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August 1, 2014

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Review: 'Terra Nova' Brings Dino Drama to TV, But Will It Live Up to Its Potential?

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 26th 2011 10:00AM
Many expectations are riding on the scaly backs of the dinosaurs of 'Terra Nova' (8PM ET Monday, Fox). The two-hour pilot for this action-adventure series encountered more than its share of production hiccups and the entire enterprise chomped a whole lot of Fox's money.

The good news is, most that money is up on the screen (the cash that's not going to Steven Spielberg and the show's other 11 executive producers, that is). 'Terra Nova's' expansive vistas and action scenes look spiffy, and if you like to see humans battle dinosaurs in HD, you're likely to be satisfied by the workmanlike but effective story told in the pilot.

But the long-term future of 'Terra Nova,' which is set 85 million years in the past, hinges on which of two very different questions it's going to answer. If it chooses to focus on whether the generic Shannon family can rebuild itself, all the dino antics in the world probably won't save it from falling into a tar pit of predictable, sub-Spielbergian sentimentality.

The most interesting question 'Terra Nova' could answer is this: What problems and baggage does a society bring to its efforts to reinvent itself?

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Steven Spielberg and Stephen King Join Forces for Showtime's 'Under the Dome' Series

by Alex Moaba, posted Aug 30th 2011 5:30PM
Showtime is about to get supernatural. According to a Deadline, the network is teaming with an all-star duo of science fiction talents, novelist Stephen King and producer Steven Spielberg, to adapt King's 2009 novel 'Under the Dome' into a TV drama series.

King's novel focuses on a Maine vacation town that gets surrounded by a mysterious force field, trapping the residents inside and forcing them to fight each other for survival. Think 'The Walking Dead' meets 'The Hunger Games.'

Although Spielberg is perhaps best well-known for his work in movies, in recent years he's also produced several TV shows. He's serving as a producer of 'Terra Nova,''Smash' and 'The River,' which are all due out this fall.

Spielberg is no stranger to working with Showtime, having served as an executive producer on 'The United States of Tara.' His other TV highlights include 'Band of Brothers' and 'The Pacific,' World War II mini-series he produced for HBO.

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Simon Pegg Tells Fallon That Steven Spielberg Beat Him Up (VIDEO)

by Catherine Lawson, posted Jun 14th 2011 6:35AM
Simon PeggSimon Pegg stopped by 'Late Night With Jimmy Fallon' (Weeknights, 12:37AM ET on NBC) to talk about his new movie, 'The Adventures of Tintin.'

To get the look of the original 'Tintin' comic books, director Steven Spielberg shot the movie using motion-capture computer animation.

This meant that Pegg and his B.F.F. Nick Frost -- who play the identical Thompson Twins -- both had to wear really tight-fitting suits. The sight was "not that pretty," according to Pegg.

However, tight suits aside, the most exciting part of the shoot for sci-fi fanatic Pegg was getting to grips with his idol Spielberg and co-star Andy Serkis. Literally. When Spielberg was explaining to Serkis how to rough up Pegg's character he grabbed Pegg and started shaking him around. Then Serkis joined in and started shaking him.

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NBC to Release 'Smash' Soundtrack Album, Star Katharine McPhee Signs Record Deal

by Catherine Lawson, posted Jun 10th 2011 7:50AM
Katharine McPhee'Smash' hasn't even aired yet, but there's already an album in the works. It's been announced that Columbia Records has won the rights to the music from NBC's upcoming midseason musical drama series.

The music will include covers of existing hits plus original songs composed by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, the team behind 'Hairspray' and 'Catch Me If You Can.'

It was also announced that 'Smash' star and former 'American Idol' finalist Katharine McPhee, has signed a solo recording deal with Columbia Records. She previously recorded for RCA and Verve Forecast.

Speaking about the deal, Robert Greenblatt, Chairman NBC Entertainment, said "A musical series should naturally be accompanied by a soundtrack deal, and NBC is very excited to be working with the best. Our Columbia Records partners will guide the soundtrack of 'Smash' into a big component of the show's success. The music will be a driving force ... and we couldn't have asked for better expertise and strategy than this company will provide."

