Wednesday May 17, 2017

Jimmy Kimmel will host the 2018 Oscars.

Katy Perry will be a part of the American Idol reboot.

Fox remains pissed about ABC reviving Idol.

Allison Tolman talks to Yahoo! about her new show Downward Dog, which premieres tomorrow night.

"Superbad BFFs Jonah Hill and Michael Cera will reunite in voice form on the new Adult Swim pilot The Shivering Truth, which hails from Vernon Chatman. Chatman and Starlee Kine will also take to the booth to provide audio for a couple characters. "The Shivering Truth is a delicately crafted, darkly surreal anthology comedy, a miniature propulsive omnibus clusterbomb of painfully riotous daymares all dripping with the orange goo of dream logic,' per Adult Swim. 'A series of loosely-linked emotional parables about stories within tales that crawled out of the deepest caverns of your unconscious mind and became lovingly animated in breath-slapping stop motion — in other words, it is the TRUTH.'"

The Rosanne reboot is official.  Eight episodes have been ordered.  A lot more ABC fodder below.

DIY has picked up Stone House Revival for a 3rd season.

More Brockmire, just because.

A lot of season finales airing tonight, including Brockmire.  Also wrapping it up are Blindspot, Designated Survivor, The Goldbergs, Speechless, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, Empire, Modern Family, and Chicago P.D.

Tim Allen was "“stunned and blindsided by the network I called home for the last six years" after having his show, Last Man Standing, cancelled.

"Several of the Real Housewives of New York City are privately complaining that Bravo is, once again, playing favorites with Bethenny Frankel.  In fact, we’re told that cast members from a number of the cable network’s shows are steaming because Frankel was the only Bravo star — besides former network exec and current on-air host Andy Cohen — to be invited to parent NBC’s upfront presentation at Radio City Music Hall. However, a network source insisted that Frankel was there not as a member of the Real Housewives cast but to pitch her new show with Million Dollar Listing’s Fredrik Eklund, which has the working title of Keeping it Real Estate With Bethenny and Fredrik.”  

"In addition to renewing Conan for four more years, Turner comedy network TBS greenlit four new series on Wednesday.

Here are their official descriptions, in TBS’ own words:

Miracle Workers, a Heaven-set workplace comedy starring Daniel Radcliffe and Owen Wilson and executive-produced by Lorne Michaels;

Close Enough, a brand new animated series from Regular Show creator J.G. Quintel;

An update of of the classic game show The Joker’s Wild, hosted by Snoop Dogg;

A new untitled series from the comedy trio The Dress Up Gang.

Additionally, Tracy Morgan’s TBS sitcom now has a name: The Last O.G. — and that show just cast Cedric the Entertainer, Taylor Mosby and Dante Hoagland."

The Ringer gives more well-deserved praise for season 2 of Master of None: "[t]he beauty of Master of None’s second season is that you can watch it for so many different reasons, in so many different moods. Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang’s devotion to encapsulated episodes lets them touch on a variety of topics, unfettered by any TV mandate that one installment connect to the next. Season 2 features commentary on navigating parental expectations when it comes to religion, an episode that spans 20-plus years of Thanksgivings as Dev’s (Ansari) friend Denise (Lena Waithe) grows into her sexuality and comes out to her family, and another that barely features Ansari, instead exploring the everyday lives of other, seemingly random New Yorkers.

"All of those pocket episodes are well-crafted, moving, and interesting, and contribute to Master of None’s mosaic vibe. But the show does another remarkable thing in the episodes that center around Dev’s love life: Master of None takes the trappings of your favorite romantic comedies and applies them to prestige television. Episodes like The Thief, The Dinner Party, and Amarsi Un Po feel like descendants of movies like When Harry Met Sally and My Best Friend’s Wedding, full of their exuberance, immaculate place settings, and unrequited love. The only difference between Dev in Master of None and Julia Roberts’s Julianne in My Best Friend’s Wedding is that (a) he’s a straight man and (b) he’s the one longing for the friend who’s already engaged — and that he’s doing it from a swanky Manhattan bar rather than a suite at a Chicago White Sox game. With the traditional rom-com more or less dead in Hollywood, Master of None has swooped in to breathe new life into the genre, proving that the tropes and clichés that flourished in the ’80s and ’90s still have value in 2017. The romantic comedy isn’t dead — it just moved to TV.

