Friday August 2, 2019

CBS has ordered a 2nd season of Love Island.

I’m on the fence with how I feel about Weston. I think he did what many others did, and perhaps got a bit of a bad rap, but transparency always wins.

MDR: NY should be no shorter than 90 minutes each week. Did anyone feel like last night’s season premiere was too long? I didn’t think so.

Season 3 of Dear White People is now available on Netflix.

A Black Lady Sketch Show premieres tonight on HBO.

Here’s a review.

The season 1 finale of Euphoria airs on Sunday night.

Here are some open items that may or may not get resolved.

Sunday night also marks the premiere of E!’s Flip It Like Disick as well as a new season for AMC’s Preacher and TLC’s 90 Day Fiancé: Before The 90 Days.

Here’s the cast for the latter of those 3.

Last but not least this weekend is the season premiere of Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj, which will be available to stream on Netflix on Sunday.

In case you had high hopes, there will not be a Dawson’s Creek reboot. Nor will Desperate Housewives get a reboot treatment. Glad to see a few people out there actually get it.

“CBS may be hurting from the nearly two-week old blackout born of its carriage dispute with AT&T, but CBS All Access is reaping some of the benefits. ‘We have seen an uptick since AT&T blacked us out,’ admitted an almost sheepish CBS Interactive boss Marc DeBevoise today at TCA of the small screen battle and the subscription streamer. CBS stations in NYC, LA and across the nation have been dark since July 20 as the 2012-inked contract with AT&T-owned satellite giant DirecTV, DirecTV Now and U-verse cable systems officially expired. When fans of the just renewed Love Island and Big Brother turn on their local CBS station in the affected markets, they find a slate from DirecTV that says, ‘CBS has removed this channel from your lineup despite our request to keep it available to you.’” I’m amongst the new CBS All-Access customers, begrudgingly. Settle your beef! More on CBS All-Access below.

James Marsden and Amber Heard have nabbed the lead roles in CBS All Access’ upcoming adaptation of Stephen King’s 1978 novel The Stand. Along with those two, Odessa Young and Henry Zaga have also boarded the limited series, the streamer announced Thursday during the Television Critics Association press tour.”

Ninja is leaving Twitch for Microsoft’s Mixer. This is, evidently, very big news.

Adam Scott is joining the ranks of ABC's game-show hosts, signing on to front the network's forthcoming series Don't. The Big Little Lies and Parks and Recreation star will host the series from Banijay Studios North America and executive producer Ryan Reynolds. The show puts teams of four through a series of comedic challenges with the simple rule of ‘Don't,’ as in ‘Don't laugh’ or ‘Don't blink,’ with a top prize of $100,000.”

Bob Harper will host USA’s reboot of The Biggest Loser.

“Steve Gold told his Million Dollar Listing co-stars that his girlfriend, Luiza Gawlowska, was pregnant prior to shocking fans on social media. But Ryan Serhant and Fredrik Eklund said they only found out weeks before the public announcement. ‘He surprised us,’ Serhant, 35, told Page Six, adding that Gold, 34, decided to break the news to him at a housewarming party at his new apartment. ‘He introduced us to his girlfriend for the first time, and she turns around and she’s super pregnant. Like nine months [pregnant],’ Eklund, 42, added, before Gold clarified, ‘Seven.’ Serhant thought Gold was pranking them since he and Eklund also recently became first-time fathers. ‘I totally thought he was joking,’ Serhant told us. ‘Steve’s a funny guy, so I kind of thought because we were showing up with our baby and [Fredrik] has his two kids, maybe he was, like, “Oh, let’s pull a joke on them,” but no. It was real and a baby came out.’”

Donald Trump's sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, will be front and center at Saturday's big UFC fight, and ESPN will show their mugs on TV ... but there are a few strings attached. Sources connected to the Disney-owned network tell TMZ ... there has been no pressure to keep them off camera to avoid controversy. It's a particularly sensitive time, with Trump's latest attacks which have a huge swath of the country calling him racist. The UFC community -- both fans and fighters -- is diverse, and the presence of the Trumps is a powder keg. Nevertheless, we're told UFC honcho Dana White is calling the shots on who gets on TV, and we're told the Trump kids will get as much air time as other big celebs at the Prudential Center in Newark. Not to say Dana's directing, but he gives broad directives, and there is no Trump ban. Now ... we're told the commentators have been told ... NO POLITICS -- and that's squarely in line with ESPN's directive.”

