Everyone else is putting out lists so here’s mine:
Top 10 Shows of 2018
9) Big Mouth
7) Better Call Saul
6) The Good Place
4) Killing Eve
Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh have signed on to co-host The Golden Globe Awards. TV nominations are below.
A new season of Top Chef premieres tonight on Bravo.
Audience has renewed Loudermilk for a 3rd season. I remain a big fan of this show.
“Megyn Kelly is free to take jobs at other news outlets upon leaving NBC News, according to a person familiar with the matter, a revelation that suggests exit talks between the star anchor and the NBCUniversal-owned division are moving toward a close. Kelly is not expected to be bound by any non-compete restrictions, and could take a job at other news operations, this person said. NBCU and Kelly have been engaged in separation discussions for weeks, ever since NBC News canceled her morning program, Megyn Kelly Today, in the wake of on-screen remarks she made about wearing blackface makeup for Halloween. A spokesman for Kelly declined to comment. NBCUniversal declined to make executives available for comment. People familiar with the talks suggested that many issues between the two parties – money; non-disparagement; and other issues – are largely resolved. They acknowledged, however, that attorneys continue to wrangle over legal language and minor disparities.”
“Daredevil was always suspected to be the most popular of Netflix’s Marvel titles, but some new data suggests it was one of the most popular titles across the entire streaming service. Despite Netflix canceling the show, Daredevil ranked fourth among all Netflix content last week, according to Parrot Analytics, which purports to accurately tally the streaming service’s content popularity. And that placement wasn’t due to some huge surge in the wake of the show’s Nov. 29 shock cancelation either — the superhero drama only climbed 2 percent from the week before the news broke.”
“DAZN, the streaming-sports outlet led by former ESPN chief John Skipper, is adding documentary programming to its slate of live-sports properties. DAZN will debut The Journey: Canelo/Rocky, an original episodic program that takes fans behind the scenes as the December 15th super middleweight championship fight between Canelo Alvarez and Rocky Fielding at Madison Square Garden draws near. The show will take fans behind the scenes as both fighters prepare for the event. The series premiere will debut on DAZN’s platform and YouTube channel on Thursday, Dec. 6. The move suggests DAZN, which entered the U.S. in July and is backed by U.K.-based Perform Group, isn’t limiting its ambitions to the boxing, mixed-martial arts and other sports programming it features for $9.99 a month. “DAZN continues to evolve as the sports network of the future and high-end content focused on our biggest boxing events is part of the plan,” said Joseph Markowski, DAZN EVP, North America, in a prepared statement ‘Fight fans are more educated than ever and we want to be an integral part in preparing them for the best and biggest fights of the year.’”
As promised, below are the Golden Globe noms in the TV categories (my votes in bold):
Best Television Series – Drama
Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama
Caitriona Balfe (Outlander)
Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale)
Sandra Oh (Killing Eve)
Julia Roberts (Homecoming)
Keri Russell (The Americans)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama
Jason Bateman (Ozark)
Stephan James (Homecoming)
Richard Madden (Bodyguard)
Billy Porter (Pose)
Matthew Rhys (The Americans)
Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy
The Good Place (NBC)
The Kominsky Method (Netflix)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy
Kristen Bell (The Good Place)
Candice Bergen (Murphy Brown)
Alison Brie (Glow)
Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
Debra Messing (Will & Grace)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy
Sasha Baron Cohen (Who Is America?)
Jim Carrey (Kidding)
Michael Douglas (The Kominsky Method)
Donald Glover (Atlanta)
Bill Hader (Barry)
Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
The Alienist (TNT)
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (FX)
Escape at Dannemora (Showtime)
Sharp Objects (HBO)
A Very English Scandal (Amazon)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Amy Adams (Sharp Objects)
Patricia Arquette (Escape at Dannemora)
Connie Britton (Dirty John)
Laura Dern (The Tale)
Regina King (Seven Seconds)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Antonio Banderas (Genius: Picasso)
Daniel Bruhl (The Alienist)
Darren Criss (The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story)
Benedict Cumberbatch (Patrick Melrose)
Hugh Grant (A Very English Scandal)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Alex Borstein (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
Patricia Clarkson (Sharp Objects)
Penelope Cruz (The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story)
Thandie Newton (Westworld)
Yvonne Strahovski (The Handmaid’s Tale)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Alan Arkin (The Kominsky Method)
Kieran Culkin (Succession)
Edgar Ramirez (The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story)
Ben Whishaw (A Very English Scandal)
Henry Winkler (Barry)
Per The Hollywood Reporter, “MTV Studios continues to mine its vault with the hopes of delivering a hit for a platform outside of Viacom.
