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post #28081 of 32008 Old 02-20-2019, 05:48 AM - Thread Starter
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TV Notes (Cable)
'Nightflyers' Canceled at Syfy
By Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter - Feb. 19, 2019

Nightflyers will not fly again for Syfy.

The NBCUniversal-owned cable network has opted to cancel the expensive space drama based on the George R.R. Martin novella after one season. The cancellation arrives as one of its leads just booked a series regular role in a broadcast pilot.

Nightflyers was, without question, a big swing for Syfy. The series, based on Martin's 1980 novella and the 1987 film of the same name, followed eight maverick scientists and a powerful telepath who embark on an expedition to the edge of the solar system aboard The Nightflyer — a ship with a small tight-knit crew and a reclusive captain — in hopes of making contact with alien life. But when terrifying and violent events begin to take place, they start to question each other, and surviving the journey proves harder than anyone thought.

Early in the process, Syfy brought in Netflix as a co-producer on what sources said was the most expensive drama the NBCUniversal-owned cable network has ever developed. Gretchen Mol (Boardwalk Empire) starred on the series, with Netflix having first-run rights to the show outside of the U.S. Netflix's involvement has helped the studio offset the costs associated with producing the ambitious space-set project. The Ireland-produced drama also received financial support from the government of Ireland through the minister for culture, heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Irish Film Board.

The project was fast-tracked after being put into development in May 2017 and picked up to pilot the next month. Netflix boarded in September 2017, helping to get the ambitious drama picked up to series. The cast was formally announced in January 2018 along with the official pickup, which is when Daniel Cerone was brought in as showrunner. Cerone exited the series two months later and was replaced by executive producer Jeff Buhler, who adapted the novella for TV. Author Martin was credited as an executive producer but was not heavily involved, given his overall deal with HBO and commitment to Game of Thrones and their multiple potential prequel series.

In a bid to eventize Nightflyers, Syfy set a binge model and released the entire series on Dec. 2 on its digital platforms and aired the series over 10 straight nights on its linear network. The series hit Netflix on Feb. 1 and, unlike the breakout success that became LIfetime's You, did not break out. The Dec. 13 season finale — which now doubles as a series finale — drew just 420,000 live viewers (down from 623,000 for the premiere).

In a series preview interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Buhler said he had a multiple-season story in mind for Nightflyers. "This really feels like the opening of a huge world. The Nightflyers novella is one of many stories that George has written in the "Thousand Worlds" universe. In that universe, there are many planets, many species," he said.

With the cancellation, Syfy's scripted roster includes The Magicians, Happy, Krypton, The Purge, Deadly Class, Van Helsing, Wynonna Earp and the final season of Killjoys.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/li...t-syfy-1188196
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post #28082 of 32008 Old 02-20-2019, 05:51 AM - Thread Starter
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TV/Production Notes (Streaming)
Netflix Orders Medical Police Series From Childrens Hospital Team
By Andy Swift, TVLine.com - Feb. 19, 2019

Less than three years after Childrens Hospital shut its doors, the dark comedy’s creative team is looking to open a new practice. Netflix has ordered a 10-episode first season of Medical Police, starring Erinn Hayes and Rob Huebel, TVLine has learned. Malin Akerman, Lake Bell, Rob Corddry, and Ken Marino — all of whom were series regulars on Childrens Hospital — will also recur.

Per the official logline, Medical Police follows “two American physicians stationed at a pediatric hospital in São Paulo, Brazil [who] discover a civilization-threatening virus and are recruited as government agents in a race against time and around the world to find a cure and uncover a dark conspiracy.” It’s unclear at the moment whether Medical Police is a direct follow-up to Childrens Hospital, though it certainly appears that way. (The show’s fictional facility, named after the legendary Dr. Arthur Childrens, was vaguely located in Brazil.)

Corddry, Krister Johnson, Jonathan Stern and David Wain will write and executive-produce the 30-minute episodes for Warner Horizon Scripted Television; Wain and Bill Benz will direct.

During its six season run on Adult Swim (2010–2016), Childrens Hospital scored four Primetime Emmy Award wins and four additional nominations.

https://tvline.com/2019/02/19/childr...etflix-series/
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post #28083 of 32008 Old 02-20-2019, 05:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Obituary
"My 600-lb Life" star Sean Milliken has died at 29
By Cydney Henderson, USA Today - Feb. 20, 2019

"My 600-lb Life" star Sean Milliken has died at 29.

"TLC is saddened to share that Sean Milliken has passed away," the network said in a statement Tuesday. "TLC expresses its deepest sympathies to Sean’s friends and family at this difficult time."

His father, Matt Milliken, announced the news on Facebook, according to TMZ. He wrote that his son died in a hospital following complications from an infection: "Sunday he was having problems with his breathing, they were able to resuscitate him and a short time later his heart stopped."

Milliken first appeared on TLC's "My 600-lb Life" in 2016, when he weighted over 900 pounds. He admitted to turning to food at a young age to cope with his tumultuous relationship with his father.

"It was scary. So I would eat. And suddenly I felt a lot better," Milliken said during the episode after accusing his father of verbal abuse. "In that moment, nothing else mattered."

During the show, a bedridden Milliken moved to Houston with his mother, Renee, to undergo weight-loss surgery, which helped him successfully lose over 400 pounds.

TLC camera crews caught up with Milliken last summer during an episode of "My 600-lb. Life: Where are They Now?" He was reeling over the unexpected death of his mother.

"A couple of months ago my mom went to the hospital because she wasn’t feeling well, and she just kept getting worse," Milliken said during the episode. "They said she had renal failure, and she didn’t make it. She passed away a couple weeks ago and I’m devastated, and I don’t know what to do now because my mom was everything to me."

Despite losing his mother, TLC said Milliken was "still continuing in his quest to live a healthier and happier life."

Milliken's death marks the third individual from "My 600-lb. Life" to die in the last six months. James "L.B." Bonner, 30, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in August and Lisa Fleming died later that month at age 50.

https://tvline.com/2019/02/19/childr...etflix-series/
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post #28084 of 32008 Old 02-20-2019, 06:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Technology/Business Notes (Research)
From Makeup Tutorials to Live Streaming Video Games, How Life Online Pays Off
By Alyssa Newcomb, Fortune.com - Feb. 19, 2019

Instagram, YouTube, and other popular online platforms helped 17 million Americans earn a total of $6.8 billion in 2017, according to a new study.

The study, conducted by Re:Create Coaltion, an advocacy group for fair use and copyright law, looked at just how lucrative the new creative economy can be for the millions of people who have made content creation their full-time job or side hustle. The content creators earned the income through nine popular online platforms, including YouTube, Instagram, WordPress, and Twitch, according to the study.

More people than ever are making money off of their creative content, whether it’s through a YouTube channel or by live streaming themselves playing video games on Twitch. The study excluded celebrity creators, such as Kim Kardashian or Chrissy Teigen, and instead focused on everyday people who were able to build a following online. Researchers found that 2.4 million new content creators started earning money in 2017. Total earnings were up $1 billion over 2016, according to the study.

The biggest earnings increase came on Instagram, which netted influencers 49.5% more money than the previous year, according to the study. Twitch came in second with a 30% increase.

The bad news? Most content creators can’t quit their day jobs—yet. Less than 117,000 of the 17 million content creators earned more than $10,000 in 2017. Still, the supplemental income isn’t too shabby. After all, your mom never thought you would make a living off of playing video games.

http://www.fortune.com/2019/02/19/in...ator-earnings/
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TV Notes/Q&A (Streaming)
‘Man In The High Castle’s 4th Season To Be Last For Amazon’s Alt-History Series
By Dominic Patten, Deadline.com - Feb. 19, 2019

EXCLUSIVE: The era of The Man in the High Castle is coming to an end.

The upcoming coming fourth season of the acclaimed Amazon series based on Philip K. Dick’s 1962 novel will be its last, I’ve learned.

That fourth and final season is set to launch on the Jeff Bezos-founded streamer this fall.

MITHC meticulously and often chillingly depicts an alternative history where the harsh Nazis and Imperial Japan won World War II and carved up the globe, including the crown jewel of North America. Almost two decades into their rule a resistance has emerged fueled by mysterious films that show a reality much like our own.

Cast and crew on the Alexa Davalos and Rufus Sewell-led series from EP Isa Dick Hackett, showrunners Daniel Percival and David Scarpa and Scott Free Productions were notified of the cancelation over the past couple of days on set up in Vancouver and in their LA offices.

“It has been a great privilege to work alongside our extraordinary High Castle team, in partnership with David Zucker and Scott Free, to bring my father’s classic novel to life, particularly during this tumultuous period in our real world,” said Hackett Tuesday of the increasingly poignant MITHC. “I believe fans will be thrilled and satisfied by the epic conclusion we have in store for them.”

In that satisfaction vein, check out this teaser of Season 4 of MITHC: [CLICK LINK AT BOTTOM]

“We are incredibly proud of all of the hard work from the massively talented executive producers, cast, crew, and everyone who has worked on The Man in the High Castle over the years,” Amazon Studios boss Jennifer Salke said today of the Emmy nominated series.

“With production ongoing on our fourth and final season, we can’t wait for fans to see how this final chapter in the story unfolds,” the exec added. “The Man in the High Castle helped define Amazon Prime Video in the genre space, and we are grateful and excited that we’ll continue to be in business with Isa and Electric Shepherd Productions for future Philip K. Dick adaptations.”

After MITHC and 2017’s Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams anthology, Hackett and her production shingle inked a wide-ranging first look deal with Amazon earlier this year. Electric Shepherd Productions is in charge of the stewardship and adaptation of the Philip K. Dick library, which Philip K. Dick Trust trustee Hackett jointly owns with her siblings.

I spoke with Hackett and fellow executive producer David Zucker about the end of MITHC and what we can expect for the final season. The two EPs also discussed the implications of making the series about fascist rule and the resistance in troubled political times in the real world, what Philip K Dick would have thought of our era and the series. The duo also hinted that there could be more of this saga, one way or another.

DEADLINE: With this being the end, what can we expect for Season 4 of High Castle? Do the Nazis get taken down?
HACKETT:
Well, I don’t know how much we can tell you in the way of plotting and such, but I will say we appreciate being able to have an exciting and satisfying culmination to the show.

It’s a great opportunity to be able to sort of plot out the final season in the way that we have, with this extraordinary team. So, I do think that the fans will be thrilled and satisfied by it, but I can’t give away any specifics, unfortunately. David, do you want to take a stab at that?

ZUCKER: I think I’m under a similar restriction. I guess maybe the one thing, which you’d be better to speak to, is whether you feel it at least conceptually fulfills the sort of tenets of the novel, which you have mentioned your satisfaction with.

