Thursday August 3, 2017

Oh that Jessica Pearson!

The NFL is officially back this evening as the pre-season kicks off with Cowboys vs. Cardinals on NBC.

TBS premieres The Guest Book tonight.  Each episode of this anthology tracks a different guest residing at a mountainside cabin. Among Season 1’s guest list: The Office‘s Jenna Fischer, Community‘s Danny Pudi, Mom‘s Jaime Pressly and The Americans‘ Margo Martindale.  More below.

Viceland premieres What Would Diplo Do? this evening as well.

I have had a few people tell me that they are struggling to get through Ozark on Netflix.  Trust me when I tell you that there may be a lull mid-season, but that it picks back up and ends on a high note.

A review of last night's premiere episode of USA's The Sinner, including an interview with Bill Pullman, which I'm very much looking forward to watching.

TLC is bringing back Four Weddings.

WME-IMG just raised a billion dollars in capital.  Hmmmm. "William D. Cohan, a financial journalist at Vanity Fair who has written extensively about the agency, strongly disagrees with WME-IMG’s take on the new investment, saying that the agency’s banks were likely demanding an infusion of equity to reduce its leverage — which the UFC deal exacerbated. 'I think that company is in big trouble, he told TheWrap. And I think they’ve only added to it by buying UFC. They wouldn’t be putting $1.1 billion in for no reason, they’re not putting it in now so they have dry powder to buy new companies, that’s ridiculous. They find the company, they see how much equity they need, then they put money in. They don’t just give the money now — they’re giving them the money now to re-equitize, and obviously the banks are forcing them to do it. . .  It’s a disaster,' he added. 'It was a disaster when they bought IMG, it was a disaster when they added UFC, and it’s still a disaster.'”

Speaking of which, who would be upset if the UFC's Dana White were removed from this planet never to be seen or heard from again?

ABC has decided to cancel The Middle after a very impressive 9 seasons.

Louis C.K. is back in the swing, testing new stand up material on stage.

A mini Saved By The Bell / 90210 reunion.

"Netflix has released the official trailer for the third season of drug cartel drama Narcos. It was unveiled today in New York City, where this season was partially filmed.

"Now that the bloody hunt for Pablo Escobar has ended, the DEA turns its attention to the powerful Cali Cartel and its four Kings — Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela (Damian Alcazar), leader of Cali Cartel; Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela (Francisco Denis), brains behind the rise of the of Cali Cartel and Gilberto’s brother; Pacho Herrera (Alberto Ammann), the on-the-low hitman, runs the Mexican connection and international distribution and Chepe Santacruz Londono (Pepe Rapazote) who runs the satellite NYC empire of the Colombian drug network.

"Other new players this season include Jorge Salcedo (Matias Varela), Cali’s head of security who prioritizes his wife and kids’ protection over his bosses; DEA agents Chris Feistl (Michael Stahl-David) and Daniel Van Ness (Matt Whelan), who enter the operation with enthusiasm and inexperience; Franklin Jurado (Miguel Angel Silvestre)- the cartel’s money launderer who unknowingly puts his wife, Christina (Kerry Bishe) in mortal danger and David Rodriguez (Arturo Castro), Miguel’s oldest son, who is reluctant at first to take a leading role in the cartel structure.

"Pedro Pascal stars as DEA agent Javier Peña."

Narcos Season 3 launches on Netflix September 1, and I cannot wait.

Per Deadline, "Miami Vice is eyeing a return to NBC. The network has put in development a reboot of its signature 1980s action crime drama, with the Fast & Furious duo of Vin Dieseland Chris Morgan producing.

"The remake, which had been in the works since last season, will be written by Peter Macmanus (The Mist, Satisfaction) and produced by Universal Television, Chris Morgan Productions and Diesel’s One Race TV. No executive producers have been locked in yet, but Morgan and Ainsley Davies of Chris Morgan Productions are expected to serve as EPs along with Diesel and Shana Waterman of One Race and Macmanus. Both Morgan and Diesel have deals with Universal TV.

"The original series, created by Anthony Yerkovich and executive produced by Michael Mann, starred Don Johnson as James 'Sonny' Crockett and Philip Michael Thomas as Ricardo 'Rico' Tubbs, two Metro-Dade Police Department detectives working undercover in Miami. It quickly became a pop culture phenom and ran on NBC for five seasons from 1984-89. The show, unlike standard police procedurals, drew heavily on 1980s New Wave culture and music, and became noted for its integration of music and visual effects.

"USA began airing reruns in 1988, joined by an originally unaired episode, which ran on January 25, 1990.

"A film adaptation of the series, directed by Michael Mann, was released by Universal in July 2006 with Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx as the leads.

"This is one of two broadcast series remakes that are already in the works for next season, along with Charmed at the CW, from Jane the Virgin creator Jennie Urman Snyder."

Just what the world needs!

Per The Hollywood Reporter, "[t]he Divergent franchise is inching closer to continuing on the small screen.

"Premium cable network Starz is developing a TV take on Ascendant,which was to be the fourth movie in the Divergent franchise.

"Writer Adam Cozad (Tarzan) is attached to pen the script as producers Lionsgate look to its newly acquired full stake in Starz to mine the stalled feature franchise. Cozad will executive produce alongside Lee Toland Krieger (Age of Adaline) after they were both previously set to write and direct what would have been the fourth film in the Divergent franchise. 

"Ascendant is in its early stages of development. It's unclear if the project would reunite any of the stars of the films including Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Ansel Elgort. Lionsgate TV and Starz declined comment.