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Kyle Chandler Felt Like a '70s Kid Again in New Spielberg/Abrams Film 'Super 8' (VIDEO)

by Nick Zaino, posted Jun 6th 2011 3:50PM
Kyle Chandler talks about Steven Spielberg and 'Super 8' on 'Live With Regis and Kelly'The upcoming Steven Spielberg / J.J. Abrams movie 'Super 8' takes place in the summer of 1979. It's a time that Kelly Ripa is particularly fond of, she said today on 'Live With Regis and Kelly' (weekdays, syndicated). Ripa said she thinks Spielberg is fond of it, too. Kyle Chandler, formerly of 'Friday Night Lights' and one of the stars of 'Super 8,' confirmed that.

Chandler was 14 in 1979, which is also the age of his character's son in the movie. Walking into the set that was the kid's room brought back great memories for Chandler. Apparently, Spielberg got all of the late-'70s details down perfectly. "I started thinking immediately, What am I going to steal out of here?" said Chandler. The room was everything he had when he was a kid, including Testors paints and airplane models.

"Then over in the corner, the jewel: an Atari game," he said. Which will make nerds wonder -- did he have the 'E.T.' and 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' Atari games? Watch closely if you see the movie and let us know if you see them.

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Meet the Cast of Fox's 'Terra Nova,' Steven Spielberg's Pricey New Sci-Fi Show (VIDEO)

by Maggie Furlong, posted Mar 9th 2011 6:00PM
Fox's 'Terra Nova' has made more headlines before premiering than most shows will snag in their entire TV life. Unfortunately, most of them have been about how insanely expensive the series has been to produce.

Fox's 'Terra Nova'

Some sites report that the pilot cost around $10 million, while other insiders claim that number is closer to $20 million. Either way, Fox realized that the Australia-based, Steven Spielberg-produced production -- complete with a large main cast and some prehistoric extras -- was an investment, which is why they've already ordered 13 episodes.

So what does $20 million (allegedly) buy you? The gorgeous sweeping landscapes of Australia are the perfect backdrop for this journey all the way back to dinosaur times. Yes, dinosaurs and people will be living together as humans from a not-so-happy future travel back 85 million years to recolonize.

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'Terra Nova' First Look (VIDEO)

by Chris Harnick, posted Feb 7th 2011 5:30PM
Terra NovaDid you catch that commercial with dinosaurs during the Super Bowl? No, it wasn't 'Jurassic Park 4: The T-Rex Strikes Back,' it was the highly anticipated first look at Fox and Steven Spielberg's 'Terra Nova.'

In the preview, audiences are given a very brief plot synopsis: People of the future screw up ("The world you left behind fell victim to greed, war ..."), then travel back in time to start life again. Hence, dinosaurs.

However, unlike 'Jurassic Park,' these humans presumably have weapons and technology from the future ... but they're still on the dinosaurs' home turf. Obviously this description does not do the promo justice, so why not take a look at it below?

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First Look: Steven Spielberg's 'Falling Skies' (VIDEO)

by Chris Harnick, posted Dec 28th 2010 2:00PM
Falling Skies, Noah WyleNoah Wyle, meet aliens. The first trailer for Steven Spielberg and TNT's summer series 'Falling Skies' has hit the web.

Set after an alien invasion, Wyle stars as Tom Mason, a history professor who becomes a leader of the human resistance. A widower thanks to the invasion, the character goes after his captured son while trying to protect his other two boys.

Spielberg and Dreamworks Television are executive producing the project, which is written by 'Saving Private Ryan' scribe Robert Rodat. The series begins in June 2011.

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Steven Spielberg, 'Fringe' Producers Bringing Comic Series 'Locke & Key' to TV

by Mike Moody, posted Aug 24th 2010 1:20PM
locke & keyUber-producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci ('Fringe,' 'Star Trek,' 'Hawaii Five-0') are taking advantage of their deal with 20th Century Fox TV to bring another geek property to the screen. This time, they're developing a TV series with Steven Spielberg based on the IDW comic 'Locke & Key,' created by Spielberg's Stephen King's son Joe Hill.

