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Archive for March, 2011

Hey All,

Happy Thursday Everybody!! The news isn’t too voluminous, but I still found some interesting items to share:

TELEVISION

It has been confirmed that Allison Mack will be back on Smallville for the two-hour series finale. (Zap2It)

Actress Vinessa Antoine (Being Erica and Soul Food) will have a recurring role on the Syfy series Haven when it returns for its second season. She will play Evidence “Evi” Ryan, a former con-artist and lover of Duke’s (Eric Balfour). (The Futon Critic)

Actor Jonathan Groff will be back on Glee for this season’s final three episodes. (Michael Ausiello at TV Line)

Looks like the box office movie Transporter will be made into a 12-episode action drama on Cinemax. The series will center on professional transporter Frank Martin, operating in a seedy underworld of dangerous criminals and desperate players, who can always be counted on to get the job done — discreetly. Production will begin this summer, but no premiere date has been set yet. (Nellie Andreeva at Deadline)

Actress Parker Posey will guest star on The Big C when it returns to Showtime on June 27. She will appear in four episodes as Poppy, an older woman who develops an unlikely relationship with Adam (Gabriel Basso), Cathy’s son. Also announced yesterday was that actor Hugh Dancy will also guest star in the show. He will appear in six episodes as Lee, a charming fellow cancer patient who befriends Cathy (Laura Linney) [SPOILER ALERT] as they take part in an experimental drug trial. (Tim Molloy at The Wrap)

HBO has pulled the plug on their series In Treatment. (The Futon Critic)

DEVELOPMENT NEWS

Actor Denis O’Hare (True Blood) has joined the FX drama pilot American Horror Story that stars Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights) and comes from co-creators Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy (the men behind Glee). (The Futon Critic)

Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights) is being courted for the FX drama pilot called Powers about a pair of homicide detectives in a world where superheroes are commonplace. He would play one of them, Christian Walker, who secretly used to be a superhero. (The Futon Critic)

Margo Martindale (Justified) has joined the cast of the as-yet untitled Susannah Grant pilot that is about Michael Halstead (Patrick Wilson), an ultra-competitive surgeon whose life is changed forever when his ex-wife, Anna Lindberg (Jennifer Ehle), dies and begins teaching him what life is all about from the hereafter. Martindale will take over for S. Epatha Merkerson as Rita, Michael’s “don’t cross her” assistant. (The Futon Critic)

MADE FOR TV MOVIE NEWS

Actress Karen Gillan (Doctor Who) will star as Sixties cover girl Jean Shrimpton – the supermodel of her day – in a new BBC film called We’ll Take Manhattan, which will examine the charged four-year love affair between the iconic model and photographer David Bailey. This is Gillan’s first leading role since making her debut in Doctor Who. (Daily Mail Reporter and Dark Horizons)

BOX OFFICE NEWS

Actor Geoffrey Rush (Pirates of the Caribbean franchise) will voice the role of Tomar-Re, a key member of the Green Lantern Corps. in the upcoming Green Lantern movie that stars Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan. (Heat Vision and Dark Horizons)

Actor Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes) and actress Sarah Shahi (Fairly Legal) are set to appear in the box office thriller called Static that follows a young couple on the verge of divorce and dealing with the loss of their child. Their life is complicated further by the arrival of a young visitor (Sara Paxton) with supernatural implications. (Variety and Dark Horizons)

Actor John Travolta is set to play mobster John Gotti Sr. in the film Gotti: Three Generations that will focus on the relationship between John Gotti Sr., the head of the Gambino crime family who died in prison in 2002, and his son John Gotti Jr. who took over the family business. The younger Gotti served time in prison, but then successfully escaped conviction in four subsequent racketeering trials. (The Hollywood Reporter and Dark Horizons)

That’s it. Enjoy!

PS: Have a terrific weekend – I’m send these well wishes off early, as I’m heading to WonderCon tomorrow and will have limited access to the internet during that time.

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A record 39 recipients were announced for the 70th Annual Peabody Awards that recognize the best in electronic media, including the following TV shows and movies:

Justified (FX)

Great Performances: Macbeth (PBS)

The Pacific (HBO)

Sherlock: A Study in Pink (PBS)

Men of a Certain Age (TNT)

Degrassi: My Body Is a Cage (TeenNick)

Temple Grandin (HBO)

The Good Wife (CBS)

Congrats to these and all the other winners. You can read more about all the winners here.

