Thursday August 29, 2019

I love CT, but he looks like he put on about 60 pounds. I would have still chosen him, but how can you argue with Turbo?

The season 4 finale of Queen of the South airs tonight.

A new season of Workin Moms is now available on Netflix.

“For the last 15 months, it cost $12-per-month to watch Cobra Kai on YouTube. Now, it's free.  YouTube has made the entire 10-episode first season of the Karate Kid sequel available for free with ads, part of a shifting distribution strategy for its slate of original programming. The Google-owned streamer says it will now make all new original series and specials available at no cost with ads or via its ad-free subscription tier, called YouTube Premium.  As part of the dual-distribution strategy, YouTube is releasing some of its older shows for free. The first season of Cobra Kai, for example, is being given an ad-supported window before the second season begins to roll out for free on Sept. 11. Both seasons will only be available for free for a limited time.”

Comedian Gary Gulman is being super generous this year. In addition to doling out a bit of solid advice for stand-ups every day on Twitter since January 1 (Make sure you’re following him to keep track), he recently entered what he calls remish about something else he calls depresh, and he’s gathered all kinds of thoughts about it into his new HBO special: The Great Depresh. HBO dropped a first look at the special today, which was taped at the Roulette Intermedium in Brooklyn in June, directed by Michael Bonfiglio (My Next Guest Needs No Introduction), and executive produced by Judd Apatow. The clip features some adorable photos of Gulman as a kid from the documentary footage included in the special, plus proof that his struggles with depression have lasted a lifetime — if the book he wrote during second grade, The Lonely Tree, is any indication. Plus, Gulman shares a refreshing take on the cliché whining about millennials that other comedians, and older people in general, refuse to let go of: ‘Millennials take so much flak from middle-aged men talking about participation trophies. Their argument is “How are they gonna learn how to lose?!” Oh, they’ll get some practice. Are you familiar at all with … life?’ The Great Depresh is slated to premiere on HBO on the eve of Mental Illness Awareness Week on Saturday, October 5 at 10 p.m. Through the special, Gulman ‘hopes to help others feel more comfortable, less afraid, and most importantly, less alone.’”

Check out the trailer here.

Comedy Central has renewed South Side for a 2nd season.

Fox has set a The Masked Singer: Super Sneak Peek special to air on Sunday, Sept. 15 at 8/7c. That’s 10 days before Season 2 of the singing competition premieres, so fans of the network’s smash-hit, oddball series who tune in will get a leg up on figuring out who the new masked celebrity contestants are.” Most unnecessary thing ever.

The OA — which Netflix canceled earlier this month after two seasons, inciting intense fan outcry, a flashmob, and even a hunger strike — has truly crossed its last border: There will be no movie to wrap up the series. A source close to the discussions told Variety that Netflix and the show’s creators, Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij, talked about the idea of tying up the show’s loose ends in a movie format. But the plan for The OA was to run over five seasons, and a two-hour conclusion wouldn’t have been sufficient. Because Netflix itself is the producer of The OA, another network can’t swoop in to rescue the show, as Pop recently did with the Sony-produced One Day at a Time. The cast of The OA have been released from their contracts.” More on this below.


Per Decider, “This year one of the most revolutionary additions to television won’t be coming from Shonda Rhimes or Greg Berlanti. It will come from Abby McEnany, a little known Chicago improviser who is breaking ground with her upcoming Showtime series Work in Progress. At the Television Critics Association’s 2019 summer tour McEnany and Showtime co-president Gary Levine spoke to Decider about how a major network came to take a chance on McEnany’s scrappy pilot.

“The story behind Work in Progress is a creators’ dream, something that seems as unlikely as It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia or South Park‘s origins. After creating the show’s roughly $30,000 pilot McEnany and her co-creator Tim Mason submitted it to Sundance Film Festival. The pair didn’t know anyone at the festival and applied online. Initially McEnany was hesitant to even pay the $30 entry fee.

“Quickly that $30 paid off as Work in Progress received high praise at Sundance. The series was quickly picked up and given a series order by Showtime with Lilly Wachowski signing on as executive producer, and it’s not difficult to understand why. Vulnerable, nuanced, and bitingly funny, Work in Progress stars McEnany as an overweight, insecure, and single lesbian who gives herself a bleak timeline. If her life doesn’t improve in 180 days, she’s going to kill herself. If McEnany wasn’t so funny it’s a show that would be a lot more depressing.

