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  • HBO picks up 'Boardwalk Empire' for a second season

    Only two days after the drama’s debut, HBO announced that it has renewed Boardwalk Empire. The series’ Sept. 19 start averaged 4.8 million viewers – HBO’s largest premiere of any program in more than six years (since the March 21, 2004 introduction of Deadwood).  

    “All the ingredients aligned for this one, from Mark Wahlbergand Steve Levinson’s initial pitch, to Martin Scorsese’s enormous contributions as director and executive producer, to the genius of Terry Winter and the expertise of Tim Van Patten, to a stellar cast led by Steve Buscemi,” said Michael Lombardo, President of HBOProgramming, in a statement.  “The »

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  • Kevin James to Star in Mixed Martial Arts Comedy

    Kevin James is set star in an untitled comedy for Sony Pictures.  According to Variety, the film is about “a physics teacher who moonlights as a martial arts fighter to save his school’s music program.”  While the film lacks a title, may I suggest “Fatty Fall Down” since I assume that will be the basis for most of the jokes.  Screenwriter Allan Loeb (The Switch) is in talks to handle the script.

    James has become a favorite of the studio ever since January 2009 when Paul Blart: Mall Cop was a surprise hit at the box office and grossed $146 million.  James is also leading their family comedy The Zookeeper, which is due out July 8, 2011.  He’ll next be seen in Ron Howard’s cheating-couples comedy The Dilemma, which opens January 14, 2011.  Production on the mixed martial arts comedy could begin as soon as early 2011. »


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  • Big Brother Contestant Britney Haynes’s Home Burns

    Britney Haynes can't seem to catch a break. The Big Brother contestant left her home and her fiancé for three months in the hopes of winning $500,000. Last week, she was the latest "evictim" -- and when she finally emerges from the sequestered Jury House, it appears the plucky blonde will be going from a communal house of crazy to no house at all.  Reports out of Arkansas say that the home that Britney shares with her fiancé, Nick Grisham, was severely damaged in a fire early Wednesday morning, hours before the 22-year-old was to appear on the live finale of the CBS reality show. »

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  • It's Official: TNT Renews 'Hawthorne'

    Previous: TNT Renews Medical Drama 'Hawthorne' TNT has written a prescription for a third season of the powerful medical drama Hawthorne, starring and executive-produced by Jada Pinkett Smith(Collateral, The Matrix trilogy).  TNT has ordered 10 new episodes of the hit series, which is slated to return in 2011. Created by Emmy® winner John Masius (St. ElsewhereProvidenceDead Like Me), Hawthorne premiered in summer 2009 and ranked as one of ad-supported cable’s Top 5 new series of the year.  In its second season in summer 2010, the series continued its success, averaging 3.7 million viewers and ranking as ad-supported cable’s #1 Tuesday program among women 25-54. “With its memorable characters, powerful performances and moving storylines, Hawthorne takes us on a dramatic journey through the world of a hospital on the brink of collapse,” said Michael Wright, executive vice president and head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM).  â€œThis »

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  • Mickey Rourke Finds Killer Role In Mafia

    Toronto: As buyers ponder Mickey Rourke's Toronto Film Festival submissionPassion Play, the Mick has pacted to play a Mafia contract killer in The Ice Man. How this squares with the likelihood he next stars as Sonny Barger in theTony Scott-directed Hell's Angels pic for Fox opposite Shia La Beouf, I'm not sure. Here's a quick announcement on the deal. Toronto, Canada (September 12, 2010) – Natural Selection CEO Matty Beckerman announced today out of Toronto -- where he is attending the Toronto International Film Festival -- a deal for the company to fully finance and produce a feature adaptation of thePhilip Carlo tome The Ice Man: Confessions Of A Mafia Contract Killer and have attached Mickey Rourke to star. David McKenna (who wrote American History X and Blow) is penning the screenplay based on the eponymous book written by Carlo. Beckerman will produce. Graham Taylor at Wme Global »

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  • Resident Evil: Afterlife Resides At No. 1

