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‘This Is Us’: The Biggest Tearjerk Moments

48 minutes ago

These are the biggest tearjerk moments from NBC’s “This Is Us.” »


- Danielle Turchiano

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Elisabeth Moss, Jim Parsons Read Mean Tweets on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ (Watch)

55 minutes ago

No one is immune from the wrath of fans on Twitter — especially celebrities. And so Jimmy Kimmel’s popular segment “Mean Tweets” returns on September 25 with its 11th chapter.

His “victims” on tonight’s episode include Jim Parsons, Elisabeth MossJennifer Lawrence, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kristen Bell, among others.

Moss, who just won an Emmy for her role on Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” faced this zinger from @Glambr: “Elisabeth Moss looks Stunning. I think she can clean up well, despite my grandmother’s harsh opinion that she’s hideous.”

And then there’s Parsons, star of “The Big Bang Theory” and the upcoming “Young Sheldon.” His tweet from @Vault801Dweller said: “Jim Parsons looks like a ventriloquist dummy that came to life to become a sex offender.” Parsons blinked hard, said “Oh, God!”

The segment, which was created in 2012, has had multiple editions on Kimmel’s show, including one with NFL players and another with social »


- Matt Fernandez

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TV News Roundup: Fox’s ‘Rent’ Live Musical Sets 2019 Debut, Sanaa Lathan Joins ‘The Affair’

1 hour ago

In today’s roundup, the live musical production of “Rent” will premiere in 2019, Paramount Network offers a first look at Taylor Kitsch in “Waco,” and Sanaa Lathan joins the cast of Showtime’s “The Affair.”

Premiere Dates

The live musical production of the musical “Rent” will air Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019 on Fox. More details and casting will be announced later. Set in New York City’s East Village, “Rent” tells the story of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams during a time of great social and political turmoil. A re-imagining of Puccini’s “La Boheme,” the Broadway show celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. “Rent” will be executive-produced by Marc Platt (“Grease: Live,” “La La Land,” “Wicked”), Adam Siegel, Julie Larson, Al Larson, and Revolution StudiosVince Totino, Scott Hemming and Marla Levine.

The upcoming HBO documentary “The Newspaperman: The Life and Times of Ben Bradlee” will debut on Dec. 4. Told »


- Rebecca Rubin

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PBS to Air Ron Howard’s ‘The Beatles: Eight Days a Week’

2 hours ago

PBS announced the U.S. broadcast premiere of “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week — The Touring Years,” director Ron Howard’s documentary about the early life and times of The Beatles. The Emmy and Grammy Award-winning film premieres Nov. 25 at 8 p.m. Et, followed by an encore broadcast of “Sgt. Pepper’s Musical Revolution,” directed by Francis Hanly, at 10:30 p.m. Et.

“The Beatles: Eight Days a Week — The Touring Years” highlights the band’s key moments from 1962-1966, the period that solidified The Beatles’ status as an international phenomenon. In the documentary, Howard explores how John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr created The Beatles and developed to the point of Beatlemania, a term that describes the band’s passionate fan base and marks a significant increase in the globalization of culture.

The film includes rare and never-before-seen archival footage of concerts and interviews, as well as new interviews with McCartney, Starr »


- Taryn Nobil

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‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Premiere Delivers Men for CBS and Subscriber Prospects for CBS All Access

2 hours ago

Star Trek: Discovery” got off to a solid start for CBS on Sunday night with a multi-pronged assignment.

For CBS, the premiere of the much-anticipated addition to the “Star Trek” canon delivered a respectable crowd of 9.6 million viewers and a 1.9 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic.

For CBS All Access, the dawn of a new day for “Star Trek” broke the Svod service’s single-day record for new subscriber sign-ups, besting the mark set earlier this year by the Feb. 12 Grammy Awards telecast.

CBS would not disclose the total number of new subscribers but said that the past week also marked a record for new sign-ups, and not surprisingly the month of September is pacing to be a record. The real test for CBS Corp. is how many of those free-trial subscribers convert to paying customers down the road after the gratis month ends. Those numbers should be evident by early next year when the Eye reports »


- Cynthia Littleton

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CBS Promotes Yelena Chak to Head Drama Development

3 hours ago

CBS has named Yelena Chak the network’s new drama-development head. She will report to Thom Sherman, senior executive VP of programming for CBS Entertainment.

As senior VP of drama development, Chak takes over for Christina Davis, who elected not to return to the network in July following her maternity leave.

