Wednesday May 29, 2019

Archer: 1999 premieres tonight on FXX.

NBC debuts The InBetween tonight as well. “Cassie Bedford was born with a rare ability. She has visions... whether she likes it or not. Sometimes Cassie sees events that have previously occurred or will happen in the future. Sometimes she encounters unsettled spirits who need her help. When her father, Detective Tom Hackett, and his new partner, former FBI agent Damien Asante, need assistance solving a dark and puzzling murder, Cassie reluctantly agrees to use her abilities and helps solve some of the city’s most challenging cases. From Writer/Executive Producer Moira Kirland (Castle, Madam Secretary) comes this suspenseful new character-driven procedural drama.”

Alex Trebek’s health is improving by the day.

Ken Jennings’ hold on the title of the King of Jeopardy! is slipping by the day.

Amazon Studios has picked up to series young adult drama pilot The Wilds from writer-executive producer Sarah Streicher (Daredevil) and ABC Signature Studios, part of Disney Television Studios. Amy B. Harris has come on board as executive producer/showrunner of The Wilds, which marks ABC Signature’s first series for Amazon. . . Part survival drama, part dystopic slumber party, The Wilds follows a group of teenage girls from radically different backgrounds after an airplane crash strands them on a deserted island. The show explores the past and present struggles of these young women, offering up a vivid portrayal of what it means to grow up female in our time – whether you are lost in the wilderness or not.”

A look at some of the worst spin-offs in television history.

How much did Game of Thrones extras make?

“Ellen DeGeneres, one of the season 2 guests of Netflix’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, opened up to host David Letterman about being groped by her stepfather as a teen. By sharing her story, she hopes to help other victims of sexual assault come forward.”

Why would anyone want or need a 2nd season of What/If?

Hollywood Squares host John Davidson is making a comeback at 77. Davidson, who also hosted That’s Incredible! and Time Machine, took the stage at Midtown’s Birdland Jazz Club on Monday for a crowd including Paul Shaffer and Bob Mackie to sing original songs about love — and aging. We’re told he gave a special shoutout to Gilbert Gottfried in the audience, and credited the comic with helping reboot his career. ‘John was saying he was terrified and terribly intimidated to appear on Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast,’ a spy said. ‘He confessed that he never heard “the F-word’ so many times.”’”

Fox’s Star hasn’t burned out just yet. Series co-creator Lee Daniels revealed on social media Wednesday that he’s ‘fighting’ to get the cancelled drama picked up at another network. ‘Fighting guys! Will know this week… or top of next!’ Daniels wrote, alongside a clip from a Star episode. ‘I’m NOT letting them STOP the CULTURE.. SORRY!!’”

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Life after GoT can be a long dark road:“Game of Thrones” star Kit Harington has been involved in a few boozy public incidents prior to his current stay in a luxury Connecticut rehab for alcohol and stress.

“The 32-year-old British actor was reportedly so drunk at NYC pub Barfly in January last year that he was dragged out of the place by staff after he tried to take over a game of pool, but was allegedly too drunk to grasp the rules.

Video obtained by TMZ showed the Jon Snow actor looking wobbly, persistently jostling and grabbing other patrons in a non-agressive manner, before launching himself at a pool table to interrupt the game and slurring, in a good-natured way, ‘Give me that cue.’

“He was later physically restrained by other people away from the pool table in the Gramercy bar, then helped towards the door by bar staff and thrown out. However Harington later returned to settle his tab, leaving a generous tip, and was a ‘very nice guy,’ bar staff confirmed.

“Barfly owners later said in a statement about the boozy incident, ‘Kit Harrington walked into Barfly Friday evening already intoxicated. He was over-served somewhere else, not at our establishment. He was at Barfly for maybe 30 minutes total. Harington bought one Jameson for himself, a drink for his friend and a round of drinks for all of the other customers at the bar.’

