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BBC Culture: Matthew Weiner: Mad Men’s creator on its final episodes

The creative force behind the period drama talks about where his characters are as his show begins its final episodes. “We left off with everyone’s material needs being met in an extreme way,” says Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner of where we last saw the characters on his critically acclaimed period drama when the show went on hiatus 10 months ago. “Then the issue is, what else is there?” That is the central question with the return to US TV of the AMC hit, one demanding to be answered by both the show’s characters, and its creator whose success is the envy of the television industry. Mad Men has been a defining part of Weiner’s life for the last 15 years. He wrote the pilot script on spec while he was a staff writer on CBS’ Ted Danson sitcom Becker in 1999, using it to land a writing gig on HBO’s The Sopranos in 2002. It would take another five years, filled with multiple rejections, before the first episode of Mad Men would make it on the air. Someone with less determination or vision

BuzzFeed: "Twin Peaks Co-Creator Mark Frost On The Series’ Return To Television"

Damn fine news: After 25 years, Twin Peaks is headed to Showtime with a nine-episode limited series. BuzzFeed News spoke to Frost about the revival and what fans can expect. At BuzzFeed, you can read my latest feature, " Twin Peaks Co-Creator Mark Frost On The Series’ Return To Television," in which I talk to Twin Peaks co-creator Mark Frost about the series' resurrection as a limited series on Showtime in 2016. Earlier this summer, deleted and extended scenes from the Twin Peaks follow-up film Fire Walk With Me were unearthed for the series’ complete Blu-ray release. But that was nothing compared to what happened on Oct. 6, as the impossible suddenly became a reality: Co-creators David Lynch and Mark Frost announced that Twin Peaks would be returning to television 25 years after it went off the air, its resolution as hazy and unclear as a fever dream. Nine episodes of a Twin Peaks revival series will air on Showtime in 2016 as a limited series, one that promise

BuzzFeed: "18 Gasp-Worthy Secrets About Downton Abbey Season 5 From The Cast"

Michelle Dockery, Allen Leech, Laura Carmichael, and Joanne Froggatt share details about the new season with BuzzFeed. Warning: SPOILERS ahead if you haven’t finished Season 4. At BuzzFeed, you can read my latest feature, "18 Gasp-Worthy Secrets About Downton Abbey Season 5 From The Cast," in which I interview the cast of Downton Abbey about what's coming up on the fifth season of the British costume drama. 1. Reinvention is very big this season. Judging from how often word “reinvention” itself came up among the cast members. “There’s big social change in this season,” Michelle Dockery, who plays Lady Mary, told BuzzFeed. “You can tell by the clothes, it’s very, very modern. And Mary really embraces those changes. Reinvention is a good word.” That spirit of renewal is perhaps nowhere more apparent than within the character of Lady Mary herself. “It’s the new Mary,” she said. “Because she’s through the grief now and she’s moving on with her life and embracing a

BuzzFeed: "Mad Men Creator Matthew Weiner On The Show’s Jet-Setting Final Season"

The mastermind behind AMC’s period drama tells BuzzFeed what to expect from the final go-around with the ad men and women before the April 13 premiere. At BuzzFeed, you can read my latest feature, " Mad Men Creator Matthew Weiner On The Show’s Jet-Setting Final Season," in which I talk to Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner about the seventh and final season of the AMC period drama. Over the course of its last six seasons, AMC’s period drama Mad Men has taken the audience into the inner lives of the damaged ad men and women who glide through the 1960s often on a volatile mix of booze, self-loathing, and bad behavior. In the hands of its creator, Matthew Weiner, the show has offered a window into the souls of these characters, offering up their flaws and their virtues, their successes and their losses. With the show concluding next year, it does feel as if it’s the end of an era, both for its network AMC and for the television landscape as a whole, as well as Weiner, who

BuzzFeed: "25 Secrets About Downton Abbey Season 4"

The cast and crew spill some details about what’s coming for the Crawleys and their servants. Julian Fellowes’ British period drama returns to ITV in September in the U.K. and to PBS’ Masterpiece on Jan. 5 in the U.S. Warning: minor spoilers ahead! At BuzzFeed, you can read my latest feature, "25 Secrets About Downton Abbey Season 4," in which I sit down with executive producer Gareth Neame and cast members Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Phyllis Logan, and Joanne Froggatt to glean some details about what's going on in Season 4 of Downton Abbey . When Downton Abbey returns with its fourth season, it’s February 1922 and six months will have passed since the death of heir Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) — who perished after driving off the road shortly after the birth of his son, George — and the Crawley household is still in a state of mourning. But, fortunately, the mourning period won’t last all season, for life must go on for Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) and t

BuzzFeed: "Broadchurch: Olivia Colman Is Britain’s 'Finest Export'"

