Friday June 15, 2018

Part 5 of The Ranch is now streaming on Netflix. More below.

Season 2 of Amazon's Goliath is now available to stream.  Here's a quick catch up on what you might have missed or forgotten about season 1.

Ditto for season 2 of Queer Eye on Netflix.

ABC airs the final episode of The Chew today.

A new season of The Affair bows on Showtime on Sunday.

Jerry Seinfeld (and Cardi B) dropped by to visit with Zach Galifanakis for an episode of Between Two Ferns.  If you have 6 minutes, it's worth a watch.

Here's a first look at season 2 of USA's The Sinner. "Elisha Henig plays an 11-year-old who murders his parents in rural New York with no apparent motive — although the trailer hints that perhaps his parents weren’t the best parents. Bill Pullman plays Det. Harry Ambrose, who is in charge of the case that reveals some hidden darkness about his hometown. Carrie Coon plays Vera, a mysterious woman who will stop at nothing to protect the town’s secrets. USA also revealed a first look at Tracy Letts playing Jack Novak, a childhood friend of Ambrose’s."

Jerry Springer had one helluva run.

AT&T has finalized its $85,000,000,000 deal to acquire Time Warner, after a federal judge cleared the way and ruled in favor of the merger over objections from the U.S. Department of Justice.

"After Ryan Murphy teased that the next season of American Horror Story would take place in the near-distant future, the four-time Emmy-winning TV series creator announced on social that season 8 will indeed be a crossover of season 1’s Murder House and season 3’s Coven. Season 1 took place in a haunted house in Los Angeles, while season 3’s AHS setting was a gifted young girls boarding school in New Orleans. Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, and Kathy Bates are returning for season 8. Paulson played medium Billie Dean Howard in the Murder House season, a part which she reprised in AHS fifth season Hotel. In Coven, Paulson played Miss Robichaux’s Academy headmistress Cordelia Foxx. Peters played murderous teen Tate Langdon in Murder House and frat president Kyle Spencer in Coven. Bates joined AHS during Coven as socialite Madame Delphine LaLaurie, who was a serial killer known for murdering and torturing her black slaves."

Seems like now is a good time for Bill Cosby to change lawyers.

"Leah Remini has joined the untitled Rob McElhenney-Rob Rosell comedy pilot at FoxVariety has confirmed. Remini will play Jean, who considers herself a patriot who loves her country and firmly believes in everyone’s right to be left alone. Jean in many ways fits the stereotype of a typical conservative. However, she leads a very progressive lifestyle as she is now married to a woman, Betty. Together, they’re raising Jean’s two boys with the help of the boys’ father and Jean’s ex-husband, Richie, who currently lives in the garage."

"YouTube is rounding out cast for its new comedy series toplined by Happy Endings alum Adam Pally and Detroiters star Sam Richardson. Keith David (The Princess and the Frog)Moonlighting alums Curtis Armstrong and Allyce Beasley, Danielle Schneider (The Hotwives of Las Vegas), Neil Casey (Silicon Valley),Sabrina Revelle (Zac and Mia), Rich Sommer (GLOW), and Adriyan Rae(Atlanta) will join previously cast Jay Pharoah (Saturday Night Live) in recurring roles. In addition, Thomas Barbusca (The Mick) will guest star in one episode. The untitled series, set for a 2019 premiere on YouTube Red, reunites a number of key auspices behind ABC’s comedy seriesHappy Endings — co-star Pally, creator/executive producer David Caspe, writers Daniel Libman and Matthew Libman, executive producer Jamie Tarses, studio Sony Pictures TV as well as Dustin Davis, Head of Comedy Development at YouTube Originals, who was an ABC comedy current executive working on the series. Written/executive produced by Daniel Libman, Matthew Libman, Jordan Cahan and Caspe and exec produced by Tarses, the series’ concept is summed up as “every rapper has a crew he can’t live without… and vice versa” and examines how long the crew can survive without being in the limelight."

So much for canceling YouTube Red after my trial run expires.

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Per The Hollywood Reporter, "Showtime is going back to the 1980s.

"The premium cable network has handed out a 10-episode series order to comedy Black Monday. The series, starring Don Cheadle and Andrew Rannells, was developed with the title Ball Street.

