Wednesday April 3, 2019

The Hills returns to MTV on June 24.

Here’s your first look.

Former Bachelor winner Vanessa Grimaldi was almost headed for The Hills, but says she didn’t like the role she was offered on the MTV reboot. According to Grimaldi, Hills producers were curious if she was seeing anyone after her split from Nick Viall because they wanted her to date on camera if she got the gig. ‘They were like, “You’d be the single girl coming on the show,”’ she told Bachelor in Paradise alum Dean Unglert on the Pratt Cast podcast [YES, sadly that is a thing!]. ‘I was like, “I don’t want to be the single girl coming on the show and starting s–t between people and ruining relationships. That’s not what I want to do!“‘ Grimaldi, 31, said her ‘curiosity piqued’ when she first got the call about the MTV series because she was ‘ready to try something else other than a dating show.’ Ultimately, Grimaldi did not land a spot on The Hills: New Beginnings. ‘I don’t think I seemed that interested,’ she said. ‘When you did a reality TV show, you already know the back end of what happens behind the scenes. It’s a little bit nerve-racking.’ Despite not being cast, Grimaldi continues to have a connection to The Hills. Stephanie Pratt, who appeared on the original series and now the reboot this summer, is dating Derek Peth, the ex-boyfriend of Grimaldi’s best friend, Taylor Nolan.”

So I watched the first episode of Netflix series Selling Sunset. A few thoughts here: 1) the most redeeming quality about the show is the lighting, it’s good; 2) the Oppenheim brothers are simply not likable, nor are they dynamic, nor are they anything other than short twins who likely think it’s cool to hire nothing but attractive females; 3) is this show about selling real estate or selling Botox and lip injected female real estate agents who get hit on by smarmy clients and who bad mouth their own clients behind their backs? If you think this show can hold a candle to a show like Million Dollar Listing, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.

The aforementioned notwithstanding, I will watch the remaining episodes for completion and because it’s “my job.”

The series finale of You’re The Worst airs tonight on FX.

Season 3 of Brockmire kicks off tonight on IFC.

As does season 3 of Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party on VH1

To no one’s surprise, the Alliance of American Football (Charlie Ebersol’s new football league) has suspended operations.

I don’t even know what to say about this.

USA has renewed Miz and Mrs. for a 2nd season.

Viacom and T-Mobile have struck a content distribution deal that will see programming from MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, Paramount and other brands take a very prominent role in T-Mobile's soon to be released video service.

A&E Network is preparing a forthcoming docuseries about convicted child offenders in the American judicial system. Produced by The Intellectual Property Corporation, an Industrial Media company, the eight-part series Kids Behind Bars: Life or Parole tells the individual stories of eight previously convicted child offenders sentenced to mandatory life terms without parole. In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in Miller v. Alabama, that mandatory life terms without parole for juveniles violated the 8th Amendment, thus, giving these child offenders the ability to seek resentencing. The forthcoming series chronicles the crimes as well as the emotional impact of the victims’ family and friends as they come face-to-face with the reality that these convicted offenders could be released back into their communities. The focus of the series will be divided between the facts of these heinous crimes when they were committed, along with new evidence; and real-time updates regarding potential release, parole hearings, and resentencing. Each episode will also include exclusive commentary from the convicted offenders behind bars, as well as psychologists, law enforcement officials and journalists closest to each case as they offer their own perspective on how each case is impacted by the Supreme Court ruling.”

What might George R.R. Martin’s original story pitch tell us about the end of Game of Thrones?

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Per Deadline, “Bravo Media has given a series order to Blind Date, a modern day reboot of the iconic dating series, from Universal Television Alternative Studio. Casting will begin immediately.

“The new series description per Bravo: ‘Dating has always been an awkward, contentious, sexy, and hilarious adventure. However, the magic of a blind date has gone away, replaced by the algorithms of dating apps, which have eroded dating into a casual meet-up to exchange preconceived notions. Sometimes you’re better off just going in blind!’

“‘Updated for 2019 with social media trends and diverse couples of all ethnicities, ages and sexual orientations, each half-hour episode will feature strangers who are paired up and sent off on a blind date. The cameras will follow every move as a narrator weaves in hilarious commentary with the help of graphics, animations and thought bubbles to ensure nothing goes unsaid.’

“Blind Date first debuted in 1999 and ran for 10 successful syndicated seasons, airing 1440 episodes in total.

“With the series order, Bravo clearly is branching out beyond its flagship Real Housewives franchise. Bravo also recently brought back Project Runway, which originally aired on the NBCUniversal cable network, then moved to Lifetime. The series is currently airing its 17th season on Bravo.

“Billy Taylor will serve as executive producer of Blind Date for Universal Television Alternative Studio.”

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From TheWrap: “Showtime has acquired Quiet Storm: The Ron Artest Story, an award-winning documentary about former NBA star Metta World Peace (formerly known as Ron Artest).

Quiet Storm: The Ron Artest Story shines a spotlight on the polarizing athlete who was at times feared and often misunderstood both on and off the basketball court. The film includes intimate interviews from World Peace, his former teammates and rivals, his loved ones and family. The story arcs from a childhood marked by violence and drugs in the notorious Queensbridge projects in New York City during the crack wars of the 1980s, through a contentious stint at St. John’s University and, finally, to a dramatic and remarkable career in the NBA. Metta World Peace gives captivating insight into his life at its most troubling moments as well as its greatest.

