HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE, He-Man, 1983-1985

While it seems almost every show you hear about these days is based on a comic book, there is a fairly robust market in the other direction: comic books based on television shows. This has been true since at least the Silver Age of Comics (c. 1956 – c.1970) when publishers like DC Comics, Dell, and Gold Key published monthly titles based on television shows like Leave It to Beaver and The Twilight Zone. In more recent times, you were just as likely to see a cartoon with a companion comic book than not.

Then there are the strange outliers like Masters of the Universe, which initially told its story in the form of minicomics available within the packaging of the various action figures, playsets, and vehicles. The cartoon series, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, cherry-picked some of the minicomics ideas for its own continuity, which in turn inspired DC’s Masters of the Universe series a decade or so later.

While many of these titles were quick tie-in comics with little heart, many manage to reflect their sources and turn into successful continuations — or even longer lasting series in their own right. With that in mind, here are five comic book titles which excelled at making what works on TV work in the panels and pages of comic books.


Buffy the Vampire Slayer 83%

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Season 3, 1996-2003 TM and Copyright (c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved. Courtesy: Everett Collection

Perhaps the most commercially successful television to comic book transition is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Beginning in 1998, while the show starring Sarah Michelle Gellar (pictured) was still airing, Dark Horse Comics began to publish tie-in comics detailing new adventures. While some stories took place between episodes or between seasons, the canonicity – whether or not they mattered to the television series – was debatable. In 2001, Buffy creator Joss Whedon began an eight-issue series called Fray. It featured a future Slayer named Melaka Fray and was one of the first high-profile stories to be considered canon with the television show.

Both the television series and Dark Horse’s ongoing Buffy comic wrapped up in 2003, but the comic wasn’t dormant for long. In 2007, the company announced a new direction for their Buffy brand: Season Eight. Considered an official continuation of the television series following its season 7 finale, Whedon and writers like Lost’s Brian K. Vaughn, Drew Goddard, and Buffy alumn Jane Espenseon followed Buffy as she directed a band of Slayers, psychics, witches, and other supernaturally inclined allies. The series took on a more epic scale with international ramifications and a “Big Bad” who hoped to end the Slayers and magic itself. The series ran until 2011, when it was replaced with a Season Nine title and spin-offs like Angel & Faith and Spike: A Dark Place.

After the sprawling Season Eight tale, Whedon and his collaborators chose to return to the TV show’s emphasis on the characters. New seasons have continued intermittently with a four-issue Season Twelve set to begin in June. It is slated to be the final canonical comic book season of Buffy, wrapping up a story Whedon began over 20 years ago.


The Prisoner 100%

THE PRISONER, Patrick McGoohan, 'Free For All', (aired Oct. 22, 1967), 1967-68

The classic 1960s spy series about an abducted former agent, dubbed “Number 6” by his captors, nearly became a Jack Kirby production when he drew pages for a Prisoner comic book series in the early 1970s. It never materialized, but the pages he produced will soon be available to the public as The Prisoner: Original Art Edition from Titan Comics in July. The collection will include Kirby’s incomplete adaptation of the series pilot and 18 pages of a separate story by writer Steve Englehart and artist Gil Kane.

A second attempt to adapt The Prisoner occurred in the late 1980s when DC Comics released the four-issue prestige miniseries The Prisoner: Shattered Visage. Written by Dean Motter with art by Mark Askwith, the miniseries hoped to answer some of the questions left behind by the television series baffling conclusion; though a text prologue in the collected edition dismissed the finale as a drug-induced hallucination. Picking up 20 years later, former British intelligence agent Alice Drake washes up on the shores of the Village and discovers a lone Villager, a man who resembles the star of the television series, but answers to no name or number. He immediately dubs her “Number 6.” The pair tour the disused Village until the arrival of its former head administrator, a member of Parliament known only as “Number 2” who spent the last 20 years in prison and published a tell-all book about the retirement home for spies. Meanwhile, Alice’s husband has his own reasons for locating the Village, which may or may not have something to do with the stockpile of nuclear weapons left behind by the site’s creator, Number 1.

Askwith’s moody art makes it a compelling, if difficult, read. Though tacitly approved by series creator Patrick McGoohan — Motter was latter told “he didn’t hate it” — fans recoiled from its choice to characterize the final episode as a drug trip and return to the more conventional spy tone of the early episodes. Nonetheless, it maintains the characterization of the McGoohan’s lone wolf ex-agent while leading the final Number 2 into a place of madness. Since it divides fans as much as the series finale, it carries the heart of The Prisoner into its pages.

A new Prisoner comic book series from Titan debuted this week. Written by Peter Milligan and drawn by Colin Lorimer, it begins a new Village tale with a new Number 6.


Doctor Who 92%

Peter Capaldi in Doctor Who (Simon Ridgway / BBC AMERICA)

Like the series upon which they are based, Doctor Who comics share its longevity and ability to weather change. The program’s connection to comics stretches back almost as far as the television series itself, appearing in comic strip form in UK anthology titles like Countdown and TV Comic. But due to strange licensing deals, the first two Doctors appeared with a pair of child companions made especially for the strip, establishing a new and bizarre canon from the word go.

Eventually, successive creative teams of the strip were allowed to use the Doctor’s TV companions and newer artists were more successful at rendering the various lead actors from the television show. Nonetheless, the Doctor Who strip reserved the right to create its own companions and stories while following lock-step with the television show’s major cast changes.

