Friday March 1, 2019

Arrested Development returns to Netflix on March 15. Here’s a trailer.

Jason Witten has decided to exit the Monday Night Football booth and will return to the Dallas Cowboys for next season. He and the team reportedly firmly believe they have a good chance to win a Super Bowl. Good luck.

Hulu’s Into The Dark is now available to stream. Check it out if horror is your thing.

Amazon’s The Widow is also available to stream. Kate Beckinsale stars (wait is she really dating Pete Davidson or was that fake news?) The series is about a woman's search to uncover the mystery of the disappearance of her husband, which leads her to the Congo, where she's forced to seek the truth about what happened to the man she loved.

Luke Perry is not doing well after suffering a stroke on Wednesday.

“Liz Gateley, the veteran TV executive served as EVP and Head of Programming at Lifetime until exiting the company a year ago, has been hired as Head of Creative Development at Spotify. It’s the latest move as the streaming music service dives into the entertainment business. Gateley joins a team headed by veteran TV executive Dawn Ostroff, who became the company’s chief content officer in August. Ostroff and Gateley worked together at Lifetime; the former was head of programming from 1996-2002. In her new role, Gateley said Thursday via a LinkedIn post, she will oversee Spotify’s ‘original content development teams on both coasts and their expansion into Comedy, Sports, YA Fiction & Scripted, News/Docs and obviously more Music formats in the podcast space.’ Spotify most recently purchased podcast biggie Gimlet Media, which is behind the popular Homecoming, StartUp, Reply All and Crimetown which are now being seen as IP ripe for TV and film adaptations. Spotify says it could spend $400 million-$500 million on multiple acquisitions in 2019; it also recently acquired startup Anchor.”

Discovery Channel has given the greenlit to its third Gold Rush spinoff series, TheWrap has learned. This one stars Dave Turin, a franchise fan favorite who left the main show two years ago, and is aptly titled, Gold Rush: Dave Turin’s Lost Mine.”The series will be the network’s first show to stream on Discovery GO, which is free to viewers with a cable subscription, before it airs on cable, debuting with seven new midform episodes on March 8 on the platform. Those episodes will follow Turin’s ‘search for the one abandoned mine that he’s willing to risk everything for.’ Dave Turin’s Lost Mine will make its broadcast premiere April 8 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on the Discovery Channel. The all-new episodes that air on the network will follow Dave after he makes his selection and  will focus on his work in that abandoned mine.”

FX has announced the premiere date for Fosse/Verdon, an upcoming drama starring Michelle Williams as the great Broadway dancer Gwen Verdon, and Sam Rockwell as Bob Fosse, one of the most influential choreographers of his time. The 8-episode series premieres April 9th on FX. 

Ava DuVernay and Netflix have renamed their limited series centered on the Central Park Five case to When They See Us. The new title ‘embraces the humanity of the men and not their politicized moniker,’ explains DuVernay of the five men at the center of the four-part miniseries, which releases May 31. The creator and streaming giant announced the new title and premiere date for DuVernay's highly anticipated series on Friday.”

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Jeff Lewis and his partner of 10 years, Gage Edward, have officially broken up, PEOPLE confirms.

“The Flipping Out star admitted on Thursday’s episode of his SiriusXM radio show Jeff Lewis Live, that he felt it was time for him to ‘close’ and ‘lock’ the door on their relationship one month after Edward moved out of the family home they shared with their two-year-old daughter, Monroe.

“‘My boyfriend left me,’ Lewis said on the show, after previously referring to their relationship status as a separation or break.

“He also recounted the conversation that made up his mind, noting, ‘Gage came back from therapy and said, “Strong fences make great neighbors.” So he built a fence, apparently, which is his boundary. Then I built a fence. Over the weekend, I knocked down the fence and built a wall, a big f—ing wall.’

“Since their separation in January, Lewis has been open about his desire to reconcile with Edward and continue to amicably co-parent their daughter. The estranged partners have also continued working together at his company Jeff Lewis Design.

“On Thursday, the Bravo star said he was no longer happy with that arrangement.

“‘I sat him down and I said, “Look, I need to move on now,” because he’s moved on, because he’s dating the homewrecker,’ he said.

“Lewis previously revealed on his radio show that Edward had gone on a date with someone he met at the gym ‘some time’ back.

“‘I will not say his name, but just for today, we’re going to call him “homewrecker,”’ Lewis said in February of the anonymous man. ‘Homewrecker, I think, has been in [Gage’s] ear for quite some time. I think homewrecker has exploited quite a vulnerable situation. I think this person positioned himself as a gym buddy, and I think this person has set his sights on him for quite some time.’

“Lewis said he has asked Edward to begin working from his own apartment or from their job sites (the houses they are renovating) as opposed to Lewis’s home, and proposed they schedule times for each of them to be with Monroe.

“‘I don’t want to be your friend,’ Lewis recalled telling Edward. ‘I don’t want to hang out with you. I don’t want to pretend like we’re some happy family anymore and go to breakfast or frozen yogurt together. I want to spend time with Monroe independent of you.’

