Lori Acken

About Lori Acken

Lori just hasn't been the same since "thirtysomething" and "Northern Exposure" went off the air.

Fear The Walking Dead: What you need to know about AMC’s “The Walking Dead” companion series

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You know it’s been, er, eating at you, fans of The Walking Dead. Exactly what went down during those weeks between when a wounded Rick Grimes conked out in his hospital bed and when he came to, surrounded by the only living guy surrounded by some pretty gnarly-looking (and gnarly-tempered) undead? AMC’s new Dead companion series, Fear the Walking Dead — from the same folks who brought you the original — is ready to shed some light on that dark time. Only this time, the action heads west to L.A. “We wanted to explore that four- or five-week time frame where … Continue reading

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Dance Moms Season 5 finale recap: Would you like seconds?

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OK, so I didn’t quite get to last week’s recap either. Press tour — the near-fatal summer (and winter) camp for television critics. It’s kinda the same thing every day and you’re lucky to make it out alive at the bitter end. Kind of like recapping a season of Dance Moms. OK, recapping of a season of Dance Moms is worse. At least they feed us and sometimes the drinks are free at TCA. But anyway, let’s wrap this sucker up, shall we? So Nationals week is here, so is Jeanette and her team from the Broadway Dance Academy — even … Continue reading

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TCA: Who’s playing who in American Horror Story: Hotel?

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Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and their American Horror Story: Hotel cast appeared before reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour yesterday to talk the fifth season of FX’s most-watched program. The franchise — which has garnered 70 Emmy nominations for the network —will set its latest outing in a downtown L.A. Hotel. “We built it from the ground up, and it’s taken over half of the Fox lot. It’s something that I feel is our most magnificent set.” Falchuk added that this season feels a little less claustrophobic than others. “What’s fun about it is, while I feel like … Continue reading

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TCA: The Grinder cast and creators talk fall’s funniest sitcom

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The cast and creators of Fox’s sure-bet comedy The Grinder — starring Fred Savage and Rob Lowe as sparring brothers, the former an attorney and the latter who just played one on TV — took questions from reporters yesterday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. The session was heavy on light-hearted quips about Lowe’s looks — including a bonus moment when the former teen heartthrob was asked if he and network mate John Stamos ever got together to “talk about their handsomeness.” Watching the proceedings unseen from the back of the room, Stamos called out, “Rob! Tell the truth — we’ve … Continue reading

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TCA: Fox Studios’ Walden, Newman talk Empire, X-Files, Prison Break and more

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Dana Walden and Gary Newman, chairmen and CEOs of Fox Television Group, took the stage at the Television Critics Association press tour this morning to talk about their first year at the helm. Walden said they focused on creating a turnaround at the network without compromising the 20th Century Fox Studio and brand. Walden noted the success of the January launch, Empire, which was the most-watched show — cable or broadcast — of the midseason, luring an average of 17 million viewers per week, with 26-million per episode total. The network also garnered 59 Emmy nominations for Fox Studios — second … Continue reading

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TCA: ABC Family’s Startup U star Tim Draper: “We teach future, not history”

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Third generation venture capital investor and Draper University founder Tim Draper appeared before the Television Critics Association this morning to talk about his new ABC Family reality series Startup U. Set on the university’s Silicon Valley campus — where, Draper says, his immersive program “transforms ordinary people into heroic entrepreneurs” — Startup U stars Draper, his former student turned program director Charlie Taibi, 26, Draper University entrepreneur in residence Sequoia Blodgett, 31, and ten students eager to become business legends. Draper told reporters that some 400 students from around the globe have gone through the program, launching 220 companies and scoring $22 … Continue reading

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TCA: Kermit and Miss Piggy talk break-up, new ABC series “The Muppets.”

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ABC presented a panel on its anticipated new series The Muppets yesterday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, letting the show’s EPs Bill Prady and Bob Kushell and stars Kermit the Frog and a tardy Miss Piggy entertain reporters for a lively half hour. Kushell noted that, while many Muppets favorites will appear in the ABC primetime comedy, the show is a sort of running mockumentary about the behind-the-scenes action at Miss Piggy’s (fictional) talk show and not a reboot of the beloved variety fest The Muppet Show of the ’70s and early ’80s. “Anybody who hasn’t seen … Continue reading

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TCA: ABC’s Paul Lee talks American Crime, TGIT and new fall shows

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ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee touted the network’s string of successes and its upcoming fall and midseason shows today at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. But first he had a bit of pressing business. “I guess, if you take one thing from my comments this morning,” Lee said, “it’s that I think [How to Get Away with Murder star] Viola Davis should win that Emmy. I mean, she is fierce, and she’s fearless, and she’s sexy, and her performance is nuanced, and we are incredibly proud of that show.” Lee also honored the Emmy nom success of John … Continue reading

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TCA: Amazon Studios presents new series and controversial new partnerships

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Amazon Studios presented their slate of new series and season-two returns — plus a pair of controversial new projects — today at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. Studio head Roy Price began the session announcing that the streaming service was moving its Emmy-nominated drama Bosch to a new night before delivering the punchline: “You can see it anytime! It’s your schedule that matters, not ours!” Then drama chief Morgan Wandell launched panels for a pair of ambitious new dramas, Hand of God, which premieres Sept. 4, and the long-awaited The Man in the High Castle, which streams Nov. 4. Hand Of … Continue reading

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Interview: Edward Burns writes what he knows (and loves) in TNT’s Public Morals

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To ask Edward Burns how long he has been working on his richly detailed new TNT drama Public Morals is a complex thing. After all, Burns is a proud Irish-American and native New Yorker, raised up on Long Island as the son of an NYPD cop and the great-grandson of a bona fide Hell’s Kitchen bruiser. Thus, the Catholic schoolboy turned respected actor/filmmaker has always had tales of Irish-American cops and criminals percolating in his mind — and spilling out into screenplays. And now he has 10 episodes, a stellar cast rich with the New York-bred talent he insisted upon … Continue reading

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