Tuesday September 24, 2019

A new season of The Resident premieres tonight. Here’s a sneak peak.

Other season premieres tonight include: NCIS (CBS), This Is Us (NBC), mixed-ish (ABC), Empire (Fox), The Conners (ABC), Bless This Mess (ABC), FBI (CBS), black-ish (ABC), Emergence (ABC), NCIS: New Orleans (CBS), New Amsterdam (NBC).

Another season of Ink Master concludes tonight.

A Wisconsin inmate has reportedly confessed to the murder of Teresa Halbach. The inmate, who will remain unnamed until Wisconsin law enforcement has access to said confession, told filmmakers of upcoming documentary series Convicting a Murderer, that he was responsible for the infamous death, as seen on Making a Murderer. Currently, there are two men behind bars for Halbach's death. Both claim they are innocent. Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey have both spent years fighting for their freedom. Dassey took his case all the way to the Supreme Court, where his attempt at a new trial was rejected, while Avery continues the appeal process. Shawn Rech, director of Convicting a Murderer, told Newsweek his crew were given the confession while filming the documentary series. ‘We haven't confirmed the legitimacy of the confession, but seeing as it was given by a notable convicted murderer from Wisconsin, we feel responsible to deliver any and all possible evidence to law enforcement and legal teams,’ he told Newsweek. ‘Having been in production for 20 months, we've uncovered an unfathomable amount of information and evidence that is leading us to the truth. Our investigation does not end here.’ Rech also confirmed the confession did not come from Dassey or Avery.”

HBO Max has set its nonfiction team of executives. Yay.

I don’t know about you, but I’m kind of over the Quibi announcements like this: :”Queen Latifah is among six leads along with Chosen Jacobs (It), Sophie Thatcher (Chicago Med), Sam Strike (Nightflyers), Ben Ahlers (The Village) and Julia Sarah Stone (Honey Bee) set for When The Street Lights Go On, a coming-of-age murder mystery adapted from the Black List feature script by writers Chris Hutton and Eddie O’Keefe. Additionally, Mark Duplass, Tony Hale, Kristine Froseth and Nnamdi Asomugha are set to recur in the project which hails from Paramount TV and Anonymous Content. Queen Latifah will play Det. Grasso, Jacobs is Charlie, Thatcher is Becky, Strike is Casper, Ahlers plays Brad, Stone portrays Berlice, Duplass is Mr. Carpenter, Hale is Mr. Bouque, Froseth is Chrissy and Asomugha is Adult Charlie.”

6.9M tuned in for the Emmy Awards, down 32% from last year.

“The appetite for TV shows based on the college admissions scandal continues to grow. Entertainment 360 has optioned season one of Cadence13's Gangster Capitalismwith plans to adapt the college admissions scandal podcast as an anthology. The series, which will be shopped to premium cable networks and streamers, takes an unflinching look at white-collar corruption and the dark side of the American dream. The first season will focus on Operation Varsity Blues, the scandal that saw 50 parents, coaches and administrators — including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Laughlin — arrested after having paid millions in a bid to get their children into elite universities.” Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

It’s officially over for Vanderpump Rules cast member Kristen Doute and boyfriend Brian Carter. ‘Relationships are messy, and it’s not fair to anyone to hide from the truth for the sake of criticism. Let’s start there,’ Doute, 36, shared on Instagram Sunday. ‘I haven’t come to terms with everyone wanting a black and white answer of where Carter and I stand. I want to scream, what about the gray parts of this, the undefinable aspects of loving and caring for someone, while knowing that they aren’t your person anymore? After the therapy, the meditation, all the steps you take to pursue actual self love, how do you define the realization that you have to move on in order to truly grow? I’ve been called a hypocrite, a villain, for not communicating what has been going on between us because it has been just that … between us.’ Referencing Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin‘s split, Doute continued, ‘But we both deserve this weight to be lifted, so this is our version of a conscious uncoupling. Carter and I both know and have come to terms that our new label is friends – full of the utmost love and respect,’ she added. ‘He’s one of the most wonderful people I’ve ever known. As we unravel what has been for so long such an intertwined life, it hasn’t been easy. But it’s a step in the right direction. It may not be the black and white answer everyone is looking for, but it’s our answer and that will just have to do.’ Doute and Carter, 38, met on the dating app Bumble in 2016. Their relationship wasn’t always smooth sailing with the James Mae designer telling Page Six in May that they were ‘still figuring out what the future holds’ for them and’“considering [themselves] single.’”

