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Birthdays and Farewells

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 31, 2013

NBC Orders More "Hannibal"

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 31, 2013

The network delayed the decision when it announced its full 2013-14 schedule but now has decided to go ahead  -- for 13 more episodes, anyway. The official word:

NBC has given a 13-episode second-season renewal to its critically applauded drama “Hannibal.” The new season will air no earlier than midseason.

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"Mud" DVD/Blu-ray/PPV/On Demand Releases Set

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 30, 2013

The official word: Matthew McConaughey and Academy Award Award® winner Reese Witherspoon star in Mud arriving on Blu-Ray Disc (plus Digital UltraViolet), DVD (plus Digital UltraViolet) and Pay-Per-View August 6 (with an early Video on Demand Window Beginning July 16) from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. To discuss editorial opportunities beyond product reviews, please contact Sean Marier at sean_marier@bhimpact.com

Sure to become "a newly minted American classic" (The Wall Street Journal), Mud arrives on Blu-ray Disc (plus Digital UltraViolet), DVD (plus Digital UltraViolet), and Video on Demand and Pay-Per-View August 6 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. Mud will also be available on EST July 16, three weeks prior to the Blu-ray, DVD and Video on Demand release. Starring Matthew McConaughey (Magic Mike, Killer Joe) in his "finest performance to date, Oscar-worthy at every level" (Hitfix) as the titular character, Mud features an all-star cast that includes Tye Sheridan (The Tree of Life), Sam Shepard (Black Hawk Down, The Right Stuff), Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road, HBO's "Boardwalk Empire"), Joe Don Baker (Walking Tall, Fletch), Ray McKinnon (TV's "Sons of Anarchy," The Blind Side), Primetime Emmy® nominee Sarah Paulson (HBO's Game Change, TV's "American Horror Story: Asylum"), newcomer Jacob Lofland and Academy Award®winner Reese Witherspoon (Best Actress, Walk the Line, 2005).

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Talking Popcorn and Pop Culture ...

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 30, 2013

"American Idol" is over, but Malcolm X Abram and I still have things to gab about. As one of our editors said, "I can't believe you talked for 3 1/2 minutes about popcorn." Ohio.com has branded this "Two guys talkin'" but other title recommendations -- "Bleep two guys say"? -- are welcome.

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"Big Brother After Dark" Moving to TVGN

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 29, 2013

The former TV Guide Network is also part of the CBS/Showtime family. The official word:TVGN today announced that it will become the exclusive television destination for BIG BROTHER: AFTER DARK,  the live, late night companion show to CBS's BIG BROTHER, one of television's most addictive and socially engaged reality series.

 

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Neil Patrick Harris Adds Emmy Hosting to Tonys Gig

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 29, 2013

It's his second time hosting the Emmys, in September, after handling the Tonys in June. The official word:

Neil Patrick Harris has been named host and producer of THE 65TH PRIMETIME EMMY® AWARDS, to be broadcast from NOKIA Theater L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles, Sunday, Sept. 22 on the CBS Television Network. This will be the multi-talented television, film and stage actor’s second time hosting the Emmy Awards, which he emceed to critical acclaim when the program last aired on CBS in 2009. As previously announced, Ken Ehrlich will serve as Executive Producer of this year’s Emmy broadcast.

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Bob Hope's Birthday Today

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 29, 2013

Spielberg Fest at Cinemark Venues Begins Sunday

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 29, 2013

Participating area theaters include Valley View and the North Canton Tinseltown. The official word:

Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CNK), one of the world’s largest motion picture exhibitors, is pleased to announce the next four films in our Classic Series will feature the works of acclaimed director Steven Spielberg. The films include JAWS on June 2 and 5, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK on June 9 and 12, E. T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL on June 16 and 19, and SCHINDLER’S LIST on June 23 and 26. Performances will be on Sundays at 2pm, and Wednesdays at two separate show times, 2 pm and 7pm.

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UA Faculty Member Assembles"Planet of the Apes and Philosophy" Book

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 28, 2013

The official word:  “A planet where apes evolved from men? There’s got to be an answer,” quips George Taylor, the character played by Charlton Heston in the 1968 sci-fi classic, “Planet of the Apes.” That is just one of many questions raised by “Planet of the Apes” — a film and franchise rife with philosophical issues spanning race, religion, time travel, animal rights, science and sanity.

 John Huss, an associate professor of philosophy at The University of Akron who says he was “blown away” by the original “Planet of the Apes” more than 30 years ago, has edited and compiled a collection of essays in a new book, “Planet of the Apes and Philosophy: Great Apes Think Alike.”

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"Killing Lincoln" DVD/Blu-ray Set for June 11

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 28, 2013

The official word: Narrated by Oscar winner Tom Hanks* and produced by Tony Scott (Unstoppable, The A-Team) & Ridley Scott (Prometheus, American Gangster), KILLING LINCOLN delivers a thrilling perspective into the criminal mind of John Wilkes Booth and his co-conspirators. Watch the conspiracy unfold on Digital HD May 21 and Blu-ray and DVD June 11 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment – just in time for Father’s Day!


