Monday January 28, 2019

CBS has renewed FBI, Magnum P.I., and The Neighborhood?!

I watched Wayne on YouTube Premium. Definitely worth a look if you’re a subscriber. I thought Mark McKenna was great as the lead and Ciara Bravo and Stephen Kieran were both excellent.

Another show I would seek out is I’m Sorry on TruTV. Andrea Savage is excellent and season 2 is currently airing. Go check it out!

Two episodes in and I’m still enjoying Showtime’s Black Monday. More below.

Hey, cast of True Detective, can you speak a little louder? I shouldn’t have to crank the volume on my TV up to 30 just to hear you. Thanks.

TNT premieres I Am The Night tonight. “Inspired by true events, I Am The Night tells the gripping story of Fauna Hodel (India Eisley), a teenage girl who is given away at birth, and grows up outside of Reno, Nevada. Fauna lives more-or-less comfortably with the mysteries of her origin, until one day she makes a discovery that leads her to question everything. As Fauna begins to investigate the secrets of her past, she meets a ruined reporter (Chris Pine), haunted by the case that undid him. Together they follow a sinister trail that swirls ever closer to an infamous Los Angeles gynecologist, Dr. George Hodel (Jefferson Mays), a man involved in some of Hollywood’s darkest debauchery, and possibly, its most infamous unsolved crime.”

Of course the cast of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is asking for a raise. Especially took the first three SAG awards given out last night, for comedy series: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor for Tony Shalhoub, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor for Rachel Brosnahan, and the nine-member ensemble for Best Ensemble in a Comedy series.

Top Chef contestant Fatima Ali has passed away from cancer. She was 29.

Halsey will host Saturday Night Live on February 9.

Terry Crews and D.L. Hughley are beefing.

HBO’s upcoming drama series The Outsider, starring Emmy winner Ben Mendelsohn (Bloodline) and based on the Stephen King bestseller, has added 8 series regulars to its cast: Cynthia Erivo (Widows), Bill Camp (The Night Of), Mare Winningham (American Horror Story), Paddy Considine (Peaky Blinders), Julianne Nicholson (Masters of Sex), Yul Vazquez (Midnight, Texas), Jeremy Bobb (The Knick) and Marc Menchaca (Ozark). Additionally, Hettienne Park (Hannibal) and Michael Esper (Shades of Blue) will recur.

Congrats to Ross Weintraub, who has served as co-CEO of 3 Ball Entertainment with Todd Nelson since 2015, and has now re-upped with the company and has been named CEO. Nelson, who co-founded 3 Ball Productions (now 3 Ball Entertainment) in 2001, has since left the company and has signed a first-look deal with 3 Ball, as he explores opportunities in the tech and start-up space.

Richard Armitage will star in The Stranger, Netflix’s latest series in collaboration with bestselling author Harlan Coben. The eight-part thriller, produced by the same team that did previous Netflix Coben series Safe, starring Michael C. Hall, and The Five, goes into production in March. Coben will executive produce the series along with Danny Brocklehurst, who will serve as lead writer, and Nicola Shindler, the CEO of Studiocanal-owned production company Red. The director has not been named. Armitage will play Adam Price, a happily married father of two whose life is turned upside-down after a stranger tells him a secret about his wife. The revelation catapults him into a larger world of conspiracy and danger.”

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Per Deadline, “[t]ake two Jersey Shore veterans, add 20 single women and you have Double Shot at Love with DJ Pauly D & Vinny, a dating competition series just greenlighted at MTV. Said bachelors are Paul Delvecchio and Vinny Guaagnino, veterans of the original reality phenomenon and bromancers in current spinoff Jersey Shore Family Vacation.

“Here’s how we play our game: Twenty eligibile ladies will face off against one another hoping to avoid the elimination ceremony, while the boys must compete for the affection of the contestants as well. As MTV notes: Pauly D continues to tour the world as a DJ while holding down a Las Vegas residency, but are any of the contestants ready to keep up with his luxurious lifestyle? Meanwhile, Vinny is ready to get back into a relationship, but will the Staten Island keto-guido find someone to take home for Sunday family dinner?

“Are our heroes ready to find their perfect match? If so, will they? Find out when Double Shot at Love with DJ Pauly D & Vinny premieres later this year.

“MTV’s original Double Shot at Love, an offshoot from A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila, aired for one season in 2008–2009 and starred bisexual twins Erica and Victoria Mongeon, who searched for true love among a pool of 12 men and 12 women.