"‘Are you ready?

“That is the question posed to Aaron Paul's fugitive Jesse Pinkman in the full trailer for El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie. After teasing the highly anticipated movie spinoff during Sunday's Emmys, Paul shared the two-minute long official look at the feature film from director Vince Gilligan on Twitter with a popcorn emoji on Tuesday.

“The trailer sets the timing of the film as immediately after the series finale. At the end of the classic AMC series, the embattled partner to Bryan Cranston's Walter White was seen speeding away in his El Camino from the neo-Nazi compound where he was being held as prisoner and forced to cook meth after White, who subsequently died, came to his revenge-seeking rescue.

“The footage opens with Jesse arriving on the doorstep of his old friends, Badger (Matt Jones) and Skinny Pete (Charles Baker). The first look follows Jesse as he attempts to deal with his trauma and, seemingly, rise from the ashes to seek out justice and revenge — all while being labeled a wanted man by police. Other series callbacks include Jesse returning to the desert to dig up the money that had been buried there by Walter White. The final image is one of Jesse, looking more familiar, telling an unknown person he is indeed ready for whatever plan is set to unfold.

El Camino is the first spinoff in the Breaking Bad universe and sees Paul reprising his role as the series survivor. Tuesday's trailer is the most detailed look at what Gilligan and Paul have in store, given that the big-picture idea remains under lock and key. The description of the movie refers only to Jesse, saying, ‘In the wake of his dramatic escape from captivity, Jesse must come to terms with his past in order to forge some kind of future.’

“Speaking in a recent cover story with The Hollywood Reporter, Gilligan explained of the film's secrecy: ‘I don't want to open my Christmas presents a week and a half before Christmas.’ El Camino filmed under a covert production, which included waiting until the last minute to share the script with crew, obscuring locations and shuttling a key castmember in and out of the Albuquerque set on a private jet. When speaking to THR, Gilligan would only name Badger and Skinny Pete among the more than 10 familiar characters who are set to reprise their roles.

“The two-hour film, which Gilligan wrote and directed, is premiering six years after Breaking Bad ended. El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie is set to debut Oct. 11 on Netflix and in select theaters in 68 cities — including New York, Los Angeles and Albuquerque — before it airs on AMC early next year.”

Is it October 11 yet??

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From The Ringer: “There’s something inherently inhumane about the accumulation of unspendable wealth in a world characterized by the suffering of billions. Even more so when those billions come from, as Roman Roy glibly but accurately put it, ‘hate speech and roller coasters,’ which goes beyond ‘après moi, le déluge,’ by hastening le déluge itself.

“There’s also something inhumane—perhaps purposely so—about having a billion dollars and ever showing up at the office again. There are many reasons not to trust the super-rich, but chief among them ought to be that if they had any sense they’d all be on a beach or in a ski lodge luxuriating in freedom from want. And yet these people work themselves to the bone, well into what ought to be their dotage, in the pursuit of ever more massive and unspendable piles of capital. Not just in the absurd farcical universe of Succession but in the real world that we inhabit.

“(This also means Connor Roy is the only person in the world of Succession with a clue about why money exists—to be used and enjoyed—but the man with one strand of joie de vivre is king in the land of Waystar Royco.)

