Tuesday January 2, 2018

The NFL canceled Sunday Night Football this past weekend, fearing that an 8:00 PM game on New Year’s Eve would take a hit in the ratings. "The final Sunday night slot is typically reserved for a consequential game between two playoff contenders, but none of this year’s Week 17 match-ups fit the bill. The lack of an exciting, primetime-friendly game combined with the timing of the holiday means the NFL is sparing itself the low ratings it would suffer by scheduling an 8 p.m. kickoff. Instead, seven games are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. and nine at 4:25 p.m. All games will be broadcast on CBS or FOX. 'We felt that both from a competitive standpoint and from a fan perspective, the most fair thing to do is to schedule all Week 17 games in either the 1 p.m. or 4:25 p.m. ET windows,' NFL’s Howard Katz said in a statement. 'This ensures that we do not have a matchFootball on New Year’s Eve that because of earlier results has no playoff implications for one or both of the competing teams.'"

The Challenge returns tonight.  More below.

A new season of Intervention kicks off this evening as well.

I'm still captivated by RelationShep.  I can't explain it.  Much like season 4 of Black Mirror.

Speaking of which, this is a pretty crazy Easter egg.  More on this show below.

I really enjoyed The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon.  It was delightful.

Hoda Kotb has been named as Matt Lauer's replacement on The Today Show.

HBO has canceled White Famous.  Smart move.

Netflix has renewed She's Gotta Have It.

Fox premieres LA to Vegas tonight.  I've seen the pilot (no pun intended) and it's ok, but in all likelihood, not worth your time and not something that will last.

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Per EW, "The Challenge: Vendettas just got a lot more interesting.

"After teasing a Christmas surprise, MTV released a new clip from the upcoming 31st season of The Challenge which revealed that Johnny 'Bananas' Devenanzio went into the game unattached for the first time in five years.

“'This is the first Challenge I’ve come on as a single man,' he says. 'The Banana has left his bunch. Me and my girlfriend for five years called it quits. So here I am: single and naked as the day I was born.'

"For many seasons, the regular player stayed on the straight and narrow, avoiding the usual show hook-ups and staying true to his girlfriend, Olympic snowboarder Hannah Teter. But that won’t be the case when he joins 27 other players for this go-round.

"The Challenge: Vendettas includes a bunch of rookies for Johnny to get to know, including some from Big Brother and MTV U.K.’s Geordie Shore and Ex on the Beach.

"The Challenge: Vendettas premieres on Jan. 2 at 9 p.m. on MTV. Johnny is currently competing in The Challenge: Champs vs. Stars, which airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on MTV."

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From The Hollywood Reporter: "Almost two decades after its seven-season run wrapped, producers Sony Pictures Television Studios are eyeing a potential revival for NBC's beloved Mad About You.

"Sources confirm to The Hollywood Reporter that the independent studio has had informal talks for a potential eighth season of the Emmy-nominated comedy that starred Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt. No deals are in place and a network is not currently attached. Sony TV declined comment. 

"Both Reiser, who co-created the series alongside Danny Jacobson, and Hunt would return for the revival. NBC, which aired all seven seasons of the comedy, is not currently in the mix for the reboot, which would be set in the present day and follow Paul and Jamie in the wake of their 17-year-old daughter, Mabel's college acceptance. (That would also indicate that the series finale, which jumped ahead two decades, would be totally disregarded a la the Will and Grace and Roseanne revivals.)

"During its seven-season run, Mad About You was a breakout hit for NBC, garnering multiple best comedy series Emmy nominations (and wins for lead actress Hunt), a Golden Globe and a prestigious Peabody Award. The series wrapped after seven seasons when NBC moved the series to its sagging Monday night lineup. (Hunt and Reiser earned $1 million an episode for season seven, making the ratings hit a tougher pill to swallow.)

"For his part, Reiser recently reversed course about the idea of a Mad About You revival. In October, Reiser said that he and Hunt were talking about it: 'If we can find the story to tell, and anybody's interested, I'd be open to it,' he said, adding that the idea of his kids growing up and leaving the house was of particular interest. That came after years of anti-reboot sentiment from the actor, who always cited the show's two-decade flash-forward to provide resolution to what happened to Paul and Jamie as part of a larger goal at the time to avoid going back to the well.

"For its part, Sony TV produced a Mad About You adaptation for Chinese audiences and an Argentine remake in 2016. (The news comes as Sony TV is shopping a Party of Five reboot.)"

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Per Deadline, "FX has given a series order to Pose, the dance musical from Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson and Brad Falchuk that stars Evan Peters, Kate Mara and James Van Der Beek. The network has ordered eight episodes for Season 1, which is scheduled to begin production in February in New York. It’s slated to premiere on FX in summer 2018.

"The history-making Pose, which received a pilot order in March, will feature the largest transgender series regular cast, as well as the largest LGBTQ cast ever for a scripted series. The trans actors were cast after a six-month nationwide search led by casting director Alexa Fogel. They are MJ Rodriguez, Indya Moore, Dominique Jackson, Hailie Sahar and Angelica Ross. All will be playing transgender characters. Also co-starring are Tony winner Billy Porter as well as newcomers Ryan Jamaal Swain and Dyllon Burnside. In the photo above, Moore as Angel competes in the 1987 ballroom category in a scene from the pilot. Ballroom legends and survivors served as consultants.

