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donderdag 7 juni 2012

Big Brother Luke A tells housemates he used to be a woman

Luke Anderson has told two other Big Brother housemates that he used to be a woman.

The 31-year-old transsexual, who revealed his former gender before entering the house last night, shocked Adam and Lydia in the garden.

Both were initially confused by the news, with Lydia wrongly assuming Luke was a hermaphrodite and Adam later asking whether he was originally a man.

After Luke assured the pair that they could ask him "anything", Lydia comforted him by saying: "I think everyone in here is very open-minded.

"You're in the best house for the situation you're in, because you're with people who will 100% support you."

Luke was earlier seen battling with his secret, being heard thinking aloud: "I really didn't think this through."

Lindsay Lohan Channels Elizabeth Taylor in New 'Liz & Dick' Still

With principal photography of the Elizabeth Taylor biopic "Liz & Dick" beginning in Los Angeles this week, Lifetime is wasting no time in getting the public used to envisioning "Mean Girls" star Lindsay Lohan as movie icon Taylor.

Following on the steamy photo released earlier this week, which depicted Lohan-as-Taylor having her neck nuzzled by "Atlas Shrugged" star Grant Bowler (who's portraying Taylor's husband Richard Burton), the network has released two more images.

The first, showing Lohan in costume while wearing a little red dress and perched on an animal skin, seems intent on showcasing Lohan's cleavage as much as her resemblance to "Cleopatra" star Taylor.

The second is far more demure, displaying Bowler-as-Burton seated cross-legged and fully clothed in a director's chair.

Looks like we know where the film will derive its sex-appeal from.

"Liz & Dick," which chronicles Taylor and Burton's decades-long, on-and-off romance, will premiere later this year.

'New Girl' switches from Channel 4 to E4, returns later this month

Zooey Deschanel's sitcom New Girl will return to UK screens later this month, it has been confirmed.

New Girl will now air on E4 rather than Channel 4 because the broadcaster believes the show has a stronger appeal with the sister channel's younger audience, reports Broadcast.

New Girl still has 13 episodes of its 24-episode run to air in the UK.

A Channel 4 rep said: "We're constantly looking at what's best for our content across the portfolio of channels and while we were very happy with New Girl's performance on C4, we saw that the profile of New Girl was skewing significantly younger than the C4 slot average and was more in line with the E4 target demographic.

"E4 is the ideal UK home for Jess and the guys and we're very excited to see them move there in June."

New Girl has been picked up for a second series by Fox in the US and has been a ratings hit.

The comedy - starring Deschanel, Jack Johnson, Max Greenfield and Lamorne Morris - picked up decent figures in the 8.30pm slot on Fridays on Channel 4, but proved even more successful on the broadcaster's catch-up services, regularly topping their monthly charts.

TV Tonight 7th of June 2012

The daily list in alphabetical order, of all the new episodes airing.

