Thursday February 28, 2019

NBC has renewed Brooklyn Nine-Nine for a 7th season.

Cinemax has renewed Strike Back for a 7th and final season.

Fox has canceled Love Connection.

The guys on Survivor really need to keep their t-shirts on during the day.

Jeff Probst talks about Edge of Extinction amongst other things. “The only comparison to Redemption is that from a structure point of view someone will have a chance to get back in the game. From a living point of view, this is the most extreme situation we’ve ever created for the players. Part of the experience is for the audience to learn alongside the players. All Reem knows, and therefore all the audience knows, is what the Edge of Extinction sign says, which is in essence: ‘This is going to be extremely tough. Let us know if you’ve had enough and we’ll send a boat. Until then, good luck.’ So, for Reem, this means total uncertainty. She has very little information, no idea what, if anything, to look forward to and no way to anticipate. It’s a moment by moment existence. That is one of the biggest parts of the test. It becomes much easier to endure if you have some sort of timeline and can see the light at the end of the tunnel. But that is not the situation. Is there more to come? Most definitely. Do I want to give that away? Absolutely not!”

I’m going to miss Robert Zane. More SUITS below.

The 332nd episode of Grey’s Anatomy airs tonight which officially makes it TV’s longest-running medical drama.

Season 3 of Better Things premieres tonight on FX.

Netflix has released a trailer for Turn Up Charlie.

Oxygen has ordered a new series from executive producer Dick Wolf. Murder for Hire will debut on April 7 and will explore the dark world of contract killings. Each standalone episode will feature never-before-seen footage from undercover agents and their investigations.

Disney+ is developing a scripted series that will focus on iconic Disney villainsVariety has learned from sources. The series is currently titled “Book of Enchantments” and will be based on the Villains book series penned by Serena Valentino. It will tell the origin stories of Disney characters like Ursula from The Little Mermaid, The Beast from Beauty and the Beast, Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty, and the Wicked Queen from Snow White. Michael Seitzman will write and produce the series under his Maniac Productions banner. ABC Signature Studios will produce.”

In case you saw something about the Momo Challenge and were curious, here’s what it’s all about. Read at your own risk.

Monster (T-Pain) beat Bee (Gladys Knight) and Peacock (Donny Osmond) to become the first-ever winner of Fox's The Masked Singer. Gross.

Oh Lena Dunham, just be quiet.

Luke Perry suffered a massive stroke Wednesday, and is currently hospitalized ... TMZ has learned. Paramedics responded to Luke's home in Sherman Oaks around 9:40 AM. We know the call came into the fire department for someone suffering a stroke, and Luke was transported to a nearby hospital. It's unclear what his condition is right now. The 52-year-old who stars as Archie's dad, Fred Andrews, on Riverdale ... had been shooting episodes recently in L.A. on the Warner Bros. lot.  Luke's medical crisis coincidentally struck on the very same day Fox announced it will reboot Beverly Hills, 90210 -- the show on which he shot to fame, playing Dylan McKay in the 90s.”

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Per TVLine, “[i]t’s finally happening: Suits‘ Season 8 finale concluded with a steamy hookup between… Harvey and Donna!

“The long-awaited moment came after a series of events that led Harvey — who was at risk of being disbarred — to realize what’s been in front of him all along. The short version: In order to protect Donna, Harvey asked Thomas to lie to the ethics committee and say Harvey shared the privileged information, which made Thomas question what Harvey and Donna are to each other. In the end, it was Robert Zane — wanting to make up for his past mistakes with Samantha’s attacker — who took the fall for Donna and Harvey, sending him into early ‘retirement.’

“While Samantha pondered life without her mentor Robert, who loved her despite her faults, Harvey came to his own realization about who he wants to run to when he has a big loss or win. With that, he rushed off to Donna’s apartment, eagerly knocking on the door. When she opened it, neither one of them said anything before she stepped back and he moved in for a passionate kiss, with Donna eventually leading them to the bedroom.

“Below, executive producer Aaron Korsh reveals the surprising way the ‘Darvey’ twist was born and what it means for the pair’s future in the final season. Plus: Is something brewing between Harvey and… Samantha?!

