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post #31141 of 33294 Old 07-30-2019, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Nielsen Overnights (Broadcast)
TV Ratings: Consistent ABC Tops 'Big Brother'-Led CBS
By Rick Porter, The Hollywood Reporter - Jul. 29, 2019

Steady performances from ABC's game-show lineup carried the network to a ratings win Sunday in both adults 18-49 and total viewers — despite CBS having the top show in each measure.

Big Brother led primetime among adults 18-49 with a 1.0 rating, in line with its performance all summer, along with 4.39 million viewers. Lead-in 60 Minutes had the most viewers on the night with 6.63 million. But drop-offs at 9 and 10 p.m. with Instinct (0.3, 3.35 million) and The Good Fight (0.2, 2.89 million), left CBS in second place for the night.

ABC had its most-watched Sunday in seven weeks, as Celebrity Family Feud (5.58 million viewers) and The $100,000 Pyramid (4.87 million) both gained viewers vs. a week ago. Each scored a 0.8 in adults 18-49 — off a tenth of a point for Celebrity Family Feud but up a tenth for Pyramid. To Tell the Truth (0.6, 3.58 million) was even with last week in both adults 18-49 and viewers.

Fox's What Just Happened??! was also fairly steady, with a 0.2 in the 18-49 demo and 734,000 viewers. NBC's coverage of the U.S. Track and Field Championships delivered a 0.3 and 1.54 million viewers at 8 p.m.

ABC led the night in adults 18-49 with a 0.7 rating, narrowly beating the 0.6 for CBS. NBC drew a 0.4 and Fox a 0.3. Univision and Telemundo tied at 0.2, and The CW averaged 0.1 with a night of reruns.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/li...8-2019-1227560

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Nielsen Overnights (Broadcast)
TV Ratings: 'Bachelorette' Finale Part 1 Tops 2018 Closer
By Rick Porter, The Hollywood Reporter - Jul. 30, 2019

The first half of The Bachelorette season finale scored season-high ratings across the board Monday night.

The ABC franchise delivered a 1.9 rating among adults 18-49 and 7.15 million total viewers, up from 1.7 and 6.6 million a week ago. Monday's show also improved on The Bachelorette's 2018 (single-night) finale, which drew a 1.8 in the 18-49 demographic and 6.7 million viewers, and had the biggest audience for any episode of the series since the 2017 finale.

Assuming its ratings stay high for Tuesday's conclusion, The Bachelorette will likely finish slightly ahead of last season in adults 18-49 and about even in total viewers.

At 10 p.m., Grand Hotel matched a season high rating in adults 18-49 with 0.7, and its 3.11 million viewers were the most since June 24.

NBC's American Ninja Warrior tied for second in primetime in the 18-49 demo (along with Telemundo's La Reina del Sur finale) with a 0.8, even with last week, and 4.64 million viewers. CBS' Love Island was also steady week to week with a 0.4 demo rating and improved a bit in viewers (2.13 million versus 1.88 million on July 22).

Beat Shazam recorded a season-low 0.5 in adults 18-49 for Fox, while So You Think You Can Dance tied last week's low of 0.4. The CW got 0.2s from Penn & Teller: Fool Us and Whose Line Is It Anyway?

ABC's 1.5 average among adults 18-49 in primetime more than doubled the 0.7 for second-place NBC. Telemundo finished third at 0.6 on the strength of La Reina del Sur. Fox earned a 0.5, Univision a 0.4, CBS a 0.3 and The CW a 0.2.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/li...9-2019-1227883
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post #31142 of 33294 Old 07-30-2019, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Technology/Business Notes (Gaming)
Sony has sold 100 million PS4s
By Tom Warren, TheVerge.com - Jul. 30, 2019

Sony’s PlayStation 4 console has been a huge hit for the company, and it has now hit the 100 million sales milestone. Sony revealed in its latest earnings that the company sold 3.2 million PS4 devices in the quarter ended June 30th, meaning exactly 100 million have now been sold in total. Sony was previously sitting at 96.8 million PlayStation 4 consoles after the previous quarter.

While sales of the PS4 might be slowing down, it’s still the fastest home game consoles to reach 100 million unit sales, according to Daniel Ahmad, Senior Analyst at Niko Partners. That’s faster than both the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo’s popular Wii console. The PlayStation 4 reached this milestone after just 5 years and 7 months, and less than 3 years after passing 50 million sales.

Sony’s PS4 sales have been consistently strong throughout this generation, with 19 million sold in 2017 and 17.8 million last year. Sony also revealed that digital download share has passed the 50 percent mark, meaning more people are now purchasing digital games than physical disc copies.

Sony’s next-generation PlayStation, most likely the PS5, now looks set to launch in fall 2020. Sony is promising that the PS5 will support 8K graphics, 3D audio, SSD storage, and backwards compatibility with existing PlayStation 4 titles. The PS5 will also use an eight-core CPU based on AMD’s third-gen Ryzen line, and include a GPU that supports ray-tracing graphics. Sony will also ship some type of disc support on the PS5.

Microsoft is also lining up its Xbox Project Scarlett console for holiday 2020. Like the PlayStation 5, it will also support 8K graphics, SSD storage, and ray tracing. It’s still not clear how many Xbox One consoles have been sold in this current generation, as Microsoft stopped reporting figures years ago. Analysts estimate somewhere between 30 million and 60 million, showing that Microsoft has its work cut out to compete with Sony next year.

https://www.theverge.com/2019/7/30/2...lion-milestone

* * * *

Technology/Business Notes (Gaming)
Nintendo continues strong Switch sales momentum ahead of new models’ release
By Sam Byford, TheVerge.com - Jul. 30, 2019

Nintendo has now sold 36.87 million Switch consoles after moving 2.13 million units in the April-June quarter, a 13 percent increase year on year. Operating profit for the three-month period was down 10.2 percent year on year to 27.4 billion yen ($252 million), while revenue was up 2.4 percent to 172 billion yen ($1.58 billion).

Nintendo has reason to be optimistic about Switch hardware sales over the next few months. August sees the release of a tweaked model with longer battery life, while in September the company is launching the Switch Lite, a significantly cheaper handheld-only version.

The $199 Switch Lite will be an important device for Nintendo, because its other entry-level option is essentially dead. The company shipped just 200,000 units of the 3DS in the previous quarter, with the total life-to-date figure set at 75.28 million.

Nintendo’s big games for the holiday season include Pokémon Sword and Shield, Luigi’s Mansion 3, and a remake of the classic Legend of Zelda title Link’s Awakening. If the company can match its sales pace from the second half of last year, the Switch will end 2019 having sold more units than the SNES, one of Nintendo’s most beloved consoles of all time.

https://www.theverge.com/2019/7/30/2...9-switch-sales

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TV Sports/Business Notes (Carriage Dispute)
Ergen: Dish May Never Carry Fox RSNs
By Mike Farrell, Multichannel News - Jul. 30, 2019

Dish Network chairman Charlie Ergen dug his heels in the sand regarding the blackout of 16 Fox regional sports networks, telling analysts and reporters that it is possible a deal will never be reached.

The Fox RSNs went dark to Dish customers on July 26.

In a conference call with analysts and reporters Monday to discuss Q2 results Monday, Ergen said although he wants to do business with the RSNs and their expected new owner Sinclair Broadcast Group, he may not be able to.

Ergen praised Sinclair for its work on ATSC 3.0, adding that the two corporate cultures are similar.

“So, we hate to be in a position to not be able to carry a product that they are investing a large sum of money in,” Ergen said.

But that doesn’t seem to be enough to get the channels back on the air. Dish has complained that the RSNs are too expensive, while the programmers insist they are merely asking for fair value for their content.

Ergen continued that while his head may want to keep the channels, his nose tells him it’s not the right move.

“Because I'm emotionally involved, I want to keep them,” Ergen said of the Fox RSNs. “And my nose tells me, that's not the right thing to do.”

The longer the dispute drags on, the lesser the chances for a resolution, Ergen added, noting that after about one month without the networks, most customers will forget they ever had an RSN.

“I guess, the chairman saying it doesn't look good that the regional sports will ever be on Dish again,” Ergen said.

Ergen has made similar provocative statements in other carriage disputes, only to eventually strike a deal. Last year he said it appeared that the blackout of Spanish-language broadcaster Univision would be “probably permanent,” but hammered out a deal in March that restored the networks after nine months of darkness. On the flip side, Dish subscribers are still without access to premium channels HBO and Cinemax after they went dark in November when their carriage deal expired.

Dish has had a spotty history with regional sports networks. In the New York market -- where one of the channels in the current dispute, the YES Network, resides -- Dish has never carried YES on its satellite TV service, only its Sling TV OTT offering. The other two New York RSNs -- MSG Networks and SportsNet New York -- went dark to those subscribers in 2010 and 2011 and have yet to return.

Dish reported better than expected pay TV losses in Q2 -- it lost a total of 31,000 customers, compared to the 151,000 it lost in the prior year. At its Sling TV service, subscribers rose by 48,000 in the period, while its satellite TV offering lost 79,000 customers, considerably fewer than the 192,000 it lost in the previous year and the more than 300,000 customers some analysts predicted it would shed.

Part of that, according to analysts, could be that Dish is picking up subscribers who have fallen off promotional pricing offers from rival DirecTV. DirecTV lost nearly 1 million subscribers in Q2.

In a research note, MoffettNathanson principal and senior analyst Craig Moffett wrote that although it could be tempting to look at the subscriber results as proof Dish’s increasingly more rural subscriber base is getting stickier, the reality is their low price reputation probably was the main driver.

“If so, we are seeing more of a rebalancing of the two than we are a rebirth, Moffett wrote. “Still it is a glimmer of good news for a satellite business that, soon enough, won’t be the ‘core.’”

https://www.multichannel.com/news/er...carry-fox-rsns
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post #31144 of 33294 Old 07-30-2019, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
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TV/Business Notes (OTT)
AT&T renames DirecTV streaming service AT&T TV Now
By Meg James, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' - Jul. 30, 2019

AT&T is dropping DirecTV from the name of its streaming service.

On Tuesday, DirecTV Now customers received notices saying the name of that service has been changed to AT&T TV Now.

The move comes as AT&T tests a separate live television service with fewer TV channels called AT&T TV. That version, which requires high-speed Internet access, is being tested in some markets this summer before a wider roll-out. It will contain live channels, a trove of on-demand program options and access to popular apps like Netflix.

“That’s our live TV service over broadband. We have some really high expectations for this product, and we’re going to learn from the pilot and then we’ll expand to more cities as we go through the year,” AT&T Chairman and Chief Executive Randall Stephenson told investors last week during an earnings call. The new service will work with a voice remote powered by Google Assistant.

“Current DirecTV Now customers will also see a new name -- AT&T TV Now -- appear on their screen,” AT&T said Tuesday in a statement. The company said customers would be able to use the same app to access programming on their mobile device or big screen, but they must accept new terms of service.

At least for now, AT&T is retaining the DirecTV brand for the pioneering satellite TV service.

DirecTV, based in El Segundo, was a revolutionary concept when it launched in 1990 as a division of Hughes Communications. Within a few years, satellite dishes were popping up on homes, particularly in rural areas that were not served by a traditional cable company. DirecTV grew to be the nation’s premier television provider with more than 20 million subscribers, in part on the strength of its NFL Sunday Ticket package.

AT&T, which earlier had launched the cable-delivered U-Verse service, acquired DirecTV in 2015 for $49 billion. AT&T rolled out the DirecTV Now streaming service the following year to capture consumers at a lower price point and appeal to apartment dwellers who couldn’t install a satellite dish.

But AT&T has struggled with massive defections from DirecTV, DirecTV Now and U-Verse. The company has lost about 2 million pay-TV customers in the last year, a steeper drop than other television distributors. AT&T reported last week that 778,000 customers had dropped its DirecTV and U-verse pay-TV services in the second quarter.

With 25 million customers, Philadelphia-based Comcast Corp. eclipsed AT&T, which has about 24 million customers, to become the nation’s largest television provider. AT&T has also been warring with broadcast station groups, including CBS Corp. and Nexstar. AT&T customers have been without CBS channels since July 20.

https://www.latimes.com/entertainmen...-to-att-tv-now
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TV/Production Notes (Broadcast)
‘Black-ish’ Showrunner Shakeup: Courtney Lilly to Run Season 6
By Will Thorne, Variety.com - Jul. 30, 2019

Longtime “Black-ish” writer Courtney Lilly has been upped to the role of showrunner for the ABC comedy’s upcoming sixth season.

The move marks the second leadership change at the series since original creator-showrunner Kenya Barris stepped away from ABC for a highly lucrative Netflix deal in 2018.

Lilly replaces Kenny Smith who was brought in to co-showrun season 5 alongside Jonathan Groff. Sources tell Variety that Smith and Groff are stepping aside to focus on development, and will stay on the show as consulting producers. Smith signed a three-year overall deal with ABC soon after being named showrunner in 2018 and will continue to develop projects with ABC Studios.

Lilly, who has been a writer on the hit comedy series since season one, had previously served as a co-executive producer on NBC’s multi-camera comedy “Undateable” and as a co-producer on on Fox animated comedy “The Cleveland Show.” He also was a writer on the CW’s “Everybody Hates Chris” and Fox’s “Arrested Development.” He is represented by UTA and The Shuman Company.

In November 2018, Variety reported exclusively that Lilly was teaming up with Kevin Hart to develop another single-cam comedy at ABC in the form of “Don’t Call It a Comeback.” That prospective series is described as family comedy about a 40-year old divorced dad who had one hit with a PM Dawn-type hip-hop group back in the ’90s and uses his attempt at a comeback to get his swagger back in parenting, relationships and life.

News of Lilly’s appointment comes at a time of expansion for the “Black-ish” universe. Spinoff series “Grown-ish” is entering its third season on Freeform, and a prequel series “Mixed-ish,” narrated by Tracee Ellis Ross, is set to premiere on the Disney-owned network in the fall.

