Tuesday March 21, 2017

The Big Bang Theory has been renewed for seasons 11 and 12.

Netflix continues to add to its collection of stand-up specials with the announcement of a new Kevin James special. It is set to shoot later this year for a 2018 premiere.

Here are the comics who will be doing half-hour Comedy Central stand-up specials this year.

Leaked photos from this upcoming Sunday's season finale of The Walking Dead.

Hulu has renewed Shut Eye for a 2nd season. I couldn't get into this one.

People with too much time on their hands + the internet = this. #JustAddZebras

Or this deep dive into How I Met Your Mother.

Pounding on a dead horse here, but Trevor Noah continues to shine.

Season 2 of E!'s Famously Single premieres on July 9.  In case you forgot the winners who signed on for this cycle, here's your "famous" cast: Calum Best, Malika Haqq, Chad Johnson (Bachelor), Ronnie Magro-Ortiz, David McIntosh, Tiffany Pollard, Karina Smirnoff, and Dorothy Wang.

Ellen DeGeneres has put her home up for sale for $45,000,000.

Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle thinks Snoop Dogg and Bow Wow, should be killed for mocking Donald Trump.

Netflix is testing a button that will skip a show's opening credits.  We are really an impatient bunch, aren't we?

"BBC America has ordered an eight-episode season of Top Gear America. Set to debut later in 2017, it will join the U.K. version of the car-centric talk show (and its revamped presenter lineup) on the anglophile-friendly lineup. On board for hosting this iteration are actor William Fichtner (Prison Break, The Dark Knight, Armageddon), champion drag racer Antron Brown and British car journalist Tom “Wookie” Ford. The order is very much in line with BBC America's strategy of putting a personal stamp on British pop culture."

"President Trump’s fortune has dropped by roughly $1 billion since last year, according to Forbes magazine’s latest ranking of the world’s billionaires. The decline in Trump’s net worth is due to a drop in the value of office space in Midtown Manhattan, according to the Guardian. Forbes ranks Trump as the world’s 544th richest person, after coming in at No. 324 last year. He has famously refused to reveal his tax returns that would identify his actual net worth, but has claimed it’s “in excess” of $10 billion. Bill Gates once again sits atop the list. The Microsoft co-founder has now been the richest person in the world for 18 out of the past 23 years, per Forbes.. He has a fortune of $86 billion, up from $75 billion last year, while Warren Buffett ranks No. 2 with $75.6 billion. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is third with $72.8 billion, followed by Spanish clothing retailer Amancio Ortega and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg."

J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot has teamed with RuPaul and reality production company World of Wonder (RuPaul’s Drag Race) for a half-hour dramedy series project, a fictionalized version of RuPaul's rise from club kid to drag queen, gay icon, and global star.  Sadly, this will probably sell.

As expected, "The Blaze has suspended Tomi Lahren for a week after the conservative commentator made pro-choice remarks, the Daily Caller reports, citing multiple sources. The Blaze founder, Glenn Beck, mocked the network’s biggest star earlier on Monday after she mentioned having 'moderate, conservative and libertarian views' on Twitter while defending recent pro-choice comments made during an appearance on The View.”

From EW: "Look out, Bigfoot. Rob Lowe is literally hunting for you.

"For Rob Lowe, bonding with his sons Matthew and John Owen (both are in their 20s) means more than simply playing board games. It means traveling the country to 'explore infamous unsolved mysteries' as part of a nonfiction series called The Lowe Files, which A&E Network greenlit on Monday.

“'Since I was a kid, I’ve loved unexplained legends, strange phenomena, and the scary, supernatural stories told around campfires,' Lowe said in a press release. 'When I became a father, I shared those tales with my two sons. Together we bonded over Bigfoot, UFOs, and every creepy and bizarre story we could find, passionately debating if they were real… or not. And we swore that someday the three of us would go on our own adventure to find out. That day has come.'

"Each episode of The Lowe Files will see the family exploring 'a mysterious story or spooky legend” and investigating the phenomena by interviewing experts, using high-tech monitoring equipment, and taking courses to help them train for their missions. They’ll stop everywhere from a purported alien base located 2,000 feet underwater off the coast of Malibu to an abandoned boys’ reformatory named Preston Castle.'

