Tuesday January 16, 2018

Comedy Central has renewed The Jim Jeffries show for a 2nd season.

As for The Opposition With Jordan Klepper, expect more.  Here's what network President Ken Alterman had to say: "That’s the kind of show that I feel evolves and keeps finding its way. . . .And Jordan is so smart to keep honing the character and the show. What pleased us the most was how formed it was at the outset, knowing it’s not going to stay fixed. It’s just going to keep evolving. We believe in Jordan, and we’re happy with him out of the gate.”

Aaron Rodgers and Danica Patrick are a couple.

"Mad Men star January Jones is dating The Bachelor star Nick Viall, according to a source. Jones has just started dating Viall, who starred in the 21st season of The Bachelor in March, during which he got engaged to contestant Vanessa Grimaldi. He and Grimaldi split just months later, in August. A source exclusively tells Page Six that Jones and Viall got together after she admitted on “The Late Late Show With James Corden” that she was a Bachelor superfan. 'They’ve been dating for about two months. She went on The Late Show in ­mid-November and said Nick had reached out to her and tried to get her to lip-sync battle with him. She declined, but then he asked her out to a drink and she accepted. They’ve been seeing each other since,' the source said."

I applaud the ultimate decision by Shep Rose.  No spoilers, but he ended up making the right move IMHO.

Siesta Key returned last night with very little fanfare and for good reason.

I'm sticking with Married At First Sight for the time being.  I can't imagine I'll last much longer now that the couples are actually married.

Ashley Banfield came to defense of Aziz Ansari last night.  "'You had a bad date. Your date got overly amorous,' Banfield began. 'After protesting his moves, you did not get up and leave right away. You continued to engage in the sexual encounter. By your own clear description, this was not a rape, nor was it a sexual assault. By your description, your sexual encounter was unpleasant. . . . I have to ask you, what exactly was your beef? That you had a bad date with Aziz Ansari?' she asked. 'Is that what victimized you to the point of seeking a public conviction and a career-ending sentence against him? Is that what you truly thought he deserved for your night out?' Banfield concluded by acknowledging the #MeToo movement, which she said has taken a hit because of Grace’s 'reckless and hollow' accusations against Ansari. 'You have chiseled away at a movement that I, along with all of my other sisters in the workplace, have been dreaming of for decades,' she said. 'A movement that has finally changed an oversexed professional environment that I, too, have struggled through at times over the last 30 years in broadcasting… I hope the next time you go on a bad date, you stand up sooner, you smooth out your dress and you bloody well leave. Because the only sentence that a guy like that deserves is a bad case of blue balls, not a Hollywood blackball.'”

Here's a first look at Beth Behrs on The Big Bang Theory.

Bravo Jimmy Fallon.

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From The Hollywood Reporter: "On Jan. 18, Spike TV will become the first major basic cable network to rebrand itself in the Peak TV era of nearly 500 scripted originals.

"Topped by president Kevin Kay, who was charged with leading the rebranding while also overseeing fellow Viacom cable networks TV Land and CMT, Paramount Network executives, showrunners and stars previewed what to expect from the cabler on Monday during its first appearance before press at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour.

"Kay opened the day by noting that Paramount Network's official launch was a mere 72 hours away, telling the gathered press that he hoped the general entertainment network — launching with a roster of four scripted series and unscripted hits from Spike, would become a destination for 'big, bold, high-quality, compelling and relatable' fare.

"'We want to be the definitive new home for premium storytelling,' said Kay, who reports directly to Viacom CEO Bob Bakish. 'Our goal is to change the game of how viewers experience high-end scripted on basic cable. … We're a premium network without the premium subscription price.'

"Paramount Network will officially launch Jan. 18 at 9 p.m. with a live, Michael Jackson-themed installment of Lip Sync Battle, Spike's signature show. Its unscripted offerings also include Spike holdovers Ink Master and Bar Rescue. On the scripted side, its first offering will be Waco, the six-part miniseries about David Koresh and the Branch Davidians starring Michael Shannon and Taylor Kitsch. That will be followed by Heathers, an hourlong dark comedic reboot of the cult hit 1988 movie starring Christian Slater and Winona Ryder, that TV Land and Paramount Network president of development Keith Cox developed for the former; another TV Land-turned-Paramount Network series, half-hour scripted 1970s-set feminist comedy American Woman starring Alicia Silverstone and Mena Suvari; and Kevin Costner starrer Yellowstone, picked up straight to series as the cabler's first show developed specifically for it.

