20th Century Fox Television Reveals Full San Diego Comic Con Slate


(PCM) 20th Century Fox Television has revealed their highly anticipated slate for San Diego Comic Con International and they are bringing a whopping 13 series to this year’s jam-packed convention. We are thrilled to learn that there will be a special screening of the upcoming psychological TV thriller “The Exorcist” with stars Alfonso Herrera, Ben Daniels, Geena Davis and writer/producer Jeremy Slate on hand.

Other new series and specials coming with 20th Century Fox Television to SDCC will be “24: Legacy”  the spin-off series of the hit Kiefer Sutherland show with Legacy stars Corey Hawkins, Miranda Otto, Jimmy Smits and 24 creators/producers Howard Gordon, Manny Coto and Evan Katz. There will also be a first look at the upcoming “Rocky Horror Picture Show” reboot which will premiere later this fall with cast members Christina Milian, Victoria Justice, Ryan McCarten, Laverne Cox, Reeve Carney, Staz Nair and EPs Lou Adler, Gail Berman and Kenny Ortega on hand.

There will be some special behind-the-scenes footage and an all new clip from “Prison Break” and stars Wentworth Miller, Dominic Purcell, Sarah Wayne Collins, Robert Knepper and producer Vaun Wilmott will be in attendance.  There will also be a sneak preview of the live action-animated hybrid show Son of Zorn featuring the voice of Jason Sudeikis as a Pacific Ocean island warrior who returns to Orange County to win back his wife and teenage son. Scheduled for the panel are Son of Zorn stars Cheryl Hines, Tim Meadows, Johnny Pemberton and EP Sally McKenna and EP/director Eric Appel.

In addition to the new series/specials, 20th Century Fox will also be highlighting many of their returning shows to SDCC as well. There will be a very special final appearance from “Bones” with Emily Deschanel, David Boreanaz, TJ Thyne, Michaela Conlin, Tamara Taylor, John Boyd and EPs Jonathan Collier and Michael Peterson. 20th Century Fox’s full slate can be found below:

American Dad! — Live table read. Cast Scott Grimes, Dee Bradley Baker, Rachael MacFarlane, Wendy Schaal, EPs Matt Weitzman and Brian Boyle.

Bob’s Burgers — Never before seen footage with creator/EP Loren Bouchard, EP Jim Dauterive, and cast H. Jon Benjamin, Dan Mintz, Eugene Merman, John Roberts, Kristen Schaal and Larry Murphy.

Family Guy — Alex Borstein, Mike Henry and EPs Rich Appel, Alec Sulkin and Steve Callaghan.

The Last Man on Earth — A tease of season three with Will Forte, Kristen Schaal, January Jones, Mel Rodriguez, Mary Steenburgen and Cleopatra Coleman.

Salem — Also a tease of season three with Shane West, Janet Montgomery, Seth Gabel, Iddo Goldberg, Elise Eberly and EPs Brannon Braga and Adam Simon.

Scream Queens — Season 2 of the series from Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan centers around an abandoned hospital purchased by Dean Murch (Jamie Lee Curtis) and the Chanels are her employees. It’s set two years after last season. On tap are stars Curtis, Emma Roberts, Lea Michele and more.

The Simpsons — Panel on Season 28 as the series heads toward the 600 episode mark. Creator Matt Groening, EPs Al Jean and Matt Selman, supervising director Mike B. Anderson, David Silverman and Nancy Cartwright will be in San Diego.

John Stamos Will Join The Cast Of FOX’s ‘Scream Queens’


(FOX) John Stamos (“Grandfathered,” “Fuller House”) has been cast in a series regular role in the upcoming second season of “Scream Queens”, the comedy-horror series from award-winning executive producers Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan.

Premiering Tuesday, Sept. 20 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), on FOX, Season Two of “Scream Queens” graduates from the college campus and into an all-new location, as a terrifyingly funny mystery will begin once again. Set in a hospital, where some of the most fascinating and bizarre medical cases are under observation, Stamos will play Dr. Brock Holt, the hospital’s brilliant, but secretive, head surgeon. Stamos previously collaborated with Murphy in guest-starring roles on the comedies “Glee” and “The New Normal.”

As previously announced, Golden Globe Award nominee Jamie Lee Curtis, Emma Roberts, Lea Michele, Abigail Breslin, Keke Palmer, Glen Powell and Niecy Nash are set to reprise their Season One characters. Additional casting to be announced.

