Wednesday May 30, 2018

Nice knowing ya Rosanne.  More below on ABC's decision to cancel the show on the heels of Barr's racist Twitter post.

Here's some of the reaction Barr faced yesterday.

And some more.

Why not a few more for good measure?

Barr was dropped by ICM immediately AFTER the news broke.  How sanctimonious!

But she didn't stop tweeting last night, adding insult to injury. "Don't feel sorry for me, guys!!-I just want to apologize to the hundreds of people,and wonderful writers (all liberal) and talented actors who lost their jobs on my show due to my stupid tweet. I will be on Joe Rogan's podcast friday. . . . guys I did something unforgiveable so do not defend me. It was 2 in the morning and I was ambien tweeting-it was memorial day too-i went 2 far & do not want it defended-it was egregious Indefensible. I made a mistake I wish I hadn't but…don't defend it please. ty. . . . I'm sorry 4 my tweet, AND I will also defend myself as well as talk to my followers. so, go away if u don't like it. I will handle my sadness the way I want to. I'm tired of being attacked & belittled more than other comedians who have said worse. . . . Please don't start all of that boycott abc stuff-I'm not a censor and they have the right to do what they wish. It' all ok. thanks tho guys! . . . I think Joe Rogan is right about ambien. Not giving excuses for what I did(tweeted) but I've done weird stuff while on ambien-cracked eggs on the wall at 2am etc"

"HBO Sports is teaming up with Bill Simmons Media Group for Courtside at the NBA Finals, an unscripted hourlong special chronicling the 2018 NBA championship series between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers. Courtside at the NBA Finals will premiere Tuesday, June 19 at 9 PM ET/PT with a replay at 11 PM ET/PT on HBO. The special, which will give viewers 'a unique and unprecedented inside look at the NBA’s championship series,' will air at the conclusion of the 2018 NBA Finals, with Game 7 (if needed) scheduled for June 17. 'This show will give our subscribers a first-hand look at the nuances of each victory and defeat,' said Peter Nelson, executive vice president, HBO Sports. 'We are privileged to team up with the NBA and Bill Simmons for this unique presentation.'” In.

As I reported last week, Trading Spaces has "officially" been picked up for a 2nd season (10th overall).

Season 4 of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is now streaming on Netflix.

The series finale of The Americans airs tonight.

Another season of MasterChef kicks off on Fox this evening.  When is enough enough?

NBC premieres Reverie tonight. Person of Interest‘s Sarah Shahi stars as a former hostage negotiator recruited by her ex-boss (24‘s Dennis Haysbert) to rescue people who have lost themselves in a virtual reality program.

More evidence that social media can bite you in the ass.  "Emerging Bachelorette frontrunner Garrett Yrigoyen is under fire after allegedly 'liking' Instagram posts ridiculing immigrants, the LGBTQ community and Parkland High School student David Hogg. In a series of screen grabs uploaded to Twitter by former Bachelor contestant Ashley Spivey, Yrigoyen, 29, appears to have double-tapped a number of posts from right-leaning accounts, including the Patriotic Merica Supply Co., which has taken aim at Colin Kaepernick and the NFL’s national anthem protests, as well as Caitlyn Jenner’s transition. 'Can we do a better job of social media deep dives on the dudes that try out for #thebachelorette – FYI douchebags we can see your likes,' Spivey, who appeared on Season 15 of the ABC reality series in 2011, tweeted May 24. While Yrigoyen’s original Instagram account has since been deleted, the Nevada-based medical sales rep has returned to the social media platform under a different handle."

"Uma Thurman has been tapped for a starring role in Chambers, Netflix’s upcoming hourlong supernatural drama from Stephen Gaghan and Super Deluxe. Created and written by Leah Rachel, who co-showruns with Akela Cooper, Chamberscenters on a young heart attack survivor who becomes consumed by the mystery surrounding the heart that saved her life. However, the closer she gets to uncovering the truth about her donor’s sudden death, the more she starts taking on the characteristics of the deceased — some of which are troublingly sinister. Thurman will play Nancy, the mother of the heart donor who forges a hesitant relationship with the young recipient only to find out her daughter may not be as dead as she thought."