Comic book royalty like Alan Moore, Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons, and Happy!’s Grant Morrison worked on the strip in the 1980s. The stories began to look and feel more like the television show, though Morrison’s stories would see the Sixth Doctor adventuring with a talking penguin and reuniting with former companion Jamie McCrimmon. He also offered an alternative origin for the Cybermen in a story which linked up two early Doctor Who television stories.

After the original television series’ conclusion in 1989, the strip continued in the pages of Doctor Who Magazine. Published by Marvel’s UK branch at the time, the Doctor — in his Sylvester McCoy form — would find himself appearing in Marvel UK titles like Death’s Head, making him an occasional visitor to the Marvel Universe.

While the strip has continued without pause for decades, dedicated Doctor Who comic books have a spottier history. Marvel occasionally reprinted Doctor Who Magazine strips in comic book format for the U.S. market, but it never took off. Comic book publisher IDW released a number of Doctor Who miniseries in the mid-2000s. Currently, Titan Comics publishes a number of Doctor Who titles centered around the New Series Doctors (and, like the strips, all-new exclusive companion characters) with the occasional miniseries featuring a classic Doctor. In 2015, the individual series crossed over to bring the Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Doctors together; though, the earlier Doctors refused to recognize the Twelfth as their future self at first. Titan already has plans to publish Thirteenth Doctor comics alongside the debut of new series star Jodie Whittaker in the fall.


Batman: The Animated Series

BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, (from left): Batman, Catwoman, 1992-95. © Warner Bros. / Courtesy: Everett Collection

Riding on the success of Batman: The Animated Series, DC Comics quickly put into production a new Batman series, The Batman Adventures, based on the cartoon’s look and tone in 1992. With writing (for the most part) by Kelley Puckett and art by Mike Parobeck and Rick Burchett, each issue told a story in the TAS mold, but the most successful Batman Adventures issue was the Mad Love special. Written by TAS scriptwriter Paul Dini and illustrated by executive producer Bruce Timm, the special explored the strange attraction Harley Quinn felt for the Joker, firming an element of the character that now spans into filmland. Thanks to Dini and Timm’s involvement, the special issue was later adapted into an episode of the series, as was a later holiday-themed special issue.

As the animated series was rebranded, so was the comic book series, molting into The Batman and Robin Adventures in 1995. Burchett returned to draw the 25-issue series while Ty Templeton took over as writer. The format finally wrapped up in 2004 when DC began to publish comics based on the then-airing The Batman Strikes! animated series.

Over the course of the Adventures titles, they became one of the company’s few children’s titles to succeed despite a number of initiatives to get kids back into comics. Maintaining the look and feel of the animated series was key to its success and the success of Adventures titles based on Superman: The Animated Series and the two Timm-produced Justice League cartoon series.


The Transformers

The Transformers: The Complete Original Series trailer screencap (Shout Factory)

Thanks to Hasbro’s relationship with Marvel Comics —  which grew from their work developing G.I. Joe characters in the early part of the 1980s — The Transformers comic book predates the 1984 animated series by several months. Their concurrent development meant the two would have diverging concepts for characters, backstory, and even the reason the Transformers crash-landed on Earth in the first place. The early issues of the Marvel series also saw cameos by Marvel characters like Spider-Man. For many longtime fans, the Marvel comic book is the canon for Transformers with a Grimlock known for his disdain of humans and a timeline that never jumped forward to 2005 (as seen in the animated Transformers: The Movie).

Of course, the nature of that cannon is somewhat muddled as British writer Simon Furman would add more material to the U.K.’s weekly Transformer series. He eventually took over plotting duties of the U.S. monthly series, adding concepts like Transformer creator Primus to the lore; in fact, it may surprise those who mainly remember the 1980s cartoon that much of the modern Transformer history — both in the films and current IDW comic books — has its roots in the Marvel comic book series.

Dreamwave Productions began publishing Transformers comic books in 2001, melding the comic book history Marvel created with elements of the classic cartoon. They even had ambitious plans to incorporate the Beast Wars series into a single, sensible canon. Their master plan was not to be, as the company went bankrupt. IDW took over the license in 2005 and started over. Initiated by Furman, the IDW continuity continues to this day with lesser known characters like Cyclonus and Tailgate emerging as fan favorite characters and new toy products like Windblade making successful leaps into pages of the company’s ongoing Transformers comic book. Sadly, it is about to end, as IDW has planned for a major reboot of their Transformers comics in September.


Vikings (History Channel)

While the five titles listed represent some of the most creatively and financially successful television-to-comics transitions, they are no means the only comics based on TV shows to be found. Series like CSI, Adventure Time, VikingsThe Bionic Woman, Dark Shadows, and Star Trek all found their way to comic book pages. And for at least one reader, they were the best comics to be found. Though often subordinate to their television counterparts, these titles can find unexpected lives and, like The Transformers, feed right back into the main part of the brand. Sometimes, they even breathe more life into a long-departed television show.

This week on streaming video, Netflix has a whole new season of House of Cards, so you can wallow in Frank Underwood’s unscrupulousness yet again. Plus, the concluding chapter of The Hunger Games hits streaming services, along with a bunch of popular favorites. Read on for the full list.


New on Amazon Prime

 

Ghostbusters (1984) 97%


A sublime blend of witty banter and inspired special effects, Ghostbusters remains one of the most beloved comedies of the 1980s. Ghostbusters 2… exists.

