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Damon Lindelof reveals details about his new HBO drama 'The Leftovers'

Damon Lindelof returns to the world of television this summer with a novel concept —  literally and figuratively. The Lost co-creator is adapting Tom Perrotta’s 2011 bestseller The Leftovers into an HBO drama series (starring Justin Theroux, Liv Tyler, and Amy Brenneman, among others) that follows the residents of New York town three years after a rapture-like event whisked away 140 million people across the globe. Pick up a copy of EW’s 2014 Preview Issue to steal a glance at a script page from the first episode, which is directed by Peter Berg (who is also an executive producer on the show). Below, Lindelof reveals more to EW about this highly anticipated disappearing act.

On his decision to make another TV show and what attracted him to The Leftovers
“When Lost was ending, the two questions were: ‘What are your feelings about the ending of Lost?’ And ‘What’s next?’ The way I was answering the ‘What’s next?’ question was, ‘I don’t really want to think about it right now — I just want to enjoy this process,’ but the truth was ‘I don’t know if I can ever do another television show again because I’m so terrified that it’ll be just so much less than Lost,’ and I didn’t quite know any classy way of articulating that idea…. I went off into movie-ville with no real strong feelings about whether or not I was going to do TV again. I’m fairly monogamous when it comes to whatever project I’m working on, so I spent a year working on Prometheus and nothing else and then I spent a year working on Star Trek: Into Darkness. And then I was reading The New York Times Book Review – which is the way that I pretend to read books; I read the reviews of the books and then I can articulately pretend like I’ve read them — and Stephen King wrote a review of The Leftovers, which he described as the best episode of The Twilight Zone that had never been shot. I was a Perotta fan. I read Little Children and The Abstinence Teacher and just on the premise alone [of The Leftovers]. I was completely and totally engaged by this idea. I ran and got the book immediately and I got maybe 50 pages in before I decided: This should be a television show and I need to collaborate with Tom [Perrotta, who is an exec producer and co-wrote the pilot with Lindelof] on that show. It took a year for things to sort themselves out but there was never any doubt as to like, ‘Should this be my next project?’ It was love at first sight.”
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PaleyFest full lineup announced: 'Lost' reunion, 'How I Met Your Mother,' and more

We already told you Veronica Mars would kick off PaleyFest 2014, the Paley Center for Media’s TV fan festival. Now, the whole schedule has been released — and if you’re still not over Lost, you’re going to want to book some tickets to Los Angeles, stat.

In addition to a 10-year reunion panel for the iconic drama, the festival will also feature panels from How I Met Your Mother, The Vampire Diaries, and Parks and Recreation (a group that is, no surprise, always hilarious at the festival).

“With this amazing mix of new shows, returning favorites, and two high-profile cast reunions, PaleyFest 2014 will be a must-attend event for TV fans who attend every year from all over the world,” said Pat Mitchell, the president and CEO of The Paley Center for Media, in a release. “The caliber of talent participating in PaleyFest this year is absolutely unrivaled in the industry and we hope fans will not only have a great time interacting with the casts and creators, but will also learn about how their favorite shows get made.”

The full schedule is below: READ FULL STORY

Josh Holloway on his new CBS drama 'Intelligence' and the 'Lost' castmate he'd recruit for a crossover episode

Josh Holloway was Lost for many years, and now he’s found his way back to your TV set. He stars in the CBS drama Intelligence (tonight, 9 p.m.) as Gabriel Vaughn, a former Delta Force who gets a computer chip in his brain courtesy of U.S. Cyber Command, which turns him into an intel-stuffed super agent. You can read our interrogation of Holloway in the Midseason TV preview issue of EW, but in the meantime, check out this bonus Q&A with him. READ FULL STORY

'The Mentalist': How the 'Red John' mystery captured the imagination, then lost it

It was Rebecca that made me pay attention to The Mentalist. I had never seen the CBS crime drama starring Simon Baker until the eighth episode of season 2. “His Red Right Hand” was the one where a secretary in the Sacramento offices of the California Bureau of Investigation shot Sam Bosco (Terry Kinney) and two other agents on behalf of a serial killer — Red John, a brilliant phantom with a blood-drawn smiley face insignia, powerful influence and connections, and a scores of similarly brain-sick and unnervingly gleeful devotees.

In the last act, an assassin — presumably Red John himself; we never saw his mug — silenced Rebecca by deftly applying poison on her wrists. When Rebecca saw him, she recognized him, and her eyes lit up happily, and she smiled the smile of a fawning fangirl. It was all so eerie, and well played by the actress, Shauna Bloom. In the aftermath, the head of the CBI office, Virgil Minelli, played by Gregory Itzin, aka The Despicable Nixonian President on 24, abruptly resigned to take early retirement. Now that was suspect. I was instantly convinced Virgil was Red John. C’mon! Despicable Nixonian President on 24! And then, Bosco, on his death bed, told the show’s hero, con man-turned-trickster detective Patrick Jane, that if the carny Sherlock should ever catch Red John, he shouldn’t arrest him, he should kill him. He whispered something into Patrick’s ear and died. What did he say? WHAT DID HE SAY?!

