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  • Robert Rodriguez unveils ‘Matador’ spy thriller Jul 14, 2014 8:50 AM
    The premiere of the new spy thriller “Matador” has a shocking moment early in the hour. It involves a human head and a sharp object. And it perfectly reflects the rawboned sensibility of Robert Rodriguez, whose network, El Rey, begins airing “Matador” Tuesday at 8 p.m. But don’t blame Rodriguez, even though he directed the episode.

  • Schaumburg native swaps Broadway dream for behind-the-scenes career Jul 14, 2014 5:13 PM
    Schaumburg native Natalie Bounassar, 23, starts her job as a production secretary on Lee Daniels’ new 2015 Fox network drama series “Empire.” She has been an associate talent booker at ABC 7’s “Windy City Live,” a post-production assistant at Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions, and writes a blog called “Entry Level Escapades,” an advice column for young people just entering the work force.

  • Members of extended Jackson family to appear in reality show Jul 14, 2014 12:12 PM
    Members of Michael Jackson’s extended family are stepping out of what they call “the Jackson bubble” for a reality show. The six-episode show, debuting Nov. 18 on Reelz, focuses on Alejandra Jackson, the ex-wife of Michael’s brother Jermaine, and her five children.

  • ‘South Park’ catalog finds a new home on Hulu Jul 14, 2014 12:12 PM
    Hulu is now the exclusive streaming home for the full run of Comedy Central’s bad-boy animated series, “South Park” — all 244-and-counting episodes. New episodes will continue to also appear on Comedy Central’s website as well as the website of South Park Studios.

  • Tori Spelling, Jennie Garth truly enjoying ‘Mystery Girls’ Jul 14, 2014 5:45 AM
    Tori Spelling can crack Jennie Garth up. When thinking of an upcoming scene from their new ABC Family sitcom, “Mystery Girls,” now airing at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Garth giggles at the memory of Spelling going for it, making a funny face and using a strange voice. “I feel safe doing some, like, goofy, crazy face and voice because it’s my friend. I know she’s gonna be there to support my efforts,” explained Spelling.

  • ‘Brain Games’ leads own genre at Nat Geo Channel Jul 14, 2014 5:45 AM
    Given that David Rees has written a book on how to sharpen a pencil, he seems the perfect choice to host a new National Geographic Channel series that elevates mundane activities into the subject of deep investigation. Rees’ “Going Deep” over the next two months will tell more than you ever thought you could know about digging a hole, tying a shoe, making ice cubes, etc. The series debuts at 9 p.m. Monday following a new episode of “Brain Games.”

  • John Walsh returns to TV with CNN’s ‘The Hunt’ Jul 13, 2014 5:45 AM
    To get back into television, John Walsh had to relinquish some of the control that he’d grown used to. Walsh, who chased fugitives for 26 years, first on Fox’s “America’s Most Wanted” and a short postscript on Lifetime, returns at 8 p.m. Sunday on CNN with a new show, “The Hunt.” “The hardest thing is the letting go," Walsh said. “The Hunt” will feature only one or two cases an episode in an effort to tell a story.

  • Corey Stoll enjoys ‘The Strain’ of series stardom Jul 13, 2014 5:45 AM
    This looks dire. An airliner has landed in New York with everyone onboard apparently dead. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s troubleshooter, Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), is summoned to investigate. Welcome to “The Strain,” the creepy new FX thriller about a viral outbreak threatening the human race that premieres at 9 p.m. Sunday.

  • DVD previews: ‘Rio2,’ ‘Under the Skin’ Jul 12, 2014 5:30 AM
    Like the first movie, “Rio 2” looks great with vibrant colors and lovely animation that pop off the screen. And among the many layers of plots, some are winners. The film comes to DVD July 15.

  • ABC says O’Donnell is back on ‘The View’ Jul 11, 2014 7:46 AM
    Rosie O’Donnell will return to ABC’s “The View” this September for a most unexpected second act. ABC announced Thursday, via Twitter, that O’Donnell will join Whoopi Goldberg on the nearly empty couch at the daytime chatfest. Show creator Barbara Walters retired this spring from on-air appearances, Sherri Shepherd announced she was leaving after seven years and ABC didn’t renew the contract of Jenny McCarthy after only one season.

