Tuesday June 5, 2018

"ABC has acquired rights to Family Food Fight, a culinary competition series based on an Aussie format from Endemol Shine Australia. The network will air eight episodes, with a date to be announced. Restaurateur and cookbook author Ayesha Curry will host, and judges will be unveiled at a later date. The series features eight families competing against one another using their own recipes to vie for the title of 'America’s No. 1 Food Family,' with the winner taking home a $100,000 prize. ABC said the show will 'focus on relatable, yet aspirational, home-cooked meals, inspiring budding home cooks across the nation to don their aprons and get into the kitchen together.'”

TV Land has renewed Younger for a 6th season.

The season 3 premiere of Humans airs tonight on AMC.

The season finale of season 1 of The Last O.G. airs tonight as well.  I've been pleasantly surprised by this one.

Miss America has dropped the swimsuit competition.  "Gretchen Carlson, the chairwoman of the Miss America board of directors, announced on Good Morning America that the event will no longer feature a swimsuit portion. Miss America will be a competition, not a pageant, Carlson said on the show Tuesday. 'We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance. That's huge,' she said. Carlson also said the new Miss America competition will be more inclusive to women of 'all shapes and sizes.'"

Sara Gilbert talked about the Rosanne cancellation for the first time yesterday.

And on that note, "[t]alks between ABC and Roseanne producers on a possible spinoff of the canceled multicamera comedy are building momentum. Sources tell Variety that the network is increasingly interested in finding a way to continue the series without controversial star Roseanne Barr, whose racist tweet last week triggered the sudden cancellation of the show. The network and producers late last week scheduled a meeting to discuss spinoff possibilities. Talks between ABC and exec producers, including Tom Werner, stretched through the weekend and are now ongoing. Several significant obstacles, however, remain to potentially prevent a version of the series from continuing without Barr. Roseanne is based on a character created by Barr, who could argue that she therefore has an ownership stake in any iteration that includes other characters created for the series, such as Sara Gilbert’s Darlene Conner, around whom much spinoff speculation has centered. Any situation in which Barr would stand to gain financially from a new series is considered unpalatable to ABC and producers." 

Supposedly, an announcement of a spinoff could come as soon as this week.

 Why do we need a spinoff?  Bury this thing, shovel some dirt on top and move on.  I understand trying to salvage the jobs of all of those who were collateral damage, but put them on to work on another show on the network and call it a day.

"Gretchen Carlson has been tapped to host a new programming block on Lifetime, centered around “justice for women,” the network announced on Monday. The two hour block will become a regularly occurring feature of the network’s Monday night lineup. 'I’m excited that Mondays on Lifetime will be dedicated to strong women with Justice for Women with Gretchen Carlson,' said Gena McCarthy, executive vice president and head of programming for the network. 'Gretchen’s passion for women’s rights is incredibly inspiring and we are excited for the robust partnership.' The new block will include a spinoff of the wildly successful A&E hit Live PD that will focus on women in law enforcement. Live PD Presents: Women on Patrol, will air at 9:00 p.m. eastern and will be narrated by Carlson."

Vulture takes a look at the best TV shows of 2018, so far.

"As previously reported, Fox’s Gotham was renewed last month for a fifth and final season, to premiere at midseason. At the time of that announcement, the presumably smaller episode count was officially 'TBD,' and it still is. Yet series vet Camren Bicondova, who plays Selena, said during an Instagram Live broadcast that Season 5 will be just 10 episodes, while also suggesting a January 2019 premiere date. Fox is not confirming any episode count at this time, however."

CBS’ Undercover Boss: Celebrity Edition has confirmed the following participants: singer Jewel (airing June 8), WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon (June 15) and model Ashley Graham (June 22).  Merriam-Webster really needs to update the definition of "celebrity."

Harvey Weinstein pleaded not guilty to rape and criminal sex act charges this morning at New York Supreme Court, just a week after a grand jury charged him. His bail had already been set at $1 million.  More scumbag news below.

Speaking of which, Thomas Ravenel ladies and gentlemen.

Bill Murray is not quite sure what the allegations are against Harvey Weinstein?