“Black-ish” was recently nominated for two Emmy Awards, one for lead actor in a comedy series for Anthony Anderson, and another for outstanding contemporary costumes for costume designer Michelle R. Cole.

https://variety.com/2019/tv/news/bla...-6-1203284723/
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TV Review (Streaming)
Four Weddings and a Funeral, I Think I Don’t Love You
By Jen Chaney, Vulture.com (New York Magazine) - Jul. 30, 2019

Four Weddings and a Funeral, the TV show, isn’t quite a remake of the movie Four Weddings and a Funeral, though it does contain plenty of similar elements. It is set mostly in London. It revolves around a group of friends and their various romantic entanglements. Its narrative structure does indeed incorporate a quartet of weddings as well as a single funeral. (I watched the first seven of the Hulu series’s ten episodes, which cover the funeral and two weddings.) It also features a character secretly pining for a best friend, at least one marital event cut short, and an opening scene in which the primary protagonist utters the F-word repeatedly upon realizing she’s running late, just as Hugh Grant and Charlotte Coleman do in the film. It even wedges in an appearance from one of the original Four Wedding stars, Andie MacDowell.

Unfortunately, it’s missing a crucial ingredient that was key to the movie’s success and, for that matter, the success of any romantic comedy worth its schmaltz: a sense of charm. This is particularly frustrating considering who’s behind this TV adaptation, the first four episodes of which start streaming Wednesday.

The creators are Mindy Kaling and Matt Warburton, who was a writer and executive producer on Kaling’s The Mindy Project, a rom-com homage that certainly possessed its share of charm. Other executive producers on Four Weddings include Tracey Wigfield, who also serves as showrunner and wrote and produced on The Mindy Project and created the underappreciated Great News, and Richard Curtis, the screenwriter of Four Weddings and a Funeral as well as Notting Hill, Love Actually, and, more recently, Yesterday. This is the equivalent of a TV romantic-comedy dream team, and yet somehow, especially in the initial three episodes, what they’ve managed to build together comes across mostly as hackneyed, predictable, and more interested in tipping its hat to rom-coms of the past (particularly Curtis’s) than building a unique love story of its own.

The first person we meet in this reimagined Four Weddings universe is Maya (Nathalie Emmanuel, last seen losing her head as Missandei on Game of Thrones), the communications director for Ted (Tommy Dewey), a congressman running for a Senate seat with whom Maya is having an affair. Ted keeps swearing he’s going to leave his wife for Maya. (Non-spoiler alert: He’s probably not going to leave his wife.) In the first episode, Maya jets off from D.C. to London, where her closest friends from college live and where one of them, Ainsley (Rebecca Rittenhouse, recently seen as Michelle Phillips in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), is throwing herself a 30th birthday party. En route to London, Maya meets (cutely) a Pakistani-British investment banker and wannabe actor named Kash (Nikesh Patel) with whom she shares a spark; she later discovers that Kash actually knows Ainsley, and much better than she thought he did.

But that’s only the first strand in the web of relationships and breakups depicted in this sprawling ensemble piece. Craig (Brandon Mychal Smith of You’re the Worst) is happily partnered up with Zara (Sophia La Porta), until he receives a Facebook message from a former fling informing him that he fathered her child. Duffy (Search Party’s John Reynolds) serves as the bumbling but well-meaning type whose heart beats only for Maya, a fact that he initially plans to confess when he shows up to Ainsley’s rom-com-character-themed birthday party dressed as Lloyd Dobler, complete with boom box in hand. And then there’s Gemma (Zoe Boyle), Ainsley’s neighbor and close friend who is stereotypically British and uptight until a sudden loss in episodes three and four gives the writers a reason to soften her up a bit.

The problems that stymie this series are the same issues that gum up every less-than-inspired romantic comedy: unrealistic plot twists that happen too suddenly, a lack of rich character development, and dialogue that a real human would never say to another real human in a hundred years. Example: When Maya goes to what she thinks is going to be a closure-achieving lunch with Ted, Ted’s wife shows up and casts doubt on the alleged professional nature of the meeting by looking at Maya and saying, “Nice padded bra, by the way.” Aside from perhaps a sales clerk at Victoria’s Secret, who would actually say this to someone?

One can argue that in a movie that’s two hours or less, certain liberties and shortcuts have to be taken in order to get to the inevitably happy ending as quickly as possible. But a television series doesn’t have that problem. If Four Weddings and a Funeral — which very easily could have been five episodes centered on each of those events — is going to stretch itself into ten roughly 45-minute segments, it should take advantage of all that time to flesh out things that most motion-picture rom-coms don’t have the luxury to explore. A longer run time should allow more space for things to breathe and more room for nuance.

Instead, Four Weddings keeps leaning hard into clichés as if those tropes should be celebrated and not met with rolling eyeballs. There are pronouncements of true love made in the pouring rain, a winking but illogical visual gag involving Nicholas Sparks, and so many hat tips to Love Actually that, at times, this seems more like a TV show based on that Richard Curtis film than the one on which it’s actually (quite loosely) based. The show’s attempts at capturing the political realm in which Maya works also are so generic that they seem to have been scripted using a Mad Libs template. Even though Four Weddings and a Funeral is not at all a political show, it spends enough time in that arena that it should make some effort to sound semi-real. Instead, everything involving Maya’s professional world seems to have been beamed in from some quaint era so far removed from reality, even a time machine wouldn’t take you there.

That said, Four Weddings and a Funeral isn’t a total loss. Its cast, which is refreshingly diverse compared to the entirely white group from back in ’94, comprises likable actors doing their best to sell the material. It’s nice, for instance, to see Emmanuel playing a lead role instead of second fiddle to a mother of dragons. While Ainsley comes across as a vapid standee of a person at first, Rittenhouse keeps whittling away at her until she achieves some of the most consistently sharp comic timing in the show. Smith is also charismatic as Craig, even though his commitment to Zara — who seems more vapid, not less, as the series progresses — is a bit baffling. Too often, though, Four Weddings and a Funeral asks the actors to do too much of the lifting. Rather than showing us what it looks like when two people fall in love or realize they’re actually not, the series insists on numerous occasions that love is there or isn’t and expects us to simply go along with it.

Beginning in episode four, when the funeral makes its appearance, some of the characters start to take on a bit more dimension. This is the point for me where watching became more enjoyable and less of a chore, but even then, misguided choices marred the experience. At one point, Maya, Ainsley, and one of Ainsley’s employees, Tony (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett), go to a gay bar that is actually called G-A-Y. On the wall, just behind the characters, there is a sign that says G-A-Y. In another show, this might be a laughable little oopsie. But considering how central a gay couple is in the original film, and how reverently the film treats their love, Four Weddings the series does a disappointing job, at least in these initial episodes, of handling relationships that fall outside the bounds of heteronormativity.

What it’s missing more than anything, though, is snappiness. Younger is another television rom-com that could be accused of succumbing to tons of the genre’s clichés as well as ideas that overstretch the bounds of disbelief suspension. But it’s so clever and fun that you’re able to forgive a lot of things you might not be willing to forgive in a series with less fizz.

That’s the problem with Four Weddings: It doesn’t have enough snap or fizz there. It’s the TV show equivalent of two fingers rubbing together and almost making a sound, or of a soda with a couple of bubbles, desperately seeking more carbonation.

https://www.vulture.com/2019/07/four...lu-review.html
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TV/Summer TCA 2019 Tour Notes (Broadcast)
George W. Bush Subject Of Two-Part PBS Doc From ‘Clinton’ Filmmaker Barak Goodman
By Peter White, Deadline.com - Jul. 29, 2019

George W. Bush will be the subject of a two-part documentary series for PBS. W is being directed by Barak Goodman, who directed the four-part Clinton doc and Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation.

The film, which will air in spring 2020, will run on PBS’ American Experience strand. It will feature interviews with historians, journalists and several members of the President’s inner circle including chiefs of staff Andy Card and Josh Bolten, speechwriter David Frum and press secretary Ari Fleischer.

It will be exec produced by Mark Samuels, who commissions and oversees all films for American Experience.

Part I of W will follow Bush’s unorthodox road to the presidency through the contested election of 2000, when 36 days passed without a clear president-elect. Finally, a Supreme Court ruling in Bush’s favor resulted in his becoming the 43rd President of the United States. But the new administration’s focus on domestic issues was abruptly brought to a halt by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Part II begins with the President’s response to 9/11 and the war in Iraq, and continues through Bush’s second term, marked by the devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina and an unpopular intervention in the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression.

“As America’s home for documentaries, PBS and American Experience continue to present a robust collection of critically acclaimed presidential biographies from Eisenhower to Clinton,” said Perry Simon, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager of General Audience Programming, PBS. “W adds a compelling new perspective on the life and times of George W. Bush, with in-depth interviews and key insights into this important time in our nation’s history.”

PBS: “We’re In British Drama For The Long Haul” Despite Growing Competition From Digital Rivals – TCA

“George W. Bush took office less than 10 months before 9/11 ushered in a new era of fear, anger, and uncertainty, as news of threat levels and anthrax scares became a daily occurrence,” said Susan Bellows, American Experience senior producer. “Twenty years after the dramatic Bush-Gore election of 2000 that introduced the term ‘hanging chad’ to our lexicon, this new film explores the evolution of George W. Bush’s character and how it shaped his presidency.”

“What makes George W. Bush such a fascinating subject is that he was one of the least prepared presidents in our history, yet faced some of the greatest challenges,” said Goodman. “Not since Lincoln has such an inexperienced leader been called upon in a moment of genuine existential crisis. How Bush evolved in office under these pressures — at first struggling mightily, but later finding his feet — illuminates not only his character, but the evolving nature of power and the presidency in an increasingly dangerous world.”

https://deadline.com/2019/07/george-...bs-1202656221/

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TV/Summer TCA 2019 Tour Notes (Broadcast)
Norman Lear & Lin-Manuel Miranda Partner On Rita Moreno Doc For PBS

Norman Lear and Lin-Manuel Miranda have partnered on a new doc exploring the life of West Side Story and One Day At A Time star Rita Moreno.

The pair are working up Rita Moreno: The Girl Who Decided to Go For It (w/t) for PBS and its Thirteen strand. The film, which will premiere in 2020, will explore the Puerto Rican actor’s 70-year career and will feature interviews with Moreno, Lear, Miranda, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Morgan Freeman, Whoopi Goldberg, Eva Longoria, Justina Machado, Terrence McNally and Chita Rivera.

It is produced by Norman Lear’s Act III Productions in association with Maramara and executive producer Miranda.

It will explore how she went from being born into poverty on a Puerto Rican farm, eventually immigrated to New York City and became the first Latina actress to win an Academy Award for her role as Anita in West Side Story. It will discover how she managed to deal with pernicious Hollywood sexism and sexual abuse, a toxic relationship with Marlon Brando, and an attempted suicide a year before she won her Oscar.

Lear, Miranda and Michael Kantor exec produce with Brent Miller as producer, Mariem Perez as producer and director and Ilia Velez as co-producer.

“How I wish my Puerto Rican mother were alive to see this: her child’s story being celebrated by the likes of American Masters,” said Moreno. “It is not something she or I could ever have imagined. I’m astonished. I’m humbled.”

“When I learned from my producing partner, Brent Miller, that a film had not yet been made on Rita Moreno, I couldn’t believe it and suggested we make it together,” said executive producer Norman Lear. “There’s no woman more deserving of the American Masters stamp. Her talent, her activism, her life – all worthy of an audience. And her story, an inspiration to so many, is one that should live on forever.”

“Rita is La Reina. Punto. Full stop,” said executive producer Lin-Manuel Miranda. “Her life, talent and career is a masterclass in the American dream. It is about time that she takes her rightful place amongst her peers on American Masters.”

“Rita Moreno has won every major award – the Peabody, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony – for good reason,” said Michael Kantor, American Masters series executive producer. “She is not just an American Master, she is an American treasure.”

“As a filmmaker, woman and Puerto Rican, I am proud to have the opportunity to tell Rita’s story,” added director Mariem Pérez Riera. “Her many victories in the face of prejudice are an inspiration to me. Hopefully, this film will give strength to the women all over the world, who today, face a similar fight towards equality.”

https://deadline.com/2019/07/norman-...bs-1202656247/
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Media/Business Notes
Alamo Drafthouse Remains Bullish on Moviegoing Amid Expansions
By Hugh Hart, Fortune.com - Jul. 30, 2019

"Wish us luck on opening a new video store in 2019."

That's Alamo Drafthouse Cinema CEO Tim League talking, and he's only half joking about the seemingly contrarian gambit playing out at the newest outpost of his company's chain of drink-in-seat movie theaters. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema opened in Los Angeles earlier this month with 12 screens, a bar, a display of vintage posters from League's personal collection, and the so-called "Video Vortex," stocked with 45,000 videocassettes that patrons can borrow at no cost.

Asked how he expects to make a profit by lending customers free videos, League tells Fortune, "I still think it's a capitalist move. We've already paying got the box office staff, the air conditioning, the utilities, so it's not that much more of a cost for us. We look at the free video rental as a unique facet of this particular movie theater that you're not going to get anywhere else. And it's also a community service move. I've been told that on Netflix, there are fewer than 400 movies before the year 1980, whereas we have 42,000 titles before 1980."

"Video Vortex" exemplifies the type of one-thing-leads-to-another thinking that has transformed Alamo from a mom-and-pop single-screen operation into a multi-business film geek culture machine. Alamo enterprises include Mondo, which produces vinyl soundtracks and collectible "tribute" posters honoring classic sci-fi movies; the Neon distribution company; Mondo Games, which co-produces Jurassic Park-themed video games; Fantastic Fest, the annual Austin film festival co-founded by League that specializes in horror, sci-fi and fantasy genres; and the nonprofit American Genre Film Archive.

