Thursday March 1, 2018

Season 2 of Atlanta premieres tonight.

CMT premieres Music City this evening.  More below.

SyFy has renewed The Magicians for a 4th season.

Great monologue from Stephen Colbert last night.

"Billy Eichner is headed to Netflix. The Emmy-nominated host of Billy on the Street has sold his first-ever stand-up comedy special to Netflix. Eichner's comedy special is described as a unique blend of comedy and music that will cover politics, pop culture and may also include some brand-new editions of his signature, Emmy-nominated Billy on the Street segments. A filming date and title for the special have not yet been determined, though it is expected to be produced this year."

Glenn Howerton and Patton Oswalt talk NBC's A.P. Bio, which will run back to back tonight.

Jersey Shore Family Vacation has been renewed for a second season, MTV said Wednesday. News of the renewal comes ahead of the show’s premiere on April 5. The network will begin a countdown on March 15 at 8 p.m. with four Road to Vacation specials that look back on iconic moments from the original series. Every Thursday, fans will get a throwback including new cast interviews until Family Vacation airs."

The ninth season of Archer, titled Archer: Danger Island, will premiere April 25th at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FXX.

Ryan Seacrest is not out of the woods yet.

"Golden Globe winner Gina Rodriguez is set to guest-star in an episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine when the Fox comedy resumes its season later this spring. Though unconfirmed by Fox, Instagram posts (that have since been deleted) suggest that Rodriguez’s role will more channel her current big-screen gig in Annihilation than Jane Villanueva, in that she will be playing a romantic dalliance for bisexual Detective Rosa Diaz. If true, the pairing marks a mutual wish come true for both B99‘s Stephanie Beatriz — who once expressed her wish for Rodriguez to play a romantic interest — and Rodriguez herself, who responded to that overture in kind."

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Per Variety, "Julia Roberts is making her Homecoming.

"Production has started on Amazon’s new series Homecoming, which marks Roberts’ television series debut.

"The series, which hails from Universal Cable Productions, is based on the hit podcast from Gimlet Media, a psychological and political thriller about a caseworker at a secret government facility and a soldier eager to rejoin civilian life. Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail will be directing all 10 episodes, which were written by the creators of the podcast, Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg. Bobby Cannavale, who also worked with Esmail on Mr. Robot, and Stephan James (Shots Fired) will co-star in the project.

Homecoming is the first project to shoot in Universal Studios’ newly constructed production facilities. Two stages have been joined into one 36,000-square-foot production space with a grid height of 51 feet, along with other high-tech innovations.

"Amazon Studios gave a two-season, straight-to-series order to Homecoming, which will premiere globally on the streaming service.

"The series is produced by Esmail through his production company Esmail Corp; as well as Mr. Robot executive producer Chad Hamilton of Anonymous Content; Horowitz and Bloomberg; and Chris Giliberti, Alex Blumberg, and Matt Lieber of Gimlet Media. Roberts will also serve as executive producer through her production company, Red Om Films."

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"[Alec] Baldwin spoke to THR about those on (and not on) his wish list of guests as well as his support of Woody Allen, the demise of his MSNBC show and his future as President Trump:

Let's start simple. Why this, why now?

The idea of doing a TV show was never really that attractive to me — because when we do the show for radio, it's one kind of reality. The minute you put a camera on people, they change. Then I decided that maybe if we did a limited number [of shows] – I'm not Fallon or someone who's gotta do 200 shows a year and you're on five nights a week for 40 weeks – we're exempt from that kind of pressure. Why don't we try it and see if we get people who are more camera-ready? I wouldn't mind interviewing Jennifer Lawrence or somebody if we could find an angle that was different or fresh.

What would that look like in a market as saturated as this one?

It's longer, and it’s not a pre-produced segment on the couch of a talk show — which is nearly always promotional. The watchword for me is origins. I like to talk to people about their origins. How did they grow up and how were they primed for this kind of work? How did Jerry Seinfeld become Jerry Seinfeld? I think that's inspiring for artists and performers. I want to get people on there who are political figures and talk about their origins, too. I know everybody says Obama is somebody they’d like to talk to. Letterman had him on. But I've got a whole other set of questions.

What would you ask Obama if he were on your show?

I'd ask him is about the crushing weight of the presidency, psychically. All of a sudden you, as the president, you have no choice but to give orders where, directly or inadvertently, people will die as a result. Going to war, droning here, bombing there. What was that like for you emotionally? What were the range of emotions you felt during that presidency? I'm not looking for their kind of predigested answers they give through a publicist. I'm very interested to know what it was like. I know what a selfish bastard I am, in terms of not wanting to do anything I don’t want to do, and, so, my God, what’s it like to give years, eight years of your life, in this form of service?