    Aided by 3D surcharges and the fact that it was the only film opening in wide release this weekend, Resident Evil: Afterlifeopened at No. 1 at the box office with $27.7 million, according to studio estimates. The film surpassed analysts’ expectations and eclipsed the $23.1 million hauled in by the third installment of the franchise, 2007?s Resident Evil: Apocalypse, when it also opened on the weekend after Labor Day, usually one of the slowest periods of the year at the box office. This weekend was no exception. The remaining nine films on the box-office top ten took in just $36.3 million, and each of their estimated totals were so close that it was likely that there would be a wholesale rearrangement of the standings when final results are disclosed on Monday.

    The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo:

    1. Resident Evil: Afterlife, $27.7 million; 2. Takers, $6.1 million; 3. The American, $5.9 million; 4. Machete, $4.2 million; 5. Going the Distance, $3.8 million; 6. The Other Guys, $3.6 million; 7. The Last Exorcism, $3.5 million; 8. The Expendables, $3.3 million, 9. Inception, $3 million; 10. Eat Pray Love, $2.9 million.

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  • 'Harry Potter' trio talks 'war film' final installment.

    deathly-hollows-part-1Image Credit: Jaap BuitendijkGranted, I’m sleep-deprived, which brings emotions to the surface easier, but I was just reading Empire‘s excellent cover story on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and teared up.Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grintalmost got me talking about the battle of Hogwarts, which is essentially the second half of the last film: “In the courtyard there’s this huge pile of rubble; you almost want Panzer tanks coming over it,” Radcliffe says. Adds Grint later in the piece, “It turns into a bit of a war film. The castle is on fire with rubble and bodies littered everywhere — and they’re all kids as well! It’s quite moving.” Radcliffe nearly got me talking about Harry’s showdown with Voldemort: “I mean, Voldemort does absolutely kick six bells out of me, and that’s what makes it effective, the fact that Harry’s a kid having the crap beaten out of him. If it’s Voldemort killing an adult — well he does that loads in the films. To see him brutalising and desperately trying to kill a 17-year-old boy is hopefully going to shake some people up.” (Read full post)
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  • 'Saturday Night Live' gets more diverse

    snl-cast-narrowImage Credit: Kevin Parry/; Chris JohnIt’s that time of year again. You know, the time when Lorne Michaels and NBC announces the new slate (peace out, Jenny) of Saturday Night Live cast members. Of course, this is also known as the time we spend a good portion of our pop culture-loving existences complaining about how the new line-up is whiter than the packet of gum in that purse Paris Hilton borrowed. (Badum-ching!)

    But, lo! Looks like we’ll have to change our tune this year, because SNL‘s cast has (finally!) become more diverse. (Read full post)

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  • americas next top model what to expect in cycle 15

    America’s Next Top Modelreturns to The CW for cycle 15 tonight at 8 p.m. ET, and with a new magazine partner — Vogue Italia replaces Seventeen â€” comes a new focus on high fashion. The winner, who still earns her $100,000 CoverGirl contract even though this year’s victor will need to have a more editorial and less commercial look, will get a spread in a Vogue Italia, as well as a second spread and cover for Beauty in Vogue, the beauty magazine of Vogue Italia. She’ll also be prominently featured on the website Vogue.It. The modeling agency that signs the winner has also changed to IMG Model Management, and for the first time in the show’s history, representatives were present when producers were casting the 14 contestants. â€œSo they had an opinion right from the start of what girls could be viable or not,” says exec producer Ken Mok, adding that the show’s deals with Vogue Italia and IMG have already been re-upped for cycle 16.

