PBS sets a January return date for the fourth season of 'Downton Abbey,' and announces the return of 'Call the Midwife' and the launch of dramedy 'Last Tango in Halifax.'
American fans of the Crawley clan can finally mark their calendars: Season 4 of Downton Abbey will kick off on PBS' Masterpiece Classic on Sunday, January 5, 2014.
Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton announced the official U.S. airdate for Season 4 of the award-winning period drama Tuesday at the PBS Annual Meeting. Downton's fourth season will run for eight weeks, from January 5 to February 23, 2014, roughly the time timeframe as its third season, which aired in the U.S. earlier this year. (In the U.K., Season 4 will air this autumn on ITV.)
Nick Briggs/Carnival Film and Television Limited 2013 for MASTERPIECE
How big of a 'Golden Girls' fan are you? On Wednesday, Christie's is auctioning John Currin's famous 1991 painting 'Bea Arthur Naked.'
Over 20 years after its debut, the fact that John Currin's 1991 painting Bea Arthur Naked still stirs up buzz is a testament both to the painting's smart and provacative wink at a feminist icon and to Bea Arthur's lasting legacy. Much like the characters the actress played, the painting is dignified and yet irreverent. It is also a reminder of Currin's early Nineties work that led him to be labeled as a misogynist -- and which caused Village Voice art critic Kim Levin to ask readers to "boycott this show." The painting is part of Christie's Post-War and Contemporary Art auction on Wednesday May 15, and is expected to go for between $1.8-2.5 million.
The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation’s 11th Hour auction at Christie’s on Monday night saw record sales for artists, including Elizabeth Peyton and Mark Grotjahn. Isabel Wilkinson reports from the scene.
"$450,000," called the auctioneer, pointing to a bidder in the crowd at Christie's.
He wheeled around to another: "$500!"
Then back to the first: "$550!"
The NBC sitcom limps to its final episode Thursday night. As bored viewers shrug their shoulders at a show that’s outstayed its welcome, watch clips of the show’s heyday and remember why we should mourn its departure.
On Thursday night, The Office will punch its final time card after nine seasons on NBC. If it seems TV fans are throwing more of a staid conference-room-fruit-punch-and-brownies goodbye party than a full-on farewell blowout, that’s because the NBC sitcom has taken a sharp nosedive in ratings and certainly in quality since the departure of Steve Carell’s Michael Scott two seasons ago.
From left, John Krasinski as Jim Halpert, Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute, Steve Carell as Michael Scott; during a scene from a sixth season episode of "The Office." (Trae Patton/NBC)
But ignoring the end of The Office completely just because it’s not as great as it used to be would be a shame for that very reason: it used to be great. Like, really great. It managed to walk the tightrope of edginess and heart without wobbling too nerve-rackingly in either direction. It popularized that single-camera, mockumentary film style that’s now become ubiquitous. The Office was cynical but not sarcastic, and broad while still human, somehow populating a drab office park with characters that were kooky enough to laugh at but real enough to relate to and, more important, care about.
In ‘Frances Ha,’ Greta Gerwig plays a 27-year-old trying to find herself in Brooklyn. She and director Noah Baumbach talk to Marlow Stern about what they like (and dislike) about hipsters.
In Frances Ha, a splendidly modest black-and-white film directed by Noah Baumbach, Greta Gerwig (who is also the film’s co-writer) stars as Frances, 27, an idiosyncratic, free-spirited aspiring modern dancer living in Brooklyn. Her world turns upside down when her roommate and BFF, Sophie (Mickey Sumner), meets a fella and decides to move out. Sophie then moves into another Brooklyn pad with two young guys, Lev (Girls’ Adam Driver) and Benji (Michael Zegen), as she tries to find some direction in her life.
Greta Gerwig with Adam Driver having dinner. (Pine District, LLC.)
The film is one of the best so far this year—a romantic meditation on life as a directionless millennial suffering for her art in New York City. Or, the plight of the hipster.
Should I be pissed off about this whole parallel-universe business? Why are there two Spocks? Ahead of ‘Star Trek Into Darkness,’ Sujay Kumar offers a primer on the voyages of the Starship Enterprise.
Star Trek (noun) Science-fiction franchise launched on television in 1966. Not Star Wars.
