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George Lucas Hails Maverick Filmmakers, Teases Indy 4

George Lucas

George Lucas is feeling good about television. In his life post-Star Wars franchise, the legendary writer, director, producer, special-effects czar and mega-mogul is still embracing his legacy — the far-far-away galaxy he created for six films that changed the cinematic universe and became a part of world pop culture. But now a new medium will bear the message. In a conversation with TV Guide executive editor Steve Sonsky that began with a discussion of Fog City Mavericks, a Starz documentary (premiering Monday, Sept. 24, at 9 pm/ET) about the history of San Francisco-based filmmakers like himself, Francis Ford Coppola and Clint Eastwood, Lucas also held forth on the status of his two read more

Short Cuts: Star Wars, Grey's Newcomer and More

Biography Channel celebrates the 30th anniversary of Star Wars — I first saw it at the Ridgeway in Stamford, Connecticut, with James and Keith — with profiles of Harrison Ford (airing May 25) and George Lucas (May 26).... The soundtrack for the upcoming Hairspray movie musical hits stores July 10. The first single (Zac Efron's "Ladies' Choice") is currently available for download.... Hannibal Rising arrives on DVD May 29.... My Trivial Matt'rs blog is updated with my take on Grey's Anatomy's flirty newcomer. read more

New Star Wars Spoof Tastes Like Chicken

With George Lucas' blessing, Seth Green and Matthew Senreich's Robot Chicken will hatch a special that takes on seminal moments from the Star Wars franchise, says the Hollywood Reporter. On board for the Enterprise (oops, wrong shout-out) are no less than Mark Hamill (voicing Luke) and Lucas (as himself), as well as Conan O'Brien, Seth MacFarlane, Robert Smigel, Malcolm McDowell, Hulk Hogan, James Van Der Beek, Donald Faison, Abraham Benrubi (who teased this top-secret project in a recent TVGuide.com Q&A), Breckin Meyer and Joey Fatone. The special kicks off a Robot Chicken marathon, premiering June 17 at 10 pm/ET (oops, another wrong shout-out). read more

A Likable Host for a Long, Low-Key Oscars

The one thing I realized as Oscar night droned on and on for nearly four hours: If I ever had to choose someone to be stranded with for hours on end (say, like those poor Jet Blue passengers a few weeks ago), it would have to be Ellen DeGeneres.Keeping her cool, and her genuine aura of chipper goodwill, throughout three costume changes (in suits from red velvet to all-white to royal blue) and what seemed once again like an overindulgent excess of movie montages (we definitely could have done without Michael Mann’s fuzzy survey of cinematic American history), Ellen was welcome nearly every time she popped up. Offering a spec script to Martin Scorsese, directing Steven Spielberg on how to take her photo with Clint Eastwood, asking the megastars in the front row to lift their legs as she vacuumed the Kodak past midnight (ET), while informing us that Helen Mirren had just asked for a rum and coke (sounded pretty good to me at the time), Ellen did her darndest to deflate the bloat a... read more

Script OK'd for "Best" Indiana Jones Yet, to Film in '07

During a break from preparing for his duties as grand marshal of Monday's Rose Parade, George Lucas told the Associated Press that he and Steven Spielberg recently finalized the script for the fourth Indiana Jones entry, to film in 2007 and hit theaters in May 2008 — some 19 years after Last Crusade. Said the filmmaker, "It's going to be fantastic... the best one yet." Though mum on plot details, Lucas teased Indy 4 as a "character piece" filled with "very interesting mysteries," adding, "It's going to be really cool" — if only due to all the ice packs Harrison Ford, 64, will have on hand. read more

Lucas Previews Return of the Clone Wars

Star Wars patriarch George Lucas tells the Associated Press that he is hard at work on his new, 3-D computer-animated continuation of the Emmy-winning Clone Wars series that aired on Cartoon Network from 2003 to 2005, but has yet to sell it to a network. "It's a fun place to go," Lucas says of the series' setting, a civil war between the Republic and separatists led by Count Dooku. And while Clone Wars will feature such familiar characters as Anakin and Obi-Wan, Lucas promises "nobody famous" among the voice cast. I'm not quite sure if that excludes Luke-turned-voice-actor Mark Hamill. read more

I spent this past weekend ...

Question: I spent this past weekend watching the first half of Battlestar Galactica's first season, so I can have the entire run of the series under my belt by the time Season 3 premieres in October. It should be no surprise to you (or to anyone with a modicum of taste) that I'm completely captivated. BSG addresses so many topics, including the very nature of humanity, on levels deeper than any show I can think of, including Lost. I'm sure you've addressed this before, but why is the TV Academy so reluctant to nominate it for anything except technical awards? The story line is no more complicated than the continuing story lines on Lost or Desperate Housewives or Grey's Anatomy. Are the oldsters really that terrified of spaceships? Answer: Not so much terrified as contemptuous. I've met TV-industry veterans who, even when told this was one of the best shows of the year, refuse to look at it. They simply can't get past the title and its embarrassingly cheesy predecessor. You'd think ... read more

Kristen Bell Eyes a Scary-Good Gig

Kristen Bell, Pulse

Although the third season of Veronica Mars doesn't premiere (on CW) until Oct. 3, Kristen Bell fans don't have to wait that long to catch up with their fave. In the horror film Pulse (opening Friday), Bell plays Mattie, a college student who discovers that the evil dead are coming, via the world's cell phones, computers and more. The actress called TV Guide from her home in Los Angeles, surrounded by her dogs and boyfriend — and using a land line, we have to hope. 

TV Guide: Having filmed a lot of movies lately, did you want Veronica Mars to come back? Or would you be happy doing features?
Kristen Bell:
Whe read more

Kristen Bell on Fetts, Drugs and Rockin' Roles

Kristen Bell, Veronica Mars

What? Kristen Bell is here, in the Big Apple, to promote the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of her comedy Fifty Pills? Say no more — I'm there. After all, not all of us can rub elbows with her on the set, as Ausiello did during his turn as an extra on Veronica Mars (Tuesdays at 9 pm/ET). Radiating sunniness and warmth, Bell had much to discuss in addition to Pills, in which she plays a coed whose mild-mannered beau gets roped into dealing Ecstasy "for just one day," to pay off a student loan. (Been there, done th-... um, crazy concept, I meant to say!) TVGuide.com asked the actress about her numerous new film roles as well as, of course, the up-in-the-air fate of her UPN series. TVGuide.co read more

West Wing The Sopranos aren't...

West WingThe Sopranos aren't the only long-lost friends returning tonight. After almost two months, The West Wing is back. Remember when there used to be actual television seasons, starting in the fall and ending in the summer? Honestly, George Lucas wasted less time between Star Wars episodes than these guys. Now the lame-duck series can finally begin its swan song. For longtime Wing fans, the show's cancellation is bittersweet. It's definitely time to wrap it up, but we just hope the series goes out with a bang, not a whimper. Well, this episode definitely starts off in the "bang" category with a Josh-Donna kiss, breaking the West Wing's longest-standing taboo before the title sequence! Was anyone else surprised at how cool read more

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