"For movie lovers by movie lovers—that's the crux of everything that we do," League explains. "All the businesses are tied into that idea, which is why they work so well together. For us, it's all about building a community around like-minded people who are passionate about movies."

Hardcore genre fans have been buying into that mission ever since 1997, when League and his wife Karrie opened up their first beer-serving movie theater in Austin. The company now operates venues in 38 markets nationwide but until this month, Alamo had never staked a claim in Los Angeles.

The movie-making capital of the world already hosts plenty of venues devoted to specialty fare including New Beverly Cinema, Landmark Theatre, American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre, Sundance Cinema, and two locally owned Laemelle theaters along with two iPic Entertainment dine-in theaters. But League believes there's plenty of room for Alamo in downtown L.A. "I don't necessarily think Los Angeles is a crowded market," he says. "It's really more of an assemblage of towns all jammed up next to each other, so the way we look at it, we're a neighborhood theater for the downtown community."

Still, the very notion of opening new movie theaters anywhere in 2019 challenges this summer's conventional wisdom predicting a grim future, in the face of Netflix-dominated streaming competition, for theatrically released features that fall outside the blockbuster franchise wheelhouse.

Anxious Hollywood execs point to this summer's Booksmart and Late Night as examples of mid-budget pictures that under-performed at the box office despite critical acclaim. League says he's not worried.

"There probably is a little bit of a tip [downward] in the number of days that your average human being goes out for entertainment as opposed to staying at home watching streaming programs on their laptops, but the sky is definitely not falling."

League does not see Netflix as the enemy. "In fact, I care deeply about documentary films and last year, four documentaries grossed more than $10 million, which has never happened before in the history of films. I credit Netflix, because they've built an audience for documentary films, and guess what? That audience wants to get out of the house sometimes and experience documentary films in cinema."

Alamo's continued ability to draw a movie-going crowd relies in part on its fan-friendly promotional prowess. "Of course what happens on screen at Alamo Draft House is important, but what happens off-screen is just as important,” says Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Los Angeles marketing chief Anam Syed. “There's a lot of ways we plug into that."

Working alongside programming head Rachel Walker, fresh off her stint as a Comic-Con events coordinator, Syed and her team stage events including social sing-along movie parties celebrating kitschy cult classics, Terror Tuesdays featuring vintage scary movies, the Anime Wednesdays series, 35 millimeter screenings of movies like Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and filmmaker Q and A sessions.

And while movie talent meet-and-greets are fairly common within the industry-intensive confines of Los Angeles, it's a safe bet that no other L.A. theater offers "Afternoon Tea." "That's one of my favorites," Syed enthuses. "It comes with a little prix fixe menu where you get three rounds of tea and a few snacks from servers dressed up in period costumes that go with a theme, like Marie Antoinette. Our space is designed to be a meeting place where people can talk about film and share a social experience."

For two decades, jaunty promotions and fanboy-friendly satellite projects bolstered Alamo's reputation as a trusted purveyor of cool, but the brand took a hit in 2017 when several women lodged sexual assault complaints against Devin Faraci, the editor of Alamo-owned film site Birth.Movies.Death. The scandal prompted League to shake things up.

"We had to hold up a mirror to ourselves and to this organization we'd built from the ground up," he says. Among the reforms, League says, "We set up this cool anonymous feedback engine where anybody in the company can provide me feedback directly. We also doubled down on sexual harassment training and created a code of conduct for all our staff, our vendors, and our customers, which is basically, a no-jerks policy about just treating people better. It was a very humbling experience but valuable to go through. At this point I feel the company's more mature and our culture is better."

Incorporating #metoo lessons, the newly sensitized Alamo plans to complement its fledgling Los Angeles operation with a 12-screen Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Manhattan's Financial District (at 28 Liberty tower), tentatively set to open within the next few months.

For League, the New York City venue represents one more opportunity to make money while championing the cause of underdog cinema. "Being on the distribution side of things with Draft House Films and now Neon, I'm keenly aware of the challenges involved in releasing small independent films," League said. "Their performance in L.A. and New York sets up their success for the whole country. That's an obligation I take very seriously. In L.A., we built 12 theaters—big screens but small seat counts—so we can support independent films. One of the things that makes me happiest as a moviegoer is that sense of discovery when you find a new voice that blows your mind with something you've never seen before."

https://fortune.com/2019/07/30/alamo...sh-expansions/
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TV Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Jul. 30, 2019

GALAXY QUEST
BBC America, 8:00 p.m. ET

TCM is busy concluding its “Out of This World” sci-fi month, but BBC America is not to be left behind on the launch pad. Tonight at 8 ET, it presents a comedy that manages to spoof the entire Star Trek canon and fandom, while itself becoming a strong space-voyage action film. (And this 1999 movie also should get credit for using the same time-shift plot device as some of today’s most popular Marvel Universe franchises, on TV as well as film. Tim Allen and Sigourney Weaver star as former stars of a classic TV space show – but there are stellar performances (sorry) all through this film’s roster.

CNN DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE
CNN, 8:00 p.m. ET

This is the second set of two-night debates featuring Democratic candidates jockeying for position in the 2020 presidential race. Tonight’s debate, and tomorrow’s, are presented by CNN. Luck of the draw dictates which candidates debate on which evening – and tonight’s finalized lineup includes, for the first time in this campaign cycle, both Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Beto O’Rourke also appear tonight, while current frontrunner Joe Biden anchors tomorrow’s edition. This live two-hour CNN debate emanates from Detroit – somewhat ironically, from that city’s Fox theater.

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND
TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

On TCM, as part of its latest menu in its month-long “Out of This World” film voyage, the network starts with Steven Spielberg’s 1977 classic. You’ll never look at space the same way again. Or mashed potatoes. And what a magnificent, vitally important score by John Williams!

STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE
TCM, 10:30 p.m. ET

How do you salute sci-fi space films properly without including George Lucas’s 1977 blockbuster? It introduced the franchise, and now is retitled Star Wars: A New Hope. And the answer is, you don’t. So TCM has it… and is showing it tonight. Also shown this evening, as part of the lineup: 1982’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (at 12:45 a.m. ET) and 1976’s Logan’s Run (at 6 a.m. ET).


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/

* * * *

TV/Critic's Notes
Issa Rae Brings Exciting and Fresh Comedy to TV. Again.
By Mike Hughes, TVWorthWatching.com's 'Open Mike' - Jul. 29, 2019

LOS ANGELES – TV has always been fond of sketch comedy.

It's gone from Sid Caesar and Milton Berle to The Kids in the Hall and Saturday Night Live. It's had the full range of people, as long as your range consists primarily of white males.

But now there's the flip side – two shows centering on all-female casts.

The first, A Black Lady Sketch Show, with four black women at the core, debuts Friday at 11 p.m. ET on HBO. "It hadn't been done before," Issa Rae said. She produces the show and is in some sketches, but says this was propelled by Robin Thede and "her passion for comedy."

The second, The Baroness Von Sketch Show, will start its fourth season Oct. 30 on IFC. The president of programming for AMC Networks (IFC's parent company), David Madden, has already renewed it for a fifth season and sees this as resisting trends: "With a few great exceptions ... sketch comedy has historically had men at the center."

Yes, there have been key exceptions in the past: Carrie Brownstein co-led IFC's award-winning Portlandia, and Tina Fey was a head writer who gave SNL some strong years. Actresses – from Carol Burnett to Gilda Radner to Kate McKinnon – have been at the core.

But black female sketch stars? SNLhas often had a void there; once, it even had a sketch mocking itself for that. Viewers might assume there were no formidable choices available.

Thede begs to differ. "I know so many black women in comedy," she said. "I had my choice when it came to casting and writing the show. It was just an embarrassment of riches."

At the core are Thede, Quinta Brunson, Gabrielle Dennis, and Ashley Nicole Black. Among other things, they're in the show's one continuing element, as the world's last four survivors of the apocalypse.

Beyond that are the endless guest stars (some male); even Oscar-winner Angela Bassett does comedy.

There are only six episodes in this first season, but they're elaborate, leaping across genres.

"There's horror," Thede said, "There's action thrillers. There's musicals. We just wanted to show that black women can be more than one thing...It's like 40-some individual films.

Yes, films; this is shot movie-style, director Dime Davis said. Everything we've done is cinematic.

That means using real settings, Thede said. "It was important for us to shoot everything on location. We had one stage day; (otherwise), we were all over."

That's something her show has in common with Baroness von Sketch, which packs more than a dozen sketches into a half-hour, each with its own setting.

The von Sketch idea began when Meredith MacNeill returned to Canada after 13 years (and a lot of Shakespeare) in England. She was 37, a single mom, and living with her parents. That's when she talked to Carolyn Taylor about an all-woman sketch show. Taylor brought in Aurora Browne and Jennifer Whalen.

Unlike MacNeill, those three had worked on previous Canadian comedy shows. Whalen created two shows -- Instant Star and Little Mosque on the Prairie– and was head writer of This Hour Has 22 Minutes. Still, she said, she's the exception.

"I was often the only woman in all-male rooms," Whalen said, "and it's like speaking another language. I can speak white-male-comic very well. I know exactly what makes them laugh. I know where their areas are, but (they don't) necessarily know where our areas are."

http://www.tvworthwatching.com/BlogP...x?postId=18577
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TV/Production Notes (Broadcast)
Amy Poehler teams up with ‘Simpsons’ producers for new animated series
By Martha Merrow, Boston Globe - Jul. 30, 2019

Amy Poehler has her sights set on animation: Fox recently ordered her new family animation series, “DUNCANVILLE.”

The Burlington native and Golden Globe winner co-created and executive produced the series with Mike and Julie Scully, executive producers of “The Simpsons.” Poehler stars as the voice of two characters, and will be joined again by her “Parks and Recreation” costar Rashida Jones, as well as Wiz Khalifa, who voiced in the animated series “American Dad!” and “BoJack Horseman.”

“DUNCANVILLE” follows the life of an average 15-year-old boy named Duncan, his family, and his friends. Poehler voices Duncan and his mother, who is “constantly trying to prevent her son from ruining his life,” WWNY’s Craig Thorton reports.

Fox has ordered 13 episodes of the series, which is scheduled to premiere during the 2019-20 season. Produced by 20th Century Fox Television and Universal Television, “DUNCANVILLE” was co-created through Poehler’s Paper Kite Productions.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/tel...wRJ/story.html
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TV/Production Notes (Streaming)
‘Circe’ Adaptation Gets Straight-to-Series Order at HBO Max
By Reid Nakamura, TheWrap.com - Jul. 30, 2019

HBO Max has given a straight-to-series order to an adaptation of the novel “Circe” by Madeline Miller, the WarnerMedia streaming service announced on Tuesday.

The series is described as “a modern take on the world of Greek mythology told from the powerful feminist perspective of the goddess Circe, who transforms from an awkward nymph to a formidable witch, able to challenge gods, titans and monsters alike.”

“Planet of the Apes” duo Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver will write and executive produce, with Chernin Entertainment producing in partnership with Endeavor Content.

“‘Circe’ tells an epic story of love, loss, tragedy and immortal conflict, all through the eyes of a fierce female lens,” said Sarah Aubrey, head of original content for HBO Max. “I’ve been a longtime fan of Rick and Amanda’s work and their ability to simultaneously build epic imaginative worlds while creating emotional dynamic characters. In partnership with Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping, we have the dream team to bring ‘Circe’ to life.”

Published in 2018 by Little, Brown, Miller’s novel reinventing the witch from Homer’s “Odyssey” topped the New York Times bestseller list for 16 weeks and went on to widespread critical acclaim. The book was shortlisted for the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction and won the 2019 Indie Choice Award.

The adaptation marks Jaffa and Silver’s first crossover into television after co-writing and producing the new “Planet of the Apes” film series in addition to having co-written “Jurassic World,” Disney’s new “Mulan” adaptation and the first two sequels to “Avatar.”

They are repped by Ken Richman at Hansen Jacobson.

Deadline first reported the news.

https://www.thewrap.com/circe-adapta...er-at-hbo-max/
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TV Review (Streaming)
IFC's 'Sherman's Showcase'
By Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter - Jul. 30, 2019

None of IFC's comedies are likely to be in that vaunted Next Game of Thrones conversation, ratings-wise, but if you wait long enough, chances are good that eventually IFC is going to deliver an obscure-but-brilliant comedy targeted at whatever your particular odd niche happens to be. As a fan of the raunchy baseball-themed shenanigans of Brockmire and the ultra-nerdy non-fiction celebration of Documentary Now! I don't know if this business model is sustainable, but I know I like it.

Next up in IFC's parade of wildly specific, wildly funny programming is Bashir Salahuddin and Diallo Riddle's Sherman's Showcase. I can't necessarily tell you if you, in particular, are hungry for a parody of Soul Train, American Bandstand or The Midnight Special, one whose voice ranges from broad mockery to sardonic satire to near-sincere homage, but if you are — and maybe if you didn't even know you were — Sherman's Showcase offers a lot to laugh, and occasionally marvel, at.

The conceit of Sherman's Showcase is that, as the series' introduction puts it, "For over 40 years, Sherman's Showcase has been a revolutionary black music/dance/entertainment program unlike anything else on TV, except for several other shows." The series plays as an eight-part anthology of half-hour themed cutdowns from a "partially complete" 23-episode DVD box set, available for what seems like a bargain basement price of $19.99.

Individual episodes focus on topics ranging from star Sherman McDaniel's (Salahuddin) background and the origins of the show, the show's "legendary" dancers, the predominantly African-American show's relationship with "white" music, one particularly famous 1995 episode shown in its near-entirety and, if you make it to the very end, a finale that does nothing less than explore an alternate dimension time loop. Naturally.

Those episodes are a blend of tones and elements, covering what we should be interpreting as one of the great [fictional] long-running shows in television history and its host, who parlayed the show's success into what has apparently become an Oscar-nominated film career as well.

