Tuesday December 12, 2017

The Ringer breaks down the contestants on the upcoming season of The Bachelor.

Judd Apatow's new stand-up special is now streaming on Netflix.

Fall finales airing across the board tonight, including such winners as BullThe Middle and Lethal Weapon.

The New York Times looks at what happens between episodes of Live With Kelly & Ryan.  "Varying from an in-house rule that prevailed during the years she worked with Mr. Philbin and Mr. Strahan, Ms. Ripa now socializes off-camera with her co-host. They text each other at night and hang out on weekends. 'Regis had a mandate: Absolutely no talking off-camera,' Ms. Ripa said. 'Regis had a mandate: Absolutely no talking off-camera,' Ms. Ripa said. 'He had almost a superstition about it. You save it for the show. I’d be like, "Good morning," and he’d say, "Save it for the air!”'"  Regis!

For those still watching This Is Us.

There are zero good reasons to reboot Blossom.

"Kenya Barris is partnering with Alec Baldwin for a new sitcom, which just got a straight-to-series order at ABC.  The project is a potentially starring role for Baldwin, though the actor (also developing a talk show with the network) is said to be keeping his options open. Written by Barris and Grown-ish scribe Julie Bean, both of whom will also serve as showrunners, the project centers on an opinionated, aging TV star who has to move in with his liberal daughter, her girlfriend and their child."

Production has wrapped on season 2 of 13 Reasons Why.

Tig Notaro is relieved that Louis C.K. has been exposed.

Cannot explain it for the life of me, but I'm a sucker for RelationShep.  I loathe myself sometimes.

NFL Network has suspended analysts Marshall Faulk, Heath Evans, and Ike Taylor while it investigates accusations of sexual harassment made in a lawsuit filed by a former network stylist.  Expect athletes and owners to be the next run of sexual harassers.  When does Jerry Jones' name surface?  Over/under is 12/31/17.

"Infamously short-lived White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci was spotted meeting with Dr. Phil about launching a daytime talk show, spies tell Page Six. And some thought that the TV psychologist also looked to be 'comforting' the Mooch — who recently patched things up with his wife — although Scaramucci tells us it was just 'camaraderie.'”

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SPOILER ALERT: Do not keep reading if you have not seen the Season 8 midseason finale of The Walking Dead”

Per Variety, "[t]he father of a key Walking Dead character vented his frustrations with the show and showrunner Scott Gimple on social media following his son’s onscreen death in this Sunday’s midseason finale.

“'Watching Gimple fire my son 2 weeks before his 18th birthday after telling him they wanted him for the next 3 years was disappointing,' William Riggs, father of Carl Grimes actor Chandler Riggs, wrote on Facebook. 'I never trusted Gimple or AMC but Chandler did. I know how much it hurt him. But we do absolutely know how lucky we have been to be a part of it all and appreciate all the love from fans all these years!'

"In the closing moments of the midseason finale, Carl revealed to his father Rick (Andrew Lincoln) that he had been bitten by a walker. He did not die at the end of the episode though, meaning he will get one more episode to say goodbye once the show returns in February.

“'That is a bite on his side.… It will play out as bites play out on the show,' Gimple said Sunday on Talking Dead. 'It’s very important to Carl’s story and the entire story, what happens in the next episode. I’m just focused on the fact that Carl right now is alive and he has some business to attend to. That is a one-way ticket. But I’d like to think that the things we see in the next episode are so important to his life and the other characters’ lives.'”

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Per Vulture, "Kevin Bacon earned his third Golden Globe nomination Monday for his titular role on Amazon’s I Love Dick, in which he plays an artist-cowboy and professor who becomes the obsession of a married artist (Kathryn Hahn). In one memorable scene, Bacon walks shirtless down the streets of Marfa, Texas, holding a lamb on his shoulders, in a fantasy that protagonist Chris (Hahn) is having. Eventually Dick stops, kneels down, places the lamb on the ground and seductively shaves its belly.

“'When I finished shooting that, I was like, I have the greatest gig in the world,' Bacon told Vulture after the nominations were announced. 'I literally said that to anyone in the entire crew who would listen. Look at what I just got to do. This is why I feel so grateful to be an actor, because who would ever have that experience? That lamb was amazing.'

"The lamb scene is just one example of the show’s independent and experimental sensibility, the qualities that Bacon says drew him to the role and made him want to work with co-creators Jill Soloway and Sarah Gubbins on the series, based on Chris Kraus’s semiautobiographical ’90s cult classic.

