Friday April 20, 2018

I was satisfied with the Scandal series finale last night.  It tied things up just enough IMHO.

I liked the new Stevie Wonder track as well.

Reactions from the Scandal cast to the series coming to an end.

And answers to some lingering questions from the cast.

A few more revelations from the cast, for good measure.

Why not hear what fans are saying about the series being a wrap?

Another spectacular episode of Atlanta last night.  This shows should be award-worthy for quite some time.

CBS has canceled Living Biblically.

"The Murdochs have a lot of money, and once Disney’s $52.4 billion acquisition of the bulk of 21st Century Fox goes through, Fox’s top executives can go swimming in a pool of gold coins a la Disney’s Scrooge McDuck. According to a lengthy Disney SEC filing on Wednesday, Rupert Murdoch stands to get a golden parachute of $66.7 million, with about $40 million of that coming in cash, once the mega-deal is completed."

How Al Pacino was transformed into Joe Paterno.

A first look at Sharon Horgan's (Catastrophe) new project, Motherland.

Travel Channel has named a new GM.

"Janelle Monae’s new 44-minute 'emotion picture' for Dirty Computer will premiere on MTV and BET on April 26, the companies announced. Monae’s album will be released the following day. (View the trailer here.) The film, which co-stars Tessa Thompson (Thor, Selma, Westworld)  is described in a press release as 'the story of a young woman named Jane 57821 (Janelle Monae), who is living in a totalitarian near-future society where citizens are referred to as "computers." … Dirty Computer explores humanity and what truly happens to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness when mind and machines merge, and when the government chooses fear over freedom.' It was produced by Monae and directed by Andrew Donoho and Chuck Lightning, and features collaborations with video directors Alan Ferguson, Emma Westenberg and Lacey Duke."

Tyne Daly has joined the cast of the Murphy Brown reboot.

Here's a crash course in Westworld in advance of the season 2 premiere on Sunday.

Sometimes magicians DO reveal their tricks.

James Comey's book tour isn't going well.  How could that be?

People still watch Empire?  That's still a thing?

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Per Deadline, "Paramount Network has given a 10-episode series order to First Wives Club, a half-hour comedy based on the popular 1996 film from Paramount Pictures, from Girls Trip co-writer Tracy Oliver, who’s attached to write and executive produce the series, and Paramount Television. Production is scheduled to begin in New York City this summer for a 2019 premiere.

"Paramount Network originally confirmed a pilot order for the project earlier this month. The network has now completed a deal for a series pickup. All Paramount orders so far have been straight-to-series.

"The First Wives Club series, like the film which starred Diane Keaton, Bette Midler and Goldie Hawn, will be based in New York City. It will follow a group of women — expected to be diverse — who band together after their marriages fall apart, and who find strength in their sisterhood- and of course a little revenge.

"Karen Rosenfelt (the Twilight saga, The Devil Wears Prada) is executive producing alongside Scott Rudin, who produced the First Wives Club movie that, in turn, was based on the 1992 novel by Olivia Goldsmith.

“'Tracy Oliver is a brilliant writer and the perfect visionary to bring this unforgettable story from the big screen to the small screen in a fresh and contemporary way,' said Keith Cox, President, Development and Production, Paramount Network, TV Land and CMT.

"A First Wives Club TV series reboot was originally developed with Rosenfelt and a different writer at sibling Viacom channel TV Land ,where it was picked up to pilot by Cox, who now oversees development for Paramount Network. While TV Land ultimately passed on the pilot, the project was kept alive and moved to Paramount Network, designated as Viacom’s leading scripted brand, for redevelopment, with Oliver brought in to write a new script.

"First Wives Club marks the Paramount Network’s first collaboration with sibling production company Paramount Television, whose series portfolio includes Epix’s Berlin Station, Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, USA’s Shooter and TNT’s The Alienist. Closer ties and more cooperation among the different divisions has been a key mandate at Viacom following the company’s restructuring a year ago."

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Per TheWrap, "Cheddar TV, the self-described 'post-cable' network with an emphasis on business and tech news, is set to hit Hulu later this month, the company announced on Thursday.

"The new distribution deal will bring Cheddar’s live linear network, along with morning and afternoon news briefs, to Hulu with live TV customers — which runs $40 a month.

“'Both Hulu and Cheddar are reinventing TV. We are thrilled to partner with Hulu and to bring our news to its 17 million subscribers. It’s amazing that anyone planning to watch season 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale, catching up on Atlanta, watching some Rick and Morty, or enjoying the NBA playoffs can tune to Cheddar for tech and business news, live or on demand, and on any Hulu-supported devices,' said Cheddar CEO Jon Steinberg in a statement.

"The moves come a day after Cheddar inked a deal to bring its business and general news channels to YouTube TV, as the video giant looks to beef up its live content offerings. It also comes a month after Cheddar raised $22 million to expand its international reach and launch its Snapchat channel. The network is valued at $160 million.

"Founded by Steinberg, the former Buzzfeed president and COO , in 2016, Cheddar has built its following through live streaming on social media — particularly Facebook and Twitter. Cheddar’s investors include Raine Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Liberty Global, Comcast Ventures, AT&T, Amazon, Antenna Group, Ribbit Capital, The New York Stock Exchange, Altice USA, 7 Global Capital, Goldman Sachs,and Denstu Ventures."

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"Jamie Foxx has signed on to host Off Script, a new eight-part digital series produced by JASH (Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Late Show with Letterman) and The Sunshine Company.

