Tuesday January 13, 2015

Matthew Perry talks about why he's remaking The Odd Couple.  The promos didn't look half bad.

Stephen Colbert will make his CBS debut on Sept. 8, 2015, and he and his staff have just moved into their Late Show offices.

A little back story on The Affair's Ruth Wilson (Did you have any idea she was British before Sunday?).

I watched the TLC special My Husband Is Not Gay.  (Don't you dare judge me! I do this so you don't have to.)  "Wow" is all I have to say about it.  Don't kick yourself if this one escaped you as you missed nothing.

James Corden talks about his Late Late Show plans (FYI, the show launches March 23).

So the skeletons that are rolling through the Real World house are evidently NOT staying for the course of the season.  The first skeleton is already gone.  I'm not sure I'm a fan of the twist.  Last season's exes coming into for the duration of the original house members' stay was much more compelling than some weekend visit by someone's nemesis.  That said, Tony looks like he's in for one helluva weekend on next week's ep. . . . 

A bunch of premieres tonight:

Restaurant Startup (CNBC)

Married At First Sight: The First Year (FYI)

Parks and Recreation (NBC)

My Big Fabulous Fat Life (TLC)

Troy: Street Magic (SyFy)

"EW has an exclusive sneak peek at this week’s episode [of Parenthood], in which Sarah prepares for that chat by doing some Pilates in the park with her younger sister—and then spilling the beans. Julia’s way of helping: making a pro-con list, of course."

Per USA Today, "[b]ig 'get' for Amazon.  It is expanding its original TV projects in a big way. The outlet announced Tuesday it has signed Woody Allen to write and direct his first TV series.

"The half-hour series - now being called the Untitled Woody Allen Project (just like all his films in the early stages) - will be available in the U.S., U.K. and Germany, Amazon said in a statement. It has received a full season order.

"'From Annie Hall to Blue Jasmine, Woody has been at the creative forefront of American cinema and we couldn't be more excited to premiere his first TV series exclusively on Prime Instant Video next year,' said Roy Price, vice president atAmazon Studios in a statement.

"Said Allen: 'I don't know how I got into this. I have no ideas and I'm not sure where to begin. My guess is that Roy Price will regret this.'"

Per Deadline, "[t]his week, Jack Vale will become one of the first YouTube stars to make the jump to a more traditional media outlet when HLN debuts Jack Vale:Offline, a reality series featuring the long-time video prankster and his sprawling family.

"HLN is really getting three online stars for the price of one in Offline. Vale, 41, has been on YouTube since 2007, with Jack Vale Films, a prank-oriented site with 1.2 million subscribers, and Jack Vale Live, a vlog with 170,000 subscribers.

"Vale’s oldest son, 18-year-old Jake, is building his own significant YouTube presence, with 125,000 subscribers to his biggest channel, which is comedy-oriented. Daughter Madysyn, 13, is a singer with a modest YouTube presence so far but in less than six months has built a 500,000-strong following on Facebook (which is pushing hard to become a major video presence).

"She will be releasing an EP of her music soon under the name Madysyn Rose. (If you want to feel old, just know that she marks her cover of Your Song as coming from Ellie Goulding, and only notes in passing that guy who wrote it, one Sir Elton John).

"The HLN show will also feature Vale’s wife, Sherry (40,000 subscribers to herYouTube channel) and the rest of their five children, among others. Each show will document the family’s interactions, and the planning and execution of some of the video pranks that Jack Vale normally posts each week. The HLN series was shot in Las Vegas in a rented house late last year for several weeks, because Vale is fairly well known in the family’s hometown, Huntington Beach, Calif.

"Vale said he got into making prank videos originally because he was trying to market a device that creates farting sounds. Nothing sophisticated here, but, hey, the Three Stooges had a good, long run too."

Photo courtesy of  Buzzfeed .

Photo courtesy of Buzzfeed.