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Per Deadline, “CBS All Access is moving into feature documentaries for the first time with a film based on Blake J. Harris’ book Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo and the Battle that Defined a Generation. The SVOD service is also developing a limited series based on the source material.

“The feature doc is produced in partnership with Legendary Television Studios and Oscar-winning documentarian Doug Blush. It is directed by Harris and Jonah Tulis and is being executive produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s Point Grey Productions and Scott Rudin Productions.

“The limited series is being written by Mike Rosolio and Jordan Vogt-Roberts attached to direct.

“Julian Rosenberg from Circle of Confusion produces both alongside Tulis and Harris.

Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo and the Battle that Defined a Generation, published by HarperCollins in 2014, is described as the mesmerizing, behind-the-scenes drama that chronicles how Sega, a small, scrappy gaming company led by an unlikely visionary and a team of rebels, took on the juggernaut Nintendo and revolutionized the video game industry.

“Elsewhere, The Late Late Show With James Corden producer Fulwell 73 is producing a non-fiction series for CBS All Access with celebrity medium Thomas John. It is expected to air later this year or early next year.

The Untitled Thomas John Project stars Thomas Flanagan, a former Chicago drag queen who says he is a psychic medium with paranormal abilities who has previously starred in Lifetime’s Seatbelt Psychic.

“The company also revealed that it would air poker tournament WSOP Bracelet Events. The event, is considered the most coveted non-monetary prize a poker player can win.

“The new shows were unveiled by Marc DeBevoise, President and Chief Operating Officer, CBS Interactive, during the TCA summer press tour. DeBevoise also revealed that he expects the 8M subscribers that CBS All Access and Showtime’s digital service to grow to 25M by 2022.”

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From TheWrap: “Amazon has set the lineup of more than 60 teams from 30 countries that will be competing on World’s Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji, the Eco-Challenge reboot from Mark Burnett and Bear Grylls.

“Hosted by Grylls and executive produced by Burnett, Lisa Hennessy and Eric Van Wagenen, the ‘epic, gritty and unpredictable’ race will take place in Fiji this fall and be captured for a 10-episode series to launch on Prime Video in 2020.

“Among the teams racing are Team Khukuri Warriors, 28-year-old sisters from India who are racing for gender equality and are the first set of twins and South Asians to complete the Explorers Grand Slam (7 Summits, North & South Pole); a team of veteran racers who competed in all nine seasons of Eco-Challenge, now returning as grandparents; an American Eagle Scout team and a team of Scouts from Australia, a team of Wounded Warriors who served in the U.S. Armed Forces, the world’s youngest expedition racer to compete in the Adventure Racing World Series at the age of 17, who holds three world records; and a team of Ironman athletes including The Iron Cowboy who gained notoriety for completing 50 Ironmans in 50 states in 50 days.

“The teams are racing to raise awareness to a variety of causes, including breast cancer, military veterans, equal pay, and Alzheimer’s disease.

“Here’s the official description for the MGM Television produced series, per Amazon:

World’s Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji is the ultimate expedition race in which teams will race non-stop, 24 hours a day, across hundreds of miles of rugged backcountry terrain complete with mountains, jungles and oceans. Each race team is comprised of four competitors, including at least one member of the opposite sex, and one assistant crewmember that will be helping their team from base camp. Each team will race under a single country flag while making their way through some of the most impenetrable terrain Fiji has to offer.

The race will encompass a variety of non-motorized forms of transportation and other various challenges including outrigger paddling, mountain biking, rappelling, climbing, whitewater rafting, paddle boarding, and canyoneering, which teams must pass assessment tests in. Navigation must be done with a map and compass only and teams will be required to use expedition problem-solving skills in their quest to the finish line. If any team member quits or is unable to complete the race, the entire team will be disqualified. Only teams that can work together under extreme stress and fatigue have any hope of reaching the finish.

“‘Challenging oneself in the outdoors is as relevant today as it was 25 years ago when Eco-Challenge began. It’s the ultimate test of human spirit, teamwork and honoring our planet,’ Burnett said. ‘I can’t wait to see the drama unfold as these teams test themselves beyond what they ever thought possible.’

“‘The Fiji course is truly epic,’ Grylls said. ‘It’s incredibly demanding and will force our competitors far out of their comfort zone as they race against themselves, their competitors and the fiercest elements of mother nature. Only the teams that work together can ever hope of making it to the finish line.’

“‘The backstories of the athletes are what will be truly inspiring,’ said Van Wagenen ‘Not everyone will win – or even finish the race, but following them throughout this grueling competition and sharing their triumphs and setbacks along the way will make very compelling television.’”

