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post #23701 of 30873 Old 06-19-2018, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Nielsen Overnights (Broadcast)
'Proposal' Gets a Modest Premiere After 'Bachelorette'
By Michael O'Connell, The Hollywood Reporter - Jun. 19, 2018

ABC scored a Monday win on the back of The Bachelorette, also using its summer hit to launch new series The Proposal.

Another dating show from Bachelor/Bachelorette maestro Mike Fleiss, the first hour of The Proposal earned a modest 0.8 rating among adults 18-49 and 3.9 million viewers. Neither number is at all awful for a summer debut, though the network was clearly hoping to squeeze a little more retention from its likeminded lead-in.

The Bachelorette owned the night with a flat 1.4 rating among adults 18-49 and 5.7 million viewers.

NBC won the 10 o'clock hour, facing The Proposal, with the second half of American Ninja Warrior. All in all, the competition averaged a 1.0 rating in the key demo and 4.3 million viewers. That was after an even lead-in from Running Wild With Bear Grylls (0.7 adults).

Elsewhere, Fox dropped a new So You Think You Can Dance (0.8 adults), the CW put out Supergirl (0.5 adults) and Whose Line Is It Anyway? (0.3 adults) and CBS offered up an even Elementary (0.6 adults).

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/li...orette-1121294
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post #23702 of 30873 Old 06-19-2018, 09:03 AM - Thread Starter
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TV Notes/Q&A (Streaming)
Lucifer Saved by Netflix: Season 4's True Episode Count, Production Start and More Burning Qs Answered
By Matt Webb Mitovich, TVLine.com - Jun. 18, 2018

Now that Lucifans have had a full weekend to process and party over the news that Lucifer, cancelled by Fox, will indeed be back for a fourth season via Netflix, TVLine invited co-showrunners Joe Henderson and Ildy Modrovich to field some burning questions about episode counts, where/if the “bonus” episodes will fit in and more.

After all, the Devil is in the details…

HOW DID THE PRODUCERS GET THE GOOD WORD?
“We found out 10 minutes before the announcement came out [on Friday afternoon]” Henderson shares. “We were just barely ahead of the curve, because that’s how quickly everything happened. Adds Modrovich, “My agent called me, and then we got a lovely call from [Warner Bros. TV president] Peter Roth, which was pretty darn funny. I guess he called Tom [Ellis] first and said something like, ‘Sharpen your horns!'”

HOW MANY EPISODES HAS NETFLIX ORDERED?
As previously reported by TVLine, Netflix has ordered 10 episodes, Henderson confirms.

OK, BUT DOES THAT INCLUDE THE TWO ALREADY-PRODUCED (AND ALREADY-AIRED) ‘BONUS’ EPISODES THAT WERE TO BE SPRINKLED IN SEASON 4?
“No, no,” the EPs assert — Netflix has commissioned 10 all-new episodes. And yet, Season 4 might possibly run longer, if one of the “bonus” episodes gets folded in somewhere. “The first thing we’ve got to figure out,” says Henderson, “is where the one that wasn’t a complete standalone, the Ella-focused episode, might fit.”

WHEN DOES PRODUCTION ON SEASON 4 START?
“Soon,” reports Modrovich. “August-ish.” Meaning, pretty close to the usual production start-up time. Adds Henderson, “We’re hitting the ground running. Everyone is primed and ready.”

WILL THE CAST BE ABLE TO HIT SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON NEXT MONTH IN SOME CAPACITY?
“We would love to; we don’t know,” says Henderson, citing the late pick-up as a factor. “We love being there, but we just don’t know.”

WILL LUCIFER‘S NETFLIX EPISODES RUN CLOSER TO AN HOUR?
Versus broadcast-TV’s commercially interrupted length? “We’ll probably stick roughly to our 43 minutes,” Modrovich ventures. “That’s part of what we’re going to talk to Netflix about. I think we might have a bit of room for flexibility, hopefully, so if there’s a scene we love and we don’t want to cut it, we’re hoping that now we won’t have to. But we’re not suddenly going to have hour-and-a-half episodes!” As Henderson observes of the leap from broadcast-TV to streaming, “You forget that editing is your friend. Sometimes cutting something is a good thing.”

HOW IS THE ORIGINAL SEASON 4 STORY PLAN AFFECTED?
To put it simply, Season 4 on Netflix will encompass what was to be the first half of the original Season 4 arc. “We were going to have two parts to it anyway, so we’ll just tell a really strong, gnarly first part,” Modrovich enthuses. Doing so, says Henderson, “lets us concentrate the story and focus it, and that’s what’s really exciting about this. We have a really strong first half that is now going to make for an amazing story.”

WHAT INTERESTED NETFLIX ENOUGH TO MAKE LUCIFER THEIR FIRST BIG ‘SAVE’ IN A LONG WHILE?
Per Henderson, “What we have been told, basically, is 1) they love the show, and 2) they loved the fan reaction. They really noticed it. The fans were heard, and that’s the biggest thing that we should convey. They saw the passion of the fans, and apparently a number of people over there just like the show.” Modrovich echoes that takeaway, saying: “With social media, the fans now can make a difference, and that is the coolest part of this whole experience. They really feel ownership, like, ‘Hey, we got our show back,’ and I love that.”

WILL NETFLIX AT SOME POINT STREAM PREVIOUS SEASONS OF LUCIFER?
The EPs were unsure, but TVLine hears that yes, at some point Seasons 1-3 will be available on Netflix (Stateside).

LASTLY, WILL THIS LAST-MINUTE SAVE BE BILLED AS ‘THE FINAL SEASON’?
Oh Hell no. Rather, in success, “There is always the potential for more,” Modrovich says.

https://tvline.com/2018/06/18/lucife...ate-comic-con/
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post #23703 of 30873 Old 06-19-2018, 09:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Technology Notes (Gaming)
Video game addiction is a mental health disorder, WHO says, but some health experts don't agree
By Lilly Price and Mike Snider, USA Today - Jun. 19, 2018

Can someone truly be addicted to video games? The World Health Organization thinks so – but some mental health experts strongly disagree.

The World Health Organization on Monday classified "gaming disorder" as a diagnosable condition, giving mental health professionals a basis for setting up treatment and identifying risks for the addictive behavior. But it's a stance contested by some mental health professionals.

"There was a fairly widespread concern that this is a diagnosis that doesn’t really have a very solid research foundation," said Christopher Ferguson, a psychologist and media researcher at Stetson University in DeLand, Fla. Monday

The American Psychiatric Association held to its earlier position that there was not "sufficient evidence" to consider gaming addiction as a "unique mental disorder." So did the The Society for Media Psychology and Technology, a division of the American Psychological Association, which earlier this year released a policy statement expressing concern about the WHO's proposal, saying, "the current research base is not sufficient for this disorder."

The disagreement casts veil of confusion over how to approach a behavior associated with some deaths over the last two decades and as parents grapple with the increased popularity of online gaming.

The Geneva-based WHO said it will include "gaming disorder" in the 11th edition of its International Classification of Diseases, which is due out this month and is used by professionals across the globe to diagnose and classify conditions. It will describe the disorder as "impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences."

But some mental health professionals have been fighting this classification, worried that it's more grounded in moral concerns than science.

The symptoms are not clear-cut and there's not designated treatment for the WHO diagnosis, Ferguson said.

The WHO's "gaming disorder" diagnosis would apply togamers with fractured connections to friends and family and who exhibit impaired academics and indifference toward areas of life outside gaming for at least 12 months.

Only a small percentage of people across the world deal with this disorder, according to the WHO. But the number suffering from this mental health condition is enough to study the behavioral pattern and create a treatment program, the organization says.

From 0.3 percent to 1 percent of the general population might qualify for a potential acute diagnosis of “internet gaming disorder," according to a study published in the November 2016 American Journal of Psychiatry and referenced on the American Psychiatric Association blog in May 2017.

The APA included the disorder in the appendix of the 2013 edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders along with caffeine use disorder and other conditions to stimulate research into those disorders.

Not all experts were critical of WHO's stance. "I can’t imagine they came to this decision lightly," said Iowa State University psychology professor Douglas Gentile. "(It) undermines the ability of public health professions to do their jobs if we’re second-guessing them and their work."

For parents concerned about their child, teen or young adult, some more practical advice involves assessing their kids' lifestyle and health. Are they giving up their friends or other hobbies for games? "But if they keep their grades up (and their) friends and hobbies, then it’s not an addiction," Gentile said.

​​Other signs of concern: Kids not sleeping or having health problems.

"Sometimes gaming overuse can be a symptom that something is going wrong for the child," said Ferguson, who also co-authored Moral Combat: Why the War on Video Games is Wrong with Patrick Markey. "The likelihood is the problem is bigger than gaming and gaming didn’t cause it."

Medical professionals are more focused on the reason causing the behavior than the behavior of playing video games itself, said Heather Senior Monroe, director of program development at Newport Academy, which has treatment centers for teens struggling with mental health issues in California, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. "The main characteristics are very similar to substance abuse disorder and gambling," she said.

"The behavior is like any other self harming behavior – a way to escape reality," Monroe said. "The treatment is then about why. Why does that person want to escape their reality so much?"

The answer: depression and anxiety, usually, Monroe said.

As interest in online games has risen internationally, there have been extreme cases of death tied to marathon video game sessions. Last year, a 35-year-old Virginia Beach man died after a 24-hour marathon session of the World of Tanks video game, broadcast on video game streaming service Twitch.

In 2002, a South Korean man was believed to be the first person to die from online game binge-playing after playing for 86 hours. Three years later, another South Korean man died in an internet cafe.

China, too, has been hit with deaths from addictive online game behavior with separate deaths in 2007 and 2011. More recently, in 2015, a man died in a Shanghai internet cafe after playing World of Warcraft for 19 consecutive hours.

Other deaths connected to marathon game sessions in the last six years have occurred in Taiwan, Russia and the U.K.

