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NBC Renews The Blacklist, Grimm, Chicago Fire and More

The Blacklist

NBC has announced that it will be renewing dramas “The Blacklist” (season 3), “Chicago Fire” (season 4), “Chicago P.D.” (season 3), “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (season 17) and “Grimm” (season 5) for the 2015-16 season.

For the 2014-15 season to date, NBC ranks #1 among the Big 4 networks in adults 18-49 and all other key demographics. NBC’s 2.9 average rating for the season in adults 18-49 is the network’s highest through 19 weeks of the season since 2008-09 (3.1).

“The creative vision of the executive producers who’ve guided these outstanding dramas has been nothing short of incredible,” said Jennifer Salke, President, NBC Entertainment. “We’re highly appreciative of the passion they bring to their shows at every step of the creative process and we’re thrilled to reward that dedication with these renewals.”

“The Blacklist,” which is moving to its new 9 p.m. Thursday timeslot this week, is averaging a 5.1 rating, 15 share in adults 18-49 and 17.4 million viewers so far this season, according to “most current” averages from Nielsen Media Research. Boosted by its Feb. 2 post-Super Bowl telecast, “Blacklist” currently ranks #2 among Big 4 entertainment program this season in adults 18-49 behind only CBS’s “Big Bang Theory” and is the #4 entertainment series in total viewers. “The Blacklist” delivers the biggest average increase in television of time-shifted viewers going from next-day “live plus same day” ratings to “live plus seven day” results, increasing by 6.3 million viewers.

“The Blacklist” stars Emmy Award winner James Spader as ex-government agent Raymond “Red” Reddington, formerly one of the FBI’s Most Wanted fugitives. Brokering shadowy deals for criminals across the globe, Red was known by many as “The Concierge of Crime” and now the FBI work for him as he identifies a “blacklist” of politicians, mobsters, spies and international terrorists. He will help catch them all… with the caveat that Elizabeth “Liz” Keen (Megan Boone) continues to work as his partner.

“The Blacklist,” from Sony Pictures Television and Davis Entertainment, also stars Diego Klattenhoff, Harry Lennix, Ryan Eggold, Amir Arison and Mozhan Marno.

At 10 p.m. Tuesdays, “Chicago Fire” is delivering a 2.8 rating, 9 share in adults 18-49 and 10.1 million viewers overall this season, making it NBC’s #2 drama in both measures. “Chicago Fire” has ranked #1 or tied for #1 in 18-49 among the time period’s dramas on ABC, CBS and NBC through 11 of 13 original telecasts so far this season.

From Emmy winner Dick Wolf, “Chicago Fire” is an edge-of-your-seat view into the lives of everyday heroes committed to one of America’s noblest professions. For the firefighters, rescue squad and paramedics of Chicago Firehouse 51, no occupation is more stressful or dangerous, yet so rewarding and exhilarating. These courageous men and women are among the elite who forge headfirst into danger when everyone else is running the other way and whose actions make the difference between life and death.

The series, from Universal Television and Wolf Films, also stars Jesse Spencer, Taylor Kinney, Eamonn Walker, Monica Raymund, Kara Kilmer, Charlie Barnett, David Eigenberg, Yuri Sardarov, Joe Minoso and Christian Stolte.

Airing at 10 p.m. Wednesdays, “Chicago P.D.” is earning a 2.3 rating, 7 share in adults 18-49 and 9.4 million viewers overall this season, for gains versus last season of +10% in 18-49 and +14% in total viewers. “Chicago P.D.” has finished #1 or tied for #1 among ABC, CBS and NBC in the time period with five of its last six original broadcasts through Feb. 2.

From Dick Wolf and the team behind the hit series “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago P.D.” is a riveting police drama about the men and women of the Chicago Police Department’s elite Intelligence Unit, combatting the city’s most heinous offenses — organized crime, drug trafficking, high-profile murders and beyond.

The series, from Universal Television and Wolf Films, stars Jason Beghe as gritty and determined Det. Sgt. Hank Voight. Also starring are Jon Seda, Jesse Lee Soffer, Sophia Bush, Elias Koteas, Patrick John Flueger, LaRoyce Hawkins, Marina Squerciati, Amy Morton and Brian Geraghty.

The longest-running drama on television set to enter its 17th season in the fall, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” is averaging a 2.5 rating, 7 share in 18-49 and 9.5 million viewers. That matches the show’s highest 18-49 rating at this point in the season in four years (since earning a 2.8 in 2010-11). In total viewers, “Law & Order: SVU” is up +10% this season versus last (9.5 million vs. 8.7 million), and is delivering its biggest overall audience at this point in the season in six years (since averaging 10.5 million in 2008-09).

Also from Universal Television and Wolf Films, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” chronicles the life and crimes of the Special Victims Unit of the New York City Police Department, an elite squad of detectives who investigate sexually based crimes.

The series stars Emmy and Golden Globe winner Mariska Hargitay as Sgt, Olivia Benson, acting commander of the SVU. Also starring are Ice-T, Danny Pino, Kelli Giddish, Raúl Esparza and Peter Scanavino.

