Wednesday October 2, 2019

Here’s a sneak peak of tonight’s episode of The Challenge.

ABC has canceled Grand Hotel.

Season 4 will be the last for TNT’s Claws.

I oddly enjoyed In A Man’s World (Bravo) if for no other reason than the makeup/disguise work was out of this world.

Fox premieres Almost Family tonight. “Executive producer Jason Katims (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood) and writer Annie Weisman (About A Boy, Desperate Housewives) bring you the story of an unusual family formed through extreme odds. Exploring such hot-button issues as identity, human connection and what it truly means to be a family, this unconventional dramedy taps directly into the zeitgeist, harnessing the emotional complications that new generations of IVF-bred children all face.”

Might we ever see a Fleabag season 3, especially after series creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge took home a surprising (but totally deserving) three Emmy wins this year? Bridge says she could see herself returning to her popular character, just not anytime soon. ‘I quite like the idea of coming back to her — well, me — when I’m 50 ’cause I feel like she would’ve had more life then, and God knows what she would’ve got up to,’ she told Seth Meyers during an appearance on Late Night, just before she’s set to host Saturday Night Live this weekend. ‘Actually, seeing a character like that in her later stage of life is exciting, but for now, she’s been through enough. We’ve got to let her go.’”

Food Network has ordered The Girl Scout Cookie Championship dessert competition series to be hosted by How I Met Your Mother star Alyson Hannigan. The four-part series will challenge professional bakers to turn traditional Girl Scout cookies into ‘decadent and delicious dessert creations,’ per Food Network. Food Network regulars Katie Lee and Nacho Aguirre are on board as permanent judges. Carla Hall will be among the judges set to rotate through the third panelist slot. Cookie Championship is set to bow in the first quarter of next year, just in time for Girl Scout Cookie selling season. Hannigan, Lee and Hall are all alumni of the more than 100-year-old organization that aims to foster leadership and service skills for girls.”

Ava DuVernay is going into business with HBO Max. The When They See Us and Queen Sugar multihyphenate and Westworld executive producer Roberto Patino are developing a series based on DC Comics title DMZ, a futuristic drama set in an American civil war. The project has a pilot order at the WarnerMedia streaming platform. Based on the critically hailed Brian Wood-Riccardo Burchielli comic, DMZ is set in a near future where America is embroiled in a bitter civil war. The island of Manhattan has become a demilitarized zone separating the two sides, largely destroyed and isolated from the rest of the world.  The series will follow a fierce female medic who saves lives while desperately searching for her lost son. As she contends with the gangs, militias, demagogues and warlords who now control the lawless island, she becomes the unlikely source of what everyone there has lost: hope.”

A&E Network is set to launch a new two-part documentary about country music icon Garth Brooks as part of its ‘Biography’ strand. Garth Brooks: The Road I’m On follows Brooks’s life and career, from his early days playing college bars in Oklahoma to his record-breaking world tours to his status as the best-selling solo artist of all time. The four-hour documentary features exclusive interviews with Brooks as well as with Trisha Yearwood, Keith Urban, George Strait, James Taylor, friend and original bandmate Ty England, songwriter Tony Arata and more. It also provides a behind-the-scenes look at Brooks’s current stadium tour. Garth Brooks: The Road I’m On will anchor the network’s ‘Garth Week’ event celebrating the country star, including branded digital content and a special airing of his Yankee Stadium concert on Nov. 26 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.”

Black Panther star Winston Duke has been cast in the lead role of the Apple TV Plus series Swagger. Inspired by NBA champion Kevin Durant’s youth basketball experiences, Swagger explores the world of youth basketball, and the players, their families and coaches who walk the fine line between dreams and ambition, and opportunism and corruption. Duke will star as Ike, a youth basketball coach and former star player. Production on the series is slated to begin this month.”

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Per Deadline, “On the heels of the success of Double Shot at Love with DJ Pauly D and Vinny, MTV, the year’s #1 non-sports cable network in prime with P18-34, is betting on another reality series headlined by Jersey Shore veterans Paul Delvecchio and Vinny Guadagnino. The Viacom net has greenlighted docuseries DJ Pauly D and Vinny’s Vegas Pool Party (working title). The Las Vegas-based series, which marks the latest expansion of the Shore franchise, is currently in production and slated for a 2020 launch.

