Friday December 14, 2018

Don’t fret, MTV has picked up another season if Jersey Shore: Family Vacation.

And it looks like a 2nd season of The Conners is in store.

Facebook Watch renewed Huda Boss, Five Points, Sacred Lies and Sorry for Your Loss, each for 2nd seasons. 

Netflix, today, has released a slew of new series just in time for the holidays:

The Fix: Comedians Jimmy Carr, D.L. Hughley and Katherine Ryan tackle the world's woes with help from a rotating crew of funny guests and an actual expert.

The Innocent Man: This documentary adaptation of John Grisham's only nonfiction book raises troubling questions about two murder cases in Ada, Oklahoma, in the 1980s.

Tidelands: Ex-con Cal McTeer's return to her hometown of Orphelin Bay blows the lid off a generations-long conspiracy of silence around murder, drugs and Sirens.

Travelers (season 3)

Fuller House (season 4)

Voltron: Legendary Defender: In an all-new series, five unlikely heroes and their flying robot lions unite to form the megapowerful Voltron and defend the universe from evil.

Roma: Director Alfonso Cuarón delivers a vivid, emotional portrait of domestic life and social hierarchy set against Mexico's political turmoil of the 1970s.

HBO is set to explore the life and career of actress Natalie Wood through the perspective of her daughter, Natasha Gregson Wagner, in an upcoming documentary from Amblin Television. The premium cabler announced on Thursday that it had begun production on Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind, a doc that will re-examine her personal and professional triumphs and challenges, which have often been overshadowed by her tragic death at age 43. The HBO Documentary Films production will feature previously unseen home movies, photographs, diaries, letters and artifacts, as well intimate interviews with her friends, family, co-stars and colleagues. It is currently slated to debut on HBO in 2020.” Remind us of this in a year HBO.

The Television Academy announced a new rule Thursday that sets the minimum length to qualify for the Television Movie category at 75 minutes — or if you prefer, 14 minutes longer than San Junipero, the celebrated episode of “Black Mirror” that took home two Primetime Emmys including for TV Movie in 2017. But before Black Mirror fans get too bummed, the effect is likely to be mostly unnoticeable on future ceremonies. After all, this year’s TV Movie Emmy-winner, USS Callister, clocked in at 76 minutes.”

J.Lo is releasing a skincare line.

“Oxygen Media, NBCUniversal’s true crime network for women, is gearing up to launch the two-hour documentary Dirty John: The Dirty Truth  in mid-January. From Herzog & Company and Los Angeles Times Studios, the film will delve deep into the destructive life of con-man John Meehan through the eyes of the victims he manipulated and abused. With commentary from those closest to the case, and never-before released audio and archive, the doc will provide intimate insight into Meehan’s troubled past, his altercations with law enforcement, and features exclusive interviews with his first wife, Tonia Bales, and former girlfriends. Dirty John: The Dirty Truth airs Jan. 14 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Oxygen.”

Discovery Channel has announced the return of Garage Rehab, premiering Tuesday, January 8. New episodes will feature Richard Rawlings on his quest to transform struggling garages across America. Novel idea.

One of the most famous couples on TLC’s reality show 90 Day Fiancé say they won’t be returning next season — allegedly because they’ve received death threats. An Instagram video posted to a fan page for the show depicts Eric and Leida Rosenbrook talking to the camera. The Indonesia native, 29, sobs while Eric, 41, shakes his head in the background. ‘We put our lives in danger. We put our lives on the frontline. This is not fair,’ Leida cries. ‘This is not worth it at all. We are never going to do this again … I swear to God, once the contract is done, we will reveal everything that they didn’t on the show.’” I didn’t realize these fools were relevant enough that someone would use up any energy to issue a death threat upon them.


Per Deadline, “Almost two decades after Alias catapulted J.J. Abrams into the top ranks of TV writers-producers-directors and made Jennifer Garner a star, the two are reuniting for My Glory Was I Had Such Friends.

“In a competitive situation, Apple has given a straight-to-series order to the one-hour limited drama starring and executive produced by Garner and executive produced by Abrams via his Bad Robot Productions banner.

