Thursday February 14, 2019

Netflix dips its toe into the dating show genre with Dating Around, which is now available to stream. Here is a link to the trailer. It’s a lock that I’ll have watched all 6 by Monday.

I couldn’t agree with you more Adam Carolla. Preach.

Amazon is ‘dipping its toe in the water’ of live sports rights. That’s how Albert Cheng, Co-Head of TV at Amazon Studios, described its moves into the live hustle-and-bustle of some of the world’s most popular sports including NFL, soccer and tennis. Amazon aired Thursday Night Football last year and bought the rights to 20 matches per season in the English Premier Leaguefrom 2019-22, while also airing the U.S. Open tennis tournament in the UK. The SVOD service reportedly also has been interested in buying 22 regional sports networks from Fox, which has to sell ahead of its acquisition by Disney.” More Amazon news below.

Jason Katims isn't closing the book on his broadcast tenure just yet. The Friday Night Lights and Parenthood creator — who will be exiting his longtime home at Universal Television for Apple in the summer — has landed a pilot order at Fox. The network has officially picked up an untitled drama from Katims that is based on Endemol's Australian series Sisters. This likely is broadcast veteran Katims' last project for one of the Big Four networks as he will formally depart Universal when his current deal expires to reunite with former True Jack topper Michelle Lee at Apple. Here is the untitled drama's formal logline: Only child Julia Beckley has her life turned upside down when it is revealed that her father, a pioneering Nobel Prize-winning fertility doctor, used his own sperm to conceive dozens of children over the course of his career. Reeling from this explosive revelation, Julia discovers two new sisters — her former best friend and an ex-Olympic athlete. Against all odds, the women attempt to form an [sic] nontraditional family and lean on each other as they grapple with their own identity crises.”

A new season of Queer Eye returns to Netflix on March 15.

Season 3 of Santa Clarita Diet returns to Netflix on March 29.

LaToya Jackson was the latest masked singer revealed. LMAO.

If Jussie Smollett wasn’t attacked, would anyone have any idea who he is? Let me answer . . . no.

Ken Jeong’s new stand up special is now streaming on Netflix. When will be able to rid ourselves of this guy?

Should you watch Jordan Peele’s new YouTube show (presuming you pay for Premium)?

Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club could use more fans. The MTV reality show about LiLo creating a nightclub in Mykonos, Greece, launched with decent ratings a month ago, but only 427,000 viewers tuned in last week, and the show lost 60 percent of the audience who’d tuned into its lead-in. Originally on at 8 p.m. Tuesdays, MTV moved it to Monday nights at 10 after several episodes had aired. Reruns of Teen Mom 2 replaced Beach Club in its original time slot. The ratings plummeted because the curiosity of viewers was satisfied, Marc Berman, of Programming Insider, told me. ‘Lindsay Lohan was at one time a very big name, a tabloid sensation. Everybody was after her,’ Berman said. After all of Lohan’s rehabs and arrests, she left the US to live in Dubai and London. She’s been out of sight. ‘People were curious. They wanted to know what had happened to her,’ Berman said. ‘They sampled the show. It wasn’t very good. They didn’t come back.’” These are facts.

Criminal Minds star A.J. Cook is suing her former manager, David Guillod, for not disclosing that he faced multiple sexual assault accusations — and says he should repay money he earned from her and other actresses, including Gina Rodriguez, Kristin Chenoweth and Paula Patton. The lawsuit, which was filed late Monday and seeks $1.6 million for Cook, argues that Guillod’s concealment of his ‘sexual predator’ past could have harmed her image and reputation as a strong advocate for women. The lawsuit lists several previously unreported allegations against Guillod, and accuses him of scheming with Cook’s previous lawyer to overcharge her for his services. Stories of morality clauses for actors are nearly as old as Hollywood. But Cook’s lawsuit is a rare attempt to hold a manager responsible for personal accusations that might reflect poorly on his famous clients. In a statement, a representative for Guillod accused Cook of trying to ‘piggyback’ on the #MeToo movement to get out of paying her debts. Guillod has denied any wrongdoing since TheWrap first reported on four sexual assault accusations against him in November 2017.”


