Thursday November 16, 2017

Jon Stewart was brilliant on Howard Stern yesterday.  We need him back on a more regular basis.

The fall finales of all 3 ABC Shonda shows air tonight.

Jenna Elfman has joined the cast of Fear The Walking Dead.

FXX has renewed You're The Worst for a 5th and final season.

Crackle has renewed StartUp for a 3rd season.

There's....Johnny! is now streaming on Hulu.  More below.

Stacy London is cold-blooded!

Here's a first extended look at footage from The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.

School of Rock has been canceled by Nickelodeon.

"Conan O’Brien, self-styled as an incompetent video-game player, will promote multiple mobile-game titles under a one-year pact between Turner’s TBS and Google Play. Under the branded-content deal, TBS’s late-night show Conan and its red-headed host will engage in a variety of stunts in partnership with Google Play and mobile-game publishers. Those include a 24-hour mobile-gaming marathon and in-show brand integrations running through the third quarter of 2018. On Twitter, O’Brien has 26.8 million followers, making him one of the most-followed late-night hosts. However, the Google Play-branded content with Conan will be distributed through the show’s Team Coco social handles, which have a smaller footprint (3.4 million followers on Facebook and 725,000 on Twitter). Notably, the deal between TBS and Google Play does not include traditional TV commercials. But there will be on-air promotion of Google Play segments on Conan, which airs on TBS four nights per week (Monday-Thursday) at 11 p.m. ET/PT."

I haven't watched yet, but here's a pretty harsh review of last night's episode of South Park.

A former Playboy Playmate accused Al Franken of groping her in a skit during a USO Tour in the Middle East, leaving her “disgusted and violated.”

Shelly Long talks Cheers, 30 years later.

The Ringer ranks the current celebrity pitch men in the booze category.  Here are their top 7: 

7) Michael Imperioli (1800 Tequila)
6) Ray Liotta (1800 Tequila)
5) Matthew McConaughey (Wild Turkey)
4) Kiefer Sutherland (Jose Cuervo)
3) Dan Akroyd (Crystal Head Vodka)
2) Ted Danson (Smirnoff)
1) J.B. Smoove (Crown Royal)

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Per The Hollywood Reporter, "Crimetown is the latest podcast headed for a television adaptation.

"FX is turning Gimlet Media's serial documentary podcast, which explores the ways organized crime and municipal corruption has shaped Providence, RI, into a scripted show. Hosts Marc Smerling and Zac Stuart-Pontier (also creators of HBO's The Jinx) will write the adaptation, with Hidden Figures director Ted Melfi set to helm the series.

"In addition to Smerling, Stuart-Pontier and Melfi, Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson of Color Force will executive produce the project, which is in the development stages. The latter are the pair are the prolific producers behind Hunger Games and American Crime Story, also on FX.

"Smerling is a film producer, screenwriter and cinematographer who was nominated for an Oscar for Capturing the Friedmans in 2003. He produced Catfish, the movie, as well as CatfishTV, the series, which is now in its sixth season. He also wrote the movie All Good Things starring Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst. Most notably, he produced, co-wrote and shot the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning HBO doc series, The Jinx: The Life and Deaths Of Robert Durst.

"Stuart-Pontier, for his part, is a journalist and filmmaker. In addition to being the editor, co-producer and writerThe Jinx, he also edited the feature films Martha Marcy May Marlene, the documentary Catfish and Bleed for This.

"Other podcasts in the process of being becoming TV shows include Homecoming, also from Gimlet, which Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail is making as an Amazon series starring Julia Roberts. And in 2015, Fox 21 acquired the rights to pop culture phenomenon Serial for a series adaptation produced by former Star Wars directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord."

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Per The Los Angeles Times, "[t]here’s often a prime opportunity for nostalgia to take hold in entertainment, and it’s typically when current events feel too grim and overwhelming.

"With Hollywood and culture at large still grappling with multiple sexual misconduct allegations, a continuing deluge that often feels to be just beginning, why not look back to a less turbulent time? Specifically, when show business was glamorous and each evening was ruled by the one unifying king of late night, Johnny Carson.

"That’s the proposition offered by There’s… Johnny!, a half-hour backstage comedy centered around the golden age of The Tonight Show created by comic-actor Paul Reiser and his Mad About You collaborator David Steven Simon.

"The series was initially scheduled to run on the comedy-centric streaming service Seeso in August before the network folded, and it was subsequently picked up by Hulu, where all seven episodes land Thursday.

"And with the help of the show’s NBC/Universal parentage and Carson’s estate, There’s… Johnny! has its intoxicating pleasures based on its core figure, who exists mostly off-screen but appears in vintage clips that neatly mesh with the action.

"At one point, a writer fusses over a monologue gag from the show’s imagined 1972, and Carson later says it in footage from 45 years ago. It’s a fun trick, so much so that the actual show swirling around its focal point struggles to compete.

"At the center is 19-year-old, Nebraska-born Andy Klavin (Ian Nelson of The Hunger Games), who travels cross-country to work on The Tonight Show after taking at face value a form-letter response to his autograph request. Complications ensue.

