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Sunday
Jul142013

The Second Season of "The Newsroom" Premieres Sunday

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The second season of the Aaron Sorkin drama The Newsroom premieres on HBO Sunday night with Jeff Daniels continuing his starring role as news anchor Will McAvoy.

The second season features several new cast additions, including Oscar-winner Marcia Gay Harden portraying a Second Amendment lawyer and actor Hamish Linklater as a veteran of the Washington D.C. bureau of ACN who transfers to New York and is anxious to score a big story.

The storyline of the second season largely involves depositions over a botched investigative report.

The series also stars Emily Mortimer, Olivia Munn, Dev Patel, John Gallagher, Jr., Alison Pill and Sam Waterston.

The Newsroom airs Sunday night at 10 p.m. on HBO.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Mar302013

"Game of Thrones" Begins Third Season Sunday Night

HBO(NEW YORK) -- One of the most popular shows on cable television returns for its third season this weekend.

The season premiere of Game of Thrones, based on George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels, airs Sunday night on HBO at 9 p.m. ET. The epic, sex-and-violence-soaked fantasy drama follows various families, or houses, as they battle for control of the Seven Kingdoms.

At a recent red carpet event for Game of Thrones, cast members provided insight into the upcoming season. Peter Dinklage, who has won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his role as Tyrion Lannister, said his character "has to pick up the pieces" after the huge battle and assassination attempt he survived at the end of the second season.

Describing where Tyrion is now, as the third season opens, Dinklage told ABC News, "He’s gone from the highest position in Kings Landing to no position and he doesn’t know what his next move is going to be, so he does go quickly to his father to figure that out."  Unfortunately, as viewers will see, Tyrion's dad, the fearsome, filthy rich Tywin Lannister, isn't much help.

Kit Harington, who plays Jon Snow, the bastard son of the late Ned Stark, said conflict is ahead for his character, who has gone undercover with the Wildlings, also known as the free folk, in an attempt to bring back intelligence for the Night's Watch.

Harington told ABC News that the new season "is all about Jon trying to work out whether he is still loyal to Night's Watch, or whether he now wants to be a free man, wants to be part of the free folk.  And he's being tempted by that by Ygritte and certain other characters beyond the Wall, to try to come to their side."

Sophie Turner's Sansa Stark undergoes an evolution in the new episodes. Asked to describe Sansa's biggest challenge in season three, she told ABC News, "I think it's the transition that Sansa goes through, not only going from kind of young lady to woman, but also the transition that she goes through in going from kind of being used as a chess piece to actually being a player in the game. She becomes a lot more independent." Rumor has it Sansa will get married this season -- not to evil boy King Joffrey, but to someone completely unexpected.

The Game of Thrones fan base kept growing during the first two seasons, so the season premiere will likely bring in huge ratings for HBO. Why are so many people drawn to the show? Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays Tyrion's brother Jaime Lannister, known as "The Kingslayer," believes it's because everyone can relate to it. He said the core of the show "is just people figuring out life."

Or, as Dinklage puts it, "It's both very current and real -- but also has dragons."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Mar232013

HBO Film About Phil Spector Starring Al Pacino Airs Sunday

HBO/Time Warner(NEW YORK) -- Premiering this Sunday, Al Pacino and Helen Mirren star in the new HBO movie Phil Spector, a fictional film based on the client-attorney relationship between the legendary music producer and Linda Kenney Baden, a defense attorney who represented Spector at his first murder trial for the 2003 shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson at his California mansion.

That trial ended in a mistrial. Spector was convicted in 2009 and sentenced to 19 years to life in prison.  He has always insisted that he is innocent and claims Clarkson committed suicide.

The film is written and directed by the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet, who opens the movie with the on-screen declaration, “This is a work of fiction.  It’s not ‘based on a true story.’ It is a drama inspired by actual persons in a trial, but it is neither an attempt to depict the actual persons, not comment upon the trial or its outcome.”

Pacino says he studied tapes of Spector for hours while preparing to play the music producer.