“‘It’s a relatively new phenomenon, pilots being shown at Sundance, and you have to give them a ton of credit to have written and produced this pilot on spec,’ Levine told Decider in an exclusive interview. ‘They did such a magnificent job. We’re not changing a thing. We’re going to air it as they shot it on their own dime.’

“As soon as Showtime executives saw the pilot at Sundance, they leapt on the project. ‘There were a lot of people interested in it, but luckily the producers were really anxious to come to Showtime, and it just became a love affair,’ Levine said.

“McEnany told a group of reporters that the series is very much based on her life. The creator, producer, and star struggles with OCD and clinical depression, much like her main character.'

“‘There are so many things that are spot on. When we were writing some of the mental illness stuff, Lilly was like, “OK can you tell me exactly” you know? It was this long thing. This way we can figure out this long story, what was the real story,’ McEnany said. ‘Part of the problem of mental illness is the stigma. People are ashamed to talk about it, and I don’t know. I just can’t be on that train.’

“Currently Work in Progress is set to debut on Showtime on December 8, directly after The L Word: Generation Q. Unlike The L Word, which portrayed a romanticized version of queer women where its characters rarely had to worry about money or finding a new hookup, Work in Progress is committed to McEnany’s absurd version of realism. ‘I think it’s lovely because it’s going to show really different views of the queer lifestyle… There’s not one story and there’s not one representation and there’s not one way a lesbian looks or a queer dyke looks,’ McEnany said. ‘It just shows that there are different ways to represent.’

Work in Progress premieres on Showtime, December 8 at 11/10c.”


From TheWrap: “Netflix has ordered a series from Julie Plec based on Amy Chozick’s memoir about Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns, Chasing Hillary.

“The series, Girls on the Bus, is directly inspired by a chapter of the same name in Chozick’s book, though it is not about Clinton nor the 2016 election.

“According to Netflix’s official description of the series, ‘the show chronicles four female journalists who follow the every move of a parade of flawed presidential candidates, finding friendship, love, and a scandal that could take down not just the presidency but our entire democracy along the way.’

“Plec will write and executive produce with Chozick, with Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schecter also on board as executive producers. The series is from Berlanti Productions and My So-Called Company in association with Warner Bros. Television.

“Chozick’s book, Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns and One Intact Glass Ceiling, chronicled both of the former first lady’s White House campaigns. It was first published in April 2018 by HarperCollins. Clinton lost in the 2008 primary to Barack Obama, before losing to Donald Trump in the general election in 2016. Clinton was the first female to win a major party’s nomination.

“Chozick is a journalist for the New York Times.”


Per Deadline, “Nickelodeon is expanding its unscripted slate with two new series. The network has greenlit new holiday-themed competition series Top Elf, created by Mike Duffy and Tim Duffy, and ordered a full series pickup of The Substitute, from The Intellectual Property Corporation.

Top Elf, which begins production in September on five one-hour episodes, features kid contestants with extraordinary building and design skills competing for the coveted title of Top Elf.

“Following the strong performance of two specials which aired earlier this year, hidden camera prank show The Substitute has been picked up for a full 10-episode series order. Production is underway, with the series premiere set for October.

“‘Giving our audience a range of unscripted content in different formats is one of our top priorities. Top Elf is an irresistible opportunity to celebrate the holidays with a uniquely comedic approach to a high-stakes competition,’ said Rob Baghaw, EVP, Unscripted Content. ‘Our first new format from this division earned high marks from our audience, so we’re very pleased to order The Substitute for a full series.’

“In Top Elf, Santa has invited seven civilian ‘Elf-testants’ to the North Pole in a competition that tests their skills in a series of holiday-themed challenges. Demonstrating the true spirit of the holidays, the Elf-testants compete to have their wish lists granted–not for themselves, but for someone in their community.

The Substitute features stars who are transformed by a team of Hollywood special effects artists to go undercover as professionals in various fields, surprising unsuspecting kids in schools, camps and other locations. During the reveal at the end of the day, each organization receives a $25,000 donation. The Substitute’s first special debuted in April with guest star Jace Norman (Henry Danger), and the second special premiered in May, guest starring comedian Lilly Singh.

