Thursday August 17, 2017

"The American Idol reboot seems to be in crisis -- honchos still haven't locked down a second, third and possibly fourth judge, with only 6 weeks until cameras roll. TMZ broke the story ... producers first set their sights on Katy Perry, who will be pocketing $25 mil. Our Idol sources tell us ... none of the previous front-runners -- Lionel RichieCharlie PuthLuke Bryan or Keith Urban -- are any closer to signing than they were a few weeks ago. We're told record producer Nile Rodgers has now been tossed in the mix. The issue with Lionel, we're told, is his team's asking around $10 mil ... double what they want to pay. A.I. producers are also still debating whether to go with 3 or 4 judges. At this point it all comes down to money, but it sounds like they'd like 4. Auditions for Idol hopefuls kick off Thursday in Orlando, but filmed auditions in front of the judges don't begin until the end of Sept."

Jeff Lewis returns for a new season of Flipping Out this evening.

The season 4 premiere of Girlfriend's Guide To Divorce follows.

More HBO leaks?

I watched Marlon.  I've definitely seen much worse though the odds of this show lasting feel quite slim.

A preview of season 4 of AMC's Halt & Catch Fire.

Carlton Cuse (Lost) is returning to ABC and is $20,000,000 richer.

Everything you need to know in order to watch The Defenders.

"Anna Faris is continuing to open up about her shocking split from Chris Pratt. In a new episode of her weekly podcast Unqualified, the actress, 40, offered heartfelt relationship advice to a caller, stressing the importance of knowing ones [sic] 'worth' and 'independence.' 'Life is too short to be in relationships where you feel this isn’t fully right or somebody doesn’t have your back, or somebody doesn’t fully value you,' she said to the caller. 'Don’t be afraid to feel your independence if things aren’t right.' Hinting at the end of her own marriage, Faris admitted that she often lost herself in relationships. 'I made that mistake, I think, a little bit, like "I’m checking my relationship off the list" and if that would be the final piece of advice I could give you, that would be know your worth, know your independence,' she said."

Why Apple's $1B investment in content isn't a threat to Netflix, yet.

Negan went after the president.  I'm all in on all things Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

In support of some dude named Wells taking over as the bartender on Bachelor In Paradise.  This is a new low for Decider.

"AT&T’s social-media entertainment studio Hello Lab has recruited a cluster of young digital stars with a collective following of 38 million fans for its latest production — which has a message. Guilty Party, a show about high-school bullying, will be told through a combo of weekly episodes and daily character vlogs. The series stars internet influencers Tiffany Alvord, Kian Lawley, Teala Dunn, Miles McKenna, Alexis G. Zall, Jessie Paege and Manolo Vergara. Guilty Party is slated to debut Aug. 29 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social-media accounts for the series. The full run of the series will be available on DirecTV Now, AT&T’s internet pay-TV streaming service, later in 2017. In the show, when the teen target of cyberbullying (Tiffany Alvord) appears to start taking revenge on the clique that casts her out, others kids in the school must face the sins of their past before their secrets tear them apart. One of the twists: The audience plays the role of detective to discover who is exposing everyone’s secrets, via clues posted on Guilty Party social channels. Characters also will comment and interact directly with fans in the comments section of each episode and select vlogs on YouTube. Additionally, superfans will have the opportunity to submit conspiracy theories and fan art, the best of which will be hosted on the blog of Tess (played by Zall), the show’s narrator."

David Letterman was spectacular on Howard Stern yesterday.  It's nice to be getting him back in our lives. "No matter the time, place, or occasion, David Letterman is still capable of making the masses laugh. Such was the case when he stopped by on Wednesday’s Stern Show, reuniting with Howard for what was sure to be another memorable interview.

"Dave touched upon retiring from late-night TV, gave a glimpse into his relationships with some regular Late Show guests, and discussed what fans can expect from his upcoming Netflix series.

"Check out all of the highlights from Letterman’s latest sit-down with Howard (below) and listen to the full interview (link above):

Retirement

May 2015 marked the end of Letterman’s 33-year run on late-night TV as he retired from his hosting duties on CBS’s The Late Show. He told Howard he figured even if he left his own television series, he’d still be brought on as a guest on other programs.

'When I left the show, I thought "Well, a lot of people will want me on shows." No one wanted me on shows,' Dave revealed. However, Letterman will be back on late-night TV soon enough — he’s scheduled to visit Jimmy Kimmel and his ABC talker in October.

Now that he doesn’t have to go to work every day, Dave has been enjoying spending some time at his house in Montana where he can ride horses, ski, and go fishing. Howard told Dave the same story he recently told MSNBC host Rachel Maddow about getting attacked by a vicious swan while fishing with Jimmy Kimmel. While Dave was convinced the situation must have been scary, he couldn’t help but joke about Howard’s close call with the water bird.

