Friday March 15, 2019

A new season of Billions begins on Sunday night on Showtime! More below.

Netflix has canceled One Day At A Time.

Lin-Manuel Miranda is trying to save it.

The final season of Amazon’s Catastrophe is now available to stream.

Amazon Studios has given a pilot order to a half-hour comedic drama based on the Israeli format On the Spectrum, from Jason Katims and his True Jack Productions, original series’ creators and producer yesStudios and Universal TV. Written by Katims, On the Spectrum is a coming-of-age comedic drama about three 20-something roommates on the autism spectrum, striving for the same things that we all desire: To get a job, keep a job, make friends, fall in love, and navigate a world that eludes them. This has been a passion project for Katims, tackling a subject that’s personal for him. He has spoken publicly about having a son with Asperger’s, which inspired a storyline on Katims’ NBC series Parenthood.” You had me at Katims.

“NBC has found its replacement for Carson Daly. Lilly Singh will take over the 1:35 am timeslot with A Little Late with Lilly Singh, making her the only woman to currently host a late-night talk show on a Big 4 network. Debuting in September, A Little Late with Lilly Singh will be a half-hour program with an array of guests. Singh will conduct in-studio interviews as well as create and star in pre-taped comedy sketches and signature segments.” I’ve said this before, but if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it . . . .

All 6 epsiodes of Hulu’s Shrill, starring SNL’s Aidy Bryant, are available to stream.

Here’s a little more about how this series came to be.

New episodes of Arrested Development are available to stream on Netflix.

As is Idris Elba’s Turn Up Charlie.

And new episodes of Queer Eye.

The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann is now streaming on Netflix. More below.

MTV‘s Double Shot at Love with DJ Pauly D and Vinny will premiere with back-to-back episodes on April 11.

Lori Loughlin’s daughters have dropped out of USC. Ya don’t say.

The Hallmark Channel on Thursday said it will no longer work with Lori Loughlin, the Full House actor who has become a staple on the channel over the years, after she was charged in connection with the massive college admissions fraud case. Loughlin is a series regular on Hallmark's drama When Calls the Heart, which is currently in its sixth season and is one of the most-watched shows on cable TV.”

Netflix has released a first look atTuca & Bertie. “From creator Lisa Hanawalt and the creative minds behind BoJack Horseman, Tuca & Bertie, starring Tiffany Haddish and Ali Wong comes to Netflix on May 3.”

Rosario Dawson and Cory Booker are a couple.

“Mark Burnett and MGM Television are getting more stylish. Burnett and stylist Rachel Zoe are teaming for a fashion-design competition series that will have contestants competing to sell their creations immediately after an episode ends. The as-yet untitled project doesn't yet have a network or streaming home; MGM will distribute it internationally.” Zzzzzzzz.

Here are the guys who will be vying for awkward Hannah B’s hand on the next season of The Bachelorette.

And who else was under consideration to be the next Bachelorette besides Hannah?

“Many TV viewers know Donnie Wahlberg for the way he helps solve crimes on the CBS drama Blue Bloods. Starting this weekend, they may come to know him for the way he does the same on HLN. Wahlberg, known for his CBS role and his time in the band New Kids on the Block, will debut the documentary series Very Scary People on Sunday, March 17, at 9 p.m. eastern on HLN. Over six epsiodes that last two hours each, Wahlberg and producers will tell the stories of diabolical characters like John Wayne Gacy, the Reverend Jim Jones and Charles Manson. The CNN sister cable outlet will make good use of that relationship, Wahlberg says. ‘The access to archival footage is just amazing. What we are able to do is really take you back to these places. You get fully immersed, and that really helps tell the story of these people and helps you to understand how they could be doing what they were doing.’”


Per EW, “Chuck Rhoades and Bobby Axelrod still have a billion problems, but their long-standing rivalry is no longer one of them…for now.

“When Billions returns on Sunday for season 4, Chuck (Paul Giamatti) and Axe (Damian Lewis) find themselves in a new position: drinking buddies and cautious allies. This new development in the relationship will surely be welcome considering they’re each dealing with more than enough: Chuck is out as U.S. Attorney and his run for governor was shelved following the threat of his unorthodox sex life coming to light, while Axe is determined to bring down his former protégé Taylor (Asia Kate Dillon), who has struck out on their own.

With plenty of political maneuvering and money trading ahead, EW talked with Giamatti about flipping the dynamic that Billions was built on:

Where do we pick up with Chuck? Last we saw, he lost his job and his planned run for office was thwarted.
He kind of thwarted his own plan to run for office. Well, I suppose he was both thwarted and thwarted himself. He’s opened a private practice, but that’s not satisfying him, so he’s looking to build his reputation back up and to get his high-powered career going again. He’s got this alliance with Axelrod that will prove fruitful and helpful, but they’re both pretty shifty guys, so one doesn’t know how long that will last.

