Miniseries

A miniseries (or mini-series) is a television program that tells a story in a predetermined, limited number of episodes. The term "serial" is used in the United Kingdom and in other Commonwealth nations, though its meaning does not necessary equate to "miniseries" in its usage.

History

A miniseries is distinguished from an ongoing television series; the latter do not usually have a predetermined number of episodes and may continue for several years. Before the term was coined in the USA in the early 1970s, the ongoing episodic form was always called a "serial", just as a novel appearing in episodes in successive editions of magazines or newspapers is called a serial. In Britain, miniseries are often still referred to as serials.

Several commentators have offered more precise definitions of the term. In Halliwell's Television Companion, Leslie Halliwell and Philip Purser argue that miniseries tend to "appear in four to six episodes of various lengths",[1][2] while Stuart Cunningham in Textual Innovation in the Australian Historical Mini-series defines a miniseries as, "a limited run program of more than two and less than the 13-part season or half season block associated with serial or series programming."[1][3] Still, with the proliferation of the format in the 1980s and 90s, television films broadcast over even two or three nights were commonly referred to as miniseries.[4][5]

In Television: A History, Francis Wheen states:

Both soap operas and primetime series cannot afford to allow their leading characters to develop, since the shows are made with the intention of running indefinitely. In a miniseries on the other hand, there is a clearly defined beginning, middle, and end (as in a conventional play or novel), enabling characters to change, mature, or die as the serial proceeds.[1][6]

United Kingdom

The British television serial is rooted in dramatic radio productions developed between the First and the Second World Wars. In the 1920s the BBC pioneered dramatic readings of books. In 1925 it broadcast A Christmas Carol, which has become a holiday favourite. Later, John Reith, wanting to use radio waves to "part the clouds of ignorance"[7], came up with the idea of a classic serial, based on a "classical" literary text.

In 1939 the BBC adapted the romantic novel The Prisoner of Zenda for radio broadcast. Its adapter, Jack Inglis, summed up his approach as follows: "The story is simple, with clear cut characters, and falls easily into episodes. It always seems to me, that it is the first duty of an adapter to reproduce in another medium the original flavour and atmosphere of the book". Inglis compressed several characters into one and simplified the plotline. The production struck a chord with listeners and served as a prototype for serials that followed it.

Post-war BBC television picked up the classic radio serial tradition by broadcasting The Warden by Anthony Trollope over six-episodes in 1951. Pride and Prejudice was serialised in 1952, Jane Eyre in 1955. In 1953 the BBC broadcast the first serial written specifically for television: the six-part The Quatermass Experiment. Its success paved the way for two more six-part serials: Quatermass II in 1955 and Quatermass and the Pit in 1958. Early television technology considerably influenced the quality of the broadcast product: almost all productions were broadcast live from a small studio, with inserts shot on 35mm film at the beginning and end of episodes. After the invention of videotape the production could be recorded for re-runs. In November 1960 the BBC televised a thirteen-episode adaptation of Charles Dickens's Barnaby Rudge. In December of that year it broadcast a four-episode dramatization of Jane Austen’s Persuasion.[8]

To compete with commercial television, BBC launched BBC-2 in 1964. It had a new time slot allocated for classic serial adaptations on Saturday evenings. The late-night broadcast allowed for more risky and sophisticated choices and for longer episodes. In 1967 The Forsyte Saga was broadcast in 26 50-minute episodes. Following its success in Britain, the series was shown in the United States on public television and broadcast all over the world, and became the first BBC television series to be sold to the Soviet Union.[9][10]

North America

Anthology series dominated American dramatic programming during the Golden Age of Television, when "every night was opening night; one never knew when a flick of the knob would spark the birth of great theatrical literature".[11] A different story and a different set of characters were presented in each episode. Very rarely the stories were split into several episodes, like 1955 Mr. Lincoln from Omnibus series, which was presented in two parts, or 1959 adaptation of For Whom the Bell Tolls[12][13] from Playhouse 90 series, which was initially planned by the director John Frankenheimer to consist of three parts, but ultimately was broadcast as two 90-minute installments.[14][15] The high cost and technical difficulties of staging a new play every week, which would cost as much as—or more than—an episode of a filmed television series, led to the demise of anthology programming by the end of the 1950s.[16] The void was filled with less expensive series like Gunsmoke or Wagon Train, which featured the same characters every week and had higher potential for lucrative rebroadcast and syndication rights. It was the American success in 1969–1970 of the British 26-episode serial The Forsyte Saga (1967) that made TV executives realize that finite multi-episode stories based on novels could be popular and could provide a boost to weekly viewing figures.[1][6]

