TIME Television

24 Might Come Back… Without Jack Bauer

Kiefer Sutherland films scenes for 24: Live Another Day in London on Jan. 22, 2014.
Kiefer Sutherland films scenes for 24: Live Another Day in London on Jan. 22, 2014. Charlie Purvey—Splash News/Corbis

None of Kiefer Sutherland's character? It could happen

In a world… where 24… doesn’t… have… Jack Bauer?

A new pitch for a limited-series installment of the hit counterterrorism television show reveals a storyline that focuses on supporting characters but wouldn’t feature Kiefer Sutherland’s Emmy-winning role, Jack Bauer.

20th Century Fox TV chiefs Gary Newman and Dana Walden discussed 24 on Saturday at an executives’ Q&A session, Variety reports. The duo cautioned that there are no concrete plans yet, but a new version of the show–sans the indefatigable covert-op Jack–could arrive as early as 2016.

“We have great characters and that great creative team,” Walden said. She said the show would be an experiment to highlight supporting players, and added that Jack Bauer would remain the show’s central character in the long run.

[Variety]

TIME Television

Joe Manganiello, Lea Michele Join Ryan Murphy’s Scream Queens

Joe Manganiello, Michael Bastian and GILT Celebrate The Launch Of The MB Chronowing Smartwatch
Joe Manganiello has been cast as a series regular in Scream Queens, a new comedy-horror anthology series from Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Ian Brennan and Dante Di Loreto. FOX/Getty Images for GILT

Pop star Ariana Grande has also been tapped for a recurring role

Ryan Murphy has found the next generation of horror stars.

Joe Manganiello (True Blood), Lea Michele (Glee), Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine), and Keke Palmer (Masters of Sex) have joined the cast of his new comedy-horror anthology series Scream Queens, Fox announced at the Television Critics Association’s winter TV press event. Additionally, pop star Ariana Grande has been tapped for a recurring role.

The first installment of the anthology series tells the story of a college campus that’s rocked by a series of murders. As previously announced, Jamie Lee Curtis and Emma Roberts will also star.

The limited series hails from Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Ian Brennan and Dante Di Loreto, all executive producers on Glee and American Horror Story.

The 15-episode first season will begin production this spring and is slated to debut in the fall.

This story originally appeared at EW.com

TIME Television

Julianne Hough and Vanessa Hudgens to Star in Grease Live Musical on FOX

Knott's Scary Farm Celebrity VIP Opening
Vanessa Hudgens is set to play Rizzo in GREASE: LIVE (working title) airing Jan. 31, 2016 on FOX. Tibrina Hobson—FOX/Getty Images

NBC isn’t the only network that wants to stage live musicals.

Now FOX is scheduling a live performance of Grease and has cast Julianne Hough as the angelic Sandy.

Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical) has also signed on to play bad girl Rizzo in the network’s first-ever live TV production that will air Jan. 31.

Grease is one of the movies that made me want to be an entertainer, and I have literally been waiting my whole life to play Sandy,” said Hough in a statement. “My siblings and I watched it and played it out over and over when we were kids. This is my dream role and performing it live on television will be one of the most thrilling opportunities I’ve had in my career so far.”

Added Hudgens, “Being Rizzo is something I’ve never imagined, and I love that because it will be a new challenge. She is such an iconic character that continues to transcend generations. I cannot wait to bring her to life on live television. I’m going to be a Pink Lady!”

The production will air from 7 to 10 p.m. on Jan. 31 and will be executive produced by Marc Platt (Legally Blonde). Grease is based on the original musical by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey.

FOX follows NBC in trying to capture the zeitgeist with live musicals in prime time. Though NBC has invited a small but dedicated group of “hate-watchers” with its staging of The Sound of Music and Peter Pan, the productions generated a ton of buzz for the network and were big hits on social media.

On Friday, NBC announced that it licensed The Wiz, a musical retelling of The Wizard of Oz. NBC also has the rights to The Music Man but it has yet to decide what to air as a followup to Peter Pan.

