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Study: Yep, women still lag behind men in TV industry

A new study, first obtained by Deadline, reveals that the TV landscape is still dominated by men—while women’s representation both on and off screen has plateaued or backslid. The yearly “Boxed In” report, released by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, finds that women only make up 27 percent of the workforce behind the camera—directors, producers, editors, writers, etc. That’s a 3.5 percent decline from last year. Similarly, the proportion of onscreen (speaking) female roles remains stagnant at 42 percent, a one-point decrease from last year.

“For many years, women have experienced slow but incremental growth [ on and off screen],” said Dr. Martha Lauzen, executive director of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, which conducted the 17th annual study. “However, that progress, small though it was, now appears to have stalled.”

The researchers also debunked the popular misconception that Netflix—home of the hit female-driven powerhouse Orange Is the New Black—and cable channels employ more women. “People believe that cable is more female-friendly than broadcast,” said Lauzen, “but that’s really not really the case.”

Among the study’s other discoveries about the lack of women in offscreen creative roles:

- Female writers’ numbers dropped sharply, with women holding just 1 in 4 writing jobs (down from 1 in 3).
– Women’s share of director of photography jobs decreased to 1 percent (down from 2 percent).
– Twenty percent of writing jobs were held by women (a 17-percent decrease).
– Female executive producers fell to 23 percent (a 15-percent decrease).
– Forty-four percent of TV shows employed four women or fewer, compared to 1 percent of TV shows that employed four men or fewer.

The study isn’t all bad news, though. Women in several fields made significant gains from last year:

- Female directors held 13 percent of directing jobs (a 7.7-percent increase).
– Forty-three percent of producing jobs were occupied by women (a 13-percent increase).
– Seventeen percent of editors were female (a 5.9-percent increase).

Perhaps the most promising and practical insight is the onscreen/offscreen correlation: The more women there are working behind the cameras, the more female characters appear onscreen. Broadcast TV shows that employed as least one female writer or director also had more female characters. “[W]hen women are employed behind the scenes, they make a difference,” Lauzen said.

'American Idol': Jennifer Lopez nearing deal to return as judge

American Idol‘s season 13 judging panel is inching toward completion: Last week came the official news that Keith Urban would be returning, and now sources tell EW that former Idol judge Jennifer Lopez — who has been in the mix of potential judges — is very close to signing a deal to return to the reality singing competition.

At this point, Lopez’s deal is not signed — but it could be ready in as little as a few days. Lopez was an Idol judge during the 2011 and 2012 seasons of American Idol and was reportedly courted during the 2013 season as a possible replacement for judge Mariah Carey.

The third seat at the judging table remains much more up in the air: Sources say that Black Eyed Peas singer will.i.am is still in talks with Idol producers, but it’s unclear if he’s actively in negotiating a deal yet. Harry Connick, Jr., was in the running but is likely no longer being considered, while Idol alum and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson was also a possibility but no longer seems to be a contender.

Sources tells EW that the Idol panel — much like when it originally launched with Randy Jackson, Simon Cowell, and Paula Abdul in 2002 — will include just three judges in the upcoming season, as opposed to four in recent seasons.

Fox had no comment on the negotiations. (Additional reporting by James Hibberd)

Read more:
That’s one: Keith Urban confirmed for ‘American Idol’ return

'Once Upon' team talks Jafar: No parrot!

How will ABC’s Once Upon a Time in Wonderland‘s version of Jafar differ from Disney’s Aladdin version?

Showrunners Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz dropped some hints about how Naveen Andrews’ character will be integrated into the Once universe during their Television Critics Association press tour stop in Beverly Hills on Sunday.

“First off,  like any character we introduce, we approach it from [asking] how do we humanize [the character], what’s the way to make it real relatable and grounded, and then we find an awesome actor,” Horowitz says.

“We wrote this part for [Andrews],” Kitsis says. “We knew we wanted Jafar, we knew we wanted Naveen. Similar to what we do with Once Upon a Time, no villain is just born evil, they’re made evil. For us, that is the story of Jafar, the story of what is driving him to need this power. With Naveen, we know he can break your neck with legs — as we saw in Lost — but he can also make you cry.”

