Show Creator Michael Hirst Talks VIKINGS, Compelling Stories, Finding the Hero, Writing Every Episode, and the Outcome of the Episode “Blood Eagle”

by     Posted 6 days ago

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From show creator Michael Hirst, the History series Vikings follows the adventures of Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel), an actual historical figure and the greatest hero of his age, who leads his band of Viking brothers and his family on his rise as King of the Viking tribes.  As well as being a fearless warrior, Ragnar embodies the Norse traditions of devotion to the gods, both on the battlefield and off.

During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, executive producer Michael Hirst, who has also written every episode of the series, talked about what compelled him to tackle Vikings, how he found his story’s hero, how challenging it can be to write every episode and have multiple scripts in various stages of production, why the “Blood Eagle” episode stands out in television history, whether he’d ever considered another outcome for that character, where things will go from there, how far along he is in the writing of Season 3, and that they will be branching out to Paris next season.  Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers

Wednesday TV Ratings: ARROW Ties Series Low; THE 100 Rises

by     Posted 6 days ago

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TV ratings for Wednesday, April 16th are in.  Here’s a brief rundown:

  • The CW’s Arrow fell 13% from last week’s 0.8 rating to a 0.7 rating in the 18-49 demo and scored 2.36 million total viewers.  That rating ties the show’s series low, which it previous hit in early March.  Read Dave’s recap of last night’s episode here.
  • Elsewhere on The CW, new drama series The 100 saw a rise of 20% to a 0.6 rating and 2.02 million viewers, improving on last week’s series low 0.5 rating.
  • Over on ABC, the new comedy series Mixology was even with last week’s 1.2 rating and garnered 3.7 million viewers.

New Trailer for ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK: Season 2; Cast Tries to Sum up New Season in 3 Words

by     Posted 6 days ago

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Netflix has released a new Orange Is the New Black season 2 trailer.  For those unfamiliar with the terrific series, it takes place inside a women’s prison, and although the “main character” is a socialite incarcerated for an old crime, the supporting cast is just as interesting (and in some cases, more so).  If you’ve seen season one, this trailer will get you even more pumped for what’s coming up.  Set aside some binge-watching time.  Additionally, there’s also a brief featurette where the cast tries to sum up their thoughts on the new season in only three words.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer and featurette.  The show stars Taylor Schilling, Jason Biggs, Laura Prepon, Kate Mugrew, Danielle Brooks, Uzo Aduba, Natasha Lyonne, Taryn Manning, Laverne Cox, Michael Harney, Samira Wiley, Yael Stone, and Lorraine ToussaintOrange Is the New Black returns with all 13 episodes on June 6th.

THE AMERICANS Recap: “New Car”

by     Posted One week ago

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The Americans continued to dissect its major theme of loyalty in “New Car.”  An early conversation between Martha and Philip/Clark set it all up: when she objects to continuing to spy on her co-workers, even though those were the circumstances under which they met, he replies, “don’t put me in a position of having to choose between the security of the country and you.”  But both Philip and Elizabeth have been dealing with these issues of loyalty and choice all season, not only in regards to their own family versus their job, but also within their job as well.  In “New Car,” they were confronted with difficult decisions that went against earlier choices, but all of which added to the complexity of the situation, and their emotional responses to it.  Hit the jump for why “it’s nicer, it’s easier; it’s not better.”

ARROW Recap: “The Man Under the Hood”

by     Posted One week ago

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Arrow went under the hood this week for an hour that was more about advancing character relationships than it was about kicking ass.  That’s not to say this episode lacked action; far from it!  It’s just that when a show is as consistently high-flying and explosive as Arrow, the relatively quieter episodes tend to stand out all the more.  Honestly, we needed it this week, as certain characters have recently struggled to get their screen time when they have to share it with the villain of the week.  No more.  Slade/Deathstroke is the man of the hour, and it’s going to take the combined efforts of Oliver & Co. to bring him down.  Hit the jump for this week’s Arrow recap, “The Man Under the Hood.”

ARROW Executive Producer/Writer Andrew Kreisberg Talks the Season’s Final Episodes, Bringing in Characters from THE FLASH, and More

by     Posted One week ago

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With only a few episodes left, The CW series Arrow is pulling out all the stops, with character relationships, action, big reveals and heartache.  There is so much contained in each of the remaining episodes that the finale is sure to keep everyone on the edge of their seats.  In Episode 19, “The Man Under the Hood,” Deathstroke brings the battle to Team Arrow’s secret lair, sending one member to the hospital, and Oliver Queen must choose between his battle with Slade Wilson or his family.

