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FX renews 'Fargo,' 'Louie'

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FX is renewing two critically acclaimed shows: The heavily Emmy-nominated freshman drama Fargo will return for a second season and Louis CK’s acerbic comedy Louie will be back for a fifth season.

For the anthology series Fargo, the story will feature an all-new cast, a different time period setting and have a new “true crime” story that will unfold across 10 episodes. Writer-producer Noah Hawley will once again showrun the series. “We could not be more proud of Fargo,” said John Landgraf, CEO of FX Networks. “Noah’s audacious, bordering on hubristic riff on my favorite Coen brothers film earned 18 Emmy nominations—the most for a single program in our history. Fargo was nothing short of breathtaking and we look forward to the next installment.” There’s no premiere date yet, but Landgraf says it won’t be ready until fall 2015—at the earliest.

The second season won’t necessarily have a major film star like Billy Bob Thornton, the executive noted, and suggested Hawley’s writing in Fargo was superior to HBO’s oft-compared True Detective. “I think True Detective is going to have to prove it’s not just a vehicle for movie stars [next season],” Landgraf said. “[True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto] is going to have to write something truly great every single year. I think Noah has already proven he can write something really great … I think we needed Billy Bob [to launch the show] but we don’t need somebody next year. Frankly, I think we can do it with unknowns—[newcomer] Allison Tolman brought as much to Fargo as Billy Bob.” READ FULL STORY

'The Walking Dead': Norman Reedus thought Daryl Dixon was about to be killed off last season

Last week we brought you an exclusive photo from season 5 of The Walking Dead that showed Daryl Dixon gagged and bound. No doubt that sent shivers down the spines among fans of Dixon and the man who plays him, Norman Reedus. Of course, as a fan favorite, Daryl would seem to be the last person the show would ever dream of killing off. However, Reedus did actually think his number was being called near the end of season 4 when Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman…well, called his number. READ FULL STORY

'Boardwalk Empire' won't go quietly in its final season

HBO has taken a page out of Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner’s playbook, releasing another promo for Boardwalk Empire‘s final season that manages to make every brief clip feel super important while at the same time revealing almost nothing about the season’s plot. READ FULL STORY

'True Blood' costume designer talks Eric and Pam's formal, flashback attire

Spoiler alert: If you haven’t watched this week’s episode of True Blood, “Lost Cause,” stop reading now. (Or, at least read our full recap first.) The Pam and Eric show continued as the duo traveled to Dallas in search of Sarah Newlin at a Ted Cruz fundraiser hosted at the Bush Library. We spoke to True Blood‘s costume designer, Audrey Fisher, about their memorable formal wear. And because we’re still obsessed with those flashbacks to 1986, 1996, and 2006, we got the backstory on those looks as well.

The Dallas Fundraiser

Seeing as how Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) would dress Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten) in a purple sequin gown that Pam would joke makes her look like a “republic-nt,” and Pam would get even more joy out of dressing Eric up as the perfect Texan businessman, Fisher had one focus: “Try to get costumes that definitely were a big wink, but that weren’t too comical,” she says.

For Eric, she custom-made a traditional Western-style suit: “I had to make at least doubles of it, maybe even triples. I sketched it up. We found a great fabric that we could get enough of, because he’s a tall man—it’s a lot of yardage, more than just the average suit. And a wonderful tailor in Koreatown whipped up these beautiful suits that fit like a glove and have really beautiful Western detailing. We topped it off with not a 10-gallon hat—that would be too comical—but a really beautiful Western hat.” READ FULL STORY

'Simpsons'-'Family Guy' crossover to include 'Bob's Burgers' cameo

A few more details about the much-anticipated Simpsons-Family Guy crossover episode were spilled today at Fox’s comedy showrunners panel at Television Critics Association press tour. READ FULL STORY

'Gotham': 4 new-ish things about Fox's Batman prequel

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We had a deep-dive interview with Gotham showrunner Bruno Heller a couple months ago that answered many of the burning questions about Fox’s upcoming Batman prequel series. But when Heller took the stage at the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Beverly Hills on Sunday, he still revealed a few fresh-ish tidbits about the ambitious series, which premieres Sept. 22 on Fox: READ FULL STORY

Fox explains cutting 'Glee' final season order: 'It burned so hot and so fast'

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You already know the final season of Glee will only be 13 episodes. Now Fox Networks Group Chairman-CEO Peter Rice is going on the record as to why. Naturally the musical dramedy’s ratings are a giant factor — the recent fifth season fell sharply to all-time lows. But when asked about the cutback at the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Beverly Hills on Sunday, the executive had something else to add.

