Thursday November 9, 2017

Showtime has renewed Shameless for a 9th season.

Josh Groban "has signed on to star in the Netflix dramedy Good Cop starring Tony Danza, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Based on an Israeli format of the same namethe 10-episode hourlong series stars Danza as Tony Sr., a disgraced former NYPD officer who never followed the rules. He lives with his son, Tony Jr. (Groban), an earnest, obsessively honest NYPD detective who makes a point of always following the rules. The "odd couple" become unofficial partners as Tony Sr. offers his overly cautious son blunt, street-wise advice on everything from handling suspects to handling women."

Somebody please get this kid Ryan on Survivor some food.  He looks like he weighs about 70 pounds.

Good on you Bob Saget. Mazel tov.

The season finale of Nathan For You airs tonight. 

I was shocked by what the exes looked like on last night's Are You The One?

The West Wing's theme song wasn't supposed to be The West Wing's theme song.

Let's all take a moment to learn the importance of seizing the moment.  Rather than letting something fester over 10 or 20 years, speak up.  Yes, I'm talking to you Carnie Wilson.

Another woman has come forward accusing Gossip Girl's Ed Westwick of raping her in 2014. The allegation comes just days after actress Kristina Cohen claimed Westwick raped her in February 2014.

"Shark Tank star Robert Herjavec has filed a lawsuit against his ex-girlfriend, actress Danielle Vasinova, alleging that Vasinova made multiple extortion attempts against him, including trying to extort money from him with a photo taken at 'sexual fantasy club.' In the suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday, Herjavec says that he and Vasinova had an on-again, off-again relationship from January 2014 to February 2015."

A bunch of things you likely didn't know or realize about Stranger Things.

And here are 23 more!

FX has released a new teaser for American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace that focuses on Ricky Martin’s role as Versace’s long-time lover Antonio D’Amico.

Details on the Trading Spaces reunion.

HBO and Steven Soderbergh are testing out a new experiment in interactive viewing. Over the course of five nights in January, HBO will air Mosaic, a new six-episode murder mystery series. In conjunction with Mosaic, a new standalone app featuring all of the show’s episodes will already available. The app will allow viewers watch the show from the perspectives of different main characters. From scene to scene, users are able to decide which character’s point of view to follow. The app also includes additional materials relating to the story, such as voicemails, news clips, and emails between the show’s characters. Sounds pretty damn cool IMO.

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"Three weeks after Amazon Studios boss Roy Price resigned over sexual harassment claims, the company is now conducting an investigation into allegations against Transparent star Jeffrey Tambor. An Amazon spokesperson confirmed to Deadline that they have initiated an investigation. In a statement, Tambor himself calls the claims 'baseless.'

"In its early stages, the probe primarily stems from claims by Tambor’s former assistant Van Barnes of implied inappropriate behavior on the part of the Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Awards winner. The investigation into the claims by the transgender Barnes, which she made online in a private Facebook post, began earlier this week, we hear.

“'I am  aware that a former disgruntled  assistant of mine  has made a private post implying that I had  acted in an improper manner toward her,' Tambor told Deadline Wednesday. 'I adamantly and vehemently reject and deny any and all implication and allegation that I have ever engaged in any improper behavior toward this person or any other person I have ever worked with,' he added. 'I am appalled and distressed by this baseless allegation.'

"Amazon’s stance on such allegations is to investigate promptly and thoroughly, a source says. The investigation is in the process of speaking to members of the Transparent production and Tambor personally. The Jill Soloway created series is currently not in production.

"As well as working for Tambor on Transparent, Barnes has also appeared on E! now shuttered I Am Cait with Caitlyn Jenner and the Amazon documentary anthology miniseries This Is Me back in 2015."

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"Apple is making an official entry into the scripted series arena under Jamie Erlicht & Zack Van Amburg, heads of the recently formed worldwide video programming division. In a competitive situation, with multiple networks pursuing, Apple has landed the hot morning show drama series project, executive produced by and starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, with a two-season, straight-to-series order. It is one of the first two original scripted series at Apple, along with Amazing Stories, a reimagining of the anthology from Steven Spielberg and Bryan Fuller, which has closed a deal for a straight-to-series order.

