Monday May 13, 2019

Wow wow wow! Lots more below.

ABC has canceled Whiskey Cavalier.

ABC has also canceled The Kids Are Alright.

ABC has renewed The Goldbergs and Schooled.

Season 15 of The Bachelorette premieres tonight on ABC.

NBC has ordered 13 more episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

NBC also renewed This Is Us for three additional seasons.

Season 6 will be the last for Fox’s Empire.

Fox has canceled Star.

Fox also canceled Lethal Weapon, Rel and The Cool Kids.

But. . . Fox picked up a 3rd season of The Masked Singer.

NFL players J.J., T.J. and Derek Watt are to front a physical competition format based on a classic playground game for Fox. The broadcaster has ordered Ultimate Tag from Znak & Co, the production company run by Masterchef exec producer Natalka Znak. The high-octane series, based on the playground game where players must chase each other in order to tag the other one, will launch on the network in 2020. It is the latest on-screen portrayal of the game following the theatrical success of New Line Cinema’s Tag, which starred Ed Helms, John Hamm and Jeremy Renner and was based on a Wall Street Journal article about a group of guys that have played a game of tag since they were young. It is hosted by the Watt brothers; J.J. plays for the Houston Texans and has been AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year a number of times in his first five seasons, Derek plays for the Los Angeles Chargers and T.J. plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers.”

“TV’s reboot-and-revival craze has gained another comeback: The Biggest Loser will return via a 10-episode reboot at USA Network, TVLine has learned. Per the official logline, the new Biggest Loser will “feature a dynamic new team of experts determined to dramatically improve America’s lifespans and waistlines.” Men and women will compete not only to lose weight, but to improve their overall wellbeing; to that end, each episode’s experts will include a trainer, chef and life coach, who will “help guide the contestants as they embark on the biggest transformations of their lives.” USA Network has yet to announce who the experts will be.”

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From The Ringer, “‘I am not here to be queen of the ashes,’ Daenerys Targaryen announces in Episode 2 of Season 7 of Game of Thrones. Planning her invasion of Westeros, she reassures everyone that, while she may have the Thrones equivalent of nuclear bombs in her arsenal, she doesn’t intend to take a total-war approach to her campaign. Oh, how far we’ve come in … [squints] … 10 episodes. After The Bells, the penultimate episode of Season 8, Daenerys has the crown she’s always coveted—but she’ll be ruling over the very thing she said she wouldn’t just one season ago.

Thrones has been planting the seeds for a Mad Queen heel turn by Daenerys for years. A few moments from the series stand out in particular: In Season 1, she and Khal Drogo are excited to give birth to The Stallion Who Mounts the World, a near-messianic figure who Mirri Maz Duur says will burn cities to the ground. In Season 2, Dany repeats that idea, promising to ‘burn cities to the ground’ once her dragons are fully grown, when she’s outside the gates of Qarth. In Season 6, she threatens to return the cities of Slaver’s Bay ‘to the dirt.’ Throughout the show, Daenerys has burned people alive: first a master in Meereen, then the Tarlys, and then Varys in this latest episode.

“Yet Sunday was the first time it ever seemed possible for Dany to burn innocents by the thousands. Despite years of foreshadowing, the character’s final tyrannical turn in this episode feels unearned. Did it really have to happen like that?

“In the chaos of The Bells, the show forgot about the empathy that has been as fundamental to Daenerys’s character as her ruthlessness. She isn’t the Breaker of Chains for nothing. Daenerys used to personally save women from being raped by Dothraki warriors. She freed the Unsullied and countless other slaves. She took Yunkai, Astapor, and Meereen with minimal bloodshed, and she succeeded in creating a better world for the people in those cities. She wanted to rule, yes, but the girl who had spent so much of her childhood being bullied and tormented by more powerful men also knew what injustice was.

“What Thrones seemed to be setting up for years was a conflict between Daenerys’s compassion and her dogged pursuit of the Iron Throne. What decision would she make when winning the crown required the loss of thousands of innocent lives? Yet this episode didn’t give us that dilemma. When Daenerys chooses to burn King’s Landing, it’s after the people of the city are ringing the bells and the Lannister soldiers have thrown down their weapons. The war is won—Dany just had to wait a bit for her armies on the ground to (peacefully) mop up before she can finally take the Red Keep. Yet it’s at that moment that Dany decides to lay waste to the city, indiscriminately pointing Drogon at both the Red Keep and innocent families.

