IN MEMORIAM: Vince Flynn (1966 – 2013)

Vince with a Fan During the ‘American Assassin’ Book Tour (2010)

There are few celebrities that I ever get upset about when I hear that they have passed. Jimmy Stewart was one, but, of course, that was to be expected due to his advanced age. Michael Jackson was probably the biggest shock to me and my generation, however, when I heard about the loss of Vince Flynn this morning, I was devastated.

This is the first time I have ever experienced the loss of a favorite author and there is something profoundly different about the emotional connection that we have as human beings with the written word and no one could spin a better yarn of suspense than Vince. Today’s news came as a huge shock and the sense of loss has been a bit more overwhelming than I would have expected for a man I never met, almost as if I had lost a friend. When you think about it, you really truly do get to know someone intimately by their writing and unlike Tom Clancy (who Vince was often compared to), Vince wrote characters, first, and it’s in the characters that we find a greater insight into ourselves.

Vince announced to his fans (us) before anyone via his email newsletter in 2010 that he had stage three metastatic prostate cancer but vowed to fight it and as far as we or anyone else knew, he was winning the battle. That being said, Vince was also a very private man and no one but his closest friends and family knew the extent of the progression of his illness.

Vince Flynn was 47 years-old and leaves behind a loving wife and three children who were with him at the time of his death.

Vince’s biography from his website:

The fifth of seven children, Vince Flynn was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1966. He graduated from the St. Thomas Academy in 1984, and the University of St. Thomas with a degree in economics in 1988. 

After college he went to work for Kraft General Foods where he was an account and sales marketing specialist. 

In 1990 he left Kraft to accept an aviation candidate slot with the United States Marine Corps. One week before leaving for Officers Candidate School, he was medically disqualified from the Marine Aviation Program, due to several concussions and convulsive seizures he suffered growing up. While trying to obtain a medical waiver for his condition, he started thinking about writing a book. This was a very unusual choice for Flynn since he had been diagnosed with dyslexia in grade school and had struggled with reading and writing all his life. 

Having been stymied by the Marine Corps, Flynn returned to the nine-to-five grind and took a job with United Properties, a commercial real estate company in the Twin Cities. During his spare time he worked on an idea he had for a book. After two years with United Properties he decided to take a big gamble. He quit his job, moved to Colorado, and began working full time on what would eventually become Term Limits

Like many struggling artists before him, he bartended at night and wrote during the day. Five years and more than sixty rejection letters later he took the unusual step of self-publishing his first novel. The book went to number one in the Twin Cities, and within a week had a new agent and two-book deal with Pocket Books, a Simon & Schuster imprint. 

Term Limits hit the New York Times bestseller list in paperback and started a trend for all of Flynn’s novels. Since then, his books have become perennial bestsellers in both paperback and hardcover, and he has become known for his research and prescient warnings about the rise of Islamic Radical Fundamentalism and terrorism. Read by current and former presidents, foreign heads of state, and intelligence professionals around the world, Flynn’s novels are taken so seriously one high-ranking CIA official told his people, “I want you to read Flynn’s books and start thinking about how we can more effectively wage this war on terror.” 

October 2007 marked another milestone in Flynn’s career when his ninth political thriller, Protect and Defend, became a #1 New York Times bestseller. A few months later, CBS Films optioned the rights for Flynn’s Mitch Rapp character with the intention of creating a character-based, action-thriller movie franchise. Lorenzo di Bonaventura, who previously launched the Harry Potter and Matrix films as head of production at Warner Bros., and Nick Wechsler (We Own the Night, Reservation Road) will produce the films. Filming on the first film is set to begin in the fall of 2013. Bruce Willis has already signed on to act in the project. 

American Assassin and Kill Shot, published in October 2010 and February 2012 respectively, are prequels in the Mitch Rapp saga and both reached #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. 

His most recent publication, The Last Man, published in October 2012, was also a #1 New York Times bestseller. 

Works by Flynn include American Assassin, Kill Shot, Transfer of Power, The Third Option, Separation of Power, Executive Power, Memorial Day, Consent to Kill, Act of Treason, Extreme Measures, Pursuit of Honor, The Last Man and Term Limits (not part of the Mitch Rapp series). 

Influences: Ernest Hemingway, Robert Ludlum, Tom Clancy, J.R.R. Tolkien, Gore Vidal, and John Irving.

GEEK ALERT! SyFy: Ronald D. Moore’s ‘Helix’ Greenlighted For Full Season


SyFy is reuniting with Battlestar Galactica‘s Ronald D. Moore for a brand new epic SciFi series, Helix, scheduled to begin production soon and air later this year. Not only is this cool on its face because Moore doesn’t slap his name to anything unless it’s awesome to begin with, but SyFy has so much faith in this that they skipped the whole pilot process, opting to order an entire 13 episode season without seeing a single produced episode.  That’s what you call faith.

Via Press Release:



NBC Universal LogosNEW YORK – March 7, 2013 – Syfy is giving a 13-episode greenlight to Helix (working title), its newest original scripted series for 2013, it was announced today by Mark Stern, President of Original Content, Syfy and Co-Head Original Content, Universal Cable Productions. Helix is Executive Produced by Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica), Lynda Obst (Sleepless in Seattle, Contact), Steven Maeda (LostCSI: Miami, The X-Files) and Cameron Porsandeh, who wrote the pilot, will serve as Co-Executive Producer. The series will be produced by Sony Pictures Television.