"Picked up to pilot in September 2017 following an extended deal-making process, Black Monday kicks off on Oct. 19, 1987 — aka Black Monday, the day of the worst stock market crash in the history of Wall Street. The series tells the story of how a group of outsiders took on the blue-blood, old-boys club of Wall Street and ended up crashing the world's largest financial system, a Lamborghini limousine, Don Henley's birthday party and the glass ceiling.

"'Black Monday is a scathing comic commentary on the excess of the '80s,' Nevins said. 'Don Cheadle, Andrew Rannells and Regina Hall lead a hilarious cast that takes on blue-blooded Wall Street as the Bad News Bears of Wall Street trading firms.'

"Cheadle, who won a Golden Globe and scored four Emmy nominations for Showtime comedy House of Lies, stars as a self-educated, self-made, self-destructive master of the universe whose firm the financial press called 'the L.A. Raiders of corporate raiders.' Rannells, a two-time Tony nominee, plays Blair Shmerman, a fresh-out-of-Wharton trading prodigy whose pure heart will struggle to survive Wall Street (metaphorically and physically). Hall co-stars as the first female head trader on the street, who'll ride the second wave of feminism through a sea of horny millionaires.

"Black Monday is from Happy Endings creator David Caspe and Jordan Cahan, who exec produced alongside Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Black Monday is a co-production between Showtime and Sony Pictures Television, where Rogen and Goldberg — who directed the pilot — are under an overall deal. The comedy was redeveloped from a script Showtime picked up a few years ago. Caspe, who created ABC critical favorite Happy Endings, is lifelong friends with Cahan, and the duo previously teamed on NBC's short-lived comedy Marry Me, where the latter was a supervising producer.

"Paul Scheer, Yassir Lester, Michael James Scott and Eugene Cordero co-star, with Casey Wilson, Ken Marino and Kurt Braunohler recurring.

"The pickup for Black Monday comes a month after Showtime ordered City on a Hill, starring Kevin Bacon and exec produced by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, to series. Both join a scripted roster that includes The Affair, Billions, The Chi, Homeland, I'm Dying Up Here, Ray Donovan, Shameless, SMILF and Kidding.

"Black Monday officially brings Cheadle back to Showtime following a five-season run as the star and exec producer of House of Lies. He won a Golden Globe and was nominated for three Emmys for the part."

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Per Deadline, "Comedy Central’s daily late-night program The Opposition with Jordan Klepper will end its run after one season but Klepper is staying on the network with a new weekly half-hour series. Tentatively titled Klepper, it will feature the comedian out in the field, traveling the country and speaking to people.

"The Opposition‘s last episode will air on June 28. Klepper just shared the news with the show’s staff. Development on the new show will start right after, with pre-production slated to begin in the fall and a premiere eyed for early 2019 in the 10 PM-11 PM time period.

"The timing of the decision stems from the fact that The Opposition was wrapping its first season, with a slew of contracts for people in front and behind the camera coming up for renewal for another year.

“'That added into the accelerated pace of the decision but it was mostly driven by excitement about the new show,' Comedy Central president Kent Alterman said. 'We can’t do both obviously so we are winding down The Opposition in accordance with gearing up Klepper.'

"Joining Klepper on the new program will be The Opposition executive producer Stuart Miller and co-executive producer Kim Gamble. All three will executive produce along with Trevor Noah, who co-created and executive produces The Opposition with Klepper and Miller. Other staffers from The Opposition also will likely move to the new series, those decisions are currently being made. 'I couldn’t be more proud of the staff that we have at The Opposition, and the new show is going to have people from The Opposition and the talent that we have there is going to help build this show as well,' Klepper said.

"The Opposition has been a companion for The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, following it Monday-Thursday at 11:30 PM. There will be no immediate replacement, with The Daily Show as the only late-night strip show on Comedy Central for the near future. 'We will be looking at other possibilities, we will dive into that quickly,' Alterman said about finding a successor.

"Klepper may get an on-screen team on the new show similarly to the citizen journalists on The Opposition. 'We would imagine it would be Jordan and maybe couple of other contributors on-screen,' Alterman said.

"As part of ongoing dialog between Comedy Central and its talent about the direction of their shows, the network brass and The Opposition team had been discussing the changed landscape since the election and the series’ place in it.

