Posts Tagged television

Katherine Heigl Plans TV Return

Katherine Heigl

Katherine Heigl is preparing for a return to TV. The 34-year-old actress, who starred in teen show ‘Roswell’ before taking on the role of Dr. Izzy Stevens in ‘Grey’s Anatomy from 2005 to 2010, is reportedly in talks to take on the lead role in a new untitled drama, according to USA Today.

The show is believed to be a procedural drama and networks including NBC and ABC are thought to be interested in the project, which Katherine will both produce and star in.

If Katherine does return to TV, she will most likely have to move back to Los Angeles after she relocated to Utah with her husband Josh Kelley and their two adoptive daughters, Naleigh, four, and Adalaide Marie Hope, 16 months.

Speaking about her new rural life, she explained: “Our house is in the mountains where I can enjoy being a mother and wife. Our dogs love roaming – every time I try to leave they bark and jump on me!”

The star claims her new lifestyle is part of a mission to give her children the best possible upbringing, and she also gave up smoking for the sake of Naleigh’s health and hasn’t look bad since.

She said: “I wanted to quit when Naleigh came into our life. I swore there was no way I was going to smoke with a baby in the house. It’s the one massive vice I’ve had in my life.”

Photo Credits: PacificCoastNews.com

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‘Breaking Bad’ Stars Reveal The Back Stories & Secrets Of Their Characters

As Breaking Bad ends its run, the stars of the series met the Television Critics Association one last time. Of course, they would not reveal what happens in the series finale, but the cast did reflect on aspects of their characters they’d explored as well as things that didn’t quite make it onto the small screen.

The cast of Breaking Bad

“I actually have some thoughts about Saul but I’ve never run them by [series creator] Vince [Gilligan],” Bob Odenkirk said. “I’ll tell you one thing, I think he’s from Chicago. I’m from outside of Chicago. A lot of Chicagoans love to go to the southwest, get out of the weather. They perceive everyone to the west of Chicago as being easy to manipulate. You can sell granola to those people! They eat raisins and crap that grows on trees! That’s the Chicago I know. That’s why he would be attracted to that part of the country. There’s so much manipulation that goes on, the government of Chicago is all backstage deals so it’s in the blood there.”

R.J. Mitte, who plays Walt Jr., has cerebral palsy in real life. Though the details weren’t portrayed on the show, he incorporated them into his character. “People don’t realize, when you have a disability that actually affects your muscle that you go through binding, and the binding process is not very pleasant,” Mitte said. “That’s not just a daily process. That’s a nightly process. So when I was creating Walt, Jr., I was thinking about everything that I went through with casting and binding and leg immobilizers and everything with that. So that was a big, big basis for Walt, Jr.”

Playing siblings Skyler and Marie, Anna Gunn and Betsy Brandt had some secrets about their character’s childhoods. “[We] would talk, ‘What the F are their parents like?'” Brandt shared. “What happened? Which was fun for us to talk about in hair and makeup.”

Gunn elaborated, “I always felt that and we always felt that these two did not have a happy childhood and so they had to stick together no matter what, and I always felt that Skyler in some way had to be the sort of mother figure. So my feeling about that was that Skyler learned to take care of things and deal with problems and just put her head down and get through things. She learned how to do that at a very young age. And that was sort of very, very important part of her character, and she learned that at a young age, dealing with whatever situation they had at home.”

Walter White’s cohort Jesse had parental issues as well. “Jesse was just in a constant search for some guidance in his life, and even though he maybe didn’t want to admit it, he was searching for maybe like a father figure in a way,” Aaron Paul said. “I think he found that in Walt because his parents kind of gave up on him years ago. So that comes with him wanting to kind of protect kids in a way. There’s episodes where we all know that he has this fondness for children. So I think he wants to protect those children because he just never really got that or at least he didn’t feel that he had that protection from his parents.”

Bryan Cranston concluded the session with a hilarious fake backstory for Walter White. “The turning point for Walter White was July 4, 1978, Coney Island, New York when he actually entered the Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest and consumed 38 and a half hot dogs and was seriously considering going into the professional eating circuit as opposed to being a chemist,” Cranston deadpanned.

The final episodes of Breaking Bad begin airing August 11.

Photo Credits: AMC

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‘Strike Back’: Is This TV’s Best Action-Adventure Series? Watch Exclusive Video!

Strike Back

If you were to look up the definition of the phrase “TV action series,” you should see a picture from Strike Back.

