Wednesday January 31, 2018

Hulu has canceled Shut Eye after 2 seasons.

Showtime has canceled Dice after 2 seasons.

Showtime has also renewed The Chi for a 2nd season.

"House Of Cards has tapped Oscar-nominated actors Diane Lane and Greg Kinnear for major roles opposite Robin Wright in the political drama series’ revamped eight-episode sixth and final season, which has started filming today. Their addition is part of the major changes made to the show in light of the abrupt dismissal of star Kevin Spacey over sexual misconduct allegations. Details about Lane and Kinnear’s characters are not revealed beyond the fact that they will be playing siblings."

Facing an otherwise uncertain future, Fox has acquired the exclusive broadcast rights to Thursday Night Football. The massive five-year deal — which is valued at an annual $550 million — will go into effect this fall, with Fox set to broadcast 11 regular-season games between Weeks 4 and 15 of the NFL season, according to Variety. The deal excludes the Thanksgiving night game, which will continue to air on NBC. The Thursday Night Football package, which initially consisted of eight games, was acquired by CBS as part of a two-year deal in 2014. Beginning in 2016, the NFL negotiated two five-game packages which were sold to CBS and NBC. Both networks thus had to start their regular Thursday lineups late, several weeks into the fall season, or take those scripted shows off the air for a month-plus, making for a hard-to-follow schedule."

"High Noon Entertainment is producing a new series for Facebook’s Watch platform featuring NFL Super Bowl MVP Von MillerVon Miller’s Studio 58 is a comedy-variety series featuring the Denver Broncos team captain. Based out of Miller’s house, the eight-episode show follows Miler (pictured), his various passions, and his interactions with celebrities. The series allows Miller to explore whatever comes to his mind as he hangs out with those closest to him. Von Miller’s Studio 58 will premiere on Facebook Watch Jan. 3 at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET."

"Vice Media chief digital officer Mike Germano has left the company, less than a month after he and president Andrew Creighton were placed on leave after the New York Times reported on several sexual harassment allegations, the latest at the media company. Germano founded Carrot Creative, a digital ad agency acquired by Vice in 2013. He was suspended with Creighton on January 2 after the December 23 Times report recounted among other things against the pair inappropriate comments Germano made to former employee Amanda Rue during a 2012 holiday party. Gabrielle Schaefer, another former Carrot employee, told the Times that Germano had 'pulled her onto his lap' at a company event in 2014."  I know Mike.  That's a shame.

Piers "Morgan tore into Daily Show host [Trevor] Noah after Noah characterized him as an 'unf—able Colin Firth,’ suggesting that Noah is inferior to his Daily Show predecessor, Jon Stewart.Morgan made his assessment in response to Noah’s segment on Morgan’s recent interview with President Donald Trump, declaring, 'Now, Piers Morgan is not just an unf—able Colin Firth,' Noah said. 'He’s also one of the winners of The Celebrity Apprentice, so his sit-down with Trump was actually a reunion.' Morgan unleashed his Twitter wit on Noah on Tuesday, firing back, '@Trevornoah – I agree I’m ‘not as f—able as Colin Firth’. But you’re not as funny as Jon Stewart. So we’re kinda even.'”

Kristin, Heidi and Spencer have reunited.  Kristin is about to begin shooting her show with husband Jay Cutler.  More on that to follow.

"Chef’s Table just got a whole lot sweeter. The Netflix series, which goes inside the kitchens and minds of leading international chefs, is bringing dessert to the table with a new four-part series, Chef’s Table: Pastry. Launching globally April 13, the show will follow a similar model to the existing docu-series, but with a focus on renowned international pastry chefs. The remaining chefs are still be announced, but Netflix has teased that Christina Tosi, the baker and business force behind the dessert shop Milk Bar, will be one of the featured culinary artists."

Get it together Scott Baio.

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Sometimes the gods smile upon you!  "USA Network has given a Season 8 renewal to its long-running drama series Suits.The network also officially confirmed the exits of original cast members Patrick J. Adams and Meghan Markle after the end of Season 7.

"Returning for Season 8 are fellow original cast members Gabriel Macht (Harvey Specter), Sarah Rafferty (Donna Paulsen) and Rick Hoffman (Louis Litt), joined by Dulé Hill (Alex Williams), who has been promoted to a series regular after recurring this season.

"The remainder of Season 7 will premiere March 28, culminating in a two-hour season finale on Wednesday, April 25 – an arc in which Suits will bid farewell to characters Mike Ross (Adams) and Rachel Zane (Markle). The arc, which also includes the planted Suits spinoff pilot starring Gina Torres in the season finale, is expected to feature the long-awaited Mike and Rachel wedding just a couple of weeks before Markle’s real-life nuptials to Prince Harry.

