Friday April 7, 2017

Saturday Night Live alum Chris Parnell has been cast in the starring role opposite Yara Shahidi in ABC’s proposed Black-ish spinoff.

R.I.P. Don Rickles.

Check out Jimmy Kimmel's tribute to the late Rickles.

Olivia Munn and Aaron Rodgers have called it quits.

Why streaming NFL games on your phone is presenting challenges.

Why every Orange Is The New Black character is in prison.

USA has picked up Friday Night Tykes from Esquire, which is no longer a network.

Billie Lourd has signed on to star in season 7 of American Horror Story.

A review of AMC's The Son, which stars Remington Steele and premieres tomorrow.

The People's Choice Awards is moving from CBS to E!?

Vern Troyer is heading to rehab for alcohol addiction.

"Jay Z and The Weinstein Co.'s Trayvon Martin docuseries has found a home. Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story has landed at Paramount Network, which is rebranding from Spike TV in January 2018. The six-part series about the African-American teen shot by George Zimmerman in 2012 is the first new non-scripted project since the Viacom-owned network announced its plans to rebrand."

Per EW, "Seinfeld gave you countless memorable moments over its nine neurotic seasons (shrinkage! Junior Mint! Master of your domain!). But what about the ones they didn’t give you? Don’t you deserve those as well? Here, former Seinfeld writer-producers David Mandel (Veep) and Jeff Schaffer (Curb Your Enthusiasm) open the vault and share a few story ideas from the NBC comedy that never made it out of the writers’ room — and that just might have you shoving someone while exclaiming 'Get out!':

1. Frank Costanza goes to pot. “We went very far down the road with an idea that Frank was going to need medical marijuana for his cataracts,” says Mandel. “We thought the idea of Jerry Stiller on pot just seemed like comedy gold. We heard that Cybill writers had a similar story in the works, and it was enough to make us put the idea aside. We were really rigorous about not wanting to repeat things. I don’t think it was fully outlined, but that was a story that was ready to go. That would happen a lot.”

2. There’s someone you should meet. Who’s that, you say? It’s “the Prompter.” 
“Alec [Berg, a Seinfeld writer-producer] and I pitched this idea a few times,” says Schaffer. “There was another comic, and she was a prompter. Jerry [Jerry Seinfeld] would be at lunch with her, and she would say, ‘You know, I only had one bit that really killed.’ Then she would wait, and he’d have to go, ‘Which one?’ ‘The bowling thing. It only died one time, but that’s because of who was there.’ ‘[Sigh] Who?’ You’d wait her out and she’d wait you out. Everyone knows someone like that, who just makes you pull it out of them. In The Secret Code, Jerry was going to do an ad for an appliance store called Leapin’ Larry’s, and she was saying, ‘If you’re going to meet with Leapin’ Larry, there’s one thing you should really know about him.’ It was the fact that he had a prosthetic leg. And Jerry just ignored it. Then when Jerry wound up insulting him, he said, ‘Why didn’t you tell me???’ ‘Well, you didn’t take the prompt. I tried.’ It seems like the easiest device in the world: You ignore the prompter, and he or she actually has good information for you. That could work in any show, but we never used it.”

3. The Soup Nazi could have been a lot more literal than we knew.  
“We joked a whole bunch about an end scene that would take place in the jungles of Brazil, à la The Boys From Brazil, where the Soup Nazi [Larry Thomas] would return to the other Nazis — the actual former Nazi war criminals — with his soup recipes,” says Mandel. “It was sort of half-serious, half ‘Should we do this?,’ half ‘We’re never going to do it.’ But it was much discussed. Going down a river and seeing lots of young boys with blue eyes from experimentation with the soups — it was a full coming together of soup and Nazi. Probably just as well that we didn’t do that one.”

4. Kramer launches a new business that would chill you to the bone. “Kramer [Michael Richards] was taking regular morgue-quality skeletons, refurbishing them, and turning them into museum-quality skeletons for teaching hospitals,” recalls Schaffer. “He would get all the bones together and buff them up real nice. At the same time, Jerry was doing appliance-store ads for Leapin’ Larry’s, and Jerry was having trouble with his dishwasher, because Kramer kept using it. Leapin’ Larry says, ‘Bring it in, we’ll fix it.’ So Jerry brings it in, he doesn’t look inside, and Leapin’ Larry opens it up and there’s a tibia in there and he loses his s—: ‘This is the worst practical joke ever to a guy who’s missing a leg!’ Larry [David, the series co-creator] just said, ‘No. Kramer’s not refurbishing skeletons!’ And we’re like, ‘Come on! This is funny!’ It turns out the show was fine without it. Kramer trying to refurbish skeletons sat on our board forever, and [even after David left the show following season 7] we never used it. I guess Larry was right.”