"Produced for A&E Network by Critical Content, the series is executive-produced by Lowe, Tom Forman, Jon Beyer, Brad Bishop, Douglas McCallie, and A&E’s Elaine Frontain Bryant, Amy Savitsky, and Devon Hammonds.

"The Lowe Files will air this summer on A&E."

Sounds awful.

"Penelope Cruz is joining the cadre of stars heading to television.

"The Oscar winner is set to topline FX's Ryan Murphy anthology Versace: American Crime Story, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

"Versace — which will come after the franchise's second season, Katrina — will explore the July 1997 assassination of legendary designer Gianni Versace (Edgar Ramirez). His killer, Andrew Cunanan (Darren Criss), committed suicide eight days later as Miami Dade police were on the verge of capturing the serial killer behind five slayings. The 10-episode third season will debut in 2018, following quickly on Katrina's heels.

"Cruz will play Donatella Versace, the sister of slain fashion designer Gianni Versace, who took over the company following his death.

"Versace, from Fox 21 and FX Productions, will be based on the book Vulgar Favors by Vanity Fair writer Maureen Orth, with Tom Rob Smith (London Spy) set to write the first two and multiple subsequent episodes.

"Versace marks Cruz's first TV series regular role. Her credits include her 2009 Academy Award-winning supporting role in Vicky Cristina Barcelona as well as Oscar-nominated performances in Nine and Volver. Other big-screen roles include Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Blow and Vanilla Sky. She's repped by CAA, Untitled Entertainment and Katrina Bayonas."

"At first, Woody Harrelson appears to fit the primary stereotype about him: He seems like he’s stoned. While chatting with Vulture at Manhattan’s Whitby Hotel over the weekend, he declined to sit in the interview chair selected by his publicist, opting instead to lie on his king-sized bed, stretching his legs by grabbing his shoeless feet. Harrelson spoke in between long pauses, stretching his words like taffy and squinting his eyes to ponder each point he made. His Texas drawl floated in the air like smoke from a joint. But no, that’s just how he is. Woody’s not stoned. Indeed, he hasn’t been for nearly a year.

"Harrelson was in town to promote his latest film, Craig Johnson’s comic adaptation, Wilson, in which he plays the title character — a socially awkward malcontent who insists on discussing the universe with total strangers and convincing his ex-wife to join him in pursuing their long-lost daughter. At the movie’s press day, he spoke to Vulture about his own social awkwardness, the status of his LBJ biopic, and why he’s decided to quit pot for the time being:

Let’s get to the most important question: What was it like working with Pepper, Wilson’s dog?
It’s cool. [Laughs] That dog was very interested in getting treats, so that was his big deal. Getting those treats. Loved getting ’em. Well, I guess most dogs are like that.

Your co-stars told me your trailer is a decked-out bus called the Mothership. Did the dog get to visit the Mothership?
[A long pause] No.

No dogs allowed on the Mothership.
Never went on the Mothership. That’s true, yeah.

How long have you had the Mothership?
Since 2001.

The same bus all that time?
Well, no. I’ve redone it entirely three times: the interior, redone the undercarriage a couple of times, the engine, everything. It’s just a giant money pit, but I still love it. I love her.

Why take this role? Why did this movie appeal to you?
Well, I’m really more or less in the habit of … Having had some experiences where I was just like, That was stupid that I did that movie, I learned one thing — the most important thing is the director. The second most important thing? The director. [Laughs.] The third most important thing? The director. My god, if you don’t have a great director … And I’ve watched [Craig Johnson’s previous film] Skeleton Twins and I was really impressed by that.

What parts of you are in Wilson, and vice versa?
Well, I consider myself very gregarious. I do love people. I get touched by people. Even people I just meet really briefly. I just kind of size ’em up and be like … I get a sense of who they are, and their life, and something about it touches me. But I think part of that is in Wilson, and I do think also, sometimes I’m a little socially awkward, you know?

You? That seems unlikely.
I like to think of myself as cool and calm and collected and really a good communicator, but I gotta say, sometimes I’m just absolutely terrible. If there’s some pressure, you know what I mean? If it’s a thing where I feel like, Uh, I have to … Say, my daughter’s school. I’ll just be standing there with some people that I don’t really know very well, or just very peripherally, and trying to make conversation. Maybe I try too hard or I … You know what I mean? I don’t know if you ever have that.