    Acchi Kocchi S01E10: "Bear Encountered <=> Cute Christmas"
    Alien Surf Girls S01E07: "Alien Abduction"
    Art Mann Presents S08E11: ""Bodatious" Off-Road in Virginia"
    Auction Kings S03E11: "Signed Drumstick Collection/Trans Am GTA"
    Auction Kings S03E10: "Gangster Terraplane/Electro Shock Game"
    Battle of the Brides S01E04: "Series 1, Episode 4"
    Behind Mansion Walls S02E01: "A Toxic Inheritance"
    Big Brother (UK) S14E04: "BB 13, Episode 4"
    Blockbusters (2012) S01E19: "Series 1, Show 19"
    Breaking Pointe S01E02: "Which Life Do I Want to Lead?"
    Britain's Lost Routes with Griff Rhys Jones S01E02: "Thames Barge"
    Chelsea Lately S06E95
    Conan S02E100: "Episode 100"
    Deal Or No Deal (UK) S07E257: "Episode 1937"
    Doctors S14E44: "Never Found"
    Don't Be Tardy for the Wedding S01E08
    Dragon Ball GT S04E24: "The Fall of the Saiyans"
    Duets S01E03: "Songs That Inspire"
    Eagleheart S02E09: "Exit Wound the Gift Shop"
    EastEnders S28E92: "June 7, 2012"
    Emmerdale S41E136: "June 7, 2012"
    Eureka Seven: AO S01E09: "In the Dark We Live (Enemy Below)"
    Fake Britain S03E14: "Series 3, Episode 14"
    Final Offer S01E02: "Heavy Metal"
    General Hospital (US) S50E48: "#12576"
    Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden S22E199: "Season 22, Episode 199"
    Great British Menu S07E44: "The Olympic Feast - 44"
    Halv åtta hos mig S08E67: "Stockholm - Niki"
    Hellstrøms Mesterkokk S01E13: "Season 1, Episode 13"
    Hollyoaks S18E114: "June 7, 2012"
    Home and Away (AU) S25E99: "Episode 5534"
    Hotel cæsar S29E28: "Season 29, Episode 28"
    House Hunters S48E113
    House Hunters International S25E116
    House of Bryan - On The Rocks S01E11: "All Falls Down"
    House of Bryan - On The Rocks S01E12: "Episode 12"
    Impact Wrestling S08E88: "Season 8, Episode 88"
    Jeopardy! S28E189: "Show #6394"
    Jimmy Kimmel Live S09E264:
    Kathy S01E08: "TBA"
    Kore wa Zombie desuka? S02E10: "But, I Prefer That"
    Lab Rats (2012) S01E09: "Death Spiral Smackdown"
    Late Night with Jimmy Fallon S02E282
    Late Show with David Letterman S19E84: "Bill Murray, the Temper Trap"
    Live with Regis and Kelly S29E202
    Los protegidos S03E13: "TBA"
    Masterchef Australia S04E29: "Elimination Challenge: Pub Lunch"
    Men at Work S01E04: "Heterotextual Male"
    Motorcity S01E05: "The Duke of Detroit"
    Mountain Men S01E02: "Mayhem"
    Naruto: Shippuuden S11E24: "First Adversary, Last Adversary"
    Neighbours S28E109: "Episode 6419"
    Ojciec Mateusz S07E14: "Przytułek"
    On the Fly S01E05: "Show Me What You Got"
    On the Fly S01E06: "Stir That Pot"
    Phil Spencer: Secret Agent S02E05: "Series 2, Episode 5"
    Pointless S06E60: "Series 6, Episode 60"
    Punk'd S09E12
    Question Time S32E34: "June 7, 2012"
    Ridiculousness S02E06: "Jason Ellis"
    Ridiculousness S02E07: "Chanel and Sterling"
    Rock Center with Brian Williams S01E28: "Season 1, Episode 28"
    Rookie Blue S03E03: "A Good Shoot"
    Russell Howard's Good News S06E09: "Series 6, Episode 9"
    Salatut elämät S14E179: "Eliaksen tunnelma laristuu"
    Sankarea S01E10: "Strong... Feelings..."
    Saving Hope S01E01: "Pilot"
    Sket Dance S02E10: "Episode 10"
    Springwatch S09E08: "Series 9, Episode 8"
    Swamp People S03E17: "Never Say Die"
    Sweet Genius S02E13: "Plane Genius"
    Take Me Out (US) S01E01: "Season 1, Episode 1"
    Tattoo School S01E07: "Anthanas, Karra, and Wesley"
    Tattoo School S01E06: "Brad, Ananda, and Philly Mike"
    The Block S05E47: "Day 47"
    The Bold and the Beautiful S26E54: "Ep. #6338"
    The Chase (2009) S05E88: "Series 5, Episode 88"
    The Choice S01E01: "DJ Pauly D, Romeo, Jeremy Bloom and Jason Cook"
    The Colbert Report S08E72: "Regina Spektor"
    The Conversation S01E07: "Living Deliberately"
    The Conversation' with Amanda de Cadenet S01E07
    The Daily Show S17E110: "Edward Conard"
    The First 48 S12E15: "A Simple Plan"
    The Great American Manhunt S01E06: "Big Dog"
    The Jeremy Kyle Show S07E185: "June 7, 2012"
    The Pauly D Project S01E11: "Divas, Diamonds and D..."
    The Project S04E135: "Season 4, Episode 135"
    The Talk S02E179: "Season 2, Episode 179"
    The Tonight Show with Jay Leno S20E97
    The View S15E177: "Jane Fonda, Lisa Ling"
    The Young and the Restless S40E53: "Ep. #9922"
    Tonight S14E21: "Work Until You Drop"
    Tron: Uprising S01E02: "The Renegade, Part 1"
    truTV Presents: World's Dumbest... S14E01: "World's Dumbest Motorheads 7"
    Tsuritama S01E09: "Episode 9"
    World's Weirdest S02E04: "Freaky All-Stars"

Jim Jefferies, D.J. Qualls Comedy Series 'Legit' Ordered by FX

FX has picked up a new series from Australian stand-up comedian Jim Jefferies, the network said Wednesday.