Available now on Amazon Prime: Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters 2


The Silence of the Lambs (1991) 96%


Director Jonathan Demme’s smart, taut, Best Picture-winning thriller teeters on the edge between psychological study and all-out horror, and benefits greatly from stellar performances by Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


The End of the Tour (2015) 92%

Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg star in this thinly fictionalized retelling of a few days in the life of David Foster Wallace on the verge of celebrity.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Louie: Season 5 (2015) 92%

In this observational, quasi-autobiographical, totally hilarious FX series, Louis CK plays himself, a stand-up comedian and single dad living in New York City.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Gattaca (1997) 83%

Ethan Hawke, Uma Thrurman, and Jude Law star in this noir-ish sci-fi thriller about a man who steals a friend’s genetic identity and runs afoul with the authorities.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Macbeth (2015) 80%

Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, David Thewlis, Paddy Considine, and Sean Harris star in a dark and bloody adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy.

Available now on: Amazon Prime, iTunes, Vudu


GoldenEye (1995) 79%

In his first outing as 007, Pierce Brosnan helped to restore the layer of suave menace and playful humor that many viewers felt the character had been missing for far too long.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


New on Netflix

 

House of Cards: Season 4 (2016) 86%

Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) is back to manipulate, glad-hand, rant, negotiate, and turn American politics into a nest of Machiavellian maneuvering — in other words, just another day in Washington.

Available now on: Netflix


Man Up (2015) 80%

Simon Pegg and Lake Bell star in this Certified Fresh romantic comedy about two mismatched people who end up on a date together after a case of mistaken identity.

Available now on: Netflix


The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep (2007) 74%

Sorta like E.T but with a thicker brogue, this family film tells the story of Angus (Alex Atel), who stumbles upon a mysterious egg that contains a creature that grows up to be the Loch Ness Monster; Emily Watson, Ben Chaplin, and David Morrissey also star.

Available now on: Netflix


Available to Purchase

 

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 (2015) 69%

In this satisfying — if occasionally overly grim — conclusion to the blockbuster franchise, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) leads a guerrilla army to eliminate the despotic President Snow (Donald Sutherland) — and discovers that some within the rebellion may have agendas of their own.

Available now on: AmazoniTunes, Vudu

March 20th will officially mark the first day of Spring this year, but until then, we’re looking at a few more weeks of Winter. In other words, you might not need as many blankets while you’re lounging on the couch, but it’s still a pretty good time to keep warm indoors with a good, bingeworthy show. With that in mind, here are six choices we recommend for your extended viewing pleasure during the month of March.


Marvel's Daredevil: Season 2 (2016) 81%

DaredevilMarch2016

What it is: Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) fights organized crime in New York City as a lawyer during the day, and as a super-powered, martial arts-fighting vigilante at night.

Why you should watch it: Daredevil is one of the best-executed comic book adaptations on television to date — if not the best. Season one began with Matt Murdock testing the limits of his powers against the formidable Wilson Fisk (aka Kingpin, played magnificently by Vincent D’Onofrio). Season two, which drops exclusively on Netflix on March 18, promises the introduction of Frank Castle (better known as Punisher) and Elektra Natchios, which will make for some exciting action and intense drama, so this is the perfect time to catch up on the first season if you missed it. Then you can power through season two with the rest of us.

Where to watch: Netflix

Commitment: About 13 hours.


The Americans: Season 4 (2016) 99%

TheAmericansMarch2016

What it is: A couple of KGB spies (Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys) pose as a married American couple in 1980s Washington, D.C.

Why you should watch it: It’s like your favorite Russian spy movie… but as a television series. Rhys and Russell play Philip and Elizabeth Jennings, the two spies who are oh-so-smooth with every move. Its potent mix of family drama, espionage intrigue, period details, and thrilling action have kept fans coming back for more, and with season four coming on March 16, it’s a great time to find out for yourself what the buzz is about. Give it a chance, and you may find yourself hooked.

Where to watch: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, MicrosoftPlayStation Video, and Vudu

Commitment: 30 hours.


Archer: P.I. (2016) 100%

ArcherMarch2016

What it is: Sterling Archer is a top agent at the spy agency owned and run by his mother. The agents are skilled operatives of dubious moral fiber, driven by personal gain and acts of interoffice sabotage, and Archer is the worst offender.

Why you should watch it: Archer delivers consistently hilarious comedy, thanks to a top notch ensemble of voice actors, and Adam Reed’s singular vision for the show. Reed had past projects featured on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim (Frisky Dingo, Sealab 2021), and Archer possesses the same snappy dialogue and manic, rapid-fire irreverence. You may sometimes question yourself for laughing at some of Archer‘s debauched shenanigans, but laugh you will. Season seven premieres March 31st on FX, so you’ll have all month to get caught up.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime (S1-S5), Amazon (S6)Google Play, iTunes, MicrosoftPlayStation Video, and  Vudu

Commitment: Just over 26 hours in the Danger Zone!


Empire: Season 2 (2015) 87%

EmpireMarch2016

What it is: After he is diagnosed with ALS, a former drug dealer-turned-hip-hop record mogul pit his three sons against each other for control of the enterprise. Meanwhile, his ex-wife is released from a long bid in prison and stakes her own claim on the company she helped build.

Why you should watch it: Empire boasts a pretty high caliber of talent, both in producer Lee Daniels (Precious, The Butler) and stars Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, and the top-notch soundtrack comes courtesy of powerhouse producer Timbaland — which is a good thing, considering this is a series about music. But this is no fly-by-night gimmick; thanks to solid writing, engaging performances, and the aforementioned music, Empire has secured Certified Fresh status for seasons one and two, the latter of which comes back from hiatus on March 30th. That’s plenty of time for you to catch up.

Where to watch: AmazonGoogle Play, HuluiTunesMicrosoft, Playstation VideoVudu

Commitment: About 6 hours.


