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April 24, 2014

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Catch Up With 'Doctor Who': 5 Essential Episodes

by Catherine Lawson, posted Aug 9th 2011 3:30PM
So you've heard the buzz, your interest is tickled and you're ready to take the plunge into a new show. There's just one problem -- you don't have time to catch up on multiple seasons.

Have no fear, AOL TV is here. We'll be spotlighting five episodes from some of the best scripted comedies and dramas on TV that you need to see before jumping into the new season this fall.

Up now? 'Doctor Who.'

'Doctor Who'
Starring Matt Smith, 'Doctor Who' follows the adventures of the ancient, mysterious alien Time Lord known as "The Doctor." A British cultural institution, it originally aired on the BBC from 1963 to 1989, and was then resurrected as a TV series in 2005 with Christopher Eccleston in the title role.

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BBC America Orders New Drama Series from 'Oz' Creator Tom Fontana

by Catherine Lawson, posted Jul 29th 2011 8:30AM
BBC America logo'Homicide' meets 'Gangs of New York' for BBC America's first foray into original scripted drama.

The network announced that it has ordered a ten-episode period cop drama from Tom Fontana ('Oz') and Will Rokos ('Southland').

'Copper' is set in the notorious Five Points Irish neighborhood of New York City in the 1860s.

The executive producers include Fontana, Rokos, Barry Levinson ('Homicide: Life on the Street') and Christina Wayne ('Mad Men') of Canada's Cineflix Studios.

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BBC America Beefs Up Programming Slate With Graham Norton Game Show, 'Top Gear' Veterans

by Matt Herman, posted Jul 25th 2011 5:30PM
Graham NortonBBC America is getting more original. The network announced a new slate of original US programming, with a Graham Norton-hosted game show and Richard Hammond's 'Hard Drive' leading the charge.

'Would You Rather with Graham Norton' will test contestants' knowledge of American comics. The series is the first original show pick-up for BBC America general manager Perry Simon. Viewers will recognize Norton from his hit talk show 'The Graham Norton Show.' The new unscripted series will shoot in New York and is being produced by So Television.

'Hard Drive with Richard Hammond' will star 'Top Gear' host Richard Hammond as he competes with local experts around the US in the toughest and most extraordinary vehicles. The format of the show is based off the format of 'World's Toughest Driving Tests' and is going to be produced by BBC Worldwide Productions.

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Comic-Con 2011: Daleks Attack and Other 'Doctor Who' Panel Highlights

by Maureen Ryan, posted Jul 25th 2011 12:45PM
Matt Smith of 'Doctor Who' experienced his first Comic-Con over the weekend, and at the start of the show's Sunday panel in a packed Hall H, he said it was "completely overwhelming."

And that was before he began answering fan questions from people inside Dalek costumes.

Below are highlights from the 'Doctor Who' panel -- and check out these trailers for the show's fall episodes, which begin airing Aug. 27 on BBC America. (Regarding the trailers and what's below, as River Song might say, "Spoilers!")

* Smith and Karen Gillan, who plays Amy Pond, said that the script for 'A Good Man Goes to War,' the show's mid-season finale, had fake pages -- the ending they read was not the real ending.

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Watch Two New 'Doctor Who' Season 6, Part 2 Trailers (VIDEO)

by Catherine Lawson, posted Jul 25th 2011 6:15AM
'Doctor Who' Season 6'Doctor Who' fans have just about a month to wait before new episodes from the hotly anticipated second half of Season 6 air in the US.

To whet their appetite, the BBC and BBC America have released two new trailers, in which we are told "Something is happening to Time." Uh oh.

Why does the Doctor say his time is running out? Who is Winston Churchill pointing a gun at? Er, did Adolf Hitler just thank the Doctor, Amy and Rory for saving his life? And just why, exactly, is the Doctor trying to make out with Craig Owens (James Corden)?

Watch both trailers after the jump and see what you make of them.

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USA Network Orders 'Common Law' to Series, Pia Toscano Signs Record Deal & More TV News

by Chris Harnick, posted Jul 6th 2011 12:30PM
Michael EalyUSA Network has picked up 'Common Law,' a new buddy cop series starring 'The Good Wife' veteran Michael Ealy.

The new hourlong series will have 11 episodes. 'Common Law' stars Ealy as Travis Marks, partner to Wes Mitchell (Warren Kole), two police officers on the homicide team at the Los Angeles Police Department. In true USA Network format, these two partners have issues, and in effort to solve them, their captain sends the two to couples counseling.

Cormac and Marianne Wibberley of 'National Treasure' fame will serve as executive producers with Jon Turteltaub ('Jericho') and Craig Sweeny ('Medium').