Emmy Award-nominated actor and producer John Stamos continues to captivate audiences with an array of multi-faceted performances across television, film and theater. With a career spanning 30 years, Stamos has become one of the most revered television stars of his generation. In 2016, Stamos won the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Actor in a New TV Series, for his role on FOX’s “Grandfathered,” and was awarded TV Land’s Timeless Icon Award, presented to him by longtime friend and mentor Garry Marshall. Earlier this year, “Fuller House,” a multi-camera comedy spin-off of iconic comedy “Full House,” premiered, with Stamos serving as a producer and guest star. The series was recently renewed for a second season. Stamos’ additional television credits include “General Hospital,” “Necessary Roughness,” “Galavant,” “Entourage,” “Two and A Half Men” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” as well as the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning drama “ER.” As a producer, Stamos is in development with Twentieth Century Fox and Academy Award-winning producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, on a musical feature set to the songs of the Beach Boys.

Stamos also has established a strong stage presence, beginning with his Broadway debut in “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying” as “J. Pierrepont Finch.” Other Broadway credits include Gore Vidal’s Tony Award-nominated political play, “The Best Man,” with James Earl Jones; Roundabout Theatre Company’s “Bye Bye Birdie”; and the Tony Award-winning musicals “Nine” and “Cabaret.” Additional theater credits include “Hairspray” and “The Little Mermaid” at the Hollywood Bowl. A gifted drummer, singer and musician, Stamos occasionally tours with the legendary band the Beach Boys, of which he’s been a part for 30 years. As an advocate for Project Cuddle, Stamos serves as the non-profit’s national spokesperson and Chairman of the advisory board, and has been a supporter of the charity for nearly 10 years.

“Like” SCREAM QUEENS on Facebook at facebook.com/ScreamQueensFOX. Follow the series on Twitter @ScreamQueens and join the discussion using #screamqueens. See photos and videos on Instagram by following @ScreamQueensFOX.

Full List Of Cancelled TV Shows By Network


(PCM) It is a sad time of year for TV fans, as we learn the untimely fate of some of our favorite shows. We must face the reality that although we may love them, some shows have been ultimately given the ax. We are especially sad to see that ABC’s Nashville and The Muppets didn’t make the cut, but here’s hoping that they will find a home at another network, as rumor has it, Nashville is being shopped around.

Below you can find a complete list of the cancelled TV shows for the 2016-2017 season broken down by network:

Of Kings and Prophets (was pulled after only two episodes)
The Family (after 1 season)
Blood and Oil (after 1 season)
The Muppets (after 1 season)
Wicked City (after 1 season)
The Whispers (after 1 season)
Agent Carter (after 2 seasons)
Galavant (after 2 seasons)
Nashville (after 4 seasons)
Castle (after 8 seasons)

Angel from Hell (after 1 season)
CSI: Cyber (after 1 season)
Extant (after 2 seasons)
Under the Dome (after 3 seasons)
Mike & Molly (after 6 season)
The Good Wife (after 7 seasons)
Person of Interest (after 5 seasons)

Containment (after 1 season, was initially announced to be limited.)
Beauty and the Beast (after 4 seasons)

Grandfathered (after 1 season)
The Grinder (after 1 season)
Bordertown (after 1 season)
Minority Report (after 1 season)
Second Chance (after 1 season)
Knock Knock Live (after 1 season)
Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life (after 1 season)
American Idol (after 15 seasons)

Heroes Reborn (after 1 season)
The Player (after 1 season)
You, Me, and the Apocalypse (after 1 season)
Truth Be Told (after 1 season)
Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris (after 1 season)
Mr. Robinson (after 1 season)

Some shows still remain in limbo with no announcements being made about renewal or cancellation such as “Limitless” and “Undercover Boss” on CBS, “The X-Files” on FOX and “The Last Man Standing” on ABC. So perhaps we can hold out some hope…we are looking at you FOX….please give us some more of The X-Files!


Catching Up With American Idol Winner Trent Harmon


(PCM) The lights were dimmed for a final time and host Ryan Seacrest made one last dream come true, as Trent Harmon, 25, from Amory, MS, was named the 15th and final American Idol in the history-making series finale live from Dolby Theatre.

Harmon is the 15th Idol hopeful to win the prestigious American Idol title, joining the ranks of Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks, David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze, Scott McCreery, Phillip Phillips, Candace Glover, Caleb Johnson and Nick Fradiani.

President Barack Obama kicked off the finale with a videotaped statement that paid tribute to the series and its impact on the nation. During the show, Season Four winner Carrie Underwood and Idol judge Keith Urban sang “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”; judge Harry Connick, Jr. sang “What A Wonderful World” with New Orleans student Marley Fletcher; judge Jennifer Lopez performed her new single, “Ain’t Your Mama”; fan-favorite contestant William Hung sang the chorus of “She Bangs”; and in a surprise appearance, former judge Simon Cowell returned to join Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson in paying tribute to host Ryan Seacrest.

