Tuesday March 31, 2015

Who is Trevor Noah?  He's not Kal Penn, that's for sure.

I am really enjoying season 1 of both Better Call Saul (not surprisingly) and Last Man On Earth.

More aftermath from The Walking Dead finale as Andrew Lincoln spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about what's yet to come.

The WWE announced eight new original series, including animated adult comedy Camp WWE, in partnership with Seth Green’s Stoopid Buddy Studios; half hour Swerved, from Jeff Treimaine (Jackass); competition Diva Search; clips show Jerry Springer Presents WWE Too Hot for TV; talk show Live! With Chris Jericho; interview series Unfiltered: With Renee Young; travel show Culture Shock: With Corey Graves and best and worst compilation WWE The List.  Who on earth is making programming decisions over there???

TVLand premieres Darren Star's Younger tonight.  And here's a review.  "The cast, and Star’s breezy but never dumb writing, makes Younger an entertaining half-hour comedy that feels far more mature than most rookies out there."

Tonight's premieres also include Fox's Weird Loners, which the network describes as follows: "In a world full of happy couples, there are those who just can’t seem to figure it out… WEIRD LONERS is a new single-camera comedy about four relationship-challenged mid-30-somethings who are unexpectedly thrust into one another’s lives, forming unlikely bonds in a Queens, NY, townhouse. Starring Becki Newton (Ugly Betty), Zachary Knighton (Happy Endings), Nate Torrence (Hello Ladies) and newcomer Meera Rohit Kumbhani, the series explores the lives of these underdogs who, each for his/her own distinct reasons, are solo singles when most of their peers are well along the path of marriage and family. As the members of this off-kilter quartet get to know each other, they’ll face an endless array of riotous – and likely uncomfortable – circumstances, ranging from a reunion with an estranged pre-teen son, to confusion about same-sex dating, to scheming the art world to make a quick buck. WEIRD LONERS is a show for all those who have at some point felt scared, lost, lonely and overwhelmed in the world of love and relationships. Namely, everyone."

An interview with Marc Maron.  Amongst the highlights:

"There was a consolidated definition of comedy in the original boom that saw the franchising of comedy clubs — every city had a comedy club, and there was a certain pattern or process that comics had to go through to get to be a headliner at those comedy clubs. It was specifically mainstream, and obviously there are many comics that surfaced out of there as bona fide comedy stars, but there was a lot that just serviced the audience that was built in that system. And now that system is fairly well-collapsed, thank God. What’s coming in its place is a very diversified and interesting group of fans and comedy nerds and people who are into different facets of the history of comedy, the different types of comedy that [are] going on now. It just redefined itself, and it seems somewhat popular and somewhat cool again."

"The Comedy Store is the only real place anymore. For years, it was just this haunted outpost where comics were doing all the jobs, it was this system of lunatics-are-running-the-asylum. It’s got a dark place in my heart. I used to work out there just to work out, and I didn’t necessarily want to pull people in 'cause I wanted to do it anonymously. But now we’ve all started tweeting and getting people to go, and it’s just packed with young people. And look, I was a doorman there in the late ’80s, so I knew what that place looked like. And now it’s very diverse and interesting, and a lot of comedy nerds are coming. They’re starting to appreciate the history of the place. The Comedy Store is still the same weird, decaying Hollywood outpost. It’s got its own time zone. And people are starting to appreciate that. And it’s got great rooms: They're trippy and they’re great."  Amen to that.

According to Realscreen, "NBC Universal cable net Bravo has unveiled 10 new series, including a Real Housewives of Atlanta spin-off, and announced renewals for four others at its upfront in New York City today (March 30).

"True Entertainment has two new series on the Bravo slate: Mother Funders follows women who run Locust Grove, Georgia’s parent-teacher organization with executive flair; while NeNe and Kim: The Road to Riches (w/t) follows NeNe Leakes and Kim Zolciack Biermann, two of the stars from Real Housewives of Atlanta, as they embark upon a cross-country road trip.

"Also among the new series are two from FremantleMedia North America: Married to Medicine – Houston, the latest in the Married to Medicine franchise (developed by Purveyors of Pop); and My Fab 40th, which captures the action at extravagant 40th birthday parties.

"Lime Pictures and All3Media America are behind Fit Club, following assorted New York City personal fitness trainers.

"Toronto-based Tricon Films and Television and Bravo coproduce Aprés Ski, following the exploits of a luxury concierge company working in ski haven Whistler, British Columbia.

"Embassy Row will produce Recipe for Deception, a cooking competition in which contestants prepare dishes while unaware of what their mystery main ingredient is.