The series, titled "Legit," has received a 13-episode order and is slated to premiere in January 2013. Jefferies co-created the series with Peter O'Fallon of "The Riches." Both will serve as executive producers, along with Rick Cleveland ("Nurse Jackie," "Mad Men") and Lisa Blum of New Wave Entertainment.

"Legit" will revolve around a comedian named Jim (played by Jefferies) and his efforts to achieve legitimacy in life. Dan Bakkedahl and D.J. Qualls ("Road Trip") also star, as Jim's best friend Steve and Steve's brother Billy, respectively.

"I couldn't be happier than getting to do this show,” Jefferies said.  “FX has set the bar so high with shows like 'Louie' and 'Sunny,' but I believe Peter and I have created something special. The cast is amazing and FX has given us all the freedom we need. I can’t wait for people to see it."

'Men Behaving Badly' won't be revived, says Martin Clunes

Martin Clunes has ruled out a revival of his classic sitcom Men Behaving Badly, suggesting that the show would appear "too seedy" now the cast have aged.

Clunes appeared alongside Neil Morrissey, Caroline Quentin and Leslie Ash in the series, which ran on ITV and later the BBC between 1992 and 1998.

Asked if he could see Men Behaving Badly returning to TV, the 50-year-old argued that the lad culture present on the show would make for uncomfortable viewing nowadays.

"To be perfectly honest, the others haven't aged as well as I have so I think it would be a bit unfair," he joked to the Radio Times. "It would all be a bit too seedy."

Clunes revealed in 2008 that a planned Men Behaving Badly reunion was scrapped because Quentin "suddenly felt quite strongly" against it.

The actor has said in the past that he still holds "fond memories of the show" and remains close friends with his co-stars.

Big Brother's Lydia upset over Shievonne "fame" joke

Big Brother's Lydia Louisa has been left distraught following a comment made by Shievonne.

The professional dancer vented her anger to Deana outside the Diary Room.

She stormed: "Please let me in there with you, I'm about to get upset, I just need some space."

Bursting into tears, Lydia added: "I literally f**king give up. I'm sharing a bed with the girl, and she said, 'I'm not in here for the fame'.

"When the f**k did I ever say that? I could've come here and I could've been like, 'I've done this, this and this'. Because I've said I'm not saying it, then it's given people ammunition against me.

"Should I have just come in here, giving out all my credentials? You'll see the music on tonight, and you'll know I'm a dancer because that's what I do!"

However, Deana criticised Lydia's reaction by claiming she was "stressing too much".

Before the 25-year-old's outburst, Shievonne appeared sarcastic by saying, "Oops, she looks upset".

However, the pair resolved their differences later on, with Lydia referring to her relationship with popstar Andy Scott-Lee.

Ratings: NBA Finals Dent 'America's Got Talent,' 'Hell's Kitchen'; NBC Wins Night

Facing cable competition from Game 5 of the NBA Finals, NBC's "America's Got Talent" and Fox's "Hell's Kitchen" felt declines on Tuesday night, with NBC pulling out a narrow overall win in ratings and total viewership, according to preliminary numbers.

NBC took first place in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic with a 2.2 rating/6 share and in total viewers with 7.4 million.

Though down 8 percent from last week, "America's Got Talent" at 8 p.m. was still the night's top-rated show, with a 3.4/11, and the most-watched, with 12.2 million total viewers.

The adventure-dating reality series "Love in the Wild" the following hour had its season premiere, slipping 27 percent from last year's series premiere with a 1.6/4, and taking 5 million total viewers.

Fox came in second in ratings with a 2.1/6 and fourth in total viewers with 4.8 million. "Hell's Kitchen" at 8 was down 12 percent from Monday's season premiere (and 16 percent from last June's premiere) with a 2.1/7, and took 4.8 million total viewers. "MasterChef" the following hour was also down from Monday's season premiere (but up from last June's premiere) with a 2.1/6, and also drew 4.8 million total  viewers.

