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FX orders new Denis Leary series

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 30, 2014

 

But will the Ian Dury song be the theme? Regardless, I posted Ian above. As for the official word:

FX is officially back in business with Denis Leary, placing a 10-episode order for the comedy series Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll, it was announced today by Eric Schrier and Nick Grad, the Presidents of Original Programming for FX Networks and FX Productions.  Created by and starring Leary, Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll is produced by FX Productions and Fox Television Studios, and will premiere on FX in 2015.

“It’s great to be back in business with Denis Leary, Jim Serpico and Tom Sellitti, and we’re thrilled to start on a new project that is both unique and hilarious,” said Schrier.  “Johnny Rock is the role that Denis Leary was born to play.”  

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John Walsh moving to CNN

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 30, 2014

The official word: The CNN Original Series The Hunt with John Walsh, produced by Zero Point Zero (ZPZ) Production, Inc. (Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown) premieres Sunday, July 13 at 9 pm ET/PT.

Featuring Walsh, a passionate victim’s rights activist, television personality and a spokesperson for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, The Hunt will expose stories of ongoing criminal investigations of fugitives, expand the search internationally, and employ the documentary, visual style of the Peabody and Emmy award winning ZPZ.

Through interviews with victims, loved ones and law enforcement, coupled with new leads, The Hunt will provide the public with salient information to facilitate the capture of fugitives profiled in the series.

The July 13 series premiere episode “Shane Miller,” tells the story of Miller’s wife Sandy and daughters Shelby (age eight) and Shasta (age four), who were murdered in their Northern California home in May 2013, following accusations of habitual abuse. Miller, a convicted felon and only suspect in the case, is currently on the U.S. Marshal’s most wanted list.

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Chief Oliver takes on weekend radio show

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 30, 2014

He succeeds Bob Earley, who left WNIR in February after a dispute with management. The official word:

Brimfield Police Chief, David Oliver, is the author of the book, “No Mopes Allowed” and the creator of the Brimfield Police Department’s Facebook page which has been dubbed an internet sensation with 154,000 “Likes”, more than any other police department in the United States except the City of New
York which has 8,326,300 more people than Brimfield, Ohio, population 10,700.

Starting at 7:00 pm on Saturday August 2, 2014 Chief Oliver will take on the role of radio talk show host on Northeast Ohio’s exclusive FM talk radio station, WNIR 100 FM and on the internet for Chief Oliver’s global Facebook following in all 50 States and 44 countries, via WNIR’s internet stream which can be accessed from WNIR’s website, www.wnir.com, or WNIR’s free iPhone app, or for Android phones and Blackberries from streaming aggregators www.nobexrc.com and www.tunein.com.

“Breaking Good with Chief Oliver” will be broadcast Live every Saturday night from 7:00-10:00 pm Eastern time. The 3-hour open line Live call-in talk show will feature Chief Oliver’s unique sense of humor, folksy style and refreshingly candid opinions about the things he sees and experiences in Brimfield, Ohio and how they represent the things going on in communities across the country. The listening audience will be Chief Oliver’s “main guest” making every show a lively dialogue between the Chief and people from all walks of life here in Northeast Ohio and around the country. Listeners will be able to call-in and talk to the Chief via the station’s local and toll-free phones, 330-673-1234 or 800-
669-4100.

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On Demand, mobile options increasing TV viewing

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 30, 2014

The official word:

Whether it’s watching last night’s drama, last season’s premiere of a sitcom or an original series that doesn’t even air on terrestrial television, Americans are digitally smitten with discovering, catching up on and accessing content on their own terms.

 And it’s this content availability that has helped power a sharp video viewing curve, as mobile device penetration, coupled with on-demand options, continue to grow, and as viewers spend more time watching. In fact, according to Nielsen’s Q1 2014 Cross-Platform Report, video on demand (VOD) has come of age over the last two years.

Currently available in over 60 percent of U.S. households, VOD is increasingly contributing to the viewing potential. What’s more is that recently telecast VOD (RTVOD) has emerged as a legitimate choice for consumers who might not have a DVR or simply missed recording last night’s episode.

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Sunday notebook

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 29, 2014

Carrie Coon of Copley has been getting noticed on TV and onstage, including with a Tony nomination. I talked with her recently, and it included a bunch of good stories, about her work and about her marriage to playwright Tracy Letts. You can read the story here.

The DVD column, focusing on Errol Morris's documentary about Donald Rumsfeld, is here.

The TV roundup, noting Stephen King's writing for the second season, is here. It also includes some comments about HBO's "The Leftovers," in which Carrie Coon co-stars.

In Entertainment Weekly, Ed Sheeran said the first album he was obsessed with was "Irish Heartbeat" by Van Morrison and the Chieftains. A worthy obsession. Here's a bit of it for your entertainment:
 

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My expanding social media empire

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 27, 2014

If you are on Tumblr, I now have a page there, at the moment called Rich Heldenfels' Tumblr. You can imagine how long it took me to think that up. Some of the content will overlap with this blog or my Facebook page. Some will be unique to it. For instance, I posted a vintage Bobby Womack song there earlier tonight, in honor of the singer-songwriter, who has passed away.

Also, on Facebook, in addition to my profile, there is now a page: Rich Heldenfels, Pop Culture Guy. My profile includes a lot of personal information; the page will be more of a professional roundup of pop culture items by me and others. Again, some content will overlap with my other operations, and some will be unique to it. Right now, for one thing, it contains a link to an NPR piece about Julia Keller, an award-winning journalist turned mystery writer; you may also know her as a former TV crtiic for the Columbus Dispatch.

The print Beacon Journal, Ohio.com, this blog, Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter may seem like a lot of places to be posting information. And sometimes it will feel that way. (I used to have a second blog and stopped posting to it years ago.) But I am trying to go where the readers are. Tag along where it suits you.

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Free 17-minute peek at "Guardians of the Galaxy" coming to selected IMAX theaters

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 27, 2014

Crocker Park is among the participating theaters, as you can see here. The official word: –Marvel Studios announces Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy”: An IMAX® 3D First Look, featuring 17 minutes of exclusive footage from the highly anticipated summer blockbuster “Guardians of the Galaxy.” The sneak peek will be showcased in 150 IMAX® theatre locations across North America on July 7 at 7 p.m.

 

Select IMAX 3D® theatres nationwide and internationally will offer the special screening of thrilling, never-before-seen IMAX 3D footage of the James Gunn-directed epic space adventure, which opens in U.S. theatres on August 1.

 

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Two Guys Talkin' - The Nightlight edition

By Ohio.com Published: June 26, 2014

Downtown Akron is getting a new movie theater for the first time in about 30 years. That's what Rich Heldenfels and Malcolm X Abram are talking about this week in Two Guys Talkin'.

