Wednesday August 29, 2018

Harvey is forced to help David Fox; Alex assists Zane with a personal venture. #SUITS

The season 2 finale of Alone Together airs tonight on Freeform. It's a cute and very watchable show headlined by some funny people.

HBO has removed all of its "adult programming."

There's only one episode left in this season of Million Dollar Listing: New York? I feel slighted.

Netflix announced that Season 2 of Big Mouth will premiere on October 5.

Here's the trailer.

"Sacha Baron Cohen’s controversial, buzzy, critically divisive Showtime series isn’t actually canceled yet, Showtime says. Despite the comedian himself tweeting Sunday’s finale of Who Is America? was the 'last EVER' episode, the network insists no decision has been made on the show which pranked political figures into making embarrassing (and revealing) mistakes.  The network had previously told reporters at the Television Critics Association’s press tour last month that they were “dying to bring the show back” for a second round, despite its modest Nielsen ratings. Now the network says the show still could come back (likely meaning the network hasn’t given up trying to convince Cohen, regardless of what he says on Twitter — a similar situation happened with Homeland, where Showtime said for months that no decision had been made on whether to end the show next season despite its creative team telling the press otherwise)."

Abby Huntsman is joining The View.

"Catfish host Nev Schulman was under so much stress during his sexual misconduct investigation that he developed an illness. 'I was so stressed and I was so out of control and desperately trying to get it into my control that I actually got shingles,' Schulman, 33, revealed on Josh Peck’s podcast, Curious with Josh Peck. 'Most people get it around their chest or ribs,' Schulman added. 'I got it on my head.'”

TruTV has ordered 16 more episodes of Paid Off.

“Tiva is reuniting — sort of. Former NCIS stars Michael Weatherly and Cote de Pablo are attached as executive producers on a drama series in development at CBSVariety has learned. Titled MIA, the series follows a newly minted homicide detective who is assigned to an experienced, by-the-book partner to solve cases in Miami. She struggles to keep the personal entanglements of her final undercover assignment from jeopardizing her future. The series hails from writer and executive producer Shepard Boucher, whose previous credits include Riverdale, Angie Tribeca, and Undateable. Weatherly and de Pablo will executive produce, with CBS Television Studios producing. Weatherly is currently under an overall deal at the studio."

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Per Deadline, "[a]s the country’s legalized sports-gambling wave washes across the media landscape, Fox Sports is getting in on the action with linear TV’s first show dedicated to sports betting. Lock It In, whose regulars will include 'Cousin Sal' Iacono of Jimmy Kimmel Live, premieres September 10.

"The daily hourlong series on FS1 will be hosted by Fox Sports’ Rachel Bonnetta and also features radio host/blogger Clay Travis and oddsmaker Todd Fuhrman. Here’s the logline: Lock It In aims to make the avid sports fan smarter and more informed about the world of sports betting. The weekday show stars an eclectic cast of entertaining, sports-obsessed minds that want to make watching that night’s games as entertaining as possible. While fans tune in to see what the experts are saying – and who they are putting their hypothetical money on – they will also get smarter about the biggest sports stories of the day.

"It’s a return to Fox Sports for Emmy winner Iacono, whose first TV writing gig was on its sports-themed game show Sports Geniuses in 2000 and has worked on Fox NFL Sunday. He has been a writer on the ABC late-night show for 15 years and recurs on camera in sketches as Cousin Sal. Iacono also hosts the weekly podcast Against All Odds.

“'The thing I love most about Lock It In is just how much fun it will be to watch,' said Charlie Dixon, EVP Content at FS1. 'All four cast members have such big personalities, and what sets the show apart is their shared love of sports, humor and competitiveness. In the end, the show is not only about being right, it’s about being interesting.'"

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From Variety: "Nine months after admitting to sexually harassing women, Louis C.K. tested the waters for a comeback — and revealed exactly how little he and so many others have learned from the #MeToo reckoning.

"In a surprise 15-minute set at the Comedy Cellar in New York City, C.K. didn’t mention the accusations, or the fact that, again, he had confirmed that they were true. But the audience reportedly gave him a standing ovation of support before he’d even told a single joke. Later, Comedy Cellar owner Norm Dworman insisted to the New York Times that 'there can’t be a permanent life sentence on someone who does something wrong,' a sentiment echoed by comedian Michael Ian Black on Twitter. 'People have to be allowed to serve their time and move on with their lives,' Black wrote. 'I don’t know if it’s been long enough, or his career will recover, or if people will have him back, but I’m happy to see him try.'

"I’m neither surprised nor, in fact, angry that C.K. is trying to do stand-up again. He’s a comedian with connections; wading back into the world to see where he might fit is his prerogative. But it’s also our prerogative not to give him the kind of time and consideration that many are insisting he deserves, especially when there are so many others who could use even one of the many chances he’s getting.