The finale also saw epic performances by the Top 10 finalists alongside Idol alumni superstars, including Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Jennifer Hudson plus Ruben Studdard, Fantasia, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks, David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze, Scotty McCreery, Phillip Phillips, Candice Glover, Caleb Johnson, Nick Fradiani, Ace Young, Allison Iraheta, Amber Holcomb, Blake Lewis, Bo Bice, Brandon Rogers, Bucky Covington, Carly Smithson, Casey James, Chris Daughtry, Clark Beckham, Clay Aiken, Colton Dixon, Constantine Maroulis, Danny Gokey, Diana DeGarmo, Elliott Yamin, George Huff, James Durbin, Jessica Sanchez, Joshua Ledet, Justin Guarini, Katharine McPhee, Kellie Pickler, Kimberley Locke, Kree Harrison, LaToya London, Lauren Alaina, Melinda Doolittle, Pia Toscano, Sanjaya, Skylar Laine, Tamyra Gray and more as they returned to the stage that started it all to celebrate the Grand Finale.

We caught up with newly crowned American Idol Trent Harmon the morning after his big win to discuss his time on the show, the competition and just what he plans on doing next!

On who he would have loved to sing with on the finale


On what his plans are for his upcoming album

TH: I sing blue-eyed soul. I talked it over with Mr. Scott, and he said Justin Timberlake is thinking about making a country album. So, define country in 2016. I think it could be whatever you want it to be, so we’re going to try to make an album that country supporters would pick up. Country supporters, they go to shows, they go to festivals, they buy CDs, they download stuff. If you can make it in country, you can have a career.

On how he is feeling after the big win and it being such a highly emotional moment 

TH: Well, I’ve got sleep scheduled for next Friday at 2:00, but I really feel like it hasn’t sunk in yet. It hasn’t really sunk in because this morning when I hopped out of bed, I jumped in the shower, I started doing my warm ups and started practicing my song, and I realized that today I don’t have to do that anymore.

I’m kind of realizing that I can decompress a little bit at a time, and I don’t know how long it’ll take. It may take a week or a month before I really come down out of, I hate to say, like a PTSD, but I’m still kind of in that mode where I feel like at any moment I could get cut, but I can’t get cut anymore.


On if he were surprised by his win and what he said to La’Porsha during their final hug on the finale stage

TH: When I auditioned in July, I didn’t expect to win, but I prepared to win at every facet of this competition.

I told La’Porsha no matter what name comes out of Ryan’s mouth, we’re going to hug until they separate us. I don’t care whose name gets called, Porsha, we just won a car, and you don’t win cars every day, so we’re going to be okay, Porsha.

On the hard work that went into being an American Idol contestant

TH: I wake up, go to bed, wake up in the middle of the night. If I am awake or asleep I am rehearsing. If I have two minutes to myself to do anything, I am in rehearsal mode. I didn’t know what I was doing, but that’s what it took. I was too dumb to know that I was in go mode all the time. But it paid off.

On when he found out he could do falsetto with his voice and old classic singers he is influenced by

TH: I just really learned that I could do things with my voice that I didn’t know I could do, probably, middle to the last few years of my college experience, so just in the last two to four years. I think I always heard the notes in my head while I’d be listening to Smokey Robinson and The Miracles or I’d be listening to The Temptations.

My grandma always played a lot of Temptations and a lot of Michael Jackson, Jackson 5, back in the day when I’d be at her house and we’d be cooking, and I would hear those notes in my head that I would want to sing, but I never tried to sing them, and one day they just jumped out of my mouth.

On what the song “Amazing Grace” means to him

TH: I keep “Amazing Grace” in my back pocket no matter where I go, whether it’s a Christian event that I’m at or if it’s not. If it’s just a secular event. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just because I know the words to it or because the words mean something to just about anybody whether you have any religious beliefs or not. That song means something.

There’s a reason it’s called a classic. There’s a reason that all these songs that we do are called classics. I would consider that one a classic, too, and I’ve just sung it at so many different things that have meant so much to me; that one’s just special to me.

That was the first one that my mom said, “Hey Trent, sing this part right here.” And I sang it, and she said, “Well, can you switch over and sing this part right here?” And that was when she realized that I could sing harmony. When I was four or five years old, and she realized something that I didn’t even realize at that early of an age.

On what he was surprised to learn about himself during his journey on American Idol

TH: I’ve always thought to myself that if I could ever get to the point, there’s so many intangibles that are encompassed within this reality singing competition. It’s not so much singing, there’s so much that goes into it. I would say singing would be less than 10% of it. But I knew that I could hang in the singing department, but I didn’t know that I could do interviews.

Nobody has really coached on how to talk to people in a public setting, and so sometimes, like right now, I’m talking to you having a conversation, and I’ve never done this before in my life. That has really surprised me, and it surprised my parents too. They said Trent, you’ve talked to more people through interviews than you’ve talked to us in your whole 25 years of life. Who taught you how to do that?