The Cinemax drama has all the right ingredients for a production that’d make Michael Bay green with envy. Continuing on from a successful British first season, which was itself based on a sharply written novel by Chris Ryan, it is a veritable buffet for the action-adventure crowd. Over two seasons, there have been various exotic locations, lots of big weapons, hails of gunfire, plenty of explosions, several fistfights, and numerous deaths in the line of duty. This year, there’s a half-hour action sequence on a train. One can only imagine the folks responsible for safety – not to mention expenses – back at the network biting their nails at all of this mayhem.

And they’re not the only ones. Not since the early years of 24 has a show created such genuine tension for an audience, where we throw common sense out the window and truly believe that every character could be killed each week. We legitimately fear for Michael Stonebridge, Damian Scott, and their associated cohorts from Section 20. We scream at the TV screen, sit on the edge of our seats, find our knuckles turning white. That’s because this vast array of action-adventure happenings doesn’t just exist to look good or impress us with the size of the next effect. To quote John Cusack in the movie City Hall, this is tough stuff. This is body bag stuff.

1 of 3Next pagePhoto Credits: Cinemax

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HBO Mulls The Future Of Upcoming Series Starring James Gandolfini

James Gandolfini

Following James Gandolfini’s death in Italy last month, HBO bosses are trying to determine if they should recast his role in an upcoming series or scrap the project all together.

“Criminal Justice” is a remake of the 2008 BBC mini-series. It centered on an individual’s journey through the justice system over five episodes.

President Michael Lombardo explained at the The Television Critics Association on Thursday, “Jim’s passing took the wind out of our sails at HBO. I can’t imagine us airing the pilot with James in it, but we’re having conversations with (producer) Steve Zaillian about how to proceed.

“It’s hard to think about replacing him. The conversation would be about re-shooting the scenes that Jim had already performed in, and recasting going forward.”

Gandolfini died of a heart attack in Rome, Italy, on June 19.

Photo Credits: PR Photos

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‘Suits’ Recap and Review: ‘War’ (Season Finale)

Suits

Why does Suits have to end already? It’s clear that this is the best-written show on television, and in particular, it knows how to deliver endings with a legitimate bang. “War” is another solid closer that has us already waiting for season three.

Mike and Jessica are having a very tetchy conversation in her office. Anything that involves him saying “Harvey will never forgive me” isn’t good. But Jessica snaps back that Mike’s problem isn’t with Harvey – it’s with her.

Six nights earlier, the whole of Pearson Hardman is at one expensive party, along with the members of the British firm they’re about to merge with. While no one gets along with anyone else, Harvey approaches Mike and asks if he brought it, “it” being some damning paperwork which documents three lawsuits against one of the incoming firm’s clients. Our hero then hands it over to Edward Darby, the head of the other firm, and promptly exchanges fighting words with him. If Harvey can beat him in court, the merger is off. But if he loses, Jessica demands that he embrace the merger, extends his non-compete clause, and gets used to not having his name on the door.

The next morning, Harvey isn’t thrilled to see Dana Scott (guest star Abigail Spencer) waiting for him, and the two have it out on the street. “What’d I do that was so terrible?” she asks, and he reels off the list of previous people that’ve tried to attack Pearson Hardman before telling her, “If you want to get your name on the door, get it at your own goddamn firm.” Pwned.

Back at the office, Mike greets Rachel with coffee and finally hears from her that she didn’t get accepted into Harvard Law School. Rachel tells Mike what Louis let her believe about it being Louis’s fault, and Mike isn’t happy with that information. Speaking of Louis, he’s irate when he sees British lawyer Nigel apparently charming Donna. Both Nigel and Louis are assigned to compose an “efficiency list” for the upcoming merger, so the competition is on, beginning with a confrontation in the Pearson Hardman bathroom (because every great episode of Suits involves at least one scene in the bathroom).

Darby arrives for an unscheduled meeting with Harvey, and exchanges Downton Abbey references with Mike before being called “Benny Hill” by Mr. Specter. Darby gets the last laugh, though, telling Harvey that he’s about to freeze his clients’ assets. He thinks giving him a heads-up will allow for better competition. This further riles Harvey, who probably ought to check his blood pressure.

Rachel tells Mike that she plans to go over Sheila’s head to the higher-ups at Harvard, and wants him to sign a letter from himself to support her. Mike’s response is to go to Louis and tell him that he knows what happened. This forces Louis to tell Mike the real reason why Rachel didn’t get into Harvard. Mike tells Louis that either he has to come clean, or Mike himself will have to break the news.