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Quibi has set its latest two projects in development — a modern take on Paramount’s 2003 romantic comedy How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, from Paramount Television, and a vampire drama from writer Terry Matalas (12 Monkeys) and executive produced by David Katzenberg, from 20th Century Fox TV.

“Written by Guy Branum (The Mindy Project), the reimagined How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days follows a glib young online columnist and an oversexed advertising executive who both need to prove, once and for all, that they’re capable of being monogamous. They soon discover, however, keeping a relationship is harder than Andie Anderson made it look.

“The 2003 film directed by Donald Petrie, starred Kate Hudson as Anderson and Matthew McConaughey.

“Further details on the series are yet to be announced.

“Branum, creator and host of truTV’s Talk Show the Game Show, was a supervising producer for Comedy Central’s The Other Two.He also spent three seasons writing for Hulu’s The Mindy Projectand was a producer during the show’s last season. His other TV writing credits include A League of Their Own, Punk’d, Awkward, Another Period, Billy on the Street and Fashion Police.

“The second project, Last American Vampire, centers on a young female FBI agent who is partnered with a wealthy, 500-year-old vampire bon vivant to protect the world from a dangerous threat.

“Matalas penned the script. Katzenberg, Seth Grahame Smith and Aaron Schmidt executive produce.

“Quibi, the digital shortform platform led by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, has been on a content tear in recent weeks. The service set to launch in April 2020 has announced some two dozen series since it secured $100 million in ad sales from Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, Anheuser-Busch, Walmart, Progressive and Google — the first companies to sign up with ‘category exclusivity.’”

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Per Women’s Health, “[a]t a spacious studio in Hollywood, a barefoot Julianne Hough is hyping up a group of dancers auditioning to become trainers for a new workout method she’s created. Wearing shiny mauve leggings and a matching sports bra, she paces back and forth, doing her best to make eye contact with each person.

“‘We’re creating an environment that’s inclusive and where everyone is accepted,’ says Julianne, eliciting cheers of Yayyyy! and I hear that! from the crowd. ‘That’s the world I want to live in.’

“Dance has always been a part of Julianne’s life—she began competing at age 9 in her home state of Utah and went on to become a pro (and later a judge) on Dancing With the Stars. She landed her first lead acting role in the 2011 remake of Footloose, yet never really understood what dance gave her until recently.

“‘Dance is my superpower, and it has been my whole life, but I didn’t even know it,’ she says. But others did. Before Julianne started choreographing what she calls her ‘high-sensory activated dance method,’ she remembers people telling her they wanted to dance like her.

“‘What does that even mean?’ she mused in an Instagram post earlier this year. ‘Do you want to do a high kick, pirouette into a split?’ No. They wanted to dance without feeling self-conscious.

“‘I have no boundaries when I dance,’ she says, now seated on a couch, snuggled up in a sweater and nursing a jug of lemon water.

“For Julianne, dancing without limits is all about the mind-body connection. By creating her dance method, Kinrgy (kin as in family and kinesthetic, plus energy), she wants to encourage others to move freely and feel transformed. 

“Julianne’s own ‘massive transformation’ started four months after her July 2017 wedding to professional hockey player Brooks Laich. Marriage was her big happy ending, she thought, but then she realized she wanted more. She needed to find her purpose. That purpose, it turns out, is helping lift others up through dance.

“Her original idea for Kinrgy was straightforward: to create a class or app that would be like the SoulCycle of dance. But she ended up scrapping the idea; it didn’t feel substantial enough. 

“A meeting with Endeavor talent agency CMO Bozoma Saint John, who’d done Julianne’s method at a retreat and become hooked, was pivotal. She urged Julianne to think outside the box. ‘Let’s create a movement,’ Saint John told her. ‘I was like, “I want to do that, but how?”’ Julianne recalls. ‘You just do it,’ Saint John replied. ‘The minute that happened, everything shifted for me,’ says Julianne.

“Expanding her reach—with plans for both a studio in Los Angeles and global events in which participants around the world will dance simultaneously—meant the practice had to be more accessible. 

“Designed for nondancers, the 45-minute method isn’t about perfecting the choreography—which does include moves such as ‘sexy lunges’ and Magic Mike–like hip thrusts—but instead, moving in a way that’s nurturing to each individual.

“And developing Kinrgy proved to be cathartic for Julianne, who says it’s helped her unpack some tough childhood experiences. ‘I’ve been de-layering all the survival tactics I’ve built up my whole life,’ she says. ‘Now, I feel limitless.’

“Her hope is that others will have a similarly life-changing experience when the method launches this year. ‘When I think about what I want to create, I want to help people connect back to their truest self. When that happens, they can relate to the people around them with no filter and experience the world how we’re supposed to experience it—in its most pure form, which I believe is love.’

“Julianne recently got a crash course in the whole ‘no filter’ thing in a different way, posing for the cover of this Naked Strength issue. ‘I didn’t want to do a demure shoot where I was trying to cover my body,’ she says. ‘I wanted to do something where I was free.’

“Though the America’s Got Talent judge says she’s never been shy when changing in front of other dancers, the photo shoot shifted her perspective. “Now I’m walking around naked all the time, and I love it!” she says. 

“For Julianne, that unabashed body love has, at times, been hard-earned. Back in 2008, following a diagnosis of endometriosis—a condition in which the tissue lining the uterus (the endometrium) forms outside of it, causing severe pelvic pain during menstruation and sex—Julianne grappled with feelings of insecurity.

“Only after accepting her endo as part of her was she able to see it in a new light. ‘I feel I’ve created a more peaceful and harmonious relationship with it.’

“Acknowledging the aspects of her condition that may be out of her control (like getting pregnant, as almost 40 percent of women with endometriosis struggle with infertility, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) has also been a challenge.

“There hasn’t been a specific ‘you cannot have children’ talk with her doctor, but in June, Julianne and her husband revealed they were starting in vitro fertilization to increase their chances of conceiving. And she’s choosing to look on the bright side: ‘I’ve always put it out there that it’s going to be okay,’ she says. 

“Knowing she has Brooks by her side through the ups and downs only reinforces her resilience. However, there was a moment during the past year when she feared he wouldn’t vibe with her evolution.

“‘I was connecting to the woman inside that doesn’t need anything, versus the little girl that looked to him to protect me,’ she remembers. ‘I was like, “Is he going to love this version of me?” But the more I dropped into my most authentic self, the more attracted he was to me. Now we have a more intimate relationship.’

“That new intimacy has allowed Julianne to reveal truths to her husband that even he didn’t know. ‘I [told him], “You know I’m not straight, right?” And he was like, '“I’m sorry, what?” I was like, “I’m not. But I choose to be with you,”’ she says.

“‘I think there’s a safety with my husband now that I’m unpacking all of this, and there’s no fear of voicing things that I’ve been afraid to admit or that I’ve had shame or guilt about because of what I’ve been told or how I was raised.’

“Julianne’s radical evolution has also helped her reconnect with another love: music. Though her first album debuted at number one on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart in 2008 and she won the Top New Artist award at the Academy of Country Music Awards in 2009, the lead single on her never-released second album underperformed, and she halted her music career in 2012.

“‘I gave up because of my fear of failure,’ she admits. She’s since changed her tune and has started writing lyrics again. And no surprise here: ‘Every song has been about transformation,’ she says. ‘It’s so where I’m at. Being able to move stuck energy, I let down my walls.’

“With her sense of emotional and mental well-being transformed, Julianne is careful not to ignore the physical either. She exercises five days a week, doing a mix of SoulCycle and hot power yoga, plus weight training with her husband.

“And she’s started to love her early workouts, even if she’s not a morning person. ‘If I don’t move my body in the morning, I have a fine day,’ she says. ‘If I move it first thing, I have an excellent day.’

“Before every workout, she slurps down a glass of lukewarm water with half a lemon, 8 to 12 ounces of celery juice, a green superfood drink, two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and an adrenal supplement.

“Post-sweat, she drinks a healthy-fats shake made with avocado, almond butter, almond milk, spinach, protein powder, blueberries, and a banana. She loves switching up her main meals and eating different kinds of body-nourishing dishes, but she tries to stick to one rule, given her health struggles: Avoid foods that cause inflammation.

“And though she’s committed to maintaining all of the habits she’s adopted—from the morning exercise routine to the more mind-blowing relationship and internal changes she’s made on her journey—one thing is certain: Julianne knows she’ll continue to evolve.

“‘I’m going to shift for the rest of my life,’ she says. ‘I’m not like, “Oh, I got it.” But I’m trusting myself now, and when I’m totally connected to me, I feel full. I want others to see that in themselves too.’ There’s a transformation in motion for Julianne…and one just waiting to be sparked in the rest of us. Who’s in?”