TIME Television

Lars von Trier Is Headed to Television

The Danish director will be writing and directing a prestige drama series, due to begin filming in 2016

Lars von Trier, the controversial director of Nymphomaniac, Melancholia and Dogville, is heading to television.

The Danish filmmaker is set to write and direct a prestige drama series called The House That Jack Built, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Louise Vesth, a producer who has worked closely with von Trier for years, announced the series at the Venice Film Festival, where the director is showing his cut of Nymphomaniac Vol. 2.

Scant details about the project were revealed, though Vesth did say that filming would likely begin in 2016. The Danish broadcaster DR, which is behind many internationally renowned series such as Borgen and The Killing, also has a hand in the series.

The House That Jack Built will mark von Trier’s first foray into television in more than 20 years, as his last television project, The Kingdom, aired in 1994. That series, which was also originally broadcast on DR, was a creepy, supernatural hospital drama that was eventually remade for the U.S. as the ABC series Kingdom Hospital.

[THR]

TIME Television

Bachelor in Paradise RECAP: Love and Other Demons

JACKIE PARR, BROOKS FORESTER
Francisco Roman—ABC

Trouble in paradise (again)

Welcome back to The Bachelor’s version of paradise, where love means always looking over your shoulder for something better. Last week, Clare left in a huff (maybe a minute and a huff) leaving Zack to give his rose to Jackie. Meanwhile Jesse got to juggle Christy, the nice-ish girl, and Lucy, the free spirit and ended up choosing both (nudge nudge, wink wink), but ultimately gave a rose to Christy. Also, Lacy had to go to the hospital after puking at the very thought of AshLee. It’s what passes for drama on this show.

Here’s what happened on Bachelor in Paradise:

Trouble in Paradise: Cody gave Michelle his rose, but he also gave her a serious wig-out by telling her that he loves her after they spent 24 hours together. He told her that his next girlfriend will be his wife, and Michelle is just not that into him. She decides to seek counsel from the bed-hopping puka-shell necklace, Jesse, who reminds her that she’s just supposed to be there to have fun. Speaking of fun, Cody thinks bench-pressing rocks on the beach is a blast.

Marcus and Lacy: Marcus has said the L word, but Lacy has not yet reciprocated. So the producers send them to recreate The Descent. There Lacy murders not Marcus, but the words stalactites and stalagmites, which she apparently has never heard before. Then she and Marcus swim through a cave and are attacked by bats. It’s very romantic. They face their fears together, and Lacy points out that “it’s so natural, in nature” and then they make out.

The New Kid on the Block: Brooks, who dumped Bachelorette Desiree in one of the most awkward breakups in Bachelor history, which is saying something, shows up on the beach with a date card in hand. Since everyone is paired up at this point, it’s a bit problematic. Robert and Zack pull Brooks aside to give him the rundown and Robert says straight out, “If you invite Sarah out, I will kill you.” So Brooks asks out Zack’s ostensible partner Jackie instead, and Zack really regrets not marking his territory better.

(MORE: The Bachelor Picks Its New Star: Chris Soules)

Jackie and Brooks: The new couple heads to dinner at a restaurant in Tulum and midway through the meal, Brooks admits that he can’t actually be bothered to listen to Jackie talk, because she’s so darn cute. Then she beats him at foosball and his love for her is complete.

Robert and Sarah: While Sarah was having fun making out with Robert, when Brooks shows up, she admits that she actually came on the show to hang out with Brooks. She mulls dumping Robert for Brooks, but then comes to her darn senses. Robert invites her for a chat on the beach and tells her that when they get back to the real world, he wants to go on dates and explore their relationship and be a real couple.

Cody and Michelle: Michelle whacks Cody on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper and tells him to dial it down and he does. His willingness to be trained like a puppy makes Michelle like him more, and she’s in so long as he doesn’t piddle in excitement every time she walks in the room. Well, maybe a little.

Christy and Jesse: Christy finally realizes that Jesse is not just a tool, but the entire tool box. Michelle tells her that Jesse is spreading the news that he hooked up with both her and Lucy last week. Turns out that Christy knows the word misogynist and sleaze ball.