Each episode features several musical performances, some only seconds long and some stretching for minutes, some easily recognizable spoofs and some verging on straightforward period-friendly hits, produced by The Knocks' James Patterson and Benjamin Ruttner and written by Salahuddin and Riddle. Favorites include "Vicky, is the Water Warm Enough?" from the Prince-esque Charade (guest star Vic Mensa), "Thursday Night" from the Debbie Harry-esque Sofee (guest star Eliza Coupe) and the early '90s hip-hop jam "Just Chill" from Craig Ski. Just as the Documentary Now! Original Cast Album take-off yielded a Co-Op! soundtrack, Sherman's Showcase is already slated for its own well-earned soundtrack.

There are movie trailer parodies, gameshow parodies, vintage commercials featuring guest pitchman Frederick Douglass and regular snapshot peeks at Sherman's Dancers, driven by increasingly personal and absurd biographical details. There are also behind-the-scenes interviews with McDaniel and his producer Dutch (Riddle), whose eyepatch in later-era interviews feels like one of many oddly serialized elements that stretch through the episodes in unexpected ways. There are jokes that require exactly no background for giggles, jokes that I'm sure I lack the encyclopedic cultural knowledge to identify and then there are jokes that I'm pretty sure are aimed directly at me, like a Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer toss-off. Director Matt Piedmont gets to work across this assortment of genres and it all holds together admirably.

In addition to Riddle and Salahuddin, who play multiple roles and song-and-dance acumen and physical comedy with the most precise of understated asides, Sherman's Showcase is populated by an impressive assortment of episodic and ongoing comic guest stars. The aforementioned Coupe and Mensa are both superb in episodes that focus on their "characters." There are brief and effective cameos by comics like Tiffany Haddish and Lil Rel Howery. Making more recurring appearances are the likes of Affion Crockett and Bresha Webb, who plays several roles and shines in her impersonation of Mary J. Blige. There's some blurring of reality and fiction on the celebrity side, in that Webb's Blige and appearances by actual guest star Morris Day and executive producer and guest star John Legend are treated roughly the same way, which made me appreciate Day and Legend's comic chops all the more.

It's almost impossible to find a sketch show, first season or otherwise, that achieves perfect in-episode and cross-series consistency and as good as Sherman's Showcase is, it's not immune to patches of bumpiness. Sometimes jokes work better in micro, like blink-and-miss posters for movies Sherman produced, than in extended form, like when those movie posters are given padded and occasionally laggy trailers. The fourth episode, focusing on Sherman's various industry rivalries, never really coalesces, but it's followed promptly by the hilarious "The Ladies of the Showcase" installment driven by Webb's bravura turn as Blige. Watched in a binge, even though episode-long lulls don't last long, and the cumulative jokes build nicely. I really can't imagine how the time loop finale plays as a stand-alone if you were watching weekly.

My favorite thing about most of my favorite recent IFC comedies is that, on the surface, they sound like they might have material enough only for a single sketch themselves. Brockmire started as a wonderful one-joke Funny-or-Die gag and has become an impressive portrait of addiction and recovery. I'm eternally amazed at how Documentary Now! is able to keep digging deeper and deeper into the non-fiction catalogue. Sherman's Showcase has already, after eight episodes, proven how many variations Salahuddin and Riddle can find in this format and I'm looking forward to seeing more outtakes from this 23-DVD set.

'Sherman's Showcase'
Airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on IFC, premiering July 31.
The Bottom Line: Niche-y, but hilarious.


https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/re...review-1227664
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TV/Critic's Notes (Cable)
Where ‘Euphoria’ Is Surprisingly Conservative
In its portrayals of intimacy in the online world, degradation and violence lay around every corner, and the complexity of internet relationships is ignored.
By Reggie Ugwu, The New York Times - Jul. 30, 2019

There’s one scene from this season of HBO's “Euphoria” that sticks in my mind, and, somehow, it includes not even one close-up of a penis. It’s a conversation from the third and best episode, “Made You Look,” between Rue (Zendaya), the show’s emotionally and chemically unsteady narrator, and Jules (Hunter Schaefer), her closest companion and aspirational love interest.

Jules, who is transgender, is giddy over having made a date to meet Tyler, a boy from another high school whom she met on a gay dating app. Rue, lying next to her crush on a sunny stretch of grass, can’t quite process this information platonically, and instead bluntly questions the location of the proposed rendezvous — a lake on the edge of town.

Jules, accusing Rue of watching “way too much ‘Dateline,’” explains that Tyler’s mother is “super conservative,” and that he can’t risk being seen with a trans girl in public. But Rue isn’t having it.

RUE Honestly, Jules, I don’t really care about the situation, because it just doesn’t seem safe.

JULES I’ve been in situations that are way less safe.

RUE O.K., but that’s not really the point, right? The point is it’s dangerous.

JULES Rue, this is the difference between, like, you and me. Like, I don’t always get the privilege of meeting people in front of a [expletive] audience or something.

On the subject of how people forge intimacy online, Jules’s observation — that what might seem like reckless or desperate behavior to some is merely the cost of living for others — is the show at its disarming best. “Euphoria,” which features a now famous defense of nude selfies as “the currency of love,” has a natural champion in Jules, who believes in the internet, for all its perils, as a force for good in her life.

But the vision of the web actually presented by the show over the course of the first season, which ends Sunday, is much darker. Last Sunday’s episode was the latest to suggest that, where teen internet usage is concerned, “Euphoria” more closely resembles the paranoid vision that Jules ascribes to Rue — a Very Special Episode of network news.

Take the story line of Kat (Barbie Ferreira), a fellow student at the high school and one of the show’s strongest characters. Kat, like Jules, occupies an outer ring of her known social universe, having been bullied because of her weight from the time she was 11. Also like Jules, she turns to the internet — first as a writer of Tumblr fan fiction, then, after a sexual awakening, as a cam girl with a roster of submissive patrons — seeking the feelings of acceptance and self-confidence that haven’t been readily available to her elsewhere.

On “Euphoria,” the characters’ digital and physical lives are constantly swirling around one another, usually in a downward spiral that ends in alienation and self-loathing. When we first see Rue using a cellphone, she’s staring at a direct message from a person who has threatened to rape her. Cassie, the character who inspired the rant about nude selfies, has spent virtually the entire season in tears over hers.

These sorts of cautionary tales are unavoidable on a show that aspires to authentically portray the experiences of young women who exist online. And they heightened the creator Sam Levinson’s intense sensitivity to, and enduring fixation on, the premature loss of innocence. But Kat and Jules stand out because their digital lives allow us to glimpse a function of the internet — as a rich and generative lifeline to the isolated and vulnerable — that we’re less accustomed to seeing dramatized on cable television.

Which is why I was disappointed that, for both of them, the road of online experimentation leads — all too predictably — to ruin. After a few scenes of internet-borne sexual empowerment (one impeccably soundtracked to DMX’s “X Gon’ Give it to Ya”), Kat soon falls prey to lecherous predators, leaving it to a real boy from school to rescue her from digital debasement. And, as Rue suspected and the audience was forewarned, Jules’s lakeside rendezvous with Tyler (like a disturbing earlier hookup with a much older man whom she met on the same app) was destined for catastrophe.

When depicting teenagers engaged in risky behavior, it’s important to be realistic about the consequences. But there is more to online community than the hungry eyes of perverts and frauds (usually), and it’s surprising that a show that goes to such pains to wrap itself in the political and aesthetic banners of contemporary youth culture would adopt such a retrograde posture. A more compelling vision would better capture the fullness and complexity of internet relationships — the highs (the joy of finding your tribe, a date where no one wants to call the police), the lows and the awkward alike.

Instead, in the world that “Euphoria” has portrayed, young people who seek intimacy online find degradation and violence around seemingly every corner.

That’s not quite “Dateline,” but it’s pretty close.

Reggie Ugwu is a pop culture reporter covering a range of subjects, including film, television, music and internet culture. Before joining The Times in 2017, he was a reporter for BuzzFeed News and Billboard magazine.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/30/a...servative.html
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TV/Technology Notes
Hulu with Live TV is coming to Android TV devices starting next month
By Nick Statt, TheVerge.com - Jul. 30, 2019

Hulu today announced that Android TV would be added to its list of supported platforms for its live TV bundle. Starting next month, owners of an Android TV-compatible television or set-top box, like the Nvidia Shield, can access Hulu’s bundle, which includes its streaming-only offerings in addition to more than 60 channels of live programming. Additionally, Hulu is also bringing its refreshed user interface to Android TV with the update.

The service costs $44.99 a month, and it’s positioned as a competitor to other so-called skinny bundle services like Sony’s PlayStation Vue, Sling, and YouTube TV. Hulu, however, has the added benefit of offering its core streaming options, which makes it a slightly more attractive service. Back in March, Hulu with Live TV was reported as having nearly 2 million subscribers, putting it well ahead of YouTube and PlayStation Vue.

For many existing subscribers to Hulu with Live TV, this shouldn’t be a groundbreaking update; the service is available on pretty much every other platform imaginable. But it will mean more to the community of diehard Nvidia Shield fans, a niche but passionate home theater enthusiast group that has rallied around Android TV as a better alternative to the ecosystem options from Apple, Amazon, Roku, and TV manufacturers. Given that Hulu’s live TV offering is more popular out there at the moment, arriving on Android TV, and by extension the Nvidia Shield, might give it a generous boost in new subscribers.

https://www.theverge.com/2019/7/30/2...-update-new-ui
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
TUESDAY 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 - Jul. 30, 2019

ABC:
8PM - The Bachelorette (Season Finale, 120 min., LIVE)
10PM - Holey Moley
(R)
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Comic Kathy Griffin; NBA player Anthony Davis; reality-TV personality Hannah Brown; Of Monsters and Men perform)
12:37AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - Love Island
9PM - NCIS
(R)
10PM - Blood & Treasure
* * *
11:35PM - The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (LIVE: Jeff Daniels; journalists Katy Tur and Jacob Soboroff)
12:37AM - The Late Late Show With James Corden (Singer-songwriter John Legend; Mandy Moore; Hollywood Vampires perform)

NBC:
8PM - America's Got Talent: Judge Cuts 3 (120 min.)
10:01PM - Bring the Funny
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Kevin Bacon; Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk and Jonathan Van Ness ("Queer Eye"); The Highwomen perform)
12:37AM - Late Night With Seth Meyers (LIVE: Wanda Sykes; journalist Jose Antonio Vargas; Jeff Quay sits in with the 8G Band)
1:38AM - Last Call With Carson Daly (Jameela Jamil; Rupert Grint; William Elliott Whitmore performs; Joey King)
(R)

FOX:
8PM - Spin the Wheel
(R)
9PM - First Responders Live
(R)

THE CW:
8PM - Pandora
9PM - The 100

PBS:
8PM - American Experience- Chasing the Moon: Magnificent Desolation (120 min.)
(R)
10PM - Beyond a Year in Space (Special)
(R)

UNIVISION:
8PM - La Reina Soy Yo
9PM - La Rosa de Guadalupe
10PM - Sin Miedo a la Verdad (Premiere)

TELEMUNDO:
8PM - Un Poquito Tuyo
9PM - Betty en NY
10PM - Preson No. 1 (Premiere)

DISCOVERY (SHARK WEEK):
7PM - The Sharks of Headstone Hell: Sharkmania
8PM - Sharkwrecked: Crash Landing
9PM - Laws of Jaws: Dangerous Waters
10:01PM - Air Jaws Strikes Back
* * * *
11:02PM - Shark After Dark: It's Raining Sharks (58 min., LIVE)

A&E:
8PM - Live PD (120 min., LIVE)
10PM - 60 Days In: Narcoland (Series Premiere)

CNN:
8PM - CNN Democratic Presidential Debate: Night 1 (3 hrs., LIVE)

ESPN 2:
8PM - XVIII Pan American Games (3 hrs., LIVE)

FREEFORM:
8PM - Good Trouble

MTV:
8PM - Ex on the Beach (62 min.)

USA:
8PM - WWE SmackDown! (120 min., LIVE)
10PM - Chrisley Knows Best
10:31PM - Chrisley Knows Best

VH1:
8PM - Black Ink Crew: Chicago

BET:
9PM - Tales
10PM - The Next Big Thing

BRAVO:
9PM - The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills: Reunion Part 3
10PM - The Real Housewives of Potomac
(R)
* * * *
11PM - Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen (TV personality Fredrik Eklund; Denise Richards)

CBNC:
9PM - The Profit
10PM - Cash Pad

GSN:
9PM - America Says: Flight Attendants vs. Whiffle Ballers

TLC:
9PM - Outdaughtered (Season Finale, 124 min.)

TNT:
9PM - Animal Kingdom

TRUTV:
9:30PM - Impractical Jokers: Inside Jokes
10PM - Paid Off With Michael Torpey (Season Finale, 60 min., LIVE)

COMEDY CENTRAL:
10PM - Drunk History
10:30PM - Alternatino With Arturo Castro
* * * *
11PM - The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (35 mn., LIVE: New York Magazine's Washington Correspondent Olivia Nuzzi)
11:35PM - Lights Out With David Spade: Theo Von, Jen Kirkman, Nick Swardson

FX:
10PM - Pose

HBO:
10PM - REAL Sports With Bryant Gumbel

OWN:
10PM - Ambitions

SHOWTIME EXTREME:
10PM - Boxing: Sebastian Fundora vs. Hector Manuel Zepeda (120 min., LIVE)

CBSSN:
10:30PM - World TeamTennis: Washington Kastles at San Diego Aviators (2 1/2 hrs., LIVE)

TBS:
10:30PM - The Detour
* * * *
11PM - Conan (Adam Sandler)
(R)

TV ONE:
11PM - The DL Hughley Show (Guy Torry)


http://tvlistings.zap2it.com/?aid=gapzap

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TV/Summer TCA 2019 Tour Notes (Broadcast)
'Country Music' director Ken Burns on 'Old Town Road' breaking chart record: 'Water is wet'
Some apple/oranges on this stuff though because in 1991 - there were always changes even before that but this was really big - they switched and made sales the main factor by far when it had basically been more airplay with sales factored in too.
So before it was almost impossible for a song to be #1 10+ wks - i think "physical" & "you light up my life" were the only to do it.
But now it happens alot more often + now theres youtube views & streaming all added in so its just a big blob that even they keep changing.
On the top 40 airplay chart "old town road" actually didnt even hit #1 only peaked #4.

