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post #30481 of 34527 Old 06-23-2019, 06:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Nielsen Overnights (Broadcast)
Friday Ratings: NBC’s ‘Dateline’ Wins The Night For The Peacock Network
By Bruce Haring, Deadline.com - Jun. 22, 2019

NBC’s Dateline continued its strong run, winning the demo wars with an 0.6.4 and 3.32 million total viewers. The show had a strong lead-in from American Ninja Warrior.

The two-hour ANW scored an 0.5/3 and 2.41 million viewers, down from last week by a tenth, but holding solid in demos. The two performances boosted NBC into a tie with ABC in the 18-49 demo race among networks for the evening.

At ABC, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. scored an 0.4/3 and 2.14, a hold-steady for the show. Following that, a two-hour 20/20 had an 0.5/3 and 3.21 million audience, down a tick from last week.

Fox saw its Beat Shazam in a rerun, pulling down an 0.4/3 and 1.68 million, followed by a MasterChef rerun that garnered an 0.4/3 and 1.38 million audience.

CBS saw Whistleblower at 0.3/2 and 3.46 million (a hold-steady) with reruns of Hawaii Five-O (0.4/3 and 3.65) and Blue Bloods (0.4/2 and 4.14) surprisingly strong, both up a tick.

At The CW, Masters of Illusion proved last week’s numbers were no illusion, holding steady at an 0.2/1 and 1.15, while back-to-back versions of variety show The Big Stage had an 0.2/2 for the first half and 0.2/2 and 1.03 for the second.

https://deadline.com/2019/06/friday-...ht-1202636645/
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post #30482 of 34527 Old 06-23-2019, 06:38 AM - Thread Starter
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TV/Production Notes (International)
A TV adaptation of Chinese sci-fi novel The Three-Body Problem is in development
By Andrew Liptak, TheVerge.com - Jun. 21, 2019

China’s biggest science fiction novel, The Three-Body Problem, is being developed for a potential television series, according to CX Live. If it happens, it’ll come after the massive success of another big sci-fi adaptation from the country, The Wandering Earth.

Chinese entertainment company YooZoo Entertainment holds the rights to the series, and it’s apparently working on an adaptation of the book. CX Live discovered a publicity form submitted to the Chinese government that lists the production details of the proposed series, which will apparently run for 24 episodes and could begin shooting this September. A source confirmed to The Verge that the form is legitimate and that the company has been working on developing the series. Should the series begin filming, this development would be the latest step forward in adapting the novels for film or television.

Written by Cixin Liu in 2006 — and translated into English in 2014 by Ken Liu — The Three-Body Problem was a breakout hit from China’s science fiction scene, winning the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2015. It begins during China’s Cultural Revolution when a dissident scientist is exiled to a remote research facility. While conducting research, she makes first contact with a hostile alien species known as the Trisolarans that live on a planet in a chaotic solar system and immediately make plans to take over the Earth. In the modern day, the novel follows a professor and a detective who are investigating the deaths of several scientists, and they discover a group forming to prepare for the arrival of the Trisolarans.

The book is the first of an ambitious trilogy (The Three-Body Problem, followed by The Dark Forest and Death’s End), in which Liu explores not only the impending invasion of the Trisolarans, but the brutal nature of the universe as other advanced alien species compete for space and power, stretching all the way to the end of time. A fan-written entry in the series, The Redemption of Time, is due out later this summer.

The novel has been adapted before: Chinese director Fanfan Zhang shot a film version a couple of years ago, but that was shelved due to a number of issues. (A person familiar with that effort said it was bad.) Last year, a report from the Financial Times suggested that Amazon had spent upwards of a billion dollars on the rights for the show, but YooZoo says that it remains the sole rights-holder and that it still had plans to produce an adaptation. However, it’s not hard to imagine a series debuting in China and making its way to a streaming platform like Amazon or Netflix.

Interest has surged recently following the adaptation of another Cixin Liu story, The Wandering Earth, which recently began streaming on Netflix. That film, which required extensive special effects and props, demonstrated that the Chinese film industry could handle a big-budget science fiction flick. Given that The Three-Body Problem is the biggest genre novel to come out of China, it could show that The Wandering Earth wasn’t a one-hit wonder and pave the way for more adaptations from the country.

https://www.theverge.com/2019/6/21/1...ries-cixin-liu
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post #30483 of 34527 Old 06-23-2019, 06:42 AM - Thread Starter
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TV/Business Notes
John Wells Productions Sets Rich New Deal With Warner Bros. Television
By Cynthia Littleton, Variety.com - Jun. 20, 2019

John Wells Productions has renewed its ties to Warner Bros. Television with a rich five-year overall deal that will extend the prolific producer’s tenure at the studio to nearly 40 years.

The deal, which is said to reach into nine figures, runs through 2024 and calls for Wells’ company to develop a wide range of programs for various Warner Bros. TV imprints. Wells has been aligned with Warner Bros. since he started there as a story editor in 1986. At present JWP produces the Showtime drama “Shameless” and TNT’s “Animal Kingdom.” It has several development prospects set up at Showtime, Apple and WarnerMedia’s nascent streaming service.

Wells’ longevity at Warner Bros. is rare in the contemporary environment, especially with the level of moving and shaking in the television industry during the past few years. Wells, who delivered a once-in-a-generation hit to the studio as the showrunner of “ER” and the enduring prestige player in “The West Wing,” made a point of meeting with other suitors and considering nontraditional alternatives to a studio overall pact. But in the end Warner Bros. TV’s focus on selling shows widely across the vast expanse of networks and platforms sealed the deal.

“We did have a lot of opportunities to talk to wonderful people,” Wells told Variety. “Warners is remaining committed to selling to all of the services — that was the huge thing for me. The independence we’ve had and the feeling that you know you can take your projects anywhere — that was the big selling point.”

Warner Bros. like its rivals is gearing up for the launch of direct to consumer streaming services from its parent company, WarnerMedia. Wells said he’s convinced that the studio views WarnerMedia as another avenue for distributing shows, but it has no intention of abandoning its effort to sell to outside players. Warner Bros. may find the market for buyers tightening some as Disney, Comcast, Netflix and others focus on building up in-house production and distribution assets. But for now, it’s still a seller’s market amid the Peak TV wave.

“It’s going to become more difficult. We’re not naive about it,” Wells said. “I think everyone is watching what’s happening and seeing this maximum gold rush of shows out there. We still just want to be in the business of taking our projects to the places where they are most enthusiastic for them.”

Like other companies, Wells and his lean staff have seen a dramatic uptick in the volume of development and length of time that it takes to nurture projects. The industry movement toward short-order series and limited series means that producers need to have more irons in the fire and balance the focus on series designed to run for multiple seasons with standalone prospects.

Wells said the key is to develop and maintain relationships with writers and provide them with the infrastructure and support to allow them to focus on storytelling and execution.

“The entire operation is set up so that our writers are in this building working together,” Wells said of his Melrose Avenue offices. “We have a wonderful opportunity to take a lot of new voices that would not have had these kind of opportunities 10 or 20 years ago. We are here to support them and give them the opportunity to create and make shows.”

Among the projects JWP is shepherding is an adaptation of the 2013 Finnish movie “The Heart of a Lion,” which Wells is writing for Showtime. The adaptation revolves around a white nationalist who falls in love with a woman who has a black son and has to confront his own past. And WarnerMedia is developing “Red Bird Lane,” a psychological horror vehicle penned by Sara Gran (“Southland”).

Wells’ deal was negotiated by attorneys Tom Hansen and Don Steele of Hansen, Jacobson and JWP’s Ned Haspel. Wells noted that CAA worked on the deal until early April when the battle between the Writers Guild of America and Association with Talent Agents led to thousands of writers firing their agents.

https://variety.com/2019/tv/news/joh...al-1203248713/
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post #30484 of 34527 Old 06-23-2019, 06:46 AM - Thread Starter
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TV/Nielsen Notes (Cable/Streaming)
TV Long View: HBO's 'Euphoria' Audience Is Extremely Online
By Rick Porter, The Hollywood Reporter - Jun. 22, 2019

The "It's not TV" portion of HBO's marketing slogan is proving especially true for the series premiere of Euphoria, with nonlinear viewing outpacing even Game of Thrones in terms of percentage gains.

The debut of the controversial series about teenagers — featuring numerous scenes of those characters (played by young adults) engaged in sex and drug use — drew 577,000 viewers for its initial showing, a decent but hardly world-beating start for an HBO series. Replays and streaming on Sunday pushed the first-night total to just under 1 million viewers, according to HBO.

Since then, Euphoria has more than doubled its first-night audience and now stands at 2.3 million viewers through Thursday, a gain of 130 percent.

By comparison, the season premiere of Game of Thrones in April grew by 59 percent in a full week after it aired (17.4 million first-night viewers, including replays and streaming, to 27.7 million). A lower starting point means higher percentage gains are more likely, but even so, a greater portion of Euphoria's audience appears to be watching on digital platforms than did for the Game of Thrones premiere.

Live plus three-day figures for Game of Thrones' premiere put the audience at 14.09 million, a little more than half of HBO's reported 27.7 million total for the first week. Euphoria, whose target audience likely skews younger than most HBO shows, is at 802,000 viewers in live plus three, meaning nearly 65 percent of its viewers have watched by other means.

Early returns on Euphoria also put its post-premiere gains ahead of Big Little Lies and Barry.

Longer-tail figures for both episodes of Big Little Lies weren't available, but its same-night average across platforms is 2.25 million viewers, 55 percent ahead of the TV-only numbers (1.45 million). Euphoria's first-night bump was 73 percent.

The day after Barry's second-season finale, HBO said the show was averaging 4.8 million multi-platform viewers per episode (dating back to the day of its premiere). Its same-day, on-air average for the season was 1.6 million, so the show eventually grew to three times its initial audience.

Over four days (and again with the caveat that lower starting points can make for bigger percentage gains), Euphoria has nearly quadrupled its on-air debut (577,000 to 2.3 million).

It should be noted that streaming figures, from HBO and across the TV industry, come from the outlets themselves and are not easily verifiable via other sources. HBO did say that the number of people who watched the premiere on HBO Now Sunday was the most for a series debut since Westworld in 2016. Since the first-night total was about 1 million viewers, and 577,000 watched the episode on air, the HBO Now figure would be at most 423,000 (and realistically less, since more than zero people likely viewed the episode via on-air replay or on HBO Go).

Euphoria is the first teen drama HBO has ever made, with a target audience younger than the average show on the channel. Its outsized streaming figures are not a huge surprise given what's known about the way young adults consume media. Moreso than usual, the on-air ratings for the series aren't going to tell the whole story.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/li...online-1220360
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post #30485 of 34527 Old 06-23-2019, 07:04 AM - Thread Starter
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TV/Critic's Notes (Broadcast)
In the Dark' Finally Finds Itself at the End of the Season
By Mike Hughes, TVWorthWatching.com's 'Open Mike' - Jun. 20, 2019

Born with good intentions, fine actors, and poor pacing, In the Dark has wandered a bit.

It seemed to be drifting, but not anymore. The season's final two episodes make it all worthwhile; they're at 9 p.m. ET, Thursdays, June 20 and 27, on the CW.

Yes, that's the network that's stuffed with superheroes – which Dark is not. It's sort of the opposite, which is how it got started.

There was a management retreat, CW chief Mark Pedowitz recalled earlier this year, and the speaker was Lori Bernson. “Lori was captivating, and she was incredibly funny and sarcastic.” She's also blind, and she disputed all those stories about blind folks having super hearing or super hearts. As she puts it: “A person without vision can have as many quirks as a person who has sight.”

