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05/19/2016 Meghan 0 Comment(s) BrainDead, Spoilers

LAUREL HEALY RETURNS HOME TO WASHINGTON, D.C. TO FIND THE GOVERNMENT HAS STOPPED WORKING AND MYSTERIOUS BUGS ARE EATING THE BRAINS OF CONGRESSMEN, ON THE SERIES PREMIERE OF “BRAINDEAD,” MONDAY, JUNE 13

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Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Danny Pino, Aaron Tveit and Tony Shalhoub Star in the New Comic-Thriller from Robert and Michelle King

“The Insanity Principle: How Extremism in Politics is Threatening Democracy in the 21st Century” – When Laurel Healy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) returns home to Washington, D.C. to work for her brother, Senator Luke Healy (Danny Pino), on Capitol Hill, she is caught in the midst of two huge problems: the government has stopped working due to budgetary disagreements, and mysterious bugs are eating the brains of a growing number of Congress members and Hill staffers, on the series premiere of BRAINDEAD, Monday, June 13 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Danny Pino, Aaron Tveit and Tony Shalhoub star.

BRAINDEAD is a comic-thriller set in the world of Washington, D.C. politics that follows Laurel, a young, fresh-faced Hill staffer who discovers two things: the government has stopped working, and bugs are eating the brains of Congress members and Hill staffers. The daughter of a Democratic political dynasty who left Washington, D.C. to become a documentary filmmaker, Laurel is pulled back into the family business when her brother, Luke, the Democratic whip Senator from Maryland, needs her help running his Senate office. On the Hill, Laurel becomes unlikely friends with Gareth (Aaron Tveit), the smart, hardworking Legislative Director to a top Republican, Senator Red Wheatus (Tony Shalhoub). Her other allies include Gustav (Johnny Ray Gill), an eccentric genius who is the first in D.C. to recognize that something sinister is attacking the Capitol, and Rochelle (Nikki M. James), a medical student who teams up with Laurel and Gustav to protect and defend the citizens of D.C. from an untimely fate. As the tiny bugs continue to multiply, Laurel and her allies must work quickly to identify the creatures, stop their infiltration and ultimately save the world.

CHEAT TWEET: @M_E_Winstead @TheDannyPino @AaronTveit star in the series premiere of #BrainDead! 6/13 10PM #CBS




04/20/2016 Meghan 0 Comment(s) BrainDead, Promos, Sneak Peeks, Spoilers, Videos

The BrainDead writers twitter posted the video to the first promo for the Summer series BrainDead. The promo is now airing on CBS now. The show will premiere June 13th at 10pm.




04/17/2016 Meghan 0 Comment(s) Scandal, Spoilers

EVEN INTEGRITY IS NEGOTIABLE DURING ELECTION SEASON, ON ABC’S ‘SCANDAL’

“Buckle Up” – As Mellie, Susan and Hollis prepare to meet with Florida’s governor and vie for her influential endorsement, a spin war between Abby and Olivia threatens to keep their candidates grounded. Meanwhile, Cyrus is faced with a decision that could dramatically alter his future, on ABC’s “Scandal,” THURSDAY, APRIL 28 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network.




04/01/2016 Meghan 0 Comment(s) Scandal, Spoilers

THE DEVIL WENT DOWN TO D.C., ON ABC’S “SCANDAL”

Episode Directed by Tony Goldwyn

“Thwack!” – The election is in full swing, which means everyone is doing their best to take down their opponents, but when a potential leak threatens several candidates, they have to work together to keep their secrets safe. Boundaries are pushed and lines are crossed as we find out just how far some people are willing to go to protect themselves, on a shocking-new “Scandal,” THURSDAY APRIL 7 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EDT) on the ABC Television Network.




03/26/2016 Meghan 0 Comment(s) Scandal, Spoilers

A SUCCESSFUL POLITICAL CAMPAIGN IS BEST RUN ON A DIRT TRAIL,

ON ABC’S “SCANDAL”

Episode Directed by Scott Foley

“The Miseducation of Susan Ross” – Following the first Republican debate, Olivia is presented with damaging information about an opponent and enlists the Gladiators to verify its authenticity. Meanwhile, David deals with fallout from his dating life, and Cyrus continues to work on his own political agenda, on “Scandal,” THURSDAY, MARCH 31 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EDT) on the ABC Television Network.




