Friday March 17, 2017

Big Brother has been handed a June 28 premiere date.

ABC's Downward Dog has a May 17 premiere date.

I am REALLY looking forward to season 3 of Fargo.

Iron Fist is now streaming on Netflix.  The reviews have been terrible.  I'll be sitting this one out.

Season 2 of Animals premieres on HBO.  Don't beat yourself up if you didn't even know there was a season 1.  Here's a quick description in case it piques your interest: "Created by Phil Matarese and Mike Luciano and produced by Duplass Brothers Television, Animals. focuses on the downtrodden creatures native to Earth’s least-habitable environment: New York City. Whether it’s lovelorn rats, gender-questioning pigeons or aging bedbugs in the midst of a midlife crisis, the awkward small talk, moral ambiguity and existential woes of non-human urbanites prove startlingly similar to our own.

"Best-selling author Dean Koontz's forthcoming book The Silent Corner is going to get the TV treatment. Paramount Television and Anonymous Content have optioned the FBI drama ahead of its June publication by Bantam, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. A network is not yet attached."  Well wake us up when one is.

What your binge watching habits say about you.

The final 4 episodes of this season of SNL will air live across all US time zones.

SyFy has renewed 12 Monkeys for a 4th (and final) season.

Nia Long has signed on to star in the spin-off of The Goldbergs.

Tyra Banks will return as the host of America's Next Top Model, adding that to her recently announced duties as the new host of America's Got Talent.  That's way too much Tyra Banks.

Behind the music on HBO's Big Little Lies.

Emily VanCamp is returning to TV. Nearly two years after wrapping on ABC's Revenge, she has signed on to star in Fox drama pilot The Resident.

"Hulu, which has been ramping up its scripted originals, is looking to bring in a new executive at the top. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the streaming giant is searching for a chief content officer who would come in to oversee all aspects of content. That includes original programming, content acquisitions and have primary responsibility for evolving and driving Hulu's content strategy. The position would report directly to Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins. Once the position is filled, current senior vp and head of content Craig Erwich will narrow his purview to original programming. He will be focused on increasing the quality and volume of originals as well as experimenting with new production models and kids programming."

"Turns out, if you want a personal phone call from the President of the United States, say something nice about him on Hannity. That’s precisely what Tomi Lahren did on February 7, when she appeared on the Fox News show to talk about her whirlwind success as a pundit. The 24-year-old conservative firebrand, best known for her bleach blond hair and eponymous show on TheBlaze, told Sean Hannity that she became a Donald Trump supporter during the general election when she saw 'so many average, every-day Americans' gravitate toward him. 'Because they said, guess what? This man is doing something amazing,' Lahren said. 'He’s running against the Democratic party and, in some ways, the Republican party as well. And he won.' A source tells Washingtonian that Trump watched the segment live."  

Per Vanity Fair, "[a]s an actor, Tony Goldwyn has had a lot of blood on his hands. And on his face. And on his neck, and on his chest, and . . . well, you get the idea.

"When Goldwyn joined the cast of The Belko Experiment, which hits theaters this weekend, working on a blood-strewn set was hardly new to him. The fact that this screenplay still disconcerted him really says something about how dark things get during the course of the movie.

“'I got about halfway through the script, and I thought, "I cannot believe a studio has the balls to make this movie,"' says Goldwyn, laughing. 'It was really well-written, but I was concerned. I thought, "Even as operatic as the story is, with the humor that [writer] James Gunn kind of weaves into his craziness, this will really only work if it feels super real." So I met with [director] Greg McLean, and I watched his movie Wolf Creek, which blew my mind and is so terrifying because it feels so authentic and real. And once I saw that that’s where they were heading with this, too, I really wanted to be a part of it.'

"In the film, Goldwyn plays Barry Norris, C.O.O. of the Belko Corp. When he and the other employees in their office building are ordered to kill a certain number of individuals, Norris tries to treat the situation as if he were making a business decision.

“'I wanted the audience to feel that it was a very difficult thing that Norris is doing, that it’s the hardest thing he’s ever had to do in his life, as opposed to taking some sort of glee in it,' says Goldwyn. 'We didn’t want it to seem like, "Ooh, he’s the asshole boss.”'

