Monday October 29, 2018

Netflix has canceled American Vandal after 2 seasons.

Season 2 of Netflix series Friends From College will be available to stream on January 11.

The first 2 episodes of Patriot Act With Hassan Minaj are not available on Netflix. More below.

How The Daily Show is gearing up for live broadcasts during this election season.

An ode to Rick Grimes who has 1 episode left. More below on him as well.

And here’s a first look at his final episode, which airs on Sunday.

Julia Roberts and Sam Esmail talk Homecoming.

“You know that viral photo of Justin Bieber eating a burrito from the side? Yeah ... that was fake news, courtesy of the same guys who got Will Smith to jump into the Grand Canyon. As it turns out, this pic of ‘Justin’ that made the Internet go crazy this past week is a complete farce staged by the YouTube group, Yes Theory ... which they meticulously documented and broke down in an explainer vid posted to their channel Sunday.  It's crazy ... seemingly every major news outlet picked up the story of what appeared to be JB eating a burrito by himself in the park ... biting it from the side, like corn on the cob. Everyone thought it was weird as hell and roasted the pop star for it. And, get this -- it wasn't even Justin in the photo ... it was a dead-on doppelganger (who's also from Canada) named Brad Sousa. They dressed him up in some Bieber-esque clothes, and voila ... instant viral fame achieved. Check out their vid to see how the whole thing came together. And, let's remember this lesson ... appearances can be deceiving.”

“Need more science in your TV schedule? Then Netflix has a show for you. Brainchild, executive produced by Pharrell Williams, jumps into the world of scientific exploration using interactive games, illusions, hidden-camera experiments and magic to explore the universe, delving into a host of relatable topics and big questions. ‘What exactly are memories? How big is the universe? do you control your emotions or do your emotions control you? What are germs? Do fish pee?’ the trailer asks. Brainchild will attempt to answer all of these questions in more delving into themes like Superheroes; Outer Space; Social Media and Dreams! The series offers up a unique educational component for parents, teachers, and students.  For each episode, Brainchild offers STEAM targeted classroom-ready lesson plans and student handouts. The educational materials are available for 3rd through 8th-grade students. The lessons are aligned with Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core Learning Standards, and National Health Standards.”

Here’s a link to the trailer.

Kip Pardue was accused of sexual assault.

Zoe Kravitz says she was sexually assaulted (not by Kip Pardue).

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Mike Tyson is shopping a new TV show, based on the boxer’s life as a marijuana grower and marketer. Tyson will star in the scripted comedy, called Rolling With the Punches.

“The former heavyweight champ is shooting the show at his Tyson Ranch office in El Segundo, Calif., with Chuck Zito reprising his real-life role as Iron Mike’s bodyguard and Russell Peters playing his ‘useless best friend.’

“Tyson told me the show, like Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, is loosely based on his life.

“‘It’s simple. I’m playing a retired boxer who is growing marijuana,’ Tyson said. ‘It’s basically me acting like me, so people can get a look at what my life could be like in different scenarios.’

“Tyson’s business partner Rob Hickman said that Joe Roth, who used to run 20th Century Fox and Walt Disney Studios, is producing and a sizzle reel has already been delivered to the top networks. Hickman expects the show to be on the air in five months.

“Ground was broken in December on Tyson Ranch, a 40-acre plot of land about 60 miles southwest of Death Valley National Park.

“Besides growing premium pot, Tyson Ranch will feature a cultivation school to teach growers the latest technology, an edible factory, a hydro-feed and supply store, plus cabins and ‘glamping’ campgrounds for stoner tourists.

“Advertising marijuana and pot products is banned, but Tyson Ranch merchandise will be featured on the show.”

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Per TVGuide, “Andrew Lincoln's time on The Walking Dead is almost over. Before we say goodbye to the good sheriff Rick Grimes, though, the actor has something to say to those who have watched him evolve from that confused coma patient waking up in undead hell into the relentless leader who's sacrificed so much to keep his people safe and still believes in a better future.

“Lincoln penned a letter of farewell to fans and show-supporting media (posted in full at Comicbook.com) to thank them for sticking with the oft-frustrating journey his character went through over the course of eight-and-a-half-seasons.

"‘Thank you... For coming with us on this journey. For the nine years of fear, heartache, anger and, let's face it, guts you've shown by making it through these 115 episodes and counting,’ Lincoln wrote.

“He also thanked viewers for understanding the series' need to step outside of the basic premise of surviving the onslaught of walkers and become a character drama focusing on the living. ‘Despite the high volume of undead, this is actually an ongoing story about what it is to be alive,’ he wrote. ‘A story of hope, family and friendship. People with nothing in common discovering that they have everything in common. United in their search for humanity and a place to call home. A story that has perhaps even more relevance now than it did when we began.’