Louie: Season 5 (2015) 92%

LouieMarch2016

What it is: In this quasi-autobiographical FX series, Louis CK plays himself, a stand-up comedian and single dad living in New York City.

Why you should watch it: There’s nothing else like Louie on television right now — and that’s mostly because Louis CK holds a majority of the artistic control. He writes, directs and stars in all the episodes, and even edits some of them, making him one of the few — if the only — true auteurs of television. His encapsulation of the human experience is at once hilarious and sad and his hometown of The Big Apple is the perfect setting for examining everything wonderful, awful, and downright weird about people.

Where to watch: Amazon, Google Play, Hulu PlusiTunes, MicrosoftNetflixPlayStation Video, and Vudu

Commitment: About 19.5 hours.


Happy Valley: Season 2 (2016) 100%

HappyValleyMarch2016

What it is: A West Yorkshire police sergeant attempts to track down the man who raped her daughter and drove her to suicide, but soon discovers the same man may be involved in the kidnapping of another girl.

Why you should watch it: Happy Valley, a BBC One show, was originally set to be a single story in a closed series, so you won’t be looking at a case that remains unsolved over several seasons, and British programs have a knack for well-paced, exquisitely crafted drama because of this. Sarah Lancashire anchors this engrossing tale of obsession and justice in the lead role, and the story keeps viewers on their toes with some dark, unexpected turns. Don’t be fooled; this is not your typical police procedural. With Netflix bringing the second season to the US on March 16, you’ve got a couple of weeks to watch the six episodes of season one.

Where to watch: Amazon, Google PlayHulu, iTunesMicrosoft, Netflix, PlayStation Store, and Vudu.

Commitment: About 6 hours.

 

Peter-Dinlkage-700

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

 

The 67th Primetime Emmy Awards took place on the evening of September 20 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Game of Thrones, Veep, and Olive Kitteridge were the big winners of the night. Check out the full list below.


Outstanding Drama Series


Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series


Kyle Chandler

Bloodline



The Newsroom


Jon Hamm

Mad Men


Bob Odenkirk

Better Call Saul


Liev Schreiber

Ray Donovan


Kevin Spacey

House of Cards


Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series


Viola Davis

How to Get Away with Murder


Tatiana Maslany

Orphan Black


Robin Wright

House of Cards


Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series


Jonathan Banks

Better Call Saul



Downton Abbey


Peter Dinklage

Game of Thrones


Michael Kelly

House of Cards


Alan Cumming

The Good Wife


Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series


Joanne Froggatt

Downton Abbey


Lena Headey

Game of Thrones


Emilia Clarke

Game of Thrones


Uzo Aduba

Orange is the New Black


Christine Baranski

The Good Wife


Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series


Reg E. Cathey

House of Cards


Beau Bridges

Masters of Sex


Pablo Schreiber

Orange is the New Black


Alan Alda

The Blacklist


Michael J. Fox

The Good Wife


Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series


Diana Rigg

Game of Thrones


Rachel Brosnahan

House of Cards


Cicely Tyson

How to Get Away with Murder


Allison Janney

Masters of Sex


Margo Martindale

The Americans


Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

Gordon Smith, “Five-O”

Better Call Saul: Season 1
97%

David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, “Mother’s Mercy”

Game of Thrones: Season 5
93%

Semi Chellas and Matthew Weiner, “Lost Horizon”

Mad Men: Season 7
90%

Matthew Weiner, “Person to Person”

Mad Men: Season 7
90%

Joshua Brand, “Do Mail Robots Dream of Electric Sheep?”

The Americans: Season 3
100%

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series

Tim Van Patten, “Eldorado”

Boardwalk Empire: Season 5
88%

Jeremy Podeswa, “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”

Game of Thrones: Season 5
93%

David Nutters, “Mother’s Mercy”

Game of Thrones: Season 5
93%

Lesli Linka Glatter, “From A to B and Back Again”

Homeland: Season 4
81%

Steven Soderbergh, “Method and Madness”

The Knick: Season 1
87%

Outstanding Comedy Series


Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series


Don Cheadle

House of Lies


Will Forte

The Last Man on Earth


Jeffrey Tambor

Transparent


Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series


Edie Falco

Nurse Jackie


Lisa Kudrow

The Comeback


Amy Poehler

Parks and Recreation


Amy Schumer

Inside Amy Schumer


Lily Tomlin

Grace and Frankie


Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series


Andre Braugher

Brooklyn Nine-Nine


Ty Burrell

Modern Family


Tituss Burgess

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt


Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series


Niecy Nash

Getting On


Julie Bowen

Modern Family


Kate McKinnon

Saturday Night Live


Mayim Bialik

The Big Bang Theory


Gaby Hoffmann

Transparent


Jane Krakowski

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt


Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series


Paul Giamatti

Inside Amy Schumer


Bill Hader

Saturday Night Live


Louis C.K.

