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September 1, 2014

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Gene Shalit to Leave 'Today,' IFC Readies Facial Hair Competition Series and More

by Chris Harnick, posted Nov 9th 2010 6:00PM
Gene Shalit Gene Shalit is leaving NBC's 'Today.' According to Variety, Shalit, who has been with the show for 40 years, will depart the morning program on Thursday.

"It's enough already," Shalit said in a statement.

The film reviewer said he will still be active in the media scene, but focusing on publishing, Web work, radio and commercials. Look for 'Today' to air a special retrospective about Shalit's lengthy career on his last day, Nov. 11.

In other TV news ...

Steven Weber and D.L. Hughley has been tapped to star in a new TNT pilot. Weber and Hughley will play police officers, Weber's character is newly widowed and Hughley's a newlywed. The project comes from 'Wall Street : Money Never Sleeps' writer Allan Loeb and is based on Marshall Karp's novel "The Rabbit Factory." [Deadline Hollywood]

Shohreh Aghdashloo will guest star on 'Law & Order: SVU.' The Emmy-winner will play Sunny Qadar, an investigator in the Brooklyn district attorney's office. [Movieline]

HBO is not going forward with 'Miraculous Year.' The star-studded pilot had Frank Langella, Lee Pace and Hope Davis attached and was directed by Kathryn Bigelow. [Deadline Hollywood]

IFC is developing 8 new shows. The new projects vary from reality and animation to comedy. The network has tapped creators such as Thom Beers, Alan Spencer, and David Wain. Look for 'Whisker Wars,' a reality series about facial hair competitions. Yup. [Hollywood Reporter]

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Dennis Hopper to star in Crash

by Kristin Sample, posted Jun 5th 2008 9:02PM
Dennis Hopper Dennis Hopper is set to star in the new original series Crash, produced by Starz and Lionsgate. This is the first drama series for the network. Based on the Academy Award-winning movie, Crash has begun filming in New Mexico and Los Angeles. Sanford Bookstaver (Jericho, Bones, The O.C.) will direct the premiere episode.

According to the press release, the show "will continue to focus on an ensemble cast of characters" and "will explore the complexities of social tolerance in contemporary America by digging at the meaning of what it takes to reach the American dream." Hopper will play Ben, a veteran, maverick producer in the music biz who is looking for his last big score. Other stars include Clare Carey, Luis Chavez, Ross McCall, Jocko Sims, Brian Tee, and Arlene Tur. Crash will come to Starz in October.

Watch your backs, HBO and Showtime! This show looks good. And Paul Haggis is on the team of executive producers. He didn't just give us Crash. He gave us thirtysomething and The Black Donnellys. Don't mess with the Hag.

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Crash gears up with cast

by Jane Boursaw, posted May 30th 2008 8:22AM
Shortly after the release of 2005's Crash in theaters, I remember reading that a TV series based on the film was in the works. I even pitched the story to a TV trade magazine, but the editor didn't go for it. She must have guessed the show would be years in the works, and she was right.

Three years later, a TV series is finally starting to gain some steam. The Hollywood Reporter just posted a story that five actors have joined the cast of the series produced by Don Cheadle, Paul Haggis (pictured), Mark R. Harris, Robert Moresco, Tom Nunan, and Bob Yari, all of whom were involved with the movie. Produced by Lionsgate, the series is anticipated to premiere on Starz in 2009.

Here's a rundown on the actors who've just signed. It's interesting that most of these folks are not big-name actors, which I find refreshing in an era where many mega-movie stars are crossing over into TV:

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