5. Seinfeld gets a change of scenery — but nothing changes. “There was one story that we never got to for any particular reason, but I always loved it,” says Mandel. “Had there been another season, I certainly would have tried to write this, because it was near and dear to my heart. The idea was that Jerry and the gang go on a vacation somewhere — say, Mexico — and they would check into their hotel rooms, and Jerry would end up with a hotel room right across from Kramer’s hotel room, so the hotel-room dynamic would have been the same as the apartments. The entire episode would have taken place in Mexico but everything would have been kind of the same—there would have been a Mexican diner that they sat in. I just thought the idea of taking the building blocks of Seinfeld — the apartments across the hall and the coffee shop — and transporting that to Mexico would be really fun. When Jerry decided to end the show, and I realized there weren’t going to be enough episodes, I was like, ‘Oh God, I wish there was one more season.'”"

Per Esquire, "[e]ver since Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul was announced a few years ago, talk of potential cameos has been non-stop.

"Although the show is set years before the events of the main series, certain key characters have popped up along the way.

"Mike Ehrmantraut played a pivotal role in the first two seasons of Saul, and Breaking Bad baddie Gus Fring is set to appear in the upcoming third.

"However, the cameo of cameos would be from none other than Walter White, and it seems that actor Bryan Cranston may actually get involved... though not in the way we'd hoped.

"According to star Bob Odenkirk, Cranston could get involved with the show at some point, perhaps behind the camera.

"Asked whether he keeps in touch with his former Breaking Bad co-star, the Jimmy McGill actor told ShortList: 'We don't text all the time or hang out in bars, but I see him occasionally. He watches the show, he's proud of it. There's talk of him helping out soon, maybe directing an episode – we'd like to get him on board.'

"While this suggests that he won't be involved in season three (boo!), Odenkirk did reveal that 'the plan is to bring [McGill/Goodman] to where we met him in Breaking Bad.'

"Perhaps a brief cameo then?

"The star recently hinted that we may be getting more cameos in season three on top of Fring actor Giancarlo Esposito.

"'There are other characters from that show that are starting to appear, so that is super-exciting, and it raises our stakes, and it raises our game at Saul,' he said.

"'It's just awesome, and I just envy the fans for the surprises that are coming this season. I guess as it comes closer to Breaking Bad, it's going to happen more and more.'

"Better Call Saul returns to AMC on Monday, April 10, and should be available on Netflix afterwards."

Per The Hollywood Reporter, "[t]he third season of Fargo centers around brothers Emmit and Ray Stussy. The pair couldn't be more different, and yet they're both portrayed by star Ewan McGregor.

"'The challenging part is making sure they're both unique people,' McGregor told The Hollywood Reporter at the premiere for Fargo's new season, which kicked off FX Networks’ upfront on Thursday in New York City. 'The challenge is making sure they're both different and believable people and the truth is that they feel very different when I'm playing them, so that's good and helpful.'

"Indeed, though the Stussy brothers share the same last name, the two characters were certainly not cut from the same cloth. When viewers meet Emmit in the premiere, he is the happily married, well-groomed and well-off parking-lot-king of Minnesota. While Ray is introduced in his slightly older brother's shadow, a balding and pot-bellied parole officer with one of his parolees on his arm (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). A petty theft from when the brothers were young — something that sparks the events that kick off the season in the premiere — cultivated into an adult sibling rivalry, which forked separate paths for the pair.

"Despite the obvious challenge of playing a dual role, McGregor (who played clones in The Island and Jesus and the devil in Last Days of the Desert) admits that he was somewhat blasé about the challenge — at first.

"'I felt like I understood them from the writing and I don't make the job very complicated for myself as an actor,' said McGregor, who also had to learn how to master the distinct Fargo accent. 'But when I got up there [to set], I suddenly went, "F—, I've got two jobs to do here."'

