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Why CBS and HBO May Have Ushered in TV's Cord-Free Future

CBS, the storied network that’s been around since before the invention of television, may be moored in history and tradition — but it also has a strong history of blowing up tradition in order to move itself, and the TV industry, forward. That revolutionary ethos was on display once more last week with the announcement that the network, through a subscription service called CBS All Access, was becoming the first American broadcaster to sell its content directly to consumers without a cable or satellite company middleman. Whatever the actual impact of the move— which came a day after a similar move by HBO to “unbundle” HBO Go — the symbolism was staggering: The home of Paley and Murrow had embraced an idea that could lead to the end of network TV as we’ve known it.

To be sure, the key word here is “symbolism.” »

  • Posted 10/23/14 at 5:30 PM
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There Might Be an Archie Comics TV Show Called Riverdale

Archie Andrews is dead (sort of) in his long-running comic, but he may yet get one more chance to live, thanks to Fox. The network is developing a TV show called Riverdale that will follow the red-headed teen and his gang of squeaky-clean friends. Actually, take out the "squeaky-clean" part — Deadline says the project will be a "bold, subversive" drama that explores the "the darkness and weirdness" underpinning the Archie universe. That could mean anything from Desperate Housewives to Blue Velvet! The show will be produced by Everwood's Greg Berlanti. This is Berlanti's second attempt at bringing Archie comics to television (the first was Dawson's Creek).

The 11 Scariest TV Shows Ever (and Where to Stream Them)

When you think of horror, you think of horror movies, but some of the deepest and most lasting shivers have come from television. Here is a list of ten small-screen classics guaranteed to keep you up at night.

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Yes, Constantine Is a Show About a Man Who Fights Demons, But I Didn’t Believe a Second of It

I didn't believe a second of NBC's Constantine, adapted from DC Comics' Hellblazer series.

That might seem a strange complaint given that the story concerns an exorcist/demonologist (Matt Ryan) who travels the world, battling demons who've possessed innocent mortals while trying to right a tragic mistake. It must be a tone thing and a performance thing: The show's got the atmosphere and visuals things nailed down.

The show seems stuck a creative netherworld all its own. »

  • Posted 10/23/14 at 1:00 PM
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Fox Is Making a TV Version of Hitch

CBS has Rush Hour, NBC has Marley & Meand now Fox is getting in the remaking-well-regarded-but-hardly-untouchable-comedies game — the network is developing a TV version of Hitch, with Will and Jada Pinkett Smith signed on to produce. (Somewhere, Aziz Ansari is screaming with joy.) The series will reportedly be a single-camera rom-com about "dating and sexual politics," which means it will fit in perfectly with all the shows that will be canceled this time next year.  

James Corden’s Late Late Show to Debut in March

The new James Corden–hosted version of CBS’s The Late Late Show has a premiere date: The U.K. actor will make his debut as Craig Ferguson’s replacement on March 9, the Eye network just announced. With Ferguson stepping down December 19, Vulture hears CBS will fill most of the three-month gap between his exit and Corden’s debut by having rotating guest-hosts on The Late Late Show. Meanwhile, Corden and CBS have also decided to outsource the job of Late Late Show executive producer to another Brit, hiring Ben Winston, an exec producer of hit music competition show The X Factor, to oversee Corden’s new chatfest. Winston and Corden have worked together before on the Brit Awards and on sketches for charity telethon Red Nose Day. Oh, and Winston directed Corden in the One Direction video for “Best Song Ever.”  

The Mindy Project’s Ike Barinholtz on the Anal Episode and Adam Pally on Skeleton Sex

It was the booty call heard 'round the world. On the October 7 episode of The Mindy Project ("I Slipped"), Danny tried to get some action from his girlfriend Mindy’s back section, marking network comedy’s first attempt to talk about anal sex.

“Well, I have to correct you there as I believe there was one pioneer before us who bravely tackled anal sex on broadcast TV, and that was an episode of Amen starring Sherman Hemsley,” Ike Barinholtz joked when Vulture sat down with the actor/writer/producer on the show’s L.A. set last Friday. “Actually, I don’t think it has ever been done before, probably with good reason. We’re proud to make history any way we can. In fact, we sent that episode straight to the Smithsonian. It will be running on a perpetual loop for eternity next to Archie Bunker’s chair.”

"You think they are going to let us get away with that in our time slot?" »

Nashville Recap: Baby Boom

Last night’s Nashville will forever be called the “of course that happened” episode. Of course applesauce kid is Gunnar’s. Of course that homeless dude can sing like an angel. Of course the first time Will goes cruising for sex in the park, he gets jumped. Of course Zoey seizes the opportunity of Juliette’s illness to bulldoze her way into the spotlight.

And (spoiler alert if you didn’t watch next week’s preview): Of course Maddie will end up kissing Colton.

I mean, of course.

I do love the fact that, on Nashville, dunking fries in applesauce (um, ew?) is considered a hereditary trait. »

  • Posted 10/23/14 at 9:50 AM
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Here’s Jessica Lange Singing Lana Del Rey on American Horror Story

Just as Ryan Murphy promised, last night's episode of American Horror Story: Freak Show featured Jessica Lange singing a Lana Del Rey song. Does it matter which song? It's "Gods & Monsters," a bonus track from the deluxe edition of Born to Die, and they kept in the line about Jim Morrison, even though Freak Show is set in 1952. Anachronisms!

American Horror Story: Freak Show Recap: The Hair of Her Chinny-Chin-Chin

I never quite understood why American Horror Story needs a Halloween episode. Isn’t that sort of like Barbara Walters doing a special about people who refuse to retire or Guy Fieri doing a miniseries about bad dye jobs and quadruple-bypass surgeries? But here we are, due to the season when it airs, with a two-part Halloween special. It’s like one of those Halloween Spirit pop-up stores in your neighborhood that only sells costumes having a special Halloween sale. Can’t we just get It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and like eight of Roseanne’s Halloween episodes and call it a day?