But it is cool when "country" hits the chart.

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Media/Business Notes (Profile)
He ordered ‘The Office.’ Can Kevin Reilly make HBO Max a hit?
By Meg James, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' - Jul. 31, 2019

Kevin Reilly has one of the best jobs in entertainment or, perhaps, one of the worst.

The battle-tested television executive is chief content officer for WarnerMedia’s upcoming streaming service, HBO Max, which is scheduled to launch next spring. The stakes are high for parent company AT&T. The telecommunications giant misfired on its 2015 purchase of El Segundo satellite TV provider DirecTV, and now it must prove that last year’s $85-billion takeover of entertainment company Time Warner Inc. was a wise bet.

“It’s been clear to me from the get-go that they’re playing to win,” Reilly said in an interview last week in his industrial-modern office in Burbank that overlooks the historic Warner Bros. lot.

The video-on-demand service, which Reilly has nicknamed “Max,” is the top priority for John Stankey, the longtime AT&T executive who became CEO of WarnerMedia last year when AT&T swallowed Time Warner and changed its name. AT&T sees HBO Max as a bridge between its new properties — HBO, Cartoon Network, TBS, TNT and the Warner Bros. studio — and its core wireless phone business. AT&T’s goal is to keep customers in the fold with easy access to high-quality television shows.

But HBO Max will launch in an increasingly crowded market already dominated by Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. Others, including Walt Disney Co., Apple Inc. and Comcast Corp.'s NBCUniversal, are swarming the field too. The highly anticipated Disney+ is scheduled to debut in November at $6.99 a month.

HBO Max is expected to be the most expensive, with analysts predicting that the service will be offered for $17 to $18 a month. By comparison, Netflix charges about $13 a month.

Some in Hollywood openly question whether HBO Max will click, particularly after AT&T’s struggles with DirecTV and its DirecTV Now streaming offering. The company has lost 2 million television subscribers in the last year, far more than other pay-TV providers amid a wave of cord cutting.

“There is a guilty-until-proven-innocent perception among some observers,” Colby Synesael, a telecommunications analyst with Cowen & Co., said. “A lot of that comes from the history of, not just AT&T, but also others in the telecom industry that have struggled when going outside their wheelhouse. ... It really puts the pressure on AT&T to create a successful platform. It’s going to come down to the execution.”

Enter Reilly. In December, the veteran TV executive, known for his programming acumen, was tapped as architect of the creative identity and programming mix for HBO Max. Reporting to Stankey, he helped assemble a team of executives to build the service from scratch, with the help of a technology group in Seattle. Reilly declined to say how much money AT&T has allocated.

“It was really about: ‘Generate the strategy and tell us what it’s going to take,’” he said.

But culture clashes during the first year of AT&T ownership have been apparent. WarnerMedia executives spent much of the last year unsettled, uncertain about their standing or even how to approach the gruff, 6-foot, 5-inch Stankey. They questioned whether he fully appreciated HBO and other assets such as Film Struck, a beloved streaming service devoted to classic movies that Stankey eliminated last fall. Stankey was unavailable for comment.

Tensions culminated in late February with a dramatic corporate purge. The longtime chairman of HBO, Richard Plepler, and president of Turner, David Levy, departed. Stankey quickly brought in Bob Greenblatt, former NBC chief, in the newly created role of chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment. Now Greenblatt is in charge of HBO, Turner channels and the new streaming service.

Reilly had a new boss — again.

The shake-out was healthy, Reilly said. Not only was Greenblatt a longtime friend and industry colleague, but the reorganization forced executives to get on board with Stankey and his mandate that executives must collaborate.

“Everyone got the memo very quickly when John set the priority that we are doing this,” Reilly said, referring to the new service.

As Reilly sees it, he has a unique opportunity to help steer his company through a major technological shift that has upended television.

“I’ve been excited from Minute One,” Reilly said. “We’ve been toiling in this very weird environment now for a decade, and with each progressive year it’s gotten weirder and weirder. I had a front-row seat watching [the disruption] happen at the networks. It wasn’t fun.”

On a TV streak

Reilly has one of the longest hitting streaks in television.

The 56-year-old Long Island native has overseen entertainment for six networks, including two of the four major broadcasters: Fox and NBC. Over the years he has been involved in the creation of “ER,” “The Sopranos,” “Just Shoot Me,” “NewsRadio,” “Glee” and “30 Rock.” While at FX more than 15 years ago, Reilly helped spark the trend known as “peak TV” by introducing edgy originals, including “The Shield,” to the basic cable channel. He became NBC’s entertainment president in the final year of “Friends” and ordered “The Office,” which became NBC’s next big hit.

Today, “The Office” and “Friends” are the two most popular shows on Netflix, according to Nielsen.

Netflix used network shows that Reilly and others developed to help build the world’s dominant streaming platform. Now, Reilly must find a way to create a compelling slate to draw viewers away from Netflix.

“So many ironies in retrospect,” said Reilly, who also remains president of cable channels TBS, TNT and TruTV (he does not oversee HBO programming). In May, WarnerMedia extended his contract through 2022.

Reilly’s corner office is two doors from the glass-walled conference room that Greenblatt moved into earlier this spring when he joined the company.

“I’ve known Bob forever,” Reilly said, noting that when he was at Brillstein Entertainment, he sold Greenblatt (then at Fox) David Chase’s pilot for “The Sopranos.” Higher-ups at Fox passed, and the show found its home at HBO. “We don’t have the exact taste, but there’s a mutual respect. And Bob’s management style is such that he gives you a very big lane — so we’re not stepping on each other.”

Contours of the service are emerging even as the company withholds key details, including programming budgets, content mix, marketing strategy and the price. AT&T plans a big reveal in late October to wow Wall Street. AT&T Chairman and Chief Executive Randall Stephenson told analysts last week that HBO Max eventually would offer live content, potentially NBA basketball.

The service initially will have 10,000 hours of programming, drawing heavily from WarnerMedia’s assets. It will showcase HBO originals, including “Game of Thrones,” “Big Little Lies” and “Silicon Valley.” It will have a robust offering of Warner Bros. movies, such the “Harry Potter” franchise and classics like “Casablanca.” CNN will provide documentaries. And there will be shows from the industry leader, Warner Bros. Television, including 236 episodes of “Friends” that WarnerMedia is pulling from Netflix.

There’s a bounty of cartoons within the library , including Looney Tunes and Hanna-Barbera programs, including “The Flintstones” and “Scooby-Doo” and the contemporary hits “Adventure Time” and “Rick and Morty.”

WarnerMedia executive Sarah Aubrey is leading the effort to create original shows for HBO Max. More than 30 new original shows are being developed for the service, said Greenblatt. Some will be designed to appeal to young women, such as a spinoff of CW’s millennial hit, “Gossip Girl.” There also will be fare for young men.

“The whole family can walk down the aisle and find something, but it is not the superstore,” Reilly said, in a reference to Netflix. “We’re not loading everything in there just because we have it.”

The service will be built with parental controls to deny children access to such shows as “Sex and the City.” Reilly said that WarnerMedia plans to rotate movies on and off HBO Max to keep it fresh.

“It’s all about how we create something that is irresistible, and that has HBO at its center,” Greenblatt said in an interview. “It’s almost like we are creating another, separate network for all of these new shows that are going to complement HBO and reach different demographics: millennials, young adults, children and families.”

‘Mutual respect’

The concept of a “separate network” is one reason the new service will be called HBO Max.

The moniker isn’t universally loved. Some within HBO worried about the dilution of the HBO brand. The name also gives short shrift to the nearly 100-year legacy of Warner Bros., which has been producing the shows and movies that are expected to make up the backbone of service.

“We definitely wanted two personalities,” Reilly said. “Max was a name that emerged pretty early on. I liked it. ... It’s kind of a double entendre that promises more, but it also can live as a clean, standalone word, unlike ‘HBO Bundled,’ or something un-sexy like that.”

But with the HBO mantle comes “the burden of the brand,” said Eunice Shin, a Los Angeles partner at Prophet, a brand and strategy consulting firm.

“People pay a premium for HBO because they perceive that they are getting premium, quality content,” Shin said. “So the question is: Is the HBO Max brand going to be consistent with the HBO brand?”

The 8 million subscribers of HBO’s existing streaming options, typically offered at $15 a month, are expected to be offered an upgrade to HBO Max. Analysts suspect that AT&T will heavily promote the new service as an add-on to its cellphone service and TV packages. The company boasts more than 100 million mobile subscribers in the U.S., and the new streaming service could be key as the industry introduces next-generation 5G phone service, making it easier to watch TV on phones.

Eventually there will be a version of HBO Max with commercials but, for now, it will be ad-free.

“They have a massive advantage because they are starting with HBO as a base,” said Michael Pachter, digital media analyst with Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles. “And if you have HBO, you can pay a few dollars more and get HBO Max. The up-sell will be easy but the hard part will be attracting new customers.”

Pachter noted that HBO’s numbers in the U.S. have remained steady for years — around 35 million subscribers. That means two-thirds of U.S. television households don’t subscribe to HBO.

Another challenge will be the cluttered market.

“I can’t think of a time when there have been so many product launches, and all of these companies are competing for the same market,” Shin said. “There’s going to be so much television out there and people aren’t going to be loyal to any one service. I don’t think anyone knows how this is going to play out in the next two to three years.”

https://www.latimes.com/entertainmen...edia-streaming
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TV/Business Notes (Streaming)
On My Block Stars Start on Season 3 After Negotiating Big Salary Bump
By Matt Webb Mitovich, TVLine.com - Jul. 31, 2019

The stars of Netflix’s On My Block are ready to report for work on Season 3 after negotiating sizable salary bumps.

Sierra Capri, Jason Genao, Brett Gray and Diego Tinoco — who respectively play tomboy Monse, math whiz Ruby, brainiac Jamal and reluctant gang member Cesar — reportedly were making $20,000 per episode for the coming-of-age drama’s first two seasons. But upon the show’s Season 3 pick-up in April, that core four, along with Jessica Marie Garcia (who plays classmate Jasmine), negotiated as a group, initially asking for a massive bump to $250K per, our sister site Deadline reported.

After Netflix reportedly first countered with an offer of $45K/episode, the two sides eventually agreed to what amounts to $81,250 per episode, THR reports.

Set in a tough Los Angeles neighborhood, On My Block centers on a group of teens led by Monse, Cesar and Ruby (TVLine honored Genao for his Season 2 work in our Performer of the Week column).

With the first table ready coming up, production on Season 3’s eight episodes is set to start in August.

https://tvline.com/2019/07/31/on-my-...lary-increase/
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Technology/Business Notes (Social Media)
Facebook Developing Portal-Infused OTT Player, Wants to Stream Netflix and Disney + on It: Report
By Daniel Frankel, Multichannel News - Jul. 31, 2019

Facebook has approached Disney, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon and other media companies about developing apps for their respective streaming services that would play on a new OTT device.

Facebook’s new streaming player (codenamed “Catalina”) would provide access to major SVOD, AVOD and live-streaming services, just like Roku or Amazon Fire TV. However, the device would incorporate the same camera and videoconferencing technology found in Facebook’s Portal device.

The report comes courtesy of subscription news site The Information, citing unnamed sources.

Portal was released in October of last year. Facebook hasn’t released any sales figures. But judging by the $120 erosion of the MSRP since that introduction (the entry-level Portal with 10.1-inch screen is now only $80), sales can’t be all that brisk.

According to The Information, Facebook is aiming to release the Portal-infused OTT player in the fall.

As the news site noted, Cheddar first reported that Facebook was developing an OTT player. But the data about media companies being approached is new.

https://tvline.com/2019/07/31/on-my-...lary-increase/
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Obituary
Hal Prince, Giant of Broadway and Reaper of Tonys, Dies at 91
By Bruce Weber, The New York Times - Jul. 31, 2019

Hal Prince, the Broadway royal and prodigious Tony winner who was the producer or director, or both, of many of the theater’s most enduring musicals, including “Damn Yankees,” “West Side Story,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Cabaret,” “Sweeney Todd” and “The Phantom of the Opera,” the longest-running show in Broadway history, died on Wednesday in Reykjavik, Iceland. He was 91.

A spokesman, Rick Miramontez, said Mr. Prince, who lived in Manhattan, had been on his way home from his residence in Switzerland when he died in Iceland after a brief illness.

Mr. Prince began working in the theater in the halcyon days of Broadway, when Cole Porter and Rodgers and Hammerstein were its songwriting kings, the stage musical was a robust American art form (not to mention an affordable entertainment option) and theater songs were staples of the airwaves.

His contributions were prolific, persisting through challenging eras — when rock ′n’ roll threatened to make show music irrelevant, when the decline of Times Square discouraged Broadway attendance, when the arrival of popular British musicals like “Phantom” pushed aside their American counterparts, and when corporations like Disney entered the Broadway sweepstakes and miniaturized the impact of the independent producer.

Mr. Prince’s singularly significant role in shaping the Broadway musical during the second half of the 20th century was attested to by the Tony award for lifetime achievement he received in 2006.

That was his 21st Tony, a number far surpassing that of anyone else in multiple categories. His count began with the 1955 best musical, “The Pajama Game,” which Mr. Prince co-produced with Frederick Brisson and Robert E. Griffith; it reached 20 in 1995 for his direction of an extravagant revival of “Show Boat,” the landmark 1927 musical by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein 2d adapted from Edna Ferber’s novel about life on a Mississippi steamship.