HACKETT: Yeah, that was a big part of the conversation that we had when we were talking about this culmination. And I do think that we end on something that would be very familiar and I think particularly satisfying for PKD fans, and I would imagine that he would appreciate it a great deal, my father, that is.

DEADLINE: In the time since High Castle’s debut in 2015, there has been a wide spread political shift in the West with the election of Donald Trump and right-wing populism parties rising up all over Europe. As the series now moves into its final season, I wanted to get a sense of, as much as you can, how you feel that the series has mirrored the time in which it has existed?
ZUCKER:
I think it’s been obviously disturbing to varying degrees for everybody involved with the series that there is a more sort of literal experience that can be drawn from much of what exists in the stories that we told, that we’re telling in the world that, we’re looking at outside of our own window.

And it’s not just today.

One can look at A Night at the Garden, the Oscar nominated short documentary, where one can literally look at actual footage in 1939 of what transpired in this country. If certain things hadn’t taken the course that they did during that era in history, who knows how that organization may have prevailed in mid-century America, and to what degree, you know, is that sort of informing some of the debates that are transpiring today?

DEADLINE: How much does that inform the show, especially going into the final season?
ZUCKER:
As inescapable as that question is for us, in some ways it isn’t the question that we have undertaken in terms of our sort of fictionalized world. But there’s no questioning the deep unease that I think we all feel in the fact that this show has become more fiction-less, if that’s not an awful expression to put forward.

HACKETT: I think of all times to be dramatizing this novel, there may have been no better than now, this anti-fascist tale, and so I think during this fraught time, I think that it has been not lost on anyone on this show that this is a particularly important time to be, you know, having this discourse about the dangers of fascism.

ZUCKER: Maybe expand on just that point is, especially in this climactic season where we really delve into the resistance in a way that we haven’t explored previously. This whole central question of free will, as Isa’s referenced of the central anti-fascist premise of the piece, and to what length one will battle to achieve it. What one surrenders by conceding to the larger forces around them. I mean these are the very struggles that we’re experiencing, and so, it is utterly fascinating to be able to explore that as particularly as we have.

DEADLINE: What would you say to fans of High Castle of this final season as they learn today that the show is ending?
HACKETT:
(PAUSE) That’s a tough one. I think I would probably just say that, of course we’re sad that we’re coming to an end. At the same time, we appreciate this beautiful, extraordinary, talented team of family that we have who has produced this alongside us and that I think that the fans will be thrilled by the culmination. There’s a lot of thought put into this and love and care and hopefully, they will see that when they get to finally see this culmination.

ZUCKER: You know, I don’t think there is any more highly motivating aspect of producing this series than wanting to make our absolute best effort to realize what extraordinary potential this material has and hoping that, season-to-season, and hopefully in its climactic episodes, that we’ve come close to sort of touching the audience’s hopes and wants and expectations.

DEADLINE: Well, there is a lot of material in PKD’s novel, even though the show expanded that world. I recall at Comic-Con last year Isa said that elements of Season 4 would draw from High Castle PDK material …
ZUCKER:
Yes, and I think that could satisfy us when all is said and done that people feel, touched, inspired, challenged by what they viewed. But, you know, addendum to that, I think Isa and I both feel that there is a lot more story to tell in this kind of world.

DEADLINE: How so?
ZUCKER:
While we’re bringing this chapter to a conclusion, if one thinks beyond the final frames of this series, it is very provocative to think about what stories may come thereafter. Whether or not we all get to tell them or they get told in another incarnation in film and television, that’s for us to all see. However, I don’t think you can look at this as an absolute culmination because of the nature of the stories that we’re telling with that.

DEADLINE: With that possible next move Isa and the end of High Castle itself proper, I know it’s a near impossible question, but what do you think your father would have thought of the series?
HACKETT:
Well, I really prefer not to guess what he would have thought, but I can say I hope that he would be proud of it, and again, I think the timing is a bit uncanny. You know, I keep thinking, knowing him, what he would feel about what’s going on in our real world.

I also think he would appreciate the way that we’ve expanded the novel and that we’ve built on it. I think we all along kept in mind, spiritually and otherwise, that it would be consistent with what it was that he was trying to do. I would imagine, I would hope that, you know, he would appreciate that.

I also think it’s important, to what David just said, which is this notion of resistance and the ways in which individuals can resist in various ways. We definitely explore that even deeper this last season than we have in the past. It’s important to me to leave with more of a sense of hope and inspiration than maybe we even have in the past. I think in Season 4 that that is something that hopefully people respond really well to.

https://deadline.com/2019/02/man-in-...eo-1202559680/

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TV Review (Cable)
Documentary Now! Is So Much More Than Parody
By Matt Zoller Seitz, Vulture.com (New York Magazine) - Feb. 20, 2019

The third season of IFC’s obsessive comedy series Documentary Now! (11 p.m.) is filled with grace notes. My favorite is a moment in “Searching for Gary Larson: A Love Letter from the Far Side.” The hero, Bradley Adams (played by series co-creator Fred Armisen), is one of those questing pilgrims at the gooey center of a “personal journey” movie, but he seems manic and desperate from frame one, and very soon we learn he abandoned his wife and newborn child to drive to Seattle and try to surprise the creator of The Far Side. Bradley is clearly in psychic turmoil, though where he stands on the continuum between midlife crisis and psychotic break is hard to say. Then comes a moment of wounding disappointment, after which Bradley turns to the camera and asks, “Hey… dad…?”

Until that point, we had no idea that the main character’s father was the one recording this fool’s odyssey. We barely hear from Bradley’s dad after that, but the moment raises genuinely uncomfortable questions precisely because feels tossed-off, then evaded—as if the “movie” itself has made a Freudian slip, then stammered past it. Are we watching family history repeat itself, the father enabling and ruining the son? Nobody mentions the hero’s mother. Did she leave when Bradley was a boy, after enduring shenanigans like the ones pictured here?

There’s always a story behind the story on Documentary Now! plus one or more layers of subtext under the text, plus implied questions of presumed and actual authorship and the relationship between spectator and image. Armisen, co-creators Bill Hader and Seth Meyers, frequent contributor John Mulaney, and the other regulars are all veteran SNL writer-performers, at ease slipping into the psyches (and wigs, and facial prosthetics) of misfits, dreamers, and foils imagined in the scripts. Documentary Now!’s fourth creator, Rhys Thomas, and the series’ regular director-cinematographer Alex Buono are SNL chameleons of a different kind, specializing in fake trailers, ads, and the like: They reproduce the look and feel of documentaries from specific eras and schools, down to the camera style, the editing, the relative clarity or muddiness of the soundtrack, even the density of “film grain” (the entire series is shot digitally). At its worst—which is still a cut above almost everything else on television—the series is filmmaking karaoke practiced at a high level. But at its best, it goes beyond stylistic gamesmanship and creates stories of people who have no idea how ridiculous and tragic they are, and who are unprepared for the humiliations life has in store for them, especially when somebody is pointing a camera at them and telling them, perhaps for the first time in their life, that their story is important and deserves to be told.

When you look back on the best of Documentary Now!, it’s the characters you remember. This new season—the first in three years, owing to the creators’ increasingly busy schedules—feels like an evolution of sorts, largely purging itself of pure delight in imitation/parody (as in an SNL sketch) and treating the exceptional writing, acting, and filmmaking as a way to portray and explore these strange and mesmerizing individuals. Although some of the core cast members appear onscreen (and Armisen plays multiple roles), this season feels like more of a traditional anthology with a big ensemble than a showcase for the versatility of a handful. The impressive cast includes Cate Blanchett, Natasha Lyonne, Owen Wilson, Michael Keaton, Necar Zadegan, Paul Bright, Gary Kraus, Connie Chung, Kevin Dunn, Tim Robinson, and Michael C. Hall.

Some episodes seem to come at the characters from outside-in (particularly the Gary Larson episode, which holds its hero at some remove, and the season-opening two-parter starring Wilson as a cult leader, Zadegan as his lieutenant, and Keaton and Kraus as FBI agents). Others are more straightforwardly observational, like “Original Cast Album: Co-Op.” And there are episodes that manage to be outside and inside at the same time. “Long Gone,” a dreamy, monochrome spoof of Let’s Get Lost, the 1988 Bruce Weber documentary, stars Armisen as a jazz guitarist and womanizing brooder who gets mixed up with an Eastern European dictator, and Lyonne as his jazz singer ex-wife; the piece allows the main character, an unrepentant jerk, to point out the contrived phoniness of the movie he’s at the center of, even as we’re thinking that it captures an undeniable truth about why he’s so miserable, and why he makes others miserable, and why they let him make them all miserable. To varying degrees, and in remarkably different ways, every episode in season three strikes a perfect balance between formalism and humanism. You marvel at the technique, yet the characters are not paper targets. They have a pulse. They feel disappointment and pain. You see yourselves in them.

The first Documentary Now! episode to hit the sweet spot was season one’s “Kunuk Uncovered,” a spoof of 1922’s Nanook of the North—the first blockbuster nonfiction movie, and largely fabricated. Armisen plays an Inuit tribesman who’s pressured by a visiting white filmmaker to pretend that he still lives an authentic 19th-century lifestyle. Frustrated by the director’s thickheaded primitivism, Kunuk seizes control of the production, embraces his own stereotype in the name of art and opportunity, and becomes the uncredited true director of the movie, inventing filmmaking processes that he will never get credit for because of his race. (By the end, he seems as great an innovator as D.W. Griffith.) A high point of season two was “Mr. Runner Up: My Life as an Oscar Bridesmaid,” a spoof of the Robert Evans documentary The Kid Stays in the Picture that showed how powerful showbiz figures can game the system and lure younger filmmakers into making movies that amount to feature-length ads for their self-created legends. “Mr. Runner Up” sees through the oblivious egotism of its main character, Jerry Wallach (Hader), where its inspiration was content to let Evans be a huckster.

The series takes care to get microscopic aesthetic details right, sacrificing them only in favor of jokes. Some of the touches go beyond period-accuracy and into Mad Men-style cultural anthropology. Look, for example, at the way the sports documentary spoof “Any Given Saturday Afternoon” mimics the style of a hyper-specific subgenre, the early-aughts “competition” doc (see: A League of Ordinary Gentlemen, Spellbound, Mad Hot Ballroom, King of Kong, and Air Guitar Nation). The exactitude extends to throwaway details, like the leader of a bowler’s league (Kevin Dunn) confirming the insular nature of his sport by referring to NFL stars “Walter Payton and Joe Montan [sic],” or the reference to the PBL being purchased in 2002 by “two former Pets.com executives” (it’s the “former” that makes it art). Some of the sight gags are cultural rabbit holes in themselves, like the bit in where the self-styled “bad boy of bowling,” Rick Kenmore (Tim Robinson), a John McEnroe manque, mints his catchphrase “Suck my sack!” The episode cuts to an Esquire magazine with a cover story on Kenmore; not only is Esquire exactly the magazine that would’ve commissioned a thumbsucker on Kenmore figure (from the 1960s onward, the magazine prided itself on long features, exploring the cultural significance of male sports rebels), the wording of the cover line is spot-on—and right beneath it is a tease to another story, “Do Cell Phones Cause Cancer?”, a question everyone was asking at that point.

