Cast members presented charity officials with a check for over $77,000 to aid ongoing recovery
There's a good setup here, but you might need the patience of the eternal
By Tim Molloy
NBC's new "Dracula" is still set in the Victorian era of gas lamps and horse-drawn carriages, but everything else has changed.
Dracula is posing as an American entrepreneur now, trying to bring down a mysterious group called the Order of the Dragon, which derives its vast fortune from the oil business. He plans to ruin them by spreading the idea that he's created a form of wireless energy. (Did people say "wireless" in the 1890s?) His light bulbs can seemingly light themselves.
Has that even been invented now? I'm not sure. But that's part of the steampunk thrill of the new Dracula, which features the always watchable Jonathan Rhys Meyers playing the Vampire, playing the American entrepreneur.
I see you in the back, lady from Greenpeace, and I get it: Sure, the oil companies are the real vampires. Good one! Moving along: The fact that Dracula is now a Victorian Steve Jobs adds to the confusion in the Dracula update, which I enjoyed watching, but which I think is doomed.
First: It's very slow. It takes a long time for us to understand why Dracula is now in competition with Edison and Tesla. Some of the dialogue is goofy, as when Dracula says he hoped his guests found his lightshow "illuminating." Come on, Vlad. You're better than this.
This is one of those U.S.-British hybrid shows - it is produced with Sky Living, which will air it in Britain - which so often suffer from distracting CGI. Do the Americans think the Brits love this stuff, or is it the other way around? For the record, our respective best shows contain none of it. Meyers is great with a sword, but we're distracted from his skills by some "Matrix"-y slow-motion that feels like out-of-place pandering.
But Meyers is a great Dracula, nonetheless, whether coming to life in a dusty crypt or baring his fangs on a rooftop. And his supporting cast is very good as well, including Oliver Jackson-Cohen as inquisitive reporter Jonathan Harker and Jessica De Gouw as Mina Murray, the woman who comes between Harker and Dracula. Good luck with that one, Harker. While Dracula deals in blood, and the Order in oil, Harker buys ink by the barrel. Who will spill the most?
There's a good setup here, but you might need the patience of the eternal.
"Dracula" premieres Friday, October 25, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
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Get ready for Puppy Bowl with an extra dose of cuteness
It's hard to resist a face like that one. So, why not get your fill of more?
At Puppy Cam, you can check out what these adorable dogs are doing at any hour of the day -- whether it's playing or eating or sleeping (lots of it!). Whatever they're doing, it's sure to be cute and entertaining.
Because we're talking about puppies here!
In order to give you a taste of Puppy Cam, check out two highlights videos below.
For more puppy action, head on over to Puppy Cam.
MSN TV visits the set and stars of Season 3
By Michelle Strub
A fire bell rings to warn us the director is about to call "Action!" We're standing right next to him who, though he has invited us over, is not so intent on a conversation with us but instead pensive on whether or not the last punch seemed real enough.
It's a 90-degree Tuesday afternoon and we're in Portland's Industrial District on set with NBC's fairytale-entwined cop-procedural, "Grimm." Premiering Friday, October 25, at 9 p.m. ET/PT, Season 3 will pick up right where the "To be continued … " left off and hopefully start to answer some of the questions it left its Grimmsters to cope with in the off-season. Is Nick (David Giuntoli) a zombie? Whose baby is Adalind (Claire Coffee) carrying? Whose side is the Captain (Sasha Roiz) on? Is Hank (Russell Horsnby) really dealing with all of this Grimm stuff just fine? Is Juliet (Bitsie Tulloch) officially a part of the in-the-know gang now? Are Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) and Rosalee (Bree Turner) getting closer? And what, in the name of names, is Sergeant Wu's (Reggie Lee) first name?
