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Another Princess Diana Documentary Sells Around the World

1 hour ago

Adding to the host of TV specials marking the 20th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana, “Diana: The Day the World Cried,” a documentary narrated by Oscar-winner Kate Winslet, has been sold by Cineflix Rights to multiple territories.

The one-hour program was commissioned by Britain’s ITV and the Smithsonian Channel in the U.S., and will air on those channels in their respective countries. It has also been bought by Nine Network for Australia; Sky in New Zealand; Svt in Sweden; Nrk in Norway; OnDIRECTV for Latin America; ITV for Asia, Middle East, and Africa; Manoto in Iran; and Channel 8 in Israel.

Produced by Finestripe Productions, “Diana: The Day the World Cried” looks at the day of Diana’s funeral on Sept. 6, 1997, when a million people lined the streets of London for the funeral procession and 2.5 billion watched on television around the world. Told in the words of people who were in attendance, it »


- Robert Mitchell

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As ABC News Covers An Eclipse, Mitsubishi Hopes to Sell One (or More)

1 hour ago

When ABC News on Monday covers the first total solar eclipse to be visible in America in 38 years, one supporter hopes viewers won’t avert their eyes.

Mitsubishi Motors North America, which has long manufactured a model of car called the Eclipse, will use a two-hour special report planned by ABC for next Monday as a platform to promote its all-new Eclipse Cross. In addition to putting the 2018 crossover vehicle on TV for the first time during ABC’s broadcast that day of “Good Morning America,” the automotive marketer will serve as the exclusive sponsor of “The Great American Eclipse,” a special that will play on ABC between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. instead of the network’s regular daytime programming.  During the event, viewers will get to see Mitsubishi photographers trying to get a shot of the Eclipse alongside the eclipse in Salem, Oregon – a task Nasa estimates they will have just one minute and 57 seconds »


- Brian Steinberg

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‘Bachelor in Paradise’ Recap: Scandal Finally Addressed With Sex Ed Lesson

12 hours ago

Well, it finally happened. At long last, the “Bachelor” franchise addressed the scandal that broke in early June involving DeMario Jackson and Corinne Olympios that shut down production and sparked wild speculation. Were there lawyers? There were lawyers. Were there reports claiming damning details that were never confirmed? Yes, there were unconfirmed reports. But now we have the official word.

But first, a forty-minute-long television wedding! (Do you like that “Bachelor”-esque teasing?)

After a two-hour episode on Monday that managed to divulge essentially nothing, almost the first hour of programming was spent with Carly and Evan — the unlikely (yet somehow entirely predictable?) couple who found each other on “Bachelor in Paradise” Season 3.

“Even though our production was … technically shut down, we didn’t want anyone to miss this joyous occasion,” Chris Harrison says, cuing an entirely-too-long montage of past “Bachelor” weddings. Side note: The footage from Trista and Ryan’s wedding looks absolutely ancient, were »


- Seth Kelley

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Donald Trump’s Rant Proves He Doesn’t Care About Most Americans (Column)

14 hours ago

Confusingly, President Donald Trump engaged with history from his bully pulpit during his press conference on Tuesday. Speaking from the gilded lobby of Trump Tower in New York City, Trump attempted to take questions about infrastructure, and instead was met with a chorus of questions about his response to the Aug. 12 fracas in Charlottesville, Va., in which self-proclaimed white supremacists and neo-Nazis violently descended on the college town for two days of fighting that ended with three dead. Trump pivoted, in just half an hour, from his strongest condemnation of the perpetrators yet to a defensive, scattershot breakdown that blamed “both sides” for the violence. During that denouement, he tried to complicate the issue of Confederate monuments in America by throwing out that both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were slaveowners.

It was so unlike Trump to call to historical fact that it was a little destabilizing — an almost nuanced argument about how to reclaim history, albeit »


- Sonia Saraiya

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TV News Roundup: Liz Garbus Shooting New York Times-Donald Trump Documentary for Showtime

15 hours ago

In today’s roundup, Liz Garbus is developing a New York Times documentary for Showtime, while Kirk Acevedo has been cast in the upcoming season of “Arrow.”

Development

Liz Garbus is shooting a documentary series about the New York Times’ aggressive coverage of the Trump administration for the Showtime premium cable network. The Oscar-nominated filmmaker has been filming inside the newspaper’s newsroom for the past six months to gather footage for the series. Showtime declined to comment, but the show is intended to look at both how the newspaper is covering Trump and the larger role of the fourth estate. The film marks Garbus’s first collaboration with Showtime; she’s utilized several other distribution partners in the past. “What Happened, Miss Simone?,” which earned Garbus an Academy Award nomination in 2016, was Netflix’s first prestige documentary, and Garbus followed it with the doc “Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt & Anderson Cooper” for HBO. The »


- Erin Nyren

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Former Wgn America Head Matt Cherniss Joins Apple

16 hours ago

Matt Cherniss, the former president and general manager of Wgn America and Tribune Studios, has joined Apple to oversee development at their new worldwide video unit, Variety has confirmed.

