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HBO renews 'The Leftovers'

HBO renews “The Leftovers”
Damon Lindelof’s drama about The Rapture will be back for a 2nd season.

ABC special to go behind the scenes of “Frozen”
"The Story of Frozen: Making a Disney Animated Classic” is scheduled for Sept. 2.

USA to tackle Yale’s Skull & Bones with Rob Reiner
Reiner is set to produce and direct a drama about a mole who infiltrates Yale secret society in the late ‘60s (when George W. Bush was a member).

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<p>The Leftovers has been renewed</p>

The Leftovers has been renewed

Credit: HBO

HBO renews 'The Leftovers' for season 2

The polarizing, critically-acclaimed sci-fi psycho drama will be back for another year

Time to stock up on cigarettes and Sharpies, folks, because HBO has renewed "The Leftovers" for a second season.

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Credit: Sony Classics

2014 New York Film Festival slate revealed

Expected awards season players 'Foxcatcher' and 'Mr. Turner' Big Apple-bound

The Film Society of Lincoln Center has announced the full slate of this year's 52nd annual event, and as usual it's a tightly curated assortment of world cinema.

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TV Ratings: Robin Williams special boosts ABC, as 'Talent' leads NBC Tuesday
Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: Robin Williams special boosts ABC, as 'Talent' leads NBC Tuesday

NBC tops the night overall and among young viewers

Fast National ratings for Tuesday, August 12, 2014.

"America's Got Talent" led NBC to its normal Tuesday wins, but ABC got a bump from the hastily scheduled "20/20: The Life and Death of Robin Williams" special.

The Robin Williams tribute came in far ahead of the summer's earlier "20/20" special, a June hour dedicated to Hillary Clinton.

Other Wednesday notables saw "Extreme Weight Loss" stay flat and "Food Fighters" slip a hair in the key demo from last week.

On to the numbers...

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'The Brittany Murphy Story' to be shown on Lifetime next month

"The Brittany Murphy Story” to be shown on Lifetime next month
Amanda Fuller will play the late “Clueless” star, while Sherilyn Fenn will play her mom in the biopic airing Sept. 6.

“20/20: The Life and Death of Robin Williams” attracts 7.2 million viewers
ABC’s Robin Williams special placed 2nd for the night.

Coming to NBC: "Robin Hood & Marian”  musical and an Adam Levine 10-hour 1970s music business series
"The 1970s,” with Levine producing, will focus on the creative minds and executives behind the ‘70s classic hits, with current music stars re-recording classic songs.

WGN America orders an Appalachian drama, developing an Underground Railroad series
“Titans” from “Rescue Me” co-creator Peter Tolan will be set in the hills of Appalachia, while “Underground” will focus on the pre-Civil War “Railroad” used to smuggle slaves to the North.

Allison Williams posts a video of her flying as “Peter Pan” in tribute to Robin Williams
"First day of flying lessons for Pan,” says the “Peter Pan Live” star. "Thinking about and missing a hero of mine who once did this and left big shoes to fill."

DirecTV renews “Rogue” for 20 episodes
The Thandie Newton and Cole Hauser series will air 10 episodes next year and 10 in 2016.

ABC announces “Dancing with the Stars” pros
Is Maksim the only pro not returning?

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Credit: TNT

Review: Sean Bean goes undercover in TNT's 'Legends'

The 'Game of Thrones' star is no chameleon, but at least he gets to use his real accent sometimes

I will say this for "Legends," the new TNT drama (it debuts tonight at 9) starring Sean Bean: it does not attempt to hide Bean's native accent behind some bland non-regional American dialect, at least not in his main identity as FBI agent Martin Odom. Because Odom is a master of assuming undercover identities (the "legends" of the title), Bean gets to try on various semi-convincing accents the rest of the time, but at least "Legends" doesn't waste time trying to convince us that Ned Stark doesn't sound like Ned Stark when he's not playacting. The explanation for how a man with this accent ended up working for the FBI is utterly ridiculous, but it's also one line of dialogue that never has to be dealt with again, and it's an approach that I wish many more shows would take when hiring actors from the UK, Australia or New Zealand.

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Jimmy Fallon fights back tears, unleashes his Robin Williams impression in his tribute to the late comedian

Jimmy Fallon fights back tears, unleashes his Robin Williams impression in his tribute to the late comedian
“His brain was always thinking 10 steps ahead of what he was saying,” said Fallon. “He was like the Muhammad Ali of comedy." PLUS: Seth Meyers also paid tribute.

