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'Orange Is the New Black': 'Weeds' creator Jenji Kohan talks about her women-in-prison Netflix show

In writer-producer Jenji Kohan’s new show Orange Is the New Black, a woman gets in trouble because of drugs. Sound familiar? That may be because because Kohan’s previous show, Weeds, was also about a woman getting into trouble because of, uh, drugs.

“I love it when people screw up and try to make things better,” says Kohan. “I think some of the sensibilities are the same because there’s a certain tone that I have. But Orange is its own beast.”

A caged beast, in fact. The largely prison-set Orange is based on Piper Kerman’s 2010 memoir of the same name, which details the 13 months the Smith College graduate served behind bars as a result of having, years previously, transported cash for her then-girlfriend, an international drug smuggler. Taylor Schilling (The Lucky One) stars as Piper Chapman, and Laura Prepon plays Chapman’s ex-lover and fellow inmate. Other prisoners are portrayed by Kate Mulgrew and Natasha Lyonne, while Jason Biggs is Chapman’s fiancé.

The latter character is an echo of the real-life boyfriend to whom Piper Kerman became engaged after growing out of her wild, female drug smuggler-dating ways, although Kohan says the pair’s onscreen relationship is a fictionalization: “We made all that sh-t up. But what was interesting is we would make stuff up and then Piper would sometimes tell us, ‘Wow, that was a little close.’ Which we felt meant we were doing something right.”

Below, Kohan talks more about Orange is the New Black, the entire first season of which is now available on Netflix.
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Lauren Graham novel being adapted for TV

Lauren Graham’s debut novel is getting adapted for TV.

EW has confirmed a Deadline report that the Parenthood actress’ book, Someday, Someday, Maybe, which was released earlier this year, is in the early stages of development, with Ellen DeGeneres’ A Very Good Production and Warner Bros. TV set to produce.

Graham will pen the script and executive produce the hour-long drama, which is about a young woman with six months left on her three-year plan to have a career as an actress in New York City.

Read more:
Lauren Graham parents a first novel
‘Big Bang Theory’ and HBO are big winners at Critics’ Choice Television Awards
‘The Americans,’ ‘Breaking Bad’ lead TCA Awards nominations

'Orange Is the New Black': Check out the trailer for Netflix's women's prison drama

It isn’t often you get to utter the words, “Hey, I’ve stood in that women’s prison shower!” But that’s exactly what I said while watching the trailer for the Netflix dramedy Orange Is The New Black, whose set in Queens, NY, I visited earlier this year.

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'Under the Dome' extended trailer: Transparent trouble -- VIDEO

Last month, we got a minute-long look at Under the Dome, CBS’s upcoming adaptation of Stephen King’s novel. Now the network has released an even longer trailer for the limited series, which premieres June 24. Expect quaint Americana, actors you’ll recognize from other beloved series (Lost! Breaking Bad! Twilight!)… and, oh yeah, a giant transparent dome, which inexplicably appears above the quiet town of Chester’s Mill. Intriguing!

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Netflix sets release date for 'Orange is the New Black'

Orange is the New Black, Jenji Kohan’s new dramedy, will premiere its 13 one-hour episodes on Netflix on July 11.

An adaptation of Piper Kerman’s memoir (subtitled, “My Year in a Women’s Prison”), Orange stars Taylor Schilling as Piper Chapman, who ends up behind bars thanks to a long-ago relationship with a drug runner played by Laura Prepon. Jason Biggs’ is Piper’s fiancé. Kohan will serve as exec producer, writing the first and last episodes of the series, which will be her first project following Weeds.

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Joe Manganiello teases new season of 'True Blood' (and forthcoming fitness book with a foreward by Schwarzenegger)

Last week, Joe Manganiello was in New York City promoting Magnum Gold (?!) ice cream with the premiere of the Magnum-sponsored short film As Good As Gold at the Tribeca Film Festival. (Yes, he jokes, the man behind Magic Mike‘s Big Dick Richie shilling Magnum is “synergy.” See a photo from when he popped by the EW offices below.) But don’t worry, the actor’s still in top form filming the new season of HBO’s True Blood, which premieres June 16.

New showrunner Brian Buckner starts season 6 with a bang, Manganiello says. “He’s letting loose a lot of the things that he’s wanted to do the past few years and maybe didn’t get around to doing.” Last we saw Alcide, he’d just become the new pack master. “He’s in charge of this unruly group of werewolves, and it’s not the best job in the world. I’ll just say that,” the actor adds. Actually, we got a bit more out of him: Alcide will have more sex, he confirms. “Whether or not there are Hong Kong wires, I don’t want to give any of that away,” he says, laughing. “But we definitely get into some territory that hasn’t been covered yet on True Blood. I thought I’d done it all, seen it all, but they somehow found a way to top last year.” READ FULL STORY

'Hannibal's Mads Mikkelsen: Lecter is the devil... 'but I kind of like him'

“I don’t find you that interesting,” Hugh Dancy’s disturbed FBI profiler tells Hannibal Lecter in NBC’s new serial-killer thriller, Hannibal.

