Monday February 12, 2018

28M tuned in to watch the Opening Ceremonies on Friday.

And congratulations to 17 year-old Red Gerard for winning the first Olympic Gold Medal for the US this weekend.

Season 13 of American Dad premieres tonight.

Deepest condolences to comedian Rob Delaney.

Rest in peace Reg Cathey.

I watched Here and Now on HBO last night.  Eh.  It's ok.  I'll give it one more episode and if it doesn't grab me from the jump, I'm likely out.

The voices behind Showtime's Our Cartoon President.

"Four weeks into its initial seven-episode run, WE tv has renewed hit docuseries Love After Lockup for an expanded 10-episode second season. It’s slated for premiere in 2019. Love After Lockup, which focuses on couples who found love when one partner was behind bars, has grown its audience each week following its premiere. The docuseries is up 86 percent among women 25-54 and 62 percent among adults 25-54 in Live+3, making it the fastest-growing new cable series this year, according to WE tv and Nielsen. From the producers of 90 Day FiancéLove After Lockup follows six couples who share the emotional journey of being united for the first time after years of supervised visits, recorded phone calls, and handwritten letters, as they transition from love with one partner behind bars to daily life together and, maybe, a trip to the marriage altar. The series introduced the couples as they prepared for the big release day – and an even bigger wedding day. As most of these couples have never had unsupervised contact with one another, viewers watched as they experienced several 'firsts' including dates, meeting the family and other nerve-wracking, intimate moments."

New from TLC: "On three-part series Hear Me, Love Me, See Me, three potential male suitors will don body cameras and go on dates with an eligible bachelorette participating from the comfort of her couch, TheWrap has learned exclusively. Oh, she’ll be sitting next to Step By Step star Christine Lakin, who hosts the show. Over the course of just one day, a young woman will “meet” three single men through their live-streamed point of view and as much two-way conversation as the two can handle. She’ll get to see everything they can, and talk directly to them — but neither will see what the other person looks like. At the end of the day, the woman must decide who has won her heart based solely on lifestyle, personality and emotional chemistry. After making her final decision, she will meet all three men face-to-face, and only then is it revealed to her which man she chose. The new couple will go on a date and determine if they truly do connect."

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Per Deadline, "Facebook has given a ten-episode straight-to-series order to a half-hour female-driven dramedy, starring and executive produced by Elizabeth Olsen. The untitled series (fka Widow), which will run on streaming platform Facebook Watch, was created and written by Kit Steinkellner (Z: The Beginning of Everything), with Switched at Birth creator Lizzy Weiss on board as showrunner and James Ponsoldt (Master of None) set to executive produce and direct multiple episodes, including the pilot. The show hails from Big Beach TV and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.

"The Kit Steinkellner/Elizabeth Olsen dramedy, which had been in the works for awhile, is among the first high-end series ordered by Facebook as the social media juggernaut is making a push in premium original content. The project, written on spec by playwright Steinkellner, had been originally set up at Showtime. Its premise is not being revealed but Olsen is believed to be playing a young widow dealing with grief while reconnecting with relationships from her past. YouTube Red has a similarly themed half-hour pilot, Widow. 

"In addition to Olsen, Weiss and Ponsoldt, the series will also be executive produced by Robin Schwartz, Marc Turtletaub and Peter Saraf for Big Beach TV, and Cynthia Pett, Brad Petrigala, and Jon Liebman for Brillstein Entertainment Partners. Big Beach TV, a subsidiary of independent film powerhouse Big Beach, will serve as the studio. Emmy-winning casting director Avy Kaufman (The Night Of, Damages, The Alienist, Life of Pi) is casting the series.

“'I couldn’t be prouder of the group we have brought together for this show,' Olsen said. 'Kit’s story has been near and dear to me for years and I can’t wait to share our dark, funny, and complicated show with the world.'“

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From The Hollywood Reporter: "For Takeshi Kovacs, the future is an uncertain prospect indeed.

"The protagonist of Netflix's ambitious new science fiction series Altered Carbon, from the mind of showrunner Laeta Kalogridis and starring Joel Kinnaman as a time- and body-displaced mercenary turned pseudo-detective, has more life in him yet, based on the events of the Richard K. Morgan novel series on which the show is based. Will we ever see what's next in his life? That's another question entirely.

"In the world of Altered Carbon, humanity has access to a technological advancement that effectively allows for eternal life. Souls are contained within devices called 'stacks,' which can be transferred into an endless amount of different bodies, now known as 'sleeves.' The first season of the series sees a man of Japanese and Eastern European descent waking up in a completely different body, several centuries after his most recent death. This man, Takeshi Kovacs, sets off on a mission to solve the murder of a fantastically wealthy individual named Laurens Bancroft (James Purefoy), and by the end of the season, the mission is accomplished — some deeply personal emotional wounds notwithstanding.