"Early episodes carry some indie cred with director David Gordon Green (Eastbound & Down, as well as Reiser’s Amazon series Red Oaks) and Andrew Bujalski (Computer Chess). Andy’s earnest Hollywood journey gets some bold-face underscoring with his thoughtful looks out a sun-drenched bus window and, improbably, later frolicking behind Johnny’s desk when the set is left open after he arrives late at night.

"Andy is later spared being booted off the lot by a sympathetic office manager ( T’Keyah Crystal Keymáh) and a similarly young producer named Joy (Jane Levy). She claims him for the day and gives him his first taste of showbiz magic, which includes punching up a joke after passing the writer’s room and going slack-jawed as Johnny steps through the curtain to kick off The Tonight Show.

"A bespectacled Tony Danza turns up as executive producer Fred de Cordova — the show’s only character drawn from real life — who runs on 'cologne and a steady flow of gin,' but he’s mostly a fatherly presence who invites Andy to join him for church. Carson approves Andy’s eventual hire partly because of their shared roots. The Larry Sanders Show, this isn’t.

"The backstage antics could make for a satisfying enough escape except for the show’s clunky attempts to engage the real world. Andy has a brother fighting in Vietnam who inspires him to make his parents proud ('They just don’t get a lot of good news, and I like when I can bring them good news'). And Joy has a philandering father and impulse-control problems with sex, which is explored in a therapy session in the fourth episode. (Hulu provided only episodes 1 and 4 for review.)

"The 1970s setting proves timely as Carson’s all-male writing staff make crude jokes at Joy’s expense. Later, one is seen pantomiming masturbation while watching a guest on the monitors, a moment that carries a note of horror far greater than it would have in August. Will this behavior find a reckoning? Maybe, but in context of events decades later it casts a shadow that feels jarring amid the show’s lighter touch elsewhere.

"Given its roots in comedy, There’s… Johnny remains strongest in its reverent time travels with Carson as well as his fellow comedy giants such as George Carlin and Steve Martin, who also appear in Tonight Show clips. The appeal there is undeniable. But as the real world creeps in, There’s… Johnny” strains under a weight that even the present is struggling to resolve."

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Per EW, "[t]he opening scene of Difficult People has Julie and Billy — the eponymous alter-egos of Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner — shoving their way through tourists in mid-town Manhattan. 'Please,' a middle-aged Midwesterner with a camera around her neck says to Julie. “Can you tell us, how can we get to 9/11?”

“'Practice,' she deadpans.

"That’s the sort of joke — irreverent and insider-baseball, New York-y and inexplicably delightful — that populated Difficult People with the density of frozen yogurt stores on the Upper West Side. Julie and Billy, unapologetic misanthropes and pop-culture obsessives, were abrasive but, thanks to their whip-smart commentary and genuine friendship, never irredeemable. They were tour guides to a New York City of their own making, three parts-When Harry Met Sally and one part-Girls. It was a city with opportunities to exploit around every corner, crawling with Real Housewives, where Lin-Manuel Miranda and Tina Fey could pop up at any moment (in Fey’s case, directing an episode of The Black List — “James Spader wears a 75-piece suit and I have to approve every piece.”)

"By its third season, the show had found its rhythm completely, balancing guest stars and increasingly surrealist premises with the grace and dexterity of a 'showtime' subway dancer. But late Tuesday, Hulu announced the show would not be renewed for a fourth season.

“'I feel great about the show that I got to make,' Julie Klausner, who wrote and created the show in addition to starring, tells EW. 'I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. There are amazing shows that have ended after three seasons, like Strangers with CandyArrested Development — I don’t mean to self-aggrandize myself by comparing myself to those great shows — but I’m really proud of the work we did and the series as a whole.'

"And so we’ll aggrandize for her: Difficult People was a great show, not only for its jokes (which were excellent) but also for the fearlessness with which it went scorched earth on Hollywood’s 'open-secret' abusers who have only recently begun to receive mainstream scrutiny.

“'Listen,' Klausner says. 'I’ve had an agenda this entire time on this show: to call out bullsh–, to say things that other people don’t want to say because they’re afraid of burning bridges — because I had these two characters that didn’t have any bridges to burn.'

"Difficult People particularly pulled no punches when it came to Kevin Spacey, who last month was accused by multiple men — including actor Anthony Rapp, who alleged Spacey made a sexual advance on the actor when he was 14 and Spacey was 26 — of sexual misconduct. 'We have three seasons full of Kevin Spacey jokes. To the point where I was worried we had too many. I think season 2, I made a point of making sure every script had one,' Klausner says. (An example: 'His hand shot up faster than Kevin Spacey’s fly at the opening of Newsies.')

“'When the story broke, I have to say, there’s something really nice to know that other people care now,' Klausner says. Difficult People also used jokes to call out other Hollywood alleged abusers like Woody Allen and Bryan Singer ('Oh my god, Julie, this place is a landmark,” Billy explains as the duo entered a restaurant. “One of these tables is where Bryan Singer’s accusers first met with their lawyer.')

