Friday July 14, 2017

"With multiple Emmy nominations for each of its first two seasons, including a 2016 win for writing, Master of None co-creator Alan Yang is in no rush to churn out a Season 3 of the Netflix original. 'It’s still up in the air,' Yang told Deadline [yester]day after the second Comedy Series Emmy nom for the show he co-created with star Aziz Ansari. 'We only want to do it if we have something we’re really excited about. We’ll see. The show is a lot of fun to work on, and we have a great time doing it. We’ll see if those ideas come and we get the spark to do it another year. We don’t want to do it unless it’s great.'”

Game of Thrones finally returns for a 7th season on Sunday.

More about Netflix series Friends From College.  I'm STILL looking forward to watching this one.  It's streaming now.

Narco Season 3 got an official release date and its first teaser trailer courtesy of Netflix today. The new season, which launches September 1, will explore the Colombian cocaine trafficking business in the wake of the death of Pablo Escobar. The Cali Cartel, led by four powerful godfathers, operates much differently than Escobar, preferring to bribe government officials and keep its violent actions out of the headlines.

Production on The Walking Dead has been shut down.

Man that guy David Norton from Married At First Sight: Second Chances is a lying punk, huh?

And now he's allegedly dating Kimberly Birch?  (I had to look her up too, don't worry)

More Drake / The Handmaid's Tale fodder.

I really hope Cody returns to the Big Brother house.

Charlie Sheen is now a vegan, FYI.

Tyler Perry made another huge deal.  Guy just keeps printing money.

What's next for Noah Hawley?  More Fargo I hope.

"Considering the I.Q. of an average Jersey Shore cast member barely rivals that of a chicken sandwich, it’s only fitting that the MTV reality show’s latest reunion went down at a Burger King. Nearly all of the usual suspects — Snooki, JWoww, Pauly D, The Situation, Sammi Sweethart, Vinny and Deena — appear in a new ad campaign for the fast food franchise’s new Chicken Parmesan Sandwich, though a few faces are conspicuously absent from the festivities. (I can’t say I’m surprised by the lack of Angelina, but was Ronnie really too busy to show up to this? He did know there were free sandwiches at stake, yes?) Anyway, the menu at Burger King may be evolving, but you’ll be happy — or not, I don’t know your life — to hear that not much has changed in terms of the Jersey Shore crew’s dynamic. Vinny still gets treated like the little brother, The Situation still prefers soft buns, and Pauly D is still a mysteriously ageless DJ."

Here is a link to the aforementioned BK short.  Enjoy.

Here are your 2017 Emmy Award Nominees (with my selections, not who I think will win, in bold):


Better Call Saul
The Crown
The Handmaid’s Tale
House of Cards
Stranger Things
This Is Us


Master of None
Modern Family
Silicon Valley
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt


Big Little Lies
Feud: Bette and Joan
The Night Of


Black Mirror: San Junipero
Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Sherlock: The Lying Detective
The Wizard of Lies


Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Anthony Hopkins, Westworld
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Matthew Rhys, The Americans
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
Milo Ventimiglia, This Is Us


Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
Aziz Ansari, Master of None
Zach Galifianakis, Baskets
Donald Glover, Atlanta
William H. Macy, Shameless
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent


Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder
Claire Foy, The Crown
Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale
Keri Russell, The Americans
Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld
Robin Wright, House of Cards


Pamela Adlon, Better Things
Jane Fonda, Grace and Frankie
Allison Janney, Mom
Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish
Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie


Riz Ahmed, The Night Of
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: The Lying Detective
Robert De Niro, The Wizard of Lies
Ewan McGregor, Fargo
Geoffrey Rush, Genius
John Turturro, The Night Of


Carrie Coon, Fargo
Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies
Jessica Lange, Feud: Bette and Joan
Susan Sarandon, Feud: Bette and Joan
Reese Witherspoon, Big Little Lies


Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul
Ron Cephas Jones, This Is Us
David Harbour, Stranger Things
Michael Kelly, House of Cards
John Lithgow, The Crown
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
Jeffrey Wright, Westworld


Louie Anderson, Baskets
Alec Baldwin, Saturday Night Live
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Tony Hale, Veep
Matt Walsh, Veep


Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black
Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things
Ann Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale
Chrissy Metz, This Is Us
Thandie Newton, Westworld
Samira Wiley, The Handmaid’s Tale


Vanessa Bayer, Saturday Night Live
Anna Chlumsky, Veep
Kathryn Hahn, Transparent
Leslie Jones, Saturday Night Live
Judith Light, Transparent
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live


Bill Camp, The Night Of
Alfred Molina, Feud: Bette and Joan
Alexander Skarsgard, Big Little Lies
David Thewlis, Fargo
Stanley Tucci, Feud: Bette and Joan
Michael Kenneth Williams, The Night Of


Judy Davis, Feud: Bette and Joan
Laura Dern, Big Little Lies
Jackie Hoffman, Feud: Bette and Joan
Regina King, American Crime
Michelle Pfeiffer, The Wizard of Lies
Shailene Woodley, Big Little Lies


Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
The Late Late Show with James Corden
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Real Time with Bill Maher


Billy on the Street
Documentary Now!
Drunk History
Saturday Night Live
Tracy Ullman’s Show


The Amazing Race
American Ninja Warrior
Project Runway
RuPaul’s Drag Race
Top Chef
The Voice


Riz Ahmed, Girls
Dave Chappelle, Saturday Night Live
Tom Hanks, Saturday Night Live
Hugh Laurie, Veep
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Saturday Night Live
Matthew Rhys, Girls


Becky Ann Baker, Girls
Angela Bassett, Master of None
Carrie Fisher, Catastrophe
Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live
Wanda Sykes, Black-ish
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live


Hank Azaria, Ray Donovan
Brian Tyree Henry, This Is Us
Gerald McRaney, This Is Us
Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline
Denis O’Hare, This Is Us
BD Wong, Mr. Robot


Alexis Bledel, The Handmaid’s Tale
Laverne Cox, Orange is the New Black
Ann Dowd, The Leftovers
Shannon Purser, Stranger Things
Cicely Tyson, How to Get Away with Murder
Alison Wright, The Americans

Here's some post-mortem to said nominees, including who may have been snubbed: "[w]hile this year’s Emmy nominations went largely as we thought they would, there were of course a few surprises, and a few dreaded snubs, contained within the long list of actors and series singled out as the best of the year.

"Perhaps the biggest surprise of the morning was just how much the Academy went in for Saturday Night Live. The long-running sketch show tied for the most amount of nominations overall, with myriad hosts getting guest actor nods and lots of representation in technical categories. Which isn’t that much of a shock. But cast members Kate McKinnon (a winner last year), Leslie Jones, and Vanessa Bayer, who just left the series, were all nominated in the supporting actress category, which indicates that something about S.N.L. really clicked for voters this year. What could it be? What has changed in the world since the 2016 Emmys? It’s hard to say, but something about current events had the TV Academy turning to Lorne Michaels’s venerable series for laughs and, possibly, catharsis.

"Any doubts that HBO had about Westworld’s stature ought to have been quelled by the raft of nominations the show scored today. The sci-fi mystery box show tied with S.N.L. for the most nominations, a whopping 22. The Academy can be a bit iffy on genre stuff sometimes, but that was certainly not the case here. Now we just have to see if it can actually win anything. The series—something of a make-or-break, must-be-a-hit for a network that’s soon going to lose Game of Thrones—faces stiff competition from NBC’s smash-success fan favorite This Is Us, and Netflix’s lavish The Crown.

"Elsewhere in surprise land, there were a few of those 'Still??' nominations that have long been an infamous Emmys bug. Given the rich landscape of television comedy, that Modern Family scored yet another nod is frustrating, if not entirely unexpected. When a fresh, vibrant new show like Insecure was right there, waiting to be recognized, giving a slot to tired, won-a-million-times Modern Family seems a bit lazy. If it was an attempt to honor a network show, they already had that in Black-ish. A puzzlement, then.

"Ben Mendelsohn, though a terrific actor and so memorable on Bloodline’s first season, is barely in the third season, and yet he picked up a guest actor nod for that little-watched Netflix series. He’s been nominated for this role for three years in a row, and won in 2016. On the other side of things, we’re wondering what about Season 2 of Baskets got Zach Galifianakis nominated for comedy actor, after he was overlooked for the first. Maybe we need to watch to find out!