“It’s about two big things,” Horowitz adds. “What does he want? And how did he get the way he is in order to want that thing?” READ FULL STORY

'Mistresses': Star Alyssa Milano talks about her seductive new role

ABC’s sudsy new series Mistresses is not Desperate Housewives — but it does have some things in common with the dearly departed soap.

Based on a British series of the same name, Mistresses – which debuts tonight at 10 p.m. — centers around four friends (including Charmed star Alyssa Milano and Lost’s Yunjin Kim) who find themselves entangled in not so wholesome — and, in some cases, even illicit — relationships. At the center of the series is Milano’s Savi, a (mostly) happily married lawyer who has an impulsive one-night stand with her long-time co-worker. “I look at Savi as being a really good person who makes a really bad decision and then sort of has to deal with the repercussions of that,” says Milano, who explains that Savi’s life will take a devastating turn as the series progresses. “It’s not only the potential end of her marriage, but also her friendships. She becomes very alone.”

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'How I Met Your Mother': How Cristin Milioti got the mother of all roles -- EXCLUSIVE

So, who is the girl with the yellow umbrella?

Her name is Cristin Milioti, a 27-year-old New Jersey actress who’s shown up on Broadway, in films, and on television: The Broadway set will know Milioti as “Girl” in the musical version of Once, a role which earned her a Tony nomination last year; film buffs will recognize her from movies like 2012’s Mike Birbiglia comedy Sleepwalk with Me; and TV fans may remember her from The Sopranos, The Good Wife, Nurse Jackie, or — most notably — 30 Rock. (Milioti showed up in 2011 as a baby-voiced comedy writer whom Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) hired to spark a “femolution” at TGS.)

But how did Milioti get cast? How’d they keep her casting a secret? How did it feel to watch her shoot her first scene? EW exclusively talked to How I Met Your Mother co-creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas about bringing the actress into the fold.

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'HIMYM' unveils the mother! The creators answer your burning questions -- EXCLUSIVE

Yep, folks, we finally met the mother: Tonight’s How I Met Your Mother revealed actress Cristin Milioti as the show’s titular — and, until now, extremely elusive — character.

The unveiling took place in the final few seconds of the season 8 finale, as Milioti’s yet-unnamed character simply walked up to a Long Island Rail Road ticket booth to purchase one ticket to the fictional Farhampton, presumably to go play in the band at the impending nuptials between Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and Robin (Cobie Smulders). The show didn’t exactly spell out the reveal (casual fans could have missed it), but there was one key to knowing the doe-eyed girl was the mother: the bright yellow umbrella she was holding. That’s the linchpin accessory the show’s narrator and father Ted (Josh Radnor) previously set up as the woman’s signature — and identifying — item.

EW was on set for the filming of the game-changing scene, and scored an exclusive interview with co-creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas. The pair revealed, among many other things, that we likely would have met the mother in May 2013 no matter what: The original plan was for the show to end after just eight seasons (meaning it would have been over…now), with the mother briefly introduced in the series finale. Only after HIMYM was extended to nine seasons did Bays and Thomas make the decision to reveal the mother before the final season — in tonight’s episode. (Though it seems Ted won’t be coming face-to-face with her until much later next season.)

While the scene answered the biggest burning question — who was the woman at the center of the saga that Ted has been reliving for his kids (and viewers) since the show first launched in 2005? — it left us with many, many more: Why do this now? Why didn’t they cast a big, big star? Why wasn’t the mother actually Robin? How was the long-awaited casting kept secret from the show’s incredibly rabid followers? Read on as Bays and Thomas break down the Mother of all reveals.

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'Rihanna 777' review: A shallow look at the pop star's plane madness

Last November, Rihanna invited dozens of journalists on her 777 tour, consisting of seven concerts in seven countries in seven days, via a 777 aircraft. (It’s all so cleverly packaged, right?) Headlines during the extravaganza deemed the trip a “fiasco,” with the press complaining that Rihanna was unavailable and they were tired. (Boo-hoo!) (Rihanna eventually apologized for the madness.)