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Gary Oldman: "I'm 56 and I should know better"

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 26, 2014

Oldman has been trying to make amends for his awful remarks in a Playboy interview.

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Thursday notebook

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 26, 2014

In today's Beacon Journal, you can find the mailbag and my chat with Gary Owen, the comedian and actor who has been seen in movies like "Think Like a Man, Too," and "Ride Along." The story focuses on Owen's comments about Cleveland and LeBron James, because that's a big story right now. But I could also have included his talking about his friendship with actor-comedian Kevin Hart, who is huge right now. So here, as a bonus quote, is Owen talking about Hart.

"I've known Kevin since '98. .. I remember a time when we could go to Starbucks and just get some lattes and nobody would bother us. Now we're on set, it's great, it's Kevin, but as soon as we walk off set and we try to go to Starbucks  .. (the reaction is so big) you can't get your latte," he said with a laugh. "In my mind, i'm like, it's just Kevin, why you guys trippin'? You know what I mean? I understand the picture taking and everything, but really, you're going to pass out? ...

"I tell you, I worked with Eddie Murphy on 'Daddy Day Care,' I worked with Jamie Foxx on 'Held Up,' and when I worked with those guys, in my mind they were already Eddie Murphy and Jamie Foxx. like I was, whoaaa. But Kevin, I still don't look at him like Kevin Hart, multi-whatever, a huge star. ... To me, he's still Kev."

By the way, myOwen story says he will be at the Improv through Sunday. He's there tonight through Saturday. You can get more ticket info here.

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TCM sets lineup of Eli Wallach films

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 25, 2014

The actor, who died at the age of 98, will be seen in five films on June 30, although some of his more memorable roles are missing. The rundown:

9 a.m. – Kisses for My President (1964) – The first female president has to deal with her husband's bruised ego. Starring Fred MacMurray, Polly Bergen and Eli Wallach. Directed by Curtis Bernhardt.

 

11 a.m. – Act One (1963) – George Hamilton stars in the true story of playwright Moss Hart, a poor Brooklyn boy who joins forces with an experienced playwright to conquer Broadway and Hollywood. Also starring Jason Robards Jr., Jack Klugman and Eli Wallash. Directed by Dore Schary.

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"Cops" returns July 12

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 25, 2014

CW announces fall premiere dates; "The Flash" arrives Oct. 7

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 25, 2014

The official word: The CW Network will strategically roll-out its Fall 2014 launch this October with two highly anticipated new series, THE FLASH and JANE THE VIRGIN, joining returning favorites.

For the third year, The CW will kick off the new season with an exclusive telecast of the biggest concert of the year, the IHEARTRADIO MUSIC FESTIVAL, airing over two nights, Monday, September 29 (8:00-10:00pm ET) and Tuesday, September 30 (8:00-10:00pm ET).

Thursday, October 2, all-new seasons of bloody, sexy drama return with the season premiere of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (8:00-9:00pm ET) followed by Mary, Queen of Scots continuing her REIGN (9:00-10:00pm ET).

THE ORIGINALS returns to wreak havoc on a new night, Monday, October 6 (8:00-9:00pm ET), followed by a special retrospective look back at the past nine seasons of SUPERNATURAL (9:00-10:00pm ET).

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ABC News shakeup: Sawyer, Stephanopoulos, Muir in new roles

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 25, 2014

The official word: ABC News today announced new roles for anchors Diane Sawyer, George Stephanopoulos and David Muir. Sawyer will lead new programming tackling big issues and extraordinary interviews. Stephanopoulos, Anchor of “Good Morning America” and “This Week,” has been promoted to Chief Anchor of ABC News, handling special reports and breaking news. Muir, Anchor of “20/20,” will become Anchor and Managing Editor of World News starting September 2. 

“We have an extraordinary team of anchors who are gifted storytellers and uniquely skilled broadcasters,” said James Goldston, president, ABC News. “For years to come, they will inspire us all to do our best work and set a high bar for excellence to inform, empower and inspire our viewers.”

After leading “World News,” the network's flagship broadcast, for nearly five years and to a number one finish in the May sweep, Sawyer has decided to step aside from anchoring a daily program to concentrate full time on new programming. She will lead a team to create and commission original reporting and major interviews for all ABC News programs and platforms. Sawyer will anchor and produce television specials and continue to interview the most extraordinary people in the world.

“For many years to come Diane will be a driving force at ABC News with her exceptional storytelling genius,” he added. “She is one of the giants of modern journalism. Her curiosity, passion and energy are unmatched, and I can’t wait to see where she’ll lead us next.”

“After wonderful years at ‘World News’ I decided it is time to move to a new full time role at ABC News. I'll be joined by an incredible team of journalists dedicated to enterprise reporting, innovative approaches to breaking news and new ways of thinking about big issues and events around the world,” Sawyer said. “I can't wait to continue bringing more of my specials to prime time and appearing on all ABC News broadcasts, as well. And to my friends and colleagues George and David - congratulations. I look forward to exciting work together and great times ahead.”
“World News” won the May Sweep in Adults 25-54, the evening broadcast’s first sweeps victory in more than six years. Season to date, “World News” is up versus the same point last year in both Total Viewers and Adults 25-54, delivering its most-watched season in five years and best news demo number in three years. “World News” is the only evening newscast to improve on its news demo performance from the previous season compared to NBC and CBS.

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Lesley Ann Warren "Cinderella" being reissued on DVD

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 24, 2014

The official word: Samuel Goldwyn Films has entered an agreement with Shout! Factory to release the classic Lesley Ann Warren version of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella on home video.

 

Cinderella comes to life in this 50th Anniversary Edition of the most beloved fairy tale of all time, available on DVD from Shout! Factory on September 9, 2014. A sparkling fantasy of music, magic and romance, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella captivates from overture to finale with a delightful score and stunning performances from an all-star cast. Long out of print on home video, the 50th Anniversary Edition showcases a new high quality transfer from the original master, as well as a special featurette that includes many of the principal cast members reminiscing about this memorable television event.

 

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CBS announces fall premiere dates

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 24, 2014

It's complicated (or, as the network puts it, multi-phase) because of the network's primetime football telecasts early in the fall. The official word:

CBS announced today a multi-phase rollout for its new season with fall premiere dates ranging from the kick-off of NFL THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL on Sept. 11 to the launch of its top-rated Thursday entertainment lineup on Oct. 30.

 

“The addition of THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL provides the flexibility to strategically roll out our fall season in multiple waves, maximizing promotional platforms and scheduling opportunities to give our new and returning series the best possible launch,” said Nina Tassler, Chairman, CBS Entertainment.

