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MIPCOM 2012: FX Drama ‘The Americans’ Wows Audiences

The new spy drama, starring Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys, left attendees enthralled by the fast-paced, well-acted and beautifully scored episode of 75 minutes.

The Americans — as in a new drama series for cabler FX Stateside — turned the once staid, “suit”-saturated Mipcom TV trade show into a mini Cannes Film Festival moment Monday night.

The pilot episode had enough sex, action, intrigue and sophisticated production values to make attendees think they were watching some European art film – except that this one was, despite the twists, mostly understandable.

The Grand Auditorium in the Cannes Palais was an SRO affair as TV buyers and other attendees sat seemingly enthralled by the fast-paced, well-acted and beautifully scored episode, which came in at 75 minutes or so. The stars too – Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys — were ushered out afterwards, just as at festival screenings.

“We’re not handing out a Palme d’Or tonight, but we are here to celebrate the very best in world television,” Reed Midem TV topper Laurine Garaude told the assembled before the screening. Continue reading MIPCOM 2012: FX Drama ‘The Americans’ Wows Audiences

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Interview with The Americans’ Keri Russell & Matthew Rhys: Living a Lie

The MIPCOM 2012 World Premiere TV Screening is The Americans, a new 13-part drama series for FX from Fox Television Studios (FTVS). The star-studded event takes place on Monday October 8, at 18.30 — after which stars of the show will walk the red carpet to the MIPCOM Opening Party at the Martinez.

The Americans centres around arranged marriage between two KGB spies posing as Americans in suburban Washington DC shortly after Ronald Reagan is elected President. Phillip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth Jennings (Kerri Russell) have two children who know nothing about their parents’ true identity, and while the marriage is merely a cover, the relationship grows more real by the day. Continue reading Interview with The Americans’ Keri Russell & Matthew Rhys: Living a Lie

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TBI Interview: The Americans

The Americans is an upcoming spy drama for US cable network FX. The show, which stars Brothers and Sisters’ Matthew Rhys and Felicity’s Keri Russell, is Fox’s hot cable drama for MIPCOM, where the first episode will premiere.

Spy dramas are very on trend right now so what’s the main difference between The Americans and rival espionage series? The Americans is the only one written by a former spy. It was created by former CIA agent turned television writer Joe Weisberg and follows two Russian spies placed in deep cover in Washington, DC during Ronald Reagan’s 1980s. The show is executive produced by Justified’s Graham Yost. Continue reading TBI Interview: The Americans

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Keri Russell Is Coming Back to TV! FX Orders The Americans

Hey, Felicity fans, rejoice!

It’s official: All three members of one of TV’s greatest love triangles (we dare you to say otherwise!) are coming back to TV: Scott Speedman (in ABC’s Last Resort), Scott Foley (in Fox’s The Goodwin Games), and now, Keri Russell. FX has picked up to series The Americans, a drama also starring Matthew Rhys (Brothers & Sisters) and Noah Emmerich.

This news comes a week after FX president John Landgraf told critics at the TCAs that the pilot would very likely be picked up to series. We love a man who stays true to his word.

The Americans takes place in Washington, D.C., right after Ronald Reagan is elected president and revolves around two KGB spies, Phillip (Rhys) and Elizabeth (Russell), posing as an American married couple with two children. Their arranged marriage evolves into a genuinely loving relationship as they navigate the escalation of the Cold War, but their kids know nothing about Phillip and Elizabeth’s true identity. Adding another complication to the “happy” family is their neighbor Stan (Emmerich), a counter-intelligence FBI agent.

“We’re proud to welcome The Americans, a taut series that crackles with incredible performances rooted in character perspectives never explored on a U.S. television series, to FX’s line up of quality dramas,” Landgraf says in a statement. The Americans, which starts production in October, is set to premiere in early 2013.

What’s your initial take on The Americans? Are you as excited as we are about Keri Russell’s coming back to TV?


Categories Articles & Interviews

Keri Russell at Home

The actress and her husband take a hands-on approach to creating the brownstone of their dreams. Keri Russell shows off her light-filled Brooklyn brownstone in the June issue of Elle Décor.