"The Below Deck franchise from 51 Minds gets a spin-off and a new European locale via Below Deck Mediterranean, and Monkey Kingdom is behind another travel-themed series, Tour Group (w/t). Goodbye Pictures, meanwhile, presents Ladies of Dallas (w/t).

"Returning series include Ladies of London (season two), Don’t be Tardy… (season four), Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles (season eight) and Manzo’d With Children (season two).

“'Bravo continues to super-serve the most educated, affluent, engaged and loyal audience with our original content on all platforms,' said Frances Berwick, president, lifestyle networks, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, in a statement. 'We are excited to launch these new unscripted and scripted series and believe the new slate will deliver the same high-quality and viewing benefits, but with a broader lens to drive even more ‘affluencers’ to view as well as engage socially.'”

Per TheWrap, "Oxygen and Esquire Network are getting in bed together for a few laughs.  The two outlets are teaming up for a pair of companion reality series revolving around comedians, it was announced Monday.

"Oxygen will air Living With Funny, which will explore the personal lives and relationships of professional funny people, while Esquire will air Comedians of L.A., which will revolve around the working life of a stand-up comedian onstage, backstage, and offstage.

Both shows will air during the same period so viewers can follow them both easily. [Gee thanks!]

"In addition to the joint effort, Oxygen announced a number of new series, such as Douglas Family Gold and The Hustle, as well as a third installment of Preachers of Atlanta and a second season of Sisterhood of Hip Hop.

"Read all about the new entries in TV programming below.

NEW SERIES

Living with Funny (working title)
Produced by L. Plummer Media with Lemuel Plummer serving as Executive Producer.

This companion docu-series showcases the personal lives behind the curtain of rising comedians in Hollywood and the women in their lives.  Cameras will follow the howling tale of what happens when they drop the mic and come home to their family, friends and significant others. Because when you are a comedian, the jokes don’t stop just because the show does. Brandon T. Jackson is the first comedian to commit to both series.  Additional cast will be announced at a later date.

Crazy Talk
Produced and distributed in the U.S. by NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution with Paul Faulhaber serving as Executive Producer.

Hosted by Tanisha Thomas (Bad Girls Club) and Ben Aaron (WNBC’s New York Live), the fast-paced, laugh-out-loud first-run comedic syndicated daily program raises an eyebrow on the most outlandish and sometimes bizarre moments on reality television. Taped in front of a live studio audience, this half-hour series filled with raw and hilarious banter also invites reality stars to rehash their '15 minutes of fame' and provide insight behind their most-watched clips. [This will be unwatchable.]

Pretty. Strong.
Produced by Relativity Television and Ellen Rakieten Entertainment with Tom Forman, Brad Bishop and Ellen Rakieten serving as Executive Producers.

It is football like you have never seen it before as fierce, young women engage in one of the roughest, yet fastest growing sports in the country— the Legends Football League. This is full contact, hard tackle football with two-time reigning champions the Chicago Bliss going for the coveted three-peat. These athletes are juggling careers as dentists, lawyers, and receptionists, but come game time, they are on a girl power-fueled mission to inspire, blaze trails and defy the odds. [Someone FINALLY bought off on this drivel, huh?]

The Hustle (working title)
Produced by NCredible Entertainment with Nick Cannon and Michael Goldman serving as Executive Producers in association with Evolution Media with Douglas Ross, Alex Baskin and Greg Stewart serving as Executive Producers.

Being a boss is tough, but being an assistant is impossible. This coming-of-age series follows the dynamic and hard-working assistants to successful entrepreneurs and entertainers. With blood, sweat and tears, these ambitious 20-somethings are willing to do whatever it takes to learn the ropes one step at a time so they can climb the ranks. These assistants are exposed to a life of privilege at work, traveling on private jets and attending lavish red carpet events, however, at the end of the day, they struggle just to pay rent and find time for their own personal lives. 

Player Gets Played
Produced by DiGA with Tony DiSanto, Liz Gateley and Cheryl Horner Sirulnick serving as Executive Producers.

In each episode, one woman with a lurking suspicion will uncover a heartbreaking truth with the help of social media and friends when it’s revealed she is not the only woman in her boyfriend’s life. These young women are given the ultimate opportunity to change the game without letting him in on the plan. The newly empowered women will join together and plot a surprising confrontation to give the player a taste of his own medicine. [Ok, this I'd watch.]

Douglas Family Gold (working title)
Produced by WV Enterprises in association with Lionsgate TV and Televisa USA with Wilmer Valderrama, Jessica Acevedo, Natalie Hawkins and Gabrielle Douglas serving as Executive Producers.

