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How 'Game of Thrones' Has Changed TV For the Better

How 'Game of Thrones' Has Changed TV For the Better
"Bad people is what I'm good at," Tyrion Lannister once boasted, and the man wasn't kidding. Over the past six years, Game of Thrones has introduced us to more outrageously bad people than any drama on television: killers, liars, tyrants and thieves. It's brought Westeros alive as a fantasy world where a conscience is a luxury nobody can afford – not even kings. HBO's epic fantasy blockbuster is gearing up for the seventh season, with the eighth and last chapter already on the horizon. That means we've got just 13 more episodes to spend in Westeros,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

History Like You’ve Never Seen It Before In ‘Time Traveling Bong’ – Tribeca Studio

When we say the word miniseries, such programs as Roots, The Winds of War or even The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story come to mind. Along comes Comedy Central’s Time Traveling Bong, which will not only put a huge twist on the genre, man, but leave viewers quite hungry. The show was co-created by the Broad City team of Ep/star Ilana Glazer, director/scribe Lucia Aniello and star/writer Paul Downs and follows cousins Jeff and Sharee (Downs and Glazer), who come…
See full article at Deadline TV »

How Ryan Murphy Pioneered the Anthology Series

  • Vulture
How Ryan Murphy Pioneered the Anthology Series
Growing up in the 1970s, Ryan Murphy didn’t just watch the great TV mini-series of the day, epics such as Roots and The Winds of War: He was a superfan. “I had viewing parties for them when I was a child, which is insane, but I did,” the megaproducer told Vulture recently via telephone, chuckling at the memory. “I really, really loved them. To me they felt very exciting, like movie stars were coming to the small screen. It was like a jolt of adrenaline.” It seems appropriate, then, that while mini-series as they were once known have largely gone away, their spirit has been resurrected thanks to a programming form pioneered by Murphy with the 2011 launch of FX’s American Horror Story: the season-long anthology series. Rather than serving up story lines that continue for years, Ahs and a flood of similar projects (True Detective, Fargo,
See full article at Vulture »

A Rare Conversation With Pulitzer Prize.Winning Writer Herman Wouk

  • Vulture
Herman Wouk has never been one for half-measures. His two-volume World War II saga, The Winds of War and War and Remembrance, ran to nearly 2,000 pages and was adapted into a corresponding pair of TV miniseries. His third novel, The Caine Mutiny, won a Pulitzer, spawned a Broadway play, and gave Humphrey Bogart a defining role of his career. Wouk’s meaty, breezy fiction (on the Navy, the Holocaust, Israel, Nixon, a starry-eyed Jewish girl who called herself Marjorie Morningstar) earned him millions of readers but precious few glowing reviews. Still, even as he aged out of both the cultural center and the typical human lifespan, the strict Orthodox Jew kept on writing. Last week, at the age of 100, he finally published a memoir — of sorts. Sailor and Fiddler skims his life story in two parts: “Sailor,” devoted to work and show business, and “Fiddler,” on Israel and
See full article at Vulture »

‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ ‘The Walking Dead,’ ‘Interstellar’ Shine at Saturn Awards

‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ ‘The Walking Dead,’ ‘Interstellar’ Shine at Saturn Awards
Interstellar” drew the most wins at the 41st annual Saturn Awards, taking six awards including top science fiction film. But “Guardians of the Galaxy” also had a big night, picking up awards for top comicbook film, best director and best actor for Chris Pratt.

Jonathan Nolan accepted the screenwriting honor for “Interstellar.” He quipped: ” ‘Interstellar’ is the story of a man who goes on an arduous journey, comes back 100 years later to find that nobody remembers him or gives a f–k about what he was doing. It’s a pretty good metaphor for writing a studio film.”

“Guardians” director James Gunn accepted for Pratt, then was recalled to the podium twice more in quick succession to accept his own kudos and the top honor for the film. Gunn eschewed the “cocktail attire” dress code for a black sweatshirt emblazoned with a kitten. Gunn read a message from Pratt: “James Gunn is the future.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ ‘The Walking Dead,’ ‘Interstellar’ Shine at Saturn Awards

‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ ‘The Walking Dead,’ ‘Interstellar’ Shine at Saturn Awards
Interstellar” drew the most wins at the 41st annual Saturn Awards, taking six awards including top science fiction film. But “Guardians of the Galaxy” also had a big night, picking up awards for top comicbook film, best director and best actor for Chris Pratt.