Based on The New York Times best-selling novel, KILLING LINCOLN is the suspenseful, eye-opening account of the events surrounding the assassination of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln. While some aspects of the plot to slay Lincoln and cripple the newly forming union are widely known, much more of the history unfolds in this insightful thriller. As John Wilkes Booth becomes increasingly obsessed with removing Lincoln from office, a secret faction of conspirators forms, and ultimately empowers Booth to carry out an event that will change America forever. Narrated by Oscar® Winner Tom Hanks* and produced by Tony Scott and Ridley Scott, this historical masterpiece stars Billy Campbell (TV’s The Killing) in a spectacular turn as President Lincoln.

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Comedy Central Orders More "Amy Schumer"

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 28, 2013

My review of the show's premiere is here. The official word: Viewers have been inside the mind of comedian Amy Schumer and they love what they see and so does COMEDY CENTRAL, which has renewed the new hit series “Inside Amy Schumer” for a second season, it was announced today by Kent Alterman, President, Content Development and Original Programming, COMEDY CENTRAL. The second season of “Inside Amy Schumer” will consist of ten episodes and is scheduled to premiere in 2014.

The “Schumer” pick-up continues a successful streak of 2013 launches for the #1 brand in comedy joining last month’s renewals of “Nathan for You” and “The Jeselnik Offensive” and the previously announced renewal of “Kroll Show.”

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Oklahoma Tornado Relief Concert Lineup Expands

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 28, 2013

The televised version  airs Wednesday night on NBC and companion networks (see list below). The official word: Usher and Darius Rucker have been added to the lineup of performers set to hit the stage for the May 29 “Healing in the Heartland: Relief Benefit Concert” organized and headlined by Blake Shelton. Others set to perform include Luke Bryan, Rascal Flatts and Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, as well as Grammy Award-winning artists Miranda Lambert, Reba and Vince Gill.

Usher is a coach alongside Shelton on NBC’s “The Voice” and is a multi-platinum recording artist.
Usher has been ranked by the Recording Industry Assn. of America as one of the best-selling artists in American music history, having sold over 44 million albums worldwide. He has won numerous awards including eight Grammy Awards and was named the #1 Hot 100 artist of the 2000s decade. Billboard named him the second most successful artist of the 2000s decade, with his career-propelling 2004 album “Confessions” being ranked as the top solo album of the 2000s decade. Usher has attained nine Hot 100 #1 hits (all as a lead artist) and 18 Hot 100 top-10 singles.
Rucker, who has been the lead singer of Hootie and the Blowfish since the band was formed in 1986, is now a certified country performer. His latest album, “True Believers,” included the release of single “Wagon Wheels,” which hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Chart.

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Happy Memorial Day (Expanded)

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 27, 2013

I mentioned the need to honor our military members who have sacrificed in my Sunday post, but it does not hurt to say so again.

On other notes, in today's Beacon Journal and online here is an interview with McKenzie Jackson, currently seen on the Golf Channel's "Big Break Mexico."

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Mixed Notes Sunday

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 26, 2013

C-SPAN Showcases Ida McKinley, Canton Sites on June 10

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 24, 2013

It's part of a series on First Ladies, which you can read more about here. The link will take you to the McKinley page. And here's the word from the museum:

In a first-of-its-kind project for television, C-SPAN is teaming up with the White House Historical Association  for a new, two-season original series: “First Ladies: Influence and Image,” examining the private lives of the first ladies and their years in the White House.   On June 10th, “First Ladies: Influence and Image” will tell the story of Ida McKinley who served in the role of first lady from 1898 to 1901 as the last program of the first series.  C-Span visited the McKinley Presidential Library & Museum and the National First Ladies Library in Canton.