“The pay cable network will debut the film, which won Best Documentary at the 2019 Santa Barbara Film Festival, on Friday, May 31 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, as part of Mental Health Awareness Month. The film is directed by Johnny Sweet and written by journalist Tom Friend. It is the second long-form documentary from Bleacher Report, following Vick, about former NFL star Michael Vick, which also directed by Sweet.

“World Peace, who was born Ron Artest, legally changed his name in September 2011 to Metta World Peace. During his 17-year NBA career, Artest/World Peace played with the Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks. He won an NBA championship with the Lakers in 2010.

He was also involved in the infamous Malice at the Palace, one of the most infamous altercations between NBA players and fans in the league’s history.

“‘Whether you know him as Ron Artest or Metta World Peace, he is one of the most intriguing personalities in sports,’ said Stephen Espinoza, president, sports & event programming, Showtime Networks Inc. ‘From Ron’s challenging upbringing in Queensbridge among some of the biggest burgeoning names in hip-hop through his transformation to Metta World Peace, Metta has been best known for his fierce competitiveness and unwavering loyalty. Quiet Storm depicts Metta’s unique backstory and his intriguing evolution with honesty and candor. We are proud to add the Ron Artest story to the growing slate of compelling, relevant and contemporary Showtime Sports Documentary Films.’

Quiet Storm features interviews with NBA stars and former teammates Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom, Elton Brand, Jermaine O’Neal and Bill Walton. Also featured are contributions from renowned psychologist Dr. Santhi Pariasamy, who played an integral role in the anger management and mental health therapy that helped the former Ron Artest transition to Metta World Peace.

Quiet Storm is produced by Sweet, Colleen Dominguez and Omar Michaud. Executive producers are Courtney Andrialis-Vincent, Joe Yanarella, Rory Brown and Dave Finocchio.”

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I thought this was an interesting and very succinct read from MLB Network’s Brian Kenny: “In the new analytical world of baseball, big-time free agent spending appeared to be, at the least, in a slowdown, and at the most, doomed. But one old-time axiom still holds: stars sell.

“This offseason not only did Bryce Harper and Manny Machado land record-breaking deals (with the Phillies and Padres, respectively), but fellow superstars Mike Trout (Angels) and Nolan Arenado (Rockies) were also locked up in long-term contract extensions by their clubs.

“In a team sport like baseball, it pays to diversify the player portfolio. Putting big money into a free agent — usually entering his 30s — is a big risk. In recent years, just below half of these deals are worth it to the club when they are all done. It's not just the money, it's the opportunity cost of keeping an aging player on the field, and occupying a roster spot.

“Harper, Machado and Trout, of course, are a different type of investment. All three debuted in the Majors as teenagers, are still in their mid-20s and are all big-time producers. Trout's first year after hitting the free agent market would have been his age 29 season, but he, with arguably the greatest start in the history of the sport, warrants special consideration.

“Besides getting the player, though, each club gets a franchise star. Throughout the history of the game, Major League clubs have had star players to carry their brand, and fan loyalty. Even in the age of the analytical GM, not every player is an asset to hold or flip. A 10- or 13-year contract to a player in his mid-20s is a long-term deal with the fans, and the local TV and radio product. In a world of shifting attention and fracturing media, any sport still needs to bring in an emotional investment.

“Signing a ‘Franchise Player’ is a positive signal to the players, the fans and the media. Baseball is still a rare sport that can have its fans grow up during one player's career, and there is a value there that matches the huge money being spent.

“Brian Kenny is the host of MLB Network's MLB Now, known as the show for the thinking fan, and is the author of Ahead of the Curve. The MLB Network Showcase game airs Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET, called by Bob Costas, John Smoltz and Tom Verducci.”

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“Showtime is developing an animated comedy series from writer Annah Feinberg titled Multifarious MarisVariety has learned exclusively.

“In the half-hour series, on the night of her thirtieth birthday, Maris discovers a superpower. It’s not flight. It’s not teleportation. It’s the ability to, upon finishing one-too-many glasses of wine, travel amidst the lives she might have had if she had made different choices. The series will follow her journey of self-discovery through multiple universes, as she attempts to figure out how to literally live her best life.

“Should the project go to series, it would be the second animated comedy currently airing on Showtime, with the other being Our Cartoon President.

“Feinberg will write and executive produce, with Joanna Calo also executive producing. Robin Schwartz, Marc Turtletaub and Peter Saraf will executive produce via Big Beach with Big Beach’s Molly Breeskin producing. Corey Campodonico and Alex Bulkley will executive produce through ShadowMachine. Showtime will serve as studio with Big Beach providing production services. ShadowMachine, the animation studio behind BoJack Horseman, will executive produce and serve as the animation studio on Multifarious Maris.

“Feinberg was previously a writers’ assistant on shows such as I Love Dick, Arrested Development, and Veep. She is also a playwright and cartoonist, with her drawings having appeared in The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, and The Hairpin.

“Big Beach is behind the Facebook Watch series Sorry for Your Loss and Vida on Starz. The company will also executive produce the upcoming Showtime series Gorilla and the Bird.”