Monday October 20, 2014

Food Network premieres new show Hungry Games tonight, hosted by Richard Blais.  Kudos to him for working out a deal that allows him to host a show on Food Network while at the same time appearing as a regular on Bravo's Top Chef.  At least someone understands that the more exposure for him, the better it will be for BOTH shows.  Hungry Games is described by the net as "a deliciously fascinating series that will change the way you think about what you eat. Through a series of fun and viewer-focused experiments hosted by Chef Richard Blais, we'll reveal what's going on in your brain when you taste, choose and crave your favorite foods. The surprising takeaways in Hungry Games may change what and how you eat."

A not so favorable review of the new Foo Fighters HBO series.

Here is a slightly more favorable one: "Sonic Highways attempts to be three different things–a history of music in America, the story of what inspired the Foo Fighters, particularly Dave Grohl, and a behind-the-scenes look at the music production process. Having to serve so many masters unfortunately detracts from the ultimate impact of each story thread, but the show’s ambition and actual construction are fascinating enough for anyone interested in American music, Foo Fighters fan or not, that Sonic Highways is still a unique and enjoyable look into the country’s defining musical history."  I will reserve judgement until after I've watched, which I absolutely plan to do.

Buzzfeed talked with Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss.

In a move that should surprise exactly no one, Deadline is reporting that "Fox has trimmed the order for new comedy series Mulaney by three episodes, from 16 to 13. The network made the call after two airings, as the series just wrapped filming Episode 13 and was about to go into production on Episode 14.

"The multi-camera Mulaney had an unusual 16-episode order as Fox originally picked up 6 episodes last October and then ordered additional 10 in May when the net opted not not to pick up any of its comedy pilots to series. While no 2014 Fox comedy pilots went to series, the network has four straight-to-series half-hour shows for this season, Mulaney as well as live-action Last Man on Earth and Weird Loners and animated Bordertown."

With CBS and HBO planning stand-alone streaming services, al a carte viewing is getting more attainable, but “you are going to have to pay more for less choice,” RBC Capital Markets analyst David Bank told the Wall Street Journal.  “A la carte is not as cheap as people might think,” said Evan Silverman, SVP, Digital Media at A+E Networks. “The cable bundle might be ripe for price adjustment, but for most people, it’s a pretty good deal.” 

Per EW, "[i]n August, Dating Naked contestant Jessie Nizewitz filed a lawsuit against VH1 operator Viacom and production companies Lighthearted Entertainment and Firelight Entertainment claiming that the show flashed her crotch when she was wrestling with another contestant on the beach. Nizewitz claimed she’d been humiliated on social media following the event and therefore sued for $10 million.

"But on Thursday, [as expected] the producers fired back. Viacom filed a motion to dismiss, followed by Lighthearted Entertainment and Firelight Entertainment doing the same.

"According to the motion, Nizewitz had told producers during her casting process that she had previously worked as a stripper and that '[t]he nude thing really isn’t a big deal to me.' The motion goes on to say that Nizewitz signed three agreements 'in which she expressly and repeatedly agreed (no fewer than twelve times) that she would participate and be filmed fully nude; that the footage could be exhibited and distributed without restriction; that the producers would have sole discretion in how the footage was edited; that she waived any right to sue over her appearance on the show; and that she would be liable for attorneys’ fees should she sue in violation of her contract.'

"Those three contracts make up the basis of the producers’ case, precluding any type of oral contract Nizewitz might claim to have made."  The motion should be granted and another over-litigious attorney should have his license to practice law suspended if not revoked.

Here's what AMC is up to with its next round of pilots, allegedly.

Per The Hollywood Reporter, "PopSugar doesn't seem to mind if its core audience of millennial women gets a little distracted by its foray into scripted programming. 

"The entertainment news and lifestyle website announced on Friday that Seriously Distracted, its first comedy web series, will debut on Oct. 21. The eight-episode series stars Amy Sedaris as JD LeGrand, the head of New York publicity firm LeGrand PR. Although the firm is one celebrity client away from making it big, LeGrand's employees are constantly distracted by their pop culture obsessions, which range from Tinder and Scandal to James Franco and SoulCycle.

"Seriously Distracted is produced by Above Average, the comedy network behind web series 7 Minutes in Heaven from Saturday Night Live's Mike O'Brien. Co-starring in the series are Greta Lee (Girls), Laura Grey, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Cathryn Mudon and Russ Armstrong. Orange is the New Black's Kimiko Glenn and YouTube star Arden Rose will guest star. 

"PopSugar Studios president David Grant tells The Hollywood Reporter that the idea for Seriously Distracted came out of conversations that PopSugar had with Above Average about creating a female-driven comedy. The show began to develop after Grant saw a video that the women of Above Average put together about how they reacted to the news of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin's 'conscious uncoupling.' 

"PopSugar was founded in 2006 by husband-wife team Brian Sugar and Lisa Sugar, who have built it into a multi-platform media company with 25.5 million unique visitors in September. A longtime Fox executive, Grant joined PopSugar in 2009 after the company acquired his video-powered e-commerce marketplace. Along with editor-in-chief Lisa Sugar he has since taken PopSugar's video strategy from zero to more than 50 million monthly video views. Today, PopSugar has a network of YouTube channels and has studios in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York to produce its daily slate of newsy, entertainment-driven web series and video clips."

Per EW, "DirecTV’s newest original show Kingdom has only aired two episodes of its 10-episode first season, and it’s already made its mark on the network.

"DirecTV has ordered 20 more episodes of the MMA-centric series from creator Byron Balasco. Although DirecTV hasn’t released ratings, it said in a release that Kingdom 'has proven to be one of Audience Network’s most popular shows of all time.'

"Production on the new episodes will begin in spring 2015, with the first round of 10 episodes airing that fall. The following 10 episodes will then air in 2016."

"It's not easy to look as calm and collected as the Vanderpump Rules cast does at the start of each episode. 

"A lot of effort went into creating the Bravo hit's new season-three opening title card, as seen in this rare behind-the-scenes look at the show's production. This video is exclusive to The Hollywood Reporter

"In the clip, Tom Sandoval shows off the wardrobe he brought for the shoot, which involves a lot of black shirts. And Kristen Doute gets plenty of practice pivoting with a drinks tray.

"The show, which hit a ratings high with its season-two reunion special, returns for its season-three premiere Nov. 3 on Bravo."  And yes, Stassi is back.