This article originally appeared at PEOPLE.com

TIME Television

Dolly Parton to Bring Biographical Series to NBC

Dolly Parton performs during the Glastonbury Festival on June 29, 2014 in Glastonbury, England. Jim Dyson—Getty Images

The country singer signed a deal with NBC for a slate of 2-hour TV movies "inspired by her incredible life"

Dolly Parton is headed to NBC. The Queen of Country has signed a development deal with the company for a slate of two-hour TV movies.

“I don’t know anyone in the world who doesn’t love Dolly Parton, and the idea of developing television movies inspired by her incredible life and the stories she has sung about for decades is exciting to all of us at NBC,” Greenblatt said.

Parton herself is no stranger to television, having guest-starred on shows like The Simpsons and Disney’s Hannah Montana, often playing herself.

This article originally appeared on EW.com.

TIME Television

Stevie Wonder to Develop Underground Railroad Musical With NBC

performs onstage during the 19th Annual House Full Of Toys Benefit Concert "Songs In the Key Of Life" performance at The Forum on December 20, 2014 in Inglewood, California.
Stevie Wonder performs onstage during the 19th Annual House Full Of Toys Benefit Concert "Songs In the Key Of Life" performance at The Forum on December 20, 2014 in Inglewood, California. Lester Cohen—Getty Images

Freedom Run will also be a miniseries

Get ready for some really fun Tony Awards at a future unknown date: NBC has announced they’re working with Stevie Wonder on Freedom Run, a miniseries and Broadway musical about the Underground Railroad.

The miniseries is slated to run for eight hours and will be based on the book Forbidden Fruit: Love Stories From the Underground Railroad, by Betty DeRamus, telling the story of the secret 19th-century network that helped fugitive slaves flee to Canada or northern states.

Wonder will be the executive producer on Freedom Run, and though it’s very early in development, NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt says it’s his hope that Wonder will also write the music for the production.

[The Hollywood Reporter]

TIME Television

See How Johnny Depp’s Daughter Helped Perfect His Movie Characters

It involves barbies

Johnny Depp explained how his daughter helped him develop many of his eccentric characters on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Thursday—and it involves barbies.

Watch above to find out more.

 

TIME Television

The Costume Designer for Lifetime’s Whitney Houston Movie Breaks Down the Diva’s Most Iconic Looks

While creating the outfits for Whitney, Lifetime’s Whitney Houston movie that airs Saturday night, costume designer Mona May ran into one of the most notorious foes in the business: shoulder pads.

“When we look at shoulder pads that were worn in the 1980s and early ‘90s, you almost couldn’t wear them now because you would look like a flying nun,” says May, who is also the costume designer behind films such as Clueless and Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion. “It’s something every costume designer has to work with: how do you now make this fashion?”

To transform actress and America’s Next Top Model alumna Yaya DaCosta into Houston, May modernized Houston’s classic looks while paying close attention to the personal details, from the exact lace patterns on Houston’s dresses to the simple cross earrings she was known to wear. The Angela Bassett-directed film doesn’t tell all of Houston’s life story, instead looking at her relationship with husband Bobby Brown (Arlen Escarpeta) from 1989 to about 1995 — but recreating the era’s looks was still sometimes a challenge. Archival photos and video footage can be hard to come by, and materials that looked stunning on a red carpet in the 1990s don’t always look so hot on a soundstage or on DaCosta’s body type. “As a costume designer, you have to be like a detective,” May says.

Below, TIME asked May to break down seven of the more than 30 outfits DaCosta wore in the film.

“The best part of my job is when you just met the actress and you’re just getting to know each other,” May says. “You’re starting to put the clothes on and something right comes along, like the beaded jacket or the right pair of jeans, and the actor in the moment becomes who they’re playing. It’s really palpable.”

  • Heart and Soul

    Jack Zeman

    When the movie opens with the 1989 Soul Train Awards, DaCosta is wearing a replica of the outfit Houston actually wore that night. But because DaCosta is smaller than Houston was and has broader shoulders, May used her “tricks” — adjusting the length of the dress, the collar and sleeves — to ensure that the new proportions looked as good on her as the original did on Houston. “I think why Yaya looks so much like Whitney is because of the details — making her body look like [Houston’s] so she has the right movement and can really get into it,” May says.