Buzzfeed has a great piece on Mark and Jay Duplass.  "Clearly, the Duplasses work incredibly hard under their easygoing facade, and part of what helps their work function so seamlessly is the fact that they make it a priority to collaborate with people they know and like, not letting the studio system affect them, and not making work they’re not proud of. ('We’re terrified of making a bad piece of art,' Mark said frankly.) In other words, they value working with their friends. And, though there is a lot at play in their latest work Togetherness about career, parenting, and marriage, the series is also a prickly, poignant ode to how difficult it can be to hold on to a friendship when adulthood sets in.

"Brett moves Alex into his house not just because he wants to help out his friend, but because he’s terrified of losing Alex to another city, to a retreat from the L.A. life that’s ground him down. Having your best friend sleeping on your couch means you’re guaranteed to get to hang out with him, even as things like jobs and fatherhood set you on different paths. And putting your best friend in your HBO series means the same.

“'Honestly, a lot of it was like, "Let’s make a show so Steve can be successful. He’s the most talented person we know,”' Mark said. 'It’s crazy, but the biggest motivation of making the show was to put Steve on his feet.'

"Like Zissis himself, Alex is a struggling actor waiting tables to support himself. And for Zissis, who once performed alongside Mark in their high school talent show, getting to make Togetherness has been 'heaven.' 'I created an HBO show with my friends, that me and Mark are starring in, and Jay is behind the camera,' he told BuzzFeed News in a phone interview. 'It will probably never be as good as this.'

"If it is heaven, though, it’s a very grounded version of paradise in an Eagle Rock backyard, marked as much by earnest melancholy as it is well-earned warmth. And the Duplass brothers wouldn’t have it any other way."

If you don't happen to be an HBO subscriber but want to see the premiere episode of Togetherness, you can do so here:

I'm certainly not being paid by HBO, but if you're not a subscriber, you should give it a look based on this slate of docs set for 2015:

"Sundance picks Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck and Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief are among 11 films appearing in HBO’s documentary line-up for the first half of the year.

"Kicking off the doc slate on January 26 is the André Singer-directed and Brett Ratner-produced Night Will FallAs previously reported, the doc will examine an effort by a group of filmmakers including Alfred Hitchcock and Sidney Bernstein to document the liberation of Nazi concentration camps at the end of the Second World War.

"Debuting on February 8 and running until March 15 is Andrew Jarecki’s six-part series The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, which promises to expose “long-buried information” uncovered during the filmmaker’s investigation into a string of unsolved crimes and their possible connection to Durst.

"On February 14, HBO will air Dan Chaykin’s doc Rosie O’Donnell: A Heartfelt Stand Up, which features the comedian and TV personality performing a hybrid form of stand-up inspired by a recent heart attack. The doc will be followed by the February 23 broadcast premiere of Laura Poitras’s Edward Snowden doc Citizenfour, which most recently swept the Cinema Eye Honors.

"March 16 will see the HBO premiere of Gibney’s Going Clear, which is based on Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Lawrence Wright’s 2013 book Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, and is to profile eight former members of the controversial religion.

"Meanwhile, airing on March 23 is Matt Wolf’s It’s Me, Hilary: The Man Who Drew Eloise, which profiles illustrator Hilary Knight and his iconic children’s book character, while Peter Kunhardt and Brian Oakes’s Living with Lincoln, on a family’s “physical and emotional” connection to former U.S. president Abraham Lincoln, will air on April 13.

"Later that month, Nick Broomfield’s crime doc Tales of the Grim Sleeper will premiere on April 27, while Brett Morgen’s film on the former Nirvana frontman (pictured) Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck  – which will bow at Sundance later this month, as first reported by realscreen in December - will air on May 4. 

"May will also see the HBO premieres of Gillian Laub’s Southern Rites (May 18), in which the photographer documents the racial tensions in Montgomery County, Georgia, where a racial crime further divides community members, as well as Lucy Walker’s The Lion’s Mouth Opens (May 25), in which actor Marianna Palka discovers the outcome of her test for Huntington’s Disease.

