HBO Programming President Michael Lombardo with "True Blood" star Stephen
The mass-action strategy game is due out on Aug. 4
Snap and caption photos, then share them via Miiverse.
Wii U GamePad controller as an in-game camera to capture the alien-safari environment from a pint-sized perspective.
Game includes new cat transformation
Use the Wii U GamePad controller's touch screen to search for hidden blocks and freeze enemies in place
Up to four players can join in
"Mario Kart" features new anti-gravity features
Game offers HD graphics and a 60-frames-per-second frame rate.
Game includes12-player online competitive play.
Dixie Kong is back to join the adventure as a playable character alongside Diddy Kong
Travel across five islands with a variety of stages that include underwater areas and frozen environments.
When Meredith Averill was recommended for a writing position on CBS drama "The Good Wife," she had "24 hours to basically devour the entire first season," the scribe recalls. "After a few episodes, I forgot I was prepping for an interview and became a crazed fan of the show ... I loved the elegance, and the gray area where most of the stories lived."
Averill joined the drama's writers room after stints on
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼programs run by her mentors Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec and Scott Rosenberg. "Samurai Girl,' "Life on Mars" and "Happy Town" were all a healthy mix of two genres I love: sci- fi and soap," she says.
Averill, originally from a coal-mining town in Pennsylvania, will blend her favorite genres on CW's forthcoming skein "Star-Crossed," which the net recently picked up and Averill is showrunning. She describes the midseason series as "an epic sci-fi romance that's "Romeo & Juliet" meets "District 9" meets "Brown vs. Board of Education.'" Should the scribe run into creative blocks as she breaks the "Star-Crossed" story, she has a plan -- "sometimes I'll assign a song as a character's 'anthem,'" Averill says. "If I feel like I'm losing their voice, I listen to that song and find it again."
-- AJ Marechal
After a decade of writing mostly teleplay scripts, Jon Bokenkamp's career is coming together this year.
Early in 2013, his feature "The Call," starring Halle Berry and directed by Brad Anderson, grossed more than $51 million. Then NBC picked up his pilot "The Blacklist," which stars James Spader as a bad guy who works with the good guys to capture even worse baddies. Joe Carnahan directs.
The Blacklist is a departure for the scripter whose credits, in addition to "The Call," include such thrillers with female leads as "Perfect Stranger" and "Taking Lives."
"I love some of the '70s thrillers," Bokenkamp says. "'Three Days of the Condor," which I saw just now. "Klute." I like the style: the paranoia, the twists and turns, the smart female leads. Most of the things I've worked on, I've attempted to do that."
But while he loves movies and has a few ideas for feature films and TV, Blacklist "has all my attention for the moment," he says.
The Nebraska native and USC alum divides his time between the Husker state and Southern California.
"My wife and I have a strange midwestern connection," Bokenkamp says. "It's very cool to live there (in Nebraska). And I love L.A. because of the creative energy."
-- Shalini Dore
Scott Gimple landed a major promotion this year, as the "Walking Dead" supervising producer was upped to showrunner in January, replacing Glen Mazzara for the AMC drama's fourth season.
"Scott is one of the most talented writers I've worked with in my 35-year career," says Gale Anne Hurd, exec producer on The Walking Dead. "He is able to 'inhabit' the complex characters and highlight their moral dilemmas, as seen in episodes like 'Clear' last season, and our episode from season two in which little Sophia emerged from the barn having 'turned' into a walker."
Before logging time on the hit AMC zombie series, the New Jersey-raised comicbook buff penned for series including "Flash Forward" and "Life," and co-wrote feature film "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance."
With "The Walking Dead" now a bona- fide cable phenomenon, Gimple will be tasked with leading the program through what the net hopes will be continued record-breaking success.
"I think having Scott come up and become an executive producer and showrunner is going to provide a very tremendous voice for the show," "Walking Dead" creator and exec producer Robert Kirkman said at a PaleyFest panel. "He's been an integral part of the writers room since the beginning of season two. I think we've got some really exciting times ahead of us under his leadership."
-- AJ Marechal
Aaron Guzikowski, scripter of hard-edged features "Contraband" and the upcoming "Prisoners," had never worked in television before his series "Descendants" was picked up for a six-episode first season. But that's all right, as the series' home, the Sundance Channel, is almost as green to the original series game as he is.
"It's kind of a small operation, so it isn't such a big machine -- at least not yet. It's more like four people in a room rather than 13," Guzikowski says of the channel. "It's made it less of a shocking transition (from film to TV), in a really good way."
"Descendants" seeks to apply a taut, theatrical thriller approach to a tale of a sheriff split between two small towns, one of which is home to the roughly 5,000-member Ramapo Indian tribe, who live in secluded mountainous areas of New Jersey.
Guzikowski was intrigued by the uneasy sister-city relationships that often exist around Native American-populated regions, where, he says, "they sometimes kind of clash, yet they need one another."
Even with two features opening this year, Guzikowski is enjoying the immer- sion of a TV gig.
"Right now, just trying to give my whole brain to it. I like the idea of being devoted to one story and really living in this world -- it's almost like Method writing," Guzikowski says.
Growing up, Gennifer Hutchison's aspirations ranged from marine biology to physical therapy to whatever else was in the movies at the time. It wouldn't be until later in high school that screenwriting became her dream.
The indie pics of the '90s -- "Reservoir Dogs," "Living in Oblivion" and "Ruby in Paradise" -- stirred Hutchison's hunger for storytelling, pushing the scribe-to-be to dive into P.A. work on "Nash Bridges" and her "all-time favorite show," "The X-Files." She scraped for "any extra work I could find" and began penning everything from webisodes to vidgame content to X-Files trading cards.