So you must hate press days like this one.
Yeah, that’s a good example. I do sometimes get quite awkward in press situations. For example: talk shows. I do tend to try to avoid ’em. I mean you have to do ’em, sometimes you just have to. I’m doing it tomorrow.

What’s a misconception that people have about you?
[Another long pause.] They think I’m a party animal, which … I am a party animal. I mean, that might be one thing. But I am a party animal. But on the other hand, I haven’t … I’m now extremely moderate and … I actually stopped smoking pot almost a year ago.

What do you do to keep from relapsing?
Well, like, last night, someone had — not just good herb but sativa; really good sativa. There’s a joint, and beautifully rolled. I like a beautifully rolled … and I just was like, I mean, I’ve gone this long. It would be weird to just be like, “Okay, let me have a hit off that,” and then suddenly go back to smoking too much, which is … I don’t have a problem at all with smoking. I think it’s great. I think it’s a great drug, in terms of … Even cops say that the side effect is euphoria. Or the … what do you call it?

The effect?
Right. The effect of it is euphoria. But when you’re doing it all the time, it just becomes … Well, you know. I feel like it was keeping me from being emotionally available. I really don’t want this interview to turn into a whole thing about that.

Back to the movie. One of my favorite scenes is the one where Wilson is sitting with his daughter and looking out at nature and a little frog comes by and he talks about how beautiful it is. What do you remember of shooting that?
That joke that we make is — my daughter came up with that joke.

What’s the status of the movie where you play LBJ, the one directed by Rob Reiner? Last I heard, it was still in want of a distributor.
I haven’t checked back on that lately. They were talking to some distributor. Another LBJ movie came out just before us, so it’s a little bit …

The one with Bryan Cranston.
Yeah, and Bryan Cranston was phenomenal. So I don’t know. I think it’s a terrific movie. I mean, I thought it’d be good, it’s Rob Reiner, but I didn’t think it’d be that good. I thought it turned out fantastic. It’s like, to me, in terms of a political … I guess you could call it a drama, but there’s quite a bit of comedy. But in terms of political drama, I thought it was one of the best I’d seen, about a fascinating character. Maybe even more relevant now than ever, probably, in light of our current situation.

You’ve been in the hustle for a long time. What’s something you only recently learned about yourself as an actor?
I remember hearing this thing that … I think it was Brando who said [does Marlon Brando impression], “Just because I say action doesn’t mean I have to do anything.” That statement really hit me. Brando’s ability to just say, This is me in action. Not rushing. I wouldn’t say it’s one of my strengths, but I do think it’s something I’d like to be able to just … working with Hailee Steinfeld [in The Edge of Seventeen] — she’s a very young actress but I think she’s super fucking talented and I love how she can just take a long time before she [long pause] does anything. It’s something I want to learn. By the way, you still want to try and make your performance compelling. You don’t want it to be full of the most boring pauses.

You want to make the pauses not boring?
Yeah. There’s so much to nonverbal communication that I have yet to really understand as an actor, and maybe as a person. Just like the beats between the lines of a poem having so much import. The times where you’re saying nothing, but there’s that something going on that makes it compelling. That, to me, is pretty interesting. You’re asking good questions, because I really don’t how to answer them.

That’s how you know you’ve done your job as an interviewer. One last thing: I notice you keep stretching. Are you okay?
Yeah, I’ve been working out but I haven’t been stretching enough. So I just gotta do it. Y’know?"

The Ringer did a great piece about HBO's Crashing.  Amongst the highlights: "Pete Holmes can’t believe Crashing, his HBO comedy series, got made, either. 'In reality, I was barking about 10 years ago,' he says, referring to the practice of rookie comedians shilling on behalf of a club for the chance to test out new material. 'Frankly, I can’t believe in that time nobody’s scooped us. Nobody did this show.' But Crashing’s greatest barrier to entry was dissuading his potential audience’s impression that several someones already had.

"Every new series faces a burden of proof — a threshold it has to meet to convince viewers to invest their precious time. Crashing’s was twofold. Along with executive producer Judd Apatow, creator and star Holmes had the unenviable task of selling potential fans who weren’t especially interested in any formerly struggling comedian’s thinly veiled origin story, let alone the tidal wave of them that washed up on television’s shores after Louie. Holmes also had a more unique challenge: making his own story new for those who’d already heard it, in some cases many times over.

