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October 10, 2015

J.J. Abrams

J.J. Abrams, 'One Tree Hill' Creator Team for New CW Project and More TV News

by Chris Harnick, posted Dec 7th 2011 4:30PM
J.J. Abrams The CWEverybody wants a piece of J.J. Abrams. The in-demand producer is teaming up with 'One Tree Hill' creator Mark Schwahn for a new drama project based around a hotel.

According to Deadline, the project is one of the highest-profile projects at the network. Schwahn will pen 'Maine' (tentatively title) with both men executive producing the project. 'Maine,' described as a character-based drama, will follow the staff of a hotel and its guests.

This is a homecoming of sorts for Abrams. He started his TV career on The WB with 'Felicity.'

In other TV news ...

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Fox Midseason Series 'Alcatraz' Delays Production for Reshoots

by Laura Prudom, posted Nov 3rd 2011 8:00AM
Alcatraz castHigh-concept shows are so high-maintenance; barely a week after news emerged that NBC was halting production on its cerebral new drama 'Awake' for some creative fine-tuning, Deadline is reporting that Fox's 'Alcatraz' has followed suit.

The mystery drama, produced by J.J. Abrams, will pause production on new episodes to do reshoots for the first seven already completed, with plans to roll straight into filming the final six episodes once the reshoots are done.

But does this mean that the midseason thriller is in trouble?

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Review: Michael Emerson's 'Person of Interest' Is a Mixed Bag But Worth a Look

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 21st 2011 12:30PM
'Person of Interest' (9PM ET Thursday, CBS) has a few solidly good things going for it.

A big part of the premise is the idea that video surveillance and online tracking programs pervade almost every aspect of our lives. The show isn't designed to peer into the scarier crevices of paranoia, but 'Person of Interest' asks, not without cause, is it actually paranoia if someone really is watching us?

The other big thing it has going for it is Michael Emerson, who, after his terrific performance as the charismatic and ambiguous Ben Linus on 'Lost,' is more than capable of commanding the center of this drama as an enigmatic technology titan named Finch.

The pilot is well-paced and looks great, but then we always expect excellent production values from things that J.J. Abrams (one of the show's executive producers) sprinkles his pixie dust on. And, despite the fact that someone's dusting for fingerprints within the first five minutes of the pilot, there are glimmerings that this may not be just another CBS procedural.

Then again, 'Person of Interest' might be just another CBS procedural, dressed up in fancier clothing. We'll have to see.

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Kyle Chandler Felt Like a '70s Kid Again in New Spielberg/Abrams Film 'Super 8' (VIDEO)

by Nick Zaino, posted Jun 6th 2011 3:50PM
Kyle Chandler talks about Steven Spielberg and 'Super 8' on 'Live With Regis and Kelly'The upcoming Steven Spielberg / J.J. Abrams movie 'Super 8' takes place in the summer of 1979. It's a time that Kelly Ripa is particularly fond of, she said today on 'Live With Regis and Kelly' (weekdays, syndicated). Ripa said she thinks Spielberg is fond of it, too. Kyle Chandler, formerly of 'Friday Night Lights' and one of the stars of 'Super 8,' confirmed that.

Chandler was 14 in 1979, which is also the age of his character's son in the movie. Walking into the set that was the kid's room brought back great memories for Chandler. Apparently, Spielberg got all of the late-'70s details down perfectly. "I started thinking immediately, What am I going to steal out of here?" said Chandler. The room was everything he had when he was a kid, including Testors paints and airplane models.

"Then over in the corner, the jewel: an Atari game," he said. Which will make nerds wonder -- did he have the 'E.T.' and 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' Atari games? Watch closely if you see the movie and let us know if you see them.

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J.J. Abrams Preps 'Pulp' Crime Drama

by Chris Harnick, posted Jan 6th 2011 10:30AM
J.J. AbramsThe failure of 'Undercovers' isn't holding J.J. Abrams back, rather the 'Lost' mastermind is going into creative overdrive and preparing another new series, 'Pulp.'