"Finally, HBO will air a series of family-oriented and environment-themed doc specials entitled Saving My Tomorrow, produced in association with the American Museum of Natural History. The series – which is to kick off on April 22 and run through May – will features readings and performances from actors Alan Cumming, Tina Fey, Liam Neeson, singers Karen O. and Willie Nelson, and others."

More from Deadline, "Kyle MacLachlan has closed a deal to topline the new Twin Peaks limited series for Showtime from 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. Lynch and Frost are writing and produce all nine episodes, with Lynch directing every episode.

"MacLachlan helped make the announcement at TCA, coming out on stage unannounced to the Twin Peaks theme, offering Showtime topper David Nevins coffee with one of Agent Cooper’s favorite sayings, 'Damn good coffee.'

“'I’m very excited to return to the strange and wonderful world of Twin Peaks,' MacLachlan said. 'May the forest be with you.'

"The new Twin Peaks is 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."

Per EW, "Showtime’s Homeland might find a new threat to focus on for season 5.

"The network’s president David Nevins says the show’s writer-producer Alex Gansa might find a different antagonist for Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) to tackle when the show returns later this year. But the executive also firmly emphasized a decision on the storyline has not yet been made and any series narrative will be decided for creative reasons rather than the recent terror attacks in Europe.

“'Where they’re going to go next year is a little bit up in the air,' Nevins told critics at the Television Critics Association’s semi-annual press tour Monday. 'We’re not necessarily going to stay [with addressing] U.S. relations in the Muslim world. The real franchise of the show is how difficult it is to be America in the world in the 21st century, how difficult the choices are. I think that’s a story that will remain relevant for as long as they can come up with new stories. It could be Africa, it could be Europe, it could be back in another place in the Middle East. I don’t expect that show to fall into a formula. I can see it coming back to the U.S. at some point.'

"Referencing the Charlie Hebdo shooting in France and North Korea’s alleged hacking of Sony, Nevins noted that 'it’s a bit of a scary time to be a maker of controversial, political truth. It’s been a bad month for free speech around the world.'

"Yet in terms of Homeland — which has frequently focused on Muslim extremist threats to U.S. interests since it launched in 2011 — the executive said that none of the current attacks will prevent the show from tackling sensitive international issues. 'I hope [the attacks are] not considered at all,' he said. 'I really, really don’t want there to be any limitations. I don’t expect there will be. They never shied away from anything difficult. I want them to go right into the teeth of it again.'”

This could be good news if you're a network sitcom fan.  That said, enough with the Wahlbergs already, eh?  "Adam Sandler and Doug Robinson’s Happy Madison is extending its relationship with Sony Pictures TV, signing a new three-year overall deal.

"Under the most recent pact, the company has set up 8 comedy projects at the broadcast networks, including What Up Wahlbergs, inspired by the Wahlberg brothers as kids growing up, with Danny Wahlberg producing. The project, written by How To Make It America creator Ian Edelman, is set up at ABC where Happy Madison has another family comedy, The Goldbergs.

"Happy Madison has been at Sony TV for a decade. It has delivered one comedy series for Sony TV that has gone to syndication, CBS’ Rules of Engagement, and is well on its way to have another long-term comedy player in ABC’s The Goldbergs, which is thriving in its sophomore season.

"In addition to What Up Wahlbergs and the Real Genius half-hour at NBC based on the 1985 movie starring Val Kilmer, which Deadline has written about, Happy Madison is reuniting with Rules of Engagement creator/executive producer Tom Hertz for a comedy at Fox. Fellow Rules alumna Vanessa McCarthy is writing a script for ABC.

"Coverband at CBS is an adaptation of the 2014 New Zealand comedy about members of a rock band left to scramble after their lead singer dumps them for a solo career. Matt Tarses, who consults on The Goldbergs, is writing. The Big C creator Darlene Hunt, who also is working on The Goldbergs, is writing comedy project Meet.Mate.Multiply for ABC.

"Also in the works are half-hours Pittsburgh Rich, by Ed co-creator Jon Beckerman at CBS, and My Four Moms by Daniel Lappin (Divorce: A Love Story), also at ABC."