He will serve under Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, the former presidents of Sony Pictures Television who joined the tech giant back in June to oversee the company’s growing push into original content.

Cherniss left Wgn America and Tribune after they were acquired by Sinclair Broadcasting, as Sinclair planned to shift focus away from producing original series. Peter Kern took over Tribune Media following the exit of CEO Peter Liguori, who announced his resignation in January. Cherniss had been with the network since March 2013. As Variety previously reported, Cherniss was a contender for vacant posts at both AMC and Sony Pictures Television. Sources say he was offered the chance to replace AMC’s president of original programming and development Joel Stillerman, who »


- Joe Otterson

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‘This Is Us’ Cast Members Earn $250K Bonuses From NBC, 20th Century Fox TV (Exclusive)

16 hours ago

Money can cause family problems — but not for the cast of “This Is Us.”

Variety has learned exclusively that the core cast members — including Sterling K. Brown, Justin Hartley, Chrissy Metz, Mandy Moore, and Milo Ventimiglia, among others  — were recently rewarded with $250,000 cash bonuses from NBC and 20th Century Fox TV, the network and studio behind the hit family drama, in recognition of the show’s first season performance.

A ratings hit and a critical favorite, “This Is Us” has also emerged as the rare broadcast drama to have traction on the awards circuit, earning 10 Emmy nominations, three Golden Globe nods,  and a Writers Guild Award win for episodic drama for an episode penned by Vera Herbert.

Studios often reward the casts of successful shows with cars or expensive gifts. The cash forked over by NBC and 20th TV is a significant goodwill gesture. If the show keeps up its impressive ratings, the »


- Debra Birnbaum

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TV Review: ‘Marvel’s The Defenders’ on Netflix

16 hours ago

“Marvel’s The Defenders” is significantly better than the last offering from the comic-book factory’s ongoing collaboration with Netflix, “Iron Fist.” That was one of the most notable misfires ever in the realm of superhero TV, but “The Defenders” is a workmanlike series that gets the job done with a reasonable amount of energy and a few bursts of flair.

It may not offer the highest highs of “Jessica Jones,” which proved itself the star performer of the Marvel-Netflix universe during its debut season. And while “The Defenders” is occasionally a bit blander than an endeavor featuring deadly ninjas and elaborate costumes should be, the eight-part drama has notable selling points, chief among them an elegant and fierce performance from Sigourney Weaver.

Weaver plays a criminal mastermind, and she sinks her teeth into the role with glee, but throughout the first four installments of “The Defenders,” her work remains measured and her wily charm carefully deployed »


- Maureen Ryan

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‘Who Do You Think You Are’ Offers My Own History Lesson (Column)

16 hours ago

Julie Bowen found out her ancestors were abolitionists. John Stamos learned his grandfather had been murdered. Jessica Biel found out she has Jewish roots. That’s the irresistible hook of TLC’s “Who Do You Think You Are,” which just earned an Emmy nomination for structured reality program. The producers work with Ancestry.com to research celebrities’ roots, often finding surprises in even the most famous of family trees.

The research experts who coach the stars through their journey offered to do the same for me — albeit on a cursory level, since their research usually takes them a year. They just had about two weeks to do the digging for me.

First, a personal note: My father died suddenly about four years ago. He was, simply put, my rock, and I miss him desperately every day. So given the opportunity, I asked the team to explore his side of the family as a way of honoring his »


- Debra Birnbaum

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‘Game of Thrones’ Star on Last Two Episodes of Season 7: ‘We’re Past the Point of Singing’

17 hours ago

Spoiler Alert: Do not keep reading if you have not seen Season 7 Episode 5 of “Game of Thrones,” titled “Eastwatch”

Any “Game of Thrones” fans hoping to hear Bronn do some singing this season like he has in the past are probably out of luck.

According to Jerome Flynn, who has played the top-notch cutthroat since Season 1, Bronn probably will not have much to sing about with the remaining two episodes of this season. “I think the brevity of where we’ve got to in the storyline, perhaps the singing–we’re past the singing point,” Flynn told Variety with a laugh. “So I doubt it, but you never know.”

In this week’s episode, we see the aftermath of Bronn knocking Jaime off his horse as Jaime was charging Daenerys and her dragon at the loot train battle. According to Flynn, Bronn’s motivations are mostly financial but occasionally some genuine concern slips through.

