Thursday November 2, 2017

CBS has pulled Me, Myself & I from its lineup to the surprise of absolutely no one.

Ditto re: VH1's Daytime Divas, whatever that is (or was).

Young Sheldon returns to CBS tonight.

Followed by the season premiere of Mom.

The fall finale of Will & Grace airs tonight as well.

For all of the Barbara Streisand fans in the house.

Kevin Spacey is seeking treatment in the wake of the allegations against him.

Brett Ratner has employed a different strategy.

"Sarah Hyland is spilling spoilers about her Modern Family character Haley Dunphy. The 26-year-old actress confirmed fan theories on Wednesday that Haley is bisexual, responding to one who asked if it was indeed true by writing on Twitter, 'I don’t know what the writers would say? But I confirm.' Those Modern Family writers, including co-creator Steve Levitan, haven’t responded to Hyland’s tweet."

Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s season of The Bachelor will premiere Jan. 1, 2018 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Luyendyk was the runner-up on Emily Maynard’s season of The Bachelorette in 2012, and stepped away from the spotlight to focus on a new career in real estate before beginning his second search for love. Yay.

FX has set the premiere date for Season 2 of its American Crime Story — The Assassination of Gianni Versace will debut on Wednesday, January 17 at 10 p.m. The follow-up to The People v. O.J. Simpson will be produced by Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Brad Falchuk, Alexis Martin Woodall, Dan Minahan and Tom Rob Smith. The Versace season was written by Smith, with Murphy directing the premiere episode. This ACS stars Darren Criss, Edgar Ramirez, Penelope Cruz and Ricky Martin.

"We've already established that Steve and Dustin are the Stranger Things duo we deserve, but their offscreen bromance is — dare we say it — even cuter. Joe Keery, who stars as Steve Harrington on the hit Netflix series, often shares behind-the-scenes photos of his misadventures with Gaten Matarazzo on their way to their favorite restaurants. 'Couldn't get a table at @CrackerBarrel had to #settle 4 #cereal don't worry, we're ok we can #rebound #anyonehavemilk?' Joe recently tweeted to the amusement of #TeamDustinandSteve fans. Joe also shared photos of their struggle to make their reservations to IHOP and Outback. Honestly, we can't get enough of these two! Scroll through to see some of their adorable friendship moments ahead."

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"So far, Facebook's new video platform Watch is full of mostly forgettable, mediocre content, but the platform is also home to one of best scripted series out now: Refinery29's Strangers.

"Strangers follows a freshly single Isobel (Zoe Chao) as she explores her newly discovered sexuality, while Airbnbing her spare room in order to make ends meet. As new people enter Isobel's home and life, she's forced to confront and explore new aspects of herself. 

"The scripted series produced by Refinery29 is a poignant, heartbreaking, and tenderly told coming-of-age tale, sure to resonate with anyone who has ever felt uncertain about what they want in life.

"The series also has some impressive guest stars like Jemima Kirke (Girls), Shiri Appleby (UnREAL), and Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Concords).

"Business Insider spoke to the creator of Strangers, Mia Lidofsky, to learn what inspired her to make the series, and what her hopes for the Watch platform are:

I know Strangers is based on some of your own experiences. How did you turn your own stories into a series? 

I decided to put my apartment up on AirBnb and move out west. It was Thanksgiving and we [Lidofsky and Richard Shepard] had just finished shooting Salem

I was so homesick, and I really missed the East Coast, I missed New York, I missed my family, and I missed my New York community. I was like, "I have to get back to New York at least for a visit." My apartment was already rented. So I decided, "Okay I'll become a renter." And I rented this beautiful loft in Williamsburg with a friend who was coming home with me for Thanksgiving. It was this kind of extraordinary re-entry back into New York because I got to try on a different life than the life that I had left.

I really fell in love with this apartment, and was super sad to leave. When I was exchanging the keys with the host JP, he called me up and he was like, "Mia I've got a funny story for you," and I was like, "Alright JP what you got?" 

He said, "Well, I'm dating this girl," and I was like great, I'm already interested.

He said, "She lives in LA."

And I was like well that's complicated, but he said, "No, she's been living in the West Village for the last three months."