“They added, ‘The disagreement seen on the video…was over a pool game that Harington interrupted. A customer was letting him take the shot for him but he didn’t understand the rules of the game. The game being played is called Kille’ where each person takes one shot, but Harington tried to continue shooting. That was the extent of the disagreement.’

“‘When our staff realized how intoxicated Harington was they politely asked him to leave and two of our staff members helped him out. He came back later that night to pay his check and left a one hundred percent tip – $70 on a $70 check. The bartenders that served him both said he was actually a very nice guy…he is welcome back anytime.’

“Weeks later the ‘disheveled’ and ‘bleary-eyed’ actor looked reportedly worse for wear in Paris, where he was allegedly seen with a male pal, stumbling on the rainy streets, according to mailonline.com.

“He was spotted wobbling into the way of oncoming traffic, then leaning on a parked van for support, while his hair seemed soaked by the rain. However, it appears the remainder of his night went without incident.

“In November 2018 a Russian model named Olya Sergeevna posted Instagram pictures of a man she alleged was Harington, and who bore a strong resemblance to the actor, passed out naked on a bed. She claimed the pictures were taken months after his wedding to his GoT co-star Rose Leslie.

“The model also alleged she had seen Harington a few times after they met in Luxembourg, but he was ‘always drunk and could never remember the things we were talking about. I was sick of the same questions, like what time is it?’

“However, a rep for Harington hit back at the time that the model’s claims were ‘totally false’ and he’d never met the woman nor been to Luxembourg.

“The Instagram account where the photos were posted has since been deleted.”

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Per EW, “[a]fter bending the New York legal world to her will on USA Network’s Suits, Gina Torres’ disbarred lawyer Jessica Pearson takes on the dirty realm of Chicago politics as the mayor’s right-hand woman on the spin-off Pearson. Below, EW chats with the star and co-executive producer about forging her own path on the new series:

You left Suits as a series regular in 2016. Why did you want to return for a spin-off?
When I stepped away from it, I started to miss her and I started wondering, “Well, where is she? What is she doing in Chicago?” And it was at that point that the 2016 election was reaching this fever pitch, and I thought, “What would she do? Who would she be in these circumstances?” I just started working the scenario in my head and kind of brought it up with my agent. And he said, “You know you have a show here?” And I thought, “Maybe I do.” And that’s how [Pearson] was born.

Jessica usually has it all under control. How’s she faring in Chicago?
You’ll see the Jessica that you know, but she’s definitely a fish out of water. She’s realizing her old tricks don’t necessarily work in Chicago.

How is it playing Jessica outside Harvey Specter’s orbit on Suits?
Liberating. Not that I didn’t love working with that cast and those story lines, but it’s just such a gift, as an actor, to explore these different aspects of a woman, a powerhouse, a boss, a lover, a niece. I’m finally getting to put flesh and blood on a fully realized human.

How does Pearson differ from Suits?
We’re much more interested in being reflective of what’s happening today and how it’s affecting society. Therefore, our background of Chicago is very important, because it’s a city — good, bad, and indifferent — representing all of that. So tonally, I would say it’s a little darker. Within all of that, there’s gallows humor.”

Pearson premieres July 17 on USA.

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Per Vulture, “Timothy Olyphant returns to his career-defining role of Sheriff Seth Bullock for Deadwood: The Movie, airing May 31 on HBO, following a years-long series of TV projects that both channeled David Milch’s Western (Justified) and drastically departed from it (Santa Clarita Diet). Last December, Olyphant spoke with Vulture around 1 a.m. on the set at Melody Ranch Studios outside Los Angeles, where Deadwood: The Movie was filmed. He had just concluded his second-to-last day of work, an epic stretch that found him acting in several physically and emotionally intense scenes. The set was muddy and flooded. Olyphant was still in his sheriff costume, including Stetson, long coat, and fake mustache:

How does it feel to be back in Deadwood? 
So far, so good. I’ve got one day left and I’ve enjoyed it. It’s lovely to see everybody, all these lovely, wonderful people who gave me so many wonderful memories. The filming of the show left quite an impression on me, and it’s nice to have an opportunity to come back and see everybody again. It’s also fun to be able to have other people verify your memory of how things were. You know, where you get to say, “Oh, this is how I felt. This is what it was like.”