A Friday night success story, “Grimm” has averaged a 2.1 rating, 7 share in adults 18-49 and 7.2 million viewers overall so far this season, making it Friday’s #1 scripted series in 18-49 on the Big 4 networks. “Grimm” is one of the most time-shifted shows on broadcast television, with its originals growing by an average of +83% going from “live plus same day” Nielsens to “live plus seven day.”

“Grimm” is inspired by the classic Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales. The series stars David Giuntoli as Portland homicide detective Nick Burkhardt, who discovers he’s descended from an elite line of criminal profilers known as Grimms and increasingly finds his responsibilities as a detective at odds with his new responsibilities as a Grimm.

The series, from Universal Television and Hazy Mills Productions, also stars Russell Hornsby, Bitsie Tulloch, Silas Weir Mitchell, Reggie Lee, Sasha Roiz, Bree Turner and Claire Coffee.

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Smith and Robbie are Con Artists in a Focus Extended TV Spot

Focus Extended TV Spot 
Warner Bros. Pictures has released a lengthy extended TV spot for Focus, coming to theaters on February 27.

Starring Will Smith (I Am Legend, Men in Black) and Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street, About Time), Focus is written and directed by the Crazy, Stupid, Love pair of Glenn Ficarra and John Requa. Focus follows Nicky (Smith), a seasoned master of misdirection who becomes romantically involved with novice con artist Jess (Margot Robbie). As he’s teaching her the tricks of the trade, she gets too close for comfort and he abruptly breaks it off. Three years later, the former flame–now an accomplished femme fatale–shows up in Buenos Aires in the middle of the high stakes racecar circuit. In the midst of Nicky’s latest, very dangerous scheme, she throws his plans for a loop… and the consummate con man off his game.

Although Focus marks the first onscreen pairing of Margot Robbie and Will Smith, they’re already set for a second major big screen project together as Warner Bros. Pictures has recruited both stars for David Ayer’s DC Comics antihero team-up, Suicide Squad. In that film, Robbie will play Harley Quinn and Smith will play Deadshot.

Focus also stars Rodrigo Santoro (300, The Last Stand) and Gerald McRaney (The Best of Me, “Longmire”).

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Netflix to Launch in Japan This Fall

Netflix to launch in JapanNetflix announced today it will expand this fall into Japan, as it moves to complete its global rollout by the end of 2016.

Internet-connected users will be able to subscribe to Netflix and instantly watch a curated selection of popular movies and TV shows in high-definition or even 4K where available. At launch, in addition to a strong selection of Japanese TV series and films, the premium and unique Netflix offering will include such original series as “Marco Polo,” the dramatic thriller “Sense8,” “Marvel’s Daredevil,” and the Academy Award-nominated documentary Virunga. The rollout in Japan, with about 36 million broadband households, will follow the previously-announced March expansion of the Netflix service into Australia and New Zealand.

“With its rich culture and celebrated creative traditions, Japan is a critical component of our plan to connect people around the world to stories they love,” said Reed Hastings, chief executive officer at Netflix. “As we expand into Asia, we’re excited Netflix members increasingly will have access to some of their favorite movies and TV shows no matter where they are.”

To facilitate close partnerships with consumer electronics makers and to work with Japanese film and TV creators, Netflix will soon open a regional office in Tokyo. Gregory K. Peters, chief streaming and partnerships officer at Netflix since 2013, has been promoted to general manager of Netflix Japan. A Japanese speaker, Peters holds a degree in physics and astronomy from Yale University. He joined Netflix in 2008.

“It is an honor to bring Netflix to Japan, and we’ll work hard to please consumers there,” said Peters. “People in Japan soon will have access to great entertainment from all over the world for a low monthly price, while our more than 57 million members will benefit from increased access to great Japanese films and TV shows.”

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The New Furious 7 Trailer Has Arrived!

Furious 7 Trailer

If you didn’t get enough new footage from the action ensemble sequel with this past Sunday’s Furious 7 Super Bowl spot, we’ve got a treat for you! In the player below, you can check out the new trailer for the highly-anticipated Furious 7!

Continuing the global exploits in the unstoppable franchise built on speed, Vin Diesel (Guardians of the Galaxy, Riddick), Paul Walker (Brick Mansions, Takers) and Dwayne Johnson (Hercules, G.I. Joe: Retaliation) lead the returning cast of Furious 7. James Wan (Insidious, The Conjuring) directs this chapter of the hugely successful series that also welcomes back favorites Michelle Rodriguez (Avatar, Machete), Jordana Brewster (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, “Dallas”), Tyrese Gibson (Transformers, Death Race), Chris “Ludacris” Bridges (New Year’s Eve, No Strings Attached), Elsa Pataky (Where the Road Meets the Sun, Snakes on a Plane) and Lucas Black (Jarhead, Friday Night Lights).

