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Amazon’s New Japanese Series ‘Face’ to Premiere Next Month

32 minutes ago

Tokyo – Amazon Prime’s new Japanese original series “Face: Cyber Crime Special Investigation Unit” is set to premiere on the streaming service July 11.

Starring Ayame Goriki as a cyber-crime special agent, the series will be more oriented toward what Amazon describes as a “life or death struggle against criminal hackers” than geeks glued to computer screens. Amazon produced the show in partnership with Oscar Promotion, a leading Japanese talent agency, for which Goriki is a top star.

A new episode of the show will be released weekly.

Amazon has announced more than 20 new titles for its Amazon Prime service in Japan, including “Tokyo Vampire Hotel,” a nine-episode series by international cult director Sion Sono; “The Bachelor Japan”; and new iterations of the long-running Kamen Rider, Ultraman, and Crayon Shin-chan franchises. »

- Mark Schilling

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ITV, Amazon Team Up on New ‘Vanity Fair’ Adaptation With Olivia Cooke

1 hour ago

A new adaptation of satirical Victorian novel “Vanity Fair” starring Olivia Cooke is coming to TV, and will stream on Amazon and play on Britain’s ITV.

Amazon and ITV have joined forces on the seven-part small-screen version of the book by William Makepeace Thackeray, which will be produced by Amazon Studios and Mammoth Screen. Mammoth, which produced “Victoria,” is owned by ITV Studios.

Cooke, the star of Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One,” will play heroine Becky Sharp in the show, which is set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars and follows her attempts to make her way in English society.

Period drama was once considered the preserve of the BBC in the U.K., but commercial network ITV has had notable historical hits in recent years with “Downton Abbey” and “Victoria,” although the World War II-set “The Halcyon” fared less well and was canceled after one season. ITV »

- Stewart Clarke

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Hulu Nabs U.S. Streaming Rights to Teenage Ballerina Series ‘Find Me in Paris’

2 hours ago

Paris – Hulu has acquired U.S. streaming rights to “Find Me in Paris,” the time-traveling ballerina series produced by French banner Cottonwood Media with German broadcaster Zdf and Zdf Enterprises.

The half-hour teenage series has already been acquired by France Télévisions in France, Disney in France and Italy, Zdf in Germany, ABC in Australia, and Vrt in Belgium.

Created by Jill Girling and Lori Mather-Welch, the duo behind Nickelodeon’s hit series “Ride,” “Find Me in Paris” is set against the backdrop of the Garnier Opera House in Paris and centers on Lena Grisky, a young dancer and princess poised to become the next young star of the ballet world in 1905.

The show is produced by industry veterans David Michel, Zoé Carrera Allaix, Cecile Lauritano, and Pascal Breton, along with line producer Leila Smith. Cottonwood Media’s sister company Federation Kids & Family and Zdf Enterprises are co-repping the series in international markets.

Michel »

- Elsa Keslassy

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‘Man in the High Castle’ Producer Ramping Up

4 hours ago

Big Light Productions, the company behind Amazon series “Man in the High Castle,” is set to ramp up its slate of dramas, with two seasoned executives joining its ranks.

Frances Flannery (“Spotless”) will work up a slate of original scripted projects for the production company, which was founded by Frank Spotnitz (“The X Files”). She has worked at Kudos and Wall to Wall.

Emily Feller comes to Spotlight from Studiocanal’s Red Production Company and will executive produce new original series and the new season of Rai and Netflix series “Medici: Masters of Florence.” Her credits include British shows “Bodies” and “The Driver.”

“With projects already in development in the U.K., the U.S. and Europe, it’s an exciting moment for Emily and Frances to join the team,” said Big Light’s head of drama, Katie McAleese. “They’re both exceptionally writer-focused and have fantastic editorial instincts. I’m thrilled that they’re joining as »

- Stewart Clarke

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‘Big Bang Theory’ Star Johnny Galecki’s House Burns Down in Massive Fire; Actor Unharmed

7 hours ago

The Big Bang Theory” star Johnny Galecki’s large ranch burned down on Monday night in a massive fire, Variety has confirmed with the actor’s reps.

Galecki was not at the property at the time of the fire and is unharmed.

The hideway home was in San Luis Obispo, located in between Los Angeles and San Francisco. According to the TMZ, who first broke the news, the 1,200 acre fire burned down the ranch and other property on the estate. As of press time, 40% of the fire had been contained.

The actor’s rep confirms the report that states Galecki has not yet seen the property, but plans to check out the scene once the fire is completely contained.