Why was now the right moment for Harvey to have this epiphany about Donna?
We almost always write the finale up in Toronto, just before we shoot it. There was no contemplation of this happening. It was not on our minds going up. If you had asked me when I got on the plane to go to Toronto, “Are Harvey and Donna going to get together at the end of Season 8?” I would have said, “What? No.” But in discussing the writing of the scene with Donna and Thomas, where he’s asking what Harvey means to her, it just opened up a huge discussion and debate. It was kind of late at night, and tempers flared, guns and knives were pulled. I’m just kidding! But we just kept saying, “What if this happened? What if that happened?” We were just debating things, and all of a sudden, I said, “What if Harvey goes to Donna?” I pitched it out, and we all three — [writers] Ethan [Drogin], Genevieve [Sparling] and I — loved it. We all three thought it was a great thing to do.

Did it feel like those feelings were always there, but it was just time to act on them?
Yeah, obviously, something has been there since the beginning. We’ve put it in there since the beginning. The question [was]: When were these people, if ever, going to act on those things? It just seemed like when we were writing the episode, the way it was going to come out was… when Samantha’s saying, “What am I going to do when I have a huge victory and the one person I want to run and tell is not there?” Donna wasn’t at the hearing for Harvey, and he went and looked for her afterwards, and she wasn’t there. And it all of a sudden clicks in for him, “She’s the person I want to tell everything to.” Now that I think about it — I didn’t think about it at the time — it’s a little bit similar to When Harry Met Sally. He just sort of realizes, “This is the woman for me.”

Was there any debate about what he would do after he has this realization and how far should it should go? Should he just tell Donna what he’s feeling? Should he just kiss her?
Once the idea hit, it instantly clicked in, and I was like, “This is how we should go.” But there was a thought to when Donna opens the door, we had written like five lines. He says one thing, she says another, he says another, she says another, and then they do it. We had a pre-rehearsal of that scene the day before we shot it, because this is a big scene. We wanted to get on the same page with Sarah [Rafferty] and Gabriel [Macht] and make them comfortable. And we did try it where they said those words, and we thought we were going to film it with those words and without those words. But then on the day, it worked so well without the words that we felt like it was unspoken when he [knocks on her] door and she’s there.

What did they say in that alternate version of the scene?
I think it was, [she] opens the door, he says, “You weren’t there.” [She says], “I’m here now.” I can’t remember the other two lines… But regardless, it was better unspoken to me.

In the scene between Donna and Thomas, she seemed a bit conflicted about her feelings for Harvey. She said she wanted to cut him out, but she wasn’t sure if she’d ever be able to. In this moment at the end, has Donna accepted that Harvey is it for her?
I believe so. And as I said, it was that scene between Donna and Thomas that led to the debate that led to the realization at the end. Because we were having a discussion about, “Does Donna want to cut Harvey out? Does she not? What [are] her true feelings?” I didn’t buy that Donna’s in love with Thomas this quickly. I thought we had not earned that. So out of that thing, we were like, “But does she want to be rid of Harvey?” And I think in that moment, she did want to be rid of Harvey, but the honest truth is she doesn’t know if she’ll ever be able to be rid of Harvey, which is an interesting realization that she said aloud. She didn’t say it to Harvey, but she said it to Thomas. … You could say the second Donna says aloud, “I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to cut him out, but I want to,” and Alex sort of tells Donna, “You’re closing the window on Harvey. When the window got closed on me, it was how I realized I didn’t like being on the other side of the glass,” it’s like Donna’s feelings subconsciously, possibly, made Harvey realize what was going on.

Are Donna and Thomas broken up or still together by the end of the episode? After they have that conversation, we don’t really see what happens between them.
We cut the scene where Thomas and Donna break up. The director had cut it. I wasn’t sure whether we should keep it or not keep it. Turns out I never even watched it, because whenever anybody watched the episode without the scene in it, they said they did not miss it. And it allowed us to have something to deal with in [Episode] 901 and Season 9, in general. … Obviously, in Donna’s mind, the second Harvey comes to the door, she was broken up with Thomas. And you could make the case that she was broken up with Thomas in her mind before that. But I had written a scene where they break up because I wanted to relieve Donna of the burden of being a person that would do that. But the truth of the matter is she had a very frank and open discussion with Thomas about how she feels. It’s a little messy, but I think it’s OK.

