Tuesday May 14, 2019

Howard Stern’s new book is now available.

ABC has reupped Jimmy Kimmel for another 3 years.

ABC has also ordered a reboot of Kids Say The Darndest Things with Tiffany Haddish as the host.

ABC has picked up another season of American Idol. It’s still TBD on who will judge the aspiring talent.

Here is ABC’s fall primetime schedule.

Hulu is currently valued at $27.5B.

HBO premieres What's My Name: Muhammad Ali tonight.

A Summer House / Vanderpump Rules crossover episode next week? Just stop. I don’t need Jax giving Kyle advice on how to deal with being caught cheating, nor does anyone.

Trailers for the recently announced Fox shows, if you’re interested.

And here are trailers for Freeform’s new shows, including the Party of Five reboot.

Am I supposed to be remotely interested in this one night live performance of All In The Family and The Jeffersons? I’m not.

Netflix has released a trailer for upcoming series What/If.

A+E released a trailer for its new show The Employables, which premieres tomorrow. "The Employables follows job seekers with conditions such as autism or Tourette Syndrome as they work to overcome obstacles and find fulfilling employment that provides them with the skills to excel long term in their careers.”

“Thursday’s Big Bang Theory series finale (8/7c, CBS) is not all rainbows and unicorns, confirms Mayim Bialik, who tells TVLine, ‘It’s a complicated episode. Our writers are much more, like, intellectuals than what you would think of as comedy writers. They are complicated people, so there’s a lot of depth to this episode.’ Bialik, who has played Amy Farrah Fowler for 10 of the sitcom’s 12 seasons, is confident viewers will walk away from the swan song with a sense of contentment. That said, she warns us that not every storyline gets wrapped up in a neat little bow. ‘I think that fans will be satisfied,’ she shares in the above video interview. ‘There are things that get tied up, but there are things that are left open.’ CBS over the weekend released the first official loglines and images from the two-episode farewell. The first episode, The Change Constant, hints at the arrival of ‘big news’ for Sheldon and Amy, with the second half-hour, titled The Stockholm Syndrome, teasing a ‘secret,’ a new ‘friend’ and a big first for one of the show’s couples. A special Big Bang retrospective, hosted by Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco, will follow the series finale (and the Season 2 finale of Young Sheldon) at 9:30/8:30c.” A lot less fanfare around this series finale than Game of Thrones.

Cineflix Media has expanded its partnership with Scott Brothers Entertainment through a new IP deal. Under terms of the deal, Scott Brothers will obtain the production rights for all future projects under the Property Brothers franchise moniker, while Cineflix will have continuing financial and distribution participation in future productions under the franchise banner. Cineflix will also share in ancillary revenue from the Property Brothers brand. Additionally, Cineflix Rights will receive worldwide distribution rights, excluding the U.S. and English-speaking Canada, to Jonathan and Drew Scott‘s latest series, Property Brothers: Forever Home. Property Brothers: Forever Home will feature the renovation twins as they meet with couples who are already settled into their homes but need the brothers’ expertise to unlock their property’s full potential via a full-scale home makeover.”

Netflix plans to stay in the Hannah Gadsby business: The comedian’s next stand-up special, titled Douglas, has found a home at the streaming giant. Gadsby, who is currently touring Douglas around the world, announced the Netflix collaboration at a For Your Consideration event on Monday. ‘I’m so excited to announce today that Douglas will be released on Netflix in 2020,’ she said. ‘I’m really enjoying touring with the live performance, but there will be places in the world that I won’t be able to visit, so it’s wonderful that Netflix will bring the show to every corner of the globe.’ The hour-long special — named after Gadsby’s beloved dog — does not yet have a specific premiere date.”

TLC is prepping a new six-part series with Kate Gosselin of Kate Plus 8 fame as she searches to find love. Kate Plus Date, produced by Figure 8 Films, follows Gosselin as she tries to find that special someone now that her sextuplets are grown and her oldest twins are off to college in the fall. Having been single for nearly a decade while devoting herself to her children full-time, Gosselin is a bit rusty in the dating department. So she enlists expert matchmakers Rachel DeAlto and Adam LoDolce to guide her through the dating process. Over the course of the series, the matchmakers will set Gosselin up on dates with 10 bachelors. The dates she goes on feature two activities: one that’s fun and interactive, and another that’s more intimate, designed to see if the two have chemistry. Gosselin’s college-bound twins Mady and Cara offer their own two cents, but ultimately, Gosselin has the final word. After going out with the 10 dates, Gosselin must choose just two guys to take on a second date. Kate Plus Date bows June 10 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on TLC.”

