Wednesday July 18, 2018

SUITS returns tonight! More below, obviously.

I'm all in on Issa Rae.

The cast of Breaking Bad will reunite on Conan tonight.

Aaron Rodgers' girlfriend Danica Patrick hosts the ESPYs, which airs tonight.

"For the first time in decades, John Skipper spearheaded a launch event for a sports network that has nothing to do with ESPN. The longtime former president at the Disney-owned sports mainstay took the stage today as executive chairman of Perform Group. Perform’s service, DAZN, operates around the world and will hit U.S. shores on September 10. The leading edge of its $10-a-month service initially will be boxing and MMA, with more than 70 matches courtesy of partnerships with Matchroom Boxing U.S.A., Bellator MMA and the World Boxing Super Series. 'DAZN is Perform Group’s most ambitious undertaking to date and we have big plans as a global streaming leader,' said Skipper, who joined DAZN parent the Perform Group in May as executive chairman, called DAZN the company’s 'most ambitious undertaking to date and we have big plans as a global streaming leader.'”

Paramount Network will air I Am Paul Walker, featuring interviews with the late actor’s family, on Saturday, August 11.

For the fans of Netflix series Nailed It!

This one is for the Queer Eye fans.

"What Narcos will look like when it moves from Colombia to Mexico is beginning to take shape. After three seasons of exploring the cocaine war in Colombia in both the pre- and post-Pablo Escobar world, Narcos underwent a reset for its fourth season to explore the origins of its next threat in the drug war: Mexico's Guadalajara cartel. The cartel series moved production to Mexico City, suffering the death of a location scout in the process, and brought in new stars Michael Pena and Diego Luna as leads. The announcement marked the end of main character Javier Pena's story — and a phasing out for leading man Pedro Pascal. Now Netflix has confirmed that the series is officially reseting as Narcos: Mexico and will launch as a new original series later this year. According to the streamer, Narcos: Mexico will explore the origins of the modern drug war by going back to its roots, beginning at a time when the Mexican trafficking world was a loose and disorganized confederation of independent growers and dealers." This one should have ended after season 1.

A Party of Five reboot? Neve Campbell is on board.

"Batwoman could soon be coming to the Arrow-verseVariety has learned that The CW is developing a series about the DC superhero that would debut in 2019 should it get picked up.  News of the development comes after the network announced in May that the character would appear in the annual crossover event between four of the CW’s DC shows: The FlashArrow, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl. In the series, Kate Kane, armed with a passion for social justice and a flair for speaking her mind, soars onto the streets of Gotham as Batwoman, an out lesbian and highly trained street fighter primed to snuff out the failing city’s criminal resurgence. But don’t call her a hero yet. In a city desperate for a savior, Kate must overcome her own demons before embracing the call to be Gotham’s symbol of hope."

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Per EW, "Better Call Saul — AMC’s Breaking Bad prequel centered on the transformation of Jimmy McGill into Saul Goodman — has been known to toy with time over its first three seasons. We’ve seen flashbacks to when Jimmy was younger man or even a child, as well as a peek beyond the Breaking Bad years, when he entered an underground form of witness protection and became Gene, a beaten-down manager at a Cinnabon in Omaha.

"But now Better Call Saul, which began its story in the year 2002, will venture somewhere it never has before — and somewhere that surely will intrigue/delight fans: into the Breaking Bad era, which was set from 2008 to 2010.

“'We have a subplot that very squarely gets into Breaking Bad territory and brings us into the world — or at least points us on a path toward the world of Walter White and the territory of Walter White,' co-creator Vince Gilligan tells EW. 'I can’t wait for folks to see that.'

"Gilligan & Co. are mum on details, indicating only that the scenes in question involve Saul (Bob Odenkirk); they’re not saying which, if any, other Breaking Bad characters you will see. This is certainly enticing news, though, as it opens up the possibility of seeing the set-up or repercussion of key scenes from Breaking Bad. It also opens up the possibility of seeing more familiar faces who might not have worked as organically in a cameo given the existing flashback or flash-forward scenarios.

"Don’t hold your breath for a Walt (Bryan Cranston) sighting just yet, though. During an interview for Breaking Bad‘s 10th anniversary reunion in the pages of EW, Cranston and costar Aaron Paul said that they were open to reprising their characters in Better Call Saul, but it sounded like nothing had been filmed yet. While Cranston introduced the idea of a fun cameo or brush-by, Gilligan says he 'desperately' wants to figure out a way to include them, and that he will push for something more significant. '[I]t wouldn’t feel as satisfying if it was just a cameo or an Alfred Hitchcock walkthrough,' he noted. 'I think we’ve waited long enough. We damn well better have a good reason for them to show up.'