"Unlike so many other shows of a similar size, Altered Carbon ends its first season with a significant amount of closure. Given the finality of the narrative, what's next for Takeshi Kovacs? Of course, should Netflix stick strictly to Richard K. Morgan's script, there are two full novels worth of story material to adapt in the future: Broken Angels and Woken Furies, the final two entries in the Kovacs series. With that in mind, and with the ending of season one in mind as well, here's what we're wondering as we ponder a possible season two:

1. Will it even exist?

It's the first and most important question on the board, given how season one wraps, and given how much was invested in creating the first season to begin with — time, money and otherwise. By the end of the Netflix series' ten episode run, the core mystery has been solved. Kovacs has found the answers he was set out to seek, with very few loose ends left hanging. If Altered Carbon goes on ice after its extreme first season, it ends with more than its fair share of closure. With that said, two additional books in Richard K. Morgan's novel trilogy exist, meaning there's plenty of material to mine should Netflix proceed with a second season. Given the streaming service's track record of renewing most of its original series for second seasons, the smart bet is that we haven't seen the last of Takeshi Kovacs. Speaking of which...

2. What's next for Takeshi Kovacs?

Given the premise of Altered Carbon, characters can and do exist across multiple different bodies — or "sleeves," using the show's parlance. The sleeve Kovacs wields for most of the first season, played by Joel Kinnaman, is returned to its original owner, Ryker, by the end of the tenth episode. Viewers watch as Kovacs walks off into the proverbial sunset, his next moves unknown, and his new sleeve equally mysterious. If Altered Carbon returns, it will almost certainly feature Takeshi Kovacs once again — and if it sticks to the source material, it will almost certainly include a new actor in the role of Kovacs. Indeed, it's now known that Joel Kinnaman signed a one-year deal for Altered Carbon, which means it's time to start wondering who could replace the House of Cards and The Killing alum as "the Last Envoy."

3. Who else will return?

Beyond Kovacs, which other characters in the world of Altered Carbon should we expect to see in a second season? Again, so many of the faces introduced in season one walked away with resolution: the reunited Elliot family as one example, as well as the reunited Ryker (Kinnaman) and Ortega (Martha Higareda) as another. It's a wrap on the Bancrofts, too, as much as one wants to see them feast on their just desserts in a second season. For others, returning for season two would require coming back from "real death," including tragically deceased virtual hotelier Poe (Chris Conner), and antagonist Reileen (Dichen Lachman). In both of those cases, one can imagine work-arounds, whether it's another Poe program, or Rei having a back-up plan for her stack given her vast resources. What's more, Rei factors into Kovacs' back-story, which means there's plenty of reason to believe we could see Lachman in a second season, as well as Will Yun Lee as the original Kovacs in flashback form. What's more…

4. Is Quellcrist Falconer still alive?

Despite her apparent demise centuries earlier, the revolutionary played by Renée Elise Goldsberry might still be alive — at least, that's what Rei suggests toward the end of season one. Quellcrist provides the closing narration for the season, adding further fuel to the suggestion that her stack is still intact somewhere in the Altered Carbon universe. Even if she's truly dead, death was not enough to stop Kovacs from seeing visions of the love of his life throughout the first season of the show. With that in mind, few series regulars stand a better chance at a return trip to Altered Carbon than Goldsberry.

5. Are you prepared for an alien invasion?

If not, then you're unprepared for Altered Carbon season two, assuming it sticks to the books. The second entry in Richard K. Morgan's Takeshi Kovacs trilogy is called "Broken Angels," and it takes place decades after the events of Altered Carbon, with Kovacs embroiled in a new crisis involving an ancient civilization with ties to Mars. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, series visual effects supervisor Everett made it clear that the "elder technology" that fuels so much of the Altered Carbon world has already been teased out: "The elder tech and getting into that — who the elders are — we sort of hint at it. In fact, you see an elder artifact hanging on a wall in the last episode, the skeletal remains of an elder. Getting into that in the next seasons should be interesting."

6. Are you prepared for more action?

The first season of Altered Carbon was positively packed with violence, with every single episode featuring at least one major action sequence. Believe it or not, it's entirely possible that season two will escalate the action considerably, as "Broken Angels" ditches the neo-noir aesthetic that defines the first iteration of Altered Carbon, in favor of a story centered on space marines and mercenaries. It's a crude and imperfect example, but think of it as similar to the leap from Alien to Aliens

7. When will we re-sleeve?

Assuming Altered Carbon returns for a second season, when should we expect to see it? Given the long road Laeta Kalogridis and the rest of the Altered Carbon team traveled in order to bring the first season to life — and given the recent trend for blockbuster shows to take more than a year off between seasons (i.e. Game of ThronesWestworld, and even Netflix's very own Stranger Things) — it feels likely we won't see hide, hair nor stack from Altered Carbon for quite some time… if not quite centuries, as it might take within the show's universe."

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Per EW, "[j]ust three episodes into Celebrity Big Brother and so much has already happened. Omarosa opened up about her time in the White House (leading the bizarre sight of a Celebrity Big Brother question at a White House press briefing), the ladies bragged about forming the first women’s alliance that would actually stick together all the way to the end… only to then be seen scheming against each other before the week was up, and Chuck Liddell became the first player to be evicted from the house.