Maybe, but we certainly do. Since coming to life in Thomas Harris’s 1981 novel, Red Dragon, Lecter has tantalized and terrorized readers and moviegoers alike, most notably in The Silence of the Lambs, the 1991 movie that won Anthony Hopkins his Best Actor Oscar.

Tonight, Lecter is reborn — younger and more stylish than ever — with Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen playing the brilliant psychiatrist long before he’s captured or even suspected of his gruesome crimes. Counseling Dancy’s Will Graham, whose ability to envision the most evil of deeds comes at a psychological cost, Mikkelsen’s Lecter is still safe behind a mask of respectability.

Mikkelsen, no stranger himself to playing a memorable villain (Casino Royale), initially hesitated at the opportunity to step into the role, but creator Bryan Fuller (Heroes) sold him on the relationship between Lecter and Graham. “It’s all about Will,” says Mikkelsen. “Everything circles around his character, and he’s a troubled man. I believe I can help him, either to get out of that trouble or to embrace that trouble.”

The actor sat down with EW at a Manhattan coffee shop to talk about the show, which premieres tonight at 10 p.m. For the record, there were no fava beans or chianti on the menu. READ FULL STORY

'The Walking Dead': Robert Kirkman talks about last night's fatalities-filled season finale

Who will live and who will die? That was the question on the lips of fans before last night’s episode of the Walking Dead. Of course, given the nature of AMC’s undead saga, that tends to be the question on the lips of fans before every episode. But this week the query had a particular urgency given the (correct) assumption that the season finale would finally feature the showdown between the Rick-lead prison-ites and the Governor-ruled Woodburians.

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'Walking Dead' Q&A: Robert Kirkman talks the Governor, Andrea, and THAT shocking climax

Tonight’s episode of AMC‘s zombie saga the Walking Dead was a great one for fans who love Andrea — and arguably an even better one for those who don’t. Beware of SPOILERS.

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'Hannibal' teaser: 'His name may ring a bell' -- VIDEO

So here’s the thing about NBC’s Hannibal: even though we know that the clever serial-killing Dr. Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) will help catch other serial killers before — spoiler: inevitably — getting caught himself, we know very little about the show itself. It’s a thriller from Bryan Fuller, premiering on April 4. Hugh Dancy plays Will Graham, the FBI profiler previously played by William Peterson (Manhunter) and Edward Norton (Red Dragon). And… that’s about it, save for one fractal 30-second teaser released back in February.

And now we can add another 15 seconds of footage to the evidence with another, even shorter, teaser. Do we learn anything new? No. Does the footage satisfy the double requirements of high-class gore and puns? Absolutely.

A warning, though: someone’s arm was probably harmed in the making.

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'Walking Dead' exec producer Robert Kirkman talks about tonight's show, 'I Ain't a Judas'

You know how sometimes you lose track of a friend? And they start shacking up with a deranged post-apocalyptic dictator who tortures a couple of your other pals, and wants you dead, and dumps a van full of human flesh-hungry zombies on your doorstep? And then your friend comes round to visit and things get a little, well, aw-kward? Then you will have been unsurprised by the most recent episode of AMC’s undead show the Walking Dead.

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'The Walking Dead': Robert Kirkman talks about tonight's show

The-Walking-Dead

The characters on The Walking Dead spent most of tonight’s show enjoying a nice, quiet day — if the word “nice” can be used to describe (in the case of Rick) searching for the ghost of your recently eaten-by-zombies wife and (in the case of Daryl) reminiscing about being physically abused by your father. But things turned very nasty in the final fifteen minutes as the Governor and his goons sent hirsute convict Axel to the great Lynyrd Skynyrd concert in the sky and unleashed a, literal, van-load of walkers onto our beleaguered heroes.

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'The Walking Dead': Robert Kirkman on tonight's midseason premiere and the unexpected return of [SPOILER]

There was an abundance of seemingly crazy decisions in this week’s episode of AMC’s back-from-winter-break zombie show, The Walking Dead. Daryl (Norman Reedus) opted to head off into the woods with his nutjob brother Merle (Michael Rooker) while Andrea (Laurie Holden) made an impassioned speech in support of life at Woodbury, despite its leader’s fondness for utilizing fish tank-dwelling decapitated zombie heads as decorative furnishings. But by the end of the episode it was clear that the man really going off his rocker was Andrew Lincoln’s increasingly troubled and hallucination-prone Rick.

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