"Kay reiterated that Paramount Network's goal is to reach the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic. 'We don't want the Spike audience to go away; we want the audience 50-50 male-female. We're not that far off as we've ended Spike. We went with Waco first because it's a big, broad show but feels like it still resonates with Spike viewers and then broadens our audience,' Kay said. 'Heathers is a young female show. When we tested it, 35- to 49-year-old men loved it. We want to find and evolve our audience. Each of these [shows] has something special to offer. Hopefully they'll sample us and stick with the other things.'

"Kay also stressed that Harvey Weinstein and The Weinstein Co. have both been scrubbed from Waco and Yellowstone. 'Harvey has never been part of the creative process for the show and until the company has a new name and a new path, The Weinstein Co. will not be part of either show,' he said. 'What Harvey did is disgusting and disheartening. … Nobody wants to be associated with the things that went on there.'

"As for Cox's target for scripted fare, the executive used his time before press to reiterate that they're redeveloping TV Land's First Wives Club reboot for Paramount Network with a new writer (Tracy Oliver of Girls Trip fame)teaming with Kyle Killen for Velvet; and working with David Shore (The Good Doctor, House) for a remake of British anthology Accused.

"'Bring us your best — and don't go to Netflix, Amazon or Hulu because Paramount Network is going to be famous for big, bold originals,' Cox said of the content he hopes the town brings to the network. 'We want to make linear TV urgent again,' Cox added later when asked about Paramount Network's streaming plan.

"Here's what to expect from Paramount Network's first four scripted series:

WACO

Producers of the show, originally picked up by Spike but held for the launch of Paramount Network, wanted to explore Koresch from multiple points of view — from his point of view and from inside the Davidians' compound as well as from the FBI's vantage. Kitsch plays the cult leader, while Shannon takes on the role of the FBI's top negotiator.

'It was a hard learning experience,' Kitsch told reporters. 'I've never played anybody like this or even close. I was guilty at the beginning of listening to other people's views [about Koresch] and … it started to sink in. The more I dived in and worked with [producers, survivors and the real people who covered it for the FBI] and uncovered Dave's backstory … it is one of the first questions you ask: Why. There are still things I'll never have answers to — or any of us will — with this whole incident.'

Producers provided the Friday Night Lights grad with tapes and hours of calls of conversations with child protective services to formulate who the cult leader was. 'This is a guy who came from a terrible upbringing who lived with his heart on his sleeve and was incredibly emotional, smart and manipulative,' Kitsch said.

Premiere date: Wednesday, Jan. 24, at 10 p.m.

HEATHERS 

'The thesis is everyone at their core is kind of an asshole,' said Brendan Scannell, who plays the gender-queer version of Heather Duke (originally played by Shannen Doherty in the film). The 10-episode drama is set in the present day and features a new set of popular-yet-evil Heathers — only this time the outcasts have become high school royalty. Heather McNamara (originally played by Lisanne Falk) is now black and portrayed by Jasmine Mathews; and Heather Chandler (originally played by Kim Walker) has a body like Martha Dumptruck and will be played by Melanie Field. Newcomers James Scully and Grace Victoria Cox star as J.D. and Veronica, respectively. Original Heathers star Doherty has a three-episode role and is the first to appear in the pilot, which was directed by Leslye Headland and written by showrunner Jason Micallef.

The series is an anthology, with the first season serving as a 'love letter' to the original movie, Micallef told reporters. 'Yes, people do die in our show — it's Heathers — [so] more than one and less than five of these people are going to bite the bullet.' Micallef said the first season will feature a number of Easter eggs and original lines from the movie but subsequent seasons will be completely reinvented every year. 'The idea is to take the spirit and reset it and run with it. The first season is a jumping-off point using the original film and then we're totally rebooting; it's a completely different show from the movie.'

The series will, like the original film, feature a number of suicides — something Micallef said the series intentionally doesn't handle responsibly as he looks to tell a 'dark and edgy' story that 'shows [teens] as they really are. Unlike the film, the exec producer hopes to really explore the why behind the suicides. Like the original, we do hit every hot button issue, including suicide. The Heathers are aspirational. [Like] when you watch the original movie, they're the people you want to be — fortunately or unfortunately,' he said, noting the movie's Martha Dumptruck character has been slightly altered.

'[The movie] became a cult classic; it was clearly ahead of its time,' Micallef said. 'It shows American society in a way that is truthful but that you don't see that often, which is one of the things that makes something stick; now was the perfect time for [the reboot].'

Premiere date: Wednesday, March 7, at 10 p.m.