Your old colleague Jim Beaver told me he came here to visit. I asked, “How was it?” and he said, “It’s odd. It’s not that I felt unwelcome, it’s just this wasn’t my place anymore.” 
Yeah, I totally get it. Of course, he might’ve felt differently if he actually was on the call sheet! [Laughs.] I suppose when you’re not on the call sheet, it changes the vibe.

Maybe they could’ve brought Ellsworth back as a ghost, like a Jacob Marley figure haunting George Hearst.
Too bad it’s not that kind of show! A lot of people did come back, though.Fucking Larry Cedar was out there today, playing background. [Garret] Dillahunt snuck in.

I heard Dillahunt was in this. He was the only actor to play two roles on Deadwood, and now he’s got the trifecta. 
He played Drunk Number Two! He didn’t even get top drunk! [Laughs.] Talk about a reason to call your agent. “Hey, why am I not Drunk Number One?”

Maybe you can put on a beard and a different hat and play Drunk Number One.
I can play another part. I still got one more day.

Did you have to get reacclimated at all?
I didn’t. I just showed up and started going. I didn’t really have to prepare or anything. I showed up, put the hat on, and started saying what they told me to say.

Is that all it takes? Do the wardrobe and the mustache do part of the work for you?
Yeah, definitely. Of course, there were scenes I probably could have done a little more with, but the way I did it was the way I did it.

It’s a curious game, being back here. It’s always fun to have another swing at something, and you rarely get to do it after so much time has elapsed. I figured it would just all come back to me, and the parts I didn’t particularly like the first time out, I’d just pretend they didn’t exist and do it different.

The first time I interviewed you was on this very set back in 2005, during the production of season two. You expressed surprise at having been cast as Seth Bullock. You told me you’d sometimes look around at all the funny characters played by funny actors and think, When the fuck did I become the straight man? 
[Laughs.] Yeah, that’s about how I remember it! Memory’s never a reliable narrator, but that sounds about right, your account of it.

It worked out pretty well for you, didn’t it? The straight-man thing?
Sure. I mean, I kept working.

And you added something to your repertoire. 
Which is?

Now you can play the Spirit of the West if you want to. You even did the voice of a cartoon character who’s basically Clint Eastwood in Rango.
That I did, that’s true! Yeah, see? I eventually got to do another job with humor!

Well, more than one, obviously. Santa Clarita Diet is a comedy. And Justified is funny.
It is! At least, that’s what I thought.

What did you take away from this experience that changed you?
That’s a lot to answer. I guess the best way to put it is to tell you that I took a little David Milch with me to just about every job I did after that, like a little David Milch sitting on my shoulder. Every time I was in a jam, I just thought, What would David do? Literally that. I just asked myself, What would David do? and then I did that.

When an opportunity like this goes away, that’s oftentimes when you take it for granted at first, and then when you’re acting in some piece of shit out in Eastern EuropeThe 2007 film Hitman, which starred Olyphant, was shot mostly in Bulgaria., and you’re just like, How the fuck did I end up in this thing?, That’s when you realize, if you hadn’t already, Oh wow, what a great gig that last thing was.

I started waking up a little earlier in the morning after Deadwood ended. I really approached the job in a different way. When someone like Milch wasn’t around all the time, I realized what an opportunity I’d been given.

When he wasn’t around, what was missing?
Well, he’s a force of nature. He’s fully committed. He’s the thing you strive for. He’s done the work, but he’s also willing to throw it all out the window. I saw a guy who so trusted his unconscious, his gut instinct. A guy who was so willing to just go with things on a whim. When I was on that set, I was watching a guy in the prime of his creative years, and it was quite something.

