Friday February 1, 2019

In the event you live in a cave and just came out for air, a reminder that the Super Bowl will air on Sunday on CBS.

Best news of the day so far . . . “In his first series gig since departing Suits, Patrick J. Adams is set for a recurring role on the upcoming third season of Amazon’s series Sneaky Pete. Created by Bryan Cranston and David Shore, Sneaky Pete stars Giovanni Ribisi as con man Marius, who left prison only to find himself hunted by the vicious gangster he once robbed. With nowhere else to turn, he took cover from his past by assuming the identity of his cellmate Pete, “reuniting” with Pete’s estranged family. Adams will play Stefano Kilbane, an arrogant business magnate who is obsessed with fine art and has a deep need for revenge.”

The CW has handed early renewals to 10 series for the 2019-2020 season. They include second seasons of Charmed and Legacies, as well as new seasons of Arrow (Season 8), Black Lightning (Season 3), DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (Season 5), Dynasty (Season 3), The Flash (Season 6), Riverdale (Season 4), Supergirl (Season 5) and Supernatural (Season 15).

Showtime has renewed Shameless for a 10th season.

Fuller House has been renewed by Netflix for a 5th and final season.

Netflix has ordered a 2nd season of Sex Education.

All 8 episodes of Russian Doll are now available to stream on Netflix. “Nadia keeps dying and reliving her 36th birthday party. She's trapped in a surreal time loop -- and staring down the barrel of her own mortality.”

Here is a review.

Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders is available to stream on Amazon Prime. “1933. Hercule Poirot, older and greyer, receives letters threatening murder. The sender signs themselves only as ‘A.B.C. When he takes the letters to the police looking for help, Hercule finds all his old friends have moved on. But soon there is a murder and the once-great detective must take matters into his own hands.”

You can watch YouTube’s Freelance beginning today as well. Here’s the teaser. I’m all in.

Chelsea Peretti talks Gina’s farewell from Brooklyn Nine-Nine last night and promises big things when she returns.

A sequel to The L Word is coming to Showtime, with the cable network granting an eight-episode order to a follow-up series to its groundbreaking drama, set to premiere by the end of 2019. Marja-Lewis Ryan (The Four-Faced Liar, 6 Balloons) serves as showrunner on the sequel and is executive producing, along with The L Word series creator Ilene Chaiken and original series stars Jennifer Beals, Katherine Moennig and Leisha Hailey.”

ABC has given a pilot order to the drama Heart of Life, based on the song by singer-songwriter John Mayer. Written by Drive and A to Z creator Ben Queen, the pilot follows two sets of adult siblings from wildly different worlds who discover they’re related and must reassess everything they thought they knew about their shared father. As they explore the mystery of their separate childhoods, they’ll experience the difficulty in overcoming the sins of the past, and learn the joys of reuniting with long-lost family.”

“There's a photo circulating trying to pin Colton Underwood as a non-virgin long before his reign on The Bachelor ... but, rest assured, he hadn't swiped his v-card before his reality TV debut. Sources close to Colton tell TMZ ... the Snapchat photo of a young Colton is legit. We're told Colton admits the person is him from YEARS before he set foot in the Bachelor franchise. But, our Colton sources are making it clear -- the caption is ONE MILLION PERCENT FAKE.” Oh thank god!!!!

Oh sweet, Roger Matthews has responded to JWoww’s accusations (see yesterday’s post for details).

Steven Yeun, J.K. Simmons, Sandra Oh, Seth Rogen, Gillian Jacobs, Andrew Rannells, Zazie Beetz, Mark Hamill, and more will star as voices in Amazon Prime Video’s new hour-long animated series Invincible from The Walking Dead writer Robert Kirkman. Based on the comic book series of the same name, the eight-episode series will premiere globally in 2020.

Hulu has released a teaser for its upcoming series Shrill. “From Executive Producers Lorne Michaels and Elizabeth Banks comes Shrill, a comedy series starring Aidy Bryant (Saturday Night Live) as Annie, a fat young woman who wants to change her life — but not her body. Annie is trying to start her career while juggling bad boyfriends, a sick parent, and a perfectionist boss.”


From PEOPLE: “Jeff Lewis and Gage Edward are taking a break from their 10 year relationship.

“The Flipping Out stars — who have dated for a decade and share 2-year-old daughter Monroe — are living in separate residences now, Lewis revealed on Thursday’s episode of his Sirius XM radio show Jeff Lewis Live. 

“It’s not clear how the couple will handle custody of Monroe. Asked about it by a caller, Lewis said, ‘I don’t even want to go there,” though he did admit earlier in the program, “I’m now a single dad ’cause the baby is with me.’

“Edward did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

“According to Lewis, the two had been living in separate rooms in the same house for the better part of a year up until Wednesday, when Edward moved out of their home and into a hotel.

“‘This has been a long time coming. We were in separate rooms a significant portion of last year, so it was kind of like a roommate situation,’ Lewis, 48, said, explaining that the two had be trying to work through their problems.

“‘I think the reason we hadn’t ripped the Band-Aid off and separated is because a) we had the baby and neither one of us want to leave the baby and then b) financially, it wasn’t the best time because I have four properties right now — three of which are in construction and one of which is sellable.’”


“Bryan Cranston has signed on for the lead role in the upcoming Showtime limited series Your HonorVariety has learned.

“Cranston will also serve as executive producer on the 10-episode series, described as a legal thriller that rips through all strata of New Orleans society. Cranston will star as a respected judge whose son is involved in a hit-and-run that leads to a high-stakes game of lies, deceit and impossible choices. The series is based on the Israeli series Kvodo, which was created by Ron Ninio and Shlomo Mashiach, produced by Ram Landes, airs on the country’s Yes TV and is produced by yesStudios.

“Peter Moffat will serve as showrunner on Your Honor in addition to writing multiple episodes, including the first episode. Robert and Michelle King will also executive produce via their King Size Productions banner along with Liz Glotzer, Alon Aranya and Rob Golenberg of Scripted World, and James Degus. CBS Television Studios, where the Kings are under an overall deal, will produce. The series will go into production in New Orleans later this year.

“‘Peter, Michelle and Robert have crafted an original thriller with gut-wrenching suspense, raw emotion and moral complexity,’ said Gary Levine, president of entertainment for Showtime Networks. ‘And we are simply ecstatic that Bryan Cranston, one of the planet’s finest actors, shares our enthusiasm and has agreed to play the lead. I can’t wait to shoot ‘Your Honor’ and show it to the world!’

“Cranston received near universal acclaim for his role on the AMC drama series Breaking Bad. He won the Emmy for lead actor in a drama series four times for that series. He is also well-known for playing family patriarch Hal on the comedy series Malcolm in the Middle, which earned him an additional three Emmy nominations. His recent TV roles include Sneaky Pete–which he also co-created and executive produces–and appearances on shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm and Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams.”


Per CNBC, “The CBS board has decided the company needs to get bigger, but merging with Viacom is not enough for Shari Redstone, who has voting control of both companies, according to people familiar with the matter.

“If the CBS-Viacom deal gets done, Redstone's National Amusements would like to move quickly with a second deal, the people said. Discovery Communications is interested in selling to CBS or a combined CBS-Viacom, according to two people familiar with the matter. Redstone is open to the idea, but would also consider buying other companies, including Sony Pictures and MGM, according to people familiar with her thinking.

“No talks have taken place between CBS and Discovery, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the company's plans are private. But bankers have already pitched Discovery on merging with CBS, one of the people said. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, who extended his contract with his company in July through 2023, would be interested in eventually running a combined company with CBS, according to a person familiar with the situation. Zaslav has also spoken about selling Discovery to other companies in recent years, including Comcast, said another person.

“CBS plans to discuss merger options at a board meeting on Thursday. The board will listen to its bankers as they present a variety of merger options, though step one is expected to be a deal with Viacom, two of the people said.

“Spokespeople at Discovery and CBS declined to comment.

“It's imperative for CBS to get bigger quickly so it has the balance sheet capacity to compete for National Football League broadcast rights, which it owns through the 2022 season. Renegotiation discussions for those rights typically take place about a year before expiration of the agreement. While CBS believes its long-standing relationship with the NFL will help cement a new deal, the company also realizes it needs to have the financial capacity to compete against enormous technology companies such as Amazon for the rights.

“A CBS-Viacom merger nearly happened last year, with the two companies agreeing to an exchange ratio, but talks fell apart over who would run a combined entity and board composition. Since then, CBS has retooled its board and former CEO Les Moonves resigned amid sexual misconduct allegations.

“Redstone has long been in favor of putting CBS and Viacom together but can't personally push for a merger for about two years, a result of a settlement between CBS and National Amusements last year that included the resignation of Moonves. CBS has a market cap of about $19 billion and an enterprise value of about $29 billion, while Viacom has a market cap of about $12 billion and an enterprise value around $20 billion.

“Discovery, with a market capitalization of about $20 billion and an enterprise value of about $37 billion, could be appealing as a second step. Discovery and CBS have a mix of assets that make a combination strategically feasible and potentially compelling. Discovery's strength is international programming and nonfiction cable stations, including the Discovery Channel, HGTV, Animal Planet and Food Network. CBS is led by the strength of its broadcast network and Showtime. Discovery could benefit from CBS' retransmission fees and premium movie channel.

Viacom nearly acquired Scripps Networks in 2017 and was outbid by Discovery, which ended up buying the company for $14.6 billion. If a combined CBS-Viacom acquired Discovery, then Viacom and Scripps would come together after all.

“The concept of putting together smaller media companies to gain scale has been long championed by John Malone, who controls more than 27 percent of Discovery's voting rights. Malone also owns about 8 percent of Lions Gate Entertainment, another media entity that could eventually be rolled into a larger company. A CBS merger with Viacom before a Discovery deal would help Redstone keep control of a combined company.