Helix is an intense thriller about a team of scientists from the Centers for Disease Control who travel to a high-tech research facility in the Arctic to investigate a possible disease outbreak, only to find themselves pulled into a terrifying life-and-death struggle that holds the key to mankind’s salvation or total annihilation.

“With its well-drawn characters, taut drama, and incredible production team, we couldn’t be more excited to see this intense thrill-ride of a series come to life,” said Mark Stern.

Helix is expected to begin production early in 2013 to debut later this year.

Sony Pictures Television is one of the television industry’s leading content providers, producing and distributing programming worldwide in every genre including comedy, drama and reality series, telefilms and theatrical releases, for every platform. SPT is a leader in local language production around the world with 18 production companies outside the US, and also sells SPE-owned formats in approximately 70 countries. SPT’s worldwide television networks portfolio includes 124 channel feeds, which are available in 159 countries reaching more than 800 million households. Additionally, SPT owns multiplatform video service Crackle and is a part owner of GSN, 3net, FEARnet, and ITN Networks, Inc.

Syfy is a media destination for imagination-based entertainment. With year round acclaimed original series, events, blockbuster movies, classic science fiction and fantasy programming, a dynamic Web site (, and a portfolio of adjacent business (Syfy Ventures), Syfy is a passport to limitless possibilities. Originally launched in 1992 as SCI FI Channel, and currently in more than 98 million homes, Syfy is a network of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies. (Syfy. Imagine greater.)

More Details on BBC America’s New Crime Thriller, ‘Ripper Street’ MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD! (Character Guide, Episode Descriptions)

Via Press Release:


Dec 13, 2012 | BBC AMERICA

Can anyone bring order to the blood stained streets of London’s East End?

New York – December 13, 2012  In the aftermath of Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror, London’s Whitechapel sits on a precipice, and H Division – the precinct charged with keeping order – must work diligently to police the toughest district in the East End.  Welcome to Ripper Street, where fear lurks that each new murder could mark the return of The Ripper. As imitators emerge and feral gangs terrorize, Inspector Edmund Reid – one of the lead detectives on the Ripper case – and his teamare further drawn into the criminal underbelly of Victorian London. And their vigilance must be swift to stop those that threaten the calm of the city. Starring Matthew Macfadyen (Anna KareninaPride and Prejudice), Jerome Flynn (Game of Thrones), Adam Rothenberg (Alcatraz) and MyAnna Buring (Downton AbbeyThe Twilight Saga) and loosely based on real characters and events, the eight-part BBC AMERICA co-production created by Richard Warlow, premieres Saturday, January 19, 9:00pm ET.

“BBC AMERICA is excited to present this latest quality offering from the BBC,” say Perry Simon, General Manager, BBC AMERICA.  “Ripper Street is an edge of your seat thrill ride through Victorian London, with a stellar cast and compelling stories that will send chills down the spines of our viewers.”

A compelling, zesty crime drama with an international cast, Ripper Street’s rich storylines meld with the intrigue of a criminal underworld. Through modern marvels of the time, including early forensic methods, moving pictures, the early typewriter and more, the H Division squares off against copycat killers, a mass murderer who unleashes biological toxins, gamblers and counterfeiters. But with a neighborhood stuck at a volatile peak, can anyone bring order to these blood stained streets?

Leading the battle is Inspector Edmund Reid (Matthew Macfadyen), one of the lead investigators in the hunt to capture The Ripper.  A detective in the truest sense of the word, Reid’s calm and instinctive understanding is what the East End streets need to keep order in turbulent times. Haunted by his failure to capture London’s most evil killer, and by demons fiercely protected by him and his long suffering wife, Emily (Amanda Hale), Reid is driven by his belief that, through innovation and technology, the day will come where ignorance will never again stand in his way of apprehending a mass murderer.

Aiding Reid is his right-hand-man, Sergeant Bennet Drake (Jerome Flynn), a brute force of a man whose suit is the only thing that distinguishes him from the thugs he polices.  He’s loyal and protective of Reid, who believes in him and uses Drake’s ferocity to his advantage.  Scarred by war and longing for the simple life, Drake knows all too well the kind of ugliness men, including him, are capable of.

Rounding out the trio is Captain Homer Jackson (Adam Rothenberg), a free-spirited American expatriate enlisted by Reid for his forensic brilliance.  Reid is a staunch believer in technological innovation as a crime fighting tool and Jackson provides the science to back his beliefs.  But his vices are many and his secrets run deep. Jackson’s ties to an upmarket brothel-keeper, Long Susan (MyAnna Buring), creates an air of suspicion as to why they both decided to leave America for the lawless East End streets.

The series is created and written by Richard Warlow, showrunner and writer of the BBC One drama,Mistresses.  Richard began as a Development Executive at Pathe and DNA Films before embarking on a career as a screenwriter in 2003.

Ripper Street is the latest co-production to join BBC AMERICA’s stable of compelling programming including the award-winning Dramaville series The HourLuther and the upcoming mini-series, Spies of Warsaw.