It’s hard to be specific about it, but I just knew that, in my own way, I wanted to try to head towards that, you know?

It’s striking to me how self-deprecating you are about your work on this show. It was true when I first interviewed you 14 years ago, and it seems like it’s still true.
I haven’t seen the show in a long time. I thought what I was doing was somewhere between mediocrity and just okay. The one thing I always felt I was really good at was paying attention and really listening to David. I really soaked in the experience and got a ton out of it. And it was the gift that just kept giving. I felt like I took it to every job. I kept relying on it, I kept leaning on it, I kept being inspired by it.

Can we talk about the way you denigrate your own performance? Because that’s not something I run into very often.
What, my performance on this show?

Yes. You downplay it. Sometimes you make it sound like you didn’t know what you were doing.
I do sometimes feel that way.

Well, for what it’s worth, you made me believe you were a guy from the 1800s who didn’t know who Sigmund Freud was. That’s not easy to do, and I hope you don’t discount that. 
Well, I appreciate everything you say. I don’t take it lightly. Thank you.

What did you carry over from Deadwood to Justified, a modern-day Western?
Well, by the time that one rolled around, the passage of time had affected me. I’d had a lot of swings at the plate. There was a certain level of confidence that I didn’t have before. It was a totally different animal, a different beast. By the time that gig came around, I wasn’t looking for answers anymore. I was enjoying dying on my own sword. A lot of the time I was thinking, Yeah, I’m pretty sure this is what I want to do, and unless anybody has a better idea, that’s the way I’m going to do it.

On Justified, I was just coming at the material from a totally different place than I was when I first got this gig here. As you were saying before, when this job came up, I was playing supporting roles that were really flashy and fun, chewing things up and having a good time. But Seth was a lead, and certain kinds of responsibilities came with it. You see this with a lot of people’s careers: When they finally play the lead role, they lose the thing that made people notice them in the first place. They get lost in the role a little bit, as opposed to just trusting it, forcing it at times, making their own thing out of it.

By the time I got to Justified, I felt like I was just having a ball with the job. Not just that particular job, but acting. Acting was way more fun than I recall it being, back during the years I was doing this show. I’d learned a lot about being the lead and not losing the fun, and not getting too hung up on whether every single moment you’re in expresses the entire idea of the thing. As someone once said, the nail doesn’t have to be the house. The nail can just be the nail, and you can trust that you’re all building a house together.

On Justified, you were the nail but you were also the house, because you were one of the producers.
Yeah, on Justified I could do whatever the fuck I wanted! [Laughs.]

Did you really think this reunion was ever going to happen?
I didn’t think it was going to happen. To be honest with you, I wasn’t particularly interested in doing it, so I figured it wouldn’t happen because I wasn’t interested in it happening. I figured unless they were going to get someone else to play my part, it probably wouldn’t ever happen. I always wanted to work with David again, but I wasn’t so keen on doing Deadwoodagain.

Why? 
Well, I did it, I came back, I had a good time, but the main thought during those intervening years was, I’d love to work with David again. As for the show … eh. [Shrugs.] What are you gonna do? And then, after more time went by, I became interested in doing Deadwood again, but I was more interested in doing more episodes than in doing a movie.

You mean doing another season?
Yeah. I was always like, If we’re gonna do it, let’s do it. But that wasn’t in the cards.

How did you feel about the fact that the passage of time is built into the story?
It seemed like a good idea. Otherwise, what are we gonna do? We’re all gonna try to look younger? [Laughs.]

It’s funny, these last couple of weeks, I realized half of the bullshit I spewed out over the last decade or so came from one of these motherfuckers! I heard John Hawkes say something, I was like, “I’ve been saying that for ten years! I got that from you!” [William] Sanderson telling a director, “I guess I could try it that way, if I were a bad actor.” Classic. Classic Sanderson! He also used to say, “Well, I don’t think it makes any sense, but you’re the director, and I’ll try anything.” He used to always say those kinds of things. I’ve stolen most of them.

