Tuesday October 17, 2017

NBC is developing a Nancy Drew reboot.  Just what we need!

Audience network premieres two new shows tonight: Hit The Road and Loudermilk:

"Hit The Road is about the greatest family band you’ve never heard of – yet! This chaotically dysfunctional family of would-be rock/pop stars traverse the country in a cramped tour bus sacrificing privacy, comfort and dignity while in search of fame and fortune. Struggling to navigate their lives and relationships while juggling what’s best for the family versus what’s best for the band, they invariably end up making very unfortunate decisions. Yet nothing will stop them from claiming their rightful place in pop history." 

"Sam Loudermilk is a recovering alcoholic and substance abuse counselor with an extremely bad attitude about, well, everything. He is unapologetically uncensored, managing to piss off everyone in his life. Although he has his drinking under control, Loudermilk discovers that when your life is a complete mess, getting clean is the easy part."

Here's an interview with the cast of Loudermilk.

Kathy Griffin remains on the blacklist.

Kevin James explains why his wife was killed off on Kevin Can Wait. "'The plot of the show didn’t have enough drive,' James said. 'If we got through a second season, I wouldn’t see us getting through a third one. We were literally just running out of ideas.'”

I enjoyed the premiere of White Famous, at least enough to watch episode 2.

Reese Witherspoon and American Ferrara have announced they were both sexually assaulted years ago.

"Jim Rome is getting more air time. Starting January 2, his popular CBS Radio program,  The Jim Rome Show, will be simulcast for three hours a day on CBS Sports Network. Rome, who will build a new studio to reflect the new visual elements of his program, will be seen each weekday on the CBS-owned sports cable network between noon and 3 p.m. eastern, in a maneuver that increases the outlet’s original hours of programming."

"The Russians who worked for a notorious St. Petersburg 'troll factory' that was part of Vladimir Putin’s campaign to influence the 2016 presidential election were required to watch the House of Cards television series to help them craft messages to 'set up the Americans against their own government,' according to an interview broadcast Sunday (in Russian) with a former member of the troll factory’s elite English language department. The interview, broadcast by the independent Russian TV station Rain, provides new insight into how the troll factory formerly known as the Internet Research Agency targeted U.S. audiences in part by posting provocative 'comments' pretending to be from Americans on newspaper articles that appeared on the websites of the New York Times and Washington Post. A central theme of this messaging was demonizing Hillary Clinton by playing up the past scandals of her husband’s administration, her wealth and her use of a private email server, according to the interview with the agency worker, identified only as 'Maksim,' with his face concealed."

Per TechCrunch, "Snapchat parent co. Snap is working with NBCUniversal on its first scripted series, with an initial effort led by the Duplass Brothers – Mark and Jay, to those in the know. The duo will create scripted programming for Snapchat through Donut, their own creative production venture. It’s maybe a weird choice for Snap and their youthful audience, but it’s a team with a proven track record when it comes to creating scripted originals.

"Snap and NBCU have been partners in the past, too, with the broadcaster teaming up with the social network early on with its launch of the unscripted The Voice series tailored for Snapchat audiences. Snapchat had previously discussed building scripted content for its network, with a focus on short-form stuff that makes sense for the platform.

"The content will be shot and presented in vertical video format, too, something that Mark Duplass called a 'terrifying and thrilling creative challenge' in an emailed statement.

"Meanwhile, NBCU and Snap will formalize their partnership with a joint venture, in the form of a new digital content studio based in Santa Monica. The studio will be lead by Lauren Anderson, an NBC Entertainment exec who comes on as Chief Content Officer. The venture will be shared equally in terms of equity between Snap and NBCU.

"This is the biggest move Snap has made yet in terms of producing and investing in original content. Building its own studio in partnership with NBC puts it more in the driver’s seat, instead of leaning as heavily on partners, though the team-up means it’ll be working with people with more experience in this new realm."