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Songs (and shows) in my head

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 24, 2014

 

 

Caught up to "Slogging Show," er, "Rising Star," yesterday, with much fast-forwarding that still didn't improve the pace of the program. When you're kicking off a new singing series, you really need to stack the premiere with hot vocalists, and this thing did not come close to doing that. Sure, it stacked first-show winners at the beginning and end, but they weren't all that good -- and the closing performance was wrapped up in contrivance. The best thing about the telecast was that a poor rendition of Whitney Houston's "How Will I Know" had me looking for Sam Smith's far superior cover. Which I have posted above.

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USA-Portugal most-watched soccer telecast on U.S. TV ever

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 23, 2014

The numbers from ESPN are below:

ESPN’s telecast of the United States’ 2-2 tie against Portugal in the 2014 FIFA World Cup on Sunday, June 22, is the most-viewed soccer match in the United States ever, across all networks, averaging 18,220,000 viewers based on a 9.6 HH US rating. It surpassed the previous high of 17,975,000 viewers for the 1999 Women’s World Cup final (USA vs. China) on ABC. Additional television highlights:

In addition to setting a television viewership record, Sunday’s match also set product records on WatchESPN with a 490,000 average minute audience, and total of 1,373,000 viewers and 61,691,000 minutes viewed.

Significant Television Viewership Increases Over 2010 and 2006
Overall, ESPN’s 2014 World Cup coverage is posting significant viewership increases over 2010 and 2006. ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC have combined to average 4,273,000 viewers and a 2.6 HH US rating through the first 32 matches, marking increases of 50 percent and 109 percent (vs. 2,857,000 in 2010 and 2,048,000 in 2006), and 44 percent and 86 percent (vs. 1.8 in 2010 and 1.4 in 2006), respectively.

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History "World Wars" series coming to DVD, Blu-ray

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 23, 2014

The official word: From the makers of the Primetime Emmy®-Award winning "The Men Who Built America" and narrated by two-time Oscar® nominee Jeremy Renner (Actor in a Leading Role, The Hurt Locker, 2009, Actor in a Supporting Role, The Town, 2010), HISTORY®'s The World Wars, arrives on Blu-ray (plus Digital HD) and DVD (plus Digital) on September 9 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. Originally premiering Memorial Day on HISTORY, 13 million viewers tuned in to all or part of the three night event series The World Wars, which averaged 4.3 million total viewers and 1.7 million in both adults 18-49 and adults 25-54 in Live + 7 viewership. Commemorating the 100th anniversary of WWI and 75th anniversary of WWII, the epic series traverses three decades of war through the eyes of the men who were on the front lines including insightful interviews with historians and modern-day politicians as well as dramatic reenactments.

 

Adolf Hitler. Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Benito Mussolini. Winston Churchill. Charles de Gaulle. George Patton. Before they were the giants of WWII, they were infantrymen and privates in WWI, the "war to end all wars." The World Wars from HISTORY® and H2™ brings you the story of the devastating three decades of 20th-century world war through the eyes of the men whose characters were forged in the trenches before they commanded a world on the brink of disaster. See how, from Ypres and the Somme to the Battle of the Bulge and the invasion of Normandy, the iconic figures of WWII became synonymous with either battlefield glory or murderous fascism.

 

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"Rosemary's Baby" reboot coming to DVD, Blu-ray

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 23, 2014

The official word: Evil is brought to life in this psychological thriller starring Zoe Saldana (Avatar) and Patrick J. Adams (TV's "Suits"). The miniseries event Rosemary's Baby premiered on NBC and arrives on Blu-ray™ (plus Digital HD), DVD (plus Digital) and Digital HD August 19, from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. Based on the best-selling suspense novel by Ira Levin, Rosemary's Baby features a teleplay by James Wong (TV's "American Horror Story") and Scott Abbott (Queen of the Damned) and is directed by Agnieszka Holland (HBO's "The Wire"). Also starring Jason Isaacs (the Harry Potter franchise) and Carole Bouquet (For Your Eyes Only), the Rosemary's Baby Blu-rayand DVD each include two featurettes, and will be available for the suggested retail price of $19.99 and $19.98, respectively.

 

Set in present-day France, Rosemary's Baby centers on a young married couple that escapes New York and moves to Paris with hopes of leaving their sad past behind. After a series of unfortunate events, Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse are presented with an offer they can't refuse - an apartment at the most prestigious address in the city. Problem is, it comes with a haunted past, and an immeasurable price.

 

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AMC orders second season of "Turn"

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 23, 2014

The official word: AMC today announced that it has ordered a second season of its Revolutionary War drama, “TURN,” which attracted a passionate core audience averaging 2 million viewers a week over its initial 10-episode run. “TURN” will return to AMC with 10 new episodes next spring. The network is also pairing encores of the entire first season of “TURN” with “Hell on Wheels” on Saturday nights this summer, to give new viewers a chance to discover and connect with the show.

 

“Craig Silverstein, Barry Josephson and a talented cast and crew delivered a truly distinctive and engaging premiere season. We look forward to continuing this revolutionary journey into season two,” said Charlie Collier, AMC president. “AMC and its creative partners have a track record of nurturing programs we collectively believe in, patiently growing viewership and engagement over time. With ‘TURN,’ once again, we dive in with our partners to build upon this very promising first season.”

 

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Soderbergh's "Girlfriend Experience" becoming a TV series

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 23, 2014

The official word: Starz today announced the greenlight of “The Girlfriend Experience,” a 13-part anthology series produced by Transactional Pictures. Inspired by the 2009 Magnolia Pictures film of the same title, Steven Soderbergh and Philip Fleishman will serve as executive producers along with independent filmmakers Lodge Kerrigan and Amy Seimetz, who will also write and direct on the series.

The scripted anthology series will feature 13 half-hour episodes.

“The Girlfriend Experience” explores the relationships of the most exclusive courtesans who provide their clients with far more than just sex. These purveyors – or GFEs (Girlfriend Experience) – share intimacies more common to romantic partners or husbands and wives, becoming quasi-lovers and confidants who are richly paid for their time.

The original feature, directed by Soderbergh and written by Brian Koppelman and David Levien, screened at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009.

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Movie notes: Burlesque in Cleveland, Ruby Dee double feature, "Cooler" reminder

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 23, 2014

ICYMI, "The Cooler Bandits" --  about a group of local young men, their criimnal acts and the way the justice system treated them -- will be shown again in the main Akron-Summit County Public Library at 1 and 5:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. Admission is free. The showings are presented by Summit County Reentry Network.

The Cinematheque will have real burlesque performers at a screening Friday. Here's the official word:

Artists from Bella Sin’s burlesque troupe Le Femme Mystique* will perform live on stage after the Cinematheque’s Friday night 7:05 pm showing of EXPOSED, Beth B’s new documentary about the recent burlesque revival. No one under 18 will be admitted to the event. Tickets (at the door, cash/check only) cost $9, Cinematheque members $7, age 25-18 $6 .