School was in session on this show, and I just sat back. Most of these folks were probably more or less my age ten years ago, maybe a little older than I am now, but they’d been around forever. They knew every trick in the book. Now we all come back and it’s wild to see, because they know even more now, and they’re even more impressive. It’s been amazing to watch Molly [Parker] and Anna [Gunn] and Paula [Malcomson]. They were great then, now they’re incredible. So good. Total command, each one of them. I watched rehearsals and I just see them take over rehearsal, and I think to myself, Look at Paula. Look at her fuckin’ taking over. Just look! Hawkes? Wow. They’ve all just done such great work since we wrapped however many years ago. And then, of course, the older group are just as good as they always were.

Everybody knows how to steal a scene. Fucking sleight-of-hand magicians, all of them.

Along those lines, I got to watch you shoot a few scenes in this movie. There’s a weight there, but also an easygoing quality, kind of like what you were talking about in reference to Justified.
Well, I suppose as time goes by, you just try a little less, and that’s not a bad thing. Like I said, now I try to do in my work what I watched David do for years. Do the hard work, and then let it go.”

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From The Hollywood Reporter: “For many teenagers, high school is a challenging time, and for some, it is traumatic. It's why 13 Reasons Why, Jay Asher's best-selling novel about a 17-year old girl's suicide, has resonated with millions of young people since its publication over a decade ago. With its unflinching depictions of the hurt teens can go through — anxiety, bullying, assault, depression and suicide — it helped lift the stigmas young people increasingly experience growing up today.

“So when it came to turning the book into a TV series, our goal was to shed light on these same issues, helping teenagers understand they are not alone and don't have to suffer in secret. At every step, including for every script of the series, the writers and producers worked with psychiatrists, experts in sexual assault as well as bullying, school counselors and teachers to ensure that even the most challenging scenes were grounded in reality. And just as with the book, we've heard from people all around the world that the series gave them the courage to talk about issues they'd struggled to discuss before, including with their own families.

“The show's positive impact has been observed in numerous independent pieces of research. In one study, the vast majority of respondents who'd admitted to bullying before watching season one said that they had changed their behavior afterward. Another study showed that viewing 13 Reasons Why gave college students a better understanding of suicide but did not increase suicidal thoughts or behavior. In 2018, the show won a Mental Health America Media Award for encouraging conversations ‘between parents, students and mental health advocates on the epidemic of teen suicide, depression and bullying.’

“Dr. Rebecca Hedrick has experienced these positive effects firsthand working as a psychiatrist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. She has found that virtually all her patients who watched the series said it not only reflected their experiences at high school, but also helped to start conversations with their parents. In particular, they felt heard and understood in a way that they had not before — sparking hope and leading them to seek help. 

“Yet doubts about 13 Reasons Why and its impact on teenagers persist, in large part due to concerns about suicide contagion. However, as psychologist Christopher Ferguson showed in a review published last year, the studies to date do not support the theory that fictional media (as opposed to coverage of real-life suicides, especially by celebrities) creates suicide contagion.

“Critics have pointed to spikes in crisis call-center activity, internet searches and posts online to argue that the series has driven suicidal behavior. This ignores the way the show actually encouraged people who were struggling to reach out for help. After the launch of season one, Crisis Text Line says that nearly 70 percent of those who contacted them for the first time cited 13 Reasons Why as the impetus to seek help, with 65 percent admitting to sharing something they had never talked about before.

“As The Los Angeles Times recently reported, a new study using Centers for Disease Control data claims to show a correlation between 13 Reasons Why and an increase in teen suicide. However, the research failed to substantiate the author's own hypothesis: that when the show launched on March 31, 2017, young females would be most affected, because it's a girl whose suicide is depicted onscreen. In fact, there was no increase in suicide rates for adolescent girls that spring — and for boys the increase started before the show even launched. As you can see from the chart below, which is based on the same government data, suicide counts for adolescent girls over the last decade have been much more stable than for boys, which have risen consistently. The highest recorded month for girls was November 2016, well before anyone had ever watched 13 Reasons Why.

