Monday August 19, 2019

A first look at the final season of HBO’s Silicon Valley. The premiere airs on October 27.

Food Network premiers Family Restaurant Rivals tonight. “Across America, family-run restaurants serve up some of the country's best dishes, and they all think their recipes are better than the rest. Valerie Bertinelli hosts as families compete in challenges requiring them to overcome real-life restaurant curve balls to please the most intimidating judges in the food world. The teams prove that anything can happen when family pride and a $10,000 prize are on the line.”

I watched Jim Gaffigan’s new stand up special. It wasn’t his best IMHO.

CBS has canceled Instinct after 2 seasons.

Sarah Chalke (Scrubs) is set as the co-lead opposite Katherine Heigl in Netflix's upcoming drama series Firefly Lane, based on the bestselling novel by Kristin Hannah.

Another trailer for Apple’s The Morning Show.

Saturday turned into a girls’ day out for Miley Cyrus and Kaitlynn Carter. The duo, who recently packed on the PDA in Italy, were joined by the singer’s mom, Tish Cyrus, as they grabbed lunch in Los Angeles. Dressed in a white T-shirt with a printed skirt and white sneakers, Carter, 30, was photographed near Tish, 52, who paired her jeans with a gray top. Miley, 26, was also spotted in the passenger seat of her mom’s SUV in separate images. The outing comes a week after Cyrus announced her separation from husband Liam Hemsworth. Carter also recently split from The Hills: New Beginnings star Brody Jenner. On Friday, Cyrus dropped an emotional new song, Slide Away, which appeared to illustrate the demise of her relationship with Hemsworth, 29. As for the Hunger Games star, who has been spending time in his native Australia since the breakup, he is said to be ‘devastated’ over the photos of Cyrus kissing Carter. “He was heartbroken and blindsided by those photos,” a pal of Hemsworth’s shared.” Blessing in disguise bro. You dodged a bullet.

“Starting Monday, viewers of cable outlets like TLC, the Food Network and Discovery Channel may experience the strange sensation of hearing snippets of the theme song from the 1970s sitcom, The Brady Bunch. On TLC, Long Island Medium star Theresa Caputo will appear sporting a ‘do that looks much like the one Florence Henderson’s Carol Brady wore in the earlier series. On Food Network, Duff and Valerie Bertinelli will coo over a porkchops-and-applesauce cake from the children in Kids Baking Championship that plays off an old Brady plotline. And on Travel Channel, Kindred Spirits hosts Amy Bruni and Adam Berry will discover a treasure chest filled with 1970s flotsam and jetsam. The idea is to make viewers from across the Discovery Inc. pantheon of cable networks more aware of the new series, A Very Brady Renovation. The program, which debuts on Discovery’s HGTV Monday, September 9, shows the actors who played the kids in the original Brady Bunch cast joining with a bevy of HGTV home-improvement experts to transform the interior of the home that served as the exterior of the Brady house in the old series. ‘I think it’s going to be a huge hit for us,’ says Kathleen Finch, chief lifestyle brands officer at Discovery. To get the word out, many of the creative teams at individual Discovery cable outlets crafted specific promos that look like the programming one might expect to find on ID, Discovery Channel or elsewhere. The Food Network spot featuring Duff and Bertinelli uses a cake crafted at Duff’s own Charm City Cakes. Discovery Channel’s Josh Gates, host of Expedition Unknown, at first appears to be exploring uncharted territory in what would seem to be a typical promo for Discovery Channel. Within seconds, however, he’s wearing a curly-haired wig that makes him look like Greg Brady, the oldest son in the series who was played by Barry Williams. ‘I never wanted to take the wig off,’ says Gates. ‘I’d kill for Greg Brady’s hair.’”

