Wednesday September 13, 2017

HBO has renewed This Week Tonight With John Oliver through 2020!!

Sadly, the midseason finale of Suits airs tonight.  "Season 7, episode 10 is called Donna, as Donna Paulsen (Sarah Rafferty) is about to be called as a witness against her former boss and best friend Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht). But Donna isn’t the only one on the hot seat. Don’t forget about Rachel Zane (Meghan Markle), who has teamed up with her father Robert Zane (recurring guest star Wendell Pierce), on a discrimination case. Yet having discovered that Dad has a very personal reason for taking the case, Rachel wonders if his vendetta will get in the way."

A new season of South Park premieres tonight.

Followed by the season premiere of Broad City.

Could not have less interest or knowledge of whatever James Woods is doing or with whom he's verbally sparring.

Amazingly, Tony > Camila > Pewdiepie.

AMC has ordered a 3rd season of Ride With Norman Reedus.

Yahoo! offers up its dream cast for the celebrity version of Big Brother.  Good luck.

The creator of Baywatch has put his Malibu house on the market.  I've been inside.  It's pretty damn cool.

"The competition to see how many freebies wireless carriers can cram into a single plan is heating up. Just days after T-Mobile announced it’s giving Netflix to some customers on its unlimited plan, AT&T is upping the ante. Starting on Friday, all AT&T customers on one of the company’s unlimited plans will get access to HBO for free. If you’re already subscribed to HBO through an AT&T cable or streaming service, you’ll get a rebate for the extra $15 a month, and everyone else just gets access to HBO through the HBO Go app."

"Viacom is cutting staff as it prepares for the launch of the new Paramount Network and rebranding of TV Land in the near future. A representative at CMT, which is also owned by Viacom, told TheWrap that the number of people losing their jobs is less than 20 and that the cuts were split evenly across Paramount, TV Land and CMT. Tom Zapalla, Spike’s executive vice president of programming, is leaving after six years in the position. As previously announced, Spike is transforming into Paramount."

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"Amazon is going deep with an untitled series that will follow the University of Michigan football team and its alumnus-coach Jim Harbaugh throughout the 2017 season.

"Produced by BTN Originals, the Montag Group and Jim Jorden Productions, the Amazon Prime series will feature unprecedented access to the winningest program in NCAA football — an 11-time national champion — throughout the current season. Cameras will follow Harbaugh, his assistant coaches, the student athletes and their support system on and off the field, giving viewers an inside look at the team, game, practice, life in Ann Arbor and everything in between.

"The seventh-ranked Wolverines are off to a good start, beating No. 17 Florida at home on opening day and cruising to a win over Cincinnati in Week 2. They host Air Force this weekend before starting Big Ten play at Purdue on September 23.

“'We pride ourselves on offering Prime members access to the people and worlds that they simply cannot find anywhere else. This series will show viewers an elite college football program in a way that’s never been done before,' said Conrad Riggs, Head of Unscripted, Amazon Originals.

"No premiere date is set for the series, which is executive produced by Sandy Montag, Kirk Reynolds, Ron Lynn and Jim Jorden.

"During Harbaugh’s first two years, Michigan re-emerged as a top 10 national power and pulled in one of the top recruiting classes for the 2017 season. Harbaugh quarterbacked Michigan in the mid-1980s, becoming a Heisman Trophy finalist, first-round draft pick and 14-season NFL quarterback. He also coached the San Francisco 49ers to three NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl in his first three seasons."

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From BGR: "Apple on Tuesday unveiled it’s fourth-generation Apple TV, just as expected. And Apple could not pass on the opportunity to remind everyone that it just got a new Emmy for its Apple TV device, before unveiling its first 4K media player. It’s called Apple TV 4K, just as expected.

"Eddy Cue stepped on stage to demo the new Apple TV 4K, stressing on the fact that 4K resolution isn’t everything. There’s also HDR involved, and iTunes is going to get plenty of content, including brand new screensavers that are 4K HDR-ready.

"The new Apple TV ships with a much faster A10X processor that will deliver twice the performance compared to last year’s model. That’s the same processor as the iPad Pro, which means you also get four times faster graphics. Yes, that means you’re getting better games for Apple TV, and Apple explained on stage while demoing that game company’s Sky.

"The device ships with the latest tvOS software, and comes with a brand new remote.

"More interestingly, 4K movies will have the same price as HD movies. All movie purchases will be upgraded to 4K HDR for no additional charge.

"The Netflix and Amazon Prime apps will also benefit from the 4K HDR upgrade.

"The TV app is launching in multiple markets, including Canada, Australia, and five more European markets, complete with more local services.

"Live sports is coming this fall, complete with a dedicated sports tab.

"Just as expected, the new Apple TV will also be part of Apple’s smart home.