"And, really, hasn’t Goldwyn already spent enough of his career playing assholes? For years, after his turn as the bad guy in Ghost, people would cut him nasty looks on the street, sometimes not even realizing why they were doing it.

“'I’ve played a lot of villains, and I always feel slightly upset when people say, "You were so bad!"' says Goldwyn. 'I still get confronted on occasion but not as much as I used to. Now it’s more people saying, "Mr. President!”'

"But let’s not pretend that his role as Scandal’s President Fitzgerald Grant III hasn’t resulted in further blood on Goldwyn’s hands. 'You know, that’s a dirty job, too,' he says, with a smirk in his voice.

"Well, there’s dirty—and then there’s killing a Supreme Court justice, which Goldwyn’s Grant did back in Season 2. (Scandal is currently in its sixth season.) Granted, she was corrupt, and she was already dying of cancer—but even so, that’s pretty bad.

"But Goldwyn 'could totally understand why Fitz did that.' After all, Debra Mooney’s Verna Thornton 'was going to bring down the entire house of cards, no pun intended.' He laughs. 'And that’s in addition to his hang-ups about his own father and stuff. So I remember thinking, "That’s impressive that I can justify this, and that it’s not just a crazy plot twist.”'

"Before we wash away the blood, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that Goldwyn’s history with horror stretches all the way back to his very first film: Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI.

“'You’ve got to start somewhere in this business,' says Goldwyn, with no trace of embarrassment. 'I didn’t last long in that movie, though.'

"No. No, he did not.

"Before getting his start as an actor, Goldwyn was an average kid with one notable exception: it was his family that put the 'G' in MGM Studios. Still, his parents, Samuel Goldwyn Jr. and Jennifer Howard, did their best to keep their son out of the spotlight. It’s fair to say that they succeeded: to hear him tell it, he didn’t meet his first real star until he was 16.

“'When my stepmother had my sister, Katharine Hepburn dropped by to say hello,' recalls Goldwyn. 'She came with George Cukor, who wasn’t a star, but he was a famous director. He was also my grandmother’s best friend, so I knew him well as a kid. But when George showed up with Katharine Hepburn, I was utterly star struck. I was, like, "Oh, my God, that’s Katharine Hepburn!"'

"Within a few years, Goldwyn was working alongside some of the same actors who would have left him star struck only a short while earlier. While working on the 1987 CBS pilot Mabel and Max, he even found himself part of a rare TV project produced by Barbra Streisand.

“'It was with Geraldine Fitzgerald, who is one of our great actresses, and Shelley Berman, who’s a legendary comic, and I played Geraldine’s son,' said Goldwyn. 'It was Barbra’s first foray into producing television—she’d never done it before—and she and her partner, Cis Corman,,produced it. It was a really funny script.'

"So why didn’t CBS pick up the series? To hear Goldwyn tell it, the network had no one to blame but themselves.

“'Because Barbra wasn’t really in the television world—and because, you know, she was Barbra freakin’ Streisand!—there was no creator with major power on the set, and the script just changed completely. I think it had gone through this committee decision-making process at the network level, so it just didn’t work. It was still funny, but it had lost that thing.'

"You know, the thing. That indescribable magic a show-runner brings to the table. It’s a topic Goldwyn learned about soon after—and it’s something he continues to see weekly on Scandal. 'I did an episode of Designing Women where I played the first openly-gay character with AIDS on prime-time television, and I was in the pilot of Murphy Brown, and watching Linda Bloodworth-Thomas or Diane English or—many years later—Shonda Rhimes, you see these people who are fiercely fighting for their vision of their show and willing to lay down and die for it.'

"If you’re wondering how much longer Goldwyn will be following Rhimes’s vision on Scandal, your guess is as good as his. But it sounds as though he’ll be there as long as she is.

“'We’re in the middle of our sixth season now, we’ve been renewed for a seventh season, and although I think the show is changing a lot, Shonda Rhimes is still experimenting with new ways to tell the story,' he says. 'I have no idea where it’s going to go in Season 7 . . . or beyond that, if there is such a thing. But it’s still really great, and that group of people is amazing. I feel very lucky to be part of that cast.'”

