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Kenneth Branagh Pitches ‘Return Of The Native’ Adaptation During PBS ‘Wallander’ Panel – TCA

Susanne Simpson, senior series producer, Masterpiece Theater, and actor/executive director Kenneth Branagh speak onstage during Masterpiece's 'Wallander, The Final Season' panel as part of the PBS portion of the 2016 Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour at Langham Hotel on January 19, 2016 in Pasadena, California.

Masterpiece exec producer Rebecca Eaton, still upstairs at the TCA hotel in Pasadena with the flu, again missed panels today for her franchise’s panels at the confab, including one in which Kenneth Branagh came to discuss Wallander, The Final Season, airing May 8-22. This was particularly disappointing for Eaton, given that Branagh had starred in the very first program she acquired in her three-decade tenure at Masterpiece, Fortunes Of War, which also had been her first… Read

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Eva Longoria: ‘Telenovela’ “Has A Lot Of Hispanic Cues” But Intended For Everyone – TCA

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 13:  speaks onstage during the 'Telenovela' panel discussion at the NBCUniversal portion of the 2015 Winter TCA Tour at Langham Hotel on January 13, 2016 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

There will come a time when a broadcast network having three primetime series with Latina leads will not be big news. This is not that time. NBC held TCA Q&A sessions last week for Shades Of Blue with Jennifer Lopez, America Ferrera-starrer Superstore and Eva Longoria’s Telenovela. During the latter session, one TV critic noted, “When you think about the impact of shows like [Fox’s] Empire, one reason why they've had impact is because a huge number of black viewers watch… Read

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Queen ‘Victoria’ Inherits ‘Downton Abbey’ Timeslot On PBS – TCA

Victoria

Coming to MASTERPIECE in January 2017

Shown: Jenna Coleman as Queen Victoria

(C) Des Willie/ITV Plc

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Victoria will air on PBS’ Masterpiece in the Sunday timeslot Downton Abbey has occupied the last six years, the programming service said this afternoon at TCA. It’s slated to premiere in 2017. Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who) stars as the young Queen Victoria, a neglected teenager who became Queen and eventually the most powerful woman in the world. "Downton Abbey has proved that millions of viewers will turn up year after year for a beautifully crafted period drama,” Ma… Read

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‘Mercy Street’ Opens Strong But No Season 2 Order Yet, ‘Sesame Street’ And More From PBS – TCA

MErcy Street

Premiere of Mercy Street, PBS’ first original drama in more than a decade, clocked 3.3 million viewers in its unveiling last night, following an episode of Downton Abbey‘s final season. Mercy Street’s first household rating came in 16% higher than PBS’  unveiling of Sherlock‘s Season 3, “His Last Vow”, which also had aired immediately after a Downton episode, PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger announced this morning at TCA. PBS had made Mercy Street’s premiere available… Read

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PBS Looks At Presidential Race Lightning Rods In ‘16 For ’16’ Series – TCA

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Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ron Sachs/REX/Shutterstock (800922k)
Celebration in the Alaska delegation as Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska accepts the Republican nomination as Vice President of the United States
Republican National Convention, Minnesota, America - Sep 2008

PBS has ordered  a multi-part documentary that spotlights “unforgettable” presidential and vice-presidential candidates whose dramatic campaigns may or may not have been successful, but earned a place in the history books nonetheless. Sarah Palin, Gary Hart, Michael Dukakis, Geraldine Ferraro, and Howard Dean are among those whose campaign stories will be covered in 16 for ’16. The profiles will be presented in 16 half-hour weekly episodes leading up to the presidential… Read

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PBS Partners With NPR To Boost Election Coverage – TCA

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 18:  (L-R) Maria Hinojosa, anchor, America by the Numbers, Raney Aronson-Rath, executive producer, FRONTLINE,  Kai Ryssdal, host, Marketplace from American Public Media, Sara Just, executive producer, PBS Newshour, and Carlos Watson, CEO and co-founder, OZY, speak onstage during the PBS 2016 Election panel as part of the PBS portion of the 2016 Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour at Langham Hotel on January 18, 2016 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

PBS today announced a new strategic partnership to share news content with NPR for its coverage of the presidential election cycle. The partnership enables the organizations to share digital, video and audio content in new ways. As part of this collaboration, PBS will launch a designated elections-focused digital destination on PBS.org in February that will include content from NPR, as well as from PBS’ signature news and public affairs programs and local PBS station… Read

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‘Narcos’ EP: “I Don’t Think The Show In Any Way Glorifies The Narcotics Business” – TCA

Narcos

Who among you has sat down with Sean Penn?” A reporter jokingly (and seriously) posed to the cast and exec producer of Netflix’s Narcos after they took the stage at today’s TCA. The panel included Executive Producer Eric Newman along with cast members Wagner Moura, Boyd Holbrook and Pedro Pascal. In all seriousness the reporter wanted to know if giving such criminals as Pablo Escobar (or El Chapo, whose recent arrest coincided with the publication of a Rolling Stone… Read

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‘Degrassi: Next Class’: “The Drugs Have Changed But The Problems Are Still The Same”

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Degrassi is known for tackling the complex issues that high school students face. Subjects such as teen pregnancy, drugs, school shooting and rape are all showcased, although usually handled in a conservative way. The creatives of the show, Linda Schuyler (Creator & EP),  Stephen Stohn (EP),  Stefan Brogren (Director & Cast) and Sarah Glinski (Writer & EP) were on hand at today’s TCA to speak about tackling those issues on Netflix’s less restrictive platform. “We've… Read

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No ‘Punisher’ News As ‘Daredevil’ Panel Talks Season 2 – TCA

Daredevil Netflix

Over the weekend, word arose that the biggest thing to come out of the second season of Netflix’s hit Marvel series Daredevil will likely be a spinoff based around Jon Bernthal’s The Punisher. Alas, those hoping for official confirmation during the Daredevil season 2 panel today at TCA came away disappointed. “You’ll have to ask Marvel” is how co-executive producer Marco Ramirez responded when asked directly about how such a series might look. Well dang. On the other… Read

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‘Grace And Frankie’ Star Lily Tomlin On Aging Gracefully: “Denial” – TCA

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The cast and creatives of Grace and Frankie took the stage at today’s TCA and added some laughs to a usually tranquil room.  Although not much was revealed about season 2, star Jane Fonda offered a tidbit on her new love interest, played by Sam Elliot. “At the end of season one this woman that I really have disdain for… she tells me to solve my problem about men by vlogging.  This name comes into my head unconsciously, Phil. In season 2, we discover Phil is Sam Elliott… Read

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‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ Sticks With Its Sunny DNA In Season 2 – TCA

Tituss Burgess and Ellie Kemper in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was born of an awareness that there is a certain type of “ebullient young women” who survive “something awful and still come out the other side optimistic,” said co-creator Tina Fey today at a TCA panel for the show. Though the first season was conceived for NBC before the show moved to Netflix, Kimmy‘s broadcast roots remain part of its DNA, Fey said. Despite Netflix’s relative lack of restrictions, a string of obscenities on Kimmy might… Read

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Hannibal Buress: Bill Cosby “Rapist” Riff Fallout Was “Weird” – TCA

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“I do a lot of other sh*t, and it’s also weird that happened like that [because] I was calling a bunch of other comedians rapists and that was the only one people took seriously,” joked comedian Hannibal Buress at TCA this afternoon, when asked about his 2014 riff on Bill Cosby that open the floodgate  for dozens of women, who claimed Cosby had assaulted them over decades. During Buress’ stand-up set in Philly, he took direct aim at Cosby. In video first posted on… Read