Thursday June 20, 2019

The NBA Draft airs tonight, beginning at 7pm ET.

ABC debuts it’s uber corny putt putt show Holey Moley tonight. 12 mini-golfers will face off in a series of head-to-head, sudden-death matchups, and 1 winner will walk away with a $25,000 prize. Riveting, eh?

ABC also rolls out Family Food Fight and Reef Break this evening.

FOX unveils a show with perhaps the worst most uncreative name I’ve seen in a while: Spin The Wheel.Spin The Wheel is a high-stakes game show offering a chance to win over $20 million per episode. Executive-produced by Grammy and Emmy Award-winning musician and actor Justin Timberlake, and hosted by actor, director, writer and comedian Dax Shepard (Hit and Run), the show offers life-changing opportunities to win fortunes each episode with the spin of a massive, unpredictable wheel. Spin The Wheel pits contestants against a colossal, spinning 40-foot wheel that holds incredible sums of cash prizes in its rotation. Throughout the game, players will answer trivia questions – each correct answer adds more extreme amounts of cash in the wheel’s wedges in a strategic location of their choice, while each incorrect answer adds more dangerous wedges that could instantly bring their total back to zero. With massive prize money on the line, contestants must make sweat-inducing, gut-wrenching decisions: whether to walk away or risk it all to Spin The Wheel. one last time.”

Netflix has renewed The Rain for a 3rd and final season.

Netflix also picked up a 2nd season of I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson.

Netflix has signed Janet Mock to an overall deal, marking the first such pact between an openly transgender creator and a major media company. Mock, a writer, director and producer on FX's Pose and human rights activist, has inked a three-year deal with Netflix that will give the streamer exclusive rights to series she develops and a first look at feature films. As part of the deal, she will join Ryan Murphy's series Hollywood — the first project produced under Murphy's megadeal with Netflix — as an executive producer and director. She'll also continue working on Pose, which earlier in the week was renewed for a third season on FX.”

Paramount has renewed Yellowstone for a 3rd season.

Mark-Paul Gosselaar has joined ABC’s Mixed-ish. He will play the role of Bow’s father, taking over from Anders Holm, who played the role in the original pilot.

In case you needed more reason to have disdain for the three-letter agencies, there’s this: “A former agent and assistant to APA chief Jim Gosnell has sued the agency and four individuals, including Gosnell, for sexual harassment and battery, wrongful termination and other alleged misconduct. The plaintiff, identified in court papers only as Jane Doe, filed the suit Wednesday in LA Superior Court (read it HERE). She says her career plans were derailed by a series of actions by the agency. Her “dream of becoming a well-respected talent agent was quickly and cruelly dashed before it could even truly begin by a toxic, pervasive and sexually abusive environment fomented by the senior management at one of the nation’s leading talent agencies,” the complaint alleges. The suit names Gosnell, Hammond and APA employees Paul Santana and Josh Humiston. Immediately after her hiring in 2015, through her exit last August, the plaintiff says she was subjected to sexual advances by employees at the “apex” of the agency’s hierarchy. Any possibility of holding them accountable, the suit claims, was undermined by Gosnell conducting an alleged affair with the head of human resources. The suit also claims the plaintiff was sexually assaulted by Michael Hammond, who is COO of Collins Avenue Productions, an APA client and producer of unscripted shows like Dance Moms. According to the suit, the plaintiff was told not to report the assault to law enforcement. Text messages from Humiston and Santana — many of them extremely explicit — are reproduced in the complaint. The fact that employees ‘felt brazen enough to put their bad behavior in writing is reflective of how toxic, tolerant and protective of APA’s culture of sexual and racial discrimination is,’ according to the suit. Gosnell routinely berated her, it adds, using coarse language, throwing office objects at her and obstructing her progress from the assistant level to becoming an agent.”

The Writers Guild of America has called off negotiations with the Association of Talent Agents in favor of pursuing individual talks with nine top agencies as it enforces a total ban on packaging fees and affiliated production for agents representing guild members. WGA West president David Goodman announced the guild’s decision to reject the ATA’s most recent revenue-sharing offer in a 16-minute video posted late Wednesday on the WGA West website. Goodman said the offer made June 7 by the ATA in the sides’ first meeting in two months did not solve the guild’s fundamental objection to what it sees as a conflict of interest in agencies receiving packaging fees from production entities. ‘Revenue-sharing does nothing to incentivize your agency to get you a penny more in salary,’ Goodman said in the video. ‘It does nothing to address the real problem.’ Goodman said the guild has decided to end talks with the ATA and approach nine agencies that represent significant number of writers for one-on-one talks with nine firms: WME, CAA, UTA, ICM Partners, Paradigm, Gersh, APA, Rothman Brecher and Kaplan Stahler.”

