Bryan Cranston to Reprise LBJ Role in TV Movie

Many know him as Walter White — the high school chemistry teacher turned drug kingpin of Breaking Bad — but actor Bryan Cranston will be making his way back to television as President Lyndon B. Johnson in a new HBO TV movie. All the Way, a phrase taken from Johnson’s successful 1964 campaign slogan (“All the Way With LBJ”), will be a reprisal of the Tony Award-winning Broadway play of the same name by Robert Schenkkan, in which Cranston portrayed Johnson …

Halle Berry’s ‘Extant’: Expect Big Things

  During the promotional ramp-up to the July 9 premiere of Halle Berry’s new CBS show Extant, Berry talked comparisons to Rosemary’s Baby and series creator Mickey Fisher referenced a “Joseph and Mary moment,” in which shocked husband Goran Visnjic learns that his astronaut wife (Berry) got pregnant while on a 13-month solo mission in space. So just what has she got gestating? Is it the devil or something divine? More important to CBS, will she deliver a hit, or a big-budget miss? …

This Week in Boomer History: Sally Ride … Monterey Pop … Civil Rights

Notable events from our shared experience Astronaut Sally K. Ride becomes the first American woman in space on June 18, 1983. Passionately devoted to teaching science, technology, engineering and math to girls, she starts Sally Ride Science in 2001. Singer-actress Judy Garland dies at age 47 on June 22, 1969. Fred Astaire once called the star of The Wizard of Oz “the greatest entertainer who ever lived.” >> Sign up for the AARP Advocacy Newsletter President Richard Nixon signs a …

Oscar Nominees Luncheon Could Make Irresistible TV

Of all the awards season events, the annual Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon stands out because it is a comparatively relaxed, familial affair; plus, it’s not televised. In fact, it has become a welcome respite for the anointed ones, a place where they can bond as a class while out of sight of the viewing audience (though it certainly could make an irresistible show.) Yesterday’s luncheon at the Beverly Hilton Hotel had enough star power to light up the Superdome. Denzel …

Carlo Rambaldi: In Motion Pictures, He Put the ‘Special’ in Special Effects

If you were enthralled by the diminutive, charming protagonist of Steven Spielberg’s E.T., the towering ape in the 1976 remake of King Kong,  or the hideous, homicidal beast in Ridley Scott’s Alien, thank Carlo Rambaldi. Rambaldi, a special-effects wizard who died Aug. 10 at age 86  in his native Italy, won Academy Awards for visual effects for all three of those films. Spielberg hailed Rambaldi as “E.T.’s Geppetto,” a reference to the fictional woodcarver who created Pinocchio, but Rambaldi’s skills …

Good TV This Week: ‘Falling Skies’ and Noah Wyle are Back

TNT’s “Falling Skies” is getting fan and critical applause for its upgrade of the alien beings seen on the Steven Spielberg-produced show — among the improvements made thanks to the budgetary increases in the wake of Season 1′s success.  I asked star Noah Wyle his feelings about those earth-invading beings.  “You have to pay homage to the man you’re working for.  You don’t show the shark ’til the third act,” he said with a laugh, referencing Spielberg’s “Jaws.” Seriously, “I …