"The news comes as the universes of the two shows seem to be on a collision course. 'I picture two giant circles moving together, converging into an ever-largening Venn diagram, and that Venn diagram represents the overlap between Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul,' Gilligan says. 'That area of overlap is getting larger and larger.'

"Co-creator Peter Gould tells EW, 'We’re still a few years out from Walter White, but you’ll see some things that will definitely ring a bell and also show some different aspects to things that we saw in Breaking Bad.'

"Season 4 of Better Call Saul recently wrapped production, and the first episode will air Aug. 6. Some first-look photos, including a peek at Chuck’s funeral, await you here."

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From USA Today: "Exit, Meghan Markle. Enter Katherine Heigl. 

"USA's Suits lost a pair of pivotal cast members last season, one to the regular cycle of an acting career, the other to Buckingham Palace. 

"At the end of the show's seventh seasonin April, Mike (Patrick J. Adams) and Rachel (Meghan Markle, now known as Duchess Meghan of Sussex) decided to leave their New York law firm  for one in Seattle focused on charitable causes.

"But when Suits returns (TONIGHT, 9 EDT/PDT) in the Season 8 premiere, the notoriously loquacious lawyers haven't skipped a beat. 

"The first episode is mostly concerned with the aftereffects of the firm's merger with Robert Zane's (Wendell Pierce), which includes a fight between him and Harvey (Gabriel Macht) for the role of managing partner and a round of layoffs that causes Louis (Rick Hoffman) to clash with Katrina (Amanda Schull).

"The episode easily establishes Alex (Dule Hill), new character Sam (Katherine Heigl) and Katrina as the leads, replacing Mike and Rachel. Alex is Harvey's new right-hand man, fighting the way Mike did for seven years. Sam is the new face, a lieutenant of Zane's jockeying for her space in the new firm. And Katrina has an expanded role that covers more of Rachel's former turf, including a burgeoning friendship with Donna (Sarah Rafferty). 

"Suits initially revolved around Mike and Rachel, their romance and their professional quests, but it has evolved into an ensemble about a top-tier law firm that's always in a fight. Even the revised opening credits acknowledge this, showing the many names that the firm has used. Without Mike and Rachel, Suits is much the same. Sure, their will-they-or-won't-they romance is gone, but they married, so the suspense is over.  

"Adding Heigl may prove to be a smart move, as the former Grey's Anatomy actress dusts off her soapier acting chops and mile-a-minute speech. The writers even introduce Sam while she's boxing, to establish that she's a 'strong woman' ready to spar with the men at the center of Suits

"USA seemingly can't get enough of its top-rated series.  The network has a spin-off in the works starring Gina Torres as Jessica Pearson. The ease with which the writers let Mike and Rachel go and found personalities to replace them suggests Suits could go on for quite some time, provided fans are OK with seeing similar plots repeated with slightly different, but equally attractive people wearing the suits."

We most certainly are!

One more sneak peak courtesy of Aaron Korsh and TVLine

When you sat down to break Season 8, the first one without Mike and Rachel, how did it feel?
Well, first of all, I cried for about three hours. [Laughs] Every year, we have a challenge in front of us. So usually, I’m really about trying to figure out what we are going to do in the wake of where we left off, and I don’t have a lot of time to mourn the passing of something. That [mourning phase] happened at the end of Season 7, where I was like, “I can’t believe everything’s coming to an end,” and we all got to say goodbye. By the time we were doing Season 8, it was more like, “What are we going to do?” I didn’t have a lot of time to be like, “Oh no, we don’t have Patrick [J. Adams] and Meghan [Markle], and Mike and Rachel.” So it was really about trying to integrate these new characters that we left off with into the show.

In the world of the show, though, Mike and Rachel are very much still alive. So do we get the occasional mention or update throughout the season?
I don’t know, now that you mention it, that we’ve done a huge amount of, like, updating on what’s going on with them, in terms of like, “Hey, did you hear…?” which actually is not a bad idea. Maybe I’ll add that into — We have one [episode] left in the first 10 [that] we haven’t shot yet. [Laughs] … We talk about missing them. Harvey definitely, at least, has a minimum of one conversation with Mike, but it’s not about updating on what Mike’s doing. But it is about keeping them alive, and you talk about them, and you think about them, as you would with people that you care about.

