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TV

When Hollywood Comes Knocking: Turning a Thriller Into a Major TV Event

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Now that my military thriller The Red Line has reached the bookstores and people are becoming aware, Hollywood is working on turning it into a major television event.  Since then, I’ve been frequently asked: ‘what gives a thriller the potential to become a great movie or television series? From what I can see, the answer is actually a simple one— the same thing that makes it a novel people can’t put down. Relentless, edge-of-your-seat action and interesting, compelling characters are what draw in reader; the same will also draw in viewers. Fortunately, at least according to the critics, that’s exactly the book we’ve written.  The Red Line contains characters you fall in love with and exceptionally visual action that never stops. So we’re…

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Obsessing Over Lifetime’s UnREAL and the Books that Expose Reality TV

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I’m always on the hunt for a new TV obsession, and this summer I found it in Lifetime’s UnREAL. I’d been hearing buzz about the show for months, and when I saw that season 2 premiered on June 6, I knew it was time to take the plunge. Luckily, the whole first season is available on Hulu, so I set myself up with some snacks and settled in for a weekend-long marathon. Holy. Crap. This show is soooo good. It’s dark and funny and tragic and everything I wanted it to be. It stars Shiri Appleby as Rachel, an emotionally unstable producer on the set of a reality show (ala The Bachelor) who seems to both enjoy and be tortured…

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Video: What Does Glee Have to do with Carrie Brownstein?

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I love a good musical number and a good television show, though it’s rare that the two ever go together well. Aside from a brief stint in the early 2000s where it seemed like every TV show was doing a musical episode, most musical shows have bombed pretty horribly. Does anyone even remember Hugh Jackman’s Viva Laughlin? The few shows that have succeeded in bringing in large musical numbers are awesome: endlessly entertaining, surprisingly heartfelt, and always super fun to watch. Here are three of my favorites—plus one book!—to warm you up on these cold winter nights: Glee The quintessential musical show, Glee has set the standard for all TV musical shows. On top of the stellar musical performances (hiring…

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12 Black Friday Deals for Every Book Lover

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Black Friday has arrived, and you’re geared up for battle. You’re wearing your most comfortable shoes, your bag-stuffable jacket, and your pants with the best back-pocket wallet access. Your shopping senses may already be tingling, but we went ahead and scoured the depths of the internet for the very best Black Friday deals for every book lover in your life. Check ‘em out below: For the technologically challenged book lover: Barnes & Noble’s NOOK GlowLight Plus & NOOK by Samsung 7.0 Tablet $99 each! Find out more at Barnes & Noble.  For the gym bunny who owns every Jillian Michaels book: Walmart Fitbit Flex for $59! Find out more here. For the music lover: Walmart VIZIO 38” Bluetooth Soundbar for…

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These Superhero TV Shows Are Definitely Worth the Binge

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It’s a good time to be a superhero geek: Marvel movies rule the theaters and caped heroes are popping up all over our television sets. And New York Comic Con’s Super Week begins October 5! The fall 2015 TV season is introducing a whole bunch of superhero shows, including Supergirl, Mondays at 8:30 on CBS, and Jessica Jones, coming to Netflix November 20. And who could forget Legends of Tomorrow, a spin-off of Arrow and The Flash, coming in 2016? We can’t wait to watch all these costume-clad heroes fight their way across our screens. But while we’re patiently waiting for our new favorites to air, we’ll just be over here bingeing on our old favorite superheroes. Here are three…

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Mind-bending Plots for Your Midsummer Binge

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When it comes to television, I love to have my mind twisted in weird ways. I want epic, sweeping plots with complicated storytelling that’s just this side of confusing. Time travel? Yes, please. The whole thing was a dream? Bring it on. Which is why I was so excited by the new Doctor Who trailer that premiered at Comic Con:   More creepy aliens! Awesome guest stars! I’m getting goose-bumps just thinking about it. So here are three shows (and one book) with mind-bending plots for your binge-watching pleasure. And no, Lost isn’t among them. Sure, it was awesome, but all those loose threads and polar bears? It might have been too complicated even for me. Doctor Who After years…

