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PopPolitics: Selling the Iran Deal With a Dose of Irreverence (Listen)

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When President Obama went on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” recently, he spent much of the half hour highlighting the merits of the deal with Iran to limit that country’s nuclear program. That drew criticism from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who said Obama’s appearance lacked class, as he “goes on comedy shows to talk… Read more »

Disney Channel’s ‘Descendants’ Bewitches 6.6 Million in Friday Premiere

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Disney Channel’s junior-villians telepic “Descendants” cast a spell on 6.6 million viewers Friday night, according to preliminary Nielsen estimates. The big audience for the musical, which chronicles how the children of four classic Disney villains came to choose good over evil, puts it ahead of the network’s “Teen Beach Movie” sequel from June and makes it… Read more »

‘Game of Thrones’ Casts Ian McShane in Season 6 Mystery Role

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Ian McShane will appear on the upcoming season of “Game of Thrones,” Variety has confirmed. Details on McShane’s role are being kept under wraps, but he will play a key role in the season’s plot with a small amount of screen time, reports EW. McShane’s stint in Westeros marks his return to HBO, home to his celebrated role on… Read more »

Channing Tatum Closes ‘Gambit’ Deal

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Channing Tatum has closed a deal to star in “Gambit” for 20th Century Fox, a source close to project confirmed. News of Tatum’s official involvement in the “X-Men” spinoff lays to rest the rumors that the project was falling apart. Tatum has been tied to the superhero pic for some time as producer and star. He even appeared… Read more »

Box Office: ‘Mission: Impossible 5′ Notches Series-High Opening Day, Eyes $52 Million Weekend

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Tom Cruise actioner “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation” generated $20 million at the Friday box office, marking the biggest opening day in the “Mission: Impossible” franchise. The Paramount/Skydance release is on track to pull in about $52 million for the weekend in its 3,956 locations, according to studio estimates. The fifth installment in the series, written and directed… Read more »

John Ridley Reveals Season Two Plot of ‘American Crime’ (EXCLUSIVE)

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Executive producer John Ridley doesn’t shy away from tackling tough social issues, as he proved in the first season of ABC’s “American Crime,” which recently earned 10 Emmy nominations. In the anthology series’ second season, Ridley reveals to Variety exclusively, the show’s central crime will revolve around a high school boy who accuses several players on a… Read more »

Film Review: ‘The Crossing II’

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Like passengers who overpaid for tickets to escape war-ravaged Shanghai on the Taiwan-bound liner Taiping in 1949, only to end up on a sinking ship, audiences get a pretty lousy deal with John Woo’s “The Crossing II,” an inert follow-up that doesn’t deliver enough visual or emotional payoff in its overdue yet short-lived shipwreck climax. Released eight… Read more »

Universal Music Group Chairman Extends Contract Through 2020

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Lucian Grainge has agreed to a five-year contract extension as chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group until at least 2020, the media conglom Vivendi announced Friday. Grainge was named head of UMG in 2011 and has since led it to become the largest music company in the world following acquisitions such as EMI’s recorded-music… Read more »

‘UnReal’ Creators Talk Season 2’s Focus on Quinn and Rachel, Possible Spinoff

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The rowdy cast and creators of the Lifetime scripted series “UnReal” opened up about the show’s first season and where they’ll go next during a Paley Center panel on Thursday. The panel opened up discussion of the show’s second season, which will definitely reprise “Everlasting,” the “Bachelor”-style show within the show, and could find Faith, played… Read more »

Watch: Kyle Chandler’s Coach Taylor Wants You to Turn Your Phone Off

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Over five seasons of “Friday Night Lights,” Kyle Chandler’s coach Eric Taylor became TV’s poster boy for inspirational locker room speeches, rallying the Dillon Panthers and East Dillon Lions to victory on the football field each week with a rousing declaration of “clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose!” Now, thanks to the Alamo Drafthouse theater… Read more »