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‘DIG’ Ratings Soft In Debut For USA Network

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Viewers didn't drill into the new event series from Gideon Raff and Tim Kring too deeply last night. Debuting at 10 PM on USA Network, DIG drew a 0.6 rating among adults 18-49 on Thursday with 1.83 million total viewers. While way behind the 0.79 rating and 2.41 million viewers that A&E's Vikings had as the top cable drama of the night, the first episode of the Jason Isaacs and Anne Heche starring global conspiracy series was pretty close to the 0.55 rating and 1.75… Read

Film

‘Loneliest Whale’ Film Frozen Out By Worldview Hopes For Social Media Rescue

Loneliest Whale in the World

It’s a fascinating and heartwarming story of what is known to scientists as the world’s loneliest whale and two determined filmmakers, Adrien Grenier (Entourage) and Joshua Zeman (The Station Agent), are trying to help the mammal which has captivated world attention. Through a documentary entitled 52: The Search for the Loneliest Whale, the filmmakers have taken to Kickstarer after the prior financial commitment from legally mired Worldview Entertainment went belly up… Read

TV

David Witts & Lindsay Pearce Join ABC Family Series ‘Recovery Road’

David Witts Lindsay Pearce

ABC Family has rounded out the cast for its drama Recovery Road, which was picked up to series in December. British actor David Witts (EastEnders) has joined as a series regular and Lindsay Pearce (The Wedding Ringer) has been tapped for a recurring role. Written by Bert V. Royal and Karen DiConcetto based on the popular young-adult novel by Blake Nelson, Recovery Road centers on Maddie (Jessica Sula), a party girl and a highly functioning addict who doesn't think she has… Read

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Chris Chalk Cast As Lucius Fox On ‘Gotham’

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Another key character from the DC Batman universe is heading to Gotham. Chris Chalk (12 Years A Slave) has been cast as Lucius Fox in the Fox drama series. He will appear in the penultimate episode 21 of the current first season with an option to return in Season 2. Lucius Fox is Wayne Enterprise’s resident tech genius. In a corporation shadowed by nefarious dealings, Fox emerges as a moral beacon for young Bruce Wayne. His desire to help Bruce uphold Thomas Wayne’s… Read

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Lorene Scafaria Helms ‘The Meddler’ With Susan Sarandon, Rose Byrne, JK Simmons

Susan Sarandon Rose Byrne JK Simmons

EXCLUSIVE: Lorene Scafaria wrote and will direct The Meddler, a film that will star Susan Sarandon, Rose Byrne and freshly minted Oscar winner JK Simmons. Pic is Scafaria’s directing followup to Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World. Pic tells the story of Marnie Minervini, recent widow and eternal optimist, who transplants to Hollywood to be closer to her daughter, only to embark on a sea change all her own. Armed with an iPhone and a full bank account, Marnie sets… Read

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Benjamin Bratt Joins Bryan Cranston In ‘The Infiltrator’

benjamin bratt

EXCLUSIVE: Benjamin Bratt has been set to star alongside Bryan Cranston and Diane Kruger in The Infiltrator, a fact-based thriller that will be directed by Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer). Pic's produced by Good Films' Miriam Segal and production begins shortly. Based on the Robert Mazur autobiography with a script by Ellen Brown Furman, The Infiltrator revolves around a customs and excise agent (Cranston), who went undercover as a money launderer and infiltrated the… Read

TV

Shelley Conn Joins NBC’s ‘Heart Matters'; Carlease Burke In Suzanne Martin Pilot

Shelley Conn Carlease Burke

Shelley Conn (Terra Nova) has booked a regular role in NBC's drama pilot Heart Matters. Inspired by the life of Dr. Kathy Magliato, the medical soap follows the outspoken Alex Panttiere (Melissa George), one of the rare female heart-transplant surgeons. Alex brings an innovative eye to treating patients week to week while also balancing the complications of her professional and romantic life. Conn will play Millicent. She and Alex are not exactly rivals but they do not… Read

Video

‘Chappie’ Review: Pete Hammond Says This Robot Is A Heavy Metal Mess

Chappie poster

After a promising start with District 9, it has been straight downhill for writer-director Neill Blomkamp. That 2009 film won four Oscar nominations including one for Best Picture. But his follow-up, Elysium, failed to excite, and now a ridiculous robot movie Chappie takes Blomkamp even further away from the early potential he showed. Bottom line is this so-called “futuristic” tale is a bit of a mess, a hybrid of Robocop and Short Circuit with none of the know-how that… Read

TV

Lauren Ambrose To Star In ABC’s ‘Broad Squad'; Michael Gaston, Others Also Cast

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ABC has set the four leads in its period female-cop procedural drama pilot Broad Squad, with the last one going to Lauren Ambrose, currently seen in USA’s limited series DIG. Also cast in the pilot, written by Bess Wohl and directed by Coky Giedroyc, are Michael Gaston (The Mentalist), Kenneth Mitchell (Jericho) and Alberto Frezza. Broad Squad, from Kapital Entertainment, Fake Empire and ABC Studios, is a fictionalized account of the graduating class of Boston's first… Read

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‘Dating Naked’ $10M Lawsuit Stripped By Judge

dating naked nizewitz

EXCLUSIVE: Almost six months after Jessie Nizewitz took Viacom and the producers of the VH1 series Dating Naked to court for some big bucks for showing too much of her skin, the reality show contestant's case has been left in its own birthday suit. A New York State Supreme Court judge has granted the defendants' motion for dismissal against the former model (read it here). In a hearing Wednesday, Judge Anil Singh not only dispensed with the August 19, 2014 filed complaint… Read

Film

Next Year’s Oscar Race Is Already On: Will Redmayne & Inarritu Return For Round 2?

jake-gyllenhaal-southpaw

With the 2014 Oscar race fading further into memory, I say it’s never too early to look ahead to what’s in store for the nascent 2015 contest. It should start coming into the beginnings of focus when Cannes starts in May, or maybe even at CinemaCon in late April (though that National Association of Theatre Owners confab usually highlights more obviously commercial stuff, not necessarily Oscar bait). It’s interesting to note that by this time last year, three of the eight… Read

Box Office

‘Chappie’ Tracking For A $16M Weekend – Friday Box Office

chappie

UPDATE, 2:46 PM: According to mid-day industry estimates, Sony/Media Rights Capital’s Chappie from director Neill Blomkamp is tracking above studio weekend estimates of $14M, looking at $16M with an eye on a $5.5M Friday at 3,201 theaters. Sure, that’s lower than opening days of the director’s previous two films — 2009’s District 9 (opening day $14.16M, weekend $37.4M) and 2013’s Elysium (opening day $11M, weekend $29.8M) — but both those titles were August launches when… Read