Top Elf is created by Mike Duffy and Tim Duffy of Ugly Brother Studios, who will executive produce the series along with Jimmy Fox at Main Event Media, an All3Media America company. Bob Schermerhorn (Project Runway All Stars, America’s Next Top Model) and Lisa Fletcher (The Titan Games) are executive producers, with Fletcher also serving as the showrunner. Michael Pearlman (Chopped, Project Runway All Stars) will direct the series.

The Substitute is produced by Industrial Media’s The Intellectual Property Corporation. Eli Holzman, Aaron Saidman and Todd Hurvitz (Punk’d), serve as executive producers, with Hurvitz also serving as the showrunner.”


From The Ringer: “Earlier this month, Netflix canceled The OA, a science-fiction melodrama with a small fan base so devout it’s bordering on a religious order. Cancellations are relatively rare at the streaming behemoth, so at first fans suspected that the kibosh was a PR stunt. They can be forgiven for conspiracizing, at least in the context of their beloved show. The OA’s sprawling, dimension-hopping plot is difficult to describe without sounding like a human gravity bong, but here goes nothing: It involves angels, the Russian mob, a mad scientist turned serial kidnapper, Phyllis from The Office, a telepathic octopus, and the thwarting of a school shooting through the power of interpretive dance; it also contains a plot point that suggests that the show The OA exists in at least one of the alternate universes within the universe of the show. Also, Zendaya shows up. The storytelling choices made by series cocreators Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij had been so consistently trippy that a faux-cancellation seemed well within the realm of possibility, especially since the second season had ended on a cliff-hanger, and last summer Netflix VP of original series Cindy Holland confirmed that the show’s story was planned out as a five-season arc. But Marling, who also stars in the show, told fans that it really had been canceled. The OA’s third season really was DOA.

“After reality set in, fans began a campaign to reverse the decision, petitioning Netflix and plastering pleas on social media. ‘I feel like they will end up listening to us,’ Ivan Rafael, a Luxembourg-based teenager who started a petition with nearly 80,000 signatures to bring the show back, told The Ringer. Rafael has plenty of historical grounding for his hopes that Netflix may reverse course. The #SaveTheOA effort is the latest iteration of an increasingly commonplace and frequently successful fandom ritual, and it has borrowed some of the strategies used by previous campaigns to resurrect shows. Like Chuck fans before them, The OA’s acolytes crowdfunded and donated to charities to draw attention to their campaign. Like the campaign to save Star Trek: The Original SeriesThe OA’s fans sent letters to the studio. They are also mailing feathers and mustard packets to Netflix, following several other campaigns waged with trinkets. In 2000, Roswell fans sent Tabasco sauce to WB executives after the show was canceled because one of its characters loved the condiment. In 2007, Jericho fans sent 20 tons of nuts to CBS’s New York headquarters and Friday Night Lights fans sent eye drops, mini-footballs, and lightbulbs to execs at NBC in bids for more seasons. ‘We were looking at fan campaigns to see what they had done, to see if we could do something different, which turned out to be very difficult,’ said wedding photographer Mandy Paris, who created a website to proselytize for the campaign. ‘There have been a lot of fan campaigns.’

“While The OA campaign hasn’t gone so far as crowdfunding the money for an entire movie (yet), as Veronica Mars fans did when the detective show’s creators launched a Kickstarter in 2013, they did pool together enough cash to buy billboard space in Times Square. They also coordinated flash mobs to perform the ‘movements,’ a dance sequence integral to the show’s plot. ‘The five movements in The OA are kind of a sacred language,’ said Jess Grippo, a dance instructor who organized the flash mob. The results were memorable.

“If any show deserves an overly baroque dance tribute performed in complete sincerity, it’s The OA, which is literally about how dancing herky-jerky with earnest passion and a complete disregard for how ridiculous you look can save the world. The over-the-top goofiness is a fitting tribute to the most over-the-top Netflix Original. And while it’s hard to see a flash mob as anything beyond whimsical, other elements of the #SaveTheOA campaign have been startling in how directly they have culled from the playbooks of actual protesters. The level of organization is so impressive it made me momentarily glum that such a formidably coordinated call to direct action was in service of a wildly uneven two-season Netflix Original series and not, well, something else—clean drinking water in Flint or the abolition of concentration camps in the United States, for example. This is not to criticize these fans for their efforts; after all, a person can agitate for the renewal of their favorite show and also pay attention to plenty of other worthy causes. But the way that the #SaveTheOA campaign conflates activism and fandom to an unprecedented degree is as wild as any plot on the show. Whether or not this campaign works, it has taken the stakes of the clashes among fandoms, artists, and industry into a strange and shaky territory.