To address the issue, South Korea in 2011 passed a law prohibiting those under 16 from playing online games between midnight and 6 a.m. However in 2014, the country amended the law, allowing parents to lift the ban on their children.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/...der/709574002/
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post #23704 of 30873 Old 06-19-2018, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
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TV Notes (Broadcast)
'The Gong Show' Season 2: The Weirder the Better for Mike Meyers and Will Arnett
By Jean Bentley, The Hollywood Reporter - Jun. 19, 2018

Sitting through an episode of ABC's rebooted version of The Gong Show, hosted by "British comedian Tommy Maitland" (Mike Meyers in makeup and prosthetics), is a surreal fever dream of an hour. Nothing is too weird for the series — well, it might be, but Meyers and executive producer Will Arnett are happy to try it.

They're not looking for the Kelly Clarksons and Carrie Underwoods of the world — they're looking for "your weird uncle in the basement," says Arnett.

Adds Meyers, "He can either sing opera, or he can use the spoons, or he can do both at the same time."

They want people who will "fly their freak flag," they told The Hollywood Reporter and three other outlets at a small press lunch. Says Arnett, "And we want them because it's fun! We live in very serious times, seemingly, and we're all kind of on the edge of our seats at all times and I think that we need this release. We're like a release valve. We are the full-release massage of game shows. Can I say that?"

But it's not a single strange act that adds to the weird, dreamlike vibe of the show. It's several strange acts performing one after another. Says Meyers, "It's in aggregate that you start to feel the fever dream of it. It's not any one crazy act. It's just that, 'You found that many crazy acts?'"

That means, Arnett says, a momentum begins to build.

"You're like, 'Oh, I see what's happening here.' You might see the girl playing harmonica and then a spider comes out of her mouth, or you might see a girl twisting her body in ways that might seem completely unnatural, and then you see Married With Bananas spitting bananas to each other while playing music, etc. etc. etc. Each one of those things, you might get something out of it, but as you start to accumulate the momentum of the bigger picture you start realizing, 'Oh yeah, this is something else happening here."

And that something is not people looking for international fame or fortune — the winning act with the highest scores from the guest judges (in season two, everyone from Ken Jeong to country singer Brad Paisley; Meyers' comedy partner, Dana Carvey, to Arnett's, Jason Bateman) receives a "fabulous" trophy and "a check for $2,000 and 18 cents."

But what the contestants — and Meyers and Arnett — do get is the satisfaction of bringing something family-friendly, something happy, something decidedly non-political to primetime television.

"I love what’s happening in comedy right now when it comes to stuff political. I think it’s fantastic," says Meyers. "But that’s a giant zig of a culture, and I just thought, 'We’ll zag.'"

Arnett understands the importance of topical humor, of using comedy as a lens with which to examine societal discord. "At the same time," he says, "We’re not topical. We’re not curing cancer. It's not about taking down sacred cows or anything like that. It’s simply about creating a fun environment where people can let go, because it's very difficult to do. We all should be throwing our phones away, and we don’t, so this is kind of the throw-your-phone-away show for 44 minutes. But actually I'm going to say an hour," he cracks, "because I really want you to watch our ads."

The idea to do the show in character came because Meyers wanted to pay homage to "the great compères." He planned to keep up the pretense until "it could no longer be sustained, because if I had continued to claim it wasn't me, you would think I had gone absolutely insane."

Tommy Maitland is back to host season two, but this time Meyers is acknowledging the pages and pages of backstory he created for the character (based on the British comedy hosts he watched with his Liverpudlian parents). Like with Austin Powers, he dove in deep simply because that's what he likes to do.

"There’s much less design in it than you would think. I thought it would be found out immediately, and it was, but people enjoyed the audaciousness and the sheer whimsy of trying to maintain that," Meyers says. "I didn’t know there would be a second season. I didn’t know I was going to enjoy it this much. I thought I would enjoy it, but it literally was a blast."

The Gong Show returns Thursday, June 21 at 8 p.m. on ABC.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/li...erview-1114279
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post #23705 of 30873 Old 06-19-2018, 09:27 AM
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Technology Notes (Gaming)
Video game addiction is a mental health disorder, WHO says, but some health experts don't agree
It seems like every time a game get's very popular the "experts" come out with "Gaming is a disorder! Don't let you're kids play!". I remember this same talk when WoW came out, When CoD came out, etc. The talk is old, tiring and I hate the the word 'addiction' when it's tied to something other than serious things, like drugs/alcohol.
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I really ought to act more like a woman of my advancing years, but I’m growing old disgracefully.
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post #23706 of 30873 Old 06-19-2018, 09:28 AM - Thread Starter
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No political comments, please.

Technology/Washington Notes

Senate votes to reinstate ZTE ban that’s nearly shut down the company
By Jacob Kastrenakes, TheVerge.com - Jun. 19, 2018

The US Senate has voted to reinstate a ban on ZTE that prevents the Chinese telecom company from buying US components and using US software. But it’s still not clear if the reversal will make it into law: it has to clear a conference with the House, and then avoid a veto from President Trump, who advocated for cutting a deal that would lift the ban.

ZTE was hit with the trade ban by the US Commerce Department in April after failing to following through with a punishment for violating sanctions on Iran and North Korea. That ban essentially shut down ZTE, which relies on US parts like Qualcomm processors. Shortly thereafter, Trump said he would cut a deal to revive the company, and a deal was reached — with additional penalties that the department said were uniquely stringent — earlier this month.

But senators on both sides of the aisle immediately threatened to stop the deal and reinstate the ban, citing ZTE as a national security risk. And ultimately, a bipartisan group worked to get legislation introduced.

In a joint statement, Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Tom Cotton (R-AR) said today: “We’re heartened that both parties made it clear that protecting American jobs and national security must come first when making deals with countries like China, which has a history of having little regard for either. It is vital that our colleagues in the House keep this bipartisan provision in the bill as it heads towards a conference.”

The Senate voted 85 to 10 in support of reinstating the ban. It was included as an amendment on the National Defense Authorization Act, a must-pass piece of legislation that has already moved through the House. Though the House didn’t include a similar measure on the ZTE ban, both bills would block the US government from using equipment from ZTE or Huawei — another Chinese telecom often cited by the US government as a security risk — or subsidizing either company.

It’s not clear if the ZTE ban will survive, or be weakened, after the two bills are reconciled. If it remains, the legislation also faces the threat of a veto from Trump — though the measure at least has a veto-proof majority in the Senate. In one of the other rare occasions where Republicans stood up to him with a veto-proof vote, passing sanctions on Russia, Trump decided to sign the bill anyway but noted his displeasure.

https://www.theverge.com/2018/6/18/1...vote-reinstate
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post #23707 of 30873 Old 06-19-2018, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
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TV Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Jun. 19, 2018

MAD ABOUT MUSICALS
TCM, 6:00 a.m. ET

What a rich treasure trove this salute has proven already – and today’s continuation of TCM’s “Mad about Musicals” festival, June’s Tuesday and Thursday all-day marathon of movie musicals, contains several of the best. It’s a ridiculously rewarding tour, including Fred Astaire in three cinematic classics: 1951’s Royal Wedding at 10 a.m. ET, 1957’s Silk Stockings at noon ET, and 1953’s dizzyingly creative The Band Wagon at 2 p.m. ET. Then, in prime time, comes a double feature showing Gene Kelly putting his best feet forward: 1951’s brilliant Singin’ in the Rain at 8 p.m. ET, followed by the same year’s An American in Paris at 10 p.m. ET. That’s all in one day, all on one channel. In my day, it would have been an entire festival at a local revival cinema house…

2018 FIFA WORLD CUP
Various Networks, 8:00 a.m. ET

Today’s World Cup schedule includes the final two opening-match games, followed by the first contest, featuring the host country of Russia, that is part of the second round of matches in this first stage of the 2018 World Cup. At 8 a.m. ET, Fox Sports 1 presents Columbia vs. Japan, representing the bottom half of Group H. Then, switching to the main Fox broadcast network, it’s the top half of Group H, Poland and Senegal, playing in their first 2018 World Cup games at 11 a.m. ET. Then, at 2 p.m. ET, it’s back to Group A for Russia vs. Egypt. In their opening games in this Cup, Russia trounced Saudi Arabia 5-0, while Egypt lost to Uruguay 0-1.

COURTSIDE AT THE NBA FINALS
HBO, 9:00 p.m. ET
DOCUMENTARY PREMIERE:
This new special looks to be the 2018 pro basketball equivalent of the NFL’s annual sidelines and super-close-up look at the Super Bowl. If so, what took them so long? And even given the (spoiler alert) sweep of the Cleveland Cavaliers by the Golden State Warriors, how dramatic is the potential here… especially at the end of that crushing overtime loss, when LeBron James’ teammates basically let him down in what literally was the last minute?

HUMANS
AMC, 10:00 p.m. ET

This weekend, HBO’s Westworld presents its Season 2 finale, and will be gone for quite a while. Meanwhile, this third season of HUMANS, which long predated TV’s Westworld reboot with its exploration of the humanity within technology-created humanoids, is just getting into high gear. This is episode three of this show’s new season…

DRUNK HISTORY
Comedy Central, 10:00 p.m. ET
MIDSEASON RETURN:
This goofy but reliably entertaining, and sometimes even instructive, Comedy Central series (which also perfectly describes The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, by the way) returns for a midseason run – starting by narratives, recounted by a slurring Randall Park and others, focusing on WWII. Spoiler Alert: Except on The Man in the High Castle, the Allies win.

GENIUS: "PICASSO"
Nat Geo, 10:00 p.m. ET
SEASON FINALE:
This is episode 10 of the second season of Genius, which means we are about to see the last of this show’s recreations of Pablo Picasso, both young and old.


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/
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post #23708 of 30873 Old 06-19-2018, 09:45 AM - Thread Starter
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TV Notes (Cable)
Kevin Costner brings Western cred to ranch drama 'Yellowstone'
By Bill Keveney, USA Today - Jun. 19, 2018

LOS ANGELES – Kevin Costner is no stranger to the wild West – on screen and in real life – and he returnsto itin Paramount Network’s modern-day Western "Yellowstone" (Wednesday, 9 ET/PT).

