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  • Talking ‘True Blood’ deeper meanings, sexual healings

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    July 2, 2014 | 3:39 pm

    Gregg Fienberg, the executive producer of HBO’s hit vampire saga “True Blood,” is nicknamed “Captain Chaos” by his cast and crew. It’s a nod to his knack for juggling myriad obstacles to bring the campy-sexy (and very expensive) supernatural thriller to the screen. 

    Based on the...

  • When a mother dies

    By Danielle Berrin

    May 7, 2014 | 11:53 am

    On my desk sits a photograph of a mother and child. In 5-by-7 black and white, a beautiful young woman in her 20s, her dark hair in a twist, and her lips and fingernails plainly tinted, is holding her baby up to her cheek and looking out, almost heavenward. Their faces are...

  • Bill Maher: The confident blasphemist

    By Danielle Berrin

    April 2, 2014 | 10:48 am

    At 2 p.m. on a balmy afternoon in  March, Bill Maher, the comedian, political commentator and host of HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher,” was just beginning his day. He’d only been awake for three hours, though even that was unusual, since he rarely rouses before noon. “You’ll plug...

  • Remembering comedian David Brenner

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    March 18, 2014 | 12:53 pm

    David Brenner, whose wry observational comedy made him a star in the 1970s, and who appeared more than 150 times on “The Tonight Show,” died on Saturday, after a struggle with cancer, at his home in New York.  He was 78.

    Throughout his comedy career, which he embarked upon after...

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  • Why there is still no ‘Entourage’ movie

    October 23, 2013 | 5:26 pm

    It seems the “Entourage” cast members could use some help from someone like superagent Ari Gold.

    The movie version of the HBO comedy has been in the works forever, but lots of drama has delayed it from getting off the ground. The latest hold up is due to more heated negotiations,...

  • The Newsroom: Second season, second thoughts

    By Melissa Weller

    September 4, 2013 | 12:46 pm

    The Newsroom is back again for the first time!

    I was hesitant to hop in the saddle for a second go at Newsroom, especially with an already packed schedule of Breaking Bad, Top of the Lake, re-re-watching Orange is the New Black and replying to a heavy influx of fan mail after one...

  • Sparks ignite in ‘Afternoon Delight’

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    August 21, 2013 | 4:43 pm

    Writer-director Jill Soloway has quite the reputation for writing about Jews and sex. As co-executive producer on HBO’s hit mortuary drama “Six Feet Under,” she created a Reform rabbi character whose congregant’s boyfriend accidentally hangs himself during autoerotic asphyxiation....

  • ‘Glickman’ is the story of 20th Century American Judaism

    August 20, 2013 | 10:08 am

    “Glickman”, a moving documentary by James L. Freedman, premiering August 26 on HBO, is the emotional life story of Marty Glickman, a ground-breaking American sportscaster.  It is also the story of 20th Century American Judaism.

    Marty Glickman was the soundtrack of every New York...

  • Watch: ‘Girls’ season 3 teaser

    August 19, 2013 | 10:50 am

    Newsflash: Season three of “Girls” is in production! For those fans who are already chomping at the bit, HBO has put together this 31-second photo slideshow of (Jewish) creator Lena Dunham and the rest of the (heavily Jewish) cast at work.

    Don’t get too excited–it’s called a “teaser” for a reason.

  • ‘Newsroom’ Season 2: Will it gain the ‘trust of the public’?

    By Melissa Weller

    July 13, 2013 | 10:47 am

    The second season of The Newsroom premieres this Sunday on HBO, and for those who maybe didn’t tune in but kept an eye on critic reviews of and fan responses to Aaron Sorkin’s latest brain/ego child know the HBO drama’s freshman year was met with mixed feelings, to say the least....

  • Feeds and reads: Reactions to James Gandolfini’s death

    June 20, 2013 | 10:29 am

    Sopranos star James Gandolfini dies in Italy (Reuters)

    James Gandolfini, the burly actor best known for his Emmy-winning portrayal of a conflicted New Jersey mob boss in the groundbreaking TV series "The Sopranos," died on Wednesday vacationing in Italy. He was 51.

    Gandolfini,...

  • Enlightening Television

    By Beit T'shuvah

    June 11, 2013 | 1:07 pm

    By Matt Shapiro

    I watch a good amount of TV, probably more than I should. Still, it's rare for an episode of a show I watch to linger in my mind and heart, but that happened last night and continued into today. My wife and I have been working our way through Enlightened, the...

  • The real Susie Essman

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    May 29, 2013 | 11:04 am

    “Everybody thinks I’m Susie Greene,” actress and comedian Susie Essman said.

    And no wonder. Over eight seasons on Larry David’s largely improvised HBO series “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” Essman has portrayed a pampered, albeit foul-mouthed Jewish housewife, whose blistering sarcasm...

  • Alan Dershowitz sends ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ episode to Netanyahu

    May 20, 2013 | 10:28 am

    Comedian Larry David has been called a lot of things over the course of his long and successful career, but we’re pretty sure “peace maker” has never been one of them. Until now. Well, almost sort of, anyway.

    Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz has sent an episode of David’s...

  • Jeremy Piven plays a self(ridge)-made man

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    March 20, 2013 | 7:26 am

    Two minutes into a telephone interview, actor Jeremy Piven riffed on his Jewish background: “I grew up Reconstructionist, so my father used to joke that we prayed to ‘To whom it may concern,’ ” he said, then paused as if for a rim shot. “I’m waiting for the laugh to die down,” he...

  • Boy on HBO’s ‘Girls’ is also a ‘restless’ filmmaker

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    March 6, 2013 | 4:52 am

    You might only know Alex Karpovsky as Ray Ploshansky, the caustic barista who fitfully romances the naïf Shoshanna on HBO’s zeitgeist-y hit, “Girls.”

    But while shooting that show, Karpovsky also has managed to write, direct and star in two independent films that recently...

  • Clara Mamet makes her way in the family biz

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    September 10, 2012 | 4:58 pm

    It was a sweltering day on the North Hills set of ABC’s upcoming sitcom “The Neighbors,” as Clara Mamet opened the door of her trailer with a toss of her long, brown hair. The 17-year-old actress wore peach-colored satin trousers, a floral blouse and a devil-may-care expression as...

  • No business like the news business: Aaron Sorkin on ‘Newsroom’

    By Danielle Berrin

    July 6, 2012 | 2:25 pm

    Aaron Sorkin, the playwright, television writer and Oscar-winning screenwriter of “The Social Network,” is causing a stir with his new HBO series, “The Newsroom,” about the inside antics of a cable news show and its commentary on American journalism. Sorkin’s “The West...

  • No business like the news business: Aaron Sorkin on ‘Newsroom’

    By Danielle Berrin

    July 5, 2012 | 3:38 pm

    Aaron Sorkin, the playwright, television writer and Oscar-winning screenwriter of “The Social Network,” is causing a stir with his new HBO series, “The Newsroom,” about the inside antics of a cable news show and its commentary on American journalism. Sorkin’s “The West...

  • ‘Girls’ writer lays bare women’s insecurities

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    April 25, 2012 | 11:20 am

    Lena Dunham, the writer, director and star of “Girls,” HBO’s much-talked-about new series, strode onto the stage at the Writers Guild Theater for a Women in Film Q-and-A recently, wearing a tight gray dress, emerald green flats and the buoyant attitude of a Hollywood “It”...

  • Is HBO’s ‘Girls’ about young women’s struggles, or some women’s privileges?

    April 19, 2012 | 5:25 pm

    “Girls” begins with the conversation that many parents of 20-somethings dream of having someday real soon with their floundering children: No. More. Money.

    This is what the parents of 24-year-old Hannah Horvath, played by series creator, director and writer Lena Dunham, tell her...

  • Game Change: A Tabloid Movie

    By Ilana Angel

    March 25, 2012 | 3:49 pm

    I finally got around to watching the HBO film “Game Change” and it was interesting.  By interesting of course I mean if you are into tabloid television, it is really interesting.  I happen to love me a little tabloid folic so it was good fun.  That said, it was fluff and I...

  • The Destructive Power of the Ego

    By Rabbi John Rosove

    March 12, 2012 | 9:43 am

    In watching “Game Change” on HBO this weekend about the rise and fall of Sarah Palin, as well as the controversy around Rush Limbaugh’s nasty slander of a decent young woman activist and law student, the scandal in Britain emanating from the hubris of Rupert Murdoch and his...

  • How Tel Aviv became big business in Hollywood

    By Danielle Berrin

    February 8, 2012 | 3:21 pm

    In December 2009, Avi Nir, the chief executive of one of Israel’s largest broadcasting and production companies, invited the Hollywood agent Rick Rosen to spend a day at Keshet’s Tel Aviv office. Nir, who has a reputation among his Hollywood counterparts for being an aggressive...

  • Zionism and the three-picture deal

    By Danielle Berrin

    February 1, 2012 | 11:31 am

    At the Golden Globe Awards in January, producer Howard Gordon stepped up to the stage to accept the award for Best Television Series — Drama for co-creating the breakout Showtime hit “Homeland.” In a single season, the show has become a sensation, edging the pay-cable channel...

  • Writer’s Guild to Honor ‘Extremely’ Talented Screenwriter Eric Roth

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    January 26, 2012 | 1:05 pm

    Several weeks before he was to receive the lifetime achievement award from the Writers Guild of America, West, Eric Roth was in his study in Malibu conducting a breezy conversation that veered from his communist Jewish parents to his Oscar-winning screenplay for “Forrest Gump.”...

  • Ben Stiller to star in HBO series about Jewish family

    January 24, 2012 | 3:18 pm

    Ben Stiller reportedly has signed on to direct, produce and star in an HBO original series about a Jewish family called “All Talk.”

    The script is being written by Jonathan Safran Foer and the series, set in Washington, will co-star Alan Alda.

    According to the Hollywood Reporter, the show is billed as “politically, religiously, culturally, intellectually and sexually irreverent.

    Shooting is set to begin in the fall.

  • Michael Fassbender on “Shame,” sadism, playing a Jewish supervillain and why he’s not in therapy

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    December 5, 2011 | 11:54 pm

    “Shame, shame, shame, shame,” Michael Fassbender, who very much seems to be the actor of the moment, sang in a goofy baritone recently.  His impromptu ditty was unexpected, given that he was in the middle of an intense discussion about his two latest films:  Steve McQueen’s...

  • Gilad Shalit and Israeli TV’s Searing ‘Prisoners of War’ [UPDATE/SLIDE SHOW]

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    October 31, 2011 | 4:48 pm

    The hit Israeli TV drama “Hatufim” (“Prisoners of War,” now available at mako.co.il) proved prescient—and controversial—recently as Gilad Shalit returned to Israel in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners after five years in a Hamas dungeon.  “Hatufim,”  which inspired...

  • Laughter:  It’s The Best Medicine in Rogen and Reiser’s ‘50/50’ [VIDEO]

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    September 8, 2011 | 6:44 pm

    In a back booth at Canter’s, Seth Rogen is digging into his matzah ball soup with gusto as his close friend, screenwriter Will Reiser, sips a glass of club soda. In person, Rogen — who has emerged as one of the leading comic actors, writers and producers of his generation —...

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