We're watching the final takes before the cast and crew breaks for lunch. It's a fight scene for Season 3, Episode 1 between Captain Renard and a zombie stuntman. The action is taking place some 10-feet away from us in between two cargo ship containers that have been hauled onto this specific stage which is one of three stages housed in separate nondescript buildings not far from downtown Portland. The majority of the series is filmed on these stages except for when being on location makes a difference. Remember the shipyard from the final scenes of Season 2? That was actually filmed at the Portland shipyard. In fact, just two weeks before this they had all-night after all-night filming at the shipyard with a crowd of zombie extras. (We bet those weren't hard to come by thanks to Portland's zombie-fanatic residents.) Today's filming, however, was all about re-capturing some of the dangerous stunts with the aid of a green screen.
The director calls "Cut!" and Roiz comes to sit down next to us. Even in his chair he is towering over us – a testament to his 6'4" muscular structure. He cracks a joke about hearing "Grimm" being used as a verb by friends before we're all off to the main stage to grab lunch. It's there that we meet up with Giuntoli who was on another stage filming scenes with Hornsby. He and Roiz exchange some verbal kidding punches before we sit down to eat.
"So you two seem like buds in real life, do you think your characters are going that way as well? We still can't decide if the Captain is good or bad? He's letting Nick in but also withholding a lot. Whose side is he really on?" we ask.
"The Captain and Nick get along but butt heads philosophically. They always have. You'll certainly see the characters evolve more in Season 3 but not sure if we can ever say they'll be friends," says Giuntoli.
"The Captain is out for himself. He's not necessarily on the Royals' [his family's] side or on the Grimm's [Nick's] side," inserts Roiz. "Things may be changing but it all comes back to a power play."
Fair point. Hours earlier we met up with Tulloch, Mitchell and Turner who were re-shooting stunt scenes from the shipyard as well and who mentioned just about the same "change" theme for their characters. As fans of "Grimm," we've seen each of their characters evolve so much since the series first started; we were wondering where they could all go next.
"You know, it took 44 episodes to get Juliet to where she is today," says Tulloch. "But now she knows. She's part of the 'Scooby Gang' so-to-speak. And now that Nick is … a zombie. Not dead but alive-ish, it'll be up to her and all of them to save him. I think you'll see the girls of 'Grimm' taking charge more in Season 3 overall. For instance, in Season 1, Episode 15, Nick takes Juliet to a shooting range and she's badass. How and why is this? Is there more to Juliet? We might find out."
"It was 48 hours between when I auditioned, was hired and had to be on set to film for what was to be a guest character," says Turner. "But Jim and David [the show creators] have really made Rosalee a fleshed-out character. At first she didn't have to be liked and she was guarded. There has been a big evolution from that place and I think her relationship with Monroe has broken down those walls. She's on a new journey now."
"Speaking of, we heard rumors of a Monroe and Rosalee wedding – how does that play into it?" we encourage.
"Honestly, I was shocked about that news. Bree [Turner] texted me saying she saw it on TV Guide and neither of us had a clue so I'm not sure what's going to happen or when. The fun will definitely be in getting there," says Mitchell.
Even Sergeant Wu may be getting more involved and evolving.
"I want Wu to be in the know with everyone else too but his reaction to it, well that has to be worked out with the creators. I do think it would help further the development of his character. He has to go somewhere. Although I've always been told I'm the wild card of the show. Wu can go in any direction at any moment," explains Lee.
Of course, if that direction were to ever mean Wu would go away, fans might be in an uproar. "Grimm" has amassed themselves a following unparalleled to other Friday night network series. That following has adopted what they like to use and call "Wu-isms," likely after the snarky one-liners Lee's character often has. These fans, or "Grimmsters" as they're known, may not (yet) be "big in terms of quantity, [but] they make up for in in terms of intensity," says Mitchell.
"Our fans always remind me of that Jerry Garcia quote, 'We're like licorice. Not everybody likes licorice but the people who like licorice really like licorice,'" continues Mitchell.
"I know every show says they have the best fans but we really do. We have the best fans in the world. They're pulling for us. They're rabid and we love them for it," adds Lee.
