Cynthia Littleton, Variety.com
Ferguson signed off after 2,058 episodes in characteristically quirky fashion, running through many of the show’s regular comedy bits, such as bantering with sidekick Geoff the talking robot skeleton and showcasing Secretariat, the show’s “fake horse” brought to life by two people in a classic pantomime horse costume.
The guest segment featured Jay Leno in a candid, and for Ferguson fairly low-key, session of swapping stories of talkshow host gripes about lame guests, pushy publicists and the trials of aging on the job. Leno, who signed off “The Tonight Show” in February, looked like a guy who’s been semi-retired for 10 months, with a shaggier mop of silver hair and more casual look than he sported on NBC’s air all those years. He assured Ferguson that great experiences awaited him on the standup circuit.
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Federal authorities have determined that hackers working on behalf of the North Korean government were behind the attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, according to CNBC and CNN.
"We have found linkage to the North Korean government," a source told CNBC.
CNN's Evan Perez said that an announcement is expected on Thursday that would "assign attribution" to the country, which threatened retaliation over the release of "The Interview."
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Buoyed by superb casting and an organic setting for flamboyant, larger-than-life characters, "Mozart in the Jungle" may not qualify as a masterpiece, but it falls squarely into the pleasant-addition-to-the-neighborhood category in Amazon's impressive package of original series. Indeed, on a conventional network, this half-hour show - whose producers include Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman - would feel like the perfect lead-out to "Alpha House," the streamer's D.C.-set comedy, which also provides a satirical window onto a world of money, power and egos that operates by its own arcane set of rules.
In what feels like a particular coup, "Mozart's" ensemble features Gael Garcia Bernal as the new conductor of the New York Symphony, taking the baton from his imperious predecessor, Thomas, played with appropriate swagger by Malcolm McDowell. Bernal's maestro Rodrigo is the sort who can get by with one name, Cher-like, while bringing a rock-n-roll vibe to classical music (his hair receives inordinate attention).
That said, he's uncomfortable with efforts to exploit that mystique by, say, trotting himself out like a prize pony in front of well-heeled donors, as well as a board led by a trustee (Bernadette Peters) seemingly more interested in marketing than music.
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Sometimes great TV comedy makes you laugh so hard you cry. And sometimes it just makes you cry.
If one thing became entirely clear in 2014, it's that traditional descriptors like "sit-com" are so last century. Defining what makes a small screen laffer is no longer cut and dry. Digital platforms like Netflix and Amazon are following in the footsteps of industry innovators like HBO and Showtime and shattering the barrier between drama and comedy -- and the obvious winner in this genre revolution is the viewing audience.
That doesn't mean there aren't great examples of the classic multi-camera comedy format still on the air (our list includes two of them), or that trendy single camera shows can't be non-stop joke machines (we'd argue both "Veep" and "Silicon Valley" place laughs over pathos in every episode). But let's also thank the shows pushing the envelope to make TV comedy a riskier, edgier, more exciting place than it ever has been.
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - ABC Family has given a series pickup to the addiction drama "Recovery Road."
The series, based on Blake Nelson's 2011 young adult novel of the same name, follows Maddie, a high school party girl dealing with addiction who is forced to choose between being expelled or going to rehab, and ultimately enters a rehabilitation facility.
"ABC Family is best known for its ground breaking original series and 'Recovery Road' is right in our wheel-house," said Karey Burke, exec VP of programming development. "This series will explore relevant social issues for our audience and shine a light on addiction."
Molly Eichel, Daily News Staff Writer
Alas, Matt McAndrew is not the winner of season 7 of NBC’s “The Voice.”
He came in second to country singer Craig Wayne Boyd took home the crown. He also beat out R&B singer Damien and popster Chris Jamison.
McAndrew was a clerk at Center City’s Trader Joe’s and a teacher at Bach to Rock in Wayne before his loss on last night’s show.
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Watch out, Los Angeles. A zombie apocalypse is coming for you.
"The Walking Dead" spinoff will be taking over L.A., Variety has confirmed.
The pilot, which will be shot in early 2015, will be set on the West Coast, though it has not been confirmed where the new series will be filmed, as TV Line first reported. The series that is a monster hit at present for AMC is set in Atlanta.
Molly Eichel, Daily News Staff Writer
Philly's own Matt McAndrew is one of four finalists vying for the top spot on NBC's "The Voice" tonight.
McAndrew, who is on Team Adam Levine, seems like a favorite to win. He has the distinction of being the only "Voice" finalist to crack the iTunes Top 10 three times throughout his tenure on the show.
Last night. McAndrew sang "Lost Stars" (a song by sung by coach Levine in the film "Begin Again), classic "Somwhere Over the Rainbow" and original ditty "Wasted Love," which you can watch below.