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April 24, 2014

the hour

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: 'Wire' Star Dominic West on the Killer 'Adult' Role That Could Have Wrecked His Career

by Maureen Ryan, posted Dec 2nd 2011 10:00AM
'Appropriate Adult,' a British film airing Dec. 10 on Sundance Channel, is a fascinating and tremendously well-acted look into the heart of darkness. It features Dominic West and Emily Watson doing some of the best work of their careers, and it was well received when it aired in the U.K. earlier this year (the Guardian called it "mesmerizing").

But for a number of understandable reasons, West, who is best known for his leading roles in 'The Hour' and 'The Wire,' thought the role might capsize his career.

"It was something everybody advised me not to do -- certainly my wife didn't want me to do it," West said in a recent phone interview from his home in London. "It was not a popular decision in the press here until people had seen the film."

In 'Appropriate Adult,' the actor plays notorious serial killer Fred West, who, with his wife, Rosemary, murdered more than a dozen young women, including members of their own family, during the '60s and '70s. Many feared a film about Fred West would somehow glamorize the couple or otherwise minimize the damage they did to the victims and their families.

But West said the script by Neil McKay convinced him that the film offered him "a very well-written, very challenging role that I felt I couldn't give up even if it was to ruin my career, which I don't think it has yet." [See West's performance for yourself in the exclusive clip below.]

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Ask Mo Returns! Answering Your Questions on 'Terra Nova,' 'Revenge,' 'Breaking Bad,' 'Ringer' and Much More

by Maureen Ryan, posted Oct 12th 2011 11:30AM
Thanks for all the great questions you sent in for this round of Ask Mo. I picked a bumper crop to take on this time. Let's get right to it, shall we?

Jamilbhatti0782: Do you think 'Terra Nova' will be picked up for a full season?

Mo says: Production wrapped last week on the first season of the dino drama, which was always envisioned as a 13-hour saga (according to a Fox representative, the show's 2-hour season finale airs Dec. 19). Any episodes beyond that would be part of a hypothetical second season, but the network hasn't yet decided whether to order a season 2. Given the show's high cost and relatively modest ratings, the jury is still out on whether we'll get a second season of dinosaur drama.

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BBC Update: More 'Luther,' 'The Hour' On the Way

by Jean Bentley, posted Aug 30th 2011 4:35PM
Idris Elba, LutherGood news for two of our favorite British series: both 'The Hour' and 'Luther' are returning for more episodes.

'The Hour,' which premiered Aug. 17 on BBC America, just got a second-season order from BBC Two. That means at some point in the undetermined future, Americans will get six more episodes of the drama, which takes place behind-the-scenes of a news show in the 1950s. The series will return to BBC Two in 2012.

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The Highball-o-Meter: Grading 'The Hour' and Other 'Mad Men' Lookalikes

by Maureen Ryan, posted Aug 17th 2011 3:45PM
Mad MenBetween BBC America's British import 'The Hour' (premieres Wed., Aug. 17 at 10PM ET), NBC's 'The Playboy Club' and ABC's 'Pan Am,' several dramas in coming weeks attempt to ride the coattails of awards darling 'Mad Men.'

The important question: Are any of them worthy of comparisons to the iconic AMC drama? I've seen them all, and here are my assessments:

'MAD MEN'
Season 5 went in to production Aug. 8; the show isn't rumored to return on AMC until March 2012
The Year/The Setting: First season began in 1960, most recent season took place in 1965.
The Handsome Man at the Center of It All: Don Draper (Jon Hamm).
The Ambitious Young Woman: Copy writer Peggy Olsen (Elisabeth Moss).
The Witty Other Guy: Roger Sterling (John Slattery)
The General Vibe: Existential angst and dry humor filtered through a haze of cigarette smoke.
Liquor consumption level: Fairly epic.
Highball-o-meter: Four out of four. We really have to wait until next year for this show to return? Sigh.

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Further Thoughts on 'Torchwood,' Plus Podcast Chat on 'Falling Skies,' 'The Hour' and More

by Maureen Ryan, posted Aug 5th 2011 6:30PM
I'm a bit behind in posting updates about the last two podcasts, but we've got packed edition of Talking TV with Ryan and Ryan this week.

In this week's podcast, Ryan McGee and I talk about TNT's 'Falling Skies,' which has its season finale Sunday, 'Torchwood,' which hits the midpoint of its Starz season tonight, and 'The Hour,' an interesting new drama that arrives on BBC America Aug. 17. I am not sure if I'll get a chance to write a full review of 'The Hour' this month, so if you're interested in the period drama, which stars Dominic West of 'The Wire' as a news anchor in mid-'50s London, you might check out our non-spoilery discussion of the show.

In the last segment, I talk about some of the things that have transpired at the Television Critics Association press tour, which I've been attending for the last two weeks.

I've got a bit more to say about the new season of 'Torchwood' further down in this post, and there are running times for the podcast below as well.

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Ke$ha Books Nickelodeon Guest Role, 'Idol' Castoffs Head to Leno and More TV News

by Chris Harnick, posted Apr 1st 2011 12:00PM
Ke$haKe$ha is heading to ... Nickelodeon? The not-quite-family-friendly 'Tik Tok' singer will guest star and perform on episode of 'Victorious.'

In the episode, Victoria and her friends try to win a private Ke$ha concert by piecing together the singer's name from items found at the bottom of ice cream containers.

"It's a private concert, and yeah, I will say that the costumes are awesome and there's definitely lots of glitter," Victoria Justice told Entertainment Weekly.

"It was really fun to film," she said. "It's the first time on my show that we've had a successful radio artist perform on the show. Ke$ha's kind of edgier, and I think that it's cool to bring that element to the show."

In other TV news ...

When the 'American Idol' contestants get the boot, they won't be go to visit David Letterman anymore. 'Idol' castoffs will now appear on 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' on Fridays. [NBC]

Ready to head back to 'Treme'? The HBO series' 11-episode second season premiere is scheduled for April 24. [HBO]

The 'Top Chef All-Stars' finale was seen by 2.77 million viewers. It was a season high for the cooking competition series. [Bravo]

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TV: The Ultimate Holiday Icebreaker

by Stephanie Earp, posted Dec 15th 2009 10:22AM


Ah, the office holiday party - it's a delicate operation. After all, you know these people - in fact you probably spend one-third of your life with them - but do you really know them? Do you want to? If my experience is anything to go by, it's only sheer effort that's kept your opinions of how the boss really ought to run the company quiet. Ditto your feelings on your cube neighbour's BO, ugly baby or sloppy work.

And yet, every December the powers that be decide to round up this unruly group in a hall or hotel conference room, serve them drinks and expect them to get along without embarrassing themselves.

If it wasn't for television, it would be impossible.

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