Wednesday July 25, 2018

A preview of tonight's new episode of Suits. Harvey and Donna learn how Samantha operates; Alex tries to impress Zane.

The first three episodes of Hulu's Castle Rock are now available to stream.

More on how this show came together.

Paramount has renewed Yellowstone for a 2nd season.

Tough times for Demi Lovato.

The good news is that she is awake and evidently recovering from overdosing.

Get these damn outsiders off my Challenge. Enough already.

Speaking of which, I spotted Paulie Calafiore in the background of a Shaun T Beachbody workout video. And it's new. Good on ya Paulie!

"Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is returning to politics — on-screen, at least. The 2016 Democratic presidential nominee is set to play herself on the political drama Madam SecretaryCBS announced on Tuesday. Joining her are fellow former secretaries of state Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell."

"Netflix is delving deeper into the YA space with a Lord of the Flies-like drama series from Chris Keyser and Marc Webb The untitled 10-episode project is considered to be a mix of Lost meets Lord of the Flies. It revolves around young adults fighting for survival. Teens are forced to take matters into their own hands when they return to their town from a trip cut short to find that everyone is missing and there's no way out of the town. Teens will party, panic, grieve, fight and ultimately be forced to decide how to deal with the unthinkable. Kathryn Newton (BlockersBig Little Lies; Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; Little Women) will star in the series as Allie, the teen who becomes the leader of the mysterious teenage world. The character is constantly living in the shadow of her older sister, Kim (not yet cast). Allie inspires her sister to take charge of the group and supports her during the confrontation that follows."

NatGeo has announced its new slate of programming.

Donald Trump's Walk of Fame star has been destroyed.

"Roseanne Barr will sit down with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday night, the comedian’s first TV interview since her ABC series Roseanne was canceled by ABC over an offensive tweet. The interview will be aired live July 26 at 9PM ET/6PM PT on Hannity, and will cover the circumstances of Barr’s firing, as well as Donald Trump, according to a Fox News statement. Additional portions of the interview will also be presented during the following night’s episode. Hannity made the announcement at the end of his Tuesday episode."

"Deal or No Deal is bringing the briefcase back to primetime this winter! On Tuesday, CNBC announced that the game show series, which aired from 2005 to 2009 on NBC, is returning to primetime TV with original host Howie Mandel in tow. The new, reimagined season — which sees contests compete to win up to $1 million — will premiere on Wednesday, Dec. 5. and, according to the network, will  “continue to offer up a high-pressure, high-stakes game of risk and reward” with some new added twists.  Mendel [sic] is clearly excited to get back to bargaining with the Banker, posting the news on Twitter. 'I am so thrilled to announce that the all new #DealOrNoDeal is premiering DECEMBER 5 on CNBC!' he wrote."

"Longtime friends and producing partners Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner have decided to go their separate ways, work-wise. The two have decided to split as producing partners before their joint overall deal for their A Casual Romance Productions banner expires in December at HBO, Deadline has confirmed. Dunham and Konner, who worked together on all six seasons of Girls, are currently executive producing HBO’s upcoming comedy series Camping, starring Jennifer Garner. 'We have had one of the most significant relationships together in our adult lives and we respect each other’s choices. While our interests are pulling us in different directions right now, we are excited about our current work and are firmly committed to the projects we have together. HBO has been our home for quite some time and we look forward to continuing there as we both move forward,' Dunham and Konner said in a joint statement provided to Deadline."

"Ally Sheedy and Matthew Morrison have joined the second season of SMILF in guest starring rolesVariety has learned exclusively. Morrison will play the role of Mitch, the nice guy ex-boyfriend of Bridgette (Frankie Shaw) from high school. Despite being polar opposites, the two still have feelings for each other. Sheedy will play Fiona, a friend of Bridge and Rafi (Miguel Gomez). Fiona is a no-nonsense midwife, a realist, down to earth and practical."

cq5dam.web_.1200.675-5.jpg

Per Uproxx, "Succession is good. It is very good. I need to lead with that because the last time I wrote about the show I could not decide if I loved it or hated it. The episodes that have aired since then have been so good and the issues I had with the show — not enough fun and no reason to pull for any character — mostly melted away as the season progressed, to the point that I now enjoy it immensely and have many opinions about many of the people and events on the show. As you will see. But now we must move on, for two reasons. One, because my feelings on the show were already summed up almost perfectly by this tweet.