Jonathan Nolan accepted the screenwriting honor for “Interstellar.” He quipped: ” ‘Interstellar’ is the story of a man who goes on an arduous journey, comes back 100 years later to find that nobody remembers him or gives a f–k about what he was doing. It’s a pretty good metaphor for writing a studio film.”

“Guardians” director James Gunn accepted for Pratt, then was recalled to the podium twice more in quick succession to accept his own kudos and the top honor for the film. Gunn eschewed the “cocktail attire” dress code for a black sweatshirt emblazoned with a kitten. Gunn read a message from Pratt: “James Gunn is the future.
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Brandon Stoddard: Remembering An Epic TV Legacy

Brandon Stoddard: Remembering An Epic TV Legacy
Brandon Stoddard is dead. And you probably have to be a certain age – at least, old enough to remember when it really was possible to have 40% of the U.S. simultaneously watch something other than the Super Bowl – to appreciate what a loss that represents.

As an executive at ABC, Stoddard presided over televised events whose resonance and influence speak to a different time. The term “epic” is overused, but the productions with which Stoddard was associated didn’t just merit the term; they practically defined it.

Roots” famously emptied restaurants across America. “The Day After” soberly presented the threat of nuclear annihilation – and aired despite pressure from the White House to quash it.

In this age where “limited series” have become all the rage, Stoddard championed events like “The Thorn Birds,” “The Winds of War,” “Rich Man, Poor Man” and “Masada,” which established the template and set the standard for the form.
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Brandon Stoddard, Former ABC Entertainment President, Dead at 77

  • The Wrap
Brandon Stoddard, the former president of ABC Entertainment, who oversaw the groundbreaking mini-series “Roots,” died at his home in Bel-Air Monday following a long battle with cancer, a close friend of Stoddard’s told TheWrap. He was 77 years old.

Stoddard was inducted into the Television Academy’s Hall of Fame earlier this year.

Known as the “father of the miniseries,” Stoddard oversaw the production of “Roots,” “The Winds of War,” “The Thorn Birds,” “Rich Man, Poor Man,” “Masada,” “East of Eden” and “North and South.”

See photos: Hollywood’s Notable Deaths of 2014

In 1970, Stoddard joined ABC as director of daytime programs.
See full article at The Wrap »

Brandon Stoddard, ABC Exec Who Shepherded ‘Roots,’ Dies at 77

Brandon Stoddard, ABC Exec Who Shepherded ‘Roots,’ Dies at 77
Brandon Stoddard, the longtime ABC exec who shepherded such landmark longform productions as “Roots” and “The Winds of War,” died Monday after a battle with cancer. He was 77.

Stoddard had a 25-year career at ABC, rising to entertainment president from 1985-89. He spent another six years as head of ABC Prods. before stepping down in 1995.

During his long run, Stoddard was an instrumental player in steering ABC’s success with large-scale miniseries productions. None was a bigger gamble than “Roots,” a gritty historical look at the journey of Africans into the slave trade in America that aired over eight consecutive nights in January 1977. The production and the impact it had as a cultural event remains a milestone for the medium.

Stoddard was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in March. After leaving ABC, Stoddard spent 10 years teaching graduate students at USC’s School for Cinema and Television.

Stoddard
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Brandon Stoddard, Former ABC Entertainment President, Dies at 77

Brandon Stoddard, the former president of ABC Entertainment, who oversaw such landmark miniseries as Roots and The Winds of War, died at his home in Bel-Air on Monday following a long battle with cancer. He was 77. A television executive who consistently broke new ground for the medium, Stoddard was inducted into the Television Academy’s Hall of Fame in March. Speaking of the challenge he faced when he took over the network, he once told the Los Angeles Times, "I was disappointed with what ABC had on the air. I was intrigued with taking a network and moving it into another

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See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Desperate Housewives Emmy-Nominated Actress Lost Her Fortune Following Stock-Market Crash

Polly Bergen: 'Desperate Housewives' Emmy nominee; winner for 'The Helen Morgan Story' (photo: Felicity Huffman, Doug Savant, and Polly Bergen in 'Desperate Housewives') (See previous article: "Polly Bergen: Actress on Richard Nixon 'Enemies List'.") Polly Bergen began her lengthy — and to some extent prestigious — television career in 1950, making sporadic appearances in anthology series. She won an Emmy for Best Actress in a Single Performance – Lead or Supporting — beating Julie Andrews, Helen Hayes, Teresa Wright, and Piper Laurie — for playing troubled torch singer Helen Morgan (Show Boat) in the 1957 Playhouse 90 episode "The Helen Morgan Story," featuring veteran Sylvia Sidney as Morgan's mother. Curiously, Bergen's retelling of Helen Morgan's story was broadcast the same year that Ann Blyth starred in Michael Curtiz's Morgan biopic. Also titled The Helen Morgan Story, the film focused on the relationship between the singer and a
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Sopranos Actress Bergen, the Movies' '1st Female President' of the United States, Dead at 84

