Wednesday August 7, 2019

Faye decides to take action against Harvey and Donna's relationship; Harvey looks to impress Donna's father. #SUITS

Fox unveils its Beverly Hills, 90210 reboot tonight.

Here’s a look at the opening credits.

And a not so rave review. Does this interest you? “The simplest way of explaining BH90210 without making it sound like an episode of Black Mirror is that it’s a scripted drama set in an alternate reality where Beverly Hills, 90210 aired just as we remember it, only the private lives of its stars are completely different. For example, Brian Austin Green is playing himself, but rather than being married to Megan Fox, this version of Green is married to an R&B superstar named Shay (played by Power‘s La La Anthony).”

Season 1 of CBS’ Love Island comes to a close tonight.

Do they believe in sunscreen at the Ex On The Beach house? Sure doesn’t appear so.

FX has ordered a 4th season of Atlanta!

FX has renewed Snowfall for a 4th season.

“It seems Ryan Murphy has changed his mind about taking on the Monica Lewinsky-Bill Clinton scandal, as it will be the focus of the next season of American Crime Story — which will star Sarah Paulson, Beanie Feldstein and Annaleigh Ashford — FX Networks and FX Productions chairman John Landgraf said during the Television Critics Association press tour Tuesday. Titled Impeachment: American Crime Story, the third season of the anthology series ‘unravels the national scandal that swept up Paula Jones (Ashford), Monica Lewinsky (Feldstein) and Linda Tripp (Paulson) as principal characters in the country’s first impeachment proceedings in over a century.’ Written by Sarah Burgess, production on Impeachment: American Crime Story, will begin in February 2019 and the season will premiere Sunday, September 27, 2020 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on FX.”

Another review of season 2 of Succession in advance of Sunday’s premiere.

Netflix has given a 10-episode order to Tiny Pretty Things, an hourlong drama series based on the book by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton, from writer Michael MacLennan (Bomb Girls,The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco), Insurrection Media, Mojo Films and Peacock Alley. The Internet TV network also has announced the series regular cast with shooting currently underway in Toronto for a 2020 premiere. Cast includes Lauren Holly (Designated Survivor, Dumb and Dumber), Kylie Jefferson (Davido’s Fall, SchoolboyQ’s Chopstix), Casimere Jollette (Code Black, Dirty John), Daniela Norman (Cats), Brennan Clost (The Next Step, Creeped Out),Michael Hsu Rosen (Jessica Jones, Broadway’s Torch Song), Damon J. Gillespie (Rise, The Society), Bayardo De Murguia (Shooter, Hombre), Barton Cowperthwaite (Center Stage: On Pointe, Fosse/Verdon), Tory Trowbridge(Broadway’s The Cher ShowAmerican in Paris) and Jess Salgueiro (The Boys, Letterkenny).”

“Freshman year of college can be stressful, scary, and overwhelming for students. That's why YouTube Originals and NowThis have teamed up on a learning playlist called A STUDENT’S GUIDE TO YOUR FIRST YEAR OF COLLEGE, a 10-episode crash course covering topics ranging from applying for financial aid to finding mentors and living on your own for the first time. A Student's Guide to Your First Year of College is created in partnership with Michelle Obama and her Reach Higher initiative, featuring videos from Mrs. Obama, interviews with experts, advice from upperclassmen and the panel at the Beating The Odds Summit including Mrs. Obama, Malcolm Jenkins of the Philadelphia Eagles, and Wes Moore, CEO of Robin Hood. Full playlist coming to @NowThisNews on September 4, 2019.”

Something special is going on in late night television on Thursday Aug. 8. The six biggest shows are all scheduled to feature a ‘special’ or ‘surprise’ guest. Fans are already convinced they know who is planning the late night take over. It has become less uncommon for late night shows to collaborate in some way or another. Hosts frequently appear as guests on other shows, like Conan O’Brien on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. We have also seen O’Brien, Colbert, and Jimmy Fallon do a bit together that aired on both The Late Show and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. But a different sort of collaboration is set for Thursday Aug. 8. Six shows all have a ‘special guest’ planned as their top guest of the night. The shows are: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. The Late Late Show with James Corden, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Late Night with Seth Meyers and Conan. It is extremely unlikely that all six shows are set to feature a different special guest. This has led to speculation as to who has the star power to book the top six late night shows all at once. Could President Donald Trump be coming to bury the hatchet with late night once and for all? Don’t hold your breath on that one. Instead, the popular opinion floating around online is that Rihanna will use late night to announce her next album. Reports that it was a ‘big female singer’ who booked the spots led some to guess it is Rihanna who has not released an album since 2016.”

