Tuesday August 1, 2017

An analysis of Discovery's purchase of Scripps Networks.

"13 Reasons Why, the popular Netflix series that showed a teen ending her life, may have triggered a surge in online searches for suicide, including how to do it. That's according to a new study about the the first season, which released all 13 of its episodes on Netflix on March 31. Researchers found that for almost three weeks afterward, there were at least 900,000 more than expected Google searches including the word 'suicide.' That's a 19-percent increase based on forecasts using Google Trends and historical search trends. Searches included suicide methods, suicide hotlines and suicide prevention."'

Trump has fired enough staffers for an all-Trump castoff season of Dancing With The Stars.

TRL returns to MTV on October 2.

Marlee Matlin is headed to ABC's Quantico.

Netflix is $20,000,000,000 in debt, but no one is worried.

How MTV's Siesta Key was birthed. "Alex Kompothecras's dad, Gary, thought his son and his friends would be perfect on-camera, so he hired a producer to actually make it happen. And now, Alex is starring on Siesta Key, MTV’s new reality show from the executive producer of Laguna Beach. 'I go, "You guys are really having a hell of a lifestyle,”' Gary told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. 'I said this would be a good reality show. Plus they’re good kids, so that was the main thing, they weren’t bad kids. I said this would be a good story because when I was growing up, you had Father Knows Best, you had My Three Sons, you had people with values and I didn’t see that in the TV of late.''

I watched this train wreck last night.  Don't.  Don't.  Don't.

"According to a new Romper report, Chip and Joanna Gaines supposedly makes upwards of $30,000 per episode for Fixer Upper. The report also mentions that the couple makes an undisclosed fee from the couples involved. There are 16 episodes per season and they just wrapped the fifth season. In other words, they are earning roughly around $500,000 per season. This would give them an income of $2.4 million for the HGTV show without the fee from the homeowners. In addition, Chip And Joanna Gaines get speaking fees and they currently run upwards of $30,000 per speech. In addition to the show, Joanna is often talking about their Magnolia Market business. This is something they started long before Fixer Upper and it is valued at $3.5 million. Plus, the couple has various properties in Texas, totaling $7.6 million in value."

"Star Trek fans held up their hands in a Vulcan salute when they heard that CBS was developing the new series Star Trek: Discovery. The show will premiere on Sept. 24 in two places — neither of them on broadcast nor cable television. If you want to watch, you will either have to subscribe to CBS All Access or Netflix. (Only those outside of the U.S. will be able to watch it on Netflix.) It's a unique business model in two ways: CBS isn't traditionally broadcasting the series and episodes will be released simultaneously on Netflix. That means viewers won't be able to binge watch Discovery until all episodes air, which goes against much of Netflix's streaming model."

T.J. Miller took over a random Tinder account.  Evidently people care about this.

Netflix released a trailer for What Happened To Monday.  The show is described by Netflix as follows: "In a future with a strict one-child policy, six septuplets must avoid government detection while searching for their missing sister."  You can stream it starting on August 18.

From EW: "Laura Linney is learning just how dirty the money-laundering business can be on Ozark. The three-time Oscar nominee and four-time Emmy winner stars with Jason Bateman in the tense Netflix drama that follows the peril-packed journey of buttoned-up financial manager Marty (Bateman) who has been laundering money for a Mexican-cartel drug lord, Del (Esai Morales). Marty moves to the Lake of the Ozarks with his wife, Wendy (Linney) and their kids to clean eight million dollars for Del — or else. Wendy has a few tricks — and a secret — up her sleeve as well. Here, Linney, 53, reveals the reason that brought her to the lake, her thoughts on the season finale, and what she’d do with a cool eight mil:

What was the one detail about Ozark that made you most excited to sign on?
It’s all about Jason. I’ve known him a little bit socially — we were fond acquaintances — and I’ve always had a pull toward Jason. When he asked me to do this, I wasn’t looking to do television, but we talked it through. I have such respect for him and just instinctively like him and trust him, so I was like, “Yeah, absolutely.” It was so apparent and so obvious how important this project is to him. He’s so incredibly involved in every aspect of it that I wanted to help him as much as I could. And thankfully my instincts were right. We had a fantastic first season. I really felt like I landed in a pot of honey.