Saturday Night Live


Mel Brooks

The Comedians


Bradley Whitford

Transparent


Jon Hamm

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt


Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series



Louie



Modern Family


Joan Cusack

Shameless


Christine Baranski

The Big Bang Theory


Tina Fey

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt


Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik, “Episode 409″

Episodes: Season 4
82%

Louis C.K., “Bobby’s House”

Louie: Season 5
92%

Alec Berg, “Two Days of the Condor”

Silicon Valley: Season 2
96%

Will Forte, “Alive in Tucson (Pilot)”

The Last Man on Earth: Season 1
84%

Jill Soloway, “Pilot”

Transparent: Season 1
98%

Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci and Tony Roche, “Election Night”

Veep: Season 4
100%

Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series

Louis C.K., “Sleepover”

Louie: Season 5
92%

Mike Judge, “Sand Hill Shuffle”

Silicon Valley: Season 2
96%

Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, “Alive in Tucson (Pilot)”

The Last Man on Earth: Season 1
84%

Jill Soloway, “Best New Girl”

Transparent: Season 1
98%

Armando Iannucci, “Testimony”

Veep: Season 4
100%

Outstanding Television Movie


Outstanding Limited Series


Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie


Ricky Gervais

Derek Special


Timothy Hutton

American Crime


Richard Jenkins

Oliver Kitteridge


David Oyelowo

Nightingale


Mark Rylance

Wolf Hall


Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie


Maggie Gyllenhaal

The Honorable Woman


Felicity Huffman

American Crime


Jessica Lange

American Horror Story: Freak Show


Frances McDormand

Olive Kitteridge


Emma Thompson

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street


Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie


Richard Cabral

American Crime


Damian Lewis

Wolf Hall


Bill Murray

Olive Kitteridge


Denis O'Hare

American Horror Story: Freak Show


Finn Wittrock

American Horror Story: Freak Show


Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie


Angela Bassett

American Horror Story: Freak Show


Kathy Bates

American Horror Story: Freak Show


Zoe Kazan

Olive Kitteridge


Regina King

American Crime


Mo'Nique

Bessie


Sarah Paulson

American Horror Story: Freak Show


Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series or Movie

John Ridley, “Episode One”

American Crime: Season 1
94%

D. Rees, C. Cleveland, B. Gilois, and H. Foote

Bessie
90%

S. Merchant, G. Stupnitsky, and Lee Eisenberg

Hello Ladies: The Movie
71%

Peter Straughan



Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series or Movie

Ryan Murphy, “Monsters Among Us”

American Horror Story: Freak Show
77%

Dee Rees

Bessie
90%

Uli Edel


Tom Shankland

The Missing: Season 1
91%

Peter Kosminsky



Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special


Outstanding Director for Nonfiction Programming


Outstanding Writing for Nonfiction Programming


Outstanding Variety Talk Series


Outstanding Variety Sketch Series


Outstanding Variety Special

  • Bill Maher: Live from D.C.
  • Louis C.K.: Live at the Comedy Store
  • Mel Brooks Live at the Geffen
  • The Kennedy Center Honors
  • The Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special
  • Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga: Cheek to Cheek LIVE!

Outstanding Reality-Competition Program


Outstanding Structured Reality Program


Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program

  • Alaska: The Last Frontier
  • Deadliest Catch
  • Intervention
  • Million Dollar Listing New York
  • Naked And Afraid

Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program


Check out the full list of nominees/winners at emmys.com.

Better Call Saul ends its first season this month, so now you can watch every episode in one 10-hour binge (and then wait forever like the rest of us for season two). And there’s still time to catch up on comedies Louie and Silicon Valley, before they come back this month. For those of you curious about joining the Clone Club, now is the time to binge the first two seasons of Orphan Black in time for Apr. 18. These, and other recommendations are below to satisfy any binge-watching tastes this month!


Better Call Saul

What it is: Before he was Saul Goodman in Breaking Bad, Albuquerque’s shadiest (and funniest) lawyer was Jimmy McGill.

Why you should watch it: For people who like to watch everything at once, season one will be ready for you to view in its entirety after the finale on AMC, Tuesday, Apr. 7. Essential viewing for Breaking Bad fans, Better Call Saul is also a stand-alone drama, engrossing and darkly comic, with knock-out performances by Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks.

Where to watch: Every episode of season one is available on Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, iTunes, Xbox Video, and Vudu.

Commitment: 10 hours.


Orphan Black

What it is: After seeing “herself” jump in front of a train, a young woman discovers she is a clone and, with the help of the others like her, falls into a conspiratorial whirlwind of mystery and deception.

Why you should watch it: Tatiana Maslany has received attention her performances as each clone, but that’s not the only reason to watch. Suspense, drama, action, and a touch of tongue-in-cheek humor make this one a must-see for fans of varying genres.

Where to watch: Orphan Black returns with its season three premiere on Apr. 18. Seasons one and two are available on Xfinity, iTunes, Amazon Prime, Vudu, Sony Playstation, Google Play, Xbox Video, and DirecTV. Both seasons are also available on Blu-ray and DVD.

Commitment: 20 hours.


Sons of Anarchy

What it is: Kurt Sutter’s hit series from FX follows the exploits of the biker club SAMCRO, and its “president” Jax Teller (Charlie Hannum).

Why you should watch it: Sons of Anarchy rode off into the sunset earlier this year and left a legion of loyal fans and adoring critics in its wake. The Shakespearean themes of this gritty drama give poetic undertones to the violent lives (and deaths) of these characters.

Where to watch: Seasons one through six are streaming on Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, and Netflix. Season seven will debut on Netflix on Apr. 25. Every episode is also available on Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, Vudu, Xbox Video, and Google Play.

Commitment: 85 hours.


Silicon Valley

What it is: In Mike Judge’s comedy set in Bay Area’s tech universe, Richard (Thomas Middleditch) and his team of socially awkward developers make an app, catching the attention of the area’s billionaire investor.

Why you should watch it: Short and sweet, season one of Silicon Valley is an easy catch-up before season two premieres on Sunday, Apr. 12. The cast, featuring Middleditch, T.J. Miller, and Kumail Nanjiani, perfectly capture the oddball characters who rule the Internet.

Where to watch: Seaon one is available on HBO Go, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, iTunes, Xbox Video, and DVD and Blu-ray.

Commitment: 4 hours.


