Wednesday May 24, 2017

A preview of tonight's season finale of Survivor.  I find myself pulling for Culpepper.

The season finales of Archer, EmpireRogueArrowShots Fired, The 100 and Law & Order: SVU also air this evening.

Someone won The Voice last night.

Someone also won Dancing With The Stars.

Let's bury and NEVER reboot both of the aforementioned.

Christina Grimmie's family is refiling its wrongful death lawsuit.

Comedy Central ordered 7 additional episodes of The President Show.

Everything Aziz ate in season 2 of Master of None.

And a guide to all of the restaurants he visited.

"Michael Strahan’s SMAC Entertainment has signed an exclusive overall production deal with ITV America. Under the agreement, SMAC will create unscripted projects for television, OTT and digital platforms, which will be produced under the ITV America banner. The two companies are already in business together on the series Tackle My Ride for the NFL Network (with Leftfield Pictures), and have the following projects in development: Spark the Future With Wiz Khalifa (with ITV Entertainment), Pros vs. Kids, Not for Primetime (with Leftfield Pictures), and Guinness World Records (with High Noon & ITV Entertainment)."  Zzzzzzz.

An interview with Comedy Central's Hasan Minhaj.

His appearance on Bill Simmons' podcast this week was great as well.  Minhaj has a pretty deep knowledge on a myriad of subjects.

The Ringer's Bryan Curtis examines why everyone is rooting for ESPN to fail.

Lolo Jones should never be asked to participate in another competition format show.  She's a horrible human being.

"The Baltimore Police Department has launched an online form for people to report sexual offenses related to Netflix’s new docuseries, The Keepers. 'We have been contacted by victims from the past who want to report the sex offenses that occurred to them,' the department wrote on its Facebook page."

Per Deadline, "[s]o much for Jon Stewart’s long-in-the-works big return to television. The former Daily Show host and HBO have agreed to scrap his planned digital animated series for the premium cabler.

“'HBO and Jon Stewart have decided not to proceed with a short form digital animated project,' the parties said in a joint statement tonight. 'We all thought the project had great potential, but there were technical issues in terms of production and distribution that proved too difficult given the quick turnaround and topical nature of the material. We’re excited to report that we have some future projects together which you will be hearing about in the near future.'

"The project, which initially was eyed to roll out before the November presidential election, was to be an Onion-like sendup of a cable news network. The animation was to be done in a way that “allows [Stewart] to comment on events in real time,' HBO’s programming chief Casey Bloys said at TCA last summer. Stewart was set to do the voices.

"The show was to air on HBO’s digital platform and also had been eyed to air on the linear channel, probably in a half-hour format.

"While progress on shortening the animation turnaround time was made, with writers and animators getting close to the one-day goal, churning out videos multiple times a day every day at a high creative level proved a challenge. That, coupled with logistical difficulties of distributing that content on the various HBO platforms in a timely fashion led to the decision not to go further.

"A major investment of time and money was made in the now-defunct series, with HBO owning the technology developed for it that could be used in the future for other animated projects.

"As for what Stewart’s next project will be for HBO, information on that is expected in a couple of weeks. There had been a lot of fan support for a Stewart return to the topical comedy arena, which he dominated or a long time with The Daily Show. 

"The animated show was part of the four-year deal Stewart and HBO inked in November 2015, under then-HBO President of Programming Michael Lombardo, just three months after his 16-year stint on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show ended. The deal’s initial focus was to be on the digital side."

Per The Hollywood Reporter, "Jordan Klepper is gearing up for his big debut.

"The Daily Show correspondent may be leaving Comedy Central's flagship series to take over the coveted 11:30 p.m. slot once held by Stephen Colbert and most recently Larry Wilmore — but he'll still continue to work closely with Trevor Noah, as the Daily Show host is an executive producer on the yet-to-be-named series.

"'The goal of [the new show] is for it to be a companion piece with The Daily Show, so we’re going to deal with politics and the news of the day, but also attack it from a different perspective and try to find some stories that aren’t being told,' Klepper, an alum of Second City and Upright Citizens Brigade, tells The Hollywood Reporter. 'It's literally coming on after The Daily Show, and so we don’t want to be picking from the same news carcass, if you will.'

