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Weekend notebook (Updated)

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 31, 2014

I wrote an extensive collection of comments from the visit to Cleveland by the cast and writer of "The Fault in Our Stars." It is in print editions of the Beacon Journal tomorrow and online here.

The Beacon Journal's Cheryl Powell interviewed cancer survivors who were part of "Fault."

This week's TV roundup is here.

This week's DVD/Blu-ray column, with a lot about Jerry Lewis, is here.

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Rich and the movies: Knowing movie history (with an added note)

By Ohio.com Published: May 30, 2014

This week, Beacon Journal pop culture writer Rich Heldenfels has been wondering lately if movies should come with an entrance exam. Just how much do you need to know about a movie before seeing it?

(Rich here. After I did this video, I thought about a related point: How much historical background should you have on a topic before seeing a movie about it? For example, what should you have known about "42" or "The Monuments Men"? Or are those cases requiring post-moviegoing homework -- you see the movie, take its story in and then see what the facts are?

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Tyra Banks returning to daytime talk in 2015

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 30, 2014

The official word: Supermodel, business woman, producer, and media mogul Tyra Banks will host and executive produce a new daily lifestyle talk show beginning in 2015, it was announced today by Disney-ABC. Tyra, an icon and trusted name in the fashion and beauty space, will lead a team of lifestyle experts on a wide-range of topics. Incorporating Tyra's remarkable social media reach of more than 28 million followers across all platforms, as well as her digitally connected co-hosts, the show will offer a true cross-platform experience. The yet-to-be named nationally syndicated show will broadcast from Los Angeles. It will be produced by Disney-ABC’s Summerdale Productions with Tyra Banks as executive producer, and distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television.

Capitalizing on the daytime audience’s tremendous appetite for lifestyle content, Tyra and her team will provide daily takeaway that is innovative, informative, and accessible. From fashion and beauty to home and entertaining to empowerment and individual enterprise, the show will motivate viewers to improve and enhance their lives by providing cutting edge guidance. Tyra will also welcome celebrities, internet influencers, experts and everyday people to share their own knowledge across a wide-range of topics that are important to the daytime audience.

“Tyra is an enormous and vibrant talent with widespread appeal and we’re eager to introduce her new lifestyle show that will incorporate her personal message of self-confidence to the syndication marketplace,” said Janice Marinelli, president, Disney-ABC Domestic Television.

"Tyra is truly unique in that she is both aspirational and extremely relatable to women of all ages," added Lisa Hackner, executive vice president, Daytime & Syndicated Programming, ABC Entertainment Group. “With an extraordinary social media following and legions of fans built over her years on television, Tyra is more relevant than ever. She is the ideal personality to infuse lifestyle content with fresh energy, humor, and the practical information the daytime audience craves.”

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Hello, Americans

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 30, 2014

And when I say "Americans," I am using a different definition than that assumed by the racist, xenophobic swine who tweeted angrily during the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

I came late to Thursday's telecast, and only found the Bee while channel-flipping. But once I was there, I stayed until the end, engrossed in the seeming impossibility of the words, the pauses and questions preceding each spelling, the humor, the charm of the players and, finally, the slow march toward a tie ending. It was the first tie in more than 50 years, and utterly exciting.

So, of course, some people could only focus on the contestants' names, skin color and backgrounds. Because, to those people, it's not enough to be from Painted Post, New York, or Fort Worth, Texas. To the complainers, tt's not enough to be smart and articulate. You have to look a certain way.

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Straight No Chaser sets Cleveland return

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 30, 2014

The official word: Atlantic Records recording group Straight No Chaser has announced a massive 58-city, 66-show tour, dubbed “The Happy Hour Tour,” returning to PlayhouseSquare’s Palace Theatre Sunday, December 7 for shows at 3 and 7:30 pm. Tickets go on sale Fri., May 30 at 10 am at playhousesquare.org, 216-241-6000 or the PlayhouseSquare Ticket Office, priced at $49.50, $39.50 & $29.50.  (Additional details on Straight No Chaser, fan club information and regularly updated ticket information can be found at www.sncmusic.com/tour.)

Straight No Chaser’s fourth full-length release, last year’s “UNDER THE INFLUENCE” saw the vocal group reimagining a selection of their all-time favorite songs alongside many of the superstar artists and undisputed music icons that made them famous.  Produced by Mark Kibble (a founding member of the legendary a cappella group Take 6 and one of Straight No Chaser’s primary influences), the album included unprecedented collaborations with some of popular music’s best and brightest – including Phil Collins, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Dolly Parton, Rob Thomas, Seal, Sara Bareilles, and Jason Mraz – as Straight No Chaser put their distinctive and inimitable spin on songs known and loved the world over.

Long renowned for their trademark takes on Yuletide favorites, Straight No Chaser celebrated Christmas 2013 by unwrapping an all-new cache of Christmas classics, entitled “UNDER THE INFLUENCE: HOLIDAY EDITION.” Among the EP’s highlights were renditions of “White Christmas” (featuring Cee Lo Green) and “Merry Christmas Baby” (featuring Otis Redding), alongside new versions of standards like “Amazing Grace.” The EP further included a timeless rendition of Paul McCartney’s classic “Wonderful Christmastime” featuring vocals by McCartney himself.

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OWN lines up Maya Angelou programs for Sunday

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 30, 2014

The official word: OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network will air a special tribute in memory of Dr. Maya Angelou with encore presentations including “Super Soul Sunday, “Oprah’s Master Class,” “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” and the network premiere of “Oprah Winfrey’s Legends Ball” this Sunday, June 1 from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. ET/PT on OWN.  Immediately following, “Oprah’s Master Class” with Whoopi Goldberg will air at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

 

Oprah Remembers Dr. Maya Angelou:

“I've been blessed to have Maya Angelou as my mentor, mother/sister, and friend since my 20’s.  She was there for me always, guiding me through some of the most important years of my life.  The world knows her as a poet but at the heart of her, she was a teacher.  ‘When you learn, teach.  When you get, give’ is one of my best lessons from her.

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Marilyn Manson joins "Sons of Anarchy"

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 29, 2014

The official word about Canton's own: Marilyn Manson has been cast in FX’s hit show Sons of Anarchy as “Ron Tully,” a white supremacist prison shot-caller who Jax uses to expand his power base.

 

Marilyn Manson is known, by most, for selling millions of records, being a successful writer, painter, performer and provocateur.  He has also made many cameos in films and television.

 

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"Hell on Wheels" returns in August

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 29, 2014

The official word: AMC’s original Western drama “Hell on Wheels,” will return for an expanded fourth season of 13 episodes on Saturday, August 2 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT. The new season of the series, which stars Anson Mount, Colm Meaney and Common, will air in two parts with the first 10 episodes running consecutively through Saturday, October 4, before taking a hiatus during the networks annual FearFest programming, and returning for the final three episodes beginning on Saturday, November 8.

 

“Hell On Wheels” shifted to the Saturday night slot last year to partner with the network’s already successful Western programming on Saturdays, and delivered an average audience of 3.3 million viewers, live plus 3. Additionally, the series nearly doubled (+97%) the network’s Saturday prime average and was +152% higher than the total day average. For season four, the network will once again package the series with favorite Western titles, including the films, “The Horse Whisperer,” “Tombstone,” and “Jeremiah Johnson,” and the network premiere of the mini-series, “Comanche Moon.”

 

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"Chelsea Lately" ends in August; long farewell planned

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 28, 2014

The official word: After seven successful years on the air, Chelsea Handler will end her late night run on E! with the series finale of “Chelsea Lately.”   The network will say farewell to Handler’s comedy series with a month-long celebration of special episodes and surprise guests leading up to the live series finale on Tuesday, August 26 at 11:00pmET/PT.


“We are very proud of ’Chelsea Lately’s’ long-running success and the unique space that the series carved out in late night television,” said Suzanne Kolb, President, E!  "Chelsea brought a distinct voice to late night with her acerbic wit and fearless commentary and we look forward to providing fans with a memorable send-off that lives up to that tradition.  Most of all, we are grateful to the ‘Chelsea Lately’ team for making this show so special for seven years.”


“I myself am more surprised than anyone that I was able to hold down a job for seven years, and it was a fantastic seven years,” said Handler. “I will always look back at my time on E! as most people look back at their time in college.  I'm glad I went. ”


"Chelsea Lately" will continue to air new episodes weeknights at 11:00pmET/PT on E! until the series finale on August 26.  The series is produced by Borderline Amazing Productions.  Executive producers are Chelsea Handler, Tom Brunelle and Susan Murphy.

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Rita Dove remembers Maya Angelou

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 28, 2014

The Akron native and former U.S. Poet Laureate has offered this statement about Angelou, who has died at age 86:

Maya Angelou was indeed a phenomenal woman – rising from the ashes of a childhood that would have rendered many of us mute and enraged, she made her way in a world that all too often despised her kind – a black woman, tall, fierce, and most fearsome of all, unafraid. 

All of this is chronicled in the six volumes of her landmark autobiography – most notably its first volume, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Now children read sections of it in school.  As my grandmother would have said had she met her:” Girl, you done done something!”

I have encountered so many people for whom her poetry has been a balm and even a salvation:  This is no mean feat, muttering critics aside.  And though I would not count myself among the most ardent fans of her poetry, I admired her Inaugural recitation for President Clinton, On the Pulse of Morning, as a masterful exemplar of the occasional poem.  It manages that most difficult trick: to be both simple and deep, appreciated by the person on the street upon first hearing, and yet containing riches upon closer, deeper reading – complex images, poignant litanies, a trajectory from the dinosaurs to the moment we were celebrating:  a new President, a new era. 

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PlayhouseSquare sets celebration of Ray Shepardson for June

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 28, 2014

You can read more about the man here  and here. The official word about the event:

PlayhouseSquare and the Shepardson family will host a celebration of Raymond K. “Ray” Shepardson’s life and legacy on Tuesday, June 24 at 4 p.m. in the State Theatre Lobby. Those planning to attend are asked to indicate their intention to do so at playhousesquare.org/ray.

 

Call it luck or call it fate, Ray Shepardson was undoubtedly in the right place at the right time when, as an employee of the Cleveland Board of Education, he was looking for a suitable meeting space for teachers and came across a series of abandoned theaters. With incredible foresight and vision, he believed that restoring and revitalizing those theaters would transform downtown Cleveland. His powers of persuasion convinced others that the theaters were an irreplaceable resource. Following a grueling seven-year run of presenting 200-300 performances each year before the theaters were fully restored, Shepardson went on to play starring roles in theater restoration projects in Columbus, Detroit and St. Louis, and has consulted on more than 35 major restoration projects all over the country.