New Arrival: Tasos, who was cast aside by Andi Dorfman, arrives on the scene to sew some seeds of discord in paradise. He pulls Michelle aside, and Cody looks like he will eat Tasos like a taco if he asks her on a date. Instead, Tasos tells Michelle that she can’t go wrong with Cody and asks her advice on who to ask out. She wisely suggests Christy, who happily hops on the Tasos bus and rides far far away from Jesse.

Tasos and Christy: Tasos rides in like a white knight rescuing Christy from the walking disease vector that is Jesse. They take a boat ride to a private dock and Tasos manages not to stare at her remarkable sunburn and instead chivalrously asks for permission to kiss her and sweetly holds her hands. Jesse doesn’t stand a chance.

Zack and Jackie: Zack finally gets a date card and takes the opportunity to pick up Brooks’ sloppy seconds, which are sort of Zack’s sloppy seconds. Here’s a diagram. For their date, they go swimming in a cave, and Zack hopes things get “romantically.” To help that along, he pretends that he wasn’t in a relationship with Clare up until a few days ago and calls Jackie a “breath of fresh air.” Then they kiss.

The Cocktail Party: Zack sucks up to Jackie. Brooks sucks up to Jackie. AshLee sucks up to everyone else. Jesse sees the writing on the wall, but has no choice but to try and manipulate Christy, who he calls a “dumb blond.” He decides that he’s leaving, blaming Christy for not “opening up to him,” and telling the men “I’ve done everything I came here to accomplish.” Michelle and Lacy give Christy some tough love and hard truths and back her up when she goes to wreak her vengeance on the man. They surround Jesse’s getaway vehicle and talk his ear off until he slinks off in an equal mix of relief and arrogance. When Christy returns to the Rose Ceremony hut, Tasos fetches her a drink.

The Rose Ceremony: Lacy hands her rose to Marcus. AshLee gives hers to Graham. Sarah happily pins hers on Robert. Michelle plants her rose on Cody. Christy happily calls out Tasos’ name. Jackie decides to pass on Brooks and gives Zack her rose.

Best Reason to Come Back Next Week: Chris Harrison announces that this was the final Rose Ceremony of the season and next week everything will change. One can only hope that next week will be some sort of Sharknado crossover where everyone is eaten in a storm of flying sharks.

MORE: Here’s Your First Trailer for Downton Abbey Season 5

MORE: See Photos of the Cast of Saved by the Bell: Then and Now

TIME Television

See Photos of Houdini Being Houdini

Re-live the legendary magician's greatest feats

Harry Houdini, born Erich Weisz, was a Hungarian-American magician best known for his seemingly impossible escape acts. Houdini, a two-night miniseries by the History Channel, stars Adrien Brody as the revered magician and premieres on Sept. 1.

Take a look back at some photos of the original Houdini’s mind-boggling feats that made him famous throughout the world.

TIME Television

Once Upon a Time Teases the Arrival of Frozen’s Elsa in New Trailer

The animated Disney movie continues as live-action television

+ READ ARTICLE

Winter is coming to Storybrooke.

TIME gave you the first look at Frozen’s Elsa in Once Upon a Time, and now the Hollywood Reporter has a teaser for the ABC show’s fourth season that features the newest Disney princess.

Of course, you can’t actually see the face of the live-action Elsa, played by Georgina Haig of Fringe frame, but the clip suggests her arrival will be a shake-up for many characters on the fairy-tale drama.

Elsa isn’t the only member of the Frozen gang coming to television: Elizabeth Lail will play Anna, Scott Michael Foster will play Kristoff, Tyler Jacob Moore will play Prince Hans and John Rhys-Davies will play the Troll King this season, which will be set after the events of the hit animated movie.

[THR]

TIME Television

Here’s Your First Trailer for Downton Abbey Season 5

The fifth season airs in the U.S. in 2015 after premiering across the pond in September

+ READ ARTICLE

Downton Abbey is getting extra political this year: the fifth season of the hit period drama takes place in 1924, the year of Britain’s first Labour party government and, consequently, a year of dramatic social change at the Crawley estate.

Cast members such as Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter and Laura Carmichael are all returning, while guest-stars Anna Chancellor and Richard E. Grant will introduce a few new characters into the mix.

