Tuesday March 26, 2019

Loads of Apple news below, but here’s a link to the video that kicked off yesterday’s festivities.

Fox has renewed The Resident and 9-1-1 for 3rd seasons.

Temptation Island wraps up tonight. 0 for 1 with 3 to go.

The series finale of Miracle Workers airs tonight.

Netflix has released a trailer for the upcoming series Special in which Ryan O’Connell stars in the semi-autobiographical series about life as a gay man with cerebral palsy. Jim Parsons executive produced. The series will available to stream on April 12.

Hopefully this is the last we ever have to hear about Michael Avenatti. It won’t be, but I’m a wishful thinker.

Charges against Jussie Smollett have been dropped?!?

The Hills are barely alive. Multiple insiders tell Page Six that the network is calling for reshoots of The Hills: New Beginnings, and some cast members aren’t happy about it, despite it being common practice for any television show. ‘[The showrunners] want to shoot for three more months but the cast doesn’t want to,’ one insider told us. ‘It’s a standstill. They wrapped season one at the end of last year and did pick up shots in January. Now, they’re reopening up filming and the cast all has lives that they need to move on with.’ The insider said that while the returning cast, consisting of Brody Jenner, Spencer Pratt, Heidi Montag, Jason Wahler, Audrina Patridge, Justin Bobby Brescia, Stephanie Pratt and Frankie Delgado ‘used to have fun’ doing the show, this time around it’s much different for some. We’re told Jenner even took longer than the rest of the cast to ink his deal because he was unsure of what parts of his life he wanted to share on the show.”

Verizon Communications Inc. is working with the NFL to create 5G wireless mobile games and augmented-reality services, aiming to make football more engaging for fans. As part of an exclusive two-year agreement, Verizon will be the ‘official 5G innovation partner’ of the NFL. The largest U.S. wireless carrier will help enlist developers to create 5G-enhanced live NFL games for mobile phones, as well as in-stadium video feeds and multiangle camera positions for home viewers, according to the plan.”

“Somewhere in the television void between her briefcase game shows and very well-dressed legal dramas, Meghan Markle shot a pilot for Comedy Central titled The Boys and Girls Guide to Getting Down, alongside noted funny bros Adam Pally and Max Greenfield. As most pilots inevitably do, the 21-minutes of sex, drugs, alcohol, and more sex — teased as a ‘somewhat outrageous’ look at Los Angeles party culture — was deemed unworthy to air, although it’s now being royally picked up from the cutting-room floor for reasons, well, you can probably discern.”

You already know that if you win Survivor, you receive $1,000,000. “For the rest of the castaways, there are also some cash prizes, as the second-place contestant receives about $100,000Jon Dalton (aka Jonny Fairplay) told TMZ that jury members are awarded $40,000 and the first person voted off gets around $3,500, while Today reported that the first person to get voted off receives $2,500. And if you're a returning player, you can net about $25,000 for being the first one to leave the island. Other contestants are paid on a sliding scale based on how long they end up staying in the game.”

Management’s AMPTP has weighed in on the WGA’s ongoing feud with the Association of Talent Agents, rejecting the guild’s request that the studios and networks participate in what the AMPTP calls a ‘group boycott’ of talent agencies that refuse to sign the WGA’s proposed new Agency Code of Conduct. Doing so would subject the companies to “a substantial risk of liability for antitrust violation,” the AMPTP said. David Young, executive director of the WGA West, had asked the AMPTP to reopen negotiations with the guild in order to add a new clause to their existing contract that would prohibit the studios from doing business with agencies that refuse to sign the WGA’s proposed Code. AMPTP president Carol Lombardini declined to do so today, but said she hopes the WGA and the ATA can reach a ‘successful conclusion’ to their negotiations. The deadline for a deal is April 6.”

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From CNBC: “Apple announced three new subscription services, including a TV service, gaming bundle, and all-you-can-read magazine subscription on Monday at its campus in Cupertino, California. Apple also announced an Apple-branded credit card in partnership with Goldman Sachs.

“Apple stock was down almost 2 percent during intraday trading on Monday after the event.

“The iPhone giant is focusing on subscription services at a critical time for the company as it searches for new areas of revenue growth to compensate for stalling iPhone sales.