The form began in the earnest in the spring of 1974 with the CBC's eight-part serial The National Dream, based on Pierre Berton's novel, and ABC's three-part QB VII, based on the novel by Leon Uris. Following these initial forays, broadcasters used miniseries to bring other books to the screen. Rich Man, Poor Man, based on the novel by Irwin Shaw, was broadcast in 12 one-hour episodes in 1976 by ABC. Alex Haley's Roots in 1977 can fairly be called the first blockbuster success of the format. Its success in the USA was partly due to its schedule: the 12-hour duration was split into eight episodes broadcast on consecutive nights, resulting in a finale with a 71 percent share of the audience and 130 million viewers, which at the time was the highest rated TV program of all time. TV Guide (April 11–17, 1987) called 1977's Jesus of Nazareth "the best miniseries of all time" and "unparalleled television". North and South, the 1985 adaptation of a 1982 novel by John Jakes, remains one of the 10 highest rated miniseries in TV history.[17][18][19] In 1988 War and Remembrance won for best miniseries, special effects and single-camera production editing, and was considered by some critics the ultimate epic miniseries on the American television.[20]

The format started to decline in the 1990s on the Big Three television networks, when the Emmy Award was taken three times by the British police procedural drama Prime Suspect. A highlight of the decade was an HBO production From the Earth to the Moon, telling the story of the landmark Apollo expeditions to the Moon during the 1960s and early 1970s.

In the 21st century the format made a comeback on cable television and became popular on streaming services. History, for example, has had some of its greatest successes with miniseries such as America: The Story of Us, Hatfields & McCoys and The Bible, Political Animals by USA Network was honored with a Critics' Choice Television Award for Most Exciting New Series award, while HBO's Big Little Lies won eight Emmy awards.[21]

To designate one-season shows that are not intended for being renewed for additional seasons, the broadcast and television industry came up with terms like "limited series" or "event series". These terms also apply to multi-season shows which feature rotating casts and storylines each season, such as American Horror Story, Fargo and True Detective. This makes the self-contained season longer than a miniseries, but shorter than the entire run of the multi-season series. This terminology became relevant for the purpose of categorization of programs for industry awards.[22]

Several television executives interviewed by The Hollywood Reporter stated that the term "miniseries" has negative connotations to the public, having become associated with melodrama-heavy works that were commonly produced under the format, while "limited series" or "event series" demand higher respect.[23]

Japan

Japanese serialized television production can be traced back to the Sunday Diary of My Home (Waga Ya no Nichiyo Nikki), which was aired by NTV in 1953 and consisted of 25 half-hour episodes. This "home drama" focused on generational differences and the contradictions of being a loving family in a confined space, outlining a style of drama that lives on to this day. In the same year NHK tried its own variation of the home drama format in the Ups and Downs Toward Happiness (Kofuku e no Kifuku), which comprised thirteen episodes. Its protagonists, the formerly wealthy but turned penniless family is forced to struggle for its own existence.[24] Since then, Japanese television drama, also called dorama (ドラマ), became a staple of Japanese television.

Evening doramas air weekly and usually comprise ten to fourteen one-hour long episodes. Typically, instead of being episodic there is one story running throughout the episodes. Since they are of a fixed length, doramas have a definite ending, and since they are relatively long, they can explore character, situation, and interesting dialog in a way not possible in movies. Doramas are never canceled mid-season, but they also do not continue into the next season even if extremely popular. Popular doramas do often give rise to "specials" made after the final episode, if the show has been a huge success.[25]

South Korea

South Korea started to broadcast television series (Hangul드라마; RRdeurama) in the 1960s. Since then, the shows became popular worldwide, partially due to the spread of the Korean Wave, with streaming services that offer multiple language subtitles.

Korean dramas are usually helmed by one director and written by one screenwriter, thus having a distinct directing style and language, unlike American television series, where often several directors and writers work together.[26] Series set in contemporary times usually run for one season, for 12−24 episodes of 60 minutes each.

Historical series (Sageuk) may be longer, with 50 to 200 episodes, and are either based on historical figures, incorporate historical events, or use a historical backdrop. While technically the word sageuk literally translates to "historical drama," the term is typically reserved for dramas taking place during Korean history.[27] Popular subjects of sageuks have traditionally included famous battles, royalty, famous military leaders and political intrigues.

Korean dramas are usually shot within a very tight schedule, often a few hours before actual broadcast. Screenplays are flexible and may change anytime during production, depending on viewers' feedback.

Soviet Union/Russia

While the Soviet Union was among the first European countries to resume television broadcast after the Second World War, early Soviet television did not indulge its viewers with a variety of programming. News, sports, concerts and movies were the main staples during the 1950s. With state control over television production and broadcast, television was intended not merely for entertainment, but also as the means of education and propaganda. Soap operas, quiz shows and games were considered too lowbrow.[28]

In the beginning of the 1960s television was expanding rapidly. The increase in the number of channels and the duration of daily broadcast caused shortage of content deemed suitable for broadcast. This led to production of television films, in particular multiple-episode television films (Russian: многосерийный телевизионный фильм)—the official Soviet moniker for miniseries.[28] Despite that the Soviet Union started broadcasting in color in 1967, color TV sets did not become widespread until the end of the 1980s. This justified shooting made-for-TV movies on black-and-white film.