Sopranos Actress Bergen, the Movies' '1st Female President' of the United States, Dead at 84
Polly Bergen dead at 84: ‘First woman president of the U.S.A.,’ former mistress of Tony Soprano’s father Emmy Award-winning actress Polly Bergen — whose roles ranged from the first U.S.A. woman president in Kisses for My President to the former mistress of both Tony Soprano’s father and John F. Kennedy in the television hit series The Sopranos — died from "natural causes" on September 20, 2014, at her home in Southbury, Connecticut. The 84-year-old Bergen, a heavy smoker for five decades, had been suffering from emphysema and other ailments since the 1990s. "Most people think I was born in a rich Long Island family," she told The Washington Post in 1988, but Polly Bergen was actually born Nellie Paulina Burgin on July 14, 1930, to an impoverished family in Knoxville, Tennessee. Her father was an illiterate construction worker while her mother got only as far as the third grade. The family
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Polly Bergen, ‘Cape Fear’ Actress, Dies at 84

Polly Bergen, ‘Cape Fear’ Actress, Dies at 84
Actress and singer Polly Bergen, who’s best known for her role in the original “Cape Fear” opposite Gregory Peck, died at her home in Connecticut on Saturday. She was 84.

Bergen had battled emphysema in the late 1990s.

“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of legendary actress and long-time friend and client, Polly Bergen,” her publicist Judy Katz said in a statement. “She died peacefully at her home in Southbury, Conn. this morning at 11:10 a.m., surrounded by her family, long-time personal manager, Jan McCormack and close friends.”

Aside from a thriving acting career on film, TV and Broadway, she was also a prolific songstress, self-help author and businesswoman, having launched a successful cosmetics line that earned her millions.

Bergen won an Emmy in 1958 for her role as Helen Morgan on the 1950s anthology series “Playhouse 90.” She was a regular in TV movies and miniseries in the 1980s,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Polly Bergen, ‘Cape Fear’ Actress, Dies at 84

Polly Bergen, ‘Cape Fear’ Actress, Dies at 84
Actress and singer Polly Bergen, who’s best known for her role in the original “Cape Fear” opposite Gregory Peck, died at her home in Connecticut on Saturday. She was 84.

Bergen had battled emphysema in the late 1990s.

“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of legendary actress and long-time friend and client, Polly Bergen,” her publicist Judy Katz said in a statement. “She died peacefully at her home in Southbury, Conn. this morning at 11:10 a.m., surrounded by her family, long-time personal manager, Jan McCormack and close friends.”

Aside from a thriving acting career on film, TV and Broadway, she was also a prolific songstress, self-help author and businesswoman, having launched a successful cosmetics line that earned her millions.

Bergen won an Emmy in 1958 for her role as Helen Morgan on the 1950s anthology series “Playhouse 90.” She was a regular in TV movies and miniseries in the 1980s,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Cape Fear, Sopranos Actress Polly Bergen Has Died at 84

  • PEOPLE.com
Cape Fear, Sopranos Actress Polly Bergen Has Died at 84
Emmy-winning actress and singer Polly Bergen, who in a long career played the terrorized wife in the original Cape Fear and the first woman president in Kisses for My President, died Saturday, according to her publicist. She was 84. Bergen died at her home in Southbury, Connecticut, from natural causes, said publicist Judy Katz, surrounded by family and close friends. A brunette beauty with a warm, sultry singing voice, Bergen was a household name from her 20s onward. She made albums and played leading roles in films, stage musicals and TV dramas. She also hosted her own variety series, was a popular game show panelist,
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Cape Fear Actress Polly Bergen Has Died at 84

  • PEOPLE.com
Cape Fear Actress Polly Bergen Has Died at 84
Emmy-winning actress and singer Polly Bergen, who in a long career played the terrorized wife in the original Cape Fear and the first woman president in Kisses for My President, died Saturday, according to her publicist. She was 84. Bergen died at her home in Southbury, Connecticut, from natural causes, said publicist Judy Katz, surrounded by family and close friends. A brunette beauty with a warm, sultry singing voice, Bergen was a household name from her 20s onward. She made albums and played leading roles in films, stage musicals and TV dramas. She also hosted her own variety series, was a popular game show panelist,
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Someone Has a Bone to Pick With Dan Curtis' Dracula

Sometimes in this business we end up writing our own synopses for films. The good folks over at VideoETA have done so for Dan ("Dark Shadows") Curtis and Dan Curtis' Dracula, and it's pretty... well... see for yourself!

