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From MMA training to tattoo design: Creating the look of 'Kingdom'

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Setting a scripted television show in the world of mixed martial arts means accurately portraying a very physical subculture of society. So when Byron Balasco created Kingdom, he made sure to craft every detail, from the setting down to the individual tattoos each of the characters would wear with pride. It was a job Balasco took very seriously, because he knew that through Kingdom, he was not only introducing many fans to a new world, but he was also creating an accurate portrayal for those already familiar.

With that in mind, Balasco decided he had to focus just as much on the exterior of the show as he did the interior. First, he chose the setting of Venice, California. “There’s a lot of collision of culture,” Balasco said of Venice. “There’s a lot of glamour and sexiness to it and there’s these Southern California ideals, but there’s a tone of grit and edge to the place that I think is great for our show. There’s still a rawness there if you look in the right places.”

From there, Balasco turned to the look of the characters. Physically, he needed to find actors who couldn’t just get into fighting shape but who could also master the movements and general feel of a fighter. And for that, actors Frank Grillo, Nick Jonas, Jonathan Tucker, and Matt Lauria attended the fight camp of UFC fighter Joe “Daddy” Stevenson, who later served as an MMA tech on the show. For several weeks before filming, the guys drove out to Pomona, California where they underwent two-a-days with real fighters.

“They got their asses kicked,” Balasco said. “All of those guys leaned into it. It’s not about lifting weights, it’s really a way these guys move. You could go into a room of 100 people and pick out the fighter in two seconds. These guys really did a great job of getting all their movement down, even when they’re not fighting, just the way they move through the world is different.” READ FULL STORY

'The 100': Will Clarke's detainment at Mount Weather drive her mad?

If you thought the Grounders were bad, just wait until you meet the residents of Mount Weather—at least that’s how Clarke feels when The 100 returns for its second season. Desperate to escape her cell in the underground bunker that houses the Mountain Men, Clarke will go to great lengths to find out if her people are alive.

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'Sons of Anarchy': Inbar Lavi on Jax-Winsome chemistry and her return

Spoiler alert: The Oct. 21 episode of Sons of Anarchy introduced Winsome (Gang Related‘s Inbar Lavi), a prostitute who trades information on her abusive pimp’s whereabouts to Jax (Charlie Hunnam) in exchange for a new job at Diosa. As executive producer Paris Barclay, who directed the episode, tells EW in our full postmortem, it wasn’t until showrunner Kurt Sutter saw the chemistry between Jax and Winsome that he decided to play with it again in episode 10. Lavi initially turned down the chance to audition for the show, only because she had the flu when she got the call. But hearing that the casting department was rooting for her, she rallied. Here, the Israeli-born actress—who’s currently in Pittsburgh filming The Last Witch Hunter with Vin Diesel, Elijah Wood, and Michael Caine—talks about the character’s backstory and teases her return. READ FULL STORY

'Sons of Anarchy' director Paris Barclay on that 'Greensleeves' scene

Spoiler alert: The Oct. 21 episode of Sons of Anarchy, “Greensleeves,” ended with Jax (Charlie Hunnam) receiving a box from August Marks that will haunt SAMCRO and viewers. Exec producer Paris Barclay, who directed the episode, takes EW inside filming that tragic twist and the other big moments. READ FULL STORY

'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.': How long will Mockingbird be sticking around?

Warning: This story contains major spoilers from this week’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. scored a new team member during Tuesday’s episode—but she almost came at a steep price.

Determined to get the obelisk back from Skye’s father (Kyle MacLachlan), Raina (Ruth Negga) attempted to blackmail Coulson (Clark Gregg). Unless he handed over Skye (Chloe Bennet), she’d send an email ousting Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) as a S.H.I.E.L.D. mole within Hydra. Coulson called her bluff because he had a backup plan: The very Hydra security agent tasked with finding the mole was actually another S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Bobbi Morse (Adrianne Palicki), otherwise known as Mockingbird. Unlike the comics, in which Mockingbird was the wife of Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), this version is the ex-wife of newcomer Lance Hunter (Nick Blood). What’s in store for the newest member of S.H.I.E.L.D.? EW tracked down Palicki to find out.

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'Arrow': Will Oliver find out about the Thea-Malcolm partnership?

What’s left of the Queen family will be reunited this week as Oliver (Stephen Amell) travels to Corto Maltese—also the name of Wednesday’s Arrow episode—to track down his missing sister, Thea (Willa Holland). The youngest Queen heir left Starling City at the close of season 2 with her real father, Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman), otherwise known as the Dark Archer, Ollie’s sworn enemy whom he believes to be dead.

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See the first photos of Nina Dobrev's 'The Originals' crossover

Nina Dobrev will cross over from The Vampire Diaries to guest star on The Originals in an upcoming episode. Prepare for love-triangle deja vu… READ FULL STORY

'Shameless' adds actress/singer Annie Little for season 5

Shameless is welcoming a new (and beautiful) voice for season 5.

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'Sleepy Hollow' taps 'Gossip Girl' alum Michelle Trachtenberg as guest

Our nation’s second First Lady will soon pop up on Sleepy Hollow. READ FULL STORY

SyFy renews 'Z Nation'

SyFy has renewed Z Nation for a second season, EW has confirmed.

The renewal news has come in the midst of the show’s first season, which has achieved consistent, yet middling ratings since its series premiere. In spite of the non-Walking Dead numbers, SyFy is putting its weight behind the zombie drama.

The show centers on a post-zombie apocalypse that has ravaged the United States, where a group is tasked with transporting the sole survivor of a zombie wound to a lab across the country so that his antibodies can create a vaccine to save humankind.

Z Nation airs Fridays at 10 p.m. E.T. on SyFy.

 

'Revolution' star Tracy Spiridakos checks into 'Bates Motel'

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Bates Motel is getting a new tenant. Tracy Spiridakos has booked a recurring guest-star role on the A&E drama, EW has learned.

The Revolution alum will play Annika Johnson, a mysterious woman who shows up at the hotel in the third season premiere. READ FULL STORY

5-Minute Oral History: The 'thousand yellow daisies' scene in 'Gilmore Girls'

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In Gilmore Girls‘ first season finale, Lorelai explains to her boyfriend Max (Scott Cohen) what a proper proposal should look like: “There should be a thousand yellow daisies, and candles, and a horse, and I don’t know what the horse is doing there unless you’re riding it, which seems a little over-the-top…” Max takes Lorelai’s words to heart—leading to one of the show’s most romantic and visually arresting moments. Here’s how it came together. READ FULL STORY

'The Flash' gets full season ('Jane the Virgin' too)

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The CW has given full season orders to The Flash and Jane the Virgin.

The network picked up both of its freshman dramas for the rest of the season. “We have had a fantastic start to our season this year, with The Flash launching as our most-watched series premiere ever, and Jane the Virgin recognized as the best new show this season by critics across the country,” said Pedowitz. “Over the past three seasons, we have made it our mission to grow and to broaden out our audience, and to keep raising the bar with the quality and impact of our new shows, and The Flash and Jane have both exceeded our expectations on all counts. I’m thrilled to announce full season orders for both of these terrific new series.” We’re hearing that Flash was picked up for an additional 10 episodes and Jane for nine (both received an initial 13 episodes).

The Flash opened to 6.1 million viewers including three days of DVR playback. Jane bowed more modestly, but this week apparently at least held steady. The two shows join Fox’s Gotham, ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder and Black-ish among new shows that have received a full-season pickup.

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