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'The Chair' premieres as Starz' first original unscripted series

Whether it’s a small indie flick or a summer blockbuster, making a movie isn’t easy. First you need an idea, then a script, money, and lots and lots of people to fill all the roles—both on camera and off. In its first original unscripted series, Starz gives viewers a front-row seat to this complicated world in The Chair.

The premise is simple enough: Two aspiring filmmakers are given the chance to make their first feature film with the help of executive producer Chris Moore, who you might remember also produced the late Project Greenlight. What makes The Chair different is that both films have to be made from the same original screenplay (written by Dan Schoffer) and filmed entirely in and around Pittsburgh. Throughout the 10-part docuseries, the audience will watch the creation, marketing, and theatrical release of both films before voting on which director deserves the $250,000 prize at the end.

And it is a competition—although that competitive aspect is rarely talked about by the pair of directors—recent NYU film grad Anna Martemucci and YouTube sensation Shane Dawson. The two directors fall on different ends of the cinematic spectrum, which makes their personal interpretations of Schoffer’s coming-of-age dramedy much more distinct and interesting to watch. Dawson could probably find another way to make a movie if he really wanted to; his current videos are already seen by 10 million subscribers and have more than 1 billion views. Martemucci, on the other hand, is a writer trying her hand behind the camera, which of course means she has some trouble accepting that she can only adapt, not write, the screenplay that will eventually become her first film.

Of course, there are a lot more problems that occur in just the premiere than a little bruise of the ego. Most notably, Martemucci struggles with the decision to bring her husband along to Pennsylvania (or not) while Shane can’t determine how extreme (i.e. dumb) he wants his comedy to go just yet. The best part for the audience (though probably the worst part for the directors) is the gripping meta world created as the filmmakers are suddenly the ones being filmed. Both directors constantly break the fourth wall when they’re not supposed to and are open to talking about the challenges of not only creating your first movie, but having to do it with the added pressure of having each decision and step watched and critiqued before the actual work is even done.

In addition to Moore, Pittsburgh native Zachary Quinto serves as a mentor to both directors. First he must give full disclosure that he knew Martemucci prior through her husband and other work she had done—which basically resulted in this opportunity. Considering her competitor has a billion people watching him on YouTube, that small advantage still seems fair. And Quinto’s involvement isn’t just for added marquee value; through late night phone calls and emotional freak outs, Quinto is there for personal (and financial) support every step of the way. The premiere gives a preview at some of the other players likely to get involved in the unique chaos, including Dawson’s much more down-to-earth producer and the female director of photography Martemucci is desperate to have on her team.

Win or lose, both films will still air on Starz and be released in theaters in the fall. The Chair is the perfect show for any cinephile with a guilty pleasure for reality TV. Lights, camera… drama!

Christine of 'Big Brother' says 'me and my husband have a very secure relationship'

Christine Brecht, a 23-year-old Barista from Tucson, Ariz. was the victim of Big Brother‘s second double elimination of the season last night. And to make matters worse, she was then on the receiving end of boos from the studio audience after being evicted. Was that because of the cuddling, stroking, and hand-holding we saw married Christine taking part in with Cody? Was it because she repeatedly backstabbed friend Nicole? Big Brother host Julie Chen already weighed in on that, but we were able to also get Christine’s take on her time in the house and how she thinks her husband may be reacting to what he saw on the show. READ FULL STORY

Oprah-approved 'Specials' stars intellectually disabled 20-somethings

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Game of Thrones co-creator D.B. Weiss is known for the elaborate, fantastical world of the HBO series, but one of his latest projects doesn’t involve dragons or direwolves: It’s a reality show called The Specials, originally a U.K. series of webisodes following a group of intellectually disabled 20-somethings living in a house together.

“I found myself rooting for them, hoping for them, yelling at the screen when it felt like they were heading in the wrong direction,” Weiss, who executive produces the series, said of the first time he saw the webisodes. “It felt like a tremendous shame that more people weren’t aware of this singular piece of work.” Oprah Winfrey watched the webisodes, created by Katy Lock and Daniel May, and agreed. Sunday, the series is airing as a marathon on Winfrey’s network, OWN. READ FULL STORY

Nicole of 'Big Brother' says 'I feel like they are all babies'

Nicole Franzel, 21-year-old nursing school graduate, was evicted from the Big Brother house not once, but twice! After winning the right to reenter the game from the jury house, Nicole was right back out the door just two votes later. What does she think about her second go-round, the people that refuse to make a move, and her future with Hayden? We slipped some questions to Nicole on her way back to the jury house and here’s what she had to say.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Which was harder: being voted out the first time or the second?
NICOLE: The second, I don’t know why.

