Wednesday May 16, 2018

"HBO has set Sunday, July 8, 9 PM for the premiere of Sharp Objects, the eight-episode limited drama series starring Amy Adams. Written by Marti Noxon, based on the novel by Gillian Flynn and directed by Jean Marc Vallée, Sharp Objects centers on reporter Camille Preaker (Adams), who returns to her small hometown to cover the murder of a preteen girl and the disappearance of another. Trying to put together a psychological puzzle from her past, she finds herself identifying with the young victims a bit too closely. Patricia Clarkson, Chris Messina, Eliza Scanlen, Elizabeth Perkins and Matt Craven also star, as well as Henry Czerny, Taylor John Smith, Sophia Lillis and Madison Davenport."

"Dave Chappelle and Jon Stewart announced a joint stand-up tour for this summer. The comedic icons announced a seven-date June run spanning three cities: the 11th, 12th and 13th at Boston's Wang Theatre, the 21st and 22nd at Houston's Smart Financial Centre and the 23rd and 24th at El Paso, Texas' Chavez Theatre. In order to deter scalpers and bots, tickets will be available exclusively through Ticketmaster's Verified Fan platform. Registration is currently open and runs through Wednesday, May 16th at 10 p.m. ET, with tickets on sale Friday, May 18th at 10 a.m. local time."

As you know, I love Suits more than almost anyone.  However, I could not possibly care less about this royal wedding.

A satisfying New Girl series finale last night.  More below.

Including this.

ABC airs season finales tonight for a host of shows including The Goldbergsblack-ishAlex, Inc.Modern Family and what could be the series finale of Designated Survivor.

That said, Netflix is showing some interest in the recently canceled Designated Survivor.

"Ever wonder how much Bachelor contestants spend on their wardrobe? Thanks to Bekah Martinez, it’s confirmed: The girls fork out a lot. Martinez, or 'Bekah M,' as the fan favorite was known on Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s season, breaks down how much it costs for the girls to compete for love — and look good while doing it. Turns out those fancy dresses they all have to wear at cocktail parties are not provided by production.  'Basically the only packing list you get is like, "OK, prepare for eight weeks and all kinds of weather." They don’t want to give you any kind of hints about where you’ll be going, so they tell you to pack everything — bikinis, snow gear, just whatever you might possibly need,' she tells Glamour. 'And then, of course, there are the formal gowns.' Between cocktail parties and rose ceremonies, Martinez figured she needed around 10 dresses to be on the safe side, assuming she would go far. 'I didn’t have really any at all. I was like, "This is going to cost me thousands of dollars if I buy all of these,”' she recalls. 'Knowing that there’s a potential to go on the show for two months and not make any money during that time — I’m not working, but I still have to pay rent and all my living expenses — there was no way I could spend a few grand on clothes.' Martinez borrowed clothes from friends and connections in the fashion industry but still ended up spending $700 or $800 at Nordstrom Rack."

David Letterman will appear on Late Night With Seth Meyers on May 23.

Trailers for ABC's new shows in the event you just have to see them now.

People are really enjoying Cobra Kai on YouTube Red.  Rightfully so.

Congratulations to Million Dollar Listing: Los AngelesMatt Altman and his wife.

"ABC announced its fall 2018-19 lineup [more on ABC's upfronts below], and Marcia Clark’s new show, The Fix, is getting a lot of buzz. The official trailer was released today, and the three-minute video was a big flash from the past —  1995 to be precise. The legal thriller follows Maya Travis, an L.A. district attorney who moves to Washington, D.C., after suffering a public defeat when prosecuting an A-list actor for double murder. Sound familiar? Eight years later, Travis returns to the Los Angeles D.A.’s office when this same celebrity is under suspicion for another murder. Clark — who was the lead prosecutor in the O. J. Simpson murder case — is an executive producer and co-writer of the show. Naturally, the drama is only “loosely” based on her life. Robin Tunney, who starred in The Mentalist and The Craft, plays Maya Travis while Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Lost) takes on the role of famous actor turned suspect Sevvy Johnson."

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"Here are the five biggest takeaways from ABC’s upfront presentation on Tuesday:

Roseanne Barr is the face of ABC.

It didn’t take long for ABC to brag about Roseanne. Star Roseanne Barr appeared at the end of a prerecorded comedy video at the top of the show, then walked onstage to introduce Disney-ABC Television Group chairman Ben Sherwood as “the guy responsible for most of my tweets.” Barr drew strong applause as she stepped onstage — appropriate to her rediscovered star power.

As Sherwood boasted, Roseanne was this season’s highest-rated television program in the 18-49 demo — the first time in 24 years that ABC has had the No. 1 show. Sherwood and Barr hugged, and a few minutes later, ABC News teased a new marketing campaign featuring the voice of another Roseanne star, John Goodman.