The film will also show (by itself) on Saturday night at 8:40 pm.

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"Project Runway" returns 7/24; contestants announced

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 23, 2014

The official word: The heat is on!  Season 13 of Lifetime’s Emmy®-nominated Project Runway (#ProjectRunway) returns on Thursday, July 24, at 9pm ET/PT with an all new group of aspiring designers.  Project Runway is creating a one of a kind, full-season experience with Instagram which kicked off with #RunwayRedemption.  Offering one past designer the chance to come back to the workroom and compete in season 13 fans were able to vote on their favorite designer’s “InstaPortfolio” choosing from former season favorites Ken Laurence (Season 12) Alexander Pope (Season 12) and Amanda Valentine (Season 11). The victorious designer will be revealed in the premiere episode to compete against 18 Project Runway newbies.  Each will have to make a lasting impression on judges Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia and Zac Posen, and mentor Tim Gunn in order to advance to the next level.  But no decision is ever final as Tim will have one opportunity to “save” one designer from being eliminated.

 

Elimination may come sooner than expected for some!  In the premiere episode, the designers are in disbelief when they discover there is one final audition before being granted a spot on the show.  Before they get to even get to the first challenge, three designers will be sent packing.  After that hurdle, the remaining 16 will get their first challenge, -they must create a look that would give the judges a glimpse of what their spring collection would like if they present at New York Fashion Week.  The designers will be able to complete their looks with shoes and accessories from the ALDO accessories wall but with only a trunk of fabric to use, like it or not, they have to “make it work.”

 

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Weekend notebook

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 22, 2014

While my sports viewing lately has mainly been the World Cup, in today's Beacon Journal I write about the other football and current sensation Johnny Manziel. He is a star who, before playing a pro down, has already had the celebrity-watchers in a frenzy. I offer an explanation of this happening before. You can read the piece here.

This week's DVD/Blu-ray column, including the release of "Masters of Sex," is here.

Today's TV roundup. noting a reality-TV faceoff, is here.

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AMC moves "Better Call Saul" premiere, orders more episodes.

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 19, 2014

The offic“Breaking Bad” creator and showrunner Vince Gilligan is directing the “Better Call Saul” series premiere, and co-showrunning along with fellow “Breaking Bad” alum Peter Gould, creator of the Saul Goodman character.

· AMC confirmed it has already ordered a second season of 13 “Better Call Saul” episodes, for an initial total of 23.

· The network also announced a change of the series schedule [from a Fall 2014 premiere] with “Better Call Saul” premieres slated for early 2015 and early 2016, respectively.Specific dates will follow, but the show will join “The Walking Dead” and “Talking Dead,” two of television’s top-rated hits, on AMC in the first quarter of each of the next two years.

· The first-look photo shows Gilligan and Gould from the set, with star Bob Odenkirk (Saul Goodman).

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Lifetime sets movie about making "Saved by the Bell"

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 19, 2014

You read that right. The official word: Lifetime takes a nostalgic look back at the ‘90s TV show that changed the landscape of Saturday mornings with America’s favorite teens.  The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story delves into the experiences of six unknown young actors placed into the Hollywood spotlight, exposing the challenges of growing up under public scrutiny while trying to maintain the squeaky clean image of their popular characters both on and off-screen.   The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story is filming in Vancouver and the movie will premiere Labor Day, Monday September 1, at 9 pm PT/ET.

 

With casting by the original series’ casting director, Robin Lippin (Lizzie McGuire), Dylan Everett (Degrassi: The Next Generation) is set to play Mark-Paul Gosselaar in the role of mischievous ringleader “Zack Morris.” Sam Kindseth (Shameless) is Dustin Diamond, everyone’s favorite geek and loveable sidekick “Screech.”  Julian Works (Paranormal Activity, Modern Family) fills the shoes of superstar Mario Lopez as the hunky jock “A.C. Slater.”  Alyssa Lynch (The High Jumping Witch) plays the role of America’s favorite sweetheart, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, who originated the part of Kelly Kapowski.  Tiera Skovbye (Supernatural, Girl in Progress) takes on the role of talented beauty Elizabeth Berkley and her beloved character “Jessie Sapano.”  Rounding out the cast is Taylor Russell McKenzie (Blink) who will portray Lark Voorhies and her on-screen persona, the privileged “Lisa Turtle.”

 

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Chelsea Handler going to Netflix

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 19, 2014

The cable talker will host a talk show beginning in 2016, but start appearing on the online service sooner, with a standup special in October and "docu-comedy" specials in 2015. The official word:

Chelsea Handler will join together with Netflix to create an all-new talk show for the world’s leading Internet TV Network. Beginning in early 2016, the show will debut simultaneously in all Netflix territories for members to enjoy however and whenever they like. 

 

The new talk show will feature an updated format that still encompasses Chelsea’s unfiltered opinions on topical entertainment and cultural issues, as well as her signature guest interviews.

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"Heaven Is For Real" DVD/Blu-ray plans

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 17, 2014

The official word on the film, which features Macedonia's Connor Corum : The inspirational story of family and faith based on the No. 1 New York Times best-selling book by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent, HEAVEN IS FOR REAL debuts on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD July 22 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Directed by Randall Wallace (Secretariat) and starring Academy Award® nominee Greg Kinnear (Best Supporting Actor, As Good as It Gets, 1997), HEAVEN IS FOR REAL tells the true story of Todd Burpo, a small-town businessman whose young son, Colton (Connor Corum), miraculously recovers from a near-death experience with vivid memories of his visit to Heaven.

 

The Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD both feature inspirational bonus materials, including six deleted scenes and the “Colton Goes to Heaven” featurette, taking fans behind the scenes for a look at the journey of bringing the book to the big screen.  Exclusively available on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack are two additional featurettes.“The Making of Heaven is For Real” gives a look at the production process and talent in the film, and “Creating Heaven” explores the choices in production design that support the film’s religious themes.

 

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"Grace Kelly Collection" with six films, TV interview on DVD

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 17, 2014

The official word: On July 29, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) will remember one of Hollywood’s most glamorous film stars with the debut of the Grace Kelly Collection. The Collection includes six of the iconic screen legend’s most popular films --– Mogambo, Dial M for Murder, The Country Girl, The Bridges at Toko-Ri, To Catch a Thief and High Society – in which she co-stars with some of Hollywood’s finest leading men, including Clark Gable, Cary Grant, William Holden, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra.

 

The Grace Kelly Collection offers films that have never been together in one set and also features her last, rarely seen TV interview Princess Grace de Monaco: A Moment in Time conducted by Pierre Salinger less than ten days before her death. A collectible series of art cards, photos and memorabilia are also part of this set which will sell for $34.96 SRP.