“On a past radio segment, Lewis vowed that no matter how bad things got between them, he would never use their daughter as a bargaining chip.

“‘Whatever happens, if there’s bumps in the road — and there could be, and this could get a little contentious — I just want to vow that I will never use our baby as a weapon,’ he said in February.

“‘He can see the baby whenever he wants to see the baby,’ Lewis said at the time. ‘And I don’t care what any judge says. He needs to know that. He has 24-hour access. He’s just got to text me, “Hey, I’m on the way over.”’

“Since laying out his new terms, Lewis, who already admitted to dabbling in online dating, said he’s taken steps to begin moving on.

“‘Last night, I took down all of his pictures, including the one where he was dressed as a clown, which is my favorite, because that reminds me of when he was fun,’ Lewis said on Thursday.

“He also used a tactic he says he learned from from actress Elizabeth Rohm: he wrote Edward’s name on a 3×5 notecard and put it in his freezer.

“‘That’s what you do. When you’re done, you’re done,’ Lewis said. ‘You put that in the freezer. I put him right next to the vodka bottles.’

“Lewis also compared their recent relationship to adjoining hotel room doors: ‘His door was locked and my door was ajar. But I closed it and then last night, I locked it.’

“Lewis previously revealed on his radio show that he took responsibility for Edward choosing to move out.

“‘I am 90 percent responsible for why we are here,’ he said. ‘I emotionally abandoned him last year. I was a completely prick. I turned on him. I pushed him away. It was my worst year. I experienced great loss. I lost my best friend of many years, Jenni, my grandmother, our surrogate, who I cared for. It was great loss and I did not handle it well. I self-destructed, I did. I didn’t even recognize myself. By the time I tried to correct the situation, which wasn’t until Jan. 1 of this year, it was too late.’

“‘I take responsibility,’ he continued. ‘Believe it or not, I changed a lot in the last 30 days. There’s things that I’ve done and said that I would never do again to anyone, any person . . . I was circling the drain, I really was . . . It’s extremely f—ing painful, let me tell you.’”

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Brian Williams could come back from TV news exile, Page Six is told.

“The anchor was booted from the NBC Nightly News in 2015 after it was revealed that he’d embellished some stories with fictional details — and sent to the relative Siberia of 11 p.m. on sister station MSNBC.

“But despite his tarnished reputation and graveyard-adjacent time slot, Williams has made his 11th Hour With Brian Williams show a legit hit, beating CNN and Fox News for three months straight.

“Now 30 Rock insiders say Williams could move to a more prominent time slot, possibly replacing vet Chris Matthews at 7 p.m.

“Multiple sources told us that execs think Matthews’ Hardball has gone soft, and they’re looking for relief from the bullpen.

“Industry rumors suggest that bosses are unimpressed with Chuck Todd’s Meet the Press spinoff, MTP Daily.

“Around MSNBC watercoolers, there’s also a wild theory that Williams could one day replace the hugely successful Morning Joe broadcast, should host and former pol Joe Scarborough revive his political career or exit for any reason.

“But network sources all agree that a Williams return to one of the major evening news gigs is a nonstarter.

“An NBC News source told us that while Williams’ ratings have been noted, ‘a lot of [NBC journalists] think Brian should’ve lost his job. He’s kind of forgotten at NBC News.’

“And when asked if Williams’ name had come up as a potential replacement for the teetering Jeff Glor on the CBS Evening News, CBS responded with a flat, ‘No.’

“An MSNBC source said that while Williams’ 2015 fibbing scandal now seems ‘almost quaint’ compared to #MeToo men Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose, there’s no current plan to move him to a different slot.

“However, the source said that, along with star Rachel Maddow, Williams will be fronting the outlet’s 2020 election coverage.

“‘Brian’s done an amazing job of keeping his head down and working,’ said a network source. ‘He hasn’t tried to take any victory laps at MSNBC.’”

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Per The Hollywood Reporter, “Netflix is heading to the club.

“The streamer, which continues its aggressive spending spree, has handed out a straight-to-series order for a contemporary take on Ann M. Martin's worldwide best-selling book franchise, The Baby-Sitters Club.

“Described as a family-friendly adaptation, the 10-episode dramedy will be executive produced by former New Line Cinema and DreamWorks president of production Michael De Luca (The Social Network). Author Martin will produce. Rachel Shukert (Netflix's Jenji Kohan favorite GLOW) will serve as showrunner. Broad City's Lucia Aniello will also exec produce and direct. Walden Media, which owns the rights to the book series, will produce the half-hour series. De Luca and Walden Media's Naia Cucukov took out the modern take of female friendship, entrepreneurialism and empowerment in May. The series will tackle themes around divorce, racism and belonging in a series geared for kids, teens and adults. The franchise was hailed by the New Yorker in a 2016 essay as ‘feminist legacy.’

