Wednesday September 25, 2019

It’s a sad sad day in TV land. Tonight, the final episode of Suits airs on USA. I’ve been all in since day 1 (as you know), and as trite and silly as this show may be in the eyes of some from time to time, it has remained an all-time favorite of mine since the jump. Never one to garner much praise or attention prior to Meghan Markle departing for a life of royalty, in my eyes, the show has continued to deliver week in and week out, without fail. To Harvey, Mike, Louis, Donna, et al, THANK YOU VERY MUCH. And to Aaron Korsh, what’s next?

A new season of Survivor begins tonight. Here’s a sneak peak.

Loads of other season and series premieres tonight:

The Goldbergs (ABC)
Modern Family
Single Parents
South Park
(Comedy Central)
Crank Yankers
(Comedy Central)
The Masked Singer (Fox)
Cake (FXX)
Chicago Med (NBC)
Chicago Fire (NBC)
Chicago P.D. (NBC)

Here’s the trailer for season 7 of Ray Donovan.

A quick catch up on The Good Place before the season 4 premiere tomorrow night.

For the Howard Stern fans who listened to yesterday’s show: “The ‘Bagel Boss Guy’ may be saved by the bell when he squares off against this star. Dustin Diamond has signed up to face off against pint-size pugilist Chris Morgan in a boxing showdown Saturday in Atlantic City, The Post has learned. The “Saved by the Bell” actor inked a deal with Celebrity Boxing promoter Damon Feldman after MLB star Lenny Dykstra abruptly backed out days before the bout. ‘He’s already won on Celebrity Boxing before but he hasn’t trained so it’ll be a fair match,’ Feldman said. Diamond was crowned a Celebrity Boxing champion in May 2002, when he traded dukes with actor Ron Palillo, who played Arnold Horshack on the 70’s sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter. The 42-year-old Diamond also has some considerable height on the 5-foot public nuisance, who gained fame when a video of him ranting about women and then getting roughed up at a Long Island Bagel Boss went viral in July. Morgan’s rep said that his client’s strategy against Diamond could include a few low blows. ‘He had seen that Dustin Diamond was in a porno,’ his rep told The Post. ‘It’s wildly known that he has a large penis.’ For his part, Morgan said that he’s ‘pretty confident’ that he’ll wear out the actor. ‘If he goes for a punch, I can duck under him easily,’ Morgan told The Post. ‘I’ve faced people that big before.’ Reps for Diamond didn’t immediately respond to request for comment. The showdown is set for 7 p.m. Saturday at The Showboat Hotel.”

Showtime has revived the previously canceled Vice docuseries Vice after 6 seasons on HBO.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge has signed an overall deal with Amazon, the studio announced Tuesday. Under the pact, Waller-Bridge will create and produce new television content for Amazon Studios that will stream exclusively on Amazon’s Prime Video. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.” Supposedly it’s $20,000,000 annually.

Former Dance Moms cast member and influencer Kalani Hilliker is set to host a new dating format from Studio71 on Facebook Watch. Kiss, Date, Eliminate is an eight-episode social experiment, in which participants make their first impressions with a kiss. From there, they have to decide whether there’s a spark worth exploring on a follow-up date. If the first kiss is a dud, there’s no chance to make it up. The first episode will feature YouTuber Lance Stewart to help kick things off. The series is produced by Studio71, a Red Arrow Studios company, with Andrew Strauser and Matt Schmidt serving as executive producers. Kiss, Date, Eliminate launches on Facebook Watch Sept. 26, with new episodes to be made available every Thursday.”

MGM is moving into sports entertainment, premium documentaries and true crime after promoting veteran unscripted executive Barry Poznick. Poznick has been promoted to President of MGM/Orion Unscripted & Alternative Television. Formerly President of Unscripted, Poznick has extended his contract as he moves into the new role and the studio rebrands and expands the non-scripted division. Reporting to MGM’s Worldwide Television Group Chairman Mark Burnett, Poznick will continue to see the company’s slate of unscripted programming, while adding a slew of other genres including kids’ programming, cost-effective scripted and a move into podcasts. He will also oversee the firm’s new partnership with Youtube’s Brat, focusing on YA scripted content.” More below.

