TOP 5: THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1, PITCH PERFECT 2, Chris Pratt in COWBOY NINJA VIKING, THE STAND Will Be Four Movies, FANTASTIC MR. FOXCATCHER Trailer

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Available now on VOD is writers/directors Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer‘s horror film Starry Eyes. Starring Alex Essoe as an aspiring actress who is desperate to land a role she’s convinced will jump start her career, the pic puts a devilish twist on a familiar tale of ambition, sacrifice, and obsession. Humorous at times (the very concept of a Hooters-esque restaurant called “Big Taters” comes to mind) and wholly bizarre/frightening at others, Starry Eyes owes a great deal of its effectiveness to Essoe’s fantastic turn as the determined Sarah Walker and Jonathan Snipes‘ (Room 237) tantalizing score. The way things escalate in the final act will make it a hard sell to non-horror fans, but for those who hold the genre near and dear I predict it will go down as one of the most beloved entries of 2014 due to its undeniable style, memorable performance, and pertinent themes.

My creepy as hell recommendation aside, this week’s Top 5 features interviews for and Matt’s review of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, the first trailer for Pitch Perfect 2, Chris Pratt landing the lead role in Universal’s Cowboy Ninja Viking adaptation, news regarding Josh Boone‘s The Stand adaptation, and a disturbingly well made FoxcatcherFantastic Mr. Fox mash-up trailer. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

Tina Fey’s NBC Comedy UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT Moves to Netflix with Two-Season Commitment; Debuts in March 2015

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In addition to developing its own incredibly successful original series like House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black, Netflix has also made a habit of either reviving long-dead shows (Arrested Development) or acquiring final seasons of soon-to-be-canceled/recently canceled series (Longmire, The Killing).  Now the network is adding a different kind of resurrection to its repertoire, as it has rescued a pilot from a major network.  NBC has been developing the comedy series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt for some time, and it’s been of interest because it was the first show that 30 Rock creator Tina Fey and co-showrunner Robert Carlock developed after the end of that excellent series.  A pilot was shot and it was ordered straight-to-series, but NBC had yet to put it on either its fall or midseason schedule for this year, leading many (including myself) to wonder what had happened.

Well now it turns out that NBC has found a way to sort of pass on the series while also not killing it completely, as Netflix has made a two-season commitment to acquire the show.  More after the jump.

CONSTANTINE Recap: “Danse Vaudou”

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Tonight’s spooky episode of NBC’s Constantine was a straight-up ghost story wrapped in a voodoo presentation.  Although “Danse Vaudou” didn’t do a whole lot to advance the season’s storyline (until the last few seconds, at least), it did have plenty of scares and style to spare.  It had the staples of urban legends – a deceased hitchhiker, a femme fatale, a love lost too soon – elevated by not only the tales of the loved ones they left behind, but by the clashing magical styles of Constantine and Papa Midnite.  While the hour didn’t have quite the heart-tugging moments of last week’s effort, it was still an enjoyable installment in what has become my surprise show of the season.

Hit the jump for our Constantine recap.

Mark Gatiss Talks SHERLOCK Season 4 and the Return of Moriarty

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It’s almost cruel to report on Sherlock season 4 and the upcoming special when they’re so far away.  As we previously reported, a Sherlock “Christmas Special” is due out in December 2015, and it will be followed by three new episodes.  Filming on the special is set to begin in January with filming on season four happening later in the year, and the show’s co-creator Mark Gatiss told Britain’s Radio Times that “you can always expect tragedy as well as adventure,” although I’d say each season is fairly short on tragedy until the finale.

But fans of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novels may already sense where the tragedy in season four might come in.  Hit the jump for more, but be warned that if you’re unfamiliar with the books, and/or if you don’t want to know about the return of Moriarty (Andrew Scott), there are spoilers ahead.

FX and FXX Announce January Premiere Dates for ARCHER, IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY, JUSTIFIED, THE AMERICANS, and New Series MAN SEEKING WOMAN

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FX and FXX have announced a slew of January premiere dates for both returning and new series.  Briefly:

  • Archer Season 6 begins on Thursday, January 8th at 10pm ET/PT on FX.
  • The 10th season of  It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia kicks off on Wednesday, January 14th at 10pm on FXX, followed by the comedy series premiere Man Seeking Woman at 10:30pm, starring Jay Baruchel.
  • Justified returns for its sixth and final season on Tuesday, January 20th at 10pm on FX.
  • The third season of the excellent drama series The Americans begins on Wednesday, January 28th on FX.
  • The final three episodes of American Horror Story: Freak Show will also air in January on FX, culminating in the season finale on January 21st.

