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August 1, 2014

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Kelsey Grammer On Fame, Comedy, Chicago and His New Drama, 'Boss'

by Maureen Ryan, posted Jul 13th 2011 4:20PM
Shooting a television show on location isn't a situation that offers actors much privacy, unless they're in a forest outside Vancouver or in the desert near Albuquerque or some remote place like that.

How about downtown Chicago on a bustling summer day? Last Friday, as he shot a pivotal scene from the upcoming Starz drama 'Boss' on the sidewalk outside Chicago's City Hall, Kelsey Grammer had almost no privacy. But the actor didn't appear to need a buffer, let alone a wall of bodyguards. He affably talked to passersby during breaks from the afternoon shoot, and genially posed for photos with anyone who asked.

After he'd wrapped for the day, he sat down for an interview in which he talked about the similarities between his own life as a public figure and the intensely scrutinized lives of politicians like Mayor Tom Kane, his character on 'Boss.'

"My life's been covered for the last 25 years -- everything, every moment, every single pitfall," Grammer said.

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'Torchwood' Returns With Immortality for Everyone Except Captain Jack (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Jul 11th 2011 1:13AM
'Torchwood: Miracle Day' - 'The New World'After a two-year hiatus, another global incident means it's time to reassemble 'Torchwood' (Fri., 10PM ET on Starz) to figure out what's going on. This time, it looks like the gang is being forcibly relocated to the United States by a dead man.

But then again, that's the problem. 'Miracle Day' is the subtitle of this series of 'Torchwood.' Where 'Children of Earth' had every child on the planet impacted, this one affects every living person. And every living person is every person on the planet ... no matter what.

No one is dying, even the people who should be dying, including our friend who surrounds Gwen, Jack and Rhys at the close of this premiere. There's some strange connection to Torchwood and this global crisis.

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Review: 'Torchwood' Fights a Frightening 'Miracle' & a Chat With Star John Barrowman

by Maureen Ryan, posted Jul 8th 2011 10:00AM
There's a place on the television landscape for shows that cater to the casual science-fiction fan -- the kind of person who enjoys fantastical premises and way-out ideas, but doesn't necessarily want to see spaceship battles or is put off by the kind of baggage that invading aliens often arrive with.

'Fringe' has its share of freaky occurrences, but it's so well grounded in thoughtfully created characters and complicated emotional dilemmas that it's managed to (just about) stick around for four seasons.

'Torchwood,' which might well be thought of as 'Fringe's' saucier British cousin, unveils its fourth season Friday (10PM ET on Starz), and it's interesting to note that, as they've matured, both shows have gone full bore into serialized stories that revolve around big ideas. The writers behind these shows have recognized that those who want genre-flavored entertainment want to plunge headlong into those kinds of evocative tales; not even the casual sci-fi fan has much time for a procedural, watered-down 'X-Files' wannabe.

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'Torchwood' Star Eve Myles Talks 'Miracle Day'

by Maureen Ryan, posted Jul 7th 2011 11:10AM
Weird things happen on 'Torchwood,' which kicks off an intriguing new season Friday on Starz. But no matter how strange things get on the genre-flavored drama, the eminently relatable Gwen Cooper remains grounded, practical and even dryly witty.

Despite the terror that can accompany working for the 'Torchwood' team, which investigates otherworldly threats to Earth, you get the impression that the former cop wouldn't have it any other way.

I recently spoke to Eve Myles, who plays Cooper, about Gwen's journey from Welsh cop to alien investigator to mother. Through it all, Gwen has remained the best friend of Captain Jack Harkness, which isn't exactly an easy gig -- and it sounds as though that role gets even tougher in 'Torchwood: Miracle Day,' which depicts what would happen if people on Earth were to suddenly stop dying.

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EXCLUSIVE: Starz Sets Premiere Date for Kelsey Grammer Drama 'Boss'

by Maureen Ryan, posted Jun 9th 2011 2:30PM
Kelsey Grammer played a comedic character for a long time on 'Cheers' and 'Frasier,' but this fall, he'll return to television as a complicated, driven Chicago mayor in Starz's new drama 'Boss.'

Along with our partners at Huffington Post, we can exclusively reveal that 'Boss' will debut at 10PM ET on Oct. 21.

We've also got an exclusive first look at the teaser poster for the show and a video clip for the drama, which also stars Martin Donovan, Kathleen Roberston and Connie Nielsen.