Conan O’Brien recalls Robin Williams buying him a bicycle amid his “Tonight Show” struggles
Conan calls Williams the "best talk show guest ever."

Emmys planning a Robin Williams tribute
"With the tragic loss of Robin, we're trying to deal with that and figure out what to do in the right, appropriate and meaningful way,” says producer Don Mischer. "It's about what can we do to properly remember Robin and create perhaps an emotional moment about Robin, knowing all that he did for all of us who love entertainment and love comedy."

Jimmy Fallon’s “House of Cards” parody features a very shocking cameo
Check out Part 1 and Part 2 of “House of Cue Cards,” in which Fallon’s past comes back to haunt him. PLUS: Fallon and The Roots take the ice bucket challenge.

Hub Network will re-air Robin Williams’ 1st “Happy Days” episode on Friday
“My Favorite Orkan” (watch part of it here) first aired on Feb. 28, 1978.

Shark Week fuels interest in shark meat
"In 12 or 13 years, we have had virtually nobody looking for shark, but this year (for Shark Week) people are jumping all over it,” says one seafood supplier.

Recalling Lauren Bacall’s “Sopranos” cameo
Watch Christopher Moltisanti beat her up.

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Warner pits writers of 'Gangster Squad' and '300' against each other on 'Aquaman'
Credit: DC Comics

Warner pits writers of 'Gangster Squad' and '300' against each other on 'Aquaman'

This is part of the problem

Speaking as a member of the WGAw since 1995, I am disgusted whenever I hear that a studio is doing parallel development on a film. It's a terrible process for the writers, and it reduces the idea of authorship, handing all of the power back to the producers.

It's easy to see why a studio would do it. After all, they're in a rush right now at Warner Bros. to get into the game that Marvel has been winning non-stop for the last few years, and Aquaman is already set to appear in "Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice," with Jason Momoa signed to play the character. For Warner Bros., they're trying to get these films up and ready to go as quickly as they can. Having two writers each work on a script to see what ends up working best sounds like a great way to short-cut things.

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Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

How Reese Witherspoon could end up with three Oscar nominations this year

Having moved out into producing, she's involved with two of the year's big players

Eight and a half years ago, Reese Witherspoon won an Oscar. It came for her leading performance as June Carter in James Mangold's Johnny Cash biopic "Walk the Line." But things fell off after that for a little while. Gavin Hood's "Tsotsi" follow-up, "Rendition," went nowhere with audiences or critics. James L. Brooks' "How Do You Know" stalled. Francis Lawrence's "Water for Elephants" didn't really move the needle. Holiday rom-com "Four Christmases" and spy caper "This Means War" completely bottomed out. And then early last year, that unfortunate Atlanta arrest incident.

But all the while, the actress, who has virtually grown up in the film industry, has been priming the pump with a few projects that will make it to screens this year. At the end of the season, she could well end up with as many as three Oscar nominations. The stage has truly been set for a career turnaround.

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<p>Clint Eastwood</p>

Clint Eastwood

Credit: AP Photo

Clint Eastwood's 'American Sniper' with Bradley Cooper joins the Oscar season

Warner Bros. could probably use another card in their deck this year

How classic can you get? It turns out Clint Eastwood's "American Sniper" with Bradley Cooper will get a limited bow on Christmas Day before going wide on January 16. That puts it smack dab in the middle of the upcoming Oscar season, and gives Universal a little bit of competition on being last pony out of the gate with "Unbroken."

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Lauren Bacall passes away at the age of 89

Lauren Bacall passes away at the age of 89

Honorary Oscar winner was a true Hollywood legend

Hollywood has lost a second iconic voice in less than 24 hours.  Lauren Bacall, star of screen, stage and television, passed away at the age of 89 Tuesday.

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For Robin Williams, 'Television was his cradle, and in some ways it was his true home'

For Robin Williams, "Television was his cradle, and in some ways it was his true home”
TV, says Alessandra Stanley, allowed for the looseness and spontaneity that have less of a place in movies. Television was also where he shot to fame and, in recent years, it was where he returned to seek a steady mooring.” PLUS: “The Crazy Ones” seemed biographical for Williams, examining Williams’ TV legacy, Williams was light years better than network TV was in the 1970s, BBC played Williams’ “Family Guy” episode as news of his death broke, watch Williams’ 5 funniest late-night appearances and his most memorable “SNL” moments, Henry Winkler remembers meeting Williams for the 1st time, CBS is under fire for interviewing a man claiming to have gone to AA with Williams, Chris Rock remembers his mentor, and watch Williams profanely accept the 2012 Comedy Icon Award before many of today’s celebrated comedians.

