Friday January 9, 2015

Fox has renewed Bob's Burgers for a 6th season.  I've yet to see a single episode, but kudos.

HBO has picked up Real Time with Bill Maher for an additional two seasons.  How do I get an invite to his annual Hawaiian New Year's Eve party?  Anyone?

I have a lot to catch up on: ArcherParenthoodEmpire, etc.  Thoughts on those and other shows are forthcoming.

In the meantime, the cast of Parenthood shared what they learned from being a Braverman.  Not surprisingly, Dax Shepard gave my favorite answer: "My character usually makes the wrong decision in every scene, so I'm not taking any personal life lessons from Crosby — I don't think anyone really should. He went and crashed his motorcycle. If I do that in real life, I've got my own problems!"

Shark Tank returns tonight.  At the complete other end of the continuum, WE unveils a new season of Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars.  Check out the producers' pitch to potential cast members of this gem:

HBO premieres new episodes of GirlsTogetherness and Looking on Sunday, while Showtime also bows new episodes of ShamelessHouse of Lies and Episodes.  Set your DVRs accordingly.

Teresa Giudice is already on track to be released from prison early.

"CitizenFour, the feature documentary about fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden, has been winning awards and is touted as a major Oscar contender. HBO is likely betting on a strong showing for the rest of the awards season because it has scheduled the TV premiere of the docu for February 23, a day after the Academy Awards. A day before that, CitizenFour, which HBO backed with Praxis Films and Participant Media, will be up for an Indie Spirit Award after receiving a nomination in the documentary category. (Oscar nominations will be revealed January 15.)"

"Bachelorette stars Andi Dorfman and Josh Murray have called off their engagement ... their rep tells TMZ.

"It's pretty weird and pretty sudden. Three days ago they were on the red carpet for the Season 19 premiere of The Bachelor. Chris Harrison asked them, 'So when's the wedding?' He said there were no immediate plans as Andi rubbed his back.

"The former couple got engaged after appearing on the show last year.

"Andi and Josh, through the rep, tell TMZ, 'After several months of being engaged and working on our relationship, we have decided that it's best for both of us to go our separate ways. We are very sad that it has come to this point, but this is what's best for both of us individually.'"

More from HBO...per Deadline, "Tig Notaro will star in her first HBO comedy special, Michael Lombardo, president HBO Programming said today at TCA in Pasadena. The special, to be taped later this year, will feature Notaro doing a stand-up performance before a live audience.

“'Tig Notaro is a "comedian’s comedian," whose uniquely fearless and always funny voice has won acclaim from critics and fans alike,' said Lombardo. 'I’m so happy that we will be able to introduce this remarkable performer to a larger audience.'

"Notaro draws on highly personal experiences in her stand-up work, most notably turning a traumatic period of her life, which included a diagnosis of breast cancer in 2012 and the death of her mother, into a legendary stand-up performance."  She's a pretty brilliant comic so I look forward to this one.  If you want a glimpse into her storytelling (about Taylor Dayne), click here.

Per TheWrap, "Patrick Wilson, Ted Danson, and Jean Smart have signed on for Season 2 of FX’s Fargo. The trio joins previously announced leadsKirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons.

"Wilson stars as Lou Solverson, a clean-cut Minnesota State Patrolman, four years back from Vietnam, where he served in the Navy, according to a character description from the cable channel. It continued: A humble and competent man, Lou is a devoted husband to his wife Betsy (yet to be cast), and father to four-year-old Molly (yet to be cast).

"Danson will play Hank Larsson, the Sheriff of Rock County, Minnesota. An unflappable WWII vet who embodies a certain cowboy poetry, Hank is Lou’s father-in-law.

"Smart will play Floyd Gerhardt, the matriarch of the Gerhardt crime family. She’s stood by her husband’s side for 40 years, but now that he’s out of the picture she thinks it’s her turn to run things.