What should we expect from that relationship? I have to imagine there’s still plenty of baggage.
There definitely is. There’s a sense in which they identify with each other. There’s a certain amount of conceding that they’ve been staunch rivals and a recognition that they’re similar guys, and that’s the way in which they connect. But they’re always looking out for their own interests. Wherever it goes, it’s definitely been made more complicated. It’s a different sort of rivalry now, if the rivalry does, in fact, reassert itself.

And where do things stand at home between Chuck and Wendy (Maggie Siff)?
It starts okay, but she goes to some complicated places this season. I play a very crazy political card during the middle of the season that’s complicated for her, and then she gets involved in some stuff that is complicated for me. There’s a lot of fallout from it. Everyone’s always doing something self-subverting on the show. They kind of step on their own d— all the time.

The show’s worlds are split between politics and finance. Do you ever want to hang out on the money side?
No, not so much, because I don’t understand what the hell they’re talking about half the time. [Laughs] I’d get lost in about 30 seconds. I’ve liked being in the weird political thing that I do. Although I do go over to Axe Capital at some point this season, and may be able to do more next season.

This being your first long-running TV series, how have you kept it fresh for yourself?
I’ve never done anything for this long. The longest I had ever done anything with one sustained role was a play that I did for a year. This is a whole different thing. A lot of it is [creators] Brian Koppelman and David Levien keep the character interesting, so that’s the sole way that they can keep me interested. And it’s endlessly interesting. They’re always great at throwing curveballs at you. I don’t ever get bored because of the stuff I get to do and the language I get to utilize. And the character is very strange, so he can go to some odd places, and he does this season, which has been really fun.”


Per Deadline, “NBC has greenlighted a pair of entertainment-competition series for the summer: the songwriter-focused Songland and stand-up comedy show Bring the Funny.

“Set to premiere at 10 p.m. Tuesday, May 28, after the season premiere of America’s Got TalentSongland takes an inside look at the creative songwriting process. It provides one winner per episode the opportunity to have their song recorded for a global audience by the chart-topping guest recording artists featured in their show. It’s billed as a one-of-a-kind opportunity for talented up-and-coming songwriters to be exposed to and mentored by three music producers per episode who are responsible for today’s biggest hits.

“The concept was devised by Eurythmics co-founder Dave Stewart, The Voice producer Audrey Morrissey and director Ivan Dudynsky. They serve as executive producers alongside Chad Hines and The Voice’s Adam Levine.

“The panel of producer-songwriters includes Ryan Tedder; lead singer of OneRepublic and Grammy-winning producer of Adele, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Jonas Brothers; Ester Dean, Grammy-nominated songwriter and producer of Rihanna, Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj; and Shane McAnally, a Grammy-winning producer of 38 No. 1 country records).

Songland is produced by Live Animals in association with Universal Television Alternative Studio, Dave Stewart Entertainment and 222 Productions.

“NBC says Bring the Funny will feature the world’s best comedic acts and will embrace every style of comedy performance in one competition. It will feature the best of the best stand-ups, sketch troupes and comedic variety acts. From solo comics to musicians, magicians, puppeteers, YouTubers and more — anyone who can make audiences laugh will have the chance to receive the career-changing $250,000 prize package and see their name in lights in the Bring the Funny showcase.

“The judges are longtime Saturday Night Live cast member Kenan Thompson, cultural tastemaker Chrissy Teigen and comedy star Jeff Foxworthy. Comedian Amanda Seales serves as host.

“Premiering at 10 p.m. Tuesday, July 9, Bring the Funny is executive produced by  David Friedman and Matilda Zoltowski, with Just for Laughs President Bruce Hills serving as consulting producer. The series is produced by Universal Television Alternative Studio.”


Per The Hollywood Reporter, “Pachinko is moving forward at Apple.

“The iPhone maker, ahead of its March 25 formal video announcement in Cupertino, has handed out an eight-episode series order to Pachinko. The title becomes the third series at Apple for Michael Ellenberg's Media Res.

“The adaptation of Min Jin Lee's New York Times best-selling novel landed at Apple in August with a sizable script-to-series commitment following a multiple-outlet bidding war.

“The book, one of the NYT's 10 best of 2017 and a finalist for the National Book Award for fiction, chronicles the hopes and dreams of four generations of a Korean immigrant family. Described as epic in scope and intimate in tone, the story begins with a forbidden love and crescendos into a sweeping saga that journeys between Korea, Japan and America to tell the story of war and peace, love and loss, triumph and reckoning. The Apple drama, which comes with what is said to be a sizable premium show budget akin to Netflix's The Crown, will be told in three languages: Korean, Japanese and English. Sources say the series is among the biggest budget projects Apple currently has in the works.

“Korean American Soo Hugh (who oversaw on season one of AMC anthology The Terror) penned the script for Apple, exec produces and serves as showrunner on the series. Author Lee will also be credited as an exec producer. Pachinko hails from Ellenberg's Media Res, which is also behind Apple's Reese Witherspoon-Jennifer Aniston morning show drama (the tech giant's entry into the scripted space) and recently announced untitled Brie Larson CIA drama. Media Res secured the rights to the novel with Ellenberg exec producing and the company's Dani Gorin set as a co-EP. As part of her deal for Pachinko, Hugh inked an overall deal with Media Res (the company's first such pact). Sources say five outlets bid on the rights to the book.