Not shockingly, this one-hour special about the whole shebang is less interesting than those on-the-scene reports. It doesn’t capture much of the supposed insanity that ensued on the plane — which would be the only reason to watch — and calling it a documentary is a bigger stretch than saying Rihanna is the voice of her generation. READ FULL STORY

'Hannibal' review: Mads Mikkelsen mesmerizes as Dr. Hannibal Lecter

To answer your question: No. Television does not need another serial-killer drama. But who can resist Hannibal Lecter? Especially when the horror-pop icon has been reinvented in a cable-style drama so finely acted, visually scrumptious, and deliciously subversive. Set during the cannibal shrink’s pre-incarceration days, Hannibal distinguishes itself from The Following, Bates Motel, and American Horror Story by its distinctive storytelling voice, Bryan Fuller. The creator of Wonderfalls and Pushing Daisies again tells the tale of an alienated individual with an extraordinary talent that feels like an affliction. He also tells a tale that really isn’t about Hannibal Lecter.
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'The Neighbors': How do the Zabvronian aliens have sex? EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

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As we’ve learned on ABC’s comedy The Neighbors, the Zabvronian aliens do everything a little bit differently than their new human neighbors. For example, the Zabvronians cry green tears from their ears instead of clear ones from their eyes and nourish their bodies by reading…books. And the list goes on and on.

In this week’s new episode of The Neighbors, viewers will be find out another of the Zabvronians oddities, one that’s a little bit more interesting — specifically, how they have sex. EW has an exclusive clip from tomorrow’s episode — which airs at 8:30 p.m. and is cleverly named “50 Shades of Green” — that previews the big reveal about the alien sex. (Hint: Just like how they eat, alien sex is a little bit more cerebral than humans.)

Watch as alien Larry Bird (Simon Templeman) begins to explain to human Marty Weaver (Lenny Venito) how their species does it below:

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This season broadcast networks feature most gay characters in TV history, says GLAAD report

After a decrease last year, the number of LGBT characters on the five broadcast networks has risen to the highest ever recorded, according to the “Where We Are on TV” report released today by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. The report released today lauded the cable networks for also increasing their overall LGBT character count this year, too.

Which networks are the most inclusive? After Fox lead the broadcast networks last year, ABC — with shows like comedy Happy Endings (above) featuring gay characters — has been named as the most gay-friendly network, with 10 of 194 (5.2 percent) regular characters identifying as LGBT. Over on cable, last year’s victor HBO was dethroned by Showtime, which this year had 12 LGBT characters, seven of which are series regulars on shows like Shameless and Weeds.

“This year’s increase of LGBT characters on television reflects a cultural change in the way gay and lesbian people are seen in our society,” says GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. “More and more Americans have come to accept their LGBT family members, friends, coworkers, and peers, and as audiences tune into their favorite programs, they expect to see the same diversity of people they encounter in their daily lives.”

The report — which studied 97 broadcast shows, as well as cable offerings — also delivered a slew of other facts and figures. EW has pulled out the most fascinating tidbits for you here:

• LGBT characters account for 4.4 percent of scripted series regulars on the broadcast networks in 2012-13. This is up from 2.9 percent in 2011, 3.9 percent in 2009, 2.6 percent in 2008, and 1.1 percent in 2007.

• There are a total of 31 LGBT characters on the five broadcast networks, as well as 19 recurring characters.

• ABC leads the broadcast networks with 10 of 194 characters (5.2 percent). Fox is in second with six of 118 (5.1 percent), followed by The CW with four of 81 (4.9 percent), NBC with seven of 166 (4.2 percent), and CBS with four of 142 (2.8 percent). The report singles out CBS’ “authentic and conscious effort” to increase diversity, as it is up from 0.7 percent LGBT characters last season.

• Regular LGBT characters on scripted cable television also rose this year to 35 (up from 29) for the 2012-13 season.

• Showtime leads the cable pack, with 12 total characters, seven of whom are regulars. The runners up include: HBO (9 characters), FX (8), Adult Swim (5), and ABC Family, MTV, Syfy, and TeenNick (4 each).

• As it was in 2010 and 2011, HBO’s True Blood is the most inclusive show on cable television with six gay, lesbian, or bisexual characters.

