Layla A. Jones
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker was one of Larry Wilmore’s first guests on his inaugural episode of “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore.”
Wilmore, Comedy Central’s replacement for Stephen Colbert, hosted a panel called “State of the Black Protest” featuring Sen. Booker along with rapper and activist Talib Kweli, comedian Bill Burr, and correspondent Shenaz Treasury. The panelists were then subjected to the night’s game of “Keep it 100,” in which they had to give completely honest answers to Wilmore’s prying questions, known as keeping it 100. “I guess the white version is truth or dare except here we don’t have the dare,” Wilmore said.
When the time came for Sen. Booker to face Wilmore’s questions, he had only two options: give a good, honest answer and get a “I keep it 100” sticker like the rest of the panelists or give an answer the audience didn’t like, honest or otherwise, and get a handful of teabags thrown his way. Sen. Booker got the latter.
Debra Kamin, Variety.com
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - According to reports in both Israeli and international media this week, the Islamic State has a 24-hour television channel in the works.
The station, which if launched will take ISIS' well-polished propaganda machine to an entirely new level, will feature round-the-clock news and commentary that supports its jihadist
The terror organization has waged a shockingly bloody campaign in recent months to seize large swaths of Iraq and Syria, and has utilized both Twitter and YouTube, as well as Iraqi radio bandwith, to spread its message and galvanize support among terrorist sympathizers. It has its own English-language magazine, Daqib, as well as a video series, on both YouTube and other content-sharing sites, dubbed "The Flames of War."
Ben McKenzie, the star of Fox's "Gotham," has just been added to Philadelphia's Wizard World, taking place May 9-10 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center (1101 Arch St.). McKenzie, a/k/a "The OC's" resident dream boat badboy Ryan Atwood, will be joined by fellow "Gotham" star Robin Lord Taylor, "Mystery Science Theatre 3000's" Joel Hodgson, "Gossip Girl's" Penn Badgley, "The Flash's" Kelly Frye, "Malcolm in the Middle's" Frankie Muniz, "Arrow's" Katie Cassidy and Big Bird himself, Carroll Spinney.
To buy tix, go to wizardworld.com/admission.html.
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - "Justified" begins its final season with a customary slow build. The new threat, played by Sam Elliott, doesn't even really present itself until the third episode, with another fine addition, Garret Dillahunt, as his vaguely threatening surrogate. Still, that's emblematic of the laconic charm that has characterized this Elmore Leonard adaptation throughout its run, with Timothy Olyphant's modern cowboy becoming one of FX's unsung heroes. Although the program isn't as showy or heralded as the network's other dramas, its sixth-season start reinforces a sense that "Justified" will be sorely missed when it rides into the sunset.
As season five made clear, the home stretch is shaping up to be an inevitable showdown between Olyphant's U.S. marshal, Raylan Givens, and boyhood pal-turned-criminal Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins), with Boyd's significant other and Raylan's one-time fling, Ava (Joelle Carter), uncomfortably caught in the middle. In that sense, it's an artful and appropriate way of circling back to where this rodeo began, made all the saucier by the drama that has unfolded in the interim.
As always, though, that's just the main event in a series teeming with colorful and quirky characters, with Elliott -- an old hand at cowboy parts -- a perfect choice as a soft-spoken bad man who gives off an air of menace, and Mary Steenburgen harboring mysterious motives in pushing Boyd into robbing banks. No other show this side of "The Good Wife" has been as adept at loading up on topnotch players in guest and supporting roles.
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - FX has acquired the television rights to Emmy winner Louis C.K.'s next standup comedy special, "Louis C.K. Live From the Comedy Store," announced FX CEO John Landgraf during the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Pasadena on Sunday.
The special will made be available to fans first in coming weeks on his website, LouisCK.net, after his run of shows at Madison Square Garden. C.K. is the first comedian to sell out three shows for the same tour in Madison Square Garden history; tickets for a fourth show just went on sale. He has been a trailblazer in offering his content online, starting with his "Live at the Beacon Theater" special in December 2011.
The hour-long comedy special, which will be written and directed by C.K., will air on FX this spring. C.K. and M. Blair Breard will serve as executive producers of the special, which is being produced by C.K.'s production company, Pig Newton.
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Louis C.K. made a big confession on Sunday: He really did steal the scales from his junior high school in Massachusetts many years ago.
The situation became fodder for a flashback storyline in an episode of FX's "Louie" last year. C.K. told reporters at the Television Critics Assn. press tour that he had always felt bad about the incident because one of his teachers defended him at the time when he denied stealing the science-lab scales.
And just as it played out in the episode, the school's principal knew he did it but left him off the hook.
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Whitney Houston's estate is telling fans they should "brace for the worst" if they choose to watch Lifetime's Angela Bassett-directed biopic, which premiered on Saturday.
The family of the late singer has come out slamming the network and Bassett for the unauthorized biopic, "Whitney," releasing a long statement, written by Houston's sister-in-law Pat Houston, on her official website.
"If you watch this movie, watch it knowing that Lifetime is notorious for making bad biopics of deceased celebrities and brace yourself for the worst," Pat Houston wrote, referring to recent biopics based on Brittany Murphy and the controversial Aaliyah movie. "You should not be surprised that someone decided to do a made for TV biopic. And, I might add, without the family's blessing and despite her mother's request to not do this movie. It happens every day."
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Denis Leary delivered his usual rowdy session on Sunday in introducing his new FX comedy, "Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll," at Sunday's Television Critics Assn. press tour.
Despite Leary's salty language and blunt banter (for instance, jabbing PBS for having two days at TCA), the comedian focused the crowd's attention on the breakout potential of the actress who plays his daughter, Elizabeth Gillies.
Gillies is best known for her starring role on Nickelodeon's "Victorious," which means "Sex&Drugs" marks her graduation to adult roles.