Wednesday January 16, 2019

Netflix has renewed Grace & Frankie for a 6th season.

Temptation Island is as great (and awful at the same time) as I remember it from back in the early aughts. Tune in if stupidity and salaciousness are your jam.

Season 2 of The Last O.G. will premiere on TBS on April 2.

Season 5 of Schitt’s Creek premieres tonight on Pop.

Season 1 of Wayne is available to stream on YouTube Premium. I’m certain I’ll watch it.

A trailer for new Fox series Proven Innocent.

Netflix is increasing its subscription prices again, with the company’s Standard package bumping up 18 percent from $10.99 per month to $12.99 per month on Tuesday. The company’s Premium plan, which includes up to four HD streams, moves from $13.99 a month to $15.99 each month, while its Basic plan increases $1 per month, hitting $8.99 each month. The new prices will impact new subscribers immediately, while existing customers will be moved to the new rates in the coming months, according to a Netflix spokesperson.”

The Office and Splitting Up Together star Jenna Fischer has a new show in development at Freeform. Titled National Parker, the half-hour series would center on Fischer as a ‘social media-obsessed’ woman named Parker Adams, whose ‘world comes crashing down after a breakup’ and ‘decides to put her New York City life behind her and become an adult with a real job — as a national park ranger at Alaska’s Hickberry National Park.’ Fischer serves as an executive producer on the project alongside writer Alexandra Henrikson, who appeared on Netflix’s Maniac last year. ‘When Alex and I met we became fast friends, bonding over our love of national parks, activism and a desire to create projects for badass funny women,’ Fischer said on the project. ‘We also wanted to showcase the ingenuity and brilliance of the often-underestimated millennial generation. National Parker is what sprang forth.’ Here’s hoping Parker Adams won’t lose her job or paycheck for an unspecified period of time over a government shutdown.”

Bob Costas’ 40-year run at NBC has come to an end.

Apple has officially entered the feature film world. Apple and A24 have teamed up on their first film under their recently formed partnership with On the Rocks, Sofia Coppola’s next pic, reteaming her with her Lost in Translation star Bill Murray along with Rashida Jones. Coppola will direct from a script she wrote. Coppola and Youree Henley will also produce. Mitch Glazer and Roman Coppola are exec producing. The film follows a young mother who reconnects with her larger-than-life playboy father on an adventure through New York. Production is set to start next month in New York and marks A24 and Coppola’s second go-around, having previously partnered on The Bling Ring. The acquisition marks a major get for Apple’s first feature production, given the heat a Coppola-Murray package would spark with other studios.”


Per Variety, “Discovery Inc. wants to rebuild Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, one of TV’s most durable reality concepts.

“The company’s HGTV cable network plans to produce 10 new episodes of the former ABC series, featuring some of its many home experts as part of the process. The new episodes are expected to debut in late 2019, and HGTV has also secured the U.S. and Caribbean rights to air 100 episodes of the original series that ran on ABC for nine seasons between 2003 and 2012.

“‘We like to come up with our own formats and our own ideas, but every now and then, there’s something out there that just makes so much sense form a brand perspective that we have to do it,’ says Kathleen Finch, chief lifestyle brands officer for Discovery, which last year acquired HGTV when it bought Scripps Networks. “‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is such an iconic show. It’s an emotional story centered around a house. There is real drama, and real stakes around a home being rebuilt.’ At its peak, during the 2004-2005 TV season, the series garnered an average of around 16 million total viewers on Sunday nights.

“Ty Pennington, the carpenter and model, gained a wider profile by hosting the original Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Finch says executives have yet to decide upon a host for the new episodes.

“HGTV will putter away on the new series as its parent company spends more time locking in talent and formats. In recent months, the company commenced talks with home-improvement gurus Chip and Joanne Gaines about building media properties around them, and struck new deals with people like Ina Garten and Valerie Bertinelli for Food Network. In other cases, the company is devising ways to spread popular series to multiple networks, such as a plan to craft episodes of While You Were Out specifically for TLC and HGTV, or creating a home-improvement version of “Say Yes to the Dress,” known for its appearances on TLC, for HGTV.

“Discovery’s Finch in the past has generated much publicity by taking a famous person and bringing him or her to home-improvement programming. In 2014, she devised a plan for a home-renovation series featuring actor William Shatner, and the following year, she unveiled a plan to create a home-renovation series for Mr. T.

“The HGTV episodes of the series will be produced by Endemol Shine North, America with Sharon Levy and DJ Nurre serving as executive producers. The company also produced the original version of the program for ABC.

“The premise is an easy one to like, and ABC and the Endemol production studio were able to make the most of Extreme Makeover. The show centered on a top-to-bottom renovation of a home owned by a family facing hardship. ABC struck a deal with Sears to put Craftsman tools and Kenmore appliances, among other products, into the show.

“Executives at Discovery identified Extreme Makeover: Home Edition as something that would fit well into HGTV’s regular schedule of home-improvement and real-estate programs such as Property Brothers and Love It or List It, says Finch.

