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Watch Carrie Fisher in Her Final Role on Season 3 of Amazon Sitcom ‘Catastrophe’

13 minutes ago

Shortly after Carrie Fisher wrapped Season 3 of the sitcom “Catastrophe” in late December of last year, she boarded a flight from London to Los Angeles.

After suffering a major heart attack on the flight, she died a few days later at the age of 60, making her performance in the latest season of the U.K.-based series her final role.

In an interview with People, “Catastrophe” co-creator and Fisher’s co-star, Sharon Horgan, reminisced about a scene she shared with Fisher on the show.

“She and I are together in the sitting room, and she starts talking about a TV show that she’s watching called ‘My Children Are Schizophrenic,’ and that whole little ramble about the show was off the top of her head,” Horgan explains of the scene. “And every time she did it, we’d call cut and the whole place would crack up laughing.”

In the first two seasons of the show, Fisher »


- Sarah Ahern

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Daytime Emmys Preview: Soaps Still Top Draw For Kudos

48 minutes ago

For the third year in a row, the last four broadcast soap operas are all nominated for best drama at the Daytime Emmys.

David Michaels, senior vice president, Daytime Emmy Awards & Events for the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, says as few as three and as many as four serials can earn a nom, and the reason that all four serials made the cut this year is because once again there’s a slim difference between the number of votes received by the shows that have ranked in third and fourth place.

“It seems crazy to have four nominees out of four contenders,” says Tom O’Neil, founder and editor of Goldderby.com. “In general, showbiz awards reflect at most two-thirds of contenders, but that’s not etched in stone. No one believes any of these four soaps are unworthy.”

“It’s never completely a given you’ll be nominated,” says »


- Michael Maloney

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Harry Friedman and Mary Hart Talk Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Wins

48 minutes ago

The Lifetime Achievement awards at the 2017 Daytime Emmys will be presented to two luminaries of syndicated television: producer Harry Friedman and host Mary Hart.

After producing syndicated game-show sensations “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!” for more than 20 years, it isn’t a surprise that Friedman himself is a trivia question answer.

Friedman, who was promoted to executive producer of both shows in 1999 after starting as a “Wheel” producer in 1995, has been at his gig for so long that he holds a Guinness World Record for most game-show episodes produced. And the most Emmy Award nominations for a game-show producer (42) and most Emmy Award wins by a game-show producer (13).

So it’s no surprise he’ll receive a lifetime achievement award at this year’s Daytime Emmys creative arts ceremony. And it’s also understandable that it’s hard for Friedman to list all his favorite moments from the sets.

“One of the things that stands out on »


- Whitney Friedlander

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CBS Names Sharon Vuong Alternative-Programming Chief

1 hour ago

CBS Entertainment has named Sharon Vuong senior vice president of alternative programming.

Vuong is a six-year veteran of CBS’ alternative department, having helped to develop “The Case of: JonBenet Ramsey,” upcoming game show “Candy Crush,” and upcoming reality series “Ambulance.” She replaces Chris Castallo, whose departure from the network was announced last month. She will report to CBS entertainment president Glenn Geller.

In her new role, Vuong will be charged with leading development on all new alternative programs for the broadcast network — including reality series, game shows and other non-scripted programming. Vuong joined the network in 2011 as director, alternative programming, working as the current executive on “Big Brother,” “Survivor,” “The Amazing Race,” and “Undercover Boss.” In 2012, she was promoted to vice president of alternative programming. In 2013, she became vice president, alternative series development.

Before joining CBS, Vuong worked in unscripted series production, contributing to series such as “Survivor,” “Big Brother,” “The Bachelor »


- Daniel Holloway

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Lee Daniels Opens Up About Becoming a ‘Really Proud’ Foster Parent

1 hour ago

Extraordinary Families, a nonprofit that provides foster care services, held its second annual gala Wednesday that gave NBC’s “This Is Us” and Lee Daniels a pat on the back for accurate portrayals and representation of foster families in television.

NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke was on hand to present the Luminary Award trophy to “This Is Us” exec producer Jess Rosenthal at the Beverly Hilton, and described the series as “a cultural phenomenon.”

“With shows like ‘This Is Us,’ it’s impossible not to think of television as the place to be for programming that is insightful, emotional and influential,” Salke said.

Rosenthal, who claimed that he did not set out to “make America cry” during the show’s emotional first season, shared sincere thanks to the real foster and adoptive parents in the room for inspiring the hit series.

“With great humility, I say that we are not experts on the subject [of adoption],” Rosenthal said. “In »


- Mannie Holmes

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Katy Mixon on ‘American Housewife,’ Her Bond With ‘Mike & Molly’ Co-Star Melissa McCarthy

1 hour ago

Just four days after wrapping a six-year run on “Mike & Molly,” Katy Mixon began shooting “American Housewife,” changing her trajectory from party-girl sister Victoria to unapologetic mother of three Katie Otto. Mixon talks to Variety about diving into her starring role, her bond with Melissa McCarthy and portraying a TV mom while preparing to become a mother in real life.

What was it like to start “American Housewife” less than a week after “Mike & Molly” wrapped?

I was so ready; I welcomed it with open arms. I found out that “Mike & Molly” was done that October, and I wanted to do something very different from what I had done. Going from the Victoria character to Katie Otto, who has three children and wears hardly any makeup — and covers everything — it was just amazing. I walked in and met all of [the “American Housewife” team] and put my take on the character.

Is your bond with Melissa McCarthy in real life anything »


- Sarah Ahern

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Fox News Co-President Bill Shine Uncertain About Future at Network (Report)

2 hours ago

Fox News co-president Bill Shine is privately expressing uncertainty regarding his future at the network, according to a report from New York magazine.

Citing “three sources briefed on the conversations,” the report says that shine has privately told friends that he does not feel that 21st Century Fox co-chairman Rupert Murdoch as been publicly supportive enough of him. It also claims that Shine asked Murdoch’s sons Lachlan and James — the co-chairman and CEO of 21st Century Fox, respectively — to release a statement supporting him, but that they declined to do so.

A Fox News spokesperson told New York magazine that the conversations did not took place and that Shine did not asked the younger Murdochs for a statement of support. The report came one day after the elder Murdoch was photographed lunching with Shine and Fox News co-president Jack Abernethy, which was viewed by Murdoch watchers as a public vote of confidence in the two executives »


- Variety Staff

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TV Ratings: ‘Empire’ Returns at New Low, Still Claims Wednesday Demo Win

2 hours ago

“Empire” aired its first new episode in two weeks on Wednesday night, with the Fox music drama returning at a new series low, according to Nielsen data. Nevertheless, it was still the top-rated show of the night in adults 18-49.

“Empire” averaged a 2.1 rating and 6.2 million viewers, down from the previous series low on April 5 (2.2, 6.4 million). Still, the series remains incredibly popular in delayed viewing and will likely add significant viewership in both L+3 and L+7.

“Shots Fired” (0.8, 3.3 million) led into the new episode of “Empire” for Fox.

On CBS, “Survivor” (1.7, 8.4 million), “Criminal Minds” (1.2, 6.8 million), and “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders” (0.8, 4.6 million) were all steady.

For ABC, “The Goldbergs” (1.4, 5.2 million) was stable while “Speechless” (1.2, 4.5 million) ticked down slightly in the demo. “Black-ish” aired back-to-back episodes at 9 p.m. (1.2, 4.4 million) and 9:30 p.m. (1.2, 4.2 million). “Designated Survivor” (1.1, 5.1 million) closed out up slightly in the demo.

“Blindspot” (0.9, 4.5 million), “Law & Order: Svu” (1.1, 5.3 million), and “Chicago Pd” (1.2, 6.2 million) were all even on »


- Joe Otterson

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Espn to Add Mlb Network Show to ESPN2 Afternoon Lineup

3 hours ago

Espn’s newest show is an old standby from another sports-media outlet.