Even more meticulous is “Original Cast Album: Co-Op,” a spoof of D.A. Pennebaker’s 1970 Original Cast Album: Company, about the recording of Stephen Sondheim’s classic. Like Documentary Now!’s other spoofs of films from the “direct cinema” school—including season one’s “Sandy Passage,” a sendup of Grey Gardens, and season two’s “Globesman,” a riff on Salesman—this one is super-fussy about how it looks and moves, which is absolutely a good thing. Aficionados of documentary camera style (all 12 of us) will notice that it feels like Pennebaker rather than the Maysles Brothers (who did Grey Gardens and Salesman): It’s plainer and more efficient, less searching and poetic. The music, by Eli Bolin, Meyers, and Mulaney (who plays a chain-smoking, imperious, vaguely Sondheim-ish composer with a shaggy ‘70s mane) is just as true to its inspiration, sounding like a delusional Sondheim imitator’s attempt to channel the master.

But here, as in some other Documentary Now! episodes, the fanatical attention to form isn’t displayed like a ship in a bottle, hermetically sealed. It’s in service to emotional content that creeps up on you—at times affecting you as a real documentary might. The performers don’t act like they’re in on the joke; nor, for that matter, do they behave as if they view this material as anything other than the chance of a lifetime, a shot at immortality that nobody can take away from them. A remarkable ensemble has gathered in the Co-op recording studio: musical actors played by Alex Brightman, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Richard Kind, Paula Pell, Merideth Kaye Clark, Jesse Cromer, Alec Cameron Lugo, Bobbi MacKenzie, Norman Wilson and Leah Yorkston. And the fact that they are recording the album at all, after learning that Co-op closed after one night due to poisonous reviews, gives the exercise a poignant, even heroic quality. It’s a textbook example of The Show Must Go On.

Best in season, and maybe the peak of the series, is “Isabella Barta: Waiting for the Artist,” starring Blanchett as the title character, a legendary Hungarian performance artist and seemingly the hardest-working and most self-flagellating woman on the planet, and Armisen as her sometime boyfriend Dimo van Omen, a lazy, smug dandy. At first the episode seems to be making fun of performance art in general, a cheap trope with a long, white beard.

But quite soon you realize that the series respects Isabella as a true artist (though a pretentious and self-involved one who’s constantly flirting with self-caricature). She explores her emotional interior, challenges herself, and feels things deeply; Dimo, on the other hand, is an opportunist who blatantly rips off Isabella and, by his own admission, avoids anything resembling real effort. Yet Dimo is taken just as seriously by the art world (or so it seems), and his ill-fated relationship with Isabella is depicted as a deeply damaging experience that she spent years trying to recover from. Even as this episode asks legitimate questions about sexism in the art world, and how women and men experience the pain of love and loss, it plays games with our perceptions, asking how much all these characters know themselves, and how much we (and by extension the filmmakers) know about them. The triumph of “Waiting on the Artist” is the triumph of Documentary Now! as a whole: It’s a display of pure artifice that somehow manages to find a core of authenticity, and makes us care for people that we would dismiss as jokes if their emotions didn’t feel real.

https://www.vulture.com/2019/02/docu...-3-review.html
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TV Review (Cable)
‘Flack’ Starring Anna Paquin
By Caroline Framke, Variety.com - Feb. 19, 2019

There’s a familiar, acrid aftertaste to “Flack,” Pop’s new drama about the controlled chaos of the publicity industry. The grim behind-the-scenes machinations of the glossy entertainment industry have always been one of TV’s favorite subjects, as are the people tasked with pulling the strings without anyone ever realizing. Over just six episodes, the show manages to cover everything from serial harassers, to closeted athletes, to lazy comedians embracing transphobia rather than actual punchlines.

It also centers characters with deliberately jagged edges — the kind of people who flirt with self-improvement before spiraling into a self-loathing that they insist is inevitable. These so-called “antiheroes” have traditionally been grizzled men, but “Flack” is the latest show to let women assume the role, most particularly with Robin (executive producer Anna Paquin), an ace publicist whose mother’s suicide and addiction issues have hollowed her out. In this way, creator Oliver Lansley deliberately levels the playing field by allowing the female characters to be just as messy and mean and deeply flawed as any man onscreen — if not far more. (A rare exception goes to a lascivious star played to slimy perfection by Bradley Whitford.)

It’s a decent enough goal, even if it’s been achieved enough at this point to lose some of its initial novelty. But “Flack” is often too blunt to be as interesting as it palpably wants to be, burying any shred of nuance by underlining its themes in red marker to make sure you can’t miss them.

The series follows Robin, her best friend and partner in crime Eve (Lydia Wilson), and their wide-eyed intern Melody (Rebecca Benson) as they try to keep a lid on their clients’ darkest shames and ambitions. Encouraged (and scared) by their imperious boss Caroline (Sophie Okonedo), the trio fights their moral centers to find creative ways of making sure their clients come out looking the best, no matter what the cost.

Lansley feeds them scene after scene of acidic banter that sometimes crackles off the screen as intended, but other times stumbles over its attempts to be shocking, especially as delivered by women. (Also: show me a human woman who claims to use the phrase “diddle box” to refer to masturbation and I will show you a liar.) Nonetheless, each actor takes on the challenge of fleshing her character out beyond a logline with admirable verve; Wilson is particularly sharp, giving just enough of a peek behind Eve’s steely exterior to confirm that yes, there is indeed a human behind the ruthless barbs and impeccable haircut.

But for as good as the actors are, they can’t hide the fact that “Flack” isn’t sure what to do with anyone who isn’t Robin. Everyone else stems from her, and the show never quite shows how or why anyone else ticks outside their proximity to her. Eve is a bitch and Melody is a naif because they have to balance Robin out; we never find out anything else about them to differentiate them beyond these qualifiers. Caroline never reveals a single other gear other than “terrifying”; Okonedo plays it with a beautiful, quiet intensity, but the show doesn’t seem interested in exploring why Caroline became such a monster when it could just show us that she is one over and over. Robin also has an earnest, long-suffering boyfriend (Arinzé Kene) for seemingly no other reason than she has to make someone suffer in front of our very eyes for us to believe how broken she truly is.

The closest “Flack” gets to finding something genuinely new to say is with the relationship between Robin and her younger sister Ruth (the ever reliable Genevieve Angelson). Robin’s struggle to out-run her mother’s tainted legacy while Ruth tries to just “have a boring life” with her family are incompatible on the face of it, but their love for each other runs deep, and both Paquin and Angelson are adept at pulling that out of their every interaction. Their family drama might not be some salacious Hollywood disaster zone, but as Robin keeps trying to tell herself over and over again, it’s far more compelling than “Flack” gives it credit for.

'Flack'
Drama, 60 minutes (6 episodes; all watched for review.) Premieres Thursday February 21 at 10 pm on Pop.


https://variety.com/2019/tv/news/fla...in-1203142786/
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TV Review (Broadcast)
PBS' 'Nature' Examines Life On “The Edge Of Extinction” in ‘Living Volcanoes’
By Alex Strachan, TVWorthWatching.com's 'TV That Matters' - Feb. 20, 2019

You could be forgiven if, asked how most of the victims in Pompeii died when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in AD 79, you replied that they were asphyxiated by ash and poisonous gas. Recent studies — in this decade — suggest most died instantly from extreme heat, though. They didn’t have time to suffocate.

You could also be forgiven for thinking that, once a volcano erupts, life vanishes forever. It’s hard to imagine anything surviving in the aftermath of such wanton destruction.

As the new PBS Nature program Living Volcanoes shows, though, in much the same way forest fires encourage new forest growth by returning dead trees and decaying plants to the soil in the form of nutrient-rich ash, life around volcanoes — both active and dormant — can be surprisingly rich.

And not just the goats that have taken to browsing the slopes of Mt. Etna.

From Kilauea in Hawaii to Cotopaxi in Ecuador to Vanuatu in the Melanesian Pacific, Living Volcanoes travels the far corners of the globe to show how resilient nature can be, even when it isn’t that easy to understand. Microorganisms that exist in an extreme environment aren’t easy to find, let alone study, but that’s exactly what some biologists are trying to do.

Why bother? Because, as German Research Center for Geosciences researcher Jens Kallmeyer shouts into his mouthpiece while flying a noisy helicopter over Marum Volcano on Ambrym Island in Vanuatu, the 200-foot wide lava lake is “a giant gateway to the planet’s beating heart.”

Figuring out what’s going on at the core of the planet we call home might help us figure out what’s happening around us in the real world of nature. What the scientists learn in volcanoes like Marum could change the way we think about the extremes of life on Earth, and might help us understand the likelihood of finding life elsewhere in our universe.

Coincidentally, the veteran — but still viable — primetime reality-competition program Survivor begins a new season on CBS the same night Living Volcanoes makes its debut on PBS.

And while there can be little doubt about which of the two is the more entertaining — and sexier — Living Volcanoes is on a whole other scale. It’s about real survival, measured in eons, not 39 days. Survivor has lasted close to 40 cycles so far, but the title of this latest edition — Survivor: Edge of Extinction — pales when, as Living Volcanoes’ reminds us, Mount Etna in Sicily has been muttering and murmuring and blowing-up-real-good now for half-a-million years, give or take.

Mount Etna harbors clues as to what made planet Earth fit for life — life that includes immunity challenges, tribal councils, and Jeff Probst.

Here’s another thing you might not have guessed, judging solely from all the fire and brimstone that surrounds volcanoes: Volcanoes create water vapor, which condenses in the atmosphere and falls as rain. Not the black snow that has been falling recently in Siberian towns that lie adjacent to vast open-pit coal mines, but real, life-giving rain, of the kind that created the Earth’s oceans in the first place.

“Every time a volcano erupts, it emits this life-giving gas,” Dr. Salvatore Giammanco of Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology explains, midway through the program. Volcanoes create a tear in the fabric of the Earth’s surface, allowing the water trapped beneath to escape as vapor.