"This version of the Transylvanian count talks more and is ugly to boot; Van Helsing gets him."

We hereby nominate VideoETA to write all synopses from here on out.

Official Synopsis

Academy Award winner Jack Palance stars in this terrifying adaptation of Bram Stoker's classic vampire novel Dracula, written for the screen by sci-fi/horror master Richard Matheson ("The Twilight Zone," I Am Legend, Duel) and produced by the legendary Dan Curtis ("Dark Shadows," Trilogy of Terror, The Winds of War).

Palance (City Slickers, Batman, Shane, Contempt) is Count Dracula, whose centuries-old existence is threatened after he attacks the lovely Lucy Westenra (Fiona Lewis; Dr. Phibes Rises Again), and her fiance (Simon Ward; "The Tudors,
See full article at Dread Central »

Dan Curtis' Dracula Puts the Bite on Blu-ray

There have been many great actors to portray Count Dracula over the passing decades, and in case you forgot Jack Palance donned the fangs and cape for Dan ("Dark Shadows") Curtis in Dan Curtis' Dracula, it's heading to Blu-ray this month.

From the Press Release

Academy Award winner Jack Palance stars in this terrifying adaptation of Bram Stoker's classic vampire novel Dracula, written for the screen by sci-fi/horror master Richard Matheson ("The Twilight Zone," I Am Legend, Duel) and produced by the legendary Dan Curtis ("Dark Shadows," Trilogy of Terror, The Winds of War).

Palance (City Slickers, Batman, Shane, Contempt) is Count Dracula, whose centuries-old existence is threatened after he attacks the lovely Lucy Westenra (Fiona Lewis; Dr. Phibes Rises Again), and her fiance (Simon Ward; "The Tudors," "Young Winston") calls in famed vampire hunter Dr. Van Helsing (Nigel Davenport; A Man for All Seasons, Mary, Queen of Scots) to investigate.
See full article at Dread Central »

Dan Curtis’ Dracula is Coming to Blu-ray

  • DailyDead
Mpi Home Video has announced that they’ve given Dan CurtisDracula a high definition upgrade and will be bringing the 1974 horror movie to Blu-ray on May 27th:

“Academy Award winner Jack Palance stars in this terrifying adaptation of Bram Stoker’s classic vampire novel Dracula, written for the screen by sci-fi/horror master Richard Matheson (The Twilight Zone, I Am Legend, Duel) and produced by the legendary Dan Curtis (Dark Shadows, Trilogy of Terror, The Winds of War). Palance (City Slickers, Batman, Shane, Contempt) is Count Dracula, whose centuries-old existence is threatened after he attacks the lovely Lucy Westenra (Fiona Lewis, Dr. Phibes Rises Again), and her fiance (Simon Ward, The Tudors, Young Winston) calls in famed vampire hunter Dr. Van Helsing (Nigel Davenport, A Man for All Seasons; Mary, Queen of Scots) to investigate.

Originally shown on CBS-tv in 1974, Dan CurtisDracula has long been considered among the
See full article at DailyDead »

Bill Maher Issues Defense of Jay Leno at Hall of Fame Induction

Bill Maher Issues Defense of Jay Leno at Hall of Fame Induction
Amid a night filled with the expected tributes, Bill Maher closed by issuing a full-throated defense of Jay Leno — citing his victimization by the media — as the Television Academy inducted six new Hall of Fame members in Beverly Hills on Tuesday night.

Introducing Leno, Maher compared the former “The Tonight Show” host to Israel, saying in regard to the way he’s been covered through the years, “He’s not perfect, but he’s held to a standard that no one else in the world is expected to live up to other than him.”

The host of HBO’s “Real Time” (who referenced a 35-year friendship with Leno, and appeared in a taped piece on his final “Tonight Show”) dismissed the notion that Leno had “stolen” Conan O’Brien’s dream by returning to again assume NBC’s latenight mantle and chided the media for writing the story in that fashion at the time.
See full article at Variety - TV News »
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