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Stephen Colbert’s ‘Late Show’ to Test Summer Friday Format

27 minutes ago

Stephen Colbert could join the rest of the working world by getting a break on Fridays during the summer.

Producers at CBS’ “Late Show” will this week experiment with the program’s Friday broadcast by running a new opening and monologue,  then using the rest of the hour to call attention to highlights and segments from earlier in the week. A spokeswoman for the program called the maneuver an “experiment” and suggested the show could well go back to running an entirely new broadcast on Friday if circumstances warranted, or if the news of the day was compelling enough to require additional material.

“Late Show” typically tapes two episodes on Thursday afternoons, giving Colbert and his staff a little breathing room on Fridays. The spokeswoman, Lauren Kamm, said the same audience was likely to watch both tapings.

The effort should not come as a surprise to veteran “Late Show” observers. In »


- Brian Steinberg

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‘Pretty Little Liars’ Creator Breaks Down Major ‘A’ Reveal in Series Finale (Spoilers)

34 minutes ago

Spoiler Alert: Do not read ahead if you have not watched the “Pretty Little Liars” series finale, which aired June 27 on Freeform.

After seven seasons of whodunnit mystery, cliffhangers, and torment by “A,” the Liars finally found out the true identity of Rosewood’s villain … Spencer (Troian Bellisario) has a twin!

The identical twin with a British accent is named Alex Drake — A.D., get it? — and is Mary Drake’s (Andrea Parker) other daughter, who was sold as an infant upon birth so that Mary Drake could pay her way out of the Radley Sanitarium mental institution. Mary Drake sent her to a wealthy family in London, thinking she would have a great life, but instead, Alex ended up at an orphanage and never had a real family. Her lack of family, in comparison to Spencer’s seemingly “perfect” life, is what prompted her to take down the Liars.

Alex »


- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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Netflix Developing New Installment of ‘Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City’

1 hour ago

Netflix is developing a new installment of “Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City” with Working Title Television U.S. Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis are on board to revive the characters they played in Showtime and PBS adaptations of the landmark Lgbt-themed novel series in the 1990s.

Michael Cunningham (“The Hours”) has penned the first script for what is envisioned as a 10-part installment, although the project does not yet have a series order from Netflix. Maupin would return as an executive producer, and Alan Poul is on board to direct. Netflix declined to comment.

Prolific novelist Maupin launched the series that follows a colorful, diverse group of characters living in San Francisco as a newspaper serial in 1976. He has published nine novels in the “Tales” series, with 2014’s “The Days of Anna Madrigal” said to be the final edition of the book series.

“Tales” focuses on the residents of a boarding house at 28 Barbary Lane »


- Cynthia Littleton

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Beau Willimon Running Unopposed for WGA East Presidency

1 hour ago

House of Cards” creator Beau Willimon is running unopposed for the presidency of the Writers Guild of America East to succeed Michael Winship, who has opted not to run.

Willimon and five other incumbents won re-election to two-year terms for council seats last year. He was on the negotiating committee that reached an 11th hour deal with production companies on May 1.

“Should I be re-elected to Council, I plan to be very involved in the negotiating process,” he said last year. “Having worked for almost a decade with major film studios and having been at the forefront of launching streaming television, I have a unique on-the-ground perspective that I believe will be useful voice in making sure we remain strong as a union moving forward.”

Incumbent Vice President Jeremy Pikser and Secretary-Treasurer Bob Schneider are also running unopposed.

The 10 candidates for the six open Freelance seats are Amy Sohn, David Handelman, Stu Zicherman »


- Dave McNary

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TNT’s ‘Will’ Producer on Show’s Shakespeare Adaptation: ‘Theater Then Was Like Punk Rock’

1 hour ago

Olivia DeJonge isn’t just a cast member on TNT’s new series “Will.” To hear the actress tell it, she’s also the target audience for the program, which tells the story of William Shakespeare (Laurie Davidson), an English playwright of some renown in 16th century London, before he went on to write “Hamlet” and many other classic plays.

“I wasn’t even interested in the show, I wasn’t a Shakespeare fan,” she told Variety. But executive producer Craig Pearce “changed my mind on that, and I am excited to see him change the mind of every other young person who sees Will Shakespeare as a dusty old man.”

At Tuesday night’s premiere of the series, held at New York’s Bryant Park with an after-party at the nearby Bryant Park Grill, DeJonge says she was attracted to the contemporary, rebellious energy Pearce brought to the proceedings, especially »


- Michael Tedder

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Quiz: Which ‘Glow’ Character Are You?

