Friday February 9, 2018

Fox has renewed The Four for a 2nd season?!?!

Showtime premieres Our Cartoon President on Sunday evening.  I've seen the premiere and have read a couple of not so flattering reviews.  I enjoyed it an highly recommend.  If you don't want to wait until Sunday night, click here.

Homeland returns for a 7th season on Sunday immediately thereafter.

Holly Hunter talks Here and Now, her new HBO series, which also premieres on Sunday night.

They may as well just remove the word "Celebrity" from the title of this season of Big Brother.  Some dude from Big Time Rush is the most vocal followed by Shannon Elizabeth who hasn't been seen in anything since, I guess, That 70's Show some 12 years ago.  See for yourself.  That said, Ross Matthews entertains.

"Political podcast Pod Save America is headed to HBO. Crooked Media, the company founded by Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett and Tommy Vietor, has struck a deal with the premium cable channel for a series of hourlong specials this fall. 'At a time when politics affect the lives of Americans more than ever before, Pod Save America has brought fresh and thoughtful voices to the discussion,' said Casey Bloys, president, HBO Programming, announcing the deal. 'We’re excited to share the irreverent and entertaining insights of these savvy observers with the HBO audience.' The specials will follow the podcasters on the fall campaign trail."

"White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah wasn’t having any of former White House aide Omarosa Manigault’s recent shade on Celebrity Big Brother. When asked about the former West Wing staffer, Shah dismissed her as an unimportant person in President Trump’s orbit, working in a snide allusion to her former days on The Apprentice. 'Omarosa was fired three times on The Apprentice and this is the fourth time we let her go,' said Shah to a smattering of laughter. 'She had limited contact with the president while here. She has no contact now.'”

Felicity Huffman is joining Get Shorty on Epix.

Hey ABC, enough with crossover episodes

"It’s only his second Netflix special, but David Letterman’s new edition of (deep breath now) My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman already seems to be straining for effect. The guest this time is George Clooney. It starts with the two of them standing outside an In-N-Out Burger joint in Los Angeles, munching burgers and fries — you know, just a couple of regular guys, you’re supposed to think. That is, until an In-N-Out employee comes out to give them chocolate milkshakes and they look at him as if this worker was a Martian. The most these two wealthy showbiz fellows can summon in his presence is the idea that maybe one of them should have given the guy a tip. That’s how celebrities look at you or me: Maybe we should give this person a few bucks."  See below for more and watch the episode at your leisure.  It's now streaming on Netflix.

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Per Deadline, "Jennifer Garner is returning to television in new half-hour comedy series Camping, which has been greenlighted by HBO with an eight-episode order. Based on the British series created by Julia Davis, the project hails from the Girls duo of creator/executive producer Lena Dunham and executive producer Jenni Konner. Production begins this spring in Los Angeles.

"Co-written by Dunham and Konner, who also showrun, Camping centers on Walt, whose 45th birthday was supposed to be a delightful weekend back to nature, at least according to his obsessively organized and aggressively controlling wife Kathryn (Garner). But when the camping trip gathers Kathryn’s meek sister, holier than thou ex-best friend and a free-spirited Tagalong in one place, it becomes a weekend of tested marriages and woman-on-woman crime that won’t soon be forgotten. Plus, bears.

"Garner’s Kathryn Siddell-Bauers is an L.A. mom who is far less cheerful than her Lululemons imply. She controls the proceedings with an iron grip until she’s faced with a woman who undoes all her best-laid plans.

"Dunham and Conner executive produce via their A Casual Romance banner with Davis for Hush Ho; Christine Langan for Baby Cow Productions, which is behind the original series; and Ilene S. Landress.

"The project had been in the works for a while, with its green light sealed by Garner’s commitment to star. You can watch a teaser of the original UK series below.

"The Alias alumna returns to TV in a role that is 'messy, tough and provocative and really really fun,' said Dunham and Konner in a joint statement. 'We love Jennifer’s restraint and comedic timing, and we can’t wait for the warmth and intelligence she’ll bring to our central character, Kathryn. It’s truly a dream to have her first on our call sheet. Now we just have to write her some stunts.'

"This is Garner’s first major TV role since her memorable portrayal of CIA double-agent Sydney Bristow on JJ Abrams’ Alias. Over the course of its five-season run, Garner was nominated for four Emmy Awards, four Golden Globes and two SAG Awards."

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Heartbreaking would be an understatement here: "Veteran studio executive and producer Jill Messick died by suicide on Wednesday after battling depression for many years, her family tells The Hollywood Reporter.

