’s Twitter account called a violent scene featuring a human chess game “dangerous foolishness” and a “caricature.” In the show, a Jewish chess master is held captive and forced to play a game of chess where the […]

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‘The Bounty’ Director Roger Donaldson To Helm German Series ‘Nhiem’ From ‘Merkel’ Producers – EFM

EXCLUSIVE: Roger Donaldson, whose long career in Hollywood has encompassed movies including The Bounty, Species, Cocktail, Dante’s Peak and The World’s Fastest Indian, is attached to direct the German-produced and Vietnam-set TV series Nhiem. The show comes from local producers Carte blanche International, which is at this week’s European Film Market in Berlin with its […]

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Cannes Film Festival Plots Major Expansion to VR Program

Cannes XR, the Marché du Film’s program dedicated to immersive and augmented reality content, is set to expand. For its second edition, Cannes XR has partnered with tech creator Positron and Brogent Technologies to introduce a new VR theater, dedicated space and competition. While keeping its 700-square meter exhibition space in the basement of Cannes’ […]

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Europe-China Co-Prod ‘The Italian Recipe’ Immune to Coronavirus (EXCLUSIVE)

With production in China suffering a coronavirus-imposed slowdown, “The Italian Recipe” is one co-production between Europe and China that is poised to potentially capitalize on the resulting dearth of Chinese content. It is positioned to advance European cinema’s efforts to make inroads in China. “The Italian Recipe,” in which a famous Chinese pop singer travels […]

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Hungarian Film Commissioner Csaba Kael on His Ambitious Plans for ‘Hollywood on the Danube’

Just months after assuming the role of Hungarian film commissioner, Csaba Káel has designs on revamping the film and television industries to boost content development and production, expand already formidable studio facilities, and become a lynchpin for film and TV production and servicing that extends far beyond Budapest. Káel took up his post in September, […]

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Claire Denis and Phedon Papamichael Join Doha Film Institute’s Qumra Lineup

The Doha Film Institute has added French auteur Claire Denis and Oscar-nominated cinematographer Phedon Papamichael (“Nebraska”) to the lineup of star talent who will act as mentors for the Qumra Masters program during its upcoming Qumra event dedicated to fostering fresh Arab film fare that is opening up to TV projects. They join previously announced […]

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Saturday, February 22, 2020

‘Persian Lessons’: Film Review

In “Schindler’s List,” most of the actors spoke English, using accents to indicate their characters’ origins. In “Son of Saul,” the cast struggles to communicate in a mish-mosh of languages, as Jews of different nationalities were thrown together in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Stories about the Holocaust — so vital in trying to reconcile the horrors of the […]

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Beta Cinema Celebrates ‘Karnawal’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Beta Cinema has acquired international sales rights to debut Argentine director Juan Pablo Félix’s “Karnawal,” winner of the Le Film Français, Ciné Plus, Gomedia and Titrafilm awards at December’s Ventana Sur. “Karnawal” featured co-producers from five countries: Argentina’s Bikini Films, Brazil’s 3 Moinhos Produçoes, Chile’s Picardía Films, Mexico’s Phototaxia Pictures, Norway’s Norsk Filmproduksjon and Bolivia’s […]

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Italy’s True Colours Scores Slew of Early EFM Sales (EXCLUSIVE)

Italian sales company True Colours has scored multiple sales at the EFM on several titles including Christmas comedy “Once Upon a Time in Bethlehem,” which was Italy’s top-grossing domestic title in 2019. “Bethlehem,” which scored roughly $17 million domestically, toplines comic duo Ficarra and Picone as a thief and a priest who time-travel to Palestine […]

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Caetano Gotardo, Marco Dutra Talk Berlin Competition Entry ‘All the Dead Ones’

Directed by Caetano Gotardo and Marco Dutra, Brazilian Berlin competition entry “All the Dead Ones” kicks off in Belle Epoque 1899 São Paulo. Ana, the daughter of a plantation owner and her nun sister attempt persuade a reluctant Ina, a former slave, to perform an ancient African ritual to cure their mother. A time warp […]

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Caramel, Mod, Film Factory Unveil Manuel Martin Cuenca’s ‘The Daughter’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Caramel Films has boarded Manuel Martin Cuenca’s “The Daughter,” produced by Fernando Bovaira (“The Others” ) at Mod Producciones and Cuenca’s own La Loma Blanca. Pic was unveiled at Berlin’s European Film Market by its sales agent, Film Factory Entertainment. Set to be released in Spain by Caramel in late 2020, “The Daughter” marks the […]