That’s the theory, anyway, but as Living Volcanoes explains, it’s a theory that’s gaining credence in scientific circles with each passing day.

“Water that we see on Earth mostly comes from volcanoes,” Giammanco says. “Without volcanoes, there wouldn’t be life on Earth. Literally.”

The tribe has spoken.

Nature: Living Volcanoes premieres Wednesday, February 20, at 9 p.m. ET on PBS. Check your local listings.

http://www.tvworthwatching.com/BlogP...x?postId=17799
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Technology Notes
Apple to Target Combining iPhone, iPad and Mac Apps by 2021
By Mark Gurman, Bloomberg.com - Feb. 20, 2019

Apple Inc. wants to make it easier for software coders to create tools, games and other applications for its main devices in one fell swoop -- an overhaul designed to encourage app development and, ultimately, boost revenue.

The ultimate goal of the multistep initiative, code-named “Marzipan,” is by 2021 to help developers build an app once and have it work on the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers, said people familiar with the effort. That should spur the creation of new software, increasing the utility of the company’s gadgets.

Each new app is another revenue opportunity for Apple because it takes a cut of many app-related purchases and subscriptions. The company has positioned its services division as a major growth area. It plans to announce two new services -- a premium Apple News subscription offering and an original video content initiative -- at the end of March, Bloomberg News reported recently.

Later this year, Apple plans to let developers port their iPad apps to Mac computers via a new software development kit that the company will release as early as June at its annual developer conference. Developers will still need to submit separate versions of the app to Apple’s iOS and Mac App Stores, but the new kit will mean they don’t have to write the underlying software code twice, said the people familiar with the plan.

In 2020, Apple plans to expand the kit so iPhone applications can be converted into Mac apps in the same way. Apple engineers have found this challenging because iPhone screens are so much smaller than Mac computer displays.

By 2021, developers will be able to merge iPhone, iPad, and Mac applications into one app or what is known as a “single binary.” This means developers won’t have to submit their work to different Apple App Stores, allowing iOS apps to be downloaded directly from Mac computers -- effectively combining the stores.

The plans are fluid and could be altered, the people said. They asked not to be identified discussing private matters. A spokeswoman for Cupertino, California-based Apple declined to comment.

The most direct benefit of the Marzipan project will be to make life easier for the millions of developers who write software for Apple’s devices. For example, later this year Netflix Inc. would be able to more easily offer a Mac app for watching video by converting its iPad app. By 2021, Twitter Inc., which has mostly abandoned the Mac, could publish a single app for all Apple customers.

Apple previewed the apps plan, without disclosing the road map, at its developers conference last year. Bloomberg News first wrote about the initiative in 2017.

The work coincides with the company’s preparations to merge more of the underpinnings of its hardware. Currently, iPhones and iPads are powered by Apple processors, while Macs use Intel Corp. chips. Apple plans to start transitioning some Macs to its own chips as early as 2020, Bloomberg News reported last year.

Despite the app merger plan, Apple has said it won’t combine iOS and macOS into a single operating system.

Apple isn’t the first company to streamline its app ecosystems. Before Microsoft Corp. discontinued Windows for phones, it pushed a technology called Universal Windows Platform that let developers create single applications that would run on all of its devices. Similarly, Google has brought its Android mobile app store to some laptops running its Chrome OS operating system.

Apple plans to hold its annual software conference from June 3 to June 7 in San Jose, California, according to permit filings reported recently by website MacRumors.

At the event, Apple also plans to debut new software features for its devices, including a dark mode for easier nighttime viewing and new productivity tools for the iPad. The company has also internally weighed previewing a new version of the high-end Mac Pro, according to people familiar with the deliberations.

—With assistance by Ian King

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...c-apps-by-2021
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TV/Production Notes (Cable)
The Banana Splits Getting Rebooted at Syfy… But as a Horror Movie?
By Dave Nemetz, TVLine.com - Feb. 19, 2019

Hey, remember the Banana Splits? Well, they’re coming back to TV… but not the way you remember them. At all.

The Banana Splits, a new movie that reimagines the furry kids’ show favorites in a meta horror thriller, will air later this year on Syfy, TVLine has learned. (The movie will debut first via Warner Bros. Home Entertainment before hitting Syfy.)

In the film, a boy named Harley celebrates his birthday by attending a taping of the Banana Splits TV show with his family. “But things take an unexpected turn — and the body count quickly rises,” per the movie’s official description. “Can Harley, his mom and their new pals safely escape?” Dani Kind (Wynonna Earp) stars as Harley’s mother Beth, with Sara Canning (The Vampire Diaries) playing the TV show’s producer Rebecca.

The original Banana Split characters Bingo, Fleegle, Snorky and Drooper — a gorilla, beagle, elephant and lion who play together in a rock band — will appear in the new movie as well. They debuted in the NBC Saturday morning show The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, from producers Sid and Marty Krofft, which aired from 1968 to 1970 and continued on in syndication for another decade.

https://tvline.com/2019/02/19/the-ba...-horror-movie/
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Nielsen Overnights (Broadcast)
TV Ratings: 'Bachelor' Ties Season High, Tops 'AGT: Champions' Finale in Demo
By Rick Porter, The Hollywood Reporter - Feb. 19, 2019

The Bachelor matched its season high among adults 18-49 Monday, topping the finale of America's Got Talent: The Champions and carrying ABC to a win in the demo in primetime.

The Bachelor averaged a 1.9 rating in the 18-49 demographic, matching last week's season high. Its 6.48 million viewers is also a high for the season so far. The Good Doctor followed with a 1.1, up slightly from its last episode two weeks ago.

AGT: The Champions was even with last week's 1.7 in adults 18-49, but the 10.53 million viewers for the finale are a season high. It was the night's most-watched show by almost 4 million viewers. That did not, however, lead to any bump for the season finale of Manifest, whose 1.0 and 5.42 million viewers were both off week to week (versus 1.1 and 6 million).

The Resident and The Passage each came in at 0.9 for Fox. The latter hit that number for the fourth consecutive week, while The Resident was off slightly.

CBS comedies The Neighborhood (1.1, -0.2) and Man With a Plan (0.9, -0.1) declined week to week. Magnum P.I. (0.8) and Bull (0.7), however, both held steady compared with their most recent new episodes.

ABC led the 18-49 standings in primetime with a 1.6 rating, beating out NBC's 1.4. Fox came in third at 0.9, just ahead of CBS' 0.8. The CW averaged 0.2 with reruns of Arrow and Black Lightning.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/li...8-2019-1187777
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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 - Feb. 20, 2019

ABC:
8PM - The Goldbergs
8:30PM - Schooled
9PM - Modern Family
9:31PM - Single Parents
10PM - Match Game (Mario Cantone, Raven-Symoné, Oliver Hudson, Caroline Rhea, Finesse Mitchell and Julie Klausne)
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Viggo Mortensen; Rita Moreno; Summer Walker performs)
(R)
12:37AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - Survivor (Season Premiere)
9PM - The World's Best (120 min.)
* * *
11:35PM - The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (Singer-songwriter Reba McEntire; TV host Margaret Brennan; comic Colin Quinn)
12:37AM - The Late Late Show With James Corden (Kate Walsh; Stephen Merchant; Natalie Prass performs)

NBC:
8PM - Chicago Med
9PM - Chicago Fire
10PM - Chicago P.D.
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (TV hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb; Daveed Diggs; comic Mo Amer)
12:37AM - Late Night With Seth Meyers (Natasha Lyonne; TV personality Donny Deutsch; Drew Tarver; Heléne Yorke; Jeff Friedl sits in with the 8G Band)
1:38AM - Last Call With Carson Daly (Jemima; Joji performs; Avan Jogia)

FOX:
8PM - Gordon Ramsay's 24 Hours to Hell and Back
9PM - The Masked Singer

THE CW:
8PM - Riverdale
(R)
9PM - All American
(R)

PBS:
8PM - Nature: Living Volcanoes
9PM - NOVA: The Next Pompeii
10PM - Secrets of the Dead: The Nero Files

UNIVISION:
8PM - Jesús
9PM - Mi Marido Tiene Más Familia
10PM - Amar a Muerte

TELEMUNDO:
7PM - Exatlón Estados Unidos
9PM - Betty en NY
10PM - El Barón

CBSSN:
7PM - College Basketball: Xavier at Seton Hall (LIVE)
9PM - College Basketball: Butler at Marquette (LIVE)
* * * *
11PM - College Basketball: Nevada at San Diego State (LIVE)

ESPN:
7PM - College Basketball: Louisville at Syracuse (LIVE)
9PM - College Basketball: North Carolina at Duke (LIVE)

ESPN 2:
7PM - College Basketball: Florida at LSU (LIVE)
9PM - College Basketball: Stanford at Arizona State (LIVE)

ESPN U:
7PM - College Basketball: Tulane at Memphis (LIVE)
9PM - College Basketball: Wichita State at Tulsa (LIVE)
* * * *
11PM - College Basketball: New Mexico at Utah State (LIVE)

NBCSN:
7:30PM - NHL Hockey: Chicago Blackhawks at Detroit Red Wings (LIVE)
10PM - NHL Hockey: Boston Bruins at Vegas Golden Knights (LIVE)

FREEFORM:
8PM - Grown-ish

MTV:
8PM - Ridiculousness: Cesar Millan
8:30PM - Ridiculousness: Chanel and Sterling CII
9PM - The Challenge

TLC:
8PM - My 600-Lb. Life (120 min.)
10PM - Family by the Ton

BRAVO:
9PM - The Real Housewives of New Jersey: Reunion Part 1
10PM - The Real Housewives of New Jersey
(R)
* * * *
11PM - Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen (TV personality Melissa Gorga)

CNBC:
9PM - Deal or No Deal

E!:
9PM - Botched
10PM - Dating: No Filter
(R)
10:30PM - Dating: No Filter
* * * *
11PM - Busy Tonight (Mark Duplass)

GSN:
9PM - America Says

ID:
9PM - See No Evil (Season Premiere)
10PM - In Pursuit With John Walsh

SYFY:
9PM - The Magicians
10PM - Deadly Class

VH1:
9PM - Black Ink Crew: Chicago

TRUTV:
9:30PM - Impractical Jokers: Inside Jokes
10PM - I'm Sorry

GALAVISION:
9:55PM - Fútbol Copa MX: Pumas de la U.N.A.M. vs. Leones Negros U. de G. (LIVE)

FXX:
10PM - You're the Worst (34 min.)

POP:
10PM - Schitt's Creek

USA:
10PM - Suits

WGN:
10PM - Pure

TBS:
10:30PM - Full Frontal With Samantha Bee
(R)
* * * *
11PM - Conan (Comic Tig Notaro)
(R)

COMEDY CENTRAL:
11PM - The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), 36 min.)

