Tuesday August 13, 2019

Tiffany Haddish’s new stand up special is now available to stream on Netflix.

Season 6 of truTV’s Adam Ruins Everything premieres tonight.

I hate every single person in the Are You The One? house.

I kind of feel the same about the cast of The Hills, save for maybe Brody Jenner.

Especially since he’s now seemingly hanging out with Josie Canseco.

Do NOT call Chris Cuomo “Fredo.” Ever.

”On the heels of scoring 5 Primetime Emmy nominations for its freshman run, including Outstanding Drama Series, HBO’s family saga Succession returned for a second season on Sunday to a series high 1.2 million premiere night viewers across HBO’s linear network and digital platforms. That was up +32% from the viewership for Succession‘s series premiere night (918,000 viewers) and +22% from the nightly audience for the Season 1 finale (997,000 viewers).

Chris Harrison has a lot to say about Bachelor In Paradise, The Bachelor franchise and more.

I’m oddly fascinated by this continuing story. “Brody Jenner knew Kaitlynn Carter and Miley Cyrus were hooking up long before photos hit the internet. An insider told Page Six on Monday that Carter, 30, and Cyrus, 26, have been hooking up for “a couple of months” and that Carter’s ex Jenner is ‘totally okay with it.’ ‘Brody is still friends with them. There’s no drama,’ our source added. Earlier this month, Jenner, 35, announced his split from Carter and wasted no time partying away in Vegas after the breakup. Meanwhile, a source told us at the time that Carter was dating someone new. Now, she’s been getting cozy with Cyrus on a yacht as they vacationed in Italy last week and photos of them kissing were released over the weekend.”

Comedy Central is ready to reveal the first members of Alec Baldwin’s insult squad. Robert De Niro, Caitlyn Jenner, Debra Messing, Joel McHale, Chris Redd, Jeff Ross, and Blake Griffin have signed on to sit on the dais and launch stinging barbs at the Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning actor on The Comedy Central Roast of Alec Baldwin. Messing’s Will & Grace co-star Sean Hayes will serve as Roast Master of the proceedings. Baldwin guest-starred in multiple episodes of the NBC comedy. The Roast will be filmed in Los Angeles on Sept. 7, and air Sept. 15 at 10 p.m.”

“Netflix’s upcoming adaptation of the critically-acclaimed, Kerry Washington-led Broadway play American Son will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival this September, the streaming service said Tuesday. The movie will then launch Nov. 1 on Netflix, following its debut at TIFF. Washington executive produces and stars in the project, along with her original Broadway co-stars Steven Pasquale, Jeremy Jordan and Eugene Lee. Kenny Leon returns as director. Written by Christopher Demos-Brown, American Son tells the story of two interracial parents who reunite in a Florida police station seeking answers about their missing teenage son.”

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Per Deadline, “[w]ith several big media companies gearing up for the launch of new streaming platforms, long-running broadcast comedy series are taking center stage as cornerstones of their offerings. NBCUniversal paid $500+ million for The Office, and HBO Max shelled out $425 million for Friends — both pulled away from Netflix. Additionally, Disney+ is taking over streaming rights to The Simpsons library which Disney-owned FX Networks had paid $100 million for in a multi-platform deal several years ago.

“The massive recent Office and Friends deals could soon be dwarfed by the first streaming pacts for two big Chuck Lorre hits, The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men. WarnerMedia had been looking to secure Warner Bros. TV’s latest comedy blockbuster, The Big Bang Theory, in a deal, which industry observers had expected to cross the $1 billion mark. I now hear that HBO Max is in conversations for both Big Bang and 2.5 Men, with the package possibly fetching as much as $1.5 billion.

“Part of the reason why the price tag is so big is because, unlike Friends and The Office, which have been drawing millions of old and new viewers on Netflix, Big Bang and 2.5 Men have never been exposed to streaming beyond a few “stacked” recent episodes of Big Bang on CBS All Access over the last several seasons. WBTV similarly held backFriends until scoring the big deal with Netflix in 2014.

“Additionally, Big Bang just came off its original highly rated run on CBS and continues to be a huge draw in off-network syndication on TBS. Two and a Half Man, which went through two leading men, Charlie Sheen and Ashton Kutcher, has long been a top performer in broadcast syndication.

“I hear talks are complex, in large part because of stipulations in co-creator/executive producer Lorre’s deal, but I hear WarnerMedia is determined to have WBTV’s biggest comedy series of the last two decades, Friends, The Big Bang and 2.5 Men, on HBO Max at launch in spring 2020.

“Adding intrigue to the situation is the fact that, likely enticed by the blockbuster recent deals for Friends at HBO Max and The Office at NBCU, I hear Sony Pictures Television has taken out Seinfeld, which the studio distributes.

“The classic NBC 1990s sitcom is tied up until 2021 in its exclusive SVOD deal at Hulu. I hear that in the previous negotiations, Sony synched up the off-network cable deal for Seinfeld at TBS with the streaming pact at Hulu, so all rights become available at the same time.”

