Matthew MacFadyen

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Amazon Revives Ripper Street for Season 3

Ripper Street

Amazon has given Ripper Street new life: The website has revived the once-canceled BBC show for a third season, TVGuide.com has learned. read more

The Weekend Playlist: Comings (Grimm, Army Wives) and Goings (Ripper Street))

Lili Simmons, Antony Starr

Let's start, as all weekends must, with Friday. The latest news: CBS has changed its mind about moving the new Golden Boy to Fridays after its two-week Tuesday tryout. To confuse matters, a new episode of Golden Boy airs this Friday (9/8c), with rising-star Detective Clark once again facing threats from his nemesis Arroyo. But next week, the Boy is back on Tuesdays (10/9c), displacing Vegas, which remains on ice for the rest of the month. When it returns, Vegas will move to Fridays (9/8c), starting April 5. Place your cancellation bets now.

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Forget Jack the Ripper! Ripper Street Tackles Other Victorian Murders

Jerome Flynn, Matthew Macfadyen and Adam Rothenberg

Despite the show's name, don't expect to see Jack the Ripper cases play a big part on Ripper Street.

That's because the new BBC America crime drama, which kicks off Saturday at 9/8c, takes place in 1889, a good six months after the last murder was attributed to the notorious serial killer. "The whole idea for us setting out on this journey was to really try and actually discard Jack the Ripper, at least in terms of wondering after who he was and trying to catch him..."

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The Weekend Playlist: Ripper Street, Fringe Finale, SNL's Silver Lining

Ripper Street

Evil casts a long shadow over BBC America's promising new thriller Ripper Street (Saturday, 9/8c). Set amid the grimy slums of London's Whitechapel district in the immediate wake of Jack the Ripper's reign of slaughter, this absorbing 19th-century procedural depicts police work complicated by widespread public panic that each new murder might herald the return of the phantom fiend. read more

Roush Review: Not Quite Masterpieces

Sunset Limited

The made-for-TV movie/miniseries would be an almost completely lost art if it weren't for HBO and the British imports served up by PBS' various Masterpiece franchises. Already this year, we have a deliciously strong contender for best-of-year (and, one imagines, Emmy) honors with Masterpiece Classic's over-too-quickly Downton Abbey.

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Pillars of the Earth: A Towering Achievement

Pillars of the Earth

It wasn't the swords. It wasn't the sandals. For Rufus Sewell, the tough part was all the stinkin' mud. Playing a 12th-century stonemason in mega miniseries The Pillars of the Earth, premiering tonight on Starz at 10/9c, meant maintaining "a level of grime on my neck consistent with that of your typical farm animal," he says.

A small price, indeed, for what's shaping up to be the armor-clanking, leech-sucking, monks-a-poppin' drama of the summer. Pillars, based on Ken Follett's doorstop of a best-seller (all 973 pages of it), about the quest to build a Gothic cathedral in a fictional England of yore, runs eight hours over six Friday nights... read more

Matt's Weekend Picks: July 23-25

Mad Men

The Pillars of the Earth  (Friday, 10/9c, Starz) A throwback to the days when lavish miniseries ruled the airwaves, this eight-hour historical melodrama (airing over six Fridays) based on Ken Follett's best-seller juggles royal, religious and political intrigues that swirl around the building of a 12th-century cathedral. You'll meet a large cast of heroes (Donald Sutherland as an embattled nobleman, Rufus Sewell as a master builder, Matthew Macfadyen as a pious friar) and villains (most notably Deadwood's Ian McShane as a feverishly ambitious church official). Dig in... read more

Roush Review: Pillars Revives the Old-Fashioned Epic

Pillars of the Earth

They really don't make them like this anymore. And we're not talking about 12th-century Gothic cathedrals. The Pillars of the Earth, a sprawling historical melodrama based on Ken Follett's mammoth bestseller, conjures nostalgic memories of the days of yore, way back in the 20th century, when networks devoted entire weeks to "event" miniseries like Shogun, The Winds of War, The Thorn Birds, Lonesome Dove, to name a memorable few—although in this case, North and South is the best comparison... read more

Has Julian McMahon ever been ...

Question: Has Julian McMahon ever been in the running to be the next Bond? He's the only actor I can think of who'd be as perfect a fit for the role as Pierce Brosnan.Answer: The legendary search for Scarlett O'Hara has nothing on the quest for Bond, James Bond. Julian McMahon, the charismatic, Australian-born star of TV's Nip/Tuck has been mentioned as a candidate for the role in the upcoming Casino Royale and, presumably, the next several entries in the 007 franchise. But as far as I can tell, just about every handsome, athletic English/New Zealand/Scottish/Welsh/Australian actor in the 30-40ish age range has been proposed for the part. The candidates have included Australians Hugh Jackman read more

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