“'Mike Ross has taught me a lot about commitment, hard work and the power of believing in yourself and I feel blessed that now we both get to walk out into the lives that we never dreamed we would actually be lucky enough to live,' Adams said in a statement about his exit, thanking colleagues and fans. (you can read it in its entirety below the post.)

"While Adams is departing as a series regular, that does not necessarily mean that we we will never again see Mike Ross on the show, which has featured original cast member Gina Torres as Jessica in multiple guest-starring stints since her exit.

“'Both of us are open, under right circumstances, of him coming back,' Suits Aaron Korsh told Deadline, noting how 'overcome with emotion' he was when a video of Mike’s best Suits moments was played as they were wrapping production. 'Suits is an onscreen and offscreen family, and family members are always welcome back; we just have to come up with the right storyline.'

"Korsh provided some clues about where the show will go next season. 'Season 8 will have everything from shifting alliances and internal power plays, to secrets, betrayals and fiery relationships,'  he said. 'Keep an eye out for an adversarial new character that will give Harvey a run for his money.'

"That will be a new series regular Suits will introduce in Season 8, Korsh confirmed to Deadline.

"There are no current plans for Torres’ character Jessica to make appearances in Season 8 as a decision is pending on the the planted spinoff. 'I am eagerly awaiting the news of a pickup, and I’m optimistic it would happen,' Korsh told Deadline. 'Because of that we are not focusing on Jessica being a significant part of season 8, I assume she will be involved in the spinoff.'

"As for potential crossovers between the two series down the road, 'it would be Suits characters visiting the spinoff,' Korsh suggested.

"Suits started off as a buddy show centered on Harvey and Mike. While it has since evolved into a legal ensemble, 'we’ll replace the bromance and mentor-mentee (elements) in a comprehensive approach,' Korsh said. He suggested that Harvey and Alex as well as Harvey and Louis would pick up some of the slack in the bromance department, while admitting that there is no obvious character right now to take on a mentee role.

"Reflecting on Adams and Markle’s journey on the show, 'I would like to thank Patrick and Meghan for their extraordinary contributions over the last seven years,' Korsh said. 'Not only have they been outstanding in their roles as Mike and Rachel, they are also superb human beings who will always be beloved members of the Suits family, and we wish them well in their days to come.'

"Adams was a fresh-faced young actor who got his big break when he was cast as the co-lead opposite Macht in Suits, which films in Toronto, landing a SAG nomination for the first season. A lot has changed since for him professionally and personally, with Adams getting married last year when he started contemplating a next chapter in his career.

"When the back half of Season 7 returns, Harvey must deal with the aftermath of Jessica (Torres) losing her license, while trying to process how the kiss with Donna will affect his relationship with Paula (Christina Cole). Mike tries to juggle his commitment to the firm, his passion for pro bono work, and his engagement to Rachel. All the while, Louis struggles with right and wrong as his torrid affair with Sheila (Rachael Harris) deepens.

“'After seven seasons, Suits remains one of USA Network’s most beloved and popular series,' said USA president Chris McCumber. 'While we’re excited for Season 8, everyone at USA will deeply miss Patrick and Meghan, and are grateful for the talent and commitment they brought to Suits season after season. We wish each of them nothing but the very best.'

Here is Adams’ full statement:

It’s hard for me to imagine what words, in what order would sufficiently express my love and gratitude to all of the people who have made the last seven years possible. From my unbelievably talented cast mates to our relentlessly committed crew, to the brilliant minds at USA, UCP and Hypnotic, to the legions of fans all over the world, every one of them dedicating so much of their time, energy and talent to make Suits what it is today – one of the most beloved and successful shows on television. So I will choose the simplest words I have. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. It has been an honor working with and for each and everyone one of you.

Mike Ross has taught me a lot about commitment, hard work and the power of believing in yourself and I feel blessed that now we both get to walk out into the lives that we never dreamed we would actually be lucky enough to live. I’m excited to now step across the screen and become solely a fan of a show that I know has much more in store in the years to come. I wish everyone involved the best and am excited to see what kind of trouble they’ll get themselves in and out of from here on out.

– Patrick J. Adams"

I might be welling up . . . . 

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Why stop there?  "[Patrick] Adams talks exclusively with THR about knowing the timing was right to leave, the unspoken decision with Markle (who plays Mike's bride-to-be and has her own royal wedding to plan) and what's next:

What prompted your decision to leave Suits?

