Monday May 14, 2018

NBC has rescued Brooklyn Nine-Nine!

The series finale of Seinfeld aired 20 years ago today.  More below.

NBC has canceled Taken and some show called The Brave.

NBC has also 86'd Great News and Rise.

Fox has canceled Lucifer. The series finale airs tonight.

Fox has renewed Gotham for a 5th and final season.

The season 1 finale of The Resident airs tonight.  This show has been a pleasant surprise.

Here's a look at Fox's fall schedule.

ABC has canceled Designated Survivor.

ABC has also canceled Quantico.

It wasn't all doom and gloom at ABC. The net has renewed How To Get Away With MurderStation 19For The Peopleblack-ishFresh Off The BoatAmerican Housewife, and somehow gave a 2nd season to Splitting Up Together.

CBS has given a series order to the Magnum P.I. reboot.

CBS has also picked up Fam, a show in which "a young woman’s dreams of an upstanding life with her new fiancé and his upstanding family are dashed when her younger train wreck half-sister comes to live with her to escape their train wreck of a father. Nina Dobrev stars along with Tone Bell, Odessa Adlon, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Sheryl Lee Ralph star."

That said, CBS has canned Superior DonutsScorpion, and Kevin Can Wait, while renewing such gems as Man With A PlanLife In Pieces, and Instinct, while announcing that it will be doing another season of Celebrity Big Brother.

"One of the most dramatic storylines this upfront season has come to an end, with American Pie alum Seann William Scott tapped to star opposite Damon Wayans on Fox’s Lethal Weapon. He replaces original co-lead Clayne Crawford, whose option for next season will not be picked up by producer Warner Bros. TV over on-set behavior issues." Stifler!

"NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt on Sunday did little to dispel the growing speculation that The Office reboot is coming together at the network. During NBC’s upfront call, he declined to answer a question about the status of the project beyond noting that the network will make an announcement when there is something to announce. Rumors started circulating last summer about NBC potentially bringing back the Emmy-winning comedy with Greg Daniels — who developed and ran the U.S. version of the British series — at the helm and possibly a new cast. 'We often talk about The Office, I’ve talked to Greg four times over the past few years. It’s always, ‘maybe some day but not now’,' Greenblatt told Deadline last August. 'There is certainly an open invitation but we don’t have anything happening right now. If he wants to do it, I would do it.' More details have been trickling in since, including the idea to have the revival set at the same Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton, PA., branch as the original show with a mix of new and old cast members led by a new boss. While original star Steve Carell is not expected to be involved, a number of formerThe Office cast  members have expressed interest to be part in a revival, reboot or reunion."

Netflix has renewed Lost In Space.

Billions continues to be incredible this season IMHO.

Great season finales last night for HBO's Silicon Valley and Barry.

Did you know that Silicon Valley's Laurie Bream (Suzanne Cryer) is the yada yada yada woman from Seinfeld?

Barry EP Alec Berg and Bill Hader talk about last night's finale.

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"To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Seinfeld's May 14, 1998, series finale, The Hollywood Reporter sifted through more than 70 hours of previously unreleased interviews as the cast, creators and others involved share secrets from TV's favorite show about nothing:

Auditions

Kramer on the written page took a while to transform into the multifaceted Cosmo Kramer. David originally envisioned the character as a mirror of his neighbor, Kenny Kramer, who walked around in a robe all day, rarely left the apartment building and often raided his refrigerator.

During casting, the show tried to match that character to performers ranging from Joe Pesci, Eugene Levy and David Letterman's band leader, Paul Shaffer. Jeffrey Tambor, Tony Shalhoub and James Cromwell came in for auditions. A character actor named Steve Vinovich eventually took the lead position, until Michael Richards surfaced. Richards brought an unmatched intensity and physicality to the role. According to cast members, Richards transformed Kramer from a slower and dumber character into one where the character considered himself ahead of all others.

Because David didn't want to be on camera, he made George Costanza his voice with one major difference. Whereas David felt guilt for his actions and thoughts, George didn't — unless he was caught. For the role, the show considered among others, Anthony Edwards, Nathan Lane and Brad Hall. Jason Alexander, on Broadway at the time, knew about Seinfeld, from having been an extra several years ago for a series of Maxwell House commercials starring comedians including Seinfeld. Alexander felt the pages he received for the audition read like Woody Allen, so he bought glasses for his taped audition and read the lines like Allen. When he came to L.A. and tested with Seinfeld, everybody knew they had their George.