"After discussing at great length how the two characters should look with creator Noah Hawley, McGregor said he got a lot of help from his friends in the costume and makeup departments to achieve Ray's appearance. One of the longer scenes in the premiere sees McGregor as Ray in a towel, displaying the results of that work.

"'I got a lot of help in terms of what they look like,' he says, 'but in terms of what they are, and how they sound and move, that was down to my instincts.'

"The Trainspotting star added, 'I get dressed and I'm ready as Ray, and I start to feel like Ray. And the same as Emmit. And I just trust that.'

"That instinct is likely just what Hawley was looking for when he thought up the idea of having one person play his two leads.

"'We wanted an actor of a certain caliber,' he told THR ahead of the screening at the SVA Theater. 'You need to make it a compelling job for them. But I really thought, if they're family, you want to see the family resemblance. You want to feel that they're brothers. Obviously they look very different, but there's still that inherit Ewan-ness in both.'

"The season, set in 2010, will ultimately wind down the twisted path these brothers embark on. One that, in very Fargo fashion, will quickly lead to murder, mobsters and even cut-throat, competitive games of bridge.

"'This year, I saw someone said it's the most Fargo version of Fargo yet,' said Hawley, referencing the original film from the Coen brothers. 'It captures the intimacy of the movie and our first season and then builds to a scale that's similar to our second season. I think it's nice to go back to something that feels smaller and then build it. I think it's get better and better — the potential for what the show can be just keeps growing.'

"And McGregor agrees: 'It's maybe a slightly more intimate season. The story is very personal and full of heart. But it's as full of quality as the other two were. It's really good writing.'

"The season also stars Carrie Coon (The Leftovers) as local police chief Gloria Burgle, Winstead as Ray's crafty girlfriend Nikki Swango and David Thewlis as a mysterious villain, V.M. Vargas. Though, neither women were present at Thursday's premiere and upfront event, because they were 'beginning their day shooting this epic sequence that I can't tell you about that happens in an episode that I can't specify' in the freezing location of Calgary, teased Hawley while introducing the episode.

"'It's quite cold,' McGregor recalled to reporters, crediting Merino wool long underwear and the experienced crew for keeping him warm through days that reached a low of 29 degrees below zero. '[But] we're not walking around in T-shirts, which sometimes is the case when you find yourself shooting a film and it's freezing but you're not meant to be. All our characters are dressed for the cold usually, anyway. I think in season one, there was a guy who had to be naked and run across an ice field, but luckily that wasn't me!'"

Fargo returns April 19 on FX.

Per TheWrap, "[s]ports media was buzzing this week with the news that former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is not only retiring from the NFL, but also embarking on a career in broadcasting at CBS Sports.

"However, one person who wasn’t forewarned about the move was the man whose job Romo is set to take over.

"Analyst Phil Simms’ son said that he was the one who told his father that Romo had been hired to replace him in CBS’s No. 1 NFL analyst seat alongside Jim Nantz.

“'I had to tell my dad first, before CBS or anybody, because I found out from an NFL insider,' Chris Simms said on Bleacher Report’s Simms & Lefkoe Podcast.

“'I forwarded the text message that I was sent and it basically said, "Hey, listen, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but Romo’s being offered your dad’s job on CBS, that sucks, I’m sorry." And my dad was in Barbados, and I had to forward the text message to him to let him know.'

"Simms Jr. continued to say: 'I think if there’s anything he’s probably a little disappointed [about] … I don’t think he feels like they talked to him right away [or] at least warned him to let him know that this was happening. That’s just not what you do to a good, hard-working employee that’s been for 20 years been kind of the face of your football station. I think from that it probably does hurt,' Chris, who was a QB for the Buccaneers, Broncos and Giants before joining Fox Sports, said.

"Two-time Super Bowl champion Phil Simms still has two years left on his contract with CBS, as well as a role with Showtime’s Inside the NFL.

"His son was quick to stress that the former New York Giants QB hadn’t personally vented about his demotion.

“'He’s not complaining, though. He’ll figure out what he’s going to do,' Chris said. 'Over the last few years, he’s gotten into the conversation a lot of "I just want to enjoy my job" and I think the Thursday, Sunday game-calling did wear him out. Nobody wants to do double duty.'”