"The idea that there’s some kind of time limit on how long a person who committed sex crimes — which, yes, is the category to which masturbating at someone without their consent belongs — should be out of work is ridiculous. So is the idea that him admitting to it absolves him of having done it in the first place (especially when he only did so after getting called out by the New York Times, after years of denying it). So is the idea that it’s the right and decent thing to do to give him another chance, just because he waited a few months for the sting of his failures to fade.

"Giving C.K. the generous framework of having somehow 'suffered enough' makes his story one of inevitable redemption rather than one of a man who, by his own admission, sexually harassed women in the workplace over at least a decade, stunting their careers while he made millions. It ignores the fact that he stepped onstage without considering who in the audience (especially victims of harassment and abuse) might not want to be there, and without having actually done much of anything to prove that he’s learned anything from his history of harassment beyond acknowledging it. It signals to other harassers and abusers within comedy and beyond that if they just wait 'long enough,' they too can step right back into their careers as if nothing ever happened.

"It minimizes the damage he caused, the women he targeted taking enormous risks to expose it, and the misogynistic rot within the entertainment industry that made it possible at all.

"So if I were in that audience, it certainly would have been jarring and disorienting to see C.K. step onstage. But it would have been infinitely worse to feel the swell of sympathy around me as the audience leapt to its feet, ready and willing to brush aside what he did so they could hear a few jokes about (reportedly) 'racism, waitresses’ tips, [and] parades.' In that moment, and in the rush to defend him now, it became clear that many are ultimately still prioritizing the wellbeing of perpetrators rather than victims. At the very least, this incident proves that there’s still so much work to do if that’s ever going to change — and no, waiting it out doesn’t count."

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Per The Hollywood Reporter, "[t]he official trailer for Sean Penn's TV series-regular debut, The First, is here and it provides an in-depth look at the intense space drama from House of Cards creator Beau Willimon.

"The two-time Academy Award winner leads an ensemble cast in the near-future drama about a crew of astronauts attempting to become the first humans on Mars. In the clip, Penn's character, Tom Hagerty, is seen struggling with the demands of the mission on his family. Under the direction of visionary aerospace magnate Laz Ingram (Natascha McElhone), the crewmembers contend with peril and personal sacrifice as they undertake the greatest pioneering feat in human history.

"The clip also features Ingram's voice as she pleads with someone off-camera to join her mission. 'They all say the same thing,' she says. '"'I'll believe it when I see it." But that's backwards. Belief comes first, only then can you see it. I'm asking you to use your imagination.'

"In addition to Penn and McElhone, The First co-stars LisaGay Hamilton, Hannah Ware, Keiko Agena, Rey Lucas, James Ransone, Anna Jacoby-Heron, Brian Lee Franklin and Oded Fehr. Executive producers include creator and showrunner Willimon and Jordan Tappis for Westward Productions.

"Penn's previous TV appearances include guest roles on series including FriendsTwo and a Half MenEllen and more. He most recently voiced for an episode of Fox's Family Guy. He is also set to star in and exec produce HBO's Andrew Jackson miniseries, American Lion.

"All eight episodes of The First will debut on Hulu on Sept. 14."

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Per Vulture, "[w]hen showrunner Peter Lenkov said at a press conference three weeks ago that there were no Latinx writers on the new Magnum P.I. — a CBS reboot starring Jay Hernandez — because “it’s incredibly hard to find writers,” it drew plenty of criticism from journalists, other TV writers and producers, and the advocacy organization National Hispanic Media Coalition.

"The next day, when Lenkov clarified on Twitter that he 'made a mistake' and the CBS reboot does, in fact, have a Latinx writer on staff, things got worse. TV writers and producers on other shows wondered if Lenkov, who also runs Hawaii-Five-O and MacGyverhad forgotten one of the three female writers in his  Magnum writers’ room (there are seven writers in total). Latinx Hollywood took it further, reacting to a detail in Lenkov’s tweet — that the writer is an alumnus of the CBS Writers Mentoring Program — and therefore not on his radar since Lenkov did not find her on his own or pay for her salary.

"What actually happened, according to Lenkov, was that he was thrown by the newish term 'Latinx' in the question, fumbled his answer at the panel, and then caused more confusion with his follow-up tweet. Since then, Vulture has independently confirmed there is a half-Cuban woman on the Magnum P.I. writing staff who graduated from the CBS program last year. She did not respond to Vulture’s requests for an interview.

