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September 2, 2014

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James Franco Previews His 'Apes' and 'Oz' Prequels on 'Today' (VIDEO)

by Nick Zaino, posted Aug 1st 2011 2:10PM
Matt Lauer and James Franco discuss 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' on 'Today' James Franco's been busy lately. Between his work on 'General Hospital,' hosting the Oscars and his frequent talk show appearances, we sometimes forget that he's also a movie star. Franco took a break from his varied activities to talk to Matt Lauer Monday on 'Today' (weekdays, 7AM on NBC) about two upcoming prequels in which he stars -- 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' and 'Oz, The Great and Powerful.'

Lauer said when he saw the original 'Planet of the Apes' decades ago, he didn't sleep for three-and-a half years. He asked Franco how high the "freakout factor" is in the new installment. "Actually, it's not a freakout movie," said Franco, struggling to hit on the right description. Lauer suggested "thoughtful," which Franco thought was apt. "It's a little bit of a character piece with feeling," he said.

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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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Is Christopher Meloni Really Done with 'Law and Order: SVU'?

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 5th 2010 4:02PM
christopher_meloni_law_and_order_svuThings haven't really been going very well on NBC, and now here's another kick in the shins. Actor Christopher Meloni is talking about leaving 'Law and Order: SVU' at the end of this season. That's right. No more New York detective Elliot Stabler. What's going on and why?

Well, after a dozen years pounding the pavement and fighting the good fight as Elliot, Meloni is interested in doing something else with his career. In an interview Down Under with the Australian Courier-Mail, Meloni said, "I think 12 years is enough." Eight is enough, yes, but twelve?

Anyway, Chris goes on to say that he has interest in doing film projects and returning to the theater. As for the future of Elliot on 'Law and Order: SVU,' Meloni believes he's giving the writers plenty of time to work out a satisfactory exit. He said, "The writers will have fertile ground to figure out how to arc [his way] out to another place, whether it's this world or the next."

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Straight Actors, Gay Characters: Our Faves

by Liane Bonin, posted Nov 2nd 2009 7:30PM
It's a good (or at least a slightly better) year to play gay on prime time TV, according to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).

Eighteen regular characters on scripted TV are either gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, an increase of 2.6 percent over last season. Of course, not every character that is gay is played by someone who is. Here's a look at some of the straight guys who aren't afraid to play against personal preference and buck musty old stereotypes at the same time.

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The Closer: Products of Discovery (season premiere)

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 9th 2009 9:40AM
Brenda trench coat(S05E01) The Closer season opener was a good news, bad news situation. The good news is that the show is back for the fifth year and the ensemble is clicking along like a finely tuned watch. Although Brenda Leigh is now a "Sadie, Sadie married lady," she's still as obsessed, determined and driven to do her job as ever, so there's been no major shift in the main character, thank goodness. The bad news, however, is that the premiere episode started out like a compelling drama but soon devolved into a case laden with coincidences and leaps of faith in plotting that were beyond my jumping abilities.

The emotional impact was intense when the Priority Homicide team arrived at the crime scene to find four dead bodies, two of them pre-teen children. Flynn was hot under the collar immediately, ready to prejudge the man of the house who had opportunity and possible motive in the quadruple killing.

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The Wizard of Oz on NBC

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 6th 2009 2:12PM
NBCJason Katims, the producer behind Friday Night Lights and Parenthood, is making another drama for NBC. This one will be a modern take of an old classic, The Wizard of Oz. But rather than having Dorothy go to Oz, she will go to New York City (her version of the Emerald City) and join the art world as a naive Kansas girl. Her boss will be the Wicked Witch.

Okay, so it's a Sex And The City version of The Wizard of Oz. It may work. It certainly has enough familiar elements to do so.

Without knowing anything about this series other than what is written in the article, I already know that she will have three co-workers, one with no brain, one (and pretty loose) with no heart (and fairly stiff) and one with no courage (and quite possibly hairy. And, if he acts like Burt Lahr in the classic movie, quite possibly gay).

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What's missing from this list of the best series finales?

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 30th 2009 12:25PM
Buffy
Everyone loves lists, and everyone has an opinion, so it's not always nice or productive to point out that another person's list might be lacking in some way. Having said that, let's talk about how this list is lacking in some way.

It's a list of the 10 best series finales of all-time. I'll get right to the point: Newhart should be on this list.

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Guess which two shows are missing from this best of the 90s list - VIDEO

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 10th 2009 3:02PM
Everybody loves lists, right? That's why I was attracted to this AOL Television list of the best TV shows of the 1990s. Lots of good entries, some head-scratchers, and two incredibly glaring omissions.

You can immediately guess which shows are on the list: Seinfeld, The X-Files, Sports Night, Oz, The Sopranos, The Larry Sanders Show. There are some shows that I certainly would never put on such a list, but I can understand why they were chosen, such as Party of Five, Dawson's Creek, and Ally McBeal. I think this is probably yet another example of "best" being confused with "popular" or "buzzworthy." Actually, I would never include Ally McBeal on any sort of best of list.

But what really confuses me? There are two major shows, two shows that are often mentioned in a "best of" list (not just the 90s, but all-time) that aren't on the list! Can you guess what they are? Both appeared on NBC, and one of them was created by someone who created one of the above shows.

