Wednesday March 14, 2018

ABC has renewed The Bachelor, Dancing with the Stars and America’s Funniest Home Videos along with a show you've likely never seen called Child Support, with Ricky Gervais and Fred Savage.

Starz has renewed Power for a 6th season.

Here's a list of the most 15 expensive TV shows of all-time.  I'll save you the clicks and get to the top 5:

5. Game of Thrones
4. Friends
3. The Get Down
2. ER
1. The Crown

I still need to watch Sneaky Pete, but with the NCAA Tournament looming, it's going to take some time.

The Voice killed American Idol the first time the two singing comps faced one another head to head.

Why Katy Perry can't save Idol.

ABC and PEOPLE are teaming up for The Story of the Royals, a four-hour documentary that is set to premiere in August 2018. The series will feature "interviews with palace insiders and capture the history of the monarchy extending into this spring with a new royal baby and Prince Harry‘s marriage to Meghan Markle."

Take a look at what Nick Nolte looks like these days.

"Julie Bowen's estranged husband wants her to pay up in their divorce case. Scott Phillips filed legal docs and said he wants her to pay spousal support. That could be a hefty payout for Scott if he gets it -- Julie is reportedly making $500k per episode on Modern Family for seasons 9 and 10. In the docs -- obtained by TMZ -- Scott said he also wants joint physical and legal custody of their 3 kids. But the biggy here is spousal support. The Modern Family star is raking in tons of dough off the show, and there's also endorsement deals, including from Neutrogena. Forbes estimated she made about $10 million in 2016, alone."

"Ellen DeGeneres is teaming with It Olympic athlete Adam Rippon on a TV project. A source exclusively told Page Six TV: 'He’ll be producing a reality show with Ellen. The details are "TBD," but they are partnering.' The insider added, 'He gave his first televised interview after the Olympics to Ellen, and now they’re going into business together. During the Olympics, she reached out to him and had to meet him.' Another source told us Rippon may also regularly appear as a correspondent on DeGeneres’ daytime show. 'He’s definitely coming back …They don’t know how many episodes or in what capacity, but it’ll be more than one show. It hasn’t been totally ironed out, but it’ll be a semi-regular appearance.'”


Per TechCrunch, "[w]ith TV programming now spread out across a variety of services beyond traditional network TV, it can be hard to know what to watch next and what’s popular, given how much great content there is to choose from. An app called TV Time is helping with that, by allowing TV fans to track shows they’re watching, discover new programs and socialize with fellow fans following each episode. Now the company is doubling down on its ability to help you find your next show with the launch of personalized recommendations.

"Your recommendations are based on the app’s understanding of dozens of signals, including things like which shows you watched, which you binged through, those your friends watch, those where you engaged in the show’s community, those you’ve favorited, and more.

"You can additionally filter your recommendations by network, status (ended, upcoming, etc.), genre, service where the show is available and other factors.

"What makes TV Time’s recommendations unique is that they’re based on your viewing behavior across all of television, not just a single service like Netflix.

“'There’s an incredible amount of quality TV being made today — some of the budgets are insane — and because all these different platforms are doing it, it becomes more confusing for the consumer to find out where to watch, to remember where they left off and to remember when the premiere is,' says TV Time COO Dan Brian. 'It’s hard to wrangle it all.'

"Similarly, figuring out what to watch next is also difficult because there are so many ways to track what content you like, but none of that data is currently available across platforms. That is, Netflix doesn’t know what you like on Amazon or HBO, and so on.

“'We took the 8 billion episodes of TV that had been tracked in the app — episodes that are from every platform that exists,' Brian explains. 'And because we have that 360 degree view of what people watch, we should be able to make the best recommendations to you as to what to watch next.'

"TV Time began its life as WhipClip, a source for a legal collection of GIFs from favorite shows, before pivoting to become a social TV community, following its acquisition of TVShow Time in December 2016.

"This is an area startups in the past tried to enter, as with GetGlue (acquired by i.TV half a decade ago), or social TV pioneer Miso, which shut down in 2014. Arguably, these companies arrived too soon — before the cord-cutting trend gave way to dozens of streaming services and à la carte options galore for building out your own personal bundle of TV.

