Friday January 18, 2019

80,000,000 HH watched Bird Box?!

Sarah Paulson is not on that list of households, evidently.

Netflix revealed more viewership data. “In the company's quarterly earnings report, Netflix said You is on pace to be watched by 40 million member households in its first four weeks on the service. The British dramedy Sex Education, which launched last Friday, is also on pace to hit the 40-million mark within a month. The Spanish teen drama Elite was viewed in more than 20 million homes worldwide in its first four weeks.”

Netflix has ordered a 2nd season of The Kominsky Method.

A new season of Real Time With Bill Maher premieres tonight. Guests include former Ohio Governor John Kasich, former Massachusetts Representative Barney Frank, radio host Erick Erickson, columnist Catherine Rampell and NFL running back Marshawn Lynch.

New seasons of Crashing and High Maintenance return to HBO on Sunday night.

Showtime debuts Black Monday and season 2 of SMILF on Sunday night as well.

Here’s a review of the former (which stars Don Cheadle).

Season 2 of Marvel’s The Punisher is now available to stream on Netflix.

Ditto for season 5 of Grace & Frankie.

Netflix has also released its Frye Festival documentary along with its reboot of Carmen Sandiego.

So enjoy your weekend in the event it’s supposed to be freezing or snowing where you live.

Steve-O was a real jackass. I’m surprised he’s still alive. I think he is too.

Is there a petition we can start to abolish John Legend and Chrissy Teigen from our lives? If so, please someone send it to me to sign.

The Masked Singer peacock is Donny Osmond. Sounds about right.

The Emmys will eliminate DVD screeners for the 2020 awards, the Television Academy announced on Friday. The move makes the Emmys the first major awards show to do away with the screener DVDs that have become ubiquitous during both Emmy and Oscar season over the past two decades. In their place, the Television Academy will allow the screening of eligible programs on digital platforms hosted by networks and production companies, as well as on the Academy’s viewing platform for members. The Academy Awards have also introduced a secure viewing site for members, but its voters have the option to receive DVD screeners as well. Film companies are permitted to make two versions of each film available to members, one a physical copy and one a streaming link.”

Here’s a trailer for HBO’s Breslin and Hamill: Deadline Artists which “explores the famed writers' intersecting lives and careers while celebrating New York’s grit and charm during the last great era of print journalism.”

Walmart isn’t ruling out options for a potential streaming video service, a company spokesperson says. Responding to a CNBC report that the mega-retailer had decided not to launch its own streaming entertainment service after all, Walmart would not confirm that there was any halt in development of such a platform, and did not have anything definitive to share about the months-long speculation swirling around the potential service. Instead, it remains focused on its Vudu platform, which was acquired in 2010 and offers subscription-free video on demand. ‘Certainly Vudu is a focus for us and it has been for a while,’ Walmart spokesperson Tara House told Variety. ‘To say that we aren’t thinking about different ideas often would be false. But we don’t have anything to announce or further discuss when it comes to any kind of a streaming video agreement or alignment.’ Sources told Variety last July that Vudu was planning to launch a low-cost subscription video-on-demand package in the fourth quarter of 2018, though Vudu had declined to comment. As of now, Vudu does not offer a paid subscription streaming service.”

Mariah Carey and her former assistant Lianna Shakhnazaryan are suing one another in separate lawsuits, with Carey accusing Shakhnazaryan of attempted extortion via something similar to a revenge porn scheme. Shakhnazaryan, meanwhile, accuses Carey of racist comments, physical abuse, and urinating on her.” Cool.

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Per TheWrap, “USA Network has titled its upcoming spinoff of Suits that will follow Gina Torres’s character, Jessica Pearson.

The upcoming drama will be titled Pearson.

“Torres will lead the project, which will focus on her character as she adjusts to Chicago politics. During season 7, Jessica left New York and for Chicago. Her new journey in the Windy City was introduced in the Season 7 finale on April 25.

“‘It was an extraordinary pleasure working with Gina on Suits for six years. Beyond her undeniable talent, she is an incredible partner and collaborator, and I always hoped we would work together again,’ Suits creator and executive producer Aaron Korsh said. Korsh will executive produce and write the new drama.

