Thursday September 6, 2018

Younger will move to Paramount Network for its 6th season.

Paramount has canceled American Woman, not surprisingly.

Wanda Sykes will film another stand-up special for Netflix.

Great having that gang from Philly back in our lives. Welcome home Dennis.

And color me impressed Rob McElhenney!

Vulture spent time ranking every single episode of It's Always Sunny.

Netflix has rescued Designated Survivor, previously canceled by ABC.

"It's been over 26 years since In Living Color went off the air, and Jim Carrey says now is the perfect time for the acclaimed sketch comedy series to join the long list of shows eyeing a revival. ET's Kevin Frazier caught up with the outspoken comedy icon at the premiere of his new Showtime dramedy Kidding at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood on Wednesday, where he enthusiastically embraced the idea of bringing In Living Color back to TV. 'That show really needs to happen! That show needs to exist,' Carrey marveled. 'Especially now, man. There's so much to eat up and spit out so I'd love to see it reconstitute itself in another form.' Carrey got his big break as a cast member on the Fox sketch comedy series on which he starred from 1990 to 1994.  Carrey left the series following the release of his massive hit films Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Mask and Dumb and Dumber, which all came out in his final year on the show. However, he said he'd gladly participate if they ever brought the series back. 'I'd go back and uh hang out with 'em,' Carrey shared. 'Of course I would!'"

"Walk into a room containing Michael Strahan and Sara Haines and you’re going to get a jolt. This duo radiates energy. Now ABC needs to figure out a way to harness it. Haines and Strahan will on Monday lead an ambitious bid by the Walt Disney-owned network to expand its flagship morning program, Good Morning America, to a new afternoon perch. GMA Day, slated to air at 1 p.m. weekdays, is seen as a way to add a third hour to the A.M. flagship, extending its presence on the network. This new hour hinges on the heartwarming, however, not the headlines. 'You probably need to be taken away from some of the more serious things out there, and I think this is really it,' says Strahan, who vows the program will be 'very fun. It’s a show that is inspiring at times.' The two hosts promise to deliver a series that will include some of the usual daytime-TV staples – celebrity interviews, cooking segments, health-and-wellness features, feel-good stories – but with a few twists. 'We want to make sure when you tune in, you leave knowing something, that you are learning with us,' says Haines. 'You can check out for an hour to be with us. You will leave a little better, but you will definitely leave happier.' ABC is keen on making sure viewers have a 'takeaway' from many of the show’s segments." How thoughtful!

The rise of the "Murder Com" (e.g., Barry).

The first trailer for Narcos: Mexico is here.

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Per CNBC, "[t]he CBS board is deep in settlement talks with CEO Les Moonves that would result in his departure and the appointment of COO Joe Ianniello as his interim replacement, people close to the negotiations told CNBC.

"The talks have been going on for some time but have yet to reach a conclusion given continued back-and-forth about his exit package, the sources said.

"While under his contract he is due as much as $180 million in severance and a production deal, the board is offering a roughly $100 million exit package made up almost entirely of CBS stock, sources said. They said the board also wants the right to claw back some of the compensation if it's determined that sexual harassment allegations against Moonves are confirmed.

"As was widely reported Wednesday, CBS and its controlling shareholder, Sumner and Shari Redstone's National Amusements, are negotiating a settlement to end their litigation about whether the CBS board has the right to vastly dilute the voting power of NAI. While it is possible the settlement with Moonves and between CBS and NAI could be announced simultaneously, sources said they are not linked.

"CBS officials declined comment. The company's share price opened slightly higher Thursday after the CNBC report."

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Per The Hollywood Reporter, "[i]t's March 29, 2018. Twenty men and women stand on a boat in the middle of the Fijian sea, separated into two tribes with familiar names: David and Goliath. Jeff Probst, veteran Survivor executive producer and host, stands before them all, welcoming them to the next 39 days of their lives.

"'What complicates Survivor is the unknown,' Probst tells them. 'You have no idea what to expect, what skill set will come in handy, and anything about the other players. The question isn't who has the advantage — it's what is the advantage?'

"With that, Probst announces the theme for the 37th iteration of the landmark CBS reality series: 'This is Survivor: David vs. Goliath,' he intones, as a banner with the season's name unfurls behind the hopeful millionaires. 

"What happens next: a spirited debate between the David tribe (ten people who are 'used to proving people wrong and defying expectations,' according to Probst) and the Goliath tribe (who Probst describes as having one thing in common: 'winning'), and a riveting challenge that immediately tests the season's theme. The Hollywood Reporter was on hand for all of it, interviewing the 20 new castaways in the days leading up to the game, as well as speaking with Probst a few hours following the initial events of the season.

