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Wait, is Diddy actually joining the cast of 'Downton Abbey'?

Exhibit A: A message the rapper/producer/sometime actor tweeted this evening, after promising a “big announcement” for his followers: READ FULL STORY

Wonder Woman's invisible jet still off Hollywood's radar

Maybe it’s the invisible jet? Wonder Woman has been soaring as a pop culture icon since the Roosevelt era but she can’t get on Hollywood’s radar when it comes to a solo silver-screen adventure. This summer’s Man of Steel gives Superman his eighth feature film (tying him with Batman) but Wonder Woman is stuck at zero and at this point her best IMDB prospect is a gal-pal supporting role in the shaky-sounding Justice League movie.

We took the topic to filmmaker Kristy Guevara-Flanagan (Going on 13) whose documentary Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines is airing next week on PBS and has been the subject of community screenings around the country.

Entertainment Weekly: Superman and Batman will have 16 movies between them by the end of this summer and Wonder Woman can’t lasso a movie deal. The Losers, Elektra and Howard the Duck reached the big screen, how come Diana Prince doesn’t rate?

Kristy Guevara-Flanagan: Hollywood seems to be hesitant to bank on a movie with a woman as the lead. Hopefully something like Hunger Games will change the perception that movies about women don’t make money. There’s also a challenge find a director that will be true to the material but still bring it to life in a way that will appeal to a broad audience. Joss Whedon did a good job with that on The Avengers. Since a lot of people have a hard time defining who Wonder Woman is beyond the costume — that presents a challenge.


Jeremy Piven, star of PBS' 'Mr. Selfridge,' takes the EW Personality Quiz

Jeremy Piven is returning to TV, but as a different kind of power player than Entourage‘s Ari Gold. On PBS’ drama Masterpiece: Mr. Selfridge (tonight, 9 p.m.), he stars as Harry Selfridge, the real-life American businessman who dreamed big enough to become a London department-store magnate. Take inventory of Piven’s answers below in EW’s Personality Quiz. READ FULL STORY

Should 'Downton Abbey' air in the U.S. at the same time as the U.K. broadcast? -- POLL

News of Dan Stevens’ departure from Downton Abbey hit the States 12 days before season 3 of the series hits our airwaves. And while many American news outlets, EW included, stayed away from saying exactly how Stevens exits the show, simply knowing that Matthew won’t return for the fourth season is a enough of a spoiler.


Butterfly in the sky: 'Reading Rainbow' gets auto-tuned remix

There’s something special about PBS’s latest adventure in auto-tuning. The network’s remixed Mr. Rogers montage was trippy. Its Bob Ross montage was gloriously kitschy. Its Julia Child montage was downright hilarious — hot chocolate truffles! But this soothing homage to Reading Rainbow isn’t just a novelty — it’s a weirdly moving look back at LeVar Burton’s book-positive program, which aired from 1983 to 2006 (!) and introduced millions of kids to the wonders of reading.

In fact, the trippiest thing about this video — crafted, as usual, by mixmaster melodysheep — is the fact that somebody’s made a song out of clips from a TV show that was in turn comprised of clips about how fun it is to read stories on paper. Adapt the remix into a film, and Reading Rainbow will have officially conquered all media. Take a look, it’s in a book on your browser:


New Google Doodle celebrates Bob Ross

Art history majors, your time has come.

The popular Google Doodle feature on the Google homepage got an artsy twist today in honor of what would have been Bob Ross’ 70th birthday (The beloved painter and TV personality passed away in 1995).

Ross is best known as the creator and host of the PBS show The Joy of Painting, which ran for over a decade (1983-1994) and instructed people how to create oil paintings in easy, step-by-step instructions.

A fun added detail on Ross’ Doodle is the squirrel on his shoulder. In addition to his painting, Ross was an animal fan who often adopted wildlife creatures, squirrels in particular. The furry friends often made appearances on the show. In fact, the Internet recently unearthed old video of Ross feeding a baby squirrel. It’s simply adorable.

Feeling crafty? Many Ross clips are still on YouTube. Check out an autotune of his class — the Internet’s favorite way of honoring someone! — below, and then get to work on your stuck-inside-during-Hurricane-Sandy art, east coasters. READ FULL STORY

Jim Lehrer on his debate performance: 'I'm very upbeat about it'

There’s one thing Jim Lehrer won’t shut the f— up about — his performance as moderator at last week’s presidential debate. Though he’s been widely criticized for letting the candidates disregard time limits and not asking more pointed follow-up questions, Lehrer is happy with how the debate turned out: “I thought the format accomplished its purpose, which was to facilitate direct, extended exchanges between the candidates about issues of substance,” he said in a statement last Thursday.

And last night, Lehrer echoed his comments again in an interview with the Associated Press. “I may be seeing something that’s not there, but I can’t imagine emerging from this experience — I’m talking about myself — with any permanent scars,” Lehrer, said, adding, “I’m very upbeat about it, and I don’t have any second thoughts.”


'Call the Midwife' series debut: The PBS drama is just what the doctor ordered

Image credit: Laurence Cendrowicz

The U.S. series debut of PBS’ Call the Midwife fulfilled all my expectations of a BBC hit that trumped Downton Abbey‘s first season ratings in Britain. The period drama, which premiered in the U.K. in January, elicited both laughs and (near) tears in its depiction of midwives and nuns working in the 1950s slums of London’s East End.