"Jim Parsons, better known as Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory, said on Live With Kelly and Ryan that 'it’s possible' his hugely popular show may end after the upcoming season. Parsons explained that The Big Bang Theory’s cast members’ contracts end after Season 12, which is the season that will begin airing this fall. However, the end is not a definite. Parsons said the cast and creator Chuck Lorre haven’t had a “come to Jesus conversation, which is what it would take” to end the show."

18 new summer shows worth checking out.

Snoop Dogg is doing yeoman's work these days.

Just in case you didn't believe me, here he is in his new spot slinging ED and hair growth meds.

"After eight years and multiple writers and outlets, IDW's beloved comic Locke and Key is finally coming to the small screen. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Netflix is near a series-order deal for the drama based on Joe Hill's graphic novel from showrunner Carlton Cuse. Netflix declined comment as deals are not done. Sources say the streamer is in talks to license the rights for the IP and redevelop the drama with IDW Entertainment. The Netflix series is not the Hulu pilot. Instead, Cuse and Joe Hill will redevelop the series for the streaming giant with an entirely new cast and new director. Andy Muschietti, who helmed the Hulu pilot, is busy with It 2 and is no longer avaialble [sic] to direct. He will still be credited as an executive producer on the Netflix series."


Per The Hollywood Reporter, "ABC, in a stunning move, has decided to cancel its Roseanne revival following star Roseanne Barr's racist tweet Tuesday. 

"'Roseanne's Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,' ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said Tuesday.

"Early Tuesday, star, head writer and exec producer Barr attacked Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to former President Barack Obama, in a since-deleted tweet in which she said 'Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.' Barr subsequently apologized: 'I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans. I am truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks. I should have known better. Forgive me — my joke was in bad taste.'

"Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger also weighed in on the decision to cancel Roseanne: 'There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing,' he tweeted.

"Showrunner Bruce Helford added in a statement of his own: 'On behalf of all the writers and producers, we worked incredibly hard to create an amazing show. I was personally horrified and saddened by the comments and in no way do they reflect the values of the people who worked so hard to make this the iconic show that it is.'

"Barr's tweet prompted a massive outcry across social media, with thousands condeming the actress-comedian's comments and calling on ABC to cancel her series. The Disney-owned network's decision to cancel the comedy marked the first time the network has taken action in response to one of Barr's controversial tweets. 

"Axing the Roseanne revival was no small decision for ABC. The rebooted comedy debuted its nine-episode run midseason and finished as the TV season's No. 1 scripted series on all of broadcast. Roseanne had been averaging a 5.5 rating among adults 18-49 and 19.3 million viewers with live-plus-3 lifts. With a full week of time-shifting, those numbers climbed to a 6.4 rating in the key demo and 22.1 million viewers. Either way, Roseanne was the highest-rated and most watched series of the broadcast season, eclipsing NBC's This Is U sand CBS' Big Bang Theory — which had been in a heated battle for top status.

"In response to Barr's tweet, co-star and exec producer Sara Gilbert — who was the driving force behind the revival — blasted her longtime friend and colleague. 'Roseanne’s recent comments about Valerie Jarrett, and so much more, are abhorrent and do not reflect the beliefs of our cast and crew or anyone associated with our show. I am disappointed in her actions to say the least,' she wrote on Twitter. 'This is incredibly sad and difficult for all of us, as we’ve created a show that we believe in, are proud of, and that audiences love — one that is separate and apart from the opinions and words of one cast member.' Wanda Sykes, who served as a consultant on season one, also tweeted Tuesday that she would not be returning to the series following Barr's racist tweet. 

"Roseanne was slated to return in the fall for an expanded 11th season of 13 episodes as ABC looked to build on the show's momentum. In a victory lap of sorts, Barr was the centerpiece of ABC's upfront presentation to Madison Avenue ad buyers earlier this month. The revival was part of a larger effort by Dungey — broadcast's lone African-American network topper — to cater to the underserved community who turned out in force to elect Trump. The success of the Roseanne revival has prompted other broadcast networks to pick up a wave of multicamera comedies in a larger push to program for middle America. (To that end, Fox revived Tim Allen comedy Last Man Standing a year after ABC's cancellation.)