"When CBS Television Studios sent us the script of Common Law, we immediately fell in love with the writing, the characters and the premise," USA co-presidents Jeff Wachtel and Chris McCumber said in statement. "We're very lucky to have the Wibberleys, Jon and Craig guiding the process on this show; and with Michael and Warren, we have two stars who bring out the best in each other."

In other TV news ...

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Cameron Diaz Talks About 'Least Sexiest Sex Scene' With Justin Timberlake (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Jun 27th 2011 2:58AM
Cameron Diaz, 'The Graham Norton Show'In her new film 'Bad Teacher,' Cameron Diaz got the opportunity to act with her ex-boyfriend Justin Timberlake. She told 'The Graham Norton Show' (Sat., 10PM ET on BBC America) that their shared history actually helped them with the chemistry, and particularly their more intimate scenes.

"It was our goal to make the least sexiest sex scene that's ever been caught on film, and I really believe that we succeeded," she explained. "I don't think we could have achieved it if it was some guy I didn't know."

The familiarity she had with Timberlake allowed them to shake off any jitters they might have about a sex scene and turn it into the awkward beast they were looking for.

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Gwyneth Paltrow Shows Off Rap Skills on 'The Graham Norton Show' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Jun 20th 2011 5:30AM
Gwyneth Paltrow, 'The Graham Norton Show'Gwyneth Paltrow has long proven herself as a so-called "double threat" in the entertainment industry. She's endeared herself as a singer to a whole new generation with her turn as Holly Holiday on 'Glee,' featuring on several hit tracks for the musical series.

Now, thanks to her turn on 'The Graham Norton Show' (Sat., 10PM ET on BBC America), we can add hardcore ganster rapper to her repertoire.

Graham Norton tried to stump her on '90s hip-hop, but he didn't go very obscure with it. Paltrow immediately identified 'Straight Outta Compton' as the groundbreaking debut album by N.W.A.

More impressively, though, she knew the lyrics to the title track, though she did clarify: "There's one word I can't say." The rest, Norton assured us, could be censored.

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Mary McDonnell Talks 'The Closer,' 'Major Crimes' and the 'Return' of 'Battlestar Galactica'

by Maureen Ryan, posted Jun 9th 2011 12:45PM
Mary McDonnell has a full agenda these days: The actress has been recurring on 'The Closer' for a couple of seasons, and she'll be a series regular when the TNT drama returns July 11. That job will keep her busy well into next year: The network recently announced that, after Kyra Sedgwick ends her run on 'The Closer' in 2012, McDonnell's Sharon Raydar character will be the lead of a spinoff titled 'Major Crimes.'

Though McDonnell was eager to talk about those new developments in a recent interview, it was actually a past project that prompted the conversation in the first place. McDonnell played Laura Roslin on 'Battlestar Galactica' for four seasons, and when she heard that BBC America was going to start re-airing the entire series starting 10PM ET June 11, she was happy to promote the "return" of the groundbreaking drama.

"I think it's perfect timing," McDonnell said. "'Battlestar' is so rich and relevant that one time through is not enough."

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'Doctor Who' Season 6, Episode 6 Recap

by Mike Moody, posted Jun 6th 2011 2:25PM
doctor who the almost people['Doctor Who' –'The Almost People']

It sure was nice to see all of this "Flesh" and "Gangers" business finally lead to something truly shocking and intriguing for our time-traveling TARDIS crew on the latest 'Doctor Who.' Now -- for those of us who didn't skip ahead, of course -- begins the longest week ever: The wait for the eagerly anticipated 'Doctor Who' mid-season finale, 'A Good Man Goes to War.' Can. Not. Wait! Torrents. So. Tempting! Damn you, Memorial Day weekend!

OK ... where were we now? Oh, yes, 'The Almost People.' Right. Let's get to it then ...

The latest 'Doctor Who' double-episode arc began with a fun and insane gothic horror creepfest, 'The Rebel Flesh,' and things only got creepier and "more insanerer" with 'The Almost People.' This week's episode offered more horror and suspense -- and more disturbing questions about human perception and identity -- before delivering a brain-rattling freak-out of an ending. I mean, did you see what happened!? It was just so ... barmy!

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Bette Midler Books HBO Role, Chris Hardwick Teams With BBC America and More TV News

by Chris Harnick, posted May 24th 2011 1:30PM
Bette MidlerBette Midler is heading to HBO for a role in the cable channel's new TV movie based on Phil Spector.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the legendary actress will play Linda Kenney Baden, a defense attorney for Spector during his first murder trial. Midler's last scripted TV role was in her sitcom, 'Bette,' in 2000.

'Arrested Development' star Jeffrey Tambor has also joined the cast as Bruce Cutler, a member of Spector's defense team. Al Pacino will play Spector.

Spector was convicted of second-degree murder after prosecutors argued that the record producer shot Lana Clarkson in 2003.

In other TV news ...