The 10-episode drama, filmed in Montana and Utah, is the 63-year-old actor's first regular TV role, after an illustrious film career that includes Westerns "Dances with Wolves," "Wyatt Earp," "Open Range" and "Silverado," along with such memorable films as "The Untouchables," "Bull Durham," "JFK," and, more recently, "Hidden Figures."

Costner's star power helps draw attention to the first drama series for the rebranded cable network, a show that cut its ties to its producer, The Weinstein Company, after Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual assault and harassment late last year.

In "Yellowstone," he plays John Dutton, the widowed patriarch of a long-running Montana ranching empire who’s trying to preserve Yellowstone Ranch against threats from the government, developers, a Native American reservation and his four dysfunctional adult children.

However, the rough-justice days of "Earp" and "Silverado" are over, Costner says of his contemporary rancher, who’s not just a cowboy but a "CEO."

“The hardball rules out there aren’t flying anymore,” he says, explaining that Dutton’s bold, unilateral actions will be judged differently than in the past. “One hundred years ago, (his actions) wouldn’t have been investigated. (But) we can’t operate in a world like that anymore, and that’s a problem for John.”

He likens Dutton's questionable behavior to that of 'Devil' Anse Hatfield, his character in History's 2012 miniseries "Hatfields & McCoys," who shoots a man in the back. (Costner insisted on the plot, against the objections of producers.)

"I had to put my foot down and say, 'This is good for my character,' because you understand, if you can look beyond that moment, why that may have happened," he says of that Emmy-winning portrayal.

Costner’s iconic Western heroes, as well as those played by Clint Eastwood, influenced creator and director Taylor Sheridan ("Wind River"), who credits Costner's Oscar-winning "Wolves" with reviving the genre.

“We were entering an era where the Western had sort of died … and 'Dances with Wolves' relaunched the genre, and reinvented it to a degree,” Sheridan says.

However, it was Costner’s strong moral presence that made the actor indispensable.

“Occasionally, you create a character and a world, and it can only be populated by one person,” Sheridan says. “There’s an internal strength in him that even when he’s doing something bad you believe he’s doing it for reasons that are right to him. He has an internal moral compass that may or may not be aligned with what is legal. He helps me make an audience question who they’re rooting for, or why they’re rooting for someone doing things they don’t agree with.”

When asked whether viewers should root for Dutton, Costner reframes the question.

“I need to root for myself. I need to understand why I’m doing things. I need to have my own level of doubt,” he says. “There are a lot of us that come off really certain and then we close the door behind us and go, ‘Did I do the right thing?’ ”

Costner has a reverence for Westerns, citing John Ford classics ("The Searchers," "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" and "Fort Apache") as favorites, along with George Stevens' 1953 classic "Shane."

Costner doesn't see a connection between "Yellowstone" and his own Westerns, other than in quality, but there’s a bond from filming in the great outdoors.

“You can do a courtroom drama or wake up and look at the Continental Divide. You can look at being the same valley that Lewis and Clark went down and close your eyes and understand that probably at one time you’re standing in the Garden of Eden. moved my trailer out of base camp … to this little stream. I’m really happy with that environment,” says Costner, who has a 160-acre Colorado ranch.

Although he grew up in Southern California, the actor-director says he’s always imagined living the outdoor life. He's an “OK” horseback rider, but has developed the skills needed to portray a rancher or a baseball player, as he did in "Bull Durham" and "For Love of the Game."

“If you can’t throw a ball, you can’t do a baseball movie. You can’t out-act something you can’t do when it comes to athleticism,” he says. “There’s a certain ballet that’s so obvious, and when you’re on a horse, it’s the same thing.”

https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/...one/710616002/
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post #23709 of 30873 Old 06-20-2018, 04:12 AM
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Sci-Fi
Star Trek: Discovery showrunner’s new five-year deal could bring Patrick Stewart back to the franchise

By Chaim Gartenberg Jun 19, 2018, 3:02pm EDT- The Verge


After several years of tumult, Star Trek Discovery — and the greater Star Trek TV empire — may finally be getting some stability: CBS Television Studios has signed Discovery’s recently promoted showrunner Alex Kurtzman to a five-year deal that will put him in charge of all TV Trek projects for the foreseeable future, via The Hollywood Reporter. (We’d make a fiver-year mission joke, but Verge readers deserve better.)


In addition to Discovery, CBS reportedly has multiple Star Trek shows already in development for Kutzman to oversee. Per Variety, these include a Starfleet Academy show from Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz (who previously created Dynasty, Gossip Girl, and Marvel’s Runaways), a limited series based on the Wrath of Khan story (sigh), as well as another limited series and an animated series. Further details are still being kept under wraps.


The Hollywood Reporter has another, even more intriguing rumor to add to the pile: a show from Kurtzman and former Discovery executive producer Akiva Goldsman that would see the return of Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Patrick Stewart to the franchise, as fan-favorite Captain Jean-Luc Picard. It’s unclear whether this is one of the four shows counted by Variety. But before anyone gets too excited, CBS has stressed that the deal is still in the works and may not happen at all.

The news comes just days after the long-beleaguered show’s last upheaval, when previous showrunners Aaron Harberts and Gretchen J. Berg were fired midway through production of the upcoming season 2 as a result of budget disputes and complaints of abuse from multiple writers on the series. Berg and Harberts were already the second set of showrunners for Discovery. They took over from original showrunner Brian Fuller, who stepped down after multiple delays to focus on other projects. In the wake of Herberts and Berg’s firing, Kurtzman was named their successor. Hopefully, Kurtzman being locked into a five-year contract will settle the dust a bit for Discovery and potentially open the door for an even brighter future for Trek on TV.


https://www.theverge.com/2018/6/19/1...five-year-deal


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Based on Stewart's age now, I could certainly see him as a teacher in the Starfleet Academy series.
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TV Notes (Digital)
Immigration Anthology From 'Big Sick' Writers Ordered to Series at Apple
By Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter - Jun. 19, 2018

Apple is moving forward with its immigration anthology series Little America.

Four months after putting Little America into development, the tech giant has handed out an eight-episode series order for the half-hour anthology from The Big Sick duo Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon.

The project is being penned and executive produced by Emmy-nominated writer-producer Lee Eisenberg (The Office, SMILF), who will also serve as showrunner. Oscar-nominated The Big Sick screenwriters Nanjiani and Gordon will also co-write the series alongside Eisenberg. Emmy winner Alan Yang (Master of None) will exec produce the Universal Television effort.

Little America is based on the true stories included in the Epic Magazine feature of the same name, with Joshuah Bearman and Joshua Davis on board to exec produce for the publication. Arthur Spector will co-exec produce. The Apple series will go beyond the headlines to look at the funny, romantic, heartfelt, inspiring and surprising stories of immigrants in America at a time when they are more relevant than ever.

The project hails from Universal Television, where Yang is under an overall deal.

All told, Little America is Apple's 13th series order and 12th scripted entry. It joins a roster of originals including anthology Amazing Stories, Are You Sleeping, animated musical Central Park, Dickinson, docuseries Home, Little Voice and See and untitled shows from Damien Chazelle, Kristen Wiig, M. Night Shyamalan and Ronald D. Moore as well as a morning show drama starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston. Still to be determined is just how (or when) Apple will release its scripted originals.

The order for Little America arrives as President Donald Trump's immigration policies and Fox News' coverage of them come under fire. Judd Apatow has urged Fox's top filmmakers and showrunners alike to speak out against Fox News' coverage of the "zero tolerance" border policy that has separated parents and their children at the southern U.S. border. So far, Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy), Steve Levitan (Modern Family) and Paul Feig (Ghostbusters) have spoken out about the biased coverage as political figures including Hillary Clinton and other celebrities continue to blast Fox News.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/li...-apple-1121435

* * * *

TV Notes (Digital)
Kristen Wiig Exits Apple Comedy Amid 'Wonder Woman' Scheduling Conflict

Kristen Wiig won't be returning to the small screen anytime soon.

The actress has dropped out of her planned starring role in Apple's untitled comedy inspired by Curtis Sittenfeld's upcoming short-story collection You Think It, I'll Say It. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the planned production schedule for the Apple comedy overlapped with the Saturday Night Live alum's filming schedule for the Wonder Woman sequel, where she will play the villain, Cheetah.

The Apple comedy is now on hold as producers regroup. Recasting remains a possibility after the company picked up the project straight to series with a 10-episode order. This was Apple's first scripted comedy order. Sources stress Apple remains high on the script and hopes to move forward with the series.

The Apple show was due to be Wiig's return to television after seven seasons on NBC's Lorne Michaels-produced SNL, where she was a regular from 2005-2012 and earned three supporting actress in a comedy Emmy nominations. Since exiting the sketch series, Wiig has focused on features including Bridesmaids (for which she earned an Oscar nomination for co-writing the original screenplay), Downsizing, mother! and Ghostbusters, among others.

Colleen McGuinness (30 Rock) created the series and serves as showrunner. She will exec produce alongside Reese Witherspoon, her Hello Sunshine topper Lauren Neustadter and Wiig. Sittenfeld is on board as a consulting producer. A studio is not yet attached; the series is expected to be set up soon. (Apple does not own the show.)

Apple earlier on Tuesday picked up immigration anthology Little America as its 12th scripted original. The tech giant and iPhone maker has not yet revealed how — or when — it will release its rapidly growing roster of originals.

Deadline first reported the Wiig news.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/...one/710616002/
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Technology Notes (Mobile)
AT&T and Sprint to follow Verizon in ending its sale of user location data to third-party brokers
By Nick Statt, TheVerge.com - Jun. 19, 2018

AT&T says it will end its practice of selling real-time user location data to third-party brokers after its primary competitor Verizon agreed to do the same earlier today. “Our top priority is to protect our customers’ information, and, to that end, we will be ending our work with aggregators for these services as soon as practical in a way that preserves important, potential lifesaving services like emergency roadside assistance,” reads a statement from an AT&T spokesperson given to The Verge. Typically, geolocation data collected by telecoms is shared with third parties for services like fraud prevention and, as Verizon points out, emergency roadside assistance.