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From Forbes: “Quibi is Jeffrey Katzenberg’s closely-watched premium video service that launches April 2020 and hopes to succeed where others – most notably Verizon with its since-shuttered go90 service – have failed. That is, in the world of subscription-driven, millennial-focused and mobile-first premium video. Quibi essentially aims to become the Netflix of video for our smallest screens. Think Stranger Things or The Crown, but in bite-sized ‘snackable’ episodes of not more than 10 minutes each. The Quibi name itself – short for ‘QUIck BItes’ – screams its vision.

“Will Quibi succeed?

“Skepticism certainly runs deep in the ranks of media-tech. So, it's a good time to understand the case "for" and ‘against’ Quibi. Let’s take the ‘for’ case first.

“Quibi boasts an audacious vision that neither Verizon, nor any other service before it, ever even attempted to pursue. Quibi will feature content with Hollywood-style production qualities, talent and overall DNA – which means traditional Hollywood budgets that reach up to $125,000 per minute of video (yes, per minute). Katzenberg's fundamental premise is that this kind of expensive -- very expensive -- high end storytelling is the ‘special sauce’ that will draw in young audiences and tap into a lucrative mobile-first market that was always there -- but was just never served. That's why Quibi believers feel that comparisons to services like go90 aren’t exactly ‘apples to apples.’

“Quibi, accordingly, will operate in a green field when it launches. It boldly goes where no other player has gone before – and hopes to stake its claim to become the subscription video on demand (SVOD) destination for premium mobile-first content well before Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney and other SVOD behemoths of present or future set their sites on mobile. None of those giants have yet prioritized (nor plan to prioritize) mobile-first video in any meaningful way, anytime soon. Quibi is the first-mover.

“Quibi, of course, also comes from the mind and brand of Katzenberg, a Hollywood legend and innovator who has brashly succeeded where others have failed before. So, the ‘X factor’ quotient is high here. Katzenberg, of course, first built (and sold) his own major studio, DreamWorks. Then, as the rest of the traditional studio world looked right, Katzenberg looked left toward tech-driven content innovation and acquired digital-first studio AwesomenessTV early-on (and sold it for a significant multiple a few years later). Katzenberg is the rare mogul who has played successfully both in the old "traditional" and new tech-driven worlds of media and entertainment. His relationships with highly-pedigreed creators run deep, and he can call in a lot of favors (not to mention a lot of dollars) to drive content success. Not to mention the major brands and advertisers who will support that content. As of June, Quibi claims to have already booked over $100 million in advertising commitments, a number that represents two-thirds of its first-year $150 million ad inventory. And, the ‘K factor’ likely will attract mega-initial distribution from telcos out the gates, first domestically. Impressive.

“Katzenberg also understands that Hollywood content alone will not a successful mobile service make. That's why he brought in Meg Whitman to be the Silicon Valley technical ‘ying’ to his Hollywood ‘yang.’ Quibi should boast strong tech platform chops when it launches, in addition to high quality content unavailable anywhere else. One immediate differentiator will be that all videos on Quibi will be available both in traditional horizontal orientation and Snap-esque vertical orientation, with the ability to seamlessly toggle from one to the other.

“On the flip-side of the Quibi debate, skeptics point to many of the same factors, but spin them 180-degrees.

“First, non-converts simply don’t believe that mobile-driven economics can support Katzenberg’s Quibi vision. They point not only to Verizon’s go90, but also to mobile-driven services like Comcast’s Watchable and previous video darling Vessel – both discarded long ago after much initial pomp and circumstance. And, Katzenberg’s content budgets tower over those of the predecessors by an order of magnitude. If they failed spending far less, how can Quibi succeed? Will millennials really pay $4.99 per month for Quibi with ads and $7.99 without (especially when so much free mobile-first content is already available to them and they can access Netflix premium content on their phones if they want).

“Quibi skeptics also simply don’t buy the service’s fundamental premise – that more traditional Hollywood-style programming featuring Hollywood-style talent and production values will effectively translate to a mobile, millennial-driven audience. Do millennials care about A-list ‘brands’ like Academy Award-winning Directors Guillermo Del Toro (The Shape of Water) and Peter Farrelly (Green Book) signing on to create exclusive premium content for the service? Will that kind of traditional Hollywood name-dropping matter? Or do millennials care most about individual content titles and brands themselves? Remember, Quibi's content will be original. The service brings no tent-pole millennial-friendly brands like Marvel -- with built-in mass audiences -- to the Quibi universe. That means that Quibi instead will need to build its audience one-by-one. Yes, Quibi likely will sport major distribution partners at launch. But, immediate mass distribution certainly didn't do the trick for Verizon. So much competition for those young eyeballs already exists.

“Of course, no one can say either way at this point whether Hollywood-style content and overall Katzenberg-ian storytelling will work on a mobile platform with fundamentally different mobile economics and audiences? It is one great experiment. Quibi executives acknowledge as much.

“So, why not enjoy the ride? Why bet against Katzenberg and Quibi?

