“Major Crimes” hits its 100th episode: the cast looks back (exclusive)

TNT’s “Major Crimes” is about to air its milestone 100th episode.  The series has been a rating juggernaut since the beginning, despite some initial trepidation.  After all, it derived from the popular “The Closer” with nearly the same cast, minus popular star Kyra Sedgwick. In her place: two time Academy Award nominee Mary McDonnell.

Fans embraced the new series and its star, proving their loyal support week after week as “Major Crimes” garnered ratings previously reserved for network television.  Alongside the show’s procedural element, deeper stories emerged as characters’ backstory–and relationships–developed.  In fact, the relationship between McDonnell’s Sharon Raydor and Tony Denison’s Andy Flynn recently culminated in a long-anticipated wedding.

Part of the appeal of “Major Crimes” may be that fans see themselves on screen.  The show reflects real life in diversity of gender, ethnicity and maturity.

I sat down with eleven of the series’ stars to discuss the 100th episode, their roles on the show and some behind-the-scenes trivia:

Part One (in order of groupings): Kearran Giovanni and Daniel di Tomasso, GW Bailey and Jessica Meraz, and Tony Denison and Leonard Roberts —

 

Part Two (in order of groupings): Phillip Keene and Raymond Cruz, Michael Paul Chan and Jonathan Del Arco and Mary McDonnell —


The 100th episode of “Major Crimes” will air on Tuesday, December 19th.

–>Keep in touch with the author on Twitter and Instagram @realZoeHewitt.  Looking for the direct links? Click here for Part One, and here for Part Two.

MAJOR CRIMES exclusives with Tony Denison and Phillip P Keene

TNT’s top rated drama “Major Crimes” debuts in less than a week on Halloween night.

In honor of the show’s premiere, series stars Tony Denison (Lt. Andy Flynn) and Phillip P. Keene (Buzz Watson) allowed our cameras inside their private star trailers for an exclusive tour.  Every actor has his or her own in which to dress and unwind when they’re not on set, a sanctuary away from the bustle of life on a busy television show.

Denison and Keene put their decorating on display, along with their favorite items which are always on hand.  Take a look below for a “Major Crimes” exclusive:

Phillip P. Keene:


Tony Denison:


–>Keep in touch with the author on Twitter and Instagram @realZoeHewitt.  Looking for the direct link to the videos?  Click here for Tony Denison’s trailer tour and here for Phillip Keene’s.

Crowe: The Drowned Armory (Virtual Reality Game)

The first head-mounted virtual reality screen was patented in the 1950s.  Since then, the technology has retained its cutting-edge aura as each iteration becomes more awe-inspiring than the last.  The Rogue Initiative’s Crowe: The Drowned Armory is the latest entry in the field, an interactive virtual reality video game in which an impressive new world comes to life in 360 degree focus.

The game’s guide is a fairy named AMI, shorthand for Artificial Maintenance Intelligence, and is voiced by Cristen Barnes.  Unlike traditional animation in which actors voice their parts prior to design, Barnes was cast after the fact.  This allowed her to experience the world The Rogue Initiative created before recording her role.  Though she remembered the design from Crowe while recording, the full interactive experience was wondrous.  Barnes says, “It took me a second, I had to start [the game] again—I didn’t realize it was me because I was so in [the world]!” 

Crowe’s mesmerizing achievement is exactly as expected from a powerhouse production company backed by director Michael Bay.  He partnered with the group specifically to create this type of virtual reality and immersive entertainment content.

Pete Blumel, The Rogue Initiative’s CEO and Creative Director, has a myriad of credits to his name, including the best-selling Call of Duty video game franchise.  For a crossover project like Crowe which is part movie and part video game, the design process relies heavily on multiple elements.  Blumel says, “at the heart of this, interactive virtual reality is still video game design and software development.  The amazing thing about making video games [unlike] a tv series, movie or short film [is] there’s a tremendous amount of engineering, technology and software development that go with it.”