The film has been criticized by some for being biased in favor of Spector.  Mamet says he wanted to explore the story after watching a documentary called The Agony and Ecstasy of Phil Spector.  Mamet says after watching that film, he came away thinking maybe Spector is not guilty.

Spector, of course, is known for originating the so-called "Wall of Sound" production technique that was used by many 1960s rock and pop legends.  Among the artists with whom he's worked over the years include The Ronettes, Ike and Tina Turner, The Beatles, John Lennon and The Ramones.

Phil Spector debuts this Sunday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jan142013

Beyonce Shares Blue Ivy Ultrasound in New Trailer

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Beyonce is getting up close and personal in her new HBO documentary, Beyonce: Life is But a Dream.

In a new 90-second trailer for the documentary, which the singer directed, Beyonce shares a never-before-seen video of her daughter Blue Ivy’s ultrasound.

The trailer also shows intimate shots of Beyonce, 31, on vacation, in her bedroom with no makeup and rehearsing. The film includes “extensive first-person footage, some of it shot by Beyonce on her laptop, in which she reflects on the realities of celebrity, the refuge she finds onstage and the transcendent joy of becoming a mother last year,” according to HBO’s website.

The documentary, for which Beyonce also acted as executive producer, is set to air on HBO Feb. 16.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan032013

HBO Named in Lawsuit Claiming "Luck" Producers Ignored Horse Abuse

HBO/Time Warner(LOS ANGELES) -- HBO has been sued by a former employee of the American Humane Association, who claims she was fired by the group after she complained about the abuse of horses on the set of the cable network's short-lived 2012 series Luck.

According to TheWrap.com, Barbara Casey alleges in her lawsuit that producers of the horse racing drama ignored cases of abuse observed by the AHA on the set.  The complaint states that some horses were drugged, and underweight and sick horses were put to work.

The lawsuit alleges that Casey repeatedly complained to the AHA and Luck's producers about the horse abuse and that she urged the AHA to notify the authorities.  The suit claims, "AHA bowed to political and financial pressure and refused to report the Production Defendants' conduct to the authorities."

It also claims the AHA told its reps not to document the death of one horse because it was killed during a production hiatus.

Casey says she was fired by the AHA last January due to her complaints.

The wrongful termination lawsuit, which was filed Monday in Los Angeles and names the AHA as a defendant, seeks a maximum of $10,000 for each alleged labor code violation, plus unspecified damages.

HBO tells TheWrap.com in a statement, "We took every precaution to ensure that our horses were treated humanely and with the utmost care, exceeding every safeguard of all protocols and guidelines required of the production."

Luck, which starred Dustin Hoffman, was cancelled after a few episodes due to the deaths of multiple horses during production.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun272012

Emily Mortimer Says There’s No Agenda Behind ‘The Newsroom’

HBO(NEW YORK) -- Aaron Sorkin’s new HBO series, The Newsroom, has received a lot of Internet praise and criticism since its Sunday premiere. Some have said that The Newsroom revises recent history with a liberal slant, but star Emily Mortimer, who plays veteran news producer Mackenzie MacHale, defended the show as a fictional drama.

She told ABC News Radio, “Those moments like the BP oil spill, like the Gabby Giffords shooting, like the Arab Spring, all these things, they were images on our television that at the time were very dramatic images that we didn’t necessarily have time to think about and contextualize and ponder over, and there’s something very cool about being given the opportunity to do that.”

Mortimer said she hasn’t heard if HBO will renew the show for a second season but said, “I’m keeping my fingers crossed and I’m hoping it’s going to be good news and we’ll know very soon.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May302012

Characters in ‘The Newsroom’ Not Real People, Says Aaron Sorkin

Valerie Macon/Getty Images(RANCHO PALOS VERDES, Calif.) -- While Aaron Sorkin spent a good amount of time talking about his upcoming Steve Jobs film at the All Things D conference Wednesday, there was no lack of references to The Newsroom, his show that premieres on HBO on June 24.

The show, which revolves around a broadcast journalist and anchor played by Jeff Daniels, is not based on a real person, Sorkin told interviewer Walt Mossberg at the conference Wednesday.

