Wednesday July 19, 2017

Where you can watch O.J. Simpson's parole hearing tomorrow, for which 240 media credentials have been granted. A LOT of people care about this man and his fate, love him or hate his guts.

If you aren't watching Snowfall on FX, you really should be.  It's terrific.

"Fred Savage really has no time for his co-stars. After Page Six exclusively revealed Savage’s no-socializing policy, his Friends From College co-star Keegan-Michael Key appeared on Live With Kelly and Ryan Tuesday and further elaborated on Savage’s rule. 'I’ll say one thing for Fred, I admire his boundaries. He has boundaries. He is the mayor on a set,' Key said. 'If Fred Savage is on a set he is the No. 1 guy. He’s the most excited person to be there. He wants to do the show more than anybody, but the second you’re like, "Alright, everybody, that’s a wrap today," he’s gone. 'We thought he was joking and he’s like "No, I don’t hang out. I don’t hang out." We’re like, "Oh, Fred!" and he’s like, "No, I don’t,”' Key continued. 'And we’re like, "We’re all going to dinner," and he’s like "I will not be there. I will be in my hotel room watching Designated Survivor. And we’re, like, "That’s not real.”' Comedian Key further said that while out in public Savage would 'ignore' everyone and pretend like he didn’t see them so he could stop by outlet stores and pick up gifts for his wife and kids."

"Cable network owners Discovery Communications and Scripps Networks Interactive are in talks to combine, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. A combination between the two would put cable networks including the flagship Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Science, Food Network, HGTV, and the Travel Channel under the same roof. Such a company would also have more leverage to negotiate favorable deals with some of the new over-the-top, streaming pay-TV alternatives that have sprung up, like YouTube TV, which currently does not carry any Discovery or Scripps networks. Scripps’ channels are part of other streaming packages, including Dish Network’s Sling TV and Hulu’s new live TV service, while Discovery has largely refrained from participating in internet TV products."

30 people is too many to start with on a Challenge.  

A Night With My Ex could be one of the worst shows I've ever seen.  Casting is awful, production is worse and it's corny.  Avoid at all costs.

Paige Davis, host of the original home design series Trading Spaces, is returning for TLC’s revival slated to air in 2018. 

Comedy Central has canceled @midnight.  That's fine.  We have enough Chris Hardwick to hold us over for the next decade.

A new Bachelor in Paradise promo has people reacting.  Zzzzzzzzzzz.

Don't care about R. Kelly and his latest antics.

Another thing I couldn't care less about, Kermit the Frog.

Oh, one more, Ed Sheeran's Twitter account.

Netflix has over 100,000,000 subscribers and here's what they're doing to keep them. "The company had negative free cash flow of $608 million during the second quarter of 2017, putting it further in the red than the $472 million negative free cash flow forecast by analysts, according to FactSet data."  And take a look at their content obligations.  Yes that's almost $16 billion.

Here's one more review of Ozark, which will be available to stream on Netflix on Friday.

In support of Freeform's The Bold Type, a show I've never considered watching.  I might reconsider after reading this piece.

Carla Gugino is going from being a ghost to running from them. The Wayward Pines actress, who recently played Rayna’s dead mom on Nashville, will star in Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House.

"Chip and Joanna Gaines‘ life has surely changed in the four years since their hit HGTV show Fixer Upper premiered. And it appears the fame has gone to Gaines’ head — literally! The 42-year-old house-flipper has been rocking some new longer hair in recent months. (Fans couldn’t get enough of his man bun in a recent Instagram post.) And during an appearance on Today Tuesday, he couldn’t help but check himself out in the camera and fuss with his locks — despite being in the middle of an interview! 'He’s trying to get used to his long hair,' wife Joanna, 39, teased. But Chip had another explanation. 'I’ve gotten a little bit pompous,' he joked about his new Hollywood style. 'When I get out in public, I really notice myself looking at my reflections as a I walk though. New York is not a great place for me.'”  What a disgusting a-hole.

Per Yahoo!, "[l]ife in New York City seems adventurous and affordable on TV shows like Girls, Friends, Sex and City, and Seinfeld.