On the most surreal moment of the entire Idol experience

TH: I think whenever I turned around and I saw my mom and dad and my sister and my puppy dog walk out onto the stage two weeks ago, it was strange because it was like, I’m out here. I know that I’m out here doing this, but when they walked on the stage, I was like wow. We looked good as a collective unit; as a family. We looked like we were doing stuff in the Harmon collective unit. I’m doing something for my family. So that was pretty surreal.

On advice he has received from past Idol contestants and winners

TH: I guess, thankfully, most of the Idols that I got to talk to, they appreciated. They said, “Man, you seem pretty genuine. Don’t ever, ever quit that. Don’t ever get out of that head. Don’t ever, ever quit that.” And they didn’t give me very much advice in the moment.

I was lucky enough to exchange numbers with a lot of people that I never thought I’d have their name in my phone book, and they said look here, text me. And I could tell that they meant it. They said text me at any time of the day or night, ask me a question.

I got to exchange numbers with Jordin Sparks, and Ruben Studdard. It was just surreal for them to reach out and say, hey man, you’re the last one. We want to help you any way that we can. And I think they mean it.

On a possible move to Nashville

TH:  I’m sure that I will float between Nashville and Mississippi and Arkansas for quite a while. I’ve been doing the float between two states for the last four or five years, and I’ve gotten pretty good at it if you manage your time wisely, but I’m down to live wherever I’m happy. If that happens to be in Nashville for the next few years, then I’ll live in Nashville. If that happens to be Belize, then I’ll live in Belize.

On his relationship to country music

TH: I was just telling Mr. Scott last night. I said, man I don’t think you fully realize how much country music I listen to because whenever I really got the opportunity to pick the song myself, 100% myself, I was doing country songs on the show.

Now that was only sprinkled in very, very rarely because we always get to pick our own songs, but there would be influence from other people as well, but I sang a couple Chris Stapletons, and at that point, I think it was fully realized that this guy is confusing enough as it is, he talks so country but then he sings like a soul singer, well now he’s actually singing country.

I’ve always enjoyed all the classics. I love Conway Twitty. I’ve always been a big Conway Twitty fan. I’m a big Elvis fan. Elvis did country. I’m a Ray Charles fan. Ray Charles made a country album. So that’s kind of a point in case right there.

Define what country is in 2016. I mean, Ray Charles kind of broke that statement a long time. Justin Timberlake’s working on a country album. So, I feel like with being able to sing multiple genres is going to help me moving forward to make a country album that would be palatable to a lot of different people.

On plans to co-write his album

TH: I am a songwriter, but that will be decided by the Powers That Be. I don’t always have to have the best idea coming from myself. I just want the best idea. So, we’ll have to see where it leads us.

On his redo performance of “Chandelier” and advice given to him by Sia

TH: Sia said that she wrote this song from a state of struggling with alcoholism and that if I had a family member that struggled with alcoholism that that would be a route that I could sing that song from. And while I did lose a family member this year that struggled with alcoholism, I tried to go down that path and it was just too morbid. It was too sad. I didn’t want to. I sang it from a happy state.

When I asked her, I said, can I do that, this is your song. She said this is your song. For 90 seconds, this is your song. You sing it however you want to sing it. And I don’t think she meant for that just to apply to “Chandelier.” I think she was telling me to take that forward for the rest of my life. Even though I might be doing a cover song at some point, don’t sing it just as from the same head that the person that wrote it or performed it and made it popular from. Pick something from it. Find a lyric in it.

My favorite lyric from the Parson James song that I sang last week was, “It’s enough of a fight just staying alive anyways,” and I told Parson that. I said, “Man, that’s my favorite line in the song,” and he said, “Really? That’s crazy.” You just find a line that pulls to you. Pulls on your heart strings, and you go with it.

On his love for God and his family and how it plays an emotional role in his performances

TH: First of all, if anyone has made it through what I consider, I’d say the only two jobs that I would consider to be tougher than making it through American Idol boot camp, which is what I have aptly named it after the show’s been over, would be a preacher and/or a soldier. That would be the only two jobs that I would consider to be harder than what we just completed.

But if you can go through what we just did and not believe in something—I happen to believe in God, and then I would pray. Had a really simple prayer, I would say, especially when I had mono because I was pretty quarantined from the rest of the cast. I would say well, it’s just me and you. It’s just me and you God, and I kept that on my brain at all times when I didn’t have anybody else.

I didn’t have my parents out here with me, and it was just me, so I feel like if you could make it through this competition without believing in something, I wouldn’t say I’m impressed, I would say I’m kind of scared because I don’t know what you are. You’re super human, because I couldn’t have done it without him. That’s for sure.

‘Empire’ Show Runner Ilene Chaiken Talks Upcoming Season And More!