So CW created In the Dark, which arrived at mid-season and will be back sometime next year.

The show's main character, Murphy (Perry Mattfeld, top) had a degenerative disease in her teens (as did Bernson). Now she's a young woman, blind and bitter; she works at the guide dog place started by her parents, and now owned by Felix (Morgan Krantz), but rarely does anything helpful. She had exactly two friends – Jess (Brooke Markham), her roommate, and Tyson (Thamela Mpumlwana), a teen she met when he saved her from a violent attack.

Then things crashed. Murphy found Tyson's body. Her obsession with finding the killer strained things with Jess, who finally moved out. Even Dean (Rich Sommer) – the cop who was assigned to the case, partly because he has a blind daughter – has seemed exhausted by Murphy.

Often, Murphy dulls her senses with alcohol or sex. But now she's split from her boyfriend so as the June 20 episode begins she's thoroughly alone.

This is not cheery turf. After Murphy relates one memory, Chelsea (Lindsey Broad) calls it “like, the most depressing thing I've ever heard.” And Chelsea's a bartender, who knows depressed souls.

This show works because of the subtle skill of the actors. Mattfeld is perfect as Murphy – not just with the requirements of authentically playing a blind person, but the quiet details of a grim personality.

Not long ago, Mattfeld was a University of Southern California Song Girl, bouncing cheerily at basketball games. Now she plays someone she describes as “very deep and very layered...I beat (myself) pretty bad.”

It works. We start to like someone who doesn't seem to like herself. Others – especially Markham as Jess and Sommer as Dean – also bring subtlety to their roles.

In the Dark shouldn't have tried to stretch this first story out for 13 weeks. Now, however, these final two episodes provide a powerful pay-off.

http://www.tvworthwatching.com/BlogP...x?postId=18390
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post #30486 of 34527 Old 06-23-2019, 07:11 AM - Thread Starter
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TV Review (Cable)
HBO's Quasi-Dystopian Years and Years Is the Future Liberals Fear
By Judy Berman, TIME.com - Jun. 22, 2019

The future ain’t what it used to be—and TV creators have noticed. Faced with the quadruple threat of right-wing populism, climate change, Putin and the increasingly dark realities of cyberspace, their visions of the world to come have begun to look less like The Jetsons and more like the End Times. Tech dystopias abound, from Westworld to Black Mirror, along with such angry-Earth fare as the Brazilian Netflix hit 3%. The Expanse, a work of sci-fi political commentary, concerns a cold war between Earth and Mars. Even as the quality of its storytelling keeps slipping, The Handmaid’s Tale grows more prophetic with each new assault on abortion rights.

Years and Years, a six-part miniseries that recently ended its run on BBC One and will premiere on HBO June 24, is the least extreme but among the hardest to watch of these shows—probably because its vision of the near future is so tied to our specific present. Each episode is a snapshot of a year in the life of the big, diverse, multigenerational Lyons family (think This Is Us’ Pearson clan but British, and with a more robust sense of humor), beginning in 2024. The eldest of four adult siblings, Stephen (Rory Kinnear) is a successful financial advisor in an increasingly unstable global marketplace. His sister Edith (Jessica Hynes) travels the world doing risky activist work. Their little brother Daniel (Russell Tovey) is a housing officer; after Russia annexes Ukraine, a gay refugee (Maxim Baldry) from the occupied nation shows up at camp and catches his eye. The baby of the family, single mom Rosie (Ruth Madeley) uses a wheelchair due to spina bifida. With their parents out of the picture, the Lyons’ nonagenarian grandmother (a wonderfully warm Anne Reid) remains the matriarch, playing host to regular family gatherings.

Their privileged lives are destabilized by a series of geopolitical events straight out of Remainers’ nightmares: immigration chaos, economic free fall, a second term for Donald Trump, escalating tensions between China and the U.S. In Britain, the big news is Vivienne Rook (Emma Thompson, in a terrifyingly sharp performance), a blunt businesswoman turned politician who combines elements of Trump, Marine Le Pen and Nigel Farage. A politically heterogenous clan, the Lyons each see something different in her nationalist rhetoric. Some are electrified by Rook; others are enraged.

Believable as a family and likable as individuals, the Lyons ground the show’s unwieldy themes in real lives viewers can actually care about. (That’s more than I can say for HBO’s last impassioned Trump-era family drama, 2018’s unwatchably self-important Here and Now). In addition to the superb cast, Years and Years gets a lot of mileage out of the clever, unexpectedly subtle dialogue written entirely by creator Russell T. Davies—a stalwart of British TV who’s responsible for Queer as Folk, the 21st-century Doctor Who reboot and last year’s A Very English Scandal.

But the show too often feels like an exercise in liberal masochism. Davies’ dark vision of the near future aligns so neatly with worst-case scenarios that have been keeping left-of-center folks on both sides of the Atlantic awake at night since 2016 that plot twists rarely surprise. Sentiments that already register as obvious today are treated as revelations in the mid-2020s (“God, the world got complicated,” someone muses). Fiery speeches about the sad state of human society come across as a politicized form of fan service. The focus on a relatively well-off family pushes less fortunate characters to the margins.

The biggest misfire is a subplot that follows Stephen and his wife Celeste’s (T’Nia Miller) teenage daughter Bethany (Lydia West), who wears a device that projects emoji-like digital masks that resemble Snapchat filters over her face. In a family meeting where they expect her to come out to them as transgender, she shocks them by announcing she’s transhuman—that is, she identifies as a disembodied intelligence and longs to be free of her corporeal prison. And she’s willing to take dangerous steps to realize that dream. It’s a situation straight out of Black Mirror, except that the implication that tech-enabled transhumanism is the logical next step after transgender identity (which has actually existed in some form for thousands of years) carries some pretty transphobic connotations, whether that was Davies’ intention or not.

Speculative fictions can be hard to construct. It takes great attention to detail—and, in visual media, lots of money—to implant ambitious themes in a fully realized, internally consistent alternate world. Yet Years and Years has the opposite problem. Its flaw lies not in the execution of its futuristic family drama but in the banal and occasionally pernicious ideas that form its foundation.

https://time.com/5611544/hbo-years-and-years-review/
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post #30487 of 34527 Old 06-23-2019, 07:20 AM - Thread Starter
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TV Notes/Profile (Cable)
Kevin Costner: A Hollywood Gunslinger Looks Back
The ‘Yellowstone’ star on pot-smoking, movie-making and the day he stopped caring what people think
By Erik Hedegaard, RollingStone.com - Jun. 19, 2019

Unbeknownst to just about everybody, Kevin Costner could not have become Kevin Costner — that is to say, the biggest movie star around for a 10-year run starting in the late 1980s, with him swinging bats at balls in Bull Durham (1988) and Field of Dreams (1989), flashing badges at bad guys in The Untouchables (1987), and fast-racking the lever on his polished brass-frame Henry 1860 rifle in Dances With Wolves (1990); in the process becoming dominantly noted for his “tall, rangy good looks” and what Hollywood types like to call “flesh impact;” usually choosing to play characters who are self-sworn to operate on the upstanding, outstanding right side of any given moral equation, hence all the early comparisons to Gregory Peck and Jimmy Stewart; surviving outsized movie-making disasters like Waterworld (1995) that inevitably turned into cult favorites (rightfully so); and, at the age of 64, arriving most recently in long-form TV shows like The Highwaymen, costarring Woody Harrelson, about the two lawmen responsible for bringing down Depression-era bank-robber/killers Bonnie and Clyde, on Netflix, and Yellowstone, playing a hard-bitten patriarch and rancher beset on all sides by modern times and ancient grievances, on the Paramount Network, now entering its second season — without smoking a bunch of dope along the way, 40 years of it, before stopping a few years back, for the most part (see: Woody Harrelson), without anyone ever taking much notice of it.

Today, he’s unsaddled himself inside a Los Angeles hotel room, looking out a window on a tall stand of bamboo shoots that were planted, in his estimation, “not to be appreciated but to block views” and saying, “Yeah, for 40 years I had a really good time smoking. A really good ****ing time. I mean, I never smoked when I woke up. And I never smoked habitually. I did it to have a good time when I felt like I was going to have a good time. But about five years ago, I wasn’t having a good time anymore, so I just stopped. Which is kind of my motto. If I’m not having a good time doing something, stop doing it.”

Actually, he’s like that in many different ways. One variant has to do with why he wears what he’s got on today, nothing fancy: a sweater, Levi’s and cowboy boots.
“They’re kind of my own uniform, if you will,” he says. “And the boots, they’re from Yellowstone. I’m thinking, ‘When I wear them in the show, they feel pretty good, and I normally wear boots, so, well, I’ll just continue to wear these.’ There’s certain things that I don’t think too much about — when it comes to clothes, I don’t even know what to do except how to wear them — and there’s other things that I can’t stop thinking about, because I don’t like to go through life unthinking, if you will.”

“They’re kind of my own uniform, if you will,” he says. “And the boots, they’re from Yellowstone. I’m thinking, ‘When I wear them in the show, they feel pretty good, and I normally wear boots, so, well, I’ll just continue to wear these.’ There’s certain things that I don’t think too much about — when it comes to clothes, I don’t even know what to do except how to wear them — and there’s other things that I can’t stop thinking about, because I don’t like to go through life unthinking, if you will.”

And that’s another thing about Costner. He’s perfectly happy using a phrase like “if you will” more than any other human being might find seemly. It’s just one more example of him doing what he wants. And they keep right on coming. “I don’t drink alcohol with food,” he says at one point. “I don’t like it. I know that’s really unfashionable, but if I’m going to have a drink, it’s just going to be by itself. So when everybody’s ordering wine, I’m going, ‘Oh, ****.’ But I’ve come up with a really good posture. When I look at the wine list, I do a couple of chin boogies and then pass it over to somebody else.” He chuckles and says, “Listen. That was part of the pact I made with myself, no more playing. I’ll do the little dance just so that nobody else is embarrassed. But then, ‘You ****ing order the wine, I don’t care.’”

It’s all pretty interesting, not just this kind of mulish insistence on being himself, no matter what, which is how lots of people operate, for better or worse, but also the way he talks about it, openly, laughing and snorting as he goes, which takes the edge off what could almost be considered sharp-angled arrogance. It’s an appealing combo. It makes him fun to hang around, to sit back and listen to.

“I’m a six-foot white guy who ****ing makes cowboy movies and baseball movies and gets to play the hero, and no one mistakes me for anything but America,” he’s saying now. “I’m in a really good category, if you will. But I’m also going to make Mr. Brooks and I’m going to direct and I’m going to make music if I want to, and I’m not going to worry about the people who are willing to cut my head off and watch it roll down the street.”

In Mr. Brooks (2007), he plays a family-man serial killer, 100 percent against type, to such great effect that the New Yorker called it his “best performance in years.” He’s directed three movies, the post-apocalyptic oater the Postman (1997), which was universally scorned at the time, though not now; Open Range (2003), another of his great Westerns; and, of course, Dances With Wolves, which earned him best-director and best-picture Oscars. And he does play music, guitar and twangy vocals, in his band Kevin Costner & Modern West. As for those willing to cut off his head, back in the day, they were legion, not just because of some of his movies but also just because. In the 1991 Madonna documentary Truth or Dare, Costner meets the singer backstage after one of her shows. “Thanks for coming,” she says. “I thought it was neat,” he says, most earnestly, adjusting his glasses, before blowing her a kiss and wandering off, leaving her to swivel around and make a gagging gesture, finger in mouth, tongue stuck out. “Neat?” she says. “Anybody who says my show is neat has to go.” In hindsight, maybe the only one who ought to go is her. She’s been mistaken for America, too — brash, taunting, weaselly, a version of America that sadly seems more current and permanent than Costner’s.