What’s the best way to differentiate Jason the actor and Jason the director?
He’s very concentrated when he’s directing. He’s very focused. And time is valuable. He doesn’t rush the time and he doesn’t squander time. He’s just in it. As an actor, when he’s just acting, he’s a little looser, as you have to be. It’s a slightly different energy.

What is Wendy’s greatest asset and greatest liability?
Her greatest asset is her scrappiness. She knows how to survive. Her greatest liability? The same thing, actually. Her field of vision can get very narrow.

What was the most challenging scene that you filmed?
All the scenes on water. Acting on water — it’s a different experience than acting on land. One of the wonderful things that’s happened with television lately are these site-specific shows. All of the sudden, the atmosphere and the location become the character in itself, and there’s such a very intense sense of place. And Ozark has really embraced that, and it’s what sets it apart a little bit.

Which of your previous roles best prepared you for this role?
Probably The Dinner, which is a movie that I’d done right before it. There are some huge differences, but there’s a similar focus. It’s also someone who is smart but dealing with a very primal instinct. It’s that combination —and one can’t overwhelm the other.

What does money mean on this show?
A lot of people have been comparing us to — and it’s a huge compliment — is Breaking Bad, which is the greatest show on the planet. But our show is really about money. The power of money. What money does to you. How it affects your thinking and the choices you make and how it can be a drug in and of itself. It means everything. It’s the reason for everything. It causes the show to happen, it keeps it going. It’s the heartbeat of the show, actually.

What’s the best thing to do with eight million dollars?
I think you save a little. Buy a painting. Tim Curry taught me this, actually: Whenever you have a really big job, you need to buy a piece of art. I’ve tried to follow his lead there. And you give a lot of it away. For me, it would be arts education. You can help other people. There’s my bleeding liberal heart. [Laughs.]

At the end of the season finale, Wendy decides to abandon the unofficial witness protection program with her kids and return to the Ozarks so the family can be together. It’s a feel-good, emotional decision, but dangerous, isn’t it?
It’s not the wisest decision — in line with all of the other decisions that she’s made — but it’s an authentic one. It’s one of those “We’ll live together, we’ll die together” decisions. I don’t think it’s very well thought-out. The way that she’s behaved the series is just instinctive and reactionary. I don’t even think sheunderstands why she’s doing it, but there’s a primal instinct — and she just follows it.

What were your personal feelings on it?
I was impressed with what the writers did, because it brings things to an appropriate close for this season. It doesn’t finish the story, but I also think it’s satisfying. It’s very hard to end something — endings are really hard to write — and I think this one was really good so that if we are able to do a second season, we have a wonderful place to start off from. And if we’re not, then it will be left feeling completed.

The stakes have multiplied, maybe exponentially, with Mary now caught between two cartels. How would you describe the stakes now?
They just get deeper and deeper and deeper and into it, and in some ways, it’s like a Chinese puzzle. They solve one thing, and then it just opens up and leads to many more problems. They’re constantly grasping for shore — and they’re not there yet.

What is the possibility of a second season?
We haven’t been picked up yet; we’re hopeful that we will be. The writers haven’t gotten together yet. I think we’ll be eager and ready to go if we’re given the permission to do so. There are so many good characters all in one place that something fun is going to happen."

I am hopeful as well.

Per TheWrap, "Bachelor in Paradise is coming back… but not without a few adjustments.

"The ABC dating spinoff temporarily shut down production last month following a disputed incident involving cast members Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson. Warner Bros. announced nine days later that filming would resume, as their investigation did “not support any charge of misconduct by a cast member.”

"In an interview with E! News over the weekend, Season 4 contestant Vinny Ventiera weighed in on changes made to the revived run, including a limit on alcohol consumption, along with cast members needing to tell producers that they consent before engaging in sexual activity.

“'The most significant change was we had a limit on what we could drink,' he said. 'We were only allowed two drinks per hour, so every hour, we’d have a log, and we’d go up there and get two drinks.'