"‘Not everybody is going to be able to do a global direct-to-consumer platform,’ Malone said in November at Liberty Media's annual investor day. ‘Many will be trying to move into that space as a supplier or a player, perhaps in some cases branded or in other cases as part of the food chain. ... I think you can expect a lot of transactions.’

“A spokesperson for Discovery told CNBC the company is not for sale.

"‘Discovery is not for sale,’ the spokesperson said. ‘Any reports to the contrary is not accurate. We remain extremely confident in our growth strategy in the US and globally as we continue to build the leading portfolio of superfan brands in every market around the world.’

“CBS is actively looking for a new CEO with merger and acquisition experience and will try to choose one by the end of March, according to people familiar with the matter.

“Executive search firm Korn Ferry has selected a handful of people who will be culled down to a short list of finalists over the coming weeks, said the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. The CBS board and Redstone, whose National Amusements controls about 80 percent of CBS' and Viacom's voting power, will then meet with the finalists to pick the candidate.

“The CBS board has taken its time selecting a full-time CEO to replace Moonves, who stepped down in September. Six new independent directors were elected to the board when Moonves departed. Those board members have spent the last several months learning about CBS so they can help chart its future course.

“If CBS moves forward with a Viacom merger, Redstone would like a CEO who can work with Viacom CEO Robert Bakish in a leadership position, with either Bakish running a combined company or being the No. 2 to a new CEO, one of the people said. When CBS nearly merged with Viacom last year, Moonves would have been the CEO and Bakish his second-in-command.

“CBS interim CEO Joe Ianniello is still a candidate to become the company's full-time chief, two of the people said.

“Ideally, CBS would like to select either a nonwhite or female CEO with experience running a large media company, one of the people familiar with the discussions said. But the CBS board may not be able to find that candidate and values experience growing companies over demographic traits, said the person. Any candidate will likely be given incentives through compensation to make the company larger — either through a merger or a sale, one of the people said.

“CBS has already hired several female executives post-Moonves, including its CFO (Christina Spade), Chief People Officer (Laurie Rosenfield) and president of CBS News (Susan Zirinsky).”

My sense is that we' haven’t heard the last of these discussions.


From MTV: “Blond or brunette, light or dark eyes -- everyone has an ideal type that embodies their dream significant other, or maybe they're crushing on a certain celebrity. But what if you could have seven identical versions of that person, all with the physical characteristics you find most pleasing?

Game of Clones, a new MTV series premiering on February 21, will feature Paul "DJ Pauly D" Delvecchio, Kailyn Lowry and other MTV eligible reality stars dating seven exact lookalikes of their celeb crush. In each episode, the well-known folk will be forced to look beneath each interchangeable face in the hopes of finding their perfect match. Through compatibility tests, challenges and more, each clone will strive to stand out from the rest during this radical dating experience. The race is on to find their one and only clone-ly. Hello, dolly(s)!

“Check out the full cast below -- and be sure to catch Game of Clones on Thursday, February 21 at 9/8c!

• DJ Pauly D, Jersey Shore: Family Vacation

• Kailyn Lowry, Teen Mom 2

• Cara Maria Sorbello, The Challenge: War of the Worlds

• Kam Williams, The Challenge: War of the Worlds

• Leroy Garrett, The Challenge: Dirty 30

• Nicole Zanatta, The Challenge: Vendettas

• Derrick Henry, The Challenge: Final Reckoning”

Thursday January 31, 2019

Photos from the upcoming season of The Walking Dead.

AMC will simulcast season two of BBC America’s Killing Eve when the series returns in April, AMC Networks announced yesterday.

Fox has renewed The Masked Singer for a 2nd season. Gross.

Tori Spelling got bounced last night.

Pop has ordered a 2nd season of Hot Date.

I am really going to miss Suits when it’s gone.

Chelsea Peretti bids adieu to Brooklyn Nine-Nine in tonight’s episode.

Watch Broad City (which airs tonight on Comedy Central), if you’re not already doing so. It’s in its final season, but is really smart and different and something that deserves more attention. If you don’t believe me, start with last week’s season premiere.

Stephen King's post-apocalyptic epic best-seller The Stand is coming to CBS All Access. Following a prolonged dealmaking process, the SVOD platform on Wednesday announced a straight-to-series, 10-episode order for a drama based on the novel of the same name. Josh Boone, who was previously attached to write a feature film based on the epic novel, is set to pen the script alongside Ben Cavell (Justified, Homeland). The Stand has long been a passion project for Boone. ‘I’m excited and so very pleased that The Stand is going to have a new life on this exciting new platform,’ King said of the series. ‘The people involved are men and women who know exactly what they’re doing; the scripts are dynamite. The result bids to be something memorable and thrilling. I believe it will take viewers away to a world they hope will never happen.’"

HBO will make the next episode of True Detective available to subscribers (via HBO GO) on Friday, two days ahead of its linear TV debut. This Sunday’s episodes of Crashing and High Maintenance will also be accessible on Friday.

More Super Bowl commercials in advance of the big game.

“In her follow-up series to Scandal, Darby Stanchfield is set to star as Nina Locke in Locke & Key, Netflix’s adaptation of Joe Hill’s comic, from Hill, Carlton Cuse and IDW Entertainment. Locke & Key is a horror-fantasy series that revolves around siblings Kinsey, Tyler and Bode (Emilia Jones, Connor Jessup and Jackson Robert Scott) who, after the gruesome murder of their father, move to their ancestral home in Massachusetts only to find the house has magical keys that give them a vast array of powers and abilities. Little do they know, a devious demon also wants the keys, and will stop at nothing to attain them. After the traumatic home attack, Nina Locke moves her family across the country to Keyhouse for a fresh start — and also to solve the mystery surrounding her late husband Rendell’s murder. She struggles with her new role as a single mom, as Rendell was always more the traditional parent type. She’s much more comfortable as an artist and house renovator.”

JWoww (Jersey Shore’ s Jenni Farley) opened up about her abusive ex Roger. I’ll warn you in advance, it’s pretty heavy stuff.


From The Observer: “After his contract with Paramount Pictures expired last summer, J.J. Abrams and his Bad Robot banner became the most sought-after free agents in recent Hollywood history. (Think Super Bowl–winning quarterback Peyton Manning hitting the open market in 2012, but about five times bigger in terms of dollars and cents.)

“It has been widely reported that the writer, director and producer is now looking for a lucrative, cross-platform mega-deal that will enable him and his studio to continue their successful work on the big and small screens (linear, theatrical and streaming), while also adding video games, live theater, music, merchandising and even theme park attractions to their growing repertoire.

“Studios eyeing Abrams include Universal, Warner Bros. (which houses Bad Robot Television) and Disney, with the latter two considered the front-runners, per Deadline. Unsurprisingly, these studios routinely pull in the biggest annual numbers at the domestic box. Universal is said to be making a strong push against its competitors, while Sony and Apple are also reportedly interested. And the Lost mastermind can hardly ignore the allure of deep-pocketed streamers like Netflix and Amazon, though they remain unlikely next destinations for him at this point.

“So which landing spot is ultimately the right one for Abrams? And which will benefit the industry the most?

“First, when considering the bidding war that has surely erupted, studios must acknowledge that Abrams’ greatest skill isn’t necessarily creating original concepts with repetitive cash flow (i.e., sequels) like his mentor Steven Spielberg or James Cameron.

“‘He’s the guy who comes in and reimagines franchises,’ Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore, told Observer. ‘What he did with Star Trek was brilliant. It was the same tactic he took with Mission: Impossible III, and it’s what fans saw with the successful Star Wars: The Force Awakens.’

“That’s exactly what studios want to hear as they increasingly rely on established properties to draw audiences to the box office.

“‘I think moving forward he will take on high-profile films that keep the money flowing, but juggle that with smaller projects that are more fulfilling to him as an artist,’ Gitesh Pandya, founder of the film industry analysis site, told Observer. ‘He can definitely make that balance work.’

“It’s not that Abrams can’t create compelling original content. Super 8, the Cloverfield series and much of Bad Robot’s small-screen work (LostAlias, FringeCastle Rock) are evidence of that. But his track record suggests that he’s best suited for a studio that boasts an extensive library of existing intellectual property. That is a major reason Disney is considered a favorite to land his services.

“‘As director of the highest-grossing domestic movie of all time [2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens], Abrams is in the enviable position of having many suitors give him a home for his future projects,’ Pandya said. ‘As owner of Lucasfilm, Disney has an existing relationship and could end up being a great home for him.’

“This is the prevailing sentiment throughout the industry.

“‘Every company consumed by Disney has had tremendous success,’ Dergarabedian said. ‘Marvel, Pixar, Lucasfilm—there’s really no downside here.’

“Yes, Disney is the biggest entertainment conglomerate on the planet, and Abrams already has very strong ties to it. But is this the most ideal scenario for Hollywood?

“The Mouse House has led the film industry in domestic market share three years running. It broke its own all-time industry record for the highest-grossing domestic year in 2018 with a gargantuan $3.1 billion. The studio will very likely shatter that number this year with massive home-run swings like Captain MarvelAvengers: EndgameToy Story 4 and Abrams’ own Star Wars: Episode IX. In other words, Disney doesn’t need Abrams to succeed. They’re the Golden State Warriors of the biz right now.

“There’s also the question of just how much ownership a conglomerate can effectively handle. Once Disney’s acquisition of Fox is approved, it will control an astonishing 35 percent of the North American box office, two rising streaming services (Disney+ and Hulu) and multiple linear television networks (including ABC, ESPN, FX and NatGeo)—not to mention boast the most expansive back catalog of content in the game. Is there even any room for the ambitious expansion of Bad Robot’s multi-pronged aspirations? Wouldn’t another studio or streaming service winning the J.J. sweepstakes mean that he’d get the attention and carte blanche he deserves?

“‘Whoever you go with on the theatrical side needs a strong marketing and distribution team,’ Dergarabedian said. ‘Any home that gives him a massive amount of creative freedom to do his thing, that’s a good home.’