Yet following pressure from lawmakers, specifically Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Verizon said this morning that it would end the controversial, industry-wide practice. This is after Wyden revealed that the brokers who purchased the data were not verifying if its users had legal permission to track cellphone users through its service. It was then providing that data to other companies, notably Securus Technologies, a company that mainly monitors phone calls to prison inmates. Securus, it turns out, also sells real-time location data to law enforcement agencies without checking the validity of warrants. A former sheriff in Missouri has now been accused of using that data for unlawful surveillance of a judge and other police officers.

Effectively, because Verizon had little oversight into two California-based data brokers — LocationSmart and Zumigo — more than 75 companies had access to real-time user location data, and Verizon had little to no control over how those companies used that data. As the Associated Press put it, “Location data from Verizon and other carriers makes it possible to identify the whereabouts of nearly any phone in the US within seconds.” Even more dire was a free demo tool on LocationSmart’s website that, according to security reporter Brian Krebs last week, allowed any reasonably adept hacker to secretly track pretty much every phone in the entire US. The tool has since been shut down.

All four major carriers have cut off access to Securus, but only AT&T and Verizon have said they will stop sharing data with third-party brokers that facilitated the abuse in the first place. Sprint, which has yet again entered into merger talks with T-Mobile, initially told The Verge it would not officially end the practice of sharing data like real-time user location with third-party brokers. It did, however, say it would be reviewing the situation.

“While we continue to review the facts and determine next steps, as of May 25th we have suspended all services with LocationSmart. Our ongoing internal review also includes our relationship with Zumigo and, if warranted, we will take additional action,” reads a statement from a Sprint spokesperson. Later on in the day, Sprint clarified that it is now moving to end its contracts with third-party data brokers.

Here is Sprint’s new statement:

Protecting our customers’ privacy and security is a top priority at Sprint. Based on our current internal review, Sprint is beginning the process of terminating its current contracts with data aggregators to whom we provide location data. This will take some time in order to unwind services to consumers, such as roadside assistance and fraud prevention services. Sprint previously suspended all data sharing with LocationSmart on May 25, 2018. We are taking this further step to ensure that any instances of unauthorized location data sharing for purposes not approved by Sprint can be identified and prevented if location data is shared inappropriately by a participating company.

In a tweet, T-Mobile CEO John Legere said his company has pledged “not to sell customer location data to shady middlemen.” He did clarify whether T-Mobile had any current contracts with third-party data brokers that it is now moving to end.

https://www.theverge.com/2018/6/19/1...a-sale-brokers
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Nielsen Notes (Syndication)
Only 'Judy,' 'Phil' Manage to Rise
By Paige Albiniak, Broadcasting & Cable - Jun. 19, 2018

Only two first-run strips—CBS Television Distribution’s Judge Judy and Dr. Phil—managed to show weekly gains in the week ended June 10.

Even in repeats, Judy led all of syndication for the 16th straight week, adding 3% for the week and 8% for the year to a 7.0 live plus same day rating, according to Nielsen Media Research.

The rest of the court shows were either flat or down.

CTD’s Hot Bench was in reruns on four of the five days, but still finished as daytime’s third-ranked show with a steady 2.2 and 5% increase from last year. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court remained at a 1.5. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis moved down 9% to a 1.0. Twentieth’s Divorce Court eroded 11% to a 0.8. Trifecta’s Judge Faith was flat at a 0.6.

Dr. Phil, in repeats all week, grew 7% for the week to a 3.0 in households. Phil also was the only talker to improve over last year with an 11% jump to lead the talkers for the 92nd straight week, with two ties. Phil also led with a 1.2 among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54.

Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Ryan took second place for the third straight week, despite dipping 5% to a 2.1. Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres was unchanged at a third place 1.9.

NBCUniversal’s Maury slid 7% to a 1.3. NBCU’s Steve aired encore episodes for part of the week but held steady at a 1.2, tying Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, which fell back 8%. CTD’s Rachael Ray remained at a 1.1 for the ninth straight week. NBCU’s Jerry Springer to leave syndication after 27 years sank 9% for the week and 17% compared to last year to a 1.0, matching its season low.

NBCU’s fellow conflict talker Steve Wilkos — which, along with Maury, has been renewed for two more seasons — remained at a 1.0 and also slid 17% from last year, tying Springer and Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz, which remained at its series low for the second week in a row.

Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily With Chris Hansen, which will end its run after this season, held steady at a 0.9. For the seventh straight week there was a three-way tie for last place in talk among NBCU’s canceled Harry, Warner Bros.’ The Real and CTD’s The Doctors, with all three remaining at a 0.7.

Among the new first-run shows, CTD’s DailyMailTV posted a flat 1.0 for the 10th time in 11 weeks and remained at a 0.5 among women 25-54. Twentieth’s Page Six TV revealed a 0.7 in households for the fifth straight frame and retreated 25% — or one-tenth of a ratings point — to a 0.3 in the key demo.

Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask fell 20% to a 0.4 household rating and was unchanged at a 0.2 in the demo. Disney-ABC’s Pickler & Ben, produced by Scripps, registered its usual 0.3 for the 38th consecutive week, but added 100% in the demo to a 0.2.

Game shows all lost ground. Debmar-Mercury’s leader Family Feud faded 2% to 6.1. CTD’s Jeopardy! weakened 5% to a 5.5. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune rolled back 4% to a new season-low 5.4. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire lost 6% to a new season-low 1.5.

Disney-ABC’s viral video show RightThisMinute was unchanged at a 1.3, while NBCU’s off-net true-crime strip Dateline also stayed at a 1.3.

CTD’s Entertainment Tonight and Warner Bros.’ Extra were the only magazines to avoid declines, with both holding steady at a 2.9 and 1.1, respectively. CTD’s Inside Edition declined 3% to a 2.8, equaling its season low. Warner Bros.’ TMZ also matched its season low, slumping 8% to a 1.2. NBCU’s Access was heavily preempted in large markets on June 4, 7 and 8 by coverage of the French Open tennis tournament and the Stanley Cup finals, and falling 8% to a new season-low 1.1. Trifecta’s Celebrity Page relinquished 33% to a 0.2.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory led the off-net sitcoms at an unchanged 4.4. Twentieth’s Last Man Standing slipped 5% to a 2.0, tying Twentieth’s Modern Family, which also lost 5% to match its series low. SPT’s newcomer The Goldbergs stood pat at a 1.6. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men and Twentieth’s Family Guy both gained 7% to a 1.5. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly and 2 Broke Girls remained at a 1.3 and 1.1, respectively. SPT’s Seinfeld improved 10% to a 1.1, tying 2 Broke Girls. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show stayed at a 1.1.

Warner Bros.’ freshman Mom yielded 11% to a 0.8, while CTD’s The Game clocked a 0.4 for the 18th time in 19 weeks.

https://www.broadcastingcable.com/ne...manage-to-rise
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Media/Business Notes
21st Century Fox to consider Comcast bid, setting stage for Disney bidding war
By Mike Snyder, USA Today - Jun. 20, 2018

The board of Twenty-First Century Fox is expected Wednesday to consider Comcast's $65 billion bid for a collection of Fox entertainment assets the media company is looking to sell.

That proposal surpasses one made in December by The Walt Disney Co., which offered $52.4 billion in stock and cash for the assets, including Fox's TV and movie studios. But Comcast made its own offer, about a 20 percent premium to Disney's, last week after a federal judge approved AT&T's $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner.

The decision sent a signal that regulators may look favorably on consolidation of film and TV content by media companies also in the business of distributing content and providing broadband connections.

Last week, the Rupert Murdoch-controlled Fox said it would "carefully review and consider the Comcast proposal" and it is expected to be one of the topics Wednesday at a previously scheduled board meeting. The Fox board, which includes Murdoch and his sons Lachlan and James, agreed to Disney's offer last year. It could decide to approve Comcast's bid. That would give Disney five days to up its own offer.

Wall Street analysts expect a heated bidding war between Comcast and Disney for Fox's assets, which also include Fox's 30 percent share of streaming service Hulu and a 39 percent stake in U.K.-based pay-TV and broadband provider Sky.

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts has stated interest in the Fox studios' content and its international assets, which also include Mumbai-headquartered media company Star India Star.

"We believe our proposed acquisition of Fox would not only enhance our domestic positions in distribution and content but would take us to global reach and additional growth in these businesses," he said last week.

Fox's movies and TV content -- films such as Avatar and series such as The Simpsons -- are vital to Disney, too. CEO Robert Iger has said they would enhance its planned subscription video service, expected to begin streaming in 2019.

"Disney can still prioritize direct-to-consumer initiatives without Fox, but its propositions to consumers and creators of content would be stronger with Fox but weaker without those businesses," said Brian Wieser, an analyst with Pivotal Research Group, in a note to investors this week. He downgraded Disney shares from a Hold to Sell. "For this reason, the absence of a Fox transaction would be subjectively negative for Disney."

The Comcast-Disney bidding war for Fox is just one of a wave of deals expected in the wake of the AT&T-Time Warner merger approval as longtime media and entertainment companies seek to strengthen their own positions countering newer, tech-savvy players such as Netflix, Amazon, Facebook and Google.

These machinations will mean a lot for consumers as media companies bolster their content collections for even better streaming services. "All of these deals are still just the beginning. They are the ones on the table now," said Jim Nail, principal analyst for research firm Forrester. "I fully expect to see a whole lot more happening before the end of the year."

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/...war/709840002/
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Originally Posted by WilliamR View Post
Star Trek: Discovery showrunner’s new five-year deal could bring Patrick Stewart back to the franchise


After several years of tumult, Star Trek Discovery — and the greater Star Trek TV empire — may finally be getting some stability: CBS Television Studios has signed Discovery’s recently promoted showrunner Alex Kurtzman to a five-year deal that will put him in charge of all TV Trek projects for the foreseeable future, via The Hollywood Reporter. (We’d make a fiver-year mission joke, but Verge readers deserve better.)


In addition to Discovery, CBS reportedly has multiple Star Trek shows already in development for Kutzman to oversee. Per Variety, these include a Starfleet Academy show from Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz (who previously created Dynasty, Gossip Girl, and Marvel’s Runaways), a limited series based on the Wrath of Khan story (sigh), as well as another limited series and an animated series. Further details are still being kept under wraps.