“I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Yelena in action for the last three months, and it quickly became clear that she is the right person for the job,” Sherman said. “She has excellent relationships in the community, as evidenced by the overwhelming number of calls I’ve received singing her praises not only as a great executive, but a great person. I’m excited to watch her thrive in this expanded role.”

Chak joined CBS in 2007 as director, drama series, and was promoted to VP in 2009. Among the series she helped develop are “Scorpion,” “Madam Secretary,” “Hawaii Five-0,” “Blue »


- Daniel Holloway

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‘Supergirl’ Casts Saturn Girl for Season 3

3 hours ago

Saturn Girl is headed to National City for “Supergirl” Season 3.

Amy Jackson will play the latest hero headed to Earth. The role marks the U.S. debut of the Bollywood actress, who started her career as a model. This won’t be the first time Saturn Girl has appeared in a live-action DC series. Alexz Johnson played the character during the eighth season of “Smallville.”

Saturn Girl, a.k.a. Imra Ardeen, is a kind, strong-willed hero who uses her telekinetic powers to help those in need. She was born on Titan, one of Saturn’s moons, and arrives on Earth just in time to help Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) face one of her biggest threats.

The hero’s first appearance in a DC comic was in 1958’s “Adventure Comics” #247. In the comics, Saturn Girl is one of the founding members of the Legion of Super-Heroes in the 30th and 31st centuries. She »


- Jacob Bryant

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Univision Launches Diversity Initiative ‘Project Unbound’

3 hours ago

There may be no bigger issue plaguing the industry than diversity (or to be more accurate, the lack thereof), and Univision is stepping up to tackle it head on.

A new initiative called “Project Unbound” strives to close the diversity gap in entertainment both in front of and behind the camera by raising awareness, supporting emerging storytellers, and creating more inclusive content.

“It’s an effort to stop taking about it and start doing something about it,” says Tonia O’Connor, chief revenue officer of Univision Communications. “Because as much as we talk about it, the numbers have not moved. In some examples, they’ve gone backwards. It’s just unacceptable.”

O’Connor blames the existing ecosystem in the industry for the resistance to change. “We’ve made progress, no question, in terms of formats, new technology, new opportunities,” she says. “But at the end of the day, the access for young diverse creators, it »


- Debra Birnbaum

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Fox Broadcasting Adds Jean Guerin as Communications Chief

4 hours ago

Veteran communications executive Jean Guerin has joined Fox Broadcasting as the network’s new head of public relations.

Guerin steps into the role vacated by Shannon Ryan, who was named chief marketing officer at Fox Television Group earlier this year. She will report to Ryan as executive VP, publicity and corporate communications.

“Jean is a gifted strategist and one of the most respected communications executives in television and film,” said Ryan. “Her extensive experience, combined with her keen knowledge of the business, makes her the perfect fit for Fox, and we can’t wait for her to join our talented publicity team.”

Guerin heads to Fox from Sony Pictures Entertainment, where she was senior VP of media relations for the motion-picture group. In a memo to staff Monday, Sony’s Bob Lawson wrote, “I want to thank Jean for her tireless work and dedication to Spe. She has been a terrific colleague and partner throughout some of »


- Daniel Holloway

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TV Review: ‘The Brave,’ Starring Anne Heche, on NBC

4 hours ago

The Brave” is a by-the-numbers hybrid of two of three very familiar drama formulas. A few sentences at the start of the drama more or less position it as the military-intelligence version of “Law & Order,” perhaps one that could replace the famous “thunk-thunk” with the sound of gunfire or explosions.

Intelligence analysts, “The Brave” informs viewers, are the ones who assess risks to Americans and their interests; Special Forces soldiers are “tasked with eliminating” those threats. The difference is that the hour is not split between those two teams, as is the case with classic “L&O.” The units work together on “The Brave,” and their time-sensitive tasks feature the usual array of maps, drones, gunplay, urgent conversations and undercover spy work.

The opening hour hits a number of story points that have been done better elsewhere (notably on “Homeland” and “Rubicon,” among other dramas). An American woman has been taken hostage, and »


- Maureen Ryan

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‘Pretty Little Liars’ Spinoff Lands Pilot Order From Freeform

5 hours ago

Freeform has given a pilot order “Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists,” a spinoff of the drama series “Pretty Little Liars” with Sasha Pieterse and Janel Parrish set to star.

Pretty Little Liars” showrunner I. Marlene King has written the pilot and served as executive producer with Leslie Morgenstein and Gina Girolamo.