Discovery Inc and fuboTV have entered a new multi-year carriage agreement, the two companies announced Wednesday. Over the coming weeks, 13 channels from Discovery will become available on the streaming platform, spread throughout its various channel packages. Discovery’s TLC, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Channel, and MotorTrend will launch on fuboTV’s $54.99 base package, fubo Standard. The new channels join HGTV, Food Network and Travel Channel, which are already available on the service through an agreement with former Scripps Networks Interactive, a company acquired by Discovery in 2018. The remaining channels will be spread throughout fuboTV’s add-on packages. The Science Channel, Destination America, Discovery Family, American Heroes Channel, and Discovery Life will be added to fubo Extra ($5.99/month for 30+ channels) joining DIY Network and Cooking Channel. Additionally, Discovery en Espanol and Discovery Familia will be available on fuboTV’s Spanish-language package, Latino Basic ($24.99/month for 20 channels), and the Latino Plus add-on package ($7.99/month for 15 channels).”

Nick Cannon’s Wild ‘N Out franchise will expand to a new network this summer with a run on VH1, the network announced on Wednesday. The new run of episodes of the improv comedy series will air on the MTV sister network beginning Sunday, July 7. Guests will include stars from Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood, and Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, as well as Wiz Khalifa, Marlon Wayans, Swizz Beatz, T-Pain, Anderson .Paak, Tiny Harris, Ne-Yo, NeNe Leakes, Vinny Guadagnino, Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, Sofi Tukker, Lupe Fiasco, Akon, Perez Hilton, Marshmello and A$AP Ferg.”

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From Variety: “Jim Parsons just stepped away from a 12-year commitment — and is preparing to step into a new yet familiar role. After four Emmys and untold numbers of physics-inflected jokes on The Big Bang Theory, Parsons is reprising a part he played on Broadway in 2018. A Netflix adaptation of the drama “The Boys in the Band,” to be executive produced by Ryan Murphy, is slated to start filming in July. It’s a role that comes with some complications for an actor who only just moved from the Big Bang home base in Los Angeles to New York.

“‘No matter how successful you are,’ Parsons says, ‘even if you’re a huge success in movies, you don’t get to check into the same parking space for 12 years. This is not how someone in a creative profession normally gets to behave. Most human beings crave that structure, so I can see how it causes some hurricanes in the heart.’

“Parsons’ tenure on Big Bang Theory, which wrapped in May, brought him into the national consciousness, and provided ample time to build out a character legions of fans will continue watching in the spinoff Young Sheldon. ‘I played the s— out of that character, and some people could have done it longer probably — I don’t mean our show, but this relationship with the character,’ says Parsons, who is 46. ‘But I feel like we really wrung that material for what it was.’

“It also brought, in the off-season, creative opportunities like Boys in the Band, about a group of gay men coming together for a night of embittered camaraderie, fighting against a society that doesn’t want them. Parsons’ character, he says, is ‘swimming as fast as he can to keep above the waters of his own tortured psyche and his own feelings of hating himself. But he doesn’t succeed — nobody would for very long.’

“Parsons has witnessed the speed of social change both in his work and in his life. In his youth, he says, ‘the sight of pride parades frightened me, because I knew that there were plenty of people around me — whether they were in my life or I just was aware of them — that derided this show of pride.’ Later, as an actor trying to make it in New York, ‘my only feelings were, I’m going to avoid that area of town because I don’t like crowds.’

“The actor, who graduated from the University of Houston after growing up in the suburbs of that city, came out to his family after meeting his now-husband, Todd Spiewak. ‘No offense to the lovely men I dated before Todd, but somewhere deep inside, I immediately knew that there was no choice left but to deal with this, because to not let them in on this person I had met was to officially start putting up these lifelong barriers.’ He came out publicly in 2012, a year after performing in the Broadway revival of canonical gay play The Normal Heart, in a manner that made waves for quite how amiably low-key it was: an offhand disclosure in The New York Times.

“Which is not to say that Parsons feels low-key about pride, or his own pride, nowadays. ‘Once it was out in the public, I was like, ‘Well, f— you! If you still have a problem with gay people, you directly have a problem with me. Being a full-fledged member of it and claiming it, there was just an elation there, and there still is! I still feel it. It’s a huge relief, and it’s also really nice to sometimes be able to feel righteous anger.’

“His work after Big Bang Theory expresses both sides of that equation. The Boys in the Band, with its savage insults deployed by individuals irreparably damaged by society’s unkindness, provides the rage. And “Special,” a short form Netflix series that Parsons executive produces with Spiewak, makes for the giddy joy. Written by Ryan O’Connell, the show made headlines for depicting the life of a gay man with cerebral palsy, but delivers perhaps its greatest impact through comic frankness about dating. Parsons is well aware of the advance in representation Special is, but he comes at the project from a different angle. Spiewak had discovered O’Connell’s writing, and Parsons leveraged his producing power at Warner Bros.’ digital producing arm to find it a home. ‘He felt like my kind of people,’ Parsons says. ‘There are a lot of life experiences that he and I do not have in common, and we don’t see things the same way. But there’s something we have in common at a deeper level.’

“It sounds a bit like the process, one that lasts a lifetime, of finding one’s community — a bit like Parsons’ evolution toward the concept of pride. As he puts it, ‘It’s a discovery of a strength and a power that perhaps you didn’t realize you needed.’ That can be as important for elite actors and producers as it is for kids in Texas.”

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Per TheWrap, “NBC’s songwriting competition Songland has only been on the air since May 28, and it’s already churned out several singles that have ranked high on the iTunes charts.

“Tuesday night’s episode yielded a new single for the Jonas Brothers, and by Wednesday morning, Greenlight had already risen to No. 2 on the iTunes Overall Chart as well as the Pop Chart. Greenlight would have been No. 1 if not for Taylor Swift’s You Need to Calm Down.

“Last week, Kelsea Ballerini found a hit in Better Luck Next Time. Written by Darius Coleman, the song rose to the very top of the iTunes Pop Chart two days after it was released on June 11, and hit No. 2 on the iTunes Overall Chart.

“We’ll give Greenlight another day or so to match it, but good luck against all those Swifties.

Greenlight was written by songwriter Able Heart, whose dreams of becoming an Olympic skateboarder were dashed due to a back injury at 15. On Tuesday’s episode, the JoBros chose Heart’s Greenlight as the winner, and their version of the song was released as a Songland single Tuesday. Watch Able Heart perform Greenlight on last night’s episode below.

“Past episodes of Songland have also yielded chart-toppers for John Legend and the Black Eyed Peas. In the premiere May 28 episode, Legend chose “We Need Love” by songwriter Tebby Burrows, which rose to No. 1 on the iTunes R&B charts and No. 6 on the iTunes Overall Chart the day after the episode aired.

“On the following week’s June 2 episode, will.i.am found a Black Eyed Peas hit with Adam Friedman’s Be Nice, which rose to No. 1 on the iTunes Rock Chart and No. 14 on the Overall Chart the next day.

“The show is also a hit ratings-wise. Songland is the No. 1 new show of the summer in the key adults 18-49 demographic and among total viewers, according to Nielsen’s ‘most current’ metric, which counts a week’s worth of delayed viewing per episode where available.

“Per NBC, Songland aims to find the next generation of hit songwriters. Each week, one guest recording artist comes to Songland to hear unknown songwriters pitch their original material. Four songwriters will perform their original tracks in front of the guest artist and producer-mentors Ryan Tedder, Ester Dean and Shane McAnally. At the end of the episode, the guest artist chooses which of the song pitches will become their next single. This season features artists including The Jonas Brothers, John Legend, Charlie Puth, Meghan Trainor, will.i.am, OneRepublic, Kelsea Ballerini, Macklemore, Aloe Blacc, Old Dominion and Leona Lewis.

“The 11-episode series is produced by The Voice producer Audrey Morrissey, Eurythmics co-founder and producer Dave Stewart, Maroon 5’s Adam Levine and OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder.”

I remain a big fan of this show. I think it is worth a look as each episode is stand alone and the songs they are churning out are pretty damn good.

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Per The New York Post, “[a] singer and a group of songwriters claim in a lawsuit filed on Wednesday that Carrie Underwood’s Game On, theme song for Sunday Night Football is actually ripped off from a song that the plaintiffs wrote back in 2016 and unsuccessfully pitched to Underwood’s production team.

“In a suit filed in Manhattan federal court against Underwood, NBC and the NFL, Heidi Merrill, a country singer who found some success a few years ago with a song for the Nebraska Cornhuskers college football team, alleges that she and her team penned her version of Game On in 2016 and that it was featured in March 2017 during a broadcast of CBS’ Inside College Basketball.

“A few days after CBS used the tune, the plaintiffs posted a video for the song to YouTube, the suit says.

“Sam Israel, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, said that in August 2017 the plaintiffs passed the song along to Underwood’s producer to pitch to Underwood.

“‘They thought it would have been perfect for her and what she’s doing,’ Israel said.

“But Israel said that an assistant for Underwood’s producer told the plaintiffs that ‘we’re going to have to pass’ on Merrill’s song.

“When the next season of SNF aired in September 2018, Underwood unveiled her new theme — a song also called Game On, which features a similar two-word refrain to Merrill’s song and, Merrill alleges, similar elements like tempo and melody with no credit given to Merrill or the other plaintiffs, the suit charges.

“Underwood’s publicist did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“An NBC Sports spokesman declined to comment, citing a policy of not commenting on pending litigation. The NFL also declined to comment.”

Here’s Game On.

Here’s the Cornhuskers song.

You be the judge.

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Per ET, “Oprah Winfrey admits that there are times she misses her beloved talk show.

“It's been more than eight years since the final episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show aired, and she confessed to ET Canada's Cheryl Hickey that she has thought about a reboot.

"‘I would love to make that happen, let me tell you. But maybe not every day,’ Winfrey confided. ‘For 25 years, it was perfect.’

“The 65-year-old Queen of Talk added, ‘The only time I missed it was during the election or when something really big happens in the news. I think, “Oh, gee, I wish I had a show."‘

“Winfrey was in Toronto, Canada, promoting her new book, The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life's Direction and Purpose, and recalled one of her first ‘aha’ moments. 

"‘My path became clear the moment, I remember it actually, when I flew into Chicago,’ she shared. ‘I thought, “If the show isn't successful, then I'm going to go into advertising."‘

“Now, Winfrey is hoping to help fans find their path. All of the proceeds from her book will go to the Boys and Girls Club of Attala County, Mississippi, where she grew up.”