“'The show was anticipating the Steve Bannons and Alex Joneses of the world to be front and center, and the truth is, it’s really Trump front and center,' Alterman said. 'It was a combination of looking at how the landscape has changed a little bit differently from what we anticipated but also, we’ve never wavered on Jordan as talent, we’re such big believers in him, and we’ve been thinking where he is at his strongest. He is so strong in the field, being out in the real world with real people. He has done such fantastic work in his own special, Jordan Klepper Solves Guns, and as a correspondent on The Daily Show.'

"The idea for The Opposition actually originated from the field pieces Klepper filmed for The Daily Show at Trump rallies “as I started to talk to the supporters of Trump during his campaign and realizing that they were getting a lot of their information from these far-right fringe sources,” he said."

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From Variety: "Over the turbulent two-day period of Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s cancellation on Fox and it’s subsequent pickup for a sixth season on NBC, star Andy Samberg says that now that the dust has settled, he’s thrilled where the show ended up.

“'I would’ve been happy almost anywhere because I love this show so much and I wanted to keep doing it, but for me personally having already spent time working at NBC, I really enjoyed that experience,' Samberg, who worked on Saturday Night Live for eight seasons, told Variety at Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s For Your Consideration event on Wednesday.

"Immediately, the actor and comedian said that he felt at ease returning to the network where he got his start, remembering, 'Literally when we flew out to New York for Upfronts, I was welcomed back to New York by all of the security guards at 30 Rock. They were like "Hey! Welcome back!" and gave me big hugs and I was like "Oh, this feels like home in a way." It made a lot easier especially considering on that Friday we were talking about potentially flying to New York to go to the Fox Upfront, and then canceled, and then I was crushed. If it had been somewhere else it would’ve been even more surreal because we wouldn’t have known anyone and it would’ve been just kind of thrown into this new thing.”'

"Co-star Terry Crews, shared his excitement, acknowledging that NBC is the biggest network he’s ever worked on following his projects on The CW, TBS and Fox.

“'To be on NBC, the Bob Hope specials and I used to watch Sanford and Son, all of the great shows that I grew up with, and to be a part of the history, I’m like "Oh my god,”' Crews said. 'I go to Rockefeller Center now and I’m a part of that legacy. It feels so like this is gigantic. NBC is just bigger and I think it’s one of those things where our show can really grow like it’s supposed to.'

"Crews, who revealed he found out about the cancellation minutes before he and Nine-Nine’s Andre Braugher had to go on camera to film an episode of $100,000 Pyramid, gives all credit for the show being saved to the fans, who rallied around the show online.

“'I was running around that day, that 30 hours when the world was going crazy, and the big names and the people were just like "Hell no, hell no,”' he said. 'It’s almost like if someone’s always taking you for granted and now they’re like, "Baby I love you! Don’t leave me baby!" That’s what it felt like! It was so validating, it felt like "Oh my god, they like me." I literally was in tears. There were a lot of tears because we thought we weren’t coming back, but there were more tears because we were so appreciative of what the Internet did.'

"As for what to expect for Season 6 in the show’s new home, creator Dan Goor joked that 'One, we’re 13 episodes instead of 22; two, we can curse and bleep it; three, we can pixelate; four, one character will be animated, we will have one character be animated this year.'

"During the panel, moderated by Nine-Nine guest star Marc Evan Jackson. Goor said that in the upcoming episodes, 'We’re really excited to see what Jake’s [played by Samberg] married life is like. I think we’re really interested in the idea of having fewer episodes and are there arcs we can do, is there a crime we can explore across all of those episodes in a more detailed way?' He also said he wanted to dive deeper into addressing social issues, something the show tackled this season with an active shooter episode and Rosa coming out as bisexual.

"Samberg told Variety that 'the cast loves doing those episodes and we’ve loved the reaction and response we’ve gotten for doing them. For me personally, I got into doing this because I love comedy and I love making people laugh, so in a lot of ways that’s been a new experience for me. For people to be like "Hey that felt important and really interesting and serious." I’ve loved that feeling just as much as I love making people laugh.'”

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From TVLine: "Netflix on Friday released the first half of The Ranch Season 3 (aka Part 5), featuring the buzzed-about exit of series regular Danny Masterson.

