NBC will premiere Brooklyn Nine-Nine on January 10.
HBO premieres a new season of Room 104 tonight.
HBO also premieres Sally4ever on Sunday night.
“Sally (Catherine Shepherd) is not the star of her own show — or her own life. When we meet her, she’s trudging through a job in marketing (tasked with making eggs “sexy” enough to appeal to teens) and a relationship with a fellow whose meek submissiveness is portrayed as something almost grotesque. He doesn’t realize, or chooses not to, that Sally sneaks out of their shared bed one night to go to a club and returns drunk and coated in glitter. There, she connects with Emma (Julia Davis, the show’s creator), an ultracharismatic woman whose lack of self-awareness is its own gift: It allows her to shamelessly grift her way through life, convincing the gullible, including Sally, to give her whatever she wants.”
“Boat Rocker Media has acquired unscripted production company Matador Content, best known for producing Paramount Network’s Lip Sync Battle, in a cash and stock transaction, the companies announced on Thursday. Matador Content will keep its name and its leadership team, meaning founders Jay Peterson and Todd Lubin will remain atop the company, which will join the Boat Rocker group. The two companies will focus on targeting high-priority intellectual property (IP) and accelerating its path to the global content marketplace.”
“MSG Networks is teaming up with the New York Knicks, the New York Rangers, the New York Islanders and the New Jersey Devils for the launch of Food Week, seven days of food-themed programming beginning Monday Nov. 12. The all-week takeover kicks off across the regional sports network’s linear and digital channels on Nov. 12 with a mix of new and existing content centered on the Knicks, Rangers, Islanders and Devils. The cameras will follow players from each team, including Kevin Knox, Ron Baker, Neal Pionk, Adam McQuaid, Brett Howden and Tony DeAngelo as they visit their favorite restaurants and discuss their Thanksgiving traditions, favorite meals, and favorite hobbies outside of basketball.” Sounds RIVETING!
Speaking of which, here is something that will inevitably make it stateside in no time at all: “BBC Studios has been commissioned to produce a painting challenge series for BBC1 featuring celebrities from the worlds of sport and entertainment. Presented by Mariella Frostrup, the four-part Celebrity Painting Challenge will bring together six contestants whose artistic prowess will be tested by a variety of tasks, masterclasses and challenges. The contestants will be supported by artists and mentors Diana Ali and Pascal Anson. Testing their artistic skills are actor Jane Seymour; musician George Shelley; cricketer and broadcaster Phil Tufnell; model and DJ Amber Le Bon; presenter Josie D’Arby; and TV personality Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen.”
More on how Mac pulled off that final dance scene on the season finale of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. “In June, seven months after McElhenney began training, the five-minute dance scene was finally filmed on a soundstage. Biermann [director] hired a camera-crane operator from Dancing With the Stars because of his experience following movement. During the 12-hour shoot, they split the dance into sections and spent at least half the day filming with rain falling on the perimeter of the stage, but not on McElhenney and Shea [dance partner]. ‘Just to make sure we got the minimal aspect of it, we filmed it first like that,’ Biermann said. ‘But at the end of the day, we wound up using overwhelmingly the stuff that was in the rain. It just looked so much more compelling and interesting when they were soaking wet.’”
“HBO has set a feature-length doc about controversial lawyer Roy Cohn to debut in 2019. Cohn is best known for his work as Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s right-hand man during his anti-communist hearings, and as an early mentor to Donald Trump in the 1970s. Director Ivy Meeropol is the granddaughter of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, prosecuted by Cohn under McCarthy as the ‘atomic spies,’ under suspicion of spying for the Soviet Union. Cohn would later insist on the Rosenbergs’ execution, carried out in 1953. The as-yet untitled doc relies on newly unearthed archival material, including audiotapes of candid discussions between Cohn and journalist Peter Manso, recorded at the height of Cohn’s career as a power broker in New York business and political circles, with a focus on family, friends, colleagues, employees and lovers. The film also includes interviews with playwright Tony Kushner, whose Pulitzer Prize- and Tony-winning play Angels in America featured Cohn as a main character, as well as actor Nathan Lane, who portrayed Cohn. Lane offers his perspective on how dangerous Cohn was and how he wielded power through invective and innuendo.”
“HBO has picked up a new David Simon/Ed Burns miniseries which paints a hypothetical U.S. reality that feels fightingly relevant and less farfetched following the Pittsburgh Synagogue massacre.