(PCM) We were absolutely thrilled to catch up with “Empire” show runner Illene Chaiken to chat about the upcoming season of the FOX hit drama and perhaps get a few answers to some of the burning questions that were left at the end of last season. “Empire” will premiere on Wednesday, March 30 at 9:00 pm!

On the Jamal/Skye hook-up and why we did not actually see the hook-up take place on camera

ILENE CHAIKEN: We didn’t think it was necessary to see it happen. It was the last moment of the episode, and it’s the way that we often do our last moments—kind of a big, gasp-worthy moment in which a lot of things are implicit. Sometimes we do sex implicitly.

On the show’s sexual fluidity and how it could apply to other characters on the series other than just Jamal

IC: I think that you never know where people are going to go in terms of their sexuality until they go there, and people often don’t know themselves. So absolutely we could explore sexuality with other characters, not just with Jamal, and I’m sure we will.

On Andre’s character and the casting of Trai Byers

IC: It was the writers who chose to tell the story of Andre dealing with issues of faith, but Trai is a man of faith, and it’s very important to him that that story is told in an honest and insightful way. So we discuss it with him and do our best to make sure that he or any actor who feels strongly about a subject we’re tackling is comfortable with the story we’re telling and believes in it. It doesn’t mean that he determines the story, it doesn’t mean that we’re telling the story of Trai Byers, but he certainly has input in how we tell that story.

On where we can expect to see Andre’s character headed after the tragic events in the mid-season finale

IC: Well, as you know, as everybody knows, in our mid-season finale something tragic happens to Andre’s wife. I won’t talk about the outcome, but I certainly will say that it causes him or necessitates his grappling with issues of faith. Why would such a thing happen to me? What does it mean to my faith? Will I be able to continue down that path in light of what’s happened?

On the possibility of a dramatic cliffhanger at the end of this season, as well as details about the story arc surrounding who pushed Rhonda, why and when we will find out

IC: I’m not going to tell you when we’ll find out. I will say that the story arc plays a large role at times, and it ebbs and flows in terms of how prominent it is in the relationships among the characters, but ultimately, in the end, it plays a large, significant, and I would hope very surprising role.

On whether or not there is an urgency to kill off character or have some sort of explosive cliffhanger in the season finale

IC: There’s certainly not an urge or an urgency, rather, as you put it, to kill someone off. We never said, “Oh, we have to kill somebody.” Should that happen, it will happen organically. I’m not saying that it does happen, but we didn’t set out to do it.

In terms of the need to top ourselves, I think we’ve—it’s not how we’re approaching it. We’ve gone big, we sometimes try to just follow the stories and let the stories lead, and I think we’re trying to mix it up so that we don’t constantly have to top ourselves and become more and more outlandish. Rather, we’d like to be true to story, true to character.

On guest stars appearing on the series 

IC: Far fewer guest stars in the back half of the season than there were in the beginning of the season.  The eight episodes that begin on March 30th are much more about the family, and the guest stars that are in those episodes are there to serve as the stories and are driven by the stories.  There’s not an instance in which we said, oh, so-and-so wants to be on the show.  We have to write something for her.  Every single person that appears on the show is on the show because we’re telling a story.

On the criticism about the pacing of the first half of the season and any changes for the back half

IC: Well, we haven’t intentionally changed the pacing, but I think that maybe the pacing changed by dint of the stories. We really are very focused on the family, on telling the family stories and telling them thoroughly and on following through on every thread that we’ve set up.

On “Empire” tackling the Black Lives Matter Movement and whether or not they will delve into politics with this being an election year

IC: Well, we haven’t begun breaking season three yet. I would say that it’s safe to anticipate that you’ll always hear political discussions on Empire because it’s in the fabric of this world and in the lives and minds of the characters we’re talking about. I don’t know that we’re telling a story explicitly that’s about a political subject, but I think the show by definition lives in that world of culture and politics.

On Lucious’s tolerance for Jamal’s gay lifestyle and wanting him to change

IC: Given where Lucious began in the pilot, the depth of his homophobia, Lucious has evolved. He’s become more open. I hate the word “tolerant,” but in Lucious’ case it might be an apt word. He’s tolerant, but he certainly hasn’t vanquished homophobia in his own world view. It will come out in different ways. He’ll take steps forward and he’ll backslide from time to time because that’s who he is and that’s how life goes.

On Anika’s storyline and it’s upcoming direction

IC: Well, the decision, it was a story that we all believed in. We were talking about how Anika would continue to stay in this story and our fundamental belief about Anika is that the thing that she wants most of all is to be a Lyon. That’s been the thing that she’s wanted from the moment we met her. When she lost Lucious she clung to that hope and pursued it in other ways, in ways that ultimately were not healthy for her. She may have become slightly unhinged for a little while, but we see her as a grounded character who struggles to regain her footing in this crazy and abusive family, sometimes abusive family that she so much wants to be a part of.