Penny Dreadful

What it is: Penny Dreadful creates a frightening variant of Victorian London, where horrific figures from classic literature such as Dr. Frankenstein, the Creature, Dorian Grey co-exist and terrorize the city.

Why you should watch it: The gore is intensified by the element of high drama, earning season one a Certified Fresh Tomatometer score of 78 percent.

Where to watch: Penny Dreadful season two begins May 3 on Showtime. Seasons one is available on Showtime Anytime, iTunes, Vudu, and Amazon Instant Video. It’s also available on Blu-ray and DVD.

Commitment: Eight hours.


Black Sails

What it is: This prequel to Treasure Island chronicles the rise of John Silver (Luke Arnold) and the adventures of Captain Flint (Toby Stephens).

Why you should watch it: The series, which just finished airing season two, takes a deeper look at the politics during the Golden Age of Piracy than the usual swashbuckling and copious use of the phrase, “Arrrrrr!”

Where to watch: Both seasons are streaming on Starz Play. Every episode is also available on Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, Vudu, and Google Play.

Commitment: 20 hours.


Looking

What it is: Three gay men ride the turbulent waves of the San Francisco dating scene while maintaining their friendships and careers.

Why you should watch it: Though recently canceled, season two of Looking begins streaming on iTunes on Apr. 20. Its honest depiction of sexual and emotional issues grabbed critics’ attention with season one, which is Certified Fresh at 89 percent, and continued to impress critics and fans (currently petitioning for its revival) throughout its short run.

Where to watch: Seasons one and two are available on HBO Go and iTunes (season two iTunes as of Apr. 20). Season one is also available on Vudu, Google Play, YouTube, X Box Video, and Amazon Instant Video. Season one is available on Blu-ray and DVD (season two is available for pre-order).

Commitment: Nine hours.


Manhattan

What it is: A family drama set in Los Alamos, NM, portrays the development of the Manhattan Project and the invention of the atomic bomb.

Why you should watch it: Manhattan uses the government’s top secrecy to explore drama and intrigue on a family level. It also drives you to root for this band of scientists struggling with the dilemma of creating such a fearsome weapon, and not being able to tell their loved ones about it.

Where to watch: Season one is available on Hulu Plus, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play, Xbox Video ,and YouTube Purchase.

Commitment: 13 hours.


Louie

What it is: In this quasi-autobiographical FX series, Louis CK plays himself, a stand-up comedian and single dad living in New York City.

Why you should watch it: Louis CK’s encapsulation of the human experience is at once hilarious and sad and his hometown of The Big Apple is the perfect setting for examining everything wonderful, awful, and downright weird about people.

Where to watch: Seasons one through four are available with a subscription to Amazon Prime and Netflix. All four seasons are also available on Google Play, iTunes, PlayStation, Vudu, XBox Video, and DVD.

Commitment: 27 hours, and with season five coming to FX on Apr. 9, you better start now!


The X-Files

What it is: FBI agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) investigate unexplained paranormal phenomena. Mulder wants to believe, but Scully is a skeptic.

Why you should watch it: With the announcement of an X-Files reboot, there’s no time like to present to familiarize yourself with the show — especially if you’re a fan of aliens, conspiracies, unexplained phenomena, or just really good mysteries.

Where to watch: All nine seasons of The X-Files are available on DVD and streaming on Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, and Netflix. You can also download every episode from iTunes and Vudu.

Commitment: 154 hours.


Which of these shows would you recommend to a friend? Let us know in the comments section below!

On Wednesday, Januray 7, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) released their list of nominees for their annual WGA Awards, honoring outstanding writing in film, television, radio, and new media. The ceremony itself will take place on Saturday, February 7 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, but you can check out a select list of the nominees below:

 

Original Screenplay

Adapted Screenplay

Documentary Screenplay

Drama Series

Comedy Series

New Series

This week in TV news, Charlie Sheen relives an old role, Sarah Silverman stars in an HBO pilot, Hulu signs a deal with FX, Eion Bailey returns to OUAT, and Starz renews The Missing!

Charlie Sheen will reprise his Ferris Bueller role on The Goldbergs.

Before anyone really knew what a bad boy Charlie Sheen
was, he played “Boy in Police Station” in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Now, he will reprise that same role nearly 30 years later on an episode of ABC’s The Goldbergs
. Arriving sometime in early 2015, the episode will focus on the character of Barry Goldberg (Troy Gentile), the family’s middle child, who will attempt his own Ferris Bueller-inspired skip day. It will be Barry’s sister, Erica (Hayley Orrantia), who will actually meet Sheen’s character in a police station after ratting out her brother — not unlike Jennifer Grey’s character in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in 1986. Of course, anyone who remembers the original scene knows that a faithful send-up with Sheen and 20-year-old actress Orrantia would be super-icky, so we’re looking forward to how The Goldbergs plays this chance encounter.

Sarah Silverman cannot tell a lie in HBO pilot.

If you caught Sarah Silverman‘s HBO special We Are Miracles this year, you’ll be happy to know that the comedian-actress will be headlining a new untitled comedy pilot for the premium network. The project is by playwright Lucy Prebble, the creator of Secret Diary of a Call Girl, and has been described as “a comic look at a pathologically honest woman having a modern mid-life crisis.” Silverman, who has a recurring role on Showtime’s Masters of Sex, did some of her first acting gigs with HBO on Mr. Show With Bob and David and The Larry Sanders Show. This year’s We Are Miracles was nominated for two Emmys (and won for best writing) and a Grammy for best comedy album.

Hulu inks FX/FXX deal.