In the 1930s, after deep plowing on the Great Plains stripped the topsoil of all its lodged-in grasses, and the wind came up, and the dust reached a thickness where you couldn’t see three feet forward, tens of thousands of families were forced to abandon their farms and start over elsewhere, among them Costner’s part-Cherokee grandparents, who trudged west, with his dad eventually settling in Compton, a lesser part of Los Angeles, where he worked for Southern California Edison, starting off as a lineman and moving his family wherever the job took him, which meant that Kevin, along with his older brother Dan, had to move, too.

He was always the new kid in school, four different ones during his high-school years, always trying to find a way to fit in. He knew how to have fun, spent his days hunting rabbits and squirrels, building tree houses, bouncing around in go-carts, just in general keeping his dungarees well muddied up. “I was a rascal, because I was adventurous,” he says, “but I didn’t have a rebellious nature. I grew up in a conservative household. Those different schools, my parents were like, ‘Toughen up,’ and my mom said, ‘Look, we do what’s right for your father.’ I had a brother in Vietnam in the Sixties, so the last thing I wanted to do was cause them problems.” He also wrote poetry, sang in a Baptist choir, and loved going to the movies. He was especially bowled over by the first one he saw, the epic 1962 western How the West Was Won, filmed in Cinerama, with three projectors sprawling the action across a massive curved screen, quite something special back then. It “formed” his childhood, he once said.

At the same time, he was beset by insecurities. For one thing, while he excelled in athletics, he wasn’t much of a student, primarily when it came to math. He was bothered to a massive degree by numbers that were less than zero. “That particular Rubik’s Cube of bull**** actually affected me in a real negative way, not being able to understand that,” he says, still sounding upset. “And yet, so much weight was attached to those type of things. And so, you know, I was caught in a kind of storm of thinking, ‘Well, I must be a ****ing dumbbell.’ I mean, I just don’t do well at that kind of thing.”

To make matters worse, he was a 5′-2” nugget even unto his senior year in high school and tortured by it. “I didn’t date. I went to the backward dance, that Sadie Hawkins thing where the girl asks you. But you inevitably don’t go with who you want to go with. The girl you’re kind of ogling at, she picked somebody else. It wasn’t a moment for me to shine. That’s not what you’d call a score. And when I got my driver’s license, after about the fourth girl told me, ‘Oh, that’s so cute,’ I thought to myself, ‘I’m never showing this thing to anybody again.’”

He pauses. He goes on, “I never quite got over that one. And along the way, I kind of lost what my own real identity was. Like, ‘Well, who am I? Just some guy who goes to a new school and, God, wants to just have a couple of friends?’ And then college wasn’t actually a place for me” — he attended Cal State, Fullerton, studying business — “and as I approached my senior year, I had a real talk with myself about what I wanted to do and whether I just wanted to please other people. And it was at that moment that I actually said to myself, ‘I’m interested in storytelling.’”

He pauses again. He goes on again, “If you want to look at a high point in my life, it wasn’t a movie, it wasn’t Dances, it wasn’t Bull Durham. It was that internal talk I had with myself, where I said, ‘I don’t give a **** what anybody says, this is what I want to do, and I’m burning my ships like Cortes, and I am going to go where my heart wants to go. And I’m never again going to not do that in my life, and I’m not going to be caught up in trends and what’s popular.”

For the next eight years, he odd-job bounced around Hollywood, got married to his college sweetheart, cranked out the kids (three with her during their 16-year marriage; he got remarried in 2004; he has seven children altogether); had a tiny part in the 1981 T&A flick Sizzle Beach; got left on the cutting room floor in Lawrence Kasdan’s 1983 film The Big Chill, which Kasdan made up for two years later by giving him the break-out part of a smartypants gunslinger in Silverado. Next big stop: playing Eliot Ness in Brian DePalma’s The Untouchables, which didn’t give him much to work with, unlike No Way Out, released the same year. In that movie, the Washington Post called him “forceful and energetic… with a steely-eyed intensity that gives dimension to his football-captain good looks.” And then, a year later, in 1988, came Bull Durham. And so it went, his way and no one else’s.

Pretty soon, he’ll be leaving L.A. and returning to his Santa Barbara home, where he’s lived for the past 15 years and where, if he wants to, he can strip down, suit up, and go lobstering in the Pacific — “working my way down to the bottom by holding onto the kelp and then you work your way back. I just love that, when I go down and under like that. It just feels great.”

But, for the moment, he’s still on the surface and plumping for Yellowstone. His John Dutton rancher character isn’t exactly square in the heroic Costner mold. He’s not as horrible as his Mr. Brooks serial killer, who was, he says, “not a character I normally would even want to do, but I found an incredible amount of empathy, the way it was drawn and the way I was drawn to it, so much so that I actually prepared to make a second and third installment of that particular character.” Even so, Dutton does some bad stuff, gets some people killed, uses his family to get some people killed, with Costner’s traditional lopsided grin, lank frame and half-Oakie twang still being put to good, constructive use. Even at his worst, he’s never less than mostly likable. Or at least understandable. “And that’s all I want in life,” he says, “a high understanding of why somebody does what they do.”

Which kind of leads back to why he stopped smoking pot and what it did for him in the first place.

“I don’t know if it’s because it’s so powerful now, I’m not sure what it was, but the thing that I used to hear my fellow tokers say is, ‘It makes me paranoid,’ and I was always thinking to myself, ‘****, I’m glad this doesn’t make me paranoid because I really like it.’ But then I started feeling what some of the others felt and I thought, ‘Well, I’m not going to keep doing this.’ I gave it about eight more tries but I was pretty certain something was wrong, so I quit doing it.”

But what about during the making of The Highwaymen? How could he resist smoking with Harrelson, one of greatest, most well-known smokers of all modern times?

“Yeah, we had our own conversation,” he says, “and it was fine, good that way. And there was always a chance that maybe I wasn’t going to get paranoid. But, you know.”

Plus, the life-changing aspects of his 40-year romance with weed were well in the past. They took place some time after his Sadie Hawkins dance days and the negative-numbers horror show and all the girls saying how cute he looked on his driver’s license and him just wanting to fit in and have a few friends. He was in college, still thinking about his business studies, unhappily, a long way from becoming the chin-boogier who’s always going to let somebody else order the ****ing wine and makes only the kinds of movies and TV shows he wants to make.

“I told you I was raised in a very conservative way,” he says, “but I remember when I started smoking, I have to tell you honestly, I started thinking differently.”

Here he pauses, takes a step back from what he’s saying, then leans forward into it again.

“All of a sudden,” he goes on, “the conservative thing flew right out the window. I saw things in a different way. And I think it actually helped me come to that decision internally, which is, ‘Who are you?’ You know, ‘Who are you?'”

And so that’s how Kevin Costner became Kevin Costner, if you will. And if anyone will, it’s him.

https://www.rollingstone.com/tv/tv-f...erview-847773/
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post #30488 of 34527 Old 06-23-2019, 08:06 AM - Thread Starter
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
SUNDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Network late night shows are preceded by late local news)
From Zap2it.com's TV Grid - Jun. 23, 2019

ABC:
7PM - America's Funniest Home Videos
(R)
8PM - Highwire Live in Times Square With Nik Wallenda (Special, 120 min., LIVE)
10PM - Holey Moley
(R)

CBS:
7PM - 60 Minutes
8PM - 60 Minutes
9PM - The Good Fight
10PM - The Good Fight

NBC:
7PM - Hollywood Game Night
(R)
8PM - America's Got Talent (120 min.)
(R)
10PM - New Amsterdam
(R)

FOX:
7PM - PBC Boxing: Jermell Charlo vs. Jorge Cota - Prelims (LIVE)
8PM - PBC Boxing: Jermell Charlo vs. Jorge Cota (120 min., LIVE)

THE CW:
8PM - Burden of Truth
9PM - Whose Line Is It Anyway? (Guest comic Greg Proops; singer Lance Bass)
(R)
9:30PM - Whose Line Is It Anyway? (Guest comic Keegan-Michael Key)
(R)

PBS:
8PM - Poldark on Masterpiece
(R)
9PM - Endeavour on Masterpiece (90 min.)
10:30PM - Jamestown

UNIVISION:
5:45PM - CONCACAF Copa Oro 2019: Canadá vs. Cuba (LIVE)
8:15PM - CONCACAF Copa Oro 2019: Martinica vs. México (LIVE)
10:30PM - Contacto Deportivo (LIVE)

TELEMUNDO:
7PM - MasterChef Latino (120 min.)
9PM - Movie: The Shepherd (2008)

NBCSN:
5:30PM - FIVB Volleyball Men's Nations League: United States vs. China (120 min., LIVE)
7:30PM - Beach Volleyball (90 min.)

BET/MTV/MTV2/MTV CLASSIC/TV LAND/VH1:
6PM - 2019 BET Awards Red Carpet Special (120 min., LIVE)*
8PM - 2019 BET Awards (3 1/2 hrs., LIVE)
* * * *
11:30PM - 2019 BET Awards Post Show (LIVE)*
*
(only airing on BET)

ESPN:
7PM - MLB Baseball: Los Angeles Angels at St. Louis Cardinals (LIVE)
10PM - SportsCenter (2 1/2 hrs., LIVE)

ESPN 2:
7PM - UFC 237: Namajunas vs. Andrade (3 hrs.)

ESPN NEWS:
7PM - Formula 1 Racing: Pirelli Grand Prix de France (2 1/2 hrs.)

BBC AMERICA:
8PM - Luther (Season Finale, 80 min.)

HALLMARK:
8PM - Good Witch

HGTV:
8PM - Lakefront Bargain Hunt
8:30PM - Lakefront Bargain Hunt
9PM - Beach Hunters (Season Premiere)
9:30PM - Beach Hunters
10PM - Island Life
10:30PM - Island Life

LIFETIME:
8PM - Movie: I Almost Married a Serial Killer (2019)

NAT GEO:
8PM - Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks (Season 5 Flashback
9PM - Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks (Season Premiere)
10PM - Yellowstone Live (Season Premiere, LIVE)

OXYGEN:
7PM - License to Kill (Series Premiere)
8PM - A Lie to Die For (Series Premiere)

SHOWTIME:
8PM - Our Cartoon President
8:30PM - Desus & Mero (Anthony Anderson)
(R)
9PM - City on a Hill

STARZ:
8PM - The Spanish Princess (Season Finale, 62 min.)
9:02PM - Vida (33 min.)

AMC:
9PM - Fear the Walking Dead (65 min.)
10:05PM - NOS4A2 (65 min.)

CNN:
9PM - Apollo 11 (Documentary Premiere, 2019, 108 min.)

