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Emmys 2014: TV Academy looking at nomination category issues, CEO says

It was a year of too much TV. And the TV Academy has taken notice.


The year gave rise to 40% more drama submissions and 60% more comedies, all seeking nominations for the 66th annual Primetime Emmys, said Bruce Rosenblum, the chairman and CEO of the Television Academy.


"There is far more terrific programming on TV today than five years ago or 10 years ago," Rosenblum said.

Rosenblum was on hand Sunday for NBC's session at the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Beverly Hills. (NBC will air the Emmys telecast. ) And he was faced by a crowd of reporters wondering whether a changes are coming to the long-running awards show in light of a swell of original programming.

This year's nominations showed some creativity in classification. Some dramas tried to improve their chances by entering as a comedy, while some projects that might traditionally be viewed as miniseries tried to hold their own as a drama. Then there were the cries of snubs, with critically revered shows and/or actors...

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Christopher Walken to play Captain Hook in NBC's 'Peter Pan Live'

Long live the Hook? Iconic actor Christopher Walken has been tapped to play iconic character Captain Hook in NBC's production of "Peter Pan Live."

Bob Greenblatt, NBC's chairman of entertainment, made the announcement Sunday at the network's session during the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Beverly Hills. And he played up Walken's background in musicals and his twinkle-toes reputation as making him the perfect man to take on the popular villain from the James M. Barrie work.

"It might be the first tap-dancing Captain Hook you've ever seen," Greenblatt teased.

Walken, known for his irreverent film work, began his wide-ranging career in musicals on Broadway. And he's combined the two, appearing in a few film musicals including "Hairspray" and "Pennies From Heaven." He also can be seen dancing in Clint Eastwood's "Jersey Boys" adaptation.  

Sunday's news marks the first major casting announcement for the production, which will be executive produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron....

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At NBC executive session, cable-broadcast divide looms large

As the top-rated network in the 18-to-49 demographic for the first time in a decade, an Olympics-buoyed NBC had plenty to brag about Sunday at the Television Critics Assn. summer press tour.

But even with its considerable successes, the network's top executives — NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt, President Jennifer Salke and president of alternative and late-night programming Paul Telegdy — still spent plenty of time contending with specter of cable television and other emerging outlets. 

Asked to give advice to whomever replaces outgoing Fox chairman Kevin Reilly, Greenblatt, who ran Showtime before moving to NBC, emphasized the demands of developing and scheduling “15 to 20 shows a year” versus the more limited slate of a cable network.

“You have to love the medium. If you don’t really want to be in the broadcast TV landscape you shouldn’t be,” he said. “The volume is the killer.”

The broadcast-cable divide was underscored by the timing of the panel, which took place...

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Hulu becomes exclusive streaming home to all seasons of 'South Park'

"South Park" and its raunchy cartoon characters -- Cartman, Stan, Kyle, Kenny, et al -- are heading to Hulu.

The streaming site announced it will be the exclusive streaming home for all seasons of "South Park."

The multi-year licensing agreement between Hulu and South Park Digital Studios was announced Saturday during Hulu's session at the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Beverly Hills.

The deal would make all seasons of "Comedy Central's" long-running cartoon available on the Hulu Plus subscription service. 

But those looking for a freebie are in luck -- for a limited time. The entire "South Park" library will be made available, beginning Saturday, for free on Hulu until the season 18 premiere on Sept. 24. 

Meanwhile,, the show's website, will continue to have all seasons of "South Park" up until the launch of season 18. At that point, both Hulu and will offer a rotating selection of free episodes. In announcing the deal, Hulu said it will...

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Tracy Morgan released from care, files lawsuit against Walmart

Actor Tracy Morgan has been released from a rehabilitation center and will continue his recovery at home, a representative for the comedian said Saturday. 

The news came after Morgan filed a lawsuit against Walmart Stores Inc. over the New Jersey highway crash that left one man dead and several injured last month.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in New Jersey by Morgan and three other survivors of the crash, claims Walmart was negligent when the driver of one of its tractor trailers struck Morgan's limousine. 

James McNair, 63, a comedian better known by his stage name, Jimmy Mack, died in the accident.

The lawsuit alleges that "Walmart knew or should have known" that Kevin Roper, the 35-year-old Georgia man who was driving the tractor trailer, had been awake for more than 24 consecutive hours when the crash occurred.

Roper has been charged with one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto in the wreck. He entered a not guilty plea. 

Roper had not...

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Garry Trudeau discusses how 'Doonesbury' helped him with 'Alpha House'

"Doonesbury," the classic comic strip, has had to take a back seat as its cartoonist, Garry Trudeau, focuses on his Amazon original series, "Alpha House," but that doesn't mean the old hasn't helped inform the new.

Trudeau took part in a panel for his political satire series Saturday during the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Beverly Hills, and the Pulitzer Prize winner spoke of how "Doonesbury," which has been on hiatus since March, helped prime him for his current endeavor.

"I have put in thousands of hours in creating narratives [for Doonesbury] on deadline," he said. "And I've been doing that for decades. It was good preparation for this."

Trudeau's previous TV credits include the "Tanner '88," a political mockumentary mini-series that aired on HBO in the late 1980s.

"Alpha House" chronicles the sometimes madcap lives of four senators -- played by John Goodman, Clark Johnson, Matt Malloy and Mark Consuelos -- who share a house in Washington D.C. It returns for a second...

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'Better Call Saul' delay: Vince Gilligan confesses, 'I am very slow'

It turns out that telling the back story of "Breaking Bad's" smarmy lawyer, Saul Goodman, requires the same type of care and attention that the character puts into his flashy suits and strategically combed hair.