“While the streaming services are a long shot, they do seem to have the resources and open-mindedness to support Abrams’ more niche tastes.

“‘Digital and streaming giants could establish themselves even more by reaching into their deep pockets and offering a more handsome deal,’ said Pandya, ‘plus more creative freedom to allow him to fund personal projects and ventures that are less commercial, which traditional studios would pass on.’

“Universal could also be a great home, but it’s unknown if Abrams would want to be under the same umbrella as Spielberg. Which leaves Warner Bros. We can’t help but be intrigued by the thought of Abrams partnering with a studio that owns a slew of successful blockbuster franchises, including the Harry Potter series, DC Universe, Lego and Legendary’s surprisingly successful MonsterVerse (Godzilla and King Kong). WB also boasts some marquee in-limbo series that could be resurrected under his stewardship, such as The Matrix and Mad Max. Plus, WB has shown the ability to develop original franchises like James Wan’s Conjuring universe. The studio hasn’t finished below the top three in domestic market share since 2006 and has a reputation as a filmmaker-friendly outfit. The quantitative and intangible arguments are strong.

“Bad Robot Television is already housed at WB, which has one of the largest small-screen branches in entertainment. WarnerMedia is developing its own streaming service, which would give Abrams and his flock ample room to stretch out. Warner Bros. Records and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment can scratch his music and video game itches. And while WB isn’t known for theme parks, it does own Warner Bros. Movie World in Australia and partners with Universal on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter around the world. He can work with that.

“At the end of the day, Disney will probably wind up signing Abrams to a deal that could “perhaps reach $500 million, for everything,” reports Deadline. And that will be perfectly fine. We imagine only good things will come from an industry behemoth playing with one of Hollywood’s shiniest toys. But it might help even the playing field if another studio were able to add him to its arsenal.

“Either way, the real winner—besides the Abrams family bank account—will be the fans. As Dergarabedian put it, ‘I think there’s so many great movies still to come from him’.”


Per TheWrap, “NFL fans don’t have to wait for long after Super Bowl LIII to get a new football fix.

“The newly-formed Alliance of American Football launches it’s rookie season on Feb. 9, and Turner Sports announced on Thursday that they’ve signed a multi-year, cross-platform partnership with the league that will include live event coverage extending across a combination of Turner Sports platforms TNT and the B/R Live streaming service.

“TNT will exclusively televise one Alliance regular season game and one playoff game each season throughout the length of the agreement, with additional regular season games available weekly via B/R Live.

“‘Our focus has always been, and will always be, to create an Alliance of players, fans and the game. Joining forces with world-class partners like Turner Sports allows us to keep our mission moving forward and reach thousands of sports fans across their Turner family of platforms,’ the Alliance’s co-founder and CEO Charlie Ebersol said in a statement. ‘Turner’s focus on providing high-quality live event programming and their commitment to digital with B/R Live, fits seamlessly into our distribution model, and ultimately offers fans the opportunity to watch more football.’

“Lenny Daniels, president of Turner Sports, added: ‘We’re looking forward to this exciting partnership with The Alliance — including working closely with its leadership team of Charlie Ebersol, Bill Polian, Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu — and share the enthusiasm and forward-thinking vision being applied to this newly-formed league.’

“‘This is a true partnership and The Alliance will have our full support in the distribution of its live game coverage and content across the Turner Sports portfolio.’

“TNT will kick off it’s Alliance coverage on with Salt Lake Stallions vs. Birmingham Iron on Saturday, Feb. 16, leading into NBA All-Star Saturday Night – and will conclude with one Alliance playoff matchup in April.

“Before then, B/R Live will launch the inaugural season of The Alliance with a special program available Saturday, Feb. 9, introducing fans to the league including some of the top moments from the preseason.  B/R Live’s game coverage will begin Saturday, Feb. 23, with the Arizona Hotshots vs. Salt Lake at 3 p.m. ET.

“The Alliance features eight teams with 52-player rosters playing a 10-week regular season schedule  beginning Feb. 9 on CBS, followed by two playoff rounds and culminating with the championship game at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas on April 27.

“The eight cities, stadiums and head coaches are as follows:

Orlando Apollos / Spectrum Stadium / Steve Spurrier

Atlanta Legends / Georgia State Stadium / Kevin Coyle

Memphis Express / Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium / Mike Singletary

Salt Lake Stallions / Rice-Eccles Stadium / Dennis Erickson

Arizona Hotshots / Sun Devil Stadium / Rick Neuheisel

San Diego Fleet / San Diego County Credit Union Stadium / Mike Martz

Birmingham Iron / Legion Field Stadium / Tim Lewis

San Antonio Commanders / Alamodome / Mike Riley”

Why? Just why? There is a zero percent chance this succeeds. I don’t care who’s behind it. Lest you don’t believe me, here’s one reason why. And here’s another.


Per The New York Post, “The rivalry between LeBron James and Michael Jordan over who is the GOAT (greatest of all time) was kicked up a notch last year when Jordan refused James’ request to use video of His Airness for a documentary, which James executive produced with Maverick Carter, sources say.

“Without the Jordan footage, the film about the 1984 NBA draft, in which Jordan was selected third, had to be changed, and it became a three-part documentary about the civic activism of basketball players, Shut Up and Dribble,’ which Showtime aired in November.

“Sources say that’s why King James said a month ago that winning the 2016 NBA championship for Cleveland, coming back after being down three games to one, ‘made me the greatest of all time.’

“‘LeBron was pissed at Michael Jordan — that’s why he lashed out,’ one source told me. ‘They hate each other — these two camps.’

“Jordan’s camp didn’t respond to my request for comment, but James’ adviser Adam Mendelsohn denied the rejection of the request for Jordan footage was an issue: ‘LeBron has absolutely zero problem with Michael Jordan controlling his content, and didn’t even know it was requested.’

“Jordan is producing a 10-part documentary on his basketball career — totaling six championships — using wall-to-wall video that NBA Entertainment recorded during 1997-1998, his final season on the Chicago Bulls.

“An NBA insider told me, ‘LeBron’s people wanted an extensive amount of footage of Michael, and the league said, ‘‘You have to ask Michael.” And his people said “no.”’

“Following in Jordan’s footsteps, camera crews have been following LeBron this season documenting his relocation to the Los Angeles Lakers. No one will be allowed to use that video without James’ permission.

“But the NBA insider doesn’t think the two superstars hate each other: ‘I think LeBron and Michael have fun with it.’

“The rivalry will continue beyond the hardwood and the TV screen if James also follows Jordan in becoming an NBA owner. Jordan is chairman of the Charlotte Hornets.

“Carter said last summer, ‘Ten years from now, I think — I don’t think, I know — LeBron will be owning a basketball team.’ Imagine their teams meeting in the finals.”

Let’s be CRYSTAL clear on this. There is only one GOAT and his name is Michael Jeffrey Jordan. Move along.


Per Variety, “There’s room in the unscripted television landscape for more than one talent variety show, according to the The World’s Best producers at CBS’ winter TCA press tour Wednesday.

“While indicating that the mid-season edition of NBC’s America’s Got Talent: The Champions was a ‘direct shot at us,’ executive producer Mike Darnell sounded bullish on the prospects for “The World’s Best,” a talent competition show that incorporates an international judging element.

“In addition to judges RuPaul, Drew Barrymore and Faith Hill, 50 expert talents from around the globe – K-pop singers, martial arts experts, ballet dancers – constitute the Wall of the World and will also weigh in on the contestants on stage.

“Watching performers who have spent years perfecting their expertise, RuPaul said he ‘wasn’t prepared for the emotional journey’ that the show took him on, calling it ‘fantastic.’

“Darnell, an executive whose credits include Ellen’s Game of Games, Love Connection, and Little Big Shots – not to mention American Idol during his time at Fox – said that the reality genre is ‘healthy.’

“While genres like comedy and drama are pretty well defined, he said, unscripted is a pretty wide swath, ‘so when something’s not working, something else is taking off.’ He also said reality is a ‘super important’ genre on an advertiser level, given the heft of reality-show seasons compared to scripted series.

“Hosted by James Corden and offering a million-dollar prize, The World’s Best has a coveted premiere spot, debuting on CBS immediately after the Super Bowl on Sunday.

“Calling it a ‘mighty title,’ executive producer Alison Holloway said that the name has ‘spurred us as producers to do the very best that we can’ with a new talent format that has ‘no template.’

“And pointing to the success of The Voice and its swinging judging chairs amid an already competitive landscape of singing competition shows, Darnell highlighted the way that a new element can differentiate a show. The World’s Best adds a ‘global feel’ and ‘dramatic way of scoring’ that he says makes the show feel ‘fresh and new.’

“‘We’re ready for the challenge,’ said Darnell. ‘We think we’ve got the next new spin on a variety show.’”


Per The Hollywood Reporter, “CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl doesn't want to talk about Bull star Michael Weatherly or the future of NCIS: New Orleans, both have which have been plagued by sexual harassment scandals. The executive, who bypassed a Q&A session during CBS' time on Wednesday at the Television Critics Association's winter tour, declined to field questions about either subject during a sit-down interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Instead, he addressed the company's ongoing culture woes a day after a second top producer was fired from NCIS: New Orleans, the future of CBS' comedy brand after mega-hit The Big Bang Theory wraps its run in May, why Murphy Brown didn't resonate and what to expect this pilot season (and beyond):

What are you doing to fix CBS' culture problem? Just yesterday another high-level producer from NCIS: New Orleans was fired.

Our CEO has been saying that culture is very important and getting it right and the corporation is committed to that. They have been doing a lot of listening, a lot of interaction — more so than in the past. The actors talked today that every show has a seminar with HR professionals talking about what is and what is not acceptable behavior. We are 100 percent committed to a safe and collaborative workplace. I absolutely believe strides have been made in that area, and it's been communicated that we will not tolerate anything less than that.