Inspector Edmund Reid                      Matthew Macfadyen (Anna Karenina, Pride and Prejudice)

Sergeant Bennet Drake                      Jerome Flynn (Game of Thrones)

Captain Homer Jackson                     Adam Rothenberg (Alcatraz)

Long Susan Hart                                  MyAnna Buring (Downton Abbey, The Twilight Saga)

Emily Reid                                             Amanda Hale (The Crimson Petal and the White)

Rose Erskine                                        Charlene McKenna (Misfits)

Deborah Goren                                     Lucy Cohu (Upstairs Downstairs)

Constable Dick Hobbs                       Jonathan Barnwell

Sergeant Donald Atherton                  David Wilmot (Anna Karenina)

Fred Best                                               David Dawson (Luther)

Chief Inspector
Frederick Abberline                             Clive Russell (Game of Thrones, Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows)

Created by                                             Richard Warlow (Mistresses)

Directed by                                            Tom Shankland (The Fades)

Executive producers                           Greg Brenman
 Will Gould 
 Polly Hill
   Simon Vaughan

Ripper Street is produced for the BBC by Tiger Aspect Productions, Lookout Point and BBC AMERICA.




A young woman is found brutally murdered, the hallmark signs of the Ripper upon her. One time H Division boss, Chief Inspector Frederick Abberline believes it Jack’s return, but Reid – the precinct’s new man in charge – suspects a different evil at work. When Jackson learns that Long Susan’s girls have been drawn into the murky world of Victorian pornography, the team must use all of their brawn, brains and brilliance to track down the fiend responsible before another girl is killed. Written by Richard Warlow.  Episode 1 premieres Saturday, January 19, 9:00pm ET.


A beloved toy maker is beaten to death for a mysterious brass box and the coins in his pocket. The Whitechapel Vigilance Committee presents a 14 year-old culprit who refuses to deny the charge, leading Reid and Drake into the savage world of merciless child gangs. Jackson’s drinking and gambling have led to the loss of the pendant that ties him to his American past – a past that he and Long Susan fear will now be exposed. Written by Richard Warlow.  Episode 2 premieres Saturday, January 26, 9:00pm ET.


H Division and the Independent City of London force are thrown together when the panic surrounding a sudden cholera outbreak leads them to scour both boroughs to find some underlying pattern amidst the rising tide of sickness and death. As Jackson’s lab fills with bodies – and with no clear correlation between the victims to be found – the team work against the clock. Meanwhile Emily Reid seeks patronage for her charity efforts, unaware of the resistance she will meet. Written by Declan Croghan and Richard Warlow. Episode 3 premieres Saturday, February 2, 9:00pm ET.


The brutal clearing of a local slum for the underground railway reveals an indecipherable murder scene and an unreliable slum girl witness. Lucy Eames, beautiful and disturbed, is the unlikely key to a byzantine web of conspiracy. As Reid closes in on the killer, it becomes clear that the condemned slum is home to dark secrets that someone is desperate to protect. Written by Julie Rutterford and Richard Warlow. Episode 4 premieres Saturday, February 9, 9:00pm ET.


A string of brilliantly masterminded robberies draw the attention of Reid and his team. While Jackson works to trace the thieves’ hardware, Drake is confronted with a spectre from his past in the form of his onetime Colonel – returned to London to seek redress for the unjust treatment of the Empire’s soldiers.As Reid closes in on the brash robbers and their ultimate target, Drake finds his loyalties put to the ultimate test. Written by Toby Finlay. Episode 5 premieres Saturday, February 16, 9:00pm ET.


As the dock strike of August 1889 takes hold of the city, the killing of a Jewish anarchist leads Reid and the team into the merciless chicanery of the British government’s fight against distant empires and global terrorism. Written by Toby Finlay. Episode 6 premieres Saturday, February 23, 9:00pm ET.


An international shipping magnate arrives in town with his Pinkerton retinue to complete the acquisition of an ailing London shipping line. Meanwhile, the murdered body of an engine inventor draws Reid’s attention just as Jackson and Long Susan’s past comes back to haunt them. Written by Richard Warlow. Episode 7 premieres Saturday, March 2, 9:00pm ET.


Reid is adrift.  His team is in pieces and Leman Street is shaken to its foundations following recent events. A kidnapping offers him cause to assemble his men and tackle the white slavery ring operating in their midst. But Reid is gripped by a growing obsession that leads back to a terrible secret from his own past. Written by Richard Warlow. Episode 8 premieres Saturday, March 9, 9:00pm ET.



The boss of H Division, Inspector Edmund Reid was one of the lead detectives on the Jack the Ripper investigation (working side by side with the more historically celebrated Frederick Abberline). When the hunt for the killer was given up in early 1889, Reid stayed exactly where he had been for the last two years, policing the streets that would always remind him of his failure.

Reid is calm, meticulous and embracing of any innovation that will help him get his man. A brilliant investigator with an understanding of humanity, Reid has an analytical mind and years of hard won experience. As a committed technophile, Reid is led by his belief that the day will come when science and technology will aid him in apprehending the next Ripper.

Having experienced tragedy – the full details of which are known only to him – Reid carries a serious injury to his left shoulder. Only a very few know how he came by the wounds and none talk about it.


Reid’s right-hand, Sergeant Bennet Drake, is a hard man with some harder demons. Ex-army, his fists often deliver the blow needed to get a suspect talking.  But outside of his suit, Drake doesn’t have a lot to distinguish him from the thugs he polices. He is fiercely loyal to Reid, for it was the Inspector who saw the potential in him – beyond a supreme ability to crack heads.