"Apple is believed to be employing a model similar to Netflix’s, with straight-to-series orders and premiums over cost, which vary from show to show. Coincidentally, Netflix also made a splash in the original scripted series space by outbidding traditional networks with a two-season straight-to-series order for a hotly pursued drama package that had a big star attached, House Of Cards.

"The morning show series, which will produce 10 episodes a season, comes from studio Media Res, with founder Michael Ellenberg also executive producing. Based on an original idea by Ellenberg, the series is written and executive produced by Jay Carson (House of Cards), who will serve as showrunner. It is described as an inside look at the lives of the people who help America wake up in the morning, exploring the unique challenges faced by the women (and men) who carry out this daily televised ritual.

"The drama marks the return to TV for former Friends star Aniston and a followup to the Emmy-winning first installment of HBO limited series Big Little Lies for Witherspoon. (A second installment is in the works.) The series also reunites the duo after Witherspoon’s guest star turn as Aniston’s sister on Friends.

"Aniston executive produces through her Echo Films banner; Witherspoon through her Hello Sunshine production company, and Ellenberg through Media Res. Under the model employed by Media Res, Witherspoon and Aniston will have ownership in the series alongside the company.

"Brian Stelter’s book Top of the Morning had been optioned to provide additional background material, and Stelter will serve as a consultant on the series.

"Reimagining the original anthology, Amazing Stories, executive produced by Spielberg in partnership with Bryan Fuller, 'will transport the audience to worlds of wonder through the lens of today’s most imaginative filmmakers, directors and writers.' In addition to Spielberg and Fuller, Amazing Stories is executive produced by Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey and Hart Hanson; and produced by Universal Television and Amblin Television."

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Per Salon, "[p]redicting how the world will look at the end of the day is dicey in the era of Donald Trump, but a betting person might feel safe to wager that Wednesday night’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah will open on an upbeat note.

"Progressives are celebrating significant wins at the local and state level around the country, including Virginia. The headlines are dominated by declarations of how these victories give liberals a reason for hope.

"A year ago, the election day telecast of The Daily Show on Comedy Central felt very different to viewers as well as the people who make it. In a February interview with Salon executive producer Steve Bodow described the feeling as 'hallucinatory.' But to hear the show’s head writer Zhubin Parang describe the days, week and months that followed, our experience has morphed into something more akin to being on speed.

“'The way we have thought about it recently is that we have had to think of Trump as being a fire hydrant that has busted open on the street,' Parang told Salon in a recent phone conversation. 'Initially that was a huge thing and everybody in the street was freaking out and like, "Oh my god this fire hydrant is blasting water everywhere." But it feels the fire hydrant has been going off two, three years now.'

"Year 1 of Trumpland has coincided with the second year of Parang’s tenure leading The Daily Show writers room. In that time the series found a way to balance hard-hitting satire with a sense of playfulness. As a Persian man raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, Parang feels the impact of executive orders and bans more than many, and certainly in a way most comedy writers — a fraternity dominated by white men of European descent — would not.

“'It's especially bad because the way [Trump] talks about Iran and Iranians. As someone who has family over there, he's talking about my aunts and my grandparents and cousins being these supposed terrorists and sponsors of evil,' Parang said. 'And it's especially frustrating because the things he says about Iran are actually true about Saudi Arabia. They're violently repressive, they're cruel to women . . . but because they invite him over to sword dance and touch an orb, I guess that's okay.'

"At the same time, Parang says he’s careful to separate his personal feelings from writing the show’s material. 'We're not looking just to make lengthy rants about why Trump’s foreign policy should seek rapprochement with Iran. I’m trying to articulate Trevor’s voice about particular issues, and so to the extent that I have personal feelings about something, I can't really just express them in anger and frustration, I have to turn that into comedy.'

"He added, 'I'm very lucky that Trevor also has a very internationalist perspective of the world. Because we share a lot of the same opinions on the inherent goodness of people, and their failure in their leadership to come to peace, instead of this view that Trump has that there are certain people that are just evil and have to be addressed with through force and there can't be any negotiation.'