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Berlin: Nigeria’s FilmOne Makes Global Push With China-South Africa Pact (EXCLUSIVE)

FilmOne Entertainment, the Nigerian distributor and production company, has gone into production on the first movie to cash in on the $1 million film fund it launched with China’s Huahua Media and South Africa’s Empire Entertainment in December. “Kambili,” by director Kayode Kasum, is the first of what FilmOne co-founder Moses Babatope expects to be […]

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Berlinale Gala Player ‘High Ground’ With Simon Baker Sells to Samuel Goldwyn (EXCLUSIVE)

Ahead of its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, Stephen Maxwell Johnson’s “High Ground” has found a U.S. home with Samuel Goldwyn. The film, headlined by Simon Baker, is represented in international markets by pan-European group Playtime and is having a gala screening at the festival. Set in 1919, “High Ground” tells the story […]

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TrustNordisk Sells WWII Norwegian Family Drama ‘The Crossing’ to the U.S. (EXCLUSIVE)

TrustNordisk has sold “The Crossing,” an inspiring WWII-set Norwegian family drama, to the U.S and a string of Eastern European countries. The movie was picked up by Menemsha Entertainment for the U.S. and by Cinemania Group for former Yugoslavia. Produced by Norwegian company Maipo, “The Crossing” tells the story of 10-year-old Gerda and her brother […]

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Screen Australia Leads Call for Evolution of Industry Funding

Screen Australia, the country’s federal support body, says the screen entertainment industry needs to come up with new business models in response to changes in audience behavior and the disruptive impact on content financing that has come from streaming. Public support bodies must change their relationships with the industry too, Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason […]

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Central and Eastern European Films Playing at the Berlinale

“Charlatan” Director: Agnieszka Holland The true story of Czech healer Jan Mikolášek, who enjoyed protection under the Nazis and the Communists, but then fell from favor. Sales: Films Boutique Berlinale Special Gala “The Earth Is Blue as an Orange” Director: Iryna Tsilyk Budding cinematographer Myroslava lives in the middle of the Ukraine war zone. She […]

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Taiwanese Actor/Director Leon Dai Tops ‘Tomorrow Is a Long Time’

Acclaimed Taiwanese actor/director Leon Dai will headline the cast of Singapore-Taiwan-France co-production “Tomorrow Is a Long Time”. Dai will play a middle-aged widower whose relationship with his sensitive teenage son in the densely packed spaces of contemporary Singapore slowly becomes unbearable. Singaporean shorts filmmaker Jow Zhi Wei (“After the Winter”) will make his feature directorial […]

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Teamwork Pays off for Eastern European Films

When it comes to feature film output in Central and Eastern Europe, it’s all about marshaling indie forces and breaking out of familiar tropes this year, say producers and filmmakers. It’s also about relationships in the increasingly interconnected region, as Katarina Tomkova, one of the Slovak producers for “Servants,” says of the communist-era drama focused […]

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Chris Matthews Slammed For Comparing Bernie Sanders Win To Nazi Invasion Of France

Hardball host Chris Matthews is facing tons of backlash after he made comments about Bernie Sanders’ big win at the Nevada caucuses on Saturday. At one point, he compared the victory to the Nazi invasion of France — and that did not sit too well everyone. Matthews started to talk about what would happen if […]

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‘Let’s Keep Fighting’: ‘Just Mercy’s’ Bryan Stevenson Urges Advocacy at NAACP Image Awards

It was quite a night for “Just Mercy.” The film picked up the win for best motion picture at the 51st NAACP Image Awards, capping a two-night event that included outstanding actor and supporting actor prizes for its stars Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx, respectively, as well as a win in the outstanding ensemble cast […]

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Rihanna Pleads for Equality at NAACP Image Awards: ‘Tell Your Friends to Pull Up’

Rihanna was the recipient of the NAACP President’s Award. The honor is bestowed on an entertainer whose commitment to philanthropy is unparalleled. Rihanna, whose chosen charities include the Clara Lionel Foundation, Raising Malawi and UNICEF and was honored as Harvard’s Humanitarian of the Year in 2017, was in attendance for the NAACP Image Awards show, […]

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NAACP Image Awards: Lizzo Named Entertainer Of The Year; ‘Just Mercy’, ‘Black-Ish’, ‘When They See Us’ Among Top Honorees – Full Winners List

The 51st NAACP Image Awards were handed out tonight and were aired live on BET with trailblazing musician Lizzo bringing the “Juice” and taking the top honors for Entertainer of the Year and black-ish and When They See Us dominating the TV side and Just Mercy and Dolemite Is My Name taking trophies in the […]