She climbed the ladder quickly from freelancer to assistant to exec story editor on "Breaking Bad," where she racked up two WGA awards as part of the show's writing team.
Looking ahead, she is taking her talents to FX's Guillermo del Toro-Carlton Cuse skein "The Strain," set to air next year, as a writer-producer.
"Emphasis on character is where your story comes from," she says. "It's all about how people react to the things around them -- whether it be a cancer diagnosis or a horrible outbreak of crazy vampires."
-- Sean Fitz-Gerald
Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer's first broadcast series as writers and stars, "Broad City," will document the semi-autobiographical drama of a cou- ple of hip twentysomething women navigating professional and relationship troubles in contempo New York City.
That premise might sound remark- ably similar to a certain zeitgeisty HBO series, but as anyone who's watched the twosome's actual work knows, the similarities end there.
Joining forces while taking classes at Gotham's Upright Citizen's Brigade (which very recently served as launch-pad for Aziz Ansari, Rob Huebel and others), the pair launched "Broad City" as a shoelace-and-sealing-wax Web series two years ago, and went on to produce 35 episodes. It found early supporters in Amy Poehler and Kristen Schaal. Poehler threw her hat into the ring as producer, and "Broad City" will debut as a full-fledged series on Comedy Central in early 2014 with an initial 10-episode run.
Discussing the changes that come with an actual budget with Splitsider, Jacobson explained: "Potentially each episode will just be a day in the life. It's still very playful, and you'll still see these characters walk into these specific and crazy New York situations. But it is a little bit more of a structure, in terms of you're seeing a full adventure that they would go on."
-- Andrew Barker
Prior to creating "Rectify," Ray McKinnon had no experience writing for a television series. Yet "inexperienced" is one of the last words one would use to describe him.
A 2001 Oscar winner for his short film "The Accountant," McKinnon has been a feature director and screenwriter. His TV experience was as an actor, most notably on "Sons of Anarchy" and as a regular on "Deadwood."
The Georgia native explored Southern issues of guilt and recidivism in his 2004 feature, "Chrystal," and returns to that milieu with Rectify, the inaugural Sundance Channel original drama series.
Asked if his being based outside Hollywood helps his Southern Gothic tone, McKinnon turns ruminative.
"I do tend to be inspired by my surroundings," McKinnon says. "How can you not? I grew up in the South so it's not a place one can easily shake. In the case of 'Rectify,' it may have freed me up to write less with a paycheck in mind.
I don't know. Sometimes things click. Sometimes they don't."
-- Andrew Barker
John Mulaney is nothing if not a good sport. On the very day that NBC passed on his highly-buzzed-about pilot "Mulaney," the standup comic and former Saturday Night Live staff writer tweeted "At least someone picked up Mulaney today!" next to a photo of an airport limo driver holding up a placard with his last name.
Yet he has little reason to worry about his future. He's busy plotting a fall standup tour, with a follow-up to "New in Town," the 2012 concert film that made him a household name, on the horizon. He's tight-lipped about other possible TV projects but the profusion of rumors bodes well.
After several seasons writing for "SNL" -- he officially left in June of 2012, yet continued guesting and writing for Bill Hader, with whom he created Stefon, perhaps the biggest breakout character of the show's recent run -- he has been tipped for everything from a future writing role on the series to even replacing his onetime mentor Seth Meyers as "Weekend Update" host.
And even though NBC passed on "Mulaney," Mulaney says "I'm very proud of the pilot and believe in it," he says, "and I believe it'll still find a way to be seen by human beings."
-- Andrew Barker
Novelist-turned-screenwriter Nic Pizzolatto is on his way to soaring heights in Hollywood. The author is in production on a two-year series with HBO titled "True Detective" starring Michelle Monaghan, Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. Pizzolatto is also set to pen MGM's remake of "The Magnificent Seven."
New Orleans born, Pizzolat- to says he didn't take his writ- ing seriously until age 25 but credits much of his immediate success in screenwriting to the 15 years he took to perfect his craft.
"I've always had a visual imagination anyways, so making the jump between novelist to screenwriter was easy. I feel script writing is the medium that absolutely suits me -- I use the restrictions for opportunities for innovation, such as what you can do with a camera and actors. I find the restrictions freeing."
Pizzolatto was also a writer for two episodes of AMC's The Killing and says he enjoys the creative liberty the television medium offers compared to novels.
"I write a very detailed script with shots and stage directions, not expecting those things to be adhered to but as a collaborative base to work. It's quite different than going into the cave and coming out with 550 pages of material."
-- Michelle Salemi
For their first series as showrunners, husband-wife scripting team Jed Whe- don and Maurissa Tancharoen certainly didn't aim low. The duo will steer ABC's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," which takes place within the same Marvel universe as "The Avengers" and brings along Hulk-sized fanboy anticipation.
"Fortunately, we have a big comicbook nerd in our family," Tancharoen says. "His name is Joss Whedon."
But lest the familiarity of Jed's last name raise an eyebrow, the pair have more than paid their dues. Alongside a series of self-generated Web series and novelty songs -- both are accomplished songwriters -- the pair cut their teeth as staff writers on cult series "Dollhouse," as well as scripting for "Spartacus: Gods of the Arena" and Internet phenomenon "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog."
"S.H.I.E.L.D." will operate on a more human-sized scale than the theatrical blockbusters from which it sprung. "We like to think that all the movies have just been the Web series leading up to our television show," Tancharoen says with a laugh.
But Whedon adds: "We also have faith that if we're making things that we would want to see, other people will want to see it too, and hopefully they'll forgive us when we do a musical episode."
-- Andrew Barker