The Walt Disney sports-media juggernaut, which has made no secret of its desire to winnow its operating costs, said Thursday that it would add the Mlb Network’s “Intentional Talk” to the ESPN2 afternoon lineup.”Intentional Talk” has been on Mlb Network’s schedule since 2011, and features co-hosts Chris Rose and Kevin Millar holding forth on everything from strange utterances by baseball players to clips of fans or players caught in oddball situations. It is fueled by analysis of quick video segments and plenty of fan interaction.

Espn said ESPN2 will air the show, which will also continue its run on Mlb Network, starting May 1 between 4 p.m, and 5 p.m. during the season, and for 30 minutes in the off-season.

“The move provides us with more baseball studio content than we’ve ever had,” said Burke Magnus, Espn’s executive vice president of programming and »


- Brian Steinberg

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Bravo Greenlights Six New Shows Including Bethenny Frankel & Fredrik Eklund Series, ‘Southern Charm’ Spinoff

3 hours ago

Bravo is beefing up their unscripted slate, ordering six new series, Variety has learned. Many of the new shows expand the relationships with current “Bravolebrities.”

Among the new series is real estate project, starring “Real Housewives of New York City’s” Bethenny Frankel and “Million Dollar Listing New York’s” Fredrik Eklund; a separate show for “Million Dollar Listing” star Ryan Serhant; a “Southern Charm” spinoff in a new city; and a new series, specifically revolving around “Southern Charm” star Shep Rose.

“Our fans look to us for a very unique brand of top quality unscripted content they simply cannot get anywhere else,” said Jerry Leo, Bravo’s executive vice president, program strategy, lifestyle networks and production. “With many established franchises showing strong ratings growth, we’re able to explore new frontiers, and we believe these new series are really going to resonate with our audience.”

The announcement of the new shows comes on the same day »


- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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Bravo Renews Five ‘Real Housewives’ Series, ‘Vanderpump Rules,’ 12 More Shows

3 hours ago

Bravo announced renewals for 18 of their shows on Thursday, including most of the popular “Real Housewives” series and “Vanderpump Rules.”

Joining the previously announced renewals of scripted series “Imposters” and “Odd Mom Out” as well as unscripted shows “Top Chef” and “Million Dollar Listing New York,” the network confirmed new season orders for: “The Real Housewives of Orange County;” “Shahs of Sunset;” “The Real Housewives of New Jersey;” “Flipping Out;” “Don’t Be Tardy;” “Married to Medicine;” “Below Deck;” “Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles;” “The Real Housewives of Atlanta;” “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills;” “The Real Housewives of Dallas;” “Inside the Actor’s Studio;” “Summer House;” and “Vanderpump Rules.”

“Real Housewives of Potomac” just started airing its second season earlier this month, so a decision has yet to be made on a renewal.

“A continued investment in more content allows us to give marketing partners even more environments to place their brand messaging,” said »


- Joe Otterson

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Fox News’ Jesse Watters Takes Vacation Amid Controversy Over Ivanka Trump Remarks

4 hours ago

Anchor Jesse Watters is known for the playful banter he has put on display during dozens of person-on-the-street interviews. But some remarks he made during Tuesday’s broadcast of “The Five” weren’t seen as particularly light-hearted.

After watching footage of Ivanka Trump being called out during an appearance in Berlin, Watters uttered a line that some saw as disrespectful and misogynist.

“It’s funny, the left says they really respect women, and then when given an opportunity to respect a woman like that, they boo and hiss,” he said, adding: “So I don’t really get what’s going on here, but I really liked how she was speaking into that microphone.”

The utterance was criticized by people on the right and the left, among them John Podhoretz and Mika Brzezinski.

