Friday January 12, 2018

After traveling all week, I take great comfort in coming home to a very full DVR.

New season of Crashing and Divorce premiere on HBO on Sunday night.

Episode 1 of David Letterman's new Netflix show drops today.  More below.

Please send Tucker Carlson to one of those "shithole countries."

And please pay more attention to what Trevor Noah has to say.  He's very very good at his job.

TBS has renewed Full Frontal With Samantha Bee for 2 more seasons.

TBS has also renewed Snoop Dogg Presents The Joker’s Wild and Drop the Mic for 2nd seasons. Both are set to debut in the spring.

Hulu‘s new series The Looming Tower will premiere on Feb. 28. Based on the Pulitzer-Prize winning book, The Looming Tower traces the rising threat of Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda in the late 90s and how the rivalry between the FBI and CIA during that time may have inadvertently set the path for the tragedy of 9/11. 

Here's a link to the trailer.

Super Bowl ads have nearly sold out at NBC, with prices expected to average over FIVE MILLION DOLLARS for a 30-second spot. NBC said it had less than 10 spots to sell in game, and pre-game and post-game shows and post-Super Bowl broadcast of This Is Us are nearly sold out as well. 

This made me smile . . .a Flight of the Conchords live special is set for May on HBO. The special features the Brett and Jermaine performing their classics as well as new original songs from Flight of the Conchords Sing Flight of the Conchords Tour.

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Here are your winners from last night's Critics Choice Awards in the TV categories:

BEST DRAMA SERIES
American Gods (Starz)
The Crown (Netflix)
Game of Thrones (HBO)
The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu) — WINNER
Stranger Things (Netflix)
This Is Us (NBC)

BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Sterling K. Brown – This Is Us (NBC) — WINNER
Paul Giamatti – Billions (Showtime)
Freddie Highmore – Bates Motel (A&E)
Ian McShane – American Gods (Starz)
Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul (AMC)
Liev Schreiber – Ray Donovan (Showtime)

BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Caitriona Balfe – Outlander (Starz)
Christine Baranski – The Good Fight (CBS All Access)
Claire Foy – The Crown (Netflix)
Tatiana Maslany – Orphan Black (BBC America)
Elisabeth Moss – The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu) — WINNER
Robin Wright – House of Cards (Netflix)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Bobby Cannavale – Mr. Robot (USA)
Asia Kate Dillon – Billions (Showtime)
Peter Dinklage – Game of Thrones (HBO)
David Harbour – Stranger Things (Netflix) — WINNER
Delroy Lindo – The Good Fight (CBS All Access)
Michael McKean – Better Call Saul (AMC)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Gillian Anderson – American Gods (Starz)
Emilia Clarke – Game of Thrones (HBO)
Ann Dowd – The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu) — WINNER
Cush Jumbo – The Good Fight (CBS All Access)
Margo Martindale – Sneaky Pete (Amazon)
Chrissy Metz – This Is Us (NBC)

BEST COMEDY SERIES
The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
Black-ish (ABC)
GLOW (Netflix)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon) — WINNER
Modern Family (ABC)
Patriot (Amazon)

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Anthony Anderson – black-ish (ABC)
Aziz Ansari – Master of None (Netflix)
Hank Azaria – Brockmire (IFC)
Ted Danson – The Good Place (NBC) — WINNER
Thomas Middleditch – Silicon Valley (HBO)
Randall Park – Fresh Off the Boat (ABC)

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Kristen Bell – The Good Place (NBC)
Alison Brie – GLOW (Netflix)
Rachel Brosnahan – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon) — WINNER
Sutton Foster – Younger (TV Land)
Ellie Kemper – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
Constance Wu – Fresh Off the Boat (ABC)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Tituss Burgess – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
Walton Goggins – Vice Principals (HBO) — WINNER
Sean Hayes – Will & Grace (NBC)
Marc Maron – GLOW (Netflix)
Kumail Nanjiani – Silicon Valley (HBO)
Ed O’Neill – Modern Family (ABC)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Mayim Bialik – The Big Bang Theory (CBS) — WINNER
Alex Borstein – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
Betty Gilpin – GLOW (Netflix)
Jenifer Lewis – black-ish (ABC)
Alessandra Mastronardi – Master of None (Netflix)
Rita Moreno – One Day at a Time (Netflix)