Univision came in third in ratings and fifth in total viewers with an average 1.3/4 and 3.3 million.

CBS shared fourth place in ratings with ABC, averaging a 1.2/3, and took second in total viewers with an average 7.2 million. The network ran repeats throughout the night.

ABC, which came in third in total viewers with 5.6 million, ran repeats with the exception of the "20/20" special "Concert for the Queen: A Diamond Jubilee Celebration With Katie Couric" at 10, which received a 1.3/4 and 6.8 million total viewers.

Ray Bradbury, Author of 'Martian Chronicles,' 'Fahrenheit 451,' Dies at 91

Beloved author Ray Bradbury, who wrote such classics as "Fahrenheit 451," "The Martian Chronicles," "The Illustrated Man," "Dandelion Wine," and "Something Wicked This Way Comes," has died. He was 91.

Bradbury, who lived in Los Angeles, died after a long illness, his publisher said.

His works were read by everyone from schoolchildren to sci-fi and fantasy afficionados -- and sometimes he transformed the former into the latter.

He moved easily between the tender nostalgia of "Dandelion Wine" to the dystopian future of "Fahrenheit 451" -- which imagined a world where firemen burn books. (Its title was said to refer to the temperature at which paper burns.)

The book, a powerful, compact statement against censorship, was especially dear to him. He ordered a tombstone, before he died, at Westwood Village Memorial Park. Along with his name, it reads simply, "Author of Fahrenheit 451."

The book's themes were so familiar that Michael Moore played off of its title with his 2004 anti-Bush Administration film "Fahrenheit 9/11."

Bradbury's impact on pop culture was immeasurable. His stories became bestsellers, and aired on television for six decades on shows including "The Twilight Zone" and "Ray Bradbury Theater." They were made into films including Francois Truffaut's 1966 "Fahrenheit 451" and 1983's "Something Wicked This Way Comes." An adaptation of "Dandelion Wine" is currently underway.

Bradbury also wrote the 1956 film adaptation of John Huston’s, "Moby Dick," and received an Emmy for his 1993 teleplay, "The Halloween Tree."

His literary awards included the 2000 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the 2004 National Medal of Arts, and the 2007 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation.

Despite the fantastical worlds he created -- often for movies and television -- he was wary of technology and conspicuous consumption. His breakthrough work, 1950's "The Martian Chronicles," tells a series of interconnected short stories in which warlike humans colonize Mars and kill most of its inhabitants with their germs.

Bradbury refused to drive or take airplanes, and complained about people turning to their cell phones instead of interacting with the human beings in front of them. With "Fahrenheit 451" in 1953, he imagined a world in which books lost their influence in favor of TV, movies, and sports, leading to a less intellectual populace.

One could argue he saw that world come to life. But he wasn't bitter.

In the 2005 book of essays, "Bradbury Speaks," he wrote: “In my later years I have looked in the mirror each day and found a happy person staring back. Occasionally I wonder why I can be so happy. The answer is that every day of my life I’ve worked only for myself and for the joy that comes from writing and creating. The image in my mirror is not optimistic, but the result of optimal behavior.”

He is survived by his four daughters, Susan Nixon, Ramona Ostergren, Bettina Karapetian, and Alexandra Bradbury, and eight grandchildren.

His wife, Marguerite, predeceased him in 2003, after fifty-seven years of marriage.

His publisher said Bradbury liked to recount the story of meeting a carnival magician, Mr. Electrico, in 1932, when he was 12. At the end of his performance Electrico reached out to Bradbury, touched the boy with his sword, and commanded him, “Live forever!”

“I decided that was the greatest idea I had ever heard," Bradbury later said. "I started writing every day. I never stopped.”

Walt Disney to ban junk food ads by 2015

Disney has become the first major US media company to announce a wide-ranging ban on junk food advertising across its television, online and radio networks.

The company said that the "significant undertaking" was part of its work with parents to "inspire kids to lead healthier lifestyles" and tackle America's growing problem of child obesity.

All food and beverage products advertised, sponsored or promoted on the Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior, Radio Disney and Disney-owned online destinations aimed at younger children will be required to meet Disney's nutrition guidelines by 2015.

These guidelines are said to be indexed to US Federal standards, and involve promotion of fruit and vegetables, over products high in saturated fat, sodium and sugar.

