Tuesday December 5, 2017

USA has renewed Shooter for a 3rd season.

John Oliver is going after Dustin Hoffman.

As I waited for DirecTV today I missed the series premiere of Bravo's RealtionShep.  That said, I DID (sadly) watch a few episodes of Facebook's Relationshipped.  Don't ask.

DirecTV Now has hit 1,000,000 subscribers.

I'm looking forward to diving into The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel over the holidays.  I keep hearing and reading great things.

"NBC has a succession crisis on its hands. While we’re told that ousted anchor Matt Lauer’s intense, long-running jealousy over potential rivals has left the network with no male contenders for his empty chair, a disastrous November sweeps means that the network’s banner hire, Megyn Kelly, isn’t a viable replacement either. Industry insiders say that during his 20-year tenure at morning show Today, Lauer — who was booted last week after he was accused of sexually harassing colleagues — was so ruthless in maintaining his spot as the golden boy of NBC that 'Matt killed off, in their infancy, every man who could succeed him at the time that he was ready to hang it up — so there’s nobody to take his place. And now NBC is paying the price.' We’re told that Lauer’s maneuverings have ensured that potential heirs including David Gregory, Josh Elliott and Billy Bush never got a shot at being groomed for the gig. (Before Bush was brought down by the infamous Access Hollywood tape with Donald Trump, he was already in Lauer’s sights.) As a result, the male front-runner is Craig Melvin, a Weekend Today host of whom one network exec said, 'I couldn’t pick him out of a lineup.'”

"Robbing a grocery store comes with a lot of strings attached…according to the first trailer for NBC’s upcoming series Good Girls. Starring the dream team cast of Mae Whitman (Annie), Retta (Ruby), and Christina Hendricks (Beth), the series follows three friends who are all suffering from some sort of financial duress — Beth’s husband Dean has squandered their life savings in a bad business deal, Ruby’s daughter is seriously ill and needs treatment, and Annie is being sued by her ex for custody. So, the trio agree to take drastic measures in order to make ends meet.But it turns out, sometimes “getting away” with a crime isn’t all its cracked up to be. While their supermarket robbery goes really well and the trio make a lot more than their goal of 30 grand, things get a little tricky when they learn they didn’t *actually* get away with their crime. Rather, the very intimidating Rio appears to tell the ladies that they actually stole from him and he wants his money back."

Per Variety, "Netflix has released an episodic trailer for USS Callister, a feature length installment in the upcoming fourth season of Black Mirror.

"Set in space, the story of USS Callister follows a new crew member (Cristin Milioti) adjusting to life on the ship, led by a bemused captain (Jesse Plemons). The style of the ship and the missions on which the crew embarks throw back to the sci-fi programming of the 1970s and what those creators imagined the future could be. However, like with all Black Mirror episodes, the story is actually set in a near-futuristic world from our own.

USS Callister boasts a cast of television heavy-hitters, including Plemons (Fargo), Milioti (How I Met Your Mother), Jimmi Simpson (Westworld) and Michaela Coel (Chewing Gum). The episode is written by Black Mirror co-creator Charlie Brooker and William Bridges and is directed by Toby Haynes.

"In addition to USS Callister, the episodes of the fourth season of Black Mirror are Arkangel, starring Rosemarie Dewitt and directed by Jodie Foster; Black Museum, starring Douglas Hodge, Letitia Wright, Babs Olusanmokun and Aldis Hodge, and directed by Colm McCarthy; Crocodile, starring Andrea Riseborough, Andrew Gower and Kiran Sonia Sawar, and directed by John Hillcoat; Hang the DJ starring Georgina Campbell, Joe Cole and George Blagden, and directed by Tim Van Patten; and Metalhead starring Maxine Peake, Jake Davies and Clint Dyer, and directed by David Slade."

If you haven't opened yourself up to this series, I encourage you to do so!

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Per The Hollywood Reporter, "House of Cards will be returning for its final season without star Kevin Spacey. 

"The drama series will resume production in early 2018 on an eight-episode sixth season that will star Robin Wright, Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos announced Monday morning. 

"'We are excited to bring closure to fans,' he said, acknowledging the work of the production crew whose jobs have been up in the air after multiple people accused Spacey of sexual assault. 

"The decision finalized what has been expected ever since producer Media Rights Capital shut down production on the show in November following reports of sexual misconduct against Spacey, who plays Frank Underwood in the series. It was considered likely that Spacey would be written out of the show. 

"On Nov. 26, Media Rights Capital announced that it had extended its production hiatus for another two weeks until Dec. 8. Now it appears that the hiatus will continue until early next year. Netflix announced in November that the sixth season of House of Cards would be its last.

"Monday's update — wildly speculated — follows the streaming giant's Nov. 3 decision to sever ties with Spacey following mounting allegations of sexual harassment against the actor. Sources at the time told THR that season six was almost entirely written before Star Trek actor Anthony Rapp went public Oct. 29 with allegations that Spacey made unwanted sexual advances toward him in 1986 — when Spacey was 26 and Rapp was 14. Production on the first two episodes had already been completed and a table read for episode three was on the schedule. The final season was originally supposed to run 13 episodes.

