Wednesday March 13, 2019

The season 2 finale of I’m Sorry airs tonight on truTV.

You can now stream Ben Affleck’s Triple Frontier on Netflix. More below.

Hannah Brown will be the next Bachelorette. She already seems incredibly awkward.

Here’s a little more about her.

Good for Colton and Cassie.

“The Bachelor franchise has for years negotiated deals with local and state tourism boards to promote Stateside locales, sometimes even commanding six-figure payouts for exposure to the show’s massive audience. Because this Bachelor season has been uncharacteristically devoid of American destinations (minus a visit to Underwood’s current residence in Denver, Colorado), Vulture decided to investigate: Just how much money do tourism boards spend to lure The Bachelor to film in their backyards?”

Some Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin memes with the serious stuff about this scandal below.

“Just hours before resuming negotiations with the Association of Talent Agents for a new franchise agreement, the WGA released a 16-page report this morning that accuses the major agencies of running a vertically integrated “cartel” that has cornered the market on Hollywood’s talent.” This story continues to fascinate me.

The Los Angeles Times has a story on Gerard Way who went from My Chemical Romance to The Umbrealla Academy.

Tom DeLonge went from Blink-182 to some History channel show I’ll never watch.

Marvel Studios is adapting the What If comic book series into an animated anthology series for the upcoming Disney+ streaming service.

The late Carrie Fisher signed up for hit British comedy Catastrophe only so that she could party with her London friends, the show’s creators joked. Rob Delaney said of Fisher, who played his mom on the first three seasons of the series and died in 2016: ‘Our theory with Carrie . . . we believe firmly — this isn’t a joke — that she agreed to do the show just because it shot in London.’ He added at the Times Talk event with fellow co-creator, Sharon Horgan, ‘We don’t think she watched the pilot or read the script . . . She literally learned what the show was well after it had already aired.’ He said they let her ‘freestyle’ on camera, and when asked if it was ‘exhilarating’ having Fisher on set, Delaney mimicked snorting drugs, joking, ‘Sorry, that was inappropriate!’”

Netflix is adding yet another series to its growing animation roster. The streamer has ordered eight episodes of Gods & Heroes, an anime series based on Greek mythology. The show comes from creator Charley and Vlas Parlapanides (Death Note, Immortals) and Powerhouse Animation, the studio behind Netflix's Castlevania. ‘The traditions of global mythology and folklore are fertile ground for anime projects, and we are excited to explore the epic settings and characters of Greek mythology in our new series Gods & Heroes,’ said John Derderian, director of anime for Netflix. ‘Charley and Vlas have an outstanding track record of telling gripping stories set in fantastical worlds, and we are thrilled to bring their unique vision for the Gods of Mount Olympus to Netflix members around the world.’"

AT&T is overhauling its DirecTV Now pricing and packaging strategy — including hiking prices for existing customers by $10 across the board — a move that could lead to more subscriber losses for the company’s flagging pay-TV business. At the same time, AT&T is launching two new DirecTV Now packages: Plus, at $50 per month for up to 46 channels; and Max, $70 per month for up to 59 channels. Both include AT&T-owned HBO, HBO Family and HBO Latino along with networks from WarnerMedia (Turner), NBCUniversal, Disney and Fox, and exclude channels from A+E Networks, AMC Networks, Discovery and Viacom. The previous DirecTV packages are no longer available to new customers.” It sure looks more and more likely that it will end up being less expensive to keep your cords.


Speaking of stories that fascinate me, “Fuller House actress Lori Loughlin and “Desperate Housewives” veteran Felicity Huffman are among a group of 46 people who have been charged in a widespread college admissions bribery scandal.

“Prosecutors filed charges against 33 parents, some of whom are accused of paying between $200,000 and $6.5 million to get their children into elite universities. Also among the accused are nine college coaches who are accused of accepting bribe payments in exchange for granting admission. The scheme also involved faking SAT and ACT scores.

“‘Their actions were without a doubt insidious, selfish and shameful,’ said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the FBI office in Boston. ‘Today’s arrests should be a warning to others. You can’t pay to play. You can’t lie and cheat to get ahead.’ The FBI dubbed the investigation Operation Varsity Blues.

“The parents charged in the case include CEOs, real estate investors, and the co-chair of a global law firm. The children gained admission to Yale University, Georgetown University, Stanford University, UCLA and USC.

“‘These parents are a catalog of wealth and privilege,’ said Andrew Lelling, the U.S. Attorney in Boston. ‘This case is about the widening corruption of elite college admission through the steady application of wealth combined with fraud.’

“At the center of the case is William ‘Rick’ Singer, 58, who ran Edge College & Career Network LLC, also known as ‘The Key,’ a for-profit college admissions consulting firm. Singer, who is based in Newport Beach, Calif., is also alleged to have set up the Key Worldwide Foundation, a fake charity designed to receive bribe payments.

“Singer is alleged to have worked to build fake athletic profiles for students, and then worked with college coaches to gain admission to their schools. The coaches would in some cases pocket the bribe payments for themselves, while others would give the money to their athletic programs, Lelling said. Singer is expected to plead guilty later today.

