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Jimmy Fallon Tops Stephen Colbert in Total Viewers Thanks to ‘Late Show’ Russia Hiatus

29 minutes ago

For the first time since Donald Trump’s inauguration, “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” edged out “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” in total viewership ratings.

For the week of June 19-23, Fallon averaged 2.66 million viewers to Colbert’s 2.62 million, according to Nielsen data. It should be noted, however, that Colbert’s number does not include Thursday and Friday, as Colbert aired repeats in order to travel to Russia.

In addition, Fallon posted a 0.68 rating in adults 18-49, beating Colbert’s 0.42 by 0.26 of a rating point, or 62%. That represents the biggest margin of victory for Fallon in the measure since the week of Jan. 9-13. The rating is also Fallon’s highest since the week of April 3-7, when a week of episodes from Orlando averaged a 0.69.

Colbert’s viewership numbers have surged ever since the Trump’s election, with Colbert’s pointedly political comedy resonating strongly with viewers in Trump’s America. Colbert »

- Joe Otterson

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‘Pretty Little Liars’ Q&A: Cast and Producers Look Back on Seven Seasons

1 hour ago

After seven seasons, nearly 160 episodes, endless cliffhangers and many non-spoilers, “Pretty Little Liars” is coming to an end. The Freeform mega-hit is closing its final chapter for good on Tuesday night with the two-hour series finale — which means that “A” will finally be revealed. Yes, really. This time, for good.

In anticipation of the big “Uber A” reveal, Variety spoke with the cast and producers of “Pretty Little Liars” one last time.

Read ahead to find out the “Pll” stars’ all-time favorite couples, favorite death scenes, favorite “A” pranks, what they’ll miss most about the show, plus, what’s next…

If You Could Have Played Another Character, Who Would It Be?

Lucy Hale (Aria): Probably Mona. There were so many different sides to her, but Janel played her so beautifully.

Troian Bellisario (Spencer): Aria. The more that I think about it, the relationship between Aria and Ezra got to explore some really fun things »

- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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TV Ratings: ‘American Ninja Warrior’ Grows in Total Viewers for Second Week

1 hour ago

American Ninja Warrior” saw an uptick in total viewers for the second straight week on NBC, according to Nielsen overnight data.

Airing from 8 p.m.-10 p.m., the competition series averaged a 1.5 rating and 6 million viewers. It was even in the demo, but rose from 5.8 million viewers last week, which was itself up from 5.4 million the week before.

At 10, NBC aired “Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge” (1.1, 3.9 million), which ticked down in total viewers from last week.

On ABC, “The Bachelorette” (1.4, 5.4 million) was down in the demo from last week. The network aired a repeat of “Celebrity Family Feud” at 10 (1.0, 4.3 million), which more than tripled the rating and nearly tripled the total viewership of the new episode of “Still Star-Crossed” that aired in the time period last week (0.3, 1.6 million). The freshman Shondaland drama has since been moved to Saturday nights.

On Fox, “So You Think You Can Dance” (0.8, 3.1 million) ticked down in the demo, while »

- Joe Otterson

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Ed Sheeran Helps Drive Record Glastonbury Viewing Figures

2 hours ago

Over 150,000 people were at this year’s Glastonbury while the number of stay-at-home festival fans watching on TV and online hit record numbers, reaching almost 21 million.

U.K. public broadcaster the BBC has exclusive rights to the event and covered the event in depth, following the action across all fields and stages, including film star Johnny Depp’s comments about Donald Trump, and, controversially, U.K. opposition party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s Saturday afternoon speech.

The BBC said that 20.9 million watched Glastonbury for three minutes or more, a 12% increase on the 2016 figure. Ed Sheeran’s Sunday night closing set garnered a peak audience of 4.1 million and average 2.9 million, beating previous ratings record holder Elo from last year’s festival.