And the fans must be. After originally premiering on Fridays in Season 1 and then being jostled around to Monday, then Tuesday and back to Fridays during Season 2, "Grimm" has managed to keep its audience and as of the end of last season, was the night's no. 1-scripted series across all of the networks in every key demographic.
Our day ends with a goodbye to each of the cast members who are either going off to film more scenes or to their personal lives in Portland: Tulloch to an appointment with her adorable dog, Henry, Turner to pick up a new car she just purchased and to see her kids and Lee to pick up a cone at Portland's 'it' ice cream shoppe, Salt & Straw (apparently he has a sweet tooth). And while many of our questions are still unanswered, we're willing to wait and watch with our fellow Grimmsters. Thank "Grimm" for its return on Friday.
Are you excited for Season 3 of "Grimm"? Tell us at MSN TV on Facebook and Twitter.
Season 3 of "Grimm" premieres Friday, October 25, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
See the top 10 programs according to tweets
In case you weren't on Twitter while watching TV (what, why not?!), here's what you missed according to the number of tweets these programs received during the week of Oct. 14 - 20:
Bing: BET Hip Hop Awards
1. BET Hip Hop Awards 2013/BET -- 2,553,800 tweets
2. "The Walking Dead"/AMC -- 528,300 tweets
3. "American Horror Story: Coven"/FX -- 184,400 tweets
4. "Real Husbands of Hollywood"/BET -- 239,000 tweets
5. "Scandal"/ABC-- 283,600 tweets
6. "The Voice"/NBC -- 154,100 tweets
7. "Catfish: The TV Show"/MTV -- 81,400 tweets
8. "Dancing With the Stars"/ABC -- 50,600 tweets
9. "The Voice"NBC -- 54,600 tweets
10. "Homeland"/Showtime -- 13,900 tweets
And here's a look at some of BET Hip Hop Awards tweets that made it the most-tweeted program for the week:
Data provided by SocialGuide. SocialGuide captures relevant Tweets from three hours before, during and three hours after an episode’s initial broadcast, local time. Unique Audience measures the audience of relevant Tweets ascribed to an episode from when the Tweets are sent until the end of the broadcast day at 5am. The data includes new/live primetime and late fringe episodes only and excludes sports events. Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings are only available for English-language U.S. Broadcast and Cable Networks.
Sitcom veteran on playing the White Rabbit and working with a cast he's yet to meet
Fans know him as Dick Solomon from "3rd Rock From the Sun." Or maybe you watched him in his "Dexter" stint as a serial killer -- or in film or on stage or in the bookstores. These days, award-winning actor John Lithgow is lending is his voice to the character of the White Rabbit on ABC's "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland." Earlier, Lithgow took some time out to chat with MSN TV.
MSN TV: How did you come to join the cast of "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland"?
John Lithgow: Well, the first I heard of it was from my agent with the offer, and I said yes immediately. It seemed like a wonderful idea. I knew all about "Once Upon a Time," and I knew these people did things well. After all, they were smart enough to ask me to be the White Rabbit. So, I knew they had good taste.
And immediately, I was a member of the ensemble. The great thing is I'm a member of this cast that includes just wonderful actors, and I don't even have to show up. I just go into a sound studio, and I end up playing all my scenes with them. I haven't even met a single one of them yet, and I can't wait.
Did you do anything special to prepare for the character of the White Rabbit?
Not really. I'd say the preparation was very, very hasty once I got into the sound studio with the creators and writers and producers. We all talked about what it should sound like. I experimented and tried several things. And presto … we had the White Rabbit, I'd say, within five minutes.
He's a mercurial little creature who has a very high metabolism. That's what we started with. They couldn't show me complete animation of the White Rabbit because that, too, was still in process. But I certainly got the idea, and they liked what I did. I haven't even met any of the animators yet. But I assume they like what I did to, as they've done fantastic things with it.