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From The Ringer: “Jaime Lannister ends Game of Thrones’ pilot episode by pushing a young boy out of a tall tower, hoping to kill the lad for spying on his dalliance with his sister/queen. ‘The things I do for love,’ he says, almost shrugging as he attempts a murder.

“Within two seasons, this heterodox Prince Charming—once replete with flowing blond hair and nonchalant swagger—was the most complex character on the show and, against all odds after the pilot performance, a fan favorite. His conversations with Catelyn Stark while in captivity start him in this direction; his chats with Brienne on the road to King’s Landing, and subsequent rescue of her in the bear pit, complicate his arc further; his bathtime story in Season 3, in which he explains the reason behind his famous kingslaying, exposes his raw persona entirely.

“Five seasons later, it seemed that the Kingslayer—nay, Jaime; Brienne knows him as Jaime—had entirely changed tack. He’d fled Cersei’s side to uphold his promise to fight for the living. He’d knighted Brienne in an intimate ceremony. After the Battle of Winterfell, he’d slept with Brienne, the woman he seemingly loved, to cinch their new, all-encompassing bond. And then he stared into the Winterfell fire, left Brienne in tears, and returned to Cersei’s side, only to die in the arms of the woman he actually, apparently loved.

“Jaime Lannister is dead. Cersei Lannister is dead. So are the Cleganes, Euron Greyjoy, Varys, and more—lots of characters met fiery or otherwise violent ends in Sunday’s penultimate Thrones episode, “The Bells.” But no other deaths were met with so much theater, and no other deaths were so important to the plot. Most of all, no other deaths Sunday were more representative of the tricky path Thrones is weaving as it approaches its end. Jaime and Cersei, it’s no surprise, had it all.

“Numerous storytelling positives emerge from Jaime and Cersei’s deaths by burial in the Red Keep’s dungeons, blocked by a wall of debris from reaching the dinghy Tyrion had arranged to spirit them to safety in Pentos. The characters’ two scenes together Sunday were a touching encapsulation of their long-lasting relationship, which had begun well before the show’s timeline and in a short span the episode brought the attendant emotions to the fore.

“Only her children could coax tears from Cersei’s eyes—remember Myrcella’s death; remember Season 2’s Blackwater, as she almost poisoned Tommen during Stannis’s invasion rather than see him captured—and the same is true at the end. As she surveys the King’s Landing wreckage from her helpless perch in the Red Keep, she doesn’t think of her loss of power or the destruction of her fleet and capitulation of her armies. The vacant Iron Throne isn’t on her mind at the end. It’s Jaime and their unborn child; our, she calls it when she addresses her brother. All the Tywinesque games and political traps are gone. It’s her, and him, and their fourth child together, forever doomed by Maggy the Frog’s prophecynever to be born.

“The cinematic elements of their final moments play about as well as possible, too. Composer Ramin Djawadi’s score, which changes the tempo of Cersei’s theme and softens the “Rains of Castamere,” tugs at these very strings, serving as both a reminder of their backstory and a sonic sign of all that they’d lost. The two actors—Nikolaj Coster-Waldau for Jaime, Lena Headey for Cersei—convey those years of connection and betrayal and ultimate love in their whispered tones, their facial creases, their tender looks as the Red Keep crumbles around them. Coster-Waldau and Headey were two of the series’ strongest performers from the beginning, and their last scene displayed all this work one final time. (So, too, did Coster-Waldau’s scene with Peter Dinklage’s Tyrion earlier in the episode—even if that scene also caught some narrative snags.)

“But when viewed as the last link in a chain of events and character development, Jaime and Cersei’s dual death can’t help but squander some of that positivity. The back end of Jaime’s twisted arc in particular required much more explanation, as this final sequence—from his nasty breakup with Brienne in The Last of the Starks through his death—seemed to erase all his progress from the preceding years. His initial scenes with Brienne in Winterfell thrust him in one direction, and then he returned to Cersei like a brotherly boomerang.

“‘We’re used to having a whole season to get to a point,’ Coster-Waldau toldVanity Fair after his character left Brienne in Episode 4. ‘Now suddenly, a lot of things happen very quickly.’ Even Jaime’s actor was confused by the sudden reversal of course. ‘Trying to connect the dots between the scenes was a little complicated,’ he continued, ‘because you invest so much time, so many years in these characters.’