“Huffman and Loughlin were charged with a single felony count of mail fraud. Loughlin’s husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, was also charged in the scheme. Huffman was arrested at her home on Tuesday morning. Giannulli was also arrested. Both are expected to appear for a detention hearing in Los Angeles federal court on Tuesday afternoon. Loughlin was not at home Tuesday morning, and authorities are seeking to arrange her surrender, said Laura Eimiller, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles office of the FBI.

“Loughlin and Giannulli are accused of paying $500,000 to have their two daughters accepted to USC as members of the crew team, though they did not participate in crew.

“According to an FBI affidavit, Huffman was heard discussing a rigged SAT test for her daughter on recorded phone calls. The affidavit states that Huffman ‘and her spouse’ discussed the arrangement on multiple calls. Huffman’s husband, actor William H. Macy, was not charged and is not named in the affidavit. Huffman is accused of paying $15,000 to Singer’s charitable organization for help gaming the SAT.

“According to the affidavit, Singer arranged for Huffman’s daughter to take the test at the West Hollywood Test Center. Singer arranged for a proctor to be there to ‘administer’ the test, and the proctor was paid to correct wrong answers. Huffman’s daughter scored a 1420 on the test, a 400 point improvement from her SAT score.

“Singer is alleged to have employed Mark Riddell, a counselor at a private school in Florida, to take college entrance exams on behalf of students, or to correct their answers after the students took the test. Parents paid between $15,000 and $75,000 for this service, sometimes without their children’s knowledge. Riddell was typically paid $10,000 per test, according to prosecutors. Singer is also accused of bribing two test administrators to allow the fraudulent scores to be submitted.

“Also charged was John Vandemoer, the head sailing coach at Stanford, who is expected to plead guilty to a racketeering conspiracy charge in federal court in Boston. Rudy Meredith, the former head women’s soccer coach at Yale, was charged with racketeering and honest services fraud, and Jovan Vavic, the former water polo coach at USC, was indicted on a racketeering charge. Michael Center, the head coach of the men’s tennis team at the University of Texas at Austin, was also charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

“‘The federal government has alleged that USC is a victim in a scheme perpetrated against the university by a long-time athletics department employee, one current coach and three former coaching staff, who were allegedly involved in a college admissions scheme and have been charged by the government on multiple charges,’ said USC President Wanda M. Austin in an email to students, obtained by Variety. ‘At this time, we have no reason to believe that Admissions employees or senior administrators were aware of the scheme or took part in any wrongdoing—and we believe the government concurs in that assessment.’”

Huffman’s bond was set at $250,000. Loughlin is expected to appear in court today while her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, was released on $1 million bond yesterday.

Multiple law enforcement sources tell TMZ, Lori Loughlin will turn herself in to federal authorities Wednesday morning. The FBI showed up at her doorstep early Tuesday morning, and she was going to receive the same treatment as Felicity. Turns out, Lori was shooting in Vancouver and wasn't there. FBI agents arrested her husband in the college bribery scam, and then made arrangements with Lori's people for her to surrender when she returns to L.A.

Story still developing.


Orphan Black fans could soon have reason to celebrate.

Variety has learned from sources that a new series set in the Orphan Black universe is currently in the early development stages at AMC. Temple Street Productions, which produced the original series, is onboard to produce the new series as well.

“Sources stressed, however, that this would not be a spinoff or reboot of the original series, but rather a completely new story set in the same world. The producers are currently seeking a writer for the project and are looking to bring in multiple people to pitch different takes on what the show could be.

“AMC and Temple Street declined to comment.

“News of the development is made all the more interesting by the fact that it is set up at AMC rather than BBC America, which aired the original in the U.S. It is still too early in the process to tell whether the new show would air on multiple networks under the AMC Networks umbrella, but it was recently announced that Season 2 of the critically-acclaimed drama “Killing Eve” would be simulcast on its original network home, BBC America, as well as on AMC.

Orphan Black was co-created by John Fawcett and Graeme Manson. The series launched in 2013 and ran for five seasons. It starred Tatiana Maslany as a woman who discovers that she is a clone and that someone is plotting to kill her and her clone ‘sisters.’ Both the series and Maslany’s performance were well-received by critics. She was nominated for three Emmys and a Golden Globe during the show’s run, winning the Emmy for best actress in a drama series in 2016.”


Per Realscreen, “YouTube Originals is prepping a special featuring Grammy-nominated rapper Logic as he gives musicians around the world the chance to collaborate with him on an original song and music video.

“From executive producer Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s HitRecord, an online collaborative media platform, comes Band Together with Logic. The one-hour special tells the story of how Logic, Gordon-Levitt, and 21 members of HitRecord teamed together to create an original song and music video.

Band Together with Logic begins with the rapper recording some musical ideas and posting them to the online collaborative platform. From there, thousands of musicians from around the world responded by remixing Logic’s demos with their own ideas and influences, and inspiring one another to push the music in unexpected ways.