Elaine Benes (originally Eileen) came about via a note from the network, after the pilot, asking for a female character to draw women to the show. The pilot did have a waitress, Lee Garlington, but she disappeared in part because the actress made the faux pas of trying to rewrite David's pages.

David based Elaine on an old girlfriend, Monica Yates, one of his few exes who was still talking to him. Some of the callbacks included Megan Mullally, Patricia Heaton and Rosie O'Donnell. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, at the time, had a holding deal at Warner Bros. Television to develop her own series. That deal expired without her having found a script. She came in and won the role of Elaine on her first day of free agency. David said Louis-Dreyfus elevated the show. Alexander, however, initially felt threatened by Louis-Dreyfus' role because he thought an attractive female best friend would dwarf his part. Those concerns quickly disappeared, however, when he met Louis-Dreyfus and saw her work. They both would eventually wind up trading dialogue.

Jerry and George's parents both began with different actors that didn't quite work. In the case of George's dad, producers decided it would be more fun to have someone who could set off fireworks with his wife and raise George's angst. Enter Jerry Stiller as Frank Costanza.

Estelle Harris, George's mom, lived in New York, but happened to be in L.A. during casting, which proved fortuitous. Casting didn't typically fly in actors for auditions. Case in point, the award-winning Doris Roberts, whom the producers considered but who refused to travel to read.

In certain instances, the actor didn't fit a part but stood out nevertheless. Len Lesser read for Morty, Jerry's dad, before eventually becoming Uncle Leo. Other times, casting only had a few hours to find someone, as with John O'Hurley as Elaine's boss, J. Peterman. Some people, such as The West Wing's Richard Schiff, auditioned multiple times because they wanted to be on the show so much, but were never booked.

The Pilot

Seinfeld first aired as The Seinfeld Chronicles. In the original script, David and Seinfeld named it The Stand-Up. That fell in line with the show's original premise, a one-camera special to air in Saturday Night Live's spot, during a rerun week. The show would follow Jerry and a comedian friend over the course of a few days or weeks. Jerry would turn those experiences into stand-up material. At the end of the show, he'd perform his routine.

The experiences were supposed to come from Seinfeld's existing material. A scene from the pilot in the laundromat actually came from his act. That idea however, quickly proved too difficult. Seinfeld only had so many bits. As a result, David and Seinfeld reversed the process, with the comedian writing stand-up based on a story. The network also thought too many comedians spoil the broth, so they changed Jerry's friend to a real estate agent for contrast.

The pilot filmed at Desilu studios in Hollywood, on the same stage as the old Dick Van Dyke Show. In fact, Seinfeld's coffee shop came to rest on the same spot as Rob Petrie's living room.

The episode today feels like a work in progress, humor in search of a voice. Perhaps the biggest problem came with the lack of Elaine. You can notice other nuances too. Because they still hadn't gotten the real Kramer's permission to use his name, they defaulted to different iterations such as Hoffman and Kessler. In fact, if you see the pilot in syndication, you can hear the name Kessler several times.

Castle Rock, which owned the series, had two pilots at NBC that year: Seinfeld and one with Ann Jillian. Whereas Seinfeld tested poorly, Ann Jillian tested through the roof and earned a 13-episode commitment. Castle Rock decided to focus on that.

Although not part of the fall schedule, NBC executives found Seinfeld funny enough to keep the idea alive. One of the issues concerned the NBC series, The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd. That show, about a single woman living in and coping with the problems of New York, became a critical darling but struggled to find an audience. Executives feared Seinfeld might be a male version of that.

When Seinfeld started airing on Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m., it consistently lost to the second half of Jake and the Fatman. Fortunes changed significantly once Seinfeld moved to Thursday nights after Cheers.

Favorite Episodes

The Boyfriend

Many fans love Jerry's bromance with retired New York Mets first baseman Keith Hernandez. For avid Mets fan Seinfeld, art imitated life when he found himself feeling sweaty and excited to meet Hernandez. Would he have felt the same meeting former Mets star Daryl Strawberry, who originally had appeared in the script?