“Connor notwithstanding, the Roys and their courtiers have had their sense of reality warped by the massive sums of capital they control. With billions of dollars on the line, self-actualization is achievable only through the accumulation of greater control over more billions of dollars. Personal—even familial—connections become mere transactions and points of leverage. The successful players in this world, from dynastic figures like Logan and Shiv to self-made power brokers like Tom and Rhea, all lie, manipulate, and cheat to achieve their ends, then sleep soundly at night afterward. Loyalty is not a compact of trust in their world, but something powerful people can impose through intimidation on less powerful people.

“Therefore nearly every relationship in the show is about amassing power over the other person in the relationship, and together amassing power over others outside it. Especially the ones we as viewers love, from Tom and Greg’s hilarious buddy comedy to Roman and Gerri’s crackling … I actually don’t know what to call it, but I do know it crackles.

“Not even the budding romance between Kendall Roy and Naomi Pierce is entirely genuine. In their drug- and drink-induced initial hookup at Tern Haven, Kendall persuades Naomi to cash in her share in the Pierce media empire because doing so would allow her to live life on her own terms with no pressure to continue to advance, inveigle, and accumulate. The episode’s climactic meeting features several lingering close-ups on Naomi’s face as she, with great weltschmerz, watches her salvation drop away from her as the deal falls apart. Both she and Kendall know that the way they live, the way their families taught them to live, has rendered them unrecognizable to the billions of consumers—not human beings, consumers—their family businesses treat as pawns and data points.

“Like his father and younger siblings, Kendall has turned off his humanity in service of the pursuit of money for money’s sake, and like his father and younger siblings, he’s suffered severe emotional damage as a result. I find Kendall is as detestable a character as there is on the show—not only does he sow callous destruction, even death, everywhere he goes, but instead of a swashbuckling heel, he’s a weak and gormless sniveling coward. His internal demons cause him far less suffering than they cause others.

“But imagine being raised by parents who think like billionaires. We’ve had 17 episodes’ worth of evidence that Logan is callous, greedy, and abusive. But Sunday’s Return illustrated what kind of person Caroline—Kendall, Roman, and Shiv’s mother—is. The most obvious example comes when Kendall is about to unburden himself about having accidentally killed the waiter at Shiv’s wedding, then Caroline, who’d just complained about her lack of a relationship with her children, goes to bed and skips town before he can open up to her.

“The more insidious example, however, is the price Caroline demands for her support at the Waystar Royco shareholders’ meeting: Instead of a $40 million or $50 million cash payout, she asks Logan to choose between a $150 million Hamptons house or $20 million, and sending the kids to Christmas with her each year. Logan chooses the house and gives up the kids, as everyone knew he would, and Caroline gets to take a victory lap by sending the message to her children that their father doesn’t love them. But in so doing, she illustrates exactly why her children never visit willingly—even people as emotionally damaged as Kendall, Roman, and Shiv know the difference between a mother who wants a genuine relationship and a mother who’s willing to manipulate her children to spite her ex.

“This inhospitable union of two entirely self-absorbed manipulators produced two children—Roman and Shiv—temperamentally suited to play Logan’s game, and a third—Kendall—with the ambition to do so, but with too much humanity to do it effectively.

“For two seasons, Kendall’s actions have been defined by cowardice. He knows the ruthless play, but when the time comes to execute it, as Logan would, he wavers. This quality comes off as weakness, to both friends and adversaries—but this being Succession, I repeat myself—as everyone from Logan to Stewy to Lawrence Yee views Kendall on some level as a failed scion on a latter-day Habsburgian scale, lacking in some ineffable quality that makes all the difference.

“In Return, we see that Kendall’s weaknesses and inadequacies are a bit more nuanced. Yes, Kendall is weak, and yes, he’ll never make Logan proud of him no matter how hard he tries, but every so often he—and he alone—seems to see the entire picture. Logan brings Kendall along on the trip to apologize to the dead waiter’s family not out of a sense of responsibility but a desire to bully his son, and once there Kendall is confronted not just with the idea of personal consequences for his actions but the wider consequences, the loss of human life and the pain an unwitting and innocent family suffered so senselessly.