Radiohead’s Friday headline set had a peak of 1.3 million, and coverage of the Foo Fighters the following day, won 2.5 million at its peak. Former Bee Gee Barry Gibb’s Sunday “legends” slot had peak of 3.7 million. Online »

- Stewart Clarke

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President Trump Bashes CNN as Video Surfaces of Producer Criticizing Russia Coverage

3 hours ago

President Trump renewed his attack on CNN as “fake news” on Tuesday morning after conservative provocateur James O’Keefe released a video of a man believed to be CNN producer John Bonifield criticizing the cabler’s coverage of Trump’s ties to Russia.

Early Tuesday, Trump suggested in a tweet that “Fake News CNN” was in for a management shakeup. The video released by O’Keefe’s Project Veritas features a nine-minute discussion with a man identified as Bonifield, supervising producer of the CNN Health unit, in which Bonifield criticizes CNN’s heavy focus on the probe into the Trump administration’s connection to Russian officials.

Bonifield describes the Trump-Russia story as “mostly bulls—” and said the coverage was driven by the desire for ratings. He also says that Trump is “probably right” to describe the media’s focus on Russia’s ties to his administration as a “witch hunt.” Bonifield »

- Cynthia Littleton

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James Corden’s Production Company Preps ‘Bros’ Feature Documentary

4 hours ago

Fulwell 73, the U.K. producer that makes the “Late Late Show” and now counts James Corden as one of its partners, is making “Bros,” a feature doc about the British  boyband, which shot to fame in the 1980s and is reforming this year.

The documentary film will be financed by Lorton Entertainment and directed by by Fulwell 73’s David Soutar (“Harry Styles Behind The Music”). It will track the highs and lows of the band, from their breakout success, to family tragedy, and internal bust-ups.

Bros were hugely popular in the in the 1980s and the band became the youngest to have its own Wembley show. A reunion concert will take place at the London O2 later this year, the first gig since 1989, and which sold out in seven seconds when tickets went on sale late last year.

Band members Matt and Luke Goss will appear in the film, alongside »

- Stewart Clarke

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Fox’s $14.9 billion Sky Deal Cleared in Ireland, U.K. Announcement Imminent

5 hours ago

With a decision from U.K. authorities on 21st Century Fox’s proposed £11.7 billion ($14.9 billion) takeover of Sky imminent, Ireland has given the deal a green light.

Fox wants to fully acquire Sky, buying the shares in the European pay TV operator that it does not already own. It needed approval for the deal in all of the territories in which it operates, and has now had that in Austria, Germany, Italy, and the Republic of Ireland. Only the U.K., Sky’s largest market, is still to make a decision. The European Union has also given the deal its blessing.

The U.K. government received a report from media regulator Ofcom last week and a full decision is expected this week. Culture Minister Karen Bradley can either say she is minded to approve the deal in its current form, attach conditions, or refer it to U.K. competition authorities. The »

- Stewart Clarke

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‘Slaughterhouse Rulez’ Producer Launches Vr and Interactive Unit (Exclusive)

7 hours ago

U.K.-based film and TV producer Catalyst Global Media is moving into interactive storytelling and working on a virtual reality project about an historical Antarctic expedition gone wrong.

Catalyst, which is producing upcoming Simon Pegg comedy horror movie “Slaughterhouse Rulez for Sony, in association with Pegg and Nick Frost’s Stolen Picture banner,” and made “Peter & Wendy” for ITV, has hired Jaspal Sohal as a creative within Catalyst Interactive. He joins from Creative England where he was head of games.

The Vr expedition project will be created by Catalyst and Twenty 46 Studios. It will be based upon an ill-fated 1897 Belgian expedition in which a multinational crew became trapped in the northernmost part of the Antarctic for 13 months.