Most episodes ran five to 10 minutes too long, requiring lots of great material to be cut. When The Boyfriend came in at 45 minutes, David went to NBC and got permission to extend the show to an hour. Nevertheless, the producers had to cut the studio audiences laughs down in editing to save time and keep the show's rhythm.

By this point, David had established the format of running four simultaneous plotlines at once in place of the typical two. For the first time, however, all those stories dovetailed together at the end, which would go on to become one of the show's signature ideas. In addition, the "second spitter," "magic loogy" parody of the movie JFK, served as the show's first departure from realism, stretching the boundaries of where the show could go.

The Contest

David always carried a notebook of funny ideas for episodes. On one of the pages rested a note about masturbation. He didn't share the idea with anyone because he thought it was impossible to pitch. Then one day, he gave it to Seinfeld who jumped on it. Seinfeld helped clean it up, as much as one could when talking about the subject.

NBC executives feared how it would be handled. After all, censors on other shows had proven skittish toward the use of the word "virgin." They had even more anxiety over the thought of potentially having to break the bad news to the cantankerous David. The table read, however, changed everything. David's masterful and subtle handling of the taboo subject made believers out of everyone. The executives didn't blink at the inclusion of a woman within the masturbation storyline. From that moment on, the writers knew they had carte blanche with story ideas.

In one of that episode's best-known sequences, George visits his mother in the hospital, who's there because she caught George pleasuring himself. George ends up watching a shapely nurse (played by the then unknown Andrea Parker) in silhouette, give her mother's young roommate a sponge bath. During the sequence, a famished Mrs. Costanza screams for George to get her something to eat. In rehearsal, Alexander, playing George as being transfixed on his personal peep show, improvised throwing a box of Tic Tacs at her. Harris couldn't stop laughing. On filming day, Harris had a prior engagement and had to tape her scenes without an audience. For the live audience, Fran Drescher sat in her place.

The Rye

The episode in which George's parents take back the bread they gifted to Susan's parents came from comedian and series writer Carol Leifer. Leifer's friend had told her a story about a hostess who had mistakenly forgotten to serve a loaf of rye bread her friend had brought to dinner. At the end of the evening, the friend snuck back into the kitchen and took the bread home.

Leifer also used the time her Jewish parents went to her fiancé's parents' house for lunch. After the meal, Leifer's father overstayed his welcome. When she finally got him back to the car she asked him why he stayed so long. He said he was waiting for cake.

While tweaking the script, David decided he wanted something else to happen at the bakery where Jerry buys his rye loaf. One of Seinfeld's favorite moments in the entire series comes from when he pushes the old lady out of the way and steals the last loaf of rye from her. No protagonist would ever act this way, but the audience laughed.

The Outing

The plot of the episode revolved around a journalist thinking Jerry and George were gay. When the table read didn't go well, one of Castle Rock's executives asked them to kill the episode. He found little humor in two guys maniacally protesting about being gay.

David and Seinfeld went back to the writers' room only to return with a brilliant rewrite in which they turned the executives concerns on their ear by having Jerry and George add the clause "not that there's anything wrong with it" to their denials. In one of the few times Seinfeld would take the lead as a performer, he showed the other actors how he and David wanted them to play the line. Every time they uttered the phrase, they needed to raise and sweep their arms to the side. David then told them to use the phrase as often as possible. It became one of many terms or catchphrases along with "shrinkage," "yada, yada, yada," "No soup for you!" "double dipping" and more that the show added to the English language. The episode would wind up winning a GLAAD media award from the LGBTQ watchdog organization.

The Junior Mint

In one plotline, Kramer accidentally drops a Junior Mint inside a patient on an operating table. The whole silly idea mirrored the Abbott and Costello vaudevillian comedy that Seinfeld loved and leaned heavily on in the show's final seasons, after a burned-out David had left.

Interestingly, because of the size of a mint, the director had to substitute it during shooting with a York Peppermint Pattie. Because it's easier to shoot something flipping up than down, he also shot the candy flip going up and then reversed it in post-production to go down.