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Bernie Sanders Projected to Win Nevada Democratic Caucus

Bernie Sanders is now projected to win the Nevada caucus. Per the Associated Press, Sanders has captured 54% of the delegates with 4% of precincts reporting on Saturday afternoon. Joe Biden is currently in a distant second with 17.8%, while Elizabeth Warren rose to third with 10%. Pete Buttigieg is in fourth place with 8.7%, […]

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NAACP Winners List 2020: Updating Live

The 51st annual NAACP Awards, hosted by Anthony Anderson, are currently underway in Los Angeles. Angela Bassett, Billy Porter, Lizzo, Regina King and Tyler Perry are competing for entertainer of the year. On Friday night, early winners were announced, including “Just Mercy,” which picked up the award for best ensemble in a motion picture. OWN’s […]

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Friday, February 21, 2020

Comcast In Talks To Buy Walmart’s Streaming Service Vudu

Comcast is in talks to acquire Walmart’s Vudu, the retail behemoth’s advertising and transactional video-on-demand service, according to a person familiar with the situation. It’s the latest twist in the hot and getting hotter streaming wars, and comes as the media and entertainment giant, parent of NBCUniversal, prepares to roll out streaming service Peacock this […]

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Mickey Rourke to Play Greek Orthodox Saint in ‘Man of God’

Pure Flix/Quality Flix has picked up international sales rights to religious drama “Man of God,” starring Mickey Rourke, Aris Servetalis and Alexander Petrov. The rights are for sale at the Berlin Film Festival. “Man of God,” directed and written by Yelena Popovic. Producers are Alexandros Potter and Yelena Popovic through their company Simeon Entertainment and […]

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Writers’ Strike Could Accelerate Scripted Programming’s Decline On Linear Television

The broadcast business has been at a crossroads for the past couple of years, putting emphasis on live programming, sports and unscripted fare as scripted series increasingly are consumed digitally on-demand. A potential WGA strike would accelerate the process, according to a number of industry sources I spoke with over the past several weeks. The […]

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‘Fresh Off The Boat’ Series Finale: Groundbreaking ABC Family Sitcom Says Farewell, Leaving Legacy Of Asian American Representation On TV

SPOILER ALERT: This article contains details about tonight’s two-part series finale of Fresh Off the Boat. After six seasons, we say goodbye to the Huang family of Fresh Off the Boat. The two-part series finale of the groundbreaking ABC sitcom didn’t necessarily end with a bang. There was no huge champagne toast, parting speeches or huge overture […]

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Gersh Signs Sidney Flanigan, Star Of Sundance Winning Pic ‘Never Rarely Sometimes Always’

EXCLUSIVE: Gersh has signed Sidney Flanigan, the star of Eliza Hittman’s Sundance Film Festival breakout Never Rarely Sometimes Always. The pic made its world premiere in the U.S. Dramatic Competition section and received a special jury Neorealism prize. The film will next screen in competition at the Berlin Film Festival. In Never Rarely Sometimes Always, […]

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Chef Massimo Bottura Comes to Beverly Hills With Gucci Osteria

Most Americans got their first glimpse of Massimo Bottura on the very first episode of Netflix’s eye-candy food series “Chef’s Table.” The voluble proprietor of Modena’s three Michelin-starred Osteria Francescana happened to grow up with the CEO of Gucci, Marco Bizzarri, who has enlisted Bottura to launch restaurants in selected locations of the boutiques — […]

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‘Young Hunter’: Film Review

Director-writer Marco Berger has been playing with same-sex seduction since his debut, “Plan B,” frequently pitching one confident gay man against a more closeted or curious conquest. Eleven years after that first feature, his latest, “Young Hunter,” continues to riff on the same theme, here exhibiting parallels with the entrapment scenario of 2011’s “Absent” in […]

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Steve Stark Named President of Newly Formed MGM/UA Television

The newly formed MGM/UA Television label has found a president in Steve Stark, who previously served as MGM’s president of scripted television production and development. MGM Worldwide Television Group chairman Mark Burnett made the announcement late Friday, adding that Stark has extended his contract with the studio as part of his new role. “We are […]

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Film News Roundup: Kumail Nanjiani Boards Political Thriller ‘The Independent’

In today’s film news roundup, Kumail Nanjiani has been cast as a journalist, Daisy Ridley boards Imax’s “Asteroid Hunters,” “Best Summer Ever” leads off a festival, Shelley Duvall gets an honor and “Dark Harvest” lands at MGM. PROJECT LAUNCH Kumail Nanjiani will star in the political thriller “The Independent,” which is being introduced to buyers […]