You tried a version of this for MSNBC a few years ago. What did you learn from that short-lived experience that you’ll apply here?

One of the difficulties, and there were a handful of very serious difficulties when we did the show at MSNBC, was that I had a news producer. They assigned the guy to me, Jonathan Larsen, who got fired from Steve Kornacki. They basically said to me, "Here's this guy. We have a contract with him. We have to stick him somewhere, so he's your producer." I don't want to say he was turned off, but you could tell he was wholly unfamiliar with the world of entertainment. He was constantly saying to me, "Well, in the news division, you're not allowed to do this." He was always this kind of a traffic cop, telling us what to do and not necessarily helping us get where we wanted to go. I got parked at MSNBC to work out the kinks of the show before we were going to be moved to NBC. We were looking for a slot at NBC, but then the show died an ugly death. MSNBC was a horrible marriage and just a really bad experience. 

You mentioned Obama earlier. Who else is on your wish list of guests?

I’d like to talk to Stephen King, Al Pacino, [Robert] DeNiro, [Jack] Nicholson and [Dustin] Hoffman — people like that. Oh, and [Bruce] Springsteen. He's here in town doing his show [on Broadway] and I want to know why. I mean, "You’re one of the most famous figures in music history. You're rich beyond belief. You're not thirty-five years old anymore. What the hell are you doing doing eight shows a week?"

And what about who isn’t? The interviews that you don't want?

Without singling out anybody and hurting their feelings, who are people who can't talk for an hour? Some people can barely make it through the six minutes on the couch. That's an eternity for them. And who are the people who have the microphone pretty regularly and make good use of it? We don't do them because they're available 24/7. Someone like Neil DeGrasse Tyson. He can get on TV and talk about whatever he wants, whenever he wants. 

In your first episode, you and Jerry get into #MeToo, and how men you both knew were being taken down like bowling pins. You’ve stepped in hot water with your support of Woody Allen on social media. What is the concern level on your part and ABC's about doing so on TV?

What we saw for a while, in my opinion, was people who were perpetrators being exposed. There was a lot of rhetoric about people who were being outed. When the community at large runs out of perpetrators, they start to turn on the supporters of the perpetrators because they need more fuel for the fire. The next thing they throw on the fire are the friends of these people who aren't stepping out and renouncing them. I have suffered from some of that: Woody and [James] Toback. I'm eager to see the legal consequences of this. I think innuendo and accusations are a first step, but you've got a guy like Weinstein – he’s not even low hanging fruit, he's right in the dirt to pick up -- and we need to see a conviction.

If I was involved in that movement, I would be crowd funding as much money for legal fees as I could and have a team of lawyers harangue the L.A. and the New York D.A.'s office 24/7 to bring charges against these people. Someone's gotta go to jail and prove that there are real consequences. Right now, no one has been prosecuted. Nobody. Is that going to change or are we going to stay in the realm where it's just accusations and condemnations being played out in the press? .... But my inclination to want to defend my friends — who either A) I thought were innocent, which is Woody or B) I had no knowledge of what they did and I still have no knowledge of what they did, which is Toback — is a normal inclination. It's a normal inclination to want to rally by your friends up until the point that they are convicted of something. If they're convicted of a crime, well then you're sad, and that's tragic, but they’ve got to go through that process. In the meantime, I hope that we see some manifestation of this beyond just social media.

Would you have Woody on as a guest?

I doubt there's any amount of money you could pay Woody to come on and talk about this stuff. He has already said everything he has to say. I tried to invite [Weinstein accuser] Annabella Sciorra to do my podcast. She turned me down. I'd like to invite somebody who's not a litigant. Rose McGowan? I would like to talk to her. I doubt she'd want to talk to me. She has taken a long steady piss on me in the past about this stuff, which is fine. I understand that this is what she feels she has to do. And she has no shortage of access to the media. She can sit down in front of a microphone anytime she wants to. 

You have a lot of balls in the air. What will have to go to make room for this?

I'm developing a pilot for a TV show that I can't talk too much about. In all likelihood, I’ll shoot a pilot for it in the summertime or September. If it works, that would be my main diet for a while and then we would do the talk show and the game show [Match Game]. The rest of the time? I gotta be honest with you, I hate to leave my home. I hate to leave my wife. I'm desperately in love with my wife. We have three children. I turn 60 in April, and you can guess what my wife is giving me for my sixtieth birthday: another baby. So, I'm going to have four children under five-years-old in May. I need to make money and then go home to be with my wife and kids.

How much longer with you play Trump on Saturday Night Live?

