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‘The Apprentice’ is Responsible for Donald Trump’s Success in Presidential Race, Says NBC Exec

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According to NBC’s head of reality television, Donald Trump’s political success can be traced back to “The Apprentice.” When asked on Tuesday if Trump would have become the Republican party’s presumptive presidential nominee had it not been for “The Apprentice,” Paul Telegdy, NBC’s president of alternative and late night programming, said: “Of course not.” Speaking at a lunch… Read more »

Phyllida Lloyd Reveals Challenges of Bringing All-Female ‘Taming of the Shrew’ to Central Park

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“The Taming of the Shrew” begins previews on Tuesday night in Manhattan’s Central Park as part of the Public Theater’s annual Shakespeare in the Park season. The controversial 16th century comedy centers on the relentless and violent efforts of a young suitor, Petruchio, to subdue the headstrong Katerina, and convince her to marry him. The widely-produced… Read more »

‘The Bachelorette’ Says New Season Has ‘A Little More Diversity’ Than Past Years

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Before the premiere of season 12 of “The Bachelorette,” the latest installment of ABC’s dating show, was plagued with criticism for appearing to be “too white.” JoJo Fletcher — the new Bachelorette who made her debut last night on the season premiere — is of Persian descent. But after years of mostly Caucasian Bachelors and Bachelorettes, many viewers… Read more »

First Look: Brian Cox Stars in Jonathan Teplitzky’s ‘Churchill’

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LONDON — Jonathan Teplitzky’s “Churchill,” starring Brian Cox, has started principal photography, and the first image has been released. Miranda Richardson, “Mad Men” star John Slattery and James Purefoy recently joined the cast. Richardson plays the British leader’s wife Clemmie, Slattery is General Eisenhower, Purefoy is King George VI, and rising-star Ella Purnell plays Churchill’s… Read more »

MSNBC Veteran Izzy Povich To Leave Network

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Izzy Povich, the MSNBC veteran who played an instrumental rise in the network’s past primetime success, is leaving the NBCUniversal-owned cable-news outlet after 19 years. Povich, a former senior producer on both Lawrence O’Donnell’s primetime program as well as Keith Olbermann’s now-defunct “Countdown,” had been assigned to help change MSNBC’s daytime lineup and help it… Read more »

Pop Media Teaming With China’s Artention for ‘Knockout Girls’ Movie

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Stu Levy’s Pop Media Holdings is teaming with China’s Artention Films to produce the martial arts comedy “Knockout Girls,” Variety has learned exclusively. Pop Media has tapped veteran director Arthur Anderson to helm “Knockout Girls,” based on a Tokyopop concept written by screenwriter Olivia Briggs. Michael Doven of United Pictures Group is exec producing. The… Read more »

‘Get Shorty’ Series Ordered by Epix

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Epix has given a series order to “Get Shorty,” an adaptation of the novel by the late Elmore Leonard. The book was previously the basis for the 1995 film starring John Travolta. MGM Television will produce the series. The hour-long drama is created and executive produced by Davey Holmes, whose credits include “Shameless,” “In Treatment”… Read more »

LeVar Burton on ‘Roots’ Remake: ‘I Wanted to Share With This New Generation the Truth’

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The audience was silent Monday night at Lincoln Center as the credits rolled on the first episode of “Roots,” the newly rebooted A+E miniseries based on Alex Haley’s 1976 novel. The new project reimagines ABC’s 1977 version, one of the highest-rated shows in television history, and like its predecessor spares no horrors in following Kunta Kinte’s… Read more »

Los Angeles to Host Super Bowl in 2021

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For the first time since 1993, the city of Los Angeles will play host to the NFL’s Super Bowl. On Tuesday, the league announced that L.A. had won location rights to the pro football championship in 2021. Atlanta will host the 2019 game. South Florida will oversee the 2020 Super Bowl. L.A.’s match-up in 2021,… Read more »

‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ Director on Injecting ‘Complexity’ Into Sequel

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“Alice Through the Looking Glass” brought the magic of Disney to Hollywood Blvd. as the cast and creators walked the red carpet for the Los Angeles premiere on Monday. Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska and Anne Hathaway, along with director James Bobin and producer Suzanne Todd, attended the premiere at the El Capitan Theater to discuss how… Read more »