Nick Cannon has been tapped to host a nationally syndicated daytime talk show next year in partnership with Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury and in co-production with his Ncredible Entertainment production company. ‘We are excited to be able to announce this collaboration with Nick, who has proven himself to be such a dominant creative and entrepreneurial force across film, primetime TV, music, comedy, stage and online platforms.,’ said Debmar-Mercury co-presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein in a statement. ‘The daytime audience got to see that firsthand earlier this year with his stellar performance guest hosting The Wendy Williams Show. Now we can’t wait to see Nick put his own unique stamp on talk and add daytime to his impressive list of accomplishments.’”


Per The Hollywood Reporter, “Amazon may have Modern Love but Netflix has Notes on Love.

“The streamer on Tuesday announced the ninth show from prolific showrunner Shonda Rhimes: individual episodic series Notes on Love.

“Picked up straight to series, Notes on Love explores the unexpected-life-changing, euphoric, hilarious, surreal and all-consuming places where love intersects in everyone's lives. The first season will focus on stories about where love and marriage meet, examining what the institution is, means and how it's changing.

“Each episode will hail from a different writer, with Norman Lear (bringing the One Day at a Time favorite back to the streamer) and his writing partner Aaron Shure (The Office), Steve Martin, singer-songwriter Diane Warren, Jenny Han (author of Netflix hit To All the Boys I've Loved Before), married duo Lindy West (Shrill) and Ahamefule J. Oluo (writer-comedian) and Rhimes herself. All will also exec produce their individual episode. Additional writers will be announced at a later date.

“Additional details surrounding Notes on Love, including the number of episodes, if they're an hour or half-hour and a premiere date, have yet to be determined.

“Rhimes will produce the series alongside her Shondaland partner Betsy Beers. The series is the ninth project to stem from Rhimes' $100 million overall deal with Netflix. The first project under the pact, Bridgerton, is due in 2020. (For others in the works, click here.)

”The series arrives as Amazon has its highly anticipated take on the long-running New York Times column Modern Love due Oct. 18. The individual episodic anthology has attracted a star-studded cast, including Anne Hathaway, Cristin Milioti, Tina Fey, Julia Garner, Catherine Keener, Andrew Scott and John Slattery. Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe) and Tom Hall (Sensation) each wrote and directed episodes, and Emmy Rossum (Shameless) directed an installment penned by the late Audrey Wells (Under the Tuscan Sun).”


More huge news from a yet to be launched streaming service: “Quibi has given a green light to The Sauce, a new traveling dance competition hosted by viral dance sensations Ayo & Teo, from Thalia Mavros’ The Front.

“In the series, viewers will follow best friends and brothers Ayo and Teo as they embark on an epic cross-country road trip in search of today’s hottest dancers, spotlighting the diversity of dance culture in each new city. Per the official logline: ‘In this wild, face-to-face street competition, fresh teams in each new city will battle it out for a chance to prove they’re the best in America. 10 Cities. 22 Teams. 1 Winner. Who will hold their own and show they got The Sauce?’

“Casting for the series is under way. Submissions can be submitted here.

“Thalia Mavros, Krista Manis and Kadine Anckle executive produce. The Front produces.

“‘We’re so excited to host this epic cross-country competition to find the dance squad with the most sauce.’ said Ayo & Teo. ‘We went from self-taught dancers creating moves in our basement to putting out viral hits and starting global dance challenges, all in the span of 2 years. Now, we get to partner with The Front and Quibi to find the next big dancers with the same talent and potential as us.’

“Said Thalia Mavros, executive producer and founder of The Front: ‘Supporting artists and sharing their stories in an elevated way is an integral part of The Front’s mission. Ayo and Teo are incredibly talented, and bring unparalleled expertise and energy to youth dance culture that makes them the perfect hosts for The Sauce. Their sophisticated dance style is matched only by their social media savvy, and we couldn’t be more excited to share their immense creativity with a global audience on Quibi.’

“Independent recording artists, dancers, and performing duo Ayo & Teo have established themselves as successful architects of viral music and dance content. The siblings, originally from Ann Arbor – Ypsilanti, Michigan, broke onto the scene with 2017’s hit song and viral dance challenge phenomenon Rolex. They claim more than 2 billion total social media views, with over 5.2M Instagram followers and 5M subscribers on YouTube, and have collaborated with artists ranging from Chance The Rapper to Usher to Lil Yachty.”


