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Lorenzo Soria was named the president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) for the 2019-2020 term, it was announced today at the organization’s annual election meeting led by outgoing president Meher Tatna.

The term will commence on July 1. Soria will be joined by Ali Sar, Janet R. Nepales, Ruben V. Nepales, and Tatna who were elected as vice president, treasurer, executive secretary, and chairman of the board of directors, respectively.

“It’s a privilege to once again be elected to serve as president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association,” Soria said. “Together with my peers at the HFPA, I look forward to continuing our organization’s mission of recognizing the best in film and television, ushering in the next generation of storytellers, and staying true to our roots of giving back through our vast philanthropic efforts. I’ve never been prouder of our organization’s future and ready to get to work.”

Also Read: HFPA Re-Elects Meher Tatna as President

Soria was born in Argentina and moved to Milan, Italy at a young age. He later became a journalist for Italian newsweekly L’Espresso, and has been working for the national daily La Stampa since 1988. He joined the HFPA in 1989 and has served as the president of the organization twice — from 2003 to 2005 and then again from 2015 to 2017.

The past two years, he served as chairman of the board.

Also Read: Why the HFPA President Wore Red to #WhyWeWearBlack Golden Globes

The Board of Directors was also announced on Tuesday, which now includes Tatna, Luca Celada, Anke Hofmann, Yoram Kahana, Diederik van Hoogstraten and Tina Jøhnk Christensen. Barbara Gasser and Magnus Sundholm were named to the Credentials Committee.

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This weekend, a European phenomenon is back — though Americans may have to hunt for clips on YouTube or seek out a VPN and watch via another country’s home broadcaster.

The Eurovision Song Contest, a cross between “The X Factor” and the Miss Universe pageant that offers Yanks a glimpse of what it’s like to be in a culture that doesn’t have jazz and blues as the foundation of its pop music.

For those who’ve never seen — or even heard of Eurovision — before, here’s a quick primer to get you caught up.

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What exactly is this contest?
Eurovision began as an idea back in the mid-1950s as a way for Europe to come together after World War II had ripped it apart. It was a pretty revolutionary effort for its time. Television was still the Wild West of communications and the Olympics hadn’t yet become an international broadcasting event. Eurovision was one of the first major attempts to hold an event that people from a wide range of countries could watch. With that in mind, the organizers wanted each country to showcase a song that was indicative of their culture.

That sounds like a pretty noble goal.
Yes … but it was also very out of touch with what was happening with music at the time. Rock ‘n’ roll was beginning to take root and The Beatles would take the world by storm just a few years after Eurovision’s inception. This meant that Eurovision’s lineup of ballads and cultural pieces quickly felt antiquated compared to the rock revolution that was going on in the charts. And that was six decades ago … the entries would only get weirder from there.

How weird?
For starters, there was once a rule implemented on and off over the years stating that participants could only enter songs that were in their country’s main language. When that rule was in effect, some countries found a loophole: give the song a hook that involves complete gibberish. Songs with titles like “Boom Boom” and “Diggi-loo Diggi-ley” poured out while the home-language rule was in effect.

Then there are the artists themselves. As Eurovision has evolved, more and more ridiculous acts have come out of the woodwork. Finnish monster-rock bands, Russian grandmas and Latvian pirates are among the acts that have performed for a TV audience of hundreds of millions in recent Eurovisions. And that Finnish monster rock band actually won.

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Jeez! So is this just some musical freak show?
Well … let’s be fair. While there’s always been some silly novelty acts, there’s also some solid bits of Europop on hand every year from genuinely talented folks. Sweden won in 2012 with “Euphoria,” a soaring dance track by “Idol” contestant Loreen that went multi-platinum in her country after her victory.

There’s also a small handful of top stars on the winners’ list you might recognize. ABBA used Eurovision as a launch pad to stardom in 1974 with their song “Waterloo,” and French-Canadian Celine Dion’s win in 1988 was her biggest claim to fame before “Titanic” came out. Quality — or at least creativity — does tend to win out at Eurovision.

OK, so how does this contest work?
First, all the countries have a national contest where they vote on which song will represent at Eurovision. The participants are divided up into two semifinals, with the exception of the host nation and the “Big Five” countries — France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.K. — who automatically qualify for the final.  They are joined by the 10 countries that get the most votes in each semifinal. In the final, all 26 countries get three minutes to make a good impression, and then the whole continent votes “Idol”-style (not for their home country, of course), as do professional juries for each country.

Then the show transitions to a long procession of national “ambassadors” reading out who each country gave their votes to. The top 10 performers in each country’s vote get points, with 12 points going to the top vote-getter, followed by 10 and then eight down to one for the rest of the order. The same goes with the juries, but with 10 points going to the performer in first place.

And what does the performer with the most points win?
This trophy. Oh, and their country gets to host the competition next year.

What? No prize money? No contract? No vague promises of superstardom?
Nope. The winners do get their 15 minutes of fame and some success on the charts, but beyond ABBA and Celine, Eurovision winners almost never have long-term success. Again, Eurovision long ago moved away from the sort of music that leaves a lasting cultural impact.

Even now, a good chunk of the acts are homogenous power ballads that can blur together when performed in succession. Still, Eurovision is worth watching just for the spectacle of it all. The Disneyland-esque sweetness of the proceedings is charming, and the lack of stakes for the performers keeps it feeling light and fun rather than a battle for wealth, glory, and continental supremacy.

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It has also made headlines in recent years that have allowed it to take steps beyond the realm of annual oddities like the Running of the Bulls. The winner in 2014 was gay Austrian singer Thomas Neuwirth, who performed as drag queen superstar Conchita Wurst. The victory transformed Conchita into an LGBT icon in Europe, even as Russian conservatives raged in fury and used the singer as an example of why Russia shouldn’t be a part of the EU. For all of Eurovision’s platitudes about tolerance and peace, this was a moment where those ideals were actually acted upon, even if it meant breaking the general tone of inoffensiveness.