“The group’s website outlines its multipronged campaign in meticulous detail, from a WhatsApp group for Brazilian fans to a tweetstorm to draw the attention of Ellen DeGeneres. If Netflix does not un-cancel the show by September 10, the fans are planning a new campaign to delete Netflix accounts. The plans are laid out further in Excel spreadsheets, in a Discord group, in comprehensive Reddit threads advising participants on social media optimization and public relations pushes in meticulous detail. In fact, Grippo had already organized a flash mob using the choreography from The OA in 2017 during a protest at Trump Tower. And part of the campaign has centered on fans doing good deeds to raise awareness of their show, including a push to pick up garbage and hashtag #GreenOA.

“The campaign is so organized, so loud, and so stunt-driven that one couldn’t be blamed for suspecting what the #SaveTheOA group once did—that Netflix is behind it all, pulling the strings for PR. But as time has gone on—and because a company crowdfunding a movement directed at itself might very well be illegal—it’s become clear that not even the streamer would go to lengths like this.

“Talking to fans who have participated in these actions, it is clear that they do not draw much of a line between agitating for a social cause and agitating for their favorite television show. ‘I feel less afraid now and think that any person, even someone who feels like a nobody, can make a difference,’ teacher Nicole DeNardo Becktel said. One fan, writer Emperial Young, has adopted a far more intense and medically risky action typically favored by protesters focused on social justice causes. Young has refused to eat for over a week and is calling her movements a ‘hunger strike.’ In a note on Instagram, Brit Marling thanked the people advocating for her show’s return and shared an anecdote about how she and Batmanglij had spoken with a fan protesting in Hollywood; while not mentioned by name, the fan was indeed Young. ‘You know, what I’m really protesting is late capitalism,’ Young told Marling, echoing an argument she made on Twitter about her rationale behind the strike.

“Young sees her campaign as a battle against algorithmic control of the arts. ‘I decided upon this tactic after the failed social media campaign to save Dark Matter, a show that was near and dear to my heart,’ Young said via email. ‘Seeing how ineffective that was, I sensed I was about to witness the same lack of results, and I didn’t want that for The OA because the show means so much to so many people.’

“Despite her conviction that she is doing the right thing, Young is not particularly optimistic that Netflix will listen. Other campaigners have a sunnier view. ‘I’d like to think that the effort we’re all putting in could make a difference,’ Grippo said. ‘There’s gotta be something that comes of this.’

“But what will come of it? When asked for comment, Netflix directed The Ringerto a previously published statement from Cindy Holland: “We are incredibly proud of the 16 mesmerizing chapters of The OA, and are grateful to Brit and Zal for sharing their audacious vision and for realizing it through their incredible artistry. We look forward to working with them again in the future, in this and perhaps many other dimensions.” That sure sounds like a no, but the #SaveTheOA team is gearing up for a second wave of protest actions if Netflix hasn’t relented by September 10. Based on the sheer volume of shows recently pulled back from the brink by finding a new network—Brooklyn Nine-Nine,NashvilleCougar TownThe Mindy ProjectCommunity, and Netflix’s own One Day at a Time, among others—there is certainly reason for fans to hold out hope that The OA might find another home, although its unconventional format and high production costs may complicate matters.

“Most of the fans I spoke with stressed how happy they were to have found community in this project, whether or not it gets results. ‘We are having fun and have met so many people from all around the world,” Becktel said. “It’s like a weird family full of weird people,’ Rafael said. And yet: One of those family members is refusing to eat until a corporation reverses its policy to finance, produce, and distribute a television show. There is a whiff of militancy amid the merriment.

“While the show’s future is uncertain, the intensity of its fan campaign has showcased how much the relationship between fandoms and the stuff they love has changed. This isn’t about simple appreciation anymore; it’s about full-throated advocacy, about the conflation of self-care and entertainment, about the fact that even if Netflix doesn’t renew The OA it now almost definitely has to have internal meetings addressing how to respond to someone staging a hunger strike. It’s a plot twist so bizarre it’d fit right into the canceled show in question’s narrative.”