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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: 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: "Ben Whishaw, The Hour's British Invader"

Q in Skyfall goes back in time to the 1950s newsroom in Season Two of The Hour , beginning tonight. I explore the range and appeal of talented British actor Ben Whishaw. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " The Hour 's British Invader," in which I write about the astonishing range of 32-year-old British actor Ben Whishaw, who held his own against Bond as Q in Skyfall and returns to television tonight with Season Two of BBC America's The Hour . You know Ben Whishaw. Or rather, you should know precisely who the British actor is, even if he isn’t yet a household name. You may have seen him as doomed poet John Keats in 2009’s Bright Star or as doomed playboy Sebastian Flyte in the remake of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited. In this autumn’s Cloud Atlas, he plays five distinct roles, from a classical composer and a record-store clerk to a cabin boy and even a woman. And you definitely saw him in the most recent James Bond flick, Skyfall, i

The Daily Beast: "Dallas Loses Its Schemer: Larry Hagman Dies at 81"

Larry Hagman, best known as the dastardly J.R. Ewing, died Friday at age 81. I explore the indelible mark Hagman left on television and popular culture. At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Dallas Loses Its Schemer," in which I offer an obituary and appreciation for the late Dallas actor Larry Hagman, who passed away on Friday at the age of 81. Actor Larry Hagman, best known for his role as Dallas’s Machiavellian oil baron J.R. Ewing, died Friday at age 81, after complications from cancer. Hagman’s career spanned over 60 years, and included not only Dallas and its revival series, which launched earlier this year on TNT, but also the seminal 1960s comedy series I Dream of Jeannie, where he played Major Anthony “Tony” Nelson opposite Barbara Eden’s titular character. Hagman had, according to The Hollywood Reporter, filmed six of the new Dallas’s 15 episodes at the time of his death, with the second season scheduled to start on January 28. How the show

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

The Daily Beast: "Community: The NBC Comedy is Shelved Until Later, But Why?"

I explore NBC’s decision to hold Community until an undisclosed later date, which arrives during a television season that lowers the bar on expectations and on success. At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Community : The NBC Comedy is Shelved Until Later, But Why?" in which I explore some of the reasons why NBC opted to hold Community until a later date. Community will not be returning on Friday, October 19, and will instead remain in limbo for the foreseeable future. While the news left Greendale fans panicking, the network claims it has made the late decision because NBC had focused promotional support on the network’s Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday lineups, apparently forgetting about the existence of Community and Whitney, which were meant to return next Friday. The two low-rated comedies may instead end up filling in for the network’s other trouble spots in the coming weeks or months. While this sort of network scheduling second-guessing is onl

The Daily Beast: "Alex Kingston's Journey Through Time"

Alex Kingston reprises her role as River Song in Saturday’s Doctor Who and travels back in time for the new season of Upstairs Downstairs . I talk to the former ER star about River, Downton Abbey , historical lesbians, and more. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Alex Kingston's Journey Through Time," in which I talk to Kingston about Doctor Who and "The Angels Take Manhattan," Upstairs Downstairs (which returns to PBS' Masterpiece on Oct. 7), Downton Abbey , River Song, historical lesbians, and more. Upstairs Downstairs isn’t typically known for its salaciousness. The costume drama’s legendary original run—between 1971 and 1975 on ITV—kept the characters’ sexuality more or less off-screen, but the recent BBC revival series, which returns to PBS’ Masterpiece on Oct. 7, has taken a more overt approach to human sexuality than its predecessor, with one character—Claire Foy’s Lady Persephone—painted as a notorious Nazi sympa

The Daily Beast: "Inside Downton Abbey Season Three" (SPOILERS)

Desperate for Downton Abbey ahead of its return? You've come to the right place. "Inside Downton Abbey Season Three," in which I sit down with Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, executive producer Gareth Neame, and members of the show’s sprawling cast—including Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery, Joanne Froggatt, and Brendan Coyle—to discuss what’s coming up on Season 3 (which launches on Sunday in the U.K. and January in the U.S.), including star-crossed romances, financial drama, the arrival of Shirley MacLaine, and much more. (Read Part 1 of this interview, in which Fellowes & Co. discuss the show’s 16 Emmy nominations and Season 2, here .) Downton Abbey viewers are anxiously awaiting Season 3 of the addictive British costume drama—which arrives on U.K. television on Sunday (although not until Jan. 6 in the U.S., when it returns to PBS’ Masterpiece)—searching for televised methadone to tide them over until Downton Abbey’s third season

