Great having Fargo back. Ewan McGregor is phenomenal through one episode. More below.
Netflix says the most recent Dave Chapelle stand-up specials are its most watched ever.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed on to be part of the next season of HBO's Hard Knocks.
"Big Machine Label Group president and CEO Scott Borchetta has unveiled plans for a TV singing competition series to be co-produced with Canada's Bell Media. The record label exec who discovered Taylor Swift has teamed with the Canadian broadcaster to co-produce The Launch, a six-part talent search series for CTV. Developed as an international reality TV singing competition franchise, The Launch will see a group of unsigned musicians mentored in the creation of original songs by a panel of veteran hit makers, including Borchetta." JUST what the world needs!!!
A trailer for season 3 of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt which premieres on May 19.
Freeform made a lot of noise yesterday at their upfronts. Here's more of it. Nothing of any interest here.
CNN premieres Soundtracks tonight. The 8-part series explores how music is tied to iconic moments in history, such as the MLK assassination, 9/11 and the Moon landing.
Interesting timing for the release of this story? "Aaron Hernandez, the former NFL star who was found dead [yester]day in prison after hanging himself, is the subject of a documentary TV series produced by Geno McDermott’s Blackfin. The company had been in production on the series since early this year, working with writer Dan Wetzel who had covered Hernandez’s story for the past 4 years. The series is tracking the most recent murder trial where Hernandez was acquitted of a double homicide just 5 days before his death and also explores Hernandez’s past and the truth behind the perceived double life he led. The series, said to be in the vein of Netflix’s Making a Murderer, will be taken next week to streaming services, cable and premium networks. The pitch meetings had been scheduled before today’s tragic final twist in Hernandez’s story."
Stranger Things' Shannon Purser (Barb) has come out as bisexual if that matters to you.
The answer is yes Richard. "Hello to everyone who has shown concern for me and sent their good wishes. You will never know how much it means to me. Aren’t you sick of hearing and reading about me?! LOL Well by now you know that I’m not ‘missing,’ just a little under the weather. I’m sure I will be feeling good and back home in a couple of days. This has reminded me that when you need help you can’t be afraid to reach out and ask for it. We all think we should always be able to solve our problems all by ourselves and sometimes it’s just bigger than we are. I reached out and I hope you will too. I’m sure there are people in your life who love and care for you and would do anything to help you with the challenges you face. Just knowing you care has already made me feel better. Hope to see you again soon!”
Bill O'Reilly is officially out at Fox News. Tucker Carlson will take over his time slot. Here's Rupert Murdoch's memo to staffers about O'Reilly's termination:
I would like to address questions about Bill O’Reilly’s future at Fox News. After a thorough and careful review of allegations against him, the Company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Mr. O’Reilly will not return to the Fox News Channel.
This decision follows an extensive review done in collaboration with outside counsel.
By ratings standards, Bill O’Reilly is one of the most accomplished TV personalities in the history of cable news. In fact, his success by any measure is indisputable. Fox News has demonstrated again and again the strength of its talent bench. We have full confidence that the network will continue to be a powerhouse in cable news. Please see attached for our new programming line-up.
Most importantly, we want to underscore our consistent commitment to fostering a work environment built on the values of trust and respect.
I understand how difficult this has been for many of you. Thank you for your hard work, patience, and for the great job you all do delivering news and opinion to millions of Americans whose trust you earn every day. I look forward to even more success in the coming years.
And per CNN, "Bill O'Reilly will be paid tens of millions of dollars on his way out of Fox News.
"'It is a staggering amount,' said a source personally involved in the exit maneuverings.
"21st Century Fox and O'Reilly's representatives will not acknowledge the existence of a payout. A confidentiality agreement limits what the two sides can say.
"But two well-placed sources confirmed to CNNMoney that O'Reilly does have a parachute. That's because O'Reilly signed a new contract right before being ousted.
"The two sources, who spoke independently of one another, said the new contract was worth about $25 million per year. (Previous news reports have pegged O'Reilly's past contract at $18 to $20 million a year.)
"O'Reilly commanded a higher sum for obvious reasons: he dominated the ratings and helped Fox News deliver record profits for its parent company.
