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vrijdag 4 januari 2013

'Hawaii Five-0' to Run Choose-Your-Own-Ending Episode

Tired of those elitist television writers crafting episode endings that don't go the way you want them to? (We're looking at you, "Sopranos" finale!) "Hawaii Five-0" feels your pain.

In a television first, the hit CBS drama will bring democracy to the airwaves with its Jan. 14 episode and allow viewers to vote for the ending of their choice in real time.

The episode, which will center on the death of an O'ahu State University professor, will prompt viewers to log onto or Twitter to cast their votes for three different suspects when each suspect's motive is revealed. The most popular ending is the one that will air at the end of the episode. (Separate votes will be held for the East/Central and Pacific time zone broadcasts.)

“I've always felt the most fun aspect of watching a mystery is trying to figure out ‘whodunit,’” executive producer Peter Lenkov said of the groundbreaking endeavor.  “Now the 'Hawaii Five-0' viewers will actually get the chance to tell us who they think committed the crime and we will listen. I love that our dedicated and attentive fans will actually play a part in resolving our story.”

All three endings will be aired after broadcast on, so you can see if you made the right decision.

Warner Bros. TV Partially Settles 'Smallville' Lawsuit Over Vertical Integration Issues

A lawsuit filed by the writers and executive producers of the hit series "Smallville" against Warner Bros. Television and various other Time Warner entities has been partially settled, a spokesman for Warner Bros. Television told TheWrap on Thursday.

Warner Bros. Television has reached a settlement agreement with "Smallville" executive producers Mike Tollin, Brian Robbins and their Tollin/Robbins Productions, the spokesman said.

However, the claims by "Smallville" writers/executive producers Miles Milllar and Alfred Gough still remain. Those claims have been set for trial on June 10.

In the suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court in 2010, Tollin, Robbins, Millar and Gough claimed that they had been deprived of tens of millions of dollars of profit from the series, which ran from 2001 to 2011 on the WB and, later the CW.

The plaintiffs alleged that "vertical integration" of media companies -- when one umbrella company controls the production, creation and distribution of content -- was to blame for the alleged losses. According to the complaint, Warner Bros. Television engaged in "self-dealing" by "systematically short-changing" the show at the expense of the plaintiffs but to the benefit of parent company Time Warner. (In this case, Time Warner also controlled the rights to the Superman character, who the series was based on through its ownership of DC Comics.)

Time Warner, Warner Bros. Entertainment, the CW, WB Communications, and the WB Television Network Partners were also named in the suit.

The suit alleged that Warner Bros. Television licensed the program to its affiliate companies for an amount less than the show could have fetched, starting with the placement of the series with the Time Warner Bros.-owned WB, when "it should have licensed the Series to a major network, where the Series would have benefited from a major network's marketing resources and audience share and would have earned larger license fees for Warner Bros. Television, higher ratings, greater public awareness, and increased syndication revenues."

The complaint also claimed that Warner Bros. Television sold "Smallville" in foreign markets as part of a package with less-successful shows, further devaluing the series, among other allegations.

Tom Daley: 'You'll be surprised by celebrities on Splash!'

Tom Daley has revealed that he was "surprised" by some of the celebrities taking part in Splash!.

The Olympic bronze medallist is mentoring a group of stars in the upcoming ITV reality show, who will attempt a series of high dives each week.

Talking about the celebrities taking part - including the likes of Omid Djalili and Jade Ewen - he told Daybreak: "You're gonna be surprised, the people you wouldn't think are very good, actually are.

"I don't think they realised how hard the ten-metre board was. TV doesn't give the perspective of how high it is. It is the height of two double decker buses and half a car. If you imagine standing on that, it does get a bit scary."

On his new role of coaching beginners, he said: "It's possible to teach people to dive, you'll be surprised how much you learn in one session. [In the show] you have to get them to a certain standard to do one dive."

When asked how he has managed to get his toned physique, he said: "If you spend six days a week and about five hours a day in the gym doing diving, you start to develop muscle."

Speaking about his future plans, he added: "I'd love to upgrade the colour of my medal in Rio [in 2016].

"In theory I could do up to five [Olympics], because my synch partner in the games was 30, and by 30 that'll be my fifth Olympic Games.

"I'll be 22 in 2016 which will be my peak [age] so 2016 and 2020 might be my final two games."

Tom Daley recently said that he would like a career in TV presenting after he finishes diving.

Jedward tease new 'Big Adventure' series: 'It's gonna be Jepic'

Jedward have described the second series of their CBBC TV show as "Jepic".

The Irish duo will return for a new run of Jedward's Big Adventure from Monday (January 7), working as tour guides at some of the UK's most famous landmarks.

Stacey Solomon and Coronation Street actress Catherine Tyldesley will be among the stars who will join the pair in their latest set of challenges.

Jedward must learn facts about their destinations before attempting to show visitors around the tourist spots.

Landmarks will include Somerset's Cheddar Gorge, the Orkney Islands, the Imperial War Museum Duxford in Cambridgeshire and the Thames and Greenwich in London.

"It's an amazing experience filming this show and we can't wait to visit more of the UK's coolest visitor spots," the pair were quoted as saying in The Sun.

"We'll be learning all the facts about each place and we get to wear the craziest costumes.

Doctor Who: 9 things we know about Clara/Oswin

Post-Christmas Special, we’re still barely the wiser about the Doctor’s new companion. Let’s tot up the facts so far…

The soufflé, a delicately baked concoction of egg yolks and whites, is so named for the French verb souffler, meaning to blow or breathe out, is usually made in a ramekin, and was popularised by nineteenth century chef Marie Antonin Carême.

While it’s extremely unlikely that any of the above information will provide a clue to the mystery of the Doctor’s new companion, when it comes to what Jenna-Louise Coleman terms the “mad genius” of Steven Moffat, it’s best to cast your net wide. Ramekins then, blowing things up, and French Revolution-era chefs are all being added to our CSI-style evidence wall of Things We Actually Know about soufflé girl aka Clara Oswald Oswin aka Oswin.