"Sources who have spoken to Lenkov in recent days told Vulture that he has had trouble sleeping because he feels so badly about his mistake. Lenkov declined to be interviewed, but sent a statement through CBS Television Studios, which produces Magnum and his other shows: 'During the TCA panel, I quite frankly didn’t understand the question and I misspoke about Latinx representation in the writers’ room for Magnum P.I. This regrettable moment has been very humbling and I hope to use it as a learning and growth experience moving forward. Telling stories is my passion and having authentic voices write and direct my shows is important to the creative process and to the audience for whom we produce the shows. I am currently working with Brenda Victoria Castillo, Alex Nogales, and the wonderful folks at the National Hispanic Media Coalition to help build on this commitment for my current and future series.'

"Although Nogales, NHMC’s president and CEO, and president-elect Castillo accept that Lenkov simply made a mistake, they have met with him to discuss inclusivity and representation on his shows and to introduce him to some of the 150 writers who have completed the NHMC’s TV Writers Program. 'I think he’s earnest, I think he’s sincere,' Nogales said of Lenkov. 'I think we can expect that he will be inclusive. And, look, CBS thinks highly of him. He’s got three shows and they’re major shows. So we’ll see where this goes. But I’m optimistic that we can get some things done with him.'

"Beyond being an embarrassing moment for a high-profile producer, the episode has served to illustrate Latinx Hollywood’s frustration with its continued invisibility in the industry, as depicted in the lack of recent Emmy nominations and lack of lead acting roles and high-profile jobs in writing and producing ranks. According to UCLA’s fifth annual Hollywood Diversity Report, Latinx make up 18 percent of the U.S. population, yet only land 6 percent of the speaking roles in TV; Latinx consumers buy 24 percent of movie tickets, yet only get 2.7 percent of the speaking roles on film.

“'How we are perceived is always going to be the way we are treated,' Nogales said. 'And there’s a direct correlation between how few of us are in front of the camera and back of the camera and how people look at us. The vast majority of the population doesn’t know Latinos in any depth and they have seen us in very few roles that are positive.'

"In May, Vulture reported that of 35 new shows picked up across the five broadcast networks for fall, half of them feature people of color in lead roles, a sign that decision-makers are listening to the cries for more representation. However, Latinx and Asian actors remain underrepresented. Of those 18 shows, six feature Latinx actors and one features an Asian actor. The rest of the actors are black. With six of its nine new shows featuring people of color in lead roles, CBS — long criticized for its lack of diversity — was in first place in terms of casting the highest number of nonwhite actors for the upcoming season.

"Behind the scenes, however, the results were more bleak: Only four of the 18 shows featuring people of color in starring roles also have people of color in key creative and producing positions — a point that is imperative to Nogales as he works to educate Hollywood leaders, including Lenkov, on these disparities.

“'Peter is a powerhouse kind of a guy — they’re allowing him to be a showrunner for three major shows that they produce,' Nogales said. 'The fact that he brought Jay Hernandez in is a big step in the right direction, especially for CBS, who has historically been lily-white. Peter is Canadian and he wants to know more about the Latinos who live here in California, so we are going to introduce him to Latinos who are his social equals, so that maybe he and others can stop thinking of us as the ones from the very bottom.'

"To that end, Castillo of NHMC sent Lenkov eight to ten scripts from writers who completed the NHMC TV Writers’ program and will probably send more as the producer goes through them. 'He’s reading them right now,' Nogales said. 'I’m not gonna force him to take a writer he doesn’t want to work with, but we’re going to keep talking and hopefully he’ll bring in a minimum of one.'

"CBS, like ABC and NBC, has its own writing program, which is entering its 16th season and has graduated over 100 writers, such as S.W.A.T creator Aaron Rahsaan Thomas, The Walking Dead co-executive producer Angela Kang, and Star Trek: Discovery writers Bo Yeon Kim and Erika Lippoldt. Each fall, five to eight participants are selected and paired with an executive mentor to work on a piece from October to December. From January to April, the writers have weekly workshops with industry leaders until staffing season in May when the CBS team helps them land interviews. The Latinx writer who is staffed on Magnum P.I. completed it last year.

“'Our first point of interest is creating staff writers, but this is really about creating next show runners,' said CBS executive vice president of entertainment diversity and inclusion Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i. 'Notable alumni from our program that are now in the position to create their own writers room utilize us a resource and reach their hand back to lift others up.'

"The CBS program and others like it have been controversial in the past, as writers who landed gigs were met with prejudice and biases, resulting from being perceived as the network’s 'diversity hire' or 'free writer.' Networks seeking to raise the number of people of color in their writers’ rooms paid for the salaries of those writers, essentially giving showrunners a writer they did not have to pay out of the show budget. Since 2015, CBS changed the way it handles those salaries, agreeing to only pay the first 23 weeks of a writer’s stint to, in effect, evolve the program into a partnership with producers.

“'We want to bust those biases,' Smith-Anoa’i said. 'We would never refer to our writers as the "diverse" writer or the "free" writer. That is not what this is. Many of the writers that come through our program also have gone through ABC or NBC because what this is really about is having access to the decision-makers. And that’s the bridge we are serving. I’m not going to tell anyone that they have to hire this person, but people come through our program to get access to meet as many people as they can and share their talented work.'