Per Inc., “Netflix has a fascinating look at the Microsoft co-founder with a new three-part documentary, Inside Bill's Brain: Decoding Bill Gates directed by Davis Guggenheim. Guggenheim is probably best known for directing the Academy Award-winning Al Gore documentary An Inconvenient Truth. With that in mind, it's no surprise that the bulk of Inside Bill's Brain focuses on telling the story of Gates's active pursuit of global health and other social causes.

“There's also a healthy amount of Silicon Valley lore about the beginning of Microsoft, and a look at Gates's childhood. But even if you're an Apple die-hard like me, you have to give the guy credit for creating two of the most important enterprises of this or any generation. One is the most valuable corporation on earth and the other is a massive charitable foundation.  

“Still, even if you are well-versed in the history of Microsoft, or Gates in particular, there are probably a few things you haven't heard. Here, in no particular order, are five fascinating things you probably did not already know about Bill Gates:

When he was a student, he tried to intentionally fail a test. 

There's a story about a test that Gates had to take in order to enroll in private school, which he really didn't want to attend. So, he decided he'd just tank the test to disqualify himself. Except, being Bill Gates, he couldn't bring himself to fail. He, of course, passed and got accepted.

He travels everywhere with 10-15 books.

One of his staff members keeps a bag full of books and refreshes it every few weeks to make sure Gates has a constant supply of reading material. These aren't light reads, either. Gates reads things like Fundamentals of Deep Learning and Quantum Mechanics and Algorithms. You know, the stuff you pull out when you have a few minutes between meetings.

He takes a week every year just to think.

Years ago, Gates started an annual ritual of getting away for a week to be by himself to just think. Picture it: Gates, a small cabin, a stack of reading material, a pen and notepad. When your brain is working on solving some of the world's biggest problems, I suppose it makes sense to slow down and give it some time to work.

He once wrote a letter to major research universities about a project...and they didn't even bother to respond.

You'd imagine that if Bill Gates writes a letter to anyone, he's likely to get a response. But when he sent a request for a partner on a project to bring better sanitation to the poorest areas of developing countries, most of the most prestigious universities in the world didn't even bother to acknowledge his letter.

Researchers told him it would cost $200 million to eradicate polio, so he gave them twice that much.

One of the problems Gates says comes with running a foundation is that people will often tell you they need whatever amount of money they think you'll say yes to. That's a problem...because it's not always the same as the actual number needed to tackle the issue.

Once, when the Gates Foundation decided to get involved with the effort to make polio the second disease erased from the face of the earth (smallpox was the first), he felt like the scientists were low-balling the amount they needed to make a real difference. So, he doubled the amount they asked for and went to see the project first-hand. In Nigeria, cases went from over 700 per year, to fewer than 30 cases annually--all in less than a decade.”


Per The Hollywood Reporter, “Following the success of artist-driven films about Elton John and Queen, MGM Television is turning to Billy Joel.

“The studio is teaming with Universal Music Publishing Group to bring the New York singer-songwriter's music to life as a scripted ‘arc-thology’ called Scenes From an Italian Restaurant.

“The show, which takes its title from Joel's favorite song from his sizable catalog, will see each episode based on lyrics of his hits and populated by characters from his songs, including the Stranger, the Piano Man, Mamma Leone and Sgt. O'Leary. The tracks will be reimagined and rearranged by Joel's music team — with his input — and take his tunes in new directions.

“Kevin Fox (Law & Order: SVU) is creating the series, which will be shopped to networks, and will exec produce alongside Joel and his longtime producing partner, Steve Cohen (with whom he collaborated on Billy Joel: New York State of Mind). Universal Music Publishing Group's Jody Gerson and Marc Cimino will associate produce the show, which represents the first time Joel's entire body of work will be licensed for a series.

"‘Billy Joel is a beautiful storyteller, and it just so happens that his stories are accompanied alongside remarkable songs,’ MGM TV president of development and production Steve Stark tells THR. ‘This series is going to focus less on Billy's life and more on the stories inside his catalog of classic songs.’

“While other songs have been the basis for TV series — see ABC's failed pilot based on John Mayer's Heart of Life — this is the first time that an artist's entire catalog is the basis for one. Joel, 70, is the sixth best-selling artist in the world, with more than 84.5 million units sold.”