According to TVLine, Abrams' Bad Robot is working on a crime drama set in a heightened reality, sort of like the flick 'Pulp Fiction.'

Former 'Brothers & Sisters' showrunners Monica Breen and Alison Schapker wrote the script, and would serve as executive producers on 'Pulp.' The duo have worked with Abrams on 'Alias,' 'Lost' and 'Fringe.'

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'Lost' Star Michael Emerson 'Still Reeling' About New Series with Terry O'Quinn

by Chris Harnick, posted Sep 24th 2010 12:05PM
Terry O'Quinn, Michael EmersonWe're pretty excited about the new Michael Emerson/Terry O'Quinn series that's in the works at NBC.

Pretty much every 'Lost' fan is giddy at the thought of Ben Linus and John Locke reuniting as ex-spies in a comedic drama from J.J. Abrams. Why should Emerson himself be any different?

The 'Lost' veteran told Entertainment Weekly via email that he's "still reeling from the sudden turn of events."

You see, the two Emmy-winning actors started floating around the show proposal as a joke. Pretty soon the media -- yes, us included -- picked up the story and, well, now they have a pilot at NBC.

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Steven and Samantha Bloom Get Hot for Explosions and Gunfire on 'Undercovers' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 23rd 2010 6:04AM
'Undercovers'J.J. Abrams returns to television with a new series, and what it lacks in smoke monsters and donkey wheels, it makes up for in explosions and kicking butt. 'Undercovers' (Wed., 8PM on NBC) stars Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Steven and Samantha Bloom, two former CIA agents pulled back into the job when Sam's former partner goes missing. And they aren't pulling any punches.

When shooting at a suspect in a high-speed car chase, if they refuse to stop, never be afraid to resort to a rocket launcher. This is why they were invented; for use on the freeway, as Samantha proved to great effect tonight.

[NOTE: Spoiler Alert]

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J.J. Abrams Pitching New Spy Series Starring Terry O'Quinn, Michael Emerson

by Chris Harnick, posted Sep 20th 2010 12:00PM
Terry O'Quinn, Michael EmersonTerry O'Quinn and Michael Emerson's J.J. Abrams adventures might not be over just yet. The 'Lost' executive producer has reportedly been pitching a new show starring the former 'Lost' actors as ex-spys.

According to Vulture, Abrams and collaborators Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec have been pitching the tentatively titled 'Odd Jobs' as a comedic drama.

Emerson and O'Quinn talked about working together for months. Emerson told AP he and O'Quinn wanted a lighthearted series, something that also showed their age.

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Comic-Con 2010 Preview: TV Must-Sees

by Laura Prudom, posted Jul 19th 2010 6:00PM
San Diego Comic-Con 2009If you're not yet familiar with the concept of San Diego Comic-Con International (SDCC for short), don't despair -- by the week's end, the interwebs will be so saturated with coverage from the world's largest entertainment convention that you'll feel as though you were right there; standing in a line outside Hall H for five hours straight just for a chance to bask in the presence of your celeb crush or quiz the creators of your favorite TV show.

If you were one of the lucky few (OK, 125,000+) who snagged a ticket to the four day event in San Diego next weekend, then consider this a guide to what we at TV Squad consider Comic-Con 2010's must-see events, panels and giveaways.

And if you missed out on being part of this year's madness and have to live vicariously through us brave souls who plan to wade through the sea of fanboys, geek girls, Princess Leia impersonators and entertainment junkies just to bring you news from the convention floor, consider this a mere taste of some of the awesome coverage we'll be bringing you from July 22-25.

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NBC Upfront Presentation: Where Are All the Celebs?!

by Kim Potts, posted May 17th 2010 6:00PM
Here's the highlight, for me, of NBC's upfront today: As I was leaving the midtown Hilton in New York City (which sat in for Radio City Music Hall, where the network usually holds its upfront), I was riding down an escalator while one Mr. Jerry Seinfeld was going up on the one right beside me.