If it’s supposed to be European, why is Australia a competitor?
It turns out that Eurovision has a major cult following in Australia, and they were invited to compete several years ago as a thanks for all the support down under. The expansion of the European Union means countries like Azerbaijan and Israel get to compete too.

So…if all these countries that aren’t strictly European are competing, does this mean we may be seeing the USA compete in Eurovision soon?
Eh…don’t count on it.

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Woody Allen’s film “A Rainy Day in New York” has been picked up for distribution in multiple European, South American and Asian territories, according to the New York Times.

On Monday, TheWrap reported that Italian distributor Lucky Red acquired the film for release in Italy on Oct. 3. The Times notes that A Contracorriente Films will now also release “A Rainy Day in New York” the following day on Oct. 4 in Spain.

A spokesperson told the Times that Filmwelt/NFP will release the film in Germany and Austria, and Filmwelt/NFP’s managing director Christopher Ott said in an interview with a German newspaper that they would be among the distributors bringing the film to Europe, China, Japan, South Korea, Russia and South America.

Also Read: Amazon Fires Back at Woody Allen Over Breach of Contract Lawsuit

Italian news reports said on Monday said that “A Rainy Day in New York” was also likely to be shown in France, the Netherlands and Belgium.

Allen’s film was blocked for release in the U.S. after distributor Amazon Studios terminated its four-picture deal with the director after the resurfacing of old accusations that Allen inappropriately touched Dylan Farrow, his then-7-year-old daughter with ex-girlfriend Mia Farrow. (Investigators found no evidence of abuse and Allen has repeatedly denied the accusations.)

In February, Allen responded and filed a $68 million lawsuit against Amazon Studios, claiming breach of contract. In April, Amazon pushed back and said it was “justified” in terminating the contract.

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Allen had also announced plans to shoot another film with the backing of Barcelona-based financing conglomerate Mediapro, which previously helped fund “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” and “Midnight in Paris.”

“A Rainy Day in New York” stars Elle Fanning and Timothée Chalamet as two young people who arrive in New York and encounter rain and a series of unfortunate adventures. It also stars Rebecca Hall, Selena Gomez, Jude Law, Suki Waterhouse, Liev Schreiber and Diego Luna. Many of the stars of the film, including Chalamet and Hall, agreed to donate their salaries from the film to Time’s Up and LGBT charities.

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Incontinence is real and the stigma needs to stop people. Stunning Swiss blondie Michelle Hunziker is somehow forty-two-years-old, and yet if you told me that she was half that age, I wouldn’t bat an eye. And I wouldn’t be surrounded by my own feces. Anyway the MILFiest of MILFs and Italy television personality (she moved there […]

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Spyglass Media Group has made its first big creative hire, bringing in Lauren Whitney as president of television. She will begin April 1.

Spyglass Media Group is the joint venture between Gary Barber’s Spyglass and Lantern Entertainment. In July 2018, Lantern acquired the assets of The Weinstein Company out of bankruptcy for $289 million. It walked away with three unreleased films after haggling with filmmakers and producers over the rights to several of the projects, and a library of content.

In this role, Whitney is charged with overseeing television development and production for broadcast, cable and OTT services, and invigorating the company’s IP and library titles. She was most recently in the same role at Miramax. Prior to that, Whitney was the president of Scripted Television at Legendary Entertainment and was a TV agent at WME before that.

Also Read: Spyglass Media Group Hires Kristin Cotich as EVP of Worldwide Communications

Through the new venture, Spyglass will own and control all of Lantern Entertainment’s current assets, including a wealth of development projects and more than 250 film library titles, as well as scripted and unscripted television series. One such series, “Project Runway,” which will return home to Bravo for its 17th season when it premieres March 14.

“There is extraordinary opportunity for a well-capitalized, independent premium content company that controls IP, and can be agile and aggressive in its deal-making,” Whitney said. “Gary has an exceptional track record and an ambitious plan for the future of Spyglass. I am thrilled to be joining his team.”

The partnership, which includes Italy’s largest indie distributor Eagle Pictures and Cineworld Group — one of the world’s largest cinema chains — as strategic investors, creates an independent premium content company that comes with a majority investment from Lantern.

Also Read: Lantern Entertainment Partners With Gary Barber to Launch Spyglass Media Group

Headquartered in Century City, the company will be led by Barber, who will serve as chairman and CEO and oversee all operations.

“Lauren has discerning taste, stellar industry relationships, and has overseen production on a variety of compelling series across all platforms,” Barber added. “We are fortunate to have Lauren’s talents and creative leadership as we build on our television business.”

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“The Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman’s next apocalyptic tale is taking shape: Kirkman’s Skybound Entertainment and Entertainment One (eOne) have signed an agreement to produce “5 Year,” an international series chronicling the final five years before a fatal meteor ends the Earth.

Per the project’s official description: From an original idea from Robert Kirkman, “5 Year”s different series will focus on how people across the globe choose to live after learning the world will end in the next five years, as a meteor rushes towards Earth. Each year will play out as a season, and while each version will have its own unique characters and stories, they will all follow the same timeline. Each version of “5 Year” will be a localized story set in the markets’ actual location and produced in local languages.

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EOne and Skybound will co-produce the series, with eOne serving as financier and distributor. The new Skybound and eOne partnership includes previously-announced “5 Year” series set in Latin America — with producers Mixer and 360 Powwow — and in Korea — with streaming service Viki — and also covers installments of the series now in the works in Italy, Germany, Russia, China, the UK and more.