I said, "Oh cool, I used to live there. I have an apartment there."

He said, "I know," and I was like, "Okay?"

Then he said, "You know I stayed with my girlfriend this weekend, so you could stay in my place?"

I was kind of confused, I was like is he trying to make me feel guilty? Like, I paid him. Then he said, "Mia, my girlfriend is your subletter. I stayed in your apartment this weekend."

JP and I had never met each other, we had only met through Airbnb, and in the course of one weekend we had traded beds in order for each of us to actually survive — JP's an artist as well —  being artists in the city. That was just a really memorable moment for me.

I thought about sharing communities such as AirBnB, and Uber, and Lyft, and Citi Bike, and all of these ways in which the world is shifting toward this sharing economy. And how it just brings this ability to bring different people into your life. It became this really powerful idea for a storytelling vehicle to bring all different kinds of people in and out of a protagonist's life.

I knew I wanted to tell a story about a bisexual woman. I knew I wanted her to be going through a life crisis about her sexual identity, and where she was in her career, and just sort of explore this life on the cusp of 30.

There's this perception that we're supposed to have it all figured out, and be on this certain path, and be really confident in that. But I wanted to look at what happens when you have this quarter-life crisis, and realize that there's incredible newness and truth in you that you're just discovering.

There are a lot of really amazing actors on Strangers. Jemaine Clement is in the first episode, which I was super excited about.

Jemaine is one of the funniest people I have ever met, and when I was helping produce People, Places, Things, — he was the star of the film — we became close. He really wanted to champion my voice, and he was excited for me about Strangers.

You know early days when it was just a seed in my mind he was like, "I'll be in it, you just call me."

I actually had a lot of actors say that, like Shiri Appleby. When I was working with Jesse [a former colleague] and [Appleby] came in to guest star on Girls, she was like, "When you make something, you call me."

In many ways [Strangers is] a testament to people showing up, and following up on their word. 

Stranger" is currently on Facebook Watch, which is where I initially found it. I'm just curious to hear how you feel about Watch?

Listen, it's extraordinarily exciting to be a part of the first generation of any kind of new platform. You know I think that Facebook in many ways is a home that I never would have anticipated, or thought about, but in many ways it feels totally perfect, and the right home for "Strangers."

In the sense that in the best ways this platform is another sort of sharing economy. It's a place where there are 2 billion viewers, and if this show has the potential to reach a fraction of that 2 billion people ... My hope in filmmaking is to help change the narrative of normal; create crazy positive portrayals of women, of female friendships, of lesbians, of bi, of trans, of sexually curious, questioning, real people. And if I can do that with an endless capability of an audience, that's super exciting for me as a creator. 

I mean that's a really powerful tool that I don't take lightly. I think that there's a plethora of content out on Facebook right now — on the Watch platform — and perhaps it's complicated or confusing to find shows that feel good and right. My real hope is that eventually "Strangers" will stand out as a quality show that people love, that people connect with, that they laugh at, that they cry to, and that it finds its audience. 

I am truly optimistic about what Watch can and will do, and you know it's early stages. At one point Amazon had just started, and people were like, "But I order bulk toilet paper and DVDs, what do you mean they're gonna make Transparent, and Mozart in the Jungle?"

And I think people were confused when Netflix and Hulu came on the scene. I have to trust in what Facebook is trying to achieve, and what they're capable of, and you know I believe this is going to be a really good thing."

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Per TheWrap, "Four Weddings and a Funeral is about to cross back over the threshold.

"Hulu is developing an anthology series from Mindy Kaling to be based on the 1994 romantic-comedy classic.

"The new version follows the film’s lead by centering on a group of friends whose lives are connected by the five titular events. The show will change the focus of the primary storyline for each season.

"Kaling and Matt Warburton (Mindy Project) are writing the project from Universal Television and MGM, which produced the film with Working Title.

"Executive producers include Kaling and Warburton, along with Jonathan Prince, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Howard Klein and original film screenwriter Richard Curtis.

"Mike Newell directed the feature version of Four Weddings and a Funeral, which starred Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell. It picked up two Oscar nominations, including best picture.