IFC CENTER:
11PM - Documentary Now! (Season Premiere)


http://tvlistings.zap2it.com/?aid=gapzap
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Nielsen Overnights (Broadcast)
TV Ratings: 'Bachelor' Ties Season High
By Rick Porter, The Hollywood Reporter - Feb. 19, 2019
I didnt know the host Chris Harrison actually worked on TVG the horse racing channel (HD on roku/amazon fire/apple tv) one of my fav channels.

So in 20 yrs he basically went from covering fillies that like to eat carrots lettuce & celery to fillies that like to eat carrots lettuce & celery.
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Jeopardy! All Star Championship Tournament Starts Tonight

For the next 10 days, Jeopardy! will be having their sweeps All Star Championship Tournament. I haven't updated my website for this yet, as I'm trying to figure out what to do about their very different format. There are 6 teams, consisting of three players each. After watching today's feed, it is falling into place a little more. The first day was spent telling how it was going to play out and how the teams were formed. They only played the first Jeopardy! round. The next day they played the Double Jeopardy! and Final Jeopardy! rounds. The difference is that a different team member plays one of the rounds. The money from the previous team member carries over. The team that wins gets to go on automatically to the final match. The same thing happens with the next match. Watch the show to see what I mean. Their website doesn't explain the brackets. I'll try and do that on my website.

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"Jussie Smollett attack: Smollett officially a suspect in criminal investigation for filing false police report, police say"

Quote:
https://abc7chicago.com/jussie-smoll...e-say/5147410/
Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi confirmed Wednesday afternoon that Jussie Smollett is officially a suspect in a criminal investigation for filing a false police report, a Class 4 felony. Guglielmi said CPD detectives are currently presenting evidence before a Cook County grand jury.
UPDATE:

"Jussie Smollett attack: Smollett charged with disorderly conduct for filing false police report, prosecutors say"

Quote:
"Empire" actor Jussie Smollett has been charged with one count of felony disorderly conduct for filing a false police report, the Cook County State's Attorney's Office said Wednesday evening.
Smollett is due in court in Chicago at 1:30 p.m. Thursday. Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said CPD detectives will make contact with Smollett's legal team to "negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest."
https://abc7chicago.com/jussie-smoll...s-say/5147410/

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post #28096 of 32008 Old 02-20-2019, 06:24 PM
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Jeopardy! All Star Championship Tournament Starts Tonight

The team that wins gets to go on automatically to the final match.
I mis-wrote. It is a two-day total dollar set of matches.

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post #28097 of 32008 Old 02-20-2019, 06:40 PM
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TV/Production Notes (Cable)
The Banana Splits Getting Rebooted at Syfy… But as a Horror Movie?
By Dave Nemetz, TVLine.com - Feb. 19, 2019

Hey, remember the Banana Splits? Well, they’re coming back to TV… but not the way you remember them. At all.

The original Banana Split characters Bingo, Fleegle, Snorky and Drooper — a gorilla, beagle, elephant and lion who play together in a rock band — will appear in the new movie as well.
https://tvline.com/2019/02/19/the-ba...-horror-movie/
I have fond memories of watching this as a little tyke. But even back then, I never trusted that Snorky fellow. Early guess that he's the killer.

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post #28098 of 32008 Old 02-20-2019, 06:47 PM
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I have fond memories of watching this as a little tyke. But even back then, I never trusted that Snorky fellow.
I didn't have a problem with the Banana Splits but H.R. Pufnstuf creeped me out.
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post #28099 of 32008 Old 02-20-2019, 07:33 PM
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I didn't have a problem with the Banana Splits but H.R. Pufnstuf creeped me out.
Yeah, loved that one too, but there was kind of a dark tone to it for a kids show. Of course, that's nothing like the stuff kids are used to watching these days. We were a bit more innocent back then.

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post #28100 of 32008 Old 02-21-2019, 04:56 AM - Thread Starter
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TV/Legal Notes (Broadcast)
‘Empire’ Producers Consider Suspending Jussie Smollett
By Daniel Holloway, Variety.com - Feb. 20, 2019

EXCLUSIVE: Fox is considering removing Jussie Smollett from production on “Empire.” Sources close to the production told Variety that producers are weighing whether to suspend the actor after he was charged Wednesday in Chicago with filing a false police report.

A spokesperson for 20th Century Fox Television, which produces the series, declined to comment. Smollett’s status on the show may change amid a fluid legal situation.

On Jan. 29, Smollett told police that he was attacked by two men who poured an unknown chemical on him, put a rope around his neck, and used racial and homophobic slurs. Chicago PD eventually questioned two brothers, Abel and Ola Osundairo, who were in the vicinity of the event. The two men were arrested and questioned, but later released. Local Chicago media reported that the brothers told detectives that Smollett had paid them to stage the attack.

According to the Cook County State Attorney’s office, Smollett is due to appear in court for a bond hearing at 1:30 p.m. CT on Thursday. Smollett is also scheduled to work Thursday on the Chicago set of “Empire.” According to a production source, as of Wednesday night there were no plans to change the show’s shooting schedule.

Fox had previously stood by Smollett, issuing two statements of support over the course of the investigation, and countering media reports that he was set to be fired from “Empire.” “Jussie Smollett continues to be a consummate professional on set and as we have previously stated, he is not being written out of the show,” 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment said in a statement Wednesday.

On Feb. 14, “Empire” executive producer Danny Strong wrote on Twitter, “There is 0% truth that @Jussi eSmollett was going to be written off of Empire. This rumor is totally false. He is the third lead and one of the most beloved characters on the show. Writing him off the show has NEVER even been discussed.”

A knowledgable source close to the situation said Smollett is expected by Fox to finish his work on the series despite the controversy that erupted around Smollett after he reported to Chicago police that he was the victim of a vicious hate crime.

https://variety.com/2019/tv/news/jus...re-1203144602/
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TV/Production Notes (Streaming)
Rainn Wilson to Star in Utopia, New Amazon Series From Gillian Flynn
By Michael Ausiello, TVLine.com - Feb. 20, 2019

The Office‘s Rainn Wilson has a (dangerous) new day job. The actor formerly known as Dwight Schrute has landed a lead role in Utopia, Amazon’s forthcoming nine-episode drama series from Sharp Objects and Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn, TVLine has learned.

Adapted from the British series of the same name, Utopia centers on a group of young adults who meet online that are mercilessly hunted by a shadowy deep state organization after they come into possession of a near-mythical cult underground graphic novel. Within the comic’s pages, they discover the conspiracy theories that may actually be real and are forced into the dangerous, unique and ironic position of saving the world.

Wilson — who joins a cast that also includes Sasha Lane (American Honey) — will play Michael Stearns, a once promising virologist who has lost his edge. When a nationwide outbreak of a deadly flu arises, Michael offers his expertise, and soon finds he has landed smack in the middle of something much bigger.

In more casting news, Dan Byrd (Cougar Town) will play Ian, who craves a more exciting life and embarks on a mission to uncover the secrets of the graphic novel, our sister site Deadline reports. Additionally, Cory Michael Smith (Gotham) has joined the ensemble as Thomas Christie, a Christie Laboratories employee who tracks down the only copy of the graphic novel for less than benevolent reasons.

Since clocking out of The Office, Wilson has appeared in Fox’s Backstrom, Showtime’s Roadies and, more recently, HBO’s Room 104 and CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Discovery.

https://tvline.com/2019/02/20/rainn-...a-amazon-cast/
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Technology/Business Notes
Why are TVs so cheap now? Well, your smart TV is watching you and making extra money, too
By Jefferson Graham, USA Today - Feb. 21, 2019

LOS ANGELES—Your smart TV is watching you. And making money off you as well.

That’s why the prices of TVs have fallen so dramatically over the last five years.

A mix of lower LCD prices, more intense competition and new ways to profit off the consumer once the set enters our homes have turned the boob tube into something more like a razor. And we, the viewers, are the razor blades.

Bill Baxter, the Chief Technology Officer for TV set giant Vizio, referred to it as the "post-purchase monetization" of the TV on a recent podcast interview with the Verge.

Translated, that means that more ads are coming at you via prominent branded movie and TV channels on smart TVs. These channels share ad revenues with set manufacturers like Vizio, Samsung, LG, an avenue that didn't exist in the pre-streaming era. They also profit by selling data of your viewing histories to programmers and marketers.

The manufacturers have been tracking viewers on smart TVs for several years, but it wasn't until 2017 and beyond that more consumers started buying smart sets, which negate the need for a streaming device like a Roku or Fire Stick to bring in online entertainment from the likes of Netflix and Hulu.

Today, virtually all TVs sold today are smart TVs, says Steve Koenig of the Consumer Technology Association.

So what's new, and helping manufacturers make money off us once the TV enters our home, is the rise of ad-supported streaming channels that share ad revenues with the likes of Vizio, Samsung and LG, and get prominent positions on the smart TV dial.

—On Vizio TVs, the "Watch Free TV," channel on its smart TV sets is actually the same Pluto TV channel seen on streaming players, computers and mobile devices.

—Rival Xumo has a similar arrangement, called Channel Plus on LG sets.

—Tubi is on Samsung TVs and Xumo on Panasonic, Sanyo and Sharp sets.

—Streaming player maker Roku has its own arrangement with TCL, which sells Roku branded sets, where it offers the Roku Channel.


The Roku channel is similar to Xumo, Tubi and Pluto in offering ad-supported older movies and TV shows, for free, as an alternative to all those internet streaming channels that charge a monthly subscription.

Being on smart TVs is "great for us," says Pluto CEO Tom Ryan. "The hardware companies, in their quest for higher margins, are looking to content and services to get more revenue. We've got it."

TVs have historically been a cutthroat, low-margin business, hence all those Black Friday deals of large-screen sets going out the door for $300 to $400. We found a 43-inch TCL Smart TV with 4K resolution at Target this month for $250.

The wholesale price for an average 50-inch set has fallen to $335, from $589 in 2013, according to the CTA.

Once "smart TVs" began to become popular, manufacturers saw a new opportunity in treating the set as a "glass window" to our viewing habits and reporting them to marketers for a fee, in a process called Automatic Content Recognition or ACR.

In 2017, Vizio settled with the Federal Trade Commission and New Jersey's attorney general office for $2.2 million, when it was charged with collecting data without the consent of users.

Now, Vizio, which continues to collect data, has users opt-in. "Unless you turn off ACR collection in the Settings menu, we may share viewing data with data partners, including analytics companies, media companies and advertisers," Vizio tells viewers in the settings menu.

The manufacturers say what they're doing is no different from what Nielsen has done for years. They monitor your viewing to determine the hits and they say they do it anonymously. (Of course, with Nielsen, the process of signing up and participating is a great deal more obvious and visible.)

As Inscape Data Services, the wholly-owned subsidiary of TV set manufacturer Vizio says on its website that it collects data without "personally identifiable information (PII)," to identify "what show is being watched and what IP address the device is connected to."

Justin Brookman, the director of privacy and tech policy for nonprofit consumer advocacy organization Consumer Reports, doesn't buy it.

"There's no such thing as anonymous tracking," he says. "They have ways...to tie them to your TV."

If "I Spy TV" sounds creepy, well, how about those other tech devices in your home?

"This pales in comparison," says Jodie McAfee, a senior vice-president of Inscape, which collects data from over 10 million Vizio smart TVs. "What a TV is generating on data is not nearly as granular. It just knows what shows I’m watching and whether the ad is being viewed."

Compare that to a smartphone, which tracks your every move in the house, both physically and on the device. It knows what websites you've been to, who you called and texted with, what products you purchased, and if you turned on Facebook or signed into Google, your age, demographic, salary and more.

Unlike other devices, smart TVs haven't been affected by the Trump administration's trade war with China, where most of the sets are made, says Steve Koenig of the CTA.

"Car audio has been hit, but smart home products haven't been," he says. "We believe tariffs are a tax on products, and don’t want to see them in any form."

Meanwhile, back in the living room, McAfee insists that ACR tracking can help consumers by finding better recommendations. "It improves the viewing experience," he says.

And if you don't want your viewing tracked, viewers can go to the menu settings and turn off ACR (which is supposed to be off by default anyway.) Or, they can go a few steps further and turn the Wi-Fi off on the set altogether.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/...ey/2910013002/
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TV/Legal Notes (Broadcast)
Jussie Smollett arrested and faces a felony charge for allegedly filing false police report
By Faith Karimi and Brad Parks, CNN.com - Feb. 21, 2019

More than three weeks after he alleged that he was the victim of a hate crime, actor Jussie Smollett has been arrested on suspicion of filing a false report about it, Chicago police said Thursday morning.

The "Empire" star was taken into custody around 5 a.m. CT, police said, ahead of a 1:30 p.m. bail hearing.

Smollett faces a felony charge of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false report claiming he was attacked by two men, including one who was masked, in the early morning of January 29 in Chicago. He alleged they yelled racist and homophobic slurs, tied a rope around his neck and poured an unknown substance on him.

At the time, police said they were treating the attack against the black and gay actor as a hate crime.

But in the weeks since the alleged attack first made headlines, the narrative has unraveled with several twists, transforming him from a victim to a suspect.

Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted Wednesday that the Cook County State's Attorney's Office had approved a felony criminal charge of disorderly conduct against Smollett.

Under Illinois law, filing a false police report is disorderly conduct and punishable by one to three years.

The actor has denied playing a role in his attack, according to his attorneys.

"Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked," his attorneys said in a statement.

"Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense."

Outpouring of support turned to doubts

For weeks, Smollett has stood by his initial claims that he was attacked.

He received an outpouring of support from celebrities and politicians immediately after he reported the alleged attack. But the backlash and doubters grew louder, with social media users questioning his claims of the attack especially after police said they could not find video of the incident from surveillance cameras in the area.

Police now believe Smollett paid two brothers to orchestrate an assault on him, two law enforcement sources with knowledge of the investigation told CNN this week.

By Wednesday, Chicago police said they were looking into the incident as a possible hoax. The announcement came the same day the Cook County grand jury met to review evidence of the incident.

Video appears to show brothers buying items

As new details emerged in the case, police have said they want to conduct a follow-up interview with the actor following "some developments."

While they did not provide specifics on the developments, surveillance video from January 28 obtained from a Chicago-area beauty supply store appears to show the men connected to the incident purchasing a ski mask, sunglasses, a red hat and other items the day before the alleged assault.

They paid for the items in cash, according to the owner, who did not want to be identified.

The two men questioned by police -- identified as brothers Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo -- were initially arrested February 13 but released without charges after police cited the discovery of "new evidence." They've met with police and prosecutors at a Chicago courthouse, police spokesman Tom Ahern said.

The two are no longer suspects at this time, Chicago police have said. The brothers' attorney, Gloria Schmidt, told reporters Wednesday that her clients had not accepted a plea deal or immunity. Police sources said the brothers are cooperating with law enforcement.

"You don't need immunity when you have the truth, " she said.

In a joint statement issued to CNN affiliate WBBM, the men said: "We are not racist. We are not homophobic, and we are not anti-Trump. We were born and raised in Chicago and are American citizens."

One of the men has appeared on "Empire," Guglielmi said. A police source also told CNN the men had a previous affiliation with Smollett but did not provide additional details.

Smollett is angered by allegations, lawyers say

Smollett has played a gay character on the Fox TV drama "Empire." The actor told detectives two men attacked him near the lower entrance of a Loews hotel in Chicago, according to police spokesman Guglielmi. Police were told the two men yelled, " 'Empire' fa***t" and "'Empire' n***er,' " while striking him.

In a supplemental interview with authorities, Smollett confirmed media reports that one of the attackers also shouted, "This is MAGA country," a reference to President Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan.

Todd S. Pugh and Victor P. Henderson, issued a statement Saturday, describing their client as angry about allegations he orchestrated the attack.

"As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with," the statement said.

"He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying."

Letter was sent to 'Empire' set days earlier

Before the police made their announcement Wednesday, 20th Century Fox Television, which produces the series "Empire," expressed support for the actor.

"Jussie Smollett continues to be a consummate professional on set and as we have previously stated, he is not being written out of the show," the statement said.

A Fox spokesperson had no comment when reached by CNN on Wednesday.

Seven days before the alleged attack, a letter containing white powder was sent to the Chicago set of "Empire," police have said. Authorities determined the powder to be aspirin, according to Guglielmi.

The image of the letter and envelope, shared with CNN by a person close to Smollett, includes a message apparently cut from magazine clippings, and a stick figure drawing.

Smollett told ABC News the drawing was of a "stick figure hanging from a tree which had a gun pointing towards it." The letter, addressed to Smollett, includes the word "MAGA" on the outside of the envelope in place of the return address.

More than a decade ago, Smollett pleaded no contest to providing false information to law enforcement in a 2007 misdemeanor case, according to Frank Mateljan, a spokesman for the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office.

The case stemmed from a DUI stop in which Smollett gave police the wrong name. He also pleaded no contest to driving with a blood alcohol level over the legal limit and driving without a valid driver's license. He was sentenced to two years of probation and paid a fine.

CNN's Ryan Young, Bill Kirkos, Steve Almasy, Joe Sutton, Sandra Gonzalez and Sheena Jones contributed to this report.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/21/enter...day/index.html
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TV/Nielsen Notes (Cable)
WE Breakout 'Love After Lockup' Extended After Hitting Ratings Highs
By Rick Porter, The Hollywood Reporter - Feb. 20, 2019

WE is betting the appetite for its breakout series Love After Lockup will continue into the spring.

The cabler has extended the show's second season by 10 episodes, which will premiere in the spring. That brings the total for season two to 24. The additional order comes amid a ratings surge for the show, which has grown substantially both within this season and compared to its first.

The most recent installment on Feb. 15 drew 1.4 million viewers, 890,000 of whom (about 64 percent) fall in WE's key demographic of adults 25-54, after three days of delayed viewing. Both numbers are the best ever for Love After Lockup and were up by more than 20 percent week to week.

The docuseries from Sharp Entertainment (90 Day Fiancé) follows couples who fall in love while one is in prison and the challenges they face after the inmate is released.

Love After Lockup has been on a steady upward trajectory in the ratings for most of this season. Through 11 episodes, three-day viewership among all viewers, adults 25-54 and women 25-54 has more than doubled since the season premiere in December. Every episode since the season premiere has outdrawn the show's first-season highs.

Love After Lockup also outperforms WE's typical primetime ratings by wide margins. In 2018, the network averaged 441,000 primetime viewers and 189,000 in the 25-54 demo.

The ratings climb — which mirrors those of the scripted cable hits Killing Eve and Dirty John — is all the more rare in an era when ratings for most series on ad-supported channels are in decline. More than three-fourths (60 of 78) ad-supported cable entertainment networks saw their primetime audiences fall in 2018.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/li...-highs-1188441
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Technology Notes (Mobile)
The 5 biggest announcements from the Samsung Galaxy S10 Unpacked event
By Natt Garun, TheVerge.com - Feb. 20, 2019

Samsung announces a new Galaxy S phone in the first half of every year, so while it’s no surprise that we would get an official look at the new S10 and S10 Plus devices today, the company also unveiled the Galaxy Fold, its first foldable smartphone. This was a product Samsung had teased since last fall and worked on for years, with its first prototype dating back to 2012.

Alongside the smartphones, Samsung also confirmed all of the new wearable devices it let loose earlier this month on its own app. Here’s a recap of all the biggest announcements from this year’s Unpacked event.

THE GALAXY FOLD IS OFFICIAL, AND IT’S PRICEY
Samsung’s first foldable smartphone has been teased since last fall, and today, we got a few more details about what this device can do. When folded, the Galaxy Fold measures 4.6 inches, and it opens up to a 7.3-inch display tablet. You can browse apps on the phone as you would regularly and unfold the device to maximize the resolution. (Samsung calls this “app continuity.”) In the tablet mode, the device can handle up to three windows at the same time for multitasking. There also seems to be a corner notch on one side of the screen. A center line that divides the device into two halves is somewhat visible, but only when looked at from a slight angle. We’ll provide more details on this in the hands-on when we get a chance to check out the device ourselves.

Internally, it will come with 12GB of RAM, 512GB of memory, and two batteries that add up to a 4,380mAh. The Fold has six cameras: three in the back, two selfie cams, and one in the cover. A fingerprint sensor is on the side so you can unlock it when it’s in folded mode. It’ll be available in four colors: black, silver, a neon-ish green / yellow, and blue. The hinge color can also be partially customized, depending on what color you choose.

The Galaxy Fold comes in both LTE and Wi-Fi versions starting at $1,980, and it comes out on April 26th.

GALAXY S10 AND S10 PLUS... SANS NOTCH!
As with every new Samsung Galaxy S phones, the devices get a significant spec bump year over year: the S10 and S10 Plus now sport what’s called a dynamic AMOLED display, and they are HDR10+ certified to take even crisper, brighter photos. The camera sensors have been laser-etched into the screen, making it a notch-less display. The fingerprint sensor is also built into the display, so no more taping the back and possibly smearing the camera lens.