From 'Bitches' to 'Belles' to 'B'? ABC's new soap starring Leslie Bibb, Annie Potts and Kristin Chenoweth has gone through three name changes before even hitting air. Originally filmed as 'Good Christian Bitches,' the show was announced to the public as 'Good Christian Belles' and will now go by 'G.C.B.' [Variety]

HBO is launching a new reality series starring Freddie Roach. The new series will focus on boxing legend Roach and his Wildcard Boxing Club in Hollywood. Peter Berg will direct and executive produce the series. [HBO]

Actress Phyllis Avery has died. Avery starred in 'Meet Mr. McNulty' (later retitled 'The Ray Milland Show'), 'Rawhide' and 'Perry Mason.' She was 88. [THR]

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'Downton Abbey' Loses Out as 'Sherlock' Wins Big at the BAFTAs

by Catherine Lawson, posted May 23rd 2011 6:12AM
Martin FreemanIt was a mixed bag for PBS last night at the BAFTA TV Awards in London as 'Sherlock' took home two trophies, but 'Downton Abbey' left empty-handed.

'Sherlock' won the coveted Best Drama Series Award, and Martin Freeman ('The Hobbit') won Best Supporting Actor for his role as Doctor Watson in the modern take on the 'Sherlock Holmes' mysteries.

However, Freeman's co-star Benedict Cumberbatch lost out in the Best Actor category to Daniel Rigby ('Flyboys') for his role as legendary British comedian Eric Morecambe in 'Eric & Ernie.' Rigby also beat out fan favorite, 'Doctor Who' star Matt Smith.

'Downton Abbey' was nominated for three major awards -- Best Drama Series, Best Supporting Actor and The Audience Award -- but failed to win any of them.

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'Doctor Who' Season 6, Episode 5 Recap

by Mike Moody, posted May 22nd 2011 6:30PM
doctor who s06e05['Doctor Who' – 'The Rebel Flesh']

There's nothing quite like a good 'Doctor Who' creepfest to punch up a humdrum Saturday night. This week's episode was much darker and spookier than last week's zippy Neil Gaiman-penned hour, and, dare I say, 'The Rebel Flesh' was the best episode since the epic two-part series six opener.

I'm aware that many of you fell truly, madly, and deeply for 'The Doctor's Wife,' but Gaimain's 'Who' entry, while great fun and ambitious, felt a bit lacking in emotion and bite. I enjoyed that episode, especially the scene with The Doctor flying around in an open-air Tardis, but 'Flesh,' with its gothic elements and crackling combination of sci-fi and horror, was more engaging, and it played more into my wheelhouse (I'm a big fan of gothic horror and sci-fi movies).

This was scribe Matthew Graham's second 'Who' episode, and it easily topped his 2006 suburban-set offering 'Fear Her.' Like 'Fear Her,' 'Flesh' was loaded with mystery and scenes of terror and suspense, but this ep offered a full-on macabre nightmare scenario that raised some interesting questions about identity and ownership.

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Robert Pattinson Tells Graham Norton About Working With an Unpredictable Elephant (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted May 16th 2011 12:41AM
Robert Pattinson, 'The Graham Norton Show'Animals can be notoriously difficult to work with. According to Robert Pattinson on 'The Graham Norton Show' (Sat., 10PM ET on BBC America), he especially found it challenging to film one scene with an elephant for his new movie. In the animal's defense, it was a rather specific and awkward scene.

"She was just supposed to be sniffing my crotch," Pattinson explained, but as we saw her trunk was more all over the place, and wound up resting on his chest.

He had to improvise the scene a bit, or try to force what was in the book. The problem? "It's incredibly awkward if you're trying to do the scene and you're like holding her trunk down there." In the end, it was a bizarre scene with the elephant's trunk going "all over the place."

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'Doctor Who' Season 6, Episode 3 Recap

by Mike Moody, posted May 8th 2011 10:10AM
doctor who s06e03['Doctor Who' – 'The Curse of the Black Spot']

The Doctor set sail on a limey, low-budget adventure on this week's episode of 'Doctor Who.'

'Curse of the Black Spot,' while funny and genuinely rousing in places, felt like a letdown coming after the epic and cinematic two-part series six opener.

But, to be fair, almost anything that followed that brilliant, brain-searing opening arc was gonna feel like a letdown. Still, pirates? Yeah, OK ...

The Doctor and his companions landed on a 17th century pirate ship after the TARDIS picked up a distress call. Armed with his wits and trusty sonic, our man with the bow tie went up against a glowing sea siren, or, as he dubbed her, "a stroppy, homicidal mermaid trying to kill all!"

It was fun trying to figure out the mystery of the creepy siren/mermaid/demon thingy, but the most amusing thing about 'Black Spot' was watching The Doctor locked in a mini power struggle with Captain Henry Avery (guest player Hugh Bonneville).

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