Have you had any showrunners say that they don't want to do business with CBS?

None that I know of.

The Big Bang Theory is ending this year. How will CBS' comedy change, post-Big Bang? Will you stick with multicameras? Your roster currently includes Mom, and bubble rookies Happy Together and Fam. Spinoff Young Sheldon is a single-cam …

We really enjoy our multicamera heritage and still think those tend to be the backbone of your schedule. But as Young Sheldon and Life in Pieces have show, single-cams can certainly work on our air. The bottom line is, I don't really care what the format is, as long as the shows are funny and they work.

How would you characterize the network's plans for Big Bang Theory's series finale?

You're not going to not know it's coming! We will support it heavily and celebrate it. It's been 12 amazing years and hundreds of millions of viewers. It's been a special show for me and everybody at CBS. These kinds of shows don't come along that often. We want to give it the proper respect it deserves on its way into the sunset.

Any plans for an extended finale or retrospective of any sort?

We're still talking about those things.

CBS hasn't done any veteran series renewals yet, but is Young Sheldon the heir apparent for Big Bang's Thursdays at 8 p.m. slot?

When we've lost some kind of big shows in the past — when Everybody Loves Raymond and Two and a Half Menended and now Big Bang — we've always been fortunate to have what looks to be the next show. We've never been stuck with nothing to replace it. I don't know that anything necessarily replaces Big Bang Theory, but we feel fortunate to have an extremely strong comedy that is still getting better and has already established a large audience. Will it probably be the No. 1 sitcom on TV next year? Yes, I think it probably will be. I think it's a show that certainly does more than just draft off of Big Bang; it's its own show with a loyal audience. We've had shows that people actively turned the dial after Big Bang, and they don't do that for this show. I think it has more to do with that it's a prequel.

Have you talked at all about other spinoffs from Big Bang Theory?

If Chuck Lorre or one of his awesome producers want to come to us with a new idea, we are all ears.

You have a new comedy in the works with Big Bang co-creator Lorre. Mom, also from Lorre, is up for renewal as its stars are looking for new deals. What are your hopes for his future at the network? His overall deal with Warner Bros. expires in June 2020, with several top showrunners leaving for Netflix — and Lorre just took home a Golden Globe comedy win for the streamer's Kominsky Method, his first top prize in his career.

We will do shows with Chuck as long as Chuck wants to do shows with us. I can't speak for him, but I do believe he's had a very good experience with us and I'd like to think very possible you can enjoy both experiences and take something away from each. I certainly hope he will be in business with us for many years to come. He is the best in the business and a great partner.

Murphy Brown likely didn't perform the way you would have hoped. Looking back, is there anything you'd have done differently? Why do you think it didn't find a larger audience?

No. It actually improved the time period from a year prior. I heard from people that they really enjoyed the show. [Creator] Diane English came to us and said this was the show she wanted to do and we let her do that show. I think she would agree with that. It was a very fun show to be involved with and it certainly remains in contention for next year.

I'd heard from sources that multiple people associated with the production wanted some sort of additional episode order beyond the initial 13 it was picked up for. But in success, had Murphy Browndelivered a Roseanne-like rating, would you have done a back order?

Diane and Warner Bros. TV came to us from minute one and said we'd like to do 13 episodes of the show — and only 13 episodes of the show. We understood we were doing 13 episodes of the show and planned it that way. There was really no talk of anything beyond that because that's what we understood; that was the deal with the show when it came to us.

So even if it popped, you would not have ordered one, two or five more?

I stick with what I just said.

Would you want another 13 or a shorter order?

It depends. You get to May [upfronts] and you have to look at all the pieces in contention and piece together a new season. You have to try to make everything fit the schedule to the best of your ability.

Life in Pieces is without a premiere date. Will it air this season?

It's going to air.

We're in the midst of pilot season and CBS feels like it's about halfway done with pickups. What's the mandate there? Across broadcast, it feels like it's more of the same: procedurals, family comedies and lots of IP.

It's a mix. Procedurals are the backbone of our network and our audience likes them. Do we want to do the same old, same old procedurals we've done? No. In most of our procedural development, there's some twist on an old medical show and an old cops and robbers show and an old legal show; it's something different. Going into development, we want to cast a wide net. There's no preset formula on, "this is what we're looking for." We read the material and see what rises to the top and then go to pilot. The numbers [orders between comedy and drama] will be about the same.

Do you envision the FBI universe similar in size as Dick Wolf's Chicago franchise on NBC?

We are taking it one at a time. We've learned a bit in the past with the NCIS and CSI franchises. The key for us and to be successful for the audience is any extension really needs to be distinctive with its look and characters. It can have some DNA with the mothership, but they have to stand on their own. Dick's pitch for FBI: Most Wanted was a distinctive show from FBI.

FBI: Most Wanted is one of multiple spinoffs and reboots already in the works this season. Is there an over-reliance on broadcast on reboots and spinoffs, or is that what broadcast networks need to do to stand out in the Peak TV era?

You have to look at them one at a time. Everybody's circumstances are different. Can a brand extension or reboot maybe help you stand out in the marketplace? Yes. You can promote it to people who are already fans of that show or genre. Is it a guarantee of success? Absolutely not. You still have to execute the same as any new show.  

Last summer you mentioned taking another look at bringing Code Black back after the series — a co-production with ABC Studios — was canceled. What happened?

We couldn't get to the financial place we needed to in order to bring it back. It was a bummer. The financial model for co-productions can be complex, and we just weren't able to get to the place where it made sense for us and for their studio and made sense for the general schedule.

Looking ahead to summer, are you looking to stick with a mix of scripted and unscripted?

It'll be a little of each. We need to find what that new model [for scripted] is. We have Love Island this summer, which is a pretty significant jump into adding another unscripted franchise. We have Blood and Treasure coming, which is a big dive into scripted to see if we can crack that formula again. It's probably less about the model and more about that we haven't found the right show. And we have to find the show that gets people to sit up in their chair and really gets their attention again. Under the Dome did that, and we've had a harder time since.”

Wednesday January 30, 2019

HGTV’s The Kitchen Cousins’ new digital series with Ellen DeGeneres, called The Build Up, is now available to stream on ellentube. I’ve watched the first 2 episodes (which is all that has been released so far). I implore you to check it out. It does NOT feel like a digital series and I expect you will feel the same.

CBS has renewed God Friended Me for a 2nd season.

Project Runway will return to Bravo on March 14.

Louis learns how to deal with Harvey; Alex is caught between Samantha and his wife. #SUITS More below.

“For the second time in three years, This Is Us fans can blame Donald Trump for delaying the airing of a season finale of This Is Us. NBC announced on Tuesday that it will pre-empt Feb. 5’s episode of the hit family drama so it can air President Trump’s State of the Union address. The next new episode of TIU is now slated to air Feb. 12 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The domino effect of this rescheduling move means that the season 3 finale, which was originally scheduled to air on Mar. 26, will now hit your TVs on April 2. In 2017, a similar scenario unfolded when a February episode of TIU was bumped to accommodate a live telecast of President Trump addressing a joint session of Congress.

Amazon is getting into the Gillian Flynn business. It was announced today that the studio will go ahead with Utopia, a drama from Flynn that is based on a British series of the same name. They’ve also signed an overall development deal with the Gone Girl author. Utopia has been green-lit for a nine-episode first season, in which a group of young adults end up in the crosshairs of an ominous deep-state organization, because they’ve obtained a supersecret and super-desirable graphic novel that may contain a vast real-world conspiracy in its pages. As you might expect, it will be up to them to save the world. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sasha Lane is the first person to be cast in Utopia in the role of Jessica Hyde. Hyde is apparently described as ‘tough and feral after a life on the run from a mysterious and dangerous group,’ a character type she’s pretty much mastered with American Honey and The Miseducation of Cameron Post. The character believes her life is linked to the show’s sought-after graphic novel, and will be one of the young people trying to save the world.”

Jerry O'Connell wants to play Billy McFarland.”

And if you watched the Netflix Fyre Festival doc, you should check this out.

“A week after Viacom surprised the industry by agreeing to pay $340 million for Pluto TV, rival Tubi has announced several measures of its dramatic growth in 2018 and plans for expansion in 2019. The independent company, which launched in 2014, bills itself as the world’s largest ad-supported video on demand service. It said its total viewership more than quadrupled in 2018 compared with 2017, with streaming in December 2018 alone equaling the amount for all of 2017. San Francisco-based Tubi said its revenue soared 180% in 2018 over the year before, with the company turning a profit in the fourth quarter. Plans call for those proceeds to fund additions to the current library of 40,000 hours of content across 12,000 movies and TV shows. Tubi said it closed a $25 million growth capital facility with Silicon Valley Bank, which will also help fund content acquisition and marketing. While the company declined to be more specific, it says the investment in new content will be ‘over nine figures.’” More on the state of SVOD below.

“The Television Academy is putting its foot down on category flip-flops. Going forward, programs will be allowed to switch categories (say, from comedy to drama competition) in the Emmy race just once. After that, they’re locked in — and won’t be allowed to categorize again. That’s one of the latest changes to the Emmy competition, as the TV Academy released its formalized rules and regulations on Tuesday for this year’s competition. As TV series have become a bit more complex (comedies with a heavy dose of drama, and vice versa), it’s become harder to categorize many of them. That’s why, a few years ago, the TV Academy clarified that half-hour shows will be automatically deemed comedies, and hour-longs as dramas, unless those shows petition to make a change. And with many hour-longs touting themselves as comedies and a rise in half-hour dramas, those requests have become commonplace.”

Per Deadline, “USA Network at TCA unveiled a trailer for its upcoming series Pearson, a spinoff from the popular legal drama Suits, which stars Gina Torres and centers on her character, powerhouse lawyer Jessica Pearson, as she enters the dirty world of Chicago politics. (you can watch it above.)