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It was all new programming last night except for one repeat. Here is how all of the Wednesday dramas fared in the overall ratings last night

9 PM Shows:
Criminal Minds (CBS) – 12.9 million
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC) [repeat] – 3.6 million

10 PM Shows:
Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (CBS) – 9.4 million
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC) [NEW] – 8.3 million
Off the Map (ABC) – 4.2 million

What did you watch last night? Please share.

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Live from the Artists Den (R)

The third season of the Emmy nominated public television music series Live from the Artists Den will air its season premiere this Friday, April 1, featuring a concert by Elvis Costello and his band The Sugarcanes recorded at the New York Public Library’s world-famous Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.

This innovative programming features music icons and rising stars in unique and intimate venues, allowing the viewer to feel as if the concert is happening right in their living room. The specials also include interviews with each performer conducted by noted music critic Alan Light, who also serves as Director of Programming for Live from the Artists Den.

In an exclusive interview with Rueben’s Ramblings, series creator Mark Lieberman explains the genesis of Live from the Artists Den. “When I was living and working in San Francisco, I became very aware that my friends were no longer going out to hear live music – shows were too late, too inconvenient, too difficult to fit into a life with a job and kids. I wanted to create a way for people to continue to experience music performances in a setting that was inviting and welcoming.”

Besides Elvis Costello being the opening act for this season’s series, Ray LaMontagne and the Pariah Dogs performed at the Don Strange Ranch located in Texas (this performance will air on April 5). Mr. Lieberman explained that this was “probably the most ambitious production we’ve pulled off so far” because the performance was held “in a barn on a ranch thirty miles outside of San Antonio”.

While artists like Ringo Starr, Alanis Morissette, David Gray, Tori Amos and The Black Crowes (among many others) have performed in previous airings of Live from the Artists Den, Mr. Lieberman acknowledged that his personal dream artist would be “someone like Neil Young, who is constantly innovating and experimenting with his music, seems like the kind of artist who would take really interesting advantage of an unconventional place to play.” He further explained “that kind of independence is close in spirit to the Artists Den’s vision”.

Among the other performers for this season’s airings are:

Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, who were filmed in New York’s Bryant Park, airing on April 15;

Robert Plant and the Band of Joy at the War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville to be aired on April 22;

The UK pop legends Squeeze reunite for a concert that was also filmed in New York’s Bryant Park, airing on April 29; and,

A special compilation recorded at Sotheby’s auction house in New York with R&B singer-songwriter Daniel Merriweather, alternative pop songstress A Fine Frenzy and folk singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan.

When asked if he had a personal favorite among all the performances out of the three seasons, Mr. Lieberman shared that “of course (I) love them all, but the last two performances that (were) filmed—with Robert Plant in Nashville and with Adele in Los Angeles—really highlight the range of music we feature, from an incomparable rock legend to a soulful rising superstar”. Notably that is the only sneak peek Mr. Lieberman would give for the planned 4th season of Live from the Artists Den – that UK songstress Adele was filmed for the new season. He jokingly stated “I don’t want to give away any other secrets while we’re still putting this next batch together”.

But if anyone is interested in finding out how to become a part of the studio audience for one of the upcoming performances for this unique concert experience, all you have to do is sign up for the Artists Den mailing list here or ‘like us’ on Facebook because “Artists Den members are the ones who get to register for a chance to win tickets to our shows,” explained Mr. Lieberman.

In speaking about the logistics involved in arranging these unique venues and artists, Mr. Lieberman noted that “we like to have things set up weeks ahead so that everyone can breathe a little easier, but when we filmed Ringo Starr and Ben Harper at the Metropolitan Museum of Art last year, that whole shoot came together in just over a week”. He further explained that, “it was a scramble, but it’s one of our finest episodes (and) in the end, it usually comes down to a mad dash in the final few hours.”

Also, while Mr. Lieberman did not point out any specific artist who had turned down the opportunity to perform on Live from the Artists Den he did state that “it’s always complicated to line up an artist’s touring schedule with the right venue in the right city at the right time, so it’s always an ongoing process. It’s not so much a question of people turning the opportunity down as it is finding the best chance to make everything come together”.