"Here is FX’s official plot description:

"The all new 'true crime' case of Fargo’s new chapter travels back to 1979 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Luverne, Minnesota, where a young State Police Officer 'Lou Solverson' (Wilson), recently back from Vietnam, investigates a case involving a local crime gang and a major Mob syndicate.  Helping him piece things together is his father-in-law, 'Sheriff Hank Larsson' (Danson). The investigation will lead them to a colorful cast of characters that includes “Karl Weathers” (Nick Offerman), the town lawyer of Luverne, Minnesota.  A Korean War vet, Karl is a flowery drunk blessed with the gift of gab and the eloquence of a true con artist.  Three-time Emmy winner Brad Garrett will play 'Joe Bulo,' the front man for the northern expansion of a Kansas City crime syndicate.  The new face of corporate crime, Joe’s bringing a Walmart mentality to small town America.  His number two is 'Mike Milligan' (Bokeem Woodbine).  Part enforcer, part detective, Mike is always smiling – but the joke is usually on you.  Bulo and his crew have their sights set on the Gerhardt crime family in Fargo, currently led by matriarch 'Floyd Gerhardt' (Smart).  With her husband at death’s door, Floyd takes over the family business, frustrating her eldest son, 'Dodd Gerhardt' (Jeffrey Donovan).  An impatient hothead with a cruel streak to match his ambitions, Dodd can’t wait for both his parents to die so he can take over and expand their business from kingdom to empire. 'Bear Gerhardt' (Angus Sampson) is the middle son, an intimidatingly large man who, although inarticulate, is the most decent of his clan. 'Rye Gerhardt' (Kieran Culkin), the youngest of the Gerhardt clan, views himself as a big shot, but in reality he’s just a small dog who barks big."

EW spoke with Jeff Probst about the upcoming 30th season of Survivor.  "When Survivor reached its landmark 20th season in 2010, the CBS reality show staged an epic Heroes vs. Villains season featuring 20 former all-star players. The network also invited every singe contestant that had ever played to a massive 10-year anniversary party to mark the occasion. It was a huge blow-out affair both on screen and off. Which is what makes the show’s decidedly more reserved approach towards honoring season number 30 and year number 15 so curious.

"Instead of stacking the season 30 cast with familiar faces from the past, Survivor will instead be airing its third consecutive season of all newbies for Survivor: Worlds Apart (which premieres Feb. 25). The concept, as host Jeff Probst explained to us last month, will pit one tribe of white collar types against a tribe of blue collar folks and a third tribe of 'no collar' free spirits. Okay, could be interesting. But it still left many who follow the show (like yours truly) surprised that producers did not go bigger to mark the historic occasion.

"So why didn’t they? Jeff Probst tells us that bringing back popular players was indeed originally in consideration. But then, a conversation with Grand Poobah Mark Burnett changed all that. 'Leading up to 30, we spent almost a year talking about whether we should do some sort of all-star season with returning players,' says Probst. “And that seemed to be the conventional wisdom. A lot of people were expecting us to do that. But Mark and I were talking on the phone one day and Mark said something so simple. Mark said, "Just keep in mind, Jeff—it is our 30th season, but it is also just our 30th season." And that really struck me, and from that moment on I realized, yeah, this is not the end of Survivor. It just happens to be a big number. Let’s just do a great season.'"

Per TheWrap, "Ugly Betty star Michael Urie’s new comedy web series What’s Your Emergency is set to debut on Jan. 27.

"Urie will direct the series, which follows the misadventures of incompetent employees who work at a 911 call center in the town of Hell, Michigan. Ryan Spahn (He’s Way More Famous Than You) created the series and will star alongside Halley Feiffer (The Squid and the Whale).

"Co-stars include Sierra Boggess, Debra Monk (Mozart in the Jungle) and Reed Birney (House of Cards), who is set to appear on a six-episode arc. A slew of guest stars are already lined up to appear on What’s Your Emergency, including Urie’s Ugly Betty co-star America Ferrera, Alan Cumming (The Good Wife), Lynn Cohen, Richard Kind, David Krumholtz and Mike Sorrentino.

"Digital platform Stage17 is producing.  'Stage17 epitomizes the kind of creativity I want to be a part of: quick delightful escapes from the everyday, material that caters to an audience with a theatrical sensibility, and a platform that reaches everyone, anywhere,' Urie said in a statement."