The series was not, in fact, created by Jean-Luc Picard, but Gene Roddenberry. The television shows were prolific: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise. There are 12 installments on film: Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (yes, this was the movie with the humpback whales), Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Star Trek Generations, Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection, Star Trek: Nemesis, Star Trek, and Star Trek Into Darkness. The new film franchise, which launched in 2009, is mostly inspired by the original television series.
Zachary Quinto and Zoe Saldana in ‘Star Trek Into Darkness.’ (Zade Rosenthal/Paramount)
There were tears. There were laughs. But when Barbara Walters officially announced her retirement from television on Monday’s episode of ‘The View,’ there was, most importantly, class.
“We’ve been together a long time,” Barbara Walters said Monday morning on The View, officially announcing—as it was leaked she would over the weekend—that she will be retiring from television entirely in the summer of 2014. That statement, like much of how she handled the fanfare with which she was feted during the opening segments of the episode, was, to say the least, exceptionally humble.
Barbara Walters announced her retirement on 'The View.'
As Bill Carter wrote in the New York Times piece that broke the news—after over a month of speculation—the retirement was announced “on the program she invented, on the network where she worked for the past 37 years, on the medium where she broke barriers and rules for more than 50 years.” The words “icon,” “trailblazer,” “innovator,” “legend,” and “pioneer” have been used to describe Walters in the day since her retirement became official. And on Monday morning while talking about it on air for the first time on The View, it was Barbara whose turn it was, after all these years, to cry.
Fox has revealed its 2013-14 primetime schedule. Jace Lacob on the changes afoot at the broadcast network next season, including the launch of '24: Live Another Day.' Plus, see trailers for 'Believe,' 'Sleepy Hollow,' and more.
On Monday morning, Fox unveiled its primetime schedule for the 2013-14 season, which included several changes to its current lineup and the confirmation of rumors that 24 will be returning to the network.
Fox Entertainment Chairman Kevin Reilly confirmed the news earlier today on a conference call with members of the press. 24 will return in early May as tentpole event drama 24: Live Another Day, which will "arc through the summer." Speaking on behalf of 24 executive producer Howard Gordon, Reilly said that Gordon had asked himself, “'Why are we killing ourselves trying to crack a feature when this is the perfect format?'” The spine of the proposed 24 feature film occurred over the course of 12 hours and translating the thrust of the film to television was "so liberating for us." The decision will allow the show's producers to take what they saw as the best of the 12 hours and translate for television.
‘Rodham,’ a film about the life of a young Hillary Clinton, is generating serious buzz in Hollywood and Washington. The Daily Beast has the screenplay. Here are some of the juiciest bits from the movie.
The most powerful woman in the world is about to get the Hollywood treatment.
Hillary Clinton, the former first lady, senator, and secretary of state—who is maybe running for president in 2016—is the subject of a new feature film about her youth. Rodham focuses on 1974, when the 26-year-old was a determined—and relatively humorless—lawyer working as a member of the House impeachment inquiry staff in Washington, D.C. When she wasn’t helping impeach Nixon, Rodham was struggling to maintain a long-distance relationship with a suave Arkansas law professor by the name of Bill Clinton, who was himself busy running for the House of Representatives in his home state.
Illustration by The Daily Beast
Simon Pegg plays Scotty in Star Trek Into Darkness—out in theaters May 16. He talks about his first experiences with the show as a child, working with J.J. Abrams, and more.
When I found out about playing the role of Scotty for the Star Trek reboot, it felt like a bomb had gone off near my head. I got asked in such an insalubrious way from J.J. Abrams. In an email that came out of nowhere, J.J. literally wrote, “Do you want to play Scotty?” It didn’t even say, “Dear Simon” or “Love, J.J.” I emailed him back and said, “What the fuck, man? You can’t just do that to me. That’s crazy! You’ve got to take me out to dinner or something or offer me something to read.” It was huge!
Simon Pegg as Scotty in "Star Trek Into Darkness." (Paramount)
I said, “I don’t know,” but J.J. let me think about it. He told me, “The worst thing that could happen is that every couple of years we get together and have fun.” Of course, I said yes. The role was given to me because Scotty is a slightly lighter-hearted character in the sense that he’s kind of the Everyman, so he reacts to situations like we would really. I felt elated and impressed, and slightly like I was having a dream.
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