'What a fantastic obituary that could have been,' Dave said with a laugh.

Howard also noticed Dave was sporting quite a bit more facial hair since the last time he saw him and asked how long he intended to keep his beard.

'I’ll be buried with this,' Dave said. 'Honest to god, I got so tired of shaving every day.'

A Family Man

Perhaps the greatest perk of retirement is the considerable free time he now has with his family. Dave told Howard if he could do it all over again, he would have had more kids sooner.

'The biggest mistake I made was delaying having a family,' he admitted.

But his love for his only son Harry remains undeniable. “I just love making him laugh,” Dave told Howard. “If I can genuinely make the kid spit stuff out his nose, then I feel like I’m a good dad.”

Early Days Paranoia

David Letterman with Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show

One reason Dave gives for why he didn’t start his family was his drive to succeed in comedy and TV — according to him, there was a time where all he could think about was his work. Once he landed his gig as the host of Late Night With David Letterman, his tenacity only increased but he told Howard he still felt tremendous pressure as the lead-in for The Tonight Show.

'I’m following Johnny Carson [and] I don’t know what’s going to happen. There’s a million guys lined up to take my job. Every night was life and death,' Dave said.

As a longtime admirer of Carson, one might think Dave would be thrilled to be in the company of one of his heroes but that was far from the case. 'I would always be so nervous around Johnny I really couldn’t enjoy the moment,' Letterman said.

Dave had a far funnier story of being paranoid while smoking what he thought was just weed at stand-up comedian George Miller’s house. As Dave recalls, he had just moved to California and George invited him to hang out with an unnamed woman and her adult daughter one night. Eventually the group began passing a joint around and Dave noticed it had a strange but refreshing taste to it. He asked if the marijuana had mint in it.

'[The daughter] says, "No, that’s PCP,” Dave recalled. Turns out, the pot they were smoking had been laced with an animal tranquilizer. Needless to say, Dave didn’t appreciate learning about that extra substance after he’d already smoked it.

'I don’t know enough about the active ingredient in marijuana and is it compatible with animal tranquilizer? Is anything compatible with animal tranquilizer?' he joked.

Late Show Legacy

While Dave doesn’t have any desire to return to late-night TV, he told Howard if he could do it all again, he’d probably be an even better host.

'In many ways, I wish I could start the show over now because I’m a different person. I’m mature, I have a better understanding of the world around me,' Dave said.

Since they’ve both interviewed some of the most famous people in the world, Howard asked if Dave ever felt he’d made a special connection with one of his guests on camera only to be rebuked later on.

'It’ll happen to you later today, as well,' Dave joked about what he intended to do to Howard after he left the Stern Show studio. All kidding aside, Dave knew what Howard was getting at and said he overcame having any of those hurt feelings by reminding himself of whom it was he was interviewing.

'Well, of course this person acts like they’re enjoying talking to me because this person is an actor,' Dave said. 'I just felt like, well, they don’t want me as a friend and I don’t know that I want them as a friend.'

Howard asked specifically how Dave felt about actress Drew Barrymore who famously climbed up on Letterman’s Late Show desk and flashed him during her 1995 visit.

'How can you not be affected by that?' Dave said of the incident, adding that any man at any job would be shocked by such a move from a beautiful woman like Drew.

Joaquin Phoenix provided another classic moment in Late Show history during his 2008 interview in which Dave struggled to get any straight answers out of the Academy Award nominee. It ended up being a staged stunt for Phoenix’s mockumentary film I’m Still Here, directed by Casey Affleck. Despite Joaquin later stating Dave was never tipped off about his hoax, Letterman told Howard he was aware of what was happening.

'I knew what he was doing ahead of time,' Dave said. 'I did enjoy it because it was like getting your work in on the heavy bag. It was easy.'

As for his line 'Joaquin, I’m sorry you couldn’t be here tonight,' which Dave delivered as their interview concluded, Letterman told Howard he came up with that on the spot.

Comedian Andy Kaufman became a staple on Letterman’s show with his own wild and wacky bits that included an ongoing rivalry with pro wrestler Jerry Lawler.

'Gosh, he was peculiar and you just loved it,' Dave recalled about Andy.

Early on, though, Dave didn’t quite recognize Kaufman’s genius, instead believing he was throwing away his career by remaining in a constant state of weirdness. But that weirdness eventually led to Andy becoming a household name, loved by many him but misunderstood by others. Either way, Andy was happy.

'After each appearance he would lean over to me and he said, "Be sure to send me the hate mail,”' Dave remembered Andy telling him.