The Hollywood Reporter has another, even more intriguing rumor to add to the pile: a show from Kurtzman and former Discovery executive producer Akiva Goldsman that would see the return of Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Patrick Stewart to the franchise, as fan-favorite Captain Jean-Luc Picard. It’s unclear whether this is one of the four shows counted by Variety. But before anyone gets too excited, CBS has stressed that the deal is still in the works and may not happen at all.

The news comes just days after the long-beleaguered show’s last upheaval, when previous showrunners Aaron Harberts and Gretchen J. Berg were fired midway through production of the upcoming season 2 as a result of budget disputes and complaints of abuse from multiple writers on the series. Berg and Harberts were already the second set of showrunners for Discovery. They took over from original showrunner Brian Fuller, who stepped down after multiple delays to focus on other projects. In the wake of Herberts and Berg’s firing, Kurtzman was named their successor. Hopefully, Kurtzman being locked into a five-year contract will settle the dust a bit for Discovery and potentially open the door for an even brighter future for Trek on TV.


https://www.theverge.com/2018/6/19/1...five-year-deal
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Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post
Based on Stewart's age now, I could certainly see him as a teacher in the Starfleet Academy series.
Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing a prequel series based on Picard's Stargazer days when he was a bit more of a roustabout before becoming a buttoned-up captain.

If they wanted to get Stewart involved, they could frame it as him being retired and relating the stories to his biographer while sampling the fruits of his wine-making...
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
WEDNESDAY 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 - June 20, 2018

WORLD CUP 2018:

TELEMUNDO:

7AM - Hoy En La Copa Mundial (LIVE)
7:30AM - Copa Mundial de la FIFA 2018: Portugal vs. Marruecos (LIVE)
10AM - Hoy En La Copa Mundial (LIVE)
10:30AM - Copa Mundial de la FIFA 2018: Uruguay vs. Arabia Saudita (LIVE)
1PM - Hoy En La Copa Mundial (LIVE)
1:30PM - Copa Mundial de la FIFA 2018: Irán vs. España (LIVE)

FS1:
8AM - FIFA World Cup 2018: Portugal vs. Morocco (LIVE)

FOX:
10AM - FIFA World Cup Today (LIVE)
11AM - FIFA World Cup 2018: Uruguay vs. Saudi Arabia (LIVE)
1PM - FIFA World Cup Today (LIVE)
2PM - FIFA World Cup 2018: Iran vs. Spain (LIVE)
* * * *
Midnight - FIFA World Cup Tonight (LIVE)

* * * *

ABC:
8PM - The Goldbergs
(R)
8:3PM - The Goldbergs
(R)
9PM - Modern Family
(R)
9:30PM - American Housewife
(R)
10PM - Shark Tank
(R)
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Nick Kroll; Evangeline Lilly; Ne-Yo performs)
12:37AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - NCIS: Los Angeles
(R)
9PM - SEAL Team
(R)
10PM - Code Black
* * *
11:35PM - The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (TV host Trevor Noah; Liza Koshy; Two Feet performs)
12:37AM - The Late Late Show With James Corden (Damian Lewis; Ruth Wilson; Chris Pratt)

NBC:
8PM - World of Dance
(R)
9PM - World of Dance
(R)
10PM - Reverie
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Robert Pattinson; comic Pete Davidson; Brockhampton performs)
12:37AM - Late Night With Seth Meyers (Mike Myers; Alison Brie; Kacey Musgraves performs)
1:38AM - Last Call With Carson Daly (Juno Temple; THE FEVER 333 performs; Kim Matula)
(R)

FOX:
8PM - MasterChef
9PM - Gordon Ramsay's 24 Hours to Hell and Back (Series Premiere)

THE CW:
8PM - Supergirl
(R)
10PM - The Originals

PBS:
8PM - Nature - Pets: Wild at Heart: Playful Creatures
(R)
9PM - NOVA: Dawn of Humanity (120 min.)
(R)

UNIVISION:
8PM - El Rico y Lázaro
9PM - La Bella y Las Bestias
10PM - Por Amar Sin Ley

TELEMUNDO:
8PM - Mi Familia Perfecta
9PM - Sin Senos Sí Hay Paraíso
10PM - El Señor de Los Cielos

FREEFORM:
8PM - Young & Hungry
8:31PM - Young & Hungry

HISTORY:
8PM - Navy SEALs: America's Secret Warriors (120 min.)
10PM - SIX (65 min.)

NBCSN:
8PM - 2018 NHL Awards (120 min., LIVE)
10PM - NHL Gaming World Championship: United States Regional Competition

A&E:
9PM - Ozzy and Jack's World Detour
10:01PM - Wahlburgers (63 min.)

E!:
9PM - Botched

PARAMOUNT:
9PM - Yellowstone (Series Premiere, 120 min.)

SYFY:
9PM - The Expanse

IFC:
10PM - Brockmire (Season Finale)

OWN:
10PM - Queen Sugar

USA:
10PM - Colony

SUNDANCE:
11PM - The Split (80 min.)

TruTV:
11PM - Comedy Knockout

COMEDY CENTRAL:
11PM - The Daily Show With Trevor Noah (Musician Dan Reynolds)
11:31PM - The Opposition w/ Jordan Klepper ("Queer Eye's" Karamo Brown)

TBS:
10:30PM - Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
* * * *
11PM - Conan (Burt Reynolds; Dylan Moran; comic Rachel Feinstein)
(R)


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

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Nielsen Notes (Cable)
MTV Movie & TV Awards Ratings Rise In Monday Debut
By Patrick Hipes, Deadline.com - Jun. 19, 2018

The MTV Movie & TV Awards drew 3.4 million total viewers last night, the first year in its new Monday berth. Hosted by Tiffany Haddish, the telecast simulcast across MTV and nine other Viacom-owned channels grew 21% compared with last year in total viewers and the adults 18-49 demographic (2.21 rating), according to Nielsen.

The awards show was taped Saturday at the Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, with winners kept quiet until last night’s 9 PM ET broadcast tape-delayed on the West Coast. The numbers improved over last year’s awards show, the first that combined film and TV honors; that ceremony drew a 0.6 rating and 1.18 million viewers and aired on a Sunday.

Nielsen said Monday’s show was streamed whole or in part 83 million times. A many sets of eyeballs results that jumped up over 100% from the 2017 ceremony for the Viacom owned awards show.

For the record, Black Panther and Stranger Things were the top winners last night, taking four trophies each. Haddish also won Best Comedic Performance for her role in Girls Trip during the ceremony, with winners in categories including the gender-neutral Best Performance in a Movie
and Best Performance in a Show voted on by fans.

Among honorary awards, Lena Waithe received the Trailblazer Award and Chris Pratt the Generation Award.

https://deadline.com/2018/06/mtv-mov...sh-1202413666/
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TV Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Jun. 20, 2018

THE HANDMAID'S TALE
Hulu, 3:00 a.m. ET

How does this happen? A new episode of a TV series, arriving today on Hulu but produced several months ago, is streamed at a time when it seems impossibly, almost amazingly, timely. In tonight’s episode 10 of Season 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale, June (Elisabeth Moss), very pregnant and still in her “Offred” role as an unwilling surrogate mother, finds an opportunity to be reunited with her actual birth daughter, from whom she was wrested cruelly when first captured by the overlords. When she apologizes to her daughter, now assigned to new parents, for everything they’ve endured since being separated, and for not being able to reunite with her sooner, her young daughter asks accusingly, “Why didn’t you try harder?” It’s impossible to watch that scene this week without feeling an even colder, deeper chill. But you should.

2018 FIFA WORLD CUP
Various Networks, 8:00 a.m. ET

As the Group Stage continues, today we get games from Group A and Group B. Yesterday, Group A leader and tournament host Russia played Group A rival Egypt, notching its second straight outright win (and handing Egypt a second straight outright loss). Today at 11 a.m. ET on the Fox broadcast network, the remaining two teams in Group A, Uruguay and Saudi Arabia, play one another. The rest of today’s games are from Group B: At 8 a.m. ET on Fox Sports 1, Portugal and Morocco, currently at the bottom of their group, play for survival. Then at 2 p.m. ET on Fox, the Group B leaders, Iran and Spain, play, with Iran the only Group B team to have notched a win thus far.

YELLOWSTONE
Paramount Network, 9:00 p.m. ET
SERIES PREMIERE:
Kevin Costner, whose early claim to stardom came when he electrified the 1985 Western movie Silverado with his boundless young energy, returns to the Western – though it’s a modern-day one, with cars as well as horses. In this new TV series, Costner plays a widower who lords over a sprawling Western ranch and his various offspring, a 21st-century Pa Cartwright from Bonanza. It’s one of Paramount’s biggest bids for attention since rebranding itself from the network formerly known as Spike – but whether viewers will find and accept it are two very big, very different questions.

BROCKMIRE
IFC, 10:00 p.m. ET
SEASON FINALE:
Season 2 of Brockmire ends by giving Hank Azaria, as perpetually skidding sports broadcaster Brockmire, a great guest star with whom to play. Appearing tonight, as a pickup “date” even more out of control than Brockmire himself, is Carrie Preston, currently of TNT’s Claws, but most memorably as the wacky, wily Elsbeth on The Good Wife. Tonight on Brockmire, she brandishes attitude, a serious drinking problem – and, when Brockmire least expects it, a handgun.


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/

* * * *

TV Review (Cable)
Costner Gets His Eastwood on in Paramount's 'Yellowstone'
By Ed Bark, TVWorthWatching.com's 'Uncle Barky's Bytes' - Jun. 20, 2018

Still wearing well at age 63, Kevin Costner is comfortably taking on the kinds of roles that Clint Eastwood used to fall into.

Flinty and unyielding, he rides astride the Paramount Network’s biggest undertaking to date: the contemporary horse opera Yellowstone (Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET). Costner plays ranch baron John Dutton, a widower whose sprawling Yellowstone spread is Montana’s largest. During the course of the first three episodes made available for review (including the two-hour launch on June 20), Dutton spits out lines such as, “You want to build subdivisions, you move to Dallas. I won’t have ‘em here.”

Furthermore, “Everyone’s forgotten who runs this valley.” Ya get his drift?