"Master of None fills the void, albeit with a straight guy twist. (It goes without saying that straight guys aren’t hard up for stories about their lives, but it is worth noting that this is a new genre for them, at least.) The rom-com’s most distinct characteristics are all present in Season 2: the mix of bordering-on-fantasy wish fulfillment (that apartment that he was able to keep after months in Italy!) and cutting, universally applicable observational commentary (those text messages!). It’s a move that at once serves the base that’s been hungry for new rom-coms while also expanding the genre’s reach and capability, with hours-long arcs devoted to unpacking relationships and love, unrequited and otherwise.

"Season 2 of Master of None begins with Dev in Modena, Italy. He works as an apprentice in an adorable pasta shop, speaks Italian incredibly well though he’s lived in the country for only three months, and literally lives out his own impeccably constructed version of Vittorio De Sica’s Italian classic Bicycle Thieves. Somewhere in between, he goes to a restaurant to eat lunch alone and … bumps into a beautiful British woman who is also planning on eating alone, only she made a reservation for the wrong day. Does Dev invite the beautiful woman to dine with him? Of course he does! Does she accept? Of course she does! Do they go on to have a perfect day in Modena? Of course they do!

"It’s completely ridiculous. Sort of like how two strangers plan to meet at the top of the Empire State Building in Sleepless in Seattle, or how chatrooms aren’t horrific cesspools in You’ve Got Mail. But like the shopping scene in Pretty Woman, or that Sleepless meet-up, everything that surrounds Dev’s romantic life in Master of None is so enchanting and well-curated that plausibility is hardly important. Who cares that Dev and Arnold (Eric Wareheim) eat lunch at Osteria Francescana, literally the best restaurant in the world, and are personally served by its head chef, Massimo Bottura? Why question how perfect it is that John Legend is at the same dinner party Dev is, or how perfect his decision to sing Michael Jackson’s I Can’t Help It at that party is? Likewise, it doesn’t matter that in The Dinner Party, Dev takes a woman to pre-dinner drinks at PDT in the East Village and then dinner at il Buco on Bowery — a neighborhood-spanning, wallet-murdering itinerary most non-banker New York City men would never set for a second date — because like in other rom-coms, the fantasy of Dev’s life is part of the show’s appeal.

"But the window dressing is only half of what makes a rom-com. The other, more difficult half is an understanding of the agony and ecstasy of modern romance. Master of None has the perfectly hip-but-not-obnoxiously-so restaurants, the impromptu trips to idyllic museums an hour outside of Manhattan, and the Kraftwerk soundtrack — but it also knows how to depict what it’s like to move on from a serious relationship, or the futility of trying to make genuine connections in a digital world.

"Dev’s De Sica jaunt in the premiere episode ends with the character sitting alone in bed, face lit only by the light of his laptop, the cursor blinking at the top of a blank text box as he painstakingly struggles to come up with the right way to reply to a harmless email from his ex-girlfriend. 'Hey …' he types before pausing, paralyzed by the unlimited amount of responses available to him and the sneaking feeling that none of them would be the right one. Master of None’s second season is littered with these moments of poignant, exasperated melancholy; moments that feel so lived-in because as a viewer — especially a male one — you’ve actually lived them.

"The most powerful observation comes at the end of The Dinner Party, when Dev drops off Francesca, the girl who he’s clearly in love with but who is also in a serious relationship with another man, at her hotel after a perfect evening. Wareheim, the episode’s director, leaves the camera on Dev for close to four minutes as the cab takes him to his apartment. Silently, Dev shifts uncomfortably in the backseat and forlornly stares out the rain-covered window as Soft Cell’s “Say Hello, Wave Goodbye” plays. He’s rolling over the events of the night in his head, devastated by the thought that anything so perfect could end so dissatisfyingly. It’s a familiar experience for anyone who’s missed a connection or spent a night awake in bed, thinking up ways that a stalled romance could have played out differently; things that could have been said or done to make magic happen.