"The two sources also said the contract extended through the next presidential election, meaning it was set to expire either at the end of 2020 or sometime in 2021.
"However, O'Reilly will not be paid the entire amount he was owed, one of the sources said.
"Fox incorporated language in the new contract that gave the network some 'outs.'
"Roger Ailes, on the other hand, was paid the entire remainder of his contract when he resigned under pressure last summer. Ailes, the founding CEO of Fox News, was accused of harassment by Fox employees."
Per The Hollywood Reporter, "[w]elcome back, Fargo!
"It's been a long time since viewers experienced the oddball blend of shocking violence and Minnesota Nice that is Noah Hawley's Fargo.
"The FX anthology completed its murder-and-aliens-filled second season way back in December 2015 and, since that time, Hawley has had a well-received launch for his novel Before the Fall and another FX series, the trippy Marvel mutant saga Legion.
"Fortunately, it took no time for the third season of Fargo to settle into its rhythms with the introduction of bickering brothers Emmit and Ray Stussy (Ewan McGregor), Emmit's sassy ex-con girlfriend Nikki Swango (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), shady lawyer Sy (Michael Stuhlbarg) and pillar of law-and-order Gloria Burgle (Carrie Coon). It also took little time for the body count to begin pile up as Emmit and Ray's rivalry over an ill-chosen inheritance led to murders unforeseen and very foreseen.
"Fargo is still deep in simultaneous production and postproduction, but Hawley got on the phone with The Hollywood Reporter to talk about the tone of this season's violence, the challenges of his first season without a Solverson carrying a badge and whether Legion and last season's UFO intrusion empowered greater oddities in the third season:
The first two seasons started with these actions of shockingly serious violence that felt very unplanned and spontaneous. But the big act of instigating violence here is both precise and almost kind of Looney Tunes-y in its humor. Does that sound right to you and is that part of the tone of the season in your mind?
The Looney Tunes tone? No. I knew from that first year that because we're making a 10-hour movie and not a two-hour that if we did the actual tone of Fargo — which is a more comic movie than people remember — then people might think we got the tone wrong. I said to myself, "If you look at the whole array, tonally from Ladykillers or Raising Arizona on the one side to Miller's Crossing to the other side, I think we have to lop off each end." We shouldn't ever devolve into farce, but I also don't think we want to be earnest at any real point. What I ended up settling on is this idea of making No County For Old Fargo, where we need a dramatic crime infrastructure that sustains the level of threat throughout, where you're always a little worried about everybody and the threat of violence is always there. And within that, you can have these comic moments.
This year, there is whimsy to the setup and Ray and Nikki have a certain lightness to them that makes us really like them. And obviously, what happens at the end of that first hour between them is both horrific and entertaining. So it's a balance, but you'll find overall that there is a lot of comedy this year but the stakes are really high as well.
Carrie Coon's character fulfills some of the same dramatic and thematic purposes. But how much and how immediately did you find yourself missing having a Solverson this season?
(Laughs.) I never missed them. I mean, I miss Patrick Wilson and Allison Tolman but we have to keep innovating or die. I really like that Gloria is not Marge Gunderson and that she's not Molly and she's also not Patrick Wilson. She's someone who, unlike Molly and Marge, who are women of a simpler world in a small town where everything made sense, Gloria, when we meet her, is already reeling from the rug being pulled out from under her. Her husband has left her for another man, she's been told that she's no longer chief of police at the end of the year, so she's sort of both chief and not chief at the same time. And then, her stepfather is killed. So she's already on the defensive, she's already trying to cope with a world that doesn't make sense and the crime only exacerbates that.
So, she's a more taciturn character, she's a little more guarded, she's a little more defensive. She covers it as well as she can with the Minnesota Nice veneer, but we see that she has a much harder edge. I like that she was different and the more I wrote her, she just wanted to be that person. I had conversations with the network because they anticipated that she would be a Marge or a Molly and they were looking for that, and they were like, "Why is she so hostile?" and I was like "That's just who she is, she's different." And it took awhile for them to go "Oh yeah, even though it's the same show, it's a different show entirely so we can't judge it by the standards of last year or the first year."
Is Minnesota Nice timeless? Is it unstuck from time or does it feel different and more anachronistic in 2010 vs. in the '70s or the '90s to you?