“During a panel discussion for the show, the project’s creators, Suits creator and executive producer Aaron Korsh and executive producer Daniel Arkin, talked about how the offshoot will stand on its own in comparison to the mothership series.

“‘Jessica is the link between Suits and Pearson,’ Arkin said. ‘It has Suits DNA but we wanted the show’s concept to be grittier, raw, more real, showing more facets of her personality and life.’

“While Jessica was always calling the shots on Suits, ‘we are seeing her behind the ball, not knowing everything (on Pearson,)’ Korsh said. ‘People reject her for a change.’

“While Jessica’s position in the food chain changes, her status as a fashion icon does not.

“‘I think it will be tragedy if they didn’t see that part of the DNA carry over,’ Torres said of her character keeping her sense of style and penchant for designer outfits though the producers noted that, since Pearson will chronicle both Jessica’s professional and personal life, she will be seen wearing more casual clothes than in Suits.

“Torres, who came up with the initial idea for Pearson, said that she first thought about revisiting her Jessica Pearson character in a political setting following her exit from Suits after she ‘became obsessed with the 2016 elections.’

“‘I realized that that’s what she did in the world of Suits, not just walking the line but blurring the line and rewriting it,’ Torres said, adding that she started asking herself ‘what would she do in that world (of Chicago politics).’

“Korsh and Torres talked about their ‘magical experience’ attending the Royal wedding though Korsh laughed off questions about former Suits star Meghan Markle possibly visiting the spinoff or the mothership series’ final sason. As I reported last week, there are no Suits characters crossing over on the first season of Pearson.”


From Yahoo!: “Will Meghan Markle return for Suits' farewell season?

“When USA Network officially announced that the upcoming ninth season would be the legal drama's last, rumors swirled that original cast members who had since left, most notably Markle, could return for one last hurrah. On Tuesday, Suits creator Aaron Korsh addressed whether they were actively looking to reunite with Markle, who played Rachel Zane for seven seasons, and is currently expecting her first child with Prince Harry.

"‘We're not currently pursuing asking Meghan Markle to leave her position with the royal family and join us,’ Korsh told a handful of reporters, including ET, at the Television Critics Association press tour. ‘I would love it but I think it's pretty close to zero.’

“Korsh also addressed the more realistic chances that Patrick J. Adams, who departed at the end of season seven, could reprise his role one last time as attorney Mike Ross in the series finale.

"‘I have discussed with Patrick when he left the possibility of coming back, and we both decided if the time was right and he was up for it and he had the time, that we would do it,’ Korsh said.

“The writers' room for the final 10 episodes of Suits is starting up soon, he noted, and the first order of business will be to ‘figure out what we want to do.’

"‘I don't mean just in a general sense, like wanting Mike is not a story. We'd have to figure out exactly what we would do with him and we'd have to have a general plan,’ he added. ‘I wouldn't break every story or the story so specifically before contacting Patrick and saying, “This is the general thing we'd do, are you available?” Then we'd move from there. Since we just started... it's on our brains.’

“Korsh admitted that he doesn't have destinations in mind, necessarily, for the Suits characters and where he'd like people like Harvey, Donna and Louis to end up by the series' end. 

"‘We're starting to discuss all the things. All of them left at various stages at the end of [the season eight finale] and you start from there, you start where you want them to go, you figure out how much time you have and along the way, things can change,’ he said. ‘The finale that's coming up, we ended in a radically different way than I would've thought we were going to end it two days before we started shooting it. I can't know until after we've shot it, exactly what's going to happen with everyone but we're in the beginning process of figuring it out.’

“Asked if he had the final image of the Suits series finale in mind, Korsh was honest, telling ET, ‘No.’ 

“Earlier this month, Korsh was less sure about whether he would be asking old cast members to return for the final season.

"‘As of this minute, I don’t know which of our old original cast will be back and which won’t because we’re so early in the season,’ he told Deadline at the time. ‘As far as the original people coming back including, Jessica, we’re so early in the season that we haven’t formulated what we want to do, so we can’t reach out to people before we know what we want to do.’

“Suits airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on USA Network.”


Empire star Jussie Smollett was hospitalized early Tuesday following an assault in Chicago in what is described as a possible hate crime, Variety has confirmed.

“According to a statement released by the Chicago Police Department, Smollett was beaten by two men who approached him by yelling out ‘racial and homophobic slurs’ at approximately 2 a.m. Tuesday morning in the 300 block of E. North Water Street. They proceeded to assault Smollett and ‘poured an unknown chemical substance’ on him.

“The two men are also said to have put a rope around Smollett’s neck before fleeing on foot. Smollett then transported himself to an area hospital and is described as being in “good condition.”

“Smollett was in Chicago ahead of a concert he was set to perform on Saturday. He had posted on Instagram late Monday night saying he had arrived in the city ‘after spending 7 hours on a plane for a 2 hour flight.’ According to TMZ, Smollett had gone out for food after landing when the assault occurred.

“‘We are deeply saddened and outraged to learn that a member of our Empire family, Jussie Smollett, was viciously attacked last night,’ 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment said in a statement. ‘We send our love to Jussie, who is resilient and strong, and we will work with law enforcement to bring these perpetrators to justice. The entire studio, network and production stands united in the face of any despicable act of violence and hate — and especially against one of our own.’

“GLAAD also released a statement on the incident, saying, ‘GLAAD reached out to Fox and Jussie’s team today to offer assistance as well as support for him. Jussie is a true champion for LGBTQ people and is beloved by the community and allies around the world.’

“Smollett received rave reviews for his breakout role as Jamal Lyon on Empire. The character publicly came out as gay during the show’s record-breaking first season. Smollett himself came out during an interview with Ellen DeGeneres in 2015.

“‘I am disgusted and saddened by the attack on Jussie, one of the nicest and most genuine people I have worked with,’ Empire executive producer Brian Grazer said in a statement. ‘I send him much love on his recovery. Hate and bigotry have no place in our society.’

“ABC News reported Tuesday that an earlier threat had been made in letter form to Smollett. Investigation of the incident has now been handed over to the FBI.”


From Realscreen: “Deep-pocketed SVOD players and the continuously evolving content ecosystem were top of mind for executives during a top-level panel discussion on the opening day of the 21st edition of the Realscreen Summit in New Orleans.

“Moderated by Michael Bancroft, executive producer at Beyond Innovation and co-host of The Feed with Amber Mac and Michael B, the panel discussed whether producers and content creators can accept losing rights for global reach and how SVOD players have forced media organizations to rethink the way they approach content and content delivery.

“Streaming giants like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu have obviously opened up other avenues where content producers can show and sell content, especially since these players have taken the plunge with unscripted producers.

“‘It’ll continue to evolve,’ Jennifer O’Connell, EVP and head of worldwide alternative programming at Lionsgate, told a packed room at the Sheraton New Orleans. ‘We’re at beginning of this evolution and figuring out how to be flexible with deals, which is a big part of figuring out the right way to make it work.’

“Finding the right home for your program, O’Connell said, is absolutely crucial and cautioned against producers being swayed by the sexiest sell, as it might not always be the best home for that specific project.

“‘You want the longest life, you just don’t want to make a bunch of season ones,’ she said. ‘Sometimes that’s with the shiny new toy, and sometimes that’s with the more traditional platform that might give it more attention and time.’

“Content makers are fundamentally dealing with very dissimilar companies. While producers may have gotten into the habit of dealing with traditional linear networks in a specific way, the habits of new SVOD providers are vastly different and very specific.

“As a result of those diverging habits, Brian Speiser, a partner for alternative and factual programming at APA, said the biggest challenges presented to creators moving forward is in determining how to become more flexible in the deal making arena while also realizing that ‘it’s a paradigm shift right now and we all have to work in a way that maybe the other is not accustomed to working in, and that also requires flexibility on their end, too.’

“For content makers launching large shows in North America across the digital landscape, producing for the domestic audience with an eye toward the global marketplace is a delicate balance. One of the bigger distinctions between working directly for more traditional networks and working for an SVOD – Netflix in particular – is that the majority of producers are not privy to the data surrounding the performance of their series.

“‘There are whole parts of the legacy business model that depended on certain data points that don’t apply to SVOD model, that’s everything from have you valued advertising space to have you valued tape when you’re selling it into syndication or globally,’ said David Eilenberg, ITV America’s chief creative officer. ‘It’s interesting to see how vulnerable certain parts of our legacy business model are being made.’

“‘There are a growing number of people who think Netflix will have to become an ad-supported model at some point,’ added Speiser. ‘You’re already seeing them buy shows or license shows with interesting brand integration opportunities as well.’

“Lauren Gellert, EVP of development and original programming at WE tv noted that Netflix and other major subscription streaming services will now start losing libraries that they’ve previously depended on because media conglomerates like The Walt Disney Company are now launching their own SVOD platforms to superserve the masses.

“‘We’ll see if they actually have what it takes to go up against Netflix because Netflix innovates, pivots, is nimble and is all the things that traditional networks are usually not,’ said moderator Bancroft.

“Nimbleness, Lionsgate’s O’Connell concluded, is the operative word for all players throughout the media landscape, whether a buyer, seller, SVOD or traditional. ‘That is what will separate the winners from the others. You have to be nimble in this world.’”

Tuesday January 29, 2019

In the event you care more about the Super Bowl commercials than the game itself, here is a every spot that has dropped before the big game.

IFC has canceled Stan Against Evil.

“Singapore is amazing. It’s got the lights, the buildings.” -Colton Underwood Eloquent!

For the record, Marina Del Rey isn’t THAT far from West Hollywood. The clowns on Vanderpump Rules would have you believe otherwise. More on these dolts below.

Amazon has given a pilot order to Half-Empty, the comedy from co-writer and star Cazzie David, the streamer announced on Monday. David stars as a sardonic college student whose overactive imagination leads to catastrophic thinking and an endless chain of social disasters. David, daughter of comedian Larry David, penned the script for the pilot alongside Elisa Kalani, with whom she previously collaborated on the web series Eighty-Sixed.”