“The premiere ratings even took us by surprise” said ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey, who claimed that 1 in 10 Americans has seen the Roseanne revival premiere. Although numbers for the comedy declined significantly since the premiere, they have leveled off — holding steady for two straight weeks with a 2.6 live plus same day demo rating. If Roseanne continues to draw similar ratings next year, it will prove that ABC’s move to revive the show, much derided after Barr made an awkward appearance at last year’s upfront, was savvy.

Roseanne is an imperfect face of ABC.

With numbers rare to broadcast, ABC can’t be expected to not make Roseanne its hood ornament. But the content surrounding Roseanne at the upfront laid bare what an odd fit the show is for that role. ABC spent years overtly linking its brand to inclusion with shows like Modern Family, Black-ish, Speechless, Fresh Off the Boat, and How to Get Away With Murder. “Roseanne” over-indexes in Midwestern states where Donald Trump performed well in 2017 and broadcast TV has struggled to connect with mass audiences. The schedule ABC touted at upfronts was short on similarly designed programs. The only new series it appears to have positioned to play well with Roseanne is Nathan Fillion cop drama The Rookie.

Then there’s her politics. Just minutes after Barr took the stage, Freeform presented. When footage of Parkland school shooting survivor David Hogg appeared in a sizzle reel for the Disney-owned cable channel, it served as a reminder that the week that Roseanne premiered, Barr took to Twitter to falsely accuse him of giving a Nazi salute at a rally against gun violence. Hitching the ABC brand to a star who mongers debunked conspiracy theories remains a risky proposition.

Michael Strahan is the face of multiple networks.

Ad buyers gathered at Lincoln Center were treated to day two of the Michael Strahan Upfront Tour. Just a day earlier, Strahan had appeared alongside Fox Sports colleagues Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Terry Bradshaw, and Howie Long at Fox’s upfront presentation. On Tuesday, he joined his ABC News colleagues on stage.

Flanked on one side by fellow Good Morning America hosts Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos and on the other by David Muir and Amy Robach, Strahan was literally at the center of the ABC News pitch. His ubiquity this week underscored his dramatic rise as a broadcaster since retiring from football in 2008. This fall he will serve as host of Fox’s Thursday Night Football pregame show, an analyst on Fox NFL Sunday, and a host on Good Morning America — after appearing this summer on ABC as host of The $100,000 Pyramid.

TGIF is kind of back, maybe.

With the move of Speechless and Fresh Off the Boat to Friday nights, Dungey touted the return of TGIF, the 90’s Friday-night comedy brand that included shows such as Full House and Family Matters. But the rollout seemed tepid, with no TGIF graphic popping up on the massive screens onstage. The lack of fanfare hinted that the scheduling move for the two shows to the 8 p.m. Friday hour may have been a late-game decision, or at least that the revival of the TGIF moniker — which Dungey used earlier in the day on a conference call with reporters — was.

ABC’s larger comedy brand, long the network strength, now appears to be a mixed bag. Dungey was qestioned this morning about the future of Modern Family, which co-creator Steve Levitan has indicated could end with its next season. Ant it appears to be a missed opportunity that ABC failed to develop a multi-camera comedy to pair with Roseanne on Tuesdays next season.

Kenya Barris is the new Shonda Rhimes.

For years, Shonda Rhimes was the most important creative force at ABC. Though the Thursday-night TGIT block of Rhimes-produced shows remains a feature of the network schedule, the only mention of Rhimes, who departed ABC Studios last year for an overall deal at Netflix, was Jimmy Kimmel’s joke about her exit. “Shonda is an amazing talent and person who changed the face of this network,” Kimmel said. “Now that she’s leaving for Netflix, I can honestly say on behalf of everyone here at ABC who have worked with her for so long, we hope she rots in hell.”

Still at ABC is Black-ish creator Barris, whose profile continues to grow. Freeform’s Kary Burke praised Barris as she touted the series order for his new show Besties. Dungey did the same when praising Black-ish. An appearance by Yara Shahidi, star of Barris’ Grownish, was the highlight of Freeform’s portion of the upfront. Barris was far and away the most prominent creator of the upfront, a position long held by Rhimes.

But it remains unclear what Barris’ future at ABC is. After the broadcaster shelved a topical episode of Black-ish this season, Barris explored leaving his ABC Studios deal to join Rhimes at Netflix. But his interest in the streaming service is complicated by the fact that he has two years remaining on his current contract. Speaking to reporter this morning, Dungey was upbeat about the company’s relationship with Barris, saying that the two recently discussed new business. But Barris has remained silent since the Black-ish episode was pulled in February."