“This move also seemed to run counter to Jaime’s charted course in the book series (though in George R.R. Martin’s telling, he does, at one point, dream of dying underground). The show never introduced the valonqar part of Maggy’s book prophecy, but plenty of readers still expected that proclamation—which stated that a younger brother, or valonqar, would “choke the life” from Cersei—to be fulfilled in the form of Jaime killing his sister. And in the fourth book in the series, A Feast for Crows, an imprisoned Cersei (at this point in the books still dealing with the High Sparrow’s taste for religious justice) sends a letter to Jaime begging for his help. Angry at his sister for sleeping with other men while he remained faithful, Jaime doesn’t respond and orders the letter burned. In the next book, Brienne desperately asks him for help and he chooses to ride at her side.

“Of course, Martin has yet to finish the books; Jaime’s flight at Brienne’s plea is the last readers have seen of the knight, so he very well may follow the show’s veering course on the page. The preponderance of the evidence, however, suggest his feelings lie with Brienne rather than Cersei, and at the very least, the show could have used a scene to explain his motivation. This isn’t the first time Thrones has decided to keep a crucial piece of character work off-screen—see: Arya and Sansa’s conversation with Bran about Littlefinger last season, and the second half of the Stark family meeting last week—and it’s not a pleasant pattern to continue.

“Cersei, meanwhile, spent the last season of the show largely on the sideline, seeing her political machinations succeed but—absent rivals like the High Sparrow, Tyrell women, and even her relatives—unable to let the full delicious might of her character shine. Fortunately for Cersei, in her capacity as a seeker of power, her wildfire trick in the Season 6 finale removed all threats in King’s Landing. After the Sept of Baelor’s explosion, the city is fully in her control, to the point that nobody opposes her ascension to the throne after Tommen’s death.

“Unfortunately for Cersei, in her capacity as a character in a television show, her wildfire trick also removed nearly all the interesting foils in King’s Landing. After Jaime leaves her side, her fellows are the sycophantic Qyburn, the speechless Mountain, the caricatured Euron, and the Golden Company’s Harry Strickland, who somehow has less of a personality than the Mountain. (Bronn was also briefly in the city, but actor Jerome Flynn and Headey reportedly refused to appear in scenes together.) Cersei was one of Thrones’ greatest villains, but without any characters to battle in repartee, she did and said nothing of real consequence all season. Her plans either succeeded or failed magnificently with no middle ground. And until her teary plea for her unborn child, all her complexity, all her nuanced grays, had disappeared.

“The two lovers’ deaths still struck a powerful chord in the moment, like Arya’s thrust into the Night King’s heart before it—but as with Arya’s surprise kill, that power might have been mitigated by the odd storytelling leading to it. The siblings’ deaths, then, reflect a lot of the critiques of Episode 5, and Season 8 at large: resonant in and of itself, but unnecessarily tangled and confusing when connected to its antecedents.”

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Here’s what George R.R. Martin has to say about the notion that he’s already completed the final Game of Thrones books: “Internet journalism is an oxymoron, I am more and more convinced.

Of late it seems there’s a new story about me somewhere on the net every day, or near enough to make no matter. Many get things wrong. For the most part I ignore them. I have better things to do than try and track down every weird rumor or out-and-out fabrication that pops up on some obscure website trolling for traffic.

Every so often, however, one of these stories gains an improbable currency, and just chuckling at the insanity no longer suffices.

That seems to be happening right now. All of a sudden this crazy story about my finishing THE WINDS OF WINTER and A DREAM OF SPRING years ago is popping up everywhere. No, I am not going to provide links. I don’t want to reward purveyors of misinformation with hits.

I will, however, say for the record — no, THE WINDS OF WINTER and A DREAM OF SPRING are not finished. DREAM is not even begun; I am not going to start writing volume seven until I finish volume six

It seems absurd to me that I need to state this. The world is round, the Earth revolves around the sun, water is wet… do I need to say that too? It boggles me that anyone would believe this story, even for an instant. It makes not a whit of sense. Why would I sit for years on completed novels? Why would my publishers — not just here in the US, but all around the world — ever consent to this? They make millions and millions of dollars every time a new Ice & Fire book comes out, as do I. Delaying makes no sense. Why would HBO want the books delayed? The books help create interest in the show, just as the show creates interest in the books.