Obviously it takes a dedicated crew to make the entire series possible and Mr. Lieberman highlighted that he “(works) closely with our Director of Programming, Alan Light, to select the performers, and everyone on our small staff gets their chance to weigh in”. He went on to say that he and his team “are dedicated to artists who are great live performers, regardless of (the) genre. We have featured performers from country (such as Dierks Bentley) to R&B (like Raphael Saadiq and Corinne Bailey Rae), to legends (like Robert Plant, Ringo Starr) and even emerging stars (such as Grace Potter and the Hold Steady)”.

One particularly special music performance was when Live from the Artists Den filmed the Swell Season. Mr. Lieberman stated it was “just after the film “Once” was released. By the time the episode aired, they had won the Academy Award for Best Song of the Year and were selling out Radio City Music Hall.” On the reverse side of that – at least in terms of difficulty with arranging the set up for a specific performance – was “when we filmed the band Fountains of Wayne a few years back. Not only did we arrange the shoot on board a 19th century tall ship docked in lower Manhattan, but the night before the shoot, a tornado swept through New York City. When it passed, the subways were flooded, and the following day was a steamy 90-some degrees. Somehow, we still got a show out of it, but that was certainly the toughest spot we have found ourselves in”. He further explained that “every single show has its own set of challenges, from weather issues (a freak snowstorm in Nashville nearly meant the cancellation of the Robert Plant show) to last minute equipment arrivals (at the Ray LaMontagne show, we had gear arriving from four cities in Texas which caused some last minute scrambling). But the excitement of that improvisational aspect translates into unique and exciting episodes each time. If we filmed everyone in the same studio all the time, the system would be a lot more reliable, but it would also be less fun for us, for the artists, and for the audience.”

Speaking of the audience, Mr. Lieberman stated that “for our shows (there) are generally only a few hundred people, so it’s never been a problem to fill the room”. With that being said I would encourage any interested music fans to sign up for the Artists Den (as stated above) or check out Live from the Artists Den’s Facebook page to learn more about how to register for your chance to win tickets to one of the upcoming shows. You won’t regret that you did.

I would like to extend a hearty thank you to Mr. Lieberman and his staff for taking the time to participate in this exclusive interview with Rueben’s Ramblings. And, for the readers, please make sure to check your local listings for when your public television network will air the upcoming performances of Live from the Artists Den.

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Based on information provided by the Dark Horizons site and internet research, here are just some of the movies you can expect to see in movie theatres in April:

Hop
Opens: April 1

Out-of-work slacker Fred O’Hare (James Marsden) runs over the Easter Bunny (voiced by Russell Brand) while driving home, and is forced to take him in as he recovers. As Fred struggles with the world’s worst house guest, both will learn what it takes to finally grow up, as Fred is pressed to partner with Bunny to save Easter. The cast of this live-action/CGI animation film includes Elizabeth Perkins, Chelsea Handler and Kaley Cuoco.

Insidious
Opens: April 1

A young family discovers that the body of their comatose boy has become a magnet for malevolent entities, while the boy’s mind is trapped in a dark and insidious realm known as The Further. The cast includes Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne and Barbara Hershey.

Mother’s Day
Opens: April 1

Three brothers on the run from the law head for home, only to discover that their mother lost the house in a foreclosure. The mother ingeniously orchestrates her sons’ escape, teaching the house’s new owners and their guests a few lessons along the way. The stars of this film are Rebecca DeMornay, Patrick Flueger, Jaime King, and Shawn Ashmore.

Source Code
Opens: April 1

Jake Gyllenhaal stars as a soldier who wakes up in the middle of an experiment called the Source Code that sends him back in time into the body of another man during the last eight minutes of the man’s life. His mission is to learn the identity of a bomber of a Chicago commuter train that was responsible for the deaths of all the passengers. The clock is ticking and another bomb’s about to be set off that could kill millions. The cast includes Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga and Jeffrey Wright.