The 90-minute program will air live Monday, June 10 at 9pm ET on C-SPAN and C-SPAN 3 , C-SPAN Radio, and via livestreaming on c-span.org.
The C-SPAN series will examine:
·         the First Ladies’ White House years
·         the interests they championed
·         their policy influences on the presidents
·         their stewardship of the White House
·         their approach to private and public life
Facts About Ida McKinley
·         Ida and her sister Mary went on a Grand Tour of Europe in 1869, visiting several countries and writing regular letters home to describe her experiences for her parents.  The trip cost $2000 for each girl.
·         Ida’s grandfather John Saxton founded The Repository, one of the oldest continuously published newspapers in Ohio.
·         During her lifetime, Ida crocheted an estimated 4000 pairs of slippers that she donated to local charities.
·         Ida’s favorite color was blue.  Most of her gowns have a touch of blue on them, even when it seems out of place with the overall design.
·         William and Ida McKinley’s wedding was one of the largest social events in Canton’s history with 750 guests, including Governor Rutherford B. Hayes and his wife Lucy.
·         The McKinleys had two daughters – Katherine (“Katie”) and Ida.  Both children died young.  Katie was 3 ½ and Ida was 4 months old.  The McKinleys had no other children.
·         Ida was a semi-invalid for most of her adult life.  She did attend some official White House functions, but often held a bouquet of flowers to avoid shaking hands.
·         Ida loved to spend time in the White House conservatory, among the plants and flowers.  In 1902 McKinley’s successor Teddy Roosevelt supervised the construction of The West Wing, and the conservatory was torn down.
·         During their White House years, the press agreed not to mention Ida’s health problems.
·         President McKinley broke White House protocol by seating Ida next to him at official dinners, in case she needed him during the lengthy meal.  When she had a seizure, he reportedly preserved her dignity by placing a handkerchief over her head until the seizure ended.
·         After the President’s death, Ida rarely left her home on North Market Avenue.  She did regularly visit the Werts Receiving Vault at West Lawn Cemetery where McKinley was temporarily laid to rest.  She attended the cornerstone laying ceremony for the McKinley National Memorial in 1905.
·         Ida died on May 26, 1907.  Since the Memorial was not yet completed, she was laid to rest with her husband in the Werts Receiving Vault.  After the dedication took place, McKinley, Ida, and their two young daughters were removed from West Lawn Cemetery and placed in the McKinley National Memorial in October 1907.
Mark Farkas, Peabody Award winning producer for C-SPAN, is the Executive Producer for the series. “These women have many fascinating stories to tell – that not only reveal their personal challenges, accomplishments, and failures, but also provide a window into our nation’s history and the trajectory of women in our society,” Farkas said.  “From Martha Washington to Michelle Obama, the role of First Lady continues to evolve.”
First Lady Michelle Obama in a 2010 interview with C-SPAN observed this about the role:
“I think every First Lady brings their unique perspective to this job.  If you didn’t, you couldn’t live through it. … I try to bring a little bit of Michelle Obama into this but at the same time respecting and valuing the tradition that is America's.”
“The association is pleased to once again partner with C-SPAN to explore the fascinating world of First Ladies --- their lives, the times in which they lived, and their impact on our nation, “ said WHHA president Neil W. Horstman.
Four nationally-known historians are serving as advisors for the project:
·         Richard Norton Smith -- Presidential historian at George Mason University and former
head of five presidential libraries. He is a regular advisor to C-SPAN on history-related
programming, including most recently C-SPAN’s feature documentary series “The
Contenders.”
·         Edith Mayo – Curator emeritus in political history at the Smithsonian's National Museum
of American History. Her books include First Ladies: Political Role and Public Image and
The Smithsonian's Book of First Ladies.
·         Rosalyn Terborg-Penn – Historian and author, focusing on 19th and 20th century African
American history and American women's history. Her books include African American
Women in the Struggle for the Vote, 1850-1920. She is University Professor Emerita,
Morgan State University.
·         William Seale – Historian and editor of White House History, the award-winning journal of the White House Historical Association. Author of The President’s House and other
books about American history and architecture.
 

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A Very Jedi Friday To You

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 24, 2013

Saturday will be the 30th anniversary of the release of "Return of the Jedi," the third "Star Wars" movie (and the sixth chapter, I know, I know). Entertainment Weekly has posted a nifty, nine-minute appreciation of the movie, which you can find here.

I was an old man of 31 when "Jedi" arrived, and married, and intermittently an adult. I still remember feeling all the excitement of a little boy when headed into a packed theater to see it.

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Mixed Notes Thursday

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 23, 2013

Plenty of words in today's Beacon Journal and on Ohio.com. Among them, a look at the century-old practice of movie sequels, and a reviews of two of those sequels, "The Hangover Part III" and "Fast & Furious 6." In some respects, "Hangover" is the more prestigious project. But "Furious" for all its ludicrousness is much more enjoyable.

Also, today's mailbag,which includes questions about "Dexter," "The Lone Ranger" and more.

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Lifetime Schedules Anna Nicole Smith Movie

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 22, 2013

The bio-pic loving network (it has a June Carter Cash movie premiering May 27) will air the Smtih movie on June 29  For the sake of context, I have followed the press release with a couple of things I wrote about Smith, including a piece when she died in 2007. The official word:

The Lifetime Original Movie Anna Nicole tells the rags-to-riches story of the iconic supermodel who captured the world’s attention with her beauty and unconventional lifestyle.  Exploring the sordid details that created her infamous persona, from stardom to untimely death, the world premiere will be on Saturday, June 29, at 8:00pm ET/PT.

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"Rectify" DVD/Blu-ray Release Set

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 22, 2013

The official word: As part of its recently announced agreement with AMC Networks, Anchor Bay Entertainment is set to release the complete first season DVD of the most compelling new series on TV, Sundance Channel’s “RECTIFY,” on June 18th. The two-disc set contains all 6 hour-long episodes of the Sundance Channel’s critically-acclaimed series that created buzz among critics and broke new ground in style and substance when it premiered in April. The DVD campaign builds on this excitement with an accelerated release that is only weeks after the season finale that aired May 20th. The release also features bonus materials which explore the creation of this unique character study of a man recently released from prison and now trying to put his life back together in his old hometown. The DVD set will have an SRP of $29.98.

 

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Series About West Salem Oil Company to Premiere in June on Discovery

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 21, 2013

Back in April, Discovery said its new series plans included "CUTTER OIL (WT) - A small family run oil company competes against the big corporations in a race for black gold in the heart of Ohio. It's a fiercely competitive dirty business. When rigs break and land is swiped from underneath them, hundreds of thousands of dollars can be lost in an instant. The Cutter's will be running on blood, sweat, tears and pure instinct in an all-out struggle to keep the business and this family together."