“The six-part The Plot Against America, based on the praised Philip Roth novel, comes from Annapurna Pictures and Joe Roth. It imagines an alternate American history told through the eyes of a working-class Jewish family in New Jersey, as they watch the political rise of Charles Lindbergh, an aviator-hero and xenophobic populist, who becomes president and turns the nation toward fascism.
“Frequent collaborators Simon and Burns are writing and executive producing. Also executive producing the miniseries are Joe Roth and producing partner Jeffrey Kirschenbaum, another long-time Simon collaborator, Nina Noble (pictured above with Simon and Burns), Annapurna’s Megan Ellison, Sue Naegle — the former HBO entertainment president — and Susan Goldberg as well as Philip Roth. Dennis Stratton is co-executive producing.
“Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America, which has been called a masterwork of counterfactual history, was published in 2004. It is an alternative history in which Franklin D. Roosevelt is defeated in the presidential election of 1940 by Lindbergh and follows the fortunes of the Roth family during the Lindbergh presidency, as antisemitism becomes more accepted in American life and Jewish-American families like the Roths are persecuted on various levels.
“Simon and Burns previously partnered on the HBO series The Wire and miniseries The Corner andGeneration Kill. At his long-time network home, HBO, Simon currently has period drama series The Deuce, which is headed into its third and final season.
“Annapurna has the upcoming series Mixtape at Netflix where the company also has Coen brothers’ The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.”
Per The Hollywood Reporter, “Less than a month after announcing the upcoming seventh season of Orange Is the New Black would be its final run, producers Lionsgate Television are already mulling how the prison dramedy can continue beyond that.
:Lionsgate TV Group chairman Kevin Beggs told reporters Thursday that the independent studio is mulling a potential sequel to the series created by Jenji Kohan and starring Taylor Schilling, Laura Prepon, Uzo Aduba and Danielle Brooks.
";We're really proud of the long run that Orange Is the New Black had. It remains one of Netflix's most-watched shows. We're ending on a high note. Keep in mind we own that series and will be distributing it for years to come. We're already in discussions and, when the timing is right, we'll talk further with Jenji about a potential sequel,’ Beggs said during the earnings call.
“Sources close to Lionsgate TV say that the studio and Kohan have had ongoing discussions about a potential follow-up to Orange Is the New Black for some time but cautioned nothing is immediately in the works.
“Netflix, which has been the exclusive home for the series and where creator Kohan is under an overall deal, did not immediately respond to The Hollywood Reporter's request for comment. (The streaming giant licenses the series from Lionsgate TV.)
“For her part, exec producer Tara Herrmann told The Hollywood Reporter after the season six finale that the Orange Is the New Black team has discussed spinoff ideas. Among them: a Broadway production, or following couples Larry Bloom (Jason Biggs) and Polly Harper (Maria Dizzia) or Cal and Carol Chapman (Deborah Rush) though she stopped short of saying a spinoff/sequel would be a good idea. Expanding Orange's world before it's over feels too much like ‘robbing from the mothership,’ she said. ‘We want people to pay attention to the show we’re making, not a musical number with Piper and Alex. But that could happen in the future, who knows!’
“Orange Is the New Black, which is inspired by Piper Kerman's memoir of the same name, bowed to critical acclaim in 2013. The Emmy-winning series (alongside House of Cards) has been an important part of Netflix's entry into the scripted originals space and has been a cash cow for Lionsgate TV. Kohan produced Orange Is the New Black for Lionsgate TV before moving her overall deal to Netflix. The series was the second mega-hit Kohan created for Lionsgate, joining Showtime's Weeds.
“The final season of Orange Is the New Black will bow in 2019 on Netflix.
“Sequels and spinoffs continue to remain in high demand as streamers, studios and networks alike look to continue proven hits with built-in audiences amid a crush of competition with more than 520 originals. HBO, for example, is developing multiple Game of Thrones offshoots as the premium cabler looks to keep its Emmy-winning franchise going after its final season in 2019.”
Per Deadline, “Disney announced fresh details of its family focused streaming service, including the new name — Disney+.
“The direct-to-consumer service, which launches in late 2019, will feature original and library content across Disney’s major entertainment brands: Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars. It also will incorporate programming from National Geographic, which it acquires when its $71.3 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox closes.