Often considered the foundation of the modern musical for its character development and melding of score and story, “Show Boat” was a fitting valedictory — though not quite his final show — for a man who helped expand the possibilities of narrative in the musical theater form.

Mr. Prince was known, especially in the first decades of his theater life, as a fiendish workaholic; at one point, in 1960, three shows that he produced were appearing on Broadway at the same time.

He was known, too, for his collaborations with a murderer’s row of creative talents, among them the choreographers Bob Fosse, Jerome Robbins, Michael Bennett and Susan Stroman, the designers Boris Aronson, Eugene Lee, Patricia Zipprodt and Florence Klotz, and the composers Leonard Bernstein, John Kander, Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Mr. Sondheim was Mr. Prince’s most frequent confederate and Mr. Webber his most profit-generating, with their work together on “Evita,” about the opportunistic Argentine populist Eva Peron, and on “The Phantom of the Opera,” which Mr. Prince directed in London and on Broadway.

Mr. Prince was attracted to provocative material — he took on political prisoners and gay persecution in “Kiss of the Spider Woman” (1993) and anti-Semitism in “Parade” (1998) — that pushed the musical in an audience-challenging, as opposed to simply audience-pleasing, direction.

A showman of an old-fashioned stripe with an amalgam of skills and experience in both the business and the art of the theater, he began as a high-energy producer, motivated more by the efficient deployment of resources than by artistic vision or idiosyncrasy. But he grew into a formidable director with a commanding leadership style and strong ideas about what a show should look and sound like.

His productions were often large in every sense, their emotional resonance heightened by grandiose or otherwise audacious performances (Patti LuPone in “Evita,” Elaine Stritch in “Company”) and dazzling, opulent design; think of the swooping chandelier in “Phantom” or the Rube Goldberg-esque human-flesh-to-meat-pie mechanism in “Sweeney Todd.”

‘A Visual Imagination’

“The two things that characterize him most are energy and impatience,” Mr. Sondheim said in an interview for this obituary in 2016. At the time, Mr. Prince, at 89, was preparing to direct Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide” (a show he directed on Broadway in 1982) for New York City Opera. “He trained as a stage manager,” Mr. Sondheim added, “and he learned the business from the ground up, so he knows how to order a pair of shoes, which many producers don’t.”

He continued: “A visual imagination is, if not his greatest strength, then one of them. He sees things visually first, and he knows what a show looks like in his head before he takes it on. In a certain sense, if Hal had his druthers, he’d direct operas only. His heroes are directors like Max Reinhardt” — the influential Austrian-born director from the first half of the 20th century — “the ones who pulled out all the stops.”

As both a producer and a director, Mr. Prince was a nurturer of unproved talent. Tom Bosley, for instance, later known as Howard Cunningham on the nostalgic television sitcom “Happy Days,” won a Tony in his first starring role in 1959 as the titular mayor of New York, La Guardia, in “Fiorello!” Liza Minnelli made her first Broadway appearance — and won a Tony — as the title character in “Flora, the Red Menace,” a 1965 politically-inflected musical set in 1935 about a spunky fashion designer who falls for a Communist. Produced by Mr. Prince and directed by George Abbott, “Flora” also featured the first Broadway score by the songwriting team of John Kander and Fred Ebb, who later wrote “Chicago” and two shows produced and directed by Mr. Prince: “Zorba” and “Cabaret.”

A featured actor in “Cabaret,” Joel Grey, was a largely unknown nightclub performer with few theater credits when Mr. Prince hired him in 1966 for what turned out to be a career-defining role: the arch, leering M.C. of the bawdy Kit Kat Club in Weimar-era Berlin.

“Cabaret” was pivotal in Mr. Prince’s career, the first of his directorial efforts (after four others) to be a hit. Based on stories by Christopher Isherwood and John van Druten’s play “I Am a Camera,” it told the melancholy love story of Sally Bowles, a flighty, British expatriate singer, and a visiting American writer played out against the backdrop of rising Nazi menace. (In the 1972 film version, directed by Bob Fosse, Sally, played by Ms. Minnelli, was an American.)

It was Mr. Prince, the producer as well as the director, who originated the idea for “Cabaret,” which became known for, among other things, its strikingly layered atmospherics: the winking tawdriness and hint of societal mayhem in its score and its choreography (by Ronald Field), and especially in its scenic design, a mirrored set by Boris Aronson that reflected the audience back on itself and implicated it in the high concept of a population allowing itself to be co-opted. The show won eight Tonys, including two for Mr. Prince.

“Cabaret” was a turning point in the musical theater form at a time when the relevance of Broadway was at a low ebb. Times Square, the center of Manhattan’s — and hence the country’s — theater district, had begun its slide into forbidding disrepair. Rock ′n’ roll was in ascendance, taking over the airwaves and displacing show music as the soundtrack of American popular culture. And forces like the antiwar movement, civil rights, the sexual revolution and mind-expanding drugs had created a countercultural moment that made it easy for audiences — especially younger ones — to reject an art form associated with previous generations and a sunny acceptance of the status quo.

The ‘Concept Musical’ Dawns

“Cabaret” was among the first of the so-called concept musicals — shows organized around ideas rather than the telling of a pure story. It was a herald for a new era in the musical and a new strain in Mr. Prince’s work, one that became especially evident in his shows with Mr. Sondheim, which explored darker, more harrowing elements of the human experience than had generally been portrayed on the musical stage.

“Since the concept musical was still in a formative stage, this was a schizophrenic show,” the critic and Broadway historian Martin Gottfried later wrote. “One half of it was an orthodox musical play whose story unfolded in dramatic scenes with duly integrated book songs. The other half, however, startled and changed Broadway.”

The arc of Mr. Prince’s career was unusual, but it began like many show business careers did, with good fortune and a lift from an old hand. In his case the mentor was the great producer-director-writer George Abbott, for whom Mr. Prince worked in the late 1940s as an office assistant and later on shows Abbott directed.

Mr. Prince was an assistant stage manager on a 1949 Abbott presentation, the musical “Touch and Go.” And after a stint in the Army, he was the stage manager for “Wonderful Town” (1953), the Tony-winning musical, directed by Abbott, about a pair of sisters arriving in New York from Ohio. It starred Rosalind Russell and featured music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green.

When Mr. Prince and Robert Griffith, another stage manager in the Abbott stable, acquired the rights to a novel, “7½ Cents,” by Richard Bissell, Abbott and Robbins shared the directing chores for the show that emerged from the book, “The Pajama Game,” a romantic comedy set amid a labor dispute at a pajama factory. And when Mr. Prince and his fellow fledgling producers fell short in raising the money for the show — because neither they nor the choreographer, Bob Fosse, the composer, Richard Adler, nor one of the chorus girls, Shirley MacLaine, were as yet bankable names — Abbott kicked in the needed cash.

From there followed a remarkable string of musicals presided over by the Prince-Griffith producing team, among them the baseball fantasy story “Damn Yankees”; “New Girl in Town,” an adaptation of Eugene O’Neill’s lusty drama “Anna Christie”; and “Fiorello!,” the admiring stage bio of the Roosevelt-era three-term mayor of New York. All were directed by Abbott and each ran more than a year.

“I was grateful,” Mr. Prince told the reporter Rex Reed for an article in The New York Times in 1968, “but I still wanted to be a director, not just a fellow with a lot of bumbling enthusiasm who said, ‘Yeah’ and ‘Swell’ or ‘Great’ a lot. I was not creative, not an artist. I was doing interviews about box-office grosses. I didn’t want to be a business man. I am a good one, but only by default. I didn’t get into the business to keep books.”

By then Mr. Prince’s precocity and success were notable enough to have been lampooned: Mr. Bissell did so in “Say, Darling,” based on his “7½ Cents” experience on Broadway, and the book was adapted for the stage in 1958, produced by Jule Styne and Lester Osterman Jr. and directed by Abe Burrows. Robert Morse played the character based on Mr. Prince, presenting a caricature of the man himself — excitable, phone-obsessed, overly mannered, generally unpleasant.

“When I saw it I was furious,” Mr. Prince said. “But I was that way. I see it now. I was so nervous, so desperate for success.”

Teaming With Sondheim

Mr. Prince and Mr. Sondheim, whose mentor was Oscar Hammerstein, met in 1949 at the Broadway opening of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “South Pacific,” and their friendship and aspirations ran parallel throughout the 1950s. Mr. Sondheim has said that the only autobiographical song he ever wrote was “Opening Doors,” from “Merrily We Roll Along,” a 1981 flop directed by Mr. Prince that was their final Broadway collaboration; the song, about two young men and a young woman looking to make their mark in New York City, was based, Mr. Sondheim acknowledged, on himself, Mr. Prince and their friend Mary Rodgers, daughter of Richard Rodgers.

The relationship between the two men became a professional one with “West Side Story” (1957), the now-famous urban adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet.” At the time, Mr. Sondheim was a still young Broadway lyricist working with venerable partners — the composer Leonard Bernstein, the book writer Arthur Laurents and the director Jerome Robbins — when he called his friend Mr. Prince to complain that the show was in trouble. Their producer, Cheryl Crawford, had dropped the project, Mr. Sondheim said.

Mr. Prince and Mr. Griffith took over the show, which ended up as a striking departure from the conventional book musicals of the day, with its tragic events, adventurous, modern score and the use of choreography (by Robbins) to propel the narrative. A harbinger of later developments in the stage musical, “West Side Story” was a landmark Broadway production, though it won only two Tony Awards, one for Robbins’s choreography and the other for Oliver Smith’s scenic design. (“The Music Man” was best musical.)

Few working partners have made such a mark on the theater as Mr. Prince and Mr. Sondheim. Mr. Prince produced “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” (1962), a hit farce set in ancient Rome that starred Zero Mostel and was the first Broadway show for which Mr. Sondheim wrote both music and lyrics. In the 1970s and ′80s they collaborated, generally to critical praise but infrequent audience favor, on some of Broadway’s most ambitious and serious musicals.

The more successful shows included “Company” (1970), a mordant reflection on loneliness about a single man and his married friends; “Follies” (1972), an equally mordant reflection on aging and regret about the reunion of a musical revue company; “A Little Night Music” (1973), a period romantic comedy set in turn-of-the-20th-century Sweden, based on the Ingmar Bergman film “Smiles of a Summer Night”; and “Sweeney Todd” (1979), perhaps Mr. Sondheim’s most ambitious work, an operatic grand guignol that told a lurid (though occasionally very funny) tale of vengeance. The title character is a murderous barber whose affectionate co-conspirator is a shop owner who stuffs her meat pies with Todd’s ground-up victims.

By then some critics had begun to find Mr. Prince’s directorial strokes overblown, his productions heavy-handed in theme and design. In a Times essay in 1982 with the headline “What Ails Today’s Broadway Musical?,” Frank Rich took issue with three of Mr. Prince’s efforts. In Mr. Sondheim’s “Pacific Overtures,” (1976), about the American-influenced modernization of Japan, and Mr. Lloyd Webber’s “Evita,” which opened just a few months after “Sweeney Todd,” Mr. Prince indulged “in superficial seriousness,” Mr. Rich wrote.

Of “Sweeney Todd” itself, he wrote that the production, its eight Tony Awards notwithstanding, was wildly out of proportion to the material, an opinion that Mr. Sondheim has acknowledged he shared and whose validity has been underscored by subsequent, more modest productions.

“By inflating a Dickensian tale to cosmic proportions, the enormous production seemed to imply that the audience were guilty of the Victorian injustices that led to Sweeney’s murderous acts of revenge,” Mr. Rich wrote. “Might not the hero’s tragedy have better stood simply and intimately on its own?”

Mr. Prince would go on to direct two of his biggest successes, “Phantom” and “Showboat,” in the more-is-more mode that he had helped create and that came to represent a Broadway era characterized by spectacle.

But Mr. Rich was writing on the heels of one of Mr. Prince’s most calamitous failures, “A Doll’s Life,” a musical sequel to “A Doll’s House,” Henrik Ibsen’s domestic drama of a woman’s revolt against the stultifying expectations of womanhood. With book and lyrics by Adolph Green and Betty Comden and a score by Larry Grossman, huge sets and grandiose sound amplification, it closed after five performances, a victim of its outsize self-importance.

“How one wishes that this director,” Mr. Rich wrote of Mr. Prince, “who did so much to destroy the clichés of musical staging that existed on Broadway when he began his career, would once again leap ahead of the fray. His innovations of the 1960s and early ′70s have now become as calcified as the conventions he once helped to overthrow.”

Mr. Prince was born Harold Smith Jr. in Manhattan on Jan. 30, 1928, to Harold Sr. and Blanche (Stern) Smith. His parents divorced, and by the early 1930s his mother had remarried, to Milton Prince, a stockbroker. In a 1989 biography by Carol Ilson, “Harold Prince: A Director’s Journey,” Mr. Prince is quoted as saying that he had never liked his father and that they hadn’t seen each other much, though his father had had a long life; even so, into the early part of his career he was known as Harold Smith Prince.

His upbringing was affluent; his mother was an ardent theatergoer, and Mr. Prince recalled being taken as a boy to the Mercury Theater’s production of “Julius Caesar,” a polemical adaptation aimed at the time at rising European fascism, with Orson Welles as Brutus. Aspiring to be a playwright, Hal attended private school in Manhattan and the University of Pennsylvania, where he was active in the Penn Players, a still-extant student theater group. He ran the university radio station, directed one of his own plays and acted in a production of “Pride and Prejudice,” a theatrical adaptation of the Jane Austen classic.

After graduating he returned to New York, where he eventually found work in George Abbott’s office doing odd jobs, including some writing for Abbott’s television projects. The Army interrupted his early career for two years, a European hiatus that he judged afterward to have been beneficial.