 

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"The Blacklist" Season 1 coming to DVD/Blu-ray

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 17, 2014

The official word: NBC's top rated drama series of last season, THE BLACKLIST, arrives on Blu-ray™ and DVD Aug. 12 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Three-time Emmy® winner James Spader (TV's "The Practice," TV's "Boston Legal") gives a tour-de-force performance in the explosive and winningly deceptive crime drama, playing one of the world's most wanted fugitives. The well-reviewed series, which was NBC's top rated program, as well as the No. 1 drama on all of network television last season (Live +7, ages 18 to 49), follows Raymond "Red" Reddington (Spader) through multiple twists and turns as he helps the FBI bring down the world's most fascinating and notorious criminals. Also starring is Megan Boone (My Bloody Valentine), Diego Klattenhoff (TV's "Homeland"), Ryan Eggold (TV's "90210"), Parminder Nagra (TV's "ER") and Harry Lennix (Man of Steel).

 

All 22 episodes are included in the five-disc Blu-ray and DVD releases of THE BLACKLIST: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON, arriving just in time for fans to re-watch and fill in the puzzle pieces before the premiere of the second season this fall. Special features include commentary on three key episodes and two all-new featurettes. "The Insider: Making Season One" takes viewers through the freshman season with the cast, writers and executive producers, from brainstorming the weekly Blacklisters to developing character relationships.  In addition, there are 22 episodes of "Beyond the Blacklist," offering a behind-the-scenes look at each of episodes. Exclusively available on Blu-ray are two additional featurettes. The first, "Inception: Making the Pilot," provides an inside look at how THE BLACKLIST was brought to life, featuring the cast, production team, creator Jon Bokenkamp and pilot director Joe Carnahan.

 

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"Only Lovers" DVD/BD plans

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 16, 2014

 

 

 

The official word about the film, from Northeast Ohio's own Jim Jarmusch:

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Remembering Jimmy Scott

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 16, 2014

 

 

My friend Candace Justice introduced me to the music of Jimmy Scott, through his CD "All the Way," before I moved to Ohio. He was a one-of-a-kind singer and I kept listening to him. In 1997 I was at an Etta James show in Cleveland and, during the intermission was surprised to see Scott walking through the crowd; James later introduced him from the stage.

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Remembering Casey Kasem

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 16, 2014

As you know, the renowned radio personality has died. I met Casey back in 1995, when he came to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to see the DJ exhibit of which he was a part, and to reminisce about Cleveland radio. Here's the piece his visit inspired:

Radio and television are showcased in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland. But the list of hall inductees who came out of broadcasting is relatively short.
Aside from performers who also worked in radio such as B.B. King and Sly Stone, the hall has only two true broadcasters: Cleveland's Alan Freed, who used radio to bring black music to white listeners, and Dick Clark, whose American Bandstand was for years television's main window on rock 'n' roll.
That hardly seems enough. But broadcasters have only a narrow opening into the hall of fame, as nonperformers, which some years includes only one inductee chosen from music-company executives, songwriters, producers and others as well as broadcasters.
It's not much of a substitute to have a display that, when it's working properly, allows hall visitors to hear voices of famous DJs from around the country.
Casey Kasem, one of the DJs in that display, was thrilled to be in it. But in a chat during a visit to Cleveland a while back, Kasem was also a vivid reminder of the rich history of radio and rock 'n' roll.
He recalled paying his respects to Freed in a telephone conversation shortly before the DJ's death in 1965. And sitting in Freed's old chair at WJW-AM, where Kasem worked in 1959 and early 1960.
But Kasem remembered more. "I always knew that Cleveland was a great center for popular music, going back to the Bill Randle days," he said, citing another legendary Northeast Ohio DJ. "I heard about Bill Randle when I was in Detroit, and how important he was to breaking new acts. His counterpart in Detroit was Jack the Bell Boy -- not Tom Clay, but the original Jack the Bell Boy, Ed McKenzie. .....
"The influence of American music around the world is incredible," Kasem said. "And radio plays a major role and has from the beginning."
Indeed it has. Rock and Roll, the series running on PBS through tomorrow at 9 p.m., includes regular talk about radio.
The first episode begins with a radio playing in a car, the first comments come from pioneering DJ William "Hoss" Allen. Artists speak of getting on the radio -- and not getting on, notably when the Byrds saw Eight Miles High fall back to earth because its supposed drug references lost it radio play.
"Black radio was everything to people like me," Motown Records founder Berry Gordy Jr. has written of his company's early days. In his memoir To Be Loved he remembers being awestruck at seeing famous black DJs at a radio convention: "I spotted Jockey Jack Gibson holding court with some other biggies -- master rhymers and rappers like Eddie O'Jay from Cleveland, whose deep baritone voice sent people rushing to record stores."
Starting with just some of the names mentioned here you could have a good list of broadcasters who merit consideration for the hall. Then add New York DJs like Bruce "Cousin Brucie" Morrow and Murray "the K" Kauffman. Or Bob "Wolfman Jack" Smith, whose legend (and raspy voice) became part of the 1973 movie American Graffiti and the 1974 Guess Who song Clap for the Wolfman.
Tom Donahue, the San Francisco DJ who helped pioneer the so-called "progressive FM" format, should be on the list. From TV, you could bring in Don Cornelius, whose Soul Train has been rolling for a quarter of a century, and the impresario Ed Sullivan, whose variety show was a magnet for many rock acts.
You also may want to add names to the list, or remove some of the ones here. Either way, there are a lot of broadcasters the rock hall should be considering for its highest honor.


 

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A vacation hello

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 9, 2014

I am on a long break with my bride, and my blog posts will be sporadic at best. There will be a new mailbag this week on Ohio.com and in Thursday's print Beacon Journal. If you missed it, check Ohio.com for my recent column about Bill Cosby, who is returning to Akron for a show; Sunday's TV roundup and this week's DVD/Blu-ray column. Beyond that, underestimate that sun and sleep are currently dominating my schedule.

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Rich and the movies: 'The Fault in Our Stars'

By Ohio.com Published: June 6, 2014

This week Beacon Journal and Ohio.com pop culture writer Rich Heldenfels takes a look at The Fault in Our Stars, the movie based on the popular book of the same name by author John Green.

Read his full review here.

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As you prepare to watch the Tony awards ...

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 6, 2014

 

... and especially if your viewing is in conflict with other people wanting to watch the NBA finals, consider this NSFW song.

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Notebook

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 6, 2014

The second season of "Orange Is the New Black" is now available on Netflix. I previewed the first three episodes, and was glad as all get out to have the show back.

Confident from the beginnnig, it seems even more so, fully content to sideline Piper for an entire episode because the other characters are so strong. And its message about women and power is even more pointed in the new season, not only in how the inmates are treated by people outside the prison (think about the way the prison job fair goes) but in the power they have in their own lives and in the prison structure.