BEST LIMITED SERIES
American Vandal (Netflix)
Big Little Lies (HBO) — WINNER
Fargo (FX)
FEUD: Bette and Joan (FX)
Godless (Netflix)
The Long Road Home (National Geographic)

BEST MOVIE MADE FOR TV
Flint (Lifetime)
I Am Elizabeth Smart (Lifetime)
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (HBO)
Sherlock: The Lying Detective (PBS)
The Wizard of Lies (HBO) — WINNER

BEST ACTOR IN A MOVIE MADE FOR TV OR LIMITED SERIES
Jeff Daniels – Godless (Netflix)
Robert De Niro – The Wizard of Lies (HBO)
Ewan McGregor – Fargo (FX) — WINNER
Jack O’Connell – Godless (Netflix)
Evan Peters – American Horror Story: Cult (FX)
Bill Pullman – The Sinner (USA)
Jimmy Tatro – American Vandal (Netflix)

BEST ACTRESS IN A MOVIE MADE FOR TV OR LIMITED SERIES
Jessica Biel – The Sinner (USA)
Alana Boden – I Am Elizabeth Smart (Lifetime)
Carrie Coon – Fargo (FX)
Nicole Kidman – Big Little Lies (HBO) — WINNER
Jessica Lange – FEUD: Bette and Joan (FX)
Reese Witherspoon – Big Little Lies (HBO)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MOVIE MADE FOR TV OR LIMITED SERIES
Johnny Flynn – Genius (National Geographic)
Benito Martinez – American Crime (ABC)
Alfred Molina – FEUD: Bette and Joan (FX)
Alexander Skarsgård – Big Little Lies (HBO) — WINNER
David Thewlis – Fargo (FX)
Stanley Tucci – Feud: Bette and Joan (FX)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MOVIE MADE FOR TV OR LIMITED SERIES
Judy Davis – FEUD: Bette and Joan (FX)
Laura Dern – Big Little Lies (HBO) — WINNER
Jackie Hoffman – FEUD: Bette and Joan (FX)
Regina King – American Crime (ABC)
Michelle Pfeiffer – The Wizard of Lies (HBO)
Mary Elizabeth Winstead – Fargo (FX)

BEST TALK SHOW
Ellen (NBC)
Harry (Syndicated)
Jimmy Kimmel Live! (ABC) — WINNER
The Late Late Show with James Corden (CBS)
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (NBC)
Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen (BRAVO)

BEST ANIMATED SERIES
Archer (FX)
Bob’s Burgers (FOX)
BoJack Horseman (Netflix)
Danger & Eggs (Amazon)
Rick and Morty (Adult Swim) — WINNER
The Simpsons (FOX)

BEST UNSTRUCTURED REALITY SERIES
Born This Way (A&E) — WINNER
Ice Road Truckers (History)
Intervention (A&E)
Live PD (A&E)
Ride with Norman Reedus (AMC)
Teen Mom (MTV)

BEST STRUCTURED REALITY SERIES
The Carbonaro Effect (truTV)
Fixer Upper (HGTV)
The Profit (CNBC)
Shark Tank (ABC) — WINNER
Undercover Boss (CBS)
Who Do You Think You Are? (TLC)

BEST REALITY COMPETITION SERIES
America’s Got Talent (NBC)
Chopped (Food Network)
Dancing with the Stars (ABC)
Project Runway (Lifetime)
RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1)
The Voice (NBC) — WINNER

BEST REALITY SHOW HOST
Ted Allen – Chopped (Food Network)
Tyra Banks – America’s Got Talent (NBC)
Tom Bergeron – Dancing with the Stars (ABC)
Cat Deeley – So You Think You Can Dance (FOX)
Joanna and Chip Gaines – Fixer Upper (HGTV)
RuPaul – RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1) — WINNER

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Per Deadline, "[t]he mantra for David Letterman’s return to late night tonight heralded by an interview with Barack Obama on Netflix was crystal clear: see no Trump, hear no Trump, speak no Trump.

"Even with the early mention in the nearly one-hour My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman of possible Russian interference in our democracy, 'the diminishment by the head of the democracy of the press,' Twitter, the difference between Fox News viewers and NPR listeners, the name of the former Celebrity Apprentice host was never actually uttered by the former President. A segment in Selma, Alabama with Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis did mention Trump but only to dismiss him as an aberration in the American arch and body politic.

