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October 4, 2015


Seinfeld to get The Comedian Award, whatever the hell that is

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 30th 2007 2:43PM
Jerry SeinfeldOn Sunday, HBO will air a special called Jerry Seinfeld: The Comedian Award, where the legendary stand-up comedian and sitcom star will be honored by The Comedy Festival. The host of the special will be CNN's Anderson Cooper, and fellow stand-ups Robert Klein, Chris Rock, and Garry Shandling will be on hand.

Never heard of The Comedian Award? Well, don't feel too bad about that; Jerry is the award's first recipient. And the festival that is honoring Jerry is not the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen nor the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal. It's The Comedy Festival, whose second annual edition was held last November in Las Vegas. So I hope Jerry treats this honor with the correct amount of reverence: in other words, none. I'm pretty confident that's exactly what's going to happen; comedians don't take comedy awards that seriously to begin with. Why should they start now?

[via Pop Candy]

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Joe Pantoliano's panties get in a wad

by Anna Johns, posted Mar 28th 2007 1:41PM
joe pantoliano; ralphie; the sopranosJoe Pantoliano does not want his infamous The Sopranos character to be remembered as "a head in a bowling bag". Access Hollywood obtained a letter that "Joey Pants" wrote to Sopranos creator David Chase, expressing his anger over a photo spread appearing in the April edition of Vanity Fair (see the photo here).

The photo, taken by Annie Liebowitz, features the legendary characters who've been whacked over the years, including actors Drea de Matteo, Vincent Pastore, Annabella Sciorra, and Steve Buscemi. Pantoliano refused to appear in the photo, so Liebowitz improvised by having a headless mannequin hold one of the actual head molds used from the episode where Tony kills Ralphie and puts his head in a bowling bag.

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Rome: De Patre Vostro (About Your Father) (series finale)

by JJ Hawkins, posted Mar 26th 2007 12:21PM

rome(S02E10) When HBO failed to renew Carnivale for a third season a few years back I was absolutely outraged. Carnivale was like a lover to me. Sexy, intelligent, mysterious, and beautiful in a bright but dirty way - all attributes of a good mate in my book.

To this day, it remains the only show I ever coordinated a watch party for which is saying a lot because I like a lot of shows, and I still quote Brother Justin's "Be Still!" line when I want someone to shut their mouth. Needless to say, I was pretty much heartbroken when the show was cancelled but I didn't go down without a fight.

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Extras is done, say Gervais and Merchant

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 20th 2007 12:23PM
Stephen Merchant, Ashley Jensen, Ricky GervaisAccording to Lisa de Moraes of The Washington Post, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant have officially stated that there will not be a third season of Extras (the story is at the bottom of this page). Just like with their other creation, The Office, the comedic creative team felt that two seasons were more than enough, and just like with The Office, the show will be wrapped up with a standalone special, air date TBD. Slightly more information is here, via The Hollywood Reporter.

In interviews, Gervais had been going back and forth on doing a third season, but I think most people knew what he and Merchant were really thinking all along. The two of them like the British format of short seasons that air whenever the creators get around to writing a new series, and they both seem like they like spending their careers doing different projects (Gervais is currently touring England with a one-man show called Fame). So hearing that Extras isn't getting a third season isn't a big surprise.

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TV Squad lists your season and series premieres and finales

by Richard Keller, posted Mar 15th 2007 10:31AM

the shieldHola, mi muchachos and muchachoettes! It is I, Schedule Boy, back from wherever the hell I was. I'm here this time to present a comprehensive list of upcoming season and series premieres and finales for you, my adoptive TV Squad family.

What a crazy season its been! Shows that had so much potential (The Nine, Studio 60) struggled to stay on the air, while others (Ugly Betty, Friday Night Lights, Jericho, 30 Rock) surprised us with their growing fan bases and popularity. Then there were shows like ER that made a sudden comeback and ones like Gilmore Girls and Scrubs that didn't seem to find their way for the first half of the season. Well, at least we could be confident that hits like Grey's Anatomy, American Idol, 24 and Lost would carry us through the season. Then again, maybe not. Like I said, crazy season.

So, sit back, relax, and enjoy this fine presentation, presented in color with limited commercial interruption. You can find the list of premieres and finales (as well shows returning from hiatus) after the jump. Remember, dates are subject to change, so we'll be updating as time moves forward.