“Disney CEO Bob Iger teased some of the exclusive content coming to Disney+ during the company’s fourth quarter earnings call, including a live-action prequel series based on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The film’s original star Diego Luna will topline it as Cassian Andor.
“This marks the second Star Wars-based original series to be created for the streaming service. Director Jon Favreau is spearheading The Mandalorian, an origin story based on the warrior race from which bounty hunters Jango Fett and son Boba Fett sprung. Set after the fall of the Empire and the emergence of the First Order, it follows a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.
“Lucasfilm will produce the series, which will go into production next year. It will follow the adventures of rebel spy Cassian Andor (Luna) during the formative years of the Rebellion and prior to the events of Rogue One.
“‘Going back to the Star Wars universe is very special for me,’ Luna told StarWars.com in a story tied to Iger’s announcement. ‘I have so many memories of the great work we did together and the relationships I made throughout the journey. We have a fantastic adventure ahead of us, and this new exciting format will give us the chance to explore this character more deeply.’
“A favorite Marvel character, Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston, will get an original series on the Disney+ service. Disney Channel musical phenom, High School Musical, will be rebooted for the streaming service.
“Disney+ will mine the Pixar character pantheon to create a new animated series based on the Monster’s Inc franchise. The service also include such exclusive films as Noel, a Christmas movie about Santa’s daughter played by Anna Kendrick, and Togo, a movie about the 1925 Nome Serum Run starring William DaFoe.
“(Here’s a preview of what Disney+ will look like.)
“Iger sought to differentiate Disney+ plus from Hulu, the streaming service it will gain a controlling 60% stake in with the completion of the Fox deal. Hulu will remain a general entertainment offering, Iger said, one that would see increased investment once Disney assumes a leadership role.
“The Fox acquisition brings Disney a roster of talented television and film executives who, together with their Disney counterparts, can create “a lot more” original programming for Hulu.
“‘We feel (that) will enable Hulu to compete more aggressively in the market,’ Iger said.”
From Variety: “The longest-serving host in late-night TV is preparing to leave behind some of the trappings for which late-night TV is known.
“Conan O’Brien, who is slated to return to late-night in early 2019 with a revamped half-hour program on TBS, says he wants to have fewer guests who do nothing more than hype their latest movie or TV project and focus instead on creating moments during which viewers ‘can see me have fun.’
“The comedian, who has held forth in late night on NBC and TBS for 25 years, says much of the traditional late-night TV format had its roots in TV’s earliest days and is no longer relevant to an audience that often watches comedy clips on phones and tablets. ‘They don’t watch ‘Saturday Night Live’ the way we watch Saturday Night Live,’ he said of younger viewers. Talking to two or three guests and then telling the audience to tune in tomorrow ‘doesn’t make sense any more,’ he said at an event Thursday.
“He described a TV program that might be seen as a ‘linear’ version of a taping that could also be seen online with extra footage of O’Brien talking to the audience and taking part in behind the scenes banter. The new program will have no band, he said, and be more ‘loose’ and ‘playful’ than his previous shows.
“When it was suggesting his retooled program would be ‘leaner,’ O’Brien replied: ‘I prefer “smaller cookie, more chocolate chips.”’
“The move, O’Brien acknowledged, is likely to result in a ‘radical’ reworking of his program – and, potentially, lead the way for other wee-hours mainstays to consider alternate means of presentation. TV executives have long complained about the growing digital audience these programs generate, because monetizing the audience is more difficult, But the face remains that late-night TV has a swelling fan base that largely watches clips of programs like Late Night with Seth Meyers or he Daily Show” instead of tuning in to them at a set time each evening after the late local news.
“O’Brien’s new show is not likely to take on additional political tones, he said, noting that other late-night shows are tilling that ground successfully. ‘That’s being handled, and so well,’ he said. He intends to pursue a show that allows him to ‘create organic moments with guests’ and bring to the fore more of his trademark humor. ‘I’m just trying to manufacture more of those,’ he added.
“He described a strategy that might allow fans to see him and his team in real time – with streaming-video allowing O’Brien and writers to comment on news and culture in the moment, rather than having to craft jokes or bits that are seen hours later on a linear broadcast. O’Brien said his younger fans are more enamored of that sort of thing, and don’t clamor for bits he was doing decades ago.
“Digital viewing lets people see what they want as they want, O’Brien said. ‘I think the good stuff is seen by those who want to see it,’ he said.”