“I »


- Joe Otterson

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Marvel-Hulu Series ‘Runaways’ Casts Julian McMahon (Exclusive)

19 hours ago

The upcoming Hulu series “Marvel’s Runaways” has added Julian McMahon to its cast, Variety has learned exclusively.

The series follows the story of six diverse teenagers who can barely stand each other but who must unite against their parents when the kids discover they are part of an evil underground organization. McMahon will play Jonah. While his origins and ultimate intentions are unknown, he is a pivotal player in the main characters’ rebellion against their parents.

“We’re incredibly excited to add Julian to our exceptional cast and we can’t wait to see what he brings to the world of Marvel’s ‘Runaways,'” said executive producers and showrunners Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage.

This is not McMahon’s first foray into the Marvel world. He previously starred as Dr. Doom in the 2005 version of “Fantastic Four” and its sequel “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.” He is also well known for his starring »


- Joe Otterson

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Billy Eichner and Metallica Play ‘Metal Have I Ever,’ John Legend and Alicia Keys Freestyle Jingles on ‘Carpool Karaoke’

19 hours ago

Carpool Karaoke” seems to be holding up, even without James Corden in the front seat.

Apple Music released new clips teasing the second and third episodes of the “Late Late Show” spinoff-turned-standalone series, featuring Billy Eichner with Metallica, and Alicia Keys with John Legend.

In the first bit, Eichner gets to know Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, and Robert Trujillo of Metallica through a game reminiscent of one that could be on Eichner’s “Billy on the Street.” Eichner spearheaded “Metal Have I Ever,” a fresh take on the classic “Never Have I Ever.” In this adaptation, instead of holding up five fingers, they just had to hold up metal fingers.

Eichner’s first question, asking if the guys had “listened to Paula Cole to unwind,” was followed by some perplexed silence before the pop culture expert had to sing a few bars of the “Dawson’s Creek” theme song. While »


- Rebecca Rubin

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Poll: Who Will Win Best Comedy Actress at the Emmys?

19 hours ago

Emmy night is just weeks away — there are only two more weeks before final ballots are due — and as such, we’ll be asking Variety readers who they think will win the big prizes. This week, we’re surveying the comedy actress category.

The reigning queen is currently Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who set a record last year with her fifth consecutive Emmy win for HBO’s “Veep.” As her performance remains strong, and the show continually hits close to home with the Trump administration, she’s a clear front-runner.

It would be unwise, though, to count out her competitors. In particular, Tracee Ellis Ross, who took home the Golden Globe earlier this year for ABC’s “Black-ish,” seems like she could swoop in to interrupt Louis-Dreyfus’ streak. Other pundits think Allison Janney, who won the supporting actress in a comedy prize two years in a row for “Mom” and now moves into the lead category, could »


- Variety Staff

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Elisabeth Moss Teases ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 2: ‘Give Up Trying to Guess What Happens’

20 hours ago

As Emmy night quickly approaches, “The Handmaid’s Tale” crew consisting of creator Bruce Miller, executive producer Warren Littlefield, director Reed Morano, and cast members Elisabeth Moss, Samira Wiley, Ann Dowd, and Alexis Bledel gathered at the DGA Theatre to remind Emmy voters about Season 1 highlights and drop a few hints about Season 2.

The riveting drama’s portrayal of a dystopian future where women are valued only for their reproductive ability reverberated with viewers, especially as the current administration considers defunding Planned Parenthood. Miller commented, “It’s horrifying when it gets to be that close [to reality]. Did we think we’d be talking so much about women’s sovereignty over their own bodies now, in 2017?”

In Season 2, the tension increases. Moss said, “I read the outline and got full body chills. Give up trying to guess what happens.” Miller mentioned he talks to author Margaret Atwood frequently and “she’s more excited than any of you. She »


- Diane Gordon

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Fox News Host Slams Trump’s Response to Charlottesville (Watch)

20 hours ago

Fox News host Eboni K. Williams denounced President Trump’s failure to explicitly condemn neo-Nazis and the Kkk in his initial statements after last weekend’s events in Charlottesville, Va.

Williams called out the president in her segment “Eboni’s Docket” on “The Fox News Specialists.”

Calling his initial statement regarding the incidents “ambiguous” and “irresponsible,” Williams explained that she had initially withheld judgment from Trump, but the events in Charlottesville forced her hand. She called him out for deciding that “[his] portion of the base that is absolutely racist is so significant, so valuable that [he] hesitates even in the face of blatant, flagrant hatred to risk turning them off and thereby crippling [his] political stronghold.”