And of course, Howard himself became a regular visitor of Dave’s, starting in the ‘80s when the two were both working at NBC. Dave can still remember when Howard arrived at the National Broadcasting Company.

'The building was full, it was palpable, of the energy of Howard Stern. It was not to be ignored … so we had to. We had to explore this,' Dave said of why he wanted Howard to come on his show.

Howard still remembers the outfit he was wearing on his first Late Night appearance, though he wish he could forget. 'I wore like leather pants with brown boots,' Howard said. 'It was just a nightmare.'

Decades later, Howard would serve as one of Dave’s last guests on his final week at The Late Show. He appeared that night with comedic legend Don Rickles and Howard asked why Dave decided to have them on together. It’s simple, according to Dave.

'The idea of Don Rickles and Howard Stern together just made pretty good sense,' Letterman explained.

Thoughts on Trump

Like Howard, Dave welcomed Donald Trump onto his show numerous times before he became president. While he was a stellar guest on his talk show, Letterman doesn’t think President Trump is doing as good a job as Commander in Chief and would like to see him removed from the White House.

As for whether or not he would talk about Trump if he still had his TV show, Dave said he would have no choice but to make jokes about the president. But he’d probably do so reluctantly.

'I always say it’s like painting the Golden Gate Bridge … you’re never done. It goes on and on and on and once you start, you can’t quit,' Dave explained.

Jealous of Jerry Seinfeld and Dave’s New Netflix Gig

"Earlier this month, Dave announced he’d signed on to host a new show on Netflix, the details of which are still being worked out. But if Letterman had his way, he’d like to be behind the wheel of another streaming show — Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

'God forbid Jerry can’t do his show … just give it to me,' Dave said.

Dave has himself been a guest on Jerry’s show and told Howard the series is one of his favorites to watch. He especially admires Jerry’s ability to come up with a concept for a show that’s basically the combination of all his hobbies.

'The hard thing for me is … they would say "What do you want to do?" And I would say "Gee, you know I kind of did it for 30 years,” Dave said of trying to develop a new project for himself after hosting a successful talk show for so long. Therein lied his answer – a new interview show.

'One of my big advantages in life is ignorance,' Dave told Howard. 'If you’re ignorant, there’s nothing you can’t ask a person.'

Dave already has one big name lined up for his new project though he wouldn’t say who. However, it sounds like he picked up his second guest after Howard agreed to come on for a future appearance.

Letterman is hopeful this new show will be a success, if for no other reason than his faith in Netflix and his producing partners, RadicalMedia.

'I think it’s gonna be great and it’ll probably be the last thing I do, so I want it to be great,' Dave said."

"The Season 7 finale of USA Network’s Suits will serve as a backdoor pilot for a potential spinoff based around Gina Torres’ character Jessica Pearson, Variety has learned.

"The Season 7 finale, which will air in the first quarter of 2018, will reunite Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht), Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams), Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman), Donna Paulsen (Sarah Rafferty) and Rachel Zane (Meghan Markle) with their old friend Pearson as she adjusts to her new life in Chicago. When she is forced to enter the dirty world of Chicago politics, Pearson must rely on her legal wits and relationships from Pearson Specter Litt to navigate this unknown territory. The first half of Suits Season 7 currently airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

“'Gina Torres is a terrific actress and a valued member of our family,' said Jeff Wachtel, chief content officer for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment and president of Universal Cable Productions. 'Gina and Aaron have created a truly memorable character in Jessica Pearson, and we felt we owed it to the audience – and ourselves! – to follow her journey beyond the original show.'

"The pilot will be executive produced and written by Suits creator and executive producer Aaron Korsh and executive producer Daniel Arkin. It will be directed by Suits alum Anton Cropper. Doug Liman, David Bartis and Gene Klein of Hypnotic will also serve as executive producers.

“'The powerhouse character of Jessica Pearson, expertly brought to life by the incomparable Gina Torres, has won the hearts of television fans everywhere,' said Chris McCumber, president of entertainment networks for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. 'USA Network is beyond thrilled to work with Gina, Aaron Korsh, the entire Suits producing team and our partners at UCP to explore the exciting next phase of Jessica’s story.'

Suits premiered on USA in 2011 and will air its 100th episode this season. The series is among the network’s top-rated original series, with Season 7 currently averaging a 0.4 rating in adults 18-49 and 1.4 million viewers per episode in Nielsen’s Live+Same Day measurements."

Kumail Nanjiani wrote a piece for The Hollywood Reporter about Riz Ahmed: "The first time I saw Riz was in Four Lions. He was hilarious, vulnerable and angry. Then I saw him in Nightcrawler and he was playing a completely different, twitchy, excitable guy. I was just starting to act after years of being a comedian and I thought "I hate this guy." 