Kirkman, David Alpert, Bryan Furst, and Sean Furst will executive produce the project for Skybound.

“This is one of the most ambitious projects we’ve worked on, and also one of the most rewarding. Our work with all our partners around the globe continues to inspire our vision for this series and our commitment and passion for global storytelling. ‘5 Year’ is a fundamentally human story, meant to explore humanity’s capacity for good and evil in the face of the ultimate threat. eOne is a world class producer and distributor of television and they share our vision and ambition for this huge undertaking. We are very happy to have them as our partner,” said Bryan and Sean Furst in a joint statement.

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“We couldn’t possibly pass up the opportunity to work on a truly innovative project that blends multiple, local productions seamlessly into a story as it happens globally. Robert’s talent for creating content universes and connecting with audiences through bold storytelling makes this partnership most exciting for us and we are thrilled to join forces with him and the Skybound team to bring a multi-level story like the 5 Year universe to audiences around the world. In Skybound, we have found a partner that shares our drive to create future-facing content with worldwide appeal that challenges conventions and spark imaginations,” said Peter Micelli, eOne’s Chief Strategy Officer, Film & Television.

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Academy Award-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro has set up his lifelong passion project, a new adaptation of “Pinocchio” at Netflix, the company announced on Monday.

Del Toro is making his animated feature film directorial debut on the project which he will also write and produce as a stop-motion musical. “Pinocchio” will be del Toro’s first feature film since “The Shape of Water,” which won four Academy Awards, including Best Director and Best Picture.

Del Toro has set his retelling of “Pinocchio” in Italy during the 1930s.

This marks an expansion of Netflix’s existing relationship with Guillermo del Toro, who created their Emmy award-winning television series DreamWorks’ “Trollhunters,” the first installment of the DreamWorks’ “Tales of Arcadia” trilogy. The next chapter, “3Below,” is set to debut on December 21, 2018, followed by “Wizards” in 2019. He is also the creator of the upcoming Netflix series, “Guillermo del Toro Presents 10 After Midnight.”

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Pinocchio is a production of Guillermo del Toro, The Jim Henson Company (“The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance”), and ShadowMachine (“Bojack Horseman,” “The Shivering Truth”), which will house the stop-motion animation production.

Alongside del Toro, Lisa Henson, ShadowMachine’s Alex Bulkley, Corey Campodonico, and Gary Ungar of Exile Entertainment will produce. Blanca Lista will co-produce. Also alongside del Toro, Patrick McHale (“Over The Garden Wall,” “Adventure Time”) will co-write the script, Mark Gustafson (“Fantastic Mr. Fox”) will co-direct, and Guy Davis will serve as co-production designer, taking inspiration from Gris Grimly’s original design for the Pinocchio character. The film’s puppets will be built by Mackinnon and Saunders (“Corpse Bride”).

Netflix expects production on Pinocchio to begin this fall.

“No art form has influenced my life and my work more than animation and no single character in history has had as deep of a personal connection to me as Pinocchio,” said Del Toro in a statement to TheWrap. “In our story, Pinocchio is an innocent soul with an uncaring father who gets lost in a world he cannot comprehend. He embarks on an extraordinary journey that leaves him with a deep understanding of his father and the real world. I’ve wanted to make this movie for as long as I can remember. After the incredible experience we have had on ‘Trollhunters,’ I am grateful that the talented team at Netflix is giving me the opportunity of a lifetime to introduce audiences everywhere to my version of this strange puppet-turned-real-boy.”

“Throughout his distinguished career, Guillermo has exhibited mastery in inspiring people through his magical worlds filled with unforgettable and magnificent characters, from the monsters in Pan’s Labyrinth to the aquatic beast in The Shape of Water,” added Melissa Cobb, Vice President of Kids and Family at Netflix. “We are incredibly excited to expand our relationship with Guillermo and we know that his deeply touching vision for bringing Pinocchio to life on Netflix will be embraced by audiences the world over.”

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United Talent Agency (UTA) has set a joint venture with Valence Media and its independent studio division, Media Rights Capital (MRC), to develop, produce and finance premium television series and partner with the creative community’s top artists.

The new venture will be named Civic Center Media, of which UTA will have an undisclosed financial stake. The financial details of the transaction were also not disclosed. A search is currently underway for an executive to lead the new venture.

Valence Media and MRC’s film and TV roster includes “House of Cards,” “Ozark,” “Counterpart,” “Ted,” and “Baby Driver.”

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As part of the new venture, UTA will offer the agency’s clients access to significant resources for development and production. Through more streamlined overhead and processes, Civic Center Media will be able to offer more attractive terms — both financially and creatively — to partners who bring their content projects to the studio. In particular, clients will benefit on the back end, where they stand to make the most money if their content is well-received by audiences.

“We’ve enjoyed a terrific relationship with UTA for more than 15 years,” said Modi Wiczyk and Asif Satchu, co-CEOs of Valence Media. “UTA sees the opportunities both within and beyond the traditional studio system and prioritizes new business models that protect and advance artists. Even more, they have always had deep passion and an uncanny eye for identifying gifted talent and groundbreaking creators. We’re excited to build this venture with them.”

The arrangement is non-exclusive for both UTA and MRC, and Civic Center Media will seek to develop projects with artists represented by all talent agencies. Additionally, UTA will continue to work with all studios and MRC will continue to develop and acquire projects from all agencies.

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Upcoming MRC series and films include “The Great,” “Mortal Engines,” “Knives Out.”

“As we looked at the landscape of potential partners and content models, our priority was to work with a studio that puts artists and creators first,” said UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer. “MRC shares our ‘artist first’ mentality and our belief that the time has come for a new business model that offers more creative control and ownership opportunities to artists. They have one of the best track records in our industry and will bring superb infrastructure and resources to the projects we create. As new distribution platforms fundamentally change the economics of our business and tilt the balance of power towards creators, there is no better partner for us and our clients.”