“It’s tough to figure out why Daenerys does this. As co-showrunner D.B. Weiss explained in the Inside the Episode segment for The Bells, Daenerys decides to burn King’s Landing because … she sees the Red Keep. ‘It’s in that moment,’ Weiss says, ‘on the walls of King’s Landing, when she’s looking at that symbol of everything that was taken from her, that she decides to make this personal.’

“She ‘makes it personal’ by murdering thousands of innocent people that Cersei never even cared about? The same people that Jaime saved from her own father’s rage? None of this clicks.

“By demolishing King’s Landing, Dany not only betrays the moral backbone Thrones spent six-plus seasons establishing for her, but she makes her impending queenship more difficult. The survivors of her assault will know exactly who burned their neighbors, friends, and family alive, and Daenerys will have to spend time rebuilding the city. Even the throne Daenerys coveted so badly will likely be destroyed. Actually, she may find that the throne room looks a lot like the vision she had in the House of the Undying all the way back in Season 2.

“It always seemed as if that throne room was filled with snow, representing winter, the White Walkers, or even Jon Snow. But now we can definitively say it was ash (even if it’s a retcon).

“It’s one thing to be ruthless, as Daenerys has always been; it’s another to be truly cruel and evil. Daenerys’s actions in The Bells were the latter. She instigated a completely unnecessary mass killing, a vicious act that is entirely outside her established character. Maybe Dany, who has much of the same foreshadowing in George R.R. Martin’s books, was always destined to become the Mad Queen—it just doesn’t make sense for it to happen without the show demonstrating any internal conflict or nuance. Yes, Daenerys recently lost two of her dragons in Rhaegal and Viserion, two of her closest friends in Jorah and Missandei, and Jon’s affections. All of that adds fuel to her rage, but it’s not clear what sparks it. If Dany had caused so much collateral damage as a byproduct of her quest for the throne, her heel turn would at least have been consistent with her character. Instead, she blindly kills thousands with no clear goal in mind. Say what you will about Dany’s inherent tyrannical tendencies, but murdering innocent children and families in their homes has never been who she is. The broad strokes may have been suggested earlier, but the specifics came out of nowhere.

“The long-term questions about how Daenerys will rule in King’s Landing likely won’t matter, as she will almost surely die in next week’s finale. The show seemed to be hinting at Arya fulfilling the role of Queenslayer, but if it isn’t her it will be someone else. Daenerys was losing allies before she went into a blind rage; by next week, even Tyrion and Jon will surely have turned against her.

“Given all the foreshadowing, Daenerys’s transformation into the Mad Queen was always a possibility, and there surely were ways to make the turn feel earned. But as she inexplicably laid waste to King’s Landing on Sunday, one thought kept running through my mind: Not like this.”

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From Vulture: “Game of Thrones takes its final bow on May 19, and it has many character arcs and even more plotlines to tidily wrap up before it does. Of course, we are no sweet summer child: We’ve been on the Game of Thrones beat since Bran was no more than a precocious, innocent wall climber, so we know the likelihood of everything getting a satisfactory resolution is roughly on par with Cersei getting her elephants. We know better than to expect straight answers, especially from the people of Westeros — but that doesn’t mean we can’t want them all the same.

And so, with a dream of spring right around the corner, we thought it best to start considering the many plotlines loved and lost on this show and which ones absolutely need closure before series’ end. After Sunday’s penultimate episode, “The Bells,” we saw quite a few characters take their fatal final bows — from the fiery conclusion of the long-awaited Cleganebowl to Jaime and Cersei’s doomed embrace in the bowels of Kings Landing — but there’s still plenty left for Game of Thrones to unravel in the series finale next weekend.

What Needs to Be Resolved

Why did Jon Snow die?