Now the series has a new title, "Blood and Oil," and a premiere date, June 18, with this longer official word:

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Wilma Smith Through the Years

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 21, 2013

With Wilma Smith winding up her local broadcast career on Wednesday, I thought it would be fun to look at clips of her work over the years. YouTube has thousands of pieces, but here's a sample.

Smith (and other WEW personalities) looking back at their early years. (The first minute and a half involve Wilma, the rest Nev Chandler, Ted Henry and Don Webster.) You can also check out a Bill Sheil interview with Smtih about her youth here.

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Video: 'American Idol' recap

By Ohio.com Published: May 20, 2013

"Star Wars Rebels" Begins Production

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 20, 2013

The latest plan from Lucasfilm since its Disney purchase is an animated series set between Episodes III and IV. The official word:

Production has begun on Star Wars Rebels, an exciting, all-new animated television series based on one of the greatest entertainment franchises of all time.  Scheduled to premiere in fall 2014 as a one-hour special telecast on Disney Channel, it will be followed by a series on Disney XD channels around the world. 

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PBS Sets Prime-Time Charlie Rose Series

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 20, 2013

The official word: PBS today announced CHARLIE ROSE WEEKEND (w/t), a new 30-minute series hosted by acclaimed journalist Charlie Rose, to air at 8:30 p.m. on PBS stations nationwide on Fridays. The show will launch in July 2013.

 

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Happy Birthday, YouTube

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 20, 2013

YouTube -- which has helped me and many others spend crazy amounts of time browsing for old music clips to watch and post in this blog and on Facebook -- has declared today ts eighth birthday. Some stats from a publicist:

In 2013, more than 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.* That’s more than four days of video uploaded each minute!  In 2012, it was 72 hours of video uploaded every minute. In 2011, it was 48 hours and in 2010, it was 35 hours.

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Mixed Notes Saturday

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 18, 2013

I have a roundup of network plans for the fall here.It's admittedly a long sketch, with changes likely in casting, the lineups and what not -- and it does not include the changes coming this summer, or cable programs. But there it is.

Tonight at 9 HBO presents close to three hours of material from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony this year. Inductees were Rush, Heart, Public Enemy, Donna Summer, Randy Newman, Albert King, Quincy Jones and Lou Adler. Excellent segment on Newman, with speech by Don Henley and some good Newman performances to open the show. John Mayer does well in his speech for Albert King, and Gary Clark Jr. kicks it for the King performance tribute; funny Cheech and Chong stuff for Adler, VERY funny Dave Grohl/Taylor Hawkins speeches about Rush, fun "Crossroads" jam at the end -- but didn't Donna Summer deserve a more esteemed speechmaker than Kelly Rowland? (Speech isn't that good, either.)

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NBC Confirms Split "Voice" Judging, Return of Aguilera and CeeLo

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 17, 2013

Malcolm Abram and I, after years of chatting re "American Idol," are now discussing whether to do online chats re "The Voice." Email your thoughts about that to rheldenfels@thebeaconjournal.com. As for the judging format, here's the official word:

Illustrating the continuity between its original and current coaches lineup, “The Voice” will bring back Christina Aguilera, CeeLo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton for its fifth cycle in fall and will pair Levine and Shelton with Shakira and Usher for the sixth cycle in midseason. Carson Daly will return as host for both cycles.

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"Big Bang," "The Office": Love Night

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 17, 2013

"Big Bang Theory" ended its latest season on Thursday night, while "The Office" ended its series run. But both came around to the same message, that love ... actually ... is all around.

Couldn't resist. Spoilers ensue.

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Syfy Ending "Warehouse 13" With a Short Fifth Season

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 17, 2013

The show had plenty of stories yet to tell, and was a good blend of history and literature with science adventure. In short, it was smarter than your average Syfy show, and that may have contributed to its demise. Anyway, the official word:

Syfy today announced that its long-running flagship series Warehouse 13 will return for a fifth and final season of six episodes in 2014.

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"American Idol": Candice Wins, Thank Goodness

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 17, 2013

People who have been watching Malcolm and me talking about "Idol" know I've been a Candice Glover fan for a long time. So I was pleased to see her win, especially considering the performances she gave on Wednesday night. I offer her a couple of videos in case you missed them, one of her "I Am Beautiful," the Christian-themed first single,and the other being her latest rendition of "I (Who Have Nothing)." She is the first "Idol" winner I have felt enthusiastic about in years, Yes. the show is a mess, and I will be talking more about that later. But this woman will be getting some of my music-buying bucks.

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"All My Children," "One Life to Live" Reduce Weekly Episode Output, Modify Hulu Plan

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 16, 2013

The production company says "binge-viewing"  fans are having a hard time keeping up with so much online output. Its letter to viewers:

For close to two years we have been working passionately to bring first run premium content to an online platform with the creation of brand-new versions of the two iconic series, All My Children and One Life To Live. There was no precedent for this effort- we had no history-no barometer for how our fans would respond. We always knew there would quickly be new insights into how audiences would respond to our shows and this new platform, and that our ability to adapt quickly to audience needs would ultimately determine the long-term success of the shows and our mission. This is a new medium, a new time and we have always planned to make changes quickly by listening to you, our fans and customers.