"Surprises and snubs as inextricably linked, so we might as well press on to the disappointments, which are their own kind of surprise. But not always! The Leftovers, HBO’s highly lauded existential drama, finished its three-season run in beautiful fashion, and yet it barely made it onto the nominations list. As we feared, it was just too good for its own, well, good. (Remember: The Wire was nominated for just two measly Emmys over the course of its run.) Only Leftovers guest actress Ann Dowd scored a nomination for acting (she’s a double nominee this year, for Leftovers and Handmaid’s Tale), and the show couldn’t even pick up a cinematography nod—despite being one of the most dazzlingly shot series to ever air on television. Sometimes it takes a few seasons for the Academy to connect with a show—just look at The Americans—and unfortunately, The Leftovers just ran out of time. Ah well."

"At least the show’s female lead, Carrie Coon, netted a nomination for her equally enjoyable, if less hefty, work on Fargo this season. Though her presence on the limited-series/TV movie list may have kept Oprah Winfrey, of all people, off of it. Oprah not getting an acting nomination could be seen as the biggest snub of them all. At least her film, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, was shortlisted in the TV movie category. (Elsewhere in that category: did anyone see Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love getting in there? We sure didn’t! But, hey, good for Dolly.)

"In the non-narrative arena, there’s grumbling about the fact that Late Night with Seth Meyers failed to get a nomination in the variety talk series category. He was up against a crowded field, sure, but could anyone really say that Jimmy Kimmel Live!was more vital this year than Meyers’s often trenchant, increasingly political show? With both Late Night and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon off the list, NBC got shut out, which could be pointed, or could just be a coincidence. After all, the Peacock people have all those S.N.L. nominations to console them."

Per TheWrap, "[e]ver hear of the 'John Oliver Effect'?

"That’s when Oliver invites his fans to 'attack, harass, and injure the show’s subjects,' according to a coal boss who has been on the receiving end of verbal attacks by Oliver’s viewers.
Murray Energy CEO Robert E. Murray is asking a court to muzzle the host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver in the hopes that Oliver’s fans will stop targeting him with angry messages.

"Murray’s lawyers claim Oliver launched a defamatory 'character assassination' of Murray in Oliver’s June 18 report, prompting fans to flood Murray’s mail, telephone and social media with messages calling the businessman a 'f—ing scumbag,' 'rich greedy asshole,' and 'responsible for coal miner’s [sic] deaths!'

"Murray filed a libel lawsuit against  Oliver and HBO on June 19 in West Virginia over Oliver’s scathing critique of the coal magnate’s safety record and fatal coal mine collapse.

"Less than a week after filing the lawsuit, Murray is back in court asking the court to immediately order Oliver to stop making any future verbal 'attacks' against Murray, stop talking about Murray’s libel lawsuit, never air the June 18 segment again, and immediately take the segment down from the internet.

"But Murray’s June 28 motion to silence Oliver will probably fail, experts told TheWrap.  That’s because the First Amendment prohibits courts from blocking future speech about matters of public concern in most cases.

“'I think there is virtually no chance the Court would grant the injunction requested by Bob Murray and his coal companies, and if it does, it will be unsupported by the law,' Ricardo Cestero, a media lawyer at the Los Angeles firm of Greenberg Glusker, told TheWrap. 'It’s basically censorship, and the First Amendment prohibits those types of orders,' Cestero said.

"Murray’s lawyers disagree, saying that Oliver cannot not 'resist an injunction [by] using words such as "First Amendment" and "free speech.”'

"Murray’s legal team argues in court papers that 'these rights do not give anyone the right to say anything, anywhere, to anyone,' especially not defamatory speech.

"But David Greene, civil liberties director and senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco, was skeptical that Murray could win a gag order silencing Oliver and HBO.

"To win, Murray must show that the order 'is truly necessary to prevent extremely serious harm, like a serious threat to national security,' Greene told TheWrap.

“'The coal plaintiffs in this case will have an extremely difficult time passing this test,' Greene said. 'The harm they are seeking to prevent with this order — what they consider to be harassing communications form John Oliver‘s viewers — is not close to the type of harm that would justify a prior restraint.'