Here’s what we need answering: what is the connection between Oswin the Dalek and Clara the governess? How is the same woman reappearing at different points in time, memory-less of her past selves? Where and who is her family? What is her link to the Doctor? Was she born behind the clock face of Big Ben? And most importantly, did she invent fish?

9. She’s not the girl who waited

Instead, she’s the girl who pursued - or as the Eleventh Doctor might have it, the “bird who smiled” (we’ll put the Gene Hunt lingo down to his post-Pond humbuggery). No sitting in her red wellies by the garden swing waiting for the Raggedy Doctor for this companion, once she claps eyes on her quarry, it’s a running pursuit, a clamber onto the roof of his carriage, and an upside-down “Doctor Who?”, before the credits have even rolled. A woman of action and hand-grabbing, hang about Clara does not.

8. She lives a double/triple/n-ple life

Before we even wade into the multiple era versions, the Clara we meet in The Snowmen already leads a double life. Initially, we meet her as Clara the barmaid from The Rose & Crown, before she dons a higher neckline, clips her vowels, and becomes Miss Montague, the governess of Darkover House (which, incidentally, seem to have about as much luck with governesses as Hogwarts does with Defence Against The Dark Arts teachers).

Asylum of the Daleks saw Coleman’s character similarly split, though this time as a psychological coping mechanism rather than an act of spirited social climbing. First presented as a shipwrecked Junior Entertainments Officer with a taste for Bizet and baking, it was revealed by the end of the episode that Oswin not only hadn’t evaded capture by the Daleks, but had in fact been transformed into one of them. So that’s at least four identities for the new companion – soufflé girl, Dalek, Barmaid, and Governess, to which we can add the modern day ‘Clara’ glimpsed next to her former self’s headstone in the teaser trailer for coming episodes.

7. She’s curious

In The Snowmen, Clara’s first remark to the Doctor is a question, and the inquisitiveness continues from then on in. The one-word reason she gives Vastra for seeking out the Doctor? Curiosity, the prerequisite of any Who companion worth their salt.

Like Astrid Peth before her, Oswin joined the crew of a starship to see the universe only to fall at her first voyage, but unlike Astrid, Oswin - or at least a version of her - is about to get a second (or third, or fourth?) chance.

6. She’s quick on the uptake

Add the ability to psychically melt a horde of snowmen (collective noun for a group of snowmen? A herd? A gaggle? A Frosty?) to the “total screaming genius” who erased the Doctor from the pathweb in Asylum of the Daleks, and we’re left with the distinct impression that Clara/Oswin is one smart cookie.

Of late, the Doctor’s companions have come to knowledge and understanding during their time in the TARDIS, - Donna’s transformation from vapid Chat Magazine-reader to the Doctor Donna was an accelerated example – but Clara/Oswin seems to have hit the ground running, if you'll excuse the er, unfortunate turn of phrase.

5. She’s brave

In terms of unflappability, compare Alice the housemaid’s reaction to meeting Vastra, Jenny, Strax, and the – I’m going for herd – herd of snowmen to Clara’s excited, wide-eyed absorption of the alien world in which she finds herself. This Victorian heroine is no hysterical fainting lady. “What’s wrong with dangerous?”. Indeed.

The character’s bravery is accompanied by a streak of independence so wide it could be seen from space (should come in handy, that), which means that Clara isn’t much one for following orders. “The governess should enter by the back door unless accompanied by the children”, “Don’t follow me”, “Stay in there” and  “Don’t come looking for me, forget about me” are just some of the instructions Clara neglects to heed in The Snowmen.

4. She’s a terrible flirt

By which I mean that she’s extremely good at it. In Asylum of the Daleks, Oswin’s dialogue is peppered with flirtation, from teasing the Doctor and Rory about their respective chin and nose, to telling Rory he shared a name with the first boy she ever fancied (a self-confessed lie, it was Nina - she was going through a phase).

Clara’s saucy looks to both Alice and Vastra in The Snowmen indicate that it might be more than just a Sapphic ‘phase’ her iteration of the character is going through, though that full-on Doctor snog and cheeky moment on the ladder could suggest otherwise… Either way, both Clara and Oswin are weapons-grade flirts.

3. The Doctor doesn’t save her. Twice.

The series new episode teaser trailer said it: she’s "the woman twice-dead". That’s one death on an exploded asylum planet post Dalek-transformation, and one gravity based demise, both of which the Doctor fails to save her from.

2. Clara was born on the 23rd of November

Which, as eagle-eyed viewers have pointed out, is the date that Doctor Who first premiered on the BBC 49-and-a-bit years ago, back in 1963. What was it that the Doctor tells Amy in The Pandorica Opens? Never ignore a coincidence, unless Steven Moffat put it in, in which case he's probably just messing with us (not the Doctor's exact words, but you get the gist).

We’re privy to the date of Clara Oswin Oswald’s birth thanks to her headstone which also bears the inscription “Remember me, for we shall meet again”. This pithy little motto recalls the many appearances of the ‘remember’ motif in this and recent episodes. We saw snow and ice that remembers, and the memory worm in the Christmas Special. The Doctor instructed Amy and Rory in Asylum of the Daleks to “make them remember you”, and Oswin instructed the Doctor (twice) to “run, run you clever boy, and remember". So here's another question to add to our growing list: who chipped that cunning, theme-tying-in message on Clara's headstone?

1. She’s not possible

But then again, neither was that astronaut.

To quote another character Steven Moffat has taken onto his roster in recent years, “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth”. That might work for flappy-coated rationalists, but it certainly doesn’t apply to the world of Doctor Who, a universe where we're asked to believe at least six impossible things before breakfast.