Jon Snow was brought back for a purpose — but it doesn’t feel like that purpose was to become an undead winner and king in Westeros (unless the “Jon Snow is the new Night King” theories come to pass, which: Please do). So this raises the question: What was the point of bringing Jon Snow back? What exactly is his reason for still living even after he’s already been dead? Is he the Prince That Was Promised, Azor Ahai reborn anew, as so many Red Priests and Priestesses prophesied throughout the season, or is this an allegory for something more? My money is on his killing Daenerys now that she’s gone mad, for the good of the Realm, fulfilling her Nissa Nissa-esque qualities and turning a forlorn Jon Snow north … forever.

Who ends up on the Iron Throne? And does it even matter?

In the grander scheme of things, the first question is most important to the story as a whole. But when it comes to the TV iteration alone, this question is arguably the biggest one: Does it even matter who is there, or will the gods or magic or some unknowable force always have the run of Westeros? It’s a question the show needs to answer, not only because it’s been the whole point of the series (in book and TV form) but also because HBO strategically chose the hashtag #ForTheThrone to publicize its final year. So who ends up on ol’ Irons? There’s no way it’s going to be Jon Snow or Daenerys, right? Unless it is, because it’s what the gods demand and nobody here actually has any free will at all.

Why this war, and why now?

Perhaps the biggest question of the series outside of who ends up on the Iron Throne is why we’re hearing this particular story about Westeros. What does this war tell us about the world itself? This question is at the center of just about every story, especially ones about war, and it’s doubly important when we consider just how many wars this fantasy continent has seen, according to novelist George R.R. Martin’s source material. So what, pray tell, is special or interesting or divergent — or even just representative — that makes the song of ice and fire the tale he wanted to tell? What’s the moral of this story?

What We’d Like to See Resolved

What’s going on with Yara Greyjoy?

Okay, so she took the Iron Islands, but will we ever see her again? Is she queen now? Will she ever know about Theon? Show us a bit more of our beloved, no-nonsense Yara, please: It’d be nice to see at least one queen have her day.

And while we’re here: Is Ellaria Sand finally/actually dead?

No one wants the show to go back to Dorne, but admit it, you’re curious how long she managed to hold out in the Black Cells.

Azor Ahai and magical prophecy: Does any of it even matter?

The series’ decision to include any of the books’ many prophecies has gotten more and more confusing as it has proceeded to mostly ignore them or just use them to lightly move the plot. The two biggest — Azor Ahai/the Prince That Was Promised and the one surrounding Cersei — once felt important, but were they ever, really? Or is this just some sort of Harry Potter–Neville Longbottom situation, where there could have been more than one Chosen One? Or do the religions just put them out there to inspire people for the good of the future? If that’s true, how do all these religions feel about Bran?

What is Bronn’s greater purpose?

Why is this character still alive, and how did he get so, so bad at negotiating deals for himself? We know Martin has a soft spot in his heart for cripples, bastards, and broken thing; does that mean the story involves an endgame in which some less-noble characters get elevated in order to create a new era of Great Houses to rule the Seven Kingdoms? It would be an interesting twist to add before the prequel series — which some believe could be about the smooth-talking founder of House Lannister, Lann the Clever, who persuaded the Casterlys out of their ancestral home, Casterly Rock. Sound like anyone we know?

Plots We Know Are Never Getting Resolved, but C’mon!

Remember the Iron Bank?

It was mentioned briefly last season, and has always been known as a shadowy, lever-pulling force behind the scenes — because money makes the world go ’round, even a mystical, magical fake one! But now that Cersei has paid her debts (and, uh, isn’t around anymore), is it truly no longer a threat? Or now that the bank doesn’t have to be loyal to the person paying it off, maybe it’s actually backing someone else’s claim? The answer is probably no, but hey, you never know, right?

What’s up with magic and religion? Do they actually control everything?

The power wielded by the gods sure seems to be real, as does the magic surrounding the unburnable Dany Targs and the warg-y ways of Bran. But where magic ends and religion begins — and what powers each and why — are large questions looming over the entirety of the story. Yet so much of the magic and religious prophecy has been confusing or seemingly inconsequential. Why have gods who can alter things with prophecy and acolytes’ adoration and blood magic if all that ultimately means nothing? Does magic, or having magic, mean anything at all, or was it added only to bring a little sparkle to the story? For the books’ readers, this question feels important, since the fallibility of prophecies and the fear surrounding a lot of magic (hello, the Citadel!) has played into the journeys of many characters — particularly Melisandre (and her misreading of the prophecies in which she works), Thoros of Myr (R.I.P.), Bran/the Three-Eyed Raven, and even creepmaester Qyburn. It would be nice to see the series address it a little bit, don’t you think?