Super
Opens: April 1 (Limited Release)

Rainn Wilson stars as a man who decides to become a superhero after his wife (Liv Tyler) leaves him for a psychopathic drug dealer (Kevin Bacon). He becomes the Crimson Bolt, complete with a hand-made suit, a wrench and a crazed sidekick named Boltie (Ellen Page). The cast also includes Nathan Fillion.

Arthur
Opens: April 8

Russell Brand stars in this remake of the classic Dudley Moore-led movie about a booze-loving playboy. Helen Mirren, Jennifer Garner and Greta Grewig co-star.

Ceremony
Opens: April 8

A young man falls hard for an older woman about to be married. The infatuation prompts him to take along his unwitting friend to a beach town in an effort to break up the wedding. Upon arriving, the young men quickly realize just how out of place they are among the stately British groom-to-be and his guests. The film stars Michael Angarano, Uma Thurman, Lee Pace and Rebecca Mader.

Hanna
Opens: April 8

A teenage girl (Saoirse Ronan) is raised and trained by her father (Eric Bana), a rogue CIA operative hiding out in the wilds of Finland, to become the perfect assassin. Now she’s been sent to kill a ruthless operative with secrets, and in the process uncovers the truth about her own existence. Among the cast is Cate Blanchett and Olivia Williams.

Soul Surfer
Opens: April 8

In this true story about the 17-year old surfer girl (AnnaSophia Robb) who loses her arm in a shark attack and must gain the courage to head back into the ocean after the traumatic experience. The film also stars Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt, Jeremy Sumpter, Kevin Sorbo, Craig T. Nelson and Carrie Underwood.

Atlas Shrugged: Part One
Opens: April 15

Dagny Taggart, a railroad heiress, tries to save her company and faces increasingly corrupt government, her incompetent brother, and the systematic loss of her best workers. She soon suspects a sinister force working against her as a country-wide helplessness is spurred by the phrase – “Who is John Galt?”. The cast of this film includes Taylor Schilling, Grant Bowler, Matthew Marsden, and Edi Gathegi.

Margin Call
Opens: April 15

In this thriller that revolves around the key people at a large investment bank over a 24-hour period during the early stages of the financial crisis when the economic world was on the verge of collapse stars Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto and Penn Badgley.

Rio
Opens: April 15

In this animated feature, Blu is a rare species of blue macaw who lives in Minnesota. When scientists learn that a female macaw was spotted in South America, Blu is sent to Rio de Janeiro to meet her and along the way they get kidnapped by poachers. Among the featured voices in this film are Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, George Lopez and Jemaine Clement.

Born to Be A Star
Opens: April 22

A small-town nerd learns his quiet and demure parents were famous porn stars in the 1970s. This motivates him to leave for Hollywood, hoping to follow in their footsteps and fulfill his destiny as the biggest adult-film star in the world. The cast includes Nick Swardson, Christina Ricci, Stephen Dorff, Don Johnson and Edward Herrmann.

Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family
Opens: April 22

Madea (Tyler Perry) comes to the aid of her seriously ill niece (Loretta Devine) who’s hoping to reunite her estranged family. Rapper/actor Shad “Bow Wow” Moss plays Devine’s ex-con son who gets some tough-love treatment from Madea.

Water for Elephants
Opens: April 22

In the adaptation of the Sara Gruen best-selling novel, Robert Pattinson stars as a veterinary student while Reese Witherspoon is the star performer, both of whom work in a traveling circus in the 1930s. Christoph Waltz co-stars.

Fast Five
Opens: April 29

Having escaped custody, former cop Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) and ex-con Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) are now in Brazil where they must pull off one last job against a corrupt businessman who wants them dead. As they assemble their elite team of top racers, a hard-nosed federal agent named Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and his strike team launch an all-out assault to capture them. The cast includes Jordana Brewster and Tyrese Gibson

Prom
Opens: April 29

As Nova Prescott (Aimee Teegarden) is drawn to the guy (Thomas McDonell) who gets in the way of her perfect prom, she also deals with all the typical pressures of leaving high school for college and independence. The cast includes Danielle Campbell and Yin Chang.

Movies coming out in May will be posted at the end of April.

Enjoy!