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Per Deadline, "Wyatt Cenac has been set to star in a 10-episode late-night comedic docuseries at HBO that John Oliver is executive producing. The network said the series will take a satirical look at social and cultural issues from the former Daily Show correspondent’s unique perspective. Rather than sit behind a desk, he will undertake a journey to understand some of the big issues of the moment and investigate real-world solutions. It is slated to bow in spring 2018.

"Oliver and Cenac will executive produce with O.J.: Made In America‘s Ezra Edelman and Hallie Haglund, who will be head writer. Last Week Tonight‘s Diane Fitzgerald will be co-executive producer on the show, which will be produced for HBO by Avalon Television.

"Said Cenac: 'While my initial ask to play one of Molly’s love interests on Insecure was rejected, this is a nice consolation. My thanks to Nina [Rosenstein, EVP HBO Programming], Casey Bloys and everyone at HBO for finally giving me a place where I can comfortably swear on television.'”

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From The Hollywood Reporter: "Just a few months after celebrating the 20th anniversary of the show Oz, the cast and crew reunited for the first time at PaleyFest New York to commemorate the work they did on the HBO show and how they were able to pull it off.

"Oz marked the first one-hour drama series that HBO produced, and it followed the lives and tribulations of the inmates and workers at a level-four maximum-security prison.

"Series creator Tom Fontana said the idea for the show grew out of him wanting to know what happened to the inmates in all the crime and police shows he watched.

“'The point of the show then was in some terms examining the prison system, which is still highly relevant today,' Fontana said.

"The HBO series, which premiered in 1997 and aired its final season in 2003, explored controversial and then-untouched subjects and featured a cast full of some of today's biggest names.

"For Edie Falco, it was the first real paying job she had. 'Oz was very important for me in that it gave me the ability to support myself,' Falco said of her three years on the drama. 'It marked the reality of not having to go back to my restaurant job. That was big.'

"Through Oz, Falco went on to land her breakout role in The Sopranos, which earned her two Golden Globes and three Emmys.

"As for the subject matter explored on the show, cast member Dean Winters, who played menace Ryan O'Reily, said the series was a trailblazer. 

“'I think we were so far ahead of the curve that the country didn’t know how to take it,' Winters said. 'We got a good reception, but for a show 20 years ago that had a Muslim as the lead, a gay love story, had a bad nun and all this crazy shit like the drugs and the violence, and then people talk about that today, and I’m like "We were doing that 20 years ago. Wake up!.”'

"Other cast members who've gone on to become well-known include J.K. Simmons and Law & Order’s Christopher Meloni, who played a gay inmate opposite love interest Lee Tergesen.

“'When Oz started 20 years ago there were three networks and Fox and that was about it.' Tergesen said about the show’s ability to cover subjects such as sexuality and race. 'Nobody else was making these kind of shows, and it really pushed the envelope of television.'”

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"Comedy Central has given series orders to The Other Two, from former Saturday Night Live co-head writers Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider and the company behind the venerable NBC sketch program, Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video; and to South Side (working title), from former Late Night With Jimmy Fallon writers/performers Diallo Riddle & Bashir Salahuddin as well as Bashir’s brother, Sultan Salahuddin.

"The Other Two and South Side were two of the 9 pilots Comedy Central ordered in April.

"The Other Two‘s pickup was foreshadowed by Kelly and Schneider’s recent exit from SNL after six years to focus on their Comedy Central project, which was awaiting greenlight.

"Created by, written by and executive produced by Kelly and Schneider and executive produced by Michaels, The Other Two stars Drew Tarver (Bajillion Dollar Propertie$) as a 29-year-old aspiring actor wondering why he can’t get better auditions than 'Man At Party Who Smells Fart,' and Heléne Yorke (Masters of SexHigh Maintenance) as his 30-year-old sister, and former professional child dancer, Brooke, who aspires to be anything other than what she is right now. As the two siblings work towards finding themselves, they must also confront the dueling emotions of envy and pride brought on by the overnight internet fame of their younger brother, 12-year-old Chase, played by real-life muscal.ly sensation Case Walker. The Other Two will also feature Molly Shannon, who plays the siblings’ Hollywood-ready mother, reuniting with her Other People writer-director Kelly, and Ken Marino (Party Down), as ChaseDream’s newly-hired manager.