"And two, because now I want to talk about Cousin Greg.

"Everyone on Succession is a jackal or a scoundrel or both. Kendall is a disaster, careening all over the place from serious businessman to sneaker-clad tech investor, saying things like 'business is my fucking' without a hint of irony. Roman is useless, albeit in an increasingly charming way, to the extent one finds the entitled antics of grown man acting like a teenage brat charming. Shiv is working on the political campaign of a man who wants to destroy her family, which is kind of noble until you examine her intentions. Tom is insane. Logan is a monster, in a way that mostly explains why everyone else on the show is the way they are. The show is filled with truly awful people.

"Except Cousin Greg. My dear sweet Cousin Greg. Just wide-eyed and naive and standing around with a perpetually confused look on his face while wearing a suit that doesn’t fit him at all and never will. He’s like a goldfish in a piranha tank. I love him. I can’t decide if I want him to get out of Waystar Royco entirely and go be an accountant or repeatedly stammer and blubber his way through the power vacuum until he takes over the whole company.

"Please do take a moment to picture that second thing, by the way. There’s a not entirely far-fetched scenario where it plays out someday. Logan is going to scratch and claw to maintain control as long as possible. Kendall and Roman will keep screwing up because Kendall and Roman screw up. Tom is a hilarious dork and I’m starting to love him but he wants it — the status, the money, the power, all of it — way too much and anyone who talks to him for more than 10 seconds can see through him like tissue paper. Shiv is easily the most competent but doesn’t seem to want it at all. And if Logan hangs on long enough and all the children fall away as competitors, then who does that leave?

"My sweet gangly boy, that’s who, still standing in a conference room he’s not sure he’s supposed to be in, surrounded by the ghosts of challengers he disposed of by pure accident, surviving only because he’s not worldly enough to know how to die. The champion we need and deserve.

"Again, I don’t even know if this is what I really want for him. Maybe I’ve just seen 30 Rock too much and I’m getting subconscious Jack/Kenneth vibes whenever Logan and Cousin Greg are in a room together. ('In five years we’ll all be working for him or be dead by his hand.') It’s just delightful to me that everyone else is craving desperately for attention and recognition and they’re scheming and plotting to get it and then Cousin Greg walks in like 'Oh hey, um, I stapled my tie to my pants. Again. Does anyone have a staple remov-… ahh, never mind. I’ll just… uh' and walks into the unopened glass door as he tries to leave, only to find out that was exactly the distraction Logan needed to twist the negotiations in his favor.

"The most recent episode, Prague, was a Cousin Greg showcase. There’s always comedy to be mined from throwing a rube into pure debauchery, so part of it was that, with him stammering his way through a drug-fueled sex party he would have been embarrassed hearing about let alone attending. But watch him closely. Watch the way actor Nicholas Braun clings to walls and then springs into action to perform the 'keep Kendall alive, please' duties Logan asked him to perform. There’s a fine line there, performance-wise, between nailing it and pushing the wide-eyed wonder into parody, and he never tripped over it even as the character bumbled through the party like a man who woke up in a cartoon.

"(The best part came near the end, when Kendall discovered the babysitting ruse and pressured Cousin Greg to do lines of cocaine to prevent him from tooting them all himself. All Cousin Greg had to do was brush them off the mirror with his hand, or blow them into the air. He didn’t have to actually snort them to stop them from going up Kendall’s nose. But Cousin Greg didn’t realize that. He couldn’t realize it, really, because realizing it would betray everything Cousin Greg is. So he did the lines and freaked out because that is what Cousin Greg does.)"

"He’s one of my favorite television characters of 2018 at this point, just behind Noho Hank from Barry, which is very much a compliment. He and Noho Hank have a decent amount in common, too. They’re both sweet men. They both work in a field populated by amoral sharks. They both have a gruff older boss they just want to make happy. I feel like they’d complement each other, too. Noho Hank and Cousin Greg on a road trip together, listening to Hank’s motivational self-help tapes instead of music, with Hank telling Greg over and over to believe in himself and have confidence and periodically offering him a juice box or submarine sandwich from a cooler he packed. I’d watch that show, even if that’s all that show was. Hank and Greg on the Road, this fall on HBO after Ballers. Put Jared from Silicon Valley in the back seat for a three-episode arc and let’s roll."