  • Jewel Crush

    Florian Schneider

    Finding a beaded jacket like the ones Houston wore required an extensive search. “We were looking everywhere, we were looking on eBay, we went to all the costume houses in Los Angeles, we’re digging in all kinds of bins,” May says. “In the last minute, as it always happens, we went to this small costume house, Palace Costume. Somewhere in there was that jacket. When we put it on Yaya in a fitting, it just worked.” That it exuded both extravagance and approachability made it a winner. “She was never a diva you couldn’t talk to,” May says.

  • Serving Face

    Though May says there was some resistance to the outfit from a few producers, this vintage yellow blazer gave her a chance to showcase the era’s high-fashion trends. (The label is missing, but May believes it’s Oscar de la Renta.) “When we found that outfit, me and Angela were basically screaming with delight,” May remembers. “There are moments with the gold jacket and this yellow suit that people will go, ‘Oh my God, I remember this!’” The look, worn during a meeting with Clive Davis (Mark Rolston), also helps tell the story of Houston’s relationship with her label. “It showed how she really had to put on a face when she came in.” May says.

  • Shine Bright Like a Diamond

    Jack Zeman

    Not all sequins are created equal. “There are so many different kinds: how they are sewn on, what kind of shine they give away,” May says. “Some can be way too shiny, some super flat.” May worked closely with the film’s director of photography to find fabrics and textures that would do justice to the original outfits during filming. “In a dark performance stage or club scenes, people can get lost,” she explains. “We always try to bring something that is really sparkly and alive on the stage. When we tried [this dress] on, it worked beautifully, and it gave Yaya more curves.”

  • Red Hot Kinda Love

    Jack Zeman

    Houston and Brown were no strangers to matching outfits during the height of their fame, and this color-coordinated look from the 1993 Billboard Music Awards (where she won Artist of the Year) was a natural choice for the film’s tour montage. Though taken from a real-life reference, the look’s timeliness ultimately surprised May. “It’s so interesting how fashion comes around,” she says. “This lace dress, which is lined with a nude fabric, it’s now. This is really in fashion right. It’s really fun to be able to play with past and present.”

  • Nice Day for a White Wedding

    Jack Zeman

    When recreating Houston’s wedding dress from 1992, May went from store to store trying to find the right kind of lace and earrings to maintain historical accuracy. Not all the outfits from the purple-themed wedding — the bridesmaids and groomsmen all wore matching purple — aged as well as that look, however. A tiny bit of creative license was necessary: “We have to modify it to our contemporary eye so it doesn’t look hideous. You want to look at it as something that is historic but looks good,” May says. “You don’t want to be going, ‘Oh my God, what is going on here!”

  • The Greatest Look of All

    Jack Zeman

    For the “I Will Always Love You” performance, May and Bassett went back and forth about what to do. They considered a purple dress as a nod to Houston’s favorite color before opting for a white gown that, while not based on an outfit Houston actually wore, best wrapped up the film’s complicated love story. “It wouldn’t be right to put on the gold jacket or anything that was over the top,” May says. “We have to show the love, the simplicity of two people. You want her to be the star, the legend, but you also want to see the person.”

TIME movies

Viola Davis: ‘The Opportunities in Film are Still Few and Far Between’

Viola Davis
Viola Davis Danny Moloshok—Invision/AP

The actress talks about filming in Asia with her co-star Chris Hemsworth

In addition to leading ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder (which returns Jan. 29), Viola Davis also stars opposite Chris Hemsworth in the new action-thriller, Blackhat, now in theaters. In the film, Davis plays Carol Barrett, an FBI agent who teams up with an incarcerated hacker (Hemsworth) to hunt down a dangerous international cybercrime ring.

TIME caught up with the actress to talk her Facebook habits, her research for the role and how she’s staying relevant in Hollywood.

TIME: After starring in a movie about cybercrime and hacking, what was your reaction to the big Sony hack?
Viola Davis: I have to say, I was not surprised! Because of my experience in the film, I knew how vulnerable we are to cyber attacks. I’m so careful with what I put out there on Facebook and my emails. I’m so careful before I press that send button. I know how accessible our information is and how we could be easily shut down just as a country. I had an expert come to my house and just walk me through what they do when they hack a computer and how they problem-solve. Your computer basically is you!