“'People joke with me, "How many things do you have to do where you talk about your personal life?”' Holmes says. 'Are you gonna run out of stuff?' He’s referring, in part, to You Made It Weird, the enormously popular interview-confessional-comedy-riff podcast he started in 2011. The obvious reference point is WTF With Marc Maron; the shows share a reputation for personal revelation and have boosted their hosts’ careers. But You Made It Weird, and Crashing after it, is suffused with Holmes’s warm, gregarious energy, the polar opposite of the jaded, cynical nihilist typified by Maron and representative of stand-up comedy. Holmes freely describes himself as an 'L.A. weirdo,' a yoga-enthusiast vegan who’s just as likely to name-drop How to Be Here author Rob Bell as industry pals like John Mulaney or Kumail Nanjiani. He reserves a section of every episode for asking guests about their feelings on God, and talks about relationships with a sensitivity he’s well aware is atypical for a straight white guy.

"As a host, Holmes is an open book, resulting in the asymmetrical intimacy that certain podcasts engender. Holmes may not know us, but we know plenty of deeply personal things about him. I’ve listened for years and can easily summarize the chapters of Holmes’s biography that now serve as Crashing’s source material: the devout Christian upbringing that gradually morphed into New Age spirituality; the marriage straight out of college, ending in divorce six years later when his wife left him for another man; the early, undignified days in comedy doing open mics and taking UCB classes. For fans like me, Crashing isn’t merely a case of having seen this story before. We’ve seen — or, rather, heard — this exact story before.

"Crashing, which was renewed for a second season on Wednesday, is about quite a bit more than that, starting with the insular subculture of working comedians, particularly its bottom rungs. After his wife, Jessica, (Lauren Lapkus) breaks the news, Pete throws himself on the mercy of various acquaintances who have a spare couch and starts hustling for gigs. But Crashing’s specificity comes from that core idea and the tensions it produces. 'It’s very interesting to me to see a show about a guy in a compromising situation and in an often compromising field, but even as he dives into it, he’s going to try to maintain pieces of his soul,' Holmes explains.

"That same contradiction drives Holmes’s appeal as a performer. He’s not a clean comic in the vein of Mike Birbiglia or Jim Gaffigan, and his optimism doesn’t stand out in the current landscape as much as it once might have. (A New York Times trend piece on 'sweet-tempered stand-up' name-checks him alongside a half dozen colleagues, including Ron Funches and Josh Gondelman.) But the novelty of a person like Holmes ending up on a place like the Manhattan open-mic circuit is instantly apparent in episodes like Barking, where his character beseeches Greenwich Village tourists to come to a comedy club in the hopes of earning five minutes onstage. 'People would think I was on drugs or there was something wrong with me or I was mentally unstable because I was so happy to just be handing out fliers in exchange for stage time,' he says. 'That was real.'

"There’s a natural ceiling on just how dark a show based on Holmes’s own life can get, and not just because of his temperament. 'I have to point out that it’s inherent because you know, not that I’m some superstar comedian, it does work out for me, for Pete,' Holmes confesses. 'Even as you’re watching it, there’s a meta thing going on. No matter how much we kick fictional me down, you have to pick up on — and I think people do, subconsciously — that it’s gonna be OK. Kid’s got an HBO show. It’s fine.' Crashing skips past the paradox that defines shows like Girls or Broad City, stories about hapless slackers authored by people motivated and accomplished enough to get something on the air. But its warmth also serves a thematic purpose.

"One of Crashing’s recurring themes is that, to improve his act, Pete has to plumb greater depths than the 'What’s the deal with X?' material he’s starting with — like, for example, the divorce he’s going through. Crashing takes its own advice, clearly buying into the mythos of stand-up as truth-teller even as it’s careful to write in some pushback to its more overblown incarnations.