That's definitely something I wanted to look at, this idea that maybe Minnesota Nice itself was under threat. As I define it, Minnesota Nice is a heightened friendliness and sense of community that sprang up around a region that was historically isolated and in the frozen tundra of winter. And, with a very Lutheran like "I won't embarrass you by asking about your feelings or burden you with mine," that sort of humility. How does that survive in the age of "Here's a picture of everything that I'm eating and here's every though that I have in my head, I'm tweeting the moment it comes into my head and I'm sharing everything on Facebook," which seems very counter to the identity of that region. Mostly, we see that through Gloria who is the woman out of time, who is a technophobe more, and because the rug's been pulled out from under her, she doesn't like the speed at which the world is moving on her. So I'm looking at it that way but again, this isn't a lecture, it's an entertainment. It's a color to it, but it's not a lecture.
I like how out of place the modern world feels just in Fargo in general, like the cell phone pops up in the first episode. What were the positives and the negatives of having modernity encroaching in your own process and your own storytelling?
The positive was that you're not taking it for granted. I wanted people looking at their screens to literally be thematic. We literally gutted cell phones and put more powerful light in them. Sometimes it had a cord running up the actor's sleeve so that we could exaggerate that light on their faces. It's alluded to once when Ray and Nikki are in the bathtub after their big victory and they're both checking their phones. We don't make anything of it but it does snap you out the moment and go "Oh yeah, we do that." Like, my kids are trying to talk to me and I realize that I'm answering an email. You realize how much these things have come between us and the world around us. Again, you see it but I don't say anything about it in the show. So I think we're playing with that just as a color to say that Fargo has to adapt, we live in a modern world and there is a sort of nostalgia for a simpler time and place. But that simpler time and place is struggling with modernity just as much as we are.
Then you have these encroachments of the old-fashioned into the modern world. How did you decide bridge and stamp collecting were going to be the old-fashioned things that were going to encroach in this 2010 world?
The stamps came first, this idea that Ray and Emmit's dad had died and left Emmit a Corvette and Ray a stamp collection. And Emmit knew that stamps appreciate in value and that cars depreciate. So being the smarter and older brother, he tricked his younger brother into trading, 15-year-old Ray who said "Hell yeah, I want a Corvette, I'll get the girls" and then later realized what a short-sighted trade that was on his part. So, that was always part of it and then the bridge came in mostly through Nikki and this idea that I really wanted Nikki and Ray to have something positive that they were working toward, an exit strategy and the idea, that how do we show that Nikki is a strategist, that she's the brains of the operation. And then the more I read about bridge, the more complicated it became. I mean it's a game that's literally with quantum probabilities and 58 octillion possible deals. Then it became really fun to make bridge sexy. Bringing back stamp collecting and bringing back bridge seems like a pretty good way to fight the modern world.
Now as a spectrum of "surprised" and "relieved," what was your reaction to how willing the audiences were to embrace the aliens in season two? What does that embolden you to be able to do going forward in terms of just how far audiences will go with you in these stories?
Honestly, I expected a lot more pushback. I remember watching that hour almost in real time and looking at the write-ups afterward and I was gratified by the fact that our audience just went with us because they trusted us and we created this mind space of Fargo and we laid the ground work from the very first hour. Obviously, Joel and Ethan had had the UFO in The Man Who Wasn't There and it wasn't completely out of the realm of the Coen language, but there was part of me that expected that people would go, "Oh come on, now you've gone too far." So when I settled in to write this year, I'm not looking to say, "Oh we need to top ourselves or anything," I'm just looking for what's organic to this story. There are elements that are expansive, but it's not my goal to push those boundaries. It's more just "How do I tell the story?"
In terms of story telling and experiencing the way that a TV story can be told, how did the Legion experience bleed into Fargo?
I deliberately kept it out. When I was behind the camera shooting the first hour of this year's Fargo, there were a couple of moments where I thought, "Oh, the camera can do this," and then I thought "No, that's not a Coen brothers move." The great thing about Fargo is that it's a more objective style of filmmaking, the camera moves in very classical ways and the most interesting things normally are the characters. And that said, I started in season two to enhance some moments with a more obvious camera move, but in general, it was nice to go back to that language, the cinematic language of just trusting your story and using the camera to tell the story but not drawing attention to it.