"Here's everything to know ahead of the September 26 premiere of Survivor: David vs. Goliath:

The Underdog versus the Favorite

"According to Probst, the David vs. Goliath theme owes origin to a book with a very similar name: Malcolm Gladwell's David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants

"'He talks about the idea that in life, it's not always about who has the advantage, but what is the advantage,' says Probst. 'Survivor is a game in which every single day, you have to ask yourself, 'What's the advantage right now?' Not who has it. What is it?'

"Additionally, Probst credits the late mathematician John Nash as another inspiration behind the season's theme: '[His] idea on game theory was, you as a player have to make your best move under the assumption that every other player is making their best move. It doesn't mean they will, but the only way to play a really high level game is to assume if I'm playing against you, your best move is this, so I'm going to make this move to counter it. If I'm right, I'll win.' 

"'That's what's happening on Survivor right now,' he continues. 'Another player may have an idol, but that doesn't mean they have the advantage right now. The advantage could be not having an idol. Now I'm not a threat. Every day, you have to think about how you want to handle it, which is why sometimes you see people win an advantage and say, "I don't want it right now." They're trying to figure out what's their best move.'

Finding the Cast

"The idea for David vs. Goliath was percolating in Probst and his team's minds for several years, but only came to the forefront when the casting process for season 37 began.

"'We've had it in our hopper, but it never felt unique enough, because it's kind of what we do all the time in some ways,' he says, 'until this guy Pat [Cusack, member of the David tribe] walked in. He's from upstate New York, has had a heck of a life, started out in the hole with a mother who was paralyzed and a dad who wasn't around, living paycheck to paycheck. He had never been on a plane. In fact, when he flew out for casting and they told him the flight was going to land at three, he checked his watch and said, "It's three. Why are still in the air?" They told him, "Well, there's a time change, sir." That guy, to me, when we met him, I left and thought, "We need to base a season around that guy. What is that guy?"'

"'Over the course of a few months, it became clear,' Probst continues. 'That's the David. That's a David we can get behind. It's not [former Survivor champion John Cochran], who's a David who went to Harvard. This is a true David. That's why he's on this show and this season.'

"From there, Probst and his fellow producers modified the casting process to search for people they could divide into one of two camps.

"'We started meeting people and realizing, "Wow, people are either a David or a Goliath." There are very few people who are both,' he says. 'To further it, we changed our psych profiling to look for that quality. As everyone would leave, the producers and I would say, "He seems like a David." We would talk to our psychology team, and they would say, "David." You could see that this is how they see themselves, while these Goliaths see themselves this way. What we realized in the process is that all of these people work hard and accomplish things, but how they see the world defines how they see themselves.'

"The result of the casting search: ten Davids, ten Goliaths, for a total of twenty competitors that Probst thoroughly believes in heading into the season: 'I'm saying on the record, I thought Ghost Island was fantastic… this group, so far, is every bit as a good. When we have great people, we tend to have a great season. We can do all the creative we want, but if the people aren't interesting, nobody cares. I think we have another great group of people.'

The Opening Battle

"More on the people themselves down below, but first, a couple of notes on the creative. For the first time in several seasons, the season's first few moments contain nothing in the way of secret advantages hidden at the marooning. Instead, the season begins with a competition that puts the David vs. Goliath theme to the test.

"It begins with the Goliath tribe, who are tasked with picking the two people they perceive to be the weakest members of the David tribe. Next, the Goliaths must elect two of their own players as their strongest champions. The power then shifts to the two selected Davids, who are given the task of mapping out a three-staged obstacle course, containing physically and mentally grueling components alike. Each stage has multiple paths for completion, and not only do the Davids get to pick their own path, they also get to design the path the Goliaths must take. The winner of the challenge earns a shelter-building kit, a huge survival advantage to launch into the game.

"Put another way: Goliath picks the gladiators, while David chooses the weapons.

"'We wanted to come up with challenge elements that would capture all the different qualities you might need on Survivor,' says Probst, giving full credit to producer John Kirhoffer (who has been with the show since the first season) and his challenge department for coming up with the elaborate opening battle. 'I think it's the biggest task they ever had, maybe since [Survivor: Worlds Apart]. They pulled it off. What you end up with is this battle for who will do a better job of getting advantage on their side.'

The Idol Nullifyer

"'What is the advantage?' It's the philosophical question driving the season's theme, yes, but it also has a literal answer, as season 37 will introduce a new advantage into the Survivor system: the idol nullifyer, an item with the power to negate a hidden immunity idol.