The 1965 four-episode Calling for fire, danger close[29] is considered the first Soviet miniseries. It is a period drama set in the Second World War depicting the Soviet guerrilla fighters infiltrating German compound and directing the fire of the regular Soviet Army to destroy the German airfield. During the 1970s the straightforward fervor gave way to a more nuanced interplay of patriotism, family and everyday life wrapped into traditional genres of crime drama, spy show or thriller. One of the most popular Soviet miniseries—Seventeen Moments of Spring[30] about a Soviet spy operating in Nazi Germany—was shot in 1972. This 12-episode miniseries incorporated features of political thriller and docudrama and included excerpts from period newsreels. Originally produced in black-and-white in 4:3 aspect ratio, it was colorized and re-formatted for wide-screen TVs in 2009.

Other popular miniseries of the Soviet era include The Shadows Disappear at Noon[31] (1971, 7 episodes) about the fate of several generations of locals from a Siberian village; The Long Recess[32] (1973, 4 episodes) about the students and teachers of a night school; The Ordeal[33] (1977, 13 episodes)—an adaptation of the eponymous novel by Aleksey Tolstoy, which traces the development of the Russian society during the critical years of the First World War, the 1917 revolution and the civil war that followed; Open Book[34] (1977, 9 episodes)—an adaptation of the eponymous novel by Veniamin Kaverin about a Soviet female microbiologist who obtained the first batches of penicillin in the Soviet Union and organized its production; The Meeting Place Cannot Be Changed (1979, 5 episodes) about the fight against criminals in the immediate post-war period; The Suicide Club, or the Adventures of a Titled Person (1981, 3 episodes) about the adventures of Prince Florizel, a character of The Suicide Club stories by Robert Louis Stevenson; and TASS Is Authorized to Declare... (1984, 10 episodes) about the tug-of-war of Soviet and American intelligence agencies.

Numerous miniseries were produced for children in the 1970s-1980s. Among them are: The Adventures of Buratino (1976, 2 episodes)—an adaptation of The Golden Key, or the Adventures of Buratino by Alexey Tolstoy, which in turn is a retelling of The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi; The Two Captains[35] (1976, 6 episodes)—an adaptation of The Two Captains by Veniamin Kaverin about a search for a lost Arctic expedition and the discovery of Severnaya Zemlya; The Adventures of Elektronic (1979, 3 episodes) about a humanoid robot meeting and befriending his prototype—a 6th grade schoolboy; Guest from the Future (1985, 5 episodes) about a girl travelling to contemporary time from the future.

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 the Russian television saw a period of privatization and liberalization. The television programming of the 1990s-2000s included a great deal of crime dramas set both in contemporary times (The Criminal Sankt Petersburg[36], 2000, 90 episodes) as well in the Tsarist Russia (The Mysteries of Sankt Petersburg[37], 1994, 60 episodes).

Starting from the 2000s the Russian TV saw a resurgence of book adaptations, such as The Idiot[38] (2003, 10 episodes)—an adaptation of the eponymous novel by Fyodor Dostoyevsky; The Case of Kukotskiy[39] (2005, 12 episodes)—an adaptation of the eponymous novel by Lyudmila Ulitskaya; The Master and Margarita[40] (2005, 10 episodes)—an adaptation of the eponymous novel by Mikhail Bulgakov; Life and Fate[41] (2012, 12 episodes)—an adaptation of the eponymous novel by Vasily Grossman; Kuprin[42][43][44] (2014, 13 episodes)—an adaptation of several novels by Aleksandr Kuprin.

Brazil

In Brazil, the Rede Globo television network commenced the production of this type of television genre with the transmission of Lampião e Maria Bonita,[45][46] written by Aguinaldo Silva and Doc Comparato and directed by Paulo Afonso Grisolli, and broadcast in 1982 in eight episodes;[47] in Brazil these episodes are popularly known as "chapters", because each episode is analogous to a book chapter, where the following chapter begins at the same point where the previous one has ended.[48]

Rede Manchete, in the following year after its creation (1984), has produced and broadcast Marquesa de Santos.

The Brazilian miniseries usually consist of several dozen chapters, occasionally having longer duration, like Brazilian Aquarelle[49] that consists of 60 chapters, making it almost a "mini-telenovela".

Due to the fact that they are broadcast at a later time than telenovelas (usually after 22:00 or 10 p.m.), miniseries are more daring in terms of themes, scenes, dialogues and situations, a function previously played by the "novelas das dez"—a popular term referring to the telenovelas that were broadcast at 10 p.m. between 1969 and 1979.