"‘We've also been creating a growing collection of world-class services, and that's what today is all about,’ Apple CEO Tim Cook said on Monday.

“Investors and analysts say that Apple's services business, which includes revenue from the App Store and licensing fees in addition to monthly subscriptions, is going to drive the majority of revenue growth over the next few years.

“Apple announced a new service for streaming online video called Apple TV+.

“Apple's new TV app will soon enable users to subscribe to individual streaming services, such as HBO Go or Starz, and watch shows or sports through Apple's TV app, a feature called Apple TV Channels, which will launch in May.

“When users subscribe to a channel, they are able to browse all shows made by that channel inside Apple's TV app, instead of in the service's individual app.

“Channels confirmed by Apple include HBO, Showtime, Starz, CBS All Access, and Smithsonian Channel. Apple did not announce pricing for any channel.

“Apple TV+, a separate service, will include original video content produced by Apple. Apple has been associated with 34 different TV and movie productions, according to a tally from Goldman Sachs.

“The second half of Apple's launch event on Monday included a long series of Hollywood celebrities attached to Apple productions — including Steven Spielberg, Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carrell, Oprah Winfrey and Jennifer Aniston —discussing their upcoming shows.

“Apple's original content will be available to consumers in the fall. It's a subscription service, which suggests a monthly fee, but Apple did not mention a price.

“The Apple TV app is compatible with iPhones, iPads and Apple TV set-top boxes. Support for Mac computers is due in the fall, Apple said, and the new service launches in May.

“Apple also said that people with select TVs from Samsung, LG, Sony and Vizio as well as set-top boxes from Roku and Amazon will be able to download an Apple TV app.

“On Monday, Apple announced a new paid tier of the Apple News app called Apple News+ that includes magazine content for $9.99 per month in the United States and $12.99 per month in Canada.

“Some banner features in the new paid tier include layouts specifically designed for a phone, including covers that subtly move, as well as other design and layout features. Users can access full current and past issues.

“Apple highlighted several magazines in its new paid tier, including Wired, Popular Science, National Geographic and Essence. Apple News+ also includes access to Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal content. Apple said that the subscription includes over 300 magazines.

“One of the service's new selling points is privacy. Apple said that it won't let advertisers track its Apple News+ users.

“Apple is offering a month-long free trial to the service, which will become available to Apple users in May.

“Apple also said on Monday it would release its own credit card, called Apple Card. The physical card itself is made out of titanium.

"‘We saw an opportunity to transform another fundamental form of payment, and that's the credit card,’ Apple CEO Tim Cook said.

“The Apple Card will show how much users have spent and when payment is due inside the iPhone's Wallet app. The app will track spending by category, and will provide a more detailed version of transaction history that integrates with Apple Maps. The card also has several rewards incentives, which Apple calls ‘daily cash.’

“Apple said that customer service, such as changing an address, would be handled through a text message bot.

"‘Our goal with Apple card is to provide each customer with an interest rate which is the lowest in the industry,’ Apple VP of internet services Jennifer Bailey said. Apple said the card did not have late fees or annual fees.

“The Apple Card uses the Mastercard network, and is operated by Goldman Sachs, Apple said. Neither Apple nor Goldman Sachs will use personal data for advertising, Apple said.

“Apple also announced a new bundle of video games, called Apple Arcade. A single subscription will provide access to more than 100 games, all of which are exclusive to Apple devices.

“New games will be added regularly, and Apple Arcade games will be available to play without an internet connection after they are downloaded.

“The gaming bundle will be available to customers this fall, Apple said. Games include new titles from companies including Konami, Cartoon Network, Sega and Lego. It will also include indie titles from creators including Will Wright, the inventor of SimCity.

“Apple did not reveal a price for its gaming bundle.”

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Per Deadline, “Amid the pomp and A-list names helping Apple unveil its AppleTV+ subscription streaming service Monday, we did learn a bit more about some of the many original series rolling out beginning with the service’s launch in the fall. As part of the sizzle reel that played in the Steve Jobs Theater during Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg’s presentation, several titles flashed across the screen in addition to the first-look images from Apple’s ambitious slate of programming.