“And, not many openly do. After all, the overall video ecosystem -- particularly artists and creators -- benefits no matter what happens. That’s why every single major Hollywood studio is a Quibi investor and potential content partner. These studios helped Katzenberg raise over $1 billion to fund his grand vision and, if nothing else, see Quibi as being a hedge. It’s like like that scene in The Godfather Part III when Cardinal Lamberto asks a skeptical Michael Corleone at the Vatican whether he ‘believes.’ In the Cardinal's words -- appealing to Corleone's practical side -- ‘What have you got to lose?’

“Those on board the Quibi train certainly don't see much.”

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“Nathan Fielder has signed a one year overall deal at HBO, Variety has learned exclusively.

“Under the deal, Fielder will serve as executive producer on How To…With John Wilson, which has been ordered to series at HBO, and an untitled comedy pilot in which Fielder will star as well as write and direct.

How To…With John Wilson is a half-hour, first person documentary series hosted by an anxious New Yorker (Wilson) who attempts to give everyday advice while dealing with his own personal issues. Acting as both cameraman and narrator, he covertly documents the lives of fellow New Yorkers in a comic odyssey of self-discovery, inevitably making the audience comfortable with the awkward contradictions of modern life.

“Wilson is the writer, director, narrator and executive producer on the series, with Fielder and Clark Reinking also executive producing. Reinking was previously a supervising producer on Fielder’s Comedy Central series “Nathan For You,:” with his other credits including shows like Moonbase 8 and Tim & Eric’s Bedtime Stories, Check It Out! With Dr. Steve Brule, and Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job.

“Wilson is a lo-fi documentarian based in New York City. His diaristic images of the city offer commentary on the anxieties and contradictions of modern life. Partially inspired by a short-lived career working for a private investigator, his movies adopt the voyeuristic amateurism that has run rampant since the birth of smartphones.

“Plot details on Fielder’s comedy pilot are being kept under wraps. Reinking will also executive produce the untitled project along with Christie Smith and Dan McManus for Rise Management.

“Fielder is best known for his work on Nathan for You, which he created, directed, starred in, and executive produced. His other onscreen credits include The Disaster Artist, The Simpsons, Rick and Morty, Bob’s Burgers,”and Drunk History.”

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From ESPN: “The 2019-20 NBA schedule was unveiled on Monday, and with summer player movement scattering stars across the league to new teams, return games will feature prominently throughout the season.

Kawhi Leonard will make his return to Toronto on Dec. 11 as the LA Clippers visit the defending champion Raptors. New Celtics guard Kemba Walkerreturns to Charlotte on Nov. 7 and Jazz guard Mike Conley is back in Memphis on Nov. 15.

“On Nov. 27, Lakers big man Anthony Davis returns to New Orleans and Nets guard Kyrie Irving is in Boston.

“Clippers forward Paul George returns to Oklahoma City on Dec. 22. Rockets guard Russell Westbrookwill make his return to Oklahoma City on Jan. 9, though the Rockets face the Thunder in Houston on Oct. 28, their third game of the season.

“The 2019-20 season opens on Oct. 22 with a doubleheader featuring the Pelicans visiting the Raptors on ring night, and the Lakers visiting the Clippers in the first installment of the new battle for Los Angeles.

“The Lakers lead the way in national TV appearances (ABC, ESPN and TNT) with 31, winning the first matchup with the Clippers, who clock in with 26. The Warriors have the second-most with 30, the Rockets will appear 26 times, Celtics 25 times, while the Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers make 24 appearances each. Zion Williamson and the Pelicans will make 20 national TV appearances.

“The league's marquee Christmas Day games will feature five games, with the Celtics visiting the Raptors at noon (all times ET), the Bucks at the 76ers at 2:30 p.m., the Rockets at the Warriors at 5 p.m., the Clippers at the Lakers at 8 p.m., and the Pelicans at the Nuggets at 10:30 p.m.

“A primary focus for schedule-makers this season was to move up East Coast start times for national TV doubleheaders. The overall number of 10:30 p.m. ET starts on national TV was reduced from 57 to 33, with the Warriors playing only 11 times at 10:30 p.m. (down from 18 last season) and the Lakers only 10 times (down from 19).

“For a fifth consecutive season, back-to-backs are at a historic low, with teams averaging 12.4 this season, down from 13.3 last season. Since the 2014-15 season, back-to-backs are down 36% overall. The range of back-to-backs per team is between 11 and 14 (it was 12 to 15 last season). For a third straight season, there will be no four-in-five-night games for any team and no eight-games-in-12-nights for a second consecutive season.

“The All-Star break will begin Feb. 14 with the 2020 All-Star Game on Feb. 16 in Chicago. The league will be on a break with no games from Feb. 14-19. Every team will have at least seven days off.

“The schedule also features a record 48 prime-time games for Europe (afternoon start times in North America, prime-time for European time zones), and the first-ever slate of Saturday prime-time games for Europe.

“The regular season concludes on April 15 with 26 of the 30 teams in action that night.”

Is it October yet?