As "Survivor" editors demand a union contract, the season premiere could be delayed
If their demands result in a labor action such as a walkout, the season premier could be delayed.

“Scandal” books Mary McCormack and Josh Randall
The “In Plain Sight” and “Ed” alums will play a couple in one episode.

Jimmy Fallon is redefining the host-guest relationship with the games he has celebs play
"When guests come on Fallon, there's not an intimidation factor like there might be on Letterman or even Kimmel or Conan,” explains Ryan Bort. “They know they have nothing to worry about and that Fallon is not going to challenge them in anything more consequential than a grade-school game. They can relax, they can have a good time, they can be themselves (as much as possible in front of a camera, anyway).”

“Girls” star Zosia Mamet reveals her battles with an eating disorder
"Do you have a secret?” she writes in Glamour magazine. “Is your secret something that could kill you, a silent gnawing feeling that's slowly melting you away, little by little, something deadly that nobody else can see? Mine is. And it is this: I've struggled with an eating disorder since I was a child. This struggle has been mostly a private one, a war nobody knew was raging inside me. I tried to fight it alone for a long time. And I nearly died."

Seth Meyers on his possible future 12:30 competitor James Corden: “We met at a dinner years ago”
 ”I've run into him at a few of Hulu's Upfronts, and we're actually friendly every time I've run into him,” says Meyers, who shares something in common with Corden — they both have Hulu shows. PLUS: Meyers says he didn't set out to hire a diverse writing staff.

Brooks Wheelan on his brief “SNL” stint: “As soon as I got hired I was like, ‘Well, I'm gonna get fired’”
"I was totally mentally prepared to get fired,” says Wheelan, who will be on stage Wednesday with Judd Apatow and Jay Mohr. "So when I did get fired, I was like, ‘Yeah, that adds up.’”

"Bachelor in Paradise” used a reenactment to depict a cast member’s affair with the boom mic guy
Unfortunately, producers didn’t have footage of Michelle K’s alleged affair with a crew member. PLUS: Texas Gov. Rick Perry chats with “The Bachelorettes” Chris Soules.

George R.R. Martin explains the lack of gay sex scenes in his “Song of Ice and Fire” books
"I'm not going to do it just for the sake of doing it,” he says. "If the plot lends itself to that — if one of my viewpoint characters is in a situation, then I'm not going to shy away from it — but you can't just insert things because everyone wants to see them."

RuPaul is helping pioneer a new kind of product placement
For Season 6 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” the Logo reality show partnered with the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority so that it “can organically be part of this program.”

TV's character actors film a PSA
Watch Matt Walsh, Anthony Head, Donald Faison, Rob Corddry, Donal Logue and more explain why they matter, too.

Check out Shemar Moore back on “The Young and the Restless”
Here he is reprising his classic role of Malcolm Winters.

Has Guy Fieri destroyed the Food Network?
The Food Network star seems to have been redesigned in the “Food Network Star” winner’s shouty image.

Oxygen’s “Sisterhood of Hip Hop” shows that reality TV is the steadiest gig for female rappers
As the NY Times points out, "there are certainly more female rappers on this show than will release albums on major labels this year (and maybe next year, too).”

Watch Lauren Ambrose in Lifetime’s “Deliverance Creek” trailer from Nicholas Sparks
“The Notebook” author is producing the two-hour Civil War-era film.

Play the Shark Week drinking game
Here is how to get “shark-faced” this week. PLUS: How Shark Week comes up with its titles.

“Twin Peaks” gets an 8-bit opening
What would the classic mystery drama look like as an early video game?

After “Desperate Housewives” ended, James Denton escaped to Minnesota
"I wanted to get my kids out of L.A.," he tells People. "So we moved to Minnesota right away. I've also got a house in rural Montana, which is our escape from Minnesota!"

AMC’s KISS football reality show premieres tonight
"4th and Loud” follows Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons’ L.A. Kiss Arena League team.

“Peyton Place star Ed Nelson dies
Nelson, 85, played a NYC doctor who set up a practice in the fictional town.

RIP Lauren Bacall: The legendary actress’ final acting credit was for a “Family Guy” episode from March
Bacall, 89, lent her voice to the episode “Mom’s the World” in which she plays Peter's mom's friend who forms a close bond with him. Bacall also nominated for three Emmys.

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