Keep an eye on a fine performance by Lorraine Toussaint as a new character, especially in the third episode, which is so affecting about Suzanne (aka Crazy Eyes) that it made me tear up a little. Uzo Aduba is superb as Suzanne, by the way, but she's able to do so because Jenji Kohan's vision and writing keep giving the actresses great moments to work with; Taylor Schilling, as Piper, has two early on. And there's a sense that nothing is insignificant on the show, which also neatly circles back to the first-season finale.

I have a few thoughts on how folks should prepare to greet local visitors during the Gay Games, which come to Cleveland and Akron in August.

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What you gonna buy? "Ghostbusters" sets theatrical re-release, Blu-ray debut

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 5, 2014

 

 

The official word: Sony Pictures Entertainment will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its blockbuster franchise Ghostbusters with a series of special events and home entertainment releases.  As a highlight of the celebration, the original 1984 film has been restored and remastered in 4K and will be returning to the big screen, in over 700 locations in the United States and Canada, for a limited engagement starting August 29 (Labor Day weekend). ...

Following the theatrical release of the film, on September 16, fans will be able to own the Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary Edition on Blu-ray and the Ghostbusters II 25th Anniversary Edition, as that film makes its Blu-ray debut.  The Sony Pictures Home Entertainment releases of the films will also be available in a two-disc anniversary edition Blu-ray™ Digibook including both films, as well as a Limited Edition gift set that includes an exclusive collectible Slimer figurine and the two-disc Digibook.  This special gift set will only be available for a very limited time, with the collectible Slimer figurine being a true must-have for fans. Both films have been fully restored and remastered in 4K and will be presented in high definition on Blu-ray from those 4K sources.

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Two Guys Talkin' - The Showrunner Edition

By Ohio.com Published: June 5, 2014

What happens to a show when the person with the vision for the show leaves? It's usually not good.

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Throwback Thursday: O.J. Simpson

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 5, 2014

A week from now we will mark the 20th anniversary of the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, and the beginning of the horrible, ongoing saga of O.J. Simpson. The crime happened as I was joining the Beacon Journal, and one of the earliest pieces I wrote for this paper was about Simpson. Here's that text, from June 23, 1994:

Less than two weeks ago, O.J. Simpson was known for generally positive roles: football hero, airport sprinter, TV commentator, fall guy in the Naked Gun movies.

Now he has weightier labels. Wife beater. Accused murderer. Former fugitive. Disturbed, depressed, suicidal.

In the public theater, O.J. Simpson has gone from light comedy to sordid drama in a blink. Instead of being talked about in the context of Leslie Nielsen, he is linked with Othello (by Pat Robertson on The 700 Club), Albert Camus (courtesy of Anne Taylor Fleming on The McNeil/Lehrer News Hour) and silent-movie star Fatty Arbuckle (by everyone searching for the last time a great celebrity was accused of a grisly crime).

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"Last Tango in Halifax" returns June 29; "Vicious" with Jacobi, Ian McKellen arriving

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 4, 2014

The official word: BBC Worldwide North America Sales & Distribution and PBS announced today that the critically acclaimed British drama LAST TANGO IN HALIFAX will return for a second season in the U.S., debuting June 29 2014, at 8:00 p.m. ET on PBS. New sitcom VICIOUS, also starring TANGO lead Derek Jacobi, will join the lineup on Sunday, June 29 at 10:30 p.m. ET.

 

Written by Sally Wainwright (“Scott and Bailey,” “Unforgiven,” “At Home With the Braithwaites”) and directed by Euros Lyn (“Black Mirror,” “Sherlock”) and Jill Robertson (Law & Order: UK), LAST TANGO IN HALIFAX tells the story of love struck septuagenarians Alan (Jacobi) and Celia (Anne Reid) who rediscover their love for each other later in life — 60 years, in fact, after they first met. The heart-warming series, which was named one of the “Best TV shows of 2013” by Variety, was the BBC’s highest rating new mid-week drama of 2012, regularly attracting more than seven million viewers with its captivating mix of effervescent humor and moving drama. Made by Red Production Company for the BBC, LAST TANGO IN HALIFAX is produced by Karen Lewis with Nicola Shindler, Sally Wainwright and Matthew Read as the executive producers.

 

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History announces "Sons of Liberty" miniseries, cast

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 4, 2014

The official word: HISTORY has ordered its latest scripted miniseries SONS OF LIBERTY from A+E Studios and Stephen David Entertainment (The Men Who Built America, The World Wars); it was announced today by Dirk Hoogstra, Executive Vice President and General Manager, HISTORY & H2. The six-part miniseries, starting production this summer, follows a defiant and radical group of young men – Sam Adams, John Adams, Paul Revere, John Hancock and Joseph Warren – as they band together in secrecy to change the course of history and make America a nation.

The stellar cast includes: Ben Barnes (The Chronicles of Narnia) as Sam Adams, a natural born leader with charisma and a penchant for mischief; Ryan Eggold (The Black List) as Joseph Warren, a doctor and man of conscience and integrity; Michael Raymond James (Jack Reacher, Terriers, True Blood) as Paul Revere, a veteran who wholeheartedly joins forces with Sam Adams; Rafe Spall (Prometheus, Life of Pi) as John Hancock, the wealthiest man in Boston at the time; and Henry Thomas (E.T. The Extraterrestrial, Gangs of New York, Legends of the Fall) as John Adams, a lawyer and the conservative, smart cousin of Sam Adams. Additionally, Marton Csokas (The Lord of the Rings, Rogue) is cast as the ferocious General Thomas Gage who is sent to handle the unrest in Boston with a military response; Emily Berrington (24: Live Another Day) as Margaret Gage and Dean Norris (Breaking Bad, Under the Dome, Men, Women & Children) as the brilliant yet mischievous diplomat Benjamin Franklin.

Calling themselves the Sons of Liberty, they light the spark that ignited a revolution. Though their names have become American legend, this group of young rebels didn’t start off as noble patriots in powdered wigs. They were a new American generation of young men from varied backgrounds, struggling to find purpose in their lives. They were looking for equality, but they found something greater: Independence.

“From the Boston Tea Party to the Declaration of Independence, SONS OF LIBERTY will tell the rebellious story of America’s greatest fight for freedom,” said Hoogstra. “HISTORY continues its commitment to bring viewers historical drama based on real events that have shaped our past, while capturing the spirit of the time. Adams, Hancock, Revere, are famous names in our history books, and SONS OF LIBERTY will bring their stories to life.”