Hulu sealed the deal with 20th Century Fox TV Distribution this week, signing an exclusive agreement to stream FX and FXX shows on Hulu Plus, including the full first seasons of Tyrant, You’re the Worst, and Guillermo del Toro’s The Strain. Upcoming comedies Man Seeking Woman starring Jay Baruchel, The Comedians, starring Billy Crystal and Josh Gad, and Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll, starring Denis Leary and John Corbett, will also be a part of the exclusive deal. In addition, Hulu has licensed prior seasons of Sons Of Anarchy, American Horror Story, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Louie, Archer, The League, and Wilfred on a nonexclusive basis and will gain exclusive SVOD rights to Fox’s upcoming Wayward Pines, an event series from M. Night Shyamalan, starring Matt Dillon, Terrence Howard, and Melissa Leo.

Eion Bailey is returning to Once Upon a Time.

August Booth a.k.a. Pinocchio (Eion Bailey) will return to Once Upon a Time for season four, according to Entertainment Weekly. Last seen in season two, August was was killed by Tamara (Sonequa Martin-Green) in order to keep her secrets safe, but then saved by the Blue Fairy, who returned August to his seven-year-old state. Bailey will reprise his role as the adult August Booth on season four of OUAT in episode 14, “Enter the Dragon.” Once Upon a Time returns Sunday, March 1 on ABC.

Starz renews The Missing for season two.

The Missing, the Starz-BBC One co-production starring James Nesbitt and Frances O’Connor, will be back for a second season — but as a totally new story. Similar to True Detective and Fargo, the second season of The Missing will have similar storytelling to its first season, even though the story will reboot in a new location, during a new time, and with new characters. Brothers Harry and Jack Williams, who wrote the first eight-episode series, will return to write the second installment, which will also be eight episodes, unfolding over two different time periods. Season one of The Missing received some award love this week with two Golden Globe nominations, and is currently Certified Fresh at 96 percent. The finale of season one airs on Starz, Saturday, January 10.

Andre Braugher is a clear favorite among critics to take the Emmy this year for Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. But can anyone beat Jim Parsons? Fourteen of Rotten Tomatoes esteemed critics weigh in with their Emmy predictions for the comedy nominees this year.


William H. Macy is so amazing on that show and he had a particularly good season. I think he should win and there’s the possibility that he will win. Matthew Gilbert, Boston Globe
Parsons is good, the show’s growing in popularity, and they’ve given it to him three times, so why not do it again? Personally, I would love to see someone like William H. Macy win it.
Lori Rackl, Chicago Sun-Times
He just wins all the time, so I’m just used to him winning. He’s really funny, but that seems to be the thing that everybody does now — vote for Jim Parsons.Betsy Bozdech, Common Sense Media
Jim Parsons is really funny. He’s won before and I think he’s going to win again because I don’t think there’s a clear-cut person in the category.Alan Sepinwall, HitFix
I think Louis C.K. is going to get this one. It’s got a decent shot at overall series, but I don’t think it will make the cut. So I think they’ll reward Louis C.K. for that show as an actor this year. His biggest competition is Jim Parsons, and he’s won a bunch. And frankly, I just don’t want him to win anymore, so let’s hope for Louis C.K.Ben Travers, IndieWire
It might go to Macy. None of these are super, super strong and/or breakout enough, but Macy’s great. Drew Grant, New York Observer
I think Jim Parsons is going to win by default.Todd VanDerWerff, Vox Media
I would pick Louis C.K. because I think he does a great job and his role is more unique than all these other ones, but I think Jim’s going to be hard to beat.Eric Deggans, NPR
Louis C.K. because he does so much for that show — he writes, he directs, he performs. You can feel the passion for what he does.Bonnie Stiernberg, Paste Magazine
My personal pick would be Louie, just because no one is doing anything else like that on TV. But I think, purely by default, it’s going to be Parsons again, sadly.Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com
Even though he’s writing it and producing it, he’s the one who’s got to deliver it and make us care. He should be honored for his writing as well as the way he delivers those lines week in and week out. Kristian Harloff, Schmoes Know
They may feel that the beloved Ricky Gervais’s prickly humanism is a preferable and natural alternative to Parsons’s toothless amiability.Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
He keeps winning and I don’t know if any of the others are strong enough to beat him.Michelle Stark, Tampa Bay Times


More Emmy Predictions:

Andre Braugher is a clear favorite among critics to take the Emmy this year for Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. But can anyone beat Jim Parsons? Thirteen of Rotten Tomatoes esteemed critics weigh in with their Emmy predictions for the comedy nominees this year.