Stray water bottles, however, are not expected to return.

TIME Television

Parks and Rec’s Cones of Dunshire Game Is (Almost) Real

“It’s about the cones. Never forget that.”

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From the lips of nerds to God’s ears: Cones of Dunshire, the amusingly complex fictional board game featured in Parks and Recreation has become a real-life game thanks to the company behind Settlers of Catan.

Parks and Recreation producers originally contacted Mayfair Games to create a loose concept for the game that Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) dreams up during time off between jobs, as Vulture reported last year. But while a commercial version of the game isn’t headed to stores, Mayfair did flesh out the concept and debut it at gaming convention GenCon, where 33 people paid $100 to participate.

“I don’t think that there was a plan to produce an actual game, and whatever cohesiveness there was to the content was almost an afterthought,” Alex Yeager of Mayfair told Nuvo, Indianapolis’ alt-weekly. “As we’ve moved forward with our planning for this charity event, we’ve come to regret that a little bit!”

Scott and Aziz Ansari, who plays Tom Haverford on the NBC comedy, even made an introductory video for the event. But no word yet on whether any of the lucky gamers followed it up with a round of True American.

TIME Television

Saved by the Bell’s Dustin Diamond Seeking Redemption in Bell Biopic

"Mega Python Vs. Gatoroid" New York Premiere
Dustin Diamond attends the "Mega Python vs. Gatoroid" premiere at the Ziegfeld Theatre on January 24, 2011 in New York City. Jim Spellman—WireImage

The actor who played Screech is looking for a redemption story — but will Behind the Bell be it?

Dustin Diamond, best known for role as Saved by the Bell’s “Screech,” doesn’t understand why he has such a bad reputation.

Like why fans believe he’s actually the aggressive guy they saw on reality show Celebrity Fit Club. (“It was scripted on my end,” the 37-year-old tells TIME. “I had to outdo Gary Busey! I didn’t think the fans would think of everything being real.”)

Or why they were turned off by his self-released and allegedly staged adult film, pleasantly titled Screeched — Saved by the Smell. (“Paris Hilton made $14 million for her sex tape . . . As an opportunist, I thought I could easily fake it and get a stunt double,” he said. “But people just ran with it. Everyone has a sex tape, but I was making porn. And I wasn’t, it wasn’t me. My conscience is clear.”)

And then there was his book, Behind the Bell, that claimed to provide salacious details about cast hookups and drug abuse that even Diamond now admits were embellished. (“They gave me a ghostwriter who just talked to me for a few hours here and there on the phone” and then came up with a false, final manuscript he was “powerless” to change, although he did pose for the cover, Diamond says. While he didn’t say what the book got wrong about other cast members’ stories, he said that he never called anyone a douche-nozzle or had a sexual relationship with NBC Vice President of Children’s Programming, Lisa Mancuso, who died of cancer years before the book’s publication.)

But now, Diamond is ready for redemption, which he hopes will come in the form of the upcoming and unauthorized Lifetime biopic based on Behind the Bell, premiering Monday. Diamond says the film isn’t based on the “nasty and negative” lies told by his ghostwriter, but on Diamond’s own clarifications. Viewers will be “surprised” by the film, Diamond says. And apparently Diamond will be, too — because in spite of his Executive Producer title, Diamond admits that he hasn’t “actually read the script or seen the final product.” Or been on set, for that matter.

When informed that the teaser shows Diamond’s character punching someone in the face while shouting “I’m not Screech!,” he was surprised, because that incident, he says, never happened.

“No one who is writing this was there,” says Diamond, revealing his first signs of concerns over the film, to which he signed on in a hands-off capacity. “I didn’t talk to [the writers] really, so how did they research? I’m going to watch with very nervous hopes . . . if they butcher it and get it completely wrong, I’m just going to film a documentary of just me talking about the errors.”

All this uncertainty might be why Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Bell’s Zack), Dennis Haskins (Mr. Belding), and Elizabeth Berkley (Jessie) have all exhibited disappointment in Diamond and complete disinterest in watching a dramatized version of what they remember as a positive experience. A spokesperson for Mario Lopez (A.C. Slater) responded to an email request for comment with a brusque single-word punctuated response of, “Nope.” Lark Voohries (Lisa), meanwhile, tells TIME that she will be watching because the movie’s release “was flattering all around, you know, that the excitement lives on.”