“Based on the 2017 memoir of the same name by Amy Silverstein, the story showcases the power of friendship and the resilience of the human spirit as it follows an extraordinary group of women who supported Silverstein as she waited for a second life-saving heart transplant.

“The series, produced by  Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television where the company has been under a deal, is written and executive produced by Karen Croner, who penned the 2017 feature adaptation of the book The Tribes of Palos Verdes that starred Garner. Also executive producing are Bad Robot’s Ben Stephenson and the memoir’s author Amy Silverstein.

“In a competitive situation, Bad Robot acquired Silverstein My Glory Was I Had Such Friends in 2017, shortly after the memoir’s release, to develop as a limited series.

“The project expands Apple’s relationship with Abrams and Bad Robot, who also have half-hour romantic dramedy Little Voice, from the Waitress duo of Sara Bareilles and Jessie Nelson, at the streaming upstart with a straight-to-series order.

“Abrams famously fought to get Garner to be the star of his cult ABC action drama series Alias after she had appeared on his first series, Felicity, which he had co-created with Matt Reeves. Both went on to have big movie careers but remained close.”


From The Hollywood Reporter: “There is no end in sight for the so-called ‘Peak TV’ surge in scripted originals, according to research provided by FX Networks.

“FX on Thursday released its annual study on the state of scripted television, revealing that the number of originals (think Game of Thrones, Narcos and Pose) hit another record of 495 in 2018. That's up only eight from the then-record 487 scripted originals in 2017 and down compared with the more than 520 originals FX CEO John Landgraf predicted for 2018 back in January.

“As expected, online services like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and new arrival Apple led the charge, representing 32 percent of all originals (up from 25 percent last year) and topping both basic cable and broadcast for the first time since FX began tracking growth in 2014. Scripted originals grew a whopping 385 percent among streamers compared with 2014. Broadcast is down 1 percent vs. 2014, premium cable up 32 percent over the same span, while basic cable dipped 17 percent. Overall, total volume was up 27 percent vs. 2014. 

“All told, streamers represented 32 percent of the total number of scripted originals, with broadcast coming in at 30 percent, followed by basic cable (29 percent) and premium cable (9 percent). Streaming content grew from 117 originals in 2017 to another record of 160 in 2018. Broadcast originals dropped from a record 153 last year to 146 in 2018. Premium cable continued its slow growth, rising from 42 originals last year to 45 in 2018. Basic cable, which this year saw a few outlets retreat from the scripted space, dropped from 175 originals in 2017 to 144 in 2018.

“Cable networks to exit the scripted space in 2018 included Viacom's TV Land and CMT and NBCUniversal's E! They joined A&E, VH1 and WGN America. Meanwhile, YouTube has pumped its proverbial brakes on new scripted and will instead take down its paywall and offer new series like Karate Kid sequel Cobra Kai free to subscribers weekly while paid users can binge the season all at once.

“Meanwhile, Warner Bros. launched DC Universe with a slate of comic book-themed scripted originals from mega-producer Greg Berlanti as Apple and Disney+ are expected to roll out their respective Netflix rival platforms with a roster of high-profile (and big-budget) scripted originals in 2019. Apple has already spent aggressively on originals from top producers (J.J. Abrams, Damien Chazelle) with A-list stars (Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon). Disney+ will launch with a new live-action Star Wars series and offerings from Marvel, including a TV spinoff starring Tom Hiddleston. HBO, under new corporate parent AT&T, is also expected to ramp up scripted originals to better compete with Netflix and its $8 billion-plus content spend.

“FX releases its research on the state of scripted originals every year after Landgraf coined the term ‘Peak TV’ while presenting to TV reporters a few years ago.”


“Amid the sprawling crisis at CBS, Page Six is told that network execs are ready to nuke its struggling morning show and rebuild it from the ground up.

“A thriving CBS This Morning was thrown into disarray by Charlie Rose’s sudden exit — and we’re told that top brass have come to believe that the show overall is not going to recover.

“Rose was brought down by sexual-misconduct allegations in November 2017, leaving Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell as anchors. They were later joined by John Dickerson.

“But the impressive momentum that King, O’Donnell and Dickerson developed quickly faltered. ‘There are real discussions about just starting over — anchors, format, producers. Everything is on the table,’ said an insider.

“The news comes as the show’s executive producer, Ryan Kadro, is negotiating his exit.

“Sources close to Kadro are furious that his exit — revealed Wednesday — is being portrayed in the press as if it were linked to a settlement the network made with three Rose accusers, which was made public the same day. A network insider insisted to Page Six that the timing really is just an ‘unfortunate coincidence,’ and CBS said, ‘These conversations are unrelated to the settlement.’

“We’re told that Kadro decided to leave months ago because he believes the flagging morning show needs ‘fresh blood and a total revamp’ — and he’s not the man to do it. Kadro was also named in the Washington Post’s story about the Rose cover-up.

“Kadro is widely liked by CBS staff and others in the industry, we’re told. When asked how she was Thursday on-air, King — apparently referring to Kadro’s ouster — told a guest, ‘Not good, not good . . . well, actually that’s another story.’

“CBS News President David Rhodes’ anchor moves have been disastrous.

“He moved Dickerson from Face the Nation to the morning show, and replaced Scott Pelley with Jeff Glor on the evening news, which has lost more than 1 million viewers.

“CBS declined to comment.”


Per The New York Times, “In March 2017, Eliza Dushku, an actress known for her work on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, signed on to play a major role in three episodes of the CBS prime-time drama Bull, and there were plans to make her a full-time cast member.

“Her time on the set began promisingly. The show’s star, Michael Weatherly — a mainstay of CBS’s prime-time lineup for 15 years — seemed friendly. And a producer and writer on Bull, Glenn Gordon Caron, told Ms. Dushku she would be more than a love interest.

“Then came a series of comments that made Ms. Dushku uncomfortable. In front of the cast and crew, Mr. Weatherly remarked on her appearance, and made a rape joke and a comment about a threesome. Shortly after Ms. Dushku confronted the star about his behavior, she was written off the show. She believed her time on Bull came to a sudden end as a result of retaliation.

“After she went through mediation with CBS, the company agreed to a confidential settlement that would pay her $9.5 million, roughly the equivalent of what Ms. Dushku would have earned if she had stayed on as a cast member for four seasons.

“Details of Ms. Dushku’s experiences on Bull and the confidential settlement she reached with the company emerged during the course of an investigation that began in August, when the CBS Corporation board hired the law firms Covington & Burling and Debevoise & Plimpton to examine accusations of sexual misconduct made by multiple women against Leslie Moonves, the company’s former chief executive. The board also instructed the outside lawyers to investigate ‘cultural issues at all levels of CBS.’

“In a draft of the investigation report, which was reviewed by The New York Times, the lawyers said the company’s handling of Ms. Dushku’s complaints was not only misguided, but emblematic of larger problems at CBS. When faced with instances of wrongdoing, the company had a tendency to protect itself, at the expense of victims, the investigators wrote.

“Ms. Dushku declined to comment for this article. In a statement on Wednesday, CBS confirmed the settlement and pledged to improve working conditions.

“‘The allegations in Ms. Dushku’s claims are an example that, while we remain committed to a culture defined by a safe, inclusive and respectful workplace, our work is far from done,’ the statement said. ‘The settlement of these claims reflects the projected amount that Ms. Dushku would have received for the balance of her contract as a series regular, and was determined in a mutually agreed upon mediation process at the time.’

“In an emailed statement to The Times, Mr. Weatherly apologized for his behavior with Ms. Dushku.

“‘During the course of taping our show, I made some jokes mocking some lines in the script,’ Mr. Weatherly said in the statement. ‘When Eliza told me that she wasn’t comfortable with my language and attempt at humor, I was mortified to have offended her and immediately apologized. After reflecting on this further, I better understand that what I said was both not funny and not appropriate and I am sorry and regret the pain this caused Eliza.’

Bull, an hourlong procedural series that premiered in September 2016, is the 10th most-watched entertainment program on network television. The main character is loosely based on Dr. Phil McGraw, who worked as a trial consultant before he became a popular talk-show host.

