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‘Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’ Head Writer A.D. Miles to Step Down

1 hour ago

A.D. Miles, the longtime head writer of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” will step down from that role to pursue acting and narrative television and film writing, Variety has confirmed.

Miles has been working with Fallon for the past eight years, with the two meeting at NBC’s “Late Night” before Fallon took over “The Tonight Show.” They have since collaborated on over 1500 episodes of late-night television. Miles and his family will relocate from New York to Los Angeles but he and Fallon are still planning to work together on an animated feature.

“Riding Jimmy Fallon’s coattails for the past eight years has given me all the confidence I need to strike out on my own and work on a movie with Jimmy Fallon,” Miles said in a statement. Fallon added, “Miles was there for the launch of ‘Late Night’ as well as the launch of ‘The Tonight Show.’ He »


- Joe Otterson

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CBS Chief Glenn Geller to Take Leave of Absence Following Mild Heart Attack

2 hours ago

CBS Entertainment president Glenn Geller will take a leave of absence from the network after suffering a mild heart attack, Variety has learned.

In a note to staff Wednesday, Geller said that he is “on track for a full recovery” after resting at home. He added, “The bad news is that pilot season and the Upfront isn’t the best environment to achieve that recovery. After consulting with my doctors, my husband, and my family, I plan to take off a few more weeks and return at the end of May.”

In a separate memo, CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves said that company leadership is “fully supportive of Glenn focusing on restoring himself to 100%.” But, he continued, “At the same time, it’s clear that we must now adjust ourselves to a new situation as we finish our pilots and head into the Upfront.”

No change in leadership structure at the network was announced. Moonves »


- Daniel Holloway

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#BlackWomenAtWork Goes Viral After Bill O’Reilly, Maxine Waters Controversy

3 hours ago

Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly and White House spokesman Sean Spicer elicited an uproar on social media on Tuesday after making separate comments regarding congresswoman Maxine Waters and reporter April Ryan.

After Spicer told Ryan to stop shaking her head during an aggressive exchange at a White House press briefing and O’Reilly suggested that Waters was wearing a “James Brown wig,” activist Brittany Packnett encouraged Twitter users to tweet under #BlackWomenAtWork.

This happens to black women everyday at work.

Share your Maxine and April moments, so people don't think this is rare. Use #BlackWomenAtWork

Brittany Packnett (@MsPackyetti) March 28, 2017

“This happens to black women everyday at work,” Packnett tweeted. “Share your Maxine and April moments, so people don’t think this is rare. Use #BlackWomenAtWork.”

Related Content: Maxine Waters Fires Back at Bill O’Reilly: ‘I Cannot Be Intimidated’ (Watch)

Several prominent female influencers employed the hashtag to accentuate the ways in which black women in »


- Sarah Ahern

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‘Better Call Saul’ Season 3 Premiere: Jimmy McGill Gets Closer to ‘Breaking Bad’

3 hours ago

The return of Gus Fring looms over season three of AMC’s “Better Call Saul.”

At the Los Angeles premiere, Bob OdenkirkJonathan Banks and the show’s creators celebrated the drama’s return at a screening at Arclight Culver City, then segued to a party at the Culver Hotel. AMC and Sundance president and general manager Charlie Collier introduced the screening, thanking the writers, the Albuquerque crew and the cast, including Michael McKean, who was unable to attend.

Co-creator Peter Gould talked about crafting the third season. “It’s the same challenge we always face: where’s Jimmy’s head at?” he said. “Our lead is constantly shifting and changing as a person. His values are changing. Understanding where he is moment to moment is the biggest challenge we have. Once we understand his psychology and where he is as a person, figuring out the story is much, much easier.”

What »


- Diane Gordon

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NBC Expects 2018 Winter Olympics to Outperform Sochi Games in Ad Revenue

4 hours ago

NBC expects ad sales for next year’s Winter Olympic in PyeongChang, South Korea, to exceed those for the 2014 winter games in Sochi, Russia.

“We’re pacing a little bit ahead of where we were going into Sochi,” NBCUniversal sports ad-sales chief Dan Lovinger said Wednesday on a conference call with reporters.

Lovinger and NBC Olympics declined to identify how much ad inventory has been sold thus far. The Sochi games earned $1.1 billion in revenue for NBC.

Speaking to reporters following an upfront presentation for the PyeongChang games at Rockefeller Center, NBC executives announced a shift in how they will sell advertising for the Olympics. The company will abandon its past practice of selling based on household ratings, and instead move to a total-audience measurement that will count all viewers ages two and up across linear and digital platforms.

“Total-audience viewing allows us to combine digital and linear viewing and deliver a single audience guarantee,” Lovinger »


- Daniel Holloway

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First Look at The CW’s New Superhero Series ‘Black Lightning’

4 hours ago

The CW has revealed the first photo of “Black Lightning, the latest hero joining the network’s stable of super-powered crime-fighting shows.