03/13/2016 Meghan 0 Comment(s) Scandal, Spoilers

AS THE ELECTION GETS CLOSER, PEOPLE’S TRUE COLORS BEGIN TO SHOW,

ON ABC’S “SCANDAL”

Episode Directed by Regina King

“Pencils Down” – When Mellie makes a very public faux pas, Olivia must decide how far she’ll go to fix it. Meanwhile, the Gladiators learn valuable intel about Jake’s new love interest, and David Rosen seeks advice about his love triangle with Liz North and Susan Ross, on an all-new “Scandal,” THURSDAY, MARCH 24 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EDT) on the ABC Television Network.




04/08/2015 Meghan 0 Comment(s) Articles, Spoilers, SVU

Warren Leight looks ahead to next season in the wake of the show’s early renewal.

It took 15 seasons for Law & Order: SVU to make a mother out of Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), but now there’s no slowing her down. Following several health crises earlier this season, baby Noah catches the measles on Wednesday’s new episode in the midst of a potentially dangerous outbreak.

“Because his immune system has been compromised, Olivia delayed getting him his measles vaccine until he was healthier,” says showrunner Warren Leight. “That’s a bad set-up for her.”

Law & Order: SVU is well versed at ripping from the headlines. But even Leight admits the writers “struggled to find a way” to write about the recent measles outbreak in California on a show devoted to sex crimes. In the episode, SVU begins investigating pornographic photos from a high school house party when several suspects in the case are diagnosed with the measles. “We got there,” says Leight. “But it was a journey to get there.”

And the journey is far from over for Sgt. Benson and her team. The Hollywood Reporter spoke with Leight about the upcoming trial of Noah’s paternal father, Olivia’s search for a No. 2 and some possible romance in season 17.

You earned an early renewal in February. How has that affected your storytelling?

It let me arc out a season knowing there was another one to come, knowing that I could put seeds in for things that I hope will sprout next season as well. We still adhere to the self-contained storyline format, but we really have been doing a lot more long-form storytelling. It allowed the show to breathe a little bit. … Where will baby Noah go? What’s his storyline going to be? I could think in a different time frame about things like that. Some of it will be made more clear by the end of the season, but it allowed us to make some turns that we might not have otherwise been able to.

What are some of these seeds that will start popping up as the season comes to a close?

We had one episode in which we found out that this horrible pimp Johnny D. is actually Noah’s father, and we’re going to be heading to the trial of Johnny D. in the final episode of the season. That trial is more complicated because we’re also heading to the adoption of baby Noah by Olivia at the end of the season.

What is Olivia’s mindset going into this final episode? She has had a lot of challenges with Noah this season.

Olivia is fierce. She’s had, in prior seasons, foster kids taken from her care. She does not want to let that happen. She knows the system better. She’s doing everything she can and I think she had a little bit of a reality check that you can’t work 24 hours a day and be the single parent of a one-year-old with health issues. She had to actually learn, and is still learning, to delegate a little more. … She has to prioritize so we’ll be seeing her begin to search for a No. 2 in the station house. Is somebody going to step up and take the Sergeants exam is another story point that’s going to be coming up towards the end of the season – someone that she can delegate to a little more.

Wednesday’s episode also deals with Amaro and his son. What can you say is coming up for him?

Amaro is having a tough year here. Things haven’t broken his way. That marriage is obviously gone. His wife and kid are in California and now Gilberto’s family, we’re learning, may be moving as well. He’s looking for a change or a role in this episode and trying to connect to his son and stay connected to his son. He’s dealing with the reality of not being where you want to be in your life at 40. I think he thought everything was laid out the way some men do and the last thing they thought they’d be is alone at 40. That’s also part of the last third of this season; watching him try to find his place in a post-family world.

Does that mean he might be the person who applies to be Olivia’s No. 2?

That’s in play. What is everyone’s status? Can she stay on as acting commander and chief of the squad? Does she need to step up and take the Lieutenants exam? If she does, does anyone step up with her? We always like to play the reality as much as we can, which is they’ll stick a sergeant in that job for awhile, but eventually they’re going to want somebody in there with a higher pay grade. If she doesn’t step up does that mean an outsider is coming in? These are the questions that are being asked as the season winds down.

Are you thinking about adding a new face to the show?

We’re beginning to try to have some outside influence on the squad room so it’s not quite so insular as it got over the years. … We may float a few people in from time to time next year on their way to other places.

One of those people is Tucker (Robert John Burke) and he recently took Olivia out for a drink. What can you say about Olivia and him going forward?

Tucker is evolving as a human being and he has respect and affection for Olivia. At this point they’re like old warriors who’ve gone to battle so many times, they probably have more in common than she does with the young folk in her squad room.

