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Christopher Walken to play Captain Hook in NBC's 'Peter Pan'

Oh this should be good: Christopher Walken is going to play Captain Hook — live.

NBC has tapped the veteran Pulp Fiction actor to play the top villain in its next big live musical special Peter Pan. NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt revealed the decision at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills on Sunday. Though usually considered a dramatic actor, Walken has a long history of singing and dancing roles. From Pennies from Heaven (1981) to Hairspray (2007) to Jersey Boys (2014) to appearances on NBC’s own Saturday Night Live.

“He might really be a song and dance man at heart,” Greenblatt told critics. “He’s fearless as a comedic actor and always comes to play. I guarantee you he’s going to bring his own spin to Captain Hook. He might be the first tap-dancing Captain Hook.”

As for casting the title role, Greenblatt confirmed he’s looking for a female actress for the part. He also revealed he wanted to cast none other than Kristen Bell (Frozen) as Pan — but that he had to let it go. “We’ve actually had several women who wanted to do it but they’re either busy or their schedules don’t work,” he said. “It’s not like we can film this at any time. I need that person from Aug. 5 to Dec. 5 and so that knocks out the Kristen Bells of the world — who is someone that I talked to about doing it and she was interested, but she’s doing House of Lies … it’s tricky finding the right person, but we’re actually close.”

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Every episode of 'South Park' now available for streaming on Hulu

Everyone’s favorite R-rated cartoon is now on Hulu: Beginning today, the entirety of the South Park library will be available for streaming until its 18th season premiere September 24. READ FULL STORY

Amazon trying Netflix's binge TV model

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Binge is the new black: Amazon Studios is taking a cue from streaming rival Netflix in its release of an upcoming series. The TV studio division of the online retailer plans to make available all 10 episodes of its new dark comedy Transparent at the same time this fall. Transparent creator Jill Soloway announced the move to reporters at the show’s Television Critics Association’s semi-annual press tour panel in Beverly Hills on Saturday.

When Amazon released its first round of major shows — comedies Alpha House and Betas, which debuted last year — the company rolled out new episodes on a staggered basis, like traditional TV networks. But Amazon Studios chief Roy Price hinted in March that model might change. The executive told Vulture that there’s “a certain degree of enthusiasm” for the Netflix binge model and that “sometimes the only way to understand something is to try different approaches.” Yet he also noted that when you release a whole season of episodes all at once, “the social media conversation related to the show tends to decline more rapidly than with a normal show.” READ FULL STORY

Martial arts drama from 'Smallville' team coming to AMC

Could AMC successfully resurrect the martial arts TV drama?

On Friday, AMC announced a straight-to-series order for Badlands, a new series based “very loosely” on the Chinese tale “Journey to the West.” The project is from writer-producers Al Gough and Miles Millar, who in addition to The CW’s Smallville also did the kung fu comedy film Shanghai Noon. Also on board are producers Stacy Sher and Michael Shamberg (Pulp Fiction) and martial arts filmmakers Daniel Wu (Tai Chi Zero) and Stephen Fung. The show’s pitch: “In a land controlled by feudal barons, Badlands tells the story of a great warrior and a young boy who embark on a journey across a dangerous land to find enlightenment.” READ FULL STORY

'Better Call Saul': New photos, details from 'Breaking Bad' spin-off

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The producers of Better Call Saul are answering some questions about the hotly anticipated Breaking Bad spin-off prequel, and AMC is releasing some new photos. Writer-producers Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould took questions from reporters at the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Beverly Hills on Friday.  Here’s what we learned:

1. The series regulars and their confirmed character names joining star Bob Odenkirk: Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad) as “fixer” Mike Erhmantraut, Michael McKean (This is Spinal Tap) as Chuck, Rhea Seehorn (Franklin & Bash) as Kim, Patrick Fabian (Grey’s Anatomy) as Hamlin and Michael Mando (Orphan Black) as Nacho.

2. Better Call Saul is set in 2002 — six years before Saul (Odenkirk) meets Walter White (Bryan Cranston) in Breaking Bad. Funny enough, that the events in Breaking Bad starting in 2008 is also new information, Gilligan said, noting that the original show never specified what year it took place. “I hesitate to say it, but it is indeed a period piece,” Gilligan said.

3. Yet the show will definitely jump around in time, as has been widely reported. “I think the best way to answer this and not get yelled at is you saw from Breaking Bad that we like non-linear storytelling and jumping around in time,” Gilligan said. “I would point you in the that direction, that anything that’s possible in Breaking Bad is possible in Better Call Saul.”

4. Saul Goodman’s name in Better Call Saul is not yet Saul Goodman. When we meet Odenkirk’s character, he’s actually known as Jimmy McGill, a small-time lawyer hustling to make ends meet and working with Mike. The series will track Jimmy’s transformation into Saul Goodman.

5. McKean (photo below) plays Goodman’s brother. “So we have these two comedy legends working together,” Gould noted. READ FULL STORY

'Fifty Shades of Grey' could have been an explicit TV show on Starz

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We could have had a super explicit Fifty Shades of Grey TV show.

Starz’ CEO Chris Albrecht told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour Friday that he lobbied Universal for the rights to the bestselling S&M book series. His pitch: A three-season TV series where each E L James novel was told over the course of a full season.