So… no, the books are not done. HBO did not ask me to delay them. Nor did David & Dan. There is no “deal” to hold back on the books. I assure you, HBO and David & Dan would both have been thrilled and delighted if THE WINDS OF WINTER had been delivered and published four or five years ago… and NO ONE would have been more delighted than me.

I have said it before: don’t believe everything you read on the internet.

Except here, of course.”

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Per CNN, “Felicity Huffman broke down crying before a federal judge Monday after she pleaded guilty to paying $15,000 to a fake charity that facilitated cheating when her daughter took the SATs for college admission.

“When she appeared in court in Boston, prosecutors recommended a sentence of four months prison time for the "Desperate Housewives" TV star for her role in the college admissions scandal. They also suggested a $20,000 fine and 12 months of supervised release for the charge, which is a felony.

“She will be sentenced September 13.

“The charity was associated with Rick Singer, who has confessed to helping wealthy parents cheat on standardized tests for their children. Singer also bribed college coaches to falsely designate students as recruited athletes, smoothing their path to admission, a criminal complaint says.

"‘I had no knowledge of Mr. Singer paying (others),’ Huffman said Monday before crying. ‘Everything else (prosecutors) said I did, I did.’

“Huffman and Singer exchanged emails on how to provide her daughter with extra time to take the SAT exam, prosecutors said, and arranged for the girl to take the test in a location controlled by an administrator whom Singer had bribed.

“Huffman's daughter received an SAT score of 1420 out of a possible 1600 -- about 400 points higher than her Preliminary SAT exam a year earlier.

“Huffman later discussed the scheme in a recorded phone call with Singer, prosecutors had said.

“Huffman, 56, agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud in April. She was among 13 parents who have said they would plead guilty in the scam.”

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From Rolling Stone: “Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ brilliantly monstrous Commander-in-Chief signed off [Sunday] night in the excellent Veep series finale, going out the way she came in: making a nation gasp in horror. In one last hilarious power grab for the White House, she sells out every principle she ever pretended to have. With the FBI closing in on the illegal activities of her Meyer Fund, Selina decides to toss them a fall guy: her most devoted attendant, Tony Hale’s Gary. At the end, we see her funeral, years in the future. Poor Gary shows up with her favorite lipstick and tells her casket, “You would have hated the flowers.” Selina finally gets the presidential funeral of her dreams — only to get bumped off the news when Tom Hanks dies the same day, the John Lennon to her Darby Crash.

“It was a perfect ending that summed up everything that made Veep one of the all-time great TV comedies: a ruthless nonstop bile-barrage of toxic creeps eviscerating each other at warp speed, with no innocent bystanders and nobody even resembling a likable human being. Over seven seasons, Julia Louis-Dreyfus brought the old Seinfeld motto of “no hugging, no learning” to creator Armando Iannucci’s political satire. She was one of the truly heroic villains of TV history, ruling an ensemble stacked with profane virtuosos. No other show had so many loathsome operators preying on each other: Kevin Dunn’s Ben, Anna Chlumsky’s Amy, Gary Cole’s Kent, Dan Bakkedahl’s Roger Furlong and the lowest of the low, Timothy Simons’ Jonah. And no other show moved this fast, cranking up the insults to the velocity of His Girl Friday or a Robert Altman film set to 33 1/3 speed.

“Selina locked up the 2020 election by fending off a threat from her rival and former VP, Hugh Laurie’s oily Tom James. She talked his girlfriend and Chief of Staff into making a false accusation, with one of those rants only Louis-Dreyfus could pull off: ‘Trust me — he will never see you as anything other than the TGI Friday’s hostess on Proactiv who lets him bend you over his desk while you close your eyes to avoid coming face to face with that framed photo of his family’s trip to Aspen while he drowns your Little Mermaid back tat in a pool of jizz and admires his own reflection.’ In case these words seem harsh, Selina explains it’s all in the name of righteous sisterhood. ‘I just hate to see smart women throw away their political careers on powerful men who only see them as the gash of least resistance.’

“For her running mate, she chooses none other than Jonah, figuring the VP job is the most harmless place to stash him. As she says, ‘Being Vice-President is like being declawed, defanged, neutered, ball-gagged and sealed in an abandoned coal mine under two miles of human shit.’ That’s really the Veep worldview in one-sentence. Compared to this series’ endgame, Seinfeld‘s finale was a hug-fest.