Vince Gilligan on the Breaking Bad finale

Breaking Bad showrunner Vince Gilligan has said a few words on the forthcoming finale to AMC's celebrated drama...

There’s a distinct concern in the world of TV criticism that, should Vince Gilligan and co. sustain the current superlative quality of Breaking Bad in the show’s final instalments, there just aren’t going to be enough celebratory adjectives to describe it. Faced with eight episodes of yet more poised, smart, beautifully acted brilliance from Breaking Bad, critics will become dumbfounded, able only to signal their appreciation via a series of seal-like barks and Angus Young-style convulsive floor spins.

It’s fair to say then, that the pressure is on for Gilligan and his team. Here’s what the showrunner had to say about writing the lead-up to Breaking Bad’s finale:

On not having figured out the ending early on:

“I had this strange confidence in the beginning that I had an idea [for the ending] that was sound. But I look back at the life of the series and realize I cycled through so many possible endings, it would be disingenuous to say I had always had it figured out. It has evolved in the last five years and probably has some evolving left to do… I read interviews with showrunners all the time who say, ‘I know exactly where this thing is headed.’ I always find that very interesting, and I don’t doubt them for a minute. It’s just I can’t see my way clear to do that because the characters in Breaking Bad are in a state of constant change by design […] When a character will be a different person five or six or ten or sixteen episodes from now, it’s hard to predict the future.”

On Casablanca’s “perfect” ending:

“No one gets everything they wanted. The guy doesn’t get the girl, but he has the satisfaction of knowing she wants him. And he doesn’t get her because he has to save the free world. What better ending is there than that? […] We’re looking for that kind of satisfaction.”

On whether the finale will reflect the opening episode:

“Are there echoes of the beginning that we should have in the end? There’s a certain kind of circularity that might be pleasing. We think a lot about that, in fact.”

On providing conclusions for supporting characters:

“Sometimes it’s hard to give them all their due and make them all wrap up beautifully. That’s another big fear I have [...] I like to think of Saul as a cockroach in the best possible way. This is a guy who’s going to survive while the rest of us have been nuked into annihilation. He’ll be the worst-dressed cockroach in the world.”

On whether we can expect more from Breaking Bad after the finale:

“Rightly or wrongly, there will be a conclusive ending. Our story from the beginning has been designed to be close-ended. It’s very much designed to have a beginning, middle, and end and then to exist no more.”

Rylan Clark, Frankie Dettori select celebs to live in CBB basement

Celebrity Big Brother kicked off on Thursday night with Frankie Dettori and Rylan Clark splitting the other housemates into two groups.

One group of housemates were sent into the luxury house, and the others were sent into a dilapidated basement.

After Dettori and Clark were introduced to the house, they were sent to the Diary Room where they watched videos of the entering housemates in pairs while they looked on outside with presenter Brian Dowling. Big Brother then asked them a "cruel" question which would determine which housemate went where.

First up were supermodel Paula Hamilton and Heartbeat star Tricia Penrose, and Clark and Dettori were asked who they thought would be more irritating. They chose to keep Penrose in the luxury house after Clark claimed that she seemed like "a right laugh".

Next up were Neighbours star Ryan Moloney and former EastEnders actress Gillian Taylforth. Big Brother asked who Clark and Dettori thought was the most fake. Declining to answer the question, the pair thought that Moloney would deal with the conditions in the basement better.

Corrie star Sam Robertson and glamour model Lacey Banghard were next in, and Big Brother asked the judging pair who they thought "loved themselves more". They chose Robertson, after Dettori claimed that he seemed "cocky".

Former Steps star Clare Richards and Neil 'Razor' Ruddock were next in, and Clark and Dettori were asked who they thought had the bigger ego. Both Ruddock and Dettori acknowledged some shared history, and Dettori sent him down after saying: "I met him in his heyday...he had a big ego then."

Finally, Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt from MTV's The Hills were introduced, and Clark and Dettori were given the option of either sending them both down to the basement, or sending themselves down. The pair sent the reality show duo down to the basement with little hesitation.

'Jersey Shore' JWoww films bottom, denies NYE wardrobe malfunction

Jersey Shore star JWoww has filmed her bottom in an attempt to prove that an image from New Year's Eve was Photoshopped.

JWoww - whose real name is Jenni Farley - hosted MTV's New Year's Eve celebrations from Times Square with her co-star Snooki.

However, an image later circulated appearing to show her accidentally flashing her bottom because she was wearing a short dress.

JWoww has now uploaded two videos to her Keek account in an attempt to prove that the picture had been doctored.

"It's come to my attention that there's a picture of my derriere going around that looks pretty vile, pretty disgusting," she said. "And to prove this picture wrong I decided to video my buttocks, because you can't Photoshop a video."

She went on to show off the side view, adding: "You should have [seen] the tattoo", before bending over to show her "butt".

"And FYI, I do not pull a Britney Spears and don't wear underwear," JWoww continued. "I forever wear underwear. So whoever Photoshopped that, at least you could have put some drawers on me and at least you could have added my tattoo.

"Jesus, what do you think I look like? I know this is not Victoria's Secret, but it is mine and it took a lot of doughnuts and cheeseburgers to get this, so FU photographer and all the outlets that actually think that's my ass."

JWoww posted links to the videos from her Twitter page, joking: "I even wore my New Year's heels so u can see the same angle."

She later added: "I'm enjoying this way to much (sic)."

Utopia: Trailer For New Channel 4 Drama

Looking at the official synopsis Channel 4’s new drama Utopia (see beneath the trailer) it’s looks like the show may not strictly speaking be an SF show. But the trailer has “cult TV” written all over it, and it does concern a graphic novel, so it’s sort of in our area even if it does just turn out to be an urban thriller. Oh, and it’s got him from Misfits in it…

On the other hand an earlier press release from last summer about the casting of the show mentioned that the graphic novel in question, the eponymous Utopia, was “about a scientist who makes a deal with the Devil and whose pages are rumoured to have predicted the worst disasters of the last century.”