The BAFTA-winning actress stars opposite David Tennant in BBC America’s spellbinding murder mystery Broadchurch . She talks about jumping from comedy to drama, Peep Show , working with David Tennant and Matt Smith, and more. At BuzzFeed, you can read my latest feature, " Broadchurch : Olivia Colman Is Britain’s 'Finest Export,'" in which I interview the incomparable Olivia Colman, who stars in the sensational British murder mystery Broadchurch — which heads Stateside to BBC America on Wednesday evening — about Peep Show , David Tennant, ricocheting between comedy and drama, and more. Olivia Colman is late to our interview. A nervous publicist explains that the star of Broadchurch, which plunged the U.K. into a full-blown obsession when it aired earlier this year, is making her way on foot to our location, deep within the caverns of the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. (Colman is slated to appear to next day on a panel for BBC America at the Televisio

BuzzFeed: "The Doctor Is In: Matt Smith On Leaving Doctor Who, A Female Doctor, And More"

The 30-year-old actor will depart cult British sci-fi drama Doctor Who after this year’s Christmas Special. Here's what he told BuzzFeed about his decision to leave, the possibility of a female Doctor, stealing socks, and more. At BuzzFeed, you can read my latest story, "The Doctor Is In: Matt Smith On Leaving Doctor Who , A Female Doctor, And More," in which I sit down with Doctor Who star Matt Smith to discuss his decision to leave the British science fiction drama, the possibility of a female Doctor, and what's next for him. Matt Smith is wearing bright turquoise socks. The 30-year-old star of Doctor Who is lolling around on a leather couch deep within the cavernous confines of the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, a day before he’s set to appear on a panel celebrating the 50th anniversary of the British science fiction drama at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. When I draw attention to his socks (they coincidentally match the shirt I

The Daily Beast: "Mad Men Creator Matthew Weiner on the Season Finale"

The AMC series’ season ender offered upheaval in the lives of SC&P’s employees. I speak with Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner about the finale and what’s next. Warning: Spoilers ahead! At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Mad Men Creator Matthew Weiner on the Season Finale," in which I speak with Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner about the sixth season finale, going overboard, that look, California, and much more. Not since the end of Season 3 has AMC’s Mad Men—created by Matthew Weiner—ended a season with as much physical, emotional, and psychological upheaval as it did in Sunday night’s episode (“In Care Of”), which closed out the period drama’s sixth and penultimate season. Written by Weiner and Carly Wray, the final episode restructured some of the show’s key underpinnings: Don Draper (Jon Hamm) spilled the truth about his awful childhood in front of his partners and clients; Megan (Jessica Paré), Pete (Vincent Kartheiser), and Ted Chaough (Kevin

The Daily Beast: "Oxford's No. 1 Sleuth: Inspector Lewis's Kevin Whately on Morse, John Thaw, and the End of the Series"

Kevin Whately has been playing gruff, sensible detective Robbie Lewis on Morse and Lewis for 26 years. I speak to him about the possible end of the Oxford copper. At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Oxford's No. 1 Sleuth: Inspector Lewis 's Kevin Whately on Morse , John Thaw, and the End of the Series," in which I speak with Kevin Whately, star of Inspector Morse and Lewis (which returns to PBS' Masterpiece Mystery on Sunday) about playing Robbie Lewis for 26 years, whether this is the end for the Oxford-set drama, and what's next. Inspector Lewis is due for a vacation. After more than 20 years playing Detective Inspector Robert “Robbie” Lewis, actor Kevin Whately has earned a well-deserved break from investigating murders beneath the Oxford spires. Introduced in Inspector Morse’s first episode (“The Dead of Jericho”), Whately’s Robbie Lewis was the Geordie sidekick of the late John Thaw’s erudite and perpetually cranky Inspector M

The Daily Beast: "Meet Flynn McGarry: America's Next Great Chef is 14 Years Old"

McGarry and BierBeisl chef Bernard Meiringer. (Will McGarry) The chef behind hit Beverly Hills pop-up restaurant Eureka is Flynn McGarry. I sit down for an elaborate 11-course meal and interviews the teenage prodigy. At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Meet Flynn McGarry: America's Next Great Chef is 14 Years Old," in which I sit down with 14-year-old culinary prodigy Flynn McGarry, whose $160 a head supper club and pop-up restaurant Eureka has become destination dining in Los Angeles.(Plus, see my Instagrams of my May 1st meal at McGarry's Eureka and read what McGarry has to say about several specific dishes from the menu .) A recent 11-course tasting menu at Eureka, a monthly pop-up restaurant at Los Angeles’ BierBeisl, included a dish of fresh and dried English peas concealing a hidden parmesan and whey pudding, a live scallop under a cucumber foam, gnocchi made from ash, and an unctuous sous-vide egg yolk encircled by hedgehog mushrooms,