“Lincoln went on to credit his career-making role as the pistol-toting small screen survivor as being ‘the most exciting, challenging and satisfying role of [his] career’ and expressed gratitude that the completion of his work has been done in the way that he hoped it would. ‘This season feels like the show I fell in love with all those years ago, and the world we were always heading toward when we wrapped the pilot episode,’ he wrote.

“To conclude, he added, ‘So thank you. For all of it. For the good, the bad... and of course, we wouldn't be a free press... without the ugly. Until our paths cross again. Keep Calm and Carry a Red Machete... Andrew Lincoln.’

“Read the letter in full here.

“Rick Grimes' final episode of The Walking Dead airs Sunday, Nov. 4 at 9/8c on AMC.”

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From TheWrap: “Against all odds — which is also the name of his podcast on the Ringer Podcast Network — Cousin Sal Iacono has made the leap from the writer’s room on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” (hosted by his famous cousin) to the host’s seat.

“In August, Iacono was named as one of the hosts of FS1’s new sports gambling show Lock It In. He’s joined by co-hosts Clay Travis of Outkick the Coverage, odds maker Todd Fuhrman and Rachel Bonnetta. For someone who has many, many years of experience with sports gambling (he has appeared on longtime pal Bill Simmons’ podcast every Monday for more than a decade to guess the NFL lines) and in the TV world, the move in front of the camera has been a comfortable fit, especially on a topic he knows well.

“‘Charlie Dixon from Fox wanted to start this show,’ Iacono recalls of the dinner where the idea was initially broached. ‘It seemed right up my alley, talking sports and gambling for an hour every day live. What could be better?’

“The show is structured as a game (which shouldn’t be confused with Iacono’s Best Bets that he shares on his Instagram Stories nor his podcast), where he’ll battle his co-hosts to see who will take home the victor’s crown for the week. The one catch: Like anyone familiar with gambling knows, if you’re down early, you’re going to take some risks in order to get back to even. On Lock It In, that means the hosts will throw in some parlays in order to catch their opponent.

“Being the main personality has been a leap forward for Iacono. Occasionally, the gregarious writer, whose career started on Win Ben Stein’s Money in 1997, would appear on his cousin Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night show pulling hidden camera pranks on unwitting folks on the street, at restaurants or in hotels. This is his first show without his famous cousin since he started working in TV.

“‘This is just an extension of pulling on camera pranks on people,’ he told TheWrap. ‘It’s great because I love talking about sports gambling and there’s people willing to listen. I hope they have enough money to stick with me.’

“With Delaware and New Jersey joining Nevada as states that allow sports gambling, Iacono said that he wouldn’t be surprised if expert analysts could make their way onto sanctioned professional sports league shows in a similar fashion to how referees have become experts on controversial on-field decisions. Iacono had a similar spot in recent years on ESPN’s SportsCenter.

“‘I think they will and should,’ Iacono said of the legality of gambling. ‘It’s like medical marijuana — the rules are evolving and now you can even get it through the airport. But it evolves and people are open to it. Now, we can shed the degenerate tag. As for becoming the next Mike Pereira [a former VP of officiating for the NFL and football rules analyst for Fox Sports] for sports gambling, yeah, I think there’s a need for it. It’s not just for the game, people are betting halftime and individual plays — like whether or not someone is going to make a field goal. It adds to the excitement.’

“Though he’ll sparsely appear on his cousin’s show (‘It was sad leaving’), Iacono is fully-focused on Lock It In in addition to his podcast. Now that the NFL is about to enter its midseason, it’s become slightly easier to know what to expect from teams (and to a lesser degree, the officiating), and maybe even from the points spread itself.

“As for his best bets this season, Iacono said that the Rams (‘14-2, 15-1 for sure’) will have almost as many wins as the rest of the NFC West combined and are his favorite from the NFC, while the Chiefs and Patriots (“you can never count them out”) are his contenders on the AFC side.

“But, for a guy who loves sports and gambling — he also bets on non-sporting events like the Oscars — Cousin Sal sees legalizing gambling as a logical next step since it has already — to a degree — been embraced by the public in a subtler way than placing a bet with a bookie or casino.

“‘I’m actually annoyed it took this long,’ he quips. ‘You start to think you’re crazy after a while — like when you and your friends do something for so long and I’ve been betting parlays since I was in college. Now, finally, it’s becoming a thing. Leagues are kidding themselves if they think that they’re staying afloat for any reason other than gambling. Look at the NCAA tournament. Take your run-of-the-mill office pool — that’s where you’re getting your eyeballs because people have money invested on these games. You can either shame everybody who is involved or embrace it. Between fantasy and sports gambling, and especially if numbers are going down because of streaming services, they’re going to need all of the eyeballs they can and you don’t want to turn your back on gambling.’”