Anyway, take a gander and let us know what you think.

Dennis Kelly’s enigmatic thriller Utopia centres around The Utopia Experiments, a legendary graphic novel shrouded in mystery. When a small group of previously unconnected people who have met on a forum, find themselves in possession of an original manuscript of the fabled book, their lives suddenly and brutally implode, relentlessly pursued by a shadowy unit called The Network who will stop at nothing, to keep its origin and meaning secret. Whilst three of the forum members – Ian, an I.T. dropout, Becky, a student, and Wilson, a conspiracy theorist – meet in the pub, another is confronted and killed by two Network henchmen.

The only witness to the murder is the 11-year-old Grant – the fifth forum member – and when he flees with the manuscript, the henchmen give chase. Unable to return home, Grant finds himself alone. Elsewhere, Ian and Becky find themselves set-up for crimes they have not committed, and Wilson’s hacking skills attract the attention of Network henchmen Arby and Lee. Will he be able to escape their grip before it is too late?

As the trio’s lives begin to fracture, the world of civil servant Michael Dugdale is also torn apart as he is blackmailed by The Network over his affair with a prostitute. Just as things are looking increasingly desperate for Ian, Becky and Wilson, they come face to face with an enigmatic stranger who claims to offer them a way out.

Paul Higgins (In the Loop, The Thick of It), Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Misfits), Alexandra Roach (The Iron Lady) and Neil Maskell (Kill List) head up the cast, which also includes James Fox (A Passage to India, Performance), Geraldine James (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) Simon McBurney (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Fiona O’ Shaughnessy (Outcast, Malice, Aforethought), Adeel Akhtar (The Dictator, Four Lions), Oliver Woollford (Blackout) and Michael Smiley (Kill List) who find themselves embroiled in a cult conspiracy theory turned terrifyingly real in this brand-new six-part drama series.

Sky Deutschland Ends Feud With Deutsche Telekom

German pay TV group Sky Deutschland, in which Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. owns about 50 percent, capped what has been a turnaround year with a deal to begin carriage on its main rival - Deutsche Telekom's IPTV service Entertain.

Sky Deutschland Stock Rises on Talk That News Corp. Could Boost Stake

The agreement, announced Friday, will see Sky Deutschland's entire pay-TV offering made available to Telekom's Entertain subscribers starting this summer. It is the first time Entertain, Germany's leading IPTV operation, will carry Sky, Germany's premier pay-TV service.

Telekom had tried to position Entertain, which is piped directly to Telekom's broadband customers, as an alternative to Sky and had siphoned off some of Sky's pay-TV subscribers. The teleco giant was a deep-pocketed bidder for rights to Germany's Bundesliga soccer, Sky's premiere programming asset. But Sky, in which Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. holds a 49.9 percent stake, shut out Telekom with a bold $2.5 billion (€1.94 billion) deal last April to take all pay, web-TV and IPTV rights to Bundesliga games for the 2013-2017 seasons.

The deal left Telekom with little choice but to deal with Sky, or give up its soccer-mad subscribers accustomed to streaming Bundesliga matches on Entertain.

The final agreement will see Sky and Telekom cooperate for the length of the Bundesliga deal – from mid-2013 through mid-2017. Both companies will coordinate their marketing for Sky's services on Entertain.

It's another feather in the cap of Sky Deutschland CEO Brian Sullivan, who has proved doubters wrong by showing that it is possible to make money in German pay-TV. Sullivan ended 2012 with two straight profitable quarters after years of losses. Investors have embraced the long-suffering broadcaster. Sky Deutschland was the top gainer among European entertainment stocks last year as its shares nearly tripled to $5.45 (€4.13).

Buckwild: TV Review

The series meets all low-bar expectations, but fails to provide sufficient entertainment along the way. MTV's hillbilly-sploitation show is shocking! (But only because it's a bore.)

The world didn't end in 2012, but something died within us all when the series Buckwild was conceived.  The controversial new MTV show, the very idea for which was already ripped apart by this publication,  follows a slew of wild, drunken West Virginians in their late teens and early 20s. The series takes over The Jersey Shore's old timeslot and has been called a cross between that show and TLC's Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.
The comparison is incorrect, though: Buckwild is far worse than the sum of the others' parts. Not only is it another tired portrayal of Southern stereotypes, but it's also inexcusably poorly executed. The six girls and three boys (trouble is sure to brew with those odds) stumble through and stiffly carry out their force-fed cues. But it doesn't matter too much, since most of what they say is drowned out by jump cuts and montages set to peppy pop music that almost makes it seem like a dumptruck party would be worth participating in. Almost. Not really.

While the girls of the group act like they're on The Hills: Hillbilly Edition, the boys are constantly engaged in Jackass-type stunts that seem to prove definitively that a Darwinian thinning of the genetic pool is not a bad thing.
"Almost all of my neighbors are my cousins!" Shain, the most gutturally thick-accented of the bunch, says proudly. He says he has to go into town to "get his flirt on." One would hope.

Shain actually has a job (hauling trash, which he loves), as do a few of the cast members (such as working at the spark-plug plant), but that aspect is almost completely ignored in favor of cringe-worthy, boring, manufactured drama within the group. Most confusing of all is the presence of Salwa, who is Bengali (though fully American-Southern), not because she is Bengali, but because she's 23. This older group member teaches the younger ones wise ways, such as how to jump off of a roof topless for $100, only to find the boys have no money. Naturally.
In the first two of what will be a 12-episode series, the gang throws an "F the Neighborhood Party" and promptly gets evicted, moving locales to a huge, isolated house in the boondocks of the state (which surely wasn't a producer's ploy at all). Without the prying eyes and 9-1-1 calls of neighbors, the boys and girls live out the dream of most teenagers: to be away from parental supervision, soaked in alcohol, and engaged in plenty of sex with rotating partners (in other people's beds, a key fighting point for Anna, who seems to love fighting in general. "That's so awkward," her friend Katie says unhelpfully).

