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'Fargo': Season 2 scoop and premiere script page -- exclusive

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Fargo is going back in time to 1979 for season two, and EW has a first-look at a page from the season premiere script.

Expect another snow-swept rural crime drama loosely inspired by the Coen brothers’ film, only this time the action is set in Luverne, Minnesota, where humble married couple Peggy and Ed Blomquist (Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons) find themselves caught in an escalating war between a local crime gang and a major Mob syndicate. (A character in season one cryptically described the 1979 case as “savagery, pure and simple,” with a massive pileup of bodies.)

“The scope of the story- telling this season is a lot bigger, it has more of an epic feel to it,” saysshowrunner Noah Hawley, who adds that the earlier time period and even more rural setting gives the show an almost Western-like quality. “It’s not the ’70s in a Boogie Nights kind of way,” he assures.

The script page below is an excerpt from a scene that occurs halfway into the season-two premiere, featuring Peggy and Ed—and a mysterious bloodstain. Click for a larger version.

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From 'Doctor Who' to 'The Leftovers,' TV tries to regenerate the hero

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The corrupt cop. The principled drug pusher. The avenging serial killer. The vengeful peacekeeper. The romantic vampire. The heartless doctor. Television has been rotten with ironic or immoral protagonists for most of the new century, though the drama they’ve produced has often been golden.

But a marketplace correction appears to be underway. Grinchy detective Sherlock grew a heart in his latest series of films. Arrow gave up the killer vigilante for role-model vigilante. The new Doctor Who regenerated into an older and wiser Time Lord and declared, “I’ve made a lot of mistakes. It’s time I did something about it”—a line that also pretty much summarizes Don Draper’s arc during the first half of Mad Men’s final season, too. Sleepy Hollow—in which the dynamic duo of Ichabod Crane and Abbie Mills sacrifice self-interest to save the world from America’s historical and supernatural demons—made chivalry and redemption sexy again. After the glut of rakes and wretches, narcissists and nihilists, there is ruefulness and rehumanization. An era of anti-heroes has surrendered—for the moment, at least—to atonement. READ FULL STORY

'The Mindy Project' adds 'Fargo' star Allison Tolman

Allison Tolman will check into The Mindy Project this fall, EW has confirmed.

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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

Is 'True Detective' worthy? 'Modern Family,' again? The critics react to 2014's Emmy nods

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MELISSA MAERZ: Jeff,

When the Emmy nominations were announced this morning, I was sitting at my desk, shouting, “Hodor! Hodor! Hodor!” Game of Thrones dominated with 19 nominations! Hot pie for everyone! I’d quibble with the fact that Noah Hawley’s fantastic update of Fargo didn’t get a best drama nod, especially since it was the runner-up with 18 nominations, and The Good Wife was unjustly ignored in that category, coming off its best season ever—it might be the only network drama that I truly loved—but the rest of the list was pretty solid. Among the smartest choices made in the best drama category: refusing to forget that Breaking Bad was and will always be one of the best TV shows of all time; leaving that mess of a Homeland season off that list (somewhere, Dana Brody is furrowing her brow); recognizing that House of Cards just keeps getting better and better as Frank Underwood gets worse and worse; and picking the right underdog, PBS, to fight in the battle against cable with Downton Abbey.

Here is my only real complaint, and I know I’m in the minority here: I was really, deeply disappointed by True Detective and don’t think it deserves a best drama nod. Don’t get me wrong: I was totally captivated by the first four episodes, and Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey both deserve their acting nods. Plus, the show deserves some kind of diamond-encrusted, deer-antler trophy for that spectacular six-minute tracking shot alone. But am I the only one who thought the story completely fell apart in the second half? The unreliable narrator device—which could’ve made for real suspense and second-guessing about who these two detectives really are and what their motives might be—ultimately  lead nowhere beyond one police cover-up. The central mystery was solved in a way that felt random. Too many Easter eggs ended up being MacGuffins. And I know people are really going to throw tomatoes at me here, but that final speech about the lying there and gazing up at the stars? So corny. Leave the cosmos-pondering to Neil deGrasse Tyson, guys.