"While Klepper acknowledges that some overlap between the two half-hours is inevitable, he hopes that his show will offer enough variation. 'We want it to be something where if we are getting [a certain] take on The Daily Show, then when you come to me at 11:30, you’re going to get a different perspective on some of these things,' he explains. 'We’re going to work in tandem so that feels not only like two separate shows that live in a similar world.'

"As Klepper is preparing to transition to the role of full-time host, he has sought out advice from many of his Daily Show predecessors who have been through the same process, including Jon Stewart and Samantha Bee. He also reached out to the time slot's most recent occupant, Wilmore. 'Larry is supportive and so kind and nice about it,' says Klepper, who adds that he was a big fan of The Nightly Show and was 'incredibly bummed' when it got canceled. 'I wish I could be doing this show and Larry could be doing that show right alongside me in some kind of universe where they’re both happening at the same time.'"

Per The Hollywood Reporter, "Discovery Family has ordered a home-makeover series executive produced by Jonathan and Drew Scott, stars of Property Brothers.

"Reno, Set, Go! will feature homeowners 'who've been thrown a curveball or two from life' getting surprised by friends and family as they pull off a covert room makeover in less than 36 hours. A family and a team of expert crafters led by designer Cheryl Torrenueva and contractor Roger Morin will oversee the renovation while the homeowners are kept out of their house.

"The people selected for the surprise makeover were nominated by their spouse or a family member and 'are in desperate need of a home refresh and have overcome challenging situations while remaining positive and inspiring others with their enthusiastic outlook on life.' Featured homeowners will include a couple who maxed out their savings on costly fertility treatments, a single dad whose life revolves around his tween daughters and loving parents to two young children with special needs.

"Jonathan and Drew Scott, who star in HGTV's hit series Property Brothers, will executive produce through their Scott Brothers Entertainment along with Josie Crimi; Danielle Kiraly is the series producer for Scott Brothers. Michela Giorelli is the executive producer for Discovery Family.

"The network has ordered 15 half-hour episodes of the family-friendly series, which is set to premiere at 10 p.m. Monday, June 19, with back-to-back episodes. New episodes also will stream live on Discovery Family GO, the network's TV Everywhere app, and will be available on demand the following day on the app.

"Leading up to the premiere, starting Tuesday, DiscoveryFamilyChannel.com will stream a six-hour renovation of a children's playroom. Viewers will get a behind-the-scenes look at the entire makeover process in real time. That renovation also will be featured in an episode of Reno, Set, Go!.

"Home-makeover shows continue to be hot in cable, with HGTV's Flip or Flop and Fixer Upper among the genre's successful series. And TLC recently announced that it is reviving Trading Spaces, one of its most successful shows, for a 2018 premiere.

"Reno, Set, Go! will join a Discovery Family lineup that features a mix of original series, family-friendly movies and programming from Discovery's nonfiction library along Hasbro Studios' animation franchises including My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Littlest Pet Shop and Transformers Rescue Bots."

"Without a doubt, one of the most anticipated TV events of 2018 is The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. The FX miniseries not only comes from the Emmy Award-winning team from The People v. O.J. Simpson, including executive producer Ryan Murphy (American Horror Story), but also features an all-star cast, including Darren Criss as Andrew Cunanan, Edgar Ramirez as Gianni Versace, Ricky Martin as Gianni’s longtime partner Antonio D’Amico, and Academy Award winner Penelope Cruz as Donatella Versace.

"EW now has your exclusive first official image of Cruz as Donatella, who took control of her brother’s fashion house after Gianni’s murder by Cunanan in 1997. Dressed in a hot pink gown in the image above, Cruz’s Donatella is flanked by two muscular men near the pool at Villa Casa Casuarina, the Miami Beach mansion where Gianni lived and was killed. Part of the project was filmed at the villa, which today features a restaurant and suites.