"While in the past, all of America seemingly watched the most popular TV shows together at the same time, finding someone today who likes a show you watch is less common. And to find them watching it at the same time as you is even rarer, thanks to the end of 'appointment television' for almost everything except for a small number of breakthrough hits like Game of Thrones.

"That makes an app like TV Time feel like a place where you can really find 'your people' — whether it’s fellow sci-fi lovers, reality show junkies or whatever else you’re into.

"Beyond its new recommendations, you can use the app to track favorite shows, find out when shows are returning or discover what’s popular among the community, and more.

"On your profile, you can set shows as favorites, track your personal TV viewing data and see how your posts to TV Time’s show communities are doing. You also can follow friends to see which shows are being watched by people you know.

"After marking an episode as 'watched.' you can then hop into the community to view the reactions, which are shared in the form of GIFs, photos, videos, memes and more. The app makes meme-building easy, thanks to an included set of screencaps that can be mixed with other content, then shared to the community.

"You also can record a video reaction — something that’s a popular activity on YouTube, and available in more of short-form format on TV Time.

"There’s a surprising amount of community engagement, too.

"A show may have a hundred or more reactions posted by fans, many with hundreds of likes. And a buzzy show like The Walking Dead may have hundreds of video reactions alone after a new episode premieres.

"The company says there are now more than a million people using the app daily, where they’re able to track any one of more than 60,000 shows and more than 8 billion TV episodes. Users check in with TV Time some 45 million times per month, and engage more than half a million times by posting comments, photos, GIFs, videos and more.

"As TV Time improves these recommendations in the weeks ahead, it will also begin to show your 'TV Time score' — how well your interests match with a given piece of content — in all of the show pages in the app.

"With its newfound ability to make personalized show suggestions, TV Time hopes to attract more casual TV fans, and eventually aims to sell its data on what people are watching to help inform TV producers and networks which shows to fund next, as well as provide competitive insights, among other things.

“'But we’ll never sell individual profiles of people,' Brian stresses. “We’re working with partners on aggregate, anonymized data about what the trends are,' he says.

"Today TV Time generates revenue through a premium tier, which has tens of thousands of paying users. But this will likely be dropped in time as its data business scales up.

"TV Time is a free download on iOS and Android."


Make this happen!  "When the cast of Will & Grace reunited for a new batch of episodes late last year, Nick Offerman got to see up close and personal what it feels like to get the band back together, so to speak, on a beloved sitcom. Not only is his wife, Megan Mullally, one of the four stars of that show, but he also made a guest appearance as Jackson Boudreaux, the Bad Boy of Bread.

"Offerman sat down with The Daily Beast in Austin, Texas, this week to talk about his new film, Hearts Beat Loud, which had just screened the night before at SXSW. We asked him whether that Will & Grace experience made him think any differently about the possibility of a Parks and Recreation reunion.

“'They’re bringing every show back now, maybe they’ll want to bring our show back,' he says. 'If that were ever to occur, it would be thanks to brains much larger than mine. Brains that I trust with my life. And so, if Mike Schur and Amy Poehler want to bring the show back and they think it’s a good idea, I will certainly sign on.'

“'I will eat more meat at their behest,' Offerman, who looks remarkably more fit these days than he did when he was playing the libertarian bacon-and-scotch-loving Ron Swanson opposite Poehler’s Leslie Knope.

"In the three years since the show aired its simultaneously heart-wrenching and hilarious finale, its cast members have only gotten more and more famous. Poehler, Aubrey Plaza, Aziz Ansari and others are far bigger stars today than they were when the show premiered back in 2009.

"And then there’s Chris Pratt, who was more or less completely unknown when he started playing the dim-witted Andy Dwyer, and is now a top box office draw thanks to the Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic movies.  

“'Pratt will come back only as a poster,' Offerman jokes. 'A poster and a voiceover,' he adds, letting out a giggle that is reminiscent of Swanson’s sillier moments. 'Maybe we’ll make it post-apocalyptic.'

"For his part, Pratt said in 2016, 'I would never rule it out. There’s jobs I’ve done in the past where I could safely say I would never do that again, but Parks and Rec is not one of them.'

"Like Arrested Development, which struggled to get its large and successful cast in the same room to film its fourth season on Netflix, Offerman thinks a reunion would be incredibly “tough to schedule.”