"‘The themes of The Baby-Sitters Club still resonate 30 years after the original book series was released, and there has never been a more opportune time to tell an aspirational story about empowering young female entrepreneurs,’ said Melissa Cobb, vp kids and family at Netflix. ‘Together with Ann M. Martin and the team at Walden Media, our ambition is to contemporize the storylines and adventures of this iconic group of girlfriends to reflect modern-day issues.’

“Martin's series about female friendship — original characters Kristy Thomas, Mary Anne Spier, Claudia Kishi, Stacey McGill and Dawn Schafer will still be in Stoneybrook, Connecticut, for Netflix — has featured more than 200 books licensed in more than 20 territories and has sold over 180 million copies to date. First published in 1986, Martin wrote 35 BSC novels, with others later taking over the series.

"‘I'm amazed that there are so many passionate fans of The Baby-Sitters Club after all these years, and I'm honored to continue to hear from readers — now grown, who have become writers, editors, teachers, librarians, filmmakers — who say that they see a reflection of themselves in the characters of Kristy and her friends. So I'm very excited about the forthcoming series on Netflix, which I hope will inspire a new generation of readers and leaders everywhere,’ Martin said.

BSC was previously adapted for television in 1990, where it ran for one season (13 episodes) on HBO. The comedy had a second life in syndication on Nickelodeon and Disney Channel. BSC later was adapted as a feature film in 1995, starring Rachael Leigh Cook, Larisa Oleynik and Schuyler Fisk, among others.

"‘For generations, young people have been captivated and inspired by the enterprising young women of The Baby-Sitters Club,’ Walden Media CEO Frank Smith said. ‘Bringing this iconic series to life comes at a pivotal moment in Walden's expansion into scripted televised content. We are honored to be part of this special collaboration with Ann M. Martin, Netflix and Michael De Luca.’

“De Luca Productions' Lucy Kitada will also exec produce for the company, which earned a Producers Guild nomination for Ben Stiller's Emmy player Escape at Dannemora. De Luca also earned Emmy nominations for producing the 89th and 90th Academy Awards (the latter of which featured Envelope-gate).

"‘The entire team at Michael De Luca Productions is ecstatic to be working with Netflix and Walden Media to bring Ann M. Martin's best-selling book series to a global audience,’ De Luca and Kitada said in a joint statement. ‘These iconic books have sold more than 180 million copies to date and now, through Netflix, they will be brought to life in a new way for audiences in over 190 countries.’"

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Per Deadline, “Rolling Stone will premiere a documentary series on the infamous rise and takedown of the world’s most elusive drug kingpin, Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán Loera.

“Five-episode USA v. Chapo: The Drug War Goes on Trial, directed by Bernardo Ruiz, from Rolling Stone and Jigsaw Productions, also gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at how Rolling Stone and Sean Penn came together to publish that needle-moving El Chapo interview.

“USA v. Chapo will premiere on March 11 exclusively on Facebook Watch. New episodes will be available every Monday on the show page.

“The docu follows El Chapo’s horrific crimes and cinematic prison breaks from the early ‘90s to the recent conviction in the U.S. Featured are interviews with the DEA  agents who tracked him down, El Chapo’s defense attorneys in Mexico and the U.S., former Mexico President Felipe Calderón, Rolling Stone Editor Jason Fine and veteran investigative journalists from both sides of the border who have reported extensively on the drug war, among others.

“Here’s how the docu will play out:

Chapter 1: Birth of the Myth
Chapter 2: Expansion of the Empire
Chapter 3: The Great Escape
Chapter 4: The Interview
Chapter 5: The Trial

“Fine said Rolling Stone‘s long-running relationship with the El Chapo saga started with a phone call from the magazine’s founder Jann Wenner asking him, ‘If we could get to El Chapo, should we do it?’

“Fine’s response? ‘Well, how are we getting to El Chapo?’

“Dozens of outlets covered the day-to-day of the trial, but docuseries director Bernardo Ruiz says his project focuses as much on the political and economic context that gave birth to El Chapo, how he became such a notorious figure and whether the focus on one person has served to distract from the more serious problems of the drug war.”

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“Julia Roberts could be returning to Amazon.

Variety has confirmed that the former Homecoming star is currently in talks to star in and executive produce a limited series based on the book Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win by Jo Piazza at the streaming service.

“The book follows Walsh, a candidate in the most hotly-contested midterm Senate race in America. A former Silicon Valley executive, Walsh and her family return to her downtrodden Pennsylvania hometown to run for office, but she is unprepared for just how dirty her opponent, her peers, and the media are willing to get.

“Jon Robin Baitz will pen the series adaptation and executive produce. Roberts will executive produce under her Red Om banner along with Lisa Gillan and Marisa Gill. Laura Lewis of Rebelle Media and Paul Lee and Mark Roybal of wiip will also executive produce.

“News of the new potential TV starring vehicle for Roberts comes after she starred in Season 1 of Amazon’s Homecoming, based on the podcast of the same name. The Oscar-winning actress will remain on the show as an executive producer, however. Homecoming was picked up for two seasons when it was initially ordered at Amazon, but Roberts only had a one-year deal to star. The role marked the first series regular role of Roberts’ career.”