While Diamond and Voohries have kept in touch and worked together on independent film projects, Diamond says he hasn’t heard from the rest of the cast since he was 16, which was more than 20 years ago. Diamond was only 11 when filming of Saved by the Bell began, which socially isolated him from his mostly 14-year-old cast-mates.

“Some of [the cast] would go out to a bar or a restaurant, and I wasn’t invited,” Diamond says. “And at that age it hurts. And it was like, what am I? I haven’t earned my place?”

Diamond, however, says there are no hard feelings. “No one holds on to a grudge over two decades.” But, depending on the backlash from the Lifetime film, Diamond said that “maybe reaching out to the cast members after all this time would be a good thing.”

TIME Television

See What the Saved By the Bell Actors Have Been Up To

Bayside High has some pretty talented alumni

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Before the Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story premiers on Lifetime and ruins your memories of Bayside High School, let’s take some time to remember the cast.

The six biggest co-stars became household names at a young age in the late 80s and early 90s, but that isn’t always a recipe for later success. From staring in crime dramas to hosting The X-Factor, the Saved by the Bell kids managed to get pretty good jobs out of school . . . except Screech.

Here’s what the Saved by the Bell crew has been up to since they left Bayside.

 

TIME Television

Review: The Roosevelts: An Intimate History

President Theodore Roosevelt with his family, 1903Photo credit: Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace NHS
President Theodore Roosevelt with his family, 1903 Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace NHS/PBS

The PBS saga premieres Sept. 14 and airs every night for seven days

Documentarian Ken Burns issues another sprawling American ­story — 14 hours over seven episodes — this time exploring the legacies of the Roosevelts. Past histories of the family have almost always focused on Presidents (and distant cousins) Theodore and Franklin Delano, treating Eleanor (who was Teddy’s niece) and her activism as a sidelight. But Burns elevates the First Lady’s skillful promotion of social reform, putting it on equal footing as he takes on more than a century of politics and global change, from Teddy’s birth in 1858 to Eleanor’s death in 1962.

TIME Television

The Liberation of Lizzy Caplan

Michael Sheen as Dr. William Masters and Lizzy Caplan as Virginia Johnson in Masters of Sex
Michael Sheen as Dr. William Masters and Lizzy Caplan as Virginia Johnson in Masters of Sex Frank W Ockenfels—Showtime

How after dozens of false starts, the star of Masters of Sex finally got on top

A bone scraper and a sausage piper surround Lizzy Caplan, and yet she is nowhere near the set of her show, Masters of Sex. She is wearing jeans and open-toe sandals. This may have been a mistake, since she is walking into a refrigerator filled with dead pigs on hooks. It’s a tight fit into the meat locker of Lindy & Grundys, a posh Los Angeles butcher shop, and one of her human shoulders brushes against a pork shoulder. Caplan lets out a small yelp.

“This is horrifying,” she says with a grin. “I don’t eat a lot of pig because the outside is the same color as the meat. You need that disconnect you get with beef.”

Caplan is here for a sausage-making class, and, a little later, she is introduced to the Dickeron, a swordlike knife-sharpening contraption. Her hair, in a Fifties bob for her Emmy-nominated role of sexologist Virginia Johnson, starts, well, bobbing up and down.

“Pretty soon, I’m going to be making my own sausage,” says Caplan. She pauses, popping the giant greenish-gray eyes that have dominated multiple TV shows and movies that no one watched. “Once I get my own dick machine.”

Caplan picked the sausage-making class for our meeting, and I joke that I felt a tad uncomfortable writing about a female kneading pork. “I’m making it difficult for you because you’re going to have to figure out clever ways not to make innuendos about sausages,” says Caplan. But wouldn’t jokes be OK because she chose the place? Caplan gives me a withering stare. “I guess you could, but I’m expecting more from you.”