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Apparently some people need variety in their happy hours ...

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 28, 2014

Offered without further comment, this official word about an addition to the iTunes store ((https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id879840229):

With over 30,000 happy hours in over 100 cities, Happy Hours by Hotspot (www.HotspotHappyHours.com) offers the most comprehensive list of happy hours ever assembled.  Happy Hours by Hotspot is also the first happy hour app that fully integrates with Foursquare and Yelp. There's no registration and no ads.

“We built 'Happy Hours by Hotspot' because upon coming to NYC, we found it unreasonably difficult to find reasonably priced drinks.” said Jasjit Singh, Co-founder and CEO of Hotspot. “We also found the current happy hour apps atrocious - in both style and substance. Building a much better happy hour app was just an obvious way to help people save money and also explore their cities.”

The app shows users which happy hours are happening near them in real time, and which ones coming up. Users can also search for a happy hour on the map, get directions, and share the happy hour with friends.

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Maya Angelou, RIP

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 28, 2014

 

The poet, author and social commentator has died at the age of 86. One obit is here.

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"Masterchef" top contenders include three Ohio competitors

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 28, 2014

Youngstown, Columbus and Wilmington are represented. The official word: The competition continues on Monday, June 2 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX, as the Top Finalists face their first mystery box challenge of the season. The contestants will have 90 minutes to cook a unique and impressive dish using mainly dessert ingredients including chocolate, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, brandy, ladyfingers, extracts, honey and ground coffee. The winner of the mystery box challenge will have a significant advantage in the next round and determine which classic American dishes the remaining contestants will have to prepare in the elimination round. At the end of the episode, the MASTERCHEF journey will end for two home cooks.

 

Below are the Top Finalists and the signature dish that earned them a MASTERCHEF apron:

 

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"Heartland" returns June 4

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 28, 2014

The official word: UP, America’s favorite channel for uplifting family entertainment, will premiere all-new episodes of the sixth season of the UP Original Series “Heartland,” the hit romantic and rustic family drama based on Lauren Brooke’s best-selling novels, starring Amber Marshall (The Elizabeth Smart Story, “The Power Strikers”), Graham Wardle (Yesterday, In the Land of Women) and Michelle Morgan (Diary of the Dead, “Stargate: Atlantis”).  Produced by SEVEN24 Films and Dynamo Film Inc., original episodes of “Heartland” will debut exclusively on UP every Wednesday this summer, beginning on Wednesday, June 4 at 9:00 p.m. EDT / 6:00 p.m. PDT.

 

The series also stars Shaun Johnston (Two Brothers, a Girl and a Gun, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee), Nathaniel Arcand (Grey Owl, “Due South”), Chris Potter (Red Glare, “The Good Witch”), Kerry James (On the Other Hand, Death, “Aliens in America”), Jessica Amlee (Eve and the Fire Horse, Love Crimes of Gillian Guess), Gabriel Hogan (The Day Santa Didn’t Come, “King”) and Alisha Newton (Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, “Supernatural”). 

 

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"Community" fifth and final season on DVD in August

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 27, 2014

The official word: Our favorite study group is back at Greendale Community College
Aug. 5 when Sony Pictures Home Entertainment releases COMMUNITY: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON on DVD. The fifth season reunites popular creator Dan Harmon with his funny and quick-witted ensemble cast.

 Led by Joel McHale (TV’s “The Soup”), Community also stars Gillian Jacobs (TV’s “The Good Wife”), Danny Pudi (TV’s “Greek”), Yvette Nicole Brown (TV’s “Rules of Engagement”), Alison Brie (TV’s “Mad Men”), Donald Glover (TV’s “Girls”), Ken Jeong (The Hangover Part III) and Academy Award® winner Jim Rash (Best Writing,
Adapted Screenplay; The Descendants, 2011). In the fifth season, Greendale College is in a stage of transition with the addition of new teachers and new students. Paired with the original gang, the result is more off-kilter hijinks for every Community fan to enjoy.

COMMUNITY: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON contains all 13 episodes on a two-disc DVD set, featuring cast and crew commentary on every episode, outtakes, and two all-new, behind-the-scenes featurettes. “Re-Animating the ‘80s” gives an inside look at the team behind the animation of “G.I. Jeff” and the process of developing the look,
script and characters. “Advanced Television Production: 5 Days, 2 Scripts, No Sleep” is a 42 minute in-depth and intimate look into the writers’ room with creator Dan Harmon.  The featurette documents Harmon as he writes two episodes in a very short amount of time, while managing his other duties as Showrunner, from attending rehearsals and reshoots to meeting with the crew on upcoming productions issues.

Guest stars in the fifth season include Jonathan Banks (TV’s “Breaking Bad”), John Oliver (TV’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”), Mitch Hurwitz (TV’s “Arrested Development”), Vince Gilligan (TV’s “Breaking Bad”), Brie Larson
(21 Jump Street), David Cross (TV’s “Arrested Development”), Walton Goggins (TV’s “Justified”), Rob Corddry
(In A World…), Nathan Fillion (TV’s “Castle”) and many more.
SYNOPSIS:
The fifth season of "Community" finds Jeff (McHale) teaching at Greendale one year after graduation. Meanwhile, the death of Pierce (Chase) leads to shocking discoveries among the group. Troy (Glover) leaves Greendale in search of new adventures; Annie (Brie) and Abed (Pudi) search for a new roommate; Professor Hickey (Banks) shows Jeff the ropes; and the school board makes a shocking decision that affects the whole group. An animated episode is featured.
 

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"Cedar Cove" second season coming in July

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 27, 2014

The official word:

HALLMARK CHANNEL ORIGINAL PRIMETIME SERIES
‘DEBBIE MACOMBER’S CEDAR COVE’
SEASON 2 RETURNS
SATURDAY, JULY 19 (8 pm ET/PT, 7C)

OLIVIA STRUGGLES TO SUPPORT JACK & ERIC AT THE HOSPITAL
AS PAINFUL MEMORIES FROM HER PAST RESURFACE;
JUSTINE & SETH CLASH WITH WARREN OVER THE FATE OF THE RESTAURANT

In Episode #2001 – Letting Go: Part One, the drama in Cedar Cove returns as Olivia (Andie MacDowell) and Jack (Dylan Neal) rush to the hospital to wait with Jack’s son, Eric (Tom Stevens), as Eric’s girlfriend Shelly (guest star Hayley Sales) suffers from a serious pregnancy complication.  While a scared Eric angrily pushes his father away, Olivia flashes back to the last time she was in the hospital—the tragic day her son died.  Even as she tries to push aside the paralyzing memories, she must remain strong for a shaky Shelly, who has made a decision about her future that could affect them all.  Meanwhile, Justine (Sarah Smyth) and Seth (Corey Sevier) cope with the aftermath of the restaurant fire and a shocking development in the federal investigation against Justine’s manipulative ex-fiancé, Warren (Brennan Elliott), and decide how to move forward with the business—and with their relationship.  And Maryellen (Elyse Levesque) goes to extra lengths to help a missing John (Charlie Carrick) when two mysterious men show up to track him down, posing a threat to all of Cedar Cove.  Also starring: Teryl Rothery (“Grace”), Barbara Niven (“Peggy Beldon”), Bruce Boxleitner (“Bob Beldon”), Sebastian Spence (“Cliff Harting”), Timothy Webber (“Moon”) and Garry Chalk (“Sheriff Troy Davis”).

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"American Masters" announces new programs for August-December

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 27, 2014

The official list:

American Masters -- Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning
Premieres nationwide Friday, August 29, 9-10:30 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)

Her celebrated photograph Migrant Mother is one of the most recognized and arresting images in the world, a haunting portrait that came to represent the suffering of America's Great Depression. Yet few know the story, struggles and profound body of work of the woman who created the portrait: Dorothea Lange. Directed and narrated by Lange's granddaughter Dyanna Taylor, herself an award-winning cinematographer and director of photography, Grab a Hunk of Lightning explores the life, passions and uncompromising vision of the woman behind the camera, whose enduring images document six turbulent decades of American history. Taylor, who learned to see the visual world through her grandmother's eyes, combines intimate family memories and journals with extensive scholarship and never-before-seen footage to bring Lange's life and work, triumphs and pain, into sharp focus. The result is a revealing documentary of the artist whose empathy for people on the margins of society challenged America to know itself. 90 minutes. Preview video: http://vimeo.com/87549512

 

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Television Critics Association awards nominations

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 27, 2014

The official word: The Television Critics Association (TCA)—a media organization with more than 200 professional TV critics and journalists from the United States and Canada announced today the nominations for the 30th Annual TCA Awards. The 2014 TCA Awards recognize outstanding television programming in the 2013-2014 season, honoring actors, producers and programs in a variety of categories, including news and information, youth, reality, drama and comedy achievements.

 

The winners of the 30th Annual TCA Awards will be announced at the invitation-only presentation on Saturday, July 19, 2014, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, as part of the group’s bi-annual industry conference, the summer press tour. This year’s awards celebration pays tribute to the organization’s past presidents, former hosts and career achievement honorees.

 

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Ready for Sharknado WEEK?

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 27, 2014

The official word: Sharks. Sharks. Everywhere – sharks! From the eagerly anticipated premiere of Sharknado 2: The Second One (July 30), Roger Corman’s Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda (August 2) and Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark (July 26) to the greatest moments in shark film history, Syfy viewers will be swimming with fin-tastic special programming during the channel’s first ever Sharknado Week, airing Saturday, July 26 through Saturday, August 2.

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF SYFY’S SHARKNADO WEEK (ALL TIMES ET/PT)

 

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Weekend notebook

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 24, 2014

This year marks the 75th anniversary of some of the most loved American movies of all time. Does that make 1939 the greatest movie year? Are there other greatest-year contenders? Some thoughts.

"The Bob Newhart Show" was a delight in the '70s. You can see why in a new complete-series DVD set. Good extras, too, including Jack Riley reminiscing about his Cleveland days. And a list of some other Tuesday DVD and Blu-ray releases is here.

The TV season has ended. The TV season is a myth. Here's why.

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Angela Bassett directing "Whitney Houston TV-movie

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 22, 2014

The official word: Golden Globe® Award winner and Academy Award® nominee Angela Bassett will make her directorial debut with the Lifetime Original Movie Whitney Houston (wt).