“'Mike Birbiglia said this thing which became my mantra for the series: If you’re not telling secrets, who cares?' Holmes recounts. 'You can just meet somebody at a party and then you look them up and you know they’re widowed. That’s a very strange moment we’re living in. How much more, then, does the artist, as their job, have to reveal? How much deeper do they have to dig to find anything that’s worth talking about?' The confessional instinct is relatively new in the history of stand-up, and it’s still not universally practiced; comics like Anthony Jeselnik still make a living off of polished, self-contained one-liners. It is, however, increasingly expected as comics make ever more of themselves available through outlets like podcasts. 'We started consuming the whole buffalo, and I think that changed the face of comedy,' Holmes speculates. 'It’s not necessarily enough to — I mean, Seinfeld is so timeless and amazing, but nowadays the Seinfeld model is like, What is Jerry struggling with emotionally?'

"Accordingly, Crashing itself is a catharsis of sorts. Holmes describes the process of mining his own past — of making this show — as a therapeutic exercise in empathy. 'If you did go through a trauma, it would be a good exercise to write a script about it, because you have to imagine it from everyone’s perspective, not just your own,' he says. 'You have to write your wife as a sympathetic human being that wants love and has desires and feels this way and wants this thing and acts this way. And you have to write the guy that has sex with your wife in a mildly realistic way, which was interesting.'

"As far as whether he’ll ever run out of material, Holmes says he’s far from done with the comedy come-up: 'It’s like, what are the other weird hurdles you have to jump? Each one is weirder and funnier than the last.' An L.A. interlude isn’t out of the question, and there’s always the potential for more comedians-playing-themselves cameos from the likes of Artie Lange and Sarah Silverman. For now, though, Crashing has a nearly infinite amount of space between show-Pete’s and real-Pete’s stations in life to turn into sad-absurd-deadpan-emotional comedy. There doesn’t seem to be room for Crashing in the current TV landscape, but Holmes has managed to make some anyway. He’ll keep making it weird."

Per Yahoo!, "[d]o we have a real-life Scandal brewing in Hollywood?

"TMZ published photos of Tony Goldwyn at Disneyland with Huma Abedin, the vice chair of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign. The outing puzzled a few folks, given the absence of Goldwyn’s wife. The 56-year-old Scandal star — who has been married to Jane Musky for 30 years — was pictured getting ice cream and going on rides with Abedin, 40, and her 5-year-old son, Jordan. But according to E! News, there’s nothing to see here.

“'They are very close friends and worked very closely together when Tony campaigned for Hillary,' a source says. 'Tony is married and loves his wife.'

"Another insider added, 'Tony’s wife wasn’t there because she is in New York working.' Musky is a production designer.

"Goldwyn, who plays President Fitzgerald Grant on the hit ABC show, was a big Clinton supporter who even spoke at the Democratic National Convention. The love was mutual. Both Hillary and Huma stopped by the set of Scandal to visit the cast. Tony and Hillary also appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show together.

"Abedin has not been romantically linked with anyone since she announced last summer she was splitting with husband Anthony Weiner. The disgraced former congressman recently completed a stint in rehab for sex addiction after he sent explicit texts to an underage girl. In January, Page Six reported he was hoping to reconcile with Huma while he continued outpatient treatment.

"As for Goldwyn, he has been happily married for a century by Hollywood standards. Considering his wife, 62, is a big liberal as well, perhaps she has also spent time with Huma. In a 2015 interview, Goldwyn said their political views align.

“'My wife and I are both of the same political stripes — she’s more reactionary liberal than I am. She’ll take any opportunity to create a little chaos,' he told Elle. 'We live in a community in Connecticut that’s quite Republican. We had a dinner party when we first moved there and invited all these nice people over. Right at the beginning, she’s like, "So, I’m betting we’re the only Democrats in the room." Everyone got really uncomfortable, and about an hour later the fur was flying. But I love her for it. We have some raucous dinner parties as a result.'

"The actor also told the magazine what it takes to have a successful marriage. 'We’ve been through our difficulties,' he said. 'But at the end of the day, we’ve learned how to communicate. I have endless respect for her, so I’m never bored by my wife.'

"So we’re sure he communicated that the whole Huma outing was no big deal. Olivia Pope, you can stand down."

According to Screener, "[s]o far we only know two confirmed cast members for what’s become the most popular reality series of the summer, Bachelor in Paradise.