"In basically ignoring the ever looming current President of the United States on another s**tstorm of a day, the pre-taped result from last fall was a primarily a warm, fuzzy, and sauntering up on dull chat between two well spoken men who obviously like and respect each other and didn’t want to cause each other any possible grief. It may drive Trump bats**t not to have gotten any attention from his predecessor and a early morning tweet storm could always be coming. However, with Obama staying as far away from anything resembling controversy as possible, and Letterman often handing over the reigns of the interview, this debut episode of My Next Guest was not scintillating television by any stretch.

"And that’s unfortunate.

"The fact is regardless of one’s feelings about Donald Trump being in the White House and Obama being out of it, the imperious subject of The Art of The Deal has cranked up the political and cultural volume to previously unimaginable levels and news cycle speeds. Perhaps with a desire to turn that volume and velocity down, the sidestepping of Trump after a year in power and casting Obama within a very singular historical context made My Next Guest feel out dated. To put it another way – securing the first extended sit down with Obama since he left office last January may have looked good on paper as a way to open the six-episode series but in streaming service practice it was already old news before it had begun this morning.

"With future guests scheduled in George Clooney, Malala Yousafzai, Jay-Z, Tina Fey and Howard Stern, My Next Guest seems determined not to break any new ground. Which again is unfortunate, because Netflix could be a perfect platform and the eternally oddball Letterman the perfect pitchman to lay down a bridge to a new sense of what late night could be.

"Going for the a bit of Oprah, a bit of the UK’s now deceased Terry Wogan and a bit of what as once the Charlie Rose long format approach with My Next Guest, Letterman, who made it through his own sex scandal in 2009 after some public apologies, obviously wants to show those kids Colbert, Fallon and Kimmel how it could be done. A lofty goal, the immediate result is to still remind us why talk shows don’t yet ring true on streaming. Despite the best efforts of the talented Sarah Silverman on Hulu and Chelsea Handler for two years on Netflix, the old skool moves of jumping on the news of the day still prove the most deft.

"Just think of the show that could have been tonight if Letterman had quizzed Obama on his reaction to Trump’s apparent disdainful comments about immigrants from Haiti and Africa, where the ex-POTUS’ own father harked from. Just think about that Reed Hastings, and the subscription sign-ups you would have hauled in.

"That’s not the show we saw starting at midnight.

"After a clip of Obama on Letterman’s old CBS show in its final year of 2015 that saw the duo joking around about what they would do in retirement, My Next Guest cut to some intentionally low-fi footage of the ex-Late Nighter on the phone very politely asking the 44th POTUS if he’d come on his new show. In typically Letterman fashion, the host acts like he got a No when clearly he got a Yes and, after a brief curmudgeonly monologue about getting “fired” and a Bill Clinton gag, the My Next Guest frontman is joined onstage at New York City College by Obama for their tête-à-tête.

"Being that we already knew Obama would be the first guest on the series from RadicalMedia and Worldwide Pants, the clip from 2015, the phone call and a scene of the ex-Senator from Illinois backstage, there really was little suspense or drama by the time he walked out on stage to a standing ovation from what was clearly a crowd that wanted to make America sane again. Once seated together, the thickly bearded and admiring Letterman and tieless Obama bantered about vacations, their kids, book deals, legacy, next steps, voting rights, the spirit of the civil rights movement of the 1960s and the work the 44th POTUS wants to do with his post-Presidency foundation. Then they wrapped it up and it was over, disappearing into the digital fog.

"And that’s unfortunate too."

I will still watch.

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Per TheWrap, "[a] great deal of time has been devoted to discussing and dissecting the infamous O.J. Simpson murder trial in all forms of entertainment. Maybe more than it needed, in Judd Apatow’s opinion.

"Apatow used the attention that’s been paid to the famed-football player as an example when justifying the length of his new documentary about comedian Garry Shandling, during a panel at the Television Critics Association press tour on Thursday.

“'I always think, you know, O.J. got seven hours and he murdered people,' Apatow said to a room full of reporters who burst into laughter as he explained why he’s comfortable with The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling being over four hours long. 'Don’t you deserve more time by not murdering people?' (And yes, know that Simpson was found not guilty).