"'You have to play it when you vote,' Probst says about how the nullifyer is used. 'The situation would be, someone is at camp with an idol nullifyer. They think you have an idol, or they know you have an idol, and they think you're going to play it tonight. They're trying to get you to play it. They have the nullifyer. When they go up to vote, they have a decision to make. If they decide to play it, in private, where no one can see them, they'll say: "I'm playing this idol nullifyer against Josh playing his idol." They write your name down, and drop it in the urn. It comes time to read the votes, and you stand up and play your idol. You dance around, super proud, and you bring it over to me. I'll say: "This is a hidden immunity idol…" And then I'll reach into the urn: "And this is an idol nullifyer. Any votes cast against Josh will count."'

"Probst adds that whoever plays the idol nullifyer has to play it against whoever will wind up with immunity, in order to accomplish the move. For example, it's not enough to play the nullifyer against whoever wields a hidden immunity idol; it must be played against whoever winds up with that immunity, whether it's the original person in possession of the idol, or someone else on the tribe who winds up with that protection. 'It's a guessing game,' says Probst. 

"'The first time we play it, it will be a big twist,' he continues, 'and it'll be anonymous. Nobody will know who played it, except for the player who had it and whoever they told. If you don't stand up and you don't play your idol, then I never show the idol nullifyer, and the person who played it blew it.'

"As Probst mentions, the idol nullifyer is played in secret, at the time of voting. In order to preserve that secret, the season's Tribal Council set has been built to hide the voting booth from players sitting and waiting to cast their votes — meaning, they have no line of sight on anyone who may or may not be using the idol nullifyer. 

"In terms of its appearance, Probst remains coy on what exactly the idol nullifyer will look like, preferring to save it for the big reveal: 'It won't look like an idol, and it won't look like parchment. It'll look like an idol nullifyer.'

"'Imagine two or three seasons [from now], we've now added another layer of gamesmanship,' he adds. 'Are you going to try to psyche me out with the idol nullifyer? Are you trying to get me to play it? We're just looking to add other layers. One of the things people say to us is, "You have to be careful not to have too many twists. You have to be careful about having too many advantages." For sure. We get that. We just don't think we're there yet. We think it's fun. It makes episodes more fun. When people say, "What about a season with no advantage?" I don't think you're thinking that through. I think it would get kind of boring.'

Stormy Weather

"In addition to weathering a new gameplay element, this season's Survivor players will have to weather the literal weather.

"It's part of the Survivor bargain: the starvation, the thirst, the barebones island lifestyle, the blistering heat, the occasional downpour. But for the first few days of production on David vs. Goliath, the downpours weren't an occasional matter; they were ever present, as rain ravaged Fiji over the course of THR's visit, becoming an essential part of the soundtrack for First One Out, our preseason podcast series.

"'These storms are spectacular with their force,' says Probst, though he adds a silver lining to how the elements impact shooting conditions: 'Even when the rain is coming down so hard you can't see, it is beautiful. It's a different kind of beauty, but it's part of what you want on Survivor: that torrential downpour, the cats-and-dogs rain that people talk about. We've had it in the past out here, and all signs point to the fact that we may have it again this season.'"

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From Variety: "[c]omedian Anthony Jeselnik is set to host a new Comedy Central series and launch a podcast under a multiplatform development pact with the Viacom cabler.

"The deal calls for Jeselnik to host an untitled half-hour series that will mine the cabler’s vast library of standup material as a 'springboard for conversation, insight and humor with well-known comics.' Comedy Central has ordered six episodes.

"The former writer for NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon previously worked with Comedy Central as host of The Jeselnik Offensive, which ran two seasons. He also toplined the 2013 standup special Caligula

"Jeselnik will co-host the podcast with his longtime friend, NFL Network analyst Gregg Rosenthal. The Jeselnik and Rosenthal Vanity Project will focus on the pair’s interest in pro football. The podcast will bow Sept. 11 as part of Comedy Central’s Global Podcast Network and incorporate digital video elements for the cabler’s social media platforms.

"The new pact also covers Jeselnik’s gig as a judge on the upcoming season of Jeff Ross Presents Roast Battle.

“;Anthony’s sardonic humor and critical eye are a big part of what makes him such an incredible comedian,' said Sarah Babineau and Jonas Larsen, Comedy Central’s exec VPs and co-heads of talent and development. 'Those attributes are also why he’s a perfect fit for the host’s chair in his own series, the Roast Battle judge’s chair, and the podcast booth.'”

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Per TheWrap, "[i]t’s official: Frank Underwood is six feet under.

"A teaser for the upcoming sixth and final season of House of Cards dropped Wednesday, showing the series’ new president, Claire Underwood (Robin Wright), talking to her husband — her deceased husband.

"Yes, we now know that Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) is dead as a doornail when the Netflix political drama returns with its last batch of episodes on Nov. 2.

“'I’ll tell you this though, Francis,' Claire says in the 25-second clip while standing outside, looking down.

“'When they bury me, it won’t be in my backyard,' she continues. 'And when they pay their respects, they’ll have to wait in line.'

