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Olivia Williams

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  • TV Picks: Merv, 'Newsroom,' 'Last Patrol,' 'Worricker,' 'Poirot'

    TV Picks: Merv, 'Newsroom,' 'Last Patrol,' 'Worricker,' 'Poirot'
    "The Merv Griffin Show, 1962-1986" (MPI Home Video). Even for many of us who remember the genuine article, the image of talk show host Merv Griffin is inextricably mixed up with the impression Rick Moranis unleashed on "SCTV": "Oooo, we'llberightback." But as this filling and fulfilling new DVD romp through the late midcentury demonstrates, that was barely a parody at all. There is a kind of jazzy intimacy to his sound, like a cocktail lounge strapped to the back of a Lear Jet; he pronounces the favorite word "sensational" with an exclamation mark attached to the middle syllable, as if he's taking a corner at high speed. With an afternoon talk show on NBC debuting on the same day (Oct. 1, 1962) that Johnny Carson took over "The Tonight Show," Griffin was a man of the old school, when talk shows were more devoted to talk than they are now and guests flogged their wares somewhat less conspicuously. (Some guests do just seem to be have been favorites of the series, whether great -- Richard Pryor, Henny Youngman -- or small, like rock-singing celebrity hairdresser Monti Rock III.) They have a leisurely air.
  • Toronto Film Festival Lineup Includes Denzel Washington's 'Equalizer,' Kate Winslet's 'A Little Chaos'

    The Toronto Film Festival has announced more than 40 titles -- a mix of awards contenders, star-powered indies, and international arthouse fare -- screening in its Gala and Special Presentations program this September, including Denzel Washington's "The...

    'Manhattan' Campaign Blasts Away Image of History Lesson

    WGN America has a message for potential audiences of its ambitious new series "Manhattan:" It's not a boring history lesson. The show may revolve around the Manhattan Project, whose scientists secretly built the first atom bombs used during World War II,...

    'Manhattan' Cast Talk Secrecy and World War II at Paley Center Panel

    The cast and creator of WGN America's second original series "Manhattan" talked to Variety about keeping secrets, living in isolation and their personal connections to this story on the red carpet at the Paley Center for Media Wednesday night. "The...

    Danny DeVito, Matthew Modine, Sharon Lawrence Tout Filming in California

    Danny DeVito, Matthew Modine and Sharon Lawrence lent their star power Saturday to the campaign to expand California's film-TV production tax credit program. "We can't sit back and let the industry go elsewhere," said DeVito in a keynote address at the...