Albrecht was originally talking about his upcoming series Outlander, a romantic fantasy (with much softer sexual content than Fifty Shades). Outlander is based on a series of books by Diana Gabaldon and each season will roughly follow the course of one of her novels. READ FULL STORY

Video: Strangers undress each other for 'Masters of Sex' ad

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A few months back, a video featuring strangers kissing went viral. Remember that one? Of course you do. It’s called First Kiss and it was directed by Tatia Pilieva.

Now, Pilieva is back with Undress Me. This time, she’s asking 20 strangers to undress each other (in pairs, let’s not get crazy here) as an ad for Masters of Sex, which returns to Showtime Sunday, July 13. READ FULL STORY

Starz' 'Outlander' to premiere online early

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You won’t have to wait quite so long to watch Starz’ eagerly awaited fantasy drama Outlander.

The premium network plans to make the premiere available free online one week before its planned series launch date. The first Outlander episode will be put online Aug. 2, with the series premiere on Starz as planned Aug. 9. The first eight episodes of the 16-episode debut season will air over eight consecutive Saturdays through September 27. Then Starz plans to put the show on winter hiatus, with the second half scheduled to continue in early 2015. READ FULL STORY

Emmy bait: Watch nominees in 25 of the year's best TV scenes

While much of the talk surrounding the announcement of the 2014 Emmy nominations focused on bigger-picture issues (snubs both critical and fan-enraging, the historical impact of a Simpsons omission, and so on), the year leading up to Thursday’s roll call was actually made up of many smaller flashes of brilliance on the small screen.

EW launched its 50 Best TV Scenes of the Past Year three weeks ago in an effort to highlight some of those moments—the most powerful, funny, touching, lusty, or sometimes just plain awkward moments over the 2013–14 season. It’s no surprise, then, that many of the key players involved with these scenes, both in front of and behind the camera, heard their names on Thursday morning. Maybe… EW launched its 50 Best TV Scenes of the Past Year three weeks ago in an effort to highlight some of those moments—the most powerful, funny, touching, lusty, or sometimes just plain awkward moments over the 2013–14 season. Unsurprisingly, many of the key players from those scenes (both in front of and behind the camera) heard their names on Thursday morning.

Simply put, the scenes below, which we think in had no small hand in earning the nominees their spots at the Emmys ceremony on Aug. 25, are the best of the best.

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Colin Farrell in talks for 'True Detective' season 2

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Colin Farrell could be the new star of HBO’s True Detective.

The Irish actor (Fright Night, In Bruges) has been in talks for the role. We’ve been sitting on this news waiting for the deal to close, but as another outlet broke ranks and posted, we’re joining the inevitable online chorus despite the situation still being uncertain. So keep in mind there is no deal at this time as sources say the actor has not accepted HBO’s current offer. But as of today, Farrell is definitely in the mix and considered the most likely lead name to join the acclaimed drama. READ FULL STORY

'Big Brother': Julie Chen on first evictions of the season and game changes

Each week after every eviction, host Julie Chen will answer a few questions about the latest episode of ‘Big Brother’. 

EW: Two evictions in, do you think the game changes have been effective?
JULIE CHEN: I absolutely think the game changes are effective. With two less people, it’s only going to get tougher to decide who the two HOHs nominate. It almost forces people to play hard or be eliminated. Plus you are going to have a lot of upset people every week with 4 nominees. Even if you win battle of the block, you are going to be mad you were nominated and then you’re going to want payback! This game just gets more intense. READ FULL STORY

'Dating Naked' trailer: And you thought Tinder was brutal (NSFW)

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It’s naked and really afraid!

Below is the first full trailer for VH1′s next-level dating show experiment Dating Naked, where singles go on tropical dates in the buff. The skin-n-blur preview shows attractive nervous singles as they awkwardly navigate first dates without clothes at a tropical resort.

Each close-ended episode will feature a man and a woman as they each date two different, naked suitors and each other. At the end of the episode, the two romance seekers decide whether or not to move forward with their prospective love matches. There’s naked dining, naked swimming, naked horseback riding and even naked elimination ceremonies (there’s nothing quite like being rejected while naked on national television).

The show is part of an overall naked reality TV trend that includes Syfy body art painting series Naked Vegas, TLC’s real-estate-shopping series Buying Naked and, of course, Discovery Channel’s survival show Naked and AfraidDating Naked premieres Thursday, July 17. Here’s the trailer (vaguely NSFW): READ FULL STORY

Exclusive: Watch the extended trailer for MTV's controversial theme park dramedy 'Happyland'

Back in October, MTV ordered two new comedy pilots: the pseudo-lesbian high school series Faking It, which earned a second season renewal in June, and Happyland, a soapy teen dramedy that dives into the not-so-glamorous behind-the-scenes reality of a popular theme park.

Set to premiere on September 30, Happyland stars Bianca Santos (of The Fosters) as Lucy, a cynical employee and daughter to the park’s perfect princess Elena (Camille Guaty). Desperate to escape the park’s brand of manufactured happiness, Lucy rethinks her desire to flee after the arrival of a new staff member—the son (Awkward’s Shane Harper) of Happyland’s new owner—who brings a scandalous secret with him. (Spoiler: The, er, family-unfriendly twist caused quite a stir at the TCA Press Tour earlier Friday.)

Check out the extended trailer for Happyland, which was created by Ben Epstein and includes uber-producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan among the EP team. READ FULL STORY

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