Friday July 13, 2018

Sascha Baron Cohen's new Showtime series premieres on Sunday. Per Showtime, the "seven-episode series explores the diverse individuals, from the infamous to the unknown across the political and cultural spectrum, who populate our unique nation."

Sarah Palin talks about her experiences on the aforementioned.

FX has renewed Pose for a 2nd season.

An open letter to anyone who loves Anthony Bourdain and what he stood for, courtesy of The Los Angeles Times and a host of celebrities.

"The latest Vanderpump Rules creation is finally coming to life. TomTom restaurant is almost open for business — almost two years after Lisa Vanderpump approached Tom Schwartz and Tom Sandoval with the business venture at Schwartz’s August 2016 wedding to Katie Maloney. Sandoval, 35, and Schwartz, 35, later invested $50,000 each for a 5 percent stake in the restaurant, captured during a Season 6 episode of Vanderpump Rules. The restaurant had its 'soft opening' on Wednesday night, an insider told Page Six on Thursday. The 'official open is in about three weeks.'”

"Anderson Cooper will not sit behind a desk for his newest show. He will not be surrounded by the bright red-and-white graphics blocks for which his news outlet is known. There’s no need. Anderson Cooper’s new CNN show will not be seen on CNN. The program, Full Circle, debuts July 16, and will appear on Facebook Watch at 6:25 p.m. Monday through Friday. It’s aimed at getting Cooper and CNN 'where everybody is and increasingly will be,' says the anchor,  taking a break for an interview while visiting Allen & Co’s annual media-and-technology executive gathering in Sun Valley, Idaho. 'On their mobile phone.'”

Bill Hader was surprised that Barry received recognition by the Primetime Emmy Awards?

A Will & Grace Lego set, just what the world needs.

And then there was one (Blockbuster).

"The Justice Department will appeal the AT&T-Time Warner merger approval, according to a court document filed Thursday. Shares of AT&T slipped more than 1 percent in after-hours trading following the announcement. AT&T General Counsel David McAtee said the company was surprised by the appeal. 'The Court’s decision could hardly have been more thorough, fact-based, and well-reasoned. While the losing party in litigation always has the right to appeal if it wishes, we are surprised that the DOJ has chosen to do so under these circumstances,' McAtee said in a statement. 'We are ready to defend the Court’s decision at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.' In June, a federal judge ruled that the $85.4 billion deal was legal and imposed no conditions on the merger. At the time, the Justice Department expressed its disappointment with the ruling. The government argued that the deal would make the pay-TV market "less competitive and less innovative." But in his nearly 200-page opinion, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon determined that the government failed to meet its burden to establish that the deal would significantly decrease competition."

"Oprah Winfrey's latest investment is in True Food Kitchen, a healthy restaurant chain backed by celebrity doctor Andrew Weil. Specific terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but the Phoenix-based chain said she's also joining the restaurant's board of directors and will "collaborate and consult" with True Food Kitchen's leadership team. 'When I first dined at True Food Kitchen, I was so impressed with the team's passion for healthy eating and, of course, the delicious food, that I knew I wanted to be part of the company's future,' Winfrey said in a release. She was introduced to the restaurant by her trainer and a regular on her former talk show, Bob Greene. True Food Kitchen has grown to 23 locations in 10 states since its founding in 2008. It plans to double its store count in the next three years with a focus on an East Coast expansion. The chain's eclectic menu is based off Dr. Weil's anti-inflammatory food pyramid and features dishes like quinoa burgers, a spaghetti squash casserole and kale-infused drinks. The investment in True Food is the latest example of Winfrey expanding her business beyond media and into food."

emmy-awards-logo.jpg

Nominees for the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards were announced yesterday. HBO’s Game of Thrones checked in with 22 nominations! Saturday Night Live and Westrworld each picked up 21 noms. Sandra Oh is the first Asian woman to garner a Lead Actress nomination, deservedly so. Relevant categories are below. One asterisk is for my vote.  Two is for who I think will win.
  
Outstanding Drama Series 
The Americans**
The Crown
Game of Thrones*
The Handmaid’s Tale
Stranger Things
This Is Us
Westworld


Outstanding Comedy Series 
Atlanta*
Barry
Black-ish
Curb Your Enthusiasm
GLOW
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel**
Silicon Valley
Unnbreakable Kimmy Schmidt


Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie 
Antonio Banderas
Darren Criss*
Benedict Cumberbatch**
Jeff Daniels
John Legend
Jesse Plemons

Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie 
Jessica Biel
Laura Dern**
Michelle Dockery
Edie Falco
Regina King*
Sarah Paulson

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series 
Anthony Anderson
Ted Danson
Larry David
Donald Glover* **
Bill Hader
William H. Macy

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series 
Pamela Adlon
Rachel Brosnahan
Allison Janney
Issa Rae* **
Tracee Ellis Ross
Lily Tomlin