"Kaling currently stars on The Mindy Project, which has aired its final three seasons on Hulu. Its series finale is set for Nov. 14."

Already wrote about this one, but here's some more info for you to vomit over: "After bringing back TRL, My Super Sweet 16 and Fear Factor—which originally aired on NBC—during the past year, MTV is now reviving another hit franchise: Jersey Shore.

"The network has released the trailer for MTV Floribama Shore, which will premiere on Monday, Nov. 27. The eight-episode series will follow eight young adults in their early-to-mid-20s, all from the South (Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee), who spend the summer together in Panama City Beach, Florida.

"Jersey Shore creator SallyAnn Salsano executive produces the show.

"The Floribama Shore trailer flashes back to the end of Jersey Shore, which ended in 2012, before segueing to 'the next Shore thing.'

"The trailer features all of the same elements that were staples of Jersey Shore’s six seasons: hookups ('I just want to have one-night-stands,' says one woman), fights, over-the-top roommate behavior (upon hearing that one of her housemates picked up someone who turned out to be a Wiccan, a woman runs in search of her “Jesus candle”) and, of course, working out at the gym.

"Floribama Shore is the latest effort from Chris McCarthy, who took over MTV a year ago, to turn around the channel. Reviving hit these franchises is part of his bet on live and unscripted shows.

"In addition to Jersey Shore, MTV has aired the Shore franchise around the world, including the UK (Geordie Shore), Spain (Gandia Shore), Poland (Warsaw Shore) and Mexico (Acapulco Shore).

"During his cover interview with Adweek in April, McCarthy said that Jersey Shore was about more than just gym, tan and laundry.

“'Yes, it’s a loud reality show with great characters. Also, it’s about a time-honored tradition of a beach house and sharing a communal experience. It’s about a subculture that is prevalent and real in New Jersey, but yet we all know it. It was about family. Those characters weren’t just loud reality stars forced into a house. They prayed before dinner each night. They celebrated each other and supported each other and had fights and had emotional but yet incredibly supportive relationships,' said McCarthy.

"This will be MTV’s second Florida-based series this year, after Siesta Key, which followed a group of young adults spending the summer in an elite Florida enclave."

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Per The Washington Post, "David Letterman had just accepted the Mark Twain Prize for Humor last month, and was paying respects to the performers who honored him with jokes on the Kennedy Center Stage. When he got to John Mulaney, the late-night legend said, 'This is the future of comedy, ladies and gentlemen.'

"About 12 hours later, Mulaney has traded the formal wear for a baseball cap and sweater as he sits over morning coffee and oatmeal a short walk from the Georgetown University campus, where he first threw himself into comedy.

“'I can’t,' he says, searching for a response to Letterman’s comments. 'I’m too embarrassed to repeat that myself.' Then Mulaney describes it as 'if you could imagine him to say anything you’d ever want, what would it be?'

"The likable and self-deprecating 35-year-old comic does stand poised to take the mantle Letterman described. In three years, he’s released a critically acclaimed stand-up special, offered a beloved portrayal of a crotchety old man opposite Nick Kroll in Oh, Hello on Broadway (filmed for Netflix) and is now on his Kid Gorgeous stand-up tour, selling out massive venues such as DAR Constitution Hall this Friday through Sunday. And all those hits follow his biggest career failure: Mulaney, his poorly-reviewed 2014 Fox sitcom, that went off the air after just 13 episodes.

"Mulaney created and starred in the semi-autobiographical show about a comedian and his roommates in New York. He took a risk with the now-rare multi-camera, live-studio audience approach, which he liked from his Saturday Night Live writing days.

“'I don’t like to say I’m glad it didn’t work because a lot of people lose a job,' Mulaney says, and pauses. 'But I’m glad it didn’t work. It was like, the best thing that ever happened.'

"He recalls, in the middle of production, driving home and his heart almost stopping at the thought of making a full 22-episode season.

“'I take full responsibility for the funny jokes and for the stuff everyone hated. It was so enervating,' he said. 'It’s just not for me the best mind-set to be in to be the funniest possible, whereas sitting in a downtown theater doing Oh, Hello on Broadway where we didn’t give a single s— what anyone thought was, for us, the best.'