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Paramount Television has signed a first-look TV deal with George Clooney and Grant Heslov’s Smokehouse Pictures, the studio announced on Monday.

The two-year agreement covers all episodic television and digital projects from Smokehouse, excluding features.

Smokehouse and Paramount, along with Anonymous Content, are currently in post-production on Hulu’s “Catch-22” adaptation starring Clooney, “Girls” alum Christopher Abbott, Kyle Chandler and Hugh Laurie.

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“We are thrilled to expand our relationship with Smokehouse. Our experience with them on ‘Catch-22’ has been an absolute joy,” said Paramount Television president Nicole Clemens in a statement. “They are first-class filmmakers and producers with a nose for unique stories with deep thematic resonance. We look forward to this new partnership together.”

“We couldn’t be more excited to be working with Paramount TV. Nicole and her team are great partners and our experience on ‘Catch-22’ has been nothing but terrific,” added Clooney and Heslov in a joint statement.

In addition to “Catch-22,” Smokehouse is also producing “On Becoming a God in Central Florida” with Sony’s TriStar Television for YouTube Premium. The hourlong dark comedy starring Kirsten Dunst is set to debut in 2019.

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A wedding was on the menu for Katie Lee on Saturday.

The Food Network star, 36, and television producer Ryan Biegel got married, PEOPLE can exclusively report, in a ceremony attended by family and friends and filled with emotion.

It’s the second marriage for Lee, who was previously married to music star Billy Joel from 2004-2010.

Days before their big day, Lee and Beigel were in Capri, Italy — where they soaked up the final days of summer (and swam on a pizza float, of course).

Swoon. #Italy

A post shared by Ryan Biegel (@ryanbiegel) on Aug 28, 2018 at 1:26pm PDT


Mambo Italiano #Italy

A post shared by Ryan Biegel (@ryanbiegel) on Aug 26, 2018 at 1:37pm PDT


Yes, we came to Italy and bought a float. #nerds #tourist #nocarbleftbehind

A post shared by Katie Lee (@katieleekitchen) on Aug 26, 2018 at 1:30pm PDT


Lee and Biegel announced their engagement back in March. He had popped the question while she was vacation in Paris.

“It was very romantic,” Lee — who co-hosts The Kitchen on the network as well as Katie Lee Eats Meats, in Sweats — told PEOPLE earlier this month. “We were going out to dinner to one of my favorite restaurants, and I thought that it was coming. We’re on the trip, like I kind of thought, ‘Listen we’re in Paris and we’re taking the Orient Express to Venice. If he doesn’t propose on this trip, he’ll really miss a great opportunity.’”

And just as she predicted, on their second night staying at La Reserve Hotel, Biegel took advantage of the perfect setting and popped the question. After she said “yes,” they went to dinner and “gorged” on chicken and duck fat potatoes.

Took several attempts to get one good photo with @ryanbiegel #hamptons #endlesssummer

A post shared by Katie Lee (@katieleekitchen) on Jun 24, 2018 at 5:42pm PDT


I said yes

A post shared by Katie Lee (@katieleekitchen) on Mar 22, 2018 at 2:53pm PDT


Food has been at the center of her relationship with Biegel from the beginning. “That’s really what brought us together and that’s what we enjoy the most,” said Lee. “I think just going through life with somebody who I share a similar idea of how we want to live, you know? We really have fun together and aside from all the love stuff, we really like each other.”

“We like to do the same things,” she added. “Last night we went out on a date to a place called Din Tai Fung, a dumpling house, and ate a ton of dumplings. That’s the type of thing we like to do together. We’ll read about somewhere, and then we’ll go and we’ll pig out, and we’ll have a lot of fun.”

And though she kept wedding plans a secret at the time, Lee did promise the big day would include one thing for sure: “You can plan on there being a lot of good food and wine,” she said. | 9/2/18

The Coen Brothers turned their anthology TV series into an anthology feature film, so it’s only natural that this forced-binge experience will be premiering on Netflix.

And while the Coens claim in the press notes for “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” that they were inspired by “those films made in Italy in the ’60s which set side-by-side the work of different directors on a common theme,” they were apparently so inspired that they made an anthology movie as wildly uneven as the ones they’re aping. (The 1968 “Spirits of the Dead” gave us Fellini’s sublime “Toby Dammit,” yes, but no one ever talks about Roger Vadim’s silly contribution “Metzengerstein.”)

None of the Coens’ tales of the Old West is an outright dud, but the movie never matches the eponymous opening sequence, starring Tim Blake Nelson as a white-hatted singing cowboy with a tune in his heart, a kind word for everyone he meets, and an exceedingly itchy trigger finger. It’s like the collaboration Gene Autry and Sam Peckinpah never made, and it captures the Coens at their best: self-reflexive, absurdist, witty and outrageous.

See Photos: Hollywood Filmmaker Brothers, From the Russos to the Weinsteins

The rest of the film struggles to match this opening bit’s delightful energy, but there are delights to be discovered along the way: James Franco’s would-be bank robber cheats death, only to have death cheat back; a traveling theatrical producer (Liam Neeson) reaches a crossroads with his unusual but talented orator (Harry Melling, “The Lost City of Z”); a grizzled prospector (Tom Waits, who can do “grizzled” with one hand tied behind his back) makes a discovery and must protect it; an unmarried pioneer woman (Zoe Kazan) tentatively explores romance with the wagonmaster (Bill Heck, “Pit Stop”) on her way to Oregon; a quintet of passengers (including Brendan Gleeson, Tyne Daly and Saul Rubinek) take a stagecoach to an uncertain destination.