Paramount, which re-branded from Spike TV in January, has ordered up 10 episodes for Yellowstone’s first season. It’s also purged the series of any association with The Weinstein Company, which initially was involved in production. The creator, writer and director is Taylor Sheridan, former co-star of FX’s Sons of Anarchy.

Costner, who won an Emmy for his performance as "Devil" Anse Hatfield in the 2012 History Channel miniseries Hatfields & McCoys, is taking on his first role in what’s envisioned as a multi-season TV series. He hasn’t become grizzled yet, but is now playing rough-edged patriarchs with adult and unruly offspring. Those Sizzle Beach, U.S.A. days are well behind him.

In Wednesday’s premiere, Costner’s John Dutton is first seen bleeding from the head following an unseen car wreck that has left his van-drawn horse badly wounded. He talks softly to him before pulling the trigger. While the cops arrive, he gazes upon some of his cattle stock roaming just a small patch of the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch. “The things we do to keep you fed,” John murmurs.

There are four other Duttons, two of them vividly played. Youngest son Kayce (Luke Grimes from the Fifty Shades movies) is a former Navy SEAL and combat veteran who lives on the Broken Rock Indian Reservation with his Native American wife, Monica (Kelsey Asbille), and their seven-year-old son, Tate (Brecken Merrill). Kayce doesn’t much like his father for a variety of reasons. “You’ve always asked too much,” he tells him. Such as? You’ll see.

Only daughter Beth (Kelly Reilly), who hard-heartedly represents dad’s business interests, otherwise is promiscuous, profane, and a heavy drinker. She remains haunted by a life-changing incident from her childhood that’s revealed in Episode 3. Grimes and Reilly both bring some needed punch to these pivotal roles.

The other Duttons are approval-seeking Jamie (Wes Bentley), who’s a lawyer, and oldest son, Lee (David Annable), long content to ride the range with his dad while never moving out of the house.

The two-hour opener could use some giddy-up. It tends to plod along during the course of bouncing among John Dutton’s brood while also introducing foes that include Broken Rock chief Thomas Rainwater (Gil Birmingham) and developer Dan Jenkins (Danny Huston).

Costner is the glue, and makes his presence felt throughout Yellowstone. His affecting scene near the end of Episode 1 shows that John Dutton can be more than a tight-lipped taskmaster. But he also gets saddled with some groaners, such as, “I’ve seen too much bad in my life to believe God exists.” And, of course, when John thinks he’s got a wild horse “settled now,” it’s time for him to get bucked off again.

Sheridan’s script also has its moments. During a bull riding competition at a rodeo, John tells an old pal that he kept his sons from competing in this event because “the only reason to ride a bull is to meet a nurse.”

Through its first three episodes, Yellowstone is big and broad and a little too full of misfires. But it’s never as determinedly over the top as Dallas or Dynasty, both of which can be seen as ancestors. These days, though, f-bombs are increasingly commonplace on advertiser-supported cable networks. So expect more than a few of ‘em, plus some rear view nudity during one of Beth Dutton’s show-and-tells.

During a more parched summer season than usual, Yellowstone likely will draw some rousing ratings after a heavy promotional push by Paramount. First you have to find the network and rope it in. After that, expect to see a money-on-the-screen tale that appears to be finding itself after too much meandering and/or downright confusion in the early going.

When you boil it down, though, it’s all about John Dutton’s iron grip on his land and those who want to loosen it for their own monetary and face-saving gains. A couple of decades earlier, it could have been a patriarchal, set-in-his-ways Clint Eastwood sneering at a developer before calling him a 10-letter profanity. This is now in Kevin Costner’s wheelhouse. Happy trails.

http://www.tvworthwatching.com/BlogP...x?postId=16611

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TV/Production Notes (Streaming)
Amazon Orders Animated Series ‘Invincible’ From ‘Walking Dead’ Creator Robert Kirkman
By Cynthia Littleton, Variety.com - Jun. 19, 2018

Amazon has given a straight to series order to “Invincible,” an animated property from “The Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman.

Amazon has ordered eight hourlong episodes based on the comic book series of the same name, which revolves around a father and teenage son as the son is taken under his father’s wing for training as a superhero.

Amazon last year set a massive overall development pact with the prolific writer behind “Walking Dead” and other graphic novel franchises.

“Robert has an uncanny talent to predict the zeitgeist, and we are incredibly excited to see him break boundaries in an animated one-hour format,” said Sharon Yguado, head of scripted genre programming at Amazon Studios. “In a world saturated with superhero fare, we trust Robert to subvert expectations while encapsulating a story filled with heart and adrenaline. We love his ambitious plan for the show and believe it will look like nothing else on television.”

Kirkman expressed his excitement at seeing the “Invincible” comic series find new life on TV. The series had a 15-year run in print that ended in February.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the (comic) series Cory Walker, Ryan Ottley and I did together for over 15 years. To know our characters will live on in multiple iterations in other media is almost too exciting to bear. What Amazon is allowing us to do in animated form is nothing short of ground-breaking, and I can’t wait for our rabid fan base to experience it,” he said.

The TV series will be produced by Kirkman’s Skybound banner. Simon Racioppa (“Teen Titans”) is on board as showrunner. Kirkman, Racioppa, David Alpert, and Catherine Winder are executive producers.

There’s no word yet on a premiere date for “Invincible” but Amazon has the series pegged for a global launch in more than 200 territories.

https://variety.com/2018/tv/news/rob...or-1202851000/
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TV Sports/Social Media Notes (Golf)
PGA Tour Golf Comes To Facebook Watch
By Dawn C. Chmielewski, Deadline.com - Jun. 20, 2018

Facebook will offer exclusive live coverage from eight PGA tournaments leading up to into the FedExCup Playoffs, teeing off this weekend with the Travelers Championship.

The Facebook Watch will carry 60-plus hours of live streamed coverage this summer from the Quicken Loans National; A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier; John Deere Classic; RBC Canadian Open; World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational; Wyndham Championship; and The Northern Trust.

“No matter if it’s a weekend foursome or water-cooler conversation about a top moment on Tour, golf brings people together,” Devi Mahadevia, Facebook’s North America live sports programming lead, said in a statement. “So we’re delighted to partner with the PGA Tour to help it reach new fans and deliver interactive, live coverage on Facebook that taps into the social nature of the sport.”

Facebook has been aggressively courting sports programming for Watch, precisely because sports– and teams — are good at building community and fostering conversation. Live sports are especially attractive because they spark conversation and drive engagement with the platform.

Through partnerships with sports leagues and broadcasters, Facebook has expanded its programming beyond produced shows like ESPN’s First Take: Your Take, a talk show hosted by Molly Qerim that invites sports fans to upload their “takes” of a sports discussion for the chance to engage with commentators Stephen A. Smith or Max Kellerman.

Earlier this month, Facebook Watch struck a deal earlier this month with Fox Sports to carry Big3 basketball, and it partnered with Major League Baseball to deliver a 25-game package of weekly broadcasts will be distributed exclusively on Facebook Watch.

Through its agreement with the PGA Tour, the Facebook Watch’s exclusive coverage will begin at approximately 8:30 a.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday of each event and will conclude when Golf Channel’s lead-in coverage begins. For the league, Facebook has the potential to attract new viewers at a time when television audiences have waned significantly since the days when Tiger Woods dominated the tour, according to Nielsen ratings data.

Airing on Facebook Watch in the United States, the coverage will be produced under the PGA Tour Live brand and, similar to the Tour’s subscription OTT service, will follow two featured groups that tee off in the morning of the third and final rounds. The PGA Tour will seek to take advantage of the social aspects of Facebook’s video platform, and incorporate fan questions and comments as part of its coverage.

The agreement also calls for a range of on-demand programming, including tournament previews, round recaps and extended player highlights – all of which will be available in the United States on Facebook Watch and globally via the PGA Tour Live show page.

https://deadline.com/2018/06/pga-tou...ch-1202413691/
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Media/Business Notes
Disney Sweetens Bid for Fox With $71.3 Billion in Cash and Stock
By Thom Geier, TheWrap.com - Jun. 20, 2018

The Walt Disney Company announced Wednesday that it was sweetening its offer for key assets of 21st Century Fox, with a new bid of $38 per share in cash and stock worth $71.3 billion.

That exceeds the $65 billion all-cash offer Comcast made on June 13 for the same movie and TV assets — as well as Disney’s own $52.4 billion initial bid from last December.

In a statement, Fox said the new Disney deal “is superior to the proposal” made by Comcast just days after a federal judge approved AT&T’s $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner over the antitrust objections of the Trump Justice Department.

Regulatory approval had been seen as a key impediment to Comcast’s original approach of a deal with Fox when it first surfaced late last year.

According to Disney, the overall mix of its new offer would be a roughly even split of cash and stock, the latter of which would represent about a 19 percent stake in Disney on a pro forma basis. Fox shareholders would have the option to elect cash or stock in the newly combined company.

Disney and Comcast have been in heated competition for the same set of assets, which include the Fox film and TV studios, U.S. cable networks including FX and regional sports channels, international properties including Sky PLC and Star India as well as Fox’s one-third stake in the streaming service Hulu.

Rupert Murdoch’s Fox would retain the Fox broadcast network, cable stations such as Fox News and Fox Sports 1 and its local TV stations.

“We are extremely proud of the businesses we have built at 21st Century Fox, and firmly believe that this combination with Disney will unlock even more value for shareholders as the new Disney continues to set the pace at a dynamic time for our industry,” Fox executive chairman Rupert Murdoch said in a statement. “We remain convinced that the combination of our iconic assets, brands and franchises with Disney’s will create one of the greatest, most innovative companies in the world.”

