August 24, 2012 8:46am EST
The outrageous fifth season of True Blood comes to a close this Sunday, and if there's anything to take away from this season, it's that... well, True Blood has certainly changed from the vampy, campy, self-aware show we became obsessed with back in 2008. And much like the show itself, some of the characters have turned into almost unrecognizable new versions from the ones we met back in Season 1.
Take, for instance, Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll), who went from shy and sheltered to a sexy and super badass vampire. But True Blood's Jessica is hardly the only character in television history to drastically change over the course of a show. From Boy Meets World's Eric (Will Friedle)'s gradual descent from goofy older brother into utter mind-blowing stupidity to The Office's complete retooling of Kelly (Mindy Kaling) from demure office drone to fast-talking Valley Girl, we've done the digging on who's changed, and how.
Check out our gallery of TV Character Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes here. [Photo Credit: HBO]
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August 21, 2012 1:00pm EST
The Emmy Award-winning series, based on comedian Ricky Gervais' hit British incarnation of the same name, premiered in 2005, essentially launching the careers of several little-known actors, including Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Mindy Kaling, and Jenna Fischer.
The programme has gained a large following ever since, thanks to lead characters Ed Helms and Steve Carrell, who quit the series last year (11), but on Tuesday (21Aug12), executive producer Greg Daniels shocked fans by announcing they are calling it quits.
He tells The Hollywood Reporter, "At some point you have a choice: to always tell the beginnings of stories and the middles or to allow a story to end, and I think endings can be very powerful and meaningful pieces of the story...
"As we head into the home stretch, we have a lot of exciting things I've been wanting to do since season two. The end should be pretty cool."
The final season of The Office will kick off on 20 September (12).
August 21, 2012 10:38am EST
In March of 2005, Ricky Gervais' critically acclaimed satirical take on the middle-class professional world was brought to the United States, resulting in a hit far and beyond what many had anticipated: the NBC sitcom The Office launched a new wave of single-camera comedies, not to mention the careers of Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Rashida Jones and Ed Helms, among others. And now, the world of Dunder-Mifflin is being set up for its conclusion: Deadline reports the upcoming ninth season of the series has been confirmed by Executive Producer Greg Daniels to be the final season.
This shouldn't be much of a surprise. After Season 7, Carell took off, bringing central character and the show's driving force Michael Scott to Colorado to live happily with his soul mate, Holly Flax (Amy Ryan). Additionally, production has been announced on The Farm, a spin-off series centering on the character of Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson), which will bring former showrunner Paul Lieberstein (who also plays Toby) along with it. And finally, there is The Mindy Project, which will set Office star/writer Mindy Kaling at the center of her own sitcom.
So, the doors are closing on that Scranton paper company with which we've all grown quite familiar. With Jim and Pam happily married and attentive young parents, Andy and Erin finding new love, and Creed successfully escaping being found out as the Scranton Strangler (it's possible...), the stories do look like they are ready to end.
[Photo Credit: NBC]
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July 30, 2012 11:25am EST
It’s no secret that NBC’s long-running sitcom The Office is in need of a bit of a George Foreman grill to the foot, and with the new faces hitting the small screen in Season 9, we could actually be looking at a whole new Scranton.
The latest face of the series renaissance is none other than Better With You’s Jake Lacy, who will join the series as a potential love interest for Erin (Ellie Kemper). And if the tease from his first scene is any indication, he might just be as excitable and boring as Erin herself — or, he’s pegged to be Jim’s new partner in sarcasm. In a rough-draft scene obtained by EW, Lacy’s character Pete says, “Not only am I the new guy who has to do the coffee runs, but it’s a paper company, so pretty much a nonstop adrenaline rush.”
Add to this that Clark Duke (Greek, and a terrific stint as an obnoxious legal intern on New Girl) is slated to join the Dunder Mifflin team as well while Mindy Kaling’s Kelly Kapoor makes her quiet exit and Dwight Schute (Rainn Wilson) eyes a spinoff, and we’ve got a whole new show on our hands. Well, almost a whole new show.