In another plotline, Jerry dated a woman whose name he can't remember, other than that it rhymes with a female body part. In the script, her name was Chloris, which didn't match the syllable count or rhyme with the female body part in question. Between scenes during taping, the warm-up comic asked the audience if anyone could guess the girlfriend's name. One woman shouted out, "Dolores." One of the show's producers, sitting nearby, quickly went and found Seinfeld and David. In the scene, Jerry yells, "Dolores," which led to a big cheer from the crowd. The woman with the idea never knew. The warm-up comic told her as she exited that she had "guessed right."

The End

Then NBC president Warren Littlefield and Seinfeld had an annual renewal ritual. Littlefield would visit Seinfeld's office on Halloween and tell him how important he was to the network. Jerry would share how demanding the show had become. Then they would negotiate. On Christmas Eve, Seinfeld would call and sign up for another year. In 1997, however, Seinfeld had a different response. He and David had discussed as far back as season one that they wanted to go out on top.

Then NBC corporate parent GE's CEO Jack Welch and NBC CEO Bob Wright did everything possible to change Seinfeld's mind. They invited him and his managers, Howard West and George Shapiro, to their apartment in New York (they lived in the same building) where they gave their best presentation to sway Seinfeld, offering him $5 million per episode in GE stock, the equivalent to $110 million.

Seinfeld left the meeting and walked over to Central Park where he ended up on the same bench where he had told his father, after graduating from Queens College, that he wanted to be a stand-up comedian. His life had come full circle. The timing felt right.

David returned to write the final episode to complete his cycle with the series. Ideas were passed around. In one, they wouldn't do a final episode. Another involved having them at the coffee shop with nothing to say. In a third, Jerry would say, "That's it," and they'd go their separate ways. In the end, David got his inspiration from a good Samaritan law in France in which people could get in trouble for not pitching in during moments of crises. He liked the idea of applying that to the four self-obsessed characters. Then he came upon the idea to redo the pilot's opening dialogue as the closing scene. The only difference of course being that they would be in jail.

The gang remaining together in prison left the door open to potentially come back one day if the creators decided they had made a mistake by ending the show. After completing production, the show added a final scene later in which Jerry does his stand-up for prisoners, a fitting end to his journey.

A number of scenes from the finale had to be cut for to time. Among them: Uncle Leo and Kramer's mom (Sheree North) having a fling. To preserve secrecy, the actors who returned from earlier episodes only received the pages with their lines. Scripts were shredded every day. Cast, crew and even the audience had to sign waivers promising not to reveal any secrets. Jimmy Fallon, years later, revealed he was there as an unknown in the audience with one of his friends."

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According to Bloomberg, "Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg has secured about $800 million in financing for his video startup NewTV, which the company will use to fund high-end TV series that have YouTube-length episodes, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

"A constellation of large media companies, including 21st Century Fox Inc.and Warner Bros., is supplying NewTV with about $200 million, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. NewTV has secured the rest of its financing from institutional investors, according to the people, and it plans to announce the fundraising in the coming weeks.

"NewTV will use the money to finance shows that are roughly the duration of a typical YouTube clip, but at a cost more on a par with a Netflix Inc. series. Each NewTV series will cost about $5 million to $6 million per hour, the people said, but individual episodes won’t run much longer than 15 minutes.

“'Jeffrey wants to take what Apple and Netflix and HBO are doing, and translate it into 10-minute-or-less shows,' said Rich Greenfield, an analyst at BTIG LLC. 'I’m not saying it will work or won’t work. The reality is -- until we actually see it -- it’s hard to know.'

"Katzenberg, who declined to comment for this story, has reached out to some of the biggest directors and producers in the entertainment business, the people said. NewTV has yet to announce any shows.

"The 67-year-old first rose to prominence in the 1980s when he revived Walt Disney Co.’s movie studio with hits like The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and The Lion King. In 1994, he resigned from Disney amid a rancorous power struggle and founded DreamWorks SKG with director Steven Spielberg and record executive David Geffen.

"Katzenberg oversaw the company’s animation division, which produced Shrek and Kung Fu Panda. DreamWorks Animation was spun off into a separate company in 2004 and was sold to Comcast Corp. for $3.8 billion in 2016.

