Thursday, September 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Television

POSTED: Saturday, September 13, 2014, 1:12 PM
Filed Under: Television
Oscar Pistorius leaves on bail from the North Gauteng High Court on September 12, 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa. South African Judge Thokosile Masipa ruled out murder charges yesterday, but convicted Oscar Pistorius in court today of culpable homicide, as the six month trial of the Olympic double-amputee sprinter comes to an end. His defence maintained that Mr Pistorius mistook Ms Reeva Steenkamp for an intruder in his home when he fired several shots into his bathroom allegedly in self-defence but killing his girlfriend. Sentencing for Pistorius will be on October 13. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - NBC's "Dateline" has produced its first-ever full-length documentary exclusively for digital, with the newsmagazine show set to premiere "Oscar Pistorius: The Verdict" Friday about the murder trial of the South African Olympic runner who was found guilty of shooting his girlfriend to death.

The original documentary will go live on DatelineNBC.com tonight at 7 p.m. Eastern and will be available only online. "Oscar Pistorius: The Verdict" tells the story of the case -- which has been closely tracked by media worldwide -- from the night Reeva Steenkamp was killed to the verdicts issued in this week. Docu is broken into six segments, totaling about 40 minutes of runtime.

An NBC News rep did not respond to requests for comment about why "Oscar Pistorius: The Verdict" was being distributed only online.

POSTED: Saturday, September 13, 2014, 7:06 AM
Filed Under: Television
"That's not a tattoo," Groundskeeper Willie proclaims of the prominently placed "Aye or die!" on his chest. "It's a birthmark!" (Twentieth Century Fox / YouTube)
 In light of the upcoming vote on Scottish independence, "The Simpsons" has released a video featuring noted Scot Groundskeeper Willie sharing his views on the issue. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Willie -- who is voiced by Dan Castellaneta -- and his "AYE OR DIE" birthmark lean toward independence.

This is not the first time the Fox animated series has ventured into political and social debates. It has produced episodes on hot-button issues like gay rights and immigration. A season nine episode that deals with patriarch Homer's purchase of a gun allows the show to depict arguments for both sides of the gun rights debate:

The 26th season of "The Simpsons" will air at 8 p.m. on Sept. 28 on Fox.


POSTED: Thursday, September 11, 2014, 6:21 PM
Filed Under: Television
Athlete Tim Tebow attends the 100th Annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner at the Washington Hilton on May 3, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Tim Tebow has another job. Not in the NFL as a quarterback but as a contributor to "Good Morning America."

ABC announced Thursday that it was adding the former Heisman Trophy winner to the show as part of its new "Motivate Me Monday" segment that focuses on uplifting stories of people. Tebow will be in studio and also on location throughout the country.

The former NFL quarterback, who led to the Denver Broncos to the playoffs in 2012, began work in television earlier this summer as an college football analyst for ESPN and the SEC Network that launched last month.

POSTED: Thursday, September 11, 2014, 4:42 PM
Filed Under: Television
Actresses Alexis Bledel (L) and Lauren Graham from the series 'Gilmore Girls' attend the 2006 Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour for the The CW Network at the Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel on July 17, 2006 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Netflix has secured exclusive subscription video-on-demand rights to all seven season of femme-led dramedy "Gilmore Girls" -- encompassing 153 episodes in all -- via a pact with Warner Bros. Television.

Every episode from the series will be available on the streamer starting Oct. 1, according to a Netflix rep. Financial terms are not being disclosed. The deal grants Netflix rights only for the U.S.

"Gilmore Girls" stars Lauren Graham ("Parenthood") as single mom Lorelai Gilmore, focusing on her relationship with daughter Rory (played by Alexis Bledel, whose credits include "Sin City" and "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants"). Series, set in the fictional town of Stars Hollow, Conn., was exec produced by David Rosenthal and created by Amy Sherman-Palladino.

POSTED: Sunday, September 7, 2014, 1:28 PM
Filed Under: Television
Chuck Todd speaks during a rehearsal before a taping of Jeopardy! Power Players Week at DAR Constitution Hall on April 21, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kris Connor (Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - The disproportionate attention showered on the Sunday discussion shows has made remodeling "Meet the Press" seem like a momentous occasion. NBC News didn't want to leave much to chance with Chuck Todd's debut as host, enlisting President Obama as his co-star -- and surrounding him with other NBC talent, in what felt like an "It takes a village" approach. Yet the nature of these shows is such that facial hair notwithstanding, the new "Press" still feels a lot like the old "Press."