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Trying to figure out what to watch tonight? Be it new episodes of the TV season, reairs of cable series or a movie, here are some suggestions:

6:30 PM:
Enchanted movie on ABC Family

7:05 PM
Sweet Home Alabama movie on Starz

8 PM:
The Vampire Diaries on the CW (reair)
NCIS on USA Network
Mildred Pierce mini-series on HBO (reair)
Just Wright movie on HBO2
Dangerous Minds movie on TV Guide Network

9 PM:
Nikita on the CW (reair)
Grey’s Anatomy on ABC (The Musical Episode)
NCIS on USA Network
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (classic animated) movie on ABC Family
The Bourne Ultimatum movie on Syfy

10 PM:
NCIS on US Network

Enjoy!

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Hey All,

Today’s update is a little delayed because of my day job, but here is the news as its stands for today:

DEVELOPMENT

Actress Natalie Zea (Justified) will guest star in the J.J. Abrams/CBS pilot called Person of Interest, playing a district attorney whose investigation of a particularly troubling homicide may cost her life. The pilot stars Lost alum Michael Emerson as a billionaire who recruits a presumed-dead CIA agent (Jim Caviezel) to catch violent criminals in New York. Taraji P. Henson co-stars. (Adam Bryant at TV Guide)

Actress Ashley Crow (Heroes) has been cast as Jane Blake in the CW drama pilot Secret Circle, as the main character Cassie’s (Britt Robertson from Life Unexpected) grandmother. The pilot centers on young teen from California, Cassie Blake (Robertson), who is forced to move to her grandmother’s in New Salem, Maine, after her mother’s death. Soon, she learns that she is a member of the town’s secret coven of witches. (Tierney Bricker at Zap2It)

BOX OFFICE NEWS

Young Oscar nominee Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) is linked to the big screen adaptation of Cat Patrick’s novel called Forgotten. She is expected to appear as Sleeping Beauty. No other specifics are known at this time. (Deadline and First Showing)

Q&A SECTION (with Michael Ausiello at TV Line and Adam Bryant at TV Guide)

Question: Any scoop on next week’s No Ordinary Family finale? —Chris

Ausiello: A series regular perishes and we’ll get an answer to the show’s biggest mystery: How did the Powell clan get their powers?

Question: Please, give us some Chuck scoop! Man, I hate this hiatus. —Ceci

Ausiello: Yeah, well, you may hate this next scoop more: In this season’s penultimate episode on May 9, “Something terrible happens to someone we love,” reveals EP Chris Fedak. In potentially related news, the show is casting the role of Clyde Decker, a “determined and remorseless CIA agent who will go to any lengths and spare no expense — or life — in order to keep the CIA’s secrets buried.” His nickname? The Eraser. Um, yikes much?!

Question: Thanks for the awesome scoop about Ben Lawson’s upcoming stint on Covert Affairs. Have anything else to share about the second season? —Tristina

Ausiello: How about some more casting scoop? General Hospital and Privileged star Ignacio Serricchio has signed on to guest star in episode 2.02 as an alleged member of the Italian AISE that Annie is tasked with exchanging for a captured CIA operative. In the same episode, The Shield‘s Benito Martinez plays the Deputy Director of Argentine Military Intelligence and an old chum of Joan’s (Kari Matchett). When the aforementioned exchange goes awry, their friendship is put to the test.

Question: Got any good scoop about Hawaii Five-0? Is Jenna Kaye going to hang around for a while? — Susan

ADAM: That’s the plan. In fact, she might be taking Chin Ho’s place on the team! I’m hearing that the final episodes of the season will reopen the matter of Chin’s unjust removal from the police force, and that he may finally get the reinstatement he deserves. Will he be able to turn down their juicy offer?

Question: When will Bones wrap up the serial killer story arc? — Jeff

ADAM: Executive producer Stephen Nathan promises that the hunt for Jacob Broadsky will be resolved in this season’s penultimate episode. Helping (or hurting?) Booth and Brennan will be a female twentysomething special agent whose inexperience ultimately puts Booth directly in Broadsky’s crosshairs.

Question: I love NCIS: Los Angeles. Got any details about the end of the season? — Tyler

ADAM: The show is hoping to land a big name actress for three episodes before the season’s up. The character in question is described as a no-nonsense natural leader, who despite rarely letting her guard down, is actually vulnerable and deeply caring. The question is: For whom will she be letting her guard down?

That’s it. Enjoy!

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