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Tag: TV Preview (1-10 of 19)

'Kingdom' creator on crafting a gritty family drama in the MMA world

When Byron Balasco tells people that his new show Kingdom is about Mixed Martial Arts, their response tends to be, “Oh, so it’s a reality show?” It’s not a wild notion, considering that we live in a world with very few (if any) scripted shows about MMA. But for Balasco, the idea never seemed far-fetched.

“I had been a fan of MMA for years and years and years, way back even before it became what it is, like 10-12 years ago even,” Balasco said. “And it always seemed like a great place to set a show because it’s such an interesting cross-section of characters. It’s people from a lot of different backgrounds and it’s definitely a subculture, which is a great place to go in, and it has a lot of universal themes that I think even if you’re not a fan of fighting, you can relate to.”

But taking that idea and turning it into a television show took years, mostly because Balasco knew that his show would live or die on the timing of his pitch. “I had this idea to do a show there for years but the timing wasn’t right in terms of the appetite for it. If you just say what the show is about, people either think it’s a reality show or they somehow assume it’s low-brow or just focused on violence because there’s a preconceived notion of what a show about the sport would be and what the sport is, period.”

So instead of pitching the premise and dealing with the many preconceived notions that surround the MMA world, Balasco started writing a spec script. “I made it the show I wanted it to be which is about the characters. It’s a family drama. Once I did that, I think people were able to see the potential of this show,” he said.

And now, Kingdom has a 10-episode order on DirecTV, with the first episode premiering tonight. Just like that, Balasco has successfully disproved the preconceived notions of the network and will now have to see if he can do the same with the general public.

For those who don’t know what Kingdom is about, it follows Frank Grillo as Alvey Kulina, an ex-MMA fighter who runs a gym in Venice, California. Also a father, Alvey has two sons: Up-and-coming fighter Nate (Nick Jonas), and fighter-turned-drug-addict Jay (Jonathan Tucker). Add in one of Alvey’s greatest fighters, Ryan (Matt Lauria), a former champion recently released from jail, and you’ve got the competitors. From there, the show also stars Kiele Sanchez as Lisa, Alvey’s girlfriend (and Ryan’s ex), and Joanna Going as Christina, Alvey’s ex-wife and the mother of their children, who has taken to prostitution to sustain her drug habit. At its core, Kingdom is a family drama about “not only the family within the show but the extended family of the sport and the gym and the neighborhood,” Balasco said.

And at the center of it all is Grillo, who played a similar role in the 2011 film Warrior and has a background in fighting. “Frank was the first person that was cast in the show because part of what we needed to do to get the show picked up was attract the right guy for the role of Alvey,” Balasco said. “[Frank] was the first guy that I wanted, and the first guy that I went to, and the first guy that I talked to. You should always have a few other people in mind in case something falls through, but I just couldn’t think that way because he was so perfect for the role. He’s been fighting for his whole life and is really highly trained, so to find a guy who can act the way he can act and has the physicality he does, it’s like you’d be a f—ing moron not to cast him.”

From there, the rest of the cast fell into place and Balasco turned his focus to the style of the show, which he described as “polished vérité.” “We try to make it feel as real and authentic as possible, but we also want it to feel cinematic,” he said. “So it’s not documentary-style or shaky camera-style. We spend a lot of time composing what we’re doing.”

For viewers, a good point of comparison might be the award-winning series, Friday Night Lights. Much like Friday Night Lights, Kingdom is about a sport, which will play a central role but is not the focal point. Also like Friday Night Lights, Kingdom is very focused on authenticity and has a gritty, realistic feel. “We tend to get compared to [Friday Night Lights] a lot. We’re a little more raw and we can kind of go a little bit further in certain areas just because of where we are, but yeah, that’s a nice comparison, certainly, because that was a great show,” Balasco said.

At the end of the day, Kingdom is a character-driven show about a subculture that has yet to be explored in scripted television. Now, the question is whether viewers are willing to step into the octagon.