You mentioned Facebook — is that an official actress Facebook, or a secret one for friends and family?
No, I just have one. I don’t have any secret ones. I’m not that sophisticated to have a secret one! I probably should have a secret one. I should probably have a secret name when I check into hotels, but I dont. I just have one email and one Facebook. People will go, “Is that your Facebook page? Or is someone handling it for you?” I always say, “No, it’s me!”

What else did you do to prepare?
I literally flew to D.C. to meet with Michele Leonhart, who’s the head of the DEA. I sat with her for an afternoon, so I did all of that. I learned a little bit of Mandarin, which was terrifying.

Do you still to practice it?
Oh my God, no. Literally once I learned my three sentences, that was it! I couldn’t do anymore.

Parts of Blackhat were shot in Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur — what was it like being there with that cast?
I was blown away. I was just transported into a completely different way of life — the smells, the sounds, the pace, the people, the landscapes, the mountains and the harbor. Shooting in Kowloon can’t be explained unless you’re there. It was great being with that cast there because it was just such a special cast that was willing to sacrifice comfort, that’s for sure. There are no trailers in China! It was mostly 100 degrees with 200 percent humidity. No trailers, no air conditioning. You were really thrust in the midst of the cities. Asia’s just a completely different world, that’s all I can say. I absolutely loved it.

You’ve been offered no shortage of roles as a government employee or agent. What made this one different?
Working with [director] Michael Mann and working in a movie that was international. I need television because the opportunities in film are still few and far between. You always have to look for reasons to stay relevant. You always have to look for reasons to be international. That international market means everything in terms of relevancy. Working with Michael Mann and Chris Hemsworth? Being one of the leads in an international movie? All of that helps JuVee Productions, which is me and my husband’s production company. We have so many exciting projects coming out. I do so many roles for so many different reasons now. There are a lot of different reasons I did it.

TIME Television

Review: The Best and Worst of the New Amazon Pilot Season

The_Man_in_the_High_Castle_Pilot_5903.NEF
Amazon Prime Video's The Man in the High Castle David Berg / Amazon

No Transparent here, but could I interest you in a Nazi-occupied 1962 America?

Following up its Golden Globes coup with Transparent–and whatever exactly it’s going to be doing with Woody Allen–on Thursday Amazon Video released its latest crop of pilots for viewers to watch and rate: 13 adult and kids’ shows in all.

This doesn’t entirely kill the old system of network (or in this case e-commerce) executives ordering a bunch of pilots and choosing which will live or die. The viewer vote isn’t binding–and good thing it isn’t, since voters last year gave Transparent the lowest rating of any show in its group. But it does mean that you now have a voice in the process just like idiot critics like me.

That said, you may not to want to spend several hours of your day helping pick new product for Jeff Bezos, so I watched the pilots for you. (Or rather, everything except the kids’ shows–I do this for a living and even I don’t have that much time on my hands.) In alphabetical order:

* Cocked. This family drama, about brothers reuniting to save a troubled family gun business, plays very, very broad. (One sibling is played by Jason Lee, with only a little more subtlety than he gave his character in My Name Is Earl.) But I’m intrigued by the exploration of the gun subculture and the dynamic of the liberal black sheep (Sam Trammell) being drawn back into a family and life he rejected. Done right, it could be a kind of .44-caliber Big Love.

* Down Dog. My love for Paget Brewster is vocal and enduring, but she’s only a supporting player in this comedy about a handsome dimwit yoga instructor (Josh Casaubon), who, after breaking up with his partner/girlfriend (Brewster), must learn to run the business himself. It feels a little like HBO’s Hung with pigeon poses instead of prostitution, and the pilot didn’t do much to make me care what happens to the protagonist.