"And then I was watching Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and something very strange happened. I was seeing a guy who looked like me (in my dreams), but a guy of Pakistani descent playing an action hero in a major Hollywood blockbuster. And not just any major Hollywood blockbuster. I saw a guy who looked like me playing an action hero in a Star Wars movie. And I started getting tears in my eyes. I thought of kids who looked like me seeing Riz kick ass on screen. I smiled and fought back tears. I couldn't hate him anymore.

"And then there was The Night Of. He went from a timid man-child to a hardened criminal. And we saw every step in between. It’s a remarkable performance. We see a man growing and calcifying in front of our eyes.

"After seeing him play all of these roles, I finally had the chance to meet Riz over a dinner. I went from not hating him anymore to loving him. He's kind, he likes good food, and he is passionate about making South Asians feel like they are a valuable part of pop culture and the world at large. He's also passionate about acting, of course. When we both recently were guests on The Late Late Show with James Corden, we joked around about being two South Asian men on a talk show at the same time. We had a blast, and I said a swift and hearty 'no' when they asked us to battle rap each other. I didn't want to set up a competition between us — we're stronger working together.

"Plus, I can't rap."

Per EW, "The Mindy Project‘s fifth season ended with Mindy (Mindy Kaling) and Ben (Bryan Greenberg) getting married, but EW can exclusively reveal that they’ll soon be getting divorced in the Hulu comedy’s sixth and final season.

"Mindy met Ben last season when he was leading a nurses’ strike and soon fell for him. Their new relationship included a break-up, a crashed bat mitzvah, some drama with his ex-wife, and a tense conversation about marriage that culminated in Mindy proposing to him on a subway platform with the help of her son and Ben’s daughter.

"But even in that triumphant moment, it was clear Mindy wasn’t totally sure of her decision: The end of the episode saw Ben and Mindy riding on the subway after getting married, with her taking a break from smiling giddily to gaze out the window, a look of concern on her face. Did she do the right thing?

"Kaling previously told EW that the new season will address that glance — and, evidently, plenty more. 'We unpack that look and how that has metastasized over the course of 10 months,' she teased.

"For more on The Mindy Project‘s next season, check out behind-the-scenes photos from the set here. The series returns Sept. 12 on Hulu."

Melinda Taub, a writer for Full Frontal With Samantha Bee, wrote this piece for the Down to the Wire issue of TheWrap’s Emmy magazine: "On election night, after the results came in and the world realized that Donald Trump was really, truly going to be the president, I got a lot of wonderful messages from friends. 'Can’t wait for Full Frontal tomorrow,' they said. 'We really need you guys.'

"A lovely sentiment, but it was 3 in the morning, I couldn’t stop crying and the show wasn’t written yet. I was working as hard on getting my sister to come to my office and give me a hug as I was on my script. Eric, one of the other writers, was looking at real estate in Canada. I wished my wonderful friends would shut the hell up.

"A lot of people seem to assume that late-night writers are thrilled that Trump won. 'He must give you so much material!' they say. First of all, please believe we could have made fun of President Hillary Clinton. She’s so awkward! So stiff! The woman is like a traffic cone with an anxiety disorder. As president she would have been hilarious.

"And second of all, we are also people who live in the world — people with families and uteruses, and varying amounts of melanin and, in the age of Trump, increasingly severe drinking problems. We are as freaked out as the rest of you. Possibly more freaked out, because we can never turn the news off, and also comedy writers are a pretty nervous bunch to begin with.

"A couple examples from our staff: Mathan can’t watch improv because he is 'too scared for them'; Ashley and I have multiple text threads devoted to reassuring each other that not everyone hates us. We are exquisitely fragile little balls of neuroses and we are not built for Trump’s America, but we have a show to write, so we can’t look away.

"Sometimes when I’m trying to go to sleep I hear Trump’s voice in my head. Sometimes it’s Wolf Blitzer. I read just now that the Democrats might support anti-choice candidates for Congress in 2018, so I am currently hugging a doll.

"It’s a hard job, but it’s also satisfying. I am a big believer in talking about what bothers you. When something stupid happens, I don’t have to just write down my feelings in a diary — I can write them in a script and then a pretty Canadian lady yells them into your television. We’re still just shouting into the void, but at least our void is on basic cable.

"At the end of the day, this is my dream job. I love comedy that comes from a real place — the kind of jokes that hit the audience in such a personal way, it sounds like we punched the laugh out of them. We’re getting gut-punched as a nation on a regular basis, so I’m proud to write for a show that lets people laugh at all this nonsense.

"I don’t believe comedy can or should save the world, but hopefully we can make it a little more bearable. We will call Trump as many synonyms for orange as we have to to get you guys through this."