With Erin the receptionist’s potential interest in a cute, strapping young man with tousled hair and a (seeming) knack for sarcasm, it seems she could be repeating the Jim/Pam pattern. Our one small glimmer of hope is that we’ve long regarded Andy as the Jim to Erin’s Pam, so perhaps this entanglement won’t be so cut and dry. It will, however, be an element that sticks around, because even if the potential romance ignites and then fizzles, Lacy is joining the cast as a regular, so awkward break room lunches will be plentiful.
And as for Duke? He’s got a knack for awkward comedy, not totally unlike Wilson’s Dwight. As Dwight starts to transition to his own series alongside former Office showrunner Paul Lieberstein, the position of office nutjob will be open. Sure, Andy’s got his share of insanity, and Creed is always good for an unexpected laugh, but who could replace the man who brings a real live beaver into the office or creates an office fire just to teach everyone a lesson? Someone who’s equally capable of insanity, albeit a different flavor. Besides, after eight years of Dwight’s farm-style pranks and proclivity for uncomfortable sexual commentary, we need a new kind of awkward. With Duke’s background and his still unexplained character, he’s got potential to fill the throne of uncomfortable silences.
And while our two new characters look like they may fall into similar patterns to Jim and Dwight, let’s hope their dynamic doesn’t mirror exactly the battle royale of the last eight seasons. The series dipped significantly when it attempted to split Michael Scott’s characteristics between Helms and James Spader, so deriving too much inspiration from the series’ other iconic characters can only spell disaster.
Letting the two new characters fill the voids left by their Dunder Mifflin forefathers, however, is a notion we can get behind.
How do you want to see The Office use Lacy and Duke?
Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler
[Photo Credit: Fox/ABC Family]
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July 23, 2012 11:48am EST
Monday morning at the Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour event at Los Angeles' Beverly Hilton, the cast and crew of Ben and Kate gathered to discuss their zany brother-and-sister duo comedy. The show, which centers on the wayward brother Ben moving in with uptight sister Kate and her daughter, Maddie, will be available starting Aug. 27th on Hulu, Yahoo, and other various online platforms.
The show stars The Groundlings comedian Nat Faxon, who booked the role of Ben the day after he won the Oscar for co-writing The Descendants (along with Community's Jim Rash, natch). "It's offered some momentum," Faxon says of his Golden trophy. "[But] I don't know that I'm going to be handed acting roles because I did something in the writing field."
Also starring as Kate is Dakota Johnson, who you may know as 2006's Miss Golden Globe. (A gig she calls "terrifying".) Growing up the daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith (and the granddaughter of Tippi Hedren) gave Johnson a head start in the industry, but Ben and Kate's producer Dana Fox says she really wants people to believe that the world on this show is real, so Johnson and Griffith probably won't make an appearance.
In fact, a more looming presence on the show is Fox's brother, Ben, whose antics as a young man inspired Fox to create her first show. "He's a really, really smart guy who intentionally does dumb things all the time," she says of her brother. "He got older and he met this amazing woman, and they had two chldren together. The thing that I noticed was that he was the world's greatest father." Because of Fox's brother's open and silly personality, he was able to talk to his children on their level. Fox says she brings this relationship dynamic to the show, as Ben interacts with Kate's daughter Maddie. Still, Fox says they keep TV's Ben grounded in reality, and ask themselves at every turn if his actions are realistic. Basically, they want men to want to be him and women to (sort of) want to be with him. "He has a bizarre logic to all of his behavior," Fox says of TV's Ben. "He might be a genius?"
This "genius" may help the uptight Kate relax and enjoy her life a little. "She is being forced by her brother to break out of the box," Fox says. "He's going to come in and smash that to pieces, then ask her to clean up after." But the relationship is reciprocal — Kate is also going to help Ben expand on his own ideas, and grow as an adult person. "Part of the reason that we retitled the show from 'Ben Fox is My Manny' is because he's really not the Manny — the concept of the show is it takes a village. Everyone is taking care of this one magnificent child so they can all help each other bumble forward."