"The American Crime Story team is also currently in pre-production on another installment, Katrina, which will follow the titular hurricane and its aftermath in New Orleans. That miniseries will star Annette Bening as Kathleen Blanco, the governor of Louisiana during and after Katrina; Matthew Broderick as Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Director Michael D. Brown; and Dennis Quaid as President George W. Bush."

Not directly TV-related, BUT, "Tom Cruise has some very exciting news for those of you with an unquenchable need for speed and monklike patience for sequels. Yes, the borderline mythical Top Gun 2 motion picture is officially on its way after years of chatter. Praise be to St. Goose

"The news was confirmed on the Australian morning show Sunrise as the smiley action hero has been making the rounds promoting The Mummy and likely having an extendec [sic] think about the whole Universal Dark Universe monster mash thing. When pressed if the rumours of a Top Gun sequel were true, Cruise confirmed the news.

“'Yes, it’s true. It’s true,' responded Cruise.

"Not only is the film happening (please call Val Kilmer), but there’s been some thought on when it’s going to have its wheels in motion.

“'You know what? I’m going to start filming it probably in the next year,' offered the Minority Report star. “It is definitely happening.”

"That’s a perfectly reasonable amount of time for finding today’s hottest beach volleyball choreographers and getting Kenny Loggins back in the studio, don’t you think?

"Tom Cruise has certainly never been shy about his interest in a second Top Gun movie. Last year we we were treated to this lovely photo of Cruise and producer Jerry Bruckheimer together sharing that they were chatting about the film."

Per The Ringer, "[t]his is how one man’s well-meaning attempt at self-improvement ends: not with a bang, but with a sketchy commercial on a late-night Murder, She Wrote rerun. He hasn’t yet coined his infamous catchphrase, but there’s a name on the screen and a number to reach him: Saul Goodman, 505–842–5662.

"It’s true to the insistently low-key Better Call Saul that the seasons-in-the-making introduction of Jimmy McGill’s alter ego isn’t a climactic turning point. Instead, Saul’s first appearance — in Episode 7 of Season 3 — is just another domino in the sad, slow-motion chain that is Jimmy’s life, his earnest efforts at reform somehow corralling him back into the criminal lifestyle he’s trying to leave behind. Heading into the final episodes of Saul’s third season, something seems to have fundamentally shifted in Jimmy’s character, but Saul doesn’t give us the luxury of a single, decisive moment when Jimmy chose to follow his worst impulses. Not even the invention of the Saul Goodman character gets to mark the point of no return. On this show, breaking bad is just … a thing that happens, even to the best-intentioned characters.

"The last three Better Call Saul episodes (nos. 5, 6, and 7 out of 10) have seen Jimmy take the most dramatic and irreversible steps yet on his journey to becoming Walter White’s attorney. In Chicanery, he manipulated his older brother, Chuck (Michael McKean), into a humiliating breakdown on the stand to save his own law license. In Off Brand, he rejected the pleas of Chuck’s ex-wife, Rebecca (Ann Cusack), to check in on his devastated sibling, finally renouncing fraternal ties to the man who’d just tried to disbar him. And in the final minutes of Monday night’s Expenses, Jimmy crosses the line into outright maliciousness, informing his and Chuck’s mutual malpractice insurer of his brother’s deteriorated mental state. He’s desperate, banned from practicing law for a year and struggling to find a replacement source of income — so when he can’t get the money he prepaid for the insurance back, he lashes out.

"Jimmy’s most craven act yet isn’t an elaborate, premeditated scheme, the kind Slippin’ Jimmy used to employ and Saul Goodman will soon pull on Breaking Bad. His betrayal is the impulsive cruelty of a man who doesn’t see any better options. It’s the wrong choice, but an understandable one, as were all the wrong choices before it. Bob Odenkirk’s face as he leaves the insurance office is a strikingly ugly mask of rage and frustration. On Better Call Saul, Jimmy is the frog, and his transformation is the water around him slowly coming to a boil.

