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‘Claws’ Star Carrie Preston on Playing a Con Artist and ‘Gunning For’ a Lead Role

1 hour ago

Carrie Preston has been playing twisted Southern belles all her life, but as Polly in TNT’s “Claws,” she gets to try something a little different: a fabulist ex-con with an indomitable attitude and a killer manicure. Preston has long been a scene-stealer, in everything from rom-com “My Best Friend’s Wedding” to the vampire soap “True Blood” and legal procedural “The Good Wife.”

Now, as Polly, she’s part of a crew of five women who are also involved with the local West Florida mafia. “That alone was intriguing enough to get me to read the script,” she tells Variety. Her character is a compulsive liar who enjoys her fictional histories more than her depressing real one. But as Preston learned when discovered more about “Claws’” “insane words and incredible characters,” she learned that the story of what really happens to Polly — a story slowly unfolding in “Claws” — is even more bonkers than the stories she »


- Sonia Saraiya

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TV News Roundup: Rob Lowe’s A&E Supernatural Reality Series Sets Premiere Date

2 hours ago

In today’s roundup, A&E reveals the premiere date for “The Lowe Files,” while Freida Pinto joins the cast of “The Path” on Hulu. 

Dates

A&E announced that “The Lowe Files” will launch on August 2 at 10 p.m. Et/Pt. Executive produced by Rob Lowe, the series follows the famous actor and his two sons, Matthew and John, as they explore mysteries, legends, and supernatural phenomena such as Bigfoot sightings and the existence of ghosts. Watch a sneak peek of the series below.

PodcastOne and A&E are partnering together for the launch of “Cold Case Files: The Podcast.” Based off the A&E series “Cold Cases,” crime fans will follow detectives on their journey to solve a range of unsolved cases. With the aid of forensic technology, investigators will be able to unveil the secrets of these tragedies. Hosted by Brooke Gittings, “Cold Case Files: The Podcast” will air every Tuesday on »


- Dixie Limbachia

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‘Pretty Little Liars’ Behind-the-Scenes Set Tour With Creator Marlene King (Watch)

2 hours ago

Have you ever wondered what it’s really like in Rosewood? Well then, you’re in luck.

To celebrate the series finale of “Pretty Little Liars,” creator Marlene King takes us on a behind-the-scenes tour of the set where “Pll” has filmed for the past seven years since it premiered back in June 2010.

Pretty Little Liars” was filmed on the Warner Bros. backlot located in Southern California, where other popular TV series like “The Big Bang Theory,” “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “Conan,” “Gilmore Girls,” “ER,” and “Friends” all call home. Fun fact: King’s newest show, Freeform’s “Famous in Love” with Bella Thorne, also tapes at the Warner Bros. lot on one of the sound-stages — Stage 8 — that was vacated by “Liars” when the show wrapped. “Pll” shot on Stages 6, 7, and 8.

In this behind-the-scenes video, exclusively released to Variety from Freeform, King drives around in her golf cart, aptly named the “Pretty Little Mar Cart,” to »


- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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TV Exec Who Discovered Roger Ailes Is Facing Sexual Harassment Claims

3 hours ago

The legendary TV executive who gave Roger Ailes his start, and much later produced a show on Fox News, announced on Tuesday that attorney Lisa Bloom is threatening to sue him for sexual harassment.

Woody Fraser, the 82-year-old creator of “The Mike Douglas Show” and many other programs, is attempting to turn the tables on Bloom by preemptively announcing that she is targeting him. According to Fraser, two women have hired the attorney and demanded a significant sum to make the allegations go away. He said they have threatened to go public within the next few days.

“I do not possess the financial resources demanded by Ms. Bloom to prevent a media circus,” Fraser said in a statement. “So, instead, I am going to take away the hammer of publicity and am letting the public know that these unfounded claims are about to be aired publicly, including an attempt to label me the next ‘Roger Ailes.' »


- Gene Maddaus

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‘Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’ to Launch Monologue Recap on Amazon’s Echo Show Device

4 hours ago

NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” is about to get yet another digital destination: Amazon’s Echo Show voice-activated video device.

Starting Wednesday, users of the $230 Echo Show will be able to watch a video replay of Fallon’s “Tonight Show” monologue from the previous night. After subscribing to the show’s flash briefing in their settings, users can start playing the video clip on the Echo Show’s 7-inch screen just by saying, “Alexa, what is my flash briefing?”

