Wednesday October 17, 2018

“Another classic sitcom is eying a reboot. Fox has given a put pilot commitment to Alice, a multi-camera comedy based on the 1976 CBS TV series starring Linda Lavin. It comes from Diablo Cody (One Mississippi), Liz Astrof (2 Broke Girls) and Warner Bros. TV, which produced the original series and where Cody and her Vita Vera Films are based.”

Ratings were not so hot for last nights premiere of The Conners.

Here’s what Rosanne had to say about it, in case anyone still cares what she thinks, says or does.

While we’re at it, here’s a little bit more about the train wreck that is Rosanne Barr.

Here’s the trailer for Adam Sandler’s new Netflix special.

Netflix has also released a trailer for Bodyguard, starring Game of Thrones alum Richard Madden as a Specialist Protection Officer who is assigned to the ambitious and powerful Home Secretary (Line of Duty‘s Keeley Hawes).

I tried to watch Salt Fat Acid on Netflix and quit midway through episode one. Seems to be some support for the show here.

And here.

Maybe I’ll give it another shot.

NBC is developing a Grimm spinoff. Oh joy!

“CBS’ high-profile upcoming reality series, The World’s Best, is getting the biggest launch platform possible. CBS has selected the global talent competition to premiere immediately after Super Bowl LIII on Sunday, February 3. Hosted by James Corden, with RuPaul Charles, Drew Barrymore and Faith Hill as judges, The World’s Best hails from reality TV heavyweights Mark Burnett (Survivor, The Voice) and Mike Darnell (American Idol, Ellen’s Game of Games). The 10-episode The World’s Best, from Warner Horizon Unscripted & Alternative Television, MGM Television and Fulwell 73 Productions, is described as a first-of-its-kind global talent competition that features acts from every genre imaginable, from every corner of the planet. They not only have to impress American judges, but will also need to break through the “wall of the world,” featuring 50 of the world’s most accomplished experts from every field of entertainment. The winning act will ultimately be crowned The World’s Best.” A friend of mine came up with this years ago. It was called The G.O.A.T. Hard hard hard pass.

An example of what I’ll call “failing upwards:” “Digital-first media company Group Nine Media has appointed former Go90 executive Jeff Siegel as SVP of distribution. In the new role, Siegel will be tasked with shepherding sales and strategy around the company’s growing IP library across platforms worldwide. Based in New York, he reports into Mickey Meyer, Group Nine’s chief network & IP management officer.”

People aren’t happy about Ceelo Green’s return to The Voice.

The story behind Pete Davidson and Chris Redd’s Trees sketch on SNL.

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Per TheWrap, “Netflix surged past Wall Street subscriber projections when it posted its third-quarter earnings on Tuesday, sending its stock back towards $400 per share in the process.

“The streaming giant posted $3.99 billion in revenue, matching analyst projections, while its earnings of 89 cents per share trumped analyst expectations of 68 cents per share. Revenue increased 34 percent year over year.

“Most importantly for investors, the company added 6.96 million more subscribers during Q3, easily passing Netflix’s forecast of 5 million new customers. As Netflix edges toward a saturation point at home, with nearly 60 million domestic subscribers, it’s increasingly focused on pulling in international customers. That bet paid off during the third quarter, with Netflix adding 5.87 million new customers outside the U.S.

“The company pointed to “greater-than-expected acquisition globally, with strong growth broadly across all our markets including Asia,” as a driving force behind its subscriber growth in a note to investors.

“And Netflix expects that growth to accelerate as 2018 comes to a close, with the company projecting it’ll add 9.4 million new customers in its Q4 guidance — comfortably eclipsing its quarterly record of 8.3 million new viewers. Analysts had anticipated Netflix would project 7.7 million new subscribers.

“After an underwhelming second quarter report, Wall Street was clearly happy with what it saw from Netflix on Tuesday afternoon, with shares jumping 14 percent in after-hours trading to $393 per share. Netflix shares, after factoring in Tuesday’s after-hours burst, have increased 88 percent since the beginning of the year.

“As a sign of the times, Netflix touted its shows as ‘launching pad for a new generation of global stars’ by highlighting the ‘explosive growth’ of its stars’ followers on Instagram.

“As usual, it was a busy quarter for the Los Gatos, California-based company. Netflix released new seasons of Orange Is the New Black and the Jason Bateman-led Ozark. It also added international hit “Black Panther” to its service — something analysts anticipated would fuel subscriber growth outside the U.S. Netflix also recently announced it was acquiring a New Mexico production facility as it looks to create more content in-house.

