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'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

'SNL' to add black female cast member in January

No more wigs and heels for Kenan Thompson!

Early next year, Saturday Night Live will add someone new to its ranks — specifically, its first black female cast member since Maya Rudolph vacated in 2007. (SNL has only featured four African-American women in its entire 39-year history: Yvonne Hudson (1980-81), Danitra Vance (1985-86), Ellen Cleghorne (1991-95) and Rudolph (2000-2007).)

The news comes from straight from executive producer/SNL Czar for Life Lorne Michaels, who told the New York Times that his team has been holding special casting sessions for weeks. The search culminated in an under-the-radar audition for black female comedians held at Los Angeles’s Groundlings Theater last week, at which about a dozen performers were present. READ FULL STORY

FX orders period drama pilot from 'Sons of Anarchy' creator Kurt Sutter

Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter has a new drama in the works at FX.

The pilot, titled The Bastard Executioner, was announced today by the network and described as a period drama about a warrior knight in the age of King Edward III. He’s described as a man “who is broken by the ravages of war” and despite a vow to lay down his sword soon finds himself picking up “the bloodiest sword of all.”

Production is scheduled to start in 2014. Sutter created the project and will serve as executive producer. Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo will also serve as EPs.
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The CW releases new premiere dates, adjusted mid-season schedule

This holiday season, The CW is tweaking its schedule a bit. By the time your favorite shows return, some of them will find themselves in a new time slot.

When Star-Crossed, The CW’s new drama about a love story between a human an alien, premieres Feb. 17, it will fill Hart of Dixie‘s current time slot on Mondays at 8 p.m. Dixie will then be shuffled to Fridays at 9 p.m. beginning March 21.

Next up, The CW will premiere The 100, a post-apocalyptic drama, on March 19 when it takes over The Tomorrow People‘s current spot on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. As of March 17, viewers can catch The Tomorrow People on Mondays at 9 p.m.

So what happens to Beauty and the Beast? Well, after the show’s March 10 airing, it will go on hiatus. A return date for the show is yet to be announced.

Finally, Whose Line Is It Anyway? will return March 21, airing Fridays at 8 p.m. After its return, encore episodes will also air at 8:30 p.m. following original episodes at 8 p.m. Encore episodes of the first season will also air Fridays at 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. from Feb. 14 to March 14.

The new schedule looks as follows:
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'American Horror Story': Gabourey Sidibe talks Queenie's future on 'Coven' and doing a sitcom with Kathy Bates

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

Last night’s American Horror Story: Coven was a pivotal episode for Gabourey Sidibe’s Queenie. Not only did she get to school Madame LaLaurie’s decapitated head in black  history via a screening of Roots (and Halle Berry’s B*A*P*S) but she also (seemingly) killed herself in order to protect Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett) from witch hunter Hank (Josh Hamilton). EW talked to Sidibe about whether or not Queenie is really dead and her dream sitcom with co-star Kathy Bates (they even have a theme song). READ FULL STORY

'American Horror Story': Ryan Murphy on the latest 'Coven' and whether [SPOILER] is dead -- EXCLUSIVE

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

The dead bodies are starting to pile up on American Horror Story: Coven. As is typical for this franchise, characters begin to get the ax as the season winds down and last night was no exception.
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Bio Channel to be rebranded as FYI next summer

A&E Networks says its Bio Channel will be going through big changes next summer.

The company announced Wednesday that Bio is set to be rebranded as FYI. It describes FYI as a contemporary lifestyle network.

A&E Networks head Nancy Dubuc says it will target upscale viewers and will have a younger and more modern sensibility than existing lifestyle networks have displayed.

The network says it has more than 30 potential new series in development meant to inspire and not instruct its audience.

It will be available in nearly 70 million homes.

FX greenlights 'Tyrant,' a drama from 'Homeland' EPs

FX has given the go to a new drama series from Homeland EPs Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff.

The network announced Wednesday the pick-up of Tyrant, a story that centers on the younger son (Adam Rayner) of a dictator in a war-torn country who returns to his homeland after a self-imposed 20-year exile, accompanied by his American wife and children, and soon finds himself thrown back into the turbulent workings of a Middle Eastern nation. Rayner, Jennifer Finnigan, and Ashraf Barhom are among the stars.