"As grueling as the past year has felt to the average bystander bracing herself from the impact of the Petulant Pumpkin’s next hyperbolic tweet, it’s also been an extraordinary time for Parang to be the head writer for a version of The Daily Show.

"The series boasts a more diverse group of correspondents than it had in previous years, and their blend of perspectives has led to hilarious and cathartic field pieces, including Ronny Chieng’s takedown of Fox’s Jesse Watters’ racist street report from New York’s Chinatown, Hasan Minhaj’s honest distillation of the experience of being a Muslim in today’s America, and scathing insights into the struggles African Americans face from Roy Wood Jr. and newcomer Dulce Sloan.

"During that time Noah also has come into his own largely due to his familiarity with men like Trump. 'Trevor has a unique perspective on him because Trevor has seen Donald Trumps before,' Parang said, citing a segment in which Noah pointed out the many similarities Trump shares with African dictators.

“'Because Trevor has grown up around countries that have flamboyant showman dictators, who constantly use divisiveness and elite hostility to keep power and be corrupt in power, Trevor is used to living in that world.' Parang explained. 'And that didn't quite make sense during the Obama era when the president was the embodiment of American multiculturalism and intelligence.'

"When Trump assumed office, Parang added, 'it felt like the United States was suddenly regressing to the global mean in the maturity of its democracy. And to have Trevor there to not be constantly shocked was a huge comfort to me, because it felt like, ‘okay, this will be okay.’ I've got this guy every day sitting on the couch with me who can tell me that South Africa went through the exact same thing.'

"Not long after Noah took over in 2015 critics and a number of viewers seemed all too ready to write him off.  Now, the channels press department keeps having to recycle releases headlines boasting of the series recording its most-watched month ever. The latest is dated August 31, when the show became the #1 nightly talk show among millennials, surging past The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon among Adults 18-34. Two weeks later, Comedy Central extended Noah’s contract through 2022.

"Mind you, he still has a way to go to win back Jon Stewart loyalists who may have migrated to series helmed by Daily alumni — namely Noah’s nightly competitor Stephen Colbert on CBS’s the late show, or weekly series such as Full Frontal with Samantha Bee or Last Week Tonight with Jon Oliver. Even so, Noah’s rep for skewering Trump has not gone unnoticed.

"Parang doesn’t view Bee, Oliver and Colbert as competitors, however. 'We love all our sister shows and we're very glad that they're there,' Parang said. 'The challenges we have as a daily show require a different format than their challenges as a weekly show. And there's a blessing and curse for both of us. On our side,  it is unfortunate that we generally don't have the time to sit down and think through larger pieces. We still do them when we can, but by and large we're not able to do that as often as the weekly shows do'

“'On the other hand,' he continued, 'we are able to react to a much more wider range of issues, and we are able to be the first ones there to give our comments on the news, to be able to make fun of something. And I think that's something that the weekly shows don't get to do. By the time it comes around to Wednesday or Sunday, the conversations already moved on so fast. The cycle is so fast the conversation's already moved on.'

"Asked about his hopes for the next 365 days, Parang laughed before taking a deep breath.

“'I'm not one of those people who's okay with bad things happening to the United States if it means that the comedy is good,' he said. 'So when I think about where the country is headed, I would rather trade in an easier joke for a government that is responsive to its citizens needs and is active in caring for them.'

"Until that time comes he and Noah, and The Daily Show writers and correspondents, intend to  continue their mandate be what Parang referred to as 'good catharsis.'

"We’re going to need all the help we can get to make it through Year 2."

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"Regulators are demanding that AT&T sacrifice cable news powerhouse — and frequent target of President Trump — CNN in order for its merger with Time Warner to be approved, the Financial Times reported Wednesday.

“'It’s all about CNN,' one person with direct knowledge of the talks between the company and Justice Department told the newspaper. That individual told the Financial Times that the deal would be approved if CNN were to be sold.

"Trump has repeatedly railed against CNN as 'fake news' both as a presidential candidate and since taking office and opposed the merger itself at campaign rallies, but with similar vertical mergers having gained regulatory approval in recent years and the general pro-business slant of the Republican party, most observers expected the $85 billion deal to go through by the end of this year.

