Saturday, January 31, 2015

POSTED: Tuesday, January 13, 2015, 9:58 AM
US actor and filmmaker Woody Allen gestures on stage during a performance with the Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band at the 'Opera Garnier' in Monaco on December 29, 2014. (VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Amazon Studios has signed Woody Allen to write and direct his first television series. 

The "Untitled Woody Allen Project," a half-hour series, has received a full season order from Amazon, with episodes to be written and directed by Allen. The series will be available exclusively on Amazon Prime Instant Video in the U.S., the UK and Germany. 

"Woody Allen is a visionary creator who has made some of the greatest films of all time, and it's an honor to be working with him on his first television series," said Roy Price, vice president of Amazon Studios. "From 'Annie Hall' to 'Blue Jasmine,' Woody has been at the creative forefront of American cinema and we couldn't be more excited to premiere his first TV series exclusively on Prime Instant Video next year." 

POSTED: Monday, January 12, 2015, 10:08 AM

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - What better way to celebrate your first Golden Globe win than with a brand new trailer?

Moments after Kevin Spacey won for best actor in a TV drama at the 72nd annual awards show Sunday night, the full official trailer for "House of Cards'" third season was released, during the commercial break.

Spacey has been nominated at the Golden Globes eight times, and his 2015 nomination marked the second nod for his work as Frank Underwood on "House of Cards." The Netflix drama was also nominated for best TV drama and best actress in a TV drama, recognizing reigning winner Robin Wright, who was beat out by "The Affair's" Ruth Wilson.



POSTED: Monday, January 12, 2015, 10:02 AM
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 11: Actor Michael Keaton, winner of Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy for 'Birdman,' poses in the press room during the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 11, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - The Golden Globes winners won't influence Oscar nominations, since the ballots are already in. Still, Sunday's ceremonies offered some interesting insights into Oscar possibilities and into the state of this year's awards race. 

1. The big obvious winners Sunday evening were "Leviathan," "Grand Budapest Hotel," Michael Keaton, Richard Linklater and Eddie Redmayne. The reaction of the 1,200 people in the Golden Globes audience is a bigger Oscar clue than the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. results. The HFPA has 80-plus voters and none is a member of the Academy, so their choices don't necessarily reflect AMPAS. However, virtually everyone at the BevHilton Sunday was an industry member and their reactions showed widespread enthusiasm for those films and individuals. 

2 The other big winners included "The Wedding Ringer," "Kingsman: The Secret Service" and "Tomorrowland." Because the Globes are telecast around the world, the ceremony is a great opportunity to plug current or upcoming films, via the nominations -- and presenters. There were nice mentions for those films via presenters Kevin Hart and Colin Firth and footage from "Tomorrowland" in the George Clooney montage.

POSTED: Monday, January 12, 2015, 9:56 AM
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 11: Erik Anders Lang (C) and singer/songwriter Sia (R) attend the 'Transparent' Cast and Crew Golden Globes Viewing Party at The London West Hollywood on January 11, 2015 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Amazon Studios)

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Golden Globe voters went out of their way to embrace the new diversity in television -- both in human and technological terms. 

The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. spread the wealth among upstart digital players, lower-profile shows and actors in roles that embody minority groups and subcultures that face bias and discrimination in mainstream society. In what is believed to be a first, both the comedy and drama series winners were led or co-led by female showrunners. 

Amazon's "Transparent" landed historic win for best comedy and lead comedy actor for Jeffrey Tambor for his tour de force work as a family man who comes out as transgender. The show was deeply personal for creator/showrunner Jill Soloway, who went through a similar experience with her own father.

POSTED: Monday, January 12, 2015, 9:45 AM
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 11: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Wes Anderson, accepts the award for Best Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical for 'The Grand Budapest Hotel', onstage during the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 11, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - The Golden Globes are known for their unpredictability, and this year's awards delivered surprise wins and stunning snubs in both film and TV categories. The fact that "Boyhood" was the big winner -- bringing home wins for motion picture (drama), director and supporting actress -- was among the least surprising results of the evening. Ditto victories for Michael Keaton, Julianne Moore and J.K. Simmons. But that's pretty much where the easy calls came to an end.

14 of the biggest snubs and surprises from the 2015 Golden Globes:

SURPRISE: "The Grand Budapest Hotel" Released all the way back in March, Wes Anderson's characteristically quirky period comedy hasn't been at the forefront of awards season discussions so far -- except lately, it has been popping up in the most unexpected places (SAG's ensemble category for one). The Globes victory over heavy favorite "Birdman" (which still garnered wins for best screenplay and lead actor Michael Keaton) is another sign pundits may be underestimating Anderson's twee charm-machine.

POSTED: Sunday, January 11, 2015, 8:52 PM
Actors Tina Fey and Amy Poehler host the 72nd Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California January 11, 2015. (REUTERS)

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - The role of awards-show host is largely defined by the opening, and by that measure, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler look destined to finish their three-year Golden Globes stint on a high. Deftly capturing some of the inside-baseball quirks of the event while still playing beyond the room, their introductory bit cleverly hit on obvious targets - from "The Interview" to Bill Cosby - while addressing the talent in attendance and Hollywood foibles without sounding either mean-spirited or (worse) fawning. They even nailed the relative importance of TV at the Globes, starting to discuss it - then running out of time.

POSTED: Saturday, January 10, 2015, 7:21 AM
Filed Under: Television
in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, Bill Maher said, “What we’ve said all along, and have been called bigots for it, is when there’s this many bad apples, there’s something wrong with the orchard.” (HBO)

Bill Maher returned to HBO’s schedule this week after what was supposed to be a peaceful holiday break. Instead, he launched a new season of his edgy talk show “Real Time” during a week in which two of the issues he holds close to his heart — religious extremism and free speech — took over the global stage.

Maher railed against the terrorists who this week killed staffers at Paris satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo whom he called “my heroes.”  And he welcomed a guest to his panel who has direct knowledge of what it’s like to be persecuted for writing something that a certain group finds offensive: author Salman Rushdie, whose 1988 novel “The Satanic Verses” prompted Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeni of Iran to issue a fatwa calling for the author’s assassination.

“Who’s ready for a little free speech in America?” Maher asked as the show opened. “There are people in the world who don’t like you joking about them.”


POSTED: Friday, January 9, 2015, 11:31 AM

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - The sixth and final season of "Glee" premieres tonight on Fox, and ahead of our last year with McKinley High, Fox has released a sneak peek at one of the episode's musical numbers -- a song that anyone with a radio or a small child should be well-acquainted with. After failing to make it as an actress in Hollywood, Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) is back in Lima and feeling decidedly sorry for herself, but it's nothing that a rousing rendition of "Let It Go" from "Frozen" won't fix.

The track was sung in the blockbuster Disney movie by Idina Menzel, who also plays Rachel's birth mother, Shelby Corcoran, in the Fox comedy. Try not to think too hard about the metaphysical implications of that detail, and focus on Michele's soaring vocals instead.

"Glee" Season 6 premieres Friday, Jan. 9 at 8 p.m. on Fox.



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