"Apatow was of course referencing ESPN Films’ 2016 documentary O.J.: Made in America, which was released as a five-part miniseries and in theatrical format. The Ezra Edelman film won the Academy Award for Best Documentary feature last February.

"Meanwhile, Apatow’s two-part doc on the late Shandling, who was a mentor and friend of his, features interviews from nearly four dozen friends, family and colleagues, along with four decades’ worth of television appearances and the comedian’s personal journals, private letters and home audio and video footage that offer insight into Shandling’s mind.

"Shandling died in March 2016 after suffering a massive heart attack at age 66."

The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling will debut over two nights, on March 26 and 27, on HBO.

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From The Hollywood Reporter: "Bill Hader is taking cues from his Saturday Night Live experience for his upcoming HBO series, Barry.

"At the Television Critics Association's winter press tour on Thursday in Pasadena, the actor-comedian revealed that the dark comedy he created with Silicon Valley executive producer Alec Berg was inspired by his own time on the NBC mainstay. 'It's the idea that this thing you’re really good at is actually kind of destroying you,' Hader said onstage, flanked by his co-star Henry Winkler and Berg. 'And I kind of related to that on SNL.'

"On the series, Hader plays the title role of a depressed, low-rent hitman from the Midwest who, on the job in Los Angeles, falls in love with theater and wants to pursue acting. While following his 'mark' into an acting class taught by beloved teacher/guru Gene Cousineau (Winkler), Barry is instantly drawn to the group of students and tries to start a new life with them — but struggles to find a balance between the two worlds.

"Hader elaborated further on the parallels between the character of Barry and himself. 'He’s good at killing people, but it's actually eating him away and he doesn’t understand that. And then the thing that he wants to be good at, he's terrible at,' he continued. 'I did an OK job with the sketch stuff [at SNL], but the live-television aspect of it was always really hard for me. I had a lot of anxiety through the whole time I was on that show. I had a really hard time with that.'

"Had SNL just required entertaining a room the size of the Langham Hotel ballroom Hader was speaking in, it would have been easy for him. 'But having a camera go on and it's red and it’s like, "All of my friends in Oklahoma are watching me right now,"' said Hader, made him realize that live TV all over the nation wasn't his thing.

"Hader talked to Berg about his difficulties on the sketch series, and the Seinfeld alum thought it would make a good central problem for Hader's character on the new show: that the things he was good at he was a prisoner of, and then conversely the thing that he wants to do he’s terrible at. 

"Together, Berg and Hader directed, wrote and produced the eight-episode show. In fact, Barry marks Hader's directorial debut, which he called a 'huge' opportunity. The pair added that they don't have a plan for future seasons but, should they get a renewal, they'll figure something out."

Barry premieres March 25 on HBO.

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Per Variety, "[h]ot on the heels of his tour de force with The Big Sick, Kumail Nanjiani has attached himself as an actor and writer for an upcoming TV adaptation of My Beautiful Laundrette being developed at Turner-owned Super Deluxe.

"Alec Berg (Silicon Valley) and Hanif Kureishi (writer of the original Laundrette) will executive produce with Stephen Gaghan ( Traffic). The serialization of Laundrette will be based on the Oscar-nominated 1985 indie film starring Daniel Day-Lewis. The film revolved around  a young British man of Pakistani heritage and his white boyfriend, a former gang leader, who take on running a London laundromat owned by the British-Pakistani man’s uncle. The film was lauded for its portrayal of the gay and immigrant communities. No network or streaming service has yet sealed a deal for the project.

"Nanjiani, who will co-write and and star in the series in a yet unnamed role, is best known for his role as Dinesh Chugtai on Silicon Valley and is currently enjoying the success of his autobiographical film The Big Sick, which he co-wrote with his wife Emily V. Gordon and starred in. Telling stories of second-generation south Asian immigrants making their way in the world, Sick and Laundrette share thematic similarities.

"Super Deluxe, which made a name for itself by creating irreverent videos aimed at millennials, is getting momentum in mainstream television production. The Turner-owned content studio is currently slated to have at least seven TV series in the coming year including a 10-episode order from Netflix for the supernatural drama Chambers; the interactive game show Popular Opinion, which was sold to Facebook’s Watch platform, and This Close, a dramedy previously known as The Chances starring two deaf comedians, which will premiere on the  AMC-owned streaming service Sundance Now."