On the pacing of the first two episodes of the upcoming season and conclusions that were reached

IC: We like to think that each episode is self-contained in a way, some of them more so than others, but we always are telling stories in an ongoing way, and most stories in life don’t conclude. So while there are conclusions and finite moments, everything—life goes on in our stories, and things that were begun as far back as the pilot will come home to roost in episode 21, for example.

On which character’s arc she is excited to explore in the upcoming season 

IC: I could never say that I have a favorite character because it changes from episode to episode or from storyline to storyline. The story that I’m most excited about in the latter half of this season or the character whom I’ve most enjoyed is Lucious. He goes through such extraordinary things in such a deep and intense way, and Terrance Howard’s performance in those episodes is just remarkable. I’m really, really excited for people to watch and see where we go with this character and where Terrance takes him.

On racial inclusion being a hot topic in the entertainment industry and “Empires” importance to the issue

IC: The show is a TV show. It’s entertainment, but we are commenting on what’s happening in the world, and I feel like we’re a part of the conversation. I think that it’s important in that millions of people watch the show, feel represented, feel that perhaps their voices that aren’t heard elsewhere are being represented on this show, and that’s exciting for us and I suppose in some way important.

On the show’s popularity and multi-cultural cast generating an audience

IC: I believe that the multi-racial cast is a part of why there’s such a large audience. I think that it’s because the show is telling stories that haven’t been told before, and audiences, diverse audiences, come because it’s something fresh and new, because we’re really talking about something that’s meaningful and shining a light on lives and experiences that haven’t been represented in this genre on television before.

On finding the line between the fun soap opera aspects of the series to the more dramatic and serious character aspects and it’s challenge

IC: It’s the greatest challenge of the show and ultimately, I think, I hope the thing that makes it work, that we can take these big swings and at the same time tell stories and portray characters with nuance and insight. We do work really hard to find a way to make both of those things live within the same world of the show and feel like they’re a part of the same world.

One of the greatest opportunities in doing this show is portraying those character nuances, those complexities of character, not simply telling the story of a gay character and saying that’s all there is to him—he’s the gay character—but talking about sexuality as a complex thing that’s unique to every individual.

On learning more about Lucious’s back story and early life

IC: Lucious’ back story, Lucious’ life story is a very big part of the second half of season two. A lot will be revealed. It will have repercussions and huge consequences for everyone in the family. Lucious is the start of Empire—his story, where he comes from, and why he is who he is, is what the show is all about in so many ways just in the way that children are in part a result of their parents’ experiences.

On the challenge of keeping up with the show’s amazing ratings numbers

IC: We really can’t think about those numbers when work. We try to focus exclusively on the stories we’re telling and the episodes that we’re shooting, and we try to do them as well as we possibly can. We certainly don’t make decisions based on the ratings. We look at the work we’ve done. If we think that we’ve gone off course, we course correct, and we’ve done that once or twice this season, but the ratings are a thing that belong to someone else. Other people worry about those. I worry about telling these stories.

On exploring side characters such as Porsha, Becky and Cookie’s sisters

IC: All of those characters you just mentioned are in the latter half of the season. They’re part of our world. They’re the characters of Empire, so yes, you will be seeing them. We also are running the Porsha/Becky B sides promos because in the amount of time that we have to tell these stories we wish we could tell more Porsha/Becky stories, and it was a great, fun thing to be able to spend a little bit of time just with those two girls, seeing how they are separated apart from the stories that occupy most of our television.

On what is going to happen to Lyon Dynasty with Hakeem taking over Empire

IC: Well, I don’t want to give too much away before the two episodes have aired, but you’ve seen the episodes in which Cookie sells Lyon Dynasty back to empire and folds it in. Lyon Dynasty will continue to exist as a sub-label under Empire. I think Andre gives the business rationale for that which is modeled after a number of things that have happened in the real world of the music business.





X-Files Creator Chris Carter Talks New Episodes, Conspiracy Theories And More!


(PCM) If you are anything like us than you are positively overjoyed that The X-Files is back on TV! Over the years there has been a ton of murmuring and hope among fans that the series would finally make it’s way back, however this was not concrete until the official announcement was made in March of 2015 that we would be getting at least six new episodes of our beloved sci-fi series.

After viewing the first three episodes, we can truly say it feels as if no time has passed at all despite that fourteen years has gone by since we had a chance to delve into the mysteries and conspiracies that surround The X-Files with duo Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. What was even more thrilling for fans was that both David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson had both agreed to reprise their roles.

The new episodes are everything you would imagine and showcase what we adored about the show from the very beginning. They provide the perfect blend of both drama and humor while keeping the audience on the edge of their seats. While the first two episodes provide us with a darker and edgier X-Files, especially showcasing the way the characters have adapted to the world we live in today (a breeding ground for conspiracy), episode three takes us back to The X-Files we all knew and loved, it’s fantastic!