VVTLLGMAR6HJ6POMXIX4KQKQQI.jpg

From The Hollywood Reporter: "FX is going big for its next limited series.

"The cable network has greenlighted Fosse/Verdon, an eight-episode project from Hamilton's Lin-Manuel Miranda starring Oscar winner Sam Rockwell and four-time Academy Award nominee Michelle Williams. The series marks a major swing for FX after the cable network's top producer — Ryan Murphy — exited his overall deal with corporate sibling 20th Century Fox TV for a $300 million pact with Netflix.

"Based on Sam Wasson's Fosse biography, the project tells the story of the romantic and creative partnership between Bob Fosse (Rockwell) and Gwen Verdon (Williams). He was a filmmaker and one of theater's most influential choreographers and directors; she was the greatest Broadway dancer of all time. Together, they changed the face of American entertainment — at a perilous cost. The series will feature Fosse's choreography and explore the hidden corners of showbiz, the price of pursuing greatness and the suffering inflicted in the name of art.

"Steven Levenson (Dear Evan Hansen) will serve as showrunner and penned the pilot episode, which will be directed by Hamilton's Thomas Kail. Kail, Levenson, Miranda, Rockwell, Williams and George Stelzner will executive produce the series, which is a co-production between Fox 21 Television Studios and FX Productions. Actress, dancer and producer Nicole Fosse, the daughter of Fosse and Verdon, will serve as co-exec producer and will oversee for The Verdon Fosse Legacy. Andy Blankenbuehler will co-produce. Production is set to begin this fall for a 2019 debut.

"'My mother and father have one of the greatest love stories ever known,' Nicole Fosse said Tuesday in a statement. 'They were extremely complex people with an indestructible bond, loyalty and trust that endured both fantasy and reality. Finally, we have a creative team with the talent and wisdom to tell the story.'

"The project comes as FX has been a dominant player in the limited series category, where the John Landgraf-led cable network has earned 204 nominations and 34 wins for series including American Horror Story, Fargo, American Crime Story and Feud.

"'We are over the moon about this dream team we’ve assembled for this incredible series,' said FX original programming president Nick Grad. 'Tommy, Steven and Lin are the perfect team to tell the story of Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon, and we’re so thrilled to have Sam and Michelle playing these iconic roles.'

"For Fox 21, Fosse/Verdon is part of a larger push for cable and streaming as part of the Bert Salke-led studio. 'Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon’s story is one of a fascinating, passionate love affair that gave birth to some truly remarkable cultural achievements, and to this day it has been largely untold,' he said. 'In the capable hands of Steven, Tommy and Lin, with the vital creative input and imprimatur of their only daughter Nicole, this series is going to be a compelling look at these two icons as portrayed by the enormously talented Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams. We’re very excited.'

"Fosse/Verdon reunites Kail with Miranda following their collaborations on Hamilton and In the Heights. Said Kail, Levenson and Miranda in a joint statement: 'Bob Fosse ignited a revolution in American dance, theater and film. But, in contrast to the well-worn myth of the visionary artist working in solitude, Fosse’s work would not have been possible without Gwen Verdon, the woman who helped to mold his style — and make him a star. We are honored to work with the incredible team at FX and Fox 21, and these two extraordinary actors, to tell the story of this remarkable couple, and the complicated, fascinating relationship between them.'"

jeff-ross_roast-battle.jpg

Per Vulture, "Comedy Central recently revealed the premiere dates and lineups for two returning shows: Roast Battle and Kevin Hart Presents: The Next Level. First up is the third season of Roast Battle, which debuts Tuesday, July 31 at 10 p.m., with a sneak peek set to air after the Bruce Willis roast on July 29 at midnight. Nikki Glaser, Anthony Jeselnik, and Jeff Ross will serve as judges for the new season, which will include appearances from the comedians below:

• Todd Barry
• Pat Barker
• Nicole Becannon
• Matthew Broussard
• Keith Carey
• Kim Congdon
• Alex Duong
• Joe Eurell
• Olivia Grace
• Blake Griffin
• Tony Hinchcliffe
• Jerron Horton
• Mike Lawrence
• Joe List
• Joe Machi
• Kurt Metzger
• Connor McSpadden
• Sam Morril
• Jamar Neighbors
• Mark Normand
• Eli Sairs
• Yamaneika Saunders
• Jason Sklar
• Randy Sklar
• Sarah Tiana
• Sarah Tollemache
• Robin Tran
• Brendon Walsh
• Dolph Ziggler

"The Roast Battle lineup notably includes Kurt Metzger, who recently made headlines for being hired as a writer on Sacha Baron Cohen’s Who Is America? despite defending an Upright Citizens Brigade comedian accused of rape by multiple women through a series of Facebook posts in in 2016 and his history of harassing women online.

"The second season of Kevin Hart’s stand-up showcase series The Next Level, meanwhile, premieres Friday, August 3 at 11 p.m. and will feature six up-and-coming comedians in their own half-hour specials. Here’s the full lineup:

• August 3: T. Murph
• August 10: Tacarra Williams
• August 17: Malik S.
• August 24: Jeff Horste
• August 31: Ron G.
• September 7: Marvin Hunter"

DanHarmon-Twitter-1200.jpg

Per Buzzfeed, "Adult Swim is standing behind Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon after a decade-old video that showed the writer simulating the rape of a doll was dug up online by right-wing figures.

“'At Adult Swim, we seek out and encourage creative freedom and look to push the envelope in many ways, particularly around comedy,' an Adult Swim spokesperson told BuzzFeed News in a statement. 'The offensive content of Dan’s 2009 video that recently surfaced demonstrates poor judgement and does not reflect the type of content we seek out. Dan recognized his mistake at the time and has apologized. He understands there is no place for this type of content here at Adult Swim.'

"The bizarre video was spread by a combination of far-right supporters and 4Chan users, similar to the way old tweets from James Gunn were dug up showing the Guardians of the Galaxy director joking about pedophilia. Disney subsequently fired Gunn on Friday.

"Harmon, who also wrote and created NBC's Community, has since deleted his Twitter account in light of the video being re-shared.

"In a statement to BuzzFeed News, Harmon said the video was from 2009 and showed an attempt to parody the serial-killer show Dexter that 'only succeeded in offending.'

“'I quickly realized the content was way too distasteful and took the video down immediately. Nobody should ever have to see what you saw and for that, I sincerely apologize,' Harmon said.

"Earlier this year, Harmon was at the center of another controversy when he admitted to professionally sabotaging a former coworker after she rejected his romantic advances.

"Megan Ganz, the woman who said Harmon harassed her, later accepted his apology."

From EW: "It’s the first The First trailer, if that phrasing wasn’t too hard to follow. Sean Penn stars in the new Hulu series from House of Cards‘ Beau Willimon about mankind’s first steps towards landing on Mars and the cost that comes 'any time people venture into the unknown.'

"Penn returns to television following a film-heavy career sprinkled with small-screen appearances. This time, he stars opposite Natascha McElhone and he’s getting existential by quoting astronomer Carl Sagan. Well, paraphrasing him.

“'Every human being who ever was lived out their lives… on a mound of dust suspended in a sunbeam,' the actor, playing one of the Mars-bound astronauts, says.

"The footage, a reflective piece with a prickling, otherworldly soundtrack, accompanies a more disheartening plot description: Aerospace magnate Laz Ingram (McElhone) heads and space crew who must come to terms with the perils and personal sacrifices required of their historic mission to the Red Planet.

“'I have such deep admiration for Sean’s immense talent and extraordinary body of work,' Willimon said in an earlier statement. 'I feel very lucky to be collaborating with an artist of his caliber.'

"LisaGay Hamilton, Hannah Ware, Keiko Agena,  Rey Lucas, James Ransone, Anna Jacoby-Heron, Brian Lee Franklin, and Oded Fehr also star in The First.

"Hulu is coming off of a personal record of 27 Emmy nominations, which were announced earlier this month. The First now joins the home of The Handmaid’s Tale and The Looming Tower in dropping all eight of its episodes on Sep. 14."