"She can be blindsided and booted off Survivor, but Sandra Diaz-Twine will never be dethroned.

"On the Wednesday, April 5, episode of Game Changers, the two-time winner — she’s the only contestant in the show’s 34-season history to hold that title — was sent home. 

"Still, 'I’ll always be the queen.' Diaz-Twine, who has competed in 94 days of the game, tells Us Weekly. 'Find somebody else that wins two times, not only win two times but win their original season and then the second season they appear on. Just because you won down the road after two tries, three tries, that doesn’t mean anything. You have to win like I won, and then we can think about if you’re really better than me.'

"The North Carolina–based office exec, 42, talks game play with Us:

Us: You’ve already won $2 million. You should have been the first one out. How did you last 15 days?

SDT: Because I really tried to get to know each and every one of them and let them know, “Hey, you don’t have to fear me. I’m an ally. I’m a friend. I’m not your enemy.” Sometimes a lot of the things I say on TV don’t sound great, and the fans don’t like me. For people to say I’m nasty, that only happens when you’ve come at me, and now you have to feel my wrath. I’m really approachable. I’m a nice person, and I give everyone the benefit of the doubt. It’s when I’m screwed, that’s when you should have known better, and it’s over.

Us: Going into tribal council, did you have any inkling you were on the chopping block?

SDT: Watching the episode gave me a lot of clarity. I wasn’t that sad about it. I’m still not sad. I thought that I was solid with Ozzy [Lusth]. We had a conversation, and I said, “Look, they’re smiling in your face now, and they’re in your alliance now, but when it’s every man for himself, they’re going to come after you. This is your fourth time playing. If you don’t get it right this time, you’ll never get it right.” It sounded like he understood what I was saying, and he told me I was OK, and I believed him. I was like, “Finally, I’ve got someone on my side. I can move forward.” But at tribal council, Tai [Trang] was constantly grabbing onto his pocket like he had an idol. I think Ozzy got scared. In my eyes, that’s what had gone down. Not that they were plotting against me.

Us: At tribal council, Tai said he was going to vote with you. But he ended going against you. Surprised?

SDT: I guess he stuck to his plan. There wasn’t too much conversation that didn’t make it on the air. The fact that he was even whispering and saying out loud that he was after Ozzy — I was like, “Ozzy, this is all you need to hear to see that these people are already thinking about you. We haven’t even gotten to the merge.” I can see why Tai voted for me after Zeke [Smith] spoke to him, like, “Don’t do this. Everything is solid.” If Tai really felt like he was in serious trouble, he would have played his idol. He had two, so it’s not like using one and not having a backup. Either they were playing me the whole time or at the end, he just said, “OK, I’m going to go with them and show everyone I can be trusted.” Season after season and episode after episode, Tai cannot know the important information because he will open his mouth. You can’t say too many things in front of him, because he’s a loose cannon.

Us: When you saw Jeff Probst hold up your name, did you know this was the end?

SDT: I had a little bit of faith. Until he reads all the names, you’re really not out of the game. These people did the right thing. I would have voted each and every one of them out and not thought twice about it. Sarah [Lacina] told me to my face, she said, "I can’t believe you’ve been to so many tribal councils and you’re still here." If that doesn’t mean pack your crap then I don’t know what does. I knew that I had done everything that I could have possibly done, and I knew that the only reason I was in that position was because I grabbed the wrong buff. Had I gone to exile island or had I been lucky enough to go back to my Mana tribe, I would have been OK. I grabbed the wrong buff. I blame the twist more than I blame being with these people. Now I know that they actually threw the challenge because they were afraid if the other tribe had lost, one of theirs would have been kicked off. So the fact that that would even have had to go down for them to get rid of me speaks volumes. Little old me, the person nobody worries about at a challenge, you would actually throw a challenge to get rid of me? That’s how much you fear me? It’s awesome.

Us: Your tribe threw the challenge?

SDT: Well, I didn’t find out until after the fact, but that’s really what went into me going home: Get rid of Sandra plus make sure we still have the numbers and our people are not kicked off on the other side.

Us: What was your game-changing move this season?