During this recent interview to discuss the remaining episodes this season, executive producer/writer Andrew Kreisberg talked about how Laurel Lance will be taking Slade Wilson’s news about Oliver Queen, why she reacts differently from what’s expected, where Oliver and Laurel are at romantically, how long-running the ramifications of the Queens’ financial problems are, why this was the right episode to bring two of the characters from The Flash into the story, that Felicity plays a major part in the season finale, just how insane the finale fill be, and how the show will be changing and evolving in Season 3.  Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.

Tuesday TV Ratings: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Ticks Up; NEW GIRL Returns to Series Low

by     Posted One week ago

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Tuesday evening’s TV ratings are in.  Here’s a brief look at the highlights:

  • ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. saw a ratings uptick of 5% from last week’s 1.9, scoring a 2.0 rating in the 18-49 demo and bringing in 5.07 million viewers.  Read Evan’s recap here.
  • Over on Fox, New Girl returned from a brief hiatus to a series low 1.1 rating and notched 2.2 million viewers.  The show has lost quite a bit of steam since its debut, but Fox has already ordered a fourth season.
  • On the flipside, NBC’s new series About a Boy saw a rise of 12% from last week’s series low 1.7 rating to a 1.9 rating in the demo and 7.23 million viewers.

Hit the jump to read the rest of the ratings report for Tuesday, April 15th, including Glee, Person of Interest, The Mindy Project, Supernatural, and more.

FX Renews THE AMERICANS for Season Three

by     Posted One week ago

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FX has ordered a 13-episode third season of its excellent drama series The Americans.  While I enjoyed but wasn’t over-the-moon about its first season, the current second season of the period spy drama has turned the show into one of the very best on TV—and in this current Golden Age of Television, that’s saying something.  Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys star as sleeper KGB agents living in America as a married couple with two kids during the Reagan-fueled early 1980s.  While on the surface the show is a thrilling spy series, at its heart The Americans is really a portrait of a marriage as told through the incredibly complicated lives of two individuals, with Russell and Rhys regularly turning in brilliantly nuanced performances.  Suffice it to say, I am very much looking forward to The Americans season 3.

Hit the jump to read the full press release, and click here to catch up on Allison’s recaps.  The Americans currently airs on FX Wednesdays at 10pm, with six episodes remaining in the second season.

Thomas McDonell Talks THE 100, How the Show Enticed Him to Doing TV, the Story’s Unpredictability, Fan Reactions, Romance, and Game-Changing Events

by     Posted One week ago

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On the new CW drama series The 100, a nuclear Armageddon decimated planet Earth and destroyed civilization, and the only survivors were the 400 inhabitants of 12 international space stations that were in orbit, at the time.  Ninety seven years later, the survivors now number 4,000 and resources are running out on their dying Ark.  To protect the survival of the human race, the leaders take ruthless steps to ensure their future, including secretly sending a group of 100 juvenile prisoners to the Earth’s surface to test whether it’s habitable again.  The series stars Paige Turco, Isaiah Washington, Henry Ian Cusick, Eliza Taylor, Thomas McDonell, Bob Morley, Eli Goree, Marie Avgeropoulos, Christopher Larkin and Devon Bostick.

During this exclusive phone interview with Collider, actor Thomas McDonell talked about why this show enticed him to doing TV, his interest in the unpredictability of the story, embracing the fact that any character could go at any time, checking out the fan reaction on Twitter, that there are more big game-changing plot pieces coming up, Finn’s love drama, how his character ends up being extremely close to one of the last people you expect he would, and that things will just keep ramping up.  Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.

FARGO Recap: Series Premiere “The Crocodile’s Dilemma”

by     Posted 8 days ago

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Neither part of the term “original adaptation” fully applies to FX’s new limited series Fargo, even if it’s branded as such.It evokes a sense of the original Ethan and Joel Coen film without using the same characters, yet it’s full of callbacks.  There are currently many series on air that tie in with movies: NBC’s Hannibal (a prequel of sorts to Silence of the Lambs), A&E’s Bates Motel (a prequel to Psycho), and even NBC’s comedy About a Boy (like Fargo, it is “inspired” by the world of the movie).  What they have in common is that each series is at its best when its the farthest away from its source material.  Once it becomes its own interpretation of the world it’s using as a base, it gets stronger.  With Fargo, it may take a few episodes for that to develop, but once it does, there’s great potential.  Hit the jump for more.