According to a statement from Galecki, no one was harmed in the fire. »

- Variety Staff

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‘The Bachelorette’ Recap: Rachel Breaks Out the Axe in Scandinavia

10 hours ago

“I’m so annoyed by this,” Rachel says in the first twenty minutes of Tuesday’s episode of “The Bachelorette.” To what was she referring? Who cares! It’s a perfect way of describing the opening sequence, which wrapped up Rachel’s two-on-one date with Kenny and Lee in the Norwegian wilderness.

Rachel says that her choice between Kenny and Lee is based on trust. “Lee after hearing what I heard today, I don’t trust you,” she says. “And because of that, I’m going to send you home.” Oh! That was easy! At long last. Kenny and Rachel are about to board a helicopter to freedom, and leave Lee alone with only his fur-upholstered chair to keep him company. But, then, Kenny leaves Rachel to go have some last words with his former competition. It’s a bad move for Kenny who could have proved that he was done with the drama and ready to »

- Seth Kelley

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DeMario Jackson Likely To Appear on ‘The Bachelorette: Men Tell All’ Special (Exclusive)

10 hours ago

Production on “Bachelor In Paradise” has now resumed after an investigation found no misconduct had occurred on the set, but the contestants at the center of the controversy — DeMario Jackson and Corinne Olympios — likely won’t return. But that doesn’t mean viewers have seen the last of the reality stars.

A source close to “The Bachelor” franchise tells Variety exclusively that Jackson is “likely” going to appear on the “Men Tell All” special, which airs at the end of each season of “The Bachelorette.”

ABC and Warner Bros. TV declined to comment on Jackson’s potential appearance on “Men Tell All.”

The “Men Tell All” special, which usually airs the week before the finale of the reality series (typically in July), reunites all the past contestants in front of a live audience, along with the star of their season. For this current season, that means Jackson would return to discuss season 13 with “Bachelorette” Rachel Lindsay and »

- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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‘Claws’ Star Carrie Preston on Playing a Con Artist and ‘Gunning For’ a Lead Role

11 hours ago

Carrie Preston has been playing twisted Southern belles all her life, but as Polly in TNT’s “Claws,” she gets to try something a little different: a fabulist ex-con with an indomitable attitude and a killer manicure. Preston has long been a scene-stealer, in everything from rom-com “My Best Friend’s Wedding” to the vampire soap “True Blood” and legal procedural “The Good Wife.”

Now, as Polly, she’s part of a crew of five women who are also involved with the local West Florida mafia. “That alone was intriguing enough to get me to read the script,” she tells Variety. Her character is a compulsive liar who enjoys her fictional histories more than her depressing real one. But as Preston learned when discovered more about “Claws’” “insane words and incredible characters,” she learned that the story of what really happens to Polly — a story slowly unfolding in “Claws” — is even more bonkers than the stories she »

- Sonia Saraiya

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TV News Roundup: Rob Lowe’s A&E Supernatural Reality Series Sets Premiere Date

12 hours ago

In today’s roundup, A&E reveals the premiere date for “The Lowe Files,” while Freida Pinto joins the cast of “The Path” on Hulu. 


A&E announced that “The Lowe Files” will launch on August 2 at 10 p.m. Et/Pt. Executive produced by Rob Lowe, the series follows the famous actor and his two sons, Matthew and John, as they explore mysteries, legends, and supernatural phenomena such as Bigfoot sightings and the existence of ghosts. Watch a sneak peek of the series below.

PodcastOne and A&E are partnering together for the launch of “Cold Case Files: The Podcast.” Based off the A&E series “Cold Cases,” crime fans will follow detectives on their journey to solve a range of unsolved cases. With the aid of forensic technology, investigators will be able to unveil the secrets of these tragedies. Hosted by Brooke Gittings, “Cold Case Files: The Podcast” will air every Tuesday on »

- Dixie Limbachia

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‘Pretty Little Liars’ Behind-the-Scenes Set Tour With Creator Marlene King (Watch)

13 hours ago

Have you ever wondered what it’s really like in Rosewood? Well then, you’re in luck.

To celebrate the series finale of “Pretty Little Liars,” creator Marlene King takes us on a behind-the-scenes tour of the set where “Pll” has filmed for the past seven years since it premiered back in June 2010.

Pretty Little Liars” was filmed on the Warner Bros. backlot located in Southern California, where other popular TV series like “The Big Bang Theory,” “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “Conan,” “Gilmore Girls,” “ER,” and “Friends” all call home. Fun fact: King’s newest show, Freeform’s “Famous in Love” with Bella Thorne, also tapes at the Warner Bros. lot on one of the sound-stages — Stage 8 — that was vacated by “Liars” when the show wrapped. “Pll” shot on Stages 6, 7, and 8.