"Apple TV 4K costs $179 (32GB) or $199 (64GB), while the older model will cost $149. Preorders start on September 15th and the device will ship on September 22nd.

"The full press release is available at this link."

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Per The Hollywood Reporter, "[c]rime is downright hilarious, right? Netflix hopes so. Ever since HBO reignited TV’s true crime wave in February 2015 with The Jinx, the streamer has capitalized on the genre’s sudden popularity with such offerings as Making a MurdererThe Keepers and Amanda Knox.

"Now Netflix hopes viewers will take to a satirical skewering of the genre, American Vandal, debuting Sept. 15.

"From creators Tony Yacenda and Dan Perrault, the eight-episode first season centers on a whodunit. Only instead of a murder or a disappearance, it's a series of dick drawings (seriously) that suddenly appear on 27 cars at the fictional Hanover High School in Oceanside, Calif. The prime suspect is a lackadaisical delinquent named Dylan Maxwell (22 Jump Street's Jimmy Tatro), long known for his disruptive behavior and his talent for phallic art. The documentarian trying to uncover the truth? Dylan's inquisitive classmate, and Hanover High School morning TV show colleague, Peter Maldonado (Orange Is the New Black's Tyler Alvarez).

"'The juxtaposition of the seriousness and the silliness — that's really where the best part of this show exists,' says showrunner Dan Lagana of the series, produced by CBS TV Studios, Funny or Die and 3 Arts Entertainment."

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Per Deadline, "AMC has put in development a drama based on Wesley Lowery’s bestselling nonfiction book They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice. It comes from Brad Weston’s Makeready and writer LaToya Morgan (Into the Badlands, Turn: Washington’s Spies).

"Published in 2016 by Little, Brown & Company, the book was acquired by Makeready last fall. It examines how decades of racially biased policing in segregated neighborhoods with failing schools, crumbling infrastructure and too few jobs has led to the high-profile cases of police brutality in Ferguson, Cleveland, Baltimore and elsewhere and the birth of Black Lives Matter movement seeking justice for the deaths of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and Freddie Gray.

"Written by Morgan, who is under an overall deal at AMC, the potential series also will reflect current events and race relations through the stories and voices of fictional characters. Morgan will executive produce with Makeready founder and CEO Weston and creative heads Pam Abdy and Scott Nemes.

"Lowery, a reporter at The Washington Post, was a lead on the paper’s Fatal Force project, a database that tracked 990 police shootings in 2015. The project won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 2016.

"They Can’t Kill Us All joins the growing development slate of Makeready’s television division, headed by Nemes, which funds development and can deficit finance series, with Entertainment One handling international distribution. The slate also includes a series adaptation of Rocket Men, Robert Kurson’s upcoming book about the Apollo 8 odyssey; the Untitled David James Kelly project, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson’s Appian Way; Old City Blues, by screenwriter Arash Amel, based on the Boom graphic novel; Catching Out, from writer/executive producer Amy Harris and executive producer Chloe Grace Moretz; and the Jonás Cuarón-written drama Undocumented America, based on manuscript by journalist and DACA recipient Karla Cornejo Villavicencio about undocumented immigrants across America."

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From Variety: "Seniors characters are dramatically underrepresented on popular television, according to a new study from USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

"Looking at a sampling of 72 shows — a mix of the most popular series according to Nielsen ratings in the 18-49 demo and with viewers 65 and older — the study, titled Seniors on the Small Screen: Aging in Popular Television, found that people ages 60 and older made up only 9.4% of speaking roles, despite making up 19.9% of the U.S. population, according to the U.S. census. Of the 72 shows surveyed, one episode per series, only three came within two percentage points of 19.9%.

"Seniors accounted for only 8.2% of series-regular roles on the shows surveyed.

"Among senior roles, diversity was scarce. Only 30% of all roles for characters ages 60 and older were female. Thirty-eight of the 72 programs surveyed had no female senior role.

"Senior roles also skewed heavily white, with white characters accounting for 72.2% of all such characters, compared to 14.6% black/African American, 6.6% Hispanic/Latino, 1.3% Asian, and 5.3% from mixed race/other groups. None of the 72 shows featured a single female Asian senior speaking role.

"Behind the camera, seniors fared slightly better in some areas, far worse in others. People 60 and older accounted for 25.3% of directors on series surveyed. But only two of the 19 senior directors counted were women.

"Writers rooms were especially short on senior representation. Of 121 credited writers across 72 episodes, only 5% were age 60 or older.

"Of the 100 showrunners identified, 11 were ages 60 or older — 10 men and one woman.

"The study was authored by Stacy L. Smith, Katherine Piper, Marc Choueiti, Artur Tofan, Anne-Marie Depauw, and Ariana Case."