Currently, the “Tonight Show” flash briefing is the only recap-segment content on Alexa for Echo Show, according to Amazon. But there are several other flash briefings that have been optimized for video on Echo Show from content partners including CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg, TechCrunch and People.

Of course, not many people will be able to catch the first installment or two of Fallon’s monologue replays: Amazon is set to begin shipping the Echo Show on »


- Todd Spangler

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Bill Cosby Calls Reports of Sexual Assault ‘Town Halls’ False ‘Propaganda’

5 hours ago

Bill Cosby has ruled out holding a series of “town halls” to discuss sexual assault, an idea first floated by his publicists last week.

“The current propaganda that I am going to conduct a sexual assault tour is false,” Cosby said in a statement, issued by spokesman Andrew Wyatt. “Any further information about public plans will be given at the appropriate time.”

A Pennsylvania jury failed to reach a verdict earlier this month on charges that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted Andrea Constand in 2004. The district attorney has announced he intends to retry the 79-year-old comedian.

Cosby’s publicists took the outcome of the trial as a victory. Wyatt and a colleague, Ebonee Benson, went on Wbrc, a local Fox affiliate in Birmingham, Alabama, to discuss Cosby’s plans for the future. They indicated that Cosby would share lessons on how to avoid being falsely accused of sexual misconduct.

“We’re now planning town halls and we »


- Gene Maddaus

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Time Warner’s Turner Projects Volume Gains in TV Upfront

6 hours ago

Time Warner’s Turner expects to capture a greater volume of advance ad commitments in TV’s annual upfront marketplace, the latest indication that the TV industry may be faring better than expected in its efforts to woo Madison Avenue to its programs despite changes in audience behavior sparked by the advent of new video-streaming technology.

Turner, which operates TBS, TNT, CNN, Adult Swim and other cable-tv networks, has completed approximately 80% of its negotiations with media agencies, according to a person familiar with the matter. The company expects its volume of advance ad commitments to rise by an increase in the mid-single-digit percentage range, this person said. In 2016, Turner’s volume was seen rising between 2% and 4%. Drawing a straight line from upfront talks to tangible cash is difficult, but Turner’s ad revenue rose 3%, or $126 million, in 2016, according to its parent company. Advertiser interest in sports and news programming played a key role in the rise.

Each »


- Brian Steinberg

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Netflix Orders Comedy Series Starring ‘New Edition Story’s’ Jahi Winston

6 hours ago

Netflix has ordered a new comedy series titled “Everything Sucks” that will star Jahi Winston, who played a young Ralph Tresvant in Bet’s “The New Edition Story.”

The 10-episode series follows two groups of high school misfits, an A/V club and a Drama club who collide in 1996 Oregon. The series stars Peyton Kennedy and Winston as students Kate Messner and Luke O’Neil. The series also stars Patch Darragh and Claudine Nako as their respective parents. Sydney Sweeney, Elijah Stevenson, Quinn Liebling, and Rio Mangini will also star. »


- Joe Otterson

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‘Silicon Valley’: Erlich’s Bizarre Departure Reveals the Tragedy Behind the Comedy

7 hours ago

Season 4 of “Silicon Valley,” which ended Sunday night, plays more like a tragedy than any of the show’s adventures so far. After three seasons of trying to combat magnate Gavin Belson (Matt Ross), the vicious head of the show’s Google-like Hooli, protagonist Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch) spends most of Season 4 in a free fall of his own principles. If “Silicon Valley” started as a story where Richard thought he was going to defeat Gavin, it paused Sunday night as a story observing that Richard is becoming Gavin, one agonizing moral compromise at a time.

Meanwhile, one of the show’s most beloved characters, the big-haired and blustering Erlich Bachmann (T.J. Miller), was written off the show with an ending that is neither happy nor conclusive: He’s sentenced to a five-year opium addiction in Tibet, with a careless shrug, at the end of a season where he kept trying and failing to find his place »


- Sonia Saraiya

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AMC Renews ‘Better Call Saul’ for Season 4

7 hours ago

AMC has renewed “Better Call Saul” for a fourth season.