"New York-based indie Back Roads Entertainment has partnered with fashion mogul, model and social media influencer Draya Michele on a talk show-makeover format. Titled The Look, the weekly fashion-focused entertainment format follows the former Basketball Wives reality star as she highlights the top 10 styles of the week, from pop culture’s best to the most head-scratching looks. A panel of celebrity guests and a beauty team will also join Michele in an effort to transform a 'fashion disaster into a glam goddess.' Michele rose to prominence as part of the freshman cast of VH1′s Basketball Wives LA in 2011 (departing in 2015) while also cultivating a global fashion network that is comprised of swimwear line Mint Swim, launched in 2011, and Beige & Coco, established in 2016. Michele has also appeared in feature films and TV movies as an actor, including Lionsgate’s rom-com Perfect Match(2016) and TV One’s Will to Love (2011). The Look is executive produced by Draya Michele, Colby Gaines and Jonathan Cane."  Congrats Colby!

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Per The Hollywood Reporter, "Netflix is taking a page from NBC's playbook.

"After two TV movies based on Dolly Parton songs on the broadcast network, the streaming giant has picked up an eight-episode scripted anthology with the same premise.

"The untitled Parton anthology will see each episode based on a song by the country music icon. Parton will serve as singer-songwriter, exec producer and will also appear in the series. The series, like NBC's Coat of Many Colors and its sequelCoat of Many Colors: Circle of Love, the Netflix anthology is also produced by Warner Bros. Television. Additional exec producers were not immediately available. Sam Haskell, who oversaw both NBC telepics, is said to be involved as well.

"'As a songwriter, I have always enjoyed telling stories through my music,' Parton said. 'I am thrilled to be bringing some of my favorite songs to life with Netflix. We hope our show will inspire and entertain families and folks of all generations, and I want to thank the good folks at Netflix and Warner Bros. TV for their incredible support.'

"NBC announced in January 2015 that Parton would be the center of a movie series. The NBC foray, overseen by entertainment chief Bob Greenblatt (whose roots are in Broadway), was to feature a series of TV movies based on Parton's songs, stories and life.  

"Coat of Many Colors — based on Parton's song of the same name — was the first to come from the venture and launched in December 2015 to an impressive 13 million total viewers and a 1.8 in the key adults 18-49 demographic, marking the biggest viewership for any TV movie on the broadcast networks since 2012. The sequel debuted a year later and collected 11.5 million total viewers and a 1.7 in the demo. Alyvia Alyn Lind starred as the young Parton in both. In August 2015, exec producer Haskell announced that Parton's hit Jolene would be the third TV movie in the NBC series, with John Sacret Young (The West Wing) on board to pen the script. Jolene did not move forward.

"Parton and Greenblatt are longtime friends (and famously performed together during NBC's 2015 upfront presentation to Madison Avenue ad buyers after which the singer said, 'We're looking forward to many projects'. Greenblatt produced the Broadway musical based on her film 9 to 5, for which Parton wrote the music and lyrics. NBC declined comment on the Netflix pact. It's unclear if NBC did not renew its pact with Parton or if Netflix outbid the network.

"Singer-songwriter-actress Parton started her career at age 13 on the radio before being a featured singer on a syndicated TV program. She crossed over with 1977's Here You Come Again, a hit on both the country and pop music charts. Her notable songs include 9 to 5, from the movie of the same name, duet with Kenny Rogers Islands in the Stream and I Will Always Love You, among others. During her career, Parton has had 41 albums that have reached the top 10 on the country charts as well as 25 certified gold, platinum or multiplatinum. She's a two-time Oscar nominee for her original music, including 9 to 5 and Travelin' Thru, from Transamerica."

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From Variety: "Like the character she plays on Amazon’s Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Rachel Brosnahan has proved herself to have hidden talents. Previously known for her dramatic work on series like “House of Cards” and “Manhattan,” Brosnahan is showing off a deft gift for comedy as the ’50s-era housewife-turned-standup. That’s what earned her a Golden Globe trophy as best actress in a comedy for the first season (as well as a series prize), and made her a frontrunner in the Emmy race.

"During a break in production on season two, she talks with Variety about why a period piece is relevant today, being told she “wasn’t funny” — and the surprising injury she sustained on set:

For a show that’s set in the 50s, it feels so relevant now. What is it about that showrunners Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino are doing that makes the show feel so timely?