“To pack its service with new shows, Netflix is spending big, with $8 billion committed to content in 2018. The company looked to assuage fears about its spending in its shareholder letter. ‘We recognize we are making huge cash investments in content, and we want to assure our investors that we have the same high confidence in the underlying economics as our cash investments in the past,’ Netflix said. The company ended the quarter with $8.3 billion in long-term debt and $3.1 billion in cash.

“Investors haven’t minded the spending, though, as long as the company keeps pulling in new subscribers. Netflix now has 137.1 million total subscribers.”

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From The New York Post: “Johnny ‘Bananas’ Devenanzio has seen plenty of wild things on his 17 seasons of The Challenge, but the implementation of social media has been the biggest curveball of all.

“‘I feel like when I first started out on The Challenge, and a lot of the old-school guys and girls, we were there to compete and we were there for the love of the game,’ he told Page Six in a recent interview. ‘We were there to be on The Challenge. Now I feel like this new generation … they all come with this sense of entitlement and this sense of they’re only there for the following.’

“‘People show up now just with their Instagram followers in mind. We get one 10-minute phone call home a week. I’m sitting there calling my mom like, “Hey. How’s everything going? Are you OK?” meanwhile you got these other kids, they’re using their one 10-minute phone call to call home to see how many followers they have on Instagram.’

“Devenanzio, 36, began competing on The Challenge franchise after appearing on The Real World: Key West, which filmed in 2005 and aired in 2006. He never intended on becoming a reality star after he graduated from Penn State University but equated the game to a chess game that he’s still mastering over a decade later.

“‘I’m actually glad that social media didn’t come out or wasn’t around in my early days because I think I made a lot of bad decisions and mistakes early on before I was able to have the entire world criticize me for my actions,’ he told us. ‘Now, essentially every single person that has a cellphone has an outlet to voice their opinion and a direct line to you.’

The Challenge: Final Reckoning airs Tuesdays on MTV.”

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Per Deadline, “The Real World is heading to Facebook after MTV and Bunim-Murray Productions struck a deal with the social media giant. The show will launch on Facebook Watch as part of a landmark deal with MTV Studios and the Banijay-owned indie.

“The commission was announced by Facebook’s Matthew Henick and Paresh Rajwat at Mipcom, where the pair were giving a keynote address. They were joined on stage by Chris McCarthy, President, MTV.

“Facebook Watch is launching three seasons of the show, one in the U.S., one in Mexico and one in Thailand. Production is underway for a spring 2019 release.

“‘The Real World made history as the world’s first original reality show and trailblazing social experiment – and we’re thrilled to reboot the show for today’s audiences – representing and amplifying the real life, real people, real places and real social tensions of each country,’ said Henick, Head of Content Planning and Strategy, Facebook.

“‘MTV’s The Real World helped to define a generation and created a new genre of television with a simple yet powerful idea of connecting people from wildly divergent backgrounds to find common ground on the issues that often divided them. By partnering with Facebook Watch and BMP, we have the opportunity to impact culture and create a new genre of television all over again, while engaging the next generation of content consumers around the world,’ added MTV’s McCarthy.

“Elsewhere, Facebook Watch is taking its interactive game-show format Confetti international with local versions of the show due to launch across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America by the end of the year. It is also launching The World’s Most Amazing Dog, a global interactive competition series that celebrates amazing dogs and their owners from around the globe, in partnership with distributor The Dodo.

“‘With Watch, we have built an interactive experience that gives you a new level of access and influence. You don’t just watch videos on your own, you can have a two-way conversation about the content with friends, experience them alongside other fans, or even the creators themselves – you can be truly part of the action,’ added Rajwat, Head of Video Products, Facebook.”

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“A month after its live TV service hit 1 million subscribers, Hulu is exploring the possibility of creating a more affordable, skinnier TV bundle with the aim of attracting consumers unwilling to pay $40 per month for an internet TV service. Hulu CEO Randy Freer detailed the plan in an interview with The Information.

“To keep the bundle at a low cost, Freer wants to drop select live entertainment channels in favor of smaller bundles of live sports, news, and on-demand entertainment.

“‘We have to be able to evolve so we can provide the customers the news and sports and entertainment in a way that makes sense, bundled in a way that allows us to create packages that have a positive margin,’ Freer said.