“The new Double Shot at Love is produced by MTV, SallyAnn Salsano — who createdJersey Shore 10 (!) years ago — and her 495 Productions. Salsado and her company also are behind Jersey Shore Family Vacation and the Shore spinoffs Snooki & JWoww and The Pauly D Project, along with such other unscripted fare as MTV’s Floribama Shore, NBC’s Nashville Star and VH1’s Wedding Wars.”

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Per The Hollywood Reporter, “In the season premiere of Showtime’s Black Monday, there’s a spotlight moment for Andrew Rannells that crystallizes the show’s flavor of absurdist dark comedy. Having seen his bright future on Wall Street crushed in a single morning, Rannells’ rookie Blair Pfaff finally snaps and stands up to Maurice ‘Mo’ Monroe (Don Cheadle), the impetuous trader who just tanked his career. ‘You think you scare me?’ he explodes at Mo. ‘My dad beat me every day of my life until he died. He literally died of a heart attack while beating me.’ It’s a startling non-sequitur that catches even Mo off-guard, and hints at psychological warfare to come.

“‘It’s a funny tone to play with, because it is very broad, and yet in other moments very grounded and human,’ Rannells says. ‘That line is crazy, and the only way to say it is to truly believe it. I remember being like: well, I gotta really believe this! My dad died while beating me!’

“Named after the day of 1987’s catastrophic stock market crash, Black Monday chronicles a highly fictionalized sequence of events leading up to the collapse. Unlike most ‘greed is good’ stories, the comedy focuses not on the winners of Wall Street but on the underdogs: a scrappy second-tier firm named the Jammer Group headed by Mo. After years on the outside of the blue-blood, overwhelmingly white financial establishment, Mo is determined to break the top 10, and sees a way to do it by manipulating Blair. Fresh out of an MBA at Wharton, where he developed a trading algorithm that has made him a hot recruit on Wall Street, the book-smart Blair couldn’t be more out of place among coke-snorting, gleefully reckless traders. He also couldn’t be farther removed from Rannells’ breakout TV role, the acerbic, hard-partying Elijah Krantz on HBO's Girls — and that’s deliberate.

“‘I didn't want to jump into anything out of panic after Girls,’ Rannells tells The Hollywood Reporter over coffee in Manhattan, a mile or two from Wall Street. ‘I was getting offered every gay best friend role in the world, and they were all the same. Sassy, kind of drunk …’ In the interim, Rannells starred in two acclaimed Broadway shows — the musical revival Falsettos, for which he earned a Tony nomination, and a Ryan Murphy-produced production of The Boys in the Band alongside Zachary Quinto and Matt Bomer — and waited for the right TV opportunity to knock.

“Black Monday had been in the works for close to a decade by the time it started coming together at Showtime, as Rannells was wrapping up the final season of Girls. One of the first general meetings Rannells ever had was with Seth Rogen, who exec produces Black Monday. ‘I met with him while I was still doing Book of Mormon,’ Rannells recalls. ‘Over the years I would run into him, and we’d always say “We’re gonna work together, we’re gonna find something someday that'll be a fit for us,” and then this was it.’ Black Monday co-creators David Caspe and Jordan Cahan were also fans of Rannells from Girls, in particular his expanded role in the last season, and focused on him early on for the role of Blair. “He was just someone we loved,” Cahan says of the casting choice. ‘His character has an intense amount of growth in the season, and it felt to us like it would be a really fun, meaty thing for him to dig into.’

“Much of the show’s early comedy comes from Blair’s fish-out-of-water naivety in contrast to the world around him. When he collides with Mo and causes a bag of cocaine to explode all over the trading floor, he can’t even identify the white powder (‘What is this, parmesan?') And at the end of the first episode, it’s revealed that Blair is in over his head more than viewers thought: Mo orchestrated this seemingly random collision to get Blair blacklisted, leaving him with no choice but to accept a job at the Jammer Group. Mo’s angling for a majority stake in a designer jeans company owned by the family of Blair’s girlfriend Tiff (Casey Wilson), and thinks he can use the unsuspecting Blair to get it.

“‘He comes in really thinking that he’s just gonna be able to work hard and be honest and will be rewarded for that,’ Rannells says. In other words, it sounds like he’s going to be eaten alive. But Blair’s not a wide-eyed lamb to the slaughter, and it’s always clear in Rannells’ performance that underneath the pressed suits and Type-A energy, neurosis lurks. ‘He realizes, over time, that you do have to play the game and be manipulative. That, for Blair, is a real disappointment, and yet he takes to it. Once he figures out that's what he has to do, he gets right into it.’