“He knows he can’t make amends, nor would it be wise to try to do so, but he’s stunned into feeble token efforts—cleaning his drinking glass, coming back at night to shove a few hundred pounds in cash through the family’s mail slot—to appease his guilty conscience enough to draw the blinds on this painful window into real-world stakes. In these moments, Kendall seems to understand that he’s profoundly alone and unloved, because he was raised by people who have traded in their humanity for a chance to play a fantastical game, and who are entirely insulated from the consequences of their actions.

“Kendall doesn’t experience perspective or humanity very often, and when he does, it’s almost like suffering some kind of fit. He always seems conscious of the weird box he’s been raised to inhabit, and 99 percent of the time he can put on enough of a show to make it through—you can see the amount of effort it takes—but 1 percent of the time the part of his humanity he’s repressed takes over and locks up the whole machine.

“These fits of humanity are fleeting and very, very rarely lead to him doing something positive or constructive; the ‘Don’t fucking touch him’ moment at Argestes was an outlier, as most of the time Kendall just ends up with a bottle in his hand and/or a tabletop covered in cocaine. But these momentary lapses in control illustrate a self-awareness that the rest of his family lacks, and even if his only reaction to seeing the full picture is to freak out, it’s a very human response.

“I still don’t like or respect Kendall, because as much as he’s the product of his environment, he’s still a willing participant in his family’s inhuman business. But after Return, for the first time, I find myself hoping that he’ll realize how little he has to gain by playing his father’s game, and how much he stands to lose. I find myself hoping he and Naomi will find a sober and qualified pilot for their helicopter, cash out, and run away never to be seen again. Kendall is less likely than ever to win control of Waystar Royco, but for the first time, it seems like he might one day recover his soul.”

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Per Deadline, “Just days after Netflix landed global streaming rights to Seinfeld, currently on Hulu, the classic NBC sitcom also has found a new cable home. Viacom has acquired the exclusive cable syndication rights to Seinfeld in a deal with Sony Pictures Television.

“Beginning in October 2021, the full library of all 180 Seinfeld episodes will leave their long-time cable home on TBS and will air across Viacom’s entertainment brands, including Comedy Central, Paramount Network and TV Land. Upon the completion of the CBS-Viacom merger, CBS-owned Pop TV also is expected to air Seinfeld reruns when they become available .Additionally, catch-up episodes will be available through Viacom brands via authenticated video on demand, websites and apps.

“No terms of the deal have been disclosed. The current cable syndication deal for Seinfeld at TBS is believed to be paying about $350,000 – $400,000 an episode. Industry sources speculated that the Viacom pact may be worth in the $200,000 – $250,000 per episode range while sources close to the situation said that the numbers are significantly higher. (The value of a series usually goes down with every cycle of syndication, and Seinfeld has gone through a slew of them, showing great longevity. In 1998, TBS set a then-record of $1 million an episode for the cable rights for the show.)

“As Deadline reported last month, Sony Pictures Television this summer had taken out Seinfeld, which the studio distributes. In the previous negotiations, Sony synched up the off-network cable deal for Seinfeld at TBS with the streaming pact at Hulu, so all rights become available at roughly the same time in 2021.

“It is somewhat surprising that Seinfeld, which is owned by Warner Bros. via Castle Rock, won’t be on any WarnerMedia cable or digital platforms starting in 2021. WarnerMedia’s HBO Max was considered an obvious choice for Seinfeld’s streaming rights, with TBS in the drivers seat to retain the comedy, which it had carried since Seinfeld entered cable syndication. But I hear talks with HBO Max did not go well, and, after Seinfeld’s SVOD rights went to Netflix for reported $500 million, the company was less interested in keeping the show on cable.