The show follows newly qualified midwife Jenny Lee (Jessica Raine) as she struggles to “find her feet” in the Nonnatus House nursing convent and accept the seemingly unsanitary living conditions of the women she cares for. Although the British import initially solicits a comparison to Downton, the show is more of a cross between Grey’s Anatomy (the earlier seasons), Upstairs, Downstairs (the “downstairs” portion), and The Real Housewives of New Jersey (see the opening catfight scene). Fine, maybe Real Housewives is a stretch.

Vanessa Redgrave narrates the show as the voice of the older Jennifer Worth, the author who penned the trilogy of memoirs that the show is based. “Midwifery is the very stuff of life. Every child is conceived in love or lust and born in pain, followed by joy or by tragedy and anguish. Every birth is attended by a midwife. She is in the thick of it. She sees it all,” she says. [SPOILERS AHEAD] READ FULL STORY

PopWatch Planner: 'Homeland' is back! Plus '30 Rock,' 'Steel Magnolias,' and more

The opening days of fall TV season are always exciting — catching up with our favorites from last season and discovering new must-see gems. If last week was any indication, our DVRs are going to be overloaded for the next few months. This week brings new episodes of the Showtime hit Homeland, a music fest to rock out to in your living room, a groundbreaking PBS documentary, James Bond himself on SNL, and the well-cast all-black rendition of Steel Magnolias on Lifetime. Have a great week!

Homeland, Showtime 10 p.m.

FINALLY. If you’re as excited as we are about the return of the freshly Emmy-crowned Homeland, get ready for tonight’s premiere. We left off with Brody, the POW-turned-traitor/vigilante nearly blowing up the vice president and Carrie seeking electric-shock treatment for bipolar disorder. Will Carrie’s suspicions about Brody be proven in season 2?

iHeartRadio music festival, CW, 8 p.m.

The Las Vegas pop-music fest to end all pop-music fests, which was held in Sin City Sept. 21-22, will be broadcast as the CW’s kickoff to the fall TV season. The concert featured antics from guitar-smashing by Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong to Flavor Flav mixing up Miley Cyrus and Gwen Stefani, plus performances by No Doubt, Usher, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, and many more.

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide , PBS, 9 p.m.

The second half of PBS’ groundbreaking four-hour documentary follows the authors of Half the Sky, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and his wife Sheryl WuDunn, around the world exploring women and oppression through stories of hope and success. Hollywood stars including Meg Ryan, America Ferrera, Diane Lane, and Eva Mendes joined the authors on their journey and the result is this film, accompanied by a social-media effort and educational programs.

First Presidential Debate, all major networks, 9 p.m.

President Barack Obama will face off against Republican candidate Mitt Romney at the University of Denver. PBS’ Jim Lehrer will moderate, asking questions that will focus on domestic policy. Expect more than a few zingers from both sides on hot-button issues like healthcare and immigration.

30 Rock season premiere, NBC, 8 p.m.

30 Rock’s bittersweet seventh and final season starts with an episode titled “The Beginning of the End,” but don’t get nostalgic just yet — Liz and Jack haven’t lost an ounce of chemistry. Check out an exclusive clip from this week’s episode.

Paperboy, Frankenweenie open in theaters

With this weekend’s success of Looper at the box office and a number of Oscar buzz-worthy movies on their way in the next month or so, things finally seem to be picking up for the studios. This week, check out the wacky, talked-about-for-one-certain-scene effort from Lee Daniels, Paperboy, starring Nicole Kidman and Zac Efron. For the kids (and grown up ones), Tim Burton’s animated Frankenweenie also opens Friday.

Saturday Night Live, NBC, 11:35 p.m.

Bond, James Bond is hosting SNL this week, so shake yourself a martini and settle in for a late night full of Brits, with Daniel Craig and musical guest Muse. Hot off their Olympics song and with a new album out this week, Muse is sure to rock the SNL set and Craig is only a little over a month away from the latest Bond release, Skyfall.

Steel Magnolias, Lifetime, 9 p.m.

The 1989 weepie, which starred Julia Roberts, Sally Field, and Dolly Parton, among others, about the intertwining lives of six female friends in Louisiana gets a makeover on Lifetime this weekend with an all-African American cast, including Queen Latifa and Phylisha Rashad. The made-for-TV reboot is produced by Oscar broadcast producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron and directed by Kenny Leon.

Read more:
‘Homeland: Why Brody needs to be caught or killed in season 2
‘Paperboy’ trailer

On the scene: Martha Stewart talks chickens, tweets, 'Cooking School'

Starting the day with eggs from Martha Stewart’s Bedford, N.Y., farm? Now that‘s a good thing. To preview her upcoming Cooking School, the domestic mogul hosted an intimate demonstration at her New York City HQ today.

Entering the event, I must admit that I feared even putting myself in the sightline of La Stewart would send me into a tizzy akin to Ellen DeGeneres in her hilariously chaotic 1995 Thanksgiving episode of Ellen. Then came the aforementioned eggs, the homemade jams (blueberry, raspberry, and cherry), and the caramelized grapefruit (with a candied blood orange garnish — obviously)… and let’s just say Martha knows that the way to ease the nerves is through a glorious food coma. READ FULL STORY

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