How will this development between Harvey and Donna shape the final season? Have you started to get into the work of that yet?
We’re really just writing [Episode] 901 as we speak. We’re going to follow their growth. If you want to say they’ve had these feelings that they repressed or were unable to communicate for all these years, [then Donna and Harvey are] not the world’s best communicators with each other, and they’re going to have to learn how to do that. When you’re in a relationship with someone, learning how to communicate with them is probably the most important key to success. They’re going to have to learn how to handle their issues in a relationship the way people do, the way couples do, and we’re going to see that. It’s not going to be the highlight of every single episode, but I would say it will be there in pretty much every episode. We’re going to explore how they handle this newfound relationship.

There were a couple hints in the finale of something potentially happening between Harvey and Samantha. Robert made a comment to her, and then Harvey came to her. Were those just red herrings? Or is there a potential romance and/or love triangle brewing?
They were red herrings. … It’s possible those feelings were brewing or would have brewed in Samantha, but they were red herrings designed to make people furious at me — “How could I dare possibly contemplate putting Harvey and Samantha together?!” — to throw people off the scent of what was coming.

There was a moment, before Donna opened the door, that I thought someone really unexpected was going to be behind it. I don’t know who I was thinking of, but I was expecting something wild and crazy, so you got me.
[Laughs] My hope is that when Harvey’s running to her, you’re thinking, “Oh, my God, is it finally going to happen?! Is this going to be when it happens?” That was my goal with that. A lot of times at the end of the year, we write these things so close to when we’re going to shoot them and so close to the table read that the cast is reading it for the first time at the table read. The way Katherine Heigl came to be an actress on Suits is, first and foremost, she was a huge fan of Suits, and she wanted to be on the show. So we’re in the middle of this table read, and she had not read the script. We only finished it, I think, the night before. So she’s reading it and she realizes all of a sudden what’s happening, what Harvey’s going to do, and she gasped. She couldn’t believe it. She was having the live reaction that I wanted people to have when they watch the show, ultimately, and it was so satisfying. She’s such a fan. It’s awesome to have an actress who is a part of the show and an amazing character on the show and also just a fan of the show.”

In case you need more, here’s an interview with Sarah Rafferty (Donna).

And even more from Aaron Korsh.

Per Deadline, “[i]t’s official: Fox has closed a deal for the new series reuniting original Beverly Hills, 90210 cast members Jason Priestley, Jennie Garth, Ian Ziering, Gabrielle Carteris, Brian Austin Green and Tori Spelling. Titled 90210, the show from CBS TV Studios has received a six-episode order to air this summer. Watch a teaser above.

“Fox, which aired the original Beverly Hills, 90210 series, had emerged as the frontrunner for the new 90210, which was taken out in December. The broadcast network was described as being “the most passionate” about the project, a serialized drama – with a dose of irreverence — inspired by the sextet’s real lives and relationships, in which Priestley, Garth, Ziering, Carteris, Green and Spelling will play heightened versions of themselves.

“‘Beverly Hills, 90210 left an indelible impact on pop culture and an entire generation,’ said Fox Entertainment president Michael Thorn. ‘Its powerful legacy is an important part of our network’s DNA – bold stories not told anywhere else and bigger-than-life-characters – and we’re honored to bring back the beloved original cast members for 90210.’

“Last month, Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier told Deadline that 90210 and Melrose Place are among his favorite Fox series of all time and pieces of IP he would like to explore at the network.

“In the new series, having gone their separate ways since the original series ended 19 years ago, Jason, Jennie, Ian, Gabrielle, Brian and Tori reunite when one of them suggests it’s time to get a Beverly Hills, 90210 reboot up and running. But getting it going may make for an even more delicious soap than the reboot itself. What will happen when first loves, old romances, friends and frenemies come back together, as this iconic cast – whom the whole world watched grow up together – attempts to continue from where they left off?

“The series was conceived by Mike Chessler and Chris Alberghini, who worked on the CW’s 90210 reboot and on Spelling’s series So Notorious, along with with Spelling and Garth.

“Alberghini and Chessler will write the series. They executive produce with Carteris, Garth, Green, Priestley, Spelling and Ziering. CBS TV Studios-based Ghen Maynard, who has a relationship with Spelling and Garth, developed the project.

Beverly Hills, 90210 premiered on Fox on October 4, 1990, and became an instant pop culture sensation and one of the most popular programs in the network’s history. Centered on the tony Los Angeles community identified in its title, the show aired for 10 seasons, during which it documented the trials and tribulations of a group of friends from high school to college and into early adulthood, as they navigate myriad coming-of-age dramas and complex rivalries.