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Per The Verge, “Disney will offer a bundle package of its three streaming services — Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ — for $12.99 a month starting on November 12th, the company announced today.

“The company previously hinted at a bundle for all three services, but CEO Bob Iger made it official during the company’s investors call today. At $12.99, the bundle is cheaper than or on par with competitive streaming services, including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. It’s also significantly cheaper than HBO Max’s rumored streaming price of $16-$17 a month. Hulu is currently available for $5.99 a month (with ads), and ESPN+ costs $4.99 a month. ESPN+ is the Disney-owned sports streaming platform, which carries ‘hundreds of MLB, NHL and MLS games, Grand Slam tennis, Top Rank boxing, PGA Tour golf, college sports, international rugby, cricket, the full library of ESPN Films including 30 for 30, and more.’ It’s also now the streaming destination for UFC fights, which Disney no doubt hopes can make up for the lack of SportsCenter and other banner shows from ESPN the cable network.

“There are a few questions that did not get addressed on the call. Disney+, for example, will eventually launch in international markets. It’s unclear if that will be the same for the bundle because of regional issues with content. Hulu, for example, is not available in Canada, but Disney wants to bring Hulu to international markets, too. The big question is ESPN+, again because of regional licensing issues. Iger told investors the company doesn’t have ‘anything to announce right now in terms of markets.’

“Most of the interest from investors, however, was still on Disney+. Iger spoke quite a bit about Disney+ during the investors call, referring to the service as ‘the most important product the company has launched in my tenure.’

“‘The positive response to our direct-to-consumer strategy has been gratifying, and the integration of the businesses we acquired from 21st Century Fox only increases our confidence in our ability to leverage decades of iconic storytelling and the powerful creative engines across the entire company to deliver an extraordinary value proposition to consumers,’ Iger said in a press release.

“The streaming services is likely to be available through ‘Amazon, Apple, and other distributors,’ according to Iger. Disney has not finalized any deals with the aforementioned companies, but told investors ‘we feel it’s important for us to achieve scale quickly, and we think it’s going to be an important part of that. They’re all interested in distributing the product.’

“Disney’s goal heading into the direct-to-consumer space is ultimately to provide a ton of content in three distinct areas: general entertainment, family, and sports. The bundle is a way for Disney to offer consumers, many of whom are about to be inundated with multiple streaming services to choose from in the coming months, on top of free online entertainment (YouTube, Twitch), a low-priced option.

“‘That $12.99 bundle offers consumers tremendous volume, trememdous [sic] quality, and tremendous variety for a good price.’”


Per The Hollywood Reporter, “[s]ix months after CEO John Landgraf revealed plans for FX to make a greater push into the unscripted space, the basic cable network is delivering on that promise.

“On Tuesday, ahead of Landgraf's time at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour, FX revealed its first-ever documentary slate, consisting of five shows and a feature doc, all of which are set to join The Weekly at the cabler.

“Picked up to series are: a project exploring Tupac Shakur and his mother and activist Afeni Shakur from The Defiant Ones director Allen Hughes; a Blumhouse TV-produced six-party entry based on Errol Morris' novel A Wilderness of Error; LGBTQ civil rights foray Pride, from Christine Vachon; Hip Hop Untold, an exploration of power brokers in the music industry; and The Most Dangerous Animal of All, about a man who comes to learn his father is a serial killer. Also joining the slate is the feature doc Women in Comedy, which explores the changing landscape of, well, women in comedy.

“‘FX has long sought to give artists a platform to showcase their individual, uncompromising vision and its new docuseries and features are an opportunity to extend that ambition in our collaboration with non-fiction talent,’ said FX original programming president Nick Grad. ‘It’s been tremendously rewarding to partner with The New York Times and Hulu on The Weekly, which has excelled creatively and is hitting series-high ratings. Under the guidance of FX’s Jonathan Frank and J.J. Klein, we are now honored to partner with these new teams to create docuseries and features that will join FX’s legacy of fearless and groundbreaking programming.’