Buckwild is everything that MTV wants, and it's everything people will expect, which is exactly what makes it so useless. It adds nothing. It's not shocking, it's not interesting, and it's not quite crazy enough to become part of the zeitgeist. There's nothing about these young rednecks that is particular to West Virginia, either, as much as any other state would surely deny it. These are just kids gone wild (though no wilder than you'd find in any college town).

The biggest problem is, we've seen it all before.

Jennifer Metcalfe pulls out of Splash! after Samia Ghadie affair rumours

Jennifer Metcalfe has quit new celebrity diving show Splash! after a week of dodging rumours about her love life.

ITV has confirmed the Hollyoaks actress has left the reality programme after her well-documented split with Dancing on Ice skater Sylvain Longchambon.

The 29-year-old star has been facing rumours that her ex Longchambon - who last week allegedly dumped her over the telephone - has feelings for his new celebrity partner Samia Ghadie.

Metcalfe - who met Longchambon when she was performing on the show in 2011 - was thought to be distraught on being dumped and hearing of the Coronation Street star's new friendship with her ex.

It's believed she doesn't want to go head-to-head in a reality TV war or be seen as a "Samia copycat" by appearing in her bikini, although ITV has not explained why she chose to leave.

Metcalfe is thought to be gearing up for a showdown with her actress rival at the National Television Awards at the end of the month.

Bill O'Reilly, National Geographic Team Up Again for 'Killing Kennedy' Movie

Bill O'Reilly and National Geographic Channel are back in the assassination game.

Following its film adaptation of Fox News personality O'Reilly's book "Killing Lincoln," the National Geographic Channel will produce a two-hour film based on O'Reilly's follow-up book, "Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot," the channel's president, Howard T. Owens, said Thursday.

As it did with "Killing Lincoln," National Geographic will team with Ridley Scott's Scott Free Productions to produce the new film.

Production on the project will begin this spring, with casting news to be announced shortly. According to National Geographic Channel, the film will combine "rare historical insights and archives with dramatic and emotionally engaging storytelling."

"Killing Kennedy," which was co-authored with Martin Dugard and published in October, explores President John F. Kennedy's 1963 assassination in Dallas, and how his death helped to propel America into the Vietnam War era and spark a deep cultural change in the nation.

Gerard Depardieu's Next Tax-Dodging Stop: Russia?

Actor Gerard Depardieu, who's been battling  a tax hike on millionaires that's been proposed in his native France, could be moving to Russia soon.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has granted the "Green Card" star citizenship, according to a statement released by the Kremlin on Thursday.

"In accordance with Article 89(a) of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the President ordered to satisfy an application for citizenship of the Russian Federation by Gerard Xavier Depardieu, who was born in 1948 in France," the statement reads.

Depardieu set up residency in a Belgian town bordering on France in late 2012, has publicly slammed a tax hike proposed by the French government's that would increase the tax rate on earnings over $1 million to 75 percent from its current 41 percent.

Even if the tax hike fails to go through, Depardieu could stand to make out much better by switching his residency to Russia, which has a flat 13-percent tax rate.
"I have never killed anyone, I don't think I've been unworthy, I've paid €145 million (about $190 million) in taxes over 45 years," Depardieu seethed in an open letter to French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault in December.

Ayrault had previously slammed the actor as "pathetic" for his protest of the tax hike. Depardieu has countered, "I will neither complain nor brag, but I refuse to be called 'pathetic.'"

It is unclear whether Depardieu, 64, will take Putin up on his offer or whether Depardieu requested citizenship; a representative for the actor did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Glenn Beck: Al Gore Wouldn't Sell Current to Me, Chose Buyer That 'Hates America'

Glenn Beck says Al Gore refused to consider selling him Current TV before selling the channel to Al Jazeera, a network that Beck says "hates America."

Current TV announced Wednesday that it had been sold to Al Jazeera, the network financed by Qatar. It plans to shut down Current's lineup of liberal-skewing news and talk in favor of its own programming.

After the Wall Street Journal reported that Gore turned away interest from Beck last year, Beck took to the airwaves Thursday to offer his side of the story. He said his negotiators approached Current about buying the network in order to get Beck's network, Blaze TV, into the 60 million U.S. homes reached by Current.

Beck said his people were told that the former vice president would have to be consulted on the possibility. Beck's negotiators received a callback within 15 minutes, Beck said.

“Yeah, umm‑umm, no, not even interested," Beck paraphrased the Current representatives as telling his people. "We -- our legacy is too important and there would quite frankly be too many people, too many friends that the vice president would have to explain why he’s selling to Glenn Beck.”

Instead, Current opted to sell to Al Jazeera, which Beck characterized Thursday as "a Qatar government outlet that ran every terrorist video and hates America."

Al Jazeera has long struggled to reach American viewers, and has stressed its journalistic integrity and independence from Qatar. But that position has sometimes been undermined by allegations that the Qatari royal family has meddled in its coverage.

An Al Jazeera spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

The New York Times reported that Current was sold for $500 million. Beck said that at the time his people approached Current, he believed the price would be around $250 million.

But he never got to the offer stage, Beck said, because "we were not allowed to the table."

"He didn’t sell to the highest bidder. He looked for, who do I ideologically align with," Beck said of Gore. "The vice president of the United States of America tells you that he is more ideologically aligned with Al‑Jazeera than an American broadcaster who believes in America, just doesn’t believe in what he does, believes that America is a good place, that America is ‑‑ has a bright future ahead of it if we just do the right thing, a guy who believes that global warming is nonsense."