“The series ‘always has been on our list of things to do. We just said, “Why not?” We approached ABC. We approached Endemol. We had a lot of really great conversations and we were able to strike a deal,’  she says. ‘When viewers hear it’s on, they are going to say, “Well, of course.” It makes perfect sense.’ She added: ‘It was really a pipe dream for a while and we are really looking to make it all come true.’ The series will b made available on demand to HGTV subscribers across various platforms, including  the outlet’s mobile app.”

I have many thoughts on this, the first of which is that things are still a big mess at Discovery since the acquisition of Scripps. I hear that they continue to shuffle people around internally at a rapid rate, the two organizations (Discovery and Scripps) are not meshing as many had hoped, and that programming continues to be an utter train wreck. My impression is that Discovery CEO David Zaslav is under the belief that he can buy ratings and is willing to do so with reckless abandon.


Per Deadline, “When in 2017 Julie Roberts signed on to star in her first series, Homecoming, she made a one-year acting deal for the project, from Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail and Universal Cable Prods. It has been the case for many big stars who have ventured into television over the past couple of years, and  the storyline of her character was crafted with that in mind.

“Homecoming, which has a two-season order from Amazon, is currently breaking stories for the upcoming second season, which will deviate from the popular Gimlet Media’s podcast Season 1 was based on. It is unclear exactly who from the original cast would come back, but I hear Bobby Cannavale will likely return, breakout star Stephan James also will probably be back, along with Hong Chau and maybe Shea Whigham.

“The series is expected to introduce new characters and cast members next season.

“Roberts, who remains an executive producer, recently received both Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice award nominations for her role in the series, which also received nominations for best television drama, among others.

“Directed by Esmail, Homecoming’s first season focuses on Heidi Bergman (Roberts), a caseworker at the Homecoming Transitional Support Center, a Geist Group facility helping soldiers transition back to civilian life. Walter Cruz (James) is one of these soldiers, eager to begin the next phase of his life. Overseeing Heidi and the facility is Colin Belfast (Cannavale), an ambitious company man whose manic demands point to questionable motives.

“Four years later, Heidi has started a new life, living with her mother (Sissy Spacek) and working as a small-town waitress, when a Department of Defense auditor (Whigham) comes to her with questions about why she left the Homecoming facility. Heidi begins to realize that there’s a whole other story behind the story she’s been telling herself.

“Homecoming is created by Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg. Esmail and Roberts executive produce alongside Chad Hamilton of Anonymous Content; Horowitz and Bloomberg, Alicia Van Couvering; and Chris Giliberti, Alex Blumberg, and Matt Lieber of Gimlet Media.”


From CBS News: “CBS News and Simon & Schuster announced on Tuesday a joint podcast/book project by popular CBS Sunday Morning correspondent, humorist, and history buff Mo Rocca. His long love of obituaries has led him to Mobituaries, an irreverent but deeply-researched appreciation of the people (and things) of the past who have long intrigued him, from an unsung Founding Father to the first Chinese-American superstar, from Neanderthals to the station wagon.

“The Mobituaries podcast premieres January 17, with eight weekly episodes in the first season.

“Each episode, in the tradition of Sunday Morning, is richly produced, consisting of Rocca's narrated storytelling combined with his original interviews (e.g., President Bill Clinton, whose inauguration pushed Audrey Hepburn's obit off the front page) and some never-before-heard voices from the past, courtesy of the CBS News archives.

"‘Why should it be only the rich-and-famous who get obits? With Mobituaries we're celebrating extraordinary people whose names you may not remember,’ Rocca said. ‘Plus sitcom characters, historical epochs, and even snack foods that have all bitten the dust. Oh, and we're also including rich-and-famous people because, come on, who doesn't love Audrey Hepburn?’

“The Mobituaries book will be published in November 2019 (to coincide with the podcast's second season), and will offer new, original stories combined with expanded Mobits from the podcast.

"‘Who better to take CBS Sunday Morning to a new place than our resident humorist/historian Mo Rocca?’ said Sunday Morning executive producer Rand Morrison. "Mobituaries has been a delight for us to work on – Sunday Morning story-telling in a longer form, with rich, never-before-told yarns.’

"‘Mo Rocca has a flair for storytelling with an abundance of humor, history and heart,’ said Jonathan Karp, president and publisher of Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing. ‘Our hope is that Mobituaries will be an extremely pleasurable matter of life and death for podcast listeners and readers. We're looking forward to sharing it with the world.’

“In addition to his role as a correspondent for Sunday Morning, Rocca is host of The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation (on CBS Saturday mornings), and host and creator of the Cooking Channel's My Grandmother's Ravioli, in which he learns to cook from grandmothers and grandfathers across the country. He is also a frequent panelist on NPR's hit weekly quiz show Wait, Wait…Don't Tell Me! Rocca also spent four seasons as a correspondent on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.


Per The New York Post, “[t]he Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club cast doesn’t want to be compared to the Vanderpump Rules cast because they consider themselves better than the average SUR-ver.

“‘They should be so lucky!’ Billy Estevez said of the comparison between the two groups of staffers.

“‘We’re the ones being called a cheap version of them?’ Mike Mulderrig smirked.

