Tuesday September 25, 2018

Hulu has renewed Harlots for a 3rd season.

James Lipton is leaving the Actors Studio. The longtime host and executive producer of the popular interview series is handing over the keys to the kingdom. Ovation announced Monday that it will be the new home to the art of acting series beginning in Fall 2019 and that a rotating roster of hosts still to be determined will replace Lipton. ‘It’s very gratifying to see the legacy of Inside The Actors Studio being carried forward for a new generation to appreciate and enjoy,’ said Lipton in a statement. ‘I made a vow early on that we would not deal in gossip — only in craft, and Ovation, as a network dedicated to the arts, will continue that tradition with the next seasons of the series. I’m excited to see the new hosts engage with the guests and students and continue to entertain viewers in the U.S. and around the world.”

A sneak peak at the season premier of The Goldbergs.

More premieres tonight, including:



Lethal Weapon season 3 (FOX)

This Is Us season 3 (NBC)

New Amsterdam (NBC)

In other words, nothing I’m likely to watch.

The five central cast members from NBC's This Is Us have renegotiated their contracts with producer 20th Century Fox Television and scored significant pay raises for the upcoming third season. Stars Milo Ventimiglia (Jack), Mandy Moore (Rebecca), Sterling K. Brown (Randall), Chrissy Metz (Kate) and Justin Hartley (Kevin) will see their per-episode salary jump to $250,000 per episode, once their respective signing bonuses are factored in, according to sources. Season three, which returns Tuesday, will again consist of 18 total episodes. The five central cast members did not start out with the same salary. Ventimiglia, for example, made $115,000 per episode, while Hartley earned $75,000 and Metz, who famously had 81 cents in her bank account when she booked This Is Us, earned $40,000. The stars will now earn $4.5 million per season.”

For the 6 people who read this to whom this might be of interest, “[s]treaming broadcast news site Cheddar has locked a deal with Twitch for a new eSports news show called Cheddar Sports and a live stream special at TwitchCon on October 27. Starting Thursday, Cheddar Sports will deliver news, highlights stories from the world of eSports and gaming to viewers both on Twitch and across Cheddar’s syndication network. The show will also take advantage of Twitch’s interactive community engaging fans and viewers in on-air discussions.”

“Bill Cosby’s sentencing hearing for the 2004 drugging and sexual assault of Andrea Constand began in a Pennsylvania courtroom Monday. Cosby was facing a maximum of 30 years in prison, but the judge in his case said he will likely only be imprisoned for less than three years. Despite a psychologist from Pennsylvania’s Sexual Offenders Assessment Board testifying that Cosby has a personality disorder that makes him a “sexually violent predator” who has an interest in having sex with nonconsenting partners, Judge Steven T. O’Neill chose to merge two of the counts in his case, reducing his potential sentence from 30 years in prison to just ten years. O’Neill said that based on state guidelines for sentencing, Cosby could serve 22 to 34 months in prison.”

James Roday talks about his new show A Million Little Things.

Netflix has acquired the 10-episode docuseries Terrorism Close Calls, the company announced on Tuesday. The series from Big Media explores thwarted terror plots, featuring interviews with agents involved in disrupting them as well as leading national and international authorities on counterterrorism, intelligence, and law enforcement. It is set to premiere on Friday, Oct. 26.”


Bill Burr is putting down roots at Comedy Central.

“Burr and his All Things Comedy partner Al Madrigal have signed a production deal with the Viacom-owned cable network. Under the pact, ATC will produce an original stand-up series — to be hosted by Burr — as well as three hourlong specials. The first stand-up special under the pact, Bill Burr Presents Paul Virzi: I'll Say This, will bow Nov. 2 on Comedy Central.

"‘We are all very excited here at ATC to be in business with Comedy Central. They gave me my first national exposure with a half-hour special back when I was just starting out,’ Burr said. ‘I couldn’t be happier that our first release will be with Paul Virzi. He’s a great friend and comedian and his special is incredible!’

“The half-hour series will feature short sets from Burr's favorite comedians. Additional details about the series and subsequent specials will be announced later.

“Burr is the latest comedian that Comedy Central has locked up with a larger deal, joining Anthony Jeselnik (The Jeselnik Offensive), Broad City duo Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson and Trevor Noah.

"‘Bill Burr is one of the greatest stand-ups working today and we are thrilled to partner with him, Al and ATC on this new series and slate of specials. It’s truly a no-brainer to bring ATC’s comedic sensibility to Comedy Central,’ Comedy Central exec vp and co-heads of talent and development Sarah Babineau and Jonas Larsen said.”


From Deadline: “Netflix is going old-school, ordering six episodes of Historical Roasts, a half-hour comedy series from Comedy Central roast star Jeff Ross and OBB Pictures. The project stems from the popular live Los Angeles comedy club show that has been running since 2014. OBB (Kevin Hart’s Cold as Balls) optioned rights to the show and then secured the deal with Netflix which beat out multiple bidders. Production begins this fall and the show launches next year.

“Each episode will bring together A-list comedians in period-appropriate garb and character to roast historical figures. No word on the roastees yet, but the live shows have featured everyone from Abraham Lincoln and Jimmy Hendrix to Michael Jackson and William Shakespeare.

“‘People always ask me who my dream roast would be — this concept allows me to finally roast them all. Plus, I’ll be learning a lot along the way,’ said Ross, who anchors Comedy Central’s roast franchise (Bruce Willis was the latest roastee) as well as the network’s Jeff Ross Presents Roast Battle, now in its third season. ‘The possibilities are as long as mankind itself. Everyone from Moses to Tupac can be in the hot seat. This is one more giant step in the global roasting movement.’

