Friday, March 6, 2015

POSTED: Monday, January 19, 2015, 10:54 AM
Bryshere Gray (left) with Serayah McNeill in a scene from last week's "Empire"

From the Television Critics Association's winter meetings in Pasadena, Calif.:

Bryshere Gray wants the president to know that wasn't him calling President Obama a "sell-out" in last week's episode of Fox's new hit "Empire."

"This is my first acting experience, but I...always wanted to," said  the West Philly rapper-turned-actor, who's also known as  Yazz the Greatest, in an interview Saturday following a news conference for Fox's new hit "Empire." (For more about that and what Lafayette HIll's Terrence Howard had to say about his problematic past, see here.)

POSTED: Saturday, January 17, 2015, 11:17 PM
Actor Terrence Howard attends the premiere of Fox's "Empire" at ArcLight Cinemas Cinerama Dome on January 6, 2015, in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

The top brass at Fox may not have seemed  as prepared as I'd expected for my question Saturday about the problematic past of Terrence Howard, the star of their new hit "Empire," but by the time the actor himself met with reporters late in the day, he appeared more than ready.

So when another reporter offered him the opportunity to respond to issues of what he referred to as Howard's "legal background," the actor quipped, "You mean me as a lawyer?"

He then got more serious.

POSTED: Saturday, January 17, 2015, 6:42 PM
Director M. Night Shyamalan. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

From the Television Critics Association's winter meetings in Pasadena, Calif.:

Philly-area filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan ("The Sixth Sense") seems to have enjoyed his first foray into television, telling reporters Saturday that he might be up for a second season of "Wayward Pines," a Fox "event series" starring Matt Dillon, Melissa Leo, Carla Gugino and Lafayette Hill's Terrence Howard.

"I have an idea," he told me afterward, though he's not ready to say for sure that it passes his "internal test."

POSTED: Saturday, January 17, 2015, 3:19 PM
Actor Terrence Howard attends the premiere of Fox's 'Empire at ArcLight Cinemas Cinerama Dome on January 6, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

From the Television Critics Association's winter meetings in Pasadena, Calif.:

"Empire," which Fox on Saturday announced had been picked up for a second season, is the new bright star in Fox's firmament and Lafayette HIll's Terrence Howard is at the very center of it as the ailing Lucious Lyon, a man with a violent temper and a contentious relationship with his ex-wife, Cookie (Taraji P. Henson)

In real life, Howard, who'll also headline later this year in the network's "Wayward Pines," from M. Night Shyamalan,  has been dogged by accusations of violence, both against women in his life and against women he doesn't appear to have known.

POSTED: Friday, January 16, 2015, 1:22 PM
Comedian/actor Bill Cosby performs at the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino on September 26, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Getty Images)

From the Television Critics Association's winter meetings in Pasadena, Calif.:

NBC entertainment chief Robert Greenblatt kicked off his semiannual news conference here with a Bill Cosby joke, quipping that the network was "developing a comedy with Bill Cosby and a miniseries with Hillary Clinton."

He wasn't laughing a few minutes later, when reporters questioned him about the decision to cancel plans to develop a new sitcom with Cosby in the wake of allegations by more than a dozen women that the Philadelphia-born comedian had drugged and sexually assaulted them.

POSTED: Wednesday, January 14, 2015, 1:44 PM

From the Television Critics Association's winter meetings in Pasadena, Calif:

Gina Rodriguez was still on a winner's high Tuesday when a bunch of reporters showed up on the Manhattan Beach, Calif., set of the CW's "Jane the Virgin."

If you watched Sunday's Golden Globes (and even if you haven't yet started watching the terrifically entertaining "Jane," in which Rodriguez plays an accidentally inseminated 23-year-old virgin), you may recall the camera's following her, every excruciating step of the way, as she made her way to the stage, where she delivered an emotional acceptance speech.

POSTED: Tuesday, January 13, 2015, 12:50 PM
"Community"

From the Television Critics Association's winter meetings:

The sixth season of "Community" will premiere online March 17, with two back-to-back episodes, followed by the release of one episode a week after that, Yahoo announced Tuesday.

As one reporter noted, that's "kind of an old-school way"  to roll out a series in the age of binge-watching, when Netflix and Amazon are releasing entire seasons in a single day.

POSTED: Tuesday, January 13, 2015, 11:04 AM

Amazon's quest to make television -- or television-like entertainment -- more of a meritocracy continues.

First-time TV writer Woody Allen's getting a series.

The streaming service, which now provides series like the Golden Globes-winning "Transparent" to customers of its Amazon Prime service (who may initially only have signed up for the free two-day shipping) has made much of the selection process, in which anyone can upload a script for consideration and chosen pilots are judged and voted on by viewers.

About this blog
As the TV critic for the Philadelphia Daily News, I've always believed my job is less about thumbs -- up or down -- and more about the conversation. Because the more choices we have, the fewer people in our lives know what we're talking about when we say, "Did you see that?" And that's when television really starts to get interesting. Reach Ellen at graye@phillynews.com.

Ellen Gray Daily News TV Critic
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