“The 10-episode season will see a dramatic transformation in Blair, Rannells says, which was a draw for him. ‘That’s not something I get to do a lot. I was excited to get to turn into a bad guy.’ Even early on, Rannells relished the strange, dark elements of Blair and Tiff’s marriage, which plays like a fully formed psychodrama in its own right. When Blair goes home dejected after his initial defeat, Tiff responds by smacking him in the face — twice — then gripping him very literally by the balls and ordering him back to Wall Street to make himself a success. ‘They have a very, very strange sexual relationship that borders on violent,’ Rannells says, laughing a little at the memory. He and Wilson had worked together before on 2016’s Why Him? a movie heavy on improvisation. ‘Most of what we did was cut, because it wasn't really necessary to the story, but it was so much fun to do. We just fell into this weird vocabulary together.’ Two years on, that vocabulary ended up informing their scenes in Black Monday, which Rannells says are more improvised than most of the show. ‘All the mommy and daddy talk, that was just nonsense that Casey and I came up with.’ That twisted dynamic prevents Tiff, and their relationship, from feeling like a mere plot device in Mo’s scheme: ‘You can tell they really like each other, in that sick, sick way.’

“This will be a busy year for Rannells. On top of his first regular series role since Girls, he has a book coming out, a collection of essays titled Too Much Is Not Enough: A Memoir of Fumbling Toward Adulthood. Chronicling Rannells' early years in New York after moving from Nebraska in 1997, the book sprung out of an essay published in The New York Times’ Modern Love column two years ago. ‘I've always wanted to do it, but I just never thought it would actually happen. I’ve always written things but sort of kept them private, so I'm nervous to actually get to share this.’ The third major development for Rannells this year? Deleting Twitter. ‘I didn't really like how I was behaving,’ he explains. ‘It was easy to just fire stuff off, in a way that seemed a little reckless. And then when it became the unofficial platform of our president, I was like, “I don't think this is for me any more.”’ He’s enjoying post-Twitter life, while acknowledging that it’s an option not all actors have. ‘I know on Girls, it was a big deal, they wanted us all on social media. But I just feel like it’s getting strange. I don't want to say anything flippantly that I can't back up later.’

“Though Black Monday is Rannells’ first time playing a major onscreen character who isn’t gay, his sexuality has never felt like a defining factor in his roles. ‘The first gay part I really played was Elijah on Girls,’ he points out. ‘Up to that point in theater, I was playing straight roles — Jersey BoysHairspray — because that's just what was available to me. Now, I get asked a lot if it’s limiting to play only gay roles, and it's only limiting if the writing is bad. I think people assume that there’s one gay type of person, and he's usually a girl's best friend.’ And while the ‘gay best friend’ offers are still coming, Rannells says he’s noticed a recent shift in the quality of writing for gay characters. ‘There are more human parts for gay people, and different parts, and it's not all the same type of guy. I’ve read a lot recently that’s exciting, stories that I’d like to be a part of telling in the future, and that’s encouraging.’”

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New episodes of Rachel Ray’s series 30 Minute Meals are coming to Food Network, thanks to a new pact between the food personality and the network.

“Food Network and Rachael Ray have agreed to a deal that also includes a new companion series on digital platforms. The new version of 30 Minute Meals starts production later this month, with an anticipated April 1 premiere.

“The show sees Ray offer viewers real-time cooking instructions with time-saving tips. 30 Minute Meals debuted in 2001 and will have 30 episodes in 30 days on Food Network and online.

“‘Rachael Ray is a culinary firebrand as evidenced by her success across her television shows, magazine, books, live events, philanthropy, and all of her businesses,’ said Courtney White, Food Network president. ‘Her time-saving and creative ideas for whipping up delicious meals at home are perfect for the home cook of any level, while her infectious energy and enthusiasm make viewers feel like they are right there cooking along with her in the kitchen. We can’t wait to deliver more time with Rachael for her fans.’

“Daytime show Rachael Ray launched in 2006. Ray has also hosted Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off, Worst Cooks in America and Week In A Day on Food Network.