Andre Braugher, possibly the most acclaimed nominee, [could] squeak his way to what will be described on Tuesday morning by everyone who never saw Homicide and Thief as a surprise victory.Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
Andre Braugher. 100 percent. They love Braugher. They’ve nominated him multiple times in the past, he’s a great actor, they love when people switch genres… so the fact that someone they’ve awarded in the past for drama is now in comedy is really enticing.Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com
Emmy loves Andre Braugher. He gets nominated when no one else from his series gets nominated. But just to be an iconoclast, I’m going to pick Fred Armisen. Eric Deggans, NPR
He’s doing something different in this show, which is a fave with people. David Hinckley, New York Daily News
He’s so funny in Brooklyn Nine-Nine and it’s great to see him in a sitcom environment. I never thought he could be funny after seeing him in Homicide and he’s hysterical.Matthew Gilbert, Boston Globe
I’d love to see Tony Hale win. I know he won last year, and they put on a skit that, honestly, couldn’t be topped. But if Andre Braugher wins for Brooklyn Nine-Nine, I’m not going to be too upset. I think he’s the safe bet.Ben Travers, IndieWire
It would be cool that Andre Braugher would have an Emmy for drama acting, miniseries acting, and comedy acting as he’s just so great on Brooklyn Nine-Nine. But the safe money’s on Hale.Alan Sepinwall, HitFix
It’s probably going to go to Andre Braugher, but I’d go with Adam Driver. I’m a huge Girls fan.Drew Grant, New York Observer
People are just loving that show more and more and he’s been so good on it.Michelle Stark, Tampa Bay Times
The Emmys love Andre Braugher and he’s really redefined his image with this role. You couldn’t imagine him doing the laugh-out-loud stuff he does here, but he does it with aplomb. Todd VanDerWerff, Vox Media
His character is just so funny. Bonnie Stiernberg, Paste Magazine
This one deservedly should go to Tony Hale, a repeat for him, for Veep. He’s so fantastic as Selina’s sycophantic personal aid in that show.Lori Rackl, Chicago Sun-Times
What he’s able to do with his very dry humor, the looks, the faces — he’s a scene-stealer. You’re always aware when he’s there, and you’re laughing at his self-deprecation because he’s so aware that he’s such a mess.Kristian Harloff, Schmoes Know


More Emmy Predictions:

The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards are coming Monday, Aug. 25 on NBC. And with so many strong contenders this year, Rotten Tomatoes turned to our esteemed critics to sort through the heap of nominations, which includes Big Bang Theory, Louie, Modern Family, Orange Is the New Black, Silicon Valley, and Veep.

For the category of Lead Comedy Series, we asked 16 critics to name their picks. The results from our cross-section of Tomatometer-approved critics favored Orange Is the New Black with nine votes, but there were still strong cases to be made for the other nominees…well, every nominee except Silicon Valley.

The only one I cannot see winning is Silicon Valley although that got a lot of nominations in categories I would not have expected… I think it’s going to be Orange Is the New Black. It has all the hype and it’s a way to reward streaming.
Todd VanDerWerff, Vox Media
I really, really think Veep deserves it.  It’s got a good chance; it keeps getting better and better every year.  And it’s not just a one-woman show; it’s a huge supporting cast, and the writing staff and direction are incredible. So all around, it deserves it. But I think Orange is the New Black will actually win.
Ben Travers, IndieWire
I think this is the year when they are ready to go with a non-traditional and Orange certainly has the buzz.
David Hinckley, New York Daily News
The admirable thing that Louis CK does, in which he gets to write the show the way he wants it, is the reason the quality of the show has not diminished… he goes for what is right for the series and I think it translates for every episode.
Kristian Harloff, Schmoes Know
Some of the best shows in this category are the ones that tow that line between comedy and drama… Louie feels more like a true comedy to me than Orange Is the New Black.
Bonnie Stiernberg, Paste Magazine
I’m going Orange is the New Black, largely because that show has an incredibly loyal fanbase. People who like the show, love the show… and that should push it across the finish line.
Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com
Even though Modern Family might not have had its strongest season, it’s still a top-shelf comedy series for sure. And I think this might be the year it’s going to tie Frasier for five victories in a row.
Lori Rackl, Chicago Sun-Times
The only thing I feel confident in saying is that Silicon Valley definitely isn’t going to win… My gut probably says Veep.
Alan Sepinwall, HitFix
I’m going with Modern Family because, as much as I love the other shows, I think that it is the most complete show that mixes great writing and broad humor, and then very clever, sly humor, and emotion — and a social message.
Robert Bianco, USA Today
I think Veep is still too niche and I think Modern Family has had their time. Orange Is the New Black is what everyone is talking about.
Drew Grant, New York Observer
The perennial winner is Modern Family… but Orange Is the New Black should win.
Eric Deggans, NPR
I’m going to say Orange Is the New Black. It gained a lot of traction this year and people really love it.
Betsy Bozdech, Common Sense Media
I am angry about the gaming of the system when it comes to categories, so even though I think Orange Is the New Black is a great show, I kind of don’t want them to win just so they won’t be rewarded for what they did. But I have a feeling it will win. And it should win.
Matthew Gilbert, Boston Globe
I would love for this to be the year that Modern Family does not win… I’m really hoping that Orange Is the New Black will win. I know some people don’t really think it’s a comedy, but I think it’s the best show of that group.
Michelle Stark, Tampa Bay Times
This may be Orange Is the New Black‘s only chance to ever cop this award, but when one considers that only one non-network show has ever won in this category (Sex in the City in 2001), Emmy seems likely to banally stick with what it knows best: Modern Family.
Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
A breakout ensemble dramedy that reached widespread acclaim despite a sometimes difficult subject matter.
Joanne Ostrow, Denver Post


More Emmy Predictions:

Edgar Wright, director of the universally popular "Shaun of the Dead," will soon get behind the cameras for "Them," says Variety. The dark comedy will be written by Mike White and produced by Mr. White and Mr. Black. (Jack Black, that is.)

Based on the book by Jon Ronson, the story, "an exploration of extremists, is described as a conspiracy comedy about one woman’s journey to unmask the secret rulers of the world. White and Wright are using elements of it to hatch the story White will write.

White, who last scripted "The School of Rock," is working on "Nacho Libre," a comedy that stars his partner, Black, as a priest who moonlights as a wrestler to save an orphanage. Jared Hess ("Napoleon Dynamite") is directing. White wrote the script with Hess and his wife, Jerusha Hess.

After making his breakthrough on the comical zombie pic "Shaun of the Dead," Wright has been producing and directing "Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life" for Universal."

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