"Last year, Katzenberg announced that he had raised money for WndrCo, a new venture that is modeled after Barry Diller’s InterActiveCorp. WndrCo will invest in media and technology companies, including the British music service Mixcloud.

"NewTV is the largest of WndrCo’s investments to date. Katzenberg recruited Meg Whitman, the former chief executive officer of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co., to lead the business. Though Whitman has no experience running an entertainment company, she served on the board of DreamWorks Animation from 2005 to 2008, worked at Disney earlier in her career, and brings a wealth of relationships with Silicon Valley.

"It’s still unclear exactly what form NewTV will take. The company isn’t raising enough money to take on Netflix or YouTube with its own subscription service. The Silicon Valley giants, the two largest online video services in the world, spend billions of dollars a year on content and technology.

"Katzenberg may find a long line of companies willing to buy -- or bankroll -- the shows that NewTV makes. Netflix, Snap Inc., Facebook Inc., YouTube and AT&T Inc. all host short-form videos already, and several of Katzenberg’s allies in traditional media, like Disney, are investing in new online services.

"But most of those videos were made cheaply, Greenfield said. Katzenberg’s challenge is persuading backers to shell out money for higher-quality content.

“'He believes that when you see it you’ll believe it,' Greenfield said."

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Per AdAge, "[t]wo years ago, Jimmy Kimmel teased TV's biggest ad buyers from the stage during ABC's upfront pitch at Lincoln Center, reminding them that they keep paying higher prices for smaller audiences. If TV has delivered only variations on that theme since then, Kimmel has seen other things change.

"He's gone from apolitical late-night host, best known for a segment where celebrities read mean tweets about themselves, to using his monologues to advocate for health-care reform and gun safety. (He also found himself in a feud with Fox News host Sean Hannity after making fun of Melania Trump.) And as host of the Academy Awards in March, Kimmel addressed Hollywood at the first Oscars since the sudden fall of Harvey Weinstein set off the #MeToo movement.

"Kimmel, who will bring his show back to Brooklyn this fall, remains third in late night, but he has meaningfully closed the gap with No. 2, Jimmy Fallon. Jimmy Kimmel Live! increased viewers 3 percent over last year to 2.3 million and held its rating among 18-to-49-year-olds steady at 0.48, compared with 3.9 million viewers and a 0.60 rating for CBS's The Late Show With Stephen Colbert and 2.7 million viewers and a 0.67 for NBC's The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. None of this includes online viewing, which Kimmel says has led to "exponentially" more people watching late-night TV than ever. (The first week in May was Kimmel's most-watched week on YouTube, with Jimmy Kimmel Live! amassing more than 81 million views, thanks to an Avengers edition of Mean Tweets.)

"Kimmel is the top-grossing alternative show on ABC; Mercedes Benz recenty renewed its sponsorship for the Live Concert series for two more years.

"Kimmel returns to ABC's upfront pitch next [this] to roast the ad industry. He spoke with Ad Age about the future of late-night TV, stand-up in the age of Trump and the media habits of his 3-year-old daughter:

You've had a year off from the upfronts—it doesn't feel like you missed much. As you like to joke, advertisers are still paying more for less. What's your impression of the state of the ad industry since you last addressed the audience at Lincoln Center?
First of all, I wasn't joking. People laugh, but it's not a joke. The fact that advertisers are willing to pay more and more as ratings get smaller and smaller leads me to believe advertisers were underpaying for a long time. It's the only way it makes any sense.

How do you prepare for the upfronts?
Most of the subjects I write jokes for aren't revealed until the day before the upfront itself, so a lot of it is just staying up most of the night the night before figuring out what I'm going to make jokes about.

How do you see the late-night landscape evolving as fewer people watch TV live and consume content on multiple platforms and devices?
Fewer people might be watching on TV, but a lot more people are watching. I just got an email like 12 minutes ago and it gives our YouTube views. We had 43 million new video views last week alone and that's a typical week. And that's just YouTube. It doesn't count Facebook, Hulu, Twitter, anywhere else these videos might be posted. And it only counts the official posting. The truth is, exponentially more people are watching late-night TV than they ever have, including the days of Johnny Carson and The Tonight Show and that era of TV when there was only one thing to watch. They're just watching it in many different ways.