“'But I don’t know, every case is different,' he continues. He predicts that the relative ratings success of revivals like Will & Grace are 'going to engender a rash of terrible-idea remakes,' adding, 'probably some will be good, unexpectedly, and some will suck.'

“'I put my trust in the great minds that created the show,' Offerman says. 'If they have an idea that they think is valid then I’ll throw my cause in with theirs.'”


If you're not watching Atlanta, you should be. Courtesy of The Village Voice: "Strip clubs often have to strike a compromise. By law, some can serve alcohol if the dancers wear at least a G-string. Some clubs with completely nude dancers can’t legally serve alcohol. Such restrictions don’t exist in Atlanta: At Magic City, patrons can buy drinks as dancers get 'asshole-naked,' as owner Lil Magic once put it. As a result, the city’s best-known strip clubs have become full-fledged tourist stops, and its hip-hop stars their cultural ambassadors. 'It’s just the fact that I can throw money on your ass, and she likes it,' says Magic City’s DJ Esco, who has also produced for and toured with Future, in a GQ documentary.

"As for other out-of-towners in this social media age, the Atlantastrip club post isn’t quite as cliché as the room service Instagram pic, though it is getting close.

"By the time Donald Glover and Co. visit Onyx in the March 15 episode of Atlanta’s return, billed Robbin’ Season, the trip feels long overdue, particularly for a show about a rising rapper and his manager-cousin in the city. Making it rain has long been mainstream, but the FX show presents a more novel sight: average Atlanta residents, reckoning with what often gets treated as a national rite of passage.

"Atlanta’s calling card has been the incorporation of fantastical elements into its everydayness, like the existence of a black Justin Bieber. Yet its characters’ constant debates over what they can and cannot afford grounds the show. 'Welcome to Atlanta, man. All you need is some money,' Alfred, known as Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Henry), tells his cousin Earn (Glover) in Money Bag Shawty, the strip club episode. But Earn knows that already. In the first season, he refuses even to consider an office security job, as suggested by Van (Zazie Beetz), the mother of his young child. From there, as Paper Boi’s manager, Earn tries to sneak soda into a water cup at Zesto Drive-In. When he learns that the restaurant he chose for a date no longer does happy hour, he has Alfred wire him $20. He sleeps in a storage unit until Robbin’ Season, when he gets kicked out.

"In Money Bag Shawty, Earn finally receives a check large enough for Van to say, 'You’re gonna get us robbed.' (She ends up being right, though that doesn’t happen by way of stickup, as with the previous two episodes.) First, Earn tries to buy VIP movie tickets for The Fate of the Furious. Then, he and Van head to a hookah bar, despite Earn’s complaints of hookah being 'fruit-flavored smoke.' Both times he tries to pay with a hundred-dollar bill and gets rejected because of 'racism,' in his words. (An older white man pays with a hundred-dollar bill once Earn and Van exit the theater line, while the hookah bar owner is convinced that Earn’s bill is counterfeit.) But he becomes desperate to spend it — to show that he has made it. After some decision fatigue, Earn and Van pick up their friends in a white stretch limo. They head to Onyx, the most distinct Atlanta landmark the show has featured since J.R. Crickets in season one.

"Compared to Magic City, Onyx is a sprawling strip amusement park. It features mirrored walls and additional poles around the runway’s perimeter, even by the restrooms. But patrons must pay so, so much to play. And unlike other pop culture depictions of Atlanta strip clubs, where money never seems a problem, Glover’s show makes us painfully aware of the cost. An all-seeing DJ calls out Earn for not tipping a stripper he merely glances at. When Earn offers a few bills, the DJ demands more. This scene may as well be an homage to the loudmouthed DJ Nando: Before he died in 2014, Nando took residence at Magic City, Kamal’s 21, and Onyx, boosting local artists like Migos while coercing superstars like Jeezy to spend another $5,000, $10,000, $20,000 more with their wings orders. (To get a sense of Nando’s technique, see Jeezy’s former group U.S.D.A.’s Throw This Money video.)

"That DJ, a $20 lap dance that lasts three seconds, the outrageous 20 percent transaction fee for single bills — all this is parody. Yet these gags will still feel true to those who’ve tried to go to Atlanta’s brand-name strip clubs and blend in with the regulars.