More on each series after the jump.

First PENNY DREADFUL Season 2 Image Featuring Eva Green and Josh Hartnett; Vanessa and Ethan to Form a “Deeper Bond” This Season

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We’ve still got a while to go until Penny Dreadful returns, but Showtime just unveiled the very first image as well as a few additional details regarding what Vanessa (Eva Green), Ethan (Josh Hartnett) and the rest of the gang are up to in the new season.  Despite Vanessa’s little fling with Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney), it’s always seemed likely that she and Ethan would eventually get together and the new image and plot information do suggest that it could happen.  There’s no guarantee that this “deeper bond” means romance, but it does seem like a safe bet.

Hit the jump to check out the first Penny Dreadful season 2 image and to catch the new story details as well.

Thursday TV Ratings: HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER Winter Finale Rises; BIG BANG THEORY Slips

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TV ratings for Thursday, November 20th are in.  Here’s a brief rundown:

  • ABC’s winter finale of the buzzworthy How to Get Away with Murder rose two tenths to a 3.1 rating in the 18-49 demo and scored 9.81 million viewers.  Elsewhere in Shondaland, Grey’s Anatomy matched last week’s 2.4 rating and scored 8.28 million viewers, while Scandal (read Allison’s recap here) dipped a tenth to a 3.1 rating and garnered 10.02 million viewers.
  • Over on CBS, The Big Bang Theory dropped half a ratings point to a 4.0 and raked in 14.65 million viewers, easily still besting everything else on TV.  Mom ticked up a tenth to a 2.7 rating and garnered 10.64 million viewers, Two and a Half Men rose two tenths to a 2.3 rating and scored8.97 million viewers, and Elementary matched last week’s series low 1.0 rating and garnered 6.41 million viewers.
  • Fox’s Bones matched last week’s 1.3 rating and garnered 5.24 million viewers, and Gracepoint (read Allison’s recap here) was also even with its last episode, notching a 0.8 rating and 3.21 million viewers.
  • The CW’s The Vampire Diaries ticked up a tenth to a 0.8 rating and scored 1.67 million viewers, while Reign matched last week’s 0.4 rating and scored 1.15 million viewers.

Warren Ellis’ Comic Series GLOBAL FREQUENCY to Get another Shot at TV with Fox Ordering a Pilot from Producer Jerry Bruckheimer

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Warren Ellis is one of my favorite comic book authors, and his short-lived WildStorm comic series Global Frequency could make for a great TV series.  The title refers to 1,001 people working for an independent, covert organization.  Each of these members has a highly specialized skill, a special phone, and in a time of crisis, the organization’s leader Miranda Zero and dispatcher Aleph will call and send this person on a mission.  You have two interesting female characters as the regulars and from there you can cast guest stars to essentially be a weekly lead.  That’s not to say an adaptation is an easy slam dunk.  Producer Mark Burnett (Survivor) prepped a pilot in 2005 with John Rogers (Leverage) spearheading creative development, and it leaked online.  Warner Bros. was unhappy with the leak and canceled the project as a result.

Now Global Frequency is getting another shot at television with Fox ordering a pilot from producer Jerry Bruckheimer.  Hit the jump for more.

SCANDAL Recap: “Where the Sun Don’t Shine”

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Last week on Twitter, Kerry Washington promised that Scandal‘s holiday-break finale would be “bananas.”  “Where the Sun Don’t Shine,” though, was also a kind of recap of the entire season so far, boiled down into one hour.  There were some twists and turns and some dancing, and a good set up for the next half of this season, but was it completely bananas?  Hit the jump for why “I’m marrying a whore, but at least I know what I’m paying for.”

GRACEPOINT Recap: “Episode Eight”

by     Posted 8 days ago

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Hmmm.  In my enthusiasm over “Episode Seven’s” big departure from Broadchurch, I might have overestimated Gracepoint‘s decision to really strike out on its own.  “Episode Eight” was more or less a kind of reset, and the kind that made “Episode Seven” look largely like wheel-spinning.  Nothing much was revealed in this new episode, either, which seems to suggest that the two-episode expansion from the original series may not ultimately yield any different results.  Hit the jump for why I’m running hot and cold about this series.

