News, scoops, reviews and more from TV land.
Now this: James Gandolfini will finally get his HBO tribute this Sunday at 8 p.m. HBO describes it this way:
In this special presentation, more than two dozen friends and colleagues remember the three-time Emmy® winner, who died June 19, 2013 at age 51. Along with first-person reflections, the special features clips of Gandolfini’s work, as well as behind-the-scenes footage.
The title: "James Gandolfini: Tribute to a Friend."
And here's a brief look. Newsday app readers please go to Newsday.com/tvzone:
"Girls" -- third season, Jan. 12, HBO -- has a new season promotion, and it doesn't indicate nearly as much self-absorption as you might imagine! But check it out now.
And Newsday app readers... please head on over to Newsday.com/tvzone for a little more of Hannah and her sisters.
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Say, how did HBO's "Eastbound & Down" -- starring Danny McBride as ex-ball player Kenny Powers and starring for a few moments last night, Lindsay Lohan -- wrap after four seasons?
Oddly! As appropriate for this series. Here's a clip -- some violence, but best I can tell no vulgarity, or -- warning -- possibly a quick utterance at the very end (so tune out by that moment). Proceed with caution nevertheless. Meanwhile, it features Lindsay, as Kenny's new daughter-in-law.
To anyone who thought John Oliver's substitute host gig on "The Daily Show" felt less like a stand-in for Jon Stewart and more like the beginning of a beautiful new career opportunity, then congratulations. ... You were right! HBO has hired Oliver to do his own weekly show, starting next year.
Surprised? I was, a bit, plus slightly disappointed. I figured this future show would be on Comedy Central, but with Stewart at 11 and "The Colbert Report" at 11:30, real estate was starting to get a little tight there. Plus, Oliver's HBO series is now probably going to be more along the lines of Bill Maher's "Real Time" -- once a week, Fridays at 10 -- and I guess the instant assumption would be that Oliver's will be paired with Maher's too ... except that it won't. HBO says this show will go Sundays.
The disappointment? Only that Oliver established that he could easily handle the daily grind, and could have continued to handle it at CC. A weekly show isn't on "top" of the news as much as below it -- more reflective, slightly removed. Maher has certainly found a comfort zone as a once-a-week fixture, but "Real Time" has hardly the impact of a "TDS" or "Colbert Report."
“We weren’t otherwise searching for another weekly talk show, but when we saw John Oliver handling host duties on ‘The Daily Show,’ we knew that his singular perspective and distinct voice belonged on HBO,” said HBO programming chief Michael Lombardo. “We are extremely excited that John has agreed to make HBO his home.”
Oliver: “I’m incredibly excited to be joining HBO, especially as I presume this means I get free HBO now. I want to thank Comedy Central, and everyone at ‘The Daily Show’ for the best seven-and-a-half years of my life. But most of all, I’d like to thank Jon Stewart. He taught me everything I know. In fact, if I fail in the future, it’s entirely his fault.”
"True Detective" -- the HBO series starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as a pair of Louisiana detectives at work on very cold case -- has a date: Jan. 12 at 9 p.m.
And this: "Girls" returns that night, too, with a one-hour open, or to be more specific, two back-to-back half-hour episodes (and will return to a half-hour the following week).
Oh, and this: HBO also said the Jonathan Groff series, "Looking," will arrive that night as well. (Don't know a whole heck of a lot about this, but here's what HBO has to say: "The series revolves around three friends in San Francisco who explore the fun and sometimes overwhelming options available to a new generation of gay men." (App users, check out Newsday.com/tvzone for a glimpse of a shirtless McConaughey; imagine that!)
"Boardwalk Empire's" fifth episode of the season aired last night and -- at this point, I offer the obligatory "spoiler alert," which is to say, if you have not seen and plan on seeing it then you really won't want to read on. That is, unless maybe to see a nice clip starring Anthony Laciura, who plays Eddie Kessler and who qualifies as one of the most unusual casting choices...Read more »
We have arrived, friends, at the final Emmys 2013 pick/guesses -- the last entry in my weeklong series telling you who should win (but alas probably won't).
Good thing about this year's nominees? Not a piker in the bunch. They are all outstanding, and so if any of the following wins, no one should be surprised. With that, to our nominees ...
COMEDY SERIES: "The Big Bang Theory," CBS; "Girls," HBO; "Louie," FX; "Modern Family," ABC; "30 Rock," NBC; "Veep," HBO
Who will win: The past six years have been dominated by just two comedies, but even dominance eventually cracks, and for "Modern Family," this could well be that year. The winner is "The Big Bang Theory."
Who should win: "Louie," without question. But dark comedies -- and "Louie" is hardly always comic -- don't fare well here. Couple of "Girls" episodes merit a win, too, but like, "Louie" -- also produced in NYC, where there are fewer Academy voters -- this is a tough sale.
DRAMA SERIES: "Breaking Bad," AMC; "Downton Abbey," PBS; "Homeland," Showtime; "Game of Thrones," HBO; "House of Cards," Netflix; "Mad Men," AMC.
Who will win: "Homeland" had a so-so sophomore season, but voters hate to disawow their judgment, especially after crowning this with such gusto after its freshman season. Could be guilt over snubbing "Bad" for so long, but I fully believe it will prevail at the 66th Emmys, if not Sunday night. That's why the edge goes to ... "Homeland."
Who should win: "Game of Thrones." "Thrones" had a remarkable season (another one), but fantasy fiction is a tough sell to voters. I wouldn't mind seeing that long-overdue nod to "Bad," either -- and what a nice achievement to be awarded on the night your penultimate episode airs.
Now we're getting to where the rubber meets the road in our weeklong Emmy predictions series (word to the wise - do not bet the kids' milk money on these guesses): Best actor and actress!
Let's get straight to it, shall we?
LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES: Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey, PBS Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad, AMC Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom, HBO Jon Hamm, Mad Men,...Read more »
The best actress and actor category in the 2013 65th Primetime Emmy Awards is possibly the most difficult to call of 'em all -- many fine candidates, only two will win. And let's get to those, shall we?
LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES: Jason Bateman, Arrested Development, Netflix Louis C.K., Louie, FX Don Cheadle, House of Lies, Showtime Matt LeBlanc, Episodes, Showtime Jim Parsons,...Read more »
Welcome to movies, miniseries and -- what the heck -- let's do reality and variety series too, in today's Emmys' picks. The minis category is always a good one, thanks to HBO. And as you will notice below, HBO will most assuredly will win something this Sunday.
LEAD ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE: Michael Douglas, "Behind The Candelabra," HBO; Matt Damon, "Behind The Candelabra,"...Read more »