E!:
9PM - Keeping Up With the Kardashians
10PM - Relatively Nat & Liv

HALLMARK:
9PM - When Calls the Heart

HBO:
9PM - Big Little Lies (62 min.)
10:02PM - Euphoria
* * * *
11:02PM - Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

SCIENCE:
9PM - Legends of the Deep: Curse of the Sea Monster
10PM - Truth Behind the Moon Landing: Conspiracy of the Lost Tapes

TNT/TBS:
9PM - Claws

PARAMOUNT:
10PM - Marriage Rescue

ADULT SWIM:
Midnight - The Jellies: Walla Walla Wallabees B
12:15AM - The Jellies: My Friend Sheldon Jr. (Season Finale)


https://tvlistings.zap2it.com/?aid=gapzap
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
SUNDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
From Zap2it.com's TV Grid - Jun. 23, 2019

ABC:
8PM - Highwire Live in Times Square With Nik Wallenda (Special, 120 min., LIVE)
Still not as dangerous as when Billy Joel actually walked through Bedford Stuy alone & even rode his motorcycle in the rain.
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post #30490 of 34527 Old 06-24-2019, 10:01 AM
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TV Notes/Profile (Cable)
Kevin Costner: A Hollywood Gunslinger Looks Back
The ‘Yellowstone’ star on pot-smoking, movie-making and the day he stopped caring what people think
By Erik Hedegaard, RollingStone.com - Jun. 19, 2019

Unbeknownst to just about everybody, Kevin Costner could not have become Kevin Costner — that is to say, the biggest movie star around for a 10-year run starting in the late 1980s, with him swinging bats at balls in Bull Durham (1988) and Field of Dreams (1989), flashing badges at bad guys in The Untouchables (1987), and fast-racking the lever on his polished brass-frame Henry 1860 rifle in Dances With Wolves (1990); in the process becoming dominantly noted for his “tall, rangy good looks” and what Hollywood types like to call “flesh impact;” usually choosing to play characters who are self-sworn to operate on the upstanding, outstanding right side of any given moral equation, hence all the early comparisons to Gregory Peck and Jimmy Stewart; surviving outsized movie-making disasters like Waterworld (1995) that inevitably turned into cult favorites (rightfully so); and, at the age of 64, arriving most recently in long-form TV shows like The Highwaymen, costarring Woody Harrelson, about the two lawmen responsible for bringing down Depression-era bank-robber/killers Bonnie and Clyde, on Netflix, and Yellowstone, playing a hard-bitten patriarch and rancher beset on all sides by modern times and ancient grievances, on the Paramount Network, now entering its second season — without smoking a bunch of dope along the way, 40 years of it, before stopping a few years back, for the most part (see: Woody Harrelson), without anyone ever taking much notice of it.

https://www.rollingstone.com/tv/tv-f...erview-847773/
Seriously - there are at least 6 sentences in that paragraph. If you have a sentence with more than semi-colon, you're literally doing it wrong.

Perhaps Erik Hedegaard should reconsider the amount of dope he's smoking, because stream of conscious writing hasn't been a thing since "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" came out.
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post #30491 of 34527 Old 06-24-2019, 10:32 AM
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Seriously - there are at least 6 sentences in that paragraph. If you have a sentence with more than semi-colon, you're literally doing it wrong.
I had a division head once that, in an effort to make our letters, e-mails and other client/consultant communications more effective and readable, gave a lunch seminar once on the comma, which he hated. His point was, it should never be used for anything other than separation of items in a list. If you use it to break up long sentences, thinking that's more "conversational", you're probably... doing it wrong. As I just did multiple times in all three of those sentences.
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post #30492 of 34527 Old 06-24-2019, 11:22 AM
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I had a division head once that, in an effort to make our letters, e-mails and other client/consultant communications more effective and readable, gave a lunch seminar once on the comma, which he hated. His point was, it should never be used for anything other than separation of items in a list. If you use it to break up long sentences, thinking that's more "conversational", you're probably... doing it wrong. As I just did multiple times in all three of those sentences.
In this age of texting, Twitter, etc., use is probably generational.

Here’s what Business Insider has to say about it, they even use it before “and”, but I thought that was discontinued a long time ago. I’m a holdout in that I like commas, but I get that the younger generation doesn’t even like vowels. 🤣

Cheers, Dave
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Nielsen Overnights (Broadcast)
TV Ratings: 'Highwire Live in Times Square' Falls Short of Past Stunts
By Rick Porter, The Hollywood Reporter - Jun. 24, 2019

ABC led Sunday's ratings thanks to Highwire Live in Times Square, but the two-hour special drew a smaller audience than similar specials in recent years.

The stunt, in which brother and sister Nik and Lijana Wallenda wire-walked across New York's Times Square from 25 stories up, averaged 5.25 million viewers for its two-hour run time, along with a 0.8 rating in adults 18-49. The audience grew substantially in the second hour as the Wallendas successfully completed the walk, drawing 6.36 million vs. 4.14 million in the first hour. It peaked with 7.2 million viewers from 9:30-10 p.m.

The full special, however, came up short of previous stunts. Discovery's Skywire Live averaged 8.5 million viewers in 2013, and Skyscraper Live in 2014 drew 5.8 million. A 2012 ABC special featuring Wallenda crossing part of Niagara Falls on a wire averaged 10.1 million viewers.

Highwire Live in Times Square was produced by Dick Clark Productions, a division of Valence Media, the parent company of the Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group.

Elsewhere Sunday, The Good Fight delivered steady numbers for CBS as its season one run continued on the network. The CBS All Access series averaged 3.64 million viewers for a pair of episodes, up a little from 3.55 million a week ago, along with a 0.3 in adults 18-49. 60 Minutes was the night's most-watched show with just under 7 million viewers.

Fox got a 0.2 in adults 18-49 and just over 1 million viewers for a Premier Boxing Champions card. Burden of Truth was steady on The CW with a 0.1 demo rating.

ABC led the night among adults 18-49 with a 0.7 rating. NBC and Univision tied for second at 0.5. CBS scored a 0.4, Fox and Telemundo 0.2 each and The CW 0.1.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/li...3-2019-1220555
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post #30494 of 34527 Old 06-24-2019, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
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TV/Business Notes (OTT)
First Wives Club Remake to Launch BET+ Streaming Service in Fall
By Rebecca Iannucci, TVLine.com - Jun. 24, 2019

BET is the latest network to join the standalone streaming service party: The cabler announced Monday that it will launch BET+, a subscription VOD service focused on the African-American audience, this fall.

Though a specific launch date and price point have not yet been announced, BET+ will feature more than 1,000 hours of ad-free content, including original programming and fan-favorite series, movies and specials.

BET’s series adaptation of The First Wives Club — originally developed at Paramount Network, then relocated to BET — will now debut on the streaming service in the fall. Based on the 1996 film, the 10-episode First Wives Club stars Jill Scott (Black Lightning), Ryan Michelle Bathe (This Is Us) and Michelle Buteau (Enlisted) as three New York City women who form a united front after all of their marriages fall apart.

“African Americans are the leading consumers of streaming services, with higher SVOD adoption rates than other consumers, which is why we’re so excited to launch a premium product for this underserved audience,” said Scott Mills, president of BET Networks. “BET+ is a natural extension of BET’s linear network, which has been the leading home of black culture for decades. Our curated catalog and original programming will keep the BET+ content offering fresh, fueling subscriber growth, viewership and retention.”

At launch, BET+ will be available on iOS and Android devices.

https://tvline.com/2019/06/24/bet-pl...club-premiere/
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Media/Business Notes
AT&T Hires Sarnoff To Head Warner Bros.
By Jon Lafayette, Broadcasting & Cable - Jun. 24, 2019

AT&T’s WarnerMedia unit said it named BBC Studios Americas president Ann Sarnoff as chair and CEO of Warner Bros.

Sarnoff succeeds Kevin Tsujihara, who left after it was discovered that he’d been trying movie roles for a woman he was having an affair with.

Tsujihara is one of several top executives who have left the company after AT&T acquired Time Warner.

Sarnoff will be based in Los Angeles and will officially join the company later this summer.

“Ann’s contribution to BBC Studios has been immense,” said Tim Davie, CEO BBC Studios. “She has grown our core business as well as driving significant innovation, including the successful creation of BritBox, the growth of BBC America alongside our partner AMCN, the launch of new channels like BBC Earth in Canada, and major new content and production deals. We will miss her generosity and her spirit of collaboration, and we wish her great success at Warner Bros.”

After Tsujihar’s departure, Warner Bros. was managed by an interim team of leaders made up of Toby Emmerich, Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group, Peter Roth, President and Chief Content Officer, Warner Bros. Television Group and Kim Williams, EVP & CFO, Warner Bros.

https://www.broadcastingcable.com/ne...ad-warner-bros
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post #30496 of 34527 Old 06-24-2019, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
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TV/Production Notes (Cable)
Ed Asner and Alan Cumming Board Rosario Dawson’s ‘Briarpatch’ at USA Network
By Tim Baysinger, TheWrap.com - Jun. 24, 2019

Ed Asner and Alan Cumming have joined USA Network’s upcoming drama “Briarpatch.”

“Briarpatch” stars Rosario Dawson as Allegra Dill, a dogged investigator returning to her border-town Texas home after her sister is murdered. What begins as a search for a killer turns into an all-consuming fight to bring her corrupt hometown to its knees. The season celebrates the beloved genres represented by Thomas’ book — a stylish blend of crime and pulp fiction — while updating his sense of fun, danger and place for a new generation.

Asner will play the role of James Staghorne Sr. – the president and owner of the town’s only newspaper, The Chronicle. The longtime power behind the power in City Hall, he never bothers to hide his racism and resentment and deigns only to speak to his son Jimmy Jr. — unless someone sets off his powerful temper.

Cumming will play the role of Clyde Brattle – an elegant, charming, and murderous arms dealer. Currently a fugitive – and the target of a Senatorial investigation run by Dill — he arrives in town to wreak havoc and settle some old scores.

The first season is based on Ross Thomas’ novel of the same name, which sees Dawson playing a gender-swapped version of Thomas’ lead character, Ben Dill. The series also stars Jay R. Ferguson, Brian Geraghty and Edi Gathegi. The first season is currently shooting in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Dawson will also serve as a producer.

Andy Greenwald, who UCP also signed to an overall deal, adapted “Briarpatch” for television and will executive produce along with “Mr. Robot” creator Sam Esmail through his production company Esmail Corp and Anonymous Content’s Chad Hamilton. Universal Cable Productions and Paramount Television will produce. Ana Lily Amirpour directed the pilot and also served as an executive producer.

https://www.thewrap.com/ed-asner-and...t-usa-network/
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TV/Production Notes (Cable)
Freeform Orders Drama Pilot With ‘How to Get Away With Murder’ Creator Producing
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Jun. 23, 2019

Freeform has ordered a one-hour drama pilot from writer Keith Staskiewicz and executive producer Peter Nowalk.

Titled “Close Up,” the project is set in Centreville, New Jersey, a suburban town just like any other, at least on the surface. Centreville high school student Rachel Guyer is on a mission to expose the truth about her seemingly normal hometown and turn her community inside out.

Nowalk previously created the ABC series “How to Get Away With Murder,” and previously worked on fellow Shondaland shows “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy” as well. Staskiewicz previously wrote for the animated series “Three Delivery.”

The pilot will be produced by ABC Signature Studios, where Nowalk is currently under an overall deal.

“‘Close Up’ tells a wonderfully layered story that illuminates the strength behind one young woman’s act of rebellion and its impact on changing the world,” said Lauren Corrao, executive vice president of original programming and development for Freeform. “This show will defy expectations and spark cultural conversation, and we are so grateful to Peter and Keith for bringing it to life on Freeform.”

Freeform’s current scripted lineup includes shows such as the Marvel series “Cloak & Dagger,” spinoffs “Good Trouble” “Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists,” and “Grown-ish,” as well as “The Bold Type” and several others.

https://variety.com/2019/tv/news/fre...or-1203251430/
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TV Notes/Q&A (Cable)
‘Legion’s’ Noah Hawley wants to build you more than an emotional roller coaster
By Greg Braxton, Los Angeles Times - Jun. 24, 2019

Believe it or not, Noah Hawley does find time to sleep. But you’d be forgiven for doubting that he can afford to lay down his head for more than a few minutes after a glance at his current schedule.

He’s completing the concluding episodes of “Legion,” FX’s kaleidoscopic series about a powerful mutant who is also grappling with schizophrenia. The third and final season of the series, which was created by Hawley and links to Marvel Comics’ “X-Men” universe, premieres Monday, June 24 at 10 p.m..

