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Lela Swift Dies: Pioneering TV Director Was 96

Ryan's hope

Lela Swift, who rose from the secretarial pool at CBS to become a pioneering force for female TV directors, died today at her Santa Monica home of natural causes. She was 96. Swift went from gopher to an AD job on the network’s Studio One in 1948, to directing nearly 600 episodes of Dark Shadows and winning three Daytime Emmys over 14 years of helming the soap opera Ryan’s Hope. Born Lela Siwoff on February 1, 1919, in New York City, she joined the then-nascent CBS in the… Read

TV

Shonda Rhimes & Pete Nowalk Tease Next Season Setups For ‘Scandal’, ‘How To Get Away With Murder’

Shonda Rimes Kerry Washington TCA 2015

Like water torture, TCA journos nudged Shonda Rhimes and Pete Nowalk to at least provides hints as to what will occur next season on Scandal and How To Get Away With Murderrespectively. Rhimes previously told a reporter that she wasn’t there to reveal plot lines. But after another asked again, Rhimes took a breath, looked at the ABC publicist to her right, then turned to the crowd and said: “For Scandal we’re picking up almost where we left off,” where Olivia Pope… Read

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Will Smith Replaces Hugh Jackman In ‘Collateral Beauty’

Lanvin : Front Row - Paris Fashion Week - Menswear F/W 2014-2015

EXCLUSIVE: Will Smith has replaced Hugh Jackman in Collateral Beautythe feature about a New York advertising executive who experiences a personal tragedy and the subsequent unconventional plan from his colleagues to break him out of his depression. Rooney Mara also is attached to star. Overbrook Entertainment is coming aboard to co-produce the project alongside Anonymous Content, PalmStar and Likely Story. PalmStar is fully financing. Written by Allan Loeb, the project… Read

TV

‘The Coach’ NBC Revival: ‎Andrew Ridings Cast As Hayden Fox’s Son

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Andrew Ridings, who recurs on Universal TV’s comedy series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, has landed the young lead opposite Craig T. Nelson in the studio’s new Coach series for NBC. Written by the original series creator Barry Kemp, the 13-episode series is set in the present, picking up 18 years after the ABC sitcom went off the air after nine seasons. Coach Fox (Nelson) — now retired from coaching — is called back to become assistant coach to his grown son, Tim (Ridings)… Read

TV

Yolonda Ross Joins ‘The Get Down'; Chris Petrovski In ‘Madam Secretary’

Yolanda Ross Chris Petrovski

Yolonda Ross has joined the cast of Baz Luhrmann's music-driven Netflix drama The Get Down. Set in 1970s New York City, the series — a longtime passion project for Luhrmann — revolves around a ragtag crew of South Bronx teenagers who are wild in the streets; they’re nothings and nobodies with no one to shelter them, except one another. Ross will recur as Ms. Green, the caring but tough English teacher who nurtures the potential in her students and advocates for them to… Read

TV

Shonda Rhimes On McDreamy’s Fate On ‘Grey’s Anatomy'; Talks Meredith’s Future Next Season – TCA

2015 Summer TCA Tour - Day 8

When McDreamy died last season in a car crash on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, it just drove some fans crazy. Today at TCA’s TGIT panel, Shonda Rhimes expounded on the reasoning behind Dr. Derek Shepherd’s death. “The decision to have the character die the way that he did wasn’t a difficult one in the show. Either Derek was going to walk out on Meredith and leave her high and dry, but then that would say that the love wasn’t true over the last 11 years of the show…that would be… Read

Film

‘Barbershop 3′ Reschedules Appointment To Late Spring

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Shifting it away from a launch date shared with Paramount’s Ben-Hur remake, Warner Bros has announced it’s moving Barbershop 3 up into the summer release period, and in doing so has thrown a velvet glove at Universal’s feet. The comedy sequel will now hit theaters April 15 rather than February 26. Barbershop 3 will go head to head against Paramount’s Everybody Wants Some, Disney’s live-action The Jungle Book, Lionsgate’s Mechanic: Resurrection and Universal’s The Best Man… Read

Video

‘Difficult People’ Review: Amy Poehler-Produced Comedy Easy Win For Hulu

Difficult People

Self-obsessed and mean-spirited New Yorkers may be horrible in person but they are damn funny on TV — especially when played by Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner. Debuting at midnight tonight on Hulu, Difficult People, as my video review above says, is all about two such terrors and very very funny. You'll be able to check out the first two episodes of the series executive produced by Amy Poehler early tomorrow with more to come each week until September 16. Having picked… Read

TV

‘Scandal’, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, ‘Once Upon A Time’ Among Those ABC Shows Fueled By Online/VOD Viewing – TCA

ABC Logo Grid

Tablet and VOD viewing continues to beef up ratings for TV series, particularly when folded into live+same day viewing and four-week old DVR ratings. That was one of the takeaways from ABC’s luncheon panel “Videobiquity” on multiplatform viewing, and while there’s no shock there, the network like many continues to dissect and analyze the audience in this everchanging medium in order to sell advertisers and the public at large on the exact size of a show’s popularity. For… Read

TV

‘Community': Movie Would Be Next Chapter For Comedy Series

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Community fans’ battle cry “Six Seasons and a Movie” may turn out to be a prophecy. I hear that a movie would be next for Sony TV’s comedy brand, which recently wrapped its sixth season and first on Yahoo. It has been a busy news day in Greendale land, starting off with comments made by star Joel McHale in an interview, indicating that the show is over as the cast’s contracts were all up after Season 6. “There is just not enough money to be able to pay for the show," he… Read

Film

Stuntman Shawn Robinson Found Dead

Shawn Robinson

Shawn Robinson, a veteran Hollywood stuntman and rigger whose credits include Guardians Of The Galaxy and the first three Transformers films, was found dead last week. He had been working on Peter Berg's new film Deepwater Horizon in New Orleans; when he didn't show up for work on July 28, a fellow stuntman went to his hotel room and found Robinson’s body. The Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office hasn’t released a cause of death pending toxicology results. Robinson, who was in… Read

TV

‘Curb Your Enthusiasm': 51% Chance Of More Episodes, Jeff Garlin Says – TCA

Curb Your Enthusiasm

There’s a 51% chance HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm will be back for a new season, cast member Jeff Garlin said at TCA during a Q&A for his other series, ABC’s The Goldbergs. “Yeah, I’m in touch with him,” Garlin said when a reporter asked if he’d spoken recently to Curb creator Larry David. “I went to see his [Broadway] show in New York and we do talk.” So what about another season of the HBO comedy? “I certainly would love to,” Garlin said, calling David “the best guy to do… Read