News Nuggets: Get ready for an explosive ‘Scandal’ season finale

Natalie Abrams offers up major scoop on upcoming episodes for many television shows. She starts with “Scandal” and says to expect an “explosive” season finale that takes place on Election Day. Maya (Khandi Alexander) plans to target the president (Tony Goldwyn), and the lives of many regulars (including Kerry Washington) could be in jeopardy. Other shows with teasers and spoilers are “Mad Men,” “The Blacklist,” “Hannibal,” “Nashville,” “The Vampire Diaries,” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” TV Guide.

Looking for a new batch of creative comedies, NBC is inviting aspiring comedy writers to submit their ideas for network and digital shows. Starting May 1, submissions will be accepted online to find 10 finalists who will learn the process from pitch to broadcast. Two will win slots on the network for summer of 2015. One will have their idea produced as a digital program. Famous special advisors include Aziz Ansari, Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, Mindy Kaling, Eva Longoria, Seth Meyers, Amy Poehler, Craig Robinson, Maya Rudolph, and Adam Scott. The Wrap.

The Tribeca Film Festival announces their star-studded jury for this year’s event. It will be held in New York April 16-27. The 33-member jury includes Lake Bell, Toni Collette, Whoopi Goldberg, Jeff Goldblum, Heather Graham, Paul Wesley, and Anton Yelchin. Others include directors Catherine Hardwicke (“Twilight”), Sheila Nevins (HBO documentaries), and Gary Ross (“The Hunger Games”). Hollywood Reporter.

Jesse David Fox offers a special appreciation of actor Christopher Evan Welch. The character actor is now featured in a breakout role on HBO’s new comedy series “Silicon Valley,” but unfortunately it is four months after he died from lung cancer. On the Mike Judge program, he plays Peter Gregory, the dynamic yet strange angel investor in the tech world. Previous credits included “Lincoln,” “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” “Admission,” “The Crucible,” and “Rubicon.” Vulture.

Possible replacements for David Letterman continue to speak out about the job. Today’s turn is from Neil Patrick Harris, who just finished up a nine-year run on another CBS hit show, “How I Met Your Mother.” He said his focus is now on the new Broadway musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” but that he is a big fan of the network and its chief Les Moonves. He added that if he took the job “it would be an asinine amount of work.” Ace Showbiz.

After a record-breaking season premiere Sunday, HBO renews “Game of Thrones” for two more seasons. That means the fantasy drama will continue through at least a sixth season. Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have also renewed their contracts through that same timeframe. A series-high 6.6 million viewers tuned in for the fourth season premiere this week. TV Line.

Costume designer Jane Greenwood is slated to receive a special lifetime achievement award at the Tony Awards on June 8. She has designed costumes for over 125 productions since 1963. They include “An American Daughter,” “California Suite,” “The Iceman Cometh,” “The Little Foxes,” “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” “Master Class,” “Medea,” “Once Upon a Mattress,” and “Our Town.” Playbill.

Filmmaker Lisa Cholodenko is tapped as guest director of the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival. The 20th anniversary event will take place downtown June 11-19. Her credits include “The Kids Are All Right,” “High Art,” “Laurel Canyon,” “Six Feet Under,” “Hung,” and “The L Word.” Other past guest directors have been Kathryn Bigelow, Alfonso Cuaron, Guillermo del Toro, William Friedkin, and David O. Russell. Variety.

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