Following that, Mike sits in on another tetchy meeting between Harvey and Darby, calling him out for violating international law by freezing their clients’ assets. Darby retorts that he did no such thing, and that by filing the action in response, they’ve opened their clients up to a charge of malicious litigation. He visits Jessica, who mentions that Darby is leaving New York to take meetings with other firms. Darby is worried that Jessica can’t control Harvey. “If I can’t beat him, he won’t respect me,” he tells her, and she responds that “You’re afraid you might lose.” When she uses the word we, things suddenly get a whole lot more tense.

1 of 3Next pagePhoto Credits: USA

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‘The Vampire Diaries’ Review: ‘Down The Rabbit Hole’

TVD--Down the Rabbit Hole

I fall for The Vampire Diaries’ bait-and-switch every season.

In season two, Elijah threw coins through a coffee shop window, and I announced, to myself, “Here is the Big Bad of Season 2.” The writers introduced Klaus later that season and he would go on to kill Aunt Jenna, which was the show’s announcement of “Here’s your Big Bad.” Season three got a bit wacky. Plot threads split off into other threads that split into other threads. Stefan was brutally killing folk for awhile. Mama Original came out to play. Klaus seemed less of a Big Bad when his mom wanted to kill him until mama Original’s plan failed. The Originals were collectively the Big Bads of season three. So then comes season four and the introduction of Connor, a vampire hunter who kicks so much ass that I wanted him to become TVD’s Holtz. Connor wasn’t long for the show. The less cool Shane rose to prominence. The signs were there that he was a bit player in the end, a fool fooled by the hallucinations of ghosts, just another one of the many characters to be used and discarded in the series. Of course a super-powered badass would rise to power as the third act of the fourth season nears its beginning. The ol’ TVD bait-and-switch. Ah, I feel so foolish.

I don’t know if every show should take as long to get going as The Vampire Diaries did this season, but oh my goodness the last two episodes have been awesome. These episodes tempered my fears that Julie Plec and her writers were running out of steam. They kept up a intense narrative pace for three years. Something had to give. Now the show is running on all cylinders. Every major character, except Matt, is involved in the story, integral and important to it. The classic surprise deaths feel like surprises again, specifically surprise Jeremy deaths. TVD killed Jeremy so many times that it resembled The Boy Who Cried Wolf. I’m still skeptical of the finality of Jeremy’s death because he’s been killed by one character or another more times than Damon uttered a quip. Regardless, the mere fact I wondered whether or not Jeremy had the ring on his finger suggests I’m more inclined to believe TVD went for broke to break the hearts of TVD fans across the globe. Big Bads don’t rise to power without killing a major character during his or her ascension.

“Down the Rabbit Hole” is the best episode of the season since “Memorial.” “A View to a Kill” was pretty great, too, but “A View to a Kill” suffers from its role as a transition episode, a set-up episode, etc, whereas “Down the Rabbit Hole” is all forward momentum. The cure won’t cure all of vampirism; the cure will cure just one vampire. Rebekah snaps Stefan’s neck to stop him from wasting the cure on Elena. Vaughn, Damon’s new hunter friend, wants to cure Silas and then kill him. Once Elena learns about the cure’s small size, she wants to go home and use it on Klaus. The revelation of the cure’s limited use seemed inevitable since a story about vampires, without vampires, would be complicated. The one-and-done aspect of the cure inspires a terrific conversation between Elena and Stefan. The former couple shares another great conversation earlier in the episode. The conversations share a theme: Stefan’s concern for love, as well as his consistent love for her. Stefan won’t take the cure for himself. Elena asks for his friendship. The real progress comes from Elena’s admission that her vampire self is her self now. The human Elena may not cope too well with what vampire Elena’s done. She can’t go back. She doesn’t want the cure. Who does want the cure?