We recently had a chance to catch up with series creator Chris Carter to chat about the new episodes, revisiting the characters of Mulder and Scully in a new world, conspiracy theories and more.

On Scully’s decision to give William up and it’s effect on these new episodes of the show

CHRIS CARTER: If you remember, they gave up William to protect him. They were afraid that with his whereabouts known, meaning that either one of them would have him, that they would be better to give him up and not know his whereabouts so they couldn’t be tortured into giving him up. So, obviously, William is all important, not to just them, but to others and he will play an important part in not just the episode you saw that aired as Episode 2, but also in Episode 4. But I think he’s always, even though he’s not in the show, per se, he is an absent presence.

On how the up rise of social media will have an effect on the series

CC: Personally, I have an Instagram account that I think I’ve posted two photos to. I’m not a social media person but I appreciate how much social media plays a part in the interaction between fans and the interaction between fans and producers.  When I went to a marketing meeting with Fox before we shot the show, or during the shooting of the show, I was amazed to see that there were 50 people in the room and I’d say a good amount of them were there because they conduct marketing via social media, so the show is marketed very actively on social media platforms. I think that the second screen experience will help the show. I think that the show will, I think, rise, or I should say, its popularity will be enhanced by what I think is the beauty of social media.

On the basis for sort of turning everything on its ear. such as exploring 2016 from a 90’s perspective 

CC: In a way, all six explore it because they are told in a contemporary context. They turn the mythology not necessarily on its head, but the mythology takes a big right hand turn and that plays most actively in the first and last episodes. But I think that technology, and it’s really technology is what you’re talking about, besides what I would call a very strong undercurrent of distrust for government, authority, and for the picture we’re being sold.

But the show is, I think, owes to people like Alex Jones, people like Glenn Beck, and all the conspiracy sites that I look at on the internet, that I digest every day. I get a lot of stuff in my mailbox every day from these sites. I’ve also been—I’ve gone to conventions. I’m actively up on this stuff and I’m actually surprised sometimes how many journalists are unaware of these, as I say, very strong undercurrents.

On writing for Mulder and Scully again

CC: As you see, they’re no longer together. They’re not under the same roof, I should say, so that provided an interesting point of departure dramatically and I think that it made the characters interesting to explore because that’s how they began their lives together. Their lives changed. They were a couple and now they’re apart, so as we’ve lived our lives, they have lived theirs. That’s the way we’re playing it.

On deciding the way the first episode would be put together and completed after being away from these characters for quite some time

CC: Well, it took a lot of consideration because I had to think about the characters and their relationships. I had to think about the character in a contemporary context, so much has changed technologically, geopolitically, so I had to put a contemporary context both personally and professionally. I also had to be mindful that the reason we’re back is because of the hardcore fans but, also, there is another audience out there that I think everyone wants to—doesn’t want to ignore as a possible new audience. With more viewers there’s a chance for more X-Files.

On the possibility of a third movie 

CC: I like doing the television show because it gives me a chance to tell a lot of interesting X-Files stories. I probably wouldn’t want to do the third movie that I wrote. I think I would have to rethink it. I might use some elements of it. I can tell you that if and when we do a third movie, I wouldn’t do it if it were not the proper budget and the proper release date. I feel we didn’t have either in the last movie, so I’d be looking to do something more like the first movie.

On Mulder and Scully’s evolving relationship in the first three episode and if eventually we will see them where we left them years ago

CC: So, it was my thinking and our thinking, the producers, that Mulder and Scully would have had a very hard time living under the same roof based on their personalities and their passions. I see Mulder now as probably, because he’s got Google and the internet and search engines, he probably spends a lot of time sitting at home in front of his computer in his underwear.

I didn’t imagine that would sit well with Scully who is a serious scientist and doctor, so I think it would spell, I believe it would spell a bump in the road for them, which is why you find them not together. But I think you’ll see, through the course of these six episodes, that they begin to be drawn closer together through not just their investigations but through, I would call it, a deep love for one another.

On seeing a present day William in the new episodes

CC: He does not appear again in the series, but he is important to the arc of the stories going forward.

On how the fandom for the series has evolved

CC:  It’s hard for me to say because I don’t—in term of its systematic sophistication, I guess it has because of social media. I still hear the drumbeat loud and clear. I would say it takes, for me, experiences like Comic-Com 2013 where I got a direct hit from the fans for their desire to see this show, either back on the big screen or back on the small screen. It’s that direct experience that is most impressive to me.

