Monday October 6, 2014

Mulaney evidently bombed last night for Fox.  I haven't watched yet, but not a good sign.  Here's a review.

A critique of How To Get Away With Murder.

Vulture has a piece on stand up comedian Jerrod Carmichael, who has a new HBO special and who I've seen perform live . . . and who is funny.

Alpha House is back on Amazon Prime, speaking of which, I finished off Transparent.  My overall take is that it is a very uncomfortable show to watch unless you're a big fan of sexual deviancy.  The acting is great, but it is very dark and often times disturbing.  You've been warned.

Per Deadline, "Twin Peaks fans’ quarter-century wait is over. One of the top cult series of all time is coming back with a new limited series on Showtime from its original creators, David Lynch and Mark Frost. The nine-episode series will go into production in 2015 for a premiere in 2016 to mark the 25th anniversary of when the series finished its run on ABC. In a fact that will delight Twin Peaks devotees, Lynch and Frost will write and produce all nine episodes, with Lynch set to direct every episode.

"The new Twin Peaks will be set in the present day, more than two decades after the events in the first two seasons. It will continue the lore and story of the original series, with Lynch and Frost committed to providing long-awaited answers and, hopefully, a satisfying conclusion to the series. It is unclear which actors from the original series will be featured in the followup. Rumor is that star Kyle MacLachlan would be back, likely reprising his role as FBI Agent Dale Cooper who was at the center of the show. The ABC series also featured some of Lynch’s favorite character actors, and it is likely that at least some of them will return. Leading to the 2016 debut of the Twin Peaks limited series, Showtime will re-air the first two seasons of the series, owned by parent CBS Corp."

"In two deals that cement its media partnerships for nearly the next decade, the National Basketball Association selected its two current partners, Walt Disney’s ESPN and Time Warner’s Turner, to carry its games through the 2024-2025 season as well as transmit them in greater fashion through digital means. In ESPN’s case, the league has agreed to work with the sports-media juggernaut to create a broadband-only offering in which it would take an equity stake.

"The pacts are the league’s first major media deals struck under Adam Silver, the executive who became commissioner in February. For both Disney and Time Warner, the agreements ought to be taken as signs of stability. The NBA deal brings ESPN resolution to what is likely to be its last major rights negotiation for several years, and the pact continues what has been a  major linchpin of Turner’s programming at a time when the unit is being scrutinized by its corporate parent.

"Neither ESPN nor Turner disclosed the price they had paid to secure the new round of rights, but one person familiar with the talks suggested the two companies had paid in excess of $2 billion – a staggering increase over the price tag for previous agreements, which has been said to circle around $930 million. The higher costs signify the continued importance of live sports programming to media outlets, which have seen traditional ratings for scripted comedies and dramas erode with the rise of new technologies like digital-video recording, streaming video and on-demand video. Because the games are often watched live, they are more highly prized by advertisers than they may have been in decades past.

"Under the terms of the deals, Turner and ESPN will televise more national regular-season games – 100 for ESPN and sister ABC, which will continue to broadcast the NBA Finals, and 64 for Turner. They will continue to do so on their traditional nights of the week – Wednesday and Friday for ESPN, Thursdays for Turner’s TNT, and Sundays for ESPN and ABC.  The NBA’s own cable network will present over 100 regular-season games each year."

Peter and Bobby Farrelly (Dumb and Dumber) will serve as judges with exec producers Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Adaptive Studios’ Marc Joubert, then go on to mentor the winner, on HBO’s Project Greenlight. The Farrelly Brothers aren’t new to the filmmaker competition series - their 2011 movie Hail Pass was written by the season one victor. 

Variety is reporting that "Amazon Studios has given the go-ahead to its next two original series: drama Hand of God, starring Ron Perlman and Dana Delany, and Steven Soderbergh’s suburban comedy Red Oaks.

"The two series, selected from Amazon’s third wave of pilots released in August, are slated to bow on Amazon Prime Instant Video in 2015. In addition, Amazon Studios has ordered additional scripts of Whit Stillman’s The Cosmopolitans, a half-hour comedy set in Paris, to further 'explore the series.'

“'We are excited to get working on full seasons of Hand of God and Red Oaks,’ said Amazon Studios VP Roy Price. 'These shows come from some of the most talented creators in the business.'

"The two other pilots in Amazon Studios’ most recent batch were social-media thriller Hysteria from Shaun Cassidy and comedy Really from Jay Chandrasekhar and Jamie Tarses.

Hand of God, the TV debut of filmmaker Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball, Finding Neverland, World War Z). The dramatic thriller stars Sons of Anarchy’s Perlman and Body of Proof’s Delany. Show centers on Judge Harris (Perlman), a hard-living married man with a high-end call girl on the side, who suffers a mental breakdown and goes on a vigilante quest to find the rapist who tore his family apart. Forster, scribe Ben Watkins, Perlman, Brian Wilkins and Jeff King are exec producers, and Jillian Kugler is co-executive producer.

Red Oaks is produced by Soderbergh (Behind the Candelabra, Traffic) and directed by David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express, Eastbound and Down). Comedy stars Craig Roberts (Submarine) as an assistant tennis pro at the Red Oaks Country Club in suburban New Jersey in 1985 along with Jennifer Grey (It’s Like, You Know), Richard Kind (Luck), Oliver Cooper (Californication), Paul Reiser (Mad About You), Alexandra Socha, Gage Golightly and Ennis Esmer. Written by Gregory Jacobs (The Knick) and Joe Gangemi (Stonehearst Asylum), who exec produced with Soderbergh and Green.

FYI premieres House vs. House tonight, which it describes as follows: House vs. House is a new home makeover competition series where amateur and experienced renovation teams compete for the chance to win $10,000 by proving they can create the better DIY projects in their home. From painting and decorating, to one-of-a-kind, imaginative projects, each episode features two teams will go head-to-head in grueling challenges. Tanya McQueen, a DIY design expert, and David Brian Sanders, an architect and designer, will determine which team completes the most impressive transformation and award the cash prize.