What Reid saw is integrity and an affiliation to the streets. Drake – unlike many officers – does not see himself as morally superior to the populace he polices. He has known the horrors of war and knows of what monstrosities men are capable of. Above all else, Drake wishes to find a way to escape his thug status and the dehumanising memories he carries with him.


An American, a one-time Pinkerton detective and a U.S. army surgeon, Captain Homer Jackson is an expert in the world of early forensics. Enlisted by Reid for his unique skills on the autopsy slab, he is a free spirit – untrustworthy and brilliant by equal measure.  But his thirst for vice including women, booze and gambling leaves him hated by Drake and distrusted by the rest of the police fraternity.

Jackson has his secrets too. On the run from an ‘incident’ in America, he and brothel-keeper, Long Susan, have sought out the East End precisely for its chaos and lawlessness. Reid’s attachment to Jackson – and the friendship the two like minds inevitably foster – will eventually compromise this need for secrecy.

LONG SUSAN (MyAnna Buring)

Like Jackson, Long Susan Hart is also hiding out in the neighborhood, on the run from the same incident in America. Her past is a mystery, but her well-honed skills in business and self-promotion have given her one of the most salubrious brothels in the district. Brazen and quick to anger, Susan is also well educated and knows exactly how to manipulate the desires of men.

Though it irks Susan, Jackson comes and goes as he pleases through the brothel in which he keeps his shambolic rooms. The frequency and ferocity of their arguments often leads Susan’s girls to wonder just why they tolerate each other. But their passionate exchanges hide a shared affection that their exile hasn’t completely extinguished.

EMILY REID (Amanda Hale)

Inspector Edmund Reid’s wife, Emily, was once the happy spouse of a well-respected and ambitious young policeman, and a devoted mother to their beloved daughter. But her life has changed dramatically. While she and her husband still love each other, their life together has been irretrievably altered by shared tragedy – and their different means of coping with this loss.

Where Emily seeks solace in church, Reid chooses only denial. Before this pain separated them, however, they were ideally suited. Emily’s intelligence and curiosity challenged and complimented Reid. Now, with an emotional gulf between them, Emily finds herself searching for new ways to channel her energies.

BBC AMERICA delivers U.S. audiences high-quality, innovative and intelligent programming. Established in 1998, it has been the launch pad for talent embraced by American mainstream pop culture, including Ricky Gervais, Gordon Ramsay, Graham Norton, and successful programming formats including ground-breaking non-scripted television like Top Gear and top-rated science-fiction like Doctor Who. Owned by BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, BBC AMERICA has attracted both critical acclaim and major awards including an Emmy®, five Golden Globes® and ten Peabody Awards. The channel attracts one of cable’s most affluent and educated audiences and is available on cable and satellite TV in more than 80.3 million homes. It broadcasts in both standard and high-definition, with content available On Demand across all major digital platforms. Online, is the place to go to dig deeper into pop culture with a British twist. Find out more by visiting or follow us on

Tom Hardy On Board For ‘Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell’ Film Adaptation

Things are taking off right now for video game software giant Ubisoft and Tom Hardy.  Just last month we reported that Michael Fassbender had been recently tapped to star in the film adaptation of the popular Ubisoft video game series Assassin’s Creed, and in November, it’s finally been announced that Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell will be hitting the big screen, as well, with Tom Hardy cast in what can only assumed to be the role of the series’ main protagonist, the gruff super-spy/assassin, Sam Fisher (voiced by fan-favorite, Michael Ironside in the games). Eric Warren Singer (The International) will pen the script.

Hardy, who you can’t back out of your driveway without seeing nowadays, has been one of the hottest commodities in Hollywood for the past couple of years with hits such as Warrior, LawlessThis Means WarInception, and of course, he was the main villain Bane in this summer’s blockbuster finale to the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises will be assuming the iconic SciFi role made famous by Mel Gibson in Mad max: Fury Road which will be released next summer.  He’s a perfect fit for the role of Sam Fisher and like Fassbender, he brings a level of credibility to the project that video game-adaptations have often lacked.  To put it simply, if it’s going to be crap, he wouldn’t attach his name to it, because he doesn’t need to the paycheck.  As exciting as the addition of Hardy is, it also can’t be understated how cool the addition of Warren is.  If you’ve seen The International you know that this guy can certainly write a spy-thriller in his sleep.

Jean-Julien Baronnet, chief executive officer, Ubisoft Motion Pictures:

“Tom Hardy is one of the biggest talents in the film industry, and he has a phenomenal ability to take on complex and varied roles with his broad range of acting skills. His involvement in the Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell movie is exciting news for movie and video game fans alike. In addition, Eric Singer is one of the most talented writers today. We’re confident he’ll bring a fresh approach and create a thrilling story for the Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell movie, while still respecting all the codes and traditions of the franchise that are so important to fans.”

SyFy: Premiere Date For Canadian Import ‘Continuum’ Finally Announced

Via Press Release:



NEW YORK – November 12, 2012 – Joining recent original series acquisitions such as the hit Lost Girl and the upcoming Primeval: New Worldand SinbadSyfy today announced it will premiere the time traveling police drama Continuum – Canada’s highest-rated scripted basic cable series – beginning Monday, January 14 at 8PM (ET/PT).

Continuum stars Rachel Nichols (Criminal Minds, Alias) as Kiera Cameron, a cop from the future who finds herself trapped in the present day. When a group of fanatical terrorists escapes their planned execution in 2077 by vaulting back in time to 2012, they inadvertently sweep along Kiera, a dedicated City Protective Services officer.