You’ve excelled in all aspects of the arts. What are the challenges in television that you don’t necessarily experience elsewhere?
Well, this is a very particular kind of television work, too, in that it's just voice work. It's not that challenging. It's pure fun, I have to say. And the director and the producer of the show, I only hear the voices in headphones ever since that first session when we first created the character together. I've been in sound studios four or five times since then. I've always just listened to them giving me notes based on what they hear me doing.
It's very odd and a kind of abstract experience. I do get to record my voice to picture. But even the film that I'm seeing has temporary version of the finished, animated White Rabbit. You're kind of whistling in the dark a little bit. That's a challenge, but it's fun. It's sort of like doing a radio drama.
I know I have to give them an extremely vivid vocal performance because everything I contribute is just in the voice. So, I have to give them plenty of personality, plenty of physical energy. I have to give the animators lots to work with. As I say, it's not a challenge. It's really fun.
You have a new children's book coming out later this month. What can you tell us about it?
How nice of you to ask I have a children's book! A Simon & Schuster book, it's my ninth. It's called "Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo." The text of the book is a narration of a musical suite that I wrote a few years ago to be performed with a large orchestra. In fact, I'm doing a concert with the San Francisco Symphony in December. The whole fun of it is, by the end of the piece, the orchestra is playing as if it were animals attempting to play.
That's all I'll tell you because it's completely off-message! We're here to talk about White Rabbit.
It seems like animals are my destiny.
Considering the storyline of the White Rabbit and Alice in Wonderland, are there any classic fairy tales or stories that you've enjoyed telling your family and/or they always want to hear from you?
I come from a family of storytellers. I consider myself as an actor to be a storyteller. I do a one-man show. I toured around the country, which is all about storytelling. And the people who created "Wonderland" are themselves fantastic storytellers. They've taken the very familiar "Alice in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll and spun it into not just one but a whole series of parallel stories as any good TV series must do.
They're just great at it. I could blow your mind with all of the surprises in the next two or three episodes of "Wonderland," but I won't.
So there’s nothing you can share anything about upcoming episodes and storylines?
Well, there's just more going on than you realize. That's all I can say. But that's the essence of storytelling: surprises. And there are plenty of surprises coming.
We've enjoyed watching you in your impressive career. Can you share with us any advice you've learned along the way?
Good lord, I always feel pretentious when I give advice. What I tell young actors is find things in your life that you love to do that do not depend on somebody else hiring you. The hardest thing about being an actor is waiting for someone to take an interest.
I follow that rule to this day. That's the reason I write kids concerts and music and kids' books and a memoir. That's the reason why I wrote a screenplay.
Do something that you control yourself. And chances are you'll never get a chance to finish it because someone will hire you to act.
Learn more about the White Rabbit and the rest of the "Wonderland" cast on ABC.com.
"Once Upon a Time in Wonderland "airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
Get to know how the CW's newest star became Mary, Queen of Scots
NEW YORK (AP) — How did Adelaide Kane get from the far western reaches of Australia to be crowned Mary, Queen of Scots?
In between Kane's schoolgirl years in Perth and her starring role on the CW's "Reign" (premiering Thursday at 9 p.m. EDT), there was a teenage stint on the Aussie soap "Neighbours." Then her ramen-and-odd-jobs struggles in Los Angeles four years ago as she tried to break into the big time.
The dry spell she encountered there triggered self-doubt and even anxious migraines.
"I was so sick of being unhappy," she recalls. "That's no way to live."
She came close to going back to Perth and getting back in school.
Then a final Hollywood push bore fruit. Kane was cast in "Power Rangers R.P.M.," followed by "Teen Wolf."
Then she got her hands on a script for "Reign." The role of Mary Stuart seemed perfect to her, all the more so since Kane's mother is descended from the House of Stuart. Kane wangled an early audition and was signed without anyone else being looked at.