"In this sense, the cab scene adheres to the rom-com’s tradition of evoking universal emotions. Stylistically, though, it’s an example of how Master of None pushes the rom-com genre forward. Imagine a shot this long and static in Must Love Dogs. And yet it works, providing an entryway into those familiar emotions that looks and feels new and different. Rom-coms haven’t historically been approached with an innovative, artful eye, but Ansari and Yang seem to be bridging that gap. The result is a rich combination of traditional rom-com spirit and the auteur-minded flexibility of Peak TV.

"Television has enough antiheroes to indulge in, enough characters who are all idealized, macho id. What Master of None provides is a refuge from that — a curated, vivid experience that combines the frivolity and vulnerability of romantic comedies. Ansari and Yang built a world that any straight man who owns Stan Smiths would die to live in, but they also put up a mirror to the romantic lives of all of their viewers, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. It’s no secret that men catch feelings, too — thankfully, Master of None stopped acting like it was."

"Four years after the fourth season of Arrested Development premiered on Netflix, kicking off conversations about a fifth season, a follow-up season has been officially greenlighted.

"The Season 5 pickup comes on the heels of star Jason Bateman announcing on Twitter that he had closed a deal to return to the Imagine TV/20th TV-produced series. The entire series regular cast of the Emmy-winning series including Bateman, Michael Cera, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Will Arnett, Tony Hale, Portia de Rossi, David Cross and Alia Shawkat — as well as creator/executive producer Mitch Hurwitz who has a deal at Netflix — have signed on for a fifth season, which will premiere on Netflix in 2018.

“'In talks with Netflix we all felt that that stories about a narcissistic, erratically behaving family in the building business — and their desperate abuses of power — are really underrepresented on TV these days,' said Hurwitz. 'I am so grateful to them and to 20th TV for making this dream of mine come true in bringing the Bluths, George Sr., Lucille and the kids; Michael, Ivanka, Don Jr., Eric, George-Michael, and who am I forgetting, oh Tiffany. Did I say Tiffany? — back to the glorious stream of life.'

"In Season 4 of Arrested Development, the Bluth clan set out to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico to 'keep Mexicans out,' and Lindsay Bluth’s “Put up the wall” speech landed her so much public support that she decided to run for office on the Republican ticket. A few years later, that plotline does not sound as over the top as it might have before Donald Trump launched his successful Presidential bid with the poll-friendly promise to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border.

"This has provided a surreal backdrop for Hurwitz as he’s been working on Season 5. He had the season outlined more than a year ago, but complex negotiations with the cast over scheduling delayed production. And because there has been so much art imitating life, he’s had to rewrite storylines.

"The Season 4 finale ended with Buster arrested for the murder of Lucille Austero. That set up Season 5, which, at least at one point was going to be a serialized murder mystery."

"TNT is diving in the world of docuseries.

"The Turner-owned cable network has greenlit new docuseries from Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore and Emmy winner Sarah Jessica Parker, it was announced as part of Turner's upfront presentation Wednesday.

"Michael Moore Live From the Apocalypse (working title) will see Moore and his team of journalists, pranksters and citizen-rebels as they dive head-first into areas like Washington, D.C., politics, Wall Street's 1 percent, and other areas where the mainstream media and politicians are afraid to go. 

"Moore will direct and star in the series, as well as exec-produce with frequent collaborator and Oscar-nominee Meghan O'Hara (SiCKO). Veteran producer Nick McKinney (The Daily Show, 30 Days) will produce the show, which is slated for a late fall premiere.

"The series order comes nearly two decades after Moore's last foray into television, the satirical docuseries The Awful Truth, which was financed by Britain's Channel 4 and aired stateside on Bravo. He also directed and hosted the newsmagazine TV Nation for the BBC in the early '90s, for which he won the first-ever Emmy for a nonfiction series.