DJ Pauly D and Vinny’s Vegas Pool Party is a followup and an extension to Double Shot at Love with DJ Pauly D and Vinny, the #1 new cable series of 2019 in P18-34. The show, starring Delvecchio and Guadagnino, scored 0.82 adults 18-49 rating (Live+same day), winning Thursday night in the demo, and nearly one-million total viewers across its commercial-free series premiere.

DJ Pauly and Vinny’s Vegas Pool Party (wt) follows the Jersey Shore duo as they take over Las Vegas and give their friends a shot at the Vegas life. Between Pauly D’s DJ residency and Vinny performing on the strip, including stints as celebrity host of Chippendales, the two will epitomize the definition of work hard, play hard in the infamous Sin City.

DJ Pauly D and Vinny’s Vegas Pool Party is produced by MTV, SallyAnn Salsano — the architect of the Shore franchise who created Jersey Shore nearly 11 years ago — and her 495 Productions. Salsano and her company were most recently behind Double Shot at Love with DJ Pauly D and Vinny as well as Jersey Shore Family Vacation. Prior Shore offshoots include Snooki & JWoww and The Pauly D Project.

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Per Variety, “The lineup of creatives taking a shot with Quibi keeps on growing.

“This time The Daily Show host Trevor Noah is teaming up with his regular home Comedy Central to develop a comedy series for Quibi’s mobile-only platform. The series, produced by Day Zero Productions and Comedy Central Productions, will follow the comedian on a tour to the far corners of the country and beyond.

“Here’s some more description of the show: ‘Trevor will give Quibi’s audience an unprecedented peek at his candid interactions with the people he meets and the incredible places he visits along the way. We’ll learn how these moments influence his unique point of view and affect his stand up in each city.’

“EPs on the series alongside Noah will be Haroon Saleem for Day Zero Productions, Bob Bain for Bob Bain Productions, and Norman Aladjem, Derek Van Pelt and Sanaz Yamin for Mainstay Entertainment which reps the comedian.

“The prospective show is one of dozens in the works at Quibi, which is slated to launch in April 2020.

“The company is attracting A-list talent across the board, and has announced a slew of projects including Steven Spielberg’s After Dark, a horror series users will be able to watch only between sundown and sunrise local time. Other partners include Guillermo del Toro, Antoine Fuqua, Sam Raimi, Jason Blum, Steven Soderbergh, Catherine Hardwick, Anna Kendrick, Doug Liman, Laurence Fishburne and Stephen Curry’s Unanimous Media. Quibi has also ordered shows featuring Tyra Banks, Chrissy Teigen, Don Cheadle and Idris Elba as well as a remake of MTV’s Punk’d.

“Led by former DreamWorks Animation chief Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman, Quibi has raised $1 billion from investors including major Hollywood studios and is seeking to raise another $500 million ahead of its launch.”

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From TheWrap: “AMC has given series orders to two new projects, the courtroom drama 61st Street and the convention-busting Kevin Can F**k Himself.

61st Street is being described as a ‘two-season television event series,’ and has been picked up by the network for two seasons of eight episode each. The drama centers on Moses Johnson, a ‘promising, black high school athlete who is swept up into the infamously corrupt Chicago criminal justice system’ when he is taken by the police as a supposed gang member and accused of the death of an officer during a drug bust gone wrong.

“Peter Moffat, who wrote the BBC drama which inspired HBO’s The Night Of, is showrunner and executive producer. Michael B. Jordan and Alana Mayo of Outlier Society will also executive produce alongside Hilary Salmon of BBC Studios.

Kevin Can F**k Himself is a meta take at the TV trope of the sitcom wife. Per AMC, the series ‘looks to break television convention and ask what the world looks like through her eyes. Alternating between single-camera realism and multi-camera comedy, the formats will inform one another as we imagine what happens when the sitcom wife escapes her confines, and is full of rage.’

“The project, which has been given a 10-episode series order, is created by Lodge 49 alum Valerie Armstrong. Craig DiGregorio will serve as showrunner and executive producer.