Cathy Twigg, The Rogue Initiative’s Co-Founder and Chief Content and Production Officer, knows how important that connection is when working in virtual reality.  “What’s great about a game person is they’ve been giving the camera to the audience for a long time.  That’s a little different from television,” says Twigg. 

Blending these elements is an intriguing challenge.  “With VR you’re constantly pushing boundaries,” Twigg states. 

Next up on The Rogue Initiative’s virtual reality slate is Agent Emerson, a short film directed by Ilya Rozhkov.

 

At-home interview with “Major Crimes” stars Phillip P Keene, Kearran Giovanni

Phillip P Keene and Kearran Giovanni star on TNT’s top-rated drama, “Major Crimes”.  Their characters, Buzz and Amy, may be friends on screen, but once the cameras stop rolling the pair become more like family.  It was clear just how much they care for each other when I joined them recently at Phillip’s home to discuss the show as well as his former career as a Pan Am flight attendant.

‘Bad Blood’, last night’s episode of “Major Crimes”, hit home for Phillip.  One of his relatives served as the inspiration for the show’s victim, though he didn’t realize it immediately.  The close-knit cast did and were there to support him as he worked through his “funk”.

The conversation didn’t stop there.  The friends shared personal stories about when it’s like when their personal and professional lives intersect.  In fact, Phillip is married to “Major Crimes” creator and executive producer James Duff.  Kearran planned their wedding as well as a more recent 50th birthday party for Phillip.

The theme?  Phillip’s passion: Pan Am.  Phillip talks with nostalgia about the years he spent as a Pan Am flight attendant.  He owns one of the largest collections of Pan Am memorabilia in the world and looks forward to cataloguing and displaying these pieces of history for the public.

For exclusive party photos, a close look at Phillip’s Pan Am collection and more, take a look below:

—>Looking for the direct link to the video?  Click here.

Exclusive Interview with “Major Crimes” star Tony Denison

(SPOILERS AHEAD)

Tony Denison, star of TNT’s top-rated drama Major Crimes, is used to a certain fervor surrounding the show.  Fans are passionate about the relationship between his character, Andy Flynn, and Mary McDonnell’s Sharon Raydor.  Millions refer to the pair as ‘Shandy’.  Last night’s episode brought their relationship to a new level when Andy proposed.

However, viewers will have to wait for Sharon’s response.  The episode ended as a cliffhanger.

Only two episodes remain in the fifth season.  TNT has already renewed the series for a sixth season.

Recently, Denison was cast in a virtual-reality film called Agent Emerson.  He will play The General.  Agent Emerson also stars Lyndsy Fonseca.  It is directed by Ilya Rozhkov.

For more about Major Crimes and Agent Emerson directly from Tony Denison take a look below:

—>Looking for the direct link to the video?  Click here.

Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns

Halloween is a great time of year to experience family-friendly events in the Los Angeles area. This year, Descanso Gardens is hosting the LA-premiere of the Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns.

Chatting With BORAT Actor Ken Davitian

At the Night of 100 Stars Oscar party in February, actor Ken Davitian (Borat, The Artist, Get Smart) promised Red Carpet Rundown host Zoe Hewitt hot dogs at The Infield, his hot dog stand, if she showed up.  Ken didn’t believe she would.

Zoe rose to the challenge and brought the All Around cameras to document her meal with Ken as the two discussed the stand, inside stories from his famous naked fight scene in Borat: Cultural Learnings of America and the Armenian genocide.

Ken’s hot dog stand:

The “inside scoop” about the naked fight scene that made Ken a household name:

Ken’s mission regarding the Armenian genocide:

Talking To Psychics At The House Of Intuition

Zoe Hewitt visits the House of Intuition in Hollywood to learn about psychics.  No matter what you believe, you’ll definitely have something to think about after watching Zoe’s first tarot card reading ever.  What do you think the cards reveal?

Banana You Glad To See Me At The Museum

Zoe Hewitt travels three hours south-east of Los Angeles to the Coachella Valley to visit the International Banana Museum. It’s in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the largest collection of anything banana.

Check out Zoe’s chat with museum owner Fred Garbutt and see the latest addition to the museum…

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