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Friday's TV Highlights: 'David Bowie: Five Years' on Showtime

Customized TV Listings are available here:

Click here to download TV listings for the week of July 27 - Aug. 2, 2014 in PDF format

This week's TV Movies



Masters of Illusion This new series gives magic a new television showcase. Host Dean Cain presents escape artists, mentalists and others who make the impossible seem possible —often with a comedic touch. Featured magicians include Jan Rouven, Michael Finney, Jared

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Former 'Game of Thrones' actress makes 'Princess for Hire' video

Life is hard out there for royalty. It's even harder for an actor or actress playing royalty. It's even harder still for an actor or actress playing royalty on "Game of Thrones."

Actress Aimee Richardson played the young princess Myrcella Baratheon in the first two seasons of HBO's massive fantasy drama. Her character was last seen being sent off to the southern kingdom of Dorne. 

But as the series rolls into its fifth season, Dorne will play a bigger role and her character will return. Sadly, Richardson will not be returning with her character. Recasting has become a regular occurence on the show; the character known as the Mountain has been played by three different actors since the series began. And Richardson has been replaced by Nell Tiger Free.

But bad news aside, it appears Richardson is making the best of her situation, as noted by a Vine video she posted on Tuesday. In it, she's sitting on the street wearing a crown and holding a sign telling passersby that she's a "Princess...

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Tony Hale talks 'Veep,' Emmys and his love for a good cruise buffet

Emmy winner Tony Hale stopped by The Times' studio recently and was happy to spill the beans on "Veep's" rather shocking season-three plot twist (the blood!) as well as what it's like to shoot a Lady Antebellum music video with Kate Upton. (And, yes, he really did need to get some more mileage out of that neck tattoo.)

Hale, nominated again for comedy supporting actor for his turn as the ever-eager-to-please body man Gary, also shared his love for cruise line vacations (buffets!) and the children's book he recently co-wrote, "Archibald's Next Big Thing," which tells the story of a chicken who goes on crazy adventures, always looking to his next big thing but missing the beauty before him.

"As an actor, I always get asked -- and I ask people -- what's happening next, but I think I get so focused on the next adventure, I miss the adventure I'm on," Hale says. "So I thought, 'That's something I'd like to talk about with my daughter. As much as we're excited about the next thing, where are...

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'Sharknado 2' nabs 3.9 million viewers, millions more than original

"Sharknado 2" took a bite out of Wednesday night with 3.9 million viewers on SyFy.

The sequel to the fin-tastic cheesy classic pulled in the network's best numbers for an original telepic.

It was quite the shark jump from the original movie's performance last summer, which garnered 1.4 million viewers in its first airing.

Despite the soft outing of the original, the social media heft had quite the bite. Helping to boost viewership for the encore airings, helping the low-budget TV film rack up 9.5 million viewers over six airings.

The second installment, whose actual title is "Sharknado 2: the Second One," again featured Ian Ziering and Tara Reid--along with a heap of cameos--and sets its sights in New York City, where yet another freakish storm sends thousands of munching sharks airborne. 

And, unsurprisingly, it was a hit on Twitter again. According to Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings, the telepic generated 67.2 million Twitter TV impressions.


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New 'Doctor Who' will get special theatrical screenings

Summer is traditionally movie blockbuster time, but to celebrate the beginning of Peter Capaldi's run as the star of "Doctor Who," BBC America is breaking out of the normal TV experience and onto the movies' turf.

The feature-length premiere episode of the new season, "Deep Breath" will debut on BBC America on Aug. 23. But it will also get a special theatrical screening at midnight that same night in 12 cities. The actual list of cities will be announced Aug. 5.

In case a midnight screening is too late for his human fans (because what's a late night to a master of time and space?), there will be two follow-up screenings on Monday, Aug. 25 at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. The follow-up screenings will take place in 550 theaters around the country. The list of Aug. 25 screenings can be found here.

That's not to say BBC America is planning to downplay the Doctor's TV debut. The episode will be preceded by a live pre-show by ubiquitous superfan Chris Hardwick and a live post-show, "Doctor Who:...

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TV Picks: The Honorable Woman, The Killing, Masters of Sex

 "The Honorable Woman" Exploring the seemingly endless conflict between Israel and Palestine at a time when the bloodshed there is again in the news, Hugo Blick's series both embraces and transcends its subject matter.

The child of a Holocaust survivor turned pro-Israeli arms manufacturer, Nessa Stein (Maggie Gyllenhaal) is attempting to steer her father's company in a different, more peace-seeking direction. Needless to say this causes tension on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides of the issue, as well as revealing all manner of MI5/CIA political intrigue. And Nessa, though honorable to the point of obsessive, is not without her secrets.