“‘At AMC we believe in shows that have startling vision and fresh voice, with something to say,’ said AMC Networks and AMC Studios president Sarah Barnett. ‘These two projects couldn’t be more in our sweet spot, as both have something big to say, and a genius way of saying it.’”

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Per Vulture, “Spoilers ahead for The Politician and the New York State constitution.

The Politician is a truly bonkers show. A show so bonkers that by the time Judith Light shows up in the season finale as Dede Standish, the Speaker of the New York State Senate, flanked by her chief of staff Bette Midler, you’re just nodding along like, Yes, this is happening. Sure! As the finale reveals, a Democratic senator-elect from Texas has invited Standish to join his yet-to-be-announced presidential campaign as vice-president. Okay! Which means she’s not putting any muscle into running for reelection for her current position, leaving space for a young, unknown challenger full of ideas and charm to wedge his way in there.

“Enter Payton Hobart (Ben Platt), the politician of The Politician, who ends the season announcing his campaign for Standish’s State Senate seat. After an hour-long finale in which we learn he ended up at NYU after Harvard rescinded his acceptance, he’s since developed a drinking problem, and he spends his nights playing piano at Marie’s CrisisSure!!! Oh, and did I mention Hobart’s friends-slash-advisers have uncovered what they believe to be Standish’s Achilles’ heel … her secret three-way marriage. See? This show is the definition of a lot.

“Anyway, I’m spiraling. Back to Hobart’s run for State Senate. If The Politician occurred in a world even remotely resembling our present reality, his political aspirations would already be dead in the water. When he opens the episode vamping at Marie’s about what it means to be a New Yorker, he mentions he moved to the city three years earlier. (Then he does a full-on performance of Vienna, which I will be discussing with my therapist imminently.) Assuming he filed his paperwork immediately upon moving from California to New York — and, let’s be honest, Payton Hobart would be the kind of person to get a new license within that required 30-day window after you move — this means three years is the maximum length of time he’s been a resident of the state. A spokesperson for the New York Board of Elections told me that would disqualify Hobart from running.

“‘I don’t want to comment on a TV show I have not seen, but for New York State Senate, which is different from United States senators, you have to be a citizen, you have to be 18 years of age, and you have to be a resident of the state for five years and a resident of the district for 12 months immediately preceding election,’ she said, noting the requirements are the same for the New York State Assembly. ‘Part of that comes from the New York State Constitution and the other part is the Public Officers Law.’ (She also asked if I’d recommend The Politician. ‘Uh, it’s definitely an insane show,’ I answered.)

“Hobart does meet some of the requirements. Being a citizen? Being 18? Being a resident of the district where you’re running for 12 months immediately preceding the election? Check, check, and check, since I’m going to assume Hobart isn’t changing his residential status to go home to California for the summer. Given that his billionaire father disowned him in favor of Hobart’s twin brothers who tried to commit patricide and that his mother, Gwyneth Paltrow, is finding her bliss in, uh [checks notes], Bhutan.

“But that still leaves the problem of the five-year-minimum residency rule. It appears to already be an election year. When Hobart’s perpetually suit-clad friend McAfee arrives at Standish’s office for an internship, she is tasked with mailing out flyers. ‘The election is November 6 and we want these in the mail the first week of October,’ she’s told. ‘You’ve got time.’ It seems unlikely that a candidate like Dede Standish, who has faced no real competition in years past, would bother putting in a years-early effort for the election. But when during election year is it?

“Alas, the scenery and wardrobe choices in the finale aren’t totally indicative. In the first few scenes, there are no leaves on the trees and the sidewalks have a damp glisten. The cast is clad in coats and hats and turtleneck sweaters. When Hobart visits Harvard, again wearing a scarf and light jacket, the campus still has green grass. During a walk in the park, everybody is wearing coats, it’s drizzling, and the trees are dotted with distinctly brown and dead leaves. Which leaves us a few options. Either it’s late spring of election year, which seems unlikely given even the most incompetent intern wouldn’t need six months to affix labels to 300,000 mailers. Or … it’s September. (But September in a world where September is still autumnal and temperatures aren’t consistently 90 degrees and wearing wool is not a painful thing to do.) Either way, it’s impossible for Hobart to hit the five-year residency mark and make his run legitimate.”