Disney is expected to see a slight dip in advertising revenue from the move, as producers of junk food and sugary drinks are understood to spend more than $1bn (£650m) a year on ads directed at children under 12 years.

But US First Lady Michelle Obama described Disney's initiative as a "game changer" for the health of American children.

"This is a major American company - a global brand - that is literally changing the way it does business so that our kids can lead healthier lives," she said.

"With this new initiative, Disney is doing what no major media company has ever done before in the US - and what I hope every company will do going forward.

"When it comes to the ads they show and the food they sell, they are asking themselves one simple question: 'Is this good for our kids?'"

Disney first established its nutrition guidelines in 2006, governing all licensed meals and snacks served at its parks and resorts. This involved all children's meals automatically being served with nutritious sides and beverages, unless the parents "opt out".

The company said of the more than 12 million kids' meals served last year at its parks in the US, parents stuck with the healthier options six out of 10 times.

Disney said that it will enhance its "breakthrough efforts" by further reducing sodium in kids' meals and introducing new well-balanced kids' breakfast meals.

It has also created a "Mickey Check" system that flags up nutritious food and menu items in stores, online and restaurants at its US parks and resorts.

"We're proud of the impact we've had over the last six years," said Robert A Iger, the chairman and chief executive of The Walt Disney Company.

"We've taken steps across our company to support better choices for families, and now we're taking the next important step forward by setting new food advertising standards for kids.

"The emotional connection kids have to our characters and stories gives us a unique opportunity to continue to inspire and encourage them to lead healthier lives."

By 2015, advertising of any cereals with 10 grams or more of sugar per serving, or a full meal with over 600 calories, would not be advertised on its networks, said Disney.

Sugary drinks and high sodium products would also be banned, the company added.

The move has been met with some scepticism, including fears that Disney may be using it as a PR stunt.

But campaigners have also recognised that it is a potentially positive step in the fight against unhealthy lifestyles, as recent studies show that almost a third of American children are overweight or obese.

A separate report issued in February claimed that British children are still being exposed to the same level of junk food ads despite tighter regulations being imposed by regulator Ofcom.

Rufus Hound slams Digital Spy forum critics: 'You're f**king morons'

Rufus Hound has branded Digital Spy forum users who persistently complain about his shows as "f**king moron[s]".

The comedian, who previously described the DS forums as a place of "vitriol, hate and anger", said he is unable to tolerate people who can't understand the challenge of producing a TV show, which he likened to "climbing Kilimanjaro blindfold[ed] with your legs tied together".

He told Digital Spy: "All of the people that post [on the forums] have never tried to make a television programme... everybody's entitled to an opinion, but I'm entitled to think your opinion is worth f**kall.

"Digital Spy forums for whatever reason just seem to be particularly populated with people who espouse great wisdom and yet I think must have fallen over while they were picking their nose."

Turning directly to our camera, he continued: "If you're a Digital Spy forum poster and you've ever posted something along the lines of, 'Maybe we should take it reasonably', or 'In context maybe it's worth considering', then my quarrel isn't with you.

"If you've ever made a definitive statement on a show that you have no idea about, you're a f**king moron. "

However, Hound - who was speaking at the We Will Rock You 10th anniversary show last month - admitted that he has not been on Digital Spy's forums recently and revealed that he used to be similarly critical of TV before finding fame.

Hound also confirmed to DS at the event that he has left Celebrity Juice.

BBC One, ITV1 enjoy high ratings for Diamond Jubilee shows on Friday

Prince Charles's Jubilee Tribute to the Queen was the most-watched broadcast on Friday night, overnight data has shown.

BBC One's screening of the programme was seen by 7.27m (33.8%) in the 8pm hour, beating the second half of Coronation Street on ITV1.

Elizabeth: Queen, Wife, Mother - ITV's own royal offering - took 4.86m (22.6%) in the 9pm hour. The documentary added 272k on ITV1 +1.

Have I Got News For You (4.22m/19.7%) and The Graham Norton Show (3.13m/22.6%) aired at 9.30pm and 10.35pm to relatively impressive figures, while ITV1's Poms and Paradise interested 2.99m (14.5%) at 8pm (+1: 146k).

BBC Two's Great British Menu served up 1.68m (8.2%) from 8pm, then Gardeners' World enthralled 1.2m (5.3%) at 8.30pm. The Great British Story: A People's History grabbed 1.24m (5.7%) in the 9pm junction, before 767k (4.8%) tuned in for Episodes an hour later.