The new S10s also offer a triple-camera array on the back, with a new ultra wide mode and a shot suggestion AI similar to what Google has brought to the Pixel phones. There are some fun new camera effects, too, like live filters for blurring or swirling the background that overlays the effect before snapping the picture. The devices also include a new power-sharing mode that lets you charge a second device, like the new wireless Galaxy Buds, off the phone itself through Qi technology.

The S10 comes with a 6.1-inch screen, while the S10 Plus bumps its screen up to 6.4 inches with a slightly larger battery. They are compatible with Wi-Fi 6 for faster, more reliable connections — and, yes, they retain the headphone jack.

BUT ALSO... THE S10E AND S10 5G
New to the lineup of the expected S10 and S10 Plus are the smaller S10E and the 5G-ready S10 5G. The latter will be available only through Verizon when the network becomes readily available. The S10E measures in at 5.8 inches, and it has a dual camera in the rear. Otherwise, it looks largely similar to its larger siblings.

On the other hand, the S10 5G will have a whopping quadruple-camera array with a telephoto lens on a 6.7-inch display. It’ll also have a 4,500mAh battery compared to the 4,100mAh one in the S10 Plus. Other upcoming 5G partners for the S10 5G include Sprint in France, T-Mobile in Germany, and Vodafone in the UK.

The S10, S10 Plus, and S10E will be open for preorders on February 21st at 12AM ET (midnight), starting at $900, $1,000, and $750, respectively. If you preorder by March 7th, the day before the devices land in stores, you’ll get a free pair of Galaxy Buds. Preorder dates are not yet available for the S10 5G, but the company says that it should arrive in the first half of the year.

ADOBE PREMIERE RUSH AND INSTAGRAM MODE COME TO THE S10
Samsung is clearly targeting the growth of YouTube and influencer culture by including Adobe Premiere Rush with the S10 devices so you can edit, color-correct, splice, and add titles to videos right on the phone. The S10s will be one of the first Android phones that have Adobe Premiere Rush onboard, though Adobe says the app will come to Android generally soon.

Samsung also invited Instagram head of product Adam Mosseri to the event to introduce a new Instagram mode in the camera app that allows you to edit or add stickers or captions to the photo right after it’s taken to share to their feed or as a story. While there’s not another app-specific mode, Samsung said it’s worked with partners like Snap and Line to improve the quality of photos taken through in those apps via the S10.

WEARABLES CONFIRMED
Around the same time as Mobile World Congress is also when Samsung normally announces a new wearable device, and this year is no different. Leaked earlier this month, the company confirms it will be adding a Galaxy Watch Active and the Galaxy Fit to the lineup. Both devices are water-resistant for swimming, and, like other fitness wearables, they can also track your heart rate and sleep. The Galaxy Watch Active will be available first on March 8th for $199, while the Fit comes out on May 31st for $99.

As briefly mentioned before, there are also new Galaxy Buds with built-in microphones and Bixby. The assistant now also supports British English, German, Italian, and Spanish. Though they’ll be included with S10 preorders, customers can also buy them starting on March 8th for $130. Like the Apple AirPods, they wirelessly charge in their own carrying case. A full charge lasts up to six hours.

https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/20/1...g-cameras-buds
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TV/Business Notes (Streaming)
Viacom Strikes Deal With FuboTV to Add Comedy Central, MTV, BET, and More
By Aric Jenkins, Fortune.com - Feb. 20, 2019

FuboTV continues to broaden its offerings beyond just live sports viewing.

The streaming service, in the past referred to as the “Netflix of soccer,” struck a deal with Viacom to make the company’s nine entertainment networks—BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Paramount Network, TV Land, and VH1—available on Fubo for a base $45-a-month subscription.

Several other channels, including Logo, TeenNick, MTV Classic, and more, will be available as part of Fubo’s premier package, “Fubo Extra,” at $50-per-month. Subscribers to Fubo’s Spanish-language base package will also get Viacom’s Telefe and MTV Tr3s channels.

“This is a great opportunity to continue to grow our reach and audiences across the OTT landscape and connect with our fans wherever they consume content,” Tom Gorke, Viacom’s head of distribution and business development, said in a statement.

Fubo, founded in 2015, had already taken steps to shed its sports-first packaging with the addition of major network and cable channels such as CBS, Fox, NBC, AMC, TBS, FX, CNN, Showtime, and more since 2017.

CFO Joel Amijo said that “Fubo remains singularly focused on offering sports fans a compelling pay TV alternative with a robust content offering able to serve the viewing needs of the entire household.”

In total, Fubo features more than 85 channels in its base bundle, including national channels, local stations, and regional sports networks.

http://www.fortune.com/2019/02/20/vi...aming-service/
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TV/Business Notes (Cable)
Charter Launches Spectrum TV Essentials, A Sports-Free OTT Service For The Company’s Existing Internet Customers
By Dade Hayes, Deadline.com - Feb. 20, 2019

Charter Communications, the No. 2 cable operator in the U.S., has announced plans to launch Spectrum TV Essentials, an OTT video service for the company’s existing internet customers who don’t already get pay-TV from Spectrum.

Rolling out by the end of March, the service will cost $15 a month. It will offer live and on-demand programming from more than 60 lifestyle, entertainment and news channels owned by the likes of Viacom, Discovery, A+E Networks, AMC Networks and Crown Media. Starting in May, subscribers will also be able to get Spectrum Originals, a portfolio of shows created by a new programming arm of Charter. Sports — generally considered the “glue” of the traditional cable bundle — is not an ingredient in Spectrum TV Essentials.

Other traditional pay-TV operators including Comcast and AT&T have explored lower-cost “skinny bundle” services, having seen their subscriber numbers decline even as internet remains in demand. Rival skinny offerings such as Sling TV, Hulu with Live TV and DirecTV Now have grown steadily in recent years, luring away cord-shavers with a more accessible alternative to traditional two-year contracts and equipment rentals. Philo TV, an expressly non-sports, lifestyle-centric OTT bundle, has been steadily gaining traction since expanding from its traditional college-campus roots to the general market more than a year ago.

As linear ratings continue to erode and technology keeps viewing habits shifting, the goal of securing carriage-fee increases via traditional deals with operators has proven elusive for many programmers. Many content companies have celebrated the rise of skinny bundles as a way of balancing the scales and keeping their networks fully penetrated despite ratings declines, though the economic puts and takes are still being fully evaluated.

“Spectrum TV Essentials is an OTT offering designed to provide Spectrum Internet-only customers a new low-price, high-value video option,” Charter CEO Tom Rutledge said. “As we began to assemble the rights for this new video service, we received great enthusiasm and encouragement from these key programming partners, who share our view and embrace creating an innovative video offering we believe will resonate with our internet customers. Notably, Viacom shared its strong belief and research that suggests there is a large untapped opportunity for a low-priced, entertainment-only bundle unencumbered by the high cost of broadcast retransmission consent fees and expensive sports programming.”

“We’re thrilled to expand and deepen our relationship with Charter. They share both our commitment to the evolution of the Pay TV ecosystem as well as our understanding of the changing needs of consumers,” said Bob Bakish, Viacom President and CEO. “As the video marketplace continues to segment across price points and offerings, we believe a high quality, lower priced option for internet-only subscribers is very important. We’re excited to have our global brands as part of Spectrum TV Essentials at launch.”

The TV Essentials lineup will be available through the Spectrum TV app on a range of mobile and connected devices.

In addition to Viacom, A+E, AMC, Discovery and Hallmark, other notable networks include Cheddar, NewsmaxTV, Newsy and The Weather Channel. Spectrum News will also be a part of the lineup in New York, Los Angeles, Tampa, Charlotte, Orlando and other markets, Charter said.

In a press release calling attention to its presence in the new Charter offering as well as on virtual MVPD FuboTV, Viacom said the OTT deals illustrate the company’s effort to become less dependent on traditional carriage deals. “Taken together, these announcements make clear that we continue to successfully execute our strategy to expand our presence on next-generation distribution platforms through our strong industry relationships and must-have content,” the company said.

https://deadline.com/2019/02/charter...rs-1202561282/
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TV/Legal Notes (Cable)

Prosecutors: Coast Guard Lieutenant Planned to Kill CNN and MSNBC Hosts, Prominent Democrats
By Ross A. Lincoln, TheWrap.com - Feb. 20, 2019

Federal prosecutors said that a Coast Guard lieutenant arrested last week is a “domestic terrorist” who intended to kill “prominent Democratic congressional leaders” and “MSNBC and CNN media personalities,” among others.

According to a court filing, Christopher Paul Hasson was arrested Feb. 15 on gun-and-drug-related charges. Prosecutors ask that he be detained pending trial because “the defendant intends to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country.”

Prosecutors say Hasson’s targets included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Sens. Chuck Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Maxine Waters, MSNBC hosts Chris Hayes and Joe Scarborough, and CNN hosts Chris Cuomo and Van Jones.

Hasson, the filing says, is an “obvious danger to the community” with a years-long record of expressing extremist views, which were discovered in several emails and email drafts obtained by law enforcement. The filing cites a June 2017 email draft in which Hasson said he was “dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on the earth,” as well as a September 2017 email Hasson sent to himself “which he apparently wrote to a known American neo-Nazi leader” espousing a desire for a “white homeland.”

The filing also cites Google searches conducted by Hasson for terms including “what if trump [sic] is illegally impeached,” and “where in dc to [sic] congress live.”

Hasson also frequently read a manifesto written by Norwegian white supremacist terrorist Anders Breivik, and appeared to follow Breivik’s instructions for amassing supplies and weapons, according to the filing. Law enforcement agents, prosecutors say, found fifteen firearms and over 1,000 rounds of ammunition and other supplies, including steroids, when executing a search warrant.

According to the filing, Hasson’s hit list was consistent with the kinds of people identified by Breivik as “traitors.”

Hasson is set to appear in court Thursday afternoon. The office of the Federal Public Defender, District of Maryland did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap.

The court filing was first reported by Seamus Hughes, deputy director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University.

https://www.thewrap.com/federal-pros...ent-democrats/
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TV Notes/Q&A
Why Is TV So Obsessed With the Afterlife Right Now?
By Anna Silman, TheCut.com - Feb. 20, 2019

What happens after we die? In 2019, you don’t need to consult holy scriptures in order to find answers to the mysteries of the afterlife — you just need to turn on the TV. Despite the increasing secularization of mainstream pop-culture, depictions of the afterlife onscreen are currently a dime a dozen, with shows like The Good Place, Miracle Workers, Russian Doll, Forever, Black Mirror, as well as an upcoming series from The Office producer Greg Daniels each advancing their own unique visions of demons and angels, heaven and hell, and everything in between. But why are we seeing such a glut of representations of this particular subject right now, and what can it tell us about our current cultural moment? We called up Dr. Greg Garrett, a professor of English at Baylor University, to pick his brain about TV’s new favorite subject. While Garrett was raised conservative evangelical, he now identifies as Episcopalian; his writing, including is 2015 book Entertaining Judgment: The Afterlife in Popular Imagination, focuses primarily the intersection between religion and culture.