Every time I do it now, it's like agony. Agony. I can't. If things don't go in the right direction for the midterms… I could go out on the street, stand on any corner and tap 10 people on the shoulder. And all 10 of them, in all likelihood, would be more qualified — ethically, morally, intellectually and spiritually — than Trump. I'll vote for Mitt Romney. I don't care. Anybody over this guy. It doesn't matter. We have to get rid of him. And that's another project I'm working on. I was the keynote speaker at the Democratic Dinner in Iowa, and I'm gonna go do a couple more of those this year. My wife and I agreed that we're gonna give it everything we have. And then if, God forbid, he wins again in 2020, I'm wondering can I host a game show in Spain."

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Per EW, "[t]he end of Scandal is nigh, but that doesn’t mean the cast has any inkling how their characters will go out.

"When the cast of Scandal sat down with Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show on Wednesday, they revealed they have no idea how the series will end when it wraps its seventh and final season later this spring.

"Bellamy Young said that they’re shooting the penultimate episode currently and they have 'no idea' what’s going to happen.

“'Even that’s changing while we’re shooting it,' added Kerry Washington. 'We know enough to know that if we feel this episode is leading us down a path then the rug is going to get ripped out from under us. It’s terrifying.'

"Young also joked that they’re all hoping they survive to the end so that they can stick around for a Scandal movie somewhere down the line. But Tony Goldwyn took the opposite approach, saying 'Josh Malina correctly pointed out that we should all be killed because we’ve done horrible, horrible things.'

“'Everyone should die — that would be the only just ending for the show,' concluded Washington."

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From Yahoo!: "Get ready for the next generation of The Hills.

"Adam DiVello, the creator and executive producer of that MTV reality show, as well as its predecessor, Laguna Beach, returns to TV on Friday with Music City, another docuseries, one that he describes as the reality version of the drama Nashville.

“'I think if Laguna Beach was kind of like a reality Beverly Hills 90210, and The Hills always felt like kind of a Melrose Place-type show … that [Nashville] was the next show to copy — not copy, but the next show to emulate,' DiVello tells Yahoo Entertainment.

"He does that by following five young adults — Kerry, Rachyl, Jessica, Jackson, and Alisa — navigating their relationships and careers in the musical town. Each performs his or her own tunes over the course of the show. Not all the music is country, either: A cover of Ed Sheeran’s Castle on the Hill is featured early on.

“'I’ve always been a big fan of music, and we’ve always used music in our shows to help us tell stories, with the lack of confessionals that we don’t have in our [other] series or this series, so we depend a lot on music,' he says.

"Hills fans will notice that DiVello has also brought back another device that worked well in the past: The moment when the characters are talking about something and they give that look, like, 'We’ll see.' He calls it a 'cliffhanger.'

“'Again, because we don’t have those confessionals, with those people talking to a camera to give us those great lines, like button up the seam, so you kinda need to leave it on something, and I think that that was something that we just came across, and it worked,' DiVello says. 'And especially when Lauren [Conrad] added the black mascara cry tears coming out of her eye always helped!'

"DiVello says casting people who are expressive is key in all his shows. Because even though his crew has to clear locations and schedule time with the cast ahead of time, they’re not making up the events or what the people are like or say. (Everyone has always done his or her own wardrobe, including hair and makeup.)

“'Everything that you see on screen is really happening. I mean, it’s really what’s going on in their lives,' DiVello says. 'Obviously, we’re going to shoot it, and we’re going to tell it in a very dramatic way, and I think we always explain it to the cast, but we’re like, "We’re going to take just your normal, everyday life, and it’s going to look very dramatic when you see it in a few months on TV," and that’s what we’re here to do. We want to tell a story.'

"The Music City cast, he says, approved of the first two episodes of their show at a screening.

“'It was hysterical, because they’re all cracking up laughing,' DiVello says. 'They don’t remember half the stuff they said. They’re like, "When did I say that?" And "When did that happen?" They’ll wince when they see the way something is edited, but they all loved it.'

"Of course, DiVello hopes audiences enjoy it as much as The Hills, which continues to loom large in pop culture nearly 12 years after it premiered. Lauren Conrad, Kristin Cavallari, Whitney Port, Audrina Patridge, and Speidi (aka Spencer Pratt and wife, Heidi Montag) are still making headlines for launching a clothing linewelcoming a baby, or starting a podcast. Social media helps.

“'I thought they were stars from the moment I met all of them, but you never know how the public is going to react,' DiVello explains. 'You never know … the longevity of a career, how long it’s going to last. But I think the benefit they got from being on the show is that we did present them all as likeable characters, and at the end of the day, fans thought of that particular cast of The Hills anyway as like their friends, an extension of their social circle. They kind of just grew up with them all, and I think the cast has done a really good job of keeping that alive with their fans.'