Is your geek heart racing yet? If not, maybe this nugget will do the trick: According to Vulture, Kurtzman, Orci and Spielberg have tapped 'Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles' producer Josh Friedman to write and produce.

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Fox's 'Terra Nova' Will Film in Australia

by Ryan McKee, posted Aug 9th 2010 10:00AM
'Terra Nova'Billed as an epic family adventure 85 million years in the making, 'Terra Nova' will attempt to revive dinosaur dramas after the 'Jurassic Park' sequels and 'Land of the Lost' threw the genre into the tar pits. Steven Spielberg, Peter Chernin, Brannon Braga and David Fury make up the dream team at the helm.

The big announcement today is that the series will be shot at locations on The Gold Coast in southern Queensland, including Warner Roadshow Studios. The Aussies are stoked since 80 percent of the crew, cast and extras will be pulled from the area. The production of 13 one-hour episodes will really help the high unemployment rate. Too bad they can't shoot in Detroit ...

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Fox Scraps 'Terra Nova' Comic-Con Panel

by Mike Moody, posted Jul 14th 2010 2:40PM
terra nova foxSadly, it's time to add yet another name to the list of shows pulling out of this month's San Diego Comic-Con.

Steven Spielberg's upcoming Fox time-travel adventure series 'Terra Nova' has joined 'Game of Thrones' and 'Torchwood' by canceling its scheduled Comic-Con panel, according to the Live Feed.

The reason? Seems like the showrunners don't have any footage to show to hungry Con-goers. And the series is still in the early stages of development, which makes talking about it in front of live audience a pretty hard thing to do.

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'The Pacific' - 'Iwo Jima' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted May 3rd 2010 9:04AM
Jon Seda as John Basilone, 'The Pacific'
(E08)
If it seems like forever since 'The Pacific' spent any time with John Basilone, that's because it has been. As Basilone himself said, it's been more than a year since he saw action. Since he couldn't just go back into the heart of the war, he asked for the next best thing: the opportunity to train the next batch of marines who'd be heading out to back up his friends still on the line.

Other than a brief interlude with Sledge, who's back at base camp with a Snafu slipping toward hypochondria, we spent the entire hour with Sgt. Basilone. In doing so, the writers and producers managed to find yet another facet of the war to show us. The emotional struggles of a soldier away from the war, and the conflicting ties that pull him in both directions at once.

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'The Pacific' - 'Peleliu Hills' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 26th 2010 8:45AM
(E07) "Fear and Filth" - written by Eugene Sledge while on Peleliu in description of his experience there

This week, I finally saw the value of the opening narrative with Tom Hanks interspersed with interviews with the World War II veterans. They're presented to offer background information for the events to come. Most of us have never seen anything like the war in the Pacific, so we wouldn't know about things like the intricate tunnels the Japanese used on Peleliu.

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'The Pacific' - 'Peleliu Airfield' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 19th 2010 12:09PM
(E06) Part two of what I'm going to call the 'Peleliu Trilogy' offered more of what we saw with 'Peleliu Landing,' and then some. This extended look at one island campaign is to show us just how intense and long these boys were fighting for this one chunk of land, and how intense the fighting got.

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'The Pacific' - 'Peleliu Landing' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 12th 2010 4:02PM
'The Pacific' - 'Peleliu Landing'
(E05)
Another week and another wholly different experience in the Pacific front of World War II. Whereas Guadalcanal was an island oasis, and eerily quiet when the 1st Marines landed, the island of Peleliu was a far different story. From an ocean of cannon-fire and ships to a sea of the dead, dying and injured on the beach, it was warfare from the word "Go!"

Eugene Sledge finally made it into the war, joining Leckie and company in the 1st Marines Division. He hooked up with them on the island of Pavuvu, where we left them last week. Leckie returned as well from his stay at the hospital, and they got to enjoy some wartime camaraderie before shipping out.

Sledge even got some time with his friend from back home, Sid Phillips. The care in which the producers of 'The Pacific' have given to each of these very different wartime experiences has helped to create one of the most diverse and thorough looks at war that I've ever seen.

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