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Binge on These Frightening Tales from Around the Campfire

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To me, summer means beach days, barbeques and long nights spent hanging around a campfire. And aside from s’mores, any lover of camping knows that the best part is telling late-night ghost stories around the bonfire. Bonus points if you can scare even the toughest camper with tales of hitchhikers and newly murdered brides. Full disclosure: I’m a horror wimp. The first mention of ghosts and blood has me running for the safety of my sleeping bag. But that doesn’t mean I don’t love the thrill of being scared, that deep hollow feeling in your stomach that just maybe these creepy stories are real. While I haven’t quite mustered the nerve to read many horror novels, lately I have been…

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Video: Missed It? Interview with Diona Reasonover, star of the TBS sitcom Clipped

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MEET DIONA REASONOVER She can be seen on the TBS series Clipped, which centers around a group of barbershop coworkers who all went to high school together but ran in very different crowds. Now they find themselves working together at Buzzy’s. Reasonover is a scene-stealer as Charmaine, one of the hairstylists whose dry humor, sharp personality and observant mannerisms radiate throughout the barbershop. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Reasonover grew up in a blended neighborhood – with pockets of rough areas mixed with middle class housing. She had a keen interest in the arts as a child, participating in the Mosaic Youth Theater of Detroit. She attended Oberlin College, where she received her Undergraduate Degree in Theater and Dance, and went on to attend the prestigious California…

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These TV doctors have just the prescription for your next binge watch

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If I’m going to bingewatch a medical drama, it better have some strong female characters in it. While so many medical shows highlight some strong or eccentrically brilliant men (I’m looking at you, House), I’m drawn to the ones where the women are just as tough as the guys. Luckily, there are tons of medical shows out there. Tons. And plenty of them feature strong ladies I can get behind. Here are my favorite three to bingewatch, plus one must-read book: Grey’s Anatomy OK, admittedly this show gets a little nuts the longer it stays on the air (that plane crash! Electrocutions! All those half-sisters!). But the first few seasons, when Meredith and Derek are still circling each other and…

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And a writer will lead them: The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore debuts

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It’s a time of great confusion amidst late-night TV. Two Jimmys and a Seth have settled into their time slots, but David Letterman is on his way out. Stephen Colbert has been tapped to replace Letterman, but he won’t make his Late Show debut until September. And Craig Ferguson, along with his robot pal Geoff and his pantomime horse Secretariat, are gone completely. (Don’t even talk to me about that one. I’m not dealing with it well.) Into this chaos marches Larry Wilmore, former Senior Black Correspondent of Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show on Comedy Central. Starting January 19, Wilmore takes over The Colbert Report’s post-Stewart slot with a new entry, The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. Wilmore’s background in…

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Remembering Robin Williams: the genie who brought books to life

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The news of Robin Williams’ passing generated near-palpable shock across social media, television, and around the world Monday. Fans lost a brilliant and gentle (if troubled) soul who delighted countless millions across five decades with a brand of comedy that was unique in its tenor and unparalleled in its inspired lunacy. Williams was all four Marx Brothers squeezed into one pair of pants, a cyclone of comedic energy made up of equal parts childlike innocence and late-night Vegas-strip bawdiness. Williams’ rocket-fueled brand of comedy, however, sometimes eclipsed his formidable talents as a serious dramatic actor. In his youth he was granted a full scholarship to study theatre at the prestigious Julliard School at the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts in…

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One down, five to go: Getting up close and personal with Monty Python

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It is easy to forget that the men who make up what began as Monty Python’s Flying Circus started out as writers.  John Cleese said as much when asked if “they ever made things up on stage.” “No, no,” responded Terry Jones immediately. “We aren’t improv actors. Everything is scripted.” “You see, we all started out as writers,” added Cleese. We were at an “add-on” Q&A session in a private room at the top of a bar in the O2, London’s rather amazing entertainment venue, following a performance of Monty Python Live (mostly). Originally meant as a meet-and-greet, the opening night enthusiasm had forced them to hire security and change it to strictly a Q&A session.  We lost the selfie…

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