Development Update: The 4th of January

AFTER HOURS (NBC) - Jill Flint ("Royal Pains") has booked the female lead on the drama pilot, about the graveyard shift in the ER at San Antonio Medical Center. She'll play Dr. Jordan Santos, "T.C.'s (Eoin Macken) ex-girlfriend, now engaged to someone else; recently promoted to Chief of the Night Shift, Jordan is ready to prove her worth, all while trying to placate the hospital administrator (Freddy Rodriguez) and keep a rogue T.C. in check." Brigid Brannagh, Jeananne Goossen, Ken Leung and Robert Bailey, Jr. also star in the Sony Pictures Television-based hour, which Pierre Morel is directing from a script by Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah. (

I DIDN'T DO IT (Disney, New!) - Tod Himmel ("90210") and Josh Silverstein ("So Random!") have snagged a pilot order at the cable channel for a new comedy about "a pair of twins and their 'he said/she said' tales, with stories told in reverse chronology." Production on the pilot is set to begin in January with Himmel as an executive producer and Silverstein as a supervising producer. (

MAISON CLOSE (HBO, New!) - Elizabeth Sarnoff ("Alcatraz") is spearheading a domestic take on the French drama, about "three women working at a luxury brothel in 1871 Paris, who get together to try to free themselves from prostitution." Closest to the Hole Productions' Mark Wahlberg and Leverage Management's Stephen Levinson are executive producing the hour alongside Sarnoff with Neo Productions' Jacques Ouaniche - creator of the original Canal Plus series - serving as a co-executive producer. (

MOTHER'S DAY (CBS, New!) - Julie Rottenberg and Elisa Zuritsky ("Smash") are looking to import the Israeli comedy, about 40-year-old Ella "who, in order to successfully navigate through the demanding life of being a mother of three, lover, friend and career woman, constantly lies her way out of and into situations, little lies, big lies, white and at times not so white lies." CBS Television Studios is behind the project, with Keshet's Avi Nir and Ran Telem executive producing alongside the duo as well as original series creators Daniela London-Dekel and Dana Eden. (

DARKNET (USA, New!) - Rene Balcer ("Law & Order") has sold a new drama to the cable channel about "a couple of cyber-crime investigators - an MIT grad whose younger sister disappeared years ago and a former hacktivist who was recruited by the FBI after serving time in jail - who stumble across a far-reaching conspiracy to change the course of human evolution." Universal Cable Productions is behind the hour, with Kapital Entertainment's Aaron Kaplan executive producing alongside Balcer. (

LAUGHS UNLIMITED (HBO, New!) - Director Oren Moverman ("Rampart") and author Anthony Swofford ("Jarhead") are developing a drama at the pay channel about Billie Crown, "an Army medic who returns from serving a tour in Afghanistan only to find that her husband is divorcing her and taking custody of their daughter" and must now hide "her PTSD from family and colleagues so she can be reinstated as a Sacramento police officer, and so she can reconnect with her daughter." The Donners Company's Lauren Shuler Donner and Jack Leslie as well as Jennifer Beals and Adena Chawke are executive producing the project - the title of which refers to "a comedy club where Billie and her fellow cops hang out to relax and blow off steam" - alongside said duo. (

LOVE THY NEIGHBOR/THE HAVES AND THE HAVE NOTS (OWN) - The cable channel has detailed its two proposed series from multi-hyphenate Tyler Perry. First up is "Love Thy Neighbor," a multi-camera comedy set at Love's Diner, "where every day the menu serves up good food, great laughs, valuable life lessons and a lot of love for its zany neighbors." The second is "The Haves and the Have Nots," a drama about "the dynamics of the affluent Cyrer family and the impoverished family of their housekeeper, Hanna, and the obstacles and secrets that exist within both." Perry will write, direct and executive produce both efforts via his Tyler Perry Studios banner. (

OFFICE, THE (NBC) - In a video on his Facebook page, co-star Rainn Wilson revealed the show's final season will run for 24 episodes, capping the series at exactly 200 episodes. Said run - previously indicated to be 22 episodes - includes the now aborted backdoor pilot episode "The Farm," the fifth installment shot this season. (

SUPER FUN NIGHT (ABC) - Kelen Coleman ("The Newsroom") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about three nerdy female friends (Lauren Ash, Liza Lapira and creator Rebel Wilson) on a quest to have super fun every Friday night. She'll play Felicity Vanderstone, "a successful professional who serves as a role model and inspiration to Wilson's character," a role originated by Anna Camp in the original CBS version. Warner Bros. Television and Conaco Productions are co-producing. (

UNTITLED HATFIELDS & MCCOYS PROJECT (History, New!) - Wild Eyes Productions is developing a reality series at the cable channel featuring the real-life descendants of the Hatfields and the McCoys, the subject of History's blockbuster mini-series. No other details were given. (

CLARENCE (Cartoon Network, New!) - "Adventure Time" storyboard artist Skyler Page has scored a 12-episode order from the cable channel for an animated comedy about "an optimistic boy who wants to do everything because everything is amazing." The quarter-hour series is the result of the shorts development initiative at Cartoon Network Studios this year, which also spawned the upcoming "Steven Universe" and "Uncle Grandpa." (

FLESH & BLOOD (Lifetime, New!) - Nina Colman ("Dr. Dolittle 3") has booked a potential drama at the network about "a girl from the wrong side of the tracks who infiltrates a very powerful New York family." She'll write and presumably executive produce alongside Electus' Ben Silverman and Yellow Brick Road's Teri Weinberg. No studio was indicated. (

RETURNED, THE (ABC, New!) - Jason Mott's upcoming novel, about "a worldwide event in which loved ones return from the dead exactly as they last were in life," is being developed as a drama at the Alphabet. Aaron Zelman ("The Killing") is penning the hour, which will track a family whose dead eight-year-old son inexplicably returns as part of said event. Plan B Entertainment's Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner as well as Brillstein Entertainment Partners' JoAnn Alfano and Jon Liebman are executive producing alongside Zelman for ABC Studios. (,