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HBO unveils final Sopranos ad campaign

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Mar 14th 2007 2:18PM

James Gandolfini

And so it begins. The countdown to the final nine episodes of one of the finest dramas to ever grace our TV screens. I'll be honest -- I'm very impressed with the simplicity of the ad campaign that HBO is now running to promote The Sopranos farewell. Nothing too flashy. Just black and white. Tony all by himself. Pondering. It makes you think. Plus, I love the "Made in America" tagline. It has such an obvious double meaning, but it fits perfectly. There's actually another ad floating around too. I found a snapshot of it here. Equally simple but also a little creepy. Just a family photo... but everyone is staring you in the face. You have to wonder though. Generally, past ads for The Sopranos hold some kind of meaning regarding the season to come. Is this one any different? Who do you think Tony is looking off to the right at? You know what I mean? If you zoomed out on the photo, what else is around him?

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HBO to put addiction documentary online for free

by Adam Finley, posted Mar 14th 2007 1:02PM

addiction projectHBO is doing a multi-platform launch for The Addiction Project, which will focus on various addictions as a treatable brain disease. The 14-part documentary Addiction premieres tonight at 9:00 p.m., which also happened to coincide with HBO's free weekend preview that runs through this Sunday, so you may be able to catch it even if you don't normally receive HBO.

In addition, Lost Remote writes that all fourteen parts will be made available online for free, so keep an eye on the official site.

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Town rejects Sopranos filming permit

by Julia Ward, posted Mar 9th 2007 2:24PM
Holstens Ice Cream ParlorPermits have been denied to the producers of The Sopranos to film in the town of Bloomfield, New Jersey on the basis of the show's "offensive depiction" of Italian-Americans. The producers had intended to film the series' final scene at Holsten's Brookdale Confectionery in Bloomfield. The permits for shooting were approved and then revoked after complaints reached Mayor Raymond McCarthy who was quoted as saying, "I don't think The Sopranos depicts the life of a typical Italian-American in a positive way, and I still don't like the way people see New Jersey based upon The Sopranos series." (The way people saw New Jersey pre-Sopranos was apparently downright Utopian.)

The filming permits are being reviewed again next week because of the flood of calls supporting Holsten's, the actual shooting location. As council member Peggy O'Boyle Dunigan said, "If you don't like the show, you can turn it off. It's hard enough to have a small business in town. I don't want to discourage them." If they get the permits, I guess we know where The Sopranos will finally end - in an ice cream parlor - hopefully, not in the freezer.

A loophole has been found because Holsten's is a commercial space. Filming will proceed as planned.

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Upright Citizens Brigade DVD Update

by Julia Ward, posted Mar 9th 2007 1:36PM
Matt BesserLast weekend, the original members of the Upright Citizens Brigade filmed four shows in LA for an upcoming DVD release from Shout! Factory. In an interview with The Coming, UCB member Matt Besser recapped the shows' highlights and announced that this may be the start of an actual DVD comedy label for UCB. Expect to see excerpts from the group's ASSSSCAT improv performances and sets from monologists Paul F. Tompkins, Tom Lennon and Kate Walsh on the DVDs.

Another interesting TV-related tidbit from the interview. Besser has been cast as Kayne West's chauffeur in the rapper's new show in development with HBO. Besser has spent the past month coaching Kayne in improv. Kayne doing improv? Looks like West may be vying for the title of hip-hop comedy king. Shouldn't be too hard to steal from Snoop "Doggy Fizzle Televizzle" Dogg.

Read the full interview at The Coming.

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Steve Coogan joins Curb Your Enthusiasm cast

by Julia Ward, posted Mar 7th 2007 3:34PM
Steve CooganSteve Coogan, creator of enduring BBC comedy character Alan Partridge and director Michael Winterbottom's apparent muse, is joining the cast of Larry David's Curb Your Enthusiasm as a psychiatrist. According to the ever reliable and always tasteful Sun, Coogan is a huge fan of the show and jumped at the chance to play opposite David.

If you haven't seen Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story or Knowing Me, Knowing You... Alan Partridge, I must insist that you leave TV Squad immediately, join Netflix and get started on your own personal Coogan marathon. It's rare that I say this about anyone media-related other than Joss Whedon, but the man is a genius. My fandom cannot be stopped.