Fox stock leaped 5 percent in pre-market trading on Wednesday, while shares of Disney rose 1 percent; shares of Comcast remained flat.

https://www.thewrap.com/disney-sweet...on-cash-stock/
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Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post
Based on Stewart's age now, I could certainly see him as a teacher in the Starfleet Academy series.
Yeah, but all that Tea, Earl Grey, Hot, he's imbibed has made him look no more than 49.
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Originally Posted by lobosrul View Post
Yeah, but all that Tea, Earl Grey, Hot, he's imbibed has made him look no more than 49.
True dat. He's really in remarkable shape for his age. I can see Sir Patrick going toe-to-toe with some more Klingons or facing down the Borg again. I'm all in! Unless it's on CBS:AA, of course. That thing needs to die worse than a Romulan saboteur.
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Based on Stewart's age now, I could certainly see him as a teacher in the Starfleet Academy series.
It'll be a sitcom. "Welcom Back, Picotter"
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Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
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Nielsen Overnights (Broadcast)
‘AGT,’ ‘World of Dance’ Dominate for NBC; Fox Narrowly Avoids a 5-Network Tie for Second
By Tony Maglio and Jennifer Maas, TheWrap.com - Jun. 20, 2018

Well, that was quite a pileup. NBC dominated another Tuesday night with “AGT” and “World of Dance,” when Fox was one-tenth of a Nielsen ratings point away from causing a five-network tie for second place.

Thankfully, “Beat Shazam” did decently, and Fox ended up alone at No. 2 in the key 18-49 demographic. CBS, ABC, Univision and Telemundo all tied for third in the demo — The CW came in last.

NBC was first in ratings with a 1.9 rating/8 share in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and in total viewers with an average of 9.9 million, according to preliminary numbers. At 8 p.m., “America’s Got Talent” scored a 2.1/10 and 11.7 million viewers. “World of Dance” at 10 earned a 1.4/6 and 6.3 million viewers.

Fox was second in ratings with a 0.6/3 and fourth in viewers with 2.1 million. At 8, “Beat Shazam” received a 0.7/3 and 2.3 million viewers. At 9, “Love Connection” managed a 0.5/2 and 1.9 million viewers.

CBS, ABC, Univision and Telemundo all tied for third in ratings with a 0.5/2.

CBS was second in viewers with 4.9 million. Following back-to-back reruns, at 10, “48 Hours: NCIS” settled for a 0.5/2 and 4 million viewers.

ABC was third in viewers with 2.4 million. The broadcaster’s primetime block was filled with repeats, except for a fresh episode of “The Last Defense” at 10, which had a 0.5/2 and 2.5 million viewers.

Univision was fifth in viewers with 1.6 million.

Telemundo was sixth in viewers with 1.3 million.

The CW was seventh in ratings with a 0.2/1 and in viewers with 830,000. After an encore episode of “The Flash,” “The 100” at 9 settled for a 0.3/1 and 897,000viewers.

https://www.thewrap.com/agt-world-of...hazam-ratings/
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TV Notes (Broadcast)
The CW Sets Fall Premiere Dates, Including Sunday Lineup & Three Series Debuts
By Erik Pedersen, Deadline.com - Jun. 20, 2018

The CW is out with its fall schedule, complete with its new Sunday night programming. The net’s series rollouts begin October 9 with the returns of The Flash and Black Lightning and continues through the month.

Included are the series premieres of All American (9 PM Wednesday, October 10), the Charmed reboot (9 PM Sunday, October 14) and Legacies (9 PM Thursday, October 25). The CW said at its upfront in May that Supergirl will move to Sundays as a lead-in for Charmed.

One change from the lineup unveiled last month is a time-period swap for its Monday superhero dramas. Season 7 of Arrow will kick off the night at 8 PM on October 15, and a week later if will followed by the fourth season of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow at 9.

As noted in May, the final seasons of Jane the Virgin and iZombie will launch in midseason.

Here is the CW’s full fall-rollout schedule:

Tuesday, October 9
8-9 PM: THE FLASH (Season Premiere)
9-10 PM: BLACK LIGHTNING (Season Premiere)

Wednesday, October 10
8-9 PM: RIVERDALE (Season Premiere)
9-10 PM: ALL AMERICAN (Series Premiere)

Thursday, October 11
8-9 PM: SUPERNATURAL (Season Premiere)
9-10 PM: ALL AMERICAN (Encore of Premiere)

Friday, October 12
8-9 PM: DYNASTY (Season Premiere)
9-10 PM: CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND (Season Premiere)

Sunday, October 14
8-9 PM: SUPERGIRL (Season Premiere)
9-10 PM: CHARMED (Series Premiere)

Monday, October 15
8-9 PM: ARROW (Season Premiere)

Thursday, October 18
8-9 PM: SUPERNATURAL (Original Episode)
9-10 PM: CHARMED (Encore of Premiere)

Monday, October 22
8-9 PM: ARROW (Original Episode)
9-10 PM: DC’S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW (Season Premiere)

Thursday, October 25
8-9 PM: SUPERNATURAL (Original Episode)
9-10 PM: LEGACIES (Series Premiere)


https://deadline.com/2018/06/the-cw-...es-1202414400/
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TV/Technology Notes (Mobile)
T-Mobile: Layer3 TV Hindered by High Programming Costs
By Jeff Baumgartner, Multichannel News - Jun. 20, 2018

In making its case for a proposed merger with Sprint, T-Mobile argues that the retail and customer scale achieved via that deal will help T-Mobile develop and launch a truly competitive and disruptive national pay TV service.

T-Mobile acquired Layer3 TV in late January, setting the stage for a national OTT TV service that will compete against other virtual MVPDs as well as incumbent pay TV providers. T-Mobile has not outlined specific plans for how that national offering will be priced and packaged, but has stressed that it will disrupt the pay TV market and take advantage of speedy, next-gen 5G-based mobile networks.

Prior to the acquisition, Denver-based Layer3 TV has focused on a full-freight, in-home, in-market managed IPTV service featuring 4K-capable boxes and a lineup of more than 275 HD channels starting at about $89 per month. Layer3 TV currently offers service in a handful of markets -- including Los Angeles; Chicago; Washington D.C.; Dallas/Ft. Worth; and Longmont, Colo. -- and had plans underway to extend service to New York, San Francisco and Philadelphia.

In the redacted public interest statement (PDF), T-Mobile noted that the acquisition of Layer3 TV gave it a “foothold” in the pay TV market, but also pointed to a challenge faced by Layer3 TV in the early going -- it is paying a sizable premium for its programming deals.

Per T-Mobile’s estimates, Layer3 TV’s content acquisition costs are between 20% to 30% higher than its larger MVPD rivals for the same programming. That challenge isn't Layer3 TV's alone, as it's also faced by other new pay TV entrants that don’t have large subscriber bases and, therefore, possess limited bargaining power with programmers.

Because of those higher licensing costs, T-Mobile held that further expansion of that business “will be limited for T-Mobile on a standalone basis” as Layer3 TV’s smaller customer base “does not provide the scale needed to leverage volume discounts.”

While that challenge will continue as Layer3 TV tries to beef up its sub base before the next round of programming renewals (T-Mobile added 5,000 “branded prepaid customers” to its reported sub base as of January 22 following the Layer3 TV acquisition), T-Mobile said a combination with Sprint will go a long way in creating scale for a mobile distribution network that can deliver a new pay TV service on a national basis.

T-Mobile also held Layer3 TV’s business, on a standalone basis, is presently hindered by consumer dependence on in-home broadband service from incumbent cable operators.

“Without these offerings, which are expensive and often contain monthly usage caps, Layer3 customers cannot access the company’s services,” T-Mobile said.

However, T-Mobile believes that by matching up with Sprint, they can drive scale into 5G deployments that can expand the reach of Layer3 TV’s service. T-Mobile held that its current standalone network won’t have the capacity to handle projected future consumer demand for mobile video, absent the Sprint transaction.

“In the near term, the customer and retail scale created by the transaction [with Sprint] will enable T-Mobile to more rapidly expand the current Layer3 model than possible without the transaction,” T-Mobile said. “This scale should allow the company to acquire content at lower rates and on better terms than T-Mobile and Layer3 can do on their own.”

T-Mobile’s estimate on how much lower those rates would be were redacted in the public version of the document, but believes that it would allow it to create a more affordable pay TV options for consumers. “The competitive imperative will demand that Layer3 pass these cost savings on to consumers through lower prices and more flexible rate offerings,” the company said.

T-Mobile: 5G Poised to be Viable In-Home Broadband Alternative
T-Mobile also used the filing to characterize 5G as a “bona fide alternative” to traditional in-home broadband service providers rather than just a more limited complement.

“The new 5G network’s speeds, capacity, and low prices will allow consumers to ‘cut the cord’ and use their mobile wireless service as their broadband service both inside and outside the home and pocket the savings from eliminating an unnecessary and costly wired broadband bill month after month,” T-Mobile claimed.

By combining with Sprint, the merged company is positioned to create a national 5G network that will close the speed gap between mobile and wired broadband and enable the company to compete in the in-home broadband services market against conventional ISPs and drive down prices.

By way of example, T-Mobile said a consumer might pay $80 per month for wired in-home broadband and $60 for mobile wireless service. Using 5G, T-Mobile argued that the same customer could take the wired broadband portion out of the picture and pay $60 for an equivalent combo of mobile service and in-home broadband.

https://www.multichannel.com/news/t-...gramming-costs
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TV/Critic's Notes (Broadcast)
Please Love Yourself Enough to Ignore The Proposal
By Kathryn VanArendonk, Vulture.com (New York Magazine) - Jun. 20, 2018

I want to be very clear: Do not watch ABC’s new reality show The Proposal. Yes, there are some bits that are so awful, they’re ridiculous. But I promise you it’s not worth it.

If you haven’t seen any of the promos, the premise of The Proposal is a Bachelor-ized update of The Dating Game, where a bachelor or bachelorette is hidden from view while being introduced to ten people vying for their love. There are cheesy intros, a “beachwear” round, a round of “deal-breaker questions,” a chance for their friends to question the hopefuls, and contestants get eliminated after each round. And then, after one hour of TV where each contestant speaks for a televised total of about 90 seconds, all but two are eliminated and the bachelor proposes to one of them. It’s like an arranged marriage, if the marriage were arranged by soulless reality-TV producers who cared nothing about the people involved, beyond whether they’d make for good TV.

It’s not really an arranged marriage, of course. They just get engaged … sort of. If you could ever think of a serious marriage engagement as something that happens after boring chitchat and a “beachwear” display, then sure. They’re engaged. The whole thing is exactly as dumb as you think it is, and to spare you from watching yourself, I’ll break down the “highlights.”