Included in this village is British actress Lucy Punch, who, in the trailer, puts a hilariously inappropriate amount of makeup on young Maddie. Punch is having a great time working on the series, and says its a far cry from comedy over the pond. "I think British comedy tends to be darker, and meaner," she says. "I think British people enjoy not liking people, and unsympathetic characters. In the States, it's nicer. It's friendlier." Still, Punch insists that her character can be "bitchy and horrible," because people like that.
But according to Maggie Elizabeth Jones, the 8-year-old scene-stealer from We Bought a Zoo who plays Maddie, Punch's zany character isn't the funniest off-screen — that honor goes to Faxon. But Punch has a different opinion. "Maggie makes us laugh," says Punch. "She's very naturally funny, and good at improvising." Faxon agrees — he says the little actress is so adorable that he literally has to "shove her aside" to get the spotlight back.
Follow Shaunna on Twitter @HWShaunna
[PHOTO CREDIT: FOX]
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July 23, 2012 10:28am EST
Monday morning at the Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour, Mindy Kaling gathered her cast and crew for a panel on her upcoming fall show, The Mindy Project. The show, which features Kaling as a romantically down-on-her-luck but professionally successful doctor, is largely inspired by Kaling's own romantic and family life. "I picked doctor because my mother was an OB/GYN," Kaling says. "Weirdly, her hours were similar to my hours as a writer/performer."
Nora Ephron was an inspiration to the show. Kaling wanted to pay homage to Ephron by having the characters love her. She's banned from the Empire State Building, because she goes so much looking for romance.
Kaling explains that most of the show's comedy comes from the difference between "the characters' expectations of how things should work out, and how things work out in real life." Kaling swears she has moments like this every day. "Chris [Messina] is a handsome-looking guy, and his character on the show doesn't want to be a part of that world."
Writer Ike Barinholtz says they'll get into the heads of all their characters, and see what kind of motivations and ideals motivate them.
"Most people who grow up as nerds love romance," Kaling says. Whereas much of The Office was about suppressing romantic feelings, this show was somewhat of an inverse of that.
Kaling approaches the cliché of the professionally successful woman having poor luck in the romantic world: "That's also really true of me and all my friends," Kaling says. "The formula isn't bad if it's executed at a really high level." Kaling actually compares her character to The Office's Michael Scott, saying she's relatable, and that she just wants to be a better person. In more Office-related news, Kaling states that she will still make appearances on her alma mater as Kelly Kapoor throughout the upcoming season.
Kaling's co-stars praised their boss' on-set management style, but Kaling says she might "turn into a monster." Barinholtz combats this: "I think our greatest asset is we have the greatest female writer in half-hour television." Still, Kaling says they're looking forward to hiring more female writers when they find them. She also jokes about one of the fringe benefits of being in charge, claiming that she's going to make out with every guy on the show. "Getting to do that is really awesome," Kaling jokes.
The actress/writer also spoke on the rise of an Indian presence in American pop culture. "I try not to rely on or deny [my Indian heritage]," says Kaling. Still, she embraces the rise of her background's visibility on contemporary television. "It's really exciting, with Danny [Pudi] and Aziz [Ansari] on their shows. It is a cool time for Indian actors."
Despite the fact that Kaling knows that her book has attracted a largely female audience, she thinks that the show's comedy has a bit of something for everyone — including fans of a former serious prison drama. "I love this dude energy that we have here," she says. "[The show is for] fans of Oz." And another HBO series, apparently: "You might see more than your average share of Game of Thrones references."
There will be relationship arcs with "amazing guest stars," Barinholtz says. He was mum on who, but Kaling did segue into the fact that "people from the pilot are coming back," and that The Office's Greg Daniels will come and direct an episode.
Follow Shaunna on Twitter @HWShaunna
[Photo Credit: FOX]
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July 23, 2012 9:27am EST
Remember when we used to actually have to wait for shows to premiere before we could watch them? That's your grandfather's era. Now, the practice of networks broadcasting series premieres online ahead of their actual scheduled televised premiere dates is becoming more and more prominent. Fox has announced that it will be undertaking this procedure with two of its new comedy series pilots: The Mindy Project and Ben and Kate. Both will be offered via Facebook, Hulu, Yahoo, and several other streaming sites, starting on Aug. 17 and ending on Sept. 9. The programs premiere on Fox on Sept. 25.