“Here’s what we now know about titles in addition to the ones that already had been set (including The Morning Show starring Jennifer Aniston, Amazing Stories from Steven Spielberg, See starring Jason Momoa and created by Steven Knight, Dickinson starring Hailee Steinfeld, and For All Mankind, the space saga from Battlestar Galactica‘s Ronald D. Moore. All of those were tipped in today’s video, along with Apple’s Sundance documentary feature pickup Hala from Jada Pinkett Smith and a new docuseries Dear….

Truth Be Told: The thriller drama series starring Octavia Spencer and Lizzy Caplan had been known as Are You Sleeping. From Chernin Entertainment/Endeavor Content and Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine, the series is created and written by Nichelle Tramble Spellman and based on Kathleen Barber’s true-crime novel and offers a glimpse into America’s obsession with true-crime podcasts.

Spencer stars as Poppy Parnell, a relentless investigative reporter who looks to uncover the truth behind a decades-old questionable murder verdict through her new podcast. Aaron Paul, Elizabeth Perkins, Mekhi Phifer, Michael Beach, Katherine LaNasa, Tracie Thoms, Haneefah Wood and Ron Cephas Jones co-star.

Home Before Dark: That’s the title of the 10-episode mystery drama inspired by the real-life story of 11-year-old Hilde Lysiak. It follows a young girl (Brooklynn Prince) who moves from Brooklyn to the small lakeside town her father (Jim Sturgess) left behind. While there, her dogged pursuit of the truth leads her to unearth a cold case that everyone in town, including her own father, tried hard to bury.

The series from Anonymous Content and Paramount Television was created by Ben and Kate creator Dana Fox and Dara Resnik. John M. Chu will direct and executive produce.

Mythic Quest: Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day’s half-hour scripted comedy series starring McElhenney who plays the creative director at a video game development studio. The Lionsgate/3 Arts Entertainment/Ubisoft venture co-stars F. Murray Abraham, Imani Hakim, David Hornsby, Danny Pudi, Ashly Burch,Charlotte Nicdao and Jessie Ennis.

Servant: M. Night Shyamalan and British TV writer Tony Basgallop team for what had been known only as an untitled psychological thriller. Lauren Ambrose, Nell Tiger and Rupert Grint star. Not much has been made known about this series, but it follows parents Dorothy (Ambrose) and Sean Turner, who have hired young nanny Leanne to help care for their newborn child.

It was created by Basgallop, who wrote and is executive producer. Shyamalan is executive producing and will direct the first episode.”

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Per Mashable, “Just as Apple gets ready to announce its streaming service, complete with original programming, another tech giant is preparing to bow out.

“According to Bloomberg, YouTube is canceling many of its ‘Hollywood-quality’ shows and plans to pull out of producing most of its original content for its YouTube Premium subscription service. Shows like sci-fi thriller Origin and comedy series Overthinking with Kat & June are said to be among those being canceled by YouTube. 

“YouTube is looking to renew at least one of its most popular hit shows, however. The company is currently in negotiations for a third season of its Karate Kid-based TV Series, Cobra Kai

“Premium series content that exists on YouTube will also soon no longer require a paid subscription. The Google-owned company announced in November that it would eventually move its existing library of shows to its free platform.

“Even after launching its ad-free YouTube Premium subscription service last May, YouTube has seemingly been doubling-down on its ad-supported model. The company has experimented with new ad formats over the past year and even doubled down on free premium content when it launched a Free to watch section on its paid Moves & Shows vertical.

“The video platform doesn’t look to be giving up on its subscription service as a whole. YouTube Premium still provides users with an ad-free YouTube experience. The video platform also runs a subscription-based music service, YouTube Music, which was basically spun off of the company’s original subscription model, YouTube Red.

“YouTube’s real paid push going forward is likely its YouTube TV service. The company has heavily promoted its live TV service over that past few months, as cord cutting becomes increasingly popular. The service currently offers more than 60 channels to the top 100 U.S. television markets and unlimited DVR without the need for a cable subscription. YouTube charges $40 for the service — as opposed to $11.99 for YouTube Premium — and doesn’t need to take risks on financing expensive TV productions.

“The video streaming service market has become an extremely competitive market. Apple is set to announce its own video streaming service, complete with its own original content. Disney is readying the launch of its own streaming service, Disney+, with its library of classic family films as well as original series’ based on its Star Wars and Marvel characters. In order to hold its top spots in the industry, Netflix and Amazon Prime are committed to creating even more big-budget original content for its subscription services. Given the timing, it’s still especially interesting to see YouTube and, along with it, Google, scrap its efforts to compete in the video streaming space.”

