Thursday July 13, 2017

Fox has renewed Beat Shazam for a 2nd season.  Gross.

TNT has renewed Claws for a 2nd season.  Gross.

Suits + cake = Utopia

Netflix spends a LOT of money.

And if they cracked down on password sharing, they could probably bring in another $400,000,000 annually. "Twelve percent of adults who use streaming services such as Netflix have done so for at least one service by using credentials from someone outside of their household at some point, according to a new survey by Reuters. That share is higher among viewers ages 18 to 24. Twenty-one percent of those young-adult streamers have borrowed someone else’s password, found the June survey of more than 4,400 US adults, including 3,500 who streamed video through cable-TV providers or services like Amazon Prime, Hulu, or Netflix."

More hate for Netflix series Friends From College.

Ramona Singer (The Real Housewives of New York) appears on Fox's Love Connection tonight.  Helluva crossover everyone!

An oral history of HBO's Oz.

Bachelor in Paradise will premiere on August 14.  Yay.

WE is brining back Bridezillas with 10 new episodes.

A&E has ordered 100 more episodes of Live PD.  "Live PD, which is the top unscripted crime series on cable, follows diverse police departments nationwide in real time as they patrol their neighborhoods. The series contributed to A&E experiencing its fourth consecutive month of growth in June among total viewers."

I will always root for Greek alums!  "The Carmichael Show may have ended its run after three seasons, but leading studio 20th Century Fox TV is keeping series co-star Amber Stevens West in the fold with a regular role on another comedy series, the upcoming Ghosted on Fox, which recast one of its female parts after the pilot. Buddy comedy Ghosted stars Craig Robinson and Adam Scott as two polar-opposite partners – a cynical skeptic and a genius 'true believer' in the paranormal – who are recruited to investigate unexplained phenomena in Los Angeles, all while uncovering a larger mystery that could threaten the existence of the human race. West will play Annie, a smart, fun and down-to-earth tech specialist/weapons expert at the Bureau Underground. She is an idealist who believes in the Bureau’s mission but as passionate as she is about designing high grade weaponry to battle paranormal enemies, she’s equally excited about hanging with her dog, drinking cheap rosé and watching the latest hit TV series."

The Emmy races are heating up.  There's going to be a LOT of Emmys talk between now and September 17.

See what I'm saying?

"Kids have joined in on the search for a perfect home in HGTV’s House Hunters franchise. House Hunters Family, the latest spinoff from Pie Town Productions, will now follow entire families from across the U.S. as they tour three properties before weighing the pros and cons to settle on the home of their dreams. The series marks the 14th spinoff from the original House Hunters series, which now include House Hunters International, Island HuntersHouse Hunters Renovation and House Hunters: Million Dollar Homes. House Hunters Family premieres July 31 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV."

"The fight is on in season 8 of The Walking Dead as the communities of Alexandria, the Hilltop, and the Kingdom have united in the battle against their oppressor Negan. And that means many of our favorites who barely interacted last season are back together fighting side by side. Favorites like, say, Daryl and Carol!

"EW has the exclusive first photo from season 8, and it features Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride as their Walking Dead alter-egos just as you like them — with Carol packing heat and Daryl on his trusty motorcycle. And if you like seeing this, there’s plenty more where that came from as showrunner Scott M. Gimple promises season 8 will build off the reunions and first-time unions that unfolded in the season 7 finale.

“'The season finale last year, seeing all the characters together interacting as one, was thrilling. It was exciting to see all these configurations of characters we hadn’t seen before. Even Aaron merely giving Jerry an apple felt satisfying.' Season 8 will continue that trajectory in a major way. 'This is that times a million,' says Gimple of what’s to come. 'Though it would be cool if the season began with just everybody giving each other apples. I’d be down with that.' He pauses. 'But it’s not that.'”

The Hollywood Reporter sat down with Suits showrunner Aaron Korsh: "To break down the premiere and look ahead at the rest of the seventh season, The Hollywood Reporter caught up with showrunner Aaron Korsh. Here, he discusses the show’s developing tone, where Harvey goes from here and whether Harvey is in the market for a new secretary:

Does Harvey officially have his groove back?

To some degree you could make the case that Harvey never lost his groove. He probably did there for a little bit in one way or another, but he never completely lost it. So sure, he has his groove back, but this is Suits, so there’s always something lurking. He’s not going to be conflict-free for the rest of the season. He’s made some bold decisions, and when you make bold decisions, they often have consequences.

Can you expand on that? He got the girl, Donna is beside him, Louis is in agreement — how do you inject conflict at this point?