"Notably, Jimmy doesn’t do any of this under the guise of Saul Goodman. The Saul character’s origin is entirely innocuous, part of Jimmy’s efforts to make an honest living in the year he’ll be suspended from the law. He’s trying to sell the ad space he’d bought to promote his now-dead practice to other Albuquerque small-business owners, and he’d prefer not to do it under his own name — so he dons a fake mustache and shades to pose as Saul Goodman, ad man extraordinaire. Jimmy’s explanation for the moniker is both hopelessly charming and heartbreakingly ignorant of its dubious future: 'It’s like, ‘S’all good, man,'” he tells his skeptical girlfriend Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn). 'It’s just a name.'

"The common factor of all the recent twists in Jimmy’s downward spiral is that none of them were preventable. He couldn’t not defend his right to practice law, and he couldn’t not try to make his ends meet when that right was suspended anyway. Breaking Bad gave Walter White multiple outs he refused to take out of a combination of pride and stubbornness; creator Vince Gilligan has said the writers introduced Walt’s wealthy former partner, Elliott Schwartz, in an early Season 1 episode for that very reason — to make clear that every action Walt takes after turning down Elliott’s money is his own choice. Better Call Saul, on the other hand, makes every phase of Jimmy’s trajectory an inevitable consequence of what came before it.

"That fatalism is especially unavoidable when it comes to the hopelessly complicated relationship between Jimmy and Chuck. Their strained sibling bond was always going to be the catalyst that pushed Jimmy from a sleazebag reforming himself through the law to a sleazebag using the law to his own amoral ends. That doesn’t make the long-brewing rupture between the two of them any less tragic. Chuck has lost his marriage, his health, and all but the most token elements of his once-thriving career; of course he’d try to keep his thoroughly undeserving brother from violating the sanctity of the law. Jimmy finds the man he looked after for years sabotaging his attempt to leave petty crime behind; of course he’d write off any obligation to his brother. Their feud takes on a life of its own, with each party powerless to stop it. Better Call Saul makes Jimmy’s decline a fait accompli where Walter’s was anything but.

"Jimmy hasn’t done anything so dramatic as dissolve a dead body in a bathtub, and it’s improbable he ever will. What he has done, however, is follow his cold war with Chuck to its logical conclusion: inflicting pain on someone he knows is struggling, simply because he considers it adequate payback for the pain that Chuck inflicted on him. Jimmy’s backslide into criminality comes with collateral damage, too; Kim already had to live with profiting off her boyfriend’s forgery, but as cocounsel for the disbarment hearing, she now has to live with being an active participant in Chuck’s public disgrace.

"With all that, Saul Goodman has entered the building. His callousness — the indifference to others’ suffering necessary to become a peripheral player in the meth trade — has always been there, but now Jimmy’s done trying to repress his predatory streak. It’s only a matter of time before Jimmy channels his least savory personality traits into their ideal persona, and it’s unclear what Jimmy could have done differently to have avoided the fate we know awaits him. Making the wrong decision over and over again is sad, Better Call Saul argues. Never having the luxury of one to begin with even more so."

Per The New York Post, "[a]mid reports Katy Perry will be paid $25 million to judge the American Idol revival, the Swish Swish singer says she’s 'proud' to be receiving a hefty paycheck for her work.

"When asked by WKTU’s Paul 'Cubby' Bryant and Carolina Bermudez about the high number, Perry wouldn’t confirm or deny the exact figure, but said, 'I’m really proud that as a woman I got paid.'

“'And you know why? I got paid, pretty much, more than any guy that’s been on that show, and by the way, I love men. So I’m a paid woman and I’m ready for a beautiful man.'

"The 32-year-old Roar singer added that she’s “always been in negotiations for several years but that “it’s never been right” until now. 'Now’s the time for this remodeling. It’s like it’s perfect,' she said.

"Perry also explained what type of judge she’ll be on the panel.

“'I’m going to be the same judge I’ve always been. I’m not judgy — I’m constructive criticism,' she explained. 'Here’s the thing for me is the reality is I am polite but firm.'”