Do you see a time where Jimmy Kimmel Live! no longer airs on traditional TV and lives solely in a digital world?
I don't think so. Starting on TV and that being your jumping off point puts you way ahead of the game. It's definitely important. It seeds the clouds, and your videos, as a result of being from TV, are more widely shared. We have a big advantage over someone who just posts a video to their YouTube channel and we try to keep pretty closely tied to current events. It becomes a natural part of your daily news.

Speaking of current events, you've said that you had fun sparring with Sean Hannity. But how dangerous are these types of public battles?
Well, the kind of battles Biggie and Tupac were engaging in were dangerous. There's very little actual danger with me and Sean Hannity insulting each other. But people pick sides, and the sad truth is, I'm never going to convince anyone who loves Sean Hannity of anything, and vice versa. You're really just masturbating.

In the Trump era, has it become harder to be funny without offending a group of people?
I don't think that has anything to do with Trump. It has a lot more to do with social media. I do think it's a very interesting time for comedy because people love to pile on, and part of being a comedian is throwing things out there, trying things, saying things, and not knowing what response you might get back. And when people are careful, it limits creativity. Thinking about what you're going to say before you say it isn't a great thing for the art of comedy.

Are there any topics or jokes that are off limits? Anything you have avoided in this intense climate?
Some things you have to be more careful with than others, but I don't think there are any subjects or categories I wouldn't talk about. What I worry about more than anything is trying to come up with an original take on something. Especially now, you have Twitter, you have thousands of people writing jokes the minute a news story happens and you have eight hours to go before you tape your show. It used to be that we had first crack at everything—the late-night daily shows would be your first take.

How do you stay creative in that environment? Are you reading what people are saying on Twitter or do you avoid it to not cloud your own writing?
I will read things and a lot of our writers will be on Twitter, but we're very sensitive and careful of that. We really try to make sure we aren't doing a joke that has already been done. With that said, people are very quick to accuse others of stealing jokes. Some people don't seem to understand that we tape our show at 5 p.m. and it doesn't air for another four hours. And they'll say, "You stole that joke," and I'll be like, "I was already in bed when you wrote that joke."

What's your media diet?
My home page is CNN.com. No one is unbiased anymore, but they do a good job with the news. I go to ESPN.com for sports stuff. I read a lot of The New Yorker, New York Times, Washington Post. I bounce around a lot. There are a lot of writers on Twitter. There is a guy, Charles Pierce at Esquire—I always read his stuff.

So you're not checking Facebook for your news?
I rarely go on Facebook. I drive my staff crazy if I try to post something. They're like, you didn't post it on your show page, you posted it on your page. I say I'm like a grandpa, but I have a feeling a lot of people's grandparents are better than I am.

Have you learned anything through your kids' media consumption habits? Are there any apps or YouTube stars or influencers on your radar that might not have been otherwise?
Yes. My big influencer is my three-and-a-half-year-old daughter, who if we need to keep her quiet for whatever reason, we hand her YouTube Kids. She has an attention span of about four seconds and there is no rhyme or reason for when she gets tired of a video and clicks one down at the bottom. She likes to see all her options at once. This can't be good for her brain. My daughter now speaks in that narrator-speak like the YouTube Kids show host. When she's playing with her dolls, she'll say, "We have Paw Patrol Chase here with Spider-Man." We actually heard her say these words. We overheard her saying, "Thanks for watching my video. Subscribe here."

Looking at the late-night landscape, do you expect any meaningful changes in the faces of late night or the format?
No. There will be more and more shows. There are shows that aren't really late-night talk shows that are branded that, for whatever reason, that aren't really that. There's more variety now when it comes to talk shows. There are more niche shows. But ultimately, the formula of having a desk and two empty chairs and a guy in a suit telling jokes has been around for a long time and is probably going to be around for a long time. Just in the same way that the Today show and Good Morning America are similar structurally and are institutions that are somewhat inviolable."

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Per The Hollywood Reporter, "RuPaul and Michael Patrick King are teaming up.

"Netflix has ordered a new hourlong comedy series AJ and the Queenfrom the drag queen and former Sex and the City showrunner. RuPaul will star in the 10-episode series, which he and King are writing and executive producing together. The project hails from MPK Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.