“In a way, it really evolved two different shows — it flipped in 2016, when the real-life presidency did. The current regime is the Starbucks cup in the Westeros of the Veep Fictional Universe: it’s always there in the background, breaking the alternate-reality spell. The premise revolved around a Washington D.C. scene where Selina Meyer could stand out as a notably horrible human, where politicians felt obliged to hide criminal activity, where everyone assumed the American people could only tolerate so much corruption. But that changed in the final seasons, when Meyer’s Beltway full of bastards got out-absurded by current events. It was as if that 1938 War of the Worlds radio broadcast got interrupted by an actual Martian invasion. Veep needed the Obama White House for context the way The X-Files needed Bill Clinton. Neither show could handle the transition of power.

“‘I’m certainly interested in politics,’ Louis-Dreyfus told me in 2017. ‘But there’s no correlation between what’s happening and the world of Veep; we’ve set it aside as an alternate universe. From a timeline point of view, anything after Reagan is off-limits. So it’s like we time-shifted, and our world began.’ Yet its America, like ours, changed drastically while the show was on the air. On Election Night 2016, Veep was filming the episode where Selina is monitoring an election in the country of Georgia. ‘Shortly after we found out Hillary was clearly gonna lose, I had to deliver the following line: “Jesus Christ, democracy — what a fucking horror show.” It was at a Georgian polling place with women in babushkas and chickens. And I don’t think I’ve ever delivered any line more truthfully in my life.’

“In the final season, Veep could no longer resist commenting on current headlines in a coy way, right up to the finale, where Selina colludes to get the election rigged by the Chinese. (All she has to do is give back Tibet.) A few years ago, in the halcyon days of 2015, Anna Chlumsky’s Anna told Selina, ‘You are the worst thing to happen to this country since food in buckets. And maybe slavery.’ But now it’s a lot tougher for Selina to shock us — hell, these days Roger Furlong looks like a moderate. It didn’t just become an altered show at the end because Armando Iannucci left (he was replaced by David Mandel). It changed because the U.S. left the planet.

“The show’s fourth season remains one of the very best seasons any sitcom has ever had, reaching delirious heights of nihilistic rapid-fire aggro. Everything brilliant about this show peaked in the Testimony episode, where practically every single line of dialogue is a lie, much of it under oath. It’s Veep at its purest and most intense. Kevin Dunn, one of the very best things to happen to television in the past half-century, manages to outsleaze everyone else, assuring Congress, ‘If I had kids, and I do, this bill would be my baby.’

“It gave us such a beautifully loathsome collection of villains, but the one we’ll miss most has to be Jonah — better known as Jolly Green Jizz-Face or The Cloud Botherer or Johnny Titballs or One Erection, though to me he’ll always be Benedict Come-In-His-Own-Hand. He got a few choice new names in the final episode: Amy, his Chief of Staff, calls him ‘a monument to vaginal dryness,’’ while Roger Furlong dubs him ‘Hep C Kevin McHale.’ Jonah stands as a high-water mark for the TV depiction of tall people and our unique ability to get in the way. Simons, an unknown with no previous TV credits, was one of Veep‘s great finds. Another: Sarah Sutherland as long-suffering daughter Catherine. She’s the third generation of her Canadian family to occupy the White House: Her dad Kiefer played the President in Designated Survivor, while her grandfather Donald was Chief of Staff in Shadow Conspiracy. Catherine was a constant delight as she got more bitter through the years; in last night’s finale, she toasted Selina’s funeral with margaritas.

“We will miss every single one of these people. We’ll miss their insults, their resignation to the fact that they have no life (‘I hope I don’t have a cat because believe me, that poor fucker’s dead”), their contorted brains. We’ll miss the dialogue that whizzed past so fast, you couldn’t even tell how much sense it made. (“It’s like explaining Supertramp to a Komodo dragon!”) Most of all, perhaps, we’ll miss the idea that they were once able to startle us. Veep rode them out to the end, without ever watering these creeps down or reforming them or (yikes) letting them learn anything. Me, I’m praying for a Better Call Saul-style spin-off about about Jonah, perhaps called President Scrotum Pole. In the finale, we learned that he became Selina’s VP, only to get impeached, but it wouldn’t take much cheating to tack an “or DID he?” onto that finale. One of the show’s achievements was how it made us believe that in American politics, there’s no way a human being as repulsive as Jonah could fail."