The Daily Beast: "The Good Wife: Creators Robert and Michelle King on the Season Finale, Alicia and Kalinda, and More"

The season finale of The Good Wife was full of dramatic bombshells. I talk to creators Robert and Michelle King about rebooting the show, the start of a ‘civil war,’ Alicia and Kalinda’s dynamic, and what’s next. WARNING: Spoilers galore. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " The Good Wife Creators Tell All," an exclusive Season 4 postmortem interview with The Good Wife husband-and-wife creators Robert and Michelle King, in which we discuss the Alicia (Julianna Margulies)/Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) dynamic (or lack thereof), what really happened between Kalinda and Nick (Marc Warren), the year of Cary (Matt Czuchry), Robyn Burdine (Jess Weixler), and much more. (Seriously, it's a long interview and I had to cut a lot for space.) With two simple words (“I’m in”) the fantastic fourth season of CBS legal drama The Good Wife came to a staggering conclusion on Sunday evening with the revelation that Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), Illinois’s n

The Daily Beast: "Mad Men Season Premiere: Matthew Weiner on the ‘The Doorway,' and More"

Hawaii, hell, and heart attacks! Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner discusses Sunday’s sixth-season opener (‘The Doorway’), Don’s quest for paradise, Betty’s transformation, and more. Warning: spoilers abound! Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Mad Men Season Premiere: Matthew Weiner on the ‘The Doorway,' and More," in which I talk to Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner about the sixth season opener ("The Doorway") and some of the themes, questions, and characters within. “Midway in our life’s journey, I went astray from the straight road and woke to find myself alone in a dark wood.” Mad Men ’s sixth season started with a bang, with the season opener (”The Doorway”) offering us a look into the psyche of Don Draper (Jon Hamm), flitting between a doorman’s near brush with death, the weight of mortality, and the bliss of paradise, in this case the hot, white light of Hawaii. Throughout the two-hour opener, a jumping-off point for issues of

The Daily Beast: "Joelle Carter's Ava Crowder: The Most Badass Woman on TV"

She’s wielded a skillet, a rifle, and—in last night’s episode of Justified —nearly ignited a man. Joelle Carter talks to me about the evolution of Ava Crowder, empowerment, and last night's explosive episode of the FX drama. One choice quote: “We wanted to see them on top of a mountain before the fall,” said Carter. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "The Most Badass Woman on TV," in which I sit down with Joelle Carter to talk about playing Ava Crowder, empowerment, and more. FX’s Justified, based on characters created by novelist Elmore Leonard, revolves around criminals and lawmen who collide in a never-ending bloody battle. Unfolding largely in the backwoods of modern-day Harlan County, Kentucky, the show is grounded in a rough-and-tumble man’s world, one containing a very specific code of honor among the hairy-chested set. It’s a show about how we often stumble upon the path of darkness, how violence defines our worldview, how a gun can re

The Daily Beast: "Gone Girl: Inside ‘Top of the Lake,’ Jane Campion’s Haunting New Thriller"

A missing girl. A shocking crime. A town full of secrets. Welcome to Top of the Lake , from creators Jane Campion and Gerard Lee. At the Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Gone Girl: Inside ‘Top of the Lake,’ Jane Campion’s Haunting New Thriller," for which I sit down with Jane Campion ( The Piano ), Elisabeth Moss ( Mad Men ), Holly Hunter ( Saving Grace ), and Gerard Lee ( Sweetie ) to discuss Top of the Lake , Campion's haunting and spellbinding new thriller, which launches on Monday evening on the Sundance Channel. Jane Campion is missing. The Oscar-nominated director of such films as The Piano and Bright Star is in Los Angeles for a quick stop before the Sundance Film Festival, where her seven-part mystery drama, Top of the Lake, will be screened in its entirety over one day. We’re scheduled to meet for a drink at the Polo Lounge in the historic Beverly Hills Hotel, but Campion has vanished from the hotel, and publicists can’t locate her. Consider

The Daily Beast: "House of Cards: Inside Netflix's First Show"

Netflix is jumping into the original programming arena with a remake of the BBC miniseries ‘House of Cards,’ all 13 episodes of which will be available for streaming on Friday. I talk to David Fincher, Beau Willimon, and Kate Mara about the adaptation, Frank and Zoe’s twisted dynamic, television antiheroes, and more. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " House of Cards : Inside Netflix's First Show, " in which I sit down with David Fincher, Beau Willimon, and Kate Mara (as well as Andrew Davies) to discuss Netflix's upcoming (and paradigm-shifting) original series, House of Cards, which launches Friday with all 13 episodes available same day on the streaming service. The quest for power knows no nationality or political allegiance. In House of Cards , the BBC’s seminal 1990 miniseries , based on the novel by Michael Dobbs, Ian Richardson’s Francis Urquhart is the Machiavellian chief whip of the Conservative Party in the days following Margar