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HBO Reclassifies ‘Watchmen’ as a Limited Series, with “Possible Future Installments”

The latest volley in the ongoing saga of whether or not we’ll see another season of HBO’s Watchmen is a pretty strong indicator that the show isn’t coming back anytime soon. The premium network has reclassified Watchmen from a drama series to a limited series. In an official statement (via Variety), the network said, “We discussed with the producers and felt limited series was the most accurate representation of the show and any possible future installments.” Before the series aired, creator and showrunner Damon Lindelof made it very clear that Watchmen would be a self-contained story, …

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The Best Movies on Amazon Prime Right Now



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Steve Stark Named President Of New Label MGM/UA Television As He Extends MGM Contract

Steve Stark, MGM’s President of Scripted Television Production & Development, has been named President of MGM/UA Television, a newly created label. The promotion is part of a new contract Stark has signed with Metro Goldwyn Mayer’s Worldwide Television Group, run by Mark Burnett. Stark has grown MGM’s scripted television presence over the last eight years […]

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‘The Last Man on Earth’ Alum Cleopatra Coleman Set To Co-Lead ‘A Lot Of Nothing’ Movie

EXCLUSIVE:  Cleopatra Coleman, who co-starred in Fox’s The Last Man on Earth comedy series, has secured the lead role opposite Y’lan Noel (Insecure) in Mo McRae’s directorial debut film A Lot Of Nothing, which has David Oyelowo attached as an executive producer. It’s about a married couple living in a Los Angeles suburb who is […]

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NAACP Image Awards Expands Its Broadcast Outlets In ViacomCBS Synergy Play

BET Networks will be joined by MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, CMT, Logo, TV Land, POP and Smithsonian in a simulcast of the 51st NAACP Image Awards live this Saturday, February 22 at 8pm in Pasadena. The NAACP Image Awards celebrates the accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature and film, and also […]

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DC Comics Publisher Dan DiDio Has Exited the Company

After 10 years of serving as DC Comics' co-publisher, Dan DiDio has now exited the company (per The Hollywood Reporter). DC Comics has confirmed the news, but no official statement or further details have been given. DiDio worked as publisher alongside Jim Lee starting in 2010. Before that, he worked for DC as vice president–editorial and then vice president–executive editor -- while working as a writer on titles like Superboy, Metal Men, and The Outsiders along the way. DiDio also wrote a regular column called "DC Nation" which would appear at the end of each main superhero issue. […

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The ‘Friends’ HBO Max Reunion Is Officially Confirmed

We've reported on the rumors. We've reported on what each cast member could make. And now... it's official. A Friends unscripted reunion special is coming to HBO Max, with each cast member -- Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer -- returning. And it's coming to the nascent streaming service May 2020, alongside every other original Friends episode. In the special, the stars will return to their iconic stage 24 on the Warner Bros. studio lot in Burbank, California, and reminisce about their time making all 236 episodes of the beloved series. …

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UCLA Will Not Be Using Facial Recognition Technology On Its Campus

The UCLA administration has scrapped a plan to use facial recognition technology on campus after students and outside groups protested. A report by VICE News said UCLA was planning on implementing the system before complaints surfaced. Student groups said earlier this month that a  “National Day of Action” would be mounted against the technology. “Momentum […]

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Mitch Pileggi To Co-Star In The CW’s ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’ Reboot

EXCLUSIVE: The X-Files alum Mitch Pileggi is set as a series regular in Walker, a reimagining of CBS’ long-running 1990s action/crime series Walker, Texas Ranger, headlined by Jared Padalecki. Additionally, Pretty Little Liars‘ alum Keegan Allen recently joined the cast, joining Padalecki and previously announced Lindsey Morgan. Like the original series, created by Albert S. […]

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BTS Opens Up About the Past, Creativity and Inspiration for ‘Map of the Soul: 7’ (Watch)

With a reported four million copies in worldwide pre-orders and their stars shining brighter than ever thanks to chart-topping albums and playing the world’s biggest stages, BTS’ just-released “Map of the Soul: 7” was sure to be a success no matter what it sounded like. But instead of resting on starpower, the record-breaking group decided […]

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TV News Roundup: HBO Sets Premiere Date for Hugh Jackman’s ‘Bad Education’ (Watch)

In today’s TV News roundup, HBO Films set the premiere date for “Bad Education” starring Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney and “Volcano Live! with Nik Wallenda” tapes Chris Harrison and Sage Steele as hosts. CASTING “The Bachelor” host Chris Harrison will host “Volcano Live! with Nik Wallenda” alongside co-host Sage Steele of ESPN, ABC announced. […]