What about the Children of the Forest?

Speaking of magical creatures and beings, what about the fuckers who allegedly created the Night King? In season four, we met one of their kind, Leaf, at the Three-Eyed Raven’s old weir tree, and we watched with Bran as they plunged some dragonglass into the heart of the man who would end up being the Night King, turning him into a monster. They also seemed to protect the old Three-Eyed Raven from their underground tunnels. So their impact on the story is huge … but to what end? With the Night King gone, are we just going to ignore all that and what it means? Why have these ancient magical creatures show up for a few seconds as the architects of this previously unkillable evil, only to never see or hear from them again?

Are we not getting some of these answers because they don’t really matter … or because they’re part of the central mystery of the prequel series and knowing them could undermine the next phase of this franchise?

This actually seems pretty self-explanatory.

What will start the next cycle?

Because there’s absolutely no way that’s not happening, right? So many people were egregiously wronged in this battle for Westerosi supremacy. Houses, castles, and livelihoods destroyed — you name it, it’s probably been ruined somehow. So if chaos is a wheel, who’s going to be next to turn it on its side in a quest for dominance? Tell me it will be little Lord Arryn or even this new, mysterious Prince of Dorne? Because there’s no way this series is wrapping up without some sort of unhappy ending.”

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Per Deadline, “Fox is doubling down on its top series, 9-1-1, with a spinoff, 9-1-1: Lone Star, which will be headlined by Rob Lowe. As the title suggests, the new show is set in Austin, Texas. It hails from 9-1-creators/executive producers Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Tim Minear who serve in the same capacity on the offshoot. Lowe is co-executive producer.

“9-1-1: Lone Star, which will premiere next season, follows a sophisticated New York cop (Lowe) who, along with his son, re-locates to Austin, and must try to balance saving those who are at their most vulnerable with solving the problems in his own life.

“Murphy, Falchuk, Minear and Fox are following the same MO with 9-1-1: Lone Star as they did with the original series, which also was picked up straight-to-series at the May upfront with a big star, Angela Bassett, attached.

“It debuted in January, which I hear also is the plan for 9-1-1: Lone Star.

“‘The beauty of having a hit drama like 9-1-1from the genius minds of Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Tim Minear is it allows you to explore thrilling stories as told through an array of distinctive characters,’ said Fox Entertainment President Michael Thorn. ‘In 9-1-1: Lone Star, they’ve given us a special opportunity to expand the franchise into new territory – literally and figuratively — and we’re thrilled to have the incomparable Rob Lowe headline this new iteration when it joins our schedule next season.’

9-1-1 was a breakout hit when it premiered last season, quickly emerging as Fox’s highest-rated and most watched TV series. Talk of a spinoff started shortly after the procedural drama’s strong debut.

“‘We’ve been talking about it but we haven’t figured that out,’ Ryan told Deadline about a potential 9-1-1 spinoff in March 2018. ‘It’s something that we probably wouldn’t do for another year.’

“Indeed, the spinoff idea gained momentum this season. I hear the plan always was to set the offshoot in a location very different from Los Angeles, where the original takes place, preferably away from the coasts to showcase a different slice of America.

“This marks Lowe’s latest collaboration with Fox where he headlined the comedy series The Grinder, also from 20th TV, and hosts competition reality series Mental Samurai. The West Wing alum most recently starred on the CBS medical drama Code Black and in the six-part ITV series Wild Bill.

“‘Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Tim Minear’s ability to make smart, unique, great television is unmatched. I’m elated to join this team,’ Lowe said.

9-1-1: Lone Star is produced by 20th Century Fox TV in association with Ryan Murphy Television and Brad Falchuk Teley-Vision. Search is underway for a showrunner as Minear is running the mothership series while Murphy and Falchuk both have overall deals at Netflix but will continue to be involved.”

