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Epix to air holiday James Bond marathon

If there’s not enough shaken drinks and espionage-related promiscuity to spice up your life this holiday season, Epix has got you covered with their holiday James Bond marathon.

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Christopher Walken just wants to dance

“Who is the greatest villain of all time?” demands Christopher Walken, standing aboard a ship’s deck on a Long Island soundstage. An obvious answer would be Walken himself. During his lengthy and mayhem-filled movie career, he has shot an unarmed Dennis Hopper in True Romance, taken out a hit on Andy Garcia in Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead, and plotted a watery death for the entire population of Silicon Valley in the Bond movie A View to a Kill. But today, something is very different about Walken. Soon after delivering that line, he begins to sing—wearing full pirate regalia, a long black wig, and a hook on his left hand.

Walken, 71, is rehearsing his role as Captain Hook in Peter Pan Live!—a follow-up to last year’s Carrie Underwood-starring The Sound of Music Live!—which NBC will broadcast on Dec. 4 with Allison Williams as the boy who won’t grow up. The role requires Walken to sing around half a dozen songs and execute a tap number. But what does a man best known for playing murderers know about killer dance moves? READ FULL STORY

Spend Christmas Eve with a Chuck Norris movie marathon

Die Hard may always take all the action-movie attention around Christmas, but this year, Chuck Norris is stepping in to challenge John McClane’s holiday throne.

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CBS gives pilot production commitment to 'Limitless' TV show

EW has confirmed that CBS has given a pilot production commitment to Limitless, a TV show based on the 2011 Relativity film starring Bradley Cooper.

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Tom Hanks, Tim Allen reprise roles in 'Toy Story' ABC holiday special

The toys are returning for another go-around on television.

ABC announced that they will be airing Pixar Animation Studios’ second Toy Story television special, Toy Story That Time Forgot, following up on the last special, Toy Story of Terror!, which aired in Oct. 2013.  This time, the Toy Story gang gather after a post-Christmas play date and find themselves facing off against a group of action figures who turn out to be “dangerously delusional.” The gang will need the help of Trixie the triceratops if they ever hope to go back to Bonnie’s room.

Tom Hanks and Tim Allen will reprise their roles as Woody and Buzz Lightyear, along with Kristen Schaal as Trixie, Kevin McKidd as Reptillus Maximus, Wallace Shawn as Rex, Timothy Dalton as Mr. Pricklepants, Don Rickles as Mr. Potato Head, and Joan Cusack as Jessie.

Toy Story That Time Forgot premieres Tuesday, Dec. 2, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

MGM is launching the United Artists Media Group (again)

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios is trying to make United Artists happen … again. Originally launched in 1919, the United Artists banner has been through its ups and downs. Its most recent revival came in 2006, thanks to Tom Cruise, Paula Wagner, and MGM. But after Wagner left in 2008, and Cruise’s stake disappeared a few years later, it is now fully owned by MGM. And now, the studio is planning a relaunch.

MGM announced in a press release that is has acquired a 55 percent interest in Roma Downey, Mark Burnett and Hearst Entertainment’s One Three Media and LightWorkers Media, which includes hit shows Survivor, The Voice, Shark Tank, and more. According to MGM, those entities will be consolidated into a “new media venture called United Artists Media Group.”

Although UAGM will include both scripted and non-scripted television shows, it will also feature motion pictures and digital content, with Burnett serving as CEO. Meanwhile, Downey will serve as president of Lightworkers Media, the faith and family division of UAMG.

“I am extremely pleased to be partnering with Mark, Roma and Steve in this incredible new venture that we believe will be accretive to MGM’s business,” MGM’s CEO Gary Barber said in a press release. “Mark and Roma are without a doubt the most successful and dominant players in unscripted television and faith-based content and we are excited to be distributing UAMG content worldwide. Together with Hearst Entertainment’s vast array of media assets and knowledge, MGM could not have wished for better partners to continue to grow the MGM business of creating premium content for distribution across multiple platforms. Additionally, we are extremely optimistic about the launch of an exciting new Over-The-Top (OTT) faith-based channel. Finally, I am truly honored to welcome Mark, Roma, Steve and their entire team into the MGM family.”

Speaking of the Over-The-Top channel, MGM is hoping it will “create a singular destination for audiences of faith worldwide and on every screen.” The channel will have original content, premium film and television catalog titles, user-created short-term faith-based videos, and more.

Hearst Corporation president and CEO Steven Swartz added: “MGM is a storied entertainment company and we are excited to expand our partnership with Gary and his team, as well as Mark and Roma, to create the next hit programming for a new audience of consumers.”

Kennedy Center to honor Tom Hanks, Al Green, Lily Tomlin, others

The 37th annual Kennedy Center Honors, which recognize the lifetime contributions of artists, have selected their 2014 honorees: singer Al Green, filmmaker Tom Hanks, singer-songwriter Sting, comedienne Lily Tomlin, and ballerina Patricia McBride.

As per usual, the honorees, who are chosen by the Kennedy Center’s Board of Trustees, will sit with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the Kennedy Center Opera House, while their peers and fans honor them with performances and tributes. READ FULL STORY

'Agents of SHIELD' gag reel: It takes a few takes to save the world

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Last summer at Comic-Con, the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. were an unproven bunch tasked with spreading Marvel’s Avengers universe to television. After an up and down first season that alternately fascinated and frustrated viewers, the show got picked up by ABC in May for a second season. C’mon, who was really worried that they brought Agent Phil Coulsen back to life just to pull the plug after 22 episodes?