“The slate arrives after FX is making the most of a cash infusion from new corporate parent Disney to expand its roster of originals. In a February interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Landgraf said he hoped to double the number of scripted originals (from 14 in 2018 to possibly 28 within three to five years) while also building an unscripted slate that included eight to 12 shows. That will also help FX continue to be competitive at the Emmys as its flagship scripted series continue to run on an untraditional schedule. (FX's Emmy winner Atlanta, renewed earlier Tuesday, won't begin production until spring 2020, at which point it will have been off the air for two years.)

“Here's a closer look at FX's first docu slate. Premiere dates will be announced later.

From Emmy-nominated director Allen Hughes (The Defiant Ones) comes a five-part cinematic television event exploring two voices, activist Afeni Shakur and hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur, that could not be silenced. Told through the eyes of the people who knew them best, Outlaw is an intimate wide-angle portrait of the most inspiring and dangerous mother-son duo in American history, whose unified message of freedom, equality, persecution and justice are more relevant today than ever.  

From Emmy Award-winning producer Marc Smerling (The Jinx) and Blumhouse Television (The JinxSharp Objects) comes a six-part documentary series, A Wilderness of Error, based on Errol Morris’ novel of the same name. When handsome Army Surgeon Jeffrey MacDonald is sent to prison for killing his family, a storm of swirling narratives challenges our very ability to find the truth, all the while overshadowing a chilling possibility: MacDonald may be an innocent man. Marc Smerling directs and executive produces the series alongside Blumhouse Television and Wilshire Studios. Smerling will executive produce along with Jason Blum, Marci Wiseman, Jeremy Gold, Mary Lisio, Dawn Olmstead, Jessica Grimshaw, Rachel Horovitz and Michael Jackson. Brian Murphy is co-executive producer.  

Pride is a six-part documentary series hailing from Christine Vachon’s Killer Films and Refinery29, chronicling the fight for LGBTQ civil rights in America as seen through the lens of our national history and the biggest pop culture and political events. Each part directed by a different renowned LGBTQ helmer, Pride is about all of us, and the awesome, heartbreaking and heroic story surrounding the LGBTQ fight for freedom over the last 60 years in America. Pride is executive produced by Vachon and Sydney Foos of Killer Films and Refinery29's Amy Emmerich, Stone Roberts and Alex Stapleton.

From executive producer Malcolm Spellman and Oscar- and Emmy-winning Lightbox, comes Hip Hop Untold, a six-part examination of a dying breed of power brokers who operate from the shadows of hip-hop. It's a deep dive into the paradox of America’s criminalization of the genre and fascination with the street culture that exists within it. Instead of telling the story of hip-hop from the top down, we tell the story from the streets up. Hip Hop Untold is executive produced by Jonathan Chinn and Simon Chinn (Lightbox), Eugene “Big U” Henley, Jimmy Chriss, Malcolm Spellman, Douglas Banker and Rashidi Natara Harper.

Based on the New York Times best-selling book of the same name, The Most Dangerous Animal of All is a four-part documentary series that explores one man's search for the father who abandoned him, only to uncover the worst: He believes his father is one of the most infamous serial killers in American history. From producer Ross Dinerstein (The Innocent Man) and Academy Award-nominated director Kief Davidson (The Ivory Game), The Most Dangerous Animal of All is an honest depiction of true life and true crime unexpectedly merging to upend one man’s understanding of his own identity. The series is executive produced by Dinerstein and Davidson.

For decades, female stand-up comedians have struggled against biases both conscious and unconscious, but now an interesting narrative is emerging as women are more daringly using the medium to express their points of view on their experiences and the culture at large. Women in Comedy, a feature-length documentary by director Andrea Nevins (Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie), will examine the changing landscape for women in stand-up through intimate interviews and the examination of their groundbreaking art in the post-#MeToo era. Women in Comedy is executive produced by Ross Dinerstein (The Innocent Man), Jim Serpico and Nevins, with Jessica Kirson serving as producer.”


Per Variety, “[b]efore the 2019 U.S. Open starts, ESPN wants to take viewers back to 2018’s.

“In the premiere episode of the new series Backstory, the sports-media giant will delve into tennis ace Serena Williams’ controversial skirmish with umpire Carlos Ramos last year. Her back-and-forth would result in a point penalty and a loss of game that contributed to her ultimate defeat by challenger Naomi Osaka in the 2018 women’s final.

“‘We wanted to do more stories that get behind the scenes, get to that next layer that people don’t often see or rarely see,’ explains John Dahl, vice president and executive producer, ESPN Special Projects and Original Content, in an interview.