"Messick, who worked at Miramax as a production executive from 1997 to 2003, also served as Rose McGowan's manager in January 1997, which is when, McGowan has claimed, she was raped by Harvey Weinstein. 

"In a statement following her death, her family says Messick was "victimized" after becoming embroiled in the Weinstein-McGowan allegations. Her name made headlines when Weinstein's attorney, Ben Brafman, released an email on Jan. 30 attributed to Messick in defense of his client. Her family says now that Messick "became collateral damage in an already horrific story."

"Messick's family's full Feb. 8 statement is below:

The Movement just lost one of its own.

Jill Messick was a mother of two children, a loving wife and partner, a dear friend to many and a smart entertainment executive. She was also a survivor, privately battling depression, which had been her nemesis for years.

Today she did not survive. Jill took her own life.

Jill was victimized by our new culture of unlimited information sharing and a willingness to accept statement as fact. The speed of disseminating information has carried mistruths about Jill as a person, which she was unable and unwilling to challenge. She became collateral damage in an already horrific story.

Jill believed in the Movement. She supported every woman finally coming forward to share their dark truths and expose those who had committed previously unspeakable deeds. She was loyal. She was strong. Jill was many things, but she was not a liar.

Over the past few months, many women have come out with allegations against Harvey Weinstein, including Rose McGowan, who has repeatedly spoken with the press, striking out against not only her alleged attacker, but a great many others. One of them was Jill, who chose to remain silent in the face of Rose’s slanderous statements against her for fear of undermining the many individuals who came forward in truth. She opted not to add to the feeding frenzy, allowing her name and her reputation to be sullied despite having done nothing wrong. She never chose to be a public figure; that choice was taken away from her.

Now that Jill can no longer speak for herself, it’s time to set the record straight.

In January 1997, Jill was an entry-level manager at Addis Wechsler. One of her first clients was Rose McGowan, and one of Jill’s first duties was to set up a breakfast meeting with Harvey Weinstein during the Sundance Film Festival. Following the meeting, Rose told Jill what had happened — that she made the decision to remove her clothes and get in the hot tub with him — a mistake which Rose immediately regretted. Rose never once used the word rape in that conversation. Despite this, Jill recognized that Harvey had done something untoward to Rose, if not illegal. She immediately went to her bosses, the partners of Addis Wechsler, to recount Rose’s story and to insist that they immediately address the situation. They told Jill that they would handle the situation. The ensuing arrangements between Rose and Harvey were then negotiated, completely without Jill’s knowledge. At that time, all Jill knew was that the matter was settled and that Rose continued making films with the Weinsteins. She never knew any details until recently, when Rose elected to make them public.

Ten months later, in November of 1997, Jill received a call from the Miramax exec VP of production, recruiting her for a job as an executive at Miramax Films working in production in Los Angeles. Jill was hired based on merit and her excellent work of over two years as a young development executive working with Woods Entertainment (prior to her time at Addis Wechsler).

Rose’s most recent round of press to promote her book has included new stories involving Jill. The constant press attention Rose has garnered in print and on national TV led to Harvey Weinstein releasing two documents. One of these was an email that Jill wrote to him months prior to the first New York Times piece coming out, and at his request. In this email, Jill offered the truth based on what she remembers Rose telling her about the Sundance account. In the face of Rose’s continued and embellished accusations last week, Harvey took it upon himself to release the email without her consent.

Five years ago, Jill suffered a manic episode. Anyone familiar with bipolar disorder knows that it is a cruel and vicious disease. With the help of doctors, her family and friends, Jill rebounded. Jill had fought to put her life back together. After a long job search, she was in negotiations to run the production division for a new entertainment company.

Seeing her name in headlines again and again, as part of one person’s attempt to gain more attention for her personal cause, along with Harvey’s desperate attempt to vindicate himself, was devastating for her. It broke Jill, who was just starting to get her life back on track. What makes Rose’s inaccurate accusations and insinuations against Jill ironic was that she was the first person who stood up on Rose’s behalf, and alerted her bosses to the horrific experience which Rose suffered. Twenty years ago, as a very junior person in a management company hierarchy, Jill exhibited her integrity in doing the right thing — she raised the red flag with the heads of her firm. In the face of inappropriate behavior, Jill handled the situation appropriately.

Hers is one of the only stories that has stayed consistent over time as we watch other media reported tales morph to beget further attention.

While journalists serve an important role in exposing predatory behavior, we are seeing irresponsible choices and an addiction to sensationalism which leads to inconsistent storytelling. The media is a powerful tool not to be taken lightly. Most individuals would be horrified to have their name spotlighted in a major international news story — let alone their photograph. We cannot forget that the media is a fearsome tool which cannot be used indiscriminately or even inadvertently to create further victims.