"Lil Magic once described the aftermath of a good night as 'the eaten bone of a hot wing on top of the money, or a stripper heel that is off.… Plenty of bottles and empty cups, that’s the American dream.' But Earn isn’t Jeezy, Kanye West, Kevin Hart, or Michael Jordan — the celebrities who’ve flocked to Atlanta strip clubs when they are in town. He isn’t established enough in the local hip-hop industry to afford business meetings at these establishments. Earn is of a generation who is more likely to rent than own a home if they can scrape their way out of their parents’ basement. He lives in Georgia at a time when the state’s income inequality continues to grow.

"Glover has said that he didn’t even make his first trip to a strip club until he was in his twenties, when he broke his foot and postponed his first major tour as rapper Childish Gambino.

“'I knew what it was,' he told Esquire, 'and I also didn’t have that type of money.'"


Per EW, "Michael Sokolove didn’t know his acclaimed 2013 book Drama High, a recounting of his high school experience with legendary theater teacher Lou Volpe, would become a major TV series. But he wasn’t exactly shocked by it, either. 'It’s awful to say yes,' he cracks when asked if he expected the development. 'I knew it would be of interest … [But] what’s really unusual is for it to ever get anywhere. I never thought it would get to the finish line because that almost never happens.'

"The book was optioned right out of the gate by Sony, a contract which the studio even renewed, but an adaptation never got anywhere after two years. Interest remained high, though, and it was the dogged pursuit of the rights by producer Jeffrey Seller (Hamilton) which brought Sokolove’s story to the screen. Seller worked with Sokolove on bringing the project to NBC, where Jason Katims — who knows a thing or two about inspirational high school stories — signed on as writer and co-developer. Next thing you know, Rise was born.

"Drama High takes place in Levittown, Pennsylvania, a former steel town racked by structural economic changes, and traces Volpe’s remarkable efforts as a public high school theater director to transform his students’ lives. Sokolove was one such student, turning his experience into a beloved book, but as he reminds us, there are thousands like him who were encouraged to be creative and passionate in a place where they felt surrounded by despair and decay.

"Sokolove admits it’ll be strange to see part of his life story now play out before millions of viewers on a weekly basis. But he also believes the book’s message provides a particularly vital commentary in today’s cultural climate. 'I was writing this at a time when it was just becoming clear to people that some of these towns were really emptying out — not of people, but of opportunity,' he explains, referencing his nuanced portrait of the kind of community that now tends to be stereotyped. 'And it was before Donald Trump.' The book also makes a powerful argument for public arts education — and given the funding cuts supported by the current administration, it’s one Sokolove says is worth hearing. '[Nobody] who went to school was inspired by trying to get a standardized test score,' he explains. 'What Lou shows so clearly is that education is still about passion and inspiration.'

"Sokolove’s book has also inadvertently become part of some controversy, with critics accusing Rise of straight-washing; Volpe is a gay man who came out late in life, as Drama High explores, but Rise — which takes other liberties with the story as well — envisions the character as a straight married man, played by Josh Radnor. (Katims explained that decision here.)  'There’s not a whole lot written about gay men of Lou’s generation — who had a family and came out of the closet,' Sokolove says. 'When Lou started as a teacher, there were no out gay teachers in my school district and few anywhere.'

"But the author also stresses that the series is distinct from the book, and that it’s Katims’ story to tell. 'The show honors the book in a way that makes me happy,' he says when asked about the controversy. '[Katims] has the right to write characters as he wants to write them, and that’s what he did. If people have objections to that, I think they should first watch the show. I don’t think it’s okay to have strong opinions about a piece of art without having viewed it or read it.' Further, Sokolove believes, Katims’ interpretation is 'rousing' in its own way, featuring a collection of diverse and unique characters.

"Volpe has gone on a journey from public school educator to national inspirational symbol, leading Sokolove to reflect on the man he’s long idolized. The author recalls writing Drama High and struggling with the idea that Volpe perhaps wasn’t all that he made him out to be. But, he says, revisiting his youth and telling his story confirmed for Sokolove that he had it right — and that Volpe’s heroic portrait in Rise is not only justified but gratifying to see. 'Any fear I had that he wasn’t all "that," I went back and realized, "No, I’ve got the right guy,”' he gushes. 'He is all that. … He was worthy of this treatment.'"