Is that a romance something you’re thinking about pursuing next season? Before Noah, fans used to speculate a lot about her love life.

In the first year of being a single parent with an immune-suppressed infant while running a squad room, the chances for romance have been few. I think it is one of the questions we have for next year: Will that turn for Olivia? I don’t think she needs a romantic partner to be complete. I think sometimes people want that for her. … Her life has changed and I think for the better, and there’s more balance. She can see Tucker as a human and maybe there is some common ground there. He’ll be seen a bit more in the final episodes of the season.

Law & Order: SVU airs Wednesday at 9 p.m. on NBC.

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03/04/2015 Meghan 0 Comment(s) Spoilers, SVU

Ashley: Anything on SVU?
We know there’s a lot of you who are very invested in the Rollaro—that’s Amaro and Rollins’ relationship. So what’s up with it? “I don’t know, I don’t know where that is. I don’t know where they’re taking it,” Giddish admits. The actress tell us she’s not sure about the relationship and how healthy it is for her character, but said she loves having Pino as a scene partner. “So rarely we get to act with other people in the squad room, just like a two-hander scene, it’s just nice knowing that there is something, maybe another layer, that is going on in the squad room,” she says. “So we’ll see where they take it.”

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01/21/2015 Meghan 0 Comment(s) Articles, Sneak Peeks, Spoilers, SVU

This week’s Law & Order: SVU is one of those especially brutal ones that directly affects one of the main characters. On the heels of the recent episode in which Detective Rollins (in a devastating performance by Kelli Giddish) revealed that she was once raped comes an intense look into Detective Nick Amaro’s (Danny Pino) past.

In the Mariska Hargitay–directed “Padre Sandunguero,” Nick’s father, Nicolas Sr. (played by veteran actor Armand Assante), shows up at the precinct. He’s there to invite Nick to his May-December wedding. Amaro is visibly traumatized. He hasn’t really spoken to the man at length since he was 15. And with good reason.

In an interview with the EW Community, Danny Pino explained what Nick is feeling:

“I think that seeing his father is a very complicated thing for him,” Pino explained. “I think Nicolas Armaro Sr. is Nick’s biggest trigger. We’ve been seeing certain things about Nick for the last three and a half years. Seeing him act erratically and violently at times. And not quite known why that is. I think in this episode, that trigger comes walking in the door. It’s fear of what this means for his stability and his recovery. He’s in anger management; he wants to keep his job. It shakes his foundation.”

Nick Sr.’s wedding turns violent, and Nick is forced to look back at his traumatic past with his father—and maybe even testify against him. This also pits him against against his family, who insist on seeing his father as the loving, benevolent man he appears to be (but actually isn’t).

“I think we all carry some of that with us,” Pino said. “And to see a character having to face it alone, having his family essentially turn on him and buy what Nick considers to be a con, it’s an incredibly painful thing to go through.”

Behind the scenes, Pino said he was “incredibly grateful and happy and excited and nervous every day” about working with Assante, a Hollywood mainstay.

“He’s incredibly dynamic [and] prepared. When you work with an actor who is so prepared, there’s a tendency to be, I think, married to one way of doing a scene or expressing something. That is so not the case with Armand. His preparation allows him to be free and present and imaginative, which causes the other actors in the scene to be ready for anything.”

And what about taking direction from iconic SVU veteran (and someone Pino considers “a very close, very dear friend”), Mariska Hargitay?

This was Hargitay’s second time in the SVU director’s chair. Pino said her direction enabled him to unearth some of his character’s deeper emotions.

“There was a level of safety, familiarity, of trust that allowed for a lot of that emotional exploration,” the actor explained. “She’s responsible for setting a tone for the set, a level of comfort and confidence. Her understanding of storytelling. She has a very keen understanding of that and what she wants. She’s kind of a champion of that.”


The episode airs Wednesday, Jan. 21, at 9/8C on NBC.




01/21/2015 Meghan 0 Comment(s) Articles, Spoilers, SVU

On screen, Olivia Benson has been pulling double duty all season long on Law & Order: SVU, juggling her duties as a new sergeant and a new mom. Off screen, actress and producer Mariska Hargitay can sympathize. Wednesday’s episode (9/8c, NBC) marks Hargitay’s second time in the director’s chair, this time for an episode introducing the estranged father of Det. Nick Amaro (Danny Pino). “It’s an invigorating process for me,” the Emmy winner tells TVGuide.com of her time behind the camera. Hargitay also spoke with TVGuide.com about Benson’s “challenges,” Season 16’s new directions and her SVU future:

You already have a packed schedule on SVU, so what made you want to add to that and direct again? Mariska Hargitay: You know, I loved it. I feel like I’ve been here so long and have found certain rhythms that I find help people stay in the moment. It’s a love of telling stories, of telling the story my way and being able to shape the story. But also my love for actors and my appreciation and respect for the process, but I also love helping to create an environment where I can get an actor’s best work. Just loving the creative process and finding the unexpected.