Per Deadline, “Vince Gilligan’s Breaking Bad movie continues to be shrouded in secrecy, but I hear it will air on Netflix and AMC, which also carries Gilligan’s Emmy-winning series.

“No one would comment, but word is that the two networks might have their roles reversed, with Netflix taking first window and AMC second. The Breaking Bad series aired originally on AMC, with seasons subsequently made available for streaming on Netflix.

“For Netflix and AMC to share the Breaking Bad follow-up is fitting as the two outlets share the credit for the success of the original series. Gilligan acknowledged the streamer’s contribution in his acceptance speech for the series’ first best drama series Emmy win in 2013.

“‘I think Netflix kept us on the air,’ he said back then. ‘Not only are we standing up here, I don’t think our show would have even lasted beyond Season 2. … It’s a new era in television, and we’ve been very fortunate to reap the benefits.’

“A little is known about the Breaking Bad movie, believed to be a sequel starring the series’ Aaron Paul. As we previously reported, it is written and directed by Breaking Bad creator/executive producer Gilligan, who also co-created and executive produces AMC prequel series Better Call Saul. He is joined by producers Mark Johnson and Melissa Bernstein, who have worked with Gilligan both on Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul.

“I hear the script is being shot as a feature though it has not been determined yet how it will air, as a film or cut into episodes.

“The original series ran for five seasons and became a TV phenomenon, spawning the successful prequel series, Better Call Saul, both of which have aired on AMC with an SVOD window on Netflix.

“A project by the name of Greenbriar — possibly a code name — was listed as starting production in mid-November in Albuquerque, according to the New Mexico Film Office. The logline, reported by the Albuquerque Journal last fall, follows the escape of a kidnapped man and his quest for freedom. There had been speculation that the man in question is Paul’s meth cook Jesse Pinkman, with the sequel set after the events in the series finale.

“In November, Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston confirmed the movie was happening but said that he had not seen a script.”


Per Bloomberg, “Apple Inc. is planning to unveil video and news subscription offerings next month, the first major new digital services from the company since 2015.

“The Cupertino, California-based technology giant is planning a March 25 event to announce both services, according to people familiar with the plan. The iPhone maker invited Hollywood stars, including Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Garner and director JJ Abrams, to attend, one of the people said.

“The video service is similar to Inc.’s Prime Video and Netflix Inc. products, and will include TV shows and movies either acquired or funded by Apple. The company has created dozens of original programs so far, but hasn’t wrapped them in a subscription yet. The paid service will launch by the summer, the people said. They asked not to be identified discussing private plans.

“The company’s premium news service will be integrated into the Apple News app, letting consumers subscribe to a bundle of titles for a monthly fee. Some publishing executives are wary of taking part, Bloomberg News reported in December.

“Final details are still being worked out, and Apple’s plans could change. An Apple spokesman didn’t respond to a request for comment. BuzzFeed earlier reported that the News subscription service would launch on March 25.

“With iPhone sales slowing, Apple is turning to digital services to keep revenue growing. Apple Music is already a hit with more than 50 million subscribers. Wall Street is speculating that the company will eventually roll many of these offerings into one bundled monthly subscription, similar to Amazon’s successful Prime program.

“Apple has been working on its streaming video service for a number of years under the guidance of former Sony Pictures executives Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht. Bloomberg News reported last year that Apple would begin rolling out the shows in 2019.

“The content is likely to be integrated into Apple’s TV app on iPhones, iPads, and Apple TVs, which launched in 2016. Along with an Apple subscription, there will be some free content. Users will also be able to pay to access shows from other providers, such as Starz, as is possible with Amazon’s video service. Today, Apple offers a handful of free shows, such as Carpool Karaoke and Planet of the Apps.

“The magazine subscription service, which has been in testing with Apple employees for months, will launch as part of an iOS 12.2 update scheduled for release this spring. The updated Apple News app will include a Magazines tab similar to the app Texture, which Apple acquired last year.”

Great, so I’m going to have to spend more money.


From TV Insider: “On the final day of the winter press tour for the Television Critics Association, Amazon Prime Video took to the stage at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena with a slew of news on returning and upcoming projects.