"Roseanne has never shied away from taking on timely and controversial subjects. In the spirit of its original run, which had a history of addressing larger political and social issues, the revival famously opened its new season with an episode that explored the country's divisive response to President Trump, whom Barr has publicly supported. The storyline between Roseanne and her sister, Jackie (Laurie Metcalf), was designed to reflect the debate among Trump's working-class base and spur a larger discussion. The May 22 season finale, likewise, set the stage to explore a larger debate about health care in America.

"The reboot also found itself under the microscope earlier this season when a one-off joke taking aim at fellow ABC comedies Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat was blasted as being 'reductive' and 'belittling.'

"For his part, Helford stressed ahead of and during the Roseanne revival that he hoped viewers would be able to separate the show from Barr's politics. 'We never set out to be a show about politics. We set out to be a show about the Conners and how the current political climate affects the family,' he told The Hollywood Reporter. 'We made a point of not mentioning names in the beginning, and I believe we will probably maintain that same thing. There is no agenda here, in any direction. The idea is to present all sides of the dialogue. Making it specific like that isn't necessary. That's not what we're doing. We're not talking about the personalities involved. We're talking about the effects of all the politics on the lives of people like the Conners.' Helford served as showrunner on an early season of Roseanne before he was fired by the actress. He was poised to return as season 11's lone showrunner after Whitney Cummings opted to not return. 

"ABC's decision to cancel Roseanne leaves the network with a major hole on its schedule as the series was set to open its Tuesday lineup at 8 p.m. ABC now heads into the 2018-19 broadcast season without TV's No. 1 series and without prolific showrunner Shonda Rhimes, who exited last year for a deal with Netflix."


From Collider: "We’re hearing that, by the end of Season 9 of AMC’s hit drama series The Walking Dead, Rick Grimes himself will be walking away. That’s right TWD enthusiasts, Andrew Lincoln will be growling his way through the post-apocalyptic setting for just one more season before calling it quits. And while we won’t be spoiling just how the series’ founding character makes his exit, we do know that fans can only expect to see Lincoln in half-a-dozen episodes of the upcoming season.

"Any time a major character from the show shuffles off this mortal coil (or heads to a spin-off series), it’s a big deal, but for the characters who have been there from the beginning like Rick Grimes & Co., their loss is catastrophic. We saw that effect when Chandler Riggs left the show just last season and we’ll likely see an even bigger fan fallout when Lincoln leaves in Season 9. To fill the void in the show’s leading man status, we’re also hearing that AMC has offered substantial compensation to long-running series star Norman Reedus to not only stay on board, but to take over the show’s leading role.

"Off-screen drama has been fairly common for The Walking Dead this off-season with star Lauren Cohan, who’s not quite a TWD original but close, making waves across social media by holding out for a better contract. Her case was strengthened by the Season 8 finale, which put her character Maggie in a position of power that ironically mirrored Cohan’s own bargaining position at the negotiating table. Cohan is confirmed to be back for Season 9 of The Walking Dead, though it’ll only be for six episode as well; her ABC pilot Whiskey Cavalier has been ordered to series, keeping her plenty busy. It’s possible that AMC will cut ties with both Lincoln and Cohan this season … or vice versa. Lincoln has been relatively locked down in the eight-plus years of starring on The Walking Dead, and while it’s a lucrative job, it limits the versatile star from taking on other creative challenges. Cohan, too, has been a sought-after talent during the recent TV pilot season and has increasingly high-profile films on deck at this stage in her career."


Per Deadline, "[t]he back-and-forth continues between Morgan Freeman and CNN over the news org’s expose about him. Here is the actor’s attorney Robert Schwartz’s response to CNN’s latest statement:

“We presented CNN with objective evidence, including videotapes and on-the-record denials by the claimed 'victims,' that the alleged incident that gave rise to the story never happened. We proved to CNN, beyond any doubt, that the whole story was built on fakery. The credibility of the entire CNN attack on Mr. Freeman has now been undermined. And in choosing to ignore all of the evidence that we presented, CNN has confirmed our concerns about its reporters, its lack of oversight, and its gross misconduct in unjustifiably attacking Mr. Freeman.”

"CNN has rebutted Morgan Freeman’s demand for a retraction, saying it stands by its report that multiple women accuse him of harassing them or behaving inappropriately on set, while promoting his movies, and at his production company.

