Archive for May 2nd, 2011

Bones is back. After another down-to-the-wire negotiation, Fox and 20th Century Fox TV are expected to announce a firm one-year renewal for the show later this week.

Star David Boreanaz couldn’t resist jumping the gun, however, writing on his Twitter account on Monday night that “Season 7 is GO for Bones.”

Coincidentally, it was executive producer Hart Hanson who similarly let the cat out of the bag during the last Bones renegotiation in 2009, when he let news of that renewal slip on his Twitter account. Hanson has been quiet so far about Boreanaz’s tweet.

Deal is believed to be just for one additional year — not unusual, given the show’s age and Fox’s limited shelf space. Like the last Bones negotiation in 2009, the sticking point in the negotiations came down to what a new deal meant for the show’s profit participants. The studio and the network, which are both owned by News Corp., wanted to make sure that a deal was in place that could be signed off by everyone (and avoid lawsuits down the road).

Execs at both the studio and network had expressed confidence for weeks that a deal would be done. Meanwhile, Fox and NBC Universal continue to negotiate a renewal — also believed to be for just one year — for House. That negotiation is expected to not be resolved until mid-May, when Fox announces its fall primetime schedule.



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Interview: Stana Katic storms CASTLE

The actress talks about being Beckett, learning from detectives and the show’s Lubitsch quality.

On ABC’s Monday 10 PM hit CASTLE, now wrapping its third season and renewed for a fourth, Stana Katic’s NYPD detective has an affectionate if often adversarial relationship with Nathan Fillion’s writer Richard Castle.

On screen, Castle uses the no-nonsense Beckett as the model for his new literary heroine Nikki Heat. In person, Canada-born actress Katic (QUANTUM OF SOLACETHE LIBRARIAN: THE CURSE OF THE JUDAS CHALICETHE SPIRIT) comes off as being a bit softer and more cheerful than Beckett. The actress is no less busy than her character, though, so she can’t talk for long, but here’s what she has to say about being Beckett.

ASSIGNMENT X: Have you done any research into police detective work since being cast as Beckett?

Stana Katic in CASTLE - Season 3 - "Knockout" | ©2011 ABC/Peter "Hopper" StoneStana Katic in CASTLE – Season 3 – “Knockout” | ©2011 ABC/Peter “Hopper” Stone

KATIC: When we were working in New York City filming the pilot, I spent some time with detectives in New York. I think they were from the Ninth Precinct. They were really generous in showing me what it meant to be a detective and also just feeding me a lot of wonderful gallows humor that that kind of a dark field of study has. And then when I came to L.A. is when I got a chance to go and travel with a detective here [in the city where CASTLE has filmed post-pilot. It was a fantastic opportunity to see how important it is for detectives who are building a case to create a rock-solid case that’s impenetrable by the defense, and I think that’s a real driving force for my character, because she does have a history with unsolved crime and a tragedy [her mother’s murder] in her own background. It became really important for her to create a case that would never fall apart in a court of law. So it was very informative. They took me around and showed me [how to] Taser people. It’s wonderful. I did have the opportunity to do that.

Gene Simmons, Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion in CASTLE - Season 3 - "To Love and Die in L.A." | ©2011 ABC/Adam LarkeyGene Simmons, Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion in CASTLE – Season 3 – “To Love and Die in L.A.” | ©2011 ABC/Adam Larkey

AX: In person, you seem somewhat different than Beckett …

KATIC:Beckett’s got a different kind of quality from me, as far as serious about her work [laughs], and so there are times where I have to kind of work into the Beckett world on certain days, whereas other characters have been a lot closer to who I am naturally.

AX: How would you describe the Beckett/Castle dynamic and how it’s changed from the beginning?

KATIC: I would say the usual stereotype for a female police officer is a strong, hard, by-the-book kind of character. And I think that’s what [series creator/executive producer/show runner] Andrew Marlowe is bringing is something that’s more classic and a throwback to a different style of filmmaking. Originally, Detective Beckett is annoyed that she’s in a way babysitting this superstar, who she obviously admires because she reads his books. As we move on in the series, though, the two of them gain real respect for each other’s qualities and for the way that they can handle a case. I think if we were to paint a parallel in order to understand what the dynamic really is, it would be closer to THE THIN MAN orHIS GIRL FRIDAY, where they both take turns benefiting from each other and bringing the lightness and the comedy in solving the cases, and bringing the intelligence and the heart, which in the end is kind of the thrust of the whole piece, isn’t it?

Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion in CASTLE - Season 3 - "Pretty Dead" | ©2011 ABC/Vivian Zink
Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion in CASTLE – Season 3 – “Pretty Dead” | ©2011 ABC/Vivian Zink

AX: Speaking of  the heart, what about the romantic possibilities between Beckett and Castle?

KATIC:There’s a Lubitschesque [referring to the films of Ernst Lubitsch, who made such ‘30s and ‘40s romantic comedy classics as NINOTCHKAHEAVEN CAN WAIT and TO BE OR NOT TO BE] quality. Lubitsch always brought this classic, subtle sexuality to his characters. I think that’s the aim, to bring this subtle elegance and sexuality and sleekness. As much as we’re antagonizing each other, we’re always attracting and admiring each other throughout, and it becomes stronger.

AX: Do you have a proprietary feeling at this point toward the squad room set, like, “This is my domain”?

KATIC: I don’t have a proprietary feeling. I do feel really collaborative with the other guys who play the detectives. I really enjoy working with everybody that’s involved in that part of the story. So I kind of feel like I share it with all of them.