Kingdom premieres tonight at 9 p.m. on DirecTV.

'Supernatural': Jensen Ackles on playing a 'super demon,' what's next

Heading into Supernatural‘s 10th season, showrunner Jeremy Carver has teased that this year’s mythology will be “very, very personal” for all of our favorite characters. But before we can get to that chapter, we have to deal with all things Demon Dean.

From the promos, we know that Demon Dean is a fan of strip clubs, karaoke, and porn. But how does he feel about his younger brother—and what is Sam willing to do to find him? We talked with Jensen Ackles about playing the Deanmon and what comes next. You know, after all the evil.

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'The Originals': Where we left off, what's next in season 2

The Originals started as a show about three siblings, a thousand years of family history, and Klaus’ desire to regain control of New Orleans. But in season two, there are more Originals than ever, and Klaus is less about the city and more about revenge. “This [season] is about trying to clean up [season one's] mess and the hope that they can create an environment where they can bring their child home,” executive producer Julie Plec said. “Only what they do not yet realize in the beginning is that the new mess is in the form of their old family.”

Quickly, Klaus’ revenge mission will get a lot more complicated. “In the beginning, it’s vengeance against the wolves, but then slowly as more details start to appear to them and they realize oh our mother’s back, our father’s back, one brother at least is back, suddenly they realize, ‘What would happen if we all worked together against this entity that is here to cause us harm,'” Plec said. “And so we get to have a lot of fun with two species that shouldn’t necessarily get along, that shouldn’t be in cooperation with each other but trying to bring them together in all the different ways they can in hopes of building an alliance that is powerful enough to defeat the nasty side of the Original family that’s really in town causing all the trouble.”

That being said, don’t expect Mikael and Esther to be the only villains this season. “The family drama is the centerpiece of the season, but that is by no means the only outlet for enemies,” Plec said. “We have enemies brewing in the present; we have enemies brewing that are coming from the past. We’ve got all kinds of good additional problems to dump into the melting pot of New Orleans. And it’s just going to keep getting worse and worse as far as who’s coming into town to do what, and not all of them are going to be aligned with Esther and Mikael either, so they might find themselves up against an enemy of their own.”

As for what that means for the characters, get a rundown of their agendas below.

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'Vampire Diaries' has new characters, the old Damon, 'no happy endings'

When we left The Vampire Diaries last season, Mystic Falls had become a vampire-free zone, Damon and Bonnie had died, and Alaric had returned to the land of the living. But four months later, what’s everyone up to?

“This season is about how to bring everyone back together,” executive producer Caroline Dries said. “It’s like, ‘How can you come back together if you don’t even have your home?’ But there’s a deeper, hopefully more profound, resonance with it where it’s like, ‘Their home is their friends.'”

And with that in mind, Dries also promised that not everyone will have given up hope for saving Damon and Bonnie, though that mystery will not be short-lived. According to Dries, the mystery of “what the heck happened to them” will be solved within the first (of four) chapters of the season, but “it will spread out through the course of the season,” she said. “It will have ripple effects. But in general, that’s the big thrust of the beginning of the season.”

Oh, and don’t expect another super-complicated mythology right off the bat. “We’re not inundating the audience with really dense mythology. We’re trying to keep it very simple in changing up all of the character dynamics. That’s actually what’s creating the drama, not like this outside force,” Dries said.

As for what everyone within this world is up to, check out our character-by-character guide below:

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'Reign' star Toby Regbo on 'impotent sex,' 'skeletons' in Francis' closet

In the season-one finale of Reign, Francis’ life completely changed. After the death of Henry, not only did Francis became the king of France, but he also found out that Lola was having his illegitimate child. And in the season’s final moments, he left Mary behind and rode off into a plague-infested countryside to try and find Lola. So what happens now?

We spoke with Toby Regbo about Francis’ journey, some of the new faces at the castle, and all of that baby business.