"We went to the circus-master herself, host Julie Chen, to get her take on Omarosa’s comments and what else has gone down in the house so far.

Okay, let’s get right into it. Who has impressed you the most so far in the house?
Shannon has impressed me. I mean a 16-letter word?!?! But she needs to reel it in a bit. Too aggressive. And not sure if her tears are real or strategy. Reminds me of another famous poker/B.B. player…hello? VANESSA!!!

And what about the flip side of that? Who needs to step up their game, Julie?
Metta. Does he know he’s on Big Brother? And has he ever seen the show? Apparently not. That being said, he makes me laugh! There is a giant childlike sweet quality about him. Quite frankly, he doesn’t care if he wins or loses competitions or even the game. That has to be something to be admired. When you don’t care, people can flock to you and give you more power than you deserve. Maybe that’s his strategy. But I don’t think so. I think he just lives in his own world and I’m good with that. He is fun to watch because of it. Btw, Mark McGrath needs to step up his game too but he probably won’t. Watching him so far, I just don’t think it’s in his nature. But he is super likable and seems like a straight up person and I like that. But it’s also what might cost him this game. We shall see.

We saw Omarosa talk to Ross, lamenting her time working in the White House and saying how “bad” the situation was and how she was “haunted by tweets every single day.” How much of that do you believe she really means and how much of it is her playing the game?
I think Omarosa, for the most part, believes what she told Ross about the White House and the tweets, but I think she exaggerated a bit. Haunted? That’s a powerful, strong word. Maybe disturbed… but haunted? She knows what she’s doing by using that word: causing just enough alarm to get a lot of attention on her and it makes her seem really concerned about our country which I am sure she is. The tears were probably real tears but the cause for them might be more about how she feels about herself being on the receiving end of so much negativity from former friends and much of the black community? Just a guess on my part. I think she also has an ax to grind because she was humiliated when she was fired from the White House. At the time, they referred to it as a resignation. But at the White House press briefing a few days ago, Raj Shah referred to her exit as a firing. I don’t know if that conversation was part of playing the B.B. game; I think it was just her using the platform she has now with cameras on her 24/7 to serve her own purpose outside of the house. She wants to sell books when she gets out. She has already announced she is writing a book and will tell her story of what she saw in the White House. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

In the premiere, we heard the ladies talking about how they would be the first ever female alliance to stick together, and then 48 hours later they were already scheming against each other. What happened?!?
What happened was the game! Egos. Hurt feelings. Insecurity. Thirst for power. Feeling drunk with power. Paranoia. I don’t think it has to do women not being able to support other women. It’s just human nature and the game colliding and bringing out people’s worst insecurities. It brings out people’s fear of being discounted, ignored, humiliated, manipulated, and disrespected.

Finally, the jury this season will not be sequestered and gets to watch all the episodes before voting. How does that impact things, including what people say in the diary room, since that ultimately cost Danielle Reyes the game back in season 3?
All the celebrities know when someone gets evicted, that person gets to go home and see everything. And they know they are a juror. So it’s not like they are unaware their actions in the house — including DR sessions — can’t be seen by the jurors. They’ve been warned. But you know human nature, egos are often the downfall of man (and woman)."

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"Cazzie David — the much buzzed-about comedian daughter of Larry David — will soon be following her dad to TV and is being hyped as the 'next Lena Dunham.'

"Sources tell Page Six there’s a bidding war to bring Cazzie’s hip Web series Eighty-Sixed to the small screen.

"A Hollywood insider says that Hulu and Amazon are interested in developing her series as a TV project, and that there have been meetings with HBO — the home of Larry’s Curb Your Enthusiasm.

"Cazzie, 23, created YouTube series Eighty-Sixed with friend Elisa Kalani, and it has been called a Curb Your Enthusiasm for millennials.

"The series streamed with eight episodes last year and outlets such as the Atlantic enthused, 'The still under-the-radar series wryly comments on narcissistic, social-media-obsessed millennial life by following Cazzie David’s character, Remi, as she recovers from a breakup (hence the title).'

"HBO — which is searching for the next female voice of a generation — previously found gold in Web shows it has transformed into cable fare, including Issa Rae’s Insecure and the pot-dealing comedy High Maintenance. The channel has also picked up the Web series Brown Girls from Fatimah Asghar and Samantha Bailey. Comedy Central found its hit Broad City on YouTube, and it recently snapped up a pilot from Web comic Franchesca Ramsey.

"An HBO source said they were not currently 'in the mix' for Cazzie while Hulu and Amazon didn’t respond to us.

"Cazzie has also made headlines for her relationship with Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson, which, in millennial style, has been far too intimately and copiously chronicled on Instagram.

"Meanwhile — and likely the cause for her relationship issues with Pete — Cazzie is still happy living with her famously neurotic dad. She wrote in InStyle that, even though Larry isn’t sick or dying, 'I’m living at home as long as I can because I want to spend as much time as possible with my dad before he dies.'”