AMERICAN WOMAN

The Silverstone starrer is a half-hour comedy inspired by the life of Kyle Richards (The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills). The single-camera series is set in the 1970s amid the sexual revolution and the rise of feminism. Silverstone stars as a mother of two who finds herself facing a new world after she leaves her husband. Mena Survari co-stars.

'You'll see a lot of what my upbringing was like. … In the '70s it wasn't popular to be a strong woman. … My mom was a single mom raising three daughters in a man's world,' Richards told reporters.

The series hails from John Wells (Shameless, ER), who took over as showrunner after John Riggi (30 Rockexited amid creative differences.

Co-star Jennifer Bartels said the comedy explores timely subjects including sexual harassment in the workplace and how women were objectified and sexualized in the 1970s. 'You get to see a clean snapshot of what women were dealing with in the workplace as they were trying to create their own financial control,' she noted.

As for the show's move from TV Land to male-leaning Spike and the eventual Paramount Network, Bartels noted that the Paramount name is associated with huge tentpole movies and that she was happy to be associated with a big brand and be part of something new.

Premiere date: Thursday, June 7, at 10 p.m.

YELLOWSTONE

The 10-episode drama from Oscar nominee Taylor Sheridan (Wind RiverHell or High Water) was the first straight-to-series order picked up specifically for Paramount Network. Kevin Costner — who is getting an eye-popping $500,000 per episode — exec produces and stars (in his first series regular role) in the family drama that revolves around the Dutton family, led by John Dutton (Costner), who controls the largest contiguous ranch in the U.S., under constant attack from its neighbors: land developers, an Indian reservation and America's first National Park. The series is described as a study of a violent world far from media scrutiny — where land grabs make developers billions, and politicians are bought and sold by the world’s largest oil and lumber corporations. Where drinking water poisoned by oil wells and unsolved murders are not news, but a consequence of living in the new frontier. It is the best and worst of America seen through the eyes of a family that represents both.

'[Yellowstone] Truly encompasses everything we want Paramount Network to be,' Cox said of the series, which he said would be cinematic in tone and production.

Sheridan said the goal was to create a 10-hour movie, with Costner — who previously made Untouchables for the Paramount film banner — noting that it was the writing that drew him to television for the first time. 'It's what led me to [History limited series] Hatfields & McCoys and to Yellowstone,' he said, adding that Sheridan writing and directing the drama was a big part of it. Costner cited the sophistication and rawness of Sheridan's writing, as much as he liked the baseball and gritty underbelly of the writing on Bull Durham. 'I like long movies, I like the world Taylor created,' Costner said, noting that he has a three-year deal for the show. (Though he suggested he has to check with his lawyer if that number is accurate.)

Yellowstone landed at Paramount Network after a multiple-network bidding war. Sheridan said it was the "complete creative freedom" that convinced him to come to Paramount Network. "If there's such a thing as too much freedom, there was almost too much of it," he said. "I told them my vision, how I wanted to make it, and they agreed. It's not a model TV follows."

Premiere date: Wednesday, June 20, at 9 p.m."

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Per Deadline, "Comedy Central has given the green light to You Up with Nikki Glaser, its first live daily morning show on SiriusXM’s Comedy Central Radio toplined by the comedian and television host. The network announced the show during its portion of the TCA winter press tour.

"You Up with Nikki Glaser will premiere in February and will broadcast live from 10 AM-noon ET Monday-Thursday, with repeats throughout the week.

"In the show, Glaser will team with her best friend and touring buddy, Tom Thakkar, to expand on what they do in their comedy routines, including 'oversharing about their personal lives, getting and giving perspective on dating and sex, dissecting pop culture, trying to understand the news, and making fun of whatever or whoever else deserves it,' according to the network’s description.

"You Up with Nikki Glaser marks the second original show to launch on Comedy Central Radio following The Bonfire with Big Jay Oakerson and Dan Soder, which airs 6-8 PM ET Monday-Thursday."

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Per Variety, "Snapchat’s recent redesign has received widespread criticism from users in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada, where it has thus far been made available. Speaking at the Television Critics Association press tour Monday, Snap Inc. content executives Nick Bell and Sean Mills defended the redesign and talked about the company’s push into series programming on its platform.

“'I think we’ve got enough experience launching new and disruptive products to know that people don’t like change,' said Bell, vice president of content for the company. 'We’re certainly listening to our community, as we always do.'

"Techcrunch reported last week that 83% of all user reviews for the redesigned app were negative.

"Bell said that 'the number one thing that we were hearing from our community in the last few years' was a complaint that Snapchat’s interface was making it increasingly difficult for users to find content from their friends, which was mixed with so-called 'premium' content.