1 hour ago

Last weekend, Netflix released “Glow,” a fictional look at the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. In the process, we got to know such characters as Ruth and Debbie — as well as their alter-egos Zoya the Destroyer and Liberty Belle — and saw them in action in the ring.

In honor of the show’s premiere, Variety has compiled a very scientific (not really) algorithm to determine which wrestler, or director or producer, you’re most like. Are you tough-as-nails like Cherry Bang, or softer like Carmen? Are you a “visionary” like Sam, or more of a follower like Justine? Take our quiz to find out! »


- Variety Staff

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Melanie Lynskey Joins Hulu’s Stephen King Series ‘Castle Rock’

2 hours ago

Melanie Lynskey has been cast in the upcoming Hulu Stephen King series “Castle Rock.”

Lynskey will play Molly Strand, a woman with a rare medical condition who’s barely scraping by as a real estate agent in a town where every third property is the site of someone’s worst nightmare.

Lynskey recently appeared in the Netflix series “Girlboss” and starred in HBO’s Duplass Brothers series “Togetherness.” She also had a recurring role on “Two and a Half Men” as the deranged neighbor Rose. She is repped by The Gersh Agency.

Lynskey is the latest casting addition to “Castle Rock,” which will also star André Holland, Sissy Spacek, and Jane Levy. The series is described as a psychological-horror drama set in the Stephen King multiverse, centered around the inhabitants of the fictional Maine town of Castle Rock, which figured prominently in several of King’s works.

Castle Rock” has landed a 10-episode first season order, with »


- Joe Otterson

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Fox News Signs Congressman Jason Chaffetz as Contributor

3 hours ago

Jason Chaffetz, the Republican Congressman from Utah, will join Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network as a contributor, the networks announced Wednesday.

Chaffetz is slated to step down as a lawmaker on June 30th. His new role is expected to commence on July 1.

Chaffetz has represented Utah’s Third Congressional District since November, 2008, and recently announced he intended to step down from his role.  He has served as the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and was a member of the House Judiciary Committee. He has also served on the Homeland Security Committee. He has drawn attention for his roles in several government investigations, including into the operations of the Secret Service, and the attack at Benghazi.  He had worked as a campaign manager and chief of staff to former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman Jr.

Before his political career, Mr. Chaffetz  specialized in corporate communications and operated his own communications firm, Maxtera »


- Brian Steinberg

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‘Younger’ Boss Darren Star on Liza’s ‘Watergate-Level’ Lie, Season 4’s Extended Episodes

3 hours ago

Darren Star is ready for the fourth season of his hit TV Land comedy “Younger” to premiere. In fact, the show’s executive producer has been ready for quite some time, given that the network announced the renewal last June, just as the show was entering production on its previous season — a season in which Liza’s (Sutton Foster) secret about being a 40-something masquerading as a 20-something in the publishing world was revealed to her boyfriend, Josh (Nico Tortorella), as well as to her partner in a new millennial imprint, Kelsey (Hilary Duff).

All those twists will play out in season four, reveals Star.

“What the show’s about is how one relatively small lie can just metastasize and have big, big ramifications. And that’s the story of what’s happening here and what [will] continue to happen,” Star tells Variety. “Let’s just say, in Watergate it wasn’t about the break-in, it »


- Danielle Turchiano

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CBS News Will Launch Primetime Series ‘On Assignment’ from Streaming-Video Cbsn

3 hours ago

CBS News said it would launch a new, limited-run primetime TV series based on reports prepared in the style of its streaming-video news outlet, Cbsn. “Cbsn: On Assignment” will air on four consecutive Monday evenings starting July 31 at 10 p.m. eastern, and attempt to bring a more on-the-ground perspective to an audience more accustomed to CBS News mainstays like “48 Hours” and “60 Minutes.”

“The stories are intense, interesting and immersive,” said Mosheh Oinounou, the executive producer, in a prepared statement.

The maneuver aims to bolster Cbsn, a live-streaming outlet launched by CBS News in November, 2014. Once seen primarily as a vehicle for repurposing reporting done for “CBS This Morning” and “CBS Evening News,” CBS News has in recent months steadily introduced more original programming to Cbsn, including political-news programs lead by Elaine Quijano and Major Garrett. CBS News correspondent Vladimir Duthiers, for example, has explored volatile suburbs around Paris and Brussels in the wake of terrorism for Cbsn »


- Brian Steinberg

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Oliver Stone’s ‘The Putin Interviews’ Picked Up Internationally, Including in Russia

4 hours ago

Oliver Stone’s televised interviews with Vladimir Putin will be seen in the Russian president’s homeland and in other countries around the world where broadcasters have snapped up the four-part series.