If you look to the relationships of the show, Donna is by his side, but given their history and the fact that he’s with a new woman, she doesn’t know if there’s potential there. Louis has agreed, but in the history of the show, has Louis stood by anything permanently? What we set up at the end of season six and in the beginning of this season is that Harvey has made some decisions that are bold and possibly good, but that could also have consequences. He made a one-for-one deal with Mike to come back to the firm; we do a pro-bono, we do a corporate case. That wasn’t the most prudent thing to do — it’s like if you were the head coach of a football team and promised a player they could play both football and baseball. It’s possible your player could get injured doing that other thing and it could ruin your whole season. You never know what the deal you make is going to do. There is an inherent conflict between representing the interests of the downtrodden and the powerless and corporate law, which represents the interests of the powerful and exploitative. That decision will probably come back to bite them both in the ass.

How will Donna’s promotion affect things?

He took someone that was his secretary and didn’t give her a promotion to, like, office manager or head of marketing or whatever, he made her a senior partner and jumped her, like, 15 levels up the rung. That can have consequences, too, because people work at the firm and they might not love that someone leapfrogged them. That could have consequences for Donna and Harvey.

Donna gave a quote in the episode about how many non-lawyers are actually partners at firms. Did you guys do research into that to back up the legitimacy of someone like her making partner?

Nope. I am not a big fan of research; I like making stuff up. I worked in the corporate world and I do know that it seemed legit to me that there are COOs that are not lawyers at law firms. We may have actually looked it up, but that stat is not true. Later, she refers to certain law firms in particular that have non-lawyer COOs and those firms are fictional. That’s easy to make up. But it’s something that is certainly legit because it could be true. There’s no law against it. We prefer to make it feel real rather than be real.

Does this open up the door for Harvey to get a new secretary?

We’re almost through the first 10 [episodes] and we don’t deal with it. You never saw Jessica’s secretary. It has more to do with taking up screen time than anything else. Had we hired a new secretary and devoted time to that, we’d have to give a story to that purpose. I don’t really care about watching somebody make appointments; it would have to be a story about what’s going on with the two of them. And we had so much else going on, we decided not to focus on that. Harvey is still able to go about his day as Jessica did. Donna’s role in the firm was much larger than secretary anyway; a large part of her role was keeping the peace between Harvey and Louis. Even though she’s not Harvey’s secretary anymore, if we gave him a new secretary that might steal Donna’s role functionally from a story point of view. We didn’t want anyone to steal her role away from the firm.

It seems like Rachel being put in charge of the associates is leapfrogging, too — will there be repercussions for that?

Louis felt like it was leapfrogging him, but he ends up realizing she’s better at it than he is right now because he’s not in the right headspace. But is it going to be tough for someone of Rachel’s status and stature in the firm to oversee the associates? Probably. She’s probably going to have some conflict coming her way.

Is it safe to assume she’s also a full-fledged lawyer now, too?

Yes, we are positing that she is now officially a lawyer and done law school. The thing is, she’s probably older than most first- and second-year associates would be because she was a paralegal for so long. But that doesn’t mean you’re going to feel good about being overseen by somebody who just became a lawyer.

Will she perform in any court cases this season?

We will see her performing as a lawyer, but I don’t think as of yet she’s in court. But we don’t spend that much time in court with any of our people.

Mike and Rachel are still planning this wedding. How does that factor into this season?

Part of the issue for them is they have to get back to planning this wedding. We tackle that early on. Planning a wedding takes a lot of time and energy. At the same time, she’s just starting out her career as a lawyer and Mike is starting his career as a legitimate lawyer and that takes a lot of time and energy. The sort of pull of those two different things, they’re going to talk about that and deal with that in the course of the first half of the season.

Tonally, what was your goal for the season?

I always say I’m looking to tone it down, but when we get there I don’t want to be bored. We always try to put comedy in, but it’s more difficult to go back and change the tone of something and make it significantly lighter than it was or how light it was in the beginning. It feels like the natural progression is to get a tad heavier over time. This season isn’t as heavy as Mike being in prison with his life in jeopardy. We absolutely have some fun, lighter moments. The first episode has a lot of fun and lightness and banter in it. The rest of the season has comedy, too, but it’s not without its drama.

Is that drama internal drama or are there external factors weighing in?

A little bit of both. Our characters are in different places in their lives and there have been some change-ups with the dynamic of the firm. But we’re also bringing in some new characters and cases, and there’s drama with that.

Are there any returning characters this season you can highlight?