Band Together with Logic launches live through YouTube Premieres on March 15 at 1:30 p.m. ET/PT in conjunction with the special’s SXSW debut in Austin, Texas. Additionally, there will be a Q&A with Gordon-Levitt. The music video for the song Do What You Love will be available following the premiere.”


From TV Guide: “Crime doesn't pay! It's good to be reminded of that now and then, because temptation lurks round every corner. There were Milky Way bars within reach at the drugstore when we were young, there are near-infinite stacks of untraceable dollar bills in a drug kingpin's jungle lair when we're older. Thank you, Hollywood cinema, for scaring me straight to the righteous path once again!

Triple Frontier is a strong, extremely watchable movie that took an interesting route to your Netflix accounts. It was written by Mark Boal, best known for his collaborations with Kathryn Bigelow, and was originally intended to be Bigelow's follow-up to the Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker with Tom Hanks and Johnny Depp in the leads. Eventually the project came to J.C. Chandor (All Is LostA Most Violent Year) with Will Smith. Then it was going to be Channing Tatum, Tom Hardy, Mahershala Ali and, for a moment, Mark Wahlberg. Name a big actor and they were, at one time, going to be in this damn movie. Clearly something was attracting Hollywood's machinery, but something else was scaring it off.

“My interpretation is this: The movie is good, and part of the reason it is good is because it doesn't quite go as you'd expect. But big movie studios think so little of ticket-buying audiences that they are gun-shy around anything that even slightly deviates from the norm. It took the visionaries at Netflix — the entertainment company with a tech company attitude — to pull the trigger. This sort of behavior may eventually backfire (what happens when there are no more subscriptions to sell?), but for now we have an exciting rainforest adventure front-loaded with stars to watch from the comforts of our couches.

“Okay, with all that business aside, what the hell is Triple Frontier about? Oscar Isaac is Pope, a retired military specialist on loan to an unnamed Latin American police force. (The ‘triple frontier’ of the movie is a real spot where Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay meet, but after hunting around for clues I'm pretty sure this movie is set at the ‘Tres Fonteras’ where Brazil, Columbia and Peru meet. This confusion might, however, be intentional commentary on American ignorance. This movie is crafty!) Anyway, Pope has someone on the inside (a woman who has fallen for his Oscar Isaac-y charms) and he's ready for the bust of a lifetime. The thing is this: The baddie deserves to go down, but does all that dough deserve to just end up back with some corrupt government?

“Stateside, Pope's buddies are all busting their humps. Ironhead (Charlie Hunnam) is still technically in the armed forces. His job is to convince servicemen with elite training not to go over to the private sector. Catfish (Pedro Pascal), a pilot, is grounded on a minor drug charge. Ben (Garret Hedlund) is getting his face busted up in cheapo MMA fights at school gymnasiums. And Redfly (Ben Affleck), well, that's most tragic of all.

“A brilliant strategist whose given his best years to his country, he's been chewed up and spit out, divorced, in debt, selling crappy condos. Strike that, failing to sell crappy condos. The actor behind Sad Affleck memes has found an appropriate role in Triple Frontier.

“But this one score could put them all on easy street. They have the know-how, the guts, the experience and, dammit, they deserve it. There's some push-pull but eventually the guys are all in.

“Director Chandor shoots the heist in a unique way. They raid the villain's hacienda during a downpour. The light through the window is eerie and hazy. It goes well (well, one guy gets shot, but the bullet goes right through, and these fellas are tough) and the score is far higher than they ever expected. Could the movie ... be over?

“No, hell no, we've only just begun. Triple Frontier isn't about the theft, it's about the getaway. And that getaway involves an overloaded helicopter, the Andes Mountain range, a remote village and hundreds of kilos worth of bad luck.

“This isn't completely new terrain, but unlike movies like The Treasure of Sierra Madre or The Wages of Fear, it isn't so much greed that threatens to destroy our characters, it's just ... the nature of things. By nature I mean, in part, actual nature, like the treacherous cliff edges of the Andes, but also the inevitability in life that the little guy is always going to get screwed.

“There are varying strata of ‘little guy,’ naturally. The villagers bossed around by the druglords of Triple Frontier obviously have it worse than Affleck's character who, you know, carries a lot of debt on his Discover card. But even though visions of riches force some heinous split-second decisions, we are still sympathetic. There are greater forces at play, and it's best summarized in a moment when our band is feeling low and they say, essentially, boy, we gotta stop screwing up. Since this is a Chandor/Boal film and not a Michael Bay film it's clear that there is some wider symbolism at play here about the American military and its ripple effects on everyone.

“Chandor's sly wink pops up everywhere. When the team first heads to Latin America there are some chopper shots set to Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Run Through The Jungle." Great song, but it's been used, according to the IMDb, 20 other times in shows and films. When it came up early in Triple Frontier I rolled my eyes. Later in the film I realized this was Chandor setting me up for a fall. Much like, in a way, the characters in Triple Frontier themselves.

“But don't let talk of guilt-inducing political themes scare you off. This is, foremost, an adventure film with some great actors, particularly Isaac. And the next time you catch wind of a minimally guarded treasure vault, you'll know well enough to leave alone.”