The image shows Cress Williams (“Hart of Dixie,” “Friday Night Lights”) suited up as Jefferson Pierce, a.k.a Black Lightning, the hero soon to be joining the Berlanti family of superhero series, including “Arrow,” “The Flash,” “Legends of Tomorrow,” and “Supergirl.” The drama is currently shooting in Atlanta.

“Resurrecting him at a time in our society when a sense of hope is lacking … Black Lightning will be that hope,” executive producer Salim Akil said. “And in updating the suit, it will signal to a new generation that it’s time to harness and release our power, and become our own superheroes.”

The series will follow Pierce — now retired from his crime-fighting days — who’s pulled back into vigilante life as one daughter is hell-bent on justice and the other is being recruited by a »


- Jacob Bryant

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‘Making History’ Star Adam Pally Arrested for Misdemeanor Drug Possession

4 hours ago

Making History” and “Happy Endings” star Adam Pally was arrested Tuesday night in New York and hit with two misdemeanor drug possession charges, a New York Police Department spokesperson confirmed to Variety.

A source tells Variety that Pally was seen smoking marijuana with an e-cigarette in the neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen in public view at about 10:46 p.m. When police arrested him, they found that he had a small bag of cocaine, and cited him with the second drug charge. He’s since been released from custody.

He has been charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the 7th degree, and criminal possession of marijuana in the 5th degree. Pally’s ticket requires that he appear in front of a judge within 30 days.

His reps did not immediately respond to request for comment on Wednesday. TMZ first broke the news of the arrest.

Pally is best known for his role as Max Blum on »


- Alex Stedman

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‘Frozen’s’ Original Ending Finally Revealed

4 hours ago

Although Disney’s “Frozen” was released nearly four years ago, it’s as fresh in our memories as the lyrics to “Let It Go.” But would the film have been as successful had it retained its original ending?

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the film’s producer, Peter Del Vecho, reflected on the process of creating “Frozen,” and revealed what was originally set to be the animated movie’s conclusion.

“So when we started off, Anna and Elsa were not sisters. They weren’t even royal,” Del Vecho shared. “So Anna was not a princess. Elsa was a self-proclaimed Snow Queen, but she was a villain and pure evil — much more like the Hans Christian Andersen tale. We started out with an evil female villain and an innocent female heroine, and the ending involved a big epic battle with snow monsters that Elsa had created as her army,” he said.

In »


- Sarah Ahern

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TV News Roundup: Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell to Host Freeform Special ‘Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings’

5 hours ago

In today’s TV news roundup, “The Bachelor” alumni Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell will host Freeform special “Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings,” David Axelrod will bring his podcast “The Axe Files” to television, and more. 

Specials

Ever wonder what it would be like to get married at a Disney resort? “The Bachelor” alumni Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell will help you find out as they host an upcoming special entitled “Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings,” which will air on on May 7 at 8 p.m./7c on Freeform. The 90-minute special will give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the unique weddings and engagements that take place at Disney Destinations around the world.

CNN Senior Political Commentator David Axelrod will bring his popular podcast, “The Axe Files,” to television for the first time during a one-hour special on CNN at Apr. 1. at 9 p.m./8c. He will be joined by former political rival Senator John McCain to reflect »


- Sarah Ahern

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Top Bet Programming Execs to Exit Viacom-Owned Cabler

6 hours ago

Bet programming president Stephen Hill and his top lieutenant are stepping down from the network, marking the latest transition in the management of Viacom-owned cablers.

Hill, an 18-year Bet vet, announced his departure to staffers on Wednesday. Bet also confirmed that exec VP and head of programming Zola Mashariki would exit along with Hill.

Connie Orlando, senior VP of specials, music programming and news, will head programming in the interim while Bet searches for a successor for Hill.

The timing of Hill’s departure is surprising. Bet on Tuesday launched a new drama series “Rebel” that had mostly favorable reviews (ratings were not immediately available on Wednesday) and traction in social media. In January, Bet scored a big hit with its three-part miniseries “The New Edition Story.”

Hill has headed Bet programming since September 2014. He joined Bet in 1999 and moved up the ranks in various programming posts. He was the driving force behind Bet’s music-related shows »


- Cynthia Littleton

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ABC Cancels ‘Time After Time’

6 hours ago

ABC has pulled drama “Time After Time” from its schedule, effectively canceling the freshman drama series.

A time-travel story following fictional versions of H.G. Wells and Jack the Ripper, “Time After Time” debuted March 5 to a soft 0.7 rating in the 18-49 demographic over its two-hour premiere and an average audience of 2.53 million, according to Nielsen data. Over four weeks, it has averaged a 0.5 in the demo and 2.2 million viewers.