“Ross and OBB previously teamed on the latter’s go90 mockumentary series The Fifth Quarter. OBB’s Cold as Balls on Lionsgate’s Laugh Out Loud, meanwhile, a sports interview show toplined by Hart, recently launched its second season.

“OBB president and CEO Michael D. Ratner is abaord to direct and executive produce Historical Roasts with Scott Ratner, Eric D. Cohen, Ross and Thruline Entertainment’s Amy Zvi. Co-EPs are Ross’ collaborator and head writer Frank Sebastiano; OBB’s Miranda Sherman and Kfir Goldberg; AJ Tesler; and the live show’s creators Eddie Furth, Ryan Pigg and Samee Junio.

“‘We couldn’t be happier to be creating Historical Roasts as a Netflix original series,’ Michael D. Ratner said. ‘As we continue to expand and diversify our portfolio at OBB, it’s our mission to create incredible opportunities for both new and established talent. We look forward to showing the world our cast in these insane roles as we roast some of the most iconic people to ever live. Our motto here is certainly “it’s never too soon.”’”


Netflix has set October 19 for the global premiere of Emmy-winning docuseries Making a Murderer Part 2.

“The anticipated second chapter continues to chronicle the unprecedented journey of Steven Avery from DNA exoneree and reformer to convicted murderer. Filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos return to the Midwest where they have exclusive access to Avery and his co-defendant and nephew Brendan Dassey, their families and the legal teams fighting for justice on their behalf. Over the course of 10 new episodes, Making a Murderer Part 2 provides an in-depth look at the high-stakes post-conviction process, exploring the emotional toll the process takes on all involved.

“Part 2 introduces viewers to Kathleen Zellner, Avery’s hard-charging post-conviction lawyer, in her fight to prove that Avery was wrongly convicted and win his freedom. Ricciardi and Demos follow Zellner as she tirelessly works the case and uncovers unexpected evidence about what may have happened to Teresa Halbach and about how and why the jury convicted Steven of her murder.

“Ricciardi and Demos also follow Dassey’s post-conviction lawyers, Laura Nirider and Steven Drizin with Northwestern University’s Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth, as they fight in federal court to prove their client’s confession was involuntary, a fight that could take Brendan’s case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“‘Steven and Brendan, their families and their legal and investigative teams have once again graciously granted us access, giving us a window into the complex web of American criminal justice,’ said executive producers, writers and directors Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos. ‘Building on Part 1, which documented the experience of the accused, in Part 2, we have chronicled the experience of the convicted and imprisoned, two men each serving life sentences for crimes they maintain they did not commit. We are thrilled to be able to share this new phase of the journey with viewers.’

“Making a Murderer Part 2 is produced by Synthesis Films. Ricciardi and Demos serve as executive producers, writers and directors.”


Per The Hollywood Reporter, “High Fidelity, the TV series for Disney's forthcoming streaming service, has found its lead.

“Zoe Kravitz has been tapped to star in the reboot of the 2000 film take on Nick Hornby's novel. The 10-episode series is described as a reimagining of the movie and book and told from the female point of view. Kravitz, who will take on the role portrayed by John Cusack in the film, will star as the ultimate music fan and record store owner who is obsessed with pop culture and top-five lists. The actress also will executive produce.

“Kravitz is the daughter of musician/actor Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet, with the latter having played Cusack's ex-girlfriend Marie DeSalle in the original pic.

“Veronica West and Sarah Kucserka created the High Fidelity TV series for the forthcoming Disney streaming service. They will also exec produce alongside Midnight Radio's Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg.

“The unnamed direct-to-consumer streaming service is set to launch in late 2019 and feature a mix of original and library content from Disney's feature film and TV groups, Pixar Animation, Marvel Entertainment and Lucasfilm.”

I remain a huge fan of this film.


From The New York Post: “Almost a decade after the series premiere of ABC’s Shark Tank, investors Mark Cuban, Daymond John, Lori Greiner, Barbara Corcoran and Kevin O’Leary know what they’re looking for.

“‘The number one thing is, know what really differentiates you from any other business out there and what you’re going to do that’s going to make a difference,’ Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, told Page Six on Sunday at the Tribeca TV Festival. ‘If you do that, you’re in good shape.’

“Along with a unique factor, John told us he needs an enthusiastic pitch before he invests in an entrepreneur.

“‘Be very infectious … your energy has to be super, super high,’ he said. ‘It’s always the right person with the right product [that] meets the right ‘Shark’ at the right time,” he added. ‘Lori has invested in some stuff that I thought would never work [and] she’s great with it because she had the vision.’

“But famed New York realtor Corcoran, who has been on the show since its 2009 premiere, said she doesn’t need much convincing one way or another if she’ll partner with an entrepreneur.

“‘For me, it’s 100 percent gut and it has been from day one,’ she told us. ‘I think my gift is spotting great talent and whatever first impression I have, which is before they open their mouth, I already know I’m out.’

“And when her intuition doesn’t serve her immediately, Corcoran thinks to herself, ‘What would happen if there’s a war and I had to toss my kid into this person’s arms, would the baby be OK in 10 years?’ and I right away know.’

“O’Leary says his frank advice comes with good intentions.

“‘I tell the truth,’ he said. ‘Everyone says I’m a mean Shark [and] it’s not true. Some Sharks don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings, I can care less about their feelings, I’m trying to tell them not to waste their family’s money.’

“Greiner added that she’s often looking out for female entrepreneurs.

“‘I think that women have to lead the way for other women,’ she said. ‘I’m proud and I’m continuing to work hard and trying to do things that will help women get ahead.’

“‘I don’t think any of us would have any idea that it would be on so long. It’s amazing,’ she said of the show’s run.

“The 10th season will premiere on Oct. 7 on ABC.”