"As Claire begins to walk away, the camera cuts over to two tombstones, Calvin Underwood (Frank’s father) and Francis Underwood, with the latter’s year of death being 2017, when House of Cards Season 5 ended. Cause of death is TBD — at least to viewers.

"The video, which was tweeted by the show’s official account early in the morning, was accompanied by the message, 'You should have known.' Yeah, OK, we probably should have.

"After all, fans knew Spacey was booted from the sixth and final season when sexual misconduct accusations against him surfaced last fall, both on and offset.

"During a recent interview with Net-A-Porter, Wright said that the political drama was 'very, very close' to getting canceled by Netflix. 'Because of the climate at that time. The air was thick, you know. Harvey Weinstein… People were [saying], "We have to shut everything down or otherwise it will look like we are glorifying and honoring this thing that’s dirty.”'

"Eight employees filed sexual harassment claims with Netflix and House of Cards production company MRC last November, CNN reported at the time. One unnamed production assistant said he was assaulted after being assigned to drive Spacey to and from the set, and later told the outlet he was 'cornered' by the actor in his trailer. In addition to misconduct on the show, Spacey was accused of making advances on Anthony Rapp, a Broadway and film actor, when the latter was underage.

"The final season of House of Cards will center on Wright’s Claire Underwood. Wright fought with Netflix executives for the show to be able to get a chance to end on its own terms. 'I believed we should finish. I believed we should honor our commitment.'

"Watch the teaser [here].

"The sixth and final season of House of Cards drops Nov. 2 on Netflix."

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From EW: "In Lifetime’s YOU, Penn Badgley goes from playing Lonely Boy to playing… Lonelier Boy? The former Gossip Girl star takes on the role of Joe Goldberg, a New Yorker with a love of books and an even greater love of Beck, a twentysomething poet played by Elizabeth Lail. Once Joe meets Beck, there’s no turning back. First he combs through all her social media accounts. Next he steals her phone so he can read her texts. And then there’s that whole lurking-outside-her-bedroom-window thing. Translation: Joe is stalker who will do anything in the name of 'love.'

"EW spoke with Badgley about his latest role and why he was so hesitant to join the new series (which is based on the 2014 Caroline Kepnes novel of the same name):

What was your initial reaction to this role?
I didn’t want to do it — it was too much. I was conflicted with the nature of the role. If this is a love story, what is it saying? It’s not an average show; it’s a social experiment. And then what was key in me wanting to jump on board were my conversations with Greg Berlanti and Sera Gamble, the creators, and understanding Joe’s humanity. I knew that I would be conflicted about the role from day one till the last day, and that is why they thought I would be good for it, is that I’m not psyched to play somebody of this nature.

How would you describe Joe?
He’s exceedingly curious and investigative and so sensitive, and ultimately traumatized. But I think if there are any larger social-level questions at work here, the question for all of us as we watch it is: Where do we draw the line in what we would or wouldn’t do following in his footsteps?

So you’re not like, “Joe’s so great!”
Not even close. To be honest, in the beginning of the process, I had no interest in humanizing him. Like, please, spare us. But then I realized the only thing you can do as an actor is bring a character to life, and all that that means.

How does the show compare to the book?
The show is different enough from the book. There are some key moments that are there, but they’re in a different place and happening in a very different way, and then there are some events that I loved in the book that are not just not there, it’s like the opposite happens. So that actually opens up this whole new alternate reality in the show that just doesn’t exist in the book. I think that’s where people who have read the book will hopefully be excited and be drawn to it, and then people who haven’t read the book, what’s the difference?

So much of your performance is voice-over. How did that change your experience?
It ended up meaning that my level of involvement was closer to that of sometimes almost an editor, sometimes a producer, sometimes a cinematographer, only in the sense that I had to be conscious of things that I think often actors very specifically do not want to be conscious of in order to maintain a certain level of spontaneity to their performance. It was very technical. Often I would go to work and not actually have any spoken lines that day. I felt much closer to a crew member and just part of this team making this thing. I personally really liked that. It took some of the preciousness away from my particular role.

What was your biggest concern when it came to Joe?
The only thing I was really concerned about was not wetting my own nature make him too human, human in a way that maybe somebody like him can’t be.

Are you more or less likely to Google someone after taking on this role?
Because I came into fame so early on, I’ve never done that. I don’t investigate through the internet about people who I know in the same way that I think most people do because I know what that’s like to be on the other end of it. I think it gave me a certain kind of discipline, or empathy. I don’t really use social media in that way because of my nature to fame, notoriety, whatever it is. [The show] didn’t change the way I thought about any of this stuff, except that I learned how easy it would be for somebody to do this.

"YOU premieres Sunday, Sept. 9, at 10 p.m. ET on Lifetime."

I have read the book and look forward to watching this show.