"After seeing diminishing box-office returns, Lionsgate opted to first slash the budget on Ascendant before dropping the feature completely. 

"Woodley, for her part, has been open to completing the story. The actress, who stars as Tris, initially rejected the idea of doing a TV movie to wrap the franchise. 'I signed up to tell the whole story of Tris, and I would love to be able to do that,' she said in September. 'Nothing would make me happier.' Multiple stars are expected to opt out of their deals if the movie evolves into a TV series. 

"Ascendant was originally poised to debut June 9 of this year, but after the franchise's third installment, Allegiant grossed a mere $66 million domestically, Lionsgate began to rethink its strategy for the fourth film based on Veronica Roth's book series.

"For Lionsgate TV, the Divergent series could be a win for the former independent studio that now has a cable network to supply content. The TV arm recently fought to save ABC’s Nashville at Viacom-owned CMT. The studio’s TV credits include Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black and a Dear White People adaptation as well as E!’s The Royals

"Given the Lionsgate deal, Starz is now expected to vertically integrate and focus its upcoming scripted originals on ownership. The cable network recently went straight to series on The Rook, a drama from Twilight author Stephenie Meyer, as Starz CEO Chris Albrecht told reporters there would be more Lionsgate-produced fare to come."

"EW has learned exclusively that when [Will & Grace] returns Sept. 28 to NBC, Will (Eric McCormack) and Grace (Debra Messing) will be single, childless, and still living in their infamous New York City apartment — a stark contrast to the sitcom’s 2006 finale, when Grace had a daughter named Laila with husband Leo (Harry Connick Jr.) while Will was raising a son, Ben, with spouse Vincent (Bobby Cannavale).

“'We spent most of our time trying to figure out what would be the way to make the show the best version of itself coming back after 11 years,' executive producer/creator Max Mutchnick tells EW. 'That finale really caused us a lot of grief. You write a finale because a show is over. You never think that it’s coming back again.'

“'When the decision was made to bring the series back, we were like, well, we left them with kids, right?' adds executive producer/creator David Kohan. 'And if they have children, then it has to be about them being parents, ‘cause presumably it would be a priority in their lives. And if it wasn’t a priority in their lives, then they’re still parents, they’re just bad parents, right? We frankly did not want to see them being either good parents or bad parents. We wanted them to be Will and Grace.'

"It will be Groundhog Day, too, for Jack (Sean Hayes) and Karen (Megan Mullally). Though they were last seen living together with Rosario the maid in the finale, Jack will return as Will and Grace’s omnipresent neighbor while Karen will still get her drink on and live in that mansion. Will and Grace’s careers will be the same, and Jack the actor will be teaching his own craft called 'Jackting.'

“'They’ve done well with their lives,' says Mutchnick of Will’s job as a corporate lawyer and Grace’s gig as an interior designer. 'They’ve always been successful at life and living. It’s relationships that Will and Grace have always had the trouble with, and they still do.'

"At least one ex-lover isn’t totally history: EW has learned that Connick will briefly reprise his role as Leo in the new iteration.

"And good news for those who loved the bawdy humor of Mutchnick and Kohan — it hasn’t gone anywhere since the sitcom wrapped its eight-year run. 'I think 11 more years of life has done a fantastic job,' says Mutchnick. 'That stew tastes even better. But, you know, we hope that the audience understands that we are here to make them laugh and have a good time.'”

Per The New York Times, "[i]t is, apparently, the Summer of the Anthology Series About a Rental Property. Last week HBO rolled out Room 104, which builds each episode around someone who occupied a particular motel room. On Thursday TBS takes the same premise, more or less, in a much, much lighter direction with The Guest Book, a comedy about the vacationers who rent a particular cabin.

"The channel has been betting big on sitcoms for a while now, and this one is in the same pleasantly, somewhat raunchily mindless vein as The Detour. And, like those shows, it grows on you, because it sharpens as it goes along.

"The rental, Froggy Cottage, is in a nowheresville that seems to have no other businesses except a rancid strip club called Chubbys. The show isn’t a pure anthology series; the visitors change each week (providing, as with Room 104, a chance for some high-profile guest stars like Stockard Channing and Mary Lynn Rajskub), but the locals remain constant and have their evolving story lines.

"At the strip club — and no, television probably did not need another strip club — one of the dancers, Vivian (Carly Jibson), and her stepson (Lou Wilson) try to run a blackmail business by catching customers on tape in compromising situations. The man who rents out the cabin, Wilfred (Charlie Robinson), is a gentle fellow but prone to explorations that take him in the direction of Chubbys. Oh, and there’s Dr. Brown (Garret Dillahunt), who lives next door to Froggy Cottage and hasn’t quite adjusted to his single-dad status.

"The show was created by Greg Garcia, whose previous credits include My Name Is Earl and Raising Hope, so he knows something about sitcoms. Here he has fun with the format, using a cheeky introduction in each episode that serves both to catch new viewers up and to wink at his own show’s frivolousness.

"The episodes have a sprinkling of social commentary — No. 2, for instance, involves a seriously Christian couple troubled by their son’s choice of a nonbelieving fiancée. But the stories never get preachy or go in the obvious direction. By Episode 5, a well-spun tale of a researcher (Jenna Fischer) who gets more than she bargained for when she tries out a new therapy on an Alzheimer’s patient, you may be hooked. Helping considerably: the music of the alt-country blues duo HoneyHoney, which is smartly deployed throughout the series."