Meanwhile, he’s putting the finishing touches on his feature-length directorial debut, “Lucy In the Sky,” starring Natalie Portman as an astronaut who starts losing touch with reality after returning from a mission into space. A release date has not yet been set for the Fox Searchlight production.

He’s also written three scripts for the fourth installment of FX’s Emmy-winning limited series “Fargo,” which will star Chris Rock as the head of a crime family in 1950s Kansas City. Production is scheduled to begin in October.

And if that wasn’t enough, he’s planning a new novel — his sixth. His other books include “A Conspiracy of Tall Men,” “The Good Father” and, most recently, the bestselling “Before the Fall.”

Hawley, who commutes between his home in Austin, Texas, and Hollywood, smiled last week as he considered his ability to juggle so many high-profile projects while maintaining his sanity.

“I wish I could bottle it and then drink from it,” Hawley said. “I feel a little bit like the little pencil nub who is going, ‘Get another pencil already. Why are you still using me?’ It’s never my goal to be overwhelmed. Obviously, I’m a good multi-tasker. But even I get overwhelmed. I can’t explain how to do it. I can only do it. If I take the time to explain how to do it, I’m going to miss something.”

The task of overseeing and producing the mind-bending “Legion” would be more than enough for most writer-producers. While anchored in the comic book world, the show’s eccentric characters, thematic complexity, eye-popping visual style, and disorienting plotting are worlds beyond conventional superhero tales. Although the series has been hailed by many critics and fans, others have found the material not only challenging but impenetrable. Those viewers even have a “Legion” “hate thread” on Reddit.

“Legion” stars Dan Stevens as David Haller, a tormented young man who may also be the world’s most powerful mutant. In the first two seasons, David, allied with a group of fellow mutants at a remote facility called Summerland, confronts both government forces and a powerful parasite known as “The Shadow King.”

The Season 3 opener serves as a quick recap of the past two seasons while offering up more examples of the show’s penchant for irreverent mind-bending: a teenage time traveler, a red bus called “the yellow bus,” a pregnant virgin and a musical number involving crowded moving clothing racks.

Taking a short break in a conference room near his Paramount Studios office, Hawley talked about whether fans can expect a happy ending from “Legion” and previewed the new “Fargo,” which he said will be bigger than previous editions.

“Legion” is really unlike any superhero show — or anything else — on TV. What are your emotions like as you approach the end?
I feel good. For me, what I’m increasingly concerned with as a storyteller is human dignity. A story is basically an empathy delivery device, a way I can get you feel empathy for someone who is not you. It’s what we teach our kids. It’s the story of the bunny: You’re not the bunny, but when the bunny is sad, you feel sad. I think that there’s been a real move in the last 30 or 40 years to simplify, to just say “hero and villain” and there’s no moral gray area. These issues aren’t exactly complicated. My hope is, [in] as entertaining a way as possible, to explore human nature and morality.

No one can call “Legion” a simple story. Some viewers and critics have found it challenging because it’s not the usual fare.
The question is, do we need another thing that is the usual fare? I sat down recently with [Marvel Studios head] Kevin Feige and told him I see myself as Marvel’s R&D department. What else can you do with this genre that is not being done already? When I grew up reading “X-Men” and comics and genre fiction in general, it was the places you could go, the fantastical nature of it, the conceptual leaps that were the most mind-expanding. On some level, all of that has been reduced to action. I just wanted to bring it back to its Phillip K. Dick origins, where so much of the story is about the journey, not the destination.

When I watch “Legion,” I’m awed by the visuals, the sounds, the effects. It’s so dense, particularly for television.
With both “Fargo” and “Legion,” I see them as second-watch opportunities. There’s the experience of watching it for the first time, when you don’t know what’s going to happen. Hopefully I make something unexpected that feels inevitable in the end. Then, if you go back and watch it again, you understand the connective tissue and things are much clearer. I had a long conversation with [FX Networks chief] John Landgraf about what it is to take the roller coaster off the rails. It’s fine to say something is an emotional roller coaster, but why can’t it be an intellectual roller coaster or a philosophical roller coaster or even a visual roller coaster? This show allows me to do that in a way where I don’t have to literally say, “I’m telling you this story because of x, y and z.” The experience of watching the whole show has resonance that doesn’t have to be linear or literal or explained to you.

It’s an act of play for me. It’s one thing to be creative. It’s another thing to be creative under pressure, under a deadline. But the real trick is being able to play, to be able to get down on the floor like my kids with the characters and material, and allow whimsy and improvisation and sense of humor to come in while still maintaining the character structure and stakes.

What do you hope fans will take away from the final season?
You have to give then an ending that makes the journey worth going on. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an ending that they want, but it has to be an earned ending. It has to make sense emotionally for the characters. If you pull your punch at the last minute, if you try to please everyone at the last minute, if you force your story in a direction it didn’t organically want to go, the audience knows. They don’t need a happy ending, but they need a meaningful ending.

”Legion” is part of the X-Men Universe. The recent “Dark Phoenix” was a disappointment at the box office. Is that a concern?
I don’t know if people literally connect “Legion” to “X-Men.” We had a great debate between Marvel, FX and myself when we launched in Season 1. You could put “X-Men” in the title, promote it as a “X-Men” show. The only connection that they made was to put an “X” in the middle of the O. The show stands on its own two feet. It exists in an alternate universe itself. We’re in this subjective “David world” that allows us to tell the story and connect it in a way where you don’t have to worry about how it connects to everything else.

My brain exploded when it was announced that Chris Rock would be in the new “Fargo.” What can you tell us about the new season?
This fourth story is bigger than any of them, probably all of them put together. It’s a collision of these two groups that are outside mainstream America. One group is the newly arrived Italian immigrants who are still very much ostracized and discriminated against. Then there’s Chris Rock and his family, a group of African Americans, many of whom have come up from the South in preceding years in what is often called the Great Migration. But at the same time, Chris Rock’s character is the bank in his community, he’s the insurance company in his community.

These two groups are both fighting to become mainstream Americans in a way that is part of what we see as the American experience — you show up and you work hard and eventually you get the American dream. Of course, hindsight shows us that doesn’t always end the way you think it should end. So thematically there’s a lot of ideas that feel new and original. I look at “Fargo” and at its heart it’s the story of America in many different ways.

And then there’s your novel.
I have a deadline and a publisher who keeps asking. “What’s happening?” The reality is I’m working on something I’m really excited about and excited to make time for. I don’t want to surrender any of these identities that I have.

https://www.latimes.com/entertainmen...624-story.html
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Media/Viewership Notes (OTT)
Tubi Claims 20M Active Users in May
By Daniel Frankel, Multichannel News - Jun. 24, 2019

Communicating new benchmarks into what seems like an active M&A market for ad-supported streaming platforms, Tubi said that it reached 20 million active users in May.

The San Francisco AVOD start-up also said that its users watched 94 million hours of movies and TV shows on the platform during the month. And that’s still not all—Tubi said May was its biggest ever revenue producing month, although it didn’t release any figures.

Tubi didn't offer up its definition of active user. But it has been publicly active over the last six months, putting out announcements every time it acquires ancient episodes of a network reality show or secures financing for content.

The ramp-up came soon after Tubi discussed a sale to Viacom, which ended up buying rival AVOD platform Pluto TV for $340 million.

“Tubi has made remarkable strides in the first half of the year, further demonstrating the vitality of AVOD in an environment fatigued by the amount of subscription video options,” said Farhad Massoudi, CEO of Tubi, in a statement. “Our recent deals this year with NBCUniversal, Lionsgate, Warner Bros., and others resonated very well with our customers, and we’re excited to provide even more premium content this year.”

https://www.multichannel.com/news/tu...e-users-in-may
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
MONDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Network late night shows are preceded by late local news)
From Zap2it.com's TV Grid - Jun. 24, 2019

ABC:
8PM - The Bachelorette (120 min.)
10:01PM - Grand Hotel
* * * *
12:05AM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Tom Hanks; Pamela Adlon; Koffee performs)
(R)
1:07AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - The Neighborhood
(R)
8:30PM - The Neighborhood
(R)
9PM - God Friended Me
(R)
10PM - Bull
(R)
* * *
11:35PM - The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (Tom Holland; 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang)
12:37AM - The Late Late Show With James Corden (Comic Chelsea Handler; Ginnifer Goodwin; Tom Odell performs)
(R)

NBC:
8PM - American Ninja Warrior: Seattle/Tacoma City Qualifiers (120 min.)
10PM - Dateline NBC: Unchecked Evil
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Model Chrissy Teigen; Bashir Salahuddin; writer Diallo Riddle; Aldous Harding performs)
12:37AM - Late Night With Seth Meyers (Olivia Munn; comic Ramy Youssef; Matt Maeson performs; Jon Wurster sits in with the 8G Band)
1:38AM - Last Call With Carson Daly (Eliza Coupe; Aurora performs; Anna Konkle; Maya Erskine)
(R)

FOX:
8PM - Beat Shazam
9PM - So You Think You Can Dance

THE CW:
8PM - Penn & Teller: Fool Us
9PM - Whose Line Is It Anyway? (Guest comic Jeff Davis; singer-songwriter Tinashe)
9:30PM - Whose Line Is It Anyway? (Guest comic Gary Anthony Williams)
(R)

PBS:
8PM - Antiques Roadshow: Vintage Reno
9PM - Antiques Roadshow: Vintage Charleston
(R)
10PM - POV: The Gospel of Eureka (90 min.)

UNIVISION:
8PM - La Reina Soy Yo
9PM - La Rosa de Guadalupe
10PM - Por Amar Sin Ley

TELEMUNDO:
6:30PM - CONMEBOL Copa América 2019: Chile vs. Uruguay (LIVE)
9PM - Betty in NY
10PM - La Reina del Sur

UNIMAS:
6:15PM - CONCACAF Copa Oro 2019: Bermuda vs. Nicaragua (LIVE)
8:45PM - CONCACAF Copa Oro 2019: Haití vs. Costa Rica (LIVE)

ESPN:
7PM - 2019 College World Series: Michigan vs. Vanderbilt (LIVE)
10PM - MLB Baseball: Colorado Rockies at San Francisco Giants (LIVE)

A&E:
8PM - Live PD: Police Patrol
8:30PM - Live PD: Police Patrol
9PM - Live Rescue (120 min., LIVE)

NAT GEO:
8PM - America's National Parks - Grand Canyon: Land of Extremes
9PM - Yellowstone Live: The Great Thaw (LIVE)
10PM - Climbing Redwood Giants: Life in the Sky

USA:
8PM - WWE Monday Night RAW (3 hrs., LIVE)

VH1:
8PM - Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta
9PM - T.I. & Tiny: Friends and Family Hustle

HBO:
9PM - Years and Years (Limited Series Premiere)

MTV:
9PM - Teen Mom OH
10:01PM - The Hills: New Beginnings (Series Premiere, 66 min.)

TNT:
9PM - 2019 NBA Awards (120 min., LIVE)

TVONE:
9PM - ATL Homicide (Season Premiere)
10PM - The DL Hughley Show (Guest TBA)

PARAMOUNT:
10PM - Cops
10:30PM - Cops
(R)

COMEDY CENTRAL:
11PM - The Daily Show With Trevor Noah (Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, 36 min.)

E!
10PM - Nightly Pop

FX:
10PM - Legion (Season Premiere, 68 min.)