"In Off Script, Foxx interviews Hollywood A-listers about the iconic moments that shaped their careers. Jeremy Renner, Sarah Silverman, Benicio del Toro, Vince Vaughn, and Denzel Washington are among the guests confirmed to appear so far. Actors sit down with Foxx in a custom-built and luxury fitted trailer to discuss the movies they love, films that influenced them, and what drove them to become actors

"Off Script, created by Grey Goose (Iconoclasts), will be distributed online this spring via Thrillist and Now This social pages, including Facebook and YouTube, as well as on Huffington Post and Yahoo.

"Foxx is host and executive producer of Beat Shazam game show which premieres its second season May 29 on Fox. He’ll also be seen in a starring role in Robin Hood for Lionsgate opposite Taron Egerton and Jamie Dornan, set for release on November 21."

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"Hulu has ordered 10 episodes of middle school comedy PEN15, starring Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle.

"The comedy, co-created by Erskine, Konkle and Sam Zvibleman, is described as middle school as it really happened. Erskine and Konkle play versions of themselves as 13-year-old outcasts in the year 2000, surrounded by actual 13-year-olds, where the best day of your life can turn into your worst with the stroke of a gel pen.

"The project, which had been long-in-the-works, landed at Hulu based on an 11-minute presentation from Konkle and Erskine, who are best friends in real life and play best friends during a horribly awkward 7th grade.

"Erskine (Casual, Insecure, Man Seeking Woman) and Konkle (Maron, Man Seeking Woman, Rosewood) write and executive produce Zvibleman (Take My Wife, The Neddeaus of Duqesne Island) who is also set to direct multiple episodes.

"PEN15 hails from Lonely Island, Party Over Here, Odenkirk Provissiero, and AwesomenessTV. Production will begin this summer.

"Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone (The Lonely Island) & Becky Sloviter of Party Over Here, Marc Provissiero & Brooke Pobjoy from Odenkirk Provissiero Entertainment, Debbie Liebling, and Gabe Liedman will serve as executive producers.

"PEN15 is Hulu’s third project from AwesomenessTV, joining Freakish and upcoming All Night."

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Per The Los Angeles Times, "Netflix, the global streaming giant that has dramatically changed the TV industry and clashed with movie theater owners, may be ready to move onto the big screen in a new and surprising way — by owning cinemas.

"The Los Gatos, Calif., company has explored the idea of buying movie theaters in Los Angeles and New York that would enable it to screen a growing pipeline of feature films and documentaries, according to people familiar with the situation.

"Netflix executives considered acquiring Los Angeles-based Landmark Theatres, the circuit co-owned by Mark Cuban, but recently backed off the idea, said two people who spoke on condition of anonymity because the plans are private.

"One of the knowledgeable people said Netflix decided not to pursue a deal because executives believed the sale price for Landmark was too high.

"Although no cinema deal has materialized, the idea of Netflix buying a theater chain would mark a new phase in the company's rapid ascent to become one of the most powerful players in the entertainment industry.

"Netflix has attracted its 125 million subscribers worldwide by releasing dozens of original films and TV shows annually on its fast-growing streaming service, bypassing the traditional theatrical market, as well as the cable bundle.

"Netflix has promised to spend as much as $8 billion this year on original and licensed content for its subscribers who pay a monthly fee to binge shows and films. The company said in October that it would release 80 original movies this year alone, and has done film deals with such high-profile figures as Adam Sandler, Martin Scorsese and the Duplass brothers.

"The downside for Netflix is that its movies are locked out of major theater chains, and have been effectively blocked from one of the world's most prestigious film festivals.

"Netflix last week said it would not go to the Cannes Film Festival this year because the festival decided to ban movies from competition that don't have theatrical distribution in France. Last year, Netflix movies including 'Okja' competed at Cannes.

"'We want our films to be on fair ground with every other filmmaker,' Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos told Variety. 'There's a risk in us going in this way and having our films and filmmakers treated disrespectfully at the festival.'

"Representatives of Netflix and Landmark declined to comment for this article. A person close to Netflix said there were no plans to buy Landmark.

"Despite its ambitions and spending, Netflix has yet to crack the code of the movie industry. The buzz for its movies has rarely matched that for its TV shows, such as Stranger Things, The Crown and Orange is the New Black.

"Recent awards contender Mudbound, Dee Rees' acclaimed tale of racial divisions in the American South, was nominated for four Oscars but didn't win. Some industry insiders said the movie would've received more attention from academy voters if it had received a wide theatrical release. Netflix did win a best-documentary Oscar for Icarus, about the Russian athletic doping scandal.

"Netlfix's attempts at Hollywood-style blockbusters have been ambitious, but mixed. Its $90-million Will Smith movie Bright was lambasted by critics, though Netflix said it was a highly popular viewing choice for its subscribers. Netflix does not release viewership data for its shows and films.

"The company also struck a deal with Imax to release the 2016 sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, but few theaters would agree to screen the movie. Netflix in 2016 signed a deal to screen its movies at Florida-based chain IPic Theaters, which operates 15 luxury cinemas. Netflix's prestigious early cinematic effort Beasts of No Nation screened at Landmark's theaters in 2015.

"No one expects Netflix to purchase one of the giant domestic theater operators. Instead, it's more likely to pursue a deal with a smaller player that would give it a foothold in key industry markets.

"Amazon, in contrast with Netflix, has embraced the theatrical windowing model for now, partnering with established studios and distributors to release titles such as Manchester By the Sea and The Big Sick around the country before streaming them for Amazon Prime subscribers. Amazon's strategy has been welcomed in the exhibitor industry, which meets next week at the annual CinemaCon conference in Las Vegas."

This article has been condensed.