Miniseries made by Rede Globo are released in the DVD format by the aforementioned television network, and a few of these miniseries are also released as a book, especially in the case of great successes such as Anos Rebeldes ("Rebel Years") and A Casa das Sete Mulheres ("The House of the Seven Women"); the latter was based on the eponymous book written by Letícia Wierzchowski, which became known due to the miniseries.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Miniseries". Museum of Broadcast Communication. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  2. ^ Halliwell, Leslie, and Peter Purser, Halliwell's Television Companion, London: Paladin, 1987
  3. ^ Cunningham, Stuart. "Textual Innovation in the Australian Historical Mini-series", chapter in Australian Television: Programs, Pleasures and Politics, Sidney: Allen and Unwin, 1989
  4. ^ Corry, John (January 31, 1986). "Joan Collins In Sins, A Mini-Series". The New York Times. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  5. ^ Scott, Tony (October 16, 1992). "Review: NBC Movie of the Week Danielle Steel's Jewels". Variety. Retrieved March 8, 2015.
  6. ^ a b Wheen, Francis; Television: A History, London: Century Publishing, 1985
  7. ^ Giddings, Robert; Selby, Keith. The Classic Serial on Television and Radio. p. 1.
  8. ^ Giddings, Robert; Selby, Keith. The Classic Serial on Television and Radio. p. 20.
  9. ^ The Forsyte Saga at PBS Masterpiece Theatre, URL accessed 12 October 2009
  10. ^ The Forsyte Saga Archived 2009-07-09 at the Wayback Machine at televisionheaven.co.uk, URL accessed 12 October 2009
  11. ^ Settel, Irving; Laas, William (1969). "A pictorial history of television" (PDF).
  12. ^ "For Whom the Bell Tolls (part 1)". 1959. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  13. ^ "For Whom the Bell Tolls (part 2)". 1959. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  14. ^ Frankenheimer, John. "Playhouse 90: "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (an excerpt from John Frankenheimer's interview)". Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  15. ^ "Producing Playhouse 90: 'For Whom the Bell Tolls'". The Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  16. ^ "Playhouse 90 and the end of the Golden Age". The Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  17. ^ Bennett, Mark (August 11, 2007). "John Jakes' journey to New York Times bestseller list included boyhood years in Terre Haute". Tribune-Star. TribStar.com. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  18. ^ Thompson, Bill (March 18, 2002). "Bestselling novelist penning saga of fictional Charleston family". The Post and Courier. Excerpted at DePauw.edu. Retrieved January 7, 2010.
  19. ^ Jones, Mary Ellen (November 30, 1996). "The People's Author: The Life of John Jakes". John Jakes: A Critical Companion. Greenwood Press. p. 3. ISBN 0-313-29530-1. Retrieved January 7, 2010.
  20. ^ De Vito, John; Tropea, Frank. "Epic Television Miniseries: A Critical History".
  21. ^ "Television Academy: Big Little Lies". Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  22. ^ Schneider, Michael (March 9, 2015). "Inside the Emmys' New Rules". TV Guide. pp 8–9.
  23. ^ Lacey Rose and Lesley Goldberg (February 28, 2014). "Heroes, 24: What's the Difference Between a 'Miniseries,' 'Limited' or 'Event' Series?". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
  24. ^ Clemens, Jonathan; Tamamuro, Motoko (2003). The Dorama Encyclopedia: A Guide to Japanese TV Drama Since 1953. Asahi TV. p. XIII. ISBN 978-1880656815. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  25. ^ Leo, John (1997-04-12). "Renzoku Ren'ai Dorama". the Conference on Japanese Popular Culture. Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  26. ^ Chosun Ilbo 2007.
  27. ^ "Introduction to Sageuks". Sageuk: Korean Historical Dramas. Retrieved 2016-03-01.
  28. ^ a b "Television film in the USSR (in Russian)". russiancinema.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  29. ^ "Vyzyvaem ogon na sebya (Calling for fire, danger close)". imdb.com. Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  30. ^ "Seventeen Moments of Spring". imdb.com. Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  31. ^ "Teni ischezayut v polden (The Shadows Disappear at Noon)". imdb.com. Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  32. ^ "The Long Recess". imdb.com. Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  33. ^ "The Ordeal". imdb.com. Retrieved 2018-06-29.
  34. ^ "Otkrytaya kniga (Open Book)". imdb.com. Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  35. ^ "Dva kapitana (The Two Captains)". imdb.com. Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  36. ^ "Banditskiy Peterburg (The Criminal Sankt Petersburg)". imdb.com. Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  37. ^ "Peterburgskie tayny (The Mysteries of Sankt Petersburg)". imdb.com. Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  38. ^ "Idiot". imdb.com. Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  39. ^ "Kazus Kukotskogo (The Case of Kukotskiy)". imdb.com. Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  40. ^ "The Master and Margarita". imdb.com. Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  41. ^ "Life and Fate". imdb.com. Retrieved 2018-06-27.
  42. ^ "Kuprin. Yama". imdb.com. Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  43. ^ "Kuprin. Vpotmakh". imdb.com. Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  44. ^ "Kuprin. Poedinok". imdb.com. Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  45. ^ "Bloody Destiny (Original title: Lampião e Maria Bonita)". Retrieved 2018-01-16.
  46. ^ "Rede Globo irá reexibir séries em formato condensado: Saiba quais". adorocinema.com (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2018-01-16.
  47. ^ "Lampião e Maria Bonita - Sinopse" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2018-01-16.
  48. ^ "Minisséries" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2018-01-16.
  49. ^ "Brazilian Aquarelle (Original title: Aquarela do Brasil)". imdb.com. Retrieved 2018-01-16.
Alexander Skarsgård