After seven seasons — really, eight years of being away from home and away from my now-wife [Adams married Pretty Little Liars alum Troian Bellisario in December 2016] and there was that pressure. I started thinking about leaving at the end of the first half of season six, after Mike was released from prison. From a story point of view, I was a little unsure of what was left for him to do. Mike had made the pledge during his trial that if he were allowed to continue to practice the law, he would dedicate his time and energy to underrepresented people and not big, corporate interests. I wasn’t sure how we were going to work that version of the character into the fabric of the show. Aaron Korsh and I talked about it and he pitched this idea of Harvey (Gabriel Macht) offering a one-for-one deal that would keep Mike working at the firm so he could gather the resources to go and do more pro-bono cases. That brought up an interesting season seven. And I’m proud of how this season turned out.

When did you know season seven would be it?

Halfway through it. As we were starting to talk about renegotiating contracts [for season eight and beyond], I took a moment. Everybody was going full steam ahead and I stopped and said, "We need to think about this because this is more of my time and more of my life — and what’s the story left to tell?" When I looked at the work I was doing, Mike would become a full-fledged, certified, legal on paper lawyer. That's a long way from when we met him and he was this brilliant burnout pothead with no real prospects. I thought we'd come so far and now Mike is going to work to be a lawyer and he's engaged to the woman of his dreams and he’s got the means and opportunity to do whatever he can imagine. I had this voice in my head that said that we've told his story and if he hangs out longer, Mike is just going to be another lawyer on television. That didn’t feel right for him. It didn’t feel right for where I was at in my life, either. I started having conversations with Aaron and we both decided [Adams leaving] made sense, as sad and scary as it was. It just felt like it was the way to go.

Were you worried about upsetting fans of the show?

There’s always this fear that you’ve somehow let down or will let down the millions of fans over the world when, really, your reason for doing it is to honor the work that you've done over the past seven years. Just because something stops for me doesn’t mean that there isn’t more for the show itself to do. It’s just not right for me to be a part of it from here on out.

What were your conversations with Aaron like? Was he surprised?

When this became a reality, we had this great three-hour conversation where we talked about what it is to do work that you’re proud of and how to decide to move on from something that’s been a big part of your life. We discussed how we would prefer to see Mike exit and how to do justice to all of it. Aaron and I have spent seven years working on this thing and it was a real chance to say our goodbyes in this chapter of our relationship.

Did you and Meghan talk about the timing of both of your exits at all?

With Meghan, a lot went unsaid. Meghan has this whole crazy part of her life that’s just beginning now. In some ways, Meghan and I were the closest because we were the youngest people in the cast and both came in with the least experience. We grew up together over the course of the show. There was this natural sense that we both knew that the time had come for both of us. It went unspoken and we just enjoyed the hell out of the last few episodes that we got to shoot. We both knew that we wouldn’t be coming back. It made every one of our scenes that much more special. We had a great time. We could laugh through it. Even the things that might have frustrated us about the show, they became things that we could have a good laugh about and compare notes on just how crazy this thing had become.

Mike and Rachel are heading toward a wedding in the second half of season seven. Without spoiling anything, will they have their fairy tale ending? Not many actors who exit their show have an opportunity to wrap things up in a happy fashion.

A lot of times when actors leave shows, a gun gets pulled out in a courtroom or something. Without spoiling too much, yes, I think Mike and Rachel are two characters that there has never been any question that they’re in love and that they’re meant for each other and that they’re willing to go to great lengths and sacrifice a ton in order to keep their relationship going. It just so happens that the timing of how I was feeling [about leaving Suits] and what was going on in Meghan's life created an opportunity where there was no need to force some conflict or tear Mike and Rachel apart. It allowed us to go on to whatever happens next for Mike and Rachel together.

Will it be a happy wedding?

The only thing I can say is that you should really watch episode 16.

Given Meghan's engagement and where Mike and Rachel are as they inch toward their wedding, will there be any nods to her royal engagement?

No. Aaron has always actively avoided any sort of real-life commentary. He actively wanted to keep those two worlds totally separate. People can draw their own conclusions and comparisons. The last season of Suits has been really special in that we didn’t let anything bleed into our world.

The show was just officially renewed for season eight. Would you be open to returning to Suits in some capacity in the future?