UNTITLED JOHN LEGUIZAMO PROJECT (ABC) - Chris Sheridan ("Family Guy") has been tapped to co-write the John Leguizamo-led comedy based on the actor/comedian's life as "a husband, father and fish out of water on the upper West Side of New York." ABC Studios and Mandeville Films and Television are behind the single-camera project - which will also feature "his privileged wife, his friends from his life back in the Bronx, his mother and grandfather who try to keep him grounded in his Latin roots, and his own kids who he worries are getting spoiled and losing touch with reality" - with David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and The Collective's Jeff Golenberg executive producing alongside said duo. (

WTF (NBC, New!) - Nina Colman ("Dr. Dolittle 3") has also sold "a dark comedy about four friends whose bad luck suddenly turns into a golden opportunity" to the Peacock. Universal Television is behind the half-hour with Electus' Ben Silverman and Yellow Brick Road's Teri Weinberg executive producing alongside Colman. (

DARCY'S TOWN (Lifetime, New!) - Sheryl J. Anderson ("Charmed") has sold a potential drama to the cable channel billed as "a modern retelling of Jane Austen's literary classic Pride and Prejudice set in a small Virginia town." Jennifer Love Hewitt and Jeanie Bradley's Fedora Films and Cineflix are behind the hour, which Anderson presumably will executive produce alongside said duo. (

DOUBLE DOWN (HBO, New!) - The pay channel has optioned Mark Halperin and John Heilemann's proposed follow up to their book-turned-telefilm "Game Change," this time "an account of this year's presidential election that saw President Barack Obama defeat GOP challenger Mitt Romney." Director Jay Roach and writer Danny Strong are deemed likely to return for the sequel should it move forward. (

JULIET IMMORTAL (ABC Family, New!) - Stacey Jay's young-adult novel - a mash up of William Shakespeare's literary classic in which "Juliet was murdered by her new husband, Romeo, as a sacrifice to ensure his immortality" - is being eyed as a potential drama at the network. Jay herself is penning the hour, which would track Juliet as she is granted eternity and "spends her days fighting her former beloved to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent." (

MOGULS (Bravo, New!) - Screenwriter Charles Randolph ("Love and Other Drugs") and playwright Sharyn Rothstein are developing a new drama at the network about "a media mogul and his family that is described as being similar in tone to Aaron Sorkin's 'The West Wing.'" They'll co-write the hour with Randolph serving as an executive producer alongside Michael Jackson and Rothstein as a supervising producer. No studio was indicated. (

MOM (CBS, New!) - Comedy juggernaut Chuck Lorre has received a pilot production order for a new half-hour about "a newly sober single mom who tries to pull her life together in Napa Valley." Eddie Gorodetsky and Gemma Baker ("Two and a Half Men") co-wrote the multi-camera comedy on spec alongside Lorre and will executive produce for Warner Bros. Television, home to Lorre's recent four-year overall deal. (

RECOVERY ROAD (ABC Family, New!) - Blake Nelson's book, about "a high school girl who finds love at rehab, where she's seeking treatment for a drinking and temper problem, and what happens to the couple once they leave recovery," is likewise being developed as a drama at the cable channel. Craig Piligian's Pilgrim Studios is behind the hour, which is currently searching for a writer. (

WE HATE PAUL REVERE (AMC, New!) - Ethan Sandler and Adrian Wenner ("Whitney") have sold a period comedy to the cable channel about "two brothers living in Colonial Boston who are not fans of local industrialist and activist Paul Revere." No other details were given about the half-hour, which said duo will write and presumably executive produce. (

WEIRD DESK (ABC) - The Alphabet has rescinded its 13-episode straight-to-series order for the drama, about the workings of a clandestine organization "tasked with investigating and solving occurrences of the paranormal, supernatural and sometimes extra-terrestrial." Said decision reportedly was made over concerns production could get up and running in time for a summer bow as well as potential concept overlap with its drama pilot "Marvel's S.H.I.E.L.D." Carl Binder and David N. Titcher were behind the hour, which was set up at ABC Studios and Shaftesbury Films. (

AMERICA'S BEST DANCE CREW (MTV) - The cable channel has pulled the plug on its veteran competition series after seven seasons. "We are grateful to Randy Jackson and Warner Horizon for having brought our audience seven amazing seasons of dance with 'ABDC,' and look forward to more successful and dynamic entertaining collaborations in the future," the network said in a statement. The show's most recent run averaged 1.158 million viewers and a 0.5 rating among adults 18-49, a steep decline from 2011 when it averaged 2.112 million viewers and a 0.9 adults 18-49 rating. (

BRIDGE, THE (FX) - Matthew Lillard ("The Descendants") has boarded the drama pilot, about two detectives from the United States (Diane Kruger) and Mexico (Demián Bichir) who must work together to hunt down a serial killer operating on both sides of the American-Mexican border. He'll recur as Daniel Frye, "a cocky reporter with the El Paso Times whose hard partying ways have taken a toll on his once promising journalism career." Meredith Stiehm and Elwood Reid are behind the hour, which also stars Annabeth Gish, Emily Rios, Ted Levine and Thomas M. Wright. (

JANE WHITEFIELD (A.K.A. VANISHING ACT) (The CW) - Thomas Perry's "Vanishing Act" book series - about "a quirky young woman in search of her biological parents and her own identity who runs a private investigation/eraser company in Portland" - is now being developed as a drama by the netlet. Natalie Chaidez is penning the hour, which is set up at the CBS Television Studios-based Carol Mendelsohn Productions. Mendelsohn and Julie Weitz - who previously set up the project at CBS in October 2010 with Craig Sweeny as the writer - then will executive produce alongside Perry, Chaidez and Bob Wunsch. (