 

Scheduled for a 2015 world premiere, Whitney Houston chronicles the headline-making relationship between the iconic singer, actress, producer and model, and singer, songwriter Bobby Brown -- from the time they first met at the very height of their celebrity, to their courtship and tumultuous marriage.  Throughout it all, difficulties followed the superstar couple while they dealt with the overwhelming rewards and consequences of the fame and fortune created by Whitney’s meteoric rise that would soon overshadow them both.

 

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Thursday notes

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 22, 2014

Reality show finales week ...

The "Survivor" finale last night proved more riveting than I expected. I've not been thrilled with this season, mainly because I hated Tony, and his winning could not be considered a surprise. But getting to that win certainly was, as the show more than once invited favorable comparisons to the early, glory days of "Survivor." Trish's tribal council speech to Tony was the most emotional one I can remember since the first season's "snake and the rat" monologue. And Woo's decision to take Tony to the jury was on a par with Colby's second-season taking of Tina, which cost Colby the win just the way Woo's cost him.  Thoroughly exciting, and a strong end to a season that kept me watching closely -- although, again, as much as I admired his gamesmanship, I really hated Tony.

Caleb, meanwhile, won "American Idol." To the degree that I cared about who won, I was more in Jena Irene's camp. But she and Caleb both were part of a group of singers that in many other seasons would not have made it this far. They were good but they weren't Kelly Clarkson good, or Candice Glover good.

This is all the more disappointing because in production terms, "Idol" was much improved over recent years. The Harry/Jennifer/Keith judging trio did a nice job, and kept the drama off themselves. The pacing was better. The songs were far more contemporary. But the ratings were down -- and that comes back to the quality of the singers, who were not compelling enough to make viewers want to hear them; and any drama around who was voted off was diminished because, well, it didn't really matter much.

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Video: Two Guys Talkin' about canceled TV shows

By Dan Kadar Published: May 22, 2014

Malcolm X Abram and Rich Heldenfels are talking about all of the good shows that were canceled, like Almost Human and Community. They also discuss TV viewing habits, and when to commit to a new show.

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Video: Recapping the 'Dancing with the Stars' finale

By Ohio.com Published: May 22, 2014

Rich Heldenfels and Lynne Sherwin discuss the final episode of Dancing with the Stars.

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Wednesday notes

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 21, 2014

"The Americans" wraps up its second season tonight; the finale not only ties off two major threads from this season, it digs even deeper into the conflict between being a spy and making personal connections. And it does so in a way that is, in the end, quite horrifying as it sets in motion issues for the third season. Well done.

"Dancing With the Stars" is done, and Lynne Sherwin and I will be having a video chat about it this afternoon. I have been gloomily convinced that the final was going to be Amy vs. Candace, or "She's So Brave" vs. "I'm Dancing for God." So I was more than a little relieved when Candace placed third and Meryl, who in tandem with Maks had been stunning all season, pulled out a much deserved win.

Candace was never that good a dancer -- better than some, but also outlasting several who were better -- yet was able to play the "journey" card with viewers who believe the mirror ball should go to the performer who improves the most. But Meryl and Amy were miles ahead of her. Amy was a very good dance at times, but Derek's choreography was rife with unnecessary gimmickry (The Table! The Rope!) which Meryl and Maks showed up every time They. Just. Danced.

And now we get to ponder what the show might be like if Len in fact leaves. Will they need to find another crotchety judge whose name rhymes with ten?

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"Divergent" on digital, DVD, Blu-ray in July

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 20, 2014

 

The official word: Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), the premier next generation global content leader, will release the electrifying first installment of the blockbuster action adventure franchise Divergent  on Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital HD), DVD (plus Digital), Video on Demand and Pay-Per-View on August 5, the Company announced today.   The film will be available on Digital HD two weeks early on July 22.

 

Based on Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times best-selling book series which has sold nearly 22 million copies worldwide, the film features an all-star cast including Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Academy Award® winner Kate Winslet and Ashley Judd. To date, Divergent has grossed nearly $150 million at the domestic box office and more than $250 million worldwide in its theatrical release on Lionsgate’s Summit Entertainment label, getting the ‎new franchise off to a fast start.  The next three installments -- Insurgent and Allegiant Parts 1 & 2 -- will be released theatrically on March 20, 2015, March 18, 2016 and March 24, 2017, respectively.

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Epix Drive-In presenting Godzilla-thon on Memorial Day

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 19, 2014

Just in case you didn't get enough thrilla from the 'zilla on the big screen recently. The lineup:

Monday, May 26
6:00 AM – Ghidorah, the Three- Headed Monster
7:30 AM – Rodan
8:45 AM – Godzilla’s Revenge
10:00 AM – Godzilla, King of the Monsters!
11:20 AM – Godzilla Raids Again
12:40 PM – Ghidorah, the Three- Headed Monster
2:10 PM – Mothra vs. Godzilla
3:40 PM – Godzilla vs. Monster Zero
5:15 PM – Rodan
6:30 PM – Terror of Mechagodzilla
8:00 PM – Godzilla, King of the Monsters!
9:20 PM – Godzilla Raids Again
10:40 PM – Ghidorah, the Three- Headed Monster
12:10 AM – Mothra vs. Godzilla
1:45 AM – Rodan
3:00 AM – Godzilla vs. Monster Zero

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New "Sailor Moon" DVD and other packages due in 2014; four episodes on Hulu now

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 19, 2014

The official word:

VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, is proud to announce the acquisition of the SAILOR MOON anime franchise. VIZ Media’s North American rights cover digital streaming, EST (Electronic Sell Through) and all home media  products in the U.S. and Canada. Tokyo-based Toei AnimationCo., Ltd. is the producer and global licensor for the SAILOR MOON anime property.

 As part of the new agreement, VIZ Media has licensed all 200 episodes of the original SAILOR MOON anime series (rated ‘TV-PG’), including the never before licensed for North America fifth and final climatic season, “Sailor Stars.” The three feature films and additional specials for the long-running show are also part of the acquisition. SAILOR MOON will be presented digitally for the first time, with subtitled EST sets available starting Summer 2014 and dubbed editions late 2014, and DVD and deluxe limited edition Blu-ray/DVD combo packs are planned for Fall 2014.

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PBS to preview Ken Burns's "Roosevelts" series on June 17

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 19, 2014

PBS has announced that PBS PREVIEWS: THE ROOSEVELTS, an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the making of THE ROOSEVELTS: AN INTIMATE HISTORY, Ken Burns’s upcoming documentary series, will premiere on Thursday, June 17, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. ET on PBS. Hosted by Emmy-winning actress Patricia Clarkson, PBS PREVIEWS: THE ROOSEVELTS will provide a sneak peek lead-in to the broadcast premiere of the seven-part, 14-hour documentary that will air for seven consecutive nights beginning on Sunday, September 14, 2014. The preview program will take viewers inside the making of the epic film that weaves the stories of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, three members of one of the most prominent and influential families in American politics.

 

In PBS PREVIEWS, viewers will be given first-hand access into the grand estates and intimate cottages of the Roosevelts and visit the studio where Burns recorded the voices of the stars who read the diaries, letters and contemporary accounts of this noteworthy family.

 

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AMC launches multi-platform preview of "Halt and Catch Fire"

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 19, 2014

The official word: AMC announced today that it will make its newest drama, “Halt and Catch Fire,” set in the world of technology and the early days of the personal computer, widely available to viewers through a two-week full-episode sneak preview on Tumblr, through video on demand and TV Everywhere services from major video providers, and on AMC.com. The preview will be the first-ever television series premiere on Tumblr, and the first time AMC has partnered with a social media platform to premiere a new show.

 

Watch the sneak preview of the full premiere episode now:

Tumblr: http://amctv.tumblr.com

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"Halloween" 10-film complete set coming

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 19, 2014

It also includes alternate, uh, cuts of some fllms. The official word:

Through the unprecedented collaboration of rival home entertainment companies Anchor Bay Entertainment and Scream Factory – the leading purveyors in horror home entertainment –Halloween The Complete Collection Blu-ray™ box sets arrive September 23rd.

For the legions of Halloween fans, theDeluxe Edition boasts15 discs and contains all the Halloween feature films – Halloween, Halloween II, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, Halloween H20, Halloween: Resurrection, Rob Zombie’s Halloween and Halloween II.The set includes the NEVER BEFORE RELEASED producers cut of Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers as well as the ultra-rare network TV version of the original Halloween, the network TV version of Halloween II, plus the unrated versions of Rob Zombie’s Halloween and Halloween II.

It is packed with hours of BRAND NEW bonus features including new interviews with cast and crew from the entire franchise!In response to years of fan feedback, the first Halloween will now also include the original mono audio track and the set will include both versions of the original Halloween-the original Blu-ray™ release and therecently remastered 35th Anniversaryversion with the mono track added back in!It also comes with a limited edition 40-page book written by Michael Gingold of Fangoria Magazine.The collectible packaging will include a newly commissioned illustration on the outer case and each film will be in its own black Blu-ray™ case with the original theatrical one sheet as the key art. This deluxe set carries an SRP of $169.99.

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New Jenny Lewis album on July 29

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 19, 2014

The official word, including tour dates, for the former Riloy Kiley-er: Celebrated California singer songwriter Jenny Lewis returns with The Voyager, which will be released by Warner Bros. Records on July 29th. This is the former Rilo Kiley frontwoman's third solo album and first in six years, following 2006's Rabbit Fur Coat (with The Watson Twins) and 2008's Acid Tongue.

 

The Voyager is Lewis's most deeply personal album to date, documenting her struggle to cope following the death of her estranged father in 2010 and the subsequent break-up of Rilo Kiley. The Voyager's rootsy, golden glow comes courtesy of Lewis and the artists she chose to produce various tracks, including Ryan Adams (who, alongside Mike Viola, produced all but three of the tracks), Beck, and Lewis' longtime collaborator Johnathan Rice. The Voyager finds the always relatable songwriter at her sharp-witted best, singing about her recent experiences with honesty and incisiveness.

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"Mad Men": "What is a man, what has he got ...

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 19, 2014

... if not himself, then he has naught." So sang Frank Sinatra (words by Paul Anka), and so has said "Mad Men" in the six episodes shown of late. The final season has been cut in two, with seven episodes airing now (so the finale is next Sunday) and seven more in 2015, and there could be some huge twists waiting in the seventh episode. But it is hard to believe they will change the two keys to the current season, which are  "Mad Men's" eternal contemplation of identity -- centered on Don-who-is-not-Don -- and its consideraiton of the getting, keeping and losing of power.