Syfy has acquired the rights to develop a Chucky TV series. It will allegedly focus on the character at the center of the Child’s Play film series, Charles Lee Ray.

Kal Penn and Michael Schur are teaming up. I like the potential outcome here.

“We know you love Atlanta, and we know you want Season 3 to hurry up and materialize. Zazie Beetz knows it, too, but unfortunately she doesn’t have much information on when to expect it — other than to say that, ideally, they would already be filming. The actress, who’s at Sundance with Wounds, visited the IndieWire Studio presented by Dropbox alongside her castmate Armie Hammer; while there, she told IndieWire’s Christian Blauvelt what she knows about the acclaimed comedy’s return date. ‘Ideally we would be shooting now; that’s not happening,’ she said with a laugh. ‘Everybody’s schedules are sort of all over the place — they’re hoping for spring sometime, but no dates. Everybody’s busy,’ she added, ‘and Donald [Glover] had his tour in the fall, and that doesn’t lend itself to time for scriptwriting. I know that they have a couple of episodes together, but I don’t have any real information.’ Hammer then interjected, ‘Get your shit together, Donald! We’re waiting.’”

Freeform is in development on a dramedy inspired by the life of Ericka Suzanne, the daughter of Elaine Brown, who was the first female leader of the Black Panther Party. Written and executive produced by Insecure EP Dayna Lynne North, Party Girls, a single-camera half-hour, has a script-to-series commitment from the network. Laurence Fishburne will also serve as executive producer on the project via his Cinema Gypsy Productions banner. Set in Oakland, California in the 1970s, Party Girls follows Ericka’s attempt to survive her adolescence as her mother rises in the Black Panther Party. The potential series is said to explore an unconventional mother-daughter relationship, balancing the stakes of the movement with the humor inherent in coming-of-age, and asking the question how do you rebel when your mom is leading a rebellion.”

Donald Trump will brave an interview with CBS on Super Bowl Sunday, after bailing on the tradition last year when he could not strike a deal with NBC News. Trump will sit down for a rare interview non-Fox News interview, appearing on CBS’s Sunday Beltway show Face the Nation. He will be interviewed by program host Margaret Brennan on Sunday, February 3, some of which will be saved to air later in the day, in game walk-up programming. Unlike the POTUS pre-game tradition started by President Barack Obama, Trump’s Pre-Bowl sit-down will not be live.”


Per Deadline, “CNBC is focusing on real estate as a programming growth area, with three new original series on that theme joining the primetime lineup in May.

“The business network made the announcement during NBCUniversal’s day of cable network presentations at TCA winter press tour.

“Listing Impossible follows superstar real estate agent Aaron Kirman and his team as they work to sell multi-million dollar estates that have languished on the market. Cash Pad (working title) is a home renovation series in which Bachelorette couple-turned-home flippers JoJo Fletcher and Jordan Rogers transform ordinary homes and apartments into lucrative short-term rental properties. Five Day Business Flip(working title) features a husband-and-wife design duo who remodel small businesses by creating additional money-making operations for them and do it all in five days.

“‘Whether it’s investing or building or selling, real estate remains one of the best and fastest ways to build wealth,’ said Jim Ackerman EVP, Primetime Alternative Programming, CNBC. ‘These new shows and our returning series, The Deed: Chicago, are a perfect fit for our primetime slate.’

“In addition, Simonsen Says (working title), featuring one of Douglas Elliman’s top real estate brokers Lisa Simonsen, has been added to the network’s development slate. And The Deed: Chicago, which follows real estate mogul Sean Conlon as he comes to the aid of struggling property investors, also returns for a second season.

Below are more details from the network’s release:


Listing Impossible: Superstar L.A. real estate agent Aaron Kirman and his team specialize in selling extravagant, multi-million dollar properties that have been languishing on the market. To succeed, they must convince stubborn homeowners to follow their plan. Produced by Authentic Entertainment, a division of Endemol Shine North America, with David Tibballs, Helga Eike, and Sara Reddy as executive producers. Jim Ackerman and Luke Bauer are the executive producers for CNBC.

Cash Pad (working title): Former stars of The Bachelorette and serious house flippers, JoJo Fletcher and Jordan Rogers, partner with homeowners hoping to turn their properties into ideal short-term rentals. JoJo and Jordan will transform these ordinary spaces with unrealized potential into profitable vacation-rental hot spots. Produced by Electus with Chris Grant, Drew Buckley, Tim Puntillo, Craig Plestis and Ming Lee Howell as executive producers. Jim Ackerman and Marshall Eisen are the executive producers for CNBC.

Five Day Business Flip (working title)
Husband and wife team Chrissy and Erik Kopplin re-think, re-design, and renovate small businesses in just five days by creating additional revenue streams for them. They rely on years of high-end retail design experience and construction know-how to create simple fixes with tangible results. Produced by Turn Card Content with Audra Smith, Courtney Smith, and Karin Jarlstedt as executive producers. Jim Ackerman and Marshall Eisen are the executive producers for CNBC.”


Per The Hollywood Reporter, “Robin Thede is returning to television.

“Six months after BET canceled her late-night talker The Rundown With Robin Thede, the host and comedian has been tapped to topline A Black Lady Sketch Show for HBO.

“The half-hour sketch comedy — featuring, as its name implies, black women — has been picked up straight to series. An episode count and premiere date have not been determined.

“Thede created the series and will star, write and executive produce the project alongside Issa Rae and her HBO-based Issa Rae Productions banner. The series will feature narrative sketches performed by a core cast of black women — including Thede — as well as celebrity guests. It is considered the first sketch comedy in TV history to be written by, directed by and starring an array of black women.

“Lauren Ashley Smith will serve as head writer and co-exec producer on Black Lady Sketch Show, reuniting with Thede. Smith previously served as head writer on BET's one-and-done effort The Rundown. Her credits include Bravo's Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen and VH1's Best Week Ever.

“Black Lady Sketch Show brings Thede back to television after BET canceled the Chris Rock-produced The Rundown after one season. The weekly talk show — which included sketch segments and short documentary pieces — ended after its initial 24-episode order. At the time of the cancellation, BET — which is under new leadership — expressed hope in working with Thede again. The 30-minute topical satire show was hosted by the former Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore head writer and contributor. Never a ratings breakout, Thede generated a small but loyal following and became a critical favorite. Days after BET's cancellation, she hosted the Television Critics Association's annual awards show, which received favorable feedback from critics. The Rundown was universally praised and boasts a rare 100 percent fresh rating among critics on RottenTomatoes.

“Thede, who also was the first African-American woman to serve as head writer for a late-night series and for the White House Correspondents Dinner, is currently developing a scripted project for ABC.

“The sketch show extends Rae's relationship with HBO, where she stars on and exec produces Insecure. It is the latest project to stem from her overall deal with the premium cabler. She is repped by UTA, 3 Arts and John V. Meigis Jr.

“A Black Lady Sketch Show is the latest series to come from indie studio Jax Media. The company previously produced The Rundown and scripted offerings including Younger, Broad City, Search Party, The Conners and Netflix's upcoming Russian Doll.

“For HBO, the series arrives as the premium cabler is under a mandate to do more under its new corporate owners. The network boasts a late-night stable that also includes shows hosted by John Oliver and Bill Maher.”


Per The New York Post, “[t]he big reveal of TomTom is finally here on Monday night’s Vanderpump Rules episode, and Page Six got an exclusive tour with the men behind the bar.

“Tom Schwartz and Tom Sandoval showed us around their West Hollywood restaurant with Lisa Vanderpump and stopped to point out all of their favorite details.

“Schwartz pointed out that their garden bar was a parking lot before Vanderpump developed the restaurant, while Sandoval revealed that there’s a chandelier in the main bar that can magnify any photos they put inside.

“‘We get tons of people from Australia, from Saudi Arabia, like all over the world, every single night, they literally come here,’ Sandoval told us. ‘They’re like, “We’re going to the US. We’re going to stop by LA, and if we’re going to LA, we’re going to go to the Griffith Observatory, Runyon Canyon and SUR and TomTom.”’

“‘Every single night I come in, and I’m not exaggerating, I’ve talked to people who are like, “We got off the plane and we came straight here. We went to our hotel and this was our first stop,”’ Schwartz added.

“‘I have a lot of pride in this place,’ Sandoval chimed in. ‘I want to represent it properly by being here and showing up.’

“‘We just got our foot in the door,’ Schwartz said. ‘So we’re excited. We’ve got a lot of vigor and we’re ready to rock and roll!’

“The restaurant opened this fall.”

The only thing I take from that article is that stupidity is universal.


From EW: “Netflix is often accused of valuing quantity over quality when it comes to selecting its content.

“But according to new study, it’s streaming rival Amazon Prime that’s really serving up mass quantities of cinematic junk food.

“Aptly-named tech site Streaming Observer made a list of all the movies on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and HBO Now and cross-referenced the films with their Rotten Tomatoes scores.

“Among the findings: Amazon Prime currently has a whopping 17,461 movies in its library, which is four times as many as Netflix (3,839) and far more than Hulu (2,336) and HBO (815).

“But here’s the rub: Netflix had the most number of movies that were ‘Certified Fresh’ by Rotten Tomatoes (where 75 percent or more reviews of a film are positive). Netflix had 596 Certified Fresh titles, such as current offerings like Black PantherPulp Fiction, and The Dark Knight. Amazon had only 232 acclaimed movies — just 1.3 percent of its library. Hulu had 223 and HBO Now had a mere 38.

“Still, for Amazon subscribers, a selection of 17,461 films is extremely impressive (befitting of a company with the tagline ‘Earth’s Biggest Selection’), while HBO’s value proposition on the movie side is that the network frequently lands major recently released titles before anybody else.”


USA Network continues to restock its slate of scripted originals.