In this behind-the-scenes video, exclusively released to Variety from Freeform, King drives around in her golf cart, aptly named the “Pretty Little Mar Cart,” to »

- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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TV Exec Who Discovered Roger Ailes Is Facing Sexual Harassment Claims

13 hours ago

The legendary TV executive who gave Roger Ailes his start, and much later produced a show on Fox News, announced on Tuesday that attorney Lisa Bloom is threatening to sue him for sexual harassment.

Woody Fraser, the 82-year-old creator of “The Mike Douglas Show” and many other programs, is attempting to turn the tables on Bloom by preemptively announcing that she is targeting him. According to Fraser, two women have hired the attorney and demanded a significant sum to make the allegations go away. He said they have threatened to go public within the next few days.

“I do not possess the financial resources demanded by Ms. Bloom to prevent a media circus,” Fraser said in a statement. “So, instead, I am going to take away the hammer of publicity and am letting the public know that these unfounded claims are about to be aired publicly, including an attempt to label me the next ‘Roger Ailes.' »

- Gene Maddaus

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‘Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’ to Launch Monologue Recap on Amazon’s Echo Show Device

15 hours ago

NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” is about to get yet another digital destination: Amazon’s Echo Show voice-activated video device.

Starting Wednesday, users of the $230 Echo Show will be able to watch a video replay of Fallon’s “Tonight Show” monologue from the previous night. After subscribing to the show’s flash briefing in their settings, users can start playing the video clip on the Echo Show’s 7-inch screen just by saying, “Alexa, what is my flash briefing?”

Currently, the “Tonight Show” flash briefing is the only recap-segment content on Alexa for Echo Show, according to Amazon. But there are several other flash briefings that have been optimized for video on Echo Show from content partners including CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg, TechCrunch and People.

Of course, not many people will be able to catch the first installment or two of Fallon’s monologue replays: Amazon is set to begin shipping the Echo Show on »

- Todd Spangler

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Bill Cosby Calls Reports of Sexual Assault ‘Town Halls’ False ‘Propaganda’

15 hours ago

Bill Cosby has ruled out holding a series of “town halls” to discuss sexual assault, an idea first floated by his publicists last week.

“The current propaganda that I am going to conduct a sexual assault tour is false,” Cosby said in a statement, issued by spokesman Andrew Wyatt. “Any further information about public plans will be given at the appropriate time.”

A Pennsylvania jury failed to reach a verdict earlier this month on charges that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted Andrea Constand in 2004. The district attorney has announced he intends to retry the 79-year-old comedian.

Cosby’s publicists took the outcome of the trial as a victory. Wyatt and a colleague, Ebonee Benson, went on Wbrc, a local Fox affiliate in Birmingham, Alabama, to discuss Cosby’s plans for the future. They indicated that Cosby would share lessons on how to avoid being falsely accused of sexual misconduct.

“We’re now planning town halls and we »

- Gene Maddaus

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Time Warner’s Turner Projects Volume Gains in TV Upfront

16 hours ago

Time Warner’s Turner expects to capture a greater volume of advance ad commitments in TV’s annual upfront marketplace, the latest indication that the TV industry may be faring better than expected in its efforts to woo Madison Avenue to its programs despite changes in audience behavior sparked by the advent of new video-streaming technology.

Turner, which operates TBS, TNT, CNN, Adult Swim and other cable-tv networks, has completed approximately 80% of its negotiations with media agencies, according to a person familiar with the matter. The company expects its volume of advance ad commitments to rise by an increase in the mid-single-digit percentage range, this person said. In 2016, Turner’s volume was seen rising between 2% and 4%. Drawing a straight line from upfront talks to tangible cash is difficult, but Turner’s ad revenue rose 3%, or $126 million, in 2016, according to its parent company. Advertiser interest in sports and news programming played a key role in the rise.

Each »

- Brian Steinberg

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Netflix Orders Comedy Series Starring ‘New Edition Story’s’ Jahi Winston

17 hours ago

Netflix has ordered a new comedy series titled “Everything Sucks” that will star Jahi Winston, who played a young Ralph Tresvant in Bet’s “The New Edition Story.”

The 10-episode series follows two groups of high school misfits, an A/V club and a Drama club who collide in 1996 Oregon. The series stars Peyton Kennedy and Winston as students Kate Messner and Luke O’Neil. The series also stars Patch Darragh and Claudine Nako as their respective parents. Sydney Sweeney, Elijah Stevenson, Quinn Liebling, and Rio Mangini will also star. »

- Joe Otterson

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‘Silicon Valley’: Erlich’s Bizarre Departure Reveals the Tragedy Behind the Comedy

18 hours ago

Season 4 of “Silicon Valley,” which ended Sunday night, plays more like a tragedy than any of the show’s adventures so far. After three seasons of trying to combat magnate Gavin Belson (Matt Ross), the vicious head of the show’s Google-like Hooli, protagonist Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch) spends most of Season 4 in a free fall of his own principles. If “Silicon Valley” started as a story where Richard thought he was going to defeat Gavin, it paused Sunday night as a story observing that Richard is becoming Gavin, one agonizing moral compromise at a time.