“'These days, a lot of times television is a great place to experiment, both artistically and subjectwise,' Bacon said. 'There are opportunities to push the envelope creatively and socially. We never knew exactly where things were going to go. It was very fluid in terms of where the story lines were going and where our characters were going and even in the way things were blocked and shot. But it’s not as though we improvised. There was great, beautiful fantastic writing and lines that were given to us. I sometimes fought to say them the way they were written because they were written so well.'

"The 59-year-old actor said he’s 'touched' to be nominated in the same category with Anthony Anderson (Black-ish), Aziz Ansari (Master of None), William H. Macy (Shameless), and his Will & Grace ex–TV husband Eric McCormack because he admires all of their shows. The reboot of Will & Grace received a best-comedy nomination on Monday as well.

“'It’s really cool,' Bacon said of the reboot’s success. 'That was a historically important show not only in terms of its content, but it was at the forefront of a modern style of network comedy — that kind of spitfire way, where the audience can’t keep up with the laughs. And the actors are so great. I have to tell you, of all the things I’ve done in my life, I’ll be working through an airport and someone will say, "You know the best thing you’ve ever done?" I’ll go "No." And the answer is Will & Grace. It happens to me really very frequently, so I was very grateful to have that gig and to be able to work with those guys. They gotta get me back there. I don’t know what’s stopping them.'”

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From EW: "Some Golden Globe nominees get the news from a text, others from a publicist’s phone call, and many from watching the live-stream of the announcements. Frankie Shaw’s story beats all of those though: The SMILF creator and star found out her Showtime series nabbed two nods while she was being interviewed by a Boston radio station she grew up listening to.

“'It was pretty incredible,' Shaw says, laughing, after recalling how just hours before, she asked the show’s host mid-interview if the Golden Globes nominations were out after noticing her publicist and agent had been trying to call her. The host soon told Shaw (and the station’s listeners) that SMILF — adapted from Shaw’s short film of the same name — got nominated for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy while Shaw was recognized in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy category.

"The comedy-drama is set in Shaw’s native South Boston (a.k.a. Southie) and partially based on her own life as a single mother. Her character, Bridgette, spends her days doing odd jobs — tutoring uninterested teens, demoralizing acting gigs, etc. — to get by, taking care of her tiny son, and trying to follow her dreams in a society that isn’t always supportive of women, especially women with children.

“'Part of the show’s charm is exposing some of the darker elements of humanity, but doing it with levity and with humor and with heart, hopefully,' Shaw tells EW. 'Bridgette really does put her kid first and tries to be the best mom she can be, so I think showing some of the messier parts can hopefully let other people admit to their own messiness — and I’m also not saying that I’m speaking for all single moms, it’s just this one person who is trying to work her life out.'

"Some of the darker elements include sexual harassment and assault, which Bridgette experiences in episode 3 when a man she’s talking to in a food court reaches under the table and grabs her vagina, a story line partly inspired by the infamous tape where Donald Trump talks about grabbing women 'by the p—y.'

“'We were like, "What if we materialize that into an episode from her point of view?”' Shaw says. 'What if someone was actually grabbed by the p—y, how does it feel from her perspective?'

"Along with that tape, Trump’s election also influenced the series: 'I think just the atmosphere of being under his, I don’t know, regime is empowering in a way because people are a lot more vocal with their anger and they feel the need to speak out,' Shaw says. 'I feel like it’s made me a more courageous creator, because you have to be. Because it’s that, or you’re just letting them win, or staying silenced.'

"SMILF, which was recently renewed for a season 2, airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on Showtime."

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The New York Post is reporting that "Larry King will sue Daily Mail TV over allegations that he groped a woman, insists his lawyer.

"On Monday Terry Richard, the ex-wife of singer Eddie Fisher, told the show that King groped her in 2005, saying that he slipped his hand down the back of her backless dress while they were posing for a picture together and that, on another occasion, groped her butt so forcefully that it left a bruise.

"But later King’s lawyer, Hollywood power lawyer Bert Fields told Page Six that King 'flatly and unequivocally denies these claims' and that he 'intends to file suit and prove that they’re utterly false.'

"Sources say that King’s team warned the show last week that he would sue if the story was published.