Alexander Johan Hjalmar Skarsgård (Swedish: [alɛkˈsanːdɛr ˈskɑːʂɡoːɖ] (listen); born 25 August 1976) is a Swedish actor. He is best known for his roles as vampire Eric Northman on the HBO series True Blood, Meekus in Zoolander, the title character in The Legend of Tarzan, Brad Colbert in the HBO miniseries Generation Kill, and Perry Wright in the HBO series Big Little Lies, for which he won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie, a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie, and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries, or Television Film.

Alfre Woodard

Alfre Woodard (; born November 8, 1952) is an American film, stage, and television actress, producer, and political activist. Woodard has been named one of the most versatile and accomplished actors of her generation. She has been nominated once for an Academy Award and Grammy Award and 18 times for an Emmy Award (winning four) and has also won a Golden Globe Award and three Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Woodard began her acting career in theater. After her breakthrough role in the Off-Broadway play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf (1977), she made her film debut in Remember My Name (1978). In 1983, she won major critical praise and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Cross Creek. In the same year, Woodard won her first Primetime Emmy Award for her performance in the NBC drama series Hill Street Blues. Later in the 1980s, Woodard had leading Emmy Award-nominated performances in a number of made for television movies, and another Emmy-winning role as a woman dying of leukemia in the pilot episode of L.A. Law. She also starred as Dr. Roxanne Turner in the NBC medical drama St. Elsewhere, for which she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 1986, and for Guest Actress in 1988.

In the 1990s, Woodard starred in films such as Grand Canyon (1991), Heart and Souls (1993), Crooklyn (1994), How to Make an American Quilt (1995), Primal Fear (1996) and Star Trek: First Contact (1996). She also drew critical praise for her performances in the independent dramas Passion Fish (1992), for which she won an Independent Spirit Award and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress, as well as Down in the Delta (1998). For her lead role in the HBO film Miss Evers' Boys (1997), Woodard won Golden Globe, Emmy, Screen Actors Guild Awards, and several another awards. In later years she has appeared in several blockbusters, like K-PAX (2001), The Core (2003), and The Forgotten (2004), starred in independent films, and won her fourth Emmy Award for The Practice in 2003. From 2005 to 2006, Woodard starred as Betty Applewhite in the ABC comedy-drama series Desperate Housewives, and later starred in several short-lived series. She appeared in the films The Family That Preys (2008), 12 Years a Slave (2013) and Annabelle (2014), and has also worked as a political activist and producer. Woodard is a founder of Artists for a New South Africa, an organization devoted to advancing democracy and equality in that country. She is a board member of AMPAS.

Band of Brothers (miniseries)

Band of Brothers is a 2001 American war drama miniseries based on historian Stephen E. Ambrose's 1992 non-fiction book Band of Brothers. The executive producers were Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, who had collaborated on the 1998 World War II film Saving Private Ryan. The episodes first aired in 2001 on HBO. The series won Emmy and Golden Globe awards in 2001 for best miniseries.

The series dramatizes the history of "Easy" Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, of the 101st Airborne Division, from jump training in the United States through its participation in major actions in Europe, up until Japan's capitulation and the war's end. The events are based on Ambrose's research and recorded interviews with Easy Company veterans. The series took literary license, adapting history for dramatic effect and series structure. The characters portrayed are based on members of Easy Company. Some of the men were recorded in contemporary interviews, which viewers see as preludes to several episodes, with the men's real identities revealed in the finale.

The title for the book and series comes from the St Crispin's Day Speech in William Shakespeare's play Henry V, delivered by King Henry before the Battle of Agincourt. Ambrose quotes a passage from the speech on his book's first page; this passage is spoken by Carwood Lipton in the series finale.

Beau Bridges

Lloyd Vernet "Beau" Bridges III (born December 9, 1941) is an American actor and director. He is a three-time Emmy, two-time Golden Globe and one-time Grammy Award winner, as well as a two-time Screen Actors Guild Award nominee. Bridges was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 7, 2003, at 7065 Hollywood Boulevard for his contributions to the television industry. He is the son of actor Lloyd Bridges and elder brother of fellow actor Jeff Bridges.

Big Little Lies (TV series)

Big Little Lies is an American drama television series, based on the novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty, that premiered on February 19, 2017, on HBO. Created and written by David E. Kelley, the series' seven-episode first season was directed by Jean-Marc Vallée.