"ICYMI: The actor was fired last December after being accused of raping four women in the early 2000s. After the streaming service terminated his contract, Masterson released a statement, which in part read, 'I am obviously very disappointed in Netflix’s decision… I have never been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one. In this country, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, in the current climate, it seems as if you are presumed guilty the moment you are accused. I understand and look forward to clearing my name once and for all.'

"Masterson’s character, Rooster Bennett, makes his final appearance in Episode 10, aptly titled Change. When it begins, Rooster returns to his cabin to find Mary’s ex-con boyfriend Nick sitting on his couch, having broken in before he got home. Nick asks if Rooster was with Mary the previous night. Rooster then makes the mistake of being a smartass, and cracks that Colt might be sleeping with Mary. This triggers Nick, who isn’t in the mood for jokes. 'I will f—king kill you,' he says. Colt then arrives in the nick of time, before things go any further. Nick exits, but it’s not the last we’ll see of him.

"Afterwards, Rooster gets in touch with Heather, and tells her to warn her mother. He eventually makes his way to the bar, where Mary tells him that she broke up with Nick after hearing what he’d done. Rooster then invites Mary to WrestleMania, because he can’t leave well enough alone. He returns home later that night to find Nick back at his cabin. Nick throws him a duffel bag full of his belongings, and gives him two choices: 'You either take that bag and disappear, or you could just disappear.' Rooster fires back and makes it worse for himself, telling the convict that he’s got two choices, one of which involves kicking his teeth in. Nick doesn’t fancy either option, and pulls out a gun. He tells Rooster the choice is up to him — but if he tells anyone what’s happened, he’ll kill his entire family. (Yeah, The Ranch went there.) And so, Rooster take the duffel bag and leaves, as Alice in Chains’ Rooster plays him out. The end.

"Masterson’s Ranch departure is especially bizarre. While the actor was one of many brought down by the #MeToo movement, this marks the first time an audience has seen a production give its disgraced entertainer a formal, on-screen exit — and it’s unlikely many will get the chance, not that they necessarily deserve one. Kevin Spacey, for instance, won’t show up in House of Cards Season 6 to put a bow on Frank Underwood’s storyline. And don’t expect Jeffrey Tambor to make a cameo in Transparent Season 5."

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Per Vulture, "[w]hen Netflix’s true-crime mockumentary series American Vandal debuted in September, it told a wildly funny story about a devastatingly dumb crime: Who vandalized a high school’s faculty parking lot with spray-painted penises? Or, as the students of Hanover High put it: Who did the dicks? At the ATX Television Festival last weekend, I sat down with co-creators Tony Yacenda and Dan Lagana and showrunner Dan Perrault. We talked about the massive response to the series, the art of telling a joke that the audience doesn’t see coming, and how The Jinx and Errol Morris influenced American Vandal season two, which will follow teen documentarians Peter Maldonado (Tyler Alvarez) and Sam Ecklund (Griffin Gluck) as they investigate a new crime in a Catholic high school:

The first season came out in September. Were you surprised by the response? Did you know it was going to be like this?
Tony Yacenda
: We had no idea! We thought it was funny and unique, but you just never know if other people are going to laugh at it.

Dan Lagana: It’s dry enough that it is a question mark. We’re huge true-crime fans, but who knows how many people are as into true crime as us?

TY: You need to like true-crime documentaries, you need to like high-school stories, you need to like mystery, and you need to like dick jokes. We thought that maybe the Venn diagram would be really small.

What sorts of true-crime things are you into now? Have you been watching or listening to more of it? 
DP
: Errol Morris!

TY: Yeah. Wormwood was so cool, how they executed that.

DLS-Town.

DP: We’re huge fans of S-Town.

DL: We’re lucky that the genre just keeps going. In the early stages of season one, we worried, “Will this craze finally end?” And it totally hasn’t.

DP: No, it’s exploded!

Wormwood or S-Town or whatever it may be, do you watch and say, “Ohh, I could totally steal that”? 
TY: The first step is just getting sucked into the story and loving it for the intended purpose. You’re watching, like, “Did the government really — they did all of this stuff!” And you forget. And then you circle back and go, “Okay, what did they do to make this turning point so compelling?”