“'The unfounded accusations made by Mr. Freeman’s lawyer are disappointing and are difficult to reconcile with Mr. Freeman’s own public statements in the aftermath of the story,' the cable nws network said in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon.

“'CNN stands by its reporting and will respond forcefully to any attempt by Mr. Freeman or his representatives to intimidate us from covering this important public issue,' the network added.

"Hours earlier, Robert M. Schwartz of Irell & Manella, has emailed a 10-page letter to CNN chief Jeff Zucker, implying that this might become a lawsuit.

"In its report, published last week, the cable news organization said eight women have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior. CNN interviewed 16 people for its report, including some who said they witnessed the behavior.

"One production assistant said she was subjected to unwanted touching and comments about her figure and clothing on a nearly daily basis, including one incident in which the 80-year-old actor allegedly 'kept trying to lift up my skirt' while inquiring if she was wearing underwear.

"Freeman, who has lost endorsements and has said he is devastated by the accusations, initially apologized and but then clarified. In his letter to Zucker, Schwartz wrote, 'It has been said that "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on." In just the few days since CNN published the article on Mr. Freeman, it has traveled all the way around the world and back, millions of times. If CNN has any decency, or any allegiance to journalistic integrity, it will immediate retract the article and issue a public apology to Mr. Freeman.'”


Per Wired, "[o]n Sunday night, around the same time Westworld hit HBO and Game 7 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals aired on ESPN, people watched the season finale of Killing Eve. A lot of people. 'A lot' is relative here—the stats aren't out yet, but considering the previous episode garnered 986,000 total viewers it probably didn't get near the 2 million people who watched Westworld’s season premiere—but for a show on BBC America that didn’t have the cultural clout of a prestige HBO series, it’s impressive. More importantly, it's something that hasn’t come around in a long time.

"Unlike many shows on TV, Killing Eve has consistently increased its viewership since its series premiere in April: The past seven weeks have seen 47 percent growth in its so-called L+3 rating, which measures the combined viewership of a show’s live airing and time-shifted viewing over the three subsequent days. Those are better viewership gains than any scripted show has seen in a decade, according to BBC America. Moreover, the show's finale got some 37,000 interactions on social media, according to Nielsen, beating out Westworld as the most popular show on Twitter and Facebook on Sunday night. Put another way, Killing Eve, after just two months, turned itself into appointment television.

"'It’s rare air to get the kind of ratings growth, driven by word of mouth, that this show is getting,' says BBC America President Sarah Barnett, adding that while the network knew it had a good show on its hands, 'we didn’t expect to buck trend quite this much.'

"In a way, this is quite remarkable. If the always-streaming, everything-on-demand state of TV right now has taught viewers anything, it’s that very little about television is urgent. Sure, there are still a few watercooler shows, and events like the Oscars or the Super Bowl require real-time viewing, but everything else can be watched on an I’ll Get to It When I Get to It basis. Short of one’s peer group pressuring them into watching something right now no one feels they have to be caught up on everything.

"Killing Eve, however, was different. As spring marched on and other TV shows wrapped up for the season, the internet slowly became everyone’s peer group, pressuring them into watching. Tweets like this one and/or this one started floating around and soon the show became an inside joke that everyone wanted to be in on. That effect, coupled with the fact that BBC America made the show incredibly easy to watch through on-demand services and its own website and app, made it the kind of thing viewers kept up with. It quickly became one of the most popular shows on BBC America's platforms, and those views in turn led to more live viewers each week. 'We really didn’t expect it to grow like this,' Barnett says. 'No one rationally would.'

"But Killing Eve’s success isn’t just the result of the fact that it’s good. A lot of shows are good, and can even match Eve’s 96 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. What this show has going for it is that it's also delightfully weird. Oh, Sandra Oh as a bored MI5 agent (the show’s titular Eve) who forms an obsession with a charismatic female assassin (Jodie Comer’s Villanelle) isn’t enough? Perhaps the fact that its showrunner is Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge (also now famous for playing the droid L3-37 in Solo: A Star Wars Story) makes it more appealing.