“'We are excited for our first scripted show about family, mostly because we did research and discovered that nearly 100% of our audience comes from them,' said Kent Alterman, President, Comedy Central. 'Plus, hearing Chris and Sarah’s names called out so much at the Emmys didn’t hurt.'

"Kelly and Schneider served as co-head writers on SNL’s most watched season in 23 years, which won 9 Emmys last month, the most of any program this year. In addition to his time at Saturday Night Live, Kelly has written for Comedy Central’s Broad Cityand also wrote and directed the feature film, Other People, which earned 2017 Indie Spirit Award nominations for best first feature and best screenplay (and earned a Spirit Award for star Shannon). Schneider has written for the Netflix series Master of None and, prior to her time at Saturday Night Live, was a writer and actress for CollegeHumor Originals.

“'We are so excited to make this show with Comedy Central, our incredible cast, and our joint biological father Lorne Michaels, who will be making a cameo in at least one episode, and is finding that out right now,' said Kelly and Schneider

"Kelly, who directed the pilot for The Other Two, will also direct episodes for the series. In addition to Lorne Michaels, Andrew Singer from Broadway Video will serve as an executive producer alongside XX. Broadway Video’s Hilary Marx will be a co-executive producer with Kaylani Esparza serving as co-producer. The series will be also be executive produced by Tony Hernandez of Jax Media.

"Written by brothers Bashir Salahuddin (Glow) and Sultan Salahuddin, who were raised on the south side of Chicago, and Diallo Riddle (Marlon), South Side will be executive produced by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon alums Diallo Riddle, Bashir Salahuddin and Michael Blieden.

"At its core, South Side is an ensemble workplace comedy set in and around a rent-to-own store in the working class neighborhood of Englewood on the South Side of Chicago. The scripted series centers around two longtime friends trying to better their lives despite the numerous socioeconomic and political obstacles they face on a daily basis, authentically exploring the ups and downs of the ensemble of characters, as well as the people they come into contact with while on the job and off-the-clock. The series will tap into the rich local talent pool of Chicago to further add to its authentic look and feel.

““I’m not great at geography, but South Side is right where it needs to be – on our air,' said Alterman.

"The pilot was directed by Blieden, who is expected to direct episodes for the series.

“'Though Chicago is often viewed in a negative way these days, our show aims to find joy in the fuller picture of the city. Chicago, and specifically the South Side of Chicago, is a diverse place where families live, where people laugh, where kids have dreams and goals and yes, even some good times. It’s a special place full of unique experiences, a place some of us call home,' said executive producers Salahuddin, Riddle and Blieden."

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Only posting this entire article versus just a blurb up top because I miss Parenthood.  "Dax Shepard is returning to the small screen.

"The Parenthood alum is set to guest-star on an upcoming episode of Fox's freshman series Ghosted, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

"The single-camera comedy centers on a partnership between Leroy (Craig Robinson), a cynical skeptic, and Max (Adam Scott), a genius 'true believer' in the paranormal, who are recruited by a secret government agency called The Bureau Underground to save the human race from aliens.

"Shepard will play Sam, a charming computer programmer with questionable intentions. His presence at The Bureau Underground pits Max against Leroy.

"The role reunites Shepard and Scott after the two recently shared the screen in Netflix's Wet Hot American Summer: 10 Years Later when Scott assumed the role — spoiler alert — originally played by Bradley Cooper. Shepard also appeared on Scott's long-running NBC comedy Parks and Recreation."