Katherine wants the cure. My favorite villainous vampire comes back in blistering fashion, knocking Elena out and tricking Jeremy into thinking she’s Elena. Katherine opes Jeremy’s veins to feed Silas. Silas thaws. Katherine takes the cure. Silas snaps Jeremy’s neck. Vaughn the hunter already stabbed Bonnie, so Bonnie’s dying on the rabbit hole floor. Rebekah’s out of commission after Vaughn stopped her. Damon didn’t do much during the episode except for threatening the new vampire hunter. Shane’s above ground nursing a broken leg, feeling like a piece of crap until his deceased wife tells him that it’s all okay, that every act he committed mattered. The visions of the dead are manipulations of Silas. An argument can be made that TVD borrowed the idea of The First from Buffy for Silas. Silas uses the dead to get what he wants the way The First used the dead to manipulate the Scooby Gang. Silas is the oldest evil. Rebekah called him an “ancient evil.” The First were around before evil had a name. If the similarities are a coincidence or intentional, whatever it is, I hope TVD doesn’t botch whatever they plan with Silas the way Buffy botched its final season with a horrible arc about The First. Ancient evils are dicey prospects in genre shows. I think the only fictional ancient evil entity I love is ANGEL’s Wolfram & Hart. Sauron’s cool and all but he’s just a giant eye for ten hours.

Klaus cracks the crypt-text that blows the whole mission wide open out of love for Caroline. The B story is as close to a Valentines Day story TVD gets. Joseph Morgan cracks me up more and more each week. Klaus is a brutally violent character, but he had great moments in “Down the Rabbit Hole.” Tyler has to flee town once the truth about the cure emerges. Caroline buys him time to run before Klaus catches and kills him. Meanwhile, Klaus tries to get Caroline to love him. The help he provided doesn’t amount to anything. Caroline rejects him. Klaus walks away with an expression on his face similar to the one one makes after drinking Real Lemon juice. It’s hard to love and be loved in this world, isn’t it, Klaus?

TVD works amazingly well when its characters work together for a common goal. The series runs into problems when the story is scattered, but put them all together and it’s one of the best shows on television, including cable. Episodes such as “Down the Rabbit Hole” are worth watching the entire series to get to. It feels like a reward sometimes when shows produce episodes that are just so awesome you’re glad you never stopped watching (not that I considered that; I’m thinking more along the lines of early Treme, I suppose). I just hope TVD keeps the momentum going, keeps the awesome going.

Other Thoughts:

-Bonnie and Jeremy’s romance never worked for me. It felt like they were put together because the writers had nothing else for them, like the time Dawson’s Creek put Pacey and Jen together briefly in season three before Pacey fell in love with Joey and Jen gave freshman Henry a chance. Their loaded scene of magic and earthquakes was totally flat as a result. That’s a scene for Damon and Elena. It’d make the fan girls faint.

-Shane’s arc will end in one way. Lackeys never get out of what they built alive. Knox brought Illyria back; Wesley shot and killed him. Since Damon’s wanted to kill Shane for awhile, Damon’s probably going to kill him. Mr. Friendly, aka Tom, from LOST, stole Walt from the boat, shot Sawyer, made his life hell for the duration of Sawyer’s time in the cage, and Sawyer killed him in “Through The Looking Glass.” Sawyer’s last words to Tom are fantastic: “That’s for taking the boy.” I wonder what Damon will say to Shane.

-Jose Molina wrote the episode. Chris Grismer directed it.

Photo Credits: The CW

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Taylor Swift And One Direction Lead 2013 Kids’ Choice Awards Nominations

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is preparing to do battle with her rumored ex-boyfriend Harry Styles As she goes head-to-head with his band One Direction at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards.

Swift, who reportedly split from Styles last month after a brief romance, is nominated for three trophies at the upcoming ceremony, including Favorite Song for her break-up hit We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.

Ironically, the song puts her in direct competition with Styles, who is nominated in the same category with One Direction for their track What Makes You Beautiful. The singer and the boy band will face competition from Psy’s megahit Gangnam Style and Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen.

A statement from Styles reads, “We are delighted with our nominations for the Kids’ Choice Awards… Thank you as always to our incredible fans and supporters!”

Swift is also competing for Favorite Voice from an Animated Movie for The Lorax and Favorite Female Singer, while One Direction are also up for Favorite Musical Group alongside Bon Jovi, Maroon 5 and Big Time Rush.

In the Hollywood categories, the contenders for the Favorite Movie award are The Amazing Spider-Man, The Avengers, The Hunger Games, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days.

The Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence will do battle with The Avengers’ Scarlett Johansson for the Favorite Movie Actress trophy alongside Vanessa Hudgens (Journey 2: Mysterious Island) and Kristen Stewart (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2).

Johnny Depp (Dark Shadows), Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man), Zachary Gordon (Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Dog Days) and Will Smith (Men in Black 3) are in the running for Favorite Movie Actor.

Nickelodeon’s 26th Annual Kids’ Choice Awards, hosted by actor Josh Duhamel, will take place at the University of Southern California’s Galen Center in Los Angeles on March 23rd.

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