Friday March 2, 2018

How the Scripps and Discovery executive ranks look after the latter's purchase of the former, which is set to become "official" imminently. "Kathleen Finch, currently Chief Programming, Content & Brand Officer for all six Scripps Networks brands, will become Chief Lifestyle Brands Officer for the combined company She will have management oversight of HGTV, Food Network, TLC, ID, Travel Channel, DIY Network, Cooking Channel, Discovery Life, American Heroes Channel, Destination America, Great American Country and Lifestyle Digital Studios in the U.S." Congrats to her.

Suits returns on March 28.  My suspicion is that you'll be reminded of that by me ad nauseum between now and then.

Who should be selected to be the next Bachelorette

A new season of MasterChef Junior premieres tonight.  This promo is actually pretty funny.

American Chopper star Paul Teutul filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in New York just days before the show was set to air. Teutul filed paperwork claiming that he owes close to 50 creditors $1,070,893.44 and that he was only worth $1,801,729 on Feb. 28, according to court documents obtained by Page Six. He listed that he makes $15,070.93 per month, but spends $12,612. He listed the family property at 95 Judson Road in Montgomery, NY, in his filing, claiming that he has a “fee interest” worth $1.8 million in the home. He recently put the home on the market and now it is in foreclosure. He also listed three cars, 'four dogs' and 'one old desktop' as part of his assets. Teutul claimed that there is a $32,000 judgment against him and that he owes $151,230.98 to the Town of Crawford, NY, for taxes as well. He also needs to pay $21,300 to different credit card companies. He has medical bills totaling over $2,000, but it is unclear what procedures he has had done. Teutul, 68, listed his occupation as a 'steel fabricator' for the Orange County Choppers with a salary of $13,398.67 per month. He did not list any television work. Teutul rose to fame on the Discovery Channel show that aired from 2003 to 2010. The show’s revival [returned last night]."

If you didn't watch Atlanta last night, get on board!  Here's a review to push you over in the edge in the event you're wavering.

Learn a lot more about Atlanta's Zazie Beetz.

A look inside Chip and Joanna Gaines' new restaurant. We can shake these 2, can we?

The answer is no and there's no end in sight!

"TLC’s Summer 2018 slate planning just came to a head: The Discovery-owned cable channel has ordered Dr. Pimple Popper to series. The upcoming show is a series adaptation of Dr. Sandra Lee’s one-hour special, which aired on the network on Jan. 3. The special’s premiere grossed out — er, was watched by — 1.2 million total viewers, and was the most-social show that evening on Facebook. This version will be more of the same: In each one-hour episode, Dr. Lee will poke, prod and squeeze in order to resolve some unusual dermatological cases, as well as transform the lives of her patients, per TLC. As each condition considerably affects the patients’ day-to-day lives, Dr. Lee and her team of medical assistants must bust out the syringes, scalpels and squirt-protective face masks in order to get down to business."

"The latest series from Loud TV takes a unique approach to the issue of incarceration in America. Girls Incarcerated, which launche[d] on Netflix [yester]day (March 1), is a docuseries that spotlights a female juvenile correctional facility in Madison, Indiana. It documents life inside the facility, capturing the challenges the young women face. The topic has become a hot-button issue in the unscripted world with docs such as Ava Duvernay’s 13th, and series including A&E’s 60 Days In and OWN’s Released spotlighting incarceration from different vantage points. Speaking in Netflix-friendly terms, Nick Rigg, president of ITV America-owned Loud TV, sees Girls Incarcerated as the Orange Is the New Black for a 13 Reasons Why generation. Rather than featuring adults, he felt a focus on teens would showcase a segment of the incarcerated population not often addressed. 'Unlike incarcerated adults, teens are very much still in transition,' he says. 'They can still be molded and changed. They’re not stuck in the system. There’s real hope there.'”


Per The Hollywood Reporter, "Hasan Minhaj is moving his comedy to Netflix.

"The Daily Show correspondent, who's seen his star rise considerably over the past year, is the latest in a line of funny people to set up a streaming series, though doing so makes him the first Indian-American to front a weekly comedy show. Without offering specifics, Netflix describes Minhaj's forthcoming foray as an opportunity for the comedian to explore the modern cultural and political landscapes with depth and sincerity. And in a major vote of confidence in the series and its host, the streaming giant has already committed to 32 episodes, which will roll out later this year.

