Monday, March 2, 2015

POSTED: Thursday, February 5, 2015, 10:10 AM
Larry Wilmore attends Comedy Central's 2011 Primetime Emmy Awards Party at The Colony on September 18, 2011 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - HBO has greenlight a pilot from "The Nightly Show" host Larry Wilmore and YouTube star Issa Rae, Variety has confirmed. 

"Insecure," starring Rae, is a half-hour comedy about the awkward experiences and racy tribulations of a modern-day African-American. 

The project was previously in development at HBO back in 2013, before Wilmore landed "The Nightly Show" gig with Comedy Central.

POSTED: Thursday, February 5, 2015, 10:08 AM
Co-Executive Producer George R.R. Martin arrives at the premiere of HBO's 'Game Of Thrones' Season 3 at TCL Chinese Theatre on March 18, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - A lot can change in 20 years. While fans eagerly await the HBO premiere of "Game of Thrones" season five on April 12, UK book retailer Waterstones has posted author George R. R. Martin's original outline for "A Song of Ice and Fire" -- the epic fantasy series of novels on which "GOT" is based -- on Twitter, courtesy of Harper Collins UK. The breakdown not only offers a look at what might have been, it may give us some hints about the characters that could make it through the novels (and hopefully, the TV adaptation) alive.

While there are plenty of differences between Martin's initial pitch and the books we know and love (especially his optimistic belief that the series could be completed as a trilogy), there are also a number of notable similarities in terms of the characters' trajectories. Here's what we've learned from Martin's 1993 outline:

(Spoiler warning for the "Game of Thrones" TV series and Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels.) 

POSTED: Thursday, February 5, 2015, 10:04 AM
Image via YouTube/NBC.

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Jimmy Fallon has long-vowed to reunite the cast of "Saved by the Bell" and on Wednesday's "Tonight Show" the NBC host finally delivered on his promise.

In the nostalgic sketch, stars of the 90s TV show appeared in character in as Zack Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar), Kelly Kapowski (Tiffani-Amber Thiessen), A.C. Slater (Mario Lopez) Jessie Spano (Elizabeth Berkley) and Mr. Belding (Dennis Haskins). 

Fallon, playing a younger version of himself, enrolled at Bayside High School in the 8 minute sketch, as "Saved by the Bell" cast members joined him to re-enact memorable moments from the series, including Jesse's "I'm so excited!" moment, Slater's ballet moves and the Zack Attack anthem "Friends Forever."

POSTED: Thursday, February 5, 2015, 10:01 AM
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images for 'Meet the Press'

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Brian Williams, who acknowledged Wednesday that he falsely claimed to have been on a helicopter that was shot down by enemy fire while on an NBC News reporting trip in Iraq in 2003, has apparently been telling the story for years.

In a 2013 clip from the "Late Show from David Letterman," Williams recounted the fabricated story to the CBS host, in which he claims to have been in the aircraft that came under attack.

"We were in the invasion," he said, noting it was the 10th anniversary of the incident. 

POSTED: Wednesday, February 4, 2015, 8:59 AM
Blake Clark (left) and Trina McGee (right). (Images via Getty)

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - The nostalgia factor is looming large in Disney Channel's "Girl Meets World." The comedy will be hosting two more "Boy Meets World" alums when the show launches its second season, with Trina McGee and Blake Clark set to stop in for a visit, Variety confirmed 

McGee, who played Angela Moore, the girlfriend of Shawn Hunter (Rider Strong), in the original series, and Clark, who played Shawn's father Chet Hunter, will both appear in a season-two episode currently titled "Girl Meets Hurricane." 

Rider Strong will also return for the episode. 

POSTED: Tuesday, February 3, 2015, 1:35 PM
On “The Nightly Show,” local comedian Shannon DeVido was featured on an obesity panel. (Comedy Central screenshot)

Local comedian Shannon DeVido, 32, got a preview of her big break before her actual big break when she appeared on “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore” on Monday night.

DeVido is a comedian who uses a wheelchair with spinal muscular atrophy. She got her start at Philly Improv Theater and recently landed a role in the upcoming Amy Poehler project “Difficult People” alongside Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner, in which she plays a “crazy storyteller” in a “funky role” that breaks the stereotypes of disabled actors.

“Any actor with a disability has been pigeonholed into playing a person with a disability, and normally they’re sad and pathetic characters,” DeVido said in an interview with online publication Bustle. Not so with her “Difficult People” role.


POSTED: Monday, February 2, 2015, 9:50 AM

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - "Breaking Bad" may be over, but Bryan Cranston reprised his meth-making character in a Super Bowl ad for Esurance. 

Fans of the AMC drama were quick to recognize Cranston speak one of Walter White's famous lines -- "say my name" -- as he served a confused customer at a pharmacy.

The spot also likely helped build excitement for the upcoming "Breaking Bad" spinoff "Better Call Saul," despite the lack of Cranston in the spinoff.



POSTED: Monday, February 2, 2015, 9:44 AM

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Super Bowl advertising is almost invariably overrated, which doesn't spare us from the impulse -- even the need -- to rate it.

As usual, the hype surrounding the ads turned many into a super-bust, suggesting that the folks on Madison Avenue are either bereft of ideas or, in some instances, taking too much advantage of liberalized pot laws.

There was some excitement going into the game about an influx of relatively new advertisers, offering the promise of new blood. But just as a wave of newcomers in 2000 preceded the dot-com meltdown, this year's crop of novice sponsors merely exposed a lot of not-ready-for-primetime players in the marketing world.

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