Lead Actor in a Drama Series 
Jason Bateman*
Sterling K Brown
Ed Harris
Matthew Rhys**
Milo Ventimiglia
Jeffrey Wright

Lead Actress in a Drama Series 
Claire Foy
Elisabeth Moss
Sandra Oh* **
Keri Russell
Evan Rachel Wood

Reality Competition Program 
The Amazing Race
American Ninja Warrior
RuPaul’s Drag Race**
Top Chef*
The Voice


Variety Sketch Series 
At Home With Amy Sedaris
Drunk History
I Love You America
Portlandia*
Saturday Night Live**
Tracy Ullman Show
 

Variety Talk 
The Daily Show With Trevor Noah
Full Frontal
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Last Week Tonight* **
Late Late Show With James Corden
Late Show With Stephen Colbert
 

Limited Series 
The Alienist
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: ACS* **
Genius: Picasso
Godless
Patrick Melrose

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Zazie Beetz – Atlanta
Laurie Metcalf – Roseanne 
Leslie Jones – Saturday Night Live**
Alex Borstein - The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel*
Betty Gilpin – GLOW 
Aidy Bryant – Saturday Night Live
Kate McKinnon – Saturday Night Live 
Megan Mullally – Will & Grace

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Brian Tyree Henry – Atlanta*
Louie Anderson – Baskets
Kenan Thompson – Saturday Night Live
Tituss Burgess – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt**
Henry Winkler – Barry
Alec Baldwin – Saturday Night Live
Tony Shalhoub – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Adina Porter – American Horror Story: Cult
Merritt Wever – Godless
Penelope Cruz – The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Letitia Wright – Black Museum/Black Mirror
Sara Bareilles – Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert
Judith Light – The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story* **

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
Jeff Daniels – Godless
Ricky Martin – The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Finn Wittrock – The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
John Leguizamo – Waco
Brandon Victor Dixon – Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert
Edgar Ramirez – The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story* **
Michael Stuhlbarg – The Looming Tower

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau – Game of Thrones
Mandy Patinkin – Homeland
Matt Smith – The Crown**
Peter Dinklage – Game of Thrones
David Harbour – Stranger Things*
Joseph Fiennes – The Handmaid’s Tale

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Lena Headey – Game of Thrones
Vanessa Kirby – The Crown
Ann Dowd – The Handmaid’s Tale
Thandie Newton – Westworld
Millie Bobby Brown – Stranger Things
Alexis Bledel – The Handmaid’s Tale* **
Yvonne Strahovski – The Handmaid’s Tale

Winners and losers of the aforementioned nominations.

netflix1.jpg

A bit more fodder, per Variety: "Thursday’s Emmy nominations announcement ratified something that’s been all-but-official for some time now: Netflix is, at present, the dominant force in television.

"The streaming service earned the most nominations at this year’s ceremony, picking up 112 nods and outpacing traditional Emmy leader HBO, which earned 108. The small difference looms large symbolically, demonstrating Netflix’s strength across fields. Sure, it earned nominations for best comedy (GLOW and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the latter of which seems to have become an automatic nominee regardless of year-in, year-out quality) and best drama (Stranger Things and The Crown). But it is also in the mix for best limited series (Godless), best structured reality program (Queer Eye), and best children’s program (three of the category’s five slots).

"For Netflix, it’s a moment worth celebrating, even as certain key nominations remained outside its grasp. A best drama nomination for Ozark, for instance, would seem to have been possible, and Mindhunter had an outside chance, too; both new shows were blocked by a logjam of returning series. But the bragging rights aren’t altered by an individual omission or two.

"And those bragging rights, appropriately, belong to a service whose ambition has long been to dominate the realm of TV. No network can compete with Netflix when it comes to the volume of television it produces, or the money that’s spent on it. But it’s likely cold comfort to HBO in particular that they’re playing a different game than Netflix is. After all, the argument for HBO’s uniqueness — the tradition of quality that new corporate owners AT&T, according to reporting about their hopes to ramp up production at the cable channel, fail to understand — is the special stamp it puts on each piece of its relatively small inventory. It’s one night a week that’s been labored over, in contrast to the madcap variety in quality that makes up Netflix’s 24/7 stream. Surely a greater percentage of HBO’s Sunday-night broadcasts from the past year, from Westworld to Barry to Last Week Tonight, ended up with Emmy nominations than did the whole of Netflix’s programming slate. HBO’s argument for its intrinsic quality, one to which so many fans are so sympathetic, means less when its polar opposite in terms of sensibility runs away with nominations morning.  