  

Power has seemed to be the driver this year, since Don has had so little of it. He was banished from the agency, forced to maintain a sense of work undercover through Freddie Rumsen, allowed back in only if he ceded power to the partners and to Lou, and in constant danger of being sent away entirely -- a danger that turned to clear threat with the pursuit of Commander cigarettes. Even sex, an area where Don had always asserted power, was no longer in his control, not in a world where the women initiate threesomes.

(Continues after the jump) 

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RIP, Gordon Willis

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 19, 2014

The brilliant cinematographer has died at the age of 82. One story is here. When you look at his body of work, you can see why this is such a loss to film. His "Godfather" cinematography alone is celebrated -- though sometimes underappreciated. As I said in a 2008 DVD column:

I've seen The Godfather and The Godfather Part II countless times over the last 30-plus years. But I am now wondering when I last saw them the way they were meant to be seen.

Paramount's Tuesday DVD release of those movies along with The Godfather Part III is being billed as ''the Coppola restoration,'' masterminded by director Francis Ford Coppola. The third film was remastered and the first two copied from a painstakingly restored version that not only made technical improvements, but that also involved cinematographer Gordon Willis in the process to make sure that the new rendition reflected his original vision for the film.

The result can be startling. As an extra about the restoration notes, wear on the negative and the making of many, many copies led to degradation in the picture, especially in the delicate contrasts between light and dark, and the subtleties in the dark portions.

When restored, Willis's astonishing art was evident.

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AT&T buying DirecTV

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 18, 2014

Media consolidation continues. One story is here. As a consumer, I am wondering if this will make AT&T's U-verse programming more available.

I live in a modest suburb of Akron, and U-Verse targeted the wealthier neighborhoods first; I would get offers from AT&T for phone and Internet but, when I asked about bundling them with U-Verse, I was told that was not available.

What I would like to see, and I realize it is a foolish hope, is that this new deal will kick off a big-time price war between program providers. Even with scaling back the services we get, our Time Warner cable/Internet/phone bill is a killer. And heaven knows what it will be like after the Charter/ TWC merger, after which we will end up with Charter. (As I have said before, it all feels too much like the events around Knight Ridder, McClatchy and Black Press.)

But a price war would suggest some real competition, when all these mergers argue against that.

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Where were you most surprised to encounter a Black Keys song?

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 18, 2014

The guys from Akron, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney, have been all over the place in promotion of their new album, "Turn Blue," which for me at least is a reminder of the brooding, guitar-driven sound of the late '60s and early '70s. The Black Keys are not as omnipresent as they were a few years ago, when they were a constant in commercials; in an Entertainment Weekly interview, they contended that their legal action against sound-alike music in some ads had led to their being blacklisted by advertisers. But hey remain out there -- the Internet Movie Database notes their inclusion in the new movie "Neighbors," for instance, and in his interview with Carney, Malcolm X Abram noted that new stuff has been heard in sports coverage. Especially with new tunes being released, it should not be surprising, then, to run across one of their songs even if the context is at times a bit odd.

Looking for something utterly brain-disengaging to watch, the bride and I tried out "Homefront," an action movie starring Jason Statham and with a script by Sylvester Stallone -- and there was a Black Keys song on the soundtrack  It almost didn't matter that the movie was really bad.

Those of us who have been following the Black Keys for a long time can still remember when there was a hey, it's the guys  pleasant shock to hear them, say, in "School of Rock" (their first screen venture that was not a commercial) or "Black Snake Moan," where their swampy earlier sound fit perfectly, or as a crucial erotic accompaniment to a scene on "Rescue Me." ("I'll Be Your Man" at the end of the episode "Alarm," season 1, episode 9). But looking at the Internet Movie Database's list of Black Keys songs onscreen -- a list, by the way, which does not seem complete -- I wondered how it was that they ended up on "Ghost Whisperer" or "Once Upon a Time." (There does seem to be a widespread assumption that their music works well in supernatuiral contexts, including on "Supernatural.")

So here's the question: Are you still surprised o hear the Black Keys on a soundtrack?  Or have they become so big and commonplace that hearing them as background music is worth no more than a nod and a shrug? Don't think of this as a criticism of "Turn Blue," which I like a lot. But the question of overexposure has been raised about the Black Keys for years now, and I am wondering if that has taken some of the freshness off the band -- or if the changes in their sound make them remain listenable even if you tune out when they're in the background.

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Sunday morning notes

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 18, 2014

Some weekend, eh? Ours included an ice storm, just perfect for an Ohio May. Here's some of what I have had in the Beacon Journal lately:

The TV roundup, with the end of "Warehouse 13," a long list of season finales (and which of those shows will be back in the fall) and more.

The DVD/Blu-ray column, with "Monuments Men" and other titles.

Friday's HeldenFiles, re the success of "Heaven Is For Real" and its youngest star, and other items.

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New Criterion titles in August: "All That Jazz," "Love Streams," more

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 15, 2014

The official word: This August, Criterion presents an array of contemporary classics from around the world, in exciting special editions. They include two by directors new to the collection: the iconic Bob Fosse, with his Oscar-winning autobiographical musical drama All That Jazz; and the beloved Spanish auteur Pedro Almodóvar, with his provocative and sensual Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!.

August will also bring two long-requested titles: John Cassavetes’s raw and emotional Love Streams, never before on DVD or Blu-ray in the U.S.; and Y tu mamá también, the sexy smash hit from Oscar-winning Gravity director Alfonso Cuarón. All that plus a new Blu-ray edition of Shohei Imamura’s intense serial killer thriller Vengeance Is Mine. ...


LOVE STREAMS – Dual Format Blu-ray/DVD Edition & DVD Only Edition
The electric filmmaking genius John Cassavetes (Shadows) and his brilliant wife and collaborator Gena Rowlands (A Woman Under the Influence) give luminous, fragile performances as two closely bound, emotionally wounded characters who reunite after years apart. Exhilarating and risky, mixing sober realism with surreal flourishes, Love Streams is a remarkable film that comes at the viewer in a torrent of beautiful, erratic feeling. This inquiry into the nature of love in all its forms was Cassavetes’s last truly personal work.
1984 • 141 minutes • Color • Monaural • 1.85:1 aspect ratio
DUAL-FORMAT 1-BLU-RAY/2-DVD SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
• New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• New audio commentary featuring writer Michael Ventura
• New video essay on actor Gena Rowlands by film critic Sheila O’Malley
• New interviews with executive producer and director of photography Al Ruban and actor Diahnne Abbott
• Interview from 2008 with actor Seymour Cassel
• “I’m Almost Not Crazy . . .”—John Cassavetes: The Man and His Work (1984), a sixty-minute documentary by Ventura on the making of Love Streams
• Trailer
• PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Dennis Lim and a 1984 piece by Cassavetes on the film from the New York Times
TITLE: LOVE STREAMS (DUAL-FORMAT 1-BLU-RAY AND 2-DVD EDITION)
CAT. NO: CC2386BDDVD
UPC: 7-15515-12431-7
ISBN: 978-1-60465-876-7
SRP: $39.95
PREBOOK: 7/15/14
STREET: 8/12/14
TITLE: LOVE STREAMS (2-DVD EDITION)
CAT. NO: CC2387DDVD
UPC: 7-15515-12441-6
ISBN: 978-1-60465-877-4
SRP: $29.95
PREBOOK: 7/15/14
STREET: 8/12/14
TIE ME UP! TIE ME DOWN! - Dual Format Blu-ray/DVD Edition & DVD Only Edition
Pedro Almodóvar’s colorful and controversial tribute to the pleasures and perils of Stockholm syndrome, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! is a rambunctious dark comedy starring Antonio Banderas (Philadelphia) as an unbalanced but alluring former mental patient and Victoria Abril (Kika) as the B-movie and porn star he takes prisoner in the hopes of convincing her to marry him. A highly unconventional romance that came on the spike heels of Almodóvar’s international sensation Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, this is a splashy, sexy central work in the career of one of the world’s most beloved and provocative auteurs, radiantly shot by the director’s great cinematographer José Luis Alcaine (Volver).