"Getting your own network sitcom once was the pinnacle of success for a stand-up comic. But now, with streaming services, social media and a limitless Internet, doubling down on what you find intuitively funny — even if it’s two young guys playing septuagenarians obsessed with tuna sandwiches — can get you a devoted following, along with critical acclaim.

“'It’s always better when you do your thing, and make people come to you,' Mulaney says. 'You can only meet the audience halfway. If you’re trying to meet them 70 percent of the way, and begging for 30, you’re going to be seen as desperate.'

"As soon as Mulaney was canceled, he hit the road, eventually filming Comeback Kid. The 2015 Emmy-nominated special explored the typical markers of adulthood, such as marriage and house-hunting ('This is an on-fire garbage can,' his real estate agent would say. 'Could be a nursery.')

"A month later, Mulaney was playing George St. Geegland to Nick Kroll’s Gil Faizon. The pair of self-involved Upper Westsiders got a cult following in regular sketches on Kroll’s TV show and eventually moved to an Oh, Hello stage show, in which they spoofed old-fashioned showbiz tropes, pranked guests such as Steve Martin and Chris Pratt and sprinkled in hilariously odd pronunciations ('cocaine' became 'cuh-cane.')

"Kroll and Mulaney met when Kroll, then a Georgetown senior, cast Mulaney, a freshman, in the university’s improv troupe.

“'Honestly when I met him, I was like, this guy’s so funny, I’m going to hold on tight. I’ve sufficiently done that for a long time,' Kroll says.

"Mulaney spent a college summer sleeping on Kroll’s couch in New York while interning at Comedy Central and hitting open mics at night. After graduating with an English degree, Mulaney headed back to New York to make a real go of a career in comedy, working as an assistant at Comedy Central and performing stand-up at night. He also toured with another college buddy, Mike Birbiglia, for 30-show runs in 30 days.

“'Not just doing stand-up in New York was very, very key, and Mike’s really to credit for all that,' Mulaney says.

"Doing spots on VH1’s Best Week Ever taught him how to write topical jokes for TV. At 25, SNL hired him as a writer. 'I don’t know how I’m ever going to do this,' he recalled feeling. 'But, a lot of it was the same skill set. Just now you’re in the fancy building on the high floor.'

"He was with SNL for six years, becoming a celebrated writer and helping co-create the popular Stefon character, played by Bill Hader.

"Then the sitcom, executive produced by Lorne Michaels, came along. When it failed, Mulaney remembers Kroll saying 'I’m sorry, but it’s really funny how much your show bombed.' Mulaney describes himself a 'little achiever' — the kind of guy who gets to the office early — and could see the inherent humor to it. Up until then, almost everything he had worked at had done very well.

“'Narratively speaking, it’s a funny thing to happen to a character,' Kroll says. 'It happening to my incredibly dear friend, after seeing how hard he worked on it, was terrible, but also watching him bounce back from it was an amazing testament to how strong of a guy he is and how deeply funny he is. One show doesn’t make or break a career or life unless you let it.'

"With hindsight, Mulaney says it was also good to have the experience of 'eww, people don’t like this” and to “read some of the worst things people could say.' When he’d say to his wife, 'this is so weird,' she’d respond: 'You were never bullied. Welcome to what a lot of us went through. … You’ve never been mocked, you know, this is what it’s like.’ 

"These days, Mulaney also voices for Kroll’s animated Netflix show about puberty, Big Mouth, and writes episodes of Documentary Now! for Hader and Fred Armisen.

"As for stand-up, Mulaney still tells personal stories, in a funhouse mirror kind of way: 'People are always 13 feet tall in my stories, because that’s how they feel to me,' he explains. And while he hasn’t shed his polite persona, he’s tapped into a grumpier energy. 'I’m more comfortable yelling at things. The Broadway show opened that up a lot.'

“'I’m not a trained actor. I was uncomfortable from the very, very beginning off-Broadway playing such a terrible guy, who I also had an affection for,' he adds. 'But something about doing that night after night and sometimes really alienating the audience was fun.'"