* Mad Dogs. Based on a successful British series and produced by The Shield‘s Shawn Ryan–with a cast including Ben Chaplin, Michael Imperioli, Romany Malco, Steve Zahn, and Billy Zane–this dark-comic hour about a group of middle-aged friends running into underworld trouble in Belize looked great. But its midlife-crisis themes are tired, uninvolving and depressing. It’s tense and well-executed, though; the pilot did everything right except make me watch more.

* The Man in the High Castle. This alternate-history drama from The X-Files‘ Frank Spotnitz (based on a Philip K. Dick novel) imagines a year 1962 in which the Axis won WWII, and the U.S. is partitioned between Germany and Japan. The dialogue and war-movie-villain types run to cliché, and the production looks less like premium cable than a Syfy show. But the idea is gripping, there’s already the sense that the creators have thoroughly imagined a dystopian world, and scenes in the pilot are genuinely chilling. With improved execution, this could become a must-watch.

* The New Yorker Presents. This mostly-nonfiction series anthologizes short films based on the work of the storied magazine, and, it’s well, anthological. A Shouts-and-Murmurs-y short written by Simon Rich works better than most of the fantasies in Rich’s Man Seeking Woman. An interview with artist Marina Abramovic by Ariel Levy is thoought provoking (but could use a little more Abramovic and a little less Levy). There’s a smart, playful Jonathan Demme documentary on biologist Tyrone Hayes. And there are cartoons, which are–they’re cartoons, and don’t gain much from translation to a new medium. A poem is read. Cool jazz plays over the credits. A little precious but nicely made, and it will probably make you feel smarter.

* Point of Honor. This Civil War drama, from Lost‘s Carlton Cuse and Randall Wallace, was originally developed for ABC. And you can see why it didn’t get any farther: it has ambitions of subtlety and historical sweep–a wealthy Virginia family frees its slaves, yet vows to defend the Confederacy–but the clumsy pilot mainly offers cotton-pickin’ melodrama.

* Salem Rogers. I wanted to like this one, if only because it’s the only pilot of this class that aims at being flat-out, in-your-face, ha-ha funny. (Not to mention the only one built around a female star.) But Salem–starring Leslie Bibb as a former supermodel fresh out of rehab but totally unrepentant (and unrehabbed)–chased me off. Full of insult humor and acting out, it plays a little like a Ryan Murphy comedy, except–I can’t believe I’m saying this–Ryan Murphy would have made this more sophisticated.

In part, the question here is not how much you like these shows, but what are they worth to you? The decision on a streaming series is a different one than for a broadcast or basic-cable show. There, you’re just deciding whether to flip the dial to a channel you already have and spend a few minutes of your time. As with Netflix, watching Amazon’s shows requires paying up for a subscription ($99 a year for Prime, though the pilots are free), so cold economics suggest a higher bar. (It’s also comparable to premium cable, as is the content–in particular, there are nude female bodies splayed all over these pilots. Again, not the kids’ pilots.)

Transparent was a pilot that I would have bought a subscription to watch off the bat. None of these are yet, though The Man in the High Castle, and maybe Cocked, could become one. But you can watch the current pilot season for yourself. As Amazon has proven, it’s a big market, and no two customers are alike.

TIME Television

Here’s How You Can Help Choose Amazon’s Next Shows

Amazon Fire TV
Amazon Fire TV Home Screen Amazon

Amazon launched 13 new television pilots

Amazon launched 13 new television pilots via the company’s website Thursday, and which ones will get full runs may be partially up to you. The company offers free viewing of the programs and encouraging customers to tell the company which shows they think should receive a full season run.

“We are working with great storytellers on some fascinating ideas for the year’s first pilot season,” said Amazon Studios vice-president Roy Price in a press release. “We look forward to seeing our customers’ response to these new projects.”

This year’s set of pilots includes a diverse group of comedies, dramas, shows for children and a documentary series. The talent for the shows includes marquee names such as Academy Award nominee Ridley Scott, The X-Files producer Frank Spotnitz and The Shield creator Shawn Ryan. A full season of Woody Allen’s Untitled Woody Allen Project received the green light without a pilot.

Amazon made its first foray into original content in 2013 with shows like Alpha House. Just days ago, the studio won a best television series Golden Globe for the show Transparent.

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