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Harvey Weinstein Jury Note Stirs Frenzied Speculation on Verdict

A note from the jury in the Harvey Weinstein trial on Friday afternoon set the media and legal worlds abuzz with speculation about the verdict. The note suggested that the jurors were deadlocked on the two most serious charges — predatory sexual assault — but had reached a unanimous consensus on three other counts, of […]

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Russell Brand Snags Hacienda-Style Hollywood Hills Hideaway

English performer Russell Brand has opted to ring in the new decade by springing for a celeb-style new house in the proverbial heart of Hollywood. The stand-up comic and occasional blockbuster actor (“Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” “Get Him to the Greek”) has paid just over $3 million for a very private property in Outpost Estates, a […]

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Naim McNair Named Def Jam Senior VP of A&R

In what may be the first signal of the next era of Def Jam Recordings, Naim McNair has been named senior VP of A&R at the company. The move comes just hours after it was confirmed that Paul Rosenberg, chairman and CEO of the label since January of 2018, is leaving his post at the […]

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Thursday, February 20, 2020

Polish Hits Boost Local B.O.

Though Jan Komasa’s “Corpus Christi” was a dark horse in the best international feature film category at this year’s Academy Awards, it should have come as no surprise to see a Polish director walking the red carpet outside the Dolby Theatre on Feb. 9. “Corpus Christi” was the country’s third Oscar nomination in the past six […]

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‘The Mandalorian’s’ Baby Yoda Is Ready For His Close-up At New York Toy Fair

Ready, they are. New Star Wars toys highlighted by the debut of items from the Disney+ hit The Mandalorian will hit the New York Toy Fair this week. But today on Good Morning America, there was a sneak peak at the offerings, including one that will undoubtedly be among the most coveted items. “The Child,” aka […]

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Grimes’ ‘Miss Anthropocene’: Album Review

In the nearly five years since Grimes last released an album, her news and social feeds have been so filled with drama, both artistic and real-life (feuding with her record label, her recent announcement that she’s pregnant, and that whole dating-Elon-Musk thing) that it’s threatened to overshadow her music. And although her recent videos and […]

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Endemol Shine Sets Up German Scripted Label Ahead of Banijay Acquisition (EXCLUSIVE)

“Black Mirror” and “Peaky Blinders” producer Endemol Shine Group has set up a new scripted label in Germany, Variety can reveal. Based in Berlin and led by joint CEOs Nanni Erben and Gunnar Juncken, MadeFor Film will focus on both high-end TV series and feature films for the domestic and international markets, as well as […]

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Michael Bloomberg To Appear In First Town Hall For CNN

Michael Bloomberg will participate in his first televised town hall since he entered the presidential race, as one of six candidates to take part in CNN events in South Carolina next week. Bloomberg will be the first candidate on the town hall schedule, at 8 p.m. ET on Monday. He’ll be followed by Bernie Sanders. […]

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Beatles Fan Wanted To Illuminate The Songwriting Homes Of Paul McCartney, John Lennon

The UK’s National Trust is looking for a passionate fan to guide tourists interested in the childhood home of Beatle Paul McCartney and the nearby abode of John Lennon. The BBC reports that the UK charity, which spotlights environmental and heritage conservation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, needs a new guide to replace a […]

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Pete Buttigieg, In ‘Ellen Show’ Appearance, Again Responds To Rush Limbaugh

Pete Buttigieg is in Los Angeles today for campaign events and an evening fundraiser at the home of Seth MacFarlane, but he also squeezed in time for a guest spot on The Ellen Show. Host Ellen DeGeneres asked him to respond to Rush Limbaugh’s questioning a gay man debating President Donald Trump. “How is this […]

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Ozzy Osbourne Says He’s In Constant Pain, But It’s Not Parkinson’s Disease That’s His Biggest Issue

Ozzy Osbourne recently postponed plans for a solo tour, saying he’s heading to Switzerland for treatments of Parkinson’s disease. But the former star of TV’s The Osbournes said in an interview today that the degenerative disease is the least of his health problems right now. Osbourne told Britain’s The Sun that he been in “unbelievable pain” […]

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Film News Roundup: Oona Chaplin Starring in Horror Movie ‘Lullaby’

In today’s film news roundup, Oona Chaplin is starring in a horror movie, the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation will honor Sharon Stone, FuseFX expands, and “Let’s Scare Julie” and “Stray” get distribution. CASTING Oona Chaplin will star in Alcon Entertainment’s horror feature “Lullaby,” based on the mythological figure Lilith. John R. Leonetti (“Annabelle”) is attached […]