It was hard to tell if she was kidding or not. This is a vibe Caplan gives off to the uninitiated. “Part of her shtick is to come across as cold and standoffish at first, but it’s not at all what she’s like,” says Seth Rogen, who has known her since they were teenagers on Freaks and Geeks and who recently directed Caplan in the upcoming spy caper The Interview. “Lizzy’s very sweet once you get to know her. She has always played the smart, funny girl who cuts through the bullshit. That’s much harder than what I do, playing dumb.”

MORE: ‘Masters of Sex’ Q&A with Star Michael Sheen

In a way, the sausage-making conundrum is an apt metaphor for Caplan’s career. (No, really.) At 32, Caplan is best known for playing the anti-manic pixie dream girl (see Zooey Deschanel and Kirsten Dunst) in a bushel of little-seen but hilarious enterprises – get ye online and watch the caterers on Vicodin in Party Down or 2012’s girls-gone-wilding Bachelorette – where she’s the snarky girl with a heart made of some metallic concoction that is not gold. It was a great life, but Caplan felt hemmed in as “that girl” and wondered if that was all Hollywood had for her.

And that’s where sex came in. Caplan is winding up the second season of Showtime’s Masters of Sex, where she plays the research partner/lab partner/sex partner of Dr. William Masters as they delve into the study of sexual behavior during the 1950s. Eventually, their studies would land them fame, but the first years were harrowing, particularly for Johnson. There’s more than a little of Caplan in Johnson, not so much the sex part as wanting to be taken seriously in an industry more than happy to overlook her. The doubts of casting directors became her own doubts.

They remained even after she got the part. Caplan, co-star Michael Sheen and show creator Michelle Ashford met in L.A. with Showtime execs after the pilot was picked up in 2012. Sheen, a classically trained Welsh actor who has seemingly been playing Tony Blair his entire career, regaled the room with tales of portraying Jesus in a 72-hour re-enactment of the Passion play. Caplan listened closely and felt a roomful of eyes turn to her.

“Well, I once starred in a movie with Dane Cook,” she said.

Everyone in the room laughed. But when Caplan got back to her car, she thought, “I’m sitting across from Jesus, and everybody’s eating out of the palm of his hand.”

Then she started to cry.

At the shop, Caplan fires questions at Amelia the butcher, not unlike the way some of her characters might – “Have you ever gotten a pig and then cut it open and a baby fell out?” – and the conversation quickly takes a turn to the sexual proclivities of the American male as it relates to meat. Amelia recounts how strangers online send her messages about what they would like to do to her among the pork.

“Weird,” shouts Caplan above the sounds of pig-grinding. Ice is added to ease the transition from pig meat to sausage. “This was in the news recently, because somebody just got arrested for it. It’s like animal porn, but then they kill the animal. Like, pop a chicken’s head off while you’re jerking and shit.”

Amelia is horrified. “Oh, no. I am so turned off by this,” she says.

Caplan looks thoughtful for a second. “But doesn’t it sort of warm your heart that there’s something for everybody?”

Amelia doesn’t know what to say, so she just cleans up the pork snow-cone ice left over from our sausage-making. A little while later, Caplan exits the butcher shop with a bag of sausages that she’ll prepare for her dad tomorrow on Father’s Day. She takes a seat in a booth at a nearby restaurant, and while it’s not quite a wall, a reticence drops over her, making it clear she’s much more comfortable talking about choking chickens than her personal life.

MORE: In Pics: America’s Hottest Sex Symbols

She was raised not far from here, in the Miracle Mile in Los Angeles. Caplan is the youngest of three kids whose father is a lawyer. She had the childhood of a typical Jewish L.A. kid, a bat mitzvah, a domineering piano teacher, a trip to Israel, and a liberal home where questions about sex could be asked. But then her mom fell ill and died when Caplan was 13. Through the grieving, Caplan first started thinking of becoming an actress.

“Strangely, from that age on I thought the only reason why I could even attempt to be an actress was because this horrible thing happened to me,” she says in a quiet voice. “Like something dark and terrible had to happen in order to earn your stripes as a human being and be able to be an actress. I don’t know where I got that from.”