Big Little Lies stars Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley and tells the story of three emotionally troubled women in Monterey, California, who become embroiled in a murder investigation. Alexander Skarsgård, Laura Dern, Jeffrey Nordling, Adam Scott, Zoë Kravitz, and James Tupper feature in supporting roles. Critically acclaimed, the series garnered several accolades. It received 16 Emmy Award nominations and won eight, including Outstanding Limited Series and acting awards for Kidman, Skarsgård, and Dern. The trio also won Golden Globe Awards in addition to a Golden Globe Award for Best Miniseries or Television Film win for the series. Kidman and Skarsgård also received Screen Actors Guild Awards for their performances.

Despite originally being billed as a miniseries, HBO renewed the series for a second season. Production on the second season began in March 2018 and is set to premiere in June 2019. All seven episodes were written by Kelley and directed by Andrea Arnold.

Fargo (TV series)

Fargo is an American black comedy–crime drama anthology television series created and primarily written by Noah Hawley. The show is inspired by the eponymous 1996 film written and directed by the Coen brothers, who serve as executive producers on the series alongside Hawley. The series premiered on April 15, 2014, on FX, and follows an anthology format, with each season set in a different era, and with a different story and mostly new characters and cast, although there is minor overlap. Each season shares a common chronology with the original film.

The first season, set in 2006 and starring Billy Bob Thornton, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks, and Martin Freeman, received positive reviews from critics. It won the Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Miniseries, Outstanding Directing, and Outstanding Casting, and received 15 additional nominations including Outstanding Writing, another Outstanding Directing nomination, and acting nominations for all four leads. It also won the Golden Globe Awards for Best Miniseries or Television Film and Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film for Thornton.

The second season, set in 1979 and starring Kirsten Dunst, Patrick Wilson, Jesse Plemons, Jean Smart, and Ted Danson, also received positive reviews from critics. It received three Golden Globe nominations, along with several Emmy nominations including Outstanding Miniseries, and acting nominations for Dunst, Plemons, Smart, and Bokeem Woodbine.

The third season, set in 2010 and starring Ewan McGregor, Carrie Coon, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Goran Bogdan, and David Thewlis, premiered on April 19, 2017. It was met with positive reviews from critics, and received Emmy nominations including Outstanding Miniseries, and acting nominations for McGregor, Coon, and Thewlis. It received three Golden Globe nominations, for Outstanding Limited Series, and McGregor and Thewlis for acting, with McGregor winning in his category.

A fourth season is currently in development, to start filming in fall 2019 with Chris Rock to star. It will be set in 1950 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Gary Sinise

Gary Alan Sinise (; born March 17, 1955) is an American actor, director and musician. Among other awards, he has won an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame and has been nominated for an Academy Award.

Sinise is known for several memorable roles. These include George Milton in Of Mice and Men, Lieutenant Dan Taylor in Forrest Gump (for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor), Harry S. Truman in Truman (for which he won a Golden Globe), Ken Mattingly in Apollo 13, Detective Jimmy Shaker in Ransom, Detective Mac Taylor in the CBS series CSI: NY (2004–13), and George C. Wallace in the television film George Wallace (for which he won an Emmy). From 2016 to 2017, Sinise starred as Special Agent Jack Garrett in Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders.

Gena Rowlands

Virginia Cathryn "Gena" Rowlands (born June 19, 1930) is an American actress, whose career in film, stage, and television has spanned over six decades. A four-time Emmy and two-time Golden Globe winner, she is known for her collaborations with her late actor-director husband John Cassavetes in ten films, including A Woman Under the Influence (1974) and Gloria (1980), which earned her nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actress. She also won the Silver Bear for Best Actress for Opening Night (1977). In November 2015, Rowlands received an Honorary Academy Award in recognition of her unique screen performances.

Good Omens (TV series)

Good Omens is an upcoming television serial based on the 1990 novel Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. A co-production between Amazon Prime and BBC Two, the six-part series was directed by Douglas Mackinnon and written by Gaiman, who served as showrunner. The series stars an ensemble cast featuring David Tennant, Michael Sheen, Jon Hamm, Anna Maxwell Martin, Josie Lawrence, Adria Arjona, Michael McKean, Jack Whitehall, Miranda Richardson and Nick Offerman.

All six episodes of the serial are set to be released on May 31, 2019 on Amazon Prime.

Joanne Woodward

Joanne Gignilliat Trimmier Woodward (born February 27, 1930) is an American actress, producer, and philanthropist. She is best known for her performance in The Three Faces of Eve (1957), which earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama.

In a career spanning over six decades, she received four Oscar nominations (winning one), ten Golden Globe Award nominations (winning three), four BAFTA Film Award nominations (winning one), and nine Primetime Emmy Award nominations (winning three).

John Adams (miniseries)

John Adams is a 2008 American television miniseries chronicling most of U.S. President John Adams's political life and his role in the founding of the United States. Paul Giamatti portrays John Adams. The miniseries was directed by Tom Hooper. Kirk Ellis wrote the screenplay based on the book John Adams by David McCullough. The biopic of John Adams and the story of the first 50 years of the United States was broadcast in seven parts by HBO between March 16 and April 20, 2008. John Adams received widespread critical acclaim and many prestigious awards. The show won four Golden Globe awards and 13 Emmy awards, more than any other miniseries in history.