The Interactive division will be headed by Catalyst co-founder Al Hardiman. “Catalyst Interactive is strategically aligned to incorporate our storytelling skills with cutting-edge technology to create a truly immersive gaming experience while Catalyst will ultimately own the IP for »

- Stewart Clarke

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‘The Bachelorette’ Recap: Rachel Takes a Leap of Love in Norway

15 hours ago

It’s episode five of “The Bachelorette” Season 13 and Rachel Lindsay finally gets rid of the professional “tickle monster.” He asks for one last tickle before he leaves! Oh, Rachel. Poor, poor Rachel. The pickings are truly slim!

This sentiment of — what do you call it? Ah, yes, pity — persists throughout the first of a two-night “Bachelorette” event, which kicks off with a tale of two one-on-one dates. First up is Jack Stone.

One thing to know about “The Bachelorette” is that it is a show that requires only one name for contestants. And yet, Jack Stone remains Jack Stone. Together, he and Rachel shuck and shag … shuck oysters and do the “Carolina shag” dance, that is. (Get it??)

“I feel like there’s something missing with Jack,” Rachel says a few minutes into their date. Her comment is followed by a horrifying edit that may as well have cut to the producers foaming at the mouth »

- Seth Kelley

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‘Tremors’ TV Reboot Starring Kevin Bacon Moving Forward at Syfy

17 hours ago

Syfy is eyeing a television reboot of the movie “Tremors” with Kevin Bacon set to reprise his original role, Variety has learned.

The cable network has picked up a pilot for the potential series, based on the 1990 film. In addition to starring, Bacon will also serve as an executive producer.

The TV series would pick up 25 years after the original film left off. The killer Graboid worms that nearly destroyed the small town of Perfection, Nevada 25 years ago are back and the town’s only hope for survival is Valentine McKee (Bacon) who beat them once, but to do it again, he’ll have to overcome age, alcohol and a delusional hero complex. The movie revolved around natives of a the town who have to defend themselves against strange underground creatures that are killing them one by one.

“This is the only character I’ve played that I’ve ever thought about revisiting,” Bacon »

- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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Alec Baldwin Confirms He Will Return to ‘SNL’ as Donald Trump

17 hours ago

Alec Baldwin isn’t putting away the blonde wig and orange bronzer just yet.

The actor confirmed he will return to “Saturday Night Live” with his revered Donald Trump impression in the fall.

“Yeah, we’re going to fit that in. I think people have enjoyed it,” he told CNN. His busy schedule will keep his parody impersonations to a minimum though, with fans getting “a couple celery sticks” rather than a “whole meal.” In March, Baldwin mentioned he might not be back to Studio 8H for “SNL” at all because he didn’t know how much more the audience could take of it.

Trump himself isn’t necessarily a fan of Baldwin’s work, taking to Twitter to call his impersonation “unwatchable.”

Still, “SNL” can likely give a nod to Baldwin’s Trump along with Melissa McCarthy’s press secretary Sean Spicer for its most watched season in 23 years. In »

- Rebecca Rubin

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TV News Roundup: Josh Charles Joins ‘Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders’

18 hours ago

In today’s roundup, Josh Charles has been cast in “Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders,” while Sissy Spacek will star in a new Hulu drama set in the Stephen King multiverse.


Josh Charles has been added to the cast of “Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders” as Dr. Jerome Oziel, the Menendez brothers’s controversial psychiatrist. Charles joins previously announced cast Edie Falco as defense attorney Leslie Abramson, Heather Graham as Judalon Smyth, Gus Halper as Erik Menendez, Miles Gaston Villanueva as Lyle Menendez, and Cliff Chamberlain as Detective Tom Linehan, among others. The series is a Wolf Entertainment production in association with Universal Television, and is executive produced by Dick Wolf, Rene Balcer, Leslie Linka Glatter, Arthur Forney and Peter Jankowski.

Hulu announced that Sissy Spacek and Jane Levy have joined the cast of upcoming original drama series “Castle Rock.” Spacek plays Ruth Deaver, the estranged adoptive mother of Henry (Andre Holland) and »

- Erin Nyren

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CNN Journalists Resign Over Retracted Story About Trump-Russia Ties

18 hours ago

Three CNN editorial staffers have resigned in the wake of last week’s retracted story that suggested a questionable link between an ally of President Trump and a Russian investment fund.

