Friday May 5, 2017

"American Idol is taking major steps toward moving forward.  Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that ABC is considered the front-runner to land the singing competition's return — though its original network Fox is still said to be in the mix. ABC, Fox and producers FremantleMedia and Core Media Group all declined comment."  

A deep dive into this week's episode of Better Call Saul, including all of the Breaking Bad parallels.  

Not as deep a dive, but parallels between The Goldbergs and Boy Meets World.

A preview of season 2 of Sense8.

Inside Joe Scarborough's carefully planned marriage proposal to his co-host Mika Brzezinski.

Les Moonves isn't worried about the future of CBS, nor should he be.

NBC has canceled Emerald City.

"The Simpsons has netted a big guest for an upcoming episode: Shaq. The 7-foot-1 NBA Hall of Famer named Shaquille O’Neal will cameo as himself in an episode of the animated Fox comedy, EW has learned exclusively [and I've confirmed]. In the episode, Homer will seek help from Shaq, who currently serves as an NBA analyst on TNT. In addition to releasing multiple rap albums, Shaq has guest-starred on such shows as Curb Your EnthusiasmThe Bernie Mac ShowThe Parkers., and Fresh Off the Boat."

Regis approves of Ryan Seacrest as Kelly Ripa's new co-host.

Former NFL QB Jay Cutler has signed on as a game analyst for Fox for the upcoming NFL season.

"Kevin Hart will try out the newest fitness trends in Kevin Hart: What the Fit? set for premiere exclusively on Hart’s Laugh Out Loud channel on YouTube. The project was among several announced today during YouTube’s NewFronts presentation in New York.

"The Google-owned streaming service also announced new original ad-supported programming starring Ellen DeGeneres (Ellen’s Show Me More Show), Demi Lovato (documentary I Am Demi Lovato) and a concert special headlined by Katy Perry. They join previously announced Best.Cover.Ever, a talent competition from Ryan Seacrest Productions and hosted by Ludacris.

"In Hart’s new weekly show, produced by Lionsgate, Hart and Matt Kunitz (Fear Factor, Wipeout), the comic and acter [sic] will team up with celebrity friends and YouTube stars as they attempt to master a different trending, grueling and sometimes ridiculous workout routine — whether it’s climbing a mountain, working out with the Marines or crashing a hot local yoga class.

"The series is produced by Pulse Creative and Hartbeat Productions in association with Lionsgate Television and Laugh Out Loud.

"Here are details of YouTube’s lineup:

Ellen’s Show Me More Show: Like nothing Ellen has done before, Ellen’s Show Me More Show is a twice-a-week series built just for YouTube, giving fans behind the scenes access to some of the biggest stars and her favorite moments.

Good Mythical Morning: Worldwide YouTube superstars—and hosts of YouTube’s most popular daily show—Rhett & Link will go to new heights in a long-form expansion of Good Mythical Morning, giving fans even more of what they crave: larger-than-life stunts, zanier challenges, and over-the-top laughs.

Kevin Hart: What the Fit?: Kevin will team up with celebrity friends and YouTube stars each week as they attempt to master a different trending, grueling and sometimes ridiculous workout routine.

I Am: Demi Lovato: Global music sensation and social advocate, Demi Lovato reveals a yearlong personal journey of music reinvention and deep discovery as she dives into the writing and recording of her new album in her new series, I Am: Demi Lovato.

Best.Cover.Ever.: From Ryan Seacrest Productions and Endemol Shine North America, Best.Cover.Ever. is a cutting-edge talent competition series hosted by Ludacris where emerging talent from across the globe submit covers to YouTube to vie for the ultimate prize: an opportunity to perform a duet with a superstar artist. Submit your cover now at

The Super Slow Show: YouTube stars The Slow Mo Guys will test the latest in technology to reinvent the way we look at celebrities, music, pranks, comedy sketches and more, giving a one-of-a-kind glimpse into what the world looks like in slow motion.