With unexpected assistance from teen tech genius Alec Sadler, played by Erik Knudsen (Jericho, Scream 4), Kiera infiltrates the local police department and forms an uneasy alliance with her new partner, detective Carlos Fonnegra, portrayed by Victor Webster (Castle, Melrose Place). Though desperate to get back to her husband and son, Kiera concentrates on bringing down the terrorists before they change the course of history.

The January 14 premiere of Continuum will lead into the third season premieres of Syfy’s hit series Being Human at 9PM and Lost Girl at 10PM.

Executive producers of Continuum are Simon Barry (The Art of War), Jeff King (Stargate SG-1, White Collar), Tom Rowe (Tin Man), Pat Williams (Smallville), and Reunion Pictures. Writer: Simon Barry. Director: Jon Cassar (24, Terra Nova).

In addition to the first two seasons for on-air, Syfy has also acquired the U.S. home entertainment rights to Continuum. Universal Studios Home Entertainment will handle the DVD distribution and are targeting a DVD release shortly after the season finale on Syfy.

Syfy is a media destination for imagination-based entertainment. With year round acclaimed original series, events, blockbuster movies, classic science fiction and fantasy programming, a dynamic Web site (, and a portfolio of adjacent business (Syfy Ventures), Syfy is a passport to limitless possibilities. Originally launched in 1992 as SCI FI Channel, and currently in more than 98 million homes, Syfy is a network of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies. (Syfy. Imagine greater.)


NETFLIX ALERT! Original Series ‘ House Of Cards’ Premiere Date Announced, More Details

If you’ve been following news about Netflix you know about House of Cards, the first original series that Netflix announced that they would be producing as a Netflix original program.  From Director David Fincher and starring A-listers Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, to call this American reboot of the 1990 BBC miniseries highly-anticipated would be an understatement.  Well, the wait is almost over as Netflix has announced that the series would hit their streaming service on February 1, 2013 and as was done with Lilyhammer, the entire first season (all 13 episodes) would be available immediately to watch.  See the press release below for more details.

Via Press Release:

The Netflix original series, from Media Rights Capital, “House of Cards,” starring Academy Award ® winner Kevin Spacey (“Horrible Bosses,” “American Beauty”), Golden Globe ® nominee Robin Wright (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” “Forrest Gump”) and Kate Mara (“American Horror Story”) will be available for members to watch instantly beginning February 1, 2013 .

All 13-episodes of the drama series’s first season will be available to Netflix members in territories where Netflix is available – North America, the UK, Ireland, Latin America and Scandinavia.

“‘House of Cards’ combines the best of filmmaking with the best of television. Beau Willimon’s compelling narrative, David Fincher’s unparalleled craftsmanship, indelible performances by Kevin Spacey and the rest of the cast unite to create a gripping story and new kind of viewing experience for Netflix members,” said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer, Netflix. “In offering the entire season at once, Netflix is giving viewers complete control over how and when they watch the show.”

From director David Fincher (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” “The Social Network”), award-winning playwright and Academy Award® nominated screenwriter Beau Willimon (“Farragut North,” “The Ides of March”) and Academy Award® winner Eric Roth (“Forrest Gump,” “Munich”), “House of Cards” is based on the BBC miniseries of the same name. This wicked political drama slithers beneath the curtain and through the back halls of greed, sex, love and corruption in modern Washington D.C.

An uncompromising exploration of power, ambition and the American way, the series orbits Francis Underwood (Spacey), the House Majority Whip. Underwood is the politician’s politician – masterful, beguiling, charismatic and ruthless. He and his equally ambitious wife Claire (Wright) stop at nothing to ensure their ascendancy. In addition to Spacey, Wright and Mara, the series also stars Corey Stoll (“Midnight in Paris”), Kristen Connolly (“The Cabin in the Woods”), Michael Kelly (“The Adjustment Bureau”) and Sakina Jaffrey (“Definitely Maybe”).

Fincher directed the first two episodes of the series, which were written by Willimon. James Foley (“Glengarry Glen Ross”), Joel Schumacher (“Falling Down”), Charles McDougall (“The Good Wife”), Carl Franklin (“Devil in a Blue Dress”) and Alan Coulter (“The Sopranos”) also serve as directors on “House of Cards.”

The drama’s second season is due to begin production in spring 2013.

House of Cards is executive produced by Fincher, Willimon, Joshua Donen, Eric Roth, Kevin Spacey, Dana Brunetti, Andrew Davies, Michael Dobbs and John Melfi. The one-hour drama is produced by Donen/Fincher/Roth and Trigger Street Productions, Inc. in association with Media Rights Capital for Netflix.

About Netflix:

With more than 27 million streaming members in the United States, Canada, Latin America, the United Kingdom and Ireland, Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) is the world’s leading internet subscription service for enjoying movies and TV programs. For one low monthly price, Netflix members can instantly watch movies and TV programs streamed over the internet to PCs, Macs and TVs. Among the large and expanding base of devices streaming from Netflix are the Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and Sony PS3 consoles; an array of Blu-ray disc players, internet-connected TVs, home theatre systems, digital video recorders and internet video players; Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, as well as Apple TV and Google TV. In all, more than 800 devices that stream from Netflix are available. For additional information, visit Netflix’s upcoming original series include the political drama “House of Cards,” which stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright; the fourth season of the critically acclaimed comedy “Arrested Development;” “Hemlock Grove,” Eli Roth’s murder mystery series based on Brian McGreevy’s gripping novel of the same name; Jenji Kohan’s series “Orange is the New Black,” which stars Taylor Schilling, Laura Prepon and Jason Biggs; and the second season of “Lilyhammer,” which stars Steven Van Zandt. Follow Netflix on Facebook and Twitter.