1990 • 101 minutes • Color • 5.1 surround • In Spanish with English subtitles • 1.85:1 aspect ratio
DIRECTOR-APPROVED DUAL-FORMAT 1-BLU-RAY/2-DVD SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
• New 2K digital restoration, supervised by director Pedro Almodóvar and executive producer Agustín Almodóvar, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• New documentary on the making of the film including interviews with Pedro and Agustín Almodóvar; actors Antonio Banderas, Victoria Abril, Loles Léon, Rossy de Palma, and Penélope Cruz; production manager Esther García; editor José Salcedo; and cinematographer José Luis Alcaine
• New interview with Almodóvar collaborator and Sony Pictures Classics copresident Michael Barker
• Conversation from 2003 between Almodóvar and Banderas
• Footage from the film’s 1990 premieres in Madrid and New York
• New English subtitle translation
• PLUS: A booklet featuring a 1990 piece about the film by Almodóvar, a conversation between filmmaker Wes Anderson and critic Kent Jones, and an interview with Almodóvar from 1989
TITLE: TIE ME UP! TIE ME DOWN! (DUAL-FORMAT 1-BLU-RAY AND 2-DVD EDITION)
CAT. NO: CC2364BDDVD
UPC: 7-15515-11751-7
ISBN: 978-1-60465-846-0
SRP: $39.95
PREBOOK: 7/22/14
STREET: 8/19/14
TITLE: TIE ME UP! TIE ME DOWN! (2-DVD EDITION)
CAT. NO: CC2382DDVD
UPC: 7-15515-12391-4
ISBN: 978-1-60465-872-9
SRP: $29.95
PREBOOK: 7/22/14
STREET: 8/19/14
Y TU MAMÁ TAMBIÉN - Dual Format Blu-ray/DVD Edition & DVD Only Edition
The smash road comedy from the Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity) is that rare movie to combine raunchy subject matter and emotional warmth. Gael García Bernal (Amores perros) and Diego Luna (Milk) shot to international stardom as a pair of horny Mexico City teenagers from different classes who, after their girlfriends jet off to Italy for the summer, are bewitched by a gorgeous older Spanish woman (Belle époque’s Maribel Verdú) they meet at a wedding. When she agrees to accompany them on a trip to a faraway beach, the three form an increasingly intense and sensual alliance that ultimately strips them both physically and emotionally bare. Shot with elegance and dexterity by the great Emmanuel Lubezki (The Tree of Life), Y tu mamá también is a funny and moving look at human desire.
2001 • 106 minutes • Color • 5.1 surround • In Spanish with English subtitles • 1.85:1 aspect ratio
DIRECTOR-APPROVED DUAL-FORMAT 1-BLU-RAY/2-DVD SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
• New 2K digital restoration, supervised by director of photography Emmanuel Lubezki and approved by director Alfonso Cuarón, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• On “Y tu mamá también”: Then and On “Y tu mamá también”: Now, two new pieces on the making of the film, featuring interviews with actors Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, and Maribel Verdú; Cuarón; cowriter Carlos Cuarón; and Lubezki
• New interview with philosopher Slavoj Žižek about the film
• On-set documentary from 2001
• Deleted scenes
• You Owe Me One (2002), a short film by Carlos Cuarón
• Trailers
• New English subtitle translation
• PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Charles Taylor and character biographies by Carlos Cuarón
TITLE: Y TU MAMÁ TAMBIÉN (DUAL-FORMAT 1-BLU-RAY AND 2-DVD EDITION)
CAT. NO: CC2384BDDVD
UPC: 7-15515-12411-9
ISBN: 978-1-60465-874-3
SRP: $39.95
PREBOOK: 7/22/14
STREET: 8/19/14
TITLE: Y TU MAMÁ TAMBIÉN (2-DVD EDITION)
CAT. NO: CC2385DDVD
UPC: 7-15515-12421-8
ISBN: 978-1-60465-875-0
SRP: $29.95
PREBOOK: 7/22/14
STREET: 8/19/14
ALL THAT JAZZ - Dual Format Blu-ray/DVD Edition & DVD Only Edition
The preternaturally gifted director and choreographer Bob Fosse (Cabaret) turned the camera on his own life for this madly imaginative, self-excoriating musical masterpiece. Roy Scheider (Jaws) gives the performance of his career as Joe Gideon, whose exhausting work schedule—mounting a Broadway production by day and editing his latest movie at night—and routine of amphetamines, booze, and sex are putting his health at serious risk. Fosse burrows into Gideon’s (and his own) mind, rendering his interior world as phantasmagoric spectacle. Assembled with visionary editing that makes dance come alive on-screen as never before, and overflowing with sublime footwork by the likes of Ben Vereen, Leland Palmer, and the awesomely leggy Ann Reinking, All That Jazz pushes the musical genre to personal depths and virtuosic aesthetic heights.
1979 • 123 minutes • Color • 3.0 surround • 1.85:1 aspect ratio
DUAL-FORMAT 1-BLU-RAY/2-DVD SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
• New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed 3.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• Two audio commentaries: a feature-length one with editor Alan Heim and a scene-specific one with actor Roy Scheider
• Razzle-Dazzle, a new video essay on the film by critic Matt Zoller Seitz
• Episode from 1980 of the television talk show Tomorrow, featuring director Bob Fosse and choreographer Agnes de Mille
• New interview with Heim
• New interview with Fosse biographer Sam Wasson
• Interview excerpts and footage from the set, featuring Fosse and Scheider
• Portrait of a Choreographer, a 2007 documentary on Fosse
• The Soundtrack: Perverting the Standards, a 2007 documentary about the music in the film
• Interview from 2007 with George Benson about his song “On Broadway,” which opens the film
• PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by theater critic Hilton Als
• More!
TITLE: ALL THAT JAZZ (DUAL-FORMAT 1-BLU-RAY AND 2-DVD EDITION)
CAT. NO: CC2388BDDVD
UPC: CC2388BDDVD
ISBN: 978-1-60465-878-1
SRP: $39.95
PREBOOK: 7/29/14
STREET: 8/26/14
TITLE: ALL THAT JAZZ (2-DVD EDITION)
CAT. NO: CC2389DDVD
UPC: 7-15515-12461-4
ISBN: 978-1-60465-879-8
SRP $29.95
PREBOOK 7/29/14
STREET 8/26/14
VENGEANCE IS MINE - Blu–ray Edition
A thief, a murderer, and a charming lady-killer, Iwao Enokizu (Mishima’s Ken Ogata) is on the run from the police. Director Shohei Imamura (The Pornographers) turns this fact-based story—about the seventy-eight-day killing spree of a remorseless man from a devoutly Catholic family—into a cold, perverse, and at times diabolically funny examination of the primitive coexisting with the modern. More than just a true-crime tale, Vengeance Is Mine bares humanity’s snarling id.
1979 • 140 minutes • Color • Monaural • In Japanese with English subtitles • 1.66:1 aspect ratio
BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
• Restored high-definition digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
• Audio commentary from 2005 featuring critic Tony Rayns
• Excerpts from a 1999 interview with director Shohei Imamura, produced by the Directors Guild of Japan
• Trailer and teaser
• PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Michael Atkinson, a 1994 interview with Imamura by writer Toichi Nakata, and writings by Imamura on Vengeance Is Mine and his approach to filmmaking

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"Twin Peaks" Blu-ray set coming with previously unseen footage

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 15, 2014

 

The official word: Twenty-five years after the shocking murder of Laura Palmer in the acclaimed series from legendary filmmaker David Lynch and writer/producer Mark Frost, CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Media Distribution will release TWIN PEAKS – THE ENTIRE MYSTERY.


Arriving for the first time on stunning High Definition Blu-ray with English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio on July 29th, this comprehensive collection contains every episode from the complete television series; both the U.S. and international versions of the series’ Pilot; the North American Blu-ray debut of Lynch’s follow-up feature Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me; and nearly 90 minutes of deleted and alternate scenes from the film. The set also features newly transferred Log Lady introductions for each episode; picture upgrades to many shots in the TV series; a new featurette with Lynch and the actors who portrayed the Palmer family which includes a mesmerizing return to the lives of their characters today; and hours of never-before-released material that dives into the fascinating story behind the celebrated pop culture classic.


Along with a newly transferred version of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, created from a 4K scan of the original negative, TWIN PEAKS – THE ENTIRE MYSTERY Blu-ray box set boasts the long-awaited missing pieces from the original version of the film – nearly an hour-and-a-half of deleted/alternate scenes from Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me – often referred to as the “holy grail” of Twin Peaks fandom. This feature-length experience has been directed and edited by Lynch exclusively for this release. Capping off more than 30 deleted/alternate scenes is an epilogue providing a fascinating glimpse beyond the cliffhanger finale of the TV series.

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'Dancing with the Stars' recap: Dancing on the table

By Ohio.com Published: May 15, 2014

Charlie gets sent home and Amy struts her stuff on the furniture.

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"Fault in Our Stars" movie preview event coming - tickets on sale at 10 a.m. (Updated)

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 15, 2014

Looks as if Cinemark Macedonia is one theater participating. You can check the movie's site here. And this is the official word:

Twentieth Century Fox today announced a special event for its upcoming THE FAULT IN OUR STARS: “The Night Before Our Stars,” where fans will be the first to see the film and be included in an unprecedented live simulcast experience of an exclusive Q&A with THE FAULT IN OUR STARS’ Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort and Nat Wolff, as well as author John Green, director Josh Boone and producer Wyck Godfrey.

Additionally, there is a very special surprise in the works for attendees.  Details coming soon!

This very memorable evening – the largest ever of its kind – will unfold on hundreds of movie screens across the U.S. and Canada. Attendees will also receive a beautiful commemorative charm bracelet and an exclusive poster from the film.

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CW announces schedule

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 15, 2014

 

 

"The Flash" adds to the network's fantasy fare. The official word: The CW Network presented its 2014-15 broadcast schedule today to advertisers, affiliates and national media at New York City Center in New York City. 

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David Tennant/"Doctor Who" events in theaters June 16-17

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 14, 2014

A list of participating theaters in Ohio is below the announcement, The official word: BBC Worldwide North America and Fathom Events announce the celebration of Emmy® Award-winning actor David Tennant (“Broadchurch,” “Fright Night”) in a two-night special theatrical screening event all for the price of one ticket. See David Tennant on the big screen as the Tenth Doctor in the epic two-part Doctor Who story “Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel” on June 16 at 7:30 p.m. local time with never-before-seen bonus content from Tennant himself. The next night, experience the earth from a bird’s eye view in “Wings 3D” narrated by David Tennant on June 17 at 7:30 p.m. local time in RealD™ 3D.

Tickets for “Doctor Who Cybermen + Wings 3D” are available at participating theater box offices and online at www.FathomEvents.com to the public beginning May 15. The event will be presented in 620 select movie theaters around the country through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network. For a complete list of theater locations and prices, visit the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

In this special theatrical cut of “Doctor Who: Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel,” the TARDIS is trapped on a parallel Earth and Rose discovers her father is still alive. But sinister forces are at work as John Lumic prepares British society for the Ultimate Upgrade reawakening an old enemy. Can the Doctor and Rose save the people from conversion or will they face deletion at the hands of the Cybermen?

These episodes mark the first appearance of the Cybermen in the relaunched series of Doctor Who bringing a brand new look to the Doctor's terrifying adversaries. Doctor Who is BBC AMERICA’s highest rated series and celebrated its 50th Anniversary last year.

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HBO preparing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar documentary

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 14, 2014

The basketball legend and social force remains an outspoken presence.  The official word: HBO Sports and Mandalay Sports Media, in association with Iconomy® Multi-Media & Entertainment, have begun production and commenced photography in Los Angeles on a documentary about the life and career of Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the National Basketball Association’s all-time leading scorer with 38,387 points, and six-time MVP and world champion.

Scheduled to debut in early 2015 on HBO, the film will be directed by Ron Yassen, produced by Deborah Morales, whose credits include the award-winning documentary “On the Shoulders of Giants,” and executive produced by Mike Tollin, whose credits include the Oscar®-nominated documentary “Hank Aaron: Chasing The Dream,” the hit HBO series “Arli$$” and such feature films as “Coach Carter,” “Radio” and “Varsity Blues.” The documentary on Abdul-Jabbar will spotlight an athlete who had unparalleled impact on and success in basketball, and has journeyed through many controversial and landmark moments over the past 50 years.

“Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a legendary figure and an American sports icon,” says Ken Hershman, president, HBO Sports. “While he has lived so much of his life in the media spotlight, his extraordinary story has never been explored in depth, and we are grateful to Kareem and his team for allowing us to bring this story to life.”

Tollin, co-chairman of Mandalay Sports Media, says the film will “reveal the complexity and genius of Kareem both on and off the court. By his own admission, Abdul-Jabbar has had a complicated and occasionally hostile relationship with the media. This is a unique opportunity to tell all sides of his story.”