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Lifetime Schedules Jodi Arias Special & Movie

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 16, 2013

The official word: On the heels of Jodi Arias’ murder conviction last week, Lifetime today announced that its original movie Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret will make its world premiere on Saturday, June 22, at 8:00pm ET/PT.

Based on the disturbing murder trial that continues to captivate the nation, Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret tells the story of Jodi Arias (Tania Raymonde, Lost), a seductive 28-year-old aspiring photographer recently found guilty of killing her former lover, Travis Alexander (Jesse Lee Soffer, The Mob Doctor), who was found nude in his home shower with a slit throat, 27 additional stab wounds and a bullet to the head.  While investigating the violent killing, Mesa, Arizona police retrieved a digital camera from Alexander’s washing machine, revealing shocking images authorities claim Arias took during their sexual escapades, as well as during and after his murder.  While Jodi pled not guilty and contends she killed Alexander in self-defense, police concluded that when he broke off their relationship, she stalked her ex-boyfriend and seduced him one final time before murdering him in cold blood.  Her subsequent trial has been grand theater, dominating the cable news networks as she testified in her own defense and offered explicit insight into the sex, lies and obsession that led up to Alexander’s murder.

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Video: 'Dancing with the Stars' recap

By Ohio.com Published: May 16, 2013

We're down to the cream of the crop on America's favorite dance competition. Who will slip up first?

 

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Goodbye to "The Office"

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 16, 2013

"Star Trek Into Darkness" utterly satisfying

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 16, 2013

I attended a preview of the movie on Wednesday night in Cleveland; and was utterly satisfied, as I will explain below, but the screening ended  too late to get into today's print editions. So take these online thoughts.

I did look back at the saga of "Star Trek" for today's paper, and you can find that piece online here. One of the things I said there was:

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The CW's 2013-14 Plans

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 16, 2013

From the official word: “We had a terrific season last year, growing our audience on-air, digitally and socially.  Now we are building on that success by continuing to add more original programming all year long, and by adding high-concept, exciting shows to our schedule that will help us continue our mission of broadening out our 18-to-34-year old audience,” said Mark Pedowitz, President, The CW.  “‘Arrow’ was one of the breakout hits of this season, and we’re using that show and ‘The Vampire Diaries,’ our two highest-rated series, to launch our new dramas ‘The Tomorrow People’ and ‘Reign,’ on Wednesday and Thursday nights.

“Klaus, Elijah, and Rebekah, the original family of vampires, have become fan favorites over the past three seasons on ‘The Vampire Diaries,’ and we know viewers will be excited to see more of their story in their new spin-off series, ‘The Originals,’ on Tuesday nights.  And with ‘Star-Crossed’ and ‘The 100’ set for midseason, The CW is poised to keep growing and keep our momentum going.”

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USA Network Plans Include New Sitcoms, More

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 16, 2013

The network broke its announcements into several pieces, so read long (and expect typos).

First, the comedies: USA Network today greenlit its first original half-hour comedies, with series orders for SIRENS from Denis Leary (“Rescue Me”) and Bob Fisher (“WeddingCrashers”) and PLAYING HOUSE from Jessica St. Clair (“Bridesmaids,” “Best Friends Forever”) and Lennon Parham (“Best Friends Forever,” “Accidentally On Purpose”).The network also picked upa new comedy pilot,LOVE IS DEAD.The new series will debut in the first quarter of 2014, and will be strong complements to MODERN FAMILY,the award-winning and top-rated comedy, which premieres on USA Tuesday, September 24 at 8/7c. The announcement was made in conjunction with USA’s Upfront (#USAupfront), which is being held today at Pier 36 in New York.

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"Best of 'Fridays'" DVD Set Coming in August

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 15, 2013

It includes 16 episodes of the late-night sketch comedy series, long wanted by fans, and featuring among others Michael Richards and Larry David. And some music from Dev o. The official word:

“Live from the Los Angeles basin, it’s Fridays!” For the first time ever on DVD, ABC’s cult hit Fridays is here! Shout! Factory will release The Best Of Fridays on DVD on August 6, complete with an introduction written by Co-Creator / Director John Moffitt, and a slate of bonus features that include a cast and writers reunion, “The Andy Kaufman Incident”: What Really Happened?, behind-the-scenes photos, and more!

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TNT, TBS Programming Plans

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 15, 2013

"Southland" and "Monday Mornings" are done. Here's where the networks are headed. The official word:

TNT and TBS, two of cable’s most successful brands, have unveiled an extensive slate of series being developed with some of the industry’s best storytellers. The slate reflects the network’s programming strategies, which were laid out by network executives during TNT and TBS’s annual Upfront presentation today in New York. Among the many high-profile storytellers developing new projects for TBS and TNT are Steven Spielberg, Steve Carell, Diablo Cody, Denis Leary, Sylvester Stallone, Dick Wolf, Nicholas Sparks, Marcia Clark, Dee Johnson, Walt Becker, Jamie Foxx and James Duff, to name a few.

“For a decade, we’ve been beating the drum the loudest – that cable is as good as broadcast,” said Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks, which includes TBS and TNT, as well as truTV and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). “Now, our industry has reached a tipping point. From creative strength to ratings power, cable has emerged as the leader in television. I’m proud of the role we’ve played at TNT and TBS. Today, we’re looking toward the next horizon – becoming a multiscreen video company serving multiple audiences.”