Per EW, "Rick wants to fight. Ezekiel wants to fight. Carol wants to fight. Even Morgan wants to fight. All of these people who previously were content to sit back and not battle Negan on The Walking Dead are finally ready to take up arms. And they’ve even found other people (Jadis and the junkyard gang) to take up arms with them, as long as they provide the arms. As we head into the homestretch of season 7, things are no doubt ramping up towards the acclaimed 'All Out War' arc from the comics on which the show is based. We checked in with showrunner Scott M. Gimple to ask what to expect in the final three episodes.

“'We step on the gas and we do not let our foot off the gas until the end of episode 16,' he says. 'Although because I’m working on season 8 now, the foot is on the gas again! I mean, the next three episodes we’re going to shoot you through a lot of big events and things become quantum intense.'

"Quantum intense! We’ll take it! But what about that final installment? What can we expect from this year’s season finale? From the sound of it, a whole lot. Gimple teases that the season 7 finale will have many different shades and also notes one big difference from last year’s controversial cliffhanger ending.

“'I just think it’s everything,' says Gimple of the finale. 'It is everything and the kitchen sink. It is exciting and it’s very emotional and I believe it’s funny in a couple parts, and it builds and builds and builds and it explodes. And though it promises more — because there is a whole lot to get to — there is an ending. It really is just a huge episode inasmuch as it has all of the flavors of this season. It is taking your cup and going down each soda jet and taking a little from each one and then throwing in some hot sauce, a little bit of lime, and then maybe a tiny bit of tequila, as well.'”

"Ryan Murphy's TV slate continues to grow.

"The prolific producer is working on yet another scripted drama for FX, titled Pose, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. FX and producers Fox 21 declined to comment.

"Set in 1986, 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 cultural world. 

"Murphy is writing the project with frequent collaborator Brad Falchuk (American Horror Story) and Stephen Canals. The trio will executive produce with Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson (The People v. O.J. Simpson). Sherry Marsh will also serve as a producer on the drama, which will be co-produced by Fox 21 TV Studios and FX Productions.

"Unlike Murphy's three other FX series — American Horror Story, American Crime Story and Feud — Pose would not be an anthology but an ongoing series. Murphy talked to THR about returning to serialized television late last year.

"Murphy's relationship with FX famously goes back to 2003 and one of his earliest creations, Nip/Tuck. Murphy, who is under a lucrative overall deal at 20th Century Fox Television, is also behind the Fox anthology series Scream Queens.

"Jacobson and Simpson also signed an overall deal with FX Productions last year following the success of The People v. O.J. Simpson.

"In addition to Pose, Murphy is also working on the upcoming seventh season of American Horror Story, seasons two and three of American Crime Story and the second season of Feud. AHS is expected to return this year, with the latter three all set to return in 2018. 

"If picked up to series, Pose would join an FX drama slate that also includes the recently renewed Legion, Taboo, The Americans and the forthcoming final season of The Strain. The network is getting ready to unveil another 1980s-set drama this summer, John Singleton's Snowfall."

Per TechCrunch, "Hulu’s live TV service is just around the corner, and will enter a competitive market where rivals like AT&T’s DirecTV NOW, Dish’s Sling TV, Sony’s PlayStation Vue, and YouTube TV are now battling for cord cutters’ dollars. To date, Hulu hasn’t offered a ton of information on how its service will differentiate itself from others, but it has added a few notable details to the service’s marketing website, where it has been taking sign-ups.

"The site was spotted by the blog Cord Cutters News (via TVAnswerman). The site was originally thought to have been updated with a couple of pieces of new information about the service, but Hulu says it was actually rolled out in January, but was not publicized at the time. The URL recently was redirected to the site, which is why people are now seeing it for the first time.

"There are still a few interesting details on the page for those who haven’t been keeping close track of the streaming service’s news.

"These details matter because outside of the actual channel lineups offered (here’s Hulu’s), consumers will be selecting a service based on other key factors like pricing and feature set.