CINEMAX: ‘Strike Back’ Renewed For Third (Actually Fourth) Season

Cinemax has renewed their guilty-pleasure action thriller series, Strike Back, for a third season with the network.  Note, this will actually be the fourth season of the series as the first season aired in the U.K. under the title Chris Ryan’s Strike Back based on the novel of the same name.  Check out our review of the series, here.

Via Press Release:

NEW YORK, Oct. 3, 2012 – The Emmy®-nominated series STRIKE BACK will return to CINEMAX in 2013 for a third season of ten new episodes, which will shoot in South Africa and Hungary. CINEMAX/HBO will again produce the series with Partners Left Bank and Sky, who will air the series in the U.K. Returning for season three will be Left Bank’s Andy Harries as executive producer, series producer Michael Casey and head of production Marigo Kehoe. Sky’s Huw Kennair-Jones will executive produce.

Others returning for season three include director Michael Bassett (“Silent Hill: Revelation 3D”) and writers Simon Burke (“Persuasion”), James Dormer (“MI-5”) and Richard Zajdlic (“EastEnders”). Additional directors and writers will be announced as they are confirmed. Due to plot spoilers in upcoming episodes of season two, the cast of season three will be announced at a later date as well.

Also returning to the drama series for next season are the show’s confidential consultants, who work in the field of counterterrorism. Their expertise is a resource for story, lingo, procedure, accuracy, character development and regional issues, providing a look inside the highly secretive black ops world. They also train the cast in battle tactics, weapons and fighting, as the lead actors do most of their own stunts.

Debuting in 2011, STRIKE BACK was the first collaboration between CINEMAX/HBO and Sky. The first season introduced an unlikely pair of operatives in the stealth counterterrorism unit Section 20: Sgt. Michael Stonebridge (Philip Winchester), an exceptional British Special Forces (SBS) soldier, and the less-conventional Damien Scott (Sullivan Stapleton), a former U.S. Delta Force member. In the second season, currently debuting new episodes Fridays at 10:00 p.m. (ET/PT) and concluding its run Oct. 12, the team tracks nuclear triggers stolen by a powerful businessman with dangerous geo-political ambitions, while the two lead characters face personal challenges and contend with the pressures of their high-stress work.

In addition to Philip Winchester (“Crusoe,” “Camelot”) and Sullivan Stapleton (“Animal Kingdom,” the upcoming “Gangster Squad,” “300: The Battle for Artemesia”), season two stars of STRIKE BACK include Rhashan Stone (“Episodes”) and Michelle Lukes (“Alexander”). Season two guest stars include Rhona Mitra (“Underworld: Rise of the Lycans”), Charles Dance (HBO’s “Game of Thrones”), Vincent Regan (“Snow White and the Huntsman”), Liam Garrigan (“Pillars of the Earth”) and Shane Taylor (“Band of Brothers”).

The Los Angeles Times said the show “shoots high with plenty of action and thrills and a simmering bromance that’s fun to watch,” while New York’s Daily News hailed STRIKE BACK as “appointment television for the next 10 weeks” and the Washington Post described it as a “stylish and addictive new counterterrorism series.”

Recently nominated for an Emmy® in the category of Outstanding Main Title Design, STRIKE BACK was the first original primetime series on CINEMAX in more than 15 years. The next series to debut will be “Hunted,” launching Oct. 19, starring Golden Globe nominee Melissa George (“In Treatment,” “30 Days of Night”) and created and executive produced by Frank Spotnitz (“The X-Files”), followed in Jan. 2013 by “Banshee,” executive produced by Alan Ball (HBO’s “True Blood”) and Greg Yaitanes (“House”).

For more on the series, please visit, @Cinemax #StrikeBack and

STRIKE BACK is a CINEMAX Presentation in association with British Sky Broadcasting Limited; a Left Bank Pictures Production; executive producers, Andy Harries for Left Bank and Huw Kennair-Jones for Sky; series producer, Michael Casey.

SyFy To Acquire Canadian Science Fiction Series ‘Continuum’

Deadline is reporting that SyFy is closing the deal on bringing the Canadian hit SciFi series, Continuum to the U.S.  SyFy U.K. finalized the same deal last week for the series and are wasting no time bringing it audiences with a premiere date of September 27th, and with good reason.  The futuristic cop show starring Rachel Nichols (AliasStar Trek) was the highest rated episodic telecast in Canadian history when it premiered on Canada’s Showcase network on May 27th.

Honestly, this looks pretty damned good and we’re looking forward to it, however, once again, we would like to point out that this is yet another show coming to SyFy’s lineup in complete contradiction of the “no more time-travel” mantra at the network… y’know… the mantra that inspired the name-change of the network.

From SyFy U.K.:

Continuum stars RACHEL NICHOLS (Criminal MindsAlias) as Kiera Cameron, a cop from the future who finds herself trapped in the present day.