Thomas Frank, Eric Lichtblau and Lex Haris resigned in the wake of the story posted on CNN’s website that had to be retracted on Friday. CNN also issued an apology to the subject of the story, Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci.

Frank, an on-air reporter for “CNN Investigates” who wrote the story, and Lichtblau are veteran print reporters who joined CNN amid the expansion of the cable news powerhouse’s digital news operations. Haris had been with CNN since 2001, and was recently tapped to lead its newly formed investigative unit. Lichtblau, who earned a Pulitzer Prize for his work at the New York Times in 2006, came to CNN as an editor just a few months ago.

“On Friday, CNN »

- Variety Staff

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Discovery Wins Ruling in Soccer Battle With Sky Deutschland

21 hours ago

Updated With Sky Deutschland Response Sky Deutschland has confirmed it is subject to an injunction from Discovery over the marketing of its soccer games but still claimed to be the ‘home’ of soccer in Germany.

“We have received an injunction from Discovery Communications Deutschland GmbH today,” the pay TV platform said in a statement. “We have been adjusting our communication in accordance with the new rights situation for some time now.”

Discovery took action after it won a package of Bundesliga matches. After that, Sky, which previously held all of the rights, continued, Discovery said, to tell consumers that it was showing all games and goals. The Sky statement added: “Sky will be showing 572 matches of the Bundesliga and 2nd Bundesliga from August, via all distribution channels, live and exclusively. Sky remains the home of the Bundesliga for the next four years.”

Sky and Discovery locked horns again, this time over soccer rights, with »

- Stewart Clarke

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Jason Richman Inks New Two-Year Overall Deal with ABC Studios

21 hours ago

Jason Richman has signed a new two-year overall deal with ABC Studios, Variety has learned.

Under the terms of the agreement, Richman will develop new television projects for broadcast, cable, and streaming services. Most recently, Richman wrote for the Civil War drama “Mercy Street” on PBS. He also created the series “Detroit 187” for ABC, and executive produced the ABC drama “Lucky 7” for the network as well. On the feature film side, he has written the screenplays for Kevin Costner’s “Swing Vote,” Nicolas Cage’s “Bangkok Dangerous,” and the Chris Rock-Anthony Hopkins thriller “Bad Company.”

He is repped by CAA, Concoff Entertainment, Chris Bucci and Steve Savisky at Savisky, Satin & Bacon and attorneys Warren Dern and Jim Gilio.

This is the latest deal for ABC Studios in the past few weeks. “Wonder Woman” screenwriter Allan Heinberg recently signed an overall development deal with ABC Studios and ABC Signature Studios. The »

- Joe Otterson

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‘Veep’ Boss David Mandel on Season 6 Finale, Selina’s ‘Addiction,’ and What’s in Store for Season 7

22 hours ago

Spoiler Alert: Do not read if you have not watched the season six finale of “Veep.”

Veep” aired its sixth season finale in a political climate very different from when the Julia Louis-Dreyfus comedy premiered back in 2012, when David Mandel took over showrunner duties in season five, or even when the writers began working on this season’s batch of stories.

Mandel and his “Veep” cast were almost finished shooting the sixth season when Election Night ushered in a new regime to the White House. It was too late to try to alter any stories that might seem too ripped from the headlines by the time they aired, but Mandel was not interested in changing his art for the sake of politics anyway.

The idea for this post-presidential loss sixth season came to Mandel two years prior, when he first sat down with Louis-Dreyfus to discuss him joining “Veep.” Series creator and former showrunner Armando Iannucci had »

- Danielle Turchiano

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DeMario Jackson Chokes Up in First Interview Since ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ Scandal

23 hours ago

DeMario Jackson — a contestant on “Bachelor in Paradise” who became involved in a recent  scandal that halted production — gets emotional in a clip teasing an upcoming interview with E! News.