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Per TheWrap, “NBC has ordered Bone Collector adaptation Lincoln, and Bradley Whitford church choir comedy Perfect Harmony to series, the company announced Saturday.

“Fran Drescher sitcom Indebted also starring Steven Weber and Adam Pally was also picked up.

Lincoln

Inspired by the best-selling book The Bone Collector, former NYPD detective and forensic genius Lincoln Rhyme was at the top of his game until a serious accident at the hands of a serial killer forces him out of the field. When Amelia Sachs, an intuitive young officer who’s got her own gift for profiling finds herself hot on the killer’s trail, Rhyme in turn finds a partner for this new game of cat and mouse. As the unlikely detective duo joins forces to crack the city’s most confounding cases, they must also race to take down the enigmatic Bone Collector who brought them together.

The cast includes Russell Hornsby, Arielle Kebbel, Brían F. O’Byrne, Tate Ellington, Courtney Grosbeck, Ramses Jimenez, Brooke Lyons, Roslyn Ruff and Michael Imperioli. VJ Boyd and Mark Bianculli will write and executive produce. Seth Gordon will direct and executive produce. Avi Nir, Peter Traugott and Rachel Kaplan will executive produce.

Lincoln is produced by Universal Television and Sony Pictures Television and in association with Keshet Studios.

Indebted

Young parents Dave and Rebecca are ready to reclaim their life after years of diapers and sleepless nights. However, things take an unexpected turn when Dave’s parents show up unannounced and broke, leaving Dave with no choice but to open the door to the people who gave him everything. But these boomerang parents aren’t great with boundaries and the question of who’s parenting who quickly become blurred in this multi-generational comedy starring Fran Drescher and Adam Pally as mother and son.

The cast includes Adam Pally, Abby Elliott, Steven Weber and Fran Drescher. Dan Levy will write and executive produce. Doug Robinson will executive produce.

Indebted is produced by Sony Pictures Television in association with Doug Robinson Productions.

Perfect Harmony

Bradley Whitford stars in this comedy about finding inspiration in the most unlikely places. When former Princeton music professor Arthur Cochran unexpectedly stumbles into choir practice at a small-town church, he finds a group of singers that are out of tune in more ways than one. Despite the ultimate clash of sensibilities, Arthur and his newfound cohorts may just be the perfect mix of individuals to help each other reinvent and rediscover a little happiness, just when they all need it most.

The cast includes Bradley Whitford, Anna Camp, Tymberlee Hill, Rizwan Manji, Will Greenberg, Geno Segers and Spencer Allport. Lesley Wake Webster will write and executive produce. Jason Winer will direct and executive produce. Bradley Whitford, Adam Anders and Jon Radler will executive produce.

Perfect Harmony is produced by 20th Century Fox Television and Small Dog Picture Company.”

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Edie Falco is officially coming to CBS.

The Sopranos and Nurse Jackie grad's CBS drama Tommy has been ordered to series at the network.

“Falco stars as a former high-ranking NYPD officer who becomes the first female chief of police in L.A. and uses her honesty and hardball tactics to navigate the social, political and national security issues that converge with enforcing the law.

“Paul Attanasio (Bull) penned the script and exec produces the CBS TV Studios drama alongside Amblin Television's Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey.

“The order arrives a day after Amblin TV exited the newly renewed Bull as a production company following a harassment scandal involving star Michael Weatherly. The network's decision to renew the series — and Amblin's departure — arrives after CBS paid $9.5 million to settle claims that Weatherly harassed actress Eliza Dushku.

“Falco marks a major casting coup for CBS after the actress dipped her toe in the broadcast waters two seasons ago on NBC's Dick Wolf limited series The Menendez Murders. Before that, she had been focused on cable with HBO's The Sopranos and Showtime's Nurse Jackie. She holds the record for the most number of SAG Awards — 22 — and is the lone actress ever to earn an Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG win in the same year for the same series.

Tommy is CBS' fourth new drama series order of the season, joining Wolf's FBI spinoff, Robert and Michelle King's Evil and courtroom entry All Rise.

“Michael Chernus, Adelaide Clemens, David Fierro, Russell G. Jones, Olivia Lucy Phillip and Joseph Lyle Taylor round out the Tommy cast.”