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Scorsese and Wahlberg developing new series for HBO

by Adam Finley, posted Mar 7th 2007 10:01AM

scorseseMartin Scorsese is developing a new series for HBO along with Mark Wahlberg about the development of Atlantic City. The new series will based on the book Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City by Nelson Johnson, which was optioned by HBO.

Scorsese has been getting into television more and more, and it will be interesting to see what he and Wahlberg (who will both serve as executive producers) will come up with for this new series, but if it has to do with gambling, power struggles, and back stabbing, I can't think of anyone better suited to helming the project than Scorsese.

Wahlberg is also developing an English language version of the Israeli drama In Treatment for HBO.

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Barbaro movie in the works for HBO

by Julia Ward, posted Mar 5th 2007 3:34PM
BarbaroThe New York Post is reporting that HBO has quietly begun production on a feature-length documentary about Barbaro, the horse that captured the public's imagination after winning the Kentucky Derby in 2006 and suffering a disastrous injury during the running of Preakness two weeks later. Barbaro was euthanized on January 29th of this year.

During the eight months that passed between Preakness and Barbaro's eventual death, he became the center of immense media and public attention. Somewhere along the way, Barbaro, like Seabiscuit before him, became more than a horse. He became a symbol - albeit a contested one. To the thousands who sent him "get well" letters and holy objects to speed his recovery, he was the picture of strength and perservance. To some on-lookers, his story was an intolerable mixture of media overkill and misplaced senimentality. To others, he represented the excesses of breeding animals for sport. Regardless of what you think of Barbaro and his fans, a film was inevitable. Expect to see HBO's Barbaro documentary in June, during Triple Crown season.

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Generation Kill mini-series coming to HBO

by Julia Ward, posted Feb 28th 2007 6:37PM
Generation KillHBO has given the greenlight to Generation Kill, a seven-hour miniseries based on the true stories of Marines fighting in the Iraq war. The series will focus on the early movements of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion. The series is being co-written by David Simon and Ed Burns of The Wire and is based on Evan Wright's nonfiction book of the same name. Wright was embedded with U.S. troops during the war's first phase in 2003.

Expect to see nothing but Iraq war films, miniseries and television shows coming out of Hollywood over the next couple of years. Enough time has passed since the war's inception to see all manner of first person narratives and analysis published and snapped up by production companies. What distinguishes Generation Kill is its look at the war's earliest days, the specificity with which it addresses military bueracracy and its characterization of today's soliders. They are not their WWII and Vietnam counterparts. As Wright described them, Marines are "on more intimate terms with videogames, reality TV shows and Internet porn than they are with their own parents." Different generation. Different war.

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Anna Paquin snags lead in HBO vampire series

by Anna Johns, posted Feb 26th 2007 7:19PM
anna paquinAlmost Famous and The Piano actress Anna Paquin has signed on to the lead role in a new series for HBO from Alan Ball. That name should ring a bell for all fans of Six Feet Under (Ball also wrote American Beauty).

This time around, Ball is diving into the world of vampires. His new series, appropriately called True Blood, is based on the "Southern Vampire" series of novels by Charlaine Harris. In the story, vampires don't have to kill humans for their blood because the Japanese were kind enough to invent a synthetic blood that does the trick. Paquin will play a non-vampire waitress who hooks up with a vampire.

Paquin is also appearing in an HBO mini-series about the displacement of Native Americans, called Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.

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Spike Lee wins journalism award for HBO doc

by Anna Johns, posted Feb 21st 2007 11:02AM
spike leeDirector Spike Lee has won a George Polk award for his documentary about the effects of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans. Called When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, the doc chronicled the natural disaster and the disastrous way the federal government responded to the humanitarian crisis. The awards are considered among the highest honors in American journalism, along with the Peabody.

Lee's documentary was four hours long and initially premiered to a New Orleans crowd before airing on HBO last August. The program was filled with news photos and video footage, and all sorts of interviews from celebrities and regular folk who recount their experience in the aftermath of Katrina. Ultimately, the federal government and the Army Corps of Engineers are blamed for the sub-par levees and the response to the disaster.

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