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Best '90s TV Shows

by Kim Potts, posted Feb 9th 2009 1:00PM
We know, we know ... another "best of" list.

But this isn't any old list – our Top 40 TV Shows of the '90s is just the first in a new series of countdowns in which we'll put our AOL Television seal of approval on the top 40 series of every decade.

Every other month we'll tackle another decade, going all the way back to the '50s, to recall the best comedies (hello 'Lucy'), the best prime-time soaps (do you remember who shot JR?), the best cop shows, animated series and groundbreaking TV shows.

So kick off 50 years of silver-screen bests with the greatest shows of the '90s, including everyone from 'Beavis,' 'Buffy' and 'Simpsons' to 'Freaks and Geeks' and teens on the 'Creek.'

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HBO plans Lincoln assassination mini-series

by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 18th 2008 1:05PM
logo HBOA week from now, HBO will probably be one of the big stories from the Primetime Emmys thanks to the success of the John Adams mini-series. But it's not sitting on that success, the premium cable net is banking on it. HBO announced today a mini series based on the assassination of Abraham Lincoln called Manhunt. That news would be interesting enough because the series will deal with the 12 days after Lincoln was shot when the assassin, John Wilkes Booth, was on the run. However, the guys that HBO have tapped to work on Manhunt are two of the best in television -- David Simon and Tom Fontana.

HBO knows Simon and Fontana's work really well. Simon was the creator of The Wire and Fontana's brainchild was Oz. This is also not a new collaboration. Fontana turned Simon's book, Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, into the Homicide: Life on the Streets TV series for NBC.

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Emmy nominee Kristen Chenoweth would love to be Wicked

by Allison Waldman, posted Jul 19th 2008 5:24PM
K ChenowethA few thoughts about Kristin Chenoweth, if you don't mind. First, congratulations to the Pushing Daisies' actress --she plays Olive -- for snagging an Emmy nomination as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. And kudos for the effervescent and spontaneous adlibs and asides she and Neil Patrick Harris -- another favorite of mine -- brought to the reading of the nominations Thursday morning.

So often the reading of the nominations is as dull as dishwater, like the stars doing the announcing are simply trying to get through it without tripping over their tongues. Not so with Chenoweth and Harris; they were delightful together and added a kick to the nomination announcement.

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Doyle: Angel's quotable demon

by Debra McDuffee, posted Jun 27th 2008 3:22PM
Glenn Quinn as Doyle on AngelAll-in-all, Angel was a good series, even though it kept reinventing itself each season. The set changes (Angel's original digs, the hotel, Wolfram and Hart), the cast changes, and the character changes (Fred to Ilyria) threw off my equilibrium, sometimes leaving me longing for the security of the previous season.

One of the hardest changes for me to take was the death of Doyle, who added so much heart and humor to season one. Even sadder was that the actor who played Doyle, Glenn Quinn, went on to die a tragic death in 2002.

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Oz: Sometimes furry, always quotable

by Debra McDuffee, posted Jun 26th 2008 5:24PM
Seth Green as Oz in Buffy the Vampire SlayerThe greatness of the Scooby Gang on Buffy the Vampire Slayer was enhanced by the addition of Oz (Daniel Osbourne) in seasons two, three, and four. Sometimes a werewolf, mostly Willow's boyfriend, he added a new level of comedic relief to Buffy.

It wasn't the situations he was in, nor did he take the pratfall route. Oz was dry -- dry like a desert, dry like overcooked Thanksgiving turkey, dry like a leather shoe left out in the sun for several thousand years. Master of the understatement, man of few words, sarcasm blended with wit.

Arguably, Oz was the most quotable character on Buffy. For instance, when he found out vampires were real, he simply stated, "That explains a lot!" Another of my favorite Oz quotes was from season four, when Buffy was complaining about her college roommate and punching the air. Oz posits, "No one deserves mime, Buffy."

Revisit some of Oz's best quotable moments from each season he appears in and enjoy a giggle or two remembering the werewolf with a sense of humor.

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HBO has a thing for bad girls

by Paul Goebel, posted May 27th 2008 8:04AM

Bad Girls and One Bad GuyHBO and Alan Ball have teamed up once again to develop an American version of Bad Girls. The show is familiar territory for HBO which aired the critically acclaimed prison drama Oz for six seasons.

The British drama about the staff and inmates of a women's prison recently ended production after eight seasons on ITV.

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HBO biker series to star Donal Logue

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 12th 2008 2:01PM
donal logueEverybody wants Donal Logue. Just one month after NBC added him to the cast of NBC's Life, as Charlie's new boss, now comes news that HBO has booked Donal Logue as a biker in 1%. The new pilot casts Donal as a character named Misfit, a Silicon Valley member who's sent to Carefree, Arizona, to get one of the toughest biker clubs in the west in line. Also joining Logue in the show are W. Earl Brown (Deadwood), Timm Sharp (Undeclared), Lucy Punch (hilarious in The Class as Holly Ellenbogen), Marisa Ryan (New York Undercover) and Sonny Barger. Barger is an actual biker and has been enlisted to no doubt add realism to the project.

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