The fact that these vignettes were originally conceived as discrete TV episodes comes through pretty clearly, as there don’t seem to be many unifying themes or ideas at play, except maybe for a running gag that randomly inserts a French person into almost every story for no apparent reason. Some of them make the case that the American West was settled almost entirely by rogues, thieves and murderers, while others contradict that notion.

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The change in perspective does allow the Coens to explore different facets of their own interests in Westerns as a genre; the wagon-train sequence calls to mind John Ford, while the James Franco tale (mainly a shaggy-dog story that builds to a nifty punchline) has more of the spiky humor of Sergio Leone. And they’ve perhaps never leaned into the grandeur of nature as they do with the prospector story, laden with big sky and tall trees and rushing rivers.

The Coens and casting director Ellen Chenoweth (“Suburbicon”) skillfully blend familiar faces with relatively new ones. Among the names to remember here are Melling (giving a great performance as a performer, and you’d never guess he used to play Dudley Dursley in the “Harry Potter” movies) and Heck, as well as Irish actor Jonjo O’Neill (“On Chesil Beach”), who plays Gleeson’s business partner; he’s got a skill for that specific brand of Coen acting — almost but not quite overdoing it, invisible pivots from comedy to menace — that suggest they’ll be using him again soon.

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Not that the marquee names aren’t terrific as well. Daly and Rubinek (and Chelcie Ross, as an eccentric old trapper) have a hilarious anti-chemistry, made all the more amusing by the close quarters of the stagecoach. And Kazan has perhaps never been better, playing a woman unafraid to venture deeper into the untamed West because she reckons it can’t be any worse than what she’s leaving behind.

“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” will be, at best, a charming footnote in the Coens’ career, a project they enjoyed doing, and possibly even more enjoyed turning into a film so they can keep their résumé free of episodic television. As Netflix binges go, it’s a pretty good one, but be ready to love some episodes more than others.

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Asia Argento has been let go from “X Factor Italy,” according to the Australian AP. The actress will not appear on the current season’s upcoming live shows after a report last week said Argento paid $380,000 to a 17-year-old boy she is accused of having a sexual encounter with in 2013.

A week ago, producers of the singing competition said the following in a statement. Readers will have to forgive some of the Italian-to-English translation.

Sky Italia and FremantleMedia Italia have read today with great attention and in astonishment the news regarding Asia Argento published by the New York Times.

It should be made clear that Sky Italia and Fremantle did not pick Asia Argento as a judge of X Factor Italy for her commitment to the #Metoo campaign, nor for her personal stances, but rather – as it has always been the case when it came to choose the judges of X Factor Italy – for her musical skills and ability to manage a television role in a show like this.

Skills and abilities widely proven during the show auditions, recorded in recent weeks, as the large audience attending them could easily confirm.

That said, we want to be very clear: if the allegations reported by the New York Times today were to be confirmed, the issue would be absolutely inconsistent with Sky’s ethical principles and values and therefore – in full agreement with FremantleMedia – we would have no choice but to take note of it and put an end to the collaboration with Asia Argento.

Argento’s reps and “X Factor Italia” producers did not immediately respond to TheWrap‘s requests for comment on the firing.

Also Read: Asia Argento's Accuser, Jimmy Bennett, Speaks Out: 'I Choose to Move Forward, No Longer in Silence'

Last Sunday, the New York Times reported that Argento, who was one of the first to publicly accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, secretly paid a settlement to a young male actor who accused her of sexual assault.

According to documents obtained by the Times, Argento arranged to pay the settlement last November to Jimmy Bennett, a now-22-year-old actor-musician who played Argento’s son in the 2004 film “The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things.”

The documents indicate that Bennett met Argento in a California hotel room in May 2013 — two months after his 17th birthday — where he said she sexually assaulted him. Bennett’s lawyer, Gordon K. Sattro, had sent Argento an intent to sue her for $3.5 million in damages for the infliction of emotional distress, lost wages, assault and battery.

Argento has denied the accusation.

Also Read: Fellow Weinstein Accuser Lysette Anthony Speaks Out in Defense of Asia Argento

Bennett spoke out last Wednesday.

“I did not initially speak out about my story because I chose to handle it in private with the person who wronged me,” he said in a statement of his own. “My trauma resurfaced as she came out as a victim herself. I have not made a public statement in the past days and hours because I was ashamed and afraid to be part of the public narrative.”

Bennett added, “I was underage when the event took place, and I tried to seek justice in a way that made sense to me at the time because I was not ready to deal with the ramifications of my story becoming public. At the time I believed there was still a stigma to being in the situation as a male in our society. I didn’t think that people would understand the event that took place from the eyes of a teenage boy. I have had to overcome many adversities in my life, and this is another that I will deal with, in time. I would like to move past this event in my life, and today I choose to move forward, no longer in silence.”

The new “X Factor Italy” season is scheduled to kick off Sept. 6 on Sky Uno.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Mira Sorvino 'Heartsick' Over Asia Argento Allegations: 'Hoping It Is Not True'

Asia Argento Scandal: 5 Things We Still Need to Know

Alyssa Milano on Asia Argento Accusations: 'Stop Trying to Undermine the #MeToo Movement' (Guest Blog) | 8/27/18

Please give a warm welcome to celebrity blogger Louise Roe!

The English television star and style expert married Mackenzie Hunkin in October 2016, at Eton College Chapel in her native England.

Roe, 36, and Hunkin welcomed their first child, daughter Honor Florence Crosby, on Jan. 11, giving PEOPLE an exclusive peek at her baby girl’s English-inspired nursery shortly after her birth.

You can following along with the new mom’s adventures in all things style and parenting on her blog at, and on Instagram and Twitter @louiseroe.

Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Parents newsletter.