“I was an ambitious and nervous fellow, and it slowed me down; it made me more rational, less nervous, more adult,” Mr. Prince said in a 1964 interview, though it was decades before he shook his reputation as a detail-obsessed control freak. His son, Charles, an orchestra conductor, was asked as a boy what his father did. “He works late and makes money,” the boy replied.

Mr. Prince married Judy Chaplin, daughter of the composer and lyricist Saul Chaplin, in 1962. In addition to her and to Charles Prince, he is survived by a daughter, Daisy Prince, a theater director; and three grandchildren.

At Thanksgiving 1960, the Griffith-Prince production team had three Broadway musicals running simultaneously: “Fiorello!,” “West Side Story” and “Tenderloin,” about an 1890s social reformer in a New York City red light district, with music by Jerry Bock and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, who also wrote “Fiorello!” But in June 1961, shortly after “Tenderloin” closed at a loss and a play they produced, “A Call on Kuprin,” shut down after just 12 performances, Mr. Griffith died, and Mr. Prince was on his own.

His career as a solo producer began with a comedy, “Take Her, She’s Mine,” about the conventional parents of a precocious young woman, written by Henry and Phoebe Ephron and based, at least in part, on their daughter Nora, the future writer and filmmaker.

The show ran for more than a year, but George Abbott was the director, and Mr. Prince was still laboring in his shadow. His first attempt at directing, “A Family Affair,” a 1962 musical about squabbles over wedding plans, was short-lived. Then came “Forum,” directed by Abbott, a show with big troubles on the road that Mr. Prince produced reluctantly but that was famously saved from oblivion by a new opening number written by Mr. Sondheim, “Comedy Tonight.”

“One quality Hal has is he refuses to accept defeat,” Mr. Sondheim said in the 2016 interview. “When we opened ‘Funny Thing’ in Washington and it got scathing reviews, we played to 50 people in a 1,200-seat auditorium. Almost any other producer would have closed it. Hal was willing to go ahead and take a chance on it. It wasn’t even that he loved the show that much, but once he was there, it was his baby, and he fought for it.”

Mr. Prince wore his dual hat for the first time in 1963, producing and directing “She Loves Me,” a frothy romantic comedy based on a Hungarian play that became a 1940 Hollywood film, “The Shop Around the Corner.” (Nora Ephron adapted it much later for her film “You’ve Got Mail,” making it a New York story.) “She Loves Me” didn’t make money, but critics praised it.

A Record With ‘Fiddler’

Mr. Prince’s next project was “Fiddler on the Roof,” based on stories by Sholom Aleichem. Produced by Mr. Prince, directed and choreographed by Robbins, with music by Bock and Harnick and a book by Joseph Stein, it won nine Tonys and ran for nearly eight years — more than 3,200 performances — the longest run in Broadway history at the time.

Mr. Prince’s astonishingly long résumé includes Off Broadway shows — he directed “Diamonds,” a 1984 baseball-themed revue, and “The Petrified Prince,” a historical fantasy with a score by Michael John LaChuisa — and a handful of operas, beginning in 1976 with his staging of “Ashmedai” by Joseph Tai and including Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” in 1989, both for New York City Opera.

In the 1970s he was an artistic director of the New Phoenix Repertory Company, which presented several nonmusical revivals on Broadway, including O’Neill’s “The Great God Brown” and Friedrich Durrenmatt’s “The Visit,” both of which he directed. He produced “Side by Side by Sondheim,” a 1977 revue, and “On the Twentieth Century,” a Comden and Green musical with a Cy Coleman score; and co-produced and directed “Hollywood Arms” (2002), based on a memoir by Carol Burnett.

His penultimate Broadway project was “Lovemusik” (2007), a musical based on the letters of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya, with a book by Alfred Uhry, with songs by Weill and others.

Mr. Prince was given a Kennedy Center Honors award in 1994 and a National Medal of Arts in 2000. Perhaps the tribute he most coveted, however, nearly didn’t happen and ended in disappointment. An elaborate musical retrospective of his career, “Prince of Broadway,” directed by Mr. Prince himself along with Susan Stroman, was presented in Japan in 2015, but it struggled at first to find sufficient financing for a Broadway opening. It took place at last in August 2017. Critics were cool to the production, which skated across the narrative of Mr. Prince’s career without offering much introspection, and it closed in just over two months. It was his last Broadway production.

It wasn’t Mr. Prince’s only brush with musical failure. His flops included “It’s a Bird ... It’s a Plane ... It’s Superman,” in the 1960s, and “Grind” and “Roza” in the 1980s. But no failure was perhaps so poignant as “Merrily We Roll Along.” Written by Mr. Sondheim with a book by George Furth (who also wrote “Follies”), “Merrily” is a show business story that rewinds the lives of its three main characters, from success and bitterness back to the innocence and aspirations of youth. It was criticized for, among other things, its unpleasant tone and Mr. Prince’s decision to have youthful actors play the roles throughout, even at the start, when the characters are older.

The storytelling problems were never adequately solved, and it closed after just 16 performances in 1981. Mr. Sondheim and Mr. Prince never worked together on Broadway again, though more than 20 years later they collaborated on another troublesome musical — its various titles included “Wise Guys,” “Bounce” and “Road Show” — that never made it to Broadway.

Mr. Sondheim denied that there had been a falling out.

“The show was a failure,” he said. “We were both bitter about the experience, and there was a lot of Broadway bitchery, but the show failed because people didn’t like it.”

Then he added:

“If there’s a burning plane, I want Hal to be the pilot. He’s just great faced with difficulties, and he’s a terrific leader. I watched him after ‘Pacific Overtures’ had been massacred by critics. And he had to address the cast, give them courage, even though he was hurting just as much.

“I thought, This is a captain!”

Michael Paulson contributed reporting.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/31/t...ince-dead.html
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TV/Legal Notes (Broadcast)
Broadcast Networks Sue to Stop Free TV Streaming App Locast
By Tim Baysinger, TheWrap.com - Jul. 31, 2019

The four major broadcast networks, CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox, filed a lawsuit on Wednesday to shut down Locast, a free streaming app that provides broadcast TV signals.

The broadcasters argue that Locast, by retransmitting the signals of their local TV stations without permission, is in violation of copyright law. “Locast is simply Aereo 2.0, a business built on illegally using broadcaster content,” the broadcasters said in the lawsuit, which was filed in New York. “While it pretends to be a public service without any commercial purpose, Locast’s marketing and deep connections to AT&T and Dish make clear that it exists to serve its pay-tv patrons.”

Locast did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on the lawsuit.

The Wall Street Journal was first to report about the lawsuit on Wednesday morning.

Locast launched in early 2018 and was founded by David Goodfriend, a former Dish executive. The non-profit company relies on customer donations to cover its operating costs. It recently received $500,000 in funding from AT&T, which has integrated the app into its set-top box. It is currently available in 13 markets, including New York, Boston and Los Angeles.

In 2014, the broadcasters successfully sued to shut down Aereo, a similar service that was backed by Barry Diller. That case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled that Aereo was essentially a cable operator, meaning that it needed to get broadcasters’ consent; it shut down days after the ruling.

With Locast, the broadcasters argue it is being used by AT&T and Dish in order to avoid paying retransmission fees to carry their TV stations.

“It is of little surprise that certain pay-TV companies are funding and otherwise assisting Locast, for Locast serves to provide them with considerable commercial benefits,” the lawsuit continued. “Locast enables certain pay-TV companies to provide their paying subscribers a path to receive Plaintiffs’ copyrighted content without the pay-TV companies paying for retransmission consent.”
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Reps for AT&T and Dish did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.

https://www.thewrap.com/broadcast-ne...ng-app-locast/
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Nielsen Overnights (Broadcast)
Primetime Ratings: Big ‘Bachelorette’ Closer Paces ABC
By Michael Malone, Broadcasting & Cable - Jul. 31, 2019

ABC won the Tuesday ratings race, the finale of The Bachelorette leading the network to a 1.6 in viewers 18-49, per the Nielsen overnights, and an 8 share. In second was NBC at 1.1/5.

The Bachelorette did a 2.1 from 8 to 10 p.m. and was followed by a Holey Moley repeat. Bachelorette got a 1.9 the night before.

NBC had America’s Got Talent down 25% at 1.2 from 8 to 10 and then Bring the Funny off 22% at 0.7.

Everyone else was playing for scraps. Telemundo did a 0.4/2, and CBS, Fox and Univision all rated a 0.3/2.

On Telemundo, Un Poquito Tuyo was down a tenth at 0.2, Betty en NY also lost a tenth for a 0.4 and the premiere of Preso No. 1 rated a 0.4. La Reina del Sur has finished season two.

CBS had Love Island at a flat 0.4, an NCIS repeat and Blood & Treasure at a level 0.3.

Fox had repeats and Univision had La Reina Soy Yo down a tenth at 0.3 and La Rosa de Guadalupe at a flat 0.4, before the premiere of Sin Miedo a la Verdad at 0.3.

The CW scored a 0.2/1. Pandora got a 0.1 and The 100 a 0.2, both series flat.

https://www.broadcastingcable.com/ne...oser-paces-abc

* * * *

Nielsen Overnights (Broadcast)
‘La Reina’ Finale on Telemundo Draws 1.14 Million in 18-49

The season two finale of Telemundo’s La Reina del Sur July 29 drew 1.14 million viewers 18-49 and 463,000 viewers 18-34, according to Nielsen. The finale averaged 2.2 million total viewers. Kate del Castillo stars in the crime drama as Teresa Mendoza.

There were 60 episodes in the season, which began April 22. The season premiere had 1.26 million viewers in 18-49.

Season two rolled eight years after season one ended.

The show averaged 1.07 million viewers 18-49 this season, and 422,000 in 18-34. It reached 12.5 million total viewers for the season, Telemundo said.

The new season shot in eight countries.

Arturo Pérez-Reverte created La Reina del Sur. Season two is written by Roberto Stopello, Juan Marcos Blanco, Miguel Ferrari and Jose Miguel Nuñez. Marcos Santana is executive producer and showrunner, with Telemundo’s Martha Godoy and AG Studios’ Rodrigo Guerrero also exec producing.

Telemundo Global Studios and Netflix produce the series.

https://www.broadcastingcable.com/ne...llion-in-18-49
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TV/Production Notes (Cable)
FX’s ‘A Teacher’ Limited Series Gets Green Light; Nick Robinson Joins Kate Mara As Co-Lead
By Denise Petski, Deadline.com - Jul. 31, 2019

FX has given a formal green light to A Teacher, a 10-episode limited series based on Hannah Fidell’s buzzy 2013 Sundance feature, starring and executive produced by Kate Mara. Additionally, Nick Robinson (Love, Simon, Everything, Everything) has been cast as a co-lead opposite Mara in the series, which has been in development at FX since last year. FX Productions is the studio.

Fidell, who wrote, directed and produced the film, will pen the adaptation, direct and executive produce the limited series.

A Teacher explores the story behind the mugshot of a female high school teacher caught in an affair with her male student, revealing the complexities and consequences of these illegal relationships.

Mara and Robinson star respectively as Claire, a popular young teacher at a suburban Texas high school, and Eric, an all-American senior.

Fidell executive produces with Michael Costigan (Brokeback Mountain, American Gangster) and Jason Bateman of Aggregate Films (Ozark, Outsider), Danny Brocklehurst (Safe, Ordinary Lies) and Mara.

“Hannah Fidell is an exceptional filmmaker we have long admired for her intuitive ability to bring complex stories to life with depth and grace,” said Gina Balian, President, Original Programming, FX Entertainment. “We are thrilled to partner with Hannah, Kate Mara, Michael Costigan, Jason Bateman and Danny Brocklehurst to adapt A Teacher into a limited series for FX, with Kate leading an extraordinary cast along with Nick Robinson.”

“Working with FX – truly the home of all my favorite shows – on A Teacher is a dream come true,” said Fidell. “I couldn’t ask for a more perfect partner who, from day one, has understood and embraced the inherent complexities and nuance required for such subject matter.”

Robinson, who starred in features Love, Simon and Everything, Everything, was a series regular on the ABC Family series Melissa and Joey. Other credits include Native Son, Jurassic World, and Boardwalk Empire, among others. He’s next set to make his Broadway debut in the hit Aaron Sorkin adaptation of Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird, replacing the outgoing Will Pullen as Jem Finch in November.

Mara is repped by WME, Mosaic, Viewpoint, Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern. Robinson is repped by UTA, Management 360, Savage Agency and Fred Toczek. Fidell is repped by UTA, Grandview and Frankfurt Kurnit.

https://deadline.com/2019/07/fxs-a-t...ad-1202657291/
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Technology/Business Notes (Mobile)
LG and Sony are struggling to sell smartphones
By Jon Porter, TheVerge.com - Jul. 31, 2019

Both Sony and LG sold far fewer smartphones last quarter than they did the previous year, according to earnings releases from the two companies. LG reported that sales from its smartphone division declined by 21 percent compared to the same quarter the previous year, while Sony’s dropped by almost 30 percent.

LG blames “slow sales of 4G premium models and intense market competition in mass-tier products” which dragged down its results in spite of the launch of its first 5G phone, the LG V50. Meanwhile, Sony reduced its annual forecast for smartphone sales from 5 million to 4 million units for this year, according to Bloomberg.

These declining numbers are especially concerning given the high profile launches we’ve seen from both companies during the reporting period. Sony released the Xperia 1, a super tall phone with a 21:9 aspect ratio screen, and LG had its flagship for the year, the LG G8, alongside its debut 5G handset. Unfortunately for LG and Sony, both phones underwhelmed us when we reviewed them, and it’s not surprising that they’ve been struggling to sell.

https://www.theverge.com/2019/7/31/2...8-v50-xperia-1
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Obituary
Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti dies 2 years after promising to donate brain for research
By WCVB-TV (Boston) Staff - Jul. 31, 2019

BOSTON — Former Boston Patriots and Miami Dolphins linebacker Nick Buoniconti, who announced two years ago that he would donate his brain to science, has died at the age of 78.