On Wednesday, Watters issued a statement saying the line was not meant as sexual innuendo. “During the break we were commenting on Ivanka’s voice »


- Brian Steinberg

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NBCUniversal Chief Steve Burke on Looming WGA Walkout: ‘Strikes Aren’t Good for Anybody’

5 hours ago

Steve Burke, CEO of NBCUniversal, told Wall Street analysts that he’s “optimistic” that a potential Hollywood writers’ strike will be averted and that the sides will be able to work out an agreement in the next few days.

“Strikes aren’t good for anybody,” he said on Comcast’s first quarter earnings call. “I’m hopeful we’re going to get it done, and we’re coming down to the deadline.”

The Writers Guild of America’s contract with producers is set to expire at midnight Pt on May 1, and the guild has made preparations for members to hit the picket line.

A walkout by writers threatens to disrupt production schedules for NBCU and other media companies. But in the near term, the Peacock is riding high: In Q1, NBCU’s film division boosted revenue 43% to $2 billion with the addition of DreamWorks Animation and strong box office performance of “Get Out,” “Fifty Shades Darker »


- Todd Spangler

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NBCUniversal, Broadway Video Will Partner to Make Comedy Content for Advertisers

5 hours ago

Broadway Video is best known for its many famous productions: “Saturday Night Live,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “Late Night With Seth Meyers” and “Portlandia,” among others. Soon, the production house may gain a reputation for helping NBC’s advertisers as well.

Under a new partnership with NBCUniversal’s in-house NBCU Content Studio, Broadway Video will make available a team of its writers, directors and producers to certain NBCUniversal advertisers. Advertisers will be able to create original comedy content that can run on NBCU properties, but also on  sites owned and operated by the individual marketers.

“There is a lot of exciting stuff on the horizon,” noted Wendy Wildfeuer, senior vice president of the NBCU Content Studio, , The NBCU Content Studio, a unit established last year that helps advertisers align with creative talent at the media company to devise promotional content. She said she expected Broadway Video to help advertisers craft short-form comedy video that could »


- Brian Steinberg

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‘Law & Order: Svu’ Takes on Fox News Scandals in Latest Episode ‘The Newsroom’

5 hours ago

The “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” episode that aired Wednesday night played partly as wish fulfillment, but then again, that’s one of the functions of a crime procedural: To make sure the audience knows that the bad guys will almost always get what’s coming to them, thanks to law enforcement teams that never waver in their commitment to justice.

That the real world doesn’t always work this way is a given. We often look to our entertainment to supply the storylines we wish existed; we don’t always want TV dramas that reflect the harsh, painful unpredictabilities and routine injustices that reality often provides.

And so in “Svu’s” latest ripped-from-the-headline episode, a powerful man, Harold Coyle (Christopher McDonald) went to jail for the rape of a co-worker. The 18 months he got doesn’t seem like a lot, but the wrap-up to this installment of the long-running procedural noted that the network Coyle ran »


- Maureen Ryan

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BMG Promotes Keith Hauprich to U.S. General Counsel

5 hours ago

BMG has promoted Keith Hauprich from deputy general counsel to general counsel/Svp, its most senior legal and business affairs role in North America. Based in New York, Hauprich will report to U.S. president, repertoire & marketing Zach Katz.

Hauprich has been instrumental in several recent deals in film and television music publishing, securing rights from a number of major entertainment companies, including AMC Networks, Activision/Blizzard Studios, Hasbro Studios, and, most recently, Netflix.

He also played a key legal role in BMG’s victory in its copyright infringement case against Cox Communications, winning a $25 million jury verdict and more than $8.5 million in costs and disbursements. The case has created a major precedent in the “safe harbor” defense of internet service providers and is regarded as a victory for rights holders.

“This is an incredibly well-deserved promotion,” Katz said in a statement. “In a company whose core values include fairness and transparency, the »


- Roy Trakin

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HBO, Zee Entertainment Take ‘The Good Fight’ to Nordic Region, India

6 hours ago

CBS Studios International has closed new deals on “The Good Fight,” which will see the “Good Wife” spin-off air across the Nordic region via HBO Nordic and in India on Zee Café.

