TV Talk

TV Talk: Amazon Will Stream Transparent for Free This Weekend

Plus, Tatiana Maslany screen tests for Star Wars

by | January 22, 2015 | Comments

This week in TV news, Amazon shares Transparent with non-subscribers. Plus, Ray Donovan casts Ian McShane, Laura Graham remembers the end of Gilmore Girls, Tatiana Maslany reads for Star Wars, and ShondaLand raves about Empire.

ShondaLand loves Empire too.

Empire, Fox’s new hip-hop hit from Lee Daniels, debuted to big ratings (which are still growing, by the way), was renewed for a second season, and was designated Certified Fresh on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer. Now, it has the praises of ShondaLand too. Shonda Rimes (Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away With Murder) tweeted her 800,000+ followers, “So now I am all about Empire. ALL ABOUT #EMPIRE, tweeples.” And Viola Davis, star of HTGAWM also publicly praised Empire by tweeting, “Finally had a chance to watch #EmpireFOX, the beautiful @TherealTaraji and talented #TerrenceHoward, nailed it! #hooked.” Ilene Chaiken, Empire‘s showrunner, told Variety how much the support means to the writers. “Those tweets started coming out, while we were in the writers’ room breaking our last episode, and I can’t tell you how moving and uplifting it was to get that kind of support.”

Could Tatiana Maslany be in the new Star Wars?

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany is screen-testing for the female lead in Gareth Edwards’ upcoming stand-alone Star Wars movie. Rooney Mara, who starred in Fincher’s Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, is also reportedly testing for the role, along with a handful of others this week. (Felicity Jones, is also said to be on the want list though she would have a conflict with shooting Ron Howard’s Da Vinci Code sequel this summer.) The details of the Edwards Star Wars project, set to premiere in December 2016, have been kept super-secret, but with Maslany in the mix, could there be a clone war afoot?

Lauren Graham relives the Gilmore Girls cancellation.

Lauren Graham, who recently wrapped up shooting the final episodes of NBC’s Parenthood, was reminded of another show’s ending while visiting Late Night with Seth Meyers on Tuesday night. After seven seasons of playing Lorelei Gilmore on Gilmore Girls, Graham received a call from her agent who told her that the show was cancelled. The weird part about the story was not that her agent called, but how he called. While dining at a restaurant, Graham, who had turned off her cell phone, was summoned to take the call on the establishment’s land line. When she picked up the house phone and said, “Hello,” her agent simply said, “It’s cancelled.” And that’s how she found out! See the full clip here.

Ian McShane is coming to Ray Donovan.

Looks like Al Swearengen could use some fixin’. Golden Globe winner and Emmy nominee Ian McShane (Deadwood) will guest star in a season-long arc of Showtime’s Ray Donovan. In season three, McShane will play Malcolm Finney, a billionaire movie producer, who hires Ray to get his family out of a major jam. According to, Finney and Ray, Hollywood’s unofficial fixer, will eventually form “a very powerful relationship with one another.” Ray Donovan begins production of season three’s 12 episodes on Monday, Jan. 26, in Los Angeles.

Amazon will stream Transparent for free this weekend.

Hoping to maximize exposure after its two Golden Globe wins for Transparent, Amazon will stream its Prime content for free this Saturday for 24 hours. During this time, Amazon Prime will also offer a discounted rate on yearly memberships for $72 (a nod to the 72nd annual Golden Globes), which normally go for $99. Of course, Prime has other benefits besides Transparent (which takes all of five hours to binge-watch), including free two-day shipping on a number of items and a streaming library of thousands of films and TV shows — but with Transparent‘s Tomatometer score of 98 percent Certified Fresh, what other reason to you need?