"Because despite the fact that HBO’s programming strategy seems in fact to be working well — that 108 nominations is a staggering number for a network that programs one night a week, and that HBO was a few overlooked cast members of Game of Thrones and a best comedy nod for Insecure away from tying Netflix — the nominations are certain to be read as a changing of the guard. Netflix, already the default entertainment choice for many viewers, has proven that it can outpace HBO heading into what’s traditionally HBO’s biggest Sunday night of all. And it has done so by embracing, not walking away from, its own lack of brand signature.

"But the awards themselves will tell their own story, particularly in marquee categories. It’s difficult to imagine The Crown or Stranger Things taking best drama, for instance — not least because Game of Thrones and Westworld are the two most-nominated primetime shows. The third-most-nominated is “The Handmaid’s Tale,” the show on unheralded Hulu that, last year, became the first streaming series to take home the best drama prize. Netflix has proven that it can be in the mix in just about every level of television, that a volume game can generate plenty of credible nominees. Whether it can prove its mettle as a winner — whether it can claim bragging rights as the network behind the best drama or best comedy or even best limited series — will be a greater challenge. And if Netflix accomplishes it, then a true changing of the guard, and a ratification of the artistic as well as the business sense behind its flood-the-zone strategy, will have taken place."

3746470-fullsize.jpg

Per Vulture, "Sandra Oh was working when she got the news that she had received her sixth Emmy nomination and first for the show Killing Eve. She was with her friend and fellow actor Michelle Krusiec, talking through the Hansol Jung play, Wild Goose Dreams, which Oh had previously starred in. 'My friend is auditioning for the play,' she said on the phone a few hours later. 'We were talking about it because I was already familiar with the character that she was going in on.' She finally looked at her phone and saw the news. 'I really love the fact that when all those calls were going off, my phone was on silent,' Oh said, '[because] Michelle and I were talking about this play about a North Korean refugee.'

"Both of them realized what a historic moment this is: Sandra Oh has become the first woman of Asian descent to be nominated for lead actress in a drama. (Archie Panjabi won an Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in 2010.) Her first five nominations came in a consecutive string from 2005 to 2009, for her work as a supporting actress on Grey’s Anatomy as the prickly and ambitious Dr. Cristina Yang. She left the show in 2014 to pursue new creative projects. She did a play; she did the movie Catfight with Anne Heche; but she was still waiting for a part that could inspire both terror and exhilaration in her as an artist. As Eve Polastri, she gets the opportunity to flex her range: She’s darkly funny, sexy, heartbroken, curious, and furious. She’s so good, that we here at Vulture named her the Best Actress on TV.

How are you?
You know I’ve got to tell you, usually I’m like so superclean, I don’t drink when I’m working and all that stuff. But right now it’s a beautiful evening in London, I’m at the bottom of my mews. I’m sitting on my little patio plastic chair and I’m drinking wine.

What are you drinking?
What the hell is this? I’m drinking a Chablis. I try and be super-disciplined because it’s like I won’t have a full bottle in my flat. So I have a little mini — like you only have two glasses in the bottle kind of thing.

Well, congratulations!
Thank you, thank you.

How did you get the news?
I was in my flat talking to a dear friend of mine [Michelle Krusiec]. She actually flew in from L.A. and we were talking about a play I did, Hansol Jung’s [Wild Goose Dreams]. So we were just talking about work; she was going to do the play. And we just got new drafts of episode 201–202 [of Killing Eve]. And then I pulled out my phone and it was like, Oh, oh, oh shit. Oh shit. It was so fun.

You’ve been nominated multiple times for Grey’s Anatomy. I know some people say they don’t care about awards, but I’m wondering, does it feel different to you this time around?
Yeah! I understand why people say they don’t care about awards, and I understand that in some ways, but I feel it’s not just me at this moment. My friend is Asian-American, and she was downstairs and she screamed just like, “Sandra! Sandra!” because it came up on her Instagram feed. And to have a sister in that moment when I found out look at me and go, “This is great! Congratulations!” … If I was just here alone in my flat, it would be one thing, but having her here to see what this means for her — as an actress — fills me with, not only joy or joy for myself, like, joy for her.

I’ve always felt like it’s not just me. Let me tell you, I’m not thinking of other people when I’m doing my work. But I know that I’m part of my community. I really hold that, maybe not so much as a forefront of what moves me through my work, but I know it. So I am exceptionally honored that I am able to hold this moment, not only for myself, but what it may mean for our community. And I can’t speak for the community, I don’t know how that makes you feel, but I saw it in Michelle’s face.

I can tell you a lot of people are thrilled even as there’s some sadness that this is historic. You are the first woman of Asian descent to be nominated in the lead drama category. How do you handle the weight of history?
I’ve got to tell you: joyously. I understand that people are going, Oh my God, it’s 2018 why is taking the world so long? I understand that. But I am not there. I am just like, yay. Let’s be happy that we have this moment. And let us build and have confidence and see ourselves in this moment.