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Per Vulture, “[w]elcome back, rich kids! Before we begin with this week’s Succession Power Rankings, there is something we must discuss. This week’s episode is called “Vaulter,” and it is incumbent upon me to address a topic I have been thinking about since I watched the very first episode of Succession’s very first season: Kendall Roy is really itching to acquire a Gawker-y website called Vaulter. The site is snappy and snarky and has a hot owner. Vaulter. Vaulter dot com. Once more, phonetically: vahl-ter. Doesn’t that sound a little familiar? Like another website, one that you might read frequently, or at the very least the morning after an award show? Doesn’t it sound like, oh, I don’t know, Vulture”?????? The website that you’re reading right freaking now??? Representation, my fellow one-percenters. It matters.

“On this week’s episode of Succession, we have a birthday, a new apartment, a cold, several fights, and a lot of writers fired for trying to unionize! There’s also a new foe and a lot of the same old double-crossing. Here’s who’s up and who’s down post-Vaulter:

1. Cyd Peach

Was Armie Hammer onto something when he did not eat the peach in Call Me by Your Name? (He wasn’t, but isn’t that a funny line? Haha, I’m a comedian.) Here on Succession, Tom has his work cut out for him with Cyd Peach. She’s inscrutable and experienced, but most of all she is just mean. Nasty! I love her, in the way I love every intimidating woman. Look at the way she glares at Tom, insulting his haircut and his latte in one breath! Could Elio Perlman’s peach do that? She is at the top of this list because I personally am afraid of her wrath, and also because she is new and also because I’m not entirely sure what she’s capable of. Tom might need to harness all the forces of darkness — and maybe, like, Blair Waldorf — to take on the Peach.

2. Roman’s girlfriend, Tabitha

I have always liked Roman’s girlfriend, but could she really make it onto a power ranking so early in the season? I thought not, until she gives a bit of medical advice to Tom, who has a cold: “You should try swallowing something … like honey.” Is Sweetbitter still on?? Because Caitlin Fitzgerald is tall and glamorous and absolutely nutty. This was my personal line of the night. Long live Tom swallowing his own load!!!!!! Tabitha might end up with it all.

3. Shiv Roy

Shiv, honey, you’re in danger, girl. “Vaulter” has confirmed all my suspicions: Shiv was right to not immediately trust Logan’s offer last week. She is indeed Logan’s favorite, but she’s more afraid of taking over Waystar Royco and fucking it up and losing her dad’s love than she is of remaining on the outside. This episode gives her a lot of cards to play, though, which keeps her near the top of this list: Her creepy Billions bit-player boss (both literally and figuratively) wants her to be his White House chief of staff, in a universe in which, I’m guessing, that job would actually be powerful and meaningful and important. (Unlike our universe, here.) She turns down that job and quits her current job, but Logan’s grasp — and Kendall’s plush position — seem firm. Did Shiv just fuck up?

4. Kendall Roy

do have a soft spot for Kendall because I do love woefully wounded outsiders who can quite clearly see what they want, but never manage to grab it (see: Cooper, Bradley — and every male lead in a Scorsese movie). Kendall starts this episode not able to hug his daughter, and then he’s suffocated in Vaulter documents by Lawrence Yee, and then he’s dropped off at Vaulter’s front door — which, true fact, is Vulture’s actual front door because they even took that from us! — to shut it all down. “Because my dad told me to,” he reasons. It gets him back into his dad’s office, but I get the feeling it’s only for closer inspection. Poor Kendall! And poor Kendall’s under-eye bags! Pathetic. He’s ranked below Shiv because I identify as Shiv and so I am loyal to her, and also because she’s still primed for a bigger payoff in the end. Kendall is just a big, bad errand boy.

5. Logan peering at his laptop, telling Shiv: “I need three independent women, know any?”

Why yes, Logan Roy, I do. Logan, as always, is holding all the cards. (If these power rankings were only about that, he’d be at the top every time!) Increasingly, it seems like he’s running out of options: Kendall will take instructions, but he’s not a leader. Shiv can lead, but will she? Roman is Roman. Connor is running for president. Mess!

6. The ATN News chyron that reads: “Why Are So Many of Our Older Celebrities Dying?”

Succession season two’s revamped opening credits keep the iconic Nicholas Britell piano riff, and now intercuts that old-timey rich-people footage with some present-day business-y footage. This seems all fine and good until, a few seconds in, we see a seemingly serious news chyron that asks an age-old question: “Why Are So Many of Our Older Celebrities Dying?” Why, indeed?

7. Cousin Greg

Cousin Greg began this episode with values — he knows ATN News is bad — but without an apartment. Cousin Greg ends this episode with a sick apartment! I’m happy for him, and am excited for him to ball out at Target or something. I’m not sure where Cousin Greg thinks you buy furniture. (Where do you think Cousin Greg thinks he should buy furniture?) I did appreciate that he jumps around his big apartment like a little doofus.

8. Roman Roy

Roman’s new, permanent address might be here, right in the middle of these power rankings. He is completely idiotic, but does get all the funny lines. “Do you think that that’s like a natural progression from never done nothing, never, to the most important job in the world?” Roman says to Connor. “Could you maybe get a little experience? Like maybe at a CVS?” It’s hilarious, but this episode’s Vaulter deal just shows how slow he is to maneuver. He’s still just a jester. While Kendall is in Logan’s inner circle, Roman didn’t see the Vaulter move coming.

9. Tom Wambsgans

From Succession’s opening minute this episode, Tom is at a disadvantage. Not that I know what a hand job is — I have neither hands nor a job to put them to work at — but what person on the face of planet Earth other than Tom would call it a “handy job”? And are we spelling that “handy,” like, Thank you for lending me a hand in my slouch toward sexual gratification, or “handie,” which feels vaguely and disconcertingly childlike? Yes, this column will keep trying to ask the important questions.

Anyway: Tom is really in over his head this week. On one front, he was supposed to be eating a peach filled with the cum of a certain impossibly sharp-jawed heartthrob. Instead he gets Peach, the head of ATN News. She is probably racist and probably classist and definitely unwilling to stop peddling “traditional” (read: very right-wing) values to diversify ATN’s market. Tom, to her, is another distraction, the kind that comes around every few seasons but is ultimately harmless even though it makes a lot of noise. Kind of like a cicada. Isn’t that what cicadas are like? Anyway.

Tom is blindsided again by Shiv, although I’m not sure what kind of clown makeup he was wearing when he expected to actually take over it all. Let’s be serious here: Just on principle, Shiv would never sell her dad on Tom for Waystar Royco’s top job, not when she could be selling herself for it. Fortunately, my favorite oafish onetime Pride & Prejudice crush does get the Fuck Off of the Week™ when he snaps at Shiv for making fun of his Steve Harvey suit proportions.

10. Marcia Roy

Marcia went from being the most powerful Roy — despite protestations from Shiv and me — to apparently one of the least? Last week, when everyone gathered at the lovingly named Hamptons Shit Pit, she asked if she also had to pitch Logan for his affection, or “dance for the daddy, too.” This week she’s not even given the opportunity! Marcia is dismissed from one of Shiv and Logan’s late-night sessions to unplug the Alexa? In my professional opinion — informed by years of family drama that I have, more times than not, come out on top of — Marcia needs to do something dramatic, and fast.

11. The Waystar Royco crony who actually drank his smoothie

I mean, come on, dude.

12. Lawrence Yee

“Larry Yee, king of New York,” Roman Roy declares when he walks into a meeting with Vaulter’s founder. (An interesting declaration considering I, at varying levels of enthusiasm and drunkenness, have declared Justin Theroux the true king of New York City, based mostly on that one New York Timesprofile involving him and Cary Fukunaga eating at Lilia.) Roman can’t declare anyone the king of anything, though, so it’s not really a surprise that Lawrence ends up without a job and without a website.

13. Vaulter’s emerging union

Whoo, boy. They should’ve pulled the trigger when they had the chance. “One week of severance for every year served???” I’m calling my attorney.”

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Per Deadline, “Netflix has given a series order to Agent King, an adult animated comedy series about the King himself, Elvis Presley, from Priscilla Presley, John Eddie, Sony Pictures Animation, Sony Pictures Television and Authentic Brands Group. Today’s announcement comes on the 42nd anniversary of Elvis’ death.

“Co-created by Presley and Eddie, in the series, Elvis trades in his white jumpsuit for a jet pack when he is covertly inducted into a secret government spy program to help battle the dark forces that threaten the country he loves — all while holding down his day job as the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

“Presley and Eddie will executive produce with Authentic Brands Group’s Jamie Salter. Mike Arnold (Archer) will serve as showrunner, writer and executive producer. Fletcher Moules will serve as supervising director and co-executive producer. Marc Rosen and Corey Salter also will co-executive produce. Legendary designer, John Varvatos will custom design Elvis’ entire wardrobe for the series, and will serve as a consulting producer on the series, along with Jerry Schilling.

“‘From the time Elvis was a young boy he always dreamed of being the superhero fighting crime and saving the world — Agent King lets him do just that,’ his ex-wife Presley said. ‘My co-creator John Eddie and I are so excited to be working with Netflix and Sony Animation on this amazing project and getting the chance to show the world an Elvis they haven’t seen before.’

“The announcement comes at the end of ‘Elvis Week’ — an annual celebration of the King’s music, movies and legacy.”

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From Decider: “In honor of completing her first full season on the show, we caught up with Southern Charm newbie Eliza Limehouse this week to get her thoughts on everything from the craziness of the Colorado trip to the finale party to the reunion. She jumped on the phone to speak with Decider while her boyfriend, Struthers McBride, drove her and products from her Snaffle Bit Bracelet Co. line to a show in Charlotte, NC. Yes, we were sure to ask about how their relationship is going and if they’ve done any other wedding photoshoots, which is the activity they did on their very first date.

“Here, Eliza explains why the reunion was a ‘disaster,’ if she’s kept in touch with Ashley Jacobs, and why she’s glad she slept right through one of the show’s craziest moments:

Your fellow cast members have all expressed how sweet and kind you are, and I think we’ve definitely started to see that portrayed on the show by the end of the season. Did you get that vibe too?

Aww, thank you. I don’t really know what to think. I definitely felt like it got better after Episode 2 and I felt like it’s just gotten better and better. We have a lot of guests in our hotel who watch the show and a lot of people who come by and say hey. Every single person that comes by is like, “You’re so sweet. I love how you talk about God.” And I’m like, okay, I’m glad you think that because I was a little worried.

I have good feelings. The unknown was scary to me, but now that it’s done I feel a lot more peace. I never had anxiety before. It was something I’ve never experienced, so I think if we do have another season I’m going to be a lot calmer and confident just because I’m not so nervous about the unknown [now].

Have you learned things about yourself over the course of the season and then watching it as well?

This has been probably one of the biggest learning experiences of my life. I’ve definitely learned to stay out of other people’s problems. I care about people and I obviously care about what people think of me, but I’ve had to get some thick skin because whether you’re the nicest person or the meanest person on TV, you can’t control people’s perception of you and you just have to do your best. I get so many nice messages, but every blue moon I’ll get some jerk that just wants to rain on my parade. So I’ve had to learn that not everyone is going to love you and you can’t control that.

My businesses have gotten a lot more online exposure. I’ve had to learn how to be a better businesswoman. I’ve had to learn how to have better time management, how to prioritize, and how to support the people that are important to me in my life. Prioritizing is something that has come out of this whole experience. I would do it again if I got the opportunity.

Would you also do over that time you slept through all the drama during the Colorado trip?

Heck yeah. Oh my god, I’m so thankful for that. Obviously, I love Danni and I feel bad that that would happen and I would’ve been there supporting her. But yes, I’m so glad to sleep through any drama that goes down because this friend group was definitely stressful.

I’ve had to set alarms on my phone to breathe and take five minutes to chill because I’m always running around like a crazy person these days and getting stressed. I let people stress me out so I try to breathe…oh, and I talk slower. That’s another thing. If you’re noticing that I’m talking a little slower and I’m enunciating more because in some of my interviews I’m like, oh my god I can’t even understand what I’m saying.

Definitely glad I slept through that. My mom used to think I had narcolepsy when I was little because I can fall asleep anywhere, anytime in under 20 seconds. We didn’t think I actually had it, but I’m a very good sleeper and I’m very thankful for it.

How was Patricia’s finale party experience for you?

Oh my god. Well, I went into it being nervous because as you saw at the hair salon, I was begging Ashley not to go. In the minute I was like, oh Miss Pat’s having a party, I was like, oh my god, why did I say that? And so I went thinking, oh god, Ashley is going to be here. I’m just going to hide. So I literally hid in a corner basically the whole night and had Ginny, Naomie’s best friend, tell me when she was coming and I just sort of walked in the other direction. Because I’m like, you know what? I have done so much for you and why are you doing this? Like, come on.

Has she been in touch with you and either thanked you for all of the opportunities that you keep inviting her to and being nice, or apologized for causing a scene at some of those things?

Yeah. We talk a lot over the phone because she’s now back in California. She has apologized to me and part of me still feels for her even though she screwed up so many times and obviously didn’t take the opportunity I gave her and used them like I wanted her to. I mean, she did have that apology with Kathryn, which was good. But I think that she doesn’t do well in a group setting and she’s better one-on-one.

Not Patricia’s party, but all of the other failed apologies, she kind of goes into panic mode and does these rollercoaster apologies because she’s in defense mode. I wouldn’t have even gotten involved with this if I realized that everybody had an issue with her, but my understanding was that she had said some mean things to Kathryn and she wanted to apologize. I didn’t know that there was a whole other chapter of this, that everybody had a problem with her and she was tweeting – I don’t even have Twitter. There was all this other stuff that happened that no one felt the need to tell me about until she was there. Since I’m the younger one of the group, I’m the last to learn of things. And so nobody told me! And I think that since everybody had issues with her, she was kind of already drowning before she even got there. She goes into defense mode. It’s human nature. And she just goes kind of bananas. And I’ve told her, look, I can’t do this for you anymore. I’ve helped as much as I can. You need to work on not letting human nature take over and just sit there and apologize and be done. I’m frustrated with it. That’s all I have to say.

How was your first reunion experience? Was it what you expected?

Honestly, it was kind of a disaster because I got food poisoning the night before. So I didn’t feel very good. I was just so nervous because all my friends and fellow cast members kept telling me their opinions and my family kept telling me their opinions. My friends who watched the show told me their opinions on how I should be and what I should do. There were just so many nerves. I was just so emotional. And this is a hard month for me anyway, because this is the month of my horse dying, my parents’ divorce, a lot of terrible things happened for me in this month, so it was already just a rough month. Andy was super nice, but I definitely think that there were too many emotions and I just…I don’t know if it went the way that I wanted it to. But I’m glad I went and experienced it and I know I’ll do better next time.

What’s it been like to share so much of your life and feel people connecting and relating to a lot of the things you’ve opened up about this season?

It’s been awesome. Don’t get me wrong, I get some hate mail every blue moon, but I’ve had so many people reach out to me and thank me for being so open and honest. You wouldn’t believe all of the women that have reached out to me that have been in similar situations with their family, with divorces and affairs, and really giving me their whole stories and said that I’ve helped them find peace. That’s so awesome to me and most of the reason I shared my story is because I want to connect with other people and let other people know you’re not alone.

But I definitely also love getting to connect with other female entrepreneurs. I honestly thought that I would get a lot more negative feedback than I have just because I’m the newbie, I [brought] back Ashley and her whole drama. And then just going into this spotlight everybody warned me, hey, you’re going to get negative feedback. But I would say it’s 90% positive, 10% negative. I’ve gotten so much support and so many people thanking me for sharing my belief in God and my passion for business and my love for all the cast members, whether they’ve done stupid stuff or not.

How is your relationship with Struthers going? Do you watch the show together and what has he thought about it? Also, have you done any more wedding photoshoots together?

Yeah, people are so confused. Oh my gosh, it’s so good. You won’t believe how many people have been like, “I’m so glad you got rid of Dirty Don, Struthers is so beautiful.” And I’m like, “Thank you. Me too.” He’s sitting next to me right now. He’s my driver and my therapist. And he helps with orders. We were packing orders at 11 o’clock last night for Snaffle Bit.

We do have another wedding photoshoot lined up, we’re actually doing it at the Bolt Farm Treehouse where they had Kathryn’s little get together. So that will be fun. We love doing the wedding shoots. We’ve gotten a lot of wedding shoot offers since then, and a lot of people are commenting and trying to correct the people that are like, “I’m confused are y’all married?” People will comment for me like, “No, this is the photoshoot.” And I’m like, “Thank you for handling that.” And then a couple of people have commented and been like, “I hope you’re pregnant. This is so exciting,” thinking it’s a shotgun wedding. I’m like, “Oh my god, I’m not pregnant. This is not a shotgun wedding.”

I originally said I wasn’t going to watch it at all because it makes me so nervous, but then I was like, you know what? I worked really hard on this so we’re going to watch it. We first said we weren’t going to watch it together, but then I was like, “You can handle it. Who cares about Dirty Don being on the show?” Clearly, you can tell from body language the lack of love I had for him. So we’re cool. [Struthers] is fine with watching it. I warned him about it, he’s been mentally preparing himself, so it’s all good. It’s all good.”

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Quibi has given a green light to Dishmantled, described as ‘a high-octane cooking competition that will literally blow your socks off,’ with Titus Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, 30 Rock) set to host. The series hails from Chopped creator/executive producer Linda Lea and Good Egg Entertainment, and Propagate-owned Electus.

“Hosted by Burgess, each episode starts with the cannon-blasting of a mystery food dish into the faces of two blindfolded chefs. They’ll use their culinary prowess to identify the exploded dish and then race against the clock to recreate it. Whichever chef comes closest to the original dish wins a cash prize.

“Lea executive produces for Good Egg with Drew Buckley for Electus. The series is co-produced by Good Egg and Electus.

30 Rock alum Burgess is best known for his starring role as Titus Andromedon in Netflix comedy series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, a role which earned him four Emmy nominations, along with a SAG award and two Critics’ Choice TV awards. He’ll next be seen in Netflix’s Dolemite Is My Name, alongside Eddie Murphy, Keegan Michael Key, Mike Epps, and Craig Robinson, set for release this fall. His other film credits include voice roles in The Angry Birds Movie and Smurfs: The Lost Village.Burgess’ breakout role came in Tina Fey’s Emmy-winning NBC series 30 Rock, as ‘D’Fwan.

“Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman’s Quibi launches in April. The shortform digital service has announced a flurry of projects in recent weeks including murder mystery When the Street Lights Go On, sci-fi thriller Transmission, a Carl Hiaason tale, a Varsity Blues revival, a Jed Mercurio sci-fi project, a thriller from Veena Sud, a workplace comedy called Winos from Thomas Lennon, a subversive superhero series from Doug Liman, a musical comedy from Darren Criss, a WWE wrestling show called Fight Like a Girl, a revival/revamp of The Fugitive, a Liam Hemsworth action series, a Tyra Banks-produced docu-series called Beauty, and two daily news shows from NBC News.

“Good Egg, headed by Lea, is behind the Chopped franchise for the Food Network. Other credits include Young Hot and Crooked, Sweet Genius and Queer Eye.

“Electus’ series include Emmy-nominated You vs. Wild (Netflix), Running Wild with Bear Grylls (National Geographic), CashPad (CNBC), The Toy Box (ABC), Jane the Virgin (The CW), Flaked (Netflix) and Hot Date (PopTV).”