"But at an investor conference Wednesday morning, AT&T CFO John Stephens said that while he still expects the deal to go through, the finish line is not imminent.

“'All approvals have been received, but for the [Department of Justice],' Stephens said. 'We are in active discussions with the DOJ. Those are continuing on. I can’t comment on those discussions, but with those discussions, I can now say that the timing of the closing of the deal is now uncertain.'

“'With regard to the transaction, everything continues as we’ve expressed in the past,” he continued. “If you look at this vertical merger, you can see that these types of mergers bring benefits to customers, and have very routinely been approved by the DOJ and the federal government. In fact, a vertical integration — vertical merger like this hasn’t been blocked for over 40 years.'

"The deal, announced last October, would create a media behemoth with assets including the Warner Bros. studio, CNN, HBO, the Turner networks, AT&T’s wireless business and DirecTV."

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Per TheWrap, "Seth Rogen is here to save the day with some heroic content for Amazon. The studio has just picked up a series order for Rogen’s original one-hour superhero drama The Boys, the streaming service announced Wednesday. The series is based on a comic book by Garth Ennis (Preacher) and Darick Robertson, who have been brought on as co-executive producers.

“'In a world where superheroes embrace the darker side of their massive celebrity and fame, The Boys centers on a group of vigilantes known informally as "the boys," who set out to take down corrupt superheroes with no more than blue collar grit and a willingness to fight dirty,' Amazon said in a press release.

"Creator and showrunner Eric Kripke (Supernatural) will pen the script for the Prime original series, with Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen directing. Sony Pictures Television Studios will co-produce the drama, with executive producers including Kripke, Goldberg, Rogen, Original Film’s Neal H. Moritz (Prison Break), Ori Marmur (Preacher) and Pavun Shetty (New Girl), and Point Grey Pictures’ James Weaver (Preacher).

“'In a landscape saturated with superhero shows, The Boys is the next evolution in this popular genre,' Sharon Tal Yguado, Head of Scripted Series at Amazon, added. 'With Eric, Evan, Seth and Original Film all behind this series, we are excited to adapt this popular comic, from the visionary minds of Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, for television.'

“'We are very happy to have the unique opportunity to produce a second series based on the subversive and innovative world of Garth Ennis,' Chris Parnell, co-president of Sony Pictures Television Studios, said. 'And we are thankful to Sharon and her team at Amazon for their vision, partnership, and support.'

The Boys, which is scheduled to begin filming in the Spring of 2018 and is slated for a 2019 release, will be available on Amazon Prime Video."

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Per The Hollywood Reporter, "[a]fter taking home the Emmy for The Night Manager, AMC has green-lighted its next John le Carre miniseries: The Little Drummer Girl.

"Florence Pugh (Lady Macbeth) will star in the six-parter based on le Carre's best-seller. Park Chan-wook (Old Boy) will make his small-screen debut and direct the series, which is a co-production between the Ink Factory, BBC One and AMC. Production will begin in January, with Endeavor Content/IMG selling global rights to the series.

"Set in the late 1970s, Drummer Girl is an espionage and international intrigue drama of love and betrayal. Set against the background of rising tensions in the Middle East, the mini revolves around Charlie (Pugh), a young actress who prepares for her ultimate role in the 'theater of the real.'

"Laura Hastings-Smith (Macbeth) produces with Simon and Stephen Cornwell serving as executive producers alongside le Carre, Mona Qureshi for the BBC, Joe Tsai and Arthur Wang for 127 Wall, and Wonjo Jeong. BBC Content director Charlotte Moore and BBC Drama controller Piers Wenger commissioned the series alongside AMC senior vp international Kristin Jones and the cabler's new programming president David Madden.

"'After the tremendous reception by U.S. audiences to The Night Manager, we are thrilled to be working again with the Ink Factory and the BBC on another brilliantly plotted and deeply emotional John le Carré thriller, The Little Drummer Girl,' Madden said. 'I read the book when it was published in the 1980s, and it’s frightening and thought-provoking to recognize how relevant the story still is today. Florence Pugh is a gifted actress who will make a stunning Charlie, and Park is a filmmaker of extraordinary vision whose entry into the world of le Carré-style espionage should be irresistible.'”