“The drama comes from Universal Cable Productions (UCP). Daniel Arkin will serve as executive producer and showrunner. Torres, Doug Liman, David Bartis and Gene Klein of Hypnotic will also executive produce.

“The flagship Suits is currently in the middle of its eighth season, which saw Katherine Heigl join the cast as Patrick J. Adams and Meghan Markle departed after season 7.”

I hate the name, but love the show, sight unseen.

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“Naomi Watts has been cast in the lead role in the upcoming Quibi series Wolves and Villagers, Variety has learned exclusively.

“The exact plot of the short-form series is being kept under wraps, but Quibi co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg has previously described the show as ‘Fatal Attraction 2.0.’ Jason Blum is executive producing the series, with Stuart Blumberg writing and executive producing.

“This marks the latest TV project for Watts. She was recently cast in a major role in the Game of Thrones prequel pilot at HBO, and signed on to play Gretchen Carlson in the Roger Ailes limited series currently in the works at Showtime. She previously appeared in Showtime’s revival of Twin Peaks.

“Watts is also known for her roles in films like Mulholland Drive, I Heart Huckabees, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), St. Vincent, The Ring, King Kong, and J. Edgar. She earned Academy Award nominations for her roles in 21 Grams and The Impossible.

“Quibi (short for ‘quick bites’) was first unveiled by Katzenberg and Meg Whitman back in August. The company has reportedly raised $1 billion from investors, including money from major studios like Warner Bros. and Disney. In addition to Wolves and Villagers, Quibi also has projects in the works from A-listers like Guillermo del Toro, Antoine Fuqua, and Sam Raimi. Each series is expected to be two-to-four hours in length.

Speaking at Variety‘s Innovate summit in Los Angeles in December, Whitman said Quibi aims to get people watching during what she called “in-between moments.’

“‘You leave the house every morning with a little TV in your pocket. It’s called your smart phone,’ she said. ‘During the day, you have these in-between moments. Ten minutes here, 15 minutes there, where you want to see something great.’”

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Per E!, “Being dead has been good for William Jackson Harper. As one of the stars of The Good Place, Harper has seen his life change dramatically—in some ways.

"‘First off, a lot things are exactly the same. I still take the subway around the city all day, I live in the same place. Everything is very much the same in that regard. I think the thing that's different now is every now and again I get an ego boost from a fan of the show who just comes up and is like, “Hey, man. I really like the show and I really like your work on it,”’ Harper told E! News. ‘Or I have these interviews, like I'm having with you right now. I'm just so used to working and no one really paying that much attention to the work that I'm doing that it's interesting, it's strange to sort of have people take notice.’

“People noticed him enough to nominate Harper for a 2019 Critics Choice Award for playing Chidi Anagonye on The Good Place, a show about humans in the afterlife learning to be better people (better late than never), and the show was recently nominated for a Golden Globe. The critically acclaimed show also picked up an Emmy nomination in 2018. Harper doesn't let the acclaim and growing fandom get in the way of his job.

"‘I'm tuning it out. I can't take that to work with me. I feel like we're doing good, honest work. I think we're all really invested, we're all really nerdy about what we're saying with each other, narratively with the kind of story we're telling—we're all really invested in it and want it to be good,’ he said. ‘And so it's like that other stuff, it's very sweet and I think we're all honored and humbled by it but—I can speak for myself, I, really, am just happy that I get to do something so artistically fulfilling that people are responding to. I just want to maintain that.’

“One thing he doesn't tune out is the lessons taught in the show. ‘It sort of made me re-examine, like, where in my list of priorities being a good person was,’ he said. ‘Now…I always try to do the right thing by people, but I think now I'm making a much more conscious effort all the time, cause it's like, “Oh, it doesn't really hurt to just put a little more good in the world.” It just doesn't hurt anything.’

“Now that the show is in its third season, it seems Harper has truly grown comfortable in Chidi's skin. The character is incredibly indecisive, and at times crippled by anxiety related to that. Yet thanks to exposure to Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Michael (Ted Danson), Janet (D'Arcy Carden), Tahani (Jameela Jamil) and Jason (Manny Jacinto), Chidi has grown…a bit. And so has Harper.