I think that the scenes surrounding some of the battles that women faced then are still very relevant today. And then women being considered secondary citizens or this idea of women not being funny or having to fit a certain mold and apologize for their ambitions. Those are all things that women still face today and I think that those ideas have never not been relevant and Amy and Dan have managed to bring them to life with a fresh eye. But also, the story at its core is about a woman finding the voice that she didn’t know she had. And that’s also something that’s happening all over the country and all over the world, right now.

I was just reading an interview where you were saying that you were once told that you weren’t funny. 

This is gonna be the thing that ends up on my tombstone, “Was once told, not funny.”

Thank you, Internet.

I don’t know how to say this in a way that totally makes sense, but it became something that was just understood. When you’re really young and you’re figuring out who you are and what your strengths are, the feedback that was given regarding my auditions, enough times, was kind of “She’s just not funny. Not really for sitcoms.” And so I guess I mostly stopped going into that stuff and focused on other strengths. And so when the show came across my desk, I was very nervous about the idea of even approaching comedy. Because I felt like that was something that I’d internalized, but not in a negative way. But now I’m kicking myself for limiting myself in that way earlier. Because this has been such a fulfilling, learning process and an important one.

I do think it took someone visionary to look at you and your body of work and be like, “Yes, she’s perfect for this and yes, she can do this.” Do you feel that?

I don’t know what they were thinking. But, yes, it was a leap for sure and one that I’m eternally grateful that all the powers involved took.

Are there things you didn’t get to do in the first season that you want to do in the second?

Something I’m looking forward to exploring more in the second season is the tension between Midge’s three very distinct and different worlds. She’s a mother and a daughter and a, possibly, wife/ex-wife, as it left off in the first season. She’s a working woman now. She has a job that she loves and she’s also a budding stand-up and none of those worlds really gel together. Though I’m looking forward to watching her try to balance and I think that the more invested she becomes in each of the three, particularly the work and the stand-up, the harder that juggling will become. I’m looking forward to seeing how that unfolds.

What have you learned from the experience of making the first season?

I feel like I learned to be braver in the first season than maybe I’ve ever felt. Midge is an extremely empowered and confident and pretty fearless woman and finding that on a daily basis is not always easy. And I feel like, hopefully, I’ve absorbed some of those things myself, moving into season two. There’s both less and more pressure going into season two, right? We know what it is, we’re so grateful that people responded to the show but also now we want to make sure that this season’s even better than the last one.

Do you feel that pressure?

A little bit, but it’s motivating. It’s a nice kind of pressure. The pressure that only comes from feeling that people responded to the art that we’re putting out into the world. And though we don’t want to let them down, but we also don’t wanna let ourselves down and I feel good about what we’ve done so far and we’re excited to keep pushing those boundaries.

Now that the showrunners have seen what you can do, is more coming?

I’m sure it’s going to get more challenging in ways that I couldn’t possibly imagine, in some of the weirdest ways. I’ve already sustained an injury from an unexpected stunt.

What happened?

Well, I can’t say much without giving everything away but it involved a rolling chair and some choreography. Took a little tumble, so I’m learning new skills. Again without giving anything away, we finished last season and I got this text from Amy going “Can you ride a bike?” And heard that [co-star] Marin [Hinkle] got a text from Amy going, “Can you speak French?” So they’re definitely going to keep challenging us in season two. I’m thinking they just like to watch us suffer a little bit.

You just mentioned you were just at a costume fitting. How much does that inform the show? Does that help you get into character?

Enormously. But the ability to transform so completely with costumes and hair and makeup makes my job easier. There’s less pretending involved. I can look in the mirror and see someone very different from myself and those are my favorite kind of characters, the ones that feel furthest from me. Midge’s outward appearance is very important to her and I think that it’s something the attention paid to her appearance and the way she is presenting herself to the world is part of what makes her feel empowered. So the costumes are huge and Donna Zakowska, our costume designer, is absolutely brilliant and her attention to detail continues to astound me. The creations and the places that she looks for inspiration, I’m blown away every time I step foot in the new fittings.

The awards consideration, the fact that you’re getting all this buzz, what does all that mean to you?

It’s such a lovely feeling to know that everybody’s hard work and literal blood, sweat and tears has been recognized. The awards stuff is great but actually feels less important than the fact that it feels like the show has touched such a wide variety of people. That’s what makes us feel the best. And awards stuff is great because it means that, hopefully, we get to keep going. That we get to have a job for a little bit longer and a job we love, at that. And it’s obviously an honor but the coolest part has been to hear from young women, especially, but also older men who couldn’t say that they were essentially coerced into watching the show by their wives or daughters and have fallen in love with it, as well. It’s nice to know that people love it as much as we do. That feels like the greatest reward.