“First up, Head of Amazon Studios Jennifer Salke announced a third season of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan had been picked up before the second season airs later this year. ‘We saw no reason not to give it an early pick up,’ Salke said. The first season of the John Krasinski drama aired last fall.

There wasn't much new news to report on the much-anticipated Lord of the Rings series except that the creative team is making ‘great progress,’ said Salke, who was joined after opening remarks by co-heads of TV Vernon Sanders and Albert Cheng. There was no update on the show's premiere date but, of course, Salke was asked about whether the man responsible for the big screen LOTR franchise would be involved in any way. Salke said, ‘We don't have any news on Peter Jackson.’ Cheng did add that Jackson is aware the series is in the works.

“In casting news, Salke was able to confirm that Academy Award-winner Al Pacino, Logan Lerman and Jerikka Hinton will star in Jordan Peele's upcoming Nazi-hunting series, The Hunt. Per an Amazon press release, the series follows a diverse band of Nazi Hunters living in New York City in 1977. The Hunters, as they’re known, have discovered that hundreds of high-ranking Nazi officials are living among us and conspiring to create a Fourth Reich in the US. The eclectic team of Hunters will set out on a bloody quest to bring the Nazis to justice and thwart their new genocidal plans.

“On the pilot for the potential series version of the beloved 1992 film, A League of Their Own, Sanders said, ‘There will be a group of new characters but there will be some nods to the original [movie] that I think fans will appreciate,’ said Sanders.

“As for the recently-acquired sci-fi series, The Expanse, Sanders said that the goal is for the new episodes to air before the end of the air but no premiere date was announced during the Amazon session.

“The network also announced a May 31 premiere date for the original series based on the Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett book, Good Omens, starring David Tennant, Michael Sheen, Jon Hamm, Frances McDormand, Jack Whitehall and more. It was also announced during the Good Omens panel that Benedict Cumberbatch would be in the series playing none other than Satan. 

“The studio also announced a March 29 premiere date for its upcoming drama Hanna, which reunites stars from The Killing, Joel Kinnaman (Altered Carbon) and Mirielle Enos (The Catch). The eight-episode series, based on the 2011 film, focuses on 15-year old Hanna (Esmé Creed-Miles), who has spent her entire young life training to fight those who hunt her and her mercenary father, Erik Heller (Kinnaman). Enos plays CIA operative, Marissa Wiegler.”

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Per EW, “[a]nother poignant novel with implications for our current reality is coming to the small screen, the long-gestating adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.

“The project, initially in the works at Syfy, moved over to sister NBCUniversal property USA Network with a straight-to-series order. Homecoming scribe David Wiener, who wrote the Optics episode and co-executive produced the Amazon drama, will now showrun and executive produce Brave New World.

“Wiener joins previously announced writers Grant Morrison (also executive producing) and Brian Taylor.

“As described by USA, ‘Brave New World imagines a utopian society that has achieved peace and stability through the prohibition of monogamy, privacy, money, family, and history itself. As citizens of New London, Bernard Marx and Lenina Crowne have only ever known a rigid social order, a perfect pharmaceutical called Soma, and a culture of instant gratification and ubiquitous sex. Curious to explore life beyond the strictures of their society, the two New Worlders embark on a vacation to the Savage Lands, where they become embroiled in a harrowing and violent rebellion. Bernard and Lenina are rescued by John the Savage, who escapes with them back to New London. John’s arrival in the New World soon threatens to disrupt its utopian harmony, leaving Bernard and Lenina to grapple with the repercussions. The three become entwined in a fraught relationship that awakens them to the dangers of their own conditioning.’

“Between this and HBO’s Fahrenheit 451, all we need is a new Orwellian 1984adaptation to complete this dystopian trifecta of our high school literary curriculum.

“In the history of Brave New World on screen, two films aired for television, one in 1980 and the other in 1998. In 2009, Ridley Scott made plans to direct a feature film for Hollywood with Leonardo DiCaprio as his star, but the project eventually halted.

“Owen Harris (the San Junipero and Be Right Back episodes of Black Mirror) will now direct the pilot of Brave New World, in addition to executive producing with Amblin Television’s Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey. Taylor, meanwhile, will executive produce the first episode before moving into a consultant role.”