When Keri Russell first blurted out the three little words that a smitten Shane Deary wanted to hear, it wasn’t while embracing under a moonlit sky or walking hand in hand on a stretch of sandy beach. Panicked by the smell of gas in her recently purchased Manhattan co-op, a duplex wreck in a West Village brownstone, she dialed up Deary. “He appeared in ten seconds flat, single-handedly pulled the gigantic stove away from the wall, and saved me from shutting off the entire building’s gas supply,” Russell remembers.

Continue reading Keri Russell at Home

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Keri Comes Clean About Being a Mom, Actress and Neat Freak

From her early start as a Mouseketeer to her Golden Globe-winning performance as a college student on “Felicity” to starring in critically acclaimed films including “Waitress,” Keri Russell has done a lot of growing up on screen.

Now, Russell, 34, is returning to TV with “Running Wilde,” premiering Sept. 21 on Fox, where she plays opposite funnyman Will Arnett.

ParentDish recently caught up with Russell, a married mom to River, 3, who calls Brooklyn, N.Y., home. The actress talked about the new show, being a working mother and her love of — seriously — laundry. Continue reading Keri Comes Clean About Being a Mom, Actress and Neat Freak

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Keri Russell returns to TV as a real ‘Wilde’ woman

For Keri Russell, the perks of fame include celebrity play dates for her son River, 3.
Now that she’s shooting a show with Will Arnett, Russell’s son socializes with Arnett and his wife Amy Poehler’s older boy, Archie, almost 2. And yes, Russell makes sure every outing is a photo-op.

“We call the paparazzi ahead of time. We make sure they’re all looking really cute, obviously,” she says with a straight face.

In reality, Russell, 34, is disarmingly low-key, living in Brooklyn with her husband, carpenter Shane Deary, and River. And now she spends weekdays in Long Island on a nature preserve shooting the Fox series Running Wilde (Tuesdays, 9:30 p.m. ET/PT), which stars Arnett as a pampered playboy hankering after his childhood sweetheart, do-gooder Emmy (Russell). Continue reading Keri Russell returns to TV as a real ‘Wilde’ woman

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Keri Russell Takes a Stab at Comedy: ‘It’s Such a Different Ride’

After eight long years, Keri Russell is making a return to TV in the new comedy Running Wilde, opposite Will Arnett. The 34-year-old actress, who enjoyed four successful seasons on college drama Felicity, told reporters why she was ready for the switch.

Plus, why she couldn’t wait to work with Arrested Development creator Mitchell Hurwitz, and what she does to keep funnyman Will Arnett in line. Continue reading Keri Russell Takes a Stab at Comedy: ‘It’s Such a Different Ride’

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‘Running Wilde’ delivers an ‘Arrested’ kind of love story

Will Arnett’s character in the new Fox comedy Running Wilde is a pampered billionaire who has virtually everything a man could want.
But what Steven Wilde really craves, the love of his longtime dream girl, is the one thing he can’t have.
The radiant Emmy Kadubic, played by Keri Russell, is a selfless environmentalist and humanitarian, the polar opposite of Wilde in every way.
But fate pushed them together last week in the series premiere.
Now he has become her new cause: Emmy wants to make Wilde a better man. Meanwhile, he hopes to win her heart — or at least make her a worse woman.
It sounds like the premise of a conventional romantic comedy. But Running Wilde, airing at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, is anything but conventional. With its cluelessly extreme characters and goofy sight gags, Running Wilde has the same surreal sensibilities as Arnett’s previous comedy, Arrested Development.

We chatted with Arnett and Russell about the show:
Any truth to the rumor that Steven Wilde is a thinly veiled version of Will Arnett? Wasn’t the character renamed Steven Wilde merely because the title Running Arnett didn’t sound right?
Arnett: “Let’s just say that this show represents a side of me that I simultaneously love and hate: I hate that I didn’t grow up a billionaire’s son, because I would have loved it!”

Is there any part of Emmy, the self-righteous crusader, that exists in you as well, Keri?
Russell: “I don’t think I’m as bossy as she is. But I certainly think I know everything. At least my husband would say so. Will jokes that Shane, my husband, is an un-credited writer on the show. Shane tells him all the bad things there are to know about me and they write it in the show.”