One thing I will say is that I’m disappointed that Killing Eve did not get more nominations. It’s the best show of the year!
Well, good. You write that, baby, you write that.

Do you think Asian-American-ness informs your character on the show?
Well it has to because I am it. Because my face isn’t anything that it’s not. And she is just this singular character. But how can we build culture into all characters? Eventually the writing will be specific and be able to bring in character and culture. If you’re just writing, let’s say someone who owns a pub (I’m looking at a pub right now). Usually the writing has been from only a specific point of view of a character and culture and it’s only been basically one kind of culture. Let’s say the pub owner looks white but they’re Polish, and the people who work there, one is Italian and one is Czech. So you just bring that into it because you’re writing people who work in a pub, because the specificity of how you can bring culture will only widen things and make things more interesting. I don’t think we are yet here in our culture and storytelling in a lot of ways.

How do you feel about diving into the second season of Killing Eve?
I feel the right amount of terror and the right amount of excitement and the right amount of hunger. All those are in play.

Where does the terror come from?
I don’t know. I don’t know where we’re going. What it is to create something is you have an idea but you don’t really know what it is. It’s not like we’re making microchips, where you’ve already set the template and you just have to stamp it out. So there’s a beautiful amount of unknown. And I’m not immune from it; the unknown terrifies me. But I do know that a lot of wonderful things — mostly creative things — come out of that unknown. If you can match it with truth and bravery, hopefully good things will come out of that.

Do you feel like your hair deserved a supporting acting nomination?
Oh my God. My hair. Can I just tell you, I love it when people pick up on my hair. You know when Phoebe [Waller-Bridge] started writing to my hair, she just would talk about my hair. So let’s hope there’s a separate category just for hair.

What would she say?
The hair?

Yeah.
The hair would fucking thank my parents."

suits_blog_rachelzane_taughtus_1920x1080.jpg

Per The New York Post, "[f]ans aren’t the only ones missing Rachel Zane.

"During her tour of Dublin, Ireland, on Wednesday, Meghan Markle reportedly told a fan of Suits that she too misses the beloved USA Network drama.

“'I’m a fan of Suits and I said to her that I miss it and she said, "So do I,”' Fiona Moore recalled to the UK’s Hello! magazine.

"The newly minted Duchess of Sussex played lawyer Rachel Zane for seven seasons. She and co-star Patrick J. Adams left the show this year.

"In addition to her new role on the royal circuit, parenthood may be in the cards for Markle, 36, and husband Prince Harry, 33.

"A woman in Dublin on Wednesday asked Harry when the newlyweds would add to their family.

“'My husband also has red hair and he gave me five children — when are you and Meghan going to get going,' said Elaine Adam-Stewart, who also told People, 'He laughed and said, "Five children? Too many.”'"

static1.squarespace.jpg

From Deadline: "The anticipated third season of Netflix’s smash hit Stranger Things is 'definitely going to yet darker still, places that I think audiences are going to really love,' executive producer and director Shawn Levy said Thursday after the series received 12 Emmy nominations. 'It’s got so much heart and humor.'

"Speaking in the aftermath of scoring another slew of noms this morning, including its second consecutive Outstanding Drama Series nom, Levy added he’s been shooting in Georgia for weeks and the season is 'shaping up really, really well.'

"David Harbour, who snagged a Supporting Actor nom, hinted that the season will be inspired by some 'epic' movies of 1985, but said he would 'get in trouble' if he revealed which ones.

“'If you’re a real fan of Stranger Things and you really want to know,' he said, 'I would go look at the great films that were released in ’85, of which there were many, and just go down that list and think of the possibilities that we could be going with. I think it is a specific season to 1985, and so you’ll see references to that.'

"Describing Season 1 as 'very Stephen King-y' while Season 2 was 'more Spielberg-y,' Harbour added: 'We’re experimenting a lot this season, and we’re taking risks, and I hope that they pay off but they are risks. We’re going into territories we’ve never been to before, and it’s exciting.'

"Season 3 will also see Harbour combine versions of his character Jim Hopper that we saw in the first and second seasons.

“'We had a little softer season with Jim in Season 2,' he said, 'where he was really working off these fatherly instincts and understanding a responsibility that was larger than himself, and I think one of the things that we missed from Season 1 was this guy who goes into government facilities and punches people in the face. He’s not a doofus, but he’s a bit of a Columbo character.'

"He said the third season will see a combination of the more daring Hopper, along with the softer, more fatherly version. 'There was a sort of swashbuckling guy that we put on the back burner,' he said, 'so I think we’ll see a little more of the swashbuckling Hopper you may have liked from Season 1. It’s almost like [Season] 1 plus two, equals three. It’s like you have this third character now, who goes back to the swashbuckling guy of Season 1, but also has behind him this adopted daughter who he loves very much, so it’s really cool.'”