"Since then, Moore has gone on to win Oscars for his documentary work on Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11, among others.

"'Live from the Apocalypse will be a raucous gathering place for millions of our fellow citizens in desperate need of a break from the screaming pundits and the purveyors of 'alternative facts,' said Moore. 'Our show will be dangerous and relentless. And it will be the destination for those who want to know what's really going on and what they might be able to do about it.'" 

Per Deadline, "[w]iewers will 'absolutely' see format changes on American Idol when it debuts on ABC early in 2018, ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said Tuesday morning.

“'You will see clear ABC hallmark and brand' in the format changes when the singing competition series debuts on its new network, she told reporters on a phone call to discuss ABC’s new primetime slate for 2017-18.

"Dungey insisted it is not too soon to bring back the long-running show that is moving to ABC after 15 years on Fox, as Fox execs had suggested on Monday.

“'From where we sit, it’s the perfect time to bring it back. What I love about it, it’s about heartfelt, uplifting stories of people who make their dreams come true and that’s our sweet spot,' Dungey insisted. 'For me it feels like the perfect home and the perfect time.'

"ABC is 'just starting conversations' with American Idol producers about details of the deal, she said when asked if Idol would be a red-ink show for the network,  given its ratings and cost of production in its final seasons on Fox. 'The great thing' she insisted, is that viewers love live TV and 'advertisers love shows people watch live.'

“'Live events…are incredibly important to us because of how they drive live viewing,' Dungey added.

"Acknowledging that not all of the economics have been ironed out which, she explained that is why the show is not on ABC’s fall schedule. Dungey also joked 'television business is full of red ink now, isn’t it?'

"Asked what had changed between ABC’s early decision to pass on an Idol reboot, and its change of heart, Dungey insisted 'It was less of a pass initially' during those 'early conversations floated.'

“'We were looking at what our plans and needs were, and some of the ideas that were discussed in the initial proposal didn’t necessarily make sense for us,' she said of the earlier conversations. Later, when ABC sat down with producers, 'we realized what a perfect fit it would be for us.'

"Dungey declined to confirm reports about Ryan Seacrest returning as host, and Katy Perry joining as a judge.

"She also called it 'too early' to confirm that the show would air on Sunday in its returns to the air on its new network.  'Quite honestly we’re still looking at a lot of different pieces for mid-season,' she said, adding there is 'a lot up in the air.'”

More from Ms. Dungey about the decision to end Scandal after next season: "ABC has officially confirmed that Shonda Rhimes political thriller Scandal — the drama that helped usher in an era of programming that better reflects society — would end with its previously announced seventh season.

"Channing Dungey, entertainment president at ABC, spoke with reporters about the decision during her pre-upfronts press call with reporters Tuesday and noted that Rhimes always envisioned seven seasons for the fast-paced Washington, D.C.-set soap.

"'I had conversions with Shonda Rhimes where she has had for a while a sense of how she wanted the story to end,' Dungey told reporters Tuesday ahead of ABC's upfront presentation to ad buyers. 'She said, "Look, I really feel like season seven is where I want to wrap up this story, because I always prefer to end a show where you're feeling on top as opposed to letting things fizzle out."' 

"Season seven will again feature a short number of episodes as Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) and outgoing President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) inch closer to their Vermont dreams. (Season six wraps Thursday with the series on the verge of electing Bellamy Young's former first lady Mellie Grant as its new president.)

"'I do think that audiences, especially fans and Gladiators, who are as loyal to Scandal as they have been, are going to want the story to end in the way that Shonda intended to,' said Dungey. 'That was a decision she felt really good about, and we support wholeheartedly.'

"An episode count for Scandal, which returns in the fall, has not yet been determined. 

"'Deciding how to end a show is easy,' said Rhimes in a statement Tuesday following the press call. 'Deciding when to finish is quite simple when the end date is years away. But actually going through with it? Actually standing up to say: "This is it?" Not so much. So, next year we are going all out. Leaving nothing on the table. Creating this world in celebration. We are going to handle the end the way we like to handle the important things in our Scandal family: all together, white hats on, Gladiators running full speed over a cliff.'

