British institutions don’t get much more British than Doctor Who, the beloved, long-running, and wonderfully eccentric BBC time travel show. So how come its two-part finale—the first half of which screened last Saturday—is being overseen by American director, Rachel Talalay? “Well, first of all, I’m half-British,” says Talalay, whose credits include the 1995 film Tank Girl as well as a slew of TV shows. ” I say, I grew up in America, but I had a British upbringing. I very strongly pursued [Doctor Who]. I mean, this wasn’t arbitrary. I was on a mission. From the moment I saw the reboot, I thought, I really really want to do this show. But how I drifted to the top of the list? You’ll have to ask [Doctor Who showrunner] Steven Moffat.”
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How’s this for a slice of fried gold? The BBC announced today that actor Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead, The World’s End) will guest star in this year’s special Christmas episode of Doctor Who, the production of which has now begun.
The lights are about to dim on the HBO’s The Newsroom. The drama, created by Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing) and focusing on fictional cable news channel ACN, begins its final season on Nov. 9, and will wrap up its story in a tight six episodes. “It was because of my schedule,” Sorkin says of the shortened season. “But, as it turned out, six was the right number. I don’t know what we would have done with a seventh episode.”
So what’s in these final hours? EW talked to Sorkin about weddings, power plays, and Twitter scandals.
EW: Will there be a time jump when the show premieres?
AARON SORKIN: We’re ahead about five months. However, once the season starts each episode begins right after the last one ended so there are no time jumps during the season. It’s a very compressed season. Once again, we’re telling one story throughout the whole season, there are stories that come off like branches, but there’s one story that we begin in the first episode and goes to the end.
Can you tease the main story?
Well, without giving too much away, it’s something that we’ve been talking about for the last 2 years: government and journalism. A lot of people feel like the current administration has been really tough on reporters and whistleblowers. I realize I’m not making it sound exciting but it involves one of our characters in a lot of jeopardy. Our people have a story that was given to them by a government whistleblower and the Justice Department wants the name of their source and they won’t give it up. So we see how far they’re willing to go for that.
Will the fallout from Jerry (Hamish Linklater) and Genoa play in?
It does a little bit. But the bigger thing that comes along is that we meet Reese’s father’s children by his next wife so we meet his half-brother and his half-sister is Kat Dennings. And they own a 45-percent share of the controlling stock in the company and that begins a story rolling of a hostile takeover of AWN.
Will (Jeff Daniels) proposed to Mac (Emily Mortimer) in the finale. Are they still engaged?
Again without giving too much away, I knew going into this season that they’re gonna have to get married. There’s gonna have to be a wedding. How do you do a wedding that we haven’t seen before on TV? And I think we came up with a way.
Is Maggie back on stable ground?
When we meet Maggie at the beginning of the season, she sort of has the eye of the tiger. She is trying to shed every rotten thing that’s happened to her in the last few years and toughen up and breathe new life into herself. She really completes that part of her character arc this season.
Is Jim (John Gallagher Jr.) still dating Hallie (Grace Gummer)?
Yeah Jim is still dating Hallie, but there’s tension in that relationship. Hallie is actually now working for ACN Digital at the beginning of the season. And mirroring something that happened at MSNBC a while back when someone tweeted a quip that was offensive to Republicans. It was a big deal—MSNBC had to apologize. They had to fire the producer who sent the tweet and everything. So something very similar happens to Hallie. She in the middle of the night, really tired, tweets something from ACN’s account, sort of immediately realizes what she’s done, deletes it but it’s too late. That begins a story that lasts the whole season, too.
How do you feel about this last season? Excited? Sad?
I’m really excited. I do feel it’s a really solid season. I think we’re wrapping up a lot of stories in a nice way. I miss everybody already but I’m in the editing room every day with the show so for me I don’t have postpartum depression yet. But that will come, I promise. On the other side of the wall from the editing room is our stage, so I can hear them pulling apart our set and throwing it in dumpsters, so that’s hard.
Did the show end how you thought it would? Did things evolve?
For most of the time, I didn’t know how the show was going to end. I would have small images of what I wanted to see. But the closer I got to the end of the season in terms of writing, the more I was able to see the end of the season finale. Once we got there, it happened more easily than I thought it was going to.
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.
“No damsels in distress! No pretty castles! No such thing as Robin Hood!”
Do you want to watch Doctor Who on the big screen? Or on the small screen in a big way? Then we’ve got good news. BBC America announced today it is marking the start of the long-running science fiction show’s new season—the first to star actor Peter Capaldi at the controls of the TARDIS—with both cinema screenings and special TV programming.
One of the great things about travel is the people you meet—especially if you’re traveling in a TARDIS. From Timothy Dalton to David Morrissey to Michael Gambon to Kylie Minogue, Doctor Who has welcomed a raft of guest stars over the years. That tradition is being continued in the new season, the first to star Peter Capaldi as the Time Lord, which premieres on BBC America Aug. 23. EW asked Who actress Jenna Coleman, who plays the Doctor’s traveling companion Clara Oswald on the show, to talk about working with three of the season’s new faces.
Syfy announced on Wednesday that it is moving forward with a pilot for The Magicians, an adaptation of Lev Grossman’s fantasy series, Deadline reports. The pilot was written by John McNamara (Prime Suspect) and Sera Gamble (Supernatural), with Michael London and Janice Williams onboard to produce.
Perhaps best described as Harry Potter for adults, The Magicians is the first book in a series focused on high-schooler Quentin Coldwater, who is surprised when he’s admitted to an exclusive college to study magic in upstate New York. While studying at the prestigious magic school, he and his friends indulge in drugs, sex, and alcohol. Upon graduation, Quentin and his friends move to New York City, where they find out that the Narnia-like world they read about as children is in fact very real.
This is the second time that a network has attempted to adapt Grossman’s best-selling series. In 2011, a pilot was in the works at Fox with London signed on as producer, but Fox decided to not pick up the series.
The Magician’s Land, the third and final installment in the series, is due to be published on August 5.
The O.C.’s Melinda Clarke has signed on guest star in two episodes in the third season of TNT’s Dallas, The Wrap reports.
Clarke will assume the role of Tracy Lawton, a character who was introduced in the 12th season of the original series and was played by Beth Toussaint. In the original series, McKay was introduced in 1988 as a love interest for Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy), and it was later revealed that she was in fact the daughter of Ewing’s rival Carter McKay (George Kennedy).
Since leaving The O.C., Clarke has guest starred on The CW’s The Vampire Diaries, HBO’s Entourage, and was a series regular on the recently canceled Nikita, which ran on The CW for four seasons.
Clarke will make her debut in the September 3 episode of Dallas‘s third season, which resumes on August 18.
The ladies of Lifetime’s hit series Devious Maids are back – and by the looks of a new poster for season 2, with plenty of oh-so-juicy secrets. READ FULL STORY
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