SHOWTIME:
11PM - Desus & Mero (Ice Cube)

TBS:
11PM - Conan (Jean-Claude Van Damme; comic Sam Morril)
(R)


https://tvlistings.zap2it.com/?aid=gapzap
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TV/Critic's Notes (Cable)
‘The Hills’ helped invent the social media influencer. Now what?
By Yvonne Villareal, Los Angeles Times - Jun. 24, 2019

On a balmy weeknight inside the nightspot formerly known as Les Deux — the reality TV landmark frequently featured in “The Hills” — Spencer Pratt is tending to his fidgety toddler.

It’s a trip for die-hards of MTV’s über-popular 2006-10 docu-soap. Because if these walls could talk, they’d tell you about the time Lauren Conrad, suspicious her former friend Heidi Montag played a part in spreading a sex tape rumor about her, proclaimed, “You know what you did!” Or the time Pratt, then courting Montag (now his wife), showed up to her birthday party with Audrina Patridge to make her jealous.

“It’s different priorities than back then,” Pratt, 35, says above the booming music as Montag makes her way over after posing for a photo. “I’m thinking about how we have to get home and give him a bath.”

Pratt and Montag, along with their fellow original cast members — Patridge, Whitney Port, Brody Jenner, Stephanie Pratt, Frankie Delgado, Justin Brescia (a.k.a. “Justin Bobby”) and Jason Wahler — were at their old Hollywood hangout (which has since been replaced with a new venue, Liaison) to celebrate the launch of “The Hills: New Beginnings,” a sequel to the reality hit, which debuts Monday on MTV.

A lot has changed in the nine years since “The Hills” went off the air.

Its protagonists are now in their 30s and have had kids, gotten married (and divorced), and launched businesses. Not only have they evolved, but so has the culture. Reality TV is now littered with glossy programs built on the same enviable aesthetic and drama-rich story lines — in fact, cast members of Bravo’s “Vanderpump Rules” were at the premiere filming for their series. And with the advent of social media, anyone and everyone, including the Hollywood elite, has become a reality star.

All of which raises the question: Is nostalgia enough to make the show’s return successful — particularly in the absence of its central star, Lauren Conrad — when it’s become a relic of the culture it helped ignite?

“Lauren Conrad paved the way [for] today’s influencers,” Delgado, regarded as the genial friend of the series, says during a recent sit-down at MTV’s offices in Hollywood. “She’s the girl that had everyone wanting to dress like her and move to L.A. to have her life. And at the time, we didn’t know what influencing was, but we were doing it.”

At its height, “The Hills” — a spinoff of high school-centric “Laguna Beach” — and the desirable lifestyles of the show’s cast made fans take note. Every restaurant and nightclub that appeared on screen — Ketchup, Hyde, Area, Don Antonio’s and, yes, Les Deux — became a road map for viewers wanting to emulate the exploits of the cast. Fans wanted Conrad’s winged eyeliner look or the chance to not turn down a trip to Paris while interning at Teen Vogue.

Even when the show ended, its stars leveraged their popularity via their social media profiles, drumming up consumer interest in their own businesses — fashion lines; a healing crystal collection — or for other companies while sharing curated parts of their lives. Last year, Pratt was named Snapchatter of the Year.

“It was all about, ‘How do I utilize this exposure?’ ” Port says. “We were able to parlay our careers on TV and still keep an audience when it was over. … Social media really saved the game for me.”

Brooke Erin Duffy, an assistant professor in the department of communication at Cornell University, notes there are a number of conventions associated with today’s influencer culture that can be traced to traditional media, including the women’s magazine industry.

“But what I think was somewhat different with ‘The Hills,’ and reality TV more broadly, is it had this projection of authenticity that many of us assumed was manufactured, but it still was presented to us as though it was real,” says Duffy, whose research looks at the intersection of media, culture and technology. “The show purports to give us a glimpse of the castmates’ real lives, just as influencers seem to show us glimpses into their daily routines and their lifestyles.”

Indeed, the series’ most underappreciated through-line may be its mirror effect. From “Laguna Beach” to “The Hills” and now, “New Beginnings,” the franchise has reflected the distinctly millennial experience of learning how to navigate one’s adolescence, young adulthood and beyond through two personas: the private and the public.

It’s hard to say how the show holds up in an era when the distinction between traditional reality TV and the reality programming of social media is increasingly blurry. MTV did not make preview screeners available to press ahead of the show’s premiere.

“I think because we’re not producing it ourselves, there’s no curation,” says Port, who still documents bits of her life for fans on her YouTube channel. “It’s a version of our lives together within our group, you know? The moments are real and the things we say are real and the feelings we have toward each other are real. The cameras aren’t filming us 24/7, so they’re not getting every single aspect of our lives.”

“Everything is heavier and more serious now,” Patridge adds. “It’s, like, adult-identity issues. We’re very vulnerable and open about a lot of things … it feels a little bit more like soul searching. There’s obviously conflict within families and the group, but I think a lot of us are dealing with old demons and trying to better ourselves and show people who we really are.”

Viewers will notice some key differences this time around, starting with two new cast members: Mischa Barton, who starred in Fox’s teen soap “The O.C.” (the series that inspired “Laguna Beach,” where viewers first met Lauren Conrad); and Brandon Lee, the son of Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson.

“We truly wanted a new beginning,” says Nina L. Diaz, president of programming for MTV, VH1 and Logo. “We weren’t looking to exactly duplicate the previous version. We knew we wanted a combination of the OGs, if you will, and some new surprises. Why wouldn’t we [bring it back]? The excitement has always been there.”

Unlike the observational style of the original, the new version, now produced by Evolution Media, will cut to traditional interviews with the cast.

“I was like, ‘Just give me lines,’ you know?” says Pratt, the show’s resident villain, who was accustomed to the semi-scripted quality of the original series, in which reality was carefully crafted by a team of producers, a fact acknowledged in the series finale. “And they’re like, ‘No, we follow the truth here.’ ... I want everything to be the best, and the most entertaining. So that was an adjustment for me to be like, ‘Wait, we’re not playing make-believe anymore?’ ”

For Pratt, who was widely vilified for his attention-seeking ways, it has been vindicating to see how the culture has shifted, with reality TV taking on a new form through the rise of social media.

“So many A-list celebrities that used to mock us for calling the paparazzi on ourselves or whatever, yet they’re, like, posting moments in their lives all the time,” Pratt says. “I’m like, ‘Oh, who’s the fame whores now? It’s like, ‘Oh, you don’t like reality TV? Well then delete your accounts, because you’re basically doing the same thing. Everyone is.’ ”

‘The Hills: New Beginnings’
Where: MTV
When: Mondays at 10 p.m.


https://www.latimes.com/entertainmen...624-story.html
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TV/Critic's Notes
Binge-worthy shows just right for summer
By Matthew Gilbert, Boston Globe - Jun. 23, 2019

You could watch “Chernobyl,” HBO’s excellent and disturbing miniseries about the nuclear disaster and the Soviet response to it. Or you could watch season three of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which is currently running on Hulu. And you should watch both, because they’re well-told stories loaded with hardcore truths.

But today I’m here to suggest some frothier fare, it being summer, the time that is right, as the scriptures have said, for dancing in the streets. The following are all light and sunny, with only a small chance of showers.

“Please Like Me”
Australian comic Josh Thomas created and starred in this bittersweet, affectionate comedy that lasted four seasons, ending in 2017. It’s one of my favorite little-known shows. Like many series these days, it’s essentially non-binary — not entirely a comedy and not entirely a drama. Thomas’s Josh is the central character in a small group of pals, all of whom are looking for love and aiming for grace. It’s the opposite of “Seinfeld” or “Friends” in tone; they’re all bonkers, but quietly so, without catchphrases or applause. Josh is an awkward, endearing, and tall gay man caring for his mother, who is bipolar and has suicidal tendencies — all of which adds some gentle drama. Guess who plays Mum’s best friend? A then-unknown named Hannah Gadsby. Hulu

“Catastrophe”
If you haven’t seen this four-season delight, you owe yourself. It’s just the right tone for easy summer viewing. The outline of the comedy is nothing special: A lovably goofy American guy played by Rob Delaney has a fling in London with a feisty Irish woman played by Sharon Horgan, an unexpected baby ensues, and they try to raise the baby together despite being near-strangers. But the cast members — including Carrie Fisher and Ashley Jensen — are great, and the writing, by Delaney and Horgan, is too. The pair are one of TV comedy’s most believable couples, as they argue and make up and click in a charming but never cloying way. Work, parenting, sobriety, monogamy, sex — they’re all part of this surprisingly romantic story. Amazon

“Dead to Me”
The 10 episodes of the first and only season so far are a half-hour each, so you’ll breeze through this comedy with dramatic themes. I couldn’t wait to see how show creator Liz Feldman would get out of the corner in which she puts the story at the beginning. I’m not going to spoil anything here, but the plot is juicy and twisty and funny. Christina Applegate is remarkably good as a real estate agent whose husband was recently killed by a hit-and-run driver, and she is obsessed with finding out whodunit. Linda Cardellini is excellent, too, as a bohemian free spirit Applegate meets in a grief group. Together, they’re a twisted-up Lucy and Ethel. Netflix

“Burn Notice”
It lasted beyond its natural creative life, but it remained a breezy comedy-drama about a spy — played with masterful irony and cool charm by the GQ-handsome Jeffrey Donovan — who has been blacklisted without knowing why. If you like procedurals, but want one that won’t scare you into agoraphobia, this one’s for you. In his hometown of Miami, Donovan’s Michael reconnects with his eccentric ex (Gabrielle Anwar) and his retired spy pal (B movie icon Bruce Campbell) to solve cases. The only case he can’t solve: his relationship with his passive-aggressive mother, played memorably by Sharon Gless. “Burn Notice” doesn’t take itself seriously as it consistently leans into spoof, helped by Donovan’s wry second-person voice-over. Amazon, Hulu

“Portlandia”
There are times when the only thing that will satisfy is a sketch comedy show — disparate shorts that require no attention span and a lot of good will (for the inevitable misses). And “Portlandia” was one of the most consistently good sketch series for eight seasons, a gentle jab at hipster preciousness by a pair of sharp comics, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein. Playing a population of different characters, they staked as their territory that place where being woke and being selfish overlap. Brining fetishes, gender twists, artisanal shoelaces, goth affectations, the religion of kale — they’re all here for your tender-hearted mockery. Extra: Check out Armisen’s kooky “Los Espookys,” currently on HBO, about three people who create fake horror scenes. Netflix

“Key & Peele”
Speaking of sketch comedy, this 2012-15 Comedy Central series was one of the decade’s best. There are 53 episodes out there for your enjoyment. Comedy duo Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key move from political and cultural satire to racial scenarios that play on code-switching. The best-known sketches involve Peele as Obama talking to the nation and Key as his anger interpreter (Key did it with the real Obama at the 2015 White House Correspondents’ Dinner). Black Republicans, Middle Eastern “Wild and Crazy Guys,” a pair of valets who mispronounce famous names (think Michelle P-Fifer) — their recurring characters were always a kick.

“Angie Tribeca”
This one seems like it was built for summer viewing. You need to watch it as you’d watch “Airplane!” and “Naked Gun” and “Get Smart” and completely give in to the silliness. Created by Steve and Nancy Carell, it totals four seasons — 40 episodes — of inspired and intensely binge-able nonsense. There are spoofs of cop procedurals, and enough bad puns and overworked clichés to keep you groaning happily for weeks. Rashida Jones is Angie, and the endless guest cast includes Chris Pine, Rob Riggle, Taran Killam, Gary Cole, Lisa Kudrow, Bill Murray, Jon Hamm, Natalie Portman, Joe Jonas, Niecy Nash, Anjelica Huston, Carol Burnett, and Jones’s parents, Quincy Jones and the late Peggy Lipton.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/tel...C6H/story.html
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TV Notes (Cable)
‘Scream’ Reboot Moves To VH1 For Season 3, Unveils July Premiere Date, Trailer
By Denise Petski, Deadline.com - Jun. 24, 2019

The long-awaited third season of Scream, which aired on MTV in 2015 and 2016, is moving to new network VH1 for the third go-round. The network today released a new trailer and unveiled a Monday, July 8 premiere date.