Are you recognized more because of this role?

In New York, that’s not as much of a thing as it is in say, Los Angeles, so if people are recognizing me, I may not always know it. But I also look very different in my real life when I’m walking the dog up in Harlem, you know? So it’s not been something that feels like an enormous shift. The question I keep getting asked is, “How has your life changed?” And it feels like that’s a funny question because at the core, I feel like it hasn’t. But strangers can say my last name now, which has been very exciting. That’s never happened to me before.

Is there a moment you’re proudest of when you look back over the first season?

There’s a set in episode seven. It’s been fondly referred to as the epic take-down of Sophie Lennon and that set, in discussions with Amy and Dan was kind of being talked about as a place where Midge really comes into her own as a comedian. Really is able to combine her impulsiveness and her stream of consciousness style with a more polished understanding of what it means to, say, interact with an audience or to have certain pieces prepared and then she naturally goes off the rails. But i was the first time where I noticed I felt more comfortable stepping onto the stage and I was able to kind of clock how much I had learned about the more technical side of doing this form of comedy. I remember looking out at the audience and feeling, so distinctly, like we were in it together and it was the first time I really went into one feeling like it was gonna be okay. It was a place where I really felt that parallel journey between Midge and myself. And it was a very cool moment.

Is there one moment where you feel like you really owned this, that the part really became you?

No. But I think if I ever really reach that point, I’m not working hard enough."

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"Bravo’s Summer House is returning to their old house and is possibly bringing new friends.

"An insider told Page Six on Monday that most of the cast is slated to come back for the show’s third season, but noted that 'groups of friends change' and 'the concept of a summer house is to get a group of friends together to hang out and split the cost.'

"The series is trying to stay true to form, as their filming permit obtained by Page Six called the show a “comedy/docuseries filming a bunch of friends at a residence.”

"The insider insisted to us that nobody was fired, explaining that the cast could 'refresh' similarly to other shows on the network like the Real Housewives franchise depending on how their friendships change. As a result, some previously full-time cast members may only make appearances in the upcoming season.

"The Summer House cast changed between Season 1 and 2, as Cristina Gibson and Everett Weston left the show after Gibson and castmate Lindsay Hubbard’s relationship went south. Weston made appearances during Season 2, but was nixed from the main cast.

"Ashley Wirkus also ventured to the Hamptons less frequently after moving to San Diego with her husband, while Amit Neuman, Danielle Olivera and Amanda Batula joined the group."

I feel great shame that I watch this show.

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Per Deadline, "[c]laims of sexual harassment from seven women at Relativity against former Relativity Co-President Adam Fields was found to have been the result of a fraudulent memorandum devised, according to the arbitrator Judge Freidman, by Relativity CEO Ryan Kavanaugh himself. As a result, the Judge awarded Fields $8.44M.

"The validity of that memo which claimed that more than a handful of women complained to HR to have been subjected to sexual harassment by Fields was also denied by the Managing Director of the company and overseer of HR Carol Genis, who denied ever seeing or authoring the memo. In her testimony during a civil suit brought by Fields against Kavanaugh and Relativity, she stated that she never heard of any harassment claims and knew nothing of the memorandum.

"After a forensic audit of the computer was conducted, it was found that the memo had been generated from someone who signed in as 'kav, kav,' according to records submitted by Fields as a creditor in the Bankruptcy Court where the former Relativity co-president is seeking $8.44M.

"The documents arose from a breach of contract civil complaint filed by Fields against Relativity and Kavanaugh after Fields was fired from the film and television company two years ago. In the recent documents filed in the Bankruptcy Court on May 29, it was shown that the Judge in the civil suit awarded Fields $8.44M after ruling that the memo was fabricated. Attached here is the filing and the exhibits

"The records state that two weeks before trial, Kavanaugh discovered another 2,000 documents, one of which was Fields’ personnel file (that had not previously been produced) and this HR memo supposedly created and written by Genis.

