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April 23, 2014

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Running of the Reindeer on 'Whisker Wars' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 12th 2011 12:29AM
Running with Reindeer, 'Whisker Wars'Sometimes the fun of watching reality television is so you can live vicariously through the antics of other people. That way you can experience things you might never otherwise explore in your real life. Things like running with reindeer with 'Whisker Wars' (Fri., 11PM ET on IFC).

Sure, it looks fun on TV, but in reality it's a crazy, dangerous and exhilarating thing to do. So when Miletus Callahan-Barile decided to take part in the Running of the Reindeer of Alaska, we could get a taste of how fun that looks without having to deal with the cold or risk life and limb.

Granted, it's not nearly as dangerous, perhaps, as running with the bulls in Spain, but the announcer made sure to let everyone know, "These are the angriest the reindeer have ever been. We're gonna see some injuries today, folks."

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Accusations of a Competition Being Rigged on 'Whisker Wars' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Aug 22nd 2011 6:48AM
'Whisker Wars'We certainly aren't going to sit here and pretend we know anything about the world of competitive beard growing, but we can say that the second place finisher in the competition we saw on 'Whisker Wars' (Fri., 11PM ET on IFC) certainly didn't sport facial hair nearly as impressive as a lot of the other guys.

His beard looked like something most average guys could grow in a month or so. A lot of the spectators and competitors were calling shenanigans on the judging panel, because both second and third place went to local beards from Portland, Oregon.

Jack Passion took the win in the full beard category, but the fact that a weak beard like Guy Leach took second place, while Aarne Bielefeldt and Bryan Nelson, who each have four times the beard of Pearce, didn't place at all, was pretty fishy to everyone in attendance, and to us as well.

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Bearded 'Whisker Wars' Star Talks Tips, Tricks and Favorite Famous Facial Hair

by Maggie Furlong, posted Aug 19th 2011 6:00PM
Jack Passion, 'Whisker Wars'A beard isn't just facial hair -- if it's good enough, it's a living. Just ask the stars of 'Whisker Wars' (Fridays, 11PM ET on IFC).

From the guys behind 'Deadliest Catch' comes this new kind of reality TV competition, all about the fine art of competitive facial hair growth. I caught up with Jack Passion, a feisty man with a fiery red beard who's also a multiple time world facial hair champ and author of 'The Facial Hair Handbook.'

If you haven't caught the show yet, it won't take you long to realize that Passion is part of the new school of Beard Team USA, spreading the good news of good growth all over the world.

Passion talked all about what made him decide to grow two feet of red hair on his chin, and his Rapunzel-like view of how to make a career out of being a whisker warrior.

He also dished helpful hair tips, talked Movember and other non-profits that heighten the cool factor of facial hair and named his celebrity facial hair idols.

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'Whisker Wars' Premiere: Jack Passion Compares Himself to Muhammad Ali (VIDEO)

by Mike Moody, posted Aug 7th 2011 11:50PM
whisker wars ifcIntroducing Jack Passion: The self-proclaimed "Muhammad Ali of beards!" That's right. Of beards!

On the Series Premiere of 'Whisker Wars' (Fri., 8PM ET on IFC), the new -- and so far the only -- show about competitive facial hair growing(!), wooly contestant Jack Passion tried hard to nab the spotlight early with some serious boasting and braggadocio ... about his beard.

Needless to say, Jack has a lot of haters.

Depending on who you ask, the bristly-faced boys who make up the Austin Facial Hair Club are either jealous of all the attention Jack's bushy beard is getting, or they're rightfully annoyed by his arrogant attitude (and not so big mustache!).

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'Commercial Kings' Rhett & Link On Being More Creative Than Spielberg

by Maggie Furlong, posted Jun 24th 2011 10:00AM
We've all seen those local small business commercials -- cheesy jingles, zany owners dressing up and yelling at the camera about why they're the best deal in town. Now we can see how those awesome bits of TV goodness get made.

