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'Arrow' boss teases Roy's 'Batman Begins'-like story arc; Plus, four more scoops

The back half of Arrow‘s second season is going to be a trying one for young Roy Harper (Colton Haynes).

After being injected with Mirakuru in the mid-season finale, the first episode back, airing Wednesday night, will explore the benefits — and consequences — of his newfound strength. “We’re going to learn starting with episode 10 that the Mirakuru may give you incredible strength and it really may accelerate your healing, but it comes with some very significant mental downsides as well,” teases executive producer Marc Guggenheim. “And Roy will be experiencing those in the present, and Slade in the past [via flashbacks] will begin to develop those difficulties.”

Guggenheim adds that as everything about Roy’s current predicament becomes clearer, we’re also going to see how it affects the people around him — Thea and Oliver included. “We always said that this year, Roy is going to go through a crucible. And the Mirakuru [storyline] is basically that ordeal and for sure when he comes out the other side — if he comes out the other side — he will be a different person and set on a different path,” he says. “You will start to see that as early as episode 12.”

It’s part of the longer story the writers are telling with Roy, explains Guggenheim, one that shows him going “from being sort of the street urchin we met in episode 15 last year to somebody who could potentially inherit the Arrow’s mantel as Roy Harper did in the comic books. We’re never really driven too much by what we call the comic book destinies of characters, but we’re very much aware of them and we’re very much aware that we’re telling a Batman Begins-style story for all of our characters. And obviously the Mirakuru and what Roy will experience in the wake of episode 9 is a big part of that Batman Begins-like story for him.”

Guggenheim also teased a few more plot points that await fans in the second half of the season. Here are answers to some more burning questions:
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'American Horror Story': Season 4 will be set in the year [SPOILER] -- EXCLUSIVE

American Horror Story: Coven is beginning to wrap up its phenomenal season (Wednesday’s episode is a doozy) but co-creator Ryan Murphy has already begun plotting and planning his fourth installment of the FX franchise…as well as peppering the final episodes with tiny hints as to next year’s plot. “It’s set in 1950,” Murphy reveals exclusively to EW. “If you look historically what happened in the year 1950, there’s some more clues in that year. It’s a period piece. We try and do the opposite of what we’ve done before. Jessica Lange has already started practicing her German accent so I’m very excited!”

Hmmm. 1950. German accent. Start guessing, AHS fans!!!

Check back to EW.com after tonight’s West Coast airing of AHS: Coven for more from our weekly chat with Ryan Murphy.

'The Americans' season 2: Six scoops on the new season

The Americans returns Feb. 26, and during a panel Tuesday at the Television Critics Association press tour, the cast and producers teased what the season has in store for TV’s Russian spy couple next door.

This season will turn the focus back on the family.
“We felt like [season 1] had been so focused on the marriage,” says EP Joe Weisberg, “and the natural place to go next was the family.” Particularly with Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth’s (Keri Russell) marriage on more solid ground, they wanted to move on to exploring “the next point of fracture” — the family unit.
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'Penny Dreadful': See a new image from Showtime's upcoming monster mash -- EXCLUSIVE PHOTO

Showtime’s new horror-drama, Penny Dreadful, premiering this Spring, posits that Victorian London was one helluva town, in which characters from classic novels like Frankenstein and Dracula crossed paths with each other—and with an American sharpshooter (Josh Hartnett) and a mysterious woman (Eva Green) who’s battling her own demons (the pair can be seen in the above exclusive image) .

Creator John Logan (Skyfall) says he drew inspiration from ’40s monster mash-up movies. Says Logan, “I thought there was incredible excitement to slamming all those myths together so that’s what we’re embracing in Penny Dreadful.” Though his take has a premium-cable bent — “It’s highly erotic, very bloody” — there’s a humanity to the horror. “It’s about building a family,” says Logan. “Admittedly, the creepiest family you can imagine.”
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'Orphan Black' season 2: Star teases brewing 'war'; plus, five more scoops

BBC America’s breakout hit Orphan Black may not return until April 19, but the anticipation is already building for its second season.

During the show’s panel at the Television Critics Association press tour, co-creator Graeme Manson and stars Tatiana Maslany and Jordan Gavaris fielded a bevy of questions from eager critics about the new season, and thankfully, they were more than willing to delve out the scoop.

Highlights below:

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'Doctor Who' alum cast as lead in BBC America's 'Intruders'

BBC America has found its lead for the upcoming paranormal drama The Intruders.

John Simm, best known for playing the latest incarnation of the iconic Master on Doctor Who and his starring role on BBC’s Life on Mars, will play Jack Whelan, a Los Angeles cop turned writer who is plunged back into a life he thought he left behind after his wife goes missing. The character is based on the one seen in Michael Marshall Smith’s novel of the same name.

“After reading Glen Morgan’s brilliant script, I knew I couldn’t pass up the chance to play this complex character,” Simms said in a statement. “It is also a great opportunity to reunite with [executive producers] Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner, and with BBC America.”