There is a responsibility when using a platform to accurately expose criminals, predators, mistruths and misdeeds while protecting the actual truth of third parties. 

As we collectively seek to take action in an effort to right the wrongs so brazenly and inhumanely repeated for a generation, we must not forget one simple truth: Words have power. While we illuminate the dark corners for hidden truths, we must remember that what we say, particularly in the media, can have just as much impact if not more than our actions. We must ask more of ourselves, and of each other. We must take a moment to consider the ramifications and consequences of what we say and what we do. 

Words matter.

Someone’s life may depend on it."

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From The Hollywood Reporter: "In the arena of unexpected IP, the Bad Moms film franchise could soon find itself translated into reality TV.

"Fox is in early development stages of a Bad Moms unscripted series. The network is working with feature distributor STX Entertainment, which is producing the project. There's not too many details as of yet, but it will take the film's premise of imperfect parents and shift the focus to real-life moms.

"Bad Moms, starring Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn was a sleeper hit in 2016 and sparked the 2017 sequel Bad Moms Christmas. The pair grossed a combined worldwide box office total of $314 million.

"The project is being executive produced by STX chief creative officer, unscripted and alternative programming, Jason Goldberg, and prolific unscripted producer Brant Pinvidic (My Cat From Hell, Bar Rescue).

"The possibilities of tweaking the source material to work for reality are many, much of them veering more towards docuseries than the kind of unscripted Fox typically airs. The bulk of its alternative roster, be it the recently renewed The Four or the ongoing culinary-focused Hell's Kitchen and MasterChef, are traditional competition series."

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"The Disney streaming service is beginning to crystallize, and Deadline can provide some details of the initial slate. The studio has been conducting meetings within the creative community to give a sense of its new OTT service that will launch in fall 2019. Perhaps not surprisingly at this point, there was no mention of how the assets of 21st Century Fox will fit into the new service.

"A team of Disney creative executives are doing the barnstorming, headed by OTT programming chief Agnes Chu. Chu’s experience includes working for ABC creating original content for digital platforms, working for Bob Iger during the opening of Shanghai Disney Resort and the relaunch of the Star Wars franchise, and most recently in franchise development at Walt Disney Imagineering. She’s surrounded by a team of execs that include Sean Bailey (expected to head up all Disney live-action family film), Tendo Nagendo (expected to slide into Bailey’s current post), Sam Dickerman and Louie Provost.

"Here’s how it will work. The OTT platform, whose price point wasn’t mentioned, will start with a domestic service only, and then expand overseas. There will be no R-rated films, and the programming will be consistent with the Disney brand. The R-rated stuff will go on Hulu. The plan now is to leave the various Marvel series where they are, which means Netflix will hang onto its superhero inventory.

"The goal in the first year is to generate four to five original movies, and five TV series for the streaming service. Latter will cost between $25 million-$35 million for 10 episodes, but an exceptionally ambitious series could have a budget cap of $100 million for that 10-episode season.

"Here are some of the priority movie projects I heard about:

Don Quixote, from a Billy Ray script; Lady and the TrampThe Paper MagicianStargirl, to be directed by Julia Hart; and Togo, to be directed by Ericson Core.

In post-production and bound for the streaming service are the Mark Waters-directed Magic Camp, and the Mark Lawrence-directed Noelle with Anna Kendrick, Bill Hader and Shirley MacLaine.

Priority development projects include 3 Men and a Baby; Sword and the Stone; and Timmy Failure, the latter of which has Spotlight director Tom McCarthy in the creative mix.

On the TV side the inaugural streaming site slate includes High School Musical, an animated Monsters Inc series; a Marvel live-action title, and a Star Wars-branded title."

Per EW, "[i]n a rare moment of talking about his personal life, George Clooney opens up to David Letterman about his wife, Amal Clooney, and their twins on this week’s episode of Netflix’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.

"In the clip above, Clooney talks about how his purpose in life has changed in recent years — it’s now 'not you,' as Letterman phrases it. 'I have to say, before I had the twins, I felt that about her. I felt that I met someone who I would absolutely trade my life for. I met someone that her life meant more to me than my life, and I’d never had that experience before.'

"Clooney’s revealing interview follows in the footsteps of Letterman’s first guest, 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. Upcoming guests include Malala Yousafzai, Jay-Z, Tina Fey, and Howard Stern.

"The next episode of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman begins streaming on Netflix February 9. Watch the clip from Clooney’s interview above."