Meanwhile, one of the show’s most beloved characters, the big-haired and blustering Erlich Bachmann (T.J. Miller), was written off the show with an ending that is neither happy nor conclusive: He’s sentenced to a five-year opium addiction in Tibet, with a careless shrug, at the end of a season where he kept trying and failing to find his place »

- Sonia Saraiya

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AMC Renews ‘Better Call Saul’ for Season 4

18 hours ago

AMC has renewed “Better Call Saul” for a fourth season.

Exec produced by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, “Better Call Saul” stars Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill, the lawyer character introduced to viewers as Saul Goodman on the Gilligan-created “Breaking Bad.” The series is the third most watched scripted cable drama so far this year among viewers 25-54, averaging 1.98 million such viewers in Nielsen live-plus-three numbers.

“Supporting artists we respect and admire; delivering truly outstanding character development and nuanced dramatic twists and turns; continuing a legacy of bold creative choices; loving writing that is the best in the business: Truly, ‘S’all good, man’” said Charlie Collier, president of AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios. “Congratulations to Vince, Peter, Bob and everyone involved with ‘Better Call Saul.’ Bring on season four!”

Better Call Saul” was nominated for seven Primetime Emmy Awards in 2016, including outstanding drama series and outstanding actor in a drama series for Odenkirk.

The »

- Daniel Holloway

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Lizzy Caplan, Rick Okon board Sky’s $28m ‘Das Boot’ Sequel (Exclusive)

18 hours ago

Rick Okon (“Tatort”) will captain the U-612 U-boat in the upcoming “Das Boot” series, with Lizzy Caplan (“Masters of Sex”), and August Wittgenstein (“The Crown”) also cast in the €25 million drama.

A 104-day shoot for the high-end series starts at end-August and will take in La Rochelle, Prague, Malta and Munich. Billed as a sequel to the 1981 film and Lothar-Günther Buchheim novel, the show will go out on Sky’s pay TV channels in Germany, Italy, and the U.K.

Other cast members include Vicky Krieps (“Colonia Dignidad”), Jonathan Zaccaϊ (“Robin Hood”), Leonard Scheicher (“Finsterworld”), Robert Stadlober (“Summer Storm”), Franz Dinda (“The Cloud”), and Stefan Konarske (“The Young Karl Marx”). German filmmaker Andreas Prochaska (“The Dark Valley”) will direct the eight-part series, which launches on Sky next fall.

Sonar Entertainment, Sky, and Bavaria Fernsehproduktion are making the series. Moritz Polter and Oliver Vogel, are the executive producers for Bavaria Fernsehproduktion, and »

- Stewart Clarke

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Doug Liman’s ‘Impulse’ Gets Series Order From YouTube Red

18 hours ago

YouTube has given a series order to “Impulse,” a drama from Universal Cable Productions and executive producer Doug Liman of Hypnotic. The series is based on the third novel in the “Jumper” series by Steven Gould.

Hypnotic’s David Bartis and Gene Klein will also executive produce with Lauren LeFranc. Jeffrey Lieber, Jason Horwitch, and Gary Spinelli are writing.

The new series is slated to premiere on subscription-video service YouTube Red in 2018.

“This unique thriller pulled us in right from the opening scene,” said Susanne Daniels, global head of original content, YouTube. “We are thrilled to be in business with Doug Liman and everyone at Ucp and Hypnotic.”

“We are very excited to be working with Susanne, YouTube and Hypnotic on ‘Impulse’,” said Jeff Wachtel, chief content officer, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, and president, Universal Cable Productions. “It’s always fun to start work on a new series, especially when it’s with a partner like YouTube that »

- Daniel Holloway

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Cable News Ratings: MSNBC, CNN, Fox News Post Double-Digit Growth in Q2

18 hours ago

The viewership spike for cable news shows no signs of slowing down. Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC all saw double-digit ratings growth across the board for the second quarter of 2017, according to Nielsen data.

Driven by surges for “The Rachel Maddow Show” and “Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell,” MSNBC is up a whopping 86% in total viewers in primetime compared to second-quarter 2016. CNN saw a 39% leap in adults 25-54 in total day. Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow” split the crown for most-watched cable news program in primetime, with Carlson winning in total viewers and Maddow taking the demo.

In total day, Fox News led with 1.47 million total viewers, up 27% from the same period last year. Of those, 314,000 fell in the adults 25-54 demographic, up 46% from last year. MSNBC was second in total viewers with 886,000, up 73%. MSNBC was third in total day in the demo, however, with »

- Joe Otterson

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