The six-episode season of Scream: Resurrection will air as a three-night event series, running for two hours each night, Monday-Wednesday, beginning at 9 PM.

For Season 3, the network wanted to re-invent the entire franchise, from the cast to location, we hear. As for the decision to move to VH1, the network skews slightly older and has more familiarity with the title, which made it an attractive home for the series.

The reboot also features the original Ghostface mask from the film franchise for the first time on TV, with Roger Jackson’s original voice.

Set against the backdrop of Atlanta, Scream Season 3 features a new cast of characters destined to fall prey to the mysterious killer known as “Ghostface.” The series centers on Deion Elliot, a local star football running back, whose tragic past comes back to haunt him and threaten his hard-earned plans for the future… and the lives of his unlikely group of friends.

The first-look trailer for Scream: Resurrection gives us a first look at the carnage Ghostface plans to unleash. We also see Paris Jackson in a cameo. The cast includes Mary J. Blige, RJ Cyler, Keke Palmer, Tyler Posey, C.J. Wallace, rapper Tyga and Giullian Yao Gioiello.

VH1’s Scream is executive produced by Queen Latifah, Shakim Compere and Yaneley Arty for Flavor Unit Entertainment. Brett Matthews (Legacies, Vampire Diaries, Supernatural) will serve as Showrunner and Executive Producer. Additional Executive Producers are Wes Craven, Tony DiSanto, Liz Gateley, Marianne Maddalena and Cathy Konrad. Matthew Signer & Keith Levine are Producers. Maggie Malina and Dana Gotlieb-Carter are Executive Producers for VH1.

The Hollywood Reporter first broke the news of Scream‘s move to VH1.

Watch the trailer below. [CLICK LINK]

https://deadline.com/video/scream-se...paris-jackson/
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Obituary
Steve Dunleavy, New York Post Reporter and Columnist, Dies at 81
By Sean Burch, TheWrap.com - Jun. 25, 2019

Longtime New York Post reporter and columnist Steve Dunleavy, who made a name for himself with exclusive reports on Elvis Presley’s drug use and an interview with the mother of Robert F. Kennedy’s assassin, died at 81 on Monday. No cause of death was given.

Dunleavy, a native of Australia who spent most of his life in the U.S., was remembered in his own paper as a “hard-hitting, hard-drinking” journalist. New York Post owner Rupert Murdoch called Dunleavy “one of the greatest reporters of all time” in the paper’s obit.

“Whether competing with his own father in the famous Sydney, Australia, tabloid wars, or over the last 40 years in New York, Steve’s life story is littered with great scoops,” Murdoch said. “He was much loved by both his colleagues and editors.”

Born in Sydney, Dunleavy quit school at 14 and began working as a copy boy at The Sun. By the late 1960s he’d settled in the U.S. and linked up with Murdoch, writing for several of the media mogul’s outlets. While at Murdoch’s National Star in 1974, he scored perhaps the biggest scoop of his career by flying to California and convincing several members of Presley’s entourage to discuss the singer’s drug issues. The report pushed the tabloid’s circulation from 2 million to 3 million, and ultimately led to a best-selling book.

Dunleavy also gained exclusive interviews with the mother of Sirhan Sirhan, the man that killed Kennedy in 1968, and Albert DeSalvo, better known as the confessed “Boston Strangler.” Dunleavy had been the Post’s top crime reporter since Murdoch bought the paper in 1976, and frequently appeared on Murdoch’s “A Current Affair” tabloid TV show during the 1980s and 1990s.

“He was a great man, he lived an amazing life. It’s not a time to mourn its’ definitely a time to celebrate,” his son, Sean told news.com.au.

https://www.thewrap.com/steve-dunlea...st-dies-at-81/
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Media/Business Notes (Streaming)
Netflix's 'Murder Mystery' Would've Killed With a $120 Million Opening Weekend—If the Adam Sandler Comedy Ran in Theaters
By Dan Reilly, Fortune.com

If Adam Sandler’s new Netflix movie Murder Mystery drew the same U.S. box office numbers as it did via streaming, it would have made $120.5 million domestically in its opening weekend.

That figure is based on the estimated average price for a North American movie ticket being $9.01 and Netflix revealing that the movie—featuring Jennifer Aniston cast as Sandler’s wife—was streamed by more than 13.3 million accounts in its first three days of availability.

Adding in its global audience, Murder Mystery scored a record-breaking 30.8 million viewers—the highest weekend ever for a Netflix debut—which would put its theoretical global haul $278.1 million—great results for Netflix and Sandler, who signed a four-movie deal with the streaming service in 2017.

Of course, there’s no way to directly measure Murder Mystery’s streaming success to a traditional theatrical release. Netflix, which has 148.9 million subscribers, counts a “view” of its content when an account has watched 70% of a title, though that doesn’t account for any unintentional streams of the flick due to autoplay. Netflix also can’t measure the number of people who actually sat in front of a television to watch one of its titles, nor those who walked away 20 minutes into a movie without hitting stop.

Most importantly, there’s no equivalent—at least not yet—for showing how many people would have actually left their homes and paid $9 for a ticket to see this, as opposed to just randomly choosing to watch it as part of their $13-per-month Netflix subscription. Perhaps Murder Mystery would have matched the success of Sandler and Aniston’s 2011 team-up, Just Go With It, with its $215 million worldwide haul. Or maybe it would’ve matched 2015’s Sandler ensemble film Pixels, which grossed $244 million. It’s impossible to know.

But what Murder Mystery does prove is that Netflix’s deal with Sandler and its other forays into original filmmaking can produce blockbuster results. The comedy’s results are a huge step up from Bright, the 2017 Will Smith fantasy film that had only 11 million viewers in its first weekend, according to Nielsen. Netflix has also had great numbers with Sandra Bullock’s Bird Box, which garnered 45 million views in its first week, and the Ben Affleck-helmed Triple Frontier, which had 52 million over its first 30 days.

Murder Mystery also bodes particularly well for Netflix because it has attracted eyeballs despite receiving a poor critical reaction. The movie has just a 45% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes—a number that likely would’ve scared off moviegoers.

That Murder Mystery would’ve won the weekend is a dubious achievement. According to Box Office Mojo, Men in Black: International only pulled in $30 million domestically last weekend as the country’s top movie.

And the 2019 summer movie season is already off to a dismal start, with year-to-date box office numbers only edging 2018’s by less than one percent, according to CNBC. Without people still going to see Avengers: Endgame, which raked in $350 million in May after its April release, the number would be far lower thanks to the poor showings by Men in Black: International, Godzilla: King of Monsters, and Dark Phoenix.

To be fair, Toy Story 4 is expected to have a worldwide opening of $260 million, but Netflix is still clearly winning by putting out a middling movie that people can watch in the comfort of their own home, in the backseat of a car, or wherever else they choose. There’s no commitment to the cost of seeing it, as the subscription fee is already paid, and viewers save by not paying for travel and exorbitant concessions.

It’s a win for Hollywood talent, as well. With numbers that huge, actors and directors can command a solid, if not higher, payday, possibly with more creative control like Sandler reportedly has. After the Oscar success of Roma (in spite of Steven Spielberg’s griping that it shouldn’t have been eligible because it wasn’t a traditional release) and upcoming films like Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman with Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino, Netflix is showing that it’s a destination for prestige movies, to accompany ony its cricitally acclaimed original series like Stranger Things, Orange Is the New Black, and so many others.

So while the exact amount that Murder Mystery would have made with a traditional wide release remains, well, a mystery, it’s hard to deny that it’s a legitimate hit. And that makes Netflix, as a movie studio, as big a power player as any in Hollywood—whether it’s screening its movies in the theaters or not.

http://www.fortune.com/2019/06/19/ne...-adam-sandler/
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TV Notes (Cable)
‘Live P.D.’ Host Dan Abrams Brings New Order to Law-Focused Media
By Brian Steinberg, Variety.com - Jun. 24, 2019

Each weekday at 2 p.m., Dan Abrams talks to America for an hour about the law, politics and media. He’s been working steadily to expand the conversation.

Abrams hosts an afternoon show on satellite-broadcaster SiriusXM, where he holds forth on the Mueller Report (if you haven’t read it, don’t try to debate him on what it says on the air) and other topics that cross over from the legal world to the one we live in every day. He’s often spotted on “Good Morning America,” owing to a chief legal analyst role he has with ABC News. He’s making the literary rounds as well, with a book about a crucial law case involving Theodore Roosevelt. He continues to run his company, Abrams Media, which publishes the media-news web site Mediaite, and is leading a project that its namesake calls “the big enchilada”: Law & Crime, a live trial network that delivers courtroom cases of great interest via broadband and other venues and counts A&E as an investor.

“It is, to some degree, different lives,” notes Abrams, sitting behind an adjustable desk in his company’s Manhattan offices. “I have the life of running a growing company, and everything has to be done economically, and I have to be monitoring how may coffee refills we get. And yet I live a very different life as an on-air guy, where the coffee is plentiful.”

Abrams may at times portray himself as a small-business owner, but his influence is growing. In addition to his other duties, he hosts “Live P.D.” a law-enforcement-as-it-happens documentary series on A&E that is fast becoming the medium’s hottest format. Both Fox and AT&T’s WarnerMedia have been working to launch similar concepts.

Figuring out how to connect the dots of his various enterprises might be difficult, but George Stephanopoulos, the ABC News anchor, can do it: Abrams is working on a way to keep up with the nation’s increasing fascination with the overlap of law, media and politics. “He can play in all of these different arenas,” says Stephanopoulos, in a brief phone interview.

Abrams offers up a case study for TV journalists, who often work long hours and skirt the line between adrenaline rush and burnout: It’s possible to keep more than one thing spinning. ABC News’ Dan Harris recently announced he would step away from his duties on “Nightline” to devote more attention to the business around his “10% Happier” podcast and book, which tell people how to achieve better life balance. Abrams doesn’t deny he’s busy, but notes that “everything I’m doing right now I have a passion for in a different way.”

His work on “Live P.D.” is giving him a profile beyond New York media circles, where he’s long been known for his time with NBC News and ABC News as well as his ownership stakes in a few trendy restaurants. The A&E series has a direct line to “Cops,” the long-running Fox program that let viewers watch law-enforcement officials on patrol. Abrams’ series takes things a step further. Viewers understand they are seeing images of events that took place just minutes ago (the show has a delay, for obvious reasons).

“‘Live P.D.’ is not a show primarily for Manhattan, Los Angeles, Washington or Miami folks. It’s a show for the rest of the country,” says Abrams, 53 years old. “I think that’s because the people who watch the show, I think a lot of them have some connection to law enforcement. That doesn’t mean they are in law enforcement, but they’ve got a relative, they’ve got a friend, they’ve got a child who’s been in law enforcement, who has been in the military, and there is a level of appreciation we are documenting what these officers do every day.”

Hosting duties on the program are not for the meek. Abrams each week comes under scrutiny from an active social-media fan base, who like to poke fun at his dad jokes and his wardrobe, notes Elaine Frontain Bryant, executive vice president and head of programming for A&E. “There is a brand and taste decision that happens in every moment,” she says.