Even when Mike was in jail, he was still very much a part of Harvey’s day-to-day life. What is Harvey like without Mike there by his side?
Mike being gone, it affects Harvey. There’s no doubt about it, and we talk about it, and Harvey goes through a transition in Episode 1 of realizing maybe he doesn’t want to be the person he’s been professionally over the last season or so. But also, Harvey is a different person than he was a few years ago… he was able to accept Mike leaving and [see] that it was for Mike’s good, and though he misses him, it’s not as much of a hole in his soul as it would’ve been in seasons past.

There’s been no shortage of powerful female characters on the show. What does Katherine Heigl’s Samantha Wheeler bring that’s new and different?
First of all, let me just say, I’ve never had a situation before where I’ve had an actor kind of call up and want to be on the show in advance of a character having been written. That’s just not usually the way my brain works. I usually will have a character written, and then we’ll start thinking of who we want to play them. In this instance, it’s the first time ever where we decided we’re going to cast this actress, and we don’t know what we’re going to do. So that’s why, when we started Season 8, it was like, “Oh, how are we going to integrate these people?”

But an idea popped into my head, and the way she enters the firm is through Robert Zane. She has a pre-existing relationship with him, and it feels organic to the show. She comes into the show, in my mind, similar to where Harvey was maybe three or four years ago in terms of the way she operates, and her ranking within the firm, and her confidence in herself. She’s a force to be reckoned with, no doubt, and she fits seamlessly right in there. She’s, no doubt, a very powerful woman.

First impressions are everything. What kind of impression would you say Samantha makes on the people in the firm?
I love her introductory scene. It’s one of my favorites. She comes in with a punch, so to speak. I wouldn’t say that she comes in as a good guy or a bad guy. She comes in as a forceful person to be reckoned with, and a lot of the characters on the show are not sure where she stands. They’re not sure if she’s on their side or not on their side, and she spends a lot of the first 10 episodes showing them, or trying to show them, that they can rely on her and that she is an asset to the team. But that doesn’t mean she’s going to lay down or not be a force to be reckoned with.

Professionally, Donna has risen to the position that she’s always wanted, but her personal life remains a bit unsettled. What’s next for her?
This year, at least in the first 10 [episodes], Donna is coming into her own as COO. …. Throughout the course of Season 7, she asked for it, she got it, but she still, in her own mind, wasn’t sure or hadn’t yet really internalized that she deserved it and was up to the challenge. Now in Season 8, she’s feeling much more comfortable. Right away in [Episode] 801, she has a line where she says, “COO is where I’m meant to be,” and she feels much more confident and secure in that position. That’s a lot of what’s going on. You will, hopefully, be… a little bit surprised at Donna’s role within the firm by the end of the first 10 [episodes] of Season 8.

What’s coming up for Louis and Sheila now that they’ve decided to be together and potentially have a family?
I’m coming from set, where they just were filming some really good stuff. Louis and Sheila have always been two of my favorites on the show. Their relationship, to me, is so odd, but with a foundation of love and believability. They have a lot of ground to cover this year, and there are a lot of emotional scenes with them. There are a lot of funny scenes with them, and I’m very excited about what’s coming with Louis and Sheila.

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Per Deadline, "Amazon Studios has given an eight-episode straight-to-series order to Tales From the Loop, an hour-long genre series based on the acclaimed sci-fi art of Simon Stålenhag, from writer Nathaniel Halpern (Legion), director Mark Romanek, Matt Reeves’ 6th & Idaho, and Swedish production and management company Indio. A co-production with Fox 21 Television Studios, Tales from the Loop is slated to premiere globally on Amazon Prime Video. It marks the 20th TV cable/streaming unit’s first Amazon series.

"Based on the acclaimed art of Swedish artist Stålenhag, Tales from the Loop explores the town and people who live above The Loop, a machine built to unlock and explore the mysteries of the universe – making things possible that were previously relegated only to science fiction. In this fantastical, mysterious town, poignant human tales are told that bare universal emotional experiences while drawing on the intrigue of genre storytelling.

Sixth & Idaho’s Reeves (Batman) executive produces with The Passage‘s Adam Kassan and Rafi Crohn. Halpern (Legion) will serve as showrunner and executive producer with Romanek (Never Let Me Go) helming the pilot and serving as executive producer.