“'That was quite a strange concept for users,' he said. 'The redesign will simplify that greatly,' separating content from friends and publishers.

"Recent reporting suggests that most Snapchat users have not been engaging with publisher content. The Daily Beast reported last week that only an average 20% of active users on Snapchat consume any of the more than 40 daily Discover Editions published by media companies such as BuzzFeed and the New York Times.

“'It will give far more prominence to premium content and far more real estate to premium content,' Bell said of the redesign.

"Snapchat announced last summer that it planned to move into scripted series programming. Mills said that the company planned to explore a broad array of scripted programming options. 'We’ve experimented with genre, with  animation,' said Mills, head of original content for the company. 'It’s not just one type of show. I’m fascinated by how serialized scripted content is going to work on Snapchat.'

"Bell had predicted last summer that scripted series would begin appearing via Snapchat Shows by the end of the year. That mark has been missed. But he said that scripted will show up soon.

“'It’s imminent,' Bell said. 'Our preference is to get this right.'”

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Per TheWrap, "[w]hen it first crossed the Atlantic to pop up on Netflix, Black Mirror brought a dire look at the near future and filled a Twilight Zone-shaped hole in the lives of a lot of viewers. But fans who have already binged their way through Black Mirror Season 4 have a new series that’ll scratch a lot of the same itches.

"Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams is an anthology series that adapts 10 of the prolific sci-fi writer’s short stories into short films. Originally airing last year in the UK, the series was released in its entirety on Amazon Prime this month. While not all of Dick’s ideas feel quite as close to our world as those of Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker, a few of the adaptations get near to kick up a lot of the same existential thoughts as what Black Mirror is often trying to bring up to its audience.

"One of the reasons Black Mirror captures so much attention among viewers is that it’s an imaginative but familiar look at the world around us. The show’s focus on technology is part of what often makes it feel real. It’s also an almost unyieldingly dark take on our world — almost every Black Mirror episode imagines a dystopia of technology run amok, and the humanity we unwittingly sacrifice as we let it too far into our lives.

Electric Dreams gets at some of those ideas too. There are a few episodes that imagine worlds where our technological grasp exceeds our reach, like Autofac, in which an automated factory continues to produce useless goods long after world war has rendered them useless. K.A.O. takes place in a world in which your identity is openly, constantly available both to advertisers and the government, causing privacy, and the ability to speak freely, to vanish. Real Life is about a woman who loses herself in a virtual reality world, struggling to remember which reality is the real one.

"Probably the most Black Mirror-like of the episodes is Safe & Sound, which imagines a Big Brother-like relationship with a technology company that’s similar to Apple, or somewhat ironically, Amazon. It goes one essential step beyond the central idea of always being monitored, however, to discuss the ways that some people give up freedom in favor of security, and others take advantage of that fact.

"Unlike Black Mirror, though, much of Electric Dreams is generally a more optimistic show, with less fatalist themes. Part of that is the result of the stories in Electric Dreams covering a wider gamut of science fiction — some stories take place in our world or very near future,s while others are set in distant locales and even far-flung solar systems. The episode Impossible Planet, for instance, is set so far in the future that humanity has become a spacefaring race with only a distant memory of Earth.

"And while Black Mirror gets at the way an overabundance of technology can slowly (or quickly) reshape us, the stories in Electric Dreams tend to work at getting at a deeper of idea of what makes us human in the first place — or doesn’t. Sometimes that’s literal, in stories like Human Is and The Father Thing that tackle the idea of loved ones being replaced by impostors. In other cases, like Impossible Planet or The Hood Maker, it’s a bit more figurative as episodes get at how we treat each other, and why.

Black Mirror gets at those ideas sometimes, too, but usually in a more tragic and dystopian way. The essence of the series is the idea that we can cede too much to technology — that the technology we use to make life better can have the effect of a runaway train, carrying us to places, and disasters, we don’t see coming. Electric Dreams might be a somewhat rosier anthology than Black Mirror, but the thing that makes both shows worth watching are their ideas about what our world is, what it could be come, and what we might let become of us.

Electric Dreams isn’t an exact imitation of Black Mirror or other similar shows like Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits — nor is it antithetical to that series. In fact, they compliment one another with that question that makes science fiction and speculative fiction so compelling: What if?

"The release of Electric Dreams might suggest that the surge of popularity surrounding Black Mirror is bringing more science fiction along with it. Shows like these offer a deeper and often weirder look at who we are and where we’re going than other TV. It’s great that it seems like more of those perspectives are being brought back into the mainstream."