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Donald Trump Attacks Oscars For Giving Best Picture To ‘Parasite’

President Donald Trump mocked the Academy Awards for giving its best picture Oscar to Parasite, expressing bewilderment to a rally crowd in Colorado that a foreign language movie could get the top award. “By the way, how bad were the Academy Awards this year, do you see? And the winner is, a movie from South […]

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‘West Side Story’: Theater Review

Whittled down to one hour and forty-five minutes, “West Side Story” – with book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and choreography by Jerome Robbins — has grown exceedingly dark and mislaid some of its moving parts in the new Broadway revival from edgy Belgian director Ivo Van Hove. (Can […]

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Trump Mocks ‘Parasite’ Best Picture Win: ‘What the Hell Was That All About?’

President Donald Trump took aim at “Parasite’s” historic Oscar wins at a Colorado rally on Thursday. “How bad were the Academy Awards this year?” he asked, prompting jeers from the crowd. “Did you see it?” “The winner is… a movie from South Korea! What the hell was that all about?” he went on. “We got […]

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‘West Side Story’ Rumbles Full-Force Into A New Century: Broadway Review

One of the breathtaking moments in director Ivo van Hove’s bold, gorgeous multi-media re-imagining of the great New York musical West Side Story comes when those famously brawling street gangs restrain the tale’s star-crossed lovers from kissing. Each side pulls its own, tug-of-war-style, one holding back Tony, the other Maria, and it takes every last […]

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Jack Cutmore-Scott To Star In CBS Comedy Pilot ‘Jury Duty’

EXCLUSIVE: Deception star Jack Cutmore-Scott will lead the ensemble cast of Jury Duty (fka We the Jury), CBS’ hybrid half-hour comedy pilot from 9JKL co-creator Dana Klein, writer Stephanie Darrow, UK producer Big Talk Productions and CBS Television Studios. Written by Klein and Darrow based on a British format, in Jury Duty, a group of jurors are sequestered together until they […]

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Bethenny Frankel on Her New Show ‘The Big Shot With Bethenny,’ Donald Trump and Why She Quit ‘Housewives’ (EXCLUSIVE)

On Wednesday, streaming service HBO Max announced its order for “The Big Shot With Bethenny,” an eight-episode unscripted series in which contestants will compete to work for Bethenny Frankel, the business mogul and former star of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of New York City.” Frankel, the founder and CEO of the lifestyle brand Skinnygirl, sold […]

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‘The Inheritance’ Closing in March After Box Office Struggles

“The Inheritance,” a sprawling and ambitious epic that grappled with the legacy of the AIDS epidemic, will close on March 15. The two-part play has struggled mightily at the box office despite receiving strong reviews. Last week, it grossed $345,984, or 52% of its capacity, a dispiriting number for a show that was reported to […]

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Jack Gordon, Former MGM International Distribution Head, Dies at 90

Jack Gordon, a former president of MGM International Distribution, died on Sunday at his home in Los Angeles surrounded by family. He was 90. Gordon was born in Brooklyn, New York on March 13, 1929. He was the son of the Oscar-winning composer-lyricist Mack Gordon. Following his service in the U.S. Army during the Korean […]

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‘Nine Days’ Star Winston Duke Weighs His ‘Social Responsibility’ to Black Men When Choosing Roles

Winston Duke, Benedict Wong, Zazie Beetz and Bill Skarsgård might be known for their roles in blockbuster franchises like “Black Panther,” “Avengers: Endgame,” “Deadpool” and “It,” but in their latest film “Nine Days,” the actors collaborated on something a little less flashy, but emotionally impactful. Assembling in Variety’s Sundance Studio, presented by AT&T, ahead of […]

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Broadway’s ‘The Inheritance’ Sets Closing Notice

The Inheritance, playwright Matthew Lopez’s two-part drama that re-imagines E.M. Forster’s Howards End as a 21st Century tale set among gay men in Manhattan, will close on Sunday, March 15, producers announced today. Directed by Stephen Daldry, The Inheritance began previews at the Ethel Barrymore Theater on Friday, September 27, with an opening night on […]

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‘Cupid’: Mythos Studios Expands Team With Michael Gracey and Mike Vukadinovich

Mythos Studios has expanded the team behind the animated feature film Cupid with Michael Gracey (the director of The Greatest Showman) joining as executive producer and Mike Vukadinovich (Hulu’s The Runaways) coming aboard to write the script for the Justin Bieber vehicle. Pic is built around the Hellenic tale of Cupid and Psyche with Bieber set to executive produce […]