Exec produced by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, “Better Call Saul” stars Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill, the lawyer character introduced to viewers as Saul Goodman on the Gilligan-created “Breaking Bad.” The series is the third most watched scripted cable drama so far this year among viewers 25-54, averaging 1.98 million such viewers in Nielsen live-plus-three numbers.

“Supporting artists we respect and admire; delivering truly outstanding character development and nuanced dramatic twists and turns; continuing a legacy of bold creative choices; loving writing that is the best in the business: Truly, ‘S’all good, man’” said Charlie Collier, president of AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios. “Congratulations to Vince, Peter, Bob and everyone involved with ‘Better Call Saul.’ Bring on season four!”

Better Call Saul” was nominated for seven Primetime Emmy Awards in 2016, including outstanding drama series and outstanding actor in a drama series for Odenkirk.

The »


- Daniel Holloway

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Lizzy Caplan, Rick Okon board Sky’s $28m ‘Das Boot’ Sequel (Exclusive)

7 hours ago

Rick Okon (“Tatort”) will captain the U-612 U-boat in the upcoming “Das Boot” series, with Lizzy Caplan (“Masters of Sex”), and August Wittgenstein (“The Crown”) also cast in the €25 million drama.

A 104-day shoot for the high-end series starts at end-August and will take in La Rochelle, Prague, Malta and Munich. Billed as a sequel to the 1981 film and Lothar-Günther Buchheim novel, the show will go out on Sky’s pay TV channels in Germany, Italy, and the U.K.

Other cast members include Vicky Krieps (“Colonia Dignidad”), Jonathan Zaccaϊ (“Robin Hood”), Leonard Scheicher (“Finsterworld”), Robert Stadlober (“Summer Storm”), Franz Dinda (“The Cloud”), and Stefan Konarske (“The Young Karl Marx”). German filmmaker Andreas Prochaska (“The Dark Valley”) will direct the eight-part series, which launches on Sky next fall.

Sonar Entertainment, Sky, and Bavaria Fernsehproduktion are making the series. Moritz Polter and Oliver Vogel, are the executive producers for Bavaria Fernsehproduktion, and »


- Stewart Clarke

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Doug Liman’s ‘Impulse’ Gets Series Order From YouTube Red

8 hours ago

YouTube has given a series order to “Impulse,” a drama from Universal Cable Productions and executive producer Doug Liman of Hypnotic. The series is based on the third novel in the “Jumper” series by Steven Gould.

Hypnotic’s David Bartis and Gene Klein will also executive produce with Lauren LeFranc. Jeffrey Lieber, Jason Horwitch, and Gary Spinelli are writing.

The new series is slated to premiere on subscription-video service YouTube Red in 2018.

“This unique thriller pulled us in right from the opening scene,” said Susanne Daniels, global head of original content, YouTube. “We are thrilled to be in business with Doug Liman and everyone at Ucp and Hypnotic.”

“We are very excited to be working with Susanne, YouTube and Hypnotic on ‘Impulse’,” said Jeff Wachtel, chief content officer, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, and president, Universal Cable Productions. “It’s always fun to start work on a new series, especially when it’s with a partner like YouTube that »


- Daniel Holloway

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Cable News Ratings: MSNBC, CNN, Fox News Post Double-Digit Growth in Q2

8 hours ago

The viewership spike for cable news shows no signs of slowing down. Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC all saw double-digit ratings growth across the board for the second quarter of 2017, according to Nielsen data.

Driven by surges for “The Rachel Maddow Show” and “Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell,” MSNBC is up a whopping 86% in total viewers in primetime compared to second-quarter 2016. CNN saw a 39% leap in adults 25-54 in total day. Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow” split the crown for most-watched cable news program in primetime, with Carlson winning in total viewers and Maddow taking the demo.

In total day, Fox News led with 1.47 million total viewers, up 27% from the same period last year. Of those, 314,000 fell in the adults 25-54 demographic, up 46% from last year. MSNBC was second in total viewers with 886,000, up 73%. MSNBC was third in total day in the demo, however, with »


- Joe Otterson

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Jimmy Fallon Tops Stephen Colbert in Total Viewers for First Time in 5 Months

8 hours 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

9 hours 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

10 hours 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

10 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

12 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 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 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 does not appear to realize that he is being videotaped by a man whose face »


- Cynthia Littleton

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

13 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

13 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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