So even after two, into three seasons now, the What Would the Coen Brothers Do? bracelet is still something you look at? It's not something where it's become your Fargo at this point in your mind? Or at least not completely?
Every year there is a little bit of a relaxation, I would imagine. For two years, I never allowed us to pull focus between characters in the sequence. I always thought, "Well, we'll do two passes and we'll have the focus deep on one and focus near on another and we'll find a way to cut around that." But this year because so much of this show is about pairs of people, it was just natural. I mean the story was in the focus shift, the story was when Emmit and Sy are facing off against [David Thewlis'] Varga and Varga is saying "it's an investment, not a loan." And Emmit looks over at Sy, the story is what happens on Sy's face. You want the camera, the focus to shift. So, I relaxed that. We still shouldn't do it melodramatically or anything. But yeah, I'm always trying to think about. It has to be consistent with the filmmaking of No Country For Old Men or the filmmaking of Fargo or A Serious Man. This isn't about pyrotechnics of the camera, it's about telling a story."
Great piece from The RInger: ""The third season of Silicon Valley ended in June 2016, but that hasn’t really stopped the show’s five main characters from popping up on TV at an alarming rate. You think you’re watching college basketball and all of a sudden Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch) is dropping mics in front of a giant “Unlimited” sign with a Verizon logo. Thirty seconds later, Erlich Bachman (T.J. Miller) is getting into an argument with an orange slice.
"By now, it’s a natural occurrence for the stars of successful shows to lock in some side deals as corporate spokespersons. Think about how John Krasinski’s wryly cool voice populated Esurance commercials during The Office’s run, or how after Mad Men blew up, basically every company went to Jon Hamm and said, 'Hey, can you just be Don Draper in our commercial?' And it makes sense that the guys from Silicon Valley would be particularly fit for commercial work — after all, they’re part of a show that parodies one of America’s most cartoonishly capitalistic industries, so it only makes sense that Corporate America would come along and pay them to be the faces of those exact things. Plus, they’re funny and approachable-looking, and that’s pretty much all it takes to sell cellphones (or beer, or credit cards, or mucus medicine) these days.
"The cast of Silicon Valley are all very functional shills. But this is the world of commercialism we’re talking about, and they don’t give out participation trophies. There can be only One True Silicon Valley Shill. To determine the winner, we looked back on each actor’s commercial history — going back to even before Silicon Valley began — and rated their advertising oeuvres in five categories:
- Volume: Let’s just say a premier shill doesn’t stop at one or two ad campaigns, OK?
- Reputation: A good shill knows how to turn a sales pitch — a legit terrible thing to endure — into an opportunity for self-improvement. Or at the very least, they get in and get out without denigrating themselves. For example, you know those Matthew McConaughey Lincoln ads? Those had a negative effect on McConaughey’s reputation. They literally killed the McConaissance.
- Indispensability: You know the Trivago guy, right? He’s the star of Uncanny Valley, which apparently airs in 30-second bursts on literally whatever channel you are currently watching. Anyway, think of indispensability like this: If the Trivago guy could replace a spokesperson without losing anything in terms of ad quality, that spokesperson’s indispensability rating is very bad.
- Transcendence: As a shill who is also a working actor, you actually don’t want your performance in an ad to be transcendent. Ask Orlando Jones — no one goes up to that guy like, “You were so good as the band leader in Drumline!” They just yell “MAKE 7 UP YOURS” at him.
- Sales Factor: Lastly, of course, is the question of how well a shill sells you on a product. If a shill cannot execute this last point, then he is not a shill at all, the wheels of capitalism do not turn, and white men in suits everywhere shed tears.
"With all that in mind, here’s a ranking of the Silicon Valley guys, in order of worst to best at selling you things you almost definitely do not need:
5. Martin Starr
Ads for: Xbox, Ruffles
Volume: 1 out of 5
Reputation: 1 out of 5
Indispensability: 3 out of 5
Transcendence: 4 out of 5
Sales Factor: 1 out of 5
Aside from a Ruffles ad that might actually be a CollegeHumor skit, Starr’s only real contribution as a spokesperson came in service of Xbox in 2015. His sardonic wit isn’t exactly built for advertising, and even when a campaign like Xbox is utilizing that voice, I get the feeling that the Trivago guy might also be able to pull it off. Martin Starr is a very funny actor, and a very average shill.