"The hours are long and it's hard work, but it's fantastic," Kane says. "I've never been happier than in the past year. I just need to remind myself to breathe!"
As history reminds us (as does "Reign," whatever its historical indulgences), Mary is a 16th-century teenage monarch who arrives in the French court with her ladies-in-waiting entourage to follow through with her arranged engagement to the king's son, Prince Francis, which will secure Scotland's strategic alliance with her homeland.
Needless to say, complications arise and many challenges face Mary — romantic, political and life-and-death.
Kane happily rolls out adjectives to describe her: "arrogant, headstrong, vivacious, smart, short-tempered, likable."
She might also have added that Mary, like nearly everybody else on "Reign," is gorgeous, an accomplishment she satisfies naturally.
Enthroned in an easy chair for a recent interview, the 23-year-old Kane reigns with porcelain skin, enormous, heavy-lidded brown eyes and pillowy lips that rival Anjelina Jolie's. Shorn of Mary's royal couture, she is dressed down stylishly in black jeans and a T-shirt that declares "The good are never easy, and the easy are never good."
That might have been a credo for Mary, who is called upon to be tough, even conniving, in a world where she is under constant scrutiny, pressure and threat.
"I love it when you like a character and then she does something you don't like and you hate her for a while — then you love her again," says Kane. "I'd like to see her have unlikable moments that the audience understands and sympathizes with."
Almost certainly Kane has already played such moments — eight episodes of "Reign" are already in the can, with Kane about to start her ninth.
Though certain locations are shot in Ireland, the bulk of the series is filmed in Toronto, with Kane — whose character is seldom out of view — putting in long production days, arriving at 5 a.m. for hair and makeup and not finishing until past dark.
The workload, along with her uncertainty about how the show will be received, weigh on Kane.
"I Skype with my girlfriends back home in Perth," she says. "I'm not really dating because I don't know how long I'll be in Toronto. It's lonesome. It's isolating."
She's not complaining. Just honest. Headlining a series, even one with a large supporting cast (including Toby Regbo, Torrance Coombs, Megan Follows, Alan Van Sprang and Celina Sinden), can be all-consuming.
And then — in the best case — lurk the burdens of stardom that are hard to prepare for.
"I'm really nervous about celebrity," she says. "That it will be too much."
But Kane leaves no doubt she loves acting.
"It's cathartic for me," she explains. She and her brother were raised by a single mother, "and I spent a lot of my childhood keeping my problems to myself — I didn't want to burden my mother. It was difficult for me to feel my feelings, so I just buried them. Then I found that acting was a way for me to get them out.
"But now that I'm a reasonably sane adult," she continues with a laugh, "acting is more about my trying to engage other people: Acting is cathartic for the viewer, as well.
"If my performance touches someone, or helps someone understand themselves a little better, or gives them a laugh, I feel like I gave them something," she sums up. "I want to touch people's lives, and bring them along with me."
"Reign" premieres Thursday, Oct. 17, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the CW.
See the top 10 programs according to tweets
In case you weren't on Twitter while watching TV (what, why not?!), here's what you missed according to the number of tweets these programs received during the week of Oct. 7 - 13:
1. "The Walking Dead"/AMC -- 1,172,000 tweets
2. "Glee"/FOX -- 588,100 tweets
3. "American Horror Story: Coven"/FX -- 435,600 tweets
4. "Catfish: The TV Show"/MTV -- 743,600 tweets
5. "The X Factor"/FOX -- 422,900 tweets
6. "Scandal'/ABC -- 327,500 tweets
7. "The Voice"/NBC -- 115,000 tweets
8. "Jimmy Kimmel Live"/ABC -- 57,100 tweets
9. "The X Factor"/FOX -- 191,000 tweets
10. "Dancing With the Stars"/ABC -- 43,500 tweets
And here's a look at some of "The Walking Dead" tweets that made it the most-tweeted program for the week:
Data provided by SocialGuide and Nielsen.