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From The Daily Beast: “Hasan Minhaj has said that he wants to be more than just the ‘Indian John Oliver.’ Or as he tells me, ‘I’m not going to open up with, “Did you hear what happened this week?”’ That drive to bring something different to the very crowded “late-night” space is front of mind for the comedian as he prepares his new addition, Patriot Act, premiering this Sunday on Netflix.

“On a recent Friday afternoon, with just over a week to go before he unveils his new show to the world—literally, since it will be available in over 190 countries—Minhaj calls The Daily Beast from his New York office to talk about what it has been like to go from being the Scottie Pippen to Jon Stewart’s Michael Jordan on The Daily Show, as the rabid NBA fan puts it, to becoming the star of his own project.

“His training ground included the ultra-personal Netflix special Homecoming King as well as the first White House Correspondents’ Dinner performance of the Trump presidency. In that speech, Minhaj made the brilliant observation that Trump’s ‘fake news’ attacks have made the press know ‘what it feels like to be a minority.’ He told the media, ‘That’s why you gotta be on your A-game, you gotta be twice as good, you can’t make any mistakes, because when one of you messes up, he blames your entire group.’

“But those moments in the spotlight pale in comparison to Patriot Act, which arrives on Netflix in a moment of uncertainty for the viability of topical talk shows on the streaming platform. After canceling shows from Chelsea Handler, Joel McHale and Michelle Wolf over the past year, Netflix is taking a big bet on Minhaj, ordering 32 episodes of Patriot Act upfront.

“Meanwhile, as an Indian-American Muslim, Minhaj is a non-white host in a landscape where shows from Larry Wilmore and Robin Thede have been canceled by Comedy Central and BET, respectively, leaving Trevor Noah, who took over for Stewart on The Daily Show, as the only non-white host on the air.

“Unlike some of those other shows, Minhaj is thankful that he will ‘have time to really develop and hone our voice and our position in the marketplace.’ Now he just has to hope that the audience will stick with him on that journey:

Your new show on Netflix is called Patriot Act. What has that term meant to you over the years and is this your attempt to reclaim it in some way?

Totally. Obviously the original one was a terrifying piece of legislation and yeah, look, I thought this title could be a really cool way to flip it on its head. Especially because when people look at me or someone of my background they often think they wouldn’t be patriotic

This show is your act of patriotism.

And I just love, by the way, that we were able to get all of the social media handles. I can’t believe the FBI, the NSA and the CIA didn’t claim @patriotact. It legitimately blows my mind. Somewhere Dick Cheney is just like, how did we not do this?

There are obviously so many topical comedy shows now, many of which from your former Daily Show alumni. How do plan to differentiate yours?

I think one of the really interesting things that we’re doing on the show is picking topics and investigative reports that are generally overlooked. We definitely get sucked into the news cycle of “covfefe” and responding to that stuff and one of the really cool things about working on this show is that we get to talk about stuff that’s happening now but also about stuff that has a shelf life for six months to a year. We’re trying to answer bigger questions that exist in the zeitgeist and things that have been discussed and argued and debated for a long time. Things like gun control, things like affirmative action, immigration, those things aren’t going away.

Yeah, I mean, because the show is going to be on Netflix, it does inherently have a longer shelf life than a lot of these other, more ephemeral shows. Presumably people will be able to watch these episodes forever.

For me, the medium is the message. Because it’s on Netflix you hear that [makes Netflix logo sound] and immediately start watching. Sometimes people are engaging with it that week or eight months from now. So for me, that really shapes the topics that I’m going to hit. I’m not going to open up with, “Did you hear what happened this week?” No, because a month from now or two months from now or six months from now that’s going to no longer be relevant.

There are certainly a lot of benefits to having your show on Netflix, but also potential drawbacks. They have struggled with this “late-night” space, whether it’s Chelsea Handler’s and Joel McHale’s shows getting nixed or Michelle Wolf’s show canceled after just 10 episodes. Did that latter decision in particular make you concerned about their dedication to this type of programming?

I mean, I was definitely rooting for Michelle’s show and Joel McHale’s show and everyone’s show because I think a rising tide lifts all boats. They’re friends and I think they’re both incredibly talented. But I think that, again, one of the things that we have that is to our advantage is that we have a pretty significant episode order, so we have time to really develop and hone our voice and our position in the marketplace. And say, hey, this is what you can get from this show. These are the types of stories and perspectives you’ll be able to get from this show that you might not be able to get from others.

