Stars on screen

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - TELEVISION SEARCH - By An­drew War­ren

Dig­i­tal tele­vi­sion: It may be hard to re­mem­ber in 2017, with the power of the in­ter­net rul­ing ev­ery as­pect of our day-to-day lives, but there once was a time when the bur­geon­ing World Wide Web was new, ex­cit­ing and ready for bold idea peo­ple to seize it.

“Halt and Catch Fire” takes on the early days of the on­line world in its fourth and fi­nal sea­son, pre­mier­ing with back-to-back new episodes Sat­ur­day, Aug. 19, on AMC. The crit­i­cally ac­claimed drama ex­plores the early days of the In­for­ma­tion Age — the 1980s and early 1990s — through the eyes of a cast of char­ac­ters whose pro­fes­sional lives are all too in­ter­twined with their per­sonal ones.

It may be the fi­nal sea­son, but that doesn’t mean that the dig­i­tal drama is ne­glect­ing its cast­ing. An Emmy-nom­i­nated ac­tress logs into the se­ries this year: Anna Ch­lum­sky (“Veep”) stars as Dr. Katie Her­man, a fig­ure who proves cru­cial to the sea­son’s on-screen busi­ness ven­ture.

The rest of the cast is back for the se­ries’s swan song, too. Lee Pace (“Guardians of the Gal­axy,” 2014), Scoot McNairy (“Argo,” 2012), Macken­zie Davis (“The Mar­tian,” 2015), Mark O’Brien (“The Last Ty­coon”) and Kerry Bishé (“Scrubs”) are all back for the 10-episode sea­son, with Bishé’s Donna hav­ing been kicked from the lat­est rev­o­lu­tion­ary project: cre­at­ing a user-friendly way to ex­plore the fast­grow­ing in­ter­net.

It’s just the lat­est dig­i­tal trend for which “Halt and Catch Fire” has peeled back the cur­tains, with the rise of per­sonal com­put­ers, video games and on­line com­merce all hav­ing re­ceived their own time in the spot­light. It may sound a bit dry, but it’s the peo­ple and their re­la­tion­ships that drive the story, not the tech­nol­ogy it­self, mak­ing for a show that’s any­thing but.

“Halt and Catch Fire” re­turns for its fi­nal sea­son Sat­ur­day, Aug. 19, on AMC.

A good Bald­win: Alec Bald­win is stick­ing with the net­work that’s earned him a buck­et­ful of Emmy nom­i­na­tions. The veteran ac­tor has signed up for a spe­cial new project with the home of “Sat­ur­day Night Live,” the se­ries that earned Bald­win two Emmy nom­i­na­tions this year alone.

The last few Christ­mas sea­sons have seen the pea­cock net­work stage de­liver live pro­duc­tions of clas­sic mu­si­cals, in­clud­ing “Pe­ter Pan Live!” in 2014 and last year’s “Hair­spray Live!” Now, NBC is ex­pand­ing its suc­cess­ful live

for­mat and mov­ing away from both hol­i­days and mu­si­cals. Aaron Sorkin’s cel­e­brated 1989 stage play “A Few Good Men” will be per­formed live on NBC in the sec­ond quar­ter of 2018, with Bald­win top­ping the cast list.

The play, about a team of mil­i­tary lawyers who stum­ble upon a con­spir­acy

while de­fend­ing clients ac­cused of mur­der­ing a fel­low Marine, was fa­mously made into an Os­carnom­i­nated film in 1992 that starred Tom Cruise (“The Mummy,” 2017), Jack Ni­chol­son (“The Shin­ing,” 1980) and Demi Moore (“Ghost,” 1990).

Cast­ing for NBC’s adap­ta­tion is on­go­ing. As for Bald­win, he starred in the NBC sit­com “30 Rock” for seven sea­sons, earn­ing a whop­ping 10 Emmy nom­i­na­tions in that time and win­ning two of them. Ap­pear­ances in an ear­lier NBC sit­com, “Will & Grace,” earned him two nom­i­na­tions.

NBC has been good to Alec Bald­win, and live pro­duc­tions have been good for NBC, so it was only a mat­ter of time be­fore they all came to­gether. The live pro­duc­tion of “A Few Good Men” is due some­time in 2018. Can’t stop (nam­ing) the mu­sic:

One of the sum­mer’s hottest new shows isn’t go­ing any­where — at least not for long. Fox’s “Beat Shazam,” which pre­miered in late May, has been re­newed for a sec­ond sea­son.

The mu­si­cal game show is hosted by the mul­ti­tal­ented Os­car-win­ning singer, song­writer and ac­tor Jamie Foxx (“Ray,” 2004), who also serves as ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer. He’s re­turn­ing to both roles for “Beat Shazam’s” sec­ond sea­son, which doesn’t yet have a pre­miere date at­tached to it.

In “Beat Shazam,” teams of two are pit­ted against each other and against the clock in a race to iden­tify hit songs and rack up the prize money. There’s a lot of cash on the line here. In the fi­nal round, the sole re­main­ing team faces off against the fa­mous song-recog­ni­tion app Shazam. If the con­tes­tants can iden­tify the songs faster than the app can, they just might get to take home a whop­ping $1-mil­lion prize.

It’s no easy task, beat­ing Shazam. The app has been down­loaded over a bil­lion times, and its pop­u­lar­ity stems from the fact that it’s good, darn good, at iden­ti­fy­ing songs. Of course, like any game show, it’s the host that can ul­ti­mately make it or break it; luck­ily, Foxx is one heck of a good en­ter­tainer him­self.

“Jamie is the ul­ti­mate host and en­ter­tainer,” Fox’s pres­i­dent of al­ter­na­tive en­ter­tain­ment and spe­cials, Rob Wade, said in a state­ment. Clearly, au­di­ences agree.

Kerry Bishé, Scoot McNairy, Lee Pace, Macken­zie Davis and Mark O’Brien in “Halt and Catch Fire”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.