You mentioned to Julie that you never felt totally into the game once you got back in. Why is that?
I think because I knew I was already voted out once. I had no allies in the house. And everyone seemed much closer and more unified than it was before.  READ FULL STORY

Julie Chen on 'Big Brother' boos: 'No one likes to see a woman making a fool of her husband'

Each week after every eviction, host Julie Chen will answer a few of EW’s burning questions about the latest episode of Big Brother.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Okay, Julie, that BB Rewind explanation was pretty quick last night. Give us a refresher on exactly how this will work and your thoughts on what it could do to the game.
JULIE CHEN: Basically if the rewind button gets pushed, the two nominees next week come off the block and we immediately rewind the game one week. That means all house guests play for HOH all over again…. So there could likely be a new HOH, two new nominees, a new POV winner and then who knows who gets bounced from the house next.  [UPDATE: Julie sent the following update for clarification on this point: “To clarify: All the Houseguests, who competed last night, will play for HOH all over again.  Sorry for any confusion. Chenbot malfunction.  What the bleep #%€?¥!?”] READ FULL STORY

New 'Survivor' player John Rocker discusses his controversial 'Sports Illustrated' article

The new season of Survivor: San Juan del Sur will feature all new players, but among the cast are a few familiar faces. And the most familiar — and controversial — is former Major League Baseball pitcher John Rocker (who will be competing with his girlfriend Julie McGee). Rocker pitched for the Atlanta Braves in the 1999 World Series in a losing effort against the New York Yankees, but the closer made even bigger headlines in a Sports Illustrated article that came out later that year. READ FULL STORY

Watch Deion Sanders rappel down a cliff on 'Running Wild with Bear Grylls'

Mother Nature does not discriminate. As Bear Grylls knows, she’s equally scary whether you’re a soldier, an actor, or even an ex-Dallas Cowboy. Bottom line: Deion Sanders might be in the pro football Hall of Fame, but he still has to learn how to survive in the wild.

We’ve got an exclusive clip of Sanders on Running Wild with Bear Grylls, in which the former athlete gets a taste of what it feels like to rappel down a cliff all by his lonesome. Well, to be fair, Grylls was waiting for him at the bottom.

READ FULL STORY

MTV orders comedic family docu-series starring rapper Ja Rule

MTV has ordered Follow the Rules, a half-hour docu-series starring Ja Rule, EW has learned.

READ FULL STORY

'So You Think You Can Dance' winner Ricky on being America's Favorite

With no surprise to fans or judges, 18-year-old Ricky Ubeda was named the winner of season 11 of So You Think You Can Dance Wednesday night. EW was the first to talk to Ricky and the judges about his win.

“I am in complete shock,” the Miami native said. “I knew this was possible, but for it to actually happen is unreal… I just graduated high school. I don’t know what my real life is yet. This is real life I guess, and it doesn’t feel like it.” READ FULL STORY

'So You Think You Can Dance': America's Favorite Dancer is...

The time has come America! After a summer of kicks, tricks, taps, and lots of pirouettes, the votes are in and a new favorite dancer has been crowned!

After two seasons with two winners, last week’s performance finale feature the final four—Jessica, Valerie, Ricky, and Zack—giving it their all for the chance to be the last single dancer standing. Tonight they could relax a little bit as guest judges Adam Shankman, Debbie Allen, Jenna Dewan Tatum, and Tara Lipinski joined the entire top 20 for a spectacular retrospective ending. So, who is America’s favorite dancer…?

SPOILERS AHEAD!  READ FULL STORY

'Survivor' host Jeff Probst explains why they ditched the Redemption Island twist

When I spoke to Survivor‘s Jeff Probst earlier this year after the success of the Blood vs. Water season, he mentioned that the Redemption Island twist would most likely only return in future Blood vs. Water seasons. Then when I spoke again in May upon the announcement of the upcoming Survivor: San Juan del Sur season (which premieres Sept. 24 on CBS), Probst confirmed that the twist would indeed be back. So imagine my shock when I showed up on location two weeks later — just 48 hours before filming began — and learned that Redemption Island had been axed. READ FULL STORY

Watch an Internet couple meet IRL in the premiere of 'Love Prison'

If you took MTV’s Catfish, removed Nev and Max (and all producers, for that matter), added a potentially haunted cabin with no escape, removed all technology, and added six days to the journey, you’d have A&E’s Love Prison. Confused?

In Love Prison, A&E finds couples who have been talking on the internet and brings them face-to-face. Only, they do it in a remote cabin on an island with absolutely no one else around. With cameras in the house following their every move, the couple then spends seven days together to ultimately decide if they want to pursue a relationship. Oh, and they can’t bring their cell phones (or any technology) with them and they only get one hour to spend outside each day.

But before the show premieres at 10 p.m. on Sept. 8, EW has the exclusive first episode, featuring Jeanne and Billy (and at least one shark costume). Watch the full hour below.

READ FULL STORY

Donny of 'Big Brother' says 'Team America voted me out'

They no longer have to fear the beard. 42-year-old groundskeeper Donny Thompson was evicted from the Big Brother house last night, voted out unanimously by his housemates — even fellow Team America members Derrick and Frankie. How does the fan favorite feel about his time in the game, why did he tear up at the very end, and does he blame Team America for his ouster? We slipped some questions to Donny on his way to the jury house, and here’s what he had to say about all of that and more. READ FULL STORY

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