• GLAAD also analyzed the race/ethnicity and gender demographics of all 701 series regular characters in primetime television. There are more males (55.5 percent) to females (44.5 percent), and 78 percent of all series regulars are white. Compared to last year, African American representation has increased from 9.9 percent to 12 percent, followed by Latino (4.1 percent) and Asian-Pacific Islander (4.7 percent).

• Of the 31 announced LGBT regular characters in the 2012-13 season, 11 are people of color (35.5 percent). GLAAD counted seven regular or recurring black LGBT characters on broadcast television, up from zero last year.

• Lastly, GLAAD counted people with disabilities, of which there are four (0.6 percent) regular characters on broadcast television.

The full “Where We Are on TV” report can be viewed on the GLAAD website.

Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky

Read more:
GLAAD lauds The CW, ‘Modern Family’ for treatment of gay characters
Fox, HBO most gay-friendly networks on television, says GLAAD
NBC’s ‘The New Normal’ pilot available online
Kermit’s no longer a fan of Chick-Fil-A
Shonda Rhimes wins GLAAD awards

'Grey's Anatomy' boss Shonda Rhimes writes Mark Sloan obituary: 'I like to believe that Mark is with Lexie somewhere' -- EXCLUSIVE

Last Thursday was a mournful television evening because it’s when Mark Sloan, a.k.a. McSteamy, was pulled off life support and died during the dramatic season 9 premiere of Grey’s Anatomy. In tonight’s new episode, “Remember the Time,” viewers will learn how Sloan went from alive in last May’s season finale to dead just a week ago.

As a eulogy to the late McSteamy — and an exclusive to EW — Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes penned an obituary for Sloan, who she calls “one of my all-time favorite characters to write.” (Rhimes is pictured here with Eric Dane, who played Mark Sloan on Grey’s.) You can read Rhimes full obituary in the Oct. 12 issue of Entertainment Weekly – on stands now — but take a gander at an excerpt of it here now:

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'The Middle,' 'The Neighbors': Want a sneak peek at their second episodes? -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Despite some debate whether The Neighbors was fall’s craziest new show, the ABC half-hour pulled in a decent amount of viewers and, surprisingly, didn’t rattle our TV critic Ken Tucker’s cage too much. Heck, he said it wasn’t the worst new show of the fall season, at any rate, and seemed intrigued at what episode 2 might deliver.

Up until now, not even critics have seen anything beyond the first episode. So the question remains: What will be in episode 2 of The Neighbors? Well, we have some answers for you. EW has an exclusive sneak peek from tomorrow night’s new episode. In “Journey to the Center of the Mall,” the human Weaver family takes the alien family, the Bird-Kersees, to their first outing beyond Hidden Hills when they hit the mall to shop for back-to-school clothes. The clip below features an interrogation session between the human parents and the alien parents, before devolving into a pretty funny joke about Transformers director Michael Bay.

As a bonus, EW has an exclusive clip from Neighbor‘s lead-in comedy, The Middle, too, and it’s a doozy. Turns out, Frank-e Heck (Patricia Heaton) is getting fired from the car dealership in tomorrow night’s episode, appropriately titled “The Second Act.” Why is she being let go? Watch the clip below — as well as The Neighbors clip — to find out:

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ABC's 'The Middle': Five things to look forward to about the new season

In May, ABC’s The Middle ended with a wedding, when Rusty (Norm Macdonald) haphazardly got hitched at the Heck home. Frankie (Patricia Heaton) went out of her way to try to make the day nice, but — as tends to happen to the Hecks — everything went to crap. And that — yes, crap! — tends to be a theme for the family sitcom, which will find itself mired in quite a lot more of the stuff this coming season.

Tonight’s hour-long season premiere picks up during what series co-creator Eileen Heisler is “the Hecks’ long, crappy summer. It’s a summer episode because we thought about how you never really get to see that. Last year, we saw a teeny little bit of summer vacation, but this takes us through the whole summer. Frankie and [her husband] Mike [Neil Flynn] want their kids to have a summer like they had when they were kids, with all the joys of summer. They want them to have that so they have something pleasant to look back on later, when their lives are crappy.” See, more crap?

Besides that opening-episode crap, here’s a preview of five things to look forward to when the season starts up again tonight at 8 p.m.:

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