"'I'm thrilled to be joining the Netflix family as the country braces for another election season — and like you, I cannot wait to find out who Putin picks this time,' Minhaj joked in a statement announcing the news Thursday.

"The California-reared stand-up is said to have produced his own pilot, which sparked a heated bidding war that included his prior home Comedy Central. That Netflix ultimately outbid the competitors speaks not only to the service's interest in Minhaj, having earned raves for his 2017 stand-up special, but also to its desire to aggressively expand its footprint in major global markets, including India. 

"'I've been a big fan of Hasan's for many years,' said Netflix's vp content Bela Bajaria, who herself is the industry's highest-ranking Indian-American executive. 'He's a phenomenal writer with a distinct point of view [and] he is a brilliant performer, who is hilarious both onstage and off. And more importantly, he isn't afraid to share his thoughtful voice and unique perspective.' 

"News of the Netflix show comes on the heels of Minhaj's breakout year, which includes a celebrated if daunting turn as the emcee of the first White House Correspondents Dinner of the Trump era, followed by that hourlong Netflix special, Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King, praised for both its humor and its originality.

"The move is another major blow to Comedy Central, which just last month lost Daily Show vet Michelle Wolf to Netflix. Minhaj, who was Jon Stewart's final hire at The Daily Show in November 2014, will make the transition this summer. Until then, he will stay put as a correspondent for host Trevor Noah. Comedy Central fans will have one more chance to catch him in 2019, when Minhaj and his sketch comedy quartet, Goatface, release an hour special."

Per Variety, "Fox will air a special containing footage of O.J. Simpson’s previously unseen interview with publisher Judith Regan, in which the disgraced football star hypothesizes about the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.

O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession? is set to air March 11 at 8 p.m. on the broadcast network. Hosted by Soledad O’Brien, the special will feature footage from Simpson’s 2006 interview with Regan, who was fired from her role at Rupert Murdoch’s HarperCollins after Regan interviewed Simpson and agreed to publish a book, If I Did It, based on the interview, in which the former Buffalo Bills running back hypothesized about how he could have killed Brown Simpson and Goldman, whose murders he had been acquitted of in 1994. HarperCollins ultimately did not publish the book. Corporate sibling fox Broadcasting shelved a special based on the interview after several affiliates told the network they would refuse to air it.

"The new special is set to air with limited commercial interruptions. It will include domestic-violence awareness PSAs and conversations between O’Brien and a panel of experts to discuss the interview.

"The Brown and Goldman families were said to have been notified by Fox if its intention to air the special. Their support is believed to have been key to Fox’s decision to move ahead with the program.

"Simpson was released from prison last year on parole after spending a decade there in relation to a Las Vegas Armed robbery.

"Fox has scheduled O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession? to air at the same time as the premiere episode of ABC’s American Idol revival."

"Fear does not exist in this dojo, but neither do manners. Cobra Kai is shaping up to be the most interesting and exciting series YouTube Red has ever done, if only for how committed it is to showing the jerk Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) has grown up to be.

"Of course, anyone who saw the original Karate Kid film knows Johnny was the worst when he was a teenager, but by the end of the film, he seemed to turn over a new leaf. The newest trailer for Cobra Kai makes it clear that's a thing of the past, though. In the short look at the series, Johnny is instilling the same lessons his sensei John Kreese (Martin Kove) did in the original.

"'Fear does not exist in this dojo, does it?' he asks. 'Pain does not exist in this dojo, does it?' That's just the beginning of Johnny's awful attitude, as it pertains to his students and his training, though.

"When a student asks, 'Hey Sensei, is there any particular way you want me to wash these windows?' Johnny replies, 'Nah, I don't give a s***.' This is in stark contrast to The Karate Kid, in which Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) used everyday tasks like waxing a car, painting a house, and sanding wood to teach Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) how to defend against attacks.

"Cobra Kai will see Zabka reunite with Macchio once more, again on different sides of the fight as Daniel mentors Johnny's son. Rounding out the cast are Courtney Henggeler (Mom), Xolo Maridueña (Parenthood), Tanner Buchanan (Designated Survivor), and Ed Asner in a guest-starring role. Cobra Kai will make its way to YouTube Red later in the year."


