Wednesday June 25, 2014

Per The Hollywood Reporter, "Ryan Seacrest is staying put on the red carpet.  The multihyphenate has inked a one-year deal with NBCUniversal that includes manning the major awards show carpets in 2015, along with other duties. Additionally, he has signed a separate pact to host and executive produce CBS' live special Fashion Rocks. The latter marks Seacrest's first on-air deal with CBS, and it means that he now has partnerships at each of the Big Four broadcast networks. (He hosts New Year's Rockin' Eve at ABC and recently signed on to continue with American Idol on Fox.)"  Good on him.

Season 16 of Big Brother returns to CBS tonight.  Previously we shared this season's twists, and now, here's a pretty in-depth interview with Executive Producer Allison Grodner, who said that "[a] big part of Big Brother is that it’s summer and they’re in bathing suits and there’s romance, so you look for young singles who will mix it up. But beyond that, you’re just looking for great people. You don’t want to cast someone just because they’re cute or single, because that burns out fast."  Right.

Grodner went on to say "I think we like to be the first ones to ever do a twist. Like The Exes. I know Real World claimed that was a big twist, but we did that in Season 4. It’s fun when you see that. Just like we were first in this world of being online and live, I think that it’s nice to keep the twists as fresh as possible."

Finally, regarding this years twist, "[w]e’re always looking to keep things fresh and the show has been on long enough that a lot of the people we cast are die-hard fans, which is fabulous — we love having people in the house who aspire to be the next Will, the next Dan, tor the next Janelle. What we wanted to do was keep them on their toes. We want to take any sort of preconceived strategy and turn it on its ear, so these game twists are both fun and ultimately necessary to do that. Everyone counts on that HOH for safety and this year, that’s not for sure. And it’s really going to add an interesting power shift to the middle of the week where we don’t usually have as much. There’s a new competition now in play that will be in the Sunday show. It will impact gameplay as a whole, but really in the Sunday show."

Portlandia co-creator, writer and star Carrie Brownstein has just signed on to Jill Soloway's buzzy Amazon series, Transparent, an individual familiar with the project has told TheWrap.

"Brownstein will play Gaby Hoffman's best friend Syd on the dark comedy, which follows a Los Angeles family with serious boundary issues.  In addition to Hoffman, Brownstein joins the previously announced cast of Jeffrey Tambor, Judith Light, Amy Landecker and Jay Duplass.

"Jill Soloway (Six Feet Under, United States of Tara) is writing and directing the series, which has already released a pilot that earned high marks from critics. Amazon's episode order is unknown at this time."

Bravo premieres its third installment of the Million Dollar Listing franchise tonight with Million Dollar Listing Miami.  The cast has a lot to live up to after the success of the Los Angeles and New York editions of the show and, for the first time, we have a female broker as part of the series, Samantha DeBianchi.  DeBianchi said that "'I think being that we’re all competitors in our own way, you know, we’re going to have some drama.  We’re not going to agree on everything…so there definitely will be that level of drama. There’s gotta be a winner and a loser.  I think being female is a whole different ballgame because it’s tough to be strong,

Samantha told HollywoodLife.com, “[w]hen you’re a strong female, you’re portrayed differently than when you’re a strong male. I think you can really see that struggle as well and how to balance all of that.”

Fellow cast member Chad Carroll (on the left above) told the Miami New Times (??) "[t]his season is not only about selling properties, it's about selling the lifestyle. My phone is available 24/7 like a full-service concierge service. Whatever [my clients] need -- planes, boats, cars, properties, restaurants, nightclubs -- I'm their go-to guy. You're going to see fantastic properties: beautiful mansions, luxury high-rises. You're going to get a good variety of everything Miami has to offer."

He went on to say "It's completely different than the rest. You have different personalities and selling styles. You have the first girl in the Million Dollar Listing franchise history. We're not only showcasing amazing properties, we're showing the best Miami has to offer. I think that's going to keep viewers entertained."  I hope so.

Another notable premiere tonight is NBC's Taxi Brooklyn, which centers on a fractious, closely bonded partnership between a streetwise, Marseille-born New York City taxi driver (played by Jacky Ido) and an intensely driven NYPD detective (played by Chyler Leigh) for whom this immigrant cabbie becomes chauffeur, insider on the streets and unofficial partner.  Per Variety, "Despite a slight, breezy USA network-type feel, Taxi Brooklyn is such a risible concept as to border on parody. Alas, this NBC series by way of France doesn’t make that turn, leaving behind a head-scratcher of a show, derived from a last-century French movie written by Luc Besson (Taxi), and casting Grey’s Anatomy alum Chyler Leigh as the latest in a long line of unconvincing hard-bitten smallscreen detectives. Before it’s over, the show has detoured into nonsense about her taxi-driving co-star’s immigration status and the unsolved murder of her father and, oh for the love of God, who cares?"

In sad news, Survivor: Blood vs. Water alum Caleb Bankston "died when the train he was on derailed on Tuesday, PEOPLE has confirmed through multiple sources. Bankston, 26, worked at the Alabama Warrior Railway in Birmingham. He competed on Survivor: Blood vs. Water in 2013 alongside his fiancé, Colton Cumbie, ending the game in ninth place."

Former Bachelor Ben Flajnik responds (sort of) to Courtney Robertson's tell-all book.

J. Peterman is going to be hosting What's Hot On Broadway?  He'll always be this guy to me:

Per Variety, "the Scandal look will be hitting the malls this fall as ABC Studios formally unveiled its partnership with The Limited stores for an apparel line inspired by the hit Washington, D.C.-based sudser.

Scandal star Kerry Washington and costume designer Lyn Paolo collaborated on designs with Elliot Staples, Limited’s head of design, for a range of items that evoke Olivia Pope’s signature 'Gladiator in a suit' style. Deal marks an elaborate extension of a hot primetime TV brand in the retail arena."

Diane Sawyer is leaving ABC World News Tonight.

A preview of VH1's Dating Naked.

Photos from the set of season 3 of Orange Is The New Black.

Per Deadline, "Animal Planet has ordered six new episodes and a special on The Pool Master after the franchise’s unveiling scored 1 million viewers, and 408,000 demo viewers in its unveiling last Friday. The series opener helped Animal Planet rank fourth among all ad-supported cable networks in the time slot among men 25-54 and men 18-49, excluding movies and sports. The network’s initial order on the series, featuring pool designer Anthony Archer-Wills, was for three episodes and a special. The show is now casting for homeowners who want their yard transformed by Archer-Wills. What does this have to do with animals? Nothing."

 Per Yahoo!, "Eliza Dushku and former NBA player Rick Fox, 44, have called it quits after dating for five years, according to The Boston Globe. 'Rick's an LA guy and I'm a Boston girl,' she told the paper. 'I'd rather be a little physically cold here than emotionally cold in LA,' she continued. 'I missed my town and I missed my family.' The 33-year-old actress said she plans on returning to college, but is unsure what she'll study."