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EXCLUSIVE: 'Torchwood' Creator Russell T Davies on Captain Jack's Dangerous Secret and Much More

by Maureen Ryan, posted Jun 6th 2011 2:45PM
Some writers tinker around the edges with their shows, but Russell T Davies, the creator of 'Torchwood,' is not one to play it safe. For the acclaimed 'Torchwood: Children of Earth,' which aired in 2009, Davies redesigned the sci-fi thriller as a short-run miniseries to make it more accessible to newcomers. It worked: The propulsive 'Children of Earth' was a hit for the BBC worldwide.

This season, the drama will change networks in the U.S. -- it debuts on Starz July 8 -- and creatively speaking, Davies is not letting 'Torchwood' rest on its laurels. In the interview below, Davies speaks in depth about the changes he'll unveil in 'Torchwood: Miracle Day,' which stars John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Mekhi Phifer, Lauren Ambrose and Bill Pullman.

There's a doozy of a surprise involving Captain Jack Harkness, but don't worry, I've put that very spoilery stuff at the end of the interview, in case you don't want to see it. If you've never seen 'Torchwood' but want to know more about the show, or if you're a fan of past seasons, it's safe to read on.

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Exclusive First Look: Captain Jack's 'Torchwood: Miracle Day' Makeover

by Maureen Ryan, posted May 25th 2011 11:00AM
When the new season of 'Torchwood' arrives on Starz July 8, Captain Jack Harkness will be sporting a new look.

Not only was most of the sci-fi show's new season filmed in the United States rather than the U.K., other aspects of the drama got a makeover as well.

Creator Russell T Davies commissioned the show's costume designer, Shawna Trpcic (a veteran of 'Dollhouse,' 'Firefly' and 'Angel') to make a new version of Jack's iconic coat. We've exclusively got the first photo of Jack in the new season of 'Torchwood,' wearing his new and improved greatcoat.

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Review: 'Camelot' Tries to Find Magic in Arthurian Tales

by Maureen Ryan, posted Apr 1st 2011 11:00AM
'Camelot' (10PM ET Friday, Starz) a new retelling of the ancient Arthurian myths, makes some smart choices.

In a terrific performance, Jamie Campbell Bower makes Arthur seem both naive and impetuous, and Joseph Fiennes' Merlin doesn't go in for magical solutions; he's more a political operative consciously building a myth around the untested Arthur as ancient Britain threatens to descend into tribal anarchy. There's even a clever take on sword-in-the-stone tale.

Yet there are some tonal clashes within this handsome series, and there's an unfortunate stop-start quality to 'Camelot's' momentum. The first couple of episodes of the Starz drama have a relatively brisk pace, but the third one has elements of mawkish soapiness that slow down the action considerably.

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EXCLUSIVE: Who's Returning on the Next Season of 'Spartacus'

by Maureen Ryan, posted Mar 4th 2011 1:45PM
'Spartacus' fans, it's Friday but we don't have an episode of the Starz drama to look forward to. Feel free to curse and vent in the celebrated manner of Quintus Batiatus.

But once you're done with that, turn your thoughts to the upcoming second season of the gladiator chronicle.

Wouldn't you like to know which characters from the first season and the recently concluded prequel season will be back?

Read on to find out whether Gannicus, Crixus, Ashur, Ilythia and other characters from 'Spartacus: Blood and Sand' and 'Spartacus: Gods of the Arena' will return when the show comes back early next year.

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'Spartacus: Gods of the Arena' Prequel Season, Episode 6 Recap (Season Finale)

by Maureen Ryan, posted Feb 26th 2011 3:10PM
['Spartacus: Gods of the Arena' - 'The Bitter End']

'Is this not what set tragedy in motion? Arrogance and impatience?" -- Solonius to Batiatus


It's time to say goodbye to the Batiatus ludus for good, and time to say goodbye to several of its inhabitants and enemies.

It's about time we put 'Spartacus: Gods of the Arena' in the Win column as well. The Starz show's suitably twisted, intrigue-filled season finale was full of surprises, and in some instances, it looks as though justice (or the will of the gods) was served. In other instances, well, just wait. Karma has a way of asserting itself over time, and five years from now, which is when the next season of the show is set, some scores will undoubtedly be settled.