Caplan went to an L.A. arts high school, and then started going on auditions. Her first role was on Freaks and Geeks, co-starring Rogen, who recalls her as “funny, Jewish and smart, pretty much the whole package for me.” She was supposed to appear in one episode, but her charm won over showrunners Paul Feig and Judd Apatow. “There was something unique about her performance,” Apatow recalls. “So we brought her back again. Then, when it was time to shoot the finale, we were so impressed by her work that we thought, ‘What if Jason Segel’s character started dating Lizzie?’ She was amazing as his rebound romance.”

The Freaks and Geeks experience set the tone for much of Caplan’s career as she ambled into her twenties: winning quiet acclaim playing the role of “who’s that girl?” in shows and movies that disappeared. Caplan estimates she shot at least seven pilots. There were moments of brilliance, but lots of no’s – her role in Mean Girls was followed by a year without work. She scored a part inTrue Blood in 2008, but that came with its own trauma. On her second day, she was required to do the first nude scene of her career.

“I remember all the many hours of pep talks required of my friends, like, ‘Tell me that my body doesn’t look weird,'” says Caplan. “I walked into my dressing room, and where your clothes are hanging on a rack was just one pair of underwear.”

Caplan did what most people would do in that situation: She swigged some vodka, got drunk and started asking crew members how they liked her ass. Caplan recounts the story with some reluctance, perhaps regretting that and some of the other stories she let out of the bag about when she was young and brash – including a tale about passing out on her birthday naked and splayed on her bed, compelling her gay roommate to move out – and it’s clear she wants to be seen in a more serious light now that she’s on Masters of Sex.

“Aiming for the stars becomes a bit soul-crushing after you’re told ‘no’ for the thousandth time,” she says. “I didn’t want to be continually rejected. I was right at the doorway of believing I couldn’t do anything else when this came around. It was right in the nick of time.”

Since Masters of Sex started, Caplan hasn’t let her character wander away. She persuaded Thomas Maier, author of the book version of Masters of Sex, to let her listen to some of his interview tapes with Virginia Johnson. She became fascinated with the contradictions of Johnson, who insisted she never loved William Masters even though they ended up married for two decades. “There hasn’t been one day that has gone by in those three years that I have not been thinking about this job,” says Caplan. “I don’t remember a time before Virginia Johnson.”

Caplan harbored fantasies of spending the night with Johnson at her assisted-living center in St. Louis, but it didn’t happen. Johnson died last year and was ambivalent about the show. But Caplan, who dated Matthew Perry for years and describes herself as “recently seriously single,” sees something of herself in Johnson.

MORE: ‘Mean Girls’ 10 Years Later: Where Are They Now?

“She wanted to be a mother, but she didn’t want to be a wife necessarily,” says Caplan. “I still have this idealized version where maybe I’ll get to be both simultaneously. That’s the goal right now. But she tailor-made her own life, picking and choosing from each category what she wanted. That was difficult for a woman in the 1950s. That’s how I want to live my life. It’s an act of bravery for women now who choose not to get married, who can have babies on their own and pursue their careers first.”

But it’s not just the feminist part of Johnson that connects with Caplan. Johnson was often derided in the book and on the show for getting by on sass and not substance. It’s not too far from the way Caplan was viewed in Hollywood before Masters of Sex. “I think Lizzy looked at Virginia and said, ‘There are so many things I can identify with,'” says show creator Ashford. “She’s lived much of this herself.”

The great irony is that the sex scenes in Masters of Sex are the easy part of the show for Caplan. After the vodka on the True Blood set, she’s reached a comfort level with her naked self. Before a recent taping of a scene where Caplan and Sheen copulate, Caplan reclined, put her legs up and yelled, “Ah, home again.”

The psychological strain of Virginia Johnson has been more difficult. Caplan seems exhausted by the experience in a way one is not exhausted by playing the love interest in Hot Tub Time Machine. A few weeks ago, she found herself sitting in her dressing room saying to herself, “I don’t wanna do this, I don’t wanna do this, I’d rather be doing anything but this.”

“It was a momentary ‘what the fuck, why am I here?’ kind of an existential crisis,” she says. “But it passed real quick. This is only my second Season Two. I’m so lucky.” Caplan flashes a quick smile. She then gathers up her bag of meat and heads for her BMW. There will be no crying tonight.

MORE: In Pics: 8 TV Shows You Should Be Watching Right Now

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