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Per The Hollywood Reporter, "YouTube is diving into the world of artificial intelligence with its new series pickup. 

"The streamer has given an eight-episode order to an untitled docuseries from Team Downey that will explore the impact of A.I. and how it is transforming the way people live and work, both now and in the future. The hour-long series will feature interviews with people in the fields of science, philosophy, technology, engineering, medicine, futurism, entertainment and the arts. 

"Downey will executive produce the project alongside Team Downey's Susan Downey and Emily Ford. Evan Moore will oversee the project for Team Downey. Sonar Entertainment's Jenna Santoianni and Tom Lesinski will also executive produce, with Network Entertainment's Derik Murray and Paul Gertz producing. 

"The series will make its debut on YouTube Red, the streamer's $10-per-month subscription streaming service, in 2019. 

"'We are excited to be in business with the smart creative minds behind this innovative new series,' said YouTube head of original content Susanne Daniels. 'There is so much to discover, and this series will take us on a fascinating journey as we explore the exciting developments in the world of A.I. and glimpse into the future.'

"Added Susan Downey, 'Robert and I share a curiosity for A.I., a complicated and often polarizing subject. Our aim is to explore A.I. through a lens of objectivity and accessibility, in a thoroughly bold, splashy and entertaining way. We're thrilled to bring this project to life along with Network Entertainment, Sonar and YouTube Red.'

"The pickup marks an expansion into the docuseries category for YouTube Red, which has focused primarily on comedy, drama and reality series since its launch in 2015. Other projects in the works at the Google-owned streamer include a TV spinoff of The Edge of Seventeen and a comedy series starring Adam Pally. YouTube also recently handed a second-season order to Karate Kid reboot Cobra Kai

"For Team Downey, the project joins a growing slate of television projects, including a Perry Mason remake set at HBO."

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Per Uproxx, "'I just want to have a weird, wonderful life together,' Nick Miller tells Jess Day in the first of [last] night’s farewell episodes of New Girl.

"This is a lovely and fitting sentiment on the day that Jess (Zoey Deschanel) and Nick (Jake Johnson) finally get married, after years of flirtation, false starts, and misunderstandings. But it’s clear to anyone who’s been watching the Fox sitcom for seven seasons that these two have already had a weird and wonderful life together. So has New Girl itself — multiple lives, in fact.

"Most long-running series evolve in some way, but few have shed identities quite as often, as easily, or as successful creatively as New Girl has through its many lives.

"First, it was the Zoey Is Adorkable show, as all of the marketing, and much of the writing, were focused on the big-eyed 500 Days of Summer star’s many quirks, her clumsiness, her sloppy and vulnerable emotions, and her penchant for singing her own theme song. In the early days, the show was so Jess-centric that her three new male roommates barely registered as characters. (The most memorable of the three, Damon Wayans Jr’s Coach, left after the pilot because Wayans was still attached to Happy Endings, though he returned periodically and was even a regular castmember for a couple of seasons in the middle of the run.)

"Charming and funny as Deschanel was, that version of the series wasn’t sustainable (though the show was a genuine hit back at the start, and for many years now has suffered tiny ratings even by #EndTimes for broadcast TV standards), and the writers quickly fell in love with Max Greenfield’s off-kilter line readings as the loft’s lovable douchebag Schmidt. Greenfield was soon carrying a lot of the comedy load as it became the Schmidt Says Funny Things In Funny Ways show, while the writers tried to get a handle on both Nick and especially Winston (Lamorne Morris, who replaced Wayans starting with the second episode).

"Soon, the writers and many viewers fell in love with Nick, who was slowly revealed to be not the straight man of the loft (a role that Jess somehow took on as the years went by, with Hannah Simone’s Cece also filling it from time to time), but its weirdest resident: a gruff loner with a dark Chicago childhood who seemed incapable of functioning on basic levels of adult life. (A subplot in tonight’s second episode has him baffled by the idea of foot lotion, or even how to properly say “foot lotion.”)

"Somewhere in the midst of the Nick Miller Is A Freak show, New Girl also became a romantic comedy about Jess and Nick realizing their attraction for one another and struggling with their feelings, given their close living situation and pre-existing relationships with other people. This eventually became the Be Careful What You Wish For, Nick And Jess Shippers show, as when they finally got together, they were miserable and also largely detached from the rest of the group.

"Then the character whom the writers didn’t know what to do with for years suddenly became the series’ MVP, as we moved into the Winston Bishop Is An Insane Person show, which continues in some form to this day. (It’s a testament to the hilarious work Morris did when finally given material to play that the series’ final big joke is Winston-centric.)

