In the current issue of Entertainment Weekly, we spoke to showrunners who’ve gone through the painstaking process of bringing a series to an end. The 2002 finale for Chris Carter’s nine-season sci-fi series The X-Files was special in many ways: Not only did it bring back a main character who’d exited the show (David Duchovny’s Agent Mulder), but it also gave fans a chance to see their heroes (Mulder and Gillian Anderson’s Agent Scully) reunite in a full-circle type of scene that harked back to the show’s 1993 premiere. Furthermore, The X-Files was one of the first series to fully engage with its fans online — as Carter puts it, “We really came of age with the Internet.” Read on for our full conversation with Carter about his experiences putting together the X-Files finale and how it might affect his new Web series, The After. READ FULL STORY
(This story features Martin Freeman talking about Tuesday’s episode of Fargo. Spoilers below!)
Aw, jeez — we didn’t see that coming.
Yes, Martin Freeman’s mild-mannered Lester Nygaard was in the middle of one very bad day when we met him in Fargo‘s premiere. And encountering a dangerous drifter like Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton) — while you’re in the hospital, thanks to your old high-school bully — would be enough to put anyone on edge. But even when Lester’s wife seethed, “You’re not a man, Lester. You’re not even half a man,” we didn’t think he’d kill her.
Freeman unleashed Lester’s frustration in a thrilling display of desperation and pent-up rage — then offered a glimpse at the insurance salesman’s potentially devious side when Lester concocted a plan to actually get away with murder.
We talked to Freeman about the scene and Lester’s motivations, as well as how a taste for sin changes this unlikely criminal. READ FULL STORY
For Entertainment Weekly‘s “The Art of Saying Goodbye” story, which ran in the April 11 issue, we interviewed the masterminds behind 10 iconic TV shows to learn how they crafted their series finales. No one’s story was quite like Dawson’s Creek creator Kevin Williamson’s. He’d stepped away from the drama, which was originally set to end with the season 6 episode “Joey Potter and Capeside Redemption,” which sent Joey (Katie Holmes) off to Paris. But then the network had an idea: “Warner Bros. called Greg Berlanti up knowing we were friends and said, ‘See if you can talk Kevin into doing the finale.’ I went to lunch with Jordan [Levin], president of The WB, and they had the conceit: Why don’t we do five years in the future? They were like, ‘Let’s push ahead and show how everyone ended up.’ I thought about it, and I went, ‘Okay. That frees me up. That allows me to tell a new story,’” Williamson says. Below, in our extended Q&A, he details how he decided what that new tale would be (RIP, Jen), when he changed his mind about who Joey would end up with romantically, and why you shouldn’t hold your breath for a reunion movie. READ FULL STORY
If you liked the 30 Rock finale, thank The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Frasier ... and iCarly.
For EW’s “The Art of Saying Goodbye” story, which ran in the April 11 issue, we interviewed the masterminds behind 10 iconic series, who discussed the formidable challenges of concocting the perfect farewell episode. Here, in a bonus Q&A, 30 Rock’s Exec Producers Tina Fey and Robert Carlock talk about the challenges of sending off Liz Lemon and Co. — and what classic finales they screened for inspiration.
EW How long did you know how you wanted to end 30 Rock?
Tina Fey There were some things that we knew and had even come up before the finale. We knew we wanted Kenneth to inherit NBC and we knew at some point that we wanted Liz to adopt children or a child. Originally it was going to be this child that Kenneth fathered by accident at the Beijing Olympics or something. It was gonna be this blonde hair Asian kid who looked like Kenneth. And then we…
Robert Carlock … backed off of that! READ FULL STORY
Maya Rudolph will make her return to NBC next month with some song and sketch — not to mention, a little help from her famous friends. READ FULL STORY
Stephen Colbert will begin transitioning into his new role as CBS’ upcoming Late Show host next week. The appointed Late Show heir will give his first interview since accepting the job to — who else? David Letterman.