“With both Mr. Robot and Suits [sigh] ending this year, the NBCUniversal-owned cable network has handed out a series order to the cheerleading drama Dare Me. The news comes days after USA picked up Briarpatch, a drama series starring Rosario Dawson and produced by Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail. Meanwhile, the fourth and final pilot from the cabler's April crop — Denis Leary starrer Erase — has been passed over.

“Dare Me, based on the Megan Abbott novel, explores the cutthroat world of competitive high school cheerleading. It follows the fraught relationship between two best friends (Herizen Guardiola and Marlo Kelly) after a new coach (Willa Fitzgerald) arrives to bring their team to prominence. While the girls’ friendship is put to the test, their young lives are changed forever when a shocking crime rocks their quiet suburban world. The project is considered a coming-of-age/small-town drama/murder mystery mix.

“Abbott serves as a writer and executive producer alongside Gina Fattore (Dawson's Creek, Gilmore Girls). The series is exec produced by Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights) and former HBO head of originals Michael Lombardo's Film 44 banner. Sarah Condon and Karen Rosenfelt also exec produce. Netflix has boarded the series as a co-producer alongside Universal Cable Productions. The streamer will have first-run rights to the series outside of the U.S.

“Dare Me becomes the latest series to secure co-financing from Netflix. Many networks, including USA corporate sibling Syfy, have been looking to the deep-pocketed streamer to help offset costs with producing pricey dramas.

"‘Megan Abbott’s voice brings a fresh perspective to USA Network, with a gripping, female-focused story that combines the ultra-competitive world of high school cheerleading with the secrets of a seemingly-perfect small American town,’ USA and Syfy president Chris McCumber said Monday in a statement. 

“Dare Me is the third drama from USA's April pilot crop to secure a series order. It joins the Bourne prequel Treadstone and Briarpatch. Those arrive at a turning point for USA Network, which this year will say farewell to the critical darling Mr. Robot and SuitsThe latter was the last of the cabler's former "Blue Skies"-branded programming of upbeat procedurals. With the breakout success of Mr. Robot, USA shifted to darker and edgier fare. With both shows ending this year, the cable network will need to launch new hits to join returning series Queen of the South and The Purge. USA will next introduce the Suits spinoff Pearson. Still to be determined is the fate of fellow anthology The Sinner, though it is expected to return.  

“For leading lady Fitzgerald, the role brings the actress back to USA Network after a role on Royal Pains. Her credits include MTV's Scream series and Gotham

“A premiere date and episode count for Dare Me have yet to be determined.”

Monday January 28, 2019

CBS has renewed FBI, Magnum P.I., and The Neighborhood?!

I watched Wayne on YouTube Premium. Definitely worth a look if you’re a subscriber. I thought Mark McKenna was great as the lead and Ciara Bravo and Stephen Kieran were both excellent.

Another show I would seek out is I’m Sorry on TruTV. Andrea Savage is excellent and season 2 is currently airing. Go check it out!

Two episodes in and I’m still enjoying Showtime’s Black Monday. More below.

Hey, cast of True Detective, can you speak a little louder? I shouldn’t have to crank the volume on my TV up to 30 just to hear you. Thanks.

TNT premieres I Am The Night tonight. “Inspired by true events, I Am The Night tells the gripping story of Fauna Hodel (India Eisley), a teenage girl who is given away at birth, and grows up outside of Reno, Nevada. Fauna lives more-or-less comfortably with the mysteries of her origin, until one day she makes a discovery that leads her to question everything. As Fauna begins to investigate the secrets of her past, she meets a ruined reporter (Chris Pine), haunted by the case that undid him. Together they follow a sinister trail that swirls ever closer to an infamous Los Angeles gynecologist, Dr. George Hodel (Jefferson Mays), a man involved in some of Hollywood’s darkest debauchery, and possibly, its most infamous unsolved crime.”

Of course the cast of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is asking for a raise. Especially took the first three SAG awards given out last night, for comedy series: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor for Tony Shalhoub, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor for Rachel Brosnahan, and the nine-member ensemble for Best Ensemble in a Comedy series.

Top Chef contestant Fatima Ali has passed away from cancer. She was 29.

Halsey will host Saturday Night Live on February 9.

Terry Crews and D.L. Hughley are beefing.

HBO’s upcoming drama series The Outsider, starring Emmy winner Ben Mendelsohn (Bloodline) and based on the Stephen King bestseller, has added 8 series regulars to its cast: Cynthia Erivo (Widows), Bill Camp (The Night Of), Mare Winningham (American Horror Story), Paddy Considine (Peaky Blinders), Julianne Nicholson (Masters of Sex), Yul Vazquez (Midnight, Texas), Jeremy Bobb (The Knick) and Marc Menchaca (Ozark). Additionally, Hettienne Park (Hannibal) and Michael Esper (Shades of Blue) will recur.

Congrats to Ross Weintraub, who has served as co-CEO of 3 Ball Entertainment with Todd Nelson since 2015, and has now re-upped with the company and has been named CEO. Nelson, who co-founded 3 Ball Productions (now 3 Ball Entertainment) in 2001, has since left the company and has signed a first-look deal with 3 Ball, as he explores opportunities in the tech and start-up space.

Richard Armitage will star in The Stranger, Netflix’s latest series in collaboration with bestselling author Harlan Coben. The eight-part thriller, produced by the same team that did previous Netflix Coben series Safe, starring Michael C. Hall, and The Five, goes into production in March. Coben will executive produce the series along with Danny Brocklehurst, who will serve as lead writer, and Nicola Shindler, the CEO of Studiocanal-owned production company Red. The director has not been named. Armitage will play Adam Price, a happily married father of two whose life is turned upside-down after a stranger tells him a secret about his wife. The revelation catapults him into a larger world of conspiracy and danger.”


Per Deadline, “[t]ake two Jersey Shore veterans, add 20 single women and you have Double Shot at Love with DJ Pauly D & Vinny, a dating competition series just greenlighted at MTV. Said bachelors are Paul Delvecchio and Vinny Guaagnino, veterans of the original reality phenomenon and bromancers in current spinoff Jersey Shore Family Vacation.

“Here’s how we play our game: Twenty eligibile ladies will face off against one another hoping to avoid the elimination ceremony, while the boys must compete for the affection of the contestants as well. As MTV notes: Pauly D continues to tour the world as a DJ while holding down a Las Vegas residency, but are any of the contestants ready to keep up with his luxurious lifestyle? Meanwhile, Vinny is ready to get back into a relationship, but will the Staten Island keto-guido find someone to take home for Sunday family dinner?

“Are our heroes ready to find their perfect match? If so, will they? Find out when Double Shot at Love with DJ Pauly D & Vinny premieres later this year.

“MTV’s original Double Shot at Love, an offshoot from A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila, aired for one season in 2008–2009 and starred bisexual twins Erica and Victoria Mongeon, who searched for true love among a pool of 12 men and 12 women.

“The new Double Shot at Love is produced by MTV, SallyAnn Salsano — who createdJersey Shore 10 (!) years ago — and her 495 Productions. Salsado and her company also are behind Jersey Shore Family Vacation and the Shore spinoffs Snooki & JWoww and The Pauly D Project, along with such other unscripted fare as MTV’s Floribama Shore, NBC’s Nashville Star and VH1’s Wedding Wars.”


Per The Hollywood Reporter, “In the season premiere of Showtime’s Black Monday, there’s a spotlight moment for Andrew Rannells that crystallizes the show’s flavor of absurdist dark comedy. Having seen his bright future on Wall Street crushed in a single morning, Rannells’ rookie Blair Pfaff finally snaps and stands up to Maurice ‘Mo’ Monroe (Don Cheadle), the impetuous trader who just tanked his career. ‘You think you scare me?’ he explodes at Mo. ‘My dad beat me every day of my life until he died. He literally died of a heart attack while beating me.’ It’s a startling non-sequitur that catches even Mo off-guard, and hints at psychological warfare to come.

“‘It’s a funny tone to play with, because it is very broad, and yet in other moments very grounded and human,’ Rannells says. ‘That line is crazy, and the only way to say it is to truly believe it. I remember being like: well, I gotta really believe this! My dad died while beating me!’

“Named after the day of 1987’s catastrophic stock market crash, Black Monday chronicles a highly fictionalized sequence of events leading up to the collapse. Unlike most ‘greed is good’ stories, the comedy focuses not on the winners of Wall Street but on the underdogs: a scrappy second-tier firm named the Jammer Group headed by Mo. After years on the outside of the blue-blood, overwhelmingly white financial establishment, Mo is determined to break the top 10, and sees a way to do it by manipulating Blair. Fresh out of an MBA at Wharton, where he developed a trading algorithm that has made him a hot recruit on Wall Street, the book-smart Blair couldn’t be more out of place among coke-snorting, gleefully reckless traders. He also couldn’t be farther removed from Rannells’ breakout TV role, the acerbic, hard-partying Elijah Krantz on HBO's Girls — and that’s deliberate.

“‘I didn't want to jump into anything out of panic after Girls,’ Rannells tells The Hollywood Reporter over coffee in Manhattan, a mile or two from Wall Street. ‘I was getting offered every gay best friend role in the world, and they were all the same. Sassy, kind of drunk …’ In the interim, Rannells starred in two acclaimed Broadway shows — the musical revival Falsettos, for which he earned a Tony nomination, and a Ryan Murphy-produced production of The Boys in the Band alongside Zachary Quinto and Matt Bomer — and waited for the right TV opportunity to knock.

“Black Monday had been in the works for close to a decade by the time it started coming together at Showtime, as Rannells was wrapping up the final season of Girls. One of the first general meetings Rannells ever had was with Seth Rogen, who exec produces Black Monday. ‘I met with him while I was still doing Book of Mormon,’ Rannells recalls. ‘Over the years I would run into him, and we’d always say “We’re gonna work together, we’re gonna find something someday that'll be a fit for us,” and then this was it.’ Black Monday co-creators David Caspe and Jordan Cahan were also fans of Rannells from Girls, in particular his expanded role in the last season, and focused on him early on for the role of Blair. “He was just someone we loved,” Cahan says of the casting choice. ‘His character has an intense amount of growth in the season, and it felt to us like it would be a really fun, meaty thing for him to dig into.’