"Within the current crop of TV streaming services, each focuses on particular aspects to make theirs stand out, beyond just their channel lineup. For example, DirecTV NOW touts its 'data-free' nature for those on AT&T wireless plans, while PlayStation Vue pushes its ability to simultaneously stream over a large number of devices. YouTube TV is promising a cloud DVR that never runs out of storage space, and Sling TV is all about its add-on packages to customize the service to your needs.

"Hulu’s live TV service is offering a handful of competitive features, the refreshed website says. Some features were already known, while others were rumored, and are now confirmed.

"We’ve known that service itself will offer a combination of Hulu’s on-demand programming, with the option to add Live TV. In other words, users won’t have to choose between on-demand TV and live TV. And we knew that pricing will be under $40 per month, according to statements made by Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins.

"Hulu also said it would have a DVR option, and the website confirms this should be available at launch, noting that users will be able to 'save anything to watch later.' User profiles via a fresh new user interface will be supported as well, each with their own recommendations and recordings. A guest profile is available, too, so your recommendations aren’t ruined by your babysitter.

"The site confirms that multiple, simultaneous streams will be supported on live TV. While it doesn’t say how many, it does imply it could be more than a couple by noting that 'the whole home can watch at once.' Given that Hulu is trying to appeal to families with kids, it should be generous on this front. Vue, after all, offers up to five streams – which, so far, has made it the best for larger families. (Hulu’s teaser video on the site shows a family with at least two kids, which is a promising sign.)

"You’ll also be able to pause a live TV show, then pick up from where you stopped at a later point – something that will make Hulu’s live programs feel more like on-demand offerings.

"A variety of devices will also be supported, the site says, which is more of a given of course – especially since Hulu already has broad support for streaming players, phones, tablets, computers, smart TVs and more.

"Maybe one of the more interesting teases is that the Live TV service will offer real-time alerts for events and TV programs you want to watch.

"This is a simple feature, but one that’s really useful. Having gotten used to on-demand programming you binge through, it can be hard to remember when events are happening – like award shows, games, political events, TV premieres, and more. In the teaser video posted on the site, Hulu demonstrates how this feature works."

"Subway is not chickening out in its showdown with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

"The fast-food chain has filed a whopping lawsuit against the CBC over a claim that the chicken it serves is largely made up of soybean filler.

"And Subway is asking for a jumbo-size sum in damages — $210 million, to be exact. Which buys a lot of $5 footlongs, especially with an employee discount.

"A spokesman for Subway told TheWrap in a statement on Thursday that the company had filed the complaint over 'defamatory and absolutely' false allegations made on the CBC program Marketplace.

“'We have issued a Notice of Action in Canada against the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that asks for $210 million in damages over allegations made by its program, Marketplace, that are defamatory and absolutely false,' the Subway spokesman said. 'Despite our efforts to share the facts with the CBC about the high quality of our chicken and to express our strong objections to their inaccurate claims, they have not issued a retraction, as we requested.'

“'Serving high-quality food to our customers is our top priority, and we are committed to seeing that this factually incorrect report is corrected,' the statement concluded.

"According to the New York Post, Marketplace aired a segment called 'The Chicken Challenge' on Feb. 24 which claimed that Subway’s oven-roasted chicken was only made up of 53.6 percent chicken, while its chicken strips only bore approximately 42.8 percent poultry.

"The segment cited DNA tests conducted by Trent University in Ontario, which contended that chicken served by Wendy’s and Tim Horton’s contain much higher percentages of poultry.

"But according to Subway, two independent labs tested Subway chicken and found that the 'alleged test results' presented on Marketplace were 'false and misleading.'

“'Test results from laboratories in Canada and the U.S. clearly show that the Canadian chicken products tested had only trace amounts of soy, contradicting the accusations made during the broadcast of CBC Marketplace,' the company said in a statement provide to TheWrap.

"The company added that it shared its results with Marketplace, as well as 'the lab that conducted the flawed test.'

“'Our chicken is 100 percent white meat with seasonings, marinated, cooked and delivered to our restaurants,' Subway chief of food safety & quality Dave Theno said. 'The chicken has no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Through years of testing, we’ve never seen results like the program claimed.'”