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'Castle' boss: Season 7 will reveal more of why Castle is the way he is

When you end a season on a cliffhanger as big as Castle’s car accident at the end of season six, it’s difficult to start the next season with a large time jump. And thankfully, Castle will pick up right where it left off, with Beckett, still in her wedding dress, realizing that Castle is no longer in the burning car. That being said, the episode, like most Castle episodes, won’t play in real time all the way through.

With the episode focusing on Beckett’s hunt to find Castle, there will be a minor time jump within the episode. EW spoke with executive producer David Amann about what to expect from Monday’s premiere and season seven as a whole. READ FULL STORY

'Forever' creator previews the newest show about immortality

The idea of immortality has been explored in a number of ways on screens both big and small. But for Dr. Henry Morgan in ABC’s new series Forever, immortality has a few twists. For one, Henry views it as a curse, something he’s spent more than 200 years trying to cure. And then there’s the idea that Henry does technically die. He just doesn’t stay dead for long.

As a medical examiner in New York, Henry (Ioan Gruffudd) spends his days examining dead bodies and trying to find a solution for his inability to stay dead. And as viewers will see in the pilot, his years of practicing medicine and genius-like knowledge quickly get him pulled into helping a detective (Alana De La Garza) on a number of cases.

We caught up with Forever‘s creator, Matt Miller, to talk about the idea behind the show, what viewers can expect, and more.

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New 'Homeland' season 4 teaser reveals juicy plot details

Showtime has released a new official trailer for Homeland‘s fourth season, premiering with a double episode on Oct. 5. The action-packed two-minute preview unveils plot details not included in the first two shorter and tamer Homeland teasers, released in July and August.

In the season-three finale, viewers learned that in the aftermath of Brody’s successful counterterrorism mission and subsequent public hanging, Carrie was appointed CIA Station Chief in Istanbul. (Check out EW‘s coverage for season-three recaps and more)The trailer kicks off six months later in Pakistan, and it makes several things clear.

Carrie and Saul are back to co-kicking ass. Carrie and Saul had a rocky relationship last season, to say the least; in the finale, Saul announces he’s leaving the CIA for the private sector. But what is Homeland without Mandy Patinkin? We see Carrie reluctantly accepting longtime friend Saul’s help—it looks like there’s a chance they’ll become the formidable team they once were.

There’s a lot of Corey Stoll. We get a closer look at the dubious role of newcomer Corey Stoll, the Golden Globe-nominated actor known for playing tortured politician Peter Russo on Netflix’s House of Cards. Stoll will play Sandy Bachman, the ambitious CIA Station Chief in Pakistan. Officially billed as a guest star, Stoll’s Homeland appearance looked to possibly be a limited engagement—but the new preview suggests viewers will be playing familiar season-long game of is-he-or-isn’t-he-a-double-agent with Bachman.

Carrie had Brody’s baby. The preview offers a few glimpses of a conspicuously red-haired little one, the baby of the now deceased Sergeant Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) that Carrie was pregnant with last season. Carrie’s sister Maggie (Amy Hargreaves) accuses Carrie of finagling her way into a position overseas in order to avoid raising her daughter. Harsh, but not out of character for our embattled protagonist.

The CIA will see the s–t hit the fan again. We see Saul watching a viral YouTube video titled “American Missile Strike on Wedding”—devastating footage of a CIA-led mission, ostensibly a drone strike, that becomes a PR nightmare for the agency.

Quinn is back. But so is Senator Lockhart. Fan-favorite CIA agent Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend) returns as Carrie’s coworker, confidante, and sometimes-savior. We see Quinn roughing up a baddie and protecting Carrie from an angry mob. And Tracy Letts is back to being the meddlesome jerk fans love to hate as good old Senator Lockhart.

Carrie is still the same rough-around-the-edges hero. True to form, Carrie is trying to get to the bottom of an epic, terrorism-fueled international mess. She offers to help protect a teenaged Pakistani boy whose family was kidnapped—before yelling at pretty much every single character in the preview.