Time After Time” is produced by Outerbanks Entertainment in association with Warner Bros. Television. Kevin Williamson and Marcos Siega (“Blindspot,” “The Following”) serve as executive producers. Siega directed the pilot, with Williamson writing the teleplay. The show is based on the novel written by Karl Alexander.

The series is being replaced in its Sunday, 9 p.m. time period for the next three weeks by Alec Baldwin-hosted celebrity gameshow “Match Game.” “Time After Time” becomes the second scripted broadcast freshman to be pulled from the air this season »


- Daniel Holloway

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‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’: Original Aunt Viv Posts Tirade Over Cast Reunion Photo

7 hours ago

Fans of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” felt nostalgic for the ’90s sitcom after a recent photo of the cast went viral.

But not Janet Hubert, the actress who portrayed the original Aunt Vivian on the first three seasons of the show.

In case you missed it, Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton) posted a shot of the “Fresh Prince” cast earlier this week. It featured Ribeiro, Tatyana Ali (Ashley), Karyn Parsons (Hilary), Will Smith (Will), Joseph Marcell (Geoffrey), and Daphne Maxwell Reid, who played Aunt Viv after Hubert left the show. The cast had reunited for Parsons’ charity.

Hubert responded to the photo on her personal Facebook page with a tirade where she called Ribeiro a “media hoe” and shot down any chances for a reunion — at least one featuring her.

“I know the media hoe Alphonso Ribero has posted his so called reunion photo. Folks keep telling me about it. He was always the a– wipe for Will »


- Lawrence Yee

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‘Midsomer Murders’ Celebrates 20 Years of Quirky Crimes and Global Appeal

7 hours ago

Whodunnit series “Midsomer Murders,” Britain’s biggest drama export, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. How has it maintained its passionate global fan base?

On the first day of filming of the 20th season, lead actor Neil Dudgeon, who plays police detective John Barnaby, sits on the banks of the Thames River pondering the enduring appeal of Bentley Productions’ murder mystery, whose latest season has been sold by All3Media Intl. to more than 170 territories.

One aspect of the show — set in a bucolic English county comprised of picturesque villages — that sets it apart from the crime genre crowd is that it is “quirky and off-center,” he says, and laced with hefty doses of “eccentricity and humor.”

Dudgeon, who is in his seventh season after taking over from original star John Nettles, adds that the view of the English as “genteel, reserved and well-mannered” within the context of the idyllic countryside works as a counterpoint to the »


- Leo Barraclough

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‘War & Peace’s’ Tom Harper to Direct ‘The Rocks,’ With ‘La La Land’s’ Fred Berger Attached

8 hours ago

Director Tom Harper, whose credits include “War & Peace” and “Peaky Blinders,” has boarded “The Rocks,” a TV adaptation of Peter Nichols’ novel, with “La La Land” producer Fred Berger attached as one of the executive producers.

Entertainment One acquired the TV rights to the book and controls worldwide rights to the series. Laura Eason (“House of Cards,” “Sex with Strangers”) will write the show, and Harper will also produce. Josh Varney, Ben Pugh and Eleanor Moran of 42, and Berger and Brian Kavanaugh-Jones (“Midnight Special”) of Automatik serve as executive producers.

Set on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca, “The Rocks” is a love story and a mystery, told in reverse. “It begins in the present day with the death of an older married couple who fall from one of the island’s many cliffs after an argument,” according to a statement. “From this striking opening, the story rewinds through time, following the intertwined lives of the duo and »


- Leo Barraclough

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Kristen Bell and James Corden Aerial Duet Goes Hilariously Wrong (Watch)

9 hours ago

They may be up in the air, but that’s not where they belong.

During an attempted duet on “The Late Late Show” on Tuesday, Kristen Bell and James Corden paired up to perform the 1982 Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes hit “Up Where We Belong,” which started off nicely but ended unsuccessfully.

The pair began with some gentle banter about love. “You know Kristen, I was just thinking — love can be a funny thing,” Corden said. “You know, I love love, James,” Bell replied.

Corden added, “and I love love too, but love can lift us up,” introducing their duet that almost instantly went amiss.

Things began pleasantly as Bell began belting out the first verse, bringing out the chops she graced us with as Anna in the 2013 Disney hit “Frozen.” Yet as suspenders started lifting her up to the ceiling in front of the star-studded backdrop, Corden didn’t find as much success, having »


- Sarah Ahern

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Studio71 Breathes New Life Into McN Business Model Overseas

10 hours ago

When Disney laid off thousands of content creators at its Maker Studios division in February, it sent the clearest signal yet of how troubled the so-called multichannel networks (MCNs) had become. While aggregating billions of digital video views had attracted a rash of M&A activity, like Disney’s 2014 acquisition of Maker, other MCNs like Fullscreen and AwesomenessTV have since pivoted to businesses more oriented around original-content creation.