"The comedy will follow RuPaul as Ruby Red, a bigger-than-life but down-on-her-luck drag queen who travels across America from club to club in a rundown 1990’s R/V with her unlikely sidekick AJ, a recently orphaned, tough-talking, scrappy 11-year-old stowaway. As these two misfits, one tall, one small, travel from city to city, Ruby’s message of love and acceptance winds up touching people and changing their lives for the better. Oh, and RuPaul performs a killer musical number in every drag club.

"RuPaul’s Emmy winning VH1 series RuPaul’s Drag Race is currently airing its 10th season. At Hulu, he has half-hour dramedy Queen in the works loosely based on his own rise from club kid to drag queen, gay icon and global star. The show comes from J.J. Abrams' production company Bad Robot, where it's been a passion project of TV head Ben Stephenson. RuPaul has also appeared on Broad City, Please Like Me and Girlboss."

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"Fox has revived Tim Allen's Last Man Standing for a seventh season a year after the comedy was surprisingly canceled at ABC.

"Allen has signed on and has been — with producers 20th Century Fox Television — the driving force behind the revival. Stars Nancy Travis, Jonathan Adams, Amanda Fuller, Christoph Sanders and Jordan Masterson have also locked in deals to return. A return date and episode count for the series, originally created by Jack Burditt, have not yet been determined.

"'Excited? Team LMS was in the sixth inning, ahead by four runs, stands were packed and then for no reason, they call off the game. It leaves you sitting in the dugout, holding a bat and puzzled. Now we get the news from Fox that it’s time to get back out on that diamond — hell yes, I’m excited!' Allen said in a statement announcing the news Friday. 'When I heard the offer to create more episodes of Last Man Standing, I did a fist pump so hard I threw my back out. It’s the fans! I could not be more grateful for the fans who wrote petitions and kept up the passion and incredible support for the show. And a fist pump, ouch, for Dana Walden and Gary Newman at Fox for not only listening to the fans, but for making the bold move to bring Last Man Standing back. I’m sure audiences will be curious to see what we look like after all these years. Oh, has it only been one year? Well, just goes to show you — a lot can happen in a year.'

"The formal decision comes after Fox canceled single-camera comedies Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Mick and Last Man on Earth. Still to be determined are the fates of bubble shows L.A. to Vegas (could go either way) and Ghosted (not looking good), which are both also single-camera comedies. Last Man Standing joins a Fox 2018-19 roster that could include all multicamera live-action comedies a year after the network exited the genre. Fox's two new series orders — The Cool Kids and Rel — are both multicams.

“'Last Man Standing ended too soon and the outcry from the fans has been deafening,' said Gary Newman and Dana Walden, chairmen and CEOs at Fox Television Group. 'We’ve wanted to put the show back together since its final taping a year ago, and Tim never gave up hope either. Thanks to its millions of devoted viewers and the irrepressible Tim Allen, we haven’t seen the last of Last Man Standing.'

"Fox's move to revive Last Man Standing comes after Allen and the network's studio counterpart 20th TV attempted to find the series a new home after ABC's cancellation last year. Viacom-owned niche country music-themed cable network CMT was in talks to bring the show back for a seventh season for either a short-order or multiple-season/20-episode revival. But those negotiations ultimately broke down given the sizable price tag that came with the series. (CMT airs reruns of the show in syndication.)

"At the time of Last Man's cancellation, ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey stressed that the show's ownership structure — the network had to pay a sizable licensing fee to 20th TV — was behind her decision to drop it. Also playing a role in its cancellation was the fact that Allen's contract was up after season six and a new deal would have increased the cost of the aging series at a time when ABC was poised to shoulder a larger share of the price tag on the show. Dungey emphasized the cancellation had nothing to do with Allen's political affiliation after the actor compared being a conservative in Hollywood to ''30s Germany.' The actor has since voiced his support for President Donald Trump (and attended his inauguration).

"The renewal, at least for now, gives Fox ownership of the comedy though that could change if regulators approve Disney's $52.4 billion deal to buy Fox assets — including 20th TV. That would mean Disney would find itself in the opposite situation of where it was last year: owning the show on an outside network, with Fox having to pay the Mouse House a licensing fee."