"Richard claimed that King first groped her at a 2005 baseball award ceremony in LA, saying that he slipped his hand down the back of her dress.

“'His fingers went into the crack of my ass!' Fisher said. She said that a year later — again when they were taking a picture together — King groped her butt so forcefully that it left a bruise.

"Richard said, 'Larry King is a groper. He groped me twice. He gets a thrill doing this in front of the camera, knowing I couldn’t do anything.'

"King’s lawyer told the show that Richard’s claim is false as. 'Mr. King did no such thing then or ever,' said the lawyer.

"A Daily Mail TV rep did not get back to us."

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Per Variety, "Darren Criss has taken on a 'Shakespearean' role in bringing the tortured life story of serial killer Andrew Cunanan to life in FX’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace.

"So said Versace director and executive producer Ryan Murphy on Monday night as he “played Barbara Walters” during a Q&A with stars and producers following the series’ first public screening, held at New York City’s Metrograph theater.

Versace stars Criss, Edgar Ramirez, Ricky Martin, writer Tom Rob Smith, author Maureen Orth, and executive producers Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson offered insights into the limited series, which has the hard task of following The People V. O.J. Simpson as the second installment of FX’s American Crime Story franchise.

"Here are 6 things we learned from the first look at Versace:

  • Like People V. O.J. Simpson, Versace takes on larger cultural and societal issues beyond the sensational details of how Cunanan gunned down fashion superstar Versace on the steps of his Miami Beach villa on July 15, 1997. Through the once-and-future prism of a period drama, the first episode raises timely questions about discrimination against LGBT crime victims by law enforcement, disparity in health care for rich and poor, and the sick market for cashing in on grisly celebrity deaths. Versace was one of the first major public figures to live his life openly as a gay man, and, based on the first episode, the then-and-now perspective on cultural attitudes toward the LGBT community is clearly a major theme. “We want every season of this show to be about that crime that America is guilty of,” Jacobson said. “We wanted to re-conjure what it meant to be gay in the 1990s.”
  • Don’t expect a simple linear storyline in Versace’s nine episodes. “We’re telling the story backwards. The first and second episodes are about the assassination [of Versace] and the manhunt, and then we go back in time. In episode eight you meet Andrew Cunanan as a child. The final episode deals with his eventual demise,” Murphy said.
  • Orth, author of the 1999 book Vulgar Favors: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, said Cunanan’s obsession with achieving a measure of celebrity was a product of the modern age. He was “besotted” with the idea of fame. “He was willing to kill for fame. He wanted to be everything Versace was, but he wasn’t willing to work for it,” Orth said. She added a harsh observation about the nation’s current political climate: “The idea that he was willing to kill for fame — there’s a line from there to getting famous from a sex tape like the Kardashians down to becoming president of the United States because you’re a reality TV star,” Orth opined.
  • Criss became emotionally invested in playing the disturbed serial killer. The role is without question a career-accelerator for the former Glee star. Murphy noted that Criss is in every episode, as the story drills down on the factors that made Cunanan kill five people including Versace during his 1997 spree. “Stories that bend people’s sense of empathy are what interest me,” Criss said. “We’re trying to humanize somebody who is so conventionally vilified.” Murphy added: “We’re not interested in the killer-of-the-week approach,” he said. “We’re trying to understand the psychology of someone who would be driven to do those deeds.”
  • Ramirez also got under the skin of Versace, even though his character spends most of episode one on a gurney in the morgue. Recreating the scenes of Versace’s murder on the actual site of his villa in Miami was a challenging process, said Martin, who plays Versace’s longtime lover, Antonio. “It was a profound, moving experience,” Martin said. “The crew was crying, the actors were crying — it was very intense.” Ramirez felt he channeled the soul of his character during his big death scene. He believed Versace lived through the trauma of being taken to the emergency room before he was declared dead at 9:21 a.m. “He was there,” Ramirez said. “He wanted to express something, but he couldn’t, about the insanity and the tragedy that [his murder] could have been prevented and it wasn’t.”
  • Criss also emphasized the importance of the production having access to the Versace villa. “That house — it bleeds his soul,” Criss said. “His creativity exits in every wall and every doorknob in the house. It’s a living vestige of his legacy. I did feel his presence. I had to say a prayer for thanks and an apology for us exposing it. I’m hoping some light can be made from this very, very dark thing.”

The Assassination of Gianni Versace premieres on Jan. 17."