My favorite people Happy Sunday!

A post shared by Louise Roe (@louiseroe) on Aug 19, 2018 at 7:41am PDT


RELATED GALLERY: Inside New Mom Louise Roe’s English Country-Inspired L.A. Home

I’ve talked a bit about this subject on the blog before, but today I wanted to have an honest conversation with you guys about something that has become very personal to me in recent months: the idea of “maternity leave,” and defining what it means in 2018.

Before I go into what I went through myself, I did a little digging on the history of maternity leave. You might be shocked by the results. First off, less than 50 years ago, there was no such thing as maternity leave. And until the 1940s, women working in the civil service in the U.K. had to retire when they married. And even as more women entered the workforce, provisions for maternity leave (which protected them from being fired when they became pregnant) weren’t introduced until the ’70s in many European countries.

What’s worse, laws demanding a minimum of 12 weeks unpaid leave weren’t introduced in the U.S. until as late as 1993. 1993?! The point is — the act of balancing work and family life has been a large issue for working women over the last half century or so.

Sharing some extremely special moments from Honor’s Christening this weekend. Thank you to all her friends and family who traveled so far and love her so much I was Christened in the same little chapel, and her beautiful gown was an antique found by her Godmummy. Swipe left to see the incredible cakes Mackenzie’s mum baked herself!

A post shared by Louise Roe (@louiseroe) on Jul 25, 2018 at 11:20pm PDT


RELATED: Co-Workers Gifting New Moms PTO to Help Extend Short Maternity Leaves — and People Have Opinions

After having Honor, it really hit home that the notion of maternity leave isn’t the same for everyone — in fact, for many, it doesn’t exist at all. With my own story, it’s a bit of a toss-up. On the one hand, I am extremely lucky — Mackenzie and I mostly get to plan and arrange our own schedule, work from home a lot and therefore see a lot of Honor. But on the flip side, I was back shooting and writing just days after the birth, and I returned to filming an 11-hour day on my feet, when she was just 6 weeks old.

It was my first time back on the red carpet — the Oscars. No pressure there, then! There was a lot more prep and pressure than usual, trying to do research while my brain was still fuzzy and on very little sleep, finding a dress to flatter a newly postpartum middle, pumping enough for Honor in the bathroom just minutes before going out onto the carpet and praying that the boob pads inside my gown didn’t leak or fall out (which they nearly did!) during filming. And on top of that, I felt so guilty leaving her so soon.

First Father’s Day & I’m off to the polo with the wife for a date @louiseroe

A post shared by Mackenzie Hunkin (@mackenziehunkin) on Jun 17, 2018 at 4:06am PDT


RELATED VIDEO: Khloé Kardashian Admits She’s “Very Anxious” About Leaving Baby True to Return to Work

I had a similar experience leaving for a 48-hour work trip to Italy when she was 3 months. Even though my mother-in-law came to L.A. to help me and it was such a short trip, I felt incredibly guilty again and had to deal with crazy new experiences — like pumping regularly in the loo of an airplane and trying to sterilize 12 pieces of pumping equipment every three hours around the clock, in a 15th-century hotel room in Verona! Sounds more romantic than it was, trust me! This all made me realize that most of my friends in L.A. are self employed or freelance, and therefore have no traditional “maternity leave” either. So while we have more flexibility in our schedules, it’s often even harder to balance and juggle everything because work never stops.

We are not the only ones. Between 2008 and 2011, 80 percent of people entering self-employment were female, according to official figures. Not only are you bewildered and exhausted, as all new parents are, you feel extra guilty wondering if it’s too early to go back.

Unlike having traditional paid leave, as a freelancer, when you don’t work, you don’t get paid. But even for women who work at traditional companies, not all states are required to provide paid leave — so mothers are often faced with the decision of how much time to take off, balanced with their financial restrictions. Overall, it’s a lot of mixed emotions and hard decisions to make.

Happy Mother’s Day! I want to dedicate this post to one of my dearest friends, who became a Mummy to premature surrogate twins this year, only to tragically lose them a few hours later, as she held them in her arms. My friend had been through years of trying for a baby through IVF, and finally – after years of hope and patience – we all felt her and her husband’s dream of becoming parents was about to come true. That heart-breaking day also happened to be the date Honor was born, so the poignancy was all the sharper. I still remember the moment I learned the news. My own mum was with me, and we wept silently, hugging. I fully expected my friend to avoid Mackenzie and I for a while, to deal with her grief. Surely being around a newborn would just be too much. But testament to her angelic, brave character, she asked to come over. I’ll never forget the warmth and love in her eyes as she held Honor tight. She said she was full of hope. She said that the twins would be watching over, helping and guiding them on their continued journey to have a baby. You’d think that would be enough to focus on, but no. Instead, this wonderful couple decided to set up @pompomsandstardust , a charity not only raising money to help other people have surrogate children, but one that offers crucial (and lacking) advice and support to the ‘IP’s’ (intended parents), along their journey. If you or your loved ones have been through a difficult time conceiving, my heart goes out to you- I wish you strength, perseverance- and please feel free to share your story below. The charity website will be up soon with more information, but for now follow @pompomsandstardust

A post shared by Louise Roe (@louiseroe) on May 13, 2018 at 8:22am PDT


RELATED: Louise Roe Shows Off Daughter Honor’s “Elegant” Nursery Inspired by the English Countryside

It’s important that women know their local laws surrounding maternity leave, and even their individual company policies and benefits, so that they are able to properly communicate with their employers and know what to expect. In the U.S., there is a federal law mandating 12 weeks of unpaid leave, though not all companies provide paid leave at all. In other countries, women are entitled to much longer paid leave, ranging from 14 weeks to a year in some places like Denmark, Finland and Sweden. In England, you get six months paid leave and the option to extend to another six months unpaid, where they keep your job open.