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Power Trio Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, & Bette Midler Are Back for ‘Family Jewels’

When it comes to influential trios, you've got your classics. Your Nirvanas, your Green Days, your "burger, fries, and a soda" combos. But you simply must put some respect on the names of the power trio at the center of 1996's The First Wives Club. Those names? Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, and Bette Midler, of course. And per Variety, I am beyond pleased to report that they are reuniting for a Christmas comedy film called -- thank the Heavens -- Family Jewels. [caption id="attachment_876072" align="alignright" width="350"] Image via Paramount Pictures[/caption] Like The First Wives Club, this …

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‘Connected’ First Images Reveal a Family on a Road Trip During the Robot Apocalypse

Sony has released the first images from Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s upcoming animated film Connected, about a family on a road trip during a robot uprising. The images, revealed in an EW exclusive, introduce us to the Mitchells, the family at the center of all the action. Initially titled The Mitchells vs. the Machines, Connected follows Katie Mitchell (Abbi Jacobson), a teenage girl just accepted to the college of her dreams. Her dad Rick (Danny McBride) decides to take the whole family on one last road trip to try and get everyone to unplug for a while and …

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‘Friends’ Digital and Physical Sales Up in Midst of Netflix/HBO Max Shuffle

For many years of Netflix service, folks in need of television comfort food streamed, and re-streamed, and re-streamed some more a little '90s sitcom called Friends. Even as Netflix kept pumping out original content, folks kept returning to Friends, seeking solace in those six buds -- David Schwimmer, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, and Lisa Kudrow -- hanging out in those NYC apartments no one can afford. Until... poof. In the crossfire of every media company crafting their own separate streaming services, Friends left Netflix, on a road to the forthcoming HBO Max. Which means, right now, …

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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

‘Criminal Minds’ Series Finale: The BAU Gang Hunts Down Its Final Psychopath Before Giving A Tearful Goodbye

SPOILER ALERT: This article contains details from the series finale of Criminal Minds. After 15 seasons, CBS’s long-running procedural created by Jeff Davis is coming to an end. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the gang at the BAU said farewell tonight with back-to-back episodes. Like many series, it ended with a gathering of the cast, glasses […]

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‘Beasts Clawing at Straws’: Film Review

Cheap gangsters, duplicitous dragon ladies, a mute tattooed assassin, get-rich-quick schlubs looking to score and a comical detective: “Beasts Clawing at Straws” could just as well be called “Beasts Toying with Clichés” if it weren’t such an amusing, echt Korean romp. Debuting director Kim Yong-hoon acknowledges a certain “Fargo” influence, but there’s also a hint […]

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‘The Daily Show With Trevor Noah’ Gives Mike Bloomberg And His Pips A Few Hits During The Democratic Debate

One of these things is not like the other, as tonight’s Democratic presidential candidates debate featured the debut of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has been furiously spending his way into the scrum. Bloomberg’s stalking of the candidates field has thrown a chaotic fray into panic mode, as he’s been spending, spending, spending […]

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Rivals Quickly Attack Michael Bloomberg As He Makes His Debut On Debate Stage

Michael Bloomberg made his debut on a presidential debate stage on Wednesday and as predicted, he very quickly became the target of fierce attacks from his Democratic rivals. As NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt posed the first question — having to do with who is best prepared to beat Donald Trump — and Elizabeth […]

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Mike Bloomberg Immediately Ambushed in Free-for-All Democratic Debate

Mike Bloomberg took the stage in Las Vegas for his first debate on Wednesday night, and promptly walked into an ambush. The billionaire former New York mayor took repeated attacks from the five other candidates on stage in the opening minutes for the ninth Democratic debate. “Democrats take a huge risk if we just substitute […]

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Film News Roundup: Dev Patel to Star in ‘Flash Crash’ Financial Thriller

In today’s film news roundup, Dev Patel will portray a market whiz in a “Flash Crash” movie, the late Marty Sklar is honored at UCLA, “The Conversation” is getting a re-release and Ellen Page’s documentary gets a trailer. PROJECT LAUNCH Dev Patel will star in the adaptation of “Flash Crash: A Trading Savant, a Global […]

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‘The Masked Singer’ Reveals the Identity of Elephant: Here’s The Star Under the Mask

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read ahead if you have not watched Season 3, episode 4 of “The Masked Singer,” which aired Feb. 19 on Fox. That’s a wipe out for Tony Hawk. The skateboarding legend became the first celebrity in “Group B” to be unmasked on Season 3 of “The Masked Singer,” which aired on […]

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Diddy Sons Quincy Brown, Christian and Justin Combs Will Judge ‘Making The Band’

