Thursday April 26, 2018

A very fitting end to season 7 of Suits.  More below.

And here's a first look at season 8 and Katherine Heigl's character.  See you in July.

4 days/nights of NFL Draft coverage starts tonight.

The season 3 premiere of Quantico airs tonight.

Probst talks last night's Survivor.  "'My takeaway from this episode as it relates to lying is this: if you're going to lie on Survivor, you need to lay the foundation early in the game,' says Probst. 'It's as if you have to imagine the kind of lie you might tell and know what it will sound like coming out of your mouth, then find an opportunity when you are telling the truth and play it the same way. Set the trap. Now they know what you sound like when you are adamant that it's the truth, so hopefully later on when you lie they'll refer back and believe you.'" 

HBO has canceled Here and Now.  I couldn't get through episode 1.

Am I supposed to care that Meek Mill has been released from prison?  I sure don't.

A not so glowing review of season 2 of Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale.

Billy Baldwin has joined the cast of USA's The Purge.

"Vanderpump Rules star Brittany Cartwright has had more than just her boobs done. The Kentucky native, 29, confessed on Instagramthat she had Kybella injections, simply saying 'yea it was' to fans assuming that 'what [she] had done to [her] double chin' was the injectable.Kybella, a fairly new treatment, was approved by the FDA to eliminate double chins without surgery in April 2015. New mom Khloé Kardashian was a brand ambassador for the injectable when it launched, and RealSelf now reports that the treatment ranges from $450 to $2,600. Cartwright isn’t a stranger to visiting the plastic surgeon’s office, as boyfriend Jax Taylor, 39, paid for her boob job in 2015."

Kanye West lost ~9,000,000 after posting this tweet.

"Sarah Jessica Parker has been sued Wednesday by a jewelry maker who says that the actress stiffed the company on an endorsement agreement for a line bearing Parker’s name. According to the suit, filed in federal court in New York by Kat Florence Design Limited, Kat Florence and Parker entered into an agreement for a 'special line of high-end jewelry made of D color flawless diamonds and other gem types.' The company also agreed to start at least three stand-alone shops in cities such as London and Rome, the suit says, and Parker agreed to do 'photo shoots, personal appearances, and personal interviews in support of the line.' 'The Defendant Parker agreed to be part of the process in exchange for a payment over time of $7.5 million,' the suit reads. 'Notwithstanding such agreement, she refused to properly participate and comply with her contractual obligations, making the success of this enterprise impossible.' A spokesperson for Parker told TheWrap in a statement Wednesday, 'Kat Florence reneged on their contract with Sarah Jessica Parker. They have refused to compensate her after fulfilling her contractual obligations and continue to use her image for advertising and publicity to promote their brand.'”

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"In an interview with Deadline, [Suits creator Aaron] Korsh talks about the big new development at Specter Litt with the arrival of Robert Zane & Co. and how the merger would impact everyone. He also reveals a new detail about the new Suits character played by Katherine Heigl that will join next season, talks about Louis and Sheila’s future, Harvey and Donna’s relationship, and Adams and Markle’s final scenes. Korsh also addresses the possibility of Adams coming back for a visit in Season 8 or beyond.

"And because the Season 7 finale of Suits also served as a backdoor pilot for the upcoming spinoff starring Gina Torres as Jessica Pierce, Korsh also discloses details about the new series’ direction, tone and possible Suits crossovers:

The plot twist in the finale had Robert Zane coming to Specter Litt as a partner. Is that happening, and how will that work as Wendell Pierce, who plays Robert, is a series regular on Amazon’s Jack Ryan, which was renewed for a second season?

First of all we have had the good fortune to be able to have Wendell Pierce. I think viewers, when they’re watching television, are not necessarily aware of whether someone’s deal is as a series regular or not, they just know whether they are a regular character in our world. And we’ve been lucky enough to have Wendell as a regular character in our world while at the same time he’s been a series regular on another show for much of the life of our show, be it The Odd Couple or now Jack Ryan.