“That document was a several page memorandum … which purported to document a pattern of egregious misconduct by Mr. Fields — none of which, strangely, was mentioned in his termination letter … In an attempt to explain why the memorandum had not been produced earlier, Relativity submitted false declarations from Mr. Kavanaugh and Mr. Comeione (Relativity IT director). Mr. Kavanaugh claimed in his declaration that he was the one to ferret out the location of the memorandum. In particular, he declared under oath that he suspected the document had not been produced because it was in a private folder belong (sic) to Ms. Genis’s who was no longer employed at Relativity and after being given special access to Ms. Genis’s supposed private folders, he fortuitously located the memo and provided it to counsel.” Genis was also Kavanaugh’s former attorney.

"Fields says in bankruptcy creditor documents that at the first sight of the memo, he knew it was a fake. Genis was then brought into an evidentiary hearing to testify and was asked about the memo which claims: that three unnamed female employees said that Fields had inappropriately propositioned them or touched them, that one of those unnamed female employee said Fields suggested that he could further her career (she said she thought it meant in exchange for sex) and two other unnamed female employees then led the internal investigation to two more females (also unnamed). Seven in all.

"The filing on May 29 states: 'The allegations were all fabrications, seemingly ripped from the headlines of the then-recent Harvey Weinstein scandal,' referring to the now disgraced TWC chairman who has been arrested for sexual assault/rape.

"When Genis was brought to testify about the memorandum, Relativity tried to prevent her from testifying. But she was ultimately allowed to and stated that she did not write or edit any portion of the document and had never seen the document before. She stated also that she did not have a private folder on Relativity’s server.

"Asked if various employees had raised complaints about Mr. Fields’ behavior, Genis said, 'I was not aware of any of that with respect to Mr. Fields, but there were — there were anecdotal issues being raised.' Asked if there were any complaints about Fields from outside the company, Genis said she wasn’t aware of anything.

"Asked if there were three confirmed incidents of harassment of female employees by Fields, she said, 'absolutely not … there were no female employees that I was aware of …' Asked about whether a female employee talked about his ability to increase her career path which she understood was in exchange for sex, Genis said, 'I — no, I’m sorry, I never heard that.'

"Asked if she then spoke to four additional female employees about sexual harassment, Genis said, 'No.' Asked if someone, on behalf of Relativity, then contacted CAA and WME to say they wouldn’t work with Fields again, once again, she said, 'no' and said she had no such files about sexual harassment against Fields.

“'I have to say, I take sexual harassment extremely seriously. And the fact that all of this is attributed to me, it’s very offensive to me. Honestly, it’s very offensive to me … that this is stated here when it didn’t occur.' In fact, she said that she was out sick the days the memo was supposedly written by her.

"In conclusion, the Arbitrator Judge Friedman wrote, 'The evidence was overwhelming and undeniable that Relativity falsified the Genis Memorandum. First, the metadata refuted all of Relativity’s theories linking the Memorandum to Genis and establishes that it was last modified on Oct. 15, 2017 by "kav kav", which must be Kavanaugh. In fact, the metadata revealed that the "Hot Issues" folder where Kavanaugh said he found the Memorandum contained other documents that suspiciously indicated someone was modifying documents in the folder after Genis left Relativity.'

“'Second, Genis credibility testified that she did not write or edit the Memorandum or even see it before she left Relativity. Her critique of the Memorandum’s style and format rang true for a lawyer with prior large law firm experience. The most peculiar aspect of the Memorandum was its repeated reference to Kavanaugh as "Co-CEO" Why would Genis add that reference in a memo to her own file? It would be silly for her to do so … Finally, had Genis been aware of sexual harassment allegations against Fields, she surely would have included that in Fields’ termination letter.'

“'… By falsifying the Memorandum to manufacture evidence that it had cause to terminate Fields, Relativity admitted that it otherwise lacked cause. The most appropriate sanction for such outrageous conduct is an issue sanction confirming what the falsification revealed, namely that Relativity terminated Fields without cause.'

"Fields is seeking what the Arbitrator ruled in his favor: $1.16M for unpaid portion of consulting services, $171K for base salary, $900K for his discretionary bonus; $287K for unpaid car allowance and salary for his assistant; $5.5M for Relativity’s re-purchase of Fields’ vested profits interests, all adding up to $8.44M."

Hopefully this Ryan Kavanaugh gets hit by a bulldozer in the VERY near future. He's a menace to society and should never find work in this town or any other town again.