AX: When you began working on CASTLE, did you have any idea that it was going to turn into this big pop-culture hit?

KATIC: You know, people keep telling me that it’s a hit, but what makes a hit, I’m not really sure what that means. Maybe because I’m in the work bubble, I don’t really get to see the effects of it, so I’m just grateful that it’s doing well, that we’re still on the air.


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The killing of Osama bin Laden in a daring surgical operation conducted by a small team of U.S. Navy SEALs brought the arduous, decade-long search for the 9-11 mastermind to a close.  But even as the country celebrated, many new questions are emerging about what comes next for the U.S., for al-Qaida, and for the fight against extremism. Here are some answers.

Following the death of Osama bin Laden, does the U.S. now face a greater risk of a terrorist retaliation from al-Qaida?

Bin Laden’s death could trigger a backlash against Americans and other Westerners by those who had strong feelings of affinity for the al-Qaida leader. He remained hugely popular in much of the Middle East. This does not mean that everyone who favored him will rush to violence. But to some of his followers, a symbol of Islamic extremist strength has been vanquished. Individuals or networks who saw themselves as bin Laden fellow travelers could look to take revenge.

Still, al-Qaida as an institution is unlikely to be in a position to organize a sophisticated counter-response to bin Laden’s death, at least for the time being. Al Qaida’s style is to run well-organized operations that involve complex moving parts which simultaneously converge on a high profile target.  In recent years, as the U.S. and its allies have disrupted al-Qaida’s networks, it has had an increasingly difficult time organizing sophisticated attack outside the South Asia/Middle East region. It’s unlikely that al-Qaida could organize something large scale in the short term.

What does this mean for al-Qaida’s future? Will it fade away?

Osama bin Laden and his second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, had become symbolic rather than command and control leaders over al-Qaida assets in recent years. Killing bin Laden removes the symbol, but he could become a rallying martyr in the eyes of some extremists. There are well-organized, potent operations that have affiliated with al-Qaida in Yemen, in North Africa, and elsewhere in the region. They will no doubt continue their operations, at least for the near term. But this is a blow for them.

What is known about the Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaida’s No. 2?

Al-Zawahiri, the Egyptian cleric who remains at large, was an operational and strategic force in building and animating al Qaeda alongside bin Laden. He now becomes the most wanted terrorist in the world. There have been many attempted strikes and near misses against al-Zawahiri, some killing close family members of his. Emboldened by the success against bin Laden, the US will undoubtedly try to maintain momentum. Enormous intelligence efforts will be focused on tracking and either capturing or killing al-Zawahiri.

What does this mean to the image of the U.S. in the world? Where does the U.S. gain? Where does it lose?

The killing of bin Laden removes one of the elements that made America look impotent in the eyes of much of the world. Bin Laden killed thousands of Americans on US soil. The US has responded by spending trillions on its security and various wars since, but has not been able to bring to justice the top perpetrators of 9/11. This is a huge gain, symbolically, for the US, but challenges remain.

The downside risk really rests with Pakistan.  Did Pakistan really not know that Osama bin Laden was residing 35 miles north of its capital?  What is the future of joint operations with Pakistan, if we learn that military or government officials were complicit in hiding bin Laden? Pakistan, a nuclear-armed fragile Islamic nation, is of near unparalleled strategic importance to the US in this region. The downside of killing bin Laden is that it will compel all parties to ask very tough, hard questions of who knew what, when—and then deal with what are likely extremely uncomfortable realities.

Anti-Americanism had already been rising in Pakistan. Will this help or hurt the willingness of Pakistan to cooperate in the fight against extremism?

In the near term, the killing of bin Laden will shake a fragile Pakistan. The U.S. will win some support, but also a lot of condemnation.  In much of Pakistan, Osama bin Laden was a rock star, a pop culture symbol of what many in this region considered to be “righteous terrorism”.  Those who believed strongly in bin Laden will feel a loss for some time and will be angry at the U.S. and the West.

How about the broader war on terrorism? How significant is bin Laden’s death?

Killing bin Laden is huge symbolically—but of questionable impact when it comes to ending the broad trend of well-organized transnational terrorism. To some degree, the various al-Qaida affiliated networks learned to organize operations without the instruction and support of bin Laden and al-Zawahiri long ago. They will continue to function, and there is always the chance that others will attempt to assert themselves as “the next bin Laden.”

But knocking out the top symbol of al-Qaida gives the US a chance to declare success and potentially begin to draw down some forces in Afghanistan.

What will it mean for the war in Afghanistan?

Bin Laden’s death will affect the war in Afghanistan in the sense that the hunt for him was one of the primary rationales for the invasion.  There was no narrative available to the U.S. and international forces deployed in Afghanistan to leave unless they had dealt definitively in some way with bin Laden and al-Zawahiri. Now that task is half done. Bin Laden’s death does not mean that the US will now draw down forces—but at least the option exists to redeploy some units there while declaring some success.

What are the political implications for President Obama?

This is the prize George W. Bush wanted and couldn’t achieve before the end of his term.  The killing of bin Laden shores up Barack Obama’s hard power credentials and will force political opponents like Donald Trump and Sarah Palin to change their talking points.  President Obama approached the bin Laden challenge seriously, cautiously, and showed a focused earnestness in bringing him to justice. This will boost President Obama for some time and puts much more solid ground beneath his 2012 presidential run.


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Anything Else!!!!

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A friend of mine posted this one up on FB so yes I had to snag it ’cause it be funny & true man.

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