The Putin Interviews” went out on Showtime in the U.S. earlier this month over four nights and was simulcast on Sky in Britain and Germany. National Geographic has now taken rights across Southeast Asia and the Middle East, as well as for Belgium and the Netherlands. Channel One will show the interviews in Russia.

Im Global Television is distributing the series and has also sold it to Sbs in Australia. In Europe, Dr has it in Denmark, Iti in Poland, and Ftv in Czech Republic. In Spain, it will air on pay-tv, on the Movistar+ platform.

The Putin Interviews” was produced by Fernando Sulichin (“The Untold History of the United States”), New Element Media and Rob Wilson. The »


- Stewart Clarke

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Now That ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Is Over, Will the Franchise Return for a Reboot or Spinoff?

4 hours ago

Spoiler Alert: Do not read ahead, if you have not watched the series finale of “Pretty Little Liars,” which aired June 27 on Freeform.

Ever since Freeform announced “Pretty Little Liars” would come to a close after its seventh season, rumors have swirled that the Liars could return someday for a reboot, spinoff, movie or reunion. Now that the show has officially wrapped, Variety checked in with the “Pretty Little Liars” cast and producers to get a reboot reality check.

While there are no official plans to develop any sort of reboot at this time, series creator Marlene King tells Variety that she does have many ideas in mind for how to continue the franchise in the future — and Tuesday night’s finale certainly kept the story open-ended.

The finale ended with high school students in the same exact situation the Liars were once in seven years ago in the pilot of “Pretty Little Liars.” A »


- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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ABC Reaches Settlement in ‘Pink Slime’ Suit

4 hours ago

ABC said it reached a settlement in a closely scrutinized lawsuit filed against it by a South Dakota meat producer over ABC News reports that led to critics labeling one of the company’s products “pink slime.”

“ABC has reached an amicable resolution of its dispute with the makers of ‘lean finely textured beef,'” the network said in a statement. ” Throughout this case, we have maintained that our reports accurately presented the facts and views of knowledgeable people about this product.  Although we have concluded that continued litigation of this case is not in the company’s interests, we remain committed to the vigorous pursuit of truth and the consumer’s right to know about the products they purchase.”

Financial terms of the settlement could not be immediately learned. A spokesman for Beef Products Inc. could not be reached for immediate comment.

An adverse outcome in the trial, which started earlier this month, could »


- Brian Steinberg

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Comic-Con 2017 TV Schedule: Is Your Favorite Show Heading to San Diego?

5 hours ago

With a surge in television content this year, it should be no surprise that the small screen offerings at San Diego Comic Con are continuing to grow in numbers as well. To keep you updated on the happenings this year, Variety has compiled a master list for the July 20-July 23 pop culture convention. Bookmark this page to stay up to date on the schedule, as we will continue to update when networks and studios release their schedules for the event.

Thursday, July 20:

Ghosted (4:45-5:45 p.m., Room 6Bcf, Fox) Be among the first to see Craig Robinson and Adam Scott partner up for Fox’s new action-comedy, which chronicles two “polar opposites” who are recruited to investigate an unexplained phenomena in Los Angeles. Join Robinson, Scott, Ally Walker, and executive producers Tom Gormican and Kevin Etten as they discuss this paranormal buddy comedy coming to Fox this fall.

The Exorcist »


- Erin Nyren and Rebecca Rubin

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Amazon’s New Japanese Series ‘Face’ to Premiere Next Month

7 hours ago

Tokyo – Amazon Prime’s new Japanese original series “Face: Cyber Crime Special Investigation Unit” is set to premiere on the streaming service July 11.

Starring Ayame Goriki as a cyber-crime special agent, the series will be more oriented toward what Amazon describes as a “life or death struggle against criminal hackers” than geeks glued to computer screens. Amazon produced the show in partnership with Oscar Promotion, a leading Japanese talent agency, for which Goriki is a top star.

A new episode of the show will be released weekly.

Amazon has announced more than 20 new titles for its Amazon Prime service in Japan, including “Tokyo Vampire Hotel,” a nine-episode series by international cult director Sion Sono; “The Bachelor Japan”; and new iterations of the long-running Kamen Rider, Ultraman, and Crayon Shin-chan franchises. »


- Mark Schilling

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ITV, Amazon Team Up on New ‘Vanity Fair’ Adaptation With Olivia Cooke

8 hours ago

A new adaptation of satirical Victorian novel “Vanity Fair” starring Olivia Cooke is coming to TV, and will stream on Amazon and play on Britain’s ITV.