STALKERS (Lifetime) - Mena Suvari and Henry Simmons have both landed roles on the backdoor pilot movie, about Diane Harper (Drea de Matteo), a hot-headed cop with a troubled past, and a polished, ambitious District Attorney (Jodi Lyn O'Keefe) who team up to bring a stalker (Suvari), obsessed with her former lover, to justice. Simmons will play Harper's partner Cliff with Suvari as the aforementioned stalker. Mark Tonderai is helming the Pilgrim Studios-based project, which is based on Rhonda Saunders's book "Whisper of Fear: The True Story of the Prosecutor Who Stalks the Stalkers" and penned by David Wiener. (

TV Tonight 4th of January 2013

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

20/20 S35E16: "Season 35, Episode 16"
America Unearthed S01E03: "Great Lakes Copper Heist"
Ancient Aliens S05E03: "Alien Power Plants"
Anderson Live S02E78: "Co-Host Barbara Lee Edwards | Reality Check | Actress Gina Gershon"
Bargain Hunt S33E03: "Series 33, Episode 3"
Bering Sea Gold S02E01: "Point of No Return"
Better Homes and Gardens S15E01: "January 4, 2013"
Big Brother's Bit on the Side S06E02: "Celebrity Big Brother's Bit on the Side - 2"
Blue Bloods S03E10: "Fathers and Sons"
Celebrity Big Brother S11E03: "Series 11 - Live from the House"
Celebrity Big Brother S11E02: "Series 11 - Day 1 Highlights"
Celebrity Mastermind S11E09: "Series 11, Episode 9"
Celebrity Wedding Planner S03E01: "Eastenders Special"
Come Dine With Me S20E77: "Come Dine with Me Comedy Mash Up"
Coronation Street S54E03: "Fri Jan 4, 2013 [Episode 2]"
Coronation Street S54E02: "Fri Jan 4, 2013 [Episode 1]"
CSI: NY S09E11: "Command+P"
Dateline NBC S22E15: "FR2215"
Daybreak S03E83: "January 4, 2013"
Days of our Lives S48E39: "Ep. #11995"
Deadly Women S06E17: "Without Conscience"
Deal Or No Deal (UK) S08E00: "8 Out of 10 Cats Does Deal or No Deal"
Deal Or No Deal (UK) S08E125: "Episode 2118"
Doctors S14E162: "Fizz for Breakfast"
EastEnders S29E04: "January 4, 2013 [Episode 2]"
EastEnders S29E03: "January 4, 2013"
Emmerdale S42E05: "January 4, 2013"
General Hospital (US) S50E190: "#12718"
Ghost Adventures S07E17: "Home Sweet Hell"
Gold Rush S03E09: "Leprechaun Gold"
Hollyoaks S19E03: "January 4, 2013"
House Hunters S51E04: "Capitol Hill Staffer Seeks Condo with Character"
Infested S02E10: "Houses of Horror"
Killer Karaoke S01E06
Last Man Standing S02E08: "Bullying"
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon S04E03: "Bill Cosby, Tempestt Bledsoe, Grace Potter"
Late Show with David Letterman S20E62: "Tracy Morgan, Marv Albert, Everest"
Live At The Apollo S08E06: "Greg Davies, Hal Cruttenden, Simon Evans"
Loose Women S17E73: "Series 17, Show 73"
Made in Chelsea S04E13: "Made in Chelsea Celebrity Mash Up"
Malibu Country S01E08: "Push Comes to Shove"
Moordvrouw S02E01: "Season 2, Episode 1"
Mystery Diners S02E10: "Night Shift"
Next Stop for Charlie S02E06: "Ukraine"
Over/Under S01E01: "Pilot"
Pointless S08E03: "Series 8, Episode 3"
Portlandia S03E03: "Missionaries"
Portlandia S03E02: "Take Back MTV"
QI S10E16: "VG Part Two"
Room 101 S13E01: "John Craven, Miranda Hart, Reggie Yates"
Say Yes To The Dress S09E04: "A Very Merry Wedding"
Say Yes To The Dress S09E03: "Mother May I?"
Say Yes to the Dress: Randy Knows Best S01E12: "Top 10 Budget Busting Brides"
Say Yes to the Dress: Randy Knows Best S01E11: "Top 10 Momma Dramas"
Shark Tank S04E12: "Season 4, Episode 12"
The Bold and the Beautiful S26E198: "Ep. #6482"
The Chase (2009) S06E43: "Series 6, Episode 43"
The Chew S02E83: "Episode 321"
The Dead Files S03E14: "Burned Alive"
The Ellen DeGeneres Show S10E75: "Timothy Olyphant, Sarah Hyland, Justin Flom"
The Graham Norton Show S12E11: "Josh Groban, Billie Piper, Frank Skinner, Example"
The Jeremy Kyle Show S08E78: "January 4, 2013"
The Million Pound Drop Live S11E15: "The Million Pound Chatty Man Drop - 3"
The Million Pound Drop Live S11E14: "The Million Pound Chatty Man Drop - 2"
The Million Pound Drop Live S11E13: "The Million Pound Chatty Man Drop - 1"
The Project S05E04: "Season 5, Episode 4"
The Talk S03E78: "Naomi Judd, David Myers, guest co-host Kim Coles"
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno S21E13: "Courteney Cox, Joy Behar, Youngblood Hawke"
The Young and the Restless S40E199: "Ep. #10068"
Thuis S18E95: "Season 18, Episode 95"
Tipping Point S02E03: "Series 2, Episode 3"
True Justice S02E01: "Vengeance Is Mine"
Undercover Boss S04E06: "Mood Media"
University Challenge (1994) S19E30: "Celebrity University Challenge"
Wanted Down Under S07E03: "Series 7, Episode 3"
Wild Britain with Ray Mears S03E01: "Isle of Mull"
WWE Friday Night SmackDown! S12E119: "Season 12, Episode 120"
XIII: The Series S02E01: "Phoenix"