The Daily Beast: "Keri Russell On The Americans, Sleeper Agents, Motherhood & More"

On FX’s The Americans , which begins Wednesday, Keri Russell plays a Soviet sleeper agent in 1980s suburban D.C. I talk with the former Felicity star about Russian spies, secret lives, and being a mom. At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Keri Russell On The Americans , Sleeper Agents, Motherhood, and More," in which I sit down with Keri Russell to talk about FX Networks's new 1980s espionage drama The Americans (and why it's perhaps the anti- Felicity ), motherhood, and more. In the opening scene of The Americans, Joe Weisberg’s tense new 1980s spy drama, Soviet sleeper agent Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell) flirts with a middle-aged stranger in a Washington, D.C., bar. Donning a blond Pretty Woman-style wig and a short dress, Russell is nearly unrecognizable, convincingly transformed into a barfly who pretends to be turned on by a G-man’s security clearance. Elizabeth and her mark head to a hotel room, where she proceeds to seduce him in or

The Daily Beast: "Mad Men: Creator Matthew Weiner Shares 10 Facts About Season 6"

Mad Men returns on April 7! I talk with creator Matthew Weiner about what to expect from Season Six of the period drama, from a time jump to Don and Megan’s marriage. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Mad Men : Creator Matthew Weiner Shares 10 Facts About Season 6," in which I talk to Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner about what lies ahead for Don Draper and the staffers of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce in Season Six of AMC's Mad Men. Hold on to your period-appropriate hats: AMC’s Mad Men will return for its sixth season on Sunday, April 7 at 9 p.m. with a two-hour premiere, the network announced today. (The Emmy Award-winning drama will settle into its regular time at 10 p.m. ET/PT the following week, with an episode directed by series star Jon Hamm.) “To be able to continue exploring the stories of these characters for a sixth season is an amazing opportunity,” said series creator and executive producer Matthew Weiner in a statement. “We lo

The Daily Beast: "Downton Abbey Season 3: Julian Fellowes, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, and More"

UPDATED: I talk to Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, Gareth Neame and nine cast members (including Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Thomas, Rob James-Collier, and many more) about Season 3 of Downton , which returns to PBS and Masterpiece on Sunday, January 6. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read the updated feature, " Downton Abbey Season 3: Julian Fellowes, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, and More," in which we talk broadly about Season 3 and break down some of the specific arcs from the third season, character by character. (Minor spoilers.) Downton Abbey viewers are anxiously awaiting Season 3 of the addictive British costume drama—which arrives on Jan. 6 in the U.S., when it returns to PBS’s Masterpiece—searching for televised methadone to tide them over until Downton Abbey’s third season kicks off. One problem: there isn’t really another show like Downton Abbey on television. Between the exquisite costumes and lavish sets (including real-life Highc

The Daily Beast: "Downton Abbey: My Tea with Mrs. Patmore"

Sipping a cup of Earl Grey, Downton Abbey ’s feisty cook spills on the upcoming third season, a potential romance for her character, posing for German Vogue , and more. " Downton Abbey : My Tea with Mrs. Patmore," in which I sit down for tea with Downton Abbey star Lesley Nicol to discuss Season 3—which returns to PBS’ Masterpiece Classic on January 6—and a potential romance for Mrs. Patmore, posing for Bruce Weber, and the Mrs. Patmore doll. No, Mrs. Patmore cannot cook. It’s a question that is frequently asked of Lesley Nicol, the 59-year-old actress who plays the uppity cook on PBS’s sumptuous costume drama Downton Abbey . “There’s a thing in the U.K. called Celebrity MasterChef ,” Nicol says, sipping a cup of Earl Grey tea at the London Hotel in West Hollywood. “I’ve been asked several times to go on that. I keep saying, ‘No, you have to be at a certain level before you even think about that, and I’m not there at all. When you look really hard, I’m doing a bit o

The Daily Beast: "Denmark's Leading Export: Sofie Gråbøl, Star of Forbrydelsen"

Sofie Gråbøl may not be a household name in the U.S., but around the globe she’s now legendary for her performance as Sarah Lund in the Danish television drama Forbrydelsen . At The Daily Beast, I explore Lund’s appeal and the sensational third season of the original The Killing , which premieres on BBC Four in the U.K. on Saturday. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Denmark's Leading Export: Sofie Gråbøl, Star of Forbrydelsen, " in which I explore both Sofie Gråbøl and Sarah Lund’s appeal and the gripping tension of Forbrydelsen III . It is tragic that American viewers have been denied the chance to become obsessed with Forbrydelsen and with the show’s magnetic star, Sofie Gråbøl. The Danish detective drama exemplifies the power of the provocative and globally significant Nordic noir genre, and the show's lead delivers one of television's most haunting performances of the past decade. Gråbøl, 44, has achieved cult status in Britain and