“Coincidentally, 90210 alumna Spelling is one of the celebrities on Fox’s breakout reality competition The Masked Singer.

“‘It’s not technically a reboot, because I feel like everyone has seen the reboot,’ Spelling said of 90210 in one of the interviews after her exit from The Masked Singer. ‘We don’t want to be the last ones like doing the reboot thing, and no one wants to see like old versions of ourselves, but they do want to see us playing our characters, so what we’re doing is the entire cast is playing heightened versions of themselves. Think Curb Your Enthusiasm episodes, in an hourlong show, and we’re all playing heightened versions, so it could be fictional, it could be nonfictional, people will have to guess. And then we will have pop-ins, because we’re behind the scenes trying to do the reboot.’

“Spelling also revealed at the rime that Luke Perry, who is a series regular on Riverdale, ‘will do as many [episodes] as he can do’ given his obligations to the CW drama, which films in Canada. And there is ‘no status right now’ on Shannen Doherty, but ‘we would love to have her on.’”

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Per The Hollywood Reporter, “Will Smith is joining wife Jada Pinkett Smith on Facebook Watch. 

“The Bright star has debuted weekly series Will Smith's Bucket List on the social network's video platform. Pinkett Smith has already become one of the early stars of Watch with her talk show Red Table Talk, on which Smith has appeared. 

“With Bucket List, Smith will travel the world to take on insane challenges and overcome obstacles. The journey will include taking part in a Bollywood movie, skydiving in Dubai and performing stand-up with Dave Chappelle. 

“The six-episode series dropped Wednesday, Feb. 27. New episodes will be available on Facebook Watch every subsequent Wednesday at 9 a.m. PT. 

“Bucket List joins a growing roster of unscripted programming at year-and-a-half Facebook Watch, which is also the home of Ball family reality series Ball in the Family, Mike Rowe-hosted Returning the Favor and Huda Kattan-focused Huda Boss. On Tuesday, the social network announced plans to use fan polling to cast one of the members of its upcoming Real World reboot

“Smith, who has 76 million followers on Facebook, previously teamed with YouTube on live-streaming special The Jump, in which he bungee jumped from a helicopter over the Grand Canyon. It amassed more than 17 million views in its first 48 hours.”

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FX has picked up a comedy series starring comedian and rapper Lil Dicky, with Kevin Hart as one of its executive producers.

“In the untitled show, Lil Dicky, aka Dave Burd, will play a suburban guy in his late 20s who becomes convinced he's destined to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Now he must convince his closest friends, because with their help, he might actually convince the world.

"‘Not only has Dave Burd cemented his place in the rap community, but he’s now poised to take over TV with his infectious comedic sensibility in his own series,’ said NIck Grad, president original programming for FX Networks and FX Productions. ‘We're thrilled to have partnered with an impressive creative team featuring Jeff Schaffer, Saladin Patterson, Kevin Hart, Greg Mottola and Scooter Braun to bring the story of Lil Dicky to TV audiences.’

“Added Burd, ‘I'm so thankful for everyone who made this possible. It really is what I've been dreaming about since I was a kid. I love making people laugh, it's my favorite thing ever. And even though I'm still fully in love with and committed to my career as a rapper, I'm excited to write jokes that don't need to rhyme every time. Ugh, that rhymed.’

“Burd's first video as Lil Dicky, Ex-Boyfriend, went viral after its release in 2013, and he's built on that fame ever since. His most recent single, Freaky Friday, has racked up more than a billion streams and has gone multiplatinum. His 2015 album Professional Rapper debuted at No. 7 on Billboard's Hot 100 and hit No. 1 on the comedy and rap charts.

“The Lil Dicky series is the first TV project for Hart since the controversy over his aborted gig as host of the Oscars. He stepped down two days after being named host in December after old tweets in which he used homophobic slurs surfaced.

“The controversy does not appear to have affected the comedian's workload. He signed a deal for two comedy movies with STXfilms and has also booked starring and producing roles in Lionsgate's Monopoly movie and Sony's Fatherhood.

