Thursday July 11, 2019

FAKE NEWS REPORT: Windy City Rehab stars Alison Victoria Gramenos and Donovan Eckhardt are in trouble with the city again, which could affect the HGTV show’s second season. The Chicago Department of Buildings recently notified Gramenos and Eckhardt they cannot file new permit applications, and the city is moving to suspend Eckhardt’s real estate developer and general contractor licenses for a year for a variety of alleged violations.”

Let me be CRYSTAL CLEAR, season 2 is NOT in jeopardy, Victoria and Eckhardt have not been in business together for some time and Victoria’s new GC has already had one of the stop work orders lifted with all other properties now in compliance per the City of Chicago. Shame on the Tribune and everyone else who has picked up this story and decided to run with it, but not surprising in any way, shape or form.

Season 3 of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation airs tonight. Get ready for 2 hours with limited interruptions.

I watched the first episode of Bring The Funny. It will be the last episode I watch as it’s not funny and Chrissy Tiegen is abhorrent. She really needs to go away. Forever.

Here are the winners from last night’s ESPY Awards, in the event you care.

Season 4 of Showtime’s The Circus will premiere September 22.

“Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman’s shortform video platform Quibi is entering the world of women’s wrestling with Fight Like a Girl, an unscripted series toplined by WWE Superstars, from WWE Studios and Critical Content. In each episode, WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon pairs a WWE star with a young woman struggling with a personal issue that has been holding her back. The wrestlers draw from their own life experiences to help their trainees overcome obstacles and become tougher, stronger and healthier versions of their former selves inside and out. Quibi says each episode of the series shot at WWE’s Performance Center ‘features a stunning transformation and heart-pounding reveal as the women change their lives forever.’ Fight Like a Girl is produced by WWE Studios and Critical Content for Quibi. Executive Producers are Stephanie McMahon, Susan Levison, Ben Zierten and Richard Lowell for WWE Studios, and Tom Forman, Jenny Daly and Jon Beyer for Critical Content.”

Amazon Studios has struck a first-look TV deal with Scooter Braun’s SB Projects, TheWrap has learned. SB Projects will develop both scripted and unscripted projects for the studio under a multi-year deal, an individual with knowledge of the deal told TheWrap. Amazon declined to comment. SB Projects is behind series such as CBS’ Scorpion, the film The Giver and Justin Bieber documentary “Never Say Never.” The company also has in the works an upcoming comedy starring comedic rapper Lil Dickey for FX — which has Kevin Hart on board as a producer — and the Kanye West-themed Omniverse for Showtime. Omniverse, which is in development at the pay cable network, stars Jaden Smith as an alternate-reality version of West.”

“Last season of The Walking Dead featured numerous new faces making the transition from page to screen as many characters from the comic book arrived on the AMC TV adaptation. Not only did Magna, Yumiko, Luke, Connie, and Kelly make their debuts as new allies, but iconic villains Alpha and Beta also made their presence known. Which got us thinking about next season. Who might we meet when the show returns for season 10 in October? We asked showrunner Angela Kang, and she spilled the beans on one character who will be making his TV debut in the season premiere. ‘We’ll be meeting the character Dante from the comics,’ reveals Kang exclusively to EW. ‘He is this roguish, fast-talking, sometimes charming, sometimes annoying guy who can sometimes put his foot in his mouth, but is an interesting presence in the comics.’ Indeed he is. In the comics, Dante is a loyal, hardworking member of the Hilltop community. But he can also be cocky and aggressive — especially in his pursuit of the widowed Maggie. ‘He’s actually a love interest of Maggie,’ says Kang of his role in the original source material. ‘But in our world, the context is a little different, and he will play an important role in the story in Alexandria. So we’re excited about that.’ The fact that Lauren Cohan’s Maggie is not currently on the show and that Kang mentions Dante will play a big role in Alexandria and not the Hilltop shows that there will certainly be changes to the character’s role, if not his roguish personality.”

The Dinner Party is The Office at its best. It’s uncomfortable (although it was almost much darker), deeply funny, and a tragic reminder that Steve Carell never won an Emmy for playing Michael Scott (“Sometimes I will just stand here and watch television for hours”). And now, 11 years after the episode first aired, it’s getting the scratch-and-sniff treatment. On August 26 at 10 p.m. EST, COZI TV (NBC’s ‘national multicast network’) will show the season four episode The Dinner Party in Smell-A-Vision. ‘A special airing of a legendary episode of the classic series – enhanced with an actual scratch-and-sniff card,’ the website reads. ‘Melora Hardin joins COZI TV as on-air host for the promotion and on-air presentation of the event. There’s no better choice, as she played Jan Levinson, the original host of The Dinner Party, offering us her long-simmering Osso Buco and Serenity By Jan candles.’”


Per The Hollywood Reporter, “Shondaland's first original scripted series for Netflix will arrive in 2020, more than two years after prolific producer Shonda Rhimes moved her overall deal to the streamer.

“On Wednesday, Netflix unveiled the cast for Bridgerton — the scripted soap written by Scandal grad Chris Van Dusen — and announced that the eight-episode series will premiere sometime in 2020.

“Poised to shoot in London, Bridgerton is based on Julia Quinn’s best-selling novels. The drama is set in the sexy, lavish and competitive world of Regency London high society. Here's the official description: ‘From the glittering ballrooms of Mayfair to the aristocratic palaces of Park Lane and beyond, the series unveils a seductive, sumptuous world replete with intricate rules and dramatic power struggles, where no one is truly ever on steady ground. At the heart of the show is the powerful Bridgerton family. Comprised of eight close-knit siblings, this funny, witty, daring and clever group must navigate the upper ten thousand’s marriage mart in search of romance, adventure and love.’

“Julie Andrews (who reteams with Rhimes following The Princess Diaries 2) will voice the role of Lady Whistledown, the unseen gossip writer. Rege-Jean Page — who reunites with Rhimes following his role on ABC's Shondaland legal drama For the People‚ is the male lead and plays Simon Bassett, the Duke who finds himself the target of the town's single ladies. Phoebe Dynevor (Younger) is the female lead and plays Daphne Bridgerton, the young debutante waiting to make her debut.

“The cast also includes Golda Rosheuvel (Lady MacBeth) as Queen Charlotte; Jonathan Bailey (Broadchurch) as Anthony Bridgerton, the eldest sibling; Luke Newton (The Cut) as Colin Bridgerton; Claudia Jessie (Doctor Who) as Eloise Bridgerton; Nicola Coughlan (Harlots) as Penelope Featherington, a girl with a sharp wit; Ruby Barker (Doctors) as Marina Thompson, who is sent to live with her cousins, the Featheringtons; Sabrina Bartlett (Victoria) as Siena Rosso, an opera singer; Ruth Gemmell (Penny Dreadful) as Lady Violet Bridgerton, the matriarch of the family; Adjoa Andoh (Thunderbirds) as Lady Danbury, the dowager who runs the town; and Polly Walker (Pennyworth) as Lady Portia Featherington, the most matriarch of her family.

"‘We could not have found a more gifted group of actors to bring Bridgerton to life,’ Van Dusen said in a statement. ‘When creating this series, the goal was to turn a very traditional genre on its head and make something fresh, smart, sexy and fun. That’s exactly what this cast embodies and I'm ridiculously excited to see them inhabit these characters and captivate viewers in their own incredibly brilliant ways.’

“The casting arrives a year after the series was first announced as part of Rhimes and Shondaland partner Betsy Beers' first slate of programming for Netflix. The duo moved to Netflix following a long and lucrative run at ABC Studios, where they created and produced hits including Grey's Anatomy and Scandal.

“A specific premiere date for Bridgerton has yet to be announced.”


Former English footballer David Beckham is set to launch a content studio that will develop non-fiction content for television and film.

“Studio 99 will develop documentary films and unscripted television, among other editorial formats, in addition to delivering commercial work as a creative agency for brand partners. The studio currently has a range of documentary projects in development – including some that will feature Beckham – with topics spanning such genres as sport, travel and fashion. The company is headquartered in London alongside David Beckham Ventures.

“Studio 99 was named to reflect the diversity of content the firm will produce and honors 1999, the year in which Beckham married Victoria Adams; had his first child, Brooklyn; and won the treble with Manchester United, for which the club won titles in the Premier League, the FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League.

“The former Manchester United and Real Madrid star co-founded Studio 99 with long-term manager David Gardner, who is managing director of David Beckham Ventures, and Nicola Howson, who becomes MD of the production business.

“Howson joined David Beckham Ventures in 2018 as a strategic adviser after having spent five years as an independent consultant to a variety of media businesses. Prior to this, Howson served as CEO and founder of indie agency Freuds for nearly a decade and is also a former communications director at ITV and consultant to a number of production companies.

“In addition to the label’s launch, Studio 99 has penned a development partnership with LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s media company Uninterrupted. Under terms of the deal, the two organizations will co-produce an as-yet untitled docuseries that is slated to chart the journey — from conception to launch in spring 2020 — of the Major League Soccer expansion club Inter Miami CF, of which Beckham is a co-owner.

“‘David Beckham typifies the “More Than An Athlete” mentality, and we’re excited to be partnering with him and Studio 99 on this new development deal and documentary,’ said Maverick Carter, Uninterrupted’s co-founder and CEO, in a statement. ‘As Uninterrupted continues to grow, working with partners in Europe and within football is a natural extension of our mission to empower all athletes.’

“‘On the commercial side I have been lucky enough to work with some of the best creative talent in the world for over 25 years,’ added Beckham. ‘I really enjoy it and I have learned a lot about what works and how to bring the best people together. It’s amazing to see what guys that I admire so much, like LeBron and Maverick, have achieved. It’s inspired me to see what’s possible in my world. It’s just very cool to be working with friends and meeting so many new people who are doing great things and want to create exciting new projects with us.’

“Elsewhere, Studio 99 has designated talent agency WME to represent the company’s interests. The agency, along with Beckham and his team, have already begun conversations with global platforms and media partners about Studio 99′s initial development slate and potential copro opportunities.

“The newly minted company will also encompass a creative agency that will create and deliver commercial campaigns and branded content for partners including AIA and Safilo across traditional, digital and social media. Studio 99 will now also produce and manage all content creation for Beckham’s social media channels and 120 million global followers.

“Beckham has previously featured in a number of documentaries, each executive produced by his business partner Gardner, including The Class of 92, which recounted the story of the players that formed Man United’s treble-winning team; as well as BBC travelogues Into the Unknown, which explored remote areas of Brazil’s Amazon, and David Beckham: For the Love of the Game, in which Beckham played seven football matches on seven continents in nine days to raise awareness of issues facing children supported by his UNICEF 7 Fund.”


From Deadline: “CBS-owned Pop TV has given an eight-episode series order to coming-of-age comedy pilot Best Intentions, from American Pie writer Adam Herz, A+E Studios and Howard T. Owens and Ben Silverman’s Propagate. David Fynn (Undateable) Daniel Rashid (Being Frank) and Lindsey Gort (The Carrie Diaries) are set to star in the series which is slated to begin production this fall. Steve Pink (Hot Tub Time Machine) directs the pilot.

“Written by Herz, Best Intentions revolves around Andy Banks (Fynn), a kind-hearted but painfully awkward single father who is the guidance counselor at the high school his teenage son Nate (Rashid) currently attends. Gort plays Katie Baxter, a teacher with whom Andy is smitten; his never-ending hapless efforts to woo her drag Katie headfirst into her own personal misadventures. Guest starring in the series premiere are Natalie Ganzhorn (Scary Stories to Tell in The Dark) as the new girl in school, Haylee, and Benjamin Ayres (Saving Hope) as the high school’s principal, Jack Mayhan, and Sarah Levy (Schitt’s Creek) as the high school’s vice principal, Becky Fistick.

“Herz executive produces with Barry Jossen of A+E Studios and Propagate’s Silverman, Owens and Jay Weisleder.

“‘Adam Herz made one of the definitive comedy franchises of the 1990s and 2000s with American Pie, and Best Intention brings together the perfect cast to deliver more of his audacious sense of humor, which is grounded with loads of heart,’ said Justin Rosenblatt, Executive Vice President, Original Programming, Pop. ‘With a mix of character and premise-driven comedy, this parallel father-son coming-of-age story feels like a timeless classic that fits perfectly with our current slate.’”


From Decider: “It’s the custody battle that will never, ever end. Thomas Ravenel is seeking full custody of his two children with Kathryn Dennis after the Southern Charm star failed a drug test where marijuana was detected in her urine.

The Blast reports that Ravenel has ‘rushed back to court’ to demand custody of Kensie and Saint after both parents were told to submit blood, alcohol, urine, and hair drug tests on June 13, 2019. In court documents, he claims that ‘while in the possession of the children, Kathryn produced a urine test positive for marijuana, benzodiazepines, and amphetamines.’ He confirmed that she has prescriptions for the benzodiazepines and amphetamines, but that the marijuana is not allowed.

“Dennis responded by saying she ‘disputes the veracity of the June 14, 2019 urine tests because her hair test was negative,’ but Ravenel claims that her hair tests are unreliable because she wears wigs, hair extensions, and frequently bleaches and dyes her hair.

“She then submitted a negative urine test after the positive one but Ravenel challenged it by saying, ‘the marijuana detected in the June 14, 2019 test could have been flushed out of her urine by that time.’ Dude, really? He is also claiming that she has purchased fake urine online before and that Dennis’s mother is mostly taking care of the kids. DUDE, REALLY? It’s clear Ravenel is using any morsel of information he can to continue dragging out this ugly custody battle.

“It’s all perfect timing as tonight’s episode of the Bravo series features Ravenel’s ex-girlfriend, Ashley Jacobs, showing up to provide a non-apology to the group she terrorized with false accusations and downright vicious statements last season.”