"Murray also may have a problem stopping the John Oliver Effect.

"Because Murray and his coal companies did not sue Oliver’s fans, a 'court absolutely does not have the ability to gag Oliver’s viewers who aren’t parties before it,' attorney Greene said.

"Even if Murray sues the fans, he probably could not block their onslaught of calls and emails.

“'The First Amendment broadly protects the right to criticize, mock, ridicule and speak out about public figures,' attorney Cestero said.

"Murray argues that a gag order for Oliver is necessary because his IT team is worried that Oliver’s fans may attempt to hack the company’s 'computer networks' monitoring safety conditions in the mines. He also says that his fragile health has been worsened by 'the phenomenon that Time and Fortune magazines have dubbed the "John Oliver Effect."'

"HBO said in a written statement, 'Murray Energy’s request is a dangerous and unprecedented violation of the First Amendment rights of HBO, John Oliver and the show, and we look forward to presenting our case in court.'”

Per Deadline, "[b]efitting the unexpected blockbuster launch of Stranger Things last year, the series from twin brothers Matt and Ross Duffer pulled 18 Emmy nominations this morning, including nominations for Directing, Writing and Outstanding Drama Series.

"Even with the TV Academy love today, the brothers still don’t know exactly what it was that launched their series into the stratosphere. 'I don’t think anyone really was expecting it. I think everyone involved with it was very passionate about it. I think that comes through, and I think the ensemble in general—and particularly, the kids—I think everybody really connected to them,' says Matt Duffer. 'I think that’s really what it was. I think people fell in love with these kids.'

"Currently in the process of editing the second season, the Duffers teased a bit of what’s to come in the highly-anticipated, October-premiering second season.  'We just did color and mixing on the first few episodes, so we’re over halfway through, really. It is a bigger season in some regards, but a lot of it is just new to us, sitting and going through visual effects shots. We had some last year, but we have many more this year, so that’s a new experience for us,' Ross Duffer says.

“'But it’s all coming together. This is our favorite part, honestly, when you have the score in there, the color gets done, and it’s suddenly like, "Oh my god. It’s a finished show.”'

“'It’s tricky,' Matt adds, commenting on the challenging job of the secrecy-tinged series. 'I love that there’s so much interest, but I think part of the reason the show did well is because people knew nothing about it, going in. You want to preserve some of that.'

"Touching on David Harbour’s impassioned, indirectly political speech at the SAG Awards this year, the Duffers discussed the effect the ’80s-nostalgic show is having in this current moment, and the way it functions in relation to the world we live in now. 'There’s one aspect of it that’s an escape, but I also think it’s a time politically where there’s a lot of conflict, and people are very divided.' Ross Duffer says. 'What we’re trying to do in this show is that different people can come together, outsiders can come together, and they can make the world a better place.'

“'It’s a simple message. It’s not trying to be too much. It’s just like, with your family and your friends, you are powerful. You may think you live in a normal house in Everywhere, U.S.A., but I think you can make a difference. When we were growing up in the suburbs of North Carolina, that’s the kind of stories that really resonated with us,' he adds.

"Says Matt: 'There’s a lot of really great television about anti-heroes, or bad people who are fun to watch, so for us, we wanted to do something about good people.'”

From The Hollywood Reporter, "[a]s a result of AMC's very public legal battle with The Walking Dead creator Frank Darabont, a judge ordered in 2014 that the network would have to hand over contracts relating to two of its other hit shows: Mad Men and Breaking Bad. On Thursday, those documents became public, revealing a treasure trove of previously unreported details — financial and otherwise — about the two of TV's most celebrated dramas.  

"A close look at the contracts offers a rare look inside the triangular relationship between a studio, network and powerful showrunner. The documents disclose that the license fees for Mad Men, which was produced by Lionsgate Television and ran from 2007-2015, started at $1.85 million per episode (roughly 77 percent of the $2.4 million budget); Breaking Bad, produced by Sony Pictures Television and running from 2008-2013, began at $1.75 million (80 percent of the $2.05 million budget) and currently airing spinoff Better Call Saul started at a license fee of $2.5 million (more than 83 percent of the $3 million net pattern budget). Of course, each of the shows were allocated significant bumps for subsequent seasons. Mad Men’s license fee, for example, jumped from $2.85 million in season 5 to $3.69 million in season six to a whopping $4 million in its seventh and final season.  