"Nogales acknowledged he’s heard complaints from some writers who complete network diversity programs and then feel voiceless once they are working in rooms where they are the only person of color. 'We have to take what we can get,' he said. 'A lot of times we don’t have the connections and that’s what these programs provide. And the next step as an advocacy organization is to put pressure — and the majority of the time it works.'

"The question posed to Lenkov at the press conference also dealt with cultural identity and how much of the new Magnum’s Latino background would be explored in the series. (Magnum’s background is not mentioned in the first episode, the only one that’s currently available to the press.) Although procedurals don’t routinely go heavy on character development, viewers do get to know characters as time passes. At the press conference, executive producer Eric Guggenheim said, 'We plan to acknowledge it throughout the series.'

“'It is gigantic just to have Jay Hernandez in that role,” Nogales said. 'This particular show has a history, a pedigree. If [Hernandez] carries it off, not jumping up and down and saying, "I’m Latino," that’s okay too. But it’s important to have the writers in there because they will give it a nuance. We don’t necessarily write like whites. We have a different understanding of how society works and how life is because of our own personal experiences, so it brings another coloration to the show.'”

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From The New York Post: "In the history of sportscasting, no broadcaster has probably been more associated with one network than Bob Costas and NBC.

"Now, after nearly four decades in which Costas has been the lead announcer on Olympics, World Series, Super Bowls and late-night talk shows, Costas and NBC are in discussions to end the relationship, sources have told The Post.

"If a deal can be struck, it would mean finishing Costas’ current multi-million contract three years early as it is goes through 2021, according to a source. The contract calls for exclusivity for NBC, besides the work Costas does for MLB Network.

"When contacted, Costas initially declined comment on the talks, saying he couldn’t confirm or deny the discussions. He then relented and went on to say that there were no hard feelings on either side, but with his decision to stop doing the Olympics and with his antipathy toward football, it may be time for a change.

"Costas wants to pursue a journalism show that would feature interviews, commentaries and a critical look at the world of sports and perhaps other topics. NBC rarely utilizes Costas on-air after he stepped away from his last major roles on the Olympics and the NFL.

“'Sometimes you get to a point where it is not a fit anymore,' Costas said. 'It doesn’t mean that anyone is angry or upset.'

"NBC declined comment.

"Both sides are willing to talk about the terms that could lead to a buyout.

"As it stands now, NBC is paying Costas seven figures per year in a 'Tom Brokaw-like' emeritus role to pitch in when needed. In the last couple of years, he has only been on the air sparingly for perspectives on news events like the deaths of Muhammad Ali and colleague Dick Enberg, as well as a few minutes during the Triple Crown races.

"While Costas does not have a prominent on-air role with the network, he is still associated closely with NBC because of their longtime history and his legendary status.

"Costas has always stood out among sports network anchors for his willingness to speak strongly on the issues, even on the events NBC is covering. Costas ended up not hosting last February’s Super Bowl after saying football 'destroys people’s brains.'

"With NBC’s Sunday Night Football contract running through the 2022 season, Costas’ commentaries — even off NBC’s air — could be more of a liability than an asset in retaining its NFL package. The two sides could agree to allow Costas to do other projects, while remaining a part of NBC, but that does not seem to make sense for either.

"Costas’ agent, Sandy Montag, and NBC executives already have exchanged ideas and have meetings planned in the near future for what could lead to a potential buyout. Either way, Costas will continue his work with MLB Network.

"Both sides have some leverage in the negotiations. Costas, 66, is owed a good deal of money and could simply collect checks, if he so pleased, while NBC could prevent Costas from finishing off his career in the fashion he prefers.

"Costas declined to say where a possible new show could be housed. Platforms like HBO, Showtime, Netflix, Amazon and others are often in play for the type of program Costas is trying to create.

“'It is gratifying that there are a number of places that are anxious to do the sort of thing that I was seldom able to do over the last several years at NBC,'" Costas said.

Costas added he would like to do “thoughtful discussions, reasonable commentaries and essays.” These have all been hallmarks of his time with NBC and HBO when he was the preeminent sportscaster of his prime.

"There was a time when Costas thought he may be a one-broadcast-network guy, but that seldom, if ever, happens now in any entertainment or news genre. Still, Costas is probably more closely associated with NBC than Howard Cosell, Jim McKay and Keith Jackson were with ABC or Chris Berman with ESPN or Joe Buck is with Fox.

"But as accomplished as all of these sportscasters were — or are, in the case of Buck — none have had the range of Costas, hosting the Olympics and the Super Bowl, calling the play-by-play of the World Series and having a late-night talk show.

"Since 1979, Costas did it all at NBC. Soon, that relationship will likely end."