Katy Perry Live Special: It’s real. It’s raw. It’s Katy Perry. Live on YouTube, The Katy Perry Live Special will take you inside of her world, revealing the experiences and emotions she poured into her all-new soul-baring music on the eve of her highly anticipated album launch. With unique access, global reach and surprise fun packed along the way, Katy will break it all down in this album listen-along, and if you stick around long enough, there might just be fireworks."

"NBC has given two drama pilots — Rise, from former Friday Night Lights showrunner Jason Katims and Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller; and For God & Country, from writer Dean Georgaris — series orders. They come two weeks after the two pilots — both from sibling studio Universal Television — received permission by the network to start making firm offers to writers. NBC traditionally kicks off the new series pickups as it is the first broadcast network to present its 2017-18 schedule on Monday morning of upfront week.

"Rise (fka Drama High), starring How I Met Your Mother‘s Josh Radnor, has been a very early favorite at NBC, which aired the Broadway-themed drama Smash and launched an annual live musical franchise under chairman Bob Greenblatt, a long-time musical theater buff, producer and investor.

"Written by Katims, Rise was inspired by the story of groundbreaking high school drama teacher Lou Volpe as chronicled in the book Drama High. In the hourlong project, when dedicated teacher and family man Lou Mazzuchelli (Radnor) sheds his own self-doubt and takes over the school’s lackluster theater department, he galvanizes not only the faculty and students but the entire working-class town.

"The series stars Radnor, Rosie Perez and Marley Shelton, with a young cast featuring Moana star Auli’i Cravalho. Damon J. Gillespie, Amy Forsyth, Rarmian Newton, Ted Sutherland, Casey Johnson, Taylor Richardson, Joe Tippett and Shirley Rumierk also-co-star, while Stranger Things standout Shannon Purser (aka Barb) has a recurring role. Katims and Michelle Lee executive produce via True Jack Productions. Seller and Flody Suarez also executive produce via Seller Suarez Productions. Mike Cahill is director/executive producer.

"Written by Georgaris and starring Mike Vogel and Anne Heche, For God & Country is described as a heart-pounding journey into the complex world of America’s elite undercover military heroes. While D.I.A. Deputy Director Patricia Campbell (Anne Heche) and her team of analysts wield the world’s most advanced surveillance technology from Washington, D.C., Adam Dalton (Mike Vogel) and his heroic Special Ops squad of highly trained undercover specialists use their unbreakable bond and commitment to freedom to save lives of innocent people and execute missions in some of the most dangerous places in the world.

"The cast includes Anne Heche, Mike Vogel, Sofia Pernas, Tate Ellington, Natacha Karam, Demetrius Grosse, Noah Mills and Hadi Tabbal. Georgaris executive produces with Keshet’s Avi Nir, Alon Shtruzman, Peter Traugott and Rachel Kaplan. Brad Anderson is director/executive producer."

Per The New York Times, "[a] new book about Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald J. Trump in the presidential election could be heading to the small screen.

Shattered, by the journalists Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, has been optioned by TriStar Television, a division of Sony Pictures Television, and Davis Entertainment for a limited series. The deal was confirmed by Bridget Matzie, a literary agent for the authors. A network is not yet attached to the project.

"Among the first post-mortems of the election, Shattered has been a mainstay in dinner-party chatter in political circles since its publication. The continued interest in the election has brought talk of other book-to-TV series as well. The political journalists and analysts Mark Halperin and John Heilemann are currently working on a book about Mr. Trump’s campaign that has also been optioned for a mini-series by HBO.

"Mrs. Clinton’s camp took to Twitter in an attempt to bat down some of the book’s depictions of campaign dysfunction.

"In a post on Medium, Christina Reynolds, a deputy communications director for Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, expressed dissatisfaction with the book’s portrait of the campaign.

“'It’s hard to read a depiction of the campaign that paints a dedicated, cohesive team as mercenaries with questionable motives who lacked a loyalty to a candidate described as "imperial" and removed from the campaign,' Ms. Reynolds wrote.

"The book’s assertions of campaign infighting and dysfunction — and the notion that Mrs. Clinton was at times befuddled by the frustration and resentment expressed by voters — cast an unflattering light just as Mrs. Clinton has re-emerged in a series of public appearances.

"Besides talk about the campaign, a TV series could set off a popular Washington parlor game: Which actors and actresses might portray some of the more prominent players?

"No writers have been chosen for the project yet."

According to The Hollywood Reporter, "The Chris Gethard Show is on the move.

"The Funny or Die production is making the leap to truTV and will be telecast live for the first time. The Turner-owned cable network has greenlighted 16 hourlong episodes of the series. A premiere date has yet to be announced.

"The show features Gethard presiding over a panel of comedian friends and oddballs, along with a live studio audience and callers from around the world, who participate in games, tackle bizarre stunts and react to the controlled chaos around them.

"'I've long admired truTV for their brand of honest, in-your-face comedy. Myself and the gang from The Chris Gethard Show are thrilled to have a new home on the network and are licking our chops for a chance to match the bar truTV has set the past few years,' Gethard said. 'I also can't believe they're letting us do the show live. Kudos to them for embracing what could be a real disaster. My promise to you though is that should it be a disaster, The Chris Gethard Show on truTV will be the most watchable disaster the world has ever seen.'

"This is the latest move for The Chris Gethard Show, which started as a live comedy show in New York City before moving to public access television in Manhattan. In 2015, the series jumped to Fusion for a two-year run. Over the years, The Chris Gethard Show has attracted A-list guests, including Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler, P. Diddy, Lena Dunham and Paul Giamatti.

"Ferrell also serves as an exec producer on the series, along with Gethard, Zach Galifianakis, Adam McKay, Owen Burke, J.D. Amato, Anna Wenger and AGI Entertainment Media & Management's Brian Stern.

"Gethard, who trained at the famed Upright Citizens Brigade, has seen his star rise in recent years with his award-winning podcast, Beautiful Stories From Anonymous People, his book A Bad Idea I'm About to Do: True Tales of Seriously Poor Judgment and Stunningly Awkward Adventure, as well as appearances in TV shows like Broad City,Parks and Rec and Louie.

"Next up is his first HBO special, which hails from exec producer Judd Apatow and is based on his Broadway one-man show, Chris Gethard: Career Suicide. The special debuts Saturday."

Per Deadline, "[a]s Game of Thrones is heading into the final chapters of its eight-season run on HBO, the premium cable network has revealed some information about its succession plan, signing deals with four writers to join George R.R. Martin in the development and writing of four GoT offshoot series.

"The network would not specify whether the series would be prequels, sequels, spinoffs or companion series to GoT — or all of the above — only noting that each project would “explore different time periods of George R. R. Martin’s vast and rich universe” in his epic fantasy book series A Song of Ice and Fire.

"GoT creators/executive producers Dan Weiss and David Benioff, who are finishing up the upcoming  seventh season and already are in the midst of writing and preparing for the series’ eighth and final season, are attached as executive producers on all projects alongside Martin but will not be involved in the writing. The four potential GoT offshoot series will be written by:

Max Borenstein (Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island)

Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass, Kingsman and X-Men franchises), George R. R. Martin

Brian Helgeland (Mystic River, A Knights Tale)

Carly Wray (AMC’s Mad Man), George R. R. Martin

"HBO stresses that all four projects are in development. There is no set timetable for them, and they will be evaluated when the scripts are completed.

"It is logical to assume that the network would like to have a new GoT-themed series launch behind the final season of the blockbuster mothership show.

"HBO brass had hinted about trying to expand the popular GoT franchise with additional series, including a possible prequel or spinoff. Martin, who is under an overall deal at HBO, also had been alluding to new projects he has in the works at the network."