In the video, Jackson states that the hardest part of deal with the allegations leveled against him, was seeing his mother cry “every day.”

“My dad, he kept me extremely strong, and kept me grounded and humble, but having your mom cry every day for something that you know you didn’t do,” Jackson said, shaking his head.

The scandal erupted after reports that cast member Corinne Olympios and Jackson had a sexual encounter that involved heavy drinking while cameras were still rolling. Warner Bros. suspended production pending an investigation into the matter and released a statement saying that it was aware of the allegations of misconduct. Recently, Warner Bros. announced “Bachelor in Paradise” would resume production following an internal investigation that found no “misconduct by a »

- Erin Nyren

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MTV to Debut Comedy Game Show ‘SafeWord’ From ‘Lip Sync Battle’ Producers

23 hours ago

MTV is set to launch a new comedy game show called “SafeWord,” the network announced Monday.

From the producers of “Lip Sync Battle” and hosted by Terrence J, the series will feature celebrity guests such as Kevin Hart, Damien Dante Wayans, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Marlon Wayans, Kelly Rowland, Nelly, Lala Anthony, Amber Rose, “13 Reasons Why” cast mates Ross Butler and Justin Prentice, Charlamagne Tha God, Drake Bell, Lil Rel Howery, Jermaine Fowler and more.

The series is based off the U.K. format that aired on itv2 and was originally developed and produced by Stv Productions and Motion Content Group. In each episode, the celebrity guests will partner with superstar comedians, including Carly Aquilino, Sam Jay, Ricky Velez, Leonard Ouzts, Taylor Tomlinson, Akaash Singh, Matt Pavich, Sherry Cola to help them play a series of games in front a live audience. Throughout multiple rounds, the teams go head-to-head daring each other in a variety of challenges including »

- Joe Otterson

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Our Staff Picks: TV Shows to Watch the Week of June 26, 2017

26 June 2017 10:00 AM, PDT

Welcome back to Tune In: our weekly newsletter offering a guide to the best of the week’s TV.

Each week, Variety’s TV team combs through the week’s schedule, selecting our picks of what to watch and when/how to watch them. This week, “Pretty Little Liars” wraps up after seven seasons and “Younger” returns for Season 4.

Pretty Little Liars, Freeform, Tuesday, 8 p.m.

The Liars will sign off the air for good this week with a two-hour series finale, bringing the popular series to a close after seven seasons. Immediately following the finale, stars Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson, Lucy Hale, Shay Mitchell and Sasha Pieterse, as well as executive producer I. Marlene King, will sit down for an hour-long after-show to discuss all of the series’ secrets, behind-the-scenes insights, and top moments.

Younger, TV Land, Wednesday, 10 p.m.

Season 4 of the Darren Star-created series returns this week. At »

- Joe Otterson

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ABC Seeks Breakout U.K. Acting Talent

26 June 2017 8:56 AM, PDT

ABC is seeking out U.K. actors it can take to the U.S. with a new trans-Atlantic talent search.

ABC Discovers: Digital Talent Competition is already up and running in the U.S. and the broadcaster has now extended it to the U.K. for the first time. The networks head of casting, Ayo Davis, and “Grey’s Anatomy” casting director, Linda Lowy, are involved, and will offer the breakthrough talent advice on getting into TV.

British actors in recent ABC shows include Hayley Atwell in “Agent Carter” and “Conviction” and Minnie Driver in “Speechless,” and, further back, Nicollette Sheridan in “Desperate Housewives,” but the new initiative is about finding a new generation of stars.

“This competition is about access and opportunity for up and coming actors,” Davis said. “We are incredibly proud of the U.S. talent that has surfaced in the first few years of the competition and by expanding to the U.K »

- Stewart Clarke

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