“At Freeform, we are committed to delivering shows that push boundaries and become a part of our viewers’ lives. ‘Pretty Little Liars’ was a cultural phenomenon so it’s no wonder fans wanted more.” said Karey Burke, executive vice president, programming and development, Freeform. “We can’t wait to continue Marlene King’s rich and revolutionary storytelling with a new crop of leading ladies from Beacon Heights who will hold just as many secrets and lies as Rosewood did.”

“I’m beyond excited to continue my collaboration with Sara Shepard, Alloy, Freeform and Warner Horizon,” says Marlene King. “I »


- Daniel Holloway

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‘Empire’s’ Season 4 Premiere Celebrates a 20th Anniversary and a Recovering Lucious

6 hours ago

When Fox’s “Empire” ended last season, Lyon family patriarch Lucious (Terrence Howard) was just waking up from a coma after almost getting killed by a car bomb. Though he survived the attack physically, he lost his memories of his family and of himself. When the show returns for its fourth season, it’s three months later and he still doesn’t have his memory back, but the family is pushing on with their business – and a milestone with the 20th anniversary of their company.

“It really sets the template for the season,” showrunner Ilene Chaiken tells Variety about the anniversary celebration that will open the premiere. “In this episode, it serves as the framework for telling the story of where Lucious is and what it means to everyone.”

Chaiken says the premiere will also see a break in format, in order to better tell this story. The episode “book-ends” the story by starting the action at »


- Danielle Turchiano

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‘Star Trek: Discovery’: Akiva Goldsman on Spock, What’s in Store for Season 1

6 hours ago

Spoiler Alert: Do not read if you have not watched episodes 1 and 2 of “Star Trek: Discovery.”

Star Trek” returned to TV on Sunday night after a 12-year absence with the premiere of “Star Trek: Discovery.” The first episode of the new series, which stars Sonequa Martin-Green as Cmdr. Michael Burnham, aired on CBS, with the second episode made available immediately after on CBS All Access, where all subsequent episodes will debut.

The first two episodes find Burnham, a human raised by Vulcans, caught up in — and arguably instigating — the beginning of a war between the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire. Akiva Goldsman, an executive producer on the show, spoke to Variety about Burnham and the season ahead.

As you were working on these first two episodes, how much did you want to reveal about Michael Burnham’s background?

It will sound facile to say that we wanted to reveal about as much as we »


- Daniel Holloway

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TV Review: ‘The Good Doctor,’ Starring Freddie Highmore, on ABC

6 hours ago

Freddie Highmore is an immensely talented actor, and he brings intelligence and depth to his portrayal of Dr. Shaun Murphy, his character on “The Good Doctor.” A newly minted surgeon with both autism and savant syndrome, he must navigate a range of challenging workplace situations and social dilemmas.

The problem with “The Good Doctor” is that it doesn’t trust Highmore’s versatile and substantial acting skills. Every other aspect of the show is either overwrought or frustratingly simplistic, as if it’s determined to get the viewer to care about Shaun by hook or by crook. But Highmore makes the viewer care, thanks to his intense presence and precise portrayal. Unfortunately, the actor can’t undo the flat writing and one-dimensional elements in the show’s unpromising pilot.

Almost every scene with other doctors at St. Bonaventure Hospital scene comes off like a third-rate “Grey’s Anatomy” ripoff: various subplots arrive complete with hot doctors, hookups »


- Maureen Ryan

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Our Staff Picks: TV Shows to Watch the Week of Sept. 25, 2017

7 hours ago

Welcome back to Tune In: our weekly newsletter offering a guide to the best of the week’s TV.

Each week, Variety’s TV team combs through the week’s schedule, selecting our picks of what to watch and when/how to watch them. This week, “Will & Grace” returns to the air after more than a decade, and the “Big Bang Theory” prequel “Young Sheldon” premieres.

Young Sheldon,” CBS, Monday, 8:30 p.m.

In the series premiere of this “Big Bang Theory” prequel, viewers are taken back to witness the childhood of a young Sheldon Cooper in East Texas. As the child prodigy makes his way to high school at age 9, Sheldon must deal with pressure not only from his new classmates but also his family, including his brother, sister, and father, all of whom struggle to understand his genius intellect. Meanwhile, Sheldon’s mother Mary fiercely protects and nurtures her son in a town where he »


- Joe Otterson

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TV Review: ‘Seal Team,’ Starring David Boreanaz

7 hours ago

David Boreanaz has a knack for elevating tepid material, and that has never been more clear than in CBS’ “Seal Team,” in which his particular brand of self-effacing charm marries surprisingly well with a blood-and-sand military drama. Boreanaz plays Jason Hayes, a high-ranking Navy Seal who, when we meet him, is fibbing his way through mandatory therapy. He probably should pay attention; ever since he lost a good friend in combat, he’s estranged from his wife and children. The loss has redoubled his focus on work: Taking out more of Isil, while making sure his team is the best it can be.