“The show takes place in a fictional newsroom; none of the characters are inspired by real people, even a little bit,” Sorkin said on stage. “It’s entirely fictional. It’s not meant to be anything on CNN, MSNBC, FOX. It’s generic cable news, and it takes place in the very recent past; all the news events are real. About two-thirds of the way through the pilot -- I won’t spoil it -- something happens and a date stamp comes up on a screen, and we realize it’s two years ago.”

The first season, which has 10 episodes, covers a period of 18 months, Sorkin said.

Given that Sorkin was speaking at a technology conference, he also addressed the role of digital news in the show.

“Obviously, digital media plays a huge role in the show. There’s a character that’s extremely into the Internet and the power it has -- there’s a clip where he looks at the uprising an Cairo, and how the people that report the news first get it themselves, which is almost always digital. Our entire set is basically made out of electricity, and if you put a satellite dish on the roof we could probably broadcast the news.”

As for Sorkin, he is pretty tech savvy himself. “I have the three screens -- probably more than three screens. I have a desktop, a couple of laptops, an iPad and an iPhone somewhere on my person here.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May102012

HBO's 'Veep' Not So Funny, Says Real White House Staffer

Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- A White House insider is not all that impressed with the humor in HBO’s satirical show, Veep, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The show features Julia Louis-Dreyfus as fictional Vice President Selina Meyer, with the action set around her staffers.

The comedy was created by Armando Iannucci, who was behind the political movie In The Loop. But a real-life staffer for Vice President Joe Biden tells THR, “It would have been more water cooler conversation-inspiring if it had been funnier.” The insider’s review continued, “The show gets the D.C. personalities right, but it has what’s funny about the VP all wrong.”

The source also notes that the true comedy lies in the fact that the VP position has enormous power and yet no real power at all.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr302012

HBO’s "Veep" Looked to White House for Style Inspiration

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- When it came to dressing the first lady of HBO’s Veep, only one woman in Washington proved stylish enough to serve as inspiration: Michelle Obama.

“Michelle Obama, she doesn’t look like a suited woman,” Ernesto Martinez, Veep’s lead costume designer, told ABC News. “She feels pretty. She likes dresses and heels and she’s not afraid to wear them. We went for that.”

Even Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, formerly the paragon of White House style, didn’t enter into the picture. “Julia really, really liked Michelle,” Martinez said of Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who plays Selina Meyers. “She is a great fan of the Obamas. I felt we should do Selina’s version of what Michelle would wear.”

While Selina’s political affiliation isn’t revealed in the new HBO show — though her predilection for cursing, hissing, and jamming her foot firmly in her mouth is known around the Beltway — her well fitted skirts and penchant for crimson call to mind 2008's would-be veep, Sarah Palin. Although Martinez called Palin’s style metamorphosis during that campaign “truly remarkable,” he said Louis-Dreyfus “didn’t want to look anything like that.”

“We used a lot of designer pieces,” he said, citing Oscar de la Renta, Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, and Prada. Selina’s signature accessory: A strand of Mikimoto pearls. Jeans and fleeces need not apply.

“There are a lot of points in the series where she’s accused of being a diva and being disconnected from the people,” Martinez said. And unlike actual elected officials, no one will take pains to show Selina’s thrifty side.

“She really is disconnected,” Martinez laughed. “She likes clothes and she likes parties.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Mar302012

Second Season of HBO's "Game of Thrones" Premieres Sunday Night

HBO/Time Warner(NEW YORK) -- HBO's highly-popular fantasy drama Game of Thrones returns for its second season this Sunday night at 9:00 p.m. ET.

Game of Thrones, based on author George R.R. Martin's best-selling series A Song of Ice and Fire, is set in a world that strongly resembles Medieval England, complete with lords, ladies, knights and, yes, dragons.  There's also some magic, and plenty of blood, gore and sex.

As the second season opens, members of various noble families, or Houses, are either battling for independence, or fighting to gain control of the Iron Throne, so they can rule all seven kingdoms of Westeros, the continent where the show is partly set. 

Meanwhile, across the sea to the East, a young woman named Daenerys, the exiled yet true heir to the throne, is raising her three newly-hatched dragons and plotting her next move.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio