Thursday August 15, 2019

How nice was it having Mike and Harvey square off last night? Premise/storyline aside, I was just happy to see them banter.

The series finale of Elementary airs tonight on CBS.

Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones, a new Netflix stand-up special, will be available on August 26.

Here’s a little teaser.

The reboot of Crank Yankers returns to Comedy Central on September 25.

Check out he 9-1-1 trailer with a tsunami enveloping the Santa Monica pier. Here’s to hoping this show lasts for years to come (I have a friend who is one of the leads, so for his sake, I hope it continues to be a hit).

Comedy Central has given a 10-episode series order to a new interview show from 2 Dope Queens host Phoebe Robinson. The untitled half-hour series will see Robinson host pop culture luminaries and ‘create experiences with her guests that take us into their world and out of her comfort zone,’ according to the network. ‘As a workaholic who has the luxury of working from home most days at the expense of experiencing the world, Phoebe is getting out of the house and meeting the people she’s admired from afar. This show will hit that sweet spot between educational and charmingly ignorant,’ Robinson said in a statement. ‘Who doesn’t love that? Well, all older black people who struggled and marched for my rights. But besides that, everyone else does!’”

”NBC is looking to the 1980s for its next hit. The network is plotting a modern remake of 1985's St. Elmo's Fire and has handed out a script sale for the new take on the 1985 Brat Pack feature. The potential series is described as a modern adaptation of the Joel Schumacher-directed film that showcased a group of close friends struggling with career, commitment and the responsibilities of adulthood. Josh Berman (Drop Dead Diva, The Mob Doctor) is on board to pen the script and executive produce via his Osprey Productions banner. Chris King will also be an EP.” Please don’t!

“At the premiere of a show about ex-cons, Ice-T — who says he has ‘hundreds of [friends] that just came out of prison’ — had some advice about dealing with the rigors of a jail term. ‘The rule of the game is — don’t go to prison,’ the actor told us at the Season 2 premiere of WE TV’s Love After Lockup. He added, ‘Prison throws a lot of s–t in the game that is set up to ruin your life, and holding it together in those types of circumstances is damn near impossible.’ And while life inside is terrible, he said, there are other worries. ‘It’s hard for a woman to stay faithful to a man that is in prison and broke,’ he told us at the event at the Whitby Hotel, ‘You out here still looking good at 30, and all these new offers are coming in — it’s hard for a woman to stay true, too.’” Groundbreaking stuff there T. Love After Lockup returns to WE tomorrow night.

“Leah Remini’s Scientology exposé is coming to an end. A&E has announced that Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath will conclude with a two-hour special, set to air Monday, Aug. 26 at 9/8c, that will “explore stories of how Church of Scientology policies have hindered members from reporting instances of abuse and sexual assault to the authorities,” per the official description. Scientology and the Aftermath, which aired its last original episode in February, ran for three seasons.”


“The cast of Beverly Hills, 90210 isn't cashing in as much as you'd think with Fox's meta ‘revival.’

Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that original stars Jennie Garth, Tori Spelling, Gabrielle Carteris, Shannen Doherty, Jason Priestley, Brian Austin Green and Ian Ziering are making $70,000 per episode for Fox's BH90210, where they each play heightened versions of themselves shopping a revival of their beloved former '90s teen soap. That translates to a $420,000 base salary for the six-episode ‘event series.’

“Sources note that Garth and Spelling also receive an additional $15,000 per-episode fee for co-creating the new take. (Showrunners Mike Chessler and Chris Alberghini are also credited as co-creators alongside Garth and Spelling.)

“Priestley, who helmed one episode, is earning an additional $46,000 for his work behind the camera. (That's the basic DGA primetime network directing rate.)

“The new salaries are a far cry from what many industry insiders anticipated for a pseudo-reboot of a beloved series with nearly the full cast participating. ‘I thought they would have made at least six figures,’ said one prolific talent agent.

“By comparison, the four original stars of Will & Grace were paid $250,000 per episode for the first season of NBC's revival and secured bumps to $350,000 for seasons two and three.

“According to a 2017 THR survey, actor salaries ranged from $1 million per episode (think the stars of The Big Bang Theory), to $55,000-$85,000 for midrange talent (actors lower down on the call sheet) with the bottom level for supporting leads with no prior series regular roles coming in at around $30,000 per episode.

BH90210 premiered Aug. 7 on Fox and opened with an impressive 1.5 rating in the all-important adults 18-49 demographic and 3.4 million total viewers, besting CBS stalwart Big Brother in both metrics. The series also scored well with women 25-54, drawing a 2.5 in the demo — Fox's best summer scripted return in nearly a decade. With three days of delayed viewing, the series premiere grew to a 2.1 among 18-49ers, making it this summer's highest-rated series debut and No. 1 summer bow in more than two years. All told, the episode delivered 6.1 million multiplatform viewers and ranks as Fox's most-streamed summer debut ever.

“As for the future, the cast all hope that BH90210 runs for multiple seasons. "We have so many stories to tell that this could keep going on season after season," said Spelling, who with Garth had been shopping the new take for nearly a year before the newly independent Fox Entertainment came through with the series order.

“Fox and producers CBS TV Studios — the latter of which produced the original series — declined comment.”


Per Decider, “The Brady Bunch house might be the most famous home in all of television. From its faded tan exterior to its kitschy interiors, it’s absolutely iconic. Now, HGTV is making it real. The network’s new series, A Very Brady Renovation, partners all six of the original Brady Bunch children with HGTV all-stars in a quest to turn the so-called Brady Bunch House (i.e. the Los Angeles ranch home that provided the show’s exterior shots) into the real deal.

Decider recently got the opportunity to get a sneak peek of A Very Brady Renovation. We saw the very first screening of the show’s 90-minute-long premiere this week along with HGTV President Jane Latman, Senior Vice President Loren Ruch, and handful of other journalists. From the get-go, it was obvious that A Very Brady Renovation is more than your typical ‘bread and butter’ HGTV show. For one thing, Latman and Ruch kept calling it ‘the biggest show HGTV has ever done.’ Unlike other HGTV favorites, A Very Brady Renovation opens almost reality-show style, introducing us to the backstory that brought the Brady Bunch house into the HGTV’s safekeeping. When the house went on the market last year, Ruch spearheaded a plan to put in a bid for the house and to bring the six surviving Brady Bunch cast members — Barry Williams (Greg), Maureen McCormick (Marcia), Christopher Knight (Peter), Eve Plumb (Jan), Mike Lookinland (Bobby), and Susan Olsen (Cindy) — together for the ultimate renovation project.

“The plan was pretty simple in theory, but daunting in practice. As many TV fans already knew, the exterior of The Brady Bunch house was a real house, while the interior was comprised of sets on a Hollywood soundstage. HGTV was going to make the inside of the real house match those legendary sets exactly.

“‘When we started to dive into doing the show, we studied — I’m not kidding — almost every frame of every episode that had ever existed. So if there was a room that ever appeared in a single episode, we would make sure it was covered here,’ Ruch said.

“However, there was a very big problem. The real house HGTV had purchased was a ranch, while the Brady family home we saw on TV was a split-level. The very first episode of A Very Brady Renovation covers how the contractors and designers dealt with this: by stealthily adding an addition to the back that would not ruin the appearance of exterior’s famous facade. This addition would offer enough space for the children’s rooms, the kitchen, and Alice’s bedroom. Because of quirks of the existing house’s layout, Greg’s attic and the master bedroom would be located on the first floor. Everyone involved was confident, though, that superfans would appreciate the attention to detail in each room enough to overlook the inconsistencies in the layout.

“A legion of HGTV all-stars were drafted to assist the Bradys throughout the renovation process. Property Brothers Drew and Jonathan Scott help Maureen McCormick, Susan Olsen, and Christopher Knight renovate the exterior and ‘heart’ of the home in Episode 1. Other HGTV talent involved in A Very Brady Renovation include Good Bones stars Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen E. Laine, Leanne and Steve Ford from Restored by the FordsHidden Potential star Jasmine Roth, and Flea Market Flip host Lara Spencer. Ruch told reporters that talent was chosen based on experience, schedules, and most of all, their level of Brady Bunch fandom.

“‘We wanted to go for the biggest Brady fans, so Karen from Good Bones, the minute she heard we bought the house — she’s OBSESSED with The Brady Bunch — so she reached out to us and asked if they could be a part of it,’ Ruch said, before adding that everyone involved were superfans.

“Funnily enough, all six Brady siblings had experience in the world of contracting, house flipping, and home design. ‘It turned into this incredibly happy accident that [the Bradys] were much more skilled than we thought. And more than skilled, they were just interested in participating,’ Ruch said. ‘It was a chance for them to get dirty, and they wanted to get dirty every single part of the entire process. It’s not fake seeing them work on this house.’

“Ruch revealed that each of the Bradys got to pick a specific room to renovate if they were especially attached to it. Barry Williams, for instance, wanted to work on Mike’s Den since he and co-star Robert Reed had a lot of scenes in there together. Susan Olsen wanted to use her own skills as a graphic designer to help recreate the wallpaper in the kids’ rooms. Eve Plumb really wanted to work on the kitchen and Alice’s room as she associated both strongly with Ann B. Davis.

“‘Eve Plumb was very close to Ann B. Davis and [Alice’s room] was the room she asked to work on. It was a super emotional journey because she felt like it was as much duplicating the room as it was in the show as it was a tribute to someone who couldn’t be part of it now,’ Ruch said.

“The Brady siblings go through all sorts of emotions during the premiere of A Very Brady Renovation, and process itself regurgitated all manner of memories. Stories shared on set included everything from factoids like how they had to replace Tiger, the Brady family dog, after Season 1 because he ran down the stairs too slowly to how long and laborious shooting dinner scenes would be. There was even some hot gossip.

“‘There were tons of stories about little romances,’ Ruch said. “Like Bobby and Cindy kissed in the dog house and they wanted to recreate that scene, and Greg and Marcia kissed in the upstairs closet.’

“Also gossip-worthy? The financial battle to win the Brady House. Before it was announced that HGTV bought the home, entertainment outlets reported that former *NSYNC member Lance Bass had won the property with a $1.85 million bid. Little did anyone know that HGTV had offered double that: $3.5 million.

“‘The funny thing is we honestly didn’t know that Lance Bass had made the offer. That turned out to be much more of a news story than an internal story,’ Ruch said, before explaining that privately Bass was happy HGTV bought the house. Both Bass and HGTV wanted to preserved the property, which is located in a neighborhood known for its McMansions. Ruch even revealed that Bass would be ‘making an appearance at the house in the next couple of weeks.’

“HGTV’s house flipping shows almost always reveal the before-and-after value of the homes in question. So if HGTV shelled out $3.5 million on the Brady Bunch house, how much is it worth now? While they don’ have a tally on how much they wound up spending on the renovation, HGTV could reveal that the finished Brady Bunch house is now worth an estimated $3.9 million, not including the vintage furnishings.

“So what does the network plan on doing with the house now thatA Very Brady Renovation has wrapped? ‘The biggest thing we’re working on is the contest which will allow a superfan family to stay in the house for a week,’ Ruch said. ‘After that, we haven’t really thought through that far. We’re kind of taking one month at a time because there’s been so much prep.’

A Very Brady Renovation will premiere with an extended 90-minute-long episode on Monday, September 9 at 9 pm ET/PT. Three more hour-long episodes will premiere weekly after that. HGTV has also confirmed that there will be a A Very Brady Renovation Holiday special later this year. After that, who knows?

“‘We may do more Brady Bunch programming. We may do some clip shows and other opportunities now that we’re seeing the interest there,’ Ruch said, but HGTV’s primary focus is getting A Very Brady Renovation off the ground first. After that, who knows who we’ll see pop up in The Brady Bunch house. Maybe it will even be you…”


Per EW, “Kirsten Dunst connects while driving through ‘the worst pocket’ of cell reception in California. She shares your prayer that we get through this. ‘We are, together,’ she coos reassuringly. Minutes later, she cuts out. Behold the continued queen of the unexpected.

“It’s probably easy to trust her because, as an acting veteran at 37, Dunst has self-made a career of subverting expectations and surprising audiences, expertly balancing untraditional turns in offbeat dramas (a rebel royal in Marie-Antoinette) and art-house gems (a bride whose depression wills the apocalypse in Melancholia) with big-budget blockbusters (minimizing damsel Mary Jane’s distress in three Spider-Man films), often more enticed by the vision fueling a particular project than its scale.

“‘When I make something, I feel like no one’s ever going to see it,’ Dunst says of her approach to the craft. ‘I feel like I do it for myself.’

“Most likely, however, it feels especially right trusting her because she seamlessly overcomes the seemingly insurmountable in her newest endeavor. Dunst’s instincts have now guided her to the realm of television, where she’ll continue her singular streak producing and starring in Showtime’s dark comedyOn Becoming a God in Central Florida (premiering Aug. 25 at 10 p.m.) as Krystal Stubbs, an Orlando-adjacent waterpark employee (with a wardrobe best described as “Lisa Frank dabbling in textiles”) forced into conning her way up the ranks of a pyramid scheme (one that ensnares her zany, workaholic husband, played by Alexander Skarsgård) in the wake of a personal tragedy tied to the illicit operation.

“‘She’s cutthroat, but with a heart of gold,” says Dunst, who lends her cool, inviting calmness to Krystal’s vengeful rage — even as her mama-bear survivalist tactics grow increasingly bonkers. Within two episodes of the ’90s-set series, a wailing Krystal fires a shotgun into a swamp of alligators, later skinning the beasts and hand-harvesting the meat to feed her young. “It’s about a mother trying to make it work!’ Dunst chirps. ‘I get to put things that are ugly in front of myself into my roles. I can express my rage through Krystal. It ends up almost being therapeutic in a way. For me, I could play Krystal because I understand her, but also I get to release those things as well.’

“For the producer and star, making things work meant anchoring herself to the series through multiple network handoffs — first at AMC, then YouTube, then Showtime, at one point with The Favourite director Yorgos Lanthimos attached to helm. Dunst confesses that, after giving birth to her first child in May 2018, she considered leaving the project. Still, despite the shakeups and personal developments, ‘I couldn’t let this character go,’ says Dunst, savoring Krystal’s agency amid other offers the actress has received to play helpless thirtysomethings.

“‘I read other shows before that I could’ve done, but this was just so different,’ she adds. ‘I don’t have to be crying about some man or what the man did to me. It doesn’t matter. This is Krystal’s show and it’s not about that, which most female roles kind of still are…. This is the age range where it’s easier to find good material in television. That’s where the best work is for me and what I’m interested in doing.’

“Krystal marks the latest benchmark in Dunst’s mission to resist the Hollywood-blonde stereotypes. She values complex renegades, which drew her to the new ‘creative freedom’ of TV to perform juicy roles (like in her Golden Globe-nominated turn on 2015’s Fargo) she rarely sees in film. ‘I wanted to be more of an artist in my acting, instead of making tons of money being a star of every big whatever.’

“Like, she references, her string of studio rom-coms in the late aughts. ‘Post-Spider-Man it was like, I could definitely go down this romantic comedy route. Those were really popular then, too, but it just was like, ugh, no thank you,” she recalls. “It wasn’t for me. I hated that kind of acting. It was so hard for me to do. Thank God Sofia Coppola would sweep me away to do a Marie-Antoinette in between.’

“So, what’s next? On her previously announced directorial debut — an adaptation of Sylvia Plath’s beloved novel The Bell Jar — Dunst says the film isn’t happening, at least with her in the director’s chair.

“‘I never owned [the rights], so it went away for me. It went to other hands. That ship sunk, too,’ she confirms. Instead, Florida could be a hit, or Dunst may focus on producing more projects to allow extra time with her infant son, Ennis, with partner and Fargo costar Jesse Plemons. ‘This is the first year I’ve been a mom. Directing a film and having a baby…that’s two years of your life, directing, editing, and promoting all of it. Maybe when I’m older I’ll want to again. Right now, I have zero interest in committing myself to that.’ (Cornerstone Films did not immediately respond to EW’s request for clarification on The Bell Jar‘s status).

“In other words, Dunst’s plan isn’t entirely clear — and it never has been. Whether weird or wonderful, all we know is we’re going to get through it together.”


From TheWrap: “Joey King took on the most “mentally and physically demanding” role of her life when she signed on to play Gypsy Rose Blanchard in The Act.

“Gypsy Rose’s mother, Dee Dee (played by Patricia Arquette in the fact-based Hulu limited series), convinced her daughter that she suffered from illnesses like leukemia and muscular dystrophy, although doctors never found any evidence that Gypsy had the conditions. She did have a unique voice, though — a high-pitched little-girl voice that King studied by “going to sleep with interviews of Gypsy playing through my headphones.” (She never spoke directly to Gypsy, who is currently in prison for her role in her mother’s murder.)

“King didn’t read for the role in that voice, though. ‘They didn’t want people to audition with the voice because they didn’t want it to seem like they were mocking the character, and instead hoped to find someone who just really captured the soul of the character,’ she said. ‘Only after I booked the role did I say to our producers, “I really think it’s important for me to try and do the voice.”’

“She also watched the HBO documentary about the case, Mommy Dead and Dearest, ‘probably more times than I can even count’ to capture Gypsy’s mannerisms. But the most challenging scene for King, she said, was the one between Gypsy and boyfriend Nick Godejohn (played by Calum Worthy) that took place after he killed Dee Dee so the two lovers could be together.

“‘It’s the scene when myself and Calum were hiding in the closet from the SWAT team,’ she said. ‘We decided we were going to stay in character and stay in that closet the whole time, and we didn’t want to see the SWAT team before the scene of them dragging us out happened. We wanted it to happen organically.’

“The powerful dynamic between King and Arquette, both Emmy nominees, was not restricted to what happened in front of the cameras. ‘I learned so much from Patricia, not just about acting but about being a kind and amazing person in general,’ she said. ‘We developed such a trust between the both of us — we had an honesty policy with one another. If we ever thought that the other needed another take or could use some improvement in any way, we would always be honest and tell each other what our real feelings were. I felt supported by her 100%, and I know that she probably felt the same.’”


Per Deadline, “HBO has given a six-episode series order to Betty (fka Untitled Skateboarding Project), a skateboarding comedy inspired by Crystal Moselle’s critically acclaimed feature Skate Kitchen, from Moselle and her longtime friend and collaborator, Love co-creator Lesley Arfin. Additionally five actors who starred in the film — Dede Lovelace, Ajani Russell, Moonbear, Rachelle Vinberg and Nina Moran — have been cast as series regulars in the series, which is currently in production in New York City.

“Written by Moselle and Arfin, Betty, inspired by Moselle’s 2018 Sundance film, is set against the backdrop of New York City. It will follow a diverse group of young women navigating their lives through the predominantly male oriented world of skateboarding.

“Moselle, who also directs, and Arfin executive produce with Igor Srubshchik and Jason Weinberg. Michael Sherman and Matthew Perniciaro of Bow & Arrow Entertainment co-executive produce along with RT Features’ Rodrigo Teixeira. Izabella Tzenkova of Kotva Films and Lizzie Nastro produce. Arfin Material and Untitled Entertainment co-produce for HBO.

“Vinberg plays Camille, she wants to be down with the dudes and has fought hard for the small space she’s carved out with them. Camille isn’t big on flashy displays of love or loyalty, but she’s perceptive and intelligent, and will notice tiny details about others as if she were a poet. Camille forgives but doesn’t forget, and she’d be happier if she’d only realize that cool points don’t actually add up to the sum of anything.

“Moran is Kirt, the funniest person alive but even if she knew it, she wouldn’t care. She’s a lover (to the ladies), a fighter (to the rest of the world), and a little kid in the body of a woman. Kirt would give you the shirt off her back in the middle of a snowstorm without having to ask for it. According to Kirt, you did ask for it, only with your mind, and you think she might actually be right.

“Moonbear portrays Honeybear, the quiet storm, dark horse. She’s funnier than she thinks, wiser than she appears, and as stubborn as a boot on a tire. Her outlandish clothes make a statement, but she sometimes uses her individuality as a cover for the fact that she keeps her emotions on lock.

“Lovelace is Janay, opinionated, intelligent, and loyal to a fault. She’s a big-hearted, warm girl, the type to give you a hug over a handshake. Janay has a strong will and a determination to lead that both helps and hurts her. At the end of the day, she’s the person you’d pick to be team captain—not because she always wins, but because she’d buy you a drink after the game no matter the score.

“Russell plays Indigo, fun, flirty, always down for an adventure, Indigo is the equivalent of the post-sex cigarette — cool, calming, and sexy as fuck. While she’s naturally conflict-avoidant with a low-drama personality, she somehow manages to crop dust everyone around her in the stuff. Indigo’s a street-savvy hustler who leans closer to the edge of shadiness than the others. Indigo’s the type of person who would steal your wallet and then help you look for it.

“In her first narrative feature, Skate Kitchen, writer-director Moselle immersed herself in the life of skater girls, resulting in the film’s authenticity, combining poetic, atmospheric filmmaking and hypnotic skating sequences. Skate Kitchen captures the experience of women in male-dominated spaces and tells a story of a girl who learns the importance of camaraderie and self-discovery.

“In addition to starring in Skate Kitchen, Lovelace, Vinberg, Moran, Moonbear and Russell also appeared in That One Day, a Miu Miu short film directed by Moselle. Both projects were inspired by the real-life Skate Kitchen, all all-female skate crew the young women are in.

“In addition to Skate Kitchen, Moselle is known for the Sundance, Grand Jury Prize award winning documentary, The Wolfpack. In the last decade she has been working with short-form storytelling for publications such as Vice and The New York Times, where she created a series called Something Big, Something Small, featuring talent such as Pharrell Williams and Shepard Fairey. Later collaborations with Pharrell included, Meet the Bae’s, a series profiling the artists back up dancers. Moselle also participated in Miu Miu’s, Women’s Tales where her film That One Day premiered at the Venice film festival in 2016. Most recently she directed Our Dream of Water, a documentary short series for National Geographic dealing with water crisis in Haiti, Peru and Kenya.

“Arfin co-created the television series Love, along with Judd Apatow and Paul Rust, which ran for three seasons on Netflix. Her other TV credits include: Fox’s Brooklyn Nine Nine, MTV’s Awkward and the original writing staff of HBO’s Girls. Prior to her career in television, Arfin was the author of the Vice Magazine column ‘Dear Diary’ in which she recounted her teenage diary entries. The popular column was published as a memoir in 2007 and optioned by MTV. She was also Editor-in-Chief of Missbehave, a women’s magazine based in Brooklyn.”