News broke last month that the originally planned fall roll-out of "Better Call Saul," the "Breaking Bad" prequel from Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, would be delayed to 2015. It's the sort of detail that is usually cause for alarm in the film and TV world.

In addressing reporters Friday at the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Beverly Hills, Gilligan put the blame on himself.

"I'm going to take full responsibility on this," said Gilligan, who was joined by Gould onstage. "We could have made deadline, but I am very slow. I am slow as mud as a TV writer."

Part of it, Gilligan and Gould contend, was making sure the AMC hourlong show had the same quality that people came to admire in "Breaking Bad." And that requires time, they said, noting it was a large reason why the...

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Martial arts drama 'Badlands' gets straight-to-series order from AMC

AMC demonstrated its flexibility in its range of programming Friday in announcing a straight-to-series order for the martial arts drama "Badlands."

The six-episode series is to premiere in late 2015 or early 2016.

Loosely based on the classic Chinese tale "Journey to the West," the series centers on a warrior and a young boy who embark on an adventure "across a dangerous land to find enlightenment," according to the network's release.

The series becomes the network's third series to get a straight-to-series order, after "The Walking Dead" and next year's "Breaking Bad" prequel "Better Call Saul."

"Badlands" (working title) was created by writers/show runners Al Gough and Miles Millar ("Shanghai Noon," "Smallville"). The duo will act as executive producers along with Stacy Sher and Michael Shamberg ("Pulp Fiction," "Contagion") and master martial arts filmmakers Daniel Wu ("Tai Chi Zero") and Stephen Fung.

"This creative team has so much expertise in bringing a fresh take to classic...

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TV This Week July 13 - 19: 'Masters of Sex' on Showtime

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Click here to download TV listings for the week of July 13 - 19, 2014 in PDF format

This week's TV Movies


Two national soccer teams (Germany and Argentina) enter, one team leaves victorious at the "2014 FIFA World Cup Final" in Rio de Janeiro. 11:30 a.m. ABC

Tough guy, eh? Liev Schreiber is back as "Ray Donovan" in the L.A.-set drama's second-season premiere. 9 p.m. Showtime

Rampant vampirism baffles CDC officials in filmmaker Guillermo del Toro's new horror drama "The Strain." Corey Stoll and Sean Astin star. 10 p.m. FX

Birds do it, bees do it, and especially "Masters of Sex" do it on the return of this drama about sex-research pioneers Masters and Johnson (Michael Sheen, Lizzy Caplan). 10 p.m. Showtime


Will our hero (Kiefer Sutherland) save the day once again? Probably. But we'll find out for sure on the series finale of "24: Live Another Day." 9 p.m. Fox

New Orleans five years after Hurricane...

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Saturday's TV Highlights and Weekend Talk: 'Gravity' on HBO

Customized TV Listings are available here:

Click here to download TV listings for the week of July 13 - 19, 2014 in PDF format

This week's TV Movies



Bad Teacher The first of two new back-to-back episodes makes a vegan chef ( Luka Yovetich) the latest romantic target of Meredith (Ari Graynor). 8 and 8:30 p.m. CBS

Almost Royal In this new episode seemingly unflappable British aristocrats George and Poppy Carlton visit Detroit. 10 p.m. BBC America


Bus Stop Marilyn Monroe stars in her first film after studying at the Actors Studio, director Joshua Logan's 1956 adaptation of William Inge's Broadway play. Don Murray also stars. 5 p.m. TCM

Gravity Director and co-writer Alfonso Cuaron's Oscar-nominated 2013 blockbuster strands astronauts, played by Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, in space after debris from a satellite strikes their shuttle. 8 p.m. HBO

Presumed Dead in Paradise After her father's death years ago, a rebellious teenager drifted...

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Donald Trump blasts 'dumb,' 'desperate' Rosie O'Donnell return to 'View'

Well, that didn't take long. Donald Trump is already coming after Rosie O'Donnell again.

The irascible real estate tycoon and "Celebrity Apprentice" star lashed out at his old nemesis O'Donnell just a day after the comedian officially rejoined ABC's daytime gab-fest "The View."

"Rosie is crude, rude, obnoxious and dumb — other than that I like her very much!" Trump tweeted early Friday to his 2.6 million followers.

Earlier he commented: "Rosie is back on the View which tells you how desperate they must be. It is the standard short term fix and long term disaster."

O'Donnell appears to be ignoring Trump for now, with her Twitter account merely reposting a Variety story about her return to "The View."

The two have engaged in a long-running feud for years. In 2006, O'Donnell attacked Trump for refusing to fire Miss USA Tara Conner from the pageant he controls after she admitted to substance abuse. O'Donnell derided him as a "snake-oil salesman." Trump responded by calling her "fat" and...

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TCA 2014: LeBron James brings heat to Cleveland, not press tour

Basketball star LeBron James' decision to return to the Cleveland Caveliers after a championship stint with the Miami Heat was the top story in the sports world Friday.

Guess he had something else to do rather than show up for a panel to tout one of his non-basketball projects.

James had been scheduled to appear via satellite at the Television Critics Assn. press tour at the Beverly Hilton to promote Starz's new basketball-themed comedy, "Survivor's Remorse," which lists him as an executive producer.

Not surprisingly, the hoops superstar chose not to bring his talents to Beverly Hills on Friday. His name had been removed from the panel discussion several days ago, and the stars and executive producers of "Survivor's Remorse" carried on without him.

"He was busy," said executive producer Mike O'Malley with a smile. "That was unexpected."

"Survivor's Remorse" is about Cam Calloway (Jesse T. Usher), a basketball phenom in his early 20s who is thrust into the spotlight after signing a...

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