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Five Reasons to Check Out the 'Camelot' Sneak Peek

by Maureen Ryan, posted Feb 25th 2011 10:45AM
If you're interested in all things Arthurian, the new Starz drama 'Camelot' will get a one-hour sneak preview after the season finale of 'Spartacus: Gods of the Arena' Friday night.

But you'll have to be patient if you like the first installment of the sword-and-sworcery epic: 'Camelot's' real premiere, which will be two hours long, arrives April 1.

No doubt you want to know whether 'Camelot' is worth checking out, either tonight or in a few weeks. I wish I could help you, but I haven't seen this latest iteration of King Arthur's tale (critics won't receive advance DVDs until next week). Still, there's good reason to be intrigued by this new version of the saga of Merlin, Morgan and Arthur. There are five good reasons, in fact:

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'Spartacus' Podcast Party: Creator Steven DeKnight Talks 'Gods of the Arena' and What's to Come

by Maureen Ryan, posted Feb 24th 2011 1:00PM
Here's a question I'm betting you never asked yourself: What's the connection between 'Viva Laughlin' and 'Spartacus'?

Don't laugh, there actually is one. Steven DeKnight, the executive producer and showrunner of Starz's 'Spartacus,' worked on CBS' ill-fated 'Laughlin' during its short-lived debut season, and in the 44-minute Talking TV podcast he recorded with Ryan McGee and myself on Wednesday, DeKnight talked about how he learned as much or more from that high-profile failure as he did from his stints on 'Angel,' 'Buffy' and 'Smallville.'

Of course, the drama we talked about most was 'Spartacus: Gods of the Arena,' a prequel series that has its season finale Friday and has proved itself a worthy addition to the 'Spartacus' roster of gladiator tales. In fact, as DeKnight noted, some fans were angry about 'Spartacus' making a prequel series at all, but now there are complaints about the fact that the season is ending after only six episodes.

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'Torchwood's' Eve Myles Talks Gwen, Motherhood and 'Miracle Day' (VIDEO)

by Maureen Ryan, posted Feb 21st 2011 3:30PM
'Torchwood,' which follows the adventures of a tight-knit team fighting alien threats, has gone through a lot of changes over the years, but two things have remained constant: Captain Jack Harkness and Gwen Cooper.

The new season of the compelling sci-fi drama, which arrives this summer on Starz, may be the biggest departure yet. Much of the show's fourth season is being shot in the United States, and the events of 'Torchwood: Miracle Day' will transpire in various locations worldwide.

Gwen and Captain Jack will both be back, but their lives will be different. Gwen, for one thing, is a "mum" now, as actress Eve Myles explains in the video below.

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'Spartacus: Gods of the Arena' Prequel Season, Episode 5 Recap

by Maureen Ryan, posted Feb 18th 2011 11:02PM
['Spartacus: Gods of the Arena' - 'Reckoning']

It makes sense that the fifth episode of this prequel season would be the most compelling one yet. It took four or five episodes for 'Spartacus: Blood and Sand' to fully gel, and while 'Gods of the Arena' didn't have the same pacing or tone issues that the first season did when it began, 'Blood and Sand' still needed time to build up the stakes for the characters.

The stakes were high in the melancholy, wonderfully crafted 'Reckoning,' and many characters were forced to make difficult, if not tragic, choices.

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'Spartacus' Party: Peter Mensah on Doctore's Journey and the Show's Creator on Joss Whedon's Influence

by Maureen Ryan, posted Feb 18th 2011 1:15PM
When Peter Mensah runs into 'Spartacus' fans, they're enthusiastic, but they're also very polite.

Mensah plays Doctore, a fearsome warrior in charge of instructing the House of Batiatus's unruly tribe of gladiators. The actor's presence in the role is so commanding that, in a December encounter, two Canadian fans made sure to call him "Mr. Mensah."

"People are actually very respectful," Mensah said with a laugh in a recent interview in Los Angeles. "Somehow along the way, this disciplinarian character who is actually quite warm became popular."

Mensah said he was pleased his character had a chance to reveal a more tender side in the prequel season 'Spartacus: Gods of the Arena,' which shows Doctore as a married man five years before the events of 'Spartacus: Blood and Sand.'

"It was nice to be able to play a character who had some warmth, even under those circumstances," Mensah said. "It's something that tends to be rare on our show, so it was nice to have that -- a husband and wife."

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