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TBS orders more "Conan"

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 14, 2014

That's O'Brien, not the Barbarian. The official word:

TBS and Conan O'Brien are continuing their partnership as the network has renewed the late-night series CONAN through 2018. Since it premiered in November 2010, CONAN has been a hit with TBS's core audience of young adults, scoring a younger median age than any other hour-long talk show in late night.

 

For the year-to-date, CONAN is averaging 862,000 viewers in Live + 7 delivery, with more adults 18-34 than such competitors as The Late Show with David Letterman, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Arsenio Hall Show, Chelsea Lately and Watch What Happens: Live. The show garnered growth in Q1 2014, with adults 18-34 up by +12% and adults 18-49 increasing by +5% compared to Q4.

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For your viewing planning: a list of upcoming TNT premiere dates

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 14, 2014

Major Crimes – Season 3 Premiere: Monday, June 9, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
Murder in the First – Series Premiere: Monday, June 9, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
Rizzoli & Isles – Season 5 Premiere: Tuesday, June 17, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
Perception – Season 3 Premiere: Tuesday, June 17, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
Cold Justice – Season 2.1 Premiere: Friday, June 20, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
The Last Ship – Series Premiere: Sunday, June 22, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
Falling Skies – Season 4 Premiere: Sunday, June 22, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
Legends – New Series Premiere: Wednesday, Aug. 13, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
Franklin & Bash – Season 4 Premiere: Wednesday, Aug. 13, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
Dallas – Season 3.1 Premiere: Monday, Aug. 18, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
On the Menu – New Series: Fall 2014
Wake Up Call – New Series: Fall 2014
Transporter The Series – New Series: Fall 2014

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CBS announces fall schedule

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 14, 2014

A third "NCIS," a new "CSI'; "Mentalist" survives for mid-season, "Two and a Half Men's" next season will be its last, more. The official word:

CBS today unveiled its 2014-2015 primetime schedule, featuring eight new series – with five to launch in the fall – as well as the premiere of NFL THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL on the Network.

 

CBS, which will finish the current season as America’s most-watched network in viewers for the 11th time in 12 years, is introducing four new dramas and one new comedy this fall.

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WKYC adds "Blacklist" replay

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 14, 2014

The season finale of "The Blacklist" -- and a rip-roaring finale it is -- will air at 3 p.m. today on WKYC (Channel 3). "Family Feud" is pre-empted. The station announcement is here.

The weather coverage on Monday night disrupted local prime-time telecast something fierce, with stations taking different paths to resolve the problem. For example, WEWS (Channel 5) used a split screen dominated by its weather reporting, but with a smaller share of the screen showing "Dancing With the Stars" (sans music or dialogue), WJW pushed "Bones" and "24: Live Another Day" to Tuesday night beginning at 11 p.m.; although my onscreen guide did not list the rescheduling, I just set the recording timer for the 11 p.m. show and extended it a couple of hours.

WKYC replayed its prime-time stuff Monday beginning at about 10:30 p.m., "The Voice" followed by "The Blackist," which put "The Blacklist" on at about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday; again, the onscreen grids did not show this, but I caught "The Blacklist" by setting the recorder for the listed "Tonight Show" and "Late Show." And, through all this, I figured I could catch up with what I missed either online or On Demand.

BUT some folks either missed out or could not program their DVRs properly. so WKYC worked out a deal with NBC (which had to approve any replays) for today's showing.

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ABC announces fall plans

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 13, 2014

Another Marvel agent, Akronite-by-marriage Tim Omundson's series is picked up, and more in the official word:

ABC continues its commitment to world-class storytelling and new creative voices with the announcement of its 2014-15 slate of programming, including the addition of 12 new series. Paul Lee, president, ABC Entertainment Group, will unveil the network’s new lineup to the advertising and media communities this afternoon at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall.

“Our schedule reflects a judicious mix of boldness and stability,” said Lee. “ABC is finishing the season with momentum -- we now have building blocks on every night of the week, and we’re using them to launch our new series. This season we set out to develop passion projects from world-class storytellers and showcase the faces and voices of America. Both plans unleashed a wave of creativity and we're extremely excited about the new slate.”

ABC airs 7 of the Top 20 entertainment series on broadcast TV this season with Adults 18-49, more than any other network, including 4 of the Top 10: “Modern Family” – No. 3, “Grey’s Anatomy” – No. 4, “Scandal” – No. 8, “Resurrection” – No. 9, “Once Upon a Time” – No. 12, “The Bachelor” – No. 16 and “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” – No. 20.

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Maurice Hines coming to Cleveland

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 13, 2014

Above a clip of Maurice and his brother, the late Gregory Hines, dancing in the movie "The Cotton Club." The official word:

Cleveland Play House enthusiastically welcomes dance legend Maurice Hines to Cleveland in the toe-tapping extravaganza, Maurice Hines is Tappin’ Thru Life. Co-produced with Alliance Theatre and Arena Stage, CPH audiences will be dazzled by this infectious production, which brings the history of American tap to life. Directed by Tony-nominee Jeff Calhoun (Newsies) and featuring contemporary tap icons The Manzari Brothers and music from the all-female big band The Diva Orchestra, Tappin’ Thru Life will dance its way onto PlayhouseSquare’s Allen Theatre stage for an extended run from May 30 – June 29. Special gratitude is given to CPH’s generous sponsor, Zinner & Co. Through song and dance, Hines pays tribute to his brother and longtime dance partner, the late Gregory Hines, by taking the audience on a journey through his incredible career in show business. Along the way, Hines pays homage to a number of inspiring showbiz legends, including Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Duke Ellington, Lena Horne and Judy Garland, among others. The result is a high-energy production that mixes vaudeville with Vegas and will leave audiences smiling from ear to ear. CPH Artistic Director Laura Kepley comments: “We blissfully end our 2013-2014 Season on a high note with this electrifying production of Maurice Hines is Tappin’ Thru Life. CPH is honored to have dance icon Maurice Hines gracing our stage with such an incredible team of artists. We are delighted to share this uplifting and invigorating production with our CPH audience and look forward to an incredible new season.” Maurice Hines is Tappin’ Thru Life Cast MAURICE HINES (Creator, Choreographer, Performer) Broadway credits include Eubie, Bring Back Birdie with Chita Rivera and Donald O’Connor, Sophisticated Ladies, and Uptown…It’s Hot! (1986 Tony Award Best Actor nomination) which he also conceived, directed and choreographed. He collaborated with Maurice White to choreograph/direct the hip-hop musical Hot Feet featuring the music of Earth, Wind, and Fire. Along with his brother and father, he performed in Hines, Hines, & Dad in New York, Las Vegas and Europe. Hines performed in Uptown…It’s Hot! (Atlantic City); performed in Sophisticated Ladies and Guys and Dolls (Arena Stage); choreographed Hairspray (Santo Domingo); and choreographed and starred in Dance, Dance, Dance Snap and Cool Papa’s Party (MetroStage, Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Choreography). He starred in the national tour of Guys and Dolls, directed, choreographed, and starred in the national tour of Harlem Suite with successive leading ladies Jennifer Holiday, Stephanie Mills, and Melba Moore, and starred in the national tour of Jelly’s Last Jam. Film credits include Francis Ford Coppola’s The Cotton Club. At the age of five, Hines studied tap at the Henry LeTang Dance Studio in New York City. He created the dance company Ballet USA with Mercedes Ellington. Hines has directed and choreographed many music videos, including I’ll Be Good to You, the first release off of Quincy Jones' Back on the Block album. He became the first African-American director for Radio City Music Hall when he directed The Radio City Spectacular. His latest album on Arbor Records, To Nat ‘King’ Cole, With Love, was released to critical acclaim. JOHN MANZARI (Assistant Choreographer, Performer) has performed in renowned theaters across the nation. He was seen in the 50thAnniversary of the 35th President of the United States at the Kennedy Center, Ellington Songbook and Sacred Concert at the Strathmore Theater, Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies at Arena Stage, and Apollo Club Harlem at the famous Apollo Theater. His television credits include the Mo’Nique Show, Jerry Lewis Telethon, BeBe Winans’ special America, America, and So You Think You Can Dance where he was invited by Nigel Lythgoe to appear as a special guest on the show’s finale. He has received a Helen Hayes Award nomination for “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Resident Musical” and recently won the Shirley Chisolm Trailblazer Award. Please visit www.manzaribrothers.com. LEO MANZARI (Assistant Choreographer, Performer) previously appeared in Arena Stage's production of Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies starring Maurice Hines at the Lincoln Theatre. He was seen in the 50th Anniversary of the 35th President of the United States at the Kennedy Center, Ellington Songbook and Sacred Concert at the Strathmore Theater and Great American Songbook at The Palladium in Indiana. He appeared in the 2013 production of Apollo Club Harlem at the famous Apollo Theatre in Harlem. He received a Helen Hayes nomination- Outstanding Supporting Actor in a resident musical 2010 for Sophisticated Ladies, and recently won the Shirley Chisholm trailblazer award. His TV credits include Mo'Nique Show, special guest on So You Think You Can Dance, BeBe Winan's special America America, Jerry Lewis Telethon and PBS NewsHour. Please visit www.manzaribrothers.com. DR. SHERRIE MARICLE (Musical Director/Drummer) can’t stop smiling because she is so thrilled to be a part of Tappin’ Thru Life. She is the leader of The DIVA Jazz Orchestra, FIVE PLAY, The DIVA Jazz Trio and has worked with Maurice Hines since 1990. Maricle is also the drummer for The New York Pops and enjoys a varied career as a performer, composer/arranger and teacher. Her bands have performed to critical acclaim at many of the world’s most prestigious music venues and festivals. They have been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, the 25th Anniversary of the Kennedy Center TV Special and NPR's Piano Jazz. DIVA is also featured in the new award-winning film The Girls in the Band. Maricle has received several awards and honors, most notably the Kennedy Center’s 2009 Mary Lou Williams Lifetime Achievement Award and was nominated for the 2013 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Music Direction in Tappin’ Thru Life. Her bands have recorded over 20 CDs. Their latest will be released in July 2014 on the MCG Label and features vocal giants Nancy Wilson and Marlena Shaw. Maricle loves the Ronald McDonald House – New York and has created and runs their Musical Magic hospital outreach program. Please visit Maricle at www.divajazz.com or on facebook. For a complete list of bios, please visit http://clevelandplayhouse.com/main-stage/2013-2014/maurice-hines-is-tappin-thru-life. Maurice Hines is Tappin’ Thru Life Creative Team JEFF CALHOUN (Director) is currently represented on Broadway by Disney's Newsies, for which he earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Director. Other Broadway credits include Jekyll & Hyde, Bonnie & Clyde, Grey Gardens, Deaf West's Big River, Brooklyn, Annie Get Your Gun, Grease, Tommy Tune Tonite, and The Will Rogers Follies. On tour and internationally, he directed Dolly Parton's 9 to 5 and Disney's High School Musicals 1 & 2. Working with Maurice Hines is extra special because Calhoun began his career as a tap dancer, working with the likes of Tommy Tune, Ann Miller, Ken Berry, Arthur Duncan, and the Nicholas brothers. The highlight of his performing career was tap dancing with the legendary Charles “Honi” Coles on Broadway in My One and Only. Calhoun loves to hear your thoughts on Twitter at @thejeffcalhoun. The Design Team for Maurice Hines is Tappin’ Thru Life includes TOBIN OST (Scenic Designer), T. TYLER STUMPF (Costume Designer), MICHAEL GILLIAM (Lighting Designer), CARL CASELLA (Sound Designer) and DARREL MALONEY (Projection Designer). The Stage Manager for this production is JENNIFER MATHESON COLLINS and the Assistant Stage Manager is TOM HUMES. Maurice Hines is Tappin’ Thru Life Special Events Tech Tuesday: Tappin’ Thru Life May 27, 2014 @ 7:00pm - 8:30pm During this FREE tech Tuesday event, you’ll talk with Tony Award-winning director Jeff Calhoun (Newsies, Grease) then sit in on a technical rehearsal ("tech") to see how set, lights, sound, costumes, live music, and performers all come together to create a toe-tapping song and dance extravaganza! RSVP required. Please email InsideCPH@clevelandplayhouse.com TalkBack: Tappin' Thru Life June 08, 2014 @ 5:00pm - 6:00pm TalkBack: Tappin' Thru Life June 10, 2014 @ 9:30pm - 10:00pm Behind-the-Scenes: Tappin’ Thru History June 15, 2014 @ 4:30pm - 6:00pm Tap dance is an original American art form, and Tappin' star Maurice Hines is an American original, too. Join Hines and the cast of Tappin' Thru Life to experience the rich and surprising history of this artform, and the artists taking it into the 21st century. Ticket Information Maurice Hines is Tappin’ Thru Life will take place May 30 - June 29, 2014 in the Allen Theatre at PlayhouseSquare. Tickets range in price from $45-$72 each. Students under the age of 25 with a valid ID will be offered a special $15 ticket price. Tickets are also just $25 for anyone under age 35, sponsored by Scene Magazine. To order single tickets please call 216-241-6000 or visit www.clevelandplayhouse.com. Groups of 10+ save up to 40% off single ticket prices; call 216-400-7027. Founded in 1915, Cleveland Play House is America’s first professional regional theatre. Throughout its rich history, Cleveland Play House has remained dedicated to its mission to inspire, stimulate and entertain diverse audiences in Northeast Ohio by producing plays and theatre education programs of the highest professional standards. It has produced more than 100 world and/or American premieres, and over its long history more than 12 million people have attended over 1,300 CPH productions. Cleveland Play House looks toward its centennial while performing in three state-of-the art venues at PlayhouseSquare in downtown Cleveland. The Ohio Arts Council helped fund Cleveland Play House with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. We also thank the residents of Cuyahoga County for supporting Cleveland Play House through Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

