Good news Selina Meyer fans — HBO’s excellent, biting political satire Veep has been renewed for a third season. The show has had steady ratings thanks to a big lead-in from Game of Thrones (last year it was paired in a programming bloc with Girls), and the premium network is showing its support three episodes into the series’ second season by going ahead and electing Selina for another term (maybe the President will call?)
Veep, created by Armando Iannucci (In The Loop), stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the hapless Vice-President, along with Anna Chlumsky, Tony Hale, Reid Scott, Matt Walsh and Sufe Bradshaw as her staff. Veep airs Sunday nights at 10 p.m.
Though Monday evening’s TV ratings are heavily skewed downward due to preemptive coverage of the tragedy in Boston, Sunday evening’s cable ratings have arrived. Here’s a look at how things stacked up:
- The fantastic third episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones netted an all-time high audience of 4.7 million viewers, which is up from the season premiere’s 4.4 million total. A fourth season of the fantasy series has already been ordered, and it’s safe to say Game of Thrones won’t be going away for a very, very long time.
- The season two premiere of the swell HBO comedy series Veep scored 1.2 million viewers in the post-Game of Thrones slot. That’s up 11% from the season one finale and marks the second most-watched episode in the show’s history.
- Finally, Sunday’s Jon Hamm-directed episode of Mad Men dipped from last week’s two-hour season six opener with 2.7 million viewers. That’s down quite a bit from the premiere’s 3.4 million total.
Here’s a brief look at this week’s new Blu-ray releases:
Hit the jump for details on the extras included on the aforementioned Blu-rays.
by Rob Vaux Posted: March 23rd, 2013 at 6:01 am
Julia Louis-Dreyfus won her third Emmy in as many series for Veep and it’s not hard to see why. She’s more than just a funny lady here – though to be sure, you may not see anyone quite as funny on television today. Underneath her hapless vice president’s pratfalls and panic attacks, she conveys a strange and abiding sadness. This figure is smart and capable. She wants to make the world a better place. She possesses the tools to leave the government in a better place than she found it. But by the very nature of the system in which she’s trapped, all her assets come to naught. She can only flail about in a mad effort to protect her image and her standing, a process as hysterical as it is quietly troubling. Hit the jump for my full review.
HBO’s political comedy Veep, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as hapless Vice President Selina Meyer, was one of last year’s best and most overlooked series. From the creators of the masterful British series The Thick Of It, Veep has that show’s same perceptive understanding of the chaotic ineptitude of politics, presented with acid wit. The Office of the Vice President should be the second-highest in the land, but in Veep we see it instead as a marginalized den of the bewildered. One of the great, subtle running gags of the series is Selina Meyer asking her secretary if the President has called, with the reply always being a resounding “no.” (that dynamic was also played up in the first teaser for this upcoming season) The new spot shows more of Selina’s fight to establish some kind of legacy in the hostile environs of Washington, presumably without much luck. Hit the jump for the trailer.
Currently in its fourth season, the hilarious British political comedy The Thick of It, set in the corridors of British government, can now be seen unedited on Hulu with new episodes every Sunday, along with the first three seasons. From executive producer/writer/director Armando Iannucci (In The Loop), the show stars Peter Capaldi, Roger Allam, Rebecca Front, Vincent Franklin, Geoffrey Streatfield, Will Smith, Olivia Poulet, James Smith, Joanna Scanlan, Ben Willbond, Chris Addison and Rebecca Gethings.
During this recent exclusive interview with Collider, show creator Armando Iannucci talked about how the arrangement with Hulu came about, how happy he is with the fact that the show can be viewed unedited (without all the bleeping for the often foul language) and the day after it airs on BBC, why politics are inherently comic, what originally inspired the series, how surprised he is with the hugely positive reaction, the transition and adjustments for his American television series Veep, which has already earned a second season on HBO, and how, as a writer, he’s always thinking ahead to the next thing. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
The 2012 Emmy Awards air Sunday at 8pm on ABC during all of your other programming (set those DV-Rs!), so is the show worth watching? Will there be any upsets? Or will it just be worth it to sit there smugly as Bryan Cranston wins again for Breaking Bad, turning to your friends, significant other or Siri and saying “I totally called that.” Hit the jump to see my predictions for who will win and whoshould win Sunday night based on Vegas odds, rumors, secret handshakes, the predictability of Emmy voters, with maybe an upset or two thrown in to keep things interesting.
The 2012 Emmy nominations are here, and there are plenty of predictable results, a few pleasant surprises, and a slew of snubs (I hear you, Parks and Rec and Community fans, I hear you!). I mentioned in my piece on underrated series and performances this year that there were plenty of shoo-ins from shows I shouldn’t even bother mentioning, most especially Justified and the aforementioned comedies. Apparently I was dead wrong. But there were a few nice additions, including Michelle Dockery for Downton Abbey(what’s with all of the Downton noms this year? It had a lackluster second season aside from Dockery) as well as Christine Baranski for The Good Wife and Mark Margolis for Breaking Bad (ding ding ding!). For the list of nominees, hit the jump.
