Wednesday July 16, 2014

A review of Hulu's new show The Hotwives Of Orlando.  Kind of makes me wish I was still a Hulu Plus subscriber.  Per EW, "[t]he basic gist: A large ensemble of ladies you already love (or should love), including Casey Wilson, Kristen Schaal, and The Office‘s Angela Kinsey, don an assortment of skintight dresses and tacky wigs to play the titular Hotwives, archetypes familiar to anyone who’s caught an episode (or 500) of Bravo’s indomitable Real Housewivesfranchise. Wilson is Tawny St. John, a Gretchen Rossi-esque bimbo who’s both having a hot affair with her trainer (played by… Joey McIntyre?!) and caring for her deathly ill husband (played by the delightful Stephen Tobolowsky; the joke is he isn’t actually dying). Schaal is Amanda Simmons, a Kim Richards-ian former child star (read: she appeared in prune juice commercials) whose drug addiction and alcoholism is played for uncomfortable laughs. Kinsey is Amanda’s sister Crystal, a devout Christian modeled on Orange County’s Alexis Bellino."

I'm still very much enjoying Married At First Sight on FYI.  There's something about these social experiment shows that I find oddly entertaining.

I'm also still enjoying Restaurant Startup on CNBC.  It's a far cry from Shark Tank but it's a million times more enjoyable than Spike TV's Hungry Investors.

Speaking of Spike, per EW, "Spike TV, known for reality shows like Cops and Ink Master, is stepping out of the reality bubble and into history with The Crusaders, its upcoming series about the Crusades in the 12th century.

"The network is partnering with Irish DreamTime, Pierce Brosnan’s production company, for the project and already has David Franzoni—who won an Oscar for 2000′s Gladiator—on board to direct. Brosnan, Beau St. Clair of Irish DreamTime, Mark Sennet, Brian Gary, and Craig Sheftell are set to executive produce. Michael Finch of Predators and Franzoni will take on writing duties and also executive produce."

MTV premieres Virgin Territory tonight.  The show "follows the lives of fifteen young adults, all of whom are trying to maneuver the often tricky world of virginity. Messy love lives, awkward parental sex talks, sexually active friends, and the pressure to give in to their temptations – all can make for a very tumultuous journey for these abstinent adolescents. Each hour long episode explores four different v-card-carrying cast members from all walks of life. Some of them are hanging on to their virginity and others are desperately trying to lose it."

TVGuide.com sat down with showrunner Shonda Rhimes to get the scoop on the upcoming season of Scandal.  Figured I'd just post the entire Q&A is it's quite insightful:

Is there a time jump going into Season 4?
Shonda Rhimes: 
When we leave, she's on a plane headed to God knows where. When we come back into the season, we find ourselves is a surprising place both time-wise and location-wise.

Papa Pope all but tricked her into getting on the plane. How will she feel once she finds out she was duped and played right into her father's hands?
Rhimes: 
Do you think that she finds out? I hope that she finds out, but perhaps she does not.

Will we see more of Maya and Papa Pope this season even though Maya is locked away?
Rhimes: 
Definitely more Papa Pope. How can you live without Papa Pope?

What does it mean if Olivia and Jake are together and she likely still carries a torch for Fitz?
Rhimes: 
I always think about the finale when she says to him very clearly, "I am in love with another man." And he says, "Let's go anyway." He goes off with her knowing full well that she's very clear about her feelings for somebody else. So, whatever that relationship is, as fun or romantic or happy as that will be, she's very clearly in love with another man. I don't know what that holds for them. They have to face whatever that's going to mean.

Now that Fitz knows that his father raped Mellie, are they actively trying to at least find a friendship if not something romantic?
Rhimes: 
It's interesting because we're not just dealing with what happened to Mellie. You have to remember that everything that happens now takes place [after] the death of their child. [Fitz has] the knowledge that, as far as he knows, Olivia's mother was responsible for the death of their child, and that basically, in a weird way, he is at fault for the death of their child. If he had not been involved with Olivia, none of that would've happened. Post the death of the child, he has some care-taking to do. He feels a responsibility to take care of [Mellie]. Whether or not he loves her, whether or not that relationship is viable isn't really a factor right now. He's got responsibilities to take care of.