My imagination was captured. I knew I’d be sticking with the show to watch Patrick solve the mystery: Who was Red John?
READ FULL STORY

'The Good Wife' and the problem of too much good TV

The moment I finally became a fan of The Good Wife occurred just about three weeks ago. It came in the current season’s widely praised fifth episode, “Hitting The Fan.” This was the one where Will (Josh Charles) and Diane (Christine Baranski) fired Alicia (Julianna Margulies) and Cary (Matt Czuchry) for plotting to start their own firm. As Will progressed from betrayal (his reaction, a symphonically-performed shock-face culminating in a downbeat “what?!”, was priceless) to “commando mode” (rallying emergency quorums; hustling clients to keep them from bolting), and as Alicia progressed from resolute yet regretful to full-on “Oh, it’s so on!” (countering Will’s counter-attacks; wooing Chum Hum; an adrenaline rush quickie with Governor Hubby), it was thrilling to watch them find new energy and purpose in their lives amid the crisis, if slightly heartbreaking to watch the former lovers, now former colleagues, become enemies. It was impossible to take a side; I wanted both to win. In a story full of such grand drama and significant developments, it was a smaller, funnier exchange between Alicia and Will that grabbed me. As a contentious phone conversation came to a close (“Go to hell!” “No, you go to hell!”), Will remembered something very important. “Oh, your daughter called,” he said, suddenly civil. “She needs you to call her school to let her go on a field trip.” “Oh. When was this?” Alicia asked, equally pleasant. “About 40 minutes ago.”  “Thank you.” “You’re welcome.” Click. And then war resumed.

Not a terribly ingenious scene, I grant you. It hewed to a familiar screwball comedic structure. The whiplash tonal shift; two rivals abruptly making nice or banal in a way that almost feels out of character. Except here, the moment felt true to the characters, at least as I understand them so far. It was an effective way to dramatize that their relationship was more complex than their current conflict, to show that neither of them should be defined by the crisis/concerns consuming them at present; and it was a moment that was representative of all of everything else in the show that was converting me to rabid Good Wife fandom. READ FULL STORY

'Hawaii Five-0' stages 'Lost' reunion with Jorge Garcia guest spot -- EXCLUSIVE

Hawaii Five-0 sure loves its Lost alums!

The latest to join Daniel Dae Kim on the CBS drama? Jorge Garcia, who EW can exclusively report is set to appear in an episode early next season. He will play a brilliant conspiracy theorist and reportedly share scenes with former Lost co-star Kim.

Five-0, which will move to Fridays in the fall, has a history of staging Lost reunions. Terry O’Quinn, Tania Raymonde and Reiko Aylesworth have all previously had guest roles.

The upcoming fourth season of the series does not yet have a fall premiere date. But you can see the full fall schedule here.

Related:
‘How I Met Your Mother’ cast going to Comic-Con for first time
‘Big Bang Theory’ and HBO are big winners at Critics’ Choice Television Awards

CBS' Fall Schedule: A Snap Judgment

Who says CBS doesn’t make bold programming moves? Oh, that’s right: Everyone. But everyone would be slightly wrong! At yesterday’s upfront presentation, the nation’s most-watched — if least-interesting — broadcast television network surprised reporters by revealing that it was not green-lighting two high-profile potential series: A small screen revival of Beverly Hills Cop from executive producer Shawn Ryan (The Shield) starring Brandon T. Jackson as the son of Axel Foley and a recurring Eddie Murphy; and NCIS: Red, starring John Corbett and Kim Raver. Beverly Hills Cop might find a home elsewhere, while NCIS: Red was deemed unworthy of the franchise’s creative standards. (Why are you giggling?)

CBS also made news with some bold scheduling swaps and shifts. Mike & Molly is being held for midseason (but received a full order of 22 episodes); Hawaii 5-0 is sailing to Friday; and Person of Interest is relocating to Tuesday, joining NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles to form a blockbuster night of brawny drama. Thursday now has two hours of comedy, a mirror to its Monday night block of powerhouse yukkers. With few holes to fill and (quoting network president Nina Tassler) “limited shelf space,” CBS ordered just eight new shows, five of which will premiere this fall. Here, CBS was true to form: All have potential to be watched by a broad audience, and very few seem all that creatively daring. To be fair, it’s hard to glean meaningful insight from the preview videos released by the network, comprised of select scenes, behind the scenes footage, and rah-rah interviews with actors and producers. And while CBS may not have leveraged its position of great strength to take a chance on innovation, I found something commendable about each of its new offerings. READ FULL STORY

EP Carlton Cuse: 'Bates Motel' 'is one part 'Friday Night Lights,' one part 'Lost' and one part 'Twin Peaks"

A&E

A&E

Tonight at 10pm, A&E debuts their highly anticipated Psycho prequel/reboot Bates Motel starring Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air) and Freddie Highmore (Finding Neverland) as Norma and Norman Bates, respectively. The show is a complete modern day re-imagining of the Psycho world, so fans should be prepared for a new vision of the Bates universe. EW talked to executive producers Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Kerry Ehrin (Friday Night Lights) about what’s in store for the first season. READ FULL STORY

TV's most-wanted stars for fall

In the next few weeks, the broadcast networks are going to need several high-profile actors to play assassins, vigilantes, Naval officers, and a Texas Ranger — among many, many other roles.