Per Uproxx, "[i]n A.P. Bio, Jack (Glenn Howerton) is a truly terrible teacher. Bitter over not getting tenure at Harvard and the runaway success of his rival, Jack finds himself reluctantly working at a high school in Ohio in order to lie low, lick his wounds, and plot his revenge. Viewers certainly aren’t asked to cheer for the hero (if he can even be called that) of A.P. Bio, and will more likely be left hoping that Principal Durbin (Patton Oswalt) will fire him for child endangerment at the end of every episode.

"But this is not a world inhabited by put-together, shiny people. Creator Mike O’Brien, formerly of Saturday Night Live, has created a world of chaos, with everyone keeping their mess, well, not contained at all. Howerton and Oswalt were kind enough to sit down with us at SCAD aTVfest in Atlanta to talk about what to expect from A.P. Bio, comedy in the age of Trump, and how being an asshole doesn’t give you free rein, no matter how smart you are:

A.P. Bio really has an absurdist sense of humor that’s different from a lot of other network comedies.

Glenn Howerton: Actually, that’s what I liked about it, too. [Mike O’Brien has] created his own playground. I think he’s trying to world-build in a way, right? So, he’s trying to drop you into this world which is reality, but it’s a slightly altered reality. And I think he did such a good job of presenting you with this world where you can be a little bit absurd, but still have it be grounded in the reality that we all know.

Patton Oswalt: And also, as far as the absurdity, he also shows you how a lot of the stuff that we sort of do mindlessly. If you look at it as a third person, it seems like absurdist almost dada-esque humor. Because you’re just using it to get through your day, you don’t dwell on it. And I think he’s one of those people. He has that Maria Bamford ability to take a step back from what seems like just normal filler stuff and go “Wait a minute, that’s actually kind of crazy.” And to actually look at that stuff, so that’s totally fascinating how he can do that.

I feel like the whole idea of “He’s so brilliant, but so awful” has sort of become its own genre of television in a way, so —

Oswalt: Yes!

So what sets A.P. Bio apart from other shows like that?

Howerton: I don’t know. Give me an example so I can use.

Oswalt: House. The person that’s so good at something that they almost have the leeway to be an asshole.

Howerton: Oh, I see.

Oswalt: You know what I mean?

Howerton: Well, I would say that what sets this apart is that he’s not good at teaching high school. He’s not good at it. You know what I mean? And we don’t even know really if he was a good professor at Harvard.


Oswalt: Yeah. The way that he gets fired from Harvard makes you think he might not have been that good to begin with.

Howerton: Yeah, he gets passed up for tenure. He must not have been that good. You know, I mean he’s his own worst enemy. He’s not cocky and then excels at what he does. He’s cocky and he pays the price. He’s not as good as he thinks he is, I think is more the lesson that’s being learned here.

Oswalt: If anything, he is a… it’s really interesting that you bring that up. He is a commentary on the effect of a lot of those shows on society where, if you’ve noticed, there are a lot of people that are like “I have the right to be this douche bag because I’m…” But then you realize, no, that was actually a construct. People aren’t actually that smart, and how ’bout don’t be a douche? You can do both. You can be brilliant and be nice. It doesn’t affect the brilliance at all.

Howerton: Yeah, it shows the cracks.

Oswalt: I never thought about that. That’s actually… Hmm. I did not think about that at all. That’s really cool. Fucking Uproxx, man.

Howerton: What’s another example on the show like that though? I’m honestly curious.

Oswalt: There was one a few seasons ago with Rainn Wilson called [Backstrom]…

Right, it was a cop show…

Oswalt: He was a cop in Portland…

Howerton: Oh, okay.

Yeah, it happens a lot on like detective shows, lawyer shows.

Howerton: Oh, okay. So, not necessarily comedy.

Not necessarily on comedy, but sometimes that still shows up.

Oswalt: That is a really funny thing about these dramas, which make that look very sexy and what if somebody was really like that…

In reality, it’s really not.

Oswalt: And in reality, it looks like a comedy. That’s a really cool way to look at the show. What if this is a guy who thinks he’s one of those characters —

Howerton: Right. That’s right.