The Daily Beast: "2012 Emmy Nomination Snubs & Surprises"

The nominations are out: Homeland, Downtown Abbey , and Girls get their shot at the awards, while The Good Wife, Community, Louie, Justified , and many others are shut out. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "2012 Emmy Nomination Snubs & Surprises," in which I discuss which shows and actors were snubbed by the TV Academy as well as a few surprise nominations. Plus, view our gallery of the nominees . The Television Academy has today announced its nominations for the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards and, looking at the list, you may be forgiven for thinking that every single member of the casts of Downton Abbey and Modern Family had walked away with nominations. (It just seems that way.) AMC’s Mad Men and FX’s American Horror Story tied for the most nominations, with 17 apiece, while PBS’ cultural phenomenon Downton Abbey—which shifted from the miniseries category into Best Drama this year—grabbed 16 nominations (tying with History’s Hatfields &

The Darkest Timeline: Quick Thoughts on Dan Harmon's Firing from Community

On Thursday evening, NBC burned off the final three episodes of Community ’s third season, 90 minutes of the remainder of the season haphazardly arranged around the 30 Rock finale. These well-received episodes tapped into the heart of what makes the offbeat comedy tick: 8-bit video games, an elaborate heist, and a trial over ownership rights to a sandwich shop. If this all seems gonzo and out there, that’s the point: Community blazed creative trails that were largely heretofore unseen on American broadcast network television. If this had marked the end of Community , it would have gone out with a bang that was both joyous and triumphant. NBC had rescued the show with an eleventh hour reprieve, granting it a 13-episode renewal and moving it to the graveyard of Friday nights. But whether Dan Harmon, whose contract expired at the end of the third season, would be returning to the show he created was still very much unknown when the end credits ran on the final episode. It was report

The Daily Beast: "Game of Thrones' Wild Card: Esmé Bianco"

At the heart of the ‘Game of Thrones’ sexposition controversy is Esmé Bianco’s Ros. At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Game of Thrones ' Wild Card: Esmé Bianco," in which I sit down with Game of Thrones 's Bianco to talk about Ros, a character not in George R.R. Martin's novels, sexposition, nudity, THAT scene, and more. Fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones who have read the voluminous novels in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series upon which the show is based often have an edge over non-readers, given that they’re only too aware of what’s to come. But, in adapting Game of Thrones from Martin’s work, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss at times shift away from the texts to explore off-camera sequences, insert new twists and turns, and create new scenarios for the characters to face. In Season 1, Benioff and Weiss went so far to create an original character just for the show: prostitute Ros, who quickly fell into bed with se

The Daily Beast: "Bring on the New Shows!" (Upfronts 2012)

Over at The Daily Beast, we're keeping you up-to-date with all of the news, renewals, cancellations, and series orders coming out of this week's broadcast network upfronts. You can read our Network Scorecard , which keeps track of all of the renewals and cancelations as well as reactions to the scheduling changes and check out video promos for all of the networks' new shows. And you can read detailed descriptions--as well as insider information--about all of the new series heading to your television in the fall and spring. Jace Lacob and Maria Elena Fernandez take a look at what’s coming up and what’s coming back on TV this fall as television's network upfronts week comes to a close. The CW moved Supernatural to Wednesdays, ordered five new shows, renewed Hart of Dixie, and canceled Secret Circle and Ringer. CBS moved Two and a Half Men to Thursdays and The Mentalist to Sundays, while The Good Wife is staying put. ABC renewed Revenge (moving it to Sundays at 9 p.m.

The Daily Beast: "The Woman Behind New Girl"

As the first season of Fox’s breakout comedy New Girl comes to a close, creator Liz Meriwether talks to me about the blowback over star Zooey Deschanel and her character Jess’s “adorkable” qualities, the show's handling of sexuality, and girl-on-girl snark. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "The Woman Behind New Girl ," in which I sit down with New Girl creator Liz Meriwether to discuss the show's first season as a whole, reactions to Jess and her "adorkable" qualities, the show's handling of sexuality, girl-on-girl snark (particularly surrounding New Girl and Girls ), and more. One of the few comedy hits of the season, Fox’s New Girl, wraps its first season Tuesday night. Created by Elizabeth Meriwether (No Strings Attached), New Girl revolves around a socially awkward teacher, Jess (Zooey Deschanel), who—after discovering her boyfriend has cheated on her—moves in with three guys (Max Greenfield, Lamorne Morris, and Ja