What did you think of the drama nominations?

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How Colin Hanks celebrated his 'Fargo' Emmy nod: Playing Princesses and Castles

Colin Hanks was really hoping his FX drama Fargo would receive an Emmy nomination. It ended up getting 18, including a nod for the 36-year-old, who was recognized for his performance as conflicted cop Gus Grimly in the best supporting actor in a miniseries category. That one was a bit of a surprise, he admits.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Congrats! How did you find out about the nomination? Were you even awake?
COLIN HANKS: No, no, I was asleep. I had woken up around 5:20 and sort of said, “Oh, okay, no phone calls. Well, I’m gonna go back to sleep,” ’cause in my mind they would just announce all of [the nominations] at once at 5:15. [Laughs] So I was like, “Oh, didn’t happen. Too bad,” and sort of went back to sleep, totally content. And then around 30 minutes later or so the phone rang and I just went, “Well, no one would be calling around this time unless it did actually happen.” I answered the phone and all I heard was screaming. And it was good screams. So it’s been a very surprising but very good morning.

Who were the screams coming from?
My publicist and my manager. My team of all-stars.

Who was the first person you then told about the good news?
Well really, I mean at that time on the West Coast, there’s really no one to tell. Obviously my wife was with me; as soon as the phone rang she woke up. But actually the first person I talked to, I called Allison [Tolman]. ‘Cause she’s in Chicago and I knew that she would be awake by that point, just based on time difference alone. And I had a nice, funny conversation with her about how surreal this all is and how happy I am for her and how proud I am of her. This whole experience has been so great, and Allison is so awesome. I called her and wanted to tell her how much I love her and how happy I am. Then all the other news has trickled in, I talked with Noah [Hawley, creator] and he filled me in on just how many nominations the show got, which is fantastic and incredible. And I’m really glad that a lot of people on the show are being recognized for it, ’cause it was a lot of hard work up there in minus-35 degree temperatures in Calgary, Alberta. READ FULL STORY

Billy Bob Thornton post-'Fargo' Emmy nomination: 'I need a job'

Fargo villain Lorne Malvo was one of the most intimidating, fascinating characters of the 2013-14 television season. Fittingly, actor Billy Bob Thornton has received a best actor in a miniseries Emmy nomination for his portrayal of the cold-hearted hit man. He’s honored—but now that the season is over, the veteran actor says he’s also unemployed. We’re guessing that won’t last long.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Congratulations! How did you find out about the nomination?
BILLY BOB THORNTON: Well, I was asleep, so when I woke up I had a message from my publicist that said that I got a nomination. And I was thrilled, humbled by it. It’s a really exciting time, you know. During awards season, it’s like the holidays with a family. It’s like your entertainment family kind of all gets together, you know what I mean? [Laughs] And you kind of see some old acquaintances you haven’t seen in a while. It’s a real exciting time. It’s like Christmas for actors.

Did you reach out to your fellow castmate nominees this morning?
I have to a couple of them, but [my publicists] kind of put me on the phone quickly. But I have communicated with Allison, and Martin’s in England so I’m gonna… I guess it’s probably a good time, I’ll get Martin here in a little bit, and Colin. I think Colin’s like I am—he’s not real big on mornings. [Laughs] READ FULL STORY

'Fargo' star Allison Tolman reacts to her first Emmy nomination

Fargo scene-stealer Allison Tolman was the heart—and brains—of FX’s movie-to-TV adaptation. Playing dogged deputy police officer Molly Solverson was Tolman’s first major acting role—and now it’s her first Emmy-nominated role. The 32-year-old is in the running for best supporting actress in a miniseries or movie. Spoiler alert: She’s pretty stoked about the nod.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Congrats! Were you awake when the nominations were announced? How did you find out you’ve been shortlisted?
ALLISON TOLMAN: Thank you! It’s awesome that the show is so well-represented in so many categories. I was awake; I didn’t have to wake up much earlier than usual. I was awake and logged in with my cat in my lap. I’m at home in Chicago right now, so it was nice to be able to be home while I got this news, and be in a familiar place with familiar surroundings. READ FULL STORY