David Letterman will interview Colbert on the Late Show on Tuesday, April 22.
Last week, CBS announced the Colbert Report host will succeed Letterman when the veteran host retires after 21 years on the show. Though a widely-praised choice for the gig, there remains some question as to what Colbert will be like as a host after shedding his conservative Comedy Central character. Though he’s made plenty of media appearances as himself before, the Late Show interview should help introduce CBS viewers to the man who’s taking over the 11:35 p.m. franchise.
One week after asking viewers to submit their own sitcom ideas, NBC is again expanded its original programming, but this time online.
Heroes Reborn: Digital Series, an online prequel in conjunction with the previously announced Heroes miniseries from executive producer Tim Kring, will be among the first series to debut on NBC.com as part of the network’s new original online video initiative announced Tuesday. Also launching is an interactive series about the super fans who wait in the Saturday Night Live standby line, Saturday Night Line. READ FULL STORY
Chances are you’re still not over last week’s Mindy Project breakup, and we can’t blame you. But the good news? Mindy (Mindy Kaling) and Danny (Chris Messina) might be done for now, but they’re not done forever.
“I think the dynamic between them is special and different and they are unlike any other couple on TV because they are such distinct characters and they fight so much,” says Ike Barinholtz, who plays lovable nurse Morgan on the show and co-wrote the big breakup episode. “To put them back together just makes so much sense…eventually.”
Below, Barinholtz talks more about writing the scene that ripped your soul apart, and we give you an exclusive look at the original script, annotated (hilariously) by Kaling, Barinholtz, and episode co-writer David Stassen.
The whole point of River Monsters — one of the highest-rated shows on Animal Planet — is to show what evil can lurk in some of the world’s most dark and mysterious waterways. But it also focuses light on what makes river fishing so exciting for many thrill-seeking anglers.
On tonight’s edition of Inside TV on EW Radio, the executive producer of River Monsters will talk about the dangerous practice of noodling, a type of fishing that involves reaching one’s hand into holes where catfish lay their eggs. The goal is to nab the little bugger — but sometimes, a tug-of-war may ensue.
“You stick your arm out and you grab this, you know, giant catfish by its jaw and haul it out,” Lisa Lucas tells me. “They clamp down and they’ve got these rough sandpaper type teeth that can really do a number on your arm. Some of them do that death roll kind of thing that gators will do and you could bust an arm doing it—not to mention you know, your whole body. It’s pretty crazy.
“It’s a rush for some people,” Lucas continues. “It’s a big competition for some people, the noodlers who’ve been doing it for generations.”
For more about River Monsters, tune into Inside TV on EW Radio tonight at 8 EST, 5 PT at Sirius XM 105. READ FULL STORY
Witchcraft. Wild accusations. Shane West’s wig.
There’s a lot to look at in the following new trailer for WGN America’s first original series Salem, a new scripted show set against the backdrop of 17th-century Massachusetts’s infamous witch trials. The twist: In this version of the story, the witches are real. (Think Hocus Pocus, but not actually anything like Hocus Pocus.)
West stars as John Alden, a soldier who returns home only to find his village whipped into a witch-hunting frenzy. He also happens to be an old flame of Mary Sibley (Janet Montgomery) — a member of Salem’s elite who, oh yeah, also happens to be a powerful sorceress. Both characters are based on actual historical figures; any Salem scholar who examines the show’s cast list will find more familiar names, including Tituba (played here by Revenge‘s Ashley Madekwe) and Cotton Mather (Fringe‘s Seth Gabel).
Guillermo Del Toro's FX series 'The Strain' to have world premiere at ATX Television Festival -- EXCLUSIVE
The Austin-based ATX Television Festival (June 5-8), the first festival dedicated to the TV binger in all of us, announced Tuesday it would host the world premiere of Guillermo del Toro’s heavily anticipated FX drama series The Strain. FX Networks has partnered with ATX for closing night programming and will also present the eighth episode of its new critically acclaimed original series Fargo. READ FULL STORY
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