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TNT, TBS Set Live Streaming of All Shows - If You Subscribe Via Cable or Satellite

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 15, 2013

The official word: TBS and TNT are about to become the first national entertainment networks in the industry to stream on-air content live across multiple platforms 24/7, including through the networks' websites and a pair of newly created Watch TNT and Watch TBS apps. The announcement was made during TNT and TBS's annual Upfront presentation today in New York. Live streaming is the latest phase in the rollout of TV Everywhere, the industry-wide initiative that gives subscribers to cable, satellite and telco video services access to more of their favorite shows across a wide range of digital platforms.

"Starting this summer, subscribers will be able to watch TBS and TNT live – anytime, anywhere, on multiple devices," Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks, told the Upfront audience. "Tablets and smartphones become television sets, bringing new opportunities for us and for advertisers."

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CBS's 2013-14 Plans

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 15, 2013

Includes new Thursday comedy block, "Person of Interest" on Tuesdays, moving "Mike & Molly" to mid-season, The official word: CBS unveiled today its new 2013-2014 schedule, featuring eight new series – five comedies and three dramas – to build on the strength of America’s top-rated network.  Five of the new series will premiere in the fall and three at mid-season.

 

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"Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.": Yes, Please

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 14, 2013

Since Akron Has a Dunder Mifflin Branch ...

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 14, 2013

The company marketing Dunder Mifflin products will be airing an ad locally during the series finale night of "The Office" on Thursday. The ad being:|
 

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ABC's 2013-14 Plans

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 14, 2013

The long official word: Continuing to deliver some of the most compelling and heartfelt series on television, ABC is adding fourteen new shows to its established slate of programming. 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.

“We are taking some big swings with groundbreaking shows this season, and staying close to our roots with smart and sophisticated storytelling. ABC is known for its combination of innovation and stability, and our new schedule reflects that. We’re bringing back the shows that viewers have embraced and enhancing the lineup with a slate of exciting new series,” said Lee.

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The Mother of All "Mothers"

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 14, 2013

Video: 'Idol' chatter

By Ohio.com Published: May 13, 2013

The end is near for this year's edition of America's favorite singing competition.

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Fox Orders 12-Hour "24" for 2014

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 13, 2013

The official word: FOX has ordered 24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY, a thrilling new tent-pole event series set to restart the clock on the groundbreaking and Emmy Award-winning drama franchise starring Kiefer Sutherland. Produced by 20th Century Fox Television, Imagine Television and Howard Gordon’s Teakwood Lane Productions, 24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY will make its historic debut in the summer of 2014 on FOX.

 

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Fox 2013-14 Details

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 13, 2013

The official word: Kevin Reilly, Chairman, Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company, today unveiled the FOX primetime slate for the 2013-2014 television season to the national advertising community during its annual Programming Presentation at the Beacon Theatre.

 

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Trailer for New "Arrested Development"

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 13, 2013

Barbara Walters To Retire in 2014

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 13, 2013

The official word: For decades, Barbara Walters has inspired millions with her groundbreaking interviews—but after 37 years with ABC News, the newscaster is announcing on "The View" Monday that next summer, she will retire from TV journalism. Until then, she will continue to anchor and report for ABC News, appear on “The View,” and anchor specials throughout the year including a 20 Years of 10 Most Fascinating People special in December, an Oscars special, and a May career retrospective.

 

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NBC 2013-14 Details

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 12, 2013

Bunches of new stuff and still some limbo -- no time slot for the renewed "Community" and several new shows; no decision yet on "Hannibal" and "Celebrity Apprentice." But here's the official word:

NBC has announced a new lineup of primetime shows for the 2013-14 season that provide a winning combination of popular returning series, fresh new comedies, compelling new dramas and the latest season of “The Voice,” the top reality program on television.

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Happy Mother's Day!

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 12, 2013

I hope this is a good one for all of you, both those who are mothers and those who are honoring mothers.

The days ahead will include the major networks' announcements of their Fall 2013 plans, but various dogged reporters have been offering large chunks of news already. Among the good parts: a new season for "Community."

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"Burn Notice" Final Season This Summer

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 10, 2013

The 13 episodes begin in June. The official word:

USA announced today that its Emmy®-nominated original drama series and ratings juggernaut BURN NOTICE will air its seventh and final season beginning Thursday, June 6 at 9/8c. The hit series, from Fox Television Studios and creator Matt Nix, stars Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar, Bruce Campbell, Sharon Gless and Coby Bell, and will join an elite group this season as the network’s third series to cross the 100 episode milestone.

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Rich and the Movies: 'The Great Gatsby'

By Ohio.com Published: May 10, 2013

Beacon Journal popular culture writer Rich Heldenfels thinks Leonardo DiCaprio is good as Gatsby, but the movie falls short.

 

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Syfy Renews "Defiance"

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 10, 2013

Could we please get some good news re "Warehouse 13"? The official word:

Syfy has renewed its groundbreaking series Defiance, giving a 13-episode second season order to the critically acclaimed hit that has catapulted Syfy to the top cable drama spot in the time period among adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and total viewers for three consecutive Mondays.  Season two of Defiance, produced by Universal Cable Productions, will begin production in Toronto in August for a 2014 premiere, returning as the anchor of Syfy’s Powerful Monday’s block of primetime original series.