"Writing Spacey out of House of Cards isn't a stretch. In the Michael Dobbs book that inspired the Netflix series, Frank's character dies. (Netflix also opted to scrap feature Gore, starring Spacey.)

"House of Cards was Netflix's first original series order. It debuted in 2013 to much acclaim and immediately put Netflix on the prestige TV map. In its first five seasons, it nabbed 46 Emmy nominations and six wins. The series counts David Fincher, Wright and Dana Brunetti as executive producers."

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Per Deadline, "[f]or almost two decades, actor Danny Masterson has been under a cloud of suspicion over accusations by four women that he had raped them in the early 2000s. With renewed attention to the case amid the current crackdown on sexual harassment and sexual assault in Hollywood, Netflix is parting ways with actor, who stars opposite Ashton Kutcher in the Internet network’s popular multi-camera comedy series The Ranch.

“'As a result of ongoing discussions, Netflix and the producers have written Danny Masterson out of The Ranch,' a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement. 'Yesterday was his last day on the show, and production will resume in early 2018 without him.'

"I hear production is about to wrap on the first batch of 10 episodes from The Ranch‘s 20-episode third season, with one more episode left to shoot. The remaining 10 episodes will be filmed in 2018. The 10-episode second half of Season 2 of The Ranch with Masterson in it will be released on Dec. 15. He also will be be featured in the Season 3 episodes that he had filmed before his dismissal, which had been in the works.

"One of Masterson’s accusers filed a police report in 2004 saying that she was raped in 2003, but the case didn’t move forward. The Los Angeles Police Department started an investigation in late 2016 after “three women have come forward and disclosed that they were sexually assaulted by Masterson during the early 2000’s,” LAPD said in a statement in March. The police referred the case to the district attorney in April of this year but no charges have been filed yet.

"The allegations against Masterson, which he has repeatedly denied, have been frequently referenced in the past weeks in the context of revelations about Hollywood types accused of sexual harassment and sexual assault. A recent story in the Huffington Post implicated a Netflix executive who had been recently confronted by one of alleged Masterson victims.

"The Masterson controversy has had another layer to it as he is a longtime member of the Church of Scientology, and at least three of the women who have accused him of rape also were Scientologists.

“'I am obviously very disappointed in Netflix’s decision to write my character off of The Ranch,' Masterson said in a statement distributed to the media. 'From day one, I have denied the outrageous allegations against me. I have never been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one. In this country, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, in the current political climate, it seems as if you are presumed guilty the moment you are accused. I understand and look forward to clearing my name once and for all.'

"While Netflix has terminated Masterson’s acting services, the company’s statement does not address what is happening with his role as an executive producer on The Ranch. Masterson and his former That ’70s Show co-star and longtine friend Kutcher teamed up for The Ranch and the comedy was sold with the duo attached to star, playing brothers, and exec produce. After landing at Netflix, The Ranch cast Debra Winger and Sam Elliott as Kutcher and Masterson’s parents."

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According to Variety, "Oprah Winfrey gained great fame in 2004 for giving each member of her talk-show audience a brand-new Pontiac G6. Now she’s parting with something else – but not for free.

"Discovery Communications said it paid $70 million to increase its stake in the cable-TV venture it operates with Winfrey, the OWN network. Discovery, which had owned 50% of the joint venture since it was established in 2008, will add another 24.5% under its aegis, allowing the company to claim the network’s results on its balance sheet. Winfrey’s Harpo, Inc. will retain a significant minority interest in the media property, and Winfrey will continue in her role as CEO. Her exclusivity commitment to the network has been extended through 2025.

“'This transaction allows Discovery and Oprah to unlock more value from our partnership; extends once more her commitment to the network; and lets us continue our strong work together to nourish OWN viewers with the content they love,' said David Zaslav, CEO of Discovery Communications, in a prepared statement. Over the years, Discovery has spent more than $200 million on the joint venture, putting in $189 million through 2010 and another $50 million in 2011.

"The maneuver takes place as Discovery is working through the process to acquire Scripps Networks Interactive, the owner of HGTV and Food Network, for $11.9 billion in cash and stock, and $14.6 billion when debt is included. Like many other media companies, Discovery is seeking to gain scale as rivals grow in size.  AT&T, which already purchased satellite distributor DirecTV in 2015 in a deal valued at approximately $48.5 billion, is hoping to close an $85.4 billion pact to snap up Time Warner, the owner of HBO, CNN, Warner Bros. and DC Comics. Charter Communications broadened its national footprint by acquiring Time Warner Cable in May 2016 for approximately $65 billion. Adding the OWN results to the Scripps purchase would lend Discovery more heft.

"Once the transactions are complete,  Discovery expects to be home to five of the top pay-TV networks for women, and represent 20% share of women watching primetime pay-TV in the U.S.
Launched in 2011, OWN has become cable’s top network  for African-American women, led by series such as Queen Sugar and Greenleaf. OWN has recently unveiled expanded relationships with creative executives such as Ava DuVernay, Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil, writer/producer Tarell Alvin McCraney and prolific filmmaker Will Packer.

"The transaction marks the first time Winfrey has taken money out of the joint venture since forming it with Discovery nearly a decade ago."