What kind of detail piques your curiosity?
DL
: One thing I do with a lot of true-crime documentaries is think, What is the high school version of this? When it comes to court documents or signed confessions or paper trails, the high-school version will be social media, what kids post on their Snaps and Instagram. We always think, What’s the medium-stakes crime? What’s the less mature, amateur version of this? Oftentimes, that’s how we come up with our best bits.

Are there major tropes that you really want to do? 
DP
: It’s so funny because you haven’t seen the second season, but it’s a completely different genre.

Can you tell me about it? 
DP
: We can tell you it’s a different crime in a different school.

DY: And we’re drawing from different true-crime documentaries. The first [season] was Serial structurally, and visually it was closest to Making a Murderer. This year, we’re not abandoning those references completely, but we want to create a new aesthetic.

So you can’t tell me what the crime is? 
DP
: No, but we can tell you it was important to us to evolve between seasons.

Can you give me list of influences we should keep in mind? 
DP
: In terms of real documentaries? We love The Jinx.

TYThe Jinx is a good one.

DP: What was the Israeli one we were talking about?

TYShadow of Truth!

DP: Yeah, we love Shadow of Truth.

TY: Errol Morris stuff. Thin Blue Line was really what got us into the genre. There were tropes we used in season one — like, I love the tape recorder, that really stuck to me — but there’s more of an Errol Morris feeling in season two.

I wonder if we could get Errol Morris to watch it? He loved Nathan for You.
TY
: Oh, we love Nathan for You. It’s the shit.

TP: It’s really funny.

Are there any recurring characters in season two?
TY
: Peter and Sam are the documentarians who made season one. They go to another high school, a private Catholic high school.

Do they switch schools or are they just investigating something? 
DP
: It’s part of a senior project.

TY: It exists in the same world, but it’s a different story.

Why does it need to be a whole different school? 
DL
: One of the questions we get most often is, “Is Jimmy [Tatro] back? Is Dylan back?” We want each season to be its own crime, and we thought that even a cameo would just distract from the new case too much, so we wanted to really get ourselves deep into a new world without tying ourselves to callbacks that would distract from the main story.

TY: Season one functions because you’re not watching it for the laugh, you’re watching it because you really care about who drew the dicks. In every season, that should be the engine — you should really care about this mystery. If we’re relying on, “Hey, remember your favorite characters?” then it’s a disservice to it, because you’re not caring about this huge mystery.

DP: We’re winking at the audience, but in a different way. It’s “Don’t you love documentaries as much as we do?” not “Don’t you love our season and our show?”

In an interview you did last fall, you said that if people recognize the actors, then they’re looking for the joke. And the more you’re waiting for the joke, the less funny the joke is. 
DP
: You wouldn’t believe how many jokes we cut. Because if the rhythm feels jokey, then it’s not functioning.

Are you looking at shows that aren’t true-crime documentaries? What are the influential high-school stories? 
DL
: I always liked Freaks and Geeks.

DP: Yeah, Freaks and Geeks!

DL: I thought that was a very honest depiction of high school.

TY: We watched that one a lot. But the biggest reference we had tonally was Election. That movie really is a satire of high school and politics. You really cared about that student body election, and we wanted to have the same sort of medium stakes. That’s what we wanted to do.

Season one felt like an indictment of the true-crime genre, as well as a great replication of it. What do you think about the idea that true crime can be exploitative? 
TY
: We want to explore the audience’s attraction to true crime. We still touch on the journalistic side, but I think the stuff that fascinates us is like, “The judge and the police couldn’t figure this out, but I can look at Steven Avery [from Making a Murderer] and decide whether or not he’s a sociopath or an innocent person.” Like, “All right, Sarah Koenig [from Serial], let’s figure this out together.” There’s this hubris that we all have, that we’re better judges of character than the system. Injustice is something that fascinates all of us, so that hubris is something that I think we will keep getting with every season.

DP: The genre manipulates you so masterfully. If we can replicate that, it feels like a magic trick.

TY: Yeah, it gets you to care about these high-school stories.

What did you learn in the first season that changed for season two? 
DP
: The season is structured completely differently. It’s less linear.

Like Wormwood?
TY
: Yeah. It was kind of tough because in the writers room, everybody knows what the show is. But then you’re like, “We’re throwing out the rules!”

DP: We also lean significantly less on voice-over. More of the talking heads tell the story.

What stage of production are you in? 
DP
: We’re in post-production!"

This interview has been edited and condensed.