We’re incredibly excited to welcome Dule Hill to the cast, he’s a great addition. We are absolutely going to see more of Christina Cole. Her addition shakes things up and will affect fans who are hoping for another relationship to come to fruition. Obviously Robert Zane (Wendell Pierce) is going to come back over the course of the season. We are going to meet a brand-new character that we heard about in the past but have never met. I’m not going to say who or who the actor is, but I love him. We have another recurring, old nemesis that the writers came up with bringing back based on a storyline that was already embedded in the season, and when they pitched him to me, both the way he comes back and what ultimately happens to him, I loved it. It’s such a great idea. Other than that, we’ve got some new, young associates. Katrina (Amanda Schull) will be around from time to time. Gretchen (Aloma Wright) is back. And aside from all these people, there is always room for old characters to pop up unexpectedly."

Per Lifehacker, "[i]t’s OK to skip episodes—or entire seasons—of a prestige TV show, says New York Times TV critic James Poniewozik, a stance that Lifehacker boldly took in May. He cites fellow critic Alan Sepinwall, who’s sick of the 'It Gets Good phenomenon' that plagues Peak TV. Even critics, who get paid to watch TV, don’t want to slog through bad episodes of good shows. Why should you?

"According to Poniewozik, fans call the new Twin Peaks an '18-hour movie.' You know what else is an 18-hour movie? Andy Warhol’s Empire, played twice, then two more hours. It’s an 8-hour shot of the Empire State Building. 'I believe your life will be better if you watch some Twin Peaks rather than none,' says Poniewozik, so go ahead and watch whatever parts you want, then quit without guilt.

"This is also a great strategy for getting your friends into your favorite show. Don’t push the whole series on them and say 'stick with it until season 3' or they will never start watching. Just pick your favorite episode and recommend that. Then if they don’t like it, you’ve only wasted one hour of their time, not 18."

From Vulture: "Tuesday’s big revelations in the Trump-Russia scandal produced a predictable surge in cable-news ratings, with Sean Hannity and Rachel Maddow getting the biggest bumps. Maddow was No. 1 for the day in the key news demographic of adults under 55, followed by Hannity (boosted by a POTUS-promoted interview with Donald Trump Jr.) and MSNBC’s The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell. But among all viewers, the flagship broadcasts of Fox News and MSNBC finished in a near-tie last night:

Hannity: 2.885 million
Maddow: 2.585 million

"Hannity’s 10 p.m. broadcast edged out Maddow’s 9 p.m. hour by a statistically insignificant 30,000 pairs of eyeballs. Not doing all that well, relatively speaking? CNN.

"While it did see its numbers go up from the night before, the network Donald Trump loves to hate finished a distant third Tuesday, behind MSNBC and Fox News. And in prime time (8–11 p.m.), CNN’s audience was either flat or down in all three hours versus the same night in 2016. Not that Fox News execs should be all that happy about their Tuesday performance, either, at least compared to the same night in 2016. While Hannity was way up versus last year (thanks, Don Jr.), Tucker Carlson and The Five were down sharply compared to their now-departed predecessors at 8 and 9 p.m., The O’Reilly Factor and The Kelly File. Indeed, Carlson’s liberal-baiting hour (2.35 million) pulled in one-third fewer viewers than O’Reilly (3.47 million) averaged a year ago, while also doing worse in the key demo. These numbers are just for one night, of course. Fox News remains a ratings powerhouse, even with MSNBC increasingly challenging its lead in the key news demo. And while CNN has been having a rough few weeks in the ratings, relative to recent highs, the news network is still up in 2017 versus 2016."

Per The Verge, "AT&T is getting ready to launch a new video platform that will underpin its DirecTV Now service and eventually support all of its consumer video services. Moving to a single video platform will allow AT&T to develop new features faster, the company says.

"The 'next-generation video platform' will allow AT&T to launch a Cloud DVR for DirecTV Now — the biggest missing feature from the service — as well as live TV pausing and parental controls before the end of the year. AT&T also says it will bring user profiles, downloadable content, and 4K HDR support to the over-the-top service in 2018.

"The standard version of DirecTV will also get an upgrade, with the mobile companion app getting an overhaul as well. AT&T is aiming to have a consistent design across its mobile video apps, which means DirecTV Now’s mobile apps may get a bit of a redesign less than a year after it launched.

"The entire rollout will be finished in 'the coming years,' according to AT&T. So, don’t expect everything to happen immediately. A beta test for the new platform will begin this summer for invited DirecTV Now users, which will come with access to the cloud DVR."