“I think Glee is one of the great shows in television history, and it was so hot and so big,” Rice said. “I remember being in this room, and while a lot of people assumed it was going to fail, you guys supported it. And it touched so many hearts and brought social issues to the forefront, and it burned so hot and so fast. But it’s been on for over 100 episodes now in six seasons, and we want to go out in a way that celebrates it. And we thought that finding 13 episodes and compacting it and doing it in a straight run was a better way to finish the show.”

The news comes a couple days after a court ruled that Glee would have to change its name in the UK. Seems the title Glee infringes on a similarly named stand-up comedy chain in the UK. Perhaps Fox could argue that viewers couldn’t possibly confuse the two since the show hasn’t really been funny in years?

Previous from Fox’s TCA day:
Fox: ‘American Idol’ contestants need to improve
‘Bones’ season 11? More ’24’? Fox chief gives odds

'Simpsons' character will die in season 26 premiere; 'Futurama' crossover to air in November

If you think the next new episode of The Simpsons will be casualty-free, you’ve made a grave mistake: The anticipated installment that features the death of a familiar face has been slated as the season 26 premiere. Speaking to EW last fall, executive producer Al Jean promised viewers “an emotional story” and dropped just a few hints about who will wind up pushing daisies. One, the actor who voiced this character claimed an Emmy for his/her performance in the role, and two, the character has appeared in more than two episodes. (UPDATE: During a Fox panel at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, Jean noted that the soon-to-be-deceased character could return in a flashback or as a ghost.) READ FULL STORY

Fox: 'American Idol' contestants need to improve

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How can Fox improve American Idol? According to the network’s top executive, it’s the contestants that could use some upgrading.

Fox Networks Group chairman Peter Rice told reporters at the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Beverly Hills on Sunday that Idol is “aging gracefully,” and that increased competition from shows like NBC’s The Voice are a factor in the former ratings kingpin’s declining popularity. Yet the executive had one specific note for improving the show itself, which is carrying over last season’s judges panel of Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. into next year’s 14th season. READ FULL STORY

Video: Zac Efron goes shirtless in 'Running Wild' clip because, of course

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By now, we’re all well-aware that Zac Efron has a penchant for taking his shirt off—he’s gone shirtless in a Nicholas Sparks romance, in a Seth Rogen comedy, even in Disney Channel Original Movies. But now he’s taking it off for… a show with Bear Grylls?

Famous survivalist Bear Grylls lured in some famous friends, including Ben Stiller and Channing Tatum, to go on remote adventures with him for new NBC reality show Running Wild. For Zac Efron’s episode, the two ventured into the Catskill Mountains of New York to repel down cliffs and jump out of helicopters—shirtless, of course.

READ FULL STORY

'Bones' season 11? More '24'? Fox chief gives odds

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What are the odds that Bones will get an 11th season?

What about Jack Bauer returning to fight yet another day?

Fox chairman and CEO Peter Rice was asked by critics at the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Beverly Hills on Sunday on the chances of both shows getting another season.

On 24, which had a somewhat modestly rated return this summer for Live Another Day, Rice said: “I loved this year’s season of 24 … I’ve always been a fan …we haven’t had a specific conversation…I’m sure we will in the future … It’s a wonderful franchise … they did a great job this year … when you look at the show itself, it has many more stories to tell.”

Rice noted in a huddle with reporters after the panel that 24‘s ratings saw plenty of gain from DVR playback. Yet since star Kiefer Sutherland says he considers Live Another Day to be the final season, the executive would presumably have to convince the actor to return. READ FULL STORY

Video: Ruth Wilson and Dominic West get steamy in new 'The Affair' trailer

Showtime’s upcoming drama The Affair is about, well, an affair, but not just any affair: In the show’s latest trailer, Ruth Wilson’s Alison and Dominic West’s Noah speak to a detective about a supposed accident, hinting there’s a lot more to the story.

The series starts off with the happily married Noah meeting Alison, also married (to Joshua Jackson’s Cole) but seemingly not as happily, at a restaurant where he’s dining with his family—wife (Maura Tierney) and four children included. Things escalate quickly when Noah sneaks out of his in-laws’ beachfront home to meet Alison and begin their summer fling. 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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