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"Cooler Bandits" gets more Akron showings

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 13, 2014

 

 

The movie about a series of area robberies and what happened to the young men who did them was shown here not long ago. including as part of the Cleveland International Film Festival's Akron events. That showing was packed, so here are the details on another presentation:

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Catching up: Fox's prime-time plans

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 12, 2014

The very long official word:

Kevin Reilly, Chairman, Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX), today unveiled the FOX portfolio of content for the 2014-2015 television season to the national advertising community during its annual Programming Presentation at the Beacon Theatre.

“Our portfolio of content this year reflects the biggest investment in programming we’ve ever made,” said Reilly. “FOX is redefining the network experience on our air and as a 24/7/365 platform, with distinctive series, addictive event dramas and can’t-miss live specials that will deliver broadcast’s most youthful audience at scale.”

Joe Earley, Chief Operating Officer, FOX, added, “The new series and specials we’re presenting today feature buzzworthy worlds and characters that we think will be the most talked about, liked, tweeted and shared of the season.”

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Catching up: NBC's fall schedule

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 11, 2014

I took a long weekend to visit my mother, and some technical difficulties kept me from posting here. So ICYMT, let's run through the network schedules announced in my absence, starting with NBC. The official word:

Coming off a season in which the network catapulted to No. 1 in the 18-49 demo and saw double-digit improvement in many prominent timeslots, NBC has announced a line-up of popular returning series, inventive new comedies, compelling new dramas and season seven of the Emmy Award-winning musical competition series “The Voice.”

NBC is on track to win the traditional September-to-May primetime season in adults 18-49 for the first time in 10 years. In “most current” averages through the season’s first 32 weeks, NBC’s 2.8 rating in 18-49 is up +17% versus one year ago, making it the network’s top average at this point in the season in five years, according to Nielsen Media Research. 

 

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Video: 'Dancing with the Stars' recap

By Dan Kadar Published: May 9, 2014

Evil has a name and it is Abby Lee Miller whose pontificating annoyed everyone on America's favorite dance competition.

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Rich and the movies: 'Only Lovers Left Alive'

By Dan Kadar Published: May 9, 2014

Beacon Journal pop culture writer Rich Heldenfels checks in with the latest movie from Ohio’s Jim Jarmusch, Only Lovers Left Alive.

Read his full review here.

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Thursday/Friday notebook

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 8, 2014

I spent part of today in Cleveland talking to the folks from "The Fault In Our Stars," and the first story from that visit is now online here. I expect to be writing more when we get closer to June 6, the movie's premiere date. (BTW, I have read the book, which I greatly admire, and was impressed with the movie.)

One note from today's talking with Shailene Woodley, who has been a major player of adolescent women in recent years. (See: "The Secret Life of the American Teenager," "The Spectacular Now," "Divergent" and now "The Fault in Our Stars.") She said "Fault" was bittersweet because it will be her last time playing a teenager (I guess other than her ongoing work in the "Divergent" sequels). At 22, and very concerned about finding the truth in the characters she plays, she feels she can no longer connect with teens. There will be more about this, too, when I write later about "Fault."

Also available now for your amusement: this week's mailbag column and  my print review of Jim Jarmusch's film "Only Lovers Left Alive.

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New "SNL" promos with the Black Keys

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 8, 2014

Oh, yeah, and Charlize Theron.

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Black Keys tour includes Cleveland stop

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 8, 2014

The official word: Black Keys announced today that they will embark on an extensive North American tour this fall. Promoted exclusively by Live Nation, the tour will make a stop at Quicken Loans Arena on Saturday, September 6th at 8:00 p.m. with special guest, Cage The Elephant.

 

Tickets start at $35 and go on sale to the public  Friday, May 16th at 10:00 a.m. at theQarena.com, 888-894-9424, Quicken Loans Arena box office and all northern Ohio Discount Drug Marts. Pre-sale tickets will be available beginning Tuesday, May 13th at 10:00 a.m. local time to all fans pre-ordering the album at www.theblackkeys.com and to Citi® cardmembers in the U.S. through Citi’s Private Pass® Program (www.citiprivatepass.com).

 

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Terry Crews new host of "Millionaire"

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 7, 2014

The official word: Actor, author, fitness enthusiast, Old Spice pitchman and former NFL player Terry Crews will soon be adding “game show host” to his resume as he has been named the new host of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.” The multi-talented Crews will join the show beginning with its 13th season in national syndication in fall of 2014, it was announced today. 

In addition, seasoned game show and television producer James Rowley has joined the show as executive producer. Crews will host the long-running franchise from Stamford, Connecticut as production is moving to a new studio prior to the start of the 2014-2015 season.
“We are excited to announce that Terry Crews will be taking the reigns as our new host of ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’ next season,” said Janice Marinelli, president, Disney-ABC Domestic Television. “Terry is engaging, endearing, smart, and quick on his feet -- the perfect combination to lead one of the longest-running franchises in game show history.”

“Terry has a larger than life personality and his contagious enthusiasm and innate curiosity is sure to resonate with the ‘Millionaire’ audience,” said Lisa Hackner, executive vice president, Daytime & Syndicated Programming, ABC Entertainment Group. “Terry has the unique ability to make anyone feel comfortable and we are confident he will connect with both contestants and viewers.”

"I'm beyond thrilled to be joining ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’ and the Disney-ABC family,” commented Crews. “‘Millionaire’ is such a beloved franchise and I can’t wait to get started as the new host. In addition to my film projects including ‘Blended,’ ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ and now being a first time author, hosting has always been a dream of mine, and I couldn’t have asked for a greater opportunity.”
Crews will take over for Cedric “The Entertainer,” who presently hosts the 2013-2014 season. Meredith Vieira launched the weekday version of the game show in 2002 and remained host for 11 seasons, through 2013.

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NBC locks up more Olympics rights

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 7, 2014

The official word: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today awarded NBCUniversal (NBCU) the broadcast rights in the USA for the Olympic Games through to 2032.


NBCU has acquired the broadcast rights across all media platforms, including free-to-air television, subscription television, internet and mobile. The agreement from 2021 to 2032 is valued at USD 7.65 billion, plus an additional USD 100 million signing bonus to be used for the promotion of Olympism and the Olympic values between 2015 and 2020.


The agreement is a major contribution to the long-term financial stability of the entire Olympic Movement. The IOC distributes more than 90 per cent of the revenue it generates to support the International Sports Federations; the 204 National Olympic Committees and their Olympic teams; and the Organising Committees of each Olympic Games.


IOC President Thomas Bach, who led the negotiations, said: “This agreement is excellent news for the entire Olympic Movement as it helps to ensure its financial security in the long term, in particular future host cities of the Olympic Games, the athletes of the 204 National Olympic Committees and the International Sports Federations. The IOC has worked in close partnership with NBC for many decades, and we are thrilled we will continue to work with them through to 2032. NBC’s expertise in sports broadcasting, as well as their passion for the Olympic values, will mean we shall be able continue to offer first-class broadcast coverage of the Olympic Games to the widest possible American audience for many years to come.”