"DiVello keeps in touch with most of the cast from The Hills, and Port supported him at the premiere of his new show. Conrad had been set to attend, but she had to cancel, he says.

"Meet the cast of Music City on the premiere episode Friday on CMT at 10 p.m. ET."

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Per Buzzfeed, "[a] year ago, when Nick Viall was The Bachelor, the show was an all-star for ABC. It was, in fact, the only show on network television that grew in the key 18-to-49 demographic when compared to its previous season, and was the fourth-highest-rated network show for the season in the demo.

"But the ratings for this season of The Bachelor tell a different story. At this point last year (through eight episodes), the show was drawing an average audience of 7.2 million viewers with a 2.3 rating among 18- to 49 year-olds. Now, in the same live-plus-same-day ratings — viewers who watch a show live, or almost live — it's averaging 6.2 million viewers, with a 1.7 in 18 to 49. If my math is right — AND IT IS, PEOPLE — that's a decrease of nearly 14% in viewers and a dizzying 26% in the demo. And that's not even counting this Sunday night's Women Tell All episode, which aired outside of the show's usual timeslot, drawing only 4.2 million viewers and a 1.1 among 18- to 49-year-olds.

"Are we, as a nation, not in the mood to watch The Bachelor during the #MeToo era? Or did last summer's Bachelor in Paradise disaster sour viewers on the show? Or is it possible that the veteran franchise — which first premiered in 2002, and has run for a stunning 22 seasons, plus 13 more of The Bachelorette — finally run its course? Or is Arie Luyendyk Jr. — the race car driver turned realtor, whom Bachelorette Emily Maynard ditched in 2012 — a dud? Remember, Peter Kraus, with whom Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay had a genuinely painful goodbye after it became clear he was not ready to propose, was the show's top choice to be the Bachelor — and when he turned the offer down, producers had to scramble to unearth Arie.

"We won't know whether the damage is permanent until next season's ratings, a year from now. Though Arie's lack of charisma, and this season's total absence of drama, has not helped. So far, the show's most exciting development occurred off camera, when it turned out that Bekah Martinez, whose mother reported her missing during the fall, turned up safe and sound...on The Bachelor. (ABC's senior vice president for reality television, Robert Mills, did an interview last week with ET to answer the 'This is so boring' criticisms about this season. 'We’ve had, for lack of a better term, growing pains,' he said.)

"The Bachelor's ratings erosion has larger repercussions for network television. Because if this summer's Bachelorette is chosen from among the final few contestants whom Arie rejects — as is the custom — viewers might care even less, leading the franchise to sink further. (The Bachelorette's ratings are always lower than The Bachelor's, and last season's were particularly low.)

"More important, though, a sinking Bachelor underscores network television's disintegration. Last season, which, again, was pretty much a disaster, seven network shows (excluding sports) drew more than a 2.0 rating in the 18-to-49 demographic: CBS's The Big Bang Theory, Fox's Empire, NBC's This Is Us and The Voice, and ABC's Grey's AnatomyModern Family, and The Bachelor. This season, three of those are gone from the above-a-2.0 club: Empire is averaging a 1.9; Modern Family is drawing a 1.7 — and then there's the wounded Bachelor. The only new bright spots amid all this wreckage is Young Sheldon on CBS (a 2.3) and, in an unexpected surprise, Ellen's Game of Games on NBC, which has averaged a 2.1 for its first season. This season's other purported hit, ABC's The Good Doctor, is averaging a 1.9 in the demo, but it racks up a lot more viewers in Nielsen's delayed viewing measurements, live-plus-three (it's averaging a 3.3 season-to-date) and live-plus-seven (3.8).

"Oh, and The Bachelor Winter Games — ABC's Tuesday and Thursday filler during the Olympics — pretty much flopped, as cannon fodder against the Olympics is likely to do (though CBS's Big Brother: Celebrity Edition did fine). The Bachelor Winter Games' four-episode run drew a 0.8 in 18 to 49 and 3 million viewers, and yielded an engagement between two people who'd known each other for about five minutes.

"One possible bit of hope for the franchise: Peter Kraus has clearly not tired of the spotlight, as any Google search will show you — he's in regular touch with Us Weekly, he weighed in on the fact that people on the internet were calling Arie 'Not Peter,' and he made headlines in December when he confessed on Instagram that he'd had an eating disorder at age 20. So let's imagine the door is not permanently closed, and say, behold, the once and possible future of The Bachelor!"