Is it a tough balancing act to make a filthy rich, self-centered, immature character lovable?
Arnett: “It’s fun to write a despicable character and then to fight to make him loveable. That’s where I hope the magic will be in our show. And I like the idea of a guy who has been given every kind of advantage and yet he’s somehow a really good person to those around him. He’s kind of the opposite of what people might project onto him in that way.”

Does this brand of absurdist comedy reflect your sense of humor?
Arnett: “I do enjoy the surreal. It makes me laugh when the fourth wall is bent but not broken.”
Russell: “It’s so refreshing. I love it. It’s something you can watch a second and third time and notice new things and get different jokes.”

What’s up with David Cross? Was casting him as Emmy’s boyfriend a desperate ploy to entice more of the Arrested Development fans to watch this show?
Arnett: “David and I just can’t let each other go. When you have something this real, you just can’t let go.”
Russell: “I feel the same way with J.J. Abrams and Matt Reeves, who created Felicity. J.J. calls me all the time to do stuff. So yes, there is an Arrested Development flavor [with Cross on board]. But he’s also here because he’s so funny. He goes above and beyond what is asked of him in the most ridiculous ways.”

What kind of relationship do you two have off camera?
Arnett: “Keri is just so demanding and ugly when it comes to being down-to-earth and beautiful. She’s tough about it, because she’s so God-darned good at it.”
Russell: “Every minute of my job, he’s humiliating me or berating me in front of the crew. But I feel like the crew is 75 percent on my side. I feel that they like me a lot more than they like him. Yeah, I’m pretty confident about that. But I tell Will every day that I have an older brother already. His name is Todd Russell. My brother makes fun of me every day of my life. I don’t need another one.”

Any truth that there’s a tiny-horse pressure group protesting the treatment of tiny horses in the first episode?
Arnett: “You heard it here first. The tiny horse revolution has begun!”


Categories Articles & Interviews

Running Wilde: Did you watch it? Are you sad it’s not Arrested Development?

Running Wilde has one of the worst titles and best pedigrees of the new TV season. Stars Will Arnett and Keri Russell play characters that seem tailor-made for them: Arnett’s hilariously venal Steve is like a single-child version of Gob, while Russell’s Emmy is an older, screwier Felicity. Adding to the good juju: Wilde is co-created by Arrested Development‘s Mitch Hurwitz. That’s enough to send expectations skyrocketing, but the Wilde pilot was reshot considerably. The show is pretty far from perfect, but last night’s premiere was fast-paced and funny…and featured at least one character who deserves to be the Kenneth/Abed sitcom breakout of the year.
First, let’s get the bad stuff out of the way. Arnett’s character is probably a little bit too tailor-made for the actor: Arnett co-created the show and co-wrote last night’s episode, so whenever Russell’s not around, Running Wilde feels uncomfortably like The Michael Richards Show. With his Baldwin-in-a-forest-fire rasp, Arnett can deliver gag lines with deadly accuracy (“Fa’ad is gonna feel a holocaust of envy.”) But he works best in a group, or at least with a straight man to play off of.
Thank goodness for Russell. Emmy has a bit of the DNA of Jason Bateman’s Michael Bluth: she thinks she’s a moralist, but she’s really just as selfish as everyone else. You could see that in the funniest moment of the night, when Russell proclaimed how proud she was for not feeling superior to anyone: “But if I were the type of person who needed to feel superior, I would say, ‘I feel sorry for that shallow, rich guy. But good for that deep, poor girl for not judging him!’”
The best reason to watch, though, is Peter Serafinowicz, who plays Steve’s wealthy neighbor Fa’ad. When Serafinowicz pretended to be a psychiatrist, I was on the floor. “I am Doctor!” “The best, and the dumbest!” “Thank you, Dr. Magazine!”
What did you think of Running Wilde, PopWatchers? I kind of adored Stefania Owen as Emmy’s daughter Puddle, but not sure how long I can handle her cute-snarky narration. And will everything be better if David Cross keeps appearing as Emmy’s boyfriend?