4. Zach Woods
Ads for: Starburst, Jenny Craig
Volume: 1 out of 5
Reputation: 1 out of 5
Indispensability: 3.5 out of 5
Transcendence: 4 out of 5
Sales Factor: 3.5 out of 5
Woods’s Starburst commercial is phenomenal — I want to eat a Starburst right this second. And Woods — lanky, comfortable playing terrifying — is particularly fit to play that commercial’s zombie who argues about contradictions with fellow passengers on public transportation. However, he is 100 percent replaceable in his 2005 Jenny Craig ad, in which he repeatedly wishes Kirstie Alley a happy 75th birthday. His standing as a shill takes a hit in the volume category, but even more so in the reputation department — it’s pretty hard to tell that’s Zach Woods under all that zombie makeup.
3. Thomas Middleditch
Ads for: McDonald’s, Ritz, American Express, Smirnoff, Verizon
Volume: 5 out of 5
Reputation: 3 out of 5
Indispensability: 3.5 out of 5
Transcendence: 4 out of 5
Sales Factor: 1 out of 5
No one from Silicon Valley has been shilling for as long as Middleditch. Way back in 2006, he made a fake McDonald’s ad making fun of the fast food chain’s appropriation of hip-hop culture, and it was so good the company bought the video and turned it into an actual McDonald’s ad. In the commercial game, that’s like Scooter Braun discovering Justin Bieber on YouTube. Middleditch has been the most active shill since then, capped off by his most recent run as a sort of Verizon boogeyman, appearing before people with data-plan-related conundrums with a distractingly large “Unlimited” sign.
Middleditch is a respectable shill — he’s really seized the awkward, weak-willed white guy mantle from Jesse Eisenberg, and as such he’s quite irreplaceable in most of his commercials. The Trivago guy makes you feel awkward, but he cannot do awkward. Middleditch does awkward. The only knock on him is his ability to sell you. He doesn’t really have any talent as a salesman — I do not want to eat Ritz crackers on an airplane — which is a pretty big deal when it comes to commercials.
2. T.J. Miller
Ads for: Mucinex, Smirnoff, Shock Top
Volume: 4 out of 5
Reputation: 4 out of 5
Indispensability: 4 out of 5
Transcendence: 2.5 out of 5
Sales Factor: 2.5 out of 5
As a comedian, T.J. Miller is a loud, offensive, and often gross troll. That’s why it’s so damn perfect that he’s now the voice of mucus in Mucinex commercials. He is literally playing a loud, offensive, and gross troll. I love it … but maybe a little too much. The ads are perhaps too transcendent, which is not great because as an actor it’s never good to be primarily recognized as a cartoon booger.
Miller is one of the only Silicon Valley stars who really makes the ads work for him, though. The Shock Top commercials, for example — one of which aired during last year’s Super Bowl — are legitimately funny and require Miller to do all the heavy lifting. He’s talking to an inanimate object here, and it’s not grating at all. Has CBS seen these ads? I feel like they gotta be close to turning them into a sitcom. That I would watch. While drinking Shock Top.
1. Kumail Nanjiani
Ads for: Jet.com, Old Navy
Volume: 2 out of 5
Reputation: 5 out of 5
Indispensability: 4 out of 5
Transcendence: 4 out of 5
Sales Factor: 3 out of 5
Kumail Nanjiani isn’t in many ads, but he’s hilarious in the ones he does. I attribute this to his ability to extract humor out of any line reading, be smarmy with the flick of a switch, and make consumerism feel like a joke while simultaneously engaging in it. His Old Navy ads are pitch perfect and funny — I think he out-acts Julia Louis-Dreyfus! — and make you say, "Wow, that Kumail guy is the best!” rather than “Wow, that Kumail guy sold out for a company that sells $4 flip-flops.” The Trivago guy could never. As for the sales factor, well, I just went and bought six pairs of cargo shorts. Kumail Nanjiani is the Shill King of Silicon Valley."