"However, a study by the mobile rental app Roomi looked at the residence, occupation, and average income of the characters to see if they could really afford their luxury pads in 2017.

"New York City has notoriously high rental prices. The average prices for a one-bedroom in Manhattan and Brooklyn are $3,477 and $2,703, according to a report out in May from real-estate company Douglas Elliman.

"On top of that, a report from the Economist in March 2017 found that New York City had the ninth-highest cost of living in the world, the only American city to make it to the top 10.

"Most apartments in New York require tenants to make a yearly salary 40 times the monthly rent in order to sign a lease, according to Ajay Yadav, CEO of Roomi. However, hit TV show characters managed to score apartments they never could have afforded.

"When determining the affordability of the apartments, Roomi looked at the average price per room for an apartment in a certain location without regard to the size of that apartment. The study also looked at each character’s estimated income in 2017 dollars. (Editor’s note: The study was for entertainment purposes only and may omit some facts about the TV characters’ finances.)

Girls told the story of self-absorbed New York City millennials for six seasons, and it might have set some unrealistic expectations about who can get by in the Big Apple.

“'It [Girls] seems realistic because they have roommates,' says Chelsea Lombardo, an avid viewer of the HBO show, 'but they all live in a really nice area which is probably super unaffordable if you really think about it.'

"All seven of the main characters can’t actually afford rent in New York, according to the Roomi survey. Hannah Horvath and Marnie Michaels share an apartment for a portion of the series. Realistically, however, the combined income of Horvath and Michaels makes it impossible to afford their rent in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. In Greenpoint, the average rent per a room is $1,315 a month, according to Roomi. Hannah, a writer, and Marnie, a singer, have a combined estimated income that is less than $90,000, which makes their lifestyle depicted on the show impractical.

"While the Upper West Side serves as the main setting for Seinfeld, the main characters Jerry, Cosmo, Elaine, and George could not actually afford to rent there in 2017. Today the average rent per room in the Upper West Side is $1,454, according to Roomi.

"Jerry Seinfeld, a comedian in the show, makes an estimated $35,310 and Elaine Benes, a publisher, makes an estimated $50,593. Both of them could not afford rent.

"According to the study by Roomi, Carrie Bradshaw, a writer, and Samantha Jones, a public relations professional, both make a little over $50,000, which means that they cannot afford the Upper East Side in 2017. Today the average rent per a room in the Upper East Side is $1,387.

"Charlotte York, an art dealer, and Miranda Hobbes, a lawyer, both make more than $80,000, which allows them to afford their lavish Upper East Side apartments.

"Rachel Green, Monica Geller, Joey Tribbiani, Dr. Ross Geller, and Chandler Bing all call 90 Bedford Street in the West Village home. However, it looks like Chandler, a processing manager, and Rachel, a buyer at Polo Ralph Lauren, are the only 'friends' who could actually afford to rent on Bedford Street today.

"At $1,750 per a room, this rent price is impossible for Monica, a restaurant chef, Joey, a data processor, and Ross, a college professor, who all make below $65,000.

"The price of rent luckily never seems to tear this gang apart, however."

The Hollywood Reporter looks at Oxygen network's rebrand: "Oxygen has a new look to go along with its major programming revamp.

"Ahead of moving full-time to solely crime programming on Wednesday, the NBCUniversal cable channel has unveiled its rebranding and The Hollywood Reporter has an exclusive first look.

"[T]he new look gives a big nod to the channel's dramatic programming shift and draws inspiration from police records, court documents and newspaper headlines.

"'We tried to touch on hearing, seeing, touch – we tried to get all of the senses in to provoke people in this project because crime is such an emotional genre,' Oxygen's vp of brand design, Nancy Mazzei, tells THR.

"As seen in Oxygen's new sizzle reel, the new promos use much more serious music and show imagery of every step of a potential crime, from the scene of act, to the investigation to the jail cell to court. Additionally, Oxygen's logo, as previously revealed in May, is set to a yellow backdrop – a reference to both crime scene caution tape as well as highlighters used in investigations.