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"Normal Heart" DVD/Blu-ray plans

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 4, 2014

The official word: When writer Larry Kramer hosted a gathering of gay men at his home in 1981 to discuss the "gay cancer" that was plaguing their community, he effectively launched a series of events that would change the face of the Gay Rights Movement and American activism. In 1985, he immortalized the events in the groundbreaking play The Normal Heart, which was later revived on Broadway in 2011, garnering five Tony Award nominations. Three decades after its Off Broadway debut, Kramer's dream of a film version to bring his urgent and pivotal story to an even wider audience has finally arrived when The Normal Heart debuts on Blu-ray ($24.99), DVD ($19.97) & Digital HD on August 26, 2014.

The release includes an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the true story that inspired the film, featuring cast and crew interviews, andthe Blu-ray & DVD also include a Digital HD copy. The film was heralded for its "searing, electrifying moments... delivered with escalating passion" (People) by an all-star cast that includes Academy Award® nominee Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are All Right), Academy Award® winner Julia Roberts (Erin Brockovich), Matt Bomer (TV's White Collar) and Emmy Award® winner Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory).

Adapted for the screen by Kramer and directed by Emmy Award® winner Ryan Murphy (Glee, American Horror Story), The Normal Heart tells the story of the onset of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s. It explores the nation's sexual politics as gay activists and their allies in the medical community fight to expose the truth about the epidemic to a city in denial. Ruffalo portrays Ned Weeks, who witnesses first-hand a mysterious disease that has begun to claim the lives of many in his gay community and starts to seek answers. Matt Bomer plays Felix Turner, a reporter who becomes Ned's lover. Taylor Kitsch plays Bruce Niles, a closeted investment banker who becomes a prominent AIDS activist. Jim Parsons plays gay activist Tommy Boatwright, reprising his role from the 2011 Broadway revival. Roberts plays physician Dr. Emma Brookner, a survivor of childhood polio who treats several of the earliest victims of HIV-AIDS. Rounding out the all-star cast are Alfred Molina, Joe Mantello, Jonathan Groff, Denis O'Hare, Stephen Spinella, Corey Stoll, Finn Wittrock and B.D. Wong.


 

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"Sopranos" coming to Blu-ray in November

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 4, 2014

The official word: Fifteen years after making its revolutionary debut and radically altering the TV landscape, fans of the legendary HBO® series The Sopranos can now experience the show like never before. This fall, all 86 episodes of the beloved Emmy®, Golden Globe® and Peabody Award-winning series are available for the first time in a Blu-ray with Digital HD collector set in 1080p high definition. With 28 Blu-ray discs packaged in an elegant box set featuring iconic artwork from the series, The Sopranos: The Complete Series Blu-ray ($279.98) is an essential addition to any home entertainment collection. Featuring all six seasons plus bonus materials, this must-have set will be out in stores exclusively from HBO Home Entertainment on November 4, 2014 - just in time for the holidays.

 

Blu-ray with Digital HD Set Special Features

The Sopranos: The Complete Series Blu-ray comes with a free Digital HD copy of all 86 episodes, and the set is also loaded with more than five hours of bonus material including a new and exclusive feature exploring how The Sopranos came to be and how it transformed the television landscape. "Defining a Television Landmark," which runs approximately 45 minutes, features all-new interviews with cast, crew, celebrities, filmmakers and academics -- including series creator David Chase, star James Gandolfini, Academy Award® winning director Steven Soderbergh, Emmy® Award winner Jeff Daniels and Golden Globe winner Steve Buscemi -- discussing the impact and influence of the groundbreaking series, with brand new archival footage. Additional bonus material includes lost scenes, two round table dinners with cast and crew, 25 audio commentaries and much more. 
 

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Arrrr! TCM begins pirate-movie fest on Friday

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 4, 2014

The official word: Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is taking to the high seas this month as the network's popular Friday Night Spotlight showcase focuses on "Pirate Pictures." Actor, comedian and podcast host Greg Proops, whose extensive TV credits include the U.K. and U.S. versions of the improvisational comedy series Whose Line is It Anyway? will host the lineup, which launches Friday, June 6, at 8 p.m. (ET).

 

TCM's pirate lineup ranges from a 1924 silent version of The Sea Hawk, starring Milton Sills, to Errol Flynn's swashbuckling 1940 film of the same name; from Gene Kelly's dancing buccaneer in The Pirate (1948) to Burt Lancaster's acrobatic one in The Crimson Pirate (1952). The lineup features three more Flynn pirate adventures: his star-making role in Captain Blood (1935), the TCM premiere of Against All Flags (1952) and Flynn's final swashbuckling adventure, The Master of Ballantrae (1953).

Another actor noted for derring-do, Tyrone Power, stars in The Black Swan (1942) as a buccaneer smitten by the heroine of many swashbuckling films, Maureen O'Hara. Paul Henreid tests his sea legs in The Spanish Main (1945) and Pirates of Tripoli (1955). Also spotlighted are such notorious bandits of the bounding main as Captain Kidd (1945, with Charles Laughton in the title role), Long John Silver (Wallace Beery in the 1934 Treasure Island) and Blackbeard, the Pirate (1952, starring Robert Newton). Murvyn Vye continues the role of Blackbeard in The Boy and the Pirates (1960). On the comic side, TCM has Charles Laughton lampooning his famous role in Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd (1952). And in The Princess and the Pirate (1944), Bob Hope plays an entertainer posing as a nefarious pirate known as "The Hook."

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A reader reacts

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 4, 2014

After seeing a photo from "Almost Human" with one of my mailbag columns, a reader wrote: "consider not using photos of guns to accompany your Pop Culture Q&A column. it seems insensitive re the mass murders that are occurring more frequently these days."

Your thoughts? Should we not run photos of gunplay in movies and TV, especially considering how pervasive the violence is? Is there a line here between fantasy violence and the real thing? (Thinking back,. was it right of the makers of "Gangster Squad" to revise a major scene because the original version had too many echoes of the Colorado theater shootings?) What's an appropriate response in media?

BTW, some of you may not recall seeing the "Almost Human" photo with my Beacon Journal mailbag. It did not run there.The mailbag runs in a lot of papers, and the photo in question was with it in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

This not only means that I get comments like the one above, but that I am asked about a schedule change on a Miami TV station. And get queries on topics I addressed in recent mailbags, only the other paper did not run that specific question & answer. We all have our problems with available space.)

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A movie question

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 3, 2014

As you may know, Clint Eastwood has directed "Jersey Boys," the Four Seasons musical, for release later this month. While I have not seen that film, and so cannot pass judgment, the film does have me wondering if there are directors who never should have done a musical. I started this discussion on Facebook and Twitter, but feel free to join in the comments section on this post.

I am not thinking simply of bad musicals, but of bad musicals by directors who have strong reputations otherwise. Thus, the endlessly dreadful "Can't Stop the Music" is not a contender because Nancy Walker directed. How you feel about "Phantom of the Opera" may depend on where you rank Joel Schumacher as a director generally.

On the other hand, does Rob Marshall get a pass on "Nine" because he also directed "Chicago" -- or is Adam Shankman forgiven "Rock of Ages" because he did a good job with "Hairspray"?