Tales from the Loop is Indio’s first U.S. narrative episodic project. Executive producing for Indio are company founders Mattias Montero (Sanctuary) and Johan Lindström (Son of My Country), and Samantha Taylor Pickett (We, the Coyotes).

“'Simon Stålenhag’s paintings are renowned for their vision of a not-too-distant, futuristic landscape. We are looking forward to bringing that to life and sharing it with our Prime Video audience,' said Albert Cheng, Co-Head of Television, Amazon Studios.

"Added Sharon Tal Yguado, Head of Scripted Genre Programming, Amazon Studios, 'Nathaniel is a gifted storyteller who shares our passion for creating soulful, human stories that push the boundaries of genre programming and we’re thrilled to be working with him on this series.'

"Tales From The Loop is part of Amazon Studios’ big push into big-scope genre series, led by the big-budget Lord of Rings series, which is in the works."

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From The Hollywood Reporter: "Nearly a year after Netflix snapped up Mark Millar's comic book imprint, the Kingsman and Kick-Ass author has set his first slate at Netflix.

"The streamer has gone straight to series on two TV shows based on Millar's works — Jupiter's Legacy and American Jesus. On the feature side, Netflix announced Empress and Huck — both based on Millar titles — as well as Sharkey the Bounty Hunter, which will be published as a Millarworld/Netflix comic next year.

"'My wife Lucy and I are 11 months into our jobs at Netflix and it’s everything we hoped for to the power of 10,' Millar said in a statement.

"All told, the five projects are the first slate in what sources estimate is a deal worth between $30 million and $50 million.

"Jupiter's Legacy, which will span eight episodes, hails from Steven S. DeKnight (who launched Netflix's first Marvel drama, Daredevil) will serve as showrunner after recently inking an overall deal with the streamer. Lorenzo Di Bonaventura and Dan McDermott exec produce, with DeKnight directing the first episode. The drama is based on Millar's ongoing comic of the same name, which was first published in 2013. The series is a multigenerational drama that follows the world's first generation of superheroes, who received their powers in the 1930s. In the present day, they're the revered elder guard, but their superpowered children struggle to live up to the legendary feats of their parents. Jupiter's Legacy is considered the crown jewel of Millar's Millarworld banner as the title, about the world's first superheroes, could lend itself to become its own suite of series akin to Netflix's Marvel TV universe.

"American Jesus, set for six episodes, is a multilingual series in Spanish and English. Everardo Gout (Netflix's Marvel drama Luke Cage) and his brother, Leopoldo Gout (Molly's Game, Instinct), will serve as co-showrunners and exec producers, with the former directing. The series follows a 12-year-old boy who suddenly discovers he has returned as Jesus Christ and can turn water into wine and perhaps even raise the dead. The drama explores how he will deal with the destiny to lead the world in a conflict thousands of years in the making. The series is based on the comic, initially published as Chosen in 2004, and retitled American Jesus for its trade paperback collection.

"On the film side, Ted Melfi, who directed and co-wrote the Oscar-nominated hit Hidden Figures, is adapting Huck, Millar's 2016 riff on Superman featuring a small-town man who secretly does good deeds with his superpowers. Neal H. Moritz and Toby Jaffe are set to produce.

"Lindsey Beer, a rising geek writer who has worked up Chaos Walking and Godzilla vs. Kong, has been tapped to pen Empress, about the wife of a galactic dictator who dares to escape her husband with her children in tow. An interplanetary chase ensues. Joe Roth and Jeff Kirschenbaum (Maleficent) are producing.

"Rounding out the list is Sharkey the Bounty Hunter, which is set in a new sci-fi universe and revolves around a blue-collar bounty hunter who tracks criminals across his galaxy in his converted, rocket-powered ice cream truck. Aided by his 10-year-old partner, he's out for the biggest bounty of his career. Michael Bacall (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, 21 Jump Street) will pen the screenplay. As opposed to the other titles being adapted, Sharkey is not yet a published Millar property. It will be published as a Netflix/Millarworld comic next year.

"'To see a movie based on your work every couple of years is incredibly exciting, but to see them all happening at once like this and with talent this high-end is just off the scale,' Millar said. 'These are writers and directors I’ve privately been sending fan mail to over the last 18 months, so to be working with them all is just enormously exciting. This really is the greatest creative environment I’ve ever worked in. I can’t wait to switch on my computer every morning.'"