Abrams, his co-hosts Tom Morris Jr. and Sgt. Sean ‘Sticks’ Larkin and the crew have 32 feeds coming in from across the nation, and need to quickly determine whether they can show the footage or need to keep something off the air until they know how the situation unfolds. During one broadcast, Abrams recalls, police chased a car that flipped over and a suspect emerged from the vehicle with a child in front of him. Things looked as if he was shielding himself from police with a young girl. Producers waited until they knew the kid was safe. “He’s monitoring all that. He’s hearing the control room and knows where we should go, and then has the legal credibility and understanding to analyze it, and ask his co-hosts to help viewers understand how law enforcement might have handled the situation,” she says.

Fox launched a similar series, “First Responders Live,” hosted by Josh Elliott and led by procedural impresario Dick Wolf, earlier this month. WarnerMedia’s TBS and TNT are slated in August to launch “Chasing The Cure,” a series that will chronicle a real-time response from viewers and experts to depictions of people suffering mystery medical maladies. Kim Bondy, a veteran news producer, will serve as showrunner.

Developing another “Live P.D.,” which has generated spin-off series for A&E since launching in 2016, is not guaranteed, Abrams suggests. “I think there are a lot of places that are now trying to do live,” he says, but his show needed time to find its footing. “It took us a while to figure out the balance of the storytelling that we do. I think it’s going to be very hard for some of these other places to do that in a quick way.”

If people are surprised that this law-school graduate turned away from a legal career and instead talks to viewers about hot court cases and cop conflicts, they should not be. Abrams has been zigging in unexpected directions for years.

His company recently helped strike a business deal among media outlets that no outsider would bet on getting along. Abrams Media’s Law & Crime joined with The Daily Caller, Raw Story, Alternet, and the Washington Free Beacon to launch the Digital News Alliance, a group of media properties offering a place for advertising packages tilted toward the 2020 political advertising cycle. “In a world of internet behemoths, it can be tough to compete for ad dollars as a mid-sized web property. So with the 2020 election around the corner, we thought the best way for us to get some of the political advertising that will be flooding the internet was to join with other similarly sized sites and offer larger packages together,” says Abrams, adding: “Since the announcement we have had a number of other sites inquire about joining the coalition as well.”

He has been making unorthodox moves since the early days of his career, when he asked the prestigious law firm Wilkie Farr & Gallagher to put an offer on hold – a potentially surprising turn for the son of famed First Amendment attorney Floyd Abrams. Instead, he bet on a job at Court TV in the mid-1990s, which led him to a stint as NBC News’ chief legal correspondent and an MSNBC host. In 2006, Abrams convinced NBC executives to make him general manager of the cable-news network, a post he hoped would let him devise programming concepts and other ideas. It was not to be. At the time, Abrams said, MSNBC was being run by top NBC executives like former NBCU Chairman Jeff Zucker, former NBC News President Steve Capus as well as Phil Griffin, the network’s current president. Abrams found himself working on human-resources issues, among other duties. “When I had pitched myself to do the job, I had not been pitching myself to be a high mid-level administrator,” he says.

The role helped him figure out he wanted to run his own business, though he has continued to maintain on-air roles for himself, moving to ABC News in 2011 and doing a stint as a co-host on “Nightline.”

Abrams says he has more to do. Mediaite has after many years become a must-read for many TV-news anchors. He thinks the business opportunity for Law & Crime is quite large. And he is working on at least two more books.

When people want to insult him, Abrams says, they tell him “that I’m not a real lawyer, which is true. It’s not an unfair criticism.” Even so, he says, “This has kind of worked out.”

https://variety.com/2019/tv/news/dan...ws-1203252507/
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TV Notes (Broadcast)
Dick Wolf Dominates MyNetworkTV 2019-2020 Schedule
By Michael Malone, Broadcasting & Cable - Jun. 25, 2019

MyNetworkTV has shared its 2019-2020 schedule, with Law & Order: SVU shifting to Mondays and Law & Order: CI moving to Thursdays. The season begins Sept. 23 and the MyNet lineup occupies 8 to 10 p.m. on the schedule. Each night features a double run of a series.

The Good Wife appears on the MyNet schedule this year, but will not next year.

Mondays feature a double run of Law & Order: SVU. Tuesdays are Chicago P.D. and Wednesdays offer Dateline. Thursdays have Law & Order: CI and Fridays show CSI: Miami.

Dick Wolf created the Law & Order franchise, and the Chicago shows as well.

Fox owns MyNetworkTV.

“As MyNet continues to provide recognizable, big budget programs to affiliates, we’re happy to be bringing back Law & Order: SVU – the highest rated MyNet drama ever,” said Frank Cicha, executive VP of programming for Fox Television Stations. “Thanks to our partners at NBC and CBS for working with us on next year’s schedule.”

https://www.broadcastingcable.com/ne...-2020-schedule
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Technology/Washington Notes
FedEx sues US government over export rules after Huawei shipping problems
By Ada Robertson, TheVerge.com - Jun. 25, 2019

Delivery company FedEx has sued the US Department of Commerce for requiring it to enforce export bans with extra screening efforts. In a statement, FedEx complained of an unfair and “impossible burden” of liability. “FedEx is a transportation company, not a law enforcement agency,” it says. The suit comes a few days after FedEx mistakenly refused to ship a Huawei phone because of potential legal issues.

FedEx’s complaint says the current Export Administration Regulations violate FedEx’s Fifth Amendment rights. “The language of the EAR imposes a constitutionally unsupportable choice for FedEx,” it says, claiming that FedEx has to either risk legal penalties or refuse to ship any package that seems even slightly risky.

FedEx CEO Fred Smith told Fox News that Huawei shipping errors were emblematic of an ongoing problem, with export controls creating “confusing situations” that tarnish the company’s reputation.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross took issue with FedEx’s interpretation of the law. The regulation, he said, only meant that carriers like FedEx “cannot knowingly ship items” that are banned by export controls. “It does not require a common carrier to be a policeman or to know what’s in every package,” he told Fox.

FedEx has been accused of violating export controls before, though. The Department of Commerce fined it for shipping packages to a banned recipient between 2011 and 2012, saying FedEx “knew or should have known” its screening system missed slight variations of the company name. FedEx settled last year for more than $500,000. Conversely, the Chinese government recently said it’s investigating FedEx for misrouting some Huawei parcels, so erring on the side of caution can cause its own problems.

The government has placed several restrictions on US companies dealing with Huawei, partly because of an ongoing trade war with China and partly because of unclear security threats. There’s no blanket ban on transporting Huawei products, but FedEx argues that under the current regulations, its employees are likely to make mistakes in the name of avoiding legal trouble.

https://www.theverge.com/2019/6/25/1...pping-problems
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Nielsen Overnights (Broadcast)
TV Ratings: 'Bachelorette' Stays High as ABC Cruises
By Rick Porter, The Hollywood Reporter - Jun. 25, 2019

The Bachelorette reached a season high in viewers Monday, helping ABC to a clear ratings win in primetime.

The show also tied its season high in adults 18-49 with a 1.5 rating, and its 5.64 million viewers are its best of the season so far. The Bachelorette was the only series on the broadcast networks to get above a 1.0 for the night.

Grand Hotel also held fairly steady in its second week with a 0.6 in the 18-49 demographic and 3.21 million viewers (vs. 0.7 and 3.69 million for its premiere).

NBC's American Ninja Warrior was the night's No. 2 show in both adults 18-49 (0.9) and viewers (4.81 million), pulling in nearly identical numbers to its week-ago airing. Dateline led the 10 o'clock hour with a 0.7 and 3.89 million viewers.

Fox's Beat Shazam (0.6) and So You Think You Can Dance (0.5) both held steady in adults 18-49 and were up slightly in viewers. Penn & Teller: Fool Us (0.2) ticked down slightly from its premiere on The CW, but Whose Line Is It Anyway? was steady at 0.2.

ABC's 1.2 average among adults 18-49 in primetime was 50 percent better than the 0.8 for second-place NBC. Fox and Telemundo tied for third at 0.5, ahead of 0.4s for CBS and Univision. The CW drew a 0.2.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/li...4-2019-1220830
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TV Notes (Broadcast)
Fox announces fall premiere dates for final season of Empire, season 2 of The Masked Singer
By Rosy Cordero, EW.com - Jun. 24, 2019

Fox has announced the fall premiere dates for its new and returning programs, including the sixth and final season of Empire.

The drama, created by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong and starring Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard (but no longer Jussie Smollett), will premiere on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 9 p.m. ET following the season 3 return of medical drama The Resident at 8 p.m.

Audiences went crazy for reality singing series The Masked Singer during its freshman season, and it’ll be back with a special two-hour premiere on Wednesday, Sept. 25 starting at 8 p.m. Fox’s new drama Almost Family from EP Jason Katims will premiere Oct. 2 (following The Masked Singer at 9 p.m in its regular time slot). The Brittany Snow-led series follows her character Julia Bechley, who she learns that she and her two new half-siblings were conceived from the sperm of a fertility doctor (Timothy Hutton), who used his sperm to conceive at least 100 children throughout his career.

Make cleaning the house a family project. Get started with these three rooms and some help from Clorox.

Angela Bassett, Peter Krause, and the rest of the 9-1-1 gang is back on Monday, Sept. 23 at 8 p.m. The series will pick-up sometime after Athena Grant (Bassett) and Bobby Nash’s (Krause) surprise wedding during the show’s season 2 finale.

Crime drama Prodigal Son starring Michael Sheen, Tony Payne, Lou Diamond Phillips, and Bellamy Young will make its freshman debut with a lead-in from 9-1-1. The show tells the story of young profiler Malcolm Bright (Payne) who assists the NYPD in solving crimes and stopping killers like his father, whose serial killer name is “The Surgeon.”

Fans of animated comedies should plan to spend their Sunday nights tuned into Fox. Kicking off the night is The Simpsons, which returns to the network with an unprecedented 31st season at 8 p.m on Sept. 29. Following the Matt Groening-created series at 8:30 p.m. is the new animated comedy Bless the Harts, featuring the voices of Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig, and Ike Barinholtz. The 10th season of Bob Burgers premieres at 9 p.m., followed by season 17 of Family Guy.

There are lots of special events set to air this fall on Fox, starting with the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards airing live coast-to-coast on Sunday, Sept. 22. If sports are more your bag, Thursday night football will kick off on Sept. 26, and WWE’s Smackdown Live debuts on Oct. 4 and will air weekly on Thursday nights.

Here is Fox’s full fall premiere schedule:

Sunday, Sept. 22
8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT — 71st Primetime Emmy Awards (live in all time zones)

Monday, Sept. 23
8 p.m. — 9-1-1 (season 3 premiere)
9 p.m. — Prodigal Son (series debut)

Tuesday, Sept. 24
8 p.m. — The Resident (season 3 premiere)
9 p.m. — Empire (season 6 premiere)

Wednesday, Sept. 25
8 p.m. — The Masked Singer (two-hour season 2 premiere)

Thursday, Sept. 26
7:30 p.m. / 4:30 p.m. PT — Thursday Night Football

Sunday, Sept. 29
8 p.m. — The Simpsons (season 31 premiere)
8:30 p.m. — Bless the Harts (series debut)
9 p.m. — Bob’s Burgers (season 10 premiere)
9:30 p.m. — Family Guy (Season 17 Premiere)

Wednesday, Oct. 2
8 p.m. — The Masked Singer (time slot premiere)
9 p.m. — Almost Family (series debut)

Friday, Oct. 4
8 p.m. — WWE’s Smackdown Live (FOX Sports premiere)


https://ew.com/tv/2019/06/24/fox-fal...d-singer-more/
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