I’ve said my goodbyes to Mike and to Suits, but I never close any door. When the time comes, if it felt like it was the right thing to do, I’d definitely be open to it. I’ve loved and cherished my time on this show, and the past seven years have been some of the most challenging and transformational years of my entire life. I owe a huge debt to the whole cast, crew, everybody at USA Network and at [producers] Hypnotic and Universal Cable Productions. If it felt like it was the appropriate thing to bring Mike back for a big goodbye, then that’s something I could be open to. But hopefully I’ll be too busy at that point to be able to do it, and then I’ll have to figure it out.

What’s next for you?

At the moment, I’m interested in taking a break. It’s nice to be home. It’s really nice to be with Troian, our dogs and to take the time to figure out exactly what shape I want to take my career after this. Acting, I’ve learned in the last seven years, takes a lot out of your life. I need to make sure that the next thing I do is something I can really own and grow in and stay invested and interested in over however long the particular project is. There are also a couple of great stories I’m trying to develop to take out and pitch. But behind the camera work is fascinating to me. After seven years on this show, I feel really empowered and capable of taking on more of a leadership role and getting things made.

Are you interested in signing an overall deal?

I’m fielding a lot of offers and figuring out what's next. The projects that I’m interested in developing at the moment are very specific, so I’m learning how you find homes for projects and what that process is and getting synced up with the right showrunners and producers. But at the moment, it’s like being a little kid again. It's fun; it feels like a brand-new start."

Adams and Markle's final episode of Suits will air as a two-hour season finale, set for April 25 on USA Network.

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Per Variety, "Atari has partnered with veteran unscripted producer Scott Sternberg to develop a game show based on the classic video game Pong. The show, Million Dollar Pong, will be produced by Scott Sternberg productions, with Jeff Mirkin serving as producer for Atari.

“'Pong is a cultural touchpoint for generations of people,' said Sternberg. 'It’s not often we get the chance to develop a game show concept around such an iconic brand. I can’t wait to give people the chance to see, experience and play a brand new Pong.'

"Sternberg’s game-show credits include Catch 21Rock and Roll Jeopardy, The Gong ShowLove Connection, Hollywood Squares, and Kid’s Wheel of Fortune.

"No network has yet been attached to the show, based on the 1972 game that helped launch the commercial video-game business. The original Pong is known for its iconic 2D graphics and table-tennis-like play. The game allowed players to control one of two white lines that batted a white dot back and forth across the screen, attempting to score by moving the dot past the opposing line.

"Atari, an early pioneer in the video-game field, manages a library of titles that includes Asteroids, Centipede, Missile Command, and RollerCoaster TycoonMillion Dollar Pong is the first game show to be based on one of the company’s properties.

“'Our brand and our portfolio of games are known to many people around the world so it is a natural fit to bring them to television,' said Frédéric Chesnais, CEO of Atari. 'We are proud to team-up with Scott and have him join our brand because his expertise will help create a truly remarkable television show for everyone to enjoy.'”

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Per HBO: "The hit comedy podcast 2 Dope Queens, featuring Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson, comes to HBO as a series of four themed hour-long specials. Directed by Tig Notaro (Boyish Girl Interrupted, One Mississippi), guests include Uzo Aduba (Orange Is the New Black), Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Sarah Jessica Parker (Divorce, Sex and the City) and Jon Stewart (The Daily Show). The four themed episodes include: New York, with Jon Stewart; Hair, with Sarah Jessica Parker; Hot Peen, with Tituss Burgess; and Black Nerds (aka Blerds) with Uzo Aduba.

"Taped before a live audience at Brooklyn’s Kings Theatre, the show features the fun, fearless queens dishing on 'Cocoa Khaleesis,' dating white baes, sex, New York-living, the best borough for pizza and more.

"2 Dope Queens also features Robinson’s and Williams’ favorite comedians, including: Kevin Barnett, Rhea Butcher, Michelle Buteau, John Early, Naomi Ekperigin, Gary Gulman, Al Jackson, Jackie Kashian, Aparna Nancherla, Mark Normand, Baron Vaughn and Sheng Wang.

"Jessica Williams’ credits include the critically acclaimed films The Incredible Jessica James and People Places Things, the TV series The Daily Show and Girls, and the Upright Citizens Brigade comedy troupe. Phoebe Robinson has appeared on such TV shows as I Love DickBroad Cityand The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, and is the author of the New York Times bestselling book You Can’t Touch My Hair (And Other Things I Still Have to Explain).

"2 Dope Queens is executive produced by Phoebe Robinson, Jessica Williams, Amy Aniobi, Carrie Byalick, Jon Thoday, Richard Allen Turner, David Martin and Chenoa Estrada; executive producers for A24 include Ravi Nandan and John Hodges.

"2 Dope Queens premieres February 2."