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Per EW, “Kirby Howell-Baptiste is in a good place — and not just the show. In 2018, the 31-year-old London native was virtually impossible to miss if you had a television, achieving a feat that no one else in Hollywood could claim: simultaneously costarring on three of the year’s most acclaimed shows.

“‘It’s quite surreal now when I look back,’ she says of appearing on three Golden Globe- and Emmy-nominated series — the BBC America thriller Killing Eve, the HBO hitman dramedy Barry, and NBC’s philosophically bent sitcom The Good Place. ‘There was no thought in my mind that I was strategically going to be on the best shows. I was picking roles that I would enjoy playing and watching.’

“To audiences, it may seem like Howell-Baptiste came out of nowhere to dominate their TV screens, but she dismisses the notion of overnight success. ‘There’s years and years of hard work, rejection, and gritting your teeth that has come before the final product, which is getting to be on cool shows!’

“Raised in London, where she was active in the theater, Howell-Baptiste moved to Los Angeles in 2011, not out of ambition, but for a change of pace. ‘It wasn’t like how most Brits move here when they have a job,’ she says with a laugh. ‘It was more like going on an adventure than a big life decision for my career. Like, “Oh, you’re moving to L.A.? I’ll come with you!”’ She secured work in commercials and student films, eventually finding a home at the Upright Citizens Brigade. ‘My first costar was really UCB in a way,’ says Howell-Baptiste of the improv and sketch training center. UCB would open the door for appearances on Comedy Bang! Bang!and her first big break: a guest spot on Showtime’s House of Lies opposite future Good Place costar Kristen Bell.

“That small role, and a few bigger ones on ABC’s Downward Dog and Netflix’s Love, paved the way for Howell-Baptiste’s monster 2018. On Killing Eve, she provided comic relief as Eve’s (Sandra Oh) assistant Elena, while over on Barry, her character Sasha is part of Hollywood’s deadliest acting class. And most recently, she charmed on The Good Place as Chidi’s (William Jackson Harper) love interest Simone, who returned in the season 3 finale, setting up a gut-wrenching (and game-changing) twist.

“‘With Killing Eve and Barry, I’m in the first season of those shows, so it was much more of a surprise of what they would be,’ she says. ‘But The Good Place[opportunity] was so exciting. I remember not thinking I was going to get the role but just being so happy that I got to audition, because it was — and still is — one of my favorite shows.’

“Not only did she get the role, but she will be back for season 4 — and that’s all she knows about what is to come on the super-secretive series. She’s also tight-lipped when it comes to her future on Killing Eve, which is back on April 7. Thankfully, Howell-Baptiste can talk about Barry, promising that season 2 (premiering Sunday) will provide more of a glimpse into the lives of the students away from acting class. ‘You get to see the characters come into themselves a little bit more,’ she teases.

“Despite juggling that trio of high-profile shows, she has already landed two more: CBS All Access’ Why Women Kill and Hulu’s upcoming Veronica Mars revival, which again reunites her with Bell, who vouched for Howell-Baptiste when approached by the producers. ‘I told them the truth, which is that Kirby brings something special to every scene, that she would elevate our show tenfold, and that we’d be lucky to have her,’ shares Bell. ‘Kirby is the perfect scene partner. She is very good at staying present as an actor — listening and reacting in a natural way. She’s incredibly prepared and professional, yet she doesn’t take herself too seriously. She is genuinely fun to be around and a hell of an improviser.’

“On the cult favorite, Howell-Baptiste will play the ‘really cool’ and ‘badass’ Nicole Malloy opposite Bell’s spunky private eye. ‘It’s exciting for me to be a part of this thing that so many people already know and love,’ she says. ‘It’s rare that you get to be part of a show that has such history.’

“With her plate plenty full moving forward, Howell-Baptiste is fortunate to be in a position to be more selective about the roles for which she auditions and chooses to accept, while also eyeing the opportunity to do some writing of her own. ‘We all have stories to tell,’ she says. ‘We’re in a really exciting time right now of hearing a lot more interesting stories, so I want to continue to be a part of that. I get to do the thing that I’ve always wanted to do, and that’s the coolest feeling in the world.’”