The Mindy Project is a comedy platform for The Office cast member and writer Mindy Kaling, who plays a young doctor trying to live out her idealistic standards for adult life. Ben and Kate features polar opposite brother and sister pair Ben (Nat Faxon) and Kate (Dakota Johnson), who move in together to raise the latter's young daughter.
More to come from Fox's Television Critics Association panel...
[Photo Credit: Fox]
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July 08, 2012 5:15am EST
The actress wed Michael Koman in a romantic ceremony in front of family and friends, including her The Office co-star Mindy Kaling.
Kaling revealed the news on her Twitter.com page on Saturday morning, writing in a post, "Today a member of the only fictional band I've ever been in is getting married. Not edhelms or bjnovak, the lovely Ellie Kemper. Xoxo."
Days before the ceremony, Kemper told America's E! News, "In real life, I've been a bridesmaid like a dozen times and after doing that movie I thought maybe I'll have some insight into wedding planning, but I took none of that insight. I'm as, panicky, as uptight as any bride ever was."
Kemper announced her engagement to Koman in December (11) and in May (12), U.S. host Ellen DeGeneres surprised the star with a stripper in a mock bachelorette party skit on her TV show.
July 07, 2012 3:32pm EST
Ellie Kemper will have to put away the Bridesmaids dresses for now. The perennially bubbly star of The Office is officially a married gal, having tied the knot with former Conan writer Michael Koman on Saturday in New York City.
Her Bridesmaids co-star Kristen Wiig and her Office co-star Mindy Kaling were among the celebrity guests. Kemper, 32, announced her engagement last December during a completely uncoincidental appearance on Conan, and she recently spoke to Us Weekly about her stint as a bride-to-be: "I was always like, 'I'm going to be the cool bride! I'm going to be laid-back about everything!' But... it turns out I"m not. Especially with Michael, my fiance, I've been like, 'Why don't you contribute?' So then he contributes an idea and I'm like, 'That is a terrible idea! Stop contributing!'" [Photo Credit: WENN] More:'Bridesmaids' Star Ellie Kemper Is EngagedClark Duke on 'The Office': Is Dwight Getting a Partner in Crime?Spader's Exit: 5 Ways to Fix 'The Office'
June 11, 2012 11:35am EST
Hopefully by now your DVRs have recovered from all the use they got during the whirlwind of May finales, so now all that's left to do is sit back, and wait for fall (because, let's face it, summer TV shows really just can't compare). And while the next few months are sure to be somewhat grueling, dedicated TV junkies can take comfort in knowing we don't have to completely go cold turkey.
The big networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, and CW) have graciously released several trailers for upcoming pilots, giving viewers a taste of what's to come next fall. So just in case you missed a few during the Upfronts craze a few weeks back, Hollywood.com has provided a variety of must-see clips from the various networks to help determine which shows you plan on tuning in for when fall premiere season comes around. So without further ado...
The series is an upcoming American musical drama, starring Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere, who play two country singers looking to pursue their dreams in the music business.
The show follows the story of the crew of a rogue nuclear submarine and features an all-star cast that includes Andre Braugher, Bruce Davison, The OC's Autumn Reeser and Felicity's Scott Speedman.
666 Park Avenue
This show looks to be a supernatural freakout that stars Lost alum Terry O'Quinn and Vanessa Williams as a devilish married couple.
Next: More ABC Fall Pilots.
The half-hour show will center on Reba McEntire's character, who moves from Nashville to Malibu, Calif. in an attempt to resurrect her music career, after discovering her rock-star husband was cheating on her.
In hopes of providing a better life for his wife and three kids, Marty (played by Lenny Venito) move out to a New Jersey gated community called Hidden Hills, where they realize that their neighbors are...well...a little different.
How to Life with Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life)
In case you couldn't tell by the title alone, this new comedy stars Sarah Chalke as a single mom who moves back in with mom and dad...possibly forever.