This episode is a big one for Danny Pino because we get to meet his character’s father [Armand Assante]. What kind of conversations do you have before filming?
Hargitay:
It was so beautiful and so great and exciting to work with both Danny and [Assante]. Both of them were so willing to take risks and try different colors. For Danny, it was very exciting because it was this chance to explore a different side of his character. Armand, it was just a great moment-by-moment surprise. Danny and I talked about opposites and trying things differently and finding the humor and the lighter moments, or the unexpected response, or never knowing what was going to happen next. Finding light in dark or dark in light, trying to switch up the moment and how full a moment it can be.

What new sides do you think viewers will see to Danny’s character in this episode?
Hargitay:
The episode is obviously about fathers and sons and wounds and denial and covering up and our commitment to cover things up to protect those vulnerable areas within us, which we will try at all costs to protect. Amaro’s a cop and he’s a protector and he’s had a lot of rage and anger, and this story line is about finding out what’s under that and why? What is he protecting and how far will he go to protect it?

The squad has undergone lots of changes this season: Rollins just took a break and Carisi joined the team, and Nick started out the season as a traffic cop. Why is it important to shake up the team?
Hargitay:
A) It’s interesting and B) different chemistries bring out different things. But also, that’s life, right? People go through their personal journeys and they bring their personalities and journeys to work, and I think it’s more compelling to tell the story of someone trying to do their job with all the baggage from their past. I think it just enriches it so much to know, why is Rollins so guarded? Why is she defensive? Now we know and now we feel for her so deeply. … We all see Amaro’s anger, so we try to rally around him. We all saw that Rollins was hiding something. Just getting to know these characters that we love.

This season has seen Benson become a mom while still being in charge of the squad. What have you enjoyed about this latest chapter for her? How do you think being a mom has changed her so far?
Hargitay:
That’s what’s been fun for me to play this season, growing that aspect of her personality. Playing Mama Bear to her squad, Mama Bear to the victims, Mama Bear to Noah, she’s in charge of all these people and still figuring out how to do it. Her job is totally new. Part of her job is to keep herself alive now in a new kind of way for Noah. Where before she’d be so singularly focused on getting it done and being fearless and now it’s like, wait a minute, I got to get it done, but at the end of the day, my most important job description is caring for this child. It’s been fun to evolve the character in that way. Everything is different now. Everything.

Last season was a big one for the show with the “Save Benson” trilogy. How do you think SVU has kept up that momentum and continued to keep things fresh this season?
Hargitay:
It feels like these writers are a bottomless well of ideas. Because I have to say that there was concern after last year and the depth that we went to of how they were going to sustain it. But I think the show this year has been so compelling and so interesting and has gone off into such interesting directions. It’s fun to see our other characters get fleshed out, like the Rollins episode or the Amaro episode. I want to see a Carisi episode and I think everybody else does too. And that’s been really exciting to watch. I have to say every week I’m pleasantly surprised at how these shows come together and how they are still so compelling. We get really amazing guest stars. I think we have a first-rate cast and really strong writing that absolutely keeps me glued to the show. I think that the writing has been pretty darn incredible and I’m still in.

Why do you think the show still has more stories to tell?
Hargitay:
I look at the news everyday and see the issues and crimes we deal with continually making headlines and being debated as legal issues pushing new and renewed legislation — such as the Violence Against Women Act — and as social issues affecting women and society as a whole. SVU is able to start conversations and humanize these problems. We are able to show all sides of an issue, as we did with our Domestic Violence episode this fall, in an episode that portrayed of institutionalized racism (and was nominated for an NAACP Award), the episodes where we both educated and explored the rise in rapes on college campuses — and even in the episode that explored the problem of the rape kit backlog. I feel very fortunate that our show is in a position where we can start a conversation on national TV about these issues in a way that people can empathize with and see the human element involved. We tell stories that matter, stories that can change the lives of individual viewers — and stories that can change the tenor of the conversation and viewpoints of our entire audience.


Law & Order: SVU airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on NBC.

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