But some candidates, open to discussion: Peter Bogdanovich, "At Long Last Love." Francis Coppola, "One From the Heart' (or, if you consider it sufficiently musical, "The Cotton Club"). John Huston, "Annie." Martin Scorsese, "New York New York."

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Big-screen Monty Python event to include local cinemas

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 2, 2014

Regal Montrose, Cinemark Macedonia and Tinseltown USA in North Canton are among the venues for "Monty Python Live (mostly)" on July 20, with possible replays July 23-24, depending on the theater. Here's the word on the show:

For the first time in more than three decades, Monty Python comedy legends John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin will reunite on stage for a special, historic trip down memory lane. In July, fans from around the world will have the opportunity to join one of the most anticipated live events of the year, and bid farewell on this final curtain call of the Pythons live from London’s O2 Arena performance. Presented by Fathom Events and Picturehouse Entertainment, “Monty Python Live (mostly)” will be broadcast live to cinemas on Sunday, July 20 at 2:30 pm ET/1:30 pm CT/12:30 pm MT/11:30 am PT, with additional showings scheduled on Wednesday, July 23 and Thursday, July 24 at 7:30 pm local time.

Tickets for “Monty Python Live (mostly)” are available at participating theater box offices and online at www.FathomEvents.com. The event will be presented in more than 420 select movie theaters in the United States 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). For U.S. theater locations showing the event on August 6 as well as theater locations outside of the U.S. visit www.MontyPythonLive.com.

"What could be finer at the end of a long life in comedy, than a chance to reunite with old pals and say goodbye to all our fans in one final mad musical show,” said Eric Idle. “We are very excited that not only do we get the chance to screw up on stage, we get a chance to screw up live in cinemas too."

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"Orphan Black" Season 2 on DVD/Blu-ray in July

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 2, 2014

The official word: BBC AMERICA’s hit original dramatic conspiracy thriller Orphan Black: Season Two  is back and cloning itself onto Blu-ray and DVD July 15, 2014.

In addition to all 10 episodes from the new season, BBC Home Entertainment is giving the audience even more to explore with extra features and exclusive content including an extended version This behind the scenes vignette shows how the 4-clone scene from the the season two finale was conceived and created, providing an exclusive look at never-seen-before on-set footage with running commentary from co-creator and writer Graeme Manson and co-creator and director John Fawcett sharing their vision of the scene. ...

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NBC announces fall premiere dates

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 2, 2014

Which, of course, could change between now and September. But here's the plan:

NBC has announced premiere dates for its fall schedule, which include No. 1 broadcast program “Sunday Night Football,” the return of No. 1 reality series “The Voice,” No. 1 new series “The Blacklist,” and the debuts of highly anticipated comedy “Marry Me” and drama “The Mysteries of Laura.”

“Sunday Night Football” launches its campaign on Thursday, Sept. 4 when the Green Bay Packers travel to the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT). Three days later on Sunday, Sept. 7, the Indianapolis Colts will play at the AFC champion Denver Broncos (8:20 p.m. ET/5:20 p.m. PT). The game will be preceded by the season premiere of “Football Night in America” (7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT).

“The Biggest Loser,” in which contestants lose weight in the hope of restarting their lives, returns for its 16th season Thursday, Sept. 11 (8-10 p.m. ET/PT).

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"Garfunkel and Oates" premieres Aug. 7 on IFC

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 2, 2014

You may have seen my previous posts about this funny (and often NSFW) duo. If not, check them out on YouTube. The official word:

Folk yes! Get in tune with Riki Lindhome (New Girl, Hell Baby) and Kate Micucci (The Big Bang Theory, Raising Hope) as they try to make it big in Hollywood. This comedy-folk duo navigates love, life and work with one satirical (and sometimes saucy) song after another in IFC’s latest scripted comedy, Garfunkel and Oates. The eight-episode season premieres Thursday, August 7 at 10:00pm ET/PT on IFC.

 

Garfunkel and Oates follows Riki and Kate as hard-working comedy underdogs trying to reconcile Riki’s razor-sharp realism and Kate’s childlike wonder.  Awkward, flawed and not above a dirty joke, the pair struggle to make their mark in the comedy world while muddling through messy dating scenarios. Nothing stops the ukulele and guitar-wielding twosome from singing about the unspoken truths of pregnant women (they’re smug), the boundaries of social media (or lack there of), the difference between being 29 and 31 (two years; worlds apart) and the joys of same-sex puppet unions (hooray).

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CBS announces "Under the Dome" special a week before Season 2 premiere

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 2, 2014

The official word: CBS will air UNDER THE DOME: INSIDE CHESTER’S MILL on Monday, June 23 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT). This exclusive one-hour special looks back at the premiere season of the hit summer series, featuring highlights from last season as well as new interviews with the cast and executive producers.  In addition, the special will tease what lies ahead for the residents of Chester’s Mill who are still trapped under the mysterious dome with an advance sneak peek at the season two premiere.

UNDER THE DOME returns for its second season Monday, June 30 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, with an episode written by bestselling author and executive producer Stephen King.

UNDER THE DOME was last summer’s #1 program and the most-watched scripted summer series premiere in 21 years. UNDER THE DOME is also licensed in 200 markets worldwide by CBS Studios International, and was recently named one of the most-watched dramas in the world by Eurodata TV Worldwide.


UNDER THE DOME stars Mike Vogel, Rachelle Lefevre, Dean Norris, Eddie Cahill, Alexander Koch, Nicholas Strong, Colin Ford, Mackenzie Lintz, Karla Crome, Natalie Martinez and Britt Robertson.  It is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Amblin Television.  Steven Spielberg, Stephen King, Neal Baer, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank, Stacey Snider, Jack Bender and Brian K. Vaughan are executive producers


 

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Cleveland Film Festival taking entries

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 2, 2014

Here's the official word:

Calling all filmmakers:  The 39th Cleveland International Film Festival presented by Dollar Bank Call For Entries is now open! For submission details, deadlines, and fees please visit www.clevelandfilm.org. 

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ICYMI: New "Amazing Race" cast

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 1, 2014

The 25th season does not air until the fall, but the race has already begun. And, from a far from private starting point, so CBS went ahead and released the basic info along with a few fun facts.

The official word: THE AMAZING RACE began its milestone 25th trip around the world earlier this morning, Saturday, May 31, when the Emmy Award-winning series kicked off from Times Square in New York City. In Spring 2001, the teams who participated in the first season of RACE began their trek in Central Park. The 25th edition of the show will premiere this fall on a new day and time, Fridays (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT), on the CBS Television Network. Phil Keoghan (@philkeoghan) serves as host.

 

Meet the 11 teams competing on the upcoming season of THE AMAZING RACE:

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