“‘They work at a little, cheap restaurant in West Hollywood,’ Brent Marks added. ‘Well, I mean it’s kind of expensive though, but I mean we work in Mykonos on an exotic island.’

“‘We don’t microwave our food,’ Mulderrig chimed in.

“While Jonitta Wallace and Sara Tariq made it clear they’re huge fans of the SUR matriarch, Lisa Vanderpump, everyone agreed there’s one Bravolebrity that they don’t want to be compared to — Jax Taylor.

“‘It was a good thing that they got rid of Jax,’ Marks said. ‘Jax needed to go.’

“‘You are the Jax of the group!’ Estevez pointed out.

“‘I’m probably gonna be your boss next year, so it’s cool!’ Marks laughed.

“For her part, the Beach House namesake is a fan of Vanderpump and her show.

“‘I’m a really big fan of Lisa Vanderpump and Vanderpump Rules,’ Lohan said in a recent interview. ‘I really admire her as a woman. She’s a very strong boss and she knows how to manage her people.’

Page Six first reported that Lohan, 32, was planning a ‘cooler, hipper, edgier’ version of Vanderpump’s seasons-long show about her restaurant’s staff in July.

“Now, Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club airs on MTV Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. ET while Vanderpump Rules airs on Bravo on Monday nights at 9 p.m. ET.”

Shots fired from the bottom of the barrel. I’m sure these won’t be the last, sadly.


While we’re on such a high brow note, per E!, “Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino has started his life behind bars

“His rep told E! News the Jersey Shore star turned himself in at 11:45 a.m. local time on Tuesday. Mike is set to serve eight months at the Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, New York for tax evasion, which he pleaded guilty to last year. 

“Before heading in, the MTV star bid a final farewell to his followers on Instagram.

"‘The comeback is always greater than the setback,’ he said on the car ride over. 

“He also received words of encouragement from his co-stars and wife Lauren Sorrentino.

"‘So proud to call this incredible man my husband,’ the supportive spouse wrote alongside a throwback photo of the couple. ‘Just found this pic from Lake Tahoe the year we got back together in 2013. To the strongest man I know, I love you endlessly, see you soon honey #FreeSitch.’

"‘The Situation’ will certainly live a different lifestyle during his time behind bars. To get a better sense of what this might look like, read on below.

“According to the FCI Otisville Inmate Handbook, all inmates receive a set of clothing and a standard bed roll upon arrival. The bed roll consists of two sheets, one pillowcase, two towels and two washcloths. The handbook states inmates must be in full uniform, which means ‘shirts tucked in and pants pulled up around their waist and secured with a belt.’ Per the handbook, all inmates designated to FCI Otisville must take part in its Admission and Orientation Program—which consists of a case management and medical screening, as well as a screening by the mental health staff. In addition, each person is assigned a job based on institutional needs.

“As far as a typical weekday goes, inmates wake up at 6:00 a.m. They then have breakfast at 6:15 a.m. and begin work call or programs at 7:30 a.m. From 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., they also have unit inspection. Then, the inmates do leisure activities from 8:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m and eat lunch from 10:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

“After lunch, the inmates take part in work call or programs from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. At 4:00 p.m., they have institution count. From 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., they have dinner. Then, they take part in leisure activities from 5:00 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. before having another institution count at 10:00 p.m. At 11:30 p.m., it's lights out.

“The weekend schedule is fairly similar; although, there are later wake-up and breakfast times. Work call and programs are also not scheduled.

"‘The Situation's’ family and friends can also visit on the weekends. Visiting times are between 8:00 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and federal holidays. Although, there is a dress code visitors need to respect.

“Before turning himself in, Mike also tweeted the mail address for the institution; however, there are a few rules regarding outside communication. Per the handbook, inmates cannot receive polaroids, and they're not allowed to seal outgoing mail. As for email, inmates are permitted 30 email addresses and are given 30 minute intervals with 15 minutes between sessions. However, they are charged $0.05 per minute. They must also purchase their time in increments of 40, 100, 200, 300 or 600 minutes. All emails are monitored.

“Telephone calls are also monitored. Inmates are limited to 300 calling minutes per month, and each call is restricted to 15 minutes maximum. Three-way calls are also not allowed. Inmates can either make a collect call or pay for a call through their commissary.

“Speaking of the commissary, inmates have a spending limit of $320 per month. They can also make commissary purchases once a week. There are a number of items available for purchase. For instance, inmates can purchase food items like candy bars for $0.90, Pop Tarts for $1.65, tuna for $1.95 or a pizza kit for $3.60. They can also buy hygiene items like Colgate Total toothpaste ($3.00), an Oral B toothbrush ($3.20), Pantene shampoo ($7.30) or deodorant ($2.00).

“In addition, they can purchase miscellaneous items like tissues for $0.70 or shower shoes for $4.95. Over-the-counter medications, like cough syrup ($2.35) or allergy tablets ($1.60) are also available for purchase. Clothing items, religious items, greeting cards and miscellaneous items are up for sale, as well.

“There is also a barber shop, a law library and education programs.”