Amazon and ITV have joined forces on the seven-part small-screen version of the book by William Makepeace Thackeray, which will be produced by Amazon Studios and Mammoth Screen. Mammoth, which produced “Victoria,” is owned by ITV Studios.

Cooke, the star of Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One,” will play heroine Becky Sharp in the show, which is set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars and follows her attempts to make her way in English society.

Period drama was once considered the preserve of the BBC in the U.K., but commercial network ITV has had notable historical hits in recent years with “Downton Abbey” and “Victoria,” although the World War II-set “The Halcyon” fared less well and was canceled after one season. ITV »


- Stewart Clarke

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Hulu Nabs U.S. Streaming Rights to Teenage Ballerina Series ‘Find Me in Paris’

9 hours ago

Paris – Hulu has acquired U.S. streaming rights to “Find Me in Paris,” the time-traveling ballerina series produced by French banner Cottonwood Media with German broadcaster Zdf and Zdf Enterprises.

The half-hour teenage series has already been acquired by France Télévisions in France, Disney in France and Italy, Zdf in Germany, ABC in Australia, and Vrt in Belgium.

Created by Jill Girling and Lori Mather-Welch, the duo behind Nickelodeon’s hit series “Ride,” “Find Me in Paris” is set against the backdrop of the Garnier Opera House in Paris and centers on Lena Grisky, a young dancer and princess poised to become the next young star of the ballet world in 1905.

The show is produced by industry veterans David Michel, Zoé Carrera Allaix, Cecile Lauritano, and Pascal Breton, along with line producer Leila Smith. Cottonwood Media’s sister company Federation Kids & Family and Zdf Enterprises are co-repping the series in international markets.

Michel »


- Elsa Keslassy

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‘Man in the High Castle’ Producer Ramping Up

11 hours ago

Big Light Productions, the company behind Amazon series “Man in the High Castle,” is set to ramp up its slate of dramas, with two seasoned executives joining its ranks.

Frances Flannery (“Spotless”) will work up a slate of original scripted projects for the production company, which was founded by Frank Spotnitz (“The X Files”). She has worked at Kudos and Wall to Wall.

Emily Feller comes to Spotlight from Studiocanal’s Red Production Company and will executive produce new original series and the new season of Rai and Netflix series “Medici: Masters of Florence.” Her credits include British shows “Bodies” and “The Driver.”

“With projects already in development in the U.K., the U.S. and Europe, it’s an exciting moment for Emily and Frances to join the team,” said Big Light’s head of drama, Katie McAleese. “They’re both exceptionally writer-focused and have fantastic editorial instincts. I’m thrilled that they’re joining as »


- Stewart Clarke

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‘Big Bang Theory’ Star Johnny Galecki’s House Burns Down in Massive Fire; Actor Unharmed

15 hours ago

The Big Bang Theory” star Johnny Galecki’s large ranch burned down on Monday night in a massive fire, Variety has confirmed with the actor’s reps.

Galecki was not at the property at the time of the fire and is unharmed.

The hideway home was in San Luis Obispo, located in between Los Angeles and San Francisco. According to the TMZ, who first broke the news, the 1,200 acre fire burned down the ranch and other property on the estate. As of press time, 40% of the fire had been contained.

The actor’s rep confirms the report that states Galecki has not yet seen the property, but plans to check out the scene once the fire is completely contained.

According to a statement from Galecki, no one was harmed in the fire. »


- Variety Staff

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‘The Bachelorette’ Recap: Rachel Breaks Out the Axe in Scandinavia

17 hours ago

“I’m so annoyed by this,” Rachel says in the first twenty minutes of Tuesday’s episode of “The Bachelorette.” To what was she referring? Who cares! It’s a perfect way of describing the opening sequence, which wrapped up Rachel’s two-on-one date with Kenny and Lee in the Norwegian wilderness.

Rachel says that her choice between Kenny and Lee is based on trust. “Lee after hearing what I heard today, I don’t trust you,” she says. “And because of that, I’m going to send you home.” Oh! That was easy! At long last. Kenny and Rachel are about to board a helicopter to freedom, and leave Lee alone with only his fur-upholstered chair to keep him company. But, then, Kenny leaves Rachel to go have some last words with his former competition. It’s a bad move for Kenny who could have proved that he was done with the drama and ready to »


- Seth Kelley

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