So we decided to take a chance and have Robert Zane come and join our firm and see what happens, see what that does to our firm. We do not have him as a series regular and they’ve been very generous to let us use him as much as they are. We’re exploring where it goes as we speak in season eight, but absolutely in the beginning of season eight Robert Zane is merged with our firm and it’s going to cause its own challenges to integrate those two firms and cultures and personalities within the season.

Of the attorneys Robert is bringing over, will there be any familiar faces?

I would point out that Katrina Bennett, Amanda Schull, used to work for Robert Zane so she’s going to be the one person right now that has worked at both places, which is interesting. And in addition to that he’s going to bring some interesting new people over with him, one of whom may or may not be Samantha Wheeler which is Katherine Heigl’s character.

So Samantha may be coming from Robert’s firm? 

I’m hinting at it, how’s that?

How will the new group of lawyers fit into Specter Litt?

When you merge two law firms you’ve got personality mergers, but you’ve also got some sort of technical issues that you have to deal with, one of which would be, as we touch on in the finale, who’s going to run the firm. The other one is sometimes you have clients that you have conflict of interest with so you will have to drop certain clients and we’re merging those two things into helping us decide within the firm who’s going to run the firm.

Zane made it clear he would be running the combined firm. Will Harvey, who was not part of those conversations, agree to that?

Well, Zane said to Louis, “You tell Harvey my name comes first,” but it’s not 100 percent clear whose name is going to come first. I would say this. Harvey does not blame Louis for what he did, it shows the evolution of their relationship in the last few episodes in terms of the respect and trust they have between themselves versus early seasons.

I think Louis saved the firm and Harvey’s grateful. But then the question is, who’s going to be in charge is very much still an open question between Robert Zane and Harvey, and that will be somewhere resolved after the first episode but it will not be put to bed probably until the end of the tenth episode.

What other conflicts are you envisioning for next season?

There are a lot of things that are going to result from the merger of the two firms, and that’s really the overarching premise and basis for both conflict and bonding of the season. In addition, Amanda Schull as Katrina Bennett, she’s going to step up and have a larger role than she did in the past and she’s going to kind of have her own desires and wants. Obviously Donna,  from a professional standpoint, is going to have a larger role in the comings and goings of the firm.

Louis is ending season seven with Sheila and with an agreement to pull the goalie, so Sheila will be a large part of season eight. We’re still going to have Lipschitz and Gretchen. Brian Altman who was an associate we met last year is going to play a role, and then obviously Harvey and Zane are going to have their push and pull along with Samantha Wheeler and Alex Williams and Donna.

Rachael Harris, who plays Sheila, will remain a recurring guest star even as Sheila’s role expands in season 8, corrects? And has Louis finally found happiness? He’s been the unluckiest guy in love.

Well, happiness I would say maybe. I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily a strong word but I think Louis Litt is definitely evolving and we do not currently have plans to terminate that relationship, though you never know what could happen. But Louis Litt in a relationship is always going to be a work in progress as might I add all of us as flawed human beings are. But he and Sheila are going to have a fun ride this year but it certainly will not be without its push and pull also.

In the final scene, the wedding dance, Harvey and Donna looked pretty intimate. Are they crossing the line again into romantic territory?

It was not meant to indicate a line crossing. A lot of times when a bunch of people that care about each other a lot go to a wedding, they dance with each other, they have fun, and that’s sort of what it is. About a year and a half ago many of us in the cast went to Patrick and Troian (Bellisario)’s wedding, and we’re all married but that doesn’t mean we didn’t dance with each other and have fun and laugh and have a great time.

What does next season hold for Harvey and Donna’s relationship now that Paula is out of the picture?

I certainly don’t want to give away too many things about season eight, but to me Harvey and Donna have a long-term evolution in their relationship from the beginning of the pilot until now and regardless of whether they get together in any one episode moving forward, I think their relationship is going to continue to have some push/pull to it no matter what we do in terms of their romantic involvement or not.