During a Television Critics Association panel, BBC also announced a six-part Cold War spy thriller from Being Human creator Toby Whithouse called The Game, set in the world of 1970s espionage. The Game tells the story of the invisible war fought by MI5 as it battles to protect the nation from the threats of the Cold War. It is set to premiere fall 2014.

'The Carrie Diaries' EP Amy B. Harris previews tonight's episode, surprising new friendships

Remember when Carrie Bradshaw’s biggest problem was being banned from New York City because of her secret adventures? That’s small potatoes compared to what Carrie and her friends have endured during the second season of The CW’s The Carrie Diaries, which has dealt with everything from homosexuality to virginity loss to teenage pregnancy. In advance of tonight’s episode, EW talked with executive producer Amy B. Harris about some surprising new friendships, where the rest of the season is headed, and those fun Sex and the City homages.
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'American Horror Story': Ryan Murphy talks Stevie Nicks' debut on 'Coven' and which witches are actually dead -- EXCLUSIVE

[SPOILER ALERT IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE LATEST AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN!!!!!]

The “White Witch” finally made her much-anticipated debut last night on American Horror Story: Coven. Yes, the one and only Stevie Nicks popped up as a pal of Fiona’s and gave the Miss Robichaux ladies a little private concert. Elsewhere, Nan, Joan and (maybe?) Misty perished. Plus, Marie did an awesome thing her tongue. EW talked to co-creator Ryan Murphy about all this and more, like which witches are gone for good.
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'Being Mary Jane': Gabrielle Union on her racy new BET series and auditioning for 'Scandal'

Four million viewers got a taste of BET’s first hour-long drama series Being Mary Jane, from Girlfriends creators Salim and Mara Brock Akil, last summer with a TV movie. Now Gabrielle Union returns on Tuesday night at 10 p.m. for Jane‘s first full season as the titular Atlanta news anchor who struggles with her loved ones (including a friend who tries to kill herself), romance (she’s torn between a married suitor and a playboy), and career (contending with journalistic ethics in the face of a Katrina-like disaster). Not exactly lightweight fare.

“I’ve shot a lot of stinkers, and you’re just like, ‘Eh,'” admits the star. “But this one, every day I was like, ‘This is so good.'” She adds, “It’s authentic and it’s brutally honest. You’ll see characters that within an episode you may love, you may hate, you may cry with.”

EW talked to Union, who just got engaged to NBA star Dwayne Wade, about playing such a complicated woman and Jane’s many sex scenes.
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'Downton Abbey' preview: What to expect for each character in season 4

DOWNTON-ABBEY-S4.jpg

Six months have passed since Matthew’s death when Downton Abbey returns tonight for a new season, and while Lady Mary — and much of the house — are still mourning the loss, life must also go on. And for some characters, 1922 and beyond will prove to be tough.

For details, click through our handy guide below where we tease the action you’ll see in season 4.

UPSTAIRS
Mary
Robert and Cora
Edith
Cousin Rose
Tom Branson

DOWNSTAIRS
Bates and Anna
Daisy
Alfred
Carson
Thomas

'Revenge': A sneak peek of the show's January return -- VIDEO

After being shot twice in the stomach by [spoiler alert] her new husband, Daniel, Emily Thorne is in rough condition when Revenge returns Jan. 5 for a new batch of episodes. The most pressing issue? She doesn’t remember a thing!

This development, which you can see below in a brand new clip from the show’s Jan. 5 episode, was teased by star Emily VanCamp when she spoke exclusively to EW about the big shooter reveal. “She’s so lost, she’s so confused, she’s so vulnerable,” VanCamp said of her amnesia-stricken character. “It’s a whole different side we’ve never seen.”

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'Supernatural' boss on mid-season shocker, what comes next

The end of the first half of Supernatural’s impressive ninth season ended with a shocker that sent fans of the series into a state of shock — the death of beloved nerdy prophet Kevin Tran (Osric Chau).

With the mid-season break now in full swing (the show returns Jan. 14), we spoke with executive producer Jeremy Carver about Tran’s sad departure and his plans for the second half of the season for a recent edition of Spoiler Room in Entertainment Weekly. Below is our full chat, presented as a special edition of the online column: READ FULL STORY

'The Normal Heart': Inside Ryan Murphy's HBO adaptation of Larry Kramer's acclaimed play -- EXCLUSIVE

Larry Kramer’s Tony award-winning 1985 play The Normal Heart—which details the ominous spread of HIV/AIDS among a group of gay men in 1980s New York City—is finally getting a movie adaptation on the small screen. Directed by American Horror Story and Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy, Heart will premiere this spring on HBO and features a star-studded cast including Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts, Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, and Taylor Kitsch (below, in a photo Ruffalo tweeted out this summer). “It’s a movie about AIDS, but it’s also really a civil rights movie,” says Murphy, who worked with Kramer on the script for three years. “I think it’s more timely than ever before. It’s really about the quest to be seen, not as a gay person or a straight person but just a person…. It’s an activist movie that also has a really great love story in it.” Adds the director, “Of everything I’ve done in my career, I think it is the biggest labor of love.” READ FULL STORY

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