Before the 2012 Emmy Nominations are officially announced (July 19th), I wanted to jump in and highlight some of what I believe to be some of the best underrated performances on television this year. Putting aside some of the perennial winners, the following discussion for each of the major categories is likely to mention plenty of names who won’t get Emmy mentions this year, but certainly should (and others who may get a nod, but likely won’t win). Hit the jump for the (spoiler-free!) list that is not meant to be exhaustive (after all, I do watch an unhealthy amount of TV but I’m not caught up on everything), but hopefully brings at least a few of those dark horses to light with the recognition they deserve.
Yesterday we brought you the Critics’ Choice Award nominees. Tonight belongs to the Television Critics Association. Homeland tops the list with 4 nominations. While it got the extra boost over established veterans in the Outstanding New Program category, the taut thriller earned its spots in Best Drama and Program of the Year as well as the nod to Claire Danes for her stellar performance. The critics understandably still love Breaking Bad and Bryan Cranston, Mad Men and Jon Hamm, Louie and Louis C.K., Game of Thrones and Peter Dinklage, Parks and Recreation and Amy Poehler. Creator/star Lena Dunham is the freshest face in the bunch, representing in both Individual Achievement in Comedy and Outstanding New Program with Girls. But as always, there are a few head-scratchers. Jessica Lange for American Horror Story is a legacy vote, and while her scenery-chewing was very entertaining—for Individual Achievement in Drama? No. And Smash somehow sneaked into Outstanding New Program rather than, say, Veep or Awake.
Still, the TCA always gets more right than they do wrong, especially with their neat Heritage Award. (This year’s eclectic contenders are Cheers, Lost, Saturday Night Live, Star Trek, and Twin Peaks.) Read the full list after the jump.
On the same day that his HBO show Veep announced its renewal for a second season, writer/director Armando Iannucci (Into the Loop) has confirmed that another of his projects, Alan Partridge, is moving forward with a feature treatment. Partridge, co-created and portrayed by Steve Coogan (Tropic Thunder), is a radio host and television presenter on I’m Alan Partridge, a BBC show that parodies chat shows and sports reporters, among others. The feature adaptation of the BAFTA-winning series has been stuck in development hell for some time, but all that has changed as filming is expected to occur this year with a release some time in 2013. Hit the jump for more details on the project and to see what Iannucci had to say.
Let’s hear it for the ladies! HBO’s freshman comedy series Veep, from In the Loop writer and director Armando Iannucci and starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Girls, written, directed by and starring Lena Dunham, have only aired a handful of episodes between them, but EW reports each of the series has just been renewed for a second season. Both hit completely different comedic styles and tones, but they have each found their own audiences and seem to have quality writing, directing and performances among them.
There’s been a lot of buzz round Girls (both good and bad as the female sex tries to figure out whether they love or hate the depiction of their particular demographic) and Veep, while not as divisive, certainly brings the laughs (read my review of the series premiere right here). HBO now has a strong slate for their female audiences again for the first time since Sex and the City, so that’s something to be happy about. Maybe people will stop complaining about all the nudity on Game of Thrones now?
For those who haven’t yet had the pleasure of enjoying In the Loop, a British comedy from Armando Iannucci, based on the series The Thick of It set in British government, finally the writer and director is bringing his comedic stylings to American politics. Julia Louis-Dreyfus continues her run as the second most successful cast member from Seinfeld to keep her career going strong with the HBO comedy series Veep. If Aaron Sorkin was a little more of a natural comedic writer, he would have written Veep instead of The West Wing. However, the political satire seems to be a bit less prevalent than the situational comedy, making it slightly less witty, but still very smart. Read my full take on the series premiere of Veep after the jump.
We knew Game of Thrones would return for its second season in April 2012, but we didn’t know when. There were 30 possible options! Now HBO has revealed the April wait will be non-existent (unless you’re counting the hours). Game of Thrones returns April 1st. The new season will be 10 episodes long.
HBO also announced other premiers for its fall line-up. The Lena Dunham comedy Girls arrives on April 15th, Veep, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, premieres on April 22nd. As for HBO movies, Jay Roach‘s political drama Game Change debuts on March 10th. The two hour film centers on John McCain‘s 2008 presidential campaign and stars Ed Harris as McCain and Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin. And while all of this sounds well and good, it’s all about getting back to Westeros. If you haven’t seen the teaser trailer for season two of Game of Thrones (or you just want to watch it again), hit the jump.
Delivering one of the best political satire comedies I’ve seen in years, In the Loop writer and director Armando Iannucci just had his new comedy series Veep picked up by HBO. Starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the series follows former Senator Selina Meyer (Louis-Dreyfus), who becomes Vice President, only to discover the job is nothing like she expected, but everything she was warned about. The cast also includes In the Loop star Anna Chlumsky, Tony Hale (Arrested Development) Matt Walsh (Outsourced) and more.
Iannucci says, “I’m thrilled more than anyone is legally entitled to be. HBO is the dream network to make television for, and I’m excited to be working with such a superb and funny cast headed by the uber-superb-and-funny Julia Louis-Dreyfus. If making season one of Veep is as much fun as making the pilot, then I can die chuckling. Plus, we get to say rude words.” Since In the Loop was filled with great comedy and colorful language, this sounds great to me. Hit the jump for the full press release with more details.