“'Also, we had to make sure, on camera, that if we wanted to spend the night with a significant other that it would be on camera and consensual,' the Bachelorette Season 12 alum continued. 'On-camera consent. As if it’s not already awkward that you’re on camera hanging out with somebody, now you have to go in front of the camera and look at it and go, "I’m willing to go spend the night with this person." It wasn’t a buzzkill, but it was a little bit of a speed bump.'

"Ventiera, who dated Izzy Goodkind on Paradise Season 3 last summer, said that trimming the filming from the typical 18 days to 10 meant there was less time for filler.

“'It was definitely rapid-fire,' he said. 'Less hours of sleeping, up bright and early. They had to squeeze a whole show into 10 days. I think they accomplished it — I think it’s going to be good.'”

Per Uproxx, "[w]hen Nasim Pedrad joined the second season of People of Earth, she (and everyone else) had no idea what was to become of The New Girl, the beloved Fox sitcom where she also made regular appearances. The broadcast network ultimately renewed it for a seventh and final season, but with Pedrad’s new series commitment, it’s anyone’s guess as to whether or not she will return as LAPD Officer Aly Nelson. With her debut as FBI Special Agent Alex Foster on People of Earth, however, she’s proving herself just as memorable in her role as a hyper-committed, foot-shooting agent riffing on a character from one of the series’ strongest influencesThe X-Files. 'Maybe I’m not a model agent, and yeah, I shot myself in the foot,' Foster declares in an early scene reminiscent of Gillian Anderson’s first appearance as Dana Scully. 'I was born for this job. So you can ridicule me, demote me, make me file meaningless reports until I am blind in both eyes — but you will never break my spirit.'

"As viewers (and Foster) discovered, her case would bring her to Beacon, New York, where the members of StarCrossed have reassembled. In tonight’s episode, the agent will finally meet the group members for the first time — a prospect that excited the Saturday Night Live alum. In an interview with Uproxx, Pedrad spoke about the joys and challenges of joining an established ensemble cast, as well as the terrifying delight of auditioning for Curb Your Enthusiasm‘s upcoming ninth season with Larry David himself:

Between Ana Gasteyer and Greg Daniels, there’s a lot of SNL heritage on this show. Was that a part of how you got involved?
I was so excited to just be a fan of season one, to appreciate it as a fan. Of course I knew Ana a little bit. She had popped in a few times during the five years I was on SNL, so we have met before. I just adored her and loved her work while she was on the show. But the opportunity itself came about when I met with Greg Daniels and Norm Hiscock, and they offered me the role of Alex Foster. The first season was such an interesting, weird and wonderful story, so of course I was excited to join it for season two.

Joining an already close-knit ensemble like this must have been a challenge, though one you successfully navigated previously with New Girl.
I feel like what my character is going through, in terms of coming into something that’s already happening. Foster is coming in and meeting everyone for the first time, trying to educate herself on what’s going on. That whole thing sort of mirrored what I was going through as an actor, joining a cast like this in season two, which can be a little overwhelming at times. You feel like a kid who switched high schools somewhere in the middle of things, and you’re like, “Oh my God, I hope I get along with everyone.” But I could not have joined a more warm and welcoming group of people. We’re really like a little family, and because we shoot in Toronto — which most of us are not based out of, as we’re all either from Los Angeles or New York — it was really nice to have each other for those long days.

When I spoke to the cast at New York Comic Con, a few them talked about doing escape rooms with each other. Did you do anything like that this time around?
Oh yeah. I didn’t do an escape room, but we hung out all the time. I mean, if we weren’t shooting, we were spending time with each other — having dinners, going to movies, exploring Toronto. I just came into a situation where I made all of these new buddies overnight, which was so wonderful. It’s especially great when you’re not at home. This show is very ambitious, so it’s not like a seven-hour day. We just spent a lot of time together and I could not have been luckier.

In previous conversations with the cast, Daniels and creator David Jenkins, I’ve heard mixed things about People of Earth‘s use of improv. Obviously it’s a tightly scripted show, especially with its use of higher concepts, but with a phenomenal cast like this I imagine improv is encouraged at times.
I felt like it was really collaborative. That being said, it’s also a show that is very dense with story. It’s not a show in which four people are lying around in an apartment and talking about dating. I don’t what comparison there is, but it’s a show that has lots of twists and turns and story points — literally lots of information to get out, episode by episode. Improv was certainly encouraged, though obviously not at the expense of getting to a certain story point. I think everyone was pretty mindful of that and understood what the stakes were. I mean, we would always improvise, but we were also aware of the fact that if we started at Point A, these characters would be at a much different position when they reached Point B at the end of the episode. I wouldn’t say that’s a limitation, but there’s a lot of ground to cover beyond just having fun and opening up in additional takes.

