Even if it never wins another award, "House of Cards" already ranks among the most influential series in television history.
The political drama launched Netflix's expansion into original programming two years ago, a risky bet that might have toppled the Internet video service had "House of Cards" flopped and squandered its estimated $100 million investment. Instead, the show was an immediate hit with viewers and critics, giving Netflix the financial clout and creative firepower to further transform how we watch and define "television." And it spurred other online services such as Amazon.com Inc. and Google's YouTube to spend more on their own original content to create shows that rival those produced by broadcast and cable channels.
Neil Patrick Harris might use his job as Oscar host as a way to meet his favorite stars.
“I have, essentially, an all-access pass to the theater,” Harris said during a recent interview. “So I love being able to stand there and say hello to people I’ve never met before. I’m very easily star struck, so it’ll be very exciting to shake hands with celebrities.”
Film moguls and stars would like you to think the Golden Globes are all about them, with television getting a seat at the table out of courtesy. Yet this year, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s annual awards gala proved what armchair critics have increasingly discovered over the past few years — it’s on TV networks that the boldest stories are being told.
Along with its triumphs, the world of TV had its share of setbacks in 2014. Here’s a sample:
• “How I Met Your Mother” Concludes: This long-running CBS sitcom met few viewers’ expectations for a slam-bang finish. Its big reveal — naming the titular “your mother” after nine years of teasing — yielded a finale only slightly less tangled than the ending of “Lost.” And even “Lost” resisted the temptation to include a blue French horn in its wrap-up.
Daniel Dae Kim made an impressively smooth transition from a stalwart husband on “Lost” to dashing crime fighter on “Hawaii Five-0.”
The creator of Fox’s prime-time soap Empire said he wants to “blow the lid off homophobia” in the African-American community with a depiction of the show’s lead character’s hostile relationship with his gay son.
Before she lost her head for her country, Marie Antoinette (Diane Kruger) lost her head for Sidonie (Lea Seydoux), a lady-in-waiting who became the queen’s favorite reader in “Farewell, My Queen.” Spanning the first few tumultuous days of the French Revolution in July 1789 , the film opens with a shot illustrating the vast differences between the worlds outside of and within the walls of Versailles. As bread becomes scarce in Paris, the question becomes how safe is it for the king and queen and their staff of servants.
A new relationship therapy TV show gives most participating couples the same prescription: Go into a modular, windowless room onstage and have sex while the studio audience waits until they’re done. Not surprisingly, “Sex Box” has attracted some negative attention.
The Parents Television Council, One Million Moms and the National Center on Sexual Exploitation say they’ve collected more than 38,000 signatures on a petition urging WE TV to shelve the show.
Stevie Wonder is on board for an NBC miniseries set against the 19th-century Underground Railroad that helped escaped slaves find freedom.
Wonder, who will serve as executive producer for the project, also may be involved in a musical adaptation of the miniseries that is aimed at Broadway, NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt said.
From the extraordinary Maggie Gyllenhaal-starring miniseries “The Honorable Woman” on SundanceTV to Syfy’s goofy “Sharknado 2: The Second One,” TV delivered in 2014 — streaming, on cable and over the air.
Showtime’s “Homeland” roared back from last year’s muddle with a season of white-knuckle suspense. CBS’ “The Good Wife” killed off a main character to give the show its latest burst of life. FX’s “Sons of Anarchy” ended its seven-season run with explosive closure. HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” wrapped its saga with a fascinating season that juggled three phases in the life of Atlantic City potentate Nucky Thompson.
Jenn (Jenn Harris), a straight, NYC yoga instructor and Matt (Matthew Wilkas), her gorgeous, geeky, gay, comic bookstore-employed BFF have been talking about having a baby together since they were in college. With romantic prospects looking bleak for both of them, they begin making plans for how to have a kid. Jenn prefers the old-fashioned way. And, since they have only officially – and disastrously – had sex once, while in college, they agree to give it a try. That, in a nutshell, is the premise of writer/director/actor Jonathan Lisecki’s funny and sweet rom-com “Gayby.”