While “maternity leave” may not mean the same thing for everyone, balancing going back to work with family life is always a juggle no matter where you work or what you do. There are practical things every mother can do to ease the transition back to work a little. Wear breast pads if you’re breastfeeding to keep from leaking, and speak to your boss about having a private place to pump (many big companies like Amazon and Facebook even have special lactation rooms for female employees, while places like airports are shockingly bad).

You may also need to communicate to them ahead of time that you will be needing certain breaks to pump throughout the day (the law requires that they allow these breaks to you, but many women — and even employers — may not be aware of these rights!). It’s also worth checking to see if your employer has childcare available. Large firms here in L.A. such as NBC Universal have nurseries for employees’ babies. See if you can negotiate a shorter week and do not be shy, embarrassed or feel guilty about making it known you will be leaving on time. There are so many company cultures in which employees feel that they can’t leave until the boss does, or feel competitive around “staying late.” This is nearly impossible as a mum and is not acceptable to be pressured into!

I have never felt more grateful or happy than I do right this very moment (& that’s not just my glass of rosé at lunch talking !) HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my partner in crime @mackenziehunkin you’re a ledge

A post shared by Louise Roe (@louiseroe) on Apr 25, 2018 at 3:48pm PDT


RELATED: Louise Roe and Husband Mackenzie Hunkin Welcome Daughter Honor Florence Crosby

Frequent traveler? With a doctor’s letter, you can freeze your air miles during pregnancy and some of your maternity leave, and you can even get a household account so that your baby can be added once they are ready to come along.

Most importantly, be kind to yourself. Expect to have the odd meltdown. It truly is impossible to do it all (if you need a good laugh about the idea of women “having it all” — literally, having all the responsibilities in the word — read this New Yorker article). Emotions (not to mention hormones) run high, and it’s easy to feel at times like you’re always letting someone down.

Ask for help (Granny?!), call your best friend to unload — even better if she’s a mum who has been through it), accept the fact you might have to spend a few weekends catching up on sleep instead of having fun and keep a bottle of wine open in the fridge at ALL TIMES. Use apps like Peanut or The Bump to get support from other mums, ask questions and share advice. | 8/23/18

U.S. Rep. Duncan D. Hunter and his wife, Margaret E. Hunter, were indicted on charges accusing them of siphoning more than $250,000 in campaign money toward personal expenses that included a trip to “Riverdance,” then lying about it in campaign finance records.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego said in a release Tuesday that the “Riverdance” tickets were among expenses the couple mislabeled in order to hide their use of campaign money. They are accused of conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States, wire fraud, falsification of records, prohibited use of campaign contributions and aiding and abetting, prosecutors said.

A spokesman for Duncan did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday. Duncan is a Republican from Alpine, near San Diego, who has served the 50th District since 2013. He faces a challenge in November from Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar.

Also Read: Paul Manafort Found Guilty on 8 Counts in Fraud Trial

“A 48-page indictment details scores of instances beginning in 2009 and continuing through 2016 in which the Hunters illegally used campaign money to pay for personal expenses that they could not otherwise afford,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office wrote. “The purchases included family vacations to Italy, Hawaii, Phoenix, Arizona, and Boise, Idaho; school tuition; dental work; theater tickets; and domestic and international travel for almost a dozen relatives. The Hunters also spent tens of thousands of dollars on smaller purchases, including fast food, movie tickets, golf outings, video games, coffee, groceries, home utilities, and expensive meals.”

The indictment accuses them of mislabeling Federal Election Commission filings as “campaign travel,” “dinner with volunteers/contributors,” “toy drives,” “teacher/parent and supporter events,” “gift cards” for charitable donations, and “gift basket items,” among other descriptions. They are accused of paying family dental bills by saying the money went to a charity called “Smiles for Life,” for example.

Prosecutors said they described tickets to see “Riverdance” at the San Diego Civic Theater as “San Diego Civic Center for Republican Women Federated/Fundraising.”

Also Read: Kathy Griffin Dances Topless to Celebrate Paul Manafort Verdict (Video)

“The indictment alleges that Congressman Hunter and his wife repeatedly dipped into campaign coffers as if they were personal bank accounts, and falsified FEC campaign finance reports to cover their tracks,” said U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman. “Elected representatives should jealously guard the public’s trust, not abuse their positions for personal gain.  Today’s indictment is a reminder that no one is above the law.”

Notably, the indictment included a shout-out to the local newspaper, the San Diego Union-Tribune, for raising questions about campaign spending: “The criminal investigation began in June 2016, two months after the Federal Election Commission and the San Diego Union-Tribune questioned some of Hunter’s campaign expenses as potentially personal.”

The Civic Theater’s presentation of “Riverdance” in January 2016 received this respectful review from the San Diego Story: “If you dig deep you might find a vague narrative about the life of a river and replenishing, but forget all that lofty stuff. The best part of ‘Riverdance’ is the step dancing that sounds like an army or a few dozen drums played at one time. … This one grows long if you’re sound sensitive.”

The Hunters are scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday. | 8/22/18

The producers of “X-Factor Italy” said Monday that if accusations of sexual misconduct against Asia Argento “were to be confirmed,” the show would “put an end to the collaboration” with the Italian actor-director.

“It should be made clear that Sky Italia and Fremantle did not pick Asia Argento as a judge of X Factor Italy for her commitment to the #Metoo campaign, nor for her personal stances, but rather,” Sky and FremantleMedia Italy said Monday in a statement provided to TheWrap, “for her musical skills and ability to manage a television role in a show like this.”

But, the statement continued, “if the allegations reported by the New York Times today were to be confirmed… we would have no choice but to take note of it and put an end to the collaboration with Asia Argento.”