Seinfeld ... Seinfeld, Jerry, a mere couple of feet away! I choose to pretend that 'The Marriage Ref' never happened, so he remains, for me, the star of the all-time greatest TV show. And, regarding today's network upfront, he was one of the rare celebrities to be seen around the ol' Hilton -- at least, on stage.

In years past, NBC, like the other networks, has peppered its upfront presentations with celebs, even if it was to do nothing more than trot them across the stage with the rest of their series casts. But today, there was the line-up of sportscasters from NBC's 'Sunday Night Football' and an awkward little segment in which the host of 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon' tried to improvise commercial jingles.

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Becoming Smokey on 'Lost' (VIDEO)

by Oliver Miller, posted May 12th 2010 1:50AM
Becoming Smokey on 'Lost'From light can come darkness. That's the lesson on 'Lost' (Tue., 9PM ET on ABC).

[Spoiler alert.]

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NBC Picks Up First Pilot: J.J. Abrams' 'Undercovers'

by Chris Harnick, posted May 3rd 2010 5:00PM
Gugu Mbatha-RawAnd so it begins. NBC picked up its first pilot, the J.J. Abrams project 'Undercovers.'

Abrams co-wrote, produced and directed the pilot about two former married CIA agents -- played by Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw (pictured) -- who get reactivated after years of retirement. According to the Hollywood Reporter, this is the first pilot Abrams has directed since 'Lost' in 2004.

"We have tremendous confidence in this promising series and feel this is a great way to kick off our upcoming Upfront development announcements," said Jeff Gaspin, chairman of NBC Universal Television Entertainment, in a statement. "J.J. has delivered another signature series along with our partners at Warner Bros. and we couldn't be happier."

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NBC is Spending Money on TV Shows Again!

by Bob Sassone, posted May 3rd 2010 11:28AM
NBC logoNBC has just realized something: you have to spend money if you want good TV shows.

OK, maybe "realized" isn't the best word to use. More like "remembered." NBC chairman Jeff Gaspin tells The New York Times that the network is changing its strategy and will pay to get some good shows on the network.

For starters, they've ordered almost 20 new pilots this season -- scripted dramas and comedies -- up from ten last season. Instead of strictly going by the numbers and looking for a big profit margin and trying to cut costs in every way possible, they're looking for good shows they can stick with.

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Fox Orders a Full 22-Episode Third Season of 'Fringe'

by Mike Moody, posted Mar 8th 2010 5:28PM
fringe foxFox's recent decision to renew 'Fringe' for a third season came as a surprise to some, but it probably wasn't a shock to most fans. The Thursday night sci-fi show isn't exactly a ratings blockbuster, but there are other factors keeping 'Fringe' in play, including its devoted fan base and its excellent pedigree (the show is produced by the in-demand J.J. Abrams and supergeeks of the moment Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman).

Despite delivering some truly thrilling episodes this season, 'Fringe' continues to slip in the ratings. Surprisingly, Fox doesn't seem too concerned about the show's low Nielsen rankings. According to TVbytheNumbers.com, Fox has picked up 'Fringe' for a full 22-episodes. Not 9, not 13, but a full 22!

That's quite a show of faith from the network known for greenlighting great sci-fi shows ('Firefly,' 'The Sarah Connor Chronicles') only to strangle them with inept scheduling before laying them out on the chopping block.

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J.J. Abrams Invented the iPad

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 26th 2010 2:36PM
You think 'Mad TV' was the first to use the name iPad? Actually, the name was used in a 1999 episode of 'Felicity.' Her friend is trying to decide which computer to buy and rattles off a list of products that are available at the store...hmmmmm.

Obviously she mixes up "Thinkpads" and "iBooks." Either that or J.J. Abrams has powers we mortals can't understand.

[via nymag.com]

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