The Daily Beast: "Dark Shadows Vampire Jonathan Frid Dead at 87"

Jonathan Frid, who played the bloodsucker Barnabas Collins on the 1966-1971 cult soap Dark Shadows , has died at 87. Over at The Daily Beast, I remember how the actor propelled a struggling soap into a cultural phenomenon, as I offer an obituary for the Dark Shadows star who introduced us to Barnabas Collins. Jonathan Frid, the Canadian actor who first portrayed the remorseful vampire Barnabas Collins in the 1960s and 1970s in the cult classic soap opera Dark Shadows died earlier this week at the age of 87. Johnny Depp is set to step into the period shoes of the bloodsucker in Tim Burton's feature film version of the show, opening May 11. A publicist working with Frid to promote the release of Dark Shadows: The Complete Series on DVD confirmed his death. Born in Ontario, Canada in 1924, Frid served in the Royal Canadian Navy during World War II before studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London and then emigrating to the United States, where he obtained a M

The Daily Beast: Armando Iannucci on "HBO's Superb New Veep"

HBO’s fabulous new political comedy Veep , starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, premieres Sunday. At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "HBO's Superb New Veep ," in which I speak to creator Armando Iannucci about the vice presidency’s comic potential, U.S.-U.K. relations, why he didn't enter the civil service, and how Veep compares to The West Wing . With HBO’s acerbic and dazzling political comedy Veep —which depicts a power-hungry if buffoonish female U.S. vice president and her staffers—Scottish-born creator Armando Iannucci turns his attention to American politics, bringing his deadpan wit, rapid-fire dialogue, and comedy of the uncomfortable to the corridors of power in Washington. Veep , which premieres Sunday evening, stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus ( Seinfeld ) as Vice President Selina Meyer, a politician who, although a heartbeat away from becoming the POTUS, spends her days scheming about biodegradable utensils, filibuster reform, and getting the na

The Daily Beast: "TV Tackles Bipolar Disorder"

With Showtime’s recent dramas Homeland and Shameless , characters with bipolar disorder on television are no longer on the fringes. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "TV Tackles Bipolar Disorder," in which I explore the portrayals of Carrie Mathison and Monica Gallagher, played by Claire Danes and Chloe Webb, as individuals with bipolar disorder and how those realistic and nuanced portrayals both shape their respective series but also help to remove the stigma associated with mental illness. I talk to Homeland co-creator Alex Gansa about Carrie's illness and how her decision to turn to ECT will affect Season Two (beginning in September) and with Shameless writer/producer Etan Frankel about the handling of Monica and how her condition has molded the Gallagher family. On Homeland, Claire Danes’ Carrie Mathison is a brilliant and ambitious CIA analyst, gifted with a beautiful mind that sees connections and hidden patterns that others around her

The Daily Beast: "Game of Thrones' Emo Hero"

In Season Two of the HBO smash drama Game of Thrones , Jon Snow becomes a true warrior. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, entitled " Game of Thrones ' Emo Hero," in which I sit down with Kit Harington and talk about playing Jon Snow, fame, what’s to come in Season Two, Ygritte, Samwell, and why he refuses to wear a wig. Within the harsh world of HBO’s fantasy series Game of Thrones, based on George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels, you either live by the sword or you die by it. In the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, court is a deadly pit of vipers, with each of the titular game’s players scheming and manipulating their way to higher realms of power and influence. Not everyone is engaged in these sordid power plays. Bastard-born Jon Snow is a child of the North, raised in the ice and cold of Winterfell before being packed off to the Night’s Watch, a brotherhood of men sworn to protect the 700-foot ancient Wall and the realm from the thr

The Daily Beast: "Gillian Anderson is Back!"

Gillian Anderson, famous for The X-Files , stuns as Miss Havisham in Sunday’s Great Expecations . She tells me about turning down Downton Abbey , her British accent—and possibly playing Scully again. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Gillian Anderson is Back!" in which I talk to the former star of The X-Files about whether she's open to reprising her role as Dana Scully, playing Miss Havisham, turning down Downton Abbey , her accent, and her new television project, The Fall . Gillian Anderson is no stranger to strange worlds. The former star of The X-Files, which became a worldwide hit and spawned two feature films, Anderson has, for now anyway, traded in Dana Scully’s FBI-issued handgun and severe suits for the tight-laced corsets and flowing frocks of such period dramas as Bleak House, The House of Mirth, Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, The Crimson Petal and the White, Moby Dick, and Any Human Heart, in which she played a delici