Also Read: Asia Argento Paid $380,000 to an Underage Sexual Assault Accuser (Report)

The New York Time reported Sunday that Argento, who was one of the first to publicly accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, secretly paid a settlement to a young male actor who accused her of sexual assault.

According to documents obtained by the Times, Argento arranged to pay the settlement last November to Jimmy Bennett, a now-24-year-old actor-musician who played Argento’s son in the 2004 film “The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things.”

Also Read: Rose McGowan Distances Herself From Asia Argento After Sexual Assault Accusation

The documents indicate that Bennett met Argento in a California hotel room in May 2013 — two months after his 17th birthday — where he said she sexually assaulted him. Bennett’s lawyer, Gordon K. Sattro, had sent Argento an intent to sue her for $3.5 million in damages for the infliction of emotional distress, lost wages, assault and battery.

The new “X Factor Italy” season is scheduled to kick off Sept. 6 on Sky Uno.

Read the full statement below:

It should be made clear that Sky Italia and Fremantle did not pick Asia Argento as a judge of X Factor Italy for her commitment to the #Metoo campaign, nor for her personal stances, but rather – as it has always been the case when it came to choose the judges of X Factor Italy – for her musical skills and ability to manage a television role in a show like this, skills and abilities widely proven during the show auditions, recorded in recent weeks, as the large audience attending them could easily confirm

That said, we want to be very clear: if the allegations reported by the New York Times today were to be confirmed, the issue would be absolutely inconsistent with Sky’s ethical principles and values and therefore – in full agreement with FremantleMedia – we would have no choice but to take note of it and put an end to the collaboration with Asia Argento.

Related stories from TheWrap:

#MeToo Founder Tarana Burke Weighs in After Asia Argento Report: 'There Is No Model Survivor'

#MeToo Silence Breakers Sign Statement of Support for Asia Argento After Anthony Bourdain's Death

Don't Blame Asia Argento for Anthony Bourdain's Suicide, Rose McGowan Says: 'His Depression Won' | 8/20/18
Boris Johnson continues to dominate many of the papers, as he returns home from his holiday in Italy. | 8/12/18

FX is heading back to “Fargo” for Season 4, and showrunner Noah Hawley is bringing Chris Rock with him to star when production commences next year.

In 1950, at the end of two great American migrations — that of Southern Europeans from countries like Italy, who came to the U.S. at the turn of the last century and settled in northern cities like New York, Chicago — and African Americans who left the south in great numbers to escape Jim Crow and moved to those same cities — you saw a collision of outsiders, all fighting for a piece of the American dream. In Kansas City, Missouri, two criminal syndicates have struck an uneasy peace, per FX’s description. One Italian, one African American. Together they control an alternate economy — that of exploitation, graft and drugs. This too is the history of America. To cement their peace, the heads of both families have traded their eldest sons.

Rock plays the head of one family, a man who — in order to prosper — has surrendered his oldest boy to his enemy, and who must, in turn, raise his son’s enemy as his own, the cable channel said. It’s an uneasy peace, but profitable. And then the head of the Kansas City mafia goes into the hospital for routine surgery and dies. And everything changes. It’s a story of immigration and assimilation and the things we do for money. And as always, a story of basically decent people who are probably in over their heads. You know, “Fargo.”

Also Read: Noah Hawley Presses Pause on 'Fargo' Season 4 Premiere Date: 2019 Is a 'Long Shot'

Noah Hawley will showrun, write, executive produce and direct. Joel & Ethan Coen, Warren Littlefield and John Cameron are legacy executive producers. “Fargo” is produced by MGM Television and FX Productions, with MGM Television serving as the lead studio and international distributor.

“I’m a fan of ‘Fargo’ and I can’t wait to work with Noah,” Rock, who will return to FX after executive producing “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell,” said in a statement.

Rock recently wrapped his international Total Blackout stand-up tour.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Michelle Williams, Sam Rockwell to Star in Lin-Manuel Miranda's FX Limited Series 'Fosse/Verdon'

'Pose' Producer Janet Mock Talks Groundbreaking FX Drama, Looks Ahead to Season 2

Amber Tamblyn Joins FX's 'Y: The Last Man' Pilot | 8/3/18

How does it feel to be the one to tell Beyoncé “no”?

Beyoncé and Jay-Z reportedly put in a request to film at Rome’s ancient landmark the Colosseum, but were denied because someone else already had the amphitheater booked.

According to the Italian newspaper Il Messaggero, Bey and Jay-Z requested to film inside The Colosseum between July 7 and 8 (which would’ve coincided with when they were in Rome for their On the Run II tour), but were turned down by Italy’s Ministry of Cultural Heritage. Italian scientist Alberto Angela previously had the space booked, and Beyoncé’s request was considered too short of notice because The Colosseum is a “very complicated place” to film inside.

Also Read: Why Beyonce and Jay-Z Were Allowed to Film 'Apes-' Music Video at the Louvre

It isn’t clear what Beyoncé had planned, but she and Jay-Z recently released the music video for their single “Apes–t,” which they filmed inside another European landmark, Paris’s The Louvre museum, suggesting this could’ve been a follow-up video off their joint album “Everything is Love.”

But if you’re worried that now you’ll never get a chance to see Beyoncé battling in a full gladiator get-up, just know that she previously filmed a Pepsi commercial inside The Colosseum along with Britney Spears and Pink.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z will start the North American leg of their tour in Cleveland on July 25.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Why Beyonce and Jay-Z Were Allowed to Film 'Apes–' Music Video at the Louvre

Beyonce and Jay-Z Announce 'Everything Is Love,' Tidal-Exclusive Joint Album

Tiffany Haddish Finally Says Who Bit Beyonce | 7/19/18