“Freer didn’t reveal pricing details or a channel lineup for the service but said that it wouldn’t mean spending less on licensing and that Hulu can improve its margins by reducing technology costs associated with live streaming. Offering more TV content via on-demand would also give the streamer more flexibility to offer fewer live channels, he said. If media companies want their content to stream at specific times, Hulu can still do that without a live feed.

“According to Freer, one of the main goals for Hulu is to become a wholesale aggregator of streaming services, in addition to its own live TV offerings and bundles. Similar to how Hulu already offers add-ons for networks like HBO, the company would look to expand that offering to other services like AT&T’s Crunchyroll or even the upcoming streaming service from Disney.

“There is currently no set date for when the new service is expected to launch.”

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Per Variety, “Upheaval in the entertainment business may have sent traditional players scrambling, but it’s what has enabled Issa Rae to put out the stories she wants to tell and that had long been overlooked, the star of HBO’s Insecure said Wednesday.

“In times gone by, there was ‘a constant desire to appeal to a broad audience that I don’t necessarily feel today, and I think that’s the shift,’ Rae told a rapt audience at Mipcom in Cannes, where she is being honored as Personality of the Year. ‘Where television in the ‘90s and early 2000s [was] geared to capture the biggest audiences possible, which meant not addressing certain things or being tame with certain storylines, I think with the advent of cable and streaming, the desire to be ridiculously broad…isn’t really important. It’s really about authenticity.’

“That change, Rae said, has allowed her and other African-American performers to be ‘unapologetic in our blackness…There’s a telling of the truth that there just hasn’t been in the past.’

“But her meteoric rise from the online star of Awkward Black Girl to Emmy nominee for Insecure isn’t due simply to an ardent black fan base. As TV critic Iris Brey, who conducted the onstage Q&A with Rae, noted, 62% of Insecure’s viewers are white.

“‘That threw me all the way the f— off,’ Rae said, to laughter from her listeners. ‘Which is great. It makes me want to go back in time and find that person [who said], “No one’s interested in watching these”’ shows about people of color.

“‘Even white people are tired of seeing white-people shows,’ Rae added to even more laughs, ‘turning on the TV and going, “Aargh, I know this story already.” It’s overdue.’

“The show’s snappy writing emanates from a writers’ room whose makeup matches what’s seen on screen. Most of the writers are women and most are black, representing a range of ages and sexualities. There’s one white male. (‘Now you know how it feels,’ Rae said the others like to rib him.)

“‘It’s been an amazing process. We argue a lot,’ she said of the show’s writers. ‘We don’t want to tell the stories of people who aren’t in the room. If we’re telling a queer storyline, or this story about judging someone for having this kind of experience, [it’s important] that we have voices in the room who can speak to that as well, who can add to the argument.’

“Although she appears on a more traditional platform now, on HBO, Rae remains mindful of her digital roots and the power of the online community. Seeing the success of Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal – its groundbreaking status as a buzzy show with a black female lead that made savvy use of social media to build a loyal, active following – was a salutary experience. Never mind that Rae’s own stint at Shondaland was an unsuccessful one, with ABC passing on her show, I Hate L.A. Dudes.

“‘She paved the way for so many of us,’ Rae said of Rhimes. Scandal, starring Kerry Washington, ‘legitimized the online audience and the online voice in a completely different way. And so, yes, I definitely look to her for inspiration for just starting a movement.’

“In Insecure, the characters search not just for inspiration but also for love and sex. For Rae, it’s been important to show “dark people having sex and being desirable” in the honest and human ways that have been taken for granted on series with white characters. And as a heterosexual woman, working with mostly female writers, that’s meant plenty of male nudity on Insecure.

“‘We’re telling the show through the female lens, the female gaze, which is pretty rare,’ Rae said. ‘There’s this male gaze we’ve always been subjected to, and this is an opportunity to reverse that.’

“Rae gets some pushback for that frankness, and from a surprising quarter: her own mother, who watched an episode about a threesome gone wrong and told Rae: ‘You’re basically making porn.’ Rae’s reply: ‘Mom, if you don’t like this episode, you should definitely not watch two episodes from now’ – which was even more, shall we say, in your face.

“But Insecure has allowed Rae to make a deeper exploration of the definitions of both masculinity and femininity. For a long time, she said, though happy to see black girls and women onscreen, she never thought herself as pretty as the character Laura Winslow on Family Matters or sisters Vanessa and Rudy on The Cosby Show.

“Now she gets to challenge set notions of femininity, and to be able to broadcast that ‘is such a blessing,’ Rae said.”