From EW, "[i]f 13 Reasons Why really is Hannah Baker’s story, then there’s certainly an argument that there shouldn’t be a second season. But, considering the many cliffhangers in the show’s finale, there’s also an argument that the audience needs answers. Actually, not just the audience. Many members of the cast have questions, too.
“'I honestly did not realize how much was going to be left open at the end,' Dylan Minnette, who plays Clay, says. 'I think that there’s potential to know more about these characters and I think that there are good stories to be told. I also feel like if that was the ending, it’s also a beautiful way to end it.'
"Minnette’s costar Ross Butler (a.k.a. Zach) says a few of the cliffhangers, in particular, have stuck with him. 'The thing with Tyler collecting guns really shocked me when we read it in the script,' Butler says. 'We knew that he had bought a gun earlier in the series, but to have a whole case of guns — that’s definitely one of the big cliffhangers for me personally. And another one is when Justin decides to leave. I really want to see what that manifests into. I’m really excited to see what happens with that.'
"Although no one involved with the show claims to know what’s happening with a potential season 2, they’re all hopeful about getting the chance to return to these characters. 'I think that [writer] Brian [Yorkey] and these writers could tell some pretty amazing stories about it,' Minnette says. 'Whatever they write, I’m in. I just trust everyone so much that they’re not going to do it unless they find it necessary and they think they have great stories to tell. I trust Brian a lot. Otherwise, I’d be kind of skeptical.'
"Butler agrees: 'I’m hoping for a second season. I think there’s so much more to tell. I’m just crossing my fingers.'
"Other cast members — from Justin Prentice, who plays Bryce, to Brian d’Arcy James, who plays Hannah’s father — are also eager to find out what, if anything, will happen next. 'I don’t know if I want Bryce to redeem himself or if I want justice to be served,' Prentice says. 'It could go either way. I definitely want to see all of the characters. There’s a lot of story left for all of these guys. So, it’ll be interesting to see kind of what happens in the fallout. I think we as a cast are dying just as much to figure out what happens.' (Even Jay Asher, who wrote the book the show was based on, is interested in seeing more.)
"For James, it’s all about what’s next for Hannah’s parents. 'I would love [a season 2]. There’s certainly a lot more road to be traveled in terms of where the Bakers go from here,' James says. 'That to me is a very interesting story, in terms of having to deal with that loss, deal with that grief, and channel it and try to make peace with it — or not. These are huge, huge questions and huge hurdles for people to have to deal with. And I think the depiction of that is interesting to follow. Not to mention all the other storylines with the kids and where people are going near the end of the season. I would love to see a next page. And I’m speaking selfishly, of course, because I love the job and I love the people so it would be great to continue in any way.'
“'I don’t think it’s an accident that that’s why the stories are told the way they were,' James continues. 'I think it’s just a question of whether the powers that be feel like it’s a good thing. I’m over here saying anything I can to encourage them.'
"We will let Prentice sum up how we’re all feeling: 'I wish they would hurry and tell me because I’m dying inside.'”
Per Deadline, "National Geographic Channel says it will team with Jay-Z and The Weinstein Company on a six-episode documentary series, with the working title Race, that will provide “a stark and provocative look into systemic injustices in America.” It’s due to air in 171 countries and 45 languages and stems from a first-look deal Jay-Z (aka Shawn Carter) has with TWC.
"The news came during National Geographic’s annual upfront presentation to advertisers tonight in New York. The network also announced it was renewing its first scripted series Genius for a second season, and unveiled a still-untitled six-part documentary series featuring, and co-produced by, Katie Couric to debut in 2018. It will follow her conversations with various thought leaders.
"Nat Geo also announced three new scripted development projects. There’s The Birth Of The Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex And Launched A Revolution, from R.J. Cutler, Denise DiNovi and Sonar Entertainment; The Hot Zone about the origins of the Ebola virus, from Lynda Obst, Scott Free and Fox 21 TV Studios; and an untitled project that goes back to the 1960s to tell the stories behind Nat Geo’s first documentaries in Siberia and Australia, from Skydance and Marti Noxon.
"This is Jay-Z and the Weinstein Co.’s third docu series collaboration, following Time: The Kalief Browder Story and the upcoming Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story at Spike/Paramount Network.