But if McN is a dirty word, don’t tell Studio71. The company that rode the McN wave while known as Collective Digital Studio is sticking to its business model, but with a twist it will pitch at MipTV: It’s partnering with an array of overseas broadcasters to sell a combination of TV and digital inventory.

Studio71 emerged from the now defunct Hollywood management firm the Collective and began reshaping itself in 2015 when German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 bought a controlling stake. Earlier this year, France »


- Andrew Wallenstein

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A+E Networks Clinches Major Deals on ‘Knightfall’

10 hours ago

A+E Networks has clinched major deals on “Knightfall,” History’s new epic drama series penned by Dominic Minghella (“Doc Martin,””Robin Hood”) ahead of its global launch at Miptv.

Knightfall,” which toplines Jeremy Renner (“Arrival”), was produced by A+E Studios in association with The Combine and Midnight Radio. Don Handfield (“Kill the Messenger”) and Richard Rayner (“L.A. Without A Map”) created and exec produced the 10-episode show.

Deals, which were announced today by Patrick Vien, international managing director of A+E Networks, were signed with SBSTwo (Australia), HBO and Cinemax (Central Europe, Poland, Spain and Andorra), iQiyi and BesTV (China), Sirkus (Iceland), Yes (Israel), FilmBox Premium (Central and Eastern Europe), and IFlix (Southeast Asia).

The series will also air on History in the Us, Canada, Latin America and Southeast Asia.

Renner, who exec produced the show, will be on hand at the world premiere screening at Mip, along with fellow exec producers Dominic Minghella, who »


- Elsa Keslassy

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‘Wynonna Earp’ Gets Season 2 Premiere Date, Cast Talks What’s Next

10 hours ago

Wynonna Earp” returns June 9 on Syfy, Variety has confirmed.

Fans will recall that as Season 1 wound down, things weren’t exactly hunky dory in Purgatory, the town in which the Earp siblings battle demons alongside various friends, enemies, and lovers.

“We’ve got a lot of unanswered questions,” says Dominique Provost-Chalkley, who plays Waverly Earp, the sister of the title character.

Or is she? In the season one finale, Waverly learned that she may not be a member of the Earp clan. To make matters worse, she was also infected by the goo of a terrifying monster. (Don’t you just hate it when that happens?)

“Waverly Earp does not even think she’s an Earp,” says showrunner and executive producer Emily Andras. “There are a lot of crises of identity across the board. We’re going to look at the idea of free will this season, because a lot of our characters are thrust into situations »


- Maureen Ryan

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‘Bones’ Series Finale Ratings Crack Season High

10 hours ago

“Bones” went out on a high note for its series finale Tuesday night. After more than 200 episodes, 12 seasons, and nearly as many time slots, the venerable Fox procedure drew a 1.0 rating in the 18-49 demographic and an average audience of 4.19 million, its biggest numbers all season.

Before the big “Bones” finale, the episode of “New Girl” in which Schmidt’s first name was revealed brought in a 0.9 in the demo and 2.19 million viewers. “The Mick” matched in the demo but brought in an audience of 2.35 million.

Granted, “Bones” didn’t win the night in the demo. NBC’s “The Voice” did, as usual, with a 2.1 demo rating and an audience of 9.98 million. Two new installments of “Trial and Error” sunk to a 1.0 and 0.8 each, with audiences of 4.56 million and 3.37 million. “Chicago Fire” dipped slightly from last week to a 1.4 demo rating and 6.61 million viewers.

And CBS’ “NCIS” won the total viewer crown, as »


- Oriana Schwindt

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Ken Burns Sets Muhammad Ali Documentary for PBS

11 hours ago

Ken Burns is producing a four-hour PBS documentary on Muhammad Ali that is targeting a 2021 premiere.

The filmmaker said Wednesday has been working on the project since early 2016 with Sarah Burns and David McMahon. The same trio collaborated on 2013’s “The Central Park Five” and 2016’s “Jackie Robinson.” “Muhammad Ali” hails from Burns’ Florentine Films banner.

Muhammad Ali may be the most iconic figure of the 20th century. He arrived at exactly the right moment, amidst the tumult and upheaval of the 1960s, and he shaped his times with his powerful voice, mesmerizing presence, and achievements in the ring,” said Ken Burns. “But beyond the astonishing athletic gifts and mountain of charisma, there’s a very complex, dynamic man whose life story has yet to receive the comprehensive treatment it deserves.”

The legendary boxer died last June at the age of 74. The scope of his influence makes him a ripe subject for the deep-dive treatment that is »


- Cynthia Littleton

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