"And those are only the top notes. The reason the internet—and the people on it—can’t stop talking about Killing Eve is that it completely subverts every male-driven spy story trope out there. No one drinks martinis; everyone’s a little bit queer, in both the sexual sense and the British sense; and both heroes and villains have feelings. (As Barnett notes, Eve also has sparked dialogue about the representations of women and people of color on TV.) It’s also funny as hell, and the cat-and-mouse chase between Eve and Villanelle plays out as much like a high-school-crush love story as it does a cloak-and-dagger tale pitting British intelligence against a mysterious Russian syndicate. (Sunday’s finale paid off both of those plots with a love-scene-slash-assassination-attempt that is pretty much an Emmy reel for both Oh and Comer.)

"The show’s success is also somewhat by design. If its word-of-mouth audience-building and GIF-sharing rabid fandom feel familiar, that's because they're not too different from BBC America's last female-fronted semi-surprise hit: four years ago, Orphan Black amassed a crew of hardcore fans for its second season thanks to the show's availability on Amazon after Season 1. Eve was able to replicate that process, and even accelerate it thanks to its increased multiplatform availability (BBC America didn't have an app when Orphan originally aired).

"Further ensuring the show's foothold with fans, BBC America enlisted the help of Molly Templeton, a social media director at strategy agency Everybody at Once who had helped cultivate Orphan's online Clone Club, to interact with the show's burgeoning audience. 'We had the strategy from the beginning to sort of stan our fans, if you like,' Barnett says. 'In the same way that Eve and Villanelle establish this obsession with each other, we wanted to mimic some of that obsessiveness.'

"That obsession, Barnett hopes, will carry over into Season 2, which was greenlit even before Killing Eve's first episode aired. It'll continue to be as available to viewers as possible and hopefully have an established, ready-to-watch fanbase in place right when the second season premieres. Will it ever top Westworld? That's a tall order—but in a lazy summer when even HBO crowd-pleasers are starting to disappoint, a show that knows how to play with its audience means that no mission is impossible."

Contrary to the premise of this piece, I look forward to binge watching season 1.


Per EW, "Marti Noxon is tired—and with good reason. The prolific mind behind some of your favorite shows (UnREAL and Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce, to name just a couple) is the creator of not one but two series airing this summer, both based upon hit novels. Premiering June 4 is AMC’s Dietland, a sly and subversive look at the beauty industry starring Joy Nash and Julianna Margulies. And in July, HBO will launch the languid, mysterious Sharp Objects, based on the Gillian Flynn thriller and starring Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson, and Chris Messina. Taking a quick break from her multiple jobs, Noxon, 53, chats with EW about her impressive multitasking abilities:

How are you able to juggle these very different shows?

Well, I have not known the love of another human being other than my children. [Laughs] I did sideline my personal life for a while, and it’s been a very fruitful and productive time but…frankly, I’m tired.

Let’s start with Dietland, which is based on the 2015 Sarai Walker novel. What was it about this story that intrigued you?

I remember seeing the cover of the book—it featured a cupcake with a grenade pull—and I was like, “That looks like something that would be of interest to me.” I bought the book, and it was around halfway through that I realized it was really about revolution—about women looking at everything that they’ve taken as the status quo and pushing back. [Protagonist] Plum is a character who has, for the first time in her life, been agitated to wake up. I just loved how subversive and sneaky a story it is. And weird! We really lean into the weird.

Joy Nash is a fantastic actress to go on this journey with.

Isn’t she a f—ing revelation? We saw a lot of actresses, but when Joy walked in the room, it was just so exciting. She is very, very special.

Your other lead actress right now is Amy Adams. As Sharp Objects‘ Camille, she is somehow grittier than we’ve ever seen her.

It’s counterprograming, and it creates all this great internal confusion because Amy is this ray of light. I had read Sharp Objects while I was going through my divorce. I was going through a lot of dark stuff. I’ve wrestled with addiction and eating disorders on and off throughout my life, and I was in a dark place, and I really related to Camille. After picking up the book, I just couldn’t shake her.

Author Gillian Flynn has a gift for writing complicated yet relatable women.

Yes, she really gets under the skin of our darker places and the places we haven’t been given a lot of agency. The exploration of anger and women having anger of their own that isn’t provoked is really powerful for me. Anger really is the theme for both Sharp Objects and Dietland. Even though they’re both so different, it’s women raging against the machine and not knowing what to do about it.

"Dietland premieres June 4 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. Sharp Objects premieres July 8 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO."