Monday November 13, 2017

New sexual allegations charges have arisen against George Takei, RIchard Dreyfuss, The Flash showrunner Andrew Kresiberg, and Benny Medina.  Ho hum.

FX and 3 Arts Entertainment have cut ties with Louis C.K.

Vulture sums up the whole Louis C.K. saga here with a great headline: Louis C.K. Is Done.

The Ringer's Bryan Curtis wrote an interesting piece about how all of the Hollywood sexual assault allegations will shape journalism.  "The accusations of sexual harassment and assault against Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K., and others have redefined what it means to be an entertainment journalist. And the industry may never be the same again."

Not ALL celebrities are sexual deviants or ass holes.  Here's some proof.

Some even act as their own agents, like Hugh Grant.

And there's always Jack Black to keep us smiling.

Or Nicky Hilton, who likens herself to a house cat.

John Oliver went out on a high note last night.  Last Week Tonight is now on hiatus.

I finally watched that 2-hour season finale of Nathan For You.  Very interesting and odd at the same time.  What are we supposed to make of Nathan's newfound romance with an escort?

I'm enjoying SMILF on Showtime.

On the other hand, last night's episode of White Famous was an abomination.  It was so trite and lame, I felt like I was watching an rebooted episode of Three's Company.  

Showtime debuts Ill Behaviour tonight.  The six-part limited series centers on a recent divorcé (played by You’re the Worst‘s Chris Geere)  who discovers a college buddy (Tom Riley) has abandoned chemotherapy treatment for his cancer.

ABC has ordered more episodes of Kevin (Probably) Saves The World.

A little update on the Deadwood revival.

I've thrown in the towel on Mr. Robot.  I tried to get into season 3 and didn't make it halfway through the season premiere.  Adios.

The Chris Gethard Show is sticking around at truTV. The network announced that it has ordered 10 more episodes of the Funny or Die-produced series, which will debut sometime in spring of next year.

A review of Robert Kirkman’s Secret History of Comics, which debuted last night.  Don't worry, it will be rerun many times over, including tonight at 10:00 PM EST.

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Per Variety, "[i]n the early aughts Mindy Kaling was best known as a writer and actor on the workplace comedy The Office. Taking that training with her own interest in romantic comedies, she conceived a vehicle for herself that set out to blend the two genres. First premiering on Fox in 2012, The Mindy Project went on to 117 episodes, six seasons and one notable network change (to streaming service Hulu mid-way through its run) before Kaling was ready to say good-bye.

“'I really fell in love with the format where the main character was very flawed. It was something you had seen countless times on sitcoms with men, but you hadn’t seen with women. And I was so excited to play that part in a bigger capacity than I had,' Kaling says of her earliest pitch for the show.

"The character of Mindy Lahiri was born out of Kaling’s desire to explore a woman, who 'like many of us, becomes fixated on the things that we don’t have.' So while the show started with her already on her way to being a successful doctor with a killer wardrobe, she was more of a mess personally – in part because of unrealistic expectations set up by the romcom movies she obsessed over in her youth and in part because working 60-70 hours a week didn’t leave her a lot of time to date. But she was also born from Kaling’s studies.

"Kaling compares Mindy’s journey to that of Odysseus’ in The Odyssey. 'Any hero has to face trials in order to get to what they want,' she says. While Odysseus had to be 'batted around the Mediterranean for years' before he could reunite with his love, Mindy, too, had to face trials. Never designed to be a conventional 'angelic' lead or 'moral compass' of the characters, Kaling felt it would not have been authentic to give Mindy a traditional path to love and happiness.

"The show centered on the character of Mindy 'becoming the best version of herself' through the years and showcased her growth through her relationships with a rotating and equally evolving group of friends, co-workers and lovers. The first three seasons of The Mindy Project saw a number of cast changes as executive producers Kaling and Matt Warburton let the show tell them what it should be. While Warburton admits that the changes 'bothered some people at the time,' he credits them for also 'saving the show' in the long haul.

“'We were completely flexible,' Warburton says. 'Our one North Star was the POV of this really interesting character in Mindy. As long as we were in the head of that character, it kind of didn’t matter where the rest of the show lived.'

"This meant that through the years the show didn’t shy away from turnover at fictional doctors’ office Shulman & Associates, be it doctors including Peter (Adam Pally) and Jody (Garret Dillahunt) joining the practice or a core character like Danny (Chris Messina) leaving, which gave the show a chance to reinvent itself in the latter half of its run. It also meant that some characters, such as Jeremy (Ed Weeks) or Beverly (Beth Grant) revealed different layers of their personalities as time went on.

"Although the first three seasons of The Mindy Project received full season orders at Fox, Warburton says that they didn’t really feel like they had true job security. 'A lot of the time we were shooting the finale and we didn’t know if we were going to come back for the next season,' he recalls.

"Ike Barinholtz, who first joined the show as a writer and then went on to star as Mindy’s right-hand nurse Morgan and even direct some later season episodes, says there was a lot of pressure in the first few years because of the episode order and traditional broadcasting model.

“'We were still living in that overnight numbers model, so every Wednesday morning, you’d look at Twitter and go, "Oh s–t! How did we go from a 1.3 to a 1.2?" That pressure is very real, and Mindy never wanted to let us down,' Barinholtz says.

"The Mindy Project started with the wedding of Mindy’s ex and will end with the nuptials of her co-workers.

"In those first three seasons, the show burned through story quickly in case there wasn’t another chance. Then in May 2015, the hammer fell: Fox decided not to move forward with a fourth season, leaving the characters dangling in a cliffhanger of Mindy being pregnant with Danny’s baby and Danny making a grand gesture by flying to India to introduce himself to her parents.

"Only a week after the broadcast network pulled the plug, Hulu swooped in and ordered a 26-episode fourth season.

“'We learned how to put our foot on the gas pedal at Fox because we had to, but then we got to do that in later seasons because we wanted to,' Warburton says. 'Once we got to Hulu, we knew how many more seasons we were going to do, and we knew they were going to let us, so we got to really plan.'

"Although being on a streaming service that didn’t answer to the same Standards & Practices of a broadcast network provided more freedom, the team took extra care to make sure The Mindy Project’s DNA remained intact. 'Your show lives long past when you first air it, so it was very important to us that 10 years from now a young woman watching the show isn’t going to know the difference between "Oh that was a Hulu episode and that was a Fox episode." We really wanted to make sure it was the same show,' Warburton says.

"While being on Hulu allowed The Mindy Project to take some larger storytelling swings in fantasy episodes such as the fourth season premiere While I Was Sleeping, in which Mindy imagines her life if she had never fallen in love with Danny, as well as the fifth season’s Mindy Lahiri Is a White Man or Hot Mess Time Machine, the core of the show remained Mindy’s character growth.

“'We wanted to evolve Mindy from the person you saw in the pilot, but still be the person you loved before you knew too much about her,' Warburton says.

"After all, over the course of the seasons, Mindy’s dogged determination to have it all, and her unwillingness to compromise on the way she got it all – whether it meant pounding two bear claws every morning, giving up her beloved walk-in closet so her infant son could have a real space of his own, or getting divorced when she realized her marriage wasn’t her true happily ever after – inspired viewers across demographics.

“'As a minority woman in media and entertainment, you were only allowed to be a role model. That’s the only way you could be portrayed on TV and in film, certainly six years ago,' Kaling says. 'If you’re anything but, then there’s enormous amount of pushback and pressure for you to be that way. But the biggest thing the show has managed to do is never compromise. And I think the thing I’m most excited about with the show is to watch it stand the test of time and see young women – particularly young women of color – watch the show in five years and see she didn’t have to be perfect.'

"In wrapping up the series with a sixth and final season, therefore, the most important thing was to 'protect the character and pay off what the audience has been rooting for,' Warburton says. And this meant striking a balance of 'hard jokes and comedy with real emotion' in order to deliver 'earnest moments and character epiphanies.'

“'I’m a little bit of a traditionalist,' Kaling admits. 'It doesn’t have to be a happy, saccharine ending, but I want you to feel closure.'

"But it was also important to be able to 'live in the moment and have fun with' the show, per Barinholtz. 'We felt so lucky to have this thing that we created that people responded to, and we wanted to enjoy it as much as possible,' he says. 'The mood of the set comes from who fills it, and very early on we realized we were very lucky to be making each other laugh. Between the cast and the crew and the production staff there were more than 100 people, and I’ll work with them again, but we’ll never have the exact same group doing the exact same thing, and that camaraderie is extremely special. You hope for it, but you don’t get it that often.'”

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On that note and per Deadline, "Rebecca Rittenhouse (The Mindy Project) and Morgan Spector (The Mist) have been tapped for major roles opposite Gina Torres in USA Network’s proposed Suits spinoff, sources say.

:I’ve learned that the duo have been cast as guest stars in the Suits Season 7 finale, which will serve as a backdoor pilot for a potential offshoot series centered on Torres’ Suits character, the powerhouse lawyer Jessica Pearson, and set in the world of Chicago politics,

"Rittenhouse and Spector will play two of the three new key characters that will be introduced in the Suits finale that are expected to continue should the project goes to series.

"I hear Spector will play Mayor Bobby Golec, the handsome, charismatic and enigmatic workingclass mayor of Chicago who is up for re-election in six months.

"Rittenhouse will play Keri Allen. Born and raised in Chicago, Keri is a driven and ambitious city attorney and the unofficial right hand to the mayor.

"The potential Suits spinoff, which stems from an idea by Torres, hails from Universal Cable Prods. The pilot is written and executive produced by Suits creator and executive producer Aaron Korsh and executive producer Daniel Arkin, and will be directed by Suits alum Anton. Suits executive producers Doug Liman, David Bartis and Gene Klein of Hypnotic also will serve as executive producers on the spinoff.

"In the Season 7 finale, Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht), Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams), Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman), Donna Paulsen (Sarah Rafferty) and Rachel Zane (Meghan Markle) with reunite with their old boss and friend Pearson as she adjusts to her new life in the Windy City. When she is forced to enter the dirty world of Chicago politics, Pearson must rely on her legal wits and valiant relationships from Pearson Specter Litt to navigate this unknown territory."

A guy named Spector cast in the Suits spinoff?  Come on . . . . . 

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From The Hollywood Reporter: "Nearly eight years into its aggressive push into original programming, pay cable and OTT outlet Starz is now investing in unscripted programming — announcing the move Friday with a slate of four new series in the space.

"'Unique voices and storytelling are the hallmarks of the Starz programming strategy, and we are proud to announce our investment in these filmmakers and the stories they passionately want to tell,' said Starz president and CEO Chris Albrecht. 'With each project, we will explore and better understand our collective cultural history.'

"It appears that the network will be taking a broad strategy with its unscripted offerings. The initial orders run the gamut from prestige fare — six-part Wrong Man is a deep dive into the disturbing rates of wrongful imprisonment in America — to pop culture bait like The Field, which explores the present and past of hip-hop.

"Starz has had considerable success in the scripted space, most notably with high-concept dramas Power, Outlander and American Gods. Its comedies, while many have been critically celebrated, have proven to be tougher sells with viewers. This new push into unscripted is being led by originals vice president Patrick McDonald. Their unscripted push comes at a time when the basic cable space remains saturated with reality, broadcast leans on legacy franchises and streamers (read: Netflix) are getting incredibly aggressive in the wide, loosely defined genre.

"See a full rundown of their new series below:

Wrong Man: Profiling investigations that led to the conviction of three people who claim their innocence, from Third Eye Motion Picture Company, Electus and RadicalMedia.

Warriors of Liberty City: Showrunner Evan Rosenfeld's exploration of Liberty City — a crime-ridden neighborhood in Miami, Florida, that produces an inordinate number of NFL players who come up from its youth football program. Executive produced by LeBron James and Maverick Carter's SpringHill Entertainment and Warner Bros.' Shed Media.

In Fashion: An hourlong anthology profiling some of the biggest fashion designers of the day. It hales from Chef's Table producer Andrew Fried, fashion notable Kelly Cutrone and Eli Frankel. Boardwalk Pictures and Rogue Atlas Productions are producing in association with Lionsgate.

The Field: Another anthology, it will examine different cities through the voices of its major hip-hop players — past and present. The docuseries is spearheaded by Worldstar Hip Hop and Mass Appeal."

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Per CNN, "[w]riters for House of Cards are trying to resolve the biggest cliffhanger they've ever faced -- the future of their show.

"The future of the Netflix series remains up in the air, following a string of allegations against star Kevin Spacey that have resulted in his termination from the series and a halt in production.

"Behind the scenes, however, the show's writers are facing a ticking clock as they scrap a Season 6 plan eight months in the making and find a new direction for the show's final season. Sourcesclose to the production told CNNMoney that it's unlikely the show will be canceled. In fact, writers are kicking around ideas on how to rewrite the show without its biggest star.

"On the British version of House of Cards, Francis Urquhart, the inspiration for Spacey's Frank Underwood, played by Ian Richardson, was shot and killed in the final installment.

"The creative weight rests of the shoulders of Melissa James Gibson and Frank Pugliese, who as showrunners lead the writers' room. Gibson and Pugliese, who were promoted to their posts after creator Beau Willimon left ahead of Season 5, have not made any public statements about the future of the show.

"In a typical writers room, the showrunners would be tasked with arcing out the season, with help and ideas from the rest of the writers. Different writers are then assigned individual episodes, which are workshopped as a group.

"The showrunners have final say on the direction and pacing of the season and episodes.

"The decision on whether to proceed with Season 6 after writers find a new direction will rest with Netflix and producer Media Rights Capital, both of which declined to comment for this story.

"Netflix suspended production on Season 6 after allegations of sexual harassment and assault were made against Spacey. He was fired from the show after a subsequent report by CNN that included testimonies from eight current and past production members who accused Spacey of inappropriate behavior on set, including one accusation of sexual assault.

"The cast and crew will know by Thanksgiving what the future holds for House of Cards, a source told CNNMoney. Staffers are still being paid during the suspension, but they are in limbo until Netflix and Media Right Capital make an official announcement, the source said.

"House of Cards had been filming in the Baltimore area for about two weeks prior to the production stoppage on October 31. Cast and crew have a finite amount of time to complete Season 6 due to other contractual obligations, a source said. In most cases, extending that commitment due to unforeseen delays is not always possible, as most often have other jobs lined up.

"Agents for stars Michael Kelly and Robin Wright did not return CNNMoney's request for comment regarding their contracts for House of Cards.

"But another source close to the production told CNNMoney that House of Cards was slated to wrap in May before these allegations about Spacey prompted the show to go hiatus. It is unclear whether that is now subject to change.

"There's a lot at stake. Over 2,000 cast, crew and extras are waiting for a decision that could impact their livelihoods. House of Cards, which for five seasons has been filmed in and around Baltimore, is one of the state's biggest productions."