“HBO Max recently shelled $425 million  for Friends and $500 million for The Big Bang Theory — both also owned by Warner Bros. — making a joint deal with TBS for latter, estimated to be $600+ for the combined SVOD/cable rights. Friends also is on TBS. Exclusivity is important, and, already spending a ton for Friends and Big Bang, which it has exclusively across streaming and cable, WarnerMedia maybe did not find retaining Seinfeld and TBS as appealing without the streaming component. Additionally, Seinfeld‘s performance on TBS has softened over the years and the network no longer airs it in primetime.

“Landing Seinfeld is a coup for Viacom, especially for TV Land, which is home of classic sitcoms but its catalogue features mostly older titles. Seinfeld would boost its profile, airing alongside fellow newer offerings as Two and a Half Men and The Goldbergs. 

“‘We’re extremely proud to bring this little-known series to our viewers. With the right programming and promotion, we believe we’ll finally get Seinfeld the recognition it truly deserves, as merely the greatest sitcom of all-time,’ said Kent Alterman, President of Comedy Central, Paramount Network, TV Land and Vandelay Industries.

“Per the official announcement, ‘The deal was closed by Barbara Zaneri, EVP, Viacom Global Program Acquisitions, and Flory Bramnick, EVP, U.S. Distribution, Sony Pictures Television for an undisclosed sum and a loaf of marble rye after a spirited Festivus feats of strength competition.’

“Said John Weiser, President, First Run Television for Sony Pictures Television who oversaw the sales process for the studio, ‘Seinfeld airing on Comedy Central and the Viacom networks brings together the greatest comedy of all time, with the best brands in cable. This was a tremendous team effort and we are delighted to be working with the first class executives at Viacom who are experts in programming and promotion. For a show about Nothing, this is really Something!’

“An Emmy and Golden Globe-winner for Best Comedy Series, Seinfeld stars Jerry Seinfeld as a stand-up comedian whose life in New York City is made even more chaotic by his quirky group of friends who join him in wrestling with life’s most perplexing, yet often trivial questions. Co-starring are Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Jerry’s ex-girlfriend and current platonic pal, Elaine Benes; Jason Alexander as George Costanza, Jerry’s neurotic hard-luck best friend; and Michael Richards as Jerry’s eccentric neighbor, Kramer.”

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Cobie Smulders is ready for you to meet Dex Parios.

“Best known for her extended runs as Robin Scherbatsky on How I Met Your Mother and as Maria Hill in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the actress, 37, takes center stage for Stumptown, an adaptation of Greg Rucka’s series of graphic novels, on which she stars as a Portland private investigator with a military background and a whole lot of baggage. Smulders is surrounded on the new ABC series by a likable cast of TV veterans, including Jake Johnson (New Girl), Michael Ealy (Almost Human), and Camryn Manheim (The Practice).

“Ahead of Stumptown‘s Wednesday premiere, EW chatted with Smulders about getting the chance to play a “fully realized woman,” stumbling into action roles, and what to expect with her ‘unusual’ new show:

What about Dex intrigued you and made you want to sign on?
She’s unlike any character I’ve ever read. It was really exciting to me. I find her very hard to describe, and it’s one of the reasons I’m drawn to her. She’s a bit of a mash of everything: she’s very funny, she’s very closed off, she’s very determined, she’s very flighty, she comes from this tough military background, and she’s unable to hold down anything steady, yet she has this big responsibility of taking care of her younger brother. It’s this messy person who drinks and gambles too much and is not going to show up all the time, but at the same time, she’s inherently good and wants to help others and is quite righteous. It’s exciting to play a fully realized woman, and not just a couple shades of a character.