Kevin Costner

Kevin Michael Costner (born January 18, 1955) is an American actor, director, producer, and musician. His accolades include two Academy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, one Primetime Emmy Award, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Costner began his acting career with Sizzle Beach, U.S.A. (1981). Following a few minor supporting parts, he rose to prominence with his portrayal of Eliot Ness in The Untouchables (1987). This was followed by a widely successful period in his career with starring roles in such films as; Bull Durham (1988), Field of Dreams (1989), Dances with Wolves (1990), for which he won two Academy Awards, JFK (1991), Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), and The Bodyguard (1992). In 1995, Costner starred in and co-produced Waterworld. The most expensive film ever made at the time, it was a major box office disappointment which marked a significant downturn in his career. His second directorial feature The Postman (1997) was another disappointment which marked a massive downfall of his career as a leading man. He has since starred in numerous films to rejuvenate his leading man status, including Message in a Bottle (1999), For Love of the Game (1999), Thirteen Days (2000), 3000 Miles to Graceland (2001), Dragonfly (2002), Rumor Has It (2005), The Guardian (2006), Mr. Brooks (2007), 3 Days to Kill (2014), McFarland, USA (2015), Draft Day (2014), and Criminal (2016). All of these films however have been either critical or commercial failures, failing to reboot his status. Nevertheless in recent years he has had supporting parts in critically favored films including The Upside of Anger (2005), Man of Steel (2013), Hidden Figures (2016), and Molly's Game (2017).

On television, Costner portrayed Devil Anse Hatfield in

the miniseries Hatfields & McCoys (2012), winning the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie. Since 2018, he stars as John Dutton on drama series Yellowstone.

Laura Linney

Laura Leggett Linney (born February 5, 1964) is an American actress and singer. She is the recipient of several awards, including two Golden Globe Awards and four Primetime Emmy Awards. She has also been nominated for three Academy Awards and four Tony Awards.

Linney made her Broadway debut in 1990 before going on to receive Tony Award nominations for the 2002 revival of The Crucible, the original Broadway productions of Sight Unseen (2004) and Time Stands Still (2010), and the 2017 revival of The Little Foxes. On television, she won her first Emmy Award for the television film Wild Iris (2001), and had subsequent wins for the sitcom Frasier (2003–04) and the miniseries John Adams (2008). From 2010–13, she starred in the Showtime series The Big C, which won her a fourth Emmy in 2013. She currently stars in the Netflix series Ozark.

Linney is also an established film actress. She made her screen debut in the film Lorenzo's Oil (1992) and went on to receive Academy Award nominations for You Can Count On Me (2000), Kinsey (2004), and The Savages (2007). Her other films include Primal Fear (1996), The Truman Show (1998), Mystic River (2003), Love Actually (2003), The Squid and the Whale (2005), The Nanny Diaries (2007), Sully (2016), and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016).

Limited series (comics)

In the field of comic books, a limited series is a comics series with a predetermined number of issues. A limited series differs from an ongoing series in that the number of issues is finite and determined before production, and it differs from a one shot in that it is composed of multiple issues. The term is often used interchangeably with miniseries (mini-series) and maxiseries (maxi-series), usually depending on the length and number of issues. In Dark Horse Comics' definition of a limited series, "This term primarily applies to a connected series of individual comic books. A limited series refers to a comic book series with a clear beginning, middle and end." Dark Horse Comics and DC Comics refer to limited series of two to eleven issues as miniseries and series of twelve issues or more as maxiseries, but other publishers alternate terms.

Michael Douglas

Michael Kirk Douglas (born September 25, 1944) is an American actor and producer. He has received numerous accolades, including two Academy Awards, five Golden Globe Awards, a Primetime Emmy Award, the Cecil B. DeMille Award, and the AFI Life Achievement Award.The elder son of Kirk Douglas and Diana Dill, Douglas received his Bachelor of Arts in Drama from the University of California, Santa Barbara. His early acting roles included film, stage, and television productions. Douglas first achieved prominence for his performance in the ABC police procedural television series The Streets of San Francisco, for which he received three consecutive Emmy Award nominations. In 1975, Douglas produced One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, having acquired the rights to the Ken Kesey novel from his father. The film received critical and popular acclaim, and won the Academy Award for Best Picture, earning Douglas his first Oscar as one of the film's producers. After leaving The Streets of San Francisco in 1976, Douglas went on to produce films including The China Syndrome (1979) and Romancing the Stone (1984). He won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy for Romancing the Stone, in which he also starred, thus reintroducing himself to audiences as a capable leading man.