This show will follow the story of Jack Shea (Kyle Bornheimer) who puts his own dreams on hold in order to take over his family's handyman business from his father.
The series stars Radha Mitchell as Marta Walraven, a housewife from Northern California, who must continue her deceased husband's work in organized crime in order to protect her family.
This show will revolve around White Vincent (Michael Nyqvist), the editor of a skeptics magazine, as he's pulled into one of the most compelling conspiracies in human history.
Love has never been so complicated...
Next: NBC Fall Pilots.
The New Normal
Ryan Murphy serves up a brand new comedy that centers around two gay dads and a baby mama. Oh yeah, this one's a must-see.
Matthew Perry will star as a cheeky sportscaster who tries to move on from loss and finds comfort from the members of his mandatory group-therapy sessions. Could we BE anymore excited?
Justin Kirk stars as Dr. George Coleman, an animal-loving veterinarian who despises the pet owners.
The series picks up 15 years after the world loses all different forms of electricity (TVs, phones, lights, planes, what have you) and shows you how humans have adjusted. But the big question still remains: why did this happen?
Guys With Kids
This show, created by Jimmy Fallon, stars Anthony Anderson, Jesse Bradford, Zach Cregger as three thirty-something-year-old men who must deal with being fathers despite having not grown-up yet themselves.
Next: CBS Fall Pilots.
This show is a period drama which takes place in the 1960s and is based on the true story of Ralph Lamb — a rodeo cowboy-turned-longtime Sheriff of Las Vegas. Giddy-up!
The series follows the story of two best friends, Charlie (David Krumholtz) and Louis (Michael Urie), whose friendship seems to reflect that of a weird married couple. Plus, it comes from the creators of Will & Grace.
Made In Jersey
Starring Janet Montgomery, this legal drama centers around a working-class woman who uses her street smarts to compete with her colleagues at a top New York law firm.
This show is a contemporary take on Sherlock Holmes (played by Jonny Lee Miller) and his partner Watson, who's now a lady and played by Lucy Liu.
Next: FOX Fall Pilots.
The Mob Doctor
Former My Boys star Jordana Spiro is heading back to Chicago for this mob drama as a young thoracic surgeon who’s forced to juggle her career and her life-long debt to the South Chicago mob.
Kevin Bacon stars as an ex-FBI agent, Ryan Hardy, who’s hot on the trail of a master serial killer (James Purefoy), who has created a cult of serial killers which must also be stopped.
The Mindy Kaling Project
This show stars Mindy Kaling as an unlucky-in-love doctor, dealing with the daily work-life balance. It's probably no Office, but it might just be the next best thing.
Ben & Kate
The story mostly focuses on the relationship between two siblings: Ben (Nat Faxon) and Kate (Dakota Johnson), who happen to be polar opposites (think freewheeling brother meets uptight sister).
The Goodwin Games
The comedy stars Becki Newton (of Ugly Betty fame) and Scott Foley (of Felicity) as a brother and sister whose father left his fortune to them under some (presumably) steep terms.
Next: CW Fall Pilots.
The Carrie Diaries
AnnaSophia Robb will star as New York's most popular fictional style-icon, Carrie Bradshaw, who struggles with everyday teenage life in Connecticut -- until she meets her "first love", Manhattan.
Stephen Amell stars as Oliver Queen, who is just your average, everyday billionaire playboy until he survives a violent shipwreck and re-emerges as The Green Arrow.
Beauty and the Beast
This will be a contemporary reboot of the 1980s series, starring Smallville's Kristin Kreuck as Detective Catherine Chandler, and Jay Ryan as Vincent — a presumed-dead doctor who gets a little beastly when he's mad.
Former Vampire Diaries star Matt Davis will play an investigative reporter Jeff Sefton, who goes from a no-nonsense blogger to a full-out investigator when his brother mysteriously goes missing.
Mamie Gummer (you've probably heard of her mother, Meryl Streep) will star as Emily Barnes, a fresh out of med school intern at Denver Memorial Hospital, who soon learns that hospital life is remarkably similar to high school — where she was a certified nerd.
2012 Fall TV Pilots
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