Not Dead Yet: BOND 24 and TWIN PEAKS Season 3 Will Be Shot on Film

by     Posted 8 days ago

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The number of wide releases this year that were shot on film amounts to but a handful, and despite heavy advocacy from filmmakers like Christopher Nolan and J.J. Abrams, the format has become an outlier in contrast to the near-universal use of digital.  Digital is not inherently a bad format, and some filmmakers like David Fincher are able to take full advantage of the opportunities it provides, but the fear is that the choice over whether a director can shoot on film or digital may be disappearing.  That could very well be the case in the near future, but today some relief arrived in the form of news that two highly anticipated upcoming projects will be shooting on film, keeping the format alive for a bit longer: Bond 24 and the new season of Twin Peaks.  More after the jump.

FOLLOWING FREAK SHOW Video Podcast: Episode 7 – “Test of Strength”

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Welcome to episode 7 of Following Freak Show, a show that’s all about discussing the crazy things that go down on American Horror Story: Freak Show.  In “Test of Strength” Stanley (Denis O’Hare) blackmails Dell (Michael Chiklis) into killing a freak for him so that he can ship one off to the Morbidity Museum.  Meanwhile, Bette and Dot (Sarah Paulson) are back and they’re hell-bent on getting the upper hand at Elsa’s Cabinet of Curiosities.

You can catch new episodes of Following Freak Show right here on Collider each week the day after a new episode of American Horror Story airs.  And if you’d like to follow the panelists in between new releases, here’s everybody’s Twitter handles: @PNemiroff, @AlexisSaarela, @djSheSay and @ActuallySasha.  Hit the jump to check out this week’s Following Freak Show video podcast.

Wednesday TV Ratings: ARROW Holds Steady While MODERN FAMILY Surges

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TV ratings for Wednesday, November 19th are in.  Here’s a brief rundown:

  • The CW’s Arrow (read Dave’s recap here) matched last week’s 0.9 rating in the 18-49 demo and scored 2.63 million viewers, while The 100 rose a tenth to a 0.6 rating and garnered 1.66 million viewers.
  • ABC’s Modern Family was both the highest-rated and most-watched program of the night with a 3.7 rating and 10.9 million viewers, which is up half a ratings point from last week’s 3.2 rating.  The Middle, meanwhile, rose three tenths to a 2.2 rating and 8.32 million viewers, The Goldbergs also rose three tenths to a 2.4 rating and scored 7.7 million viewers, black-ish ticked up a tenth to a 2.6 rating and 7.95 million viewers, and Nashville was up a tenth to a 1.5 rating and scored 5.51 million viewers.
  • CBS’ Criminal Minds matched last week’s 2.3 rating and scored 10.61 million viewers, while Stalker was up three tenths to a 1.7 rating and garnered 7.98 million viewres.
  • NBC’s The Mysteries of Laura was up a tenth to a 1.4 rating and scored 8.57 million viewers, Law & Order: SVU dropped six tenths to a 1.8 rating and garnered 7.86 million viewers, and Chicago PD was down six tenths to a 1.6 rating and scored 7.22 million viewers.
  • Fox’s Red Band Society was even with last week’s 0.9 rating and scored 2.95 million viewers.

AMC Sets BETTER CALL SAUL Premiere Date for February 8th and Releases New Teaser; Will Air on Monday Nights

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Still reeling from the conclusion of Breaking Bad?  Not to worry, a Better Call Saul premiere date has officially been set for the upcoming spinoff series.  AMC has announced that the hourlong prequel series focusing on morally ambiguous lawyer Saul Goodman (played wonderfully by Bob Odenkirk) will debut on Sunday, February 8th at 10pm, which is familiar territory to BB fans.  However, the second episode of Better Call Saul will air the following night, February 9th at 10pm, and the series itself will call Mondays at 10pm home for the remainder of its 10-episode first season.  More on the show after the jump, including a new teaser trailer.

James Franco, Martin Freeman, and Amy Adams Set as SNL Hosts for December

by     Posted 8 days ago

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NBC has announced the next three hosts of Saturday Night Live for the month of December, and they’re mighty promising.  James Franco will kick things off on December 6th with his third appearance as host, accompanied by musical guest Nicki Minaj.  Franco is well-versed in SNL lore having directed the incredibly fascinating documentary Saturday Night, which provided a first-ever behind-the-scenes look at the weeklong process of making an episode.  The actor will of course be promoting his upcoming comedy The Interview in which he stars opposite Seth Rogen, so a Rogen cameo on the episode seems likely.  More after the jump.

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