When a group of fanatical terrorists escape their planned execution in the year 2077, they vault back in time to 2012 sweeping dedicated City Protective Services officer, Kiera, along with them. Desperate to get back to her husband and son in 2012, Kiera concentrates on bringing down the terrorists before they can change the course of history forever.

Alongside RACHEL NICHOLS as Kiera, Continuum stars ERIK KNUDSEN (Jericho, Scream) as Alec Sadler and VICTOR WEBSTER (Castle, Melrose Place) as Detective Carlos Fonnegra.

REVIEW: The River (ABC – Tuesday, 9:00 p.m.)

Dr. Emmet Cole is missing. 

The beloved host of The Undiscovered Country, which brought the wonder and magic of the natural world into our homes for so many years, has disappeared in the wilds of the Amazon. Gone for six months now—and believed by many to be dead—his emergency beacon went off two weeks ago. Now Dr. Cole’s wife and frequent co-host of The Undiscovered Country, Tess, has begun the search for her husband. With the help of her son, Lincoln, and crew members Lena Landry, Emilio Valenzuela and his daughter Jahel, and Captain Kurt Bryndilson, Tess is looking to be reunited with her husband and save the rest of his missing crew. 

Documenting the journey will be Dr. Cole’s long-time friend and collaborator on The Undiscovered Country, award-winning Producer Clark Quietly, and a team of renowned camera operators including AJ Poulain. 

But the search for Dr. Cole may provide more questions than answers. Where have he and the missing crew been? What mysteries of the uncharted Amazon did they capture on film? Can this family that was torn asunder six months ago be miraculously reunited? The world holds its breath as we wait to find out just what became of Dr. Emmet Cole and his crew. – ABC

83 out of 100

For almost two years fans of Lost have been looking for a replacement for the Island and its castaways and as we predicted, The River, despite not being a J.J. Abrams production, fits that bill nicely.  Now, does it matter that  Abrams has nothing to do with this project? Nope, because Steven Spielberg is the executive producer and if you haven’t noticed, when not working with him, Abrams has been imitating Spielberg for years. That’s not a criticism, it’s just a fact and despite the show’s flaws (and it has several), overall it’s so good that you intentionally overlook them.  It’s kind of like when your kid gets straight A’s in school and then floods the bathroom making water balloons.  The River is basically a great kid that will get a pass here and there for screwing up occasionally.

By no means is The River a clone of Lost, but it does share a lot of the same characteristics  as Lost that make it work and we aren’t necessarily even talking about the obvious ones such as the mysterious and supernatural nature of the tropical geography (The River is also filmed in Hawaii, just as Lost was) and the cast of characters from different backgrounds with competing agendas. More importantly for fans of this genre is how The River is based on mysteries on top of mysteries and weekly development of characters that ties into the overall story.

There is certainly no shortage of action on the show but it’s not overused, either, often deferring to dialogue and slow-burn intense scenes that explode with shocking excitement. One major issue that we have with the show, however, is the handheld “shaky camera” perspective and this is a direct result of the “found footage” format that the creator of this series, Oren Peli, best known for creating and directing Paranormal Activity and Paranormal Activity 2, is so fond of.  If they had simply chosen to go with more a fixed camera perspective like what was used during the majority of the scenes in the Paranormal Activity franchise, we wouldn’t be complaining. The problem, though, is that Peli has decided to go for a style of filming far closer to his first love, The Blair Witch Project, than Paranormal Activity.  It’s very dizzying and off-putting and though lately it doesn’t seem to be as bad, there’s still too much of it.

For the most part the characters are diverse, well-developed (and they are further developed every week) and are portrayed very well by the cast with a few notable exceptions.  The biggest problem is with Tess Cole (Emmett Cole’s wife) played by Leslie Hope.  The character is so weakly written as to be a complete caricature and Pope’s wooden performance leaves a lot to be desired.  Fans of 24 will remember Hope as the late Teri Bauer, Jack’s wife, who was killed in the final episode of the first season.  Due to the obnoxious nature of the Kim Bauer character in that first season and subsequent seasons (Jack’s daughter played by Elisha Cuthbert), the battlecry post-season one from the fans was, “The wrong Bauer died.” When appraising Pope’s performance on The River and trying to figure out whether its Hope’s performance for the material she’s been given, we had to remind ourselves just how bad she was on 24  and that it was simply overshadowed by how much worse Elisha Cuthbert was.  So, in trying to give Ms. Hope some credit, we have to conclude that we can’t give her that much at all because she’s just not that great of an actor, really.  Are there script problems with her character? Absolutely.  As noted the character is very weakly written but the bigger problem is with the performance.

As far as the plot is concerned, overall it’s very well-done but by the fourth episode we noticed some falling back on the standard, predictable one-hour drama standbys for plot execution.

In the fourth episode there is an issue where a newly introduced character, cameraman Jonas Beckett (Scott Michael Foster), has to be sacrificed by the group or everyone on the boat will be killed by the supernatural forces because Jonas, against orders from Emmett Cole, filmed some native funeral rites and inadvertently stole the then dying, now dead man’s soul.  The crew argues amongst themselves over the ethical and moral implications of sacrificing one man for the greater good and when Tess (who has appointed herself to the captaincy and is considered pretty soft by everyone around her) gets information out of him, finally (information for which she implied would save him), she orders the others to get him off the boat.  The conflict still continues amongst the crew after the order is given (most specifically with her son who is against dooming the man but offers no other solutions to the predicament).  Finally, the young man (who oddly enough before this moment was more concerned about self preservation than anything else) bravely sacrifices himself to the supernatural beings and on the way to them, smashes the iPhone that he filmed the funeral on, thus releasing the stolen soul.