Williams then categorized his actions as an attempt to calm voters upset over the “perceived depreciation of the intrinsic value of whiteness in this country,” and offered an example of what a forceful condemnation would have sounded like.

She »


- Erin Nyren

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‘Taken’ Season 2 Casts Adam Goldberg as Series Regular (Exclusive)

20 hours ago

Taken” Season 2 is adding Adam Goldberg in a series regular role, Variety has learned exclusively.

Goldberg will play Kilroy, a gray hat hacker described as a tech elitist who is eccentric and intelligent with a droll sense of humor.

Goldberg is a film and television veteran with almost 100 credits to his name, according to his IMDb page. He has appeared on shows like “Fargo” for its first season, “The Jim Gaffigan Show,” and multiple episodes of “Entourage,” “Joey,” and “Friends.” He will also appear in the upcoming season of the Epix series “Graves.” On the film side, he wrote, directed, and starred in the 2015 comedy “No Way Jose,” and played roles in films like “Saving Private Ryan,” “A Beautiful Mind,” “The Hebrew Hammer,” and “Dazed and Confused.” »


- Joe Otterson

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Scooter Braun in the Running to Join Fox’s ‘The Four’ as Judge (Exclusive)

21 hours ago

Manager Scooter Braun, whose roster includes Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Kanye West, and David Guetta, among others, is weighing an opportunity to join the judges’ table for the new Fox singing competition “The Four”, Variety has learned.

Based on Israeli program “The Final Four,” the series pick-up was announced by Fox Television Group CEO Dana Walden at the network’s Television Critics Association press tour executive session Aug. 8. As Variety reported exclusively last month, development on “The Four” was accelerated in May, after Fox was outbid by ABC for the reboot of “American Idol.”

Talks between Braun and Fox are preliminary, and no deal has been set. A source close to Braun tells Variety that he is also being courted by another network for a show format he is interested in. »


- Shirley Halperin and Daniel Holloway

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‘Fargo,’ ‘Big Little Lies,’ ‘Black Mirror’ and ‘Sherlock’ Rely on Rich Ensemble Storytelling

21 hours ago

Limited series and television movies have significantly fewer hours to tell their stories than traditional drama or comedy series. But this doesn’t stop their creators from exploring rich worlds or crafting complex characters and sprawling ensemble casts.

“I’m always attracted to an ensemble. I just find that the story itself is best served with multiple points of views, with creating empathy — especially on ‘Fargo’ where we have characters on a collision course and we know violence is imminent,” says creator Noah Hawley. “I think it’s more interesting and more compelling for you to go into those moments of conflict a little bit torn about who you’re rooting for.”

The writing process for FX’ limited series is also complicated but enriched by its high-profile cast — Ewan McGregor, Carrie Coon and David Thewlis — and day players that Hawley says are just as important in servicing the story. “There really are no minor characters,” he »


- Danielle Turchiano

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Epix Orders Murder Thriller ‘Harry Quebert Affair’ Starring Patrick Dempsey, Damon Wayans Jr.

21 hours ago

Epix has given a series order to a murder thriller based on the 2012 novel “The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair.” The drama from MGM Television is set to star Patrick Dempsey, Damon Wayans Jr. and Virginia Madsen.

Lyn Greene and Richard Levine penned the pilot and several episodes. Jean-Jacques Annaud (“Seven Years in Tibet”) did an adaptation of Joel Dicker’s novel and will direct all 10 episodes of the limited series. Production is underway in Montreal. Eagle Pictures and Barbary Films are producing with MGM.

Dempsey will star as the title character, a literary icon who is indicted for murder after a teenage girl’s body is found buried on his property in Maine. Wayans plays the detective investigating the case. Madsen plays the owner of a local diner who discovers a secret about Quebert.

Annaud, Greene, Levine, Eagle PicturesTarak Ben Ammar, and Barbary Films’ Fabio Conversi are exec producers.

Joel Dicker »


- Cynthia Littleton

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From ‘Feud’ to ‘The Wizard of Lies,’ Emmy is Having a Love Affair with True Stories

21 hours ago

Hollywood’s interest in adapting true stories to the big and small screen is a tale as old as the industry. But in recent years the trend of gravitating toward stories more deeply rooted in reality has grown, especially when it comes to award recognition. In 2016, three out of the 10 Emmy nominees in the categories of limited series and TV movies were projects based on real people, but this year the number almost doubled.

“These stories of real people are even more poignant right now in a literal and figurative challenging time,” says Jennifer Nettles, who inhabited Avie Lee Parton for “Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love.” “I think these true people and what they are going through that seems challenging or so far out of reach, maybe they’re more accessible than we think. They give us an opportunity to hope.”

Typically when actors begin character work for new projects, they »


- Danielle Turchiano

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