The April 3, 2015 release also features Jason Statham (The Transporter, Snatch), Tony Jaa (Ong-Bak, The Protector), Kurt Russell (The Art of the Steal, The Hateful Eight), Nathalie Emmanuel (“Game of Thrones,” “Hollyoaks”), Djimon Hounsou (Guardians of the Galaxy, How to Train Your Dragon 2), John Brotherton (The Conjuring, Help for the Holidays) and a cameo by Iggy Azaela.

Neal H. Moritz, Vin Diesel and Michael Fottrell return to produce Furious 7, which features a screenplay Chris Morgan.

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Heroes Alum Milo Ventimiglia Joins Gotham in Recurring Role

Milo Ventimiglia

DC Entertainment and FOX have announced today that Milo Ventimiglia (“Heroes”) has joined the cast of “Gotham” in a major, multiple-episode recurring arc as Jason Lennon, aka the Ogre.

Handsome, wealthy and seductive, the Ogre is a serial killer who has been preying on the young women of Gotham for nearly a decade, luring them into his web and confronting them with a series of “tests” as he searches for his perfect mate. When the women fail to live up to his impossible standard, Lennon disposes of them quickly and viciously. 

His obsessions, combined with Gordon’s determination to bring him down, send both Gordon and Lennon — and those around them — on a course toward tragedy. Though his character shares a name with a villain from DC lore, he’s an all-new character for the series.

“Gotham” airs on Mondays at 8 P.M. EST on FOX.

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

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Robotech Movie Plans are Back on Track!

Robotech Movie

In various stages of development for quite some time, plans for a live-action adaptation of the anime classic Robotech appear to once again be moving forward. Deadline today brings word that the property is now being developed by Hollywood Gang Productions, the Warner Bros.-based company responsible for films like Immortals and both 300 and its recent sequel 300: Rise of an Empire. Mark Canton and Gianni Nunnari will produce with 300 and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra‘s Michael Gordon set to provide the screenplay. What’s more, the outlet claims that they’re keen on signing Mama helmer Andy Muschietti to direct.

“Robotech” debuted in the 1980s from Harmony Gold USA and Tatsunoko Productions. A peculiar science fiction amalgamation, the show re-edited and re-wrote the dialogue of three Japanese anime series (“The Super Dimension Fortress Macross,” “Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross” and “Genesis Climber MOSPEADA”) to give the producers enough episodes to air as a daily syndicated series.

A sprawling sci-fi epic, Robotech takes place at a time when Earth has developed giant robots from the technology on an alien spacecraft that crashed on a South Pacific isle. Mankind is forced to use the technology to fend off three successive waves of alien invasions. The first invasion concerns a battle with a race of giant warriors who seek to retrieve their flagship’s energy source known as “protoculture,” and the planet’s survival ends up in the hands of two young pilots.

Could this be the version of Robotech that finally makes it to the big screen? Check back for updates as they become available!

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CS Video: Targoviste and the History of Dracula Untold’s Vlad Tepes

Now available on Blu-ray and DVD, Dracula Untold is Universal Pictures’ latest entry in the studio’s enduring “Universal Monsters” franchise and stars Luke Evans (The Fast and the Furious 6, The Hobbit) as Vlad, a cinematic amalgamation of truth and myth that blends the actual Romanian ruler with the legend of Dracula, the Bram Stoker horror icon that Vlad inspired. As part of the promotion for the new release, ComingSoon.net was invited to travel to Romania to explore some of the locations involved in the region’s history. Earlier this week, we debuted our first video, offering a tour of Transylvania’s Bran Castle. Now, in the player above, you can take a look at our visit to Targoviste which, in the 15th century, represented the seat of power held by Vlad Tepes, the Wallachian prince also known as Vlad Dracula and, for his violent conquests, Vlad the Impaler.

In the video, local tour guide Mihai Nastase offers some details on the importance of Targoviste in the life of Vlad. Although the prince is to this day infamous for his extraordinary acts of violence (he once impaled and beheaded 23,000 Turks as an act of revenge), Vlad is nonetheless regarded as a hero by many Romanians for the extraordinary lengths he went to to defend his kingdom.

Be sure to check back on Friday for our final video, which features an exclusive extended interview with Evans wherein he talks about the surprises in store for fans on the Blu-ray and the potential for bringing his Dracula back as the Universal Monsters franchise gets moving again!

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A Hobbit Actor and Two More Join the Cast of Pirates of the Caribbean 5

pirates of the caribbean

Variety reports that three more have joined the cast of the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, including Adam Brown (Ori of “The Hobbit” films), along with Delroy Atkinson and Danny Kirrane.

Johnny Depp is reprising his iconic role of Captain Jack Sparrow, while Geoffrey Rush will be returning as Captain Barbossa. Javier Bardem will play the film’s villain, Captain Brand, Brenton Thwaites will play British soldier Henry in the film, and Kaya Scodelario will play Henry’s love interest.

Although still unconfirmed, rumors have persisted that this film may see the return of Orlando Bloom’s William Turner as well.

The fifth installment of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise will be directed by Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg (Kon-Tiki). The film is slated to be released in theaters on July 7, 2017. 

(Photo Credit: Joseph Marzullo/Johnny Louis/Wenn.com)

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