  • Queen Latifah, Beyonce and Jay Z heading to HBO Jul 11, 2014 7:18 AM
    Beyonce and Jay Z will co-star in an HBO concert special, and Queen Latifah will play legendary blues singer Bessie Smith in a movie for the network. The music special will feature the married couple on their “On the Run Tour” performing in Paris. It will tape Sept. 12 and 13 at the Stade de France, featuring the superstars performing more than 40 songs, the network announced. It will air in September.

  • Emmy Award nominations in major categories Jul 10, 2014 9:49 AM
    Nominees in major categories for the 2014 Emmy Awards announced Thursday by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

  • ‘Game of Thrones’ earns a leading 19 Emmy nods Jul 10, 2014 7:58 PM
    The fantasy saga “Game of Thrones,” defying the Emmy Awards’ grudging respect for genre fare, emerged as the leader in the nominations announced Thursday with 19 bids, including best drama series. The meth kingpin drama “Breaking Bad” was next in line with 16 bids for its final season, including best drama and best actor nod for star Bryan Cranston.

  • ‘Welcome to Sweden’ turns immigrant life into comedy Jul 10, 2014 5:30 AM
    Seated at a dinner table surrounded by his girlfriend’s relatives on his first day in Sweden, Greg Poehler couldn’t help thinking that his experience in culture shock might make a good television show or movie someday. Flash-forward 14 years and that instinct proved true. The couple married, moved to Stockholm six years after that initial visit and have three children. Amy Poehler’s younger brother, 39, is now the writer, producer and star of NBC’s summer comedy “Welcome to Sweden,” premiering at 8 p.m. Thursday.

  • Sean Hayes joins cast of CBS sitcom ‘The Millers’ Jul 9, 2014 5:32 PM
    CBS says popular sitcom star Sean Hayes is joining the cast of its comedy “The Millers” as a series regular. Hayes, who is from Glen Ellyn, will play the new best friend of the character played by Margo Martindale and a new source of friction for her son, played by Will Arnett, CBS said on Tuesday. Hayes is best-known from eight seasons on the sitcom “Will & Grace.” Last season he starred in the comedy series “Sean Saves the World.”

  • Pop-rocker scores song to soothe anxious canines Jul 9, 2014 6:51 AM
    DogTV, the 2-year-old television network for dogs, asked Grammy-winning musician Andrew Dost of the pop-rock band fun. to write some psychoacoustic music for the network. The unnamed result, nearly four minutes of harp, piano and repetitive electronic undertones, debuted Monday during a relaxation segment. “I approached this composition project differently than I would for human ears. I made sure the range of frequencies and instrumentation were tailored to a dog’s unique sense of hearing,” Dost said.

  • Stevie Nicks joining ‘The Voice’ as adviser Jul 9, 2014 6:41 AM
    Stevie Nicks is joining “The Voice” as an adviser to Adam Levine’s team for the upcoming season. Filming is currently underway on the show’s seventh season. Nicks, the 66-year-old Fleetwood Mac singer, has been working with Levine and his 12 team members as they assign songs and rehearse with the contestants in preparation for the show’s battle rounds.

  • Halle Berry a draw for smart, engrossing ‘Extant’ Jul 9, 2014 5:45 AM
    Halle Berry is certainly a welcome TV presence this summer as the star of “Extant,” a 13-episode thriller on CBS where she plays Molly Woods, an unexpectedly expectant astronaut. It premieres at 8 p.m. Wednesday. The premise of the show — that Molly was somehow impregnated while on a solo yearlong outer-space mission — seems on its face outrageous. But “Extant” turns out to be smart and engrossing, with a meditative, gently futuristic touch that draws the viewer in.

  • TV's 'American Grilled': Competition plus cooking with local products Jul 11, 2014 6:38 AM
    "American Grilled" recently wound tight through 11 hours of a changeable Chicago spring day, outside the main entrance to Wrigley Field. The host of Travel Channel's newest competition show is no buttoned-down big shot. Anchoring the judge's table is David Guas, all sideburns and denim and muy macho voice, and chef at Bayou Bakery in Arlington, Va.

  • ‘Stand Up to Cancer’ telecast to return Sept. 5 Jul 9, 2014 9:36 AM
    How often do your favorite TV outlets all carry the same show at the same time — and in prime time, without ads? Tune in to just about any channel at 7 p.m. Sept. 5 to see for yourself. Dozens of broadcast and cable networks will again donate a simultaneous hour of commercial-free airtime to carry the fundraiser “Stand Up to Cancer.”

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