The series is executive produced by Gordon, Raff, and Craig Wright.

“With Tyrant, Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff and Craig Wright have produced a beautiful television pilot that will be a groundbreaking television series,” said FX president John Landgraf in a statement. “Tyrant introduces characters and a world that have never been explored in a dramatic television series format. There is a reason a bidding war broke out over this project: it grabs you as all great epics do and simply refuses to let go!”

'Californication' ending after season 7

Our time with Hank Moody is coming to an end.

Showtime has announced that its hit comedy series Californication will air 12 episodes in its final season 7 run.

“With its unique blend of lyricism and excess, Californication has been one of our groundbreaking signature series,” David Nevins, president of entertainment, Showtime Networks Inc., said. “We will always be indebted to Tom Kapinos for leading the creative charge on this memorable comedy, and to David Duchovny for making us root for an unapologetic hedonist like Hank Moody. Tom has carefully planned the final chapter of Hank’s journey and has brought it to a beautiful and satisfying conclusion for new and long-time fans alike.”

The show, which debuted in August 2007, will kick off its farewell season in April.

'Reliable Sources': Three things to know about Sunday's premiere

CNN this morning will premiere new host Brian Stelter on Reliable Sources, a show that examines how journalists do their jobs and how the media affect the stories they cover. Stelter’s guests include The New York Times’ Bill Keller and Ryan Seacrest. EW asked Stelter, a former TV reporter for The New York Times, to answer a few questions about his new gig. READ FULL STORY

ABC keeps 'Peanuts' specials through 2020

The Peanuts gang will stay on ABC for many more years. The net just inked an extension with Peanuts Worldwide LLC and Lee Mendelson Film Productions to keep the Emmy-winning specials like “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” through 2020.

The specials were created by Charles M. Schulz and produced and animated by Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez. They began airing on ABC in 2001. “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” which first aired on TV in 1965, will celebrate its 50th anniversary in the coming year.

Mendelson and Melendez’s association with Schulz harkens back to 1965 with “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” The three men continued their long-term association until Schulz’s death, working together on 50 “Peanuts” network specials and four feature films. The network specials won five Emmys, two Peabodys and 18 other Emmy nominations.

Fox rounds out cast of John Mulaney comedy

Fox has secured the cast of its new comedy that’s based on the life of stand-up comedian John Mulaney. Actors Elliott Gould, Nasim Pedrad, Seaton Smith and Zack Pearlman are set to join Mulaney and Martin Short in the sitcom dubbed Mulaney, a project that was originally developed at NBC for last season.

Most of the actors, save Pearlman, were in the NBC project. Now that Fox has ordered it straight to series for fall 2014, the net succeeded in lassoing most of its original cast. (Yey!)

The comedy will be set in New York and will follow an aspiring comedian (Mulaney) who is coming of age under the influence of his boss (Short), his roommates and his neighbors. Gould plays Mulaney’s boisterous neighbor; Pedrad (Saturday Night Live) plays one one of Mulaney’s roommates, as does Smith.

Pearlman (Community) has been cast as Andre Van Horn, a stubborn but energetic 29-year-old trust fund baby.

The series is created and written by Mulaney and executive produced by SNL’s Lorne Michaels.

'The Sound of Music': Stephen Moyer talks playing Capt. Von Trapp and tonight's live premiere

We’re only hours away from the highly anticipated premiere of NBC’s live adaptation of The Sound of Music. EW was on set for rehearsals a few weeks ago and got a chance to chat with True Blood star Stephen Moyer, who is playing the stern Captain Von Trapp. Moyer talked about working with Carrie Underwood and the perils of doing live television.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did this come to you?
STEPHEN MOYER: Interestingly, I got the offer before. It came through at the end of the first week of rehearsals, so weird. I had just finished True Blood literally the week before. I was waiting on quite an interesting gig, and my agent rang me up and he said, “Hey, are you available for a minute for a chat?” I thought it was going to be something else completely and it was The Sound of Music Live! Not quite what I was expecting.
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