“Dr. McGraw is one of the producers of Bull, as is Mr. Caron, who created the prime-time hit Moonlighting. Shot mainly in New York, Bull is produced in association with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television.

“Mr. Weatherly, 50, was a star of the network’s most popular drama, NCIS, for 13 seasons before CBS gave him Bull. The character he plays, Dr. Jason Bull, is a self-assured trial consultant. He is also a flirt.

“CBS emphasized the character’s roguish side when it marketed the show in the summer of 2016. Billboards showed a close-up of Mr. Weatherly’s face behind a double entendre in huge red letters: ‘He’ll Get You Off.’

“Ms. Dushku, 37, has been in show business for more than 20 years. In addition to her recurring role on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, she was a regular on the shows Angel, Dollhouse and Banshee. She became a voice in the #MeToo movement earlier this year when she claimed in a Facebook post that she had been molested by a stunt coordinator as a 12-year-old on the set of the 1994 movie “True Lies.” The stunt coordinator denied her allegations.

“When Ms. Dushku signed on with Bull at $35,000 per episode — a figure that would have increased significantly, if she had continued on the show — there were ‘well developed plans’ to have her become a regular cast member, according to the draft of the investigators’ report.

“The investigation’s findings show how Ms. Dushku sought to address conduct she found demeaning, why she believed she faced retaliation and how a top CBS lawyer tried to undermine her claims with what investigators described as an ‘antiquated’ view of how a woman should comport herself in the workplace.

“On Bull, Ms. Dushku played J.P. Nunnelly, a criminal defense lawyer. Although she would have a running flirtation with Mr. Weatherly’s character, Mr. Caron, the producer, said that he ‘wouldn’t want intimacy’ until the show’s fifth season, according to notes taken by a participant in an interview Ms. Dushku gave investigators in September.

“But it wasn’t long before Mr. Weatherly started making comments that left her feeling uncomfortable. ‘Here comes legs, he said on a day when Ms. Dushku was wearing a suit, according to the interview notes. On another occasion, Ms. Dushku told investigators, he said in front of the cast and crew that he would bend her over his leg and spank her.

“In an interview, Mr. Weatherly said the remark about spanking was meant as a joke. ‘I ad-libbed a joke, a classic Cary Grant line from Charade or Philadelphia Story, and that meant not at all that that was an action I wanted to take,’ he said.

“Ms. Dushku also described to investigators a time on the set when, in character, she made a gesture with three fingers. In response, she said, Mr. Weatherly suggested — to laughs from the crew — that she wanted to have a threesome with him and another male cast member.

“Because of his status on the show, his behavior was contagious, in Ms. Dushku’s view. She told investigators that a crew member approached her at one point and said with a chuckle, ‘I’m with Bull,’ before suggesting that he, too, wanted to take part in a threesome with her.

“The exchange left Ms. Dushku feeling ‘disgusting and violated,’ according to the interview notes.

“Mr. Weatherly said that when he mentioned a threesome, it was not to suggest Ms. Dushku take part in a threesome with him and another cast member. ‘While we’re shooting, in the context of the scene, she held up three fingers, suggesting something,’ he said. ‘And I ad-libbed, “Threesome?”’

“Then came the shooting of a scene involving a windowless van. With the cameras rolling, in front of the cast and crew, Mr. Weatherly said he would take Ms. Dushku to his ‘rape van,’ which, he added, was filled with phallic objects and lubricant, according to the interview notes.

“Mr. Weatherly said the ‘rape van’ line was an attempted joke that misfired. ‘The scripted line in that scene was, “Hey, young lady, step into my windowless van,”’ he said. ‘I didn’t particularly like that line, so I joked, in order to highlight how distasteful the emphasis of the line was, about an ‘r. van,’ a rape van. Which, in retrospect, was not a good idea.’

“Ms. Dushku shared her concerns with Mr. Caron, who seemed receptive, according to the interview notes, and they agreed that she would approach Mr. Weatherly.

“She began by telling Mr. Weatherly that ‘everyone loves’ him on the set and followed his lead. She pointed out that after he made the threesome comment, a crew member said something similar to her, according to the interview notes. Mr. Weatherly asked Ms. Dushku who had made the remark and why she did not report it. As Ms. Dushku later told the lawyers, she did not have the sense that there was a ‘safe person you could go to’ with that kind of complaint.