Quinn brought Huck to his family. Will he try to make amends with them?  And what does that mean for his burgeoning relationship with Quinn?
Rhimes: Our first thought about Huck knocking [on his wife's] door and what became of Huck knocking on that door when we really played it out in our minds is very, very different. It's very heartbreaking. When we come back at the beginning of the season, everybody is in a place that you don't expect. Nothing is what you think it could possibly have turned out to be. There's a real sense of, "How did everybody get here?!"

OPA is scattered to the wind right now. If it does come back together, does Olivia need to earn back her Gladiators? And will we finally get a backstory for Abby?

Rhimes: One of the things that we did specifically when we created the show is slowly deploy people's stories. It was purposeful. Season 4 is Abby's season. That was by design. A lot of what we know about Abby happens this season. A lot of what we discover about her and see about her back story will happen as we tell Abby's story.

Is it safe to assume that Harrison is dead or will fans be in for a shock when it comes to his fate?
Rhimes: 
It's safe to assume that Harrison has met his end.

Per Deadliine, "Game Show Network has greenlit traveling game show The Line from High Noon Entertainment. Jeff Davis (Whose Line Is It Anyway?) and Candace Bailey (Attack Of The Show) will host the series which first heads to Nashville to shoot five episodes beginning Saturday.

"The Line invites hundreds of people to line up each day for a chance to win cash and prizes by answering a series of trivia questions. The goal is to get to the 'Trivia Vault' at the front of the line, where each contestant can attempt to win a jackpot by answering eight true/false questions,  but many will have an opportunity to play and win while waiting in the line itself. Those who make it to the front of the line will see the jackpot grow with each contestant who fails to answer his or her eight questions.

“'The goal of The Line is to take the joy of game directly to communities across the country and we are so excited that GSN’s first stop is Nashville,' said Amy Introcaso-Davis, Executive Vice President of Programming and Development, GSN. 'We have taken something most people dislike – waiting in line – and turned it into the most fun you have ever had, with cash, prizes and 500 new friends!'”

Here's a sneak peak of season 4 of The Killing, which has moved over to Netlix.  "The cast found that working with Netflix had its advantages. By producing content for streaming versus a broadcast model, the show’s structure was no longer bound by traditional regulations. 'There’s the old swearing thing and things like that,' said Gregg Henry.

“'It doesn’t become gratuitous,' added Levi Meaden of the more colorful language and violence, 'but I think you can kind of prod at the darker parts involved in the murders a lot more.'

"Meaden and co-stars Tyler Ross and Sterling Beaumon described the final season as “darker than it’s ever been,” crediting the creatives for truly shining after Netflix allowed them free rein over the show.

“'Netflix is changing television by changing the way [it] is allowed to structure story,' said Meaden. The freedom of the streaming platform put the show in a position to explore grittier facets of the show’s universe without restraint, in addition to offering a new murder, and follow-up from The Killing’s last run of episodes.

"Cast members, including guest star Frances Fisher, also felt a great amount of good faith from Netflix’s pilot-free policy. 'Nobody has to sit around and wait for 25 executives to make a decision,' Fisher said."

CBS CEO Les Moonves said that the network will probably not bid on rights to the upcoming NBA television package (or for MLB rights) since the economics wouldn’t work for the network. He went on to note, however, that its deals for the NFL, college basketball and football as well as golf were all profitable for his company. "This year, we're beginning a new ten-year deal with the NFL where we're paying over $1 billion per season for sports rights," said Moonves, according to THR. "and we're still going to make a profit because the NFL is still the gold standard for live TV. There’s nothing that competes with it. This year, we luckily added Thursday night football to that." 

Scripps Networks Interactive (HGTV, DIY, Food Network, GAC, etc) is evidently "amping up its personality-driven content. Kathleen Finch, President of HGTV, DIY Network, and Great American Country, is planning shows that focus on family businesses, and possibly a greater emphasis on celebrities (the net is already working with Vanilla Ice, William Shatner, Darryl Hall, and Jennie Garth) who also have home renovations, flip houses and travel). 'Getting into the very private lives of those public figures makes for fun and compelling programming,' she says. 'That’s a nut we didn’t think we could crack.'”