"Gabrielle 'Gabby' Douglas stunned the world in 2012 by becoming the first African American in history to win the individual all-around gold medal at the Summer Olympics.  Behind her meteoric rise was a supportive family willing to sacrifice everything for years to help her dream. Now 19, Gabby is ready to do it all over again in hopes of making it back to the medal podium in 2016. The bi-coastal Douglas family shuttles between California and Ohio to support Gabby’s training regimen while also juggling their own lives.  Her brother John is the family’s second Olympic hopeful in track and field, while devoted sisters Arie and Joy are eager to blaze their own paths. 'Momager' Natalie keeps this tight-knit family in-check, knowing regardless of what happens, 'Team Douglas' has already won gold.  [I wouldn't watch a nanosecond of this even if I was paid to do so.]

Boss Nails
Produced by Jarrett Creative, with Julie Jarrett, Seth Jarrett and Carmen Mitcho serving as Executive Producers and Rock Shrimp Productions NYC with Bobby Flay and Kim Martin serving as Executive Producers.

Welcome to Tippie Toes Nail & Beauty Salon where Miami’s fashionistas come for one-of-a-kind pop-culture nail designs. This series centers on 26-year-old burgeoning business owner Dana Cody, known for her signature crystal embellished manicures that cost upwards of $10,000, as she juggles managing her boisterous staff, expanding her salon empire, and living up to the legacy her late mother left behind.

Preachers of Atlanta
Produced by L. Plummer Media in association with Relevé Entertainment with Lemuel Plummer, Holly Carter, Chris Costine and Mark Scheibal serving as Executive Producers.

Atlanta is not only the home to fast cars, sprawling mansions and the southern elite, but a new generation of up-and-coming preachers who are superstars of the pulpit. The third installation from the popular franchise, “Preachers of Atlanta” documents the lives of the city’s young elite mega-pastors as they focus on the daily struggles and triumphs as husbands, wives, fathers, mothers and friends, while also maintaining their duties as men and women of God.

Time To Quit Your Day Job (working title)
Produced by Original Productions, a FremantleMedia Company with Phillip D. Segal, Jeff Conroy and Kevin Williams serving as Executive Producers.

Aspiring millennials will have the unique opportunity to pitch themselves and their innovative ideas to Randi Zuckerberg, Ido Leffler, Sarah Prevette and Lauren Maillian, who will also serve as mentors to the young professionals. These hopefuls will have to win the confidence of these four investors and prove they have what it takes to turn their concept into a viable business. [I've seen this show, it's called Shark Tank.]

Sisterhood of Hip Hop Season Two
Produced by 51 Minds with Christian Sarabia, T.I. and Greg Johnston serving as Executive Producers.

With Grammy-Award winning recording artist T.I. as Executive Producer, season two of this powerful and uplifting series will continue to follow the next generation of female MCs on their journey to become the next breakout star with some new twists, more celebrity mentors and break out music.  Navigating the Los Angeles hip-hop scene, these five up-and-coming, ambitious artists— Siya, Nyemiah Supreme, Diamond, Brianna Perry and Bia— are breaking boundaries and rewriting the rules of the male dominated music industry."

More from Esquire's new slate: "Left/Right’s Somm, which follows six aspiring master sommeliers in New York City as they prepare for the Court of Masters Sommelier exam. Jason Wise, director of the documentary of the same name, and producer Christina Wise also serve as EPs for the show.

"Coolfire Studios brings United States of Burgers to the table for Esquire. The competition series pits backyard BBQ kings against each other in the hunt for the perfect burger.

"Meanwhile, Going Deep with David Rees is moving from National Geographic Channel to Esquire. Produced by True Entertainment, the series features writer/comedian/entrepreneur Rees investigating the science and history behind everyday tasks.

"Rounding out the slate of upcoming series for Esquire is the previously announced The Agent from Herzog & Co."

This should come as a surprise to exactly no one.  "Terrence Howard owes his ex-wife $508,000 and counting ... so she claims, and she's gunning for a payday.

"Michelle Ghent claims Terrence has been hiding assets and grossly undervaluing what he makes a month to avoid his spousal support obligations.

"TMZ broke the story ... Terrence is required to pay Michelle $5,800 a month in spousal support, but if he makes more than $62,500 a quarter, she gets 21% of the excess. According to her docs, Terrence made $125,000 an episode in Season 1 and he's sure to get a huge raise.

"Michelle claims Terrence has not only failed to pay the 21%, but she says he's way behind in the $5,800 monthly obligation ... to the tune of more than $100k.

"Also according to Michelle's docs, Terrence is using his first ex-wife's business to divert his earnings, making it appear he earns very little. In fact, Terrence claimed as recently as November all he was getting in the way of income was just shy of $6k a month ... money that was paid by the ex-wife's business.

"Empire started shooting in September, so that's when the bucks started rolling in.

"But all good things come to an end, and according to the divorce, Michelle's spousal support ends next year."