"‘Yeah, 100 percent,’ Harper said about his ability to relate to Chidi's neurosis. ‘I'm straight trash at making decisions and I am a pretty anxious person. I think where Chidi I defer a lot is, Chidi is very extroverted and Chidi likes to talk about his paralysis, I on the other hand just shut up and go away.’

“But the show has given him some peace of mind. ‘I'll tell you what: I am not worried. I think as a performer and any artist will tell you, it's a very tenuous existence and I think that's been the biggest change, is just kind of knowing where next month is coming from. That's nice, not to have that brain space taken up being worried. It's allowed me to be open to new things,’ he said.

“The Good Place also let him overcome childhood insecurities. In an earlier season three episode, Harper's character has a breakdown, stripping off his clothes and making a rather disgusting chili full of Peeps and M&Ms. What you saw on screen was what he ate, and while he said it was made ‘palatable,’ it didn't taste good, but it wasn't enough to make him vomit. "It was fine," he said. And he's seen fans making it…and eating it.

"‘Why would you guys do that? Why?! Why would you do that to yourself? I had no choice, but they're choosing to do that to themselves,’ he laughed.

“As for going shirtless, which inspired many thirsty tweets from viewers, it was a big moment for Harper. He said he found the reaction to his shirtless scenes ‘great.’

"‘Honestly, I grew up very self-conscious about being shirtless in public. I was one of those kids who would swim with whatever T-shirt was available…I was really nervous [to do the scene]. Not only did I avoid ridicule, but people actually responded positively. I don't know, I sort of laid to rest a very deep childhood demon, you know? That is what it was for me,’ he said.”

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Per Variety, “F— it, Viceland is doing it live. The cable network will revamp its primetime lineup next month to launch a nightly two-hour live show that will serve as a showcase of sorts for all things Vice.

Vice Live will air Mondays through Thursdays from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET, starting Feb. 25, and reps Viceland’s most ambitious programming initiative to date.

“‘Our audience lives in the world of very live, and instant, gratification,’ Viceland president Guy Slattery exclusively told Variety. ‘Being live is also a bit more dangerous and makes us a bit more vulnerable. People are going to see things happening in real time. They’ll be watching the show while we’re making the show.’

Vice Live will be hosted by a panel of four up-and-comers: comedian/actress Marie Faustin, Houston-based underground hip-hop artist Fat Tony, comedian/director Sandy Honig, and writer/comedian Zack Fox. But other Vice contributors will also be seen on the show, such as Vice.com’s Dee Nasty, Eve Peyser, Lee Adams, and Taji Ameen.

“By airing in primetime, Slattery said Vice Live will be able to recap the day in pop culture and social media, via a Vice Guide to Right Now segment. The show will also include celebrity guests, music performances, host-driven segments, live remotes, and pre-taped content.

“‘I’m sure it’s going to be very different in six months than when we first come out of the gate,’ Slattery said. ‘The beautiful thing about live is whether things work or don’t work, you put it to bed and you get to start fresh the next day. We’ll get real feedback from the audience.’

“That feedback will come via a healthy social media presence both on camera and online. But a small studio audience will also be a part of the show. Vice Live will even be set in the lobby in Vice’s Williamsburg, Brooklyn, headquarters, which boasts a fully functional bar (yes, guests and audience members will be served).

“‘We want to have people come in so it feels like a hang and provides that energy,’ Slattery said. Some of the live remotes will also take place from other Vice offices in Los Angeles and around the world.

Vice Live fills the void left by Viceland’s previous nightly show, Desus & Mero, as those hosts move to Showtime. ‘We learned a lot doing that show,’ Slattery said. ‘Part of that show’s success was its currency as a daily habit. This is us expanding on that idea. It’s a completely different show. We’re learning what works from our audience.’”

Vice Live also represents the channel’s biggest programming shift since Nancy Dubuc took over as CEO of Vice Media last March. ‘Nancy really encouraged us to go big,’ Slattery said. ‘That’s very much the Vice DNA, just be brave and get out there. It’s a big swing, and we’re interested to see how people react to it.’”

This article has been condensed because really, who needs to read that much about Vice?