Rhett & Link: Commercial Kings
'Commercial Kings' chronicles the process behind YouTube sensations Rhett and Link's business of making local commercials across the country (premieres Fri., June 24, 10PM ET on IFC). With a bevy of eclectic clients, the show manages to be even funnier than some of the ads they've become known for.

I caught up with childhood pals Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal to talk about what kind of commercials we'll see made this season on IFC -- including a shuttle for dog, a woman who speaks cat fluently and a war vet-turned-yoga instructor -- and they also shared a hilarious sneak peek of next week's episode.

Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams, eat your hearts out.

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'Whisker Wars': Beards Gone Wild (VIDEO)

by Chris Harnick, posted Apr 24th 2011 11:00AM
Whisker WarsIFC is giving viewers a behind the scenes glimpse at the world of competitive bearding with 'Whisker Wars.'

Yes, bearding! Growing facial hair as a sport. Because you demanded it! Right?

In the trailer below, feast your eyes on beards of all shapes, sizes, colors and textures. It's truly fascinating, with one subject comparing those who beard to the US Olympic team. Huh, did you know beard could be a verb?

Thanks to our friends at Vulture for pointing us in the direction of this video gem.

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TV 101: It's All Good in 'Portlandia'

by Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously), posted Feb 23rd 2011 2:00PM
PortlandiaEverybody has that someone in his life who is principled almost to a fault.

This person only buys clothes from the Salvation Army (and not for the ironic reasons I bought gas station attendant shirts with the name "Roy" on them in the mid-'90s). He will take a swing at you if you dare offer him something that isn't organic, and he always talks about how he liked something before it sold out and went corporate, like the 1980s NBA, hip-hop or coffee.

He's the vintage-collecting, Whole Foods–shopping, hybrid-driving documentary filmmaker who reads McSweeney's and formulates conspiracy theories about Disney while jarring his homemade pickles.

IFC's 'Portlandia' is a little show made for and by hipsters that simultaneously skewers and reveres them and their pious notions of 20-something cool.

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'Portlandia' Series Premiere Recap

by Mike Moody, posted Jan 23rd 2011 12:00PM
portlandia['Portlandia' - 'Farm']

I once drove over a few inches of crosswalk space in Austin, Texas. In protest of this heinous act, a snooty pedestrian shook his fist at me and shot me a nasty look -- the kind of look someone might give you if you had just slayed a beautiful, defenseless unicorn in front of them -- and yelled, "Hell-O! CROSSWALK!"

I'm sure something similar happened to Fred Armisen, probably more than once, in the great city of Portland, Ore. But Armisen's "crime" probably involved driving too close to an angry urban cyclist's precious bike lane ("One f***ing speed!") or snacking on a Quarter Pounder with cheese in view of a vocal vegan café patron. That could explain why the 'SNL' vet is devoting most of his free time these days to skewering the Pacific Northwest city's counterculture in IFC's 'Portlandia.'

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Fred Armisen Stars In New Series 'Portlandia'

by Ryan McKee, posted Dec 16th 2010 5:30PM
Most 'Saturday Night Live' cast members begin their careers in the fertile comedy fields like stand-up, The Second City or The Groundlings. But not nine-season veteran Fred Armisen, who began as a drummer in the punk rock band Trenchmouth and then graduated to background drumming in the Blue Man Group.

Now Armisen's good buddy Carrie Brownstein, former lead singer and guitarist of the iconic indie rock band Sleater-Kinney, is attempting to make a similar leap into comedy with his help. The two have been producing digital shorts under the name ThunderAnt, and are now graduating to a TV show on the IFC called 'Portlandia.'

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'Top Chef Las Vegas' Winner Inadvertently Starts Twitter War, 'Dancing' Wants Another Palin and More

by Jean Bentley, posted Dec 2nd 2010 7:30PM
Michael Voltaggio'Top Chef Las Vegas' winner Michael Voltaggio got himself into hot water today when he tweeted that 'Top Chef All-Stars' "is for people that didn't win."

E! Online reports that the offending tweet resulted from several of his followers asking why he wasn't competing on the new edition of the show, which debuted last night.