You got your big break in comedy, but you’ve taken on a lot of action-heavy roles over the last few years. Was that an intentional transition?
I stumbled into How I Met Your Mother, which was the first comedy I’d ever done. So I like to continue to stumble my way into new things, because  that’s the only way you can grow and challenge yourself. In terms of falling into roles that are more physical, I’ve always been a very physical person; I played sports growing up, so it’s maybe something I’ve subconsciously been drawn to. What excites me about our action sequences is that they’re not going to be clean, they’re going to be very messy. Dex is not a spy or highly skilled; she was in the service, but it’s been 10 years and she’s rough and she doesn’t work out, so it is mostly defense and really just grounded in reality. We want the sequences to look like a real bar fight, which is uncoordinated and sloppy.

What does the setting of Portland add to Stumptown? It’s not a place that I can remember ever being the center of a TV series.
When you look at the history of crime shows, they’re typically in larger cities like Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, or Miami. Portland is such a fascinating city to me, because I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and there is certainly a lot of darkness in that city, but it comes at you in a very unexpected way. And also what I’ve been finding through the writing of our show and learning about the city and spending time there, appearances are not always what they seem I find a lot of the time. Your token bad guy is not going to look the same on screen if they are from Portland — it’s just a different breed. There’s just a different look to the city; it’s green, super outdoorsy, people love their coffee, there are certain tropes that certainly will come up through our show. But there’s a lot of problems in that city, it’s still a dark city, so it’s exciting to display that and have crime happen in a different way visually.

You and the cast stopped by the EW suite at Comic-Con and Michael Ealy said he was drawn to the show because he couldn’t categorize it. But what should viewers expect week to week? Will it be procedural or more of an ongoing mystery?
I think it will become more serialized. Obviously, Dex is going to be hired to do a job, but usually the job that she takes will somehow lead to another case and another case. It’s not every week going to be, this is the case of the week. It’s very character-driven, and so any case we take on will pertain to the lives of all these characters. They will all somehow be involved and it will affect their lives somehow personally. It is hard to describe because we’re still figuring it out, but I think people will hopefully like our show because of the people in it and like seeing these characters put in situations that they don’t know how to get out of.

Dex comes home to care for her brother, so what can you say about relationship?
We’re still trying to figure out the mystery of why she is left to be sole guardian — what happened to their parents? I think that will be addressed at the end of the first season. There’s a pretty significant age difference, I think it’s something like 15 years, so she has already just from his birth sort of been in a more parental place in their relationship. It’s a complicated relationship; she has this responsibility to take care of her brother Ansel (Cole Sibus), who has Down syndrome, and be a stable person in his life. But at the same time, I think this relationship is really what keeps this woman from spinning completely out of control. I don’t think she would have lasted this long if it had not been for this relationship and responsibility and this love that she has for her brother. She’s tethered to him, but it’s also a tethering that benefits her. So it’s an interesting dynamic, and I think with anyone where you’re acting like a parent but you’re not, it’s always a tricky dance of figuring out how to approach each situation.

New Girl alum Jake Johnson joined in the role of Grey after the series was ordered. What has he added now that you’ve gotten to start filming with him? He’s such a funny guy that I’m sure he’s adding some laughs.
He’s been wonderful. We’re having so much fun. And, again, it’s an interesting and complicated relationship between the two characters of Dex and Grey. You’re on television and you’re on a network show so there’s always like the will-they-or-won’t-they, but it’s such a deeper relationship than that. The first episode after the pilot shows the audience how these two people met and explains their history a little bit. They sort of decided to be friends, and are proud of the fact that they’ve remained friends as long as they have. They built this kind of unusual family unit of the two adults being solely in a friendship but also caring for this kid and making the decision that to be there for the brother is more important than exploring any sort of romantic relationship that, quite frankly, I don’t think my character would ever be able to do responsibly.

What would be your pitch for why viewers should tune in?
It’s an unusual show. I think it’s going to be very unexpected. We’re really trying to do something different and we’re very excited that ABC is onboard to do something that is kind of wild. And I think it’s going to be very funny, but it’s going to be driven by this dramatic undertone in terms of finding these people or whatever case we’re dealing with. It will be a pretty wild ride and hopefully people will want to jump onboard.

Stumptown premieres Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.”