The ‘blue-ribbon panel of matchmakers’
We’re assured by Jesse Palmer, the roughly man-shaped lump of Styrofoam who serves as The Proposal’s host, that the contestants are selected for each bachelor or bachelorette by a “blue-ribbon panel of matchmakers.” We see nothing of them. We hear nothing else about them. If Palmer announced that the blue-ribbon panel of matchmakers was actually the ghost of that octopus who picked World Cup winners, I’d find the whole process more honest and believable.

Neil Lane
Lest you doubt the gravity of the whole engagement process, The Bachelor’s walking rictus, Neil Lane, hauls his sparkly gold hoard over to The Proposal set so he can lurk around backstage and lure unwitting youths with his suitcase of jewels. It’s hard to imagine a more persuasive symbol of the sweetness and passion of real love than Neil Lane’s face.

The cosmic bodysuits
Okay, so. We’re not supposed to see the bachelor’s face until the big reveal near the end of the episode, but The Proposal still wants to give us a nice meet-and-greet sequence at the beginning. How does one do a meet-and-greet if you can’t see someone’s face? You could shoot the person from behind and use lots of voice-over with some elided physical presence — and The Proposal certainly does that.

But it also uses some face-forward shots. How does it do this without revealing the bachelor’s face, you might wonder? By turning him into a diamond-sparkled cosmic shape, a human void that walks through life carrying a briefcase and occasionally doing bench presses. This Leftovers-credits style of identity obfuscation might be merely disconcerting — your uncanny mileage may vary — but it’s also so cheaply done that you can see the neck creases on the bodysuit that’s used to create the illusion. [CLICK LINK AT BOTTOM TO SEE GIF]

This is the only entertaining thing about The Proposal.

The beachwear round
“Dad, I’m sorry, but I want to be vulnerable,” says contestant Jessica, before removing her floral wrap cover-up so that a man hidden in the shadows can see her in a bathing suit. Her father is sitting in the audience and cheering.

Because beachwear round is all about vulnerability, the contestants put on bathing suits, parade down a flight of stairs, and then have to say something deeply personal about themselves. Meanwhile, the rest of the contestants stand decoratively in the background, wearing their bathing suits and smiling prettily. Will this process feel different in later episodes when the contestants are men and the suitor is a woman? Maybe! But ABC kicked off this “soul mate pageant” with an episode where nearly naked women descend a staircase in painfully high heels, and I feel confident in the programming department’s ability to start this show with exactly the vibe they intended to create.

The “deal-breaker” questions
This is the round when the bachelor asks what are supposed to be hard-hitting, no-holds-barred questions about each contestant. Palmer announces it as a category where nothing is off the table, including “politics, religion … even sex.” This weird framing is a useful reminder that absolutely no sex question could ever, ever be as revealing or incendiary as a politics question in 2018. It’s also an expedient way of outlining how fraudulent this willfully glib program is. No relationship between two people could ever work if they don’t take a moment to find out if they’re on the same page about, say, whether it’s okay to take a 2-year-old Honduran asylum seeker away from her mother. Needless to say, no one asks politics questions.

http://www.vulture.com/2018/06/the-p...lity-show.html
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post #23729 of 30873 Old 06-21-2018, 01:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Epix's new original series, "Deep State," premiered last Sunday night. We didn't post a review for it last week. We're posting one now, and if you're interested and/or subscribe to Epix you can rewatch the premiere episode during multiple encores or via VOD subscription.

No political comments, please.

TV Review (Cable)

‘Deep State’ a conspiracy thriller with Donald Trump-like character
By Mark Perigard, Boston Herald

If Donald Trump produced “24,” it would look like “Deep State.”

Epix’s new conspiracy thriller might be the first drama with the president squarely in mind — and as it turns out, a significant character, albeit off-screen.

Here’s a show that leads with the spoiler in its title. That’s its first mistake, as you can easily guess where all its mysteries lead, but the payoff can seem like a slog, especially in the early episodes in which there seem to be about 36 levels of betrayal, give or take.

It opens with our faux Jack Bauer, Max Easton (Mark Strong, “Low Winter Sun”), an ex-MI6 operative who left the field a decade earlier and resettled in Nice, France, with his second wife, Anna (Lynn Renee, “Mercy Street”), and their two young daughters. Max has done some Very Bad Things in the line of duty, and now he’d much rather make eggs for his girls and watch them eat, but his nasty ex-bosses make him an offer he can’t refuse.

A black ops team in Beirut carrying out assassinations seems to be turning on themselves. One member has already been killed — Harry (Joe Dempsie, “Game of Thrones”), Max’s son from his first marriage.

Max doesn’t need any more incentive to get back into the field, only now he has to explain himself to his wife, who thinks he worked as a banker. Oops. Max underestimates Anna, who gets to work unraveling his past, and both are about to find out how far MI6 and the CIA will go to make sure Max’s secrets stay buried.

Max finds in Beirut that there’s much more to Harry’s murder than he could ever imagine, and the show’s dogged use of flashbacks in the opening episodes seem like an epic — Epix? — exercise in misdirection.

It’s no spoiler to reveal that MI6 — at the behest of our CIA — is involved in some regime-crippling shenanigans. As for the president, “The man tweets like a teenage girl — you really think we’re gonna leave it up to him,” one baddie sneers. The villains of the story are trying to push him to declare war and will produce any sort of evidence — including blackmail photos — to sway him.

“People aren’t interested in the truth anymore. It doesn’t play like it used to,” a senator tells Max.

Cynical shows can be fun; “Deep State” is undercut by some atrocious acting. One character seems to be the love child of Larry Hagman’s J.R. Ewing and about 180 pounds of ham. The faux Texas accent might cause your eyes to sting.

The drama ultimately poses one question: Can the family that slays together stay together?

That answer might hinge on whether Trump tweets that “Deep State” deserves a second season.

“Deep State”
Sunday at 9 p.m. on Epix
GRADE: C+


http://www.bostonherald.com/entertai...like_character
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post #23730 of 30873 Old 06-21-2018, 01:32 AM - Thread Starter
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TV Notes (Cable)
New 'Walking Dead' Showrunner Confirms Season 9 Time Jump
By Lesley Goldberg and Evan Real, The Hollywood Reporter - Jun. 20, 2018

The Walking Dead's newest showrunner, Angela Kang, made her first public appearance since taking over the top job from Scott M. Gimple during an AMC press event Wednesday.

While Kang remained tight-lipped about the futures of series stars Andrew Lincoln (Rick) and Lauren Cohan (Maggie), she did reveal one major detail to expect when the zombie drama returns in October.

"We're playing with time in the season, so we get to jump forward in the story," Kang revealed during a "Kick-Ass Women of AMC" panel. That confirmed that the AMC drama will indeed follow the events of creator Robert Kirkman's comic book series in which the narrative jumped forward two years following the end of the "All-Out War" arc between Rick and Negan.

While Kang did not address the departure of series lead Lincoln — AMC has yet to comment on the star's pending exit — or just how Cohan's Maggie will be written out after the actress' salary standoff with the cable network, she painted a larger picture of her vision for The Walking Dead.

"We're working on a season that has a really fresh look and feel," she said. "We come in on some pretty fun stuff. I'm really focusing a lot on the core character relationships in the show that have kind of been long-lasting, as well as all of our wonderful series regulars."

Kang has been with The Walking Dead since season one, episode seven. In taking over for Gimple, she becomes the show's fourth overall showrunner. Frank Darabont launched the series and was replaced by Glen Mazzara, with Gimple taking over for the former. For his part, Gimple was promoted to serve as chief content officer of all things The Walking Dead for AMC after creator Kirkman moved his overall deal to Amazon Studios.

Gimple, who also boarded spinoff Fear the Walking Dead this year, has larger plans to expand the franchise with new series. Kang takes over the flagship series at an interesting time given both the time jump and the pending departures of fan favorites Lincoln and Cohan. The latter entered the broadcast pilot casting fray after a contract dispute with AMC. Her ABC drama, Whiskey Cavalier, was picked up series for midseason with Cohan slated to appear in six episodes of the first half of season nine. Lincoln, meanwhile, sources say, has a similar exit strategy planned as AMC is working to finalize a $20 million annual deal to make Norman Reedus (Daryl) the new No. 1 on the show's call sheet. Both Lincoln and Cohan's characters remain alive and well — and the focal points — in Kirkman's ongoing Walking Dead comic series.

Still, Kang expressed hope that season nine would lean into "great stories" with women on the series. "We're going to see some really great stories with the women in our show, particularly. And I think for people who are really invested in Michonne [Danai Gurira], Maggie or Carol [Melissa McBride], there's such great material for them. For people who are looking for that specifically, they will see some really incredible work from our women," she said.

Gimple, appearing on a "From Book to Screen" panel during AMC's press event Wednesday reiterated his "remix" approach to the series and revealed that it was him, not Kirkman, who wanted to stray from the source material.

"When we started, Robert and I argued a lot because I wanted to do the book just as the book and he actually wanted to do changes because he had already done it," Gimple said. "I wanted to see those moments that I saw in the book. And as I worked more and more on it, because I was so familiar with those moments, I knew that making those little twists to give the readers — it's actually doing right by the people who read the book and know what's coming."

Gimple, too, remained mum on all the changes coming to The Walking Dead and those that have already transpired on Fear (including the controversial decision to kill off Kim Dickens' lead, Madison). But he did indicate a larger desire to tell stories with a beginning, middle and end for the show's central characters.

"Television is a different media than comics, even just from a practical point of view. There are main characters in the book that drift away for 17 issues. And that's weird in television. But that's something you can do. And also, I think if there's a character there, they need an alpha and an omega. They need a beginning, middle and end," he said. "Sometimes in the book, there's long stretches where characters don't have much to do or you don't see them. If there's a human being on your show, you need a beginning, middle and end. And you can find inspiration from the books. That's the No. 1 thing, I think."

The Walking Dead returns in October. A formal premiere date and trailer will be announced at San Diego Comic-Con.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/li...firmed-1122009
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