“The studio arm of the Viacom-owned cable network is reviving Celebrity Deathmatch, with Ice Cube joining as an exec producer and lead member of the voice cast. A network is not yet attached; MTV Studios will shop the revival to streaming, cable and broadcast networks.
“Celebrity Deathmatch is following the same strategy the June-launched MTV Studios used for its revival of The Real World, which ultimately was picked up to series at Facebook Watch. It's part of a larger plan from Viacom CEO Bob Bakish to give new life to some of its better-known properties as a part of a company-wide mandate to further monetize library content as the media conglomerate looks to bolster its bottom line.
“The stop-motion satire that took aim at stars, politicians and everyone in between was created by Eric Fogel, who will exec produce the revival alongside Cube and his Cube Vision partner Jeff Kwatinetz, with the company's Ben Hurwitz on board as a co-EP. Additional showrunners and talent will be named later.
“MTV Studios, overseen by MTV president Chris McCarthy, hopes to produce Deathmatch for a third-party outlet in 2019 as part of a larger reinvention that Viacom hopes will include consumer products, gaming, theatrical and more. MTV Studios has also made other hits from its vault, including Daria, Aeon Flux and Made, available as part of its library push. The Real World thus far is the only series to land a distributor.
“Deathmatch extends MTV's relationship with Cube, who also exec produces Hip Hop Squares for MTV corporate sibling VH1.
"‘We’re excited to grow our partnership with Ice Cube and Cube Vision to reimagine this fan favorite,’ said McCarthy, who recently added oversight of Viacom's CMT to his purview that includes MTV, VH1 and Logo. ‘Deathmatch was the meme before memes, remains a hot topic on social media and will be a smart, funny way to tackle the over-the-top rhetoric of today’s pop culture where it belongs — in the wrestling ring.’
“Deathmatch ran for six seasons (totaling 93 episodes) from 1998 to 2002 and with a revival running from 2006 to 2007 on MTV2, featuring stop-motion versions of celebrities like Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest facing off in a boxing ring. The series became a pop culture phenomenon, complete with a video game. MTV2 attempted to revive the series a third time and filmed a pilot in 2015, but the new take was passed over a year later.”
Per Deadline, “Benedict Men, a new docuseries executive produced by Stephen Curry’s Unanimous Media and produced by Whistle, is set at Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman’s Quibi, the new mobile subscription service, which launches next year. The project, among the first for the mobile video startup, was announced today by Katzenberg and Quibi CEO Whitman during Variety’s Innovate: AI and Data Science in Media summit.
“Benedict Men will take an inside look at one of the most unique high school basketball teams in America at St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, New Jersey. St. Benedict’s Prep is an all-boys secondary school founded on the core belief ‘What Hurts My Brother Hurts Me,’ and aims to foster a legacy of strong character, community, leadership, and faith. As one of the top athletic high schools with a storied basketball program and the highest graduation rate in New Jersey, the series will follow the brotherhood of young men who seek to balance life in complicated surroundings.
“The series is developed and produced by Whistle. Mark Ciardi (Secretariat, The Rookie), Entertainment 360, Jonathan Hock (30 for 30, Fastball) and Stephen Curry, Jeron Smith, Erick Peyton (Unanimous Media) serve as executive producers.”
Anything KD can do, I can do better?
Per Realscreen, “LA-based entertainment studio New Form is partnering with Latino entertainment company RAZE on a love-centric docuseries for Facebook Watch, executive produced by and featuring Modern Family star and RAZE co-founder Sofia Vergara.
“365 Days of Love tells stories of love from top Hollywood talent, influencers, emerging filmmakers and everyday people, including Vergara (pictured), who is the subject of several stories. Every day in 2019, the series will offer a new story of love and human connection.
“The series concept was developed by Kathleen Grace, CEO of New Form. Noah Meisner is EP for New Form, and Vergara and her partner Luis Balaguer are EPs for RAZE. The series is currently in production and is seeking stories via its Facebook page.