Marvel’s AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Recap: “Providence”

by     Posted 8 days ago

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War has changed and so too have the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  Following last week’s episode and the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the agents are left without the resources of which they’ve become accustomed.  The series has begun to turn itself around with traitors, espionage, and revelations coming fast and heavy, throwing some unexpected curveballs our way.  Did I also mention that this episode sees the arrival of Agent Eric Koenig, played by comedian extraordinaire Patton Oswalt?  Can the agents defeat Hydra that have taken over S.H.I.E.L.D. bases across the world?  Will the show continue its hot streak moving forward?  Has Ward turned heel for real?  Hit the jump for our recap.

Tatiana Maslany Talks ORPHAN BLACK, Getting Through Season 2 on Adrenaline, Developing the Different Clones and Their Backstory, and More

by     Posted 8 days ago

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Season 2 of the BBC America dramatic conspiracy thriller Orphan Black sees Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) in a desperate race to find her missing daughter.  The wild pursuit brings her head-to-head with ruthless clone Rachel (Maslany), and Sarah, along with her clone sisters Alison (Maslany) and Cosima (Maslany), struggle to pick up the pieces of their broken lives while dealing with the harsh reality that no one around them can be trusted.

During this interview to promote the return of the show, the ridiculously talented Tatiana Maslany, who expertly pulls off playing every clone, talked about running on adrenaline to get through the season, developing the different clones, doing a backstory for each clone, how she gets into each character, the process for shooting more than one clone in the same scene, how this project has changed her, what it’s like to be in the public eye, mastering all of the different accents, taking everything to the next level for Season 2, how much fun she had guesting on Parks and Recreation, and how she’d love to work with Gena Rowlands.  Check out what she had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers

INSIDE AMY SCHUMER Does a Killer Aaron Sorkin Parody with “The Foodroom”

by     Posted 8 days ago

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Because Aaron Sorkin has a distinct style, he’s an easy target for parody.  However, that doesn’t mean parodying him is easy.  There’s still a cadence, a tone, and a personality to mimic, and nailing down those elements takes a sharp comedic mind.  Enter Amy Schumer, who’s probably about to break out in a big way.  She’s the writer and star of the upcoming Judd Apatow film, Trainwreck, and she currently has a series on Comedy Central entitled Inside Amy Schumer.  On the latest episode, she did a glorious parody of The Newsroom by resetting it in a fast food joint.  The results are hilarious.  It’s also great to see Josh Charles, who starred on Sorkin’s Sports Night, lampooning the kind of role he once played for real.

Hit the jump to check out the sketch.

Monday TV Ratings: THE FOLLOWING Holds Steady at Series Low; TOMORROW PEOPLE Dips

by     Posted 8 days ago

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TV ratings for Monday, April 14th are in.  Here’s a brief rundown:

  • In its first Monday without How I Met Your Mother, CBS didn’t suffer too big a drop.  2 Broke Girls dipped 4% to a 2.2 rating in the 18-49 demo and scored 7.21 million viewers, Friends with Better Lives was down 31% to a 1.8 rating and 5.72 million viewers, Mike & Molly rose 5% to a 2.1 rating and scored 7.43 million viewers, and the season finale of Mom dropped 14% to a 1.9 rating and 6.73 million viewers.
  • Over on Fox, Bones was down 13% to a 1.4 rating and 5.69 million viewers, while The Following was even with last week’s series low 1.4 rating and garnered 4.39 million viewers.
  • The CW’s Star-Crossed matched last week’s 0.3 rating and 790,000 viewers, and The Tomorrow People dipped 20% to a 0.4 rating and 1.05 million viewers.

BATES MOTEL Recap: “Presumed Innocent”

by     Posted 8 days ago

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Bates Motel has reached a point this season where it’s teetering on the precipice.  There are three episodes left now until the end of the season, but “Presumed Innocent” was too early to start the descent into what is sure to be the madness leading up to that finale.  So instead, it had a touch of strange world building, and then spent a lot of time loitering around the jail while Norman and Cody were being questioned.  Ultimately, even its final reveal didn’t reveal much.  For a season that has basically been on fire since its start, “Presumed Innocent” felt like like little more than stalling.  Hit the jump for what we did learn, and what it could mean.

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