With that said, I’ve seen the first few episodes…
Oh my gosh, you’ve seen more than I have! I watched the premiere, but I also hate watching myself.

Many performers tend to feel the same way, though you must know, I think your one-on-one scenes with Wyatt Cenac are some of the series’ best. Your comedic chemistry together is wonderful.
It was really special to work with Wyatt, because we met each other so long ago. We were in the same beginners level improv class at The Groundlings, so we kind of got our start together. It might have been intermediate class now that I think of it, but it was definitely one of the earlier levels. It’s been a blast witnessing the direction his career has taken over the past few years, and seeing all the amazing things he’s done. I was not at all surprised, having improvised with him in our previous classes together, by just how natural and gifted he was. It’s been so much fun following his career and rooting for him. And then, after all that, finally getting to work with him? It was really special for me.

Last but not least, you’re guest-starring on the new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. What as it like to audition for Larry David?
I cannot even tell you what a bucket list item that was for me to work with that man. I was so… I don’t think I’ve ever been more thrilled to walk in a room and just audition. Auditioning for Larry involved following a very specific guideline, then you sort of improvise. The whole time. It was the most fun I’ve ever had. He’s just the funniest, and I don’t need to speak to how amazing he is. Everybody already knows. But to get to do that really did feel such a bucket list thing. I was like, “Now that I have done that, what else is left?” I mean, that’s the coolest thing you can get to be a part of.

The thought of auditioning for, and improvising with, David seems like it would be one of most wonderfully terrifying experiences.
That’s the great thing about having not been twenty and at the beginning of my career when the opportunity came about. I already had five years of SNLunder my belt, as well as the many improv classes I took and all the shows I’ve been a part of. I felt like I had at least enough chops to be a part of the conversation for an audition, at least. It’s definitely nerve-racking in the sense that it’s Larry David. Obviously you want to do a great job, but he exceeded every one of my expectations. He made it so fun, and he couldn’t have been a better scene partner, which is the dream as an improviser. He was genuinely making me laugh. It blew my mind as a comedy fan, but it was also so much fun."

People of Earth airs Mondays at 10:30pm ET/PT on TBS.

A great piece on actress Natalie Morales from Vulture: "Natalie Morales, her dog Taco, and I are walking down a street in Bushwick when she interrupts the joke she’s making about buttholes to orient herself for a second. She’s lived in L.A. for ten years — long enough to consider pool slides good walking shoes — but she knows she’s been in this spot before. 'I almost got an apartment over there!' she exclaims, and proceeds to reminisce about the huge loft and cheap rent this particular corner offered, before it offered a cactus store with $500 prickly plants.

"For a moment, Morales, 32, sounds a lot like she’s about to say 'and then I was cast in a huge movie and I never had to consider Bushwick again.' She is, in fact, about to be in a big movie — her biggest project yet. In September, Morales will star alongside Emma Stone and Steve Carell in Battle of the Sexes, the Billie Jean King biopic about the 1973 tennis match between King and Bobby Riggs. Morales plays Rosie Casals, King’s fierce, rebellious doubles partner, friend, and member of 'The Nine' (the first women to form their own tennis league and go on tour). But Morales is less interested in charting breakthrough moments than in making acting a steady job — and in having fun on the outskirts of fame. Her Bushwick reverie passes, and the three of us trot on toward Roberta’s for pizza.

“'I want to just work for the rest of my life in my industry,' she tells me. 'But like, your aunt, saying, "You look familiar, are you the girl from the thing?" That’s not what I care about.'