“‘I couldn’t be more excited to bring 30 Minute Meals to a whole new generation of fans,’ said Ray. ‘We are rolling deep this time around, proving to everyone that, yes, these are really meals you can cook in 30 minutes or less. And our show will now be part of Food Network’s on-demand offering, so our friends can actually binge-watch their meals. April is usually rainy here in New York City, but this spring will shine for us with 30 brand-new 30 Minute Meals.’”

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Per Vulture, “[w]e’re only a few episodes deep into Colton Underwood’s proverbial ‘journey’ to find a fiancée on The Bachelor, but right on cue, the show’s producers are feeding us a feud that could’ve doubled as a B-plot in Miss Congeniality. We’re, of course, talking about Hannah B. and Caelynn, who competed against each other as Miss Alabama and Miss North Carolina, respectively, at last year’s Miss USA pageant, and whose rivalry has become the glittery reality-TV accelerant for a falling out between the ex-friends and roommates.

“The Bachelor has leaned heavily into a sore loser narrative of the women’s history, given that Caelynn finished as Miss USA’s first runner-up, while Hannah B. didn’t place above the top 15. However, upon speaking with two people with close ties to Miss USA, Vulture has learned of a more complicated backstory that sheds light on what actually happened between them.

“As a brief recap of how The Bachelor is presenting this feud: Caelynn has said in numerous confessional interviews and private conversations with Colton that Hannah B. was ‘mad that she didn’t place for sure … she wasn’t happy.’ Meanwhile, Hannah B. has been getting an increasingly unfavorable edit from the Bachelor producers — due, in part, to being the first woman to mention her past to Colton — and hasn’t minced words about her feelings toward Caelynn. ‘It’s lies that are not true,’ she told Colton. ‘Just freakin’ trust me, I’m telling the truth.’

“Austin Ryde, a makeup artist and photographer who’s worked with numerous Miss USA contestants — and who says he was Caelynn’s friend for nearly a decade before a recent falling out — believes Hannah B.’s defense, and said there wasn’t one ‘incident’ that severed the women’s friendship. Rather, it was a culmination of ‘personalities clashing’ after the 2018 pageant ended, when Hannah B. sent Caelynn a text message to express her disappointment in how she behaved throughout Miss USA.

“‘When Miss USA was over, Caelynn came to stay with me and my girlfriend in Los Angeles,’ Ryde said. ‘She had just gotten a text from Hannah, which I saw. I can’t recall the exact wording, but the general idea of the text was Caelynn made it a very difficult time for Hannah at Miss USA, and Hannah, in a very nice but direct way, said, Congratulations, you placing so high is a huge deal, but I need you to know you weren’t a nice person and not very positive, and that took away from my experience. That was the falling out.’

“Ryde also believes Hannah’s comments on The Bachelor are accurate in describing Caelynn’s off-camera personality. ‘I never met Hannah, but the way Hannah describes Caelynn is exactly how I would describe her,’ he said. ‘It’s unfortunate that people are assuming Hannah is just jealous — I should clarify, she might be, you never know. I don’t think she’s overreacting, but she made a big mistake being the first person to say something, because that’s always the first person to get in trouble.’

“A third Miss USA contestant who competed alongside Hannah B. and Caelynn in the 2018 pageant, and who requested anonymity to speak freely on the subject, corroborates Ryde’s account. ‘My roommate at Miss USA was good friends with both of them. One of them would come into my room all the time talking bad about the other girl while I was trying to sleep,’ she said. ‘The feud didn’t start because Caelynn was the first runner-up, that has nothing to do with it. That’s a topic that the [Bachelor] producers are taking and running with. That’s literally the complete opposite of how it really went down. I think Colton is kind of stupid if he can’t really see the difference between the two. One is genuine and completely herself, and the other is manipulative.’

“The contestant also claims Hannah B. and Caelynn knew each other before rooming together at the pageant. ‘At the end of the day, Miss USA is a competition. We all know one girl wins. It’s not as catty as the producers on The Bachelor are making it seem to be. I think Hannah and Caelynn have known each other for a very, very long time and it started way before that. It started way before the competition,’ she said. ‘The producers are making Hannah look crazy, and she’s not. She’s just goofy.’

“Like any good pageant contestant, neither Hannah B. nor Caelynn has publicly trashed the other since Caelynn’s near-victory — and neither has responded to Vulture’s interview requests — but they had to see each other quite a bit in the months that followed Miss USA, owing to all those requisite philanthropic commitments. Their Instagram accounts are now relics of the friendship that was, speaking to a simpler time when they would don silky sashes and glittery crowns in broad daylight just for the hell of it. Because why not!”