"Winston’s improbable rise to the top of the latter-day New Girl MVP rankings was mainly fueled by the writers giving him various obsessions and not worrying about how they fit together to make a recognizable human being, trusting that Morris’ enthusiasm and comic timing would sell each individual joke so well that cohesion didn’t matter. This eventually became the ethos for the entire series. What had at one point been a semi-serialized comedy charting the love lives and professional aspirations of the four (and occasionally five) loftmates in time became bogged down whenever it tried to tell actual stories, so at a certain point the writers (including creator Liz Meriwether, who inspired many of the quirks of both Jess and Nick, as well as fellow showrunners Brett Baer and Dave Finkel) largely gave up on story and decided to simply let a bunch of funny people (both the actors and characters) be funny. At heart, it had always been a hangout show — where the audience enjoys simply spending time with the characters at least as much as the characters enjoy spending time with each other — but once freed from the shackles of sitcom plotting, this became even more apparent and appealing. There were memorable story moments throughout these seven seasons, particularly in the ebb and flow of Jess and Nick’s romance, but what will linger more than anything are the riffs, like Nick offering Schmidt an apology cookie, and rambling for so long that his words stop sounding like English after a while:

"Just as tight-knit groups of friends develop their own language and inside jokes, so did New Girl. One of its most enduring running gags involved True American, a drinking game about US history whose rules were never remotely clear to the audience (and perhaps to the writers). Winston and Cece surprised everyone by becoming close friends through a series of 'mess-arounds,' and almost everyone in the loft adopted at least one pseudonym, from Nick’s literary alter ego Julius Pepperwood (who somehow became the star of a best-selling YA series) to Winston having packages delivered to him at the loft under the name of Retired Rear Admiral Jay Garage-A-Roo. (Just look at that for a moment, and how every single word — every syllable, really — makes the whole even greater than the sum of its ridiculous parts. It’s a silly name masterpiece.)

"The show could have easily ended last spring, with Jess and Nick finally getting together for good. (It was an episode even Baer and Finkel wanted to feel like a series finale, just in case.) This eight-episode victory lap season has brought back many past characters like Coach (and killed one, in the form of Winston’s beloved cat Furguson, who was given a Jewish funeral and unveiling because, as Winston put it, 'I looked at Furguson as Jewish'). It’s been fun but inessential — more like reuniting with old friends years later to reminisce about the glory days, but not creating new memories in the process. But true to the hangout spirit that dominated the show, I’ve been glad for this extra time, and particularly for tonight’s double-feature finale. The arrangement is as it should be: the penultimate episode is about Jess and Nick’s wedding (which, true to sitcom form, goes disastrously until — spoiler! — it doesn’t), with cameos from some more recurring characters (Tran fans waiting for closure, you are in for a treat), while the finale is about saying goodbye to the loft itself.

"For all that the show kept swapping out main characters and go-to comic performers (including a brief, surprising period where Megan Fox was somehow the best part of it), and despite the fact that it kept that increasingly irrelevant title through seven seasons, New Girl was ultimately about this group of people living in this place. Even though Schmidt, Cece, and Winston all moved out before this final season, it’s right and good for the finale to be centered there.

"New Girl was many things, centered around many people. No matter what or who, though, it was mostly just a pleasure. I’ll miss it."

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Per Variety, "Sky and HBO are teaming again, this time for a documentary series about the Adnan Syed case, which inspired the popular Serial podcast. Academy Award nominee Amy Berg (“Deliver Us from Evil”) will direct.

The Case Against Adnan Syed will run to four hours. Working Title TV and Instinct Productions are producing, and NBC Universal International Studios are distributing the follow-up to the case, which will play on the Sky Atlantic channel in the U.K. and in the U.S. on HBO.

"The series will explore the 1999 disappearance and murder of 18-year-old Baltimore County high school student Hae Min Lee and the subsequent conviction of her ex-boyfriend, Syed. In production since 2015, the series will re-examine the events leading up to Hae Min Lee’s disappearance, the original police investigation, and the present day, when Syed awaits a new trial.

"Sky said the series will present new discoveries and 'ground-breaking revelations that challenge the state’s case.'

“'We’ll be offering viewers a compelling window into one of the most talked about murder cases in recent years,' said Sky’s director of programming Zai Bennett. “The hugely talented Amy Berg has unprecedented access to those closest to the investigation, which is sure to make unmissable viewing.”

"Nick Cave will provide original music for the series. It will be exec-produced by Henrietta Conrad and Jemima Khan for Instinct Productions and Eric Fellner, Tim Bevan and Andrew Stearn for Working Title TV.

"Sky, Europe’s largest pay TV operator, and HBO have a $250 million co-production deal and are working together on various projects. The pair recently announced Julia Davis comedy Sally4Ever, nuclear disaster drama Chernobyl is in production."