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  • Weekend Box Office: Euro-thriller The American Trounces Mexi-Western Machete

    George Clooney's Euro-thriller The American may not be a mainstream studio entertainment, but it's a sign of his stardom that the movie still opened at Number One over the Labor Day weekend, trouncing holdover Takers, which was ahead of Robert Rodriguez's Machete through Sunday. Upbeat word-of-mouth pulled the Mexican western ahead by Monday. Anthony D'Alessandro reports: Focus Features’ George Clooney somber thriller The American took out its Labor Day weekend competition, grabbing the top four-day box office spot with $16.4 million at 2,823 theaters.  The opening comes as a boon for Clooney, who tends to topline platformed Oscar-potential R-rated fare such as Michael Clayton and Up in the Air.  Outside the actor’s ensemble features, i.e. the Ocean’s Eleven movies, The American stands as one of Clooney’s »

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  • Mad Men Episode Recap: "The Suitcase"

    "Somebody very important to me died." — Don Draper

    "Who?" — Peggy

    "The only person in the world who really knew me." — Don Draper

    "That's not true." — Peggy

    While the rest of the world was watching (and losing money on) the second bout of Cassius Clay and Sonny Liston, a much more personal boxing match was going on inside the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce offices. Don tries to avoid making a phone call destined to bring him earth-shattering bad news by making his protégé, Peggy, stay behind to help him with a troublesome Samsonite ad. The result is one of the series' finest hours, allowing each character to jab the other with various grievances. But they ultimately come to realize what we already knew: These characters love each other — enough to stand by and pick the other up when life delivers a knockout punch. »

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  • Glee news: 'Glee' cast and David Archuleta show up for Jerry Lewis telethon 2010

    Something else to look forward to on Labor Day, oddly enough, is the 2010Jerry Lewis telethon for Muscular Dystrophy. The 45th annual show, which started at 9 p.m. Et on Sept 5 and continues through 5 p.m. Et on Sept 6, boasts a particularly star-studded line-up this year.

    David Archuleta tweeted to fans that his late-Sunday appearance on the Las Vegas telethon will include a debut performance of "Things Are Gonna Get Better."

    And he's not the only "American Idol" in attendance. Returning producer Nigel Lythgoe and former contestant Ace Young will both lend their talents as emcees -- nobody expects 84-year-old Lewis can't go for over 21 hours all on his own.

    Elsewhere in the TV-verse, the full cast of "Glee" are on deck for the telethon to perform their rendition of "Proud Mary" -- which you might remember as the wheelchair routine from Season 1.

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  • Kat Von D Kisses Jesse James Goodbye ...

    It's back to the real world for Jesse James and Kat Von D.After spending Labor Day weekend joined at the hip, the couple shared a goodbye kiss when Von D dropped James at Lax Monday. With their love apparently in full bloom, the pair packed the weekend with music, food and Pda. On Friday, James and Von D ate lunch a deux and were later spotted filling up at a local gas station. The next day, the lovebirds soaked up the sun in Orange County, Calif., and were seen kissing and holding hands after hitting two music events - »

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  • Jennifer Aniston's Cougar Town Date

    Looks like Jennifer Aniston's guest starring role on Cougar Town comes with some sweet fringe benefits. The actress, 40, (who was recently rumored to be back together with John Mayer) shared a two-hour Italian dinner withCougar Town actor Josh Hopkins at Madeo in Beverly Hills on Sept. 2. "She seemed very excited about her date," says a eyewitness. "She and Josh sat at a more private table and they seemed to get along great." Aniston, who sipped white wine and ordered fish, shared animated conversations with Hopkins, 39. "It was obvious that they don't know each other well, but there was »

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  • John Travolta Drops Extortion Case Charges

    A Bahamian court today dismissed charges against a former paramedic and his attorney accused of trying to extort $25 million from John Travolta in the wake of his son's death last year. The Pulp Fiction actor and his family asked that the charges be dropped because he had "concluded that it was in my family's best interest for me not to voluntarily return to the Bahamas to testify a second time at trial," Travolta said in a prepared statement. "Almost a year later, the long pending status of this matter continued to take a heavy emotional toll on my family, causing »


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  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Scarlet Johansson “Loosely Attached” to Diablo Cody’s Breathers: A Zombie’S Lament

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception) and Scarlett Johansson (Iron Man 2) may soon be lending their talents to a “zombie comedy.”  Pajiba is reporting that the two are “loosely attached” to Breathers: A Zombie’s Lament based onS.G. Browne’s 2009 novel of the same name.  Currently, Diablo Cody (Juno) is set to produce the script by Geoff Latulippe (Going the Distance).  Per the report, Latulippe’s script is being circulated to potential directors as I type, meaning Gordon-Levitt and Johansson’s involvement may be either confirmed or denied sooner rather than later.