"'With crime, there's a lot of storytelling involved. There's a timeline of the way things happened. We wanted to be very cognizant of the fact that we were going to be in that mode of connecting dots,' Mazzei says. 'It was definitely this underlying idea of creating a place for armchair detectives.'

"Oxygen teamed with creative agency Trollback+Company to craft a campaign that would best target the female demographic that has shown increased interest in the true crime genre in recent years.

"'Because we went from being a general pop culture channel into a genre, it makes it just a little more pointed in the subject matter,' Mazzei says. 'We wanted to have a place where people would be able to play along with the content. And then we found out that women really like to play along with that content, so again, those things came together.'

"The 'new arresting look,' as Oxygen calls it in the promo, comes after the network officially confirmed in February that it would become a completely crime-focused network. The decision came after recent ratings success with its four-night-a-week 'Crime Time' weekend block with similar programming like the long-running Snapped. Oxygen currently ranks as the fastest-growing cable entertainment network of 2017 among total viewers in total day (up 51 percent versus last year).

"'It really felt like there was something we could tap into here and do something different than anyone else in the genre,' NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Lifestyle Networks president Frances Berwick told THR when the programming move was first announced.

"In the months since the revamp was confirmed, Oxygen has slowly moved further into the crime programming space. The official unveil of Oxygen's new look coincides with the launch of four new series: a revival of Dick Wolf's TNT series Cold Justice, Dateline: Secrets UncoveredThe Disappearance of Natalee Holloway and the four-night event series, The Jury Speaks."

Per Deadline, "Oprah Winfrey has recruited The Game and Being Mary Jane creator Mara Brock Akil and her husband, writer-director Salim Akil, for a new series on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network.

"Created and executive produced by the Akils, the hourlong dramedy, titled Love Is ___, is set to debut in 2018. Drawing inspiration from their real-life relationship, the project tells the love story between a modern-day power couple. In the world of Black Hollywood, they navigate a complex set of social codes, and this series will explore it all, from the good to the bad… to the ‘90s, because that’s the love story began.

"The Akils executive produce the series through their Akil Productions banner, with Mara Brock Akil serving as showrunner. The series hails from Warner Horizon Scripted Television and stems from the Akils’ big overall deal at Warner Bros. TV.

"Love Is ___ originated as Documenting Love, a multi-camera comedy project the Akils developed last season. It landed at ABC with a pilot production commitment. The script, which did not go to production at the broadcast network, is now being reworked as a one-hour single-camera dramedy."

Per Forbes, "2017 has seen something happen to the app world that few could have predicted when smartphones first began to take over the world a few years ago. The games and tools millions of people have downloaded onto their smartphones have now found their way to TV, and so far, things are going really well for the experiment. The latest app to make its way to the small screen (one of the only, in fact) is Shazam, which now has it own branded game show that challenges participants to name the tune before the beloved program can. It’s a simple premise and a mindlessly entertaining program, but don’t discount the show for those reasons, as those are the ones that typically remain on the air the longest.

"These are still early days for the obviously-titled Beat Shazam—only a handful of episodes have aired so far—but the team behind the app-focused show thought big from the beginning, and it is clear they want great things for the new venture. First up would be a second season on Fox (which has just been announced), but after that, Shazam CEO Rich Riley mentioned that international expansion could be a possibility as well. Game shows and reality programming are typically the easiest to bring to different territories, and it seems like a no-brainer to export this idea to different nations all around the world.

"According to Riley, the idea of a Shazam-focused TV show has actually been around for a few years. “We had various groups from around the world approach us about Shazam-based TV shows over the years,” the executive commented in a recent email, adding that what really got the company on board with this opportunity was the people behind it. 'We got excited about it when Jeff Apploff approached us, given his experience and track record with music-based TV shows and his overall energy and creativity. This led to getting Mark Burnett and Fox involved around the specific concept of Beat Shazam and from there, things came together very quickly.'