'Fargo' creator Noah Hawley answers our season finale burning questions

Fargo creator Noah Hawley promised a bloody season finale for his TV adaptation of the Coen brothers movie, and he wasn’t lying. But whose blood was spilled? [SPOILER ALERT: Read on only if you have already watched last night’s season finale of Fargo.] The final showdown between Lorne Malvo and Lester Nygaard ended up a bit of a draw: Nygaard bloodied Malvo’s leg with a bear trap while Malvo bloodied Nygaard’s nose by hurling an object at his face. In the end, they both died by other hands. No longer the Cowardly Lion, Gus Grimly found his courage and pumped Malvo full of lead while Nygaard later fell through the ice while running from authorities ready to arrest him after hearing the incriminating audio evidence on Malvo’s cassette. We spoke to Hawley to get his take on the finale, whether Lester is really dead, what happened to Oliver Platt’s Stavros, and what we might see if the show returns for season 2. READ FULL STORY

'Fargo' and 'The Strain' get Mondo posters for ATX Television Festival -- EXCLUSIVE

FX Network has partnered up with the ATX Television Festival in Austin, Texas, for a special closing-night program that will feature the world premiere of the pilot for the upcoming drama The Strain and an unaired episode of the limited series Fargo, and EW has some of the amazing Mondo posters that will be shown at Saturday’s event. READ FULL STORY

What are Key & Peele doing on 'Fargo'? -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

The strange, quirky journey of FX’s Fargo continues next Tuesday with the appearance of Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele — Key & Peele, if you will. What brings the hot comedic duo to cold-ass Minnesota? They play FBI agents who are trying to hunt down mysterious hit man Lorne Malvo, played by Billy Bob Thornton — or Billy Bob Thorntons, as the valets might say — after a not-so-pleasant encounter with him. As you can see in this clip from the episode, they might be focused on the wrong target. READ FULL STORY

'Fargo' DVR ratings show climb, but does it deserve more?

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When you cover TV and meet new people, they almost always ask: What show should I check out that I’m not already watching? Lately, my answer is FX’s Fargo, which debuted to merely fair ratings nearly a month ago. Subsequent airings have dipped in the overnights.

But today, FX received some positive news — the thriller’s DVR and rerun data have boosted its premiere episode to 8.2 million viewers, up 84 percent from its debut. Among adults 18-49, the gain is stronger, up 94 percent to 3.6 million in the demo. It’s a bit like the early years of the likewise darkly comic Breaking Bad, when there was a core group of passionate advocates and a sea of people uncertain if the show was right for them. If it wasn’t for the pop-culture detonation of HBO’s vaguely similar and likewise excellent True Detective, with its star-duo of McConaughey and Harrelson vs. Fargo‘s Thornton and Martin, I suspect the latter would be getting more attention. What do you think?

'Fargo' premiere ratings lukewarm

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Ah geez: While FX’s Fargo miniseries is drawing strong praise from critics (including our own) and viewers, Tuesday’s premiere ratings were a tad slushy, don’t ya know: A total of 4.2 million viewers tuned in for the first episode, with 1.8 million adults 18-49 (and that includes the drama’s first two encore telecasts).

That’s about the same as the launch of FX’s The Bridge last summer, a title that lacked the name recognition and star power of Fargo (which has a cast that includes Martin Freeman and Billy Bob Thornton). You could also compare it to FX’s The Americans, which delivered 4.7 million viewers for its series premiere last January, and was just renewed for a third season Wednesday. READ FULL STORY

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