It’s a little shamelessly jingoistic, and like many shows and films about the current war on terror, it carries charged political implications. On the other hand, when the team learns of a hostage, they make a point of discussing that her “value” is partly dictated by the fact that she is an “attractive »


- Sonia Saraiya

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What TV Gets Right — and Wrong — About Autism

7 hours ago

Creating a TV series that accurately and effectively captures the experience of raising an autistic child is a bit like making a TV series about sand: for every autistic child there’s a different manifestation of the disorder, for every autistic child there’s a different story to be told.

Autism Spectrum Disorder is just that—a spectrum. It’s not one specific neurological disorder but an umbrella term used to describe a wide-ranging and complex set of behavioral and developmental problems that affect communication, behavioral and social skills. There are autistic individuals who do not speak; others become movie stars (Dan Aykroyd and Darryl Hannah are both on the spectrum). The variables are endless, the definition of what it means to be autistic is fluid and unbound.

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, about one out of every 68 children is diagnosed with the disorder, and far more boys are diagnosed than girls. As »


- Malina Saval

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Def Comedy Jam at 25: Dave Chappelle, Sheryl Underwood, D.L. Hughley Get Political

7 hours ago

Some of the most iconic moments from HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam” were about relationships, sex, and culture. But the comics who appeared on Russell Simmons and Bob Sumner’s stand-up show didn’t shy away from the current events of the time, either – everything from O.J. Simpson’s freeway chase to the beating of Rodney King and subsequent L.A. riots were fair game. So it’s no surprise that reuniting some of the best from the show’s original run for Netflix’s 25th anniversary special would come with ample commentary on the politics of today.

The “Def Comedy Jam 25” special, which was taped on Sept. 10 in Los Angeles, mixed live performances from Def Jam legends like Cedric the Entertainer, Adele Givens, Eddie Griffin, Tracy Morgan and Mike Epps with pre-taped messages from stars like Chris Rock and Kevin Hart as well as footage from classic sets.

Putting together so many quick-witted comedians under one »


- Danielle Turchiano

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TV Review: ‘Young Sheldon’ on CBS

8 hours ago

Young Sheldon” is earnestly trying to do two things at once: function as a mainstream family comedy, and fit into the realm of single-camera half hours, which tend to be a bit more character-driven than most shows on CBS. “Young Sheldon,” which depicts “The Big Bang Theory’s” Sheldon Cooper as a precocious 9-year-old in East Texas, doesn’t quite gel in either arena in its initial outing. But the premise and a few performances are interesting enough to give the show some time to find its way.

Without question it was the right decision to avoid the multi-camera format with this project. The Sheldon that TV audiences have come to know over the course of 10 seasons of “The Big Bang Theory” can be a difficult person (which is partly the hook of both shows). Despite the fine work of Jim Parsons as the adult Sheldon, the physicist — given his genius Iq and his unwillingness to conform »


- Maureen Ryan

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Selma Vilhunen’s ‘Stupid Young Heart’ Wins Finnish Film Affair Prize

9 hours ago

Selma Vilhunen’s “Stupid Young Heart” won the Work-in-Progress prize at the Finnish Film Affair, the industry forum running alongside the Helsinki International Film Festival.

“Stupid Young Heart” was presented in post-production at the Finnish Film Affair, where it was awarded a grant of 3000 euros ($3570). The grant is meant to be used for marketing expenses.

The movie is being produced by Elli Toivoniemi and Venla Hellstedt at Tuffi Films. International sales rights on the film are still available.

Vilhunen’s previous film, “Little Wing,” screened at the Finnish Film Affair last year and is nominated for a Nordic Council Film Prize. Toivoniemi’s documentary feature “Once I Was a Dragonfly” won the Ffa award in 2015.

A coming-of-age drama, “Stupid Young Heart” was one of the 10 features presented at the Finnish Film Affair.

The jury, which included Jenny Cooney, member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Zsuzsi Bankuti of The Match Factory and Marge Liiske of Baltic Event »


- Elsa Keslassy

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