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Adult Swim To Add Mike Tyson Series, More

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 10, 2013

The official word: Adult Swim, basic cable’s #1 network with young adults for eight consecutive years, announced its best ratings in the network’s history and a slate of new and returning programming in advance of its annual Upfront event in New York City on May 15, which will feature a scheduled performance by Grammy®-winning Hip-Hop artist & producer Kanye West.

Entering 2013 with its most-watched year to date among adults and males 18-24, 18-34, and 18-49, the 2013-14 programming schedule includes more than 30 new and returning series, pilots and specials. 

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Mark Ballas Talks Music Career

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 10, 2013

This is being offered aa a trailer for Ballas's upcoming music, with the official word below. After the release I have also pasted an interview I did with Ballas in 2011 about his music.

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"Young & Restless" Sets Jeanne Cooper Tribute

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 10, 2013

The official word: THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS will air a special tribute episode to the late Jeanne Cooper on Tuesday, May 28, (12:30-1:30 PM, ET; 11:00 AM-12:00 Noon, PT) on the CBS Television Network.  Cast members, friends and family of the beloved actress will gather on set next week to shoot a celebration of the life of their late friend who passed away this week at the age of 84. Cooper, the Emmy Award-winning actress who portrayed Katherine Chancellor for more than 39 years, was the show’s longest-running cast member. 

 

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Mixed Notes Thursday

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 9, 2013

Family business took me away yesterday and, frankly, has been distracting me from some things today. But here are some brief notes.

Jeanne Cooper, the soap-opera legend and mother of Corbin Bernsen, has died. Last year, when her autobiography came out, I had the pleasure of talking with her (and Corbin helped make that possible). She was a terrific talker, and a great dame. The story I wrote about her is here.

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Fall Plans for PBS

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 9, 2013

The official word: PBS announced today a fall primetime line-up featuring a strong roster of wide-ranging programs. New highlights of the season include a series of specials commemorating the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s death; programs exploring American heritage from diverse viewpoints; the first PBS Independent Film Showcase; and captivating new dramas. Fall also marks the second PBS Arts Fall Festival, as well as the return (and a premiere) of acclaimed science programs.

 

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Welcome Back, TV Tattle

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 7, 2013

The site, which I have long used and whose seeming demise I regretted, is back here. The announcement of the deal with Hitfix is here.

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"Americans" Casting News

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 7, 2013

The official word: The Americans will elevate guest stars Annet Mahendru (“Nina”) and Alison Wright (“Martha”) to series regulars for its second season, which is expected to begin production in the fall.  As previously announced, Susan Misner (“Sandra Beeman”) will also be upped to series regular. 

“Annet Mahendru has been a revelation as Nina, bringing the character to life with a rich and subtle depth that keeps you guessing as to what's really percolating under the surface,” said Executive Producers Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields.  “And Alison Wright's portrayal of Martha is heartbreakingly real at every turn.  We are thrilled to add them to our outstanding company of actors.”

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The Big Story

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 7, 2013

How big is the Cleveland abduction story? Big enough to generate expanded local newscasts, extra cut-ins during entertainment programming and live coverage of press conferences - even when there's nothing to say. And that's just locally. Here's what's topping some national news websites at this hour:

CNN -- Found Alive!

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"Ginger & Rosa" DVD/BD Release Set

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 6, 2013

I mostly liked this movie, and was very impressed by Elle Fanning's performance. The official word:

Critics are raving about Ginger & Rosa, the "exhilarating and heartbreaking" (Wall Street Journal) film that tells the emotional coming-of-age story of two best friends whose relationship is effected by the events of the 1960s.  Led by a critically-acclaimed performance from Elle Fanning (Super 8, We Bought a Zoo) and the feature-length film debut of dazzling newcomer Alice Englert (Beautiful Creatures), Ginger & Rosa arrives on DVD July 23 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.

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Berry's "The Call" Coming to DVD/Blu-ray

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 6, 2013

The official word: Academy Award® winner Halle Berry (Best Actress, Monster’s Ball, 2001) stars as a veteran 911 operator who takes a life-altering call from a kidnapped teenage girl, played by  Academy Award® nominee Abigail Breslin (Best Supporting Actress, Little Miss Sunshine, 2006), in THE CALL, debuting on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD with UltraViolet™ June 25th from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. When a terrified kidnap victim (Breslin) calls 911 from the trunk of a madman’s car, Jordan (Berry) realizes she must confront a killer from her past to put an end to the serial killer’s haunting rampage.  THE CALL also stars Morris Chestnut (Identity Thief, Think Like A Man), Michael Imperioli (The Lovely Bones, TV’s “The Sopranos”), Michael Eklund (TV’s “Alcatraz”) and WWE star David Otunga.

 

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More Monday Notes

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 6, 2013

FX has set the date for more "Wilfred." The official word: Today FX announced that the third season of its original comedy series Wilfred will premiere on Thursday, June 20. Viewers will be treated to two new episodes airing back-to-back at 10:00 PM and 10:30 PM ET/PT for the first two weeks of the season, followed by a July 4 hiatus. Beginning July 11, Wilfred will resume airing single episodes each Thursday at 10:00 PM ET/PT.