On FOX developing any non-X-Files projects he has worked on or developed such as bringing back Millennium

CC: Right now we’re so focused on this that there are no talks about doing anything else. I can tell you, there is a constant drumbeat to bring back Millennium and I’m just always so taken by that, also that hardcore group of fans out there who would like to see it back. I have ideas how it might come back but, it’s really, once again, it’s a Fox show. They own it. It’s really up to them whether or not they would ever want to go down that road.

But, you know, I also think Harsh Realm would deserve another chance. I’m not sure if The Lone Gunmen would ever see the light of day, but Unique would be a show I would love to see done, if not at Fox, someplace else.

On bringing back writers James Wong, Darin Morgan, Glen Morgan, for this event series

CC: You know, it’s funny. I don’t remember specifically calling them and asking them. It kind of happened—Glen and I share an agent, so it kind of happened through our agent and then the same agent told me that Jim was interested. Glen told me that Darin was interested. The band kind of folded back together in the most natural way. Everyone had good ideas. Jim and I are tennis players. We played tennis one day, sat down and talked about his episode, but Glen and Darin both had very worked-out ideas when we first met in Glen’s backyard way back in the spring of last year. So the band came back together as if no time had passed at all.

On the role of The Lone Gunman in this six-episode series

CC: I would only spoil it for you if I told you, but I can tell you that they come back in a way that you will absolutely never expect. If I gave you 100 guesses, right now, you’d never get it.

On the differences between working the FOX on the series now versus when it first aired 

CC: You know, when you first get up and running, everyone is very nervous because you’re spending millions of dollars. Everyone is prepared for you to be a big failure. They’re prepared for you to waste all their money so everyone, there’s a tremendous amount of nervousness. This time out, there was a tremendous amount of respect. Fox was very hands-off in almost all respects. That’s not to say they didn’t have notes, they didn’t have ideas, they didn’t have suggestions, they didn’t have good direction…

They have done a fantastic job marketing this show, but it’s funny that we came back to do six episodes which, in the grand scheme of things, doesn’t seem like very many. I can tell you that I’ve worked as hard on these six episodes as I ever worked on this show and my involvement with Fox was as—even though, as I said, it was respectful, it was as collaborative as I’ve ever experienced.

On the possibility of additional episodes

CC: You know, I think everyone had a very good experience. I think everyone’s happy with the way it worked out. I think, now, it’s waiting to see if we build it, will the audience come? I hope they will. It’s seems as if there is a viewership out there but, you know, we live in a different world now where the viewership is fractured. Fox has fewer viewers. They are able to market, do on-air promotions, reaches fewer people. Everyone’s got to get the word out there in order to get the ratings that will promote more episodes.

On why 2016 was the right time to bring this series back to life

CC: The question kind of answers itself. Anyone who’s picked up a newspaper recently, or gone on the internet, knows that we live in an era of tremendous amount of suspicion and distrust of not only our government leaders, but world government. So that’s an interesting time to tell an X-Files story.

When we went off the air in 2002, there could not have been more trust in government and institutions and we allowed a lot of our rights and liberties to be abridged in the name of security. I think that we’ve all witnessed now the abuse of that trust and The X-Files wants to point a very bright light at some of those dark corners that have developed.

On making the new episodes appealing for both long-time fans and those who may be new to the series as well

CC: Yes, it was important to us to actually be mindful that there’s an audience out there that we know, they know the show. They know it better than I do , to be honest, and this series is for them. But if there are to be more of these episodes, we have to be inclusive of a casual viewing audience, people who may have seen it, may have known about it in the past, but we also—I have to tell you that I’ve had a number of times kids say to me that they loved the show and I look at them and I realize that they weren’t even born when the show was on. Maybe some of them were not even born when the show went off the air, so we’ve got another audience out there that we need to make sure that we don’t forsake going forward.

On the placement of Easter Eggs in the new episodes

CC: There are Easter eggs and, you know, when you do a show that has been off the air for 14 years, it’s funny that even with—you do unintended Easter eggs. There are specific ones and then there are the unintentional ones that come just because the show has to be self-referential in order to tell these stories. I would say, yes, intentionally and unintentionally, we do.

On the idea that Mulder is this kind of prophesized savior of mankind

CC: It’s interesting. He’s got a heroic quality. He’s the most unlikely hero, but he does have a kind of heroic quality, in that sense, and the mythology that developed around him gave him a kind of savior-like quality. That said, I would never label him a savior, but I would label him an agent of change.

On if it is scarier for him to believe their are aliens out there or there may not be

CC: It’s scarier to me that there are aliens out there because I think once that would become a reality, and I’m talking about the kind of aliens that we’ve come to either [indiscernible] fascinate us or terrify us, which is a somewhat humanized or humanoid life form. I think that it would throw mankind into a panic both biologically, psychologically, philosophically, spiritually. I think that it would be—it would change the world as we know it immediately and overnight and I think that is a rather harrowing idea.



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