The show, set one year on from events in the final season of “The Good Wife,” will launch in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden via HBO Nordic on June 1.

India’s Zee Entertainment Enterprises also took exclusive pay-tv rights to the “The Good Fight” for its English-language general entertainment channel Zee Café, which was also the Indian home of “The Good Wife.” An air date has yet to be announced.

“We have had a very successful partnership with CBS Studios International with the popular drama ‘The Good Wife,’ and the critically acclaimed spin-off has all the ingredients of being an equally power-packed series,” said Zee’s Aparna Bhosle.

The Good Fight” sees Christine Baranski reprise her role as Diane Lockhart. Baranski »


- Robert Mitchell

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Film, Content Licensing and Theme Parks Drive Strong Comcast Q1 Earnings

7 hours ago

Comcast Corp. had the wind at its back in the first-quarter, delivering earnings and revenue that blew past analysts expectations thanks in part to big contributions from NBCUniversal’s film studio, cable content licensing and theme parks.

Comcast logged earnings per share of 53 cents, a 23.3% year-over-year increase that handily topped the consensus estimate of 43-44 cents per share. Revenue came in at $20.46 billion, an 8.9% spike that topped the consensus estimate of $20.12 billion.

NBCUniversal posted a 14.7% gain in revenue to $7.9 billion with all divisions delivering solid results for the quarter. Adjusted earnings came in at $2 billion, up 24.4%.

The film division was buoyed by a 43.2% hike to $2 billion, thanks to the inclusion of DreamWorks Animation and the strong box office performance of “Get Out,” “Fifty Shades Darker,” “Split” and “Sing.” Adjusted earnings grew to $368 million.

NBCU’s cable networks saw revenue climb 7.6% to $2.6 billion with adjusted earnings of $1.1 billion, up 16.8%. Content licensing revenue grew a whopping 54%. Advertising revenue was »


- Cynthia Littleton

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Warner, Astro Set Content and Channel Joint Venture in Malaysia

12 hours ago

Turner Asia Pacific and Malaysian pay-tv group Astro Malaysia Holdings have set up a joint venture that comprises co-production and co-ownership of Asian content for global reach and distribution of Astro content. The agreement also includes carriage of the Warner TV channel on Astro and Astro’s Tribe online video platform.

“Our focus is to deepen our involvement in content creation and ownership, particularly in Asian IPs, which will be increasingly pivotal in a market that values strong differentiation,” said Henry Tan, Astro’s COO. “We are seeking distribution in multiple markets through partnerships, as well as our own platforms.” No details of the joint venture content were disclosed.

Warner TV will be available on demand and on linear via Astro Go and Astro TV from May 1. It carries top-rated TV series and blockbuster movies from Warner Bros., and TV content from Turner’s TNT and TBS networks.

»


- Patrick Frater

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‘Downton Abbey’ Exhibition to Launch in Singapore

13 hours ago

Television phenomenon, “Downton Abbey” is to get its own travelling exhibition.

The immersive experience will debut in Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands from June 17, before travelling to the U.S. next year. It is expected to include characters, costumes and locations, previously unseen footage and historic moments.

“’Downton Abbey: The Exhibition’ allows this incredible legacy to live on by offering a multi-million dollar museum quality experience that will delight fans, ultimately extending the connection they have with Downton’s compelling characters and storylines. We are excited to expand the brand in a manner that few TV series could ever dream of doing,” said Michael Edelstein, president of NBCUniversal International Studios.

Downton Abbey: The Exhibition” is presented by NBCUniversal International Studios and Imagine Exhibitions. The exhibition follows the success of “Dressing Downton,” a costume exhibition which toured the Us last year.

Downton Abbey” is a Carnival Films and Masterpiece co-production. The »


- Patrick Frater

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