Starring Elijah Wood and Jason Gann, the series revolves around a young man, "Ryan" (Wood), who is struggling unsuccessfully to make his way in the world until he forms a unique friendship with "Wilfred" (Gann), his neighbor’s pet dog. Everyone else sees Wilfred as just a dog, but Ryan sees a crude and somewhat surly, yet irrepressibly brave and honest Australian bloke in a cheap dog suit. Series regulars also include Fiona Gubelmann as “Jenna,” Ryan’s beautiful neighbor and Wilfred’s owner, and Dorian Brown as “Kristen,” Ryan’s uptight sister. Guest stars Chris Klein, Mary Steenburgen and Dwight Yoakam reprise their roles this season, along with a new line-up of talent which includes Gina Gershon, Angela Kinsey, Jenny Mollen and Lance Reddick.

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Video: 'Idol' chatter

By Ohio.com Published: May 6, 2013

Malcolm and Rich talk about your favorite show!

 

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Mixed Notes Monday

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 6, 2013

Good weekend for getting things done. The bride and I spent significant time on yard work, errands, housecleaning and the like -- as well as clearing some things out of the DVR. We have been on the run a lot lately because of some family matters, so it was good to have a domestic interlude.

That interlude included catching up on "Revolution," and it is feeling more and more to me like a "Glee" for this season. "Glee," I struggle to remember, started with a charming pilot, enjoyed an endearing first season but soon enough became a mess. And it's something beyond a mess now, absurd, overly fixated on the glories of Rachel, actually celebrating character inconsistency, and desperately reaching for ways to remind people of what it was. (the reprise of "Don't Stop Believin'"). And it has been renewed for two more years, I should stop watching but, frankly, it's my little dose of viewer-hate for the week.

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Superhero Saturday

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 4, 2013

It's a big day for comic-book stars. "Iron Man 3" is in theaters (and my reaction was positive but mixed) and it's Free Comic Book Day! Don't forget to pick up some, but don't be surprised if you have to wait in line.

And, speaking of superheroes, in today's Beacon Journal I ponder the lack of superhero movies starring women.

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Rich and the movies: 'Iron Man 3'

By Ohio.com Published: May 3, 2013

Iron Man is back, but still feeling the affects of what happened in The Avengers. As a new villain emerges in the Mandarin, Tony Stark is dealing with plenty of identity issues.

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Howard Kurtz Out at Daily Beast

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 2, 2013

The CNN host's  rise to prominence has included being slimy and judgment-challenged (See here for one example and the contention here that these days"Kurtz’s column is best known as the place where the widely reviled subjects of upcoming unflattering profiles go for friendly coverage right before those profiles are published.")., was dumped after writing a really stupid column about Jason Collins. Kate Aurthur, who has been especially diligent about challenging Kurtz, has a recap here. Don't miss the creepy video.

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"Drop Dead Diva" Gets Return Date

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 2, 2013

I answered a mailbag question about the show today, without a specific return date. So, of course, by the time the mailbag runs in other papers weeks from now, some people will be wondering why I didn't include the date. BECAUSE I DID NOT HAVE IT WHEN I WROTE THE COLUMN. But here's the official word about the return:

Lifetime’s fan favorite and critically-acclaimed series Drop Dead Diva, which follows a shallow wannabe model that suddenly dies in an accident only to find her soul resurfacing in the body of a brilliant, plus-sized recently deceased attorney, is back by popular demandfor a fifth season with 13 all-new episodes set to debut onSunday, June 23, at 9pm ET/PT.  Immediately following Drop Dead Diva’s return, Lifetime will premiere its new drama Devious Maids.

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Mixed Notes Thursday

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 2, 2013

Also Hating Technology Thursday. This is my third attempt at doing some posting here. Hope it works.

From today's Beacon Journal, my review of "Iron Man 3," which I liked but did not love. You can find a briefer discussion of it in my weekly video for WEWS.

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Video: 'Dancing with the Stars' recap

By Ohio.com Published: May 2, 2013

Fart Salsa, really???? Only on America's favorite dance competition.

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Sundance Orders More "Rectify"

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 1, 2013

The official word: On the heels of its critically lauded, highly anticipated premiere last week, Sundance Channel announced the renewal of the network’s first wholly owned original scripted series “Rectify” for ten new episodes slated to air in 2014. The haunting story of a man released from prison after spending nearly two decades on death row, “Rectify” has been overwhelmingly well-received by critics when it debuted on Monday, April 22nd, including Matt Roush at TV Guide, who rated the series a “10 out of 10” and called it “TV’s most absorbing, unsettling new drama.” Jace Lacob, TV Critic for The Daily Beast dubbed “Rectify” “the best new show of 2013” and Mary McNamara at the Los Angeles Times said “'Rectify' is a revelation that sets a new standard… a game changer.” “Rectify” is created and written by Ray McKinnon (The Accountant, “Deadwood,” “Sons of Anarchy”), and executive produced by Mark Johnson and Melissa Bernstein, the award-winning producers behind “Breaking Bad.” Season one will finale on May 20 at 10pm EST.

 

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