    Browne’s novel is described as a romantic comedy about a dead man named Andy who finds himself brought back to life as a middle-aged zombie.  Andy must then “figure out it means to live as an Un-dead in a society that denies his kind basic rights.”  I’ll trust you to interpret the metaphorical social commentary from there. »


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  • Eddie Izzard and Frances Conroy join 'United States of Tara'

    Showtime announced today that comedian/actor Eddie Izzard and the Emmy-winning Frances Conroy will guest star on United States of Tara during its third season. Izzard will appear in eight episodes and Conroy in one episode opposite star Toni Collette (Tara Gregson).

    Izzard will play Tara’s psychology professor who becomes fascinated with Tara while Conroy will star as Max Gregson’s (John Corbett) mother, a recluse with a compulsive hoarding problem.  Production on season three begins mid-September in Los Angeles for a 2011 premiere. »


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  • Mariska Hargitay Crosses Over to New Law & Order: Los Angeles

    Woo hoo! Mariska Hargitay is coming to Los Angeles. Well, at least to the new L.A. offshoot of the Law & Order franchise… "I got to work with them yesterday," Hargitay told me at the Emmys. "They have an incredible cast…I think it's going to be strong right out of the gate." Her hunky costar Christopher Melonihasn't crossed over from Svu to the West Coast…yet. "I hope to," he said. "I always like a free trip out to L.A. The mother ship did the same thing with us when we were starting out to give us a little lift. That's all we really needed, a little push." Hargitay says her guest storyline is inspired by her own victims »


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  • NBC Nabs Magic Drama From Ron Moore

    Exclusive: Ronald D. Moore is back at NBC Universal with a new drama project for NBC that has landed one of the biggest commitments so far this pitch season. The project from Sony TV where the Battlestar Galacticadeveloper inked a two-year overall deal in May, is described as an adult Harry Potter set in a world ruled not by science but by magic. I hear the drama got pilot and series penalties totaling close to $2 million. Before going to Sony, Moore had three consecutive overall deals at NBC Uni’s Universal Media Studios that were tied to his services on Syfy’s Battlestar Galactica, a reimagening of Glen A. Larson's classic, which he executive produced and ran with David Eick. The duo is also behind the Battlestar Galactica spinoff Caprica. Sony has made drama development a priority this season, signing deals with Moore, Smallville creatorsMiles Millar and Alfred Gough,

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  • Amazon streaming 99-cent ABC and Fox shows... right now (update: purchases, not rentals!)

    Eager to get on the new Apple TV's cheap 99-cent TV show rentals but not so pumped to wait four weeks for it to ship? No worries: Amazon's also now offering 99-cent rentals purchases of various ABC and FOX shows, which means a whole host of Amazon VOD-compatible devices just got some cheaper streaming options as well -- and hey, Roku just cut prices on its entire lineup of Amazon- and Netflix- compatible players, so you can get in the game for as little as $60. Of course, the Apple TV also features day-and-date movie rentals, local streaming, AirPlay, and that slick iPhone / iPod touch Remote app, but only your heart truly knows if those are worth an extra few bucks and a month of fevered desire.

    Update: As our astute commenters are pointing out, these are actually listed as 99-cent purchases, making this a far better deal entirely. We don't know if that's for real or just an error right now, though -- we're double checking and we'll let you know.

    Update 2: Yep, we've confirmed that these are 99-cent purchases, making this a much better deal than Apple's rental model -- although only you can decide whether you actually need permanent streaming access to Dollhouse Season 2. Read more

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