“Much of the show’s early comedy comes from Blair’s fish-out-of-water naivety in contrast to the world around him. When he collides with Mo and causes a bag of cocaine to explode all over the trading floor, he can’t even identify the white powder (‘What is this, parmesan?') And at the end of the first episode, it’s revealed that Blair is in over his head more than viewers thought: Mo orchestrated this seemingly random collision to get Blair blacklisted, leaving him with no choice but to accept a job at the Jammer Group. Mo’s angling for a majority stake in a designer jeans company owned by the family of Blair’s girlfriend Tiff (Casey Wilson), and thinks he can use the unsuspecting Blair to get it.

“‘He comes in really thinking that he’s just gonna be able to work hard and be honest and will be rewarded for that,’ Rannells says. In other words, it sounds like he’s going to be eaten alive. But Blair’s not a wide-eyed lamb to the slaughter, and it’s always clear in Rannells’ performance that underneath the pressed suits and Type-A energy, neurosis lurks. ‘He realizes, over time, that you do have to play the game and be manipulative. That, for Blair, is a real disappointment, and yet he takes to it. Once he figures out that's what he has to do, he gets right into it.’

“The 10-episode season will see a dramatic transformation in Blair, Rannells says, which was a draw for him. ‘That’s not something I get to do a lot. I was excited to get to turn into a bad guy.’ Even early on, Rannells relished the strange, dark elements of Blair and Tiff’s marriage, which plays like a fully formed psychodrama in its own right. When Blair goes home dejected after his initial defeat, Tiff responds by smacking him in the face — twice — then gripping him very literally by the balls and ordering him back to Wall Street to make himself a success. ‘They have a very, very strange sexual relationship that borders on violent,’ Rannells says, laughing a little at the memory. He and Wilson had worked together before on 2016’s Why Him? a movie heavy on improvisation. ‘Most of what we did was cut, because it wasn't really necessary to the story, but it was so much fun to do. We just fell into this weird vocabulary together.’ Two years on, that vocabulary ended up informing their scenes in Black Monday, which Rannells says are more improvised than most of the show. ‘All the mommy and daddy talk, that was just nonsense that Casey and I came up with.’ That twisted dynamic prevents Tiff, and their relationship, from feeling like a mere plot device in Mo’s scheme: ‘You can tell they really like each other, in that sick, sick way.’

“This will be a busy year for Rannells. On top of his first regular series role since Girls, he has a book coming out, a collection of essays titled Too Much Is Not Enough: A Memoir of Fumbling Toward Adulthood. Chronicling Rannells' early years in New York after moving from Nebraska in 1997, the book sprung out of an essay published in The New York Times’ Modern Love column two years ago. ‘I've always wanted to do it, but I just never thought it would actually happen. I’ve always written things but sort of kept them private, so I'm nervous to actually get to share this.’ The third major development for Rannells this year? Deleting Twitter. ‘I didn't really like how I was behaving,’ he explains. ‘It was easy to just fire stuff off, in a way that seemed a little reckless. And then when it became the unofficial platform of our president, I was like, “I don't think this is for me any more.”’ He’s enjoying post-Twitter life, while acknowledging that it’s an option not all actors have. ‘I know on Girls, it was a big deal, they wanted us all on social media. But I just feel like it’s getting strange. I don't want to say anything flippantly that I can't back up later.’

“Though Black Monday is Rannells’ first time playing a major onscreen character who isn’t gay, his sexuality has never felt like a defining factor in his roles. ‘The first gay part I really played was Elijah on Girls,’ he points out. ‘Up to that point in theater, I was playing straight roles — Jersey BoysHairspray — because that's just what was available to me. Now, I get asked a lot if it’s limiting to play only gay roles, and it's only limiting if the writing is bad. I think people assume that there’s one gay type of person, and he's usually a girl's best friend.’ And while the ‘gay best friend’ offers are still coming, Rannells says he’s noticed a recent shift in the quality of writing for gay characters. ‘There are more human parts for gay people, and different parts, and it's not all the same type of guy. I’ve read a lot recently that’s exciting, stories that I’d like to be a part of telling in the future, and that’s encouraging.’”


New episodes of Rachel Ray’s series 30 Minute Meals are coming to Food Network, thanks to a new pact between the food personality and the network.

“Food Network and Rachael Ray have agreed to a deal that also includes a new companion series on digital platforms. The new version of 30 Minute Meals starts production later this month, with an anticipated April 1 premiere.

“The show sees Ray offer viewers real-time cooking instructions with time-saving tips. 30 Minute Meals debuted in 2001 and will have 30 episodes in 30 days on Food Network and online.

“‘Rachael Ray is a culinary firebrand as evidenced by her success across her television shows, magazine, books, live events, philanthropy, and all of her businesses,’ said Courtney White, Food Network president. ‘Her time-saving and creative ideas for whipping up delicious meals at home are perfect for the home cook of any level, while her infectious energy and enthusiasm make viewers feel like they are right there cooking along with her in the kitchen. We can’t wait to deliver more time with Rachael for her fans.’

“Daytime show Rachael Ray launched in 2006. Ray has also hosted Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off, Worst Cooks in America and Week In A Day on Food Network.

“‘I couldn’t be more excited to bring 30 Minute Meals to a whole new generation of fans,’ said Ray. ‘We are rolling deep this time around, proving to everyone that, yes, these are really meals you can cook in 30 minutes or less. And our show will now be part of Food Network’s on-demand offering, so our friends can actually binge-watch their meals. April is usually rainy here in New York City, but this spring will shine for us with 30 brand-new 30 Minute Meals.’”


Per Vulture, “[w]e’re only a few episodes deep into Colton Underwood’s proverbial ‘journey’ to find a fiancée on The Bachelor, but right on cue, the show’s producers are feeding us a feud that could’ve doubled as a B-plot in Miss Congeniality. We’re, of course, talking about Hannah B. and Caelynn, who competed against each other as Miss Alabama and Miss North Carolina, respectively, at last year’s Miss USA pageant, and whose rivalry has become the glittery reality-TV accelerant for a falling out between the ex-friends and roommates.

“The Bachelor has leaned heavily into a sore loser narrative of the women’s history, given that Caelynn finished as Miss USA’s first runner-up, while Hannah B. didn’t place above the top 15. However, upon speaking with two people with close ties to Miss USA, Vulture has learned of a more complicated backstory that sheds light on what actually happened between them.

“As a brief recap of how The Bachelor is presenting this feud: Caelynn has said in numerous confessional interviews and private conversations with Colton that Hannah B. was ‘mad that she didn’t place for sure … she wasn’t happy.’ Meanwhile, Hannah B. has been getting an increasingly unfavorable edit from the Bachelor producers — due, in part, to being the first woman to mention her past to Colton — and hasn’t minced words about her feelings toward Caelynn. ‘It’s lies that are not true,’ she told Colton. ‘Just freakin’ trust me, I’m telling the truth.’

“Austin Ryde, a makeup artist and photographer who’s worked with numerous Miss USA contestants — and who says he was Caelynn’s friend for nearly a decade before a recent falling out — believes Hannah B.’s defense, and said there wasn’t one ‘incident’ that severed the women’s friendship. Rather, it was a culmination of ‘personalities clashing’ after the 2018 pageant ended, when Hannah B. sent Caelynn a text message to express her disappointment in how she behaved throughout Miss USA.

“‘When Miss USA was over, Caelynn came to stay with me and my girlfriend in Los Angeles,’ Ryde said. ‘She had just gotten a text from Hannah, which I saw. I can’t recall the exact wording, but the general idea of the text was Caelynn made it a very difficult time for Hannah at Miss USA, and Hannah, in a very nice but direct way, said, Congratulations, you placing so high is a huge deal, but I need you to know you weren’t a nice person and not very positive, and that took away from my experience. That was the falling out.’

“Ryde also believes Hannah’s comments on The Bachelor are accurate in describing Caelynn’s off-camera personality. ‘I never met Hannah, but the way Hannah describes Caelynn is exactly how I would describe her,’ he said. ‘It’s unfortunate that people are assuming Hannah is just jealous — I should clarify, she might be, you never know. I don’t think she’s overreacting, but she made a big mistake being the first person to say something, because that’s always the first person to get in trouble.’

“A third Miss USA contestant who competed alongside Hannah B. and Caelynn in the 2018 pageant, and who requested anonymity to speak freely on the subject, corroborates Ryde’s account. ‘My roommate at Miss USA was good friends with both of them. One of them would come into my room all the time talking bad about the other girl while I was trying to sleep,’ she said. ‘The feud didn’t start because Caelynn was the first runner-up, that has nothing to do with it. That’s a topic that the [Bachelor] producers are taking and running with. That’s literally the complete opposite of how it really went down. I think Colton is kind of stupid if he can’t really see the difference between the two. One is genuine and completely herself, and the other is manipulative.’

“The contestant also claims Hannah B. and Caelynn knew each other before rooming together at the pageant. ‘At the end of the day, Miss USA is a competition. We all know one girl wins. It’s not as catty as the producers on The Bachelor are making it seem to be. I think Hannah and Caelynn have known each other for a very, very long time and it started way before that. It started way before the competition,’ she said. ‘The producers are making Hannah look crazy, and she’s not. She’s just goofy.’

“Like any good pageant contestant, neither Hannah B. nor Caelynn has publicly trashed the other since Caelynn’s near-victory — and neither has responded to Vulture’s interview requests — but they had to see each other quite a bit in the months that followed Miss USA, owing to all those requisite philanthropic commitments. Their Instagram accounts are now relics of the friendship that was, speaking to a simpler time when they would don silky sashes and glittery crowns in broad daylight just for the hell of it. Because why not!”