Why is the afterlife such a cultural preoccupation for us right now?
I don’t think that there is a time when we have had this many kind of versions of stories of the afterlife kind of popping up in the culture. They are a way of helping us cope with some of the stresses and difficulties that we might be experiencing in the present moment. We’re living in a time of really high tension — for some people, it feels like we’re living in hell — and these shows use fantasy to help us deal with real-life concerns and issues and figure out things like what do we owe each other and what does real justice look like and what is generosity and what does an authority figure look like?

What’s different about the way the afterlife is represented on TV now from the way it was portrayed in pop culture in the past?
I think what’s really interesting about The Good Place is that normally in a situation comedy you don’t welcome character change. The idea that somebody like Eleanor could become a better person is not a useful trope for situation comedy, because what you want to do is cast these characters in a familiar role that viewers are going to come back to over and over again. I think one of the really kind of audacious things that The Good Place does is it says: I’m going to make a commitment to taking this character who was not so great in her life on earth and show her dealing with what is the usual purgatory narrative, which is self improvement.

And what about Miracle Workers?
That’s also kind of fun. In afterlife stories one of the big questions is how did we get here, and the concept of God is the center of that. That is usually impossible to do in a heaven story. God is the most boring character in Milton’s Paradise Lost. In most iterations of God that emerged from traditions, God is unchangeable. God is just a literal force of nature that doesn’t move, doesn’t shift and it’s the thing that Margaret Atwood is talking about in The Blind Assassin when she says that, “in heaven there are no stories.” The thing that they do in Miracle Workers is to humanize God so that God is not God the force of nature — he’s just a slob like one of us. Afterlife stories are often about fairness and unfairness on earth. If you live a good life it’s nice to know that maybe there’s a place where you’re going to be rewarded for it and conversely if you’re a jack-hole here that there’s a bad place where you’re going to spend eternity getting tortured. So having this God who is so human and so capricious and wanders around in his sweats, that kind of explains some of the crazy stuff going on in the world.

Both The Good Place and Miracle Workers position the afterlife as a bureaucracy. What does it reflect about contemporary life that the afterlife is represented as a sort of failed corporation?
They’re like afterlife versions of The Office, and I think that’s because for many of us that’s the place where we spend much of our time. The easiest mechanism for us to understand something intangible is by comparing it to what’s in front of our noses every day, so I walk into my cubby and I sit down and I turn on my computer and things get done or don’t get done as the case may be. If that’s how the afterlife works as well, then that seems to explain a lot.

A lot of these shows also explore monogamy, soulmates, and the idea of commitment that lasts for all of eternity. Could you talk a little bit about the depictions of romance in the afterlife historically and what do you think these current shows are exploring?
This idea of eternal love is one of the tropes that we have in our romantic love language. When you say to someone that you’re going to love them forever, actually that probably has an expiration date. But in shows like this and also in the Twilight novels where you’re talking about vampire lovers, they’re going to be young and eternally together. That’s something that grows out of the Mormon scriptures, the idea of a temple wedding where you’re going to be married not just for this life but for all eternity. And so you have to wrestle with what that means.

In my book Entertaining Judgment I talked about how one of the reasons that we’re so drawn to these imaginative versions of the afterlife is that the scriptures don’t talk about it much, so we put all of these kinds of things together in our head. What would heaven look like for me? Is it the place where dreams come true like in Field of Dreams? Well that means that I’m going to spend a lot of days in the bleachers in Wrigley Field watching a Cubs team that actually wins.

There are all these different iterations and for many of us the primary relationships in our lives, the love relationships, are the things that make life meaningful. So I think of my grandmother who is 99 now and has lived for 20 something years. After my granddad died, every time I would talk to her the first thing out of her mouth would be about how she can’t wait to get to heaven so that she can see my grandpa. So for her it can’t be heaven unless she is with the person she has loved the most in this life. But what I love about these shows is that they are also wrestling with the tensions we deal with with that. I’ve had happy marriages and unhappy marriages and if I were stuck with my first wife for all eternity that would feel like the bad place.

In Miracle Workers and The Good Place, these eternal beings watching over us are just as flawed and useless as we are. Is that a newer trend in these kinds of stories?
That’s a much more recent way of thinking about the occupants of the afterlife. I would say maybe 30 or 40 years ago we started getting some ideas that these eternal beings could transform as a result of experiences, though as far back as the ’30s and ’40s there are some films about angels who fall in love with humans. But it’s not until you get toward much more recent times where you have the devil or God or angels angels who are able to transform.

I wonder whether that reflects our increasing loss of sources of authority we can trust.
Yeah I think that’s a really good insight. Steve Buscemi’s God [in Miracle Workers] is light years away from the God that would show up in the consciousness of many seriously religious people. For those of us who are wrestling with what the world looks like now and as you’re pointing out all the different institutions that have failed us, the questions is: What do we place our trust in? And so here have have a character or characters who at the end of the day really are kind of like us, trying to make their way the best that they can. I really love that character of Michael [from The Good Place] and I love the way that he changes and grows and transforms. That is actually the kind of afterlife I would like. I don’t want to be sitting around on clouds plucking at a harp all day.

It’s like that line from the Talking Heads song: “Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens.” In The Good Place all the fun people are in the bad place. All the rock stars, all the philosophers. Is that also a new trope?
That’s an interesting question. There are fun people in Dante’s Hell and people who probably don’t belong there; he was just angry at them at the moment and thought that this was a good place for them to represent one of the things that he wanted to speak out against. But I think partly what also is happening is that the way we see religion, particularly conservative Christian religion depicted in America, it looks really joyless to a lot of us. I’m a religious person but that’s not my tradition, and to imagine spending eternity with a group full of really white, really boring, really joyless people, I can’t imagine how that could be any version of a heaven that I would want to be a part of. When I hear my grandma talking about heaven it’s like first she gets to see my grandpa and then she’s going to sing all day and walk streets of gold. I think I’d rather watch some good television.

Russian Doll is another show that plays on that purgatory idea. Why does this idea of repeating things over and over again, like we see in Russian Doll or Groundhog Day or even in The Good Place, end up as a feature in so many of these afterlife narratives?
Well I think that’s how we learn in this life. I’ve been going to spiritual direction, which is my version of therapy, for 14 years, and what I discover is I have to do something over and over again to develop a habit of virtue which is actually the idea behind virtue ethics. The other thing is that there’s this really beautiful idea of these eternal second chances. There have been times in all of our lives when we have said Man I wish I could do that over or I wish I hadn’t said that. To go back and be able to start fresh with a little bit more data and maybe a little bit more hope that you can do better, that’s a real attraction in those stories.

Has researching your book or watching these shows informed your own conception about what you believe happens to us after we die?
I was raised in a tradition where we had very clear ideas. We thought we understood everything about the afterlife because of the way that we read the Bible. Where I am now, strangely enough is I have less idea than I’ve ever had about what the afterlife might be and at the same time more faith that there is something good at the center of the universe. I believe that there is something after this where I will be in communion with whatever it was that created me, but I don’t know what that looks like. I don’t think it looks like a baseball field in Iowa and I don’t think it looks like The Good Place and I don’t think it looks like fluffy clouds. I think probably if I turn out to be right about this, it’s going to completely blow my mind. At the end of the day I’m really okay living in the not knowing.

https://www.thecut.com/2019/02/why-i...167.1494329781
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TV Notes (Broadcast)
CBS Mulls Changes to ‘CBS Evening News,’ Eyes Norah O’Donnell for Anchor Slot
By Brian Steinberg, Variety.com - Feb. 20, 2019

EXCLUSIVE: CBS News is considering making significant changes to its flagship “CBS Evening News,” according to four people with knowledge of the talks, part of a top-down look at the news division by incoming president Susan Zirinsky.

Executives are considering putting “CBS This Morning” anchor Norah O’Donnell in the lead role of its evening-news broadcast, these people said, as well as moving the broadcast to Washington, D.C. instead of its longtime roost in New York City. CBS News declined to make executives available for comment. These plans are not definitive, these people cautioned, and there is no guarantee they will come to fruition. Jeff Glor remains anchor of “CBS Evening News” at present.

The discussions about O’Donnell indicate a dissatisfaction with the “Evening News” performance under Jeff Glor, who was named “Evening News” anchor in October 2017. CBS’ flagship nightly broadcast has long trailed its rivals on ABC and NBC, but in the past year the telecast’s ratings have fallen further behind.

Glor has faced many challenges during a rookie stint in the slot, including a change from one “CBS Evening News” executive producer with years of experience to one whose experience is more tied to CBS’ digital-news operations. He has also been undermined by speculation early on in his tenure about ratings, although David Rhodes, current president of CBS News, has said he never expected “CBS Evening News” to surge immediately after an anchor change. And CBS News has been roiled in recent months as part of a legal probe into both the culture of the news division and its parent company.

Such a move would mean a big change for “CBS This Morning,” the morning show that O’Donnell has co-anchored since July 2012. Relocating to Washington, D.C. would allow O’Donnell to be closer to her family rather that commuting between New York and the capital as she has since she signed on to “CBS This Morning.”

O’Donnell has distinguished herself at CBS News for in-depth reporting and her ability to land big interviews, such as her sit-down that has aired this week with Priscilla Chan, philanthropist and wife of Facebook mogul Mark Zuckerberg. Last year she landed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and FBI director Christopher Wray, among others.

“CBS This Morning” has been in flux for some time. The ouster of Charlie Rose in late 2017 prompted a reworking of the show’s lineup. John Dickerson and Bianna Golodryga have joined Gayle King and O’Donnell at the show’s desk, bringing the group to four.

If O’Donnell were to move to “Evening News,” she would undoubtedly still have a presence on “This Morning” in her role as an “Evening News” anchor and “60 Minutes” contributors. The network morning shows have become the key launching pad for interview gets and news scoops for other news broadcasts, given that the morning shows are consistently more popular and buzzy than the traditional early evening newscasts of record.

O’Donnell joined CBS News in 2011 as chief White House correspondent after more than a decade at NBC News. If appointed, she would be the second woman to anchor “CBS Evening News,” following Katie Couric’s run in the chair between 2006 and 2011.

https://variety.com/2019/tv/news/cbs...es-1203143901/
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