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Complete "Welcome Back Kotter" coming to DVD

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 7, 2014

The official word: Return to the 1970s and relive one of the most popular comedies in television history with Welcome Back, Kotter: The Complete Series on DVD.  On August 26th, 2014, Shout! Factory will release the classic 1970s sitcom, available for the first time as a complete series on DVD.  Nominated for four Primetime Emmy®  Awards, the 16-disc Welcome Back, Kotter: The Complete Series box set contains all 95 episodes from the series, as well as bonus features including original screen tests and the featurette “Only a Few Degrees from a Sweathog.”

 

Fans who pre-order their copy from ShoutFactory.com will not only have their copies shipped to them one month before release date, but will receive free shipping as well.

 

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ABC brings back "NY Med"

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 7, 2014

The official word: Fans of ABC’s popular real-life hospital series, with its signature unparalleled, can take heart. After nearly two years of production, NY MED is back as the producers broaden their lens to tell a riveting tale of high stakes medicine in two vastly different communities.

This fast-paced, eight-part series mostly toggles between the orderly operating rooms of Manhattan’s New York-Presbyterian Hospital - the primary venue for the series - where renowned surgeons perform feats of medical brilliance and the sometimes hectic trauma wards of Newark’s University Hospital where skilled doctors gallantly struggle to treat a flood of gunshot, stabbing and life-threatening trauma cases. The surgeons of NY MED never forget that there are limits to what medical science can do and that sometimes their best efforts come up short. "NY MED" premieres TUESDAY, JUNE 24th at 10:00 PM/ET (10:00-11:00 pm) on the ABC Television Network.

 

“A medical crisis will bring most of us to the hospital at some point,” said executive producer Terence Wrong. “Where we live can be destiny. NY MED offers a stark contrast between the patient populations of Manhattan and Newark, which play out for viewers as this series unfolds.”

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Wednesday notebook

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 7, 2014

Jet magazine is ending print editions in favor of an online presence, as you can see in the report here. The magazine's importance may have waned, but do not underestimate its past impact, especially in the African-American community. Llike black newspapers, it provided a source of information not generally available in so-called mainstream media. When, for example, people of color were very rare on TV, Jet provided a regular listing of where you could see them. The article I linked to notes that this is only the latest demise of once-venerable print publications; I wonder if, half a century from now, people will feel the same connection to web content they felt for the magazines adorning their coffee tables and nightstands.

Erin Kennedy of WKYC is moving to Chicago. She'[ll be a morning co-anchor, the gig she had at Channel 3 before being bumped.

"Heaven Is For Real," co-starring Macedonia's Connor Corum, is now the most successful Christian-themed movie of 2014, ahead of both "Son of God" and "God's Not Dead." In fact, it is a steadily successful performer among all moviegoers; as the top movie of the weekend changes with new premieres, "Heaven" has sat quietly in third place, with total revenues now exceeding $66 milllion. Yes, that's small compared to "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" or the made-partly-in-Cleveland "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." But it's more than double what the heavily promoted, and more star-laden, Cleveland-connected  "Draft Day" did.

Anyone else as impressed with "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" as I am right now? It's sharp and dramatic -- and funny. The "large file transfer" may have been my favorite moment in Tuesday's episode.

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Hi, Hi, Mr. American Pie: Don McLean sets Cleveland show

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 7, 2014

The show will be June 11 in the Clevleand Performance Arts Center, AKA the Masonic Auditorium. The official word:

Don McLean is one of America’s most enduring singer-songwriters and is forever associated with his classic hits “American Pie” and “Vincent (Starry Starry Night)”. Since first hitting the charts in 1971, Don has amassed over 40 gold and platinum records world-wide and, in 2004, was inducted into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame. His songs have been recorded by artists from every musical genre, most notably Madonna’s No. 1 recording of “American Pie” in 2000 and George Michael’s version of “The Grave” in 2003, sung in protest at the Iraq War. In 2007, Don McLean shared his life story in Alan Howard’s biography, The Don McLean Story: Killing Us Softly With His Songs.

Don continues to tour the world – Europe in 2012, Australia in 2013 and in 2014 the United States. In June 2011 he performed for an audience of 100,000 at the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts.

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"DaVinci's Demons" gets a third season

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 6, 2014

The official word: Starz Chief Executive Officer Chris Albrecht today announced a third season for the STARZ Original series “Da Vinci’s Demons” has been greenlit. The historical fantasy, created and executive produced by David S. Goyer and produced by Adjacent Productions, follows the ‘untold’ story of the world's greatest genius, Leonardo da Vinci, during his turbulent youth in Renaissance Florence. 

 

John Shiban joins “Da Vinci’s Demons” season three as executive producer and showrunner. Shiban began his career as a staff writer on FOX’s “The X-Files.” During his stint on the celebrated FOX series, Shiban wrote or co-wrote over twenty episodes and served as executive producer by the end of the series’ nine-year run. His writing on “The X-Files” garnered him an Emmy® nomination. As a producer, Shiban has also been honored with a Golden Globe® Award and an Emmy® nomination for Outstanding Dramatic Series for “The X-Files.” Shiban joined AMC's “Breaking Bad” as a consulting producer in its second season, penning several episodes of the acclaimed series. He received a WGA Award nomination for Episodic Drama for the episode “Phoenix” and wrote and directed Season Three’s penultimate episode “Sunset.” On AMC’s “Hell on Wheels,” Shiban served as executive producer and showrunner, writing and directing numerous episodes.

 

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New GM at WOIO/WUAB

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 6, 2014

Dominic Mancuso succeeds Bill Applegate, who retired recently. 

The official word: Dominic Mancuso will be joining Raycom Media as Vice President and General Manager of WOIO/WUAB in Cleveland, Ohio. His start date is May 20.

Mr. Mancuso comes to Raycom Media from Sinclair Broadcasting  where for the last four years he has been General Manager of WZTV (Fox), WUXP (MyNet) and WNAB (CW) in Nashville, Tennessee.

Prior to Nashville, Mr. Mancuso was Vice President Of Programming and Promotions for WFLD / WPWR in Chicago, Illinois. Before that, he held the positions of Account Executive, National Sales Manager, Local Sales Manager, Director of Sales, and Station Manager for Tribune Broadcasting's WGN in Chicago. He brings a very successful background in all facets of station operations and revenue development.

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"Grand Budapest Hotel" DVD/Blu-ray plans

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 6, 2014

TIt arrives June 17. he official word: THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL recounts the adventures of legendary concierge Gustave H. and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft of a priceless painting; a raging battle for an enormous family fortune; and a desperate chase on motorcycles, trains, sleds, and skis - all against the backdrop of a suddenly and dramatically changing continent.


Special Features   ● Bill Murray Tours The Town 
● Kunstmuseum Zubrowka Lecture 
● The Society of the Crossed Keys 
● The Making of the Grand Budapest Hotel
○ Part 1 – The Story 
○ Part 2 – The Society of the Crossed Keys
○ Part 3 – Creating The Hotel 
○ Part 4 – Creating A World 
● Mendl’s Secret Recipe 
● Promotional Featurettes – “Cast” and “Wes Anderson” 
● Stills Gallery 
● Theatrical Trailer

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Kent Folk Festival info

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 6, 2014

The official word: THE KENT FOLK FESTIVAL LIVES ON!
For more than 46 years, Kent State University presented its annual Folk Festival. Produced by KSU students during it's first 34 years, the Folk Festival grew from simple beginnings to one of the most recognized folk festivals in the country. Each year, musicians that represented the best the folk/Americana/traditional genres had to offer, performed to large crowds around the Kent State University community. Since 2000, WKSU-FM assumed KSU's leadership roll in presenting the festival. In 2002, WKSU-FM and Western Reserve Folk Arts Association (WRFAA) began working together with the majority of the concerts relocating to The Kent Stage.

In recent years, the Folk Festival began to undergo further changes culminating in 2013 when the name changed to "Kent State University 'Round Town Music Festival." The elimination of the word "Folk" from the event title illustrated the fundamental shift in the direction of this traditional event and greater emphasis on other genres of music.

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"Gotham" trailer. I'm in.

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 6, 2014

In defense of Leslie Jones

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 5, 2014

The above bit by Leslie Jones on "Saturday Night Live" has caused some considerable debate, including this piece in Ebony, and talk-back by Jones herself on Twitter. But when you look at "SNL" -- and I have, more than once, ask yourself what exactly is Jones talking about?

Where the discussion of her comments has focused on her use of slavery to make an extreme point (and let's remember that freakin' Quentin Tarantino won an Oscar by using slavery as the foundation of an over-the-top exploitation film) -- Jones is in fact using Hollywood and slavery to make a point about body image.

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RIP, Efrem Zimbalist Jr.

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 4, 2014

Sunday notes

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 4, 2014

May the 4th, y'all.

For "Star Wars" fans, it means one (funny) thing. For students of American history, it has a very different resonance. CNN looks at the latter in a special I talk about in today's TV roundup, which you can find here. Also, notes on "24," various season finales and a PBS look at the lost gardens of Babylon.

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Kent State revisited

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 2, 2014

Sunday is the 44th anniversary of the shootings at Kent State. CNN, for one, will have special that night with people recalling the events that day; more about that in Sunday's HeldenFiles. Below, I have pasted a piece I wrote in 2010, for the 40th anniversary, about Kent State and its place in pop culture. Here goes:

The shootings at Kent State have inspired artistic interpretations — books, movies, songs, visual arts. But for those who consider the events 40 years ago a major historical moment, the amount of art devoted to them must seem slim.

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ICYMI: Black Keys' official "Fever" video

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 2, 2014

And one that came to mind while listening ...

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Friday notebook

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 2, 2014

Some movie and TV stars will be coming to Northeast Ohio for reasons other than making shows here. See today's HeldenFiles.

FiveThirtyEight ponders the nature of the movie blockbuster.

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"Hot in Cleveland" gets sixth season

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 1, 2014

The official word: TV Land’s hit sitcom “Hot in Cleveland” has been renewed for 24 episodes for a sixth season, it was announced today by Larry W. Jones, President, TV Land. The announcement was made during rehearsal for the series’ upcoming landmark 100th episode, entitled “Win Win,” which tapes this Friday, May 2nd. “Hot in Cleveland” stars Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick and Betty White, and is currently airing its fifth season on Wednesdays at 10pm ET/PT on TV Land.

“There’s instant magic when our cast, writers and crew get together for each episode,” said Jones. “We’re so excited to be reaching these milestones and can’t wait to see what lies ahead in ‘Cleveland.’”

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Don't pay the ransom, I've escaped

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 1, 2014

I have not been a good blogger the last couple of days. Movie watching and other obligations. (I have been better on Twitter and Facebook, so feel welcome to keep up with me in those venues.) But you can find this week's mailbag here.

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