And it may be an evolution in my thinking where I used to say if they get together I want them to stay together. Now were they to get together I wouldn’t say I’ll guarantee they’ll stay together, but I’m also not saying whether they’re going to get together or not.

This was the last time we saw Rachel and Mike together. Will we be getting updates on them next season? 

Probably. Suits doesn’t forget about people that have been on the show. Even minor characters we sometimes mention and refer to repeatedly over the years, like Lola Jensen who we only saw once, or whoever it may be. So there’s no doubt that the absence of Mike and Rachel will be played and referred to and talked about. Just think about Rachel — Robert Zane is her father, right? Obviously our characters will be aware of their absence and we will try to have them talk about them as they would in real life.

Any plans for Patrick to come back for guest appearances, for directing?

When Patrick left, he and I discussed it and decided we’re both open to having Mike come back, 100 percent. When that is will be determined by A, whatever he’s doing at the time, and also B, whatever organic story there is to tell, but I would love to have that happen. But for the first 10, I don’t see it happening just because we’re doing other things.

As far as Patrick coming back to direct, it’s absolutely a possibility. We’re still in the early stages of figuring out who’s going to direct what and we’re trying to get some new people in the works also, so I’m not sure if that’ll happen now but that could definitely happen at any point in the future.

How was it filming the last scene with Meghan and Patrick. Was everybody crying? 

Because we were also shooting the spinoff, it was an extended shoot. Usually we shoot about 7-1/2 day episodes and this was a 13-day episode and we were doing some filming in Chicago. The night of the wedding was not the last shoot night but I think it was going to be the last night that we all were going to be in Toronto together. It was a 16-17-hour shoot day, and it was emotional, there’s no doubt about it. There was a wedding going on, it was going to be the last Harvey and Mike scene. I don’t think it was the last Mike and Rachel scene because they were staying back to shoot more, even though we were going to Chicago.

I would say it was emotional. I remember having a really fun talk with Meghan as we were setting up to shoot the wedding and we were just wrapping up our time together. It wasn’t my last time with Patrick because we went to Chicago and then we came back and finished wrapping it up. Patrick was the last person to shoot the last day and I think he was the only series regular shooting that day because it was his court stuff. We had a good-bye for him.

The whole thing was emotional, and I felt like we all went out on a real high note. I feel like hopefully we went out on a high note creatively but I know we went out with great feelings towards each other personally at the end of the season.

Suits was originally focused on Harvey and Mike. How would you describe Suits going forward, following Patrick’s exit? Is it a true ensemble or is Gabriel Macht’s Harvey the lead?

I think every viewer is going to have their own answer to that question. But I’ll start by saying I feel like in the last few years Suits was absolutely an ensemble show with slightly more of an emphasis on Harvey and Mike. So I think going forward it’s absolutely going to be an ensemble show with slightly more of an emphasis on Harvey. He’s at the core of the show but it’s without a doubt an ensemble. You just have too many scenes and too many stories of people that are not Harvey-focused and I think it’s a good thing.

What else can you say about Season 8 of Suits?

For season eight, I was reinvigorated and rejuvenated for the possibility ofSuits moving forward. The addition of Robert Zane and the dynamics that that does for all of our existing characters I feel like gives new life to the show. Along with him, Katherine Heigl and the interaction she’s going to have with everyone in the firm, the two of them coming into our world, it just creates a brand new dynamic that is both organic to the show and really reinvigorating for me as a writer and as a fan of my own show.

Let’s talk a bit about the Jessica Pearson Chicago politics Suits spinoff, which was introduced in tonight’s finale. Will the two series stay separate or are you considering crossovers?

We haven’t really discussed doing any crossover episodes in the first season of the spinoff and we’re not currently having Jessica come in and be in the Suits world. I could see doing that in the ninth season of Suits but right now there’s no plans to merge the worlds again.

There was a clear tonal difference between the Suits and Chicago spinoff storylines in the finale. Will the spinoff continue to be as dark compared to Suits‘ lighter, in times comedic tone?

Dan Arkin is running the spinoff and coming up with the first season right now. But in my mind at least, and from what we’ve discussed, Suits ranges from sometimes incredibly silly — certain Louis things — to some heavier dramatic stuff —  we certainly have had that if you think about Mike in prison with Gallo and things like that.

I feel like Suits has a wider range than the spinoff. I think the spinoff will be darker when it is darker and not be as light when it is light, but I think as they go in seasons, it will not always be as dark as it was in the finale because I think in the finale Jessica was going toe to toe with all these people. But as she gets into their world, they can be more on the same side, let their guard down and have a little fun and a little banter and a little humor. I don’t think it’s ever going to get as silly as we do in Suits. It’s definitely got a tone that’s probably two shades to the right so to speak, in terms of dramatic and darkness, from Suits.

Let’s talk about the evolution of Jessica. She was a moral compass and on the rights of things on Suits but is aligning herself with some pretty shady characters in Chicago. Are we losing her to the dark side? 

I don’t think so. Suits was very largely focused on Harvey and Mike. And though we did get to know Jessica, and I love Jessica, she’s one of my favorite characters, she was not the focus of Suits. So I think in the spinoff, because we’re going to delve much more deeply into her character, I feel like she’s making a decision that is motivated by a desire to both connect with her family and do some good in the process.

That decision is a dangerous one because she’s risking falling into the dark side, but I do not think she has fallen into the dark side. So I think Jessica in the spinoff will have room for some emotional scenes with her family. We will see scenes where she’s bonding with her family which is a more personal side of her that we’ve never seen before, and we will see her be conflicted in the world of politics. But if it’s a journey between either into darkness or into redemption, my hope would be ultimately she’s going into redemption. Where it leads, we definitely don’t know yet, but that would be my hope."

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Per The Hollywood Reporter, "[a]fter five months on the job, new Epix president Michael Wright has made his first big swing.

"The MGM-owned cable network has handed out a 10-episode, straight-to-series order for scripted drama Godfather of Harlem starring and exec produced by Oscar winner Forest Whitaker.

"Godfather of Harlem tells the true story of crime boss Bumpy Johnson (played by Whitaker), who in the early 1960s returned after 10 years in prison to find the neighborhood he once ruled in shambles. With the streets controlled by the Italian mob, Bumpy takes on the Genovese crime family to regain control. During the brutal battle, he forms an alliance with radical preacher Malcolm X — catching his political rise in the crosshairs of social upheaval and a mob war that threatens to tear the city apart. The series is described as a collision of the criminal underworld and the civil rights movement during one of the most tumultuous times in American history.

"Chris Brancato (Narcos) and Paul Eckstein are attached to serve as writers and exec producers on the ABC Signature Studios drama. Whitaker exec produces alongside his Significant Productions banner topper Nia Yang Bongiovi, Eckstein, James Acheson and Markuann Smith. Brancato will serve as showrunner.

"'Godfather of Harlem is a show with powerful relevance to the issues we face today — gang violence, police brutality, opioid addiction and racial politics in a divided country,' Whitaker said. 'I'm grateful to have the opportunity to bring this character to life and to work with Michael Wright, the Epix team, and ABC Signature, alongside excellent writers and producers.'

"Godfather of Harlem is Whitaker's first series regular role since he starred in CBS' ill-fated Criminal Minds spinoff Suspect Behavior in 2011. Most recently, the Last King of Scotland Oscar winner had a recurring role on Fox's Lee Daniels hip-hop soap Empire. His small-screen credits include earning an Emmy nomination for his guest turn on NBC's ER. On the big-screen, Whitaker's credits include Black Panther, The Butler and the upcoming Finding Steve McQueen.

"For Epix, Godfather of Harlem joins a scripted roster that also includes drama Berlin Station and comedy Get Shorty. The deal comes five months after former Turner head Wright took over for Mark Greenberg, who launched the cabler, as president at Epix and a year after MGM acquired full control over the premium cable network that was previously a joint venture between Viacom and Lionsgate. It also sends a signal to the creative community that Wright will look outside of MGM Television for scripted originals.