“'I’m really proud that we got to go on record and say what we wanted to say. To watch the culture shifting is exciting because it’s not like these things weren’t happening since the beginning of time, but to watch people care is really exciting. We had amazing legal counsel on the show. There’s no question looking back that we got away with murder,' she says.

"There was only one joke Klausner says they had to cut for legal reasons. 'We couldn’t show a car that they lent us, and also disparage the car. So there was a joke I made about a car that was like, it felt like I was inside Wall-E’s p—y, and we couldn’t use that. That will go down as my only regret.'

"For the most part, Klausner says, people were flattered by getting name-checked on the show, even when the jokes were insults. Even a few biting cracks about American Horror Story didn’t stop Eichner from getting cast on the show’s seventh season. 'I think people are really excited to be part of the club. Bill Lawrence — we had kind of a mean joke about him in season 2 and he retweeted the clip, and he was really cool about it.' The joke: Billy asks Julie what the worst birthday she ever had was. 'That’s like asking me which Bill Lawrence show do I find the most contrived — it’s a tie for last.'

"Even though Difficult People ended unexpectedly, its third season finale — in which Billy attempts to relocate to Los Angeles — operates well as a finale for the show, even providing a flashback to reveal how Billy and Julie met (walking out of the same Broadway dance class). 'People have asked how did Julie and Arthur meet, and I’ve always said it doesn’t matter, because the show is not about their love story,' Klausner says.

“'The truth of the matter is, of course I’m disappointed. I would have loved to keep doing the show, but the between Andrea Martin and Billy’s schedule, I don’t know if we would have been able to do a fourth season anyway,' Klausner says. 'I’m really proud of the series as a whole, and I would love for it to live again; I would love to do a movie at some point.'

"She adds with a laugh, 'And, by the way, I feel really good moving forward, not only because I’m proud of the work, but because I’m on the new anti-depressant that I cannot recommend enough.'

"As for the rest of us depressed about the Difficult People cancellations — at least we can go back and watch the show on Hulu."

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Per Uproxx, "Antonio Ballatore is a designer and animal enthusiast who’s probably best known for being the winner of HGTV’s Design Star and for HGTV’s The Antonio Treatment. Currently he’s the host of HGTV’s Animal Cribs, which premiered on November 3rd. On the show, Antonio renovates living spaces for homeowners and their pets, things like a cabin redesign for a family with a blind dog, and a room redesign featuring a soaring sculptural cat-climbing wall. Antonio took some time from his schedule to participate in our twenty questions questionnaire:

1. You walk into a bar. What do you order from the bartender?

Depends on the bar… Dive bar: cold beer and a bullet on the rocks. For a nicer mixology spot maybe a negroni or a Manhattan. If I’m at a nice hotel bar: Hendrix extra dry martini, stirred, olives

2. Who’s your favorite person to follow on Twitter and/or Instagram?

I have two. Goats of Anarchy and Mark Agnesi.

3. What’s currently waiting for you on your DVR?

Walking Dead, Jimmy KimmelCurb Your Enthusiasm and of course Animal Cribs!

4. It’s your last meal — what are you going out with?

Hmmm that’s a hard one. Italian for sure, some kind of pasta. Anything from Lidia Bastianich or Mario Batali. I’ve been a fan of his spots since back in NYC.

5. What websites do you visit on a regular basis?

Amazon.

6. What’s the most frequently played song on your mobile device?

The Benny Hill Show theme song. I’m more of a vinyl guy. Love my record Collection!

7. If you could go back and give your 18-year-old self one piece of advice what would it be?

Lift with your legs!

8. What’s the last thing you Googled?

How to stop my toilet from running.

9. Dogs or cats?

I love all animals. But if I had to choose… dogs.

10. Best concert of your life was…?

I’ve been to so many good shows over the years. My first show ever was Johnny Cash at the Playboy Club in Vernon, NJ when I was 12.

11. What book are you most likely to give as a gift?

Hotel La Chapelle. I built and designed a lot of sets for David during that era. I went from running bars and touring in punk rock bands right into building sets for David. He definitely is one of the reasons I do what I do now. A major artistic influence for me.

12. What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?

That’s a hard one. But I definitely love getting Chewie art from fans.

13. South Park or Family Guy?

Family Guy.

14. You have an entire day to do whatever you want. What would you do?

Lay in bed.

15. What movie can you not resist watching if it’s on?

The Jerk.

16. The sports team or teams you’re most passionate about?

Not really a big sports guy but of course the home teams. Yankees and Dodgers. Red Wings, Seahawks.

17. Where did you eat the best meal of your life?

I’ve had so many good meals over the years but probably something my mom made.

18. The last movie you saw in a theater?

The Jerk.

19. Who was your first celebrity crush?

Probably Ginger or Mary Ann. Wow. Haaa. I’m getting old.

20. What would you cook if Nic Cage was coming to your house for dinner?

Haaaaa. Probably just get take out."