Now that the networks are wrapping their drama pilot orders and ordering comedies in earnest, the time has come to lasso the next big name that will generate heat (and eyeballs) come fall 2013. So far, CBS has been ahead of the game by snagging two headline-worthy actors to top a pair of comedies. Robin Williams has been cast in a workplace comedy, and Anna Faris will play a single mom in Chuck Lorre’s next comedy. But there are many other intriguing actors whose names have surfaced as possible contenders for drama and comedy pilots — assuming they find the right project (or haven’t already booked something in the time it took us to write this). Here are some new (and returning) actors who have us crossing our fingers.

Hugh Laurie. The popular English actor played his cards right by taking some time off to get viewers to forget his House.

'Once Upon a Time' scripts full of cursing

once-cursing.jpg

Once Upon a Time is a family friendly 8 p.m. drama, but its scripts are a bit R-rated.

Showrunners Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz have continued a screenwriting tradition honed on their last ABC hit, Lost, where an extra ingredient is added to the story: Lots ‘o cursing — and we don’t mean of the Evil Queen-spell-casting variety.

Unlike on the ultra-serious sci-fi drama Lost, though, it’s far more funny to read f-bombs dropped in fairy tale land. When Lancelot was first revealed to Emma and Snow in last Sunday’s episode, for example, the script noted that “things appear f–ked” for our heroes when “a smile grows across Snow’s face” as she recognizes her old friend. And in the next moment, “we wonder how the f–k these two met…” The producers recall that one rousing piece of description explained an action taken by actor Josh Dallas this way: “Because he’s Prince f–king Charming.”

Even though the profanity isn’t in the dialogue, and therefore not in the show, there’s a pragmatic reason for its inclusion. READ FULL STORY

'Revolution': J.J. Abrams, Jon Favreau on why a future without power is 'wish-fulfillment,' not apocalypse now

Ask J.J. Abrams to describe his new television series Revolution and the super-producer behind Alias, Lost and Person of Interest will tell you that the epic drama is a prime time Lord of The Rings. “A quest story,” he says, “set in a world as medieval as it is modern.” He’ll tell you that the sci-fi tinged fantasy — created by Eric Kripke (Supernatural) and exec produced by Iron Man’s Jon Favreau (who directed the pilot) — is “Star Wars-ian” in nature, with reluctant heroes poured from the Luke Skywalker and Han Solo molds, struggling and scrapping toward the new hope of a better tomorrow. In fact, he’ll tell you that this high-concept drama – set 15 years after a mysterious planetary event caused all forms of electrical energy clicked off, perhaps permanently – has many things in common with many other memorable stories past and present, including Game of Thrones, yet aspires to be unique — “a hyper-real fantasy world you’ve never seen before.”

READ FULL STORY

'666 Park' Comic-Con panel: Is Terry O'Quinn playing the devil?

The cast of 666 Park made their Comic-Con debut today, following a screening of the pilot to a packed crowd. The crowd’s most burning question after it aired? What’s up with Terry O’Quinn’s character?

[Spoiler Alert!] READ FULL STORY

Comic-Con reviews '666 Park': Fans say...

666 Park is not the lightest pilot fare being offered up by networks this fall — in fact, it’s downright spooky. But that seemed to please most of Comic-Con goers who attended the pilot screening this evening in San Diego as part of the annual convention.

The show, starring Lost alum Terry O’Quinn, Rachel Taylor, and Vanessa Williams, centers on a young couple (Taylor and Dave Annable) that takes a job as managers of a historic (and totally haunted) apartment building. Quinn and Williams play the mysterious owners of the building.

Positive as the buzz has been around the eerie ABC show, the reaction from the crowd tonight was mixed. Here’s what some of the audience members had to say:

“It’s a little slow for me. I’m not really engaged with the mysteries at all or the people. I kinda don’t care. [The acting] was fine. I mostly saw it for Terry O’ Quinn; he did okay. [The character] is no Locke, though.” — Thad, 35

“It was actually pretty good. It was pretty interesting and pretty well done. It was well shot for a pilot…[and] suspenseful.” — Gustavo, 24

“This was a good concept. The cinematography looked cool and the play on history [with] the occult was cool. I’d recommend it [to fellow Lost fans] because [O'Quinn] still has that same style of acting.” — April, 26 and Lost fan

“I’ll watch it. I’m a Vanessa Williams fan. It looks like it’s well written, and there were definitely moments where I didn’t expect [certain things] to happen. I had a couple of shocking moments…I’m definitely going to watch it when it hits the TV.” — Mari, 57

“I liked Terry O’Quinn. It wasn’t really that frightening, [but] there were definitely things [in the pilot] that I want to find out more about, and hopefully I’ll watch the rest of it.” – Ritchie, 24

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