“It's always hard to understand correlation with these types of studies, given that you don't know who watched the show or heard about it in the news. Experts also agree that many factors contribute to people taking their own lives. As the authors of the recent study themselves explained, this ‘limits our ability to draw any causal conclusions between the release of 13 Reasons Why and increased suicide rates in young people in the U.S. There may have been other events or unmeasured factors that occurred during the study period that might be associated with increased suicide rates.’

“The suicide of Aaron Hernandez in April 2017, for example, was widely covered by the media. And in her 17 years practicing psychiatry, Dr. Hedrick has never observed political debate having such a detrimental impact on her patients' mental health, especially people of color, as she has today. If you compare the data for 2016 and 2017, suicides went up 48 percent for Hispanic boys — double the rate for white boys. Suicide attempts among white youth declined from 2016 to 2017, while they increased among youth of color.

“Depression and suicide have been on the increase for many years, so it's important we keep the conversation going to avoid the taboos that stigmatize people and prevent them getting help. 13 Reasons Why is not the first show to take on these hard topics, nor is it the first to be graphic in its storytelling. But we believe it was the honest, unflinching way the show looked at bullying, rape and suicide that helped get the world talking — and for the better.

Brian Yorkey is the creator and executive producer of 13 Reasons Why. Dr. Hedrick is an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and an adviser to the show.”

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Per Variety, “Genius Brands International has launched a new animated TV series, Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten, with Arnold Schwarzenegger attached to star.

“‘It is an honor and privilege to work with Genius Brands and POW! Entertainment on this new series and help carry on Stan’s creative legacy by introducing this new group of superheros to preschool children around the world,’ Schwarzenegger said. ‘Not only does Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten feature comedy and action, but there are many valuable lessons to be learned along the way! Of particular pride to me is the fact that I am not only teaching kids to use their superpowers, but I am also imparting valuable lessons to kids worldwide about the importance of health, exercise, and nutrition.’

“One of the final projects created by Lee prior to his death, the series will be a co-production between Genius Brands, Lee’s POW! Entertainment and Schwarzenegger’s Oak Productions with Schwarzenegger serving as co-executive producer, in addition to lending his voice as the lead character. Fabian Nicieza is scripting the series. Genius Brands’ chairman and CEO Andy Heyward serves as executive producer along with Gill Champion, president of POW! Entertainment.

“Schwarzenegger will play Arnold Armstrong, who was an average gym teacher before he was imbued with superpowers when the earth passed through the ionic dust left in the wake of a mysterious comet. He becomes Captain Courage, one of Earth’s greatest protectors. However, after a battle with his arch nemesis, Dr. Superior, he expended all of his powers in defeating his foe, and forced to end his career as Captain Courage — until a massive explosion of super-energy particles came raining down and rumors of super-powered children began surfacing. Now, he serves as a kindergarten teacher who secretly trains the new generation of young superheros.

“‘Stan loved and admired Arnold as not just an actor, but a true hero in so many ways and always envisioned Arnold for this role,’ said Heyward. ‘From Spider-Man, Iron Man, X-Men, Black Panther, Incredible Hulk, Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor, Captain America, Captain Marvel, The Avengers and countless more, Stan was the greatest creator, that Hollywood and pop culture has ever known. We are honored to continue his legacy of creating a new superhero franchise for kids with another iconic hero, Arnold Schwarzenegger, in Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten.’

“‘What will be particularly unique about this series is that there will be an animated cameo of Stan Lee appearing in each and every episode. Just as his millions of fans look forward to seeing him appear in each Marvel film, they will look forward to his presence in each episode of this cartoon. The strong positive messaging of the series regarding health, exercise, and nutrition, coming from the credibility of Arnold Schwarzenegger, will make it a series that parents will enjoy alongside their children.’”