After reprising his Romancing the Stone role as Jack Colton in the 1985 sequel The Jewel of the Nile, which he also produced, and along with appearing in the musical A Chorus Line (1985) and the psychological thriller Fatal Attraction (1987), Douglas received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Gordon Gekko in Oliver Stone's Wall Street, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor. He reprised the role in the sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010). His subsequent film roles included: Black Rain (1989); The War of the Roses (1989); Basic Instinct (1992); Falling Down (1993); The American President (1995); The Game (1997); Traffic and Wonder Boys (both 2000); Solitary Man (2009); Ant-Man (2015) and Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018). In 2013, for his portrayal of Liberace in the HBO film Behind the Candelabra, he won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie. Douglas currently stars as an aging acting coach in Chuck Lorre's comedy series The Kominsky Method, for which he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy.

Apart from his acting career, Douglas has received notice for his humanitarian and political activism, as well as media attention for his marriage to Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Paul Giamatti

Paul Edward Valentine Giamatti (; born June 6, 1967) is an American actor, comedian, and producer. He first garnered attention for his breakout role in Private Parts (1997) as Kenny "Pig Vomit" Rushton, which led to him playing more supporting roles such as Sergeant Hill in Saving Private Ryan (1998), Bob Zmuda in Man on the Moon (1999) and John Maxwell in Big Momma's House (2000).

He won acclaim for his leading roles as Harvey Pekar in American Splendor (2003), Miles Raymond in Sideways (2004) and Mike Flaherty in Win Win (2011) while continuing to play supporting roles, like Joe Gould in Cinderella Man (2005), which earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, Chief Inspector Uhl in The Illusionist (2006), Karl Hertz in Shoot 'Em Up (2007), Nicholas "Nick" Claus in Fred Claus (2007), Tom Duffy in The Ides of March (2011), Theophilus Freeman in 12 Years a Slave (2013), Ralph in Saving Mr. Banks (2013), Eugene Landy in Love & Mercy (2015), Dr. Lawrence Hayes in San Andreas (2015) and Jerry Heller in Straight Outta Compton (2015).

He played the titular character in the HBO miniseries John Adams (2008), which earned him a Golden Globe Award, a Primetime Emmy Award and Screen Actors Guild Award. He currently stars as U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades Jr. in the Showtime television series Billions (2016–current).

Regina King

Regina Rene King (born January 15, 1971) is an American actress and television director. She is the recipient of various accolades including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and three Primetime Emmy Awards.

King first gained attention in 1985 as Brenda Jenkins in the NBC television series 227. She would go on to star in both television and film, rising to greater prominence with roles like Dana Jones in Friday (1995), Marcee Tidwell in Jerry Maguire (1996), Riley and Huey Freeman on the hit animated series The Boondocks, and Detective Lydia Adams on Southland. For Southland, she earned two Critics' Choice Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2012 and 2013. In 2018, her performance as Sharon Rivers in the film If Beale Street Could Talk earned her the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress.

From 2015 to 2017, King starred in the ABC anthology series American Crime, for which she received three Primetime Emmy Award nominations, winning twice, and was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award. Also from 2015 to 2017, she played Erika Murphy in the HBO drama The Leftovers, for which she received a Critics' Choice Television Award nomination. In 2018, she starred in the Netflix miniseries Seven Seconds, for which she won her third Emmy Award. King has a recurring role as Janine Davis in the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory, and has starred in various films, including Ray, Poetic Justice, Friday, and Legally Blonde 2.

The Pacific (miniseries)

The Pacific is a 2010 American television series produced by HBO, Playtone, and DreamWorks that premiered in the United States on March 14, 2010.

The series is a companion piece to the 2001 miniseries Band of Brothers and focuses on the United States Marine Corps' actions in the Pacific Theater of Operations within the wider Pacific War. Whereas Band of Brothers followed the men of Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment through the European Theater, The Pacific centers on the experiences of three Marines (Robert Leckie, Eugene Sledge, and John Basilone) who were all in different regiments (1st, 5th, and 7th, respectively) of the 1st Marine Division.

The Pacific was spearheaded by Bruce C. McKenna (co-executive producer), one of the main writers on Band of Brothers. Hugh Ambrose, the son of Band of Brothers author Stephen Ambrose, served as a project consultant.

The Pacific miniseries features the 1st Marine Division's battles in the Pacific, such as Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester, Peleliu, and Okinawa, as well as Basilone's involvement in the Battle of Iwo Jima. It is based primarily on the memoirs of two U.S. Marines: With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa by Eugene Sledge and Helmet for My Pillow by Robert Leckie. It also draws on Sledge's memoir China Marine and Red Blood, Black Sand, the memoir of Chuck Tatum, a Marine who fought alongside Basilone on Iwo Jima.

William H. Macy

William Hall Macy Jr. (born March 13, 1950) is an American actor. His film career has been built on appearances in small, independent films, though he has also appeared in summer action films. Macy has described himself as "sort of a Middle American, WASPy, Lutheran kind of guy... Everyman".Macy has won two Emmy Awards and four Screen Actors Guild Awards, as well as an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for Fargo. Since 2011, he has played Frank Gallagher, a main character in the Showtime adaptation of the British television series Shameless. Macy and actress Felicity Huffman have been married since 1997.

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