"As you can see, we're making a few changes around here," Todd -- a solid interviewer, if by no means a TV natural -- said by way of introduction, while treating his own arrival at the helm of the long-running franchise as a historic event.

Todd has earned a reputation as a D.C. insider and policy wonk, although that doesn't address one of the fundamental problems plaguing these programs -- namely, that in such hyper-partisan political times, the attempt to appear even-handed (perhaps especially for NBC, given MSNBC's left-leaning profile) is merely an invitation for the usual suspects to pounce on any perceived exhibition of bias.

POSTED: Sunday, September 7, 2014, 12:45 PM
Filed Under: Television
The cast arrives at the season 7 premiere screening of FX's "Sons of Anarchy" at the Chinese Theatre on September 6, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter (Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Given its initial premise and appalling body count, the fact "Sons of Anarchy" has credibly reached a seventh and final season is in itself an accomplishment. Yet this fall's driving theme -- unrelenting revenge and retribution -- practically ensures a series already characterized by over-the-top violence will be even more steeped in creatively conceived gore. Few programs seem more closely linked to the id of their brain trust than this one, and showrunner Kurt Sutter has set the stage for an operatic finish. That said, watching "Sons" ride toward the sunset -- taking its excesses with it -- evokes as much relief as regret.

Without giving too much away (and SPOILER ALERT only to those not fully up to date on last season's events), the SAMCRO motorcycle club, under the stewardship of Jax (Charlie Hunnam), is grappling with some beyond-usual family issues. Sure, Jax killed his stepfather, assumed control and tried to take the club in a more legitimate directsm as opposed to depicting violence because it's organic to the story. And while the show has contemplated the side effects of SAMCRO's criminal enterprises -- including the sobering incorporation of a school shooting with one of the guns it distributes -- more often those caught in the crossfire are dispensed with little second thought.

Throughout, "Sons of Anarchy" -- much like "The Shield," one of the stops where Sutter cut his creative teeth -- has exhibited a genuine and singular artistic vision, and the way the episodes spill out into ungainly lengths (the premiere runs 75 minutes, sans commercials) is both a testament to FX's willingness to indulge talent and a window into the creative process.

POSTED: Wednesday, September 3, 2014, 6:12 PM
Filed Under: Television
Actress Sofía Vergara attends the FOX, 20th Century FOX Television, FX Networks and National Geographic Channel's 2014 Emmy Award Nominee Celebration at Vibiana on August 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for FOX)

For the third consecutive year, Colombian actress Sofia Vergara, one of the stars of the hit ABC comedy "Modern Family," is the highest paid actress on U.S. television, with estimated earnings of $37 million, Forbes magazine said on Wednesday.

Like last year, Vergara, who earns $325,000 for each episode of "Modern Family," outpaced Mariska Hargitay, the Emmy-winning star of NBC's "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit," who came in second with $13 million. Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, 28, of CBS's "The Big Bang Theory," came in third, with $11 million.

"At 42, the 'Modern Family' star continues her streak in large part due to her business savvy," said Forbes.



POSTED: Tuesday, September 2, 2014, 3:54 PM
Filed Under: Television
Actor Dominic West attends the HBO premiere of 'The Wire' on January 4, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - "The Wire" fans can start saying their favorite expletives: Creator David Simon's beloved drama about the gangs, police and other factions that make Baltimore tick is getting a facelift before a marathon viewing.

HBO has confirmed that is in the process of re-mastering the series that ran from 2002 to 2008 and starred Dominic West, Wendell Pierce, Idris Elba, Michael K. Williams and others. HBO had planned a September launch for the marathon, but the episodes are still in review. However, the cat got out of the bag in August when a viewer noticed a promo ad with the wrong premiere date for the marathon. The marathon's start date is still to be determined.

Binge-watching marathons of favorite programs are increasingly becoming popular promotional tools for networks. FXX is currently seeing ratings success with its non-stop Every.Simpsons.Ever. marathon. TVGN is trying a similar, but less intense, strategy by airing episodes of the original "Beverly Hills, 90210."

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Our Television blog is your go-to guide for everything that’s happening on TV: updates on your favorite actors and programs, reviews, ratings, rumors and some of the sharpest opinions on the web.

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