“'I am thrilled to join forces with John Landgraf and FX Networks and FXP and Dana Walden, Gary Newman and Fox 21 Television Studios to present what I think is a game changer of a show, which at its heart is an uplifting series about the universal quest for identity, family and respect,' said Murphy. 'Along with being a dance musical and an affirming look at American life in the 1980s, I’m so proud that Pose and FX has made history right from the beginning by featuring the most trans series regular actors ever in an American television production. Additionally, the first season Pose will feature 50-plus LGBTQ characters – a record in American television history. I can’t wait for people to see this incredibly talented, passionate cast.'

"Set in the 1980s, Pose looks at the juxtaposition of several segments of life and society in New York: the rise of the luxury Trump-era universe, the downtown social and literary scene and the ball culture world. Peters and Mara star as New Jersey couple Stan and Patty, who get sucked into the glamour and intrigue of New York City in the 1980s, along with Van Der Beek, who plays Peters’ financial kingpin boss Matt.

"Tatiana Maslany was originally reported cast in the project. That role was re-conceived and re-written to be a 50-year-old African-American woman, who will be played by Charlayne Woodard (The Leftovers, Law & Order: SVU).

"Pose was written by co-creators and executive producers Murphy, Falchuk and Steven Canals, with Murphy directing the first two episodes. Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson also serve as executive producers alongside fellow executive producers Alexis Martin Woodall, Sherry Marsh and Erica Kaye. Janet Mock and Our Lady J will also serve as producers. The series is produced by Fox 21 Television Studios and FX Productions."

"Million Dollar Listing star Josh Altman, his brother, Matt Altman, and real estate firm Hilton & Hyland are being sued for $3.7 million for allegedly steering a client in the wrong direction, according to federal court documents obtained by Page Six.

"Peter Kleidman claimed in the suit filed last January that he gave Hilton & Hyland (where the Altmans worked at the time) the listing for his home in December 2012, but he was forced to file for bankruptcy just two months later.

"Hilton & Hyland sold his home a year later for $5.3 million, and the firm represented both the buyer and Peter in the deal. Matt and Josh only represented the buyer, per MLS records obtained through the brothers.

"Peter claimed the buyer purchased his property and flipped the 'unattractive' home for a profit that totaled 'at least $10 million' — but Hilton & Hyland and the Altmans 'did not disclose their knowledge of the two different valuations because they were also representing [the] buyer' and 'were allied far more strongly to [the] buyer.'

"He also alleged the buyer made a deal with Hilton & Hyland that if they got the price they wanted for the home, they would 'retain [the firm] as his broker when selling the property to complete his flip.'

"Peter claimed if he knew he could sell his home for a higher valuation, he 'would likely have been unwilling to sell the property for $5.3 million' and asked the court for damages and to cancel the residential listing agreement they made.

"Josh, 38, and Matt, 41, and Hilton & Hyland asked the court to dismiss the suit, but Peter filed an amended complaint to continue the case on Dec. 11. The case is still open.

“'Fortunately and unfortunately, when you’re at the top of the real estate game, you’re a target for frivolous lawsuits,' the Altman brothers told us. 'This one definitely takes the cake. We repped the buyer, not the seller who had his own agent. The seller was in bankruptcy and asked the court to approve the sale so that he can pay his creditors. Our buyer gutted the house at a great cost and sold it over a year later for a huge profit. Seller is unhappy the buyer made lots of money. Everything was approved by the bankruptcy court. This lawsuit is comical. Seller decided to go after the guys on TV instead of his own agent.'

"Peter didn’t get back to us."

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Per TheWrap, "[y]ou may now think of USS Callister as one of the greatest Black Mirror episodes of all time. But when star Cristin Milioti first auditioned for the compelling Season 4 episode that included a brutal deconstruction of toxic masculinity, workplace sexual harassment and cyber-bullying, she hadn’t the faintest idea what it was about — let alone how badass a character she’d be playing.

“'I was sent like a couple pages of the script and I auditioned for them,' Milioti, who plays Nanette in the “Star Trek” homage episode of the Netflix anthology series, told TheWrap. 'And I’d seen one episode of the show and loved it. I watched the episode right before I went in and I found out a couple days later I got the part. I never met anyone.'

Callister takes place in a virtual reality game based on an in-universe Star Trek-esque TV series called Space Fleet. But the titular ship’s crew are actually the cloned consciousnesses of several co-workers being held captive by resentful company executive Robert Daly (Jesse Plemons), who serves as their 'captain.' Including Nanette — the new object of Daly’s obsessions.

“'I didn’t even know what my role was. They gave me two scenes. I remember saying, "Well, I can’t even — I don’t even know what I’m doing!‘" Milioti said, laughing. 'But I could tell from reading it the writing was so good. But I had no idea. I couldn’t tell what any of it meant or who I was playing at all. I just knew I loved what I read. So then, when I actually read the script, I was so blown away.'

"Though the audition process may have been a crazy experience, it paid off when Milioti was handed the role of a lifetime. She steals the show with a performance that included this now infamous line, delivered when she realizes that Daly has eliminated the characters’ genitalia inside the game: 'Stealing my p—y is a red f—ing line!'

“'I had such an incredible time on this job,' Milioti said. 'This is not just saying this. It was a dream job and it was a dream all around. I think it was incredible to be able to show a story like this. I’m kind of getting over excited thinking about everyone seeing it.'

"And it turns out she had every right to be psyched, as the episode has fast become many viewers’ favorite from Season 4 — if not the entire series."