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Steve Coogan Will Replace Philip Seymour Hoffman in Happyish

Showtime is still moving forward with the Shalom Auslander–created dark comedy Happyish, the network announced today. Initially, the show starred Philip Seymour Hoffman as a middle-aged guy grappling with misery in the wake of professional frustration. After Hoffman's death in February, the future of the show was unclear, but Showtime has cast Steve Coogan in the main role. Coogan's version of the pilot will shoot in December, though it's not clear yet if the supporting cast from the previous version — including Kathryn Hahn as Hoffman's character's wife and Rhys Ifans as his boss — will be back.

The Best TV Shows on Amazon Prime

If the first season of Transparent, Amazon Prime’s trailblazing-in-all-ways dramedy, was your first foray into the online behemoth’s members-only streaming service, congratulations! One show down, about 1,300 to go! To help you navigate Prime’s overabundance of programming, we’ve whittled down all the possibilities, giving you our picks for the best shows from all genres. And because shows are often displayed on Prime’s browsing interfaces organized (or really, disorganized) by season, we’ve also suggested which individual season of a show is the best for newbies to dive into first (or for old-time fans to cue up, should you fancy a binge down memory lane). Check it out, and feel free to tell us what we missed in the comments.

So much good TV! »

If You Took Away Their Bathrooms, Which Friends Character Would Pee on the Floor First?

When we saw Ian Roach's re-creation of the cast of Friends in The Sims 4our imaginations ran wild. Friends ended in 2004, but it left us with so many questions: Which Friend can survive the longest without food? Or a bathroom? If you locked them along together in their apartment, how long would it take Joey and Chandler to fall in love? We had Roach run a few simulations and now you'll never have to wonder again. 

Okay, who would pee on the floor after Ross? »

What TV Shows Can Help Mend a Broken Heart? Your Pressing TV Questions, Answered

Welcome back to Stay Tuned, Vulture's TV advice column. Each Wednesday, Margaret Lyons answers your questions about your various TV triumphs and woes. Need help? Have a theory? Want a recommendation? Submit a question! You can email staytuned@nymag.com, leave a comment, or tweet @margeincharge with the hashtag #staytuned.

What's a good show to watch to mend a broken heart? —Rae

Aw, peach, I am sorry to hear you are going through a lovelorn time. »

A Photographic Account of Every Time Hayden Panettiere’s Juliette Has Cried on Nashville

Nashville doesn't always know what it's good at. It spends a lot of time on crummy stories — who cares about that lady trying to seduce Deacon? — and breezes right by substantive ones — hey, remember that time Rayna's vocal cords were damaged? The musical numbers remain a highlight, but the true centerpiece of the show is Hayden Panettiere's crying. The woman can weep! Her Juliette is volatile and vulnerable, which means she cries a lot, and every time she does, it's the highlight of the episode. Nashville bounces between crazy, out-of-control nonsense and dull, predictable drudgery, but within the dregs remains a shining beacon of perfection. We present to you every time Juliette has cried on Nashville.

The 3 Funny People Who Passed Before Neil Patrick Harris Was Offered the Oscar-Hosting Gig

When the news first came out that Neil Patrick Harris would be hosting the 2015 Oscars, the reaction was decidedly "of course," with a touch of "finally!" However, it was less of a given than it appeared. The Hollywood Reporter reports that NPH wasn't the producers' top choice. He wasn't even their third choice. First, Ellen DeGeneres was begged to return. Then Chris Rock said no. Then, maybe most exciting, the producers asked Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Hold in your "OMG"; JLD said no. Then, after all the waiters at the Chateau Marmont passed, we got Harris. A TV show is in development about the process, called How I Met Your Host.

Watch Jim Carrey’s Saturday Night Live Promos

Jim Carrey is hosting Saturday Night Live for the third time this week, but first things first: promos! With Halloween looming, many of them are spooky and scary, and in one, Carrey does an impression of Aidy Bryant that is frighteningly good, so maybe don't watch them in the dark. Also, why are you watching SNL promos in the dark, weirdo?

Watch a Trailer for the Most Adorable Show on TV: MasterChef Junior

We're so close to getting a new season of MasterChef Junior, we can taste the tiny gourmet meals. Will season two live up to the incredibly high standards set by season one's incomparably adorable chefs? We can only hope.

Lena Dunham: Stop Asking Whether My Characters Are Likable

Why are bad guys on TV okay while "bad" girls are not? Last night at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, as part of Unbound: A Literary Series With BAM and Greenlight Bookstore, Lena Dunham briefly talked about how annoying it is to keep having to address the double standard. “We get so many questions about the likability of our characters," Dunham said. "But it’s such a weird question to be getting in a world where our favorite television characters are Tony Soprano, Dexter, and Walter White. People are like, ‘He did the drugs for his family!’ and then they’re like, ‘and that girl was mean to her friend, and she should get the death penalty.’ It sometimes feels a little bit like we’re stuck in The Twilight Zone when every time Jemima and I or whatever go out and do a panel, they’re like, ‘How do you feel about playing such bad girls?’”

Also, she likes to show her father the video for "Anaconda." »

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Recap: Desperate Times

Picking up after last week's enjoyable but frothy Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode, "A Hen in the Wolf House" wastes no time getting back to business. By the end of the episode, S.H.I.E.L.D. has brought two undercover agents back into the fold, and Hydra has formed an alliance with Skye's father — the one man who has the power to bring Agent Coulson down.

"A Hen in the Wolf House" opens with another chillingly successful Hydra mission. »