SDT: I had so many! The biggest thing for me was taking out J.T. [Thomas, on the March 29 episode]. I would not have had to have that happen had J.T. not done what he had done. At the [March 22] tribal council, we were going in six strong, and there was no reason we shouldn’t have gone home six strong. We never let on that it was supposed to be Sierra [Dawn Thomas] until J.T. opened his mouth. The minute he did that, not only did he screw up Malcolm[Freberg]’s game, but he screwed up a bunch of games moving forward. All he had to do was be quiet. He didn’t have to give out her name. The minute he did that it was like, “Dude, if we don’t win the next challenge, you’re going home.” 

Us: Would you play a fourth time?

SDT: I would. I won’t say that I would like an all-winners season, because then there is potential for the queen to not be the queen anymore. Right after I got my torch snuffed, I was like, “I’m done.” It keeps getting harder and harder as I get older. But then after a month, I’m ready to go back out there. I wouldn’t say yes right away, but I wouldn’t say no. I would have to think on it for 24 hours.

Us: What have you done with your $2 million?

SDT: I still have a lot of my money. I’m always couponing, and I’m always at the clearance racks. I live a very simple life. I’m not a wasteful person. I bought my house. Everyone has a car. I work every day, Monday through Friday. I didn’t let this money go to my head, and I’m not broke just yet!"

Per The New York Times, "Richard Simmons, the reclusive fitness mogul whose sudden disappearance from public life spawned a hit podcast, might soon return to public life, thanks to a business deal. And in the latest odd twist in Mr. Simmons’s story, it may be a result of that podcast.

"Prominent Brand + Talent, a management company co-founded by Mr. Simmons’s manager of three decades, announced on Wednesday that it had acquired exclusive rights to represent Mr. Simmons for merchandising, endorsements and licensing opportunities. The trade publication License first reported the deal.

"Michael Catalano, Mr. Simmons’s manager, said in an interview that Mr. Simmons might be willing to come out of his self-imposed exile to help promote products that result from the deal. If Mr. Simmons does appear in public, it would be the first time he has done so since February 2014, when he stopped showing up to teach his class at Slimmons, his gym in Beverly Hills, Calif. He abruptly became a recluse and has not been seen since, spurring concerns about his well-being.

“'All I can say, at least for now, is it is possible,' Mr. Catalano said of whether Mr. Simmons would get involved publicly. 'But it is yet to be determined, I would say.'

"Mr. Catalano added that Mr. Simmons was directly involved in pursuing the deal, and noted that Simmons-related products would 'be in keeping with Richard’s lifelong mission and messaging.'

“'We’re talking about inspiration-themed products that will hopefully accomplish what Richard really set his life’s work to do, which is to help people take better care of themselves,' he said. 'We’re not licensing tires and party hats.'

"Dan Taberski, a former producer for The Daily Show and a friend of Mr. Simmons, set out to solve the mystery of what happened to the obstreperous crusader for exercise in a six-episode podcast series, Missing Richard Simmons. It quickly became the most downloaded podcast on iTunes but also attracted criticism, drawing complaints that it was violating Mr. Simmons’s privacy.

"Mr. Taberski never got to talk to Mr. Simmons but was able to interview Mr. Catalano, who said in the podcast’s last episode: “I can’t say Richard feels better as a result of the podcast. Perhaps you do.”

"But the podcast did create new interest in Mr. Simmons, spurring this pursuit of new business deals. It put Mr. Simmons 'front and center,' as Mr. Catalano said, which gave Mr. Taberski some solace.

“'Telling his story was a huge part of the podcast,' Mr. Taberski said in an interview. 'He changed lives, and he’s a genius businessperson. If I had even the smallest part in reminding people of that, fantastic.'

"Mr. Simmons’s representatives were critical of the podcast throughout its run, citing multiple welfare checks from the Los Angeles Police Department that showed Mr. Simmons to be in good health.

“'I’m very conflicted about the podcast,' Mr. Catalano said. 'I was not happy with a lot of the mistruths that were represented there. It also didn’t really uncover or reveal anything new that hasn’t been reported previously. And I think in many ways that was difficult for Richard to have to live through again.'

"But Missing Richard Simmons did have a silver lining for Mr. Catalano.

“'Certainly I would say, without a doubt, a younger demo is aware of Richard as a result,' Mr. Catalano said. 'At the end of the day, if it helps deliver his message to people who were unaware of it previously, fantastic. That’s what Richard’s mission has always been.'

"Mr. Simmons, through Mr. Catalano, declined a request for an interview."