"The most revealing of the documents is a 2011 license amendment between AMC and Mad Men producer Lionsgate that saw the companies lock down season five, six and seven of the drama after a long and heated negotiation with creator Matthew Weiner involving disagreements over cost-cutting measures, product placement and shortened episodes to accommodate more advertising. The document confirms the showrunner's widely reported $30 million deal for the final three seasons of the drama, revealing he was paid $2.5 million at signing, with the rest of the sum ($27.5 million) resulting from episode fees, royalty fees and writing, directing and producing fees, paid bi-weekly.

"To break it down further, Weiner received $187,000 for each episode of season five, plus a $5,000 royalty for each ($2.5 million total), $195,000 per episode of season six, with a $5,000 royalty for each ($2.6 million total) and $275,000 for each season seven episode, with a $5,000 royalty for each ($3.6 million total). There were to be 13 episodes each season, with the option for a fourteenth episode in the final season. The amendment states that Weiner was entitled to an additional $280,000 if he moved forward with that additional episode (he did). Still, the bulk of the showrunner's paycheck came from the $16.25 million he earned in writing and directing fees over the course of the three seasons.

"On top of the $30 million, Weiner also was entitled to an award bonus based, presumably, on Emmy and Golden Globes nods. The contract reveals that from season four on, he would get $25,000 for each award nomination and $125,000 for each award win, with the money doled out for a win inclusive of the amount received for a nom. Also, the language in the amendment provides that the bonus paid for each nomination 'shall remain at $25,000' and that the amount awarded for each win 'shall be increased from $75,000 to $125,000,' implying that Weiner’s agreement for previous seasons (which is not public) likely promised $25,000 for a nomination and $75,000 for a win. Assuming that those bonuses existed from the first season and that they only apply to recognition in higher-profile categories (i.e. outstanding drama series, outstanding writing for a drama series, outstanding directing for a drama series — as was the case in Darabont's recently unveiled contract), then Weiner could have pocketed up to $1.1 million in award bonuses. (Mad Men was nominated for 21 Emmys in the major non-acting categories over its run, winning a total of seven. It was also nominated for three Golden Globes for best drama series, two of which it won.)

"But in the end, AMC appears to have got its way with the show's episode lengths. Each episode of the final three seasons, according to the amendment, had to be exactly 47:05 minutes long so that there was enough room left in the hour for 12 minutes of national commercial time. It marked a two-minute decrease in programming time compared to the drama's previous seasons, with the exception of the fourth. The length of the episodes was a frustration for Weiner, who noted in a 2012 interview with The New York Times that he had actually quit the show amid the lengthy contract negotiations between him, AMC and Lionsgate that followed the fourth season. 'I definitely feel that the longer part of the show is part of its commercial uniqueness. And it’s a scarce product to begin with. There’s 13 a year. So you have to give them that in the form it is,' he said at the time. 'It’s like changing a novel into a short story, to me.'

"The document also includes a carefully worded clause about product integration, another sticking point for Weiner. The agreement states only that Lionsgate would 'actively support' brand integration in the show but that Weiner’s failure to cooperate with such would not be a breach by the studio. The section goes on to specify that Weiner must "cooperate in the approval of potential integrations in good faith," and that he would also have to acknowledge that AMC has the right to disclose promotional consideration and production integration as is standard and often mandated by law (with, say, a 'promotional consideration' end credit).  

"Also spelled out in the document is how the final season would be split into two parts. According to the amendment, the series was to end with season seven and Weiner was required to write the episodes of that final season in such a way that the network would have the option of airing them in two distinct programming windows — which AMC, in fact, did. Each season was to have 'its own distinct story arc' and 'season finale,' along with its own in-season exclusivity period, so as to not impede Netflix or others from airing Part 1 and Part 2 of the seventh season in two distinct programming windows. The agreement is reflection not only of the high-stakes money involved, but also some of the unique stresses that run through an era of 'Peak TV.'"