Buoniconti, a Springfield native, died Tuesday in Bridgehampton, New York, said Bruce Bobbins, a family spokesman.

The 5-foot-11, 220-pound Buoniconti was bypassed in the NFL draft but went on to a 15-year career. He was small for a pro linebacker, but after being taken in the 13th round by the Boston Patriots of the upstart AFL, he played for them from 1962 to 1968.

"Today is a sad day for Patriots and Dolphins fans alike, as we mourn the loss of the legendary Nick Buoniconti," said Patriots owner Robert Kraft. "He was a Hall of Fame player on the field, but more importantly, a hall of fame person off it."

He was captain of the Dolphins' back-to-back Super Bowl champions, including the 1972 team that finished 17-0.

Buoniconti was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001.

Following retirement, Buoniconti and his son, Marc, worked to raise more than a half-billion dollars for paralysis research. The younger Buoniconti was paralyzed from the shoulders down making a tackle for The Citadel in 1985.

Following retirement, Buoniconti worked as an attorney, a broadcaster, as president of U.S. Tobacco and as an agent to such athletes as Bucky Dent and Andre Dawson. For 23 seasons he was co-host of the weekly sports show "Inside the NFL" on the HBO cable network.

In November 2017, when Buoniconti was 76-years-old, he spoke at an emotional news conference where he announced that he was diagnosed with dementia.

"This is not easy, it's difficult," he said through tears. "I am not half the man I used to be."

Buoniconti pledged to donate his brain to research of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy -- or CTE. The research is part of a collaboration between The Concussion Legacy Foundation, BU CTE Center and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

"I don't do this for myself, I do it for the thousands of others who will follow me," he said in 2017.

https://tvline.com/2019/07/31/on-my-...lary-increase/
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TV/Production Notes (Cable)
‘American Rust’ Series Set at Showtime, Jeff Daniels to Star
By Joe Otterson, Variety.com - Jul. 31, 2019

EXCLUSIVE: The planned “American Rust” series has found new life at Showtime, with the premium cabler giving the show a straight-to-series order, Variety has learned exclusively.

In addition, Jeff Daniels has come onboard to star in and executive produce the show, which is based on the Philipp Meyer novel of the same name. Now simply titled “Rust,” the show is described as a family drama that will explore the tattered American dream through the eyes of complicated and compromised chief of police Del Harris (Daniels) in a Rust Belt town in southwest Pennsylvania. When the woman he truly loves sees her son accused of murder, Harris is forced to decide what he’s willing to do to protect him.

Dan Futterman will write multiple episodes and executive produce along with Daniels. The pair previously collaborated on the 2018 Hulu miniseries “The Looming Tower,” which received four Emmy nominations last year, including one for best actor in a limited series for Daniels. Michael De Luca will also executive produce along with Elisa Ellis from Platform One Media, which is co-producing the series along with Showtime.

“Jeff Daniels is a bona fide giant on stage and screen, and Dan Futterman is a special writer and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have them together at Showtime,” said Gary Levine, co-president of entertainment for Showtime Networks. “With vibrant characters caught in an unpredictable murder mystery, ‘Rust’ will tell the relevant and touching human story of the corrosion of the American dream.”

USA Network has previously given a straight-to-series order for their own “American Rust” series back in 2017, but it was announced in January of last year that the network was not moving forward with it. That series had a cast contingency attached to the order, with the producers unable to find a big star for the lead role at that time. De Luca, Ellis, and Platform One are the only producers from that project to remain attached to the Showtime series.

This marks the latest high-profile television project for Daniels in recent years. In addition to his work on “The Looming Tower,” he previously won Emmys for his role in the HBO series “The Newsroom” as well as the Netflix miniseries “Godless.” He has primarily worked in film throughout his distinguished career, starring in projects such as “The Purple Rose of Cairo,” “The Squid and the Whale,” “Good Night and Good Luck,” “The Martian,” “Gods and Generals,” and “Terms of Endearment.”

He is repped by ICM and Martino Management.

Futterman was nominated for an Academy Award for writing the screenplay for “Capote” and for co-writing “Foxcatcher.” His other TV writing credits besides “The Looming Tower” include “Gracepoint” and “In Treatment.” Futterman is also an accomplished actor, having appeared in films like “The Birdcage” and in shows such as “Judging Amy” and “Will & Grace.”

He is repped by UTA and Principal Entertainment LA.

https://variety.com/2019/tv/news/ame...ls-1203286789/

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TV/Production Notes (Streaming)
Kaya Scodelario, Rufus Sewell Cast in Amazon, BBC Agatha Christie Adaptation 'Pale Horse'
By Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter - Jul. 30, 2019

The next Agatha Christie adaptation from Amazon and the BBC has found its ensemble cast.

The Man in the High Castle's Rufus Sewell and Kaya Scodelario, recently seen in Crawl and Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, have joined The Pale Horse, alongside Bertie Carvel (Doctor Foster), Sean Pertwee (Gotham, Elementary), Henry Lloyd-Hughes (Killing Eve), Poppy Gilbert (Call The Midwife), Madeleine Bowyer (Black Mirror) and Ellen Robertson (Snowflake).

Sarah Woodward (Queens of Mystery), Georgina Campbell (His Dark Materials, Black Mirror) and Claire Skinner (Outnumbered, Vanity Fair) will also star, while completing the cast are Rita Tushingham (Vera), Sheila Atim (Girl From the North Country) and Kathy Kiera Clarke (Derry Girls), who will play a trio of witches.

The Pale Horse, adapted by Sarah Phelps, follows detective Mark Easterbrook (Sewell) as he tries to uncover the mystery of a list of names found in the shoe of a dead woman. His investigation leads him to the peculiar village of Much Deeping, and The Pale Horse, the home of a trio of rumored witches. Word has it that the witches can do away with wealthy relatives by means of the dark arts, but as the bodies mount up, Mark is certain there has to be a rational explanation.

Filming on the two-part drama has begun in and around the British city of Bristol and is being directed by Leonora Lonsdale (Beast) and produced by Ado Yoshizaki Cassuto (City of Tiny Lights).

“We are thrilled that filming is now underway on The Pale Horse for BBC One," said Tommy Bulfin, BBC Drama commissioning editor. "Sarah’s brilliant scripts and her unique take on the famous Agatha Christie stories have once again attracted an array of top and exciting talent.”

Added James Prichard, executive producer and CEO of Agatha Christie Limited: "This adaptation feels like nothing we have done before. This is a very different story from most that my great grandmother wrote, and Sarah has taken it to new heights. The cast, with the likes of Rufus Sewell and Bertie Carvel, is superlative, and it should be a highly entertaining drama."

The Pale Horse is a Mammoth Screen and Agatha Christie Limited drama for BBC One. Executive producers are Phelps, Damien Timmer and Helen Ziegler for Mammoth Screen; Prichard and Akpabio for Agatha Christie Limited; and Tommy Bulfin for BBC.

Amazon Prime Video is the U.S. co-production partner, and Endeavor Content will handle sales in all territories internationally.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/ne...-horse-1227868

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Media/Business Notes
Woodstock 50 Officially Canceled After Headliners Drop Out
By Zoe Haylock, Vulture.com (New York Magazine) - Jul. 31, 2019

To everyone’s surprise, Woodstock 50 is officially canceled.

Perhaps in honor of the original concert, which was famously a hot mess, Woodstock 50 never even got off the ground before being torched. Act after act dropped out of the festival, until finally, Woodstock 50 organizers announced today that they’ve decided to cancel the event entirely.

“We are saddened that a series of unforeseen setbacks has made it impossible to put on the festival we imagined with the great line-up we had booked and the social engagement we were anticipating,” Michael Lang, co-founder of the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival said in a statement. He added that the artists consider donating 10 percent of their fees to HeadCount, “or causes of their choice in the spirit of peace.”

Miley Cyrus announced yesterday that she was no longer playing the event, following the lead of the Raconteurs, the Lumineers, Jay-Z, and the Dead & Co. Original Woodstock performers Santana, John Sebastian, and Country Joe McDonald also fled the sinking ship.

The festival was intended to occur at the Merriweather Post Pavilion near Baltimore, originally for a weekend in August and then bumped down to just a day, due to conflicts.

Woodstock 50 wasn’t able to secure the original festival site in Watkins Glen, New York, or their second choice, in Vernon, New York, due to permit issues. In a world where reboots are being churned out by the second, it seems Woodstock’s encore wasn’t meant to be.

https://www.vulture.com/2019/07/wood...-canceled.html
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post #31169 of 33294 Old 07-31-2019, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
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TV Review (Streaming)
Amazon's Free Meek Is a Gripping Look at Meek Mill’s Kafkaesque Journey Through the Criminal Justice System
By Judy Berman, TIME.com - Jul. 31, 2019

On January 24, 2007, 19-year-old Robert Rihmeek Williams was arrested on his South Philly doorstep. He doesn’t recall everything that happened next because, Williams says, police beat him so severely that he kept losing consciousness. Facing 19 drug, firearms and assault charges—including the allegation that he’d pointed a gun at a cop—he opted for a nonjury trial for financial reasons, was convicted on seven counts despite a dearth of evidence and got a two-year prison sentence. But it’s the eight years of probation supervised by Genece Brinkley, a notoriously tough judge who seems to have obsessed over this case, that have consigned him to more than a decade of legal turmoil, including additional time behind bars.

It’s hard to imagine Williams’ story—one that’s all too common for young black men in America—making national headlines if he weren’t better known as Meek Mill, an acclaimed rapper who’s collaborated with Rick Ross, beefed with Drake and been engaged to Nicki Minaj. Inextricable from the plagues of racism, poverty and mass incarceration, the relationship between hip-hop and crime has always been fraught. Yet Meek’s case is more reminiscent of Kafka’s The Trial than the legal woes of contemporaries like Kodak Black and Tekashi 6ix9ine. The still-ongoing ordeal has transformed him into an activist for criminal justice reform, in a crusade whose latest manifestation is the Amazon Prime miniseries Free Meek, out August 9.

As its title suggests, the five-part documentary makes no claims of impartiality. Produced in part by his record label, Roc Nation, its agenda is to vindicate Meek Mill, now 32—and call for permanent changes that could help his less fortunate counterparts across the country. Through interviews with the rapper, his devoted family and Roc Nation staffers including founder Jay-Z, a portrait coalesces of a talented young artist with a passionate local following who saw his career thwarted time and again by a rigged system. Lawyers (including one who represents Brinkley, caught on a hot mic) and journalists attest to the absurdity of Meek’s predicament; Rolling Stone reporter Paul Solotaroff sums up the consensus when he recalls, “I had never seen a case built on less.” Unusually subtle reenactments convey the frustration of feeling trapped in a system determined to squash your success and control your every move, despite your best efforts to satisfy its restrictive demands.

As it traces Meek’s case and career, the doc illuminates several of the broader but less publicized issues his story exemplifies. Like Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us, it draws attention to the extreme challenges faced by the 4.5 million Americans caught in the probation system, demonstrating how one relatively minor conviction can lead to a lifetime of cycling in and out of prison. Judge Brinkley’s near-sovereign power over Meek’s fate is hardly unique, even if her backstory and the details of their relationship are remarkable. (He claims she once brought him and Minaj into her chambers and pressured him to record a remix of Boyz II Men’s “On Bended Knee” featuring shout-outs to women who’d helped him—Brinkley included. She denies it.) Less shocking but more damning is the miniseries’ revelation of the role dirty cops played in his initial arrest.

It’s only one of many infuriating discoveries made by the team of private investigators who finally helped turn the tide in Meek’s favor after he returned to prison in 2017, in a decision that drew the outrage of fans and activists. Brinkley had sentenced him to an additional two-to-four years in prison for popping a wheelie on a motorcycle in New York—despite the fact that authorities there had dropped the charges against him. The final two episodes follow his allies’ ultimately successful efforts to extricate him from her grasp. (On July 24, his original conviction was finally overturned.) If the transition from deep dive into recent history to present-tense detective story feels a bit bumpy, both parts of the narrative are equally important. Only someone from Meek’s background could end up ensnared in a saga like this one—and only someone with the cultural footprint he’s established since his arrest could make such common injustices front-page news.

https://time.com/5638254/free-meek-mill-amazon-review/
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post #31170 of 33294 Old 07-31-2019, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Nielsen Overnights (Cable)
Democratic Debate: 8.7 Million Viewers Catch CNN’s 1st Debate
By Tony Maglio and Lindsey Ellefson, TheWrap.com - Jul. 31, 2019

Tuesday’s Detroit Democratic Debate drew 8.7 million viewers on CNN and CNN en Espanol. That was way less than the 15.3 million total viewers first round pulled combined on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo last month. Of course, this one did not have a broadcast partner. It was also the second debate and not the first.

June’s debate earned 4.3 million viewers in the key 25-54 news demographic. Tuesday’s received 2.5 million demo viewers.

CNN’s live stream of the debate had 2.8 million starts last night, the cable news channel said.

In 2015, CNN’s October Democratic Debate scored 15 million total viewers with 4.7 million in the main demo. Its Republican debate a month earlier earned a whopping 22.8 million viewers with 7 million in the demo, though that one had the Trump factor.

Trump had a looming presence in Tuesday’s debate. In Twitter data obtained by TheWrap, the president was the most-tweeted-about politician Tuesday night. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders, who squared off center-stage, placed second and third, respectively.

Also notable were author Marianne Williamson, who spoke openly about reparations for descendants of slaves and Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who captured viewers’ attention with a mysterious smudge on his forehead.

The second round of CNN’s Democratic primary debates takes place tonight. Frontrunner Joe Biden will square off with Senator Kamala Harris as well as Sens. Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand.

https://www.thewrap.com/democratic-d...ns-1st-debate/
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