Pachinko arrives as Crazy Rich Asians became a box office smash and pop culture hit. The feature film, based on Kevin Kwan's 2013 best-seller of the same name, is the first Asian-American-focused studio movie in 25 years. With its success, Crazy Rich Asians has opened the door for more culturally specific stories as it continues to reshape Hollywood. A sequel is in development. Pachinko, which will have an almost all-Asian cast as well, is tonally different from Crazy Rich Asians and is the more critically acclaimed of the two books. 

Pachinko becomes the latest high-profile TV project to land at Apple and joins a roster that includes series starring Chris Evans, Hailee Steinfeld, Sara Bareilles, Jennifer Garner and content from producers like J.J. Abrams, M. Night Shyamalan, Damien Chazelle and Ron Moore, among others.”


“Topher Grace has been working out!

“Well, at least it appears that way in the art for his new podcast, Minor Adventures With Topher Grace — which EW can exclusively reveal.

“Grace’s podcast will be released under the umbrella of Faris’ Unqualified Media, which is also responsible for the hit podcast Anna Faris Is UnqualifiedGrace will host the podcast with Faris’ Unqualified cohost, Sim Sarna. It’s being billed as ‘a weekly exploration of all the things that you never knew you wanted to learn about, from dating preferences to niche careers to alternative medicine and so much more.’

EW can also exclusively reveal the guest list and subject matters of the podcast’s first season ahead of its March 31 release:

1. Topher and Whitney Cummings take a lie detector test.
2. Topher and Jillian Bell heal their energies.
3. Topher and Lewis Howes write a pop song.
4. Topher and Nina Dobrev learn to DJ.
5. Topher and Paul Scheer try telemarketing.
6. Topher and Tig Notaro learn to be auctioneers.
7. Topher and Tony Hale get hypnotized.
9. Topher and Chelsea Peretti take the Myers-Briggs assessment.
10. Topher and Taran Killam analyze their dreams.
11. Topher and Wilmer Valderrama lend their voices to movie trailer narrating.
12. Topher and Chrissy Metz attempt beatboxing.

“‘With only a mere 3.832 billion podcasts on planet Earth, I’m excited to bring my own take the podcast-o-sphere,’ Grace told EW in January about working on this new endeavor. ‘This was never something I anticipated doing, but I’m such a huge fan of Anna’s show that when Sim asked me to join him on this adventure I couldn’t resist.’”


Per Variety, “[n]ew Netflix documentary series The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann, about a missing girl whose case has sparked fevered speculation in Britain for more than a decade, is set to drop on the streaming platform Friday. The eight-part series is controversial and anticipated in equal measure, with the girl’s family suggesting it could hinder the long-running police investigation and a tabloid saying there could be explosive new revelations.

“Three-year-old British toddler Madeleine McCann went missing from the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz while on vacation with her parents in 2007. Her disappearance sparked a huge investigation involving Portuguese police and Scotland Yard, which is still pursuing leads. It remains one of the highest-profile cases in modern U.K. crime history and the subject of intense media scrutiny, especially from Britain’s sensationalist tabloids.

“The Netflix series promises new interviews with people connected to the case, with input from more than 40 contributors in all. The Pulse Films-produced documentary will also reconstruct events pertaining to Madeleine’s disappearance.

“But it received no input from the McCann family, who said last week in a strongly worded statement that they knew the series was being made and were asked by Pulse Films to participate, but that they did not want to take part.

“‘We did not see and still do not see how this program will help the search for Madeleine and, particularly given there is an active police investigation, could potentially hinder it,’ the McCanns said. ‘Consequently, o­­ur views and preferences are not reflected in the program.’

“Netflix and Pulse have been tight-lipped over potential revelations in the series, but provided Variety with a list of interviewees. They include Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan, the investigative journalists who co-wrote 2015’s Looking for Madeleine; Gonçalo Amaral, the investigating coordinator with the Policia Judiciaria in Portugal; Robert Murat, who was once considered a suspect in the case; Jim Gamble, former head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre in the U.K.; and Phil Hall, the McCanns’ former PR rep, Phil Hall.

“Madeleine’s disappearance from her family’s vacation apartment, while her parents were out having dinner nearby, was manna to Britain’s aggressive and often ruthless tabloid press, which sent reporters to hound the McCanns and track the investigation. The Portuguese police have been accused of bungling the case by fixating on Madeleine’s parents as potential kidnappers or killers instead of conducting a thorough investigation.

The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann is the second controversial project in recent months about the high-profile disappearance or murder of a British toddler. The Oscar-nominated short film Detainment, about the brutal killing in 1993 of 2-year-old James Bulger by a pair of 10-year-old boys, sparked a public petition for it to be withdrawn from Oscar contention.”