A minor Twitter war ensued, with Voltaggio spending several more tweets backtracking and complimenting the talents of the all-star lineup.

In other TV news ...

'Dexter' is about to get renewed for a sixth season. According to reports, Showtime is expected to make an official announcement within the next week. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Forget Twitter sitcoms -- the newest internet-to-TV trend is ... smartphone app to TV? The founders of Foursquare have signed a deal to integrate their social networking app into a new show. [NY Mag]

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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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IFC Adds Two New Shows to Its Lineup

by Jean Bentley, posted Sep 3rd 2010 1:30PM
IFCContinuing its quest to populate its programming with more original shows, IFC has added two new series to its fall lineup. The first, a 15-minute commercial-free pop culture roundup called 'The Grid,' premieres on Sept. 9 at 7:45PM, and the second, a musical documentary show featuring artists such as Snoop Dogg and La Roux called '360 Sessions,' premieres on Sept. 7 at 9PM, according to The Wrap.

'The Grid' will be a fast-paced "mashup" of movie, music and video game recommendations, The Wrap reports. The channel chose a 15-minute format to make it easier for viewers to process. "You're getting lots of info, but you don't want to overload the audience with so much info that they're turned off," Debbie DeMontreux, senior vice president of original programming at IFC, said.

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Early Look: Kids in the Hall Are Creepy Funny in 'Death Comes to Town'

by Nick Zaino, posted Aug 20th 2010 4:30PM
Kids in the Hall present 'Death Comes to Town' on IFCWhen 'Death Comes to Town' debuts tonight on IFC, it will mark the first time in 15 years the Kids in the Hall have been together on TV. All five kids - Bruce McCulloch, Dave Foley, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney, and Scott Thompson - went their separate ways after their feature film 'Brain Candy,' in 1996.

But they weren't able to stay away from each other for long, reuniting for tours in 2000, 2002, and 2008. The last tour happened to coincide with the writers' strike, which helped get the Kids writing together again. They were looser than ever on that tour, and obviously enjoyed each other's company. They even made a short film or two for the tour, and started thinking about working together on camera again.

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Cable Grab Bag: A New 'Teen Wolf,' TLC's 'Sister Wives' and David Cross' 'Todd Margaret' - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 7th 2010 5:30PM
Cast of 'Teen Wolf' at 2010 Summer TCAs
The cable days at TCA are always a mixed bag. You ping pong from one room to another, viewing the wares of various cable networks that vary as widely as those channels themselves. At one point, you're shivering at the creepiness of yet another TLC voyeuristic series, then you're laughing at the antics of David Cross and The Kids in the Hall, then you're seeing the super-tanned cast of 'Jersey Shore.'

Friday's panels were all over the map, but there were some interesting moments. Some highlights:

-- Before bringing out Snooki and crew, MTV presented panels for a new American version of 'Skins,' about urban teenagers and all the sex, drugs and clubbing that they do, and a panel for a "re-imagined" version of 'Teen Wolf.' The critics were skeptical of both remakes, but the 'Teen Wolf' remake got much of the group annoyed. The only thing in common with the 1985 Michael J. Fox movie is the name of the main character, Scott Howard. In reality, the show is more serious, like 'Vampire Diaries' or 'Twilight.' Scott doesn't even play basketball; he plays lacrosse. So why call it 'Teen Wolf?'

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IFC to Air 'Freaks and Geeks,' 'Undeclared' Reruns

by Chris Jordan, posted Jun 30th 2010 7:36PM
For 10 years, 'Freaks and Geeks' has stood as a Holy Grail of quality TV making that, like so many great shows, was canceled too soon.

Now, it's returned. IFC will begin airing reruns of the Judd Apatow-produced Emmy-winning series about '80s suburban high school life starting Fri., Jul. 2 at 11PM ET, with encores 10PM Sundays and 11PM Mondays, according to the network.

IFC will also run the Apatow-helmed college comedy 'Undeclared' in the fall.

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