Now, the first reason we decided to be so detailed with this synopsis without a spoiler alert is because it was so predictable that you would have to be an idiot not to see it coming to begin with because that scenario is such a standard recycled plot.  That’s just pure laziness for what is supposed to be an original, unique and high-concept series.  The  second reason is because it didn’t end there.  Y’see, after the soul was released and the supernatural beings take Jonas away, do you know what they do next? They let him go and he joins the crew.

Basically, the resolution of this clichéd plot made the episode a complete waste of time. Furthermore, it was such an easy-out for the main moral dilemma of the episode.  There were literally no consequences for anyone in this (not even Jonas) even though there were a series of ethical and moral lines that had to be crossed.  Leave a guy for dead (even though it’s necessary) and don’t worry about it because in the end everything worked out. It was just ridiculous and it seemed like a far more appropriate ending to a 1970’s ABC After School Special than it did for ABC’s 2012 Tuesday night supernatural thriller.  We sincerely hope they never do anything that stupid again.

Our last complaint about the show is the absolute lack of any comic relief.  Yeah, we get that it’s an intense show but a little levity now and then to lighten things up and take the stress off the audience would not only be a little easier on the audience but it would also make those intense scenes that much more intense because it forces the audience to let their guard down.

Overall, even though the show does need some work, it’s a great little series that continues to keep our interest and at only eight episodes for the first season, it’s an easy commitment to make for a general viewing audience in the U.S. that isn’t particularly keen on serials.

Watch compete episodes of The River, here.

RENEWED: ‘Homeland’ Picked up For A Second Season By Showtime

Here’s no real surprise, but Showtime has renewed their new, highly acclaimed, spy-thriller Homeland.  We gave it a perfect 100 out of 100 score.  Yeah… it’s that good.

Via Press Release:



Network Greenlights Second Season of Its Highest Rated Freshman Drama Series Ever

Starring Claire Danes, Damian Lewis and Mandy Patinkin



LOS ANGELES, CA – (October 26, 2011) – On the heels of HOMELAND’s biggest numbers yet, for this past Sunday’s airing, SHOWTIME has ordered a season two, consisting of 12 new one-hour episodes. The announcement was made today by David Nevins, President of Entertainment, Showtime Networks Inc.  Developed for American television by executive producers Howard Gordon andAlex Gansa, HOMELAND stars Emmy® Award winner Claire Danes, Golden Globe® nominee Damian Lewis and Emmy and Tony®Award winner Mandy Patinkin. HOMELAND debuted as the network’s highest-rated freshman drama series ever, generating 4.4 million viewers across platforms in its first week. The series has continued to increase overall viewership since its premiere, with its most recent episode delivering the series’ best ratings to-date this past Sunday.  Season two will begin production in spring 2012.

“HOMELAND is just getting started,” said Nevins.  “Clearly, the overall audience growth from week one to week four demonstrates that this show is hitting a nerve in the cultural zeitgeist.  Alex and Howard have created a psychological thriller that holds special relevance in the post 9/11 world.  I’m quite confident that its passionate audience will be riveted as the season unfolds and people discover where this story is going.”

The countless accolades for HOMELAND keep coming as the show gets deeper into its debut season.  Newsweek calls HOMELAND “the most addictive show of the season.”  The New York Times notes “Homeland is well made and gripping…impossible to resist” andTV Guide says “Hands-down the best new drama on TV.” USA Today raves “Stands out as the season’s best new drama.”  “Grade: A” says The Boston Globe. The LA Times relays “It’s the first telling of a post-9/11 story that is all the things it should be: politically resonant, emotionally wrenching and plain old thrilling to watch.”

HOMELAND is a one-hour drama series that tells the story of Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), a CIA officer battling her own demons, who becomes convinced that the intelligence that led to the rescue of Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), a U.S. soldier who had been missing and presumed dead for eight years, was a setup and may be connected to an Al Qaeda plot to be carried out on American soil.  The series also stars Morena Baccarin, David Harewood, Diego Klattenhoff, Morgan Saylor and Jackson Pace. HOMELAND is based on the original Israeli series “Prisoners of War,” by Gideon Raff.   Along with Gordon and Gansa, the executive producers for season one are Avi Nir, Ran Telem, Gideon Raff and  Michael Cuesta. The series is produced by FOX 21.

Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBS Corporation, owns and operates the premium television networks SHOWTIME®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL and FLIX®, as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME 2, SHOWTIME® SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME EXTREME®, SHOWTIME BEYOND®, SHOWTIME NEXT®, SHOWTIME WOMEN®, SHOWTIME FAMILY ZONE® and THE MOVIE CHANNEL XTRA. SNI also offers SHOWTIME HD, THE MOVIE CHANNEL HD, SHOWTIME ON DEMAND® and THE MOVIE CHANNEL ON DEMAND. SNI also manages Smithsonian Networks, a joint venture between SNI and the Smithsonian Institution, which offers Smithsonian Channel. All SNI feeds provide enhanced sound using Dolby Digital 5.1. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME PPV®.