Channel 4's 8 Out of 10 Cats entertained 976k (4.4%) at 9pm (+1: 364k), after which Very Important People amused 664k (3.1%) at 9.30pm (+1: 137k). At 10pm, Alan Carr: Chatty Man attracted 1.41m (8%) and 275k on timeshift.

The Mentalist anchored Channel 5's schedule with 1.3m (6%) at 9pm, while Castle had 841k (4.7%) at 10pm.

Overall, BBC One led primetime with 24.5%, beating ITV1's 22.8% (+1: 0.9%). BBC Two claimed third place with 5.2%, ahead of Channel 4's 4.8% (+1: 0.8%), and Channel 5's 3.5% (+1: 0.1%).

Russell Howard's Good News Extra delivered 685k (4.5%) to BBC Three at 10.30pm.

Lachlan Murdoch’s Network Ten Seeks Capital Infusion

In a sign of the malaise affecting the Australian free-to-air TV broadcasters, Network Ten is raising $A200 million in a share offer to invest in new Australian programming and strengthen its balance sheet. The company headed by executive chairman Lachlan Murdoch has been hit by a sharp downturn in ratings and advertising revenue. That’s due in part to the soaring popularity of rival Nine Network’s local version of The Voice, and amid a sluggish economy and consumers’ fears about the impact of the European financial crisis. Ten said TV revenue for the nine months ending in May was down 12% year-over-year and advertising markets “continue to be soft with very little near-term visibility on revenue for July and August.”

Murdoch, who with James Packer, former Paramount International TV president Bruce Gordon and mining tycoon Gina Rinehart own 43% of Ten’s shares, said the network is due to repay $US125 million in debt in March 2013. Revenue for Australia’s free-to-air broadcasters fell by 4.4% to $2.06 billion in the last half of 2011, and analysts say the overall market is down by 2%-3% so far this year.

Fox Networks Group Continues Business And Legal Affairs Restructuring

The company has some promotions this morning that it says complement its previously announced restructuring plans. Kelly Cline was promoted from SVP to EVP of entertainment business and legal affairs for the Fox Cable Networks, reporting to FNG’s General Counsel Rita Tuzon. Cline, who joined the company in 1989 as counsel for 20th Century Fox Television, will handle FX, Fox Movie Channel, National Geographic and NG Wild. In addition, Matthew Bensen was promoted to SVP of business and legal affairs overseeing distribution for Fox Cable Networks.

He’ll report to FCN Deputy General Counsel Claudia Teran and will continue to be involved in cutting deals with pay TV providers for Fox’s broadcast and cable services.  Also, Phillip Gharabegian was promoted to SVP of business and legal affairs for sports at FNC. He’ll handle rights and sponsorship agreements as well as day-to-day business and legal affairs for Fox Sports’ ad sales unit, Home Team Sports. He’ll report to Karen Brodkin, EVP Business and Legal Affairs for FOX Sports Media Group.

EMMYS: For Some Actors, It’s Lights, Action, Directing

Actors like to dabble. It’s how Ron Howard went from Happy Days to feature-directing greatness. So it’s no surprise that those who have the opportunity take the plunge to write and direct for TV. Historically, actors have had their share of Emmy good fortune, most recently including comedy writing wins for Tina Fey (30 Rock), Garry Shandling (The Larry Sanders Show) and Ellen DeGeneres (Ellen) and drama series nominations for Denis Leary (writing, Rescue Me), Laura Innes (directing, The West Wing) and Steve Buscemi (directing, The Sopranos). We caught up with five such multi-faceted souls who will be submitting for Emmy consideration this year in categories outside of their performances. They discussed what it is that inspires them to move to the other side of the camera.

(Star of AMC’s drama Breaking Bad, directed the Modern Family episode “Election Day”)
“You wind up using a different set of muscles directing than you do acting. I didn’t go in there trying to change things. My job was to get the things I needed to get to satisfy Steve Levitan. I went in with a list of what I needed to get and a secondary one of what I wanted to get — and then a third one in my back pocket of what it would be really cool to get. I was able to satisfy all of those things. But it involved a certain amount of anxiety. I just marvel at guys like James Burrows who are so calm and make it look so easy.”