"Jeff Apploff, who serves as an executive producer on the series, has made his name in reality TV and game shows, and he is perhaps best known for his work on the show Don’t Forget The Lyrics! Fellow E.P. Mark Burnett is perhaps the most successful name in reality TV, with his productions ranging from business (The Apprentice and Shark Tank) to lifestyle (Martha) to competitive programs (Survivor), and of course, musical efforts, such as The Voice and now Beat ShazamOnce his name was attached to this latest endeavor, it must have been difficult for the network to pass up.

"The basic idea behind Beat Shazam has been around for some time, and shows like Name That Tune have proven that the American people love watching (and listening to) this type of show, but what sets this new venture apart from what has come before is how integral the app is to the program. It’s in the name and it is embedded into the DNA of the series, and it’s incredible that Fox was fine greenlighting something that made it so necessary for the public to understand what a specific app did. Beat Shazam only works because there aren’t many people left in America, or the world by this point, who don’t at least know what Shazam is and what it can do.

"Few apps have been able to develop such a widespread inclusion into mainstream society, but with one billion downloads now well in the rearview mirror, it’s not entirely shocking that this project got off the ground, and it's even less surprising that it will be returning for a second season."

None of this is good news IMO.

Per TheWrap, "Amazon is getting into the Agatha Christie business.

"The streaming service has added a series of adaptations from Agatha Christie Limited to its lineup of original dramas. The U.S. partnership will kick off with Ordeal By Innocence, which is already in production across the pond, and stars Bill Nighy, Alice Eve, Ella Purnell, Matthew Goode, Catherine Keener, Ed Westwick, Luke Treadaway, Eleanor Tomlinson and Morven Christie.

"In Ordeal By Innocence, old wounds are reopened for the Argyll family when a man suddenly turns up and claims that the black sheep of the family, Jack Argyll, could not have murdered its tyrannical matriarch — for which he was accused just one year earlier, per Amazon. The family must come to terms with Jack’s innocence and with the fact that one of them may be the real murderer.

“'We are thrilled to bring to our slate these adaptations from the world’s greatest mystery writer,' said Morgan Wandell, head of International Series, Amazon Studios. 'With terrific talent, in front of and behind the camera, they are sure to delight our customers.'

“'We are delighted to be working with Amazon in the TV space. They have obviously played a massive part in our book business over the past few years, and it is exciting to move with them onto Prime Video in the U.S.,' said James Prichard, chairman and CEO of Agatha Christie Limited."

From Variety: "MGM has acquired unscripted television production company Evolution Media, the company announced Tuesday.

"Evolution Media’ is behind hit unscripted series like The Real Housewives of Orange County, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and Vanderpump Rules for Bravo, as well as Botched for E!. The company will operate as Evolution Media, an MGM Company, with founder and CEO Douglas Ross to become the president of the acquired business and executive vice president of programming and development Alex Baskin to become its president of programming and development, both reporting to Barry Poznick, MGM’s president of unscripted television. The business will continue to operate out of its current Burbank headquarters under Ross and Baskin.

"Founded 30 years ago by Ross, Evolution Media has produced over 50 series including the inaugural seasons of CBS’s Big Brother and NBC’s Fear Factor, as well as Disney Channel’s Bug Juice and TLC’s 10 Years Younger.

“'The shows that Evolution produces are a perfect complement to our slate. Their slick style, high quality and one-of-a-kind casts connect with audiences and generate epic social media engagement. I’m proud to welcome them to the team and together we will continue to produce content that makes headlines,' Poznick said.

"The acquisition of Evolution Media further enhances MGM Television’s position in the unscripted space. MGM Television, which is headed by Mark Burnett, currently has unscripted series on all four major TV networks, including Survivor for CBS, The Voice for NBC, Shark Tank on ABC, Beat Shazam on Fox, and Steve Harvey’s Funderdome on ABC.

“'After 30 years of being fiercely independent, we couldn’t be more proud and excited to join forces with the dynamic, creative and supportive leadership team at MGM,' Ross said. 'We look forward to working with Gary, Mark and Barry to supercharge Evolution and to write the next chapters in the company’s history with them.'”