"Rhimes always envisioned Scandal as a show that did not have a long lifespan — her Grey's Anatomy is heading into its 14th season in the fall — and always saw it as a seven-season show. Ahead of the fourth season opener, Rhimes told THR that the drama inspired by the life of fixer Judy Smith wasn't a '10-season or eight-season show.'

"In its sixth season, Scandal has had to reinvent itself following the surprising November election that sent Republican and former reality TV personality Donald Trump to the White House. Suddenly, Rhimes' show about the insane things that politicians do didn't seem so insane. (Producers had to scrap a planned storyline about Russians hacking the show's presidential election when reality hit too close to home, for example.) During an oral history interview with THR in April pegged to the landmark 100th episode of Scandal, Rhimes was vocal about the show's uncertain future in the country's current political climate.

"'Any of the stories we planned now just feel like we're copying what's happening in reality, which is insane,' she said. 'I used to know how it ended, and then Donald Trump was elected. We had a destination, and I don't know if that's our destination anymore.' 

"Still, Scandal will leave an incredible legacy behind when it closes up shop for good during the 2017-18 broadcast season. The drama helped usher in a new era of diversity on the small screen when Rhimes cast Washington as fixer Olivia Pope. Washington picked up her first Emmy nomination in 2013 and became the first African-American to be nominated for best drama actress in the past 18 years and fifth overall."

"New CNN Original Series for 2018 include:

  • Detroit 1963: Once in a Great City (working title), executive produced by Emmy Award winners Anthony Bourdain and Lydia Tenaglia, is a four-part series about the city of Detroit at its high point when their auto industry was the envy of the world and Motown ruled the airwaves. The docuseries, produced by Zero Point Zero, will take viewers back to a time in America when people believed in the power and goodness of big corporations, had high hopes for racial parity, and looked to institutions like unions and the government to solve their problems.
  • American Heiress: The Patty Hearst Story, from executive producer Jeffrey Toobin and Bat Bridge Entertainment, is a six-part series that will follow the transformation of Patricia Hearst from heiress to terrorist in a saga of privilege, celebrity, politics, media, and violence. More than forty years since the kidnapping, new evidence sheds light on the facts surrounding one of the most bizarre stories in modern American history. The docuseries based on Toobin’s book, American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst, follows his Emmy® and Golden Globe Award wins for The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, a miniseries adapted from his New York Times bestseller, The Run of His Life: The People v. O. J. Simpson.
  • 1968: The Year That Changed America (working title), from Emmy Award-winning executive producers Tom Hanks, Gary Goeztman, Kirk Sudaski (Playtone) and Mark Herzog and Christopher G. Cowen (Herzog & Company), is a four-part series that looks back at 1968, a year marked by seismic shifts in American politics, social movements, global relations and cultural icons who forever changed the modern day landscape. The docuseries maps the tumultuous events of the year from the assassinations of MLK and RFK, to the contentious presidential election, to escalating anti-Vietnam War sentiment and beyond.
  • Kennedys: An American Dynasty (working title), from Raw TV (Race for the White House), is a six-part series that takes viewers to the heart of America’s ‘First Family,’ revealing how personal relationships within the dynasty helped shaped national and global events from the Cold War to the Wall Street crash. The docuseries spans the life of patriarch Joseph “Joe” Kennedy and his children uncovering how this one family so significantly shaped twentieth century America. Louise Norman and Eamon Hardy serve as executive producers.
  • Pope (working title), from Nancy Glass Productions and Rearrange TV, is a six-part series that goes inside the Vatican to reveal the true power held by popes throughout the ages. The docuseries will explore how 12 apostles became 1.2 billion Catholics today, linking recent news events surrounding the Vatican with their unexpected origins. Nancy Glass and Randy Cousman serve as executive producers.

"CNN also confirmed it has picked up new seasons of Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell, This Is Life with Lisa Ling, The History of Comedy, Believer with Reza Aslan, The Wonder List with Bill Weir and The Hunt With John Walsh."