"'We read the script, and met with Chris, Paul and Forest, and knew immediately that this show was perfect for Epix,' Wright said. 'It’s an exciting and relevant story, brought to life by passionate, extraordinary talent and a great studio in ABC Signature. It’s exactly the kind of series we want to put on Epix as we build awareness and expand the network’s distribution across the country.'"

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From Variety: "When Netflix announced last year that it would revive Queer Eye, the hit reality makeover show from a decade ago, the internet responded with a resounding 'why?'

“'The rights came back,' David Collins, co-creator and executive producer of Queer Eye said Tuesday night. The show, he explained, was 'available for us to take out again.'

"Collins appeared at a panel discussion hosted by HRTS, where he was joined by other unscripted producers and executives — as well as moderator Scott Hervey — to discuss the phenomena of rebooting successful reality franchises.

“'The show has always been evergreen,' Collins said. 'The format was beloved. It had international appeal. The run that we had originally on Bravo had been wonderful, but the time came when it ended, and there was just enough time to kind of settle it. And quite frankly, the Republican world came to be, and it was time for a new Queer Eye.'

"The new iteration of the show has generated significant buzz for Netflix. It transplants the concept of the original to small-town Georgia, where the show’s cast of lifestyle experts are able to interact in meaningful ways with men who don’t always have the broadest worldview regarding LGBTQ people.

"Collins said that, when it came time to shop a revival, most networks passed, citing the show’s close association with Bravo, where it aired for five seasons. But that wasn’t a concern for Netflix.

“'They walked through the door with a piece of IP and a show that we evaluated just like we would evaluate any other show,' said Jenn Levy, director of unscripted originals and acquisitions at Netflix. 'We don’t have the bumpers of a very specific brand. Our only brand is good content. So when we looked at Queer Eye, we said, "This is a good brand. It is a show that is groundbreaking in its time. It is award winning, and it appeals globally, which is one of our deciding factors when we make a show.”'

"Levy also let slip that the show has been viewed by 'millions' of people worldwide. Netflix rarely gives indication of how many users view its shows, although content chief Ted Sarandos has in the past claimed that some Netflix originals are more watched than any other show on television, without offering numbers to back up such claims.

Jersey Shore creator SallyAnn Salsano said that she was not worried that the show’s recent relaunch with its original cast, Jersey Shore Family Vacation, would not capture the chemistry of the original.

“'We’re all a lot older, but we’re not necessarily wiser,' she said. 'They’re still the same people. We’re all still the same. We all have bigger jobs and more responsibilities. But at the heart of it, during your down time, you still like doing the same things. It’s like when you go to your high school reunion or you go back for the weekend to see your high school friends, or you go back to see your cousins — you kind of fall in line.'

"Executive producer Craig Piligian, however, had a different experience with American Chopper.

"Piligian was not involved initially with the show’s revival, but was brought in, he said, because Discovery was unhappy about how a new season with a new producer was shaping up. Piligian, who had exec produced the show’s initial run, met with stars Paul Teutul and Paul Teutul Jr. and went about righting the ship.

“'There was a lot of bad language between me and the two boys,' Piligian said. 'But we were up there for about a day and a half, and eventually we agreed it would be best if I took over the show, and the other company stepped aside. But it was rough. It wasn’t very much fun, and a lot of bad blood was spilled at the beginning of it all. And now everything’s great. Reboots aren’t that f–king fun, let me tell you.'

"Lauren Lexton was not involved in the original Trading Spaces, but came aboard as executive producer for the revival.

“'Trading Spaces was always the show I wished I produced,' Lexton said. Doing so became a reality when she learned that Endemol Shine, parent company to Lexton’s Authentic Entertainment, owned the rights to the U.K. format on which the show was based. 'It all kind of came about serendipitously.'

"We TV president Marc Juris said that he zeroed in on reviving Bridezillas soon after joining the cabler.

“'The one asset that we had that was probably the most well known and pop culturally relevant was a show that was not on our air for reasons that no one could actually explain to me,' he said. 'We are a smaller network, so I thought, "Let’s go back to our roots with something that everyone knows.”'"