"Still, Morales is the exact sort of actress your aunt would say that about. Though first you might have to explain to your aunt that she’s not the other Natalie Morales, the Natalie Morales from the Today Show: 'Oh, brother. I’ve gotten, like, her baby gifts before,' Morales says of her name doppelgänger. 'And she’s gotten my auditions. I’ve showed up to interviews before and they’re like, "Oh, I prepped for someone entirely different." I’m like, "Cool, that’s great.”' The bit doesn’t stop. 'I’ve been getting on a plane before and the ticket agent takes my ticket and goes Natalie Morales! And then looks at me and goes, "Oh, never mind. I thought you were somebody else,”' she laughs.

"She’s carved out a career of playing smallish parts on great shows. And, even when she’s just playing the girlfriend, Morales is reliably memorable. Her characters are always a little nerdy, a little quirky; as devoted fan of the Buster Keaton school of comedy, she never goes for the big punch lines — instead, she’ll get the laughs by staring a millisecond too long, or smiling in a slightly off-kilter way. She’s managed to pull focus in episodes of Parks and Recreation, where she played Aziz Ansari’s girlfriend; in a memorable guest spot during Girls season three as Desi’s girlfriend, Clementine Barrios; and in roles on White CollarTrophy Wife, and 90210. She’s had big roles in two (now-canceled) sitcoms, The Middleman and The Grinder. Most recently, she played a cop on Netflix’s Santa Clarita Diet.

"A Florida native, Morales moved to L.A. in 2006 to start her career, after pursuing a double major in education and theater at the Florida International University. 'I told my best friend, "It will take us three months tops to be on TV,”' she recalls. ‘"Month one, we’ll audition and meet people. Month two, we’ll get an agent. Month three, we’re on TV; it’s going to be fine.”' She booked her first audition quickly, and was cast in a McDonald’s commercial. 'It made me go, "Awww, this is going to be so easy." It was not.' Her first real TV gig was getting kidnapped on CSI: Miami. ('I got saved by David Caruso. It was legit.')

“'This job is hard sometimes,' she says. 'It’s really hard when you’re auditioning; it’s hard to not get work; it’s hard to feel unqualified, or less than, or not pretty enough, or not tall enough, or not talented enough, or not enough.' She’s Cuban, but Morales also refuses to play the stereotypical “Latina” roles — e.g., maids and fiery Latin lovers — that she’s sometimes offered. 'But it’s not hard when you’re working. When I’m working, it’s the best thing I have in my life.'

"Her slightly outside-of-Hollywood status gives her a lot of latitude to do what she wants with the fame she does have. She takes part in rallies and marches for charities she’s passionate about, like Everytown for Gun Safety, an anti-gun-violence organization. Recently, she broke her own privacy protocol and shared personal details about herself, writing a thoughtful essay about coming out as queer for Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls. The piece is called 'Natalie Morales would like you to know nothing about her, except for one thing …' She writes: 'I don’t like labeling myself, or anyone else, but if it’s easier for you to understand me, what I’m saying is that I’m queer. What queer means to me is just simply that I’m not straight.'

"She also has the latitude to maintain a sense of humor about Hollywood. For example, the Daily Mail recently reported that she was dating John Mayer, a turn of events she calls 'so made-up and weird.' (She and Mayer are acquaintances; 'neither of us have any idea how it happened.') She responded by posting an Instagram of herself with a fake pregnant belly, captioned, 'My body is a wonderland.' When her show The Grinder was canceled, she posted a series of snapchats of herself sneaking onto the defunct set and retrieving souvenirs, staging it to look like a daring act of breaking and entering. The stunt got picked up by NPR.

"And then there is her Instagram account. 'I’ve noticed that all these celebrities were getting a bunch of free shit and sort of faking it on Instagram,' she explains. 'I was like, well, why not just, like, blatantly do it? Why not just go, like, "Hey, I like free stuff. Don’t send me a shitty thing because I’ll say that it’s shitty, and I’ll post about it.”'

"She started the Instagram account @NatalieMoralesLovesFreeStuff, and now she gets free stuff — including a fantasy novel someone has written, a public-speaking manual someone has written, chocolates from a small candy shop, a board game someone developed, and some swag from Dyson.

“'It’s sort of the same spirit as the John Mayer joke,' she tells me. 'Because I’m like, How much can I fuck with this situation? You get these platforms for these big celebrities shelling out fucking waist trainers, and I’m like, Well, I don’t have that many followers, but why not give smaller businesses that same platform?'"