“After the talk, Mr. Weatherly sent a text to David Stapf, the president of CBS Television Studios, saying that he wanted to talk about Ms. Dushku’s sense of humor. Mr. Stapf replied that Ms. Dushku made the show better, according to the interview notes.

“Around the same time, Ms. Dushku expressed the worry to her representatives that Mr. Weatherly might go to CBS and get her fired.

“That is effectively what happened. Within days of confronting Mr. Weatherly, Ms. Dushku was written off the show. The plan to make her part of the cast was over. By way of explanation, Mr. Caron told her that he ‘didn’t know how to write’ her into the show anymore, according to the interview notes.

“Mr. Weatherly denied pushing for Ms. Dushku’s removal. ‘It’s my recollection that I didn’t tell anyone how they should do their job regarding the hiring or firing of anybody,’ he said.

“Mr. Caron, who joined Bull in 2017 and later became its showrunner, said the decision to end Ms. Dushku’s run had nothing to do with her experiences on the set. ‘The idea that our not exercising her option to join the series was in any way punitive just couldn’t be further from the truth,’ he said in a statement.

“On one of her final days on Bull,”Mr. Weatherly insisted that she stay for a champagne toast celebrating the wrap of another season. Ms. Dushku thought that was odd, because she would not be returning and had been open about the fact that she did not drink.

“During the toast, Mr. Weatherly said he needed a ‘really beautiful woman’ to grab a ticket for a raffle. ‘Eliza,’ he said in front of everyone, according to the interview notes, ‘we need you, the most beautiful woman, to come grab the raffle ticket.’

“Ms. Dushku, in her final moments as part of the Bull sphere, played along, although she felt ‘embarrassed and humiliated.’

“Ms. Dushku told investigators that she relayed her experiences on Bull to Leslee Feldman, an executive at Amblin. ‘If Steven ever knew about this, he would be so horrified,’ Ms. Feldman said, referring to Mr. Spielberg, the chief executive of Amblin Partners, according to what Ms. Dushku said during the interview. Amblin declined to comment.

“After considering a lawsuit, Ms. Dushku entered into mediation with CBS. Mark Engstrom, the chief compliance officer at CBS, participated, along with Bettina B. Plevan, a partner at the law firm Proskauer Rose, who was serving as outside counsel for the company.

“Mr. Engstrom handed over outtakes from Bull in the belief that they would help the company’s cause, because they showed Ms. Dushku cursing on the set, investigators wrote in the draft of their report.

“The strategy backfired. The outtakes were a ‘gold mine’ for Ms. Dushku, the lawyers wrote, because they ‘actually captured some of the harassment on film.’

“Although the investigators praised Mr. Engstrom for his ‘tremendous institutional knowledge’ and described him as a ‘smart and very capable lawyer,’ they said the company’s failure to recognize the instances of harassment caught on tape was a symptom of larger problems at CBS, according to the draft of their report. Mr. Engstrom declined to comment.

“Mr. Weatherly, Mr. Caron and Amblin Television were parties to the settlement agreement, which prohibited Ms. Dushku from discussing her experiences on the show in exchange for the $9.5 million payment.

“The settlement agreement came about in January, when the #MeToo movement was on the rise, three months after the first articles on Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct appeared in The Times and The New Yorker.

“A history of misbehavior and sexual harassment on the part of prominent men at CBS has come to light in the last 13 months. In addition to forcing the departure of Mr. Moonves, CBS has fired two other well-known figures: Charlie Rose, a co-anchor of CBS This Morning, who was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women; and Jeff Fager, the longtime executive producer of 60 Minutes, after he sent a threatening text message to a CBS reporter looking into allegations that he had engaged in sexually inappropriate workplace behavior.

“Eight months after the settlement, when Ms. Dushku sat for the interview with the lawyers investigating CBS, she said she welcomed the chance to speak her piece. ‘You’re all I have at this point,’ she told them. ‘My story is true and it’s really affected me, and I can’t talk about it.’”