'Pretty Little Liars' boss teases Ali's 'bold move' and a fatal finale

Last year, the Pretty Little Liars summer finale shocked fans when the camera panned around to reveal that Ezra was the man in the black hoodie and potentially the leader of the “A” team. As we now know, that was all a cover-up—Ezra was merely an author trying to solve a mystery and write a best-selling book—but in the moment, the idea that the beloved Mr. Fitz could be evil was heartbreaking. So heading into tonight’s summer finale, which is being labeled the “fatal finale,” fans are on edge for whatever twist showrunner Marlene King has in store. And she promises it’s a good one.

“[The finale is] a different kind of shocking,” King said. “Literally two days ago, we had our final playback for it, so we could hear all the sound and everything, and there were a few people who work on the show who do music and sound and they hadn’t read the script, and I will say that there were a lot of gasps and some tears were shed. People had to take a moment after they watched it to gain their composure.” READ FULL STORY

'The Vampire Diaries': Caroline Dries previews Enzo's return, a Damon-Grayson 'parallel', and a 'beautiful scene' for Stefan and Katherine

The Vampire Diaries season 5 has been filled with doppelgangers, safes, experiments, mysterious pictures, and surprising romances. So what can viewers expect from Thursday night’s mid-season finale? Well, with the reappearance of Enzo, and a title like “50 Shades of Grayson,” Elena is bound to get some more answers about that secretive father of hers, and that’s not even mentioning Katherine and Stefan’s morning after.

We talked with executive producer Caroline Dries about Grayson, Enzo, and whether Aaron really is an innocent as he seems:
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'The Originals': Danielle Campbell talks Davina's power, upcoming answers, and why Elijah should wear leather

In last week’s episode of The Originals, Klaus finally came face-to-face with Marcel’s secret weapon, 16-year-old witch Davina. Torn between a normal life with her crush and her immense supernatural power, Davina’s first interaction with the Original vampire left her a little shaken up. And to top things off, Davina ended her night with another meet-and-great, this one with the more charming Original brother, Elijah. So what’s next for the witch everyone seems to want to get their hands on? We talked with Davina herself, Danielle Campbell, about tonight’s episode, the history of New Orleans’ witches, and Davina’s greatest struggle:
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Executive producer previews 'Ravenswood': New characters, Caleb's family, and 'an adversary of some dark underworld'

The “A” team might wear black hoodies and send threatening notes, but the town of Ravenswood has darkness running through its veins.

Tomorrow, Pretty Little Liars spin-off Ravenswood debuts when PLL‘s Caleb finds himself in a new town where a curse connects him to four other individuals. But what’s the curse, and why were these five teens chosen? That’s what will be explored in the new series from the team that brought you Rosewood, “A,” and countless shocking revelations.

We talked with Ravenswood executive producer and co-creator Oliver Goldstick about what we can expect from the new series (hints: mystery, friendship, and Mrs. Grunwald):
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'Arrow' season two preview: 'We lost the battle, but we will win the war' -- VIDEO

Oliver Queen hasn’t had an easy life. Well, he sort of did, up until he lost his father and was shipwrecked on an island. Now, he’s dedicated his life to righting his father’s wrongs and protecting Starling City. The bad news is that doesn’t always work out so well. In Arrow‘s season one finale, we saw the complete demolition of The Glades. People lost their homes, and Oliver lost Tommy, his best friend.

But in a new promo for season two, The Hood isn’t ready to give up just yet. As he put it, “We all lost something in this fight.” And now that the battle’s over, it’s time to continue the war. This time, Oliver’s “trying another way.” What exactly that means is yet to be determined, but the preview shows quite a bit of action, both on the island (cue flashbacks!) and in Starling City. It also shows a pretty steamy kiss, but sadly, it doesn’t involve Laurel and Oliver.

All we know is that “When the hood goes up, you better pray,” because Oliver is only getting started: “What doesn’t kill me only makes me sharper.”

Watch the season two preview below: READ FULL STORY

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