(Star of Showtime’s dramedy Shameless, co-wrote the series episode “Can I Have A Mother?”)
“My ulterior motive for writing at this point, in all candor, is to craft myself a really nice part. I don’t really write stuff that’s just sent off for other people to act. My writing partner Steven Schachter and I were able to write some very sweet stuff for me, like Door To Door (which earned Macy a pair of Emmys in 2003). I love the process of creating with Steven. It’s that part of knowing the beginning, middle and end and then putting in all of the connective tissue that I find such a joy. And I have to say, I love television. I truly believe we’re in a golden age right now. One reason for it is that audiences … demand surprises and love good writing and insist upon it. With the demise of the indie film market, TV is really now the place to be.”

(Creator/star of HBO’s comedy Girls, the 26-year-old also wrote and directed the majority of episodes)
“People probably think I’m a control freak. But honestly, since I come out of an independent film background, multi-tasking is just what I do.” (She excuses herself to tell a cab driver to turn right.) “My head is just naturally in a million places. But the reason I direct is, if I’ve written the material I’m probably the best person to be in charge of getting my message across. … The key is just surrounding yourself with people who will be totally honest with you, from the DP to the producers to the costume designer. … The fact is, making a movie is making a movie. It’s easier to do it with 55 people than with six people. But the challenges and joys remain the same.”

(Star of Showtime’s comedy Californication, directed the series episode “The Way Of The Fist”)
“It’s easier to direct myself on the show than in a movie, because at this point I pretty much understand my character and his motivations. But I see acting and directing as very much connected. It’s all making entertainment and telling stories. But sometimes I have to push myself to stay in the moment while directing. I tend to get very excited when other actors are doing well and forget that I’m actually in the scene with them. I’ll quietly start to celebrate on the inside that they nailed it, and it’s tough to stay focused myself. But when someone does something surprising or wonderful in a scene you’re directing, well, this business doesn’t get any better than that.”

(Regular on AMC’s drama Mad Men, directed the series episode “Signal 30”)
“It’s such a different experience from being merely one of the players. You’re really the one who’s responsible for telling the story. Matt (Weiner) has a very specific view of the show and an idea of what he wants, and he translates that to you. I know he has the reputation for being controlling, but he wants you as the director to put your stamp on it. And I just love directing. It takes considerably more time than does acting alone. But it also allows you to see how you are, warts and all, which is a good thing. It helps you to get over yourself: the way you look, the way you stand, the way you speak. You just become another element that you’re editing. That’s ultimately a good thing for your self-image.

Virtual Elvis Presley To Be Created For Film, TV And Show Appearaces

From the makers of the virtual Tupac Shakur, who “appeared” at the Coachella Valley Music Festival, comes virtual Elvis Presley. CORE Media Group (formerly CKx), which owns the Presley brand, has signed a deal with digital production company Digital Domain Media Group to develop, produce and own a series of “virtual” Elvis Presley likenesses for entertainment projects – shows and appearances to film, TV and multi-platform productions throughout the world.

“This is a new and exciting way to bring the magic and music of Elvis Presley to life,” said Elvis Presley Enterprises President and CEO, Jack Soden. The companies have already begun work on the virtual Elvis Presley likenesses.

Morgan Freeman on Inventing God, Aliens Eating Us, and His Odds of Survival in 'The Dark Knight Rises'

Morgan Freeman exudes gravitas. He has played the president and God. His name is almost synonymous with authority.

So as he patiently explains that aliens might be traveling to Earth to eat us, you can't help but feel a little nervous.

The man-eating alien scenario is just one of the possibilities Freeman explores with his Science series "Through the Wormhole," returning for its third season tonight. Each episode addresses a different question about the universe, no matter how difficult or contentious. Tonight's premiere, for example, is titled, "Is There a Superior Race?"

We asked the Oscar winner, 75, his thoughts on that and other questions upcoming shows will address, including, "Did We Invent God?" and "Can We Eliminate Evil?"

We also asked about a certain evil eliminator for whom he plays inventor-in-chief in "The Dark Knight Rises." He surprised us by answering very directly when asked if his character survives the upcoming film.

You're asked to do projects like "Through the Wormhole" because have such an authoritative presence. Is that something you aspired to as a young actor?

Freeman: Oh heavens no. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. When I was a young actor I just set out to get work. Like the rest of us.