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Per CNN, "[a]fter a brief flirtation with resurrection, Nickelodeon's Double Dare is back -- for real, this time.

"The game show favorite will return to the network this summer to give 'a new generation of kids the chance to compete in the messiest and most physically challenging competition of their lives,' Nickelodeon announced Wednesday.

"The decision to bring the series back comes about a year and a half after Nickelodeon paid tribute to the game show with a 30th Anniversary special.

"Double Dare ran on Nickelodeon from 1986-93 and was revived for brief run in 2000.

    "The original show was hosted by Marc Summers and co-hosted by Robin Marella.

    "It is not yet known who will host the new iteration. Though, Nickelodeon said the revived series 'will feature appearances from blasts from the past, long-time Double Dare fans and stars from today.

    "On Double Dare, two teams compete against each other for prizes by answering trivia questions and completing some often-messy physical challenges, all culminating in a run of the show's kid-friendly obstacle course. (Think: human hamster wheel and a giant gunk-filled nose.)

    "A specific premiere date has not been announced."

    The theme -- when in doubt just pull something out of the trash and dress it up again.

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    I'm definitely getting a trial subscription to YouTube Red. "When Ralph Macchio signed on to reprise his role as Daniel LaRusso in YouTube Red's Karate Kid reboot Cobra Kai, he was determined to pay tribute to his character's beloved mentor Mr. Miyagi, played by the late Pat Morita.

    "'It was important to me that Pat's legacy was not lost, even though the whole concept was about the rivalry between Daniel and Johnny Lawrence [played by William Zapka],' Macchio told The Hollywood Reporter ahead of Cobra Kai's Tuesday night premiere at New York's Tribeca Film Festival. 'We didn't want the human element of the show to get lost, and that human element really stems from Mr. Miyagi.'

    "He continued: 'We're not here without Pat Morita's performance in that film. The heart and soul of the Karate Kid universe are the teachings of Mr. Miyagi.'

    "According to Macchio, Mr. Miyagi's name 'is peppered throughout the series.' Viewers will also be hit with frequent reminders of the martial arts master 'through dialogue and, obviously, his teachings,' the actor added.

    "Early on in the series, Daniel — who comes to a personal crossroads after his legendary feud with Johnny is reignited — picks up a framed news article about Mr. Miyagi and says to himself, 'Wish you were here to give me some of that Miyagi wisdom right now.'

    "When the series begins, Daniel is now a successful car dealership owner and a married father-of-two. 'As an adult, my character has lost his focus a bit and needs to recalibrate,' Macchio said. Still, 'you feel the void in his life of not having his human Yoda anymore. We all want that wisdom. It was important that was infused in adult Daniel's journey, as well as in what he hands down to his kids.'

    "Morita, who died of kidney failure at age 73 in 2005, will also appear on-screen in Cobra Kai. Exec producer Jon Hurwitz told THR that the series includes never-before-seen footage of Mr. Miyagi from the original 1984 movie and its sequels. 

    "'We were able to find some interesting angles and interesting shots. If you're really familiar with Karate Kid, you're going to see things from 1984 that you've never seen before. You will see Pat on-screen,' Hurwitz explained. 'We still have a treasure trove from the movies, all of the dailies and everything. It's an interesting look back.'

    "Hurwitz — who wrote, produced and directed Cobra Kai with partners Josh Heald (Hot Tub Time Machine) and Hayden Schlossberg (Harold and Kumar) — went on to say that Mr. Miyagi's presence in the revival is not just for nostalgia's sake, but because it is 'an essential part of the narrative.'

    "'There is no Karate Kid without Mr. Miyagi and for Daniel's character, Mr. Miyagi helped him become a man, become an adult. And his wisdom lives on throughout everything that Daniel does,' said Hurwitz. 'From a character standpoint, it's very interesting to see how Daniel's handling himself without Miyagi's wisdom.'"

    Cobra Kai will be available to stream on YouTube Red on May 2.