"Nick Viall’s runner up, Raven Gates, will definitely be there looking for the love — and so will meat-eating villain Chad Johnson, from JoJo’s Bachelorette season. While everyone’s casting wishlist differs, after speaking with a few former Bachelor stars, Screener has a few more insider clues as to whether or not a few other familiar faces will be signing on…

"It’s safe to say Josh Murray will not be there.

"During The Bachelor finale viewing party at Hollywood Park Casino, he told us, 'I am not thinking about anything Bachelor related. I’m just trying to move on with my life. The last time I was on the show, it left a bit of sour taste in my mouth, but that’s okay. There’s so much more than that kind of world.'

"…And of course, he’s still trying to make things work with on-again/off-again fiancée from last season of Paradise, Amanda Stanton.

“'It’s complicated,' he says — and while he can’t say for certain whether he and Amanda will ever make it down the aisle, Josh’s brother was just picked up by the L.A. Rams, meaning Josh will be on the West coast quite often — and thus able to spend more time with Amanda and her adorable two daughters in San Diego.

"Former Bachelor star Chris Soules, long separated from fiancée Whitney Bischoff, is single and ready to mingle — but visibly torn as to whether he’d ever go to Paradise.

“'No is a strong word — but it’s highly unlikely. Honestly, it looks like a lot of fun. But the reason I didn’t do it last time was because when I went into The Bachelor, I went to find a wife. I don’t want go into something like that disingenuously. Personally, if I’m not doing what I’m genuinely passionate about… You can catch yourself doing dumb things, and I’d rather not do dumb things.'

"Dumb things like competing on Dancing with the Stars? Because we didn’t think that was dumb at all — and neither did America! He finished in 5th place.

"Chris means more things like… Getting so drunk on night one in Paradise that you crap your pants. (Hi, Chad!). But the 35-year-old admits his mind could be swayed.

“'If there was a girl that I discovered, that I really wanted to be there, that could help. I wish I knew. They don’t tell you!'

"When asked whom in particular he’d hope to see, Chris says, 'They’re all pretty, but you don’t know enough about them. Raven is cute and fun and an outdoorsy girl. But honestly, I don’t know anything about her.' Visibly still weighing the pros and cons, he continued, 'It would be like flipping a coin, right this moment,' he says. 'And I have time to think.'

"So if not on reality TV, where’s Chris meeting girls? “She could walk into this casino right now!” Chris laughed — but the Iowa farmer isn’t into online dating. Or is he?

“'I’ve done that. I did that before Bachelor. And I’ve had the opportunity to travel and meet people, and meet people who aren’t from Arlington — and who don’t do apps, either.' But Chris isn’t 100 percent about this, either: '…Maybe in a month or two I’ll be on Tinder, who knows.'

"Robby Hayes, the runner-up in JoJo’s Bachelorette season, still looks like a Ken doll: Hair still perfectly coiffed, body cut like a Greek statue… He looks like he’s been training to be on Paradise all year. If the camera flashes weren’t reflecting light off his pearly white, blinding our eyes, we would’ve reached out to see if he’s actually made of plastic. (Just kidding, that’s creepy, moving on.)

"Robby’s not currently dating anyone, but he says if 'something great'' fell in his lap, he wouldn’t turn away.

"Currently living in Denver with fellow Bachelor runner-up Chad McNary, Robby spoke extensively about his latest modeling shoots and travel schedule. When asked if he’s over JoJo, he was resigned: 'I want to see her happy… And if that’s with Jordan, fine. So be it. I’ve seen them since, we hosted the red carpet at the I Heart Radio Fest together in Vegas. It’s fun to catch up. Conversations are surface level — if you dig too deep, it gets awkward…'

"When it comes to Paradise, the Wilhelmina model told us, 'It’s a bridge I’d have to cross. If there’s one thing I could say — it’s not my decision. I’d have to sit down with my family. While I’m out in Argentina, Uruguay, Bangkok, Thailand, my family is back at home dealing with the headlines in magazines and newspapers, and I can’t contact them and talk about it. If I need girl advice, I contact my mom or sister — and I could’t do that.'

"Robby remains iffy on Paradise — but if invited to be the next Bachelor, he’s all about it.

“'For the sole reason that it works,' he says. 'I fell in love, and it taught me not to rule out any avenue.'

Bachelor in Paradise Season 4 will premiere in Summer 2017 on ABC."