“‘When I founded RAZE with Emiliano [Calemzuk] and Luis, our goal was to always provide a place where people can share passionate stories and make a difference,’ said Vergara, in a statement. ‘The 365 Days of Love daily documentary series does just that by allowing us to create a movement that challenges the world to contemplate the things that make us connected as humans. I am excited to partner with New Form and Facebook Watch to help bring the world closer together in a conversation about unity, love and what we all share in together.’
“365 Days of Love premieres on Facebook Watch January 1.”
From Variety: “Call it peak tv, another golden age of television, or even the evolution of home entertainment. Whatever the favored term, marquee stars from Julia Roberts to Jennifer Garner to Jim Carrey are the center of small-screen casts in contention for SAG’s coveted ensemble awards.
“Creating television series ensembles around A-list talent often sets an immediate expectation for the type of performances about to be turned in. The task then becomes to flesh out the cast with other actors who are equally talented, if not yet as a big a name, so they complement, and don’t get overshadowed by, the big name. But in terms of attracting that top talent, having a notable star at the starting line can also lead to a welcomed snowball effect.
“‘Having somebody like Jennifer Garner on board makes [the process] easier,’ says Jennifer Euston, who headed up casting on HBO’s Camping and has been in charge of casting such ensembles as Orange Is the New Black, GLOW and Girls in the past. ‘It definitely changes where you can go with the other characters. Having worked on shows that have ensembles with no names and then going to a show where you have somebody like Jennifer Garner and David Tennant at the helm, you definitely get more yeses than noes. It makes [the project] more attractive to other actors.’
“Amber Wakefield, who cast Showtime’s Kidding with Carrey as the lead, echoes the sentiment, noting that having him attached, as well as an ‘incredible story and scripts,’ made her job a lot easier and had “people really excited about the project early on.
“‘We were casting a family so it’s got to work like that,’ she says. ‘This is the story of Jeff Pickles [Carrey] and, of course, it centers around him, but it didn’t really feel that much different than casting an ensemble because the family dynamic is so important.’
“Another benefit of casting a headliner and subsequently attracting other notable stars to the project is that it often eliminates the need for chemistry tests. In the case of Camping, Euston approached the project as though she were casting doubles to play each of the show’s couples, with the team putting out some offers, such as to Tennant, without auditions.
“‘You’re taking a chance, but I’ve never thought of it like that. Good actors will be good together and will improve each other and raise each other up,’ she says.
“In the case of Camping, the characters were ‘damaged people who are forced into [a] weekend’ trip, Euston says, so forgoing the audition process and ending up with actors who didn’t have natural chemistry was not a scary thought. ‘The awkwardness actually helps tell the story,’ she says.
“For Kidding, Wakefield relied more on research than chemistry reads, although she points out that reads can often be helpful ‘just to see what the energies will be and how the actors mesh.’
“Wakefield wanted bold actors to round out the dark comedy. Ultimately casting Judy Greer, Frank Langella and Catherine Keener, she took deep dives into the ensemble’s past body of work in order to better visualize how Kidding’s characters could come alive.
“‘It was important in this case to cast really strong actors — people who make strong choices and can hold their own in any setting,’ Wakefield says.
“This is the quintessential part of a casting director’s job for ensemble series: populating the world with people who can perform character studies at any point in the show’s run.
“‘There’s a difference between a big Game of Thrones or Orange Is the New Black ensemble where you have an hour-long show and go from story to story to story, and a small ensemble, which Camping is,’ Euston says. ‘Because it’s a small ensemble you can go deeper into the characters’ internal struggles and idiosyncrasies, especially since it takes place over a weekend.’
“With the quality of TV scripts increasing on a growing number of providers, actors have a greater chance to spend more time bringing to life complicated characters and challenging their craft, which is why Euston so many are eager to play in the medium.
“‘I was trained in film and that’s all I did for almost nine or 10 years when I was an associate assistant,’ Euston says. ‘The TV thing was just random for me about eight or nine years ago when I went on my own as casting director, but then people started writing think pieces on television and the quality of the material was getting better than what these actors were reading for film.’
“‘I’m sure these people get movie offers every day, but now, TV is what appeals to talent.’”