The panel of judges for the MTV reboot of “Making The Band” was revealed on Wednesday. Diddy’s sons Quincy Brown, Christian and Justin Combs along with creative director and celebrity choreographer LaurieAnn Gibson are all set to join the franchise. Diddy’s children all have careers spanning music, entertainment and fashion. “Making The Band” is based […]

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How To Watch Michael Bloomberg’s Democratic Debate Debut In Nevada

The ninth debate of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary cycle is tonight on NBC News and MSNBC, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT in Nevada ahead of the state’s February 22 caucuses. The political match-up marks former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s debate debut. He’ll face off against Sen. Bernie Sanders; former South […]

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Lesley Visser to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award at 41st Sports Emmys

Veteran sportscaster Lesley Visser will be honored with the lifetime achievement award at this year’s 41st annual Sports Emmys. It reps the first time a woman has received the accolade. “To be a pioneer at nearly every juncture of sports reporting isn’t easy despite how Lesley Visser makes it look, said Justine Gubar, executive director, […]

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A-ha’s ‘Take On Me’ Rotoscope Video Hits One Billion Views On YouTube

The song was recorded in two versions and went through three releases, and the video was done twice, but A-ha’s  classic 1985 music video for Take On Me has now passed the one billion views mark on YouTube. The Norwegian group’s biggest hit and one of the staples of early MTV took wings thanks to […]

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HBO’s ‘Beforeigners’ Trailer Drops Vikings into Modern-Day Oslo and We Are Here for It

HBO, the esteemed home of prestige television, released the trailer for their new series Beforeigners, about modern-day Oslo suddenly finding itself overpopulated with time-traveling visitors from the past. Specifically, vikings. You’d think after that truly slam-dunk portmanteau of a title I would’ve been prepared for this trailer, and let me assure you that I was ridiculous to believe that. Beforeigners follows in the time-honored tradition of shows like Lucifer by selling an aggressively batshit premise as a procedural cop show. That’s right - one of the time-traveling vikings joins the police force and …

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‘Jurassic World 3’: ‘Venom’ & ‘Antlers’ Actor Scott Haze Joins Colin Trevorrow Pic

EXCLUSIVE: More Jurassic World 3 casting as Venom and Midnight Special actor Scott Haze joins the cast of the Universal-Amblin feature alongside Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Mamoudou Athie, DeWanda Wise, Laura Dern, Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum and Dichen Lachman. Haze can next be seen starring alongside Keri Russell and Jesse Plemons in the Guillermo del Toro-produced film Antlers, directed by Scott […]

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Mass Shooting in Germany Raises Security Concerns for Berlin Film Festival

A mass shooting in the West German city of Hanau has raised security concerns for the Berlin Film Festival, which kicks off on Thursday. Local media reports late Wednesday indicate that several people are dead following a shooting. Eight people are believed to have been killed while five others are injured. An unknown assailant is […]

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‘Upload’: Kevin Bigley, Allegra Edwards & Zainab Johnson To Star In Amazon Series; Three More Cast

EXCLUSIVE: Kevin Bigley (Undone), Allegra Edwards (New Girl) and Zainab Johnson (American Koko) are set as series regulars opposite Robbie Ammell and Andy Allo in Amazon’s sci-fi comedy series Upload, from The Office creator Greg Daniels. Additionally, Elizabeth Bowen (Fargo), William B Davis (The X-Files) and Owen Daniels (Youth and Consequences) have been cast in […]

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Two-Time Super Bowl Champ Malcolm Jenkins & His Listen Up Media Sign With ICM

EXCLUSIVE: ICM has inked Malcolm Jenkins, a two-time Super Bowl champion, three-time Pro-Bowl Safety, producer and entrepreneur along with his production company Listen Up Media. ICM will rep Jenkins in all areas except his NFL player contract.  NFL agent Ben Dogra will continue to represent Jenkins in all football-related matters. Jenkins is a 2020 NFL […]

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James Wolk To Headline NBC’s ‘Ordinary Joe’ Drama Pilot From Russel Friend, Garrett Lerner & Matt Reeves

James Wolk (Watchmen) has been tapped as the lead in the NBC drama pilot Ordinary Joe, from House alums Russel Friend and Garrett Lerner, The Batman writer/director Matt Reeves, his 6th & Idaho banner and 20th Century Fox TV. Written by Friend and Lerner, Ordinary Joe explores the three parallel lives of the show’s main […]

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Mahershala Ali to Star in Genre-Bending Drama ‘Swan Song’ for Apple TV+

Two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali is set to produce and star in the genre-bend