Oswalt: — but in reality, if you actually see how those people… Like, House in reality would be a comedy. “I’m really glad you saved that kid. You’re still fired. You can’t treat people that way.”

Right. You can’t almost kill people dramatically all the time.

Oswalt: “We will actually work with someone less brilliant than you because we don’t have to have all these lawsuits. You’re not worth it.”

Howerton: You’re not worth it.

A lot of people talk about comedy in the age of Trump, but A.P. Bio feels really apolitical. It’s really just focused on this one slice of life instead of — and not that you shouldn’t be making a message — but at the same time, sometimes it’s nice to just watch a show and forget about everything out there.

Oswalt: And also watch a show that still reminds you… Because I think one of the dangers of the age of Trump, if you do want to call it that, is we’re losing a lot of what makes us human. It is very much and all “short attention span, blip, blip, outraged, outraged, outraged.” So a show like this… And I remember a show like Parks and Rec was like “How about let’s take 22 minutes and actually celebrate how messy it is and gorgeous it is to be human.” You know, Glenn’s character does make horrible errors in judgment and then it’s more about how do you then come back from that as a human being. That’s what I love.

Yeah, that’s a really good point. Your dynamic on the show between the two of you guys is really funny. What can people expect going forward and will the principal ever stand up for himself?

Oswalt: You know what. I can say that I don’t think Mike O’Brien believes in the state of grace aspects of sitcoms where, you know, no matter what happens on an episode of Gilligan’s Island, they are back, they’re on that island.

Howerton: Yeah.

Oswalt: They don’t reset. Things change, and statuses keep changing. Not to him and me, but between the teachers, between the students stuff changes. Like, there are a couple of really amazing episodes where you do some kind of life lesson stuff for that student and then after that episode, that character is a little bit different. The characters aren’t there to serve a character trait or one joke, and that’s what’s really cool.

Howerton: Yeah, the show is mildly serialized. And I say mildly because I really do think you could drop into the show at any time and love the episode and have fun. But for those people who stick around and watch every episode, they’re gonna be rewarded for that as well, because the thing do build. Characters do learn small lessons along the way. They do change. They do evolve to a degree. I think with a TV show, you can only evolve so much as a character before you can’t do the show anymore because it becomes a different show.

Oswalt: Self-actualization is the death of comedy.

Howerton: It is. You’re exactly right. Right, right. Yeah. We always like to use Sunny as a statement on the sort of American… What’s the term I’m looking for? American –

Oswalt: Exceptionalism?

Howerton: Yeah, exceptionalism. Oh yeah, where it basically means like sort of having an opinion about something and then refusing to ever change.

That’s too real, yeah.

Howerton: Do you know what I mean? “Because by God, this is who I am, I’m never gonna change it regardless of the evidence that’s set before me.” You know? I think that that’s great fodder for comedy, too. But I think the relationship between our characters is one of the things that’s sold me on the show from the beginning. I just thought it was so funny. But, there is an evolution to it. And I’m really excited for people to see where things go. I’m so tempted to tell people like what —

Oswalt: I know. There’s stuff that’s coming —

Howerton: I can’t.

I mean, I will turn the recorder off and you can tell me.

Howerton: No!

Oswalt: No, no. Let yourself — and I’m not being coy. There’s some actually like “Oh, so now what are they doing?”

Howerton: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

Oswalt: And also, you know getting back to Sunny, with the Dee-Dee character, I think you guys don’t get enough credit for listening to that actress and saying “No, I don’t want to be the voice of reason and the person going ‘Now guys!’ I want to be just as damaged and messed up as the rest of you.” And so on this show, there’s no character that is the voice of reason. So, even though you have moments where you’re the smartest person in the room, there are also moments where you make horrible decisions. So, everyone is damaged in a little way.

Nobody wants to be the most together person on a comedy.

Oswalt: No, but I thought Sunny should get way more credit for breaking that trope of it’s the woman that’s always the “Now guys! I’ve got to keep these guys in line!” No, there’s episodes where they’ve got to go like “What the fuck do we do with Dee-Dee?” Yeah, the trio of teachers on our show has just as many problems as me, as him. It was a nice shift."