"21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch says the entertainment power is 'passionate' about NatGeo and prepared to 'invest at a huge scale in mission driven content.' Separately, he declined to expand on today’s announcement about Bill O’Reilly’s departure from Fox News Channel.
"NatGeo will not have another program based on the commentator’s Killing book series in 2018 and has not made a decision about 2019. NatGeo announced in 2015 a Killing Patton series order, but no air date has been announced. The network already has aired Killing Reagan, Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy, and Killing Jesus.
"Here is Nat Geo’s descriptions of its development slate:
THE BIRTH OF THE PILL: HOW FOUR CRUSADERS REINVENTED SEX AND LAUNCHED A REVOLUTION
(From Sonar Entertainment, Producer/Director R.J. Cutler and Executive Producers Denise DiNovi and Alison Greenspan)
It has been called the only product in American history so powerful that it needed no name. Today we know it simply as “the pill,” but it was made possible only through the efforts of four larger-than-life figures. Adapted from Jonathan Eig’s 2014 book, The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution, the series follows feminist icon Margaret Sanger and philanthropist Katherine McCormick, who campaigned for women’s rights and championed birth control, enlisting the help of visionary scientist Gregory Pincus and Catholic OB/GYN John Rock. Together, the four took on the scientific establishment, the church and cultural norms in their fight to make safe and effective contraception available to millions of women. The Birth of the Pill is a thrilling recounting of the development of a drug that forever changed medical and social history.
THE HOT ZONE
(Lynda Obst Productions, Fox 21 Television Studios, Kelly Souders, Brian Peterson, Jeff Vintar and Scott Free Productions)
Based on the eponymous international bestseller by Richard Preston, The Hot Zone recounts the terrifying true story of the origins of the Ebola virus, a highly infectious, deadly virus from the central African rain forest and its first arrival on U.S. soil. In 1989, when this killer suddenly appears in chimpanzees in a scientific lab in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. — a stone’s throw away from the White House — there is no known cure. A heroic U.S. Army veterinarian, working with a secret military SWAT team, puts herself in mortal peril when she tries to head off the outbreak before it spreads to the human population. The Hot Zone is a dramatic, hair-raising account of a rare and lethal virus and its impact on the human race.
UNTITLED NAT GEO PROJECT
(Skydance Productions, Erik Jendresen, Tiny Pyro Productions)
How did National Geographic become a network? This scripted series, from Marti Noxon’s Tiny Pyro Productions (Sharp Objects, UnReal) and writer Erik Jendresen (Band of Brothers, Killing Lincoln), travels back to the 1960s when an intrepid field producer is put in charge of two ragtag production teams shooting Nat Geo’s first TV documentaries in Siberia and Australia. Both teams must brave espionage, scandal and hostile environments in an attempt to bring Nat Geo’s arresting global storytelling to the new media age."
Per Uproxx, "[e]xactly a year after his wife, true crime writer Michelle McNamara, died suddenly due to a combination of prescription drugs and an unknown medical condition, comedian Patton Oswalt will discuss her investigation into the so-called 'Golden State Killer' on an episode of CBS’ 48 Hours. It won’t be the first time he speaks publicly about his late wife, as Oswalt has discussed her passing on social media, in print, and during several talk show appearances. However, the 48 Hours interview will be his most expansive conversation about McNamara’s passion.
“'She had a mind for the details of true crime the way other people have for baseball or me for films,' Oswalt says in a brief preview published by CBS News. 'She could recall the details of pretty much every late 20th and 21st century crime. It was just in her head.'
"Before her death in 2016, McNamara had devoted herself to investigating the Golden State Killer — a heretofore unknown assailant who committed 50 rapes and 12 murders across the state of California during the late ’70s and ’80s. The unidentified individual, who would often break into his victims’ homes in the middle of the night, suddenly vanished after 1986. McNamara gave the suspect the 'Golden State Killer' moniker while working on a story for the Los Angeles Times Magazine in 2013.
“'She started looking at the devastation that this guy wrought,' Oswalt explains in the preview. 'I’d go back into the back office and Michelle would just be there… in tears because some road she had gone down had not panned out, and then — it’s, "I now have to start back again from zero."'”