“The executive likens Backstory to a mix of the network’s long-running 30 For 30 magazine and a detective working his or her way through the ‘cold case’ file. Backstory debuts on Sunday, Aug. 18, at 1 p.m. eastern on ABC, with re-airings on various ESPN networks. Future episodes will come out as the reporting is ready, says Dahl, and will center on such topics as the story of baseball player ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson and the bizarre online hoax that besieged former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o.

“Don Van Natta will lead viewers through each episode as he tries to help them understand what happened and why. In the first episode, he interviews Williams’ coach, Patrick Mouratoglou –  and more than a dozen people overall (and two dozen more off camera).

“The genesis of the series came when ESPN did a 30 For 30  on the last days of former Indiana Hoosiers coach Bob Knight, a legend in the sport who was undone by an investigation into why good players were leaving his program. ‘I was kind of emboldened by the film and how it turned out,’ says Dahl. ‘I wanted to do more stories. I could really do a whole series, going back to a story where people only know the headlines or the outcome, but they don’t know how it all unfolded.’

“Many observers have wondered about ESPN’s commitment to long-form journalism as it moves forward under a new chief. The recent imbroglio involving the political musings of Dan Le Batard sparked the conversation anew. But Dahl says ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro was among the people backing this project.

Backstory has no set time slot or network perch. It’s airing on ABC because open slots at ESPN were hard to find with lots of live-sports commitments already in the works. But executives wanted to get the episode out to coincide with interest in this year’s U.S. Open. The schedule for future episodes, he says, is ‘a matter of inventory and availability.’

“‘Viewers shouldn’t be looking for another version of 30 For 30,’ says Dahl. ‘There is an extraordinarily careful way we build each story around Don/ He’s that relatable reporter who goes back into the story and tried to peel it back to the other layers,’ he says. The other program, he says, ‘isn’t built around a person investigating. It’s more just about telling the story. This is really a great vehicle to display Don’s journalistic talent.’ Van Natta, a Pulitzer Prize winner, worked as an investigative reporter for The New York Times before joining ESPN in 2012.”


From Deadline: “E! has unveiled its 2020 slate of entertainment news programming, which includes multiple additional hours of original weekday content, including two new New York-based series.

“The expansion follows the appointment of Tammy Filler, EVP & Editor-In-Chief, E! News who joined E! from Today in May to oversee development and production for all news programming across platforms.

“With current franchises plus new formats, E!’s weekday schedule will include eight original entertainment news and commentary series. The lineup will include a variety of pop culture commentary formats, an in-home celebrity interview series, a weekly review show, as well as New York-based morning and daytime news series. In addition, current late night news franchise Nightly Pop will expand to four nights per week beginning in late fall and live daytime series Daily Pop will continue to air every weekday. E! News, currently airing at 7pm ET/PT is evolving into a morning show airing at 7am ET/PT based in New York.

“An unknown number of West Coast staffers on the night show will be affected by E! News move to New York. We’re hearing that employees currently working on the night show will have the opportunity to apply for positions on other shows, and the network is hoping to re-cast as many possible in new positions. E! would not comment, but we hear separation packages will be offered to those impacted and unable to be placed in new positions.

“E! News continues to rank as the largest entertainment media brand on social media with over one billion monthly engagements, according to E!. Popular digital programming includes social franchises E! News’ The Rundown, What The Fashion and Face Forward on Snapchat, Necessary Realness on YouTube, and E! News’ Top Stories on Instagram.

“‘The E! News footprint is unparalleled, and our growth continues with this investment in more edgy, comedic, personality-driven linear programming,’ said Filler. ‘We undoubtedly live in a 24/7 world where entertainment news is just a click away but what our viewers crave is analysis, commentary and POV that goes deeper than a headline. We are leaning into what is uniquely E! and building on our success with a second home in New York and more hours of coverage.’

“New entertainment news formats premiering on E! in 2020 include:

In the Room (working title)

New series will take viewers inside celebrity homes for in-depth interviews and conversation around their latest projects, products, passions and more.

Pop of the Morning (working title)

Similar to the LA-based Daily Pop, this NY-based series will feature a panel of personalities delivering irreverent and unfiltered conversations centered around the buzziest entertainment news stories of the day.

BingE! Club (working title)

Weekly review series will discuss what TV shows, movies, music, social sensations, viral videos and more that pop culture fans should be bingeing now.

“Two additional celebrity and pop culture commentary formats are also in development for air in 2020.”