What drew you to answering life's big questions?

I think I just fall into a huge pot of people who are fascinated with what's out there. I used to read a lot of science fiction... particularly that of Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein and some other very interesting people, and they came up with thoughts about what's possible on Earth.

I was hoping to ask for your personal answers to some of the questions raised in upcoming episodes. The season premiere asks, "Is there a superior race?" I'm not sure if that refers to an alien race or races on Earth.

We discuss the idea of a superior race coming here. Professor Michio Kaku has an interesting discussion on it. Intelligence apparently requires an enormous amount of protein. Which is why we eat meat. Instead of being vegetarians. We have this enormous brain capacity.

Suppose a superior race did come from outer space and land here. It would need a food supply because if they were superior, they would have an even larger brain than we do. So we might -- might -- qualify as sustenance.

Do you think that meat-eating humans are smarter than vegetarian humans?

Ehhh. You don't want to get me in trouble here. ... I don't know. The question is evolutionary. Whoever is a vegetarian today, they didn't evolve as vegetarians. They became vegetarians.

Another question from the show: Can we eliminate evil?

No. You cannot. Because if you eliminate evil you'll also eliminate good.

What is evil?

Evil is the opposite of good. Like up is the opposite of down, left is the opposite of right. You only have one because you have the other.

You don't play a lot of villains, but do you think there are villains? Because we always hear that villains don't think that they're villains.

I think that there is balance in the universe. And these questions are the questions of balance.

This next question may be the hardest, and I'm especially curious about your answer because you've played God, and had to guess how God would act...

Well, I need to play the devil now, to balance it out. [Laughs.]

Did we invent God?


So there isn't a God up in the sky somewhere. We came up with God ourselves.

Well, here's a scientific question: Has anybody ever seen hard evidence? What we get is theories from our earlier prophets. Now, people who think that God invented us think that the Earth can't be more than 6,000 years old. So I guess it's a question of belief. My belief system doesn't support a creator as such, as we can call God, who created us in His/Her/Its image.

Would you consider yourself an atheist, or agnostic?

It's a hard question because as I said at the start, I think we invented God. So if I believe in God, and I do, it's because I think I'm God.

Of the questions you ask on the show, which one was the closest to you? What did you think about the most?

Travel. The idea of travel. That incorporates two or three different questions. One is how long can we live? Is it possible for us to extend our lifespan into, I don't know, not infinity, but let's say a thousand years? If we could, the idea of space travel would become much more plausible.

Would you like to live a thousand years?

Absolutely. ... You're just satisfying your curiosity. Imagine if you could live for a thousand years. Considering that -- when did the Wright Brothers fly? In the next 200 years, what will we be doing?

Do you think we'll still be going to movie theaters and watching TV?

I could foresee holograms in your living room.

One of the big questions in my little universe: Will your character, Lucius Fox, make it out of the "Dark Knight Rises" alive?


How does it feel to be done with the Batman series?

I don't see it so much as being done with it. It's the end of a chapter, that's all.

The third season of Science's "Through the Wormhole" premieres tonight at 10/9 c.

News Corp. Buying ESPN's Stake in Asian Joint Venture, ESPN Star Sports

News Corp. will buy out ESPN's 50 percent equity stakes in ESPN Star Sports, their Asian joint venture, the companies announced Wednesday.

No terms were disclosed. The companies have jointly managed ESS for 16 years.

The companies also announced that Manu Sawhney, managing director of ESS, will transition his role to Peter Hutton, currently senior vice president of sports for FOX International Channels. Hutton will report to the ESS Board.  Sawhney will stay with the Company until Aug. 31.

“News Corporation's acquisition of the interest of ESS that we did not already own continues the program of simplifying our operating model, consolidating our affiliate ownership structures, and furthers our commitment to delivering incredible sports programming to consumers across the globe, and particularly enhancing our position in sports programming in emerging markets,” said James Murdoch, deputy chief operating officer and chairman and CEO international of News Corporation.

“We are extremely proud of our role in building ESS into what it is today, and now with the growing digital landscape in Asia, we look forward to continuing to serve Asian sports fans through ESPN-branded digital businesses like ESPNCricinfo, the leading digital cricket brand in the world, ESPNFC and ESPN Mobile,” said John Skipper, president of ESPN and co-chairman of Disney Media Networks.