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Best of 2014: Inside Hallmark's holiday TV movie factory

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Considering Hallmark Channel’s annual “Countdown to Christmas” programming begins on Halloween, it should come as no surprise that Christmas is on the mind of Michelle Vicary, executive vice president of programming and network publicity for Hallmark and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, all year round. “We right now are in development and some stages of pre-production and finalizing scripts for 2015,” she says. “We like to get real snow as often as we can, but yes, there will be some movies that’ll be shot in the summer and people will be shivering in 80 degree weather with the fake snow.”

This year’s 12 original holiday movies have reached 56 million unduplicated viewers and made Hallmark the most-watched cable network among households and women 25-54 for seven weekends. Here’s a peek behind the curtain.

Click here for more of EW.com’s Best of 2014 coverage. READ FULL STORY

Ernie Hudson cast as Ursula's father Poseidon on 'Once Upon a Time'

Ernie Hudson is trading in his proton pack for a trident, as the actor has been cast as Poseidon in Once Upon a TimeEW has confirmed.

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Hulu acquires exclusive rights to stream 'Fargo' season 1

Hulu announced its plans to exclusively stream most of FX and FXX’s successful new shows from 2014 on Dec. 18, but one show was conspicuously absent—Fargo.

Though thanks to a new deal, you betcha the critically acclaimed show is coming to the streaming service next year. READ FULL STORY

'Covert Affairs' creators talk that season 5 finale ending

Spoiler alert: The Covert Affairs season 5 finale, “Gold Soundz,” brought about big changes for Annie (Piper Perabo) and Auggie (Chris Gorham). After almost being killed, again, the latter decided he wants to leave the agency and travel the world with Natasha (Liane Balaban). If/when the show gets an order for a sixth season, would Auggie be in it? “Oh, he’ll be in it,” co-creator Matt Corman assures us. “It’s a slightly different dynamic for him at the outset. I think for now he’s trying this, trying something different. It’s interesting, he’s been so defined by his job. He has the CIA so dialed that for him, maybe more than any of our other characters, stepping out of that workplace is gonna be a real shift.”

With Arthur (Peter Gallagher) considering a run for Senate, Joan (Kari Matchett) heading up a new task force, and Annie debating whom to work for, whether to accept that mid-action sequence proposal from McQuaid (Nic Bishop), and what to do about her heart, season 6 could look a lot different. “It’s like any family, right, people go off in different directions, but they’re all still a family. There will always be things that unify them,” co-creator Chris Ord says. “And,” adds Corman, “pull them back together.” READ FULL STORY

Louis' next move revealed in 'Suits' promo -- exclusive

Suits fans have been waiting months to see what will happen now that Louis (Rick Hoffman) has figured out that Mike (Patrick J. Adams) doesn’t have a law degree—and that those closest to him at the firm have been hiding that fact. In August’s midseason finale, Louis used the knowledge as leverage to make a demand: “Pearson Specter Litt.” Will Jessica (Gina Torres) and Harvey (Gabriel Macht) make him a name partner? And what might that mean for Mike? Get a sneak peek at the new promo below.

Suits resumes its fourth season Jan. 28 at 10 p.m. ET on USA. READ FULL STORY

HBO orders Sarah Silverman-led pilot

Sarah Silverman is returning to HBO with a comedy pilot.

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'You're the Worst,' 'Tyrant,' more FX shows to stream exclusively on Hulu

Good news: Hulu will enable its premium subscribers to catch one of the underappreciated gems of 2014—You’re the Worst.

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'Covert Affairs' creators share details from season 5's finale

While Covert Affairs fans await word on whether USA will renew the globe-trotting drama, the intense fifth season comes to a close Thursday as Annie (Piper Perabo) and McQuaid (Nic Bishop) try to get villain-turned-potential asset Belenko (Shawn Doyle) out of Argentina. “It’s a classic Covert Affairs episode in that there’s high stakes, we’re abroad, they’re operating without a net, and they’re up against a tremendously savvy adversary,” co-creator Matt Corman says, referring to the Russian Vega assassins who want Belenko dead. As co-creator Chris Ord explains, “If anything, the bar is higher than last season when Annie’s goal was to kill Henry. In some ways, not killing someone—or at least trying to get him out of somewhere alive—is the tougher goal.”

Corman and Ord wrote the episode, which sets one particularly nail-biting sequence in Buenos Aires’ Recoleta Cemetery. “That’s such an iconic location in that city, and to be able to set an action sequence there—trying to take advantage of all those twists and turns and little alley ways—was really a dream come true,” Ord says.

While they promise viewers will see Annie and McQuaid’s relationship evolve even further in the finale, there’s also plenty happening Stateside with Auggie (Chris Gorham) returning home to help Calder (Hill Harper) and Joan (Kari Matchett) continue their search for Belenko’s cohort Langer (Joel Keller). “It represents real danger for some of our folks at home, which is something we haven’t always done,” Corman says. “This is kind of a synthesis of danger at home and danger abroad.” READ FULL STORY

Lily Rabe talks her return to 'American Horror Story' -- exclusive

[SPOILER ALERT IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE LATEST INSTALLMENT OF AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAK SHOW.]

The most recent episode of FX’s American Horror Story: Freak Show marked a homecoming of sorts for Lily Rabe. The actress, who appeared on all three previous installments of AHS but is now shooting her ABC thriller The Whispers, returned to play her Asylum character, Sister Mary Eunice. The kind nun was seen dealing with Pepper (Naomi Grossman), after she was sent to Briarcliff by her malicious sister (Mare Winningham). Though it was a brief appearance, it was also a marked difference from the demon-possessed woman last seen in Asylum.

EW talked exclusively to Rabe about returning to AHS and fan theories about further connections. READ FULL STORY

Best of 2014: How Johnny Weir, Tara Lipinski became the breakout stars of Sochi

Ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White earned gold in Sochi, so we’ll say the second best performance delivered by U.S. figure skaters at the 2014 Winter Olympics was Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski, who joined play-by-play announcer Terry Gannon in the booth. The trio have since been named NBC Sports Group’s new lead figure skating broadcast team, which means they’ll be calling the action through the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

We chatted with Weir and Lipinski to learn five secrets to their Sochi success.

Click here for more of EW.com’s Best of 2014 coverage. READ FULL STORY

'Suits' star Gina Torres joins 'Revenge' in recurring role

Suits star Gina Torres will be trading in the courtroom for a beachfront view when she joins the cast of ABC’s Revenge in a recurring role.

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'Game of Thrones' teaser delivers short, mysterious look at season 5

HBO is doling out the quickest of teases as viewers wait for Game of Thrones‘ fifth season, and a new clip offers a look at… well, it’s difficult to exactly say.

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