Today—just one day after production began on season 2—the S.H.I.E.L.D. gang was back together in San Diego for the show’s panel to tease upcoming episodes and discuss the first-season Blu-ray. Reflecting on the first season, they played the gag reel that is one of the bonus features on the disc release, due Sept. 9. READ FULL STORY

James Garner, TV legend from 'Maverick' and 'Rockford Files,' dies

James Garner, the rugged leading man who charmed generations of audiences with his roles in Maverick, The Rockford Files, and The Notebook, died of natural causes on Saturday night in Los Angeles, according to TMZ and the Associated Press. The Emmy winner—and 14-time nominee—had suffered a stroke in 2008 and was 86.

The persona he first projected in Maverick in 1957—handsome, charming, genial, a bit of a rogue, mostly a mensch—established Garner as America’s leading television actor. Born James Scott Baumgarner in Norman, Okla., in 1928, he survived an upbringing that was at best knockaround and often, at the hands of a cruel stepmother, abusive. “By the time I was 14, I’d become an independent little bastard,” he says. “Nobody was going to tell me what to do.” The attitude ebbed; the independence remained. As a young man, he played football, migrated to California, flunked out of Hollywood High, spent a semester at the University of Oklahoma, served in the Merchant Marines, won two Purple Hearts in Korea, modeled Jantzen swimsuits, and eventually fell into acting.

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Bryan Cranston to star in HBO adaptation of Broadway's 'All the Way'

Bryan Cranston is returning to television: HBO acquired the rights to Broadway’s All the Way, the Tony-winning play in which the Breaking Bad star portrayed Lyndon B. Johnson, the network confirmed to EW.

Cranston will reprise his role as the 36th president of the United States, with playwright Robert Schenkkan on board to adapt the stage version for the small screen. Steven Spielberg will serve as executive producer on the HBO Films project.

All the Way was named best play at the Tonys last month, where Cranston took home a trophy for his performance as LBJ. The show closed June 29 after 131 performances at the Neil Simon Theatre, breaking Broadway box office records when it grossed over $1.4 million over eight performances—more than any play ever brought in during a single week.

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck star in first 'Project Greenlight' revival promo

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck want to make your movie.

Actually, wait, strike that: The Oscar winners want you to make their movie. As Damon and Affleck explain in the first promo for their revived docuseries Project Greenlight—returning to HBO after an 11-year absence—they’re not looking for screenplay submissions this time around. Instead, the new Greenlight will focus only on the trials and tribulations of a first-time director making a major motion picture. (Their pick will be helming a “Hollywood-vetted script;” no other details about the film have been released yet.)

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Zoe Saldana talks 'Rosemary's Baby,' reveals how tight script security is with 'Avatar' and 'Star Trek' -- LISTEN!

There are three things that helped Zoe Saldana decide to take on the role of Rosemary in NBC’s two-part remake of Rosemary’s Baby, premiering Sunday (Mother’s Day, how nice!) and concluding May 15: She liked the people she’d be working with, she found a way to remove the pressure of worrying about how fans of the classic 1968 Roman Polanski film would receive the update; and oh yes, she’d be spending three months in Paris, where this version of the horror story is set. It may have been that last one that sealed the deal, which she jokingly admitted when she stopped by Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM 105). Listen to her chat with EW Morning Live hosts Dalton Ross and Jessica Shaw below. You will also learn that the French do not take it easy on gorgeous movie stars who don’t speak their language.

In the second clip, Saldana gives updates on the next Avatar and Star Trek films, reveals just how crazy script security on J.J. Abrams and James Cameron movies can get, and is very happy to hear Dalton say he’s genuinely looking forward to Guardians of the Galaxy (she got up at 3:30 a.m., six days a week, for five months, to spend four hours in the makeup chair to play Gamora). READ FULL STORY

Pluto.TV: Is this the new world of online video?

It started with Elmo. A little over a year ago, web entrepreneur Ilya Pozin was working on his computer with his two-year-old daughter perched in his lap. To keep her entertained, he was searching for online Sesame Street videos. He’d put one on, but after each one ended, his daughter would yell out, “More Elmo, Daddy!” —  and Pozin would have to go on the hunt for another video. “I’m sitting there thinking, ‘Why am I having to DJ for her every three minutes?'” Pozin says, laughing. “I should be able to just throw on a channel for my daughter that plays videos she loves constantly.”

So he and co-founders Nick Grouf and Tom Ryan built a new web platform, Pluto.TV, to do just that. The platform, which launched today, March 31, essentially sifts through the millions of online videos available on Youtube and elsewhere, finds the best ones, and then put them into channels, and shows on those channels, that run 24/7. It’s like a cable menu for online video. So, for instance, if you’re really, really into cute cat videos (and let’s face it, who isn’t), you can click on Pluto’s Cats channel, and watch a curated list of the best of those  —  everything from shows on “Big Cats” to “Kitten Zone” — all.day.long., for free. You can also DVR stuff and invite friends via Facebook to watch videos with you (and chat about them) live.

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