What do you view as the biggest challenges of hosting a late-night style show on a streaming platform?

More than the streaming aspect, because we have such a good situation set up on the social media side, I think the biggest thing is the greatest challenge that all artists face. You’re going to speak from the heart, you’re going to speak authentically, you’re going to want to connect and tell a great joke and have great material, but will it connect? And that’s the same feeling that I had with the Correspondents’ Dinner, with Homecoming King, with any of the segments I wrote for The Daily Show. Hey, I’m speaking from my heart here, will people care? That’s just an intangible and a variable you can never answer, you just try to do the best you can. And the rest you put in the hands of the people.

Speaking of The Daily Show, I read that Jon Stewart challenged you and the other correspondents to push the limits of what The Daily Show could be when he left in 2015. How are you applying that challenge to Patriot Act?

When he sort of gave us that little speech in his office, I really internalized it perhaps a different way than other people did. For me, when he talked about manipulating that chess piece, I really think he was referring to, “What can you do with this format besides looking down the camera and having an over-the-shoulder graphic appear over your right or left shoulder? How can you sort of manipulate and change this thing that I’ve done for the past 17 years?” But that’s just a style thing. The second thing that I sort of thought about was being able to speak to issues from a perspective that I think a lot of people don’t really speak to. I mean, my name is Hasan Minhaj. I’m an Indian-American Muslim child of immigrants. But I’m just as American as anyone you went to college or high school with. But my perspective and my viewpoint on foreign policy, on immigration, on a lot of the hot-button issues that are dividing the country right now, that position is very different from a lot of people’s position in late-night. Just look at what’s happening this week with Saudi Arabia. My take on it is very different from other people’s take. And it’s directly linked to my identity and life experience.

The Jamal Khashoggi saga seems like the type of news story that you might want to tackle on this show, but at the same time there’s nothing inherently funny about it. So how do you reconcile that? How do you figure out how to make it work on a comedy show?

I know this isn’t a super popular opinion, but I’ll be honest with you, I actually think the jokes are the easiest part. The biggest and the toughest thing is the take. What is your take or position? How do you slice through this otherwise really dense, esoteric, sad thing? And if you have a take with really great clarity or perspective, tagging it with jokes, that’s the easy part. Twitter is a joke machine, you can get all of those things there. But I think storytelling and a really curated, distinct voice, I think that’s what people come to these shows for.

I’m curious, when you were at The Daily Show, did you feel pressure to talk about subjects that relate to your identity? Or did you try not to do that all the time so you weren’t just the “Senior Indian Correspondent,” which is a type of designation I think they’ve moved away from a bit in the Trevor Noah era?

What was great was as you develop your voice on the show, you get to do a lot of different things you were passionate about. I would do this recurring segment on the show called “Livin’ on the Street” where I played this super high-strung, possibly coked-out Wall Street banker guy who was talking about Bitcoin or whatever was happening in the economy. So you were able to spread your wings as you spend more time on the show. And I love Jon and Trevor for giving me that opportunity. I think the thing that you come to realize, especially being a correspondent on the show, is you are sort of the Scottie Pippen to their Michael Jordan. You are definitely there to facilitate the larger vision of the host. The biggest thing that was tough for me was I definitely like storytelling. And in order to properly tell stories, you need runway room. You need more than three-and-a-half to five minutes to really spread your wings and dive deep into things. And that’s why I think that things like Homecoming King or the Correspondents’ Dinner, people got to see another side of me, because I had time to share my perspective on the country. Or to speak about my identity in America and what my story was.

So now that you are the Michael Jordan of your own show—

[Laughs] No, no, no, I’ve got to earn that title. Right now I’m the Jud Buechler.

What do you want to do with that responsibility in terms of the message you’re putting out there with your show?

The biggest thing that I try to do is just honestly speak from the heart and tell stories that haven’t been told before. Because I think for the longest time people with my background have either been spoken to or spoken for. So I just want to share stories and perspectives that people haven’t heard before, to add something new to the conversation. We’ve just finished our first three test shows and I really think we have something exciting and new to share.

I think a lot of people will come to this show knowing who you are, but there are also people who will stumble upon it on Netflix, whether they are in this country or anywhere in the world. What do you hope someone who discovers your show while just looking for something to watch on Netflix takes away from it?

I just hope they go, wow, I’ve never seen something presented this way from this point of view. And the fact that he was able to distill that between 20 to 30 minutes is pretty incredible. I hope it means something to them and moves them in some way. That’s all you can do as an artist. So I’m crossing my fingers and hoping it connects.”

This interview has been edited and condensed.