“The Lil Dicky series is co-created by Burd and Schaffer (The League). They executive produce with Patterson (The Big Bang Theory, The Last O.G.), Hart (via his HartBeat Productions), Mottola, Marty Bowen, Mike Hertz and Scooter Braun, James Shin and Scott Manson of SB Projects. The series comes from FX Productions.”

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Per The LA Times, “[i]n a stunning decision that could have widespread repercussions in the TV industry, Fox has been hit with a $178.7-million judgment in its profit participation dispute with the team behind the hit series Bones.

“The ruling, which was decided in arbitration, excoriated senior Fox executives and criticized the studio and network for its conduct. The decision has also rattled other studios, including the highest echelons of the Walt Disney Co., which is bringing aboard some of the same executives in its $71 billion acquisition of Fox.

“Hulu is also at the center of the storm, with accusations that Fox withheld revenues from Bones when the series became available for streaming on the digital platform. Fox owns a 30% stake in Hulu, along with other major studios.

“The Bones award is among the largest of its kind and is the latest case to spotlight disputes over the accounting practices of major studios and whether they shortchange talent. The biggest award came in 2011 when a jury ordered Disney to pay $319 million in a profit participation case over Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.

“Arbitrator Peter Lichtman wrote in his decision that Fox engaged in ‘reprehensible conduct’ and that top executives including 21st Century Fox President Peter Rice, and Fox TV Chairmen and Chief Executives Dana Walden and Gary Newman gave unconvincing testimony.

"‘The more these individuals testified,’ he wrote, ‘the more incredulous their testimony appeared.’ He criticized Fox for taking a ‘cavalier attitude toward its wrongdoing.’

“21st Century Fox said Wednesday it was seeking to void the punitive damages of $128.5 million, arguing that the arbitrator exceeded his powers. But the studio said it wasn’t contesting the actual damages of $50.2 million.

“‘The ruling by this private arbitrator is categorically wrong on the merits and exceeded his arbitration powers,’ the studio said in a statement.

“‘Fox will not allow this flagrant injustice, riddled with errors and gratuitous character attacks, to stand and will vigorously challenge the ruling in a court of law,’ the company said.

“The arbitration decision was made Feb. 4 but wasn’t made public until Wednesday. One individual with knowledge of the dispute said that when Fox failed to pay the damages, the plaintiffs decided to make the decision public in hopes of putting pressure on the studio.

“‘The only reason this went public is because Fox didn't pay,’ said the individual.

“The battle pitted Bones stars and producers — including actors David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel and executive producer Barry Josephson — against Fox, which both produced and aired the comedy-drama crime series from 2005 to 2017.

“At the heart of the dispute was whether Fox engaged in so-called ‘self-dealing’ — hiding profits from the show to avoid compensating key talent and producers.

“Media companies that produce and air their own series have faced criticism that the studio divisions undercharge their corporate siblings for broadcast rights. As a result, a series will record less profit on paper, which means there’s less money to share with stars and other talent.

Bones is one of the latest shows to become embroiled in a profit dispute involving so-called vertically integrated media companies. AMC’s The Walking Dead is currently inching toward a trial over its profit dispute with creator Frank Darabont.

“In a rapidly consolidating media landscape, talent often feels like it is at a disadvantage at the negotiating table, according to Elsa Ramo, an entertainment attorney who isn’t involved in the Bones dispute.

“‘It begins to feel like there is no protection for the intellectual property or rights holder or producer. They’re sort of at odds with everyone else who is on the same side,’ Ramo said. ‘At the end of the day, it's about making sure these corporate entities have the checks and balances when it comes to how people are treated in these transactions.’

“The Bones decision was especially shocking for the pointed criticism that the arbitrator leveled at Fox’s Rice, Walden and Newman. Both Rice and Walden will join Disney following the close of the acquisition that is expected this year.

“‘The Arbitrator is convinced that perjury was committed by the Fox witnesses,’ the ruling stated. ‘Accordingly, if perjury is not reprehensible then reprehensibility has taken on a new meaning.’

“Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger signaled his support for Rice and Walden on Wednesday.

“‘Peter Rice and Dana Walden are highly respected leaders in this industry, and we have complete confidence in their character and integrity,’ Iger said in a statement.

“‘Disney had no involvement in the arbitration, and we understand the decision is being challenged and will leave it to the courts to decide the matter.’

“A hearing on the dispute is expected in April, according to one individual with knowledge of the case.”