In addition to being a politically provocative thriller, and a showcase for the brilliant Gyllenhaal, "The Honorable Woman" is a splendid example of the brave new world of television. All of the marvels of the genre’s Age of Exploration are at work here: The film star and flawless international cast, the eight-episode, international co-production...

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Jimmy Kimmel suggests acting Calif. governor should 'invade Oregon'

What exactly is going on in the halls of power in California? On Wednesday's "Jimmy Kimmel Live," the host conducted a Skype interview with acting California Gov. Toni Atkins.

Gov. Jerry Brown, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and State Senate President Darrell Steinberg were all out of the state Wednesday on business, leaving Atkins, speaker of the state Assembly, in charge for a chunk of the day.

Atkins' brief tenure as acting governor -- 10 hours -- was notable because it's rare for the Assembly speaker to be called on to fill the top spot and because Atkins is the first openly gay person to serve as acting governor.

But in the course of joking around, Kimmel may have touched on an interstate war brewing on the horizon.

"It's been an uneventful day," Atkins said to Kimmel. "And I hope that nothing in this interview breaks that streak."

Kimmel then joked, "Before you go, we should do something fun. We should invade Oregon or something like that."

Instead of brushing it off as crazy talk,...

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'Sharknado 2': And the Twitterverse goes wild ... again

Syfy's "Sharknado 2: The Second One," the sequel to last year's disaster movie about flying sharks, was Twitter's No. 1 worldwide trending hashtag before it even started Wednesday night.

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Robert Halmi Sr. dies; produced 'Neverland,' 'Dinotopia,' 200 TV projects

Prolific TV producer Robert Halmi Sr., has died. 

Halmi died Wednesday in his New York City home at 90, said spokesman Russ Patrick. 

The Hungarian-born Halmi found success as a magazine photographer after arriving in America in 1951, shooting pictures for such publications as Life and Sports Illustrated. 

But in a mid-career switch in the mid-1960s, he turned to moving pictures. During the next half-century he produced more than 200 programs and miniseries for television. 

His specialty was family-friendly entertainment, with TV projects including “The Josephine Baker Story,” the Bette Midler-starring “Gypsy,” “Merlin,” “Dinotopia” and “The Lion in Winter” with Glenn Close. 

Other projects included TV versions of “The Odyssey,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Gulliver's Travels” starring Ted Danson, and “In Cold Blood” with Anthony Edwards and Eric Roberts. 

Often teaming on his films with his son, Robert Halmi Jr., he claimed every project was a passion project, including the 1994 miniseries...

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'Sharknado 2': So, who didn't have a cameo? [Spoilers]

"Sharknado 2: The Second One" premiered on the Syfy channel Wednesday night, and the cameos were almost as ubiquitous as the sharks.

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Thursday's TV Highlights: "Our America With Lisa Ling" on OWN

Customized TV Listings are available here:

Click here to download TV listings for the week of July 27 - Aug. 2, 2014 in PDF format

This week's TV Movies



The Quest This ambitious new competition series evokes a medieval world via a land called Everealm. Twelve contestants are thrust into challenges that wouldn't be inappropriate for someone named Bilbo Baggins. 8 p.m. ABC

Welcome to Sweden Bruce (Greg Poehler) may be in Sweden now, but somehow his past clients are still able to find him. Gene Simmons is the latest, playing himself in this new episode. 9 p.m. NBC

Rookie Blue Andy (Missy Peregrym) has to prepare her defense quickly when Duncan's (Matthew Owen Murray) dismissal hearing suddenly is moved up in this new episode of the police drama. 9 p.m. ABC

Project Runway The designers spend an afternoon at the movies, then must create fashionable looks out of items found in a theater or on a film set. 9 p.m. Lifetime

Working the Engels Jenna's (Kacey...

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Join Tony Hale to talk 'Veep' (and serving Kate Upton) on Thursday

Tony Hale will be dropping by The Times' studio at 11 a.m. PDT on Thursday. Of course, we'll be talking about the latest season of "Veep," the HBO comedy that earned Hale a supporting actor Emmy last year and yet another nomination this year.

But we'll also be venturing further afield into other areas of inquiry — namely, how did this job come about? Are the members of Lady Antebellum big fans of "Veep"? Did Hale ever work as a bartender while he was trying to make it as an actor? Would Kate Upton really get the best of him in